The Soul of Your Feelings

A man is what he thinks about all day long.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every feeling has a soul, a seed of spirit from whence it germinates. Feelings derive from both good spirits, such as love, generosity and blessing and ill spirits, like hatred, cursing and stinginess. Your feelings are carriers for the spirits you express.

The soul of your feelings are translated through the lens of your thoughts and given form through your words and your actions. If your thoughts are organized, you will be a mover and a shaker, in one direction or the other. Careful attention to this single principle is the means by which every uncommonly influential person throughout history, be it Buddha or Hitler, made his mark. The same fundamental principles can be used for good or for ill.

Every time you engage your mind in a thought process, you condition your personal atmosphere, which in turn influences the world around you. It is the way we work. Your thoughts allow you to paint your feelings. The colors you choose allow you to either enhance or obscure the underlying feeling you have about the subject of your attention. Some reveal their feelings more than others and are said to wear their heart on their sleeve, while others are constantly, desperately trying to cover up the feelings which sprout from ill spirits to which they orient. No matter how hard you try, you eventually reveal yourself for who you are as your personal atmosphere over time reveals the true nature of your heart’s centering.

Another way to look at it is that your feelings and thoughts are the gametes of future action. Your feelings are fertilized by your thoughts and your future expression is thus conceived. It is for this reason that half-thoughts are ill-conceived: they do not contain sufficient genetic material to produce a complete embryo.

What consumes your thoughts and by extension your heart both in public and in private? Review the content of your words, both written and spoken, on any given day and you will discover who you’ve chosen to become. Examine the tone of your feelings and you’ll get a glimpse of the spirits that you worship. It’s probably not a common thought to think that you are worshiping those spirits toward which you incline your heart, be it through love, hate or something in between, but what has your heart and what fills your thoughts has you.

8 thoughts on “The Soul of Your Feelings

  1. Ricardo B.

    Now that’s an interesting way to look at it. It puts it all the more in stark, frank detail when you think about feelings in terms of worshiping something. Perhaps this is the only way to really deal with certain feelings that hinder us in some way, but we have failed to shake them off. Maybe it’s because we do not see and realize how important and serious the contents of our hearts really are. When we feel something, we are entertaining a certain energy which has its own life force, and so you can call it a spirit if you like. I don’t see any inconsistency with that.
    And so if our hearts own us, then what is in our hearts owns our hearts which then own us. No wonder there has been great admonition down through the ages towards the purification of our hearts. Depending on the circumstance, this can either be sublime or downright creepy.
    To ever greater vigilance in matters of the heart.


  2. Colin

    It seems to me that this is the reason that sometimes it is harder to control your feelings than your thoughts. By the time they have turned into feelings, it is already past the time when it would have been easy to change the “paints” of your feelings, and you are well on your way to growing your future actions in a certain course. Especially when it comes to a natural process like this, you have to be careful to shepherd your growth in the right direction. It can take work to reverse things if you find that you are habitually acting in a way that you would rather not, but you have to start somewhere. You have to start with your thoughts and your feelings, after which your actions will march into line. It is possible to live an effective and productive life, you just have to take the right steps.


  3. David R

    These are excellent meditations, particularly, it xeems to me, as related to the cultivation of feeling influence through wise use of thought. We feel so many things, and probably relatively few of those things originate solely from ourselves. There is a porous boundary between the feelings of people in general and our individual hearts.

    It isn’t what we perceive in this sense that tells the tale. It is what we cultivate and where we allow our hearts to center. What holds our interest? Where do our motivations center? Which aspirations prevail in moment-to-moment living? The answers to these questions will determine the inlfuence that spreads out from us, and these are choices we make – vital choices that ultimately determine our individual experience and value.


  4. Doug

    Great post. This subject is well understood by successful people. Read Gladwell, Zeigler, Childre, Covey, Nightingale, Hill or Franklin, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt; they realized their thoughts and feelings determined their success and general wellbeing. We were created to emanate love, it fuels our growth. Coversely when we emanate hate or distain we fuel disintegration, our own as well. If we’re looking for changes this is the place to start.


  5. MMc

    When I read or listen to the thoughts of others it still has the power to amaze me. The Keats poem you wrote about yesterday is a good example. That was born of both his thoughts, yours, then your readers or the ones that commented. It created an autumnal celebration that was palpable. Last night I was doing some research on line and one excellent site listed their blog roll as well. I visited about a dozen and while some were ok for the subject most seemed to be random blather as if they were talking to a pet. It made me very appreciative for the material I have available to me that does encourage me to use my thoughts and feelings to produce something that creates clear upward creative progress.
    Interesting and helpful, thank you.


  6. DeeDee

    The emphasis of individual choice and mastery over immature feelings and thoughts and irresponsible expression comes through loud and clear in this post. We do have the choice and it’s never too late to do some growing up where we need to!


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