We do not mistake material experiences for spiritual experiences, but our psychological experiences do create the illusion of being spiritual because the mental images we see are different from those of the material world we know and because we also see them after we have closed our eyes. But among psychological experiences, we do not consider dreams to be spiritual experiences, even though they too only appear when we shut our eyes and even though any waking, any contact with the outside world, puts an end to them.
Only those psychological experiences that create the illusion of being real and spiritual are called “mental projections.” The mind has the capacity to hypnotize itself to such a degree that it can see the dreams it sees with closed eyes even after the eyes have been opened. This happens in a kind of waking sleep. Thus we see God as we want to – Krishna or Christ. Such visions are only mental projections in which we don’t see what really is, but whatsoever it is we wish to see. These experiences are neither spiritual nor of the divine. They are simply psychological experiences and are caused by self-hypnosis.
How is God seen then?
This word seeing is misleading. It gives an impression as if God is a person who will be seen. Similarly the word God also creates the illusion of a person, a personality. There is no God, there is only godliness. God is not a person, only energy. God is an infinite ocean of energy, an infinite ocean of consciousness which is manifesting itself in all forms. God is not separate as some creator, it is the creation, it is creativity, it is life.
Surrounded by the ego, we create the illusion that we are separate from this life. This is our distance, our separation from godliness. In actuality, there is no distance or separation. The illusion created by the “I” is the distance. This distance is ignorance. In fact, there is no distance as such, ignorance itself is the distance.
Once the “I” dissolves, an infinite, boundless, creative life force is realized and that is “God.” The experience one has at the death of “I” is the seeing of God. What you see is that the “I” is nowhere and that which is in the waves of the ocean is in you; that which is in the fresh spring shoots is in you; that which is in autumn’s falling leaves is in you. You are nowhere discontinuous and separate from the universal isness, you are in it; you are it. This experience is called “seeing God.”
A seer has said, “Tattvamasi svetaketu” – That art thou. The day you feel and experience this, you have realized God. Anything less then this, different from this, is all imagination.
What vision of God can you have? One has to become God oneself. What vision of the ocean can a dewdrop have? – but it can lose its identity and become the ocean itself. As long as it is a dewdrop there is a vast gap between it and the ocean, but once it loses its identity and dissolves in the ocean, it is itself the ocean.