The Heart Center

Coherence in our experience of our outer life

Coherence has to do with how our experience of life holds together. Our time lived in the outer world has given us ideas about how the outer world operates. We are familiar with the lay of the land. We know where the roads go. We know where we can find water. We know where to find food.

If we have lived one place for a long period of time, we will have memories stored up of things that happened here. We remember where we went to school. We remember kids that we met. We remember our first date, our first kiss, when we fell in love. Our memories and our knowledge of the terrain infuse our physical surroundings with a special kind of meaning. This land helps to define who we are.

Coherence is a kind of connectedness to the outer world around us. The more personal experience we have in a certain place the more coherence that place has for us. Our conscious mind contains memories, emotions, and beliefs that we relate to world that we live in.

When we are in an unfamiliar part of the world, we usually feel a bit more tentative in moving around. Our coherence is weaker and we feel less sure of ourself. Compare this with moving around your home town. The more we know about a place the stronger our coherence with the outer is.

Our ability to correctly anticipate the nature of a new environment is the result of coherence in our consciousness, Coherence takes what we know, what we have experienced in the past, and what we are now experiencing in the outer world around us, and pulls these all together into a context for understanding our current situation. This coherence includes the people we are with, what we know about then, the history we have had with them, and the reasons why we are interacting with them at this present moment.

Something has to pull all of this environmental data into a single context and to shape it in such a way that we make sense out of our experience in the moment, we need the ability to move forward in a meaningful way. Insanity is the inability to make any sense out of our experience of life. Coherence gives us sanity. We become disoriented when we have no coherent framework to hold our experience of life together.

Our head center works well for most of us in orienting us to new and unfamiliar experiences in the outer world. Unfortunately, most of us have not learned how to work with the heart center in a similar fashion.

The head center creates coherence in our outer world, the heart center creates coherence in the inner world.

The ways these two centers work do not parallel one another. The mind is mostly focused on things. We have lots of ideas and lots of concepts about things. Things reflect the material world and the mind is focused on the material world. It all begins with the fact that the mind has to help the body to take care of itself.

The head center also engages with concepts. Concepts are mental ways to think about things. Evolution is a concept about how things have changed over long periods of time. Concepts help us to better understand things. Science is the study of material reality. Science has many ideas, but most of these ideas exist within the context of materialism, or the belief that only matter is real.

The mind can certainly think about non-material things. It can think about love. It can think about hope. It can think about joy. But the mind can only deal with these as abstractions. The mind cannot feel.

Feeling is the domain of the heart center. Feeling is to the heart what thinking is to mind. It is as if the two centers speak two different languages.

When we speak about feeling we are not referring to emotions. We are speaking about intuition. We are talking about a form of knowing that by-passes the mind and goes directly to the heart. Intuition is sometimes referred to as direct knowing because it avoids the involvement of the brain.

The head center is characterized by focus, action, and intention. The head center often operates as an agent of will. The head center enables us to assess our situation, analyze what is needed, set goals, determine a course of action, which is then followed by action in the body.

The heart center, by contrast, remains still, open and receptive. It invites the unknown to enter in and make itself known. The heart center recognizes that there is far more to the experience of life than what we take in through our 5 senses. We have to open up our intuitive senses and allow the universe to come to us.

Carl Jung referred to these as the masculine and feminine functions of consciousness: the thrusting action of masculinity and the receptive openness of femininity. Jung stressed that we need both and they need to be balanced. But we know that these are not balanced in our collective consciousness.

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