- Created on 31 October 2011
Conscious Heart is another name for our self, the soul, spiritual being, spirit, Being, the Seer, the Observer. The phrase conveys, in a complete sense, what the other common spiritual terms have often lost in meaning and context.
Let's look at each word of the phrase, Conscious Heart, then the phrase as a whole, to fully understand. We'll start with the heart.
Throughout history, the self, the total personality, the soul, or the core of the person has been stated to reside in the heart. Not literally the heart organ, but in the area of the heart.
The Judaic tradition refers to a heart center, or Sefirot. The Chinese language has one word for the heart organ and another, kokoro, for the intelligence of the heart. The Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Mesopotamians referred to the heart as the source of ability to influence emotions, decisions, and define our integrity. Throughout the Bible "heart" and "soul" are often used interchangeably. Islam speaks of the heart as the source of intention, faith, and honesty. The vast Vedas repeatedly teach that the spiritual self (atma) is seated in the region of the heart.
The heart in "Conscious Heart" refers to this above-defined heart. The subtle heart is the center of emotion, intuition, Being, a quality of attitude, intelligence beyond the mind, the seat of conscience, the core and vital part of a person, the Self.
It is interesting to note that neurocardiology has proven we are heart-generated life. The heart organ seems to have its own intelligence, not completely dictated to by any other system in the body, including the mind.
We have a subtle heart and a physical heart that, while different, share some interesting characteristics, which we will consider later.
According to the dictionary, conscious means "aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc." The Observer Self is aware of thoughts, bodily pains and pleasures, and life occurrences. The Observer is conscious.
The Observer is separate from the corporeal body and the temporal mind.
Flesh, bone, and blood separately or together have no consciousness. Rather the possessor of a body consciously perceives the pains and pleasures of the body. Few people would disagree with this statement. So let's get to where the confusion lies. But before we can continue with defining "conscious" in Conscious Heart, we have to explore our Western mindset about consciousness, thoughts, and emotions, ever so briefly.
We lost the distinction between consciousness, thoughts, and emotions.
Conventional belief states that consciousness, thoughts, and emotions are generated from the mind. We equate consciousness with thoughts, and deem that emotions are by-products of thoughts. It's quite a gnarly mass for most of us. Let's look at same ways we may think.
Those of us who have been focused on a Mind-Body paradigm merged the Self with the Mind, saying, "Mind, thoughts, and emotions are manifestations of consciousness." In so saying, we placed consciousness within the Mind. With Mind and Self identical, the term Mind-Body denoted our "whole self." In this paradigm, consciousness, thoughts, and emotions are mental constructs.
If this were true, it seems to me, that as (a) we are whole as Mind-Body beings, and when (b) we carefully weigh the immense and profound kinds of progress civilization has made in the past fifty years in man's mental acuity, mental control techniques, and sheer mass of knowledge and acess to it, then it stands to reason that, if we were only Mind-Body entities, we ought to be more happy, grounded, and feeling whole by now.
Then there are those of us who have been focused on a Mind-Body-Spirit paradigm. We nearly hit the mark. There it was: Spirit. The missing Self. We'd found what was missing in the Mind-Body state of Being. We had a problem, however. Our thinking about Spirit never clearly gelled. We were inspecific with our terms. We slung "spirit" and "spiritual" far and wide to mean metaphysical, mystical, energy, psychology, sensual, emotion, and "not religious." We largely failed to define Spirit as consciousness, the Observer.
As we slipped and slid on "spirit," consciousness remained within the realms of the mind. In this paradigm, thoughts, emotions, and consciousness are part of the mechanics of ethereal mind. Its no wonder we confuse psychological health and mental progress with spiritual progress.
Then there are those who describe a Self-Mind-Body paradigm. This trinity is stated as a unit, in relationship with its parts, to make a whole: The Self is the Observer of thoughts and perceives pains and pleasures of a body. A unit of conscious awareness, is the Self, which is situated at the area of the heart, as accepted by cultures and traditions around the world.
In this paradigm thoughts are of the mind, they are separate from Self; consciousness is a symptom of the Self seated in the heart; and emotions are an interplay between thoughts (mind) and consciousness (spirit).
Thus emotions can be results of mental or spiritual processes, and difficult or uplifting respectively. Spiritual progress is made by connecting with the conscious self, not the mind. And as the self is an emotional Being, relationships are eternally important and meaningful. In fact, our sojourn in the world is carefully constructed to allows us, spiritual beings, to elevate emotions to their spiritual significance, which can lead us to our inner home.
Consciousness can behave two ways. 1. Control mind and emotions, or 2. allow mind to control emotions. Consciousness controls mind and emotions by seating and communing with itself and Infinite Consciousness in the heart.
How Consciousness handles emotions determines whether the Self rises to transcendence or remains mired in the mundane. If mind rules emotions, then emotions are lifeless, dead matter—a heavy weight to carry around. If consciousness guides, rules, and coaxes emotions, then emotions become spiritual vehicles of expression and ecstasy of our genuine Self.
The Conscious Self that acts from Heart, communes with Heart, emotes with Heart, is the Self that is true to her unique individuality and is happy beyond measure.
Conscious Heart is based on the Self-Mind-Body worldview, but to clarify Self--to avoid ambuigity of terms and errant thoughts down the line--we lay out Self specifically as Conscious Heart.
We are Conscious Heart. The observer who is intelligent, blessed with rich emotions, intuitively connected, guided by universal consciousness, and gleaming with good qualities. This Self needs very little coaxing to come forward in our life, nurtured as it is by understandings its own nature and its incessent hankering for a life of heart.
To move into the Conscious Heart-Mind-Body model, we do best by establishing a direct connection with Conscious Heart, learning the ways of masters on the heart path, then applying lessons practically into our own life.
But it's a process. So, Bon voyage, friend,