Finding our way home
From point of view, our ultimate aim in life is to draw closer to God. Our ultimate destiny is to reside in the spiritual world, after we die, and live in nearness to God. But we don’t achieve this nearness through denying this world, for this world, though lesser than the spiritual world, was created by God and his light is reflected in it. So, to draw closer to God, we need to see the divinity all around us. The way to God is through this world, through service and appreciating the beauty around us and within us. But to do this, we have to extricate our eyes from seeing the world through our inherited sense of worldliness. When we see the world with divine eyes, we don’t cling to it; we don’t seek to control or possess it. We seek to find beauty and create beauty: beautiful relationships, beautiful objects, beautiful clothing, cities, cars, computers. But when we are surrounded by things that seem to lack beauty, what do we do? Find the beauty residing within those objects, people, relationships, experiences. In an angry face we can see the beauty of that person’s perseverance. In a plain meal we can see the beauty of simplicity. In a misfortune we can see the beauty of chance and destiny.
Building a life in this world and enjoying this life is not inimical to building a life in the next world. We can create a beautiful home that we own and this does not need to stand between us and God; in fact, if done with detached devotion, it can be a path to God. Home that is created for family and guests to enjoy each other’s company is a beautiful home, one dedicated to God. We can enjoy vacations and go travelling, if done with a sense of appreciation of God’s divine bounties all around the world. It is when we cling to our home and possessions, when we covet them, that they become a barrier between us and God. It is when travelling is seen as an obsessive need to see everything that it becomes a mere consumer experience that debars us from drawing closer to God. Almost anything can act as either a barrier or path to God depending on how we approach it.