Today, I received an email from a reader in the Netherlands troubled by doubts. For me, I only began to believe after a time of doubting. I got the doubting out of the way in my youth, but I had to be an agnostic for long months before I became a believer.
Yet faith changes continue. My conception of God has changed from being “personal” (God has the attributes of a person) to being mostly impersonal (God is something far beyond personhood). I keep going back to the phrase “the Ground of Being,” used by Christian mystics for centuries, from The Book of Privy Counseling, to Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. *The Ground of Being* means that Beingness, Existence itself–with all that it contains–space, time, the Universe–springs from something that is so incredible it’s beyond the concepts of being or existence. Yet existence comes from it like the grass from the ground.
A friend of mine was shaken by a spiritual experience he had, because God didn’t seem to be there. Of course not. In these glimpses where the Matrix is dissolved, God can’t be seen because there is no separation. In One, there is no “you” and “God;” there is just One.
Yet, in the manifested world, It is personal, because It manifests persons, and all that is. Everything we use to describe this Ground of Being falls short. It is mystery. Nothing stops us from trying to explain and describe It, but we can only describe Its energies and actions, as we can only see the wind by the movement of the clouds and dust.
Children sense this intuitively:
What created the Universe?
The Big Bang.
What made the Big Bang bang?
Who made the world, Mommy?
God did, Honey.
Who made God?
So we use words: God, Tao, Brahman, the Unconditioned, Emptiness, and on and on, though all words and names are insufficient. The Mystery pervades everything. Explanations are only invitations to engage the Mystery at a deeper level. Why do living things grow? Because their cells divide. Why do cells divide? Because of DNA. How does DNA make cells divide? Silence.
I ended my email response to him with this:
My teacher once said “the Universe is a mystery. If you could explain it, there wouldn’t be a mystery anymore.” . . .
Move the consideration from being a question in your head to a wonder in your heart. Love the mystery, devote yourself to IT, not as a question or problem, but as your life. Because, well, it is your life, and all life. Everything comes from the mystery, and there is nothing which isn’t full of the mystery. The mystery will sustain you as nothing else can. It’s the only thing there is!