How close is God to us?


The following is an excerpt from Ayatollah Abdullah Javadi Amoli’s work on closeness of God.

God is close to all things and all people, but not everyone is close to God. If A is close to B, how can B not be close to A? This is impossible in Euclidean geometry, but it is certainly possible in spiritual geometry.

God is always aware of His closeness to us, thus He is always close to us. We are not always aware of this proximity; therefore we are not always close to God. We are close to God to the extent that we are aware of God’s closeness to us.

Suppose a blind man and a sighted man are sitting next to each other: the sighted man knows that he is close to his blind friend, but the blind man is not aware of his friend’s presence and proximity. So far as the eye of our heart is blind, we will be far from God.

A given thing is either present or absent. If something is absent, we know its attributes first and then we proceed to know the thing. If something is present, we know the thing first and then only we conceive of its attributes.

For the man of God, God is present. The gnostic (‘ârif) knows God by God. He moves from the Named to the names and not from the names to the Named. He moves from God to his Attributes and not from the attributes to God.

There  is a difference between the knowledge of the philosopher who having seen the smoke, infers that there must be a fire behind this wall; and the knowledge of the saint who is already burning in that fire.


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