Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Darkness to Light
- DARKNESS TO LIGHT UNLESS GOD shows forth our existence, we will labor in vain to make a success of life. So we take for a starting point the first verse of the 127th Psalm: "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." It is possible to achieve great things in life through human means. Men have become wealthy, risen to great political and military power, achieved great things with the human mind and will, but in many cases the results of human effort have not been permanent or have not given the happiness that was promised. Unless God produce for us, the product is apt not to be lasting or satisfying. When God produces for us our work is fruitful and brings happiness and joy with it. What is happiness? George Bernard Shaw writes: "This is true joy in life: the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. The being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap-heap; the being a force of nature instead of a little clot of illnesses complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." In his comment of Shaw's wisdom, John Mason Brown writes: "What happiness is, no person can say for another; but no one, I am sure, can be happy who lives only for himself. The joy of living comes only from immersion in something - anything - bigger, better, more enduring, worthier than we (humans) are. People, ideas, causes - these are for the one possible escape - not merely from selfishness, but from the hungers of solitude and the sorrows of aimlessness. Don't turn your back deliberately on the procession. Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little, we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from dedicating ourselves to a purpose." Indeed, you are here as a part of a great cause. You are that place where God shines through. There is no way for God to express Itself finitely. You are infinite. In realizing your true identity, you have ...
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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 ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...ture_ Spiritual Development.pdf
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The Art of Spiritual Healing: Chapter III, One Power
- CHAPTER III ONE POWER To understand the nature of God is to understand the basic principle of spiritual healing. Is it the nature of God to heal disease? Do you really believe that? If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why did He not heal it yesterday? Why is He waiting for today? And why is He not doing it today? Most of the people in the world believe that God works through doctors to heal them, but according to statistics, God was not doing too satisfactory a job of that before this century, was He? One hundred years ago, people were dying daily of diseases which today are healed in twenty-four hours. Why? Did God want them to die, but not us? Is God a respecter of persons? God never has had pleasure in our dying; God never will have pleasure in our dying; and, furthermore, God has never been responsible for our dying. People died because medical science had not advanced to the stage where their doctors knew enough to keep them alive, and some, in this last century, because their metaphysical and spiritual practitioners did not know enough to keep them alive. When you think of such things, the question inevitably arises, "Does God have anything to do with a person's being diseased? What does God have to do with healing him? There must be another principle involved in healing. And what is it?" That principle is revealed through an understanding of the nature of God and the nature of that with which you are dealing. When you understand God to be infinite love, infinite wisdom, and infinite good, you will know that God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." Disease is man- created, and only through man's developed spiritual consciousness will it be eradicated. If you can grasp the significance and truth of that statement, you will realize, "Then the development of this spiritual consciousness is my responsibility," and you will be correct. Through prayer and contemplation, let the nature of God be revealed. Discover for yourself ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...ing_ Chapter III, One Power.pdf
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The Art of Spiritual Healing: Chapter XI, The Relationship of Oneness
- CHAPTER XI THE RELATIONSHIP OF ONENESS Your world and mine is an outpicturing of our consciousness: When that consciousness is imbued with truth, our universe expresses harmony, orderliness, prosperity, joy, peace, power, and dominion; when there is an absence of truth in our consciousness-an acceptance of world values and world beliefs-then our world takes on the complexion of the chance, change, and luck characteristic of world belief. All conditions reflect the activity of the consciousness of the individuals concerned. Your world is embodied in your consciousness; it reflects the state of your consciousness because your consciousness governs your world. Your awareness of truth is the law unto your world; but, on the other hand, your ignorance of truth likewise becomes a law unto it. For example, there is no law of darkness because you know that darkness can be dispelled by the presence of light. Yet in the absence of light, darkness would claim presence; and just so in the absence of truth in your consciousness, ignorance, lies, appearances, discords, and inharmony claim to be present. Therefore, in the absence of the activity of truth in your consciousness, your world will reflect chance, luck, human belief, medical belief, or astrological belief; but the activity of truth operating in and as your consciousness becomes a law of harmony unto everything in your world and makes everything concerning you reflect the harmony of your consciousness. Suppose that you find yourself in a situation where you are faced with a roomful of people with whom you must work in some capacity or other-talk to them, instruct them, or serve them. As you look at them, they present a variety of appearances-good people, bad, sick, well, rich, and poor. How can you establish a sense of oneness with all these people? To feel a sense of union with any other person means, first of all, that you must make your contact with the Spirit within and find your own completeness; you must make your ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...The Relationship of Oneness.pdf
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The Early Years: Chapter 17, Letter and Spirit of Truth
- ~ 17 ~ LETTER AND SPIRIT OF TRUTH The world is always presenting to us pictures of sin, disease, discord, lack, and limitation. Ignorance of the truth of being causes us to accept these pictures at face value, instead of translating them back into terms of God's actual creation. Only the study of truth reveals that these pictures are but false concepts of reality; that underlying these false views of life, there is the universe of God's creating. We know now that it is sacrilegious to claim that there is a God, an infinite power, and that there is discord too. It just does not make sense. Either there is God, infinite and eternal, universal and impartial, and therefore only perfection; or there is no God, and chaos, confusion, and lack of control are actualities. Assuming God, one must be logical and assume a universe intelligently and lovingly and harmoniously governed, controlled, maintained, and sustained. Then where do these pictures and evidences of discord come from? They emanate from thousands of years of accumulated beliefs in a selfhood apart from God. These beliefs constitute a state of deception or mesmerism through which we see and experience that which has no actual or externalized existence, namely an illusion. A hypnotized person may be made to chase a dog-a non-existent dog- but one which in the mesmerized state seems real. We can never remove the dog from the scene because he isn't there. But when we can convey to the hypnotized man that the dog exists only as illusion, he awakens from his dream. In the degree that you and I see that all corporeal existence (even so-called healthy corporeal existence) is but an illusion of human or mesmeric sense, we too awaken from the beliefs in a selfhood apart from God. God is your life, your mind, your being, the substance of your body, and therefore, you are actually entirely spiritual. All that appears as material is the illusion or false sense of self, produced by the age-old and universal aggregation of ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/... Letter and Spirit of Truth.pdf
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Consciousness Is What I Am: Chapter 1, The Dedicated Consciousness
- ~ 1 ~ THE DEDICATED CONSCIOUSNESS There are two kinds of people on earth: the illumined and the unillumined, or to put it another way, the living and the walking dead. The living are drawing forth life from the Source and at least in a measure have dedicated themselves to some purpose. The walking dead are living an animal form of life, not drawing forth life or inspiration from anything but what can be found in the air or food. No one really lives, however, until he has found something greater than himself, something to which he permits his life to be dedicated. If this is true, why are there not more persons of dedicated consciousness? Because dedication comes as the grace of God. No one can seek it. He may desire it, but that is as far as he can go. No one can strive or struggle for it because it is not won that way. It comes as Grace, and that Grace comes when something of a spiritual nature is introduced into the consciousness of an individual. He must learn how to open his consciousness to the inflow of the Spirit and make it a matter of praying without ceasing, not just a period in the morning before starting out to work, but one of continuous dedication to a spiritual purpose. At some time in our experience, it is necessary to make a choice as to whether or not the spiritual goal is worth striving for. If we decide it is worthwhile, we will make some effort toward that consecration. But our effort will lead us to the point where we recognize the futility of our own efforts and realize that unless we have been dedicated by God, all our self-dedication will come to a very quick end. We have to make the decision to practice principles of spiritual living and to remember them consciously. Then, as time goes on, this practice provides the preparation for the entrance of God into our consciousness. OPENING CONSCIOUSNESS TO GOD'S DEDICATION In our spiritual ignorance, we did not know that from the beginning the spiritual Presence has been standing at the door of ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...The Dedicated Consciousness.pdf
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Consciousness Unfolding: Chapter 3, God Revealing the Infinity of Being
- ~ 3 ~ GOD REVEALING THE INFINITY OF BEING The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. Ecclesiastes 9:17 We are surrounded at all times by what Scripture calls "angels," which hover about us always. Within us are those divine ideas or spiritual impulses which guide, lead, and direct us, even though as human beings we are not aware of them. As human beings, brought up with the ordinary church experience or with no church at all, we are not aware of the fact that we are constantly under divine government, divine guidance. In reality we are under the law of the Spirit of God, and under the spirit of the law of God. In practice, we walk around like the Prodigal, thinking, "I, of mine own self, am something and I am going out into the world to make a name for myself, to earn a living for myself, and to become something great of and by myself." Thereby, we set up a counterfeit identity and develop concern about the health, wealth, success, and contacts of this counterfeit identity. Yet, all the time, even though probably we have never thought of it, we have been completely surrounded by an atmosphere of love and completely enveloped in divine Being. As a matter of fact, we are divine Being. We are the Father-consciousness Itself, but we have walked about in the world, believing that consciousness to be something small, finite, insignificant, and unimportant. The purpose of this ministry is to bring us back to the Father's house, back to a consciousness of the presence and power of God. We are in this work but for one purpose-to be led back to the kingdom of our own consciousness in which God is manifested as divine wisdom, as divine love, as life, truth, permanence, immortality, and eternality. Synonyms for God For a moment, let us consider the synonyms for God, taking just a few with which we are familiar. We know God as infinite being, and therefore, we take each of the synonyms for God as representing the allness and ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...aling the Infinity of Being.pdf
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Consciousness Unfolding: Chapter 7, Meditation
- ~ 7 ~ MEDITATION Meditation forms a most important part of our work. Although there are many ways of achieving silence and meditation, I have found only one way that meets my own need. I sit quietly, with my attention centered somewhere between the eyes and a little above, and take some word such as "life," or "God," or "Spirit," and ponder it. As my thought tries to wander, I come back gently to the same idea. I feel no sense of impatience with myself, no sense of frustration. No matter how many times the thought wanders, I bring it right back to that one word. If you try this method, eventually, you will find that outside, intruding thoughts do not come, and you are able to sit quietly in a peaceful state of meditation. It may take days or it may take months to acquire this steadiness of mind, but it will come if you have patience and perseverance. Do not try to remain quiet for more than from three to five minutes unless you feel like it. We are doing this only for a conscious realization of our oneness, or to make our contact with God. When we have achieved that, we have achieved our purpose. We are not trying to see "light," or to have "experiences." If they come, there is nothing wrong about them. The only thing wrong would be in becoming so fascinated with these experiences that we lose our way by making too much of them. After we have had our few minutes of meditation and have achieved the "click" or feeling of the presence of God, we get up and go about our business. If at noon, we find that we have a few minutes to use for this purpose, we repeat it; we do the same thing again at night, and in the middle of the night. Why? Because, ultimately, through providing these opportunities three or four times a day, meditation is going to become so much a part of our being that we shall be in meditation twenty-four hours a day whether awake or asleep. Then we do not have to go through a process of "healing" when someone calls upon us. We shall have been through all ...
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The Altitude Of Prayer: Chapter 3, Bringing Our Gift To The Altar
- It does not mean that we attempt to compel them to be on good terms with us; it means that we, in our hearts, bear no grievance toward anyone. To pray for someone else's forgiveness has no power, insofar as influencing God in our behalf, but praying for our enemies is a release to us. It is an acknowledgment that we have held somebody in bondage to a wrong and, therefore, it is really asking for our own forgiveness. ... As we are shown the things about ourselves that require correction, we enter into the spirit of forgiveness. We cannot attain the realization of God without making of ourselves a fitting temple to receive God. This does ... They know not what they do. I pray that Thy grace fill their hearts and Thy forgiveness touch their lives. ATTAINING THE ATTITUDE AND ALTITUDE OF PRAYER Prayer which takes an attitude of praying for the world and reaches that high altitude of forgiveness and of praying for the enemy is a way of life. An attitude of forgiveness and the altitude that comes from praying for the enemy must be reached in order that we may be unselfed, because only in being ... We do not condone his faults; we do not agree that he should go on in his evil ways. We understand that all evil is the product of ignorance, and therefore we pray for his forgiveness. When we live in that attitude toward ... PRAYING WITH AN UNCONDITIONED MIND We should never permit ourselves to be defiled by thinking defiling thoughts of others. Toward those whom we see in what we think of as sin, our attitude must always be one of forgiveness... RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL THROUGH THE REVELATION OF SPIRITUAL IDENTITY As we rise into the consciousness of this truth and know it, it frees us from the belief that we are human beings in need of forgiveness. It frees us ... It is not the love that comes to us from God; it is not the love that comes to us from other persons, high or low. The Master taught that love must be expressed in forgiveness, in praying for the enemy, and in all forms of ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...nging Our Gift To The Altar.pdf
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter I, The Way
- CHAPTER I THE WAY Most men and women are convinced that there is a divine Power of some sort operating in human affairs; but they are not sure what it is, nor do they know how to bring this divine Presence and Power into their daily experience. There was a time when many of these people were content to believe in a God dwelling in a remote heaven, a God whom they would not meet until after death. In this practical age, however, very few are satisfied with that limited concept of God. The world is full of discord. The question is asked again and again: Why, if there is a God, does this God permit sin, disease, war, famine, and disaster? How can all these evils be, if God is good, if God is life, if God is love? How can there be that kind of a God and the horrors of human experience? People throughout all time have attempted to solve this riddle, but there is no solution; there is no answer except that the world has not known God. We can never for a moment believe that if people in this world had a realization of God, they would have discord and inharmony, too. Discord and inharmony come into our life because of our ignorance of God. As we acquaint now ourselves with Him, we find the secret of harmonious existence. People throughout all time have sought freedom, peace, and plenty; but their search has been primarily through the feverish activity of the human mind. Pleasure and satisfaction have been artificially created, and because of their artificiality, they are neither permanent nor real. Living out from the level of the mind, there must be a continuous round of new pleasures, new faces, and new scenes. There is rarely a truly joyous moment, nor are there periods of rest and relaxation. Freedom, peace, and plenty are not dependent upon circumstances or conditions. Men have been free in chains; they have been free under slavery and oppression; they have found peace in the midst of war; they have survived floods and famine; they have prospered in periods of ...
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