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 ...
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The Foundation of Mysticism: Chapter 18, Gratitude - A Spiritual Interpretation of Holidays
- ~ 18 ~ GRATITUDE: A SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION OF HOLIDAYS Question: Will you speak on the subject of holidays, how they are to be interpreted and observed from a spiritual standpoint, as for instance, Thanksgiving? Of course this would include Christmas, or the Fourth of July, or the Presidents' birthdays. Answer: This is really a beautiful experience. The Master prayed that the disciples be left in the world, but not of it. And as you know, this has been my vision right from the beginning: the word made flesh-not to leave this world but to be right in it, not subject to its false laws, but rather to open ourselves to reality and watch that reality become evident in visible form. How we understand and observe these holidays is part of that vision. We realize of course, that Thanksgiving originated with the Pilgrims when they came to this land. They faced seeming lack and stress, yet they met their needs in many different ways. And they offered thanks. Actually, we don't know whether that really happened in the way that has been passed on to us because the Thanksgiving holiday came into existence after even their grandchildren were gone. So, we do not know whether Thanksgiving actually was celebrated by the Pilgrims or whether it was a later invention ascribed to them. But it really makes no difference because the idea itself is good. They were in this cold, barren country surrounded by warring Indians, and yet, through all of their hardships, their daily needs were met. It is logical to believe that a time came when someone would remind them of how much they had to be thankful for, and there may have been a ceremony and then later it was incorporated as a national holiday. You know, as far as we are concerned today, we have very little feeling about the Pilgrims and how they celebrated their Thanksgiving. Today, the holiday is an opportunity for us to remember that we, too, have much for which to be thankful. It is really an opportunity for a sabbath day, a day of ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/... Interpretation of Holidays.pdf
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The Heart of Mysticism: February 1959, A Lesson To Sam
- ... It is His good pleasure to give you the kingdom, and God does not even hold you in punishment for your sins. Even though you make a mistake, even though you commit a sin, if you are truly repentant in the sense that you realize that you have sinned and that it wasn't right, in that instant you are forgiven. You do not carry around the penalty any longer than you carry around the obstinacy of believing you are right when you know in your heart and Soul you are wrong. Do you understand that? You cannot go around and do wrong and not acknowledge it to yourself and expect that you can receive God's grace. You receive God's grace every time you acknowledge within yourself, "I know I've done wrong," or perhaps, "I don't know that I've done wrong, but if I have, God, wipe it out, because it wasn't intentional. I never mean to do wrong, but always want to do unto others as I would have others do unto me." In that way, you purify yourself. I have been healed of illnesses merely by asking God's forgiveness for my sins; and of course, my sins are not major ones because you know that is not our mode of living. But whatever it is-when we are guilty of holding people in criticism or condemnation, or when we are not loving enough or forgiving enough-we are sinning against the Holy Spirit. So it is a wholesome thing once in a while to go to God and say, "I realize that humanly I haven't been perfect; therefore, forgive my sins, forgive my trespasses, and let's start all over again." In this way, Sam, you will learn the greatest lesson that I have ever learned, and that is that the place whereon I stand is holy ground. God is right here where I am, and God is available the very minute that I stop talking and stop thinking and turn within in humility, acknowledging God's grace, God's power, God's Spirit within me, and then relax for just a minute or two and let that Spirit take over. That really is all there is to the whole Infinite Way. All the writings of The Infinite Way are only ...
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The Only Freedom: Chapter 12, Peace on Earth A Christmas Story
- O Chapter Twelve Peace on Earth: A Christmas Story ne of our students sent me a most beautiful story as a Christmas gift. I can give you the essence of it but not the beauty. It tells of an ancient king who was peaceable, just, merciful and kind. The neighboring king, however, was intent on war and conquest. The peaceable king sent an ambassador to the warlike king seeking peace. In the meantime, however, in order to protect his people, the king made preparations for war. From one end of the nation to the other, factories turned out war materiel. This activity saddened his people, for they well knew the nature of war. Gradually the smiles faded from their faces, and joy went out of their hearts. Seeing this, the king prayed for some means of changing the situation and bringing about peace and harmony to his people and to the nation. One day the wife of one of his officers came to the king and asked permission to reveal a secret to him. The king agreed, and she whispered in his ear. The secret pleased the king greatly, and he told her to go out and tell this secret to other women in the city. She was to confide this secret to each and every woman and tell each woman to in turn go abroad in the land and impart this great secret to other women. So, from one end of the nation to the other, women traveled, imparting this great secret to all the women, and the secret spread throughout the land. Soon smiles returned to the faces of the people, singing was once more heard in the land, and joy was abroad. On Christmas day word came from the ambassador that a peace treaty had been signed with the neighboring king. The king issued an edict that all war preparations were to cease and that factories were to return to peacetime products. He quickly learned that this had already been done. For several weeks the factories had been changing over to peacetime products, and this was in part the reason for the merriment in the land. The officers of the court wanted to know, "What is ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/... on Earth A Christmas Story.pdf
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter VIII, The Mystical I
- CHAPTER VIII THE MYSTICAL I The search for God must be conducted within, but this does not mean within our body because no amount of mental or physical probing has ever revealed the kingdom of God in any person's body. Therefore, we can quickly put aside any idea of searching for it in the spinal cord, stomach, heart, or even in the brain. The Kingdom is to be found within-within us. This leads us to the questions: Who are we? What are we? Where are we? Most of us already know that we are not confined to our body, and once we know that, we have taken a tremendous leap forward on the spiritual path, because if we are convinced that we are not in the body, it should not take very long or involve overmuch reasoning to establish the truth that being out of the body and invisible, we must be incorporeal and spiritual, something other than body. So, when we seek the kingdom of God within, we are not seeking for it inside the body, not even in the mind: we are seeking within ourselves. To understand the nature of life as consciousness reveals how it is possible for the kingdom of God to be within us, within our consciousness, within that part of us which knows, but within no particular part of our body. Consciousness alone constitutes the Self. When we have realized ourselves as consciousness and can look at our body in a mirror and thank God that we are not there, thank God that we have a body, but that we are not in the body-we are invisible-we shall begin to understand the Master's great teachings which are the "open sesame" to progress on the spiritual path. "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." How can the son of that Father be other than spiritual being, spiritual entity and identity, incorporeal and invisible being? How can that son of God be seen walking the earth? The truth is that our real Self is never seen by anybody: it is completely invisible. True, our body is visible, but we are not. We are hid with the ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XXVIII, The Tree of Life
- CHAPTER XXVIII THE TREE OF LIFE To understand the nature of the mystical way of life, and to understand it fully, we must first of all understand the underlying conflict that exists among human beings, the struggle between all men on the face of the earth. Even between husbands and wives, parents and children, there is conflict, and the conflict is always a battle for the supremacy of the ego. Each one wants to be something of himself, and that something enters into conflict with the something of the other self. So it is that throughout the human scene there has always been conflict. True, there is an appearance of peace, but as long as each one has a self of his own, he will be catering to that ego, trying to manifest, express, or benefit it. This poses the question: Is it possible for human beings to live together harmoniously, or must they live in constant warfare of one nature or another? None of the efforts made to bring about peace on earth and good will among men has ever been successful for any length of time, largely because these efforts have been based on attempting to unite people humanly, when for the most part they have no common interest. Some contend that in union there is strength, but this is a fallacy. Ever since time began, tribes have been uniting, countries have been uniting, and churches have been uniting, but so far no such union has brought about permanent strength. It lasts for a while, then some other combination arises and falls to make way for still another combination. There is no strength in any union founded by human beings, nor has one ever proved to be enduring. The only strength there is, is in spiritual union, but that in itself is a paradox. There cannot really be a spiritual union because there are not two to unite. There is only one Self, and as long as I recognize that the Selfhood of me is the Selfhood of you, I cannot be antagonistic toward you, but neither can I unite with you because there are not two of us: there is only ...
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Conscious Union with God: Chapter 3, States & Stages of Consciousness
- ~ 3 ~ STATES AND STAGES OF CONSCIOUSNESS Even though for many years the metaphysical world has believed that mental and spiritual healing are synonymous, actually they are as far apart as are material and spiritual healing. Mental and material healing are much the same except that they operate on different levels of consciousness. The mental is a little higher and finer than the material, but essentially they are two strata of the same belief. On the other hand, to use the terms, "mentally spiritual" or "spiritually mental," is exactly the same as saying, "a godly devil." The spiritual and the mental are just that far apart, not that one is right and the other is wrong, but they function on such different levels of consciousness that they are as far apart as the poles. The present day mixture of the spiritual and the mental stems from the beginning of modern mental practice, which originated in the last quarter of the eighteenth century in Germany with Franz Anton Mesmer, a reputable and learned physician, who named his discovery animal magnetism. He it was who discovered that there is a vital fluid-invisible and mental-which passes from the practitioner to the patient and which acts hypnotically through suggestion. One of Mesmer's students, the French mesmerist, Charles Poyen, migrated to Portland, Maine, and there found an apt student named Phineas P. Quimby to whom he taught mesmerism, then known as hypnotism, or animal magnetism, and for some time these two engaged in this activity primarily for entertainment purposes. Mr. Quimby, later known as Dr. Quimby, however, had a young patient, or student, who worked as his assistant and who developed the faculty, under hypnotism, of discerning the mental causes for the physical diseases of people coming to him on the platform. Dr. Quimby, then, by recognizing the nonpower of the mental thought, erased the disease. As a result of some remarkable healings which took place, he gave up the entertainment phase of his work ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...s & Stages of Consciousness.pdf
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Living the Infinite Way: Chapter - Introduction, Introduction
- O INTRODUCTION ne of the greatest spiritual teachers who ever walked this earth has told us that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Throughout every age there have been men and women of discernment who have discovered that this is true. Some have left a testament of their discovery in the scriptures of the world-a record of courage, strength, and inspiration, a revelation of unfolding consciousness. The experience of these illumined men and women is a constant reminder that we do not live merely by work, food, and rest, but that there is another factor that enters life which is far more important than any of these human activities. This factor is the "word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The Word becomes the living waters. It is our protection, our safety, our security. As we go about our tasks and duties, even though we may go through deep waters and be tried in the fire of experience, the waters will not overflow us and the flames will not kindle upon us, if the Word of God is in us and with us. It is our meat, our water, and our Bread of Life, our staff on which to lean. But the Word must be more than a quotation from a book. It must come alive within us; it must be a vital, living force. Its essence or substance must become part of our own consciousness, no longer words, but the Word. Then it lives and functions for us eternally. What is there about a Bible that is holy? Is it the binding, the paper, the print, or the words? Not one of these is sacred. The only thing in the entire Bible that is power is the Word of God. And where do we find that? In a book? No, for then it would be necessary merely to buy the book to have the Word of God. Millions of people buy the Bible every year, but how many of these people have the Word of God? Most of them have some words printed in a book. The world has missed the mark by reading the Bible as a historical or literary work. As long as it remains print in a ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/... Introduction, Introduction.pdf
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Our Spiritual Resources: Chapter Five, Spiritual Attainment Through Prayer
- CHAPTER FIVE SPIRITUAL ATTAINMENT THROUGH PRAYER Spiritual healing can be accomplished in several ways: It may come about through those who possess a healing consciousness, are fully aware of this gift which has been bestowed upon them through the grace of God, and use it to bless mankind; it may be experienced by some person who has no knowledge whatsoever of spiritual things, but who may have unknowingly brought himself within the healing orbit of God's grace; or it may be that a conscious knowing of the correct letter of truth, that is, the principles of truth, eventually leads to the development of that spiritual consciousness necessary for healing. Since most healing is brought about through treatment, that is, through first knowing the correct letter of truth, every metaphysical student, regardless of which approach he chooses or elects to follow, should be able to give an intelligent treatment. This, however, has nothing to do with making affirmations and denials or uttering metaphysical clichés because such procedures are far removed from the giving of intelligent and loving treatments. All metaphysical teachings have as their goal the bringing of spiritual living into the experience of their students, and giving them some understanding of the nature of treatment, so that, through the practice of treatment, spiritual consciousness may be developed. The spiritual consciousness which is so essential to the healing work cannot be achieved through blind faith, however, nor merely by making metaphysical statements, even if, and though, the statements are true. Behind every statement of truth uttered and behind every treatment given, there must be understanding. THE PRINCIPLE OF ONE POWER No one can give a spiritual healing treatment intelligently unless, first, he anchors himself in the realization that since God is all power, there is no power that is required to do anything to anything, for anything, or for anybody, for any reason. We do not even need ...
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The Contemplative Life: Chapter 3, Beginning the Contemplative Life
- ~ 3 ~ BEGINNING THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE In the Orient, as many of you know, those who are interested in attaining spiritual illumination go to a teacher and, as a rule, live with or near the teacher for a period of six, seven, or eight years, and by means of meditation with as well as without the teacher, meditation with other students, and spiritual instruction, eventually attain their illumination: satori, enlightenment, or the fourth dimensional consciousness. Mankind as a whole, however, is not geared for this kind of teaching, nor do many desire, need, or even have the capacity for full enlightenment. This is attested by the fact that some students and disciples who have lived in close association with their teachers even for many years could not or did not reach the heights, whereas others may have received it in two or three years. The question, then, for the young student at first is not one of attaining that degree of illumination which would set him up as a spiritual teacher or healer, but primarily how to attain sufficient illumination or enlightenment to be able to free himself from the discords and inharmonies of daily living and build up within himself a spiritual sense that would not only lift him above the world's troubles- his family or community troubles-but would enable him to live a normal family, business, or professional life, and yet be inspired, fed, and supported by an inner experience and contact. Recognize the Universality of God It is well known that all people of a religious turn of mind-whatever their religion may be-can attain some measure of inner harmony and peace and find themselves in possession of an inner grace that eventually lives their lives for them. It makes no difference what a person's religion is because there is only one God, only one Spirit; and that Spirit knows no difference between a Jew and a Gentile, a Protestant and a Catholic, an Oriental and an Occidental. The Spirit is beyond and above any denominational beliefs ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...ning the Contemplative Life.pdf
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