Everything in God and God in Everything | A Commonplace Book


Everything in God and God in Everything

Panentheism means “everything in God and God in everything.” It’s not the same as pantheism, which identifies God with nature, or dualism, which emphasizes the gulf between God and creation. It stresses immanence — God within the world — over transcendence — God above and separate from the world.

Here is one of my favorite Welsh texts. I love its affirmation of panentheism, and it inspired me to write my own version. In each case, “I” is the Divine.

I am the wind that breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave on the ocean,
I am the murmur of leaves rustling,
I am the rays of the sun,
I am the beam of the moon and stars,
I am the power of trees growing,
I am the bud breaking into blossom,
I am the movement of the salmon swimming,
I am the courage of the wild boar fighting,
I am the speed of the stag running,
I am the strength of the ox pulling the plough,
I am the size of the mighty oak,
I am the thoughts of all people,
who praise my beauty and grace.

— from The Black Book of Camarthan in Celtic Fire by Robert Van de Weyer

And here is my version:

I am the towering skyscraper in the sky,
I am snow painting the city in white,
I am dogs and their owners at play in the park,
I am couples strolling hand-in-hand near the river,
I am the jackhammer on the street emanating the sound of progress,
I am the old woman feeding hungry pigeons,
I am the passengers crushed together on an early morning subway,
I am the street musicians playing songs that touch the heart,
I am the stop sign teaching patience to passersby,
I am the glow of lights of the city at night,
I am the courteous person who gives directions to a stranger who is lost,
I am the shopkeeper who sweeps the littered sidewalk,
I am the sun setting over the city in a beautiful orange orb,
I am an activist for peace marching with others to build a better world

— Frederic A. Brussat

Next Post: The Color Orange

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