Where is God in all this tumult?
This question presupposes, to some degree, some assumptions regarding the nature and activity of God. If that which is expected by the inquiring one were to be present, that is, if things were happening as he expected, in conformation to his picture of how a Creator should work, then he would not ask this question, for to him it would already be quite apparent where and how the Creator is manifesting in His Creation. Such manifestations would agree with his opinions regarding Divinity.
But since things do manifest differently from how he thinks they should under the supervision of a Creator, which is the reason that prompts the question, it must then mean that the view that he holds about these things must be wrong. It is either this or the conclusion that there is no rhyme or reason to the happenings that we witness or experience, and everything just comes together through a process of random combinations, intersections and interactions, together with the effects of the activities of men; that there is no One Being Whose Will governs everything.
But the latter conclusion is still not so well-established that the name of the Creator no longer comes out of the mouths of men today. When many a man finds himself under certain pressures for which his intellect cannot formulate a logical explanation, his thoughts immediately go upwards, in supplication to that One Who, in his view, must know. This often happens while the one concerned is under great pressure, and often without his being conscious of it. It also often happens in a confounding way to many a person who up until the happening could not have considered himself a “believer” in the existence of a Creator. It appears as though men just find themselves unable to completely do away with the notion of a Supreme Being Who governs everything. But try as they may they cannot reconcile the happenings around them with their understandings or pictures of the nature and activity of this Creator.
As it is, however, no human being can lay claim to knowledge of how the Creator really is, for no one can behold him. If one contemplates on the matter seriously enough, he would before very long come to the realization that the One Who made everything that is perceptible to the human being, or, that the Origin of everything, could not be on the same level of existence as a human being, but must be of a state that the human being could not imagine, even in his (the human being’s) greatest and loftiest state of maturity. One, therefore, can only truly speak of the recognition of the Being or existence of the Creator through that which one is able to see and experience in one’s own immediate vicinity. In other words, man could only count on experiencing the effects of the Being or existence of God, but cannot ever hope to be in his immediate vicinity. He can and should be able to see Him in His works, or in the effects of His Being.
If we keep in this direction with our reasoning, we would also come upon the notion of there being a necessity for some exertion on the part of whoever may wish to see and recognize the working of the Creator in the world that is perceptible to him. This effort is necessary because such a person needs to see beyond his own immediate limitations, and every single human being has limitations to his perception that characterize his state of spiritual maturity at any given time. At this point, it would be good to look into the nature of the human spirit, the entity that is cloaked in material flesh and referred to as “man” here on earth.
The human spirit is like a spark that is able to go further and further away from the main flame. If it goes too far away from the flame it loses that warmth or heat that it needs to maintain its glow and remain a viable spark; one that is able to ignite some other material that it may come into contact with and thus spread the heat and light of the source-fire. If it remains too close to the flame it cannot fulfill that urge that is inherent within it: to go off and start its own fire and thus be useful in the spread of light and heat. It remains a part of the original fire and cannot be considered to be a separate or independent entity.
To fulfill the urge to develop into a flame it needs to maintain a connection with the source-flame, however, even after it has gone off to start its own flame. From the source-flame it receives the heat that it passes on to the material that it eventually ignites as it starts its own fire. Through this new fire the warmth and light of the original fire could then be extended. This process could continue indefinitely if the sparks do not go too far from their immediate source-flames, and if there continues to be material that could be ignited or set ablaze by the spreading sparks. In this way sparks spread the heat and light derived from their immediate source-flames as they go off to start their own fires. Looked at objectively, one is the able to see how the light and warmth of the original flame could spread distances, lighting up what was dark or unlit, as can often be seen with wild forest fires.
The spirit of man affects his environment through a process of attraction, according to the nature of his inner attitude, his thoughts and his actions. It is in this way that he forms his material environment. The conditions that he has to live through in matter (which includes the earth) are expressions of his understanding of the way things work in the Universe. The better his understanding is of this process, the better his response will be to what comes to him from his material surroundings and the better will be the forms developed as a result of this response.
Everything that stirs within man, everything that he feels deep within him, thinks, says and does takes on a finer-than-physical form that then contributes to and, in fact, determines how things come together for him in his physically tangible world. He therefore is responsible for everything that he experiences, no matter through which path it has come to him. Looked at quite objectively, one can say that he attracts to himself his fate. This fate is favourable and beautiful if he has formed it well through a well-developed inner attitude. His inner attitude influences and leads to his thoughts, which influence his visible actions. But his inner attitude can only be as well-developed as his knowledge of the workings of the governing Principles in the Universe or Creation is. This knowledge, which continually develops for him as it expands through personal recognitions, determines how he responds to the conditions that he finds himself in. His response and the fruits therefrom then constitute for him the sowing and reaping which all the other species that he is able to observe partake in.
What he gets as the conditions of his earth-life or beyond earth-life, are expressions of his inner attitude, the fruits of the seeds he has sown. One who has a conceited attitude, who for instance thinks that there is nothing for him to learn about Creation outside of what comes to him through his intellect and the Universities, cannot admit into himself anything that originates from beyond these narrowly-defined boundaries. All that he encounters along his earthly path would agree with this desire to have a narrow perception, including those very unfavourable, often oppressive conditions that would arise from his wrong thinking, speaking and acting. Everything that would put an oppressive pressure on him would come to him as fruit of the seed of narrow-mindedness and conceit. They would reflect how little he is able to recognize the workings that govern everything.
Moving farther away from the source-flame in the context of the human spirit would be for man to go more and more into the dark with regards to his recognition of the nature of the Principles of working that govern Creation or the Universe; the Laws of Creation or of Nature that can be seen at work in the physical sciences, and which govern the development of what comes out of man from seed to fruit. The Law of Reciprocal Action, which is the same as the Law of Sowing and Reaping, is one of these Principles of working that man is able to seek out and observe for himself in every happening and every development. The fruit always shows itself to be much more than the seed. One is able to observe this when he sees that a grain of corn yields many more seeds when it is grown to maturity and is harvested. It is the same with the spark that is able to start a huge fire. It is also the same with man whose goal must result in his being much more than the seed of his beginning.
When he lives in ignorance he brings together conditions that cannot be called beautiful, since the only way that beautiful conditions could materialize would be if decisions are made and actions are carried out in full knowledge of these governing Laws. It would mean that things are put together in just those ways as would conform to the Laws of Nature, to what is natural and therefore upbuilding and beautiful. Not having this knowledge and the accompanying sense must express itself in what is formed by man. His material environment continued to form in ways that affected him adversely because of the way he attuned his inner life and also made his physical decisions. The more he made his decisions in ignorance of these Laws the further he drifted into darkness and the less he could be inclined to desire a better understanding of these Laws.
The narrow world that he formed for himself was one in which only what led to earthly pleasures and gain were of importance to him, instead of these being the final effects or results of a spiritual upbuilding or an inner maturation made manifest in earthly forms. With his gaze only or mainly on what is of the earth he no longer bothered to exert himself to reflect on what exists outside of the earthly boundary. This means that he did not exert and exercise that part which alone is able to go beyond the boundaries of what is earthly – his spirit. Instead he channeled the available energy towards the intellect and over –developed it, so that it no longer could serve as a trusted implement of the spirit but stood in the way of spiritual receptivity. This is akin to being cut off from the source flame in the case of the spark. Here man was cut off from the guidance that came from outside the confines of earthly comprehension.
He therefore did not develop his inner attitude and expand. Instead he became more contracted, denser and sank deeper and further away. Perception and movement became slower for him and he became more rigid in his conceptions. He distorted his material surroundings accordingly because they formed to give to him what he expressed to be his desire through the way he formed his inner attitude. The pain and the pressure that he felt only caused him to despair even more and express more of the base attitudes that go together with a narrow perspective. He sowed conceit, envy, greed, sordid sensuality, distrust, vanity, spiritual indolence and ignorance, and received as fruit conditions that gave him more of these in mature and varied forms.
His spiritual development did not progress as it should have. He could not keep up with that of the Universe and so at those times when changes had to happen on earth he experienced them as “natural disasters”. His narrow-mindedness could not allow him to take in the notion of several lifetimes prior to his current one during which he sowed many seeds that are coming back to him fully developed. He is surprised and shocked due to his self-inflicted blindness. And when helpers came in the forms of prophets and called ones to try to inform him of the need to adjust his inner attitude, so that his path could become smoother and he could complete the cycle of his development successfully, he mainly sought to take from the teachings that which he thought would help him materially. He therefore did not delve into the teachings with the goal of expanding his perception, through putting them into practice and personally experiencing the workings of the Laws that he was supposed to adapt to with his whole being.
Having never adapted himself to these Laws he could not see how perfectly they governed all happenings and developments. How they brought about Perfect Justice, which always worked together with Divine Love. His earthward-tending inner attitude and volition took him to realms too narrow to see so broadly. It is for this reason that he now asks the question: “Where is God in all this tumult?” With this question he declares that he has not been able to see. But should this question come from a genuine desire to see, and should he come up with this desire whilst there is still time for it, then he would also see if he quickly and with all his strength sets out to do just that, for no one can do this for another.
All the pictures that come up in the minds of many a man with the mention of the name “God” are but pictures that have been borrowed from others, be they parents or religious personalities. But every man is gifted with the capacity to experience the workings of God in His Laws for himself. Only in so doing could he gain that conviction that he needs to steadfastly journey through the things that may come at him as obstacles, which will only make him stronger as he earnestly strives to surmount them without causing harm to anyone else, and which are well-suited for him since he previously called them forth using his own capacity to will and desire.
Today, all that has come from man as his works, which has its beginning in his inner attitude, has been wrongly formed, to the degree that he has not known just how the Laws of Nature manifest and thus adjusted himself to them. Had he done so, he would have concerned himself solely with the carrying out of this Will in the moments of the hours of the thousands of years that it has taken him to develop to the right spiritual fruit here in matter. Quite automatically the world around him would have blossomed like a flower, to reveal the effects the working of the Laws of Nature through a human being. Human beings have been able to marvel at the fruits of Nature brought about through activities of other creatures, which they consider to be of lesser value that they, but they have always in the past stood in the way of the emergence of corresponding fruits through them. They have done so by valuing their supposed intelligence over the natural guidance that can only be received in humility. Their conceit and narrow-mindedness, fruits of their dependence on the very narrow view of the earthbound intellect, have caused them to form everything wrongly.
But, as has been mentioned above, in the natural development of the Universe, epochs come when changes have to be made to the growing and maturing form, as happens with a growing plant or a developing butterfly. These changes bring about rearrangements of various kinds. During these times peoples and nations could be so adversely affected that they could even be wiped off the face of the earth as living species. This is always an effect of how the individuals affected have contributed to that which is being changed, and how they have developed their capacity to be guided from above and heeded this guidance. For there is not a move made by the human spirit that does not develop into an effect that he would have to live through sometime in its future, either in its present lifetime on earth or in a future one.
Now, however, all fruits due to man are rushing back at him at greatly increased speeds. People now speak of “perfect storms”. This is due to the power that was brought to this part of Creation in response to the plea for help and intervention by ones who earnestly desire knowledge of the right way to be, but who cannot get back to the path of receiving this knowledge without help from the Light, from God.
In addition to bringing this help in the form of explanations of the Word, of the Will of God, of the Laws of Creation – of Nature, power of great intensity has been introduced into this part of Creation (which includes the earth), thus speeding up all cycles of development. Everything that had been gradually developing for individuals is now quickly maturing to fall back to him. The shock of the events triggered by these developments also helps those willing to do so to reflect on their inner lives, on what has brought them their fate. Such spiritual movement often allows for the development of that humility that alone can allow for existing guiding help to penetrate to the individual concerned.
But when man wishes to think of God or of His Ways, with the desire to understand better, he must make every effort necessary to discover this for himself, for he is well equipped to do so. All that has been false in his understanding, which he may have only borrowed from others or taken from his parents, would fall away in the face of the perfect logic that the broadening perception would increasingly reveal to him. The answer to this question must be sought through great personal effort. Only this can lead to that conviction that is absolutely necessary for the upward movement towards light and joy in all this tumult.