The Kingdom Of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy articulated a simple way of life, and the book served as a principle in the mission of Mahatma Gandhi. Originally, the phrase was taken from The Gospel Of Luke, a direct quote of Jesus, “The Kingdom Of God cometh not with outward show, nor shall ye say lo here or lo there, for behold: The Kingdom Of God Is Within You.” Versions of this appear sometimes translate it as “The Kingdom Of God is in the midst of you,” or even, “all around you.”
Two thousand years of church and cultural history have transpired since the original speaking of the phrase, so it’s easy to over-extend intellectually and theologically in any attempt to grasp it. Yet, what would it be like to have been there, as Jesus was speaking it? I imagine it would have been an attempt an inducing a direct experience of the divine, pointing to the God was present then and there, in that moment. Perhaps it was, as some HIndu scholars have suggested, one of Christ’s many acts of oral shaktipat, or, in Christian terms, a miracle.
In the season of Pentecost, it makes sense to talk about The Holy Spirit. And what better line than this, to generate a subtle feeling of the Spirit’s presence. In the contemplation below, I offer some insights and some exercises in perception that may point to the greater Presence that is always trying discover Itself in us each moment. But before you listen, a few questions to consider for your, before and after.
1. What is IT that is looking through your eyes? Is IT just you, your inner personality, or is there Something behind that? Could it be the Indwelling Spirit, looking through you?
2. Have you ever perceived God without using your mind or thoughts? There is a faculty that thinks within us, a part of us has thoughts? Is there a mode of perception that doesn’t involve that same faculty? Can you perceive God without using your mind? What does that feel like? How do you do that? Have you done that before?
Contemplative Light offers teachings and classes on Contemplative Practices.