by Patrick Quanten MD
The Bible says the first creation was Light.
In the oldest Hindu scriptures, the Upanishads, you will find the same statement, that in the beginning Brahma, which means "the Creator", made Light, and out of Light He made all other forms.
The Egyptians and Druid priests, among many other ancient people, worshipped the sun, because they regarded it as the Father of all life. To the ancient Egyptians Light was the most spiritual of all material things.
During the last few decades scientific research has discovered increasing confirmation that all matter is ultimately the condensation of radiant energy, that is, of Light. In fact it is possible in the laboratory to convert Light into matter, and to convert matter back into Light. In other words, this marvellous structure of the material universe which we see around us, hard solid substance, does not exist when you enquire into it and try to find its true nature. It dissolves away and becomes that most intangible of things, Light.
The materialist is not to blame for the commonly held belief that all is matter, because he is unaware of ultimate truths. He is only to be blamed if he will not investigate them. If he does not try to enquire, he can never find the truth. Ignorance is often excusable, but not the will to remain ignorant.
If, as the scientist has already found, matter is ultimately a unity, then all the different kinds of matter can be resolved into asingle Force. This single Force is the source of the universe out of which the multiplicity of objects and forces which we see around us have sprung. There is one root, a single root, and everything else has grown, developed or evolved out of that root. And if we pursue this scientific quest of Truth and find this Ultimate force, which must exist as the root of everything, we then discover that we are verifying the oldest teachings in the world.
Our atomic world as the basis of all matter, whereby the solid atom was considered to be the ultimate building stone of the Universe, has been shattered. As we split the atom and found smaller and smaller "pieces" of material, from electrons, to protons, to deuterons, to quarks, matter has been pursued until it vanished into energy.
Light itself has been shown to behave in a particle or a wavelike manner depending on how we investigate it. The two forms are totally interchangeable as we can convert a particle of light into a light wave (energy) and vice versa.
Atomic theories existed long ago, but it is only modern science that has seen the atom. The belief that all things are made of a single substance is as old as thought itself, but now we are able to receive the unity of Nature not as a baseless dogma or a hopeless aspiration, but as a principle of science based on proof as sharp and clear as anything which is known. This single substance has now been identified as Light, energy.
If all material objects without a single exception, whether you take your own physical body or the chair upon which you are sitting, if all of these are nothing but condensations of radiant energy, then this energy must be present everywhere. Exactly what the scriptures have always said about God!
Now God appears in a more satisfactory conception than the theological notion of a God who is just a glorified human being, a God made in man's image who arbitrarily does what He wishes with human beings and universes. Is it not better to believe, as well as being able to prove intellectually, that God is an Infinite Power? This Power is at the back of all other Forces and at the back of every materially created thing. This Power is present everywhere and is therefore within us and always within reach.
Thus the circle has completed itself, and the most ancient teachings about God have come back, only this time strengthened and buttressed by scientific support. They are no longer built only on the basis of faith and intuition, but also of intellect and reason. God is worth worshipping because it is no longer a relative concept, but it is the ultimate conception which man can hold. He cannot conceive a higher one, therefore his mind can come to rest.
Finding God now becomes a simple, but not necessarily easy, task. As God, the Source Energy, is everywhere, we can find this energy within ourselves. As we are closer to ourselves than to anything else in the universe, it is safe to say that we know ourselves better than anything else. What better place to start our search for God than right here, right now! You will find God inside yourself, at this moment. You will see God in everything and everybody after you have seen God in yourself.
A Sane Religion
If you examine the definition of the word religion, you will find that it is derived from the Latin meaning "to bind". To bind with what? Obviously to bind with God. Looking around at the state of orthodox religions in the world you will have to admit that they have all failed to do this. Why?
First, you must understand how religion develops historically. Religions originally centre around one man, one personality who receives in some way a revelation or illumination from God.
Then he either writes this revelation or gives it out by word of mouth to a number of people - generally to many, because if he is aware of his mission as a prophet, he will try to interest as many as possible. Having reached all he can, he finds a few who understand him, and those few constitute his disciples and his apostles. The others, the masses, are merely his followers.
When such a soul descends into the public view, he does so with a clear sense of the mission which has been given him by God, namely to bring a new spiritual impulse to the world. He knows full well that it is not his own personal power or wisdom which is the motive factor, but that he is an instrument through which the Higher Power, the Source Energy, will flow. He has only to deliver the message; the world may take it or leave it.
The special followers or disciples of a prophet will receive not merely the actual teaching which he gives them, but also what is behind the words. Hence, if the disciples have the right attitude of absolute faith, the flow of Source Energy through the messenger will bring them nearer to the fulfilment of the true purpose of their incarnation. There is only one reason why we are on earth, and that is to find our true Spiritual Self, our true Inner Being.
A prophet's work really consists in the planting of seeds, the growth of which will be seen by later generations. When a prophet has completed his work, he disappears and then we see the beginning of organised religion. In his own lifetime the prophet is not interested in organisation; he comes not to give any material thing, but that which will remain for centuries in the hearts of those who are sensitive enough to respond. Nor does he come to found any external organisations; these are started by his followers, and generally after his death. The disciples get together and form a brotherhood, or a church, something to keep them together and give an outward expression to the Inner Teaching and Presence which they themselves have felt.
This is the beginning of every church and every external religion. In the days that are nearest to the founder, the religion is generally pure. It is expressing that which the prophet came to teach. As time goes on, however, it degenerates, and often becomes merely organised superstition. It begins to lose the Spirit, and becomes stronger in the letter. The followers start to quarrel amongst themselves as to what he actually said, or what he meant by what he said. Gradually they have rifts, and subsequently they separate.
That is natural, because they are arguing over the body, not over the Spirit. The real thing, the Inner Spirit, will remain for a time. It may last many centuries, and then gradually it will begin to fade away and ultimately disappear. No religion will endure forever. That which is behind religion alone endures for ever and will always find new incarnations.
The original visions and revelations of the great sages have become mutilated by their ignorant followers or narrowed by their bigoted zealots. Yet we need not be disheartened if we find that religions tend to break up and disintegrate. This is inevitable. They rise, grow, and then fade. So if you understand that they are merely obeying a law of nature, then you accept this, and know that when one religion dies away, another will come to take its place. In the world today you see that most existing orthodox religions are following this downward spiral.
Ancient scripture and philosophies are offering very little solace as those records have seldom come down to us in all their purity. They have been tampered with and interpolated by ignorant and prejudiced men.
Nevertheless, we must have some sort of religion. If we cannot accept any orthodox cult, we have to work out some sort of relation between ourselves and God. Are there any guidelines we can rely on?
First of all, religion must be a personal thing, a relationship between yourself as an individual, and God, the Source Energy. Organised institutions are man-made things; they are not God. God is a spirit, an energy, which you can find inside your own heart and in the secrecy of your inner most intimate feelings. No church, no temple is necessary.
The only way in which religion can be established is by worship, not by argument or discussion. You must worship the Source Energy in your own private quarters and your own private thoughts and emotions and at all times.
The first step in any worthwhile study is humility. Adopting the attitude of a child that knows it knows nothing, is essential for you to be taught properly and for you to learn something.
Do not ask for benefits from God. If God is everywhere and is the core of your own being, then you know what you need. The only request you have is for more light, more understanding, more strength, but you rest in peace in the knowledge that even all of this lies hidden within yourself. By quieting the body and the thoughts, you prepare the conditions in which the messages from deep within can bubble to the surface, the inner voice can be heard, reality can be seen. If you make an effort to silence your mind, that means you are beginning to forget your personal life. The personal ego is nothing but the totality of your thoughts. The silence of your personal thoughts will dampen the influence of the ego and strengthen the power of the Source Energy, which makes up the core of your being.
The Voice of the Silence is better than the Voice of the Priest!
It is not necessary for you to subscribe to orthodox religions or to go to church. Religion is intended to loosen man from his material desires, to cause him to work not only for material things, but for super-physical things. When the real religion has been found, everything else will only be a substitute and even a degradation. Real religion will bind you to God, and that is the true essence of worship.
- How will this work out in your own inner reaction towards life?
First of all, you will adopt the attitude of good will to all men, because you will know that everyone has sprung from a common origin. No matter how people may act, or what they may say, or how they may have forgotten their spiritual nature and origin, or how beastly their behaviour, you will realise that they only do this from ignorance.
The second manifestation of real religion is tolerance. Goodwill will not be limited - you cannot reserve it for the good and hide it from the bad. No matter whether it be the worst criminal or the greatest Saint, both are equally deserving of your good will. Tolerance means understanding the plan behind the universe, which involves the evolution of all creatures. Just as matter has evolved out of Primal Light, so human beings themselves must grow and evolve amidst stumbling and falling. They are all standing on different rungs of the evolutionary ladder and if they are on the bottom rung, they will later be at the top.
The third essential is hope. You must have faith that behind the worst conditions and circumstances there is still a divine plan working. All is well with the world. Whatever happens is for the ultimate evolution of mankind. No matter how desperate things may seem with yourself or with the world, still you must hope and hold on, knowing that the wheel will turn. Our life is simply a spiritual education, and suffering is part of this. All suffering must come to an end, as night ends when dawn arrives. Never give up hope.
The fourth of the determinations of real religion is service. Not in the sense that we should run about and fuss and make ourselves a nuisance to everybody. We must reach an inner dedication, a desire to be constructive in life, and to do something worthwhile for mankind, no matter how small the service is, how limited the scope. You must learn that we are all one in origin and should express this on the material plane through good will and an inner attitude of service. If you have the right spirit you will find that it will not matter what you do, but how you do it, because the attitude you take towards your work and the efficiency with which you try to do it will be the expression of your religion. All your work is worthwhile provided it is done for the greater good of the universe, not for personal gain.