The Atmospheric Presence

One of my favourite passages of all time:

Nowhere have I encountered the furnishings of a conventional heaven, or glimpsed the face of God. On the other hand, certainly I dwell in a psychological heaven by earth’s standards, for everywhere I sense a presence, or atmosphere, or atmospheric presence that is well-intentioned, gentle yet powerful, and all-knowing. This seems to be a psychological presence of such stunning parts, however, that I can point to no one place and identify it as being there in contrast to being someplace else. At the risk of understating, this presence seems more like a loving condition that permeates existence, and from which all existence springs.

The feeling of safety mentioned earlier is definitely connected here, in that I know that no evil or harm can befall me, that each of my choices will yield benefits, and that this loving condition upholds me in all of my ways. As in life I was always aware of an underlying melancholy, I am here always delightfully conscious of an extraordinary sense of safety that leads, say, to heroic acts and courage -naturally. There is the constant feeling that the universe is with me, for me, and with and for all others at the same time. Not only does it not conspire against me, but it ever lends its active support.
 
This willingness to help is everywhere apparent and promotes, of course, a sense of ease that, at the same time, stimulates the personality’s abilities in ways most difficult to describe. While I mention this presence as itself, so thoroughly does it pervade everything that attempts to isolate it are useless. All theological and intellectual theories are beside the point in the reality of this phenomenon. I know that this presence or loving condition forms itself into me, and into all other personalities; that it lends itself actively to seek my good in the most particular and individual ways; yet that my good is in no way contrary to the good of anyone else, but beneficial.

Jane Roberts: The afterdeath journal of an American philosopher – the worldview of William James

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