The Mystic's View
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Some people believe that God is in everything. How could this be true and yet not be obvious? How could a common rock contain the Creator? Let's look into this question by considering the following.
Suppose you have arrived on Earth from far away and are exploring it for the first time. And suppose you have found a block of frozen ice. As you examine the ice closely, you take note of its properties. It is so cold that it almost hurts to touch it. It is very hard and will not flow around your hand but if you hit it with a rock, you can break off a few pieces.
Then imagine that you discover a natural hot springs big enough to jump into. The hot water feels fantastic and you delight in how it flows all around your body. The water can be splashed about but it does not break into pieces.
Surely you have discovered two very different things, two things that have nothing in common at all. Their properties are exactly opposite. One is cold and solid; the other is hot and fluid. One is breakable; the other is not.
And then it happens. The block of ice falls into the hot pool of water and right before your very eyes, it melts in a matter of minutes. Now you clearly see that it is made out of the same thing that the hot water is made out of. There's no denying this now. But a few minutes ago it was very different. It was in a different form, a different state, which gave it a completely different set of properties, a completely different set of qualities.
Could this be similar to God and creation? Let's expand the water analogy by including water vapor, which is an invisible gas. That invisible gas might be like God the Source. We cannot see God the Source since the Source has no form. And yet, if the Source wanted to create a spiritual world, a world of angels, for example, the Source could choose to lower its temperature, its vibration, and “part” of the Source would change from an invisible gas into liquid water that now has a tangible form to it. This spiritual world could include beings with a sense of self and freewill. They would not appear to be the same as the Creator and yet they would be made out of the same divine essence. Beings in this world would have their senses tuned to that realm, that dimension, so they would be able to perceive and experience everything in it.
And if the Source wanted to create a physical world, to create our universe, the Source could choose to “lower the temperature” even more and “part” of the Source would then take on many magnificent new forms.
Similar to before, this physical realm could also include beings with a sense of self and freewill. And again, they would not appear to be the same as the Creator and yet they would be made out of the same divine essence. These beings would, of course, have their senses tuned to the physical world allowing them to perceive and experience everything in it but they would generally be blind to everything in the spiritual world.
In this view, it is very important to note that while we are all made out of the same thing, we are not all the same. From the point of view of our common daily life, we each have our own unique “personal self,” precious and special but not in an egotistical sense. We are each a unique expression of the eternal divine essence. We each have our own body, we each have our own personality and we each have our own thoughts and feelings. Yet while we are all different, we are all connected to each other, to everything, through this wondrous divine essence. Yes, different but not separate.
Now imagine for a moment that the eternal divine essence was wood. You can make a chair out of wood, you can make a house out of wood and you can make a boat out of wood. While all these things are made out of the same thing, they are each very different. If a storm is coming, the shelter of the house will benefit you the most, but if you are out on the ocean, the boat will serve you best.
So don’t make the mistake of saying, “Well, since everything is divine in its essence, everything must offer the same benefit in its form, and I will therefore not make any distinctions between people or things.” Some people and things may mix with you in a more harmonious way so choose wisely and enrich your life!
And still, with this mystical understanding, you will perceive every act as a divine act, every thought as a divine thought, every emotion as a divine emotion and every thing as the divine in physical form.
You are not simply connected to God, every aspect of your being is divine!
God is not just deep within you at a special place, you are divine at every level!
In the formlessness of our divine Source nature, there is only oneness, wholeness, and yet, as such, nothing is manifest. It is here where we all dissolve into oneness. Yet in our physical world, this wholeness is presented to us in a way that makes everything appear to be separate, non-divine pieces. This is the false idea pointed to by the illusion of the world. But as I mentioned before, just because the world is an illusion does not mean that it is not real. It just means that it exists in a deceptive way.
Paradoxically, when this formless divine Source becomes manifest in our world, it presents itself with form, with an appearance. It is this physical appearance that our scientists focus on and in many ways they do an excellent job. Yet none of them can actually study this imperceptible Awareness. Of course some of them study the physiology of perception but that is not this Awareness. They also study what they call “states of consciousness” but all they are really studying are different states of the body and brain, they are not studying this invisible Awareness. And yet, this wondrous and divine Awareness is what you actually are.
Your Divine Awareness is the buried treasure hidden within the “personal self;” it is the kingdom of heaven within you.
Your “personal self” may be your body, mind, and soul, but your True Self - your fundamental, unconstructed self - is the divine awareness that perceives everything that you experience. This is why I like to repeat an old saying, “Know yourself and you shall know God.”
Most analogies fall short in some respect and the water analogy is no exception, yet I like it in many ways. But is it true? Is everything we see actually the eternal divine essence in physical form? Does God intentionally hide from us in order to invigorate the play we are all in and charge it with emotion? Is this divine essence at the core of the wonder and awe that we feel when we admire the beauty of nature and each other?
Mainstream science holds that the material qualities and chemical processes of the body and the brain give rise to our personal consciousness. In other words, the material world is the foundation of reality, and consciousness is an “emergent property” that comes forth from specially organized matter, and this allows all sentient beings to be alive and aware. But what if it is the other way around? What if your awareness is fundamental? What if your awareness is unconstructed and everything else is created within this?
Honest scientific research into subjects such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, spirit communication and past lives all point to a nature of reality that is profoundly different from what is commonly believed. This research shows us that while there is a relationship between our personal consciousness and our body, the body is not the source of our consciousness. The true nature of the self goes beyond the body. Of course we all see that our bodies were born into the world, this is beyond dispute. But is it not also true that both our bodies and the entire world are “born” into our awareness?
Our amazing awareness itself is not even visible to us and yet we know it exists because we experience the world through it. Our awareness holds everything that we experience. Our awareness hosts our entire personal reality. Everything that you experience, physical or spiritual, arises “out of” your awareness and is witnessed by your unchanging awareness.
And the mystic carries this even further. A mystic understands that the awareness that looks out of your eyes is the same awareness that looks out of his or her eyes. What is seen is different but the awareness is the same. There is only One Awareness, that of the eternal divine essence and this formless, unseen, Divine Awareness is what animates all of life! What a miracle! What a mystery!
It's like there are billions of hand puppets on earth, all apparently different people, animals and plants. But when we see beyond the illusion of separateness and correctly perceive the full picture of what is really taking place, we see that there is only one puppet master with billions of hands animating it all.
Once the mystic sees the whole world as the eternal divine essence in physical form, everything becomes precious and sacred. Deep compassion for all people, animals and even plants springs forth automatically.
Yet before we realize the mystic's view, while we are still tricked by the illusion of separateness, we really can see that we all share fundamental human experiences and we are all connected to one another like a big family. If we turn that connection into a genuine embrace, we will create lasting peace.
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All my best, Thomas Razzeto
This essay is an edited chapter of my book. It was written May 8, 2007.
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