Saturday, June 10, 2006

2 Types of Feeling

"Feeling" seems to me to be one of those words that has a marked but largely unnoticed disparity in meanings.

The first kind of feeling is well-known to BiPolars. Like: "Today I'm feeling down." Let's call this kind of feeling "emotional" feeling, or even "wellbeing feeling".

But there's another kind of feeling, one which I get closely in touch with (or try to) every day in my meditation session.  This is more a tactile  feeling. Like feeling the sunshine on your skin. Think "touch".
Think a blind person feeling for the keys on a table. And it needn't just be external feeling. You can feel your internal organs too. Like: My throat feels sore.

To me, these 2 types of feeling seem very different. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I can't see why they share the same word. Why do they? Is this just me, or is it a valid observation.

And now it get's philosophical. Seems to me that the trouble is located at the notorius Mind/Body divide - the chasm which philosophers have not been able to bridge in 3000 years. To be sure, it goes by other names too: Subjective/Objective, Relative/Absolute, Conditional/Unconditional.

The emotional or wellbeing feeling relates to the mind part of the duad. "You've hurt my feelings". "I'm feeling irritable this morning".

The tactile feeling relates to the body portion. "My foot feels itchy."  "This water feels cold".

So is there some kind of link between emotional feeling and tactile feeling? Is it maybe a case of healthy body/healthy mind? I don't know. Do you?


  1. Well if your body is suffering your emotions can also and vice versa , thats all I can think. I agree - there SHOULD be two seperate words.

  2. I feel grumpy when I'm hungry, and get irritable when I'm sleepy or my foot itches. I guess I feel happy when I'm well-rested and comfortable, or exerting myself. I feel depressed when I've been under-stimulated by physical or mental activity. And I get manic when there's a lot going on that I don't want to miss. Feelings or emotions really do have internal and environmental stimuli.

  3. Well if you stub your toe, you can feel angry or sad, so they are linked there.
    Maybe its a word to encompass ALL feeling, like 5 senses and your emotions, but it makes sense that a bipolar would want to splice it and many normies would not see a difference/need. We are so in touch with emotions, it can become more real than tactile reponse. But hey, maybe its a cultural thing as in, some people may not see it as an important divisional need - did ya know that Eskimo's/Alaskan Native Americans have jillions of differentiations ands names for the color white? Makes sense, as that is important to their landscape and world. Well, its late, I ramble, have a great day, BPG.


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