: felt in or as if the internal organs of the body : Deep
: not intellectual : instinctive, unreasoning
: dealing with crude or elemental emotions : Earthy
: of, relating to, or located on or among the viscera (an internal organ of the body, especially one of the heart, liver, or intestine) located in the great cavity of the trunk proper



Visceral (adj.): 1570s, “affecting inward feelings,” from Middle French viscéral and directly from Medieval Latin visceralisinternal,” from Latin viscera, plural of viscus internal organ, inner parts of the body,” of unknown origin. The bowels were regarded as the seat of emotion. The figurative sense vanished after 1640 and the literal sense is first recorded in 1794. The figurative sense was revived 1940s in the arts criticism.



“Love isn’t intellectual – it’s visceral.”

Kelly McGillis (b. 1957, American actress, best known for her roles in The Witness, Top Gun, The Accused)

Bio Source:

“Ecology should be object lessons that the world sees, that explains in a visceral, physical way, the attributes of God.”

Joel Salatin (b. 1957, A third generation alternative full-time farmer of a family’s farm, Polyface Inc., Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley; lecturer and author; his farm services more than 5,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants.)

Bio Source:

“The purpose of art is to collide the intellectual and visceral together at the highest speed possible.”

Penn Jillette (b. 1955, American magician, juggler, comedian, musician, actor, best known for his work with the team, Penn & Teller)

Bio Source:

“What makes a story is how well it managing to connect with the reader, the visceral effect it has.”

Len Wein (b. 1948, American comic book writer and editor, best known for co-creating DC Comics’ Swamp Thing and Marvel Comics’ Wolverine, and for helping to revive the Marvel superhero team the X-Men.)

Bio Source:

“Every fundamentalist movement I’ve studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion.”

Karen Armstrong (b. 1944, British author and commentator, has written over 20 books on faith and comparative religion)

Bio Source:

“If something is visceral and unsettling for me, my job is to not look away, not to punk out. Sometimes the dark things come from places inside me, experiences I’ve had, that need to be transformed.”

Lilith Saintcrow (b. 1976, American author of urban fantasy, historical fantasy, paranormal romance and steampunk novels)

Bio Source:

“The companies that I really admire the most are the ones that have a deep visceral understanding of why people use their service, and they figure out ways of making money that are completely consistent with how people are feeling and what they are doing at the time.”

Ben Silbermann (b. 1982, American Internet entrepreneur, who co-founded and is the CEO of Pinterest, a virtual bookmarking tool that helps users discover and save creative ideas)

Bio Source:


“If something is visceral and unsettling for me, my job is to not look away, not to punk out. Sometimes the dark things come from places inside me, experiences I’ve had, that need to be transformed.”

— Lilith Saintcrow

It’s not easy to face ourselves or the stuff that’s disturbing within our exterior and interior worlds.  Conscious awakening will not permit us to mask the multiple visceral stimuli we receive daily, but force us to face our feelings of pain and trauma head on.   This entails finding the courage to disable those buttons people and situations push within us by recapitulating and transforming the emotional flashbacks from our past.

But, first instead of cursing the persons or situations that initiate these stirrings within us, we could instead bless them for showing us the openings of spaces to heal.

This, however, is a countercultural pursuit.  Culturally, we don’t like feeling troubled and were largely programmed to do everything within our power to suppress those feelings of being unloved or unworthy.  But, if we push beyond our imprisonments we will find miraculous opportunities to love ourselves more fully and more deeply.

A rich life is one created with a diversity of experiences and adventures, to step out on the edge of a cliff and risk our own timidity and shakiness.  Not only must we look ourselves in the mirror, but we must expose ourselves to different opinions, people, and experiences that make us feel uncomfortable and actually shake us up.  These experiences not only challenge us, but also build character strength, giving us the soul and physical depths to be more loving and more human.

Being safe and perfect offers little growth potential.  If we learn from its tireless lessons, Life’s messiness can nurture the soul.  We not only get to see what we are made of, but we also get to meet our soul mates, those who have our backs and forgives us for our imperfections.

Soldier on, fellow sojourners.  Let us continue to be the vital and spiritual warriors we were created to be.

Much Love, Tonya





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