We supplicate ourselves to God, praying that he would reveal himself. Sadly, most of us have not realized that praying to God to show up is the wrong approach. God is entreating us to open our minds and hearts to him. But we are too busy to heed God’s entreaties. We are lost in our thoughts. The way out is the way in.
Our senses and minds are preoccupied with the joys and the travails of daily life that we have little time to reflect on life itself. For many, survival is hard, and they do not have the luxury to step back and think deep thoughts. God for them is a hard taskmaster. For many others, life is about the pursuit of pleasure and fulfillment of desires. God for them is an intoxicant. We, except a very few, are trapped in our mind-created prison we call life. Most of us can’t conceive of a way out. The few who have found a way out are the enlightened ones. Religions are created around them, and scriptures are about their teachings.
Buddha and Jesus were two enlightened beings. Though they lived six centuries apart, not surprisingly, there is a similarity in their teachings. They both discovered the Truth that God is both immanent and transcendent; that is, God lives within us and is transcendent. They came from different regions and different times and used different languages to express this Truth. The core of their teachings is that there is a world beyond our senses that is richer and more beguiling than the world of our senses. To reach this world, we must detach ourselves from our sensual attachments and surrender to the will of God. As Buddha said, our attachments are the cause of our bondage, and forsaking our attachments will set us free, and the Bible echoes the call to surrender to the will of God “thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as in heaven.”
There is a world outside us and a world inside; both these worlds are accessed through our minds. One might say that they exist in our minds. The two worlds are separated by the sheerest of veils and yet are worlds apart. Most of us go through life without any knowledge of the world inside. This is what Socrates meant by an unexamined life; it is a life half lived. The sages, the mystics, and the enlightened beings have pierced this veil, experienced life beyond the veil. They are our messengers of what lies on the other side. These messengers have been separated in time and geography and by culture and language, yet their message is the same. They have described the beauty and the glory of a life lived “inside-out”; it is how one can create their own heaven on earth.
And, yet we are lost. We are lost in our thoughts. Our thoughts have created the veil behind which lies our “heaven.” All scriptures and wisdom traditions have lessons and practices handed down over centuries with a singular goal to open our eyes to the life behind the veil and to create our own “heaven on earth.”
It is possible and quite likely, in my opinion, that at this point, we are not evolved enough to know life in its fullness. We are evolving towards humanity that will manifest on earth the divinity within. This philosophy is known as evolutionary panentheism; it states that there is an immanent and transcendent divinity-the immanent divinity is the essence of all that exists but is beyond our ability, at this point, to detect through our senses or to know through our thoughts- and we are evolving towards humans who will manifest this divinity on earth. This might be the Rapture that many Christians believe in.