After penning the piece “Does Religion Matter?” my inbox was quickly filled with comments and questions that led to many thought-provoking subsequent conversations with respondents. The majority of comments came from those who believe that religion doesn’t really matter as much as the connection one feels with the God-presence, or the God within us all. I respect all ‘paths to God’ and love engaging with readers. In fact, so many of you helped me spiritually grow by sharing your insights, let’s explore this concept a bit deeper.
Exploring the Idea of the God Presence Within
Each of us has our own idea of God, and perhaps the greatest debate concerning the concept of ‘oneness with God within’ stems from a well-known a verse of the Holy Bible from Luke 17:21, which I’ve seen scholars, theologians, and everyday people heatedly discuss. When asked by disciples about the ‘coming’ of the Kingdom of God, Jesus proclaimed “Neither shall they say, lo here or lo there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Perhaps Matthew 6:33 offers a bit of insight, where Jesus proclaims that those who seek the kingdom and God’s righteousness will have all of these added unto them. In essence, He seems to imply that life’s ultimate treasure — the ultimate Truths — are within us, and through our spiritual path and acceptance of that inner transcendental possibility, that we truly can gain all we ‘need’ to embrace our divine nature. However, if you explore this a bit deeper, you’ll find that most religious, spiritual, cultural and scholarly traditions have embraced this same precept far before the time of Christ and the Bible.
Ancient References to the God Within
Hindu texts proclaim their belief that the presence of God’s Kingdom is within everyone and everything, and it was a main practice of karma yoga — acts of kindness and generosity that bring one closer to that divine presence. The actualization of this ‘inner treasure’ has been referenced using a number of phrases including:
Judaism – Ein Sof
South Africa – Hunhu/Ubuntu
Aristotle – ‘the Being’
Platonius – ‘the Infinite’
Islam – Fana
Christians – Spiritual Marriage
Buddism – Nirvana
Taoism – ‘the Tao’
Australian Aboriginals ‘the Dreamtime’
St. Bernard of Clairvaux – ‘the Word’
Ralph Waldo Emerson – ‘the Oversoul’
Today, these concepts are often translated into phrases such as God is love… God is peace… God is awareness… God is oneness… God is a unified presence inherently within all sentient beings… God is good… God is Source… However one choses to ‘define’ God and the Kingdom of Heaven, many seem to agree that there is only one Higher power — God. God is often referred to as omnipresent (all Present), omnipotent (all Power), and omniscient (all Wisdom). When we recognize our inner divinity, some believe that we are living in accordance with the true potential of our Higher Selves.
If God is Good and We are God, What is the Source of Evil?
If our essence is of God, then we must also be inherently good, right? The universal perspective that God is good brings forth the question “How can an opposing power like Evil exist?” Granted, there’s a lot of craziness in the world, and many people and institutions seem to represent ‘evil’ interests. Could it be that Evil is sourced by mistaken beliefs in our separation from God… insecurities, fears and indoctrination that can override our intrinsic God-like qualities? These along with mental illness and other psychological issues can often be a source of Evil-doer’s negative, harmful intentions amid the collective.
Free will has been freely given to us, allowing us to decide what we harbor in our mind. When we align our thoughts, feelings, and actions with those of God, a ‘spark’ is ignited and the fruits of the Kingdom are open to be received. Embracing Free Will can allow one to be ‘redeemed’ and see that there is only the Presence of God, and as the Source and Creator of all, that He is the power of Love at work in the universe and is expressed through us – His creations.
His Creations as Co-Creators
Let’s turn to science for a brief moment to acknowledge that it has proven beyond a doubt that all life is interconnected because everything possesses a bit of the same cosmic ‘stardust.’ Hence, it stands to reason there is scientific merit to the ‘All One’ philosophy, and that any distance or separations we see between one another and our experiences are purely human nature… Constructs brought about by our personal perceptions of space and time.
That ‘spark of God’ we feel is also energy, and allows us to become a conduit for the flow of love and peace into the world. Because our minds are connected to the mind of God, we have the power to manifest and be co-creators of our reality through our positive thoughts and beliefs. Whatever energy you put out is like a magnet, drawing in like energies, so if you want love, happiness, prosperity, etc. allow those thoughts to be extended into the world. You do reap what you sow!
What is Heaven – Is it Separate from Hell?
Have you ever said, “Oh my God, I’m in Heaven/Hell?” depending on your circumstances at that moment? My personal belief — which may not be yours — is that Heaven and Hell are merely states of consciousness. As co-creators of our ‘reality’ it stands to reason that one’s state of mind at any particular moment determines which one they are experiencing. Essentially, what we experience on the earthly plane could easily be considered a state of Heaven or Hell. When times feel like Hell, by turning to the God presence within — whether through prayer, meditations, or affirmations — it’s far easier to alter consciousness and transition into a more ‘heavenly’ state of being.
Discover the God Within with Affirmations, Meditation, and Prayer
Prayer is talking to God; Meditation is silently listening for His answers, and it helps us embrace our intuition and discern the “still small voice within” rather than looking for guidance outside of ourselves or from a God who is separate from our essence. Affirmations support the Law of Mind Action. Affirmations help us redirect our thoughts from low-vibrational beliefs in the power of ‘appearances’ like thoughts of lack, limitation, separation, sickness, etc. into a higher state and connection with Source. Prayer, meditation, and affirmations allow us to slip into a state of surrender and openness to God.
As we listen for this guidance and experience the divine connection to spirit, these actions can work together to help us see the truth of our divine connection with all life and the God presence. Here are some of my favorite affirmations for raising my vibrational resonance and oneness with God.
God’s current of healing love flows through me now, making me whole and free.
I attract my good and radiate good to others.
I am a spiritual being, living in a spiritual universe, governed by spiritual laws.
I am a child of God, beautiful, perfect and loved unconditionally.
I am centered in Spirit and nothing can disturb the calm and peace of my soul.
I am a radiating center of divine love.
The joy of living fills my soul and is reflected in my life.
I am open and receptive to God’s living Spirit of Truth.
I am free, I am unlimited.
Embrace your endless potential as a divine co-creator by opening your mind to exploring these topics on your own. Feel free to share your thoughts, but PLEASE do read the article before commenting on the forum, as most of the questions brought forward here were asked by readers like you, so let the conversation begin.
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