Antecedents of New Thought by Eric Butterworth
Lecture 6 - Thomas Troward
Eric Butterworth opens the second clip by saying, "Thomas Troward, our study for today, is significant probably more than any other way because he did not articulate a metaphysical interpretation of a religious view."
In that respect, he was the exact opposite of Mary Baker Eddy and in a sense he was the opposite of Phineas Quimby. Like Troward, Quimby was scientific in his teaching, but Quimby employed religious language because religious language was what caused people to become ill and religious language was what they knew. Mary Baker Eddy's success also depended on the communicating her teaching through the religious culture in which her patients lived.
Thomas Troward, however, spoke to a culture and intellectual environment free from religious thinking.
My opinion is that Quimby and Eddy spoke to those for whom Truth was revealed and Troward spoke to those for whom Truth was discovered. The patients of Quimby and Eddy were from a traditional worldview and the patients of Troward were from a modern point of view. Both are valid. The mistake we too often make today is assuming that all arrive at Truth in the same way.
I'm sure that most of you have had some exposure to, some contact with, what is called the New Thought Movement. It is possible of course that you may be here just as a result of an introduction that has come to you briefly, or perhaps through listening to my radio broadcast. The so-called New Thought Movement, and its new insight in truth, is a unique kind of movement in America. It has spread out from America to other parts of the world, but it is quite unique to America. This is probably conjectural, but I think that to a large extent, most would agree upon this.
Whereas most religious groups are divisions or schisms within organized, traditional religions, and offshoots from them, the so-called New Thought Movement or Metaphysical Movement or the Practical Christianity Movement, or call it what you will, is not an offshoot from any traditional concept. We are dealing in this series with some of the roots. We're not as concerned with the story of the development of the movement, because in a sense, it is such a loosely organized movement that it is pretty hard to really pin it down. There are certain organizations in the New Thought Movement such as Religious Science or Unity Itself, or Divine Science and a few others, that have a semblance of movement but basically, it's not a religion in the traditional sense.
We're more concerned with ideas, and so in this particular study we're considering the antecedence not in terms of people, not in terms of what has happened, but we're concerned basically with the antecedence in terms of ideas. Obviously ideas have been expressed by people, so we're dealing with people who have expressed them. We have given some thought, as I said awhile ago, with roots in philosophy and psychology, and with transcendentalism, and with Quimby and with Mary Baker Eddy.
It was, I think, one of the things that we come to grips with, and I think many persons were, there were few at least, who were a little not disturbed but mildly disappointed in my treatment of Mrs. Eddy, basically because I did not emphasize the Christian science, the Christian aspect, the biblical aspect. I have pointed out from time to time, and I think perhaps it might be important to stress it again tonight, that it goes without saying that many of us have a religious orientation. That's the unique thing about this New Thought or Metaphysical Movement, which certainly will be emphasized even more this evening as we consider Judge Troward.
That it was in very case later that it was discovered that the metaphysical implications in Jesus' teachings and in the Bible seem to parallel, as it were, some of the fundamental truths that had been unfolded through this modern metaphysical ideal. Out of using metaphysics in terms of metaphysically interpreting the Bible, and metaphysically dealing with Jesus, or with any other religious teaching, there has developed a kind of religious movement. Sometimes even a church movement, and some of our so-called New Thought groups are definitely established churches, and many of the Unity centers are established churches.
We do not follow that particular approach here, but that's because of the great freedom that is involved in the whole movement. It is important I think to note that the absolutely, absolute metaphysical principles are not religious principles. There's a distinction that can be drawn, and should be between religious and spiritual. In their religious application, they can often and sometimes do become divisive. Religions have always divided people, and have even created wars. Spiritual principles unify people, and it's when religions lose sight of the basic principles and get involved in theological idealisms, that they get into divisive relationships.
Thomas Troward, our study for today, is significant probably more than any other way because he did not articulate a metaphysical interpretation of a religious view. Instead, he set forth a metaphysical system, worked out in the manner of philosophy, and with profound spiritual implications. Which then becomes a key that many have used to interpret scriptures and religious viewpoints. Now when we say that he did not have a religious approach, or even when we talked about Mary Baker Eddy, and the fact that some questioned that we did not deal with the Christian approach, we're not saying that truth is non-religious, or that truth is non-spiritual. Certainly not.
We're saying that the implications of truth are sound, spiritual or if you will, in another context, scientific principles. Not just religious ideals that come out of revelation to a particular person, but the fundamental principles, fundamental laws that relate man to the whole universe. Thomas Troward then is a very important study. Instead of dealing or beginning with a metaphysical interpretation of a religious view, he set forth a system that was philosophical, that had profound spiritual implications. Which that therefore has been used by many to give an interpretation to religious things.
Thomas Troward was born in 1847 and lived until 1916. He spent all his active career in India, and during the latter part of this he was a judge in what is now Pakistan, the part of India that was Muslim, that was separated and formed into a new nation. It is obvious that he was a student of religion philosophy, that he was a scholar, that he had an inquiring mind into the meaning of life and of the universe. Obviously he spent many years researching the religions of East and West. There is no doubt about this. On retirement, he returned to England, devoted his remaining years writing, thinking, evolving the kind of systems that we see today in his books.
Now it is interesting especially that up to this time, when he began setting his ideas down, he had no connection whatever with any New Thought group or teacher or book or anything that we know of. I think this is significant, because it means that Troward provides a fresh viewpoint that coincidentally supports the new insights in truth that prevailed in his day. Then which actually added tremendous new dimension to it, and had a great influence on it. According to his daughter, he valued Emerson highly, so at least there's this kind of a contact. Not with New Thought as such, but with the transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson. She says that he delved deeply into various Eastern religions during his life in India, but was not committed to any of them.
Most of his metaphysical philosophy, then, was formulated before he had any connection with the New Thought Movement, or that which is a part of this stream which we've been talking about in recent weeks. According to Alice Callow, who is sometimes called the Mother of the New Thought Movement in England, Troward was sitting one day in a London tearoom, working on a manuscript while he was having tea and cakes. She entered and the room was full, and he was sitting alone at the table, so she asked if she could have a seat. He motioned that she should, and without even looking up hardly, he went on with his manuscript.
She sat there at the table and she noticed he was writing in a very large hand, that the table was very small, and she could not help but read some of the things that he was writing. She remarked to him that he must be writing either "higher thought" or "divine science." Of course, his ears pricked up at this and he immediately got into a conversation and this was his first introduction to what we would consider the New Thought stream. He began going to the Higher Thought Center, which was the center where Alice Callow held forth, and here he found congenial friends. It was delight to him because he'd lived so many years, as I know many of you probably have experienced it, thinking that he was almost alone in his thought and he suddenly found that there are all these other people that thought like he did.
He listened to lectures and he was just an avid student. He was a very humble man. He was sitting there week after week, just as I suppose it could be true that there's somebody sitting in this audience that someday will write things that will make Eric Butterworth look like a child. He was going to this center and enjoying himself and finally, Miss Alice Callow sensed that maybe he'd have something to say and asked if he would like to give a lecture sometime. He finally agreed to do it, and they were all held spellbound. He still didn't push the thing. He wasn't particularly concerned with any kind of a public performance, but gradually he became renowned and the first thing you know, he became probably the most influential teacher and writer of metaphysics in England.
This led to eventually, his giving a series of lectures at Queensgate Hall in Edinburgh. These were the where he gave the famous Edinburgh lectures which were put together, they were transcribed and published. Put together into a book, and a book which reflects the heart of his thinking prior to his contact with the New Thought of the day, which is quite significant. The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science, the title of the book, has become a classic work in this field, and I think remains today a very important work and I'm sure some of you have read it, studied it, had lectures on it. If you haven't, certainly I commend it to you. I do warn you as I have suggested that Troward is somewhat abstruse and pedantic and he's a little bit like Emerson in that he writes long, long, long sentences that just keep on going half a page long sometimes.
Some of the fundamental principles that he espouses are principles that you probably will have heard reflected in the writings and teachings of Emmet Fox, or Ernest Holmes of Religious Science and in Charles Fillmore, and I suppose in people like Eric Butterworth. In addition to the Edinburgh Lectures, there are the Dore Lectures on Mental Science, The Creative Process in the Individual, Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning, the Law and the Word, The Hidden Power, Comments on the Psalms. These are essentially the works of Troward, all of them classic works, all of them very significant.
Troward was read by eminent leaders in the field of philosophy. William James characterizes the writings of Thomas Troward as, "Far and away the ablest stateman of the philosophy of New Thought that I have run into."
Just how much Troward was read by the contemporary clergymen in England it is impossible to say, but we do know of one. He was a very close friend of Archdeacon Wilberforce of Westminster Abby [Grandson of the famous abolitionist]. Reading Wilberforce, one can hear Troward's echo, and you just see that the man was totally turned on by the ideas of Thomas Troward. Troward then went on vicariously voicing his thoughts in historic Westminster Abby through Archdeacon Wilberforce. It is said that Wilberforce, and we quote, "His sermons were permeated with the metaphysical teachings as given in the Troward literature, and in their devoted personal companionship and study."
The thing that distinguishes Troward from other New Thought writers is the unique way that he arrives at the theoretical basis for the practical outworking of truth and healing and prosperity and so forth. He begins with no revelation of religious nature, at least religion as it is commonly perceived. Troward simply looks probingly at the universe. As he does, he sees that which seems to have about it a quality of livingness, and also that which seems not to have the quality of livingness. The difference is not always sharp. He believes that there are degrees of livingness, as we would say, degrees of consciousness, or levels of awareness. When he tries to discover what the difference is, these various levels, he finds that it is what he calls intelligence.
I think his use of the word intelligence is probably similar maybe to our the word consciousness. Always the degree of livingness is seen to be related directly to the degree of intelligence, or the use one makes of his own mind.
Now Troward does not emphasize or deal with directly the idea of spiritual healing or prosperity or any specific need in the human experience, but he outlines a deep lying principle that flows throughout the universe, that takes man's desires and hopes and choices and needs and condenses them into form. It's a kind of cover-all principle by which man can experience what we sometimes, using an overworked term, refer to as "demonstration."
He shows that this is being done every time we think. With judicial logic, he builds up a case to prove his assertion that any person, anyone of us, can bring into his life anything that he wishes, through the infinite creative process operating through the mind of the individual. He suggests, and some are startled and turned away at this, because it sounds a little bit like agnosticism or atheism and so forth, he suggests that God is obedient to man as man becomes obedient to God, that man needs God for power and God need man as an outlet. He says each man is a center of his own universe, and has the power by directing his own thought to control all things therein.
He talks a lot about the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious minds, and he refers to them as the objective and subjective minds, and I'm sure many of you have had exposure to teachers of metaphysics or truth who have used the word subject and objective and so forth and almost invariably, they're reflecting the teachings of Thomas Troward. The objective mind, the conscious mind, determines its goals and takes steps to put them into operation. The subjective mind, or the subconscious mind, is the subject, and responds to the suggestions and the demands of the objective mind. Laying hold of the universal stuff and bringing about the result.
Now he says
"Your object is not to run the whole cosmos, but to draw particular benefits, physical, mental, moral or financial, into your own or someone else's life. From this individual point of view, the universe's creative power has no mind of its own [which is startling to some] and therefore you can make up its mind for it. When its mind is thus made up for it, it never abrogates its place as the creative power, but at once set to work, sets to work, to carry out the purpose for which it has thus been concentrated; and unless this concentration is dissipated by some agency (yourself) which first produced it, it will work [only work on] by the law of growth to complete the manifestation on the outward plane."
This is, he makes a great deal of this and this is fundamental to metaphysics, the work, the role of the subconscious mind. Also it seems to suggest a thought that Charles Fillmore used to emphasize, and that some people laugh at and some people are shocked at, when he says that "God loves to be used." That so often, a fundamentalist or a traditional religious person will question and criticize the use of metaphysical principles because it, as some say, it sounds too much as if you're using God for personal benefit. Fillmore used to say "God loves to be used," because as he points out in Jesus' thought, it's the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. It is a divine desire always to express and fulfill itself in and as you, the person. You always have that universal support on your side, and our need is to accept it, to let it express, and as he says, the universe, Fillmore says, the universe loves to be used.
Troward says "Many writers and teachers insist on willpower as though there were a creative faculty," as though willpower were a creative faculty. The truth is that man never creates anything.
"His function is not to create, but to combine and distribute that which is already in being and what we call our creations are new combinations of already existing material, whether mental or corporeal. This is amply demonstrated in the physical sciences. No one speaks of creating energy, but only transforming one form of energy into another and if we realize this as a universal principle, we shall see that one the mental plane as well as on the physical, we never create energy but only provide the conditions by which the energy already existing in one mode can exhibit itself in another: Therefore, what, relative to man, we call his creative power, relative to what man calls creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which so to say, makes a mould into which the plastic as yet undifferentiated substance can flow and take the desired form." [Edinburgh Lectures, the Will].
What he seems to say then is that man does not create, he simply receives. Creativity is receptivity. This is very important, you see, because when one gets involved in the idea of creativity and he thinks of developing and sharpening his creativity, there's a tendency to think then that out of my creativity and my creative skills, that therefore I can create things.
What Troward is saying and he emphasizes this in many different ways is that there is a creative process and we can receive it. To the degree that we receive it, then our hands, our eyes, our outward senses, actually become channels for this creativity. In no case do we ever create ourselves. We're simply users, directors, molders and shapers of that which flows through us. This is a very vital thing, I think, because it helps to keep us, keep our relationship to the whole infinite in the right perspective, keep our spirits humbled, and also realize the constant need of receptivity. If a person believes that he makes his own way by his own devices, then in a sense, he cuts himself off from the flow, from the creative process.
It's like being cut off from all sources of gasoline. You're in your car until eventually the tank runs dry and then you're in trouble. You may be a hot rudder, you may be speeding up and down and having a marvelous time thinking about how great your automobile is, but eventually the gas tank runs out and there you are. You suddenly feel very foolish.
He says that
"Our relation to the subconscious mind, whether on the level of the individual or the universal, is the key to all that we are, or ever can be.
"For the purpose of getting into touch with our subconscious mind, we must endeavor to think of ourselves as pure being, as that entity which interiorly supports the outward manifestation, and doing so we shall realize that the essential quality of pure being must [always] be good. It is in itself, pure life, and as such cannot desire anything detrimental to pure life under whatever form manifested. Consequently, the purer our intentions, the more readily we shall places ourselves en rapport with our subjective entity; and a fortiori the same applies to that Greater Sub-conscious Mind of which our individual subjective mind is a particular manifestation. In actual practice, the process consists in first, forming a clear conception in the objective mind of the idea that we want to convey to the subconscious mind."
This is simply having a clear idea, having a vision or an image in consciousness, holding it in mind, the idea that we want to convey to the subjective mind.
"Then when this has been firmly grasped, endeavor to lose sight of all other facts connected with the external personality except the one in question."
Let everything else go. Have a clear vision. For instance, if health is the need, to have a clear vision of health, and let go of all the tendency to think about, react to, and fear and be anxious over all the negative aspects of a physical condition. Hold the image of perfection, of wholeness, in mind. Lose sight of all else.
"and then, mentally address the subjective mind as though it were an independent entity, and impress upon it what you want it to do or to believe."
Now this is a concept that's unique with Troward, and which has become a technique used by many, many, many teachers and teachings in the New Thought system. It's not an approach that I emphasize a great deal, but it's a very valid one. He says
"Everyone must formulate his own way of working, but one method which is both simple and effective is to say to the subjective mind,"
that is speaking to thus subconsciousness within ourselves, something like, "This is what I want you to do. You will now step into my place and do it, bringing all your powers and intelligence to bear, and considering yourself to be none other than myself." In other words, the subconscious mind being subjective, it's the subject and therefore it is expecting to receive and it is intending to do and to form and to shape and to create and so forth.
Having done this, he says
"Return to the realization of your objective personality. Leave the subjective mind to perform its task in full confidence that by the law of its nature, it will do so if not hindered by a repetition of contrary messages from the objective mind."
Now there's a fundamental here that can be applied in many different ways, and I think though I do not follow the particular technique that he suggests here, in consciously dealing with the subconscious mind, I feel there is a subtler way at least that works better for me. I might suggest something that reflects this same process that's been very helpful to me many times, and for many years. I say it just by way of a very simple confessional of my own personal practice.
Many persons have a need, a continuing need, for the development of ideas or the development of creative processes of one kind or another. Many persons then who are in this particular need, probably can identify with the kind of experience that I have.
For many years, I have found it quite helpful in the matter of getting organized, and organization is in terms of organizing materials and ideas, I must say frankly is not my long suite. It's very easy to be, well just take a look inside my office someday and you'll know what I mean. One of the things that helps me is that for instance, when I, as I have to do as an orderly person, supposedly, I have to outline maybe many weeks ahead. Sometimes a couple of months ahead, because printers take time, a series of subjects that I'm going to deal with.
One would assume, and I know that probably many people, by things they say to me, accept this as absolutely true, that these things are all developed in advance. Whereas actually, they are simply a title. I've always done this for several reasons. Rationalizing the fact that I'm probably terribly lazy, and procrastinate, it gives me a tremendous challenge. I don't like to deal with things that I know all about. I like to have the challenge of digging for something new. Therefore when I outline a series of subjects, what I do is I take a manila file folder, and I write on the top edge of the file folder, the title, whether it be an article, a radio talk, or a lecture or whatever, it doesn't make a difference what it is.
I write the name on the file folder and the date that it's due. Then I put the folder together and stick it in my file, and forget about it. To me, this is a way in which I apply this thought of Troward, of the work of the subjective mind. Somehow, in a way that for years I could never explain, though I may not be thinking about this empty vessel, this file folder, the subconscious mind was busy working on it, and filling it up. Though you could open that file folder and rarely find anything in it, yet when it came to the time to work on it, like right now, as far as what I'm going to talk about this Sunday, I haven't got the slightest idea. I have an empty file folder somewhere.
I'll open the file folder and I lay it out before me on my desk, and sometimes I'll think, "Oh my God! What did I do that for!?" Seriously, by and large, almost invariably, the ideas would just begin to come like this. This is a tangible, outward way of dealing with this idea of letting the subconscious mind do its work. I've known it for years, long before I really knew what I was doing. It's very helpful, and it's a way in which certainly it allows the creative process of the mind to be working even while you may be totally involved with other things. You may have other ways to apply this, but this is, I say, suggested.
Some people like, for instance when they go to bed at night, to write on a little pad by the side of the their bed certain things that they normally would lie in bed worrying about. Just write them down on the pad and lay it there and get the feeling that that's, the work is all done and turn over and go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, go back to the pad and you'll find that you have all the answers. There are a lot of things like this that are used as techniques in metaphysics, but it deals with a very fundamental process of mind which Thomas Troward certainly is very articulate about. It's one of his main themes.
He also says
"It is the great law that to live at all, we must primarily live in ourselves. No one can live for us. We can never get away from being the center of our own world ... There could be no objective life without a subjective entity to receive the perceptions which the objective faculties convey to it; and since the receiving entity is ourself, the only life possible to us is that of living in our own perceptions. Whatever we believe does for us in very fact, exist." [The Mission of Moses in Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning]
Because we live in our world, you see. It does no good to tell a person who's a hypochondriac or a person who's beset by all sorts of fears, "It's just in your own mind, don't worry about it. It's all in your own mind."
The fact is, if it is all in his own mind, and he believes it, then it is real to him. Absolutely real. The hypochondriac does have pain, does suffer tremendously with his pains, even though doctor after doctor will say there's nothing wrong with him. He still has pains, he still is ill, just as ill as a person who has physical problems, you see. It's only in recent years that medically and psychosomatically, they have realized that the hypochondriac is not to be ridiculed, but he needs treatment like anyone else, you see. If you really, you live in the center of your own world of your own perceptions, and if you see things in a certain way, if you see little buggy-boohs behind every tree, well they're there as far as you're concerned, and it's just as exactly as real as if there were actual buggy-boohs there, you see.
I think this is an important thing, it's important to understand and to know about ourselves, that whatever we believe actually exists for us. Even if it's wrong, it's because we live in the center of our world, the world of our own consciousness. Until we realize this, we're not very understanding of others, and we really don't take the right action in trying to treat ourselves.
He says spirit is independent of time and space.
"An ideal as such cannot be formed in the future. It must either be formed here and now, or not formed at all. It is for this reason that every teacher who has ever spoken with due knowledge on the subject has impressed on his followers the necessity of picturing to themselves the fulfillment of their desires as already accomplished on a spiritual plane, as the indispensable condition of the fulfillment in the visible and the concrete." [Chapter 9, Causes and Conditions]
I think the thing that he's talking about there is Jesus, remember, says, "All things whatsoever you pray for and believe, all things that you pray and ask for, believe you receive them, and you shall receive them." In other words, first of all, they see it all in the here and now. There is no treatment for tomorrow. You cannot treat that you will be well next week. You cannot pray or affirm that next year, you will get a raise in salary, because mind deals only with the now.
This is why I think Jesus talks about becoming as a little child, "Except you turn and become as a little child, you shall no wise enter into the kingdom." If there's one thing that is typical of the little child, it's his sense of living in the now of life. You take a little child of say, four or five, six, in that very impressionable stage before he begins to develop the kind of material qualities of after all, things take time. The things we justify and rationalize all of our attitudes about later. This little child, you tell him, "I'm going to take you to the circus next week." He doesn't know what next week is. "Now, Daddy! Now, why not now?" "Tomorrow I'm going to do something." "Now, I want it now!" He can only think in the now. When Jesus says, "Become as a little child," this is one of the important things that he has in mind. To get into the consciousness of now.
Troward is saying that nothing is formed in the future. There is no future, and when you're dealing metaphysically or spiritually or prayerfully or through affirmation or treatment or anything else, it's so important that you keep your consciousness totally in the now.
There is no validity whatever in praying that I'm going to be a little better everyday and a little better everyday, even though Coué developed that concept, that was purely an auto-suggestive concept. It was a self-hypnotic thing that was programming your mind in a certain way, but that is not dealing with spiritual principle, but spiritual principle is now. There's no use trying to pray that I will be a little better tomorrow. If you're dealing with the truth and the fundamental spiritual principle, getting into the consciousness of the now and realize you're oneness with wholeness now, and affirm, "I am now well."
You may say, "But I'm kidding ourselves, I'm not now well." The point is you're dealing with fundamental principle. In spiritual principle, in the transcendent dimension of life beyond the physical and material, or as Eddy would call it, corporeal, there is only the now. There's only the finished, complete awareness of life, always. When you affirm the truth, you are not affirming it to make it happen tomorrow or the next day, you are affirming or out picturing in consciousness, or a word I like to use, outforming, in experience, that which is real and always true in Infinite Mind because there is no sickness in Mind. There's no limitation in Mind. You are now well. You are now prospered. You now have the answer to everything that you need.
You see, you may pray, "Oh, if I could just gradually evolve the kind of guidance that would enable me to know where to go." Well you now are one with that guidance. You may in human consciousness progressively unfold it. You may progressively get well. In dealing with spiritual principle, you can only deal with the now.
Now this is a very important thing with Troward. He says
"When this is properly understood, any anxious thought as to the means to be employed in the accomplishment of our purposes, is seen to be totally unnecessary. If the end is already secured, then it follows that all the steps leading to it are secured also. The means will pass into the smaller circle of our conscious activities day by day in due order, and then we have to work upon them, not with fear, doubt or feverish excitement, but calmly and joyously because we know that the end is already secured, and that our reasonable use of such means as present themselves in the desired direction is, only one portion of a much larger, coordinated movement, the final result of which admits of no doubt."
That's one big long sentence, as I said, that's the way Troward work.
Now he says
"There's a mechanical attitude of mind which judges everything by the limitations of past experiences, allowing nothing for the fact that those experiences with, for the most part, the results of our ignorance of spiritual law. But if we realize the true law of Being, we shall rise above these mechanical conceptions. We shall not deny the reality of the body or of the physical world of facts, knowing that they also are Spirit, but we shall learn to deny their power as causes."
Now here he seems to contradict or contrast the position of Mary Baker Eddy, who felt that the physical body is material, it's corporeal, therefore is not real, only a spirit is real, which is an absolute metaphysical position, you see. It's not wrong, it's a particular way of dealing with it.
Troward insists that it is important that you do not kid yourself, that you don't deny the reality of the body, or of the physical world of facts. In other words, you don't deny the fact that you have pain. You don't deny the fact that you are sick, in the manifest sense, but you know that these things are also the perversion of the expression of spirit and you learn to deny their power as causes, you see. In other words, I am sick but my sickness, though it is manifest, it's an experience, it's not a spiritual reality. There is a denial here, and yet there's a recognition that I have a problem to deal with. I have a runny nose, I'm not kidding myself or anybody else, you see, but I know that it will pass because it is not the truth. It is not a spiritual reality, it is an experience that I am going through and hopefully growing through.
This is Troward's position on the idea of healing.
He says, stresses the idea that we should get into the spirit of a thing to make ourselves one in thought with the creative principle that is at the center of it, and therefore he says
"Why not go to the center of all things at once, and enter into the spirit of life?"
Get into the flow, in other words. Not by denying that these things exist, but by realizing that this is outward dimension and there is an inward dimension. Get into the inner, and realize your oneness with it.
"Do you ask where to find it? In yourself; and in proportion as you find it there, you will find it everywhere else." [Chapter 18, Entering Into the Spirit of It]
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," he quotes Jesus.
"Look at life as one thing that is, whether in you or around you. Try to realize the livingness of it, and then seek to enter into the spirit of it by affirming that this is the wholeness of what you are. Affirm this constantly in your thoughts, and by degrees, the affirmation will grow into a real, living force within you, so that it will become a second nature to you, and you will find it impossible and unnatural to think in any other way. The nearer you approach this point, the greater you will find your control over both body and circumstances, until at last you shall so enter into the Spirit of it — into the spirit of the divine creative power which is the root of all things, that in the words of Jesus, 'Nothing shall be impossible to you,' because you've added into the Spirit of it, that you discover yourself to be one with it."
Now one of the greatest concepts I believe to be the greatest contribution of Troward, the greatest idea, and after all, this is conjectural, it's one man's point of view. It's probably the one that says the most to me, is his emphasis of the idea of unity. I refer to small letter "u", the integrative process, the wholeness of life, or perhaps it is a very articulate definition of the traditional concept of the Holy Spirit. Here are a few words, and I want you to really deal with these and get it into your consciousness if you're not aware of it. He says
"In the first conception of spirit, as the underlying origin of all things, we see a universal substance, which at this stage is not differentiated into any specific forms. ... The division between one specific form and another has below it, a deep, essential unity, which acts as the supporter of all the several forms of the individuality arising out of it." [Edinburgh Lectures, Chapter 3, The Unity of the Spirit]
I would think of a simple, little illustration. If you fly in airplane over New York City, you will see bodies of water and you will see bodies of land, islands. There are a number of islands, large and small. Long Island, Manhattan Island, Staten Island, Bedloe Island, Ellis Island, and Governor's Island and so forth. All these many islands. Yet, most of us would not have to think very far to know that these islands are not individual entities just floating around in space, but each one is not only harnessed and rooted in the earth, that each so-called island is the earth. It's the earth as it is manifesting in that particular point. All are a point of the same earth, so therefore there is a unity. There's a wholeness.
This is a very crude illustration of what he's talking about, but the idea of a deep, essential unity that underlies all things, that we all live in the same mind, we're all a part of the same life, that we all live and move and have our being in God, as Paul would say, so there is this basic unity that ties all things together.
"It cannot be limited to any one portion of space, but must be limitless as space itself. The idea of any portion of space where it is not, is inconceivable."
It's like the statement, "There's no spot where God is not," which is a little cliché that's so often used.
"Now it is a mathematical truth that the infinite must be a unity. You cannot have two infinities, for then neither would be infinite. Each would be limited by the other, nor can you split the infinite up into fractions."
There is no diminution, no separation, no loss of energy. For instance, like you say of mathematics, you could add two plus two is four, and then each of us could take out a pencil and paper and write two plus two and get the answer four. To expand it, we could take all the literary people in the world, and have them all write in the sand or on paper or on scrolls or whatever, and write two plus two and get the answer, four. I'm sure that no one would conceive of the possibility that the principle of mathematics would say, "Ouch!" That there'd been a drain upon the principle because so many people were working on it at the same time.
You see, this is the evidence of the idea of principle, which is not in any way diminished or depleted or used up in any way. No diminution through use, you see. That when we realize unity, we realize wholeness, wholeness that is beyond drain or strain, in any sense. You've probably heard and maybe there have been times in your life when you've expressed it, or felt it yourself, the idea that, "Oh, I really shouldn't bother God with such simple little problems. He has too many things to deal with." A total misunderstanding of the infinite process of principle, you see. That as Fillmore says, "God loves to be used." The divine process is a fundamental supportive process that has, as far as you're concerned, nothing whatever to do except to answer your needs to fulfill your obligations and to heal you and to guide you and direct you. Nothing whatever to do.
You see, this is what the process of unity, that's true of you and you and you and every man, woman and child in all the world. That's an aspect, you see, the unity of process of the infinite, that many of us really have to work to get into our consciousness, because most of us have been reared in the tradition of duality, of God up there and man down here, and God formed us and shaped us and pushed us off on the sea of life and we go along. In a sense, when we go forth, He says, "Come back if you need Me. Call on Me if you need help, and if I love you and if you've been good, and if it's my good pleasure at the moment, why, I'll see what I can do for you." This is the attitude in which many, many persons have been conditions to accept their relationship with God. That has to be changed, and it doesn't change easily.
The old thoughts don't die easily in our consciousness, you see. He says you cannot take two infinities. There can only be one because either neither of them would be infinite.
"Now the great fact to be recognized about a unity is that, because it is a single unit, wherever it is at all the whole of it must be."
Now this is reiterated so let's just go along a little bit.
"The moment we allow our mind to wander off to the idea of extension in space, and to say that one part of the unity is here, and another part is there,"
In other words, God is infinite but still God is here beside me, God is up there but yet by a particular property of all, He's given a little bit of Himself to be in me. As long as we get this thought, then we've limited the whole process. The moment we allow our mind to wander to the idea of extension in space and say that one part of unity is here and another there, we have descended from the idea of unity into that of parts or extensions of a unity which is to begin dealing with the relative, with duality.
"The relation of subsisting between two or more entities which are therefore limited by each other. We've past out of the region of simple unity, which is the absolute."
The fact is that most of us, because of our background, whether it be in Judaism or Christianity or whatever religion, or just in our basic faith in life, that as long as we deal in any way with reaching for God, looking to God, speaking to God, seeking something from God, we are, in a very real sense, practicing the absence of God.
Whereas we like to talk about the presence of God. It's a beautiful idea. The practice of the presence of God. If the practice of the presence of God means in consciousness, in thought, in prayer attitude and everything that we do relative our spiritual awareness, we deal with the realization of unity, wholeness, God is nowhere, nowhere. In other words, in the sense of saying, "Where is God?" The very attitude and thought and inquiry of looking for God or asking about God is practicing the absence of God. God is present, presence, and the all, the wholeness of God is present in me and as me, as far as I'm concerned, you see.
As we say so often, and this is not an original thought, the one thing that the fish can never find is water. He may search all of his life, but he never finds water. The one thing man can never find is God. Many people go through all their lives thinking, "Oh, if I could just know Him." Some of the writers of the Scripture have this thought in mind. "Oh, that I might know Him." "Oh, that I might find Him." "Oh, that God might speak to me." God speaks to you all the time. Every time you have a clear thought, it's the activity of God-mind speaking in you, you see. You're always involved in this, though you may not be aware of it. You may not be using it from the highest point of view, as Emerson says.
The very act of looking for God, reaching for God, seeking something from God, talking to God, is the practice of the absence of God.
That's a shocker, I realize, but this is I think a very important principle. Now see how it comes out when Troward carries it along. He says, and this gets to the heart of it,
"It is, therefore, a mathematical necessity that, because the originating Life-principle is infinite, it is a single unit, and consequently, wherever it is at all, the whole of it must be present. But because it is infinite, or limitless, it is everywhere, and therefore it follows that the whole of spirit must be present at every point in space at the same moment. Spirit is thus omnipresent in its entirety." [Edinburgh Lectures, Chapter 3, The Unity of the Spirit]
Just think about that for a moment. That's fundamental. Many of us probably if we really, logically carry it through in the idea of omnipresence, we'd say, "Well of course that's true," but really let the idea get into your consciousness. That right where you are, wherever spirit is, all that is spirit is present. Not just part of it. In other words, you don't have just a little corner, a little pin-prick of the infinite intelligence in you. You have all the intelligence of the universe in you.
All that which God is, you are! Not can be, not have access to, you are! Now that's a dynamic thought, as it's I think as I say, one of the great thoughts of Troward.
It also is a marvelous definition, or at least definition to him, definitions of the traditional concept of the Holy Spirit. I know many of you probably have been exposed to the fundamentalist position, and the constant use and maybe overuse of the word Holy Spirit. The preacher loves to say, "Ah, the Holy Spirit is with us tonight! That's because we left the windows open. He just came blowing in. The Holy Spirit is here. Oh, I feel the Holy Spirit moving through this auditorium tonight." You know?
Of course, it's a very beautiful idea, and of course the Holy Spirit is here tonight. The Holy Spirit is here because the whole of spirit is present wherever anyone is. The Holy Spirit is here because you're here. The Holy Spirit is here because you're here. Not just because the preacher preaches some fiery words and he's making the Holy Spirit come around through the room, you see.
It's like the little kid talks about when somebody asked him what they were studying in Sunday school today. He said, "Well they were talking about the Holy Spook." Now this is sacrilegious, I know, to some, you see, but it's important to see that Holy Spirit, the word holy comes from the root word whole. The whole spirit, the whole spirit is here, the whole spirit is always here, because that is the nature of spirit. There's no diminution of spirit.
Spirit is not divided up into four million parts. Four billion parts, because of the four billion people. Spirit is not divided up into this part of the universe and that part of the universe. The nature of spirit is that wherever it is, it is all-present. Omnipresent in time and space. Everywhere, evenly present as we so often say, but not just spread out evenly. Everywhere present in totality so that you have all the spirit in you, you have all the spirit in you.
The distinction, for instance, between a great mystic teacher, or let's say the distinction between Jesus and you and me is not that He had a greater degree of the Spirit in Him, or that He had a greater access to the Holy Spirit, that He could somehow wield the power of the Holy Spirit that other people don't have. The distinction is that whereas all of us are spirit in its entirety, expressing according to consciousness, according to receptivity, according to our ability to receive it and use it, Jesus received it fully and we receive it in part.
The only difference then is in a matter of consciousness, and therefore you see the degree is not that somehow in some future time, God will somehow touch us and in someway make us better, because if God has ever touched us, He's already done it. That He hasn't already done it, there's no hope for us.
The point is each one of us is the activity of the spirit in the process of evolving in the awareness of what we are. Therefore, this leads us to Troward's concept. He places a great stress on the mystic I Am, showing how Moses used it in Genesis, and in the generic and not the specific sense. Dealing with the I Am process, or the divine flow in man.
Then he points out, and this I think is another very important thought of Moses, especially to the Christian-oriented person, that
"And as soon as we realize the truth of I Am, the veil is lifted and the power streams forth."
First of all, suddenly all of Jesus' teachings which show us that it was no figure of speech when He said that the water which He should give us would become in each one who drank of it, a well of water springing up unto eternal life. Then he says Jesus came "not to proclaim Himself," but rather to proclaim man. Not to tell us of His divinity, separating Him from the race and making Him the great exception, but to tell us of our divinity and to show in Himself the example of the I Am reaching its full personal expression in man. [Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning, The Mission of Moses].
Therefore He would say, "All that I do, you may do too," and He goes beyond that and says, "Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect."
The goal end for all of us is to do as Jesus did, to experience the same kind of spirit flow that he experienced, not because something special will be given to us at some time in some sort of psychic awakening, but that it's already been given to us. Each of us is now a son of God, a complete expression of the all-ness of spirit in the progressive stage of knowing it.
Life then is a matter of waking up, progressively waking up. This is what it's all about. It's all in us. There is within every single one of us, all the wisdom of the universe, all creativity, all that man has ever known or ever will know, each of us has access to it because we're a part of it and it is expressing in us.
That's the fundamental of truth. It's very hard to get ahold of in our mind because as kids sometimes say, it's just mind-blowing. It really is, but it's important to get our mind blown occasionally. To realize that wherever I am, as we so often say in the Prayer of Protection, "Wherever I am, God is." Not some of God, not a little word coming out of God, not a shot of fire coming out of the skies of God, but all of God. The whole of God, present at every point in space. I don't know if that blows your mind. It does mine.
I think it's a very, very important thing to realize, to just sometimes when you feel the emptiest, when you feel the tiredest, when you feel the downest, when you feel the need of something to live you up, or something to inspire you or something to prosper you, or to heal you or whatever, just to get still and dwell for a moment in the realization that I am a spiritual being. I've accepted that. I know that I am God's child. That's something that's been a part of my life for a long time, but wherever I am, the whole of God is present. The whole of God.
The full, total, health capacity, full healing life, all is present. Not to be progressively revealed in me, step-by-step, but it's all present. It may take me awhile to wake up, and shake the drowsiness out of my eyes, but it's all there. Right now. All the inspiration, all the guidance.
This is why I think it's important to know that if we stand at the crossroads and we're trying to make a decision, "Which way should I go?" How important it is to just get still for a moment and know that I am one with infinite intelligence, which knows. Not just knows which way to go, but knows the all-ness of life.
If you knew consciously all about life, all about the world, all about all these things which you're dealing with in part, there would be no problem. You would walk easily through all the ways, just as an adult walks easily through some of the things that a child labors over, because he has more experience, more perspective. Has a larger perception, you see. When you get this realization of being in the all-ness and the all-ness being in us, then we lose the fear of making the choice or making the decision. We simply act.
You see, it's usually the fearful, anxious person that prays for guidance. There's nothing wrong with praying for guidance. It's important to admit to ourselves that we're anxious, that we don't know which way to go, but when you know you're one-ness with the all-ness, you don't pray for guidance anymore. As the Book of Revelation says, "You make an end to praying." You just act, because you know you can't make a mistake. You know that you're in that guiding light, and it's all in you, and deep within yourself, beyond the subconscious and the super-consciousness of mind, there is that free flow of divine inspiration that's just as natural as gravity.
Always in it, always present. Therefore you act, and when you come to the crossroads, and find that you don't know which way to go, I think it's important to admit to oneself that the fact that I don't know which way to go is in evidence that at that moment, I'm out of the flow of the divine process. We say it's perfectly natural the times not to know which way to go and you have to look for help and so forth. The problem is that when we're in that indecisive moment of awareness, so often we not only pray for guidance, but just to be on the safe side, we get guidance from everybody. "What do you think? What do you think?" Read the cards, the tarot cards, and get a psychic reading, the whole bit. Go to a spiritualist and see what grandmother says and the whole thing, on and on and on to try and be guided. We just get more confused.
You see the very urge somehow to find guidance, even to pray for guidance, exposes us. I'm saying there's nothing wrong with praying for guidance, but the important thing is the prayer for guidance should be a prayer not to get a specific answer, but to overcome our fear of making the choice. Now that's something that I think many folks are in the dark about and confused about, because you say, "Well how can I decide I'm waiting for God to guide me!?" Troward gives us a thought in his comment we're going to close on that I think deals with it. He says
"To get good results, we must properly understand how relation to the great, impersonal power that we're using. It is intelligent and we're intelligent, and the two intelligences cooperate. We must not fly in the face of law by expecting it to do for us what it can only do through us." [Edinburgh Lectures, Causes and Conditions]
The guidance we seek will come when we just make a choice and go in. We do it confidently instead of fearfully, you see. When we understand that, then we're not going to sit, laboriously treating for guidance, "Oh God, guide me, help me to know what to do, whether to buy the stocks or sell the stocks, or move, or get married or get divorced," or whatever, and we just go through this terrible, terrible trauma of trying to get answers and praying for answers and treating for answers. The right answer is the spontaneous answer that comes not to you, but through you. I always say so often, and this is obviously a reflection of Troward, that "God can do no more for you than He can do through you."
Life and healing and prosperity and guidance and all of these things that we work so hard for, are not going to come to us, but through us. It comes in a perfectly natural, orderly, fundamental way, and the need then is not to get a healing or to get guidance or to get anything but to get ourselves into the consciousness, or as he says, to get into the spirit of it. When we get into the spirit of it, or as I would say, "get into the flow," overcome the sense of fear, the sense of inadequacy, let go of the handicaps, of the hang-ups. Then move in, get going, act. Believe that you are in the flow of healing and then get up and be with it, arise and take up they bed and walk, you see. That's healing, not waiting for some special thing to happen for God to send a bolt out of the blue. Anyway, this is Thomas Troward.