The Only Freedom: Chapter 4, Progressive Unfoldment
- W Chapter Four Progressive Unfoldment hen you first embark on a spiritual or religious way of life, questions regarding the meaning and use of certain words will inevitably arise. You cannot speak without using words and as you know from consulting any unabridged dictionary, the same word may have many meanings and sometimes not even similar meanings, depending on how it is used. When it comes to religious terminology, this is even more true because people of many different religions use the same words, such as a word like "God", and they believe in that God. But if you were to ask a Roman Catholic about God, you would have one answer, from a Protestant another answer, from a Hebrew still another, from a Vedantist a quite different one, and those following the teachings of Shankara or Zen Buddhism would give even other meanings for God. Yet they all use the word God, and it means something different to each one. In metaphysics the word "Christ" has a different meaning from its meaning in orthodoxy, and the word "prayer" is hardly recognizable from its dictionary meaning. Prayer to most people is a petition to God for something. To other people it is an affirmation of truth. To still others it is wordless but with inner thought, and then to others it is wordless and without thought. So prayer has different meanings for different persons. This is true of every question that has been raised in regard to the Bible. As you study the various approaches to truth, you will find that the teachers use the same words, but that each approach gives to those words its own special meaning. So it is in the Infinite Way. We do not always agree with others on the meaning of words, and others do not agree with us. That is understandable. The main thing is that we ourselves understand what we mean when we use certain words, statements, thoughts, or truths. Affirmations of Truth or Reminders? Affirmations are sometimes used in truth-teachings, that is, a repetition of the same statement ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XXXI, There Remaineth a Rest
- CHAPTER XXXI "THERE REMAINETH A REST" Of old it was taught that there should be one day of Sabbath each week, a day devoted to worshiping God and living in His word. In order to be immersed in the Spirit, this Sabbath was to be kept entirely free of all worldly cares and worries. The mystical meaning of Sabbath is a resting from power. All through the year and throughout our entire life, we resort to material and mental forces and powers, and the period in which we rest from the use of these forces, thereby experiencing the spiritual Presence, is in reality the only Sabbath there is. Ideally, there should be at least one entire day in the week set aside for such rest, but because of family duties and professional responsibilities that is often well-nigh impossible. Everyone can have a Sabbath during the day or night, however, even if it is only in ten-, fifteen-, or twenty-minute periods. Then, when an occasional day comes along completely free, there is the opportunity of living with the Bible and other spiritual writings, living in meditation, and thus experiencing a full and complete day of spiritual refreshment. A Sabbath is only truly a Sabbath if we do not permit the human world to come into that period. We must have one purpose alone: to seek the realization of His presence, His power, and His grace. When we emerge from these periods, usually we find that the "things" are added unto us: whatever knowledge we need to carry on our business, whatever physical strength or moral support. In The Infinite Way no provision is made for specific Sabbath periods such as any one day of the week or any one hour of the day, nor for rest homes, churches, monasteries, or retreats. In the light of spiritual revelation the Sabbath is not so much a specific day of the week as it is a specific state of consciousness. Any day of the week-Saturday, Sunday, Monday-any day can be a Sabbath. This very hour can be our spiritual Sabbath, and again tomorrow morning at six o'clock, if we ...
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The Altitude Of Prayer: Chapter 1, True Prayer, The Source Of Our Good
- ~ 1 ~ TRUE PRAYER, THE SOURCE OF OUR GOOD THE FIRST TIME that a person ever came to me for healing and asked, "Will you pray for me?" was when I knew nothing about prayer except the well-known childhood prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep." Although not a very grown-up prayer or a deeply spiritual one, for many years it helped to put me to sleep at night. The reason for this would later become clear, after I had gained some understanding of prayer. I was going to sleep; I was going to become unconscious; I was going to enter a state in which I could not take care of myself; and by laying myself down to sleep and placing myself in God's hands, I was throwing the responsibility off myself, thus enabling me to relax in His care. That is about as high a form of prayer as there is-not the words, but that attitude of "Father, I am going to be asleep. Anything can happen in my sleep, and I will not be around to protect myself. So now, as I lay me down to sleep, please take care of me. Take over while I am out." That attitude is a surrender, virtually saying, "I can of my own self do nothing while I am asleep, so, Father, You take over." It is the surrender of any dependence on material resources; it is throwing oneself completely on the spiritual. Let me therefore tell you what happened when that first person asked me to pray for him. I closed my eyes and said, "Father, You know that I do not know how to pray, so what is the next step?" Instantly, a voice came back and said, "Man cannot heal," and the whole responsibility dropped away from me. I still did not feel that I was praying and I still did not know how to pray. But you can see that I really was praying the very moment I acknowledged that I did not know how to pray. Paul prayed much the same prayer when he said, "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought." 1 That is one of the highest forms of prayer ever conceived by man-not that the words will do anything for anyone. If, however, you have the feeling ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...yer, The Source Of Our Good.pdf
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The Government of Eden: Chapter 10, When We Pray Amiss
- ... If the masses could know something about the world of the Spirit, some of them at least would begin to open their eyes and desire what we who have learned about a life of prayer have discovered. Prayer, to be answered prayer, must come from a heart that is purged of personal and selfish motives, a heart that has for its desire that all men may know God's grace. This prayer, silently spoken or thought, not only sets the one who prays free, but it sets mankind free. We can watch it in operation at the level of the family. We can use this silent, secret prayer in our household, confining ourselves to our immediate circle, and pray that God's grace be established. We embrace everyone in our consciousness until we have made peace with them and have attained an absolute conviction that we desire the grace of God to be their experience. When we begin to see the fruitage in that small circle, then we are ready to lift our vision and go out into the community, to the seat of our government, to cross borders and look each nation in the face, each religion, and make peace. Go thy way in peace. May God's grace be visited upon you. May you forever know the joy of living in His forgiveness and His love, peace, and prosperity. Prayer for God 's Government on Earth World prayer work is the most difficult of all because we must, first of all, surrender all concepts as to the solution we are seeking, never praying for a certain event or experience. And the reason this is difficult is that each one of us has decided whether it would be good to have a Republican administration or a Democratic administration and, in some cases, even a Socialistic or Communistic administration. And when we pray, we are praying for this, and there can be no success in such world work. Success comes only with the surrender of material or human desires, and the desire for God's government on earth: spiritual government, not just a different form of human government. God is Spirit, and the only prayer of a ...
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Modified: 2021-01-25 13:32:07- 98K
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The Only Freedom: Chapter 11, Making Your Contact with God
- ... I have received only one grain and there is all the rest of the sand on all the beaches of the world for me to go before I ever get to the place of saying, "Stop, Lord, I have enough." I pray, too, every day: "Give me daily bread." But I don't mean food, I mean more of this light, more illumination, more conscious awareness of God's presence. "Fill me more with the spirit of God. Illumine me." That is what Jesus meant when he said, "Give us this day our daily bread." Asking God to Forgive for Us When the Master prayed, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," 3 it is not likely that he was asking to be forgiven in the way we think of forgiveness. He was probably indicating that we are forgiven as we forgive, and he may have been praying for more grace to be able to give more forgiveness. Well do I remember an experience when I was called upon to rise above a very disagreeable experience concerning one of the students. The hurt was deep for the moment, and it was bad medicine to have to take. In my meditation when the word came to forgive, I answered, "Oh, Father, that's more than I can do. I just haven't risen that high yet. I cannot be that forgiving in this case. I would like to be. Don't think I wouldn't but I'd be a hypocrite if I were to say I have achieved it. But I will tell you what You had better do, Father. You take over and do the forgiving for me because I don't seem to have the ability." And the Father did. Immediately the weight was lifted off my shoulders, and the assurance came that God's forgiveness was right there where I was. That took all the responsibility away from me. It is hypocritical to make absolute statements of truth as if we had already demonstrated them. It is true we must forgive seventy times seven, but that doesn't mean that we are always going to find it easy and sometimes we may even find it almost impossible. If we do find it almost impossible, we will be relieved if we turn to the Father: "I would like to forgive ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...aking Your Contact with God.pdf
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Our Spiritual Resources: Chapter Eleven, What Have You in the House?
- ... Do not be reckless and give more than you have; do not run up a charge account and trust God to meet it next month. First provide the money needed this month out of the infinity of your being, and then go and spend it next month. Demonstrate it first and spend it next. Do not spend it first and trust God next. Do your trusting first. It is possible that you have dammed up inside of you the very thing that you want. Probably most of you would like to be forgiven for some act of omission or commission in your life, and the way to gain that forgiveness is to forgive. Begin to forgive all those who have despitefully used you, all those who have persecuted and wronged you. Begin to forgive all the dictators and tyrants of the world who have been a direct or indirect cause of suffering in your experience. Begin to forgive those members of your family who are not appreciative of what you do for them. Begin right now to ask that they never be punished for their sins. Our prayer should be, ... Do not be concerned whether or not you can buy a yacht or a private plane, but ask yourself, "Can I take a few pennies every day and secretly send them out where they will do someone some good?" Always remember that what alms you do must be done in secret. Always remember to retire every day into a quiet corner, and ask yourself this question, "What have I in the house today?" Today it may be a quarter; tomorrow it may be a little more love or a little more patience, kindness, tolerance, or forgiveness. Every day it will be something different; and, therefore, if you embark on the spiritual path, you must ask yourself this question every day because every day will make its particular demands upon you, and these you must fulfill. So be prepared to pour. Discipline yourself so that you never expect good to come to you, but always expect it to flow out from you. LOOK ONLY TO GOD In the same way, do not look to anyone for gratitude; do not look to anyone for appreciation; do not look to ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 11, Spiritual Living
- ~ 11 ~ SPIRITUAL LIVING SPIRITUAL LIVING is not a way of life that will separate us from our present experience, nor will it take us out of our present activity except as we progress. True, it may lift us up into the practice of spiritual healing, or into teaching and lecturing on spiritual subjects, but it will not necessarily remove us from our present life-experience. It will merely enhance the beauties and increase the safety and security of the life we are now living. Jesus taught-and it is on his teaching that The Infinite Way is based-that we are not to leave this world, that we are to be in the world but not of it. We are to be in the world and enjoy liberty, freedom, happiness, contentment, peace, joy, and dominion. He did not say anything about going out into the wilderness and becoming an ascetic; he did not teach going apart from the world and living in the universe removed from the problems of everyday life. Rather, he increased the very loaves and fishes that the people were accustomed to eating. He brought forth gold from the fish's mouth, the same gold that was used as currency in those days. So is it with the spiritual way of living. It is not meant that we should live in poverty, but rather that we should live in infinite abundance without any limitations except the limit of our own ability to accept that abundance. There is no sin in money or in wealth: the sin is in the love or hate of it. It is right for us to be abundantly supplied, but in the spiritual way of living, the concept of wealth must be changed from the material to the spiritual. Suppose we assume that our income comes from our work. The spiritual way of life does not interfere with our income, whether from work, investments, or marriage; but it does prevent our believing that such a source is really the source of the supply. It may be the avenue of supply to us, but not the source. In the spiritual way of living, our reliance is not on the money, the job, the investment, or the ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter III, The Spiritual Adventure
- CHAPTER III THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE From earliest times this world with all its magnificence, yet punctuated by untold tragedy, has been a mystery, with man himself the greatest enigma of all. Here a man, and there a man, has sought to penetrate this mystery, but for the most part men have gone about their business, doing all that needed to be done humanly- some with great integrity and some with less, some with great ability and some with less, but all having one thing in common: all that existed for them was what they could see, hear, taste, touch, or smell, or could reason and think about. They might have looked up at the sky occasionally-a passing glance, a passing thought-but it had no meaning for them except that the sun was up there in the daytime, often very uncomfortable, and the stars and the moon were there at night, very beautiful. These things had no significance: they were just something they saw or felt, things they were aware of, but of which they had no knowledge, and in which, at the moment, no interest. To these people it was as if there were no world other than the one in which they lived. They saw the horizon, and it was so real that, to them, it represented the edge of the world, and they did not dare to go out to investigate. Had they only known the global nature of the earth and the laws of navigation, they could have sailed all around the world and found continents, islands, and unlimited wealth, but because of their ignorance, they were confined within the limits of their immediate environment. Similarly, is not the world today filled with people, educated and uneducated, yet knowing nothing beyond what they see, hear, taste, touch, smell, or feel? The human race, as we know it, is composed of men and women living completely shut off from divine aid, divine sustenance, and divine providence. From the most ancient of times up to modern days, man has not only lived by the sweat of his brow, but has engaged in strife to gain his ends, whether ...
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Consciousness Transformed: May 18, 1963, Spiritual Responsibility
- ... Two things we have covered today: (1) To separate yourself from the belief that you belong to any particular religious body, and see yourself as an individual leading the contemplative life, leading your life through inner guidance. (2) Whatever spiritual inspiration you receive within, adapt it to your human experiences without. Above all things, this inner life manifests itself in human relationships with each other and at every level of life, regardless of what level it might be. In our conduct and attitude toward the one closest to us or the stranger, there must be the same integrity, the same tolerance, the same patience, the same forgiveness as with anyone else. This does not mean you must be taken advantage of-your inner wisdom would quickly take you away from those conditions. TRUTH IS NOT FOR YOU ALONE Now you have a responsibility, because as part of this group you are not receiving this message for yourself. I trust that you all know that anyone who is a part of this group ... The observance of any holiday or holy day, feast day, rite or ceremony is usually believed to influence God. If we go through communion service, or observe any rite or ritual, we think that it gives us influence with God. There is nothing you can humanly be doing that will influence God. It can only be done by coming into obedience to God's laws. The Master's whole teaching is how to bring us into at-one-ment with God. Then you have attuned yourself with spiritual law. If you pray for the enemy, ask forgiveness, you are attuning yourself. The minister I was with the other day said, "Prayer is fitting ourselves to receive the grace of God which is ever- present." I am really shocked when I think of people who pray for things without any idea at all of not changing themselves. Here I am leading my human life: "Now you come on down, God, and do something for me." God's grace cannot be added to what is done humanly. Individuals come for prayer thinking we would reduce the lump or stop the ...
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Seek Ye First: Chapter 1, The Inner Kingdom
- In fact, it must be expected that it be difficult because we are embarking on an almost impossible task, that is, unless our determination is such that we are willing to put up with the difficulties inevitably to be encountered in the beginning. Forgiveness and Salvation Now In the years devoted to this work, I have noted some things that are helpful to students and that make these first months ... The woman taken in adultery and forgiven by the Master had to accept her forgiveness now and stop living in the past. The thief on the cross had to accept his salvation now and forget those things that were behind. So must we, regardless of the nature or the degree of our materialistic living, sickly, sinful, or poverty-stricken living. There comes a time when we bid it goodbye and start over with the word now, and let now mark the beginning of our new birth. Dropping the Burdens of the Past Now, here where I am, God is. Now God is; now God is closer than breathing; now the Father is saying, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."3 In this moment of silent receptivity, the Father says, "Drop your burdens, let Me carry the load. Let Me give you forgiveness, let Me be the ... But we take no thought for the love flowing back to us; we let it flow as one of the added things. We live in a continuous state of now expressing love. The love that we express today must become a continuing experience, a love that we express through forgiveness, understanding, sharing. Every opportunity to express love that is presented to us we must accept, and not ask, "Where is it going to ... All is within me: the bread, the meat, the wine of life. It takes a few months, even years, to break this attachment to the outer world, to break the belief that we are dependent on man for justice, for loans, for forgiveness, or for our support, but we can do it if we can remember the word now: Now I and the Father are one. Now do I draw upon the kingdom of God within me. Now do I seek living ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...hapter 1, The Inner Kingdom.pdf
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