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Chinese Wisdom of the Heart

Chinese Wisdom of the Heart

Early Chinese philosophers saw the Heart as the place where people thought and felt. It was the center that contained Logos and Eros, thinking and feeling. The concept of Heart-Mind, or Hsin, contained the concepts of consciousness and conscience, and it was the focus for cultivating and perfecting the Self or achieving moral perfection. Hsin also means “disposition.” The best-known Confucian writer to explore this in depth was Mencius, a man considered to be the “Second Sage” after Confucius.

Mencius’ notion of the Heart contained four elements. Which heart element do you need to develop?

To Mencius, the importance of the Heart lay in its ability to think. Its thinking was a special kind of thinking–an ethical thinking which established priorities, assigned values, discerned duties, and recognized obligations, “all with a sense of purpose in life–that destiny that is the Mandate of Heaven. . . Cultivating the heart is therefore the highest duty because it has the greatest moral value.” The heart is free from desire and emotions.

Mencius’ notion of the Heart contained four elements: compassion for the suffering of others; shame at the realization that one’s actions do not measure up to one’s ideals; courtesy and modesty which reflect the balance between self-interest and self-seeking; and the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

Read more: Spirit, Inspiration

Adapted from The Heart of the Matter, by Christina Becker (Chiron Publications, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Christina Becker. Reprinted by permission of Chiron Publications.
Adapted from The Heart of the Matter, by Christina Becker (Chiron Publications, 2004).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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24 comments

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8:10PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:46PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:45PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:44PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:43PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:42PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

12:01PM PST on Jan 15, 2013

Thank you.

6:06AM PST on Nov 27, 2012

Thanks

1:27AM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

Thank you for the interesting article.

10:39AM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

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