How can you love someone you have never met, seen, or even heard from. You don’t even know if God exists or not, and in what form – personal, impersonal, just energy, etc. Bible says you should love God more than you love your life; your family, friends, job, worldly possessions, etc. It didn’t make any sense to me, but I have learned to see things differently.
Thomas Keating, a modern-day preacher says “you can never see God because when you are God there is nothing to see. God is not an object but a subject”. The purpose of all religions is to bring us in contact with this inner reality”.
I have come to realise that love of God is in fact love of your own true self, not of your body or of your mind, but of your inner consciousness or soul.
Normally we understand self-love as the love of our body and love of our mind/personality because that is how we understand ourselves, but when one experiences the beauty of their inner soul, the bliss and peace within oneself, one starts falling in love with that true self- never wanting to lose connection with that no-thingness (soul). Because that happiness is superior to all other happiness and it is not tied to things that are temporary.
Poet Rumi says “once you have seen the beauty and grandeur of your spirit you won’t burden it with the cares of the world and the body, as by doing so you making Jesus carry your luggage while your donkey jumps freely on the meadow.”
Sufi preachers ask us to think of that inner spirit or consciousness all the time, even whilst doing worldly chores – very much like a woman carrying a child does all other things but all the time is mindful of the child, a woman carrying the pot of water on her head whilst fetching water from the well, keeps chatting with her friends all the time but at the same time taking care that the water/pot doesn’t fall down. In the same way, we should always be in touch with our inner consciousness (inner body sensations) and remain equanimous.
I have come to realise that whenever …. We are in love with God.
- We enjoy solitude we are in love with God.
- Give away good things, that we also like, to others we are in love with God.
- Help poor and needy we are in love with God.
- Become indifferent to worldly pleasures, because we feel greater pleasure within us, we are in love with God.
- Stop chasing name, fame, and money, because there is a greater enjoyment waiting for us, we are in love with God.
- We are completely at peace with ourselves, we are in love with God.
- We have dropped all desires, we are in love with God.
- We totally accept our present life, we are in love with God.
- Stop hating or disliking our enemies, we are in love with God.
- See good things hidden inside bad people, we are in love with God.
- We are emotionally neutral to our past and have no need to look back, we are in love with God.
- Everything in this world looks beautiful, even a pair of torn shoes, a fully wrinkled face, the design of fungus growing over rotten food, spiders, butterflies, cockroaches, etc, we are in love with God.
- We feel intoxicated without taking any substance and for no reason, we are in love with God.
“The beauty, wealth and fame are not rewards but trials”. Poet Rumi
Does that mean that beauty, wealth, and fame one experiences in this lifetime are a result of their bad karmas in the past life?
One can argue it both ways – for some their wealth, beauty, and fame become their greatest enemies as they attract all sorts of unwanted people to them. Swami Ramakrishna said – a crow picked up a frog from the earth and was flying high in the sky, and soon after realized that all the vultures nearby were coming towards him to attack him, relishing this after he dropped the frog and the vultures left him alone and went after the frog. But the opposite of it is also true – that our good deeds from the past bring rewards in terms of comforts in this lifetime.
“God will bring people and events into our lives, and whatever we may think about them they are designed for the evolution of His life in us” Thomas Keating
People didn’t want to be alone in this world, and they invented God, but they regretted it immediately. Gods were everywhere, in water, in stones, in trees, in animals.
He who doesn’t care whether he earns more or less is at peace
Not bound by a name or fame
He is free from the sadness of this world
And most of all from himself.
Basketful of loaves of bread is on your head
And you beg for crumbs from door to door
Oh, man, go into your head and knock on your heart
Do not beg at every door
Don’t burden your spirit with cares of this body
Fear of death is but fear of meeting who we are
Without death, life has no meaning
It will be a harvest left to rot
You’re saying my name is my answer
Your longing for me is my message to you
All your attempts to reach me, are actually my attempts to reach you
Your venerations are your love, they are a noose in which I will be caught
The silence around every call “God” receives a thousand “I’m here” replies
All five above from Poet Rumi
© Kishore Chandiramani, Consultant Psychiatrist
Emotions Clinic, Education and Training Centre Cic, Staffordshire, England
Image courtesy: https://www.godisreal.today/love-of-god/