In considering the differences between the mind and the heart, the thinking and the feeling capacities, the importance of surrendering the mind to the heart is often mentioned. Sometimes it can come across as if the heart is more important than the mind. Usually, when referring to the mind, we are talking about the outer conscious mind. However, both the heart and mind have their own specific function and purpose. Yet, when anything tries to play a part that is not actually its part to play inside of a creative cycle, everything gets thrown off. I think it is important for us to recognize what parts we have, how they work and how to operate them in a way that works within the whole. If we are operating in a harmonic co-creative flow with the whole, then we are able to perceive what is wanting to be born and expressed from a larger picture.
I believe the conscious mind has a very unique and powerful job because of something called free will. The conscious mind is endowed with the power of choice and has with it the ability to use logic and reasoning to figure things out. But it is also very limited in its perspective—we can only see so much. We only really understand a portion of what is going on, whether you are looking at the big-scale pictures of the world or the little-scale pictures inside of your life and everyday relationships. An example is when you drive on a road, you can see everything around you in your scope of vision and respond to what is in front of you. However, with GPS you can also be aware of what is coming up even though you cannot yet see it.
We also have feelings, which are connected to everything because it is all energy. It is all vibration, and feelings sense into that. We have something that happens within us as humans, in the subconscious mind and heart space, where we run programs like a computer. We learn how to get a result and then we think we have learned how things work. So we create a little equation and run a program to operate by: “Okay, when this happens, then I do this, and this is the way it plays out.” And then that operational program runs in the background automating our thoughts, feelings and actions until checked and changed. We have some programs that are foundational and we add to those as well as creating new ones as we learn and grow. This is the habitual nature and what we call the ego. It is the programmed reactionary response. Some of these programs or habits are productive and some of them are not.
We also have this amazing connection to Spirit and Light that brings a divine identity of Who We Are as Beings of Love. There is information that is coming in all the time, guidance to help direct us on our path so that we are able to be the fullest version of ourselves and have the greatest impact in our world. Higher forces of these invisible realms want to help us learn and grow to see and understand more than what the conscious mind sees and understands simply of itself. Insight, inspiration, intuition—that is where all this stuff comes from. And it is connected to us through the feelings.
When those higher-vibrational impulses are coming through and wanting to inspire us, if we open up and feel into them and allow them to actually infiltrate (in–fill-trate) through the heart into the mind, then that is an experience of seeing with the heart. The mind responds to the vibrational radiation, some pictures come together and new understandings form. This doesn’t happen necessarily because I am thinking about it and trying to figure it out. I am simply sensing and feeling into the vibrations and allowing something to come together within my awareness.
And that is a choice. The mind is responsible for that choice. It likes to get wrapped up in all kinds of stuff going on in our world and think about things over and over. It can be likened to a dog gnawing on a bone or chasing its own tail. This happens to all of us as the circular, busy mind can easily fall into that space if not trained otherwise. So the conscious mind does have a job to do. The job of slowing down, relaxing, becoming still, and then pointing the direction of attention. And that is all a part of choice. Because in a moment, there could be inspiration coming down or there could be reaction coming up. How do we know the difference of which one to follow?
Well, the mind is not always great at figuring out the difference. I don’t think that is actually its job. The mind is pretty good at tricking itself. But if we feel into what is coming up inside of us—whether it is coming up, coming down, it is there in our awareness—and feel into the vibration of where it is coming from. What are the feelings of the energies that are associated with this feeling and/or thought? The feelings can reveal the answer, yet the mind has the job of asking the questions. The questions open up the space to look for the answer. We get in our own way often because we think that we already know, and most of the time we don’t. So we block off the possibility for further knowing. If we are willing to question ourselves, to question our reality, to question beliefs and perceptions of what we think is true, to question the different voices that are coming up, and to feel into the answer… Well, I think we are playing a different game then, because we are operating consciously and using the mind and heart in its right usage. The heart holds the knowing and yet it needs the mind’s cooperation, direction and discernment.
This practice is not a ten-minute a day meditation, it is a meta-practice. It is not a practice where you set aside a little time each day and say, “Okay, now I am going to feel into my feelings and be guided and then I’m going to go back to work.” This is a practice that is applied every moment. It is building the faculty of becoming conscious. We want to be masterful in our lives, do we not? And this time, probably more so than at any other time in human history, is calling forth for Masters. It is calling forth from each one of us, to step up, to regenerate and restore this world, and to be the clear channel of a human lightning rod for spiritual expression to birth in form. That requires us to show up a little differently than we have been, to be more conscious.
I think it is really good to know how to do something, and it is also really good to know what can get in the way. I see three ways that we have choice with how we respond to the programmed patterns that show up in us as reactions. 1) Making no choice at all is still a choice. We can continue to be unconscious and allow ourselves to be completely run by habitual function, doing what we’ve always done, running on automatic. Whatever patterns have already been programmed are just going to continue to run, because you are not really in the driver’s seat of your own life. Each one of us has tasted that experience in some way. I believe that we want to become more and more conscious every day in every way. So that is one choice, but not a good one if you want to consciously cause change.
When something comes up from the reactive self, from the old programming, something that no longer serves, you can be aware of it. 2) You can choose to fight against it. You can “try” to change it. You can focus your attention on this thing that you don’t like in yourself and struggle and wrestle with it. You can stay in that state for a very long time. “Where your attention goes, your energy flows, and that thing grows.” By fighting it, all you are doing is strengthening that which you don’t want by focusing on the energy of resistance. “What you resist persists.”
3) You can be aware of the habitual pattern but not respond to it. Choose something else to give your attention to. Focus on what you want to develop and create, not what you want to get rid of or change. The old patterns will slowly fall away once you stop giving them attention because you are instead programming a new pattern by making intentional choices in a different direction. Choose into those higher feelings. Choose into the inspiration. Choose into divine identity and spiritual expression, by dwelling with those feelings and letting them guide what wants to be birthed through the mind, through the body, through the actions, through the life.
We have a great responsibility and a great joy. This time is also one of the most available times in human history for rapid acceleration and growth. I think that is essentially what self-mastery is about: learning and growth, application and practice, from moment to moment. Mastery is a journey, not a destination. And as each one of us becomes more conscious, intentionally choosing and increasing in personal mastery, so do we also increase the presence of God on Earth.
Gary Goodhue is a student and teacher of consciousness and creation. He focuses on bringing deep principles of Truth and Love into practical, every day application. The results are increased presence, clarity, peace, focus and power.