There are always those who insist they have all the answers and there are also always those who laugh at these statements without investing as much as a second thought. Is there any chance for us to find that needle of Truth in this huge hay stack of confusion?
Maybe the answer is closer than we think and already known by the only person we can truly trust - our Self. There is a way to unveil the Self in form of Pure Awareness. Once the Self is known, all else is known. Then we know the Truth about God and how we ultimately survive.
Let us take a look at Scripture and Religion. I claim that if we ignore the non-essential and look for the essential, the real meaning, then all religious scripture and all religions agree more than disagree. A comparison of two of the more popular scriptures, the New Testament (NT) and the Bhagavad Gita (BG), will serve to make this point:
Can we gain knowledge of God and Heaven and do we have to wait until after we are dead to find out?
NT: Matt 6:33 - "First seek the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness;"
BG: 7:5 - "Know also my other higher nature the Spirit, through which the Universe is sustained."
Where can Heaven be found?
NT: Lk 17:20 - "The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen. No one will say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!'; Because the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you."
BG: 6:5 - "The supreme Reality exists WITHIN himself."
BG: 5:24 - "The Yogi (seeker) who is happy WITHIN who rejoices WITHIN, and who is illumined WITHIN attains freedom in Brahman (God) himself becoming one with God."
What is the Nature of God and Heaven?
NT: Rom 14:17 - "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink (Material), but Righteousness and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit (Spiritual)."
BG: 15:16 - "There are two beings in the world: The perishable and the imperishable. The perishable (Material) comprises all creatures, and the Imperishable (Spiritual) is said to be the Unchanging."
BG: 8:21 - "This Unmanifested is called the imperishable. That is my supreme Abode (Heaven)."
Can we really unite with God?
NT: John 17:21-23 - "I pray that they may all be ONE... May they be in Us, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they all be ONE..."
BG: 6:31 - "He who, having been established in ONENESS, worships me dwelling in all beings - that Yogi, in whatever way he leads his life, lives in Me."
How can we unveil our true Self and unite with God?
NT: Col 3:9 - "For you have to put off the old self (ego) with its habits and have to put on the new Self. This is the new Being which God its Creator, is constantly renewing in His Image in order to bring you to a full knowledge of Himself."
BG: 6:6 - "To him who has conquered himself by Himself, his own Self is a friend."
Or to make that more clear:
NT: Psalm 46:10 - "BE STILL and recognize that I AM GOD."
NT: Psalm 4:4 - "Commune with your own Heart..., and BE STILL."
BG: 6:27 - "Supreme Bliss comes to the seeker whose mind is COMPLETELY TRANQUIL and whose passions are QUIETED, who is free from stain (any thought) and who has become ONE with God."
What is God's nature and what is consequently our real nature?
This question is best answered by the names given to God by the American Natives and the Jews in what some call the Old Testament (OT). The Natives talk about the Great Spirit which not only gives God a name but also hints about what God's Nature is: Spirit. This spirit is the same as Beingness, ultimate Existence, or Awareness.
OT: "I AM that I AM" Ex. 3:14 JHVH or JAHWE, which is the perfect description for Pure Beingness.
BG: "By that devotion he who knows Me, knows what, in Truth, I AM and who I AM."
On another occasion it says: "God is Spirit (Awareness)."
This can be continued and other scriptures may be added, the point is: different types of Scripture and different religions are not so different when properly understood.
All religions always have a few followers who go deeper - the Saints, Self-Realized, Mystics and so on. When we study their writings they all agree in the most essential points: There is a God, that God can be found at the Center of our Being and we can unite with God to become One.
1. We may draw strength from our systems of belief. Why? Because all religions including all natural belief systems agree that life goes on. They also agree on the existence of God. Even if some mention three (Trinity) or more Gods, these Gods are still to be understood as aspects of one and the same God.
2. We may draw strength from science. According to science, we cannot really say that we are able to destroy something (anything) so completely that it fades into non-existence. We can only change the object's shape and condition. Even if we burn something and destroy its ashes, the object still continues as energy. If we destroy ourselves, the material part of our bodies continues as energy and the Awareness continues as Awareness. The reason that Awareness continues is that it did not develop out of dead matter or lifeless energy. Those materialistic scientists who promised proof that awareness is nothing but a byproduct of biological processes failed to do so. Other scientists are now confirming the wisdom of ancient philosophers, saints and sages.
3. We may draw strength from the personal experience of others. Have you ever heard the expression: "People have never come back from the dead"? It's not true. There are more than a few people who have returned from the clinically dead to tell us about it. There are also more than a few people who have had out-of-body experiences and even governments have admitted to research in this area for obvious reasons.
5. There is convincing evidence for reincarnation.
6. We may draw strength from our spiritual exercises and personal experience. Try to become one with your object of devotion, concentrate fully on God, or simply love your inner Self to a point that only pure Awareness continues to exist. When you experience the inner Bliss and Beingness you will be filled with more comfort than you thought you were in need for. Let us not fear a genuine spiritual experience more than we fear death.
Life goes on even after this one expires. Fear is the result of our identification with body and mind. Both will, eventually, cease to exist and are not needed for our well-being.
Related article: Key Statements to Shift our State of Awareness