Antecedents of New Thought by Eric Butterworth
Lecture 11 - From Where I Stand
Eric Butterworth may be the greatest thinker and most intellectual minister in recent Unity history. But in this concluding talk about what he subtitles The New Insight in Truth, he calls us to set aside for a while our books, our learning process, our "quest for understanding Truth."
His impassioned plea is to know one's self. By doing so we shall know God. He says in clip 238 "you don’t have to go anywhere to find God, and you don’t have to go anywhere to find Mind, not into the silence, not into a prayer room, not through special techniques. You can’t find God, you can’t find Infinite Mind, because you are God, or Infinite Mind, or the universe expressing itself as you. "
Well as we mentioned last week, we’re going to very briefly sum up where we’ve been, and then take a look at some of my own personal observations, and feelings, and attitudes about this New Insight in Truth. We talk about antecedence of the New Insight, and I think this implies a great deal and I have intended that it should. It implies that every insight, every idea has an antecedent, but nothing ever just starts spontaneously. All things have been colored, and influenced, and guided, and directed in some ways, and it’s important that we see this and understand this about this thing called Truth for a lot of reasons. We’ve constantly reiterated the idea that a sub theme of our consideration is that there’s nothing new in new thought.
Often the teaching or the teacher tends perhaps unconsciously to imply that this is the greatest, this is the newest thing in the world and it just came out of me. It’s mine. Here it is, now it’s yours. It’s bought and sold and traded and so forth. Well in a sense this is misleading simply because in the first place Truth is not words. I know this is a little shocking to some, and so I say just kind of prepare tonight to be shocked a little bit. Truth is not words. Truth can not be defined. From the very beginning of man’s intellectual experience, there has been a tendency to analyze, and to describe, and to define, and to set down observations in words, and this is perfectly natural. We’re verbal creatures, and so that most teachers and teachings have evolved through words. The communication of concepts.
It’s perfectly natural, if a person is teaching some sort of a helpful insight, which he calls truth, that he uses words to communicate the feelings. This is fine. As I say so often, we set out to, as a teacher, or as a counselor, as a director, or as a philosopher or whatever, to point towards something, and before we know it, the student worships the pointer. The words of truth, are pointing towards something, and we tend to worship the words, and so we become students not of truth, but students of intellectual concepts. Students of phrases, students of affirmations, students of definitions. Students of beautiful, high sounding meta physical words. We become linguists in a whole new frame of reference, and we assume that that’s what truth is all about.
Let’s just take a brief look back. We have traced some of the lines which I arbitrarily selecting them have sensed the insights of Truth have evolved through. We started off by looking at roots in philosophy. Back in Greek philosophy and ancient Egypt and China. How some of these early conflicts were dealt with, in various ways. We dealt with roots in psychology and looking back at some of the antecedents of the beginnings of psychology as we know it, and Freudianism. Looking back to some of the early exploration and what was called magnetism or animal magnetism and the early roots of exploration of the mind and hypnotism with the one Anton Mesmer in France. Showing how this concept led to two diverging streams.
The one leading ultimately to Freud and his explorations, and then the flow down through Adler and Jung and Rank and a number of other contemporary psychologists. The other stream leading to New England, here in the United States, to Quimby. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, and then down through his teaching to Mary Baker Eddy, who inadvertently if not consciously closed off the stream and then there were certain off shoots and teachers broke away and certain influences that bypassed her Christian science. Coming down to some of the other teachers and names that we know about such as Emma Curtis Hopkins and Charles Fillmore and Ernest Holmes of Religious Science and Emmet Fox and so forth.
We also stress that coming out of Neoplatonism, which had its roots out of the more progressive realizations of the other early Greek philosophical concepts, which had a Renaissance and a whole new transcendental concept through Meister Eckhart in medieval times. Then through the German philosopher Kant and down through the transcendentalist poets of Wordsworth, and Browning, and Ralph Waldo Emerson here in America having another great influence that has played upon this Insight in Truth. Then of course we look back again at the occultists and the occult teachings, and the influences that have always been around for a long time. That have colored the thinking of some of the students and teachers of the so-called, Insight in Truth. Last week we looked a little bit at the paranormal, and the psychic, and spiritualism, and so forth.
Now as I said, I wanted tonight to bring the thing up to date, up to the present. When I’ve mentioned many times in the past, that when we’ve talked about this as the antecedence of the new Insight in Truth, obviously there’s an arbitrary selection here. In a sense I am really saying, these are the antecedence of my Insight in Truth, because truth certainly cannot and should not ever be crystallized and put in a package or a bottle and say, “This is the truth.” Truth is an ultimate. Truth cannot be defined. We always see but a small fragment of the whole, and the whole is nonverbal. The verbalisms are used to describe the whole. Man has always been trying to describe the universe, to describe reality, to describe the infinite processes. The language he uses to describe them actually are many and varied, and so we have many and varied teachings.
What we call truth today is an attempt to describe man's relationship to the universe. Perhaps in an updated sense, and in the sense that we feel has more relevance to the immediate experience of the person. The thing is, we must try to at least confront ourselves with realization that one does not have the truth, when he has truth answers. One does not become an expert in truth, because he knows the books, or has passed the courses, or has the degrees.
That these tell a lot about where he’s been, but unless there’s some indication of where he’s going, then there is something missing in terms of the truth. Because the truth is not where one has been, the truth is a reaching. I’ve always felt that if we had to use some kind of a symbol, or a definition for God, and I’m almost about to say, God forbid that we should, but if we have to find some sort of a symbol or definition for God, perhaps the best one would be a question mark. I don’t mean that this implies a question of the existence of God, or the existence of reality in this sense, but that implies the need for the quest. Man is a questioning being, this is a part of his nature. Therefore, he is ever restless, and he’s ever urged forward, but the prodding is toward the greater awareness of the spiritual dimensions of life. The spiritual dimension of himself, the spiritual reality of the universe. It is on the quest that we come to experience truth.
We never really find it. We only know it when we’re on the quest. We only know it when we’re reaching. Browning says, “A mans reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?” Now I don’t know if he intended this in the way in which I like to see it. I think possibly he did. He wasn’t talking to us about reaching for jobs, and cars, and so forth, but reaching for reality, reaching for the truth, reaching for knowledge of life and of the universe. The reach always exceeds the grasp, because you can never really take hold of it. It’s nonverbal, it cannot actually be experienced in a conscious sense. It’s only in the reaching for it, that we can say, “Now, I am conscious of the truth.” Not that I know words, preach sermons about it, write books about it, but I’m on the quest, and it’s a constant quest.
This is why institutionalism, whether it is in Catholicism or in metaphysics, is a very dangerous thing to the quest, because it tends to solidify the concepts, to crystallize the ideas, the theological propositions, and to close off the end. The moment the end is closed off then there can be no further questing, and if there’s no further questing, there can be no vital truth. Truth ceases to exist within the confines of any crystallized packages you see.
Therefore, our goal as students of truth should not be to get to the end of the road, because that’s an illusion. Quite often we say, “Well, after all I’m taking a course of study, and I’ll be so happy when I finish the course, and I get my grade, and they give me the certificate and the degree. Won’t it be wonderful?” What do you have then? You have a certificate, you have a piece of paper, you have a sense of fulfillment that you’ve completed a course, but what else do you have?
It’s like the child waiting for Christmas, and he sees all the packages around the tree, and he’s just drooling waiting, thinking of all the marvelous things that are in the packages. As long as he’s living in the anticipation and the expectation of that Christmas morning with Santa Claus and everything else, Christmas is a beautiful thing. Once the packages are all open and Santa Claus is been and gone, and he’s played a few of the games, and they break down, and suddenly it’s ho-hum, what else is new? What’s Christmas all about? There’s nothing emptier than a Christmas morning for a child a few hours after all the packages are opened. It’s the end of the road, where else do you go? What do you do now? What excitement is there? It’s boring, it’s empty.
That’s the thing that happens to anyone of us if we put all our eggs in the basket of saying, “Well, now when I get to the end of this course, it’s going to be great. When I become the practitioner, or when I get the certificate, or whatever it is.” We’re not putting these things down, but we’re saying that that is a quest for truth, and truth is alive only while we’re on the quest. The moment one begins to feel I’m no longer a student, now I know, so therefore now I’m a teacher, or now I’m at least a master metaphysician. We’ve lost it. We may mouth words, but we’ve lost the truth, because the truth can’t be captured in words. The truth can only be experienced on the ongoing process, on the quest. I know this is something that perhaps is very difficult to relate to things we otherwise do in truth.
Point is when we talk about the reaching, we’re not talking about reaching for more complicated abstruse cosmologies. That’s the thing that unfortunately people do. Since, “Well if you have to keep reaching, then it means that I must reach for more complicated books.” Emmet Fox used to talk about the student who was always looking for advanced studies. He always said, “The advanced study is dealing with the things that you thought you otherwise knew.” You’re dazzling yourself with more confusing aspects, looking for more complicated phrases, or perhaps there’s a tendency, if it’s a quest, and I must constantly be on the reach, there’s a tendency to be looking for phenomena, perhaps psychic phenomena, or signs and wonders. The quest, you see, is something entirely different from this. Maybe it’s referred to in Tennyson’s self knowledge, self reverence, self control. These three alone lead to sovereign power. In other words, dealing with one’s self and his own awareness.
I like the illustration of the horizontal and the vertical. Life for most of us is a horizontal experience. I don’t mean we’re always sleeping, but I mean that it deals with the three dimensional experience. We’re going places, we’re doing things, we go off to school, we go to work, we go home, and so forth, and we’re reaching for this, and reaching for that. It’s all on a materialistic superficial level.
There is a vertical level of life. It has nothing to do with the three dimensional, with the other dimension of going upward, but it refers to a different, more spiritual awareness. One can go through life on a certain level, over and over again, and as the poet says, “Live day by the dragging day.” Go from experience to experience, from conflict to conflict, and life becomes very boring, but suddenly one gets a new insight. Suddenly he sees something that he’s never seen before. In that instant, he’s different. He may go through the same experiences, go to the same jobs, deal with the same people, but everything’s different, because he’s on a little different level vertically. A little different plane, you see.
The quest that we’re talking about in truth, is the vertical quest. It’s not talking about going, looking for more books, looking for more teachers, going to colleges. You see, these are all in the vertical level, and they deal with amassing, and accumulating, and so forth, and trying to get things, dealing with our inquisitive instinct. Many of us simply change from the inquisitive instinct of reaching for money and jobs, to reaching for more metaphysical ideals, and teachings, and definitions, but it’s still the inquisitive instinct. What we’re talking about is a elevation in consciousness, and there is a need constantly to reach for a higher awareness of our self, a higher awareness of life.
One can read a book. People say reading Lessons in Truth or Science of Mind or whatever it is, you read the book over, and you come to the end of it, and say, “Gee, that was great. That was interesting.” Six months later you can read the same book and get an entirely different insight out of it, and every time you read it something happens, lights go on, something new. What does it mean? The book isn’t changing, but it means that something is happening in you, your perspective. As long as one continues to get a higher, and higher, and higher awareness, then he’s growing. That’s what truth is all about. It’s in the process of growth, and it’s in the process of seeking new insights, new perspective, not to change things, but to change the way you see things, that one is on the quest for truth. All the other things, the intellectual studies, and the words we deal with, are all very helpful. In the end, they’re only helpful to the degree that we elevate in consciousness.
What’s the end of that? Who knows? Jesus in his ultimate experience said, “I have things to tell you that I can’t even express anymore.” I don’t think he was saying that he knew things that we don’t know. I think he was saying that there were things that he didn’t even know. There was a whole new dimension for him. He’d come to that particular phase of fulfillment in life, now he can see a vista so far beyond that it was mind boggling, and he lacked words to express it. There was no way to tell it.
All through life we ride along the plateaus of experience, and we look off in the distance and we see hills, and there’s a thought, “Ah, when I get to the top of that hill, then I’ll be able to see everything.” Eventually we come up to the summit of the hill and for a moment we have an exhilaration of being in that high place, and then we look out beyond and there’s another road that goes on, and on, and on, and another vista to go over. That is life, constant, constant, never coming to the end, because the earth is round, the horizon is an illusion. You never really reach the horizon. You never really reach that end. You never really know what you think to be the truth, because there’s always something more. It’s the quest, it’s going on, going on, going on. It is the secret of it all.
One of the things that I feel, in terms of my own position, and this is obviously what I’m stating tonight, is that in our so-called intellectual metaphysical systems, of which we have many, and all of them are varied and interrelated, there’s a tendency to place a great emphasis upon what Thomas Troward would have unblushingly referred to as mental science. Many of our metaphysical teachers use the term mental science and again, unblushingly indicate that this is where they are. This is the study, but there’s a certain influence of mental science in much, if not all of our modern metaphysical teaching. Whether it be Religious Science, or Unity, or Divine Science, or Christian Science, or whatever.
Now my feeling about this is that there has been an attempt on the part of some pretty profound people, and certainly Thomas Troward was very profound. An attempt to deal with certain basic principles. Principles that could be considered science, scientific, scientifically applied, and so forth, and if you know these fundamental principles, then you can know yourself and you can have the developing ability to harness the forces of the universe. This, to a large extent is what metaphysics promises. You’re a mental creature, and through the understanding of your mind, and through the use of certain mental techniques you can cause the whole universe to come to your aid. Therefore, you can demonstrate health, you can demonstrate riches, you can demonstrate success in your life, and so forth. Now these principles are all very valid, and all very helpful. I think to a large extent they are all very over simplified.
Over simplified from the standpoint that man is not simply an isolated creature who can take hold of certain principles and change his life by, in a sense, pulling himself up by the bootstraps. Because to a certain degree this is a manipulation of the forces of the universe for one's personal gain. I think that so often what is lacking, and I think the lack is totally unintentional, and I think the lack comes about because of maybe a total reversal of the procedures of introducing people to Truth. I think the lack is basically that we tend to begin at the end, rather than at the beginning.
Quite often the primary course of study in truth is of course a study where you learn the definitions, the principles, the fundamental ideas. You’re introduced to concepts, and at first they make no sense at all, but you’re told just repeat them, accept them, say them over and over again, and eventually they’ll begin to make sense, and so we learn them by rote. We don’t introduce life, or mathematics, or nature, or art, or anything else to little children in that way. We don’t start them at the end, we start them at the beginning. We start them by letting them experience their environment, and experience the things that they can understand, the things that make sense.
It seems to me that the way to begin the study of truth, is what normally has been referred to as the advance course of truth. In other words, we start off learning principles, learning intellectual concepts, learning definitions, learning God is this, God is that, God is the other mind, is this, super conscious mind, objective mind, subjective mind, all these things that boggle the mind. You say, “Well, if I’m a good student I must know all these things,” and your mind is full of all these things. Then, ultimately we’re told, when you develop this kind of awareness, then you can go into the higher ideals of developing consciousness through meditation, through introspection, through reflection and so forth. I think we have it all wrong.
Seems to me the way to start the study of metaphysics, or the study of truth, is to begin in the self evident, any child will tell you this, self evident realization that you exist, that you’re a person. That you are, or putting it in the first person, I Am. The interesting thing is that in our study of truth so often, in the study of mental science, or the study of metaphysics, there’s a tendency of going to school to study the things the school teaches. You’re on the outside, as we said about the approach that we often have to the psychic things, or the phenomena, you’re looking through a window. Often, we go to school to learn the things. We get the ideas, and we try to put them in our mind, like they used to say about education, lam it in, cram it in. Children’s heads are hollow, keep putting it in, feed it into your mind.
Of course you can feed it into your mind for awhile, until you get what Charles Fillmore used to call “metaphysical indigestion.” In the end you come to a point where there’s a great frustration, because you say, “I know all these things. I know the truth. I’ve memorized them all, but still, I don’t really know myself.” There’s a feeling, “Well, don’t worry about that. Just keep saying the affirmations, just keep knowing the truths, knowing the definitions, carrying the books around, and it will work out.” Basically, I want to know myself. I believe the first step in coming to understand this insight of truth, and I certainly suggest it and recommend it for anyone of you that may be willing to take this step, as I’ve tried to take this step myself, it’s not easy to do because the ego is involved.
Is to put it all aside, lay aside all your knowledge, all your books, all your courses, all your feeling about how much you know, lay it all aside and start in a very simple way. By getting the sense of relationship to the fundamental principles of life, just as easy and as childlike a way as you do now in relating to gravity. Do you know what gravity is? If you do, you know more than I do. I don’t know what it is. I can show you what it does, I can step off the platform, or fall off the platform and demonstrate gravity for you very easily. With a thud, very quickly. I don’t know what it is, but I accept it, and you accept it. You’d better. It’s that fundamental, you see.
I believe that we should start with the fundamental realization that I’m a person. I look out on a starry night, there’s the universe. It’s all there. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there, I see it. I don’t know what air is, but I can breath it. I don’t know what life is, but I can feel it in my body, and I am, I exist. Start at that point, and then begin to experience the self in this relationship by realizing that there must be something about my life that is transcendent to my knowledge or my experience. That’s self evident. There are a lot of things we don’t know about. I don’t know how to beat my heart, but it’s beating. I don’t know how my mind works, but it’s working all the time, even if it’s worrying. These things are a part of me. They’re here, they exist, because I exist, and I accept them even if I don’t understand them. I accept the universe. I accept the air. I accept life. I accept the fact that I exist, that I am, and I start at that point, you see.
Now, at that point then I can if I will, close my eyes, or in a sense turn away from the perception of the world out here, quietly, silently, get the feeling that I exist and that the universe exists, and that it exists in a supportive way. That I am the whole universe individualizing itself as me. I don’t know how, I don’t why, but I’m here. I happened. I’m not a divine happenstance, I’m alive, I live. In some way, I’m alive. All the forces, as the scriptures say, “All the forces of heaven and earth.” All the forces of the universe have been individualized in some way as me. Now that’s not too hard to realize, really, if you stop and think of it, if you deal with it as a little child would, you see.
At that point, now I establish the idea of relationship, very important idea. Because the thing that throws most of us in our religious studies, all the way from the old theology to the new metaphysics, is that the relationship principle is omitted. We talk about God, we talk about mind, we talk about principles, but they’re all things that you can apply if you use them in this way. If you in some way get involved in treatment, or in affirmations, or various other mind programming devices, and so forth, but the relationship principle is gone. At least we haven’t become aware of it.
How can you know your oneness with God? Which is an abstraction anyway. What does it mean to be one with God? What is God? Where is God? How do you know God exists? These are very difficult questions, but you see, if we begin with the idea of relationship, the idea that I exist as an individualization of this certain something, which I call the universe, for one of any better term. Universe expressing itself as me. I love, I hurt, I yearn, I sleep, I eat, I’m an individualization of this whole process.
Now starting at this point then, it’s easy to begin to evolve in a consciousness, a relationship with the whole, that can very easily carry over into what we ultimately may want to think of, relationship with Mind, God Mind, Infinite Mind, Divine Mind, relationship with life.
I wonder how many of you have ever confronted a simple, and yet very profound scientific principle, which is dealt with by physicists today. I don’t profess to understand it, but it’s something that’s been conveyed to me by a number of different people, so I accept it unquestioningly. It’s simply this, that the subatomic particles in an atom are held together in their relationship by a force, a field of force, is the word that’s often used. The subatomic particles in certain groupings become a particular atom of calcium, or iron, or whatever, because of the grouping, and they’re held in that place, or in that orbit by the force. Now that seems easy, because we can see stars in the heavens, and they are seemingly held in their orbits by some kind of a force, and they remain on eternally.
The thing which people in our new physics are telling us, and this is a very profound realization in terms of relationship, is that the force cannot be seen, cannot be experienced, cannot be understood really, expect that we can know the force by the particle. That the particle is the force expressing itself as a particle, and there is no way to take the particle out of the field of force. It is in research into that attempt to break the force away from the particle that created the field of nuclear fission, or the explosion of the hydrogen atom, or the atomic bomb, and so forth. That’s a very important principle. That the force, the non-material force that holds subatomic particles in their place is actually that which is being individualized as the particles themselves, and they cannot be separated.
Now get this sense of relationship and carry it over into your relationship to that which we think of transcendentally as God, or Infinite Mind, or simply the universe. In other words, you come up with this. That you as a person are influenced strongly by a transcendental force, you are an expression of the universe, an individualization of God, if you will, a state of consciousness within Divine Mind, use all the terms you want. You are this, but there is no way in which you can be separated from God. In which you can be taken out of Divine Mind, and you don’t have to go anywhere to find God, and you don’t have to go anywhere to find mind, not into the silence, not into a prayer room, not through special techniques. You can’t find God, you can’t find Infinite Mind, because you are God, or Infinite Mind, or the universe expressing itself as you. There’s no way the two can be separated. Now this is the relationship principle, which is very fundamental.
Now that seems very complicated, but it seems complicated because you see, we’ve been hung up on the definitions for God. We started off talking about Divine Mind, and Infinite Mind, and God mind, and subconscious mind, and God out there, and we have it all set up out here in a beautiful cosmology, but there’s no relationship. The very fundamental step in seeking to understand the truth, just as fundamental as knowing that you have to accept gravity if you’re going to get along in life, is to accept the realization that you are the individualization of God, the individualization of Divine Mind, and you can never get out of it. Once you realize that, then once and for all you will give up the idea of trying to find God.
Why try to find God? God isn’t to be found. Can the particle find the force? Can the fish find water? Can you walking around the earth find gravity? Have you ever found it? Show me gravity, take me off in the corner and show me. Take me over to the cliff and show me gravity. Where can you find gravity? You can’t find it, you can’t show it to me. You accept it, because you’re a part of it, you’re in it, and it’s in you, and there’s a relationship, you see. You can’t find God, you can’t find mind.
Therefore, we begin to understand the relationship of our mind to God mind. In metaphysics we talk a great deal about the various divisions of mind, subconscious, super conscious, conscious mind, subjective mind, objective mind, and so forth. They’re all words, and obviously they have very valid meanings, and they refer to certain very valid positions. Without the relationship principle, in a sense, they’re empty words. What is your relationship to Infinite Mind? Have you ever stopped to think about that? Where is Divine Mind? Where is it? Is it up there? Is it in you? Is it around you? How do you find Divine Mind? Do you believe in Divine Mind? Infinite mind? Super conscious mind? What are all these things? Where is it? Where are they? What is your mind? What’s the relationship between your mind and God mind? If there is no relationship, then what is prayer mean? What does meditation mean? How can you pray? How can you meditate? How can you contact God? How can you get inspiration from God?
Well you see if you start with this simple awareness of the relationship principle, then you begin to see that we’ve been misled. We don’t have a mind at all. You don’t have a mind, I don’t have a mind. We all live in Infinite Mind, the allness of mind, and each of us is a state of consciousness in Infinite Mind. I don’t have a mind of my own. If I have a mind of my own, then when I say my mind is made up, my mind is closed, I’m on the outside. God’s out here, life is out here, the universe is out here, and I’m on the outside, and I can separate myself. You can’t separate yourself, there’s no way that you can be separated from life. If you can separate yourself from God, or if God can separate yourself from you, then the whole thing is a fraud, all religion is a fraud, metaphysics is a fraud. There’s no way you can be separated, you see.
The point is, man is a state of consciousness within the all encompassing mind of God. When we understand that, then we understand a very important thing. That man is essentially this allness of mind, which is individualizing itself as the individual thinking potential. Your mind therefore, what you call your mind, is your consciousness, Your conscious grows and expands, and as it grows and expands then you actually become, or have available to you because of your consciousness, a greater, and greater, and greater degree of this allness of mind in which you live, and move, and have your being as Paul says. You can use as much as you are conscious of.
The one thing where this relationship principle adds a new dimension that is so often lost in the mental science process, is that if you think of mental science as a means of by which your mind can have more power, and can through the use of metaphysical principles demonstrate certain things, there will be a tendency to feel that mental science is for the purpose of ... In the early days, they used a different word, now they use a word that we all hear a lot about, programming your mind, right? Putting ideas, motivations, levels of consciousness, into your mind. Programming your mind. That’s what treatment is about, that’s what affirmations are about, that’s what the constant working with statements of truth to build the consciousness and so forth. Many of had the thought, “Oh, if I could’ve just started early in life, so that I could have been exposed to all the truth, my mind would be so filled with truth that I would never have a problem in my life.”
That’s a delusion. You can take all the truth that man knows, or that passes for truth today, that is known anywhere in the world, condense it all into its basic essence and pour it subtly into your mind, and what do you have? Confusion. In a sense this was demonstrated in the story of Krishnamurti. He was selected as a young Indian child who was very pure, and who was very susceptible, and they felt that they could provide a channel for the master of the new age to expose him to nothing but pure truth, day after day, year after year, for many years. Of course as we discovered, as I pointed out to you, that eventually when he reached 21, he ran off and left them.
Now we don’t have the whole story, we don’t know exactly what kind of processes he went through. He eventually became in his own right a great teacher and a great writer. Certainly not teaching or writing what they’d fed into him, so obviously it wasn’t just feeding back the concepts that had been given to him. The point is, there is a great deal of emphasis today upon mind control, programming the mind, metaphysically treating oneself, using affirmations and auto suggestions, and so forth, psycho cybernetics and the whole bit. Using what Maltz calls the servo mechanism of the subconscious mind as a work part of our consciousness, where we can fill it with all these things and it will reproduce them in our lives. The interesting thing is, that man taken out of context in this way can still function, and therefore these processes can be practical and workable.
That’s the part that’s very difficult to understand. That’s where we’re very easily hooked into this process. We think that all we have to do is keep working, lamming it into the subconscious mind, and we can change our life. You can’t really change your life, there’s no way you can change your life, because your life is you. You can change things that your subconscious is holding about your life, and you can thus implant into your subconscious mind all sorts of impressions that will change the way in which you are dealing with life, but it will always be less than you. It will never be you. You can create a new self image of joy, and happiness, and hail-fellow-well-met, and win friends and influence people, and be successful, and pat everybody on the back, and be the real outgoing radiant kind of person. Yet, back of all this is the same scared little person that you fled from in the first place, just carefully covered up down beneath. You haven’t changed a thing. You’ve simply covered it over, glossed it over, pasted on a whole new image, you see.
Now what I’m saying is, that mind programming is very valid, and very important, but we reverse the process. The need is to program the mind from within to realize that each of us is a state of consciousness within the all knowing mind of God, and the Infinite Mind of God is individualizing itself as us, and the Infinite Mind in us, or we in it, and there’s a relationship here, you can’t tell where one begins and the other leaves off. There is an expression process, which I think is evidenced by Jesus’ thought, it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. The kingdom being the divine pattern of you within this. The perfect idea in mind, which is seeking to out picture and unfold itself as you.
In the flow from this Infinite Mind process in you, or the super conscious mind, as Charles Fillmore would say, there is a constant stream of God ideas, good ideas, that will impregnate and program your subconscious mind with the means by which, according to the way consciousness works, your life can become creative and fulfilled in an outer way. The difference being, in the one hand you’re trying to be something that your human consciousness and human perception thinks you should be, or that somebody else thinks you should be, and you’re being influenced from the outside, and influencing yourself from the outside. In the other sense, you’re beginning with the realization that I’m a person. I’m a person with the patterns of the potentialities of spirit within me, and I know that a part of this creative process is a means by which this can naturally and easily unfold, and lead me into the awakening of the kind of person that I’m intended to be, in which I innately am.
In the one case we may do it with a lot of manipulation, with a lot of effort, with a lot of diligence, and a lot of commitment, and a lot of working with verbalisms and words. In the other case, it’s a matter of knowing as Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “That guidance is simply the continuation of the divine effort that made the man in the first place.” That guidance is not something that you come about by trying to contact God mind. Guidance is the natural expression of the infinite process in man. Guidance to everyone of us, is just as natural as gravity. Gravity is always there, you may not understand it, you may not always be aware of it, but it’s always there. If you forget it for a moment, you’re in trouble. It’s always acting. The guidance process or principle is always active within man. It’s a part of the infinite process working through us.
We may talk of it sometimes as extrasensory perception. This is where so often the psychic approach to life tends to get fuzzy, because there is a feeling when you talk about psychic things, this is psychic phenomena, then that’s something special. You’re saying it’s something that’s tacked on, like Peter Pan’s shadow, and that you can develop psychic power from the outside. I say, poppycock. The point is, every person has powers that are beyond the three dimensional and beyond the five sensual. They’re powers of his own innateness. He doesn’t have to try to develop them, or control them. He needs to begin with the realization that he’s a person and expand his awareness of himself. As that awareness expands, the kind of powers and senses that he needs will naturally develop in an orderly way at the right time in the right way. Any effort to develop them, quite often leads to confusion. It’s a short circuiting process. It’s like opening the rose before the rose is ready to bloom, and it destroys itself, you see.
Each of us has within himself this guidance process. As Emerson says, “By lowly listening we will hear the right word.” The need is not, “Oh God, guide me,” or, “Won’t somebody guide me or tell me what to do so I know how I can get on the spiritual path?” Be still and know. Just be still, but be still in the belief in this fundamental relationship principle that you’re a spiritual being. You are the universe expressing as you. You are the God activity, which is individualizing itself as you. You are a state of consciousness in the all knowing mind of God, you can never get outside of it. There is something of this infinite that is forever active, seeking to express itself into your life.
As Plotinus, one of the early Neoplatonists expressed it and he, I think, had one of the clearest insights of this relationship principle of any of the philosophers through the ages. He talks about the need to get still and to know that the universe is rushing, streaming, pouring into you from all sides while you stand quiet. You don’t have to do a thing. You have to be still and accept the universe, accept the divine process, accept the guidance of the infinite in the same ways you accept gravity. Go about your business, but always take time to know your relationship.
I believe then, that the missing link, the missing link in prayer, the missing link in meditation, the missing link in so much of our metaphysical study is we start at the wrong end. We start rattling off affirmations, we start using treatments, we start trying to program the mind before we really get our feet on the ground. Before we really have acknowledged and are carefully relating to the force of spiritual gravity. Before we really begin with the realization that I am a person.
So easily we get back into the old syndrome of thinking that, “God’s out there, and I’m here, and gee, it’d be so nice if he’d just help me.” We’ve given up the old idea, the old theology but we’ve replaced it with new metaphysical theology. We use affirmations instead of rosary, and we feel if we say the affirmations enough that God will hear us, and he will change us, and help us to find our right way in life, you see. We really haven’t changed very much. The important thing is always to begin with the realization of stillness. I’m not saying don’t pray, I’m not saying don’t treat, don’t use your affirmations. Not at all, but I am saying always start at the beginning, and the beginning is non-verbal, the beginning is a simple, naïve, realization. I think that’s why Jesus says, “Turn and become as a little child.” He says, “Except you do so, you can’t get in the kingdom.” What he refers to this is you can’t get the awareness of your own divine potential unless you let go of all your preconceived notions.
Don’t start with how much you know. Many folks in truth have an ego thing about how much metaphysics they know. Usually prayer is a matter of reciting, sort of getting up to the head of the class and reciting to the teacher, who is God, all the wonderful things you know and you assume that after I rattled off all these great, beautiful affirmations then God will hear me and surely he will heal me when he knows how great a student I am. I’m not really making fun, I’m serious about this, you see, because I’m saying that when we have a need, a desire, whatever it is that we’re trying to do through truth, begin at the beginning. The beginning is where Jesus says, “The Father knows what things you have need of even before you ask.” Be wise enough and humble enough to add, then why ask?
Stop asking, and stop asking even by expecting your affirmations to be asking God for some help that you desire. Begin with the realization of your relationship to know that the Father within you knows your needs before you ask and it His pleasure to give you the kingdom. Which is symbolic for saying that you are the individualization of the divine process and it has only one desire and that is to fulfill itself in you. Even before you ask, the answer is there. You couldn’t desire it, you couldn’t want it, you couldn’t wish for it, unless you had somehow within yourself sensed the movement of the Spirit to express itself in you.
Begin in one moment, forgetting about all these things, laying aside the books, and the prayers, and the treatments, and so forth. Just one moment to get your feet on the ground, as it were symbolically, by getting still and just be still and know that you are. Or in a personalized sense, “I am. I am.” Not, “I wish I were, I’d like to be, oh dear God help me to be.” Or maybe this teacher says if I say this and do that, then I will be. “I am. I am. I am in the flow of this divine process. I am the individualization of it.” Just be still and get that sense of oneness, that wholeness. It’s simple really, it’s very simple, even a child knows it. We’ve graduated from childhood so it’s kind of hard to know it but we have to let go of all these adult things and be a child, just be still and know that we’re right in the center of it all.
Then out of that consciousness, once we have the realization of our oneness with the divine process, then if you want to take with you words, statements, projection of ideas, and so forth, fine. Get busy doing it, but do it, as Jesus says, “In remembrance of me.” Which doesn’t mean in remembrance of Jesus, it means you’re in remembrance of this “I am-ness” of you. In remembrance that you are, not that you have something to do but something to release, something to accept, and it’s a matter then of unfolding. Suddenly the whole process of demonstration takes on an entirely different meaning. This is why I suggest so often, I don’t particularly like the word demonstration. It’s a word that’s used almost universally in metaphysics, and I think it’s used unthinkingly. I don’t know how many of you have ever stopped to look up the word? The word demonstrate, basically is related to the word demon.
It goes way back into early days when the magician, and the charlatans, and so forth would work all sorts of magic and they would demon-strate, manifest certain magic things out of the air through demons. I don’t think that’s what we’re trying to do when we otherwise say we’re trying to demonstrate life and health. Unconsciously we’ve misled ourselves because we’re assuming that through some mental science practice we can take this affirmation, that treatment, use this principle, and manifest this thing. Whether it’s health in the body, peace in my mind, whatever, but it’s all these manipulations out here and we’ve lost our own sense of relationship.
This is why I would much prefer to use the word manifest, or out-form, or whatever statement used instead of the word demonstrate. At least to rethink the process, demonstrating health is not magic. It’s unfortunate that many people write today and it’s the popular thing to write about healing and even spiritual healing as a psychic phenomena. There’s nothing psychic about it, there’s no phenomena of healing. Healing is the out-picturing, or out-forming, or the expression, or the release-ment of the divine process within, not taking it on from without, you see.
It is in creativity or whatever else may be the desire that we have in using our metaphysical system. It’s an inward-out process, begin at the beginning. Begin with the realization that you’re at the center of it, you see. You are the universe expressing itself as you, and the same power that created you, sustains you, guides you, directs you, heals you, prospers you if you can let it, if you can get your bloated nothingness out of the way as Ralph Waldo Emerson said so very succinctly. We work so hard to try to make it, to create it, to change it, let it.
This is the heart and root to me of the metaphysical system, at least this is the starting point. I think if we get back to the beginning, back to the simple origin, then suddenly we can find we can go back then to certain treatments, and certain statements, and certain ideals that we’ve used in metaphysics. Now they make a lot more sense, because now we know when I’m affirming the truth, I’m not saying this over, and over, and over, and over so that it will happen. I’m affirming it because I know this is the truth.
I can then speak an affirmation or a treatment not this way, intently, and not constantly repeating it but I can speak it like a feather on the breeze. I just inject the word into ethers and actually all it is is a matter of reporting the level of my consciousness. I’m not saying the word to make it happen, but I’m articulating what I believe is happening and I accept it on that basis because it’s an inward-out process.
But least ... That’s about as far as we can go, our time is way over. I would recommend to you, and I know that all of you are involved in some way, at some level, with some system, or some technique, or some school of thought in the metaphysical system or in the new insight in truth. I would recommend to you, even as I have worked with it myself, to lay it all aside. Put your books aside and close your notebooks, get away from the whole thing for just a brief period of time and explore yourself and get your feet on the ground.
Accept the fact that you are, that you are, you’re a spiritual being, you’re the universe expressing you. Start at that point. Take quiet times in the morning for a while when you don’t even use the Daily Word, or your affirmation, or your idea out of Religious Science or whatever it is. Don’t do all these things, just forget it for a while and just take a moment to be still in the belief that the whole universe is rushing, streaming, pouring into you from all sides. Not because you say it should, not because you’ve treated for it, not because you’re a good student so God is being good to you, not because of any outward action but because that’s the way you’re created. Because you’re just going to let it, you’re acknowledging it in the same simple way as right now you’re accepting, even without being aware of it, the force of gravity that’s holding you right there in your seat or you’d be up floating around the room.
That’s your relationship to the infinite process, it’s real, and it’s real long before you study the New Insight in Truth. Then the next thing is to kind of make a commitment in yourself that you’ll take another look at what this thing called truth is all about. To at least challenge yourself with the idea that truth is not words, truth is not books, truth is not teachers or teachings. Truth is an ultimate, non-verbal, can’t actually be crystallized and put down into words. Catch yourself up from time-to-time when you say, “Hey, I’m really becoming a good truth student,” say the only time that you’re really a good truth student is when you’re involved in the experience of this unfold-ment and you’re not conscious of the intellectual process involved. Then you’re a good student, you see. Even the same way as now you’re a good student of gravity. You’re not trying to understand gravity, you’re accepting it and letting it work. At least that’s the challenge and like all good courses, the end is actually a beginning and the next step, the homework, is up to you.
We’ve dealt with the antecedents, we’ve talked about things that have led up to a certain state of consciousness, and all I can say is these are antecedents to my consciousness, where I am now. They’re probably what I say now is probably an antecedent to where I’ll be a year from now, or a month from now, and that’s the way it should be. The important thing is where you are, and where you’re going. Perhaps a year from now the experience you’ve had, and the ideals you have, and the attitudes you have right now will be antecedents to what you will be there. That’s the way it should be because it’s an ongoing process. Truth is going on, going on, but going on with the realization that you’re trying to get an expanded awareness, a vertical height, an uplift-ment of consciousness. At least that’s as I see it.