Vera Dawson Tait Teaches Lessons in Truth
In the following audio and transcripts, Vera Dawson Tait provides commentary on the Correspondence School Annotations for Emilie Cady's Lessons in Truth.
054 Job 22 27-28
Now we begin another interesting chapter, and this is chapter five on affirmations. This of course is the other part of the process of denial and affirmation. If you will turn to the opening of the chapter, you will find there a quotation taken from Job 22: 27 and 28. However, should you have an up to date copy of lessons in truth, you will find that this reads quite differently to what the quotation reads in the authorized version or the King James version. Let me read from the revised standard version. You will make your prayer to him and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows. You will decide on a matter and it will be established for you and light will shine on your ways. Now, look how this reads in the King James version, thou shalt make thy prayer to him and he will hear thee and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shall decree a thing, notice that, and it shall be established unto thee and light shall shine upon thy ways. When we consider affirmation, we know that it means a decree or an assertion of some truth. Let me read from the book, to affirm anything is to assert positively that it is so even in the face of all contrary evidence.
055 What is an affirmation?
Now, remember that to affirm is to assert positively. And so our first question reads what is an affirmation? An affirmation then is comparing it with our definition for denial, a word or a group of words that declares something to be true of God, man, the universe, a situation or condition or a thing. Do you see how closely it fits to denial but on the positive side? Now, for instance, where you’re declaring something to be true of God, you could say our fundamental statement, God is the one presence and the one power. Where you are giving an affirmation about man, you would say, man is a spiritual being, a son of God heir to his good. Of the universe, we could say the universe is filled with the power and the love and the presence of God.
If you were thinking about a situation that needed remedying, you might say, this situation is filled with God’s love and God’s harmony. If some condition, our body, our affairs is unhappy, then you could say God’s presence alone fills this condition. Sometimes people forget that we can make affirmations about things, objects. Because God is the one presence and the one power, all his nature is a spread throughout all of creation. And so every formed thing as we’ve said before is the result of some idea. The idea back of anything then has in it the life, substance, and intelligence about which we have spoken so often. So if you wanted to affirm about a thing you could say the intelligence in this machine or this particular thing I’m dealing with is now bringing everything into divine order. Even a simple a thing as a window that is stuck, can respond to an affirmation. It’s been done many a time.
Somehow or other by affirming you and I put ourselves in tune with whatever we are working with. Probably anybody who has a typewriter has at some time or another had to get very, very still and make an affirmation if something has gone wrong with the machine. But remember this reaches into every area of our life. So an affirmation then is that we declare something to be true. You say, oh yes, but this is wrong and the other is wrong either with this machine or this condition or with this individual. But remember when we assert something to be true, we are not talking just of the form, but we are referring to that which is back of the form, the divine idea or we could say the divine plan.
056 What is the purpose of affirmations?
Now, to our second question, it’s in two parts. The first part reads, what is the purpose of affirmations? Now, the key word there is the word purpose. The B part says, what part do affirmations play in the fulfillment of our desires? The book reads in this way, the saying over and over of any denial or affirmation is a necessary training of a mind that has lived so long in error and false belief that it needs this constant repetition of truth to unclothe it and to clothe it a new. Now, it’s true that a mind that has been filled with much negation needs affirmation to clothe it a new. But we must remember that all of us are going to need affirmations throughout all of our life. As a matter of fact, our life today has been built on the affirmations and the denials of yesterday.
But if you will keep in mind and don’t think of it just from a negative standpoint that the first purpose of an affirmation is to train your mind, then you have something upon which to build. Another part of this chapter says, tells us that through affirmation we can bring this thing to pass. So in other words, another purpose of affirmations is to bring something to pass. It is to bring from the invisible into the visible something that we desire in our life to fulfill our life or to satisfy our life. From a metaphysical or spiritual standpoint, probably the most important purpose of affirmations is to present to our mind the divine ideas that are ours by divine inheritance. One thing we must keep in mind as we did for denials is that affirmations are not necessarily audible. They may be silent or audible.
You may not realize how many times you have spoken a word of truth or you have actually given a denial statement silently. You have never formed actual words yet the entire picture of that denial or that affirmation has been part of your consciousness. So the purpose of affirmations then is to speak silently or audibly some truth that will bring a good into our life that we have been searching for, that will present to our mind these divine ideas. And then of course, primarily to train our mind that these ideas may be presented constantly to consciousness. And you see by this that affirmation and denial have such a tremendous part to play together. Affirmation without denial could be very ineffectual if the mind is full of negation, full of beliefs and thoughts that are only causing unhappiness in our life. And then on the other hand, as was mentioned in our chapter on denials, it’s possible to have excessive denial until we wash away as it were the good that we desire in our life.
All right, to our second part, here is our B section then. What part do affirmations play in the fulfillment of our desires? There’s really only one answer, a vital part, an important part. All of our study in both denials and affirmations have proved that these techniques that are needed for cleansing the mind and building the mind are very important. We may at times think, oh, well, it’s just a process, what importance could it have? I want only answers from God. But these become our pipelines through which we make our connection with the source of our good.
In First Corinthians 3:6, we read, I have planted Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. It is vitally important that you and I realize that we have a work to do. Our work is to decree, to affirm or to assert. But if you recall from this scripture that I read, it says it shall be established unto thee. You and I do not do the establishing, God gave the increase. You and I do the work of planting these ideas in our consciousness. We do all that is necessary to water these seed ideas but God gives to each of us the increase. He gives us the manifestations that fit whatever the needs may be in our life.
057 What is the power in an affirmation that brings about its fulfillment?
You will find that question three is very closely related to questions one and two. The first part reads, what is the power in an affirmation that brings about its fulfillment? Now, the key word there is power, and the second key word of course would be fulfillment. Ask yourself the question, when I give an affirmation, what is the power in that affirmation? It isn’t the power of you, it isn’t power of your mind. There must be something deeper than that. Therefore we say that the power in an affirmation, which after all is a group of words is the meaning or the idea back of those words. I’m going to tell a little story here that has been very interesting to me through the years. At one time, the superintendent of a Unity Sunday school in Kansas City remarked to me that a woman had come to him one Sunday morning smiling. And she said, “I have a story to tell you about my little six year old.”
She said, “During the week, my husband and I were sitting at the dinner table and of course the little fellow was there too. And suddenly, I said to my husband, “We’ve got to do something about the mice that we have, I’ve noticed evidences all around. And if they don’t go, we’re going to have to put traps down.” So my husband replied, “Well, just see how it goes along and we’ll do it.”” Nothing was sad for about two are close to three weeks. But once more at the dinner table, my husband said to me, “By the way, have you seen any evidence of the mice? Do you think they’ve gone?” I replied to him, “Well, you’re right, I don’t believe I have seen any evidence.” Suddenly our little six-year-old spoke up and he said, “Oh no, we won’t have any more mice.” “Why?” I asked the child.” “Well, I prayed.”
My husband looked at me and we said, “Well, what did you pray?” And he said, “Well, I only know one prayer and I learned at Sunday school, divine love through me blesses and multiplies you.” Well, of course the story may sound amusing and yet isn’t their truth back of that. That little fellow went only by the meaning, he did not go by the words because if the words had had the real value or the power, then the mice would have been increased. But instead of that, apparently the mice were gone for good. When the superintendent told me this story, I thought to myself then, words are indeed only channels for ideas. So let us keep that in mind that the power in any affirmation that brings about its fulfillment is the meaning or the idea back of those words.
Now, to the second section of question number three, what faculty, now note that word, what faculty of mind is most necessary to make our affirmations affective? If you will look up the dictionary, you will find that the word faculty means the ability. So therefore we mean the ability of the mind, in other words, to do its work and make our affirmations effective. We could say to make the words of our affirmations effective, there’s really only one answer and that is the faculty of faith. Why do we say that? Now, I know that we’re going to study about faith in the next lesson. But in the meantime, remember this that faith is the seeing quality of the mind. It doesn’t see physical things, it sees in the mind. Therefore, Charles Fillmore refers to faith as the proceeding faculty. When you say you perceive something, you know what you mean. You know that you are recognizing this thing or whatever it may be with your mind and not necessarily with your physical eyes.
So if my words are to be effective, the words that I use in my affirmation, then I must have faith. It stems the reason that I wouldn’t even go to the trouble of giving an affirmation unless I had faith. Isn’t that a fact? Silent Unity has said through the years that every letter that comes in, every telephone call, cable or any communication whatsoever is an act of faith. People writing to an organization such a Silent Unity asking for prayer would not do so unless they had some inner recognition or perception that there was a possibility of an answer to prayer. Is that not true? You would not go to somebody and ask for something if you were very convinced that that individual would not give you what you asked for. But faith reaches out and it says to those who would ask for prayer, there is a possibility of an answer. And the same thing occurs in our affirmation.
When we referred to affirmation as that which declares something true of God, man, the universe, a situation, condition or a thing, we know very well that not one of us would make an affirmation about God, man and so forth unless we were convinced that that were true. It may not appear true on the outer, but we know with all our soul that it is true, that because we are creations of God with a divine inheritance that somehow or other we can have the right answer to our prayer. The faculty of mind then that is most necessary to make our affirmations effective is faith. Now, bear this in mind, it does not mean that faith is more important than anything else. Do you recall our consideration of life, substance, and intelligence?
We spoke of them as being the structural faculties. Without life, substance, and intelligence, faith wouldn’t even work. But at this particular time, we must assume that when we come to the place of even saying an affirmation, like unknown, making one up, that we have had life, that there has been substance, the substance of the mind, there has been intelligence. And now we add this wonderful faculty that we call faith. The faculty that can reach into divine substance and lay hold of the idea that is most needed. Now, as I said before, we will have a whole chapter to consider faith. But right now if you will think of only the one word, perception, it will help you greatly in making your affirmations effective.
058 Copy and explain the four affirmations
If you recall in our chapter on denials, the four basic denial statements did not come until the second half of the chapter. However, in this chapter on affirmations, our fourth question concerns four basic affirmations. I’m going to read the question, and then I will deal individually with those four affirmations. This is the question, copy the four affirmations listed in the text and explain each in your own words. Well, naturally the word own is very important. It is one thing to take the words of a book or of a teacher and quite another thing to explain it in your own words. Now, you will notice in the chapter the first affirmation is listed and then an explanation. The second one is listed with an explanation. But for some reason or other, there is no explanation after the third, but there is after the fourth.
059 Affirmation 1 - God is ...
Now, we are going to go on to our first affirmation.
God is life, love, intelligence, substance, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.
Now, you will notice that the word love has been added to the three basic statements, life, substance, and intelligence. But we say God is life, love, intelligence, substance. And then the last three words of this affirmative statement are omnipotence, which is part the nature of God, omniscient and omnipresent. Each of these attest to the power of God, the knowingness or wisdom of God and the presence of God. The word omn in languages has often referred to God. So Omnipotence is God is the only power. Omniscience, God the only wisdom or knowing. Omnipresence, God the only precedence. Now, it is very interesting to look at this affirmation and say why this is an affirmation of recognition. Now, you won’t find that in the book, but this is a good word to think about.
I recognize God, you see, as life, love, intelligence, substance, and then I know him as omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Can you see how this fits in with the nature of God? Can you see how it fits in with everything that we have said of God?
060 Affirmation 2 - I am a child or manifestation of God ...
Let us consider now the second affirmation.
I am a child or manifestation of God and every moment his life, love, wisdom, power flow into and through me. I am one with God, and I’m governed by his law.
Now, as we said that the word recognition would fit with our first affirmation, do you not think that the word acknowledgment is a good word for the second affirmation? I acknowledge now that I am a child or manifestation of God. Let’s go a little beyond that. I am a son of God. You see, a child is under parents or under guardians, but a son, we often think of as being ready now to claim him his inheritance. But this is acknowledgment.
So think about that word, acknowledgement of my relation to God. And then what is the next part of this statement? Every moment his life, love, wisdom, power flow into and through me. Is this not an acknowledgement of the inseparability of my life and God life? I think it is. We have said that God can never be separated from his creation. And if every moment his life, love, wisdom, power flow into and through me, is that not a proof that I am never separated from God? Oh, yes, I may think I am, but that’s an entirely different thing. Just because I refuse to turn on the tap to allow the water to flow through the faucet is no indication that there is no water. I have not turned on the tap and allowed it to flow through. And so if I feel that I am separated from God, that is not true. And probably one of the first things I have to do is to deny that there is any truth to the belief in separation from God.
And here is my affirmation. Every moment his life, love, wisdom, power flow into and through me. Now, look at the last part of this statement, I am one with God and I’m governed by his law. Here is another acknowledgement of my inseparability from God and also of my relationship to God. I am one with God and governed by his law. But you say, but I seem to be governed by many laws other than the laws of God. As a spiritual being, I can only be actually governed by God’s law. Oh, yes. I may give into many other manmade laws and many of these laws not true. But in the long run when I know myself to be one with God, I can only be governed by his law. So once more, we have an acknowledgement of our relationship to God and also of our relationship to his law. His law, the law of love that includes all laws.
061 Affirmation 3 - I am spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious...
Now to our third statement.
I am spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious. Nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid for spirit is God and God cannot be sick or hurt or afraid. I manifest my real self through this body now.
Did you notice something that right in the middle of that affirmation we had a denial? Nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid. This actually then is a statement of identification. I recognize God with my first statement, I acknowledged my relation to God with the second statement. And now with this third statement, I identify myself, my very nature as being spirit the same as God. Spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious. And then along comes this denial statement right in the middle, nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid, why? And here comes our answer, for spirit is God and God cannot be sick or hurt or afraid.
Do you remember one of our questions said, what is the real self, and can the real self be sick? And we said, of course no, because the real self of you and me is the very God presence in us. The last part of this statement, I manifest. That means I show forth my real self through this body now. The word now is very important because one who is ill may think, oh, but I’m not expressing God’s life and strength, how could I be expressing my real self through this body now? But we are even if this real self has been hidden by a veil of much negation, it’s the only body we have to express and we do it through this body now. But just imagine what this statement means. If you have a need for healing, I manifest my real self through this body now.
Can you see how all the cells of the body begin to lift up and begin to move in the right direction because the mind then is being trained to accept the truth that the real self is being expressed through this body now? So this is your affirmation of identification. You have said I am spirit. And by saying I am spirit, you have of course identified yourself with God. And it is once more a statement of the inseparability of God and you.
062 Affirmation 4 - God works in me to will and to do ...
To our fourth statement now.
God works in me to will and to do whatsoever he wishes me to do, and he cannot fail.
We have spoken of the first affirmation as being that of recognition. The second acknowledgement, the third identification. Suppose we think of this fourth one as realization. God works in me, suddenly I realize that God is actually working in me. How does God work? God works by the movement of his own ideas. They move in and through me, they move in and through you, they move in and through every atom of creation. And in this way, God is working to bring into expression and manifestation the plan that he had for his universe. Now, the second portion of this statement says to will and to do. Whenever you see the word will, it’s often wise to think of the word plan. God has a will for us, but it is his plan of absolute good. And notice the two words to do, there is activity. God moves in me then to plan and to give me the power whatsoever he wishes me to do. But I can only find God’s plan, lay hold of God’s power when I realized that I must enter into what I call prayer.
And certainly affirmation is a form of prayer. Affirmation lifts the consciousness and until we are ready to step into that place that the scriptures called the holy of holies or the secret place. So God works in me to will and to do whatsoever he wishes me to do. That word wishes in connection with God may not be as clear as it might be. Should we go back once more to the word plan and see how it reads, God works in me to will and to do whatsoever he plans for me to do, whatever he has established when he made the plan for my life. The last part says he cannot fail. Two or three times I’ve wondered whether that part should have been in the statement at all. But think it over, when I say God cannot fail, there’s something there that challenges me.
If God cannot fail, then it stands to reason I cannot fail. If I have identified myself with him as spirit, if I have acknowledged myself as his child or son, then that means that whatever undertaking faces me. When I know that God’s ideas are moving in the according to the divine plan that he has given me the power, then whatever he has planned for me to do, I cannot fail to accomplish because his power cannot fail. God himself is the one source of all accomplishment and victory. Can you see why this fourth statement could be thought of as an affirmation of realization? One early day a Unity leader used to say, realization is seeing with your real eyes. I realized really are the eyes of faith because faith proceeds. So in this fourth statement, I perceive that God moves in me. I perceive that his plan cannot fail and that he has given me the power to accomplish that plan.
Now, here you might say, oh, but the things I do in my life aren’t great plans. How do know that God is concerned only with great plans? Is not God concerned with the one unfoldment of your life? Is that not his greatest concern that you should unfold yourself according to his nature, the nature that he implanted in you at creation? And so the little things that you and I do in everyday life added together are part of the building of God’s kingdom. You remember in our Lord’s prayer, thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. We want God’s plan to come here on our physical earth. We know that he moves in and through us that his power is always at our call. And now we begin to see with our real eyes, the eyes of faith that his kingdom must come upon the earth in some of the littlest things that man may sometimes consider very insignificant. Remember that the little things of life added together build for the greater things. And then we know that if God’s will is to be accomplished, if his kingdom is to come on earth, it must come right here where you and I are in the practical affairs of everyday living.
063 Should denials and affirmations be confined to set forms or set rules?
You have perhaps realized that we only covered four questions on the other side of the cassette tape. We will cover questions 5 through 10 on this side to complete the chapter on affirmation. The first question we will deal with now is number five, should denials and affirmations be confined to set forms or set rules? The direct answer is no. The authorized version of the Bible tells us the letter killeth, but the spirit gives us life. If we were to confine our statements of denials and affirmations to set form or set rules, we would be in danger of having only the letter and not the spirit.
However, in the very beginning of study, one needs to abide by certain forms and rules until such time as he builds the principles into his own life. Let me read from the chapter. Understand it is not necessarily the using of justice form of words that has availed in each individual case. As I said before, when we are beginning our study of truth, it is good to not exactly tie ourselves but limit ourself to set forms and rules for the time being. But if we continue to do that, there would be no feeling and no meaning to our words. You remember that we said in our last lesson that the power in any affirmation, and we can say the same for denial is in the meaning that is back of the words of that affirmation. Should you and I confine ourselves to a certain form or set rules, we probably would not make the progress that we expect to in our spiritual unfoldment.
Let me read once more from the chapter, denials have an erasive or dissolving tendency. Affirmations build up and give strength and courage. Now, as you go on and study this chapter, you will find that they also brings out the certain type of individual that needs more denials and the other individual that needs more affirmations. However, all of us need both denials and affirmations. Probably most of us will use more affirmations than anything else. But if we confine ourselves merely two words, then we are not going to produce the goods that we expect to get through our study of truth. Through the years, Silent Unity has given many statements. This has been mentioned before, and these statements contain definite ideas that are carried through month after month and year after year. Those who write to Silent Unity are expected of course to use these statements only until such time as the ideas back of the statements become part of the individual.
And then when they are built into consciousness, they bring into manifestation the very thing that the individual is seeking. Does it matter whether I say God is my health, I can’t be sick or whether I say God is the health of my body, I am filled with vitality? You see, it doesn’t. But it does matter that I know what I am talking about. So whatever words seems the right one for you at any given time, use it. We have just finished discussing four basic affirmations. But if you were to tie yourself to just those affirmations, you will probably find that you are not making progress. Yet these affirmations become a kind of scaffolding upon which you can begin to build your consciousness. Probably two or three months from now or two or three years from now, you may not remember the exact words. But if you have made these affirmations and the ideas back of them part of your consciousness, then the ideas or the qualities will remain with you throughout eternity.
064 Are supply and demand equal?
Now, let’s turn to our sixth question, which is the second one we’re dealing with at the moment, and it’s dealt with very briefly in the chapter. This is the question, are supply and demand equal? All that is said in this chapter as you’ve probably already noticed is this, the supply is always equal to the demand, but there must first be a demand before the supply is of youth. I will tell you right here that there will be more on this particular subject when we come to our next chapter on faith. Can I truly say that supply and demand are equal? If I look around my world and see so much lack, not only lack in finances but lack in health and vitality and strength I see in many cases in harmonies that are and almost an evidence of the lack of love. Is it true then that supply and demand are equal? We say yes. And do you know why we say yes?
We feel that God as the supplier as well as the supply of all good awaits man’s demand for this good. But it wouldn’t matter how much good an individual had and wanted to share with others if no one made the demand off him, then that good would remain static. And it is so in connection with supply and demand. Suppose a person were looking for a new job or a new position and he goes from one employment agency to another. And it seems as if there is no way for him to get the job or fill the position that he wants. If he is definitely convinced that there is an equality between supply and demand, then he goes to the real source of his supply. He talks to God in prayer. And often it seems like very miraculous ways an individual is drawn into the place that is for him. Sometimes he may be inspired to go and talk to a certain individual. He may feel the impulse to put an ad in the newspaper. Many things may be the openings that allow him to get the very thing that he desires.
If he demands, in that sense we really mean if he is claiming or desiring a job. If he makes the demand within himself, then the supply will come forth in the outer. Probably if you and I were to think this subject very deeply, we would have to say, well, there are times in my life when I needed more money to do this or to do that. And yet if we are learning that our real supply is ideas, then we have to admit that supply and demand are equal. We are searching throughout the world for ways of bringing peace to every nation. People feel that if they can get together and discuss these things in peace conferences, it might be the answer. But our demand for peace can only be supplied as we turn first to God and as each individual lays hold of peace for himself. It is no wonder that one of the basic peace statements of Unity school is heavenly father let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. And so even my supply in a sense begins with me because my understanding of God as the supply of all good, whether it be peace or health or prosperity must begin with me. And then my demand becomes a claim on that to which I am entitled.
065 What changes take place through the use of affirmations?
Our next question, number seven deals with changes. There are one or two changes mentioned in the chapter, but I’m going to add a number of others from a practical standpoint. Here is the question, what changes take place through the use of affirmations? The chapter says in one particular spot that the first thing that happens through affirming is that your attitude toward him, meaning God is changed. Therefore, if my attitude toward God is changed, it must mean that the attitude towards myself is also changed. If I see God as father, then I see myself as son and heir. And so that becomes a tremendous change in my life.
I might have to use many affirmations to reach this particular point, but reach it I will. Another change of course that comes through affirmation, which is also mentioned in the book is that affirmations will bring any desire good into our life in other words. There is another place where it says that many marvelous things are raw such as deliverance, and the author speaks of the deliverance of a man who had been imprisoned. Any of you who are familiar with the book, How I Used Truth also by Dr. H. H. Emilie Cady will recall that there is a letter that proceeds the lessons in which Dr. Cady tells about the imprisoning of her father and how all of the outer ways of bringing about his release seemed to fail.
And then one day when Dr. Cady felt that if only something could be done, she prayed and asked God to help. And the answer came to her, I’m not giving the exact words because you can read those for yourself. The answer came, you are my hands, you are the only hands I have, stretch them forth. And then in this chapter we are dealing with now, Dr. Cady says, simply training God is your defense and deliverance for a man who had for five years been an exile from home and country opened all the doors wide and restored the man to his family within a month without any further human effort on the part of himself or his friends.
Now, these changes I’ve mentioned are all very wonderful and Dr. Cady brings out that the sick are healed and joy comes in place of mourning. But let’s consider some of the practical changes that come in your life and mine through the use of affirmations. Suppose I am rather disorderly in the things that I’m doing in my life. If I begin to affirm divine order is now established in me, I find that I begin to be more orderly with my time, with my clothes, with everything that I need to handle in any way, shape or form. Perhaps I learned to be more orderly with the tools that I’m using or the books that I am using. But these affirmations definitely begin to present to consciousness the idea of order, and then order becomes the thing that I feel impelled to follow. I don’t fight against disorder, I find myself going along in a much more orderly way.
One of the interesting things about this business of divine order is this, that if something should come along that puts you out of ardor or seems to do, if you have been going along in an orderly way, you adjust yourself much more quickly to the change that has to be made. Suppose an individual is looking for a new home, either a house or an apartment. He’s tried and tried, and it seems as if he has no possible way of getting the one that he wants. If he begins to affirm God is the source of my good, God knows that I have need of such a home. He finds himself getting much quieter inside. He finds his mind getting clearer, and then he is able to open himself in a much more alert way to anything that may come along.
Many times an individual has sought for a new home and actually has put it to one side and then somebody comes along and says, I hear that you are looking for an apartment or you’re looking for a house. But we can prove for ourselves that these affirmations work because they make us much more alert to whatever God is seeking to bring into our lives. Suppose we do take an affirmation for healing. Suppose we say, oh, well, I’ll affirm for health, and we do. And nothing seems to happen at first. If we keep it up, we find is that we become more relaxed in body. And almost any doctor will tell you that the body has a much better chance of coming back to it’s true state of health when there is relaxation. So as far as the body is concerned, affirmations begin to play their part.
What about our finances? We can look at what we consider the small amount of money that we hold in our hand, or in our purse and we might have an almost panicky feeling as to how this is going to meet our needs. But if we affirm this money or this symbol of God’s substance can meet all my needs, some of the most marvelous things can happen. People all over the world have attested to this, this is not something that just merely appears in books or maybe spoken from pulpits. It is a definite law of our life that what we assert or we affirm, we bring into our life as a manifestation. Perhaps one of the most dramatic things that happened to me individually was some years ago when my back had been injured and it seemed as if I would never walk again. I had only just become interested in truth, but I felt so sure that I could be healed.
I used to affirm and affirm, and yet they’re never seemed to be any results. I remember one day especially when my mother had gone to a healing meeting, she had also just become interested in Unity. And as soon as she got out of the door, I remember calling aloud to God, “Oh, please God, tell me how I can be healed?” I found after I said that prayer, I went very, very quiet. And then suddenly the idea came to me, go to the telephone book and see if you think there is a doctor that might help. So in a very laborious way, I got myself out of bed, got myself to the telephone, looked at the book and found there was a certain doctor who had a great deal to do with bone surgery. I called this man and he said to me, “I will be at your house with a certain machine soon after 6 o’clock.
So I went back to the bed and I lay on the bed and I kept saying over and over again, thank you God, thank you God. I had been in pain almost steadily for six months by that time. The doctor arrived and he put a certain kind of machine on my back. And for 15 glorious minutes, I had no pain. Then he began to tell me what I must do for myself. I know that my first prayer to God was in an affirmation. It may have seemed like a very claiming prayer or a prayer that was begging God, but actually it was an affirmation deep from my heart. And I know the result of that prayer because from that time onward I began to make the move upwards. It wasn’t something that happened all at once, but something that went steadily along. And I know that only through faith was I able to hold firm to the idea back of that affirmation.
066 Can we make contact with our Source at all times circumstances?
Our eighth question reads this way, can we make contact with our source at all times and under all circumstances? Throughout the book, and at least throughout this chapter you will find that the answer is, yes, we can make contact with our source or God anytime, anyplace, under any circumstance. In the very beginning of this chapter on affirmations, it says this, the hunger that we feel is the prompting of the divine within us. Now, that is one of the reasons that we can make contact with God or our source because the God presence is within us. And it goes on to say which longs with an infinite longing to fill us. Then we find another place that attest to God being within, and I think this is very beautiful. The beautiful presence all about us and within us is the substance of every good that we can possibly desire. I infinitely more than we are capable of desiring.
And then we read from the scripture for what no eye has seen nor ear heard, nor the heart of man can see what God has prepared for those who love him. When you and I come to the complete realization that we are one with God, then we must know that God is forever in movement within us, that he may manifest himself all good or absolute good more fully through us. Does it not stand to reason then if this presence is within us, we can make contact with this presence at all times and under all circumstances? Now, let me ask you this question, how do you make contact with God, with your source? Do you remember that we said before that we find God as though God were ever lost. We find God or discover God through our thinking and our feeling.
Therefore, if I want to make contact with the source of my being, I think I turn inward and my feeling is aroused. And the first thing I know, I find myself in the very secret place of the most high. Sometimes students of truth get the idea that the only way we can make contact with God is to sit in a certain position or perhaps kneel in a certain position and then become very quiet. I want to tell you a story about that. One day one of our Unity lecturers who was very short had gone to a city not so very far away from Kansas city to give a lecture. At the close of the lecture, the minister of the church rose and told the people they were now going to have their prayer time or as Unity calls it, their time of silence. The lecturer sat on one chair on the platform while the minister was up at the pulpit.
Suddenly the minister said, now put your feet flat on the floor and fold your hands, close your eyes and go into the silence. And then he proceeded to have a very nice prayer and a very fine silence. And I imagine that most of the people gained a great deal from it. After the lecture was completely over and there was only the lecturer and the minister together, the lecturer turned to the minister and he said, I’m very sorry I couldn’t go into the silence. And the man said to him, “What do you mean?” He said, “Well, you told your people to put your feet on the floor and your chair was so high and I’m so short, I couldn’t get mine on the floor.” And quick as a flash, the minister said to the lecture, “I see, you’re trying to teach me a lesson, aren’t you?”
And he said, “Yes.” He said, “Never give people the impression that they can only make contact with their loving father by having certain positions of body.” Now, it is perfectly true that it is good for the body to be trained to be quiet and relaxed in our times of prayer or our times of silence, but we must never lose sight of the fact that we may contact God at any time and under all circumstances. As a matter of fact, one of America’s poets made the remark wants in one of his poems, in a moment in the turning of a thought, I am where God is. Keep that in mind. If something rather disastrous was happening to you, you might have to start your prayer work as you were running. Just remember that there is no time when you cannot turn inward to God. And I think I mentioned this once before, where there’s something unpleasant going on, you could not make an affirmation aloud or denial aloud, but you can turn within and say, father, take charge of this situation, and you find such a calmness coming in you. And then many times the environment around you begins to change.
067 Is it wise to commit affirmations to memory?
Now, to question number nine, is it wise to commit affirmations to memory? We say yes. Let me read what the chapter said. Commit these affirmations to memory so that you can repeat them, now notice that word them in the silence of your own mind in any place and at any time. Strangely will they, notice that word they, act to deliver you out of the greatest external stresses, places where no human help avails. Now, one thing you and I have to get clear in our mind, particularly when we remember that the power in an affirmation is the meaning, is this, if we commit affirmations to memory, it is not the words of the affirmation but the ideas back of the words. You remember, I said before that we may give an affirmation and never remember the word, but the idea has built itself into our consciousness.
That is why most of us like to take some beautiful statements of the Bible. Perhaps the words of a hymn, perhaps the words of a poem. But these are no longer just the letter of the law, these have become our words. And the idea and the words are so interrelated that we do not see any difference. However, were we merely to take a group of words and repeat them over and over again thinking we were committing an affirmation to memory, we’d find it wasn’t bad at all that we just had word. In other words, we have the letter of the law and not the spirit. In early days of Christianity before people could read their Bible, priests or ministers or teachers had to teach the people many of these stories from the Bible and many verses from the Bible that they had to commit to memory. And they began to build the ideas into them.
Then later on when bibles became available to people, it was quite a popular thing and I believe it is in many churches and Sunday schools today to learn Bible verses. There is something so good about it. And yet it is not actually just the words, but is there anything more wonderful than the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. However, were I to say those words with no feeling about them whatsoever, they’re just empty. But when I know what I mean, the Lord is my shepherd and I feel it was my whole being, then more than merely committing words to memory, I have committed to memory some wonderful truth that can be built into my consciousness and meet me at all times and under all circumstances as the need arises.
068 Will Principle always work in the solving of lifes problems?
Our 10th question reads in this way, and I want you especially to notice the word principle. This is the way it reads. Will principle always work in the solving of life’s problems. Now, in the question, the word principle has a capital P and we assume that to refer to God. Though in the chapter and toward the end of the chapter, this is not the case. But I am going to read part of the chapter because I think it will make it clearer to you. Do not get flustered or anxious, but depend fully and trustingly on your principal and you will be surprised at the sudden inspiration that will come to you as the mode of procedure. And then the next that I’m going to read is actually the last paragraph in this chapter. So always this principle will work in the solution of all life’s problems, I care not want the form of detail is to free us God’s children from all undesirable conditions and to bring good into our lives if we will take up the simple rules and use them faithfully until they lead us into such realization of our godhood that we need no longer consciously depend on them.
The reason I wanted to call to your attention the word principle is that for one thing we can say God will always work in the solving of life’s problems because God is the answer, the only answer that you and I can ever expect to have. And then on the other hand, the principal that says God and man are one will always work in the solving of life’s problems. Any principle when it is resorted to will reveal the answer or the outworking of that particular principle. We have said before, if you recall when we were talking about God is principle and God is loving father that the principal may seem very impersonal, very general, very universal, but the moment the principle begins to move through any agency or any agent, then it becomes very personal to that one. And in the solving of life’s problems, we know that we are meeting something very personal to ourselves.
If we thought of a principal set a long way away from us, there wouldn’t be very much happiness, there wouldn’t be very much joy. But when we realize that this unchangeable principle is only another name for the loving father, then we know to who we may go in prayer. If we say that prayer is conscious communion with God, then we mean that prayer is being completely conscious of God as the one presence and the one power or God as the one principle from which everything in life comes forth. Actually, there is no problem that does not have a solution. It may not have the kinds of solutions that you and I would want or think we could even desire. And yet there will be the perfect answer to that particular problem.
And yet the author tells us in this chapter that if we are willing to follow these few simple rules, what are they, the rules for denial and the rules from affirmation, we begin as it were to give this principle and opportUnity to work in our individual life. If I were to go into a state of prayer and just keep saying, well, God, do this for me and God give me this and so forth without learning how to discipline myself or prepare myself to receive, then nothing would happen. And then I might say, well, prayer isn’t answered, prayer doesn’t work. Prayer works just as ideas work when we work with it. No principle can work of itself. A principle must be applied. God is the principle of all, and yet he has given to you and me the principles of life. But he expects you and me to work those principles. He created us in his image and after his likeness, which means he gave us the power to bring that image forth.
Therefore, when I put myself in tune with God as the principle of life and I have trust in him, then I will follow through on what I am guided to do. In one of our Unity books, the author says that many people will come to a metaphysician or to a practitioner or to a minister in truth in the same way that they go to a medical physician. They will say, give me something to get rid of this sickness, but don’t ask me to change my life. And sometimes that happens even in our truth study. We say, oh, I would like to be healed, I would like to have more money, I would like to have more happiness, but don’t expect me to change my life as it is at the moment. See, that is not possible. If I have really used the technique of affirmation, then changes will come. I will want to make changes in my mind and in my body and in my affairs. It will be automatic because those affirmations will impel me to make changes that will fit the changes that God has desired to fulfill my life and to solve many of the problems that I have to meet.
069 Doing will cease is entering the Silence
I would like to point out one or two very vital points in this chapter that are not particularly concerned with individual questions. One is this, and I’m quoting exactly from the chapter. There is attainable by us a place where we can see that our doing can cease because we realize that spirit is a fulfillment of all our desires. We simply get still and know that all things whatsoever we desire are hours already. Now, these things that you and I desire are ideas. But this getting still and reaching a place where we seem to cease our doing is really why Unity calls entering the silence.
Sometimes people get the idea that when they come into a study of truth they don’t need to do anything further. But that is not true because as Dr. Cady herself says, we need to follow certain simple rules. Probably at one time in our life simply getting still may be the most important thing we’ve ever done. Most of us rush around much more than we should do, and this may be a very difficult thing to do to get still. It is one of the most marvelous things that can happen to the body though. When you think of how your body serves you day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year and most of the times you and I don’t even bother about it until it begins to cry out and make some demand either for a lift or for anything else that it needs at any given time.
So perhaps what Dr. Cady says here about finding that place where our doing cease and the reason because we realize that fulfillment can only come from God maybe one of the most wonderful things that could happen to our bodies. We may be seeking prosperity and yet through this getting still and learning that supply and demand are equal. The first thing we know our body has received the result of this stillness. It has been allowed to relax itself and the normal flow of the body has been allowed to carry on. May I refer once more to the little poem our author unknown that appears in the beginning of the chapter. I’m going to read it in its entirety. Our wishes, it is said, do measure just our capabilities, who with his might aspires unto the mountains upper height, holds in that aspiration a great trust to be fulfilled, a warrant that he must not disregard a strength to reach the height to which his hopes have taken flight. That could become quite a challenge to each of us.
070 A student need only to take the first steps
Now, let me read just one more thing from the chapter before we close. But in order to attain this place of power, we must take the preliminary steps faithfully, earnestly, trustingly. Those steps that first glance seem to us as useless and as empty as do the ceremonial farms and religious observants of the ritualistic churchmen. We have found throughout the years of teaching and especially the Unity teaching that if a student is willing to take just the first steps that are given, if he is willing to obey just some of the ordinary instructions, he has a much better way of unfolding within himself that receptivity to whatever guidance God has for him. And so if you will be faithful to the use of denials and affirmations for just as long the time as you feel is needed, you will find the most marvelous things occurring in your life. Changes that are practical, changes that are so wonderful that sometimes you will scarcely recognize yourself will come into your life.