Using the Heart as a Geiger Counter




An Opal to Suddenly Remember

My holy man introduced me
To a friend whose name is Equipoise

He deserves more respect
(I keep him in my pocket)

A fine way to treat a friend!
Though he stays affably unflappably there

(A Steinway unplayed yet
Unoffended for unattended)

Equipoise and I we don’t go way back it’s
True as do I and alabaster

Turquoise moon or sapphire’s star
But I admire the unhand of mire

When I greet Equipoise like an old pal
An opal to suddenly remember

(Who somehow also forgets
About who treats whom how)

When things are scary disaster
He simply cuts through to the blue sky

Asking me why do I care?
Is the sky not still standing?

Aren’t amethysts still pretty purple
And banded agate geodes

Aren’t they still
(As in silence)

Hollow inside
And hallowed?


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”


Gentle Readers,
Well, I have bad news. For some unknown reason all my weekly posts of more than two years (110 posts or so) have been lost from my website. Anybody who has followed this blog will know that this to me is a tragedy. What more can I say? At least it appears I can add new ones. And I do have back-up copies of most, but by no means all of them. So, I may start republishing some. I imagine though that for most of my gentle readers, it will look unfamiliar largely because I will begin with the first ones from when the blog began on April 1, 2013. Maybe it was a bad omen to have started on April Fool’s Day. It had seemed funny at the time.


Well, on to the post:

This was written mostly on Monday, the day of Victoria’s death. She’s the lady I mentioned a few blog posts back. (The ones to do with Elisabeth). Her friends here in Panajachel, or in one of the communities along the coast of Lake Atitlan (where I live) formed what we called a “care circle.” (I helped with the food prep and some carpentry) I plan soon to do a blog post about her and her passing.

Either this or some other mood foible seems to have me down lately. Kind of an angst but no thanks kind of deal.

This is a strange phenomenon. I have been going around town allowing as how I was happy.

As the poet E. E. Cummings would say, a lot of sweet bull like that.

But I believed it. (Probably why it was sweet)

Of course, I had to. Because my least favorite sin is hypocrisy. But that’s a handy thing. You see once I’ve shot my mouth off on some metaphysical truth (and there’s this: that I am so much better at giving advice than taking it), I am stuck with sticking it out. Else I’m a hypocrite. Indeed I often lasso (yes and hogtie) myself with far flung-out statements concerning the presence of love and joy. How accessible (like sunlight) to sight even. Once you’ve learned a few Aikido tricks.*

But today all of a sudden I have to admit I feel a bit gloomy. It IS overcast and raining on and off, and my circle of friends dedicated to serving Victoria, (the friend who was dying of cancer) got broken this morning when Victoria went into a coma and within an hour or two, died.

And too, a recent disappointment in the love department. And that always tends to get us (Romantic) Cancerians (Moon folk) down.

So it’s not as if my sadness now is in any strange (hence doubtless pathological) contrast to blooming beauty everywhere I look. (It’s always handy when you can just blame circumstances)

But it does make me stop and think.

You know, a major (if not the only) tenet of Sufism is an old idea. Wasn’t it Socrates who said, “Know thyself?”

And it’s an engrossing hobby. And you don’t even need to visit the good ship Hobby Shop. You’ve not only got the raw materials already at hand but you’ve got the tools as well.

It’s actually a mystery story; hence arises an interesting question: What WERE the tools Sherlock Holmes used to use?

I’ll tell you this. One of those tools was intuition.

And intuition is a fun concept. My revered old Sufi preceptor, Lud Dimpfl said if you trust it and practice it regularly, your intuition gets better. (Interesting how what applies in sports and playing the piano is also valid in this internal sleuthing. I refer of course, to the improvement gleaned from constant practice.)

But back to the earlier musings. Specifically the bits about feeling gloomy.

You know what helped?

I just remembered the Sufi story “What have I to do with wishing?”**

Even if it weren’t an issue of “faith,” shouldn’t we at least be fair to God and the angels and at least play angel’s advocate? I mean since it’s so easily done.

Yes, even using evidence accepted everywhere in this worldly court everyone stipulates to.

It’s not as if God has to fake it with some supernal evidence an honest mechanist would not hold still for. (Though to the active cognoscenti it would not merely be sufficient, it would be eloquent)

Except of course as is perforce involved in any honest observation of the “worldly” environment we seem to live in. I use the word seem, because even the mechanists will admit that their truths are also “seeming” true. And you know what else I’ve noticed that “seems” true in this “world?” It’s the funny subtle glow which is visible using the heart as a geiger counter.

I mean it’s actually reproducible just like science is supposed to be. For instance, every time I stuff my ego into its handy modesty bag, and instead lead with my heart, well EVERY time, I feel great and oh so grateful.

Now that’s evidence.

But I am not surprised.

It fits right in with the fact that all (even this leaky illusion) is God in one disguise or another. I call it leaky because if you look closely and with your heart, you will see light leaking out of everything.

But (like a tigress) I digress, and this post is getting long in the saber-tooth.

Yours in truth,
God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

*Aikido is defined in Wikipedia as: “Aikido (Japanese: 合気道 Hepburn: Aikidō?) [ː] is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy,” or as “the way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.”

**From the Kashf al-Mahjub by Hujwiri (Circa 1000 A. D.):

(A dervish was unable to swim and about to drown and a passerby yelled,
“Do you want me to save you?”


“You wish then to drown?”


“What then DO you wish?”

“What God wishes! What have I to do with wishing?”

About Eric Halliwell

I am the creator and sustainer of, a website which features (among a few other things, like interesting and inspiring quotes, and Sufi stories) my poetry and illustrative blog posts, about one 1000 word essay a month. It is Sufi-themed, probably because for seven years I was an officially initiated Sufi mureed, in San Francisco circa 1970’s. My poetry has appeared in these publications: Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella Journal, (since defunct), Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. I can be reached at

One response »

  1. Looks like a bunch of poems are still available at’s wayback machine. Just enter your website domain and click on the most recent link (highlighted in blue on my screen).

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