In these posts, we’re comparing and contrasting two different ways of thinking about God; the “guy-in-the-sky” image of God, and the “Ground-of-All-Being” one.
Our starting point was Ps. 139. It is an ancient spiritual poem that hits on a word theologians often bandy about; “omni.” It means “all-or-everything-ness.” The poem imagines a God who is omnipotent; omniscient; and omnipresent; all powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere.
We saw in that post, that when we think of an “omni” God in human-like terms, he (and he’s usually a “he”) comes off as a benevolent super-hero on good days, a dastardly evil genius on bad ones.
However when we think of God as the soil from which all that grows, grows, (last post) our reading and visceral reaction to God’s “omni-ness” changes completely. We think of ourselves as rooted in the always-in-us-and-us-always-in nature of Divine Presence. We draw strength and sustenance from the inescapable nature of Divine life and nurture. We are inextricably rooted in Divine Soil.
- That spiritual epiphany you had in 9th grade… you drew it from the Soil of God’s Always-Presence.
- The healing we had from that soul-sickness when we were 22… from the Divine soil.
- The transforming insight we had when were 34… it was drawn up through our soul’s roots from the Divine substrate in which we are planted.
And that Soil is always present… always there… always nurturing… always giving… it is Omni!
All we need; the full provision of all we require; is provided for us in the Divine Soil in which we are already and always planted. The essential necessities for life are omnipresent. The power and presence of Soil; is our all in all. Rooted in Divine Soil as we are, our minds, hearts, and spiritual experience, are sustained.
For the rooted plant, soil can be nothing but omni! Of course!
You can see how a different image of God changes spiritual experience. Gone is the all-seeing eye of a super-man character. As we saw, that too can be a wonderful and helpful metaphor. But it can also be terrible. All our God-images are limited. However, soil-power manifests a very different spiritual journey than does man-power. I’m suggesting that we’ve given the former image a great workout, and that we could afford to imagine God as soil for a bit.
Rooted in God, we are sustained…
- Made alive.
Rooted in God-soil, we can’t imagine God not being present. We derive our very being from God. The God-Soil image helps us see that there is no “separate-from-God” experience.
Everything is connected.
There is a vine to which I am branch; a vine from which I sustain my very being. Disconnected from this branch isn’t punishment. It’s just meaningless. I mean nothing if I am not rooted in Divine life. Plant without soil is simply absurd; simply meaningless.