Correspondence School - Series 2 - Lesson 12 - Love
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- 559. What is love as related to God? -Show how love functions as a faculty in man.
- 560. What is the difference between universal love and personal love?
- 561. What hinders the full realization of God's love?
- 562. Explain how we may come into the consciousness of divine love.
- 563. What nerve plexus in the body of man is regarded by metaphysicians as being the center of emotions and feelings?
- 564. Explain how adverse feelings and emotions intman's consciousness may be erased, how his consciousness may be transformed, bringing his body and his entire world into harmony.
- 565. Why does it sometimes seem hard to express love?
- 566. Explain how peace will be fully established upon the earth. Give at least two Bible prophecies (with references) of universal peace.
- 567. What effect do evil thoughts and words have upon man's whole being?
- 568. What is Unity's teaching about vegetarianism?
- 569. Which of Jacob's sons and which of Jesus' disciples represent love?
- 570. What is the cause of darkness in the consciousness?
- 571. Why is it unwise to love worldly things?
- 572. How does love help one to build a consciousness of eternal life and to demonstrate it?
- 573. How is fear overcome?
- 574. Give two Bible prophecies of universal peace.
- 575. What is the meaning of the prophecy, "All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword"? — Matt. 26:52.
- 576. Explain the first commandment as it was given by Jesus, giving the Scripture quotation and Bible reference.
- 577. Explain the second commandment as it was given by Jesus, giving the Scripture quotation and Bible reference.
- 578. What is the relation of love to wisdom?
1. What is love as related to God? Show how love functions as a faculty in man.
Divine Mind is another name that may be used for God, or Spirit. Divine Mind is living, radiant Mind essence, or substance, that permeates and enfolds all things and teems with ideas. Divine Mind is the source of all ideas. Ideas have character and are the beginning or the starting point of all action and are the cause of all the results we see in the manifest realm.
As with the other qualities of the nature of God studied in previous lessons of this Series, love is an idea of Divine Mind; thus, love is one of the ideas that make up man's divine inheritance. (See CHRISTIAN HEALING, page 13.) Love is a principle to be applied; one of the twelve powers of man and thus a faculty of his consciousness, or mind. In Divine Mind love is the idea of universal unity. A definition used frequently by Charles Fillmore in classwork gives a broader approach to this quality: "Love is the attracting, harmonizing, unifying, equalizing, binding (or cementing) idea of Divine Mind."
"God is love" (I John 4:8). If the full force of this statement were to come to one, a marvelous transformation of the whole conscious-ness would follow. As God is love, so also love is God. Love is God forever in perfect movement within His own being, maintaining unity, balance, among all His ideas in their relation to one another. Love is that idea, or principle, of Being which forever gives or draws to each and every idea all the substance, life, and intelligence necessary for its perfect expression in form.
"Love is the coordinating, unifying principle of Being, and when one is guided by spiritual love all the forces of his nature are harmonized and strengthened" (LET THERE BE LIGHT, page 113).
Man, created in the image and after the likeness of God, has inhering in his being this divine principle, or idea. As the faculty of love functions in man's consciousness, it unifies and harmonizes all his thoughts and feelings. It draws to him all that he needs to fulfill his mission of the manifestation of his divine nature. Love unifies and harmonizes all his relations with others and with all creation. We see love expressed in man's human relations as devotion, interest, un-selfishness, friendship, goodwill, tenderness, and service to others. The following are excellent definitions of "love" from pages 52 and 55 of TALKS ON TRUTH:
"Love is a divine principle and man can know it in its purity by touching it at its fountainhead. ...
"Love is the drawing power of mind. It is the magnet of the universe, and about it may be clustered -. all the attributes of Being, by one who thinks in divine order."
Manifest man is a growing and developing creation, in the process of becoming acquainted with the divine qualities of his spiritual nature, his heritage from God. He is learning how to use the principles, or ideas, of God Mind that are the patterns by which he is to think, feel, speak, act, and react in his daily life. Often, through lack of under-standing, he forms limited beliefs and wrong concepts about these divine principles, or ideas, and thus makes for himself wrong patterns which become ruling laws or secondary-producing causes in his life. Love, as it is taken into man's consciousness, takes on the form of his mental concepts and beliefs. The idea of love is not changed but the form of expression comes forth according to the mental pattern which man has formed.
This is what hinders or delays the full realization of the love of God in man's consciousness. This is the reason that we do not always see love being expressed in all its grace and purity, but ex-pressed in selfishness, greed, jealousy, envy, and the like.
2. What hinders the full realization of God's love?
For so long all the sorrows and all the woes of the world have been charged against God that mankind can scarcely realize that God is love. Rather, man thinks of God as a Being who for some mysterious reason wants people to suffer. Now that it is understood that love has been limited in its expression and that men are responsible for their own suffering, caused by lack of understanding and misuse of the inherent powers of their being, the chief barrier between them and the full realization of God's love is removed.
It is man's work to understand and give full expression, in divine order, to this love principle in him the faculty in his own conscious-ness. Love forever urges man onward and upward toward the highest endeavor; urges him to manifest that for which he was created; urges him to reciprocate in love toward God and toward man the love that God has shown toward man in creating him in His image and after His likeness. Love is the unifying quality in each man's own particular world. When love is given the opportunity to function in its purity in man's thoughts, feelings, and actions, it unifies, heals, harmonizes, blesses, and prospers all the different forms of expression in his human experience.
The great question is: "How can each person come into the consciousness of universal love and give it expression in his individual life?" The way to the Father is through the Son. "I am the way" (John 14:6). In the Son are all the attributes (ideas) of the Father-Mind. Then in the Son, the Christ, the perfect-idea man, is love in its perfection. As Christ is God individuated as man, so Christ love is individual love that can be expressed universally. We may measure the Christ love by what it includes.
"He drew a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!"
—"Outwitted," by Edwin Markham.
It is the same yesterday, today, and forever; for it is God-consciousness giving to all its ideas all the good needed for perfect expression.
Manifest man's lack of understanding of the true nature of the love idea, and how it is to function as a faculty in his consciousness, often causes man to base his love on his feelings or emotions. A person's concept, understanding, and expression of universal love makes it personal to him, and it is called "personal love":
"Personal love is part of the law, but divine love fulfills the law" (TALKS ON TRUTH, page 153).
This personal expression of love is varied, since it depends on how the person thinks and feels. It is often limited to what it possesses; limited to certain people, things, and conditions. Yet, being swayed by the individual's state of mind, the expression of love may not always be directed to the same people, things, and conditions. God's love, being universal, unchanging, unlimited, is constantly in expression whether man responds or not; it does not change because of feelings. The limited expression of love that takes in only "my family," "my people," and "my country" never knows the joy of entering into universal love, where all men are recognized and loved as brothers.
"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love remains in death" (I John 3:14).
"Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God ... and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love" (I John 4:7, 8). "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).
Since the Son, the Christ, is the real of every individual, it is clear that this great fountain of universal love is not something far removed from man but is within him. No long pilgrimages, no agonizing days and nights of seeking are necessary to "finding" love. Being always part of the God nature, love is always present, ready to express itself in blessing when men open their mind and heart to receive it.
As long as man believes himself to be a creature separate from God, unlike Him in all ways, it is difficult for him to claim his birth-right as the son of God. Man has been taught that he must fear God; that God punishes him, and that it is "sacrilegious" to claim any kin-ship with Him, let alone claim to be the beloved son of God. Many have been taught that the Christ was only the man Jesus who was crucified on Calvary. Unenlightened man does not know that the Christ is spiritual man, the spiritual nature of God within every man, through which all have access to the love of God. "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27).
We consciously claim our oneness with God's love by speaking the word, or by affirming, and then establishing it in consciousness through meditation, prayer, and the Silence:
"But the more we talk about love, the stronger it grows in the consciousness, and if we persist in thinking loving thoughts and speaking loving words, we are sure to bring into our experience the feeling of that great love that is beyond description—the very love of God" (TALKS ON TRUTH, pages 51, 52).
Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He is telling every man how consciously to unify himself with the Christ, I AM, the law of his being. Jesus taught that through love man is freed from all limitations of mind and condition; that man must learn the character of the love of God, must learn to discriminate (use of the faculty of judgment) between spiritual living and living in a consciousness of belief in sin, sick-ness, sorrow, and death. When through denials, affirmations, meditation, prayer, and the Silence, man consciously unifies himself with the Christ self within, love spontaneously pours itself through his consciousness (thinking and feeling) and out into his body and affairs. This equalizing, harmonizing, healing stream of love renews his mind by cleansing his consciousness of all adverse feelings by its own pure nature.
3. Explain how adverse feelings and emotions in man's consciousness may be erased, how his consciousness may be transformed, bringing his body and his entire world into harmony.
To come in touch with the love of God, direct your attention within to the very heart, or core, of your being and concentrate on the love center or faculty. Meditate on the quickening spirit of love and speak words of Truth such as these:
"God is love. I am the living expression of the love of God. The infinite love of God is now made manifest in and through me."
Affirmations of this nature will quicken the consciousness (thinking and feeling) and charge the cells of the body with positive love. The body has no initiative of its own, and therefore it is vitally important that no negative condition be impressed upon it by the misuse of the faculty of love.
It is more or less universally accepted that the heart symbolizes the love center or faculty. It is not essential to go into detailed explanation of how the emotion or feeling named "love" functions at this center. However, various experiences in man's life prove that the physical organism is affected by his emotions. Only as adverse feelings are replaced by feelings of love is man able to erase error beliefs from his mind so that it is transformed, bringing not only his body but his entire world into harmony with God's laws.
With the mind's eye of faith, one sees, or perceives, the unity of physics and metaphysics and realizes that the brain cells have spiritual cores that receive and carry the thoughts and emotions of the presiding ego. Thus, the body is seen as a perfectly planned receiving and broad-casting station capable of transmitting the ideas of Divine Mind. Not only do the nerves correspond to the wires of our telegraph and tele-phone systems, but there are also "wireless waves" of mental energy traveling through space in every direction.
Every nerve and gland in the body must be charged with the power of the Christ consciousness through often repeated affirmations of the dominion of spiritual man, the Christ, the I AM. In this way the body is regenerated, lifted up to its rightful place as the temple of God, and the "disciples," the faculties of mind, are educated in the laws of the kingdom of God. Through this daily education, we begin to experience true love, divine love, and we feel its healing currents flowing all through the body, and then out into our world of affairs.
Any attempt to force the will to do loving things—without any feeling of love--because we think we ought to do them—ends in failure. Every day there should be meditation upon divine love, and its full, free expression through man's faculty should be declared. Unless the true nature of love is firmly established in consciousness, it cannot be expressed unfailingly at all times. We cannot express that which we do not consciously have in us. The heart must be opened to the loving, unselfish Christ Spirit, and a consciousness of universal love must be cultivated. When the spirit of love is active in the conscious-ness of man, it becomes easy to do loving things. The attitude of other persons should not have any influence on our actions. Hate is not overcome by will power and by hard mental effort, but by filling the heart so full of love that there is no room for any adverse feeling. Many persons try to be forgiving, but do not succeed because they try of themselves as human beings instead of opening their heart to the loving, forgiving Spirit of Jesus Christ.
4. How is peace to be established upon the earth? Give two Bible prophecies (with references) of universal peace.
Man is sent forth by God as His agent, or representative, on earth to have dominion and authority and to rule with a spirit of love in the same way that God's kingdom in the heavens of Mind is ruled. All the ideas of Divine Mind are constructive, goody therefore all man's concepts should work toward building up and not tearing down the good. Every belief that man establishes within his consciousness has an effect upon his body and affairs in accordance with its character, whether constructive or destructive. By persistent cultivation of the love idea, man can change his beliefs of limitation and thus rebuild his body, cell by cell, through the power of his word spoken from the Christ consciousness. The body will then spontaneously express the radiant life of God.
Love takes away all thoughts of destruction. When love is developed as Jesus Christ expressed it, all destructive man-made things in the universe will be abolished. When divine love fills the consciousness, there is no place for warring or contentious thoughts; no place for greed, envy, hate, or jealousy, for love lifts all things into one harmonious whole. In the great day when love shall reign, "They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain" (Isa. 65:25). The Gospel of John emphasizes love, and the Letters of John declare the love of God. In the First Letter John writes: "He who loves his brother abides in the light ... But he who hates his brother is in the darkness . . . and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (I John 2:10, 11).
Looking through the personality of Jesus, John saw the Christ: "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:4, 5). It was into the darkness of human ignorance, or lack of understanding, that Jesus carried the light of infinite wisdom and love, an under-standing of men's common relationship through a common source (the brotherhood of man through the Fatherhood of God). Only when we are willing and ready to let the light of God's love shed its brightness upon all alike, shall we be able to find our own way in life without stumbling. Then our demonstrations of good will be made through the indwelling love and intelligence of Divine Mind—-moving in and through us.
"Love does no wrong to a neighbor" (Rom. 13:10), therefore love is the remedy for all labor difficulties. Strife and contention have no place in the love of God, and justice and peace cannot be established in an individual, or in a nation, except through the expression of that love. "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44) is the teaching of Jesus Christ. By following this teaching, one ushers in the reign of peace when men shall
"Beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks:
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall sit every man under his vine and
under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken"
(Micah 4:3, 4).
5. What effect do evil thoughts and words have upon man's whole being?
David understood the power of words; he speaks of men whose tongues are "sharp swords" (Psalms 57:4) and who are "bellowing with their mouths" (Psalms 59:7). Solomon too had this understanding when he said: "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" (Prov. 12:18). Jesus said, "All who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt. 26:52). Swords are not always made of steel, but they may represent any weapon that man uses against his fellowman. Evil thoughts and words produce destructive effects in the world. Knowing this, we shall take care not to use such thoughts and words. Every unkind word we speak is as a two-edged sword that hurts the one toward whom it is directed only if he accepts it, and it reacts upon the one who sends it forth unless he is quick to erase it with forgiveness. Love will send forth words of blessing and heal the wounds which have been made by unloving words.
Levi, one of the sons of Jacob, and John, one of the apostles of Jesus, each represent "love." In the Old Testament, the twelve sons of Jacob symbolize "The first, or natural, bringing forth of the faculties. A higher expression of the faculties is symbolized in the "Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ" (CHRISTIAN HEALING, page 73). The word Levi means "joining," "clinging." The Levites were chosen to serve in the sanctuary of the Temple, thus symbolizing the truth that love as the "fulfilling of the law" (Rom. 13:10) is required before man can manifest Godlikeness in its fullness, for it takes love to fulfill all of the other powers (laws). As David, who represents divine love, unified the twelve tribes of Israel into one great working unit, so love, active in man's consciousness, unifies all his faculties of mind so that they function together in divine order and work as a unit to fulfill the purpose for which man was created— "to demonstrate the Truth of Being" (CHRISTIAN HEALING, page 55).
6. How does love help one to build a consciousness of eternal life and to demonstrate it?
A consciousness of "eternal life" is attained only through the unification and right use of the faculties of mind. This is possible only as divine love is developed in man's thinking and feeling natures. A love of life stirs in man the desire to know more about eternal life and to manifest it in his body.
"We can have fullness of life by realizing that we live in a sea of abundant, omnipresent, eternal life, and by refusing to allow any thought to come in that stops the consciousness of the universal life flow....
Every time we think life, speak life, rejoice in life, we are setting free, and bringing into expression in ourselves more and more of the life idea" (JESUS CHRIST HEALS, page 105).
It is possible for man, in his ignorance, to put the power of his love faculty upon that which is not good. We speak of "love of power" that leads to domination and dictatorship; even Paul warns of the "love of money," meaning the desire for money for its own sake rather than for the fulfillment of its true purpose as a medium of exchange. When man has not a true picture of substance and puts too much emphasis upon the outer forms, then he is prone to unhappiness or disappointment when the forms are no longer available. When man sees the formed things of the world as the outer forms of "ideas" clothed in divine substance that has taken form in what is termed "matter," then he knows that "nothing is lost in Spirit" for the idea remains always ready to be re-clothed to fit the needs of man and all creation. When love is directed toward God's world and the things of His world, it becomes appreciation of the gift and the Giver and there is willingness to release all that has served its purpose to make way for greater expression of good.
7. How is fear overcome?
"Divine love in the heart establishes one in fearlessness and indomitable courage" (CHRISTIAN HEALING, page 138). Fear comes because of man's belief in two powers, good and evil, and he feels that evil is threatening him and he desires to avoid or escape it.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love" (I John 4:18).
When the love of God fills the heart, it dispels all fear, and the individual can truly say in the words of the Psalmist, "I fear no evil; for thou art with me" (Psalms 23:4). Love abiding actively in the soul of man enables him to "practice the Presence of God" and to know this Presence as the omnipresent protection for himself and his loved ones and for every living soul.
8. Explain the first commandment as it was given by Jesus, giving the Scripture quotation and Bible reference.
We know the emphasis Jesus placed upon "love," for in giving what we often hear termed as the "love commandments" Jesus said "There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31). The first commandment has to do with the individual, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." The "Lord your God" is one's own indwelling Christ, the I AM, the Spirit of God in each man, one's own divinity. To "love the Lord your God," then, is to be aware of this indwelling Presence, to be unified, harmonized, consciously one with it. Through knowing our identity as I AM, as one and the same as universal Spirit, we know that we are never separated from our Source, and each one is an expresser of all that I AM is. Thus, we see that the first commandment of love is recognition of our own divinity.
9. Explain the second commandment as it was given by Jesus, giving the Scripture quotation and Bible reference.
As there is only one God—"The Lord our God, the Lord is one" (Mark 12:29)—one I AM who is identical in all forms, we cannot be separated from any other human being. We live in God, the one Presence, the one Power, that is constantly inspiring and sustaining all. Thus, the second commandment comes in natural sequence, "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31). Once aware of our own divinity, the Christ, or I AM, within, in order for love to fulfill its mission, there must be recognition of the divinity of "our neighbor." We see our neighbor seeking to express his true nature in accord with his own understanding, and our love for him removes all barriers of limited thinking about him from our own mind.
10. What is the relation of wisdom to love?
While all of the twelve faculties are to be developed under the direction of the I AM, or Christ Spirit, we find that study of these faculties enables us to see which ones need to be developed together. In the last lesson we studied about "judgment," which is the ability to discern, discriminate, choose, or select. When we have balanced our "judgment faculty" with understanding, then it becomes a safe companion for the "love faculty." Wisdom is practical spiritual knowledge from the Light within? it is the inspiration that comes from Spirit in the "secret place of the most High" and it is the only safe guide to the development of all our faculties. When love and judgment are united in wisdom, then the two faculties will be expressed in divine order. Love is a spirit of giving? unless it is directed, it will pour itself out without discrimination or judgment. Love must be guided by good judgment, and judgment must be tempered with love. When love and judgment work with the wisdom of God, the result is quick intuitional knowing? while love acting independently may bring un-pleasant results. The loving parent who indiscriminately gives to the child can bring harm? whereas the parent seeking to use judgment with-out love may also cause unhappiness in the child, for judgment working independently of love and wisdom is harsh and unfeeling. Love alone may be impulsive? but united with judgment that is guided by wisdom, it receives direct leading from Spirit, which always shows the right course. A good prayer treatment for health, prosperity, peace, and everything else desirable, is:
"Through God's wisdom, love and judgment are united in me." "Love is an inherent power that, if allowed to be expressed in one's life, will transform every inharmony, will transmute every negative condition into part of the harmonious whole. The results of love are always good" (DARE TO BELIEVE! pages 103, 104).
The love of God toward men is expressed fully and freely in the Scriptures as loving-kindness and tender mercy, and in many other ways that the unenlightened do not recognize. No one has ever comprehended this love in its fullness except Jesus Christ? but as it is believed in and trusted, the consciousness expands in the realization of the true character of divine love.
"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" (Jer. 31:3 A.V.).
This lesson was transcribed on April 20, 2021 by Coy Brock.