I have been doing some thinking lately on the different ways that we seek a Power greater than ourselves. We all have different concepts of what this Power is as well as a different path to get there. It is my sincere belief that the path really does not matter. In fact, you cannot run from this Power because even a path that seemingly goes away from it will eventually bring you back to it. In my post "One Truth", I write that this power really is Love. I will not go into this here but one of the reasons why a path away from love will eventually come back to it is because of the dualistic nature of our world. If we seek after happiness that is tied to our temporal existence, it will end in sadness. This is the design that will give you an opportunity to embrace love when we are able to see this duality.
I perceive that there are four paths to Love, which I believe does not have an opposite. I started writing this article just thinking about three paths but another one occurred to me, which is the last path. Admittedly, there is a blending of different paths into one another yet I do perceive them to be separate concepts. Through these paths, this leads us to eventually being united with Love.
The first path is that Love exists as an Unseen force outside ourselves. We might think that we will be united with this Love in an afterlife, want to prostrate ourselves before this force or worship it. On this path, there may be a lot of intellectual dogma or ritual yet it is the rising above all of this that one progresses on this path.
The second path is that Love is omnipresent and, in fact, is so ingrained into reality that one may not perceive it at all. On this path, one may not even believe in a supernatural and focus more on one's own humanness. This may be the most surprising path of all. How can one be united with Love if one really does not even believe in it in the first place? This is a bit difficult to explain but it is my belief that Reality is a manifestation of Love. A key part of this path is one must work on developing oneself and also knowing themselves completely. I see this as a path of continual self-development.
The third path is that Love is inside us. If we journey deep within ourselves, we find the Source we have been looking for all along. This is a path of letting go and realizing that we are a part of this Love, a wave on the ocean of Love. On this path, one will meditate and introspect in order to become conscious of this Power.
The fourth path, and one that is so obvious that I overlooked it when originally writing this, is that Love is in other people. There is a profound paradox here. Some people lament that their Deity is not in human form and long to have physical contact with her. All the while, God is in human form in the hearts of all people. This is why being of service increases the love in your heart as you are progressing along this path.
All four paths are genuine paths and one is not better than the other. Certain people may gravitate towards one path or some mixture of them and that is their prerogative to pursue their own bliss. For me, I think the greatest power is in being conscious of all these different ways to Love and then combining them. Rather than me proclaiming "my path" as the best, I try to stretch myself to incorporate principles from each path. If we become open to Love and embrace all ideas (that is, we are open to all religious thoughts), then we are open to growth. Some truths resonate with you and some do not. Embrace the ones that do and ignore the ones that do not. However, if we never allow the truth to enter in the first place, then we do not have the opportunity to grow.