21 Mar The Quickening | Spiritual Growth | Kate Atkinson Boehme
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Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from “New Thought Healing Made Plain” by Kate Atkinson Boehme, published in 1918.
IN the forming of an organism, there is a moment when the Quickening comes; and from that moment, the organism becomes a creature of new life and action. Before the Quickening it has life in a certain sense; that is, it grows and has some functional activities. But after the Quickening, it has a new power: that of independent movement, of acting upon impulses of its own. From being a negative being that is acted upon, it becomes an acting entity, an individual with a will of its own.
Take the embryo of a bird in the egg, for instance. The yolk of the egg gradually assumes the form of the bird. Little by little, it develops a spinal column, heart, lungs, etc., and all the while it is being nourished in its growth by the albumen in the surrounding white of the egg.
When the form of the bird is nearly complete and it is ready to break forth from the shell, the Quickening comes, and with it the instinct to work its way out of the shell. The bird was alive before the Quickening, but it was acted upon rather than acting itself. With the Quickening comes a higher, more positive life, and the power to move and achieve for itself.
So is it with the human embryo on a larger scale and to a higher degree. From the instant of the Quickening, the foetus becomes something dynamic, and finally assists in its own delivery at the time of its birth.
There is an all-pervasive analogy between things physical and things metaphysical, and so I can infer that there is a Quickening in the mind of Man (in the mind of Woman) for which preparation is made. For a long time the mind is vague and neutral in its action, but all the while it is growing, developing, forming for the Quickening. In other words, we are not yet fully individualized, and we must prepare to take a step upward into a higher individualization. We must make ready for the mental Quickening.
All our vague and superficial thinking is really working to an end in which it shall take on orderly arrangement around a central thought and become positively organic — for what is true of the embryo is equally true of the embryotic individual, the human being.
And after the Quickening comes the birth into a higher life. All along the line of Evolution things are being born again upon the next higher plane. The one-celled organism is born again as the two-celled, the three-celled, the many-celled organism, and so Life sweeps on in its upward trend.
The sadness, the questioning, the dull monotony, the drawbacks, the heart sickness, are all phenomena of the embryotic life and must be lived through patiently and hopefully, if we would reach the Quickening which is close at hand. Grief, pain, and trouble are the pangs of gestation and pass away when the embryo attains its growth.
In the forming of the embryo, the yolk of the egg in which it dwells is fed by the albumen in the surrounding white of the egg. The germ of the future life lies in the yolk, and the yolk is in the center, surrounded by the white. So does humankind lie in the center of our environment, and that which the environment contains in the way of event and circumstance, is necessary to the forming of our mind while it is preparing for the Quickening.
You are now organizing your mind, making of yourself an organic being mentally. You are already organized physically, but the present organization is imperfect and unsettled, preparing itself for a reorganization of a more perfect character. Old habits of body are being disturbed for the purpose of forming new habits.
It is the same with the mind, only the mind has never been organized like the body, and not having been organized, it is the more easily made to conform to a new order of thought. There are, of course, many old habits of thought to break up, and new habits to form, but the old habits are not crystallized in organic formation, so they are plastic and yield readily to formative influences.
If your mind feels peculiarly chaotic and unsettled, it merely shows that a new order is about to form, for chaos always precedes a new order — just as it did (as we are told) in the story of Creation from the book of Genesis. In chaos, atoms are lying about in disorder, and the creative act consists in drawing those atoms that are related to each other together into an organic form of life. In the creation of these organic forms there always comes the Quickening.
I am reiterating the term “Quickening” so that you may have it written indelibly in your mind. I want it to fill your consciousness fully for a time, until you are permeated with the conviction that a Quickening is to come to you. I want you also to know that you are now working to make it come, working with Creative Law, working with the Divine.
Work that has no happy, pleasurable, end in view is a treadmill, and as such it is a torture to a sensitive mind. So I point out to you the end toward which you are moving, as the Apostles of old moved toward the Pentecostal Fire, the Quickening of the Spirit.
Spirit dwells in us continually. Without it we could not draw the breath of life. It does not descend upon us from the outside, but from the inside. Spirit expresses itself through us, but it has lower and higher phases of expression. We have passed through many of the lower forms of this expression and are now being prepared for a higher. When our new mental form is finished, the Spirit will flow into it, and lo, the Quickening, and later the new birth.
When you feel inclined to lament your apparent failure to make your life what you wish it to be, take comfort in the blessed truth that you are preparing for your Quickening, that no matter how dull and wretched the outlook, how sharp the pain of conflict, how deep the grief, how heavy the trouble, all are factors in producing the great result. All are formative influences, shaping you into the perfect form that shall be a fit dwelling for the Spirit. All things have to be shaped for their Apotheosis, and you are not exempt from that universal law.
If the embryo of a bird had a mind or consciousness, it would feel joy as it grows more definite in shape, more like the bird that is to be, but the probability is that the intelligence of the embryo is not equal to this cognizance. However, the larger mind of the biologist, watching through a glass the gradual formation of the bird, sees what it heralds, knows the ultimate of the unfoldment, and is sure of the result.
There is in you a larger mind, a higher consciousness, that sees and waits for the Quickening, the finished product, the perfect individual, but this larger mind is not always in evidence, and when it is not, the smaller, everyday mind is appalled by difficulties, troubled by fear, disturbed by doubt, worn by monotony, and anguished by pain. But under the Creative Hand the difficulties, the fear, the doubt, the monotony, and the pain are all worked in as building material for the growing form that is to be quickened when it is complete.
I know a number of honest, reliable people who have related to me their experience of the Quickening, and while differing somewhat in details, all the experiences were very much alike. One in particular appealed to me so strongly that I will give it to you for your encouragement.
The individual saw and touched a three-tongued spiritual flame. It was not a hallucination or a vision, but the experience of a perfectly wide-awake normal person, one not given to trances or psychic states. When this flame touched her on the temple, she heard a voice saying: “This is the Healing Power.” She mentally recognized it as such before she was told so by the Spirit, for when the flame touched her, electric waves quivered through her body, and she was filled with vitality as never before.
For days afterward she walked as on air, so great was her sense of exhilaration and lightness of body. She seemed to herself to be all Spirit, and believed that she could have walked on water or floated in the air. In course of time this exhilaration became less intense, but she never fell back to the old level of heaviness and stolidity — neither did her mind ever go back to its old plane which was haunted by doubts, anxieties, worries, and fears.
By nature she had a sad, morbid temperament, apprehensive of the future and given to brooding over sorrows of the past. The Quickening made of her a new individual, completely metamorphosing her former self into a new and powerful being who had lost all her fear of what Life held for her, and who seemed to have power to mold circumstances to her will.
She told me that her quickening was long in coming, that for years she had struggled on, faithful to the Truth as it had been revealed to her, and trying to express it in every detail of her life — but often dismayed and disheartened at her failures and her inability to bring health to her body. After the Quickening, her diseases seemed to drop from her, and all things became new. She began to live in a higher consciousness, and at last understood the mystical meaning of being (quote) “born again.”
Others have had the same experience, so I feel justified in asserting that a Quickening and a new birth is in store for all who work and strive for truth, honesty, love, and better things. Will you not then yield your hearty cooperation to this work of growing toward the Quickening, and dare to feel courage and hope?
You can trust this universal law and the Quickening beckons you onward.
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