I've used the word God regularly in these articles but I know that nowadays many spiritually inclined people feel uncomfortable with that word. Some even reject it outright. Whether that’s because they are scarred by a primitive notion of a God of judgement and punishment or because they lean towards the Buddhist position which refuses to grant a personal dimension to the absolute (unusual, it must be said, and therefore possibly not entirely correct), it’s a pity because God does exist. Or so the Masters who spoke to me affirmed when they described themselves specifically as messengers from God. However they never defined God other than to speak of Him as the Creator so what does this word actually mean? Does it refer to a real being with actual personhood or is it an impersonal force or maybe just a cosmic emptiness that lies behind time and space and, in some mysterious way, gives rises to manifested existence? Or is it all of these?
First of all, I must say that this is not something you can approach intellectually and expect to get very far, and that is why the Masters did not define God to me and I did not ask them to. There were certain questions which I would have liked to have asked them but which I instinctively knew were foolish and would have met with a gentle but firm refusal to answer. The Masters’ presence and authority were such that you simply knew what to ask and what to leave unspoken because it was not relevant to the issue at hand, that being practical spiritual training. To seek to comprehend what God is, except in the broadest possible terms, is vain. You can never understand God though you can know Him or as much of Him as you are capable of knowing. On the other hand, it is certainly not wrong to have a mental image of God. In fact, this will help you to address Him and form some kind of relationship with Him. However you must never allow your image of God to limit your conception of Him. Or, for that matter, your lack of image. He is always more.
People today have lost the gift of simplicity. We try too hard to think things through instead of responding with our hearts. But if you allow yourself to accept, if you allow yourself to have faith, you will understand enough of God for your needs. If you try to be clever about it you will probably get lost in philosophical speculations which lead nowhere, as the Masters say. That is what happens to so many of us because we are reluctant to be as a child and listen to our hearts. We seek truth in abstractions but God is not an abstraction. He is the most concrete thing there is. He is there beside you as you read this.
It’s easy to be a philosopher but it’s hard to be a saint.
We are all familiar with the saying that God is love but let us consider this a little. Does it just mean that to love is the highest thing we can do? Surely not because then we would say that love is God. We don’t put it like that. We say God is love but if God is love then He loves and if that is so then He must have a personal aspect. Love requires a subject and an object. God as Creator is the subject; God in creation is the object. But this is not just God loving Himself because, through His love, He has endowed us with selfhood too. We are little gods in the making. That was the purpose for our creation.
So there is a personal aspect to God. As the active Creator of the universe God has personhood. But this is not all there is to God. It is, as it were, His face as it is turned towards us, and it relates to Him as He is in expression. Beyond this, though, there is another aspect to God. In terms of the manifested universe we can speak of God the Father. In terms of the world of form and appearance we can think of God as Creator. But behind this vast world of creation, what there? Before time and space, what then? One answer is that there is no thing but this is not nothing. It is ‘isness’ which has the potential to act but is inactive. It is the pre-manifested state and the ground of being which is God at perfect rest.
Well, I am disregarding my own advice here and starting to complicate what is essentially a simple matter. Spiritual truth is simple say the Masters, and so it is. Christ and Buddha spoke about the same reality but from different angles. There is a personal aspect to God to which we can pray but there is also the aspect of God at rest which we can seek to approach in meditation. These are not different things but different aspects of the same thing in its active and passive modes. But why even distinguish? The essential truth is God exists. God is. He is greater than the whole universe but He is also fully present in the smallest of things, and He dwells within your own heart as the core of your being. He is Life, He is Love, He is Light. He is the Most High and He is closer to you than your own skin. But more than that He is your Father and friend, and you are dear to Him beyond measure.
If God exists and if He loves us you might reasonably ask why His existence is not apparent. Why can we not perceive Him? There are various answers to this which I have discussed elsewhere so I will only mention them briefly here. To begin with, you could say that God is not hidden from us. It is we who have hidden ourselves from Him by our identification with the ego and the mind. But that is only part of the answer. In order to develop a true sense of self we need to experience a degree of separation. So we enter the physical world where (in our present state of consciousness) the denseness of matter is sufficient to cut us off from higher vibrations. Where, in effect, we can be alone with our self. This leads on to the question of free will. God wants free sons and daughters not coerced slaves so He gives us the opportunity to accept or deny Him. That is why there is just enough evidence in this world to support those who choose to believe in a spiritual basis to reality but not quite enough to convince those who are unwilling to accept this. The choice is up to us. God does not wish to force Himself on us. There can be no irrefutable proof.
Finally, it is worth asking how God’s existence might be apparent to our mind or senses for when we say we can’t see Him we mean we can’t see Him by means of these. But God is not a thing you can perceive as an object. He is not out there. He is beyond the world of form so he is not perceptible to thought. He is spirit and can only be perceived spiritually.