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God Is Both Within and Without

water is like god american none
Water is like God. Within us and all around us. Both nothing and everything. The fuel of life itself.

God is both within and without.

It has become commonplace for American Christianity to extol the external otherness of God, which I have previously discussed. This characterization is attached to anthropomorphic constructs of God. This is primarily because to say that God is first and foremost inside of you teeters on humanistic anathema in the view of such Christians. Because, they say, if God is within you, then you are claiming to be God. Well, guess who also claimed to be one with God? Uh yeah, that guy named Jesus.

How and why humans ended up turning Jesus into being synonymous with God is an issue I take up later in the chapter on Beliefs. I, along with a minority of Christian mystics, believe that the message Jesus intended to impart to people is that the Love and the Power of God is within each and every person. My favorite interpretation of Jesus’ birth narrative, from divine conception through the nativity, also bolsters this claim. Essentially it is an etiological story that archetypally pronounces that divinity is intrinsic to every living person. As Lady Gaga sang, “We are born this way, baby!”

Love and the Power of God is within each and every person.

However, the God that is inherently within us all is also greater than us and external to us at the same time because this is the Source of Life, the Power that Transforms, and the Unity that Binds. The best analogy, although limited, is water. Our bodies are about 60 percent composed of water. This water permeates our entire being, present in our tissues, organs and blood cells. Water is also in the air we breathe. (Trust me, being from the South, I know ALL about humidity.) Water falls from the sky and of course, there are the obvious bodies of water that comprise rivers, lakes, oceans, icebergs and snow drifts. Water is both within and without us. Water is the source of life and the binding agent of all living things. It is virtually impossible to say where water begins or ends. It exists in both the DNA of us humans and the DNA structure of the universe. I think of God the same way.

One of my favorite Rumi quotes is, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.” Sums it up!

American None secular spirituality nones nonreligious exvangelical


This blog piece is an excerpt from Chapter 1: Confessions of an American None: A Credo of Sorts.


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