Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I have heard that nothing is out of God's providence. This sometimes makes me feel comforted. Like nothing gets past God—even when bad things happen, he is in control. What are your views on this?
— Mary F., Merrill, Wisconsin
I don't find it very useful to worry about theology very much. It can be fascinating, but when all is said and done, the great saints and sages of the past are not with us. When they describe their experience of God, it's like someone describing a rose that I cannot see or smell. Beautiful as they make the rose sound, it belongs to them, not to me.
Inspired by the past, the most important task for us is to find God for ourselves. On the spiritual path, you can unfold many sacred experiences. A moment of deep peace or beauty implies the touch of God. A feeling of holy presence is also God. In fact, any experience that brings you out of darkness into the light means you have stepped into the domain of higher consciousness, which is where God is found.
As higher consciousness appears by glimpses, you get your own answers about who God is and what the divine feels like. It's never the same twice; it's never the same for any two people. One time you may sense God as a powerful force with infinite reach, and then it will seem that God is totally in control. Another time you may sense God as a blessing in the heart, and then God may seem to allow everything you want to unfold as you want it to unfold.
In other words, big terms like free will and determinism are inadequate. Saying with total certainty that God is A or B fails to take into account a simple reality. If God is all things, he (or she) cannot be defined by our limited, fixed words. God must be allowed to be all, an infinitely dynamic being that is beyond the mind. The wonder is that we can still experience God, and that's because we are made of the same consciousness as being itself.