If we do not cling to riches, selfishness or greed - then I believe we are getting closer to God - Daniel Ortega
Is it possible to search for the divine? Is anyone eligible to seek out the divine or is it an undertaking just for the spiritually inclined? Religion teaches the divine is an external entity, impossibly separated from us but to which all experience a yearning whether they are aware of this yearning or not.
But what if the divine were not a separate being but all around us, a part of us, integral to us? What if the divine were in your very cells, would you want to know? Would it make a difference to you if you did?
The greatest mistake man has made since the beginning of his history has been to believe the divine exists in some remote dimension far beyond our reach. But how could something so vast, eternal and pervasive exist in such limiting circumstances, separated from such a majestic and wonderful place as this universe? While over thousands of years man has brutally sacrificed the lives of humans and animals to his divinities, the divine has been with us, surrounding us, nourishing us and bringing us every good thing. But we are blind and we do not see. Instead of seeing what is always there, we close our eyes to the wonders which surround us to reach out to the false divinity we have created in our minds. Currently in western society, this would be a remote anthropoid being who sits somewhere in the heavens scrutinising our every move, judging us, deciding where our eternal home will be when we die.
This is wrong. This idea was fabricated in the minds of men, and perpetrated by religion ever since its inception in Rome, to the shameful benefit of those holding power over the unschooled masses. Religion does not bring man closer to the divine, it removes him from the divine.
The divine is everywhere, it is life. No one yet knows for certain how this universe began, although scientists work diligently to investigate the theories astrophysicists propose. The divine is within the smallest, most infinitesimal particle that exists, particles to which science is not yet even aware. We have so much more to learn, but time is short and perhaps by the time man learns the truth of the divine through science, it will be too late to appreciate what we have discovered. We must use our intelligence, our eyes, our hearts and our minds to experience the divine. We do not need to wait for science to tell us what we can already see.
To venerate all life is to worship the divine, to live in compassion is to commune with the divine. To be at peace with oneself is to be one with the divine. All of us have the ability to understand this, but this understanding will only come if we choose to walk away from the biased lies we have programmed ourselves to believe in. These lies bring no peace, they bring fear, they bring judgement against others, they bring self-righteousness, they bring hate. These lies have caused wars and the meaningless slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives throughout history. This is not the way to connect with the divine. We have lied to ourselves, our existence so far removed from the truth we have almost completely disconnected with the divine. We search for meaning in conspiracy theories, new age beliefs, food fads, exercise regimes and seclusion at expensive meditation retreats. Do we find the divine this way? No, only at the height of our efforts we might catch a fleeting glimpse of what we can know only to return to our banal existence, lost, disillusioned and disenchanted. Defeated, we tell ourselves there is no divine.
The divine is within all that contains life, right down to the chemical components of the universe. The divine permeates everything. It regenerates life from death. The divine is life and death - it is eternal, and exists within every dimension. It lives within math and science; within the cells of your body. It is within the sunrise, mountain top vistas, fragrant forests and warm breezes.
The divine is within the food you eat, the sunlight you absorb, the thoughts you think. Would this knowledge change you if you knew it to be true? How would you live? What would you eat? How would you treat others? How would you treat yourself?
This concept is much less appealing than flying to a beautiful location to be with other like-minded individuals in search of the divine under controlled conditions; less popular than the one which absolves men of all responsibility for his actions when all crimes against life (against the divine itself) can be attributed to what man's divinity 'wants'. This path is a constant path of awareness, compassion and one-ness with the essence of life, of the divine. It is the hard path, the path barely trodden. It is the path of humility, of truth.
The tenets are simple. Live in compassion. Do not judge. Appreciate the wonder of life, respect all living things, and honor those lives as you honor your own. All we need do is see what we have been missing all along, and feel the awesomeness that surrounds us - that makes us. The divine is not a being; it is in us and all around us, and what do we do to it? We destroy it.
A brave new world awaits us if we choose to turn away from our old ways of thinking and behaving. A world filled with human compassion would be a world unlike any other.
The divine is not far away from us, it is in a bird's song; in the soughing of the wind in the trees; in the bees industriously gathering nectar; in the flowers turning their faces to the sun. It is in the sun. It is in the oceans and seas; it is in the fish and in the songs of the whales echoing in the deep. It is in all that lives. Understanding this can change a life completely, and will reverberate from that life across the planet out towards all lives, a beacon of light drawing others towards them. You are enough. You can make a difference.
Be the light.
Originally published on Paradigms Bend Oct 22 2012