It is an article of faith among many spiritual paths today that men and women are in some way part of God, are capable of being God, or a manifestation of God, or have a divine component in their nature. Actress Shirley MacClaine took a lot of flak for stating her belief that, “I am God!” Many New Age paths proclaim that all are God, that all have a divine nature at the core of their being.
So how about you – do you believe it? Do you believe that perhaps there might be something in you a little better than all those things that you did, but would be horrified for anyone to know about?
The Unity Church expresses it this way:
We are each individual, eternal expressions of God. Our essential nature is divine and therefore inherently good. Our purpose is to express our divine potential as realized and demonstrated by Jesus and other master teachers. The more we awaken to our divine nature, the more fully God expresses in and through our lives.
We believe in God, the living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. … We believe in the individualization of the Spirit in Us, and that all people are individualizations of the One Spirit. We believe in the eternality, the immortality, and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.
A Course In Miracles (ACIM), a modern book aimed at achieving spiritual transformation, was first published in 1976 and makes no bones about claiming that humanity and God are one and the same:
The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself…
A Course in Miracles, p. 147
A lot of people today probably see the Mormons or Latter Day Saints (LDS) as being somewhat old fashioned in their beliefs, but their founder Joseph Smith was a lot more New Age than most people realize. In one of the LDS scriptures we read:
The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples;
If that doesn’t sound radical enough to you, then try the following from a sermon given by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1844:
Here then is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God. You have got to learn how to make yourselves Gods in order to save yourselves…
The King Follett Discourse, Joseph Smith, Jr.
One could argue, though most traditionalists would deny this conclusion, that the Christian Bible itself supports the conclusion that man has a divine nature. In the Old Testament:
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Jesus in the New Testament seems to grant validity to the above passage in Psalms when he quotes it while arguing that it is not blasphemy for him to claim to be a son of God:
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
The above quote from John is even more clear if the very last line is correctly translated. The definite article “the” does not exist in the original Greek and we should read that Jesus says “I am a son of God,” not the one and only son of God.
The Apostle Paul wrote also
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
These views of the divinity of man or the existence of divinity in man are in strong contrast to traditional Christian beliefs which largely see man as created by God and in no way part of God, or containing any part of God’s nature. Traditionalists mostly see these ideas as arrogance. In order to humble ou they might quote from Job in the Old Testament:
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The traditionalist hopes to humble you with this quote. Who do you think you are? But in truth we were there, and before. That which has no end has no beginning. In physical life we forget these things so we can do a new thing.
Author Joseph J. Dewey has a powerful analogy where God is the wave (think of a wave in the ocean) and we are a drop of water in that wave:
A drop of water is insignificant when it is removed from a giant wave, but when it is joined back into the wave and cooperates with it, it then becomes the wave. We are like drops of water that have separated from the Life wave we call God. When we join back in with the God wave we become one with it and we can say with all the other billions of lives: “I am the wave” or “I AM God.”
We may only be a “drop in the ocean” that is God, but if even only a molecule, we are still of God, and capable of being one with God. We can go with the wave and not fight it. That is the secret of being God.