In Silence We Know God
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai
Madrid, Spain May 5, 1999
(Originally in English)
I am very happy to see so many people with the same ideal under one roof. It has been a long time since I have appeared in public and it feels a little strange. I guess you also feel strange: you don't know who this lady is that is sitting there and what she is doing. But that is just our mind's thinking; otherwise, as souls, as children of God, we are brothers and sisters. We have the same family, and that is the planet Earth. God has created this planet, this big house, for our family so we can stay together for a while. So, since we are still here, if we have a chance to see each other even once in a lifetime, it's a miracle. It's a very rare privilege; I appreciate that.
I know you all have many questions concerning whether God exists, whether we can reach Hirm, whether we can talk to Hirm, whether we can directly demand something from Hirm. So, I am going to try to tell you as much as I can, as much as I know about our Father, which many of us have forgotten. I don't mean that we have forgotten Hirm; it's just that we have forgotten how to talk to Hirm, how to directly communicate with Hirm. That is, perhaps, the reason why many of us suffer a great deal, sometimes materially, sometimes spiritually, sometimes physically and emotionally.
The Material-Spiritual Continuum
In the universe, generally speaking, and on this planet, God has created many things for Hiers children to enjoy: material things and also abstract things. Material things bring us comfort, wealth, and many material satisfactions. And the other side, the abstract spiritual knowledge, will bring us bliss, happiness, and life everlasting. While living in this big house of the planet Earth, some of our brothers and sisters are successful in material aspects; some are successful in spiritual aspects; some are successful in both, and some fail in both, unfortunately.
The one who is successful materially enjoys so much in material comforts that sometimes it has the side effect that he forgets the spiritual blessings that God has saved for all of us. And the ones who are successful only in the spiritual aspect sometimes don't care about material gains, so sometimes it gives also a side effect to the people who see them. It makes them form an opinion about them that following God, practicing spiritually, is going into poverty. And some people, who are successful both materially and spiritually, present themselves sometimes in both aspects, and also it has a side effect. People will think, "What kind of God-follower is that? So luxurious, he doesn't look like a monk!"
There's always some side effect for everything. It is because the minds of people are used to one extreme or another, and rarely can we neutralize the material and spiritual aspects and make a perfect life for ourselves. The one who is only successful materially mostly enjoys the physical comforts too much. And, of course, it seems to many people that he doesn't care about the spiritual aspect, about God, and he also incurs criticism from other fellow beings. Also, in his soul, he creates an emptiness that is never truly satisfied despite all the wealth and all the possessions that he has acquired. The one who is unsuccessful in material gain blames God, fate, himself and everyone else, and also blames the wealthy man and oftentimes feels jealous.
The man who is successful in spiritual knowledge is often much more, if not completely, satisfied with whatever he has and that's why he doesn't seem to worry about material benefits or any of the physical comforts. This is why we have seen the production of renunciation, of monkshood, of nunhood, and of the spiritual mendicant, who forsakes everything in this world and just enjoys himself within himself, communicates with God almost day and night, and ignores almost every other happening in the world. And that's all right; if God wants him to go out into the world again, Hes will shake him up and send him out. And even if he goes out into the world according to God's will, most of the time, he or she also will not care for material possessions and any of the kind.
Most people in this world, including ourselves, are used to these three kinds of extremes: the so-called materialist, the poor man, and the spiritualist, who renounces almost everything. It is not because renunciation brings God realization; it's just that after God realization, often we do not care about material gain or loss; we don't care about fame and fortune; we don't care about human relationships. And so people look upon these people, these renunciates, thinking: "Yes, whoever realizes God must be like that, must be a renunciate, must be like a very poor-looking guy." Actually, he's so happy within himself or herself that nothing is really important anymore. Now, some of us have the choice to be one of the three; some of us don't have any choice, and some of us have the choice to gain both material and spiritual success. That depends on us, because we are the children of God.
Material Vs Spiritual Success
We can choose whatever we want, but we must know how. To choose to be failing in material and spiritual aspects is easy. We don't have to do anything, and then we will become poor and jobless, "money-less", and "spiritual-less". But to choose to be successful in the material world, we need to work hard; we need to know the technique of business; we need to invest in opportunities to make more financial gains. Of course, then we have to have the opportunity, the right place, and the connection with the right people, and invest in the right aspects. And to be successful in the spiritual knowledge of God, we also must do the same. We must find the right opportunity and the right person to associate with, who knows about the spiritual way to God and who can help us remember the way that we have forgotten.
It is a funny thing that after being successful in spiritual practice, we oftentimes also, by the way, gain material success. That's why in the Bible, it is stated: "Seek you first the kingdom of God, and all things shall be added unto you." At that time, we can choose to be a renunciate, to ignore all the material gains of the world, or we can choose to be successful in business in order to use these benefits to help our other unfortunate brothers and sisters, and ourselves.
Most of the God-realized saints, or God-realized brothers and sisters, choose not to be successful in business after enlightenment even though the wisdom that they have regained from being enlightened is precious and they could do anything they want to with it. They could gain the whole world, if they want, with the God wisdom that they have just regained after enlightenment. That is understandable, because once we are in touch with our Godly Self, our kingdom of God, we feel happy and satisfied; we feel that we need nothing at all.
Amount of Effort Required for Success
Also, doing business is very strenuous work. The people who are successful in business know what I mean. Some of us envy successful business people, but they do not know how much work, energy, time, and sacrifice, they have to put into their business in order to gain what they have. And that is just for some ephemeral, material, destroyable things that do not last. And for that, we work sometimes 8, 10, 12, 14 hours every day, forgetting the wife, children, and friends, sometimes getting sick ourselves, having mental stress, getting old quickly, and having all kinds of discomforts just to gain material success. And of course, we forget God too, by the way. Not all the time, but most people, when they are too busy, they even forget themselves.
Now, we come to the spiritual aspect: How much do we have to work in order to be successful in God realization, in gaining back the whole kingdom of the Universe for ourselves? How much work? Almost nothing; no cost, no conditions, no effort, no binding, nothing! No loss, no risk, only gain. Why? It is because we are the children of God; we have it already. Do we have to pay for whatever we have in our pocket? You don't have to pay for your skin; you don't have to pay for your hair; you don't have to pay for your beautiful smile; they are already there. Similarly, God is within us.
All the religious scriptures tell us that God is within us. That means we are God. That means we are one with God, or at least we are the children of God, the offspring from the Most High, the most powerful, the almighty, the all-knowing, the all-seeing, the all-having, the all-powerful. Or where you think we come from - the flowers or the table? Of course, you will say, "I came from my mother," but that's not the point. Where does your mother come from? When we see the beautiful universe, the beautiful things that are created around us, we know that God exists. We know that there is something within us that keeps us alive, happy, and aware of all the things that are happening around us. That is the God within us; and because of that God, we can breathe, we can enjoy food, we can enjoy relationships with each other.
We can do many wonderful things; we can invent all kinds of scientific wonders, but we know only little about that God. We are not even aware of that God, and already we can do so much. Now, if we knew more of that God, of our Self, of our Father-Self, then what more could we do! In order to regain this awareness of who we really are, how great we really can be, we must know how to get it back. Just as to be successful in the material world we have to know the way to do business, to be successful in the spiritual world we have to know the way to contact the Source of all spiritual power.
Because we are the children of God, we are not content to live a poor life - a miserable and unhappy life, a helpless, powerless life, begging for everything and gaining nothing. We want to prove to ourselves what the Bible says, "You are the children of God," and "God dwells within you," and that whatever you want, "Knock and it shall be given unto you," "Ask and it shall be answered." We want to prove that. We have to prove that because we want to glorify God, and that's the only way to glorify Hirm. Not by bowing to Hirm one-hundred times a day, not by fasting, not by talking loudly to Hirm, but by proving that Hes is glorious. By proving to be successful in our spiritual as well as material life, we glorify our Father; we prove that Hes exists.
It sounds like very big work, but there's not much to do. As I told you, if I have a ring on my finger and I want to look at it, I can take it out and look at it. Isn't that easy? To know God is as easy as that. We have spent a lot of time praying, crying, and begging to know God. Hes is still too far away because we don't pick up the right phone. If we talk on the phone all day long, but to the wrong person, or to a disconnected phone, we will never get any answer. We can shout, scream, and cry on the phone all day long; it won't help anything.
Mission of the Master
God has installed a phone within us so that we can directly communicate with Hirm, but once we descend into this world, we are somehow disconnected. That is why God always sends some heavenly Sons to the world again to remind the brothers and sisters how to get back to Hirm. But, of course, when a Son of God comes here, He carries with him such power, such tremendous love, that we are sometimes afraid, and that is why some people will try to harm Him, as in the case of Jesus. Somehow, He doesn't look different from us, but inside, spiritually, He is different.
We are originally not different from Jesus; the Lord has said, "Whatever I do, you can do also." It is just because we are so deeply covered by the material mud, the material dark veil, that we have forgotten who we really are. Just like someone who is drowning in the water looks wet and distraught; he looks sick and pale, but the one who stands on the shore is still clean, beautifully dressed, and still powerful. That man can pull the drowning person out of the water. Originally, the drowning man did not look different than the man standing ashore; they both were dry and beautifully dressed. It's just that he was drowning, so he looked different for a while. After he's been pulled out of the water, warmed, fed, dressed, and cared for, then he will look magnificent and normal again, like the man standing on the shore.
We are all the children of God. Jesus has said that we are all equal; Buddha said that we are all equal. It's up to us to prove to ourselves that we are really equal to these Masters; that we are really the beloved children of God also; that really God created all of us in Hiers own image, and that Hes loves us as much as Hes loves Jesus, as much as Hes loves Buddha. Our Father loves all beings equally, most of all, us human beings; Hes cannot love one more than the others. Otherwise, Hes would not be God, but we have to prove it. Now, it is obvious that I am not here to teach you anything new or to be your teacher. I am here only to remind you how to prove that our Father loves all of us equally, that our Father in heaven is really the Almighty, and that we are really Hiers children.
In order to do that, we just have to be quiet in some moments of our lives. Instead of lying there doing nothing, we should know how to focus. Then we can communicate with God. We can see a glimpse of Hirm, and then we can see more and more of God each day as we communicate. We will be happier and happier every day, more intelligent, more contented, more satisfied, more blissful, more enlightened, more everything until one day, we completely remember who we are; and then we can declare, like Lord Jesus declared, "I and my Father are one." Every one of us can do that, because we are one with the Father. If you want to remember that again, I am willing to spend my time and effort to help you. It is my honor. (Applause)