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
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
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
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
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.