How to Make Sense of the Divinity of Jesus
Hi Friends -
Picture in your mind a lamp with an old fashioned globe lamp shade. The room is dark except for the light that is passing through the globe and the fabric of the globe's lamp shade. As you hold this image, keep in Mind these things:
- that it was Jesus who said "No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house." (NRSV, Matthew 5:15).
- that it was 318 fighting bishops who in the year 325 CE, at the First Council of Nicea, unsuccessfully tried to convince the world that Jesus was fully God and fully human, expressing light while suffering death, of one substance and one will but of three distinct persons, existing coeternally with God but born 2000 years ago, residing now in heaven at the right hand of God but also one who presently "walks with us every moment night and day."
- Further, that it was Emilie Cady who quietly wrote in 1895 that we are Personality, an outer, changeable human being and at the same time we are Individuality, a Real human being, which never changes our identity.
- Finally, keep in Mind that it was Vera Dawson Tait, Emilie Cady's great interpreter, who taught us to think of ourself as an expression of God—Individuality—radiating through a globe-like human Self—Personality—that has chosen to allow God's nature of Life, Substance and Intelligence to come forth and bless all things and all people, through us, as a radiating light of blessing to all.
I think it is time that we quit interpreting Emilie Cady’s chapter on Personality and Individuality as Psychology. I believe it is time for us to teach the content of this chapter for what it truly is—Christology—a comprehensible explanation of the nature of Jesus for the new era that is emerging in the historic Christian faith: the era of Metaphysical Christianity.
Emilie Cady was right—we are both Personality and Individuality. The 318 bishops at Nicea were also right—Jesus was both God and human being. Vera Tait interpreted Emilie Cady correctly—that it is Individuality which presses out through the outer globe of Personality, expressing something less than Diety (Individuality) but far more than Divinity (Personality). And, finally, Jesus was right—the light that radiates comes from God, and our job is to clean up our Personality enough so that our outer self is not a bushel but rather a transparent globe. Individuality and Personality are one, they are God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, of one being.
I hope you will take some time today to read what was first published as the Definition of Terms used in Metaphysical Teachings. If you do, then you may wonder why the first two paragraphs seem so out of place. Before she introduces the four Metaphysical Terms—thought transference, chemicalization, personality and individuality—Emilie Cady writes about the Sermon on the Mount and the power of simplicity.
I'll get to the Sermon on the Mount in a moment, but for now let's look at simplicity. She says "The greater the truth to be expressed the more simply can it (and should it) be clothed."
All great religious movements emerge from a new understanding of Truth, a simpler message that reaches people who are unserved by the present form or religion. Every so often, typically every few hundred years or so, people loose faith not in God, but rather in religion. Then comes along a new idea, a New Thought, which conveys Truth in a new and comprehensible way to those with insufficient time, money and education to pursue the complicated nonsense like what was promulgated at the Council of Nicea in 325.
That moment has come. Explanations like those given by Emilie Cady and Vera Tait make sense and they will reach many with a new understanding of the new era of Christianity we are entering—Metaphysical Christianity.
Now, for why Emilie Cady opens the chapter with a reference to the Sermon on the Mount. I believe that the entire chapter is a subtle commentary on Jesus' great discourse. Here is an outline of the chapter and corresponding verses in Matthew's gospel:
The Simple Truth is the Greater Truth. Paragraphs 1-3:
Be blessed (5:1), Be a blessing (5:13), Be transparent (5:14), Be just and honest (5:17)
Our Thoughts Are Not Private. Paragraphs 4-7:
If we are angry (5:22), If we are lustful (5:27), If we are hard-hearted (5:31)
Our Bodies Are Not an Illusion. Paragraphs 8-13:
Carry out our vows (5:33), Do not get in fights with evildoers (5:39), Love our enemies (5:44)
God Radiates Through Our Personality. (14-16)
Blowing One's Trumpet (6:2), Praying in Public (6:5), Looking dismal while fasting (6:16), Hoarding treasure (6:19), The deceitful eye (6:22)
Be Of One Mind. Paragraphs 17-21:
Serving two masters (17-20), Excessive worry (6:25)
It’s Safe To Be Real (thanks to Max Lafser) Paragraphs 22-29:
Quit comparing ourselves with others (7:1), Don't profane the holy (7:6), Knock, Ask and Seek (7:7)
God Needs You. Paragraphs 30-32)
Hearers and Doers (7:24)
May we be seen radiating a beautiful light this day!
Sunday, September 8, 2019
Lesson 6 — Definition of Terms used in Metaphysical Teachings
1. One of the greatest beauties of the Sermon on the Mount is the perfectly childlike simplicity of its language. Every child and every grown person, be they ever so illiterate, if they can read at all, can understand it. Not a word in it requires the use of a dictionary,—not a sentence in it but that tells the way so plainly that “a wayfarer though a fool may not err therein.” And yet the Nazarene was the fullest, most complete manifestation of the One Mind that ever lived. That is to say, more of the Wisdom which is God, came forth through Him into visibility than through any one else who ever lived. So always it has been. The more any person manifests the true wisdom which is God the more simple are his ways of thinking and acting; the more simple are the words through which he expresses his ideas.
The greater the truth to be expressed the more simply can it (and should it) be clothed.
2. Emerson said “Converse with a mind that is grandly simple, and all literature“ (high sounding sentences to convey ideas) “looks like mere word catching.”
3. In the Metaphysical and Christian Science literature today a good many terms are used which are very confusing to those who have not taken a consecutive course of lessons on the subject. It seems to me wise to give, just here, a clear, simple explanation of certain words frequently used, so that even the most unlearned may read understandingly.
4. You will often see the words thought transference. This simply means the sending of thought from one person’s mind to another without using either written or audibly spoken words. There was a time when, in order to communicate with any one not in our presence, our thoughts must be laboriously written down on paper and carried from one to another. Then, in the progress of things, came a time when the Spirit within a certain man revealed to the intellect of that man that a subtle fluid which was not tangible, could neither be seen nor handled, called electricity, could be used to convey a message from point to point if it only had a connecting wire between the two points on which to run, with proper batteries at either end of the wire to keep up the supply of electricity.
5. More recently scientific people are learning that they can dispense with the batteries and the connecting wire between two points, and can so project the silent thought of their own mind out through space to another mind that the latter can inwardly hear or receive the message. As we say the other mind “catches the thought.” It is a sort of mental telegraphy, and is called telepathy.
If this is a new idea to you, you may not believe it possible that one mind can thus receive the message from another. But you can convince yourself of it as a fact by trying it for yourself Suppose some one is in the next room. Close your eyes—in order better to concentrate your mind—and, directing your thought positively to him, call the name of the person (silently of course) and vehemently say to him, “Come out here to me, come out to me, come out to me.” Continue to repeat these words silently but vigorously and imperatively, and the person spoken to will come to you without knowing what he came for or why he came. This of course is a simple experiment which might be followed by others if you desire to test the possibility of Thought Transference.
6. You can make other people hear in this silent way, and you can make them do what you command. But you have no moral right to use the power of Thought Transference to cause any one to carry out any plan which you may make for them. You may think your neighbor rich, and may silently send him thoughts to give something to some good cause in which you are interested, or to some poor person, justifying yourself by saying, “This is not selfish. I do not want him to give to me, and it must be right for me to help others.” You may feel justified in silently sending your thought into another one’s mind to cause him to go to prayer-meeting or some other good place because you desire him to lead a moral, upright life. Beware how you use this power of Thought Transference on your neighbor for any such specific purpose, though it may seem to your mortal mind as though the thing you want him to do is the only right thing for him. You cannot know, for only the Spirit within a man can know for himself. You have no right to interpose yourself between him and the God in his own soul; no right to steal silently into the inner portals of his being to turn him one way or the other. If you do so, remember the wrong you thus do another will invariably react upon yourself.
7. The only right you have to use the law of Thought Transference on another is to call out the Divine Self of him, saying to him silently something like this; “God lives in you; He guides all your actions; He leads you where He would have you go; He works in you to will and to do whatsoever He would have you do, etc., etc.” And then let the external manifestation be what it will, believing that it is just what God would have it for the present even if it is exactly the opposite of what you had planned.
8. Another term often used and not always clearly understood is CHEMICALIZATION.
9. Did you ever put soda into sour milk, cider or other acid fluid, and witness the agitation or excited action which takes place? One of the substances neutralizes the other and something better results from the action.
10. This is a good illustration of what takes place sometimes in the minds and bodies of people. Suppose one has lived in wrong thought and moulded his body by wrong thought for years, until, as you might say he has become solidified in that wrong belief. You introduce the truth to him by strong denials and affirmations as has been taught. The very newness of it (and because it is truth) creates, the first few days, new hope, new joy and health. After a little time a sort of mental ferment or agitation takes place. One is apt to feel very nervous and scared way down in the depths of himself. If he has ever been sick he will begin to feel the old diseases; if he has been morally bad the old desires and habits will take possession of him with new force; if he has been holding denials and affirmations about business affairs until they have looked hopeful, all at once they collapse and seem darker and more hopeless than ever. All the new beliefs which lifted him into a new world for a few days seem failures, and he seems on the very verge of breaking up generally.
11. What has happened? Why, simply this. There has been a clash between the old condition—which was based on falsehood, fear and wrong ways of thinking—and the new thought or truth entering into you. The old mortal is kicking vigorously against the truth. You have a feeling of discouragement or of fear,—a feeling such as one would have if caught at something disreputable. Do not be frightened. That which you feel is, on the spiritual plane, a similar excitement and agitation to that which was seen in the chemical action between the alkali and acid on the material plane. And something higher and better always results.
12. This agitation does not always take place with everyone, but is most apt to occur with those who have been most fixed and (as it were) solidified in the old beliefs. Such people break up with more resistance. Those who are not very settled in their convictions, are more malleable mentally and physically, are not so apt to chemicalize. Vigorous use of denials are also more apt to produce chemicalization than is the use of affirmations. There is always less resistance by the mortal when it is gently led into the truth than when its errors are directly and vigorously combated. Should you find yourself at any time in this state of internal excitement with aggravation of old, bad conditions, it needs only that you constantly affirm “There is nothing to fear, absolutely nothing to fear. Perfect Love reigns and all is good. Peace be still etc,” and very soon the brighter conditions will appear and you will find yourself on a much higher plane than you have ever been before.
13. Do not be afraid of this word (or the condition) Chemicalization—as many have been—for truly, here is nothing to fear in it.
14. The words PERSONALITY and INDIVIDUALITY are two words which present clearly distinct meanings to the trained mind, but to the untrained mind they are often used interchangeably and apart from their real meaning.
15. Personality applies to the mortal part of you,— the mortal mind, the person, the external. It belongs to the region governed by the intellect. Your personality may be agreeable or disagreeable to others. When you say you dislike anyone you mean you dislike his personality,—that exterior something which presents itself to us from the outside of anyone. It is the outer, changeable man in contradistinction to the inner or real man.
16. Individuality is the term used to denote the Real Man. The more God comes out into visibility through a person the more Individualized he becomes. By this I do not mean that one’s Individuality is greater when he is more religious. Remember God is Wisdom, Intelligence, Love, Power, etc. The more pronounced manner in which any one of these qualities—or all of them—comes forth into visibility through a man the greater his Individuality.
17. Emerson was a man of large Individuality but small Personality. He was grandly simple. He was of a shrinking, retiring nature (or personality). But just in proportion as the mortal of him was willing to retire and be thought little of, did the Immortal, the God in him shine forth in greater degree.
18. John the Baptist—who represents personality or the mortal—said in speaking of Jesus—who represents Individuality or the Divine—’’ He must increase but I must decrease.”
19. One’s Individuality is that part of him which never changes its identity. It is that which distinguishes one person from another. One’s personality may become like that of others with whom he associates; Individuality never changes.
20. Do not confound the terms. One may have an aggressive, pronounced personality or external man which will, for a time, fight its way through obstacles, and gain its point. But a pronounced Individuality never battles. It is never puffed up. It is never governed by likes or dislikes or causes them in others. It is God come forth in greater degree through the soul of man; and all mere personality instinctively bends the knee before It in recognition of Its superiority.
21. We cultivate Individuality by listening to the Voice down deep within our own soul, and boldly following it even if it does make us differ from others—as it surely will. We cultivate personality —in which lives pride, fear of criticism and all manner of selfishness—by listening to the voices outside of ourselves, and being governed by selfish motives instead of by the highest within us. Seek always to cultivate (or bring into visibility) Individuality, but never personality. In proportion as one increases the other must decrease.
22. Whenever we fear anyone or shrink before him, it is because his personality being the stronger, overcomes ours. Many timid souls go through life always feeling that they are inefficient, that others are wiser or better than they. They dread to meet a positive, self-conceited person; and when in the presence of such an one they are laid low, just as a field of tall wheat is after a fierce wind storm has swept across it. They feel as though they would like to get out of sight forever.
23. All this, dear timid ones, is not because your fellow really is wiser or better than you, but because his personality — the external, mortal man — is stronger than yours. You never have a similar feeling in the presence of strong Individuality. Individuality in another not only produces in you an admiration for Its superiority, but it also gives you, when in Its presence, a strange new sense of your own real worth and power; a consciousness of your own inherent possibilities, which sense is full of exhilaration and comfort and encouragement to you This is because a pronounced Individuality simply means more of God come forth into visibility through the person, and by some mental process It has power to call forth more of God through you.
24. Now, if you want to know how to avoid being overcome and thrown off your feet by the strong personality of others I will tell you.
25. Always remember that personality is of the mortal, and Individuality is of God. Silently affirm your own Individuality, your oneness with God, and your superiority to all personality. Can God fear any person?
26. If you are naturally inclined to be timid or shrinking, make a practice of doing this until you overcome it. As you walk down the street and see any one coming toward you, even a stranger to you, silently affirm “I am a part of God in visibility, I am one with the Father. This person has no power over me for I am superior to all personality, etc.” Cultivate this habit of thinking and affirming whenever you approach any person, and you will soon find that no personality however strong and aggressive has the power to throw you out of the most perfect Self-poise. You will be Self-possessed because God-possessed.
27. About two years ago I found myself under a sense of bondage to a strong, aggressive personality with whom, externally, I had been quite intimately associated for several months. I seemed to see things through another’s eyes; and, while I was more than half conscious of this yet I could not seem to throw it off. This personality was able, with a very few words, to make me feel as though all I said or did was a mistake and that I was a most miserable failure. I was always utterly discouraged after being in this presence, and felt that I had no ability to accomplish anything.
28. After vainly trying for weeks to free myself, one day I was walking along the street with a most intense desire and determination to be free. Many times before, I had affirmed that this personality could not affect or overcome me etc., but with no effect. This day I struck out further and declared (silently of course) “There is no such personality in the universe as this one,” affirming it again and again many times. After a few moments I began to feel wondrously lifted and as though chains were dropping off. Then the voice within me urged me on a step further to say “There is no personality in the universe. There is nothing but God.” After a short time spent in vigorously using these words I seemed to break every fetter, and step out absolutely free. From that day to this, without any further effort, I have been as free from any influence of that personality as though none had ever existed.
29. If at any time the lesser affirmation of truth fails to free you from the influence of other minds try this more sweeping one “There is no personality in the universe—nothing but God,” and you are bound to be made free.
30. The more you learn to act from the voice within your own soul the stronger and more pronounced will be Individuality in you.
31. If inclined to wilt before strong personalities or mortal minds always remember that, as Emerson puts it. “the Soul (God) had need of such an organ as I” Since God has need of you, through which in some special manner to manifest Himself,—some manner which He cannot use any other organ for— what need have you to quail before any mere person no matter how important he may feel himself to be?
32. However humble your place in life, however unknown to the world you may be, however small your capabilities may seem at present to you to be, you are just as much a necessity to God in His efforts to get Himself into visibility, as is the most brilliant intellect, the most thoroughly cultured person in the world. Remember this always, and act from the highest within you.