Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
The Old Testament contains ten names for God. This commandment refers to the ultimate Name as given to Moses in Exodus 3.13-15.
“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”
He later says that, as a general rule, He should be addressed as Yahweh Elohim, probably so that the ultimate Name will not be misused. Most folk miss the part that is the Elohim and stick to Yahweh or its other pronunciation, Jehovah. That’s a shame because the Hebrew word Elohim is a compound unity of one made up of others. It is also a feminine noun. There’s a whole blog to be written on the subject of this one word but, suffice it to say at the moment, it includes the masculine and feminine in the Divine and tells us that all of us are one in God.
Biblical Hebrew doesn’t have a present tense; it just has the perfect tense for a completed action and the imperfect tense for an incomplete action. Therefore some scholars translate the Ultimate Name as “I Will Be That Which I Will Be” or “I Will Cause That To Be Which I Will Cause To Be.”
However, there are two “I’s” in whichever translation you use. For the mystic this refers to God the Transcendent: the Absolute All … and God the Immanent — the part within us that is also Divine. As children of God we are creative partners with God.
The great Hebrew statement of faith, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” is written in the fourth verse of the sixth chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy. The Lord our God (Yahweh Elohim) may be two names but in essence it is just one. It is sometimes a stretch of faith to get here — similar to the Christian concept of Trinity but it means that everything seemingly separate is all part of the One, just like a drop of water is an integral part of the ocean. Therefore one drop of water that contains poison or one that contains joy will affect the whole ocean.
All Jesus’ seven great pronouncements, including “I am the way, the truth and the life,” reflect this great unified “I am.” In every one he repeats “I am,” at the beginning, although this is never translated from the Greek. He says “ego eimi” — talking of the transcendent and the immanent. He is calling the Divine into himself as we all can do. He is not demonstrating that he, Jesus, issome superior being other than yourself, he is demonstrating the power of the Divine working through someone who has access to this level of consciousness — the Christ Consciousness.
The early 20th century mystic and Kabbalist, Neville Goddard, explains:
“When Blake was asked what he thought of the divinity of Christ he answered: ‘Christ is the only God, but so am I and so are you.’ Don’t think of Christ as someone greater than yourself. He is the only God, but so am I and so are you! Don’t consider yourself less than Christ, for there is only God, who is your own wonderful human imagination.
“The God of a Blake, a Shakespeare, or an Einstein, does not differ from the God housed in you, as there is only one human imagination. There cannot be two. He is not a dual God. You and your imagination are not less than anyone, but you must learn to be persistent.
“Although the churches teach that another, greater than yourself, said: ‘Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins’ – these words were spoken by the human imagination! And because imagination is one, and you can’t get away from that oneness, don’t think of another.
“Accept these words in the first person, present tense; for unless you believe that you already are what you want to be, you will die in your sins by leaving your desire unfulfilled. If you do not believe you are all imagination, you will continue in your former belief, worshipping a God on the outside and not within.”
So to take the ultimate Name of God in vain would not be to blaspheme as in saying “oh my God!” but to misuse the phrase “I Am.”
To say “I am stupid; I am unworthy; I am no good” is to take the name of God in vain as is to make a promise as in “I am going to call my mother,” and not doing it. You are a spark of divinity incarnate; your every word is a command to the Universe. It affects everything in your life and everything in the life of the Universe.
How we get this so wrong is because our True Self sets intentions which our ego has not agreed to. So we frequently let ourselves down in our ideals and, because of that, come to believe that we are unworthy. That is the ego’s view; it can never, ever be the view of the Soul.