God is the ‘I’ of the Universe.
Ali mentioned this statement to me after hearing it in a seminar and is one of the more profound statements I’ve heard on God. God is the “I” of the universe. Wow. It’s had my head spinning for weeks since I’ve heard it. But to digest it completely, the context needs to be set. You have to realise who you are or more precisely, who you are not.
Who are you?
If you bumped into somebody who looks familiar at a coffee shop, you’re curiousity is just overtaking you and you’ve just got to ask him, “Buddy, you look really familiar, may I ask “Who are you?” ” How would he reply?
He would probably say, well my name is so and so, I currently work at this place and I have these people in my family etc. etc. Observe. The question asked was, “Who are you?” and the reply we usually give is, what my name is, this is where I work, this is who my family is. Dude, the question was on who YOU are. Sure we may be partially defined by our job, or who we are related with, but what if that changes? Tomorrow, what if you decide to change your name. You change your job (or business), and by getting a divorce (hypothetically speaking only) you can even change your family. But, have ‘you’ changed? You are still the same you. Aren’t you?
Who then, are you?
You are not your body.
I have heard Dr. Alidina, in one his speeches give a bit graphic yet effective example by standing in front of a crowd and saying, “Imagine my arm being chopped off. Now there are two distinct pieces of me. There’s me and there’s my arm, that would be lying on the ground. The arm would eventually disintegrate and dissolve into the earth. However the I in me has remained the same. Though I would be less by an arm, I still have the same thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions I did before losing my arm. If I were to lose each limb, the same way “I” in me would still not change. ‘I’ am not my body.
‘You’ are not your body.”
The fascinating this is that…
You have a body, but you are not your body.
You have a name, but you are not your name.
You have a job, but you are not your job.
You have a family, but you are not your family.
You have thoughts, but you are not your thoughts. (Because ‘You’ can change your thoughts)
You have feelings & opinions, but you are not your feelings & opinions.
I do hope you’ve got that. Because, recognising Who you are not, is the first step of knowing who you are.
God is the I of the universe ~ Alfred R Orage
Just like we are so much more than just our jobs, or relationships, or our bodies, next time you’re out of the office, have a Look around. The world is alive. It’s continuously pulsating with a force. It can’t be seen but it’s there. We feel it. Right from the trees, to the ground, from the birds to the mosquitoes. It’s alive. Moving. Towards a certain purpose. But does the world know that? When a flower creates pollen, does it know it’s creating sustenance for millions of bees? Does it even know that it’s creating pollen? Does the bee know that each time it’s feeding itself it’s from flower to flower it’s helping in crosspolinating the flower? Does the Lyre bird know it’s making the most complex mimicking of sounds? Even that of a camera, a car alarm and a Chainsaw!
Gosh, there are million such examples. Next time you see anything in nature performing a certain function, ask yourself, “Does it know that it’s doing that?” (Eg. Does the tree know that it’s taking in Carbon Dioxide to produce Oxygen to support us Humans?) The answer is probably not. Then who’s the I who’s directing all this to happen? Could it be the universe is merely the body of God? Could it be that God is the I of that body? The I of the universe?
[Quran: Chapter 2, Verse 255] His knowledge extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great.