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Divinity of the Self in the Bible

(originally written 10.08.2007)


Often the Western attitude towards the divine is that of something "Wholly Other." By contrast, in the East it is common to equate God with the self. For example, "aham brahmahsmi," ('I am Brahman'), "tat tvam asi" (Often translated as 'Thou art That;' 'That' being a name of Brahman,) "ayamatma brahma" ('This Atman is Brahman'), etc. In fact, there is much evidence that within the Bible itself - both Old & New Testaments - that divinity is to be found within.


Psalms 82:6, "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." (KJV)

Each person is a child of 'the most High,' the "Father" which appears consistently throughout the New Testament.


John 14:16-17, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."

Here Jesus comforts others because he promises "the Spirit of truth" to be "another Helper" which "abides with you and will be in you." After Jesus' death on the cross he affirms that the Father will "be with you forever" by sending thing "Spirit of truth" which is "in you."

John 14:18-24, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

Here Jesus is explicitly saying that He is 'in My Father' just like John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." The identity between the Son Jesus and the Father is explicitly stated, but more importantly an identity between all people and Jesus is asserted as well - 'you in Me, and I in you.'


Luke 17:21-22, "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (KJV)

The Kingdom of God is not coming as a historical event but it is something within all of us. Jesus explicitly supports this, proclaiming: 'behold, the kingdom of God is within you.' Unfortunately we are not able to perceive it. Jesus asserts in Matthew 18:3, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (ASV) We must recover the original genuineness of children, their candor, playfulness, adaptability, joyfulness, and humility. Nietzsche once wrote, "In the true man there is a child concealed who wants to play," and also, "A person’s maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play."


Although not from the Bible, the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart wrote:

"The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me."

"The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge."

"We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has borne and never ceases to bear in all eternity... But if it takes not place in me, what avails it? Everything lies in this, that it should take place in me."

...the Christian mystic Miguel de Molinos wrote:

"Thou art to know, that thy Soul is the Center, Habitation, and the Kingdom of God. That therefore, to the end the Sovereign King may rest on that Throne of thy Soul, thou ought to take pains to keep it clean, quiet, void and peaceable; clean from guilt and defects; quiet from fears; void of affections, desires, and thoughts; and peacable in temptations and tribulations."
-Spiritual Guide of Miguel de Molinos (1685), The First Book, 1:1

"It is the common opinion of all the holy Men who have treated of the Spirit, and of all the Mystical Matters: That the Soul cannot attain to perfection and an union with God, by means of Meditation, and Ratiocination: Because that is only good for beginning the spiritual Way... O how are, in a manner infinite numbers of Souls to be pitied, who from the beginning of their Life to the end, employ themselves in meer Meditation, constraining themselves to Reason, although God Almighty deprive them of Ratiocination, that he may promote them to another State, and carry them on a more perfect kind of Prayer, and so for many years they continue imperfect... seeking God without, when in the mean time, they have him within themselves."
-Ibid, 3:17-18

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