Know Thyself—Track-Treat-Transform

In the previous section we saw that knowing when to engage our practice involves developing sensitivity and a simple awareness of ourselves and those around us. The which stage requires knowledge about ourselves, about others, and about our relation to the six heart virtues. And obviously, it also entails learning about the six heart virtues themselves. After all, once we have determined that a situation warrants our attention, we must choose which virtue or virtues to apply. At the least, it is essential to have a basic knowledge of the six heart virtues.

Even when a situation relates to others, we are intimately involved the instant we choose to transmit heart energetics into the encounter. We can say that quantum entanglement is occurring. Consequently, it is crucial that we learn as much about ourselves as possible. In doing so, we gain invaluable knowledge about our attitudes and behaviors, and our strengths and weaknesses. This is a learning process on the path of emotional self-mastery. The “Living from the Heart” paper explains this with three words: track, treat, and transform.

Track means that the individual can self-report their progress on the six heart virtues over time and track their ups and downs, and see their self-mastery growing against the backdrop of time. 
Treat means that the individual – while tracking their progress – can see when they hit a snag or vexing problem that takes them off course and then treat this issue like a physician treats a wound or illness. The treatment, in this case, is not a reward, but rather a solution or remedy to a problem or emotional misstep. 
Transform is the result of tracking and treating along this journey and seeing how you are transformed into a self-empowered, spiritually vibrant person.

From this description it is interesting to note that the when-which-how practice is nested within the Treat portion of these three steps. When we identify a need for applying the heart virtues, and choose which virtues to apply, and we finally decide how to apply them, we are actually treating a situation or encounter. Over time, we can track our progress and observe our transformation. (A dynamic tracking system is available to you when you register at

Note that although this system is concentrated on our own progress, it is also a gauge of our effectiveness in treating others. Ultimately, you and “the others” are linked because we are all swimming in the same pool of emotions. This is the basis of our individual human energetic field’s (IHEF) contribution to the collective human energetic field (CHEF). The sliding scale of our individual practice, inevitably affects the sliding scale of our contribution to the collective.

Before taking a closer look at the six heart virtues, I want to give a simple example of how we can work with the virtues in relation to our own life situations. We can perform a simple exercise by asking ourselves two questions:

1. Which virtue do I feel most attuned to?
2. Which virtue do I feel least attuned to?

The answers to these two questions can be thought of as the establishment of a baseline in the initial stage of tracking. For example, if you feel most attuned to appreciation, how do you interpret this in relation to your life experience? Appendix A provides brief descriptions of the six virtues. Appreciation is described in two ways. The first description is at a global, collective level and the second is at a personal level.

Applying the first description suggests a deep sense of connection to all things and a decentralized sense of self. We can look at the world around us and experience a feeling of awe and wonder at the beautiful and intricate interaction of life at myriad levels, from microscopic atomic particle to galaxies spinning in the vastness of space. There is a feeling of joy in the very fact that all of this is happening at this very instant and that we are conscious, alive, and experiencing it.

At the personal level we feel a deep resonance with family and friends. There is a warm and loving feeling brought to mind and heart of the multi-faceted personality traits we enjoy so much about the souls who share this time and space with us. There is a mystery about why we have been brought together, where we came from, and, if one believes in reincarnation, how we have known one another in the past. In all this lies an appreciation of a larger design of soul connection beyond our ability to comprehend, but wondrous in its own way.

Continuing our example, let’s say that the virtue we feel least attuned to is forgiveness. What do we feel when this word comes into our minds and hearts? It is here, in the “areas of lesser connection” where we must be honest with ourselves. We must be able to bring our feelings and thoughts into awareness and examine the reasons particular virtues are “weaker” than others. We can learn much about ourselves in this way.

Forgiveness is related to time. It doesn’t require much brainpower to figure out that when we fail to forgive, we are freezing all the persons involved (including ourselves) in a timeframe at the point where we were wronged. We are creating a personal spacetime reality that we lock ourselves (and the images of others) into every time we reenact the incident in which someone wronged us.

As mentioned earlier, the soul and heart operate outside spacetime, so as long as we cannot forgive, we cannot access the heart, and by default, cannot contact the soul and tap into its wisdom. We are locking ourselves out. Often, if we examine this situation more deeply, we may discover that we actually enjoy jumping in our time machines and revisiting these holograms of the past. We may, in fact, be addicted to the negative emotions attached to these past occurrences.

The main point of this exercise is to identify our strengths and weaknesses in relation to the six virtues because they are metaphorical barometers of our accumulated life experiences. They signal the lines of least resistance in our ego-personalities. If a particular virtue creates a sense of blockage or discomfort in your mental/emotional field, it is a valuable clue that can lead you back to the initiating cause of the blockage. On the other hand, you may feel a deep resonance for a particular virtue and this line of least resistance can also be traced back to its roots and yield important information that can shed light on your entire practice.

Our internal reactions to these six virtues can be tracked over time giving us an overview of our ego-personality landscape. Tracking this subjective landscape reveals attitudinal and behavioral patterns that contribute to the unbalanced and chaotic world of the ego-personality. Tracking gives us the information we need to treat and transform these restricting patterns. When-which-how are the landscaping tools we use for cultivating, sculpting, and beautifying our subjective territory; transforming it into a harmonious and healing environment. The experience and knowledge we gain from working at our own transformation will, in turn, aid us greatly in helping others. Obviously, we must be able to help ourselves before we can help others.

The best way to learn about the six virtues is to work with them. We don’t have to be perfect masters in order to begin our practice. It is called a practice because we learn through practice itself. We don’t have to pass a test to begin our work because the “passing” is in the “doing.” Keeping this in mind, we still require some understanding of the six heart virtues to initiate the when-which-how practice. To this end, let’s look more closely at the definitions of the virtues given to us in “Living from the Heart.”