God’s Presence in the World
In the common readings, God’s presence in the world is mediated through nature and reality. This is one of the four fundamental claims of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and represented through Christianity. Authors from the common readings have represented this such as, Book VII: Allegory of the Cave by Plato and the book of Genesis 1-3. Both of these represent their own ways to help the understanding that God is present throughout the world and our everyday lives weather we know it or not. Everything that is something was created by God himself.
Therefore, he is a part of his creations and will forever be. When things happen that we cannot explain the “why” or “how”, they’re most likely are because of God. I used to think that not only did God create good but evil as well. I know now that he cannot control when bad things happen because his children have the choice to follow his teachings or not, and if they don’t then they can go against him and do harm to what and who. God doesn’t believe in slaves, therefore all he can do when evil is brought about, is shed light on the situation and help turn that negative into a positive.
Book VII: Allegory of the Cave by Plato, is about a group of people who have always lived in a deep cave, none have ever seen nor know what the light of day is. These people are not capable of looking anywhere except for only straight ahead. They cannot look behind them because there is a fire, and behind the fire is half of a wall. On top of the wall are different kinds of statues that were created by a different group of people that are visible behind the half wall. The fire creates the statues to make shadows throughout the wall that is in sight of the prisoners, they then watch stories that are played out by the shadows. The only things the prisoners get to see are these shadows and nothing else so to them, they’re known as the realest things in the world so when talking to one another about anything, they mean the shadows.
There is a prisoner who becomes free but is forced to look at the fire and at the statues. This causes a lot of pain as well as discombobulation because of the exposure on his eyes to the light of the fire. There is so much more that he is missing out on and doesn’t even know it exists, a whole different world beyond the cave. At first, he doesn’t immediately see the real and new things right in front of him but soon after he does. What he sees doesn’t even compare to the statues and aren’t even considered to be in the same context. What he’s witnessing is more real than ever before, trees, flowers, houses, living creatures, etc. Once coming to acceptance in what he is experiencing, he brings his attention toward the heavens near the sun. The sun is now a form of good to him because it is the cause of what he sees around himself. What he once thought of as “real” takes a whole new concept now that his perspective has changed.
In this reality, the goal is expanding your knowledge. All should come out of the cave as far as possible, meaning, expand what you know because there’s so much more than meets the eye. We can tend to limit ourselves when there’s so much more to learn and know. No matter who you are or where you come from, you are capable of gaining so much knowledge from the world we live in. “Power to learn is present in everyone’s soul, and that the instrument with which each learns is like an eye that cannot be turned around from darkness to light without turning the whole body. (Plato, 518 c)” Without all of God’s creations, we wouldn’t know what to look and take away from it. Anything and everything are because God spoke it into existence and what we choose to take away from those things determine our education.
The Book of Genesis 1-3 tells the story of creation and the beginnings of what we know came to be. Our world is present because of God’s creations. “This is the story of the heavens and earth at their creation. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens-there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had send no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the ground, but a stream was welling up out the earth and watering all the surface of the ground-then the LORD God formed the man of the dust and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis, 17:4).” Everything and anything are because he himself spoke into darkness and brought about light and what surrounds us.
This was all done over the course of seven days. “On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all his work he had undertaken. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation (Genesis, 17:2).” Weather you follow God’s teachings or not, we all are his children. He is the reason behind why we are here. God came up with his own vision and created what he thought human beings should be perceived as. The first male was made from dust while the first female was made out of the man’s rib. Both people were placed by God in the idyllic garden of Eden with the purpose to live life, reproduce, and not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that contained forbidden fruit.
The story of Adam and Eve continues, and they disobey God. A serpent tells them to eat what they were told not to because they don’t think they will encounter consequences but do. Directly after eating the fruit they know what they have done is wrong and are filled with regret. God realizes what they have done and curses Adam, Eve, and the serpent as well. Eve’s punishment was to endure painful childbirth and do as she’s told by Adam. Adam’s punishment is to work hard for food throughout the ground. Together, they’re banished from the idyllic garden of Eden. As they go on their way into the unknown world, the couple births two sons named Cain and Abel. Cain eventually kills his brother because God was more impressed with what Abel had to offer him one day rather than himself. It was between crops and flocks. God makes Cain leave his home and wonder for the unknown in the east of Eden. Along came a third son from Adam and Eve named Seth. Because of Seth, mankind expanded. God was the start of this all, he knows what paths we should follow and if we don’t then there will be consequences.
God is anything and everything we feel or see. We are his creation living in his creation, he will forever have the power to continue bringing both about. His presence surrounds us through it all. No matter what, he is with us and is listening, watching, and helping. When God reveals himself through nature, trying to communicate with us things he cannot say directly. We can make interpretations on our own and think what we want. It may be wrong as well as right but that’s for us to find out. Sometimes certain things symbolize that he is near and trying to share a sign. If things are going rough at a specific point in time, the unexpected can happen and its usually God sharing light at the end of the tunnel.
Could be something intimate like sunshine on a rainy day, maybe even a ladybug sighting or landing or rain as God’s tears when something is wrong. These things and more could go unnoticed but is God’s way of communication. When it comes to people, someone may come into our life at the most random of times and it could be because God knows you needed him, and that person is close enough to fill the void. We tend to look so far ahead in search of what we’re looking for when it might be right in front of us because the man above is really right next to you.
God’s presence is revealed throughout the world when it comes to reality and nature. We may not see but we can definitely feel him in other ways than physical. His signs are meant to be noticed and taken for better or worse. He knows how to get through to us, we just have to be the one to realize and accept. It is important to know that God is with us always, he may not be able to control what happens during everyday life, but he can guide us in the right direction because he knows what is best for you in that particular time. He’s has the power to be everyone’s something all at once.