Man, the Seed of God
There are various ideas and beliefs as to the realization between God and man; and it is natural that there should be various beliefs, for the reason that every man has his own conception of God. There is no comparison between God and man. The reason is that man, being limited, can be compared with another being; God being perfect, He is beyond comparison. The prophets and masters in all ages have tried their best to give man some idea of God's being; but it has always been difficult, for it is impossible to define God in words.
It is like trying to put the ocean into a bottle. However large a bottle, it can never accommodate the ocean. The words that we use in our everyday language are the names of limited forms, and we give God a name for our convenience, someone who is above name and form. And if there is any possibility of understanding God and His Being, it is only possible in finding the relation between man and God. The reason why this subject was called, 'man the seed of God,' is that it is this picture which gives, to some extent, that idea of the relationship which exists between man and God.
There is a root, and there is a stem and in the heart of the flower there is something which tells the history of the whole plant. One might say that it is for the sake of the flower that the plant was purposed, but really speaking, it is the seed which comes in the heart of the flower which continues the race of the plant, which is the source and goal of the plant. It is that seed which was the beginning, it is from out of that seed that the root came, and the seedling came out, and so it became a plant. And then that seed disappeared, but after the coming of the leaves and branches and the flowers it appeared again.
It appeared again not as one seed, but several seeds, in multiplicity, and yet it is the same. And it is this seed which told us the story that first it was the seed and then the whole plant appeared. And towards what goal, what result? - In order to come again as the result of a whole plant. To the man of simple belief, to the man who believes only in his particular idea, for him there is no relation between God and man; but the man who wishes to understand the relation between man and God, for him the proof of this argument is to be found in everything. And it is this idea which is spoken of in the Bible, in the words where it is said that, "in Our image We have created man."
If the seed out of which the plant came and which came in the result, had said, "Out of my own image I have created the seed which will come forth from the heart of the flower," it would have been the same thing. Only that seed out of which the plant came could have said that, "I shall appear in plurality, although in the beginning I am only one grain." It is this idea again which tells us of the reason why it is said that, "We have created man in Our image," when the whole manifestation, the whole creation has come from God - that the leaf and the branch, and the stem all have come out of the seed, but that is not the image of the seed.
The image of the seed is the seed itself. But not only this, the essence of the seed is in the seed. No doubt there is some energy, some power, some colour, some fragrance in the flower, in the leaves and in the stem, but at the same time all the property that is in the stem, flower, petal and leaves is to be found in the grain. This shows to us the result that man is the culmination of the whole creation. And in him is the whole universe manifested. The mineral kingdom or the vegetable kingdom or the animal kingdom, these are all to be found in the being, in the spirit of man. It does not mean that the different properties, such as mineral and vegetable, are to be found in the physical body that is made for man, but also his mind, his heart show all different qualities. The heart is just like a fertile soil or a barren desert; it shows love or lack of love, productive faculty or destructiveness.
There are different kinds of stones: there are precious stones and there are pebbles and rocks, and so there is among human hearts a still larger variety. Think of those whose thoughts, whose feelings have proved to be more precious than anything that the world can offer, the poets, the artists, the inventors, the thinkers, the philosophers, then the servants of humanity, the inspirers of man, the benefactors of mankind. No wealth, no precious stone, whether diamond or ruby, can be compared with it, and yet it is the same quality. And then there are rock-like hearts, one might knock against them and break oneself, and yet they will not move.
Then there is the wax-like quality of the heart, then there is the quality of the stone. There are melting hearts and there are hearts which will never melt. Is there anything in the nature which is not to be found in man? Has he not in his feeling, in his thoughts, in his qualities, the picture of running water, a picture of fertile soil, and a picture of fruitful trees? Is not in the heart of man the picture of the plant, of fragrant flowers? The flowers which come from the human heart live longer, their fragrance will spread through the whole world, and their colour is seen by all the people.
The fruits that human hearts can bear, how delicious they are - they immortalize souls and lift them up. And then there are other mentalities where nothing springs up except desire to hurt and harm their fellowman, producing through the fruits and flowers poison, hurting another person by thought, speech or action; and they can hurt more than the thorns. There are some whose feelings, whose thoughts are like gold and silver, and there are others whose thoughts are just like iron and steel. And the variety that one can see in human nature is so vast that all objects that one can get from this earth are too small in number. But does he only show his nature, in his qualities, in his body, in thought and feeling the heritage of this earth? No, he shows his nature also in Heaven.
Man has the influence of the planets; he has the influence of the sun, of the moon, of heat and cold, and air and water and fire, all different elements which make this whole cosmic system. All these elements are to be found in his thoughts, in his feelings, in his body. You can find a person with warmth representing fire; another person who is cold represents water. There are human beings in their thought, in their feeling, they represent the air element, their quickness, their restlessness, it all shows the air element in them. Does man not represent the sun and moon in his positive and negative character; does duality of sex not show this?
Not only this, but in every man and in every woman there is the sun quality, and there is the moon quality, and it is these two opposite qualities which give a balance in the character of man. When there is only one quality most predominant, another not to be found, then there is somewhere balance lacking. And if one goes still further in the thought of mysticism one will find that not only all the visible manifestation is to be found in man, but also all that is invisible. The angels, or fairies or ghosts, or elementals, or any imagination that man has made, if it can be found anywhere it is to be found in human nature.
The picture of the angels in all times one finds in the image of man. If all that exists in the world and in Heaven is to be bound in man then what remains? God Himself has said in the scripture, "I have made man in My Own image." In other words, "If you wish to see Me, I am found in man." How thoughtless on the part of man who, absorbed in his high ideals, begins to condemn man, to look down upon man, however low and weak and a sinner man may be. Since in man there is the possibility of rising so high as nothing else in the manifestation can rise, whether something on the earth or any being in Heaven, none can reach that height which man is meant to reach.
What point of view, therefore, had the mystics, the thinkers of all ages? Their point of view you can see in their manner, a respectful attitude to all men. Jesus Christ, the Master of mankind in his life's example one can see what compassion, when a sinner was brought before him, someone who had done wrong, what forgiveness, what tolerance, what understanding the Master showed. One can be called a religious or pious man, but one cannot be called a truly spiritual or wise man, if one has a contempt towards his fellowman, whatever be his condition. Man who has no respect for mankind has no worshipful attitude towards God.
The man who has not recognized the image of God in man, he has not seen the Artist who has made this creation; he has deprived himself of this vision which is most sacred and most holy. A person who thinks that man is earthly, he does not know where his soul comes from. The soul comes from above, it is in the soul of man that God is reflected. Man who has hatred, contempt, whatever be his belief, faith, religion, he has not understood the secret of all religions which is in the heart of man. And certainly, however good a person, however virtuous he may be, at the same time if he has no tolerance or forgiveness, if he does not recognize God in man, he has not touched religion.
No doubt there is another side of the question. As man evolves, so he finds the limitations, the errors and the infirmities of human nature; and so it becomes difficult for him to live in the world and to withstand all that comes. Also it becomes very difficult for man to be fine, to be good, to be kind, to be sensitive, and at the same time to be tolerant. And what comes is a tendency is to push away everything, and to find oneself away from everybody and every being. But the purpose of being born on earth is different. The purpose of being born on earth is to find that perfection which is within oneself. And however good and kind man be, if he has not found the purpose for what he is born on earth, he has not fulfilled the object of his life. There are as many different aspects of that purpose as many people there are in the world; but behind all different aspects of that purpose there is one purpose. It is that purpose which may be called the purpose of the whole creation. And that purpose is when the inventor looks at his invention working, when the great architect builds a house which he has designed and which was his when it is built, when he enters it and sees how nicely it is accomplished; the purpose is accomplished when the producer of a play produces the play he has desired, and when the play is produced and he looks at it, that is the purpose.
Every man seems to have his purpose, but the purpose is nothing but a step to the purpose which is one purpose and which is the purpose of God. Our small desires if they are granted today, tomorrow there is another wish; and whatever be the desire, when it is granted next day there is another desire. That shows that the whole humanity and every soul is directed towards one desire, and that is the object of God which is the fuller experience of life within and without, a fuller knowledge of life, the life above and below.
It is the widening of the outlook, that it may be so wide that in the soul, which is vaster than the world, all may be reflected. That the sight may become so keen that it may probe the depth of the earth and the highest of the Heavens. It is in this that there is the fulfillment of the soul, and the soul who will not make every effort possible with every sacrifice for the attainment of this, that soul has not understood religion. What is the Sufi Message? It is that esoteric training, working, practising through life towards that attainment which is as the fulfilment of the object of God.