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..:: The Sacred Heart ::..


Alan Schneider


               The Fourth Chakra, Anahata, the Heart Center, is the spiritual center of the organism, much as the physical heart is its material center.   This psychic focus is the location of Christ Consciousness, the Soul, compassion, intuition, and selfless service directed toward others.  While there are certainly more psychic centers above and beyond Anahata, this remains the single most important spiritual level for the human being to attain while incarnate on the Physical Plane, and represents the highest achievement of the human social consciousness.   And the consciousness here can only be won as the result of great personal sacrifice by the individual spiritual aspirant, setting every personal motivation aside for the benefit of spiritually, morally, and physically suffering humanity here on Earth.  This sacrifice forms the love of the Bodhisattva for all sentient beings struggling to attain Enlightenment in the world of form.   

             To begin with, what is the Christ Consciousness?   The term “Christ” means “anointed one” in classical Greek.  Anointed in what way?   Does this pertain to the Biblical focus of the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth, and, if so, how?   Let us at least begin with His example in our investigation.   

            Christian mysticism holds forth that Jesus was the spiritual Son of God, the Supreme Logos, given human form on the Physical Plane of Expression through the miraculous impregnation of his mother, Mary of Nazareth, without the agency of her husband, Joseph being required or involved.  Whatever the circumstances of His conception, He was certainly born under the humblest of circumstances, at least in the classical Biblical depiction of the event, symbolizing His availability to every human consciousness everywhere, no matter what their social or financial station, as the vehicle of Divine Grace and Salvation.   Although He achieved much discourse and, again in the traditional Biblical depiction, performed many miracles (all of noteworthy symbolic significance), the essence of His life is seen in the Crucifixion – the manner of His death – and subsequent Resurrection and Ascension.  Hence, this event is of special significance in our discussion here.  

            The Christian Mysteries assert that Jesus was condemned to death after being falsely accused and perfunctorily tried for what amounts to sedition in Roman-occupied Israel at the time, and was subsequently given the preferred Roman execution of the period – Crucifixion – thus ridding both the Roman governor and the Hebrew officials who had conspired against Him (as a civic threat to the none-to-secure cooperative relationship with Rome) of what was perceived as a major threat to the governing hegemony present at the time.   Probably the premier symbol of this event was and is the Blood of Christ, shed on the Cross for the sake of human spiritual Salvation.   This blood is presumed in Christianity to have the power to dispel, or wash away, all sin (i.e. spiritual separation from the Logos and Divine Being), to ward off all evil and negativity, and to conceptually instill a state of Divine Grace within the individual human consciousness of the Believer who takes the teachings of Christ to heart and sincerely practices them in daily life.   I personally have meditated on the Shed Blood of Christ with profound spiritual and psychological results – the blood appeared not as a red physical liquid, but as pure flowing light that entered my Soul and broke apart the chains of conditioning and fear that held my consciousness in the illusion of physicality and the associated physical mortality.   I believe that the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is the key empowering factor in this vision, and that the Blood of the Crucifixion is the primary symbol of this event.  

             Returning to a previous paragraph for a moment, how was Jesus anointed?   If we consider another term – blessed – in place of anointed, the question can perhaps be better understood.   I would submit to the reader that the physical man Jesus was blessed by being the direct extension of God expressed in carnate form here on the Physical Plane, the most powerful possible blessing present in the material manifestation – Jesus was, in the spiritual sense, literally not separate from – i.e. blessed or connected to – God.   Thus, His anointment was His continuous and direct inner link to the Logos.   Jesus was/is God in the symbolic expression of an apparent human form, and His blood was/is the even more essential symbol of the pure Salivation of human consciousness attained not logically by proof but intuitively by belief.   Logically, none of the mysticism of the Crucifixion and Resurrection can be possible, but, if we can make a Leap of Faith beyond logic to intuition – i.e. from Manipura Chakra to Anahata Chakra – then the symbolic Truth of these events becomes brilliantly clear and present in what Christianity refers to as the Sacred Heart – the elevated perception of the deep symbolic Truth that both underlies and exceeds material conception and physical information.   Jung insisted that psychological symbols were more real than physical reality – that physical perception was constructed from preexisting, largely subconscious, symbol sets that he referred to as archetypal symbols, and that these, in turn, originated beyond the threshold of human perception, driven into manifest form by the archetypes of the collective unconscious.   The Chakras are all primary archetypal symbols of consciousness, and Anahata is the gateway to the higher perception determined by intuition, exceeding the logical restrictions present in Manipura, just as Jungian theory maintains.   The Truth of the Christ Consciousness in the Heart can only be understood by attaining a primary intuitive perception of the ultimate sacrifice represented by the Crucifixion, this attainment itself requiring an act of deep personal sacrifice by human beings.   

              The foundation of the concept of the Crucifixion as the supreme sacrifice rests  on the higher spiritual belief that the Logos, in assuming the physical form of Christ here on the manifest Physical Plane, performed a sequence of sacrifices for the benefit of humanity and human spiritual salvation.   The first sacrifice consisted of even bothering to assume human expression at all – God, as an omnipotent Being, was under absolutely no compulsion of any kind to take this step, but did so out of compassion for the suffering of humanity here in this physical manifestation, in order to provide guidance back to the highest spiritual conditions attainable for human beings.   The subsequent Life of Christ is the next level of sacrifice of the Logos – in the person of Jesus, God was subject to the full range of human difficulty and temptation for the term of His incarnate life.   Finally, the supreme sacrifice is seen in the Persecution and Crucifixion, followed by the demonstration of Resurrection and Ascent back to the celestial realm where the Christ Form reunited with the Logos and Holy Spirit, all heavily archetypal symbols, centered around the primary symbol of the Blood of Christ as the essence of the Logos, Divine Light, and Salvation for the human Soul passing through the fleshly experience.  

            It is a matter of spiritual Truth that all of these things can only be perceived intuitively from the Heart at the level of Anahata – otherwise they appear to be the purest conjecture fostered by human wish fulfillment fantasy.   Now, in so many ways, the choice to make the aforementioned Leap of Faith from the social (and material) power center at Manipura to the Heart Center at Anahata comes down to certain sobering realizations about this transitory and illusory existence.   If we remain focused in Manipura, then consciousness essentially ends at the physical death of the organism, while there is at least the hope of continuation of some form of awareness represented by Anahata.   Pity the poor people who do well in this material life and then choose to remain fixated in Manipura, rather than follow the “still, small voice” of the consciousness that will direct their attention on to Anahata – they are doomed to either an endless cycle of further incarnations, or utter illusion followed by oblivion!            

            The considerations of compassion and selfless service remain to be noted here as elements to be attained in the awareness of Anahata.  Compassion is essentially selfless love for others, frequently expanding to the whole of humanity, as opposed to self-concerned love based on several expectations originating with the body and its perceptual extension, the ego.   No matter what the immediate outcomes of self-interested love may be, they will certainly demonstrate a lack-luster conclusion in the long term of involvement, as the fire of passion eventually dims, and then expires completely.   If no other (i.e. spiritual) developments have taken place in the interval, this frequently means the expiration of the associated relationship(s) as well.   By shifting the perceptual focus away from the ego and its gratification fetish, the practice of compassion pulls awareness up into Anahata and develops enhanced perception of the Soul as the extension of God every time it is considered or experienced in human consciousness.   And by reaching out in assistance to others in need of some form of intervention, the essence of the selfless service born of the selfless love of compassion is fulfilled not merely on the personal level, but up through all of the higher spiritual planes as well.   This is the original, and ongoing, purpose of this life of Karma on the Physical Plane – the transcendence of immediate sensory impressions through the intuitive perception of higher consciousness – the process of Enlightenment – and, for the human being, this begins and ultimately concludes in the spiritual Heart, Chakra Four.  

            Virtually any form of selfless service to humanity performed with spiritual awareness will develop the full capacity for completely selfless love, as the Sacred Heart is made the primary state of human consciousness operating in the Soul internally, and the world externally, through demonstrated personal sacrifice in both estates.  The two phenomena are mutually reinforcing, support each others development, and they foster the increasing manifestation of intuitive perception in the Psyche as well.   There is nothing better for human mental and spiritual health than the performance of selfless service for others, in fact, a life lived on this basis has the best chance of carrying the human consciousness into full Ascension and reunion with the Logos in the Seventh Chakra, Sahasrara.   

            Regarding this last observation, why then is the Heart Chakra, Anahata (and its full development), rather than Ascension into the Crown Chakra, Sahasrara, being presented here as the primary human spiritual goal?   A number of practical, Physical Plane, factors influence this observation.   First, the vast majority of human beings alive at this time in world history, known as the Dark Age of Kali Yuga to Hinduism,  are going to have all they can do to develop an open and compassionate Heart, let alone achieve Ascension into any higher state of awareness.   Secondly, even after achieving full Ascension into Sahasrara, the majority of the Seers who do so return to some from of worldly awareness and functioning on the Physical Plane – only those who have a suitable Soul expression stay in what is customarily referred to as Maha (Great) Samadhi – and  the usual result of this is the physical death of the body in the process, with very few exceptions.   As physical beings, we are doomed to experience the physical condition for the duration, no matter how high we occasionally climb beyond it.   Even the great Hindu Saints Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi still had a physical expression (i.e. a body) in evidence during most of their spiritual manifestation and teaching.   And, finally, there is a standing assertion in Buddhist theory that states that Ascension is, in reality, the final glamour of the ego, and that the addiction to Enlightenment is the final addiction of human awareness on the Physical Plane.   Once this addiction and glamour is overcome, and Satori (the ultimate state of non-dual awareness in Buddhism) is attained through meditation, and following the rest of the precepts of the Eight Fold Path noted so often in these essays,  the Compassionate Heart, or, in Christian terms, the Sacred Heart, becomes the spiritual center of consciousness in conjunction with intuitive functioning, selfless service to humanity, and Soul (or in Jungian terms, Self) awareness, and we have come home to the truly highest condition that most people will ever be able to achieve.  

            For my part, I practice compassion and selfless service as primary spiritual priorities in my life, and I endeavor to follow the Eight Fold Path in my daily affairs, focusing on intuitive knowing and the guidance of the Christ Consciousness as my moral compasses, and this not withstanding the fact that I have achieved the nirvakalpa (fully expressed, but temporary), and sahaja (lasting, but physically expressed in a body and partially mentally interpreted) forms of Samadhi (Hindu Seers and Mystics have identified several levels of Samadhi).   I presume that all of this is a consequence of my remaining worldly Karma, and I accept my condition as such, seeking to perform as much Dharma and thereby experience as much Unity with the Logos as possible while still present in a physical vehicle of spiritual expression.  Thus, the Heart Chakra is the highest working goal attainable by human consciousness, involved as we are in the human condition, with Karmic consequences hanging in the balance of every thought, word, and deed we express.


                                                                                 - With Love, Alan -

                                                                 (Copyright 2010, by Alan Schneider)


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