The true Religion of Christ V
The true Religion of Christ V
Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, you belong to this teaching, you live in the midst of spiritual truths, and in spite of that you sometimes feel as though you were in a terrible state of abandonment, as though God had deserted you. This is a state that many saints and mystics have experienced before you, and today I would like to try and throw a little light on the question. However, the first thing I must tell you before going any further is that everything depends on your perception of God.
When one studies the history of religion, one sees that in proclaiming Yahveh to be the one true God, Moses was introducing a truly revolutionary idea. But the God of Moses was a God to be feared: a consuming fire, the vengeful, implacable Lord of the universe. And his creatures, trembling, fearful human beings, owed that God only one duty: obedience. Later, when Jesus came, he spoke of the Lord as a father and said that human beings were his children. The distance between humanity and God was greatly reduced: human beings were now 'related' to God, members of the same family; everything had changed. Yes, but where had the change actually occurred? In the minds and hearts of human beings, in their inner consciousness. They now felt closer to God.
Until then God had been a remote, awesome tyrant whom they had been taught to fear ('The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom'); but Jesus taught that this fear could be replaced by love. Instead of being afraid of this terrible God, human beings could love him, take refuge in his arms, feel that he was their loving father or mother. This was an entirely new development in religion.
Today it is time to go even further. As long as you think of God as existing in a cloud of glory in some remote region of the universe called heaven, where he partakes of sumptous banquets surrounded by his angels and archangels, your notion of God is an objective, external one; God is outside you. Even if you think of him as your father and feel that you are his child, he is still outside you. And this is the tragedy: you project God outside yourself. God may well exist outside man, but when men conceive of him as being external to themselves they become acutely aware of their own limitations and of all that separates them from him. So many worlds, so many stars, such infinite reaches of space lie between them and God that they cannot possibly hope to reach him. But as soon as you sense that God is present within you, that he is there as light, life and intelligence, as a unique force, you can never again be separated from him. You find God within yourself.
Human beings have never rally been taught to understand God in this way. From time to time they may come across a book in which a mystic, poet, or philosopher suggests some such notion, 'Hhow poetic. What a profound idea.' but it does not occur to them to ponder that idea or apply it to their own lives. They continue to think of God as existing themselves. If you think of God as being apart from and outside yourself, it necessarily means that you think of yourself as being apart from and outside God. And what will become of those who are apart from God? They will be nothing more than an object.
What is an object? Every craftsman, labourer, or farmer, for example, uses certain tools for his work. These tools are objects that are not a part of himself. When he needs them he picks them up, uses them, and then puts them aside until he needs them again - the next day or next month or next year. In the same way, if we think that we exist apart from God, it will seem to us that God picks us up or puts us aside like objects. If the pots that come from a potter's wheel or the saucepans in a housewife's kitchen were consicious, can you imagine what they would feel like when they were left unused on the shelf? They would complain bitterly that their mistress had forgotten them. 'and when she scraped out our insides the spoon made a noise that was music to our ears. In those days we were happy. But now she has forgotten all about us. How cruel and wicked of her.'
What can you expect? If we behave like pots and pans it is only normal that the Lord should forget about us from time to time. Can you blame him? It is because we are like objects that we sometimes feel abandoned. At times the Lord picks us up and uses us, at other times he puts us aside, but we have no right to reproach him for it. Would one of your saucepans dare to complain because you did not use it every day? No, you are master - or mistress - in your own house, and it is normal to do as you please. So it is unfair and illogical to rebel against the Lord when you feel abandoned. When you are really within him, in his head and in his members, then you will always be with him and in him. The very worst philosophy you can have is to conceive of yourself as being apart from God, outside him.
Believe me, it will not be long before men's philosphical and religious concepts change very considerably. At the moment people think that it si normal to believe that there is a great distance between man and God. They think that this is only right and proper. But in that case, why do they complain so bitterly when they suffer the consequences of that attitude?
I have already told you that in the future there will be a third Testament that will complete the first two, and in it this truth - that man must learn to get much closer to God, must learn to sense that God is within him - will be strongly emphasized. In fact it will be presented as an absolute essential. When man makes this truth his own he will no longer have the impression of being abandoned by God.
If we feel abandoned by God today it si because we have abandoned him. Can we say that we are always with him? Perhaps we made our first Communion and prayed to him for a few minutes fifty or sixty years ago, but have we ever thought of him since? No. We have deserted him, so why should he not have the right to do the same to us? Why should he be obliged to think of us all the time? Who are we to complain? What makes us think that we are so important that the Lord should constantly be concerned about us?
The truth is, of course, that the Lord takes care of us ceaselessly but in ways that are completely different from those we imagine. Let me explain this. When a child is born, cosmic intelligence gives it everything it needs for its life on earth. It is fully equipped with boots, a helmet, a gun, ammunition, and so on. After that it is up to him to look after himself. You are greatly mistaken if you believe that God spends his time thinking aobut each one of us. He has already given us health, strength, and vitality and everything else we need. Or perhaps I should say that it is not God who takes care exactly what they have to do, while he is concerned with things of far greater importance.
Yes, the third Testament will give men the ultimate solution. They will live constantly in the presence of the Lord. They will no longer be able to tear themselves away from him, and as they will no longer abandon God, God will no longer abandon them. Whereas at the moment we think of God only from time to time - and from time to time God thinks of us. Even some great saints have grieved because they felt that God had abandoned them, and this shows that they did not know these truths. Does that astonish you? It simply means that a saint may have a great deal of love and great qualities and virtues but that his knowledge and understanding may not have evolved to the same degree. Then there are others for whom the situation can be quite the reverse: they understand many things but they are lacking in virtues and qualities.
You will perhaps feel like saying, 'But it seems more respectful, more fitting, to think of God as being outside ourselves. This is what we have always been taught.' Yes, but there are thousands upon thousands of degrees of truth, and the time has come to take a step forward. We must begin to thin of God as being close to us, within us. At the same time, we must think of ourselves as being minute, infinitesimal particles of God. God is the Whole and each one of us is a minute particle of the Whole. If you pray to the Lord thinking that he is far, far away beyond the stars, how can you expect your prayers to reach him? Oh, of course, I once told you that prayer reaches every corner of the universe. That is true, it does, but it takes such a long time to travel through infinite space. If the communication is direct and immediate; he can hear you, listen to your prayer, and answer you immediately.
Distance is important. Suppose you want to scatter and dissolve some clouds. You cannot make them disappear immediately; they are very slow and it all takes time. Well, if it takes so much time when the distance is barely a few hundred yards, just imagine how long it will to reach the Lord (especially if he is asleep and you have to wake him up). But if he is right there inside you, you can simply say, 'Hello, hello'. and you get through to him immediately. Does this strie you as disrespectful? No, I am speaking figuratively. Try to understand what I am saying.
From now on, when you are meditatin, try to cultivate a sense of the Lord's presence within you and you will see how effective this can be. The impression of being abandoned will come to you less and less frequently. At the moment you fluctuate between a few good days during which you are full of joy, inspiration, and ecstasy, followed by days of terrible drought, days in which you feel as though you were dying of thirst in the desert, and it is then that you say, 'God has abandoned me.'
Let me illustrate this: you are here on earth, many millions of miles away from the sun, so far away that mountains of black clouds have slipped between you and the sun and now you are at the mercy of those clouds. You long to receive the light and warmth of the sun but it is impossible; the clouds are in the way. What can you do about it? There is nothing for it but to wait, and while you are waiting you think, 'The sun has abandoned me.' No, the sun has not abandoned you; it is just that you are too far away, below the clouds. But suppose you take an aeroplane or a balloon and fly up above the clouds? Once you are up there nothing can come between you and the sun. It is still there, still shining; it has never abandoned by God i simply means that you have slipped down below the permanent screen of cloud that prevents the sun's rays from reaching you. On the other hand, if you feel full of joy and inspiration, it means that you have risen above the clouds where the sun is always shining and where you can contemplate its light and feel its warmth seeping into you. As you see, the explanation is simple.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov