The spiritual path can only be traveled to its end if our human heart has expanded sufficiently through trials, troubles, disappointments, loss and failures. These prepare our human nature for the divine nature. It is the heart that carries the wisdom of these lessons.
I call this human maturity. Human maturity is the capacity to include everything in our area of responsibility, even those people and circumstances that are difficult or we are repulsed by but are in our lives now. The purified heart carries no repulsion or judgment. It carries only forgiveness and acceptance and patience for that which seems intolerable to be accepted and included.
Perhaps it is in this arena that modern spiritual teachings have lost focus. Without the mature human heart, no realization or insight, no experience or understanding can be put to its full use. Nor is it possible to give one’s life over to what these point to. It will be a memory or become something to be discussed or argued with friends over cocktails and beer.
The only truth is one that is lived
The Mature Human Heart
The mature heart gives selflessly without question. It endures calmly and patiently because it is in connection to the inner peace that comes with that maturity, the natural wisdom a life lived well gives. A mature heart responds automatically to the need or requirement that is before it without the usual self-interest or ego’s calculation of cost vs benefit for itself.
In these times, people have forgotten how to live from their heart. The mind and intellect dominate over all things. Yet the mind is a poor tool for truth or wisdom. The mind is a survival and success mechanism that serves the will of the ego to preserve and protect the status quo. The mind is only interested in the knowledge and experience that enhances its function and purpose. It cannot see value in the wisdom of the heart and thus gives it little if any credence or importance.
Breaking out of the enthrallment of the mind and intellect is difficult in this age. Usually it is through romantic love or the love of family or friends that we have any access to our human heart. Yet these are all opportunities for the lessons that mature our human heart if we can see these relationships as that. Instead, our ego-mind calculates what’s in it for us. If the costs exceed the benefit, we get as far away as possible or break off the relationship. This is just the opposite of what needs to happen.
The inner spiritual heart can only be found through the mature human heart. Life is the true spiritual path. Learning to live life well is a tremendous opportunity to go beyond the ego–driven mind, self-serving paradigm and to develop the heart-based, self-giving one.
This path starts with where you are. Look at the relationships in your life, be they an intimate other, family, friends or coworkers, even fellow seekers. A relationship can be a powerful sadhana if we step out of the self-serving ego perspective and see it as an opportunity for developing the true spiritual heart in us.
This path is simple. It includes all experience. It rejects nothing but only acts on those that serve the highest good. Include all: truth/untruth; good/evil; but act only on the positive, the up-lifting. Anything that separates us from experience prevents us from maturing our human heart and reaching the state of unconditional love.
We are all influenced by the deeply engrained habits of attraction and repulsion. We easily move into experiences we are attracted to but resist and oppose those that repulse us. Yet that which we resist persists. This causes the accumulation of many unexperienced unwanted experiences. These build and build creating a negative void where all our avoided experiences reside. These accumulated unwanted experiences create a point of view that distorts reality.