Man's Deeper Nature: The Heart.
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
'The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out'
-- King Solomon
I have always loved the word 'heart'. Probably because, for most of my life I believed that I had very little of it; probably because all the men I once admired displayed so much of it...and probably because I always felt deep down that there is more behind the word 'heart' than mere feeling.
Today, I no longer believe that the heart and the head are enemies. In fact, I am certain that even things like rational thoughts, desires, and motives, can be traced to a source that is deeper and more secret than the thought-processor we all have in our heads.
Yes, the brain might be powerful but it does not create. It only processes what has already been created from the heart. And the heart?
Well, the heart is the true self, the real you.
Modern culture has not been very helpful, telling men to either 'follow their hearts' or, in effect, to shut them down, knuckle down and get on with making life work...
You cannot follow what you don't know -- so what actually is in the heart of a man?
I believe that the heart of a man -- every man's true being -- is brimming with desires, qualities, unique gifts and talents, and most of all -- the man's true identity.
Yes, little boys do have a lot of heart, and a lot of hope -- you can see it in their eyes.
But something happens to us all as we grow up...the light is dimmed, the dreams gradually shrink to more manageable size, and the heart is all but lost.
Yet, we keep returning to it, reaching for it in our dreams and waking moments; we search for it in films, books, and stories that lift us from our mundane lives; we look to myths, legends, and ancient stories, hoping to find in them some meaning, some direction, or at least, some relief from the dullness of the day-to-day life that offers as much excitement as the train ride to the office on Monday morning.
Yes, it is in stories, films, and modern-day legends, that we find a glimpse of the transcendent nature of life; this is why we keep returning to them...
* * *
What is it in those stories, what is it in those characters in them -- those heroic men, real or fictional -- whose lives we find worth reading about, worth watching, and exploring?
They had what we hope to have, deep down -- purpose, adventure, and excitement.
Even in the midst of hardship and battle, those heroes look alive, not only full of courage but joy as well. Why?
Compared to our lives of comfort, wealth, and pleasure, their seem dark and dangerous -- the opposite of what we desire; why then do we spend so much time and money to be inspired by lives that have nothing to do with our own?
The answer, I think, lies in the heart.
All men, no matter what they have been taught or how they have been brought up, have a 'higher self', a heart that ever calls them to heights much greater than the times they live in. It was the same for the heroes, and it is the same for those who would never be heroes...
Martin Luther King, Gandhi, William Wallace, Spartacus, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill -- those men were not superhuman heroes, lifted above the humanity of others; they simply chose to live out of that which they knew was good and right...
That which most men of their time chose to ignore.
Just as we are doing today.
Your heart, your deeper self may not be made for the purpose of politics or war; it may not be calling you to help end wars or overthrow tyrants...but it is calling you to experiences, ordeals, and adventures far greater than the safe, predictable world around you can offer.
This website is one example of such an adventure, and so is virtually every new idea that comes against the status quo, the rational thinking of a mind well adapted to the world and its ways.
But the world is not changed by people who don't aspire to be greater than the selves they currently are and do greater things than the things they currently do.
Every good change in the world -- from the abolishing of slavery to the great human progress in technology -- has come though humans who have discovered, nurtured, and stayed true to their inner being, their heart. And if the world is to keep changing for the better, this will need to keep happening.
And no matter what you've been led to believe, you too have a deeper nature; you too have a higher calling.
You too have a heart.
And together, we can help each other become those 'men of understanding' who would not neglect their hearts but learn them deeply, so that, no matter where we are in life, our lives are worth living, and living well.
With much respect,