The Divine is infinite – every faith tradition holds that for an unprepared mind to confront Divinity is to be blasted from existence. As temporal beings, in our present state we simply aren’t wired to withstand the truly infinite. So there are veils: behaviors, rituals, meditations, practices, covenants. These veils are not to prevent us from experiencing the unlimited immensity of God, but to protect us from the impact of incomprehension.
Every faith tradition also teaches something similar to the concept, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God” (John 17:3). How can these two directly contradictory ideas be reconciled? If we cannot know God without risking destruction, yet we are commanded to know Him, how can this be resolved? Again, with the protecting veils.
I contend that when we are consumed in our own needs and desires, spending all our energy on our most immediate appetites, we live more like animals than the remarkable creatures we were made to be. In this selfish, ego-driven mindset we would be destroyed if forced to confront the reality of an infinitely expanding universe, at least because such a thing could not exist in our mindset. However, the opening and unfolding which accompanies someone who chooses to see something beyond the immediate animal needs, who makes the choice to listen to the “still small voice” Elijah described (1 Kings 19:12), and who sees the presence of God in the everyday thing – for this kind of person the veils are lifted and reality shines through. With all the miracles that abound in our ever-expanding universe, the human soul is still God’s most loved creation; the veil exist to protect us as we learn and grow, and become creatures worthy of recognizing the Divine presence we continuously experience.
The Divine Names is one path of understanding and unveiling, not the process of mere memorization but the transformation which occurs as we learn and embody the Names pointing to the Source of all life, growth, and beauty.
What’s in a Name? Everything.