Recently, a question on LinkedIn asked if anybody had met a Telempath, and described what that meant.
Trying to distinguish between thoughts and feelings can be very difficult in English culture because we are very loose with how we use both words through language.
Take a look at this diagram on Meaning Making
We become aware of something through our senses (see, touch, smell, hear, taste).
That triggers both thoughts and emotions at the same time.
We think and evaluate what we sense as part of making meaning of our environment.
We may also have an emotional response to the stimulus.
It gets messy because our emotions influence our thoughts and vice versa.
Thoughts are in the neocortex of the brain and emotions center in the amygdala, but both are equally real and important.
Then what on earth is a feeling? While perhaps overly simplified, feelings are Mad, Glad, Sad or Afraid. There are hundreds of feeling words, and a brief sample can be found here: Feeling Words
The point is that “feelings” are the combination of our thoughts and our emotions together, both influencing the other. Based on the question I got online, we could all be considered “telempaths” to some degree. However, the goal is neither to unify our thoughts and emotions nor to pull them apart from each other. Instead, it is to have a basic awareness of the relation between thoughts and emotions, to recognize how one influences the other, and to be in a position to choose how to act based on whatever is most appropriate for the moment. The goal is to increase our ability to choose our actions rather than being led by instinct alone. That does not mean denying instinct or analyzing every move. Instead, it means increasing the range of responses we are able to make – increasing our response-ability.
As a simple exercise to see how mixed up thoughts and feelings are in our language, try listening for the phrase “I feel that…” If you hear the word “that” as a feeling, then chances are pretty good that it’s not a feeling at all, but is rather a thought or opinion. For example, if somebody asks “how do you feel about…” and the response is “I feel THAT we should wait,” then what is the feeling? At the risk of reducing it to mere semantics, feeling words are more likely to be in the form “I am” as in “I am afraid,” or “she was enraged,” or “he was happy”.
I am happy that you asked your question.
I think that both thoughts and emotions are equally important.