I would like to share this beautifull essay written by Benjamin Yudin.
The mystical heart, like the divine soul, is created over time through the moment to moment struggle against our state of sleep. Thus, like the soul, the heart slowly awakens to the beauty of itself and to the beauty of the divine.
The mystical heart receives much of its growth by transforming physical, emotional, and mental suffering into something much higher. A contemporary teacher of mysticism, Robert Earl Burton, wrote of “how suffering softens us.”
Throughout the Ages, teachers of mysticism have taught their students how to make use of the suffering, petty frictions, and negative imagination that besiege them. As the fourteenth century mystical Sufi poet, Hafiz wrote: “Think of suffering as being washed.”
What exactly within us is being washed? It is our sleep, our non-comprehension of the divine. Suffering, as seen through the eyes of the mystic, cleanses us of our imagination, quiets the mind, stills the heart, and allows for the divine presence of the evolving soul to manifest itself in the moment.
Often, when we experience pain or discomfort, it is the natural tendency of the non-mystical mind and heart to be repulsed by it. We wish to be rid of it as soon as possible. This rejection is sometimes accomplished through excessive drinking, eating, or speaking about our suffering. We then become, as the German mystic poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “wasters of sorrow.”
Mysticism teaches us to accept and embrace our friction and to transform it into mystical love.
One of the finest definitions of mystical love can be found in the writings of William Shakespeare. In Sonnet 119, he wrote: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”
This, then, is mystical love, as perceived through the heart of the mystic. It is love without conditions. It is love that upholds itself even in the face of excruciating pain or death.
One of the most inspiring displays of mystical love by a well-known mystic is found in the twenty-third chapter of the Gospel of Luke. There, the author relates that Jesus, in his pain, asked God to forgive his persecutors.
To reiterate, the major qualities of the mystical heart include unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
The attainment of this love is not reserved just for great and well-known men and women. Rather, it is the destiny that awaits all who successfully traverses the mystical path, from the Roman slave Epictetus to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
One further aspect of the quality of forgiveness that we find in the mystical heart, is that not only do we forgive others, but we forgive ourselves as well.
Each step on the mystical path is new. Each step is one we have not taken before. Thus, like anything that we are learning to do for the first time, we are going to make many mistakes. We are going to go from sincerity to falseness, from being present to the divine in one moment, to being lost in the most repugnant forms of imagination in the next.
In all of this, the ever-growingmystic heart learns to embrace and bear the process in a noble fashion that abounds with patience and forgiveness.
A fitting quote to end this essay on the mystic heart comes from the thirteenth century Sufi master, Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. He wrote:
Come, come, whoever you are; Wanderer, worshipper, lover of learning… .Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times. Come, come, yet again come.