You may have noticed that today has been much more of a “Feeling” day on the blog. Yet one cannot be all Feeling or all Thinking and be a rounded being. The idea is to develop at least some ambidextrous capability. Worshipping one over the other is not a good thing. If we make our intellect into something it is not we run a very real risk of skewing. Say we like things of intellect and what I have termed concrete mind, our world can become angular and barren, because we focus there alone. If we get overly mushy and sentimental we are not going to get anything done. Back when I used to do these transferable skills courses there was much suspicion amongst the “smart”, obviously worldly-wise, Ph.D. students, that I was some kind of Tree Hugger. In fact, I used to get this joke in early. Irrespective of my undying love of all things arboreal, I do have some intellectual capacity. Which was forgotten.
I have found that over reliance on intellect, is a cul-de-sac. One needs to develop intuition and feeling. If you are in a dark room, of unknown lay out, how do you get around? You have to feel your way in the dark. It is by feeling that we can enter the unknown and leave the known which we have already mapped out by intellect. We may get hunches which are intuitive, and we may get a kind of feeling which is different to hunches, the feeling may be a kind of excitement. When we get scared our intellect can crap out, it not much use when we are near a dying man in a hospital bed. Intellect only goes so far. I doubt it will help us as we each approach our own death. There is no solace in pure intellect. If you are one-dimensional you will crap out around anything emotive, around anything which has a feeling component. You might poo-poo it and make like Sheldon or Spock. If these are your ideal archetypes of human beings, then that is a bit limited. What will you do when you are in the birthing pool with a pregnant woman, puffing on gas and air?
If you are unpractised and uncomfortable with feelings, then you have a fundamental strategic weakness. You will avoid situations where these are activated. Perhaps you might hide high up in the ivory tower of intellect, thinking you know-it-all. Only you don’t. In reality you are demonstrating a kind of cowardice. There is a solution, and that is to develop your potential more broadly. Lacking confidence in your ability to handle feelings, you will be insecure. You may doubt your ability to maintain composure and control, when things start to get real and not theoretical. You might struggle to wait in Accident and Emergency with someone who has taken an overdose.
Clearly from what I have said here I must be a touchy-feely-homosexual-tree-hugging-bean-bag-sitting-hippie. But I am not, I have written a business plan that raised £5million start up funds. We tend to be prejudiced against that which we do not know and that which we are afraid of. People can be very afraid of their feelings. They may know this at an intellectual level, they may know that this is a weakness and be insecure about it. They may pretend, but the only person they are kidding is themselves. The intellectual understanding only goes so far, in order to overcome such a weakness, one has to do something about it. Or sit forever braiding your hair at the top of the ivory tower of intellect hoping that by magic someone might come along and free you. Life however, isn’t a fairy-tale.
Having cued this up:
Is this bloke right, am I a bit cowardly about acknowledging my own feelings?
If I did this and came out of the ivory tower of intellect, might my life be richer and more fulfilling?
With practise would I stop being quite so insecure?
Would I stop having such a gaping strategic weakness in my being?