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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 94 I am as God Created Me.

  1. Today we continue with the one idea which brings complete salvation; the one statement which makes all forms of temptation powerless; the one thought which renders the ego silent and entirely undone. You are as God created you. The sounds of this world are still, the sights of this world disappear, and all the thoughts that this world ever held are wiped away forever by this one idea. Here is salvation accomplished. Here is sanity restored.
  2. True light is strength, and strength is sinlessness. If you remain as God created you, you must be strong, and light must be in you. He Who ensured your sinlessness must be the guarantee of strength and light as well. You are as God created you. Darkness cannot obscure the glory of God’s Son. You stand in light, strong in the sinlessness in which you were created, and in which you will remain throughout eternity.
  3. Today we will again devote the first five minutes of each waking hour to the attempt to feel the truth in you. Begin these times of searching with these words: “I am as God created me. I am His Son, eternally.”  Now try to reach the Son of God in you. This is the Self that never sinned, nor made an image to replace reality. This is the Self that never left Its home in God to walk the world uncertainly. This is the Self that knows no fear, nor could conceive of loss or suffering or death.
  4. Nothing is required of you to reach this goal except to lay all idols and self-images aside; go past the list of attributes, both good and bad, you have ascribed to yourself, and wait in silent expectancy for the truth. God has Himself promised that it will be revealed to all who asked for it. You are asking now. You cannot fail because He cannot fail.
  5. If you do not meet the requirements of practicing for the first five minutes of every hour, at least remind yourself hourly: “I am as God created me. I am His Son, eternally.” Tell yourself frequently today that you are as God created you. And be sure to respond to anyone who seems to irritate you with these words: “You are as God created you. You are His Son, eternally.” Make every effort to do the hourly exercises today. Each one you do will be a giant stride toward your release, and a milestone in learning the thought system which this course sets forth.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.vanityfair.com

Notes and Personal Application: When we realize that who and what we are – the Sons of God, the Christ who never left His Father and tried to make a separate way in a world built upon opposites, limitations, lies, and illusions, we can put our bodies and the ego they represent into its proper perspective in our minds.  The body and the ego are poor substitutes we get in the separated realm of nothingness.  This is why we are asked to forgive everything that happens here – because it is not reality.  It can’t be reality.  One hundred years from now, even less for most of us, our flesh will be no more, the things we treasured will disintegrate, the causes we gave our lives for will lose their punch, and new abuses will arise in which to bray against!  In this realm, our bodies decay and die from our first breathe, our sleep is full of even more dreams, our food is based upon the sacrifice of plants and animals harvested under the sweaty, aching backs of others. As uncomfortable as a good honest look at darkness may make us feel, unless we bring it to the light and look at it honestly, we will live in it, trying to make it work, thinking that we can squeeze another ten years or so out of it before we die, extend its costly pleasures, tread its go-nowhere paths.  As difficult as it may be to accept, beyond this nightmare in time and flesh and doom, we are as God created us!    

When we get caught up in ego world, we are made foils that support the loveless systems of the world.  I’ve finished watching The Tiger King on Netflix.  James would not watch it with me.  He saw the trailer, and he could not get past the circus show quality of the broadcast.  This did not deter me and my interest in it.  I would have watched it just for the big cats alone.  The drama between Joe and his lovers, employees, fellow exotic animal traders, and so forth, was especially compelling since I am studying the Course and like to apply its principles to the world.  Would I see Joe and Baskins, and all those other people who contributed to the spectacle through the gentle eyes of love and forgiveness and, therefore, see reflections of God?  Or would I see the stooges that the ego makes of all of us when we identify with that which is not love?   

Seen through the eyes of forgiveness, Joe and Baskins are Sons of God who have a keen affinity with animals.  Unlike me, who is content to share love and affection with my domesticated feline, which at ten solid pounds fits snuggly on my welcome lap, The Tiger King cast members go for the big cats.  While I have little worry over Velvet’s playful nips and swipes, the cats that those people keep are far more worrisome. A bit of claw from those dames could draw blood or worse yet end up in a big, bloody chow-down!  And yet the allure is undeniable. 

We may be onto something.  For no matter the danger, we are drawn to wild animals because they are untamed because they are unrepentant predators. After all, they are, like us, doing what they can to survive in a dog-eat-dog world.  They can’t hide their deeds behind a cloak of hypocrisy.  They cannot form charitable organizations to protect their selfishness. They can’t tell lies and project their mistakes upon others.  They cannot cover up their private parts and pretend to sexual purity and modesty.  They can’t put a glamourous face on the fact that they will hump themselves to death to make sure their stamp carries on to the next generation. We can, and we do all of these things.  They are us, these wild animals, in the light.  We are drawn to nature, to wild animals, to the untamed because they tell the truth about our condition here in a way that we never learn in Sunday School, in kindergarten, or at bible camp.  We are drawn to the Joes and Baskins of the world because they also tell us our story not only through the wild animals they keep but the dangerous games they are willing to play with one another. 

As I sit on the recliner, with the warm weight of my purring kitty curled up on my lap, scratching her pointy chin and tickling her furry belly, I get just a small, safe snip of what it must be like to be curled up next to one of those large, beautiful, undomesticated felines.  Although zookeepers are often cast as wicked people who enslave animals, I love and appreciate them for making these otherwise dangerous, restricted animals accessible to us.  I happen to agree with the main character in the work, Life of Pi,[2] when he says that this kind of perspective does not consider that life in the wild is beyond bleak for animals in nature.  It may seem idyllic to see tigers freely stalking prey, nursing their winsome cubs, and swimming in burbling jungle streams, however, acute hunger and starvation, mange, parasites, predators, poachers, disease, and fear of death are their constant concern.  Pi argued that animals prefer life at the zoo over the chancy, savage wild, and I happen to side with him!

We see a man with a brilliant affinity with animals, a deep concern for others, a shrewd understanding of the intense human desire to connect with dangerous creatures. When we see Joe through the gentle eyes of love and forgiveness, we see a reflection of God.  When we look upon Joe through our human eyes and perception, we see the stooge that his ego made of him.  The ego’s vision would strip him of his godhood through judging him by his stupidity instead of his savvy, his selfish ambition instead of his generosity of spirit, his lust and bluster instead of his sharing and caring, through that which is not love, instead of that which is.  The ego would see him rot in jail because he deserves it. 

Our lesson today tells us that we are as God created us.  We are His Son eternally.  Joe is and always will be as God created him.  Joe is God’s Son, eternally.

Baskins is also as God created her and will be God’s Son eternally.  We can choose to see them both not as two enemies fighting over their spot in the limelight but as two Sons of God whose egos would make buffoons.  The ego would wreak havoc with their natural love and affinity for animals and create caricatures of keepers who take their gifts and use them to maim, imprison, and even kill others.  Instead of brotherhood over shared interests and gifts, the ego would have us be enemies.  The ego would have us accuse and go after others for that which we do ourselves.  The ego tempts us to make worlds in which our causes are more holy and righteous than the causes of others.  Our egos would have us not know that attack and defense are the same – a go-nowhere, win-nothing drive that keeps us in a hellish realm and would make public spectacles of us to draw others into a senseless, demeaning fray.  Instead of joining in, let us pray for Joe and Baskins so that they remember who and what they are.  Let us offer them a miracle of healing, restoration, and forgiveness. 

Today as many times as we can, we train our minds to remember who and what we are by saying:  I am as God created me.  I am His Son, eternally.  This is our unalterable truth!  This is who and what we are.  This is what Joe and Baskins are as well, and all the other characters who played a part in The Tiger King.  In place of judgment, condemnation, and scorn, let us see them as they are in God.  This is the miracle. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 94. I am as God…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 164-165.

[2] Life of Pi. Yan Martel (2001). Kindle edition. p. 21.