(Pam’s schoolFeed Interest, Facebook)
I have a student who I believe to be incredibly smart. However, there are days where they come into class saying things like “I’m so stupid” and beating themselves up over their intelligence. How do you work with a student and help a student in a situation like this?
Finding the solution to every situation which appears as a problem in life begins with prayer. What can prayer do about such a situation? Effective prayer always brings our conscious life, our consciousness, our awareness of all that is taking place in our experience, into alignment with its natural harmony and oneness in quality with God. How do we know if we are praying correctly? If God, Love, is All and is the ruling Principle which makes every event or situation unfold harmoniously, then our full awareness and understanding of this fact, which comes to us through prayer, will reveal the harmonious facts, and experience will change accordingly. If, on the other hand, harmonious facts are still being hidden, and we experience discord, if we experience situations which would seem to be at odds with God’s complete harmony, then we are not yet praying effectively — for the nature of God IS the ever presence of pure harmony.
That introductory view of the reality of God’s creation being eternally comprised of the manifestation of Love and harmony, and of nothing else, combined with the realization of God’s omnipotence and all-presence, is a vital starting point. if one is not willing to begin with the monotheistic point of view that God, Love, is and controls all, and that contrary evidence is only invalid earthly evidence which results from the misunderstanding of God’s actions, then the response that follows which addresses the specific question about students who belittle themselves, will appear to be complete gibberish or nonsense. If the reader believes in God, but also firmly believes in another power opposite to God which can sometimes defeat the omnipotence of God, then read no further. However, if the reader believes in an unopposable and unassailable God, who has no opposite on account of His infinite and all powerful nature, and is willing to admit that the experience of disharmonious situations is not really absolute experience caused by God, but is the result of man’s misunderstanding of his environment and of himself, then read on and consider.
Let’s look at two things. First, let us take a look at the student God created and how we understand that student and his relationship to God. Second, and perhaps more importantly, let us examine how we understand our own relationship to God. We all, as humans, need to examine the content of our own thoughts, and we need to ensure that the thoughts we entertain about ourselves and others are always in consonance with the harmony and love of God. Before examining these two things, lets expand a bit more on pre-conditioning our thought about how to address this issue.
When we find thoughts present which disagree with the presence of God’s always harmonious creation, we must recognize that such thoughts, and more importantly the negative evidences we experience which correspond with them, are false. They are actually invalid in God’s eyes. That which disagrees with harmony is invalid, because based upon faulty assumptions which were never empowered by God, who is the only source of empowerment. The most convincing faulty human assumptions are based on deep seated human beliefs which, without ever considering them, we accept as truth, with never an ounce of consideration of their agreement with the ever present principles of God. Constant prayer would sort these things out of our thought. But as human beings, we have not been educated to pray constantly. If we receive any religious education at all, we are only taught to pray when things get tough, or when we are faced with a problem. Sometimes that problem has to seem pretty bad, even life threatening, before the idea of prayer even comes to mind. Even then, the conventional form of prayer which only asks that God make things better, never taking into consideration that the bad situations we find ourselves in are only the products of the false belief that we have been separated from the power and influence of God’s love. Constant “prayer without ceasing” as Paul put it, is constant awareness of God’s influence over every detail of our conscious life, including this situation of a student’s self image.
With that concept of prayer as a backdrop, let’s get back to our two mental examinations – our view of the students selfhood, and our view of our own selfhood. Let us begin with the premise that each and every man, woman, and child is the image and likeness of God, governed every instance by all-harmonious Love. We are not talking at all about the presentation of man which we see as flesh and bones. We are talking about the real and eternal Soul and identity of every individual, which is comprised of perfection, in complete harmony with the action of an all-loving and perfect God. It is vital to adopt this understanding of identity in our mental examinations, because the evidence we see in the human world is not going to agree with what we know to be true about the individual spiritually, from the standpoint of their eternal reflection of Soul, or God-given individual identity.
From this perfect and invisible (to the human senses) spiritual perspective, lets us examine first what we see in ourselves. What does God see in us? Does He not see each of us as a perfect representation of the action all of His love, of all of His intelligence? Think of this identity of selfhood as the reflection God might see if He would look into an allegorical mirror. He considers you as His image and likeness, which He sees in His mirror. He sees His own perfection and completeness, like the image in a mirror, reflected back at Him. We are that image. That image in our allegorical mirror is not self acting — it must do exactly what its source, God, does. The only self is God, or “ IAM”, as Moses expressed it. As human beings, we imagine ourselves to be acting on our own when we think or move, but we are actually, with every good movement or thought, animating the will of God! Can that image which God sees in his allegorical mirror go off on its own, and act contrary to what God is doing? Of course it cannot! Just like the physical image in our own material mirror is obligated to be obedient to our own actions, the spiritual image in God’s mirror is obligated to do as God does. Our conscious existence is God’s own awareness that He is animating us! As human beings, it feels like we are independently aware of ourselves. But our conscious being actually belongs to God, and is completely animated by Him.
What then, are we to think of things which come to our awareness which do not match the likeness and action of God? The only logical conclusion can be that such appearance and activity is not true, but has come to our awareness through a suggestion which has no source in God – that which we commonly call evil. It comes to us claiming reality, as experience with which we must deal. But what is its basis? It is deception. Let us never stray from our initial premise of the omnipotence of a monotheistic God! The only basis of disharmonious experience is a lie, a lie which, if we have not been prayerfully watching, we believe and accept as truth and reality. This is how that which we call Satan fools us. What is the seeming source of such lies? Lies have only commonality of human belief as a basis. Nothing more. They are dethroned by removal of their assumed belief. When we stop believing a lie, it ceases to seem to govern us. Jesus said of the devil (John 8:44) that he is “a liar and the father of it”.
In this process of examining ourselves and our own identity from a spiritual perspective, we find then that from God’s point of view that we are perfect, now! From our human point of view, which unwittingly constantly accepts evil and erroneous suggestions, we appear as imperfect humans. Our goal and mission in life as Christians is to identify and correct every human misconception that comes to our awareness, and thus gradually rise in our awareness, and hence the resulting harmonious experience, that results from knowing ourselves as inseparable from God.
With this mental perspective, we can examine the child who is being self deprecating. We can ask ourselves, and analyze, “Is my spiritual identity, that image which God sees animated in his allegorical mirror, capable of seeing a self deprecating child?” Because God sees this child through the same spiritual mirror as he sees us, God also sees his eternal perfection and completion in this child. Since God sees perfection in this child, then does not God’s image and likeness, my real identity, see God’s perfection in this child? Who is seeing the self deprecating behavior in the child? A mistaken sense of identity, an identity which would seem capable of seeing things contrary to God, sees this mistaken sense of poor self image in the child. What is the basis of this mistaken sense? Since its basis is not in God, it must be in evil. And what is evil, but “a liar and the father of it”? We can turn around what we see manifested in this child by elevating our view of the child from a human view, to a more spiritual view. The answer to understanding this child’s identity lies in living and breathing and having faith in what we understand to be that child’s true spiritual identity as the perfect image and likeness of God, looking away from the flawed and human presentation.
In this analysis we have covered both the correction of our own sense of spiritual selfhood, and the correction of our own view of the spiritual identity of the child we are dealing with. But, you may ask, “Have we not left the child out of this picture? What about praying for him or her?”
We are not separated from this child any more than we are ourselves separated from God. A realization of our oneness with God is also a realization of our oneness with every one of our fellow men/women/children, for only God grants us our consciousness, our awareness that we exist . All that is necessary to lift the child’s consciousness out of his or her false sense of selfhood is the elevation of our own conscious awareness of God’s presence. The child is also conscious and aware of himself through the very same phenomenon of the spiritual reflection of God’s perfect identity. Any false perception of this child has its basis only in a commonly believed lie, which never has an ounce of validity until we erroneously grant it some underserved authority. That false authority is simply the world’s belief that God is not in this picture.
The solution to every apparent problem lies in a transformation of how we view the problem. Problems are always of human origin, but the misunderstanding of this basic fact causes humans to inappropriately interpret them as having their origins in God. Maintaining a spiritually elevated view of God’s infinite characteristic of ever present harmony and Love, continually unfolding, takes the false blame away from God and changes the entire objective and meaning of prayer. Effective prayer is our “at-one-ment” with God, who is Love. (I John 4:7,8)