Open Mind, Open Heart

Some people today put great emphasis on heart-based perception. To be sure, the heart is a powerful brain–one of three main brains, or instruments of perception (head, heart, and gut) according to G. I. Gurdjieff, as well as to modern science. But fewer and fewer people today use their head brains as an instrument of perception. They move from heartfelt beliefs and intuitions to conclusions and actions, frequently without the perspective and discernment of an open mind. It’s difficult to have a discussion with people whose minds are closed, since they almost always return to their beliefs and intuitions as the ultimate truth or, at least, as the only truth that matters. One sees this often in religion, politics, and spirituality. It is important to ask ourselves, however, if it is possible to have an open heart without an open mind. Byron Katie, a well-known spiritual teacher, doesn’t think so. She states: “Until the mind is open, the heart stays closed. The open mind is the key to the open heart.” I agree.

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