September 9, 2015

bible study image

Images are everywhere, on the television, on billboards, in our heads.

We try to create a personal image by wearing baggy pants or flattering clothes.

But let’s see what we can learn about image from a spiritual perspective.

You may read Bible selections from your preferred Bible version:

Romans 1: 18-23

While reading the book, “J. Krishnamurti: Freedom from the Known,” I found an interesting statement, reading, “When I say I know you, I mean I knew you yesterday. I do not know you actually now. All I know is my image of you. That images put together by what you have said in praise of me or to insult me, what you have done to me—it is put together by all the memories I have of you—and your image of me is put together in the same way, and it is those images which have relationship and which prevent us from really communing with each other…Only when we understand the true relationship between each other is there a possibility of love, and love is denied when we have images. Therefore it is important to understand, not intellectually but actually in your daily life, how you have built images about your wife, your husband, your neighbor, your child, your country, your leaders, your politicians, your gods—you have nothing but images.”

Krishnamurti wrote this in the 20th century, however people have been thinking about images for millenniums. The word “image” is found in the Bible, Genesis 1:27. We can consider what it would be like to be the image and likeness of God.

We can remind ourselves that God wasn’t created in our image.

From the Bible, the word “image” in the Hebrew is צלם (tselem), literally a shadow which is the outline or representation of the original.

What is God? If God is Spirit, then we must be spiritual. As Spirit’s image and likeness, we must image forth Spirit in spiritual truths.

Is God Love? I think so. God is also Life.

Psalms 100:3

Acknowledging God as the origin, or only creator, relieves us from believing or acting as though we originate life or love. Let’s face it, the life and love of human beings is fickle. Sometimes human love doesn’t last.

But if we are the “image” of God as Love, we can identify with Love and we can image forth that love. It helps our relationships thrive.

To remind our self of this we can ask: Am I allowing the flowing reflection of love? Am I looking for the images of Love? Am I imaging forth Love?

In the book, Peace Pilgrim: Her life and her works in her own words, we read, “The body, mind and emotions are instruments which can be used by either the self-centered nature or the God-centered nature. The self-centered nature uses these instruments, yet it is never fully able to control them, so there is a constant struggle. They can only be fully controlled by the God-centered nature.

“When the God-centered nature takes over, you have found inner peace. Until that time comes, a partial control can be gained through discipline. It can be discipline imposed from without through early training which has become a part of the subconscious side of the self-centered nature. It can be discipline under taken voluntarily: self-discipline. Now, if you are doing things you know you shouldn’t do and don’t really want to do, you certainly lack discipline. I recommend spiritual growing–and in the meantime self-discipline.

“During the spiritual growing up period the inner conflict can be more or less stormy. Mine was about average. The self-centered nature is a very formidable enemy and it struggles fiercely to retain its identity. It defends itself in a cunning manner and should not be regarded lightly. It knows the weakest spots of your armor and attempts a confrontation when one is least aware. During these periods of attack, maintain a humble stature and be intimate with none but the guiding whisper of your higher self.”

That God-centered self reaches the divine image in which God controls us, rather than the chaos of the world.

From 21st Century Science and Health:

Absorbed in mortal human selfhood, we discern and reflect faintly the substance of Life or Mind. So, disengage thought from a mortal selfhood and permit the discernment of man and woman’s spiritual and eternal individuality. Any erroneous knowledge gained from other spirits, or from the physical senses, can be destroyed as our spiritual image is affirmed.

Mind controls all images, and God is the only Mind. Any other control or attraction of so-called spirit is a mortal belief, which ought to be known by its fruit—the repetition of evil.

Immortal person was and is God’s image or idea, even the infinite expression of infinite Mind. Spiritual selfhood is coexistent and coeternal with that Mind. Spirituality has been forever in the eternal Mind, God. Mind is not in man and woman. Infinite Mind can only be reflected by person. The consciousness and individuality of person is the reflection of God; the emanation of Person who is Life, Truth, and Love. Immortal person is not and never was humanistic, but always spiritual and eternal.

The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of our spirituality, of God’s image. Mentally contradict every complaint from the body. Evolve into the spiritual consciousness of Life as Love—as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit. Fear is the source of sickness. You offset fear and negative desires through divine Mind; consequently, it is through divine Mind that you overcome disease. Only while fear or sin remains can it bring forth death. To cure a bodily ailment, every broken moral law should be taken into account and the error be rebuked. Fear, which is an element of all disease, must be driven out so you can focus better on God. With less fearful and ignorant thinking, you are able to see truth.

Hold these points strongly in view. Keep in mind the reality of being—that everyone is the image and likeness of God, in whom all being is painless and permanent.

Pure metaphysics insists on the fact that God is all, therefore, temporal substance is nothing but an image in human mind.

The mental state is called a physical state. Whatever is cherished in human mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.

Only as the mortal, false mind yields to God or spiritual Mind, is our identity found in the image of Love.

An image on the television screen, or a face reflected in the mirror, is not the original, though resembling the original. Person, in the likeness of our Maker, reflects the original light of being, the invisible God. As there is no corporeality in the mirrored form, which is but the reflection, so man and woman, like all things real, reflects God, our divine Principle, not in a mortal body.

Reasoning that begins with imperfection will end with imperfection. Reasoning that begins with perfection will arrive at perfection.

Our true self is the image, reflection, of God. God’s children are not inverted or subverted, but upright and Godlike.

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