There are people who look at life through their brain, and there are others who look at life through their heart; and the point of view of these two persons has a vast difference; so much difference that something that one can see on the earth the other sees in heaven, something that one sees as small the other sees as great, something that one sees as limited the other sees the unlimitedness of it. These two persons become opposite poles.

          It is like one looking at the sky, the other looking at the earth. And no one will admit that, "I look at things with my head." For everyone will say, "I look at life with my heart." The best person in the world will say, "I have not yet learned to look at life from the heart. I would like to know it. I would like to learn it." One might say that there are emotional and devotional people flying in the clouds, there are others with reason and logic standing on the earth. Yes, it is true. But, in the first place, angels ride on clouds. If the soul has angelic quality the clouds are its sphere, not the earth.

          But one says, "where is the place of practicality in life?" Yes, but what one calls in everyday life practicality; and what one is very careful about, what is it and how long does it last, what is it worth? No doubt it is true that man is born on earth to bear the weight of this physical body, with its needs, a roof over his head and a piece of bread to sustain it. And if that is all there is to think about, man is making a great mistake, if he devotes his life to what he calls practicality, practical life, and never thinks of heavenly treasure that is hidden in the heart of man.

          The heart of man is likened to water. Either it is frozen, then it is snow; or it is water, then it is liquid. When it is frozen it has turned into a crystal, when it is liquid it will be in running order. It is natural for water to be running. And there are two principal kinds of water, that is the salt water and there is the sweet water. The sea, which is quite contented in itself, indifferent to everything else, has salt water, because it is independent of anything else. It gives health, happiness, and pleasure to those who go around it, because it represents perfection and asks nothing of anyone.

          It is rising and falling within itself, it is independent, it is immense, and in that way it shows perfection. But with that independent perfection its water is not sweet. The ascetic who has closed his heart with the perfection of God and with the realization of Truth, is like the sea, independent, indifferent to all things. His presence heals people, his contact gives them joy, gives them peace, and yet his personality is uninteresting, as the water of the sea is salt water. And when the sea is calm it is a pleasure to travel on it; and when the sea is rough there is no worse illness than seasickness.

          And there is a powerful mind, a mind of a soul that has touched perfection, it is with tranquillity and calmness and peace that the mind gives everyone a way into it as the sea lays itself before those who journey into the sea, with open heart. Ships and boats pass through, those who journey enjoy their travelling on the sea. But when the sea is disturbed, with the wind, by the storm, it is perfect in its annoyance. It can shake the boats and steamers, and so that mind of the sage can have effect upon all things in nature, it can cause volcanic eruptions, it can cause disasters, revolutions, all manner of things, when once its tranquillity is disturbed.

          Knowing this nature of the heart, and knowing the great powers that a man who has touched Divine perfection possesses, the people of the East regard closely the pleasure and displeasure of the sage. They think to annoy a sage is like annoying the whole nature, to disturb his tranquillity is to shake the whole universe. Because a storm in the sea is a very small thing - the heart that has touched perfection, if once upset, can upset the whole universe.

          But the water of the river is sweet. It is sweet because it is attracted to the sea; it is longing to reach the sea. The river represents a loving quality, a quality that is seeking for the object that it loves. A heart that loves God and his perfection is likened to the river that seeks the sea. It is therefore that the personality of the seeker is more pleasant that the personality of the one who is contented with what he knows.


          There is little danger in travelling on the river, there is a great joy in swimming in the river, and there is a fine scenery to look at around the river. And so it is with the personality which is like the river. That running of the feeling of sympathy, that continual running sympathy, means a living sympathy. It helps the trees and plants and the earth that is around it. And so is the kind, sympathetic person whose feeling is liquid, that everywhere that person goes he takes with him that influence which nourishes, which helps souls to flourish and progress.

          And there is a little stream, sometimes, that runs, which is not a river, it is a small stream, running; and it is even more beautiful to look at. For it expresses modesty, it expresses fineness of character; it expresses beauty; for always the water of a little stream is pure. The little stream expresses the nature of an innocent heart: the heart that is innocent, the heart that cannot be prevented from being sympathetic, from being loving, by any experiences of the world that make the water turn bitter. The bitter experience has not touched it, and it is pure and clear. It inspires poets, it uplifts a composer, it quenches the thirst of the thirsty one, it is an ideal spot for a painter to paint. With its modesty it has purity, and with its purity it has life.

          And then there is the water in a little pool, a little pool of water. It is sometimes muddy, sometimes dirty. Why? Because of its narrowness, it is small. In this way narrowness of heart has always in it mud. Because it is narrow and because it is not deep enough, therefore all the elements of the earth come into it and take away its purity. But then there is the water of a large pool, where water lilies grow, where little fishes swim, where the sun is reflected and where moonlight produces a visible vision, where one would like to sit and look at it, because it expresses to everyone that sees it, the liquid nature of the heart, the heart that is not frozen, the heart that has water. It is still, it is calm. It is something that can make one's heart tranquil to sit by its side. You can see in it your reflection, for it is calm, it is tranquil.

          The water of the spring is most healing and most inspiring, because it comes from above and falls to the earth. That is the character of the inspirational mind. The heart that springs, that like a spring pours water in the form of inspiration, be it in poetry, be it in music, in whatever form, it has beauty, it has healing quality. It can take away all the worries and anxieties and difficulties and troubles of those who come to it, as the water of the spring. It does not only inspire but it heals.

          And there is the fountain that rises and falls in so many drops. This is man-made, and so personality is man-made also. When man has made a personality then through that personality the feeling that rises in the heart is like the fountain. Each drop falling from it comes in the form of a virtue. But the water that rises from the sea towards the sky in the form of vapour represents the aspiration of the heart.

          The heart that spires upwards, that heart wishes to reach upwards, that heart shows the quality of vapour. It is the heart of the devotee, it is the heart of the seeker, it is the heart of the one who is always conscientious of seeking the higher ideal, touching the higher principles. In the form of clouds that heart of inspiration forms itself, and pours down, just like the rain bringing the celestial beauty in the form of art or poetry, in the form of music, in the form of anything that is good and beautiful.

          There are hearts which have been impregnated by the fire for a long, long time, and there comes a sulphur water from them, purifying and healing, for it has gone through fire, it has gone through a suffering, and therefore those who suffer, it heals them. There are hearts with many different qualities, like different waters with chemical substances; those who have suffered, those who have gone through patience, those who have contemplated. They all represent one or the other kind of the water that heals, and so are personalities. Persons who had deep experiences of any kind, of suffering, of agonies, of love, of hate, of solitude, of association, of success, of failure, they all have a particular quality, a quality which has a particular use for others.

          And when one knows this, one will come to this conclusion that, "whatever has been my life's destiny, my heart has prepared a chemical substance through sorrow or pain, through joy or through pleasure, a chemical substance that is for some certain purpose for humanity and that, I can only give that substance for the use of humanity if I can keep my heart watered and open." Once it is closed, once it is frozen, once it has turned from hot to stone, the person is no longer living. It does not matter what the person has gone through, for even the worst poison can be of some use. There is no person therefore, however wicked, who is of no use, if only he knew that the condition of being useful to humanity is only one, and that is to keep the heart open.
Apart from all other things, when we come to spiritual attainment, it is something we can never absorb through the head; it is something that can only be received from the heart. Let two persons, one with the heart and the other with head listen to the teachings of a teacher. One will be thinking, "is it so, or is it not so, or how is it, if it is so? How can it be?  And if it is, why is it?" And there is never an end to the 'why.'

And another person will listen with his heart; and both things, logic and reason, are at his disposal, but at the same time they are not troubling him. His heart is open, he listens to it and the quality of the heart is such that whatever falls upon it, upon an open heart becomes revealed instantly. Remember, when one says, "I cannot understand you," it is just like saying, "I have my heart closed to you." There is no other reason for not understanding, that is the only reason. And when one says, "I have understood it all," that means the heart was open; that is why the person has understood.

          Therefore understanding does not depend upon the head; it depends upon the heart. By the help of the head one can make it more clear, it becomes intelligible, one can express it better. But it must begin; it must come from the heart, not from the head. Besides, a person with head says, "Yes, it must be so because I think so." The person with heart says, "It is so because I believe so." That is the difference. In one person there is a doubt, in the other there is a conviction. There is one thing, a word which is very difficult to translate, that word is called Iman in the Eastern language. It is not exactly faith, belief, the nearest word one can find for it is conviction, a conviction that cannot be changed by anything, a conviction that does not come from outside. One always seeks for conviction - will anybody convince me or will this thing convince me?

          Nothing convinces, nobody convinces. Conviction is something that comes from one's own heart, and it is something that stands above faith and belief; because belief is the beginning of the same thing, faith is the development of it, conviction is the culmination of belief. What is spiritual attainment? Spiritual attainment is conviction. A man may think, "Perhaps it is so." He may think about the best doctrines, or about the highest idea there is, and he will think, "It is so, perhaps." But there is 'perhaps' attached to it. But then there is another person who cannot use the word 'perhaps,' because he does not think about it. He cannot say, "It may be so," when he knows that it is so. When a person arrives at the stage when the knowledge of reality becomes his conviction, then there is nothing in the world that will change it. And if there is anything to be attained to, it is that conviction that one can never find in the outside world, it must rise from the bottom of one's own heart.