Open Thought Explores the Two Modes of Thought
Why do I feel it necessary to write an article on “I Am God” versus “I Am the Likeness of God?” Two reasons: Recently, I heard a noted speaker advocate that a person can attain higher levels of thought by affirming “I am God.” The second reason stems from a family member suggesting that I am putting myself on the same level as God when I claim my godliness, or make statements such as “I am perfect or righteous because I am made in the likeness of God.” Are they the same? If not, what is the difference? This article will give examples and explanations while addressing both modes of thought.
I AM GOD!
You are probably wondering why this picture was chosen to express the concept “I Am God?” It looks like something a child put together. Why not a more spiritual picture? It is not the picture that connects one to God, but the inspiration one brings to the picture. The simplest concept can generate powerful healing messages. God is Spirit, and without inspiration, pictures and words have no lasting impression or healing power. We are, because God is!
Can any man make the claim “I am God?” Moses answers this question in Deuteronomy:
“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(6:4). One means just that–one, not two, three or a million–only one. You can however, accept or reject this statement as true. If you choose to accept it, you will never claim to be God, but if you reject it, you lack the understanding that gives the ability to see the impossibility of anyone or anything proclaiming to be God. Why did Moses feel the need to make the exclamation above? He saw many people claiming idols as God–witchcraft, magic, animal magnetism and statues. He was saying “there are not gods many, but one God–one Power, one Presence.” Man is not that presence or power. It is a source greater than mankind–greater than human knowledge, human logic and human action. It is not your mind, your claim, your energy or your imagination! It is the one Mind, Life, Soul that makes you who you are, and there is not another like Him! We can however, claim our godliness or that “I am godly.” God is Individual. This means that there is no other individual like him. He is one of a kind. Webster defines “godliness” as “a quality or state of being godly.” A quality of something is not the something.
Many years ago, I visited Paris, France and rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Standing at the top of one of the world’s greatest attractions and looking out at the vast city was one of the greatest moments of my life. I felt the Tower’s grandeur, power, beauty and the scope of the imagination of its builders! Once on the ground, I purchased a miniature Eiffel Tower. It was a replica of the original in detail, character, color and style, but it was not the original. There is only one Eiffel Tower! Each time I look at the replica, I am reminded of my visit there and re-live the experience. This is kind of how one connects with God. You mentally climb to the highest level of where and what you consider God to be and re-live the purity you feel, the grace you exude and the love you encompass, but you know . . . you are not God. You know He/She is a Power outside of yourself. Once you have been there, you strive to get there again! There is no other feeling like it!
I AM THAT I AM
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said,
Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Exodus 3: 14).
This verse clearly reveals that Moses is not advocating that we state “I am God,” but God working through us is who we are. Our true identity lies within our ability to recognize that any power, goodness, strength or knowledge we express has its source in God. A more appropriate affirmation could be to claim the attributes of God as our own. God is Spirit, thus I am spiritual. God is Principle, thus I am lawful. God is Mind, thus I am intelligent–divinely intelligent. “I AM” is powerful, but its power does not lie within ourselves. It lies in God. God is the great I AM of all things. He is All–the sole Creator! Nothing exists without him.
I AM the LIKENESS of GOD
try to form an image of God in thought. Some readily generate a picture of Jesus; others see him as a giant human in the sky. How do you see him? My concept of God has more to do with words than pictures. I see him as Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth and Love. Each word defines the distinct nature of God, and carries with it infinite attributes and identities. For example, Mind is intelligence, wisdom, understanding, reasoning, logic, perception, clarity and intuition. Therefore, if man is made in the likeness of Mind, he reflects or expresses the same qualities and has the capacity to act with wisdom, understanding and clarity. Claiming this identity allows one to see it evidenced in the human experience.
Where does this claim of “likeness” come from? It stems from Moses’ understanding of God as not only the One God, but the sole Creator of man and the universe. He says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1: 27). An image is the exact likeness of its original. It is not the original, but is like it. If one could become God, God would be absorbed, sucked-up, thereby losing his own identity, generating infinite little gods flowing about in existence.
God is Spirit, and because he is Spirit and made man in Spirit’s likeness, man is spiritual. Spirit is the only substance. Therefore, nothing exists that is less or more than spirituality. Wow! Have I really caused you to doubt my sanity? What are some of the attributes of Spirit? Faith, hope, abundance, inspiration, unfoldment and purity. Thus, if man is the likeness of God, Spirit, he expresses faith, hope, inspiration and purity. It is only when we entertain thoughts that claim otherwise that we experience the opposite of these attributes–false beliefs like doubt, faithlessness, lack, dullness and impurity. Thus, it becomes essential to keep consciousness at a level above such beliefs. This thinking is described as “higher levels of thought”– thoughts of health, harmony, kindness, peace and impartiality. When we do so, we are aligning ourselves with God–at one with him, but not becoming him.
A picture of stick figures glimpses my understanding of the true concept of man–man without muscles, blood and bones, but man holding in consciousness only spiritual ideas and concepts. This is the man that God created! Immortal man has no resemblance to mortal man because that man is material, and immortal man is spiritual.
Who Are You?
Mary baker Eddy says it best: “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. . . . that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475).
I ask one thing of you. Should you hear someone claiming “I am God,” pass along this article! Thanks!