Thursday , 4 June 2020
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Photo: Tatenda Mapigoti

Rising from the Ashes

As we experience the fires raging across our nation it is becoming starkly clear that the gift of fire is like a two-edged sword – one that needs to be wielded with discernment, compassion and for the greater good. It represents forces which are beyond our control but with which we can cooperate if we do so wisely, with clear-sightedness and understanding. The good that comes out of our relationship with fire depends on the human heart.

Fire is the great purifier. It burns all that hides what is pure and true in the human Soul.

Fire is the great purifier. It burns all that hides what is pure and true in the human Soul. It is the revealer through all dimensions. The Australian Prime Minister spoke of how “raw” the people must be feeling who are suffering as a result of the fires consuming much of the country. His intended meaning may be otherwise but it is clear that those experiencing the trauma of the situation are left raw in that all pretence and false image have been stripped away revealing the human heart and a shared sense of common cause.

Firefighters and farmers spoke of the love that was being openly expressed for one another. The veneer that separates one from another had been ripped away to reveal just that – love in its most essential sense. And it is expressing in a multitude of ways: those who had lost everything helped others defend what they still had; volunteers lent a hand, offered accommodation, a meal or whatever was needed; and donations to the relief agencies soared. We are experiencing what Mother Teresa spoke of:

Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Mother Teresa

Much has been lost in these fires but much may be gained if we can work together

What is extraordinary is the vast scope and number of these “small things” as people help one another through the crisis. Much has been lost in these fires but much may be gained if we can work together to restore everyone to a sustainable life so that the hearts opened by trauma may remain open through the clear and open joy of love for each other, for the land, and for all the creatures who inhabit it.

When all outer appearances are swept away we remember the truth of who we really are: every one is a soul, a radiant point of beauty. No matter the outer face – tired and grimy, wrinkled or whiskered – the inner beauty of the heart shines so brightly it renders the outer form transparent, translucent. Then we know the truth of one another. There is no “spin” or “fake news” – just essential reality, shared need and cooperative endeavour to address it. Fire, the great leveller, has reminded us that we are all souls sharing the One Soul of humanity expressing through the heart.

Mother Nature alone reacting finally to human negligence, greed and ignorance… clears the ground for a new era of cooperative endeavour and peace.

Amongst all the heart-rending catastrophes around the world – floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions – the Australian fires seem to mark a new level of scope as they embrace a whole country, a whole continent. This demonstration absorbs the whole, completely, and is clearly Mother Nature alone reacting finally to human negligence, greed and ignorance, ether innocent or wilful. It brings to an end the delusions these attitudes generate and reminds us of our shared responsibility for the world. It clears the ground for a new era of cooperative endeavour and peace.

While the pain of this birth is almost overwhelming, it would be completely meaningless if we did not realise the mighty human heart rising from the ashes to inaugurate a new world of cooperative living within the Great Life we all share. The Agni Yoga writings remind us that this is the future we are creating:

I rejoice to see how the lightning flashes of foresight regarding the people’s welfare sparkle amidst your thoughts. These thoughts have to be launched into space. If you could daily spare half an hour for the future! Verily, the bonfire of your thoughts would receive Our welcome.
Let the things of everyday life vanish, but let the country of the future be embodied in thought. And what cleanses the spirit more thoroughly than the thoughts about the welfare of others? And what tempers the armor of steadfastness better than the wish to lead others to Light? And what weaves a better smile than a desire to see the very last child laughing? I urge you to think thus about the future, to place daily a pearl into the necklace of the Mother of the World. And so, concisely and simply think how to adorn the Hearth of the World.
There should be no comparison with the past, for a wrinkle of the past is usually a nest of errors. One can sail past alien shores; one has only to admire the world of light bestowed upon all that lives. Light is the best bridge between the visible and the Invisible.
When one can think about the future not by the evening fire but in the radiance of the sun, then the dew drops of prana illumine the thinking brow.” Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 301

…care, kindness, healing – the qualities of the heart that relate us all

When we think as a whole we embrace every part of that whole with the same love and with an intention to understand each unique need to be addressed. When we live as though “being the whole”, we value everyone and every part of it for what they draw forth in service to that Whole – care, kindness, healing – the qualities of the heart that relate us all and bridge through any and all outer distinctions. Mahatma Gandhi left us this wonderful benchmark:

The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Mahatma Gandhi

…to live in and through the human heart which is an aspect of the heart of Cosmos.

In the face of Mother Nature’s fire we are all most vulnerable. Her fire can warm, nourish and nurture but if misused can be turned on the abusers. Humankind may have reached a peak of mental power but all too many have applied it either in ignorance or for selfish gain. We are now facing the next ascent to an even higher pinnacle and the evolutionary forces bar the way to any turning back. This next climb brings us into the Heart – to live in and through the human heart which is an aspect of the heart of Cosmos.

Rather than regard the heart as personal property, it is preferable to convince oneself that the heart is not entirely one’s own organ but has been granted one for attainment of the highest communion. Perhaps if people began to think of the heart as something on loan from Above they would handle it with greater care.

A certain hermit emerged from his solitude with a message, saying to everyone he met, “You have a heart.” When he was asked why he did not talk about mercy, patience, devotion, love, and all the beneficial foundations of life, he replied, “Just so long as we don’t forget the heart, the rest will come.” Indeed, how can we turn to love if there is nowhere for it to dwell? Or where will patience lodge if its dwelling is closed? So to avoid torturing oneself by seeking virtues that find no application, one has to build a garden for them, a garden that will open up thanks to an understanding of the heart. Let us stand firm on the foundation of the heart, and let us understand that without the heart we are no more than discarded husks.” Heart, 389

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About Judy

Hi, I'm one of a group of authors and editors for the Sydney Goodwill website.

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2 comments

  1. Miriam Jane Purkiss

    Judy your article sums up everything I am witnessing. My sincerest thanks.

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