THE TWELVE DISCIPLES BY NEVILLE GODDARD
The twelve disciples represent the twelve qualities of mind which can be controlled and disciplined by man. If disciplined they will at all times obey the command of the one who has disciplined them.
These twelve qualities in man are potentials of every mind. Undisciplined their actions resemble more the actions of a mob than they do of a trained and disciplined army. All the storms and confusions that engulf man can be traced directly to these twelve ill-related characteristics of the human mind in its present slumbering state. Until they are awakened and disciplined they will permit every rumor and sensuous emotion to move them.
When these twelve are disciplined and brought under control the one who accomplishes this control will say to them, “Hereafter I call you not slaves but friends.” He knows that from that moment on each acquired disciplined attribute of mind will befriend and protect him.
The names of the twelve qualities reveal their natures. These names are not given to them until they are called to discipleship. They are: Simon, who was later surnamed Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite, and Judas.
The first quality to be called and disciplined is Simon or the attribute of hearing. This faculty, when lifted to the level of a disciple, permits only such impressions to reach consciousness as those which his hearing has commanded him to let enter. No matter what the wisdom of man might suggest or the evidence of his senses convey, if such suggestions and ideas are not in keeping with that which he hears, he remains unmoved. This one has been instructed by his Lord and made to understand that every suggestion he permits to pass his gate will, on reaching his Lord and Master (his consciousness), leave its impression there, which impression must in time become an expression.
The instruction to Simon is that he should permit only dignified and honorable visitors or impressions to enter the house (consciousness) of his Lord. No mistake can be covered up or hidden from his Master, for every expression of life tells his Lord whom he consciously or unconsciously entertained.
When Simon by his works proves himself to be a true and faithful disciple then he receives the surname of Peter or the rock, the unmoved disciple, the one who cannot be bribed or coerced by any visitor. He is called by his Lord Simon Peter, the one who faithfully hears the commands of his Lord and besides which commands he hears not.
It is this Simon Peter who discovers the I AM to be Christ, and for his discovery is given the keys to heaven, and is made the foundation stone upon which the Temple of God rests. Buildings must have firm foundations and only the disciplined hearing can, on learning that the I AM is Christ, remain firm and unmoved in the knowledge that I AM Christ and beside ME there is no savior.
The second quality to be called to discipleship is Andrew or courage. As the first quality, faith in oneself, is developed it automatically calls into being its brother, courage. Faith in oneself, which asks no man’s help but quietly and alone appropriates the consciousness of the quality desired and in spite of reason or the evidence of his senses to the contrary continues faithful patiently waiting in the knowledge that his unseen claim if sustained must be realized such faith develops a courage and strength of character that are beyond the wildest dreams of the undisciplined man whose faith is in things seen.
The faith of the undisciplined man cannot really be called faith. For if the armies, medicines or wisdom of man in which his faith is placed be taken from him, his faith and courage go with it. But from the disciplined one the whole world could be taken and yet he would remain faithful in the knowledge that the state of consciousness in which he abides must in due season embody itself. This courage is Peter’s brother Andrew, the disciple, who knows what it is to dare, to do and to be silent.
The next two who are called are also related. These are the brothers, James and John, James the just, the righteous judge, and his brother John, the beloved. Justice to be wise must be administered with love, ever turning the other cheek and at all times returning good for evil, love for hate, nonviolence for violence.
The disciple James, symbol of a disciplined judgment, must when raised to the high office of a supreme judge be blindfolded that he may not be influenced by the flesh nor judge after the appearances of being. Disciplined judgment is administered by one who is not influenced by appearances. The one who has called these brothers to discipleship continues faithful to his command to hear only that which he has been commanded to hear, namely, the Good. The man who has this quality of his mind disciplined is incapable of hearing and accepting as true anything either of himself or another which does not on the hearing fill his heart with love.
These two disciples or aspects of the mind are one and inseparable when awakened. Such a disciplined one forgives all men for being that which they are. He knows as a wise judge that every man perfectly expresses that which he is, as man, conscious of being. He knows that upon the changeless foundation of consciousness all manifestation rests, that changes of expression can be brought about only through changes of consciousness.
With neither condemnation nor criticism these disciplined qualities of the mind permit everyone to be that which he is. However, although allowing this perfect freedom of choice to all, they are nevertheless ever watchful to see that they themselves prophesy and do both for others and themselvesÑ only such things which when expressed glorify, dignify and give joy to the expresser.
The fifth quality called to discipleship is Philip. This one asked to be shown the Father. The awakened man knows that the Father is the state of consciousness in which man dwells, and that this state or Father can be seen only as it is expressed. He knows himself to be the perfect likeness or image of that consciousness with which he is identified. So he declares, “No man has at any time seen my Father, but I, the son, who dwelleth in his bosom have revealed him; therefore, when you see me, the son, you see my Father, for I come to bear witness of my Father.” I and my Father, consciousness and its expression, God and man, are one.
This aspect of the mind when disciplined persists until ideas, ambitions and desires become embodied realities. This is the quality which states “Yet in my flesh shall I see God.” It knows how to make the word flesh, how to give form to the formless.
The sixth disciple is called Bartholomew. This quality is the imaginative faculty, which quality of the mind when once awake distinguishes one from the masses. An awakened imagination places the one so awakened head and shoulders above the average man, giving him the appearance of a beacon light in a world of darkness. No quality so separates man from man as does the disciplined imagination. This I is the separation of the wheat from the chaff. Those ~ who have given most to society are our artists, scientists, inventors and others with vivid imaginations.
Should a survey be made to determine the reason why so many seemingly educated men and women fail in their after-college years or should it be made to determine the reason for the different earning powers of the masses, there would be no doubt but that imagination played the important part. Such a survey would show that it is imagination which makes one a leader while the lack of it makes one a follower.
Instead of developing the imagination of man, our educational system oftentimes stifles it by attempting to put into the mind of man the wisdom he seeks. It forces him to memorize a number of text books which, all too soon, are disproved by later text books. Education is not accomplished by putting something into man; its purpose is to draw out of man the wisdom which is latent within him. May the reader call Bartholomew to discipleship, for only as this quality is raised to discipleship will you have the capacity to conceive ideas that will lift you beyond the limitations of man.
The seventh is called Thomas. This disciplined quality doubts or denies every rumor and suggestion that are not in harmony with that which Simon Peter has been commanded to let enter. The man who is conscious of being healthy (not because of inherited health, diets or climate, but because he is awakened and knows the state of consciousness in which he lives) will, in spite of the conditions of the world, continue to express health. He could hear through the press, radio and wise men of the world that a plague was sweeping the earth and yet he would remain unmoved and unimpressed. Thomas, the doubter when disciplinedÑwould deny that sickness or anything else which was not in sympathy with the consciousness to which he belonged had any power to affect him.
This quality of denial when disciplined protects man from receiving impressions that are not in harmony with his nature. He adopts an attitude of total indifference to all suggestions that are foreign to that which he desires to express. Disciplined denial is not a fight or a struggle but total indifference.
Matthew, the eighth, is the gift of God. This quality of the mind reveals man’s desires as gifts of God. The man who has called this disciple into being knows that every desire of his heart is a gift from heaven and that it contains both the power and the plan of its self-expression. Such a man never questions the manner of its expression. He knows that the plan of expression is never revealed to man for God’s ways are past finding out. He fully accepts his desires as gifts already received and goes his way in peace confident that they shall appear.
The ninth disciple is called James the son of Alphaeus. This is the quality of discernment. A clear and ordered mind is the voice which calls this disciple into being. This faculty perceives that which is not revealed to the eye of man. This disciple judges not from appearances for it has the capacity to function in the realm of causes and so is never misled by appearances.
Clairvoyance is the faculty which is awakened when this quality is developed and disciplined, not the clairvoyance of the mediumistic seance rooms, but the true clairvoyance or clear seeing of the mystic. That is, this aspect of the mind has the capacity to interpret that which is seen. Discernment or the capacity to diagnose is the quality of James the son of Alphaeus.
Thaddaeus, the tenth, is the disciple of praise, a quality in which the undisciplined man is woefully lacking. When this quality of praise and thanksgiving is awake within man, he walks with the words, “Thank you, Father,” ever on his lips. He knows that his thanks for things not seen opens the windows of heaven and permits gifts beyond his capacity to receive to be poured upon him.
The man who is not thankful for things received is not likely to be the recipient of many gifts from the same source. Until this quality of the mind is disciplined, man will not see the desert blossom as the rose. Praise and thanksgiving are to the invisible gifts of God (one’s desires) what rain and sun are to the unseen seeds in the bosom of the earth.
The eleventh quality called is Simon of Canaan. A good key phrase for this disciple is “Hearing good news.” Simon of Canaan, or Simon from the land of milk and honey, when called to discipleship, is proof that the one who calls this faculty into being has become conscious of the abundant life. He can say with the Psalmist David, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” This disciplined aspect of the mind is incapable of hearing anything other than good news and so is well qualified to preach the Gospel or Good-spell.
The twelfth and last of the disciplined qualities of the mind is called Judas. When this quality is awake man knows that he must die to that which he is before he can become that which he desires to be. So it is said of this disciple that he committed suicide,which is the mystic’s way of telling the initiated that Judas ; the disciplined aspect of detachment. This one knows that his I AM or consciousness is his savior, so he lets all other saviors go. This quality when disciplined gives one the strength to let go.
The man who has called Judas into being has learned how to take his attention away from problems or limitations and to place it upon that which is the solution or savior. “Except ye be born again you cannot in anywise enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” “No greater love hath man than this, that he give his life for a friend.” When man realizes that the quality desired, if realized, would save and befriend him, he willingly gives up his life (present conception of himself) for his friend by detaching his consciousness from that which he is conscious of being and assuming the consciousness of that which he desires to be.
Judas, the one whom the world in its ignorance has blackened, will when man awakes from his undisciplined state, be placed on high for God is love and no greater love has a man than this that he lay down his life for a friend. Until man lets go of that which he is now conscious of being, he will not become that which he desires to be; and Judas is the one who accomplishes this through suicide or detachment.
These are the twelve qualities which were given to man in the foundation of the world. Man’s duty is to raise them to the level of discipleship. When this is accomplished man will say, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. I have glorified thee on earth and now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine Own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
Now Lets go into silence.