The shortest, simplest, and likely most accurate answer to the question, "Why can't God be found?," is: because God doesn't exist. We also can't find unicorns, leprechauns, or the Tooth Fairy (hope my granddaughter isn't reading this post) for what almost certainly is the same reason.
They don't exist.
But for the sake of argument let's assume that some entity which reasonably could be called "God" does exist. Don't ask me to define that term, "God," because it isn't possible. An understanding of God comes at the end of the search for him/her/it, not before.
And that brings us to the biggest problem in finding God. There's no preferred direction in which to look. If you doubt this, pick up the book that I've been reading, "God is Not One."
The author, Stephen Prothero, clearly shows how different Islam, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Yoruba Religion, Judaism, and Daoism are. These aren't just superficial differences, either.
In each of these major faiths, countless dedicated seekers of truth have labored long and hard to pierce the veils that supposedly separate humans from an ultimate divinity. These saints, mystics, yogis, monks, sages, and wise men/women have meditated, prayed, chanted, mortified themselves, and otherwise engaged in an amazingly wide variety of spiritual practices.
End result: no agreement about the nature of God.
Some faiths say that God (using that term as loosely as possible) is personal; others impersonal. Some faiths say there is only one God; others many Gods. Some faiths say that God is a perfect being; others that God is as flawed as we are. Some faiths say that God is transcendent; others that God is immanent within every atom.
Recently a commenter on this blog said something familiar: "God is to be found within." Well, that tells us absolutely nothing. What isn't to be found within? Name one entity in the cosmos that can be known by a human being outside of that person's consciousness.
Everything is found within our consciousness. The trick in finding something is having some idea where to look. In everyday life, as in science, almost always there are preferred hypotheses that enable us to narrow down the range of search options.
If I can't find my watch, it's unlikely to be in Mongolia if I haven't visited there recently. If our dog won't come when I whistle, my first thought is to check her favorite squirrel stalking locations, not to drive into downtown Salem and look for her at the mall.
When it comes to finding God, though, I've reached the conclusion that there aren't any search techniques which are demonstrably more likely to be effective than any others. I've read countless (almost) descriptions of mystical and spiritual experiences by people from all sorts of religious backgrounds. Also, non-religious.
Everything seems to work for somebody, somewhere, some time. Putting in effort. Utterly relaxing. Eyes open. Eyes shut. Finding God on your own. Trusting a guide/guru. Purifying your body/mind. Embracing drugs, sex, and rock & roll. And so on. And so on.
When people say, "I'm a seeker of God," they aren't really telling the truth. Again, how is it possible to seek something that (1) probably doesn't exist, and (2) if it does exist, leaves no clues where it can be found?
What they actually mean is that they've decided, for no good reason, that God is most likely to be found by following the precepts of a particular religion, spiritual path, mystic practice, or such.
Without any demonstrable evidence that God is to be found on a particular section of the 360 degree Possibly Divine Truth Circle, they confidently head off on a certain "degree heading." Meanwhile, other people all over the world are choosing their own preferred paths.
Underlying what I call my Wu Project is a sense that this is senseless. Now, I can't prove that no one finds God by searching in a certain direction. But in return, no one can prove that this is possible -- so I'm sticking with my null hypothesis:
God can't be found.
Here's the funny thing, though: I'm still open to the possibility that God exists. Yes, I think this is exceedingly unlikely. But unlikely isn't impossible. So every morning I sit down and meditate for a while.
I don't search for God. I'm simply open to the possibility of God. I say "hello," wordlessly. To nobody and nothing in particular. It's the same thing I do when I answer the phone. Except in this case, there's no signal to alert me that God is calling.
Only silence. And, when I have my eyes shut, darkness.
I figure that if God exists, it isn't possible for me to find him/her/it. It's up to God to find me. If that never happens, I won't be surprised, since I think it is extremely unlikely that an entity anything like our human conceptions of "God" exists. I simply enjoy being open to the possibility.
Surprises are fun.
If God ever surprises me with an answer to my "hello," I'll be sure to let you know. You can either reply via a comment on this blog or -- another possibility -- with a visit to the mental institution where they're treating me.