This week's word comes to us from the late Latin immanent/immanere meaning "remaining within", a combination of im (in) and manēre meaning "to hold or stay". Kindred words include manse, mansion and remain, all arising from the same root(s), and some of the synonyms are lovely: essential, fundamental, indwelling innate, instinctive, intimate, intrinsic, inward, natural.
When something is immanent, it is everywhere: indwelling, inherent, pervading or present throughout worlds known and unknown. In religious doctrine, immanence is the belief that the sacred is intimately present within us and everything around us. Thus, the notion contrasts with more common notions of transcendence which hold that the sacred is something beyond and apart, separate from this plane on which we are journeying along merrily together.
I'm fond of the words of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, who said, a very long time ago: "We all look up to the same stars; the same heaven is above us all; the same universe surrounds us all. What does it matter by what system of knowledge we seek to know the truth? Not by one path alone may we attain to so great a secret.”
The hallowed "stuff"is anywhere and everywhere - in these leathery sinews and creaking bones, in winter sunrises, technicolor sunsets and starry starry nights, in the timelessly revolving seasons and the Great Round of time. It dwells easy in the earth under our feet, in the wild nave of branches arching over our heads and next year's sweet green leaves, in the splendid meringuey winter snows covering my native hills in December. Seeing the immanent is what most of my wandering around with a camera seems to be about these days, however badly captured or expressed here - tuning into and honoring the bright and tender spark that dwells at the heart of everything. I call the process, "saying yes to the world".
My puckish Zen side feels compelled to add that mere existence is never an issue, a parameter or a condition of immanence. No doubt, the immanent dwells as happily in things that don't exist as it does within things that do. The concept of non-duality and the expression "all one world" cover things nicely, and the rising sun shining though my window is a perfect illustration. How wonderful it all is. Emaho!