Mysticism and 8 Stages of Heart Openness
Stage 1 - Cognizance of Heart Closure
There are three main reasons why the heart is closed, either partially or completely. One is related to past wounds and pain. The second is associated with training and prejudice. The third is the result of inattention and dissociation from emotions, relationships, and life in general through a shift in priorities. Interpersonal involvement can be replaced by an emphasis on money, possessions, career, or any other activity that isolates the individual, numbs the emotions, monopolizes time, and ignores the heart. Our hearts, like our relationships, atrophy when ignored. What we do not use, we lose. A wounding in the past can lead to avoidance of issues, situations, and people in the present. Evasion usually works for a period of time, but only because something in the heart dies or lies dormant. Sooner or later someone or some situation comes along, which either through attraction or revulsion, awakens the heart to the love that is lacking.
Stage 2 - Heart Vulnerability
As the heart begins to open, the first sensation to arise is vulnerability which is the signature of Stage Two. It originates from two conflicting dynamics: the willingness to move beyond some degree of closure; and the apprehension associated with doing so. The act of opening can be exciting in some situations, especially in regard to a new romantic relationship, but hesitancy and fear are also possible and common. After all, how many times have you loved and lost or been hurt? Your sense of anxiety and feeling of vulnerability can be related to a painful awareness of your own limitations as a lover on any or all levels, or your resistance to trusting in love again. Perhaps your feeling of vulnerability is caused by a loss of control or threat to an existing relationship or situation. Your sense of security and stability can be undermined leading to vulnerability. The only way forward is with love. You must step outside of your comfort zone to move through and beyond this stage.
Stage 3 - Heart Input: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, and Physical
The heart is complex. It is not just a physical organ. It is a multidimensional component with connections to the other levels of experience. For example, the heart is linked to our emotional nature. We know what it is to be heartbroken and experience a physical sensation loss and missing in the chest. We also know the thrill a new love can elicit in the physical sensation of lightheartedness. But the heart does not just respond to stimuli; the heart can be the initiator of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual change. Just opening your heart introduces you to spiritual concepts, intuitive perceptions, and compassionate responses. As insights trickle down and generate mundane applications, thinking evolves, emotions are calmed and uplifted, while actions become loving, meaningful and productive. All this arises from opening the heart.
Stage 4 - Harmonizing the Four Levels of Experience
Once you have become sensitized to the four levels of experience and their functions, the goal becomes one of inner harmony. The spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical levels need to function as a cohesive whole for the heart to open fully and remain open. Each individual level needs to be aligned with spiritual input. Harmonization is a step-by-step process that begins on the spiritual level, proceeds through the mental and emotional levels to be fulfilled on the physical level. Along the way, there should not no disagreement or resistance. The spiritual level is a wellspring of the best and brightest insights you can bring into the world. It is the standard bearer of positive incorporation of Divinity into humanity. Your spiritual beliefs are meant to filter down to the mental, then the emotional, and finally, the physical level where appropriate action takes place. Congruency facilitates movement from one level to another and determines the best course of action. In this manner, you begin to represent Spirit in earthly matters.
Stage 5 - Receiving Abundance
This is the stage where everything starts to come together. Abundance flows through an open, integrated, loving heart when spiritual input is synchronized with thoughts, emotions, and actions. Spiritual input needs to be translated and applied in a descending manner from the spiritual level, to the mental, emotional, and finally to the physical plane. This is how manifestation through attraction occurs. This is how Divinity enters humanity. Spiritual energy flows to you and through you, and as the rate of oscillation slows, materialization, abundance, and love occurs. Harmonization of Stage 4 lessens friction and/or obstruction enabling this process. It is your job as the spiritual midwife to master the art of skillful navigation and facilitate the process by. You learn how to do this by paying attention to intuition and recognizing the various signs associated with Higher Power communication and guidance.
Stage 6 - Channeling Abundance
There are two important tasks associated with "Stage Six: Channeling Abundance." You should express gratitude for the gifts you receive, and then you need to let abundance move through you to others. Channeling abundance to others increases your ability to attract, receive, and manifest. Although you have set the stage for attracting and receiving, you are not the primary force behind manifestation. Despite all the integrating, balancing, guiding, and heart opening you have done, this is still very much the creative handiwork of a Higher Power. As you attract, receive, and manifest, you will have more love and abundance than you can contain. Don't even try. It will and should spill out of you and become abundance for those around you. It may take a material form or it may flow to others in the forms of joy, peace, enthusiasm, kindness, healing, and/or love. Abundance and grace are meant to flow into the world. You are meant to be a conduit, not a vessel. In fact, the more you give at this stage or allow to flow through you to others, the more you will receive.
Stage 7 - Spiritual Stress Test and Surrender
Every spiritual student is tested while on the path, and every spiritual path ends in surrender. It is the natural course of spiritual development. Testing is highly individualized and specific to the needs of the student. It is pre-programmed from the very beginning by one's personality, level of desire, ability to surrender, and spiritual development. It is a product of the choices you have made, the actions you have taken, and the ones you have avoided. There is no malice intended. The task is to remain openhearted and follow spiritual principles even if you feel a sense of abandonment. Testing can occur on the physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual level, and any combination thereof. The areas of testing typically involve: manifestation or financial issues, health issues, relationship issues, service to others or caregiving issues, and coping with dysfunctional situations. You will be tested on: your abilities to love unconditionally, your mastery and adherence to the spiritual principles you have learned, your ability to trust Higher Guidance, and your ability to surrender.
Stage 8 - Acceptance and Generation
The most distinguishing features of this stage of heart openness are acceptance and the ability to generate love in any environment and for anyone. You are able to do this because your heart is fully open and you exemplify the principles you have learned. You are at peace and your surrender is complete. You accept the path you are on and follow ease wherever it might lead you. You are comfortable with who you are, where you are, and with what you are doing. Your spiritual practice is part of your daily routine and you easily adhere to the spiritual principles you have learned. While not exactly lacking desire, you are also not filled with desire. Instead, you are willing to see what develops as doors open, opportunities arise, and your path is made known step-by-step. You trust that everything will be revealed to you in time. You are truly living life from the top down. You not only channel love to others, you are able to generate love in dark places. In the midst of all this, you are abundant, but the manifestation process is different. There is no pressure to manifest. The process tends to occur spontaneously on its own. In this manner, you are sustained or taken care of. Insight rises on a regular basis. Because you are a clear, open channel, you are happy and fulfilled. Your joyful mood lifts the spirits of those around you.