Is the kingdom of God inside you or outside of you? It is not only Christian beliefs that look closely at this point. If all people knew the original writings in many religions on this very point, there would be no self-esteem issues, nor depression, panic, anxiety, or stress in the minds of many. This is a crucial point to understand for mental, emotional and spiritual health.
It is understandable how well-meaning Bible students arrive at the understandings they do, given what their particular Bible translation informs them on belief changing verses. Take Luke 17:20-22 for example. Some versions of Catholic and other Bibles say that the kingdom of God is “among” us, assuming that Jesus, who said this, means he is among us.
However, that is not what the original scrolls of the Bible, translated directly from the original Aramaic say, nor is it what the Interlinear Bible in Hebrew, Greek and English says. These original sources say: “When some of the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, he answered, saying to them, The kingdom of God does not come by observation. Neither will they say, Behold, it is here! Or, behold, it is there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text, George M. Lamsa’s Translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta
That is what the Christian original Bible says. What do other faiths have to say about this? It is not the differences that must be noticed here, but the similarities in varying beliefs that are the same that jump out at us. Here is a list of other belief systems and what they have to say on this matter:
Baha’i Faith: “O SON OF SPIRIT! I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone besides Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.” Baha’u liah, The Hidden Words, Arabic #13
Buddhism: “If you think the law is outside yourself, you are embracing not the absolute Law but some inferior teaching.” Maja writings of Nichinen Daishonion Volk. 1, pg 3-5
Christianity: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-22 King James Version
Confucianism: “The Superior Man seeks within himself. The inferior man seeks within others.” Analects 15:20
Hinduism: “Bright but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart. Everything that moves, breathes, opens, and closes Lives in the Self. He is the source of love and may be known through love, but not through thought. He is the goal of life. Attain this goal! The shining Self dwells hidden in the heart. Everything in the cosmos, great and small, Lives in the Self. He is the source of life. Attain this goal!” Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.1-2
Shintoism: “The deity is immanent in man and man is inherent in the deity; there is neither the divine nor the human; there is no difference in essence at all between them.”
Sikhism: “This is a wonderful, unique discourse: The living self is the image of the Supreme Being. It is neither old or a child; Neither it suffers pain, nor in death’s snare is caught; It is not shattered nor dies; In all time it is pervasive. It feels not heat nor cold; Neither has it friend nor foe; It feels not joy nor sorrow; All is its own; it belongs to all might. It has neither father nor mother; Beyond the limits of matter has it ever existed. Of sin and goodness it feels not the touch– Within the heart of each being it is ever awake.” Adi Granth, Gaunt, M.5, p. 868
There is a lot of food for thought, prayer and meditation here. Enjoy!