Interpretation of Self
Through the study of spiritual forces we learn that before we can know the world without, we must first know the world within. The physical person is of the earth; the soul-with the mind of the infinite-is of the universe. Souls choose to take physical bodies, and thus mind, which is of God, finds an expression in the physical.
Thus the study of self becomes our first consideration if we would be a good neighbor, a good parent, a good friend; and this means to look within to see if we have the knowledge that will help us to walk in the way of Him who is the Way, and to serve others, who as ourselves are made in His image.
Mind is defined as the rational faculty of humanity. It may be divided for convenience into the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious. We must not confuse the unconscious mind with the subconscious. The unconscious is but a deeper portion of our conscious thinking, through which the subconscious operates in the physical and acts upon and affects the conscious mind. It is through the mind that creative forces seek activity, whether in a lowly organism seeking to express itself, in us seeking a kingdom for ourselves, or in a soul seeking its way back to God. It is with the mind of the soul that we can be consciously aware that our physical body is the temple of the living God. With the will we choose for ourselves that activity which will either take us away from or to our Creator. It is active in both our conscious and subconscious minds. In the one it brings the ability to reason inductively and deductively, in the other to transcend and know, even as we are known.
Finally we turn to a brief study of the nature of our spiritual self. It has been said that the individual who would seek God must first believe that He is. It was Jesus who taught that the kingdom of God is within our own being. The God-spark within each of us is the force that enables us to love our enemies, to do good to them who persecute us, to pray for them who despitefully use us. Of ourselves we can do nothing; with Him we can do all things.
Our soul, a creation of the Father, constantly desires to glorify Him. Though we stumble blindly at times and often fall, yet, through suffering, we grow to understand and to give expression of our soul purpose by becoming channels through which the Father's will may be done in us.
Perhaps we have been afraid to "let go" and be absolutely happy. Whenever things have been almost perfect we would always think that it wouldn't last, that something would come to spoil it. This should not be our attitude. Although worldly cares and trials may be around us, when the question comes "Where art thou?" we should be ready to answer, "Here am I, Lord, use me."
We may often wonder in analyzing ourselves if we are right in what we believe, if we really know God, and if we have knowledge of Him that we can give to others. There is an answer: If we would know God, we must experience God; and as we experience Him, we become a guide to someone else. This should be to us the answer to every problem.
The Application of Knowledge
Knowledge, divine knowledge, that we had in the beginning, is needed in the affairs of our life. If we had only known the motive which prompted the act, the cause which brought about the unpleasant experience in the life of our neighbor, the severe test and trial which our wayward friend was experiencing, how differently we would have acted! Let us remember that to be kind is acting as if with foreknowledge. We never forget the one who understands us when we fail in the discharge of our duty. How like the Master is that one to us! Kindness is a simple act, but it is great enough to express divine knowledge.
Education is only the manner or the way [to reach the final goal]. Do not confuse the manner or the way with that of doing what ye do know! Not when there is a more convenient season, or "When I have attained unto a greater understanding I will do this or that." Knowledge, understanding, is using, then, that thou hast in hand. Not to thine own knowledge but that all hope, power, trust, faith, knowledge and understanding are in Him. Do that thou knowest to do today, as He would have thee do it, in thine understanding! Then tomorrow will be shown thee for that day! For as He has given, today ye may know the Lord! Now, if ye will but open thine heart, thine mind, the understanding and knowledge will come! 262-89