Friday, February 4, 2011

Thinking with the Heart

The ancient Egyptians believed the heart was the source of both thoughts and feelings, unlike in our times where our heart symbolizes the seat of our emotions and our brain the seat of our reason.  In our world, thoughts and feelings are often in conflict with each other.  In the Egyptian world, they must have lived in harmony.  Why can't ours?  That is what I want for my life.  Harmony of mind and heart.  Passion and reason. 

But wanting is not giving to yourself.  This harmony comes with effort.  There must be some reason to our passions, and some passion to our reason.  In the book 48 Days to the Work You Love, Dan Miller quoted James Michener:

The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion.  He hardly knows which is which.  He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.  To him he is always doing both.

What a way to live!  But to achieve that harmony of reason and passion, work and happiness, mind and heart, you have to start small.  Treat it as a career of its own, and it takes time to learn the ways of the job. 

Toward that end, next week, I will try to find ways to put a little happiness into that which I consider my work.  And in addition, I will look at my sources of happiness and see if they can do some work for me.  Then I will journal my efforts.  I encourage you to do same.  In this way, we harmonize reason and passion, work and happiness, mind and heart.  In this way, we begin thinking with our Egyptian heart.

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