Unity Metaphysics 2 (Tan Book)
02 Our Many Selves
2A PSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGION:
"Thought control is imperative, and there is urgent need of teachers on both the mental and spiritual plane of consciousness if the race is to go forward in development. To this end there needs to be more cooperation between the two planes of consciousness, because they complement each other. Religion becomes practical and effective in everyday life when it incorporates psychology as part of its litany. Without religion psychology is weak in its fundamentals, and without psychology religion fails to give proper attention to the outlet of its ideals. The fact is that religion, comprehended in its fullness, includes psychology." (Keep a True Lent 75)
The proper integrating of religion and psychology is what gives metaphysical Christianity the character that is appealing to more and more people in this age. Psychology as the study of human nature, and religion as the study of divine ideas make a uniquely balanced combination. Unity teaches a spiritual psychology which is also a religion. It is both a metaphysical system and "a way of life."
"All things are in the consciousness and you have to learn to separate the erroneous from the true, darkness from light. The I AM must separate the sheep from the goats. This sifting begins right now and goes on until the perfect child of God is manifest and you are fully rounded out in all your Godlike attributes. (Atom-Smashing Power of Mind 49)
"We must learn to watch our consciousness, its impulses and desires, as the chemist watches his solutions. Man forms his own consciousness from the elements of God, and he alone is responsible for the results." (The Twelve Powers of Man 163)
The primary purpose for self-observation is to discern the movements of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and opinions in one's own consciousness. Only in this way can we distinguish between what is desirable or undesirable in us at any given moment. Some persons never take time for sincere and calm inner self-observation and consequently find it difficult, or even impossible, to change their consciousness. Error originates in consciousness and self-observation is the method through which it is detected.
2C OUR MANY SELVES:
"The Adam man exists in the subconsciousness as a multitude of men: The wise man and the foolish man, the kind man and the cruel man, the loving man and the hateful man, the stingy man and the generous man, the hungry man and the full man, the happy man and the troubled man, the good man and the bad man, the live man and the dead man, the poor man and the rich man, the timid man and the courageous man, the sick man and the healthy man, the old man and the young man, the erratic man and the sane man — these, and a thousand other types of man as active personalities, occupy the consciousness of every human being." (The Twelve Powers of Man 35)
One of the great illusions held in the minds of people today is the belief that they are all just one "self." While it is true that there is just one Real Self of each of us, there are many, many "selves" in each of us. The confusion may arise from the fact that while we have just one I AM, we also experience something called our sense of I Am. We are in the habit of connecting our sense of I Am to whatever "self" is claiming our attention. We move our sense of I Am around within ourselves constantly. And since we are aware of only ONE sense of I Am, we confuse our sense of I Am with the many selves we connect it with and get the impression that it is all one "self." This illusion helps perpetuate confusion in human thinking.
2D MAN'S LOWER NATURE:
"We have within us, bound in the cage of the subconsciousness, all the propensities and the savagery of the animals. In the regeneration these are brought forth and a great reconciliation takes place. ... Man's body represents the sum total of the animal world, because in its evolution it has had experience in nearly every type of elemental form. These memories are part of the soul, and in the unregenerate they come to the surface sporadically. Sometimes whole nations seem to revert from culture to savagery without apparent cause, but there is always a cause. These reversions are the result of some violent wrenching of the soul, or of concentration, to the exclusion of everything else, on a line of thought out of harmony with divine law." (The Twelve Powers of Man 79 - 80)
When we speak of the "lower nature" we are referring to those levels of consciousness we have risen from. If you have grown, you must have grown from something into something. That which you have grown from is now a "lower" level than the one you are now on. At one time it was the higher toward which you were growing. When Mr. Fillmore writes of our "animal natures," he does not mean that "Man is just an animal." What he means is that a level within us has a correspondence with the animal level of life form.
2E ASTROLOGICAL INFLUENCES:
"It is true that through the animal and human departments of the soul we are in sympathy with all nature, which includes the earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars, and as these are all ensouled, their reactions affect us when there is no higher power in evidence. But there is a higher power in us every one: Spirit. In Genesis it is stated that spiritual man, the image-and-likeness man, was given dominion over all creation." (Teach Us to Pray 48)
While Unity does not teach astrology in its literal aspect, it does not deny the existence of astrological influences in a non-literal sense. As Mr. Fillmore states in this paragraph, all existing things in the universe have a connection with all other existing things on a certain level. This would include our bodies and the planets and stars. Unity teaches that the Christ Spirit within us gives us a unique position in the cosmos. It is called individuality. Individuality can be influenced as all existing things can be influenced. But control, dominion, and mastery are in the Christ. An individual aware of Christ within can make his own free choices and control his own destiny.
2F CASTING OUT DEMONS:
"The casting out of these demons of personality formed a large part of the work of Jesus, and those who follow Him in the regeneration are confronted with similar states of mind and find it necessary to cast out the great demon selfishness, which claims to have power but is a liar and the father of lies." (The Twelve Powers of Man 66)
The phrase "casting out demons" is used so frequently in the Bible that it seems unwise to just ignore the idea. While most people do not believe in the existence of demons literally, there is still value and insight in the symbolic meaning of demons in the light of modern psychological and metaphysical knowledge. Basically the metaphysical meaning of demons is: negative states of mind which have become dangerous to the person connected with them.
2G SPIRITUAL PRIDE:
"Men possess as valuables their education, trade, ability, or intellectual talent. Ministers of the gospel possess scholarship or eloquence, and take pride in these possessions. Yet even these are burdens that must be unloaded before they may enter the kingdom of the heavens. The saint who is puffed up with his saintly goodness must unload his vanity before he gets in. (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 17)
Perhaps a clearer term for "Spiritual pride" is just plain "vanity." Vanity is a very dangerous negative attitude that tempts most persons who have gained certain attainments or who enjoy certain advantages in life. What is so wrong about vanity? It is not the same as wickedness, violence, cheating, etc. The great wrong in vanity is that it is built upon a totally false basis. This makes it even more dangerous to consciousness than some of the more blatant and obvious errors. It is based on the belief that: "I have created my own virtues and deserve special credit for it." There is only one Creator: God. To believe otherwise calls forth the demon called "vanity."
"Jesus did not take the universe on His shoulders by affirming His self-sufficiency. He unloaded every burden and rested in the all-sufficiency of the Father. 'I can of myself do nothing;' 'The Father abiding in me doeth his works.' This is the total denial of self—the giving up of all personal desires, claims, and aims. Before man can do this successfully he must change his ideas—there must be a mental house cleaning." (Keep a True Lent 51)
Repentance is a strange word which does not really carry the connotations of the Greek word from which it has been translated. The Greek word of the Gospels, (metanoia), has no exact counterpart in English. But, basically it means to become willing to change the character (or level) of one's thinking. This includes willingness to give up certain long-held attitudes as well as one’s habitual reactions to certain memories. It constitutes what Mr. Fillmore calls "a mental house cleaning." Jesus refers to it again and again as a prime requisite for spiritual growth and eventual regeneration.
2I THE REWARDS:
"Every thought of goodness makes a place, a form, and sets up a friendly habit in the mind that is permanent and that in your time of need ministers to you. You are glad to accept this ministry, for you have done good because the Spirit of good is working through you. Thus you reap the benefit of all the good you have ever done or thought. Your thoughts give back results of the same nature as themselves." (Atom-Smashing Power of Mind 48)
The idea that all our good expressions become our ministers in times of need is a glorious revelation. And since Spirit does not deal in even exchanges, but always returns greater blessings to the giver, this can be a particularly helpful and comforting realization in times of challenge.
Transcribed by Phyllis Banhan on June 24, 2016.
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