Divine Science Its Principle and Practice
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Copyright 1957 by Divine Science Church and College
Made available here by the ministry of
Rev. Lawrence C. Terry, M.Msc., D.Min.
P. O. Box 68324
Indianapolis, IN 46268-0324
Chapter 8 – Story of Progress
Long has mankind been content to think of himself as a human being born in this world to experience the many vicissitudes of life – some good, and some bad. He has expected to live his life span, then to have death overtake him. The goal of the majority apparently has been to provide the necessities for a comfortable physical existence, to enjoy life, and to submit to old age and inevitable death. Man’s expectations of a future life are according to his individual beliefs and religious training or lack of it. Thus he may expect to go out into oblivion or to live on in a glorious heavenly realm.
Now, new light of understanding is dawning upon man’s consciousness, and in that light man is beginning to see life as something much bigger than heretofore conceived. “Now we are the Sons of God” living this portion of everlasting life, which provides the opportunity for unfoldment into that sonship day by day. Life goes on unendingly and each individual will have the opportunity to achieve his sonship; he will know that he is an individualized center of God-Being, and that he shares God-Life, God-Mind, God-Power, and God-Love. His true purpose in life becomes the discovery of himself as he is in God, and his object is to express that Self in everyday living. He understands that he is born of God, is brought forth into expression without ever getting outside of God, and lives forever in the omnipresence of God.
Jesus’ great achievement proves that he realized his true Self, his potentialities, and his divine heritage. “As he is so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17 Man needs only to know and obey the law by which Jesus achieved, to bring about his own achievement as a Son of God.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Eph. 4:13
As He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Phil. 2:5
Watch For Answers As You Read
Give several proofs that man is capable of growth and development.
1. Where is the pattern for all creation to be found?
2. Name the three aspects of man’s nature.
3. By what names is the unfolding process of the consciousness of man known?
4. Who is the perfect example of man’s potentialities?
5. What is the range of man’s stages of consciousness?
All of us have looked at a full-blown flower and marveled that such beauty could unfold from the tiny, brown seed, or from the lifeless-looking bulb. But we have seen this happen so often that we have come to accept the fact that the complete pattern of the perfected plant and blossom is implanted within the dormant seed or bulb, and that the impulse for growth which will bring it to fruition is also involved within its very nature.
We have not always realized that the same is true in the case of man, that is, that the pattern of his beautifully perfect Christhood is implanted within his innermost nature. That the Spirit of Life within him, as within the see, acts as law to manifest the fullness of its potentialities. Man’s Christ-like characteristics and nature will unfold through the process of growth and development until the consciousness of the individual brings forth the outpicturing of the Christ as his own person. Just as Jesus became the Christ, so this is the latent possibility and destiny for the individual – each one will become Christed.
Divine Science acknowledges an infinite Presence and Truth ever present with all creation, but it also acknowledges the process by which the creature grows, unfolds, and comes into a full-blown, conscious realization of himself and his place in the cosmic order of life. This process is called spiritual evolution, unfoldment, increasing awareness of Truth, or the law of spiritual maturity. To substantiate the process of unfoldment is the fact that all creation proceeds from the Infinite, but before visible creation could possibly appear there must have been first the spiritual pattern for it in God-Mind. Thus we see that greater by far is the God-Idea or prototypal man implanted within us than is our present human expression of it. Man is the Son of God, but as a son of man he has not yet put on that completeness which is latently his in God-Mind.
Within the thought of evolution is the recognition of a persistent urge in all living things to move on, to progress to new things and new experiences. Emerson says, “The creation is on wheels, always passing into something else, streaming into something higher.” There is something in the very nature of life itself that compels it and its creatures to move on. There is an innate urge that speaks in every soul; aspirations in every human heart which indicate the evolutionary tendency of the universe. The indefinable Spirit which keeps us moving onward and upward is the great guardian of humanity. It forwards creation’s spiritual evolution for the purpose of ultimately bringing out all the hidden wonders and beauties of the God-Mind. For God holds all His ideas within His consciousness and is zealous for the development and fulfillment of their every potentiality.
Divine Science teaches that this creative drive is the God-idea, an infallible truth moving throughout all the created realms, and calls it the Christ principle. The Christ principle is the essential part of human nature. It is the fundamental God-idea of MAN embedded within the spiritual constitution of that which appears to us as a human being. Christ is the truth that reveals and expresses the life, purity, perfection, and power of the perfect Mind. In the heart of all humanity are stirring dreams, ambitions, visions which are of a higher order than man’s present material environment. The source of such dreams and visions is the Christ principle stirring within him to make him aware of his true Self which is yet to be realized and manifested. This Christ within is the motive power which constantly pushes man toward higher evolvement.
When things move along very well, objectively speaking, man may deny or even fear the deeper intuitions of his soul and continue to live by false values. He may still work for outer goals, but if these goals, when achieved, turn out to be disappointing, in that they do not give the inner peace and satisfaction he had anticipated, he is not happy. By this very fact he should realize that he is being urged to progress: “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Rom. 12:2 He is now ready for a new state of consciousness and will not be happy until he adjusts himself to becoming more nearly his real Self in thought and practice.
We are to understand that man is a threefold being with three distinct aspects to his nature. First, there is the physical aspect in which he seems to be primarily a body – a body which is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” But man discovers that his body is subject to his mental states, so the mental is man’s second aspect. These two, the physical and the mental, are referred to as the human personality and many people live a lifetime and do not realize that there is still a deeper and more fundamental side to their being, the spiritual aspect, the true Self of every man – the Christ. The true Self is that part of man which speaks, unfolds, and expresses, not from a world sense, but from a divine awareness. It knows beyond logic. It lives not under the confines of time and space limitations but functions in the freedom of Spirit. In the early periods of unfoldment this true Self, the Christ, is so buried beneath mental concepts and sense training that it has to be literally unearthed or resurrected and brought up to its rightful place in our lives.
As individuals journeying through life from a purely natural and objective vision of life to the Christ Consciousness, or purely spiritual viewpoint, we seem for a long time to be deadened by the material sense of things and to live mainly at the level of physical sensation. Man begins his path of individual experience and unfoldment in the material order of life where self-preservation comes first. Moral, intellectual, and ethical values come along at higher stages of natural and human development. Sooner or later the intuitive urge for growth arouses the soul of man to be aware of a need for something higher than his present material concept. He begins to realize that he is destined for something more than the worldly life about him.
Eventually the Christ, the higher than the human or the natural, begins to dawn, and a spiritual order is perceived, a rebirth occurs and a new set of values comes to consciousness. As man is able to silence the personal and material senses, the spiritual aspect of his nature as it comes to conscious level and makes itself known as an active presence within his very soul. For a man to accept the spiritual reality of his being evokes inspiration, mighty strength, and an awareness of his true talents and abilities which spring out of the Son of God, the Christ, within him.
With growth comes faith in our God-nature, in the Christ, the potential man within us. We begin to believe in it, to declare it, and wait. “For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise.” Heb. 10:36 “First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Mark 4:28 So is the order of creation, or unfoldment; there is first the Universal (Cause), then the individual (effect). At first we discover “the I Am that I am” and faintly realize it – “the blade,” but as revelation is received thought expands – “the ear,” until we recognize the All as all – “the full corn in the ear.” Babyhood of understanding first, gradually more and more perception, then finally, realization or conscious possession of Truth, thus does the individual evolve.
It is scientifically true to teach that the Infinite expresses what it is and neither does nor can express that which it is not; that there are no qualities inherent in man except God qualities, no attributes in man’s nature that are not attributable to God. The way we grow and release ourselves from our limited experiences is by the changing of our thought patterns. Each unfoldment of thought is a resurrection. Out of some dead concept our mentality rises to a greater realization of the living Truth. The more conscious we are of the Truth of Life, the fuller our understanding of the forms of life. It is man’s thought of life that awakens in consciousness to fuller comprehension of what is. The revelation of truth by which man sees more and more clearly is evolution. We ascend to realize our perfect Self, the Christ. All things await man’s recognition and acceptance.
As students of Divine Science we have continuously been taught to affirm the reality of the I Am, the indwelling Christ, the true Self. Now, we can better understand the reason for this, for since our lives are unfolding states and stages of our spiritual Selfhood, as we let the Christ enlighten the conscious levels of our being, we are renewed, inspired, and prospered by the divinity within us. As we grow in consciousness of our unity with God and develop power to express the Christ in our daily living, the blessings of the Most High, which are our inalienable rights, come into our experience more easily and naturally. In the cosmic order of the universe it is intended that God should express through man, or that God’s will be done through the consciousness of His son, the individual. “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” John 18:37
The wonderful experience of awakening to the truth that we ourselves incorporate the God-idea of MAN, Christ the Son, must come to everyone at some time in his unfoldment. All through life we, as individuals, do the things we do according to the general tenor of our understanding, our level of unfoldment, our growth in consciousness. Each individual life is a journey in consciousness, and many changes and adjustments will be necessary as we grow. Each adjustment affords new growth and opens new vistas. Each understanding of God and His overwhelming generosity in the manifestation of His Spirit in the life of the individual brings new concepts with lift the soul into higher levels of consciousness.
When our life and behavior rise from a spiritual basis, we see life as something greater than a birth-and-death arrangement. We begin to think in terms of a spiritual universe, rather than of a material world; we think in terms of eternal life and the immortality of the individual soul. We then understand that since God is infinite perfection and creates perfection, we are all potentially perfect in Christ, the perfect pattern of MAN. As the soul’s evolution is realized in daily living, we begin to take on the likeness of the God-image within us. We begin to see that even during this period of gradual development, we are nevertheless innately perfect; our perfection is the spiritual truth of us, and we look up to this omnipresent and indwelling nature as our true being. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” 2 Cor. 4:7 Strict adherence to principle and faithful practice bring out what is potential within. We unfold the fullness of what is within us.
The law of growth and unfoldment is the law of Self-expression, or God acting and revealing Himself; God creating within and unto Himself. The process of calling forth that which is potential within is true education. The only true growth is the unfoldment of the powers and possibilities that we are. All unfoldment is the work of an Unfolder, God. All growth reveals the effect of the activity of God. Therefore, direct expression of God in creation by means of divine activity is the law of growth and unfoldment. We, as individual expressions of this divine activity, are accountable for our actions as we grow and unfold in consciousness. We may often “miss the mark” as we feel our way while growing; even so we always reap as we sow and thus we learn our lessons in life with law as our schoolmaster until our motives coincide with God’s purpose of All Good. “Be not deceived; God is no mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Gal. 6:7
Human life, objectively considered, is a growing unfolding, progressive process. It never remains static. As we grow and unfold our individuality (that which we innately are) it is a satisfaction to know that only that which is involved into the Christ pattern of man by the Creator can be evolved or unfolded into permanent manifestation. Reason tells us that there must be a basic consciousness, or first mind, out of which this continuous unfoldment takes rise. As God alone is, it is God who is manifested in an ever-present creation. The rule of the creative process is that all proceeds out of the infinite All; visible creation appears according to the spiritual pattern for it, the image in the mind of the Infinite.
The Bible presents the history of this gradual unfoldment of the race into more and more consciousness, from the awakening of its mentality in Adam to its great perception by Jesus. The Bible is the story of man’s unfolding consciousness of his God and of his own innate divinity, his Christhood. As we study the Bible, giving special attention to the life and teachings of Jesus, we find there the evidence that he came to a higher understanding of life; that he became aware of his own divine nature and lived in accordance with its guidance. His teachings and works show how the love of the Father causes life to overflow with spiritual blessings; prove the power of God to lead men into all truth; and demonstrate the power of spirit to heal dis-ease and to manifest the wholeness of the body. Jesus taught that Spirit is always affirmative; taught that it is God’s will that man should be whole and that when he accepts and rejoices in the Wholeness within him, he allows it to manifest. He showed man’s ability to use Truth would reveal the light of truth regarding any circumstance or condition; he showed that God is all-sufficient in all things as He gives the light needed to illumine the way. Jesus literally became the Christ made flesh; became the personification of the Christ. By his resurrection Jesus revealed that life is greater than death and that death is but life’s effort to free itself from man’s self-imposed limitations.
Jesus’ disciples accepted the fact that Jesus knew that what was true for him was also true for all mankind, for it was John who said, “As he is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17 The indwelling Christ is the same creative channel and quality of Spirit working in us which worked in and through Jesus. The same Christ principle which evolved in Jesus is in each of us and as wholly capable of guiding our unfoldment to its destined goal. We now see that Jesus is our wayshower because his clear realization of the Fatherhood of God and the sonship of man demonstrated how the Christ manifests in the flesh, when given opportunity, until the man, the effect, become the true embodiment of the Christ, the indwelling Cause. In Jesus the inner and outer became one and indivisible – Jesus Christ! Jesus is the perfect example of man’s potentiality. Paul assures us that we may accomplish our Christhood, when he says, “For if the first fruit (Jesus) be holy, the lump (mankind) is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” Rom. 11:16 Our work is to find and prove our own divinity, to unfold our own latent powers, and to bring forth our own indwelling Christ as the second coming.
Through the guidance of the Christ Spirit within we are awakened to the spirit of all Good. This Christ Consciousness is the fullness of the riches of divine Mind active in our souls. The attainment of Christ Consciousness is our goal. Christ Consciousness is spiritual perception in contrast to intellectual analysis; it is awareness of the spiritual nature and function of the universe. Consciousness is the measuring stick of our unfoldment. The levels of man’s consciousness may vary from the lowest and slowest to a cosmic quality. Cosmic Consciousness, toward which we are unfolding, is the awareness of the cosmos, or the life, nature, and beauty of the universe. It is supreme intuitive knowledge of the divine order that transcends the mere intellectual faculty of comprehension. Cosmic Consciousness gradually dawns; we grow up into it. In this new consciousness we willingly subscribe to a wholly spiritual way of thinking, acting and being.
Those of us living in the world order are travelers on the path of unfoldment. Our perfection is as yet only a spiritual truth and not a complete manifestation. When the highest that we know seems show in manifesting perhaps it is because we are still accepting more of the old order than we realize. Let us be patient if there are seasons when we seem to lack the power of perfect demonstration in all ways. We are still growing, but complete education along spiritual lines comes slowly. When we arrive we shall live in a spiritual order of life here and now. When man comes to that place in growth where he discovers his real being and, living from this viewpoint, will use the natural order for greater accomplishments rather than be used by laws over which he seems to have no control, he will have come to the place where he knows that there is nothing to fear. He will have overcome the former bad habits of envy, jealously, hatred, and revenge with their resulting illness. Then shall peace come upon the earth, for the true way of life will be known and proven right here. We shall eventually reach the stage of development where we demonstrate with the skill of the Christed man.
There are many ways in which we may hasten the process of growth:
1.We can regularly be still and know.
2. We can uphold that which we know to be within us, for we have a living example of it in Jesus Christ.
3. We can expect a coming forth of this miracle-working power in the wake of affirmation and realization of its divine nature.
4. We can act from the basis of a Son of God within ourselves and release more and more of it through the conscious and subconscious levels of human personality until the outer takes on the perfection of the inner. “Until Christ be formed in you.” Gal. 4:19
5. We can see that Jesus’ attitude brought him assurance of his good. His attitudes can be our attitudes:
a. Certainty of the Father’s care.
b. Nonresistance to conditions or appearances “Be no overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21
c. Dependence upon the Fathers guidance. “I can of mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30
1. We can practice seeing the Christ within another. This means to accept the divinity which is potential within everyone and to uphold the integrity, wholeness, and latent possibilities that are there though they are not yet manifested.
2. We can practice keeping our thoughts, actions, and reactions positive so that they heal adverse situations. In negative circumstances, to do as we have been done by only adds fuel to the fire.
3. We can remember that unkind, untrue, childish, petty, angry, and ugly remarks have no place in our new vision of life.
4. We can prove for ourselves, as did Jesus, that when human life is lived in realization of the omnipresence of God as Life, then spiritual demonstrations bless our human existence.
5. We can practice mentally to come unto the Christ. The Christ within speaks, saying, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
6. We can examine carefully the undercurrent of our thought. Until false opinions and beliefs based upon human experiences are uprooted, we are not free. Every new awakening in thought is a birth on a new plane of consciousness. This is the way to the Christ Consciousness. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye many prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Rom.12:2
7. We can meditate regularly upon the truth which we have already accepted and more light will dawn upon us.
8. We can “Be still and know that I am God” – nothing less than the Christ, the unlimited Spirit of Truth.
Individual life, like the branching of the tree, has a beginning in consciousness that is the bud of the coming branch and fruit. Its growth is fuller unfoldment from within. This is evolution, the becoming conscious of what is. Each individual begins as “Adam” in understanding; each shall end as “Jesus” in full consciousness. Paul says that we “may grow up into him in all things.” Eph. 4:15 or into his understanding of divinity as man; the revelation of truth by which we see more and more clearly.
Again we turn our thought to the dormant seed or the apparently lifeless brown bulb and we “consider the lilies how they grow.” If we wish a beautiful lily, how may we obtain it? Shall we being by trying to make the flower? No, we cannot reproduce the blossom in that way. We must plant deep in the earth a lily bulb which in due time will unfold its stem, its buds, and its full bloom. It is a natural process; all growth is from within outward. All of us have the perfect Christ implanted within us.
Christ in you, your hope of glory. Living from the basis of our spiritual being, the true Self, the Christ within, we are no longer prisoners to the senses but glorious souls of consciousness; each one a Christ mind in a Christ body achieving the work of the Christ. You are now prepared for the wonderful experience of awakening to the truth that you, yourself, incorporate the God-idea, Christ the Son. It will come to you, for it must come to each one sometime in his unfoldment. Only you can develop your individual consciousness. No one can do this for another.
A study of Divine Science brings new light, new understanding, new purposes, new goals, with new and accepting the truth of our oneness with the Christ within, we shall ascend from joy to joy, from glory to glory until we, too, have attained conscious Sonship and our Christhood is demonstrated.
Statements of Truth
I daily declare my true nature as that of the Christ within.
The Divine Idea of me (the Christ) is forever held in the Living Consciousness in which I live and move and have my being.
Since God is infinite perfection and creates in perfection, I am potentially perfect in Christ.
Direct expression of God in creation by means of divine activity is the law of growth and unfoldment.
I bless and praise the action of God within me.
Man from the basis of his spiritual evolution has not yet put on the completeness which is latently his in God-Mind.
Our human existence is our relative degree of unfoldment of the Christ Self within us.
Within the Christ are all the potentialities of our being which God works to unfold through spiritual evolution.
As I silence my personal senses and turn to the divinity within me, by Christ Self, I receive new inspiration, increased health and strength, and my inheritance in God is made real to me.
Question for Review and Discussion
1. There is an Absolute viewpoint of God, life, and man, but there is also a viewpoint from the process side. Explain.
2. Show how the acceptance of the divine nature within us helps us to act more like sons of God.
3. What is your true or real Self?
4. What is one definite method by which mankind grows? Explain it.
5. Why do Divine Scientists greatly appreciate Jesus?
6. Are you earnestly endeavoring to follow the suggestions given to help you develop your consciousness? Discuss your plan of using them.
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Divine Science – Its Principle and Practice from the writings of Nona Brooks and Malinda Cramer