The word yoga means union, uniting the higher with the lower self. In meditation, Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore received the word ‘Unity’, which he interpreted to mean union with the One Power and Presence in the Universe: God. As part of our journey in knowing and expressing that oneness, yoga teaches that individuals tend toward one of three paths, based on their personality: The Yoga of Wisdom, Devotion or Service. As part of his series ‘Unity & Yoga’, Justin Epstein explores each of these paths.
In this video: The Yoga of Devotion: The Ultimate Goal Of Spirituality. (Transcript by Victoria Barkley)
Ultimately, the path of devotion is learning to know God, yearning to feel the presence of God. I believe, and I may be wrong, that there are plenty of books on spirituality nowadays (new thought, and so on) that are all about what can I get, using God and using the laws that work. You know, how can I have more success? How can I have this and how can I have that?
That’s fine, that’s good, but that’s not the ultimate. We are still going to be missing something without God, without the awareness of the presence of God. And I believe that’s the ultimate goal of spirituality.
Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added onto you.”
For me, most of the time, my prayer time is about: Reveal yourself to me. Let me know your presence more deeply. Find more of that joy, more of that presence. That’s ultimately what devotion is all about. It is yearning.
The Indian sage, Pramahansa Yogananda said, “Oh how maddening. I can no longer speak words but just wistful yearning. I believe we have lived lifetime after lifetime, looking for love in all the wrong places; looking for fulfillment, success, status, approval, and all these things in the outer world. We have done this lifetime after lifetime. And now, we are on the path to realize that maybe our fulfillment is in God.
What I really want is a closer connection with Spirit, with God that (leads us) back to devotion. It’s not just intellectual. It is not just hearing, not just reading. It is a path of the heart. It is a knowing.
I always loved that interview with Carl Jung, the late psychologist. (When) he was asked, “Do you believe in God?” He said, “No. I know God.” That’s the path.
What is the kingdom of God? It is not something we die and go to after death. How many people are looking forward to it after death? Accept the dogma and then you go to it somewhere. Or, how many people are thinking about it at all?
We are here to know the kingdom of God– To know it in every cell of our body.