THE CRUCIBLE OF THE HEART
I’ve known my heart all of my life as a secret place where calm waters run deep bearing passionate feelings and dark mysteries. Mostly it’s been a crucible for the clarification of “busy thoughts and troubled feelings,” to borrow a poetic line from my spiritual mentor. At times intense heat has been required to burn away the dross and separate out the gold of authenticity. The end result, hopefully, is a purer heart of gold . . . but that doesn’t just happen without work, mostly the work of holding still and seeing the “salvation of the Lord.”
I watched a NOVA program on PBS yesterday about an ancient Viking Ulfberht sword that was made of iron tempered and purified by a fire of intense heat. A modern-day swordsmith reverse engineered this ultimate weapon of the Middle Ages—“a sword both prized and feared.” The hand-made furnace used to purify and extract the iron from the ore was heated up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. A side visit to a foundry showed molten iron flowing through a trough on its way to being cooled and formed into raw materials for various industrial purposes. I noted that on the surface of this rolling molten iron flow was carried a thin layer of dross, stuff that was separated out from ore. I was struck at how little dross there was compared to the huge mass of red-hot iron metal. The metal of this sword had to have a minimal amount of impurities or else it would be brittle and snap under pressure.
What came to mind was the purification of the human heart, a healing process that reveals the “gold in the wound” contemporary health and transformation authors write about. The human race is in the throes of such a purification process today, violently apparent in the turmoil of the Middle East. The furnace of the human heart is being heated “seven times hotter than it is want to be heated,” as in the Biblical story of Daniel and his three friends who were thrown into the fiery furnace only to see their bonds burned and nothing more. Love’s fire has to be hot enough to burn the impurities in our hearts if they are not to be brittle and snap under pressure.
The Spirit of Purification is dominant today as the gold is being separated from the dross in the heart of Humanity. Yet, as with the molten iron, there is just a little surface dross compared to the gold being purified. Judging by the volatile surface activity of war and violence reported on by the daily news media alone, our world seems doomed and coming apart . . . and so it may well be doomed—to failure. It needs to fail. What we’ve created on the surface of this planet is not a world based on love, as the planet herself is. It will come apart to free up space and substance for a new creation. We’re at odds with our natural habitat and the Earth’s immune system has kicked in big time to rid itself of our parasitic activities.
But look at what the radar of the media ignores for its lack of violence and political drama. You don’t have to look very hard to see authentic and caring people all around you. There’s a lot more gold than dross coming out of people’s hearts. Satchmo (Louie Armstrong) had it right when he sang . . .
“The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people passing by. I see friends shaking hand, saying ‘How do you do?’ They’re really saying ‘I love you.’ I hear babies cry, I see them grow, they’ll know much more than I’ll ever know. And I say to myself, ‘What a wonderful world!'”
Another Biblical passage about gold tried in fire also came to mind. So I looked it up and here’s what John of Revelation wrote:
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev. 3:15-22)
I love this passage. Just reading it I can feel the current of the author’s spirit moving in my heart as a cleansing and soothing fire.
IT TAKES PERFECT LOVE
Things come up daily into the human heart from out of the subconscious, triggered by external events, to be cleansed out of the life-blood of the Body of God on Earth—which Humanity is, and in which we as body cells each play our vital roles. Our hearts are crucibles for the purifying fire of Love—stepped down by the endocrine gland of the Thymus to a lower voltage by the Spirit of Purification so as not to fry our flesh—and Love would indeed evaporate our flesh were it to move through the body in its purest essence. This is the essential role of the seven endocrine glands as transformers that step down the high-voltage current of Love so that it can move through the body in a creative way without burning the cells of the body.
The “fire of kundalini,” for instance, released without knowledge and wisdom can do that if one plays with this fire for personal gain and gratification. Released wisely, however, in a current of upward worship with unconditional love and utter abandon to the Father within, this fire burns the dross of shame and guilt quickly and painlessly at its hot outer edges. At its core, however, burns a cool, blue flame. In this uplifting, rapturous current one could linger forever.
One needn’t be in such an ecstatic state, however, to experience the purification of gold in one’s heart. Opportunities present themselves throughout the day. How many times does fear grip the heart during these days of economic uncertainty and threats of terror? It is easily said that “perfect love casts out fear,” but what is perfect love and how can one maintain it in today’s toxic and turbulent world?
We might say that perfect love is simply love for that which is perfect. You might ask “What in this world is perfect?” Well, life is perfect and prevails yet in its myriad forms in the natural world—blossoming even in the wild flowers along side the concrete highways.
You might then ask “What in me is perfect?” Again, the answer is life. You’re still breathing, aren’t you? The Master Jesus pointed to the Father within as being perfect: “Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as you heavenly father is perfect.” He didn’t say “strive to be perfect” but “be” perfect. BE that.
How do I become perfect. I become what I give my heart’s response to. If I give my heart over to the issues of the troubled world, then I become cynical and bitter, critical, angry and resentful. How often do you find yourself saying “That just burns me up” when someone says or does something that irritates you? Well, it may burn up something in your heart but not you. Good reason to give thanks. But when I give my heart’s response to love and appreciation, patience and forgiveness, and express these qualities through my words and actions, then that is what I know, and that is perfect love. THAT is what I am.
ENERGY GOES WHERE OUR ATTENTION GOES
In the Creative Process we are by our very nature constantly engaged in creation. Our creative energies always go toward that to which we give our attention. Everything is energized by love. There’s not anything outside of love. Love is all and all is love. Troubling thoughts and feelings that come into my mind and heart daily from out of what is called the “collective unconscious” are nothing more than erratic energy seeking its return to Source through me—for purification and transformation. What I do with them is crucial to my experience of life as a human being and cell in the larger body of Mankind. I can either go down and out with the thought and feeling, identify with it and claim it as my own, even defend it, or I can let it come in and see it as simply passing through me on its way to be recycled, the energy of it to be reclaimed and absorbed back into the creative cycles of life. Emotions play an important role in this process.
Here’s where the heart comes in to play its role as a caldron in times of agitated activity. That’s a very apt description of the thymus gland’s role as well. The heart is for holding the things of spirit so they can be purified and either lifted up or sent forth (emoted) as creative passion to achieve one’ s purposes and intentions. That energetic emotion will go toward whatever it is I give my attention, to energize it and give it life. That’s what we do as creator beings. We create, and that’s how we do it—consciously and responsibly or, as the case may too often be, unconsciously and irresponsibly. It’s so much more fun to live and create consciously . . . for everyone!
We can and do have our own thoughts that come out of heaven, to use a familiar term. Inspired thoughts, intuitive feelings and gut instincts are initially subtle energies carrying messages from within. We can best receive them in the quiet space of stillness and meditation, when we’ve managed to shut out the noise of the world, enter our “closet” and pray. Given space in our heart of hearts, they become compelling energies with the force of love for the truth behind them that carries with it our undeniable authority as divine beings.
Eckhert Tolle says it all ever so gently in a letter posted recently on Facebook by my life partner and friend:
Dear Friends, The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (a true Philosopher-King), wrote: “Welcome every experience the looms of fate may weave for you…” So, instead of resenting your experience of the present moment, accept it the way it is. I call it: dropping all unnecessary baggage (irritation, anger, complaining, being the victim…). There is then a beauty and aliveness to each moment. Also: the good deepens, the unpleasant dissolves more quickly, and any action you take is more effective. And above all, there is a background of inner peace to whatever you are experiencing. With love, Eckhart
May that inner peace be with you always for your health and healing,
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