You might be familiar with Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”, but perhaps more interesting is Max Scheler’s “hierarchy of values”.
At the base of this pyramid are feelings of bodily sensations such as “a tickle, an itch, a fragrance, a taste, pleasure, pain, hunger, thirst, intoxication”. These are sometimes referred to as feelings of “utility” – because the “usefulness” of a sensation is the extent to which they are “agreeable or disagreeable”
Above these feelings of utility are “vital feelings” – which are those of the lived body as a whole – “health, vigor, strength, tiredness, illness, weakness, advancing age”
Then he describes those psychic feelings which have an ego quality – “happiness, sympathy, enjoyment, sadness, sorrow, anger, jealousy” – those which generate our values of beauty, truth and justice.
At the top of the pyramid are “holy feelings”, which come with a kind of dissolution of the ego – “bliss, awe, wonder, catharsis, despair, shame, remorse, anxiety, pangs of conscience, grief” – none of which can be reasoned with, but, rather are “heart-felt”
It can take a wee bit to get your head around this, but I do think it’s worthy of exploration.