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The Categories Of Feeling

Manifest Your Desires Effortlessly

We have seen that Desire is the great motive power which leads to thought and action. "We have also seen that Desire is the evolved state of Feeling and Desire. Therefore, before we can intelligently understand how to manage and control, direct and give force to our Desires, we must first understand something about the shape, form, and pluses which Feeling and Emotion take upon themselves in our mental world. Most of us have very vague ideas about the many phases of Feeling, under which it manifests itself to us. We are apt to think that Feeling and Emotion is confined to a comparatively small class of strong emotions and passions, and we ignore the many other forms of manifestation which it assumes.

Any consciousness of "like" or "dislike" is a state of some kind or phase of Feeling. We "like" or "dislike" things simply because we are experiencing a feeling concerning them. If we had no Feeling concerning a thing we would not want or desire any one kind of things in preference to another kind—all things would seem alike to us, and we would not want to have or experience anything whatsoever, nor would we fear to experience anything whatsoever. This would be almost equivalent to being dead, for Life is composed largely of feelings, wants, desires, cravings, longings, fears, likes and dislikes, and the actions arising therefrom.

We shall now present for your inspection the following list of the several classes or categories of Feeling and Emotion, all of which, of course, are constantly striving to express themselves in action by means of the pressure and power of Desire. Here follows the said list:

1. Elemental Feelings.

2. The Affections.

3. Social Feelings.

4. Moral Feelings.

5. Religious Feelings.

6. Esthetic Feelings.

7. Intellectual Feelings.

The feelings and emotions in each and every one of the above categories are found to manifest in two directions, positive and negative phases, as follows: (1) Positive Phase of DESIRE for the objects of the feeling; and (2) Negative Phase of FEAR, that the individual may not attain, or may lose, these objects. We now present to your consideration each of the above classes of Feeling and Emotion, in further detail.

1. The Elemental Feelings. In this category are found the feelings and emotions which are basic and elemental in the human race, and which have to do with the preservation of the life of the individual man, his physical welfare and general material comfort. In this class of feelings there is little or no feeling concerning the welfare or happiness of others, as such, the feeling manifested being characteristically egotistic or "selfish." In this class we find the feelings concerned with the satisfaction of hunger and thirst, the securing of comfortable clothing, the securing and holding of comfortable living quarters or place of abode, the elemental sexual impulses, the lust for physical power and superiority, and the spirit of combat and strife arising from the original search for, and the subsequent securing and retention of the objects above noted.

This class of feelings may be said to be practically instinctive, or as having reached the individual through heredity and race-memory. Instincts are held to be the result of the past experiences of the race, transmitted by heredity, and preserved in the basic memory of the race. Their end is of course the preservation of the species, through the preservation and survival of the individual, and through his production of offspring. The real end and aim of the instinctive feeling is seldom perceived by the individual manifesting it, for the same lies deep below the surface in the emotional being of the man. So far as is concerned the individual experiencing the feeling and expressing it in action, these feelings have to do only with his momentary satisfaction, pleasure, and comfort; he has no thought of race-preservation in his mind—but Nature has a deeper meaning than the individual perceives.

In this class of feelings we find the so-called "elemental passions," which, however, are merely strong manifestations of the feelings which have just been described, and which bring in their train the feelings of hate, revenge, jealousy, desire for material possessions and wealth; as well as strong desires for the objects and things which will tend to secure for the individual the things forming the object of his basic desires, or which will tend to enable him to retain, or add to such things.

In this class of feelings we also find those concerned with the personal pride of vanity of the individual, and which has to do with his self-regard. Even the most elemental savage manifests a high degree of vanity, and is filled with a certain kind of pride. In fact, even some of the lower animals manifest emotions of this kind. Some psychologists have traced this emotion back to the desire of this elemental man to excite desire in others, but the feeling is probably more complex than this. This emotion causes men and women to indulge in many actions otherwise unexplainable, and includes within its limits the desire for personal adornment and finery—the latter being regarded by some writers as having arisen from a desire to attract mates. But whatever may have been the roots of this class of feelings, they undoubtedly add materially to the self-satisfaction of the individual, and play an important part in his life.

2. The Affections. The feelings within the present category may be regarded as having evolved from those in the preceding category, during the process of the evolution of the race. From the elemental passion of mating has evolved the much higher forms of affection for the mate, and the desire for his or her welfare and comfort. Likewise, from the elemental sense of ownership, and the protection thereof, which included the offspring, there has evolved the higher phases of love of and devotion to one's children, extending in many cases to the making of great sacrifices for their welfare.

A writer says of this class of affections, and the evolution thereof from more elementary feelings: "From instinctive sexual love and the racial instinct have developed the higher affection of man for woman, and woman for man, in all their beautiful manifestations; and, likewise, the love of the parent for the child. The first manifestation of altruistic feeling was expressed in the love of the creature for its mate, and in the love of the parents for their offspring. In certain forms of life where the association of the sexes is merely for the moment, and is not followed by protection, mutual aid, and companionship, there is found an absence of mutual affection of any kind, the only feeling being an elemental reproductive instinct bringing the male and female together for the moment—an almost reflex activity.

In the same way, in the case of certain animals (the rattlesnake, for instance) in which the young are able to protect themselves from birth, there is seen a total absence of parental affection or the return hereof. Human love between the sexes, in its higher and lower degrees, is a natural evolution from passional emotion of an elemental order, the evolution being due to the development of social, ethical, moral, and aesthetic emotion arising from the necessities of the increasing complexity and development of human life.

As man advanced in the scale his affectional feelings enlarged their inclusive circle. The circle took in not only the mate and offspring, but also the nearer relations; and to a lesser degree, certain members of the same tribe—"friends" began to be recognized, and the affectional feeling of friendship began to manifest itself in the race. As the race has evolved, the individual has tended toward feeling and manifesting a larger and fuller degree and extent of this class of affectional feeling. Many individuals will make great sacrifices for relations and friends, and in numerous instances the individual may go so far in this direction as to ruin himself by mistaken and ill-advised kindness in this direction.

3. Social Feelings. The feelings within the present category are also the outgrowth of the elemental feelings. Early in the history of the race (and in fact in the forms of life antedating the human race) it was found that it was mutually advantageous for a number of individuals to form in groups for self-protection, and increased efficiency in hunting, and obtaining food. The animals recognize this by their habit of herding, or forming themselves into flocks. And men began to associate in tribes, and later in nations. Man began to be "a social animal" early in his history. And from the more simple feelings associated with this grouping has grown the more complex and higher social feelings of the advanced members of the race today.

In the category of the Social Feelings are found those feelings which are concerned with the general welfare of the community, and of the state; which lead to the performance of what are felt to be duties and obligations rightfully due toward society and our fellow-men. In this category are found "sociability," love of companionship, tenderness toward association; and also civic virtue, law-abiding actions, charity, mutual aid, the alleviation of poverty and suffering of others, the erection of asylums, orphanages, and homes for the aged, hospitals for the sick, and association for general charitable work. The many forms of patriotism and devotion to one's country are also found in this class, although there are other emotional factors present in such cases.

4. Moral Feelings. The feelings within this category also have evolved from the elementary feelings of the race. They are closely bound up with the Social Feelings, and may be regarded as the evolution thereof, or as a phase thereof. This class of feelings arise from a feeling that one "ought to" observe certain formal codes of conduct, or general laws, laid down by some superior authority, or else tacitly adopted as proper by the general society of which the individual happens to be a member.

In many these feelings are closely associated with the Religious Feelings, but there is a distinction to be noted here. We may find persons of a very high degree of moral conduct, and ethical tendencies, who may be lacking in the religious emotions. And, too often, we find persons who profess, and seemingly experience, marked degrees of religious emotion and feeling, but who fall short of adhering to many of the precepts of the higher morality of their times and country. But, it is of course true that the highest religious teachings seek to encourage high ethical and moral emotions and actions.

A writer makes the following important distinction: "We must here make the distinction between those manifesting the actions termed ethical and moral because they feel that way, on the one hand, and on the other hand those who merely comply with the conventional requirements of custom and the law because they fear the consequences of the violation thereof. The first class have the true social, ethical, and moral feelings, tastes, ideals, and inclinations; while the second manifest merely the elementary feelings of self-preservation and selfish prudence. The first class are 'good' because they feel that way and find it natural to be so; while the second class are 'good' merely because they have to be so, or else be punished by legal penalty or public opinion, loss of prestige, loss of financial support, etc."

The same writer interestingly states: "Theology explains the moral feelings as resulting from conscience, which it holds to be a special faculty of the mind, or soul, divinely given. Science, while admitting the existence of the state of feeling which we call 'conscience,' at the same time ignores its claimed supernatural origin, and ascribes it to the effects of evolution, heredity, experience, education, suggestion, and general environment. Conscience, according to this last view, is a compound of intellectual and emotional states. Conscience, therefore, in this view is not an infallible guide, but depends entirely upon the hereditary and environmental history of the individual; and accompanies the moral and ethical codes and customs of the race at any particular stage of its history.

5. Religious Feelings. This class of feelings play a very important part in the everyday life of the individuals composing the race. There are but few persons who are not more or less influenced in their actions by their religious feelings. Religious Feelings may be defined as: "The feelings resulting from a belief in a Divine Supreme Being, and an emotion of love for and devotion to this Being, and a desire to adore and worship the same." Darwin says that the feeling of Religious Devotion is a highly complex one, consisting of love, complete submission to an exalted and mysterious superior, a strong sense of dependence, fear, reverence, gratitude, hope for the future, and perhaps other elements. Herbert Spencer, while holding that man originally obtained his idea of religion from the savage's primeval world of dreams, ghosts, etc., nevertheless held that, "The ultimate form of religious consciousness is the final development of a consciousness which at the outset contained a germ of thought obscured by multitudinous errors."

But whatever one may think concerning the origin of Religious Feeling, few will dispute the fact that the essence thereof is an inner experience rather than an intellectual conception. The emotional element is never lacking in the full religious experience and manifestation. A purely intellectual religion is naught but a philosophy; religion without feeling and emotion is an anomaly, and would be little more than a "school of ethical culture." As a writer has said: "In all true religion there exists a feeling of inner assurance and faith, love, awe, dependence, submission, reverence, gratitude, hope—and often fear as well."

6. Aesthetic Feelings. In this category of feelings are included the various feelings concerned with Beauty or Taste. Beauty is: "That quality of assemblage of qualities in an object which gives the eye or ear intense pleasure." Taste (as used in this connection) is: "The faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence, particularly in the fine arts and literature."

A writer says: "The possession of taste insures grace and beauty in the works of an artist, and the avoidance of all that is low and mean. It is as often the result of an inmate sense of beauty as of art education, and no genius can compensate for the want of it. Tastes differ so much among individuals, nations, or in different ages and conditions of civilization that it is utterly impossible to set up a standard of taste applicable to all men and to all stages of society."

The roots of the aesthetic feelings probably are to be found in attempts at personal decoration on the part of savages—these, in turn, probably having originated in the feeling of vanity, or the desire to attract the other sex. However, even among some of the lower animals we find evidences of elementary feelings of this class, as evidenced by the selection of mates on account of attractive coloring, or attractive form; and also by the habits of certain birds which adorn their nests with bits of colored material, shells, etc. Herbert Spencer says that the aesthetic feelings are separated from the functions vitally requisite to sustain life, and that not until the latter are at least reasonably well satisfied do the former begin to manifest themselves in evidence.

The pleasure derived from the sight or hearing of beautiful things seems to be a phase of sensory excitement, though it is difficult to classify the same. We know that we do experience pleasant sensations from the perceptions of that which we consider to possess beauty, but we do not know "just why" certain things possess the power to so move us to fueling. Association and habit undoubtedly have much to do with determining our standards of beauty, for there is the widest differences manifest in the tastes of different individuals, and different races, and different classes of people. There seems to be no universal standard of beauty; and what one set of persons may consider very beautiful, another set may regard as hideously ugly. Moreover, the same set of persons may consider a certain kind of things beautiful for a time, and afterward regard the same kind of things as lacking in beauty—we have an example of this in the changing fashions in clothing, art, music, literature, etc.

A writer says: "There are fashions in art and music, as in clothes; and what is thought beautiful today may be deemed hideous tomorrow. This is not due to the evolution of taste, for in many cases the old fashions are revived, and are again considered beautiful. There is, moreover, the effect of the association of the object of emotion with certain events or persons. The association renders the thing popular, and therefore agreeable and beautiful for the time being. The suggestion in a story will often cause the beauty of a certain scene, or the harmony of a certain piece of music, to dawn upon thousands of persons. Some noted person sets the seal of approval upon a certain picture or musical composition, and lo! the multitude calls it beautiful. It must not be supposed, however, that the crowd always counterfeits this sense of beauty and excellence which has been suggested to it; on the contrary, genuine aesthetic feeling often results from the discovery so made."

A writer says: "The vulgar are pleased with great masses of color, especially red, orange, and purple, which give their coarse, nervous organization the requisite stimulus. The refined, with nerves of less caliber, but greater discriminativeness, require delicate combinations of complementaries, and prefer neutral tints to the glare of the primary hues. Children and savages love to dress in all the hues of the rainbow." In the same way we find some persons taking great delight in cheap popular songs, considered "trashy" and very unpleasant by others; likewise, some revel in "rag-time" music, while others find the same almost unbearable. A writer says of this: "It is said that aesthetics cannot be treated in a scientific way because there is no standard of taste.

'De gustibus nori est disputandurn' ('there is no disputing about tastes') is an old proverb. Of two equally intelligent persons, the one may like a certain book, the other dislike it. While it is true that the standard of taste is a varying one within certain limits, it is no more so than that of morals. As men's nervous systems, education, and associations differ, we may scientifically conclude that their tastes must differ. The greater the uniformity in the factors, the less does the product vary. On the other hand, within certain limits, the standard of aesthetics is relatively uniform. It is fixed by the majority of intelligent people of any age and country. To estimate the standard by which to judge of the correctness of language or of the literary taste of any era, we examine the conversations of the best speakers, the works of the standard writers.

Another writer says: "It is claimed by some of the best authorities that to develop the finer and higher aesthetic feelings and emotions, we must learn to find beauty and excellence in things removed from ourselves or our selfish interests. The narrow, selfish emotions kill the aesthetic feelings—the two cannot exist together. The person whose thoughts are centered on himself or herself very rarely finds beauty or excellence in works of art or music." Another writer says: "Good taste is the progressive product of progressing fineness and discrimination in the nerves, educated attention, high and noble emotional construction, and increasing intellectual faculties."

But, whatever may be the real explanation of the nature and origin of this great class of feelings, the best authorities agree in the statement that they exert a great influence over the thoughts and actions of men and women—even where the individuals may not claim to possess any particular aesthetic tastes. One has but to stop and think a moment of how many times he says (or thinks) "I like the looks of that one," and "I don't like the looks of that thing"; or "that sounds good to me," or the reverse; in order to perceive how strongly his tastes are in evidence and action. From the uncultured barbarian to the most highly cultured individual of our civilization, there is always to be found a "like" and a "dislike" concerning the looks and sounds of things. Vary as greatly as do the favorite standards of taste of different peoples, and different individuals, yet each is strongly influenced by that standard, and his actions are in accordance therewith.

7. Intellectual Feelings. In this category of feelings we find those phases of emotion or feeling which arise from the exercise of the intellectual faculties, or the contemplation of the results of a similar exercise on the part of others. The faculties which are most concerned in the production and manifestation of this class of feelings are those of perception, memory, imagination, reason, judgment, and the logical faculties in general. Those who have acquired the art of voluntary attention to a high degree, and who manifest the same in the work of the constructive imagination or creative mental activity, usually experience this class of feeling quite strongly.

A writer says of this: "The exercise of perception, if we are skilled therein, gives us a pleasurable feeling, and if we succeed in making an interesting or important discovery by reason thereof, we experience a strong degree of emotional satisfaction. Likewise, we experience agreeable feelings when we are able to remember distinctly something which might well have been forgotten, or when we succeeded in recalling something which bad escaped our memory for the moment. In the same way, the exercise of the imagination is a source of great pleasure in many cases, in the direction of writing, planning, inventing, and other creative processes, or even in the building of air castles. The exercise of the logical faculties gives great pleasure to those in whom these faculties are well developed."

Another writer says: "There was probably not a happier moment in Newton's life than when he had succeeded in demonstrating that the same power which caused the apple to fall held the moon and the planets in their orbits. When Watts discovered that steam might be harnessed like a horse, when an inventor succeeds in perfecting a labor-lightening device, "whenever an obscurity is cleared away, the reason for a thing understood, and a baffling instance brought under a general law, intellectual emotion exists." We feel assured that the student of this book who will put into active practice the principles and exercises given therein concerning the Master Mind will find a high degree of pleasure in the task and attainment, and will thus have in his own experience a typical illustration of the nature and power of the intellectual emotions and feelings.

This class of feelings, of course, is the result of the long evolution of the mind of the race. The savage scarcely knows these feelings, and the uncultured person experiences them to only a slight degree. It is only when men cultivate and employ voluntary attention in the direction of "study," investigation, and logical thought, that they find these feelings strongly in evidence. The student of philosophy or science has at his command a world of pleasurable feelings which are comparatively unknown to the great masses of persons.

General Conclusions. The student who has carefully read what has been said regarding the Feelings and Emotions, will have perceived the great motive power possessed by these mental states. He will have seen how the life of the individual is largely influenced by the presence and power of Feeling and Emotion, both in the direction of thought and that of action. This being perceived, the thoughtful student will also see the desirability of the individual carefully cultivating his emotional nature, so that he may strengthen those classes of feelings which are conducive to his welfare and success, and to inhibit or repress those which are harmful and destructive in their effects. He will, indeed, see that such cultivation and control is absolutely essential to the one who wishes to develop into a Master Mind, and a Mind Master. The Mastery of Mind has as one of its essential principles the mastery of the emotional nature, and its employment in the direction of influencing and stimulating thought and action.

In the succeeding chapter, the most approved methods of cultivating and controlling the emotional phases of the mind will be presented for your careful consideration and instruction. We trust that you will fully appreciate the importance of the same, for much depends upon your mastery of these phases of your mental nature if you desire to become a Master Mind.