07 fevereiro 2007

Why God leaves us alone

Deepak Chopra
This article appeared in Ode issue: 40

And why, according to Deepak Chopra, that’s a very good thing

I’m sure that in their heart of hearts, most people wish God would stop interfering in everyday life. This is a concern that reaches far beyond religion. The U.S. president and other born-again Christians refer to God’s helping hand in making war in the Middle East. Our Western society couldn’t be more different from traditional Muslim society, but we have one thing in common: People in both places believe God is on their side. This means they know what God thinks—a remarkable assumption given that God is infinitely present and infinitely transcendent; cosmic and personal at the same time; invisible and unable to be located in time and space.

People continue to be nagged by ancient documents called scriptures that claim to transmit what it is that God exactly wants. The great Indian poet Kabir wrote that he had read all the scriptures, bathed in all the sacred pools, visited all the holy shrines, and found God in none of them. Most people would consider that a sign of despair when in fact it’s the key to freedom. In Vedanta, the purest spiritual doctrine of Hindu India, God doesn’t want anything of us. He doesn’t want to be found; he has no laws that we should obey; he never judges, punishes or puts forth expectations.

The truth is that God left us alone a long time ago. This wasn’t an act of abuse or abandonment. It was an opportunity for us to find our own freedom, and in that freedom to realize something simple yet profound: God is existence itself. Existence isn’t an empty vessel. It contains life and death. It harbours the Self, a form of consciousness that can embrace its own existence and create its own stage for evolution. If we go deep enough into Being, leaving aside all the objects that surround us and mask Being from our eyes, we find that Being is eternal and contains the seed of every created thing. All that exists is only a reflection of the Self, and all worlds, including this precious one, fall into three categories:

1. Consciousness reflected in material objects and events
2. Consciousness reflected in more abstract objects and events
3. Consciousness reflecting upon itself

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