Divine Presence

All of us came from the same source of souls – that Divine Presence which is all-that-is. We are the invisible energy that permeates every atom of existence. In my struggles to reconcile the violent nature of our existence, I am seeking to connect with the divine in everything: people, animals, plants, insects, air, earth, water, and objects.

There is a divine presence in a tornado, in an earthquake, in a flood. Each of these can steal away our living essence forcing our souls to move into the next iteration of our existence. The earth holds its own divinity. What appear to be weapons to us are tools the earth uses to sweep its air clean, keep its core stable, and refresh the soils that blanket its surface.

There is a divine presence in the grizzly bear who takes down a hiker. To that grizzly bear that person is a threat to cubs as well as nourishment. There is a divine presence in a wasp’s sting and the bite of a spider. There is divine presence in the fresh water springs and salty ocean depths. Without either of these, humans cannot survive.

Objects are created from atoms – the same atoms that are in living beings. A book, for example, is made from a tree and is imprinted with the life force of that tree. This plastic computer I am typing on is connected to the divine by way of its electric energy – energy that comes from wind, from coal, from oil, from natural gas. Even its battery stores the energy of those sources.

I’ll not be having conversations with books, tables, or televisions, though. My point is to recognize that all that exists has a connection to the Divine Presence that is the universe of existence. Nothing is created that comes from outside this universe. Everything that is destroyed continues to exist in another form within this universe. This is a fundamental law of physics.

Any one of us can die as the earth goes about its business. Any of us can die as humans go about their business. All the while, we are part of and within the Divine Presence. My difficulty is remaining consciously connected with my divine presence as I go about my human business. It is even harder to remember to connect with the divine in another person. There is only an infinitesimal margin of ability when I try to connect with a person who has been violent.

The violence I am discussing here is that which makes the Web headlines and front page news — the atrocious violence that harms other living creatures: our wars, our crimes, our retributions. There are subtler forms of violence such as the emotional warfare that a parent plays with a child to coerce the child into behaving and being in a prescribed manner. I don’t even WANT to find the divine presence in another when that person has harmed me or someone I love. All I can look at is their human failings and fret about how they did not meet my expectations, my prescribed way of being in the world.

I suspect that this kind of violence must come from a complete disconnect from divine presence. How can I connect with people who cannot even connect with themselves? I have to trust that the divine presence in me will recognize and connect with the divine presence in others.

It’s a place to start.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

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5 Responses to “Divine Presence”

  1. passionatepresence Says:

    Excellent Post Barbara!

    Ultimately everything that appears changes, transforms, passes away, or fails. All these tweak or challenge our sense of survival. The thing is we will not survive even those unfortunate enough to have success in most areas of their personal life.

    One way clear seeing and connection comes into play is when the ego directly connects with failure in life circumstances or our mortality in some way. Amazing how the ego throws up it survival strategies and just drops away realizing deeply realizing it can’t win or compete. So much of its energy expended isn’t necessary.

    The good news as you point out Barbara is underneath it all is who we really are… Divine Presence. That as good a term as any in my book.

    I like how you word it… “Divine Presence which is all-that-is”. All our eggs are in that basket whether we know it our not. Like it or not. It is prior to us. By the time any of us can realize it, it is too late as who we thought we were dropped away.

    I have had some magnificent experiences Barbara. Just one example was walking around the airport in Dallas and it seemed like their was a brightness pouring out of everyone’s eyes. I didn’t conjure it up or try to look for it. It was just a gift of noticing… Given

    That is the way of it here. The best connections with Divine Presence come as gifts. I can initiate connection with Divine Presence sure. I can now look to see that presence pouring out of someone’s eyes, but I don’t always remember to do so, and I don’t always see it.

    The thing is, my personal identity isn’t going to get there, and while I have expended great effort and will power, none in the end was needed. Weird. As my friend Mike says. You have to expend great effort to find out none is needed. By the time you get there it is too late because the same person that cared about arriving is no longer there.

    It’s o.k. now. My expectations that what appears in the world myself, human or otherwise is not going to save me or provide salvation.That doesn’t mean that I don’t strive to improve, grow, stretch, etc… It is just part of the dance or play of life.

    The connection is before I can even think about connecting. It is prior to any thought or experience. It is a real pisser because thought and manifest experience want to claim the goods. They want in on the action. Unfortunately, they are just the manifestation of the true underlying reality. You point to that beautifully here.

    Salvation is already the case, and it isn’t anything in this world per se that we can rely on including ourselves. It is prior to our “so called” existence, and beyond my description. Don’t we love trying though?! ;o))

    What I and other people all over the world do is worship our thoughts about divine presence and because we do that it causes division. Thought divides and separates. You can see it in every challenging situation we face in the world today. What holds it all together is before thought.

    A fun thing to try if you are called to do it, is just to see how every action, thought, and situation happening in every moment arises from nothing…. dead stillness. It can mess with thought because thought is movement, so getting some grounded presence by connecting to the body helps. In fact their is a much deeper and richer intelligence and wisdom in the body than the conditioned thought system we rely upon.

    Connecting to that bodily wisdom is too cool, and it can challenge some deep seated beliefs as well if you decide to go there.

    The other thing that can be fun is to notice through out each day how much arises spontaneously. It is as simple as, did I just plan or intend to scratch my right cheek just now? Nope, but I just did. These can go up to opportunities that come my way or problems solved from directions I never saw coming.

    I don’t know where it is, but there was this man who quit his job, closed up where he was living and just walked out in the street and sat. Basically he said, o.k. if everything is provided let’s see if it is really true. It was a fantastic journey to read what occurred from there. I want to say he did it for a year to the point where he was never the same again. I have to see if I can find it.

    I have gone on too long again.

    Loved the post Barbara.
    Deep Bow!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Ben — I have been reading “The Book of Not Knowing” and am at the part where it becomes clear that perpetuation of the self is a survival mechanism, and there will always be something that threatens our sense of self. You are right: those threats will pass, as will our “selves.” I have been in what I call a “wordless” place for moments at a time — these are times when I am completely present, completely at peace, and all that I am is still, but very much alive. I have had experiences where I feel my divine presence cradling me, in the background of my sense of self, a part of but separate and always there. My ego wants me to live as that divine presence as a human (how holy woul that be!?), but I get a sense that is not my purpose for being in this existence right now. Or maybe it is? But because my mind/thought/ego sees that as a “goal” I immediately discount the idea. Thought brings us to creation, but it also brings us to destruction. It is knowing the true nature of thought — that it is a tool for us to use, not the basis of our existence — that gives us freedom. The nothingness that our thoughts, actions, and feelings arise from is there, very certainly, is there. Sometimes, when I can be present enough, I have a circumstance occur and can be mindful enough to watch all of the responses I can have rise. I don’t have to act upon any of them. I like the story about the man who looked to life to provide for him. If you find it, send it to me. We are life, so we are providers. I wonder what he discovered. You can go on as long as you want to, Ben. This is the Internet and as near as I can tell, there is no end to the Internet.

  2. holessence Says:

    Barbara – There is so much reassurance in this post. Most especially, “…the next iteration of our existence.” Regardless of what happens — regardless — we are eternal. And so is everyone else.

    I additionally agree with your sentiment that sometimes it is difficult (damn hard, in fact!) to connect with other people. That’s where Namaste’ arrives on the scene and as you said, “trust that the divine presence in me will recognize and connect with the divine presence in others.”

    Have a GREAT week. I leave at the butt crack of dawn on my adventure. As Sandi would say, Yee-Haw!

  3. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Laurie — you are well into your journey by now and I am as anxious as anyone to find out what it is all about!

    I, too, find reassurance that our energy continues to exist no matter what. I think we all know this from our own divinity. We get in trouble when we let our thoughts and beliefs that we are these human forms control our actions. My human body will cease to exist someday and there is nothing I can do about that. However, I will continue to exist and it occurs to me that there is nothing I can do about that either!

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