Trusting the heart is a process which many of us have moved away from. The fear developed from experiences in our lives serves to prevent us from opening to it. Often, in both childhood and adulthood, our response to experiences that lack love, compassion and acceptance of ourselves and others serves to contaminate and effectively block the love from the heart centre. As children, we grow to mistrust our own sense of purity as we come into contact with the varying personal rules and expectations of others. It is often as children that we have most concern for the welfare of others. This is often misinterpreted and there is not always enough information to know what to do to help others. The situation arises where communication is not clear, our motives are misunderstood, projections begin and the truth of our innocence and the intent for good is lost. This gives rise to fears, guilt and resentment, which form a barrier around the heart centre and prevent the flow of love.
It is not until we reach a point in our development where we will to love in spite of these barriers, that love can again flow. It takes this will to love and a preparedness to serve the love, by allowing it to come through the heart and dissolve the barriers which have until now been used as protection. This protection may have been functional to a degree but when decision is made to open the heart, it is no longer functional, instead it prevents us from embodying the theosophical principles of love, truth, justice, harmlessness and goodwill.. When the light descends and is met by the essence of love from within the heart centre, it is as though a mighty river is set free. The river of light collects all debris in its wake and carries us to a completely new way of being. It takes us into the ocean of love. As we move along the river to the ocean there is awareness of all the debris in the heart centre. This is felt as pain and suffering which must be experienced, to find entrance to the ocean and be one with it.
Not all people find the will to love. Sometimes finding the heart is difficult, especially when the barriers around the heart are so calcified. In such cases we can follow the theosophical principles and the Eight Fold Path, living in hope that these principles will become eventually part of our inner consciousness and be followed from the heart. In the words of Lord Buddha, “Let a man overcome anger by love; let him overcome hatred by kindness; let him overcome greed by liberality; the liar by truth.” The eightfold path when studied and understood helps us to find Right Belief, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Memory, Right Concentration and Right Effort. When combined with the theosophical principles we have the guidelines we need to create a better life. To open to these teachings requires us to accept an age old living doctrine, that others may know more.
Sometimes we decide to follow a course of action that we are not yet fully aligned with. If the will to love is not strong enough, the individual will experiences resistance, often taking the form of rebellion. Rebellion brings with it the energy of doubt and scepticism, sometimes anger and hatred. From this vantage point the teaching cannot be understood. It is only in Love and Compassion that Understanding exists. When trust in God is strong and trust in Christ present, the Compassion of Christ is given. When you have the compassion of Christ within, you also have great Wisdom and Understanding. It makes the necessary suffering to open the heart bearable. We connect with the suffering of all great teachers and come to understand the suffering of the teacher is a thousand times greater than the suffering of student. Our load is easier to bear understanding that.
Once touched by the Love of Christ we know the potential for the greatest Love possible on Earth. One little taste of that Love can be enough to have us work on ourselves for several lifetimes to feel that Love again. It lets us know what is possible and awakens the energy of aspiration in us as students longing for that great Love that the Teacher inspires. We cannot rest in comfort with our inconsistencies, i.e. feeling intermittently great Love and deep hatred, strong faith and lot of doubt. Experiencing these extremities within us forces energies like anger, guilt and jealousy to come up. It is through the Love developed for our Teacher, the Christ, that we have the possibility of Redemption. It comes with the Grace of God. It comes through the Love of Christ. When trust in God and the Christ is not present, faith is lost and the temptation is to leave the path, preferring instead to walk ones’ own way and sound the drum of the little self.
Living a doctrine that does not feel comfortable and familiar has its dangers. We must work at finding the balance between what is realistically achievable and the ideal, walking a balanced path of moderation in all things. The Eight Fold Path is such a path for it takes into account Right Balance in all things. When hope is present we can will to love by the Divine Laws. The Love for the Divine grows. Cooperation and selfless service can be manifested and pride, ambition and greed begin to fall away. Concern moves from the self to the world, and our love begins to guide us into the life path that best suits the whole.
Tarajyoti Govinda (August 1994)