If you’re earnestly seeking to recognize God (aka Consciousness, The Unified Field, or true Self), you may benefit from reading a little about the guy named Art with whom I used to identify. The bond of that relationship was once so strong as to seem inseparable. As is the case with most individuals, I bought the story of “me” hook, line, and sinker. The calendar now pegs Art at sixty-three years young; but for almost sixty of those years, he unwaveringly believed that he was name and form. When I contemplated the subject of true identity, I instinctively realized that I couldn’t actually “be” my name, because a name is only a word for that to which it refers. However, beyond that, I rarely inquired further; I simply didn’t know how. I read books about personal development, but I continued to go through the peaks and valleys inherent in this so-called human life. It was not until I had endured a healthy dose of suffering, that meditation and grace revealed my essential nature.
The “search for God” is basically an oxymoron; for when we know the Truth that God is omnipresent, we realize that any search outside of ourselves is lunacy.
We might ask ourselves how far we would have to travel, or how many books we would have to read, to discover That which is—already—the very essence of our Being? Without God, we are not. The only gap that has apparently separated us from God is our innocent ignorance. Through understanding, we realize that we have never truly been separated from God—it has only appeared to be so. We may blame this misunderstanding on confusion and lack of discernment about our essential nature. The situation is often humorously illustrated by two fish swimming side by side. One fish says, “You know, I’ve been hearing this rumor about a thing called water.” That “water” is God. In Acts 17:28, we may read the following:
For in him we live and move and have our being.
The reason that we believe we need to search for The Absolute is because we have erroneously identified with the effect called the body-mind; without investigating the nature of That (Consciousness, God) which is the Only Way that we can know anything. Ramana Maharshi once stated that the “I” thought is the mother of the world; and he was certainly correct. From the get-go of infancy, we are conditioned to identify with name and form; and subsequently our egoic assumptions gather speed and mass (much like the proverbial snowball rolling downhill). The following quote from The Ultimate Understanding by Ramesh M. Balsekar may offer an insight:
We are so conditioned to accept the presence of an appearance that we accept the body as what we are. The truth, however, is that what we are is not the presence of what is present (as an appearance) but the absence of what is present, or the presence of what is absent.
Our search for God only becomes fruitful when we turn away from our senses and look within. There, in the stillness, we can know with growing clarity that we are neither our body nor our mind. The shift, as it is termed in spiritual circles, is from person to Presence. The true “I” is the Knower of all, including our body-mind; and contrary to popular belief, It is Impersonal—not personal. Only through mistaken identification with name and form have we assumed that there is a little “i” located somewhere in the body-mind. All objects, including our body-mind, are rendered by Consciousness. The Truth is that our reality (which appears in subject-object relationship) is occurring within the Oneness of the Waking State (dream). The true Self, is the silent observer. We are not the doers of our actions; that credit goes to God alone—there is no “other.”
My humble advice for anyone seeking God is to turn within. “Be still,” as the Bible states in Psalm 46:10, “and know that I Am God.” Beyond the machinations of the mind, and the personal history that seems so real and tangible, we may discover the still voice of the soul. It is the silent witness, the Knower, and linchpin of all experience. It is not dependent on the body-mind; rather the body-mind is dependent on It. God, thus, has been found alive and well–Life eternal, infinite, immortal.