Albert Einstein famously said, “The intuitive [heart] mind is a sacred gift, and the rational [brain] mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
In my book, The Heart Field, I spend an entire chapter unpacking both the gifts and limitations of our mental mind in detail before describing the higher level of heart consciousness we are capable of; yet for most it is still the only level of consciousness recognized. Much of the distress we find in today’s world can be directly attributed to our failure to recognize the limitations of mental mind and intellectual function and expand our conscious awareness to the larger arena of heart consciousness and its intuitive voice. To our credit many are finally becoming aware of the need for mindfulness, paying attention to our thoughts, then further learning to direct them with intention. Few still are aware that it is only the first step in becoming fully conscious. We have a much more sophisticated and causal consciousness available to each of us.
We live in a society that considers the brain the seat of our highest function and the control center of our human being. Both science and medicine focus enormous amounts of time, money, and attention on brain function and its alteration; a prime example of what Einstein was speaking of. Yet our current reality demonstrates again the inadequacies of relying on our brains or mental mind for creating new solutions to solve problems. Einstein’s other famous quotation relating to insanity being doing things the same way and expecting a different result comes to mind. Why is this? It is directly related to how our mental function operates. Our brains are extraordinarily efficient at binary analysis and pattern recognition. Just like a computer, they operate in feedback loops of previous experience or teaching. This saves invaluable time in sorting incoming perceptual data and maintaining an automated default system that allows us to function in daily life without a lot of conscious attention to every single detail. The downside is that the analysis can, by definition, only relate to the past and shows a strong preference for what is familiar to us; whether or not it is good for us. It only recognizes patterns, but has no ability to discern truth or falsehood. The usefulness of Mindfulness is that it allows us to recognize our thoughts, then intervene to make other choices.
That brings us to the second, and perhaps more severe, limitation of our brain based conscious awareness. Our mental mind is home to our Ego, our sense of our unique individual self. While it is indeed true that we are each a unique expression of humanity, that is only half the story. Perceived as the whole of who we are, it leads to a sense of separation, highlights differences, and has no awareness of our connection to a larger reality. As a famous philosopher once said, “The mind makes a wonderful servant, but a horrible master.” When this binary mental function is our only conscious awareness it inevitably results in Either/Or thinking. This thinking is the very basis of the victim mentality, and creating separation. This week provided us another horrid example of the outcome of both the personal and social implications of this limited level of consciousness. We have said, ‘never again’ too many times without follow up actions and accountability. This graphically demonstrates the need to expand our conscious awareness from brain to heart; from separate individual to interconnected and interdependent parts of a larger whole.
“And a child will lead them.” How excruciatingly painful it is have to hear the children of Parkland, Florida say to us–the adults of the country who are responsible for keeping them safe–the simple truth that allowing patriarchal partisan politics to prevent enacting sane laws and policies is no longer an acceptable excuse. To realize that the laws/policies that we have are not routinely followed. To accept that this occurrence, like the many others, isn’t any one person or institution but the collective effect of communal failures at every level. To accept that it isn’t personal responsibility OR social responsibility, but is always personal responsibility AND social responsibility. To have to have them tell us that the issues aren’t either/or, gun control OR mental health, but rather the obvious and higher perspective of both/and; better mental health options AND rational gun control laws AND healthy families. How did we arrive at a state where the children are wiser than many adults? Will we listen to them when we have ceased listening to and talking with (rather that yelling at) one another? Do we care enough about our children and grandchildren that we will no longer accept excuses and talk and settle for anything less than personal and social action that promotes prevention, realistic treatment options, and especially social support networks that all work together to create healthy caring communities based on safety, belonging, and significance, rather than creating fear, defensive blockades, and rage based explosions? How did this happen?
Our rational mind or mental consciousness, while useful as what Albert Einstein called a “faithful servant,” is often mistaken today for our highest human function. If our conscious awareness is limited to the mental level of intellect and third dimensional reality the current world situation is bleak indeed. This week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school just the latest example of a world gone mad. From weather extremes to those of social and cultural polarization, mass violence, and the many ‘losses’ accompanying our shift into a new level of reality, a sense of disorientation as old familiar ways no longer serve is prevalent. As the shift toward total transparency and collective consciousness accelerates nothing can be hidden anymore, and to the extent that we have been living in denial of what has actually been happening for a very long time, some are surprised and shocked by the realities now confronting us. How we interpret what is happening and what dimensions of consciousness we are able to access to create our worldview presents us with very different perceptual frameworks for understanding and creating meaning. The current realities present us with an obvious need and opportunity for growth into a higher level of human being. They demonstrate the limitations of our mental intellect and reason and the need for human evolution into the larger domain of collective consciousness. This doesn’t happen in our brains.
In The Heart Field, I unpack the higher reality of our conscious potential. It involves moving beyond just mental mind to the larger consciousness of heart mind. Our hearts are the true source of both our individual uniqueness AND the place of intersection of our body/mind/spirit dimensions. Externally our heartbeat forms the vibrational field surrounding our physical body that makes up the energy field that communicates and connects us with others and our environment. The Heart Field created by its beating is the vibrational source of our internal and external interactions and communications. As we become aware of the vibrational and holographic nature of our human being, we discover that our heartbeat initiates, regulates, and maintains synchronization (or coherence) of all the levels of our being with the harmonic frequencies of each heartbeat. It not only pumps our blood, but also communicates with each cell and organ system of our bodies AND connects us externally with others and influences our environment. This is all new to most of us, although it’s been confirmed in scientific studies over the past several decades.
Of more interest to the average person is how to connect with this expanded level of consciousness. The good news is that it doesn’t require some ‘special gift’ or hard to do practice or an outside expert. It is available to every human being on the planet, and is easily accessed with Heart Meditation. I describe it in much more detail in The Heart Field, but you can easily begin by just sitting still in an upright position, closing your eyes to allow more inner focus, and paying attention to first your body sensations. As you pay attention to your feelings you gradually become aware of the presence of your heartbeat. As you feel the expansion and contraction of your heart beat and your breathing, the sense of genuine gratitude for their constant lifelong function is generated effortlessly. As you continue to pay attention to their presence within you and your presence within them, nothing else is necessary. You are experiencing the beginning of heart consciousness, and with a small daily practice of this your heart will effortlessly bring you exactly what is needed for your personal growth and well being. You will begin to hear the ‘still small voice’ within that brings to your awareness so much more than is accessible with brain mind. With the experience of connection with true self, with others, and with Source, your perceptions shift, your very sense of identity changes, and you become able to participate from the experience of being loved and loving rather than defensively reacting out of separation, defensiveness, and fear.
This is the evolutionary edge that humanity is invited to. It is the only authentic way that we change ourselves, and in changing ourselves change the world. May we choose wisely.