What is the difference between feeling and emotion? Is there a difference? Our feeling life is the most highly developed of our three soul faculties. It was through feeling that we experienced the world in the early stages of our evolution. It was a cognitive feeling that informed us of external conditions and connected us with a world-wisdom which kept us safe.
Out of this cognitive feeling, when we became aware of ourselves as separate from our environment, thinking evolved. This began as a me-feeling; we began to use personal pronouns. This gave us a feeling of selfishness; what I want takes priority over what you want. This is where the idea of the survival of the fittest comes from – it simply describes a phase in our evolution not the whole of evolution itself.
The downside of this development meant that we lost our cognitive feeling; feeling became non-cognitive. These non-cognitive feelings are emotions. In his book “The Gentle Will” Georg Kuhlewind says that our path forward consists of, “our attempting to liberate the feeling forces that have been trapped and formed in emotions.”
So emotions, see diagram, are formed or limited feelings from which we must free ourselves. The only way we can do this is to become more objective and the only way to become more objective is to connect with our “I”, our higher Self. I describe this process in more detail in my book “I Connecting” or ebook “I AM The Mystery.”
Image: Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions