The idea that God is everywhere (within and without) is not a tangible identity of a physical God rather a metaphysical and metacognitive idea. It is the state of mental and physical existence. At any time one can be on a continuum of inactive to active state. The balance of activity and inactivity is the basic concept of Shiva and Vishnu.
Excessive withdrawal from material reality as in depression or indolence is the Tamasic state where inactivity is predominant. In Tamasic state of mind no progress in the world can take place resulting in dissolution. The other extreme is extreme activity or the Rajasic state, as in hyperactivity where mind is racing and there is no thought behind actions. These extreme inactivity can result in destruction or annihilation. Finding the perfect balance and staying in the state of neutral zone where life events neither cause mental turmoil or euphoria is the beginning of the journey of Spiritual reality the Sattvic state.
Shiva and Vishnu are the conscious metaphysical and metacognitive abilities that bring balance in the active and inactive states of living. When the tendency of mind, body is towards indifference, the soul’s Shiva consciousness within has to be aroused with the help Vishnu’s enchantment of material reality. This arouses desire in worldly affairs. Desire helps the mind and body to once again come back into the world to fulfil the duties and responsibilities entrusted upon the soul. On the other hand when the tendency is towards over indulgence of mind and body, the Vishnu consciousness of the soul within has to be awakened by Shiva to withdraw from material reality. Withdrawal from material reality relinquish attachment to material reality and increases tolerance.
While some believe that the way to liberation of soul is through withdrawal from material reality others believe that liberation can be attained by living in the world and enjoying the beauty that the world has to offer. Both paths are equally valid for reaching the end goal. However one path is not necessarily easier than the other. Those who are immersed in worldly affairs feel that a hermit’s life is easier. In their opinion it is much easier to attain self-realization as a hermit who has withdrawn from the normal worldly duties of family life.
Self-realization is a universal path with equal hardships and pleasures. Those who take the path of withdrawal like Swami Yogananda, Vivekananda, Raghavendra, Dayananda, Sai Baba, including Jesus Christ, have all been subject to various extreme mental and physical atrocities of human enmity, jealousy, criticism, etc. Without strong faith in the supreme reality these souls would not have had the endurance to withstand these monstrous behaviors. Their experiences can only be empathized by those who have undertaken their path of self-realization.
The limitation of human mind cannot fathom the hardships of any other life-style other than the their own experiences. The same limitation puts a value of good Vs. bad. The same limitation makes a human mind judgmental. To understand the path of self-realization mind has to embrace limitless possibilities, deep faith, and endless patience. That is true knowledge of the God within and without.