(To be read at the Service of Universal Worship)
Religious Gatheka Number 60
The Infinite God is the Self of God, and all that has manifested under name and form is the outward aspect of God. When we take all the forms existing and all the names put together, it becomes one form which is the Form of God. In other words, all names are the Name and all forms are the Form of God. But as God is One, His Form is also one; and that is the sum-total of all names and forms; there is no thing or being which is not the Being of God. In order to teach this the wise have said there is God in everything, God is in every being.
Many have wondered: if He is in everything, how does He live in everything, and as what; and if He is in man, where is He to be found, and what part of man's being is to be considered God? Many answers may be given, and yet no answer will satisfy. For the true answer is that all is God and God is all, none exists save He. And the question: what we are then, – may be answered by the phrase in the Bible, that 'We live and move and have our being in God.' God is we, but we are not gods. The difference between God and our being is not of the Being; in Being, God and we are one. The difference is in our limitation and the perfection of God.
How are we to conceive the idea of God the Absolute? We are not meant to conceive that. We, as limited beings, are not able to know perfection, but perfection itself knows perfection. We can imagine and make a God of our own, to make God intelligible to us, to make it easy for us to advance on the spiritual path. And as we advance, the Unlimited Being working through us makes His own way and realizes His perfection. For in this realization He only realizes Himself, which is not at all difficult for Him.
Man thinks that religion or philosophy or mysticism, all this he has learned as he has evolved. Yes, it is true. But the result of all this learning and evolution is realized to a certain degree, not only by unevolved human beings, but even by the animals and birds. They all have their religion, and they all worship God in their own way. The birds, while singing in the forest, feel that exaltation even more than man feels it after he has worshipped God. For all men who join in the prayers may not be so sincere as the birds in the forest; not one of them says its prayers without sincerity. If a soul were wakened to feel what they feel when singing in the forest at dawn, he would know that their prayer is even more exalting than his own, for their prayer is more natural. The godly, therefore, worship their God with nature, and in this manner or worship they experience perfect exaltation as the result of their prayer.
Man thinks he is able to meditate and that he can concentrate, but he cannot do better meditation and concentration than the animals and birds in the forest. The cobra attracts its food by a thought. There are certain cobras whose food comes and falls into their mouth. They fast patiently for a long time, not worrying about the food for the morrow. There are men who, on the contrary, are anxiously busy about their breakfast, they are not even certain of their luncheon. They have no confidence in their own power nor faith in the providence of God.
In short, spirituality is attained by all beings; not only by man but by the beasts and the birds; and each has its own religion, its principle, its law, and its morals. For instance, a bird, whose honor it is to fly over the heads of those who walk on the earth, feel it beneath its dignity to be touched by an earthy being, it feels it is polluted. And if a bird is touched once by a human being, its fellow-creatures will not rest till they have killed it, for it is outcast for them; they dwell in the air and it is their dignity to be so.
The study of nature is not only of interest for the student of science; the one who treads the path of spirituality, for him the study of nature is of immense interest. Man will find in the end of his search in the spiritual line that all beings – including trees and plants, rocks and mountains – all are prayerful, and all attain to that spiritual perfection which is the only longing of all souls.