To judge by the outer show, everyone’s life moves rapidly, if chaotically, through scene after scene. Yet you might never suspect that there even was an inner journey. Saints prove that there is. Having arrived at the goal, they can look back and say that just beneath the surface, human life has a pattern, a rising arc.
At first, the possibility of knowing God is dim, unlikely, a mere shadow of a possibility. As threats and fears subside, the possibilities become more interesting and plausible. Then they become intriguing, something you find it worthwhile to contemplate and perhaps even test out. Tentative testing turns more decisive – you actually begin to risk making choices that defy the ego’s expectations.
You have done enough testing; now you want to play. You feel assured in your spiritual choices. You acquire mastery over the spiritual domain, which lets you enjoy incredible freedom in the material domain, a freedom never dreamed of earlier. After which, there are no more choices to be made.
The saint merges into the God he reveres, and the whole universe operates automatically according to the same principles that were once so irrelevant to the struggle of trying to survive.
Every event in your life falls somewhere on a scale of reactions, and the overall pattern is a rising arc. The road to sainthood begins in ordinary circumstances with ordinary situations. There is no shorter path to God.
Adapted from How To Know God, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2000).