From Form to FeelingApr 10, 2006
What is the definition of form? I'm not sure I've seen as many different definitions for a word before. On dictionary.com there are twelve different definitions before moving into forming and other variations of the word. So what I'll do is try to tell you how I mean it here...
In the total of experience, if we were to leave that as one thing, there would be no forms. Forms then arise out of that oneness. These forms are the things that we separate out, like people, cars, and trees.
So far, they seem to be separate "things" but I want to take that further. They can also be ideas, and anything else we can name and feel separate from. They can be a job. A job has no physical form, but it has an idea form. Anything that is not us and can be named can be called a form for the purposes of this talk.
A feeling is the experience of a situation, the form is the idea of the situation. Another way to think of it is that forms seem external to us, and feeling seems internal to us. All forms are in the thought realm. Something becomes a form when we give value to a separate entity, giving it a name, etc.
Feeling is open and receptive; it is listening. Form is naming, or talking.
Two points to make today:
- There is a literal practice of bringing our attention from the form realm to the experience of feeling realm.
- When we're not doing that practice, we become very attached and sad unnecessarily.
We get lost in the idea, or form, of something. We stick to it past it's usefulness:
- Salaries - why do we stay in a job when we are unhappy?
- Cars - why do we think they're beautiful? What about them do we find beautiful?
"Attached to the idea about something" is how most of us live, but that's not what we really want. We want to feel good. When I believe that money will do that for me I make money my entire focus. That's the error. How many people do you know that are doing jobs they hate because they think they need money? Do they really know how much money they need? Have they spent any time trying to figure out where their happiness really comes from? Wouldn't that be a better use of their time?
One example of stopping the identification with form can be seen while playing sports. We can begin to realize that playing a sport is done for the fun of it, not the score of it. When we get mad at ourselves for scoring a certain way in a game, we're stuck in the form world.
Another example is when we look at an expensive car and like it, but don't know why. We could say we are a little lost in the form world then. Do we like how pretty it is? The power in connotes? Do we know what we like about it?
The fundamental shift is bringing our attention away from forms, beliefs, values, to the feeling of situations, and dancing between those two states. Ultimately. we could realize that the feeling of a situation is what we really want.
Somewhere we've gotten lost in the idea of things instead of the feeling of the moment.
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