I was doing some research for a talk tonight, and had an ‘ah-ha’ moment. I realized that, in general, people assign a greater value to what we see than to what we feel. These struck me as odd, since I am progressively more aware of feelings and senses, and how profoundly they both inform me, and affect my experience of life.
But we discount feeling, first because we are not taught that it is one of our primary five senses (so is secondary at best, less worthy of consideration) , and second because we can’t see it – can’t measure, quantify or even explain it sometimes. We can’t describe feelings in visual terms. But there they are, pretty much all of the time, a primary part of our life experience.
Feeling has been relegated to some kind of back burner when it comes to our consideration of life. We give ‘fact’ and data more weight than our feelings – our sense of things – when evaluating the situations and choices before us.
But we are immersed in an intelligent universe. We are becoming more and more aware of this intelligence within us, and of our sensitivity to it. We are constantly being informed. We are reacquainting ourselves with the interconnectedness of things, and of the energy that is, in fact, constantly flowing both into our awareness, and out from it. We’re experiencing that intelligence not only as thoughts, but as feeling. It’s not confined to our minds. That intelligence is in all of us, and it’s high time we considered and reintegrated the intelligence that exists not just from the neck up, but also from the neck down.
It may also be a problem of language. We like our blacks and our whites. But feelings aren’t neat that way. We can’t just say, “I feel orange.” and expect people to understand what we mean. Especially when what we really mean is, “I feel tangerine-ish.” As a result, we are less likely to speak to feeling, perhaps out of fear of not communicating accurately, or of not being understood. There is also a hidden belief in play that, since we’re speaking to something that is already pre-positioned as a secondary sense, we might be seen as less logical, or reasonable. Maybe a little unstable, or a bit crazy.
Which is a bit crazy in and of itself when you think about it, since we all know and experience feelings. They are undeniable.
Have you ever experienced someone that just feels good to be around? There is no quantifiable reason for this experience – they’re just like other people, doing their work, navigating as best they can – and yet there is a feel to them. It feels good, and we want to experience more of it.
Conversely, there are those that are not so pleasant to be around. We all know people like this. Maybe we are one of those people. Again, there is no quantifiable reason for this experience – they’re just like other people, doing their work, navigating as best they can – and yet there is a feel to them, a denseness, something… let’s call it an energy (since that is actually what it is) and it feels, well, not so good. We feel it.
What is the difference between these kinds of people? We’re all doing the best we can, all with similar needs and desires. Why are some light, and loving, and some, not so much? The only logical conclusion is that we have choice. We can choose to focus our attention and energy on what is good and right, or on what’s painful, what we have labeled as wrong. We either listen to the masses that seem often to live from a place of fear and lack, or we rise above that, and access a resource that is not limited by fact or data, but that reminds us that there is no lack of love, of beauty, and of loving kindness in our world.
I can’t help but wonder what would happen if enough people decided that, with all of its challenges and wanderings, life is good, an amazing gift. What if we all remembered that we have at our fingertips an inexhaustible supply of joy and love and beauty, and that we can be bringers of love and of light, every single day. How might it be to live in a world that feels good, most of the time, where we felt safe and supported, and allowed the energy of loving kindness to go out from us to everyone who comes to mind, to everyone who crosses our path?
And so we are led back to consciousness. And to metaphysics, 101; where we place our attention is key. Quantum physics is now backing that up with the study of the observer effect. We can choose something different than we ever have. We can choose to access light, or to remain mired in shadow. And what we choose is what we radiate out into the world. It’s what people feel in our presence, and what we feel in theirs.
Make no mistake that we have choice. I always think of Victor Frankel, survivor of the death camps of World War Two, who said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Surely if he can do it under those circumstances, we can do it in ours.