Where to start… That’s always the problem with these kind of things. And by that I mean things that we as humans don’t understand. Imagine how a tribal chief 6,000 years ago felt when he looked up at the stars. Completely awe-struck, mind quiet, eyes wide, ears open… immensely clear. Then imagine how he would have tried to describe that feeling to his tribe, with the limited words of their native tribal language. Possibly he would even feel so inspired as to create a new word for what he felt and saw in that moment, looking up at the sky. Let’s imagine that word he made up was “shreey.” He would have looked to his people and said “Tribe! Wonderful experience. Listen. See up, open ears, breathe deeply, quiet mind… this is ‘shreey.’ Now try!” Inspired by their tribe leader, they would go out into the open moonlit prairie, just as they had seen their Chief do, look up, listen, breathe, and do their best to quiet their mind. Some may come back to the Chief and say, “Shreey. Understand.” To which, the Chief would be pleased. But there would be others who didn’t think “shreey” was a word fitting to their experience. Of those others, most may just tell the Chief, “Understand. Yes. Shreey,” even though they didn’t, just because they did not want to displease the Chief. But what if one of those others, who didn’t really understand “shreey” decided that it was better to be honest, and tell the Chief, “Don’t understand. Not ‘shreey’ but something else.” Perhaps the Chief may be displeased, and upon seeing his reaction, other tribal members would look at the disagreer as an outcast. This Outcast would very likely, in some way or another, suffer greatly simply for being honest and truthful. Is this right? Is this wrong?
With this in mind, let’s take a step in a different direction for a moment. Remember the last time you stood beside a river, watching it flow by. Do you remember how you felt in that moment? Did it ever occur to you that the river before you, which you could very well see with your own eyes, was actually impossible? Consider this, that river is both in front of you and everywhere else, at the same time. It is in the mountain tops near by and in the nearest ocean. More than that, it is there in front of you, as it is, but by the time you can even think about it, it has changed. Therefore, it is not what it was when you first saw it and decided to have a thought about it. In fact, it is constantly changing. So is that to say that this river you are remembering is no longer there? Is it now a different river than the one you are remembering? You see, the complexity here comes not from the nature of the river itself, but from the one who is viewing it. The very fact that you, a human being, must give it a word so that you can have a thought about it, is the real impossibility. Possibilities only exist because man has the ability to think about them and give them a word. What is a possibility to a duck, a rock, a river… A river is timeless. It is both here and there at the same time. It is in the ocean, the sky and your mind, all at once. It continues to flow, regardless of what the viewer thinks of it.
And such is God– this timeless, endless, wonderfully infinite being. So how can we humans, with our eyes and minds, capture all of that in one, easily passed along utterance? Well, as we have done with river and many other thoughts, we can give it a word. It just so happens that in English, that word is God. In Hindi it is Brahma. In Arabic it is Alah. And I’m sure you have heard of more. The greatest illusion of all, however, is that any one of those is more correct in pointing to the infinite than any other. Like the tribe mentioned above, who is more correct, the Chief or the Outcast? The whole point of what the Chief was trying to do was to communicate that overwhelming calm, that intense peace, that timeless moment. And yet, sheerly because he made up a word, from his own mind, the Outcast was somehow, automatically assumed to not have experienced the very same timeless moment. But what if he did? Need it be the same word to mean the same thing? Need we all be so focused on what to call Him and therefore lose focus of what He is. God is impossible to understand. Possibility is a man made concept, and God is not. He is the background to which all other concepts are allowed to exist. He is the river that is in twelve places at once. He is the Universe, the Sky, the Rock, and the Sound. He is You and I. And yet, at the same time He is not any of those things. Because after all, those are just things that man has made up, possibilities. And God is impossible.