One of the tricks of life is that we think we are living fully when we are not. Clearly, when we are awake, we are experiencing life differently from when we are asleep. Similarly, when we get in touch with the source of life, God, we experience life completely differently than before. Even getting on the road to God transforms our life.
God is within. The more we search and explore within, the further we get along that road, and the more alive we feel. The day of our death is set. We are set to die. What will happen to us when that day comes? For those who are connected to God, they will go to God. For the others, take your own guess.
Here’s a beautiful quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan along these lines:
“If there is a kingdom of God to be found anywhere, it is within oneself. And it is, therefore, in the knowledge of self that there lies the fulfillment of life. The knowledge of self means the knowledge of one’s body, the knowledge of one’s mind, the knowledge of one’s spirit; the knowledge of the spirit’s relation to the body and the relation of the body to the spirit; the knowledge of one’s wants and needs, the knowledge of one’s virtues and faults; knowing what we desire and how to attain it, what to pursue and what to renounce. And when one dives deep into this, one finds before one a world of knowledge which never ends. And it is that knowledge which gives one insight into human nature and brings one to the knowledge of the whole of creation. And in the end one attains to the knowledge of the divine Being.”
True religion leads us to that divine Being. True religion connects us with good. Religion seems to come from the combined root words “re” and “ligare” — “re” meaning “again” and “ligare” meaning “bind, connect.” So, religion at it’s root is to bind or connect again (to the source of life).
It is regaining that knowledge that is life!
More from Hazrat Inayat Khan:
“Religion is the school that has developed man, and the ideals that religion presents form a path that leads upward to perfection, that innate and yearning desire of every soul. … The wise of all ages have taught that it is the knowledge of the Divine Being that is life, and the only reality. Although a human activity may have a number of complicated motives, some of which are base and gross, it is the aspiration towards divinity, the desire towards beauty, which is its soul, its life, and its reality. And it is in proportion to the degree of strength or weakness of his aspiration towards beauty that man’s ideal is great or small, and his religion is great or small.”
In that last bit, I think Inayat Khan beautifully portrays something: Clearly, all religions and all approaches to religion do not lead to the same place. That which brings us closer to our ideal of reconnecting with God (with our source) is clearly greater than that which keeps us locked into worldly issues, worldly relationships, and worldly rituals.
The true religion is that which actually wakes you up, which actually reconnects you with God. If you have not found it, seek that true religion.