January 2014

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Fellowship of Friends

How to be wholehearted?

We are in fact fragmented. Lacking unity, we lack the will to achieve our aims. The many I’s do not know each other and we are born without a central organizing principle to our lives.

Half-heartedness does not reach into majesty.
You set out to find God,
but then you keep stopping for long periods
at mean-spirited roadhouses.
Rumi

But higher states come to us and leave traces of a more unified state. For a moment we remember higher worlds always exist. They interpenetrate us even while we forget their greater reality.

Attentiveness is a key. We become conscious of our own attention, as a first step.

When the mind remains attentive to what one is doing,
when one is whole-heartedly involved,
and when nothing makes one heedless,
that is when one has achieved conscious awarenesss.
Al-Ghazali

The heart awakens with prolonged conscious attention. The longer we can remain awake, the warmer the heart, the longer the memory, the more real the remembrance; in this way the heart transcends itself.

If you love God ‘with your whole heart, whole mind, whole strength’,
and, leaping with ardent feeling beyond that love, become wholly aflame,
then God is indeed experienced.
Bernard of Clairvaux

Wholeheartedness in our spiritual life has several dimensions. We can – with work – construct an observer and invoke divided attention from the ordinary states we are in, more and more often.

This is a “bottom-up” approach, a quest for the Real from a starting point that is relatively less real. Here our inner work is active: we make efforts to attract higher states, and utilize techniques to do so.

The lover never despairs. For a committed heart, everything is possible.
Rumi

Want nothing with all your heart, stop the stream.
Buddha

What is it to be wholehearted? Perhaps it is to give one’s heart away. Surrender to our highest states, instead of attempting to achieve a presence that must be found and won, and found and won again each moment. We can simply give our heart to the Reality surrounding us; a higher, more active state that actively seeks us out to join with it and realize our destiny.

A man’s readiness and commitment are not enough if he
does not enjoy help from above as well;
equally, help from above is no benefit to us
unless there is also commitment and readiness on our part.
John Chrysostom

Rowena L.



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