Sunday, January 4, 2009

Secret Chamber of the Heart

There is a little known addendum to the Jewish Torah that describes the Secret Chamber of the Heart. And then there is that amazing quote from the Upanishads.

If someone should say to you:
"In the fortified City of the Imperishable,
Our body, there is a lotus,
And in this lotus a tiny space:
What does it contain that one
Should desire to know it?"

You must reply:
"As vast as this space without
Is the tiny space within your heart:
Heaven and earth are found in it,
Fire and air, sun and moon,
Lightning and the constellations,
Whatever belongs to you here below
And all that doesn't,
All this is gathered in that tiny space
Within your heart."

My assignment for this article was to research these ancient texts, and try to find someone who would discuss them with me.

I was diligent in my quest. I talked with rabbis, alchemists, hermeticists, and Hindus — and kept receiving the same answer. They knew about it. They would not talk about it!

They were more than willing to describe the process that takes place in the heart chakra — how we can focus there for profound resolution of the polarities within our being.

But as Drunvalo points out, that's "not it." The Sacred Space in the Heart is not about the heart chakra.

The Balancing of Polarities

The hermeticists I talked with discussed in detail God's Law of Harmony and what would occur when the heart-chakra steps were followed as given in the Emerald Tablets (under the title "Operation of the Sun").

A very nice rabbi explained how the sephira of the Tree of Life are all balanced at the central heart chakra. But he was forbidden, he said, to discuss the Secret Chamber.

Hindus told me about Anahata — again, the fourth chakra, the heart center. It is the place, they said, in which attachment falls away and compassion begins to arise. It is symbolized by the six-pointed hexagon and represents the energy of air. The mantra AUM is associated with this place. The Anahata is the Great Chakra vibrating simultaneously in the hearts of all beings. It is the seat of the soul.

But, alas, it is not the Secret Chamber that Drunvalo has discovered and that the studies at HeartMath have affirmed.

Hindus told me that male and female can come into perfect union in the heart chakra. Kundalini then travels through the spinal column, and its fiery light will illumine the soul. And this, finally, will awaken the Secret Space in the Heart.

But what is that space? Where is it? They would not say.

One alchemist said to me, "It is a secret that cannot be discussed. It happens only after bringing together Fire and Light in the heart chakra. Fire represents the impulses of the ego, and Light, the impulse of the soul; they must be brought together in the heart chakra in the middle of the Tree of Life, between the right and left column. Only after that may the secret be found."

All of the explanations and techniques were like that. They involved allegory and symbolism. They were about the reconciliation of the opposites of human nature within the chakra or energy centers — the bringing together of mind and emotion. This, they all said (becoming impatient) adequately summarized many volumes of literature on the subject. I would have to be content.

Describing the Indescribable

Finally, it occurred to me that the people I'd contacted so far could not talk about the Secret Space simply because they had never found it themselves. Their own intricate directions and explanations had not led them to it.

The Sacred Space in the Heart is a secret only because it's something that cannot be described in words. It can only be experienced.

It's like the story in that famous little book called Flatland, where a two-dimensional creature has a dream of physical, 3D reality and spends the rest of his life trying to explain to his friends that there is such a thing as "up." But since his reality is like a map — flat, two-dimensional — whenever he says "up" his friends hear "north."

"No!," this Flatland creature exclaims, "I mean 'up but not north.'" But they hear, "north but not north." Of course, they assume he's lost his mind.

The volumes of truth that detail the steps into the Secret Chamber of the Heart can only hint at what we may find there. The words "love" and "compassion" and "gratitude" all have opposites. But these words have no meaning in the heart, where duality and opposites cannot exist. Having visited this Heart Space ourselves, how can we say with any hope of being understood that there is a Love that is not "love."

What happens to us in the Secret Space of the Heart happens, as Howard Martin of HeartMath observes, in the fourth dimension — outside of duality. You can't "bring it back."

Having realized that I was trying to get people to describe the indescribable, I finally contacted someone who had words to share with me that may really help you in your own search for the Secret Space in the Heart.

He was a Yogi at a hermitage, a man with an exclusive telephone number who did not want his name mentioned.

He agreed with me that the Heart Space was indescribable, that it could only be experienced. He knew what I now knew: that we could only discuss the heart in terms that might or might not lead readers themselves to discover the hidden chamber. Our interview was not going to give anyone more "information" than that.

But at the same time, as we spoke, we could feel that special place in each other's heart. A harmony flowed between us. He realized he really wanted to talk to me. I reciprocated this feeling. There was a quiet spaciousness between us.

He asked me how I would describe my own experience of the Heart Space, and I said, "It is like watching a movie, and my life is on the screen. When I enter the Heart Space, it becomes just light emitting from the projector with colors and movement that take place on the screen. I know when I am there that the things I thought were real are not — that I am the Light and not the movie."

He laughed and said, "I like it. What else?"

"It changes everything," I said. "Your entire perspective changes. The disharmony falls away when you achieve it. A harmony and balance begins in your life that changes all of your perceptions."

He responded, "That's an important piece of it. When you find it, when you begin to have a glimpse of it, your whole world will change. But that is just the beginning. Understand that when you have found that place, you have only just begun to live in a different way. The change happens little by little. It doesn't happen all at once. Don't forget to tell your readers that, because it is important."

I laughed and said, "It makes me happy to talk to you about this. It's restful to do so. Is there more that you would add?"

And he said, "I believe if only more of us could find this place, we would achieve harmony between ourselves and between countries. The entire planet would be at peace."

It really was a wonderful experience, talking with this man. There was a feeling between us that, again, cannot be described. It was as though we were in the Space of the Heart together.

I asked him what final thoughts he would like to leave with my readers.

He said, "Please tell them about the Great Mystery of it. Don't forget to tell them that it means searching for a mystery. Part of finding the secret is knowing that it is a mystery. It should always be treated as a mystery.

"In this time of great spiritual and analytical knowledge, the not-knowing is a part of the knowledge that will help you travel there. If you meditate on the mystery within, the not-knowing, you may find the way.

"Even if it were possible to describe the heart place, it would ruin the mystery. And then it could never be found."

Julia Griffins reprinted from The Spirit of Ma'at