Blessed are the Pure in Heart...


“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

In the Christian wisdom tradition, along with many other spiritual traditions, the heart is not to be mistaken for the place from which our fleeting emotions emerge and fade but is the lens from which we come to perceive and ‘see’ the spiritual dimension of Life. When the heart is pure, we see everything is spiritual. There is no separation between the sacred and profane, between heaven and the mundane. We come to ‘see God everywhere’ because as we see through the eyes of our heart we are seeing through the eyes of God’s Heart. As Cynthia says, “you see through the eyes of non- duality; God is the seeing itself.”

What keeps our hearts from being pure? From a non-dual perspective it can be understood as anything that divides the heart rather than wholes the heart. Our hearts become divided when we cling to one part of the whole and allow it to become so big that we mistake it for the whole. This can happen when our perception becomes small and limited and can take place in each of our centers in the realm of thought, emotions, and sensations.

We may fall out of Presence and ‘seeing’ from wholeness in our mind/intellectual centers by becoming fixated on an overly negative or positive thought pattern; in our emotional/feeling center by becoming clogged with a pleasant or unpleasant emotion that we want to hold onto or reject; in our body/movement centers by only focusing on areas of tension and pain, disconnecting from sensation, or allowing conditioned impulses to control what we approach and avoid.

There are many ways the heart can become divided and we can observe without any judgment when this happens. When we become aware that our heart is divided we can thank the part of us that sees and we can allow the seeing to re-whole us and trust that in fact in the seeing the wholing has already begun.

If we are going to be capable of ‘seeing’ through God it requires being awake and aligned in these centers. We don’t have to live there, in fact we should not even make that the goal but when we can, we will most certainly experience what it means to be bless-ed and to taste the abundance of seeing from and through Love.

This week, we continue with our exploration of the Beatitudes. Hold inside yourself and meditate on the seventh Beatitude as well as a few alternative translations from Prayers of the Cosmos: Reflecting on the Original Meaning of Jesus’s Words.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are those who plant peace each season; they shall be named the children of God.

Healthy are those who strike the note that unites; they shall be remembered as rays of the One Unity.

Integrated are those who joyfully knit themselves together within; they shall be stamped with the seal of Cosmic Identity.

Spend some time in lectio divina with the one that you are most drawn to.

First, take a moment to sense your body and drop into heart. Speak the words out loud. Listen with the ear of your heart and allow yourself to be drawn to a word or phrase that touches you.

Second, speak the words aloud again. Mull what struck you around with all three centers. Reflect on the text, allowing the questions, insights, and memories to flow from your own life experience. Ask yourself what relevance or application this has to yourself, how does this touch my life at this time?

Third, speak the words aloud again. Notice your interior response to what is arising and whether there is a prayer or gesture or image that can be offered on behalf of you, others, the world, or God.

Fourth, speak the words aloud again. Rest in the stillness within, allowing all that has emerged to settle further in you in silence.

May we cleanse the lens of our hearts

May we remember that our hearts are fractals of the Divine Heart

May we see God everywhere

May we see from Love and Wholeness

With Great Love and Wholeness,

Heather


 


Here are most of the readings from this week:

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the consistent in heart; they shall contemplate the One.

Healthy are those whose passion is electrified by deep, abiding purpose; they shall regard the power that moves and shows itself in all things.

Aligned with the One are those whose lives radiate from a core of love; they shall see God everywhere.

Healed are those who have the courage and audacity to feel abundant inside; they shall envision the furthest extent of life’s wealth.

Resisting Corruption are those whose natural reaction is sympathy and friendship; they shall be illuminated by a flash of lightening: the Source of the soul’s movement in all creatures."

“This Beatitude was translated, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Dadkeyn refers to those “consistent” in love or sympathy, those who have both a natural sense of influence and abundance and a fixed, electrifying purpose. The old roots call up the image of a flower blossoming because that is its nature.

The word translated as heart (lebhon) also carries the sense of any center from which life radiates - a sense of expansion plus generative power: vitality, desire, affection, courage, and audacity all rolled into one. Nehzun could be translated “see,” but also points to inner vision or contemplation. The old roots evoke the image of a flash of lightening that appears suddenly in the sky: insight comes like that. Besides “God” and “the One,” the roots of the word alaha point to the force and passionate movement of the cosmos through the soul of every living thing. Another image from the roots of alaha is the furthest extent of a cosmic force that also possesses identity and can be identified everywhere as: here! this!”

— Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” This may well be the most important of all the beatitudes—from the perspective of wisdom it certainly is. But what is purity of heart? This is another of those concepts we have distorted badly in our very morality-oriented Christianity of the West. For most people, purity of heart would almost certainly mean being virtuous, particularly in the sexual arena. It would be roughly synonymous with chastity, perhaps even with celibacy. But in wisdom teaching, purity means singleness, and the proper translation of this beatitude is, really, “Blessed are those whose heart is not divided” or “whose heart is a unified whole.” Remember the ihidaya from chapter 2?—the “single one” who has unified his or her being and become what we would nowadays call “enlightened.” According to Jesus, this enlightenment takes place primarily within the heart. When your heart becomes “single”—that is, when it desires one thing only, when it can live in perfect alignment with that resonant field of mutual yearning we called “the righteousness of God,” then you “see God.” And this does not mean that you see God as an object (for that would be the egoic operating system), but rather, you see through the eyes of non- duality; God is the seeing itself.”

— Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus

“Do not give your heart that which does not satisfy your heart.”

— Abba Poemen, Desert Father

'We awaken in Christ’s body'

We awaken in Christ’s body

as Christ awakens in our bodies,

and my poor hand is Christ, He enters

my foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him

(for God is indivisibly whole, seamless in his Godhood.)

I move my foot, and at once

He appears like a flash of lightning.

Do my words seem blasphemous? Then

open your heart to Him

and let yourself receive the one

who is opening to you so deeply.

For if we genuinely love Him,

we wake up inside Christ’s body

where all our body, all over,

every most hidden part of it,

is realized in joy as Him,

and he makes us utterly real,

and everything that is hurt, everything

that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,

Maimed, ugly, irreparably

damaged, is in Him transformed

and recognized as whole, as lovely,

and radiant in His light.

He awakens as the Beloved

in every last part of our body.

— Symeon the New Theologian

“Real freedom is the freedom from choice.

It’s the freedom to be truly whole and free and utterly responsive in any situation which is thrown at you regardless of its psychological content. It’s a freedom from the judgements, from the inner commentaries, from the necessity to force an outcome on a situation; it’s a freedom to simply be present to your word and to the Divine presence. It is the ability to be fully present and responsive in every circumstance. True freedom means not being thrown out, thrown out of Presence, no matter what is going on. You have the capacity to respond to life fully, as it is, staying fully in connection with your innermost centre.

This is the kind of freedom we’re working at. It is not about achieving higher states in the spiritual life, because finally freedom is the experience of giving it all away and realizing beyond the states and beyond the many things you think you need in order to get the mother lode, there’s nothing needed. It’s all already there. And whether you have a huge, energetic rush experience or whether you’re lying in your bed so sick with the flu that you can’t even think about how you’re ever going to the bathroom – it’s still all there.

That’s real freedom. And I would say that real freedom comes out of that alignment. It’s very, very different from willpower.

Real will is born and is closely related to spontaneity freedom, not choice freedom. And I think most people are barking up the wrong tree to try and develop spiritual will by exercising choice freedom. What we need to do is to more and more develop spontaneity freedom.

Spontaneity freedom is very different from being spontaneous. Mostly what people use the word “being spontaneous” to mean in our culture is basically losing themselves in automatic energy. Being spontaneous means going on impulse. And going on impulse almost always pulls you back into automatic behaviour because most impulses are conditioned.

Now there’s a chance that every so often you will be in connection with a genuine intuition and that you will be able to spontaneously change the course of doing something to do something else. That comes from a different place. But most people resist doing inner work because they say, “I just want to be spontaneous!” And what that really means is you want to continue to have the freedom to do your old personality thing.

You’ll get to taste very quickly the difference, once you’re honest, between a spontaneity that looks good on the surface but is really completely tied to your personality and your automatic behaviour and that genuine, spontaneous insight that comes from being aligned with real will. And that’s what Thomas Merton is talking about in “spontaneity freedom.” But you’ll know that from the inside. And that can only happen to you if you’re in alignment with Being.

When you reach that point of freedom you can do all sorts of absolutely marvelous things. Like “Beauty and the Beast” which is a wonderful story about love as conscious choice. You can love an ogre into beauty because of the quality of your attention. Or you can love an ogre and it still remains an ogre and you’re still okay. You don’t have to change anything. But it gives you this wonderful power to be fine in just anything, and that often will change all sorts of situations. Yes, that’s exactly the freedom we want.

— Cynthia Bourgeault on Freedom From Living Presence Transcript 4 Oct 1999 –13 Nov 2003 Victoria, BC

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