Talk 8 — The Supreme Adventure
"The Supreme Adventure"
On the cassettes published by Unity, a mistake was made in labeling talks #8 and #9. Talk #8 is labeled "Attitudes", but the content is all about "The Supreme Adventure." Talk #9 is labeled "The Supreme Adventure" but the content is all about "You Always Have a Choice." I have taken the liberty to rename these two talks.
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008 The Supreme Adventure
This is the first Sunday in Advent, which means a great deal to a traditional Christian who has been reared according to the Ecclesiastical calendar. It probably means very little to some persons, possibly some of you. It may well be that some of you have never even heard of it. We want to challenge you, in the next few weeks, to a new insight and a spiritual growth project, where Advent will have personal meaning and significance.
The word advent comes from the Latin [foreign language 00:00:42], which means arrival. It is a coming into view of something, usually referring to the coming of Christ, traditionally, into the mass of Christ or Christmas. In other words, it's getting prepared for a personal experience or visitation of the Christ. In a metaphysical sense, it can, and I think should mean to all of us, an expectation of and a preparation for the coming into our consciousness of our own divine potential, our own Christ self.
The world advent has also given birth to another interesting word, adventure, with the connotation of risk or dare. If this season is to mean anything more than an annual holiday charade, which becomes a pressure-packed and conformity-ridden Christmas celebration, we must take the risk of personal commitment to the discovery of a divine level within our being. It is this that we refer to as the great adventure of a lifetime.
Actually, though man's achievements on Earth have been great, and we like occasionally to pat ourselves on the back as a civilization for all of our great accomplishments. We have sailed the seas, and tunneled deep into the Earth, and we've soared at speeds faster than sound, and we've split the atom, and journeyed to the moon, and who knows what else we may ultimately do. The supreme adventure of all, the exploration into the depths of man's inner power has lagged far behind.
It is probably true that this lack of daring, relative to the inner adventure, is basically the reason for all of the problems that face mankind in the world today. When we talk about the adventure of life, we're not dealing with a flight into fancy, but with a very real process of harnessing the real energies of the universe as they come into focus in, and through, and as man.
At the starting point of all this is the undisputable fact that you are. In all the world, there's no other person just like you. You are a creative expression of the infinite. You are you. You live, you exist, you throb. You are unique, and different, and wonderful. You are full of wonder. It is this very wonder that is what Advent is all about. It is what Christmas is all about. The prophets of old said, "And ye shall call his name wonderful, full of wonder."
Now, those who feel that we spend a little bit too much time dealing with the divine potential of man, some say, "We ought to be trying to do something about the problems of society, about the difficulties of our cities, of our economy, of disease, and of war, and of man's inhumanity to man." I think we need to take a good look at this. What is the purpose of creation? Is it the purpose of creation that we build tall buildings? That we create computers? That we have space ships that go off into far off space? This isn't the purpose of creation. This is an extension of the imagination and the creativity of man while he is giving expression to what he is.
As the poet says, "Why build these cities glorious if man unbuilded goes?" The real goal of creation is you. This is the concept of Professor Breasted of the University of Chicago, which he outlines in a book of a number of years ago called "The Dawn of Consciousness". After studying the cultures of the world, he concluded that the final creative goal is the full becoming of the person.
What this means is the full achievement of freedom and mastery of the individual. Every person is made for mastery. You were made for mastery. When the prodigal son, that interesting character out of Jesus' storytelling genius, when he came to the end of his rope, it says, "He came to himself." It says, "He realized that he had been seeing in a mirror darkly, that he'd been getting a blurred image. He discovered that he was not intended to be a slave, to be bound, to be hungry, to be limited, and that if he could just adjust the focus of his life, he could achieve what he had always been in reality. He could let the Kingdom come in Earth as it is in Heaven. He could express that true, radiant son of God self which had always been his, from the very beginning."
In embarking upon the adventure of a lifetime, the first step is to get ourselves in focus. This word focus is a rather interesting word. In the Latin, the word focus means hearth, the hearth that you have surrounding a fireplace. It is related to the word foyer or foyer, however you want to pronounce it, which comes from the Latin [foreign language 00:06:54], which is a room where people went to warm themselves by the fire. This is where the word foyer came from, very closely related to the word focus.
Obviously, in the more understood meaning of the word, to get yourself in focus means not only a clear projection of your inner self, expressing the divine pattern in the manifest, and it means that, but it means more. It means bringing all the forces of the spirit in you into a point of combustion, so that you become a living flame. A mystic of a number of years ago expressed the thought over and over, "Flame up and shine. Flame up and shine." Jesus would say, "Let your light shine."
It's interesting that the word enthusiasm comes from the root Latin which means in God. It also means on fire. In a sense, coupling it together, it's on fire with God. When one brings all of the divine possibilities with himself into full focus, there is a combustion in his experience, and he becomes enthusiastic about life. Wherever you see true enthusiasm, you see a person who is in focus. He may not be aware of it, but there is a flaming up in his consciousness, and in his experience, and in his creative activities of that something which is the divine source flowing forth through him.
Charles Filmoore, who was one of the great thinkers of the last hundred years, made a statement which has been very meaningful to me, and which is quite supportive of our thought expressed today. He says, "Man can never discern more than a segment of the circle in which he moves. Although his powers and capacities are susceptible of infinite expansion, he discovers a faculty in himself and cultivates it until it opens out into a universe of correlated faculties. The farther he goes into mind, the wider its horizon, until he is forced to acknowledge that he is not the personal, limited thing he appears, but the focus of an infinite idea."
Then, he goes on to say, "That idea contains within itself inexhaustible possibilities. These possibilities are projected into man's consciousness as an image is reflected in a mirror. Thus, man is the most important factor in creation. He is the will of God individualized."
Now, we say so often that man is created in God's image likeness, that God created man perfect, that he forever projects the image of this God self upon the screen of the soul. This is a constant process. It's the root of reality within us. The divine imprint upon us that is changeless and eternal.
Then, we can say, and we need to understand this, that man is never less than the projection of that infinite idea, possessed of infinite life, love, and wisdom. We're never less than that. We may see ourselves as less than that. We may accept ourselves in limited ways. We may act out all sorts of limitations in our live, but man can never be less than the projection of that infinite idea into expression. It is through our limited thinking, then, that we get out of focus.
When a film is projected on the screen, if the picture is blurred, we don't blame the screen. Nor do we immediately assume that the picture is faulty. Because of our general awareness of motion picture projection, we probably would immediately adjust the focus until the picture clears up. Emerson tells us, "Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool." This says so much about all of us, because we tend to assume that the appearances of life, the things that we see out here and experience, or in the flesh or in the emotions that we feel, we tend to think all of this express what we are. Then, we tend to be trapped in the feeling that this is the ultimate of life. Well, I'm just that way. What are you going to do about it?
We go on, then, misrepresenting ourselves, not realizing that it is really a limited concept of ourself and not the true self that is at fault in our experience. Because of this limited view of self, we live totally out here at the circumference of life, because we assume that the faults, and the failings, and the difficulties, and the sicknesses, and the wars, and rumors of war of our experience are what we are. This is where we live. This is the center of our consciousness. It's the focus of our attention.
We tend, then, to simply reflect and respond to everything that happens around us, so that we become sort of like a hearth without a fire. We become empty shells in our consciousness, because we are not centering our attention upon that flaming fire within, and we do not actually bring it into a combustion in our experience.
In this consciousness, every person who happens along has the power to rile us or disturb us, basically because, not aware of any flame within ourselves, we're looking everywhere for the flame from someone else. We're trying to warm ourselves at other people's fireplaces, in other words. We don't really know that we're made for mastery, that we have our own source of inner warmth and creativity, and that we don't really have to let people permit us to determine how we're going to act.
Every vagrant thought that crosses our minds quite often adds worry, and contention, and confusion. We don't know that we have the power within us to say no to negative thoughts. It's like so many people who are addicted to television, unaware that one of the greatest undeveloped creative arts in our society today is the skill and the discipline of turning the off switch. Quite often you hear someone say, "Isn't it terrible, this awful television stuff that we have to watch night after night?" All evil, and lack, and in sickness, and in harmony that beset mankind today have their root in the frustration and the distortion of the divine flow. The frustration of the divine in man, and so, man is thus a god playing the fool.
Whenever you get angry, or tense, or fearful, or upset, or negative in any way, what actually happens is you uncouple yourself. That word, uncoupling, is rather interesting, because it seems to strike in contrast with the idea that God hath joined you together. What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. God has united in you the image and the likeness, the divine fire and the hearth at which it may warm and come aglow in combustion. You uncouple yourself through your negative thoughts. You get out of focus.
On the other hand, when you get your thought on God, when you get centered in the awareness of who you are and become the projection of this divine process into visibility, then you are secure. You are confident, you are capable. You are in focus. You are told, "Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."
The adventure of a lifetime, the commitment to the discovery and the releasement of this inner fire, this divine self, begins right where you are, not somewhere else. We have a dear friend who has a lovely, rustic retreat cottage out on Long Island Sounds, an unbelievably beautiful and simple place. One can sit on the porch of this lovely site and reflect on deep pools of living water within. One can get beautifully in focus in this kind of a setting, as I'm sure many of you know.
One day, this friend was commenting out of a moment of inspiration while we're all very high on the vibration of the place, and she said, in deep simplicity and sincerity, "You know, you could take a boat from the beach right there at our feet, and you could sail to anywhere in the world." Simple thought. Naïve, childlike, and yet, a tremendous perspective, because that's the thing that leads to the exciting, enthusiastic approach of truth in life, that you can begin where you are, right where you are, no matter what the past has held, no matter what you see around you in terms of difficulties. You can begin where you are, and go, and do, and be anything that you can desire, anything that you can perceive, if you can get yourself in focus. As God said to Abraham on the mountain, "Look from the place where you art to the north, and the south, and the east, and the west, and all that you can see, I give to you."
Now, with many of us, there are some little reservations. We kind of look back with regret at the terrible toll of health and mentality through the years. We may feel a little bit of shame over what we've done or what we haven't done with our life. We may feel regrets that we're not farther along than we are. Again, we find ourselves saying, "That's the way it is. What can you do?"
The past can't be changed, but in consciousness, it can be restored and made to become a part of today's unfoldment. In other words, by adjusting the focus, all that is back there, no matter how difficult, no matter how painful, no matter how seeming limited, can come into a new focus, which becomes a part of a flowing picture of your abundant life. Quite often, a person says, "Oh, if I had only known this truth 30 years ago." Have you ever said that? The intimation is that it could have helped then, but now, it's too late.
You see, every experience of the past, no matter how tragic or devoid of meaning, has the potential of blessing. The problem is not in the experience. The problem is in the way we are still viewing the experience. This is why the prophet Joel says, "I will restore unto you the years that the locusts hath eaten." The word restore comes from the Hebrew [foreign language 00:19:34], which means to be or cause to be completed, to heal, to make whole.
There is always that within you and within me which can see any and every challenge in the context of wholeness, to see the fullness of the experience beyond the temporary changing appearance. The locusts that Joel refers to is the disruptiveness of negative thinking. All of this can be restored, can be made whole. The negatives simply cloud the air, muddy the waters, distort the focus.
It's not the loss, or the challenge, or the failure, or the hurts in your experience that take the toll on your life. It's the thought that you had about it and the thought that you now have about it. Your regrets, your fear, your feeling of shame. To restore the years doesn't mean that you can have them back, but it means that right now, you can take the step in consciousness to bring them into context and to see them all as a part of the continuing experience of good, to become a part of the all things work together for good. This is to get into a sharp focus.
The need is not to suscept things right, but rather to see them rightly. It's not so much what you see. We say, "See them rightly." It's not a matter of looking around out here to try and see something in it, but right seeing is a flowing forth like a fountain of a living fire. It's interesting that the word eye, in the Hebrew as well as in the ancient Sanskrit, is the word [foreign language 00:21:29], A-Y-I-N, which literally means fountain. The eye is not that which reports that which is out here, and it's, "That's the way it is, and what can you do about it?" The eye essentially has always been, though we're not always in focus to use it in this way, a flowing forth of an inner realization. Nothing have existence for you, except that you see it and as you see it, according to your perception, your consciousness, your previous awareness.
The point is, to see things right means to get a sharp focus with yourself to flame up and shine from your own inner awareness of what you are, and then to see from that consciousness, which is to bring light and illumination wherever you are, and to enable you then to cause all things to be brought into the context of the full experience of your own [enfullment 00:22:30]. When we see limitations out there, the problem is in our focus. Get ourselves in focus, get the awareness of this flaming process of the spirit within, and things will change. Not so much that they are all going to topple over and reshape themselves out here, but they will change as far as you are concerned.
That's what your life is anyway. Your life is not just the unthinking response or reaction to what things happen to be out here. Your life is what you are and what you do with the things out here, which has everything to do with how you see them.
To get yourself in focus is to still the mind like a quiet room, like a quiet pool, I should say. When the waters are troubled, you can only see distortion. When the waters are still, the pool becomes like a mirror. If we begin with a troubled mind, then we're going to reflect and radiate a troubled consciousness. The first thing is to be still, get quiet, get relaxed, get receptive. Let this inner fire flow up within you, regardless of what's out here, and let it be projected.
Then, when you begin your day, before you go out and see how things are. "I wonder what's going on in the world? I wonder what's on the television? I wonder what the news tells about the world? I wonder what my boss is going to be like today?" The first thing, you get still. Turn on your own inner flame. Then, you actually treat all these things to a daily dose of cosmic praise.
When you go around seeing things, "Ah, there's my boss today. I wonder what he's going to be like?" You project a blessing to him, without even thinking blessing, because the light of your own inner focus projects. So it is with people, with situations, with the world in general, with your own physical self. The light of your own inner awareness flows forth and subjects all these things to a dose of cosmic praise.
Certainly, in the world, you have tribulation, as Jesus says. There are many conflicts, difficulties out there, if you want to deal with them. The important things, before you get involved in them, get yourself in focus. Jesus says, "In the world, you have tribulation, but I have overcome the world. First of all, I've gotten myself in the flow of the divine process in me, and then I can deal with these things without being enslaved by them."
Now, this is the important thing. You may say, "But, what you suggest takes an awful lot of concentration." You may say, "It takes a lot of years to learn to concentrate." It really doesn't. Concentration is as natural to every person as breathing. You may say, "I can't concentrate. That isn't true." When is the last time you were worried about something, or afraid, or filled with a sense of injustice, or envy, or personal hurt? You concentrated like nobody. Nobody told you how. You didn't have to learn how. It was natural. It's natural to man.
It's really a matter of what you give attention to. This is all, to what you focus on. You can if you want to, focus on the things in the world. You can focus on the things that people don't do, and how people hurt you, and everybody's terrible, and in these times, you just don't believe what a terrible situation it is. You can focus on those things if you want, or you can get yourself still, light the inner fire, warm your own hearth, as it were, warm the room of your life. Life is consciousness. Your world is really the world of your thinking. What is your thinking?
When your inner light is on, and you're focused on this divine process flowing through you, then you look out here. Everywhere you see, the north, south, east, and west, you see good. You see God. That's why Jesus would say, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." You see from the consciousness of God.
The most important thing, when you're in this consciousness of focus, you begin to see things that are good, and orderly, and beautiful, and you begin to see in things, no matter what they outwardly appear, the beauty of spirit. You see beauty in ugliness, and opportunities in all challenges. You stand tall in all experiences, in the calm awareness of who you are. Instead of being at the mercy of changing experiences in life, you are the master, because you are you. You are the focus of an infinite idea, a living flame that flows forth from within you.
Then, you can know, as W.E. Henley so beautifully expresses it, "In the fell clutch of circumstance, I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul." In this kind of mastery, we can press on in the continuing journey and in the next steps of our adventure of a lifetime. We'll be continuing with this next Sunday.
Copyright 1981 Unity®
Unity Village, MO 64065