This first principle is: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) No matter what happens turn within and be still. Know that your awareness is God and that all things are possible to you. Test yourself and you will prove this statement in the testing; then you will be free from your former limitations of belief. No matter what is happening on the outside turn to the first principle. Start by being still, then claiming: “I am God.” Ask yourself: “Is this true?” You will never know the truth until you test it.Neville goddard, the first principle
In this article I want to fully explain to you what it means to be Source Consciousness, or God, and how this is often seen through the lens of the ego. When you awaken to Who You Truly Are, it will completely change your life. You will realise that manifestation is only the tip of the iceberg, and that once awareness clears your sight, there is an expansive, unexplored depth in which you have yet to discover. When you discover this, you will not only be living the life you want to lead as a conscious creator, but you will dwell in a deep state of peace and love because you see the unity in all things. One fundamental realisation on this journey is understanding self-concept, so I am going to explain it for you as clearly and thoroughly as I can. Even though this article is long, I know that my words are really a very limited way of trying to express something that goes beyond language. Because of this I will keep exploring this topic until we can all raise our understanding together.
What Self-Concept Is About
In his lecture “No One to Change But Self”, Neville talks in detail about self-concept. It is easy to look at the word “self” and believe that self-concept means changing the way you think about yourself — and on the surface level, it does — but it also goes much deeper than that. Neville did describe self-concept as the way in which we think of ourselves from the ego point of view, but he also iterated that our true Self is us as God. So when we address self-concept, yes we are changing the stories that we tell about ourselves, but from the understanding that we are the human expression of Source.
So firstly, ask yourself: when you change your concept of Self, who is the “Self” that you are talking about?
The Self is who you really are, beyond ego and form. It is your Source consciousness, or God, the infinite energy that created all things. It is the energy that animates absolutely everything, including you and I, every human, every animal, every plant, every mountain, every star. This is why we are all one, and why everyone is You pushed out. When I say this phrase, I don’t mean “you” (with the small “y”) but You (with a capital “Y”), because it is your God-self pushed out, not the little you that is limited by ego and human form. In this way, we all come from the same Source. We are all God, inhabiting the world of form — and in our case, human form.
You - God, Source consciousness, Universe energy, Who you truly are you - your human self, who you are in everyday life, your ego identity
So when you practice proper self-concept, you are also understanding that you are Sod expressing itself in the form of a human being, and that your ego identity is merely the shell that contains it. I know that it is very easy to see the word “self-concept” and understand it just as the way in which you think of yourself as a human. You might try to implement this in a positive (yet surface level) way by watching the thoughts that you tell yourself and the way that you describe yourself in day-to-day life. For example, if you lack confidence, you might then switch this perception of yourself to someone who does have confidence. So you changed your self-concept, and although this is definitely useful, again it is only one part of the puzzle — you are changing your self-concept, but only from the ego level.
This is because the “self” that Neville is talking about when he mentions self-concept is actually the Self that is God. The higher Self. The higher Self does not need to think of itself as confident, beautiful, successful, wealthy, happy, etc because it is not coming from a place where it ever lacked those things in the first place. God has nothing to affirm, because it is All That Is. God is the state of divine love, which has no opposite. Our ego self, however, does see opposites because it perceives a physical, binary world and it makes interpretations about it. This does not make the ego a bad thing — the ego perceives this way for a reason, because if you did not see the world of shadow, how could make the journey to transcend it
So because the ego sees the physical world and takes it at face value, it sees lack and things it can “fix”. For example when you see yourself as lacking confidence and so counteract this by affirming that you do have confidence, you are seeing through your human eyes that observe the duality of the physical: for where this light there is dark, where there is suffering there is peace, where there is high there is low, and so on. You as God, however, have transcended this dualistic thinking because the God self has a different kind of vision: it sees only pure, unconditional love. It has no judgement of anything. It is one with all that is, because it IS all that is!
This does not mean that you shouldn’t improve your concept of your ego self by changing how you view yourself and aligning with self talk that is more loving. Again, this is all part of the journey. We aren’t abandoning our ego here, we are just understanding that we no longer need to think from it. When you are lovingly aware of your ego, you hold space for it as it experiences fear. Our God Self knows this already, it knows we have human moments, that we are having a human experience, and that we are navigating a physical world. Our God Self is simply holding space for us as we do this — without judgement, no matter how many times we mess up! Continue to cultivate loving thoughts within yourself and affirm the conditions that you desire, all whilst realising that it is the God Self within you that is making all of this possible. This is what self-concept is: it is knowing you are God, having a human experience. It is knowing you are God, loving the part of you that is human and makes mistakes, without judging yourself or berating yourself for it. The God self wants to experience expansion, so it plants its Awareness in our human minds, which can then lie dormant for many years. Then, we have desires, all of which our God self dangles like carrots in front of us (my wonderful friend Patty worded it to me like this, and I thought it was perfect) with the sole intention of leading us closer to who we really are. You don’t have desires because they are the be-all and end-all, you have desires to awaken to yourself as God!
The Journey of Desire
Desire is an incredible teacher because it puts us in a state of wanting. You cannot desire something you already have. When we have a desire, it usually starts from noticing a lack in our life, and so we desire its opposite. This desire then burns deep within us, and we begin to chase it. This is not a criticism, by the way, for this is exactly how the game is designed. This is what we are supposed to do! The desire itself, whatever it may be, whether it’s a job promotion or a relationship, is actually irrelevant in the bigger picture. The bigger picture is really akin to the “Hero’s Journey” of realising who you really are. So in the Hero’s journey, or as I want to call it, The Journey of Desire, this is what will happen.You will have a desire and you will want it. You will then chase your burning desire for so long, experiencing all of the fear-based things that arise as a result of believing you don’t have it. Then one day, you will realise that your fears and beliefs were all an elaborate and very convincing illusion that is projected out from the subconscious. You will understand how your subconscious, your imagination, has been creating your entire reality the whole time.
Then, you will start using your imagination rather than letting it use you. You will feel empowered, because now you realise that the desires you were chasing are actually possible, and now you’ve seen a glimmer of insight in how to go towards them. You will go through a period of trial and error, where you start to consciously use your imagination in order to create your reality and you will see the results of doing so, but you will also experience some of the old beliefs and thought patterns from your Ego too. This will test you and cause you to waiver — you understand how your thoughts create your reality, but of course, you’re alarmed because you don’t want your “bad” thoughts to have a say too! You will then spend some time in a battle between using your imagination to your advantage, and fighting off the old thought patterns that threaten it for you. You will go through cycles of feeling in control and like everything has gone back to square one, because you don’t realise that this journey is your God Self’s magnificently constructed ploy, and so you still believe in mistakes.
For ease, lets call this phase the Pre-Awakening phase. You will dwell in this phase for some time and this is the phase that many of you are currently in, because you understand that you have desires and that it’s safe for you to pursue them, but you don’t realise why you have them and what they’re truly for. You don’t even question it because you think that manifesting desires is all there is. Then one day, you will get a feeling that there is something more to this than just manifesting things into the physical. You will probably realise this because once you get your desire, you will see that it just gives rise to another one. Getting your desire was not the pinnacle, it was the journey, not the destination. We desire more because our Awareness is infinitely expanding. We are not supposed to just want one thing, get it, and then we are “happy”. That is not happiness, it’s complacency, and there is no room for complacency when you realise you are God, because God is infinite and expansive. When you reach this stage of realisation, you will truly understand what it means to be God, and you will surrender to the ineffable beauty of all that is.
This idea of a hero’s journey is something that has trickled through the human experience since we incarnated onto this earth and began to create in the form of story-telling! Of course, this message has been hidden in plain sight to you all along. From films, songs, plays, literature, from the Bible to Tarot! In fact, the Tarot interpretation of this is one of my favourites — the journey (called the Fool’s journey, this time) starts with the Fool, an innocent soul that is about to embark on a path of highs and lows, joy and suffering. It ends on the World, the card that represents all that is, the highest level of fulfilment and awareness.
What is the Ego? Is it a bad thing?
Let me explain what is meant by Ego as this word is often misunderstood. When I make the distinction between the God self and the Ego self, this is not to say that the Ego self is the enemy. Ego is simply who we are on the human level. It’s not evil or negative or something that we have to remove. Even the term “Ego death” is misinterpreted — this does not mean that the Ego dies, but instead our identification with it does. When we experience Ego death, we realise that who we are is actually Source (God) consciousness in human form, and that our Ego self is merely the identity we have cloaked ourselves in. If the physical world is a stage, then the Ego is the role we play upon it, and God consciousness is the writer of the grand spectacle. Let’s use Neville as an example for this. Neville Goddard, the man born in Barbados in 1905, that married twice and had a daughter, that was an army veteran as well as a dancer, is the human counterpart to the wider God consciousness, the same God consciousness that is animating all things, as well as you and I.
If Neville had no Ego he would no longer identify as himself on a human level, he may not have even taken on the role of a teacher, and he likely would not have cared to return back to Barbados! You might think of Ego to mean arrogance or unconsciousness but this is not necessarily true – the Ego is necessary for our survival and to navigate our journey of desire as a human, but we must understand its shortcomings as well.
The main limitation of the Ego is that it sees separation and it take the physical world at face value, without questioning its artifice. It makes quick judgements and interpretations of the physical world so that we can make sense of it — which is fine, and necessary, as long as it is done in an intentional way. Often though, we do not bring awareness to our perception, and therefore we interpret things based on the past or our subconscious biases and accept what is in front of us as the end result. This is not actually a problem with the Ego — it is own own lack of awareness and intentionality in observing what the Ego brings up for us. When we use our Ego properly it is useful to us, not a disadvantage.
Remember that God consciousness created absolutely everything, including the Ego. God consciousness manifested as you, a spiritual being having a human experience, so that it could learn and co-create through you. Many of us live so unconsciously and fixed in the Ego self that we don’t realise that there is God behind it. When we remember who we really are, we awaken. That’s what enlightenment is. In this sense, there could be no enlightenment without the Ego, because you need to understand the nature of the latter in order to ascend into the former. The time you have spent so far in an unconscious state, over-identifying with the Ego and therefore suffering, is all part of the bridge of events that has lead you to your own awakening. Nothing, at all, was a mistake!
How the Ego Understands “Being God”
Now that you understand how we can often mistakenly interpret things through our Ego self, I want to explain how the Ego often understands the concept of “being God.” Neville said “know that your awareness is God and that all things are possible to you.” He did not say that your Ego self is God, but your awareness.
Remember that your awareness and your Ego self are two different things. What is your awareness? The watcher of the thought. The observer. It is the presence within you that knows there is no separation because we are all the same source consciousness pushed out into myriad forms. It is the silence that occurs before the Ego interprets the stimulus.When we understand the concept of “Being God” through our Ego self, we are seeing God as a role we play, rather than understanding that we are the role that God is playing. We misunderstand what it means to be “the God of our reality” and we use it to feed into our fear of a lack of control.
Understanding who you really are is not a power trip but a surrendered, grateful experience. When the Ego sees itself as a God it is given a false form of power. The Ego is a survival mechanism — it wants to control its surroundings, so when it tries to understand itself as God it does so in a very fear based way.
I often see people coming from this perspective claiming “I am the God of my reality!”, but their Ego, of course, still sees separation, so they try to harness this power to change others when really there is no one to change but Self. They are so afraid of other people’s actions or the illusion of being unloved that they tell themselves that no one exists but them, that everyone must conform to their will. They see others as puppets that they can manipulate, because this idea gives false comfort to the fear that we can never truly possess another human being. When you ask, “how do I change a person? how do I get them to behave the way I want them to behave? how can I stop them from being like this?” you are missing the point — others only show up in your reality in accordance to your perception of them. When you see them in this way, you are only seeing them through the limited lens of your own Ego, and now your Ego is trying to claim itself as God so that you can change them in this manner. When you be still and go within, connecting back to God consciousness, you realise that there is no one to change but self, because your outer world is just a reflection of your inner world. You don’t ask how to change another, because you have already observed the delusion within yourself, and revised it. The part of you that is the observer is God.
This is not to shame anyone, because we have all been there. I know that I have too. But I want you to understand the difference between truly connecting with yourself as God and your Ego’s perception of it, because this is what self-concept is all about. Self-concept, again, is not about how we view our Ego self — it is about understanding ourselves as God and how this changes our experience. When you truly understand what it means to be God, your concept of your Ego self will automatically change because you will embody and radiate love for all that is.
I think it is easier for us to understand what it means to be God on a conceptual level but we often don’t feel it on a bodily level. We know that we are God consciousness, expressing themselves as a human, and that the whole vast world is this consciousness (i.e. You) pushed out. We know this intellectually, we but often struggle to step into it because we are still seeing some degree of separation between who we are on the human level and who we are as God. When we see it in this dualistic way, we then condemn the human self, because we see our human self as flawed and “less than” the God self. We make the God within us something that we need to attain, because then that will make us shed our human flaws and we will then be able to manifest whatever we want because we will be operating as God and not the limited human that we are. Right? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way!
If you approach “I am God” as a concept and try to put it on like a role, if you try to step into the role of God so that your desires can manifest and that you can finally control the world around you, then you will still feel disconnected from your higher self. It won’t feel like who you really are because you’re trying to ACT like God, but from the Ego, the human perspective. God is not a role! Your human self is the role that the divine God within you is playing. There is no “God state” to occupy because you are already God. You are God experiencing and cycling through many states, through many experiences and identities.
The Ego/Human approach to being God often looks like this: “I am God so I can do whatever I want. The whole world will bend to my will. Everybody else is nothing but a puppet in my world. The other person that I crave has no choice but to obsess over me and think about me because that’s what I decided.” Meanwhile, your God self sits there in peace and solitude knowing that the whole world doesn’t have to bend to your will when it is already you who created it, and it is you as God consciousness who animates it and makes it so. Your God self knows it is a paradox to try and control what is already you, animated in different forms. Because your God self, strong and unwavering, doesn’t delight in false notions of power and control.
Connecting with God is not about roleplaying them, but going within, being still, and allowing God to actually move through you. Don’t be surprised if your desires change when you are no longer operating entirely from the ego perspective but instead channeling your experience through God. This is not to say that our desires are ever false or inferior — desires that come from the ego are equally valid because as I said at the beginning, God uses desire to bring you back to who you truly are. So in this sense, there are no noble or fake desires. All desires are valid.
When I sit and know that I am God, I know that it is me but is also bigger than me. I can experience it animate my body when I get out of my head and let it do so. I can let it take the wheel when I’m afraid. Sometimes, even though I know it is always there, I will block it out and not let its messages come through — of course it waits patiently and without judgement, because it is the embodiment of pure love and therefore does not impose conditions.
Knowing you are God is not denying the human part of yourself in order to operate from a “God State”. You can only ever experience God through your human body, because you are IN it, at least for now. When you leave this body behind you will go back to formlessness, to pure God consciousness again, but for now you are like a tendril that is unfurling on its own but still connected to the source no matter how far it grows. God needs you to be in your body so that you can express yourself in human form. God needs you to be a perfectly flawed human so that you can experience consciousness from this perspective. There are no mistakes — your God self does not make any!
We are often very quick to abandon our God self when things in the physical reflect our inner world and then we don’t like what we see. We get irritated and close ourselves off from the source, instead of relaxing, feeling into where our feelings are coming from (and therefore understanding how we create the reality that we do) and aligning with our desires instead. Our God self gives us desires in abundance and without judgement and so often we don’t pursue them or we think of all of the illusory reasons why it can’t be so.
You cannot sit and ask YOU, the human you, “how do I handle this like God?” And then try to imitate what you think God would do. The moment you brought conceptual thought into it you already detached and went into the human thinking mind. You can’t conceptualise it with your mind. Go within and let God guide the human shell, let God take over. Don’t overthink or over-complicate. Get out of God’s way. God doesn’t communicate to you with words the way that we humans communicate with each other. God doesn’t communicate through mind chatter either. Their language goes much deeper. They communicate with feelings, intuition, and desire. Your God self fears nothing because they give you desires without any question as to whether you can have them or not – only our human self questions this.
To accept we are God, we have to understand that this is not a role we play in order to get what we want, it is the source of who we really are. Know that you are God and in that sense you are limitless, but that you are also incarnated into human form. When you understand what it truly means to be God, you realise that it is not a costume you don in order to manipulate the reality to how you want it to be, but who you truly are at the core level, and who you were all along.