Writings of Dr John Palo


The Awakening
of Man's
Psychic Heart
 
by Dr. John Palo, D.C., F.A.C.O., F.R.C.
Member, International Research Council
 
 
Of late the heart has had an unprecedented amount of news coverage. It is a time of heart replacements--human, baboon, and mechanical. Yet should all this give us second thoughts about our heart as a great psychic center?
 
Some time ago I was speaking to a colleague about the heart. I was praising the heart surgeon for his wonderful knowledge of the heart. My friend surprised me when he said, "The surgeon doesn't know a thing about the heart! Oh, we know much about the physical heart. But I'm referring to the real heart. I'm referring to that great psychic center we all feel in our chest. It's this great emotional, psychic center that we know so little about. After all, there's not that much to the physical heart. It's just a pump! It keeps the blood moving!"
 
My friend was right. The physical heart is just a pump--but a most important pump. If it stops, the body dies. For us to live in our body the heart pump must circulate the blood, enabling food and oxygen to reach the body's cells. Thus, the crucial heart pump makes life possible.
 
As a matter of fact, this pump is so important to the continuation of life that it is made of a special muscle tissue. Even if all the nerves to it are cut, the heart will keep beating on its own as long as it receives food and oxygen, and waste and carbon dioxide is removed.
 
The nerves to the heart act as regulators to step up or slow down its action. So the physical heart is an organ of pumping muscle that has some speed regulation control from the nervous system.
 
Radiating Energy
 
On the other hand, the psychic heart is not a physical organ. It is that great mystic center we all feel radiating from our chest. This psychic center engages our behavior and is concerned with the quality of our life. Its impulses guide us in mysticism, culture, creative business achievements, the arts, science, and all that makes us prime examples of fine human beings.
 
The recent findings about the physical heart have made the mystic even more aware of its limitations and the distinction between the physical pump heart and the psychic heart. Replacing the physical heart with the heart of another does not replace the soul personality of the recipient. No matter what or whose physical heart is in me, I'm still me, and most importantly I still retain all those endearing associations I have with my psychic heart. I will always radiate the same love from my irremovable psychic heart, for the psychic heart is part of our whole psychic makeup--it is not removable nor replaceable.
 
One of the best stories I know about a psychic heart is an old African tale from Uganda. It seems the highest god, Kabezya-Mpungu, had four children--the sun, the moon, the darkness, and the rain. There was no earth or sky, nor were there any animals or human beings.
 
Then one day Kabezya-Mpungu created the earth and the sky. He created the many animals, and he created man and woman. Man was much like the animals, except that he was endowed with reason.
 
Kabezya-Mpungu called his four children together to tell them that he was about to leave them, and he cautioned them to be temperate while he was gone. He wanted no harm to come to man and the animals. But while he was gone, he would send down to earth, in his place, Mutima or heart--a piece of himself to look after his creations.
 
Kabezya-Mpungu then left. All that remained of him on earth was Mutima or heart, a piece of God no bigger than a hand. However, it was not long before Mutima grew lonely for Kabezya-Mpungu.
 
"Where is Kabezya-Mpungu our Father?" Mutima asked Sun, Moon, Darkness, and Rain.
 
All they could say was, "Father is gone and we do not know where."
 
Mutima cried, "Oh, how great is my desire to commune with him fully again."
 
Then Mutima looked at his charges, man and woman--the ones Kabezya-Mpungu had endowed with reason and intellect. Mutima made a decision. "I will enter them," he said, "and through their reasoning powers I will seek my return to God from generation to generation." And this is exactly what Mutima did. Ever since that time man has had in his chest Mutima or heart, a piece of God. And, now, with Mutima in them, all human beings have a longing for God and keep looking for ways to find God.
 
As mystics it would seem we all have a larger than normal piece of Mutima or heart. For a mystic is driven, more than others, to seek God. The mystic knows that love and the seeds of creation flow from the heart, the psychic heart.
 
Sacred Passion of Love
 
Love is the great magician, the great enchanter. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart. Without the sacred passion of love we are less than beasts, but with it we are god-like and can build a heaven on earth.
 
The psychic heart, the love center, is the cornerstone of the teachings of Master Jesus. The disciples came to Jesus and asked, "What new lesson shall we preach today?" Jesus answered, "Teach love." "What!", said one disciple, "We've preached love over and over again. Don't you have something new?"
 
Jesus turned to the disciples and said, "No! Now and for ages to come love will be the most important message. Go out and preach love!"
 
The Rosicrucian Temple
 
One of the main purposes of a Rosicrucian ritual is to make contact with our heart. We send thoughts of love to and from our heart. We are open to the inspiration which comes from the heart. Such personal convocations with our heart lift us to our best and highest ideals, and this is carried over into our daily work. Such heart communion and inspiration is a major purpose of a Rosicrucian ritual.
 
All Rosicrucian temples are constructed in the form of a rose and a cross. The floor plan of every Rosicrucian temple forms a cross. The line from East to West crosses the line from North to South. Where these lines intersect is placed the Shekinah, which, in a Rosicrucian temple, represents the rose, also symbolic of the heart of man.
 
Further, as Dr. H. Spencer Lewis has written, the temple represents man lying on his back with his arms extended. Thus, the Shekinah, in the very heart of the temple, represents the heart of man as well as the heart of the temple.
 
Convocation is actually an affair of the heart. Its ritual strives to rouse our heart impulses.
 
If we carry our analogy further, we can more fully understand the role of the Colombe and the Master in the East. The East, where we find the Master's station, is the place of light. The Colombe is the guardian of the sanctum sanctorum, the space between the Shekinah and the East. She symbolically guards against any interference with the inspiration reaching from the heart to the mind or place of light in the East.
 
The Rosicrucian tradition of psychic heart orientation has its roots in ancient Egypt. Numerous references point to the heart as the very soul of man. The Egyptians referred to the heart as the "conscience" of man, and "the God which is in man." Thousands of years later we still pray to the "God of our Heart." Hear Vizier Ptahhotep's words of 4000 years ago: "Follow your heart as long as you live." "A wise man's heart is the balance of his tongue." And, "A hearkener (to good advice from the heart) is one whom the god loves; one whom the god hates is one who hearkens not. It is the heart which makes its possessor a hearkener or one not hearkening. The good fortune of a man is his heart."
 
In the 15th century B.C. a court herald recounted his services to Thutmose III, traditional founder of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. "It was my heart which caused that I should do them, by its guidance of my affairs. It was . . . as an excellent witness. I did not disregard its speech, I feared to transgress its guidance. 'Lo,' said the people, 'it is an oracle of God in every body. Prosperous is he whom it has guided to the good way of achievement. Lo, thus I was.'
 
An epitaph to the Egyptian prince of El Kab reads, "Mayest thou spend eternity in gladness of heart in the favor of the god that is in thee."
 
Another old statement from a dying Egyptian reads, "The heart of man is his own god, and my heart was satisfied with my deeds."
 
And finally we hear the voice of the old Egyptian Amenemope: "Divorce not the heart from thy tongue, and it shall come to pass that all thy purposes shall be successful."
 
As can be seen, the ancient Egyptians had great respect for the heart. In mummies they removed all the inner organs except the heart. Symbolically, the deceased needed his heart in his afterlife as it was the soul consciousness.
 
If the heart was removed, it then was replaced by a sculptured scarab beetle about the size of the original organ. The scarab beetle was symbolic of the ongoing process of creation. The scarab artifact was placed over the heart even when the heart was not removed. Most of the scarabs placed upon the chests of the dead had a prayer inscribed on the flat underside. It was hoped that these prayers would help the deceased through the death initiation.
 
Maat
 
Judgment Day in the Egyptian religion was vividly portrayed in the Book of the Dead. The heart of the deceased was weighed against a feather, the symbol of Maat or truth. The final judgment was based on whether the deceased lived and spoke by the promptings of the heart. The heart was weighed against his word, his tongue. As the heart is always present, it knows all. Thus, some of the prayers on the heart scarab were pleas to the heart, such as "Please, don't betray me." Or, "Just tell the good things about me." If the person passed the test, he was pronounced a maa kheru--that is, "true of voice."
 
This concept of the afterlife gave the ancient Egyptian a high moral code. Strict materialists and atheists who feel death is the end are more apt to be unethical and amoral. Even religionists, who fear a possible hellfire, may have higher ethics than the rank materialist. Like children, they tend to watch their behavior for fear that God the Father will punish them for their misdeeds.
 
The mystic, sensing karma and reincarnation, is often the most ethical, the most moral. He knows that to behave less idealistically is to keep him tied to the lowest stages of his psychic heart's evolution. Therefore, he frequently tunes in and acts from the "God of our Heart."
 
The Rose, The Cross
 
Through the centuries Rosicrucians have come to associate the heart with the rose. The heart-rose on the cross developed into the great Rosicrucian philosophy so well stated in Latin, Ad Rosam per Crucem, ad Crucem per Rosam. We arrive at the rose (or heart) through the cross. And, the quest of the rose (or heart) leads us to new crosses. All crosses are challenges for further growth.
 
When we say the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, looks upon the heart or its symbol the rose as signifying evolution, we are speaking of the evolution of our soul personality. This most important form of evolution takes place as we face the challenges of life's crosses.
 
But we Rosicrucians are confirmed optimists. We know life cannot be all hardship, all crosses. The workings of the rose, the glowing satisfactions of the heart, are always intertwined with life's crosses. There is always hope for all.
 
This philosophy of hope is further strengthened by the idea of reincarnation. Rebirth makes us accountable for who and what we are. It assures us of present or eventual fulfillment and blossoming of our frustrated talents and achievements.
 
The Blossoming Rose
 
When we seek to know ourselves better, we seek the rose, we seek within our heart. The heart reveals the roots of much of our present behavior patterns. We become our own creators. We do not do this the "easy" way--with drugs or self-proclaimed gurus. We do it the Rosicrucian way--through personal evolvement--Ad Rosam per Crucem, ad Crucem per Rosam. We apply the Rosicrucian teachings. We do not have instant success. In fact, we often fail in the exercises. But we persist. We are on the Rosicrucian road of wholesome, steady growth.
 
The Rosicrucian teachings stress heart development. Much of mysticism, for that matter, is a gradual awakening of this psychic heart center. It is through the heart we experience Cosmic Consciousness. This is a time when the psychic heart seems to beat as one with the cosmic heart. It's Mutima finding Kabezya-Mpungu.
 
Some may think the path of heart or love is too simple an approach to great illumination and spiritual growth. Those who feel this way may not yet have examined the complexities of this simple thing called love in this most complex world. However, the love path will be found to be an enlightener. Love or heart should be tied to our every move. If it is not, we should examine our heart to find out why.
 
The key to the heart's blossoming is love and service. Love is a universal force. It has a place in all that we do. Love from the heart should find its way into our business, our personal life, our recreation, our art, and our music. Once we tap into the power of love, more beauty enters our life. We don't know the full potential of what we do until we put our heart into it.
 
We must encourage more and more heart expression in and from ourselves. If we love something, we should say so. Good things can thrive better with an encouraging word from us. We should show heart-felt appreciation for the kindness and good works of others. We should let our hearts radiate through our eyes, and let every movement of our face and body reflect more and more the love that is genuinely in our heart.
 
We should let whatever work we do be a fine product from the God of our Heart.
 
Each of us, at some time, has suffered from someone deceiving us--perhaps someone we loved. We should not let that stop us. Lovers know the pangs of unrequited love, but there is so much truth to the saying, "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I've met many artists who after years of struggle have been frustrated by failure to achieve great renown. I've not found one who regretted the love or heart struggle to achieve excellence in his field.
 
We all have beauty to give to this world. We must let the passion of the God of our Heart come through to express that beauty.
 
In an age when so much media time centers around the mechanical pump aspect of the heart, let us remember the most important heart--the psychic heart. We have seen how the great enlightenment movements throughout history have placed so much importance on the psychic heart, and how the Rosicrucian teachings and rituals find it to be a key to our soul personality's evolution.
 
May the path of the heart make us maa kherus. May Mutima, the piece of God in our heart, lead us to Kabezya-Mpungu, God. May the words and deeds from our heart lead us to cosmic illumination.
 
 
Copyright 1985 Dr. John Palo
 

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