Three weeks ago we posted a blog entitled ‘Life’s A Buffet’, in which we bemoaned the ‘speed’ of Life today and its resultant demands on our time, our energy and the ramifications on our thought processes.
Since we produced that blog I’ve been thinking about how reflective it was of our lopsided existence –
in that we have fallen into the trap of placing excessive emphasis on ‘Thinking Man’ at the expense of ‘Feeling Man’ and ‘Sensing Man’.
Is this cutting-off of Feeling and Sensing the inevitable result of the power of the bureaucrat and his need to reduce life to quantity so that, unlike quality, it can be objectively measured and assessed?
It makes me wonder how much of the pain that is so common in families – the taken-for-granted/under-appreciated wife; the emotionally neglected children; the ‘forgotten’ parents – are now unhappy because the father figure at the centre of these relationships no longer includes Feelings and Sensing within his system of human values.
And if you were to make a list of the qualities that you deemed made you human, would you place ‘Feeling’ above ‘Thinking’?
If this was considered relative to our communication with others then the heart, as the centre of ‘Feeling Man’, reaches a deeper level of human understanding than the surface level of the brain.
Compare, for example, the empathy we have with those in distress or who are grieving because they have lost a loved one. Our power to display compassion and empathise deeply with the
other guy is the result of recognising his Feelings from an awareness of our own. If we lack access to these Feelings there is no way we can reach the depth necessary to provide him with comfort and understanding.
Instead, we have only the glib surface provided by the brain which, through its intelligent knowledge of our culture, ‘knows’ what to say and how to behave. But this is little more than sentimental good manners akin to the calculated bonhomie we share with the guy with whom we play golf – the ‘friendship’ of the intellect; the brain-to-brain communication which allows us to play chess with a robot.
This is not to decry the powers of the brain but simply to question if the aforementioned ‘speed’ within which we now live has created a distortion of human values.
Have we succumbed to the philosophy promulgated by Rene Descartes (1596-1650) with his ‘Cognito, ergo sum’ – ‘I think, therefore I am’ – which clearly places the brain at the centre of our existence?
A serious study of the history of our long maturing process is
surely a better guide to the formation of our human values.
The Sensing with which we first made contact as human beings occurred in the trees when we risked our first experience of co-operation.
Recognising that co-operation actually achieved its objectives, the process led on to the emergence of Sensing Man and, much much later, to Mr Intellectual and his practical knowledge. We became as we are – fully fledged homo sapiens.
But where are we going now?