Knowing Through the Heart
Greetings, everyone. David Karchere here, from North Reddish, England. Here at St. Agnes Church we’ve had a wonderful day with Clive Larsen and friends. And I can tell you, if you haven’t been hugged by the good people of St. Agnes Church, you haven’t been hugged. There’s such a spirit of love in this community! And I’ve been away from home, traveling, long enough that I miss my home. I miss Sunrise Ranch and my family and friends. And at the same time, as I walked into the church this morning, I felt I was coming home.
It’s said that home is where the heart is. Home is where the spirit of love lives. And wherever there are people who embody the spirit of universal love and let it flow freely, there is a true home. So I’m so grateful for what is here and what’s among people, wherever they are, all over the world, where the true home is present and known. And from that true home there is altitude and there is a transmission. There is a tower of faith, a tower of reality, and therefore a transmission from that tower.
For that transmission to come from us, it takes courage. It takes something deliberate. And we might take the attitude about people in our life, “Well, they know I love them.” Do they? It’s so obvious that love is something that is of the heart. It is something that’s transmitted through the heart. And while there’s a vital part that our conscious mind has to play in our spirituality, ultimately, without a heart that’s open and is transmitting the frequency of love, how do we truly connect? How do we connect upward to the larger reality of Being that we are a part of? And how do we connect to other people and to the world?
I’ve been thinking about the role that our human mind plays in our life. And there’s a reason to have a human intellect. It’s vital in all kinds of ways, including the practicality of living life on Planet Earth and in the world in which we live. So the human intellect is vital, but it is no substitute for an open heart. The human intellect can be all about the questions of “what” and “how”: What should happen here? What do I want to happen? What’s going on? And how? How do I make happen what I want to happen? How do I make things work out? What’s the technology, what’s the method? The human mind is good for those kinds of questions.
But the human mind alone is very bad for an even more essential question. And until that more essential question is answered, all the discussion and all the thought about how we do things only lead down a path of destruction. It leads to things like atom bombs and global warming, and wars in Iraq and many other places around the globe. It leads to man’s inhumanity to man. It leads to the rape and destruction of the planet, because only when a person has not answered the “who” of life could they be so seemingly wise as to invent all this technology that we have in our world but at the same time so incredibly ignorant that they don’t know what technology is for. They don’t know the basics for creating a true technology, a technology that would truly serve humanity, that would truly serve this planet and not destroy it.
That most essential question is a question of “who.” The human intellect looks at the question of who: “Who am I?” and in a very intellectual way reflects on the human experience, a human life. Philosophers reflect on human life and ask, “Who am I? Who are we?” and pose that as the great existential question.
There’s a story familiar to many of us. It’s a Bible story. In this story there’s a depiction of the human intellect, the human mind in all its glory, keeping humanity enslaved. And then there’s also a picture of the knowing of Being, the knowing of the reality of God, the knowing of who one is. That story is the story of Pharaoh and Moses, and Moses setting the people free. When faced with Moses’ demand to let his people go, Pharaoh’s answer is: “I know not your God, and I will not let your people go.” The human intellect all by itself, with all its vaunted wisdom, doesn’t know and will never know of itself the answer to the most important question in life—“Who is present?” The answer to this question brings all wisdom and all truth available to the human experience.
The answer to the question can only be known through the heart. It astounds and stupefies the human mind that it can’t know who it is, and it can’t know God. It can’t experience oneness with other people and connect with other people. And the human intellect can’t really connect with this planet, because that knowing and that connection happens only through the open heart. The connection to one another is through the heart, and therefore the knowing of one another is through the heart. The connection with this planet and with all of nature, and therefore the knowing of this planet and the understanding of this planet, is through the heart. And yes, there are things to understand intellectually, but true understanding of the mind only comes when there is connection through the heart.
People make all kinds of attempts to connect with God. Intellectually, we may think that if we meditated long enough, if we prayed long enough, maybe if we practiced yoga long enough, we would connect. Maybe if we confessed enough, said enough repentance, maybe if we studied long enough, maybe if we read long enough, maybe if we went to enough workshops, we would know God. I say no, not ever that way. Not ever.
Through our recent tour in Europe, we have talked about various kinds of courage. There is the courage of performing brave acts, which is the courage of action. That is what we usually think of when we think of courage, and truly that can be courage. And then there is the courage to truly think for yourself, and that is a rare kind of courage. The courage I am addressing now is the courage to open your heart and connect and allow what would come to you in that connection to come to you, to be known by you—to allow what’s available to you from the universe, from other people, from the planet and from God, to come. In that connection we find there is not only something coming to us but there is also something coming from us. There is a knowing and a being known.
So here we are, separated by oceans and miles. You might say we’re always separated by some kind of space; it just depends on how much—seemingly separated by space and many other things, by culture, by personality, by race and gender. I’m asking in this moment whether all of us, connected seemingly by telephone, by Internet and streaming video, can make a different kind of connection right now and perceive through the instrument of the heart the presence of Being, the presence of Being in all people and therefore in each other; the presence of Being in all things, in all human relations.
There are things to know and there are understandings to have about other people and about relationships with them. But all of that understanding springs out of a knowing and a connection to who they are and who we are. It is a question, first of all, of who is present. And in knowing who is present and connecting with who is present, and coming into that deeply—in ourselves, first of all, coming into the presence of Being—we can feel that same presence in one another and know that we’re ultimately not only connected but there is one presence in us all and in all creation. When we know that, that is the beginning of all wisdom. And the lack of that knowing is the beginning of all ignorance.
At Sunrise Ranch we have recently published a document which I’ve shared on this trip with people that we’ve met with, and it speaks of the philosophy of Sunrise Ranch and speaks of that philosophy as honoring Universal Being, honoring the Being in all things and all people, and ultimately in ourselves. In St. Agnes, in the service this morning, I reveled in the practice of a true Christian faith—that faith as it was originally taught by Jesus, as it was originally known by him and practiced by him. It was a faith based in a knowing of Universal Being. And I felt, in St. Agnes this morning, that we redeemed that word God that has been so misused, that has been used to refer to a reality far distant from who we are, far distant from this planet, up in the sky someplace, unattainable in experience and by connection for us as human beings.
People think and speak of using the name of the Lord in vain. Using the word God in this way as something separate and disconnected surely is in vain, for it leads noplace. Jesus taught I and my Father are one. And for that word God to have meaning, that surely must be the experience. That experience is only known through an open heart. And where there is an open heart, it cannot help but be known. If you try to think yourself into it, you’ll be thinking a long time, and you won’t be knowing. It’s only as the human mind admits defeat in this regard, admits its total futility, that a person can give up on that attempt and open their heart. The human mind, of itself, doesn’t know God and wasn’t built to. It was made to be an instrument of awareness brought to it by the open heart. And then the mind can be a servant to that knowing—a servant. I do believe we have to admit, perhaps on behalf of all Western civilization, perhaps on behalf of all the so-called developed cultures of the world, that our mind, of itself, is futile and helpless when it comes to the most important things in life; and that its true role is one of accepting the humility of being a servant to a large knowing that only comes to the mind through its friend and partner, which is the open heart.
I want to recall a very ancient teaching that was even before Jesus’ time on earth, Jesus’ life. It is that ancient psalm, attributed to King David but likely from a far earlier time—he may have been the publisher, maybe even the editor, but very likely not the author. I’m speaking of the Twenty-fourth Psalm, in which this knowing of Universal Being was brought so profoundly. And in the minds of most people around the world, the deeper truth of that psalm is hidden in plain sight, shrouded in religious concept and religious idea that fills the human mind, but without the heart connection to the deeper reality being pointed to so clearly.
“The earth is the Lord’s.” The earth is an embodiment of Universal Being. “…the world, and they that dwell therein.” All people, everywhere, no matter how unknowing, no matter how ignorant, no matter how they’re behaving, no matter what has happened in their life, belong to Universal Being. Within all people is Universal Being, the reality that is rightly named as God, as much as that word has been misunderstood. And in fact, all of us together, all of humanity, all of the world, was meant to be the way by which Universal Being could be present in this world. This world does not belong to the human intellect, which is thinking about how it can bend that world to its own will, bend other people to its own will, bend nature to its own will. This world belongs to Universal Being. And the reality of Being is meant to be embodied and manifested in this world.
I think of that prayer of Jesus where he so clearly spoke to this: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Here is the exact same message as the Twenty-fourth Psalm: that in this world, on earth, the reality of Universal Being is meant to be present, the will of Universal Being is meant to be done, and the home of Universal Being, referred to as heaven, the kingdom, is meant to be present right here on earth. Oneness is the truth. But there can be no oneness, there cannot be connection leading to oneness, without the courage of an open heart.
This, I know, is what our world needs now from us—not us as smart human beings, even spiritual human beings, who are going to figure this all out. The world needs us as Universal Being incarnate and in expression through our glorious humanity. And our humanity does become glorious when the Being of who we are is in full and free expression through it. But how does that ever happen without an open heart? When that does happen, we put ourselves in touch with the wisdom of Universal Being, which is our wisdom. And our mind can function intelligently and brilliantly and creatively in that context.
So I appreciate the opportunity to share this around the world. Love to all my friends and family at Sunrise Ranch. I miss you deeply. Love to my friends around the world, many of whom I have met and know person-to-person, and many whom I haven’t met, but I believe we know each other through an open heart regardless—being-to-being, love-to-love, having the courage to extend that love which knows no boundaries, no distance, no space that could separate. And as we are connected and one throughout the world, we can feel and know the reality of heaven, the kingdom, coming into our own experience and coming into the world.
May 16th, 2014