Thomas Keating: to become fully human is to become fully divine

The most daunting challenge
is to become fully human.
For to become fully human
is to become fully divine.

– Father Thomas Keating

How do we become fully human? And how does that make us fully divine?


To humanize ourselves can involve a lot of different things….

Authenticity. Sincerity. Receptivity. Humility. Kindness. Empathy. Service. And much more.

It involves embracing all the different flavors of our experience, including human and hell.

It involved embracing more and more of the different parts of us and our psyche.

It involves healing our relationship with ourselves, others, life, and the divine.

It involves finding healing for our emotional wounds and traumas.

And so on.

And if we want to be more thorough in all of this, we need to take the next step which is to notice what we are, explore living from it, and allowing our human self to transform within this noticing.

That allows for a deeper healing and maturing as a human being in the world.


When we heal and mature as a human being, we naturally tend to function more from kindness, wisdom, and authenticity.

And when we notice our nature, explore living from it, and allow our human self to transform within this noticing, this process is even more thorough. It’s even more aligned with oneness and love.

In that sense, we can say we become more fully divine. We live more consciously in a way that’s aligned with oneness and love.

Of course, nothing is ever not the divine. Everything is already fully divine. It’s just that when we humanize we more consciously embody and live from kindness and wisdom, and perhaps even the oneness and love we already are.


I used a different language from Keating here. His language suggests something that’s complete. And to me, this is all a process that’s never finished or complete. It’s an ongoing process of healing, maturing, noticing our more fundamental nature, exploring how to live from this noticing, and so on.

In general, I prefer to use directional language instead of language that suggests a goal or endpoint.

I understand that a more dramatic and exaggerated language catches people’s attention, and there is some tradition for it within spirituality. And I often enjoy it when others use it.

In my teens and early twenties, I also used more exaggerated language when talking about these things. It came naturally from my reaction to the initial awakening shift. And then it wore off and I now prefer a more down-to-earth and even boring (!) language.


My preference is to not use language that connotes completeness or that something is finished.

Healing, maturing, awakening, and living from awakening is all a process. It’s not something that’s ever finished, perhaps apart from when we die. (And that may not be an end either.)

I prefer to use directional language instead of goal-oriented language.