God created everything by number, weight and measure. ~ Sir Issac Newton
This week’s readings were different than any of the preceding weeks as the thoughts are topical rather than specific. One of the main themes can be summed in a story about the process and methods applied by Urbain Le Verrier.
However before I tell the story lets set the stage….
What is this inductive reasoning?
- Inductive reasoning is the process of the objective mind by which we compare a number of separate instances with one another until we see the common factor that gives rise to them all.
- Induction proceeds by comparison of facts. It is this method of studying nature which has resulted in the discovery of a reign of law which has marked an epoch in human progress.
- It is the dividing line between superstition and intelligence. It has eliminated the elements of uncertainty and caprice from men’s lives and substituted law, reason, and certitude. ~ Charles Haanel , Masterkey, Chapter 11
We all do this; it is what has been described as the “Watchman at the Gate” (Mastekey, Chapter 2). As human beings we use our five senses combined with our intelligence, our consciousness, and our gift of reason to look at the things around us. We see facts. We see things around us. We then make observations and predictions based on what we comprehend. We do this with a simple task, like walking across a busy intersection. However some have used it to an even loftier goal, such was the case of Mathematician Urbain Le Verrier.
Le Verrier’s most famous achievement is his prediction of the existence of the then unknown planet Neptune, using only mathematics and astronomical observations of the known planet Uranus. Encouraged by physicist Arago, Director of the Paris Observatory, Le Verrier was intensely engaged for months in complex calculations to explain small but systematic discrepancies between Uranus’s observed orbit and the one predicted from the laws of gravity of Newton. At the same time, but unknown to Le Verrier, similar calculations were made by John Couch Adams in England. Le Verrier announced his final predicted position for Uranus’s unseen perturbing planet publicly to the French Academy on 31 August 1846, two days before Adams’s final solution, which turned out to be 12° off the mark, was privately mailed to the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Le Verrier transmitted his own prediction by 18 September letter to Johann Galle of the Berlin Observatory. The letter arrived five days later, and the planet was found with the Berlin Fraunhofer refractor that same evening, 23 September 1846, by Galle and Heinrich d’Arrest within 1° of the predicted location near the boundary between Capricorn and Aquarius. ~ Wikipedia
Now, how do we apply it to those things not so common?
The training course with the Masterkey alliances has been developing just that. Creating desires, that are so much bigger than us that the only way they can be accomplished is through service to others.
So, what’s the first step?
- Here we find a method, the spirit of which is to believe that what is sought has been accomplished in order to accomplish it: a method bequeathed upon us by the same Plato who, outside of this sphere, could never find how the ideas became realities.
- This conception is also elaborated by Swedenborg in his doctrine of correspondences; and a still greater teacher has said, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11: 24) The difference of the tenses in this passage is remarkable.
- We are first to believe that our desire has already been fulfilled, its accomplishment will then follow. This is a concise direction for making use of the creative power of thought by impressing on the Universal subjective mind the particular thing which we desire as an already existing fact.
- We are thus thinking on the plane of the absolute and eliminating all consideration of conditions or limitation and are planting a seed which, if left undisturbed, will finally germinate into existing fact. ~ Charles Haanel, Masterkey, Chapter 11
As you progress towards your objective, as you have confidence in its accomplishment, as you work and think, you will find the things, people, and events you require to make your vision possible. With faith and persistence as your constant companions, you will succeed. When we have the confidence to set our thoughts adrift in the world we become more than what we are because we touch all that ever was and all that ever will be. Thoughts filled with love, generosity, courage, power will cause our creativity to inspire and work with the objective world and we become the Captain charting the course.
I persist and develop my skills as the mariner develops his, by learning to ride out the wrath of each storm” ~ Og Mandino
For your exercise this week, concentrate on the quotation taken from the Bible, “Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them”; notice that there is no limitation, “Whatsoever things” is very definite and implies that the only limitation which is placed upon us in our ability to think, to be equal to the occasion, to rise to the emergency, to remember that Faith is not a shadow, but a substance, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~ Charles Haanel, Masterkeys, Chapter 11
Our time of sitting quietly this week was a delight to me as it was directed upon focusing on the sayings of Jesus, The Christ as written by John Mark before 70 AD. The whole statement by Jesus is this
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
All Christians should affirm that if we have faith, then we can command a mountain to move, and it will happen. Jesus demonstrated it on the fig tree earlier in the text and then he said that we can do the same and even more, if we have faith. So unless we are willing to sacrifice the inspiration of Scripture due to unbelief, this principle is not subject to debate.
Yet is the verse saying that faith is produced by hearing the words of Scripture over and over again? If a person was to repeatedly speak some selected biblical verses out loud with enthusiasm. For example, if he is sick could he say, “By his stripes, I am healed” ~ 1 Peter 2:24 several hundred times a day and eventually become convinced that it is true, and then by the principle taught in Mark 11:23, physical healing will follow. Rather the understanding of this principle starts with a deliberation of Biblical faith.
- First, Biblical faith is not a force that the power resides in belief as such, instead it is the belief in Divinely revealed propositions that require the Creator’s conscious exercise of His power to make good.
- Secondly, the type of faith Jesus talks of is not something that can be produced within us by repeatedly listening to biblical propositions.
This second point is even more relevant to our main purpose, which is to attain a correct positive understanding of the verses. To review, Jesus teaches the principle, “if we have faith, then we can move mountains”, But again, the resulting conviction would be the result of mere brainwashing, and the profession of faith a mere parroting of what has been heard, similar to how an insane person might mindlessly mutter some of the phrases that he overhears or that are fed to him by others. There would be no genuine belief in the promises of God, but the conviction would serve only as the lifeless and thoughtless replacement to the person’s previous beliefs that have now been forcibly short-circuited by the process. The person might feel convinced, but there can be no power in this kind of “faith.” True faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). In 1 Corinthians 12:9, Paul refers to the kind of faith that is a special manifestation of the Spirit. From its mention in 1 Corinthians 13:2 that is, in the context of spiritual manifestations we understand that it is this kind of faith that moves mountains.
Our faith depends on the work of the Spirit, who applies the word of God to our hearts and convinces us of its truth, giving us confidence of its effect, power, and relevance.
This biblical understanding of faith returns the fulfillment of the verse into the sovereign hand of God. In the process, the principle taught by Jesus that if we have faith, we will have whatever we say is true. Perhaps it is best to acknowledge that faith in God can work for both our own benefit and for the advancement of his kingdom, and these two are seldom in conflict when we place the former within a broader concern for the latter. In other words, our faith for self-preservation and various benefits must be shaped by and subordinate to our concern for God’s kingdom.
My prayers is that this brief look at God’s word is of some use to you in further encouraging your faith and trust in the Creator.
William Gurnall (1617-1679)