A Heart Divided: The Poisoning of the Spirit


A Divided Heart

The natural motivation for the heart is the search for happiness, which culminates in joy. But joy is based on trust—this fundamental faith in life and in the goodness of life. If the trust is broken, the heart suffers and becomes sick. When that happens, the heart may become bitter and resentful.Thus, faith in people, trust in life, and joy of living bring a wholesome heart, bright eyes, and a satisfying existence. On the other side, the breaking of faith and the betraying of trust damage the heart and result in  resentment. In this article, I will consider how heart may be broken and will relate that to the cause of evil

Building Trust: a Path to Joy

In order to understand how the heart works, it is best to look at the body—namely, at the physiology of the body. Nietzsche makes this very point when he says,

In der Tat bedürfen alle Gütertafeln, alle „du sollst“, von denen die Geschichte oder die ethnologische Forschung weiss, zunächst der physiologischen Beleuchtung und Ausdeutung, eher jedenfalls noch als der psychologischen.
Excerpt From: Friedrich Nietzsche. Zur Genealogie der Moral. iBooks.

–> IN ENGLISH: In reality, all tables of values—all the ‘thou shalts’ that are known to history or to ethnological research—need primarily a physiological elucidation and interpretation, at least rather than a psychological one.

Building Trust

Building Trust

For me, this is an endorsement, by Nietzsche, of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective. The great thing about this way of thinking is that the physiology of the heart is the same whether one lives in China or in Saudi Arabia—in other words, this is a common standard to all of humankind. If physiology is the foundation of all values, then we have a common base upon which to build world peace.

Holy Scripture

Holy Scripture

Thus, in the Back-to-the-Body Perspective we do not go to a holy book to find the truth. Rather, we go to the body. Based on our understanding of the body, we can then explain the meaning of what is written in the Holy Book. This is the hope for peace and harmony among religions.

The Heart Nourishes Life

Plenty that Nourishes

Plenty that Nourishes

The task of the heart is to distribute the wealth of the body. All the nutrition that the stomach has managed to acquire is poured into the blood stream. The heart proceeds to enrich the blood with life-giving oxygen—and this becomes the wealth of the body. The heart, then, manages a distribution system that nourishes the body. Thus, the heart functions on the basis of trust in a promise—namely, the promise that life will be abundant and enduring.

So, the heart needs to trust in the promise by the stomach that the nourishment will continue to arrive. It also trusts that the air will be pure to fill the lungs with life-giving oxygen. A heart full of trust is, therefore, the foundation of a happy life. This is what we normally refer to as a “pure heart”—an unwavering feeling of trust. A heart nourished by trust will be untroubled and unafraid—the essence of mental health.

What is Evil? A Two-Step Process

word_evilTrust in life, therefore, builds the fountain for joy in living. Anything that breaks that trust will destroy joy and happiness. Faithlessness and mistrust are, therefore, the beginning of death. In another article I have spoken about the path of breaking faith and trust.  This goes in two steps, as follows.

STEP ONE OF EVIL: Broken Faith, Broken Heart

Faith is broken when someone accepts the accusation that the parent or leader or friend or spouse is lying for the purpose of keeping this person in ignorance and in a state of oppression. In other words, someone is taking advantage of someone else. The Communist ideology, for example, begins with this fundamental accusation: Workers, the capitalists are lying to you and are taking advantage of you.

When someone hears this accusation, faith is not necessarily broken just by hearing the accusation. Faith is broken when the person “believes” in the accusation and accepts it. You cannot trust someone if you believe this person is lying and taking advantage of you.



Resentment and Evil

Once faith and trust are broken, the doing of evil acts is a matter of course. A person who feels that their faith and trust have been broken will be filled with resentment and will seek revenge. This person will feel justified in doing all kinds of evil acts. There is no limit to the amount and the kinds of evil acts that this person can do. This person feels justified in doing all of these evil acts, because he or she feels betrayed and lied to.

Nietzsche talks about the deleterious effects of mistrust and skepticism as follows:

Aber gerade gegen diese Instinkte redete aus mir ein immer grundsätzlicherer Argwohn, eine immer tiefer grabende Skepsis! Gerade hier sah ich die grosse Gefahr der Menschheit, ihre sublimste Lockung und Verführung — wohin doch? in’s Nichts? — gerade hier sah ich den Anfang vom Ende, das Stehenbleiben, die zurückblickende Müdigkeit, den Willen gegen das Leben sich wendend, die letzte Krankheit sich zärtlich und schwermütig ankündigend.
Excerpt From: Friedrich Nietzsche. Zur Genealogie der Moral. iBooks.

IN ENGLISH: But against these instincts, an even more fundamental suspicion spoke out from me—a skepticism that dug even deeper! Exactly here I saw the great danger of humankind, its most sublime allure and seduction. Seduction to what? To nothingness? Exactly here I saw the beginning of the end, the standstill, the tiredness that looks backward, the will that turns against life, the last illness that announces itself with tenderness and gloom.

Faithlessness, mistrust, suspicion, skepticism are the poison of the heart. This is the impurity that makes the heart faint and sickly. A person so damaged is capable of committing evil acts. These are the folks that will fill our jails and that will leave behind a trail of hurt.

Building Trust, Building Heart

Trust is like a tender plant.

Trust is like a tender plant.

We can see, than, that the fountain of all evil is not the brain per se but rather the heart. Ideas themselves do not create evil. What creates evil is a broken heart filled with suspicion, disappointment, and resentment—a heart that no longer believes in love.

If a Messiah comes into the world, therefore—if a God incarnates and takes the form of a human—this Messiah needs to do one thing and one thing only: he/she needs to love people in a way that people can feel it and can believe in love again.

I conclude with a quote:

The child is a divine being so long as it has not been dipped into the chameleon colors of men. The child is wholly what it is, and that is why it is so beautiful. The compulsion of the law and fate does not touch it; in the child is only freedom. In the child is peace; it is not yet at odds with itself. Wealth is in the child; it knows not its heart, nor the destitution of life. It is immortal, for it knows nothing of death.
Excerpt From: Friedrich Hölderlin. Hyperion. iBooks.

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
October 10, 2014
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

Photo Credits:
Photo:  A fractured heart; Author: Nicolas Raymond; Source: http://bit.ly/1C1hJXZ; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo:  Scripture; Author: Kiran Foster; Source: http://bit.ly/1o3tBYW; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo:  Mistrust kills life; Author: alamosbasement; Source: http://bit.ly/1qx4DLH; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: word_evil; Author: Tim Green; Source: http://bit.ly/1rlavb4; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Building Trust; Author: Christian Scheja; Source: http://bit.ly/ZiqLTL; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo:  Abundant_Nutrition; Author: Udey Ismail; Source: http://bit.ly/1s2Ki4M; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Growing Plant; Author: r. nial bradshaw; Source: http://bit.ly/1tKrUf7; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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