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EBS74: Human Potential And Divine

Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #74

Delivered by Eric Butterworth on September 11, 1975

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Much that is said today is negative and gloomy; general talk is as if mankind were victimized by the circumstances of our times. Man is, however, ultimately the true creator of his circumstances. I think it is high time that we achieved our full stature and made use of our full potentiality. It is time we all realized that the sought-after key to the kind of world we all dream of is within man himself, within each and every one of us.

I like to turn back occasionally to the great soliloquy by the shepherd in the Eighth Psalm: “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained; what is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him but little lower than God, Thou crownest him with glory and honor. Thou makest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands. Thou has put all things under his feet.”

This is a stirring observation with tremendous implications for us all. I am saying, my friend, that this means you! You have dominion, but quite obviously this speaks of a bigger, better, larger you than you are now aware of. One writer has referred to the “little me” and the “great me.” The former lives in this up and down world and comes from time to time to the end of his rope, so to speak,then always locates a new length of rope to go on. The latter, however, transcends all this sort of thing; it is the “me nobody knows,” that even the individual himself does not know well, the me that is the real whole of me, albeit expressing only in part. The latter is the divine of me, the divine in me, the divine me. Though not fully seen, this greater me is always present in the little me as a power, a quidance, a potentiality.

Let us take a close look at man from a human, practical point of view; let us consider the capacity of the human cerebrum compared with the giant computers which many of us seem to fear are about to enslave the human race; and let us think of potentiality as the possibility of creative output. Here is a revealing fragment of statistical data: there are about 13.6 billion nerve cells in the human cerebrum, each of which is believed to perform a function comparable to one circuit element of an electronic computer. Since the largest computer created has only one-hundred thousand elements in it, the capacity, by this logic, of the human cerebrum is about one-hundred-thirty thousand times greater than that of the largest, most up-to-date computer. So, any of us could stand before this great device and announce to it, “I am a giant, you are a pigmy. You will always be my servant, and I will always know myself to be the master.”

Let’s face it, do you know anyone who lives up to his or her full potentiality? None of us do. We are told, in fact, that the average person utilizes only about one third of the total available cells in his brain, in his entire lifetime; and this is true even for those who lead an almost totally intellectual life! Another dismaying figure informs us that at any given time only from two to five per cent of these cells are in use. Notwithstanding, you can readily see that you are thousands of times greater in potentiality than even the most heavily-used computer with every circuit element in operation. Do not downgrade yourself—you are a wonderful demonstration of the creative process of the universe.

We have just discussed the brain potential of the so-called “little me.” When we realize the unity of life and know that each of us is an inseparable part of the entire universe, then the possibilities of each individual are beyond comprehension. Gautama the Buddha, after having gone through his own growth process to release his own spiritual potential, was at last enlightened and experienced, having achieved what Buck calls “cosmic consciousness.” This may be a new and strange thought for you, but all human beings in this world have inherent divine wisdom and divine truth and divine virture. Jesus the Christ, after growing in wisdom and stature of spirit, achieving the ultimate in the development of the Christ-consciousness, said: “The Kingdom of God is within you.”

Both of these great mystic teachers and scores of others through the years have dealt in length and in depth with man’s potential to achieve a new birth, a self-awakening, a self-realization into the whole life, the complete experience, the perfection of existence. It has always interested me that they make their claims for man not denotatively, referring to a specific human, but rather connotatively, referring to that which is omnipresent in all persons. Charles Fillmore puts it this way— that every human has that in him which opens out into a universe of correlated faculties. Every person may be said to have cosmic consciousness. Think of this not just as something to achieve,but as something to realize and express and be motivated by.

Now, we talk about human and divine potential, but potential for what? We refer not to vague abstractions; man is not a vague and abstract being. He is mental and physical, he loves and has feelings, his very life is set in a framework of human relationships with other mental and physical and emotional creatures. All people have experiences of creating and building; likewise, all people have loss and tragedy. Life is continuity and he who lives it has inherent ability to render it vital, vibrant, meaningful. Universal are desires for such as better health, deeper love, greater creativity, more ample success, wisdom, abundance, recognition. How can such potentialities be realized? Accept first of all that they are possibilities within you, that they are resources waiting to be tapped. Having done this,our divine potential can be mobilized through affirmations of truth. Whatever you desire—health, love, success, prosperity—is within you now; you are right this moment one with the wisdom of the infinite; you are right now the everliving, ever-unfolding expression of abundant life.

The key word, of course, is NOW. There is no limitation involved—you are right NOW what you desire and pray for. Jesus said: “All things that ye pray for, believe that ye have them, believe that ye receive them, and you will have them.” What you seek is here now, already done; believe it, and it is here. All the personal hindrances experienced by the individual are simply the manifestation of the frustration of man’s potentiality. The key to strength is the reactivation of the process of growth, which is what life is all about.

Man has, unfortunately, been influenced by two fictions: first, that he is set in his ways, that he connot change, that this is just the way he is; and secondly, that he is enmeshed in such a complexity of obligations and customs and responsibilities that he is bereft of any freedom of choice, that there is nothing he can do about his situation. Well, in life there are always many changing, challenging, experiences, and so-called crises are their very peaks. A crisis is an opportunity to grow, and growth is the key to life; however, in so doing, keep your sights on the process rather than on the outcome. Faced with a serious and demanding challenge, ask yourself: What are the positive factors in this for me? What can I learn through this? How can I grow through this? What personal weaknesses of mine have been revealed through this? How can my strengths be developed through this? We may feel at the time that the most compelling and immediate need is just to get through the crisis experience intact; but it is not how you go through a crisis that counts in the final analysis, it is how you grow through it!

No matter where you are or where you think you are, no matter what you are or think you are not, no matter what you can do or fear you cannot do, no matter what you have or are worried about not having—within you is the unborn possibility of limitless growth to be and to do and to have; and yours is the privilege of giving birth to it, and likewise to achieve the potentiality for happiness and joyous spontaneity and inner peace.

Happiness comes when you let life happen. Every experience is a part of the process of life as we are living it, or as it is living us. Difficulties come to pass—let them happen and thus keep happy. Life is growth, so keep on, keep on, keep on.

© 1975, by Eric Butterworth

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