When I first read week 4, I was tired. I was reading because I’m supposed to do the reading. But I was intrigued with the “I” that Haanel talks about.
I got to sentence 15: “This is not so strange or impossible as it may appear when you remember that the ‘World Within’ is controlled by the ‘I’ and that this ‘I’ is a part or one with the Infinite ‘I’ which is the Universal Energy or Spirit, usually called God (my emphasis).
That stopped me in my tracks.
I was raised Jewish, and like many Jews, my religious education stopped after my Bar Mitzvah (age 13). Even after my children were born, although they were raised to be Jewish, I never “got” religion, and they’re not religious at all. It was just something you did. It was a way to worship that was different from most, but similar in many ways. But being Jewish was, for me, more about what I call myself, not what I do. My traditions were different, and so I assumed I was different.
But you change as you get older. You start to wonder what’s it all about. What IS out there. You begin to read things, hear things, talk to people, change your views, or at least think about changing your views.
It’s always been difficult for me to believe that there’s an actual God who not only created everything, all the billions or trillions of stars, planets, galaxies, absolutely everything, but also watches over me, cares about me. I mean, really, just take a view in your mind from space of the planet, the solar system, the Milky Way. Expand your view further. Think about life somewhere else in the universe. Assuming there’s life elsewhere in the vastness of the universe, would their God be the same as our God? We can’t even come to terms about that on our own planet. Please understand, this isn’t a discussion about creation (it all had to start at some point, right?). This is about who we are, or as I titled this blog, what we are.
We’re the only beings who can think, who can create, who can change what and how we think, who can bring into being that which we think about. Perhaps deeply religious people will not like (or maybe won’t even understand) my next statement, but for me, God isn’t just in us, God IS us. We created God. That’s neither blasphemous nor a bad thing.
Once man became self-aware, he began thinking beyond himself. Eventually, he “discovered” God. But really, it is WE who are omniscient; WE who are omnipotent; WE who are omnipresent. In other words, WE are God. I don’t say this in an egotistical way. Actually, I say this in an extremely humbling way. We ARE God. Again, as Haanel says in sentence 19, quoting the Bible: “‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of the living God?'” Yes, we are, so we’d better act and think correctly.
That which is infinite comes from within us. The world within creates the world without. As Haanel quotes Lyman Abbott in sentence 18, “‘We are coming to think of God as dwelling in man rather than as operating on men from without.'”
This is easy to understand (for me, at least); difficult to manifest. We not only have to unlearn years of what we’ve been taught, we have to deal with a world that mostly doesn’t understand this. This is the work, the real work, that we—I—need to do.