Outside or Inside?

For instance, if one believes god is apart from nature, then the cosmos and all life with it becomes secular and non-sacred. However, if one believes god is inside nature and thus inside ourself, then by definition ALL things must be considered sacred. In this view, spirituality becomes present and immediate in all things. Rocks, bugs and most especially people become very important and special. As a result, one would tend to feel a greater sense of responsibility for themselves and others.

My point here is that where we agree to locate god is a primary determinant of how both individuals and entire societies behave.

I suggest that those who see god as outside themselves and nature will
tend to devalue life to a much greater degree than those who see god as inside themselves and nature. Locating god in a heaven apart from nature appears to require a system of manmade rules to compensate for the loss of self-responsibility, leading to governments that must then enforce social behavior through force of law.

While there are certainly no absolutes here, an historical correlation of beliefs to behavior does indicate warring nations are populated by people who invoke the power of an external god (or eliminating the idea of god altogether); while, relatively peaceful nations are populated by those who see all life as sacred because they locate god within self and nature. Case in point: Hindus and Buddhists are not in the habit of war while the Abrahamic nations (and former atheist Soviet Union) are continuously at each others throats.

As you contemplate this, consider the attached picture of Michaelangelo's 'God Creates Man' in the Sistine Chapel. God is portrayed inside a cross-section of a human brain. In defiance of being told to portray scenes from the New Testament, he instead created a mural of quasi-pagan scenes with this famous 'god inside' scene in the very center. It is as if he was saying god is consciousness.

Amazingly, this was allowed to stand even though it is counter to the Biblical belief in original sin with god located outside in a perfect heaven. Few realize that the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City - built to the dimensions of Solomon's Temple against Hebrew law - is actually a pagan temple honoring god in nature.