How I Used Truth - Lesson 1 - Annotation 1
Is Christ lost? Why do we speak of "finding" the Christ in ourselves?
1. No, Christ (which is our God-Self or our own divine nature) is not lost. In the Annotations for the third lesson of Lessons in Truth, it is pointed out that "Christ" is one of the names for the first phase of our threefold nature (spirit-soul-body). As such, the Christ could not be "lost" any more than the life principle within the growing plant can be "lost"; without it there could be no plant. It is rather that we have "lost" the consciousness of our spiritual identity, the Christ in us, or we have not yet consciously attained a knowledge of it.
"Christ" is our divine nature; it is spiritual man, I AM. It is our spiritual identity. Identity means resemblance or absolute likeness; the condition of being the same as something described. God is life, love, intelligence, substance, power—anything and everything that is good. The "Christ" is the name of these same characteristics, or divine ideas in us, through which we are identified with God. Through our Christ Self we are the same as God in nature. As lessons in the previous course on Lessons in Truth emphasized, Paul refers to this indwelling pattern as "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). Too often we have thought of ourselves as a body with a mind and spirit. In reality we are a spiritual being, with a soul (or mind) and a body through which to function.
"Finding the Christ" in ourselves means discovering our God-Self; coming to see that we are spiritual beings. It is recognizing God within us as life, substance, light (intelligence), or as any of the divine ideas that make up His nature of Absolute Good. (See the Annotations for Lesson Two of Lessons in Truth). Jesus tried to explain that this Father-Mind or Spirit, lives in each one as the source of all-good. He sought to show each of us how to become conscious of this source as God's Presence and Power within us. The ways in which mankind goes about making this "discovery" are varied. Jesus emphasized prayer as a means of finding the Truth that "shall make you free" (John 8:32).
How far from here to Heaven? Not very far, my friend,
A single hearty step will all thy journey end.
Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,
If He's not born in thee, thy soul is all forlorn.
Hold, there'. Where runnest thou? Know, Heaven is in thee.
Seekest thou for God elsewhere, His face thou'it never see.
—Angelus Silesius; "God and the Soul."
Sometimes we turn to other persons, those whom we consider are further advanced spiritually, in an effort to "find the Christ." Sometimes the search leads us through intellectual studies, or through pursuit of the arts; sometimes it leads to a life of service to others. Yet, in the final analysis, each of us must turn within himself to become aware of the Presence. The text points out on page 23:
"No man can come to the Father except through the Christ part of himself. . . . Another may teach you how to come . . . but you must retire within your own soul, find the Christ there, and look to the Father through the Son, for whatever good thing you may need" (How I Used Truth 23)
All true methods of spiritual study point to this one way of "finding the Christ in ourselves." In the book Talks on Truth (Talks on Truth 36), Charles Fillmore points out Jesus' mission in lifting the consciousness of mankind to realization (discovery) of man's innate divinity:
"The four Gospels reiterate again and again that the mission of Jesus of Nazareth was to find that which was lost; not that the real man is lost or in condemnation, but the I, the man identity, has gone 'into another country' and is lost to his spiritual consciousness."