16 April 2016

Feeling

In this rational world, we are  often fed the illusion that everything is explainable. Frequently, we are asked to give reasons for our thoughts and actions as if logic should underpin everything that we say or do. But in fact reason does not govern the entire panoply of life. Some things are driven purely by feeling and may in fact be illogical.

I am an atheist but in the end I have to admit that this standpoint is down to feeling. Even if I wanted to become a churchgoer or a born again Christian it would be impossible. Sure I could fake it but inside me my atheistic feelings would  still be strong, telling me that my sudden conversion was but a charade and that I was right all along - there is no God

Last night, down at our local pub, I watched my beloved Hull City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers with a free kick in injury time. I yelped with delight and raised my arms and for a moment the tap room went quiet. Perhaps, momentarily, they all thought that someone had been assaulted. But if either Sheffield Wednesday or Sheffield United had scored that last minute goal, half the pub would have been rocking with instant joy. Long ago I tried to support Sheffield's big  teams but the feeling was never there. When they scored there were never those moments of pure exhilaration that Hull City have given me through the years. It's down to feeling.

Happiness is the state that everyone seeks day by day and year by year. Happiness is much nicer than unhappiness or that limbo state where you feel nothing at all. But you cannot just switch happiness on. It comes and goes and though you might try to hang on to it when you have got it, happiness is as slippery as a fish. It is easy to lose for it is also the child of feeling.

In life you meet optimists and pessimists - the glass half full and the glass half empty people. But nobody chooses to be one or the other. We cannot help our dispositions or change them. As in love and hatred and preferences and allegiances, we are all the hostages of feeling. Even when nagging voices inside us or the persuasive efforts of friends or family try to turn us, it is feeling and not logic that drives so many strands of these lives we are living. And I apologise if you feel that I am stating the bleeding obvious...

27 comments:

  1. Agree YP - but we positives win more times than the negatives
    on every occasion.

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    1. I wouldn't know if I was a positive or a negative Mrs Weaver - a mixture of both I guess but I feel I could beat you in an arm wrestling contest!
      By the way I visited Wasps Nest on Streetview - down narrow lanes and when you reach it there's little there amidst the flat farmland except invisible memories of those long ago dances.

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  2. I operate totally on feeling, trusting my gut instinct on most things. I think the other thing I would like to add to your very deep synopsis today is that feelings are not bad things. Whether good feelings or bad feelings, they are valid and should not be dismissed, and perhaps not analysed to death. Feel the love, feel the fear, feel the happiness, feel the sadness, feel the pain, feel the freedom, feel the loss but always return and feel the love.

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    1. You are so right Carol. There is too much analysis of feeling. More often than not we should just go with the flow of our feelings and not labour over irrelevant justifications.

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  3. I do agree with your thesis. I've always said the glass is half. What does that say about me? I say a realist. We humans are a curious lot. My housekeeper is old time religion, while I am not at all. She can't believe it. She also thinks homosexuality is a choice and that women should not vote - only men. I just express surprise and don't go into it. She'll never change anyway as with most people.

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    1. Sometimes the wisest thing is to avoid arguments you cannot win... or is that how we let tyrants in? I think you missed a word out after "half" Donna. Was it "full" or "empty" - I can't tell.

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    2. No, I meant half. Contrarian that I am, just plain half. Nothing more or less. Half - period.

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    3. If the glass is half you might cut your mouth on the jagged edge.

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  4. I think some people are more rationally driven than others, though to some degree this may entail overriding their "gut" response to a situation. I must confess that nary a football team has ever aroused one iota of feeling in me.

    To your question on my post: Part of our trip has traditionally involved giving the kids an hour on their own to eat and do photography. They're given a short leash in terms of geographical area, and they all have a way to contact us -- we could be with them in minutes should any problems arise. I'm not an architect of the trip's design but I think the feeling is that we should encourage a degree of exploration and independence.

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    1. Oh, and no one goes alone. They're all in small groups.

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    2. I agree with exploration and independence but modern litigation and school policies militate against pupils going off on their own during school trips. Personally, I wouldn't risk it unless this was spelt out clearly to parents and they had given informed consent. Even then such a decision could be counter to school regulations on trips. The kids may be in small groups but, and this is just an example, what if one of them goes into a public lavatory on his or her own and encounters a monster?

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    3. We don't accompany them into the bathroom in any case, YP! I'm not making light of it -- as I said, we could be with them in minutes. They're city kids, and as far as I know, this all falls within the approved description of the trip.

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    4. Visiting the lavatory was just an example. Another example, the group go into a supermarket and buy or steal a couple of bottles of vodka which they drink on a park bench. All I am saying is that in this day and age breaks in supervision are problematic and by the way in my experience city kids are no wiser than rural kids anyway. I know that in my last school if any free, unsupervised time had been factored into plans for a school trip it would have been disallowed.

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  5. A very thought-provoking post, YP. I choose to believe in God as Creator of everything because nothing else makes sense to me. I don't believe that all life could just 'spontaneously' appear and work as it does. I don't believe we 'evolved' from mud or a big bang. Therefore, it seems logical to me that this great creation had an amazing, brilliant, genius builder. That makes sense to me. I read the Bible as a historical work of non-fiction and accept Jesus Christ on faith for who God says he is. (John 20:29) I don't shake my fist at you, who chooses not to believe, but that doesn't stop me from praying that God will make himself real to you, YP. We're all making our way to the end of this life, day by day, and eventually we'll all find out the truth!

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    1. If God could just spontaneously exist without a creator, then why not the Universe?

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    2. Mistress Hilly, you feel God exists and that the Christian message is true. I feel it's just a kind of fairy story and that in the end all that we will find is a black and empty void in which we have no consciousness because we are stone dead. I am sorry but that is how I feel and I cannot change it. As a regular visitor of old churches, I am slightly envious of people who believe in The Almighty. It must make the trials of life easier to bear.

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  6. optimists and pessimists - the glass half full and the glass half empty people. But nobody chooses to be one or the other.

    I do not agree with your above premise, Mr. Pudding. I choose to be an optimist....I choose to be happy.....I choose to walk in the light of my life and not dwell in the dark parts that have been.....I choose to be who I am daily.

    I also choose to believe in nature and science and evolution and not in some mysterious god that someone wrote a book about. What is the count now? The count of dead bodies killed in the name of somebody's god!

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    1. The count is around 1,000,000,000 or optimistically speaking 999,999,999.

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  7. There is no need...no reason...for you to apologise, Yorkie. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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    1. I am so pleased that you concur Lee.

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  8. This is deep stuff. For many it is not obvious. This is a point that you've described.

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    1. Thank you for reflecting on this Red. I agree - it is "deep stuff".

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    2. I keep losing my comment which makes me unhappy..
      I'm all for diversity and different opinions, no other deep philosophical comments from me.

      Ms Soup

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    3. You keep losing your comment? Make an appointment with your doctor. Quick! It could b serious.

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  9. This is profound and thought provoking YP. I think that over the years we probably all experience the yo-yo effect of optimism and pessimism, happiness and sadness, but hopefully for most of us the negatives (or downsides)are just a blip.
    I can't comment on the school trips, but I do remember how much trouble children can get into, the moment the teacher's back is turned !

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    1. Thanks for dropping by once again CG - and for leaving a thoughtful comment.

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  10. We are indeed complex creatures. Even atheists will mutter 'just my luck' when something goes wrong, as if Fortuna has got it in for us. Or be convinced that our football team will score if we will it hard enough. 'That's illogical Captain' as Mr Spock would have said, but we're only logical when it suits us.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.