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10. “I don’t experience God – I’ve never seen Him”

I once met a lady who expressed frustration in her attempts to find God. She told me her story: two years of spiritual travels, countless nights of prayer, diligent scriptural exploration and regular introspection, but still no sign! “Will I ever find Him?” she asked. “I’m beginning to question whether He even exists.” What to speak of the ‘searchers,’ even the faithful often doubt that their Supreme friend is actually alive, alert and active. A seeming lack of reciprocation and intervention can discourage even the most dedicated spiritualist. Where is God when you need Him? Can we commit ourselves to a person we’ve never really directly interacted with?
In Chapter Ten, Krishna demonstrates how He is fully available for anyone who wants to perceive His presence. In a celebrated verse He explains how all beautiful, breath-taking and bountiful creations of the world are but a spark of His splendour. Krishna says He is the taste of water, the light of the sun and moon, the sound in ether and the ability in every person. Does a day go by without drinking water, seeing the luminaries in the sky, experiencing the silence around us and meeting gifted people?
God is fully available, but the question is whether we’re awake and alert. Whilst at university, I was obliged to read several books on effective management. As I browsed some old notes an interesting quote caught my attention: “The best managers create systems and inspire people, thus you don’t even see them and you don’t even know they’re there.” By their ingenuity, everything inconspicuously works like a dream. When Krishna explains how He manages the entire cosmos, He cites the analogy of a necklace. All universal affairs are actually resting upon Him, He says, just as pearls are strung upon a thread. The thread is the essential binding factor, giving the necklace its form and shape. Interestingly, however, the thread remains entirely invisible to our eyes.
People yearn for a direct experience and perception of things. The fact that we cannot see God at work, that He hasn’t appeared in person before our eyes, relating to us face-to-face, seems to be a major sticking point. “Show me God, and then I’ll believe in Him,” the sceptics posit. Even according to the management gurus of the 21st century, however, God would be a pretty average manager if He was frantically running around in front of us directing everything.
If you look at the top CEOs in the modern business world, they setup a managerial hierarchy and then take a back seat, allowing things to function effortlessly without their direct day-to-day involvement. You’ll probably find them relaxing at the golf course with their friends. Thus, the fact that we can’t see God creating and maintaining this universe may not be a disqualification, but rather credit to His expert organisational proficiency. He manages the material universes through others, and frees up His quality time to intimately relate with His loving devotees in the spiritual world.

“Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.” (Bhagavad-Gita 10.32)

References

10.16 – Arjuna inquires as to how Krishna can be perceived in the opulence of this world.
10.17-42 – Krishna describes how one can actually think about Him, meditate on Him and see Him everywhere.