Lecture 5 — Faith
"Realize that God is centered in you"
- 064 - Faith must be more than a belief in God. Faith is more than a blind acceptance of creed.
- 065 - "My father didn't believe in God, but God believed in him." Sidney Harris. If we can get in contact with the process by loving then the intimate process of religion works.
- 066 - The dynamic key is not faith in God, but rather faith from God. God is the foundation of being.
- 067 - Faith is as natural as breathing to every person. Everyone has faith but few use faith well.
- 068 - God is centered in you. Faith is centering yourself in God.
- 069 - The power of God is always present in you. There is never an absence because God is presence.
- 070 - Faith is not a miracle catalyst but a Principle. God is totally present in you. Your work is to be present in God.
- 071 - Faith is not relativity but Truth. The need is to center one's faith in Truth. We need to own our own consciousness.
- 072 - Faith does not change Reality but our perception of reality. It tunes into Reality. People who believed in a flat world did not change the round world at all.
- 073 - We can live with the "license of a higher order of being." Thoreau. Faith opens a channel to our tremendous potential.
- 074 - Few of us fully use our God power.
- 075 - "According to your faith be it done on to you" Jesus. Matthew 9:29. We are not only human, but the human in us is a shell that encases the divine splendor.
- 076 - There is a tremendous resource of wisdom and presence right where you are. Act from that belief and things will become easy.
- 077 - You can only be you. You can't do anything that is not part of your innate potentiality. A swan can not become a duck. You can only do that which is the fulfilling potential of your life.
- 078 - Homework assignment - Realize that God is centered in you. Practice the insight of faith, not just believing in God. Center yourself in the consciousness that God is at the center of your being.
063 Introduction to Volume Two by Unity
Unity School of Christianity presents a course in Practical Metaphysics, by Unity minister Eric Butterworth. These lessons are part of our Unity Study Series and were recorded in a live setting.
064 Faith as belief in God
Today, the fifth in our series, a course in Practical Metaphysics, is a study of faith. If we're going to deal with faith in a scientific way, I suppose we should begin by defining our terms ... but you know, this isn't easy. Matter of fact, as the ancients used to say, "If you can define a thing, you don't understand it." It would be easy to give a definition for faith. This is the usual teaching technique: "Faith is dadadada," and you remember this. Write it down in your notebook, work it over through the week, memorize it. Come back, so that next week I'll say, "What is faith?" and you'll say, "Faith is dadadada." Excellent, you all go to the head of the class, but now do you know what faith is? What is faith? Like many words in religion, faith has progressively lost its meaning, but not its place. It's used over and over again but it's used as bland cliché: "I have faith in God." "I have faith in people." But, what do we mean?
The word "faith" has a tendency to be confusing, to be misleading. It creates ultimately, skepticism and fanaticism, intellectual resistance, and emotional surrender. Unfortunately, faith has been considered as a property of religion solely. So because we thought of religion as dealing primarily with Sunday worship services, faith is something that you take out of the closet and dust off and put on like a Sunday go-to-meeting suit, so you talk about faith and believing in God and so forth. You sing about it, preach about it, pray over it, and then with the final "Amen," it's put back into the six-day closet of unconcern. Now obviously this is not true of you, but it's true of those other people you know about.
Normally, faith is the blind acceptance of a creed where you accept things on confession of faith. A little boy referred to it as "on confusion of faith." Maybe that puts it a little more clearly. But you confess your beliefs: "I believe this"; "I believe that"; "I believe in the father, the son, and the holy ghost" and so forth. You remember the "I believes" of your background. With that you become one of the believers and the root of the system is "I believe in God."
065 God believes in me
But again, what does that mean? That's kind of impertinent, isn't it, to ask? What does it believe? You believe in God. What else is there to say? But what do you mean when you say you believe in God?
Sidney Harris, the syndicated newspaper columnist who's a favorite of mine, once enraged the ardent believers by saying, "My father didn't believe in God, but God believed in him." Now, what he meant by that was, and I think it's very significant, that his father was not religious in the credo sense. He didn't go to church or go to synagogue. He didn't accept all the dogma and doctrines of the church, but he was a caring and sharing person. So that whatever religion purported to be, he was doing it; he wasn't professing it. He was out there doing it, living it, expressing it. So God believed in him.
I often startle people in my study of prayer when I ask the question, "Do you have to believe in God in order to pray?" Now, what a ridiculous question that is. Do you have to believe in God in order to pray? Well we might say, "Of course you do." But of course I say, "No you don't." You don't have to believe in God in order to pray. Do you have to believe in electricity in order to turn on a light switch? You really don't. Your act presupposes a kind of belief, but it's simply a spontaneous action of doing something and the whole electrical process springs into expression for you because it can't help itself.
What I'm saying is that you don't have to believe in God in the sense of knowing all about God, having a theological position about God. If you can get in contact with the process and let it express through you by loving, not talking about love, but by loving, and by believing, then the activity of the internal process works for you. Again, it's straining a gnat perhaps, but it's a very important realization to get the sense that to believe in God does not actually mean saying you believe it, doesn't actually mean going to church, doesn't actually mean professing a lot of creeds. As a matter of fact, if you believe in God out there and practice the absence of God, then you create a separation in consciousness that may well make your prayer very difficult if not impossible. Quite often the disciples would ask Jesus, "How come we can't do this?" and he would say, "You pray, but you pray amiss" (James 4:3).
066 Faith in God vs faith from God
The dynamic key you see, is not faith in God, but faith from God. Let's think about that a little bit. Faith in God is trying to direct your attention consciously to something outside yourself. Faith from God begins with the basic premise that you live in God, you move in God, you have your being in God. God is the foundation of the ground of your being. You center yourself in that consciousness and then you believe from that consciousness. You're not believing in an abstraction. You're not believing in an intangible. You're believing from a consciousness which enables you to put yourself in tune with the process.
Again, this is a subtle thing, but I hope you can begin to get the meaning, because you see, the Bible gives the direction, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10). "Be still and know that I am God." So then to a large extent, to believe in God means to believe in yourself. To believe in yourself at the divine level. To believe in yourself as rooted in the ground in the consciousness of God. So to really practice faith, first of all, you start at the ground of your being, center yourself in the consciousness of this oneness process, know that the whole universe is pouring itself into you, and through you, and as you, and out of that consciousness then you go forth and do the things that you need to do in your life in a believing attitude. Not believing in some intangible, but projecting that faith process which enables you to have faith in yourself, have faith in people, have faith in experiences, and have faith in a divine law that is forever working so that things work together for good.
067 Everyone has faith but few use faith well
You see, to really understand faith, I think we have to realize that we're dealing with something that is always present. Faith is a factor of the consciousness and faith is just as natural to every person as seeing, as hearing, as tasting. There's no such thing as an absence of faith. Now that's surprising, you see, because we've talked about lack of faith, and he has a lot of faith. There's no such thing as an absence of faith. Whenever a person says his problem is lack of faith, it's important then to recognize that faith is as natural as breathing. The question is what are you believing in? Not "I have no faith," but "I have faith in the wrong things." Fear is faith, worry is faith, insecurity is faith. You're simply believing in things that are negative rather than the positives.
So faith is not something you're going to find somewhere, faith is not something you're going to earn like a diploma at the end of a course of study like this course in Practical Metaphysics. Faith, as Paul would say, is the free gift of God, which all persons have, totally and completely, but only a very few persons hears it rightly and with discipline. Think about that because that's so very important to understand.
068 Faith is centering yourself in God
There's a dynamic thought that I want you to consider, and just briefly now. It's a fundamental and we'll repeat it a couple of times and we'll let it be a part of our working assignment for the week. It's simply this: that God is centered in you. Now that's all there is to it. Just five little words. God is centered in you. If we could really understand that it would change our lives. Because you see, there's nothing you can do about this. You can't in any way, get God to be centered in you more than He is now. God has already given you all that He can give you. God has created you in His image likeness. The whole universe is centered at the point of you. Centered in you. And there's no way you can change it. No way you can audit, no way you can make it more or less.
But we'll carry the thought a little further. You know certain persons and I do, too, who have a tremendous capacity to, as we say, demonstrate great things. These are the people that we say, "Oh if I just had faith like that person." Or you might think of some mystic, or some healer, or perhaps think of the Jesus.
The important thing is God is no more centered in that person, or that friend, or that teacher, or that mystic, or in Jesus, than in you. God is no more centered in any great mind, or great consciousness than in you. Of course we can't stop there because there's no denying that a person may express various levels of consciousness and when we think of someone like Jesus, obviously we realize that there's a great difference in the developed potential between Jesus and you and me, but the difference is not in that God is more centered in Him, but that He was more centered in God. This is the key. You and I are centered for the most part, in things, in persons, and the circumference of life. We center our attention in negation, in limitation. In a focus on all sorts of limited things.
So faith then, basically positive faith, is centering your consciousness in God, not trying to get God to center your consciousness in you. I mean, you can say over and over again, "Oh, I believe. I believe in God. I believe in God," and what you're really saying probably is that you wish you could believe in God. You wish you had more faith. You're professing it very loudly because somehow within yourself you don't feel it very deeply. The important thing is God is centered in you. Make the commitment to center yourself, your attention, your consciousness, in God, and through your being. Not God out there, but God in whom you live and have your being.
069 The power of God is always present in you
But you see, the power, the power to do all the mighty things that we dream of doing and that we have faith that someday we can do in a cliché type of faith, the power to do mighty things, the eternal flow of life and guidance and substance is always in you, because this is the activity of God that's centered in you. The power is always present. Substance, guidance, direction, is always present. All the love in the universe is always present in you. There's never an absence because God is presence and presence cannot be absent. We may practice the absence, because we may focus our attention on all other things except this consciousness of God, but the need then is not to get God to bring himself into our experience or to be present in some time and some way. The need is for us to practice the presence instead of practicing the absence.
To center our consciousness in the transcendence of life and out of that consciousness, to face life with a believing attitude, you see. A believing attitude. A faith-thinking experience.
070 Faith is not a miracle catalyst but a Principle
Faith is often taught as a miracle catalyst. This always causes me to bristle just a little bit because it would seem to be that by something of my belief, I can cause all sorts of things to happen in some magical way. In other words, we're told that faith is the miracle catalyst that will make God work for you. Have you ever heard that? God will do wonderful things for you if you have faith.
But God doesn't do things for you in some special way because of your faith. It's misleading. Nothing that you can say or do can make God work in you or for you in any way because God is only active in you. God is only present in you, and as you. Always present, totally present, completely present. Can never be present anymore in any time than this time or any other time. God is no more present in Jesus or any great teacher than in you, but you can be present in God. You can be alive, you can be conscious of it. And this is what consciousness really is, you see.
We must work to dispel the illusion. Most of us have been so instilled into the consciousness of this illusion, it's very hard to change. To dispel the illusion of God sitting out there somewhere as a supreme person of the universe, waiting for you to prove your worthiness by faith. Doesn't make any difference to God whether you believe or not, but it makes a lot of difference to you in terms of what you believe in and how you believe, what the direction of your faith may be. In other words, God is the omnipresent force of life and intelligence, and this force of life or intelligence must act. Not that it may act according to your faith, but that it must act. It can't help itself when you create the conditions that make the results inevitable.
When you throw the electrical switch, if you throw the switch, and make the contact, electricity must flow. Not it may do, but if you're nice, if you're loving, it must flow, you see, because we're dealing with law and not caprice. I think we weaken the process when we talk of the magic of believing. I know a lot of us have been conditioned into this frame of reference, the magic of believing, and miracle works of faith. These are lovely phrases and I think they're clichés that religious people just love to use. But I think they weaken the whole process because we're dealing with law. There's no magic about it, there's no miracles involved, unless you say the rising and setting of the sun is a miracle or gravity is a miracle. We're with dealing law.
So you might think of the rheostat. Some of you perhaps have a little device which is called a rheostat in your dining room where you turn the light up gradually and you have more light in the room and you can turn it down. You control the flow of the electrical current in the circuitry. When you turn the rheostat up and you get more light or power, this is no miracle. The power was law all the time. So in the sense of faith dealing with the processes of life, positive faith simply tunes into and turns on a power that is ever-present. Always present.
It helps us to understand this you see, otherwise if we think we're dealing with magic and miracles, we also think we're dealing with caprice. We think we're dealing with somehow trying to get God in the right mood so that He will work these magic things for us. Has nothing to do whether God is in the right mood or not, because God only has one mood and it is isness, it is being, totally completely, and expressed where you are as presence. So faith is the rheostat, if you're going to use this illustration, because a turned-down rheostat is faith in lack and a turned-up rheostat is faith and affluence. In either case, you're having faith. In one case you're having faith in the positive, in the other case in the negative.
071 Faith is not relativity but Truth
We've also been mislead with the idea of the relativity of faith. In other words, great faith into the faith. Often we say if of some person, "Oh, if I could just have more faith," or "If I could have faith like he has." "If I had that kind of faith I'd be able to do anything." Actually, a need is not for some gift of faith from somewhere, but the need is for the discipline to center your faith in truth. To center your faith in that which is positive. To center your faith in the allness of the infinite process.
I often say that the need in our life is to own our own consciousness. In other words, to accept responsibility for our own lives. And if you say you lack faith, this is kind of a way of copping out through self pity. It's like saying you can't make the basketball team because you're not tall enough. In other words, you're talking about the fact that this is just the way I am. This is the way I was born. I was a short person and therefore I can't get on a team that requires tall people. So you're saying that "If I had faith it would be wonderful, but I don't have that kind of faith." The fact is you are always tall in spirit, regardless of your physical stature. You always have faith, but how are you using it? How is your discipline?
Emmet Fox says don't think about the problem — think about God. This is what he called his Golden Key. Don't think about the problem, think about God. In other words, stop thinking of your insufficiencies and think of the all-sufficiency in God. Stop thinking of your illness and think of the allness of healing life that is always present even within the illness. Center your attention, focus your consciousness upon the positive and thus there's a tremendous power, faith-thinking power, that flows through and enables you to do creative things.
072 Faith does not change Reality but our perception
Every once in a while somebody asks, and I get letters from radio listeners who ask such a question, "Do you really believe that positive faith can change things?" "Do you really believe you can transform your life through positive faith?" Well, there's a changing process like light streaming in when you open a window. The light comes in, but you see, it's important that we don't think of change in terms of some miracle that's taken place. Faith does not change the nature of reality. Faith doesn't really change you; it only changes what you think you are. It changes what you appear to be. It doesn't change the reality of you, it simply tunes into that reality and lets it be released, and that's important. Otherwise, you start thinking about all sorts of magic, miraculous other things, like turning wine into water and water into wine, and blood into stones and stones into bread, and turning certain kinds of persons into other kinds of persons. This isn't what is involved.
When people believed in a flat world in the pre-Columbian times, it was still round, whether they believed it or not. They just didn't know it and so they accepted it on the level of their perceptions. Their belief in a flat world did not change the round world one little bit, nor later to believe in a round world did not require making changes in the flat world. They simply became to them what they saw it as being. So it is with life, constantly.
When you pray for health, positive faith will not make an incurable condition well. Now that's kind of startling isn't it? When you pray for health, positive faith doesn't make an incurable condition well. Your faith has already been involved in the condition. Unconsciously and unwittingly you are believing in the negative condition and therefore it is becoming real to you. Positive faith simply turns from a focus on the negative appearance to at least centering of attention to the allness of God life. Now that allness of God life is always present. That's why Jesus says "Judge not according to appearances, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). So we're not trying to change things, we're trying to refocus our attention from one thing to another. From the negative to the positive. It all makes it a lot easier, you see. Now you might say, and we're saying the same thing, perhaps. But we're trying to get clear that we're not trying to work magic. We're not trying to get blood out of a turnip. We're actually trying to allow the reality to be expressed and to be experienced at that level of the real. You are more than you appear to be, always. And so positive faith is simply relating to the more. That's all. It's relating to the more.
When you say that faith enables me to release a tremendous new potentiality or human resource, it doesn't manufacture it from somewhere, it simply allows you to identify with yourself at a higher and higher and higher level, but that higher level was always present. It didn't just suddenly become present because of your faith. When you understand that, then you know that wherever you are, whatever you're experiencing, there's always more in you. You may be in midst of a situation in your job where you feel that you're inadequate, where you're not able to do the kind of thing that you're supposed to do. Right at that movement, there is more in you, and if that job is yours to do and if you've been drawn to it out of consciousness, then there is within you the power and potential to do the job and do it well, even if you've never been able to do it before, you see.
Because there's always more in you, and you can begin to relate to yourself and identify with yourself from the level of that more and this is what faith does. You see your sickness, your limitation, your bad experiences, in a sense, the flat world. It's your belief, it's your experience at that time. But there is a wholeness in you even as there's a round world within the flat world. One simply transcends the other. You have believed in darkness, in re-centering in positive faith you tend to reveal that which is real. You open the window to the light.
073 Faith opens a channel to our tremendous potential
Now, you also want to understand that there's always a tremendous transcendent level of spiritual awareness that is at the depth of us, or the height of us, whichever way we're looking through the telescope, and there's always a tremendous potential to do things beyond the seeming human ability. For instance, a fellow [Henry David Thoreau] talks about the fact that we can come ultimately to "live with the license of the higher order of beings." At the highest level of spiritual consciousness, we tune in upon a kind of vibration that enables us to do all sorts of things, to sense things. In parapsychology they talk about ESP, extrasensory perception. But the fact is that everyone one of us has these extra senses, even though we're not aware of them, we're not consciousness of them, we're not acting upon them, yet sometimes intuitively we sense them, but we all have the ability to suddenly see something that we haven't seen before, to suddenly become aware of something that is on the transcendent vibration, and faith simply frees up the communication process. It opens the way to allow us to function at the highest possible level, to function as a spiritual being.
It is probably true that the highest level of every individual there is a communication potential. It is probably possible, and I don't say we should get involved in experimenting with this because I think it will unfold at the time it is right for us, but I suspect it were possible, if we were to get ourselves completely tuned in in a believing consciousness centered in the dynamics of our own God self and thus begin to function at the highest possible level of perception, that we could sit and suddenly communicate with someone clear around the world without telephone. Clearly and completely. Without any question, there's no doubt about it because this is part of the spiritual equipment of all persons.
As I say, I don't think we should dabble in that, and try to develop that sort of thing because sometimes it's like a person who came to me a number of years ago who was a clairvoyant. She was not a professional clairvoyant, but she had what she called the curse of clairvoyance. Long ago in life she had discovered this experience and she was able to read people's minds and tell all sorts of fantastic things. But it was a millstone around her neck because she could never be a normal, natural person. She could never communicate naturally because she always knew what people were saying before they said it. It was so disturbing, so disturbing that the woman almost lost her mind as a result of it. Her relationship with me was to try somehow to bring it into balance. She didn't want to be a professional clairvoyant.
I say when these things are ready in consciousness you'll begin to develop a higher awareness that will enable you to communicate on different levels. But the important thing is to know that there is always the potential. For instance, if you're sitting at home stewing and fretting over the fact that you've lost something, and you can't figure out where it is, or that you have to make contact with someone and you don't know who it is, or how to make the contact, how important it is to know that you are one at the highest level of your being with infinite mind. And when you center yourself in God consciousness and allow the faith process to flow forth through you, it will open up your awareness so that suddenly you'll know. Suddenly into your mind will come a vision of your keys sitting just exactly where you dropped them in the driveway. Or of some person who is just there waiting for you to call and the contact is exactly what you needed, you see. That potential is always present and I think this is the marvelous thing that happens when we open up the communication process through quickening this awareness of faith. Not some faith in magic, faith in impossibilities, but faith in moving at the highest level of vibration so that we can begin to experience wonderful things in a normal, natural, easily discernible way. Living with the license of a higher order of beings.
074 Few of us fully use our God power
Few of us ever use more than a small part of the God power within us. Usually this is because of a faulty self evaluation. We tend to misjudge ourselves, we tend to put ourselves down, we tend to type ourselves like an actor who's been involved in a particular role over a long period of time. We tend to say "Oh I'm just that kind of person. I know myself pretty well, after all I've lived a good while and I know what I can do and what I can't do," so we type ourselves. We have faulty sense of self evaluation. We've accepted all sorts of standards based on past history and experience. "I know that I can't do that because I never could do it." You ever said that? Oh, I can't do that I've tried. Well, that's like saying to Thomas Edison as a researcher after he failed 10 times. "I can't do that because I tried and I failed 10 times." He went on for 300 times, every time knowing that the failure simply evidenced the fact that he was closer to the potential.
No matter that you have failed at certain things, that may not be your right place. May not be the kind of experience you should be involved in, but don't type yourself and say, "This is just an evidence of my limitations." Don't think of limitations. Think of limitlessness. We've accepted what psychologists may refer to as statistical laws of averages. In other words, we were maybe told and there are people in business who feel it's important that we know this. That the chances of success in business for the average person is about 1 in 7. If you start a business for yourself, your odds are pretty low if you're ever going to make a success of it, according to statistics.
In the same sense we're given the gloomy prediction of doom such as that 1 in every 5 is going to contract such and such a dread disease in his lifetime, and these are computed irrefutably by the law of averages, so there's no hope for you. You're 1 in 5. You, you, you, you, you are going to get it. This is the way the statistical thing would say. I say okay these things are fine in terms of a looking backward and computing how the things have worked, but I say consciousness fits in. Your consciousness of faith, your faith projection.
So why be an average person? Why accept that average? Why not say "I'm going to live with the license of the higher order of beings." "I'm going to raise my consciousness above that level so that I'm not involved in that statistical outline." All the great achievements of civilization have been made by people who refused to consult statistics, who refused to listen to those who could prove that what they wanted to do, and what in fact they ultimately did do, was absolutely and completely impossible. But they would not accept the impossible and that's what happens to the believing consciousness.
075 According to your faith be it done on to you
Jesus said, "According to your faith, be it done unto you" (Matt. 9:29) He's referring to the focus of attention. Sickness is a according to your faith. Now that's hard for us to see because we've always thought of faith as something that relates to God. Faith is always present and the focus of attention is in one direction or another, so sickness is according to your faith. Health and success are also according to your faith. The reason so many persons continue in physical limitation or plod along in mediocrity is that they see so many obstacles and difficulties looming before them that they become discouraged and they give up. A person will often say, "Well, after all I'm only human, what can you expect?" You're not only human, and it's so important that we emphasize that. I'm not only human, you're not only human. You are human, and I'm human, I hope, but the human of me and the human of you is like a shell that encloses the divine of you. And creative faith can maybe relate to and release the imprisoned splendor of your transcendent self much in the same way as the butterfly breaking out of the chrysalis. The divine in you is always present. The divine in you which is transcendent. The tremendous power by which you can do the kinds of things in yourself you dream of doing. The impossible dreams are always possible, you see, if you listen deeply within yourself.
So don't emphasize your problems. The facts of past performance. The evidence of impossibility. Certainly you may have a need and it's not positive to refuse to face the need. But a need has no built-in limitations. It doesn't come all wrapped up neatly packaged with the evidence that this is an evidence that you can't do this thing. No need ever comes into your life with built-in limitations. There are only limiting attitudes about it. What do you think? What's your belief? What are you going to believe in? Impossibilities or possibilities? You can believe that life is a constant deterioration process for you, or are you going to believe in that fact that you're ever in the flow of an infinite eternal life which is unfolding, progressing, freeing you from all limitations. Where is your faith? What do you believe?
If the Alps had looked as formidable to Napoleon as they did to his advisers, he would never have crossed the Alps in midwinter. But he showed the focus of his attention when he said there shall be no Alps. There shall be no Alps. I refuse to see them as limitations. He saw them only as opportunities to use his military genius, which he did.
076 There is a tremendous resource right where you are
Right where you are there is a resource of wisdom and substance. Right where you are, there is a resource of supply, of creativity, of ability, of tremendous ways through which you can do great things, always present right where you are. To enable you to do the kind of things you need to do. Put your faith to work, your positive faith, in creative ways and start believing in yourself and the all-accomplishing power of God within you. Believe it and believe from it, and act from that belief and you will be amazed at the kind of things that will take place in your life. The kind of so-called demonstrations you will make. The ways in which simple little everyday experiences will suddenly become easy and transcendent and you'll begin to do things that you never believed you could do before.
077 You can only be you
Now, let's be realistic about this power of believing. When Jesus says, "All things are possible to them that believe," (Mark 9:23) He was not saying that a swan could become a duck. He was not saying a that non-musical person could become a concert pianist. This is a very important thing because often we get this carried out of context. He did not mean that you could do something that is not a part of your innate potentiality. You can only be you, and only you can be you, though through positive faith, you can release more of you than you've ever done. And that's what we're talking about. Not being somebody else, not taking on the potentialities that other people express, but knowing your own potentialities and releasing them and fulfilling them. Releasing your own imprisoned splendor.
You see, many students of truth are misled at this particular point and it's so important that we get the straight concept. In other words, a person may be influenced by covetousness. In other words, quite often is said, "You can do anything you want to do through faith. You can have anything you want to have through faith," and that's misleading because it's not true. You can only be you and you can only do that which is the fulfilling potential of your life. The person allows himself to be stimulated by his covetousness, by his desire, his inquisitive instinct, by his materialistic and selfish interests. He says, "Hey, I'd like to do that I'd like to be that. I'd like to have money. I'd like to have position. I like to be the president of the United States," though I don't know who'd want to.
But these are the kinds of desires and instincts that are suddenly fomented by this attitude, you can do all things, anything you want to do. Because you see, if you buy one conceivable way of or another and it's possible that you can, if you were to acquire or to experience something that is not a part of your own innate flaw, through the metaphysical law, then you lose even if you win. It's like in transplant surgery where they have what they call a rejection syndrome, where the tissue will not take hold simply because there's a variance in the quality or the consciousness or the types of tissue that are present. So they just won't take hold and there's a tendency to reject. So that you will somehow tend to reject or to find yourself unable to hold onto all that which you've acquired easily through what we call the spiritual principle through the demonstration law, if you've acquired something not a part of your own flow. Somehow through willpower and through the constant determination and through a lot of grasping also, you can get all sorts of things in life, but there's no way that you can ever really take hold of or become a part of that which is not really a part of you and that's an important thing.
You see, faith is not a magic means of working miracles. Get that out of your consciousness. You are the great miracle and the dynamics of faith is the key to the kingdom of your own potentiality, and as Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom and its righteousness and all the things shall be added" (Matt. 6:33) Not all that, that, that, those things, but all the things that come easily out of your own divine flow, out of your own divine potential. Things that come to you easily because they are part of your own pattern, a part of your own unfoldment and that's the only thing in life that you ever really want or that you'll ever be happy with, so the need is to listen to your own transcendence, to know yourself. This will lead you to desire to unfold that which you innately are. Thus to fulfill your uniqueness.
Otherwise when we say all things are possible, we don't mean for instance, that a carbon can become a good conductor of electricity because carbon is not a good conductor. It's a very poor conductor of electricity. But a carbon filament can be used by electricity and fulfill its uniqueness. Just imagine a carbon filament saying "I just can't conduct electricity like copper wire, so I'm no good. You can't expect me to make a light." But you see, Jesus did not say, "Make your light shine." He said, "Let your light shine." So the carbon filament, we might say, the question is are you willing to be used as an instrument? And if he agrees and acquiesces in the whole thought, then you simply press the button and behold, let there be light. I think this is important to really understand this thing called faith. Faith doesn't make the light by some magic process, faith doesn't even make the filament a good conductor for that which will become light. Faith simply makes the contact, turns on the switch. The power is there, the process is there, the whole conduit is there. The whole activity of the intended process is always present. It simply makes the contact.
God is centered in you. God is centered in you always. The question is what is your consciousness centered in? If your thought is centered in materiality, if it's centered in difficulties, if it's centered in the news of the day, it's centered in the idea "Oh my, everything happens to me," and this is going to frustrate the whole flow. God is centered in you. The kingdom of all potentiality is already within you. Positive faith is the key to the kingdom. You don't need to become something different in order to release your imprisoned splendor.
Your need is simply to get your consciousness centered in God. Centered in the realization that the whole universe believes in you. The whole universe is flowing, flowing, flowing into you and through you. Your need is to accept it, to let it happen and to let yourself be directed out of that consciousness in a faith-believing attitude. To know that you are, not maybe, not "dear God make me be," but you are a spiritual being, and so armed with this believing attitude, you can proceed to go about your business, doing the things that need to be done, and doing them easily, doing them quietly and efficiently and even dramatically, and even what some people would call miraculously, but doing them out of the flow of your own consciousness of the divine process that's working in you.
078 Assignment - Realize that God is centered in you
Now, we're going to talk a little about some homework. We've dealt fundamentally with an insight related to faith, but like all things a series of concepts really are of no value other than to fill a notebook, other than to communicate with somebody, "Oh you know what faith is? Faith is this and faith is that," but it really doesn't make too much sense in your life unless you do something about it.
Jesus said, "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." Do you know what we're talking about today? Do you get the sense of what this faith process is? Okay, then let's get involved in an exercise. Let's get involved in working at it. Practice the insight of faith. In other words, not believing in God. You have to kind of think about this a little bit. It's not a case of "I believe in God. I have great deal of faith in divine law." Don't have faith in divine law, have faith from divine law. In other words, center yourself in the consciousness that law is a fundamental of your life. God is a fundamental of your being. Believe it accept it, and then let that stimulate a faith-thinking process that enables you to do all the things you do in faith. In a believing attitude, which keeps you constantly in tune with this activity and enables you to live as Thoreau says, with the "license of the higher order of beings." Depending upon all sorts of tremendous potentialities.
Start the day, everyday of your life, and especially during this week, in a very disciplined way, start the day taking time to be still. And in the stillness get to the realization that God is centered in you. Just quietly, "God is centered in me." If you want to put it another way, "God believes in me." Remember the man said, "I don't believe in God, but God believes in me." "God believes in me. The whole universe believes in me and I can know that because I'm breathing, because I'm living I'm alive. I'm the activity of God expressing itself as me, so God is centered in me." Just be aware of that. Let yourself throb to that consciousness. Get the feeling of vitality and strength as a result of that.
"God believes in me."
Wonderful. "God believes in me, so therefore I believe," not "I believe in God"; that's irrelevant, but "I believe from God."
"I believe from this consciousness of centering process in God. I am centered in God and out of the centering I know that I have the capacity to do all the things that needed to be done. I know that I can release a guidance activity that will enable me to make the steps that I should take, make the contacts that I need to, do the kind of the things that are before me this day and do them easily and do them well, because I'm in tune with a process that's always present, never absent. I believe and I act from that believing attitude. And as I go out in the everyday in this consciousness, I will find that I will be confident, I will be less fearful, fearful simply because my fear is centering in faith, centering my faith in fear, but I will be fearless because fear is impossible to one who is centered in God. There can be no fear. There can be no anxiety. There can be no worry. There can be no hesitation along the way of life because I know the activity of God is flowing easily through me."
Get that feeling in at the beginning of day, that the whole universe believes in you. The whole universe believes in you as a worker that is successful and efficient and effective. You go off to your work that day knowing that this divine process is flowing through the cells and functions of your body and tingling through your fingertips. If you go to the typewriter, go to your work desk, whatever it is, this activity is flowing through you because you know you're in tune and you know that attunement keeps you constantly in the flow of the divine process. This is essentially what faith is, not talking about it, not saying "I believe." It's doing it. It's expressing it. It's releasing it, easily. You turn the switch and the dynamic process of the activity of God flows easily through you and all your ways wherever you go.
So I say commit yourself to this. Just decide right now that you're going to practice this faith this week. Not that you're going to talk to people about faith and tell everybody what great faith you have. As Eddie Guest used to say, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day." So rather than tell people about faith, or talk about how much you're going to try to have, do it. Just do it. Do it by realizing that God is centered in you and the whole universe has faith in you and allow that faith process to direct you with your attitudes, with your feelings, your moods, your motivations, and you will find that this will be a very successful week. Not only that, but you will open up a whole new dimension in your life.
079 Meditation - God is centered in you
Let's be still just a moment if you will, and I want us to get this feeling that God is centered within you. There's nothing you have to do about it. Nothing you can do about it. You can't create it, you can't change it, you can't alter it, you can't make it anymore real. This is true spiritual reality. Get the feeling that we allude to in our Unity Center logo, which shows the stick figure of a person at the center with the arrows pointing in from all sides. Taken from the words of Plotinus, the whole universe is rushing, streaming, pouring into you from all sides while you just sit quiet.
The universe is centered in you. All love, all power, all life, all creativity is centered in you. Not will be, or perhaps through some miracle faith it will happen, but right now this is the reality of you, and as you think about it and believe it, then you're centered in this process. You're centered in God and you make a contact and thus through your life, through your mind, through your heart, through your hands, there's a flow of dynamic activity. It is the natural activity of your life. You're simply releasing that which is really yours, and you allow it to flow. So we see you right now going forth from this place today, in tune with this God activity, that which someone called a miracle of working power, but it's not a miracle at all. It's the dynamic potential of your own being being effectively released so that you can do the kind of things that you need to do and do them easily, do them effectively, and do them successfully and fulfillingly.
And you will do this, and we're grateful for this consciousness. And let's just for a moment feel grateful. We don't have to put words around the feeling, we don't have to say "I'm grateful," or "I give thanks to God." Just feel grateful. Feel a sense of thanksgiving. Grateful for the fact that God is centered in you, that the universe believes in you. Grateful that you are a glorious, wonderful instrument through which the creative process flows easily and fulfillingly. Amen.
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