Are we made in the image of God?

—E.J.

Originally, you were made in the image of God. Why have you lost that prenatal purity? Because you have misused your independence.

Man is God’s highest creation, and not only His highest creation but His child. Be proud of that. You are not His creatures. You are His children. You can cast God away and still He does not cast you away. God has given you the freedom to make of yourself whatever you will. But have you ever analyzed how far you have desecrated the image of God?

If you have a gold sword and put it in an iron scabbard, you won’t see the gold. When you take it out, you will see the gold sword. So it is with your soul. It is purity and freedom. It is everything that God is, but in the body it is covered with the iron-like limitations of the physical body, and you can’t see the beautiful soul.

You cannot blame God for the habits from which you have been suffering. Every one of you has a predominant habit because you have had that habit before. No bad habit is in your nature; it has been grafted onto your real nature. Your real nature is the image of God. You are not all these habits and moods.

You must always remember you are made in the image of God. You have self-control, peace, joy and happiness as your true nature. Then why are you greedy or angry in this life? Because you acquired these qualities in a past life and you must destroy them now before you are forced to carry them into your next life. It is not too difficult. Every time you control your anger, every time you control your greed, you are gradually destroying the seeds of these qualities.

All scriptures teach that you are made in the image of God. Every night in sleep you rise above the consciousness of name, race, and sex. In sleep you are the image of God. In sleep you are peaceful, calm, beyond all limitations, satisfied, free, happy. A formless mass of peaceful space is your state in sleep. Space cannot be burned or hurt or drowned.

You only think you are that which you experience in the daytime. But you really are what you feel in the state of sleep. You are formless. You are joy. You don’t realize how tremendous that state is.

And what are you now in this existence? Afraid of a little cold, afraid of being hurt, afraid of not being able to pay bills, unhappy, ill – afraid of everything in this world. Why are you living like that? You must remember that you are God’s child, and what you were before your mortal existence is what you are also going to be now. Make the effort.

In making the effort, you must remember that it is necessary for you to lead a balanced life. Without balance, there will be no end to your troubles. Balance means lasting peace.

From Inner Culture, April 1939.