The Power of Awareness
POWER OF ASSUMPTION
MAN'S CHIEF delusion is his conviction that there are causes other than his own state of consciousness.
All that befalls a man – all that is done by him, all that comes from him – happens as a result of his state of consciousness.
A man's consciousness is all that he thinks and desires and loves, all that he believes is true and consents to. That is why a change of consciousness is necessary before you can change your outer world.
Rain falls as a result of a change in the temperature in the higher regions of the atmosphere, so, in like manner, a change of circumstance happens as a result of a change in your state of consciousness.
Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. [Romans 12:2]
To be transformed, the whole basis of your thoughts must change. But your thoughts cannot change unless you have new ideas, for you think from your ideas.
All transformation begins with an intense, burning desire to be transformed.
The first step in the "renewing of the mind" is desire.
You must want to be different [and intend to be] before you can begin to change yourself.
Then you must make your future dream a present fact. You do this by assuming the feeling of your wish fulfilled. By desiring to be other than what you are, you can create an ideal of the person you want to be and assume that you are already that person. If this assumption is persisted in until it becomes your dominant feeling, the attainment of your ideal is inevitable.
The ideal you hope to achieve is always ready for an incarnation, but unless you yourself offer it human parentage, it is incapable of birth.
Therefore, your attitude should be one in which having desired to express a higher state – you alone accept the task of incarnating this new and greater value of yourself.
In giving birth to your ideal, you must bear in mind that the methods of mental and spiritual knowledge are entirely different.
This is a point that is truly understood by probably not more than one person in a million.
You know a thing mentally by looking at it from the outside, by comparing it with other things, by analyzing it and defining it [by thinking of it]; whereas you can know a thing spiritually only by becoming it [only by thinking from it].
You must be the thing itself and not merely talk about it or look at it.
You must be like the moth in search of his idol, the flame, who spurred with true desire, plunging at once into the sacred fire, folded his wings within, till he became one color and one substance with the flame.
He only knew the flame who in it burned,
and only he could tell who ne'er to tell returned.
["Bird Parliament", by Farid ud-Din Attar, tr. by Edward FitzGerald (1889), apud William Ralph Inge, "Faith: Personal Religion and the Life of Devotion"]
Just as the moth in his desire to know the flame was willing to destroy himself, so must you in becoming a new person be willing to die to your present self.
You must be conscious of being healthy if you are to know what health is. You must be conscious of being secure if you are to know what security is.
Therefore, to incarnate a new and greater value of yourself, you must assume that you already are what you want to be and then live by faith in this assumption – which is not yet incarnate in the body of your life – in confidence that this new value or state of consciousness will become incarnated through your absolute fidelity to the assumption that you are that which you desire to be.
This is what wholeness means, what integrity means. They mean submission of the whole self to the feeling of the wish fulfilled in certainty that that new state of consciousness is the renewing of mind which transforms.
There is no order in Nature corresponding to this willing submission of the self to the ideal beyond the self.
Therefore, it is the height of folly to expect the incarnation of a new and greater concept of self to come about by natural evolutionary process.
That which requires a state of consciousness to produce its effect obviously cannot be effected without such a state of consciousness, and in your ability to assume the feeling of a greater life, to assume a new concept of yourself, you possess what the rest of Nature does not possess – imagination – the instrument by which you create your world.
Your imagination is the instrument, the means, whereby your redemption from slavery, sickness, and poverty is effected.
If you refuse to assume the responsibility of the incarnation of a new and higher concept of yourself, then you reject the means, the only means, whereby your redemption – that is, the attainment of your ideal – can be effected.
Imagination is the only redemptive power in the universe.
However, your nature is such that it is optional to you whether you remain in your present concept of yourself (a hungry being longing for freedom, health, and security) or choose to become the instrument of your own redemption, imagining yourself as that which you want to be, and thereby satisfying your hunger and redeeming yourself.
O, be strong then, and brave,
pure, patient and true;
The work that is yours let no
other hand do.
For the strength for all need is
From the fountain within you –
The Kingdom of Heaven.