Reflections on “I am as God created me” (September 24, 2010)

“I am as God created me” is a hugely important idea in the Course. It’s a dramatic intensification of the usual notion of being created by God—not just “In the beginning I was as He created me,” but “Even now, I’m still as He created me.” To really appreciate this idea, then, we need to start with the idea of being created. We need to accept that we have been created. Many of the ideas of God we encounter in the spiritual marketplace do not include this idea. In those concepts, God is more impersonal. He is not a Creator God Who purposefully, for reasons deeply personal to Himself, brings us into being. (Just writing that last line made me feel a bit like a New Age heretic!)

So imagine that, at some point, there was no “you.” Imagine that God’s creative act brought you into being, totally. Imagine that you owe your whole existence as a being to that creative act, and to nothing else.

When I imagine this, some impulse in me jumps up and says that I want to have input in this process. Surely this could be a collaborative act, this creation of me. Surely I get a say in this. Couldn’t God and I work together on this? Yet, of course, this is a logical impossibility. Where is this “me” that could collaborate in the process. Before God created me, there was no “me.” The creation of me is something God had to do all on His Own.

It’s a bit of a scary thought, isn’t it—to have your whole being in someone else’s hands, without you having any say in the process? And this thought, says the Course, is how the separation got started. Once we were created, we set about injecting our own input. We set about defining ourselves, trying to be our own creator. That surely seems safer than having Someone Else’s hands on the driving wheel of our very being. What if that Someone drives us off a cliff?

Yet, ironically, that is exactly what we did. We managed to (seemingly) reduce ourselves from perfect, limitless, eternal beings to the desperate little creatures we seem to be today. After calling us slaves of idols, who “bow down in worship to what has no life,” the Course asks this poignant question: “What happened to the holy Son of God that this could be his wish; to let himself fall lower than the stones upon the ground, and look to idols that they raise him up?” (T-29.IX.1:3).

We cherish the idea of power over who we are. We have grand dreams of self-enhancement, of turning ourselves into something incredible, but even when we appear to succeed at that, on a deeper level we feel we have merely defiled ourselves. We have gained the world, but lost our soul. While we exult over being at the top of the heap, we secretly weep for our lost innocence.

And that is the beauty of the Course’s intensification of the idea of God’s creation. That idea starts with “God created you—in your beginning, He had total power over who you were.” But then it goes a crucial extra step: “And His creation of you still has total power over who you are.” You haven’t fallen lower than the stones upon the ground. Your defilement of yourself never happened. Your soul is intact. Your innocence was never lost. Because even now you have no power over who you are.

We have been so inspired with the message of personal power that we seem to get from every quarter these days. Could it be that, at least in the area of who we are, the most sweetly liberating message we could ever hear is a message of total powerlessness? Could it be that our being is much safer in God’s infinitely loving Hands than in our own tiny, grasping and clawing hands?

If we are as God created us, then right now, we are that same grand, loving, joyous, infinite heavenly being that God created in the beginning. And all our self-doubt, all our low self-esteem, all our worries and regrets and sadness, are just meaningless puffs of smoke. That’s not true in the distant past or in a hoped-for future. It is true right now, right this very second.

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