Our goal is God and the path is towards God. But what does this mean? First of all, we and everyone along the ladder to God are already in God. The whole journey of souls is within the One God Reality. Yet being already within the God Reality does not necessarily mean that one is very conscious or realized in that Reality. So within this Reality of God, the soul can continually expand its individualized consciousness, thus moving towards greater degrees of God-realization. In other words, the soul could content itself with the fact of already being in God and a part of God; but the soul can also strive towards greater realization of the whole God Reality. So the possible goal to attain, that is not already a given, is greater God-realization.
The Path towards God means to head for God-realization, to experience God Consciousness in its purest essence, which is to be consciousness itself, the infinite formless light. But also, God Consciousness is an inclusive consciousness which includes all form and everyone. This means an inclusion of everyone in one’s love – this love which is the Being of God. So all is included in this God Consciousness and inclusive love. This is the Goal of realization – union with God Consciousness and union in total love. Then, from this Consciousness-Love all great wisdom emerges.
The 'Path of Return to God' is a return to True Being, to our essential Being. It is the process of emptying everything in its usual play in the psyche; in other words, dropping all the preoccupations of mind and emotions, in order to return to the essential fundamental Being (which is God). This emptying is our surrender to God/Being. Then, in this emptiness we must open to God, opening to the greater radiance of Being that will emerge from this emptiness. This allows the receiving of the Radiance and realization of Greater Being.
Essential to this opening is an increased awareness or wakefulness to what Being presents (how Being presents itself). That is, we need to increase our awareness of Being unfolding (through the emptiness). This is synonymous with saying that we need to listen to and realize what God is now giving, and how God is now radiating through our being. God is always Giving and Radiating of Its Being, so it is up to us to become openly aware of how this is unfolding. Therefore, one does not have to look for God any further from oneself, since God is already unfolding and radiating through our being, in some way and to some degree. So we might as start finding God right here.
The Path of Return is also called the Path of Salvation or the Great Ascension. Yet we must remember that these terms are used metaphorically; that is, we don't actually Go anywhere. Though our consciousness does shift from a limited absorption in the little stuff of life to an expanded consciousness of Being.
The path is actually a path of realization, or awakening to the Divine (God) that is always here; although there is an actual transformation of being and mind, which is affected by the realizations. So the path is actually a path of ascending realizations, which are usually called higher realizations. Even the idea of 'higher' is itself a metaphor, for we could just as well call these 'deeper' realizations, or 'truer' or more holistic.
These realizations have two polar aspects. In one aspect the realizations involve wider and greater knowledge of all the Divine Qualities or Principles, more of the Wholeness. In the other aspect, the realizations involve deeper intimacy with the Divine Essence Itself, which is Pure Consciousness/Being and is devoid of any multiplicity. So in the first aspect the realizations involve greater knowledge within the Wholeness. Whereas in the second aspect, the realizations involve a purity of Gnosis or the essence of Being Itself. Both aspects are significant in the Path of Return.
Now in coming to a very high/deep realization of Divine Being, the metaphor of returning to God is actually turned upside down. Here we get into the very heart of divine mystery. Here, in this higher realization, you realize that you are the Divine Being realizing Itself, or God realizing Him/Her Self through you and in this manifestation. You are the Divine discovering Itself, or awakening to Itself, in this body and in this world. You are God awakening, discovering, and realizing Itself in this world.
You are, not so much as returning, but in fact, getting here. That is, you are not ascending, but rather descending and coming into this world. This realization turns the ascending view upside down. You are the incarnation of Divine Spirit into this world. You are the incarnating Christos, realizing and manifesting Divinity. You are a Divine Angel seeking to manifest.
Understand that each soul is really the Divine Potential (or Christ potential) for incarnation, for realization and manifestation. Each soul is God in potential. Each soul is a Divine Angel ready to realize itself and manifest in this world. The Angels are essentially the Divine Qualities or Characteristics of God, which happen to appear to us as individual entities. But the point here is that you are the Angels, you are God, you are the Universal Being Itself, and You are awakening into incarnation. You are the Divine Light and the very Essence of Being.
Yet this Light of Reality remains as potential until The Light realizes Itself in this person and in this world. It remains unmanifested until manifested. So I must discover and awaken to the reality of Light as the essence of who I am, and then pour forth this Light from my being.
In our experience of Being, we can make a distinction between the experience of God/Being as within and the experience of God/Being as around us (or that we are in God). In the sense of within, God (or Being) is the Mystery unfolding from within us, and we find the Qualities of God/Being deep in our own being. In this sense, the return to God and surrender to God is a return and surrender to one's true, inner, deeper, essential beingness, in order to discover (or uncover) the Divine Qualities latent in us. Some even say that God discovers Himself through us.
In the other sense, Being is the Reality of God in Whom we live. We are being in God. God is all around us. One may experience this as the greater surrounding Divine Presence, or as surrounding Inclusive-Love, or as the Divine Friend. In this sense, the return to God and surrender to God is a return and surrender to the Greater Being/Reality of which we are part. Understand that we are already in this Being of God and this Divine Love; but the 'Return to God' (The Path) is to consciously realize this or to actually experience it. This requires letting-go of our smaller-self identity (or attachment) and embracing our greater-Self identity.
In both kinds of understanding of God/Being, we have the potential for reflecting Divine Being (in greater degree and in greater integrative completion). From our perspective, Divine Being is as potential. From God's perspective, we are possibilities for Divine expression. To some extent, in ourselves and in the world, Divine Being is already reflective and Divine expression is already an actualized reality. To what exact extent this is true, in any particular instance, not be our concern right now. Our concern is to realize and bring forth more of the Divine Potential in our own being.
There are two 'approaches' in this journey, which are both complimentary. Both involve a return from distraction to Spiritual Being. The inner approach, a withdrawal from the outer world, is a return to our most inner Being, our true Being and Qualities. It is the experience of our inner Being and realizing the qualities of this Being.
The outward approach, an openness to the outward world/universe, is a return to the Universal Being in which we live. It is the experience of the Universal Being all around us, the experience of 'being-with' or 'being-in' God, the Universal Being. This is a de-contraction of awareness, an openness to the Greater Being in which we exist.
A third approach must now be mentioned, which can compliment the other two. This is the creative work with what is given from our inner and outer realizations. This is really a movement from God, more than a return to God per se. It is our creative thoughts and actions that come from our realization of God. It is bringing into actualized existence the Qualities and Will of God. It is bringing love, truth, goodness and beauty into our world, from God through us. Greater love, truth, goodness, and beauty are in potential, in need of manifestation. But it is up to us to manifest this. Believing that God will do it all is a neglect of our own human cosmic role and responsibility. This is our creative work, though it could also be regarded as creative play or artistry.
So our final Aim is not just to experience Being and Its Qualities, and not just to be in harmony, unity, love and peace with the world. These are essential aims, but not enough. Because the world, including ourselves, are all in need of healing and transformation. So in other words, there is something important to be done in the world; this is something to do with fulfilling our little responsibility to God to help bring more divine love and wisdom into the world. We need to realize and enact a personal responsibility for transforming the world and evolving the whole creative manifestation.
The journey to God is to realize and express God. Realize the essential Qualities of God as essentially who you are. Consider and meditate on what the Qualities of God are. Consider God, and think of what Qualities God has. Consider this in your heart, and not merely by what you learned in a catechism or class. First you need to realize and understand the Qualities of God. Next, you need to realize these as the divine potentials in yourself; for this is who you can be. You are on a journey back to God, if you accept this, which is a return to who you are in the divine reality.
Realize the Qualities of God, then express them. You are God; but not God. You are God in microcosmic potential – in limited realization and expression. But you are not God Absolute, nor God Infinite. You are potentially all of God, absolute and infinite, but your realization and expression is now limited.
Then, when realized, express the Qualities of God, ...whatever you have realized and understood. This is your purpose. Realize and express as much as you can, as much as possible at this time. And keep working on this. Keep working on this, and never give up!
So we are on two fundamental journeys. One is inward and the other is outward. The inward journey is a search for who I am, and the outward journey is a search for creative and practical expression. One is a discovery of oneself, and the other is a discovery of the world and how to relate in it.
The inward journey begins with self introspection, self reflection, and inner contemplation. And it is in this journey that we discover our deeper and truer feelings, our deeper sense of will, and also possibly our inner intuition about what is true and right. So the inner journey is incredibly significant. Yet many seem to forget to take this journey. Many go all around the world, but neglect to go inside on the inner journey.
Each time we go on an inner journey, the inner landscape and our inner experiences will be somewhat different. It’s never exactly the same. No two moments, no two journeys, are ever exactly the same. And that is one reason why the inward journey is fascinating.
Also important to remember is that one could never comprehend all that is there, all that is within, and all that is true of oneself. It’s not like we could go on the inward journey one time, and experience everything there is to experience in just this one excursion. It’s not like one can do the whole journey in one weekend workshop, and then get on with practical life. In just one journey, one cannot possibly experience and comprehend all of the facets and landscapes of oneself. Therefore, the whole inner journey needs to be continuous and ongoing.
Self discovery is not an instantaneous once-off insight, like “oh, there it is,” or “there I am!” There are instantaneous insights, but there are many, not just one. Self discovery is gradual and experienced in limited portions at a time. It’s not like one big tidal wave, and there it all is. Whenever we think that the whole of our self has been completely explored and realized, new and unexpected landscapes soon emerge. Previously unknown indigenous parts of our self unexpectedly emerge, saying, “Hey, what about us?!”
So there is this vast inner world to explore, and the exploration never really ends. Thus, the inward journey is not really finite. It’s not containable in just one 'diary of myself'. It has to be a journey all throughout life. It’s little by little, portion by portion; because we cannot possibly explore all of the landscapes of oneself in one singular journey. Thus, explore one part now and another part later. One has to have patience in this journey, giving ample time and care to each experience in the journey. That is the attitude one needs.
Now, let us consider a different kind of inward journey, which is significant as well. This is more of a mystical journey that transcends the landscapes and qualities of self. It is known as the Mystical Journey to the Inner Sun. It cuts through all landscapes of oneself and transcends everything that we know about our self. It is the journey to the very inner Centre of oneself. And the reason why this is called the Mystical Journey to the Inner Sun is because deep at the very Centre of oneself, the very Centre of our being, is the Spiritual Sun, which is the Centre and Source of Conscious Light, the Light of Being. This can also be called Christ, or the Light of God, or Super-Consciousness, or the Inner Spiritual Sun. It is certainly not a state of sleep, but rather a greater and more intense wakefulness.
The secret path of this mystical journey is to go into oneself, and keep going in and in, deeper and deeper into the source of consciousness itself. Paradoxically, consciousness is traveling into consciousness. This is a journey into Light. One is actually journeying into greater and greater Light, as one goes deeper into the Centre of being, or the Source of consciousness. The Light gets more and more intense, brighter and clearer, as the journey goes deeper and deeper. Finally, at some point the journeyer settles into annihilation within the Light, and the Light speaks ‘I am.’ Here, one has transcended all the landscapes of oneself, to become one with the innermost Light, and simply be Light Itself. This is essentially being the Light of God.
Yet it would be a mistake to believe this experience of Light is the absolute fullness of God-Light. Rather, each mystical experience of being Light is a certain portion or level of the Absolute Light. Thus, it is true that the mystic is one with God and is essentially Light Itself, for the purity of Light is all that is present, and so there is none other than God. Yet, one should avoid the semantic confusion of saying that one is now God, even though in essence this is true. For it should be remembered that any singular mystical experience of being Light is not the whole of Universal Light Itself, but rather a portion or level of the pure Light Essence.
In their path of ascent, or path of return, the mystics might affirm, "I give up myself to God, so that there is only God." The implications of this have to do with three aspects: being, realization and action. If the affirmation is sincere, with one's whole being, then the energy of being is transmuted into a higher, finer energy. One's being is not suddenly transmuted to the highest energy of God-Being, but at least some degree of transmutation is affected by this meditative practice, as the mystic gradually approaches divine purity.
The second aspect of this practice is to do with realization, for the mystics are giving up their limited understanding of self, and surrendering even the mind to God, so that there is nothing remaining in experience but God. Though again, this has a gradual implication, as layer by layer the self-veils are released so that more and more of God-Light is realized. The third aspect of this practice is to do with one’s will and action. I give up myself to God, so that there is only God’s Will. Thus, the final implication of this practice is for our little will to give itself up to the Higher Will; that there may be only God’s Will in our action.
There are two meanings of the phrase 'return to God'. In the longer journey of soul, the phrase means 'the return of the soul to God' or to final Unity. But in another meaning, we have the possibility in each moment to return to God, to make a conscious movement or orientation to God, and to come to at least a relatively greater experience of God. This is the release of the little self, the release of limited identifications, in order to open-in and expand-in the Larger Self of God, and this can happen at any time, to some degree or more.
The return to God (or Divine Being) is returning to Who we really are (or Who we are meant to be). The little self is given up, it is sacrificed; in order for the Great True Self to come alive and emerge into experience, into this vehicle - which is really God's vehicle. We return to God, then God emerges through us.
We enter God. We enter God Consciousness. We enter God-Love and God-Will as well. Or is it that God enters through us? The old self disappears and the Divine Self emerges. This is the Return to God.
It is the return to God-Consciousness, as a result of clearing the consciousness of the little self and its little patterns. It is the return to God-Love, from unabashedly opening our love instead of constricting it. It is the return to God-Will, from uniting our many fragmented wills into one greater purpose, instead of allowing disconnected desires to lead us hither and thither. It is One God to which we return, though there are these primary three aspects of God-Being – involving consciousness, love and will.
In our return to God we 'return our consciousness' back to God. We give our consciousness back to God. So instead of using consciousness for little ego purposes, we give consciousness back to the True Owner. Then, our consciousness becomes God-Consciousness through us. As well, we return our heart back to God. We give our heart to God, so that God-Love can love through us. And finally, we give our will back to God, so that God's Will can will through us. We return our whole self to God, so that God can emerge through our whole being.
This spiritual journey could also be called the path of Light, because we come into the great Light of Being. It is also the path of Love, because we come into the great Love of Being. Opposite to this is the path of darkness or the path astray.
So there are two possible paths: the path to home and the path astray.
The path to home is the path back to the heart; for the heart is home. It is our spiritual home. It is the home of our true being. Where else would home be? We all know that our heart is our home. Now of course one can leave home and wander about a city with its many busy streets and buildings. These are the thoughts of mind. And one can visit many attractions. These are the attractions of desire. Hopefully we do not get caught in a hooker house of desire, or get lost on the streets of thinking. Sometimes we even forget about home. But home is always close. We just need to remember that we can leave the bustling city of mind at any time, and come back home to peace and centeredness.
Home is in the heart, and to be comfortable in the heart is a very beautiful place to be. This is where we can relax, feel centered and at home. But for some reason or another, we often go astray from the heart. We seldom really choose to go astray. It just seems to happen. So we go astray and then at some point, hopefully, we remember the simple beauty of home and that we can go back home right now. Then we take the path home, we journey back into the heart. Try this at any time. It is remarkably simple. Just come back home into the heart. The path astray is not so great. It is quite over-rated. Go try it, but it is nothing compared to the beauty and peace of the heart. Finally we realize that there is no place like home, and we just want to be here. So keep coming home, wherever you are. Get back on the path to the heart. It’s the best path there is, and home is the best place to be.
Reality is like a sphere, and in the very middle of this sphere is the heart. Yoga philosophy defined seven centres (charkas) of the human being, and the middle centre is the heart. In the very middle of the heart charka is a secret entrance, the entrance to God (Universal Being). So the path to God is to come back into the heart and find the very middle centre of one’s heart, the very centre of one’s being. Here is the secret entrance to God, the entrance into Infinite Being. We have to meditate into this secret entrance. Meditation is the magic carpet that can take us back into the heart and through the entrance to God. At first one has to journey with active will, for this powers the journey. But then, one must surrender, for this allows the door to open. Once inside, we have arrived at our absolute Home.
Ascend into higher energies.
Also included in our Return to God is union with God's Will – which is the will to be conscious in life, to love inclusively, and to serve life.
To serve life means to:
1) be in respect, caring, and harmony, in all relations
2) bring intelligence and truth into the world (and never be satisfied with falsity)
3) bring more love into the world, into everyone and everything
4) be a creative artist of beauty, harmony, justice, and the evolution of all.
The meaning of ‘God’s Will’ is discussed more elsewhere, but for here let us define it as a ‘Will to higher or greater good’. The ‘Will-to-love’ could also be included in this. Remember that ‘God’s Will’ is intrinsically a general Principle or general Way, rather than being specific instructions. We need to relinquish the mistaken belief that God has specific instructions for us, or that God’s Will has in mind a specific way or action. The Divine Will is general, not specific; and once we realize this, we might understand our own responsibility.
The first part of this responsibility is to enter into God’s Will, which means being in alignment with that Greater Will, those higher goals and principles. God’s Will is given to us as a general principle or general way to follow, but the specific decisions needed to fulfill the general Will are up to us – it is our responsibility to consider and decide what may be specifically needed (or good) at this time and circumstance, and then fulfill that specific action.
Using a large-business analogy, ‘God’s Will’ is like a set of general business principles to follow and general goals to fulfill, but the actual study and decision about what to do specifically is delegated to those who are most intimately involved with the practical work. In other words, we are the delegates and regents of God, and we are entrusted with actually deciding what is specifically needed or best at the time. So in effect, we are entrusted with deciding what is God’s Will in specific decisions and actions.
Fundamentally, our responsibility is two-fold. One responsibility is to look up, as it were, to realize the higher goals and principles of Life – that which we need to align to, agree to, and seek to fulfill. And the other responsibility is to look down, as it were, to see how to serve life and work to manifest the higher Goals and Principles.
Goals and Principles then follow, coming top-down from the Will of Divine Management. We are asked to accept and agree to this, and bring our own will into alignment with this, which is the meaning of submission of the lower to the Higher. With this alignment and agreement, we come into harmony and cooperation with the Divine Will, and then we begin to fulfill those higher Goals and Purposes.
Again, these Goals are general, and it is up to us to see how to fulfill these Goals in specific ways. God is not a dictator, but more like a Corporate Manager, and so God’s Will (or God’s Command) is better understood as Goals and Principles to follow. And as in any large business, the head manager does not decide how things should best be done all the way down the ladder or hierarchy. More specific decisions and actions are left to the lower levels of the business, though the higher management will oversee the general outcomes and work to make positive adjustments when needed.
So within this organization or system, there are degrees of freedom, or 'semi-autonomy', whereby it is possible that mistakes can be made over the process of time, though this also allows possibility for unexpected positive creative innovation. In fact, one general principle of the whole system is to allow for a maximum of freedom and innovation within the lower ranks of the system, though still maintaining influences that will bring the higher Goals into fulfillment over time. Thus, at any moment within the process of time, there can be discordance and mistakes, as well as temporary hazards, yet in the long run the higher Goals of Management will prevail, because Management can set in motion new influences to bring the general system back into more concordance.
Then, simultaneous to this top-down management, there is also an ongoing bottom-up development, whereby the lower agents are learning how to come into concordance and alignment with the higher managing goals and principles. They are growing up to greater responsibility, and also developing their understanding of the higher Will and developing skills to fulfill this. This will be a gradual development for each particular agent.
So within the system-business there will always be younger developed agents, as well as more developed ones, and thus there are various degrees of intelligence and skill throughout the system of particular agents. Some will be fulfilling the higher Goals better than others, and some may even be making mistakes – but then hopefully learning from this.
One might also see a hierarchy of departments within the corporation, whereby people often work in certain fields of service, and there are leaders of groups and leaders of groups above those groups, each seeking to manifest the Higher Goals. Also important to note is that the Higher Management has instilled in all of us an inherent capacity-essence to seek understanding of higher purposes and the skills needed to fulfill these.
God is the Absolute One Being in which we live, and of Whom we are.
I am in God
I am in the Being of God
I am in a journey within God
I am in a journey of awakening, within God
I am in a journey of realizing more and more of God
This is the journey, this is the exploration, and this is the discovery
I can be a living experience of God
I can be a creative thinking mind of God
I can be a loving and compassionate heart of God
I can be a unique and beautiful expression of God