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feeling time
november 8, 2010


Words easily fail us, offering vagueness when we want definite form, as we live in (are) a flowing reality (in time), wanting more structure than we can have, wanting anchors, assumptions, and confidences that are undermined by the flow of days. It’s a trivial observation (in prolix phrasing), yet it’s also a keynote of “the” Literary mind—which I don’t intend to dwell with now, only to note a scale of pertinence: childsplay through high poetics (which leaves us Children of evolution facing the sky, the whole capability of mind, the eonic Earth—the only Heaven—and our mortality).

We design what we can: definite grounds, anchors, confidences—so often with such great feeling. But want of unmoving ground is undermined by our moving condition of embodied, worlded mind, being in time, and that fact too can evince great feeling.

Exemplary of our plight (which is also our opportunity) is the nebulous kinship of ‘emotion’, ‘feeling’, ‘affect’, and ‘mood’. How shall we have the relations go? There is no definite guidance. Analytical confidence expresses decisions about how we set our living plight (and creative opportunities) aside in order to make something definite. But where we go analytically is always a derived mode of where we live and will go on living. But we do the analytical thing anyway, as if technological prowess can be mapped into mind and secure us in the ultimate dark.

Out of so much ontogenic time, we are in every moment worlding embodiments, as if the world itself is intrinsically imbued with feeling or mood—as if the emotion that befalls us is some real sense of there being. It’s a dance of life: here to there to here, minding world, worlding mind.

Genuine mindfulness is an embodied worldliness, from childsplay through its legacy in empathic selfidentity. Manifold mind expresses manifold growth that was always also reflecting its manifold world (such as one’s age allows), as if the world itself is gaining subtlety due to one’s growing.

Self (“mind”) and “world” grow up together, yet only inasmuch as one ventures to find oneself through the growing. Feeling for the world is ultimately no better than one’s reach of enacting what can be felt, like appreciation of an other—person, other living thing, or inanimate thing one might personify—may be no better than the imaginative feeling brought to it, giving way to the scale of holding good that belongs there, “not” to my invocation. Yet, it’s no subjectivism, because the world itself is brought to be very well known—yet.

Feeling is grown from capability for anticipation, i.e., wanting to have purpose and meaning. Growth of feeling is entwined with growth of our perceptibility, imagination, and purposes. We are intending beings, such that feeling belongs to our intending, never alone as pure feeling except as abstraction from experiencing things—an abstractive act that we humans can do so well—giving us fictions of feeling-as-such, as if free of moving ourselves, released into being moved.





  Be fair. © 2017, gary e. davis