[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
Lately, I’ve been getting increasingly in touch with a word in the Course that I had never truly related to: “created.” Of course, I knew it was there. I quoted it and it showed up frequently in my writing. But it had never meant that much to me. Now I am seeing just how central it is in the Course, and catching a glimpse of how potentially meaningful and liberating it is for me.
“Created” is a central word in the Course, with 598 references to it. If you add up all of the cognates of “create” (creates, created, Creator, etc.), you get over 1500 occurrences. That’s almost double what you get when you do the same with cognates of “forgive” (836 occurrences).
Given the importance of the word in the Course, why didn’t I relate to it before? I think because I didn’t really relate to God as my Creator. I didn’t really think of Him as having created me. I think this is quite common, actually, in today’s spiritual environment. We tend to think of God in less active and personal terms than is implied by giving Him the role of Creator. If we think of God as “energy” or “the Force,” can those intentionally create us? If we think of God as infinite consciousness, can that intentionally create us? If we think of God as “the Emptiness” or “the Void,” can that create us? Maybe so, but it’s kind of hard to imagine.
I myself actually haven’t thought of God in those terms. I have always thought of God very much as a boundless Being, possessing personal attributes like Thought, Will, Love, and intention. But until fairly recently, I still didn’t relate to God as my actual Creator, as One Who literally brought me into existence out of thin air.
I think I unconsciously shied away from that because that grants an incredible amount of power—power over me—to Someone other than me. Do I want anyone, however divine, wielding that kind of power over me? However loving and kind God is supposed to be, I still experience Him as asking a lot of things that I don’t want to give. Which means I naturally want to limit His power over me, not grant that it’s unlimited.
This desire, of course, gets far more extreme when you think of God as punitive. The Course refers to the image of us, from Methodist preacher John Wesley, as “sinners in the hands of an angry God” (see M-27.2:3). If that’s how God really is, I don’t want Him to have total power over my life, let alone total power over my being—which is what Him as my Creator implies. At that point, I’d rather be the sculptor of my own being; I’d rather it be in my hands. Surely my identity is safer there.
But what the Course has taught me is that having my identity in my own hands is like being operated on by a brain surgeon with Parkinson’s. My identity is not safe in my hands. Indeed, nothing much is safe in my hands.
Likewise, what the Course has taught me is that God’s Hands are pure Love; Love beyond what I can imagine; Love that is so pure that it has nothing in it that is not love. That is why the Course can say, “In God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us” (W-pI.194.9:2).
So now I’m thinking that I want a Creator. And I want that Creator to not only have total power over my being in the beginning, but total power over my being now. I want His Love to have brought me into existence, for surely Love would create only things that have a wonderful nature. How could Love create twisted, evil, selfish creatures? And I want His Love to hold me in that same wonderful nature now.
Finally, wouldn’t it be great if His Love was doing that with everyone? If everyone I know had been created with a wonderful nature, and if, no matter what they had done since, that nature had been held perfectly in place by its Creator?
At that point, I would have a fully sound basis for feeling great about myself and feeling great about literally everyone, without exception. For we would all have been created in the image of Love, and none of us would have had the power to change that, not even one small bit.
In other words, what I’m seeing is that there is untold benefit in a purely loving God being our Creator, and retaining that creative power over our being forever. That way, our original purity would always remain intact, unsullied, pristine.
We don’t get that benefit without a Creator God. We don’t get it if God is energy, or the Emptiness, or the void, or the Force, or the universe. To get that benefit, we have to posit a God Who intentionally wields power—total power. And Who, along with that power, is pure Love, with not a drop of anything else in His entire Being.
Are we willing to believe in that kind of a God?