By Sanjiv Ranjan May 2014 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 My little heart loses its limits in joy“At the immortal touch of thy hands And gives birth to utterance ineffable Thy infinite gifts come to me Only on these very small hands of mine Ages pass and still thou pourest And still there is room to fill . . .” -Rabindranath Tagore 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. No matter what the problem is, the central knot is always the one where love lies in shreds, where the threads that wove it once upon a time, lie broken and entangled with each other. 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 incisive knife . . . one finds an empty heart. A grey and wet Christmas evening, long ago, a silent reticent woman walked into my office, for healing. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. But she did not want to spend the rest of her life in the open coffin of a bed, gazing endlessly at a whirring ceiling fan, lulling her into an artificial life-draining, mind- numbing sleep, which never came fully, and never left fully. She was fully aware of the implications of being on lifelong medication. She believed that there was a deeper purpose to her life, one which she had strayed away from, and perhaps the madness which gripped her from time to time was actually life’s benevolence to push her to put together her fragmented selves, so that she could live again. As we went deep into the innermost recesses of her mind, we discovered that the madness she had succumbed to was just an overwhelming, unbearable need to be loved, just the way she wanted to be loved. Once she recognised this, and began to accept the emptiness of her heart, the betrayals that she experienced began to surface one by one. As each one of them surfaced, she moved into absolution and learned to let go. Slowly, she began to heal. Her fragmented selves began to integrate. And when wholeness finally flooded her inner world, it drew love into her life. Her need for medication had reduced drastically by the time therapy ended. Her story is the story of mankind. The story of each one of us who go through life, trying to distract ourselves from the blazing emptiness we hold within. 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 both of them follow different rules. You can choose to exist in either of them. But you have to choose. You cannot exist in them simultaneously, or divide yourself into two parallel lines, one which lives in each realm . . . because these two realms are not just terrains which you can traverse . . . they are kingdoms. Looking for attention is looking for light outside yourself 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 . . . in the way they function, and the fact that their fullness is inversely proportional to each other. An empty heart indicates a full mind 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. Why has fullness of the mind gripped humanity so terminally? The answer lies in the textbooks which teach everything but love. Fullness happens in a mind where 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. When this happens, thoughts rule. And thoughts are virtual whirlpools whose eddying currents constantly engage your senses as well as your energy in the onerous task of just staying afloat. The child of man, right from the moment he is born, is dragged into a system which fortifies the mind with knowledge, with language, with societal rules and the imperative to earn a living. So there is practically no energy left which can flow into the heart, allowing a child to experience its gifts, gifts which are not man-made, but existential. 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: 1. The yearning for attention 2. The compulsive need to judge things as right or wrong 3. The incisive need to blame someone else for the way we are feeling 4. A lack of understanding of the true nature of the Self 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. The need for attention The need for attention is the first crutch that the mind clings to. This happens because the mind is soulless. And because the mind does not have a soul 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 the finite cannot be infinite. And because it cannot be infinite, it is insecure. Insecurity gives birth to control. And control paralyses you. You perceive anything which cannot be controlled as dangerous. And this illusion of danger arises because you have not aligned yourself with the Infinite. The resultant severance of your umbilical connection with the Source renders you powerless. You have no power within you. There is no light within you. You grope around in the darkness within you. And so you begin to seek attention. 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. So you devise more and more ways in which you can garner more attention, so that you can get more likes. The more likes you have, the greater becomes the fullness within your mind, and the deeper is the emptiness within your heart. But your heart is where you are connected to the great light which created this universe. It is your birthright. There is a brilliant, dazzling light that exists within you, behind your closed eyes. You can actually see it, if you look long enough. But you are happier with the outer lights. You are happy 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 – which is your heart. And the more you will want to control the way they see you. In the end, you will render yourself a slave to the need to be liked by them. The man who sought control so that he could be the master begins to live like a slave. The drama keeps getting more vicious as the mind creates more and more loops. And every loop is a potential noose with which love hangs itself within you. And you are left with nothing but emptiness within. So what is the solution? The solution as always . . . lies in dissolution. 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. You fall. You need to let go of your need for attention. When you let go of your need to get attention, you flow into your heart. So let us begin with letting go of the need for attention. Exercise – Letting go of attention – seeking behaviour Take a paper and pencil and reflect with yo
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