All in the feeling?

It was a beautiful morning. I had watched a barn owl glide across the field as dawn limned the horizon with gold and palest pink. The sky was beginning to turn blue and the drive to work on almost-empty roads was accompanied by birdsong. It was one of those mornings where it felt good to be alive…. even though, I realised with a start, I wasn’t sure I really knew what that meant.

How does it feel to be alive? It is not as if most of us have anything to compare it with. It is an either/or situation and anything in between is actually neither, for consciousness seems to be elsewhere. What we think of as ‘feeling alive’ is really feeling emotion and sensation. It is hard to even separate thoughts, emotions and perceptions from who we are and how it feels to be us, here, now.

How did I feel? When I looked at it from this new perspective, I could not answer. Take away the sensation of sitting in a car… the pressure of seat and wheel, the thrum of the engine, the warmth of the morning rays through the glass, the faint tang of petrol and the sound of birds. Take away the emotions that react to movement, to the start of a day’s work, to spring mornings and the first cherry blossom… and what is left?

Were my body unable to feel, see, hear or otherwise engage the senses, I would still be alive. If heart and mind were so numbed that I was dead to emotion, or if consciousness were lost, I would still be alive. It would be no kind of life from our normal perspective, but it would still be life. How would that feel?

It is odd that we use that word, ‘feeling’, for so many different purposes, from emotion, to touch, from opinion to health…as if we cannot dissociate our idea of being alive from feeling in some form or another.

I slowed to watch a hunting hawk, feeling the discomfort caused by the pressure of foot on pedal, wishing, for a moment, that my body still behaved as it had when I was young. Could I remember what it felt like to be young? Not the thoughts, physical sensations or even the uncertain, unconfident emotions of youth, but what it actually felt like to be young? No, I realised, I could not. Nor could I even say, in those same terms, what it felt like to be older. Yesterday and today are too vague. There is only what I feel like now.

I could catalogue sensation, emotion and reaction, but that is all just a processing of sensory and social input. If the body is the interface between the world and the brain and the brain the interface between body and mind, mind must be the interface between the brain and… what? Consciousness? Being? Spirit? Soul? What was the next link in the chain… Where is the ‘I’ in all of that…and is there even an ‘I’ at all?

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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18 Responses to All in the feeling?

  1. Yes its spring. Halleluja. LOL Michael


  2. rijanjks says:

    Food for thought.


  3. Anne Copeland says:

    I truly enjoyed and was inspired by this post. It is something I can definitely relate to and it was calming and just what the day called for. Thank you for the great site. I reposted on Facebook as I often do (and forget to write notice that I have done with no ill intent). When I read all the great posts people put here, I am not only inspired, but it has helped me to learn what I needed to do with my own blog. I have restarted redesigning and trying to learn how to make my own dynamic and something people would want to take the time to read. These are perhaps the most difficult things to achieve, even if I know how to write normally, and have been a contributing editor for three newspapers and an old hippy era magazine. Blogs are another world and you don’t get too many chances I think to get it right. Only time will give me what I need to learn, but at least I feel good that each day when I read another post here, something encourages me to keep on trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Anne, that’s lovely to read. I think, with blogging, you just have to jump in feet first and learn as you go. It is such a transient world…posts and people come and go… yet the old posts still garner new readers every day.
      I still cringe at some of my early posts… but have left them there as part of the journey 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Widdershins says:

    ‘…the journey is always itself, carrying us forward with purpose…’ I like this bit. 🙂 … well, I liked all of it but this bit caught my attention. 🙂

    I think the ‘I’ is there within all interactions, with all beings, and sometimes it gets all tangled up with ‘supposed to’s’ and ‘shoulds’, but when we have moments of, ‘un-tanglement’ 🙂 that ‘I’ is connected to all things, and we can just breathe it in. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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