Neo, in the Hebrew Matrix, You Don’t Have a Mind (part 3)
This is part 3 in a three-part series on the “mind” in Hebrew. In part 1, we talked about the differences between the ancient Hebrew oriental culture and our modern Western culture. In part 2, we talked about the concept of “mind” in Western culture and correspondingly, the idea of “mind” in the Hebrew culture. If you haven’t read the first two parts yet, check ‘em out!
Part 3: What it all means for you: Moving from the head to the heart
So great, you say. I got it. In Hebrew thought, the concept of “mind” doesn’t exist, and the heart plays a pretty big role. But what does this all mean for me?
Glad you asked! The fact is, as believers today, we can learn a lot from the ancient Hebrew culture. I already talked about our tendency to over-analyze God; entire schools of Theology are built around super-analyzation (is that a word?). But beyond that, I want to highlight one area that we tend to over-emphasize the mind in place of the heart: the realm of worship.
Now, it’s no secret that the majority of our worship is mind-centered and devoid, at least to a certain extent, of a real heart experience. Wait!, you say. Isn’t that a little extreme? Well, let’s perform a little experiment. Go buy a ticket to your local NFL football game, and compare the intensity level between that and your Sunday morning worship service. I mean when was the last time you saw the parishioners jumping up and down, screaming their heads off like maniacs about their love for God? No, we would rather sing – “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart”, and the truth is that it’s a little too far down in our heart – we need to let it out!
Okay, now please don’t be offended. I think calm and tranquil worship times are great. But the fact is, there are quite a few times in our lives when we live from our hearts: in addition to football games, how about winning the lotto (have you ever seen completely normal people turn into absolute nutcases when they get the phone call that $55 million is on the way?), or a less pleasant case: how about when, as you prepare to lower the hammer with considerable force in order to insert that nail into the wall, the hammer head misses the nail and comes into contact with your finger? Now don’t tell me that you utter up a quiet prayer at that moment. The fact is, we all live from the heart – but for some reason, when it comes to the things of God, many of us have a tough time expressing from the heart, and instead give God a piece of our “mind”, which unfortunately, doesn’t even exist – at least not in Hebrew thought.
So what am I saying in all this? I’m saying that we’ve made the “mind” too important in our Western culture. The ancient Hebrews didn’t even have a word for the idea – they were too busy enjoying life from the heart, living, worshipping, and praising God with all that was inside of them. I want to suggest that if we want to have the kind of life that ancient Israel experienced: the presence of God, national revival, and even international influence for the glory of God, we could learn a few things from ‘em: make it all about the heart, and we’ll all be a little less mental.
Until next time!