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Usage of the Terms Feeling & Desire
[Note: Scientific commentary is given in square brackets and can be skipped over without loss of understanding if such detail seems extraneous.]
1. Feeling is not considered one of the "five senses" in the context of Thinking & Destiny. Instead, there are four senses, each of which is associated with a particular organ:
Further, Feeling is generally associated with the nerves of the body and thus permeates each of the senses listed above.
[Scientific Commentary: All of the sensations that we would normally describe as "feeling" or touch, such as temperature, pressure, and so on, are also the result of signals received by nerves that exist throughout the body, such as those within the skin. In anatomy, the nerves which carry out these functions are part of the "Somatosensory System".]
2. Desire is the motivation to act. It is generally associated with the blood of the body.
[Scientific Commentary: The blood connects all systems of the body together because it carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell. It is strongly related to what we might normally call "feelings" or emotions in psychology because it is also the medium by which hormones are delivered.]
3. Feeling and Desire always lead to one another (together they are referred to with the compound term feeling-and-desire, or simply as the body-mind). Feeling is generally passive-receptive (receiving impressions), and Desire is generally active-expressive (enacting responses). We have a tendency to cyclically sense and then react, sense and then react, repeatedly.
[Scientific Commentary: There is a deep connection between these two aspects. For example, "neuropeptides", the chemicals by which nerves communicate, are very similar to certain kinds of hormones. Likewise, hormonal changes are controlled by nerves in the "Autonomic Nervous System".]
4. Sex, as in whether a being is considered Male or Female, is due to a predominance of either Feeling or Desire in a body. Females are predominantly Feeling, while Males are predominantly Desire.
[Scientific Commentary: Even biologically speaking, "sex" is merely the predominance of one aspect or the other. For example, the human fetus begins without sex. When there is a predominance of "female hormones" (e.g.: estrogen), the glands move upward and inward to become ovaries. When there is a predominance of "male hormones" (e.g.: testosterone), the glands move downward and outward to become testes. There are many reproductive structures that are "homologous" in this way. Therefore, the seemingly different sexes are just different expressions of a singular pattern.]
To quote The Kybalion:
Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.
Commentary On Practical Application
Percival uses the term Glamour for when we get caught up within that cycle of feeling-and-desire through what we sense, and are therefore unable to sense those things as they actually are. Our own emotions and beliefs color our interpretation of them. We get hypnotized by the Nature Units both inside and outside (i.e.: the matter that makes up our sensory organs and that which seems to make up the characteristics of things outside of our physical bodies).
There are literally hundreds of examples of this occuring around us and within us constantly if we keep aware. To name a few:
- The person who lusts after someone else. They see a bodily feature they like and are aroused bodily in response, without any thought of whether that person is single, whether they are compatible with them, whether that person chooses the same, etc.
- The person who entertains an unhealthy or greedy appetite. Already full, they see something suitable to their tastes that they also want to consume and end up making themselves sick when they follow through.
...and so on.
Immediately we can see that when we consider things carefully before reacting in either Feeling or Desire, then we begin to make steps towards Thinking. Nature Units within our senses are starting to become refined into Intelligent Units, and we are no longer at the whim of our body.
Percival describes how feeling-and-desire come into complete balance much later on in the book (on pg. 925). However, we will only address it here by saying that this process revolves around Love. How does he define Love in the doer (on pg. 998)?
Love in the Doer: is the state of balanced union and interaction between feeling-and-desire, in which each feels and desires itself to be and is itself in and as the other.
In other words, if we treat Feeling and Desire (or Female and Male) as complements instead of opposites, we can bring them into balance. We recognize that the constructive aspects of each actually exist inside of the other. [For a good example, see Tàijí of Taoism; we can also draw useful parallels to the Anima/Animus concept of Jungian Psychology.]