Practicing the Presence: Chapter I, Spiritual Consciousness
- CHAPTER I SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS The secret of harmonious living is the development of spiritual consciousness. In that consciousness, fear and anxiety disappear, and life becomes meaningful with fulfillment as its keynote. The degree of spiritual consciousness which we attain can be measured by the extent to which we relinquish our dependence on the external world of form and place our faith and confidence in something greater than ourselves, in the Infinite Invisible, which can surmount any and every obstacle. It is an awareness of the grace of God. There is a specific practice which will aid in the attainment of this spiritual consciousness. It is a practice which can be carried on throughout the day as the world crowds in upon us, reminding us that we need this or desire that. To every such insistent demand, let our answer be: "No, no. This is not what I need or want. Thy grace is my sufficiency, nothing else-not money, not marbles, only Thy grace." Let us learn to hold to that resolutely. If the need seems to be railway fare, rent, clothing, housing, or health, let us steadfastly acknowledge that our only need is His grace. Our work may require greater strength, greater knowledge, or greater ability than we seem to possess, or there may be greater demands made upon our purse than we can meet. Instead of accepting this apparent lack, let us remember, "He performeth the thing that is appointed for me. . . . The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me," or some other scriptural passage. The human belief may be that there is a physical, mental, moral, or financial demand made upon us greater than our ability to fulfill; but the very moment we turn to that He that is within us, recognizing that He performeth that which is given us to do, He perfecteth that which concerneth us, a weight drops off our shoulders, and the sense of personal responsibility lifts. All of a sudden, we are given the necessary ability, which we discover is not our ability at all; it is ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 6, My True Identity
- CHAPTER 6 My True Identity I AM INVISIBLE. You have never seen me. You have only seen your, or the world's, concept of my body. Me you haven't seen, for I am hiding behind my eyes. I have never seen you. I see out there only forms. I can't see you, because you're behind those eyes looking out at me, and I can't see behind your eyes. That's where you are-not inside your skull, but looking through those eyes. Now if you have pondered in meditation this idea: "Who am I? What am I? I do not exist in my feet. I do not exist in my knees, in my stomach, my chest, my head," then where do I exist? I search myself from toenails to the topmost of my hair and I cannot find me. I ponder and ponder, "What is this mystery of my true identity? Why is it I have always thought I was either of this body or in this body? Now I perceive that I am not of this body and I never was in this body. I never could be encompassed in a body." As you ponder that in meditation, sooner or later God will reveal to you the secret of that I-how you exist, and where, and when. Then you will know why I say, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." It is not you that I am looking at but Thou, the I that you are-that which is looking out at me, that which is invisible. That is why I cannot visualize it and that is why I cannot imagine what you look like. I don't know what your form is. I do not know what your character or nature is as I look out. When I retire into the I that I really am, I can commune with you. I cannot see you with my eyes, and that is why I can't describe you. But I know you. I can tabernacle with you, I can commune with you, I can even talk with you. You may be ten thousand miles away, but I can still be communing with you because the I of you and the I of me Is all Omnipresence. Where I am, thou art. Wherever thou art, I am, for I am in you and you are in me, and we are in God, for we are One. You see, for all those difficult passages of Scripture, omnipresence is the word, ...
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The Foundation of Mysticism: Chapter 11, Three Principles and Their Practice
- ~ 11 ~ THREE PRINCIPLES AND THEIR PRACTICE Good Evening. We are working now with specific healing principles of the Infinite Way that we are to apply in meeting problems of our everyday living. I recognize, and you must recognize, that there is going to be some difficulty with this because most of you have other metaphysical backgrounds. The major principles of the Infinite Way are not only not the principles of your previous studies, but some of them may appear to be very contradictory. I know them many students do have difficulties when they try to mix the principles of their former teachings with these principles of the Infinite Way. They make no headway or have difficulties in their demonstration of harmony. Last night I explained one of these principles, and I hope I made very clear what is probably the most important principle in the message of the Infinite Way. God, being infinite, is never used for any purpose. God is never used for overcoming sin, disease, or death. In the Infinite Way, truth isn't used at all. The very opposite of that is the truth in the Infinite Way. We seek to become the instruments of truth; we open ourselves that we may be used by truth, by God, that God may manifest itself as our individual being, that God may live its life as us, that God may lead, guide, direct, govern, sustain, maintain, support, supply. And we are the instruments through which, as which, that takes place. You see, the wisdom of God is infinite-omniscient-therefore it is ridiculous to believe that we can tell God, ask God, or inform God of our needs. It is an impossibility for us to know more than God. It is only possible for us to know as much as God if we first know that we know nothing, and then let the wisdom of God manifest as our wisdom. In other words, as I indicated last night, you develop a receptive attitude for the inflow of inspiration as you would if you were a composer, an artist, or a writer, always keeping your attention within as a listening ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: November 1957, Gratitude
- CHAPTER ELEVEN: NOVEMBER Gratitude FEW people understand the nature of gratitude. Just what is gratitude? Are human beings capable of gratitude? Actually, we should not expect gratitude from a person, and if we do expect it, we shall be disappointed because gratitude is beyond the capacity of a human being. Many people believe that money and gratitude are synonymous, but in reality, they have no relationship to each other. There are times when money can be a symbol of gratitude, but it is a mistake to tie them together because gratitude goes far beyond money. For example, if we should ask a practitioner for help for a headache and attempted to express our gratitude in a monetary form, we might well believe that a nominal payment would be a sufficient expression of gratitude; but on the other hand, if we were healed of a cancer, we might feel that even if we took our last dollar and ran into debt besides, it would be a very small token of gratitude for such a healing. In both cases, we would be wrong, because gratitude for spiritual healing has no relationship at all to what has been healed. Spiritual healing can only come through a realization of God. It can only take place when an individual has so dedicated himself to spiritual living that he becomes a transparency through which God can act; and when the Spirit of God flows through an individual, that Spirit of God can heal the headache or the cancer. There should be no difference in the degree of gratitude in either case because our gratitude should not be merely for the healing of a headache or for the healing of a cancer. No, we should be grateful because we have been privileged to be a living witness to the fact that God is as available on earth today as He was two thousand years ago. How, then, can we be more grateful for the presence of God in one case than in another? The world at large does not have access to God because it has cut itself off from contact with God. Many people believe that if they go to ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 15, Immanuel
- ~ 15 ~ IMMANUEL Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100 "KNOW YE THAT THE LORD HE IS GOD: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves." Let us take that as our guiding light; let us try to realize in this moment that it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. Just to be reminded of that truth and keep it uppermost in consciousness should be a healing influence. Immediately, whatever of sin, disease, or discord may be floating about anywhere should begin to fade out with the realization: "It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves." That places the responsibility for our health, wealth, peace, safety and security upon God, the creative Principle. To each one of us, God means something different, but those differences are not important. What is important is that we recognize that there is a creative Principle, a causative Power, and that It created us, and not we ourselves. In the New Testament, John confirms this truth when he says, "Now are we the sons of God." 1 Again it is made clear that God is the causative or creative principle of our being. If once we are able to accept that, how comforting it is to realize that that which God has created He must maintain and sustain. God must be the law unto it-not only the law-giver, but the law itself. God must be the life of that which God creates, and if God is the life of our being, then our being is eternal and immortal. Therefore, to accept even for a moment the belief or fear of death, of passing on, or of leaving this plane of consciousness is really a sin against the Holy Ghost. We ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XII, The Discovery of the Self
- ... If we are to find that Kingdom, therefore, we shall have to seek inside to find it, for that is where it is; and if we wish to show our love for God, we shall have to express love to one another because that is where we will find the God to love. If we want to serve God, we had better learn to serve one another, because only in that way can we serve the Father that sent you and me into expression. Every bit of love that we express is a love that is expressed to us. When we are expressing love impersonally to the downtrodden and abandoned people of the world, we are really expressing love to ourselves because the Self of those others is the Self of us. This is the Way: there is but one Self. I am that Self; and I am that Self even if I am appearing as you. I am that Self, even when I am appearing as the beggar or the thief. Is it not easy, then, to forgive, knowing that I am forgiving myself, that I am forgiving my own ignorance, forgiving my ignorance even when it appears as someone else? "Love is the fulfilling of the law." Therefore, love is the Way, and this means the love that I express, for I am the Way. I must express love, forgiveness, and patience; I must pray that the light of the world be revealed even in the darkest consciousness. I must do unto others as I would have others do unto me, because the I of me is the I of the other: we are one. The Self of me is the Self of you, because there is only one Self, and this is God's Self. This is oneness; this is divine sonship. The spiritual way of life is a recognition of oneness, sonship. The Way brings the recognition that the I of me and the I of you are one and the same I. The I AM that I am is the I AM that you are, because this is the I AM that God is, and God is the I AM which is the I AM of you and the I AM of me. Therefore, the recognition of I AM-ness is the Way. It is some measure of this realization that enables us to live as if I am you and you are the I that I am, and therefore we are one; and ...
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Our Spiritual Resources: Chapter Twelve, The Principle of Nonpower
- CHAPTER TWELVE THE PRINCIPLE OF NONPOWER Christmas holidays hold many important lessons for us, and it would be well to approach this season with an understanding of the nature of all our holidays, or holy days, as symbolizing important aspects of the spiritual life. In ancient times when truth was taught only to those who had some measure of education-and usually this meant only to those in the upper stratum of society -in order to keep these teachings from the uneducated masses who might, in their ignorance, misunderstand and misapply them, all teaching was done by symbols. That the Master recognized this fact and the desirability of giving the most sacred teachings only to the few is evidenced by his cautioning his followers against casting pearls before swine lest they be trampled upon. Because truth could be misunderstood, every attempt was made to keep it from those who might misuse it. You may wonder whether it is possible to misapply truth or to use it destructively, and that of course would depend upon what truth you are thinking about and the truth about what. For example, today the area of learning related to the realm of the mind is almost completely untapped. No one up to the present time has undertaken a study of the mind from a correct standpoint even though thousands of years ago the secret of the mind was known in its fullness. With the complete knowledge of mind and its operation in those early days came the abuse and misuse of such knowledge. Separate and apart from the ancient schools of wisdom, other schools which were called black brotherhoods, sprang up. In these brotherhoods, the membership consisted of some of the students who had received their original training in the wisdom schools and who perverted their knowledge to evil purposes and sometimes used it merely for personal or selfish ends; but whatever the purpose, the knowledge was used erroneously. Out of that, in all the primitive races, there sprang up practices in which the mind was ...
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Spiritual Discernment: Chapter 5, Judge Not According to the Appearance
- Chapter Five Judge Not According to the Appearance God is the creative principle of the universe. But could there be a God without a universe to which He could be a principle or a law? God is not an unexpressed God. God and Its infinite individuality exist and express simultaneously and instantaneously. I know of no other words to use to bring out the truth that I cannot exist except as I express. Take away expression and what do you have as I? Nothing. Has there ever been a time when there was a principle of mathematics but no 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0? Did the principle of mathematics suddenly decide to appear as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0? Or are the principles of mathematics and its number values simultaneous and instantaneous? Is there a principle of music without do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do or its equivalent in tone? Could there be a principle of music without musical values? If your answer is "Yes," there must have been a principle of music without anything to which it could be a principle. The principle of music is what sustains do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do in their natural values, just as the principle of mathematics sustains to eternity the values of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. But what would the principle of mathematics or music do without numbers and notes? Consciousness Is Conscious Of There is much misleading teaching today on the point that you and I do not exist, that only God exists. How could that possibly be true? Behind what I am saying is the consciousness that exists as the consciousness of that which exists. Consciousness does not exist as a blank. Consciousness exists conscious of. It could not be consciousness unless it were conscious of. This may sound like an intellectual analysis, but behind it is an intuitive knowledge that there is no awareness without something of which to be aware. Just as mathematics has its numbers and music its notes, so this principle of Life, which is also the principle of mathematics and music, has ...
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Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Spiritual Development
- ... The sky is not sitting on the mountain, and the illusion is not "out there" where it seems to be, but is your false sense of what you are beholding. You cannot get rid of the illusion; you must understand it as illusion, and see through it to ever-prevent Reality. Understand that all that appears is God- appearing, despite the illusory sense of it you may be momentarily entertaining, and even the illusion will be dispelled. Error is never personal. You must therefore never condemn a person, but see the error as impersonal, a part of universal mesmerism and no part of any individual. In this impersonalizing of error, you dispel it. One of the great laws of the Bible is, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44). Your understanding of the prayer of forgiveness is that it is the realization of oneness. To know that that which is appearing, as persecutor, hater, enemy in any form, is really the Christ itself, which finite sense has misinterpreted, will free you of any evil effects of hate, persecution and enmity. Never forget that there is in reality no sick person to heal, neither a sinner to reform - only the Christ-presence to be spiritually discerned. This is the true law of forgiveness. Thus we pray for our enemies. There is a prevalent belief that the thought of certain individuals or groups can harm you. You cannot be made to suffer from any belief other than your own acceptance of a selfhood apart from God. Those who entertain a belief in two minds or in a life that can be impaired or ended, or in a selfhood apart from God, suffer from that belief in proportion as the belief is accepted. This, too, can be healed in a moment by relinquishing the belief in two powers, and the belief in more than one Presence. The purpose of your study is, first, the improvement of humanhood - the improvement of health, wealth, harmony, companionship, home and ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 2, Before Abraham
- CHAPTER 2 "Before Abraham" IMPERSONALIZE GOD and what do you have? You have divine Being, universally expressing Itself, universally manifesting Itself; before Abraham was, and unto the end of the world. This is what you get when you impersonalize God: you get infinite, divine Being, from the so-called beginning to the so-called ending. You also discover that there was no beginning, as there will be no ending, for life is a circle. It never began. It never ends. It Is! Before Abraham, It Is; unto the end of the world, It Is. It Is I AM! I AM! Before Abraham was, I Am! As one mystic said, "Before God was, I am"; and this is Truth. Before there was such a thing as a God concept in anyone's mind, I am. Someone else has said, "If there were not a God, man would have to make one." Do you not see that this only promotes that we might live forever in darkness, that we have to make up a God, that we have to form a concept of God, that we have to have some image or idea, in our mind, of God? God is invisible, indescribable, incorporeal, infinite, from everlasting to everlasting, and who can draw a picture of that? Who can invent a word to encompass that? The only word that has ever been shown forth that set men free is that word I! Whenever it was revealed, the veil was removed. Whenever God was personalized and finitized, or made an image in this or that religion, the veil was on again. Why could the mystic see that God is closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet, when there is nothing closer than breathing but I myself? We are to relax, to rest, in this consciousness, the creative Principle of life, the Reality of life, the Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience that Is within me. Closer than breathing Is the Selfhood of me. Relax in It and let It perform Its work. This also shows you why it was said, "He performeth that which is given me to do, He perfecteth that which concerneth me." There is always this He, that is within me, that we identify as not a "He" ...
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