Seeker: Can no one prove to me whether God exists, so that I can know the truth?
Sadhu: God has no need or desire for anyone to prove his existence. Our arguments are feeble, our minds limited. God could have provided proofs convincing enough, way beyond anything we could imagine. God desires rather that we should enjoy his life-giving presence and so bear witness to something far more sublime and convincing than anything the rational mind can produce.
Our spirits live and grow in our human bodies much like the chick develops inside the egg. If it were possible for the chick to be told that a great world waits beyond its shell, that this world is filled with fruits and flowers, rivers and great mountains, and that its own mother is also there waiting for it to be set free and to experience this splendor, the chick could still neither comprehend nor believe it. Even if one explained that its feathers and wings and eyes were developing so that it could fly and see, still it would not be able to believe it, nor would any proof be possible, until it broke through its shell.
In the same way, there are many people who cannot comprehend the spiritual life or the existence of God because they cannot see beyond the confines of their bodily sense. Their thoughts – like delicate wings – cannot yet carry them beyond the narrow confines of logic. Their weak eyes cannot yet make out those eternal treasures that God has prepared for his children. The only condition necessary for us to break out of our material limitations and attain spiritual life is that we accept the life-giving warmth of God’s spirit, just as the chick receives its mother’s warmth. With out that warmth, we will not take on the nature of the Spirit and we may die without ever hatching out of this material body.
We have been endowed with spiritual senses so that we can feel and enjoy God’s presence. But the influence of irreverence and sin deadens these senses till we are no longer able to see beyond ourselves, nor beyond the material world. As long as we follow this path, we cannot believe that God exists, and so we starve ourselves until in the end we have committed spiritual suicide. Our end is total enslavement to the material world.
Seeker: If we cannot prove that God exists, then how can we ever know God or any spiritual truth?
Sadhu: God is the author of creation and provides all that is necessary for our wellbeing. If it were helpful or necessary for us to know God perfectly already know, then God would have provided the means to meet that need. Quite the contrary, it is important for our own spiritual growth that we persevere in trying to know more of God. True and satisfying knowledge of anything is always the fruit of mental exertion and the exercise of our own consciousness.
God is infinite while we are finite. We can never fully comprehend the infinite, but we do have within us a spiritual sense that allows us to recognize and en joy God’s presence. The ocean is vast beyond our imagining, and it would never be possible for a person to fathom it or take in all its great treasures. But with the tip of our tongues we can recognize at once that the ocean is salty. We have not understood even a fraction of all there is to know about the ocean, but with our sense of taste we can experience its essence.
In the end, how can we expect to have full knowledge of the creator, when even our knowledge of created things is limited? We know a little about the physical characteristics of the created world, but we know next to nothing about the unseen spiritual world. Indeed, we know next to nothing about our own spiritual lives. If we had complete knowledge of our own spiritual nature, then perhaps we would be capable of knowing the nature of God, for we were created in his image.
From the moment of birth, every child loves its mother dearly in its own way, but the child cannot know and love the mother as the mother loves the child. With age, the child grows to know the mother better and to enjoy her company in new, fulfilling ways. Our knowledge and age would have to be infinite if we were to truly comprehend God who is infinite. But at every age and level of knowledge we can appreciate and enjoy some aspect of God’s presence.
Why do we need to know more than this? As we grow spiritually, we will come to know more and more of God, but there is no need to be impatient. Eternity stretches before us.
Taken from: Wisdom of the Sadhu- TEACHINGS OF SUNDAR SINGH
Compiled and edited by Kim Comer PDF (free eb00k!)
Published by Plough Publishing, UK
Dutch translation is available – just drop me a line and I will get you a copy.