All is one and One is all

God is everywhere. This is a common phrase to hear when talking to anyone about this all powerful deity known as God. This week’s selections dealt with the being known as God, specifically his influence in Nature, and how he apparently leaves a part of himself within all things he creates. 

Emily Bronte’s No coward soul is mine, speaks directly to the idea that God dwells within everyone and everything. “O God within my breast / Almighty ever-present Deity,” (5-6) these lines show that she believes in an internalized God, one who has left a connection open between him and herself. This piece also seems to evoke the images of a battle cry, one that yells out for others to be saved from themselves and made to feel a divine connection. This crying out for having a deep connection with God is also seen in many others of the selections this week by Gerard M Hopkins. Each one of his poems seems to deal with the idea of a God who has left his mark upon everything in the world, and is also within everything. As kingfishers catch fire is a perfect example of this sort of internalized deity that appears within every living thing, “Christ play in ten thousand places, / Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his / To the Father through the features of men’s faces”(12-14). All is one. One is all. Something strange is that the idea of having God within Earthly beings is almost not a Christian belief at all. This idea stems from an almost pantheistic, Pagan, outlook on the world. Everything carries with it a signature of the gods, and is influenced by an outside force of diestic proportions. These poems then take on an interesting additional meaning that they are almost a deeper understand of this being/ beings known as God, or maybe just the idea of playing around with what it means to worship a God in the time of so much scientific advancement in the world. Pied Beauty, also by Gerard M Hopkins, expresses this need to see everything as a simplistic example of the reality of a God, “He father-forth whose beauty is past change / Praise him”(9-10). 


3 responses to “All is one and One is all

  1. I like how you phrased the way God seems to be internalized in these poems, I took a similar approach but I appreciate that you demonstrated how this internalization extended beyond human beings into nature. I also didn’t consider how this internalized feature can be considered more Pagan than Christian, which makes sense because early Christianity might have been more weary of such a personal relationship with God since they often relied on a mediator (priest, pastor, etc.) or maintained the belief that God was too great/mighty/holy to ever exist in such harmony with them.

  2. Jessi,

    The way you analyze lines 5—6 of Emily Bronte’s “No coward soul is mine” is very interesting to me, particularly the image of a Christian battle cry. To me, these poems—with the exception of “Hap”—seems to emerge as a counter or reaction to scientific discovery and religous doubt. It’s interesting how an influx of doubt can inspire such faithful poetry. Counter movements seem inevitbale, historically.

  3. I like the idea of the internalized God, something I hadn’t thought about. Makes me think of Augustine’s “On Christian Doctrine” book VI. Here Augustine wonders whether one can truly speak eloquently upon a topic without having experience, and he alludes to this sort of internalization of God that comes from experience. Interesting connection.

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