Integrating the Harmony of Mind and Heart
[Vinod Anand]

For most of us the mind and heart are at —“loggerheads, and the conflict between L the two creates confusion. The mind, in its objective handling of the material world, is saturated with experiences of multiplicity and separateness, and it therefore feeds egocentric tendencies which divide one person from another and make some selfish and possessive.

But the heart, which feels the glow of love, gets the glimpse of unity of spirit; it therefore seeks expression through self- giving tendencies which unite two or more persons and makes one selfless and generous.

When the mind encroaches upon the province of the heart, it does so by seeking assurance or conviction as a conditional precedent which must be fulfilled before there is release of love.

But love is nothing if it is not spontaneous. It cannot be the conclusion of reasoning. It is not fruit of the spirit of bargain. If you want to be certain about the object of love before giving your love, it is only a form of calculated selfishness.

If the mind is a treasure house of learning, the heart is a treasure house of spiritual wisdom. Mind cannot tell you which things are worth having; it can only tell you how to achieve the ends accepted from non- intellectual sources.

In most persons the mind accepts ends from the promptings of wants, but this means denial of the life of spirit. Like the shuttle of the weaver’s loom, the human mind moves within two extremes, developing the Warf and woof of the cloth of experience.

Development of the psychic life is best represented not as a straight line but as a zigzag course. The opposites of experience are like two banks of a river: were there to be no banks to river, the water would disperse, making it impossible for the river to reach the destination.

In the same way, the life force would dissipate itself were it not for being confined between opposites. But these banks of the river of life are not two parallel lines; they are two converging lines which meet at the point of liberation.

The amount of oscillation becomes less and less as the individual approaches the goal and it subsides when he has done so. In cosmic evolution the subsiding of the alternation between opposites means mahapralaya, and in the spiritual evolution of the individual, it is liberation.

It is only when the mind accepts its ends and values from the deepest promptings of the heart that it contributes to the life of spirit. Spiritual understanding is born of the harmony between the mind and heart. This harmony of mind and heart does not require the mixing-up of their functions.

It does not imply cross functioning but cooperative functioning. Their functions are neither identical nor coordinated. The mind and heart must of course be ‘balanced’. But this balance cannot be secured by pitching the mind against the heart or by pitching the heart against the mind.

It can be attained not through mechanical tension but through intelligent adjustment. The mind and heart might be said to be balanced when they perform their respective functions without erring this way or that.

It happens only when they are so balanced that there can be true harmony between them. Such harmony of mind and heart is the most important condition for the integral undivided life of spiritual understanding.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.