Prosperity and the Twelve Powers
Lesson 6 — What It Takes to Get Into the Promised Land
Sunday lesson given at Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore, November 10, 2019.
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Hi Friends -
The bottom line from Catherine Ponder’s chapter on The Prosperity Law of Increase is that our prosperity depends on our ability to “maintain an attitude of rich increase toward everything and everybody.”
It’s easier said than done. Prosperity requires everything that we’ve covered so far: establishing poise and posture through strength and order, learning to relax, release and live through renunciation and life, hearing and heeding divine ideas by use of spiritual understanding and the will, using faith and imagination to give shape and substance to those ideas, and calling them forth with power by zeal and command.
All of these “powers of prosperity” are necessary. But there is one more requirement to become a prosperous person: giving others the thought of increase. Dr. Ponder says we must “let your main thought, when thinking of yourself and others, be the thought of riches, prosperity, success and victorious good.” That should be easy and pleasant, and when we express words of kindness, gratitude, appreciation and encouragement, we find ourselves filled with joy.
But all too often we choose the opposite. Catherine Ponder says “When people criticize, condemn and belittle others, they do not realize that through the law of mind action, they are asking for the same things to happen to them. Never waste your time giving yourself or others the thought of decrease.”
Why we give others the “thought of decrease” is complicated, but it begins with a distorted sense of justice, which is rooted in our power of Wisdom and Judgment. Charles Fillmore opens his chapter on Wisdom-Judgment in The Twelve Powers of Man asking if one must experience evil in order to appreciate good. His answer is that
“there is no necessity for knowing the negative ... the nearer one comes to the absolute or cause side of existence, the greater is one’s understanding that wisdom and order rule, and that he who joins wisdom and order rules with them ... God knows that there is a great negative, which is a reflection of His positive, but He is not conscious of its existence. We know that there is an underworld of evil, in which all the rules of civilized life are broken, but we are not conscious of that world because we do not enter into it.” (p. 42)
My sense is that this is why Catherine Ponder teaches The Law of Increase. She writes, “When speaking of someone, speak in terms of their success only. If you know of someone who has been making a comeback from past mistakes, contribute in his unfolding success by ignoring his past and emphasizing only his present good.”
Charles Fillmore says that in order to ignore the past and emphasize the good we must raise up our faculty of judgment so that “we no longer accept the race standard or teachings of the worldly wise, but ... we know with an inner intuition, and we judge men and events from a new viewpoint.” This process of our powers being raised up is Transfiguration, not Crucifixion and Resurrection. Mr. Fillmore continues
“He did not blight the senses by calling them ‘error’ (because they are limited in their range of vision), but He lifted them up. He took Peter, James and John up into the mountains, and was transfigured before them. When we realize the spiritual possibilities with which we are indued by omnipotent Mind, we are lifted up, and all the faculties that we have ‘called’ are lifted up with us. ‘I, if I be raised on high from the earth, will draw all to myself.” (pp. 44-46)
This passage explains why it is that we all-too-often give others the “thought of decrease.” We haven’t yet had our “transfiguration” and our faculty of Wisdom-Justice continues to be at an earthly level of human justice. Charles Fillmore continues, “We have thought that we were not safe in trusting our feelings to guide us in important issues.” So it is fear that inhibits our ability to trust divine justice.
In essence, the problem is that we continue to see human justice as a zero-sum proposition. I give you the thought of decrease because that will give me the thought of increase. But, if our powers are transfigured, we discover that
“Intuition, judgment, wisdom, justice, discrimination, pure knowing and profound understanding are natural to man ... ‘The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable’ (James 3:17) ... when we call our inner forces into action the universal law begins its great work in us, and all the laws, both great and small, fall into line and work for us ... the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17) as inaugurated by Jesus should be wise in recognizing that the law in all its fullness already exists right here, waiting for us to identify ourselves with it and thus allow it to fulfill its righteousness in us and in all the world.” (pp. 47-48)
So The Prosperity Law of Increase depends on our “raised up” understanding of divine justice. Justice is here and it is operating now. We must recognize it and align ourselves with it. We do not need to condemn, criticize or belittle others. God will fight our battles.
So much for condemnation, criticism and belittling. But why should we mindful of others and why should we “speak only of their success?” Isn’t everyone responsible for their own consciousness? Why should I be encouraging others?
We should be encouraging others because prosperity requires not only a raising up our understanding of justice. It also requires a quickening of our capacity to love. Wisdom and Love are tethered.
Cora Fillmore, in her chapter on Love in Christ Enthroned in Man, writes about her friends who befriended birds, squirrels, and other creatures near their home in the Ozark mountains. They provided shelter, food and water to the animals and the animals came to trust Cora and her friends. Cora writes, “I believe that in befriending the forest creatures these people [her friends] were unfolding the faculty of unselfish love.” Cora compares this process of taming wild creatures to the taming of the human personality. She writes,
“Just as the confidence of the wild creatures of the forest is won through love, so God through love is gently wooing us. God does not force or suppress the wild, uncultivated forces within the heart, but He gently opens avenues through which these forces may express themselves constructively.”
What Cora Fillmore has illustrated is that Transfiguration of the human personality is never rushed, never forced and never taught. If we wish for the soul unfoldment of others, we must do so not by instruction, but by invitation. The “little people of the forest” were invited to trust their Ozark friends, first to the porch, then to the open doorway and finally stepping into the kitchen. So it is with the soul unfoldment of our friends and family. Such is the way of human transformation and such is the way of the Law of Increase.
Dr. Ponder concludes her chapter by writing about how to “make the law of increase your new frontier.” She writes that our thoughts, prayers, words and expectations of increased good shall circle the globe and ... shall become a part of the ‘new frontier’ for universal good that is now spanning this planet.”
Many years ago the Hebrew people extended their frontier across the Jordan river into the promised land. And they did so by the Law of Increase. Dr. Ponder writes that the Hebrew people spent 40 years fighting in the desert before they extended their frontier into the land “flowing with milk and honey.”
According to Charles Fillmore, we cross the Jordan river into the promised land when we begin to judge our thoughts. We choose to judge our thoughts with divine Wisdom, when we acknowledge evil but do not allow it to enter into our consciousness. We stop criticizing, condemning and belittling people. And, in divine Love, we begin to see their “wild, uncultivated forces within the human heart as beloved “little creatures of the forest” waiting for an invitation to soul unfoldment.
The law of increase concludes this series of six Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Dr. Catherine Ponder. This book has changed my life in many, profound ways. Thank you, Dr. Ponder.
Sunday, November 10, 2019