Originally Posted by Ivy
Personally, I've always had trouble with jealousy being characterized as a "false" emotion. It's really just fear, right? Fear of losing someone important, fear of being alone, fear of being personally inadequate. It's human nature to respond to fear by fighting or by hiding, which is precisely what most people do when they're jealous.
And really, there are few emotions more primeval and instinctive than fear, right?
I never said it was false, just that it's produced by a mental process, rather than being a natural, organic response. I am very grateful for the people who taught me that we human beings often manufacture lots of feelings with our minds, or hold onto feelings that have arisen, rather than feel what comes up and let it go. Real feelings will always have an ebb and flow. The emotions that come out of our own mental masturbation stick around and can actually become some kind of comfort to us, no matter how uncomfortable or icky, simply because they're familiar. And we become very facile at reproducing them in similar situations or times when feeling that would be easier than feeling something else that is unfamiliar or more uncomfortable. So much so, that we say, "I know
I will feel jealous about..." No - you don't actually know what you're going to feel in the future, if you really allow whatever is
to be what it is, in any given moment. But you might very accurately be able to predict what you will feel in certain situations simply because it's like a subroutine, a tape, a broken record, that you play over and over and over.
Jealousy and fear and inadequacy are not the same things. Jealousy comes out of a mental process. You can teach yourself not to be jealous. Feeling inadequate is based on making comparisons. It's not something that gives rise in and of itself. Real fear is a natural response within the bodymind. There's an adrenaline rush or other sensations accompanying it. One can try to teach yourself not to be afraid, but that's impossible. You can be fearful of less things, but there will always be a stimulus that will get you when you least expect it. It is a primitive instinctual emotion (e
motion = energy in motion).
I say "real fear" because you can mentally work yourself up into feeling fear, just like you can with any emotion, but then it's not genuine in the moment of experience, but simply a reaction to your own thoughts. However, jealousy doesn't rise up of itself, it is something that is over top of other feelings. You can have sensations, like nausea and shortness of breath when you're jealous, but those come after you've reacted, not viscerally as the feeling comes up, as sensations do with fear.
Fear pops up and we don't want to feel it (we're afraid of our fears, even), so our mind starts working. And we twist it into jealousy. Jealousy is always a mental construct. There are cultures that do not experience jealousy, or shame, and other mentally induced emotions. But fear and love are natural and when these feelings happen, they just happen of their own accord.