Heart Feeling

     The PIE kerd- is the shared root of the Latin and English “core”, the Hellenic “cardia”, the Hindi “hri-dayam” (heart), the German “herz”, and the English “heart”. Because they share the same root, the two English words “core” and “heart” hold great equivalence and can be used to define each other. The “core” and the “heart” of something or someone are one and the same.

     The core or heart of a person can be referring to their cardiac organ or to feeling or the spirit or deepest ground. This dimensionality reflects the spiritual teachings on the three kinds of love: eros, agape, and divine. Eros includes the mundane (I love baseball) and the romantic. The sense of promise for a fuller self is the signature desire of eros. Agape is the love that is signed by giving and self-transcendence. It’s often what we call, “real love” as opposed to romance. Agape itself matures beyond the matrices of appearances to the love of the divine, the Condition of all conditions, the very heart of existence.

     We know about the heart of the body via the touch of science. We know about the three loves because it is said that we “feel” love. Like the kinds of love and three hearts, we find that the word “feeling” has many implications and a core conveyance.

     Looking backwards in time, we find “I feel like I want to” in the early part of the 19th century; one hundred years earlier “feeling” was used to describe “a sensation produced by something”. As modern English began to congeal in the late 16th century, “feeling” carried a sense of sympathy and compassion. In the 15th century, “feeling” included your opinion or “how you feel about something”. In the 14th century, “feeling” was used to describe an emotion (e-motion: that which moves us).  In the 13th century, “feeling” conveyed the sense of being conscious of a sensation or emotion, while the late 12th century “feeling” was used to describe the sense of touch. The Old English felan likewise meant to touch, but also “to perceive through senses which are not referred to by any special organ.” If we go back through the Proto-Germanic foljan, we ultimately come to the PIE root pal- “to touch”.

     Feeling is the sensation of connection, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. As a surgeon or student, we can feel the smooth muscles of the heart as we touch the organ; as social animals, we can feel our opinion and sense the feelings of others, especially our pals; our limbic brains can sense or feel emotions; our higher brains can feel the discernment of the three hearts and kinds of love; our spirit can touch or feel our very core. Feeling is the sensation of connection, and is present in multi-dimensional ways.

     We grow or mature in feeling; we grow through the kinds of love; we grow and mature from animal/physical to emotional to sympathy to spirit. We feel, we touch, the heart, our core.


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