Love God, not the concept of God
The concept of God refers to an intellectualized or sentimentalized notion of God that is more a projection of one’s own preference than the revelation coming from scripture.
Intellectualized notions characterize those governed primarily by their reason, whereas sentimentalized notions characterize those governed largely by their emotions. At one level, any form of attraction to God is good, because it stimulates our spiritual quest, inspiring us to look beyond the mundane concerns that occupy most of humanity. So even a concept of God that pushes us towards him is good.
Infatuation with our concept of God may cause our quest to end before it has reached its end.
But at a higher level, infatuation with our concept of God may cause our quest to end before it has reached its end. That is, we may mistakenly conclude that we already know God, when actually we are yet to know him truly. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (04.09) urges us to know God, Krishna, in truth (tattvatah). Later, the Gita (18.55) states that he can be known thus through devotion.
To know Krishna in truth, we don’t have to suppress our concept of God. The Gita (10.41) indicates that Krishna is the underlying attractive principle of everything attractive, including the concept of God that attracts us. Whatever attracts us about that concept is present in its pristine form in Krishna. But that concept manifests only a spark of his splendor, and that spark cannot satisfy our longing for love as can the Whole.
So, we need to be careful that our concept of God doesn’t block Krishna from manifesting in our heart. How may we block Krishna? By rejecting those philosophical tenets or devotional practices that don’t gel with our concept. When we open ourselves to the scriptural revelation of Krishna, we will find our heart flooded with the richness, sweetness and fullness of his love – a love that lasts forever.
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