The Importance of Developing the Heart

Our modern system of education lays tremendous emphasis on developing the intellect. It is also highly math and science oriented, at least in India. Flawless logic is seen as the pinnacle of learning. in all these years, I’ve been honing my intellect to make it sharp and astute. However, In this endeavor, I have become somewhat less human and more ruthless.
Tagore so beautifully summarized this predicament by saying, “A mind all logic is like a knife all blade, it makes the hand bleed that uses it”. The intellect is indeed a powerful instrument that helps us shape the world. But when it comes to dealing with ourself, it lets us down tremendously. This is simply because man is fundamentally irrational. Many of us believe that we are perfectly rational, or at least trying very hard to eliminate the irrationality in us, but the fact of the matter is that we are as rational or as irrational as the other person who we condescend is. And do you know when this irrationality in us exposed? During times of crisis.
Everyone on this planet goes through some crisis or the other – a job lost, a relationship broken, the death of a loved one, an abysmal loss – whatever it is – it affects us all. And when this happens, our ‘perfectly worked out’ world breaks down and we are thrown into an emotional disarray. It is these darkest times that exposes us for who we truly are – helpless little children who wear fancy masks and pretend we are superman. I’m learning to embrace myself and accept my fallibilities. I fail – very often. And the world is really not so perfectly worked out in my head.
What do we do? I’ve come to realize that we need to start developing the heart. No – not like the movies. Not sentimentality. Not emotional displays. Heart simply means letting go and surrendering to something so large and vast. It could be God, it could be the Son, it could be the creator, it could be the universe, it could be the intelligence in the cosmos – it could be anything. We have abandoned prayer along with the Biblical idea of God. But we have lost the ability to be prayerful. It doesn’t matter who we pray to. The question is, “Can we pray”? Or have we become so incorrigibly arrogant to say that prayer is useless. I’m beginning to learn that prayer helps untie the strong knots of emotion, that we do not know how to release in a safe and sound manner. No anger. No depression. No repression.  Prayer, helps us let go. Pray to your favorite God. Pray to the Divine. Pray to anything that you feel is much greater than you. Not praying, simply means refusal to accept that something greater than us is at work here – around us & in us.
Intelligence, therefore is not about how logically perfect we are, but how we are able to manage our lives – lovingly and how we are able to share our love and compassion to those in need around us. Its time to re-educate ourselves. Its time to get back home to the heart. Safe journey!
Photos 2012-01-10 003.jpg
The high ranges of the Nilgiris. 2013.

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