The overriding view of god is of god as the father; this is the view of god that the Abrahamic religions hold. God’s creation is viewed as just that, something created by god and external to him. It is important to be aware that other ideas of god and creation also exist and I would like to explore one of them in this post.
Imagine that in the beginning, a great energy existed and this energy was intelligent. Nothing else existed apart from this energy; it was all there was. This energy for reasons unknown, arrived at a point where it wanted to observe itself, to understand itself. The issue it faced was that it was all that existed so it could not reflect off of anything so as to see it self or understand itself. The only choice it had was to reflect off of itself. When this great energy reflected off of it self it did not stop there, the reflection reflected again and that reflection reflected again and so on and so forth ad infinitum. Each reflection being dependent on the previous one and at the same time leading to the next one. Each reflection being one of infinite states of being or existences that this great energy could experience and understand itself in.
Everything that exists is connected to everything else, as everything is just a reflection of a reflection etc. of this energy that we will call the Great Self. The entirety of the universe is just a great game or theatrical production that the Great Self is playing out so as to gain knowledge of itself. It hides itself behind the illusion that we as humans are small centres of self’s contained within our bodies. For if it didn’t hide then it would not be able to experience the full plethora of experience, because our belief in our own existence as an entity apart from all things is what drives us to experience. If we become aware that our ego experience is an illusion and we are actually the Great Self we will cease to experience.
The work of each person in the many lives that it occupies is not one of attaining a new state or becoming something else. The work of each person is about stripping away the garments and layers that we wear until there is no veil covering the truth about what I and other actually is. Muslim Sufi’s recite beautiful poetry about separation and reuniting with the beloved. This separation isn’t an actual separation; it is only a perceived one when we look through the eyes of self. When we stop looking through the eyes of self and realise the truth about our true nature this is what Sufis mean by Union.
Shkar Sharif is the head instructor at Tiger Crane Kung Fu in London. Any other questions, ask!