The great spiritual writers recognize three centres-of-life in the human organism: the head, the heart and the hands.
They point to a centre of knowledge, an emotional centre and a faculty to bring these thoughts and feelings into action.
In this essay we investigate the qualities and possibilities of the second centre, that of the heart. Only with the heart can you truly sense and feel what is hidden for the mind. In other words:
The heart has reasons that our reasoning mind cannot follow.
To lift a corner of the veil over a spiritual secret: we have both a heart, with a small h, as well as a Heart with a capital H and both have their specific influence within us.
The heart with a small h is the generator of feelings and desires and the Heart with a capital H is the place where the spiritual seeker may hear the gentle directions and admonishing of the Soul.
Our physical heart accomplishes some stupendous feats in the complexity which we call 'body'
- it is the strongest muscle in our body and the only one that does not grow older
- it pulses 100 000 times a day, 40 million times a year
- it is so powerful that it continually pumps 2 gallons of blood around in our body with a force that would make a 7-foot geyser
- each of the billion heart cells always vibrates in harmony with all the other cells
- electro magnetically, the heart is 5000 times stronger that the brain
But the heart is not only important from a physical point of view.
Numerous sayings denote the function as a generator of feelings:
- I had not the heart to do this
- please, have a heart
- to set one's heart to something
- be of good heart
- to be out of heart or to take something to heart et cetera
And lately science has also unravelled some amazing additional facts about the heart:
- when heart cells of a different origin and a different rhythm are brought into each other's vicinity, they will soon start to pulse in the same beat
- via neuro hormones, the heart continually asks the brain for data from its surroundings in order to regulate the energy of the body
- the upper heart chambers of the heart produce a hormone that influences and regulates all the important organs of our body including the brain.
- the heart is our strongest organ and the central organising force in our body
- it is the first most generator of electro-magnetic energy which, as the central governing principle, it sends onward to all our other parts and organs
- it can, and often does react independently from our brain to the world around us.
If these feats of our physical heart are stupendous enough in itself, what powers and possibilities are hidden and waiting in our inner Heart, which the initiates also have called the Deep Heart, the Higher Heart, The Harmonic Heart, the Holy Heart?
The Higher Heart is a sanctuary within us. What is a actually a sanctuary?
A sanctuary is a portal through which a higher energy is accessible and can be received to have a beneficial influence on a system of a lower energy.
The follow-up question could now be: what is energy?
Energy in a spiritual sense is both a carrier of information as well as a discloser of possibilities.
Spirit and Soul are both manifestations of energy, be it on a different level.
A spiritual life, or a spiritual path as it is often called, is in this respect a ladder with rungs of ever higher energy.
That is why someone who leads such a life, who goes such a path, is asked to denounce negative thoughts and feelings and avoid situations which create them for they lower the energy in the system.
Well, if the heart is the principal generator and dispenser of energy and thus of information in our system, where does this energy come from?
Primarily from our astral body, also called the desire body.
In a heart attuned to a horizontal life, the astral storms of desire and emotions mostly have a free rein.
Via the influence of our heart on our head, our thoughts are generated after which our faculties of will and action are set into motion.
Therefore, man must follow that which is engendered in the heart, be it horizontal, of this earth, or vertical, of a higher order.
Thus, if we aspire to a higher life, to a changed life, to a higher Love with a capital L, we shall have to start with, have to start in, our heart.
For then the rest of the system will have to follow.
That is why king David prays in Psalms 51:10 :
Create in me a pure heart, o God.
The beginning, the entrance, to the Higher Heart, to Love with a capital letter, is also a desire, but it is called: the desire for salvation, a wish for redemption.
It is the highest form of astral energy in a seeker.
This spiritual desire is a deep longing - a longing for wholeness - for unity with the All, to be at one with the Omnipresent Love. It is the love for the Love.
In this state of deep intense longing - which you could call praying in its highest form - the Cosmic Electricity, as Jan van Rijckenborgh, one of the founders of the School of the Golden Rosycross, calls it, will answer by touching and influencing the Higher Heart.
More precisely, it will awaken what is called in spiritual literature through the ages: the Divine Spark - the Lord of the Cave - the Jewel in the Lotus - the Spirit Spark.
In the Hermetic scrolls from the ancient Egyptian Spiritual schools it is written thus:
Where the Higher Heart is, there is the Life.
Focus your heart on the Light and know It.
If this Light can dwell ever longer and longer in our heart sanctuary, the lower desires must and will dissipate. Then the ego-influence diminishes and in the space that is thus created, the original spiritual human being can develop.
It will develop first as the Soul, a crystalline structure of high energy forces
Then, if this structure has obtained sufficient strength and continuity, the Spirit will descend and make it Its dwelling.
Man is once more the Spirit-Soul he was before the fall from the cosmic Garden of Eden and a citizen of the Universe again.
If the heart sanctuary is transformed, the centre of the head will follow.
Then the second spiritual centre of the head is transformed from a continuous broadcaster of thoughts into what we might call a Head Sanctuary where knowledge becomes Wisdom and thinking becomes Consciousness.
This is the 'what' of the process – in other words, the various stages in the process are explained. The important question now the "how?"
How does one enter this new reality?
What does one have to do, or to forego, in order to practise this in daily life?
Jan van Rijckenborgh gives the following pointers for this process:
Do not love nor hate all that belongs to this nature.
Enter the state of non-attachment.
Be objective towards all that happens.
Certainly, fulfil your obligations, do what is correct but no more than that.
What will then be the result? The result will be that the desire forces of this nature, the astral powers of the horizontal life field will become less dominant factors in the sanctuary of the heart.
When you will practise the state of non-attachment, consequent and persevering, you will enable the higher energy of the heart to influence the lower energies as a result of which you will realise a significantly different state of life.
If you love something in this world you will attract it.
If you hate something in this world you repel it.
For both processes you need earthly astral energies.
Thus, you maintain and sustain the fire of death in the aura of the heart
From this text we glean that for such a spiritual life we must on the one hand have a deep inner longing, a homesickness towards liberation and the spiritual world.
On the other hand we must practise a neutrality with regard to all the commotion and bustle in the world.
Of course, the greater and lesser difficulties of life will still occur, for you cannot at once and totally withdraw from life.
But standing in this spiritual process your attitude, your approach to life, your mindset will differ. It does not impede us that much anymore.
There will be more peace and equilibrium and more inner space and inner stillness which still has a very dynamic quality.
In more poetic words:
Now that your eyes are opened to the woes of the world
Now that your ears are filled with the battle cries of the factions of the world
Now that your nostrils are filled with the stench of the lies and untruths of the soothsayers of the world
Now that your mouth is open to redeem the world but no words come,
Open your eyes now to the letters of longing in your heart
Open our ears now to the soft song of the Soul
Open your nostrils to the scent of the inner Sanctuary
And open your mouth to speak the liberating Words of Wisdom
And so heal the world from within.
Jan van Rijckenborgh, The Egyptian Arch-Gnosis, part 3 , Chapter 6, The state of detachment, Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem 2017