HILE we ourselves are not ultimate, we connect to the ultimate when we sense the love contained in our respective consciousnesses— the creative divine. We find the ultimate when we realize it was never absent.
Since the ultimate is in us, we’re always in contact. To the extent a thought is positive, it is a divine thought.
Since all of our thoughts— even the worst— are somewhat positive, all are somewhat divine. Since none of our thoughts— even the best— are entirely positive, none are entirely divine. (Hope this isn’t getting to sound too much like a course in miracles.)
No thought, inspired or otherwise, is external to our own knowledge, perceived or rationalized. We cannot select a random city in China and name all its inhabitants, nor list who was born in that city on a randomly-picked day centuries ago, without looking it up.
Even if one believes in some sort of extrasensory perception, that’s another form of perception, like seeing or hearing. Knowledge that we obtain from within is knowledge that is contained within.
Is there an identifying characteristic of divine inspiration? Using good as a guide, it’s that part of a thought that contributes, directly or in consequence, more to the enrichment (quantity and quality) than the detriment of life— your own or that of others.
We are gifted with many styles of thought; one kind does not always have superiority over another— emotion can be mindless and destructive, or can dramatically inspire; intuition can be randomly off-base, or uniquely creative; reason can be devoid of feeling, or can aid in evaluating opinion and action.
There are times when our thoughts are of or inspired by the ultimate, these we call meditations. There are times when meditations are specifically directed, these we call prayers.
Since our thoughts are, to a greater or lesser extant, ultimate thoughts anyway, it doesn't really matter how much— or even whether— we meditate or pray. Meditation and prayer are for our benefit.
It does matter that we strive toward the good with our thoughts, and use them to help regulate our emotions. While anger can in the right circumstance be a positive motivator, empathy is often more constructive.
Because of the mind/ body connection (universally acknowledged by the medical community, as evidenced by experimental allowance made for the placebo effect), divinely-oriented concentrations can be influential physically as well as spiritually.
But because prayers of supplication, no matter how sincere or faith-driven, are not always effective, we should recognize their limits, realizing that they are best employed along with— rather than instead of— other means.
The same goes for worship— worship is for our benefit. We worship (in a sense) whenever we enjoy life with awareness of its supremacy as a gift. We can worship individually or in a group.
The ultimate is not feared, any more than we fear separation from the ultimate. Since the ultimate is always in us, it is always with us— against fear.