I have been reading “The Essential Kabbalah” by Daniel C. Matt, and found an interesting connection between Jewish, Christian, Sufi and Native American thought.
The “Binah” sefirot is called , ‘intuitive understanding’, or ‘contemplation’ in English, but is also seen as the “Heartmind”. I think it is interesting that while we are normally prompted by our emotions(axioms) first, or rather they are the impetus to thought and action, we believe in the West that we think, or should think, with our “brains”.
But can you think yourself into true love? Can you think yourself out of loss, or loneliness? Emotions usually drive us, and we create the thoughts, justifications, etc, later. When we believe that we “understand” with the intellectual mind, we create all kinds of concepts that in the end grow to harm or possess us. Ideologies, for instance. Though they come from axiomatic emotions, we over intellectualize and corrupt them, so they become dystopian realities when actualized. (Communism(far left)/Nazism(far right)).
My “feeling” and “thinking” functions invert, I come up INFJ, or INTJ depending on the test and when I take it; but in either case, I am an “Introverted Intuitive”, from Jung’s own types.
I usually use I “feel” and I “think” interchangeably, which seems to upset my psychologist friend who, no doubt, has been taught that thought precedes feeling in her education. And while thoughts can create feeling, feelings can also create thought.
Yet, from the looks of it, the traditional understand is that emotions do indeed precede thought when it comes from the unconscious (intuitive). You feel first, than put words to the emotion. But in our culture we shun emotions, or suppress them if they do not optimize happiness, or productivity. And instead we medicate with anti-depressants when our “heartsminds” are telling us that what we are doing is not what we should be doing, with things like depression.
There was a good example and explanation of it here:
Here is Jung’s talk with the Native American regarding this same topic:
In Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1973) Jung described his encounter with Native Americans he met in New Mexico in 1925. This event, though brief, had a profound effect on Jung, and he referred to it many times in his writings. He commented that his experience in New Mexico made him aware of his imprisonment “in the cultural consciousness of the white man” (Jung, 1973, p. 247).
At the Taos pueblo, Jung spoke for the first time with a non-white, a Hopi elder named Antonio Mirabal (also known as Ochwiay Biano and Mountain Lake), who said that whites were always uneasy and restless: “We do not understand them. We think that they are mad” (Jung, 1973, p. 248). Jung asked him why he thought the whites were mad, and the reply was : ‘They say that they think with their heads … We think here,’ he said, indicating his heart” (p. 248). Impressed, Jung said he realized that Mountain Lake had unveiled a significant truth about whites.
Henry Corbin also notes: “The cosmology of Sufism possesses a dimension — lacking in our view of the world — which takes account of such experience. It guarantees the “objective” reality of the supersensory world in which are manifested the effects of a spiritual energy whose source is the heart and whose organ is the active Imagination.” (Alone with the Alone, p48)
- The image used in the post is Jesus in his “Sacred Heart” and “Divine Mercy” depictions.