"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." I Corinthians 12:27
Father, as we seek to see and know Thy face, may we each, as individuals and as a group, come to know ourselves, even as we are known, that we-as lights in Thee-may give the better concept of Thy Spirit in this world. 262-5
[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-5 through 262-11]
When we are asked the question "Do you know yourself?" why is it that we cannot answer "Yes"? Within each of us there are certainly great storehouses of abilities and capacities which we have never used. If they were manifested, we would see ourselves in a different light. We would understand the real functions of our physical bodies in relation to our mental and spiritual bodies. Until we are better acquainted with ourselves, we are barriers in the way of our own development.
Each of us must first know that we must set a standard of measurement, of valuation, of precept, and of concept. Let us not measure by earthly standards, if we would know ourselves. Rather, let us measure by that which we have found within ourselves to be our ideal, knowing what we believe in, and acting that way. Let us, therefore, be willing to be measured; not by what we have, but by what we give.
The Physical Body
To know ourselves is not only to be cognizant of the acts of our physical bodies, but to know ourselves as entities, complete factors, capable of knowing all that goes on within and without. This spring of knowledge is tapped only by those who are willing to pay the price. The price is a complete surrender of ourselves, with a purification and a dedication that come only through prayer, meditation, and service. It is along the straight and narrow way, but it is open to all. The water of life is offered freely.
As entities, we are miniature copies of the universe, possessing physical, mental, and spiritual bodies. These bodies are so closely associated and related that the vibrations of one affect the other two. Our mental, especially, partakes of the other two: in the physical, as the conscious mind, and in the spiritual, as the superconscious mind.
Our bodies are temples of the living God. It has pleased God to so manifest Himself in the world. Our physical bodies are composite unite of Creative Force manifesting in the material world. All parts of our bodies must work in unison, for should one war against another, discord would naturally follow. Each part has its functions, and it is so important that no other part can take its place; neither can any part be counted insignificant and useless.
Each organ has its individual functions and desires, which are in themselves holy. The senses make us conscious of the magnified desires or natures of our physical bodies. These are registered in the activities of our physical bodies in such a way that they are stamped upon our very faces. These senses are attuned to the physical, each vibrating according to the training and concentration of the physical forces, seeking expression of the inner self-of which our physical bodies are material representations. For not only do the impressions received through the senses show forth that which is magnified in a single appearance or experience, but also all impressions that have been received through all of our experiences, the registering being in our souls. These are registered in a material way in our physiognomy.
The Mental and Spiritual Bodies
In the same manner the desires of our mental and spiritual bodies build our individualities. This process of building has been going on for ages. The great factors of heredity, environment, karma, thought vibration, and the action of universal laws in the planes beyond the physical all have their influences, just as the desires and vibrations of the physical organs attract and build the composition of the physical body. We are the results not only of the development of the race before us but also of our individual development that has been going on since our creation as individual souls.
We are the sum total of all our experiences in every state of consciousness. "In my Father's house are many mansions" (states of consciousness). In our body temples we are building, by thoughts and acts, not only our physical bodies, but the mental and spiritual bodies as well. Christ, the Master, said: "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." Those of us who live to gratify only our fleshly bodies may be beautiful without, but we have so starved our souls that we are able to give out only that which makes for discord and corruption. In speaking of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said: "For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." The same principle may be applied to right thinking, for we become what we think.
The soul will seek that which it has builded, not only in the material plane but in the universal, for "as a tree falls, so will it lie." This is well understood if we know and study ourselves, for we will realize that each experience is a lesson to help bring the knowledge of the Whole, that "I and my Father are one."
When we are seeking to lose ourselves in the Whole, it is possible to see ourselves as did the individual who had the following dream:
"I saw myself pass out of my body and become three bodies, physical, mental, and spiritual. At first the physical was the largest, but as the other two grew it gradually became smaller, until it finally faded into dust. The others then grew larger and moved around fourth-dimensionally."
When our acts and thoughts are measured by the standard of Christ, and when we reach the place where we desire only to be channels of blessings to others, we have lost sight of ourselves. Then we have the mind of Christ, for He came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and gave His life as a ransom for many.