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 ...
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Our Spiritual Resources: Chapter Three, The Practicality of Spiritual Living
- ... On the other hand, can you picture the joyful experience of going through life being friends with anybody and everybody in the whole world, knowing that no one has anything you need or want and you have nothing anyone else needs or wants, that all you require unfolds to you from within your own being? That makes sharing a double delight because it is a heartwarming experience to share with those who do not expect it of you or feel that you are under any obligation to them. There is no room in spiritual living or in a spiritual activity for selfishness. The law of God is a law of love and cannot be utilized for selfish purposes. Love is one of the great attributes of God and must be expressed in our daily experience if we are to live in accordance with God's law. We are expressing love in proportion as we release the world of men and women from every form of bondage. When we hold an individual responsible for his sins, we hold him in bondage; but when we loose him and let him go in forgiveness, if necessary in the realization that he knows not what he is doing, we are fulfilling the law of love. There are those in our experience who humanly owe us an obligation, and we express our love by inwardly releasing them from that obligation, but love does not mean that human obligations can be ignored or responsibility shirked with impunity. In fact, sometimes the highest form of love is to require someone to fulfill his responsibility, thereby helping him to fulfill the law of love and giving him an opportunity to grow and live according to the high ethical standards the spiritual life demands. That does not mean, however, that spiritually we hold him in bondage to his debt or obligation, or in any sense are tempted to believe that our own demonstration can ever be affected by the attitude or actions of anyone else. For example, according to all standards of business ethics, partners have obligations to one another, but spiritually, inwardly, each should release the other ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: January 1958, Spiritual Unfoldment Through The Study of The Infinite Way
- CHAPTER ONE: JANUARY Spiritual Unfoldment Through the Study of the Infinite Way UNLESS spiritual teaching uses the letter of truth as a foundation upon which to build, it frequently results in a blind faith in some kind of a power outside of ourselves, a power that we expect and hope will do something for us. An understanding of spiritual principles is gained, first, by learning the letter of truth and, then, by applying it to the everyday problems of human existence-to our human relationships and to our headaches, corns, bunions, and simple colds. Eventually, we shall learn to apply these principles to the major problems of individual existence and finally come to the realization that these principles, if accepted, would operate in national and international affairs. Merely as statements, truth is of no avail, but as we live with the letter of truth and continually abide in it, one day there comes a transitional experience. The mind is no longer repeating words, but words are coming to our awareness from within. The Bible, the writings of The Infinite Way, the tape recordings, the tape recording meetings, and the class work, if properly utilized, serve a twofold purpose. First, these implant the letter of truth in the mind and then they become the instruments by which truth becomes conscious awareness, a feeling in the heart. In the early stages of the development of spiritual consciousness, you fill yourself with truth by reading, by listening to recordings and attending tape recording meetings, by individual study with a teacher who had gone a step beyond you, and by attendance at classes. The more inspirational literature you read, the more classes you attend, and the more recordings you hear, the more does your thought become spiritualized, and the clearer transparency for truth do you become. Regardless of what path you may be following, you will find that there are certain disciplines to be observed : there is work to be done; there are periods when it is ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: September 1958, Praying Aright
- ... The inner communion helps to purify us, but a little conscious effort toward controlling our grosser feelings also helps us to reach that deeper communion. Inner communion results in an outer activity of harmony and peace, but no one can live in that inner communion if he is violating such spiritual laws as those that have been revealed by Christ Jesus. No one can expect to live an inner life of communion with signs following if, at the same time, he is hating his fellow-man, entertaining prejudice or bigotry, indulging in miserliness, or withholding forgiveness, understanding, or cooperation. Inner communion under such circumstances is an impossibility. Establishing a Conscious Awareness of the Presence In the early morning hours, before the day's activities have begun, we must be sure that we have established ourselves in God's grace and that we are in the rhythm of God-consciousness. ... Then we can go about our day's work: We have prayed-we have prayed ourselves into the very kingdom of heaven; we have prayed ourselves into God's grace. It may be necessary at noon or in the afternoon or evening when the distresses of the day crowd in to re-establish this contact. Again we turn within. This time something of a quite different nature may come: "What have I against any man, and what has any man against me?" Immediately we begin inwardly to make peace: * God is love. God is forever loving; God's love is flowing through me to all this world. God's forgiveness touches everyone-the man born blind, the thief on the cross, the woman taken in adultery, the leper. God's grace is a state of forgiveness for everybody, and God's love and God's forgiveness flow through me to all the world. In this meditation, we have made peace with our brother, and now our prayer is fruitful. Again, that is only the first half of the prayer: The second half is sitting in the silence, receptive, responsive, waiting until the flow begins. Suddenly we are lifted up and we know that we are in ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter II, Karmic Law
- ... Eventually, this will be the universal relationship on earth, and the law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, the karmic law of punishment, will not be operative in our experience. The thoughts to which we give expression as human beings come back upon us because that is the nature of the karmic law of as ye sow, so shall ye reap, but God is not to blame for that. We have set in motion the karmic law, and that is what is returning to us. All of us by the very nature of having been born have been guilty of offenses of omission or commission and have therefore brought ourselves under the operation of karmic law. Naturally, then, the question arises: Can this karmic law be broken? Can it be ended? And the answer is, Yes. We can stop the operation of karmic law at any moment in our life when we recognize that we have set this law in motion by our own thoughts and deeds or by the acceptance of racial or religious or national consciousness, and then begin renouncing it. The way to break the karmic law is through repentance and by living constantly in an atmosphere of love and forgiveness. Then we are no longer human or mortal because we no longer harbor thoughts and deeds of mortality. From then on the only karma that comes into our experience is racial or national, and this, too, we must disavow in our own consciousness. If there were a war tomorrow and if we should be called to service, we must answer that call. We "render . . . unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's"-we must fulfill our obligations as citizens because if we do not do our part, we are only removing ourselves from that temporary trouble by compelling someone else to serve in our place and putting someone else in the position where we should be. This is far worse than ourselves accepting the call to service because at least in answering that call we can disavow the act and pray as earnestly for the enemy as for ourselves. We can pray for the freedom, safety, and security of the enemy and, ...
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1954 Infinite Way Letters: Chapter 3, Prayer
- ~ 3 ~ PRAYER Success in prayer comes only when we understand the purpose and nature of prayer. The centuries of believing that God sends gifts, and that God bestows those things for which we pray, has been the barrier to fruitful prayer. God is the gift we must be seeking. God is the substance of all form, and to pray for something or some condition as though it were apart from God, or something to be bestowed by God, is the very sense of separation which holds off our good. God cannot give health-God is the only health. God cannot send food and raiment, since God is the Bread, the Meat, the Robe. God does not give peace, security and safety-God is the only Peace, the true Security, the Fortress and the Tower. The Scriptures of the entire world say, "Seek Me." Seek not what ye shall eat or drink, but seek rather the Kingdom of God. Every mystic, seer, prophet, savior and revelator has revealed the secret of fruitful prayer, and yet, generation after generation, the world has prayed for things and conditions. We are entering upon the spiritual era of mankind when peace and plenty shall cover the land, even as mother-love enfolds the babe. The secret of life may be known through an understanding of the nature of God, since this understanding alone reveals the nature of true prayer-and prayer alone is the means of communion with God. To seek God as men usually seek Him is as futile as the worldly search for the Holy Grail or the pot of gold at the foot of the rainbow. The attempt to reach God through the prayers men have learned is impossible, since true prayer is not an activity of the mind, and therefore is completely outside the realm of words or thoughts. The secret of successful prayer is the understanding that prayer is the activity of the Soul and not of the mind. Prayers, recited, read, or thought by the human mind do not rise higher than their source, and any effect, even a seeming good, is but the effect of one mind upon another-a mental suggestion which has ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XXV, Losing I-ness in I
- CHAPTER XXV LOSING "I"-NESS IN I There are very few persons in all the world who are really interested in living spiritually or in attaining the spiritual goal, and certainly there are even fewer who have any conception of what it means to "die daily" and be reborn of the Spirit. Many must inevitably fall by the wayside, but those few who understand that true greatness, true wisdom, and true success lie in the very opposite direction from that of glorifying the self or pushing forward the personality, and who remain and persist, will reach the highest degree of spiritual consciousness, spiritual awareness, and spiritual unfoldment. To submerge the personality and make it subservient to that which is greater than itself is well-nigh impossible for most persons and gives rise to inner conflicts which may deflect them from the path leading to the goal. Through meditation and the practice of the Presence, however, the mind is stilled, and an awareness of this Something greater than themselves is developed. Eventually, a state of complete quiescence in which there is no thinking or planning is reached, and the human will yields to the divine will. This surrender of the human will to the Divine can be more readily understood if we use the analogy of a cube of ice floating in a glass of water. The ice rests in the water, cradled in it: it has no power to move itself. Only the water can propel it from one place to another. The ice itself is inert, immobile, passive, its every motion dependent upon the movement of the water. Let us think of ourselves as the ice, and of Consciousness as the water, while we wait in silence and stillness for the movement of Consciousness. In other words, we must wait patiently for the will of God to make itself known; we must be as completely quiescent as the piece of ice. Such a state can be achieved only when all desire has been surrendered because desire nourishes the personal sense of "I"-ness. As long as there is a desire, there is a ...
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I Stand on Holy Ground: Chapter 10, The New Dispensation
- Chapter Ten The New Dispensation The only place man has to go for anything is to the consciousness of his own being. The reason is that God is consciousness, infinite consciousness, and that Consciousness is the consciousness of individual man: yours and mine, saint and sinner, anywhere, any time. Some few have learned to go to the kingdom of God within themselves, not for things but for spiritual grace, for the things of God, for the kingdom of God. And they have found their peace, not the peace found in the things of the world or the peace that you can find on earth. The Infinite Way has revealed that God is consciousness, that Consciousness is the substance of all form, and that this infinite consciousness is your individual consciousness. You do not have a piece of It: you have all of It. The fact that you do not draw forth all of It means that you draw forth only enough to satisfy your immediate needs. Meditation Reveals Infinity When you know this, you will understand why meditation as taught in the Infinite Way will have to be introduced to the peoples of the Eastern World. It is true that meditation has always been a way of life in the East but the people there have not known the function of meditation. Most of them do not know that God constitutes individual consciousness and that the purpose of meditation is to go within to open out a way for Infinity to flow forth from within, and that it must not be looked upon as merely a religious practice or discipline. It must be looked upon as the most practical step toward harmony. If you are ever to know mental, physical, spiritual, economic harmony and freedom, even political freedom, you will know it only by drawing it forth from within your own consciousness. You must not think for a minute that there is going to be a government of men anywhere that will be dedicated solely to the interests of the people of the world so that they will receive abundance, equality, justice, and peace on earth. True, there will be ...
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I Stand on Holy Ground: Chapter 11, Self-Purification, the Way to the Mystical Consciousness
- Chapter Eleven Self-Purification, the Way to the Mystical Consciousness Throughout the history of the world, there have been some few hundred persons who by the grace of God have received spiritual illumination to a sufficient extent for them to be considered mystics. There also have been a few thousand persons or possibly tens of thousands who by the grace of God have received a touch of the Spirit but, because they did not understand or grasp the meaning or significance of it when it came, could never again regain it or have the experience repeated. These represent one of the saddest elements of society. It is not necessary for a person to go through life without illumination however, because with an understanding of the truth of being and a consistent living with the principles, the spiritual centers are opened, and it is possible for anyone who earnestly turns to a spiritual teaching to receive a tremendous measure of light. The degree of that illumination varies with the individual and with the use he makes of it after he receives it. Impersonalization Illumination is possible only in proportion to our realization of the nature of God as omnipresence and infinity, thereby enabling us to look upon any and every form of discord not as a condition or a person but as a mental imposition, a malpractice, a temptation, a state of hypnotism, a nothingness. It is virtually impossible to receive spiritual light or illumination and to attain the heights possible through meditation when the mind is divided against itself. If we entertain the belief that God can do something to or for something or somebody, our mind is a house divided against itself. As long as we entertain a belief in two powers, illumination is impossible because that is the barrier that separates us from being that man who has his being in Christ. We think of each other as having certain qualities, some good and some bad, some spiritual and some material. That is the barrier. We cannot deny that some of ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 4, Christ Raised from the Tomb
- ~ 4 ~ CHRIST RAISED FROM THE TOMB The Hebrews of old foresaw the coming of the Messiah, but because they believed that the Messiah would be some kind of great king or general, someone who could lead them to victory over Caesar or perhaps even over their own Sanhedrin, a man who would turn the evil conditions of their day into good conditions, they were unable to accept the gentle Master. Instead of understanding that "My kingdom" is not of this world, they accepted the God of the Forty- seventh Psalm: O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. From the time of the Hebrews under Pharaoh unto this very day, the same prayer has gone up, the same psalms have been sung, and the same hope expressed that God will subdue nations, remove tyrants, and overcome the armies of the aliens. Should not thousands of years of such praying have proved that God has done none of these things up to now, and that there is no likelihood of his doing them at any future date? In the Forty-sixth Psalm there is an indication that the nature of God has been misunderstood, and that that is one reason peace on earth and good will to men have not been experienced. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works ...
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