A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XXVI, My Kingdom Is Not of This World
- CHAPTER XXVI "MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD" To live in My kingdom is to live in the circle of eternity. "This world" is the world of mankind, but My kingdom is of an entirely different nature. My kingdom is not the realm of physical health. My kingdom is not the realm of material riches. We all know what constitutes physical health, but what is the health of My kingdom? What is the health of the spiritual kingdom? What is God's state of health, and the state of health of the son of God? We know of what material supply and material wealth are constituted, but what are heavenly riches? What does it mean to be "joint-heir to all the heavenly riches"? What are the heavenly riches to which we are heir, and yet which we are not enjoying in the human scene? They cannot have anything to do with such things as money, investments, or property because "My kingdom is not of this world." On the spiritual path, therefore, there is no use in going to "My kingdom" to get something for this world. We must seek first the kingdom of God; we must learn how to pray so that in praying to a God of Spirit we are praying only for heavenly riches, spiritual health, and spiritual companionship. As long as we are trying to get material riches, physical health, or human companionship, that is what we will get, and it will sometimes be good and sometimes evil, sometimes right and sometimes wrong, because all materiality is made up of the belief in two powers-good and evil. But if we keep our consciousness aligned with spiritual reality and keep our desires in the realm of spiritual form and spiritual well-being, we shall experience the joy and the peace of spiritual oneness. To seek to know the nature of heavenly riches, of spiritual health, and of spiritual companionship is not seeking for anything of a material or human nature: it is a resting in the Grace of the spiritual kingdom. The word "Grace" cannot be translated into such things as money, houses, or families. We have to leave the ...
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The Mystical I: Chapter Five, The Two Ways of I
- CHAPTER FIVE THE TWO WAYS OF I Those of you who are on the spiritual path are living in two worlds, the material and the spiritual. It may be that some of you at the moment are experiencing very little of the spiritual world, but surely you do occasionally catch glimpses of it in or after a meditation. The experience of this expanded consciousness may come, too, when you have asked for help, have been temporarily lifted out of yourself- out of your problems or out of your body-and for a brief second have caught a glimpse of a consciousness beyond that of the "natural man,"1 the man who never enters heaven, never receives a blessing from God, and is never under the law of God. The consciousness of the natural man is just a branch of a tree that is cut off and is withering, gradually approaching threescore years and ten-a few more or a few less-never even suspecting that there is another realm. While in the consciousness of the natural man, something within turns you in the direction of a spiritual teaching, and if this teaching happens to be the Infinite Way, you are led not merely through some principles of metaphysics, but into the practice of principles that must eventually result in meditation. It is in meditation that this glimpse of the spiritual kingdom is given to you, because in meditation you are not seeking things. You are not seeking health, prosperity, or companionship: you are seeking the kingdom of God, and "in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh,"2 the Christ reveals Itself, and spiritual grace takes over. It might be a momentary glimpse which leaves you for days and does not return, but if you are really determined to follow this path you will keep at it until that awareness does return, not once but again and again. The more often you seek it and the more often you attain it, the closer you are to that place where you are living more in the kingdom of God than in the world. THE LIGHT IS GIVEN TO BE A LIGHT Sometimes people think that ...
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The Only Freedom: Chapter 8, God Realized
- I Chapter Eight God Realized n meditation God reveals Itself to us and, in revealing Itself, It becomes the presence and power that takes over and governs our experience. If we think of going into meditation believing that it is going to overcome some problem or remove some obstacle, we defeat our purpose and prevent its activity. The reason we stress the nature of error is to remind ourselves that we are not seeking the realization of God for the purpose of overcoming error but, with an understanding that error has no power, we are turning within only for God-realization, and not for any purpose, that is, not to achieve anything. The only achievement is God- realization itself. To have a thought beyond that is to jeopardize our success. We do not go to God to get something as if God were withholding it and as if our going would persuade Him to loosen up. We go to God only for the experience of communion, to sit in the presence of God, to feel the hand of God, and to be touched with the Spirit by the grace of God. That is enough, and when that happens, the discords of human experience begin to fade. The Nature of Gratitude It is right for us to enjoy spiritual grace translated into terms of human harmony and peace, but we cannot gain them by going to God solely for that purpose. Students will often feel a greater sense of gratitude for the healing of some so-called serious problem than they will for the healing of some minor thing. In our work that is rank error because it does not lie within our power to heal a headache or a cancer. But a realization of the presence of God reveals harmony where there was discord. Therefore, what we achieve for those who turn to us for help is the realization of God's presence, and whether it removes a headache or a cancer is incidental. It will do whatever is necessary, and sometimes far more than we could ever dream about. It is more far reaching than the immediate object we may have in mind. To express gratitude in a different ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter X, Reality and Illusion
- CHAPTER X REALITY AND ILLUSION To recognize that we live in two worlds, the world created by the five physical senses and the world of Consciousness, is to bring ourselves closer and closer to illumination. In the first chapter of Genesis, God made man in His own image and likeness, without any help from anyone. This pure spiritual birth, this immaculate conception, is God manifesting and expressing Himself and His qualities, Consciousness revealing Itself as form. This is pure, unadulterated, spiritual creation, the immaculate conception of man and the universe, God, the infinite Life expressing Itself individually without any material forms, processes, or systems. In the second chapter of Genesis, God not only creates but He miscreates, and because of His mistakes, He has to do it over and over again. First, He "formed man of the dust of the ground," then, He brought woman forth from man's rib, and finally He decided to bring man and woman together for the purpose of creation. Is it reasonable to believe that the infinite Intelligence of this universe needed to make two attempts at creation? This man of earth, "the natural man" who is not under the law of God, "neither indeed can be," is not a man at all: he is a mythical creation of the human mind, of the five physical senses. To make clear how this mind creates, let us examine how it has created a man- made God. Close your eyes for a moment, and take the word God into your consciousness. Do you believe that this is God, or is this not a projection of your mind? Has this God any power? Is there really such a Presence, or is this just a self-created image of your own thinking? Let us go further afield and let us attempt to decide what God is. Instantly to our thought comes an answer, but the answer is not truth, and the answer is not God because the answer is a projection of our background. Anyone who has been an orthodox Christian almost immediately thinks of Jesus Christ. If one's background is Hebrew, he ...
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Conscious Union with God: Chapter 13, Mysticism
- ... I personally believe that. I believe that since life is eternal, we have always lived, and inasmuch as we have always lived, we must have lived in, or out of, some particular state of consciousness, and therefore some people are very, very much further developed than others. For example, suppose you, who have reached at least a high enough state of consciousness to be reading and studying truth, were at this moment to pass on. You would not find yourself having to experience all the things you had to go through before you came to this spiritual awareness. You would very likely begin on the next plane where you are at this minute as a spiritually developed Soul-in some cases even much further ahead because often the act of transition is a freeing one. Our particular concern at this moment, however, is not to speculate as to why one person gets healed quickly and another one does not. Our particular problem is the development of some measure of Christ-consciousness-that divine universal Love, that sense of forgiveness and gratitude-the development of our consciousness to that point where we neither fear, hate, nor love error. Do not forget that the command of the Master was, "Love thy neighbor." 9 It was not only a command to love God, but to love your neighbor, to love your neighbor as yourself. Sometimes some of us become so absolute about our love for God that we forget our neighbor. But we cannot do that in this work. We want the full measure of the Christ; and therefore, we must not only love God with all our heart and with all our soul, but we must love our neighbor also; and that love must be shown forth in compassion, patience, justice, kindness, forbearance, and joy-a willingness to share all of the good that God has given us. Above all, we must give up our egotistic belief that we have personal powers as practitioners. Our healings will be in proportion as we realize that all power is given to us through God, through the Christ which strengthens us. And that ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XIII, The Unillumined and the Illumined
- CHAPTER XIII THE UNILLUMINED AND THE ILLUMINED The parenthesis in which we live consists of the degree of mental or material limitation that we come under through the universal belief in two powers. Removing the parenthesis means unseeing the human picture and becoming consciously aware of our spiritual Selfhood. What we are really doing on the spiritual path is trying to wipe out that parenthesis by realizing that we are not living in any form of human limitation: time or space, calendars or climates. The more we attain a living realization of the spiritual nature of our being through meditation, the fainter the parenthesis becomes and the closer we are to becoming one with Infinity and Eternality. The moment we perceive that there is but one Life and that we are living that Life, the parenthesis is being removed, at least being so rubbed out that there are only faint traces of it left. For centuries to come, there may be remnants of that parenthesis in the lives of all of us, but it will not be such a hard and fast parenthesis that it imprisons us in mortality, that is, in a material concept of life. Every meditation that results in an inner response hastens the fading out of the parenthesis. Every experience of depth in meditation makes us less subject to the limitations of the parenthesis, less subject to the calendar, to climate, and to the changing economic conditions of the world. One of the evils of living inside the parenthesis is that we resist change. As long as our particular parenthesis is halfway comfortable, we want to live in it. It does not even have to be a healthy or wealthy parenthesis so long as there is enough for survival and the pain is not too severe. But while human nature resists change, spiritual unfoldment compels change, breaking up the old patterns continuously. In fact, spiritual progress demands that every form be broken, no matter how good it is. No matter how comfortable life may be, Spirit will not let us rest in some degree of ...
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Living by Grace: Chapter 8, Message to Teachers on the Spiritual Path
- CHAPTER 8 MESSAGE TO TEACHERS ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH The ministry of Truth tempts many to enter the path to gratify their ego in being known as a practitioner or teacher or lecturer or leader or for some other desire for personal gratification. Be sure you have received the signal within, which is your passport on the journey. The greatest temptation above all others is having one's own concept of Truth. Complete discipleship comes only when all sense of personal knowledge of Truth disappears. While we are on earth, there is never a time when we are outside the range of temptation, because temptation is subtle. It can appear as the desire for prestige, wealth, or fame, or it can appear as the temptation to wield power. Once an individual has been touched by the Spirit, people believe that is not possible for them to sin. That is not true! The Bible is filled with those who succumbed to temptation. There was Judas. There was Lot's wife. There was Peter, who denied the Master. Even Jesus was tempted three times, although He did not succumb to these temptations. The person on the spiritual path, even if he is at the beginner's level, should become conscious of the fact that a wrong done by him or her is far more serious than a wrong done by others. A wrong done under the robe of the Spirit is a crime against the Spirit. There is only one Consciousness, so once God Consciousness has become the consciousness of the teacher and the teacher violates that God Consciousness, the penalty is great. That teacher loses the God Consciousness. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that everyone on the spiritual path, but especially those who would be teachers, maintain at all times a high degree of spiritual integrity. Coming into an Awareness of Spirit Healing work cannot be done with the mind, just as God cannot be reached through the mind. If you knew all the truth in metaphysical textbooks such as Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, or Lessons in ...
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Showing Forth the Presence of God: Chapter 2, Freedom by Grace
- Chapter Two Freedom By Grace Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4 In our human experience, we live primarily by our own efforts, by virtue of air, food, water, and investments. We live by all the things of the outer world. Almost from the beginning of time, it has been known that while this materialistic way of life may result in the attaining of the things we seek, it seldom brings real satisfaction after they have been attained. Although living in the world with a total reliance on the things of the outer world does sometimes result in the attainment of what we may have been seeking, it usually leaves us frustrated because we have neither become complete in ourselves, nor have we attained an inner satisfaction or a sense of rightness. Material Progress Does Not Necessarily Conflict With Spiritual Values For this very reason, throughout all time there have been those few persons devoted to something higher than material accomplishments. Referring to the material good of this world, however, as "just material accomplishments" is not meant to place it in the category of the unnecessary or the evil. Let us not make the mistake of believing that there is no value in these great accomplishments on the material level, because that is nonsensical. The world is better off than in any previous generation, because of the invention, science, discovery, exploration, mining, and research that have been going on for years. We need not decry these material advances. The tragedy is that our moral and spiritual development has not kept pace with our material achievements. I realize that too often we hear discussions and read articles or books giving the impression that materialism is some kind of an evil, that the development, as well as the conservation, of our natural resources, and the discoveries of the many conveniences which we enjoy today in some way are wrong. To take such an attitude is to revert in a ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter IV, The Indissoluble Union
- CHAPTER IV THE INDISSOLUBLE UNION Very little progress can be made on the spiritual path of life until we have caught some vision of what God is, of what our relationship to God is, and of what God's function is in our life. This cannot be a vicarious experience; it must be individual and it must be approached in a completely relaxed manner. We must be unwilling to accept any authority other than our own interior revelation. So we ask ourselves questions about God, which will lead into a meditation on God: What is God? What does God mean to me? What is the place and function of God in my life? How many people have ever had a God-experience? How many have felt the flow of the Spirit in their minds, in their souls, in their bodies? The number is small, only a few hundred or at the most a few thousand in a generation; and yet God is available to every man, woman, and child. God demands our entire love and devotion; we must give ourselves to Him in order that He may reveal the eternal givingness of Himself to us. We must love God supremely with our whole heart, mind, and soul; love God so much that our only prayer is: "I must feel God; I must let God fill my soul, my heart, my mind, my being, my very body." We speak of God as impersonal Intelligence, Mind, Principle, but God is personal, too. The relationship between an individual and God is closer than his relationship with his own mother. It is like reaching out and feeling a presence always there, gentle, reassuring in its very quietness; it is joy, peace, and warmth. The moment we have a God-experience, that gentleness is there, that peace is there, that warmth is there; and with it comes a love toward everything in this world, a sense of companionship and joy in one another. The normal concept of God is that of a God separate and apart from us, who has within Himself all good but is withholding it from us. Usually, in praying to God, it is for the purpose of seeking or getting something from God-health, supply, ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: July 1959, Spiritual Freedom
- CHAPTER SEVEN: JULY Spiritual Freedom IN the human scene, most people are primarily concerned with themselves, and after themselves, with their family, and after their family with their business or profession; but as they rise in spiritual consciousness, the problems of their community and those of their nation become important to them, and the higher they rise spiritually, the more keenly are they aware of world problems. It is doubtful if anyone can attain a very high level of spiritual consciousness without being made more aware of the world's problems than before he attained such spiritual consciousness. Why must that necessarily be true? The answer can be found in the one word "freedom." Above all others, the spiritually illumined person understands the real meaning of freedom, and because he himself has experienced it, he longs to share that same freedom with the whole world. He has discovered that actually the only problem facing the world is a lack of freedom. The human race is not and never has been free. It is enslaved-physically, politically, and economically-first of all, by itself, within itself, and within its own body. Moreover, it is chained by the physical habits and by the political and economic theories and beliefs of generations. For example, witness the extent to which the entire race is in slavery to money. It is only the mystic who is free of the limiting belief that dollar bills, pounds sterling, or some other form of currency controls one's destiny. The greater the heights of spiritual consciousness you reach, the more keenly will you become aware of the many, many forms of slavery which are binding men and women to a life of dissatisfaction and frustration, and simultaneously the stronger will become the urge within you to see them set free. That is why some people in the earliest stages of their spiritual growth become zealots with the drive of a Paul. They want to go out into the world and free all men, and like Paul, they often end up ...
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