In this three-part series, Kaiyum clarifies widespread confusion about the difference between feelings and emotions.
Part 3: Expanding on the one key feeling and some additional themes around the heart and Truth.
Warmth and friendliness
“I support him wholeheartedly” and “I have a soft spot for him” are typical examples of how language reflects the workings of the emotional heart. Are the warmth and friendliness ‘feelings’? No, they’re just expressions of the primary feeling, love; they’re the words that we give to a particular focus of that love.
Opposite of love
Does an opposite really exist? Perhaps. Ask yourself, ask those around you – and the most common answer is that the opposite of love is ‘hate’. Great teachers such as Osho are totally clear about how love and hate are intertwined. Osho once said: “I hit only when I love. You should be worried about those whom I am not hitting. For example, I have not yet hit the Dutch. I am waiting – when I have gathered enough love for them I am going to hit them, too! It is my way of showing love and showering love.” (Here, the word ‘hit’ is not literal, but has the meaning of ‘giving attention to’.)
In other words, you can’t hate someone without the presence of the seed of love. Remember, though, that love is a state of Being, while hate has its origins at another level, sourced by the Mind.
Both love and hate contain passion, energy and movement. Only disinterest is cold, dead, lifeless. No wonder that disinterest is so common in relationships that have reached the point where divorce is the only next step, whether it’s from an intimate partner or an employer.
Hate is a kind of love standing upside down.
“I feel drained.” “I feel depressed.” Are these feelings… or just ‘moods’? Personally, I consider them as moods that are most prominently the expression of a (usually temporary) imbalance in the physical body. More often than not the liver is at the root of the problem.
Depending on the philosophical ‘system’ applied – and there are many disparate systems – the liver is the seat of love, passion, desire and even melancholy.
The verb ‘to feel’ provides a link with the consciousness of the body, which ‘speaks’ its own language. It’s up to us to be aware of this language and to act accordingly. If we just use words and start on the endless trail of explanations, we’re quickly going to get out of touch with what the body is actually trying to tell us.
… takes on a different appearance within the framework of this article. There are those, especially in the autistic spectrum, whose nervous system is so finely tuned that they react to the very slightest stimulus. Anyone who’s stressed or already in burnout can easily be as sensitive because everything and anything is ‘too much’.
That’s the physical level. At the emotional level there are sensitive people who seem to attract ‘everything’ and are easily overwhelmed by what they experience as ‘attacks’ from others.
Then there are those who are spiritually sensitive, who are so much in contact with the primary feeling – with Love and Source – that they are clairvoyant, clairsentient, clairaudient… indeed, with all their senses.
In essence, therefore, ‘sensitivity’ is the awareness of the many and diverse signals which are manifest; this quality of sensitivity goes far beyond simple ‘feelings’ or ‘emotions’.
You are almost certainly familiar with the physical phenomenon called ‘goosebumps’, perhaps because of some fearful event or simply because of the cold. And perhaps it’s more a ‘shiver down the spine’ or tingling in the arms. But what I want to focus on is the physical response that many people recognise as a sign, even confirmation, that someone has just told a Truth, an undeniable Truth that requires no further proof or explanation. And that Truth touches you at a deep level that surpasses understanding.
Ellen is a coaching client. Amongst other things she tells me that she had had a miscarriage, but that she is now mother to her young son, Gus. Gus is one half of a twin – the other half, Frank, died a few hours after being born. Frank was the stronger of the two babies, yet died. Gus had many physical challenges in his first few years of life. When he was 4, Ellen tells me, he was sitting on her lap and – out of the blue – said: “I wanted to come earlier, but I had to wait until Frank could help me.”
Goosebumps! A Truth beyond doubt.
Is this a ‘feeling’? No. An ‘emotion’? No. It’s simply the heart that sends a message indicating deep recognition; it’s the language of the body with a clear message.
The words “I think we should do xyz” are all too often just a socially acceptable way of saying “We’re going to do xyz”. When I’m conversing with someone who uses an expression beginning with the words “I think…”, I usually ask: “Do you just think that, or do you actually know it?” The most frequent answer confirms the ‘knowing’.
When I say “I think”, I indicate my doubt, my uncertainty about the correctness of the facts – and my voice confirms that: there is doubt in my voice, there is a certain hesitation.
And when I know something, then I say it: “We’re going to do xyz!”
Whenever I use words that include the verbs ‘to feel’ or ‘to sense’, then the subject and my involvement with it arise from a deeper level of my Being: “I feel that there’s something wrong about what’s happening right now.” I give expression to an inner awareness, the ‘still, small voice’ in my heart that tells me something is incorrect or out of line. It’s above all an expression of inner knowing that goes beyond any cognitive reasoning or awareness.
Whenever I wish to strengthen my connection with someone else, then I use as many of words as possible that express feelings and sensory responses. At the level of thought and cognition, there’s always room for doubt and differences of opinion. But when the heart speaks, there is only clarity and decisiveness.
Feeling and thinking – and the differences between them, especially when communicating – are doors which open to exciting vistas for those who dare to explore beyond the threshold. Now it’s up to you!
Change from the mind to the heart,
from thinking to feeling, from logic to love.
And the second change is
from the heart to the being,
because there is still a deeper layer in you
where even feelings cannot reach.
Remember these three words:
mind, heart, being.
All articles of this series can be found in this section Feelings/Emotions
Kaiyum is a regular contributor to Osho News
All articles by this author published on Osho News