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Antecedents of New Thought by Eric Butterworth

Lecture 8 - Emmet Fox and Ernest Holmes

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Audio

The Five M's of Religion: MAN MESSAGE MOVEMENT MACHINE MONUMENT

There is a professor of religion at the University of Southern California that cites the "Five M's of Religion." He says that all religions begin with what Emerson would call a "first hand and immediate experience of God." Somebody had an awareness, somebody had perhaps a mystical experience, somebody was moving along for his quest for truth and suddenly the light over the head, "ahh ... I have it!". Somebody had that awareness, whether it was a flash or a progressive thing, whether it was a mystical experience, whether it was an intellectual growth or unfoldment or whatever; but someone had that kind of experience. That was the man, or the woman.

So the man or the person out of this experience ... the man develops a message, he finds a way to articulate it ... by starting classes and groups he began to teach people.

In time, usually inadvertently, there is a movement created, usually by the followers... So they create a movement.

In time the movement begins to gradually crystalize and become much more rigid, especially after the man passes on. Then out of what is essentially fear something very striking happens. That is the movement very quickly goes through the transformation into a machine. In other words there are those who say "let's not rock the boat, let's keep it going exactly like it was." So there is a tendency to codify the words of the man to create a doctrine and people coming into this particular movement are indoctrinated with these words.

So this machine moves on and it can't change. It has built within itself a kind of inertia and all the safeguards to keep it from ever getting out of that initial pattern until we eventually have nothing left but the monument, the monument to the man. And we see that in its most extreme form in the jungles of Cambodia where you find these great temples which are great works of art ... but nobody seems to know why they were ever built and what kind of religions were taught there. They are monuments to some person that nobody seems to know about.

And this professor of religion seems to feel that this is already happening by evidence of many of the great cathedrals of Europe that have long since lost any viability as teaching institutions. They are just great monuments; monuments to the Christ and to the religion that came out of the teaching of this person, out of his first hand and immediate experience.

Transcript

The transcript for this talk has been completed. It should be available here in the next few weeks (December 2016).