Ten rights of the heart
A rich philosophical discussion is occurring now about the need to rescue cordial reason, as a limitation on the excessive rationalization of society and as a way to enrich the instrumental analytical reason, that left to its own devices, may undermine the proper relationship with nature, that is of belonging, and respect for its cycles and rhythms. Let us enumerate some of the rights of the dimension of the heart.
1. Protect the heart, the biological center of the human body. Its beating circulates blood throughout the entire organism, giving it life. Do not overburden it with too much greasy food and alcoholic beverages.
2. Take good care of the heart. It is our psychic center. As Jesus warned, from the heart come all things good and bad. Act in such a way that your heart is not over stimulated by risky and dangerous behavior. Keep it calm, with a serene and healthy lifestyle.
3. Keep watch over your heart. It represents our profound dimension. In the heart is found the consciousness that always is with us, that counsels, warns and also punishes us. In the heart the sacred spark shines that enthuses us. Philologically, enthusiasm means having an “inner God” that warms and illuminates us. The profound feeling of the heart convinces us that absurdity will never prevail over good sense.
4. Cultivate sensibility, a property of the heart. Do not allow that sensibility to be dominated by functional reason. Bring them into harmony. Because of sensibility, we feel the heart of the other. Through sensibility we intuit that the mountains, the woods and jungles, the animals, the starry sky and God Himself, also have a pounding heart. Finally, we understand that there is one immense heart that beats throughout the whole universe.
5. Love your heart. The heart is the home of love. The love that causes the joy of the encounter between persons who love each other and that allows the union of bodies and minds into a single and mysterious reality. Love that causes the miracle of life by the loving union of the sexes and the selfless surrender, the caring for the most helpless, the inclusive social relationships, the arts, the music and the mystical ecstasy that enables the loving person to fuse into the Beloved.
6. Have a compassionate heart. One that knows how to exit the self and join the other, to suffer with him, to carry together the cross of life and also to celebrate joy together.
7. Open the heart to the essential caress. The essential caress is as soft as a feather that comes from the infinite and, with its touch, makes us see that we are brothers and sisters and that we belong to the same human family that inhabits the same Common Home.
8. Prepare your heart for caring, to make the other important to you. The heart heals old wounds and prevents future ones. Who loves, cares, and who cares, loves.
9. Mould the heart with tenderness. If you want to perpetuate love, surround it with tenderness and gentleness.
10. Purify the heart day by day, so that the shadows, resentment and spirit of revenge, that also live in the heart, never overpower well-wishing, courtesy and love. Then, your heart will beat to the rhythm of the universe and will find repose in the heart of the Mystery, the Original Source whence comes all, that we simply call God.
The following five recommendations that enhance love also make good sense.
1. Put your heart into everything you think about and everything you do. To speak without heart sounds cold and institutional. Words spoken from the heart reach the depths of the people. That way harmony is established with the questioners or listeners. That facilitates understanding and adhesion.
2. When reasoning is articulated, the heart adds emotion. Do not force it, because it will spontaneously reveal the profound conviction in what you believe and say. Only that way will it reach the heart of the other and be convincing.
3. The cold intellectual intelligence, that purports to understand and solve everything, creates a rationalist and reductionist perception of reality. But the excess of cordial and sensitive reason also can fall into a syrupy sentimentalism and populist tirades that turn off people. The proper balance between mind and heart always must be sought, but always by articulating the two poles, starting with the heart.
4. When you have to talk to an auditorium or a group, try to find harmony with the atmosphere that exists in the site at that moment. When you talk, do not speak only from your head, give primacy to your heart. The heart feels, vibrates and also makes the other vibrate. The reasoning of intellectual intelligence is efficacious only when it is joined with the sensibility of the heart.
5. To believe is not to think about God. To believe is to feel God with the heart. Then we understand that we are always in the palm of the hand of God and that a loving and powerful Energy illuminates and warms us, and presides over the paths of life, the Earth and the whole universe.
Leonardo Boff ,Theologian-Philosopher, Earthcharter Commission
Free translation from the Spanish by
Servicios Koinonia, http://www.servicioskoinonia.org.
Done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.