Within scripture, the term “heart” is used multiple times that is important to consider within a study program and the pursuit of spirituality. The word heart that is translated from the biblical Hebrew is taken from four different Hebrew words. Two of them as follows: “lebab lay-bawb” refers to the internal organ that pumps blood and keeps humans alive. “leb labe” defines as, the heart (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything.
Both words are translated into many different words according to the sentence structure. “leb labe” is mostly translated as heart. The first time used in the Hebrew Scriptures is at Genesis chapter 6:5-6.
“The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.”
Recognizing that the Divine is referred to having a heart along with man is indispensable – the third time the heart is mentioned is at Genesis chapter 8:21.
“The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”
The inner heart is the seat of motivation of existence – spirit and human. From the book of Genesis, we learn that the heart of man was bad from the youth up. Matthew writes that Jesus taught that goodness or badness could be stored in the heart. Spoken words and behaviors are manifestations of the heart – the figurative heart resides within and is formless – equals the inner person.
Considering that the heart dwells within each human being, and is the seat of motivation, each student should attain complete understanding why Moses taught to circumcise the heart. The story regarding Moses dealing with Pharaoh in Exodus chapters 7-11, we learn that Pharaoh had a hard heart, to the point that he did not let the Israelites go. Analyzing closely, clearly the Divine Spirit hardened the heart of Pharaoh, which this subject of Pharaoh is referred in the article The Source part one. The lesson taught is the heart has the ability to harden on the side of the darkness that demonstrates ego-driven attitudes, speech, behaviors such as selfishness, greed, pride, which causes injury to humanity.
The subject of generosity stems from the inner heart. Offering animal sacrifices was an expression of generosity that we can learn from Exodus 25:2.
“Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”
A selfish person who has hardened their heart – Moses taught to change it, he used the term – circumcise. Within the book of Daniel chapter five, Daniel is sharing a story about the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. Telling the story to the king’s son, Belshazzar, Daniel writes at verse 20.
“But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.”
The heart can become arrogant and haughty with pride that we can also learn from Isaiah 9:9 and Jeremiah 48:29
“All the people will know it – Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria – who say with pride and arrogance of heart,
We have heard of Moab’s pride – her overweening pride and conceit, her pride and arrogance and the haughtiness of her heart.”
King Saul is a fine example of a person who allowed his heart to become arrogant and haughty, and the Divine rejected him because of his heart condition. Wisely considering the cavity a person can get himself or herself into from pursuing wickedness; a person who is seeking truth and is determined to conquer the bad with doing good would be prudent on how they use their tongue. The tongue can be destructive to the inner heart.
The world continually teaches the opposite of what Moses and Jesus taught. Acting upon love, instead of just saying the word superficially, a person can conquer selfishness. The heart can become ignorant, hypocritical, deluded, and lazy. A person that is deluded, because of their ego, that person can easily speak out hypocritically, believing concepts about themselves that are a complete lie – this type of heart is arrogant and deluded that results in hypocrisy. An example of hypocrites is the lesson in Matthew when Jesus condemned the behavior of the Pharisees. A religious person that has a hypocritical heart will never succeed in spirituality without taking an honest reassessment of themselves and changing their heart.
Carved in rock in Greece at the temple ruins of Apollo is written: know thy self. Moses taught: circumcise the heart – Deuteronomy 10:16. Out of the heart proceeds – wickedness, selfishness, greed, arrogance, and accusing; however, once the heart is circumcised the behavior of the light will be manifested – generosity, peace, love, faith, kindness, humility and self-control. The inner heart produces who we are, Mathew writes what Jesus taught in Chapter 15:15-20.
Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Jesus is teaching the commandments of what Moses wrote down that will stand to times indefinite for the children of the light. There is an important reason why people avoid studying scripture – the Apostle Paul wrote at Hebrews chapter 4:12.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Scripture discerns the thoughts and motivations of the inner heart. Consequently, scripture has the ability to manifest to the reader what dwells in their heart. A person that is able to study scripture, which includes all scripture that is available; that heart has a disposition to spirituality and truth.
All scripture includes: The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, The Bhagavad Gita, The Dhammapada, The Tao Te Ching, The Upanishads, The Rig Veda, The Apocrypha Books, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Koran, and several other books of scripture. All books of scripture reveal the Almighty Divine Source of everything, and teach truth. Scriptures of antiquities written by wise men in different cultures, different generations, and different writing styles, writings that consume the depth of reality.
The Tao Te Ching chapter 9;
“Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity”.
The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15:15;
“I (The Divine) dwell deep in the hearts of all beings;
I am the source of memory and knowledge,
the author of all scriptures, their wisdom, their goal”.
The human heart is profoundly affected by deep study of scripture. Through circumcising the heart, a person will be focused on spiritual subject matter: helping their fellowman, avoiding empty talk of the world, being no part of the world, interested in speaking spiritual substance, meditating on the qualities of the light.
The path of the children of darkness is the easy path – the path of the children of light requires exertion, it is the narrow path – difficult – the path of pain and suffering, although temporary. The Dhammapada 18:10-11, The Buddha teaches.
“Life is easy to live of the shameless man, aggressive, arrogant, intrusive, corrupt. Life is not easy for the modest man with high values, free from attachment, humble, of right livelihood, and clear vision.”
Matthew writing what Jesus taught at chapter 7:13-14.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The Bhagavad Gita chapter 15:11,
Krishna teaches. “True men of devotion, striving, see the true Self within themselves; but men without self control, however they strive, do not see the true Self.”
Searching out the inner heart and the person that dwells within is vital. Understanding thy self is crucial to cultivating self-control of the inner heart. As the saying was written in stone in Greece at the Temple of Apollo – Know thy self, all things in moderation is a reality for humankind.