‘We can think about something forever and never see it in our world, but let us feel its reality, and we are bound to encounter it. The more intensely we feel, the sooner we will encounter it.‘ – Neville Goddard
This is a topic I have covered many times recently but as it forms the very foundation of understanding the mind, it never grows tired! We must learn how important it is to understand how our thoughts and feelings can change our beliefs about our lives and the world that surrounds us. We need to recognise that our beliefs are the true factor that makes us who we are as people. You must find a way to change your belief systems if you wish to experience change. But how do you go about this? Simply thinking positively is not enough to achieve this. Thoughts backed with feeling are the secret weapon that must be implemented in our desire for change.
Definition of the word ‘Belief’ – an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.
The key point to take away from this definition is, how much of what we believe about ourselves is actually the truth? It also highlights again to us that the subconscious portion of our mind does not require any proof to form a belief, it simply follows the truth that we decide to present it with to form a belief. Whatever we believe to be true about our lives becomes our reality. The subconscious is not discerning and does not question the impressions entered, only stores them. We must remember though that these solid impressions/beliefs are stored in the subconscious through the process of Thinking backed by Feeling. The thought must always be followed and SUPPORTED by the correlating Feeling to have any effect.
The Threefold Nature of Man
‘A particular idea arising in the mind is attended by a particular feeling, according to natural laws; or it is followed by a resolution of the will in equally natural sequence. We enter a room, find it stuffy, and open the window. We hear our name called and follow the call. We are questioned and we answer. We perceive an ill-smelling object and experience a feeling of disgust. These are simple connections between thinking, feeling, and willing.‘ – Rudolf Steiner
Since recently reading a wonderful piece by Rudolf Steiner from his book ‘How to know Higher Worlds’. The chapter ‘The Splitting of the Human Personality during Spiritual Training’, describes a lesson on teaching the student to split the mind in to the Thinking, Feeling and Willing brains. This was a lightbulb moment for me, Neville often talks of a similar thing but Steiner wished to make this factor even clearer by actually calling it the Feeling Brain.
He felt it important to teach people that they see their brains as three separate components. The Thinking brain is the Conscious, the Feeling brain is the emotional link and the Willing brain is the Subconscious. Quickly I began to see the clear link with my writings on the conscious and subconscious minds. I felt Steiner’s approach would add even more clarity to the topic. I will give you a diagram to describe the connection with the concept of the three brains and the conscious/subconscious minds..
Conscious Mind / Thinking Brain – Waking
Emotional Mind / Feeling Brain – Dreaming (The LINK between Waking and Sleeping)
Subconscious Mind / Willing Brain – Sleeping
I wish to emphasise that this process is a constant running cycle and it is not a one way process. But due to the need for keeping the concept as simple to understand as possible, I will not be delving into this today. It may be argued that only a basic understanding of this concept is required for the student anyway.
We only have one mind which is completely interlinked and has no separation, we are simply dividing up the functions so we can gain a better understanding of how our mind actually works. Once we understand the three different components we can then observe how our subconscious builds it’s belief systems. To change our lives we need to change our belief systems. Our belief systems are simply the hardened and lasting impressions stored in our subconscious mind. These impressions are either working with us or against us. Our beliefs also could be classified as our wills. i.e we are being guided in life by our underlying beliefs about life.
Understanding the threefold nature of man as Steiner names it, gives us a thorough understanding of how beliefs are formed. Steiner’s brain concept really makes this process strikingly clear. Separating the functions into different brains gives us the opportunity of standing back and observing the three different processes instead of merely being a slave to them.
‘The will cannot be influenced by what is already there. This would obviously entail a perpetual losing of the race. The will can be guided solely by that which is to come, by what lies in the future. Feeling stands mid-way between the two. Our thoughts are accompanied by feelings. Thoughts delight us, repel us. Feeling imbues our will impulses with life, and stands mid-way between thinking and willing.’ – Rudolf Steiner
Thinking with our Heart
‘For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.’ – Proverbs 23:7
Upon understanding that the feeling and emotions we experience are the link between our conscious and subconscious minds, we are given a new weapon to implement in our desire for change. We must become aware of our heartfelt emotions if we wish to leave lasting impressions on the subconscious. This could be termed as the connection between thoughts and the feeling experienced. Every thought we experience creates a feeling/vibration which we generally feel in the heart area. We are always thinking with our heart. This feeling/vibration is the link between the conscious and our subconscious. The subconscious then stores this vibration and imprint as a data record. The subconscious then recreates the impressions stored when we think a thought relating to that previous impression, these lasting impressions are the things which we perceive as our belief systems in daily life.
To give you a basic example of how this works, allow me to explain-
Your friend offers you some chocolate, you have never eaten chocolate before but you give it a try. You taste the chocolate and impressions immediately become generated through your taste buds, a sense of enjoyment enfolds. You start to think about the enjoyment you are experiencing from eating the chocolate. The corresponding positive uplifting emotion is experienced in the heart area. This thought and emotional pattern merging together is then picked up by the subconscious part of your being. Storing it as a lasting impression in relation to the chocolate you have just eaten.
In future, you see the same chocolate bar in your local shop. You then experience some of the emotions you experienced the previous time you ate the chocolate bar you are observing. You will feel a willing sensation coming from deep within yourself to buy the chocolate bar, so you can experience that sense of enjoyment once more. Your belief about the chocolate bar being a source of pleasure is logged in the Subconscious/Willing brain and then will replay in your conscious experience.
Belief / Willing = Thinking in the Head and Feeling in the Heart
This is a basic understanding of how beliefs become formed within us, the positive emotions you experienced from eating the chocolate bar leave lasting impressions on the subconscious part of your being. The belief being that you enjoyed the chocolate previously and you wish to eat more of it so you can enjoy eating it again. The subconscious nudges/wills you without your knowing into purchasing the bar once again. To stop yourself from buying the chocolate you will have to actively tell yourself not to buy it.
On a side note, this is where the expression ‘Will power’ stems from. You are asserting willing power through conscious choice over your subconscious mind if you talk yourself out of buying the chocolate bar, you are asserting a level of conscious Will over the sleeping Willing part of yourself (I will be describing in a future post how we can begin to successfully implement will power in to our lives.)
Understanding the Link is our Heart felt Feeling
Once we understand the importance of the feeling function, we then begin to understand that our feelings can create our beliefs. This also explains why affirmations and prayer are of limited effect if they are not matched with emotion and feeling. Positive thoughts, wishful thinking and positive words alone are simply not enough to create changes in our subconscious, they must be backed with emotion and feeling. The subconscious is driven by the linking between the thought and the emotion felt. The impression placed into the subconscious is powerfully formed by this formation between Thinking and Feeling. The subconscious then begins the Willing process of recreating these sensations into our conscious experience.
‘When belief and will are in conflict, belief invariably wins.’ – Neville Goddard
If we say to ourselves ‘I am happy’ but in our hearts we feel that we are lying to ourselves. A low feeling of emptiness will be generated in the heart area instead of the positive uplifting sensation we intended to impress. We therefore shoot ourselves in the foot by leaving a lasting impression in the subconscious formed as a negative belief system about our chances of ever experiencing happiness. If instead while saying to ourselves ‘I am happy’, we experience a positive feeling of TRUTH in heart felt emotion. This will carry over into forming a new positive belief system within ourselves. We will suddenly start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we will genuinely begin to feel happiness is almost within reach instead of a vague and distant ambition.
Feeling is the Secret we need to utilise
I hope this clearly explains why managing your emotions is more important than you may of thought it to be. If your feelings are running out of control, now is the time to become aware of the feelings you are experiencing. Understanding the power of our feelings is the key to changing our belief systems. All of our thoughts are backed with corresponding feelings, we must understand that the thoughts and feelings we are experiencing are forming our belief systems about reality.
We don’t need to be overly hard on ourselves to achieve this though, simply becoming AWARE of the emotions we experience is our first step. Becoming aware of our own mind and feelings is the key to beginning any form of change in belief.
With new ideas backed by powerful feeling and emotion we can begin to influence and change our beliefs in ways in which we never knew we could.
As Neville Goddard wrote ‘Feeling is the Secret’!