Look around you. What you see is creation. There is a cause for this creation. There is a Creator. The Divine Creator however, is continually creating, sustaining and expressing Himself through his creation. The existence of God is the only ultimate, unchanging truth. Everything else which exists is a temporary modification, expression, projection or aspect of that one Being which we call God. God, in the ultimate reality, is neither male nor female, nor a being in the way we are used to perceiving beings. God is pure consciousness, which is the basic reality in every object, being and situation. God is the creating power, which is continually creating everything we see. I use the word creating rather than creative power because it is important to get free of the belief that God is a being who created the world and then left it to continue on by itself as He watches on. God is the power which is continually creating the world we see. If this creative power stopped, the world would simply cease to exist, just as in the case of the movie projector when the light goes out and the movie stops. The light doesn’t start the movie and then sit back and rest, it must continually shine in order for the movie to continue to be projected. In the same way, everything that we see is the projection of the One Divine Consciousness which we call God.
THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE
Understanding this truth is the key to real and lasting peace and happiness. It is the key to real seeing. Remembering this one fact will enable us to love ourselves and others unconditionally, for we, and all others, are simply manifestations of the same God. We are all united in that same divine consciousness which is expressing itself through each of us. We are in fact one being. This truth is the key to human unity, peace and cooperation between nations and religions. This truth is the key which will release us from ignorance, suffering, pain and the cycle of birth and death. It is the key to enlightenment. It is the only thing which we have to know. Everything else is superfluous and an obstacle to our seeing the divinity of every situation. We tend to believe that spiritual truths are secret and complicated. We want to learn about formulas and hierarchies and complicated relationships between aspects of the physical and spiritual worlds. The more complicated a system is, the more we are duped into believing it must really be something special. We are wasting our time learning about special techniques, astral worlds, and complicated semi-truths. The truth is simple – everything is God. Everything we see is God. This is all that we need to know in order to become enlightened, to become free, happy and truly creative beings. The great spiritual beings did not teach complicated systems or half-truths. They taught love for God and all beings, including ourselves. It is just so simple.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THE WORD ‘GOD’
What are some ways in which we can describe what we mean by God? Of course no description can succeed in defining that which is beyond time, space and creation itself, which means that it is also beyond the comprehension of the mind, and thus beyond description. But let us try to use some metaphors which might help us feel something which we cannot comprehend intellectually. We use the word God to describe the prime cause of everything. We are referring to the cause which has no other cause. It is the cause for everything, and everything is a result of it. That means it is impossible for there to exist an object, being, event or situation in all this creation which is not created by the One Creating Power which we call God. As mentioned earlier, we also use the word God to refer to the sustaining power behind all things and events. It is that power which is holding everything together and preventing it from falling apart. There is a law of nature which is called entropy. This law states that the tendency of this physical universe is to continually move towards a condition of greater and greater dispersion, towards greater chaos. God is the power which holds the electrons, protons and neutrons together. It is the power which holds all atoms and molecules, crystals, cells, tissues, organs and beings intact. When that divine power leaves a being of any type, it starts to decompose. We are able to live in these physical bodies, and function as we do, because we are that power of God living in these bodies. When we, as that power, leave the bodies, they will decompose. When St. Paul was in Athens, he spoke of God (Acts 17.24). “God who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in man made temples. Nor does He need anything that we can supply by working for Him, since it is He Himself who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone. From one man He created all the races of mankind and made them live throughout the whole earth. He Himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of places they would live. He did this so that they would look for Him and perhaps find Him as they felt about for Him. Yet God is actually not far from any one of us; as someone said, “In Him we live and move and have our being.’ It is as some of your poets have said, ‘We too are His children.’ Thus we live and move and evolve in God. God is like space itself. We live in space. We live in God. Space is within us. God is within us. The concept of space, which is omnipresent and undisturbed by whatever happens within it, may be a useful metaphor for some. Everything which happens, happens in space, in God. Space is not in any way affected by what happens in it. It remains as neutral space. God too is unaffected by what we do. God is Love. Whatever we do, that Love remains unchanged. There is nothing we can ever do to stop God from being Love and thus from loving us. God is the power of love which unites us and some day we will let this power manifest more and more until we experience universal love, and there will be universal love and peace. The more we love, the more we accelerate this process of peace and harmony among all beings, including animals and plants.
GOD AS CONSCIOUSNESS
Consciousness is an excellent metaphor for God. Take for example our own consciousness. We function consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously. Unconsciously all our bodily needs are taken care of. Without thinking, we care for all the needs of the cells of our bodies, and our cells in turn perform all the functions so that we may live, think, speak, feel and act. Our unconscious mind regulates our breathing, blood flow, digestion and absorption of food elements, the growth of cells, their destruction, decomposition and removal from the body, and protects us from foreign bodies. Literally millions of functions take place without our thinking about them consciously at all. We are like cells in the body of God. As cells exist within our bodies, we exist in God. As we care without effort for our cells, the divine consciousness cares without any effort whatsoever for its trillions of cells. In the event of some problem in some part of our body, the body informs us through a message such as pain or discomfort, and we attend to it. In the same way, when a cell in the body of God is having a serious problem and sends a message in the form of a prayer, the divine consciousness attends to the situation in the form of Divine Grace. Just as cells are born and die in our body without our being disturbed, this being essential for the maintenance of a healthy body, in the same way God is not disturbed by the birth and death of billions of beings in His body, for the one consciousness, which is supporting all this life, goes on undisturbed. In this way, those who are upset with God, because He did not prevent the death of one of their loved ones, should ask themselves why they are not preventing the death of thousands of cells in their own bodies everyday. Our consciousness continues independent of this process of birth and death. We are immortal consciousness and can never die. Another good metaphor for God, or consciousness, is the light of the movie projector. God is the pure white light of the projector lamp. This pure white light passes through the film and projects form and colour. If the image on that section of the film has thousands of people and animals on it, then the white light which is God appears like thousands of people and animals on the screen which we see. Are there really all these beings, or is there only the illusion of all these beings which is created by the one pure light passing through the film? In the same way, God is the divine light or consciousness which, when it passes through the causal body, or the morphogenetic field of the universal soul, becomes expressed as the world that we know. As that consciousness flows through the causal body of each individual being, it creates the mental, energy and physical body of that being as a projection on earth. In this sense, as it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, all hands, all feet are His. Thus God is both unmanifest and manifest. In this example, God is light. The pure white light, before passing through the film, is His unmanifest nature, and after it passes through the film (the causal-mental aspect), the rays are now coloured and broken. This is our astral and energy nature. When the light falls upon the screen it creates specific images. Thus God is pure consciousness, thought, energy and matter. All these are various aspects of the one consciousness expressing itself in varying densities and vibrations. If we interfere with the screen or the light flowing towards the screen, there may seem to be a catastrophe on the screen (the material world) but this divine consciousness, which is the only permanent reality here, is unaffected. If there is no light, there are no images. If there are images, there must be light. Thus there can be no image that is not a projection of the one light. There can be no object, being or situation which is not a projection of the one divine consciousness.
STEAM – WATER ω ICE
Another metaphor which might be helpful to some is that of the three states of water: gas, liquid and solid. Steam is without form or limitation. It is like the unmanifest. As it is cooled, it starts to become more dense and forms a liquid which has less degree of freedom, but is still a flowing medium. We have the same substance in two different forms. The state of steam may be related to the state of consciousness. Thus consciousness becomes more concrete taking the form of thought, feelings and energy. If we cool it even more in various molds, each having a different shape, we then will get different looking forms of ice which have no fluidity or freedom of movement. That one invisible gas has now become separate, different-looking blocks of ice. In the same way the one divine consciousness manifests itself as what seem to be trillions of separate, different and unrelated objects and beings, which occupy our world. All those blocks of ice are in reality simply H2O, the same essence which was previously expressing itself as a liquid and gas, in which all blocks of ice were existent and united. Thus, all material objects, including our bodies, are Divine Essence in ‘solid’ form. All thoughts, feelings and energies are Divine Essence in ‘liquid’ form. This does not mean that God is limited to any particular object. We must avoid the tendency to limit God to forms, which we have been conditioned to consider more holy than others, such as icons, statues, churches, temples, or holy men. All of these can serve as focal points which help us emotionally and mentally to tune in to the omnipresent essence of God, but God is equally everywhere, and we limit Him by seeing Him only in the icon or holy man. This reminds me of the story of the wondering monk who stopped near a temple and sat under a tree to eat an orange and rest. Soon he saw a priest running towards him from the temple, shouting at him, “shame on you for sitting with your legs outstretched towards the temple and your feet towards God”. The monk looked at him sincerely in the eyes and answered, “yes my brother, I agree, but please help me and show me where God is not, so that I can stretch my legs in that direction”. Let us try the phrase heading this chapter, to start seeing God everywhere, including within ourselves.
THE SEA AND THE WAVE
This is an ancient Eastern metaphor for relating man to God. Man is like the wave. God, the universal consciousness, is the sea. The wave is simply a temporary manifestation of the sea. It is the sea itself which has taken a separate form for a short period of time. That form then dissolves and again becomes a part of the sea. Both the sea and the wave are water. Man is a temporary manifested part of God. We tend to identify with the wave aspect, the body and personality, and feel separate from God (the sea) and other beings (waves). In our feelings of separateness, we feel insecure and vulnerable. We then create various defence mechanisms which cause us to feel even more separate and alone in the world. Realising that we are simply temporary manifestations of a part of the one universal consciousness will help us to feel greater unity with all beings and God.
THE SUN AND ITS MANY REFLECTIONS
Another example is that of the sun whose light is reflected in thousands of different containers of water, appearing to be separate in each one. The reflection in each body of water appears to differ, depending on the depth, the colour, the quantity of various particles, the movement and various other aspects of the water, but the real sun, which is being reflected, is one and the same. There are not a thousand different suns as there appear to be in the thousand reflections. There is only one sun that appears to be reflecting differently in each container. In the same way, the one divine consciousness appears to reflect differently through each causal body and creates the impression of there being many separate and unrelated beings, whereas one light is the reality in all those different reflections.
THE CENTER AND THE SPOKES
Imagine a center from which many spokes are radiating outward. The further outward these spokes or rays move, the more the distance between them. As we move towards the center, the rays converge. The center is God, the universal consciousness. We are each a ray flowing outward from that center. As we move towards the superficial aspects of our being, which is our body, and are at the point furthest from the center, there is a greater distance between us and the other rays. As we move towards the center of our being, which is the same center for all spokes, we come to our more subtle bodies such as our energy body, mental body, higher intellect and causal body. As we move inwards, the distance between our ray and the other rays decreases. When we arrive at the center of our being from which we originated, we arrive simultaneously at the center of all rays. The center of our being is the center of all beings, God. Thus God is in every being we see. We can see Him better if we look beyond the body, appearance, personality, to that which lies beyond them. In order to do this we will have to practise looking into the center of our own being. This means that we will have to learn to meditate and transcend the identification with the body and mind and experience that which we are, when we are not a body or a personality. Then we will be able to perceive the same essence in others. There are many other such examples which we could give. Perhaps these suffice for now. Others have been given and will be given in other chapters. The following technique will help us to bring this truth of God’s omnipresence into our daily experience. Many times each hour (at least twice), remember to look around you and mentally repeat as you perceive each object, “GOD IS IN THIS______”. Every time your eyes fall on any object or being, repeat impartially that ‘GOD IS IN THIS________.”Do not avoid repeating it for any particular thing, no matter how negative it may appear to you, and do not focus more on any particular object either, unless you have difficulty in seeing the divinity in that. In addition to that, stop for two minutes 5 or 6 times a day and close your eyes and observe your various thoughts. With each thought, repeat the phrase: GOD IS IN THIS THOUGHT ABOUT______. GOD IS IN MY MIND”. Do this for all thoughts independently of whether they seem positive or negative to you. Do not be the judge as to where God is. He is everywhere. Do not forget to include yourself in repeating this phrase. Try it now.