Talk 7 — Superconsciousnes
Download this talk (right click and "save link as")
Download audio of Lecture Seven
There is an urge, a desire, a yearning at the heart of every person for wholeness. And this is most strongly felt when we are weak, when we're unhappy, when we're ill, when we're frustrated in some way. Somehow, intuitively, we know that we're a part of what Teilhard de Chardin refers to as "the unimpeachable wholeness of the universe." The exploration of space has been one of the most exciting developments of this century. But whatever else we ultimately find the universe to be, it is whole. We may not understand the whole, we may not be able to see it all, we may not even be able to understand the whole of the point where we exist. But it is whole, and in this, we can feel secure. Nothing can be taken out of the universe; therefore, nothing is ever irrelevant, nothing is ever inconsequential.
Now, that has important significance for you and me, because it means that we are significant, that we're important. It also means that as a part of a whole universe, where wholeness is the one reality, each of us is a whole creature. Your life and mine may have many phases, our experiences may have many conflicts that come about out of dealing with things at less than the level of the wholeness that we are, but despite that, the one great reality is that we're whole, and that's why we yearn for wholeness. That's why we desire healing and help.
And so there is always that of you and of me that transcends all of the parts and the problems. And I suspect this is what Jesus has in mind when He says, "In the world, you have tribulation, but I have overcome the world." There is that of you, and there is that of me that comes over the world, in other words, that which stands astride the world like a giant colossus. The Christ-self of us, the genius of us, the God-self of us, that which is the master within us, this is the wholeness of us.
The difficulty of life and living is that there are many phases of our being. Sometimes the parts, through lack of discipline, through lack of awareness, through lack of any conscious sense of mastery, rule the roost. As the poet tells us, "each of us is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules, and each must make, ere life is flown, a stumbling block or a stepping-stone." We want to think a little bit today about that bag of tools, to kind of know what they are, to know certain facets and phases of our life, and how we can make them work for us under the mastery of that self of us that is always greater than any of the parts, so that we can begin to unfold the God-person that we're created to be, and assume the position of mastery.
One of the great ideas that is so simple as to be overlooked is the fact that each of us has a body; each of us has an emotional infrastructure, as it were; each of us has a mind that thinks; and more than this, we have a kind of disturbing and yet revealing, prodding spiritual drive. But there is always that of us that is more than these, and the you that is more than your body is essentially the master of your body, or it can be. And the you that is more than your emotions is the controller of your emotions, or should be. And the you that is more than your mind is the director of your mind, and it will be when you understand it.
The Greek philosopher Zeno says the most important part of learning is to unlearn our errors, and we have an awful lot of errors to unlearn. Just consider how we have become the victim of what we could call the tyranny of the body. Various levels of addiction, from overeating to smoking and alcoholism and narcotics, all result from conditions where the demands of the body ride roughshod over the human will. And we say, "I can't help it, that's my physical body, that's the way I am."
Now, certainly, the body is a marvelous instrument, and deserves and should receive our praise and our blessing. But unfortunately, we tend to assume that the body is us, and so if the body has certain demands, we say, "What can I do? That's the way I am." So we tend to cater to the body's needs, as if this is what life is about. And so, without realizing it, we live to eat. And, much more important than where we're going or what kind of growth experience we may be involved in, is often the question "What's for dinner?"
Now, there's no cure, we should say, no permanent cure of addiction of any kind, without unlearning the error where we think that the physical body is the person. If you look in a mirror and you see yourself, you see a physical form, and if you say, "That is me," then by and large, you're deluded, and therein lies one of the great problems of life, because that is not me, that is my body. I see my body. I see a body that is composed of many parts, but I see the body as a part of the wholeness which is me, and I am more than my body. My body serves me well as a vehicle for self-expression, but there is more than that, and in terms of our general wellbeing, the you that is more than your body is the master of your body, or can be, and should be. Perhaps it has not been a good master, but you can begin to assert that mastery.
And as you assert the mastery over your body, you begin to develop the consciousness of healing. You begin to find the power to overcome the tendencies of the physical form that are like little children, that are unruly and running riot in the household of your whole being. You can control your body, and as you do, then you control the things that happen in and the things that happen to your body. This is essentially the whole art of spiritual healing, and it all hinges upon this awareness that the body is not me; the body is a marvelous instrument through which I live. I bless it, I love it, I praise it, but I am the master of it.
We're often torn with undisciplined emotions, and often, the emotions rule our lives. We've been taught that we're emotional creatures, and so we say, "But that's just the way I am, what can I do about it? I've always gotten angry, I'm a very moody person, that's the way I've always been." And this is an error that we must unlearn. You are not your emotions, you have emotions, and the you that is more than your emotions is the controller of your emotions, or should be. And the emotional drive, and the whole emotional conduit, which is a very important part of our life, is a kind of infrastructure for personal creativity, but it is yours to use, to control, and thus to find a tremendous fulfillment of beautiful, harmonious outworkings in your life.
The person who controls his emotions is the one who rises to high positions in life, the one who does the most creative things, and a lot of otherwise brilliant people may never achieve success because they don't control their emotions, because they develop dangerous leaks in the boiler of this tremendous process within. But before we can control our emotions, we must know that they are ours to control, and until we know that, then the emotions control us. We're coming to know today, as a result of a great deal of research in psychosomatic medicine, that emotional binges are not the harmless tantrums that we've looked on them as being, and that the majority of people who have physical complaints are ill solely because they've not been doing a very good job controlling their emotions, usually because they're not aware that the emotions are theirs to control.
To control the emotions, we must know that we are created to have that control, that there is a self of us, the wholeness of us, which is intended to be the master and the director and the controller of every part, every phase, every facet of our nature. Then, we must be as alert to the matter of preparing ourselves for experiences and relationships in the world as a musician is to tuning his instrument before a performance. Things will happen out there in the world; it's a changing world, and life is change. And things may even happen to you and around you. But all of this can have no effect on you unless it happens in you, and if it happens in you, no matter what it is, it has happened in you because you have permitted it to happen in you, because your emotional reaction has been uncontrolled.
Here's a simple little parable that contains a key that could well be a golden text for this day or any day. If the wind blows through your harp, and there is a dissonance, it is because your instrument is out of tune. Let's say that again. If the wind blows through your harp, and there is a dissonance, it is because your instrument is out of tune. And we miss the whole idea if we complain that the wind is causing dissonances in our life. We miss the whole idea if we complain that people are causing us to be upset and disturbed and anxious and fearful. No one can make you upset or anxious or fearful, unless you're upsettable, unless you are fearful, full of fear, unless your own instrument is out of tune.
You are never a victim of circumstances, or a creature of chance, for your life is lived from within-out. And you can always decide what things are to be, as far as you're concerned, when you decide that you're going to control your emotions. We say, "But I'm just a moody person, I've always been a moody person." This is like saying, "The weather is always bad around here." You can choose your mood. You can choose the level at which you deal with things. Moods are essentially a matter of permitted emotions.
Now, quite often, we have allowed certain moods to be so habitual that we've come to associate them with ourselves, and this is because we have, for so long, allowed our emotions to run rampant and uncontrolled. But any mood of yours is a permitted emotion, so then you can always set the tone in which you meet life. You can always choose your mood. You can determine in the very morning of the day, or the moment preceding any experience, what kind of a mood you're going to have, not superficially, but through the control of your emotions, and then your emotions will work for you, instead of against you.
Another very important facet of our life, we are mental creatures. In our study of truth, we give a great deal of emphasis to the mind, and mind is all-important, and the control of mind, and so forth. But the important thing, as a mental creature, the mind is sometimes intelligent and wise, and sometimes merely intellectual and stubborn. At times, the mind ennobles and extends us, and at times, it limits and hobbles us. We make a lot of excuses for negative thoughts. We say, "I can't help myself. After all, look at all the problems I have in my life. How can I be positive about these things?" But these things have nothing whatever to do with you, unless you allow them to have something to do with you, and if you do, then it's because you are not controlling yourself very well. You are not directing your own mentality.
You see, there's a tendency to think of the mind as basically a storehouse for knowledge and facts. In other words, we think reactively, we think about things, rather than thinking creatively. We think only about things out there, and so we assume that if things out there are upset and disturbing, then, after all, we can only be negative, we can only think about them as they are. "After all, that's the way things are," we say in a healthy rationalization. So we must unlearn the erroneous belief that man is his mind. You are not your mind, you have a mind, and the mind is a wonderful thing, but there is always that of you which is more than your mind, and the you that is more than your mind has the power to control your mind, and to direct the way in which it functions. You can think originally. As you acknowledge the one universal mind in which you live and move and have your being, you can open yourself intuitively and inspirationally to the flow of a divine process.
There's a tendency to rely on the intellect, which means to work purely with the collection of facts, which so often leads to complexity. But, you see, though we sometimes may try to reason a thing out, and intellectually analyze it, and solve the complex problems in this way through mind processes, the interesting thing is — and this is very startling, I'm sure, to some of us — thought, of itself, never solves a problem. When we say, "I have this problem, I must think about it," we may spend hours and hours and hours, sometimes days and weeks and months pondering it, worrying about it, thinking about it in the deepest level. And then, suddenly, we have the answer, and we assume that the answer has come because we thought so deeply about it.
This isn't really true at all. The answer has come because we exhausted ourselves in thinking until we finally let go. And when we let go, the flow of divine ideas came into us, and light came, and it could have come in one instant in the very beginning, without all of this belabored process of thought. The more you think about a problem, the more complex it becomes, until light comes, and light is the flow of the superconscious dimension of mind. We tend to assume that all you have to do is know how to do a certain thing, and that's all there is. You say knowhow, then, is the important thing in life, knowhow will make us creative. All right, take a look at such things as poetry and painting and music. You may know how, you may even have knowledge of techniques, of form, of meter, of color, and still have no fresh ideas. And what is poetry without freshness? What is music without originality? And what are you without a flow of the inspiration of the Almighty within you as your own inner genius?
You see, we tend to become almost addicted to knowledge and learning, and we think that through knowing, we become creative. But a mind that is crowded with the known is not capable of releasing the flow of the unknown. Mind seeks to know, and clings to the known for security, but the one who clings to the known can never solve life's greatest problems. The unknown for which we hunger can come only when we let go of the known. For instance, we may ask a teacher or a guru, "Tell us of God." But how can he describe it, even if he knows it? Because it is indescribable. Can you catch the wind in your fist? If you do, is it still the wind? Instead of trying to find God, or to find one who has known God, it is more important to find that which is, and when you know that which is, then you know God.
Tennyson had this insight, as the poet so often does, because he sees in wholeness. He says, "Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies, I hold you here, root and all, in my hand, little flower — but if I could understand what you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is." The intellect so often tends to lure us into ends of word descriptions and scientific definitions, so that then we have a collection of the known. But then we are totally blocked and frustrated in terms of the flow of the unknown, and so there's nothing satisfying.
You are a whole creature, possessed of a wonderful mind which is yours to direct. Your thoughts are not produced by conditions, much as they appear to be; they are shaped by the way you choose to deal with conditions and persons from a high or a low perspective. The world may say this, people may say this, situations may reveal this, but the one who is strong in the mastery of his own consciousness will say to these things, "That's what you think. That's fine, but I choose to think differently. I choose to listen to the inward voice, and therefore, I am poised and I am centered in the Christ mind, and nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul."
A person is wise only if he can correlate knowledge into consciousness, where it improves the true level of his life. This is the difference between the wise and the learned. One may have many facts, but the other knows the truth of which the facts deal only superficially. Kant says, "Science is organized knowledge; wisdom is organized life." So the highest form of thinking, strangely enough, is suggested by Jesus' words, "Take no thought," which means turn away from the tendency to reason it out, to intellectually solve it by the known facts, and let the infinite mind flow forth, letting the God process think through you. It is not will, then, it is willingness. The need is not mind control, but mind attunement to the free flow of the Spirit.
So as we said, there is that of you that is more than your body, there is that of you that is more than your emotions, there is that of you that is more than your mind. And this is the divine of you, the God-self of you, the Christ of you, the whole self of you, and it is this that is the master of your body, and the controller of your emotions, and the director of your mind. And we know that there are those who would have us focus totally upon this spiritual self, and thereby to renounce the flesh and the emotions and the intellect. There are teachings and there are teachers in certain parts of the world that try to influence people in this way. But this is to become as fragmented and unbalanced as when we're driven by the physical urges, or driven by our emotional tantrums, or driven by the intellectual reasoning capacity, any one of which can pull us apart.
And so the person who gives all the attention purely to the spiritual self of him may spend a great deal of time in solitude and in meditation, but he falls apart when he faces the world, and therefore, he feels the answer, then, must be to reject the world and spend all of his time in a cave in meditation. He may think that he's transcended the mind and the body and the emotions. He hasn't at all; he's simply neglected them, and they will continue to harass him like spoiled children at every opportunity. The important thing, then, is that we must overcome the tendency toward escapism in our emphasis upon the spiritual self.
Quite often, we talk about the idea of the spirit within us, and this is misunderstood as something that is sort of added on, like a shadow, tacked on behind you like Peter Pan's shadow, that can be lost. The spirit in you is you. You are the spirit. You don't have to become spiritual. You see, we may think that our whole spiritual quest is so that we can become spiritual. You can't become spiritual; you are spiritual. You may not know it, you may not be releasing it in terms of the integrating process that draws you all together into one great whole, but you are spiritual. So any attempt to become spiritual may very easily lead to pasting on a lot of religious axioms, and thus bottling up your basic functions, and your emotions, and your mind power.
Perhaps wholeness, intangible as it seems to be, is best described through perception, through seeing. In other words, it may well be that seeing is the only real truth. We think of truth in terms of words, but perhaps we don't really understand truth until we learn to see things from a spiritual perspective. If we truly see a thing, then we need nothing more. But it's difficult to see it properly, because the senses may pull one way, the emotions pull another way, and the intellect pulls another way, and so we, as we so often say, get on a horse and ride off in all directions.
But the need is to see things all together, as one. This is what consciousness is. The very word "consciousness" literally means "knowing together," seeing all things together as one. This is the direction we need to go in awakening ourselves spiritually, and we have a constant challenge for testing ourselves, because everywhere we go, we look out upon the world, and upon people, and upon situations, and we see something. And the goal is ultimately, as Shakespeare so beautifully puts it, to see "sermons in stones, and books in the running brooks, and good in everything." To see from the perspective of wholeness, to see it all together, as the poet so often does.
And when we see wholly, then we see, in a very real sense, one to one. We see from the oneness which we are to the oneness or the wholeness of things, of people, and of situations. Then we can communicate. Then we become that which innately we have always been, a radiant spiritual self, but functioning through a healthy body, controlled emotions, and wisely directed mind. But the mastery and the control and the wise direction come easily only when we know that actually, that's the way we were created to be.
You were created to have mastery over your body. Therefore, sickness is not natural. You were created to have control over your emotions, so that it's not normal to have tantrums and to be emotionally upset. You were created to be the director of your mind, so that negative thoughts are an aberration on the conscious process, and that's why they always lead to confusion in your life. But you were created for something else, and this is what is meant that man is created in God's image likeness. You are created to have within yourself the power and the ease of synchronization of every phase of your life into one great wholeness. We have an affirmation that we use during our retreat which kind of sums it up, which says, "I am established in the disciplined and balanced synchronization of mind, body, and emotions under the direction of my Christ-self." You are established in the disciplined and balanced synchronization of mind, body, and emotions under the direction of your Christ-self.
Copyright 1981 Unity®
Unity Village, MO 64065