The Interface: Thinking and feeling

Have we said what you want said about feelings and emotions?

Pending further questions and objections, perhaps. Of course we have only scratched the surface, but let’s see what people want to challenge or extend to.

I for one think you made your case for feelings being primary in our experience of life. But this may be because I experienced your ideas directly rather than second-hand through words.

Bear in mind, what we said does not prejudge whether people prefer to process their input via feeling or thinking. That’s a different question.

It is a preference, not an either-or. One may naturally gravitate toward feeling and learn to think, or vice-versa. Ideally one does whichever is appropriate in given circumstances. Each mode of processing has advantages.

Jung’s scheme, as I understand it, is that we prefer to perceive either intuitively or sensorially,; we prefer to process what we perceive either through thinking or feeling. Hence the psychological type theory he put out. One is intuitive or sensory (N or S), a thinking type or a feeling type (T or F), and in addition is introverted or extroverted (I or E). Others later added Perceptive or Judging (P or J) to denote one’s preference for open-ended or closed decisions.

You will note that Jung did not claim that one or the other of any of these polarities was “correct,” was “desirable,” as opposed to the opposite pole. Indeed he said flexibility was to be preferred, so that one met a given circumstance with the appropriate tools.

Now, consider this in context of what we have been sketching, these past few days and weeks. If feelings are a sort of ionized layer between small-you and you-as-part-of-the-“external”-world, how does that square with Jung’s scheme? His scheme, remember, was based on decades of professional observation. It wasn’t just dreamed up on a slow weekend.

Well, let’s see. We as 3D souls experience life as coming at us moment by moment. Jung would say, I guess, that we experience it through our sensory or our non-sensory mode of apprehension: We weigh things either by how they feel or how they seem to make sense. But I’m missing something here, aren’t I?

Your only way of experiencing the “external” world directly is through feelings first, below the threshold of consciousness. But then what your filters allow you to process, you process intuitively or sensorially. “Intuitively” implies that you go around those filters, you extend behind them. That is, you know things you shouldn’t be able to know, because you are receiving not only what your filters allow you to have but also what you receive via other channels.

As we are doing here.

Correct. Your non-3D component is quite capable of feeding you sparks that contradict or supplement (or reinforce, for that matter) what your filters allow in.

But doesn’t this contradict what you just said – and underlined – about us experiencing the external world only through feelings?

Well, we can see that it seems to. Let us rephrase it. The 3D-you experiences the “external” directly only through its filters, meaning, only through what pre-rational feelings allow. But 3D-you also experiences the “external” indirectly, via input from its non-3D component. (“knowing” rather than “experiencing.”)

I’m not sure if Jung’s categories take this into account or not. I suppose non-3D input may be what “intuition” means. In that case, Jung’s long observations would be congruent even if his theory wasn’t quite the same.

Remember that even famous scientists and physicians have to make their way in the world, preserving their respectability. Jung undoubtedly knew more than he chose to say in public, and suspected more than that. It is not safe to assume what he knew.

We could ask him, I suppose, only it has been a while since I felt able to do that. Dr. Jung? Do you care to comment?

[CGJ:] You are quite correct that I knew more than was safe to say. To get too far ahead of one’s contemporaries is to risk becoming irrelevant. But more than that, one often knows more than one can express, and certainly more than one can explain to others.

Beyond that, different schemes explaining life and the world are not necessarily to be ranked in hierarchies of importance or utility. My scheme, your scheme, another’s scheme may each have desirable and undesirable aspects, may each serve some purpose better than others. It isn’t so that one way of seeing things will be right, even if others may be wrong. Many schemes may be somewhat correct; nothing can be entirely correct. Life is always more complicated than our simplifications.

You haven’t quite asked me to pass upon your scheme, but I shall do so. It serves. It clarifies certain relationships and, particularly, brings into relationship factors usually seen only in isolation or separately.

Specifically, you are considering humans as partly 3D and partly non-3D beings, which is accurate. You are concentrating upon your experience of life as an interaction between you and non-you, and this is of course how 3D life is experienced. And most interestingly, you are defining emotion as the affect thrown off by the moment-to-moment experience of the “external” world as it comes at you with the next moment.

This is all worth pursuing, and you should do so without looking over your shoulder to see if it squares with anything and everything a Swiss physician expressed 100 years ago!

Well, that’s reassuring and helpful. I wish you would write for us what you knew by the time your life was over, and, more, what you know now. But that would require an amenuensis schooled in the things you knew, and where would you find one who was willing to risk his or her professional respectability?

In any case, carry on with your investigation, remembering by the way that getting something wrong does not mean the investigation is useless, merely that the investigator is human.

Have we gotten things wrong?

Here you may imagine a dry Swiss chuckle. Pray continue, I wish you and your enterprise well.

I guess that leaves me smiling too.

Is it worthwhile to continue today, or do we close a little early?

No need to bow out just yet. Bear in mind, you just got an endorsement for our scheme and an absolution in advance for possible errors. What more can you ask?

 

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