If you believe in what you see, hear and touch as real; and you have not yet seen, heard or touched a transcendent experience of something that could be called God, the Divine, or Holy One; or have not been seen, heard nor touched by that God, then I suggest that you sit still in a quiet place, and close your eyes for a thought experiment:
- Although at one time in history it was a workable metaphor, let’s assume for a moment that God is not a person; does not sit on a throne; does not speak, emote or behave like a king; is not in some remote location in space or time; and especially does not judge you.
- When your eyes are closed, you cannot literally “see” anything. You could say you see “nothing.” If you are in a quiet place, you could say you hear “nothing.” If you are sitting still, you could say there is “no motion,” no push or pull against anything, no pressure of touch on a surface except the floor or ground underneath you.
- That emptiness that is “nothing” is what pervades the entire Universe, is the empty space between stars, between electrons and protons, between your fingers and your toes, between you and your fellow human beings. What we see, hear and touch are but the superficial impressions of solidity created by the temporary condensation of that no-thingness into “thingness.”
- There is vastly more nothingness in the Universe than there is the stuff we can see, hear and touch.
- All that nothingness is constantly moving, making stuff appear and disappear. We ourselves appear and disappear just like stars and galaxies.
- That nothingness is the energy and motion of the Universe, and there is no thing that has not been brought into being from any other source than that nothingness. It does not matter what you name it, and it is silly to even try to encapsulate it with a noun.
- We cannot “see” the wind, yet we can see what it does to sailboats, clouds and trees. We cannot “hear” certain sound waves contained in the wind, yet when we listen very carefully to the wind we can also hear a soft, gentle intuitive voice in our head that is not the usual voices of the committee. We cannot “touch” the inner emptiness of the molecules in the wind, yet the wind pushes against us with a definite pressure.
- We have been seeing, hearing and touching the nothingness, during our entire lives, awake or asleep. It has always been there, always will be there, and is right here right now.
Now open your eyes and try to believe that you are not seeing, hearing or touching the nothingness. Try to believe that you are neither surrounded by nor infused with nothingness, and ask yourself in this context who am I, who am I with, and where am I going?
If you find yourself laughing, then you have truly “seen God.” It’s OK that you don’t laugh, too.
It does not mean we are free to do whatever the hell we feel like doing because our ego has got it all figured out. All that motion of the nothingness is going somewhere, it is vastly more powerful than our puny little egos, and there are natural consequences for not going with it, just like surfing 60-foot waves in Hawaii has natural consequences for “mistakes.”
Enjoy the ride! If we want to know the meaning and purpose of our temporary existence, that is all there is to it: the joy of being one with the wave.