You know that feeling you get when you first fall in love? You might feel it all over your body or it might be localized in your heart or even your teeth. It's a feeling of pure joy in the very cells and molecules of your physical being.
You might feel this feeling of physical joy at other times too, like when you see a baby or think about your children. Whenever that happens, don't miss it! Something profound has taken place. That's salvation. You've bumped into God.
I come back again and again to this quote from Albert Einstein, because so many people recognize and respect what the man had to say: "The most important question a person can ask is, 'Is the Universe a friendly place?'" Some question the authenticity of this quotation, but for our purposes that's ok. It's a good question (and probably true), whomever might have asked it. It's in those aforementioned moments of pure physical joy that we know, and can continually know, that the universe is indeed a friendly place.
Let's first look at the alternatives. The universe could be a hostile place. Some people perceive it that way. Through the filter of early conditioning, their minds process things that happen to them and come to the conclusion--or judgment--that the universe is out to get them, that is to say, is hostile to them.
Most people, though, have been conditioned by the predominate worldview to conclude--i.e. judge--that the universe is simply a completely neutral place, indifferently governed by the law of causality. Cold cause and effect determines all that has been, is and will be. The universe isn't friendly, it isn't hostile, it's just neutral.
But when we fall in love or look at our children, we KNOW this isn't true. No mental processing--judgment--is required to make this determination. It happens in the very cells of our physical form. And we can prove this fact to ourselves again and again--continually, even. We can reproduce this feeling simply by shutting down our minds, quieting ourselves and feeling our bodies from the inside. This is precisely what they're for. They're antennae for picking up the frequency (positive, neutral or negative; friendly, neutral, hostile) of the universe.
Your body is your own little slice of physical reality, right? Feel what it feels like without the interference of your mind, without judgment. Feel your feet and your hands, your torso, your neck and hands. Hold your awareness there. After a few moments of concentration, your body begins to tingle. Hold your awareness there for a while and it begins to feel almost painfully . . . good! Pleasant. Physically joyful, just as if you have fallen in love. It's the same feeling as when you look at a baby. Reality isn't unpleasant at all. In fact, it isn't even neutral. It's positively joyful! This feeling has been called the "joy of being." (See "An Exercise for Experiencing the Joy of Being" for more details.)
And we need not believe anything. Everyone can experience this for themselves. That's what the body is made for.
This positive experience that results upon direct contact with reality has been labeled "God" by many. This experience generally gets personified and conceptualized (i.e. judged) and castles of theology of many varieties have been erected in its honor. But those are completely unnecessary, as this direct contact with this positive universal frequency is sufficient in and of itself to guide and direct your life.
To be sure, you may also experience negativity when you go into your body in this way. You may experience a great deal of it, in fact. But if you can manage to still yourself, to still you mind long enough, you will realize that this negativity--whether it be physical or mental/emotional--plays against a background of constant positivity, like burning stars against a velvet backdrop of peaceful nothingness.
Find this background joy that is always there, cleave to it, and it will show you the way out of your pain.
See also The Joy of Being, Explained
Photo credit: EnjoyPoint