Mystical Hinduism – Believing in God Vs. Knowing God
Elizabeth Clare Prophet taught on this concept of the mystic from the perspective of mystical Hinduism.
“The Ashtavakra Gita, a Hindu text, makes what seems to be a puzzling statement along these lines. It says, ‘The ignorant man does not realize Brahman because he still desires to know Him.'
“So, in other words, when you desire something, that means you are separate from the object of your desire.
“But when you have fully realized God as yourself you no longer desire to know him. You say to a friend, ‘I'd like to get to know this person. Will you introduce me?' So, once you are introduced and you get to know this person, you don't have to repeat it. So you know that person.
“But the point is to know that person, the personhood of God, as yourself.
“Swami Prabhavananda gets to the heart of the matter when he says, ‘Through some inscrutable power, man—who in reality is the unchangeable, blissful Atman—superimposes upon himself the nature and attributes of the non-Self, coupling the real and the unreal. As a matter of course he identifies himself with the body's mental and physical attributes and actions.'
“We say, ‘I am fat,' or ‘I am tired,' without ever stopping to consider what this ‘I' is.
“This maya, or ignorance, is universal. It is in the intelligent, learned man as well as in the ignorant. Only when knowledge dawns—this being the direct experience of the Atman—only then does this maya, this ignorance, vanish.
“This, I have taught you before, is the definition of a mystic: one who seeks the direct experience of the presence of God.
“The point is, you can read and study the scriptures, you can intellectually understand the truth that your Real Self is one with God.
“But I ask you to ask yourself, ‘Have I really experienced this truth? And if so, for how long? Two seconds of my entire embodiment? Five minutes?'
“Once you taste of this experience, you must sustain it. And that means each day going back to the place where you experience Brahman.
“Do I directly experience the presence of the Atman, my God Self, every day?
“Do I let a whole twenty-four-hour period go by where I have not experienced the essence of my God?
“What else am I living for?
“This is the heart of the matter. This is what life is all about.”
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, originally published in “Self-Mastery through Self-Knowledge” Program 3: Nine Good Habits to Break the Habit of Ignorance – Habits 1 and 2.