Each of us possesses four centers of creative capacity that we’re able to draw upon, in multiple combinations, to enhance the quality of human life—as well as to strengthen the entire web of life.
These four centers—mind, heart, body, spirit—fuel our experiences and exchanges. Sadly, our economic system only values and capitalizes the productivity that arises from two of these four centers: what we produce through our physical labor, and what we produce through our intellectual efforts. While occasionally we do draw upon the energies of our emotional and spiritual centers to aid us in our relational transactions, for the most part we’ve divorced our emotions and spirits from our economics.
If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we create less of whatever we fail to reward and more of what we reward. It should therefore come as no surprise that the creative outputs and capacities of our two most neglected centers—heart and spirit—are marginalized in society today. Because we’ve undervalued—and even outright devalued—their capacities relative to those of mind and body, they languish on the sidelines of human existence.
This explains why so many of our systems are failing us so badly. Having only attributed economic or monetary value to the fruits of our intellectual and physical productivity—and having failed to appreciate or adequately value our emotional and spiritual centers and their outputs—we’ve wound up with a society that lacks beauty, artistry, compassion, kindness, generosity, intimacy, grace, and sustainability.
A Divided Society: Logic vs. Heart
We’ve constructed a system that doesn’t appreciate love or honor life, so it fails to support or replenish itself in meaningful ways.
Because we’re born into such a divided society, we’re cleaved in two by it as we mature. We’re informed we have to make a choice between what makes logical sense, versus what feels true. (Should we strive to get a well-paying job, or should we attempt to express our heart’s desire?) We’re told we must choose between what supports our bodies, versus what nurtures our souls. (Do we hoard to protect ourselves from the unknown future, or do we share without reservation and trust in life?)
We’re expected to do the right thing, despite the fact that there’s little percentage in it. We’re expected to care about the world, despite the fact that exploiting others or destroying nature is more profitable than taking care of it. These constant false, highly painful choices we’re expected to make between the rational and objective versus the intuitive and subjective starve us all of humanity’s full creative expression.
As dis-integrated as we are, these days we’re at best a loosely affiliated tribe of individuals who lack any shared sense of purpose. At worst, we deliberately—sometimes violently—pit ourselves against each other in battles of death and destruction. These conflicts reflect our disconnection from our emotional and spiritual centers.
Most people remain blind to the higher capacities of the human species. We live in communities that profess no vision for a better common future. So far, every vision we have managed to put forth for ourselves has ultimately failed us over time, because they’ve tended to arise solely from our physical and our intellectual centers.
A Shared Vision for the Whole of Humanity
Any vision truly powerful enough to activate and sustain the whole of humanity must first emerge through our emotional center. That’s because Spirit ignites and inspires such visions. Because they are the creations of Spirit, they can only be interpreted through the language of the heart, since our heart is our spirit made flesh. Only after our hearts have opened wide enough to translate the visions of Spirit can we gather sufficient energy to manifest and sustain that dream by applying intelligent follow-through in the realm of the physical world.
Unless humanity births a shared vision through Spirit and nurtures it with the energy of our interconnected hearts, we’re going to find it increasingly hard to survive. We’re longing to feel our shared connection with our own planet; to honor the pulsing expressions of our eternal cosmic rhythms; and to accept responsibility for preserving the flows and diversity of life.
Yet until we choose to integrate these vital needs into our day-to-day existence, we will continue to grieve for what we lack. We’ll remain like moles rooting frantically in the darkness for something—anything—that might give us reason to live. With vision, however, we can burst free from that prison of darkness and bask in the light and vastness of boundless creation itself.
Until we invite both Spirit and heart into our shared human community—until we honor and make ample space for what we’ve so long neglected—we’ll continue to suffer and feel the strain of lack. We cannot feel whole, nor can we generate enough creativity to sustain and advance our species, if we squander half of our own capacities.
Honoring Compassion, Kindness, Caring, and Generosity
To elevate our emotional and spiritual centers to an equal footing with those of mind and body, we’ll need to begin appreciating ourselves for expressing compassion, kindness, caring and generosity. We need to shine a bright public spotlight on those times when we honor each other, nurture one another, heal one other’s suffering, elevate one other’s self-esteem, and provide encouragement for one another. Such emotional outpourings connect us. They support the emergence of our fullest human expressions, which means they benefit everyone alive.
No longer can we afford to relegate these outputs of our spiritual and emotional centers to what we do when we have some extra time, once we’ve secured our own economic comfort. Nor can we afford to ignore the way these outputs enrich our personal selves, shunting them aside as something we may investigate, and perhaps bring forth, after we’ve accumulated more money or physical security.
The subjective half of what makes us human—our emotional and spiritual centers—remains vital to human life and its expression. The truth is, we can’t live without the subjective half of ourselves. We’re discovering that mind and body alone cannot sustain us in this world; we need our hearts and spirits in equal measure.
Being True to Our Whole Selves
As we evolve through this crucial turning point in human realization, we’re learning that we need to be true to our whole selves if we wish to be true to this world. Given that our entire cosmos has conspired to create us, and has bestowed upon us these four amazing gifts—mind, body, heart and spirit—it must envision for us some purpose we can’t yet see.
I suspect it eagerly awaits the blissful, self-aware union of our objective and subjective selves. As these twin strands of consciousness unite in a dance of creation, they will evolve our psyches the way that DNA evolves our bodies. Their divine cosmic union will spark the birth of a living, feeling, thinking, and inspired humanity; something our cosmos has not yet seen, but has dreamed of longer than we can possibly know.
© Copyright by Eileen Workman.
Reprinted with permission from the author's blog.
Book by this Author
Raindrops of Love for A Thirsty World
by Eileen Workman
A timely spiritual guide to surviving and thriving in today’s pervasive, gloomy atmosphere of alienation and fear, Raindrops of Love For a Thirsty World, lays out a path to life long self-actualization, and reconnection through a shared consciousness.
About the Author
Eileen Workman graduated from Whittier College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in economics, history, and biology. She began working for Xerox Corporation, then spent 16 years in financial services for Smith Barney. After experiencing a spiritual awakening in 2007, Ms. Workman dedicated herself to writing “Sacred Economics: The Currency of Life” as a means for inviting us to question our longstanding assumptions about the nature, benefits, and genuine costs of capitalism. Her book focuses on how human society might move successfully through the more destructive aspects of late-stage corporatism. Visit her website at www.eileenworkman.com