The Heart of Stone is a state of consciousness where the "user" abdicates from all his beliefs and opinions, forgetting all his emotions and prejudices.
The Heart of Stone is a difficult technique to use, and only a few people have mastered it. Until now, only Kvothe was seen using it, and probably Ben, as he was the one that taught the technique to Kvothe.
It is used to think about things with reason rather than common sense, being used to think in a more rational way. Because it makes the user able to ignore things and not be concerned about feelings and emotions, it really helps to focus on things, so that when in Heart of the Stone, a person gets a significantly stronger Alar (as he can focus all of himself into the Alar).
The Heart of the Stone can also be used to focus on something, even though it's not true, like using it to believe in a lie, even knowing it's a lie - and thus improving your Alar by truly believing that two objects are one and the same - even if they are not, you are able to believe with all your confidence that they are.
Kvothe used The Heart of Stone successfully to resist temptation of the Felurian.
The Spinning Leaf is considered as an opposite Mental State.
It could also be devised by the Amyr to be able to pursue better what the greater good is they strive for, since it´s hard to see what the real greater good is when your judgment is clouded by emotion. This could be the thing why the amyr became righteos so instantly, maybe they are just in a permanent state of heart of stone.
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