In the Heart, Valentines Day 2016

Reflecting on my memories and feelings for someone, I wanted to call ______ and say, “There is always a room in my heart for you.”

Not room in my heart. Not a space. But, an actual room, a place.

Is this what is meant by that idea, expressed by that beautiful idealist, “My Father’s mansion has so many rooms” ?

Reflecting further, I see that for everything, each and all that I have ever touched in open love, a room in my heart has been created.

How many rooms we each have in our heart!

They can be for places too.i

It was a few years ago when this line of thinking began surfacing softly in me. As a child I had spent a few years in the Himalayas.

A picture of Woodstock School from above, covered in snows, must have been taken in Dec - Feb, Mussoorie, India

Snows on Woodstock School, Mussoorie, a wonderful place for children to learn and grow. Photo by Paul Hamilton, Creative Commons.

A clear view of the Woodstock Campus from afar

Woodstock School, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India Photo by Lisa Davis Creative Commons

After that, for near to 25 years, I did not see them again. For 10 years of that time, my longing, yearning to be in those mountains was intense. Means – intense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images of Nature there, the way the pines dressed the steep mountain sides, the wild rhododendrons and flowering ground covers, whose scented leaves made every step heavenly,

A photo of pine trees on a steep mountain side in the Himalayas, the sun shining through them.

Hillsides dressed in Pines. Photo by Paul Hamilton, Creative Commons

A photo of snowcapped Himalayas in the far distance, seen from Mussoorie, UP India

View from Landour, the Majestic Himalaya stands serene. Photo by Paul Hamilton, Creative Commons

the ancient and well worn footpaths through verdant beauty that had little ‘landings’ by breath-taking vistas – the rush of morning mists and monsoon laden fogs up and down the mountains, tingling and life laden from their passage through the cooling boughs of balsamic needled firs – the vistas of snow capped ranges, bathed in majestic stillness and sunlight – the simple human lives in harmony with the Earth there…I pined, and pined.

The wheel of life kept on turning, and one day,

A mother Langour Monkey in the mountains perched on roadside stone wall, with new born.

Langor Monkey Family in Mountains. Photo by Nkansara Creative Commons

just for a day, I was back in my old haunts. Much had changed of course. Garbage, commercialism, and air quality, most noticeably.

In that brief sojourn, I sat on a stone wall, on the high foothills facing the vaster Himalaya. My son and his friend scampered down the mountains, free like young kid goats. I sat still, soaking in their presence, washing over me, holding me once again.

My inner stillness increased. I now experienced a truth I felt Nature there wanted me to see and know. Love, that long ago love, had made us One, all those many years before. We had never, ever, been apart. My pining was a denial of our reality.

Once we love something, someone, someplace, it moves into us. Or maybe we can say, our heart embraces it, and through love an indissoluble oneness instantly occurs. It is always, ever after, present, and there for us to revel in and be supported by. And this is happening with everything, each and everything, everyone, and everyplace that we have ever loved and known.

Reflecting this morning on this, oblivious to the idea of Valentines Day, somewhat tired out from the exertions of yesterday, I was visiting a room of friendship and love I have with someone.

And I asked myself, ‘So, how many rooms are there in my heart?’ And I ‘understood’ and ‘heard’ my answer: “There is a room in all our hearts for each and everything, for everyplace, everyone, everywhere.” I see many are unknown and unopened, we do not know the vast extent of our own heart.

So what does this make us as individuals? Our hearts are mansions, with an infinite amount of rooms. That is why religions have held the human being as supreme – for this quality – to know the essential essence of everything, everyone, everywhere, to experience it, as being part of us, within our very own hearts, an extension of our own self-awareness; this is our unique prerogative as human beings. A verse from the Baha’i scriptures comes to mind:

68. O Children of Men!

Know Ye not why we created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since we have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest…ii

When we sit in quiet enjoyment of the lovely rooms in our hearts, there is nothing to be pining or yearning for. What is loved, is here. Self-expansion is our birthright.

And now, I’m trying to see if it is possible, from within the room of love for someone, something, somewhere, to knowingly touch, to create transformation. Gandhi very humbly saw that there are so many laws governing our lives which we are wholly unaware of:

“We do not know all the laws of God nor their working. The knowledge of the tallest scientist or the greatest spiritualist is like a particle of dust. If God is not a personal being for me, like my earthly father; He is infinitely more. He rules me in the tiniest detail of my life. I believe literally that not a leaf moves but by His will. Every breath I take depends upon His sufferance.”iii

Gandhi outside his hut in Sevagram, the last community he 'made', he had gone there to get away from his old hangers-on, to see for himself what one person could do for village uplift, but the crowds soon followed....

Gandhi outside his hut in Sevagram, the last community he ‘made’, he had gone there to get away from his old hangers-on, to see for himself what one person could do for village uplift, but the crowds soon followed….

 

Post note: Apparently the effort to ‘touch’ through the room in our heart has some effect. I received a call, an offer to continue our long unfinished conversation.

Endnotes:

iThe exposition of the late Dutch astronaut, Wubbo Ockels, comes to mind, with his TedX talk on time as being a construct of our minds due to the influence of gravity upon our bodies, particularly, unique parts of our inner ears, and eyes.

ii(1999). The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah and Selected Holy Writings. Baha’i Publishing Trust of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pg. 28.

iii Gandhi, M.K. (1934). Harijan. February 16. Age 64.

PK Willey

PK Willey, Ph.D., is an American, a Gandhian scholar, author and entrepreneur, who has delved deeply into Gandhi's Earth Ethics.Willey seeks to enhance philosophical discourse around the world, particularly in the USA, and finds Gandhi's ideas, thoughts, and example, to be invaluable in this effort.Currently, besides numerous articles and book projects, Willey is developing a new framework for qualitative research that employs Earth Ethics, guided by Weibust's Transformative Paradigm.

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