The Theosophical Forum – December 1947

THE PRESSURE OF THE HEART — John Peck

When ideals are made impersonal, they have to be freed even from the individual, for even the most glorious work of an individual must ultimately blend into the supreme glory of the Whole. The little book called Light on the Path, although it is very small, has a potent influence on one's thoughts. What I like about it is that the author embodies one's deepest and purest ideals — so deep that it can only be lived. When you think that it is the human aspect showing, then he must be a great Being. Although I can't help noticing the author it doesn't mean that I haven't taken note of what he says. It is in fact in taking notice of the author that what is said sinks in gradually. I mean by "author" not a personality, but a universal Beauty or Grandeur. Yet it is human too. When a heart beats to a great vision it sheds a clothing of radiance and that radiance becomes the breath of the Universal Heart — it becomes Truth. Individual creativeness becomes the impersonal creative harmony of the whole.

It just shows that Theosophy is true and that self-forgetfulness, impersonality, and universality are the first steps. It shows that in giving one's purest life one draws nearer the springs of Life.

Perhaps the greatest problem which all "Tryers" have to face is the battle between mind and heart, and the reason why ideals are so difficult to follow (yet so easy if one impersonally loves) is because they are partly formed by the mind and therefore objectified and perishable. But the pure essence is immortal and if one holds to that and lets go of the changing forms, success is sure to follow, because the less disappears into "something" else, the greater. That is why one must not look back. The beauty of it is that no amount of mental will can prevent one looking back until one is so pure as to forget oneself. When I say that, I mean to show that it is doubt and uncertainty which cause one to listen too much to the mind. Nature guards the SELF against the self. That is why self-forgetfulness and unity — Charity — must be the first key. No truly aspiring soul would wish it to be otherwise.

Let the heart command the intellect and the intellect will become an unconquerable warrior for Truth and for all that is enduring and immortal. By the "heart" I do not mean the passions but that which is Divine in all beings, whether it be human or god. Nor do I mean that one should suppress the mind, for that would deprive one of the means to freedom. Rather mold the mind to universal ethics and compassion. If the mind denies, then let it deny the onset of doubt and delusion, and let it open the paths of Truth into the thought-life of the world.

The problem can never be solved except by him who experiences it as a complete being. Thus doubt is to be resolutely conquered by courageously seeking the immortal and the enduring, and by following it however faintly and unreally the intimations may seem to come, and however loudly and insistently and subtly the mind may say "not yet," or "impossible," or "unwise." The pressure of the heart may become so strong that it takes the lead and the mind follows in a temporary daze. But the mind must ultimately lose its egoity, utterly and forever. Therefore by living the noblest ideal of the heart one brings upon oneself the purifying processes which enable one to be useful. By constantly meditating upon universal ethics as the true foundation of life, the mind in self-forgetfulness, by perceiving the illusion of separateness, will become wedded to the heart indissolubly.

It is not by knowing all this with the mind that freedom will come. The mind can know all this and more, and if it remains egoic and selfish, its knowledge becomes the most potent poison to the soul. Let the mind give of its treasures to the uttermost for all. In fact when the mind sees that its knowledge as such is of no enduring value it will voluntarily yield itself to become the vehicle of enduring Truth.

Mind is the creator of illusion and personality and it is also the means to freedom and Truth by ceasing to act from itself, by ceasing to produce personality, by withdrawing from all action emanating from the darkness of illusion, by refusing to perpetuate misery in the world.

When the mind becomes still, then will immortal Love pour forth the divine Truths bringing to them the inspiring certitudes concerning the Real and Eternal, and the way to freedom. The intellect is a vehicle which renders available the Love which illumines it to meet the need of the world — and not only this world, but others too. The intellect itself is not enduring but it is essential as a vehicle to transmit into the "World" the Universal Love. Therefore let us seek to "live to benefit the world" by striving on the one hand to understand the cause of the world life and its need, and on the other hand to become free from the world in order that the divine Light may pour into the world through a vehicle which is clear of the darkness of the world, and therefore transparent.

If the foregoing is reasonable then it follows that we must live the lives of ordinary men and women right here, but nobly — divinely. If we think that to free ourselves from the world means that we must cease to live among our fellow humans, then we shall lose awareness of their needs — our needs — and we shall become free alone and unable to help them. The means must be as glorious as the end, step by step. Live like the sun and stars now. Such a path becomes the most beautiful and loving path of all — from the very beginning to the endless end of ever-expanding vision. We can see that individual growth loses its meaning, while eternity and universal brotherhood become pregnant with meaning. Let us not forget that, if many cosmic ages ago the sun, then as a human being, had not striven so well, had not pressed its heart toward godhood, it would not now have been a sun.


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