Can you say what the name “God” means to you?
That is a very good question. I will to begin with asking you to forget all that is associated with the name “God”. Drop the ideas from organised religions. The name “God” is for me something so wonderful and unexplainable. God can be felt but not known through language. Many have tried give God names, but those who really know will not even try.
The main reason why it is impossible is that that the true reality of the Divine is “The Forth Dimension”. We realise God when we go beyond time and space. In the Indian non dual tradition of Advaita Vedanta the term “Turiya” is often used. It means “The Forth” because it can only be pointed at and not really be defined by words. It is the foundation of the three common states of consciousness: waking consciousness, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. Turiya is the “presence” that underlies all experiences, but also at the same time gives rise to everything that we experience. It is always present. Even in deep dreamless sleep we are resting in Turiya. Most people are unaware of the blissfulness of this state, but some of it can be recalled as a very good feeling when we wake up in the morning.
Other examples of how this divine reality can be experienced are found in the many stories from people who can tell what the doctors talked about when they were in narcoses. This memory may suddenly pop up months after they were operated under full narcoses.
Everybody “knows” Turiya as a deep feeling or presence that never disappears. We cannot say what this feeling is, but we experience it as a sense of “being”. And when we start to meditate we will know that it is the “Heart”. But it is neither the physical heart nor the emotional heart – it is the spiritual heart! It is very close to the feeling of unconditional love. And when we go even deeper than love, we fall into “non-duality”.
This non-duality is not really an experience, because an experience needs both an experiencer (a subject) and an experience (an object). Turiya is the Divine. It is also called Brahman in Advaita Vedanta. It is “THAT” which gives rise to all experiences. Every experience is a “function” or an expression of the Divine Brahman. This is illustrated by the famous saying in Advaita: “Only Brahman is real, everything else is unreal!”
In Advaita Vedanta and every other tradition of the Mystics the understanding is that all of creation – all experiences – are realised as unreal and an expression of the Divine. The Christian Mystics, for example, often quote the words used by Jesus when he said:”I and my God are one”. When we realise Turiya, the non dual, we will know and feel that we are one with the Divine. But not only that; we will also know that there is only the Divine!
See all experiences as an expression of the Divine, and that you are one with it. Then, when you realise yourself, when you wake up, you will know that every moment is an expression of your real nature, which is one with the Divine. You will see that everything, even your doubts about what you read here is, the Divine”!