As you have heard, this morning’s subject is “Awakened Imagination”. It is my theme for the entire series of nineteen lectures. Everything is geared towards the awakening of the imagination. I doubt if there is any subject on which clear thinking is more rare than the imagination. The word itself is made to serve all kinds of ideas. many of them directly opposed to one another. But here this morning I hope to convince you that this is the redeeming power in man. This is the power spoken of in the Bible as the Second Man.
“the Lord from Heaven”.
This is the same power personified for us as a man called Christ Jesus.
In the ancient text it was called Jacob, and there are numberless names in the Bible all leading up and culminating in the grand flower called Christ Jesus.
It may startle you to identify the central figure of the Gospels as human imagination, but I am quite sure before the series is over, you will be convinced that this what the ancients intended that we should know, but man has misread the Gospels as history and biography and cosmology, and so completely has gone asleep as to the power within himself.
Now this morning I have brought you the means by which this mighty power in us may be awakened. I call it the art of revision. I take my day and I review it in my mind’s eye. I start with the first incident in the morning. I go through the day; when I come to any scene in my unfolding day that displeased me, or if it didn’t displease me if it was not as perfect as I thought it could have been, I stop right there and I revise it. I re-write it, and after I
have re-written it so that it conforms to the ideal I wished I had experienced, then I experience that in my imagination as though I had experienced it in the flesh. I do it over and over until it takes on the tone of reality, and experience convinces me that that moment that I have revised and relived will not recede into my past. It will advance into my future to confront me as I have revised it. If I do not revise it, these moments, because they never recede and they always advance, will advance to confront me perpetuating that strange, unlovely incident. But if I refuse to allow the sun to descend upon my wrath,
so that at the end of a day I never accept as final the facts of the day, no matter how factual they are, I never accept them, and revising it I repeal the day and bring about corresponding changes in my outer world.
Now, not only will this art of revision accomplish my every objective, but as I begin to revise the day it fulfills its great purpose and its great purpose is to awaken in me the being that men call Christ Jesus, that I call my wonderful human imagination, and when it awakens it is the eye of God and it turns inward into the world of thought and there I see that what formerly I believed to exist on the outside really exists within myself. No matter what it is, I then discover that the whole of Creation is rooted in me and ends in me as I am rooted in and end in God. And from that moment on I find my real purpose in life and my real purpose is simply to do the will of Him that sent me, and the will of Him that sent me is this –that of all that he has given me I shall lose nothing but raise it up again.
And what did he give me? He gave me every experience in my life. He gave me you. Every man, woman and child that I meet is a gift to me from my Father, but they fell in me because of my attitude towards society, because of my attitude towards myself. When I
begin to awaken and the eye opens and I see the whole is myself made visible, I then must fulfill my real purpose, which is the will of Him that sent me, and the Willis to raise up those that I allowed in my ignorance when I slept to descend within me. Then starts the real art of revision; to be the man, regardless of your impressions of that man, regardless of the facts of the case that are all staring you in the face, it is your duty when you become awakened to lift him up within yourself and you will discover that he was never the cause of your displeasure. When you look at him and you are displeased, look within and you will find the source of the displeasure. It did not originate there.
Now let me give you a case history to illustrate this point. I know a few of you were at the banquet and maybe a few of you heard me last Thursday on T. V. but I doubt in this audience of say twenty-three or twenty-four hundred of us, that more than say a hundred and fifty heard it, and even if you heard it you can hear it time and time again for it is this, that if you hear it will cause you to act upon it because as I told you, and I think I did last Sunday, but if I didn’t let me tell you now; if you attended the entire nineteen and you became saturated with all that I have to tell you, so that you had all the knowledge you think it takes to achieve your objectives, and you did not apply what you received, it would
avail you nothing; but a little knowledge which you carry out in action, you will find to be far more profitable than much knowledge which you neglect to carry out in action. So by repeating this case history this morning, though say a hundred or two hundred of you have heard it, it will help you to remember you must do something about it.
This past May in New York City, there sat a lady who had been coming for years and I made a simple observation that people must become doers of the word and not mere hearers only. For if a man only hears it and never applies what he hears he will never really prove or disprove what he has heard; and then I told the story of a lady who had only heard me three or four times and how she transformed the life of another, and this lady hearing what one who came only three times and this miracle took place in her life, she went home determined that she would really apply what she had heard over the years, and this is what she did.
Two years before, after a violent quarrel, she was ordered out of her son’s home by her daughter-in-law. Her son said “Mother, you need no proof from me that I love you: it’s obvious: I think I have proven that every day of my life, but if that is Mary’s decision, and I regret it, it must be my decision, for I love Mary and we live in the same house and it is our house: it is our little family, and I am sorry she feels this way about it, but you know these little things that culminate in an explosion as took place today. If that is her decision, it is mine”. That was two years ago. She went home and she realized that night after night for over two years she had allowed the sun to descend upon her wrath. She thought of this wonderful family that she loved and felt herself ostracized from it, expelled from the home of her son. She did nothing about revising it and yet I had been talking revision to my New York audience for the past year.
This is what she did now. She knew the morning’s mail brought nothing. This was a Wednesday night. There had been no correspondence in two years. She had sent her grandson at least a dozen gifts in the two years. Not one was ever acknowledged. She knew they had been received for she had insured many of them; so she sat down that night and mentally wrote herself two letters–one from her daughter-in-law, expressing a great kindness for her, saying that she had been missed in the home and asking her when she was coming to see them; then she wrote one from her grandson in which he said
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