Seek Ye First: Chapter 2, The Spiritual Goal
- Chapter Two The Spiritual Goal On the spiritual path, we have a definite goal, a specific place to reach. That goal is not the gaining of good health, better morals, more abundant supply, satisfying companionship, or a beautiful home. These are the added things that come with the attainment of the goal. If we had these other things and did not attain our real goal, we would still have nothing but baubles and bangles, nothing but shadows. When we have attained our goal, we have all the added things as the fruitage, including permanent harmony, permanent peace, permanent health, and permanent abundance. The Experience, Not Words The first step is reaching the awareness of the presence of God. It is not the final one: it is the first one. We may intellectually agree that God is omnipresence, that the kingdom of God is within us, or that Christ dwells within us. This can in no way be considered the attainment of the goal. That is merely making a statement about it, merely affirming something that we hope eventually to experience. Our goal, however, is not the declaration and not the intellectual knowledge that there is an indwelling Christ: our goal is the actual experience of the Christ. We can talk about food forever and starve; we can talk about water forever and thirst. We must have the experience of eating and drinking in order to be satisfied. So talking about truth, voicing truth, or hearing messages of truth may be very well in its place, but it is not a very satisfactory place. We begin to know satisfaction only when we experience the Christ. Then we, too, can echo Paul's statement: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 1 The ultimate goal is conscious union with God, but that goal is reached by comparatively few persons. Regardless of the efforts they may make, they are, for the most part, preparing themselves for that ultimate experience in some future life. There have not been many in the recorded history of the world who have attained ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...apter 2, The Spiritual Goal.pdf
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Seek Ye First: Chapter 6, Steps to Union with God
- Those who may not believe it in this particular age may have believed it in some previous time, but by now they have outgrown it. Individual Consciousness Is Evolving Out of Spiritual Ignorance How great must be the transition in consciousness from the state of ignorance that believed God is responsible for mankind's ills to the state of consciousness where the teaching that God is too pure to behold iniquity is accepted, that God does not hold sinners in condemnation for their sins, or punish them, but that He sent His only begotten Son to earth to teach the forgiveness of sins, the overcoming of sin, and the destruction of sin! The teaching of Jesus Christ wipes out much of the teaching of the ancient Hebrew scripture, but remember that there are people on this earth today who are still living in the spiritual darkness of ancient times. When you realize that, you will understand why it takes some persons ten ... Praying for health, praying for wealth, praying for supply, praying for home, or praying for companionship is the surest way to lose it. But when you take no thought for those things in your life and pray only for the recognition, realization, and demonstration of conscious oneness with God, you awake and find that all things have been added unto you. The most difficult part of this entire path is giving up the habit and the desire to pray for things and conditions. A person wonders what would happen if he stopped praying for supply. Far better would it be to pray for forgiveness for all the thousands of years of spiritual ignorance that have been absorbed and assimilated. Far better would it be to pray for forgiveness for acts-conscious and unconscious acts-that have violated his spiritual integrity, even though they may not have violated the laws of the land. Much more profitable is it to pray that he be forgiven in proportion as he forgives. Once the idea is clear to you that praying for things is the materialistic sense of life, because it is praying ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/... 6, Steps to Union with God.pdf
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Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Treatment
- TREATMENT NO ONE has a personal message. There is no such thing as a messenger of God. God is His own messenger and He appears to human consciousness at that moment's demonstration. He has appeared as many great thinkers and always in the way that you, as a human person, can comprehend. Every one of us, whether in the business or professional world or any of the arts is trusted with a doctrine not our own. Originality of ideas is not ours; it is God, individual Mind. There is a fullness and completeness awaiting each person. We are here as the presence of God, fulfilling God's destiny. Every one is an individualization of the infinity of God. No one can be without opportunity. One of the greatest lessons in this connection is found in the Bible, I Kings 19. Elijah, the only prophet not slain, has fled for his life and is hiding in a cave. The hopelessness of the situation seems to overwhelm Elijah. Here he is the only prophet of God left; his people have forsaken the covenant and have thrown down the altars. To Elijah there certainly seemed to be no opportunity left for him but to die. But in turning to God, what were his instructions? "Go, return on thy way . . . I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." So it is with each one of us. There is never a lack of opportunity when it is seen as God's opportunity of presenting Himself to the "seven thousand" that He has saved out for Himself. Then there is no need for envy, jealousy, rivalry or competition, because there is an infinity of good which God has saved out for Himself. The moment you present God, the audience is universal. We learn to let good, let Mind, assume its responsibilities. As we learn to listen for that still, small voice, we, too, will be led to where our work, recognition and compensation are to be found. Cultivate the consciousness of the presence of God every moment. Until you begin to see God in every form ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...ion of Scripture_ Treatment.pdf
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The Altitude Of Prayer: Chapter 12, Living By Prayer
- ~ 12 ~ LIVING BY PRAYER TO LIVE BY PRAYER means to reach a state of consciousness where we come into conscious oneness with the Presence, that inner Source, and live without taking thought, without struggle, and without striving. Prayer is undoubtedly the highest way of life there is. It was the way of the Master who not only lived by prayer, but often went away for forty days and forty nights of prayer. Prayer can be a hymn of gratitude that the kingdom of God, all the Father has, was established within us from the beginning. Prayer can be a recognition of our relationship with God as heir of God and joint-heir to all the heavenly riches. Prayer can be the recognition of the spiritual nature of the child of God and the spiritual nature of creation. One thing prayer must not be: it must not be a going to a God of Spirit and asking for something material. If prayer is to bear fruit, It must be a recognition of the omnipresence of spiritual good, but that does not mean expecting that prayer to be answered in terms of a new house or a new automobile. A life of prayer is a continuous recognition of the spiritual nature of God, the child of God, and the universe of God. Prayer must be a recognition of the spiritual nature of all law as being of God, and therefore spiritual, good, and full of justice. This breaks any bondage to material, mental, medical, or legal laws. Prayer is an attitude of listening. Prayer is a recognition that we do not live by anything in the material realm. Prayer is an awareness that God is not in the whirlwind, and by whirlwind we mean any of the physical manifestations of error or discord. God is not in sin, disease, or accidents: God is in the "still small voice." 1 If we want to experience the presence of God, is there any other way of attaining it than by recognizing that we must hear the "still small voice"? When we hear It, we receive some spiritual awareness. It does not necessarily mean an audible message, but every time that we receive ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...hapter 12, Living By Prayer.pdf
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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 ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...Chapter V, The Difficulties.pdf
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The Heart of Mysticism: May 1958, The Object of Our Search
- CHAPTER FIVE: MAY The Object of Our Search GOD does not enter the affairs of men except through individual consciousness. As we open our consciousness to the activity of God, the sleeping Christ within is gradually awakened until there is a point of transition in which the Christ takes over completely. From that moment, we live in the atmosphere of God: God is now living our life. Until that transition has been made, however, the responsibility is upon our shoulders. Even though the presence and activity of God have been brought into our experience to such an extent that there are miracle-healings, that does not always mean that there will be no further discords and that we shall have complete harmony forever. In the early stages of our student days, or discipleship, when we begin to enjoy the blessings which are the fruits of the Spirit, there is often a tendency to revert to our human mode of living: We become enmeshed in human concerns and anxieties, engrossed in human pleasures, and thereby shut ourselves off from the activity of God, until, in some trying moment, we reach out and re-establish that contact. We have not become sufficiently stabilized in the consciousness of God to remain steadfast in it, but return again and again to our human ways of living and thinking. This swinging of the pendulum backward and forward continues until, sooner or later, we awaken to the fact that we have been seesawing between Spirit and "this world," experiencing healings followed by discords and then more healings and more discords. This finally leads to a realization of the need for a more consistent preoccupation with the things of God and the necessity of daily meditation. As we continue along the spiritual path, we find that instead of giving thirty minutes a day to the realization of God, eventually we are dwelling in God for four, five, and six hours of the day, and experiencing the fruits of the Spirit in the form of greater harmony and less discord. After weeks and ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...8, The Object of Our Search.pdf
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The Journey Back to the Father's House: Chapter 5, The Function of the Christ in Us
- ... That is why these horrors could take place. They could not have taken place in the presence of Jesus Christ; they could not have taken place in the presence of Moses; they could not have taken place in the presence of Elijah. Where those men were, the presence of God was. Consider the world, its many sicknesses and the great suffering of many thousands today. Notice the much praying to God, even the trips to Lourdes, and how, under ordinary circumstances, if some doctor does not come along with a discovery or some appropriate procedure to cure these persons, they die. God does not save them. If some medicine or surgery is not discovered or administered, they die. Then notice the difference when those who are on the spiritual path are confronted with the same conditions and call for spiritual help. The spiritually endowed practitioner brings to a situation the actual presence of God, and where the presence of God is, there is liberty and there is healing. Wherever Jesus walked, there was healing, there was forgiveness of sin, and there was supplying. Wherever any spiritually minded practitioner exists, there must be healing. It does not mean that everyone gets healed, because frankly everyone is not receptive to spiritual healing. A Desire to Know God Makes for a Receptivity to Spiritual Healing To be receptive to spiritual healing means that there must be an innate desire for God, not just a great desire to be healed. There is no virtue in that. Everybody in the world wants to be well, so that he can work and take care of his family. The fertile ground for spiritual healing is in the individual who wants not merely to be healed-being healed is a natural desire-but who along with this says, "Of course, I want to be healed, but that is not my major problem. Above all things, I want to know God. Above all things, I must know God. I do not want to pass from this earth before I have come face to face with God. I want to know the secret behind this universe. I want to ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...unction of the Christ in Us.pdf
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God Formed Us For His Glory: Chapter 9, The Inner Meaning of Living the Spiritual Life
- ... But whether or not we have nothing but success, we will not know the complete satisfaction and permanence that comes by admitting the Christ into our experience, because then under all conditions and circumstances we can rest in peace, knowing that the invisible God is on the scene. Attaining Continuous Conscious Awareness of the Presence We meet every situation in our experience with some spiritual or scriptural passage. We may have something to do tomorrow that at first thought looks like a hard job or even beyond us, too difficult to tackle or requiring too much of us. We are taught to turn within for some spiritual or scriptural passage that will help us meet that situation. With an assurance such as, "He performeth the thing that is appointed for me" or "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me," we are able to drop our responsibility, because we have admitted God, the Christ, into our experience. Let us suppose we are facing some situation where more money is demanded of us than we think we have or can afford to use, something requiring more strength than we think we have, or something requiring more patience, more kindness, more tolerance, or more forgiveness. Something more is going to be demanded of us than we feel we have, so we turn to another biblical passage and remember, "My grace is sufficient for thee,"8 and we will meet this situation not with money, with strength, or with advice, but with God's grace. The secret of spiritual living consists in the ability to attain the consciousness of this invisible presence until It becomes so alive and so real in us that It is as real as our right hand, as real as our checkbook or pocketbook, as real as anything in the physical realm. Those who attain this realization always have the awareness of an abiding presence. It appears in different ways, and each one realizes it in some different way, but always there is an assurance that there is something more here than we are immediately aware of. That ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...f Living the Spiritual Life.pdf
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Living The Infinite Way: Chapter One, The Mystery of the Invisible
- CHAPTER ONE THE MYSTERY OF THE INVISIBLE All through the ages men have sought to understand the mystery of life. They have searched for that something called the secret of life, particularly the secret of success and happiness; and like those who sought for the Holy Grail, they have looked for it every place in the world except where it is to be found. The truly successful people of life are not readily identified because, while it is easy to find the person who has acquired the most millions or the one who has gained the greatest fame in some area, it is not always easy to find those who have attained real success. Success should bring happiness, and especially inner peace and security. True success means something far different from the mere acquisition of things or the attainment of personal power or glory. Spiritual living may carry with it just as much of fame and fortune as material living. These are acquired, first of all, not as the goal, but as the added things; secondly, not from without, but from within through an understanding of their Source. In material living, whatever can be gained from without is of necessity limited, but there is absolutely no limit to the attainment of a person who has discovered the secret of the inner life. Therein lies the difference between material and spiritual living. The secret of the inner life is revealed through meditation, which, in its earliest stages, is an act of conscious awareness whereby we make contact with an area of consciousness within ourselves, which is actually the storehouse of our live. There was a time when man was a pure, spiritual being, when he lived entirely from within himself, when his thoughts always remained at the center of his being, and life flowed out from within. Ideas came from within, means of action came from within, and whenever there was an apparent need, all that he had to do was to close his eyes, go within, and let it come forth into expression. We have no actual knowledge of this ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...he Mystery of the Invisible.pdf
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Practicing the Presence: Chapter II, Demonstrate God
- CHAPTER II DEMONSTRATE GOD What are we seeking? Is it God that we are seeking, or are we seeking some thing from God? The very moment that we are looking for a home or companionship, the moment we are looking for supply or employment, the moment we are looking for healing, we are seeking amiss. Until we have God, we have nothing; but the very moment we have God, we have all there is in the world. There is no such thing as God and. To seek for supply, health, or companionship is an impossibility spiritually, because spiritually, there are no such things. Spiritually, there is only God; but in attaining God, we attain all that God is, that is, God appearing as all form. Let us not seek the forms of God but seek the allness of God, and in seeking the allness of God, we shall have all the forms necessary to our own unfoldment. Nothing is more important than this point: Are we seeking a realization of God, or are we trying to reach God in order to get something through God? When we come to any spiritual study, nearly always in the beginning we are seeking some good for ourselves. It may be a healing-physical, mental, moral, financial-or it may be peace of mind; but whatever it is, as a rule, we are seeking it for ourselves. Very quickly, however, we discover that as the light of the Spirit touches us, it is of benefit not only to ourselves but also to the world. The person who is studying and practicing the presence of God soon has no problems, no needs, and no desires. Those things which are necessary for his health and supply have a way of taking care of themselves. God is working out Its life as our life. God is individual life. God is working out Its life in what appears to be the form of our lives. God is working out Its life as our individual consciousness. God is working out Its plan in us and through us. In this knowledge we relax and become beholders. It is no longer our life: It is God's life unfolding individually. God appears on earth as individual you and ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...Chapter II, Demonstrate God.pdf
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