Of all the Reverend Doctor Toni Petrinovich’s many truisms in her life-altering book If It Works, Use It, the phrase that has stuck with me most goes back to a passage from the Bible — from the Old Testament, to be exact.
Early on, Almighty God (whom my cynical young friends and I referred to in secret as The Great and Powerful Wizard of Was) refers to Himself by the mystical two-word aphorism “I Am.”
When you’re sixteen and still convinced that you know everything, such a declaration is wonderfully arrogant — as if God is saying, “I have no reason to explain my cruel and destructive actions to you, young whipper snapper, so I will shroud myself in unknowable monikers and leave you to puzzle out my Goodness or Badness for yourself.”
And so this cosmic conundrum has in fact troubled me for the better part of sixty years — this reckoning between the benevolent Father figure Jesus portrays in the New Testament and the brimstone-belching deity that lays waste to entire Middle East regions because they ignored (or were blissfully unaware of) one Supreme Commandment or another.
The Reverend Doctor Petrinovich at last clears away the decades of misunderstanding, however, by saying, in effect, “If such a fundamentally powerful concept as this has prevented you from knowing true peace for that long, my friend, I am indeed sorry.”
And then she goes about the business of patiently explaining what Jehovah felt beneath Himself to explain countless eons ago. And that is, in essence, “Trouble yourself no longer over this inexplicable duality and focus instead on what it takes for you to realize such a state of plateau-like peace.”
For that is, and was, and forevermore will be, the true point of what God meant by referring to himself as, simply, “I AM.”
Petrinovich has penned a beautiful and easy-reading text consisting of just 37 chapters to make her point. (It took the original King James Version of The Bible more than 1,189 chapters to reach a far less satisfying conclusion). And a powerful point it is.
She asks, rhetorically, “What does it mean for you to live as Divine Awareness?”
Then, she goes on to explain succinctly that “Living in this universe as an expression of Source is a day-to-day awareness of perfection no matter the situation or circumstances.
“Awareness is. Awareness is not positive or negative, nor does it hold specific beliefs. It is not creating a condition of right or wrong, good or bad.
“To live a daily life as I AM, which is what you mean by Divine Awareness, means you accept everything that is happening without judging it as right or wrong.”
She says she was once asked a question based upon her statement that she remembered the ‘other side of the veil’ or being non-physical. The question was, ‘“What is it like?”’
“I had not been asked that question before,” she says, “so I was silent as I looked for the perfect word or words to use as a description of non-physicality. My response was, “’It is a realm without judgment.’”
And thus, in just a few well-chosen paragraphs, she both explains God’s perception of the human condition from His lofty eyrie of unfathomable inscrutability and, in the same few breaths, observes that the phrase “I AM” has become woefully misunderstood.
If it is, in fact, such a blameless place as Dr. Petrinovich portrays, it seems He could have merely said as much and saved centuries of endless speculation.
And so, having dwelt upon this particular point overlong, we realize there are 36 other fine chapters of her book that we are, for reasons of space limitations, leaving for exploration by you, The Reader.
Suffice to say, however, they are equally profound, touching on such diverse topics as:
Co-Creation and a particularly choice chapter on something she calls
If It Works, Use It, receives our very highest rating of five-plus stars and stands far above the sometimes ubiquitous genre of Self-Help to rest comfortably with the likes of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.
If you’re a seeker after inner peace, this is certainly a good place to start.