How God Speaks to Us and How We Respond
By Sri Harold Klemp
Perhaps you've heard the story about a worker with years of seniority losing a promotion to a newer employee. In a rage, the older worker stormed into the manager's office to complain.
"Don't forget," he barked, "I have twenty-five years of experience under my belt."
The manager sat back in his chair. After a few moments of reflection, he leaned forward and said, "No, you have had one year of experience twenty-five times."
This is a story about a drop-off in spiritual growth. The main point is not about winning or losing a promotion, but about a person who kept missing chances to give to others at work. The missed promotion was Divine Spirit's way of reminding him of the Law of Cause and Effect. The man had lost his drive. It finally came down to his manager having to explain to him the reason a more qualified person got the promotion. Long ago, this worker had stopped giving his best. How many years had it been since he came to work with the thought of making a difference in the company that day?
Life is about spiritual growth. We either seize the opportunities that life offers to become Co-workers with Godby learning to serve othersor we think mostly about getting our own satisfaction.
How does this story tie in with how God speaks to us?
God speaks through the voice of conscience, holy scriptures, feelings, and even the positive urgings of other people. Yet there are other ways. God's Voice also reaches us through human love, intuition, dreams, the Spiritual Exercises of ECK, or a direct experience with the Light and Sound of God.
The above story about the disgruntled worker is an example of the Divine Word speaking through the manager. A key purpose for life here is to have as many opportunities as possible to learn the give-and-take of divine love. What has that to do with the workplace? We must eventually learn to treat other people as lights of God too, giving love and respect to the spiritual side, a real chore when tempers clash. Even more, we need to give our best in all departments of our life. To avoid that responsibility is to drop back in spiritual unfoldment.
Our workplace, homelife, church attendance, school life, and many other interests can reveal valuable insights about our response to the Voice of God. Our goal in ECK is simply to become more aware and grow spiritually. A Co-worker with God does that.
God speaks, but do we listen? If so, how suitable is our response? The worker in the story above lashed out at others for his failure to grow spiritually, but isn't that usually so?
The Creator, the Highest Being, speaks to creation through the Holy Spirit, the ECK. This voice of divine love is very real. Those who enter the higher reaches of heaven here and now in their states of consciousness see the holy Light and hear the divine Sound of God clearly in everyday life. The Light and Sound are God's way to communicate directly with us. They help develop our creativity, which makes us godlike.
Showers of love rain down upon us simply because we are Soul, a divine spark of God. Its Voice, which showers the love, is the pure Light and Sound.
Most people are unaware of this spiritual gift. Indeed, they respond to the Light and Sound of God indirectly by listening to their intuition, trusting their feelings, or following their conscience. But others do see the Light directly; It often appears before the Sound. They are two parts of the Voice of God, the ECK, which speaks to all whose spiritual eyes can see the mysteries of divine love.
One day, a husband and wife were discussing a recent, unethical dealing he had had with a person outside the household. A true lover of God, he felt deep remorse for such a thoughtless act committed in that dealing. Walking to the window while talking to his wife, he looked outside and saw the whole neighborhood bathed in a bright, shimmering pink light. The display lasted for some time. Finally, he called his wife to the window, for he wondered what could have caused this brilliant array of light. She saw nothing. As he continued to watch, a big ball of pinkish light shot upward and burst into small bits, like a spectacle of fireworks.
His unkind deed of the day had set off feelings of sorrow. He loved God, but his behavior didn't reflect that. He then realized that his past efforts to merit divine love were small and local in light of the monumental and universal love of God for him. That realization came on the heels of the supernatural pink light of God. The color pink is from the Astral Plane, the source of emotions and many problems.
The experience filled him with the humility and will to be a better person.
Very few people actually know how God speaks. Usually, even the most religious people can only "feel" the divine presenceat random timesyet they have very little understanding of how to listen to or see the Voice of God actively. So they often fail to respond to It.
A woman recently had a brush with death after she became ill with toxic shock syndrome. The disease began to get the better of her. At one point, her feet became numb, her blood pressure fell to a dangerous level, and the pain was nearly beyond endurance.
A team of young doctors set to work to save her life.
The night her illness reached a crisis, she felt very afraid of sleep. She thought it necessary to stay awake to survive, and that night proved to be the longest of her life. To make it till morning, she made up a Spiritual Exercise of ECK. She imagined herself in the company of the Mahanta (the Inner Master) and other ECK friends. She saw herself relaxing in their arms. The exercise was simplicity itself.
Later, she made up other exercises that included HU, an ancient name for God, which she sang repeatedly.
The night passed, and the illness with it. This crisis brought her a realization about the Spiritual Exercises of ECK: It took a real effort to create them during this emergency. She then realized the value of doing them dailybefore the onset of trouble. Waiting until the hour of desperation could be too late. As it was, it still took her a lot of imagination and effort to create them during the pain of her illness. But her daily practice of the spiritual exercises had made it easier to reach for the love and support of the Mahanta and other ECK initiates.
The experience was a crossroads for her. In the future, she plans to give up several negative traits that have held her back spiritually and put more energy into higher ambitions. It's a far better response to the Voice of God.
God is always speaking to us and all life through the Holy Spirit. Like the worker mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is easy to forget Its guidance when we've strayed far off the path to becoming a Co-worker with God. A lost job, illness, and a hundred other problems are often a secret message from the ECK to turn us back to God.
Listen to God's Voice. Respond to It spiritually and know that despite every appearance to the contrary, all is well and in its rightful place.
Excerpted from the 1995 Eckankar Journal, copyright © 1994 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.