In a passionate discussion with Professor JS Bamrah, a renowned English psychiatrist, on the state of mental health during the COVID-19 crisis, we came to the following conclusion.
It is clear that we, human beings, need to find in ourselves the capacities to improve the collaboration between the heart and the brain.
An adept of collaboration, I necessarily took this challenge as one more quest to pursue. And so I have tried over the last few months to understand what this collaboration could mean in concrete terms.
First, since I like to use precise language, I made sure that it was about collaboration and not about cooperation or coordination that we were talking about.
So neither the brain nor the heart has to take over but the two organs share the leadership equally. I compare that to two parents with their children, in the context of a balanced parental collaboration, which is basically quite rare in my experience. But we can talk about it next time (as I have become quite knowledgeable on this subject).
But let’s come back to our two organs. It is also collaboration because it’s not limited to the two organs either. Depending on the need, the two leaders can also call on other co-leaders, such as the intestine or a hand, to name a few.
In short, we have all the characteristics of a collaboration.
So what does this collaboration tell us?
Well, it tells us that when you empower the heart, there are risks. In the same way, if we give full powers to the brain, the consequences can be harmful.
At first glance, this collaboration seems very complicated.
But I am an expert! And so I have the solution for you.
The way I have found is to set up a compass and guidelines.
And start from a theme.
For this article, I chose love, which is a big topic for me, because you know only love can win.
Coming from my own research, love resulting from a collaboration between heart and brain, tells us for instance:
- Love is care but not control
- Love is attention but not worry
- Love is greater than us but does not take away what is essential,
- Love is the gift of self, but does not deprive us of ourselves,
- Love is good when exclusive but more secure when it is not
Now let’s take two examples where the heart and the brain don’t work together and the detrimental consequences that can have on love.
- A mother calls her child multiple times but gets no response. She worries and starts to get anxious. When the child finally answers the call, the mother does not show signs of love but of stress. The mother in this case did not follow the principle that “love is care but not worry”. It’s a concrete case of empowerment of the brain. This mother needs to learn to cheat her brain from now on to give the space for fruitful collaboration at the service of love.
- Joss is clearly a giver. He finds his value in helping others. There is nothing wrong with that, except that on his way he found a happy taker. The taker is a bit like a vampire, he will take all the energy you give him. Not careful, Joss finds himself at the end of this relationship, totally deprived of himself. A case where the heart takes over. All Joss has to do is learn to differentiate between givers and takers, and learn not to repeat the same mistake. A way of mobilising the brain in the service of love.
When I tell you that collaboration is the key to everything today. I will continue with this idea of a compass using various case studies in the coming days, because it seems to me essential for the culture of an exceptional civilisation.