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Follow the heart or be guided by the intellect?

Follow the heart or be guided by the intellect?

Follow the heart or be guided by the intellect?

There is an old eastern fable which goes like this.  There were 2 people who were trapped in a forest fire.  Both want to escape and run to safety.  The problem was, one person was blind and the other person had no legs.  They both had their own personality differences and ideology clashes but here was an emergency situation that required them to work together.  Alone, each one was powerless to escape, but together they stood a much better chance.  The blind person could not see, but had the ability to run.  But without the benefit of sight his running was of no use, as he had no chance of identifying where the fire was coming from, where the escape route was and in which direction to run to safety.  On the other hand, the person without legs could see, but without legs, he was not in a position to run.  So by themselves, each had a handicap.  But they had to set aside their differences and figure out a way.  So they both decided to collaborate to escape from the forest fire.  The blind man decided to carry the man without legs on his shoulders.  The blind man had legs to run but needed guidance from the other man to help with the directions.  The man without legs could not run, but could guide the blind man to move in the correct direction.  By working together, they finally succeeded in escaping the forest fire.

Although this is a fable, there is a much deeper significance to this story.  The two people in the story represents our intellect and heart.  The forest fire is a metaphor to the burning and suffering we experience.  Alone, the intellect is blind.  It can think fast, move fast but because it is blind it cannot figure out in which direction it must go.  When it tries to move alone, it is likely to stumble, fall and get hurt.  When the intellect gets hurt with its own stumbling and faltering, it can generate wrong conclusions.  It can make us feel that our life pursuits are meaningless.

Now, there is a heart within us, that can see, that can feel, but cannot run.  It remains in its place, beating incessantly and waiting.  When the intellect understands that it can use the heart’s eyes to see and accepts the benefits of working together with the heart, it produces transformational results.  As in the fable, when the heart and the intellect collaborate and work together, they can bring us out of the fire of misery and suffering.  The intellect has to accept the heart above its shoulders.  The heart cannot run with its legs but can see with its eyes.  So the intellect has to listen to the heart and follow its directions.  When the intellect is guided by the heart, it becomes intelligent.  Then the person does not just become intellectual, but wise.  Wisdom comes through the meeting of the heart and the intellect.

Trust the eyes of the heart.  Doubt the legs of the intellect. So trust the directions your heart is telling you to follow.  Allow your mind to be guided by the heart in deciding the path you must take and the journey you must pursue.

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Sairam Narayan

Sairam N is the founder of Heart Pepper. After a long stint in the Corporate world, he pursued creative entrepreneurial tech ventures ranging from health-care to education. Being an avid consumer of motivational content over the years, he felt the urge to start Heart Pepper as a platform to share inspirational & motivational content and help see life's challenges in a positive perspective, tapping into the teachings and wisdom of the greatest teachers on this planet and presenting them in creative ways.

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