Our lives, our human destinies, are not the flotsam and jetsam of an arbitrary fate, but as symbolized in the wonderful Egyptian ceremony or rite of the Weighing of the Heart, all that we think and feel and do is weighed in the scales of destiny; and these scales weigh two things, as this Egyptian ritual so ably demonstrates: In one pan of the balance is the life-center, the human heart of the man who lived but now is dead; and in the other pan of the balance is the Feather of Truth, of Reality, that naught can bribe, naught can sway, or persuade or induce. We therefore see in this symbolic ritual an exemplification of inescapable destiny which none and naught in infinity may change, for it is divine law itself, which we call retribution when our evil-doings receive it, and compensation when our goodness or good works receive it. But under the majestic atmosphere around all this ritual, the man attends no judge or sentence nor is there any pardon. He depends on naught but the very laws of being themselves. What a man sows, that he reaps, not something else; and he cannot escape the reaping of it, for he himself, symbolized by his heart in the pan of the scales, is weighed against Truth. And when the heart and the feather of Truth have an even balance, the heart is of the lightness and spirituality of truth itself, akin to truth. But when the heart is weighed down by evil-doing and attraction to the lower things of earth, it falls; and the rising feather in the other scale is the witness, the testimony, against the earth-charged heart which cannot rise to make an even balance.
There is something truly majestic about this symbolic ritual. It is filled with wonderful meanings, and I think the noblest is this: its effect on us as human beings in our daily lives. What ye sow, that shall ye reap. There is not a word about pardon, and if there were any pardon in the Universe, the Universe itself would be thrown out of the gear of infinite justice. No mere man can commit an infinite sin, for neither his spirit nor his soul nor again his strength is infinite in compass. His sins are human and therefore the weighing in the balance is human; and the retribution is human in magnitude and the compensation is likewise human in magnitude. This is the infinite justice of Mother Nature.
The weighing of the heart, which is the man's own self, in the scale of destiny likewise shows us that we build our lives to grandeur or to debasement strictly in accordance with our own wish and will and aspiration. Our destiny lies in our own hands. One man is not credited with the x power to succeed and the next man credited with a y power to fail. We are all sparks of the divine Heart, we all have an equal chance, and eternally have an equal chance; and if we fail it is we who fail and pay the penalty; but once the penalty is paid, we begin anew with a new hope, another chance. It is a doctrine of hope, for there is no human destiny so low or so base which cannot from this instant of beginning be altered marvelously for the better, if you will; for the heart, when you wish to order for the better, begins to work and to work upon you, and to fill your mind with ideas nobler than those which have lived there, and feelings which are higher and sweeter and purer by far than those you have passed through.
From the human heart come all the greatest issues of the world. They do not reside in the brain-mind, for the brain-mind is the great separator of men, the great deceiver. It is the heart that is the unifier of men. Because the heart speaks a universal language which needs no words. Out of the heart come the great issues of life, for in the heart are love and intuition, discrimination, understanding and self-sacrifice, pity and compassion, purity and goodness and truth and troth and honor; and out of the mind of man come disputes and wranglings and quarrelings, disinclination to understand the other man, hatreds and all the other foul brood of man's lower nature, because it is about things out of the brain that men are continually quarreling. They never quarrel about the issues of the heart, for they are things of our common humanity.
With what part of us do we give allegiance, pay homage? With the heart. It speaks a tongue universal; therefore we say, out of the human heart come all the great issues of human life.
(From Sunrise magazine, December 1951; copyright © 1951 Theosophical University Press)