In Pursuit of God
By Sri Harold Klemp
The window from where I write looks out into our backyard, which borders a small grove of trees. My wife and I call it "the forest."
This forest is home to our family of animals: a chipmunk, some red foxes that drop by in search of a meal, Mr. and Mrs. Stretch Rabbit, and a tree full of squirrels. All, even the foxes at times, come to eat birdseed from two feeding dishes set out for them.
The squirrels are the most fun to watch. Two large squirrels hog the feeding dishes by sitting down in them, chasing away lesser members of the family who must get by with old seed on the ground. After eating, the family retires to the forest to relax and play.
Yet life is not a paradise. To spoil this happy scene, a neighbor's brown-and-white dog races by on occasion to chase the birds and animals at the dishes. But they always manage to flee in time.
Then, a few weeks ago, I saw what looked like a newcomer to our family: a small rabbit with short ears. It left a dish of birdseed and hopped toward a tall tree in the forest. Idly, I watched. To my surprise, this one didn't run around the tree like a normal rabbit. Instead, he ran straight up the trunk.
What a marvelous trick!
Of course, this very curious animal was only a squirrel who'd traded his tail for his life, much to the chagrin of his pursuer. We now call that squirrel Lucky.
* * *
Many people in pursuit of God are like the birds and animals in our backyard. In fact, they are like Lucky. Gorging on food and drink, they trip off to play in the forest, returning to the feeding dish each day for more of the same. And life rolls merrily on. Then one day, a complication comes to steal a prized possession, like Lucky's handsome tail.
And life is nevermore the same.
But it goes on.
* * *
A search for happiness is the pursuit of God. Yet the reason so many people fail to find happiness is because they look for it in the wrong placeat the market instead of in their hearts.
It takes discipline to pursue God.
There is no mystery to finding God: just follow the Sound of the Divine Voice back home. Could anything be easier? Not so for most people, for whom the pursuit of God is as unlikely as the phenomenon of a flying rabbit. And why? It's simply not in their consciousness yet to know that the destiny of each Soul is to become a Co-worker with God, who expects more of us than an eternity of eating and play.
For many, life is much like a trip to a casino. They place all their talents and dreams on the gaming table, then bet the outcome of this life upon a turn of the wheel of fortune. That is the sum of their spiritual life in pursuit of God.
Happiness, to them, is blind luck.
Yet some individuals do have a true desire for God and use some form of prayer or worship to better understand the Creator. Mostly, however, their prayer is like traffic on a one-way street: They do all the talking. It never occurs to them to stop for a moment and listen. God may want to speak.
Often, God doesn't get a word in at all.
How, then, does God communicate with us?
Every student of ECK knows that God speaks to all life with the voice of Divine Light and Sound. The Christian name for these dual aspects of God is the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, which we in Eckankar refer to by the age-old name ECK.
The range of vibration in the universe spans from infinity to infinity. And while the primal cause of vibration is the Light and Sound of God, the human voice is a mere speck on the full scale of vibration. Why would God only speak in a whisper? Yet people who believe that God speaks chiefly in the frequency range of the human voice forget that the human voice, in comparison to the universe of sound, is but a tiny whisper.
So the idea that God only speaks to life within the narrow field of human sound is an attempt to reduce the might of God.
The Light and Sound of God are the food and drink of saints. Do you need the reminder of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascusstruck to the earth by the Light of God? Martin Luther, the great reformer, was also fortunate to see It. Then there was Genghis Khan, the Mongol conqueror of the thirteenth century, who every so often would fall into a swoon for days, able only to chant HU, an ancient name for God. In those trance states, he saw and heard the majestic Light and Sound of God. The Divine One spoke through the Holy Spirit.
So the highest form of speech from God to the more spiritually advanced of the human race is the Light and Sound.
Who, then, does God talk to?
In fact, everyone who has made a contribution to the human race has heard or seen the True Voice. The ways of God are many. God often speaks in a less direct manner to dreamers, poets, visionaries, and prophets. It speaks to people, in part, through visions or dreams, daydreams, prayer (the listening kind), or intuition.
History tells of many such people.
A list of famous people who have been a mouthpiece for the Voice of God includes the likes of Socrates, Plato, Elijah, King David, Mozart, Beethoven, Jung, Einstein, Shelley, Edison, Michelangelo, and thousands more. Each does his best to render the Divine Will into human terms, using a natural genius as the tool of communication.
The Sound and Light carry out God's scheme of creation. So the highest anyone can aspire to is a life of high creativity, but always guided by the force of divine love.
That is how to be most like God.
* * *
Try this simple spiritual exercise to help you hear and see the two aspects of God, the Light and Sound.
Go somewhere quiet. Sit or lie down in a comfortable place. Put your attention on your Spiritual Eye, a point just above and behind your eyebrows. With eyes lightly shut, begin to sing a holy word or phrase, such as HU, God, Holy Spirit, or "Show me thy Ways, O Lord." But fill your heart with love before you approach the altar of God, because only the pure may come.
Be patient. Do this exercise for several weeks, for a limit of twenty minutes each time. Sit, sing, and wait. God speaks only when you are able to listen.
There is more to the pursuit of God than luck.
Excerpted from the 1993 Eckankar Journal, copyright © 1992 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.