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Virtue of the Heart

by David Malin(more info)

listed in psychospiritual, originally published in issue 135 - May 2007

Our world honours and values intelligence, good looks, physical prowess and financial success. But what about virtues of the heart: those open, kind-hearted, compassionate, caring and nurturing qualities? Why do these merits not get equal billing as the above mentioned more external characteristics? Granted, we could say that intelligence is not necessarily an external quality, and we might also want to clarify exactly to what type of intelligence we are referring. Some people such as a genius have mental intelligence, while others such as a star athlete, have more physical intelligence and others such as an avatar or spiritual leader may even have spiritual intelligence (being less common in our world). However, emotional intelligence is a much newer concept and less recognized or understood – much as the virtues of the heart are. Why is this? And why do so many people struggle with matters of the heart?

Let’s face it, we live in a material world that promotes the external, and thus acknowledges only the more superficial aspects of the heart. Ours is a world filled with emotional paraplegics of both genders, even though women have naturally better access, since emotions are yin, like the feminine. We acknowledge that our brain does possess distinct areas associated with emotional functions (e.g. within the frontal lobe and the limbic system, including the amygdala, to mention a few). We also note how much more lateralized men are with limited access to their right hemisphere (the creative, feeling side) in contrast to women. Recent research by neurobiologist Michael Gershon MD, detailed in his book The Second Brain[1], would add to such brain finding that we actually have a ‘second brain’ in our gut. This is complete with its own neuropathways and neurotransmitters and is independent from our brain above, and is of course of both under-rated and under-valued importance (not to be confused with men’s second brain). So how does this all relate to our heart?

We can process our emotions with our heart, and we can process our thoughts here as well. Our brain is where we think, and our gut is where we feel. This leaves our heart in the middle to feel and process both our thoughts and our emotions. We are culturally accustomed to both ignoring our emotions and extolling our thoughts, thus causing some of the more important, albeit esoteric, functions of our heart to atrophy from disuse. Our heart is that place where we can integrate and process these discrepancies between yin and yang: between earth below and heaven above, our feelings and our thoughts, our inner and our outer, our own feminine and masculine sides within each of us. Therefore, our heart must serve as the ‘middleman’, bringing our attention to those troublesome emotions from below and attempting to ‘broker a deal’ with that part of us that rules from above. For all the parts of our being must work together as a whole for our health and harmony.

Another esoteric understanding of the heart would reference it as being the actual seat of the soul, the first place it arrives at conception and the last from which it departs at death. From my 30 years of empirical clinical experience focusing on my 12 Chakra System (Positive Health, Oct 20062), the heart chakras are found to be that place from which all healing must occur. This Twelve Chakra System reveals that there are three heart chakras (bodymath.com3). They are the Green Chakra on the left/yin/earth side, being the compassionate, nurturing side offering mother love; the Pink Chakra on the right/yang/ heaven side, being the unconditionally loving side, like Christ on the Cross, offering father love; and the Opal Chakra in the centre. The Opal is actually that place/space of balance between the other two, offering us the grace of divine protection. So we cannot heal ourselves from our head or with our mind without also connecting to our emotions through our heart. Or for those more emotional than cerebral by nature, we cannot heal ourselves by simply being in touch with our emotions; we need to connect them to our mind and spirit via our heart.

Thus to truly access all of our potential as human beings, we must learn to focus our consciousness in our heart. Then from this place of balance and connection with our whole being, we can learn to process the entire gamut of emotions available to us with compassion, understanding and without judgement. At the same time we can learn to temper or infuse our thoughts, ideas, and opinions with this same love, compassion and understanding. In this way we can come to truly know all the virtues of our heart. For this is where our passion is transmuted into compassion, where we can fully experience the heart pulse of life within us and move through all the varied octaves of joy and sorrow that we must embrace as part of our human existence. Thus we are able to truly feel alive as we find balance within the wholeness of our being.


1.    Gershon M. The Second Brain. Harper Collins. New York. ISBN 0-06-093072-1. 1998.
2.    Malin D. The Twelve Chakra System. Positive Health Magazine. 128: 18-23. Oct 2006.
3.    The Body Math™ System of Healing.


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About David Malin

David Malin DD PT is a skilled Medical Intuitive who has been practising in the field of Holistic Health since 1977. David was featured on a television special on Alternative Medicine aired internationally, has published numerous articles in international professional journals, and his new book, Embracing Change, has just been released in hardback. He may be contacted through his website "contact us" on


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