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Tapping into Heart Intelligence

Tapping into Heart Intelligence

The Head and the Heart are separated by modern methods of education and learning. However, in our bodies they are one. We are painfully realising the consequences of separation- war being the most extreme outcome. Our attitudes to nature and animals also come from this dualism and intellectual specialisation. What is needed is a much more holistic or broader view of knowledge and a respect for interdisciplinary thinking and wisdom.

One of India’s foremost and broad-minded new Universities, Flame, hosted a retreat with social innovator Nipun Mehta the founder of Service Space and Vallabh Bhanshali, investment banker and philanthropist. Silence is a beautiful means of universal communication and a simple method of connecting the heart and brain through awakening our deeper soul and spirit. Flame has a state-of-the-art campus and is situated in one of India’s oldest education cities, Pune near Mumbai. It is a new lighthouse of hope with a vision to inspire active learning and sharing. India needs to take leadership in fusing this fictional divide created by British education and science and spread throughout the world.

Heart Intelligence retreat at Flame University, Pune, led by Nipun Mehta
Heart Intelligence retreat at Flame University, Pune, led by Nipun Mehta

Yes, the heart is intelligent too. It sympathises and empathises, forgives and inspires. The heart shows us the limits of pure reason and rational calculation giving vital balance in an ecosystem which is dramatically out of kilter. When a campus has trees, open public spaces and encourages enquiry, introspection and a deep quest for truth result. Anyone who steps into its embrace is touched by the geography and chemistry. I saw this with my own eyes last weekend, and it opened my heart to the possibilities of holistic and ethical education.

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Given the vast choices we have to learn today, it is important that we ask our teachers how they will build bridges and connections rather than separation and exploitation through narrow expertise and jargon. We must also observe what the campus environment does to students’ character and ambition – is it pure fun and intoxicated indiscipline or instead courageous enquiry and community building to help solve society’s big challenges.

We must move away from big brands of learning and seek that institution which fits our character and ambition. Let us listen to our hearts when we choose what, how and where we learn.

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Professor Atul K. Shah [@atulkshah] teaches and writes about Indian wisdom on business, culture and community at various UK universities and is a renowned international author, speaker and broadcaster.

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