We think too much. We feel a lot less these days, and what we feel is really not a good feeling usually. Every day, the news seems to get worse. News sites, Facebook feeds and Twitter…there is no relief from the relentless drumbeat of hate, intolerance, anger, fear and jealousy. A hate sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day; no wonder our appetite for life shrinks every day.
Humans are thinking creatures, but within our generation computers and Artificial Intelligence will think better than we can. There is no turning back. Our humanity cannot be defined by our ability to do math, or remember words and numbers. We were better than animals lower in the evolutionary step-ladder, but we are much much worse than what is coming ahead. We are not merely thinking and computing machines.
We feel alive. We are feeling creatures. We live in our hearts. We love in our hearts. Except we have forgotten how to.
Thirty Days Hath September. I’m laying out 30 practices for a full life in this month. It’s day 4.
To live fully again, we must find a way to open our hearts again. That “technology” exists, and all traditional cultures know this. Clues are hidden in our language as well. It just takes not even a little digging to find the language of the heart.
The heart does not feel in words. Our feelings are named and categorized by the conscious mind. The name of the feeling is not the feeling itself. Maybe the language of poetry gets a little closer. When poets talk about a heavy heart, or a broken heart, they are not referring to the physical organ in the left side of the chest. When they sing of light-hearted flirtation, or a lion-hearted leader, or how crying relieves an aching heart…they are referring to the feeling heart. This heart has a physical location.
अनाहत anahata (unstuck)
We yogis call it the Anahata Chakra (the wheel of the unstruck drum) and it’s located in the center of the chest. The same place that has a heavy feeling when you are saying farewell to a loved one. The same place that leaps for joy when you come home after months of being away. The same place where longing lives. You know where it is, even though you may not have gone there much lately.
There are ways to open the heart. Later this month I will talk about some of these.
But first, we must learn to stop mis-identifying ourselves as our brain. We are not merely an embodied brain, as most of us have trained ourselves to believe. Our “me” usually is located in the brain cage somewhere. We are embodied love– don’t cringe at the new-age sounding turn of phrase, it’s better understood when you can understand the language of the heart.
The news cycle is designed to move us by manipulating us with fear and anger. Don’t let the news cycle be your only window into the world. The world isn’t falling apart, and every day there are miracles all around us. The fact that we are alive itself is a miracle— think of the countless sperm that didn’t make it into you, but you did. There is goodness everywhere, and so long as we balance the diet of hate sandwiches with the ever-flowing sweet dessert of love, we will be just fine.
We are embodied love. How does that make you feel?