THE WISDOM OF KNOWING
A very, very wise man once spoke these words: "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free."a
He didn't say:
Ye shall have a strong belief in the Truth and the Truth shall . . . NOR
Ye shall hope you know the Truth and it will set you free. NOR
Ye shall pray to God that the Truth will set you free.
No, he very clearly and quite emphatically said:
"Ye shall KNOW the Truth and the Truth shall set you free!"
Emerson says: "There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word."b
Erik Butterworth wrote: "We need to expand our thought of God to a real awareness of omnipresence, to know that the whole of Spirit is present in its entirety at every point in space at the same time. There is no distance between God and man. There is nowhere to go to get guidance. We are in it all the time."c
This morning, I want us to spend a few minutes looking at the idea of the Wisdom of Knowingness. And I want to look at:
What is knowing?
What knowing will set us free?
How can we know?
1. WHAT IS "KNOWING?"
1. What is "Knowing?"
The first issue to explore -- or the first question to ask -- is "what exactly is 'knowing?'" OR what is "embodying."
And I wanted to put some qualities or descriptors to the idea of knowing, so I started thinking about things I know -- absolutely know. Quickly, off the top of my head came:
I know that when I take a breath I will have air to breathe.
I know that when I look at a page of English words, I can read it.
I know that when I get in a car, I can drive it and when I hop on a bicycle, I can ride it -- even though I haven't done the latter in many, many years.
I know that the sun will go down this evening and will rise tomorrow morning.
These are some things I know. And on a moment's notice, you too could list 6 or 7 things that you KNOW. All your "knowings" and all of my "knowings" have some common qualities:
1. They are part of our very beingness -- We really don't give any of them a second thought. [How many of you give conscious thought to whether air will be available for you to breathe?]
2. We don't doubt or question our knowings. [How many doubt the sun will rise tomorrow?]
3. These knowings remain with us whether we're having a good day or a bad day. Whether we're in crisis or celebration, these knowings don't leave us. [How many think their ability to drive a car or ride a bicycle will leave them because they had a fight with their spouse, or the money is running really tight?]
4. We don't need to look for proof or confirmation that these knowings are true. [How many of you said to yourself this morning after reading the newspaper -- See, there! I can read!!]
So, perhaps we could say that there is a 4-point test of a "knowing":
When we know something, we don't think about it because it is a part of our being;
When we know something, we don't doubt or question it;
When we know something, it remains with us regardless of circumstances; and
When we know something, we have no need to look for proof that it is true.
Could we all come to agreement on those test items?
2. WHAT SHALL I KNOW?
2. What Shall I Know?
So, what is it we shall know (using our 4-point test) that will serve us in the development of our Spiritual Beingness (that we talked about last week) and will move us individually and collectively to higher levels of expression?
I think right now we know a lot of things that don't serve in the development of our Spiritual Beingness.
We know that times are tough.
We know that there are a lot of things to fear.
We know that the coronavirus kills.
We know the body deteriorates as it ages.
We know that we're not really good enough to make much of ourselves.
We know that life is full of lessons and those lessons are hard.
We know you must compete to get ahead.
And on and on!
What if we knew some other things? What if we knew (using our 4-point test) Spiritual Truths? -- Remember, ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free!
What if you knew just a few of the Universal Principlesd that are embodied in this teaching called Unity? In 1921, Charles Fillmore published "Unity's Statement of Faith" in the Unity Magazine. It contained 31 Truth statements. I want to look at just a few of them and I invite you to assess where you are with it in terms of our 4-point test of knowing -- which is:
We don't think about it because it is a part of our being;
We don't doubt or question it;
It remains with us regardless of circumstances; and
We have no need to look for proof that it is true.
A. The first one is:"We believe that we live, move, and have our being in God-Mind; also that God-Mind lives, moves, and has it being in us, to the degree of our consciousness."
Do you KNOW that the highest God and the innermost God is one God?
Let me give you a modern parable: One day, a man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of barnyard hens. The eagle hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle did what the barnyard chickens did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken.
He scratched the earth for worms and insects and chicken feed. He clucked and cackled. He thrashed his wings awkwardly and flew only a few feet in the air before coming clumsily back down to the ground - because that's what chickens did.
Years passed and the eagle, living like a chicken, grew very old. One day, he noticed something soaring gracefully and beautifully in the sky. It was a magnificent bird gliding majestically among powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. "What is that?" he asked. "That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbor. "He can soar; he belongs to the sky; he is free. We, we aren't like that. We're just chickens - we belong to the earth."
So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that is what he thought he was.e
The line from the movie Seabiscuit: "He just needs to learn how to be a horse again."
We have been told we are many things, but how often does someone tell you that you are One with the highest God? Well, when you come here, you get told that -- but you most likely didn't grow up hearing that and you probably don't hear that out and about in your daily life.
So, chances might be fairly good that you don't KNOW that. But that is a Truth -- and knowing it will set you free!
B. "We believe that Divine Intelligence is present in every atom of man and matter, and that the "more abundant life" promised by Jesus is flooding the world and quickening the minds and bodies of men everywhere."
You have absolute direct access to Truth and guidance. That which you know empowers you. Louise Hay was once on a call-in show and was asked by a listener if she ever considered traditional approaches to treating her cancer several years earlier. Louise gave an answer that illustrates the empowering nature of knowing you have an intuitive nature. She said:
I knew in my heart that I could not allow them to radiate me or put chemicals into me or cut me . . . I just knew that this could not be my method for dealing with this cancer. My knowing led me to other alternatives, which I have written about, and ultimately to the eradication of the cancer from my body. I am not disparaging any other form of treatment; I just knew inwardly that I couldn't go in that direction.
C. I'm going to put three together here: "We believe in the creative power of thoughts and words, that they do accomplish that whereunto they are sent, and that all men are held accountable for their lightest words." "We believe that the prayer of faith shall save the sick, resurrect the body from "trespasses and sins," and finally overcome the last enemy, death." "We believe that the original "authority and dominion" given to man was over his own thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions, and that in the lawful exercise of this authority he will harmonize all discords within and without, and restore the kingdom of God in the earth."
From the movie, Seabiscuit -- the Jockey had a knowing - a knowing that defied vets and doctors!
H. Emilie Cady Finding The Christ in Ourselves: "We are projections of the Invisible Presence into visibility. God made man one with the Father, even as Jesus was; and just in proportion as we recognize this and claim our birthright, the Father in us will be manifested to the world."f
We fail the knowing test on this one all the time -- we look for proof!
D. And finally, We believe in the supremacy and the eternity of the Good, as the one and only reality of man and of all things visible and invisible.
There is a Celtic folk story of a little old woman who lived on the edge of a forest. She lived by selling firewood. And she believed in God. One day, an excited man came rushing up to her tiny hut. Throwing open her door, he cried out, "The king is ruining us. He's cutting down the forest; we'll have no wood."
The little old woman cast on him a look of dignified tolerance and deliberately walked to the wood box and took a large stick and threw it on the fire. Then she turned to the man and said, "I know God came before the King. And it is likely that he will be here afterward."
If we KNOW that God's goodness, loving-kindness and givingness of life comes before things of the world and are likely to be here afterward, then we are pretty well on our road to freedom.
3. HOW DO I MOVE TO KNOWING?
3. How do I Move to Knowing?
How can we move to knowing:
that the highest God and the innermost God is one God?
That we have an intuitive nature that reveals Truth to us?
That God operates through an infallible, "always says yes" Law; and that we activate this Law in our lives through our thoughts.
That the sick can be healed through the power of this Law and that conditions can be controlled through the power of this Law?
and finally, That there is eternal Goodness, eternal Loving-kindness, and an eternal Givingness of Life to all?
We have to start exactly where we are and build on it. Leave yourself reminders - like post-its on your mirror.
The way to work is to begin right where we are and, through constantly applying ourselves to the Truth, we gradually increase in wisdom and understanding.
I want to leave you with this prayer:
Mother/Father/God, I know that you are with me, always. You have brought me this far and I know that you oversee me in all my ways. Heaven is where I am, and Love fills my environment. God-Power is in action through me and I accomplish all things with ease. I am as certain of these truths as I am of life itself. There is no doubt or questions in my mind. I KNOW a perfect God, a complete Mind, and a definite Law. I do not go to It, for I am already in It. I do not seek It, for I already have all that God is and can ever be.
I now demonstrate my faith as I dedicate my thought to true and positive ideas. I concentrate my feelings on Divine Love and Divine Understanding. I face the future with joy, as I see my life unfolding in perfect order. The future is good, and I now have health, peace of mind, and security.
My universe is alive with good and I know that I am upheld and maintained by God, and by God alone. I know that my thought demonstrates instantly the desires of my heart. I have faith in all that is good and true. I have faith in a protecting Presence and an indwelling Power. Today, I rejoice and am glad.
Let us say together: Today I know these Truths and today I am set free! And so it is. Amen.
bRalph Waldo Emerson
dUNITY'S STATEMENT OF FAITH Charles Fillmore, Extracted from Unity Magazine, April 1921
eChicken Soup for the Soul, Volume 4, p. 250
fH. Emilie Cady Finding The Christ in Ourselves