Whom to listen and follow – your heart or head?

Follow head or heart? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Your spontaneous response probably would be – I should follow my heart! This is what you have heard, read or been told time and again by your role models, mentors, teachers or gurus, well known authors or leaders!! But, can you exactly pin point – this is the voice or thought from my heart and that one is from my head? Everyone agrees that head speaks to you all the time; but does heart also do so or it speaks selectively?

Let us take examples of goons, gurus and gods. Do goons have heart as well as head? Off course they do! If you read real stories of goons or gangsters, they do have compassion, albeit for certain class of people – their dear ones or those for whose cause they have become trouble makers or cruel. So, when they show compassion, our conventional wisdom would say they are driven by their heart. But, what happens when they demonstrate cruelty or terror? It may be convenient for most of us to think that it’s because of their head! What happens to their heart at that time? Does it go sleeping; it does not prevent them to perpetrate pains to others? There seems to be a contradiction! Can heart or head switch off and on, depending upon one’s comfort or convenience?

Now, take example of gurus or even successful corporate leaders. A good guru or leader is supposed to be highly balanced and treat all of his followers or fellows on equal footing. He or she would reject any advance by his/her follower/s to come closer; otherwise, he/she runs the risk of falling from grace like it happened with Bill Clinton former US President, Tiger Woods famous golfer or David Petraeus former CIA Director in US. So, a successful guru or leader would never be drawn into emotions! Does that mean gurus or leaders don’t have heart? If no, then from where come their kind and congenial behavior? Yet; most believe that gurus and leaders work through only their heads; that is why they are dispassionate and even desert their comforts and families for their pursuits.

Now for god; in all religions, Gods have been projected to operate through their meta-physical powers or enlightened mind like Buddha. There is nothing like separate voices of their heads or hearts!

How do we differentiate what comes from heart and one from head?

What we tend to relate to heart!

Most consider following feelings and functions belong only to heart:

  1. Love
    We connect every form of love to our heart; but not respect!
  2. Kindness and compassion
    We believe an act of kindness can only come from heart. Only heart is capable of being compassionate; but being considerate, inconsiderate or impersonate is handiwork of our head.
  3. Empathy and sympathy
    Same as in point 2 above; supposed to ooze out of our heart!
  4. Passion and devotion
    We don’t believe that passion for a person or profession, devotion for god, nature, nation or duties can come from head; it is heart!
  5. Positive emotions
    All positive emotions as above and others like happiness, fun, fervor or excitement have been perceived by us as regime of heart!

So, coming from heart, everything is considered right! Heart can’t commit any crime or mistake!!

The rest goes to head!

That seems to be a blatant truth!!

  1. Rationale and reasoning
    Only our head has competence to rationalize and understand the realities – this is what all believe!
  2. Judgement and justice
    That is the job reserved for our head.
  3. Anticipation and analysis
    We believe these functions exclusively belong to our head!
  4. Knowledge and niches
    Our head or brain is the repository of our knowledge, specialties, talents, traits, information, intelligence and habits!
  5. Duties and discipline
    All ideas about our duties and discipline are comprehended by our head.
  6. Convictions
    All of our beliefs, faith and principles get developed and executed by our head.
  7. Negative emotions
    Our brain (head) also takes the brunt of every negative feelings and/or actions – reactions, obsession, anger, anxiety, greed, gaffe and more!

Does our heart function independent of our head?
Remember that we are not talking of our biological heart here! So, what do we mean when we say our heart talking and we listening? 

Factually speaking, we experience the functions of head and heart only through our mind. Then, how a line gets drawn between voices of heart and head?

If you carefully look at above points, you would soon discover that:

  • We relate all of our positive emotions to heart; but negative emotions to head!
  • We perceive that all “spontaneous but right” thoughts emanate from heart; however, “systematic but right” thoughts and “spontaneous or systematic but wrong” thoughts come from head! 
  • Our heart has only virtues; but head can have both virtues and vices!
  • Our heart operates randomly; but head works on rationale, reasoning or realities!
  • Our heart receives only compliments and credits; but head receives both credit and discredit!

Secret of how heart differs from head!

Whatever you want to call it – scientific, material or spiritual fact is both heart (emotional not biological) and head resides in one and same mind!

There is only one and singular situation, when your thoughts are very appealing to you; those are positive and right and that situation comes “When you are thinking purely in present time forgetting the past”. 

When you think in present but keeping reference to past memory however old or fresh (like a second before), then you can go either right or wrong! This is what all of us do all the time and that is actually our head speaking. But thinking is just present, when our mind merge with current moment, is what we have accidentally come to understand – “That’s my heart speaking”! 

So, it is correct to follow your heart. But, you now have a new perspective – what exactly it means when your heart speaks. It can speak as often as you try! Remember, it is very subtle but gives you superlative power for correct decision making and revolutionizing your life/career!

 

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6 Comments
  • Rudra
    Feb 16,2016 at 1:30 am

    Heart! Let’s see what your post suggests…

    (reads further)

    So, its heart! Anyway, I don’t think the heart or head ‘switches-off’. It’s all about what percentage of one takes over the other. May be the goons use 60% of head and 40% heart?

    Having agreed to your post, I would like to put it this way for myself – head is more ‘intelligent’ than heart. When we want something, we want it from heart. But the actual result, more often than not, is known to our head.

    My heart says it’s a good post… so does my head!! 🙂

    • Feb 17,2016 at 1:29 pm

      I appreciate your considered views and analysis to make out functions of head and heart!

      No doubt, you should follow your heart. What is significant to know from the post is that you can follow your heart every time or most of the time!! Many gentlemen are known to use more than 90% of time their heads and never go wrong or do bad things. So, how goons go wrong when they use say 60% of their heads, as mentioned by you?

      Secret, as stated in the post, lies in the fact that both head and heart (emotional) resides in one and only one mind! When you think in present, it is only heart but when you mix past and present, it is head. Goons combine bad past with present to do bad!

  • Vilas Pathak
    Feb 12,2016 at 8:25 pm

    Yes, listen to your Heart. Others shall say what ever convenient to them or understood.

    • Feb 13,2016 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks a lot for sharing your views!

      You can reap great benefits by developing your ability to differentiate between when heart speaks as opposed to when head speaks. More often than not, people mix up a lot!!

  • Monica Sharma
    Feb 12,2016 at 8:12 am

    Thank you Murli , this particular article helps in having complete understanding of the heart and head not to forget the mind.Rightly said a whole new perspective.

    • Feb 12,2016 at 3:50 pm

      Very aptly summed up and it reflects your intellect! I can’t thank you enough for your great understanding!!

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