By Charles Fillmore
TRUE COURAGE is courage as it functions in Truth. Every faculty has a twofold action — within and without. As we analyze the various ideas that enter into our everyday life, we find that they all have a true and a false side, a positive and a negative side. Thus even our virtues appear negative when separated from the Absolute. In considering the faculties of mind, we get the best concept of them if we work from the Absolute, separating each faculty from relative conditions, and drawing it to an expression in our mind unrelated to other faculties.
True courage is not bravado. It is not "nerve," nor is it indifference to suffering. Courage is not generally estimated at its true value, because we do not understand its spiritual quality. True spiritual courage will lift us above every hindrance, even that of an accusing conscience that refuses to remit past sins and keeps us in a state of self-condemnation and remorse. True courage looks to God for the solution of every problem.
In the Scripture lesson from Daniel we are told how in the lion's den the prophet kept his windows open toward Jerusalem and prayed three times a day. That is the key to the whole situation. Jerusalem in man is his spiritual consciousness. Consciousness is different from the misdirected conscience that makes "cowards of us all." The unenlightened conscience is a human thing, the result of false education and warped standards.
Spiritual consciousness is of God, and it is established in us when we open the windows of our soul to Him and pray at least three times a day. The number three is a mystical number. It has back of it the Trinity of mind, idea, and expression; Father, Son, Holy Spirit; God, Christ, Man. It runs all through the Scriptures, and it has a spiritual significance. We pray to God, our Father; to Christ, the indwelling I AM; and to Jesus, our true self manifest. This means that we pray or affirm the divine Trinity, which we idealize as capable of expression in us through our divine sonship.
It makes a difference whether your windows are open to the outer world or to Jerusalem, the inner world. Daniel had understanding; he was a master of spiritual things, and he is a good example for us. We need not be afraid of the lions in our path if we pray with our windows open toward Jerusalem. This appears mystical, but it is very simple. When we get the true interpretation, we find that Daniel is divine judgment, implanted in us from the beginning. When the Lord reveals to us the spiritual law, we must follow it regardless of King Intellect's edicts.
The usual penalty for opposing man-made laws is savage criticism and finally social extinction. But cooperation with God leads to better things; the mouths of the lions are closed and you eventually go up higher, as did Daniel.
King Intellect frequently makes laws that ignore divine wisdom; he often regrets his edicts, and is glad when the higher wisdom helps him out. Thus, if you understand the redeeming power of Spirit you need not suffer the results of ignorance. In the case of Daniel we can plainly see that the law that the king made was the result of outside suggestion. The officers of the king's court were in sense consciousness and therefore opposed to Daniel. The officers represent the mental attitudes of the personality, which frequently incite one to make rules of life not in harmony with the supreme law. The result is hard experiences, conditions that are difficult to meet and that appear to be punishment. But if one knows the divine resource, one need not suffer.
We know the invariableness of the law that we shall reap as we sow. The supreme dictator of all power is mind. When you learn how to pull up thought weeds before they come to maturity, you have attained a power that belongs to the masters. You can put a quietus on the effects of the law that you have brought into action and destroy all the seeds of error thought by your word when you have come to the place of dominion in Spirit. To us God has given all power; but in order to realize our power we must detach it from the realm of sense effects. We are constantly making rules of life and coming under their dominion, not realizing that dominion over all things is ours. We come into the consciousness of mastery through prayer and meditation. Then divine law sends its angels and closes in our behalf the mouths of all devouring elements (lions), which consume those who are not in tune with Spirit.
Before man can enter into his rightful place in the universe, he must know the character of ideas as he knows the spelling book and the rules of arithmetic. He must know what ideas to cultivate when he wishes to obtain certain results. There is a dynamic power back of every idea, and man must estimate the power of his ideas as he does the voltage of a dynamo. Fear is opposed to courage, and it paralyzes. You have probably heard persons say that they were "scared stiff." Do nothing that will set up in the consciousness the fear state of mind, because you cannot tell where it will manifest itself in body. You can meet any duty with divine courage if you call upon your Lord, as Daniel did, three times a day.
As they go on in spiritual development, those who have been educated according to the race thought sometimes find that the old fear states break up in the subconscious mind and come to the surface, and unaccountable fears are felt. These are the lions in the den of the subconsciousness. They cannot hurt you if you are true to your God.
It is not always a fear that robs us of our courage; sometimes it is a duty. Do you courageously meet every one of your obligations, or do you leave some duties to other people?
Fear can be eliminated through the power of God. When Caleb and Joshua went over into the Promised Land, the Lord said to them: "Be ... of good courage." God is always with us, but we must cultivate the spiritual presence. This is done by prayer and affirmation. Say often:
The Christ of God is manifest in me. I am free and fearless, because I am innocent. Innocence is its own defense.
We do not have to go back to the time of Daniel to see opportunities for great spiritual courage. If you are afraid of the opinions of anyone, if you are cowed by any proud personality, you have need of the courage of Daniel. Is God in you afraid of what men will say about what you preach or what you write? Have the courage of Jesus Christ. He made for Himself the highest affirmations, even when these opposed the church dignitaries and temporal rulers. Be fearless and courageous enough to make the same proclamations for yourself. Did He not say: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do"? We cannot do the works without first placing ourselves in the same relation to the Father that He occupied. If He were to go down the street today making the statements that He made in Palestine two thousand years ago, He very likely would be put into jail before night. But He was right; spiritual man is God manifest. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." It takes courage to declare oneself a son of God.
Take up a definite statement of Truth daily, and by your word free yourself from the old bondage of fear. Affirm:
I am no longer afraid of the opinions of men. I am no longer bound by a cowardly conscience. The fears of the past have no power over me. I stand with God in the fearlessness of the Almighty. I am one with Almightiness. My environment is God.
SON OF GOD, ADVANCE!
Walk with majestic tread this day,
With head erect, uplifted eyes,
But plant your feet firm on the Way
And keep your vision on the skies.
The Christ within you walks with you
So forward, upward, go—ascend!
The Son of God you are; you, too,
Can every false belief transcend.
Walk forth! The Truth with power declare;
To mighty words of Christ give voice;
Christ is within you, everywhere;
Your power is infinite, Rejoice!
— Frank B. Whitney.
This book by Charles Fillmore is the textbook for advanced students of Truth. It consists of twelve lessons, each of which is followed by affirmations for making spiritual application of its message. It teaches the formative power of thought and how to control thought; it explains the power of words, the working of faith and imagination. Every paragraph is vibrant with power, The book is priced at $2.95.
LESSONS IN TRUTH
Lessons in Truth, by H. Emilie Cady, is written in language that is free from confusing terms and expressions, and it therefore adapts itself to the needs of beginners in the study of Truth.
It does not stop with beginners, however, for Lessons in Truth, once read, takes a firm hold on the mind of the student, and he will continue to come back to it, always finding in it some new thought to enrich his life.
This book, written in the form of twelve lessons with question helps, is valued as a textbook but because of its genuine appeal it is also our most widely read book. This book is priced at $2.95.
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