If you don’t feel close to God, who moved? As a child, I overheard my father pose this question to his soul-searching friend. The question is a haunting one. I still reflect upon it when I feel far removed from God. Who moves?

The Holy books tell us that one's feeling of being separate from God is really an illusion. God is always closer to us than our "life vein." Beyond the stirrings of the mind, is one’s deeper self, created in the image and likeness of God. God is beyond the human senses; God is spirit. The human soul, therefore, is of that spirit.

"We all come from God and unto him shall we return." This statement, found in the Quran, speaks to our journey in life as having a spiritual purpose and reality. The body is composed of elements that inevitably decompose, but the soul, being composed of something that cannot be decomposed, spirit, lives on. As the Bible states, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to God who gave it."

That spirit of God is ever present, but we perceive separation when the mind becomes obsessed with worldly attachments. In the Baghavad Gita we are encouraged to "merge one's consciousness in Brahma (God). One, who is situated in Brahma, sees Brahma everywhere and he thinks, 'I am also of Brahma.'" Then shall he "remain steady through whatever troubles come to him" because his mind sees God in every situation.

If our soul comes from the divine, then it stands to reason that it will never find lasting satisfaction from material things. According to Baha'i teachings, if we seek fulfillment in anything other than God, even if we “search the universe forevermore, thy quest will be in vain."

To use our own free will to intentionally merge our consciousness with God is the divine counsel. How do we do that? According to the Bible, "God is love." When we choose to love, therefore, we will feel closer to God. According to Baha’i scripture, "Thy paradise is my love, thy heavenly home, reunion with me (God).”

Who moves? The egocentric mind can move its thoughts away from God awareness. However, deep inside, according to the sacred texts, is an inseparable connection. We feel far from God when our thoughts are far from God (and our true selves).

Crenshaw is a member of the Baha'i faith. He lives in Eureka. Contact him at davcren@aol.com.

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