Emotional Release Therapy
What is ERT ?
How does it work?
Emotional Release Therapy (ERT)
What is Emotion?
Emotion is feeling mobilised, feeling on the move in relation to something.
What is Feeling?
The word feeling refers to ‘that whereby we know what we know, & that in and by which we know’. If we persist in asking what we mean by this we can reply only, “Feeling is its own evidence. Self evidence is the means whereby feeling knows itself.”
What is feeling when it is not emotion, when it is not mobilised, not on the move in relation to something?
- Feeling not mobilised may be immobilised negatively, that is held in check, inhibited by contrary stimuli, as when one may feel like walking north and south simultaneously. This kind of negative feeling results in general tension from the inner self-contradiction of the opposing feeling directions.
- Feeling may also be stationary from lack of surrounding stimuli, so that it has no ground for moving. This leaves the body relaxed (and possibly hypo-tense, or under the normal level of slight tension which living beings usually exhibit and which we call the tonic state).
- Feeling may also be standing in the tonic state of readiness to receive stimuli positively, ready to respond to any stimulus which may come. (This tonic feeling state is the precondition to certain states of higher consciousness such as those attained in Yoga exercises.)
Whenever we experience an object or situation or event which gives rise to emotion, whether pleasurable or painful, and our feeling is focussed on this emotion, a tendency arises to react to the object by moving towards or away from it, and to record it as a reference for future orientation.
The aim of Emotional Release Therapy (ERT) is to release feeling from identifying, focusing, on the emotion. We are to focus on the object or situation or event, and remain free from the emotion. When we do this we no longer react to the object or situation or event.
If we do not break object identification (and by object identification in its widest sense we mean identification with any finite content of feeling whatever) we tend to respond mechanically to situations in a manner determined by the emotionally charged records of our previous experiences, even when they have perhaps merely one element in common with the present extant situation.
To break identification of feeling we must do four things.
- First we must see that the object identified state is a false one, a state which falsely represents feeling, the subject, as identical with its content, the object.
- Next we must make clear to ourselves that by allowing ourselves to act by inclination we reduce our action level to the mechanical reflex level.
- Thirdly, we must see that such mechanically determined responses are incompatible with freedom and human dignity.
- Finally, we must withdraw our will from the experience records and from the pleasure-pain aspects of the content of consciousness, and turn it back upon itself.
This withdrawal of the will from the objects of consciousness and centring of consciousness within itself, the turning back to itself, from the object of consciousness and will, is the aim of Emotional Release Therapy. The ultimate aim is encompassed in the process of reflexive self-consciousness, but this process for many requires assistance in its early stages, especially where strong emotions are involved.
Emotional Release Therapy is a valuable first step towards reflexive self-consciousness, and it is an often essential step for those aiming to relieve themselves from many types of Negative Emotional memory.