I do not claim the existence of a specific deity in any form, either as expounded by historical or mythical figures of a recent or far distant past. The problem with religion per se is that the ego gets in the way of most anything that is practiced – ritualistically (for those who need the numbing “comfort” of mindless repetition) as dictated by scriptures or otherwise. Not to mention the crippling effect of blunt dogma, poorly disguised as “spiritual” but aimed chiefly at limiting personal investigation.
Similarly, the term “God” sets a trap. Who is God, what god? Is it he, she, it – How dare you? scream the zealots, the fanatics AND the believers – whilst furtively weighing the perception of their specific deity against the objective use of a capital “G” or lower case, and angrily repudiating the implication of “it “ being female or without sex. Horribly blasphemous and scandalous, they decree. (sigh). What utter nonsense. (Just my view)
What limits god, we may ask? Only his name – for it is name giving that so infuriates those who ardently conceive of a specific deity and then, in turn, cannot find worthiness in anything else.
Who is right? None, unfortunately. Right and wrong exists according to the level of man’s understanding. We neither question, neither do we conquer anything that is beyond our level of consciousness or grasp. And herein is hidden the entire answer, in my perspective at least. To grasp the statement about “right and wrong” presupposes an absence of competition, something the spiritual path can never accommodate.
Which brings me back to “Experience”. To know thyself is the only way I know and follow. Raising my level consciousness in order to know god, God – All that is – has nothing to do with a personal “meeting” of any kind. Rather it is a continuously observation of my behavior to determine if my walk and talk match. As per example: If someone is a thorn in my side or has wronged me – and I can get past blame and anger and through self inspection and inner contemplation, I discover that my transgressor is human like me, and that his/her deed illuminated aspects of myself, and I can learn to forgive – then I have found a pearl – that forgiveness is divine. Then it is no longer lip service, but a valuable gem in personal development, uncovered through “experience” and not just the hollow words of some clergyman who imagines the advice to be holy, but has not idea of how to apply it.
The way to uniting more and more with this universal intelligence, energy, spirit, call it what you will – is through getting to know who we are. And this is best learned through interaction with others. Every time I make an improvement on how to execute more effectively, and hurting others less, I uncover more of the divine spark in me, present in all. The ancient Hindu legend tells of how the gods were desperate to hide the godhead in a place where man would no longer abuse it. Because there was no mountain high enough, no ocean sufficiently deep; they hid deep inside man, knowing he would never think to look there! All forms of organized religion put God in heaven, in the sky or some place outside of man – and that is a fail safe recipe to utter powerlessness. Whatever the form that universal force takes, it must also be within. Raising consciousness is to get to know who you are. Not for the faint hearted, it is very hard work.
To love your neighbor as yourself is not a rule, a law or even preferred behavior. It is wisdom. The interconnectedness of all and everything is the secret to understanding that.
I don’t measure my experiences and insights against anything or anyone. I care naught if it does not compare to the awareness of Zeus, or Jesus or Bubba, the scrawny loin-clothed monk who had been meditating on top of a mountain for the past 50 years.
All comparison diminishes value and hampers further growth.
What I want more than anything else is to flow.
And that is not always easy.