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 Blooming Stars

God Experience 2

            God designed God experience for all the created by the very act of creation. It is unthinkable that the Infinite Wisdom would neglect such an experience with God’s creatures. Thomas Aquinas, a saintly and wise man, said that whatever is received is received according to the capacity of the receiver (Quidquidrecipitur, ad modumrecipientisrecipitur). This was a house-hold expression when I was doing philosophical studies long ago as preparation for theology and priesthood. In other words, a stone expresses God in its own way, a plant and an animal in their own inimitable way. Humans reported by scriptures to be created in the image and likeness of God are uniquely equipped to acquire the knowledge, wisdom, and consciousness to enter into a special relationship with God.

            Revealed religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam prepare humans for God experience in their own prescribed ways. Of these revealed religions Christ reveals God as his father and himself as the way to the father. Christ and his disciples and the early Christians preached the Kingdom of God (a spiritual kingdom) as an anti-dote to the materialism, legalistic ritualism, domination, and, above all, the power and control of humans over their fellow humans. In that sense, Christ represented the best glimpse of a personal God. Unfortunately, most Christians, paying only lip-service to the teachings of Christ, undermine those very teachings, and get enmeshed in materialism, legalism, and power and control. Natural religions or Wisdom Streams such as Hinduism and Buddhism pave the way to the Supreme Being (God) or Enlightenment as their ultimate goals. The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita contain precious gems that propound Sanatana Dharma or the best way of life that leads to God. Buddhism can achieve enlightenment with or without God. Throughout human history, prophets and sages made corrections of the course humans need to take to their destiny that is God. However important and helpful or, for that matter, indispensable these corrections may be, God in the original plan had all that was needed for a full measure of God experience or beatific vision.

            Disobedience or doing one’s own thing or going one’s own way that is away from the way of God can spell disaster for us, children of God. This certainly interferes with God experience and the peace and love that go with it. Therefore, discerning and doing God’s will are essential for any meaningful God experience. There are spiritual guides who can perceptively facilitate discernment in humans coming from different paths in order to follow God’s will. These guides do not have their own agenda as they are in touch with the God of all creation that is above the gods of all religions. Saint Augustine, a great sage, said that God is more intimate to us than we ourselves are. Saint Paul, another sage, said that we live, move, and have our being in God. That we are in God and God is in us is so characteristic of the best Indian spiritual thinking. Fish in water may not be aware of the water. But it cannot live without water. God truly is our life breath without which we cannot spiritually live. As freedom, God experience is also our birth-right. Our inertia comes in the way of our experience of God. Awareness meditation as well as active brahmacharyam (walking in God) can help us be one with God and the universe.

            God experience cannot be prescribed. A fish may not know that it is in and surrounded by water. We may not be aware that we are in and surrounded by God. But we are. God experience is the awareness of who we really are. Our true vocation is to continually experience God. We are truly called to be mystics.

 

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