Friday, October 3, 2008

Feeling and Valuing

I want to provide some wonderful excerpts from one of my favorite books "The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden" by Robert Johnson

This Book is about our Wounded feeling function, probably the most common and painful wound which occurs in our Western world. It is very dangerous when a wound is so common in a culture that hardly anyone knows that there is a problem. There is general discontent with out way of life but almost no one knows specifically where to look for its origin.
Thinking is that cool faculty which brings clarity and objectivity - but provides no valuing; sensation describes the physical world - but provides no valuing; intuition suggests a wide range of possibilities - but provides no valuing. Only feeling brings a sense of value and worth; indeed, this is its chief function. Without feeling there is no value judgment. To lose one's feeling function is thus to lose one of the most precious human faculties, perhaps the one that makes us most human. We can understand the term feeling more accurately if we define it as the capacity to value or to give worth to something. People who have a finally differentiated feeling function bring grace and good feeling with them; one feels valuable in their presence.
The feeling function is a casualty of our modern way of life. To search out the loss or woundedness of this most valuable faculty is the task of our book.

The very term feeling is itself ambiguous, an orphan word. Its true meaning has not quite differentiated itself from its tactile origins. It derives from the verb to feel in its tactile sense. Our use of the word feeling is made to describe much more subtle realms. The act of valuing has no dignified term of its own and is still tied by an unseen umbilical cord to the realm of sensation. Little wonder that strong feeling is unconsciously tied to some physical act that we think should give expression to it. Of course, one may make sublime expression of feeling by a physical act, but feeling should not be unconsciously tied to the physical realm. Feeling is on of the wonderful, terrible, ambiguous words that contribute so much to our confusion.

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