The Essence of Being Human
What is Divine?
Divine is a word used in conjunction with spirituality. It evokes images of religious worship, sacred blessings and holy sanctity. It is derived from the Latin word divus meaning ‘godlike’, and is used in relation to the term ‘providence’ – “the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.”
According to the Oxford American Dictionary, “in its strictest sense, divine means associated with or derived from God, but it has also been used to describe anything that is admirable or treasured.”
Divine – of, from, or like God or a god; devoted to God; sacred.
Understanding the Divine
We are all different, varied and unique when it comes to our personal background, family upbringing, gender, ethnicity, height, weight, preferences, views and opinions. Yet, despite our individual beliefs and appearances, one thing connects us all, and that is the Divine.
By allowing ourselves to release fixed concepts of religious tradition and what it is to be ‘human’, it is possible to come to an awareness of the Divine that is born directly out of personal experience, observation and inner knowing.
Timeless, whole and complete, the Divine is an unseen and inseparable facet of our lives that includes all, and is all. It is independent of family and social conditioning, and does not operate from the past or the future. It is boundless and unrestricted by the walls we erect to keep sorrow, pain and hurt, and sometimes even, love and joy, out of our lives.
The Divine is a place of presence, calm and stillness. In the storms of life, it is the centre at which all is quiet. “To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” (Tolle, p. 90)
Discovering the Divine
For many, finding the Divine Self (essence, presence, Being, God, as it is also called) is not an simple or easy task. More often than not, discovering the truths of a higher spiritual nature are preceded by times of pain, hardship, depression and confusion.
". . . there comes a time in the life of all of us when we are brought to our knees. At this point there is nothing more important than the truth. From the depths of the yearning in our hearts, in desperation, we will turn to ask for the way that will guide us to the only possible satisfaction in our lives, which is the realization of union with God." (Feild, p. 32)
Whether we come upon the path of divine awareness – by deliberate action, or by accident or misfortune – we can begin to sense a deeper awareness, or presence of being in our lives. To find the Divine Self in life is to be still, to stay in full acceptance of the now – without the drive, urgency or emotional pull to be someone, or somewhere, else – in every moment.
The Divine is something far reaching that cannot be imagined or envisioned by ego, thought or daydream. Only through developing higher faculties of spiritual awareness, can “we discover that the higher self that has been informing and motivating us in the early stages of our awakening is not an external force or deity but our own divine self connected to the Larger Whole, or the Godhead.” (Marx Hubbard, p. 26)
photo credit: Tevaprapas Makklay
Living the Divine
Examples of people living in tune with the Divine are rare and hard to find. So much of our modern day culture is rooted in material addiction and mind identification, that it is almost impossible not to succumb to the illusion of receiving permanent gratification from temporary, outside things.
The Divine cannot be found in ignorance or narcissistic types of behavior. "You may have many exciting experiences that money can buy, but they will come and go and always leave you with an empty feeling and the need for further physical or psychological gratification." (Tolle, p. 53)
Yet, we no longer have to live in the 'shallows' of life. By the use of our own free will, we can make a conscious choice to connect to our inner divinity. Whether through the practice of meditation, yoga, studying the work of enlightened authors, praying, attending spiritual retreats or spending time in nature, growing in our awareness of the Divine has the ability to awaken and empower our spirit on many levels.
“The soul shines through all layers of the personality. Such a soul-guided person is in tune with the unfolding, evolutionary flow of the Universe because individual purpose is part of that much bigger order in which we are all mysteriously united through spirit.” (Raheem, p. 13)
By taking the time to look inwards to ourselves, we can realize that we are far more than what others 'think' we are, and even greater than who we ‘think’ we are. There is no higher place from which to live, than that of the Divine Self. We each belong to the universe and our sole (soul) purpose is for Being.
"We can make that great surrender of all that we think we are,
to discover, at last, the nature of who and what we are."
– Reshad Feild