How I Used Truth - Lesson 5 - Annotation 6
What governs the "shape" of our supply? What sets the "time" and the "quantity" of it?
6. Desire governs or determines the "shape" of our supply, while faith, the perceiving power of the mind, sets or determines the "time" and the "quantity" (or as the text puts it on page 60, the degree) (How I Used Truth 60).
The desire may be for a home, a college education, a change of jobs, increase in finances, or friends. Desire works through the faculty of imagination so that there is a definite understanding of what we want to manifest in our life. If one were to go to the grocery store without knowing what he wanted of the foodstuffs on the shelves, he would not make his claim for the food. So it is with us, and our spiritual needs. Our desire determines the "shape" of the supply we need in our life.
After desire has determined what type of supply we need at any given time -- shelter, food, clothing, and so forth -- it is the faculty of faith that fixes both the time and the amount (quantity or degree). If our faith is coupled with understanding, we will not think of the supply as existing somewhere in the distant future, but we will know with certainty that God's good awaits our claim. Understanding faith helps us to conduct our life in divine order, so that we have no anxiety about the supply being late or any doubt of its coming into our life. The same truth applies to the quantity of our supply. Faith, as the perceiving power of the mind, is able to decide on the amount required. An industrialist, dealing in vast sums of money and goods to run his enterprises, will use his faith to see all that is needed coming in the right way to carry on his business. Parents use faith to determine just how much supply is needed to maintain the household and care for the family. The professional, office, or factory worker will use both desire and faith to decide the type and quantity of supply needed to fulfill the specific requirements of his life. It is vital for a teacher to have certain books or supplies to continue good teaching; the professional person may require additional training in his specialized work. To each of these the supply comes according to his individual desire and faith. (See the Annotations for Lesson Six, Lessons in Truth, which cover the subject of "desire.")
In tracing desire to its origin, we see that it is primarily the urge of God seeking expression of His own nature of Absolute Good. Such expression will come forth in the varied forms of good required for all creation. One may have a vivid awareness of what he desires -- food, clothing, shelter, trips, education -- but if the faculty of faith has not been stirred sufficiently for him to know that what he desires is rightfully his, the desires remain unfulfilled. Unless a person has faith that he can have some specific good at the right time, and in the right amount, he becomes frustrated and unhappy. Such an attitude can in turn keep him from his good, no matter how he may long for it. This is why all Truth teaching emphasizes the need for faith to be coupled with understanding in order that man's desires may be fulfilled under grace and in divine order. We need to know that God withholds no good from His children.
Even one who has strong desires never gets beyond mere "daydreaming," unless his desires are backed up by an understanding faith. Desire is related to vision of some hoped-for good, but faith measures man's capacity to receive that good; faith has been called the "measuring cup" that sets the time and quantity.
"If you see yourself as separated from your good by time or space or both, that is your vision; if you see your good coming only through delay and in unexpected, unpredictable ways, that is your vision; and if you see your good opposed by persons and circumstances, that too is your vision."
--Ernest C. Wilson
Because imagination is the faculty that actually molds and shapes substance, we may sometimes overlook the fact that it takes desire to determine the shape that imagination will work with. Our desire, the yearning for some good, comes alive under the action of faith and sets the imagination to work.
Just to hold a thought of some good in our intellect does not stir the soul to desire, for feeling is part of desire. We awaken feeling when faith is brought into conscious expression. An idea must go into the subconscious, or feeling nature, to become a desire that can "shape" the good we long for. We may be aware of many things in our conscious thinking, but until what we are thinking becomes impregnated with feeling in the subconscious phase of mind (the heart), we will have only unfulfilled desires. When faith is linked with understanding and imagination, we have added the feeling or conviction that can bring the good we desire into visible form.
Preceding Entry: Explain how God is the supply and the supplier for all creation.
Following Entry: Is it safe to teach that supply is a "gift" and does not depend only on the labor of head or hands?