The Cause of God
I do not think the Cause of God exists apart from the people it serves. It aids them to fulfill the potential of their destiny; but to place religion above its members would be like conceding a greater reality to the map than to the journey. The one exists to benefit the other. Whatever does not assist the wayfarer in his travels should be exchanged, and whichever beliefs hold us back from progressing forward, discarded.
The purpose of religion in leading us to God? Ask the lover if he has any purpose beyond his beloved, or any hope but to sweeten her life. Even his love itself, in the end, is a distraction from the one he loves. If the heart can be fulfilled to such an extent in connection with an individual, how much more in reference to God: because at its root the two phenomena are the same, one mortal and the other immortal.
Hunger and satiety
Mystics have stated that hunger is a desirable state, since it makes us mindful of our dependence on God, whereas satiety tends to cause one to become forgetful of God. This may be true in some stages, but for others everything, even satiety, is a reminder of Him. Although hunger causes us to reflect on His name, the Sustainer, being filled up can remind us of His name, the Sufficer.
Since the beginning of religion there have always been two aspects: the inner and outer, private and public, mystic and social. When these two are in harmony, religion aids both the spiritual and material well-being of mankind; but if either is taken to excess, the results can be quite damaging.
Many are critical only of mysticism, however. Examined in isolation from its partner aspect, it’s like removing an engine from a car and asking what use is it if it can’t go anywhere. On the socio-political side more understanding is given to the culpability of its followers; only mystics seem to inherit the taint of their predecessors. Although dogmatic excess in exoteric religion has sent millions to their deaths, it still has nowhere near the bad name that mysticism has received.
How can this be? Why does mysticism provoke more criticism when in comparison it’s relatively harmless? A lot may have to do with the fact that since social authority lies in the public sphere, whenever these two sides are in conflict only one voice is heard. Nor are mystics very concerned with how they’re perceived.