Dynamics For Living
TRANSFIGURATION is always preceded by a change of mind. Our beliefs must be lifted from the material, the physical, to the spiritual. But first we need to realize that it is possible for us to be transfigured as well as to understand the law by which transfiguration is brought about.
The meaning of the Transfiguration has never been understood by those who read the Scriptures as history. The Transfiguration of Jesus has always been considered a historical event, and its allegorical meaning overlooked.
To get the real meaning of the Transfiguration, we must regard the experience of Jesus on the Mount as typical of what often takes place in those who are growing in spiritual consciousness.
We have evidences every day of the power of thought to transfigure the countenance. We know that it is possible for a person to be transformed in a degree by the thoughts that flit through his mind from moment to moment, but we do not know his capacity for transfiguration, which is unlimited, nor the part it plays in his attainment of the Christ consciousness and the Christ body.
The real object of existence is to bring forth the perfect man and attain eternal life. Eternal life must be earned. It is usually assumed that man does not die, and this is true of the I AM; but how about the consciousness, the soul? “The soul that sins shall die” is the testimony of the Scriptures. That only lives which conforms to the principle of eternal life.
Spirit exists eternally in God-Mind, of which we must become conscious. This consciousness is soul and is the tangible part of soul. God-Mind gives us the opportunity to incorporate into our soul or consciousness His attributes. These attributes are spiritual life, love, wisdom, strength, power, in fact the essence of all good, which we realize first in the mind, then in body and affairs. Thus God gives us the spiritual perfection that we are to manifest and retain eternally in consciousness. This is His Son or Christ.
Jesus taught that we must attain the consciousness of eternal life, that we have no life in us until we have attained this consciousness. Until we demonstrate over death, the death of the body, we are in a transitory state of existence.
The real object of existence is to attain the consciousness of eternal life and to manifest all that is potentially involved in us by our Creator. The Spirit–I AM or ego–in man is eternal, but there must be a consciousness of this quality of eternity; there must be a consciousness of the image-and-likeness man.
There must be in every one of us a realization of that Spirit which has in it–involved in its being–all that exists in the universal. If we do not realize this, if we do not make it ours, we must eventually go back to the universal. Jesus was the great Way-Shower to the attainment of this realization of Spirit. We shall miss “the prize of the upward call” if we do not enter the path that He trod and that He pointed out in many parables, illustrations, and experiences.
The overcoming or lifting up of man is a process through which we are all passing if we have been converted to the Christ way of life. Transfiguration plays a part (and an important part) in this evolution of the soul. When we see the parallel between our experiences and the Transfiguration of Jesus we gain confidence to go forward.
In our study and application of the Christian life we all have times when we are spiritually uplifted. Such a time is marked by a form of spiritual enthusiasm, which is brought about by statements of Truth made by ourself or others –prayers, words of praise, songs, meditations–any statement of Truth that exalts the spiritual realms of the mind. Jesus was lifted up by Peter, James, and John (faith, judgment, and love). Whenever we dwell upon these virtues and try to live up to them, they are exalted in consciousness, and they go up with us to the Mount of Transfiguration. You may not always realize this. You may think that the uplifting was just a passing exaltation, but it stamps itself upon your soul and body and marks the planting of a new idea in the upward trend of the whole man.
What is your attitude toward these times when you feel the mighty uplift of Spirit? Do you give them their due importance; or when you again come down into the valley, do you groan and question and wonder why you do not abide in your exaltation, why there seems a falling away of the mind from it?
Right here we must be wise and understand the relation of the higher principles of man and their action in the redemption of soul and body. Do not lose sight of the fact that the whole man must be spiritualized. Some people get into the habit of going up in spirit to the Mount of Transfiguration, and they find it so enticing that they refuse to descend to the valley again. Then soul and body are left to go their own way, and a separation ensues. Such persons dwell continually on the heights and ignore the essential unity of spirit, soul, and body. Many delusions arise among Christians because they lack understanding of the law of the idea and its manifestations. All things, all actions, all principles, are working toward the unity of God, man, and the universe. But there must be a readjustment and a cleansing of the whole mass.
If there are things, whether mental or physical, that are not up to the high standard of Spirit, they must die. Jesus on the Mount spoke of His death which was to follow. This death is of the material perception of substance and life, which is reflected in man’s body of flesh. This must perish. The limited concept of matter and of a material body must be transformed so that the true spiritual body may appear.
Some teach the saving of the soul and the perishing of the body. Jesus taught the saving of both soul and body. It is true that this mortal body must be transfigured. It is but a picture or symbol of the real, the spiritual body, which is the “Lord’s body.” The “Lord’s body” is the body of Spirit, the divine idea of a perfect human body. When one realizes this new body, the cells of the present body will form on new planes of consciousness. They will aggregate around new centers, and the “Lord’s body” will appear.
When the body is devitalized by excessive labor, dissipation, or any loss of vital force, its aura shrinks away and a consciousness akin to that of being unclothed is evident. When the mind is adjusted to the divine law, all the vital forces flow harmoniously and the aura glows about the body as a beautiful white light, protecting it from all discord from without and purifying it continually from within.
True prayer brings about an exalted radiation of energy. The word of Truth bursts forth in a stream of light that, when held in mind, illumines, uplifts, and glorifies.
* * * * *
Dynamics For Living by Charles Fillmore
Table of Contents