Trungpa said somewhere in his book: ...Self-deception is a constant problem as we progress along a spiritual path. Ego is always wanting to achieve spirituality
From "A History of God" I learned about Pascal's Wager: decide if there is a God. If you decide "yes" then God will help you and your life. Newton's God was more a Creator: who then made all this. In the section of the book I am reading, historical figure after historical figure has written about who God is and how to know him, or not.
This morning, in my meditation, a connection suddenly struck me. Between Plotinus, A History of God, other books, I am looking always for an authority figure to say, "Yes, the common person can know God." At the heart of my going to the monastery was a belief that you had to immerse yourself in such a religious system, ala Thomas Merton, in order to know God. Or you needed to be ordained by the Church. Or later, I thought you needed a guru or special spiritual guide.
I read all these things and think that the condition of my life isn't correct for knowing God. Yet since the age of 22, I (the honest inner me) and I (my ego) have been doing what ever we could think of to know God; and I'm still trying to convince myself that an ordinary person like me can know God. Of course, as long as I believe I cannot know God, I never will.
I have grown by a step. Learned by a step. Awakened a little more.