Lesson 4 – Imagination and Faith
Sunday lesson given at Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore, October 27, 2019.
Hi Friends -
The speech that historians have come to recognize as the greatest of the 20th century started in a mundane and unremarkable way. Then, about twelve minutes into the speech, Mahalia Jackson called over and said “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” And she repeated it, saying “Tell them about the dream, doctor.” Dr. King’s dream and the speech he delivered in August 1963 transformed him from being a great minister to being a great prophet.
Dreams are powerful. A dream is a desire, and, as mentioned last week, desire is a God-given promise delivered as a divine idea. The divine idea of Dr. King’s dream was justice and equality and the promise of his dream was freedom.
Do you have a dream?
Regardless, Dr. King’s speech was powerful not only because of the divine ideas of justice and equality he conveyed, but also because of the way he conveyed them—through an image of “the sons of slaves and the sons of slave holders sitting down together at the table of brotherhood” and “little black boys and little black girls joining hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
We often think that our prosperity depends Truth. And it certainly does. But prosperity also depends on how we process Truth in our consciousness. As we will see, there are two ways to process Truth: by will and by imagination. The power of Martin Luther King’s talk exploded when he began to convey Truth through an image. It just may be that our power of prosperity will also explode when we begin to use the power of imagination.
This talk is the fourth in a series of talks based on Catherine Ponder’s Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. The talks are based on a belief I’ve had for several years—that chapters two through seven of her book reflect a particular coupling and ordering of metaphysical truths from the twelve powers as taught by Charles and Cora Fillmore.
Here is how the chapters line up with the powers:
- The basic law of prosperity: Strength and Order
- The vacuum law of prosperity: Renunciation and Life
- The creative law of prosperity: Understanding and Will
- The imaging law of prosperity: Faith and Imagination
- The prosperity law of command: Power and Zeal
- The prosperity law of increase: Love and Wisdom
When I have had difficulty with prosperity, I look not only to difficulty with one or more of the six laws of prosperity in Catherine Ponder’s book. But I also look at failing to draw upon one or more of the twelve powers. And what I find is a strong similarity between the laws of prosperity and the powers of man.
In other words Catherine Ponder may have unconsciously perceived a hidden ordering of the twelve powers as they relate to the metaphysics of prosperity. If my hunch is right, that would explain why her book has been so effective in helping so many people for so many years. And, even more important, we then have not only another prosperity program in the Unity movement, we also have a new insight into the twelve powers.
This week’s lesson looks at the Imaging Law of Prosperity and how it is related to the powers of Faith and Imagination.
Catherine Ponder begins the chapter explaining that there are two ways for your dream to become a reality. The first way is will power and the second way, the better one, is use of the imagination. Will and imagination will both get for us what we wish. The difference is that imagination is stronger than will power. She writes at the end of the chapter, “Your active imagination will soon take control of your will and put it in is place, if you will first take control of the imagination.”
Why is this so? Dr. Ponder doesn’t say, but my sense is that imagination has one big advantage over will power. Imagination expands our sense of possibility but will power has a narrower focus on getting things done. That is to say that will power is limited by its own capacity to understand but imagination rises above all limitations.
Catherine Ponder says that our minds are constantly imaging. She says “the mind thinks through mental pictures” and “is the natural action of the mind.” Imaging is a form of thinking, and, according to Charles Fillmore, thinking is the process of moving divine ideas through the inlet and outlet of mind. That comes from the Revealing Word. An affirmation about our power of imagination, created from another Charles Fillmore teaching and quoted by Dr Ponder, is
I project myself through time and space and I rise above all limitations. (Mysteries of Genesis 295).
Imagination, however, does have some problems. First, our imagination can run wild and we can imagine negative outcomes as well as positive outcomes unless we draw upon the faculty of faith. Faith looks to the spiritual realm and perceives divine ideas. Imagination gives those spiritual ideas shape and form for expression in the physical world. But without a well developed faculty of faith, imagination will give shape to whatever it is fed. That is why I claim that this chapter by Catherine Ponder, The Imaging Law of Prosperity, is tied directly to the two powers of Faith and Imagination.
Second, imagination needs what Catherine Ponder calls “the power of a master plan.” The solution she offers is a “wheel of fortune.” A wheel of fortune is powerful because it integrates several images into one integrated image. That provides balance and order. It also allows the mind to subconsciously focus on “all desires” in an integrated fashion.
More important to me is that a wheel of fortune “turns the tide of your thinking.” That implies the the wheel spins and acts like a gyroscope or flywheel. Like a gyroscope, it has the power of momentum. Successful outcomes in the family and friends phase of our life seem to empower successful outcomes in other phases of our life, such as work or spiritual development.
Third, imagination should not be selfish, or, as Catherine Ponder says, our imagination should “work for our highest good.” Our highest good comes when we are shaping by imagination divine ideas—our own divine ideas—not someone else’s blessings. Envy and desire are different. Envy looks at the good fortune that has come to someone else, desire looks at the good fortune that is on its way to us.
Finally, Catherine Ponder cautions us about mentally imaging for others. She says we “should always give others the benefit of only good mental images.” A few paragraphs later she encourages us to give people a “success and beauty treatment.” To me, that is “beholding the Christ in you.”
Sunday, October 27, 2019