The first line of the Tao Te Ching states that “the Tao that can be named is not the Tao.” This is a profound statement. Tao is simply another word for God. It’s another word that seeks to describe that which is ultimately indescribable. We may use various words to try and articulate this Ineffable Presence of Love, Beauty, and Intelligence, yet ultimately all words are merely sign posts, pointing to a truth that is ultimately unnamable. The moment you place a label on the Ineffable, it’s no longer the Ineffable. It has simply become another conceptualized version of that which cannot be described.
There is a beautiful statement in Zen Buddhism that says, “All words are but a finger pointing to the moon; and those whose gaze is fixed upon the finger will never see beyond.” This profound analogy reminds us to not get caught up in the words, but much rather to look to experience. There is no doubt that words are useful, yet we must not mistake the words for the actual thing itself.
So whether we say God, Infinite Intelligence, Love Intelligence, Divinity, or the Universe, whether we talk about Christ Consciousness, Buddha Mind, or Krishna Awareness, it all points to the same truth. We may use whatever words we feel most comfortable with. I myself tend to alternate quite a bit. One of the descriptions I’ve grown fond of is “Universal Beloved.” This beautifully articulates what our relationship with our Source is intended to be. When you begin to think of God as Universal Beloved, you realize that this Beloved is everywhere – after all, it’s universal – and before you know it you may find yourself falling in love with whoever happens to be in your field of awareness. Not the sort of love that requires anything in return, but much rather the Love with a capital “L.” The kind of Love that is open and available to anyone, the Love that demands nothing because it needs nothing, the Love that might be referred to as “…radiating from my heart like light from a bonfire. Focused upon no one, and denied to none.”
Now you may ask, how do we attain this state of awareness? On a very practical level, where do we begin? How may we truly comprehend God, and furthermore cultivate our experience of God? Religions have attempted to explain what God is since time immemorial, and as a result there have been tremendous distortions that have found their way out into the world. Some even hold that God is some kind of judgmental figure, literally waiting for us to make a mistake so that we then may be punished for our errors. Really, if you get right down to it, there are some descriptions that make “god” sound like a super-ego with some severe anger issues, to say the least.
Now, I am not trying to offend anyone’s beliefs. But I do believe that, if you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that God is not some elderly white male with a beard sitting on a cloud, keeping score and grading us on everything we do. This concept of “god,” where we’ve essentially projected a human judgment system upon an externalized deity, is not the kind of God we’re talking about here. God is not a person.
And so again this leads us back to the question of how can we truly describe God? The truth is, as the Tao Te Ching indicates, God cannot be described. God can only be experienced. So how do you experience God? You experience God in the sweetness of your own consciousness.
You begin by withdrawing your attention from your surroundings, the world of effects, and instead place your attention inward. As you find that silent space within, you will notice that there is a sense of peace, a feeling of complete serenity, untouched by human experience. This peace cannot be accessed through your thoughts; your mind will not get you there. Your thoughts may be roaming around, revolving around this or that, but this peace lies beyond thought. It is a peace that truly passeth all understanding. It can only be found in pure awareness. Just like clouds drift by in the sky, your thoughts drift by in the field of your awareness. So as you shift your attention away from the thoughts, and instead focus upon the awareness, the observer of the thoughts, you open yourself up to a sense of pure being, a feeling of simply existing, a feeling of I Am. Not I am this, or I am that; but much rather simply I Am. Through cultivating your awareness of I Am, you open up the doorway through which the sweet nectar of Spirit may flow into your life.
Scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God.” This reminds us that it is only in the stillness of our own awareness that we find God. Not as a person, concept, or thing, but God as a sense of Existence Itself, a feeling of intense aliveness, an experience of inner joy, a sense of vibrancy, a feeling of complete peace and harmony that is independent of circumstance or seemingly external experience.
This does not require us to do much. In fact, this isn’t at all about “doing.” This is about being. This is about being open and receptive. And as you invite this feeling of peace into your life by simply just practicing sitting in silence at least twice a day, Spirit will begin to reveal Itself to you in wondrous and miraculous ways. It is in Its nature. This is because Spirit is available to everyone, and It will reveal Itself to anyone who is open and receptive. In truth, It is not separate from you at all. In truth, It is your very own Being, your deepest essence, your True Self.
We begin by opening the door through willingness. We then cultivate our awareness through a regular spiritual practice, which in turn raises our level of consciousness. And eventually grace kicks in, and suddenly we find ourselves experiencing the indescribable feeling of Pure Being. This powerful feeling, as it continuously grows in intensity, soon becomes more real to us than the world our physical senses perceive. We are now catching a glimpse of Reality with a capital “R.” That is where we experience True Vision.
True Vision is what allows us to see the invisible and hear the inaudible. And once we begin to live, move, and have our being in this awareness, our life will never again be the same.
What a wondrous journey it is. It is a journey that, sooner or later, we’re all destined to take, simply because it is the very journey we have set out to embark on when we were born into this realm of time and space. So why not allow yourself to embark upon this journey right here and right now? It is nothing less than your Soul’s Journey.
Peace and Blessings!