Listening With The Heart

Listening With The Heart

     In order to “Save the Earth” each of us need to develop a spiritual relationship with the Earth.  To develop this spiritual relationship we need to learn how to listen to the Earth and all that is of the Earth, listening that was very much part of life of our hunting-gathering ancestor.  This listening was lost during the last several thousand years that we have valued what has been called the rational era of consciousness, consciousness that relies exclusively upon our five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  This listening to the Earth now might be called using our sixth sense, or intuition, i.e. listening with our third ear, but listening in this way is listening in an altered state of consciousness whether in our nighttime dreams, hypnotic trance or ecstatic/shamanic trance.  Listening in these altered states of consciousness is listening with the heart.   

  The heart is much more than a pump to circulate blood throughout the body.  It is an organ of perception.  While the verbal/intellectual/ analytic mode of cognition is located in the brain, the holistic/intuitive/depth mode of cognition is located in the heart.  The heart functions as part of the central nervous system in that it generates a wide range of electromagnetic frequencies with many neural connections to the brain.  It also functions as an endocrine gland in that it produces and releases numerous hormones as needed for our body to function in a healthy manner.  Thus the heart impacts how we think and feel, i.e. it is central to the deeper and more holistic mode of intuitive consciousness.  But to attain this intuitive way of listening we need to shift our attention from our brain to our heart.  With this shift of attention our feelings come alive, a level of consciousness that we have missed while focusing on are brain alone while ignoring our sixth intuitive sense. 

     As we move into what Jean Gebser calls the new era of time-free and transparent consciousness we will again be open to calling upon our sixth sense, but for us to develop this sixth sense we need to practice accessing it by paying attention to our dreams and other trance experiences.  This is an important reason why I teach ecstatic trance, i.e. to facilitate the development of our spiritual relationship with the Earth.  I have discovered that during the mind quieting five minutes of the ecstatic trance ritual, besides focusing on our breathing we also need to focus on our heart to open ourselves to a spiritual relationship with the Earth and our spirit guides, a relationship that can again come alive within us as it was for our hunting and gathering ancestors.

Nicholas E. Brink, PhDAuthor of 

  • Ecstatic Soul Retrieval (publisher – Inner Traditions / Bear & Co.)
  • Power of Ecstatic Trance
  • Baldr’s Magic
  • Beowulf’s Ecstatic Trance Magic
  • Trance Journeys of the Hunter-Gatherers
  • Grendel and His Mother (publisher – Routledge)
  • Applying the Constructivist Approach to Cognitive Therapy: Resolving the Unconscious Past (Routledge)

Available from Postmark Books in Rosendale, NY or your preferred bookseller

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