In presenting a 15 minutes lecture, it is possible to discuss superficially some points related to the theme of the Moscow Conference of The Theosophical Society in Russia, “Developing the Divine Nature.” This theme raises questions such as what is the “divine;” what is meant by divine nature; can divine nature be developed or should be experienced, nurtured and lived?. We will consider these questions in light of the theme of this presentation, which is The Way of the Heart. We will also briefly discuss what the way of the heart is? What is the relationship between the way of the heart and the divine nature? Also, throughout this presentation, we will be showing images of the photographer Rotasiz Seyyah, of his project entitles “you are so beautiful.” His project involves taking pictures of random people he was meeting, after that he was telling them that “they are so beautiful” and photographing their reaction. The photographs display a unifying concept that being kind to people, and lifting them is truly a gift worth giving.
Beginning from the Beginning, we will focus on the question, what is the divine? This is such a difficult question, which is perhaps impossible to answer. In essence, the divine will always be a sort of an awe-inspiring mystery. It cannot be explained and understood in terms of discursive language. Nevertheless, for this presentation, we will try to set some parameters. The word divine derived from the Latin dīvīnus means “of divine origin.” In other words, it means that which has a divine origin. In the Theosophical system, more specifically in the Secret Doctrine of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, it is stated that we all have a common divine origin from where we came and to which we will return. In this manner, the Theosophical system states that everything is derived from one ultimate unknown divine source to which all will return. If all that exists is of divine origin, we are of divine nature. In this manner, divine nature can be only nurtured, experienced, lived and perhaps, as Plato says, remembered, because as we dive in the world of matter, we seem to forget our divine origin.
In the Theosophical worldview, wisdom is linked to the notion of the divine, which is the etymological meaning of the word Theosophy itself. We should, what is wisdom? In the Platonic tradition, the Socratic viewpoint on wisdom is expressed in the famous truism: “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” In philosophy, this statement is problematic. He cannot say he knows nothing because he knows something. He knows he does not know. Apart from the logical problem that statement entails, his truism is also known as the humility view of wisdom. Humility, because Socrates was wise but did not consider himself as such. Still, from a Socratic perspective, there is another interpretation of wisdom known accuracy in knowledge, meaning a wise person is accurate about what he or she knows, and about what he/she does not know. A further Socratic viewpoint on wisdom knows how to live well. This view on wisdom is also supported by Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, and others.
In this manner, when talking about divine nature, it seems that we need to focus on our way of life, referred here as the way of the heart. What does the heart symbolically represent? Love. The way of the heart is the way of love and compassion. The “way” refers to our way of life. Living in light of love and compassion is a powerful and influential idea in the Theosophical system, as stated in the third fragment of The Voice of the Silence, one of the keys to wisdom is Dana, the key of charity and love immortal. Also, returning to philosophy, in Plato’s Symposium one of Socrates’s dialogues, it is said that Eros is interpreted as platonic love and “a way to ascent to contemplation of the divine and also as inspiration.” We could also venture in discussing what love is, but there is no space for that here. However, it is vital to emphasise that in the Platonic system, Eros – love is the moving force of the universe. In Hesiod’s Theogony, love is one of the most fundamental forces at work as Eros is one of the first gods to appear. We should reflect on the words of Dante Alighieri amore che tutto muove (love moves everything).
Finally, we could ask how to live the way of the heart. Much could be said about that it. One of the ways is by becoming aware that we are interlinked, connected, we all have the same origin to which we all will return, no matter our colour, nationality, language and the form we may have the one of stone, flower, river, a dog, cat, plant, human, cloud and more. The way of the heart also calls for us to live in light of wisdom. One fundamental step towards living a life in light of wisdom is knowing when we do not know and knowing when we know; listening, observing, paying attention to what we say and do what others say. Also, focusing on kindness, compassion and goodness, putting a smile in someone’s face. We also need to pay special attention to the way animals and our planet are treated. We humans have been causing pain and destruction across the globe, much suffering. We should extend compassion, kindness and love to all beings and adopt a way of life that will not cause suffering to other creatures. If we can do that, we will be living the way of the heart and nurturing divine nature.
Link to the Facebook page of the photographer Rotasiz Seyyah https://www.facebook.com/rotasizseyyah/