(Continued from Part 6.)
The Final Victory is the Lord God’s Own
If we’re originally God, if we came out from God and return to God, then it follows that this coating of matter that we wear is not who we are. If it’s as illusory as any other compound that persists for a while and disappears, then it can’t realize God.
Only the soul can realize God, but the soul itself is an illusory and temporary fragment of God. It also merges back whence it came.
“Unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (1)
And St. Paul adds:
“And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (2)
If all things bend the knee to God, if all things are subdued unto him, if the soul is then made subject to him that put all things under it, and if God is all in all, then surely it makes sense to say that, in the end, only God can realize God.
These are metaphorical ways of speaking, but the upshot of all of them, the direction that all point to, is that it’s God who realizes himself in the last moment – and for this purpose was all life made.
Remember Sri Ramakrishna playfully representing Shiva having realized himself saying “What am I! What am I!” That again is a metaphorical way of representing the situation.
The masters agree on this matter too. It’s also a truth of the Perennial Philosophy.
From ancient times, Sage Vasistha said that “the absolute cannot be realized or experienced by another; only the absolute can realize itself.” (3) That makes sense in that only the absolute will remain after the return to God.
Zarathustra says: “The final victory is the Lord God’s own.” (4) Speaking of that day, Gabrielle in the Koran says: “And who shall reign supreme on that day? Allah, the One, the Almighty.” (5) And sufi sages like ibn Arabi also proclaim it:
“Only God sees God.” (6)
“Advance, find an eye. [The Third Eye]
Remedy by it.
And now, look from Him to Him.
“The one who journeys through all degrees and reveals Himself is Him.” (7)
It explains why Bayazid could exclaim, as we heard earlier: “I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, ‘O thou I!’” (8)
“I” and “Thou” are one; there’s no difference between the two except as illusion creates. But all illusion is gone now and only God remains.
Sri Ramakrishna reminded us that “only grandeur appreciates grandeur: and God realizes God.” (9) Again he tells us: “One can see God only if He turns His light toward His own face.” (10)
And his disciple, Swami Brahmananda, adds: “Only God can know himself. Be a god, that you may know the infinite God.” (11) And Swami Ramamrishnananda: “God only can lead a man to God and no one else.” (12)
Modern sage Franklin Merrell-Wolff explains the situation this way:
“This space I produce that My Glory shall be revealed; yet I alone Realize that Revelation.” (13)
So God plays all parts and speaks all lines. And in the end, when all players remove their masks and reveal that all is God and only God, we see the Divine Plan fulfilled. God has created all life that his Glory be revealed and that he have the pleasure of meeting and knowing himself.
All is indeed a leela, a divine play. There really has been nothing else happening than God looking in the metaphorical mirror and recognizing himself. All the pain, all the sorrow, all the love, all the laughter have simply led here: to God the unconscious and illusory offspring raising itself up to God the conscious and eternal One – conscious of itself.
The Alpha has become the Omega. The first has become the last. The point of origin has been shown to be the destination. All roads lead back to God.
(Continued in Part 8.)
(1) Isaiah 45:22-24.
(2) 1 Corinthians 15:27-29.
(3) Sage Vasistha in Swami Venkatesananda, ed., The Concise Yoga Vasistha. Albany: State University of New York, 1984, 46.
(4) Zarathustra in Duncan Greenlees, trans. The Gospel of Zarathushtra. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1978, 23.
(5) N.J. Dawood, trans. The Koran. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1964; c1959, 160.
(6) Muhyidden Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d., 48.
(7) Ibid., 33.
(8) Bayazid of Bistun in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944, 12.
(9) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Anon., Life of Sri Ramakrishna. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1977; c1924, 47.
(10) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 174.
(11) Swami Brahmananda in Swami Prabhavananda, The Eternal Companion. Brahmananda. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1970; c1944, 205.
(12) Swami Ramakrishnananda, God and Divine Incarnations. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1986,19.
(13) Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Pathways Through to Space. A Personal Record of Transformation in Consciousness. New York: Julian Press, 1973, 18.