Unit X. Descent into Life
1. Return to the World
2. Selfless Service
3. Transformation vs Transcendence
4. Finding Your Niche
5. How to Live Without Boundaries
6. Love as Healer
7. How to Love
Materials needed: Journal
A Monk in the World
The Heart’s Code
A General Theory of Love
The Intelligent Heart
The Biology of Transcendence
Fundamentals of Tibetan Mysticism
Essence of the Heart Sutra
The Heart Speaks (Optional)
The Intelligent Heart
Love as Healer
How to Love
Om Ah Hum
Rinzai’s Four-fold Contemplation
Return to theWorld After Liberation
You have probably guessed by now that liberation is not the end of the journey
Home. It is not enough to finally experience who we really are because
the whole point of that identification is to express it in the world and
to give Spirit a vehicle with which to do Its work. The Divine One
sees through our eyes, thinks with our minds and takes action with our hands
and bodies. If those activities are to bring love and benevolence into
the world, we must surrender our beingness to the One who created us for
that purpose. By ourselves and because of our struggle to exist in
the world through our egos only, as a group we are responsible for most of
the negativity that we experience. However, the struggle itself is
a tool for our learning, so discovering how to use it wisely is part of the
journey’s parameters. Eventually, looking back on our lives, we may
even come to feel gratitude for the pains because they have steered us in
the right direction.
Throughout this series of guidebooks, we have followed the passage of Kundalini
through the chakras to the crown of the head and enlightenment. Now,
we see that she, having united with her love, is willing to descend once
again to the first chakra bringing the amrita of love to all the levels of
consciousness. Then she will come eventually to rest in the heart chakra.
Her descent is representative of the return to the world we are discussing.
The Tibetans offer a similar pattern. Govinda (1982) offers a description
of The Yoga of the Inner Fire. In doing so, he groups the chakras into
three zones: 1) terrestrial plane (chakras 1-3), 2) cosmic place (chakras
5-7), and 3) human plane of individual realization (chakra 4). He says
that the “. . Heart Centre mediates between the lower and the upper Centres
and finally becomes the realm of realization on the human plane after the
integration of the polar forces has taken place in the highest Centre” (pp
173-5). His diagram on page 174 shows the ascending and descending
movements of the inner fire within the ida, pingala and susumna nadiis.
You may remember the microcosmic orbit practice in an earlier guidebook.
The patterns are almost identical.
Govinda (1982) then goes on to diagram the relationships between the centers,
seed-syllables, elements and Dhyani-buddhas. Here we find a clear pattern
of ascent and descent from chakras one through seven and return to the heart
center. He shows how the mantra Om Ah Hum is specific to the descent
and how it is related to the three bodies: Body, Speech, and Mind.
Om is the Bija for the crown center and Universal Body that is realized there.
Ah is the bija for the fifth chakra or throat center associated with creative
Speech or mantra. And Hum is the bija for the enlightened Mind in the
heart center. Notice that, here again, we find the location of the
mind in the heart.
Practice: Om Ah Hum
Sit for meditation and, when you are ready, begin to hum with your mouth
open. Experiment until you find the pitch at which your whole throat,
chest and head vibrates. You may use an instrument such as a
piano if this helps. This is your optimum pitch and the one you will
use for the mantra.
Align your spine so it is upright and relaxed. Do a few rounds of the
microcosmic orbit: breathing in at the third chakra, thence to the
first, second, third, etc until you reach the crown (all one breath).
Hold your breath briefly at the crown allowing the light to enter through
the top of your head. Then exhale as you descend to the third
again. Breathe in up the back of your body and out down the front of
your body. Feel the amrita descend with each exhalation.
Then begin to chant “Om, Ah, Hūm.” The Hūm is pronounced as if it ended
in the nasal “ng” (“hoong”). With the “Om” visualize a light at the
crown of your head. As you proceed to “Ah” see the light move down
into your throat and feel its vibrations there. On “Hūm” continue moving
the light down to the heart center, and hold the vibration there as long
as you can. Then see the light expand and move out from your body in
all directions. Take a full inhalation and exhalation before you begin
again. It may help to do each bija on a separate inhalation and exhalation
until you get into the rhythm. Or you can continue that way if it feels
Another version of the Return can be found in the Zen ox-herding pictures
which evolved in the 12th century in China. My set can be found in
The Inward Arc by FrancesVaughan (1986). Or go to: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/mzb/oxherd.htm .
That set comes from The Manual of Zen Buddhism by D.T. Suzuki
which is taken from Shubun (15th Century). I will briefly outline the
ten stages (from Vaughan, 1985, 114-124), and you can follow up on your own
for more information.
Stage One. Seeking the ox. The person becomes aware that there is a spiritual path and begins to look for it.
Stage Two. Finding the tracks. Seeker begns to study the wisdom teachings.
Stage Three. First glimpse of the ox. Shift of attention from esoteric teachings to direct experience.
Stage Four. Catching the ox. Difficulties of self-discipline and integration of it into one’s life.
Stage Five. Taming the ox. Subjecting ego to the Higher Self and mastery of the low subtle realms.
Stage Six. Riding the ox home. State of enlightenment and achievement of the higher subtle realm.
Stage Seven. Ox forgotten, Self alone. The two have become one. soul is one with the deity and dissolves into It.
Stage Eight. Both ox and Self forgotten. Dharmakaya level,
causal realm. Consciousness remembers its prior unity as a no-thing.
Stage Nine. Return to the source. Formless awareness grows
back into form without losing it formlessness. All is alternating creation
and dissolution. Self as no-thing has become everything.
Stage Ten. Entering the marketplace with helping hands.
Bodhisattva who renounces liberation in order to return to help others.
“The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
– T. S. Eliot
Now take a look at the pictures online and compare the descriptions. You may want to consult The Manual of Zen Buddhism by Suzuki (1977) for more detailed commentary. Two other outlines of the spiritual path can be found in Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill (1961) and The Interior Castle
by Teresa of Avila (Starr, 2004). If you have access to these books,
it might be useful to chart all of them to look for parallels.
Most of the myths and spiritual texts that talk about resurrection and ascension
are also referring to the return. If you went to Sunday School,
you know that Jesus returned to bring the message of infinite life and love
to the world. Other traditions have similar stories.
Where the path leads from here no one knows, but it is a fair guess that it continues on other levels of existence as well.
“Selfless service will make you Divine” – Swami Sivananda
Imagine a seeker sitting in a cave having achieved liberation. What
does s/he do next? There is a choice of course. One could continue
sitting there engaged in contemplation, and some do. Or one could make
use of what has been learned to help others. Most traditions favor
the latter choice for obvious reasons. The very fact that we can contemplate
actually achieving enlightenment means that a great many folks have come
back to teach us the way to go. And, it would seem a point of gratitude
to return the favor if and when we can. But what would that entail?
For Swami Radha’s answer, go to www.yasodhara.org/lightwaves/?p=354
Exercise: Selfless Service
Read A Monk in the World by Brother Wayne Teasdale. Teasdale was a
Christian monk who was initiated into Hindu sannyas by Father Bede Griffiths
who also had a foot in each tradition. Teasdale then chose to live
in the city (Chicago) and combine mysticism with service in the world while
also making a living. This is a choice model for most of us who cannot
afford to cloister ourselves in contemplation. As well, he addresses some
of the issues we face on the path. Make notes on what is relevant to
It will not be enough just to make a mental commitment this time as the way
is very difficult. We have to engage the heart. And this makes
sense since the return is a labor of love. Fortunately, the heart is
physically structured in such a manner that it is prepared to assist us.
All along we have been making a distinction between the right and left sides
of the brain. Then Pearce (2004) showed us how the heart, right hemisphere,
limbic system and prefrontal cortex are united to make up the intuitive mind;
whereas the left hemisphere is relatively isolated in its intellectual functions.
Now, as we go deeper, we find that hearts not only govern the whole bodymind,
but they are also capable of learning, thinking and feeling. In fact, the
heart is the center of what we may call the soul and, as such, is the feeling
center of our systems. What this means is that the real mind, the one
with all the power and connections, is literally, in the heart. Furthermore,
the heart has memory and is capable of remembering complex patterns of experience
not only from this life but from previous lives and others’ experiences as
well. We live in an interconnected web, remember. This memory
accounts for the persistence of emotional conditioning we are subjected to
as children. And because it is so complex, it is very difficult to
alter the effects of these memories as you will have discovered if you have
ever tried to change some deeply rooted emotional reactions. Why, for
instance, does fear often manifest as rage? Why do we get angrier with
those we love than with strangers – usually.
The Intelligent Heart
“The heart is where the spiritual intelligence
of the higher dimensions enters the human system” (McArthur & McArthur,
2005, p. 24)
What this means is that not only does the heart think and feel and remember,
but it is also the place where we can make a connection with all that is.
We will come back to this later with the topic of guidance.
Exercise: Intelligent Heart
Read the Introduction and chapters 1 and 5 in The Heart’s Code by Pearsall (1998) and chapters 5 and 7 in A General Theory of Love
by Lewis, Amini & Lannon (2000). Take notes as you go in order
to come up eventually with your own outline of how the heart functions as
a spiritual mediator. We will spread all the reading out over the entire
We have met this concept in Pearce’s (2004) book, but let us revisit it to
see how it actually functions. Pearsall (1998) says that the heart’s
code is subtle life (L)- energy that is remembered in every cell as an information
template of the soul. And it constantly resonates within and from us
to others. Furthermore, the heart is the primary generator of information-energy.
Notice the connection here between mind and life that reverberates all the
way back to Samani. In your reading, you will find the twenty
preliminary characteristics of this L-energy. There is more than a
chance relationship with the parameters of The Field. So it begins
to look like the heart is a kind of node in the net of all life that connects
us to the Whole. In fact, there is a Sinoatrial node in the heart which
is a bundle of fibers that relays information-energy within and from the
One of the most interesting factors of the L-energy is its ability to resonate
and become coherent with other energies in the universe as well as with those
of other people especially those we love. Since, like other energies,
L-energy travels faster than the speed of light, we can be in contact immediately
with any other person living or dead (since there is no such thing as time).
However, we have to learn how to manage and raise our frequencies in order
to tune in. The heart’s normal frequency is about 250 cps. Note
that this is not the beating heart rate but the vibrations of the field it
Cardio-contemplation is a process of extracting information about
the soul from heart energy. It is a way of tapping into spiritual energy
similar to meditation with a focus on the heart. Pearsall (1998) says,
“Cardio-contemplation is taking the time to let the heart feel and to be
free from the mental pressures of a brain ‘entrained,’ or in synch, more
with beeps and buzzes than the chirps of birds and rustling of trees” (p.
157). We must get into a space of just “being” rather than “doing.”
We make ourselves available to receive it. The process is one of merging,
collecting and connecting in nature.
“Cardiac-coherence is a balanced, blissful, steady, heart energy state,induced
by the process. . [of] cardio-contemplation” (Pearsall, 1998, p. 156).
This can be achieved by use of the “Freeze Frame® Technique” devised
by the HeartMath Institute. Directions for this process can be found
in Pearce (2004, p. 213-220) or in McArthur & McArthur (2005, pp. 74-5).
These two processes result in a more relaxed condition in which the heart
becomes free of the stressful entrainments of our busy brains. Cellular
memories can emerge and we can access the resources of higher powers.
In this state, we can also reprogram old, dysfunctional memories and gain
some release from childhood programming. In addition, we can tap into
a sense of the organization of universal life with its support and predictability.
Finally, we can connect with other hearts that resonate with the same energy
Read chapters 1-5 in The Intelligent Heart by McArthur & McArthur (2005) and chapter 10 in The Biology of Transcendence
by Pearce (2004). Then select some aspect of your life that is stressful
or to which you wish to bring more love and begin the Freeze-Frame practice.
Start with something relatively simple until you get the hang of it.
If you are not normally identified with your own loving Self, you may have
some difficulties contacting the love feelings at first. But persist.
Practice recalling people or animals that have loved you in the past and
your specific experiences of receiving that love. Focus on each one
until you can actually feel the love that was given to you. For instance,
I remember my grandmother taking me up on her bed for my afternoon nap and
lying down with me. With one arm around me, she would gently scratch
my head until I fell asleep. Or perhaps you have a purry cat who likes
to curl up on your lap or next to your back in bed. That’s love too,
baby! You may have had a similar feeling of oneness and bliss out in
nature on a solitary walk. Maybe you can recall the feelings of bliss
after love-making with someone you adore. All of this is grist for
the mill. The important thing is to re-experience love. First,
you stop the action, then remember love, then bring it to bear on the issues.
Eventually you will have a tool that you can use anywhere at any time you
need to revise your initial reaction into something more loving.
The Bodhisattva Path
Eknath Easwaran (1978) used to insist that one of the primary achievements
as a seeker was to learn how to put others first. This does not come
naturally as anyone can see who has access to a two-year old child.
The ego puts “me” first; and, after years of reinforcement of that attitude,
it is not going to be easy to reverse the trend. However, we can gnaw
away at its bindings until they are loose enough to shed.
A Bodhisattva is one who has reached liberation but who chooses to postpone
merging with the One in favor of returning to earth in multiple rebirths
in order to help others. In fact, the vow says that s/he will continue
until everyone is enlightened. A blessing associated with the vow is
that all karma has been repaid and no more can be acquired. The individual
is beyond cause and effect, in other words.
Buddhists have been most explicit about the characteristics of Bodhisattvas.
The three most important exemplars are associated with two of the Dhyani-buddhas:
Aksobhya and Amitabha. Vajrasattva is connected to Aksobhya
and represents the Essence of Adamantine Voidness. He is an active
ray of the Wisdom of the Great Mirror that reflects the Void. He is
the knowledge of the universal background, the totality of the world in each
form of appearance and knowledge of the infinite in the finite; timelessness
in the transient. We are talking here about the Vajra of the Heart
a mind that is immutable and indestructible as well as a spiritual certainty
attained from direct experience of reality. Vajrasattva is the Knowledge
principle (Prajna) in us and, as such, is related to the Mind in the triad
Avalokitesvara is the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the embodiment
of Love. He is associated with the Light and Love aspects of the Amitabha
Buddha. He is the Heart that descends into the world to transfrom death
into the Elixir of Life. This is the Karuna principle: Compassion as
an embodiment of Love. Compassion is a combination of love and wisdom
(karuna + prajna). This wisdom is the recognition of the inner identity
of all beings which leads to empathy and awareness of equality with others,
i.e., to recognize oneself in others. This is the Feeling principle
in the triad of creation.
Amitayus is another Bodhisattva associated with Amitabha. He
is the Lord of Boundless Life. Here is the life force and creative
sound. His is the element of life and breath, knowledge of mantric
sound, visualization and distinguishing knowledge. The inspiration
of intuitive knowledge and consciousness.
Tara is our only female Bodhisattva, and she is depicted as a young woman. Her Asian counterpart is Kwan Yin
who is older and is shown giving birth to the world. Both of these
are known as Bodhisattvas of Compassion; and, as such, are related to Amitabha.
Jesus the Christ was a Bodhisattva in every sense of the definition.
He came into a body to show us how to be God in the world. He also
was the first avatar to teach that “God is Love.” This is arguably
the first time in history that love was seen as one of the deity’s characteristics,
and is probably what makes the doctrines of Christianity so important.
Sufis extended this idea to that of God as the Beloved, and they see the
path as a love affair with the Divine One. As you might expect, that
is extended to service in the world. And Sufism is probably the tradition
most dedicated to selfless service on the basis of Love. Bhakti Yoga
also has a basis in love, worship and devotion, but it is all on the part
of the seeker. The Ultimate Reality is not featured as a lover in spite
of the so-called Shiva/Shakti love affair.
Swami Radhananda who is the present guru at Yasodhara Ashram gave a talk
on selfless service and the spiritual path at a Life Seal workshop recently.
You may enjoy excerpts from this talk in a short video at www.yasodhara.org/lightwaves/?p=347
What these all have in common is selflessness in the service of Love – giving
oneself for the benefit and welfare of others so that all of us may come
eventually into the Light of Wholeness and Bliss.
Practice: Rinzai’s Four-fold Contemplation
If you have, or can find, a copy of Foundations ofTibetan Mysticism by
Govinda (1982), read the final section: "The Path of Action." Study
the description of Rinzai’s Four-fold Contemplation on page 264. Relate
this to the initial stages of creation as depicted in Hinduism. Then
develop your own dissolution practice based upon it. Hint: http://sped2work.tripod.com/linchi.html or Google Rinzai.
The name “selfless service” itself indicates that your activities must not
be motivated by selfish desires. One way to test this is to see if
you can find a way to give a service that is not known to others. The
rationale for this is that so many people volunteer their services for other
reasons such as to make new friends, to gain praise, to feel superior to
their clients, to make business contacts, to get out of the house and away
from repetitive household tasks, to escape a bad relationship, etc.
I am sure you can think of others. However, since each of these reasons
implies gain or gratification of some wish or need, none of them are selfless.
The Ashram I attended was self-defined as a Karma Yoga center where emphasis
was put on selfless service. Lessons in that began the first day after
arrival. Newcomers were always assigned the most mundane and least
attractive tasks such as doing dishes, taking out the garbage, weeding the
garden, doing the laundry, shoveling snow, digging up the septic tank, and
other housekeeping chores as well as cooking. Men and women were treated
equally. Men cooked and women had maintenance chores. I remember
one very small woman being put in charge of installing a new roof on the
kitchen. Furthermore, your work was assigned by someone else and changed
every week; that is, everything changed except kitchen duty. When I
was anticipating going there, I dreaded the Karma Yoga because I knew it
would be housework which I did not enjoy at home. But, to my very great
amazement, I did enjoy it at the Ashram and later on at the Yoga Center in
Colorado. This says something about the inherent joy of selfless service,
One thing that does occur and could be considered a reward is that you intrinsically
feel good when giving service. It is as if the Love that you have given
is returned to you though not necessarily directly from the person who receives
your care. Love is an energy and energies need to move, or they stagnate.
But, you may argue, no one loves me, and I don’t have any to give.
That simply is not true. The Divine One loves Its whole creation including
each and every one of us. If you do not feel that, then you need to
do more spiritual practices until you find out. And, if you look into
your own life, you will discover infinite gifts from the Creator not the
least of which is the oxygen you breathe and the water you drink. The
beauty of the world is there for everyone. You may need to leave the
city to find it, but it is there for you.
Altruism is an unselfish concern for others, a form of selfless service,
It probably develops from the initial limbic resonance that bonds mother
and infant immediately after birth. If this bonding does not occur
because the mother and child are separated, there are serious consequences
later on in the child’s ability to trust others and to love. Such bonding
influences development of even the neurotransmitters as well as formation
of the brain structures. Lewis, et al (2000) have documented these
studies in detail.
Limbic resonance is important to understand because it is the basis
of all our emotional interactions with others. Lewis, et al (2000)
define it as “. . a symphony of mutual exchange and internal adaptation whereby
two mammals become attuned to each other’s inner states. . . When we meet
the gaze of another, two nervous systems achieve a palpable and intimate
apposition. . . [a] neural attunement of limbic resonance” (p. 63).
It is what we feel about a person who walks into a room or whom we meet on
the path. It is almost as if we go around surrounded by a cloud of
vibrations that carry our unique code of interact-ability. Infants
and children react to these vibrations automatically. Adults have often
suppressed knowledge of them on a conscious level but will still respond
to them unconsciously. If you meet someone and immediately like them,
limbic resonance is the mediator. If you seem to dislike them, there
may be a disharmony or discrepancy in the frequencies you are receiving.
This interact-ability is what underlies the phenomenon of exchange, the ability
to put ourselves in the other’s shoes and feel what they feel or tie into
what they are thinking. It is the basis for development of bodhicitta
and the practice of tong len [cf. www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema or Appendix B [Book V.]
Exercise: Limbic Resonance
Read chapters 1-4 in A General Theory of Love by Lewis, et al (2000) and chapter 12 in Essence of the Heart Sutra
(Gyatso, 2005). Make some notes on how these findings speak to your
own issues around selfless service. If you were an infant whose bonding
was disrupted by unsympathetic childbirth practices, you may want to read
about the development of trust vs mistrust in Identity, Youth and Crisis
(Erikson, 1968). Especially if you have difficulty feeling love and/or
its accompanying trust, it is important that you take the practices in this
unit and in the Fourth Guidebook on the Heart Chakra seriously because it
can take a lifetime to reverse the adverse consequences of such deprivation.
Practice: Limbic Resonance
Select a day when you will be seeing a few people and prepare yourself to
notice the vibrations they emit when you first encounter them. Do they
and you make eye contact? If so, does that intensify the resonance
or not? What reaction does the other person have to eye contact?
How does it feel to you? Can you identify the emotional overtones of
the resonance? Does that person like you or not? Can you tell
what they are feeling about you and the situation? If your reaction
is negative, can you change that? Try using the Freeze Frame technique
in this kind of instance. As soon as possible after the encounter,
journal what happened and your thoughts about how to change such encounters
if you need to in the future. Try to establish a regular practice of
noticing the limbic auras of the people you come in contact with throughout
the days. Notice what happens if you make skin contact with the hand(s)
of a checkout person at the market when you hand over your money. What
happens when you smile? The object is to raise your consciousness and
subsequently the frequency of your L-energy over time.
Characteristics of the Selfless Servant
How would you know if your actions are selfless, or how would you identify
someone else as selfless? Well, there are some indicators beyond the
motivational one we have already discussed. And they pretty well correspond
to those of a liberated or enlightened person. If such a person is
introverted or cherishes his/her solitude, you may not notice any difference
except the tendency toward withdrawal from raucous social occasions.
An extrovert will be much more outgoing and friendly in similar circumstances.
A liberated person will be unbounded by cultural conditioning but will probably
observe most of the niceties anyway so as not to give offense to others.
However, when push comes to shove, you will find such a person to be quietly
but definitively independent. They will see no reason to conform unless
not doing so will really hurt someone else. But this is not to say
that they will tolerate co-dependent bullying. One of the interesting
things about this state of being is that once it is attained, there are much
fewer challenges to one’s independence. Rather, you might find that
people either ignore you or behave as if they are a little afraid of you.
This is directly related to the vibrations we have been talking about.
If you are quiet, you simply may not be present to a noisy, self-centered
individual. And higher frequency vibrations may disturb the equilibrium
of lower ones thus upsetting the other person in a manner that s/he might
not be able to describe adequately. So you may find that you have to
be careful with your family and friends who do not share your path or be
prepared to have them abandon you.
An enlightened person identifies with the Divine One but not in an egoic
manner. The ego has long since been subjected to service to the Higher
Self and now behaves, usually, in a cheerfully objective way that allows
the person to manage daily life while “being in the world but not of it.”
Now all motivation comes from what the Divine One wants us to do. How
do we know?
Practice: Selfless Service
Well, you knew this was coming. Give some serious thought to how you
might be able to give some service to someone or an organization. Structure
it in your mind so it is truly selfless. Be careful in your selection
of what to do, so that it is simple enough to commit to over a period of
time. If it helps at first, you can limit the time frame. It
is all right if the service is something you like to do or that is pleasant
or that uses your gifts. That will, of course, be rewarding in itself;
but as long as that is not your primary motivation, it is all right, at least
in the beginning. As time goes by and you get the feel of it, you can
challenge yourself with something more difficult. Keep track of your
experiences until you can make some generalizations about what has been
happening and what you have learned from them.
You may discover what the Divine One wants through direct guidance from It.
Another word for guidance is channeling. However, that has acquired
a rather bad name due to the often selfish marketing of what passes for it.
The One may makes Itself known during meditation or during moments of real
mental quiet or in the twilight zones between sleeping and waking.
Upon further acquaintance, a dialogue can result during which one can ask
questions or seek direction. Such contact requires attunement, once
again the raising of one’s frequencies to a high enough level that the One
can come through to consciousness. You can see that the vibrations
of consciousness filtered through the limbic system as described above are
criterial. If you become clear enough, you will connect with the Divine
One, and It will let you know what It wants you to do.
Read chapters 8, 10, and 12 in The Intelligent Heart by McArthur &
McArthur (2005). The authors have blended information from HearthMath
with the Laws of Transformation gleaned from the work of Edgar Cayce.
These Laws appear to me to be universal, so I suggest you make an outline
or table of them for future reference. As the authors present them,
you can see the developmental progression from simple cause and effect operations
to higher sublimations. These chapters speak to inner guidance in particular.
Other Characteristics of a Selfless Servant
Most of these we have already encountered. Openness and clarity go
without saying. Equinimity is one that is favored by Buddhists as is
loving kindness (maitri), compassion (karuna) and wisdom (prajna).
Along with equinimity is balance between all aspects of beingness including
body, mind and spirit. Because such people are in touch with Divine
Light and the Universal Heart, it becomes possible to put others first and
to draw on the energies of Light and Love for the work in front of them.
Compare this with the demands made upon parents of young children, and we
have to add patience and humility. There is a real sense in which good
parenting requires selfless service as anyone with a newborn child or a two-year
There are models for us throughout the world. Gandhi comes to mind
and Martin Luther King. The Dalai Lama has given his life to selfless
service all over the world while estranged from his homeland. Mother
Teresa served the poor and untouchables in India until her death. She
brought tens of thousands out of homelessness one at a time by her own efforts.
Nelson Mandela became a world servant even though he had sufficient reason
to resent his imprisonment in South Africa. He is perhaps one of the
best models of forgiveness which is another characteristic of selflessness
that should be mentioned. Amritananda is an Indian master who brings
her love to the United States every year. Mother Meera teaches from
silence. Then there are all those thousands of people who serve daily
without praise or recognition. I am sure there are some in your life.
Transformation vs Transcendence
These two operations may overlap sometimes, but there is a distinction between them that speaks to our topic. Transformation
means changing something into something else. Usually it is a lawful
process, but it can be one of sudden, inexplicable change. White Light
experiences would fall into this category. On the other hand, it can
be a slow, but immutable change in character or temperament due to refinement
of the mind, body and senses. In fact, as we achieve higher levels
of consciousness, the body becomes more healthy and able to heal itself.
So we might say that transformation entails a change in form. Transformation
on the spiritual path is usually permanent.
Transcendence, on the other hand, means rising above the state we
are in. This is also most often a slow process that is lawful.
The whole progression of consciousness and kundalini energy through the chakras
is transcendence. Moving from the suble body into the causal body is
transcendence. Here, we are raising our frequencies to higher levels,
and that changes consciousness as well as how we experience our lives.
Our orientation to others may change in the process as we shift emphasis
from mind to heart as the ruler of the day. Finally, the goal becomes
Spirit’s, not ours. Then we are ready to mentor others, engage in spiritual
guidance and become a spiritual teacher. It is well to address these
prospects gingerly when the opportunity comes in order to make sure they
are, indeed, selfless.
At last, we become responsible for the state of the world and the health of the planet. We are
able, alone and collectively, to transform our environment. We have
only just begun to discover the power of our cardiac coherence and ability
to influence the Field that contains us.
Finding Your Niche
So, now that we are liberated how do we find our place in the scheme of things?
What do we do with all this new power and ability to engage with the Field?
What is our soul’s mission? Well, it is essential to find out if we
The turning point in my life was in my mid-forties. I had been in therapy
for three years and was feeling much better. Along with my visits to
the therapist, I had been reading Freud’s and Jung’s works, so I could try
to understand my malady. One morning, I awoke with a very clear image
in my memory of a symbol that had come to me in my dream. It was a
white sphere covered in a broken blue netting that was held in my hand.
It dripped water. It did not take long for me to identity its meaning.
I had, at last, made contact with my Higher Self and broken free of the bands
of conditioning that had held me prisoner for so long. Furthermore,
I had brought it to full conscious awareness. I found myself actually
feeling better than I could remember ever feeling in my life. I was
finally free! It was almost immediately after this that I realized
that my creativity lay in thinking and problem-solving rather than the arts
where I had previously searched for it. Once I knew this, my direction
was clear. I would be a college professor. Over the years, this
has morphed into spiritual guidance.
This story shows how important it is to recognize the one, main gift we bring
into the world. And everyone’s gift is unique to them. There
is a reason we incarnated: to do the one task that we agreed to prior
to birth. This is the soul’s mission. We become what we express.
And what we express is the One’s Will. Therefore, as we do so, we become
How to Live Without Boundaries
As we slowly become aware of our Divinity, we notice that the usual boundaries
that defined who we were and how we were to behave have disappeared.
For me, it is usually months, if not years, after a transcendent step before
I recognize what has happened.
It was several years after I left the Ashram before I noticed that I no longer
had fits of emotional outbreak. In fact, it all felt rather flat, and
I was not sure I liked it. I had moved beyond some level of ego that
had made me feel victimized. Roberts (1985) says we have
to relearn how to be in the world and how to function without an ego and/or
self. We have to live in this moment and stop running our lives by
the clock. At first, it felt a bit eerie not to have very much on my
calendar. But then I found that what was on it was usually very meaningful,
something I cared about doing. The inner life becomes paramount and
we begin to live from the inside out instead of the other way around.
What we do is governed by what needs to be done or by what is in front of
us rather than what others dictate we should be doing. We go with the
Flow and find we are full of grace and gratitude. We notice that the
One is providing for our needs: money, love, food, protection on the highways.
In every way, all that we need for our health and being is provided.
We may or may not be working for the money, but it is secure. Habits
of worry about those things may take a while to subside, but reminders come
every day. We learn how to tune in for guidance and to depend upon
Review chapters 1-4 in The Intelligent Heart by McArthur &
McArthur (2005). Then, when you sit for meditation, see if you can
tune in to Spirit. To do so, clear your mind, get quiet and call.
Do not be discouraged if nothing happens at first. It is, after all,
Spirit’s choice of when to contact you. Yours to wait and listen in
patience and humility.
Love as Healer
All of our readings provide evidence that love is not only a healer but probably
the best one in the arena. We have seen that it can speak to not only
physical symptoms but their causes as well. We are reminded that what
is not confronted on higher levels can manifest on the physical level as
disease. Stress is one of the primary culprits in the United States
caused, no doubt, by accelerating change. As an example, the women’s
movement has backfired to the extent that women are now expected to work
outside the home in order to provide enough money to pay all the bills incurred
by consumerism and materialism. Or they must work because they are
alone or are single parents. Possibly as a consequence, the whole family
structure is deteriorating most likely beyond repair. This has resulted
in loneliness and depression, grief and anger by turns.
Our ability to love has weakened. Food, especially sugar, has replaced
love in so many lives it is no wonder we suffer from diabetes and obesity
in such numbers and to such extremes. Even children are becoming
obese. One wonders if there is a correlation between that and absence
of the parents at home after school. It is one thing to choose to engage
in a career. It is quite another to be subjugated to it.
Regardless of whether my conclusions are valid, the problems exist and need
to be addressed. I believe these small books you are reading are a
good beginning if they encourage people to take a second look at how their
lives are unfolding and whether they are loved and able to give love.
We now know that the conditioning received in childhood can be, if not reversed,
at least reframed in memory and innoculated with love in the present.
There are ways to relearn how to love and how to stop our automatic emotional
responses, so we can produce more loving behaviors. Psychotherapy can
also benefit from some of these new ideas. And we can all learn how
to love from heart to heart directly and without interference.
Laughter is the best medicine in fact as well as in jest. Pearsall
(1988) offers some evidence that shows us how this works to our advantage
and suggests we try to open ourselves to more relaxed ways of being in the
world that will permit it to emerge.
Exercise: Love as Healer
Read chapter 6, 10, and 11 in Pearsall (1998) and chapters 6, 8, and 9 in
Lewis et al (2000). For more information, also read The Heart Speaks
by Mimi Guarneri (2006). Guarneri is a cardiologist who explains in
detail how the mental and spiritual characteristics of the heart can both
cause and heal diseases such as heart attacks. Take notes while you
are reading and see if you can come up with a compact theory of your own
about how the heart is both the cause and effect of healing.
How to Love
I need to admit that I am not an authority on this topic. I was one
of those who did not have the opportunity to bond immediately after birth,
and I still have issues around trust and feeling worthy of love even though
my mind tells me differently. It is true that emotional patterns are
laid down in those early years that are extremely difficult to change.
It may even be that the structures essential to loving can just not exist
if they were not programmed in during the critical period. I do hope
this is not true.
One of the things most critical to the generation of unconditional love is
forgiveness. And it is difficult to forgive someone for hurting us
if we are still in pain. It is hard to initiate a loving encounter
when we expect to be rejected as a result of past experience at home, on
the playground, in adolescence or in an unsuccessful marriage. Then
we find ourselves being asked to forgive ourselves because we perpetuate
the patterns we learned as children, not knowing what else to do. Or
because we do not feel worthy of someone else’s love. Or because we
had non-specific guilt instilled in us in childhood as a means of correction
by parents and teachers. It is not just physical abuse that scars us,
but emotional abuse as well.
So we may get into a pattern of worrying about how we will manage the next
questionable encounter with someone whose goodwill we desire. McArthur
(2005) calls this “Overcare.” And he provides another exercise to help
us deal with this issue (cf, “Cut-Thru” p. 160-2). What we need, Pearsall
(1998, p. 158-9) says, is to develop habits for hearing the heart.
He says such habits summarize how to cardio-contemplate and tune in to the
heart’s code. I will just list them and you can read about them yourself.
They do not really need explanation as they are pretty obvious:
• Be still
• Lighten up
• Shut up
Exercise: How to Love
Read chapters 5 and 7 in McArthur (2005) and continue with your journaling.
It might be useful to take an inventory of your own ability to reach out
to others in a loving, unconditional manner. See how often there is
a self-serving motive behind your wish to connect. What prevents you
from giving unconditional love? How is forgiveness for you?
Human beings are programmed by nature to interact with others. In fact,
we would not survive without the presence of others as we grow up.
And it is true that we also need love. Babies fail to thrive if they
are not loved by someone. It may not be their parents, but there has
to be someone who cares and can give body contact. I read an article
yesterday in which a young boy was reported as saying “I need love with skin
on it” when his mother told him God loved him. Don’t we all feel that?
Heart’s Need for Connection
The heart needs connection to others in order to function normally.
There has to be a sense of cardiac-coherence in the heart frequencies, or
we have a heart attack. We need to connect heart to heart, to feel
ourselves held in a bond of living love, to feel merged in that space of
love that contains and nurtures us – to feel arms around us whether they
are those of another person or those of an angel. Pearsall (1998) says:
. . cardio-sensitivity and connecting heart to heart requires invitation instead
of demand, being
receptive instead of prejudicial in our expectations, and
and welcoming instead of seductive and controlling. If we
ignore our brain
and let our heart be open, our old cellular memories will leak
out to help remind
us how “to be,” energy will pour in from other hearts to
remind us why we
“are,” and energy from the nonlocal info-energy field in
which we are immersed
will guide and nurture us into loving heart-to-heart
bonds. (p. 167)
Father Keating says, “Silence is the language God speaks. Everything
else is a broad translation” (quoted in Pearsall, 1998, p. 167).
Falling in Love
What about falling in love? you might ask.
Well, there are a couple of trinities here I would like to share with you
and I believe they can apply to all loving relationships. There are
three habits of the heart used to create who we are, what we need and what
we have to give. They are the processes of: 1) connecting, 2)
nurturing and 3) integrating all our cellular memories (Pearsall, 1998, p.
176). And these are just the things that contribute to the feeling
of being in love. Integration is said to be important because stimulating
old memories of being loved in childhood or in the prenatal period when we
were safe and warm contributes to the synthesis of L-energy between lovers.
Another triad is: 1) passion, 2) commitment, and 3) intimacy (Pearsall, 1998,
p. 190). These are related to the sensuous nature of love and L-energy.
Passion is of the body, commitment is of the mind, and intimacy is the result
of heart-to-heart connection. We need all three to be truly in love.
The latter two raise the bar well above mere sexuality.
Loss of a love results in heartbreak. And this is not merely a cliché.
There are definite symptoms in the heart associated with the grief of loss
of a loved one. It is called “the broken heart syndrome.” The
heart feels physically heavy in the chest. There may actually be pain
in the chest at the heart. One is in a kind of shock at the disconnection
of L-energy, so there may be fatigue and dizziness. Shortness of breath
and heart muscle weakness are also seen. All of this occurs in the
absence of abnormal test results. The body is flooded with stress hormones
which increases heart rate and constricts arteries. It is not unusual
for a spouse or lover to die soon after the partner does though it is not
always diagnosed as due to a broken heart. Guarneri (2006) devotes
a whole chapter to the subject of grief and how it manifests physically.
Exercise: Heart-to-heart Connections
Read chapters 8 and 9 in Pearsall (1998) and chapter 9 in McArthur (2005).
Then spend some time reviewing your most important relationships. What
behaviors and attitudes have been conducive to harmony and well-being and
which ones have been disruptive. How have you changed over time?
What have you learned about your ability to love and to accept love?
What else do you need to do?
It seems to me, one of the essentials to foster a satisfactory relationship
is reciprocity. Because the energies are so intertwined, any imbalance
is felt as pain by the non-dominant partner. Any love relationship
is based on give and take principles, so some kind of balance is achieved
between the exchange of vibrations. Therefore, what reciprocity means
is that neither partner dominates the other nor makes demands of any kind.
Consideration for others is a basic tenet. My mother used to say that
consideration for others was the main reason for good manners. And
we have a whole tradition of sayings that mean the same thing: “Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you,” for example.
Oneness and Wholeness
Another important thing to consider is that each partner in a relationship
must be a whole person in his/her own right. Kahlil Gibran (1977, pp.
15-16) said of marriage:
. . let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. . .
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. . .
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
If we are not whole, we become co-dependent in relationship. And that
is deadly. However, someone who is whole is free to give without deprivation,
and someone who is whole can receive without a sense of obligation.
Practice: Unconditional Love
Choose an animal or a person who is around you a lot and that you care about.
Stop and consciously feel your love for them and find a way to express it.
Do this as often as you can remember to do it, and strive to remember more
often. Then gradually extend this practice to friends and acquaintances,
then to strangers and then to someone you dislike or fear. This is
going to put you in touch with all your resistances to love and its exchanges,
so do not be surprised to find you do not wish to love someone or that you
feel embarrassed about it. The way you express it should be consistent
with the type of relationship you have with the person. If it is distant,
you may smile or soften the tone of voice or use another subtle form of expression
that will not embarrass you or the other. The important thing is the
exchange of L-energy. And you may think of L-energy as also Love-Energy.
At the level at which we are working now, we are not talking about sexual
energy nor even helpful energy, but a higher level of Love that lacks any
reference to self or ego. It is what the Greeks and early Christians
called agape – love for love’s own sake. God’s Love coming through a willing channel.
In this unit, we have looked at the role of the heart in returning to the
world to give selfless service. In doing so, we have become aware of
the inherent interconnections that bind all of us, humans and other living
being, into a Divine Whole that is sacred in its Essence. For God is Love.
This concludes Unit X. Return. Unit XI. Death of the Body
will offer some new ways to think about our transition into a higher realm
of Being. And that unit will conclude the series of guidebooks,
Return to Spirit.
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