A Matter of the Heart
Here is a description of the Third Day of Creation in Genesis. It is a symbolic portrayal of the creative process in our lives.
“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:9-11)
It’s easy in human experience to want all the things that are being portrayed symbolically here, to want something to come into form, to want some dry land, to want to have things in our world flourish and do well—our economy, our crops, our business, or whatever it may be. It’s very understandable that we should desire those things. But there is something else to happen if what is portrayed here as dry land is to appear.
Usually, a person’s world doesn’t flourish without some hard work. But we also know we can labor long and hard with very little to show for it, because labor alone doesn’t lead to things flourishing. Laboring alone leads to tiredness. So there is something else to pay attention to because, while our success may depend on hard work, it depends on something else, which is a matter of the heart.
It is interesting to note that in the Creation story, the waters were gathered together after there was a heaven—and, by the way, not a lot of little separate heavens either. There was one heaven, which I see as relating to clear understanding. When it comes to spiritual things, many believe that if we all shared an understanding of what is true, all would be well with the world. And usually, the person is thinking, “If only everyone shared my understanding of how the world should be.”
There comes a time when good ideas alone seem lightweight, and even frivolous, if they are not followed by something else. That something else is a matter of the heart. All the wonderful truths that we could espouse have to be backed by something else if they are to have meaning. They are truly backed by an act of the heart. They are backed when what is true in a person’s understanding is allowed to prevail in their own experience, relative to their own heart.
The song Oren Yakovee sang earlier spoke of the broken heart. Often a broken hearts relates to romantic relationships. But the heart can be broken over many things.
If you speak to somebody about their broken heart, they can tell you how their heart was broken. They can give you the facts. “I had a dream, I thought something was going to happen, I put myself into it, and my dream didn’t come true.” Or perhaps, “I counted on somebody and they let me down. I believed in someone and they turned out not to be who I thought them to be.” So there are facts, sometimes indisputable facts, that a person can cite that explain why their heart is broken.
And yet, for an individual, where there is a clear heaven, something clear in their understanding of themselves and what their life is about, where there are clear values, there is an opportunity for a healing of the heart. If you are an attunement server, this is a critical factor in someone’s health and well-being. So if you seek to be of real service to another person, you may be interested in the healing of the heart, knowing that it is impossible to change past facts—and if the healing of the heart depended upon that, you would be sunk.
So when does the heart heal? When does the heart become whole, for an individual or for a body of people? The person has to approach what has been broken. They have to approach the wound, or the wall that has been erected. There has to be an opening of what has been closed, and ultimately a determination to tear down what has caused separation inside a person and between them and their world. Most importantly, it takes something conscious and deliberate. It takes the determination of a person to hold what is happening in their being, consciously and deliberately, and create something different.
Along the way, what has to be dealt with is the belief in their own brokenness. We were speaking about the Berlin Wall, and it’s interesting that the Wall was a physical reality. It was a fact. But it was also a belief. And actually, it was the belief that created the wall, and not the other way around. So there may be some brokenness of heart in a person, and that has to be acknowledged. But the bigger issue to deal with is the belief in the brokenness of heart, and the belief in its significance. And those are matters of belief, not just matters of the heart. They’re questions of what a person has accepted for themselves and their life—their individual life, and their life with other people.
So we’re getting down to an area where we have choice and sovereignty, and where we can act. And we are approaching another belief around the broken heart, which is “There’s nothing I can do. I cannot act.” No, you can’t change the past facts, but you can act now. You can accept something different now.
So for an individual or for a group of people, or, if we would like to look at the macrocosm, for the body of humanity, when is it that we can act? When does the day come when the broken heart is mended, when the waters gather together to one place so that the dry land appears and we move on to lead the life we are destined to lead? Would we like to set a date for our own life or for our collective labors? When would that date be? 2012? Next year?
I believe the healing of the heart occurs when a person says it will occur—not before, and not after. It occurs in that moment when a person says, “This is the day. Now is the time.” It happens when a person is compelled by what’s in their own awareness, in their own heaven, and stirs a sense of what is possible in their life. When a person touches that, and that means more to them than their belief in their broken heart, and they say, “Today is the day; now is the time,” that is when the heart heals.
We have been considering the fall of the Berlin Wall. I can imagine that for Gorbachev, and for those in power in the Soviet Union, the idea of tearing down that wall was horrifying. And I can imagine the sense of vulnerability that they felt and risked, contemplating life without that wall. So what are our vulnerabilities? That becomes the question. What is it that we might have to face if we were to allow our walls to come down? That’s probably worth thinking about.
I can tell you one thing that a person has to face if they allow the waters of their being to come together and if they do that with other people: their life! There is a way a person’s life doesn’t really get past wonderful imagination if they don’t let this happen. Did you ever meet someone like that? A person who has all the good ideals, seemingly everything together in the heaven, full of how the world should be, but, in some way, living a life with a broken heart and walls between themselves and the world. In some way, a person doesn’t have to live their life if they don’t go past that place. They never have to find out what their life would be about if they actually followed out what they say they believe, what they sense is true. They never have to test it to find out whether it is really true. Does it really grow corn, or is it just an attractive idea? The waters of their own being never come together and there is some kind of strange safety in that.
I’d like to close with the words of a song I used to sing as a teenager. It’s by Richard Fariña, and it’s called “Pack Up Your Sorrows.”
No use crying, talking to a stranger,
Naming the sorrows you’ve seen.
Too many sad times, too many bad times.
And nobody knows what you mean.
Ah, but if somehow you could pack up your sorrows
And give them all to me,
You would lose them, I know how to use them,
Give them all to me.
Life invites us to give up the jealously guarded hurts of the heart, to allow the waters of our being to come into one place of love response for what’s most precious to us, so that we can do the one thing that is ours to do in the world.
July 27th, 2009