THE ETERNAL SEARCH FOR GOD (2)
Based upon the above, my perception of the eternal must be related to my perception of the changeless Now. Regardless of the details of my environment, Now always feels the same. Therefore, any consciousness existing outside the confines of Space and Time must be in the Now. I am in the Now whenever I stop looking at the details of the actualization of events in my immediate surroundings and just be. Sometimes I think that being in the Now must be the feeling of awareness one has whenever one’s attention is directed to the gaps existing between our normal thoughts rather than to our thoughts themselves. I have never found sadness in the experience of the Now, only in the experiences of life events. Being in the Now leads to eternal awareness, eternal bliss and eternal existence.
The word search is derived from the Latin words circus and circare which mean circle and to go about. Therefore, a search must be an activity involved with looking for something or examining something in an organized and complete manner. Searches come in different flavors. For example, I have learned that oftentimes when I search for a lost object, I experience distress and anxiety. Whenever, I find the lost object I experience happiness. Consequently, one aspect of at least some kinds of searches is to eliminate pain and increase pleasure. Usually, however, it is elimination of the suffering which fuels my searches.
Another kind of searching entails looking for an explanation to explain how some process works in Nature. Even though, such searches are not dysphoric, suffering is involved because I have to dedicate time for exploration and make conscious efforts. Sometimes other persons interfere in the accomplishment of these searches because they are threatened by new knowledge. In these cases, one obtains pleasure by answering the question posed.
In both types of searches, only ignorance and lack of conscious effort prevent me from immediately obtaining the desired fruits of my actions. Maybe the act of searching, the act of relieving pain and increasing pleasure, are responsible for keeping me trapped in the world. Perhaps, my ignorance and my lack of conscious effort are keeping me from God?
Therefore for myself, the eternal search for God has similarities to the transient search for a lost object or the process of answering a scientific question. If I want to regain a state of Unity with God, assuming I had such a state previously, I must allow myself the experience of intentional suffering so to uncover the Path of Reintegration. My suffering and my acceptance of it will provide the inner strength necessary to accomplish my search. I cannot grow without consciously applying super-effort. I cannot let the unpleasant details of life’s experiences and the resulting dysphoria to rule my life. Since I continue to search, for me, the act of searching is best portrayed by the geometric figure of the spiral, rather than that of a single circle.
I have observed the following statement to be true in my life: happy is the man who has not tried to develop a soul, miserable is the man who attempts to make one. Fortunately, and as you will eventually come to know, direct experience in the matter tells us that the man or woman with a fully developed soul is in an unperturbed state of peace, joy and clarity, happy in his understanding of what Existence Is and his or her place in It.
Let us now direct our attention to our individual understanding of God.
When we begin to speak about our personal concepts concerning God, we must remember the mystery school adage, “God of my heart, God of my realization”. In other words, we are being instructed to look within ourselves for our personal Sacred Image of God, to seek our answer from experience and understanding available from our higher emotional and intellectual centers. What you can expect to find when you follow this advice is not God the Actual, but God as a personal Sacred Image. Let us explore this notion further; first intellectually, then emotionally.
Since I am asking each of you to search for your own personal understanding of the Sacred Image of God, I expect to hear many different views and beliefs. Whenever these views are based upon your own hard won efforts and suffering, I know they are sincere and it would be a mistake to think that some views are true and other views are false. Many different views exist because no one is able to experience God broadly enough; therefore, each of us calls a partial truth, the whole truth. For it is impossible for us to conceive of an impossibility. Perhaps we can overcome our individual limitations by creating a composite picture that will show where all these different and quite conflicting views fit in?
First, there is the materialistic or atheistic view that God is just superstition. Proponents of this viewpoint see nothing in the universe, but the working of material laws. They feel that the only successful way to deal with the world is to know the laws better. Such persons believe it is possible to structure their lives into a perfectly satisfactory order by learning to know enough of the laws and how best to adapt themselves to them. Therefore, the problems of life are ones that we alone can solve, and if we are clever enough, we can go a long way to solve these problems. If we are not clever enough, we will make mistakes because of individual and group ignorance.
Another, equally simple kind of belief held by many people is that God is a person whom we can picture like ourselves, only much better, infinitely greater and wiser. He is infinitely loving and compassionate. Moreover, God can be spoken to, and is spoken to, in prayer in the form of Christ or Krishna or Zoroaster, beautiful persons symbolic of all that we love and worship.
There is another kind of belief about God, which is expressed by St. Paul, who says in Corinthians that God is a spirit and can only be worshiped in spirit and in truth; no man has seen God and no living person can see or understand God; for God remains altogether different from anything that can be experienced directly. However, as the result of His Endless Love for His Creation, God reveals Himself through the prophets, through sacred books and by incarnation as an Avatar or Savior. In the Baghavad Gita, Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna is a man who can be seen by everyone, but differs from ordinary people in his perfect wisdom. When Arjuna asks him to show himself in his real form, he appears as the terrifying all-devouring power that swallows up all Nature–Arjuna sees God as time. Many descriptions in the Gita refer to the Unknowable Being that can be manifested in many forms.