Unity Metaphysics 1
Lesson 09 The Four Functions of Consciousness
Our consciousness is made up of all the dimensions of our awareness. It consists of our innate capacity to intuit, to think, to feel, and to sense. As we engage the process of self-observation, we learn to see ourselves as spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical beings.
In this chapter, we will explore the meaning and dynamics of each of these functions of consciousness so that we may become more aware of expressing ourselves in a complete and balanced way.
“The five senses are simply avenues of one great central desire – sensation. The I Am desires experience in sensation, and the five senses are the five formulated avenues through which it enjoys that experience” (Talks on Truth 82).
“When life is expressed in divine order it is pronounced good. What is termed ‘sense consciousness’ in man is not to be condemned but lifted up to its rightful place” (Mysteries of Genesis 24).
“The senses are accurate within their own ranges, but their ranges are so circumscribed that you cannot from the senses alone gain any appreciable knowledge of reality. There are vast universes of being that the senses do not touch, and in order not to be deceived you must have a more capable guide, a more comprehensive reporter of events than the senses ever can be? (What Are You? 57)
Sensation is the function of consciousness by which we experience the phenomenal world. In other words, it is the means by which we obtain direct outer knowing. We use our five senses to appreciate and participate in the beauty and energy of manifestation. However, when our five senses become our source of information about what is ultimately real and true, we will be using our function of sensation erroneously and it will not serve its highest purpose in our lives.
“Thinking - The formulating process of mind. The thinking faculty is the inlet and the outlet of all your ideas. The thinking faculty in you makes you a free agent, because it is your creative center; in and through this one power you establish your consciousness you build your world” (RW/Thinking).
“Think; do not be content in playing at thinking, your brain will enjoy the exercise involved in real thinking; … Search. Delve into the matter that interests you; do not be satisfied with skimming the surface… Use your full mental equipment” (What Are You? 109).
Thinking is the function of consciousness by which we develop ideas into concepts, or rational patterns of thought. We use our intellect to observe, record, arrange, and evaluate the input we receive both from our intuition and from the sense world. However, thoughts which are based solely on sense impressions can be risky; they may or may not reflect Truth. It is important for each of us to invest our attention and energy in the process of thinking and unfold our powerful mental capacity so that we can make the fullest use of divine ideas.
“Feeling is external to thought; behind every feeling or emotion there lies thought, which its direct cause. To erase a feeling, a change of thought is required” (RW/Feeling).
“Feeling is mental reaction to things recognized or unrecognized… Your ideals are the parents of your impulses and your feelings. Whatever your ideals may have been in the past, the impulses and the feelings generated by them will be supplanted by the offspring of more sublime ideals, as these are adopted and cherished by you” (What Are You? 24).
Feeling is the function of consciousness by which thoughts are empowered and made personal. Feelings reflect our thoughts, and they are the avenues by which we express the energy generated by these thoughts. We must perpetually observe our feelings so that we are able to discern the character of our thoughts. Feelings which reflect error thought will be destructive and uncomfortable, whereas feelings which reflect inspired thinking will be constructive and fulfilling.
“Intuition—The natural knowing capacity. Inner knowing; the immediate apprehension of spiritual Truth without resort to intellectual means… Through the power of intuition, man has direct access to all knowledge and the wisdom of God” (RW/Intuition).
Intuition is the function of consciousness by which we receive divine ideas direct from divine mind. We intuitively perceive spiritual truth, which is our divine inheritance as children of God. Intuition is the highest function of human consciousness. This intuitive function is inherent in all humankind; however, we need to cultivate an awareness of its perpetual activity in our lives so that we are able to recognize and discern divine guidance.
9E Cultivating Balance:
The Senses: “Your mind will accept the reports of the senses until you have trained it to distinguish between permanence and impermanence” (What Are You? 27).
Thinking: “Do not let your thoughts run riot… put all the force of order into your thinking” (What Are You? 33)
Feeling: “Harness your moods. Make them work for you. They embody great power” (What Are You? 34).
Intuition: “You do not have to wait on time or on inspiration… Time always is yours; inspiration is continuous…” (What Are You? 34).
Each of the four functions must be able to develop to its fullest potential so that we are able to achieve a balanced state of consciences.
This segment was given at the opening of lesson 10. It is a review of lesson 9, The Four Functions of Consciousness.
THE FOUR FUNCTIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IS A FRAMEWORK BY WHICH WE BECOME AWARE OF THE SPIRITUAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND PHYSICAL COMPONENTS OF OUR BEING.
SENSATION REFERS TO THE USE WE MAKE OF OUR FIVE SENSES IN ORDER TO EXPERIENCE THE PHENOMENAL WORLD. SENSATION IS DIRECT OUTER KNOWING.
THINKING IS THE FORMULATING PROCESS OF MIND KNOWN AS THE INTELLECT WHICH TRANSLATES DIVINE INSPIRATION INTO MENTAL CONCEPTS.
FEELING IS THE FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS BY WHICH THOUGHTS ARE EMPOWERED AND MADE PERSONAL.
INTUITION IS DIRECT INNER KNOWING. IT IS THE FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS BY WHICH WE RECEIVE DIVINE IDEAS DIRECT FROM DIVINE MIND.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE RIGHT USE OF OUR FUNCTIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND DEVELOP OUR USE OF THEM TO THE FULLEST IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A BALANCED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
This segment was also given at the opening of lesson 10. It is additional information regarding lesson 9, The Four Functions of Consciousness. Ed speaks about numerology, symbolism and how the RSV and the NRSV Bible translations have interfered with metaphysical Bible interpretation
TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
- What are some of the ways in which our intellect can deceive us? How can we develop our intellect so that it serves to enhance our process of spiritual evolution?
- What are some ways in which we can cultivate a greater awareness of our intuitive function of consciousness? How can we recognize true guidance?
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION AND MEDITATION
"Clothe your mind with the garments of Truth,
and let your thoughts yield to you
their wealth of spiritual power.
Think from the truth standpoint when you think about
the outer, material world.
It is by your spiritual thinking
that you build up your spiritual consciousness."
(How To Let God Help You 116)
Fillmore, Charles, Atom Smashing Power of Mind, chapter 11, "The Only Mind."
Gatlin, Dana, God is the Answer, chapter 2, "Buried Talents."
Transcribed by Rev. Evan Coleman on November 11, 2017.
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