“The religions,” declares Sri Ramana Maharshi, “are according to the view-point of the seeker” (Be as You Are, p. 206).
If the mind of a young child carries around ideas about boogiemen, then a religion could form, stating that no such being exists. Were that to happen, then perhaps it would go on to suggest that there is an all-powerful Person who protects and loves all.
At a later point, perhaps the late adolescent or early adult might come to question whether there is a bearded man up there in the sky, looking out for all. Does a Superman make sense? And because of the alluring nature of atheism, she might come to conclude that there is no reality apart from this apparent, sensible world.
And so it may go for some time.
Perhaps, decades later, certain experiences would impress or force upon her the need to reconsider: to reconsider her place in the cosmos and to inquire anew into what she is and into what there is. Maybe something deep has, over all these years, been ripening within her.
And so, she might be ready to hear that “all is one Reality” and that “you are That.” What once seemed beyond the pale is now well within her purview.
An all-pervasive stillness may find her, may be her, may be here. Then it could be discovered that this “purity of heart” is the very place where she can “listen to Reality without any self-seeking interference.”