Rosicrucian Writings Online
What is the Measure of Your Faith?By Dr. Arthur B. Bell, F.R.C.
[From The Rosicrucian Digest May 1931]
Every action of which we can be conscious, proceeds from the operation of Law, ceaselessly active in all of our affairs. They function in accordance with the manner in which we actuate them and each one will yield results which accurately correspond with the nature, character and intensity of the thought or thoughts which set them in motion. The truth of this statement is quite evident to us in specific instances where a thorough understanding of certain Laws is concerned which relates to our most common necessities.
There are many branches of mathematics and we come to know that the fundamental rules which govern in each department are somewhat at variance with each other. We are well aware, for instance, that a problem in division cannot be solved if we attempt to use the Principles which relate to multiplication. We know, too, that an automobile will not move forward if we shift into reverse gear. There are innumerable Laws with which we become well acquainted through sheer necessity and because we fully inform ourselves concerning their demands, we encounter no difficulty in attaining precisely the kind of response desired.
However, as we approach the mental realm and leave behind us somewhat the specifically material field of thought and action, we somehow overlook the facts of existence which we have learned so well and which serve us adequately in so many ways, and incline ourselves to doubt and uncertainty if not to the entire dismissal of all beliefs in the continuity of the operation of Law as we begin to search into the more purely mental phases of life. It is due to this reason that the higher purposes and uses of mind remain a complete mystery. If we remain in our doubts, we merely preclude investigation and proof and attain to no assurance and thus remain without capacity to intelligently demonstrate or duplicate the results which accrue to those who enter boldly and confidently into these higher aspects of comprehension.
The Master Jesus made this statement: "He who has faith the size of a grain of mustard, shall remove mountains." Paul helped us to gain an understanding of "faith" when he said, "Faith without works, is dead." If we change this statement a bit, perhaps it will throw some further light upon the meaning he really intended to convey, so let us put the matter in this wise: "Faith without use or application cannot prove anything and is, therefore, without value."
To merely believe that a given statement is true avails but little, for we cannot really KNOW until we have put the statement to test, and this is the only manner in which it is possible to PROVE our belief or faith. Our path in life is much cluttered up with many problems and these are the "mountains" which may be removed if we will seriously and sincerely enter into "works" or active effort. To believe only, does not, therefore, fulfill the provisions or requirements of Faith. Belief is but knowledge intellectually apprehended, but while this is a step in the right direction, it is not enough for it is merely the key in the lock and it yet remains for us to turn the key that the door may be opened, permitting our entry.
If the question is asked: "Do you believe that God is Supreme Intelligence, from which all things proceed, and that He is able to do all things?" an affirmative answer would be given without hesitation, for most all of us are firmly convinced that God is Supreme and that all things are possible unto Him. We may have proven our belief in some ways but in others we may be woefully remiss and even unaware of our deficiencies. It is even as though we did not realize the power and capacity inherent within the mind. To be unconscious of our mental capacities, automatically places very definite limitations upon them.
Now many simple experiments are given to you from week to week in order that the Principles involved may be personally tested in actual application for this is the only true way wherein we may enlarge our understanding and convert the knowledge given us into knowing or wisdom. When we have proven to ourselves that the knowledge presented is true, then we have fortified our faith and have thereby become better prepared to undertake and master many other and more important experiments which shall be offered in due time as we pass on from grade to grade.
Unfortunately, a few of our members do not realize that their growth and development depends very largely upon careful and conscientious attention to these experiments. To merely read the lectures, accept the statements made as true without carefully testing them in practice, may hardly be expected to lead one beyond an intellectual apprehension which represents but a single step and cannot by any means be relied upon to achieve the much sought goal. We may even say that such a process represents blind faith, which, because it is unproven, is without special value or profit, for instead of evolving the consciousness to higher levels, it rather tends to expand those wholly material qualities of vanity and pride which contribute nothing whatever to the spiritual phase of life.
Self development or mastery does not come about through the acceptance of statements made by another but through the application of such statements self-applied. We do not think of asking others to eat our food that our bodies may be sustained, for we know that this would be a silly request. We must do our own experimenting, our own thinking, and our own analyzing if we expect to profit from the invaluable knowledge which is given us in an endless stream. We are anxious that each member should advance and we strive to present all of the facts and rules which can be conceived of in order that the desired progress can be made a reality. That is our part. Yours is to use this knowledge, for you cannot attain to demonstration in any other way.
Let us endeavor to discover, if possible, just where and how we are at fault in failing to support our faith when we come to deal with the conditions we wish to change. We know that love is the greatest and most powerful force in the universe and we should know that we cannot expect it to respond to us unless we attune our minds thereto. If we permit ourselves to dwell upon thoughts of hatred, resentment, bitterness, or any one or more of the various shades of hatred, we are by no means attuned with love but to the attributes which are in opposition to it. We may enter into fervent prayer and assure the Father of our love and devotion but unless we prove our words with works, or thoughts, which correspond with our protestations, we have accomplished nothing.
If our words are to be proven, we must abandon our thoughts of hatred of whatever form we may be indulging in for we may not expect to attune with one and receive that which is contained within the other. Hatred and its many variations, represents a given state of consciousness and when we have associated ourselves with the channel in which it flows, we shall unerringly receive that which it contains and nothing else. If we attune to a consciousness of fear and worry we shall likewise receive therefrom those manifestations which exactly correspond with that state and surely we ought to know in advance that these conditions will not be advantageous nor profitable. We know that these two qualities destroy or, to put it better, shut off the inflow of peace and happiness. Then, why should we permit these imposters to trouble us? We can avoid it by refusing them admittance into our sanctuary.
A little thought on the matter will easily convince us that any destructive quality, no matter what it may be, will contribute nothing whatever of advantage to our well being but, on the other hand, we know that entrance into them frequently leads to both physical and mental disturbances and an unbalancing of the whole circulatory system which is very finely and delicately adjusted. When dealing with fear and worry, it is of little consequence what the object of our fears and worries may be. The fact that we are indulging in them is the important matter to be considered.
Let us have a brief illustration of just what action may proceed from the many states of consciousness with which we identify ourselves. Three faucets are before us from which may be drawn at will, hot, cold, and ice-cold water. Whichever faucet is turned, will give forth to us that which it contains. We will now place a label over each one of the outlets. Over the hot water tap our label will read "COMPLETE, PERFECT FAITH." Over the next, "VERY LIMITED FAITH," and over the ice-water tap, "FEAR AND WORRY." Now if we wish to choose that which will be the most useful and profitable, we shall have no difficulty whatever in making our selection for we can see clearly just what to do to gain the end we have in view and will make no mistakes. The whole procedure has been reduced to automatic action and this is precisely the way all Laws work when they are completely understood and their provisions complied with. We know full well that Perfect Faith contains nothing of fear or worry for in perfect faith these qualities have no existence. So, in making our choice, we are already aware that we shall derive peace and happiness and nothing which can, by any means, be destructive.
This example is designed to show that each state of mind we entertain, corresponds exactly with the class of results which agree with it in nature and character. You cannot identify your mind with predominating thoughts of fear and worry and expect peace and happiness to flow forth from this attunement. The thoughts and results do not agree with each other. You would not expect to receive hot water if you turned on the ice-water faucet. Fear and worry correspond in their vibratory nature with results or conditions which are below the level of the normal state of physical well-being and so that flows in which belongs to that lowered phase of expression. Anger, hatred, and all other destructive qualities, no matter what their name or nature may be, act in exactly the same manner as indicated above.
It is our privilege to choose the kind of thoughts we shall think whether they be right or wrong--advantageous or unprofitable, but we cannot under any circumstances escape the action which will flow from them whether it be acceptable or not. In other words, our thoughts automatically attune us with conditions which they represent and not something else. We shall receive from the faucet we turn on just what it contains. If our faith is limited, our results shall be likewise. And so it is with each state of consciousness with which we deal for we may receive from it only that which is in harmony with it.
It will be illuminating to examine a bit further into the added meaning of the two attributes we have been considering and see how they relate themselves to the subject of our discussion, faith. We will take the case of one who is out of employment, with finances perilously low. An effort has been made to secure work but without avail. Fear and worry have entered into partnership with the seeker and accompany him everywhere he goes, constantly whispering, "There's no use--you can't find a job for there are none to be had. If you are not careful you are going to starve, etc., etc." Could you find a more disturbing, depressing, and distressing atmosphere to be in? That in itself is quite sufficient to defeat one's purpose.
Presently a petition is sent in for help and the act itself acts like a tonic, but fear and worry again whisper, "Do you think any good can possibly come of this?" It might be fitting to say at this point that we hope none of our members are of the opinion that when a request for assistance has been sent in to headquarters that nothing further need be done by them, for such is by no means the case. When Cosmic aid is asked, it becomes absolutely necessary for the petitioner who expects to be benefitted to place himself or herself in close attunement with the work which is to be done.
The Cosmic does not expect to find that those who have sought aid have ceased to make any further effort or have become completely inactive, for such a state is at variance with the laws which are being actuated. One may hardly expect that the Cosmic will oblige some employer to set out in search of the one asking aid in order that he may offer the needed position. To become mentally alert and definitely active in your quest, becomes your part in the transaction, for in this manner will you be proving your faith and making yourself worthy of the blessing you seek. You may not always receive just the kind of work you most desire, but if you will thankfully accept that which comes through following all requirements, you will find presently that more favorable conditions will develop.
Now let us return to the question of faith. You believe implicitly in God and His power to accomplish all things, but are you proving it? If you are allowing fear and worry or any other destructive qualities to dominate you, this in itself is sufficient proof that there is something radically wrong with your interpretation of faith. You believe that God is Supreme and that He sees and knows all. If this is true, then He is well aware of the fear and worry with which you are concerning yourself and thus He knows that your protestations of faith in Him are but so many words and that they condemn themselves. In fact, He sees and knows that you are entirely lacking in actual faith and that you have attuned yourself with another channel of consciousness than the one through which the desired result may flow. You have turned on the ice-water faucet when you should have used the one serving hot water.
If the Cosmic is supreme and possessed of unlimited intelligence and resources, we may not expect to mislead this beneficent and gracious power. Perhaps we have not thought of the matter in this way before, due largely to the fact that we have not analyzed the subject as closely as it now seems necessary to do. There can be no doubt in our minds that faith and fear cannot occupy the same channel of thought by any means for the reason that they are entirely unlike in every sense and are in opposition to each other.
If we are to achieve useful results from our Cosmic petitions, it will be absolutely necessary to attune ourselves with the conditions desired rather than those which are unwanted. To rid ourselves of undesirable qualities is not always an easy matter, but as the rules of procedure are known and applied, it can be accomplished in due time. Of one thing we may be sure and that is that unless an effort is made, no results of any kind will become possible. If we find ourselves weighted down with many inharmonies, we will do well to make a general survey of our mental attitudes, for as we detect those which are unprofitable and come into a realization of their true value, we shall find it possible to deal with them in an exact way.
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