posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 07:19 PM
“Feelings” is the currency of our liberal humanist culture. The well-being of the individual is the creed.
Life, liberty and happiness as measured according to the feelings of that individual, instead of any other yardstick. Man is born free. Man as the
measure of all things. This is all fine and dandy from the standpoint of myself, whom, being an individual, naturally gravitates towards my own
well-being in nearly everything I do, but when I look out upon the torrid landscape of the Earth and analyze what I see, I recoil in horror, as the
quest for the well-being of humanity is nearly diametrically opposed to the well-being of everything else. How is my well-being possible if I suffer
at the mere thought of it?
Because it’s all ridiculous. We can only ever feel as if our feelings matter, just like we can only ever think our thoughts matter. We cannot refer
to anything in the world or anything other than our feelings to show us our feelings matter, so all we can do is continue feeling as if they do. But
this is assuming the initial point, like saying the Bible is true because the Bible says it is true.
Perhaps you needn’t be reminded of this, as any experience should illicit this truth, but our inner narrative never breaches the skin. Our
intentions are never visible, no matter how much we wish they were. The stories we tell ourselves are just that, stories we tell ourselves. always an
audience of one, always preaching to the choir; and any internal struggle is only ever a civil war, with the many traumas and other demons we blame
for having scarred and ruined us, never really persisting past their occurrence in time and space, leaving us to discover that the only ghost left
haunting us is ourselves. Really, what do your feelings have to do with anything?
Yes, yes, your feelings do not matter. You might already know the ease through which you can disguise your own feelings behind simple calculated
movements and expressions, which is a simple litmus test of how insignificant they really are. We call it lying. Ironically, we also call it acting.
One can feel one way but act another way. Of course, it is the act that affects, interacts with and convinces the rest of the world, while the feeling
or intention of it is so inconsequential that not even the person who has it is fully aware of what is actually occurring.
Today it is almost customary to let our feelings be known. But when we attempt to push our inner feelings outward by means of expressing them or
acting them out, we are essentially doing what we’ve always done when we push something out of ourselves—we are discarding waste from the body,
often accompanied by that familiar sense of relief. And you’ve been wasteful, haven’t you? Like any excreta, such an action has its untold
effects on the environment. But where one usually attempts to bury, flush or at least sweep said waste under a carpet, here one displays it proudly.
The rest of us must watch where we step.
I have my own reasons for preferring the act to the feeling, but before I get into them I must take preventative measures as to the coming charges of
narcissism on my part.
I’m not a psychologist, but empathy is loosely defined as the caring of another’s feelings or experiences. Of course, an empath will never find,
observe or care for anyone’s feelings or experiences as such, since qualities like these are unavailable and invisible to him. Rather (and
infinitely more important) what he will find is a human being situated within a variety of circumstances, reacting to a vast variety of objects and
stimulus. He will observe a being, the way she reacts and acts, and, with the typical imaginative filling in of the blanks, will derive his own
feelings from what he himself sees and projects. A simple lie and display of false pain and anguish will cause an empath to react, even if the
liar’s feelings were perfectly copacetic. Once again, the actual feelings of the liar do not matter to the empath. How could they? A true empath
compares the objective qualities of the other—visible injury, displays of pain or verbal account—and compares them to his own feelings, or at
least how he would imagine them to be if it were he in the same situation. What matters to the empath is observable evidence and imagination. Putting
yourself in their shoes and feeling what they feel is not a method to be taken literally. Of course, you could try…
Actually, those who assert feelings to be something of prime importance, or those who listen and react only to their feelings, have one idea of
feelings in their mind when they speak of them—their own. Of course, it is themselves that are of prime importance. To care about another's
feelings is to secretively care about our own, since they are the only feelings we are witness to. To care about another as a whole is a different
As for why I prefer the act to the feelings, most of it has to do with aesthetic value. Have you seen yourself while in a fit of emotional expression?
For aesthetic reasons, your feelings should probably never see the light of day, with the way you constantly mope around, makeup and manners all
askew, offended, or at the very least appearing agitated and about to break something like a soiled toddler, or agape like a lobotomized fool, and
without some sort of governance of your feelings in the form of gallantry or courtly disposition, you begin to foul up the place.
Feelings are absurdly clumsy when it comes to epistemological concerns. Though quite predictable, they’re very unreliable when they come to
truth-telling, and indicate more about ourselves than anything beyond ourselves. They are basically a recipe for stupidity. They obfuscate any
measures of reality. Any healthy disputation spirals into bellicosity and identity politics when folding feelings into the mix. Fallacy becomes the
main ingredient; and stupidity the main dish.
“What about others?” you might object. “They ask about my feelings constantly. Surely my feelings matter to them.” Well if they are sincere,
they seem to care about your feelings, granted, but really, they are furtively caring about their own. They ask about your feelings, not only because
they might desire to know them (and in so doing, satiating that desire), and not only because such a conversation provides them with a medley of their
own feelings, but because they want their feelings to matter as well, and by making your own feelings seem important or worthy of their attention,
they indirectly glorify their own.
The customary “Ça va?”, or any inquiry into how you are, is, for the most part, phatic communication—small talk in a sense, like a
handshake, a piece of linguistic convention for any discourse community, designed to put you at ease for any follow-up communication. Of course we do
not literally wish to know how you are doing, or your feelings. It’s simply polite and customary to ask.
Where once humanity derived its morality from outside sources—perhaps a philosophy, a book or a pulpit—it now derives from the pleasantries and
sufferings of our own insides. It is good because it makes us happy; it is bad because it makes us suffer. Isn’t this so? However, how we feel about
something is not indicative of that something, but is wholly indicative of he whom experiences it. Nothing besides.
Thank you for reading. Feels good.