Goldfish swimming

Swimming in God

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In this week’s Thursday Theology post I want to share with you a video that utilises an excellent metaphor for the omnipresence of God. Many of you will know that I am drawn to the view of God known as panentheism, which means that all of creation exists in God. The idea that God is everywhere, and the idea that everything exists within God, are complementary concepts.

The video I’d like to share was brought to my attention by Dinos who is a regular reader of, and contributor to, this blog. Thank you Dinos. The video is hosted on the Jewish ‘Chabad’ website, and is narrated by David Sacks. Please take a couple of minutes to watch the video, and feel free to leave your reflections in the comments below.

Click here to watch the video!

In case you aren’t able to watch the video for some reason, I have typed out a transcript below.

I once imagined a conversation between two fish. One says to the other, ‘Do you believe in water?’ The other says, ‘I don’t know if I believe in water. My grandfather was very religious. He believed in water.’ Meanwhile, the only thing that’s going on around them is water! So it is with us and God. God is all around us. We are completely saturated by His presence. And yet, precisely because He’s absolutely everywhere, like the fish in water, we philosophise and wonder if He even exists!

In English we have an expression which perfectly describes this phenomenon; it’s called hiding in plain sight. I was once having lunch with a friend of mine, and I asked him, ‘Where did you park your car?’ He said, ‘Across the street.’ I said, ‘Do you realise you can’t walk to your car without swimming through God?’

Do you understand what’s going on here? God is absolutely everywhere, and yet it’s possible not to see Him at all.


To delve deeper into the the idea that God is omnipresent, and the implications of this perspective for theology, check out my book entitled Ultimate Truth: God Beyond Religion. For more information or to buy the book, click here.

12 comments

  1. Thanks Steven. Yes, God is everywhere and in everything–the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. We want to “seek God” in a wonderful sunset or a beautiful waterfall and rainbow scene, but we also need to remember that God is present in our pain, our hurt and even in our disbelief.

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  2. What a simple yet profound analogy for the presence of God! I love the video. Although all analogies break down somewhere, what this one shows is that the flora and fauna are not the water (pantheism), but are IN the water (panentheism). It’s also not some distant god of deism, He is present everywhere and every moment. Without the ubiquitous water we could not continue to exist. This is also analogous to the metaphysics of idealism. Consciousness is not in our brain, we are in consciousness (mind of God).

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