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Chapter 4: God Is Day and Night

God is day and night, winter and summer,
war and peace, satiety and want.

Sea water is at once very pure and very foul:
it is drinkable and healthful for fishes,
but undrinkable and deadly for men.

The nature of day and night is one.

The way up and the way down
are one and the same.

Even sleepers are workers and collaborators
in what goes on in the universe.

In the circle
the beginning and the end are common.

God is not a person. Because man has always taken God as a person, a thousand and one difficulties have arisen. All the problems that theology deals with are simply futile exercises - and the base is that God is taken as a person.

God is not a person and cannot be. Let it go as deep in you as possible, because that will become a door, an opening. And particularly for those who have been raised as Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, it is very difficult to take God as anything else but a person - that becomes a closing. To think about God as a person is anthropocentric. In The Bible it is said God created man in his own image, but just the contrary seems to be the case - man has created God in his own image. And men differ, that’s why there are so many gods in the world.

It happened that when for the first time Christian missionaries reached Africa, they were in trouble - because they painted God as white and the Devil as black, and the Negroes felt very much offended. They wouldn’t listen to them, because from the very beginning the image was in conflict. Then one missionary simply got the idea: he changed the colors. He made God black and the Devil white, and the Negroes were very happy - they could accept. A Negro is bound to paint his God in his own image, a Chinese in his own, an Indian in his own. We paint God as our own reflection - of course, perfect - but your image cannot be God. You are just a part, a very tiny part, one atom in existence. How can the whole be conceived in the image of the part? The whole transcends the part, the whole is infinitely vast. If you cling to the atom, if you cling to the part, you will miss the whole.

God is not to be conceived in your image; rather, on the contrary, you have to drop your image, you have to become imageless. Then, and only then, you become a mirror and the whole reflects in you.

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