The following email from Carmen underlines a central difficulty that many Truth students may experience as the Path unfolds for them. I therefore post Carmen's email, together with my reply, in the hope that it will help others who, at this time, may also have the same orientation about the Fruits of the Spirit. If you would like to add your own insights and thoughts about this important spiritual issue, your comments would be more than welcomed.
"I read with interest your comments on creative visualisation. I have lived with poverty all my life. How would you visualise yourself out of this situation. For instance at my advanced age 60 yrs to be able to own my own home and to be able to retire comfortably now instead of working until I drop?
Spirituality is not like a motor car that can be switched on and off at will. Creative visualisation alone is therefore not the key. The key is a total commitment of self to Spirit within. This Inner Presence is called The Christ, which is the manifestation of God on the material plane. It is also, for practical purposes, synonymous with ‘Eternal Love’. This means that the individual grows spiritually until total Selflessness is achieved, in other words until the little, material ‘I” is completely under the command of the Christ Within each one of us.
When this happens, one becomes “Christ-like” . The Bible is full of examples of this: Mat 6:28, “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin. yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” And in Mar 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” And, Mat 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
One should note: The ‘pure in heart’ are those wonderful individuals who are totally in tune with their Higher Self… and when you meet such people you are immediately aware that they have Christ-like qualities… you see it in their joyful, un-complaining service to their fellow human beings and to nature. In them you see the fruits of the Spirit, as we see it in Jesus of Nazareth, (the Christ in Perfection), Buddha and other great souls. Those fruits are ‘Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control’.
When the tree of your life, Carmen, clearly bears these fruits, you will not need to employ ‘creative visualisation’ like a gadget to help you get what you want – a gadget you can easily put down again when you feel you don’t need it anymore. Instead, you yourself will have become a creative visualisation of your Father in Heaven.
The word ‘believe’ is rather over-worked in the English language through the lack of a word that fully describes the intense, total and passionate abdication of the “little self” or the ‘animal- I” to the greater “I”, as in … ‘be still and know that I am God’. If you are able to take that momentous step in your life, if, as some Christians like to say, you become “born again”, all the rest will be added unto you. As the child of the Almighty, all of God’s Good is already yours, since He is Omnipresent and Omniscient. This means that He is All-Wise and that He constitutes you and your affairs completely. And if your circumstances do not reflect this, it is because you have not learned to completely 'Let Go and Let God' in your life. That is why the bible says, in Mat 6:7 "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Mat 6:8, Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Please see clearly that living in God’s bounty is not like going into a super market and choosing what you want. Spirit knows what you need better than you do. The word 'want' stems from the small 'i' of us, while the word 'need' is from our Higher Self. And if you are suffering from lack of any kind, it is your Higher Self exposing you to the experiences you need to grow spiritually until you are ready to take that final step on the Path to Self-realisation. This means giving yourself over to Christ completely, making a decision stemming from your God-given free will and without reservations, or wants, of any kind. Then you will have made His Will, your Will. And His omniscient Will is for your Greater Good.
A final thought, I note that you regard sixty as ‘an advanced age’. I’m 69 now and I don’t know when I will be old. Perhaps when I’m seventy? Eighty? I have no idea and I don’t care. Don’t think of yourself as old before God decides that it is time to dismantle your body so that you are free to move on to your next great Spiritual Experience.