Author Dr. Laurel Fuller Clark, representing the School of Metaphysics, gave the following address with the title “The Universal Language of Mind” at the Unity-and-Diversity 30th Anniversary Festival in Los Angeles, California. This conference was designed to understand the underlying unity among seemingly diverse elements of society and to aid in creating a vision for a new universal civilization.
Our Divine Nature
a lecture by Dr. Laurel Clark
I hope before you leave here this morning you discover a solution for one of the problems that you would like to correct in humanity. I know that a lot of the talks throughout this weekend are about the problems that are facing Los Angeles and also facing the world. From the time that I was very, very young, it never made sense to me that people do things to each other that are mean. Why is it that people steal from each other, why are people cruel to each other, why is it that people rob, why are they greedy? It doesn’t make sense that people live that way or that they treat each other that way. Whether you’re talking about a problem in society like crime, or whether you’re talking about an individual problem like depression or loneliness, it never did make sense to me that people would be here and would be alive and live with problems. But a lot of people say, “Well, that’s just human nature. It’s human nature to have problems, it’s human nature to steal, it’s human nature to get angry.” And I don’t believe that and I never have believed that.
I don’t know how many of you are religious people, and whether you are or not it doesn’t really matter. If you read scripture from any religion in the world, if you read mythology, if you read literature that speaks in symbols, you will find a prevailing thought. Every scripture that I’ve ever read, from whatever religion it is, says that there is some kind of Higher Power; there is something greater than human beings. And every scripture I’ve ever read says that this greater power is a force for good, it’s not a force for evil. The other universal element that’s in every scripture of the world is that people are made like this Higher Power that is a force for good. Now it doesn’t matter whether you call it God, or whether you call it Allah, or whether you call it Brahma or whether you don’t even see it as a single deity. It might be the Buddha nature or the Tao. All of those names describe a single concept. And that concept is that there is order in the universe, that the order is toward progressive goodness, the order is toward light (which means awareness), and that all of us are connected in an interrelated whole. So whatever one person does, no matter where you are and no matter who you are, affects everything and everybody else on this entire planet. What that means is that we need each other. It also means that what I do is important to your life and what you do is important to my life. And the more that we understand that and the more that we recognize how related we are to each other the more everybody benefits.
In the Bible, which is the scripture that’s widely used in this culture, it describes creation like this: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl upon the earth. So God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” Now in that one passage it gives you some very important keys to understand who we are, why we’re here and why it is that our true nature really is good. It says that we were created after the likeness of our creator. That means that we were created to be like our creator. If you think about a child, a physical child who is created to be like their physical parent, it means they have similar attributes to their parent. Well, the same thing is true with us being created to be like our mental parent. We have the same attributes that our Creator has. That means that we’re inherently creative beings, it means that we’re inherently divine. It also says that we were created in the image of God. The image, if you extend that word a little bit, is the same as the word imagination. It means that our creator imagined us into existence and that is also how we create, through the use of imagination.
This passage also says that man was given dominion over all the lower forms of life. And I know that some people really really react to that idea! They think it means that man destroys the planet by trying to change all the lower forms of life. Actually that picture is describing that we are creative beings and that we have the ability to create anything, that all of the substance in this world is in our hands for us to use to create. The key to being a creator like our Creator is to be responsible for what we create. Not to just create haphazardly, but to recognize that any time that we cause some kind of movement it’s going to cause a change somewhere else. Any time we transform one thing over here it’s going to transform something over there. So it doesn’t mean that it’s bad that we use our creative power. It means that we need to have vision, in order to see how what we do right here is going to affect someone somewhere else.
I live in Missouri which is where the School of Metaphysics is headquartered, and last year there were tremendous floods that wiped out much of the St. Louis area and much of the Kansas City area. Many of those floods were caused by the fact that there are man made communities that change the course of two big rivers that run through Missouri, the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers. Well, eventually that had to give way, and so there were floods. Oftentimes that is the reason why we experience what we call disasters, because in our creative activity we don’t always pay attention to the long term effects of what we are going to cause. So in order to be responsible we need to have some kind of vision of how what we do here will affect someone else over there.
If it is true that humanity really is divine, and that we do come from a Creator and that Creator is good, and that means that we are inherently good, then why is it that people fight? Why is it that people are mean to each other, why is it that people steal from each other, why do people rape one another, why do they break into other people’s stores? People do that because they have forgotten or denied the fact that they have a creative essence. They have forgotten the fact or maybe are not even aware of the fact that they’re not physical beings. We have these physical bodies that we use to get around in, but this physical body is not who we are. Who we are is a spiritual being or a soul. You know that by the fact that when you go to sleep at night you are not aware of your physical body, you’re not aware of your physical senses, but you still exist. You exist in what we call a dream state.
The more that people become connected with their own inner Self or their own soul the more they’re able to understand why we’re here and how to use this life for the purpose that is intended for us. When you’re disconnected from your own soul or your own inner Self you also become disconnected from other people. When people are lonely, depressed, or when they are angry it is because they are not fulfilling their own inner nature. When you are not fulfilling your own inner nature you tend to take it out on other people which is unfortunate, but it still doesn’t solve the problem. If somebody thinks that they don’t have enough physical resources, let’s say, and they think that they don’t have within them what it requires to earn what they want for physical resources, and they take it from someone else or they steal it from someone else do you think that really makes them happy? I’ve never known anybody who was a criminal who was happy. I never known anybody who was not good to other people who was happy. So it tells me right there that that is not our true nature.
Life forms other than human beings harmonize with the world around them. They fulfill what their nature is because they don’t have free will like we do. We have to choose to be happy. We have to choose to create. We have to choose to harmonize with one another. So in that there’s a great blessing because it means that we can choose the greatest way to harmonize with other beings, but it also means that we have a greater responsibility. It’s not something that just comes automatically.
If you think about why we’re even here, it seems pretty obvious that we’re not here to make money, we’re not here to buy cars, we’re not here to fill our houses with physical possessions. Even though some people try to live that way. The reason why we’re here is to know who we are, to know how we can become more like our Creator; in other words, how we can become more creative in everything we do. And to know how to love. Think about what love is. Have you ever had a plant that didn’t seem to do very well and every time you watered it you said, “I hate this plant. It just won’t grow right!”? Well, you do that and in a short period of time the plant is dead. Now if you have a plant, even if it’s kind of weak and maybe not looking so great, and you just really love it and every time you water it you touch it and think to it, “I love this plant. This is such a beautiful plant, I really love it,” it flourishes. In a really short period of time you can see how powerful that energy is. And that’s not just true with plants. It’s true with animals, it’s true with people, it’s true with anything you do. Anything that you love you cause to flourish. Think about when people are in love. When people are in love, everybody around them says, “You’re beautiful, you’re so happy. What is it about you? You just have this glow around you.” That’s what love is. It’s a positive, creative, growth-filled force. And that is really why we’re here, to create and to love.
Now I want you to think about somebody you know who loves what they do in their life. It might be their job, it might be a church that they’re involved with, it might be a hobby that they have. I guarantee you that that is a person who is happy. I guarantee you that is a person who is a real pleasure to be around. I guarantee you it is also somebody who thinks about other people. They’re not just consumed in their own work, in their own hobby or in their own world. When people are creating they are at peace with themselves because they are fulfilling what their true nature is, what their divine nature is. When people love what they do, whatever the activity is, they are also at peace with themselves. And so they’re good to other people.
The people who don’t do that, the people who get involved in crime, the people who are engrossed in poverty, people who complain all the time, are people who are not creative in their lives. They are people who tend to live by habit or they tend to live for physical reasons only. A good example of that is somebody who, let’s say, is in sales, or they’re in some kind of occupation where they have physical goals only. Now people can be motivated for a period of time with physical goals like money, but it doesn’t last. I have never met anybody who is motivated by money alone. I have met people who have been motivated by the love of their families or people who have been motivated by a spiritual ideal. In fact, I bet you if you speak to any of the volunteers who are at this conference, they’re probably really delighted to be doing what they are doing even though they’re not getting paid for it. And that is true of most people who do what they love to do. They money is a nice benefit but that’s not why they do what they do. They do what they do because they have some ideal greater than themselves that they live for. And that really is what all of us seek.
I believe and have found that each one of us as an individual has some unique talent, some unique gift. There is something about each one of us that is different from everybody else. Outwardly we can see it in physical differences of race, physical differences of culture, physical differences of religion and gender. But the real difference between each one of us is our own uniqueness and what it is that each one of us has to offer to the world. Think about the world as being like a giant jig-saw puzzle and each person is one piece in the puzzle. If each person is really doing what they’re here to do this lifetime, if they’re really giving from the inner source of their being, then we have the whole puzzle and it works well together. When people don’t know why they are here or they deny why they are here — sometimes people do have some idea of their gifts but they don’t use them for whatever reason — that’s when they take away from the puzzle. It’s when they think they have to grab more than is theirs, or when they get jealous of other people and try to tear down other people. So the real solution for us to live in harmony with all of our differences is for each one of us to do what it is that we’re here to do, what is fulfilling to our souls. When you do that you know that it is not physical things themselves that make you happy.
I know sometimes people believe that there is more to why they’re here than just acquiring physical things and physical possessions. But they don’t always know how to find out what that is. There are two ways that are guaranteed to work to connect with your own inner Self, to really find out why you are here and how to do it. The first way is through stilling your mind through some kind of spiritual discipline like meditation. When you can still the chatter in your conscious mind, when you can still the thoughts that go racing through your mind all the time and really hear your Inner Self, that in itself will transform your life. The second way, and that’s what I’m going to focus on this morning, is through understanding your dreams, the dreams that you have at night. Every night when we go to sleep we shut off the chatter in our conscious mind. When you’re asleep you’re not aware of your physical body, you’re not aware of your physical senses, you’re not distracted by the fifty billion physical desires that are around you. All of that is shut off and that part of you that you can be aware of is what’s called your soul or your Inner Self. Your dreams are a communication, from your Inner Self or your soul to your outer self or your conscious mind, that tell you about you. Every dream that you have tells you about you. And when I say you I’m not talking about the physical you; I’m talking about the soul you. Your dreams tell you about the state of your own awareness. So they will tell you about what is most productive and fulfilling to your soul and they will give you very significant keys, very significant guidance to understand how to fulfill that.
In order to learn how to use those messages it means understanding the language that your dreams speak, and that language is a language of symbols. It’s what in the School of Metaphysics we have termed the Universal Language of Mind. Now the universal part of the Universal Language of Mind means that the symbols are universal. They mean the same thing for everyone no matter who they are, no matter where they’re from, no matter what they’re makeup is. If you have ever read mythology or scripture, you’ll find that the same myths and the same stories in scripture show up in whatever culture it is from, in whatever language it is in, whatever group of people it relates to. Even though the names of people are different and the outward trappings might be a little bit different, the same images run through all scriptures and through all mythology, even fairy tales. Now why is that? It’s because that language of images or symbols is universal. And it is also because at a soul level all of us are connected. All of us have universal desires, all of us have universal urges, all of us have the same reason for being here despite all of our outward physical differences.
When I was in college I studied philosophy. I remember reading Plato and this idea that Plato had of Forms. The idea is that for every physical object that exists in the universe there is a Form in the inner levels of consciousness. That idea was so stimulating to me, but I really didn’t understand it. When I learned about the Universal Language of Mind I began to understand what he was talking about. What he was talking about was that every physical thing in this world is an outward manifestation of an inner soul desire or an inner soul need. The inner essence of every physical thing is the reason why we even have desires. Any spiritual teacher understands that and that’s why spiritual teachings, for the most part, are told in stories. They’re told in allegories, they’re told in parables, because those are pictures and a picture is something that anyone can relate to.
When you see a street sign with an arrow pointing left, in a red circle with a slash through it, what does that picture mean? “No left turn.” Now if you did not speak English as your native language, you would still know that means “no left turn.” That is why symbols are used for street signs, because you don’t have to be able to read, you don’t have to be able to speak a particular language to understand it. That’s why in the cars we drive nowadays it doesn’t say the word “seat belt”; you have a little picture of a man with a seat belt on. The picture is universal and that is the Universal Language of Mind, a language of symbols or images. It’s why computers that are “user friendly” have little icons — they’re pictures so that you can understand what those commands are telling you.
The same thing is true of the Universal Language of Mind as it appears in scripture, as it appears in your dreams, as it appears in mythology. If you understand what those symbols mean then you can understand any scripture, you can understand any myth, you can understand your own Self through your dreams. So it’s a very valuable language for you to be able to understand and know.
One of the most appealing things to me about understanding the Universal Language of Mind is that it helps you to understand why you have the kinds of physical desires that you have. It helps you to understand that we do all come from a common origin. Whatever different name you choose to call it there is a common Creator, there is a common source from which we all derive. And there is a common place to which we’re all going. We’re all going toward each one of us fulfilling our complete potential, being completely divine if you want to call it that. The more that we understand what our physical desires are telling us about our soul desires, then the more directly we can fulfill that and the more directly we can be at peace with ourselves and then be at peace with one another. I bet if you talk to people from different backgrounds and different cultures, you’ll find out that people want essentially the same things.
When we were at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago there were about 7000 people from all over the world from all different faith traditions. Some of the people spoke English, some of the people didn’t, but even though there were many physical differences and people were dressed in many different kinds of clothing from their native countries, people are people. People really do have universal desires and it was very beautiful to be able to see that. If you think about what some of the things are that people want and why they want it, it helps us to live more fulfilled lives. I’ll give you an example. Most people nowadays want money. Some people want a lot of money. Some people want just enough money to care for their needs but everybody wants money. Now why is that? If you even think about where money came from and how it was developed, it is a means of exchange that we use to understand our own value. When you work, whatever it is that you have of that’s of value, whatever talent you have, whatever creativity you have, it might be physical labor, it might be mental creation…there’s something of yourself that you give to others that other people want. That’s what you have that’s of value, and you get paid for it. In most cases, the money that you get paid you then use in exchange for something that someone else has of value. Let’s say someone is an artist and they sell jewelry that they make. They have created something of value, and then you buy that with money. So money is an exchange of value. The inner reason why people want money is because they want to understand their own value. That is the reason why people who do volunteer work that they know is of value are not so concerned about whether they get paid for it. They don’t need the symbol of money to let them know that they are valuable. They know it because they know that they are doing good works. One of my ideals that everybody will give of themselves so that they know they are valuable whether they get paid for it or not.
Now think about somebody who never has enough money; no matter how much money they have it’s never enough. They could have a million dollars and it’s not enough or they could have five dollars and it’s not enough. There are some people that are like that, whatever they have, it’s never enough. That is a person who does not know their own value. They don’t understand what it is about them that is valuable. I know many people who are like that. I remember talking to one in particular, and telling her some of the things that I really appreciated about her, and she didn’t believe me. She did not believe that those were actually qualities in herself that I thought were of value. So it really began to make sense to me why this person also never seems to think that the money that she has is enough, because she is not aware of how valuable she is as a person.
When people know what money represents and understand that, then they can begin to put the desire for money into perspective. Now I know a lot of people think that one of the problems we have these days is that there are not enough resources to go around, for the number of people we have on this planet there are not enough physical resources. Their idea is that this universe is a pie that has a fixed number of pieces. So if you have ten people and there’s only eight pieces of the pie, there’s not enough to go around. But on a spiritual level that is not true. We have unlimited resources and the more creative we are the better use we make of the resources we have. On a physical level you can see how that happens when you have finished with a piece of clothing you have worn, it’s still in good condition and you donate it to a charity so someone else gets to wear it. That physical resource has been used for more than one person. Or think about being able to make something with your hands rather than buying it, that is another way that you can increase resources. There are many, many ways that we can increase the amount of resources that we have available for our use. Probably the best way to discover that there is more than enough on this planet for everyone is to eliminate waste. If you, in even small ways, eliminate the amount of resources that you waste, if you don’t use up as much as you are used to using up because you don’t really need it, then that’s available for someone else to use.
The more that you learn how to find soul fulfillment, the more you discover the difference between what you really need to be fulfilled and what you want. There are unlimited physical desires that you could satisfy, and if all you think about are your physical desires, without thinking about what those represent in terms of your soul needs, then you’re never satisfied. For example, you buy a car and there’s ten more new cars that come out, so you could want ten more new cars, or you buy an article of clothing, then there’s fifty thousand other articles of clothing that you could buy. If you think about what it is that you need and you satisfy what you need there’s plenty, there’s more than plenty to be fulfilled. And that is what the Universal Language of Mind can help you to understand. What does this physical thing represents to me as a soul and how can I fulfill that soul desire?
Another example that sometimes is kind of surprising to people is what other people in your life represent. If you think about the people that you know who you’re drawn to or attracted to, it’s not that you are physically attracted to them even though you might think of it that way. You’re drawn to a quality within that person that you admire, and probably one that you want to make a part of your own expression. Now think about the flip side of that, a person who just gets under your skin. There is a quality in them that irritates you, and although most people don’t like to admit it, in most cases that is a quality in you as well. The more that you learn to understand yourself, and how to understand those qualities in yourself that are a source of conflict, the more you harmonize with other people. You have fewer conflicts with other people. And this is one of the most valuable lessons that you can learn from your dreams, because what we have discovered in our research in the School of Metaphysics is that when you dream about other people you’re not really dreaming about other people. Those people in your dreams symbolize aspects or qualities in yourself so you’re dreaming about you when you dream about those other people.
Now I’ve been teaching dream interpretation since 1979 and sometimes people hate hearing that. They say “Oh no, no, there’s no way I’m like my ex-husband!” But they dream about him all the time. What they’re dreaming about is a part of themselves that they want to understand. And the beautiful thing about that is when you do admit that those qualities are in you, and you learn to understand them and transform them in yourself, it transforms your relationships with other people. When I first started studying metaphysics I was pretty passive and indecisive outwardly. I had strong ideas and convictions but I would never speak my mind. And I could not understand why throughout my life I was around people who were really bossy and domineering who would always tell me what to do. Well, the fact is, I wanted to incorporate into myself being more decisive and being more directive. But because I wasn’t doing that I kept drawing people toward me and choosing people who would tell me what to do, because I wasn’t deciding myself what I wanted to do. When I finally admitted that and started changing some of the passivity by being more directive, lo and behold, I found that those people didn’t bug me so much any more. I didn’t find so much anymore that they seemed bossy and domineering. And I also found that I was able to get along with them better because I was speaking my mind more and I didn’t let them push me around and they didn’t try to push me around. You probably have heard this idea before: people do not become victimized by accident. People bring it upon themselves. It may be hard to admit that, but when you do admit that and change it, then your life really changes and your relationships with other people change.
So the more that you understand what the experiences and events out here in your physical world represent to you as a soul, the more rapidly you can cause transformation in yourself. The more rapidly you can understand how to make choices that will be productive and fulfilling for your Self. One of the reasons why the School of Metaphysics was brought into being was so that we could teach people how to understand the Universal Language of Mind. Throughout history there have been many cultures that have understood the value of dreams. In a lot of cultures the only people who interpret dreams are the holy people like the priests or the shamans. The same thing is true with scripture interpretation. In a lot of religions only priests or the ministers interpret the scriptures. One of our missions in the School of Metaphysics is to teach everyone about the Universal Language of Mind, so that the understanding of what have been inner secrets of the mind and the Self is not secret any more, so that everybody can understand, so that everybody can become more fulfilled and more productive. When you cause peace within your Self it causes peace among other people and one of our ideals is to cause that to come about.
We are an educational organization and the word education means to draw forth. Sometimes people think that education means that you have a teacher who tells you what to do, and a good teacher is one who tells you what to do and then you do it. When you do it, you draw forth from within yourself your own potential and that’s what true education is, to draw forth from within the individual what they already have inside. The kind of education that we provide enables people to draw forth, develop, use, and fulfill their full potential. Then they can really bring about the fulfillment and fruition of what is divine within themselves.