The Power of Feeling

comments 26
Course Ideas / Reflections

When I began this blog I wrote about A Course in Miracles, and then, A Course of Love. And then there was a very interesting, and very fun poetry phase. After this I started working on fiction writing. Writing and rewriting (and rewriting) stories for submission to literary outlets took up much of the time previously available for blogging, and then I wrote a novel (which is still figuring out how to make its way into the world), and now I’m full of feelings. . . . But few words. (Not counting today, I guess!)

Feelings, though, are important. As Jesus said in A Course of Love, “When feelings are shown, or made visible, the new is created. This has always been the way of creation. Each blade of grass, each flower, each stone, is a creation of feelings. All you need do is look about you to know that feelings of love still abound. Beauty still reigns.” (ACOL D:Day18.11)

I believe this is so.

What is it then that our feelings are creating? And did our feelings create the stones, the trees, the rivers? Whose feelings are we talking about?

In addition to being a writer and a person of mystical persuasion, I am an engineer. I started college as a physics major, but when I was invited to sit in on a staff meeting at the tokamak fusion research laboratory I was doing some work-study hours in, and saw the professors laboring under the pressure of securing grant funding for their department, the sensation of being a highly educated subsistence farmer set in and I decided to do something that utilized physics and mathematics, but didn’t require a decade of training to begin competing for fickle government funding. I could always read about quantum mechanics and black holes on my own.

What’s interesting is that the part of me that relies on the profound integrity and reliability of natural phenomena does not feel threatened by the part of me that believes the universe and all it contains are the product of feeling(s). I suppose it’s interesting because to many, if not all of us, feelings are the very antithesis of repeatable, reliable phenomena. It seems profoundly unlikely a universe such as we occupy could be the product of feelings. And even if it is, there’s the far from trivial matter of observing in our own lives that how we feel—no matter how much we simply desire an outcome, or despise an individual, or wish some condition would change—the world doesn’t seem to respond in accordance to our whim.

So how does this all work?

While this could easily present as a bit of a conundrum, I don’t think the resolution is all that complicated. An essential component of my thought on this is that what we call the natural order—the stones and grass and trees and the star fields they rode in on—are the product of unity. And when I say “unity” I mean the timeless, dimensionless, solitary and undifferentiated manifold of Being in which all that manifests has its root. So this was not the creative outcome of how “I” felt or feel in a passing sense, or how “you” felt or feel, but of how the pervasive, progenitive, primordial unity felt (and feels). The Native Americans have this right, I think: They call this the Great Mystery. We’re all part of that Great Mystery, but how we feel when a traffic light turns yellow at the last second and someone dives in front of us with a right-on-red maneuver, and the very eager utility van riding our rear bumper is signaling with a series of threatening hitches that nothing but breaching the intersection will do—this is not the feeling I’m talking about. (These feelings do have creative effects, I think, but not of the magnitude I’m speaking about here.)

The second thing is that while I believe we are each integral to the unity whose initial creative feelings gave rise to the profoundly reproducible phenomena we enjoy today, I also think that in the process of occupying creation as individuals–i.e. coming into form–we lost touch with the fundamental unity that remains, to this day, our true nature. I think we fail to acknowledge how profoundly difficult the project of embodiment really was, or is, particularly when it had never been tried before. Let’s say you are taking scuba lessons and it’s not going well. It is a very different set of challenges to be in love with the fundamental nature of existence when you are experiencing unrelenting hypoxia in a body with which you have identified, than when you were enfolded in an undifferentiated sea of Love that contains no threats whatsoever, no time or place, and no particular needs.

As a brief aside, I also think that in the midst of our proverbial drowning in form, as we labored against the constraints of materiality, it only seems reasonable that certain protections were put in place. Love is very good at this. You don’t want beings in the throes of their own nightmares to be wielding unlimited creative power. (Reference the movie Sphere with Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone for a powerful modern proverb on just this very point.) (This—Love’s benevolence and response to the unexpected—is an interesting point to which I may return in the future.) 

That said, if A Course of Love is correct, we are reaching a time in which we are fairly proficient with our scuba gear, and the sensation of threat can largely be set aside. We can, in fact, become conscious embodiments of the very same sensations that produced mountains, kraken, and nebula, only not so that we can create mountains, kraken, and nebula—that’s already been done—but to create a new form of experience within this plane in which we reside. We can embody Love itself: the truth of who we are.

Jesus says in Day 22 of the Dialogues of ACOL that we are “the expression of the unknown, and the only means of the unknown becoming known.” As we discover the reality of unity within ourselves, he suggests it is as if we’ve discovered a great secret we long to share. But how do we do this?

He offers a suggestion:

“The simple answer is that you must express the unknown that you have touched, experienced, sensed, or felt with such intimacy that it is known to you because the knowing becomes real in the making known. It is the only way it remains real. You know union in order to sustain and create union by channeling the unknown reality of union into the known reality of separation. You realize that you know the unknown and you desire to make the unknown knowable. You realize that you have known a place where nothing but love exists, where there is no suffering, no death, no pain nor sorrow, no separation or alienation. You sense that if you could fully express this place of union, if you could abide there, if you could share this place in an aware and conscious state, that you would bring this state into existence in the reality in which you exist.” (ACOL D:Day22.7)

This, I believe, is the project in which we are all immersed. We live within the ongoing creative experiment whose aim is to manifest, in form, the reality we have all once known in which only love exists. That this world has not achieved this on a large scale before is plain to see, but our history is not a referendum on the possible.

The truth is that our feelings have created. The suffering and sorrow born of the feelings of separation—that moment of very bad scuba that created a not insubstantial wobbling of the continuous communication with the heart of our being on which the awareness of love relies—have created an experience of might makes right, or scarcity and division, of suffering, pain, and death. New feelings (revealed), born of our acceptance of unity with the unknown, have the power to reshape the form of what is.

26 Comments

  1. Hi Michael. It’s wonderful to see you back on WP and writing from your deep musings and feelings. If I were to summarize, it seems you are saying that to bring the realm of unity into the physical realm of separation, we need to feel the unity. To expressing more love in the world….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Brad,

      Great to see you here after my hiatus! Yes, you’ve got it. It’s so simple it confounds us I think, this notion that feeling and expressing the heart of who we are, as only we (each of us uniquely) can do, has the potential to be genuinely transformative. There’s many elements to this, of course, but an important piece is that we’re transcending an “if-then” mindset, which tends to “trap” us in the confines of the known… It’s not about reproducing what we’ve already known, or even conceptualizing a path forward (which gets us into this “if I/we do this, then such and such could unfold…” but about holding and living from this inner experience of unity…

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Michael,
    It is wonderful to see your post appear and read your musings on feelings and how they co exist with your engineering career. Your creative spark is lovely and welcoming. I hope all is well in your world.

    peace,
    Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Linda! I appreciate it. Hope all is well in your world, too…! So lovely to hear from you. I look forward to catching up and will be by your place soon…

      Peace to you also–
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Michael! Love the synchronicity!! I was preparing a post about A Course in Miracles this morning and my mind immediately traveled to you….and then you appear in my email! Hope you are well…it’s been a while. Love this post…it is really nice to read your words again. All my best!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Lorrie. I love how that works! Yes, it’s been a while but I am well. I hope you are too. Things have been busy this year and I’ve been doing some other extra projects so blogging time has been a little diminished. But I do hope to get back to posting more than once every six months!

      Best to you, too!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for sharing your words and thoughts again, Michael. I have missed them and your presence!
    I love how you approach the unknown, applying what is known. I believe feelings are our gateway to connect to Source. It is a journey of the deeper heart as well as the mind.
    The last passage from a Course in Love brought tears.
    I will come back to your post, as I often do. Val x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Val. I’ve missed writing and reading/hearing the voices of others as well. Yes, that is a beautiful passage–one of the things about A Course of Love that is so wonderful is the almost universal sense of being known, of encountering the familiar. When we think about bringing states of love and peace that we each “remember” into this world, we realize how badly we desire this at some level. . . to live as who we are.

      Thank you for reading and connecting, my friend!
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lee Roetcisoender says

    Michael,

    It is a Great Mystery indeed my friend. Good to have you back posting your unique insights, insights which are clearly an expression of your mystical persuasion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lee. Appreciate it and yes, I headed into the mystical a bit on this one. And it felt just right. Haha. Hope you are well, friend.

      Michael

      Like

  6. “What’s interesting is that the part of me that relies on the profound integrity and reliability of natural phenomena does not feel threatened by the part of me that believes the universe and all it contains are the product of feeling(s).
    This line really resonated with me, it certainly carries profound meaning. Your words are indeed a source of thoughtfulness, and I am looking forward to reading more of your posts. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

    • Thank you so much! We all contain so much I think–we are unified and polymorphous at the same time, if such can be said. Each relationship we have with each other individual is unique, and the “me” we bring to each table is a little different, too. But it’s good when all our internal voices are petals of the same flower, and share a common sun. Good to have unity from the inside out!

      Michael

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  7. Lee Roetcisoender says

    “…the part of me that relies on the profound integrity and reliability of natural phenomena does not feel threatened by the part of me that believes the universe and all it contains are the product of feeling(s).”

    This understanding of yours which is literally a “standing under” is an integral part of intellectually reconciling the “appearance” of divisions within a unified whole, a one-ness that is intrinsic to the “Great Mystery”. For both the physical sciences and the arts are twin brothers born of the same mother, Expression. And without feelings being at the core of the universe there can be no expression.

    And here we stand as a unique system after billions of years of evolution, the consecrated heirs of such a profound, enriching and wonderful process. The only question that remains for us individually and collectively is: What will we do with that freedom?

    You continue to inspire me my friend…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lee, you wrote, “…without feelings being at the core of the universe there can be no expression…” and I agree. Also I really resonated with your quote about divisions within wholeness, which I like to call “differentiation” (a usage I didn’t coin myself but took to).

      Here’s a quotation from a book called Mirari: The Way of the Marys that is of the same lineage as A Course of Love, which speaks to this necessity I think: “. . . awareness was not complete until both thought and feeling were birthed, and this thought and feeling were birthed as what you now call the masculine and feminine, which only in relationship could Love, and create as Love creates.”

      As to what we do with it, that is indeed the question! The one thing we know is it’s physically and non-physically and in every way impossible to “do nothing.” For our every thought, feeling, and choice is creative. I do hope we navigate our way to (re-)birthing a world that sustains life generally, and allows this planet to recover from its recent history….

      Thanks for adding so eloquently to the ideas here!

      Like

  8. Oh this is so wonderful. And obvious to me, tho not necessarily logical in any conventional sense. To bring this from a universal level down to the personal it reminds me of one of my very earliest teachers, Seth, as channelled by Jane Roberts saying feel your feelings, they will bring you home. And I’ve been practicing that all my adult life and indeed it is true. Another teaching of his is that we all live in our own world, literally. And certainly I’ve found that the more I allow feelings to be expressed the more room for love arises in this apparent world that I inhabit. This world that I know is most definitely created from and by feelings.
    “This, I believe, is the project in which we are all immersed. We live within the ongoing creative experiment whose aim is to manifest, in form, the reality we have all once known in which only love exists.” I believe this too. And at the same time it doesn’t matter.
    Love to you Michael.
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Alison. I love both the ideas of Seth you shared. I read Seth Speaks many years ago, early in my “journey of discovery” and it is still on my bookshelf today. I would agree we live in “worlds” of our own creation, as evidenced to me by the unique ways we each perceive moments, events, encounters, etc. We sort of knit together our stories of the world using the “fact” of our observations, and they produce a self-reinforcing wheel it seems. There is diversity in unity, in a sense…

      The idea that feelings will take us home is very similar to what is expressed in A Course of Love. It’s allowing all feelings, without judgment, that I think in some sense frees us from trying to be a certain way, and in the end our feelings are borne of Love… In particular, the feelings of the heart are so profound! And not the same for me, quite, as the running steam of feelings that are emotional almost unconscious replies to events and what we imagine they signify to us.

      To your point of “it doesn’t matter” I think this view helps us step back from this unconscious reacting to one event after another… and then we encounter the deepest feelings within ourselves. There is beauty and joy and compassion in this place. All ripe for the picking in any moment!

      Blessings, Alison–
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’d read a couple of books prior to reading Seth Speaks in 1984. I remember that Alan Watts’ Psychotherapy East And West spoke to me. But Seth Speaks remains one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. It changed my life.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Good point, Cheyenne. I would agree it’s hard to imagine an “only” way to the Great Mystery. In the context of this particular quote, I think it would probably mean something close to the notion that there is no way but the incarnation or embodiment of feelings in conscious form to make the unknown knowable to ourselves and others. It is the actualization of what we think and know and feel that makes it sharable somehow. We become it. But the “only” in that sentence is not something I have great attachment to… If I try to think too hard about it I will lose the essence of what is being conveyed… It is more than enough, I think, for each of us to ride the wave of movement and feeling into expression, that is ours alone to ride…

      Thanks for your visit!
      Michael

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  9. Hi Michael. Your writing, as always, sparks something in me. This time it was from this sentence: “Creation’s natural multiplicity is the consequence of ‘shared knowing’. Creation comes, in this time to end all time, in ways of knowing barely conceived of ‘yet’.” The memory this inspired was a simple statement from the Dialogues of A Course of Love that says “Creation is a power that cannot be used.” This would seem antithetical to current time in which the use that we can put something to seems to reign. It’s not that what comes of the power of creation doesn’t have a starting point or a consequence, but that the effect is also “natural.” It’s like finding a creative idea or solution to a problem without any intention to do so. It comes to us and goes out from us. We follow its inspiration for reasons other than use. In a chapter on Being in Relationship it’s said outright: “[T]his power cannot be used. It can only serve. What does it serve? The cause of holy relationship.” Essentially, we only “are” who we are in relationship. I hear you, in your own inspired way, saying that everything that is exists is in relationship. Thank you, Michael! I also love this comment from Lee R: For both the physical sciences and the arts are twin brothers born of the same mother, Expression. And without feelings being at the core of the universe there can be no expression.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mari!

      I do love how our writing causes little pings on the other end–giving life to remembrances and connections. It’s something to do with relationships for sure, as if all the little pings we offer one another in our individual relationships, each-to-each, bootstrap us to awakened memories, new possibilities . . . new life. . . . Like we are singing notes of music from one heart to another that reverberate and shake loose something for discovery.

      I love also how you described the way the power of creation can be “natural.” It comes of following the thread of our heart’s interest, what is described as a “calling.” (As I write, I think this word ‘calling’ appeared in Memoria, and did a search, and found the quote Lee sent you once that you noted, “His gentle voice is calling from the known to the unknowing.”) But in the natural mode, we follow it with an innocence that isn’t calculated. There’s no need for a return on investment here, a weighting of what we judge our energies will produce. . . . and yet we are surprised by the returns! It’s beautiful to reflect on living this way.

      Thank you for your note and thoughts here!

      Michael

      Like

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