Enough empiricism, head meet heart.
by jane arie baldwin
Evidence-based experience is all the rage. You WANT to know, you NEED to know exactly, How does reiki work? Why do I get goose bumps? Where does the breath begin and end? There are endless questions that do not have the kind of answers that logic can neatly categorize in your head. You feel as if an experience is not viable if it’s not processed through the left side of the brain and thus set in concrete. I know this because I experience it every day. It is how we are trained from day one on this planet. Believe in a God that you cannot see but everything else must have sensory evidence.
Thinking empirically and needing to know every little detail of function has its downfalls. On a physical level, constant thinking without a way to disengage the thinking process — such as meditating or spending time unplugged — triggers stress, which activates the limbic system and sends chemicals and nerve signals to the adrenal glands. When the adrenals are activated the system goes into high alert, the emotions get activated and then the body’s energy – yes, that part of you that you cannot see and must feel to know – focuses on stabilizing you. See how I just fed your empirical brain the information it craved? Did you feel any relief knowing that? I sure did.
Another important point is to acknowledge the questions that you are listening to inside of your head. Are these the questions of a doubter skeptic? Because if they are, that’s fine. I’m not making a point about what’s bad and what’s good. I’m asking you to become the observer of your thought process. If you sit in one place and look at different things – a chair, the sky, something on the television – is there a line of questioning that happens because your brain wants to figure it all out? If so, can you just let that be without any kind of resolution?
Like a ship in a storm full of sailors hobbling about with knives and oil lanterns and live pythons, your body must focus on keeping the knives in their sheaths, the oil in the lanterns and the pythons in their cages as the sea rages and the boat tosses.
My point here is, your need for empirical evidence in all things affects your health. For to constantly heed the call of the doubter and the skeptic takes more than just your brain to make happen. It is a full-time job for your entire body involving many parts of your brain – the amygdala (emotional center), hypothalamus and pituitary (transporting systems of chemical and nerves to kidneys/adrenals), the hippocampus (center for forming new memories about past experiences). These changes in turn affect your digestion, libido, sleep, yadda yadda, so forth and so on, in an intricate connection of infinite bodily connections.
THE HEAD IS CONNECTED TO THE HEART
Reliance on evidence-based experience has eclipsed the other half of our knowledge symmetry, leaving us out of touch with our own intuition. From the right brain perspective, the need to know requires acceptance of the mystery of life, that you are never going to know EVERYTHING. If you can accept that truth then you can open the door to the wealth of information available by using your intuition.
The biggest shift that using intuition requires is away from the idea that information is either right or wrong. Intuitive information expands beyond known parameters into the worlds of finding patterns, discovering possibilities, and exploring creatively the ideas and questions that are at the heart of every intellectual need to know. Without the additional stress of the illusory right or wrong dilemma, much of the worry generated through the limbic brain that leads to health problems can be alleviated.
Many of us are convinced that we are not intuitive, that it’s a lost art once practiced by your grandmother or the palm reader down the street. I say no. If you have a heart that beats, intuition is within you. It WANTS to be of service to you, employed by you.
What do you need to generate the engine of intuition that is alive within you?
Knowledge symmetry matters because without it you are only operating at half speed. When you bring the heart to the table and give it equal footing with the head you operate as a whole being.