It depends on you. Your God will be your God, my God will be my God. There are as many Gods as there are possibilities of looking at God. It is natural. We cannot go beyond our plane; we can only be aware of God through our eyes, through our minds. God will be just a reflection in our small mirror. That’s why there are so many concepts about God.
It is like the moon in the sky on a full moon night. There are millions of rivers and reservoirs and oceans and small streams and small puddles on the road — they will all reflect God, they will all reflect the moon. A small puddle will reflect the moon in its own way and the big ocean will reflect it in its own way.
Then there is great controversy. Hindus say something, Mohammedans say something else, Christians say something else again — and so on, so forth. The controversy is foolish. The conflict is meaningless. God is reflected in millions of ways, in millions of mirrors. Each mirror reflects in its own way. This is one of the fundamentals to be understood. Not understanding this fundamental there is naturally antagonism between religions, because they all think, ‘If our standpoint is right then the other has to be wrong.’ Their rightness depends on the other’s wrongness. This is stupid. God is infinite, and you can look at him through many ways, through many windows. And naturally you can look at him only through yourself — you will be the window. Your God will reflect God as much as it will reflect you; you will both be there.
When Mansoor says something, he is saying something about himself. This tremendously beautiful statement — ‘THEN THE UNION… THEN THE FUSION’ — is much more about al-Hillaj Mansoor than about God. This is Mansoor’s God. This is Mansoor’s unique experience.
Mansoor was murdered, crucified, like Jesus. Mohammedans could not understand him. This happens always. You cannot understand any point higher than your own. It becomes a danger to you. If you accept it, then you accept that there is some possibility which is higher than you. That hurts the ego, that humiliates. You would like to destroy a Mansoor or a Christ or a Socrates just for a single reason: that you cannot conceive, you cannot concede, that there is a possibility of some higher standpoint than yours. You seem to believe that you are the last thing in existence; that you are the paradigm, that you are the climax, that there is no beyond. This is the attitude of the stupid and the irreligious mind. The religious mind is always open. The religious mind is never confined by its own limitations. It keeps remembering that there is no end to growth; one can go on growing.
It is said in the Bible that God created man in his own image. This is a human statement; it says nothing about God. It simply says something about man. It is man writing about himself. Naturally man thinks in terms which are anthropomorphic. Man thinks in terms of man being the centre of existence. God created man in his own image. He has to… at least in human scriptures he has to follow the human mind and the human ego.
Just the contrary is the case. Man has created God in his own image. Man’s God is a human God. You can see. You can go into the temples and you can see the images of God. They are made in the form of human beings — a little better, more beautiful. but still a modification, a decoration of the human body. They have human eyes with a little more compassion. Just a little more is added. The ideal human being, that’s what our Gods are.
When Nietzsche declared that God was dead. he was, in fact. not saying anything against God himself. He was simply saying that the God that we have followed up to now is no Longer applicable because man has grown up. The God that we have been following up to now was a childish, juvenile God. Humanity was juvenile. Somebody worshipping a stone as God is saying a very, very primitive thing. His statement is very primitive, pagan. Somebody worshipping an idol is a little better, but still limited. All forms are limited. Somebody worshipping a tree… a little more alive because the tree has a kind of vitality. God is vital; the tree participates in god so it is vital. God is green and fresh and so is the tree; and God blooms and the tree blooms. There is an at-oneness.
But a tree is a tree. It may be a faraway reflection of the divine, but to worship the tree as God is ignorant. Somebody worshipping a river may be right in his own way — because the river also expresses the divine, everything expresses him — but everything expresses him in a limited way. He is all. So no single thing can express him in his totality. How can a single thing express him in his totality? If you worship the tree, what about the river? If you worship the river, what about the sun? If you worship the sun, what about the moon? You are worshipping only one thing — and because it is limited and one, it cannot represent all.
When Nietzsche said ‘God is dead’, he was saying that all formulations of God up to now have become irrelevant. Man has gone beyond them; man has become more mature. Man needs new Gods every time. As man becomes more mature he needs a more mature God. Look in the Old Testament. God is ferocious, very jealous. God declares, ‘I am a very jealous God. If you worship somebody else I will be your enemy. I will torture you in hell. I will throw you into fire.’ This seems to be a very primitive God; seems to be conceived of by a Genghis Khan — not very cultured, not very sophisticated yet.
The Hindu God is far more sophisticated. Krishna with his flute is far more cultured. But Buddha reaches to the very peak because he drops the idea of God. He talks about godliness. The very word ‘God’ makes God like a thing: defined, clear-cut, solid, concrete, like a rock. Buddha drops the very idea. He says, ‘There is godliness but there is no God. There is divineness. Existence is full of divineness, BHAGWATA, but there is no God like a person sitting there on a golden throne controlling, managing, creating. No, there is no God as a person. The whole existence is full of divinity, that is true. It is overflowing with godliness.’
Now this is a far higher concept. we drop the limitations of a person. We make god more like a process. The ancient concept says that God created the world, he was the creator. Buddha does not agree. He says, ‘God is creativity, not a creator.’ God is one with his creativity. So whenever you are creating something you participate in God.
When a painter is lost in his painting, when he is completely absorbed in his painting, he is no longer an ordinary painter. He is divine in that moment of absorption. THEN THE UNION… THEN THE FUSION.
A dancer lost utterly in his dance is a human no more; hence the beauty, hence the utter beauty. Even those who are just spectators, even they start feeling something strange, incredible, fantastic, happening.
It happened that for nine years before al-Hillaj Mansoor was crucified he was confined in a jail. And he was tremendously happy because he used those nine years for constant meditation. Outside there were always disturbances, distractions — friends, followers, the society, the world, the worries. He was very happy. The day he was put into jail he thanked God from his very heart. He said, ‘You love me so much. Now you have given me complete protection from the world and there is nothing left except you and me.’ THEN THE UNION… THEN THE FUSION.
Those nine years were of tremendous absorption. And after those nine years it was decided that he had to be crucified, because he had not changed a bit. On the contrary, he had gone farther in the same direction. His direction was that he started declaring, ‘I am God — AN-EL-HAQ! I am the truth, I am the reality.’
His Master, al-Junaid, tried to persuade him in many ways — ‘Don’t say these things! Keep them inside you, because the people won’t understand it and you will be getting into trouble unnecessarily!’
But it was beyond Mansoor. Whenever he was in that state — what Sufis call HAL — whenever he was in that state, he would start singing and dancing. And those utterances would simply overflow; it was not possible for him to control them. There was nobody to control; all control was lost. Junaid understood his state, but he knew the state of the people too — that sooner or later Mansoor would be thought to be anti-religious. His declaration, ‘I am God,’ was a fact, his experience was there behind it, but people didn’t understand it. They would take it as arrogance, as ego, and there would be trouble. And the trouble came.
After nine years they decided that he had not changed a bit; in fact he had grown deeper into it. Now he was continuously declaring, ‘AN-EL-HAQ! I am the truth! I am God!’ So finally they decided that he had to be crucified.
When they went to take him out from his prison cell, it was very difficult — because he was in a HAL, in that mystic state. He was no longer a person, he was just pure energy. How to drag pure energy out? The people who went there were just struck dumb! What was happening in that dark cell was so fantastic! It was so luminous. Mansoor was surrounded by an aura not of this world. Mansoor was not there as a person. Sufis have TWO words for it: one is BAKA, another is FANA. BAKA means you are defined by a personality, you have a definition around you, you have a demarcation line that this is you. FANA means that you are dissolved into God and you don’t have any definition. BAKA IS like an ice cube and FANA is like the ice cube which has melted and become one with the river.
Source: Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2
Chapter 3 – Here, Now, This…
Whenever you are with yourself you ARE with me, and there is no other way to be with me. So don’t create a duality between you and me. Just try to be with yourself, just try to be your withinness, and you are with me!
Language is not capable of saying anything about a non-dual reality. Whatsoever is said in language is bound to be dual. And when you are with me neither you are nor I am. Whenever you are really YOUR BEING you are a nobody, a vast emptiness a whole sky with no boundaries. And then you are not only with yourself you are with the trees, with the clouds, with the mountains, with the sands and with the seas… when you are with yourself you become the whole.
That is the meaning of the Socratic insistence: Know thyself. If you can know yourself you have know all that can be known — or that which is worth knowing. If you miss yourself you can know much, but all that knowledge is just rubbish. It may hide your ignorance, it cannot dispel it. It may make you knowledgeable but it will not make you understanding, it will not open the inner eye of knowing. You will remain a head person, top heavy, in deep anguish and anxiety.
If you want to be with me, to be with me is not the way. If you want to be with me, to be with yourself is the way. And that is the insistence of all the Buddhas: Know thyself and you will know me, because in knowing yourself you have known all.
But if you try to be with me you will create a duality, and a conflict. Then being with me will become a new sort of attachment. That won’t help you, that will really harm you and hinder you. Then I will not be helping you towards transcendence. Rather on the contrary I will become a rock hanging around your neck. You will not achieve through me then, you will be drowned.
But I will not be at fault; that will be your own fault. That has happened to millions of people all over the earth in all the centuries. A Jesus comes and people start being attached to him. The whole point is lost. A Buddha comes and people start their journey to know the Buddha and they become so much obsessed with it that they forget that their own Buddha is just inside themselves. He is not outside.
And the way to know the outside Buddha is to know the inside Buddha. When you are completely within yourself you have known all Christs, all Buddhas, all the Masters that have ever existed, and also all those which will ever exist, because you become one with the whole. Knowing oneself one knows the whole.
The temptation is strong to be attached to a Master, to cling to a Master, to become a shadow; but that won’t help, that will be suicidal.
Don’t cling to me, I am here to make you free. I am here to help you to be completely, authentically yourself.
If you have accepted me as your Master then you have to understand what I am saying. If you have accepted me as your Master then the only way for you is to know yourself.
Forget about me, move withinwards. One day when you will be standing in your own total glory, in the magnificence of your inner being, in the inner light — there you wi]l find me. Not as a separate being, not as an object, but as the very innermost core of your own self.
It is reported: Buddha was dying, and Anand started weeping and crying — his oldest disciple, and the most clinging one; for forty years he had been with Buddha and he had not attained, he had not realized himself yet; he loved Buddha too much. If you love too much… remember always, anything that is too much becomes part of the mind; only balance is transcending mind; anything that is too much becomes part of the mind; He loved Buddha too much, the love was not a freedom, it had become a bondage — anything of the too much is a bondage — and now that Buddha is dying his whole life is ruined. Anand cries and weeps like a small child whose mother is dying.
And Buddha stops him and says: What, Anand, are you doing? He looks at Buddha with tear-filled eyes and says: Now where will I see you? Where will I seek you? And Buddha laughed and he said: That has been my whole teaching! For forty years that is what I have been telling you, that whenever you want to see me, look within! APPA DEEPO BHAVA; be a light unto yourself. THERE, inside you, you will find me.
If you cling to the outside, it may be a Buddha, a Jesus, but you cling to the world, because the outside is the world. You own innermost interior is the transcendental.
Move withinwards and you come closer to me. Come closer to me and you go far from yourself. Try to understand this paradox: If you try to come closer to me you will go further from yourself, and how can you come close to me if you are going further from yourself? Come closer to yourself and you come closer to me, because how is the otherwise possible?
Source: Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 4