148. System of the World. Part Six
This leads us to a paradox: On one hand mankind is supposed to develop on their own, without outside interference, on the other hand glaring examples of divine intervention. No doubt is left in the mind of the participants (like prophet Muhammadpbuh, Giri Bala, and Therese Neumann) and the people around them, that this is the finger of God doing it, because the two women lived on air for years, for everybody to see. God is supposed to be hidden. Why manifest Himself by miracles?
I do not know the answer, but I can try.
God intervenes in a major and a minor way due to His three eminent qualities. I have picked these three, in a litany of others, with some consideration. These are Goodness, Mercy, and His desire that people should appreciate Him, and if possible love Him.
Goodness. The proof of His goodness is that when He intervenes in a major way through prophets like Moses, Jesus, Muhammadpbuh, Buddha, Krishna, the ensuing teaching is to love the fellow man. To create a good society. All the preaching of prophets and mystics, inspired by God, is to do good and make the society better.
Mercy. Although He appears indifferent, but He is merciful. If a society becomes selfish, a major reformer, like Jesus, is sent. Here is a thoughtful verse in Gita, the Hindu scripture: Lord Krishna (human incarnation of God, according to Hindu religion) said;
“Whenever dharma (Divine way) declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to destroy evil, and to re-establish dharma.” The Bhagvad Gita. 4:7-8
Why would God take the trouble of helping if not from mercy?
Consider the two prayers of Mufti Sahib (blog 112). He begged God to help him in feeding his guests. Prayer was immediately answered. Money was provided. His other request was for helping him to spend Eid with his family. Again his request was granted, and money came through the hands of a stranger. The person who wept so much that skin under his eyes broke down. He importuned God for a huge debt relief (blog 112). His request was granted. All these three episodes denote mercy. Out of all the qualities of God, this mote, appreciates His mercy the most.
To be appreciated if not loved: When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he replied; to love God.
There is something in God which is attracted towards the people who love Him. The person, who loves Him without any reward, and without any answer (from Him), is indeed rare. Because it is very difficult to love somebody which is just an idea in the mind in the form of infinite expanse of empty space; Dionysius the Areopagite gave it the name of Divine Darkness. It is difficult to love a concept. To love Goodness, Justice and Beauty. It is much easier if there was a human form to love, such as Jesus, Muhammadpbuh, Buddha, Krishna, and Ram, or an object such as Kaaba ( the holiest site of Islam ).
2. What is the purpose of life? I don’t know.
3. Is God personal or impersonal? By personal God is meant that He is approachable. He has human qualities such as joy, sadness, love, and justice. Requests can be sent to Him as supplications. He takes interests in the affairs of the world. And finally, he interferes in the world.
By impersonal God it is meant that He is somewhere, far, alone, absorbed in Himself. Nobody can reach Him. He is not aware of the affairs of this world.
He is neither happy nor unhappy
He is neither angry nor jealous
He is neither just nor unjust
He is neither merciful nor cruel
He does not love or hate
He is neither good nor bad
From my own personal experience and from centuries of mystical thought, I am certain, as certain can be, that God is personal. To experience Him, one has to invite Him in one’s life. As I have said earlier, this is a cardinal principal. I have narrated so many incidents of His (or His deputies) interventions in blogs 102-112, that there is no doubt left of a personal God.
But part of God is impersonal. Unapproachable.
The only fact which is still unclear is that what if all these instances of miracles, answering of prayers, prophecies, spirits of dead connoting life after death, are perpetrated by His deputies and not by Him? He may be remote and unattached to this world. It is an unanswerable question, but it does not bother me at all, because the system under which these deputies operate has been created by God, and all the prophets and thousands of mystics have said the same thing ( except Buddha ), on rooftops, at peril of life. These systems, such as spirits of bygone human beings, (trillions of them, over millions of years) and life after death, are huge systems. They cannot be created by humans, since they predate them. The spirits could not have developed spontaneously, because brain, like the rest of body, disintegrates.
Therefore, God is both personal and impersonal. The great saint Sri Ramakrishna said that impersonal and personal God cannot be separated; they are the same, like milk and its whiteness.
This mote thinks that the Holy Spirit in Christianity is based on the same principle; it is the kinetic energy of God._____________________________________________________________________________________
(1) Dionysius the Areopagite, ‘De Mystica Theologia’. Taken from the book, ‘Mysticism’ by Evelyn Underhill