A commissar in Russia asked a peasant how the new potato crop production plan was coming along under their glorious leader.
Said the peasant, “Our potato crop has been miraculous. If we were to put all the potatoes in a pile, they would make a mountain reaching to the feet of God.”
‘‘But you know that there is not any God,” said the commissar.
“I know,” said the peasant, “there are not any potatoes either.”
A god in the sky is a false god. Not that the sky is without God, no – the sky is as full of God as the earth. But the first understanding of God is going to be rooted in the earth. The first understanding has to be of the roots, and out of those roots your understanding will grow and spread to the farther corners of existence.
But the journey starts at home. It starts deep within you. The first glimpse of God has to be in the innermost shrine of your heart. If you have not seen him there, you can go on talking about him, but you will not ever be able to see him anywhere. The first encounter has to happen within you. Once it happens, you will be surprised that you start seeing God everywhere. Once you have seen him within your heart, how can you miss him – because everywhere the heart is throbbing with him. The tree is full of him and the rock also, and the river and the ocean, and the animals and the birds – everywhere. Once you have felt his pulse, once you have felt him circulating in your own blood, once you have had an experience in your own marrow, then everywhere, wherever you look, you will find him. But it cannot happen otherwise. If you are empty of his experience, you can go to the farthest corner of the world; your traveling will be in vain. You will never reach his temple because you missed the very root of it. You missed him at home. If your own house does not become his temple, then no temple can be his abode. If your own house has become his temple, then all houses are his abode.
When the Bauls say that one has to be very earth-oriented, they don’t mean that the sky is empty of God. But they say, “If the earth is not full, then the sky is absolutely empty. If even the earth is not full, how can the sky be full of him? If he is not here, how can he be there? If he is not this, how can he be that? If he is not today, how can he be tomorrow? If he is not in this life, how can he be in the next?” Their logic is simple and irrefutable.