Chapter 6: Seeing without Thinking
God is not a person, it is an experience. The vision, the experience one has of the universe, of existence, after the dissolution of the ego-center, is what I call “God.” There is no specific experience of God as a person; rather the experience of an all-pervading love is God. It has no center; it is the whole existence. The entire existence is its center. It is incorrect to call it “the experience of God,” but you can say “the experience of all-pervading love is God.”
Love is the relationship between two persons. When this relationship happens between an individual and the whole, I call it “God.” The ultimate state of love, the perfection of love, is God. I am reminded here of a saying of Christ’s: “God is love.”
When the “I” disappears, what remains is love. When the walls surrounding the ego crumble, what remains is love. And that itself is also “God.” Hence, one cannot know God but one can become God.
You said that this life we live is not life at all, but a long drawn-out process of dying. What do you mean to convey by this?
It is quite true that what we call life is not life. If it really were life how could it end in death? Life and death are two contradictory things so how then can death be the final outcome of life? Death is the end of birth, not of life.
And because death comes at the end don’t think it really comes at the end. It is present in birth itself. It starts the very day one is born. After birth we die every moment. When this process of dying has been completed we call it death. What was present in birth as a seed appears at the end in its fully-ripened form. Hence, although nothing else is certain after birth, death for sure is. It is certain because it arrives with birth itself. Birth is just another name for death; it is the seed of death. Let this be carefully understood. You begin dying the day you are born. That is why I say that life as we know it is not life but only a long, slow, gradual process of dying.
Because we become familiar only with this gradual dying and not with life, we are busy the whole time trying to save ourselves from it. All our plans and activities are aimed at some sort of security and self-defense. And what are we doing? Aren’t we busy defending ourselves against death all the time? Man even becomes religious for the same reason - in defense. It is because of this that he takes to religion when he senses death drawing near. For the most part, the religion of old people is of this type. I don’t call this real religiousness. It is just an aspect of the fear of death. It is the last safety measure. Real religiousness does not come out of a fear of death, but out of experiencing life.