Midweek Faith Lift
The Divinity of Humankind
Rev. Deb Hill-Davis
October 17, 2018
We are the “eachness” within the “Allness” of God. That is our start point, our set point, the absolute benchmark to understand our true nature and how we show up in our human bodies and navigate this earthly life. Thank you to Su for her clear emphasis on that essential understanding of Unity Metaphysics as Eric Butterworth has unpacked it. We are the “eachness” within the Allness of God. Can you say that with me, “I am the Eachness within the Allness of God.” It feels a bit strange to claim that at first, even a bit like blasphemy, if you were raised in “old school” Christianity. I could get my head around it as an idea, but what about the rest of me, what about my heart? Could I really lean into this as my identity as “just Deb?” How is it that I am more than “just Deb?”
When I first started in Unity and heard about the “Christ” within each person, my image of that was kind of like a raisin in a bun, as if this Christ energy was in a small amount, tightly contained in one spot. And all I needed to do was find the raisin! Hmmm…After that, I wasn’t too clear, but I for sure needed to find the raisin! And it seemed hard to find—small raisin, large body! Are you sure about this? What am I even looking for? Is it like the prize in the Cracker Jack box? Well, in a way, yes and in a way no.
Over time, it got a bit clearer, this finding my Christ self, as I reclaimed all the cut off parts of my humanity and expanded and deepened my awareness of my human nature. As I let go of my need to defend my human nature, justify my very human and ineffective choices, my true Divine Nature became more evident and real to me. It was as though everything that was not “the Christ of me” had to be seen, felt, examined, embraced, accepted, loved and then released or transformed and reclaimed. That process took a lot more effort than dumping out all the caramel corn to find the prize in the Cracker Jack box, or picking apart the hot cross bun to find the raisins.
It was a process of uncovering, an Apocalypse. This past week, I learned from listening to an episode of On Being, with Krista Tippett, that the word apocalypse is from Greek. It has two meanings: a process of uncovering, revealing, and it also means the end times, the end of something. So my personal “Apocalypse” was a process of learning that there was more to me than just my wits and my intelligence. I had lived in my head for most of my life; now it was time to move into my heart and see what that was about.
What was lurking in my heart, in my feelings and in my subconscious? What was I feeling? The healing process, the recovery process was like defrosting frozen feelings and allowing them to be acknowledged and expressed and released. It was difficult, painful and at the same time, a huge relief, because behind all that pent up pain was the prize: the true embodied realization that I am essentially good, and loving and wise, and I embody all of our 12 spiritual powers, no exception.
Every time I felt and let go of an old resentment that was lurking in the shadows of my consciousness, more of my true light could shine. I was poking holes in my emotional armor. I became less “self-conscious” and more self-aware; more aware of my “Higher Self” which always had my back. I could live through any sense of shame and mistakes because God had my back. As I began to trust myself, and believe that I would no longer abandon myself, I really began to trust God and I realized that despite all appearances, God had never abandoned me.
Whew! That approximate 15-inch journey from your head to your heart is a doozey! It is probably the longest one I have ever taken! When I read this chapter on the Divinity of Humanity, I realized that this is exactly the journey Butterworth is talking about in Chapter 2. He describes it in terms of the creation story and that we are made in the Image and after the Likeness of God as it says in Genesis:
Genesis 1:26, 27
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image,
according to our likeness; …
27 So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (NRSV)
Notice that it says “our image” and according to “our likeness” which reflects the Allness of God, both masculine and feminine energy. The pronoun used for God is He, but really it should be “They” because that truly encompasses the full energy of Father/Mother God. And male and female were created to reflect the “They-ness” of God. That got overlooked in the human evolution of Christianity, but not in Unity or metaphysical Christianity. Thank Godess!!
What Butterworth says is that we are all created in the Image of God, and it is ours to discover, uncover, reveal, the likeness of that divine image within. He calls it the “I-AM-age” and our journey in this human embodied form is to outform or outpicture this I-AM-age in your life. Butterworth says that this creation statement is the most majestic in the Bible as it is a statement of both human identity and human destiny. Here is what he says on page 34 of Practical Metaphysics:
The image is you and as God sees you, and the likeness is that which you must work out in your consciousness and outform in your body and in your affairs….within you is the unborn possibility of limitless life. This is the image and yours is the privilege of giving birth to it. This is the likeness. This is something that is your responsibility…..The I AM-age is the divine possibility, the divine potential, the divine depth that is within you that is always present, no matter where you are in consciousness, no matter where you are in experience. It’s your destiny to produce the likeness, the manifestation of this I-AM-age so that you can come to experience an I-AM-ness in your relationships and your life. This is exactly what Jesus did.
The heart of Jesus’ teachings was NOT the depravity of humans and the need for salvation, but the divinity and the uncovering of our divinity, the need to awaken it. I am going to say that again, the heart of the message of Jesus was the Divinity of humans, not the depravity. As Butterworth noted, the message of Jesus was the “repeatability of the Christ.” It was not just in the person of Jesus, it was present in all of us. It is recorded in many different places in the Christian Scriptures that Jesus told his followers that they are to do all that he has done; when in full realization of the eachness of our Allness , nothing is impossible. Here is how it was recorded of what Jesus said:
20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (NRSV)
12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. (NRSV)
In the “Eachness” of our Christed being, we ask and we receive anything that is our heart’s desire. That is the teaching, over and over again and that the “Kingdom of God” is within you.
How did it get so off track and distorted in the earliest versions of Christianity? How is it that we got so distracted? How is it that we started looking everywhere but within for this consciousness of our true Christ nature? How did we lose track of the challenge of Jesus to grow into that consciousness and to cultivate our “Eachness” as the likeness of God? For us to regard ourselves as a true part of God, as an “Eachness of the Allness” became heresy as traditional Christianity developed with a focus on Jesus as the ONLY God and the rest of us as miserable sinners, thereby cementing that sense of separation and unworthiness that infested traditional Christianity, that we have lived with ever since. We are human and it is not a sin to be human.
Bart Ehrman, a New Testament Biblical scholar described Jesus as an apocalyptic teacher and I would agree. But Jesus was not preaching about the end times. He was following the second meaning of “apocalypse:” uncovering the “Truth” and constantly reflecting our Divine nature to us in his mission and ministry. His contemporaries did not “get it” except for a few who became the Desert Mystics, the Gnostics and later mystics in the Catholic Church. Jesus was far, far ahead of his time in consciousness. What that means is that the difference between us and Jesus is a difference of degree: the degree to which the true Christ potential is realized. We keep growing and uncovering and then releasing all that is not our true divine nature.
It is much easier to follow formulae and beliefs- what is called the orthodoxy than it is to truly encounter the energy of the Christ, the energy of pure love. When we encounter that pure love, it breaks us open, it tears at our hearts and reveals to us our true vulnerability. It is only in that breaking of our human mask, our human façade, that we can finally let the light that has always been there shine through all the holes in our human imperfection.
Jesus hung with the humans who were suffering, unhealthy and at the margins. Why? Because it is in the suffering that our hearts can most readily break open to the more that we are. Jesus also suffered to demonstrate that we are not alone in our suffering, and that it is the pathway to breaking open to our greater Truth…the overwhelmingly beautiful light of our own “Christed-ness,” our eachness in the Allness of God.
Blessings on the Path,