"In ascribing a transitive concern to God, we employ neither an anthropomorphic nor an anthropopathic concept but an idea that we should like to characterize as an anthropopneumism (anthropo + pneuma). We ascribe to Him not a psychic but a spiritual characteristic, not an emotional but a moral attitude. Those who refuse to ascribe a transitive concern to God are unknowingly compelled to conceive His existence, if it should mean anything at all, after the analogy of physical being and to think of Him in terms of "physiomorphism."
Creation in the language of the Bible is an act of expression. God said: "Let there be"; and it was. And creation is not an act that happened once, but a continuous process. The word Yehi, "Let there be," stands forever in the universe. If it were not for the presence of that word, there would be no world, there would be no finite being.
When we say that He is present within all beings, we do not mean that He inheres in them as a component or ingredient of their physical structure. God in the universe is a spirit of concern for life. What is a thing to us is a concern to God; what is a part of the physical world of being is also a part of a adivine world of meaning. To be is to stand for, to stand for a divine concern.
God is present in His continuous expression. He is immanent in all beings in the way in which a person is immanent in a cry that he utters: He stands for what he says. He is concerned with what he says. All beings are replete with the divine word which only leaves when our viciousness profanes and overbears His silent, patient presence.
It is as easy to expel God as it is to shed blood. And yet even when He hides, even when our souls have lost His trace we may still call Him out of the depths: out of the depths of all things. For God is everywhere save in arrogance.
We may not know what He is, but we know where He is. No tongue can describe His essence, but every soul may both share His presence and feel the anguish of His dreadful absence....
...The song that nature sings is not her own. She is ablaze with a fire she barely contains; her independence, her unity, her beauty, are borrowed perfection. Only those who do not notice that their knowledge is a pretext for higher ignorance fail to sense at the marvel of her fortitude to endure, the marvel of her not being consumed; not seeing the bush, they also miss the voice.
If the universe were explainable as a robot, we could assume that God is separated from it and His relation to it would be like that of a watchmaker to a clock. But the ineffable cries out to all things. It is only the idea of a divine presence hidden within the rational order of nature which is compatible with our scientific view of nature and in accord with our sense of the ineffable.
The soul dwells within, yet the spirit is always hovering above reality. God's infinite concern is present in the world, His essence is trancendent. He includes the universe, but, to quote Solomon's prayer in dedicating the Temple; "Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain Thee" (1 Kings:8:27). The awareness of God as the dwelling-place of the universe must have been very poignant in post-Biblical times, if Makom ("place") was synonym for God.
The soul is within: passive, hidden; the spirit is beyond: active, infinite."
- from Man is Not Alone by Joshua Abraham Heschel