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Ed Rabel: Basic Self Knowledge Lecture Three

Notes for this talk

00:00:05 Ed reads from p.75, about Chief Feature. It is a negative quality and is the chief trouble on one's personality. Unity does not deal with the concept of Chief Feature. Unity breaks it up into several elements. But most of what Charles Fillmore wrote about the metaphysical nature of Judas is very much the same. Ed cautions about trying to destroy the Chief Feature prematurely. He shares a personal example about his custom to coming to Unity school each summer, when he was exposed to "praise and flattery." But later, when he was an employee of the school, he read in the evaluation sheets about his "chief feature." One's chief feature is overcome by trying to change it, but rather by denying it the I AM.

00:09:47 Chapter XI, Inner "mechanical" talking, p. 77-78. What The Work calls "force" is "vital energy" in Unity. Ed reflects that mechanical talking is a common human habit, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Everything mechanical is dangerous. Consciousness returns us to safety and protection. This is especially true of the voice "power". Extended inner mechanical talking always gravitates toward negativity. Five symptoms of one who has become "soul sick" by carrying on too much mechanical talking: Always making demands on life, Often being offended, Constantly complain, Always call attention to the good they do, They are very boring.

00:17:35 Ed reads from p.79 regarding making demands: inner talking can be reduced by reducing our requirements. He shares that he and four of his friends had experimented with reducing demands on life. All five had the same experience: the channels of life opened up.

00:20:45 Ed reflects on another harmful waste of vital energy through mechanical talking is the practice of making promises. Jesus calls this habit as "foreswearing," that we should reduce our mechanical talking to "yea, yea; nay, nay" (Matt. 5:37). He quotes Imelda Shanklin from What Are You 132, "In all things be slow to promise, prompt to perform."

00:22:05 Ed diverts to talking about Elizabeth Sand Turner's first two books on the Bible (note that the 3rd book was published later). He says that they provide "everything that a Unity minister needs to know." He says that Unity ministers are interested in metaphysics, not geography. Quoting Elizabeth Sand Turner, he says "stop making promises, just deliver the goods."

00:24:38 We need to discern the value of times of inner silence. Silence is golden. Why? Because Silence is the source of pure power, Stillness is the source of strength. Talking uses up power, movement uses up strength. Making sound and movement uses up power and strength.

00:26:33 Ed reads from p. 81 about pictures. Ed says the modern term is "self image" but that The Work goes in a different direction. Ed says that from his personal experience that it is a shock when we learn that the picture others have of ourself is different than the picture we have of ourself. He reflects on Joseph in the Old Testament who had uncontrolled imagination as a youth, but later, as a more mature character with focused imagination, he was successful. Ed is critical of the "fad" of "self image" and he says that "Unity school is famous for buying new, positive-sounding fads" but "when you begin to substitute gimmickry for classic metaphysics, sooner or later, the house of cards ..." He came to this assessment of pop teachings on self-image through his study of The Work. "I don't want a self-image, I want to be my Real Self."

00:31:47 Chapter XII, Levels of Being, p.83. The idea of "levels of being" is present in Unity teachings, but is not given the same emphasis as it is in The Work. The Work says the higher level of being a person is on the better or more comfortable does he make others feels. Ed correlates this to Emilie Cady's chapter on Individuality and Personality; Individuality is our Real Self and Personality makes others feel uncomfortable. The three lowest levels of being of man are characterized by violene, lying, accidents, and unnecessary suffering.

00:34:50 Ed continues on the last paragraph of p.87, and Ed reflects that higher levels of being requires some interest in cosmology. Just as we have an inner and outer self, so there is an inner and outer Universe. We are not separate. Charles Fillmore often said that the Universe is an extension of our own being. Every law working on a cosmological scale has an exact counterpart working on us as an individual self. If we don't realize this, we become out of synch with the Universe. If we do, the Universe teaches us. On p.88 Ed reads about Macrocosm and Microcosm.

00:38:50 Ed reads from p.89 and says that all lawful growth and creative change must be from within to without. However a change of scene can make change temporarily. It does not raise the level of being, but it can be beneficial. Permanent changes can only be related to rises in level of being. The habit of restlessness and hurry often spoils the process. Impatience is a negative emotion that is based on the false belief that the passing of time is something to fear. The great antidote for this false belief is to rejoice in the eternal arriving of time. This is also true about the fear of old age.

00:44:40 Ed reads from Chapter XIII, Metanoia, p.91. Ed says very few religions teach the true meaning of metanoia. The typically teach repentance. Metanoia refers to a complete change in thinking and attitude. Unity does not the word metanoia; it uses the word repentance, but gives it the meaning of metanoia. He ties this to the Unity denial of our separation from God. We are one with God always. All "the work" we do is really the Holy Spirit of God doing his work through us.

00:48:05 Repentance cancels out karma punishment. True metanoia changes the level of being and that makes you a different person. Many people want karma, but metanoia would do the same thing.

00:49:44 Ed reads from p.98 about the four different levels of thinking. Ed correlates psychological thinking with metaphysical thinking and he correlates Greater Mind with Superconsciousness or Christ Mind. Alogical thinking he correlates to Unity's concept of reactive thinking. Logical thinking is "intelligent thinking" in Unity. Logical thinking is everyday thinking, but psychological thinking (metaphysical) is "New Thought." For Greater Mind, Ed quotes Paul "let that same mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).

00:54:10 Without tying it to the discussion on levels of thinking, Ed talks about Charles Fillmore's statement in a lecture: "God ideates, man thinks" (Mysteries of Genesis 12). "Man does not create in the truest sense of the word, but man can be creative in his productions. However man's productions can only be productions of that which already is, what has already been created."

00:56:10 Ed reads from p.99 on imagination. In Unity it is said that negative thinking is the main cause of our troubles. Ed recommends reading the chapter on imagination in Twelve Powers of Man and the story of Joseph in Mysteries of Genesis. Ed says that our inner work and development of consciousness has made our use of imagination much more powerful. We are working on a much more creative level of being. We are projecting "holograms" into the future and when we encounter them they will no longer be holograms, but rather actualities. We are "programming our future now by this powerful use of consciousness." But, negative thinking is far more lethal now because of our power of consciousness.

01:03:08 Ed reads from Chapter XIV, The Four States of Consciousness, p.100-101. What Ed reads does not always appear on these pages. It may be that he has made some notes for himself and is reading them as if they were from the book. Ed asks "what keeps us asleep in life?" Two things: negative emotions and false beliefs. Examples: I am separated from God; My personality is the Real Me; When I am awake, I am fully conscious; Negative emotions are okay if I know what caused them and if I can blame someone else for having them. Reading from p.102 about the fourth state, Ed reflects where modern psychology falls short in helping people: it ignores the superconsciousness. When it encounters factors in man which can't be attributed to subconscious and conscious, it lumps it together as "the great unconsciousness." Where is "the unconsciousness"? We must include superconscious.

01:11:45 All the mysteries of the human psyche have their explanation in two great points: Man, in his ordinary wakened state, is still very much asleep; There is a superconsciousness in man which can impart pure knowledge and understanding to man's constant mind and constantly create new energy for him. Ordinary problems in life are "dream fragments taking on energy fields made manifest." They are not eternal realities. The solution is not to fight the dream fragments, but instead to awaken and remember the Truth.

01:13:46 Ed reads from Chapter XV, Man and the Cosmos, p.104. Ed reflects that each of our existences is an essential part of God's evolutionary plan of creation. You exist because you are necessary of the plan of God. Our lives are duplicates of the Cosmos. We influence the Cosmos and the Cosmos always influences us. There is no separateness in the esoteric sense. He speaks about Cosmic Consciousness and to remain limited to only personal consciousness is a tragic mistake.

01:17:00 Reading from the bottom of p.108, Ed reflects that Unity teaches the same in saying we remain under the law of cause and effect, but as we evolve we live under a higher level of cause and effect: grace. The laws of grace operate on a higher level than the laws under which man lives ordinary (mechanical cause and effect, karma). Emilie Cady entitled this "bondage or liberty, which?". He continues on p.109, reading about the seed which becomes a plant when it is placed in a suitable environment. Ed reflects on how often Jesus uses seeds in his teachings. There are different categories of natural law and when man tries to ascend the evolutionary ladder, through The Work, he comes automatically under the higher range of laws. Man is fully capable of having the higher spiritual laws which will work out most of his problems for him. We don't have to work out our own problem, "it is the Father within me who doeth the works." Don't go on a diet, but only "open your mind to greater light and the light will find its way to every part of our being and bring us under the influence of higher laws."1


  1. TruthUnity note: Henry David Thoreau corroborates this in his Conclusion to Walden: "I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings."