The Six Heart Virtues, a Closer Look

When we place our attention on these virtues we are beginning to practice their expression even as we think about them. When we imagine their fullness–their energetic structures–we are practicing them at a new, more potent level. The practice is not just expression; it is contemplation and study as well.

It should be obvious by now that we are really laying the emphasis on practicing the heart virtues, not sitting in meditation for hours contemplating their complexities. However, the material being offered to us is rooted in a balanced approach. Yes, we need to be pro-active in our expression of the heart virtues because the “house is on fire” and action is essential. Later, when the emergency is over, we can turn our attention to deeper issues if that is the direction we want to take. So, we are urged to take our practice into the routines of our living, but we are also asked to spend some time learning our craft. And this requires that some quiet time be set aside for meditation and study.

It is not my responsibility to tell you how often you should study or meditate. If you are sincere about this work and feel it is important to apply, you will attend to those areas of your practice that need improvement. Self-observation and your heart’s inner voice will guide you in the details of adjusting your practice to allow the light of the soul to shine with greater clarity and power in your life and in the lives of your fellow humans.

The paper, “Living from the Heart” contains a meditation exercise called, “The Virtuous Cycle Technique.” I highly recommend it as an effective method of deepening your understanding and connection to the six virtues. Keeping a notebook within reach as part of this practice is important for recording any insights you may receive. I can tell you from my own experience that many an insight rapidly fades from the “meditative” mind soon after the session ends. This is similar to how so many of our dreams rapidly dissipate after we awaken in the morning. Therefore, keeping a journal is invaluable in any type of subjective exercise. You can also take advantage of your personal journaling space at the Event Temples website if you want to keep your notes together. Either way, an emotional self-mastery journal is an important tool to consider.

In “Living from the Heart” James writes:
“I have resisted the temptation to define the six heart virtues in detail, but I will provide a starting point for their definition so you can embroider them according to your own experience and insight.”
James has provided valuable insights into the deeper meanings of the virtues. His descriptions give us a wider perspective on these words; words that I believe are familiar to most people. They are not technical terms, but are common in the sense that most people understand them in the context of their own lives. This is why they are so useful in emotional self-mastery—they are accessible and approachable to most anyone. In a way, their meanings are the backbone of morality and ethics across most cultures, religions, and philosophies. They are ingrained in us both consciously and subconsciously. And because of this, for the most part, we feel comfortable spending time with them.
While these titles or names are like shells of their true meaning (from the energetic perspective) they approximate the manner in which each of us is enfolded with the spirit of First Source.
In fact, my own words now lead me to point out a fascinating characteristic of these six “ordinary” words—they are intelligent fields of energy. Each one of us has been given a complete set of these intelligences as part of our soul’s equipment. These intelligent energy fields are our link to God, or what Lyricus refers to as First Source.

These fields are the energetic equivalents of First Source’s imprint upon the individual soul. 
This linkage has existed as long as you have existed. It is not newly created. Perhaps, instead, it is newly forgotten.
Consequently, our desire to interact with these “words” can be seen as a re-acquaintance with good old friends we forgot we had. From the start, they are welcoming, warm, and approachable. In point of fact they are— 
Appreciative, Compassionate, Forgiving, Humble, Understanding, and Valorous.
But as we get to know them, to spend more time with them, we discover that they also possess a deep, wise, and loving intelligence. We might even consider them to be guides, mentors, or counselors to our souls.
Part of this practice is to see your understanding and comprehension of these names or descriptions expand and shift as you practice and exercise your imagination.
Holding this attitude in heart and mind, I have extracted portions of James’ definitions of the six virtues. A careful reading of them reveals a different interpretation than the traditional definitions most of us would recognize. I believe his ideas provide a vital clue to the attitude and view we must take in order to achieve emotional self-mastery. This does not mean that we must adhere to the exact definitions given by James. In fact, I believe he would never want that. More to the point, this isn’t so much about the definitions, as much as it is about living our lives as soul-personalities instead of ego-personalities.

Ultimately, it all comes down to contacting, integrating, and transmitting the light of the soul—which is the light of love. The energetic heart is the gateway to the reception and integration of this light into our own human energy field, the human instrument. And the energetic heart, with the aid of the mind, is the combined instrument of distribution and transmission of the light of love into the world around us.

I believe this will become clearer as we examine the definitions of the six virtues more closely. After we have gained an overview of them, we can scale them down to the measure of our own lives as we develop our skills in practicing when-which-how.

When the essential definitions of the six virtues are brought together, a picture emerges of a backdrop or framework for our practice. I have assembled these definitions into a table for easier reference.