How I Used Truth - Lesson 9 - Annotation 6
What do we mean when we say that divine substance is "forever waiting . . . for man to form it" (text, page 93)?
6. Divine substance is "forever waiting . . . for man to form it" because it is the unformed Mind essence out of which every material thing is formed. Dr. H. Emilie Cady refers to substance as "divine stuff" and "God stuff" (How I Used Truth 92 and 93). Charles Fillmore calls it "thought stuff" (The Revealing Word 194). In divine substance ("stuff") inhere all the ideas that are the spiritual patterns for every form of creation.
Just as air is all around us awaiting our inbreathing, so substance is all around us and in us awaiting our appropriation and use God created us as free-will beings, so His substance is never forced upon us but awaits our claim. Because God is substance, the one Reality back of all manifestation, we can say that "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28) in this one substance.
Anything that we can conceive of at any stage of our unfoldment is waiting as an idea in this one divine substance. Faith enables us to perceive this truth. Faith generates the power needed by the imaging faculty to form substance, thus fulfilling the need of the moment. Then the "spoken word" (silent or audible) decrees that the manifest good shall come forth to fulfill the need.
"God is substance, not matter, because matter is formed, while God is the formless. God substance lies back of matter and form. It is the basis of all form yet does not enter into any form as a finality. Substance cannot be seen, touched, tasted, or smelled, yet it is more substantial than matter, for it is the only substantiality in the universe. Its nature is to 'sub-stand' or 'stand under' or behind matter as its support and only reality" (Prosperity 14).
The text (How I Used Truth 92) refers to the fact that both material and spiritual scientists are convinced that there is one universal substance. The approach, however, is somewhat different. The material scientist deals with material facts, accumulating knowledge about the visible universe. He is often more concerned with the outer forms of substance in an endeavor to discover their cause. On the other hand, the spiritual scientist goes directly to the idea lying back of manifest substance. The material scientist seeks to go from effect to cause, whereas the spiritual scientist traces the cause to its effect in the world of phenomena. Many times the material scientist eventually becomes a spiritual scientist. Through his search he comes to recognize God as the Creator of the one substance underlying all effect.
Substance, being one of the elements of the nature of God, is always available, always "waiting . . . for man to form it," so it is never withheld. When we pray for some specific form and it seems to be withheld, we must never feel that God is withholding His good from us. Substance is the essence in which we live and it is our privilege as sons of God to make the thought forms into which this substance may flow. If we do not use the faculty of imagination in the right way, we will produce faulty thought forms and the resultant manifest or material form or condition will not satisfy us. When we have used substance wrongly, we cannot say that God has withheld His good. Rather the condition has been formed according to our limited thinking, through ignorance, fear, anxiety, greed, or selfishness. God withholds nothing from His beloved children.
In the story of the prodigal son we find that the riches of the father's house were not withheld from the son, but were there awaiting his return. Like the prodigal son, we have but to return to our Father's house through prayer and find His substance awaiting our claim. When we call upon God He will guide us in the forming of substance to fit our particular needs, but He will not force substance upon us any more than He will force air upon us. Substance awaits our claim, but such claim must be made in divine order.
Preceding Entry: How do we bring into existence (visibility or manifestation) the good we desire?
Following Entry: Explain the three realms in the universe (text, page 93) and show the relation of the "spoken word" to these three realms.