I’ve experienced enough life, seen enough movies and read enough books to know that not everybody lives the same form of consciousness. That we are walking around, talking to and interacting with people who literally do not “feel” life in a similar manner.
I can only speak from my experience.
If I see someone get hurt, with my eyes, I feel, in my body, an actual, sympathetic resonance that is sometimes so intense it approximates pain and is located in the same location on my body as it is on the body of the person whose pain I am witnessing. It happens often when I see pain depicted in movies and on television as well.
In social situations, if people are feeling discomfort or if there is conflict that results in uncomfortable social situations, I feel, in my body, the same burning, intense feeling of shame or embarrassment. I literally have to intervene to alleviate the energetic imbalance in order to relieve my own sympathetic symptoms. I look away from such situations in movies and on television as the feeling is similarly acute.
If people are upset, I can see it in their faces and body language and often feel it as well.
When I see, hear and read something that is true, the old saying that something “rings” true is literally what happens to my body. I resonate, vibrate, “ring”, to the truth.
Do you? Experience life in this visceral, sensate manner?
Not everyone does. For some, life is what they see, hear, smell, touch and taste. And that is it. For many, they do experience empathy to a certain degree, although it may not be as intense as what I describe here. For others, it may be even more intense.
Even though it has been argued that any supposed sixth sense, that some might call intuition, is only a combination of the known five senses accompanied by an holistic, synesthetic component that encompasses all possible methods of sensory input, still, not everyone experiences it.
Which means that not everyone shares the same kind of understanding about the nature of the world as others. Not everyone is influenced by their feelings the same way and, often, those who are not deride those who are. And vice versa.
Again, it is an experience of consciousness whereby some are innately more sensitive than others. A scale of intensity. Some have such a capacity, others do not. It is not a question of better or worse, which are value judgements and therefore subjective, but of degree.
There are many who are not as sensitive who supplant their experience with keen observational skills. They do not feel the emotions of others but they can see them occurring and respond accordingly. Many who lack such empathy often have increased intelligence quotients, perhaps as an example of nature’s way of compensating for a lack of emotional depth.
It is also possible to experience a desensitization effect, purposeful or not, which often occurs as a response to emotionally and/or physically violent material conditions. What the Bible calls the “hardening of the heart”.
Feelings are important. We assume that we experience them similarly. And so are confounded when we interact with those who apparently do not. There are biological and neurological reasons for these differences that are well documented. And many books that speak about the trauma that can result from intimate relationships between people of asymmetrical emotional capacities.
All of human history is rife with examples. Our lives are filled with them as well. Understanding the difference and incorporating strategies that allow you to navigate these differences while securing your own emotional and spiritual well-being is a mandatory skill set to cultivate in the life of all who seek to live consciously.