The aim of both little books, if you're interested," he said, " is supposedly to wake everybody up to the need and benefits of saying the Jesus Prayer incessantly. First under supervision of a qualified teacher - a sort of Christian guru - and then, after the person's mastered it to some extent, he's supposed to go on with it on his own. And the main idea is that it's not suppose to be just for pious bastards and breast-beaters. You can be busy robbing the goddam poor box, but you're to say the prayer while you rob it. Enlightenment's supposed to come with the prayer, not before it." Zooey frowned, but academically." The idea, really, is that sooner or later, completely on its own, the prayer moves from the lips and the head down to a center in the heart and becomes an automatic function in the person, right along with the heartbeat. And then, after a time, once the prayer is automatic in the heart, the person is supposed to enter into the so-called reality of things. The subject doesn't really come up in either of the books, but, in Eastern terms, there are seven subtle centers in the body, called chakras, and the one most closely connected with the heart is called anahata, which is supposed to be sensitive and powerful as hell, and when it's activated, it, in turn, activates another of these centers, between the eyebrows, called ajna - it's the pineal gland, really, or, rather, an aura around the pineal gland - and then, bingo, there's an opening of what mystics call the 'third eye'. It's nothing new, for God's sake. It didn't just start with the little pilgrim's crowd, I mean. In India, for God knows how many centuries, it's been known as japam. Japam is just the repetition of any of the human names of God. Or the names of his incarnations his avatars, if you want to get technical. The idea being that if you call out the name long enough and regularly enough and literally from the heart, sooner or later you'll get an answer. Not exactly an answer. A response.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)