"We are all boundless creatures."
Here is an excerpt from the book, Finding the Joy Within You, by Sri Daya Mata from a talk she gave at Bareilly, India...
(If "God" is a difficult word/concept to grasp, feel free to replace with any idea of something greater than yourself — Mother Nature, Source, Spirit, Beloved, Divine Mother — whatever works for you!)
Unconsciously man knows he is divine. But consciously he has forgotten his true nature. The five senses were given to man that he might cognize this world, and through his experiences here, grow in understanding. But when he abuses the senses, he becomes engrossed in sensuality and loses knowledge of his infinite nature. Yet that nature continues subtly to manifest itself in pseudo-ways.
For example, every human being seeks power; many crave it. This is natural, because the soul knows it is all-powerful. But since in the ordinary conscious state the soul is not aware of its limitless nature, it strives instead for positions of authority or superiority, or to gain control over other people, or even over nations. The ideal of being all-powerful is not wrong, but too often the method for attaining and using that power is wrong. Those who know God understand and rightly use the tremendous power that lies within the soul—the power that can move hearts, that can move nations, that through the centuries has changed lives.
Another way in which man's hidden divine nature expresses itself is through his craving for material wealth. The soul knows that in its oneness with God it is the possessor of all things, and that it has the power to create at will whatever it needs. But because we are not consciously aware of our soul's potential, we begin instead to accumulate material things in an effort to satisfy our buried conviction that everything we need or want is ours by divine birthright.
Man also craves bliss. The soul knows it is blissful, but because the ego is ignorant of that bliss, it succumbs to the temptations of pseudo-joys provided by maya (Cosmic delusion.) Through the ages, man has used intoxicants such as wine and drugs in an effort to forget this world, because subconsciously he remembers a more blissful one. Isn't it so? The goal is not wrong, either, because man, being made in the image of God, whose nature is bliss, automatically longs for that unalloyed joy. But not knowing how to regain it, he resorts to the pseudo-joy of intoxication. He drinks or takes drugs so that for at least a little while he can forget this world. The tragedy is that when his body becomes saturated with these intoxicants, they destroy his nerves and brain.
Man also seeks love, an unconscious response to the nature of his soul, which itself is love. But because he does not consciously experience that pure, all-satisfying divine love, he goes around like a beggar, pleading for a little affection from human hearts. It is not wrong to crave love, but the means by which most people seek it is ill-conceived. As often as man thinks he has found perfect love in human relationships, he finds instead that death, or unfaithfulness or some other failing, has left him disappointed and disillusioned. As Gurudeva (referring to Paramahansa Yoganada) used to say to us, "Behind every rosebush of pleasure there is a rattlesnake of disillusionment." 'Tis true!
There is also a craving in man for unity. Everything in this world is trying to come together. The law of attraction operates in even the most infinitesimal particles of matter. If you look through a microscope, you will see this power at work in many natural phenomena. Man also is striving for the harmony of oneness. His soul knows that it and all other souls are essentially one with God. But because man identifies himself with this fleshly form, he has forgotten that oneness, so he seeks union with one soul after another in various relationships, trying always to find the lost sense of fulfillment that comes from unity.
So, we see that the goals of man are not wrong, only the manner by which he strives to achieve them. He has forgotten that he is not this body, that he is the all-perfect formless soul. He remembers only this flesh, and so strives unsuccessfully through the limited five senses to regain that which is already his.