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Sunday Message for May 29, 2022


Today and throughout June we will be talking about the Power of Imagination. Imagination is one of the faculties that God has created within you. It is represented by the color 'light blue' and by the disciple Nathanael Bartholemew.

So what we want to learn and practice this week is what the poets talk about - our ability to picture or visualize ideas in our minds. We need to use this power of imagination carefully and responsibly in shaping a self-image, home, body, career, relationship, and worldview.

So; let's explore the tremendous ability or power with which we have been gifted that we call our "imagination."

James Allen wrote this poem called "As A Man Thinketh"
Mind is the Master-power that molds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills,
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking glass.a

We start from the principle and premise that we are already "the image of God." We are to express and manifest this divine image of us held in the mind of God. It is not a matter of making up long lists of what I want to have and then using mental science (name it and claim it) to get them. We are working with spiritual science in the Christ consciousness to demonstrate the higher, more abundant and peaceful world.

If we truly knew and believed the Truth of ourselves, that we are the image of God; we would be manifesting peace in this world.

(2 Corinthians 3:18) "And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit."b

Because what we know; we create. But we have forgotten the Truth of ourselves, and we picture ourselves as less than perfect - and therefore we create a less than perfect world. Our world, our body, our relationships, our finances are all a mirror of our mind. We imagined it, and believed in it, and we created it.

If this is not good news, then it's time we used our imagination in a different way.

Imagination is our ability to form thoughts and images - it is our picturing ability. Charles Fillmore said: "Faith is the perceiving power of mind linked with a power [imagination] to shape and mold substance."c Substance is the "body of God," mind essence, energy, spiritual raw material out of which all visible and invisible is composed in an "Einsteinian" universe where all is energy, existing at various rates of vibration.

Whatever we can imagine is the mold into which God substance flows and congeals into physical form - in just the shape and color that we have imagined.

We can pour water into bottles of various shapes and colors to help illustrate how this works. The bottles are like our imagination that shapes and molds the "substance" of the water.

If we pour water into a round, blue bottle; the water conforms to the round shape and appears to be blue. If we pour water into a red bottle; the water appears to be red and conforms to whatever shape that bottle may be.

Substance takes on the shape or pattern or "self-image" or "mind-set" into which it flows. Your life experience is formed out of your "self-image" - not the other way around. If you are convinced that life is hard and that you always get the bad breaks - then that is exactly what you will get to have. If, on the other hand, you think that life is a joyful experience, then you will get to have that.

We don't start being a shaper of Divine Energy now that we know about it. Rather, we are always doing the shaping. We are always the shaper of our life, home, career, business, school, marriage, face, body, consciousness, recovery, and world. We draw upon or mediate the God Energy and mold it by our power of imagination. We image, visualize, form, make up, claim, conceive, dream, picture, and feel. It is "seeing with our mind's eye." Imagination combines closely with our faith power to bring forth into the three-dimensional realm of our life what we look for (perceive) and believe. Whatever we perceive and conceive and believe in, we can achieve.

But the Important point is: Achieve what? The other Powers (wisdom, order, love, life) are extremely necessary in this creative process to guide what we choose to make and become. A person could perceive that drug deals make a lot of quick money, and he has the ability to do that. He can conceive "I can be the biggest dealer of drugs in the city, and I believe it" = achievement of that goal. Any goal has the possibility of being achieved, but that is not spiritual growth and accomplishment. It is just goal achieving, which may have nothing whatsoever to do with Christ consciousness and spiritual development. Make sure your desires, goals, and motivations are guided by wisdom, love, life, order and all the other spiritual powers. - or you might get off on the wrong road like these three:

In 1665 a man named Solomon Eccles was jailed in London's Bridewell Prison for striding through Smithfield Market stark naked, carrying a pan of blazing sulfur on his head, and prophesying doom and destruction.

Solomon's imagination may have been a little out of whack.

Then in 1874 Charles Taze Russell, founder of the sect that became Jehovah's Witnesses, concluded that the Second Coming had already taken place. He declared that people had 40 years, or until 1914, to enter his faith or be destroyed. Later he modified the date to "very soon after 1914."

Over the years many other date-setters have come along. Each one has been wrong. It makes me think of a minister in Germany named Michael Stiftell. Based on his study of Revelation, Stiftell proclaimed that the world would end on October 18, 1533. When it didn't happen, Stiftell was given a thrashing by the townspeople. Not a bad idea.

So make sure you are guided by ALL your spiritual powers.

Unity calls our faculty of imagination, our "mental scissors." This is how we "cut out" from the Universal substance or energy the shapes and form of "my life," "my body," "my manifestations."

To get your mental scissors in shape, you might try using your physical scissors to make a treasure map on paper. Just cut out pictures and words from magazines that are representative of the life you want to create. It will help you to focus your imagining ability in the right direction.

The disciple Nathanael Bartholomew portrays the power of Imagination. Suné Richards writes, "The quality of imagination represented in Bartholomew was the divine 'imaging' quality of creativeness through which spiritual ideas are made manifest. When Philip found Nathanael sitting under the fig tree, and told him he had found the Messiah, Nathanael's first reply was: 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Nathanael was one of the first six men chosen as a disciple by Jesus, who recognized him as a man of vision and imagination. Philip bade him, 'Come and see,' and when he had come to Christ, and was convinced, he declared 'Thou art the Son of God; thou art King of Israel.'"d

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, Jesus said, "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael was surprised that this man knew what was in his heart and asked, "Where did you get to know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you."

A fig tree grows to a height of 15 - 20 feet and the spread of its thick branches can be 25 - 30 feet. Commonly the fig tree grows overshadowing wells so that there is shade and water in the one place. Often it was the shade of the fig tree which was a man's private room for meditation and prayer; and that is why Nathanael was amazed that Jesus had marked him under the fig tree. Nathanael knew that Jesus had not physically seen him hidden by the tree - but had used another type of sight.

So Nathanael came; and Jesus could see into his heart. "Here," said Jesus, "is a genuine Israelite, a man in whose heart there is no guile." That was a tribute that any devout Israelite would recognize.

(Psalms 32:2) "Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit."e (Isaiah 53:9) "... he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth."f

Nathanael was surprised that anyone could give a verdict like that on so short an acquaintance, and he demanded how Jesus could possibly know him. Jesus told him that he had already seen him under the fig-tree. No doubt Nathanael had been meditating and praying under the fig tree. And now he felt that Jesus had seen into the very depths of his heart.

Nathanael probably said to himself: "Here is the man who understands my dreams! Here is the man who knows my prayers! Here is the man who has seen into my most intimate and secret longings, longings which I have never even dared put into words! Here is the man who can translate the inarticulate sigh of my soul! This must be God's promised anointed one and no other."

It may be that Jesus smiled. He quoted the old story of Jacob at Bethel who had seen the golden ladder leading up to heaven and said, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these." And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man"

So use your imagination to take you One Step Further in life:

Do more than existLIVE
Do more than touchFEEL
Do more than lookOBSERVE
Do more than hearLISTEN
Do more than listenUNDERSTAND
Do more than thinkREFLECT
Do more than just talkSAY SOMETHING

So, let's end with a meditation. Just get comfortable in your seat, concentrate on your breath, and let your body relax. Don't force it, just let your lungs breathe for you.

Now concentrate on something you have dreamed of having, whether that is world peace or a new set of towels. Nothing is too big or too small for God.

Picture it in your mind. Believe in it. Enhance the color. Notice how it feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and how it looks. See every minute detail of your dream.

Now picture yourself having it. Believe that you have it. You've created it and it is yours. What do you feel like now that your dream has come true? Let that feeling encompass your being and just sit with that for a moment.

I want you to take that feeling with you as you go about your business this week. Just pause now and then and remember what it felt like to have your dream come true.

Now that you have your dream, let's go into gratitude. Thank you, God, for implanting this dream in me and seeing it joyfully manifest in my life. Thank you God. Amen

aJames Allen "As A Man Thinketh"
b2 Corinthians 3:18
cCharles Fillmore
dSuné Richards
ePsalms 32:2
fIsaiah 53:9

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