Our society takes it for granted that we go to school for at least nine years to train our minds. We realize that we cannot think just because there is a brain in our head, but that we have the capacity to do so—but this has to be trained. So what makes us think that we can feel naturally without training the emotional side?
Soul, emotion and feeling
For some people it is not possible to feel their emotions. They usually feel nothing or are skilled at repressing of unwanted emotions. How could they know better, because this is exactly what our society “teaches”—to repress feelings and emotions.
This unconscious “teaching” can be attributed to patriarchal religious systems as well as spiritual teachings. For the enlightenment or salvation emotions and feelings were considered for a long time as “disturbing” as hindering and depressing. Now the mistake must not be made to blame the evil “patriarchy” for everything. Patriarchy is one-sided, not wrong, just like matriarchy. What is at stake at this time is to train the feeling and to bring it into a cynical marriage with the thinking in order to become an integrated spirit-soul human being.
Spirit, mind and intellect
It is also important to recognize the difference between spirit, mind and intellect. Today often only the mind and intellect are considered, which are both useful servants. In Plato’s education, the highest form of cognition was called by the old Greek term “νους” (lat. nous), which today is often reduced to rational thinking. “Nous” was however much more than what we understand today by “thinking,” it was a kind of intuitive thinking. Thinking today is equated with “rational thinking.”
Rationality relates to the mind as emotion does to feeling. It is a less developed level of cognitive ability, and a person who constantly displays uncontrolled outbursts of emotion could be called an emotional person. We look down on children for this because they do not yet have the emotional maturity to control their emotions appropriately. However, since we do not learn to deal with emotions in our society, the emotions end up in the unconscious and promote passive-aggressive behavior, for example.
We can, therefore, only think clearly if our emotional life is sound and balanced.
Gut, heart and head brain
By now it has become common knowledge that we probably have several brains. In the belly sit our emotions, which can only give us helpful instructions through the so-called “gut feeling”, if they are processed and transformed into pure feeling. As long as we carry unconscious “corpses” in us, they confuse mind and intuition. The head is an important advisor and the heart is the integrated organ which thinks with feeling. So pure feeling should complement pure thinking and not be played off against it.
The heart is not a shallow brain, as it is presented to us in various romances. It is crystal clear and can perceive the world SEEING. It delights in love, compassion and mercy as well as in honor, truthfulness and justice. In order to form these qualities in the heart, it is essential to educate not only our mind but also our feeling, because the emotional rigidities obscure the clear spiritual-soul vision of the heart.