The Self and God

Only by transcending thoughts and ordinary emotions, living a moral life, and meditating can the Self be seen. It is the realm of nirvana and shines within each person’s soul.

By George Johnston

Just before he passed on, the Buddha spoke to a multitude in a discourse called the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, or simply the Nirvana Sutra, in which he explained that his earlier teachings about non-Self and emptiness were preliminary teachings designed to free one from associating transient phenomena with Reality, which is permanent and eternal. In this sutra, he tells his students that they needed to come to the realization that the body and its experiences of ever-changing phenomena are not real, and he is now giving them the ultimate truth: “the Self is Reality (tattva), the Self is permanent (nitya), the Self is virtue (guna), the Self is eternal (sasvata), the Self is stable (dhruva), the Self is peace (siva).” It is within us, but we are not aware of it.

Only by transcending thoughts and ordinary emotions, living a moral life, and meditating can the Self be seen. It is the realm of nirvana and shines within each person’s soul.


The essence of our soul is the eternal Self –
A pure reflection of God’s love and light and joy,
His supreme power and infinite intelligence.
The Self is what we are, and it is one with God.

If we love God and strive to know and do His will,
The nature of the Self and God will be revealed.
Their love and light will shine away our fear and guilt,
And we will find God’s joyful paradise within.

So we must strive to realize the Self and God,
And talk with God and think of Him in all we do.
Then we will know we’re one with Him and loved by Him,
And He will guide our footsteps everywhere we go.

O Spirit,
The beauty, life, and the intelligence
In earth and universe tell us of Thee.
They hint at Thy immensity and power and creativity.

The multitude of living species
With complex codes in every cell –
The means by which each animal and plant
Can thrive and grow and reproduce its kind –
Fill us with awe of such intelligence divine.

Vast, snow-capped mountains; ancient, towering trees;
Shooting stars, northern lights, and whirling galaxies –
They all reflect Thy mighty power and majesty.
The sounds of thunder and of gentle, falling rain,
The sunlit day and moonlit night,
The brilliant autumn leaves, the winter’s white,
The verdant growth in spring and summer’s lush delight
Reveal Thy cyclic, rhythmic artistry.

And many other blessings of our earthly home –
The ocean’s roar, the gentle breeze,
The rising wind and swaying trees,
The changing shapes and textures of the clouds above,
The varied colors, grace and loveliness
Of butterflies and blossoms,
Birds in flight and stars at night;
The blissful love that’s felt
When human ego vanishes and hearts unfold –
All these suggest Thy nature.

For all that’s good in Thy creation and humanity 
Comes from and is sustained by Thy creative love and light. 
Thou art Supreme Reality; 
Thy infinite, but veiled, intelligence in every soul 
Ensures our sure and certain progress, 
As through free choice, we stand, then fall, 
Then rise again; each time with lessons learned.

And when, in love and meditative stillness, 
Thou art revealed through faculties within the soul, 
We’ll merge with Thee in silent, sweet communion. 
In boundless bliss, in oneness with Thy glory, 
The sorrows of the past will melt away. 
All will be seen as one in Thy transcendent sea of light, 
And, as Thou truly art, we’ll know Thee on that day.

George graduated from Yale University in 1956, started to practice meditation and yoga postures in 1962, and has taught the principles and techniques of yoga and led meditations for over 53 years. He writes articles based on the teachings of great masters, including many received from Jesus in our time by people who were able to communicate with Him.

George’s wife, Mary Ann, has been able to see and talk with Jesus since she was a child and has written three books about living a God-centered, spiritual life, which contain profound truths and guidance from Him and other masters.

To learn more about the authors and read free chapters from Mary Ann’s books, please visit:



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