As New Zealand and Australia commemorate the centenary of ANZAC Day on 25th April this year, forces seem to be flowing through the national psyche which continuously re-form and sustain a sense of national group identity, a sense of identifiable being. What is perhaps significant in this year of centenary is that a deeper enquiry is taking place into the why and how of the so-called ANZAC legend. A series of documentaries, bringing together personal, national and international stories and histories, have probed, through various perspectives and mindsets, into the phenomenon of ANZAC – what meaning we have derived from it and its significance in the unfolding psyche of a nation. They are tracing threads of interconnection through time and across space – generation to generation and country to country. There seems to be a powerful synthesising force lifting all concerned into a shared sense of being – through war, death and grief to love, forgiveness and gratitude.
Where once was war and devastation we find peaceful fields and bays of calm waters
As time unfolds and pain moderates, so we probe more deeply into cause, meaning and significance. Just as critical times trigger personal growth, so powerful moments in history can move the consciousness of nations from the pain of experience to the joy of realisation. The conversation around this year’s ANZAC remembrance is about qualities and values more than events. In these subtle areas is where human beings find their essential humanity – beyond borders and beyond enmity. How else could we bear the pain that triggers these realisations?
We are taking our first steps into a civilisation of the Heart, building above and beyond the civilisation of the mind.
Already the signs of that new civilisation are emerging. The explosion of humanitarian agencies, organisations and groups continues to radiate out through the world, attracting those who voluntarily drop personal concerns in order to address the needs of others. Many too, having themselves suffered pain and sorrow, are finding ease for their grief by using its force in assisting others suffering similar plight, and so find new meaning and purpose in extending connection outward from the heart.
Fear is but the surface waves that pass over the deep currents of love that flow through the mighty tides of Life, of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being.
“Let us accept love as the motive force in the expansion of consciousness. The heart will not be aflame without love; it will not be invincible, nor will it be self-sacrificing. So let us bring gratitude to every receptacle of love, for love lies on the border of the New World, where hatred and intolerance have been abolished. The path of love unfolds with the intensity of cosmic energy. So on this path everyone will find his place in the Cosmos. Not as dried leaves but as lotuses aflame will people find kinship with the Highest World.” Heart, sloca 243.
The Lotus begins as a dream of beauty in the mud at the bottom of a pond. Its life-spark ignites and the lotus stem shoots upward, drawing on the substance of its muddy mineral base. It is then buoyed and sustained by the watery plane to eventually burst into the clear air where it may know and pay homage to the Sun. The responsive warmth of the Sun opens the petals to reveal the golden crown within and, at its heart, a jewel, the eternal life-spark. It is the perfect symbol of the life story of everything – going out into manifestation to grow and thereby redeem the substance of the forms and to finally resurrect and so reveal its eternal essence at one with the Sun-heart.
Love is magnetic, it draws heart to heart – even across enemy lines
Something is moving through our world bringing a mighty shift in not only what we think about events, past and present, but how we think about them. What is the orientation of our thinking? Is it as separate identities rationalising our isolated view of others as being foreign, threatening and thus making us defensive and aggressively opposed to all that seems to threaten our rationalised, theoretical identity? Or is it as members of a human family serving a planet that is rich in interconnected living forms of many kinds as well as richly diverse human cultures? Do we perceive through a veil of our differences or from the clear common essence that relates us all and sustains the flow of our shared life and community?
Are we aware of the eternal communion in which we partake? Breathing the same air, relying on the same great symbiotic relationships that sustain life on our planet – human with plant, plant with animal, plant with mineral – all interdependent with each other for life. Humans rely on plants for oxygen and food, plants rely on humans and animals for carbon; what we discard plants welcome and need. This great cyclic web of interdependent relationship is reflected in the great “food chains” wherein a hierarchy of predation is sustained by every interdependent link being in ecological balance (right relationship) with all else.
In the passing civilisation of the rational mind, mankind has discovered much but, in its current limited world view, has tried to relate it to partial views of the great hierarchy of being in which we live. And so we find such things as genetically engineered seeds being used without consideration of the wider environment – the greater life-chain (or DNA) on which all forms are ultimately dependent. New solutions are then sought to combat the effects of previous “solutions” based on the limited understanding of the time. From a surface view we may be seen to be marching from travesty to ever greater travesty.
The new and coming civilisation of the Heart is being anchored on earth through the infinite capacity of the human heart.
Just as the sun is the heart of the system, the human heart is the sun of the organism. There are many sun-hearts, and the Universe represents a system of hearts; that is why the cult of Light is the cult of the heart. To understand this abstractly means to leave the heart out in the cold; but as soon as the Light of the sun-heart comes alive, the need for the magnet’s warmth will make it shine forth like a true sun. It has been said: ‘Let your heart lead you in crossing Santana.’ That is how you can make the concept of the heart resistant to the cold. You can look upon the rhythm of the heart as the rhythm of life. The Teaching about the Heart is as bright as the sun, and the warmth of the heart speeds as swiftly as a sunbeam. Everyone has felt astonishment at how a ray of the rising sun can instantly insulate everything from the cold. The heart can do the very same thing!
I am speaking of the warmth of the heart now that it is especially necessary. A thought surging forth in aspiration sets space on fire, while the warmth of the heart is a constant hearth. Courage dwells in the warmth of the heart – remember this! The manifestation of the dark forces acts like frost on a sown field. Only the heart’s warmth provides a radiant shield. But just as we conduct tests on light waves with delicate care, we should approach the heart with caution and solicitude.” Heart, sloca 62.
What is the language of the heart? When lovers simply think towards one another, they instantly enter a shared awareness. Perhaps in the emerging civilisation of the heart we might listen behind the words to the meaning and motivating energy that brought them to birth in the mind of the writer. Wordless experiences impact at the most essential level and are potent in realisation as they communicate directly from the heart’s radiatory centre.