Lessons In Truth - Lesson 7 - Annotation 6
Give some of the ways in which we may improve our personality so that it becomes a fit instrument for the expression of individuallty.
6. When we arrive at the understanding that we are primarily a spiritual being functioning through a soul and a body, we realize that as a self-conscious being in the world of form, we have a work to do in preparing the soul (mind) and the body to be fit instruments through which the individuality or Christ Self may manifest.
With the physical eyes no one can see the soul any more than one can see the spirit of a man except as they are expressed through the personality. We can see how vital it is that our personality be improved and given a "new look."
Our awakening to the truth that we are a spiritual being is, then, our first step in personality development. Our next step is to take control of our thinking, feeling, speaking, acting, and reacting. We learn to do this through discipline or training in the use of denials and affirmations. By this process we prepare the consciousness for the infilling of the Spirit, so our third step is to go beyond the mechanics of mind, where our thinking and meditating is done, into prayer that leads to the silence or the very Presence of God. Lessons 9 and 10 of this course will go more extensively into the subject of the silence, or "the secret place of the Most High."
In his writings Emmet Fox says of personality and individuality:
"Personality, rightly understood, is God's expression on this plane. Your individuality is your spiritual identity, but this has to be expressed on the physical plane, and that expression is seen as personality. When the expression is clear and logical, we get a brilliant and well-balanced personality, which means true success in life . . . On the other hand, when the expression of the individuality or Christ-man is clouded, confused, and illogical, we see selfishness, confusion, and failure in the personality. Do not try to get rid of personality, but develop your personality on scientific and spiritual lines. Human personality is not to be destroyed, but redeemed."
Study and prayer help us to know whether we have mannerisms of the personality that are offensive to other people, or mannerisms which have no place in our life as sons of God. If this is the case, we can change them into attitudes of understanding, love, tolerance, and consideration for others. As Emmet Fox points out this means the development of "personality on scientific and spiritual lines." We do not try to "make ourselves over" from a merely human standpoint. We seek the guidance of the indwelling Christ Spirit (the individuality) in letting go of unworthy habits that inhibit our personality and we begin to develop the spiritual qualities.
Our study of denials and affirmations has presented the "tools" by which the improvement of personality is made possible. Once the cleansing of certain thoughts in consciousness has been done by denial, we can begin to use affirmations. We do not do this to make something true but in order to establish in consciousness the true ideas back of the words of our affirmation. In this way we claim that which is eternally true of our individuality or Christ self.
These lessons have already emphasized that love is the attracting, harmonizing, unifying quality of mind, and affirmations on love help us to build a consciousness that can easily, joyously, change any habits of the personality that are unbecoming to a child of God. In the book Dare to Believe!, page 106, May Rowland says on this point:
"Now let us affirm, 'I am the love of God in expression,' and thus begin gradually and easily to transcend our human limitations. If you will try this practice for even a short period, you will be surprised to find how easy it is to get the feeling of love" (Dare to Believe! 106).
When we come to understand the purpose of personality as the instrument for the expression of our spiritual nature we have a new realization about ourselves. Somehow this lends dignity to a person, the dignity which is rightfully his as a son of God.
Preceding Entry: Explain what John the Baptist and Jesus Christ represent.
Following Entry: How may we handle the emotions of fear and timidity that sometimes arise in the presence of an aggressive personality?