On Feeling Sick–Part 1

As usual I will make use of this blog to post ideas which will appear in my lecture on October 23 [shameless plug].

What does it mean to ‘feel sick’.  Part of the problem for us human beings is that we are so wildly ‘feeling’ in the first place. Compared with our animal counterparts, not only do we ‘cogitate’ or think more deeply, but we experience  the multitude of feelings on a much grander scale.  Can I be certain of this fact? How can I know what a dog, or cat or cow or bat ‘feels’ anyway?

Certainly I cannot ‘prove’ that human beings ‘feel’ more deeply other than to observe our behavior under emotional stress, both good and bad. We are clearly much more reactive than our animal cousins.

I will stand with my contention.  Furthermore, because we experience such wide swings in our emotions, we will tend to ‘feel sick’, perhaps very sick when our body/minds are out of synchrony. Feeling sick means a loss of the usual balance, the yin/yang that ordinarily maintains us in a state of peaceful equilibrium.

In fact I believe that we are the ‘manic-depressives’ of the animal kingdom. Our range of experiences is enormous. But it should be clearly acknowledged that our emotional range allows us to experience blissful peace and enormous beauty with such intensity that we must be willing to trade off our level of feeling ‘sick’ as well.

Blunting our feelings though medication or self-induced states with drugs and alcohol is to deny ourselves the experience of being human. Despite the occasional pain and suffering  we should attempt to live it all as fully as possible.


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