Where you came from originally and where you are going, after you leave your temporary residence on this earth, are mysteries that man has been trying to penetrate ever since he developed the power to think.
The great philosophers of the world, giant minds like Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Marcus Aurelius, Plotinus, and a host of others down to the present day, have propounded their theories as to the nature of God and the universe.
Philosophers and the religionists
They have been supported, in whole or in part, by equally great religious leaders such as Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Confucious, LaoTze, Mohammed, Moses, and Jesus. These two groups, the philosophers and the religionists, arrived at their concepts in distinctly different ways the philosophers through the exercise of reason, reflection, and inductive as well as deductive thinking; the religionists, through professed spiritual illumination, the divine revelation, and intuitive perception.
Yet the conclusions reached by each, allowing for the difference in semantics, and stripped of the dogma of religious interpretation, reveal a remarkable similarity in basic concept. Practically all agree that there can only be one God as the Mighty Governor and Ruler of this unthinkably vast and continuously expanding creation.
Some centuries ago, it was conceived that the building blocks of the universe were atoms and that the physical properties of everything that exists are made up of matter and motion.
Sensitized instruments are revealing worlds
The world of the unseen was visualized as nonmaterial which, today, we know is not necessarily true, since sensitized instruments are revealing worlds within worlds within worlds, beyond the limit of human sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.
But, long before the existence of scientific laboratories, the minds of our thinkers had speculated that “God’s body is the whole universe.” It was their way of relating the Creator to His creation. They went on to propound that, “when certain physicochemical complexes arise, life emerges,” and that, “out of certain configurations of living complexes, consciousness emerges.”
In an effort to comprehend the difference between God and His creation, the philosophers decided that such a gigantic and majestic Intelligence would have to be above and apart, existent beyond change and motion, in a “birthless and deathless state of being,” yet possessing the capacity to participate as a spirit in and behind all beings and things throughout His created domain.
A creature of free will and free choice
Many philosophers have felt that man, once created, has been left largely upon his own, as a creature of free will and free choice, to work out his destiny, to profit or suffer by his mistakes, and to evolve his soul by how he reacts to the experiences he is having here.
Religionists, however, are quite uniform in the belief that God can and does communicate truths and guidance to man from a Divine Source that exists within the consciousness of man, himself.
They feel, like the prophets old, that God can and does speak to a man in visions and dreams and intuitive flashes, as man turns to God in times of need, or in prayer and meditation.
There is every evidence that, regardless of the religious convictions of any and all individuals, and their dependence upon God for guidance and protection, they are seldom saved from illness, injury, economic loss, criminal assault, and accidental or violent death.
In many instances, the God of their belief has not stepped in to prevent a catastrophe or calamity occurring to them, when it might be supposed that a devout individual would he so favored, if faith in God’s providence is to be rewarded.
Suffer with the guilty
The innocent, however, too often suffer with the guilty, and God does not appear to be directly concerned on the surface, at least in the fate of either. For this reason, religionists have felt impelled to conceive of a heavenly state beyond this life wherein promised compensation is made to followers for the punishment and chastening they have had to endure here.
Literally millions have consoled themselves in the faith that their very sufferings and hardships on earth would be the measure of the good things in store for them after death sort of a deferred payment plan.
This is not to say, however, that many men and women have not received guidance and protection from a Higher Power, in critical and needful moments, through the exercise of prayer and meditation and intuitive faculties.
There are countless cases on record where seeming miracles have followed such mental and spiritual practices. But the very fact that some individuals give evidence of a Higher Power working in their lives while others, just as deserving, do not, indicates that certain mental and spiritual approaches must be made in order to reach this God Consciousness, and make possible its manifestation.
The reason for the wide variance in the results obtained by sincere men and women of all faiths, in their earnest attempts to think right and live right, in accordance with certain accepted spiritual principles, must be locked up in the mystery of man’s free will and free choice.
No two people want or need the same thing at exactly the same time, and no two people feel exactly the same about anything at any time. Life is distinctly an individual proposition. There is no regulated uniformity of thoughts and feelings. Man is not a puppet on a string, manipulated by an ever watching Higher Presence, and jerked back into line the instant he is about to make a wrong move.
Alone and defenseless
Man has what he needs The gift of free will and free choice has launched man into this life to proceed on his own. He has not, however, been left alone and defenseless. He has been given a mind and a creative power within that mind, sufficient to enable him to meet successfully each experience he may encounter, if he will only learn to utilize it properly.
This is so often where man fails, having no understanding of himself and no awareness that such a power exists within him. Without such knowledge, he seeks to better his conditions in life by well-meaning but often undirected and unplanned expenditures of physical and mental energy, which leave him far from his desired goals.
Man’s grievous mistakes
This failure to call intelligently upon the Higher Forces within him accounts for most of man’s grievous mistakes, self-created or induced misfortunes, and mediocre achievements. When man functions in this manner, using only the lower levels of his consciousness, he is cast off almost entirely from the Higher Source within him and thereby is incapable of obtaining any guidance or protection which might otherwise be forthcoming from this Source.
Unhappily, it usually requires a punishing life experience to cause the average man to take inventory of himself, to ask the all important questions: “Why did this have to happen to me? What have I done to deserve this? I low can I get out of the mess I am in?” The discovery by man that he, in and of himself, is nothing; that he is powerless to obtain anything in life that is worthwhile until and unless he lifts the level of his thoughts and acts, is the beginning of wisdom.
It is usually a time when man comes face to face with the consequences of his uncontrolled exercise of free will and free choice.
He may or may not have actually believed in the existence of a God or any Higher Power, either within or without him, that could or might have any direct influence on his life. But now, in his moment of pebble of a planet would be developed to the stage wherein he would leave his worship of the various gods of Nature behind, and begin to conceive of the One God in and beyond all things.
Belief in a Universal God
It is only in recent centuries that we have any record of man’s belief in a Universal God. Since the acceptance of this concept, the meaning of the word “universal” has been vastly expanded. At first, he believed there was One God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, who ruled over the souls of men and spoke to them through the revelations of self proclaimed spiritual leaders who issued commandments for human conduct which, if broken, called for some form of confession, sacrifice, conversion, and redemption.
The “guilt feelings” which gripped the consciousness of evolving man with the discovery that he possessed a “lower” as well as a “higher” self within him, has remained with man to this day. The refinement of religions has only intensified, in many ways, these feelings of guilt.
Man, since his so called civilization, has been struggling to subdue and control the primitive nature within him as he reaches still blindly, but yearningly, toward more conscious and knowing atonement to the God Presence within.
He has been plagued by the mystery of “good” and “evil,” and troubled more often than not by wonderments of what should be considered “right” or “wrong.”
The various religions, as well as societies of man, have differed as to what constitutes “sin” and “sinning,” and what should be done about it, before the laws of God and man.
Uncertainty and insecurity
As a consequence, the minds of men are filled with feelings of uncertainty and insecurity. These feelings have been greatly aggravated in today’s world by the explosive advancement of Science which has all but destroyed the image of a God, seated on a Throne, dispensing love and justice and mercy, as well as eternal damnation, to his erring earth children.
The old concepts of Heaven as some mysterious place in the sky have been blasted out of existence.
Our heavens have already been shot through by rockets and missiles some of them travelling millions of miles into Outer Space. Even a God, if He were seated in a material heaven above this earth, might be subjected to some uncomfortable feelings in these days when His creature man is playing indiscriminately, with atomic weapons! But, of course, God as a sentient Being, is not in these heavens, although His cosmic laws are everywhere in operation and in evidence.
Inner Space of man’s mind
The awareness of God in a place and as a Being or Presence can only be found in Inner Space of man’s mind, or the consciousness of any and all living things, from the lowest to the highest, wherever life is existent in the limitless realms of this mighty and utterly inconceivable cosmos.
Here, the God of All resides and reigns, unmoved and unchanged, but granting the infinite forms of His creation a freedom of expression, after their kind, wherein each species of life must earn its right to existence and to evolvement by making intelligent use of the senses and forces and body with which it has been endowed.
It is no longer possible for us to keep the God of our more orthodox concepts to ourselves, or to flatter ourselves with the thought that He is only interested in the salvation of His human creatures on this planet.
We now know enough about the Universe around us to be certain that there are untold numbers of other inhabited planets, many with forms of life and intelligence that have undoubtedly evolved far beyond our most advanced concepts of mental and spiritual growth.
These creatures must also be children of the same God. Perhaps, in some far off day, in some higher dimension, we may come to meet and know many of them, as we qualify for existence beyond this earth life. Herein is a hint of the coming birth in man of a Cosmic Consciousness the realization that, even as a seemingly finite being, he is an inextinguishable part of God’s Infinite Creation.
A soul satisfying concept of God
Your God is far greater than you have ever envisioned Him to be. He is not any less personal because of His impersonality, as expressed through the universal laws which govern the Cosmos over which His Eternal Principles preside.
Nor is He any less a person for not being a person, since it is possible for you to personalize an individual feeling for Him through an awareness of His presence within.
You have your identity in God, the Father, through your exclusive possession of the consciousness, “I am I.” Once having evolved, as you have, to the self-conscious realization of your identity, you will always retain it in whatever form of existence you may be destined to enter.
As you progress in this life and in states of being beyond, you will come into closer and closer attunement with this God Power within you, and partake more and more of its guidance and protection.
Ready to respond
You will find that it is always there, ready to respond, when you call upon it, through earnest prayer and meditation.
This is your God the God of both Reason and Faith the God of believers as well as non-believers God equal to, and surpassing, His Mighty Creation, Who has instilled in you a “perfection urge,” that you may strive throughout Eternity to come to know Him better and to become, in the striving, a true son or daughter of this Loving Father, Who invites you, of your own free will, to enjoy, as you earn, the indescribable spiritual gifts in the everlasting kingdoms to come.