It is the lover of God whose heart is filled with devotion who can commune with God, not the one who makes an effort with his intellect in analysing God. In other words, it is the lover of God who can commune with Him, not the student of His nature. It is the ‘I’ and ‘you’ that divides, and yet it is the ‘I’ and ‘you’ which are the necessary conditions of love. Although ‘I’ and ‘you’ divide the one life into two, it is love that connects them by the current which it establishes between them, and it is this current which is called communion, which runs between man and God. To the question, “What is God?” and “What is man?” the answer is that the soul conscious of its limited existence is man, and the soul reflecting the vision of the unlimited is God. Plainly speaking, man’s self-consciousness is man, and man’s consciousness of his highest ideal is God. By communion between these two, in time both become one, as in reality they are already one. And yet the joy of communion is even greater than the joy of at-one-ment, for all joy of life lies in the thought of ‘I’ and ‘you’.
All that man considers beautiful, precious and good is not necessarily in the thing or the being; it is in his ideal. The thing or being causes him to create the beauty, value and goodness in his own mind. Man believes in God by making Him an ideal of his worship, so that he can commune with someone Whom he can look up to, on Whom he can lay his absolute trust, believing Him to be above the unreliable world, on Whose mercy he can depend, seeing selfishness all around him. It is this ideal, when made of a stone and placed in a shrine, which is called an idol of God, and when the same ideal is raised to the higher plane and placed in the shrine of the heart, it becomes the ideal of God, with Whom the believer communes and in Whose vision he lives most happily, as happily as he could be in the company of the sovereign of the whole universe. When this ideal is raised still higher it breaks itself into the real, and the real light manifests to the godly; the one who was once a believer now becomes the realiser of God.
from the ‘Sufi’ magazine
vol. III no. 4