Living the Illumined Life: Chapter 9, From Humanhood to Divinity
- Chapter Nine From Humanhood to Divinity The Old Testament and the New Testament together make up what the world knows as the Christian Bible, and this might lead one to think that the whole of the Old Testament is the same in its religious teaching as is the New Testament, or that in the Bible there is to be found only one teaching. This is not true. In the Old Testament, which of course stands firmly on the teaching of Moses and the Hebrew prophets, the law is set forth. This law is the foundation for that state of our consciousness which may be called the Hebraic state, and while we are in the Hebraic state of consciousness, it is necessary to have that law. The Law Let us not think, however, that that is the same teaching as Christianity, or that it represents what Jesus Christ came to give this world. It does not, "for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." 1 The Christian way of life is a life by grace, not a life by law. According to the teachings of Jesus Christ, we do not honor our mother and father because of obedience to one of the Ten Commandments: we honor our mother and father because we have accepted the teaching of love-thy-neighbor-as-thyself, and our mother and father are just as much a neighbor as the person down the street. It would be difficult to exclude our mother and father from our love; but, on the other hand, it should be equally difficult to exclude the neighbor down the street or across the boundary. What do we have when we live under the law? We have a Sabbath, one day that must be kept holy. In the Christian Church, this is still observed, even though it is a different Sabbath Day from that observed in the traditional Hebrew synagogue. But anyone who sets aside any day of the week as holy or accepts one day of the week as more holy than another has not yet discerned the teaching of Jesus Christ. There are 365 holy days in every year, except Leap Year, and then there are 366 holy days. If that is not true, ...
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The Mystical I: Chapter Twelve, Do Not "Pass by on the Other Side"
- CHAPTER TWELVE DO NOT "PASS BY ON THE OTHER SIDE" The unveiling of God takes place within you when you realize that it is the I in the midst of you that is God, in whom you can relax without words and without thoughts, relax and receive the Word, rest and receive His spirit, rest in His grace with no concern for tomorrow and no regrets about yesterday, no living over of the yesterdays in your memory, for these have been erased. When God is unveiled in you, you begin to live in the nowness of life. It is as if you awakened each morning and realized that God has given you a new day. It is a day that will be filled with something. It is a day that you can choose to fill with His presence, with His spirit, with His love; or it is a day that you can fill with human belief-material laws and mental laws-if you ignore the presence of the spirit of God in you. Scripture cannot be fulfilled yesterday, and scripture will not be fulfilled tomorrow. Scripture is fulfilled in this day, if so be you accept the unveiling and let the spirit of God teach you, let the spirit of God feed and inspire you, let the spirit of God walk with you through every minute of every day, and never attempt to walk through even a minute alone. The unveiling comes in that moment of your decision to awaken in the morning with God, to fall asleep at night with God, and to determine that every minute of every day you will walk with God and let God walk in you and through you. That is the goal, and the means of attaining this goal is the attentive ear, the listening ear. You are walking with God and living with and in God only as you learn to keep an open ear throughout your waking and sleeping hours. For a while it may be necessary to open your ears the very last thing at night and say, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth,"1 and then sleep. When you fall asleep this way, your body and mind are at rest, but you yourself are awake. You will then be receiving thoughts throughout the night just as ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: April 1956, Neither Good Nor Evil The Middle Path
- CHAPTER FOUR: APRIL Neither Good Nor Evil The Middle Path TRUE spiritual living is based on overcoming the self and being reborn of the Spirit-which is what Paul refers to as dying daily. The only devil is the personal self, or ego, which insists upon being considered and catered to; which is easily offended and hurt; fearful one day and joyous the next. In the physical world, and in most religions, both theological and metaphysical, it is deemed sufficient to rid ourselves of the negative aspects by overcoming sin, disease, etc., yet at the same time desiring to cling to all the good aspects-the idea being to cease being a sinful person and become a virtuous one; no longer to be sick but well; to rise above lack into prosperity. This is all very well as far as it goes, but it has no relationship whatsoever to the true spiritual way of life. In the spiritual life, the world is no more good than it is evil, and in the correct apprehension of this is the understanding of what the Master meant when he said: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." Those of us who have embarked on the spiritual path have done so for one purpose: to bring ourselves into alignment with the spiritual laws that have always existed, that exist now, and forever will exist. As an Infinite Way student, you must accept that responsibility and realize that the degree of progress is strictly an individual matter. However, the degree of unfoldment that takes place at a given time is not up to you. Some, by your natures, will achieve more quickly than others; but aside from time, the arduous work is individual acceptance of these spiritual laws, and the subsequent overcoming of the personal self. This you must do for yourself. Let us assume that a group of students is assembled for the sole purpose of uniting in the Spirit for communion with God, in order that the truth be revealed. Before we entered, this room was a blank-nothingness, in which was no good and no evil. ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 14, God Is Not Mocked
- ~ 14 ~ GOD IS NOT MOCKED THE REAL PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL TEACHING is not merely to show students how to make the demonstration of daily living and daily harmony, nor even the demonstration of peace and health in a human way. There is something more important in life than making the organs of the body a little healthier, or prolonging physical life a few years, or increasing a person's income by ten or even a thousand dollars a week. The real import of The Infinite Way is that we realize that life is Spirit and therefore our individual expression of that life must be spiritual and our entire existence show forth the harmonies and perfections of Spirit, and not merely physical health and wealth. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:7,8 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." Judging the world from the evidence of the five physical senses, we would have to admit that God is mocked. Surely, God never planned for Its creation any such scenes or experiences as we witness in the human world, and so, judging by human experience and from what we see about us of sin, disease, wars and depressions, it is practically impossible to believe that God is not mocked. "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth." 1 How can we reconcile that statement with the statistical fact that not only are our highways filled with death every day, but that we send the flower of our youth off to war to make sure they get killed even faster than would be the normal incidence in traffic accidents? Yes, in the human scene, God is mocked. Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time in healing work-spiritual, mental or medical-or with those suffering from cancer or tuberculosis would certainly be tempted to agree that God is mocked. Yet Scripture says that God is not mocked. It also says ...
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Rising in Consciousness: Chapter 13, God Is Not Mocked
- ~ 13 ~ GOD IS NOT MOCKED IT HAS BECOME MORE AND MORE CLEAR to me that the real purpose of spiritual teaching is not merely making the demonstration of daily living, daily harmony, even peace and health, in the human way. There is a higher sense to life than making the organs of the body a little healthier, or making physical life last a few years longer, or increasing one's income by ten dollars a week, or even a thousand dollars a week. Realize that life is spirit; therefore our individual expression of that life must be spiritual, and our entire existence can show forth the harmonies and perfections of spirit, and not merely physical health and wealth. This is the message. Now, one of the scriptural passages that opens to us a great deal of this thought is the one we are using as the basis for tonight's talk. Let me read a line from the book of Galatians, chapter six: "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting." 1 Be not deceived; God is not mocked. If you look out at the human world, I am sure you will contend that God is mocked. When you see the sin, the disease, the wars, the depressions, it is an impossibility to believe this verse, "God is not mocked." Surely, God has never planned such scenes as we witness in the human world for its creation. Therefore, if we were to judge by the human experience, we would have to agree that God is mocked. We are told that God said: "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth," 2 yet not only are the highways filled with death every day, but we send out the flower of youth to make sure they get killed off even faster than we would normally do it in traffic! Yes! In the human scene, God is mocked. Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time in spiritual healing work, any measure of time with people suffering with cancer and ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: January 1959, Individual Responsibility
- CHAPTER ONE: JANUARY Individual Responsibility WHEN children are no longer children, the responsibilities of adulthood fall upon their shoulders, and sometimes they come upon sad days because, even though they have reached the number of years which should be the measure of maturity, they are not always prepared for that responsibility. This is doubly true of truth- students. Very few of them are ready for the responsibilities of adulthood in truth, despite the fact that they may have been studying truth for ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years, because the number of years of study is no barometer of the spiritual maturity of a student. You face a great responsibility when you come to a place in consciousness where your every word becomes a law unto yourself. No longer can you consider yourself a truth-student and at the same time violate truth in your thinking or in your living. Such failure to live truth may not carry with it too severe a penalty as long as this truth is merely a mental process or as long as it is something you think and then mouth as meaningless platitudes. From the minute, however, that you grow up in truth and realize, "This is really true. I am the child of God; I am the offspring of God; God does constitute my being, and there is a Presence that goes before me to make the crooked places straight. I know now from watching my own life that there is an Influence in my life overshadowing me, that there is a Power over, above, and beyond anything human, physical, or mental"; from that moment you are really an adult in truth, and from then on you are obligated to live the words that you utter, or you will find truth to be a double-edged sword. Just as human freedom and individual liberty entail serious responsibilities, so does spiritual freedom. Far too many people still think of freedom or liberty as license, the freedom to do anything they want to do, not realizing that freedom really means the freedom to live so that all may enjoy liberty-the ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/..., Individual Responsibility.pdf
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 8, Not Good or Evil
- CHAPTER 8 Not Good or Evil I SUPPOSE THAT if we have a hard job to do, we might as well do it first. Let's get to the most difficult part of our work at once. Those of you who are familiar with religious literature or metaphysical literature know that all spiritual living is based on the overcoming of self; what Paul calls dying daily, being reborn of the Spirit. The religious literature of the world is in agreement that the only devil there is, is ourselves. By "ourselves" I mean my Joel self, your Bill self, your Mary self. It is that part of you or me which insists on being catered to, that part of us which can have hurt feelings or hurt bodies, that part of us which can have fears one day and joys another day. Now ordinarily in our physical world, you think it is quite enough if you can get rid of negative aspects of yourself. That is, you want to overcome your bad traits, sins, diseases, and the like, and hold on to all the good ones. That, in ordinary religion, is the hope. You stop being a bad human and begin becoming a good one. You stop being sick and become well. You stop your bad temper and have a good temper. However, that has no relationship to true religion or a spiritual way of life. In the spiritual way of life, you don't have any good world any more than you have a bad world. If anyone accuses you of having a good world, you say with the Master, Why callest thou me good? There is only One good." If they complain about the bad one, You can say with Paul, "The good I would, I do not, not because I am bad, but because I find a bad power in me." So we unload our bad only on the condition that we don't try to retain good, since that would only make us little better than good church-members. Of course, in our lifetime, church-and especially the right sense of church- can be a great blessing to us. For instance, we are in church whenever we are assembled in a place for the purpose of communion with God, where two or more can be together as spiritual ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 6, Bringing Grace into Active Expression
- ... I will dwell in the Word, and let the Word dwell in me. All this must become a part of our consciousness, but in addition to that we have the obligation of adhering to the pattern given us by the Master by which we mold our lives in order to maintain the spiritual life. First of all, we must pray for forgiveness of our own sins. There is no one on this earth so righteous that he is not daily sinning against the Holy Ghost. Every time that we bear false witness against a neighbor, every time we indulge our hate, fear, jealousy, animosity, bigotry, or bias, we are sinning. Sins are not just those major offenses against society and individuals that most people have overcome before they enter the spiritual life, but sin is something that normally we do not even consider as sin. It is necessary, therefore, that we pray frequently and seriously to be forgiven those sins of omission and commission that may be soiling us and keeping us from being a transparency, those bits of darkness that accumulate and withhold the light. The second step is to engage in these periods of forgiveness for the dictators of the world, and especially for those who would personally harm us-persecute, lie, or cheat-realizing that it is but the carnal mind and that it exists only as the "arm of flesh" and is without power. Let us make sure that we are living in an atmosphere of continuous love and forgiveness, and even though we may thoughtlessly indulge at times in resentment or animosity, let us retire quickly into the silence and begin a period of self-forgiveness as well as forgiveness of all others. Life was not meant for the glorification of ourselves. We do not have the right to seek things for our self or for our personal glory. We must show forth the glory of God in service to man. We cannot live unto ourselves, or for ourselves. The wonderful things of life that are given to us-and they do come bountifully, abundantly, joyously-come not for us, but that God's grace may be witnessed and ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...race into Active Expression.pdf
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter X, Ye Have Heard It Said of Old
- CHAPTER X YE HAVE HEARD IT SAID OF OLD At any moment of our experience-it makes no difference whether we are nine, nineteen, or ninety-we can begin the return to the Father's house. But let us not believe that we can return to that Edenic state by continuing to be the same persons we were yesterday with all our human virtues and failings, vacillating constantly between good and evil. Our human virtues will not gain us entry into Eden any more than will our human failings. We have to lose both human failings and human virtues and take on the mantle of the Christ by rising above the mental creation of the second chapter of Genesis which has chained us to the law of good and evil. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Christ Jesus." For hundreds of years before Moses, the Hebrews had been living in a state of slavery with little or no opportunity to make advances in education, culture, religion, art, or the sciences; and under such circumstances it is not surprising that they were living without any greatly developed moral sense. To these people, Moses presented a higher way of life, the backbone of which was the Ten Commandments. If those commandments were obeyed, a person was considered as fine a type of citizen as could be expected, and moreover, if in addition to that he also obeyed the dietetic laws and a few other customs, he merited the title of a good Hebrew. If the law were disobeyed, all the offender could expect was to be stoned or excommunicated. Little or no concept of love was embraced in this teaching. It was strictly a teaching of moral and ethical laws. A moral or ethical sense, high as it may be, however, is only a step on the way to spiritual consciousness. While a person may live in absolute obedience to the Ten Commandments he may still be eons away from the spiritual life because the true spiritual life is a living above the pairs of opposites. When Jesus came, he taught a way of life which was not primarily concerned with ...
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The Contemplative Life: Chapter 5, Steps on the Path of Illumination
- ~ 5 ~ STEPS ON THE PATH OF ILLUMINATION The goal of our work is the attainment of some measure of spiritual consciousness: to return to the Father's house and thereby attain some degree of that spiritual light which will result in our again becoming children of God. The human race, as we know it, is not the offspring of God. It would dishonor God to believe that He could create what confronts us as human beings; it would be a travesty on God to believe that the conditions existing in this world today were created by Him. The Master's message was very clearly one of dying daily in order to be reborn of the Spirit. Paul, too, made it clear that as creatures we are not under the law of God, "neither indeed can be," but that we can become children of God, we can return to the Father's house and once again be under the law of God, the protection and care of God. The Master's entire mission was to reveal how the transition from the man of earth to that man who has his being in Christ can be made; his entire mission was to reveal the nature of spiritual revelation, spiritual realization, spiritual attainment. Most of the great religious teachings of the world have adopted as their theme the idea that the man of Adam is outside the Garden of Eden, that is, outside the kingdom of God, and that through spiritual living, practice, and prayer, he can be returned to the Kingdom and again come under the grace of God. This process is known as illumination. Those who are illumined are those who have risen above mortal or material consciousness, those who have received light and, in some cases, initiation. Gaining Freedom from Material and Mental Laws There have been brotherhoods, mystical orders, many of which operated on the principle that the initiate could be prepared by degrees for further light, taken from one stage into another and another until eventually illumination took place, resulting in a transcending of material consciousness into a measure of consciousness whereby ...
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