Having focused on feelings as the triggers of action doesn’t mean I’m somehow negating the role of thoughts.
Thoughts tell us what’s “right” to be done, what we want to do, what “should” be done, how to do it, etc. But they don’t impel us to action. Feelings do.
We might say that an angry sergeant major “inspired” us to act. Or the policeman “persuaded” us to do what we did. What we really mean is that they excited fear in us and we acted on the basis of that fear.
Or someone else “seduced” us by which we mean we acted on the basis of our lust.
Or we might say that someone “made us mad” by which we mean we (our thoughts) “made us mad” and we chose to act on the basis of that angry feeling.
Thoughts make action advisable but feelings, in the end, impel us to act or not.
So what? Why is all this worthy of study? Mother Mary through Pamela Kribbe suggests why:
“You have been trained to think far too much, to gather and organize information from your environment with your mind, and from there to respond to the world. But the dimension of the spiritual world, which, in fact, runs through you and of which you are also part, is literally very close when you know how to enter into it.
“In fact, entering into the inner world is about stepping back from the outer world and becoming fully anchored in your body and feelings.” (1)
So moving from thoughts to feelings is moving inward, more deeply into our spiritual quest.
If we observe ourselves when we think, we see that we can think and be quite divorced or removed from our intimate inner reality.
But when we experience our feelings, we find ourselves quite involved and much more aware of that reality.
Of course spiritual realities go beyond even our feelings. The divine states of love, bliss, and peace for instance go far beyond our more surface feelings. They’re deeper by an order of magnitude. These all appear to be steps: thoughts —-> feelings —-> divine states.
Therefore, if we want to take a step deeper than simply observing our thoughts, then observing our feelings would be next. After that, observing the wisps of divine love and bliss in our field of experience would be next. (2)
I’m not aware of being able to do more than that by and on our own free-will initiative.
There. I just felt a wisp of love within my field of experience and awareness. I acknowledged it and it expanded. This is a very simple exercise which I believe is open to all.
It may turn out that it’s only possible with love as a divine state rather than with love as an ordinary feeling. I don’t know. But it is true with love as a divine state.
And even here the process is not “natural.” I have to train myself to breathe into and experience the divine states.
Nevertheless, awareness of our thoughts is not something that will – or should – go away. Our vasanas are word-based. Our life decisions are. The direction we go in, the construction and use of any tools along the way, our relations with other people are all word-based. And our thoughts determine our feelings. (3)
But once we’ve looked at those and want to go further inwards, then the next step, I think, is to become fluent and fluid in the knowledge and experience of our feelings.
Most people will think to themselves, I AM in touch with my feelings. But, in my experience, the vast majority of people are not (including me, at this moment) (4) For me it’s the next place to go.
I notice a smile of excitement and curiosity when I even broach the subject. I’m aware of the benefits of being in touch with my feelings.
(1) “Mary via Pamela Kribbe: The Inner Journey,” , at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2019/01/24/mary-via-pamela-kribbe-the-inner-journey/
(2) Wisps of love, bliss, and peace blossom upon being recognized. That has been my experience with all three.
(3) “Thoughts precede emotions, an infinitesimal lapse that isn’t recognized because the thought about a situation and the reaction to it seem to be simultaneous. When you perceive a situation as fearful, instantly that thought provokes the natural reaction―fearful feelings. As the thought veers into preoccupation with the situation’s possible developments, the fear feelings that follow gather force.” (Matthew’s Message, Feb. 1, 2012, at https://www.matthewbooks.com/mattsmessage.htm)
“Most of your emotions arise not from your physical life, but from the way you think about your life. With this realization, you can begin to catch yourself in the act of thinking in a limited, fearful, separate and/or time-bound manner. This is when you can begin to release your habit of third-dimensional thinking, and begin to allow yourself to remember your innate multidimensional thinking.” (The Arcturians, through Suzan Carroll, Feb. 28, 2012, at https://tinyurl.com/7v45ug5.)
(4) It took me months in an encounter group even to see that I was out of touch with my feelings. The process of getting in touch with them also took time and needed to be carried on perpetually.
Being in touch is not something one can do one day and “save” it for the next. Like telling the truth, it has no shelf life. Yesterday’s in-touchness, like yesterday’s truth-telling, carries no weight today.