A quote from ``The Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure,'' by Elizabeth Lesser, that I got in the mail this evening, after I had written my previous post, and I felt the book in the mailbox when I woke up from my afternoon sleep :) I feel the luck once in a while! ;)
You may recognize in yourself the most common emotional copying strategy: in order not to feel the darker emotions---sadness, or pain, or hatred---we turn off the heart's capacity to feel at all. And then we are puzzled by why it is so hard to love, to enjoy, and even to know what we feel or want.
... If the purpose of life is to ``feel the rapture of being alive,'' .... then it follows that an important part of the spiritual path is to heal the heart and to become emotionally intelligent. ... the heart's contradictory, messy, and passionate nature seems at odds with some religions. ... The less controllable aspects of our humanness---erotic love, rage and anger, beauty and sadness---have been labeled too passionate or irrational to be trusted.
... Once opened, the heart wants to feel the rapture of being alive. It longs to know love; it remembers pain; it feels rage, it demands change. It wants to know joy in the here and now, in the body, with other people, through the senses.---The Seeker's Guide, pp. 159-160