July 24, 2016
In Charles Fillmore’s metaphysical classic The Twelve Powers, he delineates twelve inner creative faculties with which each one of us is divinely endowed. Among these are the powers of love, faith, imagination, understanding, wisdom and will. We also have powers of strength, order, renunciation, zeal and life. The last of these twelve powers is the power of power itself.
No, that is not a misprint. As Fillmore sees it, you and I have a power called power. He also associates the power of power with dominion and mastery. To Fillmore, the key to having dominion and mastery over our experience is through the conscious and responsible use of our power of power, which, in practice means through the power of our word.
The power of power is sometimes confused with the power of strength, another of the twelve powers. However, the two are distinctly different powers. The power of strength is the capacity for endurance, the ability to persevere. The power of power is an altogether different creative faculty.
In The Twelve Powers, Fillmore locates each of these creative power centers in a different location in the body. He also associates each with one of Jesus’ twelve original apostles. He locates the seat of the power of power in the throat area, which is associated with our voice and by extension the spoken word. Fillmore associates the Apostle Phillip with the power of power, noting that the name Phillip originally meant “lover of horses.” In physical terms, a horse symbolizes power. In fact, we sometimes refer to the measure of a unit of power as “horsepower.” Scottish engineer, James Watt first adopted the term in the late 18th century as a means of comparing the output of steam engines to the power of draft horses.
“In the beginning was the word…”
These famous words, which kick off the Book of John, recall the beginning of the Judeo-Christian creation story told in Genesis. John 1 reminds us that the “word” was there in the beginning with God and was God. In Genesis 1, the process of creation kicks into gear when Elohim speaks the words “let there be light.”
Created in the image and likeness of God, the Original Creator, we are created to be creators. Therefore, like God, our word has creative power in the same manner. With our voice, we make sounds and express words to communicate our thoughts and feelings. The words we speak reveal our thoughts and feelings, which reveal the quality of our consciousness. More than this, it is our word, our power of power, that ignites the creative processes that ultimately define our personal reality.
“Be impeccable with your word.”
According to Toltec traditions, words have power. They are magic itself in terms of their creative power. However, for the Toltecs, words wield either white magic or black magic. In Don Miguel Ruiz’ bestseller, The Four Agreements, he articulates one of the agreements as “Be impeccable with your word.”
For the Toltecs, words should only be used for good. Ruiz describes that words will either spin “black magic” or “white magic.” Words that have the creative power of white magic are words like Love, Wisdom, Strength, Faith, Power and Imagination. You can likely easily imagine words that would equate with black magic.
In terms of the Western mindset and Judeo-Christian traditions, we don’t really believe in “magic.” Yet, we also demonstrate a deep, abiding capacity and propensity to believe in illusions. One of the biggest illusions we entertain is that we have no real power to effect change in our lives, or by extension change in the world. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Sticks and Stones
Do you remember the universal schoolyard mantra of protection? “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Yet, no matter how loud and persistently we might have chanted this mantra, its magic didn’t really seem to work. We still felt the sharp sting of the taunting, teasing words of others, or even worse we had to endure the shame and humiliation of a group of kids jeering and laughing at our embarrassment, and our impotence to stop the mocking perpetrators of our ridicule.
In these kinds of moments, we begin to create and learn defenses to either protect ourselves by withdrawing, or to act out and hurt others. All of this happened so innocently and seemingly innocuously, as we played childhood games with our friends, or in the careless communication and glib remarks from others in authority that we were taught to trust. Years on, many of us learn the hard way that our beliefs and attitudes still reflect the residual effects of mere words tauntingly spoken so recklessly in passing.
Words can hurt. Words can heal. Words can create. Words can destroy. Words have energy and creative power and they can be used for good or ill, as white magic or black magic as the Toltecs believed.
The Matrika Shakti
The Toltecs are far from the only religious or spiritual tradition to acknowledge the creative power in words or sound. In the Hindu mythology, the inherent power in sounds and words is encoded into the Sanskrit alphabet. The Hindus believe that each individual alphabetic sound that makes up a word has creative energy. The combination of these energies defines the creative power in the word itself. In Sanskrit, this power is called Matrika Shakti, the inherent creative energy behind the letters that make up words.
In the Hindu creation story, Brahma, the Creator, first revealed himself as a “golden embryo of sound.” The sound he made was the equivalent of a vowel, vibrating outward from his beingness, reverberating off the membrane walls of the embryo, echoing back upon itself and becoming the water and wind. In like fashion, all of creation continued and progressed as a result of sound and the inherent creative energy embodied within the sound.
In the Sanskrit alphabet, each letter corresponds to a sound vibration that resonates and produces effects not only in the cosmos, but also in the subtle energy streams of our physical bodies. When these sound vibrations resonate with a corresponding vibration within us they create thoughts, which in turn generate feelings and, ultimately, the words we use to communicate our experience.
For the Hindus, the power of the Matrika Shakti resides in our energy body. It rises into our consciousness through its own volition and manifests as thoughts. The quality of thoughts held in consciousness depend upon the seeds of creative energy harbored and nurtured over the course of many lifetimes. For example if we are experiencing shame in this lifetime, it is because we have sown the seeds of shame in previous incarnations. The Matrika Shakti of the letters and words that vibrate and resonate with the energy of shame are attracted to one another and come together to create the experience of shame. Of course, the very same principle is inherent in those that have sown the seeds of love or peace over the course of lifetimes, or even in this lifetime.
As we think, so shall we speak.
Thoughts are always the precursor of words. Words give creative power to our external reality. Both thoughts and words carry the power to influence consciousness and reality, for ourselves and others. For instance, the words love, peace or joy open us to experience the vibrational energy of those qualities. If we desire to create the experience of love, peace or joy in our lives, we must be mindful that the inner dialogue we allow in our consciousness also resonates with those same qualities.
The same holds true for how we think or talk about others, whether they are present or not. Because we transmit the inherent creative energy underlying all of our thoughts and words in all directions, at all times, we can and do affect others, both directly and indirectly. Even when the other person is not present, we transmit the energy of our thoughts and words to them telepathically.
Though they may not know we are thinking or speaking about them, they still feel the energetic effects. This same principle is effectively the basis for all prayer intended for others. We believe that the energy and intention of our prayers will travel wherever it needs to in the universe to be answered and received.
The same holds true for the negative criticisms or judgments of others we express in words when they are not present. Like Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us in The Four Agreements, the thoughts and words we transmit work both for or against ourselves and others, depending upon the seeds we sow in the activity of our thinking.
We are co-creating an experience with truth.
The third principle in Unity teachings essentially states that, we create our experience through the thoughts and feelings we hold in mind. There are many variations of this statement throughout Unity. However, what they all have in common is the idea that whatever kind of experience we are having, we are choosing how we experience it by the thoughts and feelings we nurture and maintain in the activity of our consciousness. This implies an awesome power to effect our reality, along with which comes a mighty responsibility, which many of us have challenges with assuming.
The activity of our mind creates a dynamic and powerful field of energy that emanates from within our own selves and radiates outward into the external world. The vibrational tone of this energetic field, and the creative power it implies, is the effect of the thoughts and feelings held in consciousness. This is not a new idea, though it has often been misunderstood and misapplied throughout history down through today.
You have always had the power of power available to you and have in truth been using it your entire life. Most likely, you may have experienced inconsistent and variable results for the better part of your life in the exercise of it, with the variable being whether you have been using your power of power consciously or otherwise.
In the beginning, there was the thought…
Words always follow the thought. Though the way some speak in today’s world, it would seem there is often no thought before the words. Yet, there always is thought before the word. In truth, it might be more appropriate to say: in the beginning there was the thought. In other words, before Elohim spoke the words “let there be light,” there was the thought or idea of light.
In the course of our lives, some times the underlying thought we are holding in consciousness mat be a little uncomfortable to actually bring out into the light of day. In such cases, we may use outlandish words in an attempt to misdirect attention away from the true thoughts. However, energetically speaking, the true thought is still communicated despite the attempt to obscure it with seemingly thoughtless words. In truth, there are no thoughtless words. Thought always precedes the word, or other vocal expression of the thought. Even a conspicuous “harrumph” can communicate an underlying thought of disdain or contempt.
As in schoolyard taunts, or criticisms received at the hand of those we trust, or even from our inner critic, all of these and more are grist for the mill of our evolution and spiritual expansion. The words of others may be able to hurt us temporarily, but even if they do, the power of our own word will set us free.
Ye are gods.
When we become vigilant to the thoughts and feelings active in our own consciousness, we set the stage to use our power of power more responsibly, and ultimately more powerfully. When we assume responsibility for the effects and consequences of the words we speak, both to ourselves and others, then we are using our power of power to uplift our own selves, those whom we encounter and, ultimately, the world at large.
Just as Jesus reminded the Pharisees of their own scripture and prophecy, creatively speaking, we are effectively the same as Elohim speaking, “Let there be light” at the beginning of creation. Likewise, we are also Brahma in the golden embryo making the sound of a vowel and setting into motion the creative powers of nature.
So, the real question we should be asking of ourselves before speaking is: does the word I am about to express align with what I believe to be true at the deepest point of my being? Muse, meditate, contemplate or think on this as you will, in your own way and in your own time. However, whether you do or not, be willing to inquire of your own self: how am I using the power of my word, my power of power?
When you do make the time to contemplate these questions, remember, you have been created in the image and likeness of the original, divine creator of all creation. All creative power is ultimately available to you in potential. You will express this power most often in the world with your words, which are an effect of your thoughts and feelings. You have the creative power to do inestimable good, or inconceivable ill and all degrees in between. The choice is, and always has been, yours.
So, how will you use your power of power from this moment forward? You will find the answer in the words you choose to speak, or otherwise express. Choose according to what you most wish to create in your life and in the world, knowing that all creative power is available to you and as you speak, so shall it be done.
Stay tuned in…