I agree, there is no reason we need to sit a sulk in depression or
any negative emotion!
When mystery traditions speak of negative emotions as being
problematic, such as anger, hatred or lust, it is often heard as
though the person who feels these things is bad or that something is
wrong with a person for feeling or experiencing a negative thought or
emotion. But for most traditions, I don't believe this is the
case. A mystery tradition is merely saying that the emotion, or
thought is problematic, and it is good to notice the problematic
quality of these thoughts and emotions, so that we can enact the
practices and strategies given to generate those experiences in
consciousness that facilitate a more enlightened experience and is
more pleasurable and makes our lives happier and more rewarding.
Each seems to behave a certain way in consciousness, as though they
can be personified.
If we were to think of our mind as our home, and the thoughts and
emotions that move through it as house guests, perhaps this will
enable us to sort out which emotions and thoughts are the better,
more fun and interesting house guests. Some house guests are
entertaining and fun, but demand a lot of our attention, and aren't
concerned with what time we have to get up in the morning for work,
whether we have chores to do or not, but always want to have fun and
draw us away from those things that help make our lives practically
function. Lust and sloth are emotions that are akin to such house
guests, concerned only with their version of a good time, they can be
fun to hang out with, but are demanding of our attention, they ignore
our requests to go away and give us reprieve when we need a break and
care nothing for our responsibilities, usually making a mess of our
home and giving no opportunity to clean it up.
Anger, hatred and jealousy are akin to house guests who demand our
attention constantly, command us constantly to get things for them
and do things for them, ignore any request we might have and push
away any needs we might have and never give us an opportunity to get
a word in edgewise. They demand service as though your home is an
Greed is akin to that house guest who wants to be constantly served,
but pretends to be a nice house guest and pretends to be looking out
for your interests by doing so. Greed wants to tell you that he's
really helping you "look out for your investment" when you clean his
room to his liking, and helping you "get better at cooking," by
preparing his meals exactly the way he likes and so on and so forth.
Greed is very much like Anger, Hatred and Jealousy, when you get down
to it, though he convinces you he is serving you. Meanwhile you're
to too busy serving him to get your own work done.
Depression is the worst. Depression is that house guest who comes
over and takes control. You don't run your house right, so
Depression is taking over for as long as it wants, perhaps forever.
You will do what it commands, and there is NO NEGOTIATION.
Notice also how polite the house guests Joy, Peace and Love are.
They are a pleasure to be around, they listen when you speak, and are
excellent conversationalists themselves, always having something
interesting and insightful to say. Not only do they allow you to do
your work, but they will often help you with it and make your work
more enjoyable by doing so. They leave when asked to, and come over
when invited, always bringing gifts.
But Anger, Hatred, Jealousy, Greed, Lust and Depression are demanding
house-guests who beat up and often kick these wonderful house-guests
out of OUR house, as though it were their house, and then commence to
take possession of our home, our minds, as though they are entitled
to it, treating our minds like a cheap motel.
The situation is quite ludicrous, that we would allow house guests to
behave so much like cretins as these negative emotions do and put up
with it for very long without tossing them out on their ears, but
when we personify negativity in this way, we can see how often we
allow such house guests to take possession of the home of our minds
and keep company with strange and demanding creatures.
With this metaphor we can consider the process of purifying our minds
from a non-judgmental perspective and realize that a person who feels
a thing is no more being judged than the home owner with a difficult
house-guest. We would merely remind, it IS YOUR HOME and you can
call the police any time you want (invoke the Christ-Presence).