I think we often look too far away for gods and miracles, and ignore the ones all around us. We want to think that we, as a species, are different, that somehow we are endowed by god(s) to do whatever the hell we please with this world. But the world was not created for us (if it was 'created' at all). It exists FOR ITS OWN SAKE, not as a proving ground for future gods or a stage for a cosmic struggle between good or evil, or a playground that one species is meant to use as its personal possession. It is vaster by far, and wilder, and more beautiful than that. There is an elegance in the life cycle of salamanders, of diatoms, of trees, of beetles. In a growing embryo there is more complexity and beauty and holiness than in ten thousand thousand hymns of praise or prayers for sanctification. If you listen, every organism, every species, every cell has its own song, a hymn of praise and holiness more deep and fierce and beautiful than we can even comprehend. And, here is the clincher, the priceless gift of the cosmos. WE ARE PART OF IT! We BELONG here....we are not strangers or sojourners, or even "spiritual beings having an earthly experience." We belong HERE, with our siblings, our relatives, our parents -- the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and the plants of the earth. We are they, and they are us. Each atom in our body is on loan to us from the world, and each atom has been part of innumerable organisms, and will be again. We have been the diatoms. We have been the tulips and the polar bears and the lemurs and the ants and the grass. And we will be the deer and the tiger and the wheat and the E. coli and the penguin. We belong to the system, tangled beyond extrication with every other living thing. Isn't this enough holiness and beauty for all of us? The gods of this earth live in the mitochondria, genes, synaptic gaps of our body. And they live in the grasslands, the deserts, the rivers, the mountains. We are they, and they are us. You are god and gods and parts of gods. We are descended from gods and give birth to gods. They are us, and we are they. We live in a world filled to brimming with gods, and yet we still look beyond the clouds, beyond the stars, beyond ourselves, for a cosmic Easter Bunny who can make all our little dreams come true, when, in reality, we carry the kingdom of heaven within us every moment. It is there, peopled with enzymes and nucleic acids and glycolipids and ionophores. And, although it is within us, we are part of it as well. Heaven is here. The gods are among us.