I did not know what this means for a long time. I will try to explain to you this little phenomenon cause I have come to understand it a little. You may take this or leave it, or you can read it if you’re curious why certain people live the way they live. This concept has been exploited much by pop culture to a point where it seems funny. I also thought like that but no longer, I am completely serious about this topic.
First you need to understand how most people operate. I also lived like this until I realized how irrational it is, although it is called rational thinking.
Your rational mind is interested only in your survival and the survival of your community. That is why this brain circuit evolved. Its only concern is whether you will live the next day or not and how to do it in the shortest and most efficient way. It is interested in comfort, permanence, increasing pleasure and decreasing pain which leaves you occupied and willing to wait for the next day in hope of something better. All of these are impossible. There is no comfort because your surroundings constantly change, there is no permanence because life is flow, only the dead are permanently dead, you can’t increase pleasure without increasing pain, the two are the same and don’t exist without one another.
All of these “ideas” are created in the rational mind. It is constantly working and thinking of ways for you to make things easier and to survive another day without losing too much energy. If you want to notice this circuit in action, notice your thoughts when you want to do physical exercise. This circuit is not interested in your health, your well-being, your looks. You can survive by being a 200 pound whale so let it be. Notice those thoughts and understand from now on that this is your rational circuit. And the way it functions is, it will always find proof for its claims. You will always find a reason why you should not exercise. If you are more intelligent than the average you will find even more reasons for it, this is why nerds are always skinny and unhealthy. If your life is dominated by the rational circuit it will affect every decision you make in life. From what you do for yourself today, to what you want from life in 50 years time. Using this way of thinking does not lead anywhere because survival is NOT a goal.
Eventually you WILL die.
If you realize this, you will want to live life differently and the only way to stop listening to your reason is to…
Follow your heart
Now this might be new to you, it certainly was for me a long time ago. What does it actually mean to follow your heart? It means just following whatever a certain emotion tells you. That emotion is located in your body. You can feel it by either feeling a heaviness, darkness, tension, void… or you can feel lightness, uplifting, light, energy. You feel that exactly where your heart is located.
Do this now, feel whatever you are feeling there right now.
If at this moment you ask yourself a question, which answer you are uncertain of, you will feel how your heart responds to it. If it feels bad, the answer is no, if it feels good the answer is yes. It’s that simple.
Now why the hell would you do what a sensation in your chest tells you?
The usual way of making a decision is a rational decision process. As I said before, rational thinking is based on ratios. Ratios are measured and compared. Whenever you are comparing something you are rationalizing. If you want to decide about something you will weigh the pros against the cons. You will analyze each benefit and compare it with each downside. If there are more benefits then you will decide to do it.
Why is this so bad?
The reason is because you are operating on a limited set of data and because the circuit you are doing the analysis inside always does this in the context of your survival.
Why you’re operating on a limited set of data is a subject for another day. For now understand that your brain has a limit on what it can know. If you’ve ever made a rational decision and then things didn’t go as you planned them to be, this is precisely why. Not because some mysterious force is against you, but because you don’t have that much brain power.
Why is it so bad that the rational circuit is interested in your own survival you might ask?
As I said eventually you will die, not because I’ll hunt you down and kill you but because that’s the ways thing are right? So it is a totally stupid idea to set survival as a priority. You want to survive longer in order to achieve your goals?
The problem is it won’t happen, cause your reasons won’t let you. This is key to understanding this.
For example if you want to be physically fit, it will NEVER happen if you listen to reasoning. Do you see this? If you noticed your thoughts when starting to exercise or thinking about it, you should. If you follow your logic NOTHING will happen. Things will only happen in your mind because you will be thinking about them that’s all. This spans in everything you want to do in life. You may even start to do the thing you want but eventually
Your reasons will defeat your purpose.
Some people just let go and think there is no way out. They conclude by some logical statement as: “I’m not talented enough” or “I have no time”. Bollocks. Fortunately there is a way out and it has been preached for ages but only a few seem to listen. The solution is… in your heart.
I don’t know this for sure but your heart is either a brain circuit which communicates with you through emotions and sensations located in your chest or it is something entirely different. The thing is your heart is interested in your well-being and the well-being of your surroundings, so it helps you in the achievement of great things. Do you want to feel good about yourself? Of course you do. Well this is how.
I write a lot about the rational mind because you need to understand it and then let go of it. To let go of it you must LET GO OF LIFE. You lose what is most precious for it, life itself. This is a radical idea so pay attention. How you let go of life is best explained by these Manowar lyrics:
Stand and fight
Live by your heart
Always one more try
I’m not afraid to die
If you are OK with the fact that you may die TODAY you are free to follow your heart. Think about it. If you place no value on your life and you accept the fact that you WILL die. You’ll see that it doesn’t matter WHEN you die. Accepting death, means taking it even this second. If you do that, suddenly you will be free to do anything, because your rational circuit will have no argument! It can’t rationalize in the face of accepting the fact that you won’t make it. All rational decisions are based on your survival benefit. When there is no demand for survival, but instead there is a demand for well-being and greater purpose, you switch. The rational circuit ends its operation and your heart starts to dominate.
It’s exactly as Tyler Durden said in Fight Club: “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”. In the movie the narrator lost his entire apartment and all of his stuff in an explosion. This was just a metaphor. What he really lost, was his attachment to life. It is your attachment to life and survival based thinking that tells you to buy furniture from IKEA, which tells you to maintain a steady job and which tells you not to pick on fights. Your heart won’t tell you this, it helps you do the things you REALLY want to do.
Now I’m not telling you to quit your job or start a fight, I’m just explaining how this works so you can learn how to use it. It is a tool, an EXTREMELY efficient tool, if you learn to use it, it will give much benefit for you.
Now go and watch this Manowar video, listen to it loud.
Listen to the Heart of Steel…