Sunday, March 6, 2011



There are three distinct but related concepts of divine presence:
God's presence in nature
God's presence among all human beings
God's presence in each human being

In theological terms, a god's presence in nature is irrelevant next to his or
 her presence among humanity. Such presence could be in the mind, but
 an unseen being that influences human perception would be perceived by
 human beings as an external, environmental, or natural entity.

The concept is shared by many religious traditions, is found in a number
 of independently-derived conceptualizations, and each of these has
 culturally distinct terminology. Some of the various relevant concepts
 and terms are:
Aum - The Buddhist and Hindu (Indian religions) name that evokes the
 concepts of the Oneness of God and the universal omnipresence of the
 creator deity.
Brahman - Hinduism, the superpresent properties of the creator deity,
 Brahma, understood to manifest itself as "light" within the human
Divine countenance or the face of God — a metaphor for a
 close encounter with God himself
The Holy Spirit - (See also spirit, holiness) - Christianity
Immanence - related term used in religious mysticism.
Inner light - term used in various religions to refer to the
 presence of God as a "light". The Religious Society of Friends
 regards this concept as a fundamental belief.
Light (theology) - an aspect of divine presence with qualities of
 illumination: thought, intellect, knowledge, insight, wisdom,
 being, divine love.
Numen - Latin term for "presence", used historically to refer to
 a Roman religious concept.
Presence of God (Catholicism) Catholic Christianity
Psychedelics can produce the feeling of the Presence of God.
Shekhinah - Judaism's term for a presence in a holy place
 (Tabernacle), and due to the symbolism of the tabernacle as
 representational of the human body or being, it likewise refers
 to the presence of God in the human being.
Theophany - the overt appearance of God to a person.
From Wikipedia


The real meaning of praying without ceasing,
it seems to me, is that the divine presence or eternal values in the present moment begin to become more transparent; they become a kind of fourth dimension to the three-dimensional world. The awareness of God's presence at the subtlest level of all realities begins to be a kind of spontaneous addition to ordinary awareness, not through a thought or through any effort of ours at the time, but simply because it's there, and our capacity to perceive it has awakened through progress in contemplative prayer. Accessing the divine presence within ourselves seems to unlock the capacity to perceive it in all events, however opaque they may seem to the ordinary human perceptions. So to pray without ceasing is to be aware of the divine presence all the time as a spontaneous part of all reality.
Father Thomas Keating
St. Benedict's Monastery - Snowmass, Colorado
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