That’s all the word God carries. Existence is not like a dead rock; it is an alive flower. It will respond to you. If you love it, love will flow toward you. If you move toward it, it will move toward you. If you seek it, it will seek you. Existence is not careless. If you are in love with existence, existence is in love with you. That’s all that we mean when we call existence divine or when we say “God is.” Remember it. It is a poetic way of saying a truth. It is not a fact. It is poetry, it is romance. And religion is romance with existence.
Yes, it is more like falling in love rather than arguing toward a conclusion.
That’s why Kabir says God is within and without, but the journey has to start from the within. Unless you have known godliness within, you will not be able to comprehend it in the outside. Unless you have seen him within yourself, you will not be able to see him in the trees, in the birds, in the stars. How can you see him in the tree, in the rock, if you have not been able to feel him within yourself? Your center of being is the closest door to God. If you have not been able to enter from there, you cannot enter from anywhere else.
God is within and without, both, because only he is; still, the journey starts from your innermost core. First you have to look withinwards. If from the very beginning you start looking for God in the outside, your God will be nothing but an imagination, a falsity.
This point has to be understood very deeply. The whole approach of Kabir, the whole approach of all the mystics of the world, depends on this. If you see God outside and you have not seen him within, it is going to be just a dream, a projection, a wish fulfillment; so don’t start the journey that way. The journey starts by closing the eyes; the journey ends by opening the eyes. First, one closes the eyes in meditation, goes deep into oneself. When one has realized, touched the very core, has known who is there, one opens the eyes – and finds him all over, spread everywhere.
But you cannot begin from the outside. That’s where organized religion misses the whole point. The Christian goes to the church, the Hindu goes to the temple, the Mohammedan goes to the mosque. The Mohammedan travels thousands of miles to go to Mecca, the Hindu goes to Kailash; and Kabir says he is neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash. He is within you. Not that he is not in Kaaba and Kailash! Once you have found him within yourself you will find him everywhere – but then there will be no point in going to Kaaba and Kailash because wherever you are, wherever you look, you will find Kaaba, you will find Kailash.
There is a very beautiful story in the life of Nanak, another great mystic of the same caliber as Kabir.
Nanak went to Mecca; he traveled with some Mohammedan travelers who were on a pilgrimage. They reached Mecca, the holy stone of Kaaba. It was evening and the sun was setting, and they were very tired, and Nanak immediately fell asleep.