Book notes: The Silence of the Heart by Paul Ferrini

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Few human beings take direct responsibility for their physical and emotional well-being. It is no wonder that they lack a spiritual perspective on life. When people do not care for themselves, they blame others for their problems. They feel like victims. They feel trapped in their jobs, their relationships, their physical location, their roles and responsibilities. They appear to live inside a pressure cooker. Either they stay in their external situation and feel victimized and resentful. Or they leave that situation inappropriately before it is healed, leaving a wake of broken hearts.

For once, before your ego tried to take charge of the journey, you were the patient captain of your own ship, moving to a destination intuited but unknown. And it is the same now, even though you think you must work at being in charge.

The problem is that the victim will never acknowledge the ladder. He will never admit that he has the tools he needs to extricate himself from his suffering. For, as soon as he admits that he has these tools, he ceases to be a victim. Nobody feels sorry for him anymore. The game of being a handicapped creator comes to an end.

You are not a victim of the world, but the one who holds the key to freedom. In your eyes is the spark of divine light that leads all beings out of the darkness of fear and mistrust. And in your heart is the love that gives birth to all the myriad beings in the universe. Your essence is unbroken, whole, dynamic and creative. It but awaits your trust.

Living in fear, the ego-mind seeks safety, but never finds it. Because it never investigates its own fear, it is unconsciously driven by it.  It projects its fear on every person or situation it encounters.  All relationship dramas stem from the mutual projection of fear.

Grace rests on a tenacious commitment to yourself, a commitment that says “no” gently but firmly to all who would tempt you to trade their dream for your own. Only by honoring yourself does the beloved come. Those who twist themselves into pretzels in the search for love simply push the beloved away.

There is only one way that you will find genuine fulfillment in your life and that is to learn to love and accept yourself. With that as a foundation, relationships cease to be traumatic. Perhaps that is because one does not bring such intense expectations to them. When you know how to “be with” yourself, it is not so difficult to “be with” another.    However, if your life is a flight from self, how can you expect any relationship to be grounded? It just is not possible.

All need to fix comes from an assumption that something is wrong and, if something is wrong, usually “someone” is made wrong. It is more healing to start with the assumption that nothing is wrong. You just have a feeling you are holding which you need to communicate. Holding back feelings is the beginning of separation. Sharing them is the ending of it. This is the ebb and flow of all relationships.

Don’t accept any intermediary between you and God. Reject all gurus and teachers. Do not make the mistake of thinking that someone else has more spiritual knowledge than you do. That is preposterous. Anyone who is close to God knows that it is you who gives God permission to be present in your life, only you. The attachment to the ideas and concepts of others interferes with the clarity of your direct connection to Spirit.

Accept no substitutes. Forget your esoteric teachings, your psychologies and your holy books.  None of them can lead you to peace. Accept no other teaching than the one of your heart. That alone is God’s teaching. Do not take communion in a hall where fools preside and the flock is mentally and spiritually asleep. Those who wish to be told what to do will find out soon enough that no one has the answers for them. Do not give your power to impostors. Accept only God’s teaching into your life and take communion in the silence where you meet Her.

But accept no other authority in your life but God’s.

Everybody at one time or another gives his power away, only to learn to take it back. That is an important and profound lesson on the spiritual path. Be grateful if you have learned this lesson. It means you are closer to your own truth, and if you are closer to your own truth, you are closer to God, the universal truth.

You come to oneness not through conformity, but through authenticity. When you have the courage to be yourself, you find the highest truth you are capable of receiving.  Then, you are not threatened by others.  You interact with them honestly and work to support the common good.

Begin seeing everything around you as a mirror showing you what you believe. Practice this every time you start to take your life or someone else’s life too seriously. Practice it when you are in pain and feel you can’t take another step forward. Practice it when you are in love and can’t wait another moment for your lover. Practice this and keep your eyes open as you embrace your experience. Don’t go to sleep. Don’t pretend that you know what something means.

Without solitude, spiritual nourishment will be lacking. If you want a single cause for the amount of distress in the world, it is the fact that people do not take time to commune with self, nature and the divine. A spiritual life — a life free of needless tension and self-created suffering — requires such communion.

Don’t accept anyone else’s authority over you and don’t accept authority over anyone else. Claim your freedom and offer freedom to others.

The self is a wilderness. Leave it unexplored and cities are built over it. Explore it courageously and intimacy becomes possible. True equality requires individuation.

Find out who you are, not according to someone else’s definition, but according to your own. Play with that definition before you accept it. Let all of yourself become present. Explore the dunes that swell up at the sea’s edge. Feel the salt spray and walk along the beach at low tide. See all the life-forms, all the possibilities revealed when the tide is rolled back.

Know thyself. Do not become lost in the world before you know who you are or your chances of waking up are not strong. The world will be only too happy to give you a role and a responsibility. Other people will be only too happy to assign you a role in their play.

When you fully inhabit your life, you will be drawn to others who are doing the same thing. Then, you will not have to give up your life for another. That is the beginning of a more beautiful and challenging dance. But it is a dance that cannot happen unless you are already dancing in your own truth.

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