This thesis is going to be a long unfolding.
Last time, I mentioned some of the distant searchlights that lured me into the vicinity of this theory. There may be some I forgot, and those will eventually find their place in the record. But I want to start listing examples in which the tracks of its presence are apparent.
I ended the last post by saying that thoughts and words, like emotions, seem to arise out of a feeling.
What a dumb sounding statement. To gather up a peck of serious concepts and attribute them to something as vague and indefinite as “a feeling.”
Yet, I wonder.
To do philosophical labor on the idea of feeling requires handles. Because, although the word is in use everywhere it doesn’t have much grip.
‘Feeling’ has a usage that is focussed and a blurry usage.
The focussed usage has to do with tactile sensations like pain and pleasure. A doctor will use the word at some point during an examination, for example.
In its tactile sense, ‘feeling’ locates places on the body.
Perhaps, though, I cannot. Perhaps they are tied together. Perhaps they form a continuum, beginning at a precise location and extending to something so amorphous that it would be called unlocalized.
- ‘That tickles!’
- ‘That’s hot!’
- ‘That’s sharp!’
- ‘That stings!
It seems that feeling can be precisely local. But it quickly spreads in circumference and indefiniteness. One may say he has an ache, and already the circle drawn around the spot has widened. Bruises. Aches. It’s interesting. All those exclamations listed above are fairly precise in space and time. They are reactions to something at a particular place on the body at a particular moment of time. Isn’t it funny how aches and soreness are more diffuse, encompassing more area and more time? It is as though attention was a red balloon and the more you blow into it the wider it gets and the pinker it gets.
If your knees are sore, they probably didn’t get that way because someone hit them with a hammer. In that case, you would say something to the effect that your knees had been injured. No. If you say your knees are sore, you are likely intending to imply time as well as space. The time may have been the time spent playing basketball. And the space is your knees. And it’s already sort of vague, even though you would be referring to something specific. Because they may hurt more when you are laying down your step then lifting off, or vice versa. One knee may hurt more than the other. The soreness may extend to your foreleg a little. Or to your thigh. It may be a pulsing soreness. Or a dry, creaking soreness.
It’s almost like the more time you have in the equation the less specific space becomes.
It’s strange. Quantum theory states that you can measure the acceleration of a particle very precisely or else its location, but you can’t do both. If you are very precise about its location you will be very imprecise about its (what is it … velocity? acceleration? momentum?).
What if the quantum effect is an everyday experience?
I wanted to travel along the trajectory from pinpoint precise feeling to vague feelings that blend into the idea of conditions. The trajectory from ‘Ow!’ to “the blues.”
The blurry sort of ‘feeling’ is extremely malleable. One can have a feeling of well-being, for instance. That is rather unlocalized. In fact, the feeling is often extended well beyond the epidermis. A person experiencing well-being may say something like ‘all is right with the world,’ for instance. Or they might say they feel ‘centered,’ which is a weird locator, when you think about it.
A person with the blues may be suffering from the lingering pain of something that happened long ago.
A person with depression might be suffering from the pain of a lifetime.
But Swedenborg said the things that happen here, in this material world, mirror thing things that go on in Heaven. Perhaps the things that go on in the world of subjective experience mirror the quantum world phenomenologically.
I never did get to the examples I intended to list where the tracks of the Fold can be read. Because there was a conjecture I wanted to make first: that perhaps all feeling has as its source one feeling. And out of that one feeling arise words, thoughts and emotions.