Thou art THAT say the Hindus… the Atman (soul) is Brahman (god)…. the bible says I AM THAT I AM…… the gods have been trying to tell us all along… it is the I Am that is the divine presence in the universe and in us. The I AM exists outside the physical universe and manifests within it. We are not bodies with minds, we are consciousness, we are the I AM that has taken form. We don’t have to ‘believe’ in anything, but through our own minds and bodies we can experience the divine aspects of consciousness. We are conscious enough to be able to ask ‘who am i?’ and throughout history humanity has created schools and means to find the answer. Deities are personifications of the divine potency inherent in consciousness, examples to engender aspiration and awe in us.
Prior to humanity’s love affair with deities, the ancient Chinese called the intelligence of the Universe the Tao, and tai chi is a meditative practice to come into alignment with Tao, with That. The Native Americans call it Great Spirit, and get that it exists beyond all form as well as in all things. Jesus said I and My Father are One, there we have Atman = Brahman again. Shiva is depicted as the dancing Nataraj, he IS the dance of energy that everything is engaged in, something celebrated in The Tao of Physics, decades ago. Giving this source energy names and attributes helps us to deepen our relationship with it, we can choose the form, or formlessness, as suits our temperament, now that religions have lost their grip on what people believe. To refuse to engage with any notion of a creator presence perhaps cuts us off from any chance of discovering the magnificence of our own soul.
By glorying in all things being THAT and having a relationship with the dance i see its vibrations everywhere. It is not outside us, nothing is outside us, we are the dance and we are the dancer. mystics in every part of the globe have said this…we get to know god by having a loving, ecstatic, even erotic relationship with That. God IS love, is ecstasy, is bliss. The Sanskrit word is ANANDA. I particularly love medieval female mystics writing in their convents who got this big time, they had an erotic and passionate playful relationship with the divine and wrote about how miserable and serious the men were, how they were missing the point.
Yoga is an ancient ancient technology of opening the mind and soul via the body into Union with the Whole. That’s how we know god, through Union, not through debate, but to my mind any sharing from anybody about their perception and probing of God-ness is fascinating. The time of religious mind control is over. Every Soul has its unique relationship with the Whole. We need to stop criticising each other’s versions of God and start celebrating them. This is particularly necessary for religious people to understand, because their continuing animosity towards each other is perpetuating suffering in the world, and demonstrates that they have not understood anything about god, love and consciousness at all.
Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380) called God ‘a Beloved of infinite tenderness’…. “Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God’s true nature. God’s heart is more gentle than the Virgin’s first kiss upon the Christ. And God’s forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being.”
More from Catherine:
“O abyss! 0 eternal Godhead! 0 deep sea! What more could you have given me than the gift of your very self?
“You are a fire always burning but never consuming; you are a fire consuming in your heat all the soul’s selfish love; you are a fire lifting all chill and giving light. In your light you have made me know your truth: You are that light beyond all light who gives the mind’s eye supernatural light in such fullness and perfection that you bring clarity even to the light of faith. In that faith I see that my soul has life, and in that light receives you who are Light…
“Truly this light is a sea, for it nourishes the soul in you, peaceful sea, eternal Trinity. …. This water is a mirror in which you, eternal Trinity, grant me knowledge; for when I look into this mirror, holding it in the hand of love, it shows me myself, as your creation, in you, and you in me through the union you have brought about of the Godhead with our humanity.”
By acknowledging that we are Soul and Spirit as well as Flesh and Blood, we expand our chances of living a fulfilled, contented life, because we are engaging it on all levels. We need connection to the earth, to the elemental forces, to bring us health, and connection to the source love-consciousness that gives us our self awareness to bring us spiritual light, which is needed for growth. Consciousness flows through everything, we don’t need churches and holy men in order to communicate with god. Nature is the most near and present and pure manifestation of the divine impulse, nature … and other people. It doesn’t matter how we see god, it doesn’t matter if we choose to avoid that term…. all that matters is that humanity awakens to how we see the world and each other, awakens to love, to our absolutely integral relationship with nature and spirit, for we are the I AM at its latest miraculous stage of expansion…… then the Revelation, the Celebration, the Communion that is the arrival of THAT into human life and civilisation can begin.
The sun, the moon and the stars, the grass, the water that flow, round the earth, and the light air of heaven:
To You greeting. I too stand behind these and send you word across them.
Edward Carpenter in Towards Democracy
“Man is shut up at present in his surface individual consciousness and knows the world only through his outward mind and senses and by interpreting their contacts with the world. By Yoga there can open in him a consciousness which becomes one with that of the world; he becomes directly aware of a universal Being, universal states, universal Force and Power, universal Mind, Life, Matter and lives in conscious relations with these things. He is then said to have cosmic consciousness” Aurobindo
Here is the same message from a prophet of the psychedelic sixties:
“If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. So, say in Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God. God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on a throne, that has royal prerogatives. God in Indian mythology is the self, Satcitananda. Which means sat, that which is, chit, that which is consciousness; that which is ananda is bliss. In other words, what exists, reality itself is gorgeous, it is the fullness of total joy.” ALAN WATTS