Plainly and simply, an emotional reaction is never justified.
We behave perfectly when we act spontaneously. Even in our judicial courts, where spontaneity wears a wig, allowances are made when gathered evidence suggests an absence of premeditation.
The truth reveals itself only when we have consciously abandoned the false—our habits and dependencies; our fears and expectations; our knee-jerk negativity and every one of the ideas we hold about ourselves.
We are not free until we are aware of ourselves acting automatically, until we see how patterned and predictable we are. This enacted automatism is like clanging around in a suit of armour.
Gurdjieff had the view that humanity exists in a near-perpetual state of sleep. “Man lives his life in sleep, and in sleep he dies.” On the evidence—climate change, consumerism, ceaseless warring and the wanton destruction of the planet—the Russian mystic wasn’t wrong.