Some Soul Searching Questions on God

Some one asked some soul searching questions on God and awareness. I am quoting the question here:

So how much of me is God and how much of God is me? When all the universe is God (creation I would say is nearly the same) am I not part of this universe? when I think about it all I can really put the finger on (as to who or what I am) is awareness, this makes me think well what is this awareness? Science now explains that physical reality is in some way subservient to what we think is occurring (does anything actually occur?) then reality is connected to consciousness which is connected to awareness which is what? Physically this awareness is a combination of sense input, should I say a formation of sensory input and beliefs etc. (in the way we put them together as information we can use). But this sense is very limited and very reliant upon the restrictions (wavelength etc) so it could be almost described as being tuned to certain things - would these things be the direction to God as the path of least resistance?

For some reason I see no distinction between things and God, my logic is where ever you look there is God. (I may well be wrong I am trying to understand this ) So if I was to look at you there is God. Following this what is it I am doing when I look, (what is this thing looking sensing) I am using a particular set of senses which are very limited in their scope, so limited as to be almost seen as design.

If I am to contemplate what this existence is and break it down into its smallest constituent components it is a bunch of senses creating an awareness (just words to describe). I wonder what this awareness is another word is consciousness (a perception of what where we are). What is this awareness this paradigm of designed senses, what is its purpose?

And more importantly what is this awareness's relationship to God?


What I will try to share here will be limited. I say limited because our Masters advised us to speak to people according to their level of understanding and awareness. Now I do not know the questioner and hence I have no clue about his understanding apart from the words of the question. Also for another obvious reason it will be limited because these are some of the most fundamental questions which humanity will probably be seeking an answer until the end of human history. I am no expert to have an answer to conclusively cover it all. But here is what I think, feel and experience.

So how much of me is God and how much of God is me?

What a question! And it has thousand of answers depending on who is asking.

The most sensible answer, sensible to the instrument of intelligence, which is mind - is that man is man and God is God. This is an answer also given by people of realization in early generations, people who have attained, who are drawn near, al-muqarribun.

Yes there is a level of awareness where one may come to realize that God is Present in everything. One may come to gaze at the eyes of a cat and beyond the form of cat, if the moment is right, and grace is there, one may see the soul of all Souls, the reflection of the Being, and one may have the feeling in the heart that he or she is gazing right into the eyes of another Greater Being or God. Now this is a domain of the heart, since this is something to be experienced, not something to be intellectualized or conceptualize. On the level of intellect or concept, the cat is cat and God is God. As long as that person is immersed in that unitary consciousness, it may be valid to experience the cat as God or God's reflection, but generally such unitary consciousness in most cases lasts for certain period. When he is out of that experience, its best to call a cat a cat because that's how we identify it in our ordinary consciousness.

If that unitary experience or the experience of oneness or tawhid be elevated from temporary state (in sufi terminology, haal) to a more permanent station (maqam), still then the cat remains a cat.

In zen tradition it said,

Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water,
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

What it means that in our human role, we are to carry on and see things as they are, even after the greatest of shift in our inner being. In Islam, the prophet had to carry his human responsibilities even after his journey to seven heavens and God and back. The prophet used to pray, O Allah show me things as they are. This prayer has tremendous wisdom for gnosis. To be able to witness things as they are made to, as their reality.

Back to the experience of the cat, after opening to unity consciousness, the cat remains a cat, but how that person will deal with that cat or any sentient being in that matter will radically shift. He will behold tremendous mercy and compassion towards any sentient being because he will come to realize the unity between himself and other sentient beings. Thats why for any enlightened beings any suffering of any other become a matter of urgent concern.

This is expressed while the Scripture describe the characteristic of the Complete Human being,

There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Greatly grievous to him is your suffering; [he is] concerned over you and to the faithful he is tenderly kind and merciful. (9:128)


Another point to be shared here. Since we are not just our mind or intellect but we have heart (referring to spiritual heart) as well as soul, hence there are different levels where we may intuit or come to recognize things. We may understand through mind, and yet we may feel more deeply with our heart and even beyond that we have experience on the level of soul.

What is experienced, is almost impossible to be translated to the mind alone. In fact any attempt of such actually colors or negatively bias the experience or ruin it. For example if someone has not tasted a particular food, no matter how many times he reads the recipe, or the description of it, it wont be equal to tasting the food itself. Lets say we are talking about a very exotic dish only found in a very remote island in Japan made only with local ingredients. Now if someone who tasted it, comes back and talk about it, its also possible that the same food may taste very different to another person. One may like it overboard and another may consider it so so, but not super delicious. Even participatory experiences of two different individual can be different.

It is said about God that God never reveal Himself in the same fashion/ manner/ manifestation twice. What does that mean. That means God being an Infinite Being, always manifest in a new fashion. God has infinite manifestations, none matching a previous one.

kulla yawmin Huwa fee sha'n (55:29)

Every day, every moment in (new) splendor does He (shine)!

So if that is the Divine Way, a Way of Infinite Manifestation, if we theorize it, if we fix it, if we give it a definite form and limit it with limited boundary and mode, then it is the greatest injustice. That is why in the Scripture it says, to associated, compare, give form to God is the greatest injustice to truth. Surely associating / comparing  is great injustice (zulmun azim) - Qur'an 31:13

This precisely when we say for example that 'Krishna is god' or 'Jesus is god', what it essentially does is that we limit God to a historical person, a particular shape and form, within a certain culture and time. But God is beyond any limitation, any limited form, is not bound by any time or culture. For this same reason its greater wisdom not to attribute God to one's self. Wiser to say that we have a divine spark within us which is our soul.

In one level 'wheresoever we turn there is the Face of God' (WajhAllah), thats true. But what level that is we need to appreciate that. It is the level of the soul where any otherness, any other than God (ghayrullah) has become from opaque to transparent and has vanished (whats on earth must vanish and only will remain the Godhead or Face of Allah)- at that level of consciousness, 'wheresoever we turn there is God' is true.

Kullu man AAalayha fan
Wa yabqa wajhu rabbika dhul jalali wal-ikram (

Every one, every single thing will perish
But will remain only the Face of Your Lord.

~ The Qur'an

But as long as our consciousness is inundated with ghayrullah (things, matter, objects, beings other than God), then our pretending to have tapped into the truth that 'wheresoever we turn is God' will be just a statement of the mind, will be just an assumption, a conjecture. And a conjecture or opinion is never equal to an experienced which is lived.

So how much of me is God? 

To answer that question, it depends on how less have you become. If all that we see is me, all that we can think of is my need, my idea, my having and not having, my future, my past, then you are full of yourself and not of God. Your becoming rabbani or infused with the divine is exactly proportional to your being less of yourself, provided that in your heart of heart you have the longing to know God.

How much of God is me? 

Since you are you because of Divine Will, since you are fashioned by Him, your movements are facilitated by him, you are who you are only through Him, your existence from naught is by God and ultimately your return is to Him, then depending on your capacity to accept - its quite reasonable to say that you have Signature of God all over you and your existence, you are a Sign of God (ayatullah), you are the proof of God (hujjatullah), without you, even God is not because from your perspective if you didn't exist, the existence of God will lose its meaning. So you are such a magnificent creation that give glory to God (bahaullah). You carry God's breath (ruhullah) within you, God's spirit within you. Now you have to come to decide how much of God is you. It is again proportional to the realization that your existence and completeness is only through Him, it is proportion to your ability to see Him as Your Sustainer, Your Maker, Your Fashioner from nothing, the One Who make you exist.

Mevlana Rumi said it beautifully:

"Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript of a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.

This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want, you are already that."


Now on the question of awareness and consciousness, lets begin with some background. Everything we see in the universe has a borrowed existence. This borrowed existence means they are fashioned by God with Divine Attributes. We see because we are shared the Divine Attribute of Seeing, Al-Baseer. We long to live longer because within us is a trace of the Divide Attribute of Ever Living, Al-Hayy. We fall in love and long that we be loved is also because of the Divine Attribute, Al-Wadud, the Beloved. (The 99 Names of God in Islamic tradition is an excellent guide to Divine Gnosis and hold answers to many questions). This is the reason why its said that we are made in God's image or we are vicegerent of God on earth.

Its almost beyond our mind's scope to understand this but in the beginning of all beginning, in the pre-eternity, just before creation when God wanted to bring forth the creation, the Divine Consciousness arose. The Divine Consciousness became aware of Itself, the Actual "I" and it wanted to be known, hence creation was brought forth. This is a very crude description of a reality beyond our mind or concepts but still it provides a frame of reference and create an image.

Now the Awareness of the God which wanted to be known is a Divine Attribute and we also have a trace of that within us. The "I Am-ness" of God is also within us. Our consciousness is a borrowed one from that of God, which can find its fulfillment through knowing ourself and thus knowing God. Hence all spiritual path calls for self-inquiry, call to ask who we are. We also have longing to express ourselves, hence an artist create art, a song writer writes lyrics, an architect build grand buildings etc. this a reflection of Divine Creativity within.

and you will not find any change in the Way of Allah (SunnataLlah). (33:62)

So the relationship of our awareness and God is that it is from God, and it follow the patterns of Divine Attributes and Ways (sunnatallah). The more pure our awareness become the more closer proximity can we be towards our real self and more free we will be from our temporal conditioning and biography and manufactured personality.

Even great scientists like Max Planck transmitted that matter originates from consciousness.

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. 
All matter originates and exists only by virtues of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together.

We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. ~ Max Planck, physicist and the originator of modern quantum theories


What is this awareness, this paradigm of designed senses, what is its purpose?

To my understanding from the spiritual traditions, the purpose of awareness is God's longing to know Himself through multiplicity. So the Divine Awareness or Consciousness is diffused or distributed among creation. One of the characteristics of this reality is such that the smaller part within it contains the greater, which sometime is described or compared with hologram and the reality is explained as holographic. In hologram, the entire whole is contained within a part. Our awareness thus possibly has the potential to tap into the Divine awareness which often the spiritual traditions do validate.

So this awareness, this paradigm of desired senses to my understanding, has one and only purpose, which is to know It-Self. That is Gnosis or Marefat.

// Sadiq M. Alam, Dhaka, Bangladesh



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Technology of the Heart: Some Soul Searching Questions on God
Some Soul Searching Questions on God
How much of me is God and how much of God is me? What is this awareness, this paradigm of designed senses, what is its purpose? - I try to share some of my thoughts here.
Technology of the Heart
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