The Heart, The Rational Mind, And The Ego

Let the heart be that which is distinct not just from the ego but also from the rational mind.
The Heart
Moreover, let the heart be the name provisionally given to “the knowing with which one knows.” This knowing is unified (there is no dissensus), simple (there is no complexity), indubitable (there is no room for doubt), and agenda-less (there is nothing it’s “angling to get” or whatever). The heart knows no disputes, only truths.
The Rational Mind
Observe that the rational mind, left to its own devices and hence overweened, is subject to endless convolutions and complications. Left unattended and undirected, it revels in dissensus, complexity, and doubts and, all the while, seeks schematic clarity. It likes stories (especially meta-narratives), frameworks, models, and schemas because it likes the feeling of having made sense of the world.
When it is led by the heart, the rational mind is both helpful and beautiful. When it is bred in conditions of “hyperintellectuality” (that is, in conditions such as ours), it is at the whims of unobserved anxiety and thus of the rage for certainty.
The trouble is that, in modernity, seldom does the rational mind know the heart and more seldom still does it humble itself before the heart.
The Ego
Now see that the ego is resistance, and see also that this resistance is revealed in many ways, not the least being these:
  • Angstiness
  • Restlessness
  • Fearfulness and desiriousness
  • Verbosity
  • Dramas galore

Consider the possibility that the ego, as resistance, is driving the overweened rational mind often unbeknownst to the rational mind and, to be sure, not in every instance. (A rational mind dispassionately and lovingly considering a mathematical proof is, then and there, not a plaything of the ego.)

Now who is the master of rationality? The ego. And what, because it dwells in silence, has stayed quiet? The heart.


It must be seen directly that life is shot through with suffering. Some take this to mean that, on balance, there is more suffering than there is contingent happiness, yet this, while true, doesn’t go far enough. The bar is yet higher: all egoic experience is laced with suffering and therefore the rational mind is also, insofar as it is harnessed to the ego in the wide range of cases where this is so, tainted by or stained with suffering.

Consider the possibility that suffering is the pathway through with one may pass in order to find one’s way back to the heart. The heart remembers you because, at bottom, the heart is you. That remembering is sweet recognition.