We cannot love someone we do not know. To love God, first we must know Him. To know Him is not an intellectual exercise, study or process. It must be experiential. When we experience God, we will know Him and when we know Him we will love Him. We can read every spiritual book in the world, attend every spiritual course ever created and talk endlessly about God and religion, and still, we will not truly experience God, truly know God. Our efforts remain stuck in the intellect. When we know God and know His love, then we will be capable of surrender.
In God we find fulfilment, love, peace and bliss. We become what we always were, but had hidden. Sometimes our suffering is too great and our minds are too filled with chaos to just turn to God and open the door and find Him. Sometimes our delusion is too thick to see through. Sometimes there is a lot of dust covering the mirror that clearly reveals Him. Despite the fact that God is always there, waiting, longing for the son or daughter to realize Him, we have created so many impressions within ourselves that it may take time to fully know Him. It can take faith and trust that it is possible, but we can know and see God.
When we feel a bit of joy, a touch of love or a moment of freedom, realize that we are experiencing God. I am not talking about the senses and pleasures and desires. They are outside in. Joy, love and freedom arise from within us when we touch God within. We are conditioned to believe they arise from the thing outside, the person outside, but that is a misperception. That misperception keeps us locked into outside desires. God is experienced through intuition and we feel that contact as joy, peace, love and freedom. These are the experiences to recognize, focus upon and remember, even if it is a one-time experience.
Why does every spiritual path contain practices and techniques? Why are we encouraged to pray, meditate, chant and be still? It is because to resolve what is separating us from the experience of God, the impressions that cover the Truth, the dust that covers the mirror, must be resolved. We generally can’t just say I want God and there He is. We can’t just say we want bliss and enlightenment and we become realized. To know God, we must practice. What does that entail?
- Make God first. That means remembering that bliss comes from within and shifting priorities.
- Stop adding to the negative impressions and habits. That means do good, avoid evil.
- Increase experiential awareness of God. That means remembering God and doing practices that expand consciousness, increase stillness and release us from self-grasping.
- Purify old, negative impression. That means do practices that increase Shakti, spiritual power that neutralizes old, negative impressions.
- Be at ease and enjoy. That means give up attachments, aversions and hard stances and open to enjoying and reconnecting to God within.