The mystic is the one who feels that everything that happens is in some way harmonious, is in some way right, is in some way an integral part of the universe. Now when we translate that into the moral sphere, the sphere of human conduct, the equivalent is this…
There are no wrong feelings.
There may be wrong actions, in the sense of actions contrary to the rules of human communication. But the way you feel towards other people, loving, hating, etc., there aren’t any wrong feelings. So to try and force one’s feelings to be other than what they are is absurd, and further more, dishonest. The idea that there are no wrong feelings is an immensely threatening idea to people who are afraid to feel in any case. This is one of the peculiar problems of our culture. That we are terrified of our feelings, because they take off on their own. And we think if we give them any scope, and if we don’t immediately beat them down, they will lead us into all kinds of chaotic and destructive action. It’s so funny, that we, in our Western culture today say that kind of thing, we who do more chaotic and reckless kind of action than anybody ever did.
But if, for a change, we would allow our feelings, and look upon their comings and goings as something as beautiful and as natural and necessary as changes in the weather, the going of night and day, and of the four seasons, we would be at peace with ourselves. Because what is problematic for western man is not so much his struggles with other people, and their needs and their problems, as his struggles with his own feelings. With what he will allow himself to feel and what he won’t allow himself to feel. He is ashamed to feel really profoundly sad, so much so that he could cry. It is not manly to cry. He is ashamed to loathe somebody, because you are not supposed to hate people. He’s ashamed to be so overcome with the beauty of something, whether it be a natural landscape or a member of the opposite sex, that he goes out of his mind with this beauty. Because all that kind of thing is not being in control, not kind of having your hand on the wheel. But it is because we don’t go with that, that we are not in control.
That we try to pretend that our inner life is different. I think this is the most releasing thing that anybody can possibly understand. That your inner feeling is never wrong. That’s to say, what you feel, it is never wrong that you feel that way. It may not be a right guide to what you should do. In other words, if you feel that you hate someone intensely, it isn’t necessarily the right way of dealing with that feeling to go out and harm them. But it is right that you should have the feeling of hating, or of being sad, or frightened, terrified, whatever it is.
When a person comes to himself, he comes to be one with his own feeling. And that is the only way of being in a position to control it. It is in exactly this way that the sailor always keeps the wind in his sails. Whether he wants to sail with the wind or whether he wants to sail against the wind, he always uses the wind, he never denies the wind. Well it’s in exactly that same sense that a person has to keep going with his own feeling. Whether he wants to act as the feeling obviously suggests, or act in a different way, he has to keep the feeling with him, because that’s his own essential self. But when he attempts simply to sail against the wind, he’s lost himself. He’s become just a kind of empty mask, which hasn’t got any real life behind it, all it’s protestations of love and good-will are hollow.
What the mystic primarily feels is the divinity, the glory, of whatever it is. And when we apply that to the moral sphere, what IS, is what one feels genuinely. And this must always be admitted, always allowed. It doesn’t mean that we always are therefore compelled to act upon the basis of what we feel. That is to say, to kill the person we hate. Hatred does not necessarily lead to violence, it is unacknowledged hatred that leads to violence. Honest hatred can be expressed in much simpler ways. But the expression, the recognition, the acceptance of what is honestly felt, is the moral equivalent of the vision that whatever exists is a manifestation of the divine.
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