Looking for God
Most of us would agree that a Creator does exist, because common sense tells us that the magnificent creation that we see around us – the vast universe with all its stars and galaxies, our own world with its myriad life forms – could not have just happened by itself. There must have been a power, a force, an energy, which brought about this creation.
Just think: If you look at a beautiful painting, you know that there must have been a gifted artist who painted it. Likewise, if one looks at the magnificent creation – so orderly, so perfectly balanced and so majestic in its scope – it makes sense that someone must have created it. It could not have come into being just as some random occurrence.
We cannot help being aware that this master designer of the creation, this master craftsman, possesses an incredible intelligence - far beyond anything we can conceive of. If we look around us there are innumerable miracles in operation. There is a perfect, logical and rational sequence and design throughout the creation.
We see the splendour of flowers that bloom in their seasons, the symmetry of the snowflake – each one different from its neighbour. We ask how a tiny seed can develop into a giant tree. How do birds navigate across vast oceans to a remote island to nest? How are the planets kept in their orbits? There are countless miracles around us that testify to this great intelligence. We just have to open our eyes and look. You cannot fail to be amazed at the wonder of it all. But for us, the greatest miracle of all must be the human body. And here we are referring not only to the physical nature of the body.
In Sarmad, Martyr to Love Divine, the author Isaac Ezekiel has this to say:
The human body is a miracle of divine creation. It is such that through it one can find the entire creation and the vast spiritual regions. The higher the region, the vaster its size, the greater its splendour, the more joyous its bliss.… A disciple can … while still in this body, find the truth regarding past prophets and saints, gods and goddesses, paradises, hells and heavens for himself.
So within this body are the faculties to consciously transport the soul to higher realms of existence, to unfold the divine mysteries, and to experience the Creator himself. It is all here in this vessel of clay.
Our potential, while in this human body, is enormous. But here we also have the cause of our unconscious state. And this is how we have come to see ourselves: only as this body – this body in this particular incarnation has become our “I”, the identity that we think we are. The word “I” embodies the biggest stumbling block in our way to self-realization and God-realization. But in reality when we use the word “I” we are referring to something that doesn’t really exist.
We identify with the body. When we say something is “mine”, we invest in that something a sense of “I”. We also add other things to the “I”: nationality, race, religion, profession. And we add to this identity roles that we play: mother, father, husband or wife. We add the filters that we see the world through: our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, emotions, our prejudices, our possessions, wealth and status. So we have created this artificial structure of who we think we are. But when we die the bubble of the “I” bursts. The ego implodes. Then we realize we identified with an illusion. And because of this we never found out who we really are.
While we remain ego-obsessed we never look at the bigger picture and take into account that we have been around a very long time. We tend to forget that this lifetime is merely a few lines in the book of our existence. It doesn’t even constitute a page. Our time here is a nano second compared to the length of time we have been in this creation. The mystics tell us that we have been here since the creation started. We have been through all the species: plant, animal, bird; we have been kings, beggars, killers; we have been male and female. And the sad news is that all this time we were oblivious of our true essence, our true nature. All this time we have been asleep.
When the Buddha attained enlightenment, he was asked: “Who are you? Are you a god, a prophet, a sage?” Buddha’s reply was simple: “I am one who has awakened.” By that he meant that he had awakened to his true identity. He had reached that level of consciousness where he saw that his real essence was not the body, the mind, the senses, the intellect, but soul.
And this is the message that the saints have tried to convey to mankind since the dawn of time: We are living in a state of unconsciousness, entirely dominated by ignorance. The mystics tell us we are unaware of our true nature. And therefore, by ourselves, we are not only incapable of knowing our true nature; we are incapable of seeking and finding God.
In the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew we read that the first of the great commandments is: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.
But there are so many conflicting opinions about the nature of God that we don’t know who or what to believe. We hear of this vague, abstract entity, this theoretical, conceptual being that we are supposed to love. How do we get to know this being or have a relationship or communion with this entity? How can we love God?
There is only one way. We need to come into contact with him in a form like our own. We need to find, or be found by, a living Master – who is one with that Creator whom we are seeking. We can only love someone at our level, because we are still in the domain of the senses. We are still operating with the lower mind. The Master represents God on earth. He is his emissary, his viceroy. He has merged his consciousness with that of the Lord. He has been authorized by God to help those who are seeking the Creator.
In practical terms, why do we need a Master? Because following a spiritual path is the most challenging, demanding task we will ever undertake. It will take us into higher worlds that are vast and where we could easily lose our way. Even on this physical realm we may have difficulty coping. Perhaps we have trouble even finding our car in the parking lot after doing our shopping at the supermarket! How can we possibly travel on the higher planes without a guide? Or even live our lives well, while here in the world?
When we come to a Master he helps us to wake up. He teaches us about our true nature. He teaches us that we are more than just these bodies. We are souls – lost for long ages in the creation and yearning to find our way back to our Creator. Our Master shows us how to meditate and how to live in order to grow the small seed of consciousness inside us and, most important of all, to become fit to contact the great stream of consciousness which is God – who sustains the entire creation through his life force, which is called the sound current or Shabd.
Consider for a moment what is keeping us alive. A doctor or physician will give some medical explanation. He will say it is your heart, your central nervous system, food or oxygen. Yes, admittedly these are all necessary, but what is keeping this body alive is the sound current, that God-part of us, the soul. This is the life force that quickens us. It is our spiritual dynamo, our divine battery. Disconnect this life force and the body dies.
We are always connected to this life force. But at the time of initiation the Master energizes this connection. He injects a new charge into it so that we can begin our spiritual journey. And this is our means of conveyance out of here, transporting the soul through the higher spiritual realms. This is what brought us here and this is the conveyance which, with the vital assistance of the Master, will get us out of here.
The Shabd can be compared to the current of a powerful river. If you float on a river, the current will pull you along. Similarly, when our connection with the sound current is recharged, this stream of consciousness will propel us through the different levels of consciousness. It will eventually carry us back to our source, our original home. When we finally attain the level of super-consciousness we are eligible to merge back into the source. Then union takes place. Then our search is over and we find God – and we become one with God.
To lose your own identity, that is the characteristic of love. … Love makes us want to become like another one. In love there is submission, there is merging. So that is why they say that love is God and God is love.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I