From the get-go, Paul Selig’s channeled text challenges readers on multiple levels, and the stakes couldn’t be higher: mankind is on the verge of a great awakening—an evolution to the next level of understanding—and readers can tune into that and help make it happen if they open themselves up to a sense of possibility. In doing so, say Selig’s spirit guides, readers will achieve self-actualization and fulfillment.
That’s a tall order, but the book bills itself as “a guide to the consciousness of man’s self in a transitioning time.” It’s a how-to book for the spirit and the self.
Because self-actualization is, obviously, a highly personal experience, I can only speak to the book’s effect on me. Different readers will experience different results, particularly because they’ll approach the book with different expectations and different levels of open-mindedness.
And that is the book’s first challenge: readers have to approach it with an open mind.
“When a person says, ‘I intend to be different,’ one cannot be different without undergoing change and that change is not always comfortable, nor is it always graceful. Period,” the Guides say.
But the process of change, as outlined in the book, opens a reader to wonder, recognition, and knowing—and, in the end, it helps readers manifest themselves “as the energy of love.” That’s intimate—and for some people, uncomfortable—terrain to explore.
The book is also challenging because it’s dense. The text is readable, but the content is heavy and thoughtful, so it’s nothing a reader can skim through. (It’s not a beach read. I speak from experience!) I Am the Word requires concerted attention and reflection—but the payoffs, remember, are potentially huge.
The next challenge, for me, came when the book suggested a radical paradigm shift in my thinking about Christ. “We don’t talk about personage of Christ,” the Guides say in their initial discussion. “We talk about Christ as a creation of the God Self inhabiting man in its fullness.”
Jesus, the Guides say, “is a personage of the Christ, a manifestation of the Christ in fullness, and there are others as well who have ascended to this level or understanding and frequency.”
“To be the Christ,” they go on to say, “simply means to be yourself in full realization of your power as a piece of God in action.” To reach self-actualization, you achieve your “Christed self.”
“[O]nce you bypass the religion and you understand that the Christ is a consciousness, is a frequency, is an offering to man from the Creator to align to, then you begin to have a very different experience of understanding who you are,” the Guides say.
As a Catholic, lapsed as I might be right now, that was kind of a tough concept to wrap my head around—yet, leaving myself open to wonder, as the Guides suggest, I found that the ideas had certain resonance.
While the book is filled with ideas large and small, radical and familiar, comforting and jarring, it’s also an action manual. The Guides invite readers to do. After all, they say, the Word is God in action, and so they invite readers to take part in that action.
“This is the decree,” they say. “You are Word.”
Sometimes, the Guides invite readers to just allow things to happen—like, my frequency would align with the Christ frequency if I simply sat there and allowed it to. Sometimes, the Guides invite readers to repeat intentions:
“I am now choosing to think only those thoughts which will bring me peace and will align me to a high consciousness. I am doing this easily and through my own intention to know myself as Word. Word I am Word through this intention. Word I am word.”
“[An] intention,” the Guides say, “is a way to invoke and express and experience the light in a way that will be wonder-full for you, so that you can move into this as you are required.”
That remains an ongoing challenge throughout the book: being open to wonder so that things fall into place and frequencies align. At times, even Selig, serving as the medium, felt doubt or skepticism, which the Guides address as the channeling session are underway—and since the book is basically a transcript of those channeling sessions, the interactions between Selig and the Guides are included.
Rhetorically, those interactions prove to be useful devices because Selig’s uncertainty can mirror the reader’s, and so as the Guides take time to reassure Selig and explain things for him, the readers get the benefits of those teaching moments and can have their own doubts assuaged.
The Guides prove remarkably patient and remarkably optimistic. Trust them, they say, and everything will work out just fine. “[T]he opportunities you require to bring this growth into achievement will present themselves one day at a time,” the Guides assure—but only if you leave yourself open to the possibilities that they’ll happen.
Ultimately, the more open I was to experiencing what the book had to say—despite the ways it challenged me—the more I got out of the book. For instance, when the Guides would offer an affirmation and then say something like, “Many of you will feel this as a lightening around you” or “As you do this, you begin to experience heat in the heart center,” those things actually happened to me. Again, I can’t attest to the experience others will have—but those things happened to me.
I Am the Word has much to offer readers who are open to the experience. Most importantly, it seeks to help us all be better people and to see the world as a better place. It wants us to reconnect with wonder and with each other. Regardless of the vocabulary the book uses, or the spiritual approach it takes, its final vision is a beautiful one—and a challenge well worth rising to meet.