When we speak about men we all understand this to mean individuals, but about God everyone has his own meaning. To the one God means the abstract, to the other a personal God, and according to again others there is no God. In this age of ever-growing materialism the ideal has become so obscured that its light is no more to be found. People in the past waged wars and battles, they killed and robbed and in many ways showed a primitive nature, but when it came to the ideal, to God, they all surrendered to it, they all believed in it. Today many people question the idea of God. Among the so-called civilized nations there are some who have erased the word God from the textbooks used in the schools. Those who have been educated in these schools have grown up with the idea that there is no God. And when there comes a thought that there must be something, or even when they become convinced that there is a God, they call Him ‘higher powers’, or ‘Gods’, turning into plural that which is singular, bringing the highest nature humanity can think of down to variety. Many others who have been educated in science and literature think that it is unintelligent to believe in God or to use the word God. They think that as it is used by so many primitive and simple people, who are not intelligent, they can better forget the name of God. And so a path which has been traced for thousands of years by great masters has been blocked by the pride of man.
Once, after I had given a series of lectures, a man came along and said to me, “All your lectures appeal very much to me. I think every word is true; I have always thought likewise. I would be most happy to follow your guidance, but only on one condition: that you do not mention the name of God. For a man like you, who can touch the depths of life, a man of high principles and lofty ideals, does not need to use that old name which every simpleton uses and believes in. We are making a new kind of life today, and we look at it in a different way.” “New?” I said, “there is nothing new under the sun. The new is only in your conception; it is new to you because you did not know it before. It may be new to you, but to someone else it certainly is not new!”
A material scientist today finds out something and says, “Here is a new discovery!” Another says, “No, it is not true, here is another discovery which proves it wrong.” And so it goes on; every year there are many new discoveries. Then sometimes one scientist does not think like the other; they may belong to the same school, and yet each has his own idea which does not agree with that of the other. But when we look at the mystics and thinkers who considered life from a spiritual point of view, they all agree, be they Yogis, Sufis, Buddhist, or Christians, it does not matter. Whenever they arrive at a certain stage of understanding they all agree, they all have the same experiences, they all have the same realization to which they come in spite of all differences. The differences in the dogmas of the various religions are only those of form; those who look at the surface see differences, but those who look below the surface see one and the same truth hidden behind all religions which were given at different times by different masters. Therefore naturally the expression is different, but when one comes to the essence it is all one and the same, and those who are spiritually evolved come to the conclusion that they do not differ in their belief.