God Within and Without
(Posted on: May 6, 2013 by David McMillin)
For, the search for God is found in self, as also in the manner in which ye treat, think and feel toward, thy fellow men. (2282-1)
Sensing the presence of God within and without, we become quiet, throw off anxiety, and are conscious of a renewing power. (Study Group # 1, A Search For God, p. 92)
With the realization of being in His presence comes that peace which casts out all fear and loneliness. There comes a feeling of being a part of the scheme of things. This is recognizing the God within as well as without. (Study Group # 1, A Search For God, p. 95)
The Search For God is both an inner and outer experience. We have seen this in every lesson beginning with Cooperation. So it is with this lesson In God’s Presence, where we encounter the God within and without.
The Still Small Voice Within
It is only when we listen to the still small voice within and know that His presence is with us that we come to the realization that we are one with Him. (Study Group # 1, A Search For God, p. 92)
For it will be seen that a greater and greater controlling force may be obtained in self by being QUIET within, listening to the still small voice as may speak from within the temple where He hath promised ever to meet those that seek to know Him. (1222-1)
… keeping the body as the temple of the living God, as indeed it is. Purify it. Keep it clean – in physical, as well as in mind, that it indeed may offer that channel through which thy Maker may speak to thee. For as He has promised, "I will meet thee in thy temple of thine own body." Communicate then, in prayer, in meditation … (3691-1)
Attunement through prayer and meditation is a primary means for experiencing God’s presence. The Cayce readings define prayer as talking to God and meditation listening to God. This dialogue with the Divine can lead to the experience of God’s presence within.
With practice and focus, meditation can lead to deeper levels of consciousness wherein the “still small voice within,” the voice of God, can be heard or sensed. For some it may be more of a knowing or train of thought that is preverbal, yet familiar as coming from the Divine within. This is particularly true if the attunement is focused on receiving guidance or assistance with solving a problem.
The readings often used the Judaic symbolism of the temple or tabernacle as a meeting place to experience the presence of God. Thus within the Holy of Holies (within our own body and mind) we meet with God during prayer and meditation.
God’s Presence In Human Relations
For until ye become as a savior, as a help to some soul that has lost hope, lost its way, ye do not fully comprehend the God within, the God without. (1158-14)
What was His command? "See that thou tellest NO MAN!" Tell God, from within. Live it from without! (262-77)
For thy Father-God is within self and without. Then as ye treat thy fellow man, ye are treating thy Maker. (3198-3)
KNOW that Life is God; Life in self then is God. Then the use of God in its relationships to others is to do to others what you would have others do to you, or have your GOD do to you! For as ye do it unto others ye are doing it to the God in YOURSELF! Thus you are by example as well as precept making for the true relationships to Creative Forces that may aid thee from without to the influence or force of God WITHIN self. (1436-3)
KNOW that as ye do unto the least of thy associates ye do unto the GOD within THEE that is in the image of the God without. (1432-1)
In that experience [exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land] the entity followed close with the true tenets of truth, that the law is a universal consciousness and is applicable in the experience of each soul that seeks the truth in his relationship to the Creative Forces, or God – an influence within and without, that must answer by the manner in which ye apply same in your relationships to others. (3031-1)
The presence of God is not a thing apart from our daily lives. For it is in our daily relationships with others that the presence of God can be most directly experienced.
When we look into the eyes of another human, we are looking into the eyes of God. How we treat that person is how we treat God. The practice of the presence of God in our daily lives, as it affects the lives of others in a positive way, is the most profound expression of being in God’s presence.
Personal and Impersonal
(Q) If God is impersonal force or energy –
(A) (Interrupting) He IS impersonal; but as has just been given, so VERY personal! It is not that ye deal only with IMPERSONAL – it is WITHIN AND WITHOUT! It is IN and WITHOUT, and only as God QUICKENETH the spirit within, by the use, by the application of the God-force within to mete it out to others….
For until ye become in purpose, in activity, a savior – yea, a god – unto thy fellow man, ye do not take hold upon that PERSONALITY, the INDIVIDUALITY of GOD – that is the life, that is the being of life, eternity, hope and love!
These then become not only as impersonal but personal, in that ye know thyself, even as He – thy brother in the flesh – made manifest that ye are aware of thyself BEING thyself, yet one with Him; and thus able to enter into the joys, WHOLLY, that are prepared since – yea, before – the very foundations of materiality, for those that keep His ways. (1158-12)
(Q) Is it correct when praying to think of God as impersonal force or energy, everywhere present; or as an intelligent listening mind, which is aware of every individual on earth and who intimately knows everyone's needs and how to meet them?
(A) Both! For He is also the energies in the finite moving in material manifestation. He is also the Infinite, with the awareness. And thus as ye attune thy own consciousness, thy own awareness, the unfoldment of the presence within beareth witness with the presence without. And as the Son gave, "I and my Father are one," then ye come to know that ye and thy Father are one, as ye abide in Him. Thus we find the manifestations of life, the manifestations of energy, the manifestations of power that MOVES in material, are the representation, the manifestation of the Infinite God. (1158-14)
In this reading (1158-14) for a forty-seven year old housewife (who was identified in her life readings as having had a past life as Ruth, the sister of Jesus), she asked some pretty deep questions about the God within and without. Cayce’s reply is that God is both within and without, PERSONAL and IMPERSONAL. Thus the experience of the presence of God is both within and without, personal and impersonal (as in nature and the laws of nature).
Note the reference to the PERSONALITY and INDIVIDUALITY of GOD. Also note that Jesus, “thy brother in the flesh” (remember the past life as Ruth) embodied these truths, and particularly the awareness of being or knowing oneself and yet one with Him – the transcendent experience of God’s presence.
God’s Presence In Nature
… more and more that desire which is latent and manifested in the present of wanting to be quiet, to be close to nature, to keep close to God in the manifestations in nature. (2988-2)
For, as will be seen, those activities of the entity throughout its sojourns in the earth have been in those fields where man and God meet as one – in nature. (1151-1)
… he who understands nature walks close with God. (1904-2)
Now ye experience that H20 is water – everywhere! Then water is water, and a part of the whole, with all the essential elements that make for the ability of manifestations in bringing life, in quenching the thirst. And it becomes active thus in WHATEVER sphere or phase it finds itself; whether in the frigid, as ice; in the temperate, as water; or in that phase as steam. Yet EVERYWHERE – in EVERY PHASE – its activities are the same! And it may be illustrated as shown; three-fourths of the earth, three-fourths of man, three-fourths of all matter we find a composition of that which He gave IS a manifestation of His presence, His force, His influence! (1158-12)
For some individuals the direct experience of the presence of God is outdoors in nature. It may be as a living connection with life that is God in this material world. It may be more of a mental experience of the awe of the mind of God via natural laws as discovered by science. For some nature is like a cathedral – a sacred space in which to commune with the Creator of All That Is. Being in nature and fully aware of it as a divine expression, can be a profound experience of the God without.
In The Presence Of Creative Energy
So may the entity in the present in the ministering as in music. For the entity may attain or attune self to the infinite more in music than in any other form or manner of activity. (3272-1)
(Q) How much attention may I justifiably give to music, which I love so much?
(A) This should be ever rather as the hobby, fulfilling. For, oft ye will find the music alone may span the distance between the sublime and the ridiculous. So it is in the search for God, that haply ye may find Him, for He is within thine own self. (3188-1)
Each appearance of the entity in the earth needs its individual analysis, that the temperaments, the latent urges, the influences wrought by the vibrations, by the color, by the harmony, yea by the very INHARMONY among associates, may be understood as to the effect had upon the feelings of the entity. For the experience becomes rather as a very delicate instrument of music upon which the chords of life (which is God) are played. (1436-2)
We are created in the image of God, the great Creator of all things. We are blessed with the gift of creative expression through will. When we choose companionship with the Divine and use our will constructively in attunement or oneness with God, we become co-creators in God’s presence.
Have you ever experienced closeness to the divine during creative inspiration? Have you ever felt close to God while listening to beautiful music or contemplating a work of visual art? Has your consciousness ever been lifted to transcendent levels through artistic expression by whatever modality? Thus the experience of creativity (either as a creator or consumer) is a means for experiencing God’s presence.
Personally, becoming aware of the presence of God through the creative process of channeling Creative Energy is one of the most profound experiences of God's presence that I have known. As expressed through a spiritual ideal of creative service, I feel especially close to God during periods of creative inspiration as I pray and listen to the Divine within.
Presence as the Ideal
First, study to show thyself approved unto THY ideal, thy Maker – the god within self, yet the God without self. (1387-1)
We have the group as gathered here, and the work and the outline IN HIS PRESENCE. As each contribute to the lesson there should be that continued thought of self being one in His presence, one that would have self and that as expressed in keeping with that He would have each one be, knowing that as others view the expressions of self in the lessons there is gained by them a concept of what His presence means to those that would walk with Him day by day. Let each in the light of their understanding so live that they bespeak that they profess with their lips to believe, that others may know that that individual is keeping that presence they hold as their ideal in such a direct consciousness as to be a living example of that they profess. (262-32)
Working with ideals addresses the inner and the outer aspects of our relationship to the Divine. The spiritual and mental ideals are inner processes that become manifest as outer experiences in our lives with others and with the world of nature. In other words attune within, apply without.
Maintaining a balance between the inner and outer experience of the presence of God, makes for unity and oneness. Thus we walk our talk and live what we profess in keeping with that presence that we hold as our ideal.
Study Group # 1. (1992). A Search For God. 34th Printing. Virginia Beach, VA: A.R.E. Press.