Dynamics For Living
IN THE regeneration two states of mind are constantly at work. First comes the cleansing or denial state, in which all the error thoughts are eliminated. This includes forgiveness for sin committed and a general clearing up of the whole consciousness. The idea is to get back into the pure, natural consciousness of Spirit. This state of mind is typified by John the Baptist, who came out of the wilderness a child of nature whose mission it was to make straight the way of One who was to follow. In the first baptism, through the power of the word, the sense man is erased from consciousness, and the mind is purged and made ready for the second baptism.
Putting away of sin from the consciousness (baptism through denial, plus forgiveness) is very closely allied to the deeper work that is to follow; so much so that to the observer it seems the same. Hence the followers of John, when they saw the works he did, asked if he was the Messiah. His answer was that the One who followed him was to baptize with the Holy Spirit.
In the second baptism, the creative law of divine affirmation, set into action by Mind, lights its fires at the center of man’s being, and when thus kindled raises soul and body to a high degree of purity. This process is known as regeneration.
From this we discern that mental cleansing and the reforms that put the conscious mind in order are designed to prepare the way for that larger and more permanent consciousness which is to follow. This is the denial of “self” or personality. We are all guilty in a way of undue devotion to personal aims, which are always narrow and selfish. So long as these exist and take the place of the rightful One there is no room for the higher self, the Christ of God.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a quickening of the spiritual nature that is reflected in mind and body. Spiritual baptism has power. It is affirmative. It is positive. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the second baptism. It is the most precious gift of God and comes to those who steadfastly seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
The recorded “This is the Son of God” is a reference to a matter of first importance in the regeneration. The recognition of man as the Son of God and the establishment in the mind of the new relations between the divine Father and the Son are essential to the process. If we do not affirm our sonship, with all its privileges and powers, we are sure to belittle ourself and make limitations that prevent us from entering into the fullness of the Godhead.
John the Baptist
Metaphysically interpreted, John the Baptist symbolizes in each individual the natural man, but with an illumined intellect. His face is turned toward the light in the measure that he recognizes and pays homage to the higher self within the individual. John baptized with water all those who believed that Jesus was soon to make His appearance. This is a cleansing, purifying process, preparing the individual to see spiritually and to discern spiritually.
By cultivation the spiritual mind becomes an active factor in consciousness. It has to be desired and sought before it becomes a part of one’s conscious life. The natural conscious mind is expecting, looking for, and earnestly desiring a greater realization of Spirit. He knows that he is not fulfilling the Christ ideal of manhood. Willingness to give up the natural man to the divine is a most propitious sign in one who is in the regenerative process. Many persons are ambitious to put on Christ, but are not willing to give up the present man in order to do so. This mind has no personal ambition. It is innocent, loving, and obedient to the call of God.
Never neglect your soul. To grow spiritually you should exercise your zeal in spiritual ways. As children of God our place is at the right hand of the Father. When man really realizes this, he calls down upon himself the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He soon learns that obedience to Spirit increases his power to control his thoughts and thus make his world conform to the divine standard.
When man is obedient to Spirit he will not suffer burdens. To trust Spirit he must know of its guidance by experience. For those who have not learned the guidance of Spirit, that experience must be acquired. Man is spirit and must find himself before he can communicate with universal Spirit.
We are pressed upon by beliefs in materiality. Thoughts make things. The material beliefs that are pressing upon us are just as substantial in the realm of mind as material things are substantial in the realm of matter. Everything has origin in thought, and material thoughts will bring forth material things. So you should baptize and cleanse yourself totally with your spiritual word. When the baptizing power of the word is poured out, it cleanses all material thought. Impotence is vitalized with new life, and the whole subconsciousness is awakened and quickened.
Man does not exercise the power of his spiritual nature, because he lacks understanding of its character and of his relation to the originating Mind in which he exists. From Divine Mind man inherits power over the forces of his mind–in truth, power over all ideas. A quickening from on high must precede man’s realization of his innate control of thought and feeling. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a quickening of the spiritual nature, which is reflected in intellect and in body. When one understands the science of Being, one is prepared to receive this baptism and to utilize it along deeper lines of thought. Power is essential to the work that Jesus Christ expects His followers to do in the great field of humanity. Man should apply the power of the word to his individual redemption, and he should speak the redeeming word of Spirit to the multitudinous thought people of his own soul and body.
There is in man a knowing capacity transcending intellectual knowledge. Nearly everyone has at some time touched this hidden wisdom and has been more or less astonished at its revelations. It certainly is a most startling experience to find ourself giving forth logical thoughts and words without preparation or forethought, because we nearly always arrive at our conclusions through a process of reasoning. However, this reasoning process is often so swift that we are likely to think that it is true inspiration, especially when we have received either the reflected uplift of other wise ones or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This quickening of the intellect is intellectual illumination that precedes the awakening of the ideal, the Christ understanding. Some Truth students become so enamored of the revelations they receive through the head that they fail to go on to the unfoldment of the One who baptizes “with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
Intellectual understanding of Truth, as given in the first baptism, is a tremendous step in advance of sense consciousness. Its possession brings a temptation to use for selfish ends the wisdom and the power thereby revealed. When Jesus received this baptism He was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (personal ego) before he could take the next degree in Son-of-God consciousness.
Jesus knew that the illumination of the personal is not the fulfillment of the law. He rejected every temptation to use His understanding for selfish ends. Unless the disciple is very meek he will find the human ego strongly asserting its arguments for the application of the power of Spirit to personal needs. The god of mammon is bidding high for men who have received the baptism of Spirit. Many sell out, but their end is dust and ashes. No man can serve two masters.
Voice of Spirit
When we discover in ourself a flow of thought that seems to have been evolved independently of the reasoning process, we are often puzzled about its origin and its safety as a guide. In its beginnings this seemingly strange source of knowledge is often turned aside as a daydream. Again it seems a distant voice, an echo of something that we have heard and forgotten. One should give attention to this unusual and usually faint whispering of Spirit in man. It is not of the intellect and it does not originate in the skull. It is the development, in man, of a greater capacity to know himself and to understand the purpose of creation.
Understanding is opened in both head and heart when man gives himself wholly to the Lord. Both receive the baptism of Spirit. Man receives first an intellectual understanding of Truth which he transmits to his heart, where love is awakened. The Lord reveals to him that love is the greatest power in man.
If you are living in your thinking faculty intellectually, if you believe in birth and death, you must come out of that belief. You are not exercising your rightful dominion, but are subject to error thought. When the thinking faculty is obedient and does what it is told, it is always rewarded.
You are Spirit, the Son of God, and your place is at the right hand of the Father. To realize this is to call down upon yourself the baptism of the Holy Spirit, after which baptism you no longer labor, but begin to gather together your powers of mind. This gathering together of your powers is an orderly process.
There is an ever-present, all-knowing One. Put yourself into conscious unity with this presence through the power of your thought and your word, and you will gradually become mentally open to a world of causes of which you never before dreamed.
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Dynamics For Living by Charles Fillmore
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