Just as the Sun is our source of external light and warmth, the Heart is our source of internal light and warmth: Awareness and Love. The light of awareness radiates out from the center of our heart, energizing every cell of our body and illuminating our mind as it does so. When we center our awareness back at its very source, we experience peace, clarity and the inner warmth that we call Love.
When we notice ourselves looking for security and comfort in thoughts and intellectual understandings, it is a clear indication that our heart is contracted - our awareness has become disconnected from its source, separated from our body and isolated in our mind. While we are completely involved in the contents of our thoughts, we cannot be conscious of the peace, freedom and deep sense of aliveness that emanates from our heart.
Over the years, our awareness gets squeezed out of our heart as it physically contracts more and more, in response to our deep fear of feeling vulnerable and sensitive in what feels like a false and insensitive world. This contraction is why we experience inner pain, darkness, coldness and a loss of vitality. It is like a mighty river trying to flow through a small hole. We can only feel fully alive when our heart is relaxed, open and expansive.
What is the cause of suffering ?
The experience of suffering is the result of an inner conflict between the ultimate desires of the Heart and of the dysfunctional mind: The heart's desire for us to expand, to fully attune ourselves to its subtle communication and to experience inner freedom (or 'joy'), and the dysfunctional mind's desire for us to contract, to doubt all communication from the Heart and to experience the illusion of mental security, which we call 'knowledge'.
Experiencing mental security and experiencing inner freedom are mutually exclusive - each one excludes the other. By deriving our sense of security from the acquisition of 'knowledge', money and possessions we sacrifice the simple yet profound experience of peace that comes from being connected with our own heart, and by strengthening the connection with our heart we end our hungry pursuit of all that can be acquired and we experience greater freedom.
Our compulsion to continually interpret the fluid experience of life into two-dimensional 'knowledge' for the dysfunctional mind to hold on to is born from a deep fear; the fear of the pain that life will inflict upon us if we fully relax our heart and completely re-integrate ourselves with our highly sensitive intuitive nature. Our fear of fully feeling - and the contraction this causes in our entire being - is what keeps us isolated in thought and prevents us from resting in the inner realm of the Heart, which is our true home.
How can we be free of suffering ?
Only our inner fire can bring light and warmth to the cold darkness created by the dysfunctional mind.
By becoming more aware of our innocent desire to experience peace by setting free whatever is being held within, and then seeing all the thoughts, doubts and clever arguments presented to us by the extremely sophisticated yet fearful mind, we learn to discriminate between what is real and what is illusory.
The actual reality of this earth exists separately from the realm of intellectual thought, and is a reality in which we have full freedom to envision, create and enjoy the actualization of our heart's desire. The conceptual 'understandings' of this reality - given to us by a thought-addicted mind - are like endless landscapes of cloud that dominate the sky and absorb the light from the sun, draining the colour and warmth from the land below.
From the outside, these clouds give the illusion of either a soft and inviting lanscape, a dark and threatening one, or somewhere in between, but in reality clouds - like thoughts - are completely insubstantial in essence and incapable of harming us - or supporting us - in any real sense. And no matter how beautiful they look from the outside, when we investigate inside the view is always the same and our perspective always becomes limited.
Up in the clouds is actually an extremely cold, empty and alien place to be, although it can appear to be the opposite when we see them magnificently illuminated from high above or from down below.
So, like clouds that block the sun but never offer any rain, idle thoughts serve us no purpose at all - other than to help us avoid the experience of our real self. In contrast, creative thoughts - like clouds bringing rain to a thirsty lanscape - physically motivate us into action, which leads directly to growth on the earthly level and to a continually expanding experience of our true self.
Creative thought is an essential aspect of our natural human functioning. A healthy mind will act as a servant to the Heart, interpreting the Heart's desire into information, ideas and visions which can then be acted upon, thus giving shape and form to what originates from the formless and weaving the two worlds together.
But i feel only sadness in my heart.
What is the way out of this ?
Sadness is what we experience when we become aware of the pain in our heart, and it is good because it means our heart is successfully communicating with us.
As the Heart releases its pain, we experience sadness, and then we usually start looking for ways to stop feeling it, thus preventing the Heart from fully releasing its burden.
Trying to run away from sadness is impossible and exhausting, and the only way to be free of it is to allow it to be there for as long as it is needed. By doing so we are allowing the Heart to heal itself in the most natural way possible.
I just feel angry with all this talk about
The more anger we are feeling, the closer we are to freeing ourselves from the ultimate cause of our frustration and suffering. Anger is the aggressive final line of defense that lies between us encountering and releasing the contraction which is held in our heart, and the degree of anger which we are feeling reflects the degree of fear (contraction) which lies beneath.
Our heart beats with a strong, passionate desire to express whatever it feels, but we usually allow thinking to interfere with any spontaneous expression, for fear of the consequences. As soon as we begin to hold back from expression, an inner pressure begins to build up, and we experience frustration. Frustration is our passion for self-expression being restrained by reason, and in any moment it is fully within our power to release it back into passion.
Words by Alex Bell