On The Heart….. And A Glimpse Of Heaven
This is an excerpt from the play The PIT. The Road To Salvation
Since the beginning of this unusual event, Dennis told all the guests that he had a radical definition of what the ‘heart’ is and that he would present it to them when the time is right. After a very long and grueling discourse, several of the guests are now demanding that he come forth with his definition.
Andrew: [interrupts from his seat] Dennis, you gave us a hint of this at the very beginning of this event and told us to be patient. I believe that we have been just that. You also mentioned that this ‘heart’ you are now speaking of, is not the organ that pumps blood through our bodies that we are all very familiar with. In addition, you also mentioned that we needed to be guided to the doorstep of your explanation, for it is not a static one, the way one defines words in a dictionary, lest it come across as not being lucid. Again, after a very long and vexing discourse, those conditions have now been met. I therefore say……… “Batter Up!”
Lucifer: [stands, at his normal height, and speaks with a real inquisitive look on his face] You have somehow been able to arrange this entire event. I am still unsure how you were able to bring all these people here. I really don’t care. I will admit though, that you have my interest peaked, and for such a small and common being as yourself, that is a true feat in itself. I therefore say: SPEAK….. NOW! [sits]
Dennis: [everyone is at full attention] Some background is still necessary to make this definition come alive, for as we shall soon see; very much alive it is.
To begin, let us all think for a moment about some of the enormous and beautiful things in life that are absolutely free and ask the question: where do they come from?
Let me list just a few to get us started:
- Falling in love
- Smiling at a complete stranger and receiving a warm smile in return
- An act of pure kindness
- A feeling of true sorrow at someone’s misfortune
- Despair at the death of a loved one
- Knowing a full moon is a full moon
- Staring into beautiful flowers
- Admiring art
- Helping others
- Feeling dignified
- Praising GOD
We have all experienced these things to some degree, whether we be rich or poor, Black or White, young or old, Christian, Muslim or Jew, educated or uneducated, pretty or not so pretty, tall or short, fat or thin, healthy or not healthy………you get the picture.
Think on these as I proceed, and start to ponder where they come from and why none of them requires money, or being educated. Also try to consider what life would be like……………………….. with them all gone.
This definition of the heart is not intended for agreement or disagreement. It is simply the ‘construction lattice’ on how I feel, view, interact in, and explain life itself.
Leonardo da Vinci: [interrupts from his seat] Tell me, what do you mean by ‘construction lattice’?
Dennis: [responds] Think of it as building blocks to awareness and understanding.
Leonardo da Vinci: [responds] Got it.
Dennis: [continues] The ‘meat and potatoes’ of this definition of the heart will surely cause significant emotional reactions from many diverse people representing many opposing philosophies. Liberals vs. Right Wingers, Abortion Rights vs. Pro life, Democracy vs. Socialism, Men vs. Women, Blacks vs. Whites, Muslims vs. Jews, Rich vs. Poor, Religious vs. Atheists, etc., etc., etc. In short, I fully expect a barrage of criticism and denunciation from all angles. No doubt, many Pastors, Imams, Rabbi’s, Clerics, Theologians, Philosophers and the like, will find many aspects of this definition objectionable to them at best and completely insane to them at worse. I fully confess that they may all be right………which also means that they may all be wrong .
Nevertheless, as a former Boy Scout, I recalled the motto: “Be Prepared”. In preparation for this impending barrage, I did a small amount of research on straightjackets, but could not find out what sizes they come in. I did however find out that, for some reason, they all seem to come in white. That said, I’ve decided to simply assume that they come in sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL.
If, after my definition of the heart is complete and there is an immediate call for my being dragged away from my own event, I ask you all kindly to please have the attendants of the asylum, after they’ve backed up their padded wagon at the front door, to fit me in a size XL straightjacket; as I get easily embarrassed and don’t want to look too uncomfortable; and therefore ridiculous, by being squeezed into a straightjacket that is too small for me. [loud laughter can be heard around the table] Is everyone still with me? [almost all, even Lucifer, nod yes while still laughing]
Good! Let us rock……………….…. this one final time.
ON THE HEART
Or that ineffable bio-celestial weave
I’ve somehow felt this definition for many, many years, but could not explain it. More importantly, I could not find one thing anywhere to backup what it was that I felt. In addition, never have I heard anyone, be they secular or clergy, approach an outlook on life even close to this. For it is indeed a radical departure from all that I have heard, learned and read. I therefore kept it to myself, and spent much of my adult life in solitude, lest I lose the few friends I did have by babbling complete lunacy to them, and having the audacity of being very serious about it on top of it.
Our wise and merciful GOD, whom I love far more than I love myself, allowed me to continually ponder on this year after year until You decided the right time to reveal to me the authority I would need to write and speak on it.
The pillar for my definition of the heart is found in Proverbs Chapter 8 Verses 22 through 31 (NIV)
8:22The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;
8:23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began.
8:24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water;
8:25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,
8:26 before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world.
8:27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
8:28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
8:29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
8:30 Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,
8:31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.
People, people, people. [you can see tears once again streaming from his eyes as he appears to be trembling] Once GOD pointed me to these divine words of His, I reacted much like Archimedes; when he discovered the solution to the King’s problem. I literally jumped up from my chair, pounded both my fists on the table and screamed YES! YES! YES! I knew it!!!
All the many years of pondering over something I was absolutely certain about but could not even explain to myself, came to life right before my very eyes. Even shouting HALLELUJAH! could not begin to describe the utter bliss that came over me. Tears poured from my eyes; almost as much as when I was at my dear Mother’s funeral, where, for about five minutes alone, I cried uncontrollably for the very first time in my life; as if a dam had just burst. There are simply no words I can muster to adequately describe the feeling that came over me after reading these divine verses.
What was most startling to me was the simplicity. Although upon further reflection, I always firmly believed that GOD, and everything He represents, will be ultimately simple; as complexity itself is a function of our small minds.
I do not have a high opinion of this messy life we all share. As a society, I see us all, deservedly so, marching irrevocably towards the precipice, with no hope of reversing our direction….. for I deeply believe that things in general, are rotten to the very core. [now looks over at Lucifer and shouts] Lucifer, you can have this joint: it’s right up your alley! [Lucifer, with a stoic look, does not respond]
[continues] Listen to this, for it is the truth: If I had a chance to be young again, I would turn it down so fast, you would not believe it.
This is why I agree with Francois when he says to go for yourself; though from a far different perspective; again thank GOD. My conclusion from all this is that with the state of the world the way it is, it is best to save your own soul.
The wonderful and mysterious irony of this is that in so doing, you would actually be, while too late in my opinion, changing this world for the better; as you will worship GOD more and become much more kind and helpful to others as you discard your greed, hate, lust, pride, envy et al, whilst the truth is that you’re ultimately selfish and simply looking after saving your own soul.
Mother Theresa: [interrupts from her seat] That last point I truly love. I think I see where you are going. I doubt any one of us will think you to be insane. Please continue.
Dennis: [smiles at Mother Theresa and then continues] Now that we have our foundation built for my definition of the heart, it is time to begin erecting the skyscraper from the first floor up. Is everyone still with me? [the group is unusually quiet; somehow realizing the radical thought process that is being unveiled] Hmmm. I will take that silence as an affirmation.
Socrates: [comments from his seat] May I suggest that you simply proceed, as I believe everyone has an open mind and anxiously await further dialogue before considering the merits or lack thereof. I will however say this, at no time during this discourse, have I seen literally everyone, including Lucifer, so much at attention as now. Please continue and do not delay any further!
Albert Einstein: [responds from his seat] Socrates is right; delay not!
Dennis: [pleased at the responses] Very well. [continues]
The first floor will consist of my interpretation of the scripture that was used to build the foundation. This will be, in my humble opinion, the most critical floor, as is the first rung of a ladder. For if the first rung be weak, climbing to the top will undoubtedly be a risky venture.
I can assure you good people, that I have prayed on this over and over and over again to ask GOD to make these Divine Verses crystal clear to me; for everything my small mind understands about life, rests upon this………….as it should.
Believe it or not, I do not see much to interpret; as there is but one central theme that pervades all the verses. This theme is so overarching and all inclusive, that it completely dismantles, again in my very humble opinion, much of the way we describe life today in its most general terms. For it is sub-strata itself.
Questions such as when does life begin? will now take on a wholly new dimension and hence explanation and understanding. This in turn will give new insights and perspectives into some of the most emotional and complex issues of the day, like abortion and the death penalty, for example.
“I ever so deeply believe that GOD, in these Divine Verses, is telling us that each of us, as individual souls, were created as the very first of his works, before He did absolutely everything else; including creating the heavens and the earth; and in that existence, which of course was perfection, we rejoiced always in His presence; day after day, as part of mankind.”
If you ever look closely into the eyes of infants and how they stare at you and ponder their environment and analyze the behavior of very young children, you will notice the following:
- They look around not with the puzzlement of what they are, or even who they are, but WHERE they are; as in WHERE AM I?
- When they gaze upon you, they are not trying to figure out what are you, but WHO are you. For there is an ineffable and mysterious connection when both your eyes lock on each other…..it is beyond words. We can however say with absolute certainty, that it is something powerful and beautiful.
- When you stretch out your arms for them, they understand completely and they come to you in perfect love. Ask any parent.
- They clearly show, in their wide toothless smiles, a happiness so pure that it can absolutely melt you…….. like nothing else in life. I truly pity anyone who cannot see or feel this.
- In very young children, hate and fear must be taught .
- In very young children, love and kindness are already in them.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU EXPLAIN THESE THINGS?
I will not lie to you good people: as I write this, tears are flowing from my eyes in joy and nervousness at the responsibility of speaking on this. Yet, I finally feel so relieved, so warm, so kind, so protected, so wise, so humble, so anxious, so happy, so loved, so wonderful, so ecstatic, so lifted………………………………….and yes, so sane. I can now finally speak and write on what I’ve felt for so long; as I’ve waited many, many years for this moment of perfect clarity.
It all now makes such wonderful and simple sense to me and immediately makes the answers to many of the more difficult objects of thought that I’ve grappled with most of my life, appear like child’s play in their simple explanation.
With this in mind, EVERYTHING CHANGES; yet does not disrupt the fundamental teachings of Scripture, from the beginning in Genesis in the creation of Adam and Eve, to the GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL! …and on to Revelations; and the end of all this mess we’ve created with our sinful lives.
People, this is something I will stake my very life on, though insignificant as it is. Please remember, this interpretation of mine is not something to agree with or disagree with. It is only an explanation from one small mind as to why my definition of the heart, that I will soon elaborate on, is so radically different from most things you understand, and to let you know by what authority I base my definition on. It is nothing more than that.
Most of you looked a bit stunned. I am not surprised. As I look around the room, I do not see, at least so far, any asylum attendants looking my way. For me, that is of course a good sign. The door which I spoke of at the very beginning of this event is now open: let us all boldly step inside.
As I begin the actual definition, I sense not so much confusion, but inquisitiveness, that is permeating the group. Am I correct?
Mother Theresa: [responding from her seat] Yes, I believe you are.
Liz: [stands to respond ] I agree with Mother Theresa. I feel like I’m sitting in a new restaurant and about to be served a very different meal that has been described with exquisite care on the menu. My mouth is therefore watering. FEED ME! [smiles as she sits]
Milton: [stands to comment] During an earlier break, Geronimo and I were chatting. I remember him telling me this saying that is from an unknown tribe: “The soul would have no rainbow, if the eyes had no tears”. You’ve had much tears in your eyes throughout this evening; and especially now. I see that as a good sign, and gives me confidence in what you are about to say. [sits]
Paul the Apostle: [comments from his seat] I think you can see that many of us believe that the Lord has indeed touched you. May His love and Wisdom continue to carry you.
Dennis: [overwhelmed at the responses, continues] I pray that my gratitude is showing to you all.
Definition: The heart is our connection to our original existence with GOD; before He created the Heavens and the Earth; where we always rejoiced in his presence.
It is ineffable. It partakes in the infinite. It partakes in perfection. It partakes in His wisdom. It is why we love to rejoice. It is the cradle of all hope. It is beyond space and time. It is far, far, far superior to both our minds and bodies, which are the very ’lowest parts’ of this connection.
Returning now to the question of what this has to do with my definition of the heart:
GOD, in His infinite wisdom, and as part of his unsearchable plan, decides when He wishes to take a soul from partaking with Him in perfection, and by an ineffable process, weaves it into a biological singularity that He prepares for us, at least so far, in the womb, and we call a body. Precisely at what point in time this happens during fetal development, or even after, I have no clue. Such knowledge is unimportant. The connection between that ‘prior’ celestial perfection and this new finite body which now exists in space and time, is again what I call the heart.
The heart then becomes our connection to perfection, or being close to Him in the same way as it is described in Verses 30 and 31:
“Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind”
We read the same concept in the King James version where in Verse 30 it reads:
“Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him”
Ever smile at a complete stranger and receive a return smile that says so much without a word being spoken? Ever wonder how we know, and are certain, what perfection is, while there is absolutely no models of it here on earth? Ever contemplate on GOD and have goose bumps appear on your skin because you feel totally electrified? Ever do something for someone else with absolutely no agenda for yourself and feel great beyond words for doing it? Ever wonder why you do not have to learn anything to fully appreciate beautiful art, or beautiful flowers? And how awesome you sometimes feel when music fills your very soul: your feet begin to act as if they had their own minds! These are but a few things that prove, at least to me, that these divine verses from Proverbs are actually real and true.
Oh wonderful GOD, to be able to rejoice our love for you is like a bird flying with grace! And just think, He actually loves us even more than we love Him…………. I’m shaking at the very thought of this!!! [remains standing]
Darryl: [stands to comment] Dennis, I of course need time to digest all this, but I have no doubt about your sincerity. I will say this; it all actually makes complete sense to me, which I find totally amazing. It goes directly to the very core of those wonderful and free things that we all experience in life that no one ever questions where they come from: like love, beauty and kindness. It also answers why love itself is so different for each of us while being common to us all at the same time! [sits]
George: [slowly stands to comment] I agree with the young man. [sits]
Albert Einstein: [stands to comment] It makes sense to me also. If I understand you correctly, you are defining the heart as our mysterious connection to GOD himself. Is that correct? [remains standing]
Dennis: [responds to Albert] Yes, but there is more. Ever wonder why so many people who claim to have had an ‘out of body experience’, have an eerily common description of ‘traveling through some kind of tunnel and seeing a light at the other end’? Are they all crazy? Not likely. Consider that tunnel, light and travel concept, an analogy of the construct of the heart. On the ‘low end’, complete biology immersed in space and time, where our eternal souls are ever so ‘tightly weaved’ to our bodies via our central nervous system, and the ‘trip towards the light’ is the actual ‘unweaving’ and hence, the separation of our souls from our bodies. The ‘top end’, or light, is by its nature, completely indescribable; call it Heaven if you wish, for I cannot come up with a better name. Without question, the ‘bottom, or low end’ is the finite and imperfect world our senses grasp in space and time that relays the data instantaneously ‘up’ to our souls via our intricately complex nervous system. For my technically minded friends, this ‘weave’ I am talking about is the hundreds of trillions of constantly growing neural connections, associations and pathways that the cognitive and neuroscientists speak of when they define how the ‘mind’ works and consciousness in general. Tell me Albert, does this make any sense to you?
Albert Einstein: [responds] Actually, it does. Intriguing it is. If I may be allowed, I would like to digress for a minute to discuss a few of my own thoughts on your construct of the heart with our guests. [remains standing]
Dennis: [smiling] Of course! The floor is yours; my old friend. [sits]
Albert Einstein: [grateful for this opportunity, faces the group and continues] Thank you! I promise to be brief. You’ve done a good job describing the ‘low end’ of your construct of the heart where the biology of our bodies and minds are fully immersed in space and time. My guess is that everyone understood that aspect of it. I intend to piggyback on your thoughts and add a few words about the ‘travel to the light’ and the ‘top end’ which some may call heaven; for lack of a better name.
Mother Theresa: [stands and interrupts Albert] I have a feeling that what you are about to say will be a blessing to us all. Little has been said or written about what heaven may be like. It appears that it may indeed be a concept far beyond our understanding. On the opposite side, we have all heard a very detailed and painful description of what Hell could be like by our illustrious colleague Dante. There was nothing in his speech that we could not understand. It had a chilling impact on us all. I believe that he was touched by GOD to produce such a work.
No one would doubt the intellectual abilities that GOD has given you. I therefore await your thoughts on ‘heaven’ with truly heartfelt anxiety and pray that GOD continues to lift your mind and guide your words. [sits]
Albert Einstein: [responds] I am overwhelmed by your kind words of support, dear lady. I will of course try my very best to make sure my words make sense to everyone here.
Liz: [interrupts Albert from her chair] Speak, Mr. Einstein………. Speak!!!
Albert Einstein: [appearing almost embarrassed, continues] Let me begin by telling you good folks about a dream I had on May 14th, 1905.
It was real beyond belief.
I found myself in a place where time stands still. When people travel to this place from any direction, they begin to move more and more slowly. Their heartbeats get further apart and their thoughts begin to diminish until they reach the center of this place. From the center, time travels outwards in concentric circles and picks up speed the further you move away. I wondered who would willfully make a pilgrimage to this place? Then it came to me: parents with their children and lovers. For in this place where time stands still, one sees parents clutching their children in a frozen embrace that will last forever. The beautiful young daughter will never lose that wondrous smile she now has, she will never grow old and get wrinkled, she will never get injured, she will never unlearn what her parents taught her, she will never think thoughts that her parents did not know, she will never know evil, she will never tell her parents that she does not love them and she will never stop touching her parents as she does now.
In this place where time stands still, one sees lovers kissing and hugging each other in a frozen embrace that will always be. He will never travel far from her, he will never fail to show his love for her, he will never fall in love with someone else, he will never lose his immense passion for her, he will never become jealous, he will never stop giving of himself to her, he will never stop admiring her and she will never be far from his thoughts.
Those very near the center of this place do indeed move, but at the pace of glaciers. A kiss may last a thousand years. When a warm smile from a stranger is returned, seasons pass by. While a child is being hugged, flowers blossom again and again and again. Love at first sight is decades long.
Children who return to the outer world quickly forget the centuries long embrace of their parents. They soon begin to believe in themselves, move far away from their parents, learn ways of their own, suffer pain, have bad experiences and grow older. They now find themselves wanting to take their own children back to the center of time.
Lovers who return to the outer world find their friends long gone. They still embrace, but their embrace now seems empty and they begin to feel alone. They quickly forget the promises they made to each other, become jealous, lose their passion for one another, drift apart and grow old separately in a world they really do not know.
Good friends, please listen to me. Time is not real; at least not real in the sense that our everlasting souls are real. It is a direct function of our minds. A few examples will illustrate what I mean here; as we keep in mind this new definition of the heart.
Take a close look at children, about two to three years old, at play. They could be playing all alone or with other kids their age; makes no difference. The joy they exhibit as they play could almost be described as a sort of madness inasmuch as there is no rational reason we can conceive of for their being so unbelievably happy. I recall seeing a young girl not too long ago so happy, with no apparent reason whatsoever, simply waving her tiny arms in the air, jumping and spinning all over the place by herself until she simply fell over! Her joy was dazzling to the eyes. I believe that Dennis is right. To explain this child’s actions, let us refer once again to the divine words in Proverbs Chapter 8 Verse 30 (NIV) where it states:
8:30 Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence
In my opinion, as far as young children are concerned, past and future are meaningless for them, as their little minds have yet to develop the concept of time. For them, only the present matters. They do not think; they act. Their souls are far less woven into their bodies than the souls of ‘older’ humans, and as such, are much closer to the light, or ‘top end’ of the construct of the heart where the GOD generated realities of love, worship, kindness, delight and perfection exists in a uniquely powerful way. Have I made any sense?
Socrates: [responds to Albert from his seat] Indeed you have!
Darryl: [interrupts from his seat] I agree! I can of course only speak for myself, but I completely understood everything you said. Listening to people returning to the outer world was tremendously sad and something we can all relate to.
Liz: [stands to speak with a few tears in her eyes] Mr. Einstein, you’ve really touched my heart. I’m not sure what would be worse; never getting to heaven, or getting there and having to leave. [sits]
Mother Theresa: [slowly stands to speak] I was correct. You have blessed us all. Your dream was without question a communication from GOD. Your vision of what heaven may be like was beautiful, warm and simple; just as I expected. [sits]
Albert Einstein: [smiling] Thank you all for your attention. So now you know why I agree with this construct of the heart. I believe that time does not exist in heaven. Strangely, that is why getting to heaven, or as we are discussing here, salvation, should be what we desire and hope for more than anything else.
Dennis, thank you for allowing me this digression, as I return the floor to you. [sits]
WHAT SAY YOU???