91 QUESTION: How does a person go about re-establishing an emotional experience about God? I am not speaking about the God of religion, but about the God that is. I know that motives are important. I may want to worship God, which is probably not existent in me. Or I may want it for the idea of getting something, which is in me. Or I may want it for an intellectual comprehension. I think there might be some need for a father. Those are my motives. I have a few ideas as to where I can get this sense of God. I tried it through my work, from books. Now what do I do, where do I go in order to develop this feeling for God?
ANSWER: As for the motives you cited, they are true, but by no means all. The last one you mentioned is a much stronger factor than you realize and contains many aspects that you still ignore. Moreover, you may not like to hear that you not only have negative motives of which you seem so proud, but there is also a very healthy motive, a real spiritual need which you disregard and do not even want to recognize. But for the moment, the motives are of secondary importance. It is fine that you can enumerate some of them, but it does not matter at this point.
The first consideration is to find out how you attain this inner experience, what to do, where to go. There is only one way: to attain selfhood. You cannot have a genuine God-experience and trust and belief in God, if you do not trust and believe in yourself. To the degree that you do so, you will not only trust other people, but you will also trust God.
So my advice is, do not search for God in churches or temples. Do not search for him through knowledge, books or teachings. Search for him in yourself and God will reveal Himself. God is in you. Trust, faith, love, truth – all these exist in you. No outer knowledge provides you with a genuine God-experience, and, for that matter, you would not even accept it. If you would, it would happen out of unhealthy motives, just as much as the opposite.
Learn first to trust yourself, in spite of the many reasons you think you cannot or should not. This Path in itself must eventually give you a very healthy trust in yourself. And that is all you need in order to find God.
There are so many people who cling to God just because they do not trust themselves. This is the wrong kind of faith, the wrong approach. This kind of faith is truly built on sand. It is false religion that leads to obedience and fear. It is so destructive, reinforcing weakness instead of strength. That kind of religion you should avoid. Not only is it found in well-known religious denominations, it can also be found in individuals who are not affiliated with any religion. It is a subtle and pervasive poison.
126 QUESTION: How should we think of God?
ANSWER: Do not think of God as a person in human form. Think of a tremendous power, continuously creating life in a purposeful way. Look around and open your eyes. In all branches of science you find aspects of the universal intelligence and power. In all manifestations of nature you find it. In the very complex physical, mental, emotional organism of the human creature lies the proof of this intelligence and power.
God is not a disciplinarian; God is beyond good or evil. People often cannot conceive of God, because they can think of God only in human terms. Human beings, before they can come to a wider understanding, have first to give up their concept of God as a small disciplinarian whom they want and fear, and who should act as a substitute for a parent. They want such a God because they are too afraid of tackling life by themselves.
As I have pointed out again and again, before the true God-experience can occur, you all must learn to stand on your own feet, and perhaps shelve your search for a while. Do not declare “there is a God” due to false guilt and the misunderstanding of human relations, if you are not certain.
Neither declare “there is not,” because your outlook is blurred by your hopelessness and confusion about life and about yourself. At such a time, it is healthy to say, “I do not yet know,” without guilt and without defiance. And as you find yourself – and this is always how the Path must start – as you find your real, true self, the rest is given to you. It comes by itself.
It is a natural understanding that comes when you learn what you need to know about yourself in order to live successfully. Finding God cannot be done by discussing theories on an intellectual level. Keep the problem shelved, my friends, keep yourselves open, but find yourselves first. This is all that matters.
For then you will come into the truth from inside, from your personal experience, rather than accepting postulates or enigmas out of fear, obedience, wishful thinking, or the desire for dependency and reward, through rejection of self-responsibility.
In fact, the wishful thinking has to go, the childish greed given up. All attitudes which make you cling to a false God-image need to be changed before a true God-experience is possible. Every desire for escape must disappear first. Then the experience is built on a rock.
QA129 QUESTION: I have been reading The Treatises of the Seven Rays, which is a book by Alice Bailey, and The I. M. by St. Germaine, which tells you that the behavior of people depends on the psychic forces which at that present time govern these people, or the rays under which these people are born. I personally do not believe nor see them as sources of information for such a ray existing. However, these are supposedly highly spiritually developed people, and I would not like to contradict them. Therefore I would like to know, does such a ray exist?
ANSWER: Let me put it this way: the rays may very well exist and they do exist. But this is a misunderstanding of these people, who may perhaps somehow perceive the rays and misunderstand in the following way. They see the rays as a course, and man has to bend and submit to the existence of this course.
In other words, what they are doing is just shifting the emphasis from a personalized God to the rays. This is exactly the same. Man is not subservient to rays or a residing deity outside himself. The rays are a consequence of man’s thinking, and what comes first is man’s thinking, man’s being, man’s feeling, man’s attitude, man’s actions. And he has dominance over himself.
It is up to man what he decides his life is going to be. And that is the ray that will come forth from him, and he will be influenced by other rays only to the extent that he allows, that he is unaware, that he is unwilling, to take his life into his hands. Otherwise, he does not ever have to submit to any force outside himself.
He can change the rays in his circumference to the degree he’s willing to declare that he is master over his life, and he does not have to bend to any ray or deity or will, other than himself.
QA142 QUESTION: You close all your sessions with, “Be in peace. Be in God.” My question is about God. Recently it has been in the public press that many in religion are beginning to question the meaning of God. Can you comment on that? And what is the meaning of the scriptural phrase, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”
ANSWER: I have already said that the word “fear” is a very misleading translation. It is a significant error because it expresses man’s attitude throughout centuries to the superior intelligence in the universe, which is a projected image.
As I said, the God-image is always an image of one’s fears and one’s misconceptions, projecting a personalized version into an outer geographical sphere. That superhuman being is then and must be feared, because one projects into it qualities one has not come to terms with in oneself or in one’s surrounding authority.
The real meaning of this word is the perception of a tremendous power of this universal spirit. But this power is not outside. It is a power deep inside of yourself. For in Scripture it was also said – but consistently overlooked by generation upon generation – God can only be found within and not outside in any heaven, ever.
But there is no coincidence that this inadequate translation occurred. It is an expression of the state of mind of human beings. When you say one is small in comparison, this would apply only to the outer ego. But when it comes to your real self, it does not apply, because this is where you are not small. This is where you – and this may sound very misleading – are very powerful, indeed.
When you discover this power deep within yourself, there will be no danger, because this power can only be discovered when the little ego – with its pride, its self-will and its fear – is abandoned.
Now, to come back to the rest of your question. Of course certain stages that present humanity is going through about God are extremes, which are a reaction of the pendulum going to the other side. But on the whole, from the point of view of evolution, this is a healthy manifestation, because it will not stay on that extreme.
The individual spiritual development has to go from an outside, personalized, projected God-image to the phase when this God-image dissolves and crashes, and man apparently finds himself all alone with himself. He has to learn selfhood; he has to learn that no outside authority will do for him – he must do.
On that road, on the deep, temporary aloneness of having the old God-image destroyed and not yet have found a true concept of the universal spirit – where he finds and comes to terms with himself – he will then finally break through this inner self in which he finds the true cosmic power of God.
This is what general humanity has to go through, too. In that sense, it is a manifestation of growth, even though it seems to deny God, to deny the old outer projection of God – that is an escape from the self, that is a childish belief, that is an insistence of being lived for him, and that is a denial to face himself – and to take the reins of life into himself.
In that sense, it is a progress to temporarily abandon a belief in a personalized God-image. Until that real, divine presence within can be found, this may in many instances be a necessary stage.
QA213 GUIDE COMMENT: I leave you all with the message that you please trust in the goodness of life and in your own goodness at the bottom of your heart. Bank on it. Pray for it. It is there. It is there. Focus on it, without overlooking the negative. Look at the negative and recognize it as a temporary, unreal, partial state. Take responsibility for it.
See it squarely, but never lose sight that that part in you that is capable of this self-confrontation and honesty and openness and exposure – that part that is capable to choose the proper attitude – is the God that is eternal. It is so near. It is your choice – the choice in which way you direct your thinking.
Do you direct your thinking into an abysmal hopelessness and self-defeat because you are imperfect, or do you direct your thinking into acknowledging your divine nature, even though there are imperfect parts in you? They’re only parts. Know your beauty. Know your eternal greatness. You are God.