(The first in a series of articles)

It seems ironic that one of the shortest passageways – from our heads to our hearts -- takes so long to travel.

Why is it so difficult to influence the heart and the emotions with our logic and common sense?

Many times, even though we know in our mind what we should be doing or what we should avoid, we still can’t influence and take control of our emotions in our heart. The emotions get excited and seem to overwhelm our logical sense and we get drawn into things that we later regret. Whether it’s eating, speaking or doing, we know it is wrong yet we do it anyway.

The answer is, a person is not just his body, with the needs and wants of the physical flesh, he is also a soul. Actually, the person is more a soul than he is his body. The soul is who a person really is, and it is his soul that operates and uses the body to function in a physical world. Unfortunately, this tool meant to help us many times becomes an obstacle for the good and progress of the person.

Mysticism explains we all have two soul energies in our lives, the animal soul which animates our bodies and emanates from the heart, and the G-dly soul which shines through the mind, into our lives. So the life wants and needs of the body is connected mostly to the heart and the emotions from which the animal soul gives life to the body, while the power to objectively and rationally think about our purpose and meaning comes from the G-dly dimension and energy in our lives.

An animal acts selfishly, egoistically and instinctively. The animal has a lot of power and strength when harnessed and leveraged by the mind of a human being. The special quality of a human being is in its capacity to be aware of itself, think independently, think in terms of the future, and think in altruistic and philanthropic terms.

A person’s body, alive from the animal soul which flows from the heart and the seat of the emotions, is external to the soul and identity of the person. Therefore, the body is attracted to its kind, the superficial, external, peripheral and emotional stimulation. That is why, if it looks good or tastes good, even if it isn’t good logically, the person who is guided by his body’s instincts is emotionally attracted to these things.

The mind, on the other hand, which evolves and matures long after the body has been around for a while, must send its messages down to the seat of the animal soul and attempt to stop, or better yet, harness this emotional animal operating out of the heart. The mind encounters a lot of resistance, challenges and obstacles. As we all know, after the heart has become excited about something, it’s not always easy to get a handle over the situation.

People say it’s nearly impossible to talk logic when someone is in love. That’s because when the animal soul operating through the emotions is shining too strongly, there is no room for logic.

We have the conflict between the G-dly soul, which is intellectual and thinks objectively and the animal soul, which thinks instinctively and is impulsive.

To be continued.