The Only Freedom: Chapter 4, Progressive Unfoldment
- W Chapter Four Progressive Unfoldment hen you first embark on a spiritual or religious way of life, questions regarding the meaning and use of certain words will inevitably arise. You cannot speak without using words and as you know from consulting any unabridged dictionary, the same word may have many meanings and sometimes not even similar meanings, depending on how it is used. When it comes to religious terminology, this is even more true because people of many different religions use the same words, such as a word like "God", and they believe in that God. But if you were to ask a Roman Catholic about God, you would have one answer, from a Protestant another answer, from a Hebrew still another, from a Vedantist a quite different one, and those following the teachings of Shankara or Zen Buddhism would give even other meanings for God. Yet they all use the word God, and it means something different to each one. In metaphysics the word "Christ" has a different meaning from its meaning in orthodoxy, and the word "prayer" is hardly recognizable from its dictionary meaning. Prayer to most people is a petition to God for something. To other people it is an affirmation of truth. To still others it is wordless but with inner thought, and then to others it is wordless and without thought. So prayer has different meanings for different persons. This is true of every question that has been raised in regard to the Bible. As you study the various approaches to truth, you will find that the teachers use the same words, but that each approach gives to those words its own special meaning. So it is in the Infinite Way. We do not always agree with others on the meaning of words, and others do not agree with us. That is understandable. The main thing is that we ourselves understand what we mean when we use certain words, statements, thoughts, or truths. Affirmations of Truth or Reminders? Affirmations are sometimes used in truth-teachings, that is, a repetition of the same statement ...
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1954 Infinite Way Letters: Chapter 7, The Middle Path
- ~ 7 ~ THE MIDDLE PATH "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Gal. 5:2-6) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." (Gal. 6:15) Under the Hebrew law circumcision was necessary. It was a part of the ritual, and without it you were not a good Jew and would not, probably, get into a good Jewish heaven. But we do not want to be a good Hebrew-we want to be a good Christian, and so we will not be circumcised! The passages quoted above say that circumcision or uncircumcision availeth nothing. Why is this so? Either way you are under the law, and whatever you are doing in order to be obedient to the law cheats you of Divine Grace. It does not matter whether you want to obey a Hebrew or a Christian law, a Muhammadan or a Hindu law: as long as you want to obey a law you are not under Grace. In setting up a loyalty to a man, a teaching, or a church, what becomes of your loyalty to God? In being loyal to God you cannot be false to any man, or to any organization, but in setting up a separate loyalty or obedience to a man-made rule, you break your allegiance to God. This was discovered at the drawing of the Constitution of the United States. This great document simply would not go together until the writers began to pray and to put God into their sessions. In this connection we find a strange thing: obedience to the Constitution of the United States is not obedience to man-made law. The Constitution is a revelation of liberty, justice and freedom, and these are qualities of God. The ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter I, The Two Worlds
- CHAPTER I THE TWO WORLDS There are two worlds. There is "this world," and there is "My kingdom." There is the world that we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, the world that we live in, in our business and in our home with our family; and there is the world within, where we live when the Christ has been raised up in us, the world inside our consciousness where we are alone with God and where we tabernacle with the son of God in us. On one hand, there is the mortal man, and on the other, the spiritual son of God. Paul, who was spiritually and inwardly taught by the Master, described mortal man as the "creature," the "natural man" who "receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"; and explained that "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Until we learn about the man who has his being in Christ-the man we must become-we are that "natural man," that "creature," that mortal who must put off mortality, that man who must "die daily." Progress on the spiritual path will be much more rapid once it is understood that this human or mortal man, this "creature," the "natural man," is entirely cut off from God, is never under the law or protection of God, and is never governed or sustained by God. If he were, could there be murder, rape, arson, or war? Could there be death if man were God-governed? Could there be disease? Could an airplane go hurtling out of the sky to kill all the people in it? If man were God-governed, would not disease have diminished? But has it not rather increased? For every disease that has been brought under control, have not two new ones, more deadly than the old, made their appearance? Yet every day millions upon millions of prayers go up to God; and then when a solution to the problems of the ills of the flesh comes, does it come from God or from a bottle of medicine, an antibiotic, or a new surgical discovery? Do not ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XXIII, Living In, Through, and By the Spirit
- CHAPTER XXIII LIVING IN, THROUGH, AND BY THE SPIRIT The attainment of the fourth-dimensional or illumined consciousness is the secret of harmonious, abundant, and gracious living, living without strife or struggle, completely free from the material sense of life. This freedom of the illumined is really a freedom from ignorance because only the ignorant can cleave to the belief that life is dependent on things and people in the external realm. Is not the whole material sense of life characterized by a faith, hope, and reliance on the external? To believe that life is dependent on a heart and sustained by food alone, or that strength is dependent on the development of muscles, in short, to believe that life is subject to, or dependent on, any thing or any thought is material sense. The truth is that life governs the external realm, but to come into agreement with that, we must understand that our body and our mind belong to us, and that it is I that governs that mind and that body, not the mind or the body that governs us. In the degree that we realize that I governs the mind and I governs the body are we illumined and free from the domination of mind and body. The mind is given to us as a thinking apparatus so that we can think what thoughts we want to think. We have a mind and we therefore determine what is going to occupy our mind. But inasmuch as we are human antennas, we often find ourselves thinking the thoughts that everybody else is thinking. That is why at times fear overwhelms us, a fear that is not our fear but the universal fear that we pick up through our everyday contact with the world. This that comes to us by way of the universal mind can be fear or it can be doubt, it can be almost anything; and until we are aware of the I, those things will continue to intrude into our experience and dominate us. But that domination will become less and less, the more we realize the I. There must be that recognition of I-I, Self-complete being: I am the embodiment of ...
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Conscious Union with God: Chapter 4, The Nature of Error
- ~ 4 ~ THE NATURE OF ERROR God is all, but nevertheless, every day and almost every hour of every day we are faced with error in some form, and if we are to be free of these errors, it is necessary for us to understand the nature of error. Eventually in our meditation, we will become so consciously one with God that error will never come near us; it will fade away automatically even as we approach it. Until that time, however, let us not hesitate or fear to talk about the nature of error and what to do about it when we see evidences of it. Everyone, regardless of what branch of metaphysics he has studied, has accepted, if only intellectually, the unreal nature of error. Therefore, in the working out of problems it becomes necessary for us to gain as much understanding as possible of the unreal nature of error so that it can be met and dissolved instantaneously. Error Is Never a Person, Place, Thing, or Condition Always when error appears to us, it appears as a person, place, thing, or condition. It may appear as disease, that is, as some kind of a localized condition, and that is what fools us. We go to work on the condition, and thereby make it a reality. Error never appears as error: It always appears in some form that will ensnare the unwary. If error would only appear as error, all of us would be free. If it would only say to us, "Steal a diamond ring," or, "Commit adultery," we would be so safe from it, because we would never succumb to such temptations. But it never appears in such ways. It always appears as a brilliant diamond attracting us, as a strong, handsome man or a beautiful, alluring woman tempting us. And we do not realize that that apparently desirable form is error. All that we see is the beautiful form that error has assumed, that error appears to be, that error appears as. The metaphysician who is wise and alert, however, will not only recognize that error always appears as person, place, thing, or condition, but that good also appears as person, ...
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Consciousness Is What I Am: Chapter 9, The Issues of Life Are in Consciousness
- ~ 9 ~ THE ISSUES OF LIFE ARE IN CONSCIOUSNESS Spiritual consciousness is the opposite of all we have been taught from infancy. For one thing it is a reversal of the commonly accepted idea of substance as that which we can see, feel, touch, or handle. So much effort is put into acquiring money, property, or merchandise that the world places its value in these things. Why are wars fought? Why are political elections held? Why the eternal struggle to try to own a business or create a monopoly? Is it not primarily for the purpose of acquiring money, property, or merchandise? All the thousands of years that this has been going on, people have not learned that even after these things are acquired there is no assurance of their being able to hold onto them or that they will buy the things they hoped to get. A gross materialist does not work for money for the sake of getting money. He believes that the money will buy something called satisfaction, pleasure, security, peace of mind, or power. Few persons think that money in and of itself is valuable. Even the man who owns a gold mine is not satisfied to keep the gold. He has to translate it into some other substance. Everyone who struggles for money expects to trade it, or some of it, for those things called peace of mind, health, or power. It is the same with those who gormandize. It is not the food they care about. Always in connection with the eating or overindulgence in food or drink is the belief that the indulgence will bring satisfaction. Where the materialist differs from those of spiritual vision is that the materialist believes that he must first accumulate the matter and then exchange it for spiritual values. In that he fails. The person of spiritual vision does not believe that spiritual qualities can be purchased with money, property, or merchandise. Rather he has arrived at the realization that they come from some fountain within his own being having nothing to do with money, and that a person may have no money ...
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Consciousness Transformed: April 28, 1963, The Unfolding Message: Spiritual Power
- THE UNFOLDING MESSAGE: SPIRITUAL POWER April 28, 1963 Halekulani Hotel I AM SURE that when we first come to a study of this nature most of us are thinking in terms of the benefit that we hope or expect to receive from it. In one way or another I think you will find it to be true that the object in seeking any kind of a teaching was self-benefit or self-improvement in some form. It would be an unusual occurrence for anyone to go out and look for a teaching that would benefit the world, because until consciousness has been spiritualized, our interests are concerned primarily with ourselves and our families. You would be surprised how many parents, hearing of this work, unite and ask for help for a member of their family who has a handicap of some mental, physical, or moral nature-but when we write back and say, "It will take your cooperation and study," nothing further is heard from them. In other words, their interest does not go even that far beyond themselves. This surely does not happen one hundred per cent, but there are many who write for help and never again answer when they learn that cooperation on their part is necessary. What I am trying to say is that to a lesser or greater degree we are seeking our own benefit. As we come to this present stage in your spiritual unfoldment, we must know by now that we of this generation are going to benefit less from this teaching than those of future generations. By comparison we will benefit by only a few grains. Why? Because the coming generations will be born into a higher consciousness, a higher spiritual level of consciousness than that into which we were born. They will not even be brought up as we were, with the idea of self- benefit. This is becoming apparent in many parts of the world where we have contacts, showing primarily the benefit that is coming to the world through the unfoldment of our consciousness and the amount of world work we are doing. This world work is not giving any of us the amount of benefit ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 13, Know Thy Self
- CHAPTER 13 Know Thy Self WE HAVE concluded that the measure of Christ that is raised up in an individual is the measure of Christ loosed in consciousness to raise up others. Then if you have been lifted up by so much as a particle of spiritual light, you are carrying that particle out into the world. This means that any degree of sin, disease, lack, or limitation that touches your consciousness immediately starts to be dissolved, and others get healings. But I am afraid to tell you that it also means that anyone who comes into the orbit of your experience clinging to the desire to do evil is apt to find themselves getting ready for a funeral, because coming into contact with the Christ of your consciousness will do to them what it did unto Judas Iscariot. If Judas will not let go of his evil, he will be carried off with his evil. We have on earth-and I can testify to this, since I travel the entire earth- hundreds of thousands of people (and we come in contact with tens of thousands of them) who are desirous of losing not only their diseases but their sins, their false appetites, their resentments, their jealousies, their envying, their malice, their lust, their greed. And because of Christ loosed in consciousness, they are finding healing. Also, there are those in all parts of the world who still believe that it is perfectly all right to live by the sword. They do not know that in this age, they are going to hit up against the Christ and die by the sword. They do not realize that the weapon that they use against humanity is the weapon that will cut them down, and not in the far future but in the very near present. As we have already noted, there was a time when man's inhumanity to man could make men rich and powerful; but that time has passed, that time is gone. There is a sufficient amount of the Christ loosed in human consciousness, that as evil hits up against that Christ, the evil is destroyed and the individual is set free. Again: only where the individual is ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter V, The Difficulties
- CHAPTER V THE DIFFICULTIES If we practice the foregoing meditations faithfully, undoubtedly many questions will arise as to certain procedures in meditation: What about the extraneous thoughts that race through the mind? Should we expect to see visions? Is there a definite length of time for each meditation? How much understanding is necessary? Does diet have any bearing on the effectiveness of meditation? Is any particular posture necessary or desirable? Let us consider the question of posture first. Meditation is most easily practiced when we are not conscious of the body. It we sit in a straight chair, with feet placed squarely on the floor, the back straight as it normally should be, the chin in, and both hands resting in the lap, the body should not intrude itself into our thoughts. This normal and natural position we should be able to maintain for five, ten, or twenty minutes, without thought reverting to the body. There is nothing mysterious about posture. In the Orient, few people sit on chairs; therefore, it is natural for them to meditate sitting on the floor with their legs crossed. In that position, they are comfortable; but we, of the Occident, would find such posture not only difficult to achieve, but, for most of us, very uncomfortable to maintain. If it is remembered that in meditation our whole attention is to be focused on God and the things of God, it will be readily understood that in meditating it is wise for the body to be in a natural or comfortable position, so that the attention is not drawn to the body. The only reason for assuming any particular posture is to make it easier to center the attention on God and to become receptive to Its infinite power. In meditation, a change within the system is noticeable. The spine is erect; the chest is high; the breathing becomes slower, and thoughts race through the mind less and less until they finally cease. Meditation is a conscious experience. As suggested earlier, it is a great help to begin ...
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The Foundation of Mysticism: Chapter 15, Mental Power
- ... Now, when I tell you that this is tragic, you must understand why: The power of God is all good and no one can ever use the power of God for a selfish purpose, for a personal purpose, or for a destructive purpose. It cannot be done. The nature of God is good, the nature of God is love, the nature of God is life eternal, and no one on the face of the globe will ever be able to pray, or to make use of spiritual power for a selfish or destructive purpose. That is why so many of the so-called prayers of the world are powerless: prayers to do this for me, or for my child, or for my nation, or for my soldiers. There cannot be answers to such prayers because God cannot be used in that way. God is universal good, the same today, tomorrow, and forever. And in the sight of God there is "neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free"; and anyone who attempts by any manner or means to utilize the power of God for a personal, selfish, or destructive purpose might just as well be touching a hot wire-they are on their way to self-destruction. God is no respecter of persons. God's rain falls on the just and the unjust. God's presence is the power of forgiveness to every phase of discord, whatever its name or nature. Now, this minister was not mistaken that plants did grow and were destroyed. His mistake was believing that it was spiritual power, or prayer, or contact with God that was responsible for the result. But God wasn't. Anyone could duplicate that experiment. It is entirely mental. No one really knows the extent of the power of the mind. No one has ever experimented enough to learn what the actual power of the mind is. I had the pleasure and privilege of being with a teacher who taught me how to leave this body and how to travel to any part of the globe I wanted to see. And for many years I enjoyed that experience, wandering out into this world practically every night-not that it proved anything from a spiritual standpoint. It merely proved that the mind is not encased in the body. ...
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