Text Reference: Chapter 5
- DYNAMICS FOR LIVING (Fillmore), p.43
- KEEP A TRUE LENT (Fillmore), p. 54, p. 110
- WHAT ARE YOU? (Shanklin), p. 5
Significant Concepts To Be Covered
- Give some thought to the “miserable sinner” concept of traditional Christianity, how it came about and why. The orthodox teaching has been that man’s goodness was pretty much limited to his ability to accept Jesus and thus to earn a place in Paradise in the future. In the DIVINITY OF MAN, every person is good in the wholeness of the true man he is, though he expresses this goodness in various degrees. Perfection is the beginning and the end of man — “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This says that you must ultimately evolve that which is involved. You are created as a perfect idea in God Mind and you must ultimately unfold that idea. Jesus discovered this divine dimension in man and demonstrated it in His own life. And... Be believed in a “repeatable” Christ. This is a good word — use it.
- Man, made in the_image likeness of God — this is a fundamental Truth that should underlie our Truth Study, And this is what Jesus was teaching — not His own divinity, but the Divinity of Man.
- Dwell much on the words, “Christ” and “Jesus” — and do not leave the subject until everyone has caught the distinction between them. It is on this concept that the whole Christian teaching hangs.
- Through the Divinity of Man, through the Christ dimension of him, he can overcome, be healed, and achieve success and fulfillment. Jesus saw the Divinity in people and helped and healed them. When we see the Divinity in ourselves or others we can achieve in the same manner.
- Jesus wasn’t a magic worker, He’was not going around working miracles. He was saying, “You can be healed, you can be helped, not because I am something special, but because you are something special — because you are a child of God.” You can elaborate on the illustration of the light bulb and its potential to become a light.
- The incident where Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am” and Peter answers, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God,” is important in that it has been the basis of proof that Jesus was God come down from “out there.” It reveals the technique for properly evaluating any person not by “flesh and blood” but by “my Father who is in heaven” — not by sight but by insight.
- “Upon this rock will I build my church” has been the basis for the development of the Christian Ecclesiastical establishment. Seen in the context of the Divinity of Man being revealed in this incident, there is serious question whether Jesus authorized the establishing of any church at this time or at any other time.
- Ponder the illustration of the dandelion as a “performance.” In this simple example is a key to understanding man. Man grows and changes, but there is a conductor and a score in the form of an electro-magnetic nonmaterial pattern which is the whole even while the growing thing is expressing only a part of the whole. This is a key to healing,
- Note the problem of the “black and white” theory of life — the “good people and the bad people.” So often people feel that if we can just round up all the bad people and destroy then, the world would have peace. This is a dangerous attitude that must be corrected. The only alternative is to realize that all men are innately good, and that the goodness must be activated and expressed. Criminology, studies on juvenile delinquency, and the whole field of education must find ways to “release the inner splendor”, and they will — when they begin to work on the premise that it is there.
- Goethe’s concept is worth considerable time in discussion: “If we take a person as he is; we make him worse; but if we tqke him as if he were what he should be, we advance him to what he can be.” It is a mighty important guide to working with and trying to help other people.
- Consider the Parable of the Prodigal Son — and get it clear that the son and the father in the story are not two people or entities, but one — representing the wholeness of you and the human of you.
- You might challenge the class to use the Hindustani word of greeting, NAMASKAR (pronounced numnusKAR). It literally means, “I salute the divinity in you.”
Added Commentary Relevant to Chapter 5:
The purpose of life is to grow and unfold our innate potential, and thus every experience in life can be a challenge to help us in this process. Even the difficulty can motivate us to dig a little deeper. Man is God’s great possibility, so we see Jacob was taking a metaphysical stand when he wrestled with the angel and declared, “I will not let thee go until thou bless me.” H knew that life is growth and unfoldment and he wanted to get something of growth from the experience.
Lloyd C. Douglas was obviously speaking in a metaphysical vein when; in his novel, “The Green Light”, speaking through kindly old Dean Harcourt, he says: “Whatever I have been able to achieve, in personal poise, stability, adequacy, has come to me by way of the obstacles I have met. This has always been true of men, since the dawn. Emergencies have always been necessary to man’s evolution. It was darkness that produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was winter that clothed us, and hunger that drove us to exploration. The aviator can taxi all day on the ground with the wind at his back, but if he hopes to rise, he must drive into the face of it.”
Then he goes on to say: “In spite of all the painful circumstances I have met, my course is upward. I know that the Universe is on my side. It will not let me down. I have been detained at times, but eventually I go on through, I know that I am destiny’s darling. In spite of little detainments, disappointments, I get the signal to go forward. At length I get the Green Light.”
Man is a child of God, but more than this, every man is a center in the consciousness of God, a creative, dynamic center. Every man in his essential reality is BEING BEING, or God expressing as that man. Now obviously there is a great disparity between the ideal man that God created and the manifest man that we now are. Thus the aim of evolution is to produce a man who completely manifests the inner life of the Spirit.
Jesus urged man to turn away from the world-centered life and to seek the Christ-centered pathway of growth and unfoldment. And He proved the effectiveness of such a life. He said, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things...” This is the possibility and privilege of all men. Man nust continually listen to the movement of Mind in him, so that he nay be guided in his unfoldment. One teacher says; “Say what you are listening to ... never listen to what you are saying.” If we listen to what we are saying, we confom our lives to human standards. We must let the spirit in us reveal itself to us and as us. God has something particular to say to the world through you — and what He is trying to say is you.
Charles Fillmore, in one of the greatest concepts of man ever expressed, 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 6f 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. 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.”
And what is the will of God? The will of God as far as you are concerned is you as God sees you. It is the divine pattern the divine idea seeking to express and fulfill itself in you, through you, and as you.
We are forever inhibiting and perverting the true essence of our spiritual self, limiting and restricting the divine action. Paul was concerned with this when he said, “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”