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Discover the Power Within You—Eric Butterworth's 12-Week Course for Unity Centers

Lesson 1

Text Reference: Chapters 1, 2, and 3 - DISCOVER THE POWER WITHIN YOU

Supplementary Reading:

  1. HOW I USED TRUTH (Cady), Chapter 1
  4. JESUS CHRIST HEALS (Fillmore), Chapter 1
  5. SELECTED STUDIES (Shanklih), Chapter 3
  6. TALKS ON TRUTH (Fillmore), p. 75

Significant Concepts To Be Covered

  1. Emphasize that Jesus was not very God, but that He made the great discovery of the Divinity of Man, the great breakthrough into the world within. Linger on this idea of the breakthrough, how it happened, what it implies in man today, etc.
  2. The thrust of this book depends on the concept that Jesus was a man, highly evolved to be sure, but a man, “tempted in all points such as we.” Thus He had a perfectly normal childhood, during which the great changes took place and the Christ powers evolved.
    Charles Fillmore: “Jesus evidently did not know in the beginning of His life that He was to make this great demonstration. He was a carpenter and worked with Joseph, but for thirty years He must have been growing in spiritual power. In meditation He doubtless caught glimpses of the great Truth, and it dawned on Him that He was the man who had been selected, or that through His cwn demon-stration’He had attained the ability, to overcome the negative ‘ thoughts, the sins that were tearing down the bodies of the race, and that He had the power to gain complete mastery of the human weakness called death.” (ASP, p. 143)
  3. The basic principle of Christianity is the DIVINITY OF MAN. Without this principle, the Christian church is a monument to a man. Jesus discovered His own divinity, and He knew that what God has done God can do, that what was true of Him must be potentially true of all men.
  4. Get the picture in mind of the window in the wall - and of Jesus sitting before the window. This is a simple key that will give the right perspective to much of Jesus’ teaching to come later in the course, His emphasis on the I AM.
  5. Be clear about the Christian fundamental: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son....” Meister Eckhart’s statement is an excellent key. Be sure the students understand this point.
  6. Making a “decision for Christ”. What is meant? Be certain that we do not think of Jesus here. Christ in you is you at the point of God.
  7. The new birth, being born again, to repent, being converted, to be transformed — all mean achieving a higher level of experience where we live “with the license of a higher order of beings.” (Thoreau)
  8. Stress the point that the Truth of Jesus Christ is not reserved for “Christians” only. To make the “decision for Christ”, means to determine to act from the highest in you, the God self of you. One can lay hold of the Christian dynamic even if He doesn’t believe Jesus ever lived. We don’t have to accept Jesus, but we must accept Christ. There are probably many Christians who have never really caught the Christ dynamic, and many non-Christians who have. Thus, insight into the Truth of Jesus Christ reveals a truly universal religion.

Added Commentary relevant to Chapters 1, 2, and 3

Thomas Troward: “He (Jesus) came, not to proclaim Himself, but Man; not to tell us of His Own Divinity separating Him from the race and making Him the Great Exception, but to tell us of our Divinity and to show in Himself the Great Example of the I AM reaching its full personal expression in Man.” (Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning, p. 92)

Re: The Virgin Birth: It may ultimately be proven that a virgin birth is scientifically possible. And We may find that in the development and re-birth of a highly evolved soul such as Jesus unquestionably was, the virgin birth is not only possible, but necessary and and inevitable. But the “doctrine” has been set forth for the wrong reasons - and thus, it weakens rather than strengthens the Christian case. If Jesus entered life in absolute purity and perfection, if He was God taking the form of man for awhile — then the whole Gospel becomes a one way, dead-end street. We simply believe and that is the end of it. But there is more involved than simply a church to join and a creed to accept. Jesus said, “Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” We can’t achieve that goal by accepting a creed and sitting on our laurels. Paul talks about this with a mixture of despair and determination, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after ... forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus was not God becoming man, but man becoming God. He was a highly evolved soul pressing on beyond any known level of achievement before or since — to that “high calling” of the perfect expression of the God-potential in man. And He clearly taught that this same becoming, this same achievement is the object of your life and mine.

This turns the spotlight from the beginning of Jesus’ life to its seeming end. If His life was the final stage of the perfecting of the God-potential within Him, then we can see that the ultimate overcaning of death, and the resurrection and ascension at the end of Jesus’ life, is a vitally important fundamental of His gospel. But if Jesus came into life under some special dispensation, then His life story becomes an interesting drama that has little to do with your life and mine.

Charles Fillmore: “When we sing, ‘I’ll go with Him all the way,’ we do not always realize the mighty import of our words. Jesus went all the way from the human to the divine. He went all the way to immortality. He raised not only His own consciousness from despair and hopelessness to assurance and confidence in the presence and continued help of a loving Father-God, but He opened the way for the whole race to do likewise. When we determine to follow Him all the way we undertake theemighty work of the ages, a revolution of character’before which the famous tasks of Hercules pale into insignificance.” (KL, p, 127)

Archdeacon Wilberforce, “The secret of optimism is the mental effort to abide in conscious oneness with the Supreme Power, the Infinite Immanent Mind evolving a perfect purpose. Our slow-moving minds may be long in recognizing it, and our unspiritual lives may seem to contradict it; but deep in the centre of the being of every man there is a divine self to be awakened, a ray of God’s life which Paul calls ‘Christ in you.’ Jesus is the embodiment of the Universal principle of the immanence of God in man... Jesus has shown us what the ideal is to which this principle will lead...”

Ira Progoff (July 1961 issue of ATLANTIC) — “Freud’s original theory was that the unconscious was composed primarily of wishes or memories which were so painful or undesirable that they were repressed from consciousness. The effect of such a conception was necessarily to emphasize the hegative factors in personality—what man cannot bear, what he cannot face. But the experience of Adler, Jung, Rank, and others indicated that neurosis occurs in the modem world not because of repressed fears but because something creative and meaningful is seeking unsuccessfully to express itself in the life of the individual. The frustration of potentiality is the root of neurosis. The implications of this view are large. Man is not a bundle of repressions but a bundle of possibilities, and the key to therapy lies in reactivating the process of growth.”

It has been said that the whole course of civilization has been changed, for better or for worse, by what happened at Alamogordo, N.M., on July 16, 1945. That was the day when the first mushroom cloud of an Atomic bomb explosion was witnessed by man. It was an awesome site ... and, at that moment, we entered the Atomic Age. Actually, the first splitting of the atom had taken place at the University of Chicago on December 2, 1942. But it was not until Alamogordo that we had a chance to dramatically catch the full implications of nuclear fission. “The Bomb” exploded, unleashing unimaginable power hitherto locked within the basic building blocks of the Universe...foreboding a wonderful world of opulence to men of faith and vision .... and a sure step to Armageddon to men of doubt and fear.

There are those who say that the “splitting of the atom” was the greatest discovery of all history. There is little doubt but that it was the great breakthrough in man’s knowledge of the Universe around him. However, the Universe only exists for man as it exists in his knowledge about it. All discovery is self-discovery, and all knowledge is self-knowledge. Thus it may well be that the greatest discovery of history was not the splitting of the atom, but the splitting of the Adam. Unfortunately, we have no dates or pictures of this great moment. It happened about one hundred generations ago in far-off Palestine, There was no mushroom cloud, no earth-shaking explosion. No one ever really sees an atom, let alone its break-up. All we see is the chain reaction of the initial fission. The splitting of the Adam happened in a young lad, the son of a simple carpenter. It was not a detonation, but a revelation of great insight. No one actually saw it happen, but the chain reaction is still being felt after 2,000 years.