Hindus make pilgrimages to the headwaters of the sacred Ganges River. Sacred rivers symbolize the flow of divine life into the world, so going to the source, for a Hindu, is like returning to God. Of course, they don’t really believe that God lives in the mountains where the river begins – they don’t literalize their symbols as we tend to do in the West. The outer action of walking to the headwaters is a ritual, a living meditation on the inward journey toward the Source of All. When one reaches the source of the river, she can then turn around and look downstream, as though she herself were the source of it. This is a way to “lose” oneself – by becoming one with It. The only thing that the one who does this will be aware of is the endless flow of the eternal Life of God. Jesus said of such a one that “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters”.
What does this tell us about our relationship to the flow of the eternal Life of God when we are in this state of consciousness? It tells us that we are not the flow itself, neither are we “in the flow”, but that we are the source of the flow. This is what it is to be alive. This is what it means to be spiritually endogenous, to unfold from within the infinite part of ourselves. This is being at one with Being, where the Infinite says through us, “I am that I am”.
When awareness is turned back upon itself, it comes face to face with Being, which is the source of awareness. Therefore, Being is “within” awareness. Coming to this realization is called “standing in the holy place”, the immovable spot, the axis mundi of Buddhism. Isn’t this what we’re really seeking when we “go within”?