Friday, April 22, 2011


---our decision to keep on a path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush of the Universe. The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.---Don Juan

Many years ago I read this quote of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda. It changed my life focus. I had been seeking to heal my soul by finding meaning and these words rang true. It is the heart and only the heart that guides us to meaning and even creates meaning. It is of significance that the ancients saw the heart as the center of life as the Sun is center of our universe. It is a guide to something that transcends our ego’s shallow knowledge and short lifetime.

Whatever breaks our heart must be important. It is a sign that the essence of our being has been violated. In our society the heart chakra is the weak spot with
in the human energy body. Although everything else circles around our heart just as the earth circles around the sun for many of us its light is very dim.

Sometimes pain is the only sign of life. A broken heart indicates that we are alive but in a negative way. Even worse than a broken heart is the lack of one. Life should break our heart. It is full of cruel experiences and is out of balance. To grieve the loss of someone or something is an indication that you are able to love and that in fact your heart is still working. Far more dangerous is a heart that can’t be broken because it is numbed or dead.

I’ve spent a lifetime trying to learn to follow my heart. Early conditioning to oppose my heart was pervasive and entangling it choked the life force like the roots of an invasive weed. It is very hard to get rid of. I’ve often wondered why I was born in a time, place and family that was so opposed to following one’s heart. Feelings were to be opposed, desires were to be resisted and normal needs were evil because this world was considered a corrupt and evil place. Being holy was judged on a basis of what one wasn’t rather than what one was. Nowadays the response is often the opposite. Desire and indulgence are frantically stimulated to exaggeration but this too is an attempt to compensate for the lack of genuine heart.

Easter is coming again. Nowadays few people think of anything beyond a new spring outfit, colored eggs and roast lamb when it comes to Easter. Both the pagan matrix and the Christian overlay are hidden behind the bright colors and instinctive need to consume and incorporate the coming of spring. Yes, it has become primarily another retail extravaganza but perhaps that is because modern people don’t know how else to respond to almost anything. Spending money is another way of expressing the hunger for an absent heart connection with the world that supports us.

It is as important to mend the communal heart just as it is to revivify the individual heart. So many peripheral signs of malady are merely symptoms of a problem at the center. It has been said that conscious development of the heart chakra represents the next phase of human evolution. Many of our human problems clearly show a lack of heart. There is little awareness of relatedness to all that is and the shared fate of all beings on this planet. We cannot feel connection to fellow earthlings if we cannot feel connected to our own essence, our own core value that dwells at the heart.

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