A Little Ralph Harris Houston Sampler – Part I
Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA are selections from ‘Talk doesn’t cook the rice’, a commentary on the teaching of Agni Yoga, as rendered by Ralph Harris Houston. Samuel Weiser. 1982 & 1985. Volume 1 & 2. Ralph Harris Houston, a.k.a. Guru R.H.H was a student of Helena and Nicholas Roerich in the thirties and forties and was chosen by them to open and lead study groups-which he did after their passing with San Francisco in 1954, Los Angeles in 1955, and upper New York State in the early ’60s. One judges a tree by its fruits, says the old proverb. ‘You don’t know your subject until you can explain it simply.’ With Nalan, we have been touched by the ‘heart quality’ that is at the core of this student synthesis of a received teaching, which is quite rare. What you will discover in these excerpts are not a copy and paste of the Roerich’s famous teaching, the Agni Yoga, but a significant teacher’s own life in-tegration of we he had learned and labored during his apprenticeship, and a palpable and attractive ethical dimension within the community he then served. More to come. We will also start a sampler devoted to the Roerich soon.
About the Heart
‘You can build the mind if there is a heart, but if there is a brilliant mind and no heart, you can do nothing with it. It’s absolutely hopeless. This is why there is such an emphasis on the heart.
The physical heart is the physical manifestation of the Anahata Chakra or the center of the Chalice—the heart of the Subtle Body.
Surya-Vidya—thus was the Teaching of the Heart sometimes called. In this definition was indicated the fieriness, the sun-like quality, the centrality of the heart. Verily, anyone who wishes to cognize the heart cannot approach it as only a part of the organism. First of all, one should recognize the centrifugal aspect of the heart and study outward from it, not inward toward it. The solar plexus is the antechamber of the temple of the heart.
The Kundalini is the laboratory of the heart. The brain and all the centers are the estates of the heart, because nothing can exist without the heart. Even the brain can be supplemented to a certain degree. Even the Kundalini can be somewhat nourished by a manifestation of electricity, and the solar plexus can be strengthened by blue light. The kundalini can be opened by using certain techniques, but it will not function like the heart. There is nothing you can do with it that you can’t do with the heart.
The heart stands as the temple of humanity. One cannot conceive of the unity of humanity by way of the brain or the Kundalini, but the radiance of the heart can bring together the most seemingly varied organisms, even across remote distances. This experiment, of the unification of hearts across distance, awaits its workers.
The heart is subtler than the mind. The mind is a coarse aspect of refinement, but the heart is the highest aspect of refinement. Everything is from the heart: Beauty, music, your vision, your hearing, everything. Many times people will say the heart is the most important thing and forget the mind. No, no, the mind is very important, but he is secondary. It’s like the magnetic field, which should have been discovered before electricity because it would be the perfect servant to electricity, as the heart is the perfect servant of the mind. When you have the heart and then the mind, you have the perfect balance. You start from within, discover the heart and bring it out. As Tagore says: ‘ It’s the king of the Dark Chamber that dwells within each person but is invisible because it is such a great and powerful thing.’ The ability to love: This is the magnet of the personality.
The heart in its full significance is a transmuter and a condenser. Often these processes happen to be so strong that human strength cannot suffice to contain and endure the tension. From antiquity has come the prayer about resigning one’s spirit to God. One should understand truly this surrender of the spirit. If you feel an unbearable anguish of the heart, transfer it mentally to the Lord. Thus you may join your heart with the Inexhaustible Source. Such action may be particularly needed when the tension of the entire planet is great. One must be prepared for the most diversified influences, both cosmic and human.
The ability to love is the first opening of the heart, even if it’s a personal love. From the heart you can operate that love and bring it into it’s impersonal expression. When you can love someone unselfishly, the heart is at work, and this is what is called the Cosmic Magnet. This love goes out into infinity, touches the Cosmic Magnet, and returns to radiate from you to all humanity.’
The Cosmic Magnet
‘The Cosmic Magnet is the magnet of the Heart. You have to open the heart first, and it has to be opened by a great love for the people, for humanity-not exclusive, but in every field if the people will let you. When you attain that level of impersonal love, it reaches out into infinity and touches the Cosmic Magnet and returns, and this radiates from you to humanity. The whole universe of infinity is yours to use with an open heart.’
-‘What makes a perfect individual?’
-‘Many times, people think they are good, don’t cheat their neighbor, and pay their bills, this is enough, but this is expected from everyone. You have to do more. To be a better person, you must take the responsibility of the world on your shoulders. You must realize that all men and women are your brothers and sisters. Their difficulties are yours. It is very beautiful to talk about God and Karma and all these things, but unless we apply them into our lives, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s like rattling off a prayer. It has no meaning unless we put a meaning into it. People don’t want responsibility. They say: ‘Oh, that’s their problem. Let them work it out!’ But if they come to you with their problem, then it is your problem too. This is the meaning of : United we stand, divided we fall.’
An Impersonal Offering of Oneself
‘So many times we have spoken about the rhythm in the action of labor. If we have no joy in the work we are doing, it is out of rhythm, and we end up doing a very poor job. It’s only when you are working out-of-rhythm or dislike what you are doing that it becomes boring and tiresome. But any work, no matter what it is, if you can get a rhythm going and make a game of it, you will have no problems. Many times people who enjoy their work do a lot of singing, and when you can do this you are happy and working in a great rhythmic pattern, and this is the joy of Labor.
Unity comes when in meditation we are all one in complete harmony with each other. Any differences we may have with one another are gone. At that moment, we are one. The response to this unity of mind and heart and action is called the cosmic magnet. It reaches out in all directions and people feel it. Children respond to it; it makes them feel secure. But adult who have been injured or betrayed are frightened of it. If you can just pour out this great love and unity in every direction there is nothing to be feared. If you are rejecting it, it means simply that your ego has become involved and you are getting personal. This love has to be an impersonal offering of oneself, demanding nothing of the other person. And when you can do that, you are working in this great rhythm, and then you’ve got it.’
If you think it’s fifty-fifty, you become rigid and you don’t move
‘Community does not necessarily mean living together. It means community of heart. It’s the idea of diversified people working together, each doing their own thing. That’s real community. It might be writing a book or painting a series of pictures. It might be building a greenhouse or experimenting with herbs. Each one has his or her own way of expressing himself or herself and contributing to knowledge and beauty, and this is community. It’s not necessarily living together under one roof.
Very few people are geared to community living. It means give and take, and to be successful it takes a great deal of giving and very little taking. You have to give of your time and consideration of other people. It’s like a marriage. It’s never fifty-fifty. It’s more like eighty-twenty on one part or the other to make it work. If you think it’s fifty-fifty, you become rigid and you don’t move.
In any form of community, you have to go way overboard. It means reframing the egos […] and thinking only of the other person, instead of considering your own comfort and desires. We get accustomed to using the same chair or doing the same thing day after day, and when this is interfered with we become annoyed, and this is no good. You must be ready for change […] and not get upset about it, because change is growth. If we go along in the same old pattern, we’re in a rut and that’s no good. No matter what happens to us-even if it’s disagreeable-it’s a change, and if we can say: ’All right, how can we benefit from this? What have we learned from it?’ Then it becomes a constructive thing.’
‘The term ‘common labor’ means service to humanity in any way, shape and form. All the wisdom and knowledge in the world is useless unless you can put it to work. The whole idea is that if we can make this world a better place for just one person we have not lived in vain. Otherwise we are cluttering up the Earth with our bodies and just taking up space. If we can expand this idea many times over then we are really accomplishing something.’