Our daily experiences suggest that we are merely physical beings having an existence in a physical universe. We are made up of living matter and are surrounded on our home planet by other living and also inert forms of matter. This matter is abundant and common--very simple stuff--apparently not possessing any supernatural qualities. It does not have any special attributes or characteristics that would suggest matter can create itself out of nothingness or that it has existed eternally.
Scientists have attempted to uncover the basic make-up of the material universe by observing in ever-increasing minuteness that which can tangibly be seen as its composition--cells, molecules, atoms, quarks and leptons. In their striving to uncover how the universe began, theoretical physicists take us even further into substance inquiry, telling us that at its most basic form, all matter is really energy--energy set in high oscillation so as to give the appearance of solidity, but nonetheless energy.
And energy and physical reality are one and the same. The human body is a confluence of energy (or light) that appears as a sort of "cosmic hologram"--a 3-D embodiment of your unique human spirit made temporarily physical by a mysterious consciousness beyond our ken.
But what preceded the origination of light or energy in the universe? Assuming matter does not have supernatural properties, what or who brought it all into being? Since scientific research has yet to solve this cosmic mystery (and probably never will), we must turn to other tools in our attempts to understand how all came to be--religious teachings and philosophical deliberation.
The tenets of religion are intertwined with cultural mores and family traditions. The religious beliefs of parents and the community subset in which a child grows can have a powerful influence upon her or his religious convictions. An adult is a Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Jew (or atheist) primarily because such was the religion (or lack thereof) embraced by her or his parents. Religious dogma is frequently the end product of subjective interpretations passed down from times previous through preceding generations.
Striving for objectivity--and having no inclination to criticize religious subjectivity--I will use logic as a tool for drawing a likely conclusion.
Given the supposition that the existence of matter is not independent of time, it follows that something had to bring the physical universe into being from nothingness--some "thing" that existed before, and therefore transcended the physical occurrence of, matter.
If it were possible to remove everything from a test tube--create a perfect vacuum and put this empty container on a shelf for countless thousands of millennia--only to later return to examine same, we would in all likelihood still find an empty test tube. We would not likely find a miniature universe spinning around inside the glass casing.
To envision a Great Creator with such power to set the entire universe into motion staggers the imagination. To our finite human intellect, the concept of a godly presence that existed before the creation of everything that is seems highly improbable. Yet, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, via the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes . . .
"When you have eliminated the impossible,
whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
Since the word "God" can mean totally different things to adherents of particular religious cultures, in an effort to include rather than exclude persons of a given faith, I will refer to the prime mover as "Spirit."
When creating the universe, Spirit could not go down to the local hardware store, buy some lumber, grass seed, a few barrels of nails, some duct tape, and assemble creation. Before there was "anything", nothing existed--not even the most elementary matter and antimatter realities. The ONLY thing Spirit could use to create was itself. So, again by logical extension, everything that now exists is a physical manifestation of the original "stuff" that was and is Spirit.
In other words, on the most basic level, you and I are Spirit made flesh. Everything in the physical universe must have come from Spirit, because before matter existed there was only that which was not physical--Spirit. Therefore, as has oft been said, we are spiritual beings having a human (physical) experience rather than human beings having a spiritual experience. (Barbara Brennan says we are "Spirit dusted lightly with form.") Our physical composition MUST be an extension of the divine immortal presence that created us. Your very existence is your connection to the divine; you are one and the same.
Is that not a bit grandiose? Not really. If you were to scoop a cup of water from the ocean and examine its contents, you would indeed be holding the ocean in your hand--not the totality of the ocean, but it still would be the ocean. All of the physical properties in the cup are of the same substance as the whole--the ocean. The artificial separation of the water in the cup from the ocean does not constitute a material distinction. Ocean water is ocean water. Its essence does not change because you have put the water in a cup.
In similar fashion, Spirit (God) is not something outside of us, but is the elemental substance of who and what we are, as improbable as that may seem. Given this reality, there are enormous implications for humans in applying divine energy to matters of health, recovery from illness, geopolitical strife, wise use of natural resources, and much more. The list is virtually endless--unlimited opportunities for Spirit and humankind as co-creators.
There is no place where Spirit leaves off and humankind begins.
Many religious denominations extol the omnipresence of Spirit. Spirit is everywhere; there is no place Spirit is not.
If Spirit is not an entity that exists outside of us--if humans and everything else are extensions of Spirit, then in a microcosmic way, we have the potential to manipulate matter on a small scale that mirrors that which is macrocosmically performed by Spirit. And indeed, if all of the above is true, the most viable form of prayer may simply be (divine) you exercising your (divine) nature. Don't ASK for good health from something or someone outside of yourself; KNOW that good health is your legacy, because you are in essence, Spirit, and there is no illness in Spirit.
You are not your body--a flesh space suit containing lots of water, a few basic minerals, animated by a mild electrical charge. Banish the illusion of separation from Spirit and you will discover your heritage--your immortality.