Why do we feel?
I’ve been struggling with this question for a couple of weeks ever since my dad asked me. I don’t feel I can give a proper answer without using a doctrinal principle from The Book of Mormon, the keystone to my religion.
This passage comes from 2 Nephi 2:11-14. The verse has some minor parts removed for argument’s sake.
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.
If not so…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation…
And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
Despite the religious aspects of these verses, I feel they establish a very important point. Without opposition, our universe would remain a vast void. Whether or not you believe in God, this point still applies.
Each feeling has an opposite. Without happiness we wouldn’t know what sadness felt like. Without grief we wouldn’t understand joy or redemption.
We feel because without feeling, we would not exist.
And if these things are not…we are not.
Each feeling we humans are capable of feeling has an opposite. We feel to achieve that opposite. We feel to remind ourselves that we are real, that we do exist outside of a void. Without this opposition of feeling, without feeling in the first place, we are NOT.
The grass is greener on the other side, right? Well how do we know, how can we judge if we don’t have a side to compare this new side with? Feeling sorrow at the loss of a loved one will help us truly understand the greatness of a life coming into the world.
Breaking a bone in our body will open our eyes to the benefits of a fit and healthy body. Without experiencing a negative extreme, we won’t really understand the true glory of positive extremes. Feeling sad is good because it helps us appreciate and understand what it’s like to be happy.
I realize that I am oversimplifying this truth, but I’m honestly not sure what else to say. Readers, are there any examples of needing to experience opposites that you can think of? Please share and pass this on!