|Genesis of Individual Power
Finding Individual Power
Employing Individual Power
How to Specialise the Universal
Resolution of Apparent Contradiction
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We have found that in this way the externalisation of the idea progresses from the condensation of the primary nebula to the production of human beings as a race, and that at this point the simple generic reproduction of the idea terminates. This means that up to, and including, genus homo [i.e. generic humanity Ed.], the individual, whether plant, animal, or man, is what it is simply by reason of race conditions and not by exercise of deliberate choice.
Then we have seen that the next step in advance must necessarily be by the individual becoming aware that he has power to mould the conditions of his own consciousness and environment by the creative power of his thought, thus not only enabling him to take a conscious part in his own further evolution but precluding him from evolving any further except by the right exercise of this power; and we have found that the crux of the passage from the Fourth to the Fifth Kingdom is to get people so to understand the nature of their creative power as not to use it destructively.
Now the great crux is first to get people to see that they possess this power at all, and then to get them to use it in the right direction. When our eyes begin to open to the truth that we do possess this power, the temptation is to ignore the fact that our power of initiative is itself a product of the similar power subsisting in the All-originating Spirit.
If this origin of our own creative faculty is left out of sight, we shall fail to recognise the Livingness of the Greater Life within which we live. We shall never get nearer to it than what we may call its generic level the stage at which the Creative Power is careful of the type or race but is careless of the individual; and so at this level we shall never pass into the Fifth Kingdom, which is the Kingdom of Individuality we have missed the whole point of the transition to the more advanced mode of being, in which the individual consciously functions as a creative centre, because we have no conception of a Universal Power that works at any higher level than the generic; and consequently, to reach a specific personal exercise of creative power, we should have to conceive of ourselves as transcending the Universal Law.
But if we realise that our own power of creative initiative has its origin in the similar faculty of the All-originating Mind, then we see that the way to maintain the Life-giving energy in ourselves is to use our power of spiritual initiative so as to impress upon the Spirit the conception of ourselves as standing related to it in a specific, individual, and personal way that takes us out of the mere category of genus homo and gives us a specific spiritual individuality of our own.
Thus our mental action produces a corresponding reaction in the Mind of the Spirit, which in its turn reproduces Itself as a special manifestation of the Life of the Spirit in us; and so long as this circulation between the individual spirit and the Great Spirit is kept up, the individual life will be maintained, and will also strengthen as the circulation continues, for the reason that the Spirit, as the Original Creative Power, is a Multiplying Force, and the current sent into it is returned multiplied, just as in telegraphy the feeble current received from a distance at the end of a long line operates to start a powerful battery at the receiving office, which so multiplies the force as to give out a clear message which could not have been done without the multiplication of the original movement.
Something like this we may picture the multiplying tendency of the Originating Mind, and consequently the longer the circulation between It and the individual mind goes on, the stronger the latter becomes; and this process, growing habitual, becomes at last automatic, thus producing an endless flow of Life continually expanding in intelligence, love, power, and joy.
Therefore to ensure this eternally flowing stream of Life from the Universal Spirit into the individual, there must be no inversion in the individual's presentation of himself to the Originating Power; for through the very same Law by which we seek Life the Life, namely, of reciprocal action and reaction every inversion we bring with us in presenting ourselves to the Spirit is bound to be faithfully reproduced in a corresponding reaction, thus adulterating the stream of Pure Life and rendering it less life-giving in proportion to the extent to which we invert the action of the Life-Principle; so that in extreme cases the stream flowing through and from the individual may be rendered absolutely poisonous and deadly, and the more so the greater his recognition of his own personal power to employ spiritual forces.
The existence of these negative possibilities in the spiritual world should never be overlooked, and therefore the essential condition for receiving the Perfect Fullness of Life is that we should present ourselves before the Eternal Spirit free from every trace of inversion. To do this means to present ourselves in the likeness of the Divine Ideal; and in this self-presentation, the initiative, so far as the individual is consciously concerned, must necessarily be taken by himself.
He is to project into the Eternal Mind the conception of himself as identical with its Eternal Ideal; and if he can do this, then, by the Law of the Creative Process, a return current will flow from the Eternal Mind reproducing this image in the individual with a continually growing power. Then the question is, How are we to do this?
Now this is what the Bible puts before us in its central figure. Taking the Bible statements simply and literally, they show us this unique Personality as the Principle of Humanity alike in its Spiritual Origin and its material manifestation carried to the logical extreme of specialisation; while at the same time, as the embodiment of the original polarity of Spirit and Substance, this Personality, however unique, is absolutely Universal; so that the Bible sets Jesus Christ before us as the answer to the philosophical problem of how to specialise the Universal, while at the same time preserving its Universality.
If, then, we fix our thought upon this unique Personality as the embodiment of Universal principles, it follows that those principles must exist in ourselves also, and that his actual specialisation of them is the earnest of our potential specialisation of them. Then, if we fix our thought on this potential in ourselves as being identical with its manifestation in him, we can claim our identity with him, so that what he has done we have done, what he is, we are; and thus recognising ourselves in him, we present this image of ourselves to the Eternal Mind, with the result that we bring with us no inversion, and so import no negative current into our stream of Life.
The more carefully we examine into the claims of the Gospel of Christ, the more we shall find all the current objections to it melt away and disclose their own superficiality. We shall find that Christ is indeed the Mediator between God and Man, not by the arbitrary fiat of a capricious Deity, but by a logical law of sequence which solves the problem of making extremes meet, so that the son of Man is also the son of God; and when we see the reason why this is so, we thereby receive power to become ourselves sons of God, which is the dιnouement of the Creative Process in the individual.
These closing lines are not the place to enter upon so great a subject, but I hope to follow it up in another volume and to show in detail the logic of the Bible teaching, what it saves us from and what it leads us to; to show, while giving due weight to the value of other systems, how it differs from them and transcends them; to glance, perhaps, for a moment at the indications of the future and to touch upon some of the dangers of the present and the way to escape from them.
Nor would I pass over in silence another and important aspect of the Gospel contained in Christ's commission to his followers to heal the sick. This also follows logically from the Law of the Creative Process if we trace carefully the sequence of connections from the indwelling Ego to the outermost of its vehicles; while the effect of the recognition of these great truths upon the individuality that has for a time put off its robe of flesh opens up a subject of paramount interest. Thus it is that on every plane, Christ is the fulfilling of the Law, and that "Salvation" is not a silly shibboleth but the logical and vital process of our advance into the unfoldment of the next stage of the limitless capacities of our being. Of these things I hope to write in another volume, should it be permitted to me; in the meanwhile, I would commend the present abstract statement of principles to the reader's attention in the hope that it may throw some light on the fundamental nature of these momentous questions. [Troward was able to realise this hope, at least partially, in a subsequent addition of this book to which he added what are now Chapters 10 and 11 - Ed.]
The great thing to bear in mind is that if a thing is true at all, there must be a reason why it is true, and when we come to see the reason, we know the truth at first hand for ourselves and not from someone else's report; then it becomes really our own and we begin to learn how to use it. This is the secret of the individual's progress in any art, science, or business, and the same method will serve equally well in our search after Life itself; and as we thus follow up the great quest, we shall find that on every plane, the Way, the Truth, and the Life are ONE.
"A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion" Bacon, Essay xvi.