Hints of the Spiritual

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Peter V. Ross

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You speak rather doubtingly about consciousness as a name for man; and when I suggest intelligence as another good name, you are not quite sure about it. Well, you would hardly care to be referred to as nonintelligence or even as unconsciousness. Really, if you reflect a moment, you satisfy yourself that those two words, intelligence and consciousness, are tremendous in their signification.

When one thinks of himself in terms of thought rather than of physicality, he walks the broad highway of the animate, the enduring, the substantial. It is when one thinks on materiality and mortality, with their limitation and impermanence, that one is likely to lose hope and wonder what is going to become of him.

We all think; we are all conscious. In fact thinking is perpetual motion. Who can stop either his own or others‟ thinking? To think is to live; and to be conscious is to be aware of life. The sum total of your thoughts constitutes your entity, and the sum total of your thoughts comes pretty close to being consciousness, does it not? It is you.

 

“To think is to live; and to be conscious is to be aware of life.”

Peter V. Ross

Intelligence and consciousness enjoy a security that promotes confidence. Theirs is that place of refuge known as “under the shadow of the Almighty.” Dangers and enemies, whether in the form of disease or of violence, cannot touch intelligence. It is invulnerable and unassailable. It represents spiritual man, that is, it represents you in genuine form, color, structure, and function.

Intelligence and consciousness enjoy a security that promotes confidence. Theirs is that place of refuge known as “under the shadow of the Almighty.” Dangers and enemies, whether in the form of disease or of violence, cannot touch intelligence. It is invulnerable and unassailable. It represents spiritual man, that is, it represents you in genuine form, color, structure, and function.

Your Servants, the Body and Intellect

But man, as we appraise him in everyday affairs, is in need of some means or instrument of contact with the world about. Hence it is, we may say, that consciousness evolves a body; and an intellect too, for that matter. Consciousness commands both body and intellect and depends upon them to get its work done. The heavier work is assigned to the body. It becomes one‟s chore boy so to speak. While to the intellect, of finer mold than the body, is assigned the lighter jobs, and it becomes the secretary.

Through the intellect and through the body, then, consciousness carries on. Intellect and body do not remain the same from year to year, or even from hour to hour. They are in a state of flux, since consciousness is reconstructing and reconditioning them pretty constantly, shaping them for better or for worse according to the mood.

You may recall that I have, on occasion, compared the body to a lead pencil. The pencil is not you, but it is yours. You keep on the outside and grip it in your hand. You do not crawl into it. If you did you would lose control of the implement. So it is with the body. If you are wise you do not crawl into it. Rather you maintain the vantage point of aloofness. Then you can direct it and enjoin good behavior; you master it instead of permitting it to master you. 

 

“Few people seem to recognize that we look right at the spiritual and perfect man, and, comprehending him not, reckon him a plain ordinary mortal.”

You can carry this simile to the intellect, as well, and keep it under control, instead of permitting its smartness to confound you. Consciousness, you have already suspected, is pretty much the same as soul. It is the modern substitute for that significant word. It ranks above intellect and body and can make them its servants.

Now, as we have so many times agreed, there is no definite line of demarcation between what we call body and what we call consciousness. They are one, and consciousness is the one, body being the part thereof which is cognizable to the five senses. It is the part we can put our hands on. The interior niceties of morale are not sensible to physical touch.

The body necessarily improves or declines as consciousness rises or falls. When mood soars, as in the case of a baseball player who steps to the plate to hit a home run at a critical stage of the game, consciousness lifts the body to such heights of precision and speed that a close observer would gain a glimpse of spiritual man. He is always present.

The Everpresent Reality

One who heals disease, or lifts people over other hurdles, is one who can see the spiritual and only man where the supposed suffering or troubled man appears. When he views this perfection, suffering people, by absorption or reflection, get to see themselves as he sees them, to find that they are poised and well.

What we call matter is at most an understatement of Mind, do you not suspect? So the man we call a material mortal is not a man at all; he is an understatement of man, which passes from thought as mood rises in its outlook. Jesus, whose life affords so many of the answers, used to refer to himself as the son of God or the son of man, according to his mood.

If the camera could adequately picture a pilot bailing out, we would understand how it is that he lands safely and escapes the flying missiles on his way down. Why his immunity to danger? In those critical moments he has put from thought the vulnerabilities known as mortality and materiality and put on the whole armor of Mind or Spirit.

Maybe you have had the experience of going through a highway collision, and immediately thereafter finding yourself unscathed. “Miraculous!” you exclaimed. The fact is that in that awful moment you attained the stature of spiritual man, against whom there is no law of accident or destruction.

Few people seem to recognize that we look right at the spiritual and perfect man, and, comprehending him not, reckon him a plain ordinary mortal.

 

I have in mind an incident related by an army Colonel. A boy in his regiment seemed of little account. He had been brought up by his parents to believe that he was a weakling. The Colonel, accosting the boy each morning, “How are you today, young man?” each time received the unvarying reply, “Very well, sir, but you know I never was very strong.”

One day the regiment was crouching in a trench facing a field of high grain wherein lurked the enemy. The Colonel saw that boy (no one had told him to do it) crawl up over the top, disappear into the waving grain, and presently return with three or four prisoners. After taking them to the rear, he returned and duplicated the adventure.

What happened? The boy found himself, for an hour at least. No longer was anything impossible. Fear was gone. Danger banished. Whenever you see a man in the apparent form of infirmity of body or of character, you may be assured that back of that appearance towers a man in the full power and permanence of Spirit. There is no remoteness to reality. It stares us in the face at every turn. We see it, in part—see it in the tiniest as well as in the mightiest phenomenon, because to the eye that is single the small and the great are one.

When you look at yourself from within you see mentality. A bystander, looking at you from without, sees body. What we call soul and body then are different aspects of the same entity. Both are mental; both are carved out, by different techniques, from the same indivisible whole.

Says Alexis Carrel: “We do not apprehend man as a whole. We know him as composed of distinct parts. And even these parts are created by our methods (of observation) . Each of us is made up of a procession of phantoms, in the midst of which strides an unknown reality.”

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