The Heart


If there is anything that can tune a man to a higher pitch or to a lower pitch, that can loosen the strings of his soul or tune them to the right note - it can only be done by the tuning of the heart. The one who has not reached his heart cannot reach God, and the one who has not reached the heart of his fellow men has not reached him. People may become friends, they may become acquaintances, relations, they may become connected through industry, political friendship, partnership in business or any collaboration, and yet they may be separated. Nearness in space does not bring the nearness of real friendship. There is only one way of coming near to one another and that is by way of the heart.

Spirituality is the tuning of the heart; one can obtain it neither by study, nor by piety. 

The scientists say that the body is formed around the heart; from the mystical point of view it is symbolical that the personality is formed around the heart. For a materialist the heart is a piece of flesh hidden in the breast; for the mystic the heart is the centre around which the personality is formed.

We see that our life is full of impressions which we receive consciously or unconsciously, and from these we derive either benefit or disadvantage. We learn from this that if we had the power to receive or to reject reflections, we should become the masters of life. And now the question is how to learn this; how can we manage to receive impressions which are beneficial, and also to reject those that we do not wish to receive? The first and most essential thing is to make the heart a living heart, by purifying it from all undesirable impressions; by clearing it of fixed thoughts and beliefs, and then by giving it a life; and that life is within itself, and is love. When the heart is so prepared, then by means of concentration one must learn how to focus it; for it is not every one who knows how to focus his heart to receive a certain reflection. A poet, a musician, a writer, a thinker, unconsciously focuses his mind on the work of someone who has lived before him; and by focusing his mind on the work of a great personality he comes in contact with that personality, and he derives benefit from it, very often without knowing the secret. A young musician may be thinking of Bach or Beethoven or Wagner. By focusing his mind on that particular work he derives, without knowing it, a reflection of the spirit of Wagner or Beethoven, which is a great help to his work; and he expresses in his work the reflection which he receives.

The heart is a window between mind and soul, for the soul to send its light to the mind, and for the knowledge of the mind to be reflected on the soul. Therefore, when the heart is closed the communication between soul and mind is closed also.

Ecstasy is a feeling that comes only when the heart is tuned to that pitch of love which melts it, which makes it tender, which gives it gentleness, which makes it humble.

As one can see when the eyes are open, so one can understand when the heart is open.

There is one principle to be remembered in the path of sympathy: we must do all we can with regard to the pleasure of those whom we love and whom we meet, but we must not expect the best from those whom we love and meet, for we must know that the world is as it is. We cannot change it, but we can change ourselves. The one who wants others to do what he wishes them to do will always be disappointed.

Persons who had deep experiences of any kind, of suffering, of agonies, of love, of hate, of solitude, of association, of success, of failure, they all have a particular quality, a quality which has a particular use for others. 

Once the heart is closed, once it is frozen, once it has turned from hot to stone, the person is no longer living. It does not matter what the person has gone through, for even the worst poison can be of some use. There is no person therefore, however wicked, who is of no use, if only he knew that the condition of being useful to humanity is only one, and that is to keep the heart open. 

Apart from all other things, when we come to spiritual attainment, it is something we can never absorb through the head, it is something that can only be received from the heart. Let two persons, one with the heart and the other with head listen to the teachings of a teacher. One will be thinking, “is it so, or is it not so, or how is it, if it is so? How can it be. And if it is, why is it?” And there is never an end to the ‘why.’ 

And another person will listen with his heart; and both things logic and reason are at his disposal, but at the same time they are not troubling him. His heart is open, he listens to it; and the quality of the heart is such that whatever falls upon it, upon an open heart becomes revealed instantly. Remember, when one says, “I cannot understand you”, it is just like saying, “I have my heart closed to you.” There is no other reason for not understanding, that is the only reason. And when one says, “I have understood it all”, that means the heart was open; that is why the person has understood. 

Therefore understanding does not depend upon the head; it depends upon the heart. By the help of the head one can make it more clear, it becomes intelligible, one can express it better. But it must begin, it must come, from the heart, not from the head. Besides, a person with head says, “yes, it must be so because I think so.” The person with heart says, “it is so because I believe so.” That is the difference. In one person there is a doubt, in the other there is a conviction.

One may ask: How to cultivate the heart quality? There is only one way: to become selfless at each step one takes forward on this path, for what prevents one from cultivating the loving quality is the thought of self. The more we think of our self the less we think of others, and as we go further the self grows to become worse and worse. In the end the self meets us as a giant which we had always fought; and now at the end of the journey the giant is stronger. But if from the first step we take on the path of perfection we struggled and fought and conquered this giant which is the self, it could be done only by increasing the power of love.

Man’s heart is like a piece of ground; you may sow anything in it and rear it. When the fruit comes, the man knows whether it was a sweet fruit or poison.




This page was last updated on Monday, March 27, 2017



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