Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Feeling-Sensation of Being

 "...thought and will could not exist unless there was a similar action and cooperation between life as it inflows and the spiritual organic structure underlying our brain. Life flows from the Lord into that organic structure. Because the organic structure cooperates, it perceives what it is thinking.

The spiritual organic structure consists of long strands in helixes.”

Emmanuel Swedenborg, from True Christianity

One can call molecular sensation molecular; but at its heart, it is a feeling-sensation of Being. That is, it is emotionally rooted. It is the point of work at which the emotions are firmly tied to the material in absolute relationship.

Swedenborg used the term “regeneration” when speaking of the way our outward being needs to be re-formed. 

That re-formation can only happen through an inward agency. Outward agencies that suggest they are able to re-form the inward being are misleading. 

The only way that inward being can be re-formed is when it is in relationship with a higher energy; and this, always and everywhere, has to start first with a better connection to sensation—an organic connection to sensation. It's only within this context, this connection to sensation, that Being can begin to form properly; and it’s only through the regeneration or re-formation of Being that the outward truly changes.

If I come into an organic relationship with myself, and that organic relationship gives birth to a legitimate feeling of Being, then perhaps I can begin to actually separate myself from myself, rather than engaging in intellectual manipulations that appear to be a separation, but aren't. If I form an organic sol, an inward center of gravity, then I begin to see my outward parts, the “others," more clearly. I see that each one of them is an intellect or self with its own nature, which has its own opinions and wants to influence everything that "I" want to do.

In this sense, real life forms around the feeling sensation of Being. If I don't have this emotional comprehension of Being, real “I” can't form, because real “I” is inverted from my ordinary mind. 

When I say that real “I” is inverted, I mean it in the following way: 

The natural, or ordinary, "I" is founded on sensation— then intelligence— then feeling. 

Real I, spiritual “I,” is founded on feeling— then intelligence— then sensation. 

So when we look at the spiritual self and the natural self, we can say that they exist, in relationship to one another, in exactly the way that the Star of David is constructed: each has equal weight and value, and together they make a full form, but they’re inverted in relationship to one another. 

So if we take the triangle as an analogy, we can see this massive baseline anchoring the triangle of natural Being, which consists of sensation. That sensation has polarities on its opposite sides of mind and body; and at the apex—the point to which the system can rise if the connections are healthy—lies feeling.

In the spiritual self, the foundation comes from above, consists of a baseline of feeling, which is composed of intelligence and feeling, and it points downwards towards an inverted apex of sensation. 

I understand this is complicated, so one needs to try and sense it with the parts of one's Being, not think about it too much. The point is that the natural self creates a set of relationships that inwardly form a stable entity, or “I", of gravity; this is an anchoring factor. The feeling-sensation of Being, on the other hand, begins from a much broader place of my ordinary life and points downward, forming a relationship with sensation that quite different. 

We need both of these faculties; our organism is designed to mediate this intersection.

I intended this to be more of a tactile, rather than intellectual, essay on the subject. I can only urge the reader to search within the tactile sense of the inward feeling-sensation of Being to discover what this idea of regeneration means in a living way, within ordinary life; to see all the parts of personality; to see how each one of them is both wrongly formed and at the same time highly influential. 

If I can't create a center of gravity in myself to counteract the influence that each of these outer parts has – that each of these orbital personalities in me exercises— they dominate me, and my feeling-sensation of being remains inert.


Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

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