Did I ever tell you about the Ragoons?" Aneola asked as soon as they sat down by the fire. "The Ragoons were small fairytale like creatures who weren't very smart. They only had a very small brain and couldn't really think for themselves. Fortunately as with all things in life, nature had provided them with a solution. All of the Ragoons were sort of connected with a central Brain, the Brain that did all the thinking for them. That was alright, said the Brain for it knew the answer to many questions and, if ever there was a question it didn't have an answer to, it had this ability to 'think' and then come up with an answer. So, all was well in the world of the Ragoons. The Brain felt very self assured, being the only one ever to take decisions and the Ragoons never complained as they themselves didn't have enough brains to think about it.
And so it happened that, almost every morning, the Ragoons could watch the Brain parading along the streets with an air of someone very important. The brain loved to parade and show off in the streets as it was rather vain. That may not surprise you as the Brain after all was the one who had all the answers ... and the Ragoons had no one else to turn to anyhow. That is just how it was. If you had a problem, ask the Brain, they said. The Brain knows, the Brain always knows. Oh yes, the Brain was smart. Smart beyond anything the Ragoons had ever seen or heard about.
Beside their own little brain, the Ragoons also had a little heart, a heart which allowed them to 'feel'. Oh, most other creatures in the Ragoon world
wouldn't say it was much
to write about. Only a small heart, barely worth mentioning but there it was ... they had a heart and with it they could feel.
The little heart however, sometimes created problems for the Brain. You see, sometimes it happened that the heart 'felt' that one of the Brain's decisions wasn't right. Of course it couldn't really argue about it as hearts score very poorly in the field of arguing but still, sometimes one of these Ragoon hearts would just 'feel' that the Brain's answer wasn't right. Occasionally a Ragoon would even go to the Brain and tell it about these feelings.
"Tell me about it then!" said the Brain in its self-assured and arrogant way. "Why don't you just tell me about these 'feelings of yours'!"
That is what the Brain always did whenever it felt one of its decisions questioned. "Feelings?" it said, "'What are these feelings? What kind of solutions did they ever bring you? What are they based upon? Tell me 'why' you feel the things you feel and I will listen to you. Come on! Tell me!" said the Brain but of course, never could the heart answer because that's not how the heart worked. The heart didn't reason ... the heart only felt. Reasoning was the domain of the Brain.
"Stupid Ragoon!" the Brain would then say. "No good ever came forth from your feelings. Why don't you just go back and sit in a corner somewhere to listen to your heart's feelings and leave all of your problems unsolved?"
The little Ragoon would then feel hurt and quietly shut up.
This is how it had been for many eons. In the end, the Ragoons had learned not to question the Brain anymore and to doubt the feelings of the heart.
"After all," they said, "the heart doesn't contain the answers, the heart doesn't know!".
The thing they completely forgot about however was that the heart 'did' know. It even knew a lot of things that the Brain knew nothing about and that, the Brain knew just as well but it jealously guarded this secret. Of course, it didn't want the Ragoons to find out about it, did it? Imagine it was to walk along the streets one day and a Ragoon came up and said, "Hi Brain, Nice day today and by the way, I decided to follow my heart's advice yesterday. Sounded better than yours." The Brain got sick in the head just thinking about it. No, no that was something it couldn't allow. Something it wouldn't allow. Something to be prevented by all means!
One day however, a Ragoon found an old book. 'What the heart knows, 100 things the Brain will never tell' it said on the cover. The book spoke about another source of information, another way to find answers. As the Ragoon didn't really know what to think about it, he went to the Brain to get an opinion.
"This book is nonsense, utter nonsense!" proclaimed the Brain but the Ragoon could 'feel' how stressed it was.
"Why do you always get so irritated when we ask you something about the heart?" the Ragoon insisted.
"Irritated? Me? What are you talking about?" uttered the Brain, pretending not to care in the least.
The Ragoon however could feel that something was wrong ... he could feel fear. Yes indeed, it was as if the Brain was afraid.
"I can feel it!" the Ragoon said to himself. "I can feel the Brain's fear and I can feel something is wrong."
Ever since the Ragoon had started to read this book and found out about the heart having something to say, he had constantly been confronted by it. These 'heart feelings' were everywhere. For every decision the Brain took, the heart always had something to say too. The Ragoons however, had never paid any attention to it. The Brain had always told them not to ... but now the Ragoon had learned to 'feel'. Often, when the Brain would tell him what to do, the Ragoon would feel the Brain's 'doubt'. Not that the Brain would show it of course but the Ragoon could clearly feel it. Often also, it could see the Brain wondering. Wondering about a decision it had taken ... or feeling insecure about the outcome it might have.
The heart didn't seem to have this problem. The heart didn't wonder, the heart simply knew!
The Ragoon turned his attention back to the book to see what else it had to say ... but the book was hard to understand. It was as if it spoke in riddles, as if it didn't want to be understood. It said things like '... the Brain may lead you to answers but never to the truth.' or '... the Brain deals with the problems of the physical but is blind for the wisdom of the worlds beyond' ... or even, 'the Brain will never grasp the vastness of all that is, because it is itself only a part of it.'
The Ragoon read and reread the words of the little booklet. Then suddenly it dawned on him. The words had finally sunk in. The Brain could never lead you beyond the physical. It was made to help you understand the physical but at the same time it was limited by it. It just couldn't grasp the things beyond and more importantly, it was afraid of the things it couldn't grasp.
The heart however could reach beyond. It had access to another source of information, a vast realm of intelligence that existed beyond the world of thoughts. A world of deeper knowledge, of wisdom. A world filled with joy and inner peace too.
The Ragoon once again turned his attention to the book and reread the last words.
There are more worlds than just the physical ... and more roads to understanding than the one the Brain will show. Therefore, start listening to the messages of the heart ... and never forget, 'If you only listen to the Brain, you will only hear the Brain'.
The Ragoon sat down. He knew the Brain wouldn't like it. The Brain wouldn't agree ... but hey, if there was more than just the Brain, why then would these other worlds be forbidden for him?
Later that evening
Later that evening, when all had gone quiet and a blanket of peace had unfolded over the world, the wizard came up to the boy and said .
"You know, Shaoni, when people are looking for answers they always turn towards the mind. For some questions, that is alright but your mind can only answer some of the questions you have.
Can your mind tell you why something is beautiful ... or how to create a piece of art or enjoy music or experience love or the joy of dancing? Can your mind tell you how to choose which person to share your life with or what job you should go for to fulfil your life's path? Can it show you which road to follow in order to be happy? None of these questions can be answered by the mind ... but they can all be answered by listening to your heart.
Unfortunately, most people, just like the Ragoons, have forgotten how to listen to their heart. Those who do remember, do it as follows:
first they relax their body so they are not distracted by any tensions or other sensations but also to allow the energies to flow freely. I will tell you more about these energies some other time,
then, they empty their mind by focusing all their attention on one single thing. It may be a point in space or a spot on a piece of paper ... or even their own breathing sometimes. If they don't do that first, the many thoughts that constantly fill up their heads, will prevent them from hearing the voice of the heart, a voice that speaks in a much softer tone of voice."
"And does that work all the time?" Shaoni asked.
"Yes, my boy," the wizard replied, "All the time. Except that at first you may have to exercise it a little. You know, just as when you are learning a new language, you have to give yourself some time to learn to listen again, to tune in your ear and listen to the language of the heart."