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The Sincere Heart

 "Sincerity is the way of heaven. The attainment of sincerity is the way of men. He who possesses sincerity, is he who, without an effort, hits what is right, and apprehends, without the exercise of thought, -- he is the sage who naturally and easily embodies the right way. He who attains to sincerity is he who chooses what is good, and firmly holds it fast.
To this attainment there are requisite the extensive study of what is good, accurate inquiry about it, careful reflection on it, the clear discernment of it, and the earnest practice of it."

Those are the thoughts of our ancient brother Confucius, who lived six hundred years before the birth of Jesus, and three hundred years before the time of Aristotle. Confucius was a cause and effect thinker. He shares with us that the way of heaven is sincerity. Then he shares with us that the way of men is the attainment of sincerity. He then goes on to explain how we can attain sincerity as follows:

1. The extensive study of what is good.
2. Accurate inquiry about it.
3. Careful reflection on it.
4. The clear discernment of it.
5. The earnest practice of it.

(Note: The dictionary definition of sincerity is honesty. Dishonesty is deception; therefore, insincerity is deception.)

In the Agni Yoga Heart book (#595) we read that,

"One of the conditions of existence is sincerity, or, to use another word, heartiness. If this foundation is not sufficiently developed, one can strengthen it by turning to the heart."

It is safe to say, brothers and sisters, that those who hear or read these words, including the writer, recognize that they personally are not operating on 100% sincerity 100% of the time during both their waking moments and while in The Subtle World. It is also safe to say that those who hear, read or write these words are ever willing to strive on to increase the percentage of sincerity with which they operate on in life. Thus we are all very willing to turn to the heart to bridge the gap between that level of sincerity at which we individually find ourselves at the present time and the ideal 100% level of sincerity.
The Initiate on The Path of Beauty goes to the heart regularly and with beneficial results; however, the Initiate also continuously strives to a more perfect relationship with the heart, which is the abode of The Source of All Beauty and All Life. Perhaps this morning we can improve our relationship with our heart by first carefully listening to Confucius' further descriptions of a person who has achieved 100% sincerity, and then by turning to our heart and planting a seed which contains the essence of 100% sincerity. After we plant our seed, we will then end this discourse with a brief allegory. Now let us learn sincerity from Confucius, the Philosopher of Sincerity, still sharing his knowledge after twenty five centuries have passed. These heart beats of wisdom were researched in the book The Great Learning and The Doctrine of The Mean, translated by James Legge, (Dover Pub. Inc, New York NY. 1971). We read in chapter twenty-two that,

"Next to the above is he who cultivates to the utmost the shoots of goodness in him. From those he can attain to the possession of sincerity. This sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform.
Sincerity is the end and the beginning of things; without sincerity there would be nothing. on this account the superior man regards the attainment of sincerity as the most excellent thing."

It is said in The Book of Poetry,

"Over her embroidered robe she puts a plain, single garment, intimating a dislike to the display of the elegance of the former. Just so, it is the way of the superior man, [the man who lives the mean between the two extremes of excess and deficiency], to prefer the concealment of his virtue, while it daily becomes more illustrious, and it is the way of the mean man, [the man who lives at the extremes of excess and deficiency], to seek notoriety, while daily he goes more and more to ruin. It is characteristic of the superior man, appearing insipid, yet never to produce satiety; while showing a simple negligence, yet to have his accomplishments recognized; while seemingly plain, yet to be discerning. He knows how what is distant lies in what is near. He knows where the wind proceeds from. He knows how what is minute becomes manifested. Such a one, we may be sure, will enter into virtue.

The Book Of Poetry

It is said in The Book Of Poetry,

"Although the fish sink and lie at the bottom, it is still quite clearly seen! Therefore the superior man examines his heart, that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself. That wherein the superior man cannot be equalled is simply thus, -- his work which other men cannot see.

Chapter twenty, #20.

"The superior man, while there is anything he has not studied, or while in what he has studied there is anything he cannot understand, will not intermit his labor. While there is anything he has not inquired about, or anything in what he has inquired about which he does not know, he will not intermit his labor.
While there is anything which he has not reflected on, or anything in what he has reflected on which he does not apprehend, he will not intermit his labor.
While there is anything which he has not discerned or his discernment is not clear, he will not intermit his labor.
If there is anything which he has not practiced or his practice fails in earnestness, he will not intermit his labor.
If another man succeed by one effort, he will use a hundred efforts. If another man succeed by ten efforts, he will use a thousand.

#21. Let a man proceed in this way, and though dull, he will become intelligent, though weak, he will become strong.
When we have intelligence resulting from sincerity, this condition is to be ascribed to Nature; when we have sincerity resulting from intelligence, this condition is to be ascribed to instruction. But given the sincerity, and there shall be intelligence, given intelligence, there shall be sincerity."

If our thoughts are insincere, then insincerity will permeate our every action, like a prolonged drought which dries out every leaf, every root, and every cell of the forest. The flowers die. The song birds leave, and the greens and browns melt into the sand color of our own personal desert. Such is the power of insincerity. However, if our thoughts are sincere, then sincerity will permeate our every action, like the rain which washes the leaves of the forest on its way to the roots. It enters every cell of the forest. It participates in growth. It becomes the forest. Such is the power of sincerity. My brothers and sisters, for those of us who desire to plant a seed to maximize our sincerity, in the most co-measured, harmonious, and joyful way possible, on all levels of existence, and thereby maximize our service to The Hierarchy of Light, Humanity and World Culture, as well as The Path of Beauty, which is the Path of The Heart, according to the will of The Highest of Hearts and under the guidance of The Teacher of Beauty, without interfering with free will or Karma, and with perfect protection on our sendings, then let us now, for the next moment, mentally command our hearts to contact The Teacher of Beauty to guide us to maximize our sincerity on all levels of self.

(one minute of silence)

Let us end this discourse on the sincere heart with a brief allegory. Picture a traveller climbing in the Himalayan Mountains, who, following a path, comes upon a huge towering gate which blocks the traveller from continuing on the path. The traveller glimpses a figure on the other side of the gate and speaks as follows.

QUESTION: Gatekeeper, who can pass here?
ANSWER: Those without deception.
QUESTION: Gatekeeper, why do you hide from view?
ANSWER: To protect you.
QUESTION: Gatekeeper, why is the gate locked?
ANSWER: The sincere pass without a key.
QUESTION: Gatekeeper, what is on the other side of this gate?
ANSWER: The Land of No Deception.
QUESTION: Gatekeeper, What is the value of this no deception?
ANSWER: Trustworthiness.
QUESTION: Gatekeeper, why is this trustworthiness so valued by you?
ANSWER: It leads to unity.
QUESTION: But gatekeeper, surely everyone knows that things like unity and brotherhood are very high ideals which do not exist on a large scale on earth!
ANSWER: That is why there is a gate.
(the end)  

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