The Avenues to Understanding – Conflict between mind and heart

As contrasted with the method of the mind-which has its foundation in sensations and proceeds through inference and proofs to conclusions-there is the more direct method of the heart. The heart intuitively grasps the values that are progressively realized in the life of an individual as he goes through the diverse experiences of the world, and as his attention is centered on arriving at spiritual understanding. In the life of most persons the mind and the heart are at loggerheads, and the conflict between the two creates confusion.

The heart, which in its own way feels the unity of life, wants to fulfill itself through a life of love, sacrifice, and service. It is keen about giving instead of taking. It derives its driving power from the inmost spiritual urge, expressing itself through the immediate intuitions of the inner life. It does not care about the proofs or intellectual corroborations that the mind seeks while dealing with material objects. In its objective handling of the material world, mind is saturated with experiences of multiplicity and separateness and therefore feeds the egocentric tendencies that divide humanity and make it selfish and possessive. But the heart, feeling in its inner experiences the glow of love, has glimpses of the unity of the spirit and thus seeks expression through self-giving tendencies that unite humanity and make it selfless and generous. Therefore, there is necessarily a conflict between
the inner voice and the deliverances of the intellect, which are based upon the apparent and superficial aspects of life.

– Discourses 7th Ed. p95

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