Yesterday I noted that wisdom was as much a matter of the heart as it is of the mind. Today I would like to focus on the role of the mind, in an effort to provide a balancing point between those who see wisdom as principally an intellectual exercise and those who suggest that wisdom comes as a result of getting one’s mind out of the way and following one’s heart.
To begin with, heart and mind are designed to work together. Heart predominantly connects us to the eternal, while mind provides us with a means of navigating the temporal. There are overlaps, of course, but in the sense of primary function heart allows for a connection to the invisible impulses of spirit while mind allows us to translate those impulses into meaningful, coordinated words and action, into the world around us. They are meant to work, as we say, “hand in glove.”
The trouble comes when heart is oriented primarily downward and outward, rather than upward and inward. When this occurs the mind is forced to search for that connection and must compensate for its absence. Some translate this imbalance as feeling “lost” and they spend their lives searching for meaning and purpose, both of which originate above and within. These are the spiritual seekers. Religions are fueled by this pattern. Others suppress the discomfort caused by the imbalance by throwing themselves headlong into the intellectual pursuit of meaning and purpose. They try to define themselves from the outside in and from the bottom up. Science is largely powered by people thus driven.
Wisdom is a flowing brook. It courses from within outward, from above downward. Knowledge is a snapshot of wisdom, a lifeless picture of what is flowing, living, and revitalizing. Like the edifices man builds to protect him from the elements, man also attempts to build mental constructs, a worldview, out of scraps of wisdom he has culled from the earth. He surrounds himself with dead forms, desperately trying to create the appearance of mastery, security and happiness, but without the correct use of his heart his quest for wisdom stops short at cunning.
That said, heart cannot function in balance without mind. These are true “yin and yang”, unlike life and death, light and dark, which are in truth presences and absences, not opposites. Mind translates the spiritual impulses which move through the heart into words and action and thereby articulates that which is above with that which is below and that which is within with that which is without. In other words, mind, in concert with heart, completes the circuit between heaven and earth.
7 thoughts on “Wonderment IV”
Let those with eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to feel, restore this connection, making its restoration our primary concern, for without it, our people are lost.
With it, the rebirth of heaven on earth, and the realization that “God can and will work in and through those who let it be so” will forever reign supreme, dispelling the evil imaginations of a god anywhere but here!
Let His Kingdom come in and through us!
Your words today Gregg and your exquisite thought process inspire wonder. They give living evidence of what you outlined and what is possible when heart and mind function in harmony. I look forward to revisiting them again and again as I increasingly allow this process to work within and without. Deepest thanks.
Thank you for the clarity of your words. I am in awe to share in the flowing wisdom of them.
So tragic that heart and mind have appeared to be so separate when, in fact, they are integral parts of one exquisite and powerful mechanism. The things of spirit are perceived initially in the heart where, given the patience we have been considering, they can gestate and develop. To become active, however, those impulses must take mental form.
Emotion divorced from thought is reckless, dangerous and destructive. Thought separated from feeling is cold, lifeless and potentially cruel. In balance one does not dominate the other, and there is vital, creative thought permeated with the warmth and brilliance of love.
I’ve always loved the phrase, “For where your treasure is , there will your heart be also” as it reveals the orientation of our heart, which also reveals the contents of our thoughts. If we’re obsessed with controlling our lives, making money, and having control, that reveals where our treasure is and the state of our heart and mind. If our hearts are dedicated to listening and connected to the “invisible” that you mentioned, then our treasure is of true value and we can bring that peace of heart and mind to the world in which we live.
I appreciate your succinct explanation. I don’t believe it was ever meant to be the mystery that it’s become. As our hearts have become filled with the spirits of disintegration it’s seemed near impossible to comprehend the simplicity and the availability of purposeful fulfillment. We have largely become disenfranchised from our own information source. What’s needed is a change heart. In my own experience my mind is far more easily quieted, comforted, inquisitive and sharper when my heart is stayed on the eternal impulses initiated by spirits of appreciation, forgiveness, patience and trust in the power of the eternal. Wonderful, wonderful post; well said, thank you.
The heart hums the rhythm of the song of existence, while the mind sings the words of that same celestial song! When in harmony, they create the great music of which the universe is formed!