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, intimately present within us and everything around us. Thus, the notion contrasts with common notions of transcendence which hold that the sacred is something beyond and apart, separate from us and this plane on which we are all journeying along together.
The hallowed "stuff"is anywhere and everywhere—in leathery sinews and creaking bones, in early winter sunrises and starry starry nights, in the timelessly spiraling seasons and the Great Round of time. It dwells easy in the wild nave of whiskery branches over our heads now and next year's sweet green leaves, in the earth under our feet, and the frost blanketing our native hills in late October. The immanent is what most of my wandering around with a camera and notebook are about, however badly captured or expressed my efforts here—tuning into and honoring the spark that dwells at the heart of everything. I call the process, "saying yes to the world", and Sundays here are devoted to the affirmation.
My puckish Zen side feels compelled to add that mere existence is never an issue, a parameter or condition of immanence. No doubt, the immanent dwells as happily in things that don't exist as it does within things that do. The concepts of non-duality and being "all one world" cover things nicely, and the rising sun shining though frosty trees is a perfect illustration.
My husband is resting comfortably and tackling aggressive chemotherapy like the warrior he is; Spencer and I are sticking to him like glue. Your kind thoughts and lighted candles are appreciated, and they are treasured. At times, I can almost feel you beside me, and it holds me up, keeps me going in moments when I am almost numb with anxiety. That too is immanence at work.