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Herbert Spencer

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The essential trait in the moral consciousness, is the control of some feeling or feelings by some other feeling or feelings.
--
Ch. 7, The Psychological View.

 
Herbert Spencer

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The one primary and fundamental law of mental action consists in a tendency to generalisation. Feeling tends to spread ; connections between feelings awaken feelings; neighboring feelings become assimilated; ideas are apt to reproduce themselves. These are so many formulations of the one law of the growth of mind. When a disturbance of feeling takes place, we have a consciousness of gain, the gain of experience; and a new disturbance will be apt to assimilate itself to the one that preceded it. Feelings, by being excited, become more easily excited, especially in the ways in which they have previously been excited. The consciousness of such a habit constitutes a general conception.
The cloudiness of psychological notions may be corrected by connecting them with physiological conceptions. Feeling may be supposed to exist, wherever a nerve-cell is in an excited condition. The disturbance of feeling, or sense of reaction, accompanies the transmission of disturbance between nerve-cells or from a nerve-cell to a muscle-cell or the external stimulation of a nerve-cell. General conceptions arise upon the formation of habits in the nerve-matter, which are molecular changes consequent upon its activity and probably connected with its nutrition.

 
Charles Sanders Peirce
 

Is it not possible that the chimpanzees are responding to some feeling like awe? A feeling generated by the mystery of water; water that seems alive, always rushing past yet never going, always the same yet ever different. Was it perhaps similar feelings of awe that gave rise to the first animistic religions, the worship of the elements and the mysteries of nature over which there was no control? Only when our prehistoric ancestors developed language would it have been possible to discuss such internal feelings and create a shared religion.

 
Jane Goodall
 

Second, by this and other means we are driven to perceive, what is quite evident in itself, that instantaneous feelings flow together in a continuum of feeling, which has in a modified degree the peculiar vivacity of feeling and has gained generality. And in reference to such general ideas, or continua of feeling, the difficulties about resemblance and suggestion and reference to the external, cease to have any force.

 
Charles Sanders Peirce
 

Iím all the time being asked by people, ĎHow do ya feel closer to God.í And I kinda always want to say ĎI donít know.í When I read the lives of most of the great saints they didnít necessarily feel very close to God. When I read the Psalms I get the feeling like David and the other Psalmists felt quite far away from God for most of the time. Closeness to God is not about feelings, closeness to God is about obedienceÖ I donít know how you feel close to God. And no one I know that seems to be close to God knows anything about those feelings either. I know if we obey occasionally the feeling follows, not always, but occasionally. I know that if we disobey we donít have a shot at it.

 
Rich Mullins
 

Once we become conscious of a feeling and attempt to make a corresponding form, we are engaged in an activity which, far from being sincere, is prepared (as any artist if he is sincere will tell you) to moderate feelings to fit the form. The artistís feeling for form is stronger than a formless feeling.

 
Herbert Read
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