The Broken Heart

When you hear the phrase “broken heart” the first thing that comes to mind is that of desolate lovers, of hose who had loved and lost. What do we really know about the heart when we embark on the quest for the Holy Grail? The hero or heroine at the beginning of their quest stands on the hilltop overlooking the beginnings of the journey with courage in their hearts and stars of hope and dreams in their eyes. They look at the vista below and to the beyond of the horizon where their vision fades into mistiness, and in their hearts and minds many visions arise of what may lie beyond. Both possible horrors and beauties arise, all that their imaginations could possibly conjure in that moment before the journey begins. Yet, what they do not know when they first set off, is that they will encounter that which is beyond the horizon of their very imagination. That the real purpose of their journey was not what they thought, nor could they possibly have imagined what the divine trickster had lovingly snared them into. 

If you follow a desire, it will lead you into unexplored regions with unexpected situations. Some pleasant and some very uncomfortable experiences will follow that will leave you changed and wiser, or destroyed. It will shatter your known universe without a doubt. Desire is what propels involution and evolution, and transcends time and space. 

A desire is born from an encounter with someone or something that seduces into a longing to know in the Biblical sense. That is; to merge (experience) in order to know. So eloquently described in “Rites and Myths of Seduction” by Aldo Carotenuto in which he explores seduction as a secret invitation to embrace transformation, an openness to change despite risks and suffering. The ego as such is tricked into a death by the lure of the other. Seduction being defined as “carrying elsewhere,” the sweeping of the subject beyond usual experience….By loving we intend venturing beyond the dominion of one’s own ego, to a foreign dimension that places us before what is extraneousness, the stranger, within us – our double, our shadow. The fear of exposure to the temptation of seduction signifies the unconscious comprehension of the initiatory voyage which, thanks to the other, we will undertake. 

This in my experience applies not just to a romantic seduction but anything that stirs a desire in you.  In the Kabbalah there is a term called Klippah Nougah. Klippah is like a husk that encloses the true essence of a plant. The plant can only germinate and enfold once the husk is broken, yet, initially the protection of the husk was a necessary protection until the seed was ready to germinate. Nougah means light or Venus, thus actually Klippah Nougah refers to false lights. In Pistis Sophia (Faith Wisdom), we hear the story of the fall and redemption of Pistis Sophia, who while adoring the True Light above, is deceived by a False Light below. She descends and become bound in the dominion of the demiurge, the Ignorance and illusion. Then, enacting cycles of self-purification, grade by grade she ascends to reintegrate with her divinity and the True Light above.  

The element associated with the heart in traditional wisdom teachings is air, Ruach, Spirit or Holy Spirit. We tend to think of the element of air as removed from feelings and passion and associate it with intellect. If we expect only to experience passions and pleasures on our spiritual journey and jump from one high to another we might never discover what the heart and spirit truly are, just as we might never discover what love really is if we jump from relationship to relationship. We start life with dreams and concepts of what relationships should be like, from ideas that we get from our early environment and the media. However those dreams are based on false concepts, just as the concepts we have about ourselves are based on a false concept of self.

When we start our spiritual journey it is even more so as what we are seeking is the “unknowable.” Therefore those concepts have to be dispelled before we can progress any further on our spiritual journey. Each time such a concept is dispelled we actually experience a broken heart. A broken heart not only relates to so called matters of the heart but also to all shattered dreams. A broken heart leads to what is known as dark nights of the soul. 

Our heart has to be broken many times before we can reach our true heart, for our heart is covered by many layers of encrusting. Although we may feel that our hearts were broken, our true heart cannot be broken, as it is a radiant spaciousness, all inclusive, filled with intelligence, faith, hope and love, and light; what gets broken is the shell of self-cherishing, attachment and aversion that covers and obstructs it. Our true heart is the seat of Faith Wisdom, the gateway between what is above and below, “the pattern that connects,” the spiritual sun, and “a pearl of great treasure.”

Also See Dark Nights of the Soul


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