We use that word such a lot "Feelings" - I feel..., You make me feel..., etc. I decided to google the question "what is feeling?" Here is some of what I found, as example from the Collins online Dictionary:
Word forms: plural feelings
1. COUNTABLE NOUN
A feeling is an emotion, such as anger or happiness.
It gave me a feeling of satisfaction. [+ of]Strong feelings of pride welled up in me.
I think our main feeling would be of an immense gratitude.
He was unable to contain his own destructive feelings.
Synonyms: emotion, sentiment More Synonyms of feeling
2. PLURAL NOUN [oft with poss]Your feelings about something are the things that you think and feel about it, or your attitude towards it.
Everyone knows what my feelings are on that. [+ about]I have also begun to reassess my own feelings about being a woman.
I think that sums up the feelings of most discerning and intelligent Indians. [+ of]He made no real secret of his feelings to his friends.
Synonyms: opinion, view, attitude, belief More Synonyms of feeling
Basically the definition is a tautology. From the same source, the definition is:
Tautology is the use of different words to say the same thing twice in the same statement. 'The money should be adequate enough' is an example of tautology.
And yet, when we use the word Feeling, we know what we mean - or do we? In an earlier article, I wrote that Descartes arrived at the conclusion that thinking was the most basic aspect of a person and it is argued that he needed to deconstruct himself more and arrive at the point where there is just a feeling.
What kind of feeling is that? To find out each person will have to discover it in her or himself and at that point the interpretation starts. There is a huge assumption that when we use the word, that we are talking about the same thing. I'm not convinced. To me that is just an assumption.
The the Online Encyclopedia Britanica we find the following :
Feeling, in psychology, the perception of events within the body, closely related to emotion. ... As the known special organs of sense were the ones mediating the perception of the external world, the verb to feel came also to mean the perception of events within the body.
So, according to psychology, what we feel is preceded by external (in the sense of outside whatever the feeling centre is) sensory input. Break a finger and we feel pain; if we get ripped off, we feel anger, etc.
All the teachers I mention in this blog, agree that if the focus is internal, towards that feeling centre in us, then that feeling becomes something much deeper and richer than the kinds of superficial (again, those engendered through external stimuli) feelings we know so well.
I realised a long time ago that there are feelings I like and those that I don't. I don't like feeling hate or anger or fear or disgust or sadness or rage or loneliness, etc. So why do I allow myself to feel them? That is a really interesting question. to me, that has a lot to do with the importance I give to many external factors, forgetting that I also have a lot of feelings I like, such as grateful or joy or peaceful or loving or hopeful or serene or healthy, etc.
There is even a website that focuses on this at positivewordsresearch.com. Check it out!
Our feelings are related to our thoughts and that can definitely be controlled. Why do I allow thoughts that lead to negative feelings? That is a fundamental question and is a key to removing existential neurosis. What can I do about it? What works for me is to focus on what is good for me and leave the rest. Not easy; needs constant practice, but practice works. as all teachers point out, if you focus and practice the negative, then that's what you get to be good at. Focus and practice the positive and that is what you get good at. It doesn't mean that the negative doesn't exist, but it means that it will not affect you in the same way, it won't suck you in. Practice makes perfect. Doing nothing, changing nothing, continue doing the same thing and then we stay in the whirlpool.
Again, our feelings are a key to experiencing existential neurosis or not. Why bother with negative stuff, when you have the opportunity to experience positive stuff. I know this is a topic I'll be coming back to again and again in this blog.