A felt sense is much like electrical power in a wire before the switch is thrown

IPorous rocks NSWn today’s post I am quoting directly from Campbell and McMahon’s book: “Bio-spirituality: Focusing as a way to grow“, because I can’t put it any better!

“Perhaps you know from personal experience what it means to be suddenly gifted with purpose and direction in your life. It may not always be what you would have chosen for yourself. Yet the unexpected arrival of such meaning can release enormous reserves of energy and, in some instances, lifelong commitment.

Such an experience rarely provides a solution to the practical, sometimes tragic difficulties (and not always tragic by any means*) you may confront. But sitting down with a tragedy (or experience*) in a bodily way can sometime bring a profound resolution in the way the pain (or other feeling*) is carried.

This is why the behaviour of felt meaning is so difference from the behaviour of meanings that can be conceptualised and thought. The function of felt meaning is different. It’s goal is different. The most important aspect of a felt sense is not content but movement. It is meant to unfold!

The initial obscurity of a felt sense, your feeling something without being able to label it accurately, lies not in some as yet unnamed and murky content. It is an incompleteness that arises from the pre-process nature of this experience. A felt sense is much like electrical power in a wire before the switch is thrown. It is meant to go somewhere, to move, to unfold. Felt shift … is the first forward movement of an implicit meaning.

Most people who seek change in their lives look upon their feelings as either good or bad. They feel good when they are happy and challenged. They feel bad if they are depressed and anxious. Personal change is usually thought of as some sort of transformation in the content that is felt. But such a view is not really on target. It doesn’t pinpoint the actual source of frustration.

The central issue in any blockage to human growth has relatively little to do with the content of feeling and felt meaning. But it has everything to do with whether there has been a breakdown of movement in the unfolding of bodily felt meaning – the felt shift that Gendlin has identified.

It is an over-simplification to think of personal change as some sort of magical substitution which replaces bad feelings with good ones. If looked at superficially, this may appear to be what happens whenever things get better. But close examination will show that the restoration of inner process is the actual vehicle of transformation.”

* these are words and phrases I have added, because for me, Focusing doesn’t always deal with ‘the dark and murky’ – it is often a joyous unfolding, with many postitive and enlightening messages from my bodily felt sense.