Thoughts are shadows of our feelings

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote:

“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, and simpler.”

It’s a very thought-provoking quote, especially when we consider how much emphasis is placed on thinking and intellect everywhere we look.

It’s also interesting to see an intellectual giant like Nietzsche ditching on thoughts.

But let’s go further and – most importantly – understand the implications for our own lives.

Thoughts often serve as shadows of our feelings, meaning we feel first and think later. Initially, we experience a feeling, then we rationalize it.

If our body is craving candy, we find rational reasons to justify buying it: “I need it for studying,” “It’s my reward,” “I’m feeling down, so I need a pick-me-up,” and so on.

But the true reason was the body craving – an energy that surged within us and drove us toward sugar. Therefore, we should examine that energy to uncover the genuine motive, rather than relying solely on intellectual justifications. Notice how we’ve crafted a “shadow” of the feeling with our intellect.

Similarly, when we dislike someone, our body and energy revolt against them, leading us to seek intellectual reasons to distance ourselves from them.

You might ask: “What’s the harm in that? What’s wrong with rationalizing something?”

Well, the harm lies mainly in our tendency to identify with those thoughts and construct elaborate narratives in our minds based on them.

Yet, this narrative is merely a “shadow” of the real reason, leaving us in the dark about what truly influences us. Thoughts don’t faithfully reflect our feelings and energy; in fact, they often constrain them. By probing deeply within ourselves—not just into our thoughts but, crucially, into our bodies and energy, which lie at the essence of our being—we can access far greater wisdom.

That’s what we work on in the course:
>>> Advanced Energy Science

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