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How to Know God
In a discussion group, someone was asking how to have a relationship with God without the
experience. In our western culture, we dont have the common devotional examples they have in the
east. In traditional India, one chooses ones favoured form of (personal) God early on with a gurus
guidance and Jyotish (astrology). They also cultured devotion to teacher and mate. This made devotion
much easier if there was such an inclination. Experience came later on a natural foundation.
In the West, many churches speak more to the mind, telling us what we should believe and how we
should live a good life. While there is good there to be had, some of it has devolved into simplistic
storytelling. Its not a surprise many of my generation fell away from church. As a friend said, the
stories about God made about as much sense as Santa Claus. Only God had a bad temper. Well Santa
Claus was pretty strict with that list
The truth about the origin of life is there in all of the worlds great faiths. But its also common to all
spiritual teachings that a few hundred years after the originating teacher or revivalist passes on, the
original means of experience becomes lost in some way. The teachers then fail to become grounded in
spirit and enlightened. Without direct experience to support it, the teaching becomes rote and
degrades into dogma and belief. Rules of conduct replace visions of divinity. Sometimes, it even
becomes politicized. The truth of God degrades into an excuse for war and hate.
One may well ask why something so important is so easily lost. This is simply because the difference
between correct practice that brings you the direct experience of your spiritual nature and incorrect
practice that brings you a headache is very small and subjective. Descriptions are easily misunderstood
when not based on experience. One only has to look at the many meditations taught today that tell you
to still the mind with the mind, overcome the ego with the ego, and so forth.
As Einstein wisely observed, you cant solve a problem on the level of the problem.
For many, God has become a bad word; even the media declared God dead. But stories about God is
NOT what I mean by God here. Im speaking of something much deeper that can be directly
experienced. And Im not asking you to believe anything. Ill even mention Ruiz here: Dont believe
yourself, and dont believe anyone else. (the Fifth Agreement)
What I am suggesting is having an open mind and taking another, deeper look. Find out for yourself.
Theres a reason God is held high the world over, throughout history.
In India, they speak of the paths or yogas (means of union) with God. All those people in yoga
class are unintentionally practicing one traditional way to come to experience God, hatha yoga,
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purification of the body. The devotional path of prayer and song (Kirtan) is a heart-based yoga. The
intellectual path is mind-based but requires close discrimination of experience, not believed concepts.
And so forth. But in all these cases, the paths included the means; techniques to give direct experience.
The teacher would point the way but expect the student to find out for themselves. As you might guess,
todays yoga classes include little to none of that.
If you want to come to know spirit, you need the direct experience of spirit. The peace of spirit will
calm the mind all by itself. No headaches required.
Pure transcendent spirit or pure consciousness is what might be called the surface of God. The
experience of spirit is thus the beginning of the experience of God. That may not be obvious at first
though. Some further purification may be required to experience more clearly. And the best way to
purify? Pure spirit. It is the way and the means.
To understand God and the experience of God requires a little bigger picture. God is far more than just
this universe. We could accurately say our universe is a pearl on the necklace of one of Gods
employees.
We have 2 modes of experience by which we might experience divinity. These modes are often called
Personal and Impersonal.
The Impersonal mode is the way of the intellect, of science. We see the world as laws of nature and
forces that interact to create what we experience. The world has a profound underlying order and
intelligence that is inherently knowable. This has led many of our greatest scientists to believe in an
impersonal God of profound intelligence. Our initial direct experience of the impersonal, formless God
is the experience of pure silent spirit, as described above. The Holy Spirit. Deep peace.
The Personal mode is not as well understood in the more mind-driven West. Some see it as the path for
the weak-minded who need beliefs. But this is actually the path of the heart and is no less than the
mind. It requires the purification of the heart and emotions and the refinement of perception, much as
the scientist must train his intellect. In the Personal mode, God is seen in form as the highest ideals we
can experience. Love as flowing spirit and the bliss of contact with spirit are the beginning of the direct
experience of God in this mode.
As we continue to have experiences of pure spirit, our connection deepens and the purity of body, mind
and emotions progresses. Whether we favour an impersonal or personal journey, both options are
available to us. As Jesus said, the kingdom of heaven is within. Magically, once we find it within, we
begin to find it in the world too. It then becomes a fully lived reality.
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Due to prior life development or grace, a few people have experiences of God early on. Some people
have occasional flashes but for many, reliable direct perception doesnt take place until after Self
Realization (CC). With CC, its like were meditating 24-7 so progress can accelerate, subtler and
subtler aspects unfolding to awareness. The mechanics of the universe, then creation become known.
Deeper still and we come to the abode of God. This is the unfolding of God Consciousness.
God, however we choose to come there, becomes an unmistakable reality. Not a belief but a direct
experience. As that develops we reach a place known as God Realization, where we choose our
relationship to God. Do we merge in Oneness with the divine? Or maintain a slight duality to continue
the relationship? This is a profoundly personal and intimate choice.
Contact
In the meantime, we may feel a long ways away, like God is some vague cloud over the horizon. But just
consider there is nothing that is not God. Everything, even pain, arises within the love of God and is
known by God. As Denise Hagan so beautifully sings Every tear you cried, I wiped from my
own eyes.
We are never apart from God. We are none other than that. We are always in the arms of Mother
Divine. But yes, devotion doesnt come naturally to many westerners. Especially if they have more
intellectual leanings. Happily it doesnt matter if you believe in God. Reality remains, whatever you
believe.
The first step for communing with God is that pure inner silence, that point of inner peace. This gives
us a beginning reference point of experience, beyond belief.
From there, we can culture our attention in ways that bring us home. Prayer, for example. If you balk
at the word prayer, try attention. Give your open attention to what raises you up. Pray or give to
whatever feels good for you to give to dance, the trees, a candle (light), acts of giving, a pet, uplifting
music, a symbol, your children. It really doesnt matter the key is the feeling effect. Thats what
cultures and connects. Anything that lightens the emotions, purifies the heart and brings us a little
more clarity, a little closer to the divine.
More subtly, consider praying to that inner peace. Or directly with feelings. Feel your prayer rather
than think it. The feelings are a profound doorway to divine love. Culture gratitude or enliven love or
happiness or the memory of them. Like youre trying to create a Patronus charm.
If you can directly, culturing love is a direct personal means to know God, be it through loving God,
teacher or mate. There is no doorway closed.
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Also think of prayer as a form of surrender rather than asking for something. Thy will be done.
This is very powerful if you are up for it.
You cannot know anything of the value of something outside of your experience, but I can say that a
relationship with the divine is beyond your ability to imagine. It is the fulfillment of all of your deepest
desires. It is what we have lost that weve been seeking for so long. Davidya
If you could see what I see, youd never lose that smile Denise Hagan
I explore The Personal a bit more here.

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