Transpersonal emotions: A structural and phenomenological perspective, L Sundararajan

Tags: Heidegger, Rivera, Heideggerian, relationship, de Rivera, psychological space, Frodsham, acceptance, Three Rivers, Dasein, Accordingto de Rivera, Consistentwith Heidegger, Accordingto Heidegger, structural theory, manifest, zither player, Heidegger'sformulationsof Dasein, golden pheasants, stanza, chance encounter, structural analysis
Content: TRANSPERSONAL EMOTIONS:A STRUCTURAL AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
Louise Sundararajan Rochester,New York ABSTRACT.'This paper gives a structural and phenomenological account of transpersonal emotions. Structural investigation results in a topology of emotions consistent with the general framework of de Rivera's matrix of emotions (1977), More specifically, this topology shows that "being emotions" that reside in the psychological space of the transperaonal self are in mutually constraining relationships with other sets of emotions in the domains of the "material" and the "social" selves, On the phenomenological front, it is demonstrated through taxtual analysis of selected texts that a wide spectrum of "being emotions" delineated by de Rivera may be considered various nuances of the Heideggerian angst, although certain Heideggerian nuances of angst, such as "awe" and "uncanny," are not fully developed in de Rivera's model. Primary texts used for this analysis will be two Chinese landscape poems by Hsieh Lingyiin (385-433). Implications of the Structural analysis for future research on transpersonal emotions are discussed in the conclusion. In this article,I attempt to apply and extenda structural theory of emotions(deRivera, 1977)to an analysis of feelingstates usually associated with the spiritual or "transpersonal' dimensionof our lives,More specifically, I explorea set of transpersonal emotions in termsof both its contentand its structural relationship withother sets"of emotions.This structural perspective is complemented by Heidegger's phenomenology of mood. I examineChinese philosophical and literary texts in light of Heidegger'sphenomenology of Dasein and its characteristic mood, angst,as well as de Rivera's spectrum of "being emotions."Primarytexts used for this analysisare two Chineselandscapepoems by HsiehLing-yun(385-433). Implications of the structural analysisfor future research on transpersonal emotions are discussed in the conclusion. BELONGING,RECOGNITIONA, NDBEING De Rivera divides human emotions into three sets-belonging, recognmon, and being-each inhabitinga particulardimensionof "psychological space," which in turn corresponds to three aspectsof the self: material,social,and spiritual.The "belonging emotions"are said to inhabit the psychological spaceof what William James referred to as the "material self;' namely,the selfthat is concerned with "everything thatcan be called mine" (de Rivera, 1977, p, 52), such as "one's body, lover, children, home, etc.t'(p, 65). "Recognition emotions;' accordingto de Rivera (1977),"deal with what The authorwouldliketo thankProfessorJosephde Riverafor his generouscritiqueof an earlierdraftof this paper.I alsothankmyanonymousreviewersfor theirhelpfulsuggestions. Sendcorrespondenc1e0:Dr.LouiseSundararajenR, ochesterPsychiatricCenter,II IIEImwoodAvenue,RochesterN, Y 14620-3972 Copyright© 2000Transpersonallnsnture
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James called the 'social' self-the self as recognized by the other-and involve one's honor, reputation, and morality" (p. 53). "Being emotions" are concerned with granting or denying being/meaning to self or other (de Rivera, 1977). As such, these emotions are postulated to inhabit the psychological space of the "spiritual" or, more appropriately,the "transpersonal"self. By "transpersonal"I refer to experiences"in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos" (Walsh & Vaughan, 1993, p. 203). This definition of the "transpersonal"is in keeping with Heidegger's notion of Dasein, which literally means "Being-there." It refers to the uniquely transpersonal nature of being human, as Heidegger put" it, "Man is the there whose nature is to be open [to Being]" (cited in Richardson, 1967, p. 280). By Dasein, Heidegger makes it clear that the essence of being human consists in a "transpersonal" relationship to Being. As Macomber (1967) explains, "Dasein is rather a way of being than a being, and all its characteristicsas a being are grounded in the direct relation in which it stands to being, primarily its own" (p, 31).This transpersonal nature of Daseinis driven home by the following observation of Levin (1988), "To be sure, Heidegger's Dasein is historical;but it is, curiously, a being without biography,without any narrative of personal history.... Heidegger's Dasein is, as Derrida has noted, without gender ... " (p, 271). Implicit in the "transpersonal"connotationsof Dasein,then, is a dialecticrelationshipbetween the transpersonal self and the "personal" selves-the material and the social.At the level of the material and the social selves, however, this dialectic relationship with the transpersonalself may be expressed as mutual exclusiveness.This point is illustrated in a Taoist story from Chuang-tzu:The Marquis of Lu was so impressed with the remarkablebell-stand made by the woodcarver Khing that he inquired of the latter about his art. Thereupon Khing proceeded to describe the elaboratepreparations he went through for his work: After fasting for three days, I did not presume to think of any congratulation,reward, rank, or emolument.... Afterfastingfive days, I did not presumeto think of thecondemnationor commendation(which it wouldproduce),or of the skill or want of skill (whichit might display).At the endof the sevendays,I had forgottenall aboutmyself-my fourlimbsandmy whole person .... ThenI went into the forest, andlooked at the natural forms of the trees. When I saw one of a perfect form,then the figureof the bell-standrose up to my view,and I appliedmy handto the work. (Legge, 1959,p. 462) In the present context, this Taoist parable suggests that the transpersonal self is made accessible by shedding, through rituals of purification,both the social self that is concemed about performance and its consequencesof reward and punishment, as well as the material self that is concerned with "my four limbs and my whole person," In light of such a dialecticalrelationshipbetween the transpersonalself and the personal selves, the being emotions would be in a mutually exclusive relationship with the other two sets of emotions, belonging and recognition. DIALECTIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE BEING EMOTIONS AND THE REST OF THETRIAD The mutually exclusive or dialectical relationship between the three sets of emotions can be considered in light of an experimental study by de Rivera, Possell, Verette, and Weiner (1989). The investigators devised a "wishing versus hoping"
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construct to tease apart elation and gladness. They proposed that elation "entails the fulfillment of a wish. This fantasylike wish involves the self, and the outcome is unexpected" (de Rivera et al., 1989, p. 1016). Gladness, in contrast, entails the fulfillment of a realistic "hope." Hoping "does not involve the fantasy inherent in wishing. Rather, it includes waiting for something that has a real possibility but presently is uncertain" (de Rivera et al., 1989, p. 1016). The contrast between elation and gladness is summed up succinctly by the researchers in the following definitions of wishing and hoping: Wishing occurs on a fantasy level, as it involves dreaming beyond what is realistically possible. Wishes are not expected to come true, and, therefore, wishing does not entail patient waiting and Iacks doubt or worry. Hopingdoesnot occuron a fantasy level, and, therefore, is more "grounded" in reality. Hopes are expected to be fulfilled, although it is never absolutely certain that they will come true. Consequently, hoping involves doubt or worry, and also entails patient waiting for the hopes to be fulfilled. (De Rivera et al., 1989, p, 1021) Extending the antithetical relationship between wishing-elation and hoping-gladness, a mutual exclusiveness can be shown to be likewise true of the relationship between the transpersonal emotion of joy (de Rivera, 1977) and the egoist emotions of elation and gladness. For illustration, I offer a detailed analysis of a poem by the ninth-century Chinese poet/critic Ssu-Kung T'u (837-908). Solid World The words employed are extremely direct, The formulation of thought does not go deep; Suddenly one meets a recluseIt is as if seeing the mind of the way [Tao]. The bends of clear torrents, The shade of emerald pines: One fellow carries firewood. Another fellow listens to a zither. The perfection of [human] nature and the affections Is so subtle it cannot be sought. One chances on it as Heaven willsDelicate, the faint and rare tones. (Owen, 1992, pp. 341-342) This is one of Sse-Kung T'u's 24 poems, each dedicated to one particular poetic mood. The (poetic) mood described in this poem seems to be joy, as we shall see. In joy, according to de Rivera (1977), "the person experienceshis existence as meaningful, as coming closer to the self that he 'really is" (p, 64). This sense of being in reality or truth (the Tao) is suggested by the title "Shih (solid/real)Ching (world)," rendered by Owen (1992) as "solid world"(p. 341), and by Yu (1978) as "reality" (p, 88). Given the Taoist binary opposition between the natural and the artificial/falsehood,Yang and Yang's (1963) translation of the title as "the natural mode"(p. 74) is also appropriate. Joy has two basic components:first, meeting an other, and second,a sense of the meaningfulnessof life. "Suddenly one meets a recluse" (line 3) captures the first component
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of joy: "I became aware of the uniqueness of the other" (de Rivera et at, 1989, p. 1017). "It is as if seeing the mind of the way [Tao]" (line 4) captures the second com- ponent: "It was as if a veil came off my eyes so that 1 could see the significance of life, how things really are" (de Rivera et at, 1989, p. 1017). This meaningfulness results in an openness to life, so characteristic of the transpersonalself. In the study by de Rivera et al, (1989), this transpersonalopenness associated with joy is described as follows: a. I realized that there really is a meaning to life. I was encouraged to beopen to life. b. Instead of being out of place, I found myself in place, in harmony. c. I would say that this experience made me feel more united with all life. (p. 1017)
Ssu-Kung T'u says the same thing, albeit in poetic imagery, which may be approximated by the following scenario: two individuals---onewoodcutter, one scholar; one standing o, ne sitting-chance upon each other (each referring to the other as "recluse"). As both are drawn to the music of the zither, the latter is playing. The subtle tunes of the zither are echoed by the singing brook and the whispering pines, resulting in a symphony so faint and rare, and yet deeply in harmony with the essence of human nature and emotions (line 9).
This openness to life or Being constitutes the distinguishing factor of joy, just as
wishing and hoping define elation and gladness, respectively. We can turn to the
poet's intuition for contrast and comparison between openness to Being and the
wishing-hoping pair. From the very outset, the poet states that when communica-
tions are direct in an encounter such as the one he presents here, calculative think-
ing becomes unnecessary: "The words employed are extremely direct,lThe for-
mulation of thought does [needs] not go deep" (lines 1-2). Careful deliberation is
frowned upon, for the "natural mode" of communication is supposed to be a mat-
ter of "plain words" and "simple thoughts," as the translation of Yang and Yang
(1963, p. 74) makes clear, The poet repeats this caveat in line 10: "Is so subtle it
cannot be sought" Owen (1992) interprets this line as "cannot be sought willful-
ly" (p. 342). The poet seems to besaying that chance encounter with the recluse
is an experience that cannot be obtained by means of willful, goal-directed pur-
suit, nor by calculative, instrumental thinking. This rulesoutcareful estimates of
the odds, and deliberate planning coupled with patient waiting-in other words, the
hoping recluse
condition .. Throughout, the poet insists happens effortlessly, like magic. This is
cothmapt acrahbalnecteo.ednecoRuivneterar'swi(t1h97th7e)
formulation of joy: "That is, an other person or object becomes present for the
person, acquiring a significance that is filled with meaning in an almost magical
way" (pp. 64-65).
Carefree and effortless as it may be, the chance encounter is not to be confused with wishing. As we have seen, wishing's hallmark is a self-centered orientation, which is the veryantipode of joy. Indeed, the chance encounter with the recluse presents a pic- ture antithetical to wishing, almost stroke by stroke. To begin with, wishing-elation is characterized by a tendency to tune out the external reality, as the following items from the study suggest:
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a. I was suddenly lifted out of reality into a fantasyworld. b. I became oblivious to the rest of the world,not really noticing what others were sayingor doing.And again: c. I felt that it didn't matter what other people thought about how I was act- ing. (de Riveraet al., 1989,p, 1017) Joy, in sharp contrast, entails a tuning into the world, or "being-in-the-world,"as Heidegger(1962)puts it. Thus, the charactersin the poem are de-centered:The zither player is not focusing on himself or his companion-both are tuned in to the music instead. What we have here is a rather down-to-earthscenario:two charactersand a zither-a simple,direct,or betterstill,wordlesscommunicationtakingplaceamidstthe windingbrook and the pine grove, a sylvan scene completelydevoid of any flight of fantasy or mythicalembellishment.Also absent here is psychomotoragitation,which is characteristicof elation, as is indicated by items from the study,such as: "I felt like jumping, running,or shouting"(de Rivera et al., 1989,p. 1017).The joy conveyed in the poem is a staid scene, no wild excitement,no dramaticdenouement,but a seemingly insipidscenario,whichneverthelessreverberateswith nuancedand subtlemeaning. This state of consciousness,accordingto the poet, cannotbe attained by purposeful pursuitor careful planning,but rather is concomitant with being open to life, or as Owen (1992) puts it, "in letting the world be itself,genuine subtlety will arise" (p. 343). Summing up ourobservations so far, the emotions of belonging, recognition, andbeing reside in three different dimensions of psychological space and reflect three corresponding types of self: the material,the social,and the transpersonal,The relationship between the transpersonal and the personal (materialand social) selves and their corresponding emotions seemsto be that of mutualexclusiveness .Another way of putting it is that transpersonal emotions are not likely to thrive wherebelonging and/orrecognition emotions loom large. BEING EMOTIONS ; A STRUCTURAL AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS In this section, I investigate a structural set of "being emotions" identified as acceptance,wonder,panic, dread, serenity,joy, sorrow,and rejection(de Rivera, 1977).The structural perspective will be complemented by Heidegger's phenomenologicalinvestigationof Dasein'smoods, especiallyangst. Primarytexts for the structuraland phenomenologicalanalysis are two poems of vision quest-c-one successful,one unsuccessful-by the founderof landscapepoetry in China, HsiehLing-yun (385-433). We begin with a successful vision quest. What I SawWhen I Had Crossed The Lake On My Way From Nan-Shanto Pel-Shan I In the morningI set out from the Sun-litshore, When the sun was settingI rested bythe shadowy peaks. Leaving myboat, I gazedatthe far-off banks, 4 Halting my staff,I leant against a flourishing pine. The narrowpath is dark and secluded, Yet the ring-like island is bright as jade. BelowI see the tops of toweringt rees,
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8 Above I hear the meeting of wild torrents. Stones athwart, the water divides its flow; The woods are so thick the path cuts its traces. II What is the result of 'Delivering' and 'Forming'? 12 Everywhere is thick with things pushing upward and growing. Early bamboo, encased in green skin, New rushes, wrapped in purple fuzz, Seagulls sporting above the springtime shores 16 And golden pheasants sweeping the temperate wind. Of embracing transformation my heart never wearies; Viewing these scenes, I cherish them the more. III No matter that I've left other men far behind20 I only regret having no one with whom to share. I wander alone, sighing, but not from mere feeling; Unsavoured nature yields to none her meaning. (Adapted from Westbrook, 1980, p. 239, and Frodsham, 1967, I, p. 146) This poem belongs to the vision quest genre, popular in Chinese landscape poetry of the fifth to sixth century(see Lin, 1976).The followinganalysisby Mather (1961)of a precursorof this genre will give us a generalidea: The "Poetic Essay on Roaming in the T'ien-t'ai Mountains" [by the fourth century poet Sun Ch' 0] is, at one level, a record of the poet's mystical experience of identity with the non-actual reality [the Tao] embodied in mountains and streams. Much of it is, of course, vivid physical description of the ascent of one of China's most scenic mountains.... But the decisive moment, when the world of sense is left behind and the first spiritual illumination gained, comes with the breath-taking passage over the natural stone bridge ... which spans the Utter Darkness Stream . . . into the canyon below. This crisis, similar in some ways to the "dark night of the soul" in Western mysticism, once past, the road levels and opens into a veritable . fairyland, where, after. a bath mthe Magic Stream, all "perturbing thoughts" and worldly attachments fall away. The poet is now in perfect accord with the Tao .... (pp. 231-232) Poems of this genre can be divided into three parts in accordancewith their internal structure:(I) the ascent,whichdescribesthe exodusfrow the f~liar,everyday world; (I2m)ptheneemtryasbtliec-amlvoiusinotnai,nwshciacpheisbbeecsotmsuems omneedoufpsubbylWimeesbtberaouotky(-1w9i8th0)w, h"iTcyhptihcealployeatn's spirit enjoys effortless communion... " (p, 237, abstract);and (3)the descent,whichis characterized by a "return to the mundane.This tripartitedivisionis evidentin Hsieh's poem cited above.In the following paragraphs,my exegesi of this poem is guided by Heidegger'sformulationsof Dasein and its mood. TheAscent In the ascent(first stanza),the poet embarkson ajourney,whichturnsout to be a journey on three interrelatedlevels: it is a journey away from the everydayworld, a journey into the abyss of "nothing," and a journey of angst, usually translated as "anxiety."The threadthat ties all threelevelsof meaning togetheris the Heideggerian angst.
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Angst, according to Heidegger (1962), is the privileged mood that reveals the world as "nothing." This reference to the "nothingness" of the world suggests the connection between angst and de Rivera's "dread," which he defines as "other loses existence" (de Rivera, 1977, p. 66). One feeling state associated with angst, but not mentioned by de Rivera is uncanniness. According to Orr (1981), "Angst ... [is] the slipping away of beings, in whose slipping away is revealed that what prevails offers no hold, no solid anchorage. Instead, there is only pure suspense, the uncanniness of the indeterminate" (p. 97). This "slipping away" of the familiar world finds an eloquent expression in the ascent. The poem starts out with ordinary clock time: "In the morning I set out ... When the sun was setting I rested .... " But as the journey progresses, an "uncanny" landscape emerges: The poet sees the tips of tall trees "below," and hears wild torrents "above." Not only is the normal sense of space disrupted; time has become indeterminate as well. As Westbrook (1980) points out, "This poem hangs somewhere between morning and evening, the shore and the summit, and to speculate on the poet's exact position would be to misread his intent to escape normal time and space relationships" (p, 239). What goes hand in hand with the uncanny feeling is a sense of "threat," as Heidegger (1962) points out that "Dasein's uncanniness ... [is] a threat which reaches Dasein itself and which comes from Dasein itself" (p. 234). Thus Bernasconi (1985) writes, "It is not only things that slip away in anxiety, but along with them we slip away from ourselves" (p. 56). As the world is "slipping away" into "nothing," taking us with it, we are confronted with the impossibility of our ability to be. A sense of the possibility of this impossibility to be seems to be at the root of what de Rivera refers to as "panic." "In panic," writes de Rivera (1977), "the self is on the verge of becoming the empty nothingness that we dread" (p. 64). This feeling state finds expression in the menacing terrain: "Stones athwart, the water divides its flowl The woods are so thick the path cuts its traces" (lines 9-10). Analogous to a stream, or a natural trail, the self as Dasein is in danger of being blocked, fragmented, or obliterated. Consistent with accounts of "dark night of the soul," Heidegger (1949) claims that the turning point lies at the very depth of angst-the countermovement set in motion by "awe:" "For hard by essential dread, in the terror of the abyss, there dwells awe" (p. 386). He speaks elsewhere of "an awe in the face of the mystery that the dimension of openness, 'world: has been freed from the reticence of the nothing. In this way, a countermovement manifests itself in awe" (quoted by Held, 1993, p. 295). The "dimension of openness" that emerges from the "reticence of the nothing" constitutes the mystical vision that usually accompanies the "dark night of the soul." This "mystical vision" is described in the second stanza of the poem. The Mystical Vision The "dimension of openness" is referred to by Heidegger (1962) as the "world," or simply the "spaciousness." The connection between experience of the "spaciousness" and that of "nothingness" in angst is best expressed by Brock, "In 'nothingness,' as bound up with the things in the whole, we experience a 'vast spaciousness' which gives every
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single thing the warrant to be" (in Heidegger, 1949, p. 243). What lies at the core of this experience of "vast spaciousness" seems to be "acceptance," which is defined by de Rivera (1977) as an emotional stance in which "other gains existence," and is granted "its separate reality" (p. 66). The open expanse with its corresponding emotion of acceptance seems to permeate the second stanza. Consider line 12, "everywhere is thick with things pushing upward and growing:' What this image brings to light is the fact that all that exuberant growth does not result in crowding-there is so much room that "all things" are able to "grow tan and flourish" (Westbrook, 1980, p. 239). Compare this image with another picture of lavish growth in the ascent: "The woods are so thick the path cuts its traces" (line 10). Obviously, the spaciousness is not there in the ascent to "give every single thing the warrant to be." The "vast expanse" is palpably felt in the remaining lines of the second stanza: it is manifest in the parallelism between the bamboo and the rushes, a parallelism that underscores the distance between the mountain and the stream, where these plants grow, respectively; it is also manifest in the contrast between the seagulls and the golden pheasants, a contrast that brings to light the distance between the beach and the mountain (cf. Lin, 1976, p. 42). Furthermore, the seagulls, diving in and out of the billowing waves, make manifest the vast distance between sky and water; the golden pheasants, on the other hand, fly horizontally, thus making manifest the vast expanse of space that fills mountains and valleys. The emotional comportment of acceptance seems to correspond to the Heideggerian "awe," which is referred to by Held (1993) as "reservedness with respect to the world, a reverence ..." (p. 295). This sense of reservedness is manifest in the fact that in part II everything seems to be enveloped in its own space: the bamboos, the rushes, the seagulls and the golden pheasants. There is no physical contact between them and the poet, whose contemplative gaze respects the distance between himself and things. This sense of reservedness on the part of the poet contrasts sharply with the more aggressive approach to things in the ascent. In lines 1 through 4, the shore, the peaks, the boat, and the walking staff are devoid of their own space-they are simply objects for manipulation. Thus we have the following verbs, all suggesting physical contact: "setting out" from the shore, "resting" by the peaks, "leaving" the boat, and "halting" the staff. Even the "flourishing pine" has become an object for "leaning" (line 4)-it is not shrouded in the protective space that allows the bamboos and rushes (lines 1314) to shine in their own being. This "spaciousness" is none other than the Heideggerian "world," which is also referred to as "the foursome"-the fourfold structure of earth, heaven, gods, and man. In the second stanza, the earth is manifest in the "wood" that grows "within the earth," "pushing upwards"; in the "seed-pods of all fruits, plants and trees burst[ing] open"; and in the young bamboo and tender rushes. Heaven refers to the atmospheric dimension: the "early" bamboo, the "new" rushes, and the gentle wind (line 16) all confirm the season of spring (line 15). Third, there are the gods. According to Orr (1981), "the divinities are those special encounters in which human ek-sistenee {AU: Is preceding word spelled this way in the original material?} experiences itself to be drafted into a claim [of meaning] that surpasses the kind of claim that one ordinarily confronts in one's everyday life" (p. 116). Thus the divinities may be understood as the l-Ching images of the thunderstorm and the vigorous growth of things, images that lay special
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claim on the poet. In the second stanza, there are two references to the l-Ching: line 11 refers to Hexagram XL, "Deliverance," and line 12 to Hexagram XLVI, "Pushing Upward." "Deliverance" refers to thunderstorm and the exuberant growth it engenders: "When Heaven and Earth deliver themselves thunder and rain are formed. When thunder and rain are formed the seed-pods of all fruits, plants and trees burst open"(Frodsham, 1967, p. 166, note 11). "Pushing upwards" has the image of vigorous growth: "Within the earth wood grows. The Image of Pushing Upwards" (Frodsham, 1967, p. 166, note 12). These images evoke a feeling of exaltation over the "ability-tobegin:' or otherwise put, "the triumph of being-possible over impossibility" (quoted by Held, 1993, p. 297), which, according to Heidegger, constitutes the mood of wonder. Inauguration of the Heideggerian wonder by an encounter with the gods (the l-Ching references) supports de Rivera's (1977) definition of wonder, the essential ingredient of which is the meaningfulness of the other: In the emotionof wonder,we are confronted by the existence of something that we do not understand. The movement of wonder is an attempt to grasp the essenceof this miraculous existence-to realize what the other is and thus bringit fullyintobeing.(p, 63) Wonder and awe are intimately related in the Heideggerian scheme. Thus Held (1993) writes, "On the one hand, the world entices the person struck with wonder by the freshness of its novelty. On the other hand, the unexpectedness of this novelty captivates him and instills in him a reservedness with respect to the world, a reverence ... an awe .. ."(p. 295). This is also consistent with the close relationship between acceptance and wonder in de Rivera's framework: both emotions entail a positive stance toward the other-in acceptance, "other gains existence," whereas in wonder, "other gains meaning" (de Rivera, 1977, p. 66). So much for the sense of wonder evoked by an encounter with the "gods" (the I-Ching images). The last component in the foursome of the "world" is the poet as co-partner in the fourfold. In the second stanza, the poet's "comportment" toward all beings is alluded to as "embracing," and "cherishing" (lines 17 to 18). But the poet is not the center of a web of relationships. What we have here is a "round dance" or "mutual mirroring" of all four partners, with no one at the center taking the leading role. Thus Mehta (1971) describes the Heideggerian "world," in the following terms: "Facing and being turned towards each other, mutuality, characteristic of neighborliness, is the way earth and heaven, God and man are united together into true nearness in the world-quadrate" (p. 238). The emotion that subtends the "de-centered" Heideggerian "round dance" seems to be serenity. According to de Rivera (1977), "in serenity the potential dissolution and loss of the self is welcomed. Rather than feeling nothing as a vacuum, it is experienced as the no-thing-ness that is the source of life-as a plenum, a fullness that is the mother of everything that exists" (p. 64). Furthermore, in de Rivera's framework, serenity, in which "self gains existence" is closely related to joy, in which "self gains meaning" (p. 66). This is consistent with Heidegger's scheme, except that Heidegger grounds both serenity and joy in angst (anxiety), as he points out, "Along with the sober anxiety [angst], which brings us face to face with our individualized potentiality-for-Being, there goes an unshakable joy in this possibility" (Heidegger, 1962, p. 358). But de Rivera underscores an important component of joy: the meeting with the other. To this topic we now turn. TranspersonalEmotions:A Structuraland PhenomenologicalPerspective 61
Joy as "meeting the other"is clearly indicatedin the poet's expressionof delight in everythinghe sees: "Of embracingtransformationmy heart never wearies!Viewing these scenes,I cherishthem the more",(lines 17-18).Anotherindicationof joy is the poet's attention to minutiae in his surroundings:"Early bamboo, encased in green skin/New rushes,wrapped in purplefuzz" (lines 13-14).In contrast to the broadstrokes that paint the rest of the poem,theselines endorsethe following condition ofjoy in de Riveraet al, (1989): "My sensesbecamemore acute,and I becamemore awareof my surroundings" (p, 1017). But there is more. A closer reading shows that the Heideggerian"round dance"is anextended metaphor of joy. Let's go backto the poem. The "rounddance"of the foursome is underscored by the verbs in lines 13through18: the bamboo "encased,"new rushes "wrapped,"seagulls"sporting,"goldenpheasants "sweeping"(a more literal translation would be "fondling"or "playingwith"),thepoet "embracing,""cherishing,"and "viewing"with a contemplative gaze.These verbs, as they are grouped,are so compatiblethat they borrow nuancesand connotationsfrom one another;in other words,they are engagedin what Hofstadterrefersto as "the sublimely simpleplay of their mutual mirroring"(in Heidegger,1971,p. xxi).And from the multiplicityof their mirror reflections,a larger picture emerges.It suggeststhe archetypal image of the mother:holding,fondling,cherishing.It also suggestsplay. The playfulness of the foursome contrastssharplywith the connotationsof toil in the ascent. Note how the verbs in the first stanza, lines 1 through 10, cannot possibly "dance"with one another:"settingout" on thejourney versus "resting;""leaving"the boat to go on an exploringexpedition versus "halting"the staff so as to rest under a tree; "seeing"versus "hearing;"the "athwarting"stonesobstructing horizontally versus the vertical barrier createdby the "thickjening]" woods.Here we have a string of binary oppositions-verbs that clash with and contradictone another-they do not "dance." In contrast, the "round dance" of the verbs in the second stanza is best describedby Hofstadter,who givesan eloquent summaryof the "world's mirror-play" in the followingwords: "nestling,malleable, pliant,compliant... light,easy,nimble" (in Heidegger,1971,p. xxi).De Riveraet al, (989) specify the joy condition in similar, albeit less poetic, terms, "I felt totally close to everything, grounded,a part of a greater oneness"(p. 1017);and again "Instead of being out of place,I foundmyselfin place,in harmony" (p. 1017). The Descent The reigning emotion in the descent(thirdstanza)seemsto be sorrow, as is evidenced by expressions such as "regret"(line20), "alone," and "sighing" (line21). "In sorrow there is a lossof meaning. Apart of the self no longer is and the existence that surrounds us loses its meaning,"writes de Rivera(1977,p. 65).The lossof meaning findsexpressionin thepoet's anticipation of the concealment of Nature:"Unsavoured nature yields to none her meaning" (line 22). This line maybe paraphrased as follows:if my contemplative appreciation of Nature is discontinued ,due to lack of understanding by my fellowmen, "who will fathom the Natural Order?"(Westbrook,1980,p, 239).In sharp contrast to the "meeting with the other" in joy, loss of communion is the theme reverberating in sorrow :"No matter that I've left other men far behind!I only regret having no one with whom to share [myinsight]"(lines 19-20).It is important to note here the distinction between sorrow and its corresponding emotion in the psychological space
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of the material self, namely depression.The sense of loss in depressioncenters on the fact that the other is no longer partof the self-what is at issue is a sense of belonging, asde Rivera (1977)pointsout. Sorrow,in contrast,concernsthe loss of meaning,as the poet makes it clear in the concludinglines that his sadness stems from not the feeling of loneliness("I wanderalone,sighing,but not from mere feeling")so much as the loss of meaning due to the anticipatedconcealmentof Nature ("Unsavourednature yields to none her meaning"). The function of sorrow, furthermore, may be adaptive. Accordingto de Rivera(1977),sorrow "demandsthat we give up our hold on the reality that was, for it is no longer, and unless we surrenderour hold we will be living in unreality" (p. 65). In this light, the poem ends appropriatelyon a sad note, signifying the poet's readiness to make a descent from his "peak experience" and return to the world of the mundane-a returnjourney that may be sad, but sane. This is probably as successfula visionquest as is humanlypossible.Now,for contrastand comparison,we will examinea failed attempt. A Failed Wsion Quest For an exampleof a failed visionquest, considerthe followingexcerptfrom the poem, "On Enteringthe Mouth of Lake P'eng-li," also by Hsieh Ling-yun, 9 But a thousand thoughts torment me day and night, Ten thousand passions harass me, dawn till dusk. I climb the cliffs to watch the Stone mirror shining. 12 Holding on to the leaves, I entered the gates of pine. Tales of the Three Rivers are mostly forgotten by now, Only the names of the Nine Streams still remain. The magic things rarely display their marvels, 16 The weird people hide their subtle souls. The Fat of gold has veiled its brilliant light, While Liquid Jade has lost its genial warmth. In vain I play the Tune of the Thousand Leagues, 20 The strings snap, and my thoughts have multiplied.' (Adapted from Frodsham, 1967, I, p. 154) Here the poet has embarked on anothervision quest in the mountains,partly to escape the "thoughts" and "passions"that tormentedhim "day and night."But the concluding lines suggest that he failed miserably:he tried to playa tune about a white goose that traveled a thousand miles (Cf Frodsham, 1967, II, p. 182, note 19), but the strings snapped,and his disorderlythoughtsreturned with a vengeance.In the followingparagraphs,we examinemore closely this failed mission. In comparisonwiththe first poem, the secondpoem by Hsiehlacks one ingredientthat is essentialto the Heideggerianangst, namely awe.As we have seen in the foregoing discussion, awe is manifest in a reverential space that protects things from human manipulation.The absenceof awe in the presentpoem,therefore,may be inferredfrom the poet's utilitarianapproachto things: the cliffs are for climbing;the stone-mirrorfor reflecting;the leaves for holding on to (as a rope), and so on. In the absence of awe, wonder degeneratesinto curiosity,which is manifest in the poet's frantic rummaging through exotic objects: "the magic things," the "weird people" (Taoist hermits or TranspersonaEl motions:A Structural and PhenomenologicalPerspective 63
immortals),the "Fat of Gold," and "liquidjade" (both are used as drugs for procuring immortality,see Frodsham, 1967, II, p. 182, notes 17, 18). Accordingto Heidegger, curiosity is an inauthentic form of wonder:''The deficient,inauthentic form of wonder is an enchantednesswith the worlddevoidof aweor timidity.Thatis, uninhibited,driving curiositychasesdown everythingthat appearsin some way as surprisingor 'wonderful' in this superficial sense"(cited in Held, 1993,p, 295).Psychologicallyspeaking, curiosity seems to be subtended by desire, an emotion that, accordingto de Rivera (1977),involves"possession in the sense that the personis the set and wants the other (as an element of the set) to belong to the person" (p. 52, note 5). Consistentwith Heidegger'sdistinctionbetweencuriosityand wonder,desireand wonderdo not inhabit the same psychological space in de Rivera's structuralmatrix of emotions:the former belongsto the psychological space of the materialself,whereasthe latter belongs to the psychological space of the transpersonal self. Drivenby the uninhibited hankering after novelty,the poet is soon led to the conclusion that, as Heideggerputs it, "the world has nothing more to offer... " (citedin Coe, 1985,p. 107).What we havehere seemsto be a case of rejection."In rejection,"writes de Rivera(1977),"the imperfectbeingof the other's existenceis deniedby makingthe othermeaningless-by denying thatthere is any essence to the other's existence or any meaning to the occurrence of an event" (p. 64). Thus, with rejection,the world has sunken into "complete insignificance,"as Poggeler (1987) points out, "Everything within the world plunges into a 'completeinsignificance;' it takes on the characterof 'non-involvement' and 'empty mercilessness" (p, 169). The "complete insignificance"of the world is manifest primarily in temporal terms here. The past is irrevocablylost: "Tales of the Three Rivers are mostlyforgottenby now" (line 13).Accordingto Frodsham,"The Three Rivers are mentionedin the Shu ching [the book of historicaldocuments].Since antiquity,there had been endlessdisputesconcerningtheir location,butno one was sure"(Frodsham,1967,II, pp. 181-182, note 14).Not only is the past forgotten;it is no longerrelevant:"Only the namesof the Nine Streamsstillremain"(line 14).Again Frodsham(1967)points out that"The Nine Streamsare also mentionedin the classicsof antiquity[Shuching],but no one knows for sure what these namesrefer to" (II, pp. 181-182,note 14).As for the present,it is shrouded in concealment:"The magic things rarelydisplaytheirmarvel/the weirdpeople hide their subtle souls" (lines 15-16, emphasisadded).The future in turn is preemptedby a past whichhas lost its powerand efficacy:The "Fat of Gold" and the "liquid jade" no longer promise immortality-their loss of potency is indicated by the extinctionof "brilliantlight" of the former,and the loss of "genial warmth"of the latter (lines 17-18). With the past and the future both slippinginto "completeinsignificance,"the poet is paralyzedin a vacuouspresent.What Ballard(1991)says aboutfear seems to be pertinenthere: "Fear... cuts one off fromboth one's past and future.... One is paralyzed in the presentand is actingas if one 'were' only a present-tensebeing... " (pp.70-71). Indeed,contractionseems to be characteristicof fear, as De Rivera (1977)points out that in fear the personrecoilsanddoes not want to "belongto the other"(p. 52, note 5). The contrast between openness and contractionseems to be consistentwith the distinction drawn by Heidegger between authentic and inauthentic moods. Authentic
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mood is characterized by whatMedard Boss (1983)refers to as "perceptive openness." Boss claims that "What we call moods, feelings,affects,emotions,and states are the concretemodes in which the possibilitiesfor being open are fulfilled.They are at the same time the modes in whichthis perceptiveopennesscan be narrowed,distorted,or closed off" (p. 110).In fear, the "perceptiveopenness" of Dasein is "narrowed"and "closed off." Fear distortsthe "ecstatic"nature of Dasein,which is meant to be "outside"itself, as "being-in-the-world."But the poet's Dasienis no longeroutsideitselfit has become prisoner of itself,as Westbrook(1980) notes,"Hsiehascends a mountain only to focus on his reflection in a mirror-stone on its summit;he then enumerates the marvelshe no longercan discoverin sucha setting"(p. 253).Paralyzedin the here and now,Dasein'sgaze turnsin on itself,only to find itself at the mercyof racing thoughts "multiplying" beyond control, This loss of "perceptive openness" in fear contrasts sharplywith the "world'TranspersonalEmotions:A Structuraland PhenomenologicalPerspective
65
TABLE 1 TOPOLOGY OF EMOTIONS SHOWING BEING EMOTIONS IN ACTIVATED STATE
Personal Dimension
TranspersenalDimension
Material Self: BelongingEmotions
Social Self: RecognitionEmotions
TranspersonalSelf: Being Emotions
Daseln Angst
(Confidence) (Elation)(?) Fear (Anxiety) (Love) (Security) (Depression) Desire (Anger)
(Pride) (Gladness)(7) (Horror) (Guilt) (Esteem) (Humility) (Shame) (Admiration) (Contempt)
Joy Dread Panic Acceptance Serenity Sorrow Wonder Rejection
Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst
Bold print indicatescluster of cross-domain concurrently activated emotions; ( ) indicatesemotions seeminglyin abeyance when "being emotions" are in evidence:(?) indicatesnot originally includedin de Rivera's (1977) matrix of emotions.
"acceptance"or "letting be" is an emotionalcomportmentthat cannotbe attainedanywhere else except in the psychologicalspace of the transpersonalself. "Love," in contrast,has a much wider range of possibilities:it can manifest in its rudimentarystructure as the possessivelove of the material self, or it can be "spiritual"or transpersonal love.The samecan be said of the transpersonalmanifestationof other "belongingemotions," such as anger.Afruitfulquestionfor futureresearchwould be whethertranspersonal manifestationsof love, anger, and so on are emotionsof complex structuresthat entail profound transformationsof these otherwise"egoistic" emotions. NOTE 'Line 20 is renderedditferently by Frodsham(1967) as: "Thoughthe strings snap. my thoughts grow more sincere" (p. 154). My translationis based on ihe commenraryof Huang' Chich (1967, p. 151). REFERENCES BALLARD, B. W.(1991).The role of moodin Heidegger's ontologyL. anham,MD:University Press of America. BERNASCONI, R. (1985). The question of language in Heidegger's history of being. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities. Boss, M, (1983). Existentialfoundationsof medicineand psychology(S. Conway& A Cleaves,Trans.), NewYork:JasonAronson. COE, D, K. (1985), Angst and the abyss: The hermeneutics of nothingness. Chico, CA: Scholars Press. DE RIVERA, 1. (1977).AstructuraltheoryoftheemotionsN. ewYork:InternationaUl niversities.
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DERIVERAJ., Possell, L, Verette, J. A., & Weiner, B. (1989). Distinguishing elation, gladness, and joy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,57(6), pp. 1015-1023. FRODSHAJM. D, . (1967). The murmuring stream: The life and works of the Chinese nature poet Hsieh Ling-yen (385-433),Duke of K'ang-lo (Vols, 1 & 2). Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya. HEIDEGGEMR.,(1949). Existence and being. Chicago: Henry Regnery. HEIDEGGEMR., (1962). Being and time (1. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.).New York: Harper & Row. HEIDEGGEMR.,(1971). Poetry, language, thought (A. Hofstadter , Trans.),New York:Harper & Row. HELD, K. (1993). Fundamentalmoods and Heidegger's critique of contemporaryculture. In J. Sallis (Ed.), Reading Heidegger/ Commemorations(pp. 286·303). Bloomington:Indiana UniversityPress. HUANGC,HlBH(.1967). Hsieh K' ang-lo Shih-chu [commentaryon the poems of Hsieh K' anglo]. Taipei: Yi-wen, J. (1959). The writings of Chuang-Tzu, In 1.Legge (Trans.),The texts of Taoism (pp. 175-672).New York:The Julian Press. LEVIND, . M. (1988). The opening of vision/Nihilism and the postmodern situation. New York: Routledge. LIN,WEN-YUEH(1.976). Shan-shu! yu ku-tien [Landscape and classical literature). Taipei: Chun wen-xue. MACOMBWER.,B. (1967).The anatomyof disillusion.Evanston,Il.; NorthwesternUniversity. MEHTAJ., L. (1971). The philosophy of Martin Heidegger, New York:Harper & Row. MATHERR,. (1961). The mystical ascent of the TieuT'ai Mountains: Sun Ch'o's YuT'ten'T'ai'Shan fu. Monumenta Serica, XX, 226-245. ORR,R. P. (1981). The meaning of transcendence: A Heideggerian reflection. Chico, CA: Scholars Press. OWENS,. (1992). Readings in Chineseliterary thought. Cambridge,MA: Harvard University. POGGELEOR., (1987). Martin Heidegger's path of thinking (D. Magurshak & S. Barber, Trans.), Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities. RICHARDSOWN. J,., S. 1. (1967). Heidegger:Through phenomenologyto thought. The Hague, Netherlands: M. Nijhoff, {Is an author's name missing? Why are there 4 initials?} WALSHR,., & VAUGHAFN.(,1993).On transpersonaldefinitions.The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology,25(2), 199-207. WESTBROOF.KA,. (1980).Landscape transformationin the poetry of Hsieh Ling-ytin,Journal of the American Oriental Society, 100(3),237·254, YANGH, . Y., & YANGG, . (Trans.). (1963). The. twenty-four modes of poetry. Chinese Literature, 7, 65-77. Yu, P. R. (1978). Ssu-k'ung T'u's Shih-p'in: Poetic theory in poetic form. In R. C. Miao (Ed.), Chinese poetry and poetics (pp, 81-103).San Francisco: Chinese Materials Center. The Author Louise Sundararajan received her Ph.D. in Comparative Religion from Harvard Univer.~ity, and her Ed.D. in Counseling Psychologyfrom Boston University. Currently a forensic psychologist, and a member of the International Society for Research on Emotions, she is interested in integratingphenomenological and cultural-historic analyses with the experiementalapproach to emotion research. She publishes and presents regularly on topics ranging from phellomenology to Chinese poetics,
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