The word “heart” is becoming commonplace in usage today, even by former President Obama, in describing where humankind might focus its efforts in becoming a more compatible planet of people. We are all aware that what are sensationalized most in the news are crisis, tragedies, and human failings. The question I pose is, “Are these indicative of the dominant consciousness that exists throughout the world today or is there a ‘quiet movement’ of a majority who ‘actively seek and participate’ in greater human understanding—where it also involves those who have different views, values, and cultural norms?” I would suggest that without an active movement of understanding—in addition to the attraction of “likes”—across the gaps in human, cultural, and economic differences, then there is little in the way of global transformation occurring. The same reasoning is probably true among most nation-states of this planet.
The way “heart” is used in this conversation is that it is synonymous with “wisdom.” I define wisdom as an in-depth understanding, empathy, and compassion for the human experience. Wisdom is a way of being and therefore it is impossible to universally define, since words do not exist in the realm of being, only experience. However, like the concept of leadership, we know it when we see it or experience it, in spite of its elusive nature. So, the question is, are we consciously and unconsciously learning, day-to-day, moment-to-moment, from the experience of other humans, or do we tend to impose our views on others of what we believe? This is a question for all of us to consider, where we believe it has usefulness, validity, or importance with respect to the fate of humans on this planet.
The question which arises from the previous discussion is, “What are the consequences, if any, if we simply ignore pursing the way the heart, as humans?” Some would suggest that such action could increase the widening gap between our development of technology and weapons and our ability, or possibly capacity (AI, for example) to intelligently manage them. In essence, we are like children playing with very dangerous toys, with respect to our continued existence as compared to the level of human wisdom we collectively possess to prevent their self-destructive use. I am specifically referring to technology and weapons that have the capacity to obliterate human and all carbon-based existence.
Fortunately, promoting greater heart in human functioning does not have to be leader-led; although influential leaders would provide a positive impetus. It is really a people-led movement that revolves our individual willingness to engage the process of gaining greater wisdom from those we encounter most on a day-to-day basis. This process is based upon the following statement:
“Authentic human interaction is the most powerful phenomenon for invalidating perceptions we have about each other that have no basis in experiential reality.” -William A. Guillory, Ph.D.
Writer & Humanist
I refer to an “authentic human interaction” as a small act in behalf of someone’s health, happiness, and success in life. When a small act is done with no expectation in return, it becomes a small act of transformation. Each small act of transformation we practice, initially, with those closest to us, becomes an incremental transformation in the Earth’s consciousness—and greater wisdom. The ultimate opportunity is for us to adopt this way of being and behaving with anyone in our living and working environments. In this way, we each play an active role creating a more compatible planet .
This is the introductory conversation of The Way of the Heart to learn what it is and how to incorporate it into your life in the most practical way. Most of all, this movement proposes a way for each of us to participate in our own continued existence rather than hoping we are “saved” by those who have little or no power to create global transformation. In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of each us to do so.
William A Guillory, Ph.D.
Co – Executive Director
The Way of the Heart