Dangers of Falling into …

Cleansing one’s self of the diseases that plague the heart is a continuing process. The moment you think that you have wiped away an evil aspect such as jealousy, envy or hate, that’s the moment you have to be careful for it to not come back. I do believe, our hearts are different. Hearts are born with different qualities but more importantly, how we nurture our hearts becomes the deciding factor as to what qualities it possesses. If you constantly remain on guard to not get angry, to not backbite, to not speak ill of others, to not harbour grudges, to not feel envy, the more likely you are to increase yourself in qualities such as gentleness, forbearance, calm temperament, contentment.  When we see others with faults, those faults are also reflected within us. That’s true in many cases, but it’s not always true.

Sometimes it is a matter of seeing those faults in others and separating yourself from such people who possess them. Your environment, your boundaries, your company is a thing to be mindful of. There is a saying, Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are! And at times, just hearing the toxic conversations is enough to make you fall back into those diseases that plague the hearts. With this I have a question for you! What is the norm? Confront the person directly to point out their faults, mistakes, shortcomings or any behaviour you find odd? Or do you indirectly convey the message through indirect talk or talking about their actions without specifically mentioning them? I am usually aware but I tend to ignore other people’s habits as long as they don’t affect me. Perhaps there is a lesson to learn here too, who not to be like? What qualities and habits to steer clear from? How to conduct yourself in day to day dealings with others?

Writing everything isn’t evidence of my wisdom. I write, so I can perhaps gain an objective insight into myself. I am full of faults, although I am mostly calm, anger is something I have struggled with most since childhood. At some point, I learnt to manage it. But even now sometimes the frustrations, irritations, stress and whatever else bottled inside, can quickly explode at times if not released through other mediums. 

I am writing this to assess the link between different diseases of the heart and whether any outside influence is responsible in lighting those evils? Responding to what comes at me is a choice where I exert influence. It mostly always comes back to me as an individual, how I respond, how I react, what is my demeanour, how is my behaviour, what is the state of my mind, what is the tone of my voice?

Picking up on this as the new year starts. 2022, here we come! The year begins with reflections upon death. So, I guess I might as well talk a little bit. I fell off the tracks mostly because of my own thoughts were overwhelming me. Because of the many events that have happened in the past, mixed with current issues, I was having suicidal thoughts. Not that I will act on them, but still they were present and getting me really down. So, I spoke about them to some close friends and after some reflection, I realised the underlying reason for it was that my self-esteem was hurt. I have always had great expectations from myself. When I fail, it’s often a struggle to pick myself up.

Fast forward to today, I mentioned earlier that I am finishing writing this article tonight. I wrote this in October 2021. Right now, I am sitting, fully awake, grateful, yet quite distressed. Distressed because Noor is nearing end of his life. The speechless boy I wrote about before. For the past week, Noor’s health deteriorating has been occupying my mind. It’s also making me reflect on life, a blessing! It’s making me reflect on death too. You see, no one knows how many more breaths he has got left to breathe. No one knows, how many breaths they themselves have left to breathe. Every soul shall taste death. It can come anytime in good health, good times or poor health and difficult times.

Noor has lived a wonderful life. The best he could have, even though he is not fully capable. Everyone around him prepares to part with him. I keep wondering if the miracle continues living. His survival for the past 30 years has been a miracle. He defied odds over and over. He clung to life. His will to live is strong. Even now, he breathes, rhythmically. He takes 3 to 4 deep breaths and holds it for 8 to 10 seconds. This pattern has further slowed, he now holds it for 20 seconds. He only has one lung functioning. The rest of his organs are slowly shutting down. Yet, his will to live is as strong. I am hoping that tomorrow, as the new sun rises. He gets better because he has taught me that life is precious. Too precious for any human’s intervention to try cut it short. However long we tarry on this earth, death is a certainty for us all.

Life is a blessing. Life ought to be lived fully. It is not a bed of roses. It is tough, the world can be cruel, circumstances can be harsh. No matter, it is still a blessing. A blessing to be grateful for. Give gratitude with each breath.

I sit here next to him waiting for him to breathe his last, yet I don’t know if I would breathe my last before him.

This makes me question the life I have lived, whether I done enough good. Whether I enjoyed it in good times, whether I remained patient in difficult times. Whether I have been grateful enough! Nothing else matters except a sound heart. Do I have one? I know Noor does, his heart was never tainted with the diseases. Even if his body suffered, his heart has remained pure, his heart is full of light. If you listen closely, you can hear him praise the Creator, his heart sings praise. His body suffers, we can only try lower his pain. All of this and much more that I can’t put in words has been occupying my mind.

It has also lit the spark inside me. He has helped me realise what a blessing life is. Life is beautiful if you are grateful for the things you have. Count your blessings.

He doesn’t want to see us cry or shed silent tears, so he breathes and his will to live remains strong.

Books worth visiting again

The physical heart, which houses the spiritual heart, beats about 100,000 times a day, pumping two gallons of blood per minute and over 100 gallons per hour. If one were to attempt to carry 100 gallons of water (whose density is lighter than blood) from one place to another, it would be an exhausting task. Yet the human heart does this every hour of every day for an entire lifetime without respite. The vascular system transporting life-giving blood is over 60,000 miles long – more than two times the circumference of the earth. So when we conceive of our blood being pumped throughout our bodies, know that this means that it travels through 60,000 miles of a closed vascular system that connects all the parts of the body – all the vital organs and living tissues – to this incredible heart.- Purification of the heart Translated by Hamza Yusuf.

Have you ever tried carrying 2 packs of water crates (6 × 2L) from the shop to your house? One pack in each hand? That’s not even close to 100 gallons of water and yet the human heart pumps ~ 2880 litres of blood 24/7 as long as there is life and soul in us. Isn’t this more than a miracle?

Anyhow I just found this fact about the heart amazing. The modern science has also gathered evidence that heart has its own neurons capable of feelings and perhaps thoughts. Ancient Chinese tradition and Judaism, Christianity and Islam all pay special attention to the state of one’s heart.

I have previously talked quite a lot about spiritual heart. I am reading this book again and this time I would like to share things I learn. This will help me perhaps better remember them.

Humans by nature are forgetful. We forget what we learn. Humans by nature are an ocean of emotions. Not all emotions we express are helpful in our pursuits. Reading this book before helped me tame my anger outbursts with the help of continuing practice of martial arts.

I am at that stage once more where I am falling back into my old self. Impulses and urges are over powering and over riding my rational self. For example losing my temper to someone who is screaming at me when I know they are just reflecting their own insecurities and low self-esteem. My retaliation brings me down to that same level.

In other pursuits not being able to exercise patience and just sitting on my hands has been proving difficult lately. I have disregarded my set of rules and principles. I have broken them only to slide down the ladder. It’s feels like I fell off the mountain that I was climbing. Funny how my subconscious and unconscious minds warned me of this beforehand.

Well at least, I am back to being my spontaneous self again. Blogging really helps put out all thoughts flowing through my mind. Although I may not always put them exactly how they are in my mind. That’s my introverted nature. Still when I read I am able to tell what exactly was on my mind. I was talking about dreams when referring to the unconscious and subconscious minds.

Anyway…. I can keep blabbering and I will forget why I started writing this blog.

I started writing it to explore the different diseases that plague the spiritual heart. This pursuit of cleansing one’s heart is an every day work. Complacency and laziness will put you back where you started. There is no finish line. It’s a constant work in progress. Or maybe I am saying that because my heart is not pure or maybe even if it was… it wouldn’t make sense if I were to say that about myself. No one knows what’s in the hearts except God.

I can only continue to work to polish it and if I fall off track, I have to pick myself back up. Get back on track…

Follow the light. Light guides and darkness leaves you wandering.

So here are the few common ailments of spiritual heart that I’d personally like to reflect on and in doing so hopefully remove these blemishes from my heart and self. Removing any of these blemishes is a difficult task. What I learnt from the book is that, protection from these blemishes is more powerful. Heavenly protection… I will still struggle enough so that perhaps, through Mercy some divine protection comes my way too.

Negative thoughts– the critic in my head. The little voice- doubt, fear and anxiety.

Anger– losing my composure and calmness for any reason

Heedlessness– not acting upon learnt knowledge. It can be applied to all fields. If you acquire some expertise or skills in any arts, it becomes imperative that you practise it diligently with focused attention. Otherwise you fall into heedlessness.

Boasting & Arrogance– I don’t think that I have these traits but you can never dismiss stuff like this because that’s exactly when it creeps back in. And even maybe if I didn’t write about it, that might have been boasting and arrogance in itself.

Obliviousness to Blessings– Being ungrateful. Gratitude is a must… there is always more to be grateful for in life. A lot of the times I forget to do it.

Envy, Rancour, Hatred- I am putting all these together because their roots are same. One amplifies the other and they feed off of each other. It’s easy to possess these traits. Just start comparing your life to others on Instagram and Facebook lol 😆 You will surely feel one of those at least. Or read the comment section on political posts 🤣

There are many other symptoms and ailments detailed in the book that plague the heart. I am going to work on these few and take time to reflect. Work on my habits and whether those habits help me with these goals.

Get back into deep meditation that should surely help. Help cleanse the heart and help live in the present moment.