Hearts and Minds Locked in Battle

uk exitI know that what happens in the UK doesn’t qualify as breaking news in America, especially with all that has happened there since we left on June 9th. But having been here in England now for two weeks, I feel I should share with you two things that will have happened here by the time you read this newsletter that will have impacted me greatly.

One of them has already changed the hearts of the British people and, dare I say it, opened the heart chakras of the English in much the same way as Diana’s death did a generation ago. The other one may well have changed the course of history for the United Kingdom forever.

When you open this late on Thursday night or Friday morning, you will know, just like the rest of us, whether the UK is still part of Europe or has cast itself out on a vast sea of unknown direction and uncertain destiny, having decided in a hotly contested referendum to leave the European Community.

One politician who has campaigned for leaving the EU has called it Britain’s Independence Day. (Pity they didn’t schedule the day for the big decision on July 4th. Even so, I’m sure you can relate to it.)

Only a week ago, Jo Cox, a young, vibrant and passionate Member of Parliament was brutally stabbed and shot in broad daylight outside her constituency office after holding a meeting for her constituents.

The country was stunned. Unlike America, we are just not used to this kind of thing. To make it worse, it was a politically motivated murder. Everything ground to a halt. The campaign for and against exiting the EU, which was nearing its climax, was suspended for two whole days and the whole country and the government focused on the loss of Jo Cox and all that she represented. The outpouring of grief was palpable all over the country.

However, what struck me about these two events, one a year long in the making, and the other having just occurred, is how much heart energy was involved in each case but in very different ways. By all accounts, Jo Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two children, epitomized love and compassion. She had a huge heart and shared her love widely and unreservedly wherever she went. She really cared about people and her constituents knew it. Her fellow MPs knew it, too, even those who were opposed to her brand of politics. For the entire week, love was what everyone was talking about. Love is and will be for a long time to come, Jo’s legacy.

The Brexit debate, on the other hand, has been bitterly fought with a lot of what is most unlike love being exhibited on both sides in a very un-British way. Even today, it is too close to call as to which way it might go. Each side of the argument to stay or leave has been hashed over, day after day, all over the country and still we are undecided, myself included. I still don’t know which way to vote, and I probably won’t know until I enter the voting booth today.

But in discussing it with others, I have noticed that in spite of all the argument, all the statistics, the dire warnings, the obvious risks involved, etc., it has come down to this. My heart says leave, but my mind says stay.

I hear loads of people putting it this way, and I think it accounts for why it is so close. On the one hand, the peoples’ hearts yearn, not for safety and the status quo, but for the freedom of the road and the excitement of the unknown. Conversely, their rational minds seek safety, security and the status quo no matter the cost.

For many, me included, it has become a battle between heart and mind. The energy emanating from the heart is hope, love of life and trust while that coming from the mind is fear, risk aversion and desire for security at any cost.

I have been listening very carefully to the evidence given by most experts that if we leave it will have a bad effect on the economy, the strength of the pound, jobs, and all that stuff. I listen to it, and it makes sense to me. I fall in with it. But then something inside of me still says no. It’s my heart.

A great deal of recent research shows that of the two, our heart is more intelligent than our brain. The two work together, but it is now recognized that, rather than it flowing from the brain down to heart, intelligent processing of available information coming from more than just our five senses, moves in the other direction. From the heart to the brain.

This being the case then, I think I am on my way, as I write this blog late on Wednesday night, just hours away from a historic moment, to rationalizing why I should vote to leave rather than stay. Apparently, my heart wants that, so I will make my choice solely on that basis. My heart knows best. It is telling me that the right choice is to leave and to hell with my fear-driven monkey mind.

That said, though, and when all is said and done, what we know to be true in life is that destiny is destiny and whatever route we take we get there in the end. From a Radical forgiveness point of view, then, it makes no difference which way it goes. As Yogi Berra famously said, “When you reach a fork in the road, take it.” Trust the process.

And quote another one of my heroes, Buckminster Fuller, who said that “The only failure is the failure to participate.” It’s the process that matters not the end result. So I will go out in the morning and participate in one of the most dramatic turning points in the history of my native country, Great Britain, and cast my vote. And I might yet change my mind!



19 thoughts on “Hearts and Minds Locked in Battle

  1. Mike Turner

    Colin, staying in the EU is just the same as being” cast itself out on a vast sea of unknown direction and uncertain destiny,” nothing certain about the future wether “In” or “out”. These are all minor distractions form the big issue out there which is ” how do we save our Planet from sure distrustion at our own hands?’ The Spirt moves in unknown ways and this BRexit issue could be one of them but to waste time thinking too much is just that ” a waste of time” vote with the heart. The heart knows best. the mind is weak and easily distracted by fear of things which may not even happen.

    1. Anne Arsenault

      Thank you for taking the time to write this to Americans. We have finally realized that our hearts are so filled with shame and horror at what this country has become that we must stop it. Our Democratic members are now waging a sit-in in protest against the Republican party which refuses to allow the country to develop laws to reduce the mass killings which have occurred. Our hearts can no longer stand the memories of all the people killed. Many of us had stopped hoping that the NRA could be stopped. But the hearts knew better and they are acting now. WE SHALL OVERCOME>

    2. B. Hinton

      Hurrayyyyy Jabadabadoo I always folowed My heart is the thing how brought me to England I fell in Love with a English Gentleman 11 Years ago and are now here since 2008 I am Swiss and we hafe never bee in the EU and it sounded exactly the same as we had to decide if in or OUT , but never been in is different then going out as …we now will ! No worries English ! England will never ever be Slaves and that is what we would be in the EU- Slaves of the German traying to build up the 3.REICH how is still a wish of them ….Frreeee !!!

  2. Linda

    Thank you, Colin. This is so timely for me, today, as I struggle with my country’s descent into fear. Those of us choosing love and forward movement have not been as successful as we hoped to turn the country more firmly away from fear, hate and greed. I have been grieving what appeared to be snatched from us.

    Thank you for the reminder to trust the process. My morning meditation had been about that. A great deal has been gained during this election season and I am encouraged to carry on.

    My deep condolences in your loss of dear Jo. It touched us deeply. It would be like us losing our Bernie. Blessings to you and your countrymen as you approach your vote. 💜

  3. Anne

    Thank you, Colin and yes, I am listening to the gentle whispers of the Heart too. The mind has been so loud and noisy about this issue. 🙂

  4. Barbara

    Thanks for sharing. I’m having a similar battle of the heart/mind, mine in the realm of relationships. Your comments and insights are helpful. Many blessings to you and the UK.

  5. Lynne Lees

    Hi Colin, best wishes for yours and all Britons today making their vote. I am an ex-pat living in Canada, and watching closely to the outcome.

    My daughter and her family live in England, and just the last year because of the ease of being in the EU has had a teaching post in Spain. So I know she thinks of staying as a much needed answer to her mind. My neighbor I grew up with since the age of two sees it very differently. I can hear and understand both sides of the debate with my loved ones, and all I can do is send love to all as the decision is in God’s hands now.

    Thanks for sharing, , it really helps to calm down the heavy thinking, Much Love Lynne 💜💛💚

  6. Vicky

    Just wanted to say that I was very moved by and resonated with your comments. Very well written and said. You speak the truth and I appreciate you taking the time and energy to do that! I don’t follow the news very closely but will follow this process and trust that all will work out for everyone involved. Blessings.

  7. olivia

    Hi Colin;

    I am an American but I do appreciate what happens elsewhere. There is merit on both sides and whatever the outcome, I hope it will be done with the highest of integrity. When we begin to think with our hearts beautiful and amazing creations unfold before us. Be not afraid I say for the heart is King.

  8. BeAnne Lane

    Thank you Colin – so beatifully put.

    Personaly I struggle at times with Mind over Heart… but in the end I chose my Heart because in choosing my Heart I feel in intergity with myself..

    We too, here in the US, are dealing the political fear motivation. Scare us to death to get the Presidency. Ugh!!

    Who I will vote for – at times seems unclear…because the choices are not that great.
    This election really feels like we have lost our hearts…and possibly our souls.

  9. Karen

    I am an english woman who has been living in Switzerland for so long that I can’t vote, either for or against the EU. I could list here many mind-based reasons for staying seen through the glasses of a country midst in Europe and yet independent. Or a little bit independent. Switzterland is, despite not being a member, very much dependent on the EU. But what I really want to write is my heartfelt reason for feeling Britain should stay – PEACE. The role of the political standards set up by the EU should not be understimated in keeping peace within Europe. And ever more important, a strong and united Europe has a great influence on keeping peace between other larger states. My heart pleads with the british population to continue a long-standing role as peacemakers and stay in the EU! I don’t know how Jo Cox argued before her terrible death, but her heart was certainly in it.

  10. Yassir

    Dear Colin, thanks for your honesty and approach to the issue. As you plumb the British psyche, might a factor be that Britain’s desire for independence and autonomy might hearken back to its lost ‘glories’ of its Empire? I put glories in inverted commas because while the Empire sealed Britain’s hegemony in the world, it certainly came at the expense of those who were colonized. In that framework, might we not see Britain’s desire to leave the EU, which as you note in a rational world view does not have a lot going for it, not so much as a desire from independence but to the contrary ,as an egoic opposition to the principle of ‘oneness’, I.e. joining with other nations ?

  11. Kathryn Morgan

    Thanks, Colin. I was deeply disturbed by the murder of your Parliamentarian, and for me it brought back vivid memories of when our U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in my then-hometown of Tucson, AZ. Not all Americans are desensitized to violence. In Tucson, people walked around in shock and in tears that day. She was beloved in her district, my neighborhood. Regarding Brexit, obviously it’s not my call but from what I understand, it’s motivated by fear (of refugees/immigration), and as you well know, nothing done in fear (vs love) works. So personally I hope Britain stays united within the EU rather than separate and divide. As above, so below. Separation and division on all levels is the source of all human suffering.

  12. Magali

    Dear Colin, although all hearts are worth the same vote in a referundum, and at the end of the day, deciding to follow one’s heart vs one’s head to take a decision seems perfectly respectable, I can’t help but think about the human distorsion and abuse it is to have 70% of the hearts wanting to remain be above 65yo, and 70% of the hearts wanting to remain being 25yo.
    It feels like such a fundamental decision about the future should belong in greater share to those who will build it, not those who have already written their page in this World and live in the fear of getting out of their comfort zone.
    I am French, I’ve lived and worked in London for nearly 10 years. It’s a marvellous, vibrant, creative city because of its diversity and ecclectism.
    In short, England is what it is today because of London, and London is what it is today because of its melting pot and energetic migrations. It’s a sad day the one that saw England wanting to go back to being just for the English.

  13. nick

    Dear Colin
    Thank you so much for your comments…l only just read them. As a Brit living on the continent l feel odd now.My brain felt confusion but my heart is so calm and reading the above helped reassure me in my perceptions. I feel this massive step as a beginning to a true end to our crazy monetary system and all it entails. Although l feel oddly displaced l am somehow nearer to my Self now and my initial moment of panic has turned to peace. The events and Jo’s death are so special and l am so very grateful to those who have made massive sacrifices….l believe this, on one level, terrible death, helped open the hearts of the Brits to make a love decision. I guess when a quantam shift occurs we can only let go and give it up to the higher order- as your radical forgiveness work has guided me ultimately to do – and pray to perceive it all with ‘new’ senses. May l thank you at this point for all you have done. I am so truly grateful to you. Nick

  14. Rosemary

    I am English, living in the UK and feel very angry about the result of the referendum and deeply, deeply saddened about the consequences for our country and my children now that we are to leave the UK. It feels like I’m on the Titanic and it’s sinking and I’m powerless to get off.

    I’ve been on the spiritual path for over 30 years and have a very strong sense of my heart and mind and a very strong connection to Spirit. But in this instance, the result was hugely distorted by the mass media portraying the EU as evil and bad and grossly manipulating and distorting the hearts and minds of many of the British public over the immigration issue, whilst completely minimising the massive, irrevocable economic and life-changing consequences that this decision will create for our country and our children.

    We will have no (or very little) ‘voice’ now to make decisions in Europe and have very little political influence in the world and our economy looks likely to fall into recession and create a spiralling decline. Having been part of the European Community for over 40 years, everything in our country will be massively impacted by this decision and all the implications of having to extricate every part of British life from the EU – with very little benefit, yet wide-ranging and damaging economic, social and cultural consequences.

    I rarely feel angry and try to have a spiritual perspective so I guess there is a reason that this has happened. Yet in this case I do feel very angry and very powerless. I’m saddened that people of an older generation, like Colin made this irrational decision, without looking at the economic and cultural implications – and Colin, you don’t even live in the UK now for most of the time now, so you will likely face very little of the consequences or fall-out of this deeply damaging outcome.

    I’m so proud of being English and love my country. Yes, I’m white, middle-class, educated etc. and come from generations and generations of English / British – yet I’ve also travelled the world and lived and worked abroad and enjoy the freedoms and huge perspective and insight that those experiences have given me.

    I feel we are not ‘Great’ Britain any more. We are no longer a world superpower and many of the people who voted out were hankering after a Britain that no longer exists. We are a very diverse, very multicultural society. As a result of this campaign and decision, we are now a deeply, deeply divided nation and the referendum has only served to divide and damage our country irrevocably.

    Yes, we certainly needed reform, but now by exiting Europe, we have no voice and have given power to the extreme right and our country is left without direction, without leadership and we are set on a course of total chaos. I have a deep understanding of the spiritual realm, so this isn’t me talking ‘fear’ – but just practical reality of how this decision will now impact us and play out and the consequences that it will have on every day life for everyone actually living here in Britain.

    We could have had much greater influence in creating a Europe and world of harmony, peace, balance and impact for the greater good if we were ‘in’ and by removing ourselves we have created a huge ‘own-goal’ and left a legacy of chaos, uncertainty that will impact the UK and the young and our children for generations and generations to come. My children won’t now have the ability to study, live in other European countries, or to travel freely in Europe and will have to live in a country that has a ‘small island’ mentality and is now facing uncertainty and chaos and feels very un-United (in a world that’s already full of fear and uncertainty).

    This weekend, 2 days after this result, it currently feels like such an Un-Great Britain and just a very divided nation, with Scotland set to leave and the whole ‘Kingdom’ disintegrating. I feel very very sad indeed about the outcome.

    Yes – we need to follow our hearts – but our decision-making also needs to look at the bigger picture and be pragmatic. As human beings – we were given our intellects and our minds for a reason and so our minds shouldn’t be demonised and we should follow the guidance that they give us to base our decision-making as well.

    In this case, large numbers of the British public have been misled by lies and have voted for something that was based on deception and manipulation of the truth. I am sure we will live to regret this and even those the result is only 2 days old, large numbers of people who voted to leave are already regretting the decision and the politicians who misled them with distorted facts and figures to get them to vote leave are already admitting that they lied. Now it seems we have to go ahead and board the sinking ship, even though half the country didn’t want that.

    We weren’t even offered the choice to vote for ‘reform’ – it was a simple ‘in or out’ decision and nothing in between. Many people who voted were making a decision of huge magnitude and importance with no understanding of what they were actually doing or what they were really voting for. This result will change our country forever, without given us any real ‘freedom’ or benefits, except we get to live on our own little island. Boris Johnson, one of the main UK politicians supporting the ‘leave’ vote said that this result won’t mean that Britain is ‘pulling the drawbridge up’ on Europe – but he didn’t realise that the hinge wasn’t on our side – now Europe is pulling the drawbridge up on us. It’s a very sad day.

    1. B. Hinton

      Ahh I am Swiss and live in England since 8 Years and am very happy with the result of the Vote it shows how little connection the Politic has with the Poor of the Country most can’t even live from just having one Job and need to scratch all they got to pay Bills and be very careful with there spending , this with being in the EU , I have seen England and am quite surprised how poor WE are here against the Swiss just look at the Health system or the Roads, the Trains and the Housing situation …all meanwhile being in the EU !

    2. Magali

      Dear Rosemary,

      I wanted to thank you for your comment above as it feels like you’ve put words in my mouth I didn’t know or dare say.
      My head and heart agree and feel alined with every word you’ve written.
      I can only hope the waste and mess created by lies and manipulation will serve the purpose of helping deceived people come to their senses and unite under a more worthy banner than the one of separation and blame. If only for our children, one has to hope.
      Kind regards,

  15. Jon-Paul

    Interesting perspective, but I see it another way: the central question citizens had to answer was one of separation or inclusiveness. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. To be part of something bigger requires us to put ourselves second to the greater whole. But ego (and the leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage) convinced Britons they’re separate. Ego says, “I am what I have and what I do.” It says, “I am special/better, therefore I am separate.” Mr. Farage and others used fear of foreign immigration (particularly from the middle east) as one of his selling points to make that point as justification for exiting the EU. Is that not a statement of separation? How can we all be “one” if we reinforce borders (or propose to build walls)? How does exiting the EU (or building a wall) make us more inclusive, less separate from each other, safer, or more prosperous? I’m not sure what prevailed – head or heart. To me, both sides lost. It was ego won the day; ego that tricked Britons into believing separateness is the new oneness (evidenced by Mr. Farage’s back-pedaling on some promises). No matter the issue we struggle with, when we’re ready to shift and truly become one, we will.

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