Let’s look into a little bit about the dual nature of humankind, the material nature (body) and spiritual nature (soul), and how our feelings affect the way we relate to them.
In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone. Signs of both these natures are to be found in men. In his material aspect he expresses untruth, cruelty and injustice; all these are the outcome of his lower nature. The attributes of his divine nature are shown forth in love, mercy, kindness, truth and justice, one and all being expressions of his higher nature. Every good habit, every noble quality belongs to man’s spiritual nature, whereas all his imperfections and sinful actions are born of his material nature. ( The Reality of Man, p.24, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speeches)
Most of us have been trained since childhood to be kind to others. We know we should show others justice, honesty, and truthfulness instead of the opposites. Thus, during our daily exposure to both routine and new activities, in our relationship with others, we have become accustomed to choosing our spiritual nature over our material nature. But when other people’s responses are unexpected, the disappointment becomes fear, worry, and anxiety. If our feelings continue to reinforce it they become hate, anger and impatience. Let’s look closely at this, we tend to choose our spiritual nature to interact with others, but why does the moral choice turn into material nature of fear, worry, anxiety, unkindness and inpatience. Feelings affect the choice we make between our spiritual nature and material nature. Why does our reaction to unfavorable situations most of time fail to show our spiritual nature? Bad feelings are just like gravity pulling us down to the material nature while we try to rise up to the spiritual nature. What can work against gravity? We know helium put into a balloon can lift the balloon up to the air. Learning more about God, having faith in Him, and follow the teaching to submit our will to the Will of God is the “helium” that lifts us from our material nature to our spiritual nature.
Let’s stop here and meditate on our feelings. Try not to analyze, just observe. Did you observe how long the feelings last? Did the feelings stay or did they come and go? Is the feeling appearing by itself? Have I had those feelings before? Feelings affect the choice we make between our material and spiritual nature. If we don’t know those feeling are there, you can imagine how many reactions where we don’t know why we reacted that way. How many mistakes are we making by reacting without knowing it?