Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A God With Qualities or Without Qualities?

I recently read that a Western theologian once asked Hindu saint, Ramakrishna, to talk about God. Ramakrishna replied, “Do you wish to talk about God with qualities (sa-guna) or without qualities(nir-guna)?”

What makes this question interesting is not so much the answer, but the fact that it was asked as a way of creating a flash of understanding, to bring the theologian to the brink of enlightenment, that abyss that lies beyond all human knowing.

Hindus and Buddhists believe that the moment one begins to talk about God, one plummets into the realm of human concepts and categories—a human knowledge (or in this case, lack of knowledge), not divine. It is only in the wordless absorption ofSamadhi (something similar to a state of Enlightenment) that one unites with the transcendent Source. In other words, God is beyond human understanding, beyond man’s ability to define and comprehend. God can only be experienced by merging with God, through that silent part of the mind that transcends language and human understanding. God can be felt, but not talked about.

Once one achieves this merging with the Source, with God, the experience can never be communicated to others. I’ve had some amount of experience with this, while meditating with monks in Asia. The one thing I can confidently communicate about my experiences is that this Divine Source, this energy, this God, permeates all life, binds everything together, and one can experience it, be one with God.

Please understand, my concept of The Divine Source has nothing whatsoever to do with the God worshiped by Christians, Jew, and Muslims.

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