Falling in love with life can only happen when we understand how Life works as well as our role of co-creators in the Void (Wuji 無極), where thousands of possibilities are available. The supreme ruler of both Void and Life, and the path through which the Void manifests matter is called Dao 道.
Laozi had said:
“Dao is one, from it two is born , from two three is born , and from three the thousands things. are born.” (1)
All creatures are Dao, but human beings have the conscious ability to cultivate it within themselves. By means of self-cultivation, they discover and unite with 'perfection' within, with Dao itself. But what are we all encouraged to cultivate? Of course, heart! The 'Void within the palace walls’.
Confucius had called this heart ‘centre, Zhong 中’. 'Dao Heart, Centre' is not a place, but a presence: the great Void within the human being. In terms of quantum physics it could be called the 'field of infinite possibilities', from which our attention and intention （意）can create our life anew.
It is clear that here ‘Heart’ is not the human, emotional heart, as this is socially and culturally constructed and conditioned. Emotions are not neutral expressions, but responses formed according to the specific cultural and social context in which we have grown up. Indeed, a lot of our emotions and seed thoughts stored in our 'unconscious' make us act and re-act in given ways, regardless of our intention of adopting them or will of expressing them. We often either go along or react to to ideas and emotion coming from significant adults, from movies, school, religion, fairy tales, peer group influence and life experiences. Around them we form our own 'truths' and 'habits', our own comfort zone, and we keep on repeating the same patterns over and over again.
The heart we refer to here is “Dao Heart, Centre Zhong 中”.
This is the neutral heart free from all conditionings and habits.
The ability to reach out for it allows us to get in touch with a much truer part of ourselves, what the Chinese had called 'true nature, xing 性’. This, in turns, fills our being with a sense of fulfilment. By and large, by imitating Dao, we end up defining our ‘I am’, by adding to it adjectives that can make us be whomever we want to be and put an end to the noise of social conditioning and the compulsion of the vicious cycle of endless reactions.
Getting in touch with ‘centre’ or ‘heart’ means creating a new terrain 'soul/spirit 神' in which body, mind and heart can thrive and become healthier, so that we can become more fulfilled and emotionally intelligent beings.
This is the Heart we try to connect to in therapy.
(1) Laozi, Dao De Jing, ch 42. See https://ctext.org/dao-de-jing