Lesson XIVRev. W. John Murray
The Murray Course in Divine Science
Society of the Healing Christ
New York, 1927.
Education, in its literal sense, is an educing or drawing out of what we have within us that is latent. The Divine Spirit is dormant within most of us. It is as we clear away our mental debris for its expression that it becomes active and dominant. This is the education that we should cultivate and pursue to the end most completely possible to us.
There are within us spiritual powers that can save the soul and heal the body. To discover these, and to draw them out to active potency has been the object of these lessons. We have but fairly outlined the possibilities of this study. The development of the complete structure rests now with the student to go forward to the fullest possible acquisition of the knowledge of Truth. We have tried to furnish a working basis, but we can no more than outline the possibilities in that direction. The individual must win forward for himself by resolutely further pursuing his studies in Christian metaphysics.
What we have tried to stress is the necessity of acquiring a spiritual consciousness, and in this, the last Lesson on Correspondences, we hope to emphasize the necessity of seeing through “appearances” and visualizing at all times the Real behind the seeming.
We see the sun rising and setting, but it doesn’t rise or set. We see the paralleled railroad tracks draw to a point in the far distance, but they do not draw to a point at any distance. We see a moon as big as a washtub, but we know that it is a satellite of great size and weight. We see the edge of the sea, but we know that it is not the edge. We see the halo of an electric fan, but know that it is the rapid revolution of four brass blades. We see motion pictures full of life and movement, but we know that the figures and the scenery are not real, but merely photographic impressions.
We must learn to see this world and all that it contains in the same manner. We must learn that this world and all that it contains is not real; that, like the motion picture, it is not real, and that the real is the pattern which is not seen. We must learn to find the Correspondences in the Real of all that is objective in the unreal.
Now, what is the Real?
The philosophy of Idealism, running back into the great religions of the remotest antiquity and brought to perfection by Jesus of Nazareth, is that what we see with mortal sight is not real, but merely the manifestation of thought. Lossius says: “Idealism is the assertion that matter (and consequently the human body) is only a sensuous seeming, and that spiritual essences are the only real things in the world.” Idealism is also defined as “that philosophical view which regards what is thought as alone the actually existent.” The Kabala says: “Thought is the source of all that is.”
In Lesson VI we spoke of the constructive power of thought, and used as an illustration the mental planning of the architect that manifests itself eventually in the form of the completed building. The picture produced by an artist is first and last an idea in mind; the tabernacle of Moses was built after the pattern shown to him on the Mount. Thus, every object in the world, every object in Nature, is built after a plan conceived in thought, and owes its existence to antecedent ideas which it represents on a lower plane of being.
The entire universe, with its worlds, planets, suns and constellations, and all of Nature, from the Betelgeuse, 8,000 times the size of our earth, to the atom, with its own planetary system of electrons and ions, are but reflections of the Real universe, an outward and imperfect projection of the inner and perfect Spiritual universe, its pattern in Divine Mind. There is nothing in all this outer universe that is not perishable. Therefore there is nothing in it that is real, for the Real is imperishable.
We must ever seek to differentiate the real from the seeming. Ideas are real, spiritual thought is real. They are the true causing power, and we must learn to distinguish the causing power as the reality of an object, and not the effect, or the thing produced by the cause.
Thought and feeling are opposites, but they imply each other and conjoin with each other. If you think you are well your feeling unites with the thought to produce well-being. If you think you are ill your feeling correlates the thought and produces the state corresponding to it. Thought ever seeks to unite itself with feeling, and thus becomes faith, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen,” and it will tend to manifest itself in expression through the body. The world of ideas has a constant creative relation to the world of sense. Without it sense would be inoperative, inert, dead. This world of ideas is the real world, “the kingdom of the heavens,” as Jesus called it. “Wherever,” says Dr. W. F. Evans, “there is a material thing there is, back of it, as its soul and life and cause, an idea. All things in the natural world are but representations of things in the realm of ideas.” This is the doctrine of correspondence.
Thus the correspondence of any object is the real thought behind its cause. The object is the external shape, or appearance, or phenomenon; its correspondence is the mental idea in thought–its reality. Let us suppose that you look at a skyscraper, a beautiful bridge, a delicate watch or an exquisite flower. You are struck with its shape and beauty. You go away and yet carry it with you. How? In mind. You retain the idea of it. What is it that you have then? Not the object itself, but its correspondence–it is not the object that is real, but the corresponding idea in mind. You may revisit the spot in which you grew up as a child. “All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.” Gone are the houses, the buildings, the landscapes that you knew. They were not real. They have disappeared. The real is your mental reproduction of them, which derives from the ideas of which they were once the expression.
This truth is expressed perfectly in the fourth and fifth verses of the Second Chapter of Genesis: “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth, when they were created, when Jehovah God made the earth and the heavens and every plant of the field before it was in the earth and every herb of the field before it grew.” The Universe was thus created in the realm of the Real before it was manifested in the realm of phenomena, or appearance. Every plant of the field was created before it was in the earth, and every herb before it grew. Their appearance under earthly conditions is to be understood as a degradation, but one that has a reward, for the process can go no further. They touch the lowest line of descent in spiritual devolution and must turn upward in the order of ascent from these conditions. That which ascends must first have descended. The further turn of the wheel, or cycle, is upward. Jesus said that he had a glory with the Father before the world was, and this is true of us also, considering that “before the world was” means before the world was, to us.
In considering the Law of Correspondences and its relation to things physical as well as metaphysical, we must, however, bear in mind the meaning of this law as Swedenborg, who coined the phrase, understood it. From the point of view of the Scandinavian seer and mystic every so-called material thing has its spiritual side, or invisible counterpart, from which it takes its rise and without which it could not come into manifestation. It is according to this opinion that the saying: “That which takes place on earth has already transpired in heaven,” has come into use. To clarify his statements and make them more acceptable to the modern mind it is well to emphasize a change in the terminology, one that will not alter the meaing of the statements but will afford us a clearer conception of them.
Instead of saying that every material thing has its spiritual correspondence it is better to say that it has its mental correspondence, for this places the responsibility for all error where it belongs, in the intermediate plane of action between Spirit and so-called matter. We can accept the idea that there is a mental discord without compromising our belief in Spirit’s changeless harmony.
If every material manifestation were the correspondence of some spiritual reality back of it then there would be no escape from it, since that which obtains on the spiritual plane is eternal and indestructible. But because of mind’s mutability–the human mind’s mutability–all objective manifestation is nothing more nor less than the reproduction in visibility of invisible states and stages of consciousness. It is because of this that we can understand that every material thing has its mental correspondence, and this without affecting the spiritual order of things in the slightest degree, for if the spiritual order were in reality the pattern from which all visible things were reproduced then the chaos and confusion which exist on the material plane would be merely the developed picture or magnified expression of fixed ideas in the mind of God, and this we cannot believe.
When the word “spiritual” is used by students of the Law of Correspondences it does not do justice to Swedenborg, for that clear thinker had a word of his own, which he used, as we now use the word “spiritual.” He spoke of that highest place whereon all is peace and perpetual harmony as the “celestial,” wherein the Celestial there is nothing that can project itself into visibility save that which is like itself in perfection. Therefore if we use the word “mental” when we refer to the invisible counterpart of visible things we shall avoid much confusion in our own minds, and prevent it in the minds of others, through faulty interpretations.
Moreover we shall be careful what thoughts we permit to enter into the mental realm when we realize that their natural tendency is to translate themselves into physical conditions after their kind. It is this aspect of the Law of Correspondences which is particularly interesting to students of Divine Science, inasmuch as it is the practical application of a philosophy which might otherwise remain coldly intellectual. It is now generally accepted by students of psychology that mental states and physical conditions are as closely related as are cause and effect in the material world; that one follows the other, as “the dust follows the cart wheel” which moves along the road. We are now thoroughly convinced that disease in the human organism is not self-creative, and we have come over to the thought that it does not emanate altogether from what are spoken of as physical causes, but that it is all too frequently the result of some unhappiness in the mind; some inner disturbance which we keep to ourselves as a suppressed emotion until it generates a heat of its own, which we call a fever or congestion, both of which are Nature’s methods of ridding the system of conditions which, if left alone, will lead to other and more serious conditions.
The connection between unhappiness and ill-health requires neither explanation nor emphasis, for it is well known by thoughtful people as the connection between fire and heat, or sun and sunlight. One presages the other inevitably. It is not that we need to be assured of this, but that we need to be shown the remedy for it all.
Admitting that we are unhappy, and sick in consequence, how shall we find happiness and the health which attends it? One thing, and perhaps the first thing, we must learn is that we carry within us the God-endowed potentialities of our own recovery. This may not seem to be the case at first glance, because we have tried “all we know how” without any relief, mentally or physically. But are there not many things which we try without success until some simple method is shown to us, when the difficult becomes the simple, and we wonder why we did not see it for ourselves? One may work for hours over some little difficulty on a typewriter or an automobile which keeps one from one’s work, when someone comes along and with a simple twist or two sets the matter straight. The possibility of establishing the cure was in the machine all along. The trouble is that one did not know where to look for it. Having been shown, should the same disease occur again one knows exactly what to do to cure it.
Discovering that these little mechanical corrections are within our own power we discover that it is in some such way that we are going to discover our spiritual potentialities and learn to so utilize them that good health, and its accompaniment of happiness, will be the most natural thing in the world. All the finest qualities of the human soul exist in us, as the plant exists in the seed, or the lily in the bulb. What we must do is that which Paul recommended Timothy to do, “Stir up the gift that is within thee.” Most of us are like certain liquids which have “to be shaken before taken.” We have allowed the gist of the Holy Spirit to become a sediment in our lives instead of an active agent for the elimination of mental unrest and physical disturbance.
There is in each of us an ideal, immortal man. We are constantly striving to climb upward to a realization of this perfect manhood, a union with the Divine. We are forever struggling to find this Ideal Man as a fact of consciousness and to recognize in ourselves “the pattern shown on the Mount,” wherein we see ourselves as the image and likeness of God. The divinity within man is forever calling upon him for complete union with Divinity Itself. To free ourselves of all the conditions in which we have been imprisoned is our chief and perfect aim, so that we may unite ourselves the more closely with the Infinite Source of Life and return to the Reality from which, it appears, we have been exiled. When we succeed in doing this we shall be glorified with the glory that we had before the world existed for us.
Therefore in spiritual healing we must look through the seeming to find the real. By the use of the X-ray the surgeon looks through this “too, too solid flesh,” and we may by spiritual discernment do the same thing to discover through it our spiritual essences. The spiritual man is perfect. He is in the image and after the likeness of his Creator. In the spiritual man there can be no sin, sickness or disease. The correspondence of the physical is the spiritual. The correspondence of disease is health.
What is needed always is to focus the mind on the Spiritual Man, the pattern in the mind of Jehovah God when He made man male and female, in His own image and after His own likeness, as spiritual beings. The power of suggestion, or enforcing one’s will upon another, is mortal, and healing through this means is not true healing. Healing must be done by impartation, not by suggestion. Healing is from above, flowing down through spirit, soul and body. To effect this we must not only use affirmations and denials, but we must visualize the Spiritual Man, pure, whole, painless, the perfect pattern in the mind of the Creator, of which physical man is but an imperfect copy.
PRACTICE IN DIVINE SCIENCE
Methods Recommended for Putting Into Daily Application
THE TEACHINGS OF TRUTH
May grace be given that I may walk therein;
Not like the hireling, for his selfish gain,
With backward glances and reluctant tread,
Making a merit of his coward dread–
But cheerful in the light around me thrown,
Walking as one to pleasant service led,
Doing God’s will as if it were my own,
Yet trusting not in mine, but in His strength alone!
(Memorize and Repeat Often)
The entire 11th chapter of Hebrews.
Health, Prosperity, Protection
The order and Harmony of the Christ Consciousness, established in me throughout all eternity, is expressing itself now as perfect Health.
The vitalizing energy of the Holy Spirit is circulating freely through every artery of my being, strengthening and invigorating me.
That Omnipresent Opulence which is God is now expressing Itself in and through me in terms of Unlimited Abundance.
The Lord, the everlasting Truth Sustains me; Divine Love alone governs me, and I reflect its government, in Peace, Power, Purity, Prosperity, Perfection of Mind and Body.
The Murray Course in Divine Science
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