In Part One we reflected on the heart as a remarkable organ of connectivity, caring and compassion that pumps and circulates the lifeblood of Love throughout the whole of the living Ecosystem of Self.
We named the heart as a terrestrial hearth that can safely house the heavenly Fire of Love – enabling the radiance of the One Life to shine and illumine the dark places of the human psyche. By so doing, we each become activated fractals of the One – that omniscient, all-encompassing and limitless Life that constitutes the true indescribable Radiant Heart of Being.
We also examined the nature and prevalence of pain and suffering and how it appears that inside this earthly classroom, the chosen pedagogical approach entails transforming these base elements into the gold of joy and wisdom through the grind and alchemical process of daily life. In the same way that a pearl is formed over time inside the oyster as a result of irritation, our life on this planet (aptly named the Blue Pearl in the Wisdom Teachings), is a magical journey of fashioning pearls of wisdom by overcoming and utilizing the irritants of daily experience.
The Agni Yoga teaching sums it up in the following manner:
“How, then, can the heart realize all the beauty of Existence if has not penetrated into all the joys and sorrows of life.? Thus it is that often, reading the Book of Lives, the heart trembles, but then the tear of suffering is transmuted into a pearl. The more fiery the heart, the greater the joys and the sufferings…” Fiery World III – 208.
In Part Two, we explore the critical spiritual test facing us as a species that requires the encrusted heart of our humanity to be broken open so that Love and Compassion may flow – allowing us to stand in a more inclusive and loving space together as we seek to build a more joyful and just society.
As we look around at events occurring in the world today, we cannot deny that earthly life can be a heart-breaking experience. It is this breaking of the collective heart that we are facing at this particular point in human history. It is said that for the first time ever, we are facing a collective test – an initiation on the spiral path of evolution – that has brought us to the brink of a make-or-break choice point.
The Perennial Philosophy foretold of these times when humanity would face the First Initiation – the first spiritual test of our species – to show that we, “cannot live by bread alone”. That time is now here and we stand in front of a great trial to see if we can break free from the gravitational pull and prison of matter. The key to liberation is found in the realization of the occult hint that the, “Presence of a Greater Love must first be born in the cave of the human heart”. It is always Love that liberates.
The flowering of love within the human heart signifies a time in our individual and shared life when we feel genuine compassion and kindness for others – setting in motion the journey from ego-centric to eco-centric living. As we open the heart, the flow of loving kindness increases until we experience an overwhelming knowing that the most effective and divinely economical way of creating a healthy society for all is to build one based on the values of caring and sharing.
As we choose to grow and evolve and strive to live authentically as the soul incarnate on Earth, we move into a more refined frequency of being. We are told that Unconditional Love is the most refined quality we can access. This is how we evolve – by opening our hearts and rising on the wings of love to occupy a more expanded sphere of awareness and being. However, those who are focused or addicted to the coarser matter of daily reality, remain weighed down and trapped inside the gravity of this dense lower field and they constitute what the Ageless Wisdom teaching calls, “the prisoners of the planet”.
If we understand the Earth Itself to be an evolving sentient Life, then it makes sense to view the whole of our planetary life as seeking to upgrade and become more refined. The human realm urgently needs a spiritual make-over so that we may remove the coarse garments fashioned from the base tendencies of our lower nature and clothe ourselves in a more refined material woven from the threads of kindness. This new up-cycled apparel does justice to our true nature and helps reveal the beauty of our divine destiny and heritage.
It is not being overly dramatic to state that we are poised to either evolve or devolve. This is the major choice facing us and it marks the ‘parting of the ways’ that many spiritual and religious traditions have prophesized. Simply stated, we each need to ask ourselves if we are going to be guided by the wisdom of the Soul and ascend or be dictated to by the lower traits of an unredeemed personality. As one of my psychologist colleagues would often declare: “We are so much more than how we are currently behaving!”
We are in danger of squandering our spiritual birthright and destiny by denying our deep Identity – that sublime inner Nature which is a microcosmic reflection of the One Life. Here at Meditation Mount, this enduring reality is named as the Principle of Essential Divinity.
Let me repeat something I believe to be fundamental in the life of any spiritual seeker. Namely, that to safely invoke and house the life-giving Fire of Love, we must first build a suitable fireplace of our lives and the most apposite home and hearth is an open and loving heart. The Soul is looking for a ‘desirable residence’ on Earth and it appears that many of the properties on offer are unfortunately, not being built to code.
We can compare much of the behavior of our world today to an addict suffering from substance abuse. We are often, and all too easily, controlled by the cravings from our own cells that have become dependent on external substances and stimuli for their well-being. By observing our collective patterns and behaviors, a visitor to Earth from another part of the Solar System could easily surmise that our present society is addicted to materialism.
This is not a statement of moral judgement but simply an observation of what drives and controls us at present in the majority of our decisions. Matter is not inherently ‘bad’, it is the attachment and addiction to materialism that is spiritually-stifling and that has created such an untenable state of health. Addiction temporarily over-rides the signals from the Soul and keeps us locked in a state of self-centeredness. This is showing up in all walks of life. For example, politics has now all too frequently become an expression of ‘group selfishness’ instead of an organized way of caring for the good of the whole.
We need a spiritual de-tox program that liberates us from all addictive substances: whether they be in the form of physical, emotional or mental attachments. The Buddha gave an early indication of a practical ‘12-step Program’ for the recovery of Self by naming that, “all suffering is the result of attachment to that which is of the not-self”. When we finally realize our true nature is that of a loving soul, impelled to care and share, then we will break free of the vice-like grip of attachment to matter and learn to live by the call of kindness. As we feel deeper compassion and kindness for others then, and only then, can we begin the journey from self-centered to selfless living.
By the way, don’t just take my word for this – please check it out for yourself. In the same way you would test-drive a new car before purchasing it, I invite you to go and test-drive ‘loving kindness’. Drive it around town for a day or even a week and observe any possible positive effects on yourself and those with whom you come into contact.
Despite the current chaotic conditions of a world in transition, something hopeful is stirring and being registered in the deep recesses of the One Heart of humanity. We are sensing and witnessing the long-awaited Spiritual Birth for which we have spent lifetimes preparing and for which we now joyfully labor amid a world in travail. It is as though we are each carrying the promised child of a brighter future in our hearts, swaddled in the dreams and aspirations of the awakening Soul. No amount of outer gloom can dampen the joyful expectancy accompanying this pending birth.
So, the obvious question is: “How did we get pregnant?” The answer is simple. Whenever a soul says YES and chooses to wholeheartedly engage in Life as a force for good and an agent of regeneration, the seed of spirit enters the womb of the heart and is quickened by each act of kindness and caring.
The culmination of this sublime gestation process is a resplendent flowering and fostering of Goodwill on Earth. Goodwill is the natural urge of the soul to love and serve the well-being of all with joy and compassion.
Dza Kilung Rinpoche offers these wise words to emphasize this truth:
“One’s heart-mind is like the sun: it has natural cognizance and the quality of brilliance. It reveals the tremendous open space that is the wisdom of one’s own mind and is the clarity of this open view.
Inside of that is warmth, which is compassion. Compassion is the essence through which all living beings are sustained. It creates harmony and provides the energy that makes things alive and warm.
So the light present in one’s own awareness is the heart of compassion. Being open-minded requires no effort —just allow it to happen by being present.”