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Question: Whatever we are doing in this life, whatever is happening in the universe, is this already defined by God, and we being mere players? Or is God nowhere in the picture?
Speaker: These are the two options that your mind has come up with. One- all is predestined, with we being the enactors of God’s pre-scripted will. Two- there is nothing pre-scripted, there is no God. Whatever is happening is happening out of the forces of the universe.
In both these options the underlying assumption is the same. The underlying assumption is that there is time, there is space and there is ‘happening’. Pay attention to this. Whether you say that God has pre-determined the course of destiny, individual destiny as well as the destiny of the universe, or whether you say that whatever is happening is happening because of the interplay of physical forces and that there is man’s free will and that a ruler God need not be there, whichever of these two options you put forth, the underlying assumption is still the same. What is that assumption?
The assumption is that there is a stream of time. The assumption is that ’cause and effect’ is reality. Before asking that whether or not there is a God that is causing all this, is it not prudent to first ask whether anything is happening at all? Is it not important to first ask whether this stream of time that you are seeing is really there, or is it merely a mental construct? Is that not a more important question?
See, who is your God? Your God is an agency that you require to explain the universe. You see this universe around you, you see all this diversity around you, you see human beings and planets and the entire universe, and you see the flow of time, and you see cause and effect, you see creator and creation, so you wonder that there must be something in time, in past that has created all this. That is how you come to God. Right? God, the principal creator, that is how man comes to God.
So in coming to God first of all you are assuming that there is this creation. Now what is this creation? Let us pay more attention to this first, this is of primary concern. Is this (creation) there? This has to be there, so that your God may exist. Right? And if it turns out that there is some lacuna here itself, in the first step, then there is no point in discussing some creator God. Are you getting it?
How do you say that something is there? Whatever we are doing, this life and all that, where are they? How do you know that there is ‘you’, that there are ‘others’, that there is the ‘world’, how do you know of all that? You know of all that only through your senses. So your senses tell you that the world exists, and at the same time your senses are a part of the world. There is no verification for the world, accept your senses.
Is there any way through which you can verify that the world exists, if your senses are not there? Would you say that something exists, if it cannot be touched, heard, seen, or if you do not have a memory of it? You will not say, ‘It exists.’ Right? So the existence of the world is contingent upon your senses, and what you call as your senses are very much a part of the world. Do you see that this is cyclical? Do you see this?
To verify anything there must be an independent agency. Right? If I want to verify that you are here, then I have to be separate from you. There has to be an agency independent of that which is being verified. The senses are verifying the world, and the sense are themselves a part and product of the world. So how can the senses verify the world?
Similarly, what you call as ’cause and effect’, ‘creator and creation’, is again a flow of time. Who is telling you that time really exists? Does time really exist in the deepest sleep? Does it exist? Where is time? Except in sensory perception and in mind, where else is time? So first of all if there is an independent agency, it has to be free of the world, which is space, and it has to be free of time, because both the world and space are mere dualistic constructs, the world and it’s past.
You say there is a world, here, right now as you see, and you say that there is a past to this world, a process through which the world has emerged and come to this position. First of all that supreme independent agency cannot be a part of this (world) as you see it right now, and it cannot be a part of the stream of time. So let’s not search for creation in the past, because the past itself denotes time, and there is no time. Time itself is a fallacy. Let’s not say that God created the world and God pre-scripted our destinies.
We create. Right? We create a house, we create a computer, that’s what we do. So we think that God must have done the same, that’s how man’s mind works. It creates God as per it’s own image. Just as we create things, so we think God too must have created. We operate in time. ‘God’ by definition is the fountainhead of time, not within time.
So what is it then, that is really there? It is not in the past. And if it is not in the past, where could it be? Obviously not in the future. What are we left with? This, that is not a part of time, this from which all time emerges, this from which all imaginations of time arise, but this which is not a part of time. God is here. And I am using God, in a way, in the same sense as you did, as that independent agency, the Source. The source of all creation. If not the creator, then at least the source of all creation.
Now, a God like this, that is not in the past, that cannot have a physical form, that cannot be spread out in space, how do I talk about it? Obviously he cannot be a part of any of our concepts, because all of our concepts will require time and space, otherwise there can be no conceptualization. How do we say anything on a subject involving God? How do we say anything? Because the moment we would be saying anything it would be coming from the same mind which requires images and time space and all that. How do we say anything?
To say anything on this topic requires a mind that is deeply meditative. That is so very meditative that there is no place for thoughts and concepts in it, and then whatever emerges is Godly, that itself is God. That entire flow, whatever is happening, the happening and not the ‘happened’, not the creation but a continuity in creation, you could even call it creativity, continuous creation, which cannot be frozen at a point in time, which is there right now. And what kind of creation? Well that depends upon the mind that is looking at the creation, because God is just a particular point, un-created, but the source of all creation.
Mind is the one that sees the creation. Right? You are the one who is talking about creation, you are the one who is talking about the universe, and if there are so many people in this hall right now, then there are an equal number of universes at any point in time. So which particular creation are you talking about? That particular creation that corresponds to your mind.
God is just the center and source, creation depends on the mind. Obviously that mind is powered by the center and the source, but creation depends on the mind. So which creation you are looking at, depends on the quality of your mind? So don’t ask that who created it, you created it. God is not at all interested in creating anything, God has no agenda in sending man to earth. All those are just nice fairy tales.
Who creates man? Man creates man. But the power to create is God’s. Do you see this? Please understand this. Who creates the universe? You create the universe, the universe is your imagination. You look at the universe as your mental configuration is, nobody else creates the universe, you do that. But the very power to even imagine is not yours. Left to yourself you cannot even imagine. Left to yourself, there is no ‘yourself’.
So universe is just an imagination, the source of which is God. Who is imagining? You are imagining. God has not created anything, he does not do anything. He has no space here to do anything. Sitting outside space how can the poor fellow do anything? But Yes, he is so full, so contented, that when your hungry mind begs for powers, all powers flow effortlessly from him.
God did not come and create the birds, God did not make the planets. The planets are all yours, the birds are all yours, the body is all yours, you are creating it. How? Not only biologically, but actually psychologically. You are creating your body, and if your mental configuration changes, the universe that you see around you will change, change exactly as much as your mind changes. There is nothing real here, nothing at all. All that is real here, is as real as you are. Only as real as you are.
Then, what is the space for destiny in all this? The world that the mind creates, operates on ’cause and effect’, and there is an entire chain, rather a network of, ’cause and effect’. Everything in this universe is inter-related through causal chains, that is the nature of our imagination. That is just the nature of the universe. Everything is interlinked. One cause here, another effect there, and behind every effect are a million causes, and behind every cause are another million causes, of which the primary cause is, God. So God is the primary cause, but the cause that lies outside the cause-effect network. Alright?
In any case the universe is just a network of ’cause and effect’. And everything that you see operating here is surely mechanical and pre-destined. There is nothing here that is not caused by something else. So your question is, ‘Are we just slaves of destiny?’ Yes, we are. We surely are slaves of destiny, there is no doubt about it.
To the extent you are a part of the universe, there is nothing but destiny. To the extent you are a human body, there is nothing but destiny, there is birth and there is death. There is a particular time when your are born, there is a particular physical form in which you are born, there is a particular gender in which you are born, there is a particular place at which you are born, and all that is destiny. To the extent you are a part of the universe, you are a slave of destiny.
So the ‘worldly’ man is a slave of the destiny, because he is nothing but a part of the world. But, to the extent you are not a part of this world, to the extent you are a son or daughter of the Source, you are not a slave of destiny.
Please understand this. This universe is nothing but a network of cause and effect. Everything in this universe, all material, and the universe is all material and space, is governed by laws of cause and effect. Simple. So if you are a material part of this universe that is, the body, which is a material part of the universe, so if you are a body, then there is only destiny. And that is slavery of the deepest kind. Right? ‘Nothing in my control, nothing really mine. Who am I? An entity dependent on a million forces outside me.’
But we of course know that outside the cause-effect network lies something. What is that? You need not name it, you know. So, if you can be connected to that, then you are outside destiny. Till the time you remain in the world, destiny will rule. But to the extent you find yourself connected with the first cause, you surrender to the center, to the Source, there is no destiny. You are now with a power much bigger than that of destiny. Now destiny cannot touch you. Events will happen, but they will not touch the center.
Events can never touch the center, but for you to remain untouched, where must you be located? At the center. Destiny rules the universe, destiny doesn’t rule God. If you are aligned with the universe, identified with the universe, destiny will rule you. If you are identified with God, forget destiny, neither destiny, nor time, nor world, nothing can touch you. You are outside death.
The one who is outside the world, goes outside the death. Now even death cannot touch you, such is your power. But remember, that power does not belong to the human being, the woman, the man, whatever you are. That power does not belong to you. As you are sitting here, you are just a part of the universe, you cannot be outside destiny. This ‘thing’ that is sitting here, this material body, this can never be free from destiny.
The body will die, this can never escape destiny. The body will die. But there is something else that is outside destiny, and you must find it out. It is your very center, that is the point where contentment lies, that is the point where your search ends, that is your very center, very source.
So never blame your destiny, never. Destiny is impotent in front of those who know what is their real identity. Destiny cannot do anything to them. Neither can destiny help them, nor hinder them. Destiny is not a question at all to them.
‘The universe is operating, I am watching. What harm can it do to me and what help can it give to me? I am beyond destiny.’
Excerpts from a Clarity Session held at Advait Sthal. Edited for clarity.
View the session at:Worldly man- Slave of Destiny
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