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

Lesson 4

Text Reference: Chapter 6

Supplementary Reading:

  1. SERMON ON THE MOUNT (Fox), p. 18
  2. YOUR HOPE OF GLORY (Turner), p. 91-94
  3. THE NEW MAN (Maurice Nicoll), p. 97-101

Significant Concepts To Be Covered

  1. Emphasize the distinction which is made between the "old theology” which told men what to do, and Jesus example of what to be and how to think. Jesus did not outline religious practices to be conformed to. He speaks not of conforming but of transforming, a la Paul, "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Thus the BEattitudes deal with attitudes of being.
  2. The poor in pride — those who have emptied themselves of personal will and self-aggrandizement. The Beatitude says, "If you are willing to change the focus of your consciousness from human satisfaction and intellectual fulfillment — and to let go of your limited concepts of self and life — then yours is the Kingdom of Heaven — or the fulfillment of your divine potential.
  3. Comfort for they that mourn — This doesn’t mean that mourning or the crisis that produce it is good or blessed. It means that many people are "driven to their knees" because they are not "poor in pride". In this instance the sorrow may be a good thing, for a blessing may well spring from it. Give emphasis to the two ways by which we may come into a knowledge of Truth.
  4. The meek inherit the earth. This does not refer to an attitude toward people, but an attitude toward God. Note especially the word "tamed" and the illustration of taming or harnessing the Niagara River, and the meekness of the Falls has inherited the earth. The man who "fights for his rights" is working in the wrong way. The only way to be sure to get our "rights" in life is to "plug in" and let the divine activity express through us.
  5. Thirst for righteousness. One must want to be helped and healed enough to change his thought. To got out of the gutter man must begin thinking "out-of-the-gutter" thoughts. Help and healing are not dependent upon some special act or will of God. They are a matter only of man’s faith and Yision, his "hunger and thirst after righteousness." If men fulfill their part, the promise is "they shall be filled."
  6. The merciful obtain mercy. This is the law of consciousness. Touch on it lightly here, for we deal with it at length later in the book.
  7. The pure in heart shall see God. We see things not as they are but as we are. So when we get the consciousness of God, we see God everywhere. Give attention to the concept that when we are in God consciousness, seeing becomes an insight that influences the outlook. Seeing then becomes an actual projection of God-power, a power of blessing.
  8. Calling peacemakers sons of God. This means you must call yourself a child of God — affirm that you are divine in potential. As you do, you become a peacemaker, a light unto the world.
  9. Inertia is the key idea in this beatitude. The mental inertia that resists change. The effort to improve your life will necessitate coming to grips with the states of mind that have directed the kind of life you are now experiencing. Temptation is but the inertial pull of limited states of consciousness resisting the upward reach of your higher aspirations. Jesus is saying, "there is nothing wrong with being tempted within yourself. This is a sign that you are growing, you are reaching for greater things even if the human man is pulling to keep you in lower things. The negative person is not tempted. Thus wherever have temptation, there must be aspiration. Wherever there is a conscience over human weakness, there is an evidence of an awakening divinity.

Added Commentary Relevant to Chapter 6:

THE BEATITUDES — from the writings of Charles Fillmore (quoted here in full)

Jesus is universally admitted to have been the greatest teacher of morals and spiritual attributes the world has ever known, but that He taught finances or physiology even His most devout followers do not loudly proclaim. The reason for this seeming delinquency is our inability to rise to His plane of consciousness when we interpret His teaching. It is stated that when He gave the Beatitudes HE “went up into the mountain: and when He had sat down, his disciples came unto him.” Here is indicated the high state of consciousness in which the teacher “rests” with all his faculties giving attention. When the listeners are equally lifted up the teaching and its interpretation will be found to fit every phase of life.

The root meaning of the verb bless is “to bestow good things.” Good things are the outer representation of good ideas. With ideas as the key we shall arrive at an interpretation tint will cover the whole field of the spiritual and physical activities of man.

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”; that is, happy are the poor in spirit — not necessarily the poor in this world’s goods but persons not weighed down with possessions of any kind. It is true Jesus did say that it was harder for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to get into heaven; but may not a rich man also have that rich consciousness which constitutes heaven? That depends on the importance placed upon riches by the possessor. If the possession of money, houses, lands, or stocks and bonds has separated him from the love of God, then external possessions will bo a bar to the kingdom.

The rich young man who had kept all the commandments could not enter the kingdom, because he would not give up his love of “great possessions.” Those who have large possessions usually trust in them for their security and happiness. They fear loss and lack. If any possession tends to unhappiness, it keeps the possessor from the spiritual joy that follows a consciousness of God’s presence and His kingdom. So even a mind in possession of a rich knowledge of the temporal arts or sciences, if these fail to bring joy and satisfaction, is an obstacle to the inflow of the true riches, “treasures in heaven.”

“Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” The comfort that God has given to those who mourn depends upon the importance they give to the cause of their mourning. Most mourhing is over the loss of temporal things, things that can again be had with physical effort. Mourning of this kind is useless and futile, because it wastes the energy that might be used to retrieve the possessions that are just around the corner.

Then there is the loss of friends that seem beyond all replacement. Here we must lift our consciousness to that of God-Mind and realize that our nearest and deafest are those who are one with us in Spirit and thereby brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers. As Jesus said, “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?... .whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The fact is that we cannot-in Spirit be separated from those we love. They may be put out of the body, but their spirits continue to function and follow the desire of their hearts. Thousands are being Comforted by the simple affirmation, “There is no separation in Spirit.”

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Considered from a material standpoint this statement or promise is ridiculous. It is the aggressive and not the meek who inherit and possess the earth. As a promise of something that will exist under future earthly conditions it is of no practical value. Jesus promised that those things should come to pass on earth and in His time or generation. Jesus was primarily considering spiritual things, and we all know that meekness mentally opens the door to the inflow of ideas of all kinds. For instance, the inventor knows that he must make his mind receptive to now ideas, which he does by assuming a state of mental meekness. The “earth” hare referred to by Jesus is the radiant ether, of which the soil is a sediment or coarse precipitate. Prof. Albert Einstein says it is his experience that great ideas come after he has relaxed and ceased from strenuous search for his objective. It is this meek or receptive mind that invites God ideas that man can use and that makes him possessor of the “earth” or real substance.

“Blessed ar they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” This promise is the sequence to “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Every sincere desire to know God and His Truth is satisfied. We are as a rule too easily satisfied. The religious world is full of persons who have sought and received the mere elements of spiritual Truth and then rested in the thought that they have it all, and who are sure that the revelations they have received will set them at the right hand of God with Jesus in a heaven of bliss. However Truth is progressive, and the seeker should ever be on the alert for new revelations. The hunger and thirst of the soul for more of the good things of the Spirit is paralleled by physical hunger and thirst. The Truth received today meets today’s needs, but future needs will arise and the hunger and thirst for spiritual food to meet these needs should be kept active. So do not become so filled with the Truth you have that there is no room in the “inn” of your mind for more, but open your mind to the “light of the world.”

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Mercy is a combination of forgiveness, forbearance, and equality. We forgive our enemies because we know that if they understood all the factors that enter in they would not do as they have done. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” said the sadly misunderstood Man of Galilee who was killed by the ignorant mob.

Then again we forbear to condemn or persecute because of our race unity, the unity of all men and women expressed in the jingle “The Colonel’s lady an’ Judy 0’Grady are’sisters under their skins.” We are liable to the same short comings and sins, and living ourselves in glass houses, we should be careful how we throw stones. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” warned the wise Jesus.

“Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” The heart is the seat of the ideal realm in its first manifestation. This is where an understanding of metaphysics is necessary to the study of Truth as taught by Jesus. Religion without metaphysics is a tale half told. Jesus talked a great deal about knowing the Truth and its consequences. How can one know anything without the use of the mind? So we must know the nature of the mind and how it works before we can truly interpret the sayings of Jesus. Thus the only source of our mind is God-Mind. God-Mind is composed of pure ideas, which ideas are incorporated into our consciousness in and under divine law. When our consciousness is charged with pure ideas the kingdom of heaven is established in us and will be organized in the earth. In this way, heaven is made manifest in the earth. It was in this pure state that He was moved to proclaim, ”Yet in my flesh shall I see God.”

“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called sons of God.” Christian metaphysicians have found, by experimentation that they can dissolve antagonism and disunion in their church or social group by getting together and holding thoughts of peace and harmony and denying the power of thoughts of anger, ambition, and greed. Deep-seated turmoil requires that the words of peace be affirmed silently in the group and then proclaimed audibly with spiritual authority, in the name and through the power of Jesus Christ. This is in fulfillment of the promise “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” “If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do.”

Jesus had the Son of God realization, and we can have it through Him. When enough of earth’s inhabitants have established this realization we shall develop spiritual power sufficient to stop all wars and make peace permanent in all the earth. This is one of the great works ahead of God’s people, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than those shall he do.”

“Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Every religion has met with opposition and persecution in the beginning, and Christianity is no exception. But the race has evolved out of its physical consciousness into a mental one, and the crucifixions and stake-burnings perpetuated by fanatics have about ceased. Now persecution takes the form of an assumption of superiority by majorities and arrogance on the part of ecclesiastical authorities. We are fast outgrowing this man-made religion, and the time is at hand when every claimant to religious authority will have to prove its claims by its works. The master gave these signs as accompanying His representatives: “And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”