The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Chakra #4--Emotion

The heart chakra is one of the most important points to understand if one is to create realistic characters--or understand human beings.  We are motivated by emotion far more often than by logic, although we may try to convince ourselves otherwise.  It is said that one can "awaken the kundalini" (gain coherant access to all our energetic states) from the heart chakra out, or from the bottom up, but never ever from the top down.  In other words, we can seek to grow as beings starting  with the body and its physical realities, or from a position of love. But our concepts of the world reduce infinite complexity to a form our minds can hold--like trying to hold the ocean in a teacup.
The most powerful SAFE meditation I know of is the "heartbeat" meditation, where you sit and listen to the heartbeat, feel it vibrating in your body.  Damaged emotions manefest as distorted body image and an inability to leverage intelligence to affect positive change in life.  The healing of our hearts is absolutely important if we are to move forward as beings.
In creating a character, you MUST ask  yourself how this character relates to love, fear, hope.  In other words, his ability to deal with emotion.  What kind of relationships does this person have?  In the "Mind Reading" technique, you use the confluence of relationship history, career success and physical fitness to gain an intuitive grasp of a person's energy, honesty, clarity, consistency, and more.  As brutal as it seems to some to hold a person responsible for these arenas, in all honesty, if you aren't responsible for your life, who is?  And the health and nature of our intimate relationships may say more about us than any other factor.  And so it will be for your characters. 
So...tell me about your character's wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend.  Let me know their habits in relationships.  What kind of people are they attracted to?  Would they be attracted to themselves, were they the opposite gender?  (I consider this to be one of the fastest ways to determine psychic health: would you want to jump your own bones?).
How about relationship to parents?  children? Siblings?  All of these arenas are good study ground. But more than any of them, if you want to learn about someone--look at their mate.  Remember: that was the best they could do.  What does it say about them? 
Look deeply into this, and  you will gain invaluable information about the human heart and spirit, and your writing will blossom.  As will you.

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