The following is an edited article that was originally published in ‘Crazy Wisdom’ magazine, Vol4, NO. 9 & 10, pp. 38-43.
a talk by Da Free John
February 2, 1984
The Basis of the Way
An Open Heart
ADI DA SAMRAJ: The heart-opening is the basis of the Way itself. Without it, the Way cannot begin. This heart-opening is, of course, associated with natural and ordinary conditions of life. But you must remember its purpose and the intuition associated with such an opening. Otherwise, you will become involved in emotional manipulation of yourself.
Your entire experience in My Company is a process that should provoke this heart-opening, this heart-response so that you can truly enter into relationship with Me and begin the spiritual process.
Of course, if you do that, then in the world of relations your capacity to love will improve. That improvement is not the point, however. It is simply a natural but secondary aspect of the demonstration of the Way.
I have pointed out to you that you do not have a sexual problem. You have an emotional problem. Thus, if this heart-response is being evoked in you through hearing and seeing, your capacity to love in the domain of your intimate relationships will definitely improve.
The point is this heart-response itself. Either it is occurring for you or it is not. You may be having many experiences in My Company and in the community, and you may be very busily engaged in various activities, and you may call all of that practice, even though the heart-response is not really active in you. If the heart is not open, you can be very busy serving and appearing to live all the disciplines on some days, but on other days you can be promiscuous or mediocre or living a wide range of possibilities.
On the other hand, if the heart is open, a much narrower range of possibilities becomes your alternative. In other words, if the heart opens, you no longer live in the world of stark alternatives. Life becomes rather singular, one-pointed, lawful. Life economizes itself and you become Happy rather than feeling good sometimes and not feeling good at other times, clear some days and confused other days. A simpleness to life replaces all those alternatives. But if this heart-response is not occurring for you, then life is not single, and you are riding on your tendencies and constantly alternating in your disposition from one moment to the next or one day to the next, almost as if you were a different person from day to day, or hour to hour, or circumstance to circumstance.
So-called devotees who are not alive in this heart-response try very hard to practice and to live on the basis of these practical disciplines. They try to make their marriages work out, to deal with one another, to deal with their own tendencies, and so on. If the heart is closed, you do not have that heart-response to resort to. Instead you resort to your calculations, your knowledge, your observations, and so on. You become self-manipulative.
When the heart-response is active, there is a natural, or inherent, singleness in your disposition. You no longer struggle against an alternative. The opened heart has no alternative. It has the singleness of spiritual consciousness. Even though it may yet be immature, the consciousness is nonetheless spiritually awake, free of the duplicity of the self-contraction.
Your best intentions are not sufficient. Your best intentions are always countering your alternative or worst intentions, or at least bad intentions. The self-contracted personality, the heart-hardened personality, has two minds, is self-divided, is stuck with alternatives. Depending on the circumstance, the contracted personality will choose one or the other direction. There are always two alternatives.
The individual who is fundamentally free of the self-contraction, Awakened at the heart, sensitive to the reality of existence, is inherently single and therefore is not struggling in a situation of alternatives. Willfulness is unnecessary. The self-based, willful character is replaced by an attractive, self-transcending character, a character distracted and drawn by a Power that is greater than the separate self. Such an individual lives in the Domain of Love and is not merely idealistically disposed toward the idea of love. As long as you have an emotional problem, a problem about love, you cannot fulfill the disciplines associated with our Way, just as you cannot fulfill the Way itself. You will inevitably return to mediocrity, a divided mind, dramatization, tendencies, and all the rest.
Therefore, all our discussions are ultimately about an emotional and spiritual matter. Not only our discussions but all the theatre of our life together will not be fruitful until this heart-response becomes true of you until you have really heard and seen to the point of such a response. You are all trying to live a spiritual life, a religious life, a life of Divine orientation, and yet you exhibit the signs of a consciousness separated from God.