I think of myself, basically, as a teacher and a counselor. So, lessons such as these are not meant to be literary masterpieces. I am not concerned with being lofty and profound, but in dealing with those day-to-day problems, for which people are seeking help and healing.
In these essays, I am not presenting a new religion, startling and shocking as some of the concepts may be. I am dealing with a technique for the application of fundamental Spiritual Laws, discovered and demonstrated by Jesus and many other great mystic teachers—the thread of Truth, the fundamental concepts that enable any individual, practically and creatively, to release his or her own “Imprisoned Splendor.” I have been dealing with these insights for many years. I have given thousands upon thousands of talks. Yet, all of these millions upon millions of words can be synthesized into just a few sentences. It is humbling to admit that a lifetime of teaching can be summed up “in a nutshell”…but I think it can. So, I would like to give that kind of a summation, just three simple things—three simple fundamentals of this New Insight In Truth.
First: “The Omnipresence of God” – Someone once said, “If you aren’t as close to God as you once were, don’t make the mistake about which one of you has moved.” We sometimes act as if God were lost, and that our efforts in spiritual unfoldment are to find God. This attitude must be changed! God is not lost! It is simply that we must find ourselves…take stock of ourselves. When we do, we find that we enter a right relationship with things…and God is that relationship. We find that God is the Wisdom of our mind, the Life of our body, the Substance of our affairs. We will know that there are no God-empty spots in our life—that the Presence of God is present, not absent. Much that we have engaged in, which we have called, “The Practice of the Presence,” has really been a practice of the absence of God, because it has been a prayer or affirmation or some kind of devotion that is based upon trying to reach out to God “out there somewhere.” There are no God-empty spots, and where you are God is…vitally completely and fully. So, religion is not simply a “one day a week” activity, but an every day process of relating ourselves dynamically with the God-Activity that is in everything and that radiates in and through ourselves.
It is amazing how far we have strayed from Jesus’ pure concept of God, when he said, “The Father within knoweth what things ye have need of, before you ask him,” [Matt. 6:8] and, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” [Luke 12:32] How could we have missed this? In his Sermon on Mars Hill, the Apostle Paul refers to the omnipresence of God in words that should be re-emphasized in every Christian church in the world: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of Heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.…Yet He is not far from each one of us, for ‘in Him we live and move and have our being.’” [Acts 17:24-28, RSV] “In Him we live and move and have our being.” We live in the Presence…we live in God. It is the milieu of our life. We can’t get out of it. There is nowhere to go to find God. Just “Be still, and know that I AM God.” [Psalm 46:10] Be still and let the Divine Flow manifest in you and through you. This is “The Omnipresence of God.”
Second: “The Divinity of Man” – Quite often, I am criticized for saying that Jesus is not Divine. Actually, I am not saying that Jesus is not Divine, but I insist that all persons are Divine. Jesus made the discovery of the Divinity of man. He proved and demonstrated it in his own fulfillment. But the discovery was of the potential of all human beings. He said of you and me: “…the works that I do shall he [you] do also; and greater works than these shall he [you] do….” [John 14: 12] So you see, when we talk about this idea that we have a Divine Potential within us, this does not give less reverence to Jesus, it gives more. Jesus is the “way shower,” the savior, in that he has revealed the Divine Potential of humankind. He showed us what we can all do. He showed us that each of us can go farther, can reach higher, can unfold tremendous potentialities that are within us, and that we can do it because he did it, and we can do it as he did it, if we have the faith that he had. This begs a lot of questions, but it simply indicates that life is a process of growth toward the fulfillment of that Divine Potential.
Every person contains within himself or herself a Spark of Divinity, “that little Spark of Celestial Fire that a man may desecrate but never quite lose.” [George Washington] The purpose of life is to express and unfold this God-Self, this Infinite Potential. The same Potential indwells you that was in Jesus. Remember, the Apostle Paul says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:5] This is the same idea. The only difference is how good we are at discovering it, in mastering it, in expressing it. The difference between you and Jesus is not in the manner of his birth, but in the quality of his consciousness. The paper that is used in a fifty-dollar bill is exactly the same as that used in a one-dollar bill. But a different value has been placed upon them. The substance is the same, yet no one would say that the one-dollar bill is as good as the fifty, or that you are as good, in the quality of your consciousness as Jesus.
Years ago, in the General Electric Company, there was a standing joke that was played on every new research scientist who joined the staff. His first assignment was to frost the inside of electric light bulbs. This was akin to being sent out to find a “shelf-stretcher” or a “sky-hook” or a “left-handed monkey wrench.” Everyone knew this was an impossible task. So, the joke went on for years and everybody had many good laughs. But finally, a young fellow came along who was determined to make good on his first job, and he did it! He actually developed a process that frosted the bulbs, which made them stronger by diffusing the light. This process is the basis for all modern electric lighting, invented by a man who didn’t know it could not be done! That’s the great key. That’s the idea that Jesus suggests and demonstrates and fulfills. You can do the impossible! You can do more, you can have more, you can be more, when you realize that you are a Child of God, a Spiritual Being, and that you have an Infinite Potential awaiting releasement. Your role, as Robert Browning would say, is to “open out a way whence the Imprisoned Splendor may escape.” This is the concept of the Divinity of man.
Third: “The Creative Power of Thought” - Mind is the connecting link between humans and God. We must let our thoughts express God, rather than simply expressing reactions to things of the world. Thought itself is creative, and we become positive, creative, powerful beings when we think original God-thoughts. Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915, philosopher, writer, editor, school teacher, and lecturer] once said, “Man is not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks, he is.”
Your life, as you are now expressing it, is the reflection of the framework of your mind, as formed by your dominant attitudes and beliefs of consciousness. If you are not satisfied with what you are experiencing, then you must begin today to rebuild this mental framework—“…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” [Romans 12:2] as Paul said.
When Jesus said, “…be it done for you as you have believed,” [Matt. 8:13, RSV] and, “According to your faith be it done unto you,” [Matt: 9:29, KJV] actually, he was referring to thinking. “Faith” is another word for thought. Jesus was saying, “According to your thoughts, be it done unto you.” The thoughts you think actually are the key to manifesting the conditions of your life. When you think in terms of the possibilities of life, then the door to success is open. If you think in terms of self-pity, of injustice, then the door is closed—but you open it or you close it by the way you think. You can think yourself into being unhappy or depressed. You can think yourself into being glad. You can think yourself into being well and prosperous…or you can think yourself into being sick and poor. You can actually think yourself into unemployment…or you can think yourself back on to a good-salaried position again—doing good work with good compensation. This is a very important thing.
Because we have not recognized the importance of words and thoughts, we continually and habitually express such thoughts as, “What a stupid fool I am” or, “Everything I do fails miserably” or, “Oh, I suppose, once again we’re gonna have more of those difficult times.” These are your thoughts, and your thoughts are going to determine the kind of conditions you experience in your life. Your thoughts set your own evaluation. In a very real sense, your thoughts determine what you become and the way others see you, for life is always lived from within-out. As L.C. Robinson says, “Things may happen around you, and things may happen to you, but the only things that really count are the things that happen in you.”
So here we are…three aspects of what I call, “The Truth in a Nutshell”: “The Omnipresence of God,” “The Divinity of Man,” and “The Creative Power of Thought.” I give many, many talks on each and every one of these subjects, giving them broad expansion. In a sense, this is what it’s all about: “The Truth in a Nutshell.”
© Eric Butterworth