Keep a True Lent, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
DIVINE LOVE is the force that dissolves all the opposers of true thought and thus smooths out every obstacle that presents itself. When love ascends the throne and takes complete possession of our life its rule is just and righteous. Even destructive faculties, such as resistance, opposition, obstinacy, anger, jealousy, are harmonized through love. Perfect love casts out all fear. When love harmonizes the consciousness we find that our outer affairs are put in order and that where once there seemed to be opposition and fear co-operation and trust prevail.
We demonstrate nonresistance by denying all intellectual opposition or antagonism. When the substance of divine love is poured out upon all alien thoughts we are not bothered by them any more. This leads to joy, a positive force that has not been bearing fruit because of the obstructions heaped upon it by the failure to fulfill the law of the All-Good. The wonderful kingdom within man is developed through keeping the commandments; that is, commanding, controlling, and directing every thought according to the harmonious law of love to one another.
The dissolving power of spiritual love is the antidote for a dictatorial will, but we must deny all
selfish desires out of our love before we use it in softening the imperious will. When the consciousness of love stands in the inner court of our being we cannot help acceding to its demands. Unselfish love is fearless, because of its forgetfulness of self. Will divides its dominion with love when it is approached in the right attitude; that is, with understanding. Understanding of the law is necessary in all permanent unions. When we know Truth we know that we are all one, that there is no separation whatever. They that love without the adulteration of selfishness or the lust of sense come into the very presence of God.
There is a distinction between love of the divine type, exercised by divine man, and love of the human type, exercised by the mortal man. It requires discriminating judgment to distinguish between human and divine love. All love is divine in its origin, but in passing through the prism of man's mind it is apparently broken into many colors. Yet, like the ray of white light, it ever remains pure. It is within man's province to make its manifestation in his life just as pure as its origin. This, too, requires painstaking discrimination and good judgment. We learn by experience that love must be directed by wisdom. If we give up blindly to the impulses suggested by human love, we shall suffer many downfalls.
David represents love passing through some of these experiences. He let his affections go out to many wives; he attached himself through the heart
to the many sources of sensation that the love nature opens. When one gives up to all the emotions engendered by love there is a saturnalia of sensation in consciousness.
The first step in all reform is the recognition of the power of the law. Wisdom shows us what the law is and where we have fallen short in our use of it. Then we are shown that there is no anger against us on the part of God. Transgression of the law brings its own punishment. We are not punished for our sins but by them. God is kindness, God is love--loving-kindness is a word of rare compound.
One good definition of love is that it is the feeling that excites desire for the welfare of its object. If all people would recognize love as embodying this ideal--recognize that God loves all men to the degree that He has poured out His life and substance and intelligence equally with us in the universal scheme--they would find in it the solution to every problem of life. Our greatest good comes in the welfare of all. Jesus recognized divine sonship and universal brotherhood. We confess Jesus as the Son of God, and by that confession we acknowledge that all men are sons of God. All of us want to know Truth and the help that comes from it, but when it is presented to us we object to the broad spirit that it proclaims. This is especially the case if our religious training has been narrow and pharisaical.
The Jews were taught that they were the chosen people and that all others were barbarians. Such
doctrine is the foundation of the caste system. When a man begins to see himself better than other men, the thought of superiority extends to his environment, and social apartness follows. What those in authority have taught and what the customs and beliefs of the past have been are of more weight than reason and logic. An innovation on old methods of thought is resisted. The whole religious nature is moved; thought runs to meet thought, and a concentration of resistance is set up in the mind.
Many persons wonder why they do not develop divine love more quickly. Here is the reason: They make a wall of separation between the religious and the secular, between the good and the bad. Divine love sees no distinction among persons. It is Principle and it feels its own perfection everywhere. It feels the same in the heart of the sinner as it does in the heart of the saint. When we let the Truth of Being into our heart and pull down all walls of separation we shall feel the flow of infinite love that Jesus felt.
A sense of oneness is a natural product of love, and it is accompanied by a consciousness of security. Through our sense of oneness with the All-Good, the greatest possible sense of security is realized; therefore, all fear is readily and completely cast out. John emphasizes the fact that in order to love God we must necessarily love our fellow men. A love that is adulterated in any degree by hatred for anything or anybody is not pure enough to discern
the great love of the Infinite, which unifies all men.
Jesus said that love of God is the greatest commandment. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth." Divine love is such a transcendent thing that words describing it seem flat and stale. But words used in right understanding quicken the mind, and we should not despise them. Affirming that we do love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our might will cause us to feel a love we have never felt before. No better treatment for the realization of divine love can be given than that which Jesus recommended.
Jerusalem, the Holy City, represents the love center in consciousness. Physically, it is the cardiac plexus. Its presiding genius is John the Mystic, who leaned his head on the Master's bosom. We establish the ruling attitudes of mind throughout our body by our daily thoughts, and they may or may not be in harmony with Principle. Our dominant thoughts about love will show forth in the heart center and establish there a general character. The loves and hates of the mind are precipitated to this ganglionic receptacle of thought and crystallized there. Its substance is sensitive, tremulous, and volatile. What we love or what we hate builds cells of joy or pain in the cardiac plexus. In divine order
it should be the abode of all that is good and pure.
To be in subjection to the higher Power is the highest goal of human attainment. The spirit of obedience is the spirit of love. Love is the most obedient thing in the universe. It is also the greatest worker and will accomplish more for our happiness than all other faculties combined. If you want a servant that will work for you night and day, cultivate divine love. At times there may be obstacles in the mind that interfere with this fellowship of love. One of them is the thought that we owe our neighbor something besides love. For some wrong, fancied or otherwise, we think we owe him punishment. The higher Power tells us that we owe him love only, and by sending him the word of love the law is fulfilled, and the barrier is burned away. We must make friends with everybody and everything in order to have this mighty worker, love, carry out for us the divine law.
When we even faintly realize the love of God we begin to love our fellow men. There is a fervent love among Christians that is not found among any other group. Love is a divine ordinance, and those who let the love of God pour itself out in charity do truly cover and forgive a "multitude of sins," not only in themselves but in others; love pours its balm over every wound and the substance of its sympathy infuses hope and faith to the discouraged heart. Divine love has a balm for every ill.