Can we define God or can we describe him accurately? To answer this question, I would like to start with a counter question: can we define and adequately describe a pebble? The answer to this question is ‘Yes’ for those of us who have seen a pebble and held it in their hand. The answer is ‘No’ for those who have never seen a pebble and have never held one in their hand. For these persons (if they would exist) not even a hundred definitions and adequate descriptions would suffice to make clear to them what a pebble is. For those persons, the pebble remains a mystery.

This turns he question into the following: is it possible for an average person to have a clear experience of God? The answer is a definite ‘Yes’, but not in the way and manner most religions are suggesting we can. Most religions present to their believers an image of God that cannot be experienced, simply because this image does not correspond to the real nature of that, which can be called God! In this sense, the so called atheists are completely right. They have seen the non-existence of the usual pictures religions make of God, and they simply don’t believe in these fairy tales any more.

Indeed, the images of God that the different religions are presenting to the world are to be regarded as a kind of fairy tale. And as is often the case with ancient and wise fairy tales, these religious fairy tales do contain a kind of hidden wisdom. So what is the hidden wisdom in the religious fairy tales? Can we experience that to which they refer? Yes we can! But we do have to clearly understand that a real ‘God-experience’ is not any kind of concrete experience! It is a completely abstract experience, or maybe better formulated: it is the experience of complete abstraction!

Now the question is: how can we experience the complete abstraction? In order to experience the completely abstract layer of existence, we only have to let go of all names, forms, images and projections that we ever made of the Divine. How do we do that? During some repeated short time intervals, we are to refrain from any kind of effort making, and learn to relax body and mind as much as possible. When we relax ourselves consciously, our mind becomes increasingly quiet and our consciousness becomes established in its essential nature. And what is the essential nature of our consciousness? Nothing other than the complete abstraction mentioned above. Pure consciousness is the experience of absolute Being that is conscious of itself.

In this effortless experience of Being, we become aware of the unbounded, eternal and abstract nature of consciousness. We experience ourselves no longer as a body, nor as a mind and even not as a soul, but as pure consciousness! Although Being is nothing concrete – not even energy – we realize that it is our source and essence! In this completely abstract self-experience we realize that we are not limited in time or space and that we are not even anything personal! In this state of inner silence, we realize that we are universal and eternal: we are abstract and unbounded consciousness! This experience of the deepest level of self-awareness is actually the whole essence and goal of the Yoga and Vedanta philosophies.

After having had a clear experience of pure Being or pure consciousness, we realize – just as all yogi’s, mystics and gnostics have always realized, that this essence is not only our essence, but the essence of all and everything! We clearly apprehend that our essence is identical with the essence of all people. In this abstract experience we have transcended our personal ego, and our sense of self has become unbounded. In this case, we are like the wave on the ocean, which has finally realized that it consists for 100% of water. Spontaneously this wave realizes that each and every other wave also consists for 100 % of water! All waves are made of the same stuff! And what the ocean is for every wave, the omnipresent conscious Being is for everything that exists, for everything that has a name and a form.

God, or the universal Being, the source and essence of all that exists, can thus be experienced when we dive deep within and become still inside. This usually takes some kind of practice. What works most in this respect is our intention. If we really want to have the experience of unbounded awareness, we will have it! The only prerequisite is that we don’t make any effort! Relaxation is called for!
For as long as we put ourselves under a strain, we will not be able to experience our true selves! Our unbounded self is utterly relaxed! But since the average human being is not acquainted with effortless, inner silence practices – with meditation – the beautiful names God, Allah, Adonai, Shiva, Tao, Wakan Tanka etc. call forth all kinds of unrealistic associations.

Then it is like speaking about a pebble with someone who has never seen one. But since the conscious Being, or pure consciousness is even more omnipresent as a pebble, it might be useful to have a close look at some adequate definitions and accurate descriptions of God or the divine:

God is the abstract Being.
God is the abstract Being that knows itself: pure consciousness.
God is that abstract consciousness, which is the source and essence of all that is, was and will be.
Consciousness is primary; matter is secondary.
Consciousness is creative and intelligent:
God is that creative intelligence that expresses itself in each and everything.
God is that omnipresent and eternal creative intelligence that accounts for the orderliness of every bit of creation as well as for the eternal change and evolution of every bit of creation.
If we do want to make an image of the divine, then the best way to imagine God is to see this omnipresent creative intelligence as an unbounded ocean of consciousness in motion.
And every part of creation we can see as a temporary wave on this eternal, absolute and unbounded ocean of consciousness.
God is consciousness. Consciousness is God.
Consciousness in its essence is God.
Consciousness in motion is energy.
Consciousness in form is matter.
In the symbolic language of the bible, these three are pictured as
God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and God the Son.
God is our deepest identity, our true self.
God is the true Self of all beings. Therefore we essentially are one. We are all One in God.
God is the Self of the universe.
God is the all pervading nothing that gives rise to everything.
God is the Zero-point Field of Physics: the source of all energy and matter.
God is the Absolute of Philosophy: the unmoved mover of everything.
God is the Life of Biology: the common essence of all life forms.
God is the Consciousness of Psychology: the source of all thoughts and feelings.
That which in churches is called God, in mosques Allah, in temples Shiva, in pagodas Tao, in tipi's Wakan Tanka, is nothing other than cosmic consciousness.
There is only one consciousness in the entire universe. Whose consciousness is that? Our consciousness, our collective consciousness that we all share as the source of our thoughts.
God is our true Self, experienced at the source of thought.
God is Truth, experienced at the source of thought.
God is Freedom, experienced at the source of thought.
God is Love, experienced at the source of thought.
God is Bliss, experienced at the source of thought.

Therefore the bible says: Be still, and know I am God.
Therefore the upanishadic sages said: Aham Brahmasmi – I am God.
And they also said: Tat twam Asi – You are God.
And: Sarvam khalvidam Brahm – All this in reality is God.
Say therefore to yourself: God became (wo)man in me.
And say to others: God became (wo)man in you.
And know: The whole world is a manifestation of God.

It is as simple as that!

© Drs. Frans Langenkamp, Ph.D. July 2009. For more information about consciousness, Selfrealization and Godrealization see:

Author's Bio: 

Frans Langenkamp lives in the Netherlands and in Germany.
He wrote several books, and coaches his clients on their way to Psychological Maturity (Formerly known as Enlightenment).