Tolstoy began to look on life as a mean-spirited trick. This trick is played on us, he insisted, by our own fantasies, and by life’s endless rounds of activity. “I could give no reasonable meaning to any actions of my life,” he wrote. “And I was surprised that I had not understood this from the very beginning. One can live only so long as one is intoxicated, drunk with life; but when one grows sober one cannot fail to see that this is all a stupid trick.” Tolstoy soon began to contemplate suicide. But soon he realized it was not death or oblivion he was seeking. Quite the opposite: what he craved was to discover a wellspring of purpose in the empty world around him. The next step is to face the monsters of life and death and pose ourselves certain questions. In his words: “What will be the outcome of all my life? Why should I live? Is there in life any purpose which the inevitable death which awaits me does not undo and destroy?”
For some time Tolstoy remained stranded between two worlds: his successful but unfulfilled past, and his hope for renewal. Tolstoy came to the conclusion that the apparent emptiness of our lives is a kind of mercy sent to us from the depths of our own being. Its purpose is to shake us loose from over-involvement in superficial concerns and to call us back to our spiritual roots. “This craving for God had nothing to do with the movement of my ideas- in fact, it was the direct contrary of that movement- it came from my heart.”
have you really heard your own mysterious heart?
inquiry for today~ with hands over heart-space, notice the rhythm of your heart and synchronize waves of your noticing with the unique pattern that is you……from there, notice gratitude……
The traditional view of the heart as a pump was engineered out of the 19th century fascination with steam engines. But deeper contemplation shows, and did even in the 19th century, that the heart, as powerful as it is, is not really the pump it is supposed to be. The heart is, in reality, not the pump of the circulatory system, but plays a much more subtle and elegant role, for the heart does not pump the blood. The blood, counter-intuitively, moves of its own accord. Blood flow is composed of two streams, and these two streams spiral around one another in the direction of flow. At all times, up to one-third of the space occupied by the blood stream is a void, a vacuum. Both the heart and arteries move spirally, actually twist, to enhance this spiral motion. And, of course, the organs that receive blood squeeze too, resulting in a complex harmony of pressure waves, all of which carry information, all of which stimulate interaction. The heart constantly monitors the blood through sensitive receptors and alters its functioning constantly to make subtle, second-to-second shifts in the flow of blood. All of this is, in fact, a dialogue, and it is all exquisitely timed.
~Stephen Harrod Buhner