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Excerpted from How to Know God  by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 1999 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Somewhere miracles take place, along with holy visions, angels, enlightenment, and hearing the voice of God."

Deepak Chopra, How to Know God, Part 3

The picture is not new in its top and bottom layers, placing God above the material world and removed from it. God must be separate from us, or else we would be able to see him here, strolling about as he did in the Book of Genesis. There, after the seven days of creation, God walked in the garden of Eden, enjoying his handiwork in the cool of the evening.

Only the middle element of our diagram, called the transition zone, is new or unusual. A transition zone implies that God and humans meet on common ground. Somewhere miracles take place, along with holy visions, angels, enlightenment, and hearing the voice of God. All of these extraordinary phenomena bridge two worlds: They are real and yet they are not part of a predictable cause-and-effect. To put it another way, if we stubbornly cling to material reality as the only way to know anything, skepticism about God is totally justified. Miracles and angels defy reason, and even though holy visions may be catalogued time after time, the rational mind remains defiant, defending its sure grip on the material plane.

"You really think God exists? Well, let's break it down. You're a doctor, I'm a doctor. Either God is causing these diseases we see every day, or else he can't do anything to stop them. Which one is the God you want me to accept?"

This voice is from a skeptical colleague I used to make rounds with in the hospital, a confirmed atheist.

"I don't want you to accept either one," I would protest.

But he would press the point. "Reality is reality. We don't have to argue over whether an enzyme or hormone is real, do we? God can't survive any kind of objective test. But we all know that. Some of us just choose not to keep on fooling ourselves."

On one level he was right. Materialist arguments against God remain powerful because they are based on facts, but they fall apart once you dive deeper than the material world. Dame Julian of Norwich lived in England in the fourteenth century. Dame Julian asked God directly why he had created the world. The answer came back to her in ecstatic whispers:

You want to know your lord's meaning in what I have done? Know it well, love was his meaning. Who reveals it to you? Love. What did he reveal to you? Love. Why does he reveal it to you? For love.

For Dame Julian God was something to eat, drink, breathe, and see everywhere, as though she were an infatuated lover. Yet since the divine was her lover, she was elevated to cosmic heights, where the whole universe was "a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand."

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