How often hath the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful, erred from Him Who is the Source of that light and the Well Spring of that revelation. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 93)
Although I have read this verse many times, one day the phrase “the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful” caught my eye strongly. That night while I meditated I reflected on this sentence. In the meditation I saw my mind as still and my heart as only an instrument for reflection of whatever it receives. I feel like my heart is at the center of some kind of power. It is surrounded by mercy and love, which are attributes (names) of God. I feel the power from those attributes. I told myself “if I can put my heart in this state of calmness, I can reflect something good from God and find the strength to love others.” I let myself be submerged in the power of the spirit for a while, I can feel my heart is opened and there is an energy from the top of my head. I ask myself again, “if the heart is an instrument for reflection, then what is in my mind?” I begin to understand that when the mind is talking it is not from my heart, but may be idle fancy and vain imagination.
儘管這段經文以讀了好多次，一天「人的心是上帝之光的接收者，為滿懷慈悲者啟示的宅地」，這句話特別抓住了我的心，那晚我就拿這句話默思。在打坐中，我看見我的(意識)心是專注的，而我的心僅僅像是一個接受的器皿，我感覺到我的心像一種力量的中心，被神的愛與憐憫(神的名號)所環繞，我的心也似乎有了那想愛人與憐憫人的力量。那時我告訴自己: 「若平時我的心能進入這種狀態，我就會有從神來的力向去愛人。」我讓自己沉浸在那力量中一段時間，在那期間，我可以感覺到頭頂有一股能量進到我的心，我的心彷彿是被打開著的。在那時，我又問了另一個問題: 「若心只是接收與映射實相的器皿，那麼我的意識心是什麼?」我彷彿理解了，當我有心念時，一種對話狀態的心念，那不是來自我的心，那是意識心，也許那就是神所說的妄想與妄念。
In my experience, a lot of time when my heart reflects something, and I start use my mind to express it, I feel that I never express it well. I know our mind and language has its limits to express what is in our heart. This is why it is frustrating when I expect someone to understand me, to know what is in my heart. In the same way, I realize I can’t know what is reflected in people’s hearts, because they have the same limitation to express it.
“The heart knows, the body has no awareness. Whatever we learn through our body, doesn’t teach us about the heart”, according to the Buddha. If we try to approach a person’s heart with our mind, we never can touch it. If we try to approach God’s desire for us with our mind, we can’t understand it either. The meaning of the Words of God can only be reflected through our heart.
“Contemplation for an hour is better than formal worship for sixty years.” (Muhammad)
The next day while I walked in the park with my son, I asked “what is your heart reflecting now?”
He said “breeze, birds singing… “
And then I ask “how do you feel in your heart?”
He said “joy, happy… “
I ask, “and ….Do you feel appreciation?”
He said “yes”.
If I store a lot of memories and feelings of appreciation in my soul, gifts from God, then I have enough to be content, but only if I reflect on the spiritual meaning of things, not just the things themselves. If I look into the feelings in my heart, I start to have questions for myself, and those questions lead me to a meaning to connect with that event. When I look deeper, I find that the feelings show me what I am attached to and help me to see the spiritual meaning hidden in the reflection. To me, daily events are like a lamp, the spiritual meaning within them is like the light that shines in the lamp. I truly live my life when I discover the spiritual meaning hidden in my feelings. Now I more capable to understand the love of Abdu’l-Baha, which is the love reflected from his heart and from the light of God. His story help me to see what it looks like when a man turns his heart completely toward Sun of Truth.
“I looked for God. I went to a temple and I didn’t find him there. Then I went to a church and I didn’t find home there. Then I went to a mosque and I didn’t find him there. Then finally I looked in my heart and there he was.” (Rumi)
When man does not open his mind and heart to the blessing of the spirit, but turns his soul towards the material side, towards the bodily part of his nature, then is he fallen from his high place and he becomes inferior to the inhabitants of the lower animal kingdom. …If, on the contrary, the spiritual nature of the soul has been so strengthened that it holds the material side in subjection, then does the man approach the Divine; his humanity becomes so glorified that the virtues of the Celestial Assembly are manifested in him; he radiates the Mercy of God, he stimulates the spiritual progress of mankind, for he becomes a lamp to show light on their path. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 31)
如果人不向靈性恩賜敞開心扉，而是將靈魂轉向物質方面，轉向其肉體本性，那麼他就會從高貴的地位墮落，變得比低等動物還不如。…… 相反，如果靈魂的精神品性得到加強，控制了其物慾方面，人就會接近神；他的人格就會變得如此高尚榮耀，以至所有神圣美德都在他身上顯現。他會表現出上帝的慈悲，促進人類的精神進步，因為他變成了一盞照耀人類前進道路的明燈。 (阿博都巴哈，巴黎談話31)
What is the dust which obscures the mirror? It is attachment to the world, avarice, envy, love of luxury and comfort, haughtiness and self-desire; this is the dust which prevents reflection of the rays of the Sun of Reality in the mirror. The natural emotions are blameworthy and are like rust which deprives the heart of the bounties of God. ……There is a power which purifies the mirror from dust and transforms its reflection into intense brilliancy and radiance so that spiritual susceptibilities may chasten the hearts and heavenly bestowals sanctify them. Which is sincerity, justice, humility, severance, and love for the believers of God. These will purify the mirror and make it radiant with reflected rays from the Sun of Truth. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peach, 25 July1912 Talk at Hotel Victoria, Boston, MA)
蒙住心靈之鏡的塵埃是什麼呢？是對塵世的依戀、貪婪、嫉妒、愛慕奢華舒適、傲慢和私慾。這些便是阻礙“實質之陽” 映照在心靈之鏡中的塵埃。這些自然的情感是應受譴責的，它們就像鏽斑一樣，剝奪了人心獲得神恩的福分。……然而有一種力量可為心靈之鏡洗去塵埃，把它的映像變得光輝璀璨，以便靈性的情感能夠淨化人心，天國的賜福能夠聖潔心靈。那就是真誠、公正、謙卑、超脫以及對歸信上帝者的關愛等靈性的情感，它們能將心靈之鏡淨化，並讓它璀璨地反射出“真理之陽”的光芒。 (阿博都巴哈，弘揚世界和平 7/25/1912 演講）
As I understand it, our mind exercises free will, it is where we make choices. We can choose to turn our heart toward God or turn it toward our ego. Our mind also can bring up a lot of ideas from our old experiences that disturb the water, if we see our heart as a water body which reflects reality. The mind can distort the reality of what the water reflects. The more turbulence on the water, the feelings of our heart will change. Natural emotions, as described by Abdu’l-Baha, are feelings of the disturbed heart. It may be a sign of too many stray thoughts in our mind. Those thoughts create the unbalance.
To me, our soul is like a canvas that we paint in our life. The heart reflects the image for us to paint on it. Our mind can decide if we turn our heart toward God to reflect what He has ordained for us, or turn our heart to ourselves to paint what we desire. If we follow the will of God, “That the heart is the throne, in which the Revelation of God the All-Merciful is centered.(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 93)” The canvas will become an art work we finish with God, our soul (canvas) will become a work of the Revelation of God. The mind will become the fruit of the spiritual tree like ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:
The mind is the perfection of the spirit and a necessary attribute thereof, even as the rays of the sun are an essential requirement of the sun itself. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, 55)
Be the master of self. This means to use our mind well. Exercise our mind with free will, but only when our will is aligned with God’s will. This is what it is to be a true master of one’s self.