EBUP51: The Courage To Be You

Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #51

Eric Butterworth Sunday Services — The Courage To Be You

Fundamental to getting to know who you are, to getting to know the power within you, know that it’s not something extraneous to you. The power within you is God at the point of you. It’s hard to see this when we think of God as the person upstairs, or the great manlike figure on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, bearded, muscular creature reaching down touching the hand of the man. It’s hard to see the truth in this context, you have to be willing to let go of this limited God. “Destroy the God of our intellect,” as Emerson says, “and experience the presence of God.” The power within you is the activity of God. It’s the primal power of being, and to discover this power is your birthright. You’re never really coming to understand yourself or life until you discover this tremendous depth within you, which is the presence of God acting as you.


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The philosopher Schopenhauer once, reading a book while walking down the street, ran into a man. He knocked the man flying. Then he got up angrily and said, “Why don’t you look where you’re going? Who do you think you are, anyway?” Always a philosopher, he replied, “I would that I knew.”

Do you know who you are? Many persons lives such a pathetic, mediocre existence because they don’t know who they are. Ask any person, he will invariably give you the wrong answer. Then you say, “What do you mean how do I think I am? You’re looking at him.” Because they’re so involved in their physicalness, they think that’s all they are. You may say, “I’m just Eric Butterworth. I’m just John Strickland. I’m just Mary Brown, or Hank Smith.” That isn’t who you are. This is simply the label your parents stuck on you when you were young. When I look on you, if I’m frank about it, I can only see your body. I can’t see your mind, I can’t see your emotions, I can’t see anything, but just your physical self. This body is just a pile of atoms drawn up into this shape, to which the activity of God is living itself as you.

You listen to me talk, and read what I have written, you experience my mind. Actually, this is infinite mind articulating itself through me. You may observe me loving, feeling, expressing joy. This is just the divine flow of love and creativity expressing itself as my emotions. I may have a healthy body, I may have a brilliant mind, I may have a wide range of feelings. This isn’t me. I’m using all this equipment in my mind, body and emotions. These are not me, they’re mine. I say often, “I am not my mind. I have my mind. I’m not my body, I have a body. I’m not my emotions, I have emotions. And the eye that has them has the power to control them.” The greatest realization is in truth, because I have my body I have the power to control my body. It’s mine, it’s not me, it’s mine. I could stand to drift apart from it, speak the word of life to it, discipline it, control it, love it.

Fundamental to getting to know who you are, to getting to know the power within you, know that it’s not something extraneous to you. The power within you is God at the point of you. It’s hard to see this when we think of God as the person upstairs, or the great manlike figure on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, bearded, muscular creature reaching down touching the hand of the man. It’s hard to see the truth in this context, you have to be willing to let go of this limited God. “Destroy the God of our intellect,” as Emerson says, “and experience the presence of God.” The power within you is the activity of God. It’s the primal power of being, and to discover this power is your birthright. You’re never really coming to understand yourself or life until you discover this tremendous depth within you, which is the presence of God acting as you.

In the bible, the indwelling power is spoken of as a child, and if you’re able to make use of the power, it’s the birth of the child. This is a metaphor that’s used 20 times over in the bible. Prince Isiah says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government should be upon his shoulders, and his name should be called wonderful.” I think I need to remind you from time to time this is not Jesus. Unto us a sone is born, this is not Jesus. This is the divine son, which you are. Jesus experienced it, discovered it, revealed it, that’s it as a heritage for us, to know this wonderful self within us. His name should be called wonderful. It says that once you establish a sense of oneness with this inner power, you’ve allowed it to take over your responsibilities for you, you will direct and govern all of your affairs from the greatest to the least, without effort, without mistakes, without trouble to you. You should call his name wonderful. It’s the wonder child, the Christ within you, you’re own son of God’s self.

If someone were experiencing this wonder self as opposed to his limited self, he’d find himself living in a wonderful word, it would be a wonderful experience. You may say, “I certainly wouldn’t describe my present experience as wonderful.” Because you’re emphasizing the difficulty, the darkness, the confusion that comes into the lives of all of us from time to time. You may say, “But life is so hard.” Is it? The reason it seems hard is you may trying to live something that you’re not, and to be something that you think is part of your life that is put on you by thoughts of others. If you’re trying to live up to the images imposed on you by your parents, by your society, by the whole raised consciousness. Who are you?

Quite often a person will described his experience as telling you what he is. He said, “I’m sick and weak, I’m tired, I’m angry, I’m poor.” Are these what you are? These are experiences that you come into your life. We all have these experiences from time to time. The important thing is to know that there is something in you that transcends this, there’s a self of you that is whole. I’m not sick, I’m a person experiencing a challenge of sickness. I’m not angry, I’m a person who is at the moment having difficulty controlling my emotions, but they’re my emotions, I’m in control, or I can be. I’m not poor, I’m a person experiencing difficulty in my financial affairs, but I have control over that which comes into my life. Therefore, I can decree for myself, “I am rich.” Project that conscious to be able to draw that experience to me.

Many of the goals we set for ourselves are actually images of what we’re trying to become. Many of them are influenced by the subtle messages of Madison Avenue. None of us are completely free from this influence. News of what is in, what they say is the way to excess. Even if you succeed at becoming this image, you fail. You’re already designed to by somebody, it’s written in the fiber of your being. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to find your own pattern, as Thoreau says, “March to the beat of your own drummer.” Courage to be you. When you were an infant, you didn’t have to design how many hairs to grow on your head, you didn’t have to design your form and shape, how tall you would be, the color of your eyes, because it’s all written in the fabric of your genes. You can look anywhere and see design. Your body is designed to do a particular job, from your fingers to your internal organs.

Wherever you look in the world around you, you see design. In a snowflake, in a butterfly, in a stone, right down to the atom. The whole universe is one cosmic design, and it works perfectly. Jesus tells us also to take special note of the lilies in the field, who live and work without a trace of anxiety. But when it comes to our particular lives we say, “I have so much to worry about.” And oh, how we worry. Our jobs and career, the economy, the weather, your love relationships, our marriage, our children, growing old, the threat of war. Some worry about whether they will ever get married. Others worry because they did get married. Some worry whether they are attractive, others worry about what they are attracting. Exuding their limited self, they attract the wrong people to them, and then they wonder why they don’t get along.

The first job is to be yourself, lean into the wonder self within you. With this self in control, you can’t help attracting the right and perfect relationships. Being your wonder self brings you from the hypnotic spell you may be under. The illusion that you’re only human, that’s [inaudible 00:10:13] limited. We’ve all been hypnotized by our parents, by the raised mind, by our past experiences, which tell us, “You’re inferior. You’re no good. You’re a failure.” And you may argue, “But it’s true, I really am insufficient.” You may add, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.” More importantly, you don’t know you. There’s a wonder self within you. It is the reality of which, which was your key to survive back in those childhood years, when you may have been psychologically or physically abused. Sometimes we give so much attention to that. Talking about dysfunctional families from which we came, the terrible abuses that we were subjected to when we were young. The important thing, this wonder self of you was your key to survival back in those years, is your power to live a happy and successful life today. It’s ever with you, it is you.

Paul said, “Christ in you, your hope of glory.” We use these words often, sometimes taking [inaudible 00:11:35] too lightly. [inaudible 00:11:36] was once asked in the later years of his life, “What do you consider to be the most important teaching of the bible?” Without hesitating he said, “Christ in you, your hope of glory.” But again, this is not Jesus in you. Many of us who have a strong fundamentalist background find it difficult to settle in our mind between Jesus and The Christ. Christ is not Jesus. The Christ is a divine level within every person, the wonder self in them, the God self, the point where God becomes him and he becomes God.

So the point is, Jesus is the one who discovered this Christ in his history back there, who discovered The Christ as a divine dimension of all persons. If you ever question this, remember he said, “All these things that I do, you do too, if you can have faith.” He didn’t work miracles, except and apart from life itself. He performed experiences under the [inaudible 00:12:51] of the law. Christ in you is the divine depth of you, is the divine level within you, which Jesus demonstrated with the divine level in all persons. When you accept yourself at this level, at the level of your divinity, you walk and work in its light, as Thoreau says, “You will come to live with the license of a higher order of beings.” Live with the license of a higher order of beings.

There’s a powerful influence that keeps us from being ourselves, referred to by Paul in a statement that has been largely misunderstood and misapplied. Remember he said, “Be not conformed to this world, be you transformed by the rendering of your mind.” Be you transformed by the rendering of your mind. In the mechanistic perception, a person may by turning to change by putting on a mask, that he can become what the world is trying to conform him too. There’s a better translation to Paul’s words that gives this scripture a powerful new meaning. “Don’t let the world around you force you into its mold, let God remold your mind from within.” Don’t let the world around you force you into its mold, don’t let people seek to conform you to certain things. Let God remold your mind from within. Become moldable, pliable, changeable, but listen within to the inner voice, the voice of your own inner self. He gave you the message, he drew the right and wise way, helped you to experience and express the holiness of yourself. Paul calls it the Christ self.

How great is this pressure to conform, to integrate, to adjust? It’s the insistence on sameness. The pressure to think the same, act the same, enjoy the same things. You know such a thing would be a complete cacophony on the divine symphony that you are. One of the great problems of education, mass education, that we have to settle on norms, standards. Whether we know it or not, or whether we like it or not, much of our education is based upon trying to insist that the child conform to the standard, conform to the patterns. A two year old is supposed to do these things, three year old, you do this, and this way something happens in your life and you have a change, you begin to get interested in girls, for instance, or boys, your whole perspective in life changes. This is the way a normal person acts. That word normal is almost a very limiting word, because it means ‘this is the way you should be, adjust to it, adapt to it’.

You might ask, “Why do we conform to the world, to what is in? Why do we look at the styles that are in vogue for the day, make very sure that we keep up with the styles? Why do we look at the things that have been done in the world and assume that’s what should be done, pattern our lives after those?” One reason is our of insecurity. A lack of awareness of our uniqueness, a lack of a sense of worthiness. That’s why we like to think or our Sunday worship experience as worthship rather than worship. It’s not just a play on words, it’s a very important realization. We’re interested in getting a sense of worthship, knowing who we are, respecting ourself, having faith in the divine power within us, feeling worthy.

Maxwell Maltz, he wrote the frank book Psycho-Cybernetics a few years ago, has a statement that has always stuck with me. He says, “If you’re able to take a living breath, if you walk in the world, if you’re a part of the atmosphere around you, then you’re worthy of life.” You’re worthy. So many people feel unworthy, so through all their lives feeling unworthy of better things in life, worthy of relationships, worthy of health. They have conditioned themselves or have been conditioned to some limiting concept or perception or pattern that they assume is what life should be. Life is good. Do not conform to this world.

I remember a number of years ago, just popped into my mind, when I was in the army, that was a long time ago, I was in Officer’s school and we were marching in a platoon of soldiers down a road, and I just see this picture from a distant. You’ve seen it, where you see the West Point cadets marching. The platoon is one body, perfect step, perfect rhythm, perfect unison. Every person in there is swinging his arms forward six inches to the front and three to the rear, stepping at a certain rhythm, holding himself erect, and the platoon moves along like one body. It’s a beautiful sight, but it’s a hideous thing. Because for the moment, with good reason, these cadets are conforming themselves to a whole body, to pattern, to a plan, and in that context it’s good. But when we get to the point in life where we feel we’re in need of getting into the platoon, into the herd, moving along like the rest [inaudible 00:18:48] goes out of us.

There’s an interesting reason that’s not always recognized for why we sometimes conform. It’s because we want people to like us, to accept us. This leads us to create bridges for communication. You may not be aware you’re doing this. For instance, while preparing some ideas for this talk today I was at home in my study dressed in the most casual manner, as we often do when we’re at home. I’m now delivering the talk in a suit and tie. Why the difference? It’s not the most comfortable garb that could’ve been invented, but I wear it because, like most of you, I’ve accepted the kind of code of correct attire. How much conformity in this? But I wear it because I respect you, I respect myself, I want you to respect me. I wear the garb and even come to feel comfortable in it because I’m doing that which may hopefully create a bridge of acceptance by which we may realize communication.

If I were to come here and stand be you in shorts and a dirty sweatshirt, my hair hanging around my eyes, it would create a block. We’re so conscious of the limiting behavior and the pattern of good taste, that you would be unable to see anything more, or as Emerson says, “What you are [inaudible 00:20:36] so loud, I can’t hear what you say to the contrary.” So I’m trying to find a bridge of communication to enable us to come together in consciousness. You may say, “Well, that’s ridiculous. If they really want to hear me, they can take me as John The Baptist in a hair shirt.” Jesus knew different. For, as many nonconforming rebels may not know, Jesus wore a seamless robe, which was high fashion in his day. You don’t hear that very often, it’s important, because when we want to realize a sense of relationship with people, have to avoid the barriers and the blocks, the limitations that may cause you bad communication.

One’s personality and the changing mask you wear is constantly involved in some kind of conformity, because it involves the hidden fear that you’re all going to be unmasked and people may come to see you as you really are. Within yourself you may have become convinced that what you really are is not good enough, not attractive enough, not intelligent enough. Moral and social reformer is in this category, and so is the rabid conformist to a nonconforming posture. [inaudible 00:22:10] a conformist to a nonconforming posture, actually he’s a nonconformist, but he’s conforming. All the nonconformists are conforming to something, they’re conforming to a style. Back in the days of the beatniks, and the hippies, and all this were wearing soldiers uniforms, and beads, and long hair, they were conforming. More conforming than the people that they felt they were running away from. For the rabid nonconformists to a nonconforming posture puts on a mask of dissent and eccentricity, is usually afraid that someone will unmask him, that they will see him as he is behind the mask. Afraid that they might reveal his weakness, afraid to be himself, because he’s unsure what that self is.

The point that we come to know ourselves, feel secure in what we are, be able to stand before the world and the people around with a sense of confidence, the realization that communication becomes easy because we don’t place barriers between us. Individuality comes from the root word meaning that which cannot be divided, indivisible. You are an individual expression of God, a complete manifestation, you have something to give the world that no one else can give in the same way. I rejoice in the attempt of any person to be himself. I want to encourage him to really be himself, not simply to be different. That person’s failed to understand what it means to be free, and they think that freedom is the courage to be themselves and do their thing, do what they want, no matter how it goes against the grain of society.

You can never have that kind of freedom, unless you’re willing to go out in the wilderness with John The Baptist and live on your own resources. The moment you join with one other person, you disown your right to do as you please. Now you must take that other person into account. This is the conformity, this is the price we pay for a close knit society. Freedom to do as you please is gone. I always hear many people say, “I can do it, I’m a free person in a free country, I can do what I want.” Smoke in a room when people are not smoking and make them all feel unpleasant, play your radio very loudly when it’s disturbing to other people around, polluting the atmosphere with the emissions from your car, or burning leaves in the fall with the smoke going all over the neighborhood. I can do what I want.

We’re coming to know that we’re living as members of a global society, in one great village, and we’re all a part of it. We have responsibilities to each other. Freedom to do what we want is gone. We have to be a part of a whole, a society, a relationship. For instance, we’re well aware that we’re not allowed to drive through a red traffic light in the city, and by surrendering this right we have a fair degree of safety in city driving. If you insist on exercising [inaudible 00:25:34] or freedom which violates the rights and [inaudible 00:25:35] of others, very soon the group will isolate you and deprive you of the freedom to really be you, fulfill your uniqueness.

There’s a character in the comic strip named Hunter, he’s four and a half years old. He comes in and sees little Julian playing the violin. Julian looks up and says, “Tiger, I’m playing Variations of a Theme by Bach.” Sally comes in and asks, “Tiger, what is Julian doing.” Tiger says, “Julian is playing Violations of a Theme by Bach.” You and I have come into this life to play a variation of a great theme, to sing our song, to play our tune in the great symphony of life. Life for many of us, before we found truth, was a sour note. The violation of a great theme. We have to let that sour note go, begin to sing our songs, let our light shine, to express who we are. We have to let go of many concepts and beliefs that are of our worldly condition past. Let it all go. Begin to give expressions of equalities of love, and harmony, and peace, and of our wonder self. That wonder self within you is always present, because it is you.

The important thing is, do what you can, with what you have, right where you are. The words of Theodore Roosevelt. Do what you can, with what you have, right where you are. Many people think of this wonder self, this Christ self, this God self in you as something of the future, when you get to the top of the mountain, when you achieve the Christ consciousness, then you’ll have this great awareness of your wonder self. You don’t have to be a perfect expression, do you, and benefiting from your inner power. You don’t have to be perfect before you begin to expressing the fundamentals of truth. Only realize you’re perfect in potential, see the possibility. The possibility of the God self, the possibility of wholeness. It’s always present. The whole of you is present, even in the part of you. That’s why I always say, “There is an allness within your illness.”

You know you may insufficient, but there’s an all-sufficiency that’s present within you. It’s not something that has to be put on, not something that God has to give you. God has already given you all that he can ever give you, don’t expect anything more from God, just the light to see that within yourself in the private of your being, you have the allness of divine potential always present. The power to heal, the power to be healed. The power to prosper others and the power to be prospered yourself. The power of light and guidance. Always present, always in you. It’s not putting something in, rather removing the mask that you put on in order to conforming with the world. Remove the mask and be free.

Many of us are not aware that we’re wearing a mask. If we’re honest with ourself, we go home at night, sit on the edge of our bed, take a look at ourselves, without our jewels, and our makeup, and our neckties, and the things that enhance our appearance. All this is laid aside, we see ourself as we really are. If we’re honest with ourself, we’ll see how much we have conformed to the world around us, considering or not conformity is right, as we said, which is wearing clothes and being within certain bounds of manner. Much of the conformity is limiting, because we accept certain things about ourself, which are not true. We identify with them as if they are a part of us, which they are not. What we’re reaching for is the conscious that comes when we simply wake up, and the awareness that the answer, the faith, and the perception to see the whole life is always within us.

What you desire to be, you already are. You couldn’t desire it. Except, there was a fleeting feeling, inspiring note telling you that you can be more, you can have this, you can experience it. We talk about meditation so often, and truth, because it goes hand in hand with the process of knowing ourselves in relationship with the universe. Meditation means many things. Basically, it’s a consciousness, we experience our oneness with the whole divine flow. The divine flow of healing, the divine flow of guidance, inspiration. Meditation, we get still. It’s a kind of prayer, but not a prayer of reaching out to God. It’s the realization that the whole activity of God is present within me, and I needed him to get still to let it happen. I’m going to talk about this some more next week as part of our lesson. But meditation in a sense is peeling away the mask of consciousness, like peeling away the layers of an onion. You come to know that [inaudible 00:31:14] is fearless, common, and secure. Identify with and as the wonder self.

Whereas, prayer for most persons is a directive to God who is a superman in the skies, and we listen and respond. We need to follow in Jesus’ injunction, let her into the inner chamber, and experience God as a presence. Jesus called it the Father within. It is God at the point of you, it is you at the point of God, and the whole of God is present at every point in space and time. The whole of God. We never really catch the true meaning of meditation unless we get that insight. Not part of God, not just God’s voice, not just God’s hand is upon you, God’s light is before you, the whole of God, that’s what Unity is. Not a world of relativity, but a world of unitivity. Every unit, not only a part of the whole, it is the whole expressing at that point.

Take such a thing as gravity. Gravity is an energy force nobody really understands, like electricity. Thomas Edison once said, “I don’t know what electricity is, I know what it does and I use it.” Do you know what gravity is? Most of us know what it does, we have a few bumps and sores to remind us of that, and we use it, we use it consciously. The important thing about gravity, the whole of gravity is present where you are. You don’t have just a part of the gravitational pull pulling you to the earth, just a little bit of it here, and hopefully it doesn’t blow us a fuse and turn off some time. The whole of gravity is present where you are, the whole of God is present, the whole of divine mind, the whole of life is present, all of it, because it’s not quantitative, it’s principle. You can’t have more of God, more of life.

When you have a consciousness of God, a consciousness of life, it’s the whole of it present where you are. God at the point of you. If you understand that our wonder self, the Christ of us, is the whole of God at this point where I am, and his being, being me. I use the technique of mental imagery, it’s an experience of meditation, which clearly turns us from trying to get through to God out there in our oneness.

I’m going to suggest that you have this experience with me now very briefly. Just relax and let go, be open in mind and heart, be naïve as a little child. In this imagery, we’re not actually talking about God, we’re not talking about spiritual things, yet in a sense we are. We don’t want to think of personality, a place, a degree. Just be still and know.

With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. In our imagination we can do most anything, to our mind, images can go in any direction. For just a moment, imagine that you’re seated in a garden, a beautiful rose garden. Look around and see the roses, appreciate them, sense the beautiful rose scent. See yourself sitting before a rosebush ablaze with beautiful roses. Select one bud, carefully clip it off, take it with you to a corner of the garden where there’s a quiet place we can be still and alone. Hold this rosebud before you, and see it gradually open. See the beautiful rose unfold before your eyes. See it, appreciate it, love it, and look into to this rose with complete concentration. Appreciate its beauty, its fragrance, just accept it for what it is; a lovely rose.

Then your imaging effectively goes to work again. See the image of yourself looking at you, as if you were looking in a mirror. The self as you conceive it to be in your finer moments, the self in which you can be proud, you feel good. While you’re looking deeply into the rose, see the picture slowly dissolve, and gradually, perceptibly see the face of a wise old man or woman emerge, whose eyes express great love for you. Feel that sage of the rose looking out upon you, loving you, blessing you. Do you feel comfortable in the presence of this sage? Perhaps you have questions to ask. Questions about yourself, about your life, about experiences, things that in one context you might ask a fortune teller. Speak to this sage. Have a dialogue with him. Ask questions, pour out your heart, listen to the voice of the sage expressing to you.

Feel good about this. Put yourself to be in the presence of a great expression of divine wisdom. While you’re being viewed from the sage in the rose, feel that you’re being blessed by the whole universe. Listen to the voice of the sage, respond to its words, express your gratitude. The greatest beauty of thanksgiving can come to you at such a moment, and while you’re concentrating on the picture, the image of the wise person slowly dissolves, your own image reappears, and the face that you see has a relaxed and satisfied look. For now, perhaps for the first time, you know who you really are, and you feel the courage to go forth and be this self. Now just get up and walk away from the garden, look back and appreciate it, give thanks for the experience.

You can open your eyes now. Keep the rose in your heart of hearts to remind you of this moment of being you. When you have an opportunity, perhaps when you return home today, take a few moments to sit quietly and write down as much of the dialogue as you can remember with the sage and the rose. What you asked, what came forth from the sage, this has been important to you. You may repeat the exercise as often as you like, you can open the way to a communion with the Father within. It’s a new kind of prayer, you see, most of prayers are stilted. They’re saying a lot of words. Words, words, words.

It’s important to get this experience out of the context of overt religion, which is stuffy. There’s nothing religious or irreligious about the depth in you. It is, it’s whole, part of a cosmos, it’s spiritual. You can experience that in this kind of imagery, you get a sense of relationship with the Father within, that is too often hampered by the tradition of image of God out there. Who must be supplicated for help. Practice this set of imagery as often as you can. Experience great blessings.

The statement in John 10:34, which is the golden text about what we’ve been dealing with today. It says, “Is it not written in your law I said ye are gods?” Can you understand this? Doesn’t it mean that you’re a god expressing himself or herself as you. You are the creative energy of the universe, unfolding itself uniquely as you. Creative energy of the universe, that’s you. You’re one with it. The important thing is to be conscious of that, think about it. Just a moment now, let’s close our eyes and let’s get a sense of a period instead of a question mark at the end of our experience, perhaps an exclamation point. Perhaps a feeling of ‘wow’. You know the truth, the truth shall make you free. So be it.

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