DEVELOPING OUR FACULTIES
THE ONLY way to abide in cosmic consciousness is to develop Christ consciousness, the abiding realization of oneness with God-Mind and of its ideas as directing all the faculties in fulfilling the divine purpose in being.
All true followers of Jesus Christ are required to discipline the human self in the journey from the personal to the Christ consciousness. The human part of us wants to cling to things visible and to other people, but as the impersonal, spiritual, Christ finds expression we gradually cease to lean upon these material limitations. Our spiritual faculties become so strong, vital, and substantial that we are able to contact the great invisible through them. When these faculties are well developed, the invisible reality becomes to us even more real and substantial and enduring than material things are to the senses.
We study God as mind, and man as mind; and we find that in the expression of divine ideas man has definite centers of consciousness, which the soul has built through its effort to use the divine ideas or qualities of being. We have found that there are twelve central or basic centers of consciousness, which are the result of the soul’s use of the God qualities of life, and love, and wisdom, and power, and substance. These centers of consciousness are centers of God-Mind; but they have built the physical organism through which they express. So we have twelve locations in the body, where the soul expresses definite qualities, which go to make up the Christ consciousness—at least we term it Christ consciousness when the individual is expressing himself under divine law. Developing these latent powers and capacities of the inner man is the key that will open to us the kingdom and give us Christ mastery. When we do this we shall succeed in whatever we undertake.
None of us are yet able at all times to keep our faculties expressing perfectly. But we are finding out that we can discipline ourselves and call upon the Spirit of God to act through us, which is the light that is given to every one of us as we come into being and that gives us whatever we need in the way of love and wisdom and faith and understanding and zeal, and the life and strength, the power and the will and the imagination to carry out the divine pattern and in an orderly way to eliminate or renounce all that has not been implanted in us by the Father.
In the development of faculties and powers—talents—in self-expression through them, and in the service to others that one must consider, in order to be truly successful and satisfied one must go to God-Mind to learn what is truly best for the soul at the time. Sometimes a soul will get into a rut through the desire to excel in some particular line, disregarding development along other lines.
We need all our faculties awake and alert to discern the reality of Being, and to see through the be-coming things to the underlying cause and to eventual order and perfection. We find that a daily development of all our faculties keeps us better balanced.
Faith and love are qualities of Divine Mind that bring the individual into close communion with the Father and source of all light and blessings. Having quickened faith and love, one may go a long way on life’s path and solve many problems. But eventually the very quickening of these two faculties of the soul will call for a full-rounded development.
Faith and love will prompt a person to identify himself with the best he knows in religious life. This brings him to a realization of the need of developing more and more of the Christ powers; also the need of giving up the old race beliefs and human fears and personal ambitions. All that does not measure up is left behind as he follows Jesus Christ in calling and educating his disciples or faculties.
Love without the co-operation of wisdom and good judgment and will would not give us the well-rounded expression that we desire, yet purified love will make it much easier to direct these other faculties into accord with the Christ pattern.
You speak so often of love, and of the importance of love, and the necessity of love in healing; and that you make many affirmations of love and power. Well, now, wouldn’t it be well to remember that there are a number of other qualities equally important, and that the development of these others is just as necessary as is the exercise of love? God is love. But God is also life, and power, and strength, and substance.
Love is little more than affection and animal devotion, until other faculties are developed to the point of enabling the individual to see and understand in others that which is loved. Faith must be active; discrimination or judgment must help one to see the real and to understand that which appears perhaps unlovely; imagination must picture the God qualities in one’s fellows and in one’s environment that are lovable; understanding must keep the love from becoming negative or selfish; will must hold one to a true course and to that which the good judgment indicates as best; renunciation plays its part in that it helps us to give up that which would hinder development. Strength must be recognized as from within and be so established that it supports every other faculty.
Sometimes in our zeal for the Lord’s work as we feel called to do it we emphasize the negative side of life and substance and love until we draw about us the correspondences to those negations. For example, a great desire for purity and for helping others to know and to live pure lives may cause us to throw so much of our thought energy and substance into the fight against so-called impurity and waste and weakness that we fail to have enough energy and substance to build up our own life and to create the loveliness that is God’s plan for us.
When every one seeks to live in perfect harmony with the divine law, he will begin to see order in his life and discord, if there is any, will be the unusual thing. In fact there will be nothing but order, harmony, and perfect conditions when we learn to express our Christ self. First and last one must understand and appreciate life and lay hold of the life faculty in such a way as to keep a vital interest in living and in bringing the body to its highest point of development—not necessarily to a given number of pounds nor to a given strength, nor to the point where it heeds merely the demands of the personal will and ambition—but to the goal of the radiant health and freedom that come of living from within, in harmony with the inner intelligence and the Christ pattern.
The light of Spirit, quickening the understanding, sets us free from all mortal sense and the boundaries placed by intellect. In the light of understanding we behold God’s presence, and His kingdom, and His children, and we see all these as one, and each in right relation to the others. The faculty of discrimination enables us to know if we have really awakened and developed the capacity for righteous judgment and harmonious expression and Christlike attitude along all lines.
It is merely a matter of giving up the lesser to receive the greater. So long as our mental hands and our soul forces are holding us to limitations to the personal, there is no room in them for the mighty blessings of Spirit that the development of the faculties through selflessness will bring.
The human part of us goes through a “crucifixion,” and our spiritual, Christ self is resurrected. Whatever is good and true within us is not crucified—it does not need to be. Whatever is good endures always and becomes one with the Christ in us.