You don’t have to be Euclid to see that the smallest number of legs one would need on a standing vessel for it to be stable is three, as in a tripod.
Three is also the European standard for the maximum number of grammatical elements in a written series considered untaxing to the brain (North-American Indians, I’m led to believe, consider it to be four).
We’ve considered a quiet mind and a loving heart in these pages recently. Is there a third leg to this tripod?
Yes, I think there is and, for me, it would be the realized truth.
A quiet mind and a loving heart can be considered the two legs of the cat, or the two wings of the bird, bringing it to the truth.
Without realizing the truth, our mission as individual seekers of God hasn’t been fulfilled. And without a quiet mind and a loving heart, we have no motive power to reach the outcome of realization.
It’s my hypothesis that what realization means is a temporary heart opening allowing contact with the Self in the heart. (1)
The depth of knowing that’s tapped then triggers confidence and certainty in us. These moments of deep knowing are the most memorable of our lives. What we know then we know almost indelibly from that moment on.
Such was my knowing that “the purpose of life is enlightenment” after the vision experience in Feb. 1987. (2) Nothing anyone could say would shake my confidence in what I learned from that experience.
Simply knowing the matter intellectually is not of sufficient power to galvanize us into action. Knowledge of this type is soon forgotten. Even when the knowledge is up to the level of feeling its truthfulness or feeling the experience in question, the knowledge may not be enough to inspire us to act.
But when the knowledge is up to realization, it tends to spark all manner of action, along different lines. It dissolves paradigms and opens new vistas and paths. So I seek to raise my knowledge, if at all possible, from the simply intellectual to the experiential and from there to the realizational.
I make it difficult for myself to believe that life will be steadily blissful in the future. Some of my self-defeating rationalizations are things like “nothing ever lasts” and “whatever goes up must come down,” etc. I’m having a great deal of difficulty believing that tomorrow I may feel as wonderful as I do today.
I’m sitting on my balcony looking out on a blue sky with no clouds, feeling love welling up in me, which then goes out into the world. It’s as if we’re having summer in March, a presage of things to come, I’d like to believe.
The reality of our gradually-rising emotional floor is slowly setting in, not so much that I’d totally relax and put my feet up but enough to bring a smile of confidence to my face.
(1) The Self does not in actuality “reside” in the heart or anywhere else for that matter. These are conventional ways of speaking that can only approximate the truth.
The temporary opening is the opening of the aperture known as the hridayam, which allows us contact with the Self in the heart.
(2) Described here: “The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment – Ch. 13 – Epilogue,” Aug. 13, 2011, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2011/08/13/the-purpose-of-life-is-enlightenment-ch-13-epilogue/.