When we release the forces that throttle love and mire our lives in a wasteland, we will inherit the love that is our birthright, says Sanjiv Ranjan
In all the years that I have spent in healing people, underlying every projected issue which people seek help for is the dilemma of love, love which has eluded, love which has confused. It could be a health issue, a performance issue, a success issue or a relationship issue. But in the end, if therapy is allowed to go deep enough, like a surgeon’s exploring an incisive knife, one finds an empty heart.
Why is the heart empty? Was it meant to be so? If love is the fabric which holds the Universe together, then why is it so difficult to hold on to it? The answers to these seminal questions are not so easy. But there are clues which have revealed themselves in the course of therapy, which can help you to explore the mysteries of love, to revel and overflow in them, in the depth which is required to live it. For this you need to know some of the truths that determine your life experiences.
Love: Mystery in mind, magic in heart
The truth is that there are two dimensions which rule your world. They lie superimposed upon each other and follow different rules. You can choose to exist in either of them. You cannot exist in them simultaneously or divide yourself into two parallel lines because these two realms are not just terrains which you can traverse – they are kingdoms.
One is the kingdom of the Mind, a land watered by rivers which are finite. And the other is the kingdom of the Heart, where the infinite ocean of milk resides, which can quench your heart as well as satiate your hunger, which can nurture you in every way that you need to be nurtured, just like your mother’s milk sustained you in the early years of infancy. The secret lies in understanding the way they exist, the way they function, and the fact that their fullness is inversely proportional to each other.
Fullness of the mind has gripped mankind to the extent that it has become an epidemic which is going unrecognised because everyone is afflicted by this grave disease. The reason for this terminal illness lies in the textbooks which teach everything but love. Our education does not recognise that the ‘child of man’ is a holistic union of the body-mind, and that there is a soul which breathes life into his existence. The soul can be nurtured only through heart-based responses to life. Education that predominantly nurtures and strengthens the faculty of thought and reason at the cost of feelings, intuition, and an understanding of the true purpose of the human endeavour, does not allow heart-based intelligence to flower. And when the intelligence of the heart is not allowed to flower, there is no fragrance in life. There is no cognition of love, because love is subtle, and the mind only knows how to recognise that which is gross.
Love: to be learnt by heart
Love is an existential gift and it is present in your heart. But you cannot realise it, you cannot make it real, if you continue to irrigate your mind recklessly and leave the heart’s soil barren, devoid of any moisture. Life loves you. It simply wants you to stay alive. And so as a survival mechanism, it breathes all its energy into your mind so that it does not collapse under the tremendous burden it is carrying. As a result your heart remains bereaved of all life-force energy.
There are four forces which overburden your mind and give birth to emptiness within the heart. Understanding these factors completely will set your mind free from the extensive burden it carries and allow the life-force energy to flow into your heart so that the desert you have created can turn into an oasis, where the beloved traveller can stop and sip water to quench thirst.
1. The need for attention
The need for attention is the first crutch that the mind clings to. This happens because the mind is soulless. There is nothing which connects it to that which is infinite and eternal. There is nothing which can carry it to another shore. The mind can only exist in the realm of the finite. And because it cannot be infinite, it is insecure.
Insecurity gives birth to control, which paralyses you. You perceive anything which cannot be controlled as dangerous because you have not aligned yourself with the Infinite. The resultant severance of your umbilical connection with the Source renders you powerless. Attention is light from outside. The moment someone (it could be one or many depending upon how much light you seek, and how deep is the darkness) gives you attention you feel powerful. Light from outside can brighten up your path for a short while but can’t illuminate your life’s journey. Your heart is where you are connected to the great light which created this universe. But you are happier with the star dust that falls into your eyes, and gives you an illusion of light within you. The more you seek attention from others, the more refuge you take in their mind instead of living in your own home—your heart. In the end, you will render yourself a slave to the need to be liked by them. And you are left with nothing but emptiness within.
You have to understand that your need for attention is a search for light. You need to dissolve the search for light outside you. Indeed, light is the biggest stabilising force in the universe. But if it resides outside you your centre of gravity moves outside, and you topple. When you let go of your need to get attention, you flow into your heart.
2. Beyond judgement
The horizon beyond judgment is where the soul of love resides. There is a very beautiful line by the poet Rumi: “Out beyond right and wrong . . . there is a field. Come, I will meet you there.”
The field that Rumi refers to is the heart. Right and wrong belong to the realm of the mind. There is no absolute right and wrong, because right and wrong are decisions made by the individual subconscious mind. Anything which evoked a painful feeling is labelled wrong, and anything which evoked pleasure to a certain degree, it marks as right. Thus right and wrong become very individual, because they involve feelings which are always intensely personal. The problem arises when you begin to impose your rights and wrongs on other people, and mark it as a reflection of who they are. In the process of your pronouncement of judgement and facing a rebellion for it, your mind once again becomes full.
Move away from the shores of right and wrong to enter the sea of love. Instead of sitting on a throne and passing a judgment on the other, you need to go within yourself and ask yourself - Why does what is happening between us, bring pain to me? Most of the time you will discover that the pain stems from unawareness, and an unwillingness to accept the diversity of life. You have to accept diversity not just as tolerance, or a compulsion but with choice. You have to rejoice in it, get completely absorbed in it, drown in it, soak in it, completely immerse into it. You have to revel in it and include everything in it, the diversity of thought, the diversity of action, the diversity of attitudes, philosophy, faith and behaviour. When you embrace diversity, positive energy gushes into your heart so much so that your heart will actually overflow into all your senses and make them vibrantly alive. All it requires is a little awareness.
The appendix was considered vestigial. It had no function. The pineal gland was considered vestigial. It had no known function. But in the last 50 years it has been understood that their functions are vital. So even if you do not understand the purpose of something which seems wrong in your life today, you will someday understand how it was a blessing in disguise. That somehow it served you. In exactly the way the Universe wanted it to, because the Universe is expanding. It wants to carry you into the expansion. For that it shall push you, to the edge of everything that you believe is right, until you encounter something which you believe is wrong. And it will push you until you have included that as part of the miracles which define creation. Remember, it is only at the edge that the flight begins.
3. Blame blocks love
Each time you feel challenged and you cannot cope with the challenge, you desperately seek someone whom you can blame for what is happening within you. But life will challenge you. Love will challenge you because both life and love seek your growth. They seek your evolution. Love enters into your life to teach you how to rise above the destructive energy of blame.
When love first appears before you, it is just a seed. And if that seed were to remain a seed it would shrivel up and die. The seed has to become a plant. To sprout, a seed needs pressure, forces from outside have to act on it, forces like the moist loving earth which compresses it. It is against this very compressive bearing down pressure of the earth that it rises just like a kite which rises only when the wind is against it. It ascends along the wall of the current that does not allow it to move horizontally. The problem arises when the pressure is not celebrated. You do not rejoice in the pressure. By not rejoicing in it, you succumb to it. When you succumb, you want to put the blame on the other. Instead of allowing expansion, you shrivel. And slowly after years of shrivelling, you begin to harden. Because it makes you feel small. Hence it is very vital that when in love, you accept pressure as a benevolent force. Because it is not the beloved, but life pressing down upon what is as yet only a seed in you. And it is in response to the yearning within you to unfold and grow, to break out from the darkness under the earth and reach out to the sky.
Love takes you into a deeper high. And all it takes is – to live in awareness and make a conscious choice to never let the sword of blame fall on the neck of the beloved. It is the highest ideal of love to protect the one you love from the daggers of your own mind.
4. Love is your birthright: realisation of Self
Now that you have emptied your mind, you need to shift to a realisation which will contribute to the fullness in your heart. A realisation of ‘who you are’ is the only miracle in this Universe which can bring you home. It is said that Jesus once healed a blind man. He gave him sight. A few years later when he passed by the village again, he found him lying inebriated in a brothel, in a state of abject misery. Jesus felt sad. The miracle of the Christ had restored the man’s sight but he had no vision, which could tell him where he was heading.
Nobody can gift you vision. Vision can only be found when you align with the sacredness of who you are. This inner misery and its outward projection will never stop until you seek the miracle of Self-realisation. Man is no longer man, he is fast turning himself into a machine. And a machine can never love. Unless realisation permeates the depth of one’s being, love can never stay in one’s life —it shall just be a fleeting visitor, a dearly loved fantasy which can never be lived or fulfilled. Self-realisation is as simple as it is profound. But you have to work towards it. You have to make it the most important pursuit in your life. At each breath you have to remind yourself that you are the light of this world. When you remind yourself again and again that you are the pure light of love, that love is who you are, that love is what you breathe, see, feel, sense, taste and hear, you will experience the great outpouring. Like a spring of fresh water in an otherwise arid desert. The beloved will turn into God. And love will become the only form of worship that your heart knows. Life will stir within you breathing in love unbound and joy infinite. You will touch the ecstasy which comes from being celebrated by the very force which created this universe and life will love you with the fierce intensity, which is your birthright.
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