A quality of wholeheartedness is peace. There is a knowing of Creation’s completeness.
We sense the unchanging center on which all things depend, and know it as our own center, too, as beings. We know it as the center of the bluebird on the branch, the center of a field covered with snow, the center of the Himalayan mountains, the center of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the center of the sun.
When we are wholehearted, a certainty within is reflected in the world. We see and know with clarity: we are all related.
We are related not because we share a common time, or because our skins are composed of the same types of molecules as rocks and stars, or because we are of the same tribe, or genealogy. Those are merely echoes of what is so. We are related because our existence is the fruit of the same completeness. We are related because what it is within us that actually lives, is the presence of all life.
Wholeheartedness is founded upon this awareness. What is profound to me this morning is that this awareness is not a hypothetical. Unity is not a conjecture. Wholeheartedness is the alignment of the heart and mind with the fundamental integrity of being.
I don’t think I’ve quite understood this before in the way that I understand it now. I’ve wanted other people to understand this with me. I’ve looked through the door and said, “See…? Wouldn’t it be amazing to visit this place together? How could we get more people to see this?” Outside of wholeheartedness we dissemble into this type of thinking. We need to get enough votes. We need to be perceived as reasonable. We need to be in the company of those who second us. What matters is what is effective: we need to pull the right levers to turn the ship around.
Wholeheartedness doesn’t see the world this way at all. It’s a very subtle distinction, but as soon as the idea arises that what is good and true is actually blocked from coming into being by another—as soon, in other words, as any problem we sense is projected onto another being—the possibility for genuine transformation is lost. And it is lost because Creation’s completeness is no longer being witnessed. What is witnessed instead is our collective truck stuck in the mud, and the notion that we’d actually be better off with some beings and not others. What is witnessed is right and wrong, the efficacy of gamesmanship and the validity of distrust. What is witnessed… is nothing at all.
Wholeheartedness is replaced in this exchange by fractured perception, and the power of what is so can no longer be summoned, or felt, or known. I’ve done this many times myself. I’ve done this as recently as yesterday. The problem of the world is addictive. But also, I’ve begun to appreciate how powerless I feel in my discontent. And I’ve begun to accept that the conventional wisdom of listening empathetically and giving another’s perspective its due, while powerful in helping us to understand another’s condition and motivation, can be taken too far. The fundamental false equivalency that exists is that of separation and unity.
To return to a point from last week, the only obstacle to genuine transformation is the loss of wholeheartedness, which can come from meeting the world on its terms. I’m paraphrasing the quote from ACOL I gave, which suggested what will prevent us from following old patterns is our inability to go out into the world and remain who we are. The trap here I think is otherness. The allure of otherness is profound in our consciousness. It’s instinctual even.
We like to speak of the illusion of self. It is a prominent theme in some veins of modern neuroscience, as well as in various non-dual practices. It seems a potential point of agreement across many points of view, but we seldom hear about the illusion of other, and I don’t think we can sustain wholeheartedness while the illusion of other remains. I don’t think we can enter the world and remain true to who we are, if the power of otherness persists in our thought.