Each person desires to feel safe, secure, loved and accepted, but few do. The basic reason is that few have an awareness of their real relationship with God and Life itself. We continue our analysis of our beliefs and their effect on our lives and our emotional and mental states. Men and women have long sought to understand the mysteries of the universe and answer questions very basic to their existence on the earth, such as:
Who or what exactly am I?
What is this world that I live in?
What is my relationship with this world?
What is the purpose of my life here?
Who or what created all this that I see?
What is my relationship with that creator?
What role do I play in this creation?
What is my relationship with the other beings and objects which I see around me in this world?
Without answering these basic questions, it is very difficult for someone to live a meaningful life; one which gives him satisfaction and happiness. Man has an inherent need to understand. This need is very strong during his first twelve years on earth, then gradually, due to various social factors, this need gives way to basic needs such as safety, pleasure and self-affirmation in society. His attention is redirected towards short-term pleasure and self-affirmation through achievement, without asking any more whether that, which he is doing, has any meaning beyond just obtaining a few more material objects or a “bravo” from someone in his environment. Thus he ceases to search for the meaning of life, and why he is here, and what would be the appropriate way for him to live his life. In the same way he loses contact with the basis of life and lives on the surface of things, basing his life on objects, relationships and goals which are all temporary, vulnerable and forever changing. It is no wonder then that he feels insecure and confused. The only solution for this problem is for man to realise his true relationship with God and Life itself. We are all aspects of the Divine One; parts of God which are manifest here on earth for the purpose of further evolution in our ability to express our divine beauty, peace, love and light here on the earth level. God is unlimited consciousness, the universal consciousness which, when it manifests itself, becomes the physical universe, which we know and perceive, and in which we live. We are that divine, unlimited consciousness, expressing itself through limited vehicles, which we call our body and mind. All beings and objects are expressions of that one Universal Omnipresent Consciousness. In nature, the animals and plants express the beauty and harmony of that divine consciousness unconsciously. Man is conscious of himself and has the free will to live in harmony with the laws of nature, and express that beauty and love, which is his true nature, or live egotistically, cutting himself off from his own inner self and thus expressing only disharmony, illness and unhappiness in his life. When one reconnects to that universal consciousness, and starts again to live his life in harmony with it, then his life becomes an expression of peace, beauty, harmony, love and happiness. So the question which interests us is: what are the beliefs and factors, which prevent us from believing in, and feeling that contact with, the universal consciousness which we can call God, or even Life.
The accompanying diagram helps us to understand the relationship between God, or the creative source of life, and the various beings and objects which we see in this world around us. In the centre of the circle we have an eternally shining light which is the creative power of the world we see and live in. Around it there is a band of film with various images. These images are the various archetypes, or moulds, for the various types of beings and objects which we perceive around us, such as people, animals, plants and inanimate objects. The circular film which holds all these images is called the universal causal body or the universal soul which holds within it the images or potentials for all the forms in this world. We might also call it the word, according to Apostle John. The one universal light, passing through all these images, breaks down into various colours and forms and eventually impinges on the screen of matter, creating the illusion that we are all different creations. On the surface we are all different and separate, but in our source and our basic reality, which is light, we are all ONE. God is that one light and we are the same God-light, after it has passed through the film. The “movie” itself is also of divine creation and is evolving and unfolding according to a divine plan. Thus we are one and the same with God. We are life itself. The people and objects around us too are reflections of the divine light onto material reality, so all these bodies, beings and things are simply manifestations of one universal power which we call God. If I follow my own beam up to the source of my being, then I unite with God. I am God. The same is true of any other being or object, all are simply rays which, when followed back to their source, come to the same one source. Thus, when I stop looking at the superficial, external world and remember that all beings are brother rays, flowing out from the same source, I see one family of humans,animals and plants living as one life energy here on earth. Is it possible then that I could ever be separate from God, since I am God, I am a transmutation of God, a reflection of God, a metamorphosis of divinity on the earth? Can there ever be any separateness between the source of life, the ray and the reflection in the material world? It is impossible. If there is a reflection, then it must be connected to a ray, and if there is a ray, it must be connected to the source of light. Thus neither you, nor I, nor any other being, can ever be separate from God or Life, no matter what we may do. This connection is permanent and indestructible.
No number of sins can ever disconnect me from God. They can only create within me an internal blockage, so that I may cut myself off from that feeling of unity with my source. The moment I function in disharmony with my conscience, then I myself close my door to my inner consciousness and thus to the ray and its source. The source is there and the ray too, but I have closed myself off from them and thus feel myself separate and vulnerable in a world which I believe to be dangerous, and in which I feel I must protect myself. In such a case, I am more likely to function out of a type of panic in which, again out of fear, I would act against my conscience and close the door to my inner self even tighter. The feeling of sin and guilt are not of much use in proceeding spiritually. Christ came to give us the potential to free ourselves from sin through confession, repentance and Holy Communion. When we fear we have cut off the connection to the source, we need only admit our mistake, decide not to repeat it and let go of guilt and fear, so as to once again feel our inherent and never-ceasing connection with the Divine. When Peter asked Christ how many times he must forgive someone, Christ answered, 7 x 70 times, which means 490 times. If Christ had the expectation that a man could forgive so many times, how many times does God himself forgive? God does not condemn us. We condemn ourselves to feelings of unworthiness and, in our unworthiness, feel fearful, alone and vulnerable. That makes us even more ego-centred in our attempt to protect our interests and needs and, thus, we cover up our connection to God and light even more, with added layers of guilt and separateness. We have the right to live our lives in the continuous feeling of union, love, grace and presence of the divine in our lives. We have the right to live a life of miracles in which one “coincidence” after another just seems to happen at the right time, and our life’s needs are fulfilled in some magical way, repeatedly verifying our connection and harmony with the flow of divine life energy. These are not coincidences or miracles, but rather the natural flow of our own ray of life energy into, and through, our life. We deserve a beautiful life. It is our birth right. It is the purpose for which we are living here on earth, to unblock ourselves, so as to let this energy flow through us into this world in joyous, creative activity.
Let us look at some of the limiting ideas which create a feeling of separateness between us and God, life and others around us.
1. There is no God. It is difficult to believe that anyone really believes this. Anyone who has ever walked in nature, looked at the stars, studied biology, physics or any other aspect of creation, must be struck by the incredible complexity and interdependency of all objects. It leaves little doubt that there is a creative intelligence behind the universe that we see. If they want to invent another name for that universal intelligence, that is fine. This point, however, cannot really be argued, for there are so many aspects which can be brought forth for and against. I would like to say in addition that it would be a mistake to judge God’s nature or existence by what is said by those who say they believe in God, or who claim to be his representatives. They may have good intentions and be devoted people, but most are still in a process of evolution and cannot understand or express the totality of the universal One. It will eventually be comprehended through internal search and not through analysing some specific events, or the behaviour of specific people.
2. I am no good, a sinner not worthy of God’s love. Those who believe this cut themselves off, as we mentioned earlier, from the flow of natural divine grace in their lives. They need to start with self-forgiveness, realising that whatever anyone does in life, he does out of ignorance and fear, and that he is in a process of evolution. He can see his mistakes, acknowledge them and realise that, in spite of them, he is acceptable and lovable in God’s eyes. In Dr. Raymond Moody’s book LIFE AFTER LIFE, people reported that they temporarily left their bodies in near- death experiences and passed through a self-examination in which a being of light guided them through memories of what they had done “wrong” and where they had been selfish and ego-centred. They were very surprised, however, by the lack of condemnation in the being of light’s attitude. His only purpose was to make them see what was really in their own interests; there was no condemnation and no feeling of guilt.
3. I asked for God’s help but He did not listen so I do not believe that He cares for me even if He does exist. We remember God when we have a problem and ask him to make things happen the way we want them to. When things do not work out that way, we feel disillusioned, let-down, abandoned and even angry and, in some cases, doubtful about God. This is not logical. If we believe in a God to whom we pray, it means that we believe that He has some powers to make things happen in this world. It also means, therefore, that He has powers to know what the best course is for our evolution, and the evolution of those around us. If there is really a Divine Consciousness which is the basis of our lives, and towards which we are moving to unite, it would be only natural for it to expedite matters so that we might quickly reach that goal of union with the source itself. If what we are praying for would be an obstacle towards that growth process, then how could we expect God to help us? That would mean that he did not really love us. If your child asks you to give him something which you believe will be detrimental for him, and you ignore his request, because you are unable to do something which you know will obstruct his growth, that does not mean that you do not care for him and are not interested in his happiness. You just cannot respond to his desires which are based on his ignorance of what is best for him. You might ask, “What harm could come from my father, mother or child living a few more years on earth? Why couldn’t God have prevented their death?” We cannot know for what reason each being leaves the earth plane at the time that he does. We can, however, have faith that there is a divine plan which is guiding each and every soul through the experiences which it needs, in order to reunite with the ONE. A loved one of ours may have been programmed to leave the earth earlier than us (someone has to leave first) so as to offer us the opportunity of facing that experience of loss, and thus stimulating us into thinking more deeply about life, and consequently waking up to the purpose of life which is spiritual evolution. We do not infer that our loved one would be consciously aware that this is the reason why he is leaving the body. These decisions are made by the soul before birth and are recorded in the deep subconscious. The universal, omniscient consciousness is aware of these decisions which we have mutually made before incarnation and thus can determine, better than we, what must happen in each circumstance. We have the right to pray for what we prefer to happen; however, if it does not happen, we must then be able to realise that God has answered us, and the answer is that things are better for our group evolution happening in the way they did. We can realise that it is not that our prayers have not been heard, but that they have been heard and the universal intelligence knows that, for our own good and the good of all, it is better that what we are asking for not be granted. There is no doubt that we all gain spiritually by facing difficult situations. Every time we face an obstacle in life, we are forced to develop our emotional, mental and spiritual powers so as to face and overcome it, and thus we grow spiritually more effectively and rapidly. Some readers may by now be put off by the presentation of God as being one who grants wishes. This is, of course, a simplistic way of expressing a very complex matter in which we are, at one and the same time, creations of the Universal Consciousness, instruments through which the consciousness is expressing itself and manifesting, as well as being that consciousness itself. Thus an individual may experience God in various ways.
THREE RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD
There are three possible concepts which one can have of God. The first is that God is a separate powerful being who has created us and is distant from us and judges our fate. This is the relationship of a servant and master, or object and creator. The second relationship is one of father or mother and child. We feel that we have some close loving relationship with God and that He cares for us, as a parent would for his child. This would also be like the relationship between the branch and the trunk of a tree. The branch is a part of the tree made of the same material and taking its life essence from the tree, though it appears separate. The third relationship is one of Unity. There is only God. Since God is the one light which is manifesting itself as the entire objective world then, as a ray of that light, I am also the source, I am God. God and I are one. Referring to our original diagram, in the first case I am identifying with the image which appears on the screen of consciousness and feel separate from all the other images, and also separate from the source. In the second case, I am identifying with the ray, realising that I have a very close relationship with the source. In the third case, I identify with the source itself, realising that that is my true reality. Each of us is on a path of evolution in which we are passing from a feeling of separateness from God, to a feeling of relatedness, to a feeling of oneness. This is beautifully expressed in the following poem by Khalil Gibran:
In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips, I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying: “Master, I am Thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey Thee forevermore.” But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away. And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and again spoke unto God, saying: “Creator, I am Thy creation. Out of clay Thou hast fashioned me and to Thee I owe mine all.” And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passed away. And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spoke unto God again, saying: “Father, I am Thy son. In pity and love Thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shall inherit Thy kingdom.” And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distant hills He passed away. And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and again spoke unto God, saying: “My God, my aim and my fulfilment; I am Thy yesterday and Thou art my tomorrow. I am Thy root in the earth and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the face of the sun.” Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness, and even as the sea that enfolds a brook that runs down to her, He enfolded me. And when I descended to the valleys and the plains God was there also.
(From THE MADMAN by Khalil Gibran ) In Gibran’s poem we can see that this process of understanding one’s real relationship with God is something which takes thousands of years. We can also see that man’s perception of God’s answer in each case becomes more subtle and refined. In the end, the true relationship of unity is realised as being like that of a river flowing back into the sea, thus losing its separate identity. Eventually one realises that the relationship of unity always existed and that God was always close to, and around us, and that there was no need to climb the holy mountain, because God’s presence is not limited to specific “holy” places, but rather is an omnipresent presence, which envelopes our lives in the everyday here and now. We have everything to gain by practising the presence of God, by constantly imagining that we are in harmony with the Universal Being and that we are living for it, in it and that it is protecting us and providing for our needs. As Apostle Paul expressed to the Athenians almost 2,000 years ago, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” We would do well to believe that we are pure children of a God who loves us and wants us to be happy and healthy. A person who can cultivate this faith and feeling of purity and worthiness will begin to experience the miracles of love in his life. He will relax. He will feel safe and protected. He will feel confident of being able to handle any crisis or obstacle. He will be able to accept what happens in his life and use it as a learning experience. He will be able to continue his process of evolution without fear and attachment. He will desire to be a useful instrument in the creation of a world of peace and love. He will want to relieve the pain of his fellow brothers and sisters in the one family of the Universal Spirit. He will be happy with whatever he has, knowing that he has whatever he needs in order to make the next step in his evolution. He will be free from depression, jealousy, bitterness, hurt, anger or hate. He will see all beings as his own self reflected in another medium. He will feel more and more unity with those around him. His creative inner potential and productivity will blossom forth with greater flow, as the various obstacles of fear and doubt are removed, and he becomes a joyous being shining forth his beauty into the worl