As I read Freud I started to wonder whether I ever felt an oceanic feeling. The answer didn’t come easily, I think it never truly came. Every time you start to wonder about the past and about your emotions you realize it is impossible to recreate the emotion itself. You can remember you felt happy, or sad or angry but you can’t remember the emotion itself. That is why it is very difficult for me to know whether I ever felt the oceanic feeling.
Furthermore, I realized that if I did ever feel it it would be useless and potentially problematic: for someone who feels the oceanic feeling it is very hard to face reality. The world is a cruel place and a dark place where good things happen as well but for that is not the norm. For somebody who felt that he belonged to something greater finding out that this thing has become so bad and so cruel could be devastating. How can you accept that you belong to something greater when there is so much chaos going on? The oceanic feeling is not compatible with reality.
For me, reading about Eros and Thanatos was a relief. Now I didn’t to fight to make goodness fit in the world because it is simply a chaotic place with good and evil, just like any other person. In the end I do believe that Eros can prevail. Although there will always be Thanatos en everything, people will learn to control it and empower their Eros and perhaps sublimate their Thanatos into other minor destructive acts.
In conclusion, I don’t think I ever felt the oceanic feeling. When I was young, and more susceptible to the idea of religion and God, I didn’t have the consciousness and the maturity to reflect on these issues. Now that I do have it, to some extent, I don’t really feel it. This leads me to think of another question: can anybody feel oceanic without thinking about it? Can the oceanic feeling exist without you being aware of it? It seems to me that as soon as you think about it disappears.