The Way of the Heart:
Through the Path of Tav
European Retreat 2022
From the Book of Tokens on Tav:
“Therefore is the end of all wisdom hid within the one word, Thou. What thou seekest, truly that thou art. The treasure thou journeyest afar to find is the Jewel of Eternity in the heart of hearts.”
Eons ago we were sent out from Source, God, the One Self to experience a unique expression of the Self. First, we experienced states of vibration such as a gas or light, then we started to lower our frequencies into water, fire, or a mineral. After more eons we started to experience what we call incarnate life as a tree or a rose bush. Eventually we had bodies of more highly developed aspects of the animal kingdom such as a spider, bird or a dog. Up to this point in our evolution, we were descending down through the Tree of Life in an unconscious state of awareness of a group soul and we eventually arrived at Malkuth to pick up the vehicle of a sentient, or self-aware being such as a human with an ego and thus a sense of separateness. In the Kingdom or Malkuth, we have spent countless incarnations having many experiences until we reach a point where we start to question the purpose of the incarnation, and our place in the cosmos. This is the beginning of the Path of Return back up the Tree toward Kether, or the Source, God or complete unification with the One Self.
Our first path back toward unity with Self is that of the 32nd Path, the Serving, Assisting or Administrative Intelligence of Key 21. Here it is that we begin to move out of our self-centered desires toward caring and helping others. This Path prepares us for true loving kindness through service. In the Meditational Ascent on the Tree of Livingness course, our teacher, Rev. Ann Davies says, “The Administrative Intelligence relates to the attainment of the consciousness that shares in the rulership of earth, because one has understood true rulership to be inseparable from true service. He who is fit to share in the administration of earth is he who has continuously dedicated himself to ministering aid to those who still dwell in darkness.”
We may at first realize intellectually that doing service work for others will bring us closer to the goal of liberation, but when we give from our hearts, this increases receptivity to the love nature flowing down from Chesed or Mercy on the Tree of Life. Then the decision to serve becomes something we seek because we feel this increase of the love nature, which “…is the only true fulfillment for a heart filled with all-encompassing love.” (Meditational Ascent course)
As we make further progress through this Path we realize that the knowledge we gain through this work, the forces we learn to direct, all must be dedicated to the service of life. This is what aligns us with the Higher Self, which leads us on the Path towards the liberation from the false belief of the separateness of life.
In order to do this, we must begin to understand our false beliefs and patterns we hold within, as well as what we share with the collective consciousness of the rest of humanity. We must work toward uncovering these negative influences that obstruct our goal of liberation back to Kether. First of all, throughout all of our lessons in B.O.T.A. and all true spiritual teachings, we have been taught in many ways that all life is part of our larger Self, that all is One, and every human being is a brother or sister. When we react with prejudice toward any group, race or creed, we are simply not in harmony with this universal truth. These false beliefs are still held in collective consciousness which is based on the delusion of separateness. At one point of human evolution this was necessary, but as we ascend the Path of Return toward the Heart of the One, these ideas and beliefs must be dropped. If we find ourselves responding to these delusions, we have only allowed ourselves to become receptive to the lower nature beliefs of separation, which is not in harmony with our higher aspirations. We do feel these false ideas from the collective consciousness because we are all One, and these prejudices can influence our personalities unless we become aware that these false beliefs are just flowing through us and not coming from us.
We must be willing to become alert to acknowledge imperfect behavior in ourselves such as becoming angry when we feel someone is doing or saying something unloving towards us. We could say that the person made us mad, when in reality we choose to become mad based on our incomplete understanding of the situation. Or perhaps we feel jealousy towards another who has more money than us and seems to live a perfect life. This feeling is not a thought-out response. It is an automatic reaction to the pattern of jealousy which is very strong in the collective consciousness of mankind. We tend to react first and then rationalize the reason we feel this way, which is a personality aspect of the lower ego. Thus, our minds become a slave to the negative response. However, we don’t want to find blame for our feelings of inadequacy, but what we need to do is to stop and recognize these negative feelings which respond to ancient patterns of error of refusing to respond to them. Each time we refuse to respond to these negative collective patterns, we start to build a new response, which is the response of love, including self-love!
The Hebrew letter Tav, means “signature” or “mark”. This was a sign of salvation from death and a signature of eternal life. It is our dedication to service to others that places the mark of protection and helps us to avoid the negative reactions of the collective consciousness. The same course of Meditational Ascent, Ann states, “It is this reaching upward in our intentions that will enable us to recognize any adverse tendencies of personality such as spiritual pride, power drives or a need for self-aggrandizement. These must be dealt with and transmuted as we increase in power and knowledge. By identifying with the Self and remembering the unity of life we can objectively acknowledge any such affinities and do what is necessary to dissolve them.”
The Way of the Heart is the continuous union with the Higher Self, which is the goal of the Great Work. What we need to recognize is that acting as if this were true now, in that by acting in every way as a servant of life. This we must do in the present tense. It will not serve us to think that, oh well, tomorrow or next week I will be less angry or jealous. We must believe we are servants of God now, not some time in the future. We must focus our thoughts and beliefs on the loving kindnesses we can give to another person or creature. This will bring us into Unity with our Higher Self. This takes daily practice. First, we must pay attention to what we say to others, and check to see if those words were loving or hateful. Then we need to make changes in how we express ourselves to others in a much more loving and kind manner. We continue with creating a more love nature by doing small acts of kindness, such as saying, “Good morning” to all on our morning walks or opening a door to a mother pushing a stroller or letting someone go in front of us in the line at the market. Every kind act will bring us closer to our goal of truly living daily with a loving heart. We must practice focusing on our thoughts, beliefs, words and deeds each day. For only then can we make progress by paying attention and making loving and positive changes to our expressions of personality.
As we travel back up through the Tree of Life, we become ever more aware of this conscious union with Self, and yet we retain at the same time we experience our self-aware individual consciousness. When we left Source so long ago, we experienced reality in a state of group unconsciousness, but now as spiritual beings on the Path of Return, we realize the Oneness of all, a state of super consciousness, yet we retain our sense of self as an individualized ego. We feel the Oneness of All, yet we feel our uniqueness as a part of that Oneness. We are indeed unique expressions of God, yet being the One Self at the same time.
Ann Davies gives us the perfect finish to this talk, found at the end of lesson #6, Meditational Ascent course:
“Love is the way to dominion. In truth it is dominion. Without love we will never pierce the veils of delusion; never comprehend the mysteries of life. Love is the Central Glory, the adornment of the Self. Through love we unite with the Ego in every human heart. Through love we perceive the divinity there. Then we cannot help but dedicate ourselves to serving life; we cannot help but yearn to awaken mankind to the glorious truth. This is the perfection of the Serving Intelligence. We become administrators for God, pouring forth the love that heals to all the kingdoms of nature.”