In the Image of God
– You Are the Divinity You Seek –
The search for God is central to most world religions. Whether called God, Allah, Brahman or Universal Intelligence, the yearning to feel the presence of a greater being is innate within human consciousness. Regardless of cultural, racial and religious biases, the desire to establish an intimacy with God is a universal urge. Indeed, it has existed since humanity’s dawning hour. Yet a new understanding about our relationship to the divine is slowly emerging. We are discovering that the path to God leads to our own divinity. It is an awakening to the fact that the seeker and the sought are one.
In essence, there is only One Life. It is a living singularity, and is what is meant when using the word God. From this oneness, all things arise. Whether we are considering a tree, an animal, or the entity that ensouls the entire Earth, the life essence within all forms is an aspect of the One Life in expression. And, if the One Life is the essence underlying all that is, then every human being must be an expression of that essence. At the deepest and subtlest levels of human consciousness is found a place of divine realization. It is a place where sacredness is touched. When this inner place is found we shall discover that the god we are striving to find is ourselves, in essence.
Ancient wisdom states that “as above so below.” This idea is useful when considering the divinity of a human being. It not only suggests that we are a part of God, but that the attributes inherent within God are also found within every one of us. For example, the energies of will, love and intelligence are qualities we often attribute to God. If this ancient proverb is correct, it means that the will, love and intelligence that we experience are extensions of the same qualities emanating from God. Though these qualities are stepped down and greatly distorted when experienced by a human being, they are nonetheless of divine origin.
The Obstacles to Seeing
It may be asked, why is it difficult for us to see ourselves as cells within the One Life? One reason is that we are keenly aware of our shortcomings. Our human imperfections seem to disqualify us from godhood. We see our many mistakes and feel regret; we are aware of our unwholesome thoughts and define ourselves as unworthy; we remember the wrongs we have committed and feel shame for these transgressions. Our divinity is often unrecognized because we condemn our shortcomings and the smallness of our actions.
The solution is to start seeing ourselves in our wholeness, not simply our shortcomings. The day must come when we realize that, though we are flawed, the greater part of us is wise and loving. As Kahlil Gibran states his book The Prophet, “to measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean by the frailty of its foam.” Each human being is a cell of consciousness within the One Life. Though we are not perfect in our capacity to express this divinity, we are slowly evolving toward that ability. Indeed, this is what the evolution of consciousness is all about.
The belief in God as separate from humankind can also be traced to the exploits of theology, particularly those rooted in the West. As one of many examples, let us consider the Doctrine of Original Sin. The idea that Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden has falsely conditioned our collective consciousness to believe that we are exiled from God’s countenance. It has created the illusion that a gulf exists between God and creation, and that redemption is conditional. The truth is that no human being is exiled from God. Instead, we are each unique emanations streaming from God.
Humanity as a Hologram
The study of holography can help us understand how every human being is made in the image of God. A hologram is a photographic process that can create unique images. Unlike regular photography, holographic images are three-dimensional and intangible. Essentially, a hologram is a formless three-dimensional image of an object that has been photographed. At first glance, this may seem unrelated to spiritual matters. Yet, the principles behind holography are the same as those that govern the relationship between God and humanity. It makes it possible to understand how the One reflects itself into the many.
One of the remarkable things about a holographic image is that all of the features of a photographed object are three-dimensionally revealed within the hologram. For example, if we were to create a hologram of a flower, every aspect of that flower will be imprinted onto the holographic film. Then, by projecting a laser light through it, the image of the flower will three-dimensionally appear. Amazingly, if we then cut the film in half and project a laser light through it, a three-dimensional image of the entire flower will still appear. If we cut it in half again, the image will again appear. In other words, a hologram makes it possible for the whole to be contained within all of its parts.
By analogy, holograms can help us better understand how we are made in the image of God. In the ultimate sense, there is only One Life (God), and the universe is simply a holographic expression of it. Because every attribute of God is found within all of its holographic extensions, each of us has (within consciousness) these same attributes. As strange as it may seem, you and I, as well as everything in the universe, are holographic images projected from this Universal Being.
Living Your Divinity
The question is, if we are made in the image of God, how can we live it more fully? We must first remember that human consciousness is dual. The lower part is the personality (ego), and the higher division is the soul. Essentially, both the personality and the soul are expressions of the One Life. The essence behind both is divine. The difference is that the personality distorts this essence, while the soul does not. Inwardly recognizing this duality is therefore the first step when trying to live your divinity.
Once this internal duality is acknowledged, the second step is to commit yourself to more fully expressing the higher consciousness that you inwardly sense. It means to favor those psychological qualities that seem lofty and spiritual. Compassion, wisdom, and purpose are just a few of the many attributes conveyed by the soul. These are the aspects of consciousness that need to find greater expression in our lives.
To live your divinity also involves the upliftment of humanity in some way. The soul is always governed by the Law of Service. Inherent in its nature is the urge to contribute to the betterment of the larger whole. When you begin to sense your divinity, you start to see it within others as well. Indeed, you start to realize that the One Life is expressing through everyone and everything. From this realization the impulse to serve will surely arise.
The Angel and the Dweller
It should be noted that living one’s divinity is by no means an easy task. The habit of personality consciousness is strong, and it has the historical advantage. For countless incarnations, personality consciousness has been the dominant force within each of us. Shifting to live by the subtle promptings of the soul is therefore difficult.
This also explains why we have moments of deep soulful alignment, followed by the experience of slipping back into the lower-self, the personality. When we strive to live and express our divinity, the personality becomes fearful that it is losing control. Because of this fear, it will often attempt to reassert its authority. We then feel ourselves dropping back into ego consciousness. In the ancient literature this has been called the battle between the Angel of the Presence (soul) and the Dweller on the Threshold(personality). Though sometimes it may feel like the dweller is too strong, by steadily favoring your higher consciousness, the soul will eventually win the day.
Begin to realize that the soul is who you truly are. Yet, this does not mean that the personality is an enemy to your evolution. In truth, the personality has a sacred destiny. Its role is to be the servant of the soul, and not to act as an independent agent. The more you can use your personality to carry the soul’s wisdom into the outer world, the more you are expressing your divinity.
For many centuries we have been conditioned to believe that humankind was created by a distant and remote god. Yet a new paradigm is starting to be realized by many people around the world. Deep within ourselves we are beginning to recognize that we are not separate from God, but are integral parts of God.
Yet, to be made in the image of God is not the same as to live it. Enlightenment does not happen by itself. Rather, it must be earned. Every human being must individually do the work of transforming their personality so that it becomes an agent to the soul. The soul is the gate that leads to your Essential Self, which is the part of you that fully knows its divinity. It is you as divine essence.
Though we have many imperfections that seem to deny our godhood, this is only an illusion. Eventually, the divinity of every human being is realized as the intangible essence lying far beyond day-to-day consciousness. It is found in the formless realms deep within. In truth, enlightenment is nothing more than becoming the divine light that you are, and always have been. You are a point of light within a Greater Light.
The subtitle of this article states that “you are the divinity you seek.” Though this is profoundly true, it is only a partial truth. To sense your own divinity requires that you realize it within everyone, even those whom your personality may dislike. The greater truth can therefore be stated this way:
We are the divinity we seek
© 2008 William Meader
William Meader is an author, teacher and counselor. Much of his work is focused on the subjects ofSpiritual Creativity, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Art of Meditation. At present he is teaching in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He resides in Oregon, and can be contacted through his website at meader.org.