Extracts

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Similarity to God


essay

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[1 of 3] St. Peter of Damaskos (12th century, Syria): primary subject "Contemplation" (search under Inner Life/Practices)": detail "From ‘Treasury of Divine Knowledge’"
For the Divine is infinite and uncircumscribed, and the intellect that returns to itself must be in a similar state.

[2 of 3] Vivekananda (1863-1902, India): primary subject "God, arguments for/against" (search under Beings/God)": detail "From ‘Steps to Realization’"
What is the proof of God? Direct perception. The proof of this wall is that I perceive it. God has been perceived that way by thousands before, and will be perceived by all who want to perceive Him. But this perception is no sense-perception; it is super-sensuous, super conscious, and all this training is needed to take us beyond the senses.

[3 of 3] Meher Baba (1894-1969, India): primary subject "Way, difficulties on" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)"
Now to return to the difficulties on the Path. I say that it is impossible even for one on the Path to fathom my real state: why is it impossible? Hafiz said that unless one steps out of the limitations of one’s own nature, one cannot step on to the Path of Reality. What Hafiz means is that it is impossible to realize your real self so long as you are bound within the limitations of your own nature. This means that you should go against your very nature, against the very nature of your physical, subtle and mental bodies!
 Thus, if you are hungry, you should not eat; if you are not hungry you should eat! When you feel like sleeping, you should not sleep; when you do not feel like sleeping, you should sleep! This is what Hafiz means by going against one’s own nature — stepping out of the boundary of your nature. Again, if you wish to see anything, you should not; and if you do not wish to see, you should see. When you exert yourself, you pant; but you should not pant, you should feel normal. Your breathing should be a normal breathing, just when you are out of breath. You are sitting, silently listening to this discourse and your breathing is normal; it must not be so — according to the couplet of Hafiz. From all this you will understand how impossible it is to go against your own nature and realize me as I really am. But, here, Hafiz himself comes to your rescue and says that there is a solution: this solution too is most difficult, but at least it is less impossible. In another of his couplets Hafiz says: 'O You, if you ever get possessed by madness to realize God, then become the dust at the feet of a Perfect Master!' Hafiz uses the word ‘madness’ to depict that it is a sheer impossibility to realize this state of Reality. The question now arises as to how should one become dust at the feet of a Perfect Master.
 Dust has no thought of its own, whether it is trampled upon, or applied to the forehead of a man, or remains suspended in air or water. It is all one and the same to it. I tell you that there is no truer and better example of complete obedience than becoming like dust.