The Belief in God
Hazrat Inayat Khan
It is the spirit of all souls which is personified in all ages as God. There are periods when this spirit is materialized in the faith of humanity and worshipped as God, the Sovereign and the Lord of both the worlds, as Judge, Sustainer, and Forgiver; but there are periods when this realization has been less in humanity, when mankind has been absorbed in the life of the world more than in the spiritual ideal. The belief in God comes to humanity like tides in the sea. Every now and then it appears on the surface, usually with a divine message given as an answer to the cry of humanity at a certain period.
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So in the lives of individuals at times the belief in God comes as tides, with an impulse to worship, to serve God, to search for God, to love God, and to long for God-communication. The more the material life of the world is before one's eyes, the more the spiritual impulse is closed. The spiritual impulse therefore follows times of sorrow and of disappointment through life.
The belief in God is natural, but in life both art and nature are necessary. So God, who exists independent of our making Him, must be made by us for our own comprehension. To make God intelligible man must first make his God. It is on this principle that the idea of many gods and the custom of idol worship were based in the ancient religions of the world. God cannot be two. The God of each is the God of all, but in order to comprehend that God we each have to make our own God. Some of us seek justice; we can seek for God who is just. Some of us look for beauty; we must find it in the God of beauty. Some of us seek for love; we must find it in the God of mercy and compassion. Some of us wish for strength and power; we must find it in the God almighty. The seeking of every soul in this world is different, distinct, and peculiar to himself, and he can best attain to it by finding the object of his search in God.
The moment one arrives at this belief, one need ask no question of his fellow man, for the answer to every question that springs from his mind he finds in his own heart. The dwelling place of God, which is called heaven, is then found in his own heart. The friend on whom one can constantly depend, someone whom one can always trust, someone whose sympathy and love are secure, someone who will never fail, someone who is strong enough to help, someone who is sufficiently wise to guide one in life, the believer will find in his own heart.
Those who because of their materialistic view cannot believe in the God ideal lose a great deal in their lives. That ideal which is the highest and best ideal, the only ideal worth loving, worth worshiping, worth longing for, worth and through the darkness of night, is God. He who has God in his life has all he needs; he who has not God, though he may have all things of this mortal world, is lonely. He is in the wilderness even if he be in the midst of the crowd. The journey of the Sufi, therefore, is to God. It is divine knowledge which he seeks; it is the realization of God-consciousness which is his goal.
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