The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 4

Recapitulation continued. The doer as feeling and as desire. The twelve portions of the doer. The psychic atmosphere.

The embodied portion of the doer is passively feeling and actively desire. The doer is embodied as feeling in the kidneys and as desire in the adrenals. Its influence is over the whole body. It largely controls the heart and lungs, which should be entirely controlled by the thinker. Feeling-and-desire cannot distinguish itself from that in nature to which it is attracted or attached.

Feeling has many functions. Four of them are used in its dealings with nature; they correspond to the four senses. They are perceptiveness, that of feeling which perceives; conceptiveness, that of feeling which makes of the perception a conception; formativeness, that of feeling which gives form to and develops the conception into a thought; and projectiveness, that of feeling which puts forth from the brain the thought which later becomes an act, object or event.

Feeling feels itself as being whatever affects it. So feeling feels hunger, which is a craving by elementals of the body for the sensation of food, as being itself the craving of the elementals. Feeling feels a wound in one’s own body, as itself being the elementals which are affected by the cut, the blood and the pain. It feels a wound seen in the body of another in the same way, by being all the known details, though in a lesser degree. It feels the death of a friend, by being the sensations of the loss of company, comfort and support. But feeling is not the hunger, the wound or the loss, which it feels itself to be.

In the case of sexual union there is an exception, because feeling feels itself as being the other side of itself in the union, though it also feels itself as the elementals which it enlivens and thrills into sensations.

Feeling is that of the embodied doer that receives the impressions which the breath-form presents to it, after the breath-form has received them from the senses. The impressions are elementals sent in by or taken in from nature, with the current of the breath. All sense impressions are carried by the breath-form to feeling. There these elementals become sensations while, and only as long as, they are lit up, thrilled and formed, by being in touch with feeling. When feeling feels them it makes them sensations. They remain sensations as long as they are in contact with feeling. When they have passed out of the touch of feeling, which they do in a short while, they are no longer sensations, but are again elementals, nature units not in contact with feeling.

Feeling is not sensation, nor is a feeling a sensation. Feeling does not have any sensations of its own, or in or by itself. When feeling feels a pain from strain or pressure on a nerve, elementals enter along the nerve, and through the breath-form get into touch with feeling. The elementals which so enter are elementals making up the extraneous material object which causes the pain, such as a bullet, or the pleasure, such as a warming fire; or elementals making up the part of the body which cause the pain, such as a fractured bone or the exhilaration of well-being, such as the lungs in deep breathing; or unbound elementals such as those in the elemental streams which crowd in on a case of pain or pleasure. Feeling feels them as the sensation, as a hand feels a pencil. But while a pencil is not mistaken for a hand or for the feeling in the hand, the sensation, though just as foreign to the feeling as is the pencil to the hand, is mistaken for the feeling. Feeling in the body is that which feels.

Because feeling is not a sensation it can refuse elementals to become sensations; it can refuse to feel. It can do this by not permitting the elementals to contact it, after they have approached it through the breath-form. Elementals at all times swarm in the involuntary nervous system; and there they are still elementals. It is only when the breath-form transfers them to the voluntary nervous system that they become sensations. Chloroform, taken by the breath-form and acting on the voluntary nervous system, prevents sensation of pain, by disconnecting the voluntary from the involuntary system. Feeling can do the same thing as anesthetics do, or else it can withdraw from the voluntary nervous system. The disconnecting or withdrawing must be done by thinking.

Feeling, the passive side of the doer, is not mentality, but in thinking it uses the feeling-mind. It has no knowledge, no opinion. It is strictly feeling and it only feels. It does not analyze, it has no judgment. It is entirely dependent on desire, the active side of itself, for stimulation. It needs its feeling-mind to interpret to it what it feels and to refine and cultivate grosser feelings into finer ones. It depends upon the feeling-mind to be so trained by thinking that it can feel the right from the wrong in nature and in itself, and that it can feel the thinker, and the permanence of the identity of the knower.

Feeling is not noetic, it has no identity. Its tendency is to associate itself with anything and everything and so it fluctuates and has no identity in itself.

Feeling is one, but its feelings are many. Feeling itself as of the doer portion in the body, is the source of all feelings. When feeling is aroused by the sensing of toothache, that part of feeling which is in the nerve of the tooth, identifies itself as the sensation of toothache. It animates for the time the contacting elementals which cause the toothache. The feelings, as pain from a toothache or the comfort from a full stomach, or as the enjoyment of a sunset or of a mountain range, are so many distinct feelings, separated and distinguished and given form by the objects which cause them, and yet all come from feeling and disappear into feeling, as whitecaps appear on and disappear in the ocean.

The cause of the separation and development of the various feelings from feeling, is one or more of the four senses. These, with their impressions from objects of nature, are breathed by the breath-form into the psychic breath and so reach into and contact feeling. Thus the senses are the means of elementals becoming sensations and of drawing feeling along the channels of the senses, where it becomes separate feelings. When the impression reaches the kidneys and touches feeling, feeling closes upon it as a magnet holds a needle, and cannot let go at once. The impression is felt as pleasant or as unpleasant and becomes a sensation, which, if intense enough, compels thinking.

Without the physical body nature could not reach feeling, could not call out feelings and could not get part of the doer into nature. Nature provides the opportunity for the doer to train and develop its feeling. Feeling is trained by the doer through the four senses to distinguish contacts, odors, tastes, sounds and sights. Thus feeling is trained along the nature line in the arts and sciences. The units in the body and in outside nature are impressed and affected by the contact with feeling. In outside nature they are prepared to become units in the body.

The complement, the other side of feeling, its active side, is desire. There is no feeling without desire and no desire without feeling. They are inseparable, one cannot be without the other; they are in communication and interact continuously. Feeling impresses desire and desire responds to feeling. Feeling feels an impression as pleasant or unpleasant and communicates it to desire to satisfy or to remove.

Desire is a surging, driving, pulling, pushing, obstinate, conscious power. It answers to and complements feeling. It works to gratify feeling. When it cannot itself answer to all that feeling feels, it uses the desire-mind and demands that the thinking answer to feeling. Desire is in communication with nature through feeling only, and with the knower through the thinker only. Time is not and distance is not a factor in the action of desire, though obstacles in nature may hinder its expression there.

Desire itself is one, but there are innumerable desires. These are evoked from desire by the four senses, through feelings. Any one feeling brings out a particular desire which answers to it. Persons and objects of nature are introduced to feeling by the senses. Feeling feels what is so brought in and evokes a desire for or against the persons or the objects. The desires are or are like voices that speak to the human. They urge him in favor of or against the person or object. The desires being the active side seem to be, for the time, the governing part of the human. Yet desire is led by feeling, and feeling by nature. The feelings and the desires change, and so the human has everchanging rulers. They have potential forms, as a cat, a hog, a wolf, a bird or a fish and take form after death. Desire, following feeling, goes into nature and becomes a driving power in animate nature. Few desires of the living go into nature and dwell there in forms; most desires evoked by feeling produce thoughts and go into nature in thoughts. The desires of the dead animate the animal forms in nature.

The embodiment of any one of the twelve portions of the doer is usually for the life of a physical body. But it is sometimes the case that two or more successive portions enter the body, one after the other, with the same breath-form and so in the same life. Then the person shows successively different characters which are usually displayed in different positions in life.

The embodied portion of the doer is separate, as far as the human which it largely is, is conscious, and yet is not separated from the non-embodied portions. It is accountable for its own feelings and desires, but the non-embodied portions are in a lesser degree affected by them and are helped or hindered and enjoy or suffer for them, as it does for theirs, because it and they are one. Yet as to physical events in a life, each portion reaps what it has sown. Ultimately the body must be so competent that all twelve portions will be in it at the same time, so that the whole doer is embodied.

The psychic atmosphere is matter of the doer, but is not as developed as is the matter of the mental atmosphere. It is that matter of the doer which is related to the form world and has to do with matter of that world, by action and reaction. The atmosphere is distinguished from the doer, which is its nucleus of action, and from the psychic breath, which is the current flowing from the atmosphere into the doer and from the doer out into the atmosphere. The psychic atmosphere ebbs and flows as the psychic breath, in and through the physical breath and so keeps that and the physical body going. The psychic atmosphere is also to be distinguished from the nature-matter, that is, elementals of the form world, which is in it. The form world surrounds and penetrates the physical world, and the psychic atmosphere may be in touch with any part or all of the form world. Time and space, as known in the physical world, do not exist in the form world, and are no hindrance to the psychic atmosphere and the doer. The psychic atmosphere is not embodied, but parts of it pervade the physical atmosphere and the physical body, which are in it.

The form world is not in direct touch with the psychic atmosphere; communication between the two is kept up by means of the breath-form for the doer, and by the physical body for nature. The doer does not act on the form world directly. It acts on the breath-form by means of the psychic breath, which flows in the physical breath, and acts through the breath-form and the four senses through the physical world on the form world. The form world reaches the doer in the inverse order. Nature elementals of the form world act through the physical world on the sense organs in the body and are by the breath-form conveyed through feeling to the psychic breath, which circulates them in the psychic atmosphere.

In the psychic atmosphere is no Light of the Intelligence, and therefore the psychic breath does not carry Light and the doer is without Light. In the psychic atmosphere is psychic matter, which is part of the doer. Some of this matter is without form and some is in the changing forms of feelings and of desires. These, though different, are not separate things in the atmosphere and their forms are not forms like physical objects. That which is called form is the cause of physical form. When feeling issues as a feeling, or desire issues as a desire, these separate feelings and desires take on the form of what they feel or desire, and these forms of the feelings and of the desires circulate in and are a portion of the psychic atmosphere. These feelings and desires are psychic states and act as psychic memories when they affect the embodied doer portion.

There are also in the psychic atmosphere elementals of the form world; while they are entertained they become sensations of sprightliness or gloom, grief or recklessness, curiosity or adventure, or other psychic states. Some of them take on the so-called forms of the feelings and desires and affect elementals of the physical world, that is, the matter of the physical world, and thus feelings and desires enter into insects and into flowers. Some of the elementals in the psychic atmosphere evoke other feelings and desires. Some enter the psychic atmosphere of others and there stimulate similar feelings and desires.

The elementals of the form world are finer, more subtle, than the elementals which are physical pleasure or pain; but they are only elementals, which arouse the feeling and play with it. So pain experienced in an eye, irritated by a cinder or a cold, pleasure felt while eating, excitement of crowds caused by demagogues or bigots, are elementals of the physical world. But castles in the air, clouds of gloom, deep emotions and the visions, transports and communion of mystics are elementals of the form world which are playing in the nerves and on the feeling and desire of the doer.