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My sister once explained her approach to spirituality: “Jim, I’ll tell you where I see God. I see God inside the people around me, inside myself.”

Similarly, at the Last Supper, Jesus admonished his disciple Phillip “…Don’t you believe that….the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work.”

Historically, religions have tended to view God as omniscient, almighty, and distant. However, the claim being made in these statements is that the presence of God can reside within a human being.

Is my sister’s claim rooted in the reality of human spirituality, or is it misleading, or just wishful thinking?

Could it be that “divinity” exists nowhere other than within human beings, and there is no such thing as a higher creative power?

Can Jesus say what he does because he is unique (a “special case”) or does each of us have the potential to achieve a oneness with God that is exactly like his?

What metaphysical ‘design feature’ could facilitate God’s becoming “incarnate” within or “manifesting” through a given individual?

Have you personally experienced God’s presence within another person or within yourself? If so, what was the impact of that experience?

Please share your thoughts below

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Jason Mitchell
Jason Mitchell
27 days ago

I would modify your sister’s comment to indicate that we see God’s influence in the people around us. Some are influenced by God, others are not. At the Last Supper, I assume that Jesus meant that His Father’s influence, His Father’s values, were so ingrained in Him, or so much a part of Him (Jesus), that it could be said that “that Father is in me.” But if, as a Christian, I accept the Old Testament, then Moses (Exodus 33:11) and Jacob (Genesis 32:30) saw God “face to face.” I have to believe that God’s influence can be everywhere, but… Read more »

Jason Mitchell
Jason Mitchell
Reply to  James Edgerly
26 days ago

If they were “God loving,” they likely were pure hearted and conscientious, or at least trying to be so. If you love God, you will try to be good to others. Someone once said if, “If a person is kind to you, but rude to the waiter, he is not a kind person.” Jesus spoke against hypocrisy. We are all somewhere different on the continuum of goodness. I’m not sure what you mean by “incarnate in them.” In my opinion, God does not enter into us. He is a separate being. But his influence, the holy spirit, may influence us… Read more »

Josephine
Josephine
Reply to  Jason Mitchell
7 days ago

Jason, after reading your post I thought of God as inner light then at Mass I received so many confirmations. The Bible is full of references to God as inner light and God’s light can and does enter us.

1 John 1:5 ESV / 22 helpful votes

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Josephine
Josephine
Reply to  Jason Mitchell
13 days ago

John 17 is my favorite chapter in the Bible because it is Jesus’ prayer for us to experience God inside us and God inside each other. I have experienced this and it surprised me at first and I didn’t know how to understand it until I read it in Jesus words. It is a oneness with the presence of Christ and the Father inside myself and a feeling of the other person in the presence of Christ and the Father inside me too, and all around me. It is deeply nourishing, it is life giving and bring the peace of… Read more »

Dr. D. Michael Hentrich
Dr. D. Michael Hentrich
Reply to  Jason Mitchell
25 days ago

This is an interesting point, as to whether and how God could be “in us”. I think human have a tendency to default to materialistic thinking, i.e., atoms, matter, location, distance, etc. If God has no tangible form, either here or in the spirit world, then we must adjust this kind of thinking to a different direction; more qualitatively and internally. My book, “Angelic DNA” speaks to this area in some depth.

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