Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #62
Delivered by Eric Butterworth on August 30, 1975
Today, I would like to begin by considering a wonderful and interesting story from the Ninth Chapter of the Gospel of John. It concerns a man who had been blind from birth and was healed. He had heard about Jesus and went to Him. Jesus told him to anoint his eyes with clay and go wash is the pool of Siloam. The man did so and came back seeing. He had fully recovered his sight.
His neighbors said, “Isn’t this the beggar that has been begging?” Others said, “No, it is not he. It is like him.” The man insisted, “I am he, I am the one!” They asked, “How were your eyes opened?” He answered, “A man named Jesus forgave me.” “Where is He?” they asked, but he replied, “I don’t know.”
So they brought him to the Pharisees, who were concerned that the healing had taken place on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees asked him how he had regained his sight, and he again recounted the story. They began to say, “This man is not from God because he keepeth not the Sabbath.” Another said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” They were divided among themselves. They asked the blind man again, “What did He say?” The reply was, “I don’t know.” They asked, “How did this happen?” His final response was, “One thing I know that whereas I was blind, now I see.”
The phrase, “missing link”, has been used for many years in relation to the theory of evolution set forth by Charles Darwin. This was the hypothetical form of animal assumed to have constituted the connection between the anthropoid apes and man. Scientists have been searching for the missing link for years with little result. In similar fashion, the Pharisees searched for the “missing link” between the man who was blind and the seeing man standing before them.
Another definition of evolution is pertinent to our consideration here: “a development leading to a definite answer.” In your life and mine, the evolutionary process—the leading to a definite end—is constantly in motion. There are no exceptions to this law. It simply means that between what you were ten or twenty years ago, and what you are today, there must have been a process of change.
Recently I heard about a criminal who was sent to the penitentiary to pay for a number of crimes. He had, for many years, been a substantial citizen and a faithful employee of a large company. Many people who had known him then and saw him now were wondering what had happened. Where and what was the turning point? What was the missing link?
Successful people are often approached with the request to give their secret of success. Usually they don’t know, though they may say, “Well, I’ve worked hard, I have saved my money, and I have been honest.” But there are many others who have done all of these things and have never been more than mediocre as worldly success is usually measured. So what is the missing link between the person who was once a poor country boy and the important man that he has become?
What was the missing link between the shabby little lieutenant named Bonaparte, wandering the streets of Paris, and the man of destiny who was ultimately to conquer Europe? What was the missing link between the crude boy arriving in Philadelphia with a loaf of bread under each arm and the great philosopher-statesman, Benjamin Franklin? Or what about the young man expelled from school because his teachers could do nothing with his “addled brain”, Thomas Edison? Where and what was the missing link that brought these people the motivation in a new field of activity that led to great success and fame?
Returning to the story from the Ninth Chapter of John, the Pharisees wanted to know the missing link which healed the blindness. Maybe you can look back into your own experience and see the person you once were—fearful, afraid, anxious, weak, and harried. Then look at yourself today, as a result of working with these new insights in Truth, and you see an entirely different person. How did it happen?
You may say, “Oh, it didn’t happen all at once. It was the result of many years of study and listening to Truth ideas, reading books and meditating.” This is all true, but somewhere along the line there was a discernible change of direction. If a car is moving south for many miles, but suddenly we notice it driving north, we know that it had to stop and then start off in a new direction. It is that stop and start that we are calling the “missing link”.
In the story of Myrtle Fillmore, the co-founder of Unity, we have something of a key to understanding this concept. Here was a woman who, along with her husband Charles, had been beset with physical and financial troubles almost beyond endurance. She and Charles had been attending metaphysical lectures and studying all sorts of new thought ideas. Then one night, an idea seemed to click in her consciousness. It was simply, “I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness.”
It has always been said that this idea was the birth of Unity. Of course, it was the changing point in her life and in the lives of millions of people who were eventually touched by that idea. But actually the idea was not the turning point. Many others have considered the same thought without results. So, what is the key?
The wisdom of Solomon reveals the Truth: “As he thinketh within himself, so is he.” The emphasis here must be placed on “within himself”. We think in visualizations, and what we are told is that as we envision ourselves, that we will become. This is the law of mind.
Regardless of their desires, their interest in Truth, and their efforts to obtain healing through spiritual means, the Fillmores had been thinking of themselves and actually seeing themselves as limited, sickly, poor inheritors of disease. The missing link was that moment when Myrtle suddenly saw the light, when she suddenly saw herself as a child of God. And in that instant the turning point began. From that time on, she gradually evolved into a whole and perfect body, and the fortunes of the entire family changed for the better.
When we understand this law in its impersonal aspects, we can also see how the responsible citizen turned into a criminal in the moment that he saw himself as a criminal. From that point on his path was inevitably directed toward the prison house that lay ahead.
What does all this mean to you? It means that the missing link between your prayers for better things, you desires to do more and be more, and the demonstration of these things, is in the state of consciousness where you see it as already being accomplished. We are told, “For the earnest expectation of creation awaiteth the revealing of the son of God.” The things that we hope and pray for can only come when we see ourselves as God sees us. Healing is not so much of a process as it is a revelation of our Divine Sonship. It is not so much setting something right as seeing it rightly.
Remember, the evolutionary process in your life is in constant motion. But this process has been set in motion by your vision of yourself, and it can be changed if you change the standard of your seeing. Begin to see yourself as you want to become. You may not be able to explain just how this wonderful demonstration has come about (and it can, and it will come about). But as the man who was blind from birth said in his rejoicing, “How it came about I know not, but one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.”
© 1975, by Eric Butterworth