Seek Ye First: Chapter 7, The Practicality of Illumination
- Chapter Seven The Practicality of Illumination The spiritual path is a difficult one, without any question. The Master warned about that when he said, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." 1 Indeed, very few! The spiritual path is difficult because ever since the fall of man, that is, since man entered into a material state of consciousness, his attention has been centered on worldly pleasures and profits. From the earliest days of humanhood, dependence has been placed on might and power-bows and arrows, swords, dynamite, gunpowder, walls, barricades, fortresses-all for the protection of life and property. Over the centuries a material state of consciousness has developed, a consciousness seeking always for something out in the world to supply satisfaction, safety, security, peace, supply, and health. When the transition is made to the spiritual path, all this has to be reversed, and that is what is called "dying daily," being reborn, surrendering, giving, or yielding one's self to God-nonattachment as it is called in Oriental teaching. All this, however, must not be misunderstood. It does not mean that we do not eat or require food; it does not imply that there is anything wrong with wealth or health. All these are implicit on the spiritual path, but without attachment or dependence on them. Transferring Reliance from the Visible to the Invisible On the spiritual path, all attention is transferred from the visible to the invisible, and it has been taught by the Master in this way: I have meat to eat that ye know not of. John 4:32 I am the bread of life. John 6:35 I am the resurrection, and the life. John 11:25 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 It is not that we claim that protection, food, clothing, and housing are unnecessary, that we ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: November 1958, THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
- CHAPTER ELEVEN: NOVEMBER The Fruits of the Spirit SETTING aside a special day or days to give thanks for blessings received is not a practice limited to the United States alone. Many years before the Pilgrims came to this country, old England celebrated the gathering in of the harvest in the fall of the year. Even the ancients practiced this rite. As long as there has been recorded history, it has been the custom to observe a festival of thanksgiving in gratitude for the harvest which has been reaped. While students of spiritual wisdom do not confine the giving of thanks to a single day of the year, but let every day be a day of thanksgiving; nevertheless, it is not inappropriate at this season to consider the kind of harvest you, as a student of the spiritual way of life, are garnering into your spiritual storehouse. This will not be measured in terms of outward good, although that may well be one evidence of spiritual fruitage. If your harvest has been scant, engage in a little soul-searching introspection to see wherein you have failed; if abundant, rejoice in the greater awareness of the Presence which has made this possible. Always evaluate your progress in terms of spiritual fruitage: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22, 23 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit . . . Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit . . . John 15:4, 5, 8 There is no way to taste of the fruit of the Spirit except through the word of God, the word of God which in the midst of you is mighty. If you abide in the Word and let the Word abide in you, you will bear fruit richly. But the word of God is not something that you can read in a book; the word ...
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The Journey Back to the Father's House: Chapter 4, The Temple
- Chapter Four The Temple Spiritual teaching involves an emptying out of the old "bottles" 1 to make way for the new wine. You cannot fill a vessel already full. You cannot receive a spiritual impartation in a mind filled with universal beliefs, theories, or opinions. Concepts and misconceptions must be cleared out of the mind so that it can become a transparency for truth. Mind is not a power. Mind has no power for good or for evil. Mind is a receiving and a transmitting instrument. To understand the mind, first look at your body and realize that this body is your body, and that you can do with your body what you will. If you choose to walk to the right, your body has no power to resist you and walk downstairs. Your body has no power of its own. Your body cannot be moral or immoral; your hands cannot be honest or dishonest. Your body has no qualities of its own. It is merely a mechanical instrument fashioned for your use. Now go a step further and see that just as you have a body, so, too, you have a mind. You can use your mind to develop a talent, a profession, or a business. It is your mind, and you can educate it in mathematics, music, art, science, or literature. You can keep your mind imbued with truth by filling it with scripture, spiritual and inspirational writings, or mystical poetry. You can keep your mind filled with truth or you can keep your mind filled with trash. You determine how many hours a day worthwhile literature is poured into your mind. You have the capacity to determine the nature of what goes into your mind. Just as your body is not a power unto itself, so your mind, also, is not a power. It cannot talk back to you; it has no control over you: you have control over it. When a person no longer has control over his mind and his mind appears to run away with him, he is labeled insane. The truth is that it is his mind. He has the power to govern, instruct, and educate it. The Human Mind Is Conditioned by False Knowledge When the mind is filled ...
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Consciousness Transformed: September 2, 1963, Prayer of the Righteous Man: God Is
- PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS MAN: GOD IS September 2, 1963 Honolulu, Hawaii GOOD EVENING. Truth is a shocking experience and those who are not prepared for a continuous bombardment of shocks should not undertake the search for truth. Probably the first question that a truth seeker would ask himself is this: Why is there so little fruitage from prayer? Whether it is the Protestant prayer, the Catholic prayer, the Jewish prayer, the Buddhist prayer or the Vedantist prayer, why is there so little fruitage? If the search for truth were started in this particular year, the seeker would receive many shocks in reading magazine articles written by ministers telling why people are meeting in small groups to pray, why they are not meeting in large numbers in congregations, why they are seeking outside of their churches. There is a simple answer to all of this and one that every religion should have been able to give. The prayers of human beings are not answered. The prayers that seek to improve the human scene are not answered. The prayers that are aimed at protecting our children or our friends or our relatives or our allies are not answered. Therefore, prayer as it is usually taught is unfruitful, unproductive, and unsuccessful. From the beginning of time we have had warfare and from the beginning of time you may be assured that mothers have prayed for their children, but warfare with all of its destruction has continued. As a matter of fact, it is so intensified in this century that, not only are the boys who go to war endangered or destroyed, even the mothers who stay at home are in danger of being destroyed. Prayer has not altered that situation, nor has it prevented the intensification of war and the added destructive powers of war. Prayer has done very little on a national or international scale, and yet in the Bible we find, "The prayer of a righteous man availeth much" 1 and "I have not seen the righteous begging bread." 2 In the literal sense none of this is true because ...
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Invisible Supply: Chapter 1, The Principle of Supply
- ... Being grateful for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle on a thousand hills, the trees that bloom, for all that we witness from waking until sleeping, for the fact that the principle of life is at work for us even while we are sleeping is to me the highest form of gratitude, because there is nothing personal in it. It is a sense of gratitude that the infinity of God is omnipresent for all of us to share. The fact that so few receive from this infinite abundance has nothing at all to do with God. There is no favoritism on the part of God. God does not give more to one than to another. God has no favorite children, no favorite race, no favorite nation, nor does God reward the virtuous and punish the sinful. It is difficult to accept the doctrine of God's rewarding the virtuous and punishing the sinful when one sees so many sweet, virtuous people suffering disease or lack while so many rascals abound in health and supply. Our supply is in direct proportion to our receptivity; that is, the degree of gratitude that we express, the degree of bread that we place upon the waters in the form of benevolence, forgiveness, praying for our enemies, and so forth demonstrates our receptivity, because then we are expressing the spiritual principle of supply. Tithing Years ago gratitude was expressed by tithing to the church, the source of spiritual food and spiritual comfort. The church was also often the only source of material help. When tithing was directed to the church from a sense of gratitude for its benevolence, it was a blessing to both the giver and the receiver. However, eventually some shrewd individuals figured out that by giving 10 percent they might get 90 percent in return, and tithing became a percentage deal. Because of this, tithing lost its effectiveness and eventually disappeared as a general custom, although it continued among the Mormons, the Quakers, and some minority groups. But, on the whole, tithing is no longer recognized, as it once ...
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Living by Grace: Chapter 1, The Secret of Success
- ... It is a form of bargaining! Most people have no trouble sharing with their wives or husbands, with their children, or with their parents. It is a little more difficult to give to their neighbor's children-those down the street or those in Africa, China, Japan, or elsewhere. We are all bottled up in ourselves and our own families, and we let others take care of themselves and their own families, forgetting that we are supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves. To demonstrate supply, then, we must first ask ourselves not who will give to us or what is there for us to get, but, "What do I have in the house that I can begin to pour, to share?" Somewhere within ourselves we have to find a few drops of oil, or a little meal, or an old pair of shoes, or a few pennies in our purses. We must find something that we can give, pour, share. Money, food, clothing are not the only things we have stored within us which we can give of in order to start the flow from within us. We can find some forgiveness for someone or perform some service for someone. When you are serving man, you are serving God. The Master said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." You are not serving God unless you are serving man, including the very least of them. The only way you can serve God is by your service to mankind-not only to the rich, the handsome, and the beautiful but to the very least of them. The only way we have of serving God is by serving our fellowman, whether it is the sharing of dollars, pounds, or pennies or the forgiving or praying for our enemies. Scripture tells us that if you say you love God and do not love your fellowman, you are a liar! Forgive and Pray for Enemies We could forgive our enemies-pray to God to forgive those who have offended us, insulted us, and grievously used us. Forgive not only those who have personally injured us but also those who have hurt our nation, our race, our religion, our friends, our relatives. ...
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Living by the Word: Chapter 3, Let There Be Light
- Chapter Three Let There Be Light Far too often, we hear the statement, "Nothing is impossible to God." Usually those who voice that mean, "Well, then, we will just let God do all of this for us; and since nothing is impossible to God, we have nothing further to do." It is true that nothing is impossible to God, but that is not going to be of any help to you or to me except in proportion as we can bring the presence of God into actual realization. In other words, it is not the infinite, all-nature of God that makes our demonstration: it is the degree of our realization of that presence of God. There was just as much of God in the world before the days of Jesus Christ; there was just as much of God in the world before the days of Moses. But what good did that do the Hebrews until there was a Moses to lead them out of their slavery? What good was all this infinite power of God until there was a Jesus to heal the sick, raise the dead, and feed the hungry? Spiritual healing was just as possible to the world throughout the past five thousand years as it is today, but of what avail was that to the world until Mrs. Eddy revealed that the presence of God is as available in this age as it was on the shores of Galilee? It is true that God is and that God is infinite all-power and it is true that nothing is impossible to God; but only men like Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jesus, John, and Paul, who attained the actual realization and demonstration of God, were able to do these mighty works of spiritual regeneration, spiritual healing, and spiritual supplying. This same condition exists today. Since the re-introduction of spiritual healing and spiritual living, there have been and there are now some of higher attained spiritual awareness than others, and thereby there are those who are doing greater works than others. The power of God is the same. The difference in demonstration is the difference in the degree of attained God-realization. Once we understand this, we will know that ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 2, Before Abraham
- CHAPTER 2 "Before Abraham" IMPERSONALIZE GOD and what do you have? You have divine Being, universally expressing Itself, universally manifesting Itself; before Abraham was, and unto the end of the world. This is what you get when you impersonalize God: you get infinite, divine Being, from the so-called beginning to the so-called ending. You also discover that there was no beginning, as there will be no ending, for life is a circle. It never began. It never ends. It Is! Before Abraham, It Is; unto the end of the world, It Is. It Is I AM! I AM! Before Abraham was, I Am! As one mystic said, "Before God was, I am"; and this is Truth. Before there was such a thing as a God concept in anyone's mind, I am. Someone else has said, "If there were not a God, man would have to make one." Do you not see that this only promotes that we might live forever in darkness, that we have to make up a God, that we have to form a concept of God, that we have to have some image or idea, in our mind, of God? God is invisible, indescribable, incorporeal, infinite, from everlasting to everlasting, and who can draw a picture of that? Who can invent a word to encompass that? The only word that has ever been shown forth that set men free is that word I! Whenever it was revealed, the veil was removed. Whenever God was personalized and finitized, or made an image in this or that religion, the veil was on again. Why could the mystic see that God is closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet, when there is nothing closer than breathing but I myself? We are to relax, to rest, in this consciousness, the creative Principle of life, the Reality of life, the Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience that Is within me. Closer than breathing Is the Selfhood of me. Relax in It and let It perform Its work. This also shows you why it was said, "He performeth that which is given me to do, He perfecteth that which concerneth me." There is always this He, that is within me, that we identify as not a "He" ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 4, Your True Identity
- ... So the evil that was destined against man was directed to its rightful source, God, and because there was nothing there to aim evil at, or hit, it boomeranged and destroyed the sender. Now, we have two things to remember. One is that it wasn't really Sapphira or her husband that held out. Really and truly, it was this carnal mind operating through them; and since this carnal mind isn't a person and hasn't a person in whom and through or upon whom to operate, it becomes nothingness when you impersonalize it. Now, begin to agree that you have not done this unto me, because there is no me separate and apart from God. I have no selfhood except for the capital S Selfhood; therefore you have not aimed this at me but at God. You will find that you have impersonalized your Self, and any human error that is aimed at you will not strike you. Then remember that those who aim evil in your direction are really not aiming it at all; they are merely instruments through which the carnal mind is operating. You will thereby more than likely release them from their sin and bring about their forgiveness. In other words, if you personalize it and say, "You have done this unto me," it may turn around and strike back. If it did, it would be the fault of the sender in the sense of allowing themselves to be used. However, we want to go higher than being avenged. We want to go higher than seeking revenge upon someone. We want to see those who do evil to us forgiven, released from whatever evil is grasping them. So the safe way is, if in your experience there is any ingratitude aimed at you or any lack of mercy or injustice, realize, first of all, your capital S Self and then realize "This is really not aimed at me at all, this is aimed at God." Also realize that it isn't even people or a person who is aiming it; they are merely the innocent victims, ignorant victims, of the carnal mind-of the ignorance shown in "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." You will have nullified this ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 8, Prayer
- ~ 8 ~ PRAYER The essence of our work is that God is. We all talk about God; we think about God; we pray to God. When we realize that God is not to be prayed to, we begin to see why the talking about God is so useless, and why much of our thinking about God is fruitless. The first point that becomes clear when we see that God is, is that God is not to be prayed to. If only we understood Mrs. Eddy, we would have known this long ago. Listen to her words: "God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than he has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and Love." 1 "God is love. Can we ask him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend?" 2 "Asking God to be God is vain repetition. God is 'the same yesterday and today and forever;' and He who is immutably right will do right without being reminded of His province." 3 "Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem?" 4 Then, the first step in progress is when we learn not to ask or pray to God, or expect something from him. The next step is learning to turn to the kingdom within you, which is the kingdom of God, not for something, but in recognition of the present perfection and harmony of all which God governs. And he governs all reality. Also, we learn in Science that there is no evil in any person, place, or thing, but that the evil is in the universal concept of person, place, or thing. Knowing that there is no evil in any circumstance or condition frees us from ill effects that might come from the belief in evil. While it is spiritual sense that meets every so-called human problem, it is nevertheless true that a conscious awareness of the truth of being results in harmony that never forsakes us, and which we consciously experience. Therefore, we must "know the truth" in order for the "truth to make us free" from those things that seem to mar or ...
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