The Interface:Emotions and Feelings as Ratios

The origins of emotions, and their way of manifesting as opposed to the origin and manifestation of feelings.

It occurs to us that those acquainted with astrology might equate feelings with progressions, and emotions with transits. But we don’t intend to pursue astrological explanations, so if that sentence means nothing to you, you may safely disregard it.

It is suggestive, though.

If feelings amount to the interface between “external” conditions and your internal response, emotions amount to the interface with today’s conditions.

Well, in the first place, I don’t know that you said it that way, and in the second place, it isn’t stated at all clearly here.

Rather than say, “Then you try,” we prefer to restate it ourselves.

  • Remember, the “external” world you experience is not dead, is not objective, and is not disconnected from you. It is alive, is a shared subjectivity, and you are very much a part of it.
  • However, you are also separate from it, in effect, in that your mind is tasked with responsibility for your own little corner of that vast sea.
  • Neither are you separated from your own soul heredity; that is, from your other lives in 3D and from your intricate connections to your other components that may never have had any experience in 3D.
  • The result of these interconnections – with others externally, with your own local life seen as if in isolation, and with all the other parts of yourself – is that you experience yourselves as a “you” surrounded by, affected by, forces and conditions that seem to be objectively separate from you and in actual fact are indissolubly connected with you (and with each other).
  • The slower-moving, slower changing background conditions you experience through feelings. The faster-moving, faster changing ones, through emotions. Again, this is not the only distinction to be made between feelings and emotions, but it is the primary one, speed of response.

Now, you will ask how feelings and emotions act as interface.

And I get, as we write that, that feelings and emotions are real, but not in the way we tend to think of them as if they were things.

Correct. And this is a vastly more important point than it may at first appear to be. Feelings and emotions are not things, not entities in themselves, but are more like ratios, or averages, or like (in a way) unreal numbers in mathematics.

You are saying they are functions.

That’s exactly what we are saying. Nobody has ever seen an “angry” or a “melancholy.” You’ve seen the results often enough, but not the supposed things themselves. And, as so often when we introduce a new way of seeing things, we need to remind you that we are not merely playing with words, but are setting out to show you something that has been in plain sight but has not been distinguished from background, rather as if we were pointing out a camouflaged element in a picture.

So when we consider your life in 3D as experienced by your local consciousness, we describe your relationship to your long-term conditions as feelings, and your relationship to evanescent and short-term conditions as emotions. In both cases, you are looking at the sheet of flame itself, as opposed to the firewood, the oxygen, and the heat that are necessary to produce and sustain the fire.

That’s very interesting. The flame is of the moment, and is experienced that way. The underlying conditions may be of long standing, and may in fact outlive the flame as well as precede it, depending on what happens.

Flame, like warfare between nations, may be considered to be a rebalancing of forces.

That’s rather a diversion, isn’t it?

No, but it requires and will repay some spelling-out. A flame, like a war, is an active, momentary, event, not a passive or continuous condition. Background conditions produce flames, as they produce wars, but flames and wars do not continue forever, and when they have burned themselves out, background conditions remain. They may have been altered by the results of the flame, or of the warfare, but they will continue to exist as framing because they must. A life without relatively stable background conditions is not imaginable in 3D.

I get that you are saying that even our most chaotic times are still relatively stable.

Your lives do not flicker among alternative backgrounds in the way a dream or hallucination might be said to do. You don’t change the number of your brothers and sisters, you don’t change your place of residence, you don’t change physical characteristics, several times a minute – nor, of course, several times a day or year. Your background is like land: stable, reliable, intransigent even. It is not like water, ever-changing even while ever the same, unstructured, fluid.

Background conditions do change, but they change relatively slowly, and at any given time in your lives they may seem relatively immobile. Your inner lives, by contrast, may seem to fluctuate wildly, and will certainly seem to change at least slowly.

The difference between you as conscious 3D intelligence and the background you exist among (which will seem separate form you) is measured and experienced by feelings and emotions. You see? They are ratios, not entities. They represent, they indicate, they don’t produce.

Hmm. They are the vast personal forces we contend with, sort of the vast impersonal forces but damped down to personal level. Transformed from 220 volts to 110, so to speak.

Somewhat misleading, but not an impossible analogy.

And I suppose an emotion is the energy produced in the moment by a sudden shift.

Let’s go slowly. That isn’t wrong, but it isn’t exactly right either.

If you had no feelings, how would you know how your environment and you interacted? If you had no emotions, how would you know you were alive? Indeed, it is a characteristic of depression that one cannot feel: one is less able to react. Depression isn’t merely sadness, it is a lowering (a depressing) of the ability to function.

I would have said that depression is a deadening of feelings. Of emotions, too?

Certainly, because the common point is one’s ability to connect with the environment, regardless whether we are discussing the longer-term or shorter-term influences and conditions.

I wonder what professional psychologists would make of this.

Perhaps you will find out. But – does it matter?

Does respectability matter? Or rather, does intellectual plausibility matter?

It depends upon what you intend to do. If you are a surveyor of city lots, your needs and your possibilities may be very different from those of an explorer sketching previously undefined territory.


One thought on “The Interface:Emotions and Feelings as Ratios

  1. I had to spend some time with this post and the one before, because I kept getting the difference between feelings and emotions confounded, but I think I got it. I’ve never read anything quite like it. It gets to the core of existence.

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