V. Beyond Perception, P 7
7 The statement “God created man in his own image and likeness” needs reinterpretation. “Image” can be understood as “thought,” and ‘likeness” as “of a like quality.” God did create spirit in His Own Thought and of a quality like to His Own. There is nothing else. Perception, on the other hand, is impossible without a belief in “more” and “less.” At every level it involves selectivity. Perception is a continual process of accepting and rejecting, organizing and reorganizing, shifting and changing. Evaluation is an essential part of perception, because judgments are necessary in order to select.
I remember the first time I read this I was very happy to have confirmed the belief I held that God is not a body, and “created in His own image” did not refer to our bodies. I also remember what a leap it was to go from the idea of God as like me (the body of Myron) to the thought that I must be like God, whatever that looks like. Even after I let go of the idea of God as body, I was resistant to the idea of letting go of God as separatist. I kept expecting God to be as judgmental as I am. I suppose that even though I am letting go of that idea, there must be some unconscious belief of God as Judge because I am still here hiding out in ego land, afraid to go Home.
God created me like Himself and creation continues in that way. God is a creator and therefore so am I. I continue to create as, and in the same manner, as God creates. This dream of separation does not qualify as creation because it is not as God creates. It is not an extension of God, and not an extension of my Self. Separation is not real, but is only a consideration of an impossible idea, because, as Jesus says, there is nothing else (but God). If Heaven has an opposite, surely the idea of separation is it, so I know it cannot be part of God.
“Perception is a continual process of accepting and rejecting, organizing and reorganizing, shifting and changing.” I can vaguely remember that when I first began to understand perception, I felt very resistant to letting this process go. I didn’t want to stop evaluating and judging, and I really loved the process of organizing and reorganizing, accepting and rejecting. I valued my right to make choices. Now, just thinking about this makes me tired. I want to let this go. In time, however, perception is necessary. What I can do is allow my mind to be healed and my perceptions to be brought into alignment with the truth.
What I must remember in order for this to happen is that I must be vigilant for those times I still value the right to judge so that I can choose again. Also I must remember that I cannot make this change myself. I made perception and so I believe in it. It requires something outside of the belief system to make that change for me, and that is why the Holy Spirit is in my mind. He is the One Who does this for me when I am ready for the change. All I need to do is ask.
Now that I am watching for the judgments in my mind, and have begun the process of accepting the Atonement, I am noticing the more subtle ways I do this. Allowing the Holy Spirit to help me see the body as unreal has been a real eye opener for me in a lot of ways. I am really surprised to note that I don’t seem to want to give up the right to be in pain, to suffer, and apparently, to die. He has shown me that time is meaningless, that pain is optional, and that suffering is not necessary. And yet, I return to them over and over. In spite of that, I am not discouraged. Well, sometimes I get discouraged with myself, but overall, I am intrigued and anticipatory.