You’ve probably heard the question asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I’d like to ask why otherwise good people sometimes think such terrible things. Why do otherwise rational people sometimes think such irrational thoughts? Why do you? Why do I?
You know what I mean. You love someone, you really jive with them, and then, one day, you’re shocked to hear what they think about XYZ. It doesn’t compute with everything else that you know about them.
There’s a philosophy that states that, to live well, you must place your mind in submission to your heart.
But what if the mind is actually always in submission to the heart? What if your thoughts are automatically influenced by the content of your heart?
A heart of love leads to a mind that thinks beyond labels and hearsay. A heart of joy leads to a mind that thinks positive things. A heart at peace leads to a mind comfortable in the tension of diverse viewpoints.
Maybe this is the reason that nice, smart people can think such dumb things and say such hurtful words while feeling sure that they are right. Maybe it’s why we think we’re correct, even when we don’t have any evidence to back it up. Maybe it’s why we have to rely on Steak-umm to give us reasonable, level-headed information in the time of COVID-19.
When our heart — our core identity and the place from which we experience life — has something to say, it tasks our mind with rationalizing and communicating it.
We are emotionally complicated creatures that exploit our minds to do our work. We’re not exactly free thinkers.
What can you do about this?
Look, I believe that we can think well, be reasonable, and use our minds. I just don’t think we can overlook the power that our hearts yield. If you’d like to move forward, it’s as simple as starting to pay attention to the life of your mind. The heart hides well, but, if you pay attention, you can hear your mind snitching on your heart. More on that tomorrow.
That’s day 5. I hope you’re safe and well.
P.S. Thanks for reading this! Here’s a link to an amazing 5-minute video of a handpan player busking in the NYC subway.