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Connecting With God

by dr. Stewart Bitkoff


To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.
 -William Blake

Introduction

Often spiritual travelers wonder if it is possible to connect with and directly experience God. The mystic’s claim there is an inner part to us all (the Heart) that is always in touch with the Divine. Sometimes this inner awareness must be shown to the traveler by another person (teacher) or expresses itself on its own, with a beautiful spiritual awareness or state called by some: the Oneness Experience. This experience has been described in literature by great poets (Blake, Emerson) and spiritual travelers alike; the following narration appears in my book: Sufism for Western Seekers and chronicles this connecting experience within the learning of a mystical school.

Remember, we are always in contact with God/Light and there are billions of ways to know and express this Union; the following is only one description.

Q: OK, so now do you feel ready to share some of the most vibrant points of the teaching with our fellow travelers?

A: Looking back, I guess the number one thing I learned in the mystical school was to love God, and that God was a living, loving, vibrant, and creative element. Through direct perception, and the teacher’s (Sam) intervention by reflecting the Light upon our hearts, we experienced and became one with an entity or energy that seemed to be the very life source of the universe. When you connected with this energy; you knew and realized on an inner level that this was your home and the Source. An aspect of this energy was already inside of us, and this energy permeated the air, the desks, chairs, and walls of the room. It was every place, and was the underlying unity; it was the missing piece that quieted the great hunger, and was the hidden treasure for which the mystics searched. All the while, it was inside of us, waiting to be unlocked and fill us with love and Light; setting our hearts aglow and lifting us up onto the path.

Q: So somehow you felt a love so great that it made your emptiness go away. Can you explain this a little more?

A: Many people, when they think about encountering or having an experience with God, envision somehow being with a mysterious, happy, elderly, kind person in a pleasing setting. Because of the wonderful energy of this situation, their feelings fill them with joy, love and peace. Or perhaps, their vision involves a beautiful pastoral scene, friends, happy family, and music; all together sharing a peaceful afternoon meal, amidst a luxurious garden; this garden being the home of a loving, generous ruler who has invited them to celebrate. For the artist, poetic visions call forth an experience that goes beyond ordinary sensory awareness. William Blake writes about “seeing a world in a grain of sand” and Ralph Waldo Emerson of “singing the body electric.”

In each vision, the outcome is profound feelings of love, bliss, happiness, peace and connection. In the beginning of the mystical path, there is a spiritual state called, “the oneness of creation experience;’ where the traveler encounters the Light, or universal energy, and experiences their inner connection to every living thing; this spiritual experience is much like gently slipping deep below the peaceful waters of a quiet, cool, pool and slowly feeling yourself being absorbed and becoming one with the refreshing waters, fish and plants. Softly, as the water holds you in its embrace, miraculously, you still retain your individuality but at the same time, as you surrender to the water, become part of everything and feel safe; protected by something you cannot see, only feel. In today’s drug oriented language, travelers might call this experience “getting high on God.”

Often, when Sam guided us in meditation, we were embraced and engulfed by an energy that was pulsating, alive, peaceful, kind and all knowing. This universal energy Sam called the Light, because it dissipated spiritual darkness and united with our individual consciousness and expanded it outward, into all four directions at once; during that time, there was no time or space; no up or down and we rode on this wave of pure energy, love and Light through the cosmos. During this time, it seemed as if we were everywhere all at once; because of this loving, kind energy we realized we were safe, eternal and nothing could permanently harm us.

It was the power of this experience that lifted me up and filled me with so much spiritual love, that it altered the course of my life. During those sessions, where we were initiated and caressed by this energy, somehow I remembered my eternal connection with this life energy and became One with its loving embrace.

At that moment, I realized that God had always been concerned and had come looking for me. Over the years, my cup was empty so God could fill it. And during my initiation to this energy, for the first time, I heard the inner voice whisper: “I was loved, and God had always existed.” It was then I made the inner promise to spend the rest of my life seeking God and celebrating this love.

Q: Wow – that was profound and beautiful, if you don’t mind me saying. Now, let’s get back to what else you learned in the school. And yes, there is even more to tell, isn’t there?

A: Indeed, you know I could write a book about this stuff! We also learned that we were multi-dimensional souls who came into this experience to use all aspects of consciousness, talent, and skills to help make this world better. We were urged to be like the river that gives to all travelers: some will come to drink because they were thirsty; others will come to dump their garbage; some will come to take a boat across the river; others will wish to journey the river to its source. Our job was to give to all without question and continue flowing; it was not the job of the river to question or make judgments about individual motivation.

One day, Sam made the statement that if this teaching was being presented in a different country it would be mind to mind. In our western culture, what was required was that the teaching be presented using questions and answers. Here, the travelers or students needed a verbal interchange. The underlying message was the same no matter what the format of the teaching. The energy or Light which called to our inner soul; this was the life fabric or spiritual juice to it all. Along with this point of view came the teaching and inner realization that all the religions were extensions of the Light. Across time, geography, and culture, religion varied because people were different, yet, on an inner level, united; it was this inner level or mystical experience that we drank from daily. For all people, this inner connection was on a deeply unconscious level and through training could be brought to full consciousness, as required. It was this inner connection that gave our soul its life energy.

_______

Check-out my two new books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream. Both books are available through Amazon.com or local bookstore.

Press inquiries or to contact the author visit: www.stewartbitkoff.com.


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