Chapter V: The Initial Step Toward Redemption

Chapter V: The Initial Step Toward Redemption
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Genesis 12-14 Spiritually Interpreted

What do we mean by going into a new "country"? What is the first step in this process?

ACCORDING to Jesus, when a man turns toward a new country, a new state of consciousness, he must quicken his faith. Formerly he has had faith in material processes; he has attached himself to material things. Thus Abraham long lived in the sense world or consciousness, represented by Sodom and Gomorrah. His higher ideal, Jehovah, urged him to flee from that world and not to move back but to detach his mind from the things of sense and turn his face toward the light. This new land that the Lord desired him to go to represents new ideas and their manifestation, a new relationship to the substance of things. When the new ideas begin to multiply in man's mind, his environment changes; as Paul says, "if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature" (II Cor. 5:17). But the beginning is to believe further than you can see or feel in terms of the senses. A man often finds it necessary to go into a "new country" that he knows nothing about; and he has to trust the Lord to carry him through. "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29) To put faith in things spiritual is the essential step.

The call of Abraham is considered the initial step in a great plan for the redemption of the Adam race from its material, sensual consciousness, called the fall of man. From any mortal viewpoint the time seems

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long and the way tortuous, but we may, if we will, enter into the mind of the Spirit, where one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as one day, and here we see the whole plan worked out in a definite, systematic, and orderly way.

Why is the call of Abraham significant for us today?

Every detail in Abraham's experience has a definite counterpart in the life of each one who is bringing forth the Christ in man. A study of these things is therefore of great importance to all who seek the realization of sonship. To them it is given to understand "the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations" (Col. 1:26).

Why is Abraham taken as a symbol of faith?

Abraham represents faith, the first great faculty developed or "called out" by man in the unfoldment of his spiritual nature or Christ Mind. Faith is that faculty by which we know God as omnipresent Spirit substance. This substance is man's supply, as discerned by the author of Hebrews when he said, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for" (Heb. 11:1). By faith we appropriate the spiritual substance of whatever things we desire, thus taking the first step necessary to their manifestation. Abraham, rich in faith, increased his substance until it was very great.

What is meant by a plane of consciousness? Describe three planes of consciousness.

Volumes might be written about faith in its relation to the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious departments of mind; or about its centers of action in the body. Abraham represents faith in its early establishment in consciousness, and his life portrays the different movements of this faculty on the various planes of action in man's being. In order to understand the lessons that Abraham's life has for us, a certain familiarity with each plane of consciousness is necessary.

That in the individual which is called "I" may be

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termed attention. It is in reality the spiritual man. It is the inherent capacity of the "I" to recognize ideas and through the law of Being to form ideas into states of consciousness. By forming these new states and setting up action in their various departments, the "I" (attention) can then leave them, as the millwright leaves the mill he has constructed over a waterfall. Nature carries on the work once it is established.

So we find ourselves in possession of states of consciousness that may seem to be ignorant. There are, for instance, the subconscious states that have to do with the processes of digestion, assimilation, circulation, respiration, elimination, and the like. We could not be in possession of an organism having these various powers of mind unless at some point in our experience we had established them. If we consciously assumed these powers ourselves, it is plainly possible that we could again go back of them and become familiar with their subconscious action.

Thus it is a question of attention whether or not we shall know about these various planes of mental activity. If we fix our thoughts for but ten minutes a day on the heart, we shall know in a short time what is going on at that center. So with every department of the organism. Whatever the process being carried on by an organ in the body, we may be assured that a center of intelligence is located somewhere in the vicinity of it, and by continually focusing our attention there we may become familiar with its office and work.

By what was Abraham characterized before he was "called," and how did he resemble the individual today?

Abraham represents man in the first awakening of his faith, when he is dominated by it. The very name has come to be almost a synonym for faith. Abraham

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was dwelling in a realm of limited thought, and he was called out by Spirit into a great expansion of all his thoughts and powers through faith. All the people and places mentioned in connection with his history have a symbolical meaning. They represent other faculties and phases of mind that are called into expression along with faith.