Single post

Discipline in Action through the 12 Powers

Discipline means to train.  Jesus demonstrated this in his training of the Disciples.  We can correlate this to training our own inner faculties to serve us.  Metaphysically speaking, the Disciples of Jesus represent the spiritual powers inherent in each of us, namely faith, strength, love, wisdom, power, imagination, understanding, will, order, zeal, renunciation and life.  Charles Fillmore wrote extensively on this idea in his book, “The Twelve Powers of Man.”

To progress spiritually does take much discipline, for it is so easy to fall in with the easy ways of the world which give the instant gratification the undisciplined self tends to crave.  Faith, for instance, takes discipline and diligent supervision so that we not fall into the negative thinking that is so commonplace.  If we are to manifest our good, however, we must keep our eye single and believe that good will prevail.

Strength requires much discipline to remain active.  This is obviously true of physical strength.  Use it or lose it, they say!  This is also true of spiritual strength.  We need to practice standing strong in our spiritual selves on a daily basis if we are to have strength during difficult times.

Love, too, takes discipline.  We may think it does not, and in many ways, yes, love is free and has a mind of its own which cannot always be easily tamed.  But do we stray in our actions from love?  Do we stray in our thoughts?  Do we always act lovingly…to all people…to all creatures…to all of life?  In all situations?  Love requires training to demonstrate it to the level of perfection that Jesus did, or for that matter any truly great spiritual master, like Buddha and many more.  Are we able to love our enemies?  It takes much discipline to learn to do this, but spiritual mastery requires it of us.  Is there anything more important than this?  Ask yourself today if there is not some way you can show more love than you currently are…to others, to yourself and to all of life.  God is Love.

Wisdom takes much training to learn to recognize when the ways of the world tell us differently from what is the Truth.  We must learn to enter into the silence and listen to the wee small voice within.  “Be still and know I am God.”  We not only need to recognize Wisdom’s answers for us, but we need to discipline ourselves to put these answers to work.  Knowing what to do and when to do it, and then to actually DO it, is wisdom.  (It is also knowing what NOT to do, and then DON’T!)

We were created in the image and likeness of God, and as such we have great spiritual power available to us to use in creating our world.  In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray to not be led into temptation.  It is the temptation to use this power in wrong and selfish ways to which is being referred.  In order for our power to be used for good, it must be directed in ways which are good.  THINE is the kingdom and the POWER and glory.  Remember this and our power will serve us for good.  We have the power of thought, the power of word, the power of action…Discipline yourself to use this power for only good, and you will manifest only good in your life.  It is tempting to use it for selfish purposes, but remember you reap what you sew and it will manifest in your life as something other than what you desire.  You get back what you give, don’t forget.  It is also important to remember the power of our words, and to discipline ourselves to only speak words which serve us well.  Word is what brings forth that which is imagined into the perceivable world.

Imagination is such a fun power!  It, too, however, requires discipline, for the undisciplined imagination will imagine all sorts of horrible things!  Imagine a world made of love.  Imagine your body functioning just as it was designed.  Imagine peace.  Imagine all of your needs are fulfilled.  Imaginationn couple with faith is a good pairing.  What you hold diligently in mind will become your reality.  Hold images in mind which bring peace and harmony to your mind, body and soul.  To hold negative thoughts in your mind or to imagine less than positive outcomes is to practice the misuse of this power, and will bring forth results which are less than you’d hope for.  Train your mind to use positive imagery as a tool to create what you want to manifest, much as the draftsman makes blueprints up for the builders to follow in building a structure.  The blueprint for your life is in your mind!  Train it to draw the pictures you want to make real.  This is in part what guided imagery is all about.  We’ll talk about that more on some other day, but know that when you visualize what you want in your mind you help bring it about.

Understanding requires discipline, too, for it is easy to think we already have the answers, that we know better than somebody else, that we already do understand.  This is a position of ego when we catch ourselves thinking these things, for there is ALWAYS more that we need to know.  Understanding involves many things, such as compassion, empathy, open-mindedness, humility, wisdom…do we really understand as much as we think?  Me thinks perhaps we thinks too much!  Understanding is as much if not more about feeling than thinking.  Understanding takes the discipline to admit we don’t know it all and the willingness to learn more than we already know.  Understanding is often the lesson that’s dealt us when we find ourselves judging another and then ending up in the same exact place as them.  Understanding should always be coupled with love, wisdom and faith that there’s more to see than we always see.  Understanding comes as we discipline ourselves to these things.  Open our eyes so that we can see the whole Truth, and our hearts so we can feel, Love, and maybe then we’ll understand.

I think we all can recognize the role of discipline when it comes to will power!  Our will is a gift which surely needs to be trained!  We were given the gift of free will in the beginning, and that’s when all our troubles began.  But that also means we have a choice to choose all that is good, according to what is wise, loving and in the best interest of all.  That is the proper use of our will.  When self-will runs riot there’s hell to pay!  But to discipline our power of will to conform to the will of God…the will of Life…the will of Love…the will of Goodness…then Life, Love and Goodness will rule Supreme in our life!  Our own will is often weak, but train it and back it up with some of your other faculties, like power, strength, wisdom, zeal,, etc…take your pick…and it will become stronger in you.  Will power alone isn’t so strong, but it is the one power often missing when having a difficult time in bringing forth your other God-given powers.  You have to be willing in order for much of anything to be accomplished for good in your life!  The will to live is often the determining factor at the end of a person’s existence on earth, that’s how strong of a power it is!  They say you have to want to get well to get well, where this is where the power of will is involved.  Look at what it is that you truly want in your life, and then train your power of will to never give up!

Discipline is surely required to bring forth the full power of Divine Order at our disposal for good.  Oh, order will occur, with us or without us, for the world will keep spinning around and the laws of nature and God will remain intact, BUT…would we like our lives to reflect a sense of order and peace, or the chaos required for nature to rebalance itself after a nuclear bomb?  That may seem like a far out example, but think for a moment.  Nature will always prevail, but many lives can be lost and damage done along the way.  Do we want to be a casualty?  In the same way do we want our hopes and dreams to be a casualty on the battlefield of our life?  Then we have to stop setting off bombs!  “Divine Order is now established in my mind, body and affairs,” is a good affirmation to keep this idea at the front of our mind, thereby training our other faculties to bring it about!  Order will naturally occur no matter what.  Nature re-balances always.  Divine Order naturally occurs when we align our other faculties to bring forth the fruits of a life lived with the spiritual discipline required to achieve the results which are in the best interest of all.

ZEAL!  (That’s enthusiasm for those of you who weren’t sure!)  Zeal is what gives the “umph!” to “triumph!”  To get excited about living, about loving, about doing good in our lives and the lives of others…to get excited about projects we’re working on or healing goals we wish to accomplish or a new job or anything else gives it that extra BOOST of energy we need to get over the humps!  (Hmmm….”umph” is “hump” with the letters mixed up!  Ha ha!  Better switch them around!)  If you don’t feel very enthusiastic to start with, but instead are meeting a challenge with dread, then this is where the discipline part of the training comes in.  You might have to fake it till you make it until it kicks in.  Don’t wait till you feel happy to smile, for instance, and just smile until it feels good.  Laughing works even quicker.  The muscles in your face actually stimulate parts of the brain that bring happiness on!  So pretend you’re enthused about an avenue you’ve decided to pursue until you actually feel it, or perhaps you’ve chosen the wrong path to take.  Then back up to the power of wisdom again, and ask yourself if this is truly what it is you desire.  If it is, then kick your power to achieve it into action by becoming enthused, some how, some way.  To not do so is like giving up.  Passion is half the winning in just about any goal you could ever possibly set!  Become empassioned about what you desire and power yourself up with ZEAL!

Renunciation is another one of those words we don’t often hear much these days, but it involves the power of elimination, and abandoning old ideas, points of view, attitudes, habits, behaviours, etc., which no longer serve our ultimate good and the good of the world.  Renunciation is that power which allows us to let go and let God!  In the physical body, renunciation is represented by the colon, enabling us to eliminate poisons and excess waste.  There is a spiritual correlate for this function, and it is symbolized by the spiritual faculty of renunciation.  To discipline this power is as important as not letting your colon clog up with things which will not easily pass, especially when coupled with stress.  Spiritually speaking we would likewise do will with not feeding junk to ourselves and then stressing, or holding onto outdated ideas.  In the spiritual world as in the physical, this will poison us if we don’t learn to let go of that which no longer serves.  Relax and just let it go!  Relaxation is much of the key.  Look to the powers of faith, a higher understanding, and will.  If you need inner strength, lean on that power as well, it is yours.  Let go and let God handle the rest.  Let go and let Love.  Let go and let Wisdom.  Let go and just let it be.  Holding on can become a habit.  Discipline your mind to let go.

Life!!!  LIFE!!!  Train yourself to love life!  Train yourself to live fully in this moment, appreciating life in all forms and being grateful, for it is yours!  This is your life and contained within it is all the power you need to survive!  We have been given the gift of life, and it is ours from the moment we are conceived until the moment we die, and then even beyond in a spiritual sense, for life is forever, we know.  But to express life in its fullest potential takes discipline every step of the way.  Life is created as perfect, as is God, for God is Life, and we are created in the perfect image and likeness of God.  But to manifest this perfection takes much discipline and training on the physical, mental and spiritual levels.  We would do well to make this our fervent study and practice, which is why we are gathered here.  To live life fully all of the faculties must be in good working order, or else our life is incomplete.  Use the Power of Life to bring about GOOD!  Live a life centered in love, filled with faith, powered with strength, guided by wisdom, and on down the line to zeal, and renunciation…Discipline yourself and you’ll live the life of your dreams!  This is truly heaven on earth!  Train yourself to recognize and live accordingly to the laws of nature, as these govern physical life.  Learn to love all of life, for love is what governs our spiritual life.  Mentally, discipline yourself to envision life as being perfect, and train yourself to hold true to this vision, but still remain open-minded enough for understanding to blossom and reign.  Give your life over to God.  This means to give it over to Love and to practice that which nourishes and sustains Life itself.  Why do we practice that which brings death?  Because we are undisciplined, lazy and behaving very unwisely!  Discipline is needed if we are to live lives with sustenance, true meaning and grace.  Just as surely as a plant will grow in the proper conditions, so too will we thrive if we focus on providing the best conditoins for us to live healthy lives.  Sitting on the computer all day and eating junk food will not get us where we want to be!  (Running to the doctor is not enough exercise for us to live healthy lives!)  Train yourself in the ways of life, as surely as if you’re training for a marathon race!

So there you have it, the 12 Powers of Man in a nutshell right off the top of my head, but if you want to learn more in depth, read the book.  I read it a long time ago and I still hold it in my mind as a guidepost for living today, and for helping me to understand the message of the Bible on a deeper level.

The idea I wanted to bring forth in this particular writing is the idea of discipline, and how it is meant to be so much a part of our every day life.  We are students of life, and being a student requires the discipline of study and also of demonstration.  Too often the word “discipline” is confused with “punishment.”  Well to this I remind you that, “Vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord,” and surely this is not what we are to be focusing on.  Discipline in the sense of teaching is a much more positive idea, and afterall, isn’t that what punishment is designed to do?  Well, maybe not, considering the death penalty, and all.  But in holistic healing we believe that rehabilitation of the mind, body and spirit are always possible and this is the task at hand.  So discipline yourself to be well!

There is no head master but you!  You are the one writing your own curriculum.  Oh, sure, there are government or whatever other kinds of authorities we have to honor in society, but all in all, you are writing your own training program, whether you know it or not.  Are you training yourself to be healthy and well?  To live a life of happiness, satisfaction and success?  How much of your efforts are directed at that?  Think about the commercials on TV…what are they teaching you?  Discipline yourself and turn them off!  Be in control of your own mind and watch what you allow in!  Other influences you may want to look at are the influences of negative people in your life, or the influences of your own negative thoughts!  It does no good to go to a doctor…not even a natural doctor…if you are not going to train yourself to take part in the activities and state of mind required to be well.  You have to work on it at a spiritual level, as well.  Discipline yourself…no one else can do it for you…they can teach you or they can punish you, but ultimately the responsibility for learning remains with you, as do the consequences of such.

Do you really think Jesus spanked the disciples?  Ha ha!  Learn to look at discipline in a new way!  You are the one getting the graduation party when you are done, so have a good time in school!  Don’t drop out, don’t give up, don’t skip class, and do your homework to get the straight A’s!  Flunking means living a miserable life, and no amount of signed excuses will get you past that.  If you don’t study, you’re not going to learn.  Discipline yourself and quit depending on outside authorities to tell you what you should do.  That’s just a set up for blame, and again, let me repeat, excuses will do you no good.  You’re the head master, remember, so handing yourself a forged excuse is like signing your mother’s name in front of yourself!  It’s simply not going to work.  If you want to progress, you have to do your own spiritual, mental and physical work in the training program we know as life!

Take your power back.  You were created in the image of GOD!“Vibraceous, ND

Have a great week!  This week is Palm Sunday in the Christian faith.  For an interfaith interpretation of how Palm Sunday relates to all faiths, please see our entry last year entitled, “Humility and Peace Victorious.”  Have a very blessed holy week!  (Of course ALL weeks are Holy when you’re living a life of LOVE!)


theme by teslathemes