The idea that thoughts create, or that you create what you think about, has become a giant sacred cow in the New Age movement. Like all sacred cows it is a distortion of a very beautiful truth, so let’s knock it down and set that original truth free again.
In the last post in this series we discussed the difference between feelings and emotions. To summarize, a feeling is a direct sensation, or experience, that you have, like the sensation of flesh being crushed if you pinch yourself. It is something that you experience with your senses, whether physical or non-physical. An emotion, on the other hand, is a mental reaction to that sensation or experience that creates its own physiological sensations and can compound itself into an intense experience that is completely out of proportion to the triggering event.
We also discussed how you can’t change what you feel, but by becoming aware of your thoughts and mental reactions, you can change your emotions. Before you can get very far with that though, you need to understand the difference between you and your mind.
We usually think of feelings and emotions as being one and the same, but they are not. Emotions create feelings, but they are not themselves true feelings, and that misunderstanding creates a great deal of confusion and stress in our lives. Emotions are powerful and seductive, and if you don’t understand the difference, getting in touch with your true feelings is like trying to see the flame of a candle in the glare of the sun. To illustrate the difference I’ll ask you a question:
For thousands of years humans have been developing the intellect, or mind, and actively downplaying and suppressing our feelings. As a result most people go through life sound asleep, like computerized robots endlessly acting out the programming of society. Now we’re beginning to wake up, and the first and most important thing we have to learn is how to feel.
When I was young I was extremely sensitive, and not all that happy about being here. I cried a lot, and was often teased or even punished for it. Feelings are not to be trusted, I was taught, and the only reason there is to cry