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Thinking Versus Feeling

Thinking Versus Feeling

Reasoning is one way of thinking. Feeling is another. You process information (think) both when you reason and when you feel, but it is not the same process. When you feel, your thoughts might be disorganized and may not follow a logical path. When you reason, there is a logical sequential processing of data analysis to arrive at conclusions.

We should not mix feeling with reasoning. You cannot think logically, process information orderly, and experience a tornado of feelings all at the same time. When you use logic and reasoning, you must control your feelings so that they don’t interfere with the logical processing of information. People who mix reason and emotion make mistakes because their feelings are stronger than logic. Feelings overpower reasoning; you’ll make a decision that you believe to be well thought out but is based only on feelings.

So, you have to choose how you make your decision, but careful, do not make decisions with just your head. If you ignore the heart, you will not feel complete. If your heart is not in it, you will not feel sure of your decision. By the same token, do not make decisions with just your heart.  When you follow only feelings, you might make a decision not based on reason but on your faith or fears only. 

In making a decision employ both mind and heart and pay attention to both how you feel about the decision and what makes logically sense.  But  it should not  be done simultaneously. Start with the heart. Does the decision you are going to make feel right? Then go to the head and analyze cost versus value. When finished, go back to the heart: Does what you have just decided still feel okay? If not, abort. If yes, go for it. Let the heart win because that is the true you, what you think is not always your thought but thoughts planted into your mind by parents, friends, movies, past experiences.

Do not mix the two. When people tell me they cannot meditate because they cannot stop thinking, I reply that the way to stop thinking is to focus on how they feel. If you tell your mind to stop thinking, it will not work. You’re using your brain to stop your brain. You are asking the thief to stop the thief. If, on the other hand, you focus on your heart and feelings, the thoughts will stop on their own.

There is a Montenegrin expression: “Ko peva , zlo ne misli” (Whoever sings cannot have malicious thoughts.) When you sing, are you singing with your head or with your heart? Are you thinking or feeling? Only the mind is malicious. The heart cannot be.

Just thinking and feeling,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes