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The realization of the Jesus Christ essence as sustaining strength is a stronghold in the consciousness of man that fortifies him against all adverse conditions.
Nothing so uplifts, nothing so frees from care and worry, nothing so brings the thought of victory, as to be established in that sustaining strength that cannot know weakness. To have the strength of character that makes life seem effortless, nonresistant, is to have that inward joy that no man can take away.
Jesus, when He withstood the many temptations in the wilderness, proved beyond all questioning that He possessed the strength of character the Almighty required of Him. Man today is working for this same unfoldment. To be established in the consciousness of sustaining strength means that one has overcome as Jesus Christ overcame—perhaps not to so great a degree—nevertheless, the joy of the overcomer is his. When man holds his ground in the face of temptation and refuses to yield to the allurements of the world, or to sense consciousness, no doubt but that the very angels that dwell in Omnipresence shout for joy. True strength of character, though nonresistant, withstands the tricky, treacherous movements of the adversary in any guise: all shafts of error directed its way, meets with defeat.
Among the disciples of Jesus Christ, Andrew symbolizes strength. The strength center is the small of the back. Spiritual strength, the fruit of prayer and meditating on strength, is born in the silence of the soul.
The eagle is the symbol of strength and victory. Solomon, meditating upon the marvelous outworking’s of God’s unbreakable law said, ‘‘One thing that is too wonderful for me: the way of the eagle in the air.” The eagle is the expression of abounding strength. He mounts up into the air to an unbelievable height; from this altitude, he focuses his eagle eye on the ground below and spots his prey. He rises above the cyclone: he outflies the wind. As is the way of the eagle in the air so is man when he fully realizes his divine Sonship. The man that deems himself finite— apart from the Infinite, cannot know of the possibilities of the spiritual man—cannot dream of the possibilities of the spiritual man.
All strength is from God: however, its manifestation is according to the mold of thought into which this precious essence is poured. Often man appropriates and tries to use spiritual strength in worldly ways. This always leads to failure. In the 17th chapter of Ezekiel, Jehovah presents a riddle to the house of Israel. “A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, full of feathers, evidently from Babylon, comes unto Lebanon, takes away the top of the cedars; cuts off the topmost of the young twigs, and carries them into a land of traffic, to a city of merchants; he also takes good seed from the land and plants the seed in fruitful soil, beside many waters.
But the growth that springs from this much planting is of low stature; the branches turn toward the eagle, and the roots are under him. The solution to the riddle is that the eagle of Babylon that comes to Lebanon is an organized aggregation of strong, selfish, worldly thoughts, intent on the one purpose of trafficking in spiritual powers. The scheme proves a failure. Spiritual unfoldment is attained by each individual soul’s making conscious at-one-ment with Jehovah Mind, through Jesus Christ, and therefore cannot be bought or stolen; the unbreakable laws of Infinity insure against all such attempts.
To truly live the life, one must be spiritually strong. One must withstand every test. Spirit’s symbol of vigor, success, and victory is the garb of joy. We are joyous only when we are strong, physically, mentally, spiritually. It is said that many advanced souls—actors, even movie stars, have been killed by having criticisms, often of an unjust character, hurled at them. Their needs were for the unfoldment of that strength of character that can handle prejudices and jealousies without resistance. If such souls had been versed in the present-day metaphysical teachings, they would have known that Truth needs no defense; they would have known how to wrap themselves about in the protecting mantle of the Lord; how to rest quietly under the shadow of the Almighty during an onslaught, and then emerge, strong and joyous after the attack had spent its fury, and then so live a life that such critics would only see a jest.
In Ecclesiastes, 12th chapter, a sorrowful picture is drawn of man so weakened by evil, that life is a burden. The senses all buried in darkness, he is ready to welcome death; waiting for the “silver cord” to be loosed, and the “golden bowl” to be broken, so he can hide himself in the grave.
The “silver cord” here referred to is the spinal cord that runs along the inner walls of the spinal column, and the “golden bowl” is the abdominal walls that contain and support the digestive organs. When the “silver cord” is loosed and the “golden bowl” is broken, death results.
Death has no part in the life of the real man. His senses are keen and illumined. The ever-unfolding, ever-renewing spirit of Infinite strength sustains him, and he goes from glory to glory. Realizations of spiritual strength at the strength center, the small of the back, act as an invigorating tone to the “silver cord.” Spiritual strength flows freely along the nerves and penetrates into every cell and fiber of the “golden bowl;” the whole body temple is uplifted and vitalized.
For the drill in the silence, first follow diligently the outline given in Lesson I. Realize your I am Identity in Being. With your conscious mind behold the white light of Spirit descending from the spiritual center in the top head. With the attention just back of the heart, repeat the invocation, realize you are in the presence of pure Being and immersed in its light. As you continue, you will come into the conscious knowledge that you are wrapped about in a mantle of light; that your feet are shod in sandals of light, and that every impulse of your soul is to express the Christ of God.
Then for the special unfoldment of spiritual strength, center the attention at the small of the back, and realize that the light of Spirit is descending from the top head and organizing itself at the strength center. During this outpouring, hold steadily to the thought, “I am one with Infinite Strength.” You will feel new strength awakening within you. Next, center the attention at the power center at the root of the tongue, holding the thought, “I have the power to express the sustaining strength of Spirit.” Next, center the attention at the life center, the lower part of the abdomen, with the thought: “The pure, undefiled life of God expresses in and through me, and I am strengthened and sustained in all my ways!” Then return to the strength center, the small of the back, with the thought, “The joy of the Lord is a wellspring within me and I am established in divine strength.”
Then bring the attention to the great center just back of the heart, with the same thought, “The joy of the Lord is a wellspring within me and I am in divine strength.” Dwell consciously here knowing that you are firmly established in the garden of spirituality within your own soul, that the light of Spirit is descending from the spiritual center, top head, and that new light, new strength is flowing to every part of your whole being. The truth is that man’s body temple is the garden of God, and every cell and fiber is made sweet and strong by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.Transcribed by Beth Hitesman on July 6, 2018.