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Chapter 10: Worship of the Self

Man can become divine because he is already divine, and Hindus say you can become only that which you are already. You cannot become that which you are not already; you cannot grow to be something else. You can grow to be yourself only. This attitude has many dimensions, and we will try to understand.

One, God as the creator. We can think of him as a painter, but Hindus have not thought that way. They say the creator is not a painter but a dancer - hence Shiva the dancer. In dance the dancer is creating something, but the creation is not something separate from the creator. In painting the painter and painting are two things. The painter can die and the painting may remain. And the moment the painting is complete, it is independent of the painter completely. Now it will take its own course.

Hindus say God is a creator like a dancer. A dancer is there dancing: the dance is the creation, but you cannot separate it from the dancer. If the dancer dies the dance will die, and if the dance continues the dancer will be there.

One thing more, basically important: the dancer can exist without the dance, but the dance cannot exist by itself. The dance cannot exist without the dancer, but the dancer can exist without the dance. Hindus say this world is a creation in this way: God is dancing, so whatsoever is created is part and parcel of it.

Another thing: a painter paints - he can complete the painting and then go to sleep. But a dance is a constant creation. The God cannot go to sleep. So the world was not created on a particular day. It is being created every moment. Christians think the world was created on a particular day and date, and before that there was no world. In a week - in six days, to be exact - the God created the world, and on the seventh day he rested. Now, even if he exists, he is needed no longer. He may have died in the meantime. The painter can die and the painting can continue. The painter may have gone mad, the painting remains as it was.

Hindus say the world was not created: it is being created every moment. It is a constant flux of creation, it is a continuum of creation. So, really, if you see it in this way, then God is not a person, God is energy. Then God is not something static; it is movement, dynamic, because a dance is a dynamic movement. You have to be in it every moment, only then can it exist. Dance is an expression, a living expression, and you have to be in it continuously.

The world is a dance, not a painting. And everything is part of this dance, every gesture is divine. So Hindus say a very beautiful thing. They say: If everything is not divine, then nothing can be divine. If everything is not holy, then nothing can be holy. If everything is not God, then there is no possibility of any God.

This is one dimension, to see this oneness. They never say it is oneness, they always say it is nondual - because Hindus think that to say that the world is one, existence is one, gives you a feeling that one can exist only if something else also exists.

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