SPIRITUALITY OR PRAYER AND PRAISE
1. By the employment of many symbols the Bible describes man in his wholeness–Spirit, soul, and body. The symbols used are men, places, tents, temples, and so forth. The name of every person mentioned in the Bible has a meaning representative of that person’s character. The twelve sons of Jacob represent the twelve foundation faculties of man. The name of each of these sons, correctly interpreted, gives the development and office of its particular faculty in triune association; that is, its relation to consciousness in Spirit, in soul, and in body. For example, when the sons of Jacob were born, their mothers revealed the character of the faculty which each represented. This is set forth in the twenty-ninth and thirtieth chapters of Genesis.
2. It is written of the birth of Reuben, “Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Because Jehovah hath looked upon my affliction.” The emphasis is upon the word “looked,” and by referring to the concordance we find that the meaning of the word Reuben is, “One who sees; vision of the son.” It is clear that this refers to the bringing forth of sight.
3. “And she conceived again, and bare a son: and said, Because Jehovah hath heard that I am hated.” Here the emphasis is upon the word heard, and we find that Simeon means, “That hears or obeys; that is heard.” This is the bringing forth of hearing.
4. “And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me.” In this case the emphasis is upon the word joined. Levi means “unity,” which in body is feeling; in soul, sympathy; and in Spirit, love. So each of the twelve faculties in the complete man functions in this threefold degree.
5. What is here described as the birth of the twelve sons of Jacob is the first, or natural, bringing forth of the faculties. A higher expression of the faculties is symbolized in the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Simon Peter is hearing and faith united. John is feeling and love joined. When we believe what we hear, there is formed in us the substance of the word, which is Peter, a rock, a sure foundation. “Belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
6. The Bible is a very wonderful book; as man develops in spiritual understanding it reveals itself to him, and he sees why it has been reverenced and called holy by the people. It is a deep exposition of mental laws, and it is also a treatise on the true physiological estate of the body. It shows that the human organism is mind in action, rather than an aggregation of purely material functions. But above all, the Bible explains the spiritual character of man and the laws governing his relation to God. These are symbolically set forth as states of consciousness, illustrated by parables and allegories. Paul says, referring to the history of Sarah and Abraham, “Which things contain an allegory.” It is written of Jesus, “And without a parable spake he nothing unto them: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.” Jesus was Himself a parable. His life was an allegory of the experiences that man passes through in developing from natural to spiritual consciousness; hence the Bible and the prophets can be understood only by those who arrive at that place in consciousness where the writers were when they gave forth their messages. It requires the same inspiration to read the Scriptures with understanding that it required originally to receive and write them.
7. In the 29th chapter of Genesis we read of Jacob’s wife, Leah: “And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, This time will I praise Jehovah: therefore she called his name Judah.” The Hebrew meaning of the word Judah is “praise.” In Spirit praise, or prayer, the Judah faculty, accumulates ideas. In sense consciousness this faculty is called acquisitiveness; it accumulates material things and when self is dominant, “hath a devil.” This is Judas.
8. Each of the twelve faculties has a center and a definite place of expression in the body. Physiology has designated these faculty locations as brain and nerve centers. Spiritual perception reveals them to be aggregations of ideas, thoughts, and words. Thoughts make cells, and thoughts of like character are drawn together in the body by the same law that draws people of kindred ideas into assemblies and communities. The intellectual man centers in the head; the affectional man lives in the heart; the sensual man expresses through the abdomen. The activities of these indicated regions are subdivided into a multitude of functions, all of which are necessary to the building up of manifest man as he is idealized in Divine Mind.
9. At the very apex of the brain is a ganglionic center, which we may term the throne of reverence or spirituality. It is here that man holds converse with the knowledge in Divine Mind. This center is the place or “upper room” of spiritual consciousness, and is designated in Scripture as Judah. Its office is to pray and praise. The Judah faculty opens the portal of that mysterious realm called the superconsciousness where thought is impregnated with an uplifting, transcendent quality. Every lofty ideal, all the inspiration that elevates and idealizes in religion, poetry, and art, originates here. It is the kingdom of the true and real in all things.
10. The importance of Judah is indicated by his place in the family of Jacob and Leah. Jacob (supplanter) was betrothed to Rachel (ewe). At the time of the espousal the father of Rachel substituted his elder daughter Leah for the covenanted bride. Leah means “weary.” The first son of Leah was “sight”; weariness saw the light of Spirit. The second son was “hearing”; she was able to receive the word. The third son was “union”; she merged with the limitless. The fourth son was “praise.” After the birth of Judah, Leah “left off bearing.” Praise is the complement of sight, hearing, and unity. It is the redemption of weariness, and from it issues Messiah, the anointed One, Savior of the world. Instead of a supplication, prayer should be a jubilant thanksgiving. This method of prayer quickens the mind miraculously, and, like a mighty magnet, draws out the spiritual qualities that transform the whole man when they are given expression in mind, body, and affairs.
11. Spirituality is one of the foundation faculties of the mind. It is the consciousness that relates man directly to the Father-Mind. It is quickened and enlarged through prayer and through other forms of religious thought and worship. When we pray we look up from within, not because God is off in the sky, but because this spiritual center in the top of the head becomes active and our attention is naturally drawn to it.
12. Prayer is natural to man, and it should be cultivated in order to round out his character. Prayer is the language of spirituality; when developed, it makes man master in the realm of creative ideas. In order to get results from the use of this faculty, right thinking should be observed here as well as elsewhere. To pray, believing that the prayer may or may not be answered at the will of God, is to miss the mark. It is a law of mind that every idea is fulfilled as soon as conceived. This law holds true in the spiritual realm. “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” In the light of our knowledge of mind action, the law expressed in these words is clear. Moreover, the faith implied is absolutely necessary to the unfailing answer to prayer. If we pray asking for future fulfillment, we form that kind of thought structure in consciousness, and our prayers are always waiting for that future fulfillment which we have idealized. If we pray thinking that we do not deserve the things for which we ask, these untrue and indefinite thoughts carry themselves out, and we grow to look upon prayer with doubt and suspicion. This is called the prayer of blind faith, but it is not the kind that Jesus used, because His prayers were answered.
13. It should not be inferred that the will of Divine Mind is to be set aside in prayer; we are to pray that the will of God enter into us and become a moving factor in our life. “Not my will, but thine, be done,” prayed Jesus. The Father does not take our will from us; rather, He gives us the utmost freedom in the exercise of the will faculty, and He also imparts an understanding of the law, through the operation of which we can make any condition that we desire. “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do,” becomes our assurance.
14. One of the offices of spirituality is to aggregate divine ideas. Through this action man draws absolutely true ideas from the universal Mind. Thus prayer is cumulative. It accumulates spiritual substance, life, intelligence; it accumulates everything necessary to man’s highest expression. When we pray in spiritual understanding, this highest realm of man’s mind contacts universal, impersonal Mind; the very mind of God is joined to the mind of man. God answers our prayers in ideas, thoughts, words; these are translated into the outer realms, in time and condition. It is therefore important that we pray with understanding of the law, important that we always give thanks that our prayers have been answered and fulfilled, regardless of appearances. When Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, He prayed, blessed, and gave thanks. With understanding and realization of the relation between the idea and the fulfillment of the idea, He quickened the slow processes of nature, and the loaves and fishes were increased quickly. We may not be able to attain at once such speedy operation of the law, but we shall approximate it, and we shall accelerate natural processes as we hold our ideas nearer to the perfection of the realm of divine ideas.
15. Praise is closely related to prayer; it is one of the avenues through which spirituality expresses itself. Through an inherent law of mind, we increase whatever we praise. The whole creation responds to praise, and is glad. Animal trainers pet and reward their charges with delicacies for acts of obedience; children glow with joy and gladness when they are praised. Even vegetation grows best for those who praise it. We can praise our own abilities, and our very brain cells will expand and increase in capacity and intelligence when we speak words of encouragement and appreciation to them.
16. “What is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.” There is an invisible thought-stuff on which the mind acts, making things through the operation of a law not yet fully understood by man. Every thought moves upon this invisible substance in increasing or diminishing degree. When we praise the richness and opulence of our God, this thought-stuff is tremendously increased in our mental atmosphere; it reflects into everything that our minds and our hands touch. When common things are impregnated with our consciousness of divine substance, they are transformed according to our ideals. Through persistent application of the Judah faculty, a failing business proposition can be praised into a successful one. Even inanimate things seem to receive the word of praise, responding in orderly obedience when, before, they have seemed unmanageable. A woman used the law on her sewing machine, which she had been affirming to be in bad order. It gave her no trouble afterward. A linotype operator received a certain spiritual treatment given him by a healer at a certain hour, and his linotype, which had been acting badly, immediately fell into harmonious ways. A woman living in a country town had a rag carpet on her parlor floor; she had for years hoped that this carpet might be replaced by a better one. She heard of the law and began praising the old carpet. Greatly to her surprise, inside of two weeks she was given a new carpet from an unexpected source. These are a few simple illustrations of the possibilities latent in praise. Whether the changes were in the inanimate things, or in the individuals dealing with them, does not matter so long as the desired end was attained.
17. Turn the power of praise upon whatever you wish to increase. Give thanks that it is now fulfilling your ideal. The faithful law, faithfully observed, will reward you. You can praise yourself from weakness to strength, from ignorance to intelligence, from poverty to affluence, from sickness to health. The little lad with a few loaves and fishes furnished the seed that, through the prayer and thanksgiving of Jesus, increased sufficiently to feed five thousand people.
18. If we do not receive answers to our prayers it is because we have not fully complied with the law. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” This does not mean that we ask of the Lord things that we do not need; it means that we miss the mark in the method of asking, that our relation to Divine Mind is not in harmony with the law; the failure is not in God, but in us. We should therefore never be discouraged, but, like Elijah praying for rain, we should persevere until our prayers are answered.
19. All causes that bring about permanent results originate in Spirit. Spirituality, faith, and love are God-given faculties, and when we are raised in consciousness to their plane they act naturally under a spiritual law that we may not comprehend. There is a law of prayer, which man will eventually recognize and apply as he now recognizes and applies the laws of mathematics and of music.
20. Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do.” We ask in His name when we pray in the Jesus consciousness of universal Spirit. He attained unity with Divine Mind, and realized that His thoughts and words were not from Himself, but from God. When we pray in His name we enter into His unity with the Father, and attain the same consciousness that He attained.
21. God is the always present, indwelling Mind. To realize God we must quiet our outer thoughts and enter into the stillness, peace, and harmony of Spirit. “When thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door [outer consciousness], pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.” If we make proper connection with Divine Mind in the kingdom of heaven within us, the Father will surely answer our prayers. No good thing will He withhold from us if we comply with the law of righteous asking. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Living Words To Quicken Spirituality
1. “It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing.”
2. “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”
3. “The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life.”
4. “Ye must be born from above.”
5. “I am the light of the world.” “Ye are the light of the world.”
6. “Let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
7. “I am the light” that “lighteth every man, coming into the world.”
8. My understanding is illumined by Spirit. I am the light of my consciousness.
9. I acknowledge God at all times as the one source of my understanding.
10. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee.”
11. The glory of the Lord is risen upon me, and I walk in the light of life.
12. My body is the temple of the living God, and the glory of the Lord fills the temple.
13. Christ within me is my glory. The brightness of His presence casts out all the darkness of error, and my whole body is full of light.
14. “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.”
15. “Jehovah is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Jehovah is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
16. “Then shall Thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily.”
Establishing The Perfect Substance
(To be used in connection with Lesson Seven)
1. “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
2. My perfection is now established in Divine Mind.
3. “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
4. By seeing perfection in all things, I help to make it manifest. “I must be in my Father’s house.”
5. The corruptible flesh is changed into incorruption when it is seen as perfect and pure in Christ.
6. I see in mind that perfect character which I desire to be, and thus plant the seed thought that brings forth the perfect man.
7. “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.”
8. “When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory.”
9. My mind is opened anew to the splendor of God’s kingdom, and a flood of rich substance now pours itself into my affairs.
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Christian Healing by Charles Fillmore
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