Our soul is the same essence as that of God
We develop physically and intellectually; yet with all that, we are not happy and we cannot be happy. We give food to the physical body and we are physically strong; we give food to the intellect; but what food are we giving as the Bread of Life to the soul?
The soul is a conscious entity. The Bread of Life or the Water of Life can only be a conscious thing, and that is God. And where is God? God is the very controlling power keeping us in the body. So we have to contact Him. Ever since the soul has been sent down to the world, she has not gone back to Him. Otherwise, you would have been in another state of affairs. Soul says, "I will try my utmost for years and years – hundreds of years – and won't rest until I find Him." So our soul is the same essence as that of God. Ever since it has been sent to the world, it has not gone back so far. So soul cannot find rest unless it meets the Oversoul: God.
But soul has now been identified with the body so much so that it has forgotten itself. Unless the soul is analyzed and withdrawn from the body and comes to its seat at the back of the eyes and gets some self-awareness or self-knowledge, she cannot know the Overself or have God-knowledge. So self-knowledge precedes God-knowledge. All Masters who came in the past have given out as the prerequisite that we should know our own self. We are conscious beings, not physical bodies. We are wearing these bodies only. All of these outer religions are schools of thought in which we are joined to know our selves and to know God.
We have never been without Him. He has all along been with us. We are living in Him just like a fish lives in the water. The water is never away from the fish – the very life of the fish is water. So our very life is God, the Controlling Power which keeps us in the body. So, unless we know our own self, we cannot taste the kernel within. You may remain in any religion you like, because religions are only concerned with the outer forms – they are the casing only, I would say. We are to dip into this casing. We can taste the kernel by the only way that exists: by contacting the one in whom God is manifested.