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Divine presence

Divine presence

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Divine presence, presence of God, or simply presence is a concept in religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, spirituality
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

, and theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 that deals with the omnipotent ability of a god and/or gods to be "present" with human beings. Most gods are commonly understood to be capable of interacting with the natural world, and more important, with human beings, such that they would be able to hold some influence with any human being.

According to some types of monotheism
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, God is omnipresent and telepathic
Telepathy
Telepathy , is the induction of mental states from one mind to another. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the more-correct expression thought-transference...

— can read, see, interpret, evaluate, and understand all human thoughts and concept
Concept
The word concept is used in ordinary language as well as in almost all academic disciplines. Particularly in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences the term is much used and much discussed. WordNet defines concept: "conception, construct ". However, the meaning of the term concept is much...

s, and can project his will in various ways. Such ways are commonly said to be quite subtle (cf. divine illumination), but religious texts typically deal with important occurrences wherein God deals directly with particular beings.

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
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

, 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
    Aum
    Om or Aum Om or Aum Om or Aum (also , written in Devanāgari as and as , in Sanskrit known as (lit. "to sound out loudly"), ', or ' (also as ') (lit. "Auṃ form/syllable"), is a sacred/mystical syllable in the Dharmic or Indian religions, i.e...

     - The Buddhist and Hindu
    Hindu
    Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

     (Indian religions) name that has evokes the concepts of the Oneness of God
    Monotheism
    Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

     and the universal omnipresence
    Omnipresence
    Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. According to eastern theism, God is present everywhere. Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in western theism it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence,...

     of the creator deity.
  • Brahman
    Brahman
    In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

     - Hinduism
    Hinduism
    Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

    , the superpresent properties of the creator deity
    Creator deity
    A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

    , Brahma
    Brahma
    Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

    , understood to manifest itself as "light" within the human being.
  • Divine countenance
    Divine countenance
    The divine countenance is the face of God.-Pagan:In pagan religions, the face of God might be viewed in a literal sense - the face of an idol in a temple. In prayers and blessings, the concept was more metaphorical, indicating the favourable attention of the deity...

     or the face of God — a metaphor for a close encounter with God himself
  • The Holy Spirit
    Holy Spirit
    Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

     - (See also spirit
    Spirit
    The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

    , holiness
    Holiness
    Holiness is the state of being holy or sacred.Holiness is being clean or pure, to be holy is to be like God.Holiness may also refer to:* Holiness movement, a specific tradition within evangelicalism...

    ) - Christianity
  • Immanence
    Immanence
    Immanence refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence, in which the divine is seen to be manifested in or encompassing of the material world. It is often contrasted with theories of transcendence, in which the divine is seen to be outside the material world...

     - related term used in religious mysticism
    Mysticism
    Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

  • Inner light
    Inner light
    Inner Light is a concept which many Quakers, members of the Religious Society of Friends, use to express their conscience, faith and beliefs. Each Quaker has a different idea of what they mean by "inner light", and this also varies internationally between Yearly Meetings, but the idea is often...

     - term used in various religions to refer to the presence of God as a "light". The Religious Society of Friends
    Religious Society of Friends
    The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

     regards this concept as a fundamental belief.
  • Light (theology)
    Light (theology)
    In theology, light or divine light is a term used to refer to an aspect of divine presence, specifically an unknown and mysterious ability of God, angels, or human beings to express themselves communicatively through spiritual means, rather than through physical capacities...

     - an aspect of divine presence with qualities of illumination
    Illumination
    Illumination, an observable property and effect of light, may also refer to:* Illumination , the use of light sources* Illumination , the use of light and shadow in art...

    : thought, intellect, knowledge
    Knowledge
    Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

    , insight
    Insight
    Insight is the understanding of a specific cause and effect in a specific context. Insight can be used with several related meanings:*a piece of information...

    , wisdom
    Wisdom
    Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

    , being
    Being
    Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

    , divine love
  • Numen
    Numen
    Numen is a Latin term for a potential, guiding the course of events in a particular place or in the whole world, used in Roman philosophical and religious thought...

     - 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
    Shekhinah
    Shekinah is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling divine presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.-Etymology:Shekinah is derived...

     - Judaism's term for a presence in a holy place (Tabernacle
    Tabernacle
    The Tabernacle , according to the Hebrew Torah/Old Testament, was the portable dwelling place for the divine presence from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites...

    ), 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
    Theophany
    Theophany, from the Ancient Greek , meaning "appearance of God"), refers to the appearance of a deity to a human or other being, or to a divine disclosure....

     - the overt appearance of God to a person

Other beings as a divine presence

  • Angel
    Angel
    Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

     - typically a transcendental being, but in some usage may refer to a manifestation of God under a pseudo-identity that has human personality, and can therefore interact with a person without revealing himself overtly
  • Immanuel
    Immanuel
    Immanuel or Emmanuel or Imanu'el . It is a theophoric name used in the Bible in and...

     - "God [is] with us," is a Biblical concept that deals with the concept of divine presence, often used by Christians as a title for Jesus
  • Elohim
    Elohim
    Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

     - various theorized meanings such as "the host of angels," or an indication of God as a being with many aspects and manifestations
  • Angel of the Presence
    Angel of the Presence
    In Judeo-Christian tradition, the Angel of the Presence is an entity or multiple entities variously considered angelic or else identified with God Himself...

     - name to refer to the angel of the Exodus
    The Exodus
    The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...



A related concept is the ability of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 to be present in human life—a Trinitarian concept that may be specifically indicated or described by various terms:
  • Christ
    Christ
    Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

     - A term meaning the "anointed one" meaning the messiah and saviour of humanity in the past, present and in time yet to come.
    • Eucharist
      Eucharist
      The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

       or Holy Communion - The re-presentation or remembrance in Christian liturgy of Christ's sacrifice symbolised through bread and wine
    • Real presence
      Real Presence
      Real Presence is a term used in various Christian traditions to express belief that in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ is really present in what was previously just bread and wine, and not merely present in symbol, a figure of speech , or by his power .Not all Christian traditions accept this dogma...

       - The concept of Christ being truly present in the sacraments
    • Consubstantiation
      Consubstantiation
      Consubstantiation is a theological doctrine that attempts to describe the nature of the Christian Eucharist in concrete metaphysical terms. It holds that during the sacrament, the fundamental "substance" of the body and blood of Christ are present alongside the substance of the bread and wine,...

       - Lutheran concept of Christ being "infused" within the species of communion with these aspects still substantially present
    • Transubstantiation
      Transubstantiation
      In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation means the change, in the Eucharist, of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the Body and Blood, respectively, of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.The Eastern Orthodox...

       - Catholic and Orthodox (terminology differs) concept of Christ fully, truly and substantially present in the Eucharist with the physical species being substantially absent

See also

  • Divinity
    Divinity
    Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

  • Theophany
    Theophany
    Theophany, from the Ancient Greek , meaning "appearance of God"), refers to the appearance of a deity to a human or other being, or to a divine disclosure....

  • Ho'oponopono
    Ho'oponopono
    Hooponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Similar forgiveness practices were performed on islands throughout the South Pacific, including Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand. Traditionally hooponopono is practiced by healing priests or kahuna lapaau among family...

     (Morrnah section)
  • Omnipotence
    Omnipotence
    Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

  • Omniscience
    Omniscience
    Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...