The one constant theme of my blog – my poetry and all my writings – is spirituality. I am endlessly fascinated by the relationship of the human being to the Divine, and I get endless joy from sharing my insights and experiences with others who are on the Path.
For many (though certainly not all) spiritual aspirants this means the search for God. There are those who pursue a path of liberation that does not require any deity or idea of God – and in so doing away with this concept, many potential pitfalls are done away with, too. But there are many who feel a love and devotion which simply must be poured out upon the Most High, and this little treatise is written for such as these.
The trouble is, of course, that “God” is just another word, a concept that we bandy about without actually being able to properly define it. Whatever God is in reality we find to be quite elusive, ineffable, and impossible to pin down.
Furthermore, the seeking of God automatically sets up a situation in which “I” am most definitely separate from God. This can be quite exaggerated when we give free reign to our fancy. We imagine the Infinite Creator – eternal, perfect, omnipotent – as compared to ourselves – small, flawed, unworthy.
We imagine the state of mystic union to be a state beyond all pain and suffering, so utterly different from our present circumstances. We set up a shrine in our minds to this Divine Ideal of light without darkness, pleasure without pain – the highest of all expectations, the ultimate solution to all of life’s problems, the end of all of our doubts and fears and imperfections. We project onto God the ego’s desire for permanent security and ecstasy – like a great big everlasting orgasm.
But I am here to tell you – God is not such a big deal.
Actually, God is found all of the little things, so easily taken for granted: the sunrise in the morning, a gentle rain; a child’s laughter, a mother’s love; a warm embrace, a deep conversation; a deep breath, a moment of total relaxation; a soft and cuddly kitten, curled up in your lap…
And yes, God is found in your depression, your frustration; in anger, grief and loss; in all of your aches and pains; in illness and death. There is no pain without pleasure, no yin without yang. There is no experience to fear or avoid – all of life is but the fluid and endlessly varied manifestations of the nameless and formless One…
When on the spiritual path, there is a tendency of the seeker to turn away – to turn away from the world and from the senses, through a variety of austerities and so forth. To seek God in this way is like the eyes straining to turn around and see back into the brain, and it results in a frustrating cycle not unlike a dog chasing its own tail.
To find God is to stop searching. God is found, not by turning away from the world, but through surrender to it totally, and embracing it all as the manifestation of the Divine. God is found in rapt attention to life as it is – in a total absorption in the present moment in which both “God” and “I” are forgotten.
God is not an idea – something to be imagined, to be believed in or not believed in, something to be attained or realized after long years of study and practice… God is present and real, to be felt and experienced here and now, or not at all.
So do away with any fantastic concepts of the Cosmic Deity – these are more of a hindrance than anything else. If yours is the bhakti path of worship, love and adoration, then give your love and attention to what is right before you – to wherever it is needed in the present moment.
God is not fantastic and other-worldly, but rather the most mundane of all things – so easy to overlook precisely because it is so ever-present. In your boredom, your frustration, in your most private thoughts and fantasies, even in your darkest moments, God is there.
For God is your own precious self, with all your “imperfections” and peculiarities.
You are here, right now – the search is over.