I was told by a teacher that emotions are not pure feelings. Could you clarify this point?
Pure feeling is the 'now' itself where time is not an issue. For example, pure feeling is pure awareness. When you listen to your favorite piece of music you might literally forget yourself. In this 'self-forgetting' there is joy and innocence -- the true spiritual qualities. In other words, the qualities that we cherish such as freedom, love, joy, peace, happiness and inner fulfillment are not qualities at all -- they are the 'NOW' itself. Did you ever feel so drawn to something or someone where you actually disappeared? In that moment you were 'real' and 'egoless.' Did you ever watch performers perform incredible feats of focused energy? In that moment there was no ego (no personal 'I') but pure action emerging from the focused 'now.' Did you ever laugh so heartily that tears ran down your cheeks? In that moment there was spontaneous action from pure awareness. Pure feeling is always 'positive' because it brings out our true natural being of love and oneness.
On the other hand, emotions emerge from thought. The moment we make a thought real it affects the body and creates motion of energy labelled as 'e-motion.' These emotions can literally make us sick and even kill the body when they become too dramatic. Emotions are rarely positive because they are not pure and often tinged with expectations and desires. This is why so many people become psychotic, for example, manic depressives are people who love the high energy of emotions, which by its very 'high' works towards a 'down-spiral.' Anything that goes up must come down. Whereas pure feelings are balanced aspects of being.
The pure state is who you are but the emotions try to emulate the 'aliveness' of being through dramatization and create nervous exhaustion.
Of course, we can't help feeling the power of emotions but we can allow ourselves to experience them in the body without their story or memory. Then as we observe the sensation in the body without the story in our head, we neutralize the effects on our nervous system and unfreeze the energy that was stuck in our center. It is this unfreezing that restores our mental health. Unfortunately, most people take drugs to deal with strong emotions but the result is NOT healing but coping while tampering with the life-force energy.
Fears, which create strong emotions, are to be faced and not escaped from. Every time we escape a fear, we are merely re-inviting its occurrence. Fears are not something bad but signposts showing us where we are missing the mark.