Never Ask What God Is: Just Ask ‘Who Am I?’

God is just knocking on your door. God is always close by. The idea that God is far away in the heavens is just stupidity. He is in your very breath . . .  he is your breath! We just have to understand who we are, and in that very understanding we come to know what God is. And except for that there is no other way to know God.

Understanding oneself becomes the knowledge of God. So the only religious question is ‘Who am l?’ Never ask what God is; just ask ‘Who am I?’ Search for the answer, and never believe in the answers that are given by others. No borrowed answer can be of any help; each person has to come to his own answer. Each person is carrying the answer within him; one just has to dig.

-Osho

From The Open Secret, Chapter Fourteen

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Religion Takes a Quantum Leap – Osho

Religion takes a Quantum Leap

With Gautam Buddha religion took a quantum leap. God became meaningless and only meditation was important. Now, twenty-five centuries after Buddha, again religion is taking the quantum leap in your presence becoming religiousness. Please talk about this phenomenon.

The credit of bringing a quantum leap in religion goes back twenty-five centuries before Gautam Buddha to Adinatha, who for the first time preached a religion without God. It was a tremendous revolution because nowhere in the whole world had it ever been conceived that religion could exist without God.

God has been an essential part–the center–of all the religions: Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism. But to make God the center of religion makes man just the periphery. To conceive of God as the creator of the world makes man only a puppet.

That’s why in Hebrew, which is the language of Judaism, man is called Adam. ‘Adam’ means mud. In Arabic man is called ‘admi’; it is from Adam, again it means mud. In English, which has become the language of Christianity by and large, the word human comes from ‘humus’ and humus means mud.

Naturally if God is the creator he has to create from something. He has to make man like a statue, so first he makes man with mud and then breathes life into him. But if this is so man loses all dignity, and if God is the creator of man and everything else, the whole idea is whimsical because what has he been doing for eternity before he created man and the universe?

According to Christianity he created man only four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ. So what was he doing all along through eternity? So it seems whimsical. There cannot be any cause, because to have a cause for which God had to create existence means there are powers higher than God, there are causes which can make him create. Or there is a possibility that suddenly desire arose in him. That too is not very philosophically sound, because for eternity he was desireless. And to be desireless is so blissful that it is impossible to conceive that out of an experience of eternal blissfulness a desire arises in him to create the world. Desire is desire, whether you want to make a house or become the prime minister or create the world. And God cannot be conceived as having desires. So the only thing that remains is that he is whimsical, eccentric. Then there is no need for cause and no need for desire — just a whim.

But if this whole existence is just out of a whim it loses all meaning, all significance. And tomorrow another whim may arise in him to destroy, to dissolve the whole universe. So we are simply puppets in the hands of a dictatorial god who has all the powers but who has not a sane mind, who is whimsical.

To conceive this five thousand years ago Adinatha must have been a very deep meditator, contemplative, and he must have come to the conclusion that with God there is no meaning in the world. If we want meaning in the world then God has to be disposed of. He must have been a man of tremendous courage.

People are still worshipping in the churches, in the synagogues, in the temples; yet that man Adinatha five thousand years before us came to a very clear-cut scientific conclusion that there is nothing higher than man and any evolution that is going to happen is within man and in his consciousness.

This was the first quantum leap–God was disposed of.

Adinatha is the first master of Jainism. The credit does not go to Buddha because Buddha comes twenty-five centuries later than Adinatha. But another credit goes to Buddha. Adinatha disposed of God but could not manage to put meditation in its place. On the contrary, he created asceticism, austerities, torturing the body, fasting, remaining naked, eating only once a day, not drinking in the night, not eating in the night, eating only certain foods. He had come to a beautiful philosophical conclusion but it seems the conclusion was only philosophical, it was not meditational.

When you depose God you cannot have any ritual, you cannot have worship, you cannot have prayer; something has to be substituted. He substituted austerities, because man became the center of his religion and man has to purify himself. Purity in his conception was that man has to detach himself from the world, has to detach himself from his own body. This distorted the whole thing. He had come to a very significant conclusion, but it remained only a philosophical concept.

Adinatha disposed of God but left a vacuum, and Buddha filled it with meditation. Adinatha made a godless religion, Buddha made a meditative religion.

Meditation is Buddha’s contribution. The question is not to torture the body; the question is to become more silent, to become more relaxed, to become more peaceful. It is an inward journey to reach to one’s own center of consciousness, and the center of one’s own consciousness is the center of the whole existence.

Twenty-five centuries have again passed. Just as Adinatha’s revolutionary concept of godless religion got lost in a desert of austerities and self-torture, Buddha’s idea of meditation—something inner, that nobody else can see ; only you know where you are, only you know whether you are progressing or not—got lost into another desert, and that was organized religion.

Religion says that single individuals cannot be trusted, whether they are meditating or not. They need communities, masters, monasteries where they can live together. Those who are on a higher level of consciousness can watch over others and help them. It became essential that religions should not be left in the hands of individuals, they should be organized and should be in the hands of those who have arrived at a high point of meditation.

In the beginning it was good; while Buddha was alive there were many people who reached self-realization, enlightenment. But as Buddha died and these people died, the very organization that was supposed to help people to meditate fell in the hands of a priesthood, and rather than helping you to meditate they started creating rituals around the image of Buddha. Buddha became another God. Adinatha disposed of God, Buddha never accepted that God exists, but this priesthood cannot exist without a God. So there may not be a God who is a creator, but Buddha has reached godhood.

For others the only thing is to worship Buddha, to have faith in Buddha, to follow the principles of Buddha, to live life according to his doctrine; and Buddha got lost in the organization, the imitation. But they all forgot the basic thing which was meditation. My whole effort is to create a religionless religion.

We have seen what happened to religions which have God as the center. We have seen what happened to Adinatha’s revolutionary concept, godless religion. We have seen what happened to Buddha — organized religion without God.

Now my effort is: just as they dissolved God, dissolve religion also. Leave only meditation so it cannot be forgotten in any way. There is nothing else to replace it. There is no God and there is no religion. By religion I mean an organized doctrine, creed, ritual, priesthood. And for the first time I want religion to be absolutely individual, because all organized religions, whether with God or without God, have misled humanity. And the sole cause has been organization, because organization has its own ways which go against meditativeness. Organization is really a political phenomenon, it is not religious. It is another way of power and will to power.

Now every Christian priest hopes someday to become a bishop at least, to become a cardinal, to become a pope. This is a new hierarchy, a new bureaucracy, and because it is spiritual nobody objects. You may be a bishop, you may be a pope, you may be anything. It is not objectionable because you are not going to obstruct anybody’s life. It is just an abstract idea.

My effort is to destroy the priesthood completely. It remained with God, it remained with godless religion, now the only way is that we should dispose of God and religion both so that there is no possibility of any priesthood. Then man is absolutely free, totally responsible for his own growth. My feeling is that the more a man is responsible for his own growth, the more difficult it is for him to postpone it for long. Because it means if you are miserable, you are responsible. If you are tense, you are responsible. If you are not relaxed, you are responsible. If you are in suffering, you are the cause of it. There is no God, there is no priesthood that you can go to and ask for some ritual. You are left alone with your misery, and nobody wants to be miserable.

The priests go on giving you opium, they go on giving you hope, “Don’t be worried, it is just a test of your faith, of your trust; and if you can pass through this misery and suffering silently and patiently, in the other world beyond death you will be immensely rewarded.” If there is no priesthood you have to understand that whatever you are, you are responsible for it, nobody else.

And the feeling that “I am responsible for my misery,” opens the door. Then you start looking for methods and means to get out of this miserable state, and that’s what meditation is. It is simply the opposite state of misery, suffering, anguish, anxiety. It is a state of a peaceful, blissful flowering of being, so silent and so timeless that you cannot conceive that anything better is possible. And there is nothing which is better than the state of a meditative mind.

So you can say these are the three quantum leaps: Adinatha drops God because he finds God is becoming too heavy on man; rather than helping him in his growth he has become a burden—but he forgets to replace him with something. Man will need something in his miserable moments, in his suffering. He used to pray to God. You have taken God away, you have taken his prayer away and now when he will be miserable, what will he do? In Jainism meditation has no place.

It is Buddha’s insight to see that God has been dropped; now the gap should be filled, otherwise the gap will destroy man. He puts in meditation—something really authentic which can change the whole being. But he was not aware—perhaps he could not be aware because there are things you cannot be aware of unless they happen—that there should be no organization, that there should be no priesthood, that as God is gone religion should also be gone. But he can be forgiven because he had not thought about it and there was no past to help him to see it, it came after him.

The real problem is the priest, and God is the invention of the priest. Unless you drop the priest, you can drop God, but the priest will always find new rituals, he will create new gods.

My effort is to leave you alone with meditation, with no mediator between you and existence. When you are not in meditation you are separated from existence and that is your suffering. It’s the same as when you take a fish out of the ocean and throw it on the bank — the misery and the suffering and the tortures he goes through, the hankering and the effort to reach back to the ocean because it is where he belongs, he is part of the ocean and he cannot remain apart. Any suffering is simply indicative that you are not in communion with existence, that the fish is not in the ocean.

Meditation is nothing but withdrawing all the barriers, thoughts, emotions, sentiments, which create a wall between you and existence. The moment they drop you suddenly find yourself in tune with the whole; not only in tune, you really find you are the whole.

When a dewdrop slips from a lotus leaf into the ocean it does not find that it is part of the ocean, it finds it is the ocean. And to find it is the ultimate goal, the ultimate realization, there is nothing beyond it.

So Adinatha dropped God but did not drop organization. And because there was no God, the organization created rituals.

Buddha, seeing what had happened to Jainism, that it had become a ritualism, dropped God. He dropped all rituals and single-pointedly insisted on meditation, but he forgot that the priests who had made rituals in Jainism are going to do the same with meditation. And they did it, they made Buddha himself a God. They talk about meditation but basically Buddhists are worshipers of Buddha—they go to the temple and instead of Krishna or Christ there is Buddha’s statue. There was no statue of Buddha for five hundred years after Buddha. In Buddhist temples they had just the tree under which Buddha became enlightened, engraved on marble, just a symbol. Buddha was not there, only the tree.

You will be surprised that the statue of Buddha that we see today has no resemblance at all to Buddha’s personality, it resembles the personality of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great came to India three hundred years after Buddha. Till then there was no statue of Buddha. The priests were in search because there was no photograph, there was no painting, so how to make a statue of Buddha? And Alexander’s face looked really superhuman, he had a beautiful personality, the Greek face and physiology; they picked up the idea of Buddha’s face and body from Alexander. So all the statues that are being worshipped in Buddhist temples are statues of Alexander the Great, they have nothing to do with Buddha. But the priests had to create the statue—God was not there, ritual was difficult, around meditation ritual was difficult. They created a statue and they started saying — in the same way all religions have been doing — have faith in Buddha, have trust in Buddha, and you will be saved. Both the revolutions were lost. I would like that what I am doing is not lost. So I am trying in every possible way to drop all those things which in the past have been barriers for the revolution to continue and grow. I don’t want anybody to stand between the individual and existence. No prayer, no priest, you alone are enough to face the sunrise, you don’t need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is.

It is said that every morning Lao Tzu used to go for a walk in the hills. One friend asked him, “Can I come with you one day? I would particularly like to come tomorrow, because I have a guest who is very much interested in you, and he will be immensely glad to have the opportunity to be with you for two hours in the mountains.”

Lao Tzu said, “I have no objection, just one simple thing has to be remembered. I don’t want anything to be said because I have my eyes, you have your eyes, he has his eyes, we can see. There is no need to say anything.”

The friend agreed, but on the way when the sun started rising the guest forgot. It was so beautiful by the side of the lake, the reflection of all the colors, the birds singing and the lotuses blossoming, opening, he could not resist, he forgot. He said, “What a beautiful sunrise.”

His host was shocked because he has broken the condition. Lao Tzu did not say anything, nothing was said there. Back home he called his friend and told him, “Don’t bring your guest again. He is too talkative. The sunrise was there, I was there, he was there, you were there — what is the need to say anything, any comment, any interpretation?”

And this is my attitude: you are here, every individual is here, the whole existence is available. All that you need is just to be silent and listen to existence. There is no need of any religion, there is no need of any God, there is no need of any priesthood, there is no need of any organization.

I trust in the individual categorically. Nobody up to now has trusted in the individual in such a way. So all things can be removed. Now all that has been left to you is a state of meditation which simply means a state of utter silence. The word meditation makes it look heavier. It is better to call it just a simple, innocent silence and existence opens all its beauties to you.

And as it goes on growing you go on growing, and there comes a moment when you have reached the very peak of your potentiality—you can call it Buddhahood, enlightenment, bhagwatta, godliness, whatever, it has no name, so any name will do.

-Osho

From The Last Testament, Volume Five

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Evolution of Consciousness – Meher Baba

When God identifies Himself with human beings, He is no longer semi-conscious; because at this stage in the divine dream state, as soon as God identifies Himself with a human form He gains full consciousness.

Full consciousness now having been gained, this consciousness ought to dispel all dreams and cause God to experience the real awake state, giving Him the realization that He is God. At this stage, although God identifies Himself with human beings and although God is now fully conscious, with a feeling of greatest awareness,* yet God has not realized His real, divine awake state because the full consciousness thus far gained is of the Nothingness of the Nothing which was latent and which is now manifested apparently as Everything through the projection of His own divine infinite sub-consciousness. This leads God to identify Himself with His projected creation rather than to become conscious of Himself as the real Everything and of His own identity as God.

* Before attaining human form there is consciousness but not awareness. In sound sleep there is neither consciousness nor awareness. Till the sixth plane there is awareness. In the seventh plane there is only consciousness.

In short, this is the stage at which God, while identifying Himself with human beings in full consciousness, still remains quite oblivious of His own real and original state of God-Is.

Even in this state of full consciousness God still continues to experience the world of His own creation, and with greatest awareness simultaneously continues to identify Himself with human beings, thus finding Himself sometimes as man and sometimes as woman according to the predominance of impressions which are opposite in nature. In other words, God in the man state, although fully conscious and completely aware, experiences Himself not as God in the God-Is state but as man in the human state, not as infinite but as finite.

The paradoxical irony is that God the Real now finds false creation as real, having lost His own reality in illusion and having made His own reality an obstacle to experiencing Reality.

In order that God-in-man should experience Himself as God-in-Reality, the projection of the full consciousness of God, which is now fixed on man, should be so drawn inward that the same full consciousness, which when projected outward identified God as man, should now identify Him as Himself. This is realization of the God state and this realization is the divine goal which alone brings about the end of the divine dream.

Attainment of the divine goal would mean that at this stage God-in-man, through the gradual process of involution of consciousness, should eventually experience the passing-away-in that original divine sound sleep state of absolute vacuum while retaining the legacy of the full consciousness which has been gained. Thus God would be able to realize His eternal “I am God” state consciously. Whereupon, attaining His original state consciously, God would experience His own divine eternal existence and His own divine nature which is the Everything—infinite and real; and so at last get the real answer to His First Word or question of “Who am I?” as “I am God.”

To make it clearer, to attain the divine goal with full consciousness evolved, the human-conscious God strives, through further experiences by the process of reincarnation, to withdraw inwards towards Himself the already projected full consciousness, which He gained as soon as He identified Himself with the first human-form in His divine dream (Creation).

As this stage of the beginning of the end of the divine dream approaches, the full consciousness of God which experiences the false awake state in the human form strives to the utmost through the process of involution to withdraw inwards, unto Himself, this fully evolved consciousness which is projecting outwards onto all things in the cosmic universe rather than unto Himself.

In order to describe the various stages by which the complete unconsciousness of God in His original sound sleep state gradually projected full consciousness through the process of evolution of consciousness, and how the projected consciousness was eventually withdrawn inwards through the process of involution of consciousness, after numerous reincarnations, before actually experiencing the real divine awake state of “I am God,” let the different stages be visualized step by step, comparing each stage of gradual gain in consciousness of God with the relative states of a normally conscious man who is at first in sound sleep and who subsequently gains consciousness enough to realize eventually his ordinary awake state every day.

First Stage

Visualize a man with eyes completely shut and in sound sleep. This man is completely unconscious and is oblivious of all that surrounds him. Now picture at the same time the original divine sound sleep state of God as He is in the original absolute vacuum of the God-Is state. In both cases, that is, both in God’s formless state and God’s state of human-form as man or woman, there is complete absence of consciousness, and in both cases absolute vacuum prevails. Simultaneously, also picture the total absence of consciousness in both cases as comparable to the completely shut eyes of a man in sound sleep.

Second Stage

Visualize the next state of the man as being still asleep but beginning to open his eyes very, very slightly, because he is just bestirred from his sound sleep state and the spell of absolute vacuum is shattered by the emergence of the dormant impressions now commencing to project through the sub-consciousness of the man which also lay latent in him in his sound sleep state. Because of the projection of the varied impressions through the sub-consciousness of this man, he now begins to experience dreams while still asleep, although no longer in the sound sleep state, because the absolute vacuum no longer prevails. For the man to commence experiencing dreams means that in his initial stage of the semi-conscious state he begins to experience through his sub-consciousness the dormant impressions of the Nothingness in sub-subtle forms. The man now is not only in the initial stage of the semi-conscious state and is not only beginning to experience dreams, but he is also starting to get involved in the dreams by beginning to associate with the creatures in sub-subtle forms of his own creation. Thus the projection of impressions, which lay dormant in the sub-consciousness of man, makes man play the role of the hero or the creator in the drama of his dreams. Because this man in this dream state has only just stirred from his sound sleep and has just attained the semi-conscious state, picture this man experiencing the dreams as one who is starting now to open his eyes very, very slightly. The beginning of the opening of the eyes resembles the advent of the first trace of consciousness as sub-consciousness manifested in man.

While visualizing this state of man, as a parallel, picture likewise that state of God in which He has just stirred from His original divine sound sleep state. God now only begins to experience the divine dream state, or the Creator state, as soon as the first most-finite impression of the Nothingness is projected through the divine sub-consciousness of God. Both of these—i.e., the Nothingness and the divine sub-consciousness of God—were latent as of Nothing in the original state of God as the Everything. God, now in the initial stage of the divine semi-conscious state, just begins to identify Himself with the creatures of His own Creation (i.e., His own divine dream) through the infinite divine sub-consciousness which just begins to project the Creation, that is, the impressions of the Nothingness.

Third Stage

Visualize the third state of the man as still asleep, but with half-open eyes, because a man in this state now completely experiences the semi-conscious state. In order to picture this complete semi-conscious state of the still-sleeping man, continue to visualize him with eyes very, very slightly open, representing the beginning of the semi-conscious state. In this state, as said above, he starts to experience dreams due to the false, illusory impressions of the Nothingness which were collected sub-consciously and are now ejected out through the projection of the sub-consciousness, giving rise to the beginning of the dream state of man. But, as the dreams continue, and as they gather momentum due to the intensity of the projection of multifarious and varied dormant impressions through the sub-consciousness of the man, he gets more and more involved sub-consciously. As a result he now firmly associates himself with the creatures of his own creation in the dreams and he is completely in the semi-conscious state. This semi-conscious state of the man represents that state which is neither the complete sound sleep state without consciousness nor the complete awake state with full consciousness. This state, so to speak, is the semi-awake state. Now visualize this third state of the man as the state of semi-consciousness represented by half-opened eyes experiencing the dreams more forcefully and much more intently.

While visualizing this state of the man, picture as a parallel that state of God in the divine dream state where God is experiencing a semi-conscious state. At this stage, God as the creator of Creation experiences the creator state through the infinite, divine semiconscious state. Here the infinite divine sub-consciousness, intensively projecting Creation into being, continually affirms God’s identification with the creatures of His own creation. This gives rise to infinite experiences of a more forceful nature in the divine dream of God, when God actually finds Himself as the creatures of His Creation.

Fourth Stage

Visualize the fourth state of the man as that in which he is still asleep but trying gradually to open wider his already half-opened eyes in accordance with the greater and greater intensity of the projection of more and more impressions through the sub-consciousness of the man still in his dream state. Here the man is not only in a semi-conscious state but is verging on being fully conscious, and is about to realize his awake state.

Now paralleling this, picture also that state of God in the fourth stage of His divine dream state. Compare the fourth state of the man in the semi-conscious state with a very critical stage in the divine dream state of God. Here the projection of infinite impressions, through the infinite divine sub-consciousness of God, is so intensified in the course of the cosmic evolution of the consciousness of God, that this projection is about to be so completely fixed, or so perfectly focused, onto the infinity of Nothingness as to identify God with His own most perfect image in His divine dream of Creation. Thus at this stage in the divine dream state, God the Creator is about to identify Himself with a human form after innumerable identifications with all and everything that is in His Creation including inanimate and animate objects. God, in the divine infinite semi-conscious state, is now nearing the verge of gaining full consciousness concurrently with His identification with human form.

Fifth Stage

Visualize the fifth state of the man as being still asleep but with eyes now almost open. The man in this state is still in the semiconscious or semi-awake state, experiencing the dreams at their height in their final stage, in which the impressions are projected through his sub-consciousness with the greatest intensity. The zenith is reached both by the intensified projection of the impressions in much less hazy forms, or in greater degree of realism, and by relevant dreams which are dreamt in a greater degree of clarity or in their ripe stage. This is the stage in dreams when the sub-subtle forms of Nothingness have reached their zenith and appear more clearly. The dreams at their height now must stop, because the zenith reached by the projections of impressions through the sub-consciousness of the man is at this point sufficient to excite and urge the emergence or manifestation of full consciousness at any moment. This state of the man almost fully conscious may therefore be pictured as a man with his eyes almost wide open, though still asleep. This is the stage reached a split second before the man has roused from his dream state to become wide awake. This is the completely matured semi-conscious state of sub-consciousness.

While visualizing the fifth state of the man, side by side with it picture that state of God in His divine dream state where God is experiencing the completely matured state of the divine, infinite semi-conscious state and is almost about to gain full consciousness. At its zenith the intensity of the projection of infinite impressions through the divine, infinite sub-consciousness of God has almost ceased to identify God semi-consciously with the last of the creatures in the cosmic evolution of Creation and forms. With divine, infinite sub-consciousness, God is in His divine, infinite semi-conscious state, which when almost matured identified God with infinite impressions of animal forms. But now in the fifth stage of the divine dream state where God is in the completely matured divine, infinite semi-conscious state, God can no longer be made to identify with impressions of animal forms even though they are intensively and infinitely projected through His divine, infinite sub-consciousness.

At this point a stage is reached in the divine dream state where in, with the projection to infinity of impressions projected infinitely through the divine, infinite sub-consciousness of God at its zenith, this infinite projection has almost identified God with a human form and God is almost fully conscious.

Sixth Stage

Visualize the sixth state of the man as having completely awakened from his sleep and as having his eyes completely wide open. In this state the man is no longer in the semi-conscious state, dreaming the dreams which were nothing but the hazy and faint projection of the dormant impressions of Nothingness which were stored in the sub-consciousness of the man, and realized through his sub-consciousness in sub-subtle forms of Nothingness. This is the stage in the state of the man where he has just awakened completely, but albeit he is fully conscious, he is not conscious of his “Self” as yet. The man is no longer in his sound sleep and semiconscious states and, with full consciousness gained, is pictured now with wide-open eyes. This means the end of the dream, or the end of the false state of man where he experienced the latent or dormant Nothing manifested in its raw state as Nothingness in the shape of hazy and faint sub-subtle forms. The man now in the awake state no longer experiences or sees the Nothingness as something hazy or faint as he used to see it in his dream state. With his eyes just opened wide and fully, he is dazed and stares vacantly at things that now confront his sight more realistically. The man now observes things that confront his sight as if he were seeing the ripe, the clear and the fully developed forms of the same Nothingness that he saw in his dream as raw, hazy and faint. In this state the man sees, as it were, yet another dream, but he sees it much more realistically than the dream from which he awakened a split second before.

This is the sixth stage in the state of man where the man, dazed, simply experiences the sight of things much more realistically but still as if it were just a vacant dream. That is, the man sees more forcefully and realistically but still vacantly the dream of his dream state, giving him the sense of yet another dream within the dream of his dream state.

This state corresponds to the few seconds immediately after a man has awakened and cannot help but see at first the objects that come within range of his vision rather than his own self. This is because, as soon as his eyes open after the sleep state, the spontaneous opening of the long-shut eyes creates in him a sort of dazed state and, although the man has awakened and is fully conscious, he is still unaware of his Self or of its position in relation to the objects surrounding his very self. He simply stares at the objects upon which his gaze falls.

While visualizing the sixth state of the man, make a parallel of it by picturing in the same way that state of God as of that instant when God has just identified Himself with a human form and has just gained full consciousness. At that moment God is no longer in the divine, infinite semi-conscious state, dreaming the original divine dream which was the projection of the latent Nothing re l e a s e d by the divine, infinite sub-consciousness as the Creation, or as completely evolved Nothingness.

In this sixth state, God is now out of His original, divine sound sleep and His divine, infinite semi-conscious states because He is now fully conscious. Here God is conscious not of His unlimited Self nor of His infinite, unbounded and unlimited trio-nature of infinite power, knowledge and bliss, but is just fully conscious. God is fully conscious now in the sense that God is consciously absorbed in the Nothingness which now manifests through His full consciousness as clear and well defined, realistic gross states apparently demonstrating their infinite aspects ad infinitum.

Seventh Stage

Visualize the seventh state of the man where he has his eyes wide open and is completely and fully awake in the sense that he now asserts his limited self or ego, and is conscious of his human form or the gross body, of his surroundings and of the gross world. Though this man is fully conscious and completely aware of the gross, and experiences the gross world in full, yet he is still unconscious of the limited energy and mind of which he indirectly makes unconscious use, being aware of their aspects through the limitations of his gross body alone. In this state the man is fully conscious, but gross-consciously, and is fully aware of his self as a man in the world of his surroundings.

The man is not only completely aware of the gross world, and of all things in the world which confront his view, but he also actually experiences them by involving his fully conscious and fully aware state of limited self in them. He now recognizes the objects of the gross world through his five predominant gross senses and differentiates them one from another, using them discriminately or indiscriminately, automatically and indirectly utilizing energy and mind which are now fully developed, in attaching to them their relative values as and when his limited self asserts in his awake state before he passes away once again in sound sleep.*

* In the awake state, it is the mind that sees through the gross eyes, hears through the gross ears, smells with the gross nose, eats through the gross mouth and acts through the gross limbs. In the dream state (sub-conscious state) it is the mind that sees through the sub-subtle eyes, hears through the sub-subtle ears, and so on. In the sound sleep state, it is the mind that is at peace and at rest.

While visualizing the seventh state of the man, picture likewise that state of God where God identifies Himself completely with the human form and gains full and complete consciousness. God now no longer dreams divinely the original divine dream but, with full consciousness now completely gained, He experiences falsely the complete awareness. This awareness makes God falsely aware of that original Nothing which was latent in His own state of infinitude, and which, with the present gain of full consciousness, makes God experience that Nothing realistically as the Everything, infinite and real. In other words, God, when He was in the divine, infinite semi-conscious state, was experiencing the latent Nothing manifested as the Nothingness as His divine dream. Now, when God is in a fully conscious state, He apparently experiences that Nothing, not as the divine dream of Nothingness, but He now actually experiences the awareness of this Nothing as the Everything.

In this stage with the advent of awareness, although God in the state of creator has stopped dreaming divinely the original divine dream, yet, because of His having gained full consciousness and complete awareness, God now becomes completely aware of the original divine dream not as a dream but as something realistic, not as illusion but as reality, not as the Nothing but as the Everything, preserving the Nothing that He created. Thus it is that, although God gained full consciousness and experienced complete awareness in the state of creator, this very awareness of God the Creator proves a deception and makes God now experience His own divine dream (or the Creation) of the Nothing as Reality while He identifies Himself with the human being.

In short, God the Creator as the God-in-man, though now fully conscious and completely aware and out of His original divine dream state, yet finds Himself not as God but as man with complete gross consciousness, experiencing the creation of His own original divine dream state as Reality. Here it is to be said that the God-in-man continues to experience in the awake state with the awareness of false reality the vacant divine dream as yet another dream of God within that original divine dream.

This is the most alluring stage in the state of God when, with full consciousness gained, God is led astray, by the false awareness attained, to identify Himself not with His unlimited and infinite Self, but with His most perfect image in the shape of the human being, while God continues to experience the vacant divine dream.

Although it appears as the most fantastic imagination, yet it is a fact that the very life of man is the veil that shrouds the reality of the eternal existence of God.

It is the irony of divine fate that God gets lost in man to find Himself, and the instant that man gets lost in God, God realizes His Reality as Existence, eternal and infinite.

In other words, infinite God becomes infinitely absorbed in His own infinitely perfect image intently seeking His infinity; and although God does gain full consciousness through it, He does not realize the reality of His own eternal, infinite existence in it. But, the instant the full consciousness thus gained ceases to identify God with the infinite reflection of His infinitely perfect image, this image vanishes from the consciousness of God, and God spontaneously and automatically and consciously realizes His own identity as God, the infinite Existence, and finds that He alone ever was, always is and eternally will remain the Only Reality.

Thus God in the man state, at first realizing Himself as man, asserted His limited aspects through the limited self or the limited ego, the limited mind, the limited energy and the finite gross body. Then eventually and ultimately realizing Himself as God, He manifests His unlimited, unbounded, infinite trio-nature of infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite bliss through His divine unlimited Self.

While depicting, through the seven different primary stages, the process of unfoldment of the latent consciousness of God in His original, unconscious, divine sound sleep state, as compared with the seven different primary states of man gaining consciousness right from his unconscious sound sleep state to the state wherein he gains full consciousness and wakes up completely with wide-open eyes, it is found that this is the process of the evolution of consciousness of God which eventually identifies the fully conscious God with the fully conscious man, after identifying God with all and everything inanimate and animate in the drama of the divine dream of Creation.

Right from the unconscious state (compared to the divine sound sleep state) until full and complete consciousness is gained in the man state (compared to the wide-open eyes of man experiencing the gross world), God remains One, indivisible, infinite, formless and eternally all-pervading. But it is the all-pervading, infinite nature of God that expresses consciously and unconsciously His eternal divine existence, directly and indirectly, in one and all states and forms, through their expressions of their very being.

The whole process of evolution was an absolutely spontaneous outcome of the original, infinite whim surging in the unconscious God to become conscious of His eternal and infinite existence. And, paradoxical as it may seem, in the process of evolution the unconsciousness of God urged the gradual unfoldment of the latent consciousness of God, which consciousness grew greater and greater through a gradual, systematic and progressive process of gathering and experiencing varied and innumerable impressions through identifying God with varied and innumerable gross forms.

So it is that the evolving consciousness of God gives rise to the identification of God with forms and states of forms of higher and higher types. This identification of God in turn gives rise to an apparently unending chain of associations and dissociations, or the so-called births and deaths, of forms and beings which continue to form and assert and then dwindle away in the Nothingness, leaving behind the legacy of impressions which in turn again lead the evolving consciousness of God to identify Himself with yet another form moulded of the very impressions left behind by the form that dwindled away.

Through the process of evolution, the unconscious God did eventually gain full consciousness when the evolved consciousness of God eventually identified God with the human form. But this full consciousness gained was impressioned consciousness and therefore did not make God realize the original, infinite state of God. On the contrary, God realized that He is man. Thus God, after having the original whim of His First Word (“Who am I?”), at this stage finds Himself to be man and experiences the gross world, apparently living in it as man and quite oblivious of His infinite and eternal existence until He finds the real answer to His First Word of “Who am I?” to be “I am God.”

-Meher Baba

From God Speaks, Part 8

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Gnothi Seauton (Know Thyself) – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gnothi Seauton (Know Thyself)
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I

If thou canst bear
Strong meat of simple truth
If thou durst my words compare
With what thou thinkest in my soul’s free youth,
Then take this fact unto thy soul,—–
God dwells in thee.
It is no metaphor nor parable,
It is unknown to thousands, and to thee;
Yet there is God.

II

He is in thy world,
But thy world knows him not.
He is the mighty Heart
From which life’s varied pulses part.
Clouded and shrouded there doth sit
The Infinite
Embosomed in a man;
And thou art stranger to thy guest
And know’st not what thou doth invest.
The clouds that veil his life within
Are thy thick woven webs of sin,
Which his glory struggling through
Darkens to thine evil hue.

III

Then bear thyself, O man!
Up to the scale and compass of thy guest;
Soul of thy soul.
Be great as doth beseem
The ambassador who bears
The royal presence where he goes.

IV

Give up to thy soul—–
Let it have its way—–
It is, I tell thee, God himself,
The selfsame One that rules the Whole,
Tho’ he speaks thro’ thee with a stifled voice,
And looks through thee, shorn of his beams.
But if thou listen to his voice,
If thou obey the royal thought,
It will grow clearer to thine ear,
More glorious to thine eye.
The clouds will burst that veil him now
And thou shalt see the Lord.

V

Therefore be great,
Not proud,—–too great to be proud.
Let not thine eyes rove,
Peep not in corners; let thine eyes
Look straight before thee, as befits
The simplicity of Power.
And in thy closet carry state;
Filled with light, walk therein;
And, as a king
Would do no treason to his own empire,
So do not thou to thine.

VI

This is the reason why thou dost recognize
Things now first revealed,
Because in thee resides
The Spirit that lives in all;
And thou canst learn the laws of nature
Because its author is latent in thy breast.

VII

Therefore, O happy youth,
Happy if thou dost know and love this truth,
Thou art unto thyself a law,
And since the soul of things is in thee,
Thou needest nothing out of thee.
The law, the gospel, and the Providence,
Heaven, Hell, the Judgement, and the stores
Immeasurable of Truth and Good,
All these thou must find
Within thy single mind,
Or never find.

VIII

Thou art the law;
The gospel has no revelation
Of peace and hope until there is response
From the deep chambers of thy mind thereto,—–
The rest is straw.
It can reveal no truth unknown before.
The Providence
Thou art thyself that doth dispense
Wealth to thy work, want to thy sloth,
Glory to goodness, to neglect, the moth.
Thou sow’st the wind, the whirlwind reapest,
Thou payest the wages
Of thy own work, through all ages.
The almighty energy within
Crowneth virtue, curseth sin.
Virtue sees by its own light;
Stumbleth sin in self-made night.

IX

Who approves thee doing right?
God in thee.
Who condemns thee doing wrong?
God in thee.
Who punishes thine evil deed?
God in thee.
What is thine evil meed?
Thy worse mind, with error blind
And more prone to evil
That is, the greater hiding of the God within:
The loss of peace
The terrible displeasure of this inmate
And next the consequence
More faintly as more distant wro’t
Upon our outward fortunes
Which decay with vice
With Virtue rise.

X

The selfsame God
By the same law
Makes the souls of angels glad
And the souls of devils sad
See
There is nothing else but God
Where e’er I look
All things hasten back to him
Light is but his shadow dim.

XI

Shall I ask wealth or power of God, who gave
An image of himself to be my soul?
As well might swilling ocean ask a wave,
Or the starred firmament a dying coal,—–
For that which is in me lives in the whole.