When the heart is closed, the mind reigns.

We don't see reality as it is, it is the mind that determines what we see. And as long as the mind is at the helm, we look at reality from a colored pair of glasses. These glasses consist labels that we stick on ourselves, the other and the world.
Example: the world is unsafe, all those foreigners and refugees take over our country and commit violence against homosexuals and women.

In other words, we see reality through a veil of opinions, judgments, preferences and disapproval, religious beliefs and so on..., so we don't see reality as it is, but as we conceive it.
We are a prisoner of the mind, without realizing that.
And this is not an individual issue (some people have prejudices and others don't), no, it is a collective matter: humanity is not at home in the Heart.
We live from fear and distrust.
Fear of shortage: foreigners take our jobs and houses (conviction).
Fear of fellow man: Turkish people and Moroccans can't be trusted (profiteers and rioters).
Fear of condemnation and violence: as a homosexual we no longer walk hand in hand on the street, because we don't want to provoke others (conviction).
As long as we are not at home in the Heart, we are hurting ourselves and others. We are hurting ourselves with judgments about ourselves: the feeling of not being good enough, shame and guilt etc. 
And we hurt others, whom we label as 'profiteers', 'unwanted' and 'not welcome'.

Painful, because we are all people..., and no one is more or less than the other. Painful to be excluded as a Moroccan, Turk, refugee, gay, female, Jew... and so on. Cause: identification with the mind.

Identification with the mind means that we don't approach the other 'openly'. There is a veil of opinions between you and the other(s).
And this makes it so difficult to really understand each other, to meet each other from heart to heart. 
Consequence: discussion, wanting to be right (my point of view is true, yours not), misunderstandings (because we can't empathize with the other), quarrel, hatred, exclusion, war. 

We don't see the light in ourselves and therefore not in the other: the heart is closed. And we don't realize that we fill our ecosystem day in and day out with all our thoughts, opinions and judgments… 
We don't know better... From an early age we are brought up in the collective field of the mind. It is not surprising that the world looks like it is.

Do you recognize what I indicate? Do you recognize the tendency in yourself to continually value everything and everyone? 
Opinions all over the place...

Do you ever think about the impact of this tendency? The impact of all those judgments that we hold about ourselves and others? What does that do to us and to the other persons? Is it loving to criticize ourselves and others time and time again? 

How do we approach others when we assume that others are our enemy, not welcome? How do we approach others when we are afraid of others? What kind of energy do we transfer to others where they react on?

What does it do to Moroccans, Turks (etc.) and refugees, who are not allowed to participate in society? Is it loving to deal with fellow human beings in this way?

Do you ever reflect on the impact of all those convictions, opinions on society as a whole? And the world?

Well, the Mind versus the Heart.

Example: The polling station.
There is a man of immigrant origin with partner in a voting booth. 
The man wears a djellaba (long robe). There are some people waiting at the table where the ballots are handed out. The man of immigrant origin stands behind his partner, bent over her in the voting booth. 
A man, standing in the queue, speaks to the immigrant man with a loud, aggressive voice: 'Hey, what are you doing over there..., that isn't allowed at all..., you can't stand in the voting booth with someone else. A man who sits behind the table with the ballots, takes it over and says with firm charge: 'You are here in the Netherlands, you must comply with the rules of the Netherlands, it isn't allowed to be in the voting booth with two people. 
The waiting man takes over the baton again and says in a loud, aggressive tone: 'I don't know what you're doing there with that phone on the ballot, but that's forbidden.' 
To which the man of immigrant origin says: 'I help my wife, she can't read and write, and she also has the right to vote. 
The mood is charged and hostile.

Do you see the effect of the mind? The elaboration of judgments and opinions about the other? Any idea what images exist in the man, who is waiting in the queue, about the couple in the voting booth?

Possible images: 'Another foreigner who doesn't behave, who ignores the rules and then decides for his wife what she has to vote, she must certainly vote exactly what he deems good, all women of immigrants are being suppressed, just look, this is what happens here and now, we don't tolerate that.'

And what was the reality? The Muslim man helped his wife fill in the ballot. And the rule is that it isn't allowed that two people are in a voting booth. That's all. 

How would the situation have gone when the collective field is the Heart? 

And that's what I want to end this blog with: the Heart. 
There are people who receive refugees in their homes, there are people who guide refugees in the Netherlands, there are people who give Moroccans (etc.) a chance to participate in society, there are people who take an initiative to bridge the gap between population groups, a gap that is caused by the mind.

Not so long ago I watched a documentary: Nice People.
A documentary about a group of Somali immigrants in Borlänge, Sweden, who were be steamed in 2014 to participate in the world bandy band (a variant of ice hockey) in Russia as the national team of Somalia.
Look at the documentary from the Heart..., in my case the tears rolled down my cheeks. Wonderful to see and feel the effect of such an initiative on the immigrants and residents of the Borlänge. 
Google 'Nice People' or try this link: http://www.moviesthatmatter.nl/festival/programma/film/1881 

Finally, take a look at the way the mind works throughout the day. Observe all those opinions and judgments that go through you on a daily basis. Experience what it is like to live a day without judgments and opinions, to be present one day without preference or disapproval, to experience one day of your life from the Heart, out of compassion and openness. And if that doesn't work, then you may realize for the first time that you are a prisoner of the mind. 
Don't condemn yourself for that..., we are all ignorant of our true nature. 

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes