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Your Feelings, and Why They do not Matter.

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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 story altogether.

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.


posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 07:23 PM
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

So what would your replacement be for postmodernism?

95-98% of all thought is unconscious and very few people
can consciously adopt a better way of life than the dredge
fed them by society.

Do you want to go back to the middle ages?
There was certainty there ... obey the Pope
or die on the rack.

It's nearly impossible to resist the tidal wave
of any meaningful way.. we have
7 billion poorly programmed robots all jostling
to survive (in a manner of speaking)

What would you suggest?


posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 07:37 PM
a reply to: KellyPrettyBear

The truth is that this phenomenon is strictly observable among the budding totalitarians.

They do not recognize the difference between society and government, facts and feelings.

This is hysteria.

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 07:55 PM
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I believe our feelings are who we truly are and our actions represent who we think we need to be. Both based on our total life experiences. Which makes them both subjective but still of real importance to the one feeling them, and to those who bare witness to the actions.

I don't think one is more important or more real than the other.

I do however believe that one who can express negative feelings without acting them out in negative manors is more in touch with their feelings and actions.

Many of us have been programmed to simply act out all feelings without truly examining those feelings. When we do this we can loose touch with why we have such feelings in the first place.

It is possible through reflection to change the way you feel and act towards various outside conditions.

When a child acts out feelings negatively do we simply tell them that those feelings don't matter, and expect them to overcome what doesn't matter in the first place?

Or do we ask the child why are you feeling this way, and teach a more appropriate way to act out their feelings?

In the second example the feeling itself is what matters to the child, while the actions are what matter to those who have been effected by negative actions.

Although I agree their is a certain amount of subjectivity when it comes to empathy. We can try to put ourselves in others shoes but even this is based on our subjective perception of any given feeling.

If I could state things as poetically as you, I imagine my opinionated mind would have lead me to be a politician. S&F
edit on 30-7-2015 by Isurrender73 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 07:56 PM
Eh LesMis, I was wondering your opinion on the difference between feelings and emotion?

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 08:05 PM
I think the real question is:

Do you control your emotions or do they control you? I think too many people put emotion in the place of logic and sound reasoning. It's way too easy to do, and we are all susceptible to it. And in today's world it is encouraged. If a thing makes you feel good, it must be good. If a thing makes you feel bad, it must be bad. And of course, once you are programmed to think in those terms, anyone who can manipulate your emotional state can control you.

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 08:08 PM
Feelings are autonomic responses of the CNS to environmental stimuli. Emotions are the cognitive component attached onto feeling states.

Empathy is not sympathy.

It seems you confuse these two pairs.

I also question your breakdown of the inquiry of someone's feelings as rooting in the care/importance of your own, not that this isn't true, but that it hides the truth this is the case for everything we experience. We weigh the thought of others to our own thought. We care about other's thought because it validates or invalidates or stimulates or offends our own thoughts.

So in a sense this seems a bit circular and biased, with an individual merely valuing action over the expression of feeling states, which is fine, but mere preference.

Without feeling states leading to emotions expressed through humanity, we would have very little left to call our own. I can't look at a major asset, be it thought, emotion, action, or whatever else of our species and think it any less than the next. They are integral to our species evolution, as far as I'm concerned.
edit on 30-7-2015 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 08:12 PM
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

You should write this to the Canadian Government!

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 08:24 PM

originally posted by: ketsuko
I think the real question is:

Do you control your emotions or do they control you? I think too many people put emotion in the place of logic and sound reasoning. It's way too easy to do, and we are all susceptible to it. And in today's world it is encouraged. If a thing makes you feel good, it must be good. If a thing makes you feel bad, it must be bad. And of course, once you are programmed to think in those terms, anyone who can manipulate your emotional state can control you.

I starred that response.


posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 08:49 PM
The majority citizen by 20 is female, 52%, and they have a whole brain wiring. And feelings are vital.

Feel sorry for your lack of understanding, but you are a minority. So no, we won't stop thinking it matters.

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 09:07 PM
Strip everything else away and what are you left with?

Thoughts and feelings, and a body as a vessel.

How does one establish relationships without feelings?

We usually describe those 'without feelings' as 'cold'. This now has me wondering what, if any, feelings are had by people like James Holmes WHILE carrying out something as gruesome as a mass shooting. Could this be a period of time when feelings cease to exist? It raises an infinite number of questions about, mental illness, drug treatment, etc.

And finally:
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”
-Helen Keller

edit on 1008x6710America/ChicagovAmerica/Chicago7 by six67seven because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 09:19 PM
To a psychopath, feelings don't matter. Do you really want to live in such a society?

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 09:22 PM
I disagree,
You speak of emotionalism.
Which being an ism is generally untrue.
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 11:03 PM
I don't find myself agreeing with this, exactly. Though I do have a tendency to think that feelings should not be brought into some contexts of relation and exchange- for example, I don't like when feelings get brought into the work place and professional exchanges. It's something that happens a lot here in France, where the respect of feelings is expected of superiors towards their inferiors, while superiors are not recognized as having feelings.

For one, I find that an obvious degradation of emotion as something as a "lower" inferior part of the self- which you also are doing here. I don't agree with that value/notion.

It also allows for some abuses of power. Largely because being "empathic" goes beyond the observable and consciously deduced assumptions about internal states. Too many studies illustrate that our body has mirror reactions to the physiological changes in others (that are emotions), whether we are aware of it or not. Heart rate, blood pressure, is matched; body language and tone of voice is reflected by our mirror neurons (and even those movements provoke the internal hormonal productions which correspond).

Smile, and the automatic reaction of another is to smile also, and a lot of that stimulates happy-feeling hormonal production...for example.

So verbalize your feelings, or don't, they will still infect those you are dealing with, like water seeking it's own level.

So what I perceive is this allows for one person to "infect" another with their own emotional state, and if they hold this devaluation on emotion, they can then point at the other and claim, "Aha! You are obviously feeling emotion! You are inferior to me, as I am not!" Faking it, of course, preferring to deny the original internal state, and rather just pass it on to another.... Like pooping on someone else, then declaring them disgustingly dirtied.

So in professional contexts, I have a habit of dismissing all reference to either of our feelings as relevant - we obviously all have them, but trying to point out who feels what become a dishonest power play.

This is where families with a few children almost always have the scapegoat, or black sheep, onto which everyone else heeps their undesired emotions, and that one "acts out" for all the members, providing them with comforting catharsis, and a sense of taking out the trash for everyone else.

Verbalizing what one is feeling inside at least takes some responsibility for what you are passing around- "yes, I am feeling angry, that is why when you come near me, or I speak to you, your heart rate and blood pressure goes up and you start to feel your hands clench. Don't bother trying to pin that on something your spouse said at breakfast this morning, or any other event around you, it came from me, I acknowledge that."

Obviously, I don't feel the need to be this responsible with everyone- only people I have more constructed and important relationships with. Strangers are going to have to deal with what they pick up on their own- I'm not going to reveal all my internal states and life events to them, the majority are not even emotionally evolved enough to understand the value in doing so.

Mostly, for me, when I ask "ça va?" I sincerely have an interest in how they are doing- even if it isn't so great at the moment. But I seem to be an anomaly. I think I finally found a place that is appropriate, working in a retirement home, where more often than not, no one wants to hear the truth about what the residents are feeling, and they are at a stage of life where they have become aware that is what is truly important!

Having things, having power, is less valuable in the end than human relation and exchange. The smile, the touch of the hand that transmits the heart rate and blood pressure, temperature and tension; moments of that "water" reaching it's own level..... these matter.

edit on 30-7-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 11:03 PM
a reply to: arpgme

The idea of feelings, being simply another nominalization of the body, is a myth.

When you empathize with another, say, a child, what is it exactly you are empathizing with? It's feelings?

Do you have to imagine feelings in other things in order to value them? What if something could not express its feelings, perhaps in a coma, and was completely unconscious of every sensation, could you still empathize with them?

Do you value beings who express feelings over beings that do not?

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 11:17 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

I can't say that I disagree.

There is a high rate of equivocation in the OP, but for effect. The reality of it all is far more interesting than the fiction of it all.

Do you find it tempting to follow a feeling at the expense of your body? Say it was overeating or inactivity or drug use, all for a thrill or some form of comfort?

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 11:25 PM
a reply to: pl3bscheese

You're probably right.

But Feelings and emotions are exactly the same insofar as they are fictional accounts of the same human organism. I think you are confusing something in your head with something outside of it. I am trying to distinguish between what is there and what isn't.

posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 11:35 PM
If you want to manipulate people, if you wish to change peoples' minds, if you wish to social engineer, then applying to their reason and logic will grant you small returns.

But if you use emotions, it bypasses reason and logic and people are much easer to manipulate.

posted on Jul, 31 2015 @ 12:39 AM

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: Bluesma

Do you find it tempting to follow a feeling at the expense of your body? Say it was overeating or inactivity or drug use, all for a thrill or some form of comfort?

Oh I don't. My intellect, or reasoning half, tempers the excesses of my emotional half,
and vice versa. They apply checks on each other when either goes overboard.

posted on Jul, 31 2015 @ 04:54 AM
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Whether one agrees, disagrees or remains indifferent to the views expressed in your opening post, it cannot be denied that you have an admirable gift for writing.

OT: There are parts of your post that I agree with and parts that I do not. I don't want this reply to turn into an essay, so I will keep it as concise as I can.

It is true that nobody can truly understand or feel what another person has experienced in EXACTLY the same way. It is also true that when "empathising" with another person, you are relating in many ways to feelings from within yourself and not as much in regards to how they are actually feeling.

This does not mean, however, that empathy (or merely CONSIDERING the feelings of others) is an undesirable quality or shouldn't be encouraged. Considering how your actions might affect somebody else is important, but it should not dictate your actions.

I think your post is an interesting delve into the Objective reality vs. Subjective experience debate. So many people are under the illusion that objective reality can be directly measured, when in actuality, it is an individual human perspective.

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