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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Realization of Oneness: Chapter 8, On the Sea of Spirit
- 8) On the Sea of Spirit Life on the spiritual path can be divided into three major periods: the first a very pleasant one, the second not quite so comfortable, and the third not only pleasant but satisfying. The first stage is pleasant because our thoughts are centered primarily on changing conditions of evil, error, discord, and inharmony into more harmonious conditions, and, as many of us have discovered, some of these changes do take place. We gain a better sense of health, very often a much better sense of supply, and our human relationships adjust themselves and become much more satisfactory than they were before. In this first stage of our spiritual unfoldment, it is a joyous thing to watch some part of the old man "die," 1 and the new man be "born," watch the old conditions disappear, and new and more harmonious ones appear. LIVING IN TWO WORLDS The second stage is probably the longest period, and the most difficult one. This is because in the second stage we are living in two worlds. We have glimpsed something of the nature of Reality, and something of the unreal nature of the phenomenal world, gradually leading us to a state of consciousness where we do not quickly run for an aspirin the moment we have a cold, or immediately consult a doctor when something more serious develops. We have little or no fear about these disturbing physical conditions because they no longer hold the same terror for us. Unfortunately, most of our friends do not think as we do, and they can make life fairly miserable for us by reminding us that we must be practical, that we must protect ourselves from disease and danger, and that it is unreasonable and impractical to forgive our enemies. Because of this conflict, we often find ourselves living in two worlds with the necessity of catering to both of them. Apparently, there is no way of running away from either one of them; and inasmuch as we do not want to lose the spiritual ground that we have gained by so much work, study, and ...
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Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Spiritual Healing
- ... Let your freedom from the need of these be in your inner realization. Never boast or brag of your freedom from material means - that would be a sure sign you haven't the realization. Let your assurance of permanent Grace be an inner conviction which is outwardly felt by those with whom you come in contact. Never voice it except in the closed closet with a student who is on the brink of discovery. It is wiser to live your revelation than to speak it. Jesus walked on the water, but he did not advocate it as a general practice; he fed the multitudes, but he knew that we would have to grow to the stature of Christ before we could accomplish it, and therefore, he did not reproach those who worked for their daily bread. Live your demonstrated spiritual consciousness and let your living preach it. Do not take your patients or students a step further than they can see at the moment. If they try to walk on the water too soon, be alert - be present to raise them. Always stand by with love, forbearance and forgiveness. Life becomes an adventure when we realize the presence of the Christ. No longer is there concern or anxiety for some person "out there" or for some circumstance or condition. Life is now lived one moment at a time and that moment is now and that moment is God's moment. If your life is not an adventure now; if you are not living in a joyous expectancy, a confident assurance, then there is still a concern for some one or something "out there" instead of a relaxing in the consciousness that all Life is self-sustained. You are not necessary to anyone's demonstration of life or security. Your consciousness of this truth would help to set free any whom you may be holding in bondage to the belief of human dependency. When one avenue of supply closes, another opens to fill this moment with God's fullness - as long as one abides in the consciousness of the Presence. The world becomes your playground when you lose fear and concern in the recognition of the presence of the ...
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The Contemplative Life: Chapter 11, Supply and Secrecy
- ... As we travel the spiritual path, we learn that we do not have health or abundance because of any virtue of our own. When we see good and virtuous men and women suffering from either disease or lack, and on the other hand, rascals by the hundreds abounding in health and supply, it is very difficult to accept the doctrine of a God of reward and punishment. My many years on this path have demonstrated to my satisfaction that our supply is in direct proportion to our receptivity, that is, to the degree of gratitude that we express in the form of bread placed upon the waters as benevolence, forgiveness, or praying for our enemies because then we are expressing spiritual principles. There are persons who give away great fortunes, some, it is true, with no ulterior motive, but many who are not giving in accordance with spiritual principles because they are primarily influenced by personal considerations in their giving. It is the motive that is important, not the amount. It is impossible to ... Too often, people want to share the truth they have with others; they see them in distress and feel that what they have could be so important to those they want to help that they try to rush out and tell them about it, but when they are so tempted, they should remember this teaching of secrecy, remember that they may gain a neighbor's good will, but they will also forfeit divine Grace. Keep truth within yourself until it comes to fruition. Give forth the fruitage of truth, but do not give forth the truth you know. Give forth the fruitage in the form of forgiveness, prayers, tithing. All these things may be done, but keep the secret of it within you until you do know that it is so clearly established in you that you can share it freely and liberally without fear of losing it. Practice these principles, lock them up within you, ponder them, meditate upon them until they bring forth fruit after their own kind, and then you will really be grateful for this lesson and reap a rich harvest: ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 7, The Law
- ~ 7 ~ THE LAW "The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind." 1 Fruitful activity is an activity of mind; therefore, it is infinite, omnipresent, and never dependent on person or circumstance. Whatever intelligence, education, experience we may have has been given us of God and includes the opportunity for expression. We naturally include within ourselves, within our own consciousness, right activity and the opportunity for expressing that activity. Mind and its manifestation is one. Wherever there is mind, there is manifestation for they are one. This truth corrects the belief that we are ever separate or apart from our good. We include, embody, embrace within our consciousness all good. "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." 2 Nothing can be added to or taken from us. The one thing you must keep in thought is this: "The kingdom of God is within you." 3 Never should you look to anything or anyone for that which you seem to lack, but as soon as a need seems to become apparent, know that right then and there that which seems to be lacking exists as completed demonstration within you. As you acquire the habit of continually looking within your consciousness for the fulfillment of all needs, you will find that in a natural, normal way the fulfillment will appear. The human thought looks outside itself for peace, power, supply, but truth reveals that the divine mind is your only mind, and in this mind your completed experience is evident, and always as manifestation. There is no need to pray to God for anything. He continually pours forth his bounty as all that is required for your harmonious existence. This principle, or law, prevents evil in any form from touching you. If you will constantly practice throughout the day what has been written so far (until it becomes a veritable part of your consciousness), you will very quickly see things begin to happen. In this way ...
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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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A Message for the Ages: Chapter 6, Not Appearances But Is
- Chapter Six Not Appearances But Is The Infinite Way1 clearly states that a problem cannot be met on the level of the problem. Ninety percent of the failures in healing arise from ignorance of the meaning of that statement. When, from every human standpoint, a person appears to be dying, the immediate thought would probably be, "What are we going to do to save his life?" When a person talks of unhappiness in his marriage, our first thought runs to "What can be done to make the marriage a happy one?" When a person is unemployed, immediately there comes to mind, "What can we think or know to bring employment to him?" All this is a barrier to success in healing because no Infinite Way student is a healer of disease or of sin, nor is he an employment agency or a marriage counselor. He does not meet a problem on the level of the problem, so no matter what the person says about his problem, the Infinite Way student is not hearing it, and certainly he is not answering it because that would put him in the realm of a counselor or doctor. No problem can ever be met on the level of the problem. The Fluctuating Nature of Humanhood The picture that confronts us is that there is sick humanhood and well humanhood, sinful humanhood and pure humanhood, living humanhood and dead humanhood, and the purpose of the medical and ministerial world is to take that bad or erroneous humanhood and put it over onto the good side. But that does not in any way enter into our ministry. The function of our ministry is to ignore everything that is being told us about sin, disease, death, lack, limitation, and politics, and to go down through the center, through what we call the middle path. We do not think in terms of what a wonderful society it would be if only all politicians were honest, if everybody were humanly well, or if everybody had a sufficient income. We have had periods in American history where, on the whole, conditions were very good. The country made tremendous progress; the standard ...
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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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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 11, Awake Thou That Sleepest
- ... Just multiply the human relationship existing between almost any two persons, and then you will find of what the human world consists, and you will also know that there is no solution to these cleavages on the human plane because always one will be seeing what his rights are, and the other will be seeing his rights. One will be seeing his privileges, and the other will be seeing the other's duties, and so there is no coming together. The solution lies in spiritual means. As you begin to see that "man, whose breath is in his nostrils" is not a reality or an evil but an illusion, and that actually there stands the Christ, as you begin to understand the spiritual nature of individual being, you will begin to see a change in relationships, even if in the beginning it is only on the side of the one who has caught the first glimpse of spiritual light. Then you will find less antagonism, less greed, less anger, less fault-finding, and less of the negative qualities of humanhood. It would be an utter impossibility for one individual to live consistently in a consciousness of love and forgiveness and not have the other eventually respond in some measure-or be removed and leave room for someone else to come in, in harmony, in peace, with the new dimension, the Christ. When you see this universe from the standpoint of Christ as individual being, when you look through the appearance to the reality, letting every opinion, thought, and conviction stem from God, then the world will begin to come to you in this new dimension, perhaps not entirely because there still is plenty of hardened thought in the world, but that is not your concern. Your concern is that you begin, and since you and I are of the household of God, and we have caught a glimpse, at least, of true being, we are the ones who must do this in our own way. The truth is that we have no choice in the matter. We are the ones who must do it, and we are the ones who must continue to do it because of the measure of grace ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 12, Fishers of Men
- ~ 12 ~ "FISHERS OF MEN" In spiritual literature and in Scripture, there are many references which might indicate to you that you must change your way of life or you must do something in order to earn the grace of God. Remember what I say to you now: The responsibility is not on your shoulders, nor is it on any other person's shoulders. Therefore, I ask you to refrain from all indulgence in criticism or judgment of everyone in the world, and more particularly judgment, criticism, condemnation, and belittling of yourself and your own understanding because the responsibility to improve yourself is not on your shoulders; it is on the shoulders of the Christ. Rest more in the realization of the Christ as that which is leading, guiding, and directing you. Never believe that the saints and sages and seers of the world, by some great act of their own will, became saints, sages, and seers, because it is not true. Even in this age, we have seen enough of the beloved spiritual lights- teachers, leaders, practitioners-to know that they, by their own will or grace, never gave up their personal sense of life to become spiritual teachers or leaders, but rather that the grace of God pulled them out of the business world or out of their housekeeping duties, and made of them "fishers of men." The Master walked the hillside and as he chose each disciple, his promise was, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." 1 Perhaps you think that there were men of high understanding because they obeyed. No, they had no power not to obey. They had no more power to resist the Master than you and I have right now. When the Master says, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men," you will obey. You have already obeyed in the sacrifice of time, money, effort, study, and meditation that you are making. You have already shown that you have no capacity to resist the activity of the Christ in your consciousness, even if you had the will or the desire, which, of course, you do not have. But ...
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