“There is no thought without feeling. There is no feeling without thought.”
OK, I said that. I just thought putting it in quotes and italics would give it a little more weight, like it came from St. Thomas Aquinas or Deepak Chopra. Pretty effective, don’t you think?
I am persuaded by my assertion, though, which is based on many hours of introspective inquiry. No thought is exclusively thought. Every thought comes onto the screen of my consciousness already colored by some degree of emotion. Likewise, every emotion bubbles up into awareness already paired with a narrative, or at least a narrative frame that my subjective can use to categorize the emotion, assess the emotion’s potential risk or benefit, or simply fill in the blanks.
Perhaps way down deep, beneath the focus of my mammalian priority system, there is an instant where mental impulse is pure, pristine, crystalline. I don’t know. But I find it delightful that, for all our scientific sophistication, we aren’t even sure where and when that may occur, if indeed it does.
Where does thought begin? In a knot of nerves hugging my brainstem? On a metaphysical cloud where my timeless self is whispering cues to my temporal one? From a choir of angels or a committee of spirit-guides hoping, endlessly hoping, that for once I’ll hear and heed? We have no clue. It’s amazing too, that, in spite of so much communal connectedness among humans, my thoughts are mine alone. Oh, you and I may have the same idea, but my thought will be minted with my personalized emotional watermarks: unique; poignant; oh so Jeff. Likewise, my emotional experience will be colored by my mental presets.
And let us consider the long threads of intertwining thought and feeling that we all host, the Power Chords of the Soul, woven from childhood imprints, adolescent traumas, adult lessons, the questionable advise of friends, early church-learnin’, even the emotional scars of physical injury. These narratives of thought and feeling run constantly, like a subliminal echo chamber. They are largely unexamined, yet highly influential.
As in the parable of the many twigs combining to greater strength than the mighty limb, these long subjective threads are potent and tenacious. But like the root riff of say, “Smoke On The Water”, we don’t hear them after the song plays awhile. As stated above, your soul’s power chords will differ from mine, just as we each march to a different drum solo. (sorry…couldn’t resist.)
Uncovering the long stories and sentiments within us that, like black holes bending space and time to their strange gravity, really do affect how we experience, well, everything, is a crucial pursuit in a conscious life. We may not be able to, (or even want to), unravel these psycho/emotional strands themselves, but awareness can lead to ability in recognizing their repetitive riffs, realizing that we’re always dancing to the energy of their primal beats, and maybe learning not to believe all of the lyrics, all of the time.
To be continued…