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Emotional Programs for Happiness

  • are the primary energy centers for the motivation of the ego and false self
  • may be internalized from parents, peers and culture
  • create elaborate and well-defended programs for self enhancement and gratification
  • are sustained and intensified by the values of the groups to which we belong
  • are often treated as substitutes for God
  • demand satisfaction in proportion to being deprived of them in early life
  • give rise to the afflictive emotions of grief, apathy, greed, gluttony, lust, pride, anger, and envy
  • may result in trampling on the rights of others and our own true good  

  • IL: 5-13
  • FG: 7, 82
  • BP: 58-60, 97-99
  • MC: 5
  • IG: 60-61, 81-87, 93
  • FG: 74-75
  • OMOH: 94-98
  • *OMOH: 96-101
  • AW: 41-44, 54-57

Until we have completely emptied out the false self with its emotional programs for happiness along with our tormenting desires, passing thoughts will continue to cause aversions or attractions because there are still negative dispositions that they can stimulate in the unconscious. When there is no longer anything to stimulate, inner freedom is complete and interior peace is habitual.

Related Concepts




Feeling pressure to satisfy the emotional programs for happiness can result in thoughts, desires, feelings, and behaviors that are exaggerated and impossible to gratify. The frustration of our programs gives rise to negative and afflictive feelings that cause immense suffering.

People can grow intellectually, physically, and even spiritually while their emotional programs for happiness remain fixed at the infancy level. In adult life, the emotional programs are childish expectations that cannot possibly be realized. People in leadership roles especially require the active and passive purification of these programs to prepare them for ministry.


 Reflection: Listening

Until the false self is completely emptied out, the emotional programs will continue to seek their respective gratifications.

Reflection: Reflecting

How powerful are your emotional programs for happiness? What is your experience with grief, apathy, and pride? In your life, is there a gradual diminishing of the afflictive emotions?

Reflection: Responding

Notice when an afflictive emotion emerges. Accept the feeling and let it go.