Where Body-&-Mind Meet

“Philosophy consists in keeping the guardian spirit within us unviolated and unharmed, master of pleasure and pain, doing nothing in a random manner and nothing with falseness or pretence” – Marcus Aurelius

It is one thing to say what we want but another matter to actually follow through with it. Regularly exercising our will helps to fortify our ability to take charge. So it’s important to keep our ruling centre unobstructed.

For the ancient Stoic philosophers – who I dearly appreciate for widening our understanding of ethics and cognitive theory – it was believed that the intellect (guardian spirit) resided in the heart. The modern man can scoff at this easy enough, but what if the heart actually plays a significant role in the way we make decisions.

During the making of Canada the chiefs of the various native tribes met with political leaders in Ottawa to discuss how best to live in harmony, such proceedings commenced with long periods of silence. This age old, or what some might argue universal approach to entering into discussion, was helpful in clearing the mind so as to better understand what was at stake.

Watering the soil of creative imagination allows the intellect to sync up with the heart, enabling our conscience to take root, so that we might connect with others in a more genuine way. By calming mental-&-bodily disturbances we are better ‘able’ to enter into discussion. Yet to be more ‘equipped’ for authentic dialogue, we need to come to terms with the primary principles that allow for cooperation.

The group conscience can be preserved through honest exchange in view to the common good. Our conscience, as in our deep rooted awareness of shared experiential knowledge, belongs to the heart of the people; i.e., intrinsic to our human nature resides the capacity to get along without harming nature or ourselves. Knowing in our heart of hearts that we all share a part in shaping the world at large, we need to temper our words with heartfelt consideration.

So how do we truly ‘hear’ one another in view to discovering third alternatives? We can begin by adding the letter ‘t’ to the end of the word ‘hear’. With a little heart we can soften the rigid effects that words impose upon us, thus remove the heavily sordid chains that keep us ensnared. With this small act of sincerity we can gradually open the way for more free flowing communication and win/win agreements.

This line of thought brings us back to home base, that mutually beneficial space, by which we can obtain concord and grace. In this spirit let us begin anew by asking ourselves this question: What might be the primary principles that we can all agree upon in order to thrive? Feel free to share your reflections in the comment section below.

About Jason Youngman

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
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15 Responses to Where Body-&-Mind Meet

  1. Sally says:

    Great post, Jason.
    I lived for a while in an Ojibway community, doing some research.
    What impressed me was the long periods of silence that occurred when community members got together to discuss matters . My time there taught me to appreciate silence. 🤗⚘

    • Interesting and insightful! What was your research on?

      • Sally says:

        I was looking at preferred learning styles of native people.
        The theory is that aboriginal individuals prefer a learning style that is highly visual, rather than auditory. We know that, unfortunately, much traditional teaching uses an auditory approach ( with the teacher talking) 🤔.
        This often does not meet the needs of highly visual learners.
        This was through the P.E.N.T. program, (Program for the Education of Native Teachers).

      • My respect has gone up through the roof into the clouds soft and puffy while plunging my hand through a blood red crimson so as to paint the sky with gratitude and love for you. =)

  2. Anna says:

    Love this. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of “heart.” One of my Twitter handles is @heartofdata. You know the saying, “They wear their heart on their sleeve…” But professionally, it seems a part of me views “heart” as the enemy. It is difficult to accept that despite my best efforts, “heart” eventually trumps my intent to make logical decisions that can be explained from point A to point B. And then, I also noticed that “heart” means different things to different people. Sometimes, from the bottom of my heart, my intent was pure, but was still perceived negatively. Why does this happen? There must be a reason we eventually grow up, but I do miss my innocence. By the way, have you written anymore of the professor story you posted a while back?

    • Thanks! The heart can certainly be a source of confusion eh. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ Still waiting for a second wind on the professor story. Will drop by your website soon.

  3. I love the wordplay you suggest. Adding ‘t’ to ‘hear.’ As I read your post, I thought about empathy as a connection to other people, but when you suggest adding more heart to the matter, it becomes more about compassion than empathy, in my opinion. Food for thought this morning. Thank you.

  4. First let me share with you that the old Chinese alocated the mind, soul and spirit (Shen) in the hearth, as did the old Egyptians too. Sitting in silence builds coherence in the new holon.
    I would suggest the unconditional positive regard for others as the primary principle 🙂

  5. I have to add that you managed in a few words to get to the core of things 🙂

  6. inese says:

    Great article! Act on your principles, not your moods:) Gotta love stoicism. My vote goes for heart:)

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