Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #57
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I was watching a golf match on television recently, and there was the inevitable religious fanatic with the sign, “John 3:16” behind the camera. We’ve all seen this and it’s always surprising. It sounds a little judgmental to say a fanatic, but suppose you are aware of the fact that the word fanatic literally means inspired by divinity. That’s Webster’s interpretation. So, we’re not trying to be judgmental but just to point out that these things do happen, and it’s very surprising. It was reminiscent when I saw this. It reminded me of, I have to pull up our lesson today, of a sign that I saw on Times Square carried by one of these people some years ago. It said “Repent, for the eyes of God are upon you.” I think that for many persons this probably conjured up a picture of the Michelangelo-like God sitting up there in the heavens on his golden throne, looking down on sinful people and recording their errant ways. In this context it sounds pretty weird.
Actually, it’s a perception of God that most of us ... In addition to our early religious instruction, when we talk about God or read about God the mind turns to the image of a big man up there with bulging muscles and flowing white hair and beard. You may say, “But I don’t think of God that way.” Of course not consciously, but the mind finds it very difficult to imagine God as Spirit. We use the words. We speak that as a affirmation. But that’s what we learned. Any mention of God would evoke the perception of a man-like God, with hands with which to perform acts, with a mouth and voice with which to communicate, and with eyes with which to see. That’s how it’s fixed into our consciousness. It’s very hard to get away from that.
“No, I believe God is everywhere,” we say. “I’m a Truth student and I don’t believe that kind of a God.” When you start to say a prayer, or lead a prayer in a group, what do you do? Chances are very likely that you begin your prayer, “Dear Lord, you know that I’m not as bad as I appear to be. I’m really trying. Please help me.” When you’re praying for consciousness, you evidence the belief in the figure up there, the man in the skies. Phyllis McGinley in her poem, The Day After Sunday, comments on the perception of God she’s given by sermons coming from the pulpits of the land every Sunday. She says, “Always on Monday morning the press reports, “God is revealed to his vicarage in his various guises, benevolent, stormy, patient, or out of sorts. God knows which God is the God God recognizes.”
When you try to understand God, it’s like a fish trying to understand water. I would say, What is the one thing a fish can never find? Water. What’s the one thing a man can never find? God. There’s no way that you can find God, because God is not lost. Many a person spends most of their lives looking for God, trying to reach God, trying to find God. The problem with understanding God is that in a three-dimensional perspective we’re trying to relate to something that is fourth dimensional in nature. You would invariably form a relative image of an absolute principal in process. So actually we create our God in our image like-ness.
In the anthropomorphic influence of the Bible we talk with God and talk to God. God loves and hates and gives life and takes it away. There is a God out there. It’s important in our quest for truth and self-realization to get a larger thought of God. Emerson says, “When we have broken with the God of tradition, and ceased from the God of the intellect, God fires us with his presence.” It is the presence of God that is the key to understanding, the activity of God present as us. What is this activity? It’s not a God presence somewhere, His divine mind that is present everywhere. Wherever you are God is. God is present in all his entirety at every point in space at the same time. The whole of God is present in and as you.
Let’s play with this for a moment. Augustine says, “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” God is a circle whose center is everywhere whose circumference is nowhere. That’s clear enough. Can you draw a picture of it? His center is everywhere and His circumference is nowhere. Think of God as a circle. When God created man ... To see this graphically as we normally hold it in consciousness, put the circle and the figure of man out here. The circle of God created man. That’s certainly out of line. What you really need to do is have the circle and put the man in the circle. God created man in and of Himself. Man is an each-ness in the all-ness which is God. God creating Himself and in the form of man within His consciousness.
When we can get this understanding it will help us in all of our spiritual ways, especially in prayer. We seldom have launched ourselves into the consciousness of God out here, out there, somewhere. In prayer we try to reach God, we try to get into God. But prayer is not trying to get into God, or trying to get God into us. The Psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God.” I am as God expressing as me.
In Genesis we read that God created man in His image and after His likeness. God created man in His image and after His likeness. The point, to keep the thread here, God here refers to cosmic energy in a creative process, not something that is somewhere the universal activity which is everywhere. So when God created man in his image there’s a slowing down of the vibration of cosmic energy, which allegorically is described as God creating man in His image. The image is not the man-like God but an idea in divine mind of perfect man.
So, man is God seeing Himself, out forming Himself, creating Himself. A story is told of a man who searched the world over to find God. He went to Tibet, to India, to the Vatican City, to all the holy places in the world but he couldn’t find God. One morning when he was shaving he looked and there in the mirror was God looking at him through his own eyes. Meister Eckhart says, “The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.” The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.
Third eye comes from the Ancient Sanskrit which means fountain. The practice of seeing is a flowing forth from you of a spiritual blessing. This is where I am. Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” This is confusing to some folks who they think that it’s saying that God is somewhere to be seen. The important thing is blessed are the pure in heart, pure in consciousness, pure in the awareness of the allness of God. You will see God everywhere because you see from the consciousness of God. You project the consciousness of God. In other words, you see from God. I say that when you pray, don’t pray to God pray from the consciousness of God. If you pray to God you’re praying out there. You’re praying to God as a person somewhere hoping that He will come down here and be with you. God can’t come down here and be with you because God is a presence which is always present where you are and can’t be absent. There’s no way that God could be separated from you or absent from you.
God is present in all the ways in His entirety. We see this in “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” They will see God in the tree, God in the flowers, God in the person, God in the activity whether it be good or bad, even God in the war. You’re going to see God everywhere. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. So, God created man in His own image and after His likeness, image is you as God sees you, always. No matter what condition your life is in, the image is you as God sees you. And the likeness, it always has to be worked out in your consciousness, not formed in your body and affairs. It is your destiny to produce a likeness with and without of the divine image within. As we have a goal it is believable and unachievable. There is that in you, which in me, which is always perfectible. That’s the Christ demonstration is repeatable Again.
If a goal is believable and achievable. The goal of the perfecting the image and likeness in your body and affairs, it’s believable and achievable. There is that in you and in me that is always perfectible. Jesus says, “Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” Why would He say that if He didn’t believe it? Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect. There is that in you that is perfectible. That’s the Christ demonstration is repeatable. That’s something that many folks can’t understand. Certainly it’s sacrilegious view to traditional religionists. It’s the fundamental of our organization’s truth that Christ is not a person, it’s the divine dimension within man.
Then we say, “As God sees you is God seeing Himself as you?” The entity of God individualizes you. You can say, and you should, “I am the self-expression of God. I am the presence of God where I am. I am the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” In front of us the power of the special treatments and affirmations is, “I see myself as God sees me, whole, wise, and triumphant. I see myself as God sees me, courageous, strong, and healthy. I see myself as God sees me, successful and happy in abundance.”
Paul talks about putting on the Christ. This is very confusing to the religious seeker. We think of it as putting on a mask, putting on something from without. To put on the Christ is not putting on something like a mask. Rather it’s revealing the reality of you which is see youreself as God sees you. To put on the Christ means to put on the receptivity to see the Christ in youreself and in people, so it’s important to recognize that God does not see judgmentally. The man said, “Repent for God has His eyes upon you.” It could be very misleading. God doesn’t see judgmentally. God doesn’t see evil, limitation, sickness, crime. God doesn’t see this. We are told the eyes of God are two pure to behold iniquity. God can’t see iniquity because anything that God sees God must be. If he sees crime then God must be a criminal. If he sees sickness then God must be sickness. God doesn’t judge or see judgmentally. Jesus says, “Judge not according to appearances but judge righteous judgment.”
This is the code of the Universe. You get into the Christ consciousness, you don’t judge by appearances, you judge righteously, which means the right use of the divine process. To judge righteously is to see good in people, see good in conditions, hold to the good. If you use appearances you’ve involved with facts and effects which always leads to frustration and confusion.
Forgiveness is a problem that many of us have in our thoughts of God. One person says, “So, I just wish God would forgive me. I’ve been hoping for years that God would forgive me for something I’ve done. I’m a miserable sinner.” Shocking as it may seem, God doesn’t forgive. There’s no point in asking God to forgive you because God can’t forgive you. There’s no unforgiveness in God because there’s no judgment in God. That’s important to see. The purpose of your life is to out form this divine image in your body and affairs. By the will or creative intention of God in you is a ceaseless line to perfecting your life experience by which God eternally sees you as being. In truth we talk about the divine potential of a person. Some people deal with this as something extraneous to themselves, something that you can achieve or somehow get into your life from the outside. We see that with divine perfection we image them from a higher dimension, we see them as a person no matter how perverse. A person can never be less than God’s great possibility.
You can never be less than the holy potential that you are. The deepest sum of you is you as God sees you, is God seeing Himself as you. It is hard to see in some people. It’s even hard to see it in ourselves. Think about this. Here is a youngster tracking into the newly polished kitchen floor with grime from head to foot after playing on a slikey, carrying mud allover the floor. The mother may say, “You dirty little boy.” But, he’s not a dirty boy at all. Beneath the layer of grime is a boy in there somewhere who is simply soiled a little, and the soil can be removed with a little soap and water.
Beneath the habits and perverse ways of a teenager is a child of God with the potential to be uncovered and discovered. We see the teenager out in the world doing all sorts of perverse things, sometimes even criminal things. We say, “He’s a terrible boy. He’s a bad boy. He’s a limited boy. He’s a criminal.” He’s a whole and perfect boy. He’s a person with dirty hands and errant ways, but God sees him as whole, no matter who the person is. That’s hard for us when we begin to grasp the idea.
God can only see good because God is good. God can only see life and wholeness. I need to just get in tune with that. The little boy, or the teenager may not be aware of his divine nature. Because he doesn’t he acts the part of limitation. Anything we need to do to help him, and help ourselves, to get the realization, always beyond the appearance, beyond the facts, beyond the issues that are out there there’s something good, there’s something whole. Every person is a whole person on the quest of becoming whole. I’ve seen that wholeness.
You may see limitation and illness. You may live consciously in the thought that he’s a bad person, but always is that an image. He’s whole and good. You want to help him, you want to help him to see that, to know that, see Himself as a child of God and to act the part. We used to say with children in Sunday School when they were acting up. We had them stand up in front of the class and say, “I’m a child of God and I act like it.” Actually they get the message. Actually act the part of your divine identity. Act it. Give it expression.
In our lives we need to act the part by positive words. Somebody say, “This is a very sick person,” but he’s not a sick person, he’s a person experiencing sickness. That’s not a play on words, it a very important insight. You’re never a sick person. You’re always a person experiencing sickness. I’m not saying he doesn’t experience sickness because he does. It’s there. You might as well face it, it’s there. But don’t judge by the appearances, judge righteousness judgment. He’s a whole person at the present time experiencing lack, difficulties and confusion. But, he’s a whole person. That’s the fundamental. If you start at that point then you can do something about it. Your whole person needs to act the part. Don’t act the part of sickness. Don’t act the part of limitation.
When we know about psychosomatics of medicine we realize that many of the limitations that we have in life are there because we’re acting that part, because we left little to consciousness. With our fears and anxieties we’re expressing all sorts of limitations causing a frustration of the divine potential, closing off the divine activity that seeks to express itself in fullness. One doctor says that sickness is struggling health. Health is always present struggling to get out, but we’re holding it to ourselves, identifying with it. “I’m sick. I’m poor. I’m limited. I’m terrible.” “I’m just a terrible person,” a person will say. No matter who you are you’re not a terrible person. You’re a person confused about who you are. When you understand who you are you’ll let go of the terrible vision that you have about youreself and see youreself as whole and perfect, and then you can begin to act the part, let it out.
This concept of the Christ as the divine potential in every person is a sad deficiency by and large in the wide screen of Christianity. It’s the missing link, the thing that causes people to be a part of a Christian idea all their lives and never really get the message. Think of it as a religion that you put on. You go to church to get religion. You’re into catechism. You put it on like a mask as a person puts on his Sunday meeting clothes to go to church. It’s something you do. The report says, “They’re praising God on Sunday. They’ll be all right on Monday. It’s just a little habit they required.”
In the limitation of this Christian concept the Christ is not Jesus. I fully recognize that many folks would be terribly irritated if they knew I was saying such a thing. The Christ is not Jesus. The Christ is the divine potential in the person that Jesus discovered in Himself, but it was the principle. That same potential is in all persons. I remember one time I was expressing this in a class. A person told me afterwards, “That was very revealing because you know I’ve always thought of Jesus as the son of Mr. and Mrs. Christ.” It’s ridiculous to think of it like that, but that’s pretty much what people have thought. Maybe you’ve thought it youreself. Christ is not a person. Christ is not Jesus. Christ is the divine dimension within all life, within all persons, which Jesus discovered. That’s what’s identified with Jesus Christ.
We’re told that you can only be helped by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. This is to externalize something that is personal and innate. Paul clearly says, “Christ in you, your hope of glory.” Christ in you, your hope of glory. Not Jesus Christ. Another way I like to see this is think of Jesus apostrophe Christ. Jesus’ Christ. Eric’s Christ. John’s Christ. Olga’s Christ. Paul’s Christ. Something within us. It’s the depth of us. It’s the omni of us, the whole of us, which we express only in part, as Paul says. So, the Christ is the divine side of you. It’s not a different personality. It’s that which is behind the façade, behind what kind of mask you’re wearing. In back of the mask of ugliness, the mask of sinfulness, the mask of weakness, the mask of sinfulness is the whole and perfect self, man as God sees you. The Christ of you.
There’s a deep center in the center of every person. The divineness has to be awakened, ray of God’s life to be expressed. If Jesus is the embodiment of the universal principle of the evidence of God in man. Jesus has shown us what the ideal is as to which the principle will lead. When Jesus says, “Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” He’s talking about the goal of all life. We sometimes wonder what we’re here for. We especially wonder this when we’re experiencing very great difficulties. What’s the meaning of life all about anyway. The goal of life in our experience is to progress and unfold and release as divine self of us. Every experience we have is a part of a lesson that helps us eventually to find our depth. We don’t seek to go through it, we seek to grow through it, for life is growth.
Without the perspective of the dimension of the self and of the Christ potential, the human brain is often treated like a sealed compartment. We have irrefutable evidence to show that in certain persons through ESP or child prodigy or in a person’s genius normal limits are exceeded to an amazing degree. Yet scholars still insist that the brain, and the enormous number of brain cells, is sufficient to account for any paranormal phenomena. Some significant thoughts by professor William Bates in the British Society For Scientific Research. He says, “We are now finding beyond doubt the gifted and geniuses of mankind do not so much to something added to the ordinary person, instead are do to factors which in the normal person inhibits the development of these gifts. They are now without doubt to be looked upon as releases of powers normally suppressed.” There is in every person, then, the potential for what Thoreau called “The license of a higher order of beings.”
Why not Jesus endowed with a highly evolved consciousness. Think how incomprehensible [inaudible 00:23:38]. We talk of miracles and divine dispensation, but it’s normally forgotten that Jesus was demonstrating that which would seldom become normal possession of the highly-evolved human race. But, the point to remember, the divine self of you is not a different personality, that which is always behind the façade no matter what you may be wearing. New Thought teachers and writers often talk about the great sleeping giant of your divine potential. The perception of the head of genie to bring out of a bottle for use in solving your personal problems and needs. But, use it out of caution lest we get into a kind of schizoid perspective which may become split personalities. Great sleeping giant, so called, is the Christ in you. It’s sleeping only because you’re sleeping in your perception of it. It’s always in us, always present, always whole. Jesus says, “Awake, thou that sleepest, that Christ may shine upon you.” Awake, thou that sleepest. In every case when we’re facing limitation we are asleep to our divine potential.
The divine potential, the god side of us, is always present, active, dynamic, and ready to heal, to bless, to unfold if we just awake and accept it. The human potential is the divine potential of you, the divine self of you, which is the Christ in you. It’s you as God sees you. God sees you as whole and He is the Christ in you your potential for healing. God sees you equal to any desire, and he is the Christ in you, your potential for success and prosperity. God sees you as the co-creator with His infinite creative process. He’s the Christ in you, your potential for achievement. God sees you as a channel for the expression of His infinite love. He is the Christ in you, your potential for loving and fulfilling relationships. God sees you as a peacemaker. He’s the Christ in you. You’re potential to make a difference in your corner of the world.
I’d like you to be still now for a moment. We involve ourselves in a little visualization. I want you to imagine a piece of electronic equipment, something like a television set, also something like an X-ray. Many scientific thinkers with things that are nonmaterial, paranormal, have speculated that it’s possible to create a piece of equipment in which you could put an acorn under this X-ray-like device, on the television screen it would become the image of the oak tree. The seed of a flower will reveal on the screen as a perfect flower in full color. There are researchers today who really feel this is possible, and they feel they are very close to utilizing this. For this context let’s imagine ourself standing before this type of X-ray-like thing and showing on the screen that we see before us a picture of ourselves full grown and fully awake, fully aware, seeing ourselves as perfect and whole as we can be.
A tremendous therapy this is to see ourselves in this way. When we let go of the limitation, the weakness, the fear and anxiety, the question whether we can overcome this, work out this difficulty, will we have the strength and character to overcome the weakness, and we see ourselves as we can be, whole, complete, perfect, successful. Visualize that. You might do it often. Just take a moment to get still and you want to visualize some sort of equipment. Look into the screen, into the camera, and on the screen see, even if you just imagine, all that you would like to be in life. But, the truth is what you would like to be, or you desire to be, what you hope to be is what you already are. You can’t desire it unless it were true. You couldn’t hope for it unless it was always a possibility in your consciousness.
See youreself as God sees you. Created from a prayer. The greatest key demonstrating the God that is before you. The greatest key to overcoming limitations. See youreself as God sees you. Whisper to youreself right now, “I see myself as God sees me, whole, perfect and well. I see myself as God sees me, whole, perfect and well.” With this consciousness you cannot fail. You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. So be it.