I am the light of the world.
Who is the light of the world except God’s Son? This, then, is merely a statement of the truth about yourself. It is the opposite of a statement of pride, of arrogance, or of self-deception. It does not describe the self-concept you have made. It does not refer to any of the characteristics with which you have endowed your idols. It refers to you as you were created by God. It simply states the truth.
To the ego, today’s idea is the epitome of self-glorification. But the ego does not understand humility, mistaking it for self-debasement. Humility consists of accepting your role in salvation and in taking no other. It is not humility to insist you cannot be the light of the world if that is the function God assigned to you. It is only arrogance that would assert this function cannot be for you, and arrogance is always of the ego.
True humility requires that you accept today’s idea because it is God’s Voice which tells you it is true. This is a beginning step in accepting your real function on earth. It is a giant stride toward taking your rightful place in salvation. It is a positive assertion of your right to be saved, and an acknowledgment of the power that is given you to save others.
You will want to think about this idea as often as possible today. It is the perfect answer to all illusions, and therefore to all temptation. It brings all the images you have made about yourself to the truth, and helps you depart in peace, unburdened and certain of your purpose.
As many practice periods as possible should be undertaken today, although each one need not exceed a minute or two. They should begin with telling yourself:
I am the light of the world. That is my only function.
That is why I am here.
Then think about these statements for a short while, preferably with your eyes closed if the situation permits. Let a few related thoughts come to you, and repeat the idea to yourself if your mind wanders away from the central thought.
Be sure both to begin and end the day with a practice period. Thus you will awaken with an acknowledgment of the truth about yourself, reinforce it throughout the day, and turn to sleep as you reaffirm your function and your only purpose here. These two practice periods may be longer than the rest, if you find them helpful and want to extend them.
Today’s idea goes far beyond the ego’s petty views of what you are and what your purpose is. As a bringer of salvation, this is obviously necessary. This is the first of a number of giant steps we will take in the next few weeks. Try today to begin to build a firm foundation for these advances. You are the light of the world. God has built His plan for the salvation of His Son on you.
“I am the light of the world. That is my only function. That is why I am here.”
For a long time, I would flinch at this statement. The self I was familiar with seemed to be a dismal failure at being the light of the world. But I kept going back to it, trying to absorb the fact that God knows me and so I must be wrong about myself. Eventually, I came to understand that my ego self is not the light of the world, but I am, and it is my purpose here to accept this function and to let that light shine so bright that the ego self becomes its shadow, still here, but insubstantial.
It is interesting that this is the lesson for today because in the wee hours this morning I woke up from a disturbing dream. The ego was asserting itself and it was not a pretty picture. I tried to stop thinking but that didn’t work. I tried to change the thoughts but that didn’t work. The ego would have me believe that I am this little self and that is all I will ever be. It is a nauseating feeling.
Finally, I thought to do the Sacred Heart meditation. That thought was opposed by the ego, saying that I was not worthy of being with Jesus. I hesitated for a few moments, but I have gone through these ego stubborn attempts to convince me that the truth is not true and while they are unpleasant and I still get entangled, I always throw them off. So I did the meditation and I asked Jesus for his help to see differently.
What he gave me was a visual that I have found helpful in the past and that I teach from myself. I first read about it in “In the World But Not of It.” It talks about the Self as a clear blue sky and the thoughts as clouds in the sky. I saw these thoughts in my mind as dark, foreboding clouds. But what I know is that clouds don’t stay and when they are gone, the clear blue sky remains unchanged by their presence.
I sighed with relief knowing that ego thoughts do affect this story, but they do not affect me. This morning when I woke up, I was the same light of the world that I am meant to be and the temporary disturbance of the night before was meaningless. Those attempts by the ego to maintain itself as me don’t come all that often anymore, but they are vicious when they do. It’s good to see that even though they can briefly affect me, they cannot overcome me anymore.
From Regina’s Tips for this lesson.
What gives power to a thought and makes it seem meaningful? Can you see that it is your attention that makes a thought seem meaningful?
What causes an emotion like anger or jealousy to become manifest in your body? Can you see that attention on thought creates emotion? Can you see for yourself that your attention is an activating force?
Notice that you have free will regarding where you place your attention/awareness.
Last night while I was still affected by that disturbing dream and still not completely awake, I let my attention linger on the ego thoughts in my mind. That is where I was casting my attention and the more attention I gave those thoughts the more they seemed to take on a reality that was not actual. Thoughts can make a false reality that affects my experience even if it does not affect my reality. I will continue to be vigilant for where I cast my attention.
This is a perfect lesson to follow up a conversation I had with a friend. We were talking about the temptation to confuse what we do with what we are. What I am is the Christ. I am the Son of God. That is clearly not the same as what I do. Sometimes what I do reflects the truth of what I am, and sometimes what I do reflects the illusory separate self that I have made up.
When I identify with the ego self that I have made, I think that I am what I do. I was a good or bad salesperson, depending on my judgment of my accomplishments in this field. I am a good or bad mother depending on the memories I am entertaining, and how I judge those memories. All my time and effort went into building an identity as mother or salesperson or some other identity I call myself.
Even as I dedicated myself to my ministry, at first it became simply another ego identity. I was a good minister according to how many students I had, how successful I was in helping them, what I wrote and what people thought of what I wrote. How many people will buy my books? How many people will comment on my posts and what will they say?
For a time, being a minister was just another ego way of proving my worth and establishing my identity. It was my spiritual ego, but still my ego. The ego identities, regardless of what they are about, only establish us as separate and apart from God and from all other people. They are our way of saying, “Look at me. Look what I have done. Look, all of you people who are not part of me, who stand outside of me.” It is also saying, “Look, God, what I have done without you.”
No wonder we have so much unconscious guilt. Our very identities seem to prove we are separate from God and don’t need Him. They seem to prove our separation from everything else. How could I possibly find joy in proving I don’t need God, and that I am separate from all living things? No matter how exalted my ego identities and no matter how successful they make me feel, they are never enough. No one is a perfect mother. No one’s job goes perfectly, and all jobs end someday, and then who am I? Proving we are successful at establishing a separate identity is only, in the end, disheartening and disappointing.
All of that effort is wasted, but fortunately meaningless. We remain as we are created. We remain the light of the world, as God appointed us. We remain His Son, in whom He is well pleased. Because we remain as we are created, we can live our lives as the light of the world, healing ourselves and healing our brothers. There is a Voice that guides us and sustains us as we reconnect with our true identity, the identity that needs no effort from us.
Our identity as God’s Son is simply ours and never shifts or changes no matter what we dream about in this world we made. It is through our willingness to live from that identity that we are able to be the light of the world, and in fact, we cannot fail to be the light of the world. It takes no effort to be what God created us. In fact, it takes all our effort to be something else. And common sense begs the question, “Why would we want to be something else when we are already perfect?”
Does it feel arrogant to accept that you are the light of the world? Only to your ego, does this feel arrogant. But you are not your ego. You are simply stating the obvious. You are God’s Son, the Christ, and you are the light of the world as you simply accept, in all humility, that you are what God created and only what God created. Being the light of the world is my function as the Son of God because it is the function given to me by His Voice.
I don’t have to figure out how to do this. In fact, it is only the ego mind that wants to “do” something to be the light of the world. I simply accept this as my identity. I say yes. I open my heart to that purpose. The light is not of me but in me. The power to save is not of me but is given to me. If I am to do something, or say something, or be someplace or with someone, I will be guided to that. Quite literally, all that is required of me is that I be willing to be what I am. How hard could that be?