If I believe that God lives in me as me, then what do I do about that? How do I begin to make that real? Is this what “realizing God” really means? Typically we look for God in a church, in a guru, in a marriage or a child, on a mountaintop, in a sacred text. And we’re right to look in all these places. God is meant to be found and experienced everywhere. Where we fail to look, though, is in ourselves. I have been wondering why.
When I consider the idea that God lives in me as me, there are no inner disagreements. Not so much at this point because I know it’s true, but that I believe it to be true. It strikes loudly the chord of truth in my heart. It feels true, all through my being and feeling and thinking. No part of me, consciously, disbelieves this idea.
Why then don’t I act by now as if it were true? What impedes the translation of the cognitive belief into living experience? There are times when I feel a divine quality in myself and times when I touch such an inner depth that I am filled for a moment with light. This is what every seeker longs for.
But the periodic taste of God is not enough. And though I know that I will not in this lifetime fully embody my divine essence, I am certain of my birthright to increasingly identify with the consciousness of God. This is my one real craving. All other cravings are mere substitutes and pointless distractions.
And here may lie a clue to the question, why don’t I more fully embody my divine essence? False cravings. Another word for this is addiction. I think that underneath every addiction lies our craving for God. When I first considered this idea years ago, I started looking for my addictions. There are the obvious, and these are the first to tackle. But dig deeper, and it’s startling to realize: we can be addicted to just about anything. And we are, I bet you, addicted far more than we acknowledge.
Addicted to love, to fear, to movies, to attention, opinions, routines, drama, adrenaline, worries. These subtle addictions are unconscious habits, and ultimately are points of identification that lure us away from our identification with God consciousness. Maybe it can be said that our unconscious patterns are obscurations to God.
If this is true, then one approach to knowing God is to clear away the obscurations. Clarify and simplify ourselves. Piece by piece, layer by layer. A lifetime endeavor that may never be done, but the beauty is in the unfolding realization, not the attainment of perfection itself. I’ve been trying this for awhile, and have never felt more alive and deeply satisfied.
There’s a catch though, the more of God I begin to know, the more I sense and see the obscurations that continue to conceal my divine essence. My craving grows, but my discernment of what the craving is really for grows sharper.