Leave the mirror and change your face.
Leave the world alone and change
your conceptions of yourself.
All things, when they are admitted,
are made manifest by the light: for everything
that is made manifest is light. Ephesians 5:13
THE “LIGHT” is consciousness. Consciousness is one, manifesting in legions of forms or levels of consciousness.
There is no one that is not all that is, for consciousness, though expressed in an infinite series of levels, is not divisional. There is no real separation or gap in consciousness. I AM cannot be divided. I may conceive myself to be a rich man, a poor man, a beggar man or a thief, but the center of my being remains the same, regardless of the concept I hold of myself. At the center of manifestation, there is only one I AM manifesting in legions of forms or concepts of itself and “I am that I am”.
I AM is the self-definition of the absolute, the foundation on which everything rests. I AM is the first cause-substance. I AM is the self-definition of God.
I AM hath sent me unto you. [Exodus 3:14]
I AM THAT I AM. [Exodus 3:14]
Be still and know that I AM God. [Psalm 46:10]
I AM is a feeling of permanent awareness. The very center of consciousness is the feeling of I AM. I may forget who I am, where I am, what I am, but I cannot forget that I AM. The awareness of being remains, regardless of the degree of forgetfulness of who, where and what I am.
I AM is that which, amid unnumbered forms, is ever the same.
This great discovery of cause reveals that, good or bad, man is actually the arbiter of his own fate, and that it is his concept of himself that determines the world in which he lives [and his concept of himself is his reactions to life]. In other words, if you are experiencing ill health, knowing the truth about cause, you cannot attribute the illness to anything other than to the particular arrangement of the basic cause-substance, an arrangement which [was produced by your reactions to life, and] is defined by your concept “I am unwell”. This is why you are told “Let the weak man say, ‘I am strong’” (Joel 3:10), for by his assumption, the cause-substance – I AM – is rearranged and must, therefore, manifest that which its rearrangement affirms. This principle governs every aspect of your life, be it social, financial, intellectual, or spiritual.
I AM is that reality to which, whatever happens, we must turn for an explanation of the phenomena of life. It is I AM’s concept of itself that determines the form and scenery of its existence.
Everything depends upon its attitude towards itself; that which it will not affirm as true of itself cannot awaken in its world.
That is, your concept of yourself, such as “I am strong”, “I am secure”, “I am loved”, determines the world in which you live. In other words, when you say, “I am a man, I am a father, I am an American”, you are not defining different I AM’s; you are defining different concepts or arrangements of the one cause-substance – the one I AM.
Even in the phenomena of nature, if the tree were articulate, it would say, “I am a tree, an apple tree, a fruitful tree”.
When you know that consciousness is the one and only reality – conceiving itself to be something good, bad or indifferent, and becoming that which it conceived itself to be – you are free from the tyranny of second causes, free from the belief that there are causes outside of your own mind that can affect your life.
In the state of consciousness of the individual is found the explanation of the phenomena of life.
If man’s concept of himself were different, everything in his world would be different.
His concept of himself being what it is, everything in his world must be as it is.
Thus it is abundantly clear that there is only one I AM and you are that I AM.
And while I AM is infinite, you, by your concept of yourself, are displaying only a limited aspect of the infinite I AM.
Build thee more stately mansions,
O, my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a
dome more vast
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by
life’s unresting sea!
[Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "The Chambered Nautilus"]