From all sides at each moment, the summons to Love rushes to us. ‘Do you want to come with us?’ ~ Rumi
Western civilizations revere brain intelligence to the point that we’ve all but forgotten there are other forms of intelligence available to us. As a result, it comes as no surprise that we often think of spiritual awakening as an intellectual pursuit. We devise steps, methods and formulas that titillate the brain and spend years refining every nuance.
The brain loves everything that keeps it engaged and it will happily lead us around and around in circles as long as it’s able to remain at the center of that circle. Methods can be helpful, but there’s a more direct path: the way of the intelligent heart.
We all associate the heart with love, but in our world, love is often about levels and conditions. The heart is seen as the seat of sentimental emotion, something that can easily lead us astray and cause us pain. But when spiritual masters speak of love, it is not an emotion, but a state of being that originates in the intelligent heart.
The heart actually contains at least forty thousand neurons, which rivals the subcortical centers in the brain. We’ve been taught that the brain is the command center for the heart, but it often works the other way around. When the brain sends a signal, the heart may choose to disregard it, but when the heart sends a message to the brain, the brain obeys.
Spiritual masters like Rumi have long recognized that it’s the heart that serves as a bridge to the Divine, and that bridge is crossed with unconditional love. When Shams-iTabrizi, Rumi’s teacher, said “The door of the heart must be opened,” he was encouraging us to see past the emotional love to the fullness of intelligent love that embraces all without distinction.
The ancient writer of the Mundaka Upanishad recognized the difference between brain and heart intelligence when s/he said, “The Lord of Love may be known through love but not through thought.” The brain dislikes the path of love because it’s exquisitely simple. There are no secrets, methods or formulas involved, we just love. We can still benefit from Rumi’s sage advice, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
As our love expands, the veils that have caused us to see a world of separate forms fall away, and we recognize the interconnected oneness of everything in existence. When we can say, “I love you like everybody” to everybody and everything, then we are love.
The brain is afraid of all-encompassing love. Its logic tells us that we must get something in return for everything we give. It is wrong. The path of the intelligent heart will lead you to a level of love, joy and peace beyond anything this world recognizes. Although most people believe “you can’t take it with you,” we’re betting you can always take love.
Love is the only reality, and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation. — Tagore
~ Lee & Stephen Hager www.thebeginningoffearlessness.com/blog