Rising Above Opposites....
Perfection of the Heart
Many of life's most overwhelming problems are caused by misunderstanding.
And one of mankind's chief obstacles is the ever-present conflict
between the pairs of opposites such as good and evil, love and hatred,
or peace and war. These conflicts are often rationalized and accepted
as simply being the opposing forces in this world of duality...
but what if they're not really opposites??
consider light. In day-to-day thought we may consider light and
dark to be opposites. But they're not really opposites. Light is
the presence of a certain type of energy and darkness is merely
what happens when that energy is not present. Darkness only exists
when the flow of light energy has been blocked or obstructed by
something. That is to say, darkness is only a shadow, a place where
the light has not reached.
So, rather than having opposites,
what we actually have is simply the presence of some quality, or
the absence of that quality.
The same is true of hot and cold. We may consider them to be
opposites in our day-to-day life, but they're not really opposites.
Heat is the presence of some specific energy, while cold is the
lack of that energy. Cold only exists when something blocks the
flow of heat energy into that place.
belief in two opposing forces is really not what is going on here.
There are not two opposing forces, but rather One Principle which
is either flowing freely, or which has been blocked.
Duality is the means by which our minds learn to distinguish
between things, but duality does not apply to God. God is One, and
has neither opposite nor partner. God continually radiates beneficent
qualities such as Love, Harmony and Beauty into our lives, and it
is our choice whether to welcome, receive and acknowledge those
qualities, or to block and obstruct them.
are we to say of good and evil? Or love and hatred? Or war and peace?
Evil is not an inherent quality, something lurking about, ever-ready
to engulf us at each moment, but rather evil is merely the condition
that exists when Goodness is not flowing freely into some area.
Evil is only a shadow, a place where Goodness is not flowing freely.
In ancient times many have tried to help the imagination
of those who sought goodness by teaching them belief in Satan,
saying that God is all goodness and Satan all badness. This
was in order to explain to those who could not understand where
badness came from. In reality badness is only the shadow of
goodness; and as a shadow is non-existent so evil is nonexistent.
Rather than focus our attention toward struggling and fighting
against the shadow that is called evil, we should instead direct
our efforts to understanding and removing the obstacle that is preventing
the free-flow of Goodness. It is not that we should accept or welcome
any evil, but rather that we should strive to allow the Light of
Goodness to shine into every situation in order to eliminate the
Jesus taught that struggling against evil was not the correct
approach, but rather that only the Light of Love could remove the
shadow that we call evil.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye,
and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist
not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek,
turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at
the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Gospel of St. Matthew 5:38-41
Hatred is not an inherent quality of life, it is simply what
happens when something has blocked the flow of Love into that area.
And, similarly, war is not an inherent quality of life, but rather
it is only the result of an obstruction of the flow of Peace into
The petty self, the ego, the head, strives
to make matters complicated and this idea of duality is delightfully
complicated, allowing it to be conveniently used to blame undesired
actions and events on other people or non-existent forces. But when
we look more closely, the old ideas begin to fall apart, and we
have a clearer vision of the root of the most common problems of
mankind.... the lack of the free-flow of an essential energy, an
essential Divine Quality.
When viewed from this standpoint,
one no longer needs to fear "evil", but rather one should simply
strive to discover and remove whatever has blocked the free-flow
Likewise, one no longer needs to fear "hatred" but rather one
only needs to strive to understand and correct whatever has blocked
the free-flow of Love.
Clearly this viewpoint leads to new solutions for many age-old
problems. There is no point in battling a non-existent enemy. There
is no point in pointing one's finger toward a non-existent force.
Struggling to subdue and overcome a non-existent external adversary
does not lead to any useful solutions. We must focus our attention
on removing or finding a way around whatever is obstructing the
natural flow of Divine Grace.
Now we see that there are two basic conditions: perfection, wherein
the Divine Grace is freely flowing through us; or restriction, wherein
the free flow of Divine Grace has been stifled. The former we call
goodness, the latter we call evil.
The ultimate adversary is not something outside of us, but it
is our own resistance and obstruction of the free flow of Divine
In Aramaic, the language that Jesus probably spoke, the root
of the word Satan (s-t-n) refers to an adversary, something
that opposes, something that resists, something that impedes.
Satan is merely a name that we have given to the obstruction that
we have created, as if by naming it we could pretend that the adversary
is separate from us and is not our own fault. Each person's ego
is the creator of his own Satan.
The Aramaic root of the word Devil (a-k-l) refers to
something that devours or consumes. I've certainly noticed
in my own life that those moments when I am being my worst and and
just thinking about "poor me", that such thoughts are all-consuming
and leave nothing available for anyone else. Indeed, it is our own
selfishness, our own self-centered thoughts, that create the Devil
that devours our goodness, not some separate, external force.
A never-ending Divine Outpouring of wholesome essential qualities
such as Love, Harmony and Beauty arrives fresh and new in every
moment, showered upon us by our Creator. We can either choose to
welcome and radiate these glorious qualities or we can put up barriers
to oppose and block them. We are the only barrier, there is no one
else to blame.
We are free to turn our backs on the Divine Outpouring and suffer
the consequences, or we can turn toward the Light and welcome all
that Divine Grace is offering to us.
O, friend! Nobody veils you, but yourself.
In your path
there is no thorn or weed, but yourself.
You said: Shall
I reach the Beloved or not?
Between you and the Beloved there
is nobody but yourself.
When the Almighty Ever-Lasting One creates anything material,
there is always a trinity involved: the Source, the Manifestation,
and the flow of Energy that interconnects the Source with the Manifestation.
To the Sufis, this trinity is often expressed as Love, Lover and
the Beloved. In Christian terms, the trinity is often expressed
as the Father (the Source), the Son (the Manifestation) and the
Holy Spirit (the Energy, the Means, the Essence, the Consciousness
that interconnects the Source with the Manifestation).
Regardless of what we may choose to call these three elements
of the trinity, every manifestation is produced and sustained by
the flow of a certain type of Energy. If that Energy flow is impeded
in either direction, then the manifestation of some part of our
life will be altered or destroyed.
Bear in mind that the light and the life that goes out from
you to the object are quite as important as that light which
comes to you from the object. Therein lies the great mystery
of the trinity in all things: the knower, the thing to be known,
and the power or light or knowledge which connects them.
Githa I, Sadhana Number 1, Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)
Health, happiness and loving-kindness are the natural conditions
which arise when Divine Grace is freely flowing in both directions
between the Source and the Manifestation. Unwholesome conditions
such as disease, unhappiness and hatred arise only when the free-flow
of the Divine Qualities such as Love, Harmony and Beauty has been
impeded or blocked.
Thus, the task at hand for all manner of healing, whether individual,
societal or planetary, is to remove or bypass the barriers and blockages
which impede the free-flow, in either direction, of the ever-present
Divine Qualities such as Love, Harmony and Beauty.
For mankind, the chief barrier and/or blockage is the ego, that
self-centered impression which has been created through the selfish
reasoning and rationalization of the head. The downfall of mankind
is that the ego pretends to be the Source, and blocks the free flow
of energy from the true Source. Through such self-centered thoughts
of one's own greatness and self-sufficiency, mankind cuts himself
off from the very Source upon whom he depends.
It is nothing but our own misunderstanding and selfishness that
prevents us from experiencing the full glory of the Divine Grace
that is arriving in every moment.
God speaks to everyone, not only to the messengers and teachers.
He speaks to the ears of every heart, but it is not every heart
that hears Him. His voice is louder than the thunder and His
light is clearer than the sun - if one could only hear it, if
one could only see. In order to hear and to see man should remove
this wall, this barrier, which he has made of his self. Then
he becomes the flute upon which the divine player may play the
music of Orpheus which can charm even the hearts of stone; then
he rises from the cross into the life everlasting.
Mankind rises above the ego only when God, the true Source, is
fully recognized and humbly honored. When one puts God first,
others second, and self the least of all, then the ego has been
put into its proper place as a servant, not a master.
To do this requires a shift in thinking, from being dominated
by the foolishness of the self-centered head, which analyzes, divides
and isolates, to being awakened in the glory of the selfless loving
heart which welcomes, unifies and connects. In mankind, the ego,
the head, is the organ of isolation and division, while the heart
is the organ of connection and unification.
The ego tries to prove that it is whole, complete, successful,
independent and powerful, but alas, it is not.
The first and foremost interconnection that we must cleanse and
purify is our connection to all of creation. There are two steps
required to purify this interconnection: First, the acknowledgement
that there is a Source and second, the sincere, loving admiration
of that Source. To do so, the self-centered ego must bow down in
submission before the Almighty.
Then, as the impediments and blockage are removed from that most
crucial interconnection, one must strive to cleanse and purify the
interconnection to all of mankind, and to all of God's creation.
Jesus taught us how to overcome the ego:
The Lord our God is One Lord, and thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbour
as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Gospel of St Mark 12:29-31
The gentle, loving heart that loves God, accepts all that God
gives, and selflessly radiates loving-kindness toward all of creation,
has opened itself to the highest ideal, perfection of the heart.
The Goodness, Wholeness, Perfection and Love of the Almighty
is constantly being showered down upon each and every person in
every moment, yet it is not being received due to our own veils
of selfishness. If only we will set our own self-centered ego aside
and receive the gifts, all of these glorious gifts are ours in this
The perfected one is such a pure, clean, flawless mirror
that God, who is Absolute Beauty, sees His own Self reflected.
Lubbu al Lubb, The Kernel of the Kernel, Ibn 'Arabi
When the human heart is purged of self-centeredness, it becomes
polished to mirror-like perfection, accepting all that is directed
toward it, and responds by reflecting and radiating all the glory,
wonder and power that is received from the Source. When such a mirror-like
heart receives the blessing of the radiance of God, then it reflects
the likeness of that divine radiance back to God and into the entire
world, and one's greatest goal is to perfectly reflect all that
is being received. There is no greater peace, and no greater bliss,
your sweetheart's face
is appearing now
into a mirror
and fill yourself to the brim
Fountain of Fire, Jalaluddin Rumi, tr Nader Khalili
posted February 18, 2005