Courting the Divine


“Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet. Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet,” writes the 19th century poet, Alfred Tennyson in his poem, The Higher Pantheism. This passage has always resonated with me, although I never knew its source until researching it for inclusion here. The passage reminds me to go within to know God, that even in my darkest moments I am not alone. And even when appearances would suggest no hope, the power and presence of the divine is right there in the midst of it all.

While I have always liked the phrase “courting the divine” as in the title of this article, perhaps the truer phrase is opening to the divine. The divine is always there and our courtship is really about paying attention and cultivating within ourselves the space to listen, feel, and experience it. And it’s important to note that we all relate to the divine in our own unique, personal way, so it is for us to notice how grace reveals itself to us, how wisdom is known, and in what ways we feel connected to our divine source. This is all the divine courtship.

One of the most important things is validating how we uniquely experience our divine nature. Without that, there is a tendency to look outside ourselves toward how someone else experiences the divine, which is good in itself, but can only take us so far.

Ours is to know God, or the divine, right where we are, as we are.

Back in Philadelphia where I grew up, I remember as a young adult having some deep mystical experiences after beginning a meditation practice and studying J. Krishnamurti. Because no one around me was having similar experiences, I made the decision to keep them to myself, and at the same time I had some uneasiness about them. For me, I walked through life that way for 15 years before finding validation in spiritual community, validation that now is no longer needed from external sources.

If we are unable to feel validated in our own experience of the divine, it is a good idea to seek guidance from a trusted spiritual practitioner who can help us sort out and make sense of what we are experiencing, and learn how to hold and be with our experience in the most healthy and useful way for our spiritual growth.

For me, there can be no greater experience than to know God or the divine right where we are. It is to know love, faith, trust, and wisdom right where I am. It is to walk in this world knowing with certainty that there is more than just this world. Everything in life takes on different meaning and context when we know our divine nature and the divine nature of all. It doesn’t mean we don’t experience some of the same pain and challenges that others do on this earthly plane, but it does allow us to transcend the sense of finiteness and limitation that come from only seeing the material.

The invitation this day is to fully honor the way the divine shows up in us, to welcome it, embrace it, open more fully to it, and remember, as we take every step in life, that God is closer than our hands and feet, closer than our breath.

Enjoy the journey.


  1. sophiemaya999 says:

    Beautiful wisdom Gregory.
    Your experience of listening to your own inner god connection, via exterior help, then without exterior validation is the Blessing youve gifted to me.
    Your compassionate guidance has shown me that I have what I need to live a fufilled life in service to others, by listening to my own inner directives.
    Its taken a village and much pain to get there, but worth every step.
    Thank you!!

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