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Newton Dillaway—I Consent

July 1969 issue of Unity Magazine—I-Consent-Newton-Dillaway graphic

A Mysterious Energy Was Flowing Into Me and Something Was Filling Me

“If you believe in spiritual power and are willing to let it be expressed through you, use Newton Dillaway’s “technique of consent.” This technique is so simple that you will marvel at the good (relief from tension, increased prosperity, better health) which will come to you easily, quickly, and effortlessly.” — RG (Richard Garnett), Editor Unity magazine July 1969

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Some twenty years ago I discovered a way to adjust to the powerful and mysterious energies of the Overworld, the Power over all. The particular method, or technique, that I will reveal here is one which I believe anyone can use. It can bring you safely through the stress and strain of modern life, and give you the feeling of ease. Lao-tzu spoke of the balance that comes to those who feel at “endless ease with everything.”

William James felt that the most important discovery of his time in psychology was the discovery of higher states of consciousness than the normal waking consciousness that most of us dwell in most of the time. The distinguished Harvard psychologist discussed this discovery in his Gifford Lectures at Edinburgh, at the turn of the century, and I would say, in the light of what I know today, that discovery of the energies of this Overworld, open to all of us, was the most important discovery of our age, one that can bring the kingdom of God into our world - now.

Writing of the religion - the “true church” - of the future, Charles Fillmore describes it as an “exact science.” It is not a religion, but a principle of unfoldment “working along definite lines of growth in building up of a state of consciousness for the whole human race ... It does not refer to things abstract, but to things concrete ... covers every part of man’s existence and enters into every fiber of his being. He carries it with him day and night, seven days of the week.”1

This is the kind of “church,” the kind of “religion” I have always pursued. I always knew it was an exact science, and I knew that adjustment, accuracy, consent were keys to discovering what to do and how to do it. Years ago I spoke one night in a church in Washington. I spoke of spiritual power, of how to use it, in theory, and after I finished, most of the audience lingered.

One woman came up to me and said, “Tell us exactly how you do it.”

I always remembered that remark and in later years, lecturing from Boston to Miami, Seattle to San Diego, I discovered that what my audiences wanted most of all was to learn what to do and how to do it, in order to be able to use spiritual power in their search for the good life. And this is an article which tells exactly what to do, exactly how to do it.

A technique may be described as a way or method that tells you what to do and how to do it. This technique might be described as “contractual.” A Boston surgeon, who used to accompany me on lecture tours in the East when we discussed child care, once said to me, “I like the idea of consent because it is contractual.”

Emerson describes health as “consent to the cause and constitution of the universe.” In seeking health, in seeking more power, so that we can do what we want to do when we want to do it, we learn to consent, to “let go and let God.” We make a contract with the universe to be used. Justice Holmes said that “man’s only worth is as a humble instrument of the universal power.”

I knew all this and respected it, but I did not know how to use the consent idea in exact ways until that cold day some twenty years ago. At that time I sat in my car in front of our school for young children. I had to drive eight or ten youngsters to their homes. It was snowing hard - the roads were quite slippery. The hills had not been sanded, and I was afraid. Taking youngsters home on such a day is quite a responsibility, and I wished I were in California.

Then it suddenly occured to me that although I might feel entirely capable of doing the job ahead of me, I could yet make a contract with God, with the universe, and see if I could be used. This was the first step, and I found that these words had formed spontaneously in my mind - “I consent.”

Without even thinking about it, I began to say, “I consent, I consent,” over and over. Then a strange thing happened, something I did not understand then, in regard to this part of the technique, and for years I was somewhat in the dark. As I said, “I consent,” I became conscous of an inflowing energy that seemed to be filling up something within me. This puzzled me, and then my mind suddenly turned to the 23rd Psalm - “My cup overflows.” A mysterious energy was flowing into me and something was filling up. In perhaps three or four minutes I had the sensation of the energy spilling over the top of my “cup.”

Then I made a remarkable discovery. I discovered that once the cup was filled, once the energy began to spill over, I could direct it with my conscious mind. Even on that first day, when I had no intellectual grasp of what I was doing, I knew what to do. I knew that I must direct this energy on ahead with my conscious mind, and I did so, directing the energy to the home of every child and seeing the whole trip free from danger and executed with ease. Once I had done that, I felt entirely free, entirely confident. I used this method for twenty years, in all kinds and conditions of weather and never had a single accident or mishap of any kind.

Try this technique. It is a remarkable thing, and I feel sure it will work for any person of intelligence who believes in spiritual power and who is willing to be directed from above. “The true foundation of things,” as Aurobindo says, “is above, not below.” Someone has said that the best way to solve a problem is to get above it. Jan Smuts, in his scientific treatise on “holism” (whole-ism) says that the whole-making power that moves throughout this universe is developing “a higher system of controls,” and is learning to work in man through more “highly organized centers.” This we sometimes call the fundamental movement, and Mr. Fillmore had this in mind when he cited “an organic principle in nature working along definite lines of growth.”

What we are really trying to do here, as I see it now and after twenty years of experiment, is to move up, shift gears, so to speak; and when we do, we come under a higher control. We are directed by the light and power of the Overworld, the “Over-Soul,” the Universal Mind, as it is often called. And the amazing thing that I have discovered and have proved by hundreds of experiments is that this experience is real, is an exact science, and works with ease if you are set, if you are willing and ready to be used.

Getting set is one of the keys. Before He gave the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus went into the mountains to “get set.” Watch any great athlete and note that he may take several moments to get set before he goes into action. A Truth student once said, “Every serious mistake I ever made was the result of going into action, or making a hasty decision, when I was not ready, not set.”

I am sure it won’t take you half an hour to get set before you put on the “act” I have described here. But the important thing I have discovered is that our energies get unorganized - we get “off the beam,” out of tune. And even a few moments of rest or relaxation, even a short pause, will help you get set.

In recent years I have thought a lot about positioning. It is one of the keys to getting set. When we get out of position, off the beam, we may lose the “living water” of the Overworld, the great energy that pours into us when we are in position.

If you want to receive the living water of the universe, the powerful energies of the world above you, take time to get into position. This is merely a question of accurate adjustment. If you want to get good reception on your radio, you don’t adjust just “any old way.” You look up the right numbers - say 1280 - and then you take time to adjust accurately to 1280. As the instrument, so the reception. There is a central stream that runs straight from every individual to the Source. Emerson put it thus: “Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”

Notice the words without effort. Jennette Lee, in discussing the smooth, effortless way to get things done, reminds us that “effort crowds out balance.” She goes on to say that “probably the most important principle at work wherever life exists - the most simple in its working, the most far-reaching in its results” is that power is not generated by effort, but rather by “a technique of adjustment that permits the body to work as part of a whole, drawing on the power of that whole of which is a functional part.”

A technique of adjustment! There is the key, I believe, to the future of mankind. Mrs. Lee was discussing balance in the body, but she opened a door to the reception of a whole universe of power that can flow into the mind-body once it is set, positioned, accurately adjusted. After reading her comment on adjustment, I wondered if Jesus was able to do all He did because He was able to adjust accurately to the whole of which He was a functional part.

I believe the day will come when men will be indifferent to the parts or compartments of life we now call religion, science, philosophy, psychology, and the like. The man of the future will see accurate adjustment. He will have developed a technique of adjustment that enables him to tune in on the abounding reality of the universe, the great energies above us, and he will know how to work as part of the whole of which he is a functional part. Then he will really know that the Father “does the works.”

Emerson felt that all great men discover the secret here. They learn that the secret of great achievement, of gaining great power, is not so much to work as to be worked upon, not so much to do as to let do, and “to this homage there is a consent of all thoughful and just men in all ages and conditions.”

So learn to get set, get adjusted accurately to your own center, to the middle of the stream of power that flows through you, get positioned so that the living water of the universe will fill you up with energy, with a sense of ease. Once in touch with the great energies of the Overworld, you are ready to be worked upon.

Consent is the key that sets the power in motion. Be really willing to be used. This is the easy and efficient way. Effort is the hard way. Watch a great athlete, a great dancer, a great performer. People say, “It looks easy the way they do it.” It is easy, because they are set, well-adjusted - because they are on the beam. I often think of the remark of Emmet Fox, to the effect that if you are on the beam, you are safe; and if not on the beam, you are not safe.

Before you go out to this world of tension, speed, and dissonance, take time to get set. Even a moment or two of rest, relaxation, will help to organize your energies, help you to get in position, get on the beam. Then when you feel ready to use the consent technique, simply say, “I consent” a few times; do it until you begin to fill up on the inside. Then once your cup is full and the energies begin to spill over, direct the power on ahead. If you are going to the supermarket, the post office or to fill and important engagement, let this energy you are now receiving flow to the places you will visit; then when you have the feeling of being set, when our intuition says, “Go,” you are ready to move. And once you catch on here, you will be amazed at the results, amazed at the feeling of ease that comes to you; you will feel that you are part of a great whole that is leading you to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.

Finally, don’t forget - not for a moment - that what I have been discussing here is reality - something you can put in operation now. As Mr. Fillmore said, the new order, the exact science to which man must adjust, “does not refer to things abstract, but to things concrete. Whoever looks upon it as an abstracton has wholly misconceived it... Whatever the prophets did was done by the operation of laws inherent in Being and open to the discovery of every man.”

  1. Charles Fillmore, Talks on Truth, The Church of Christ p.110.