I heard someone ask this question, and it’s an understandable question if we are coming from a place where we mainly have heard others tell stories about the divine and spirituality.
There is a short and simple answer:
Yes, all is already the divine and nothing is inherently wrong or missing.
At the same time, the divine here –locally and temporarily as us – may not recognize that.
There is another way to say this:
We are capacity for the world. All our experiences happen within and as what we are. That’s what we are whether we notice or not. We cannot change it. But we can be fascinated by perceptions of being a human being, one particular content of our experience, and we can perceive, feel, think, and live as if this is the case. (Most do.) So why not check it out for ourselves? Why not see what we find? Why not try out pointers others have developed (e.g. Headless experiments, Big Mind process, Living Inquiries) and see what we discover for ourselves? And if we find we are capacity for the world, why not see how it is to live from this?
There is also the question of connecting with vs finding ourselves as it.
At the one end of the spectrum, life – locally and temporarily as us – takes itself to be this human self. It doesn’t notice itself as capacity for all its local experiences. At the other end of the spectrum, life notices itself as this capacity and the local human life is lived within this noticing.
Between those two, there may be stepping stones. It depends on our personal process – the processes of life as us. It also depends on what approaches we use, what pointers we follow, and to some extent what tradition and worldview we are familiar with and operate within.
And one of those stepping stones may be to connect with the divine, for instance through devotional practices. Even within a more non-dual approach, it can be helpful to engage in this type of practice.
This is one of the questions we may have if we mainly have heard others tell stories about the divine and spirituality.
In reality, it’s simpler. Yes, all is already the divine. Nothing is inherently wrong or missing.
At the same time, the divine may be used to identifying as this local and temporary manifestation of the divine (this human self). And here, it makes sense to explore our connection with the divine – if that’s what we are drawn to. We may first explore it as a third and second person relationship, and then discover first and zero person relationships, and recognize all of them here and shift more fluidly between them.
That’s part of the divine too. That process is also the divine. It happens within and as the divine.
When I use the word “divine” here, it’s a somewhat lazy shorthand. It can refer to all of existence. And it can also refer to what we are – that which the content of our experience, including this human self and the wider world, happens within and as.
More accurately, we can ask: why explore what we are if we already are it?
The answer is the same. Yes, it’s what we are. We cannot ever escape it. We are it whether we notice or not.
At the same time, if we are in the habit of identifying as an object within the content of our experience, for instance as this human self, then it makes sense to explore what we are if we are drawn to it.
It can help what we are to notice itself. Nothing has really changed since we are what we are whether we notice or not. And a lot has changed since the conscious context for our life is different. When what we are notices itself, and notices all its content of experience as itself – including this human self and the wider world – there is a different context for our experience and the life of this human self in the world. What difference that makes is an ongoing exploration process and something to keep discovering for ourselves.
There is yet another way of talking about this that’s a bit more accurate.
What we are is temporarily identified as an object within itself, which typically is – an image or idea of – this human self. It already is what it is. Nothing can change that. But it may be curious about what it really is. It may sense something is off. It may be tired of the inherent discomfort in its mistaken identity. So it gets curious and starts exploring what it really is.
It may do this by projecting what it is out on some deity. It may have glimpses which sparks an exploration process. It may find what it is through pointers and guidance. It may notice itself more consistently through different changes in its content – the life of this human self in the world. It may explore any blocks to noticing and living from it, which is typically beliefs and emotional issues. And it may find ways to live from consciously from noticing what it is in more and more situations.