POWER V. FORCE
As the summer sun continues to heat up our city with its solar power, we are exploring the idea of our "Soul-ar" Power.
Charles Fillmore's definition of Power in the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary says: "The mind and the body of man have power to transform energy from one plane of consciousness to another."a So it is the energy by which everything lives.
It is that energy I want us to tap into this month; the energy that is found deep within our souls.
The question this morning is: Are you living by that POWER or are you living by FORCE? . . .a question, of course, inspired by the title of David Hawkins' book Power v. Force.
Let me begin with an example from a minister friend of mine and her recent dive trip to Cozumel of the difference between Power and Force. Look for the spiritual lessons in this experience, please!
How many of you are SCUBA divers? For those of you who are not, first a little dive lesson: A diver maintains his/her stability in the water -- not going up or down, but holding steady -- through two things: The amount of air in their vest (called a BCD - Buoyancy Control Device) and their breath.
A deep inhale inflates the lungs which makes you displace more water and lifts you up; a full exhale deflates the lungs which makes you displace less water and you sink.
The goal is to have the right amount of air in your vest so that when you breathe normally, you stay steady. This is called having good "buoyancy control."
And that's what a good diver does. A good diver has good buoyancy control. Sometimes - often times! - My friend is not that good. In fact, she tends to bounce up and down a lot!
This trip, she was determined to have better buoyancy control by trying to get the air level just right in her vest and by practicing breathing to stay steady. So she set that intention and then did something very important: She became observant of what she was doing. Interesting thing is that she wasn't aware of what she was doing until she set a conscious intention to have better buoyancy control.
What she found was that when she started to sink and thought she was going to touch the sandy bottom or crash into the coral she was swimming over (both of which are big diving no-nos!), she would take a fast and really, really deep breath in - a gulp really - but then when she still felt herself dropping, she would get afraid she was going to hit something so she would start to kick to lift herself or she would reach out her hand to push herself off the ocean floor or off the coral.
Both of those acts, the kicking and the pushing, are examples of FORCE. Why? Because when she got afraid that she wasn't going to lift up, by George, she was going to make sure that she didn't crash into anything, so she took control and forced the situation! Does this ring a bell for anyone -- even for you non divers?!?
But here's the problem. she would wind up way overcompensating, because the air in her lungs did, in fact, make her more buoyant and did, in fact, lift her up. And since she had added her own FORCE to the mix by kicking her legs and reaching out and giving herself a push, she would shoot up like a rocket, too high and wind up hovering over everyone! Then, she'd have to exhale all the air in her lungs to get back down and when that didn't seem to work fast enough, she'd kick her legs again and sink like a brick and she'd think she was going to crash into the surface again and the pattern would repeat itself - it was quite exhausting!
So, as she was observing this in herself, the next time it felt like she was sinking and about to hit something, she consciously said, "Stop! Don't struggle, don't try to FORCE it. Do what you know to do."
And she took a SLOW, deep breath (rather than a big gulp!) and resisted the urge to reach out and push herself off or kick her legs (which was a very strong urge by the way -- after all, she had been diving that way for a number of years now -- that's just how she reacts!) and -- low and behold within a few seconds, she gently rose -- just enough, not too much -- on her own. No struggle, no forcing. No shooting up above everyone else because she had overcompensated.
The difference was that she allowed the POWER of the natural law of buoyancy to work. And it worked great. It was easy, gentle and smooth. In fact, a lot of fun!
So, down at 50 feet, she had a two-part ah ha! The first part was that she just needed to trust herself! To trust herself to do what she's supposed to do, and she won't crash into the coral. So she floated along with that ah ha for a moment and then she had the second part, which was even more powerful.
She realized that it was not her that she needed to trust. She just needed to cooperate. What she needed to TRUST is the law of buoyancy. Because of the law of buoyancy, as she inhales air, she will displace more water, which will result in her lifting. And it will do that every time, all the time. It will do that every time, all the time -- NO EXCEPTIONS! She didn't need to force anything, She just needed to trust the law.
So she realized that if she worked with the law of buoyancy, it would work with her!
Now, let me shorten that a bit for a broader meaning: If I work with the Law, it will work with me! Wow. Do you see the spiritual implication here?!
Say that with me will you please: If I work with the Law, it will work with me!
And that, my friends, is where the POWER is!
Emmet Fox, a well-known New Thought author once spoke about spiritual sunbathing. What he said applies here. He said: "We need to learn to relax spiritually as well as physically. We easily forget that it is the POWER of God that solves our problem and not our own efforts in the making of our prayers. Spiritual sunbathing offers an excellent analogy here. In sunbathing you expose the skin to solar rays and then relax and leave it to the sun to do the rest. You never think of trying to help the sun. You relax quietly and have perfect faith that the sun will do its work. In meditating on the Presence of God the same quiet relaxed confident attitude will bring the same inevitable result."b
Because the Law works the same all the time. And in this trusting, there is no struggle, there is no force -- there is simply an allowing of the power that is already there to work!
Jesus, the Master Teacher, clearly taught that Spiritual Power works through us at the level of our belief and he implied that it was done unto us by some impersonal Principle -- which we call the Law. It will work as quickly for one as for another. The Law is no respecter of persons but works alike for each and all.
Charles Fillmore wrote in The Providing Law: "The highest exercise of the mind is prayer, and prayer is accumulative. When we pray for the necessary things, we must believe that we have received them, and we shall receive them. This is the teaching of Jesus, and we find that it is good metaphysical law. "Ask, and ye shall receive"(Matt. 7:7). The Lord is more willing to give than we are to receive."c
That is the POWER that is available to us all equally. Sadly, we don't use it productively as often as we could.
Most of us are not conscious of our thoughts. Just as my friend wasn't conscious of how she was diving. She was on automatic pilot and then reacting out of fear, which we do so often in our thoughts! We don't deliberately offer thought, instead we let our thoughts drift to whatever is happening around us - or, when we get fearful, we use our thoughts and actions to try to FORCE something to happen.
When was the last time you used affirmative prayer for help with a project, a meeting with your boss, or a new client, or a difficult situation at home or with a friend - that is before you took the matter into your own hands and tried to force the situation? Well, listen to this:
A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million.
A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
A baseball in Mark McGuire's hands is worth $19 million.
A golf club is pretty useless in my hands.
A golf club in Tiger Wood's hands is 4 Major Golf Championships.
A rod in my hands might keep away a wild animal.
A rod in Moses' hands parted the mighty sea.
A sling shot in my hands is a toy.
A slingshot in David's hands is a mighty weapon.
Two fish and five loaves in my hands may make a few fish sandwiches.
Two fish and five loaves in Jesus' hands fed thousands.
So, in whose hands do you want your life? If you keep it in just yours, you'll find yourself trying to FORCE and control situations. If you put yourself in God's hands, and trust God's Law, you'll put the POWER of the Universe to work for you. Do you get that? The POWER OF THE UNIVERSE is at your disposal.
Charles Fillmore The Providing Law: "It is the childlike mind that finds the way into the kingdom. Then do away with all limitations and behold yourself as the perfect man, the well-beloved son in whom the Father is well pleased."d
Judge Thomas Troward said this in his Edinburgh Lectures: "If we realize this from the outset, we shall not undo our own work by endeavoring to force things. For this reason, when the Bible says that "he who believeth shall not make haste," it is enunciating a great nature principle that success depends on our using, and not opposing, the universal Law of Growth. Our mistakes always eventually resolve themselves into distrusting the Law of Growth. Either we fancy we can hasten it by some exertion of our own from without and are thus led into hurry and anxiety, not to say sometimes into the employment of previously wrong methods; or else we give up all hope and so deny the germinating power of the seed we have planted. The result in either case is the same, for in either case we are in effect forming a fresh spiritual prototype of an opposite character to our desire, which therefore neutralizes the one first formed, and disintegrates it and usurps its place. The law is always the same, that our thought forms a spiritual prototype which, if left undisturbed, will reproduce itself in external circumstances."e
If we don't start kicking or pushing (like my friend did in her diving!), the spiritual prototype (idea, thought, desire) MUST reproduce itself in our external circumstances. That's simply how GOD works through us in our lives! Do you get it??!!! Do you live it!?? Are you living it today? Is there a situation in your life today, right here, and right now that you could turn over to this power??
Because remember, my friends, there is a POWER for good in the Universe and you can use it!!
You do not have to beg life to be good or to bring good into your life. Life is like the sun. It shines on everything.
You have the power to create life-giving experiences. This is not only your own life--this is Life living through You. This is God living through you.
And so this morning, I invite you to use your SOUL-AR POWER!
aCharles Fillmore Metaphysical Bible Dictionary
cCharles Fillmore The Providing Law
dCharles Fillmore The Providing Law
eJudge Thomas Troward Edinburgh Lectures, p. 35-36