A Voice in the Wilderness
A VERY OLD IDEA ABOUT
WHO AND WHAT THE ‘SELF’ IS
Editor’s Note: For the next several months this space will be used to explore — one-by-one — the messages, metaphysical principles, and spiritual meaning of the material found in the nearly 3,000 pages of the Conversations with God dialogues. This series ofobservations and interpretations is offered with my continuing disclaimer: I could be wrong about all of this.
CWG Explored/Installment #8: What is the Self?
In our last entry here I said that for me, “mastery” is defined as “the fullest expression of the fullness of my being.” That is, the total expression of the totality of my Self.
Yet in order for me to know and to recognize that I have had such an experience, I would have to know (and be able to explain to my Mind) what my “Self” is.
What is the Self that I am seeking to express in fullness? Let’s look at that now.
The thoughts that follow are not my own, but rather, the understandings that I was given in my Conversations with God. It is not necessary for anyone to believe that I have actually had conversations with God for us to discuss this.
While my own conversations with God made it clear to me that we are all having conversations with God all the time and simply calling them something else (we’re calling them moments of “inspiration.” Or “women’s intuition.” Or a “psyhic hit.” Or a “bright idea.” Or a “deep insight.” Or an “epiphany.” We call the results of such encounters “serendipity” or “coincidence” or “chance.”), we can deny them altogether and still look at some of the ideas in the CWG series of books. That’s what we’re doing here…so try not to get caught up in the question or the quarrel of whether I actually spoke with The Divine, and simply take a look at what I claim to have learned from my experience, whatever you think it was.
I understand myself to be an individuation of Divinity, an expression of God, a singularization of The Singularity. There is no separation between me and God, nor is there any difference, except as to proportion. Put simply, God and I are one.
This brings up an interesting question. Am I rightly accused of heresy? Are people who believe that they are divine nothing but raving lunatics? Are they, worse yet, apostates?
I wondered. So I did a little research. I wanted to find out what religious and spiritual sources had to say on the subject. Here’s some of what I found…
Isaiah 41:23—“Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold together.”
Psalm 82:6—“I have said, ‘Gods ye are, And sons of the Most High—all of you’.”
John 10:34—“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods’?”
The Indian philosopher Adi Shankara (788 CE—820 CE), the one largely responsible for the initial expounding and consolidation of Advaita Vedanta, wrote in his famous work, Vivekachudamant: “Brahman is the only Truth, the spatio-temporal world is an illusion, and there is ultimately Brahman and individual self.”
Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati Maharaj (April 25, 1922—November 23, 2001), a contemporary Hindu saint: “God exists; there is only one God; the essence of man is God.”
According to Buddhism, there ultimately is no such thing as a “self” independent from the rest of the universe (the doctrine of anatta). Also, if I understand certain Buddhist schools of thought correctly, humans return to Earth in subsequent lifetimes in one of six forms, the last of which are called Devas…which is variously translated as Gods or Deities.
Meanwhile, the ancient Chinese discipline of Taoism speaks of embodiment and pragmatism, engaging practice to actualize the Natural Order within themselves. Taoists believe that man is a microcosm for the universe.
Hermeticism is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs or gnosis based primarily upon the Hellenistic Egyptian pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. Hermeticism teaches that there is a transcendent God, The All, or one “Cause,” of which we, and the entire universe, participate.
The concept was first laid out in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, in the famous words: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One thing.”
And in Sufism, an esoteric form of Islam, the teaching “there is no God but God” was long ago changed to there is nothing but God. Which would make me…well…God.
So the idea that I am One with God is not new—and, of course, the CWG dialogue never said it was. But I wanted to check with other sources just to see if I was unknowingly “making stuff up.” It turns out that if I am, I’m in some pretty good company.
So for me, this answers one of what I have come to call the Four Fundamental Questions of Life: Who am I? Where am I? Why am I where I am? What do I intend to do about that?
I have observed that many people go through their entire lives and never ask themselves these questions. I did not intend to do that. For better or for worse, I did not intend to do that. So in our next installment here, I will share with you, from the For What It’s Worth Dept., my answer to the second question.