We think about the outer world,
but we feel the inner world.
Life is a Process of Balancing Inner and Outer
How do the Centers work?
Each center is a hub which coordinates and integrates different functions for consciousness and the body.
Each center is connected to the body (the head, the heart) and each center is connected to consciousness (sentiency and universal consciousness). These hubs are axes which coordinate different aspects of the body with different aspects of consciousness.
In the head center, consciousness responds to signals from the body that the body has some need that is not being met. Consciousness redirects thoughts and emotions towards the area of unmet need. If we are hungry our brain tells us to look for food. If we have to go to the bathroom, the brain tells us to look for a restroom.
This process of directing attention to unmet needs begins with physical needs in the body, but then works outwards to unmet psychology and emotional needs. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes how this works.
Our two centers work together. The heart center generates feelings which the head center can recognize. The head center generates thoughts and perceptions which can stimulate feelings in the heart center. We were intended to experience both centers together in a harmonious wholeness of life. This is not happening.
The feeling dimension to life is lacking in our lives. When it is present, it is often not disconnected from the head center.
The result is a human civilization which is seriously out of balance.
The Head Center organizes our consciousness of the outer world
The body is finite. It has a beginning and an end. When we are not connected to the Heart Center, we become overly preoccupied with the body. We identify with the body as the sum total of who we are. We believe that we, like the body, only live once. We have one shot at life and then it is over. Nothing remains. The self-preservation needs of the body become projected onto our life as a whole. This singular focus on the body needs to be balanced by another perspective. This perspective is offered by the heart center.
If the heart center is not engaged and if only the head center is operational, then our experience of life becomes distorted. Our life becomes absorbed by our separation from others and our ambivalence about relationships. The 2020 pandemic is a case in point. Despite being the richest and most powerful nation in the world, the United States was often unable to meet the needs of its people. Chaos and uncertainty persisted. This has become a dramatic example of what happens when our head centers are unable to meet all our needs. If we as a culture were more attuned to our inner world, we would have had the resources of the Heart Center to balance the concerns of the head.
The Heart Center organizes our consciousness of the inner world.
The head center is focused on the needs of the body.
The heart center is focused on the needs of humanity.
The consciousness of the heart is different than the consciousness of the head. The heart’s awareness goes far beyond the limits of the body. It is able to put our individual life into a much broader perspective than our head center can understand. The head is focused on a single life of one specific body. This concern can broaden to include the safety of our loved ones and even our neighbors. But it becomes impersonal when it extends beyond the people we know.
The consciousness of the heart center experiences a reality that is as vast as the entire universe. It recognizes that all life is an expression of the one universal love which is living through each of us. The needs of the individual are important; the needs of humanity are equally important but in a very different way.
The Head center focuses on the needs of the body; the heart center focuses on the needs of life itself. It is not just a matter of taking our individual needs and multiplying them by the total number of people alive. There is a collective identity along with our individual identity. This collective identity used to be stronger, but the emphasis over the last 40 years on individual rights and freedom has weakened our collective identity. We are seeing how this is playing out on the world’s stage today. Today many people insist that they are entitled to their own personal reality. They owe no allegiance or responsibility to society as a whole.
These two centers are designed to work in tandem with one another. But we do not function this way in our culture. Our society is uneasy with the heart. Our culture is very ambivalent about it. Instinctively we know it is important. But we are uneasy about the prospect of letting our emotions run free. Emotions can be volatile and we are nit always sure we can handle them. It is much better to rely on reason and objectivity.
The Head Thinks, The Heart Feels
The feeling in the heart center is the counterpart to thinking in the head center. Embodied consciousness working with the brain creates the mind. The mind enables us to think about and analyze our life in the outer world. Thinking is the currency of the mind. Without thinking the mind might not exist. It is second nature to us to think about our life and to use our thinking to solve the problems we encounter.
Thinking is the process of using embodied consciousness and the mind to analyze the situation and to try to understand our situation. It also comes up with solutions to problems that we face.
Feeling is the currency of the heart. We know about this world because we feel it within ourself. We feel life in the heart. We feel the movement that arises up from the deep inner world and which directs us to focus attention on something which needs our attention.