The Spirit Groups are now halfway through their six-week study of Eric Butterworth’s Practical Metaphysics. Like all Butterworth books, this one is jam packed with inspired ideas and insights presented with his usual clarity and down-to-earth style. The first three chapters have neatly tracked the first three Unity principles with titles like “Allness of God,” “Divinity of Man” and “The Art of Thinking.” In my own personal Kindle edition, the highlighted pull quotes seem to take up about two-thirds of each page.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: To me, Eric Butterworth is the single best communicator and writer on Unity teachings and metaphysics I have ever studied. His books are content rich and chock full of illumination and practical power. He has a way of communicating lofty spiritual ideas that makes them easy to understand and therefore useful in improving the quality of our lives.
Who Do You Think You Are?
One of my favorite sections so far is in Chapter 2, “Divinity of Man,” under the section heading: “Who Do You Think You Are?” To my reading, this section encapsulates ideas that reflect both the second and third Unity Principles. The second principle essentially states that we are, each one of us, spiritual beings created in the image and likeness of God, which is the source of our innate divinity. Unity’s third principle teaches that we are creating our reality by the thoughts and the feelings we allow to dominate in our consciousness.
Who do you think you are? It is no idle question that Butterworth asks of us. How we answer that question for ourselves determines the reality we experience. Likely, we have all heard this question before in our lives. We may have even asked this same question of others, and maybe even ourselves. However, the usual intention behind this question is to take someone down a notch or two. Who are you to question me? Who are you to act above your pay grade? How dare you call me out? Who do you think you are? Butterworth has an entirely different intention for posing this common question.
The Only Real Answer
Who do you think you are? Well, if you have been around Unity for any amount of time, you likely know we have a much different answer than most people. You are a child of God. Since God is the source of all good, and you are created in the image and likeness of God, then you too are good. Your foundational essence is good, no matter what you may have been told, or no matter what you may have believed in the past.
Who do you think you are? The only true, or real, answer to the question is: “I AM the Christ, a child of the living God.” It does not ultimately matter what anyone else thinks of you. In truth, what someone else thinks of you is none of your business. Your business is to pay close attention to your own thoughts and feelings about who you think you are. To base your answer on someone else’s opinion of you is to be off the mark from the get go.
What Are You Thinking About Who You Are?
Unity’s third principle teaches that we are creating our reality by the thoughts and feelings we allow to dominate in our consciousness. It has been estimated that, in general, we think about 60,000 thoughts a day. Of those thoughts, approximately 80 percent are redundant, meaning they are the same repetitive thoughts being thought over and over. More importantly, 80 percent of those “redundant” thoughts tend to be negative, or fear-based. Becoming consciously aware of this human tendency is the first step in transforming the activity of our thinking, so that it supports the truth of our being.
No one is perfect. It is likely that you already believe this about others and about yourself. However, even though we are not perfected in expression, we are perfect in potential. Being aware of this distinction presents each one of us with an “opportunity to grow.” Do you think that you are capable of perfection, even though you may never achieve it? Or have you resigned yourself to not developing your potential because you will never be perfect? These are important questions, and the way we answer them determines the reality of our experience.
I Am A Child Of The Living God
Butterworth acknowledges that in our human condition, it is all to easy to become “accustomed to thinking of ourselves out of inferiority.” It is all too easy to be disrespectful of ourselves, because we are intimately aware of the places where we may fall short. Limitations are easier to see than our potentials, because the limitations are in our face every day, whereas our potentials are still awaiting manifestation. Our potentials largely exist in our imagination until they become manifest. By contrast, we come face to face with our limitations every day.
To a greater or lesser degree, this is true for all of us. It does not serve the truth of who we are in reality to listen to the inner voice of self-judgment, which constantly points out our limitations, and does so on a repetitive basis, day in and day out. Butterworth suggests that we need to develop a “new awareness” of ourselves as the “I AM-age of the divine process.” So if you are reading this, make a resolution with your Self that starting today, right now, you will begin to develop this “new awareness” of your Self. Here is an affirmation you can use throughout this process.
“Whatever I think I am, I am. So starting today and every day hereafter, I choose to think only of the truth of who I am. I AM the Christ, a child of the living God. I have the power, the capacity, to express perfection. I have the will to do what needs to be done to develop my potential. I have the power to renounce all false ideas of limitations on my potential, and to move forward towards the expression of the Christ I was born to be.”