I was watching an encore presentation of “The Prisoner” the other night. This was not the 1960’s classic with Patrick McGoohan, but the re-imagination of the 1960 series with James Caviezel as Number 6 and Ian McKellen as Number 2.
In this re-imagined classic, there was a scene in episode 4 where 2 is trying to break 6’s will by controlling his emotions through some kind of designer gene therapy. 2 goes on to explain some of the TV pseudo-science behind the creation of this new therapy, and then explains to 6 why he is attracted to 415, another member of the Village. He tells 6, “your feelings have been manufactured”.
At another point in the film, 2 admonishes the village doctor, 313, for betraying 2 in his attempt to break 6. He tells her, “You will never know if your feelings for him were genuine or…” and then he looks skyward, shakes his head and walks off leaving 313 standing in the sun unsure of what is real.
What I found interesting about this episode was the idea that manufactured feelings were not genuine and that a random, raw and unintentional emotion was more real, a concept that seems to permeate our current culture.
However, everything that we do affects our emotions and feelings. All emotions are real, genuine and manufactured.
It’s really a matter of who is in control of the manufacturing process.
Who is responsible for manufacturing your emotions and how is it typically performed?
Ask yourself the question, “What initiated that last emotional response I felt?” Was it initiated by:
- Someone injecting me with some new pseudo-scientific gene therapy drug?
- The last Zoloft pill I took?
- Drinking too much coffee, RedBull, or Monster energy drink?
- Consuming too much sugar?
- Running one too many miles?
- Watching “Friday the 13th” and getting shocked when Jason whips out his machete?
- Completing a project on time?
- Making a big sale?
- An unpleasant or pleasant memory I pulled up from the past and relived briefly?
Everything that we do brings some type of emotional response to our attention. And since we control our actions and our thoughts, we control our emotions.
Get out a 3X5 card right now, or a notepad, or open your favorite text editor on your laptop, and write down the answer to these questions:
What am I physically doing right now?
What am I mentally focused on right now?
What am I remembering right now?
And what are the feelings that I am experiencing right now?
Then write down the answer to this question:
Am I doing what I’m doing because of my emotional state, or am I feeling the way I do because of what I am doing? What did I notice that supports my selection?
You are the creator of your emotional state. Become aware of the events and activities in your life. Start designing and directing your emotional state to your benefit.
We are all prisoners of our own mind, which means we are about as free as we choose to be.
Be seeing you.