Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #71
Solipsism: Our Private World of Self
Hi Friends -
This recording is important because it reveals some important things about a state of consciousness known as Solipsism. Solipsism can be a very troublesome philosophical condition, especially in Unity circles. We need to be aware of what solipsism is and how it can be misused. As a side note, this recording also reveals the likely source of Eric Butterworth’s well-known statement that there is an “Allness in every Illness.”
We all know that our world is hyper-connected. What that means is that digital media has provided unimagined new ways for us to become absorbed in our own private world of facts and experience without having to work very hard at doing so. We can change news by clicking a button on the channel changer. We can friend and unfriend those people we wish to engage with a simple click of the mouse. Hitting closer to home, we can now easily enter and exit a Sunday church service by pressing the Leave Meeting button. Poof, we’re here. Poof, we’re gone.
Becoming absorbed in our own private world of self is known as solipsism, defined as when “the self is the only existing reality and that all other realities, including the external world and other persons, are representations of that self, and have no independent existence.”
We may disagree about solipsism but the point I wish to make here and wish to explore more fully below is that there is only a small difference between living in our own private world of self and living in our own private reality of consciousness.
Consciousness is the “One-Word” that Eric Butterworth is referring to when he speaks of “A One-Word Religion.” Eric’s main point in A One-Word Religion is that religion is not about creeds and rituals but rather about consciousness. Listen to this clip from the Eric’s Sunday lesson:
When Eric Butterworth so emphatically says “reality is not out there” he is expressing a foundational Unity teaching. Most everyone that I know in Unity teaches that what is Real (capital R) is an internal experience that is shaped by the activity of our thinking. In other words, we create our own Reality, according to Unity.
All this is well and good. Well and good at least until we turn on the network news and watch video coming out of Minneapolis. And news coming out of Louisville. And more video coming out of Georgia. That is when we sense that the Reality we see IS out there; that is when we know that our consciousness has been blinded in some important way; and that is when we know that we have fallen to some extent into our own private world of self.
I’m not writing to criticize Eric Butterworth. I don’t believe he was solipsistic and I don’t believe his teachings are solipsistic. But I do believe that his teachings could be construed as such and I also believe that to the extent that we have become shocked or outraged by watching the network news then we have fallen into some sort of solipsistic thinking.
So I am writing to idealistic people like you and I so that we can become more aware of how easily we can fall into a mindset of our own private world of self. And I hope to offer a solution or two about how we may avoid doing so.
This audio recording of Eric Butterworth’s talk is missing on the back side of the cassette. Fortunately, we have about 25 minutes on the front side and the content found there is extremely valuable.
At the tail end of the transcript Eric mentions Dr. John Dorsey who was a professor of psychiatry at Wayne State University at the same time Eric Butterworth was minister at Detroit Unity Temple. Eric most likely knew him. Here is what Eric has to say: Dr. John Dorsey ... says “In a way, I can only be conscious of myself. I can never be conscious of some other person. Every kind of other is nothing but my own living of it. It is a part of me.” It is fair to say that, in that statement, Eric Butterworth is expressing what could be interpreted as solipsism.
To explore solipsism and its impact further, here is an article that surfaced in an Internet search about Dr. Dorsey. The author of that article summarizes the work of Dr. Dorsey:
Dorsey argued that repression fragmented the mind, with the repressed unconscious becoming the repository of rejected, denied, split off aspects of oneself. Repression detaches the individual from that of oneself which is negative and needing to be disowned. Thus are illness, neurosis, unhappiness, and all other “negative experiences” made a part of the “not self’, the existence of which makes impossible the experience of “allness” or “wholeness”. Illness can be replaced by allness if one lives oneself consciously and with appreciation of all of one’s attributes. Dorsey believed, for example, that there were innumerable instances when a cancer patient was spontaneously “cured”, i.e., the tumor or lesion disappeared, and that this was the product of the patient’s “loving” the cancer out of existence. For Dorsey the so-called “mind-body problem” was easily resolved: Everything is mind!
This tells us that the difference between Illness and Allness is whether we repress negative experiences. Solipsism by itself is not harmful, according to Dr. Dorsey and presumably to Eric Butterworth. For them, “Everything is mind!” But solipsism plus repression is harmful because repression fragments the mind and solipsism closes it off. Together, solipsism and repression make negative aspects of ourselves unavailable to our conscious awareness. This prevents our experience of Allness, leaving us with the experience of Illness.
So it is easy to be critical of repression. But I don't believe that repression is the real problem, at least psychologically. My opinion is that the real problem is solipsism. You and I may differ on the benefits of repression (denying that which we are unable to address), but I don't know any theology, philosophy or psychology that embraces solipsism (living in a private world of self).
We must not allow our inner work of consciousness to close us off from the outer world of God's perfect creation by falling into solipsism. I am grateful when the network news punctures my private bubble of self experience with a healthy dose of Reality, no matter how disturbing it may be. When that happens, I know that God is calling me to repent of my sin of solipsism.
One final note. This talk by Eric Butterworth is entitled A One-Word Religion. It is not entitled A One-Word Spirituality. The difference between spirituality and religion is that spirituality has seekers but religion has disciples. A disciple is not a seeker; a disciple is a finder, one who has found his or her pathway and makes a practice of it, accountable not only to self but also to God and to his or her community.
Solipsism and repression may be trouble, but they are nothing compared to the trouble of Solipsism and Spirituality. Solipsism closes off my mind and Spirituality makes me feel good. Solipsism and Spirituality is an addictive drug, a dangerous recipe, a recipe for indifference to all kinds of injustice.
So I am very concerned about the world we find ourselves in today, a world of “digital discipleship” where, with one click, we can drop in and drop out of Sunday services, repeatedly, until we find the perfect fit for our own private world of self. We need discipline, the discipline of religion, not spirituality, in order to avoid the fall into solipsism. Now, more than ever, we need religion to “bind us together” as a faith community.
Religion, as we know, is a human institution. Religion is messy and filled with difficulty. All who are spiritual but not religious need to rethink how we as a culture got to a place where we are today, proclaiming Oneness but indifferent to Wholeness.
We need to consider how ministers all over the place are trying their best to “bind us together” in a higher state of consciousness each Sunday through religious services. What they need most is commitment—religious commitment. Don’t be a spiritual tire kicker. Don’t click Leave Meeting before it’s over. And be sure to tithe the one institution whose role it is to “bind us together.”
Sunday, June 7, 2020
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Today we’re going to talk a little bit about religion. Yes. You might say that’s all we ever talk about. To most persons religion is a church they belong to or someone facetiously says the church you stay away from. It is a set of custom made convictions to which the person subscribes and learns by rote. I’m sure that many of you, I should say many of us, because I am a part of it, went to catechism school or Hebrew school or Bible study or catechism study when you were a child. You were exposed to a lot of difficult to pronounce words and studied theologies and creeds and rites and ceremonies and all the various things that make up religions.
And it’s the least effective level religion is looking backward to biblical times and revering the patriarchs and the prophets who lived and taught. In other words, it implies this is the time when God walked the earth. Those were the good old days in religion. For the most part this kind of religion is what I call religion in retrospect, always looking backward to other days. And it’s most effective level, religion is the science of living in a universe of changeless principle.
Man has struggled for thousands of years over what I call the great paradox of life. Otherwise, it is the perception of an orderly universe on the one hand and the fact of unbelievable suffering all around on the other hand. So, narrowly as times man was trying to understand these things, there’s always been a troubling question that man has asked, why? What is it? How does it work this way? Man has reasoned from earliest times that it was the will of God or perhaps anger of the gods. Now this was born the concept of another world, heaven, happy hunting ground out where the blue begin. Something where to which you go after this life.
It is just at this point, what we call the new insight in truth or the study of New Thought has its inception because it is the refusal to accept the idea of a world created by God or we must suffer part of the time so that we can get away with not suffering the rest of the time. And there’s the insistence that the only reason we suffer is that as yet we don’t know how not to suffer. In other words it is the realization that problems are not God ordained, but the result of subconscious God exclusion.
So the new insight in truth is built on the principle that man is a spiritual being with a power built into his very nature to unfold his imprisoned splendor. But he does not have to be the of circumstances, but he always has a choice to react in resistance or to choose the way of love and nonresistance. In other words, the realization that he may not be able to change people or conditions, but he can always change his thoughts about them.
So, as Solomon said it 3000 years ago “as a man thinketh in himself so is he.” Consciousness is the key. So actually the place of consciousness is so vital in our experience that it could be said, and we’re saying it today loud and clear, it’s a one-word religion, consciousness. This is a word that is used ambiguously superficially quite often in persons, just change your consciousness dear and everything will be all right. Quite often after a person has been in the study of truth for a little while and he begins to hear this he gets terribly annoyed, changed my consciousness, the idea, how am I going to change my consciousness? This thing is happening. It’s here. Just change your consciousness everything will be all right.
Point is, it’s hard to define consciousness and yet without it nothing else in life can be adequately defined. You can’t really understand what it’s all about. You can’t understand injustice, you can’t understand the fluctuations of human experience, you can’t understand soliloquy of Paul that which I would, I do not that which I would not that I do. We all go through this. I don’t want to do it but the devil made me do it or something made me. Unconscious pressures. Somehow I’m not able to do what I want to do.
Consciousness is needed as explanation of the way our lives fluctuate. Rollo May says, “Consciousness is the intervening variable between nature and being.” In other words, you are a spiritual being in potential living for the most part in human consciousness in the process of becoming what you can be.
There’s always that a view that is present, which is what you can be, which is what we call the Christ of you, the divinity within you. There’s always that in you also that is very base and mean and the limited aspect of you, the primitive part of your nature.
At present you’re aware of yourself somewhere along the path of evolution between human and the divine. For this reason, because of consciousness, you may think this negative but every person is capable of beastliness and saintliness. And so understand that when we become very critical of ourselves and of other persons we don’t realize it that the person is what he is because in some way he is holding himself on that level by habit, by unconscious volition, some way. That’s where he sees himself as being. That’s where he identifies himself.
So, then your central I, would always be modified as aggressive and cruel or as inspired and saintly. Something of your nature that is consciously involved and making the choice. It's interesting that it Ouspensky who was perhaps the best and important student of Gurdjieff, deals with the role of consciousness through what he calls the center of gravity. And when he says, “It is necessary that the center of gravity of everything, shall lie for a man in his inner world not in the outer world at all.” There’s a fluctuation of course, the focal point of consciousness. He says, “The first aim an individual can have as regard to his development is to create in himself a permanent eye to protect himself from continuous strivings, moods and desires that tend to sway him.”
In other words, the need to discipline oneself at a point in consciousness above the wellness sustaining level, we talked about that a little bit last week, the point is what Ouspensky calls a center of gravity. The center of your focus of consciousness. If it is above the wellness sustaining level then you tend to experience health and harmony. If it’s below the wellness sustaining level, then you tend to experience deterioration and difficulties.
In the garden of Eden, the allegory of Genesis, emphasize allegory because there are a lot of folks today who are involved in what is called creationism, which takes the Bible literally, and this is a day when God created the world and Adam and Eve were literal forebears of the race. The garden to being the allegory, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. This is a story that’s been often told. And they hid themselves for they were ashamed and God called out “Adam, where art thou?” This was no vindictive God seeking out at Adam for punishment because we punish ourselves. It’s the only punishment we can ever have is a self inflicted punishment.
So, God in terms of the divine law was challenging Adam to look at himself. Adam and Eve were created whole spiritual beings, but they lost their strongly rooted center of gravity, so they covered their nakedness. Again, this is a part of an allegory. They became centered in physical consciousness.
The word which we have translated as where, Adam, where art thou, comes from the Hebrew [foreign language 00:07:53] which can be where, who, what, whence, how, it covers all of these. Because more than likely the divine law was challenging Adam to look to his center of gravity saying, what are you? Define yourself. What is the level of your center of gravity? What is the focus of your consciousness? And if Adam had been able to answer right, I am a whole creature in God really felt that, he would not have been forced to leave Eden.
See, this again is symbolic. God didn’t drive them out, instead in a sense left of their own volition because it was losing sight of their kingdom of God potential and going out like the prodigal or they ultimately had to find their consciousness level and work their way back.
When we understand this in the context of wholeness, we see that this is not a time when man first dwelled in the garden of Eden in the kingdom of God consciousness and fell as theology has told us because this is the allegory that’s talking about the creation, the evolution of generic man. And when man leaves the garden, it’s the fall in the sense of coming from the laboratory into the workshop of human experience and the need for growth and evolvement.
Hegel refers to this as the fall upward which helps us to understand that there’s no devolution, it’s just a constant progressive unfoldment of the within becoming the without. I love the story of the children in Sunday school which were asked by the teacher to draw pictures of Bible stories that anyone that particularly impressed them. So one of the boy drew the story of a great old fashioned touring car and a man with a long white beard it is at the wheel and two young people are sitting in the back of the car. The teacher says, “What is that?” That’s where God drove Adam and Eve and even out of the garden.
So we can become so literal and we tend to really lose our perspective. God didn’t drive them out. In a sense, God was principal. When we break the law in consciousness, we break ourselves upon it so they could not possibly remain in this garden of Eden consciousness because they had to earn it. As I’ve always said success is not getting there it’s earning the right to be there, earning the right to be in the level of the consciousness of oneness. And as most of us know, you don’t get there by just saying, well, I’m going to be there. We spent all of our lives and probably many lifetimes in working this out.
The other extreme is found in that episode where Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” This was the same thing, but He asking it from a different level of consciousness. Who do you say that I am? And Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God.” This was Peter responding, and again, this is an allegorical representation of a historical event, which is what makes the Bible so delightful.
So, allegorically Peter represents faith. So, the principle of the divine within us is that he asking us to testify as it were, to witness our level of consciousness. Who are you? There’s something within us that is always asking this of us, who are you, Eric? Who are you, Jane? Who are you, Bill? You respond according to your present level of consciousness. Peter had this flash of insight when he could see behold the divinity and he said, “Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God.”
Our need is to see that in ourself and to see it in one another, which is not so easy to do. It is an old teaching expressed in a person symbolically in the Bible that one cannot find integration as a whole person as long as he is sense oriented. Now this is the story of the Israelites and they’re spending their time in Egypt. Egypt represents the sense orientation of life, Moses represents the upward surge, the ascending urge of man. The “Promethean act of will” that was just constantly driving, pulling. It’s like a force of gravity that’s ever seeking to lift us up toward the light.
As there we find in the tree or the plant, the sap flows up through the stems or the vines through the branches, out to the fruitage. This is a process of life constantly growing. So there’s an automatic and constant, ceaseless movement of spirit within us ever seeking to express itself and fulfillment.
And when we understand this, it’s almost a miracle. Let me talk about miracles. It’s almost a miracle that we can never be sick, you can never fail to be guided to right because we have the built in property to experience that, but we live in sense orientation you see. We’re like the Israelites enslaved in bondage to Egypt so that Moses represents that hidden urge within that is constantly seeking to lead you on, that something within you that motivated you to be here this morning in the first place not because you feel pious because you went to church, but because you’re seeking to understand yourself in a spiritual sense. You didn’t go to a ballgame, you didn’t sit home and listen to the radio, you didn’t go out and walk in the park, you came here. And this symbolizes the desire to experience something more about your inner self. This is the Moses factor of consciousness.
And before we awakened or even a modicum of spiritual sophistication, the attention is centered out there at the wording’s a circumference. This is where most of us live much of our time and where many folks live all the time, the circumference of life. This is where it’s starts. This is what’s happening, what are you going to do about it? That’s the way things are in the world.
Before you can have any sense of spiritual awakening, you pretty well are enslaved to that level of awareness. But suddenly something begins to happen. You begin to see a perception beyond this. You begin to see life at a different level, you begin to see that there are other possibilities or other things to do. But this sense of enslavement to physical, intellectual, material bondage is what in Eastern thought is referred to as bondage to Maya, bondage to things, to persons to experiences laid hold of by the senses.
In other words, you have sense impressions and emotions and desires, but you have nothing central to stay them. What can I do about it? There’s no way I can do this. So your life is moved this way and that and like a reed in the wind. There’s no way to actually stabilize yourself so you pray for a miracle, maybe God will help, maybe this will help me, maybe if I get a different job will change things for me, if I changed partners, something, anything to find my own center, but we are constantly working from the circumference you see.
In other words we have these sense impressions with nothing central to steady them between that which is going on within, now we’re just pouring in from the outside, nothing permanent intervenes to bring order and meaning. This is the typical evidence of man enslaved to a human bondage.
Symbolically then the Israelites were in bondage to a completely limited view of what they were. In this consciousness of person remains almost dead to any living experience of his divine potential. This is the one that the poet refers to when he says he died with all his music in him. It’s a sad thing that persons go all through life and never really awakened to the awareness of a divine level within them. It has nothing to do with belonging to a church or being religious. Many folks may be religious all their lives, learn the creeds and the catechisms and go to church and stand up and kneel when they’re supposed to and still not experience an awakening of the divine self within. The awareness that there’s something more divine.
So, expanding consciousness means broadening the awareness. Nothing changes, you don’t go anywhere, you don’t do something you don’t belong to something, it has nothing to do with this. It’s expanding the awareness, but everything in your life responds to the way in which you see yourself. When you begin to see yourself and see things from a different level then something has happened within, you’re opening up a new dimension.
There are two well known drawings used was by Gestalt psychologists in testing students. One is the picture of an old witch-like woman, the other is the picture of a rabbit. But if you look at the woman long enough, she begins to turn into a pretty young woman wearing a feathered bow. If you look at the rabbit long enough, it turns into a duck. If you get to any of this stare at this thing for a longer period of time, it will change back and forth to what it was originally and it’ll become nothing.
Actually, we know that it’s simply an inkblot series of splotches on a piece of paper like looking at clouds and saying, that looks like a man, this looks like something rather, but you see, you may ask the question, what is the reality of the drawing? What is the reality of life? What is the reality of this experience? There is no single reality. You say facts are facts, that’s the way it is, is it? That’s the way we’ve called it, this the name we’ve given it. But the thing always becomes to us what we see it as being. That’s true of everything.
And in a sense things do not really exist for us until we see them and they exist as we see them. It’s a startling thing, but this is a psychological truth as well as the spiritual awareness. So, it’s not really important what they are, but what is it? You all look at a painting at the art gallery, what is it? What’s it supposed to mean? It doesn’t mean it is, but it is for you where you see it, according to your perspective.
Revealing thing is where you are, the viewer or your level of perception will determine everything that you’ve experienced in life. So, this helps us to understand how consciousness works. If there’s a pattern of poverty within you, some folks are not aware of this, if there’s a pattern of poverty within you, it means your center of gravity is below what I would call the all sufficiency and God level and you will begin and tend to see everything from this poverty perspective. You will see lack everywhere and you will experience lack in all your affairs, or at least the fear of lack, which is just about as bad as the lack itself.
But if there is a sense of affluence, there’s a healthy child of God entitlement of abundance consciousness, and you’ll begin to see all things from that perspective. You’ll experience abundance in affairs or you will always feel prosperous regardless of what conditions may be. This is what we call the prosperity consciousness. Many folks have an unconscious awareness of prosperity, so things always work out beautiful for them in that level life.
And many folks, again, not considering whether they have jobs or don’t have them, whether they have a lot of money or have nothing, many folks have poverty consciousness. So, even the person of affluence according to world evaluation, they always fear like and always be concerns spends his whole time looking at the stock market returns and looking at this indicator and that indicator, is my money safe, I’m I secure in my old age? And so forth.
Other persons have a prosperity consciousness, a sense of oneness with the affluence of life and he’s always secure and he’s always rich in a full sense of the word, which certainly implies something much more than just material things. So it’s true with healing. Some folks have a health consciousness so that they’re always, as they say, disgustingly healthy. Conditions may come, diseases may make the rounds, the usual flu and various types of various parts of the world who are making the rounds and so forth, but they always are oblivious to this. It doesn’t phase them at all.
Other folks are sick consciousness, illness conscious, always going from one thing to another. Always imagining it even if there’s nothing there. Imagining that the slightest little headache or sinuses detention means I’m coming down with this, I’m coming down with that. Always ready to acquiesce and go into it basically because of the level of awareness, the center of gravity and consciousness.
So it is with justice. A person who feels that there’s no justice in life, people are unjust, people are dishonest, you can’t trust anybody, this person lives in an injustice consciousness. All things relate to that and they’re constantly proving. He says, see, I told you, I just told you that was you can never trust these people. Other folks who live in a consciousness of wellbeingness and order and justice everywhere, trusting people, believing in people and because they trust them and believe in them, they tend to draw forth that from the other consciousness. Remember we said in the beginning that man is an innovative variable between the human and the divine. Any person has the potentiality of being honest and perhaps even if only intellectually dishonest.
So here’s a neutral person as it were, you come to him and meet him, if you have an injustice sense you can’t trust anybody then you don’t trust him, because you don’t trust him you tend to lay hold of his nature, push the right buttons that make it come out as dishonest, confusing injustice, you see. But if you have a justice and order consciousness, you tend to draw that from the other person. The person may even say, I don’t know why it is, but every time we’re with that person, everything goes wrong. I think the worst kind of thoughts, I don’t know why it is. And the other one would say, but every time I’m with that person, I feel so good, I feel so peaceful, I feel so loving. His whole into nature fluctuates according to the way in which you deal with him. And understand this, multiply it millions of times by all the relationships we have in life you can see that it’s hardly a question as to why we have such confusion in our life because our center of gravity is constantly fluctuating from this point to that point.
It has said that 85% of all illnesses are psychosomatically induced. 85% of all accidents are unconsciously invited. These statistics are expressed by people in insurance statistics and health analysis and so forth. And more and more were coming today that figure is going upward and upward until eventually we will know as a truth student knows that 100% of sicknesses are emotionally induced, 100% of accidents. Everything is caused by consciousness. And that’s a hard one. Usually we don’t want to accept it and find especially difficult the words of Ralph Waldo Trine who expresses almost a credo of the one world religion. He says, “Within each person lies the cause of whatever comes to him. No disease can enter into or take hold of our bodies unless it finds therein something corresponding to itself, which makes it possible.”
Many of us, especially if we’re feeling sorry for ourselves, we want to run and hide when somebody expresses something like that because it seems to put all the blame right squarely upon our own shoulders. And I’m not thinking that, we’re thinking cold and thus catching a cold, I’m thinking disease and thus catching disease of one name or another is simply that the center of gravity is centered in the illness level below the wellness sustaining level, we become receptive, susceptible to various conditions and limitations partly because our belief in illness and contagion, our natural bodily resistance forces are neutralized, that’s why we’re susceptible to this or that or the other that may be making the rounds according to human consciousness.
See, the rule in terms of spiritual law is that consciousness always precedes experience. No matter what the experience is some way in my consciousness, the cumulative awareness of myself, the center of gravity is not the truth statements that I know. This is where we get confused, we say, but my conscious is high because I believe in truth, I’ve accepted the creed of truth, I’ve learned the catechism as it were, I memorize the statements. This is where my consciousness is. That’s not understanding consciousness. That’s your intellectual acquisition.
Many of us have an intellectual acquisition of a lot of truth. As I say often, without any sense of self flattery I have a knowledge of an awful lot of truth, but when it comes to a meeting an experience, I’m just like everybody else. It boils down to what I really know, not know about, but what I know, where I am really unconscious, so in a sense, in that moment of difficulty, whatever it is, divine law of saying, Eric, what are you? In my response you see, I say, well, I don’t feel good or people are picking on me, that’s where I am you see. What I really know as Peter did of Jesus, thou art the Christ, the son of the living God really know it and know that I know it and at least begin to work toward the realization of that consciousness then I’m at least on the track of solving my problem. Otherwise, we don’t really solve them at all we simply postpone them.
The greatest discovery of the past 2000 years, that’s saying a lot isn’t it? The greatest discovery of the past 2000 years is that consciousness makes our life what it is and as consciousness changes, so life for us changes too. This is what I would call the credo of the one world religion. Consciousness is at the root of all things. So the great need of all of us is to know ourselves, to work for the sense of individuality, to know for instance that, I exist. Know for yourself, you exist. You’re here. You are spirit in the process of being you, need to let go of your spiritual inferiority. We all have a little bit of it.
One, I think... Conco refers to this as a God shy awareness. Sense of feeling I’m not good enough and not aware of the truth about myself. At root of your being you see the problem is, if you’re experiencing difficulties, it’s because you are in somehow centering in consciousness below the focus of love, the focus of truth.
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Reality you see is not out there. This is the transition we all have to make if we’re going to really understand life. Reality is not there, he said, but it’s there and seeing is believing but seeing is not believing, believing is seeing. I see it there because I believe it, because I understand it. If I don’t believe it, if I’m not perceptive of it, then it doesn’t exist. It’s not there as far as I’m concerned.
I can drive a certain way to work or go on a subway or walk down the block a certain way week after week, year after year and pass a certain store or a certain person selling things on the corner and be oblivious of it. So as far as I’m concerned, it isn’t there. Someone says, you’ve ever seen that? No, I never seen it. So, for you it doesn’t exist. It only exists for you when you see it, when you become perceptive of it.
So reality is not out there, reality is at the root of your being. You don’t see reality, you see from reality. Everything that you see, every level of awareness through in what you see, you’re seeing as a result of something in your consciousness, something that it’s given you that awareness, that experience, that background of knowledge.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Many folks misunderstand this and say, if you have a purity of consciousness, you’re going to see God sitting up there somewhere on a throne. Yet the Bible says very clearly and other times, no man has seen God at any time nor will anybody ever see God because God is not to be seen, God is. God is the eyes that see and the consciousness through which to see. So, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God means the person who has a purity of conscious, a oneness with the divine flow, he sees from that consciousness and he sees God in the sense that he projects God consciousness.
Like a person who puts on rose colored glasses, he sees rose colors, but on dark glasses you see dark colors because you’re seeing from that awareness, from that perspective. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. So the point is, this is the key to changing consciousness. We’re having to say, well, if consciousness is the key to the troubles in my life, how do I alter consciousness? How do I change it? This is what we’re doing all the time trying to change consciousness. But the point is if we try to change things or conditions or even forcefully try to make ourselves believe something else, we just don’t succeed very well.
The key to changing consciousness is changing how you see. Learning to perceive rightly. Point is, the thing we ultimately have to acknowledge is that seeing is a projection of energy. We actually project something. It’s like a search light. When you see you turn on the light and you see it because what you see is in your consciousness, not out there at all as far as you’re concerned. You can argue this point, but in terms of reality you see it because you see from some experience, if you don’t know it, you don’t see it.
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Is a question about the little child before he’s developed consciousness or any awareness of life. His eyes look out but you see no recognition factor at all. There’s nothing. You see, he gradually develops the ability to see the conditions, but that isn’t it. He’s developing the mentality that allows him to see from something, and it’s a case of which comes first, the chicken or the egg, but the perception comes first and you see according to where you are, according to your consciousness.
So the thing we all are going to have to acknowledge is that, seeing is a projection of energy. So then we have to be very careful the energy that we project. We go around seeing things, oh, this is terrible, that’s terrible, that’s terrible. What we’re doing is adding to the negation of the world. I’ve often said, some of this stuff shock some folks when they talk about crime in the streets and the terrible perversity that there is around in the community and so forth, when you talk about it and when you see it and you read it and you look at things in that side, you are actually a part of the problem.
As long as we’re constantly talking about how terrible things are in the city, we are a part of the city’s problems just as much apart, that’s the shocker, as a person who is out committing crimes because all relative. As long as we see that, continue to see it and as long as that’s the level of consciousness which people are seeing conditions in the world, we create the conditions that make the results inevitable.
It’s almost like certain persons are mystically assigned to the task of fulfilling your expectations. You expect people to be bad, you expect... Like there’s a newspaper editor once, assistant editor came up and said, “I don’t know what’s going on, what are we going to do? Nothing’s happened in the world today. We don’t have any news to print.” The editor says, “Don’t worry, it’ll happen. I have faith in human nature.” As long as we have that kind of faith in human nature then we’re a part of the world’s problem. Now you can’t tell this to everybody and it may be hard for you to accept it but put it on the back burner at least because it’s certainly something that is very vital in understanding the truth.
So as the poet says, “That thou seest man, become to thou must, God if thou seest God, dust if thou seest us dust.” I point out often that the word I in the Hebrew and the original transcript is the word AYIM, A.Y.I.M. which literally means fountain. The eye is a fountain. The eye is actually a fountain which pours forth from your consciousness and wherever you look, whatever you see, you’re projecting something. That which thou seest becomes thou must, God if thou seest God, dust if thou seest dust.
You see, when we’re trying to understand the idea of conscious it was good to remind ourselves that we live in a world of our own mind and we say that often and you’ve heard it often and you’ve read it often, but take it into your consciousness again. We live in a world of our own mind. Things exist, people exist, experiences take place for you as you see them and they don’t exist if you don’t see them. This is why we say when you’re praying for another person, first of all heal your concern. You say, but I want to help him, but you can’t help him until you help him. And this him is as far as your concern exists as a him, Peter exists as a Peter in your consciousness. You got to change this before you can change that. This is where you are, this is your reaction.
You’re primarily dealing with the image that you have of the person in your mind, image of your experiences. Dr. John Dorsey, helps us understand this, this is a psychiatrist of Wayne State University in Detroit, very interesting book, Living Consciously: The Science of Self. It’s written in a very interesting style, but he says, “In a way, I can only be conscious of myself. I can never be conscious of some other person. Every kind of other is nothing but my own living of it. It is a part of me.”
Continued on the other side of this tape, please turn the tape over now. Thank you.
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