Alchemy of the Heart is about feeling — feeling everything to live peacefully. Author Michael Brown acknowledges the difficulty for most of us to feel, especially uncomfortable emotions. His “deliberately designed perceptual journey” explains what happens when we experience turmoil, pain, and unhappiness and offers insights into transforming all of these uncomfortable feelings into living an authentic life, one of peace and joy.
Our awareness , our essence as humans, is vibrational, he tells us, and communicates to the heart as emotions. “The Pathway to Awareness” is from vibrational (our essence) to emotional to mental to physical. The heart communicates feelings to the mind and the mind communicates these feelings, as thoughts, to the body. When we suppress our emotional content, he says, “we suppress our capacity to feel.” This capacity to feel is life, manifested through our mind and then our body. “It is the heart that feels,” Brown says. Heart awareness is “felt-perception,” the “ability to feel the consequences of our thoughts, words and deeds.” The quality of our experience is how we feel about what is happening. Brown asserts that this heart awareness is closed off “between the ages of seven and fourteen” and by the time we are adults, “functions primarily from thought-perception.”
The experience of life cannot be understood as our mind understands, Brown explains. The mental body is where we “establish our belief system,” where we create our “stories.” Experiencing life must be felt rather than understood. The emotional aspect of an experience is the causal point; the mental aspect is “the corridor from the emotional into the physical;” the physical is the point of manifestation. Fear, anger, and grief are “the dysfunctional resonances of the emotional body.” Addressing fear, which originates in the emotional body, is key to dealing with anger and grief, which manifest in the mental and physical bodies, respectively. Getting to “the heart of the matter” empowers us to fully experience life. According to Brown , “The Pathway to Awareness” is integrating our vibrational, emotional, mental, and physical aspects and is achieved through intimacy with all of them. This experience of intimacy “awakens us to what the experience of life really is.”
Throughout the book, Brown utilizes plays on words such as “real eyes” (realize) and “into-me-and-see (intimacy) as tools to help “see things in a different light and understand them at a deeper level.” This “vocabulary of the mind,” he says, impacts emotionally and creates an “opening of awareness.” Brown’s writing is often technical, though the book is assembled in short paragraphs, pages, and chapters. I found it preferable to read several pages and let it ‘sink in’ before reading on. I must admit that even when my mind didn’t quite understand something, I experienced feelings as I read. I connected on a vibrational level with this book.
Joy, Brown offers, is about “feeling everything” and allowing life to just be. It all comes from and returns to the heart. Alchemy of the Heart guides reader to feel all feelings and let them go in order to live in the present moment, from the heart. Allow this book to “inspire, challenge, trigger, and question” your own experience of life.
Donna Baker Church is a freelance writer and editor. Donna may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.