Omnipresence

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Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. According to eastern theism, God is present everywhere. Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in western theism it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence, omniscience, or being eternal.

In western theism, omnipresence is roughly described as the ability to be "present everywhere at the same time",[1] referring to an unbounded or universal presence (at the same time, some (like the Jehovah's Witnesses) claim God is not omnipresent). It is related to the concept of ubiquity, the ability to be everywhere or in many places at once.[2]

This characteristic is most commonly used in a religious context, as most doctrines bestow the trait of omnipresence onto a superior, usually a deity commonly referred to as God by monotheists. This idea differs from Pantheism.

Hinduism, and other religions that derive from it, incorporate the theory of transcendent and immanent omnipresence which is the traditional meaning of the word, Brahman. This theory defines a universal and fundamental substance, which is the source of all physical existence.

Some[who?] argue that omnipresence is a derived characteristic: an omniscient and omnipotent deity knows every thing and can be and act everywhere, simultaneously. Others propound a deity as having the "Three O's", including omnipresence as a unique characteristic of the deity. Most Christian denominations — following theology standardized by the Nicene Creed — explains the concept of omnipresence in the form of the "Trinity", by having a single deity (God) made up of three omnipresent persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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Historical origins

Many ancient cultures such as Vedic, Native American civilizations share similar views on omnipresent nature; the ancient Greeks and Rome did not worship an omnipresent being. While most Paleolithic cultures followed polytheistic practices[citation needed]. A form of omnipresent deity arises from a worldview that does not share ideas with mono-local deity cultures. Some omnipresent religions see the whole of Existence as a manifestation of the deity. There are two predominant viewpoints here: pantheism, deity is the summation of Existence; and panentheism, deity is an emergent property of Existence. The first is closest to the Native Americans' worldview; the latter resembles the Vedic outlook.