"I want to have a lasting experience of God," I told him. "Sometimes I feel like I understand the divinity of this world, but then I lose it because I get distracted by my petty desires and fears. I want to be with God all the time. But I don't want to be a monk, or totally give up worldly pleasures. I guess what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God."
Ketut said he could answer my question with a picture. He showed me a sketch he'd drawn once during meditation. It was an androgynous human figure, standing up, hands clasped in prayer. But this figure had four legs, and no head. Where the head should have been, there was only a wild foliage of ferns and flowers. There was a small, smiling face drawn over the heart.
"To find the balance you want," Ketut sple through his translator, "this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God."
I love this passage from the book, Eat Pray Love. Many people pass through this life without having a true desire to know God. We get bogged down by our parent's view of God and take on their religious views without really asking ourselves the question: Who is God?
Early on in life, my mother took my older brother and I to church EVERY Sunday. I'm sure that many of you have had the same experience. My father joined us when he wasn't working and eventually when he did get Sunday's off all the time, he became a devoted attendee. For fear of severe punishment, I never asked my mother or father if God was at church but it was always in my mind. I don't remember my mother pointing Him/Her/God out to me or telling me where I could find him. So many of us travel through life never asking the question: Who is God?
My teenage years saw me leading the youth group at church and devoting an hour before school, every morning to the study of scripture. The culture of my religion had me on the right path to becoming a contributor to humanity. Yet, in the back of my mind and at the seat of my soul was the question: Who is God?
We are creatures of habit. Some of us never deviating from the path that our parents placed us on. Then there are some, born to break the ties from which they were born into. Jesus broke the Jewish mold from which he came and spread his gospel message and told the world that HE was sent from the Father, God. The Buddha departed from the beliefs that his father imposed on him. Rather than sitting in ignorance to the suffering of humanity, the Buddha yearned to ease the suffering of all nature. Muhammed, touted as the discoverer of Islam and the restorer of the true gospel of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, etc., went into a cave to meditate and ask the question: Who is God? Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons), knelt in a grove of tree's and asked the question: Who is God?
There are many more spiritual guru's who have dared to ask the question: Who is God? There will be many more to come. And my job, your job, everyones job is to find God and get to know him. To have a "lasting experience of God". To put aside the "cultural" practices of religion and search for the meaning and the Source from which we all have come from.