Seek Ye First: Chapter 2, The Spiritual Goal
- Chapter Two The Spiritual Goal On the spiritual path, we have a definite goal, a specific place to reach. That goal is not the gaining of good health, better morals, more abundant supply, satisfying companionship, or a beautiful home. These are the added things that come with the attainment of the goal. If we had these other things and did not attain our real goal, we would still have nothing but baubles and bangles, nothing but shadows. When we have attained our goal, we have all the added things as the fruitage, including permanent harmony, permanent peace, permanent health, and permanent abundance. The Experience, Not Words The first step is reaching the awareness of the presence of God. It is not the final one: it is the first one. We may intellectually agree that God is omnipresence, that the kingdom of God is within us, or that Christ dwells within us. This can in no way be considered the attainment of the goal. That is merely making a statement about it, merely affirming something that we hope eventually to experience. Our goal, however, is not the declaration and not the intellectual knowledge that there is an indwelling Christ: our goal is the actual experience of the Christ. We can talk about food forever and starve; we can talk about water forever and thirst. We must have the experience of eating and drinking in order to be satisfied. So talking about truth, voicing truth, or hearing messages of truth may be very well in its place, but it is not a very satisfactory place. We begin to know satisfaction only when we experience the Christ. Then we, too, can echo Paul's statement: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 1 The ultimate goal is conscious union with God, but that goal is reached by comparatively few persons. Regardless of the efforts they may make, they are, for the most part, preparing themselves for that ultimate experience in some future life. There have not been many in the recorded history of the world who have attained ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XX, The Meaning of Initiation
- CHAPTER XX THE MEANING OF INITIATION Initiation is an act of Grace bestowed on individuals at a certain time in their unfoldment, lifting them into the master-state of consciousness. There is far less opportunity for a student to attain initiation in the Western World than in the Eastern because in the West we are brought up from childhood with the idea of equality. We are taught that we are all equal, and therefore we do not have the correct understanding of the role of a spiritual teacher, or what spiritual consciousness is. We do not realize that while we may have political and economic equality, we are far from being equal in spiritual development. We of the Western World do not lend ourselves to becoming students of a spiritual teaching. Oh yes, we are very eager in the first year or so to jump up from the status of a beginner into being at least a master, and then going on from there. Attaining the spiritual life, however, does not come so quickly: it is a life of continuous dedication to that which is greater than we are. Personally, I do not believe that a student can consciously prepare for initiation, nor have I ever seen anyone who had initiation as his goal achieve it. Rather the goal must always be the attainment of that mind that was in Christ Jesus without any thought of receiving initiation or experiencing the effects of initiation. As the student takes his first steps on the Path leading to illumination, he learns to meditate on the indwelling Spirit. Initiation carries him from one step to another into the awareness of the Presence, on and on and on, purifying him to the extent that he no longer wants God to destroy his enemies, but is willing always to forgive and love them because he knows that it is only through their ignorance that evil is being expressed. He is purified to such a degree that he no longer wishes to gain his ends by any personal sense of might or power. In way after way his life becomes so purified that it is lived in dedication ...
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1954 Infinite Way Letters: Chapter 5, Knowing the Truth in Treatment
- ~ 5 ~ KNOWING THE TRUTH IN TREATMENT To those of us on the Path of The Infinite Way our goal is harmony-spiritual, eternal, immortal harmony in all of our relationships, being, body and business. In our search for the harmonies of life we have come to see that the only harmony is the harmony of God, made manifest as our individual experience. We have found that it is an impossibility to be intelligent, healthy or wealthy in and of ourselves, and that even though we gain these through material means they prove to be unsatisfactory, incomplete and impermanent. Only in the degree that we understand that God is the Intelligence of the universe, that God is the Mind, the Soul, and the Spirit of our individual being, do we have harmony as a permanent and continuing dispensation. As we come into the realization that there is no lasting safety or security, no health or wealth in the material world, we must find our new abiding-place-"an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." How do we attain this spiritual life? How do we attain spiritual consciousness? How do we attain our freedom from "this world?" The Master showed us the way-"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The first step in attaining freedom from the world is learning and knowing the truth. Read and study scripture and truth books. Bring yourself into the atmosphere of those who have attained some measure of spiritual consciousness. Choose your books, your teacher or teaching only after thoughtful consideration and prayer that they be revealed to you. Each one must find within his own being his true teacher or teaching, and be faithful to them until such time as he shall be led to a higher step. In the last analysis, we shall all be taught of God. The second, and by far the most important step, is knowing the truth, not merely by reading, studying or hearing it, but also by receiving it by impartation from within your own being. In giving treatments to ourselves or others in ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter II, The Purpose
- CHAPTER II THE PURPOSE The purpose of meditation is to attain divine grace. Once this grace has been attained in a measure, it takes over our experience and lives our life, performs those things which are given us to do, and makes the crooked places straight. We no longer live by bread alone, but by this inner grace. Satisfying relationships, abundant supply, successful business activity, and creative endeavor are the tangible effects of grace. First must come the inner grace before the things of this world can be added to us; but we can never receive the grace of God so long as we seek it for the purpose of demonstration, that is, seeking God in order to possess some person or thing, or to achieve some place. That is the reason meditation can never be used to demonstrate an automobile, more money, or a better position: meditation is for the purpose of realizing God. In meditation God is revealed as the life of individual being. God is the embodiment of all good. In achieving the experience of God, our good appears as whatever the need may be. We fail if we attempt to gain any thing separate and apart from God. God, Itself, is the good. Prayer or meditation for material things and persons cannot be answered by a God of Spirit. Such an objective defeats the purpose of meditation. Scripture tells us that the natural man receiveth not the things of God. Who is the natural man but the human being, the prodigal son, still deep in material consciousness, praying that his materiality may be made a little better, a little richer, a little more, or a little less? We pray to be stouter or we pray to be thinner; we pray to have more money, seldom to have less, although that might be a very spiritual prayer. The point is that we pray for an improvement or an increase of that very materiality of which God has no knowledge, and such prayer is not answered. Very often our human desires, if fulfilled, would leave us unsatisfied, because as human beings we do not possess the wisdom ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: September 1958, Praying Aright
- ... The inner communion helps to purify us, but a little conscious effort toward controlling our grosser feelings also helps us to reach that deeper communion. Inner communion results in an outer activity of harmony and peace, but no one can live in that inner communion if he is violating such spiritual laws as those that have been revealed by Christ Jesus. No one can expect to live an inner life of communion with signs following if, at the same time, he is hating his fellow-man, entertaining prejudice or bigotry, indulging in miserliness, or withholding forgiveness, understanding, or cooperation. Inner communion under such circumstances is an impossibility. Establishing a Conscious Awareness of the Presence In the early morning hours, before the day's activities have begun, we must be sure that we have established ourselves in God's grace and that we are in the rhythm of God-consciousness. ... Then we can go about our day's work: We have prayed-we have prayed ourselves into the very kingdom of heaven; we have prayed ourselves into God's grace. It may be necessary at noon or in the afternoon or evening when the distresses of the day crowd in to re-establish this contact. Again we turn within. This time something of a quite different nature may come: "What have I against any man, and what has any man against me?" Immediately we begin inwardly to make peace: * God is love. God is forever loving; God's love is flowing through me to all this world. God's forgiveness touches everyone-the man born blind, the thief on the cross, the woman taken in adultery, the leper. God's grace is a state of forgiveness for everybody, and God's love and God's forgiveness flow through me to all the world. In this meditation, we have made peace with our brother, and now our prayer is fruitful. Again, that is only the first half of the prayer: The second half is sitting in the silence, receptive, responsive, waiting until the flow begins. Suddenly we are lifted up and we know that we are in ...
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Living by the Word: Chapter 7, Except the Lord Build the House
- Chapter Seven Except the Lord Build the House A real student of the Infinite Way feels that there is nothing more important in life than the development of spiritual consciousness, getting to know God and living the life of prayer, meditation, and communion with God. Such a student soon learns that there is rich fruitage as a result of living in this way. There is better health and more abundant supply; there is greater success in human activities; there are greater capacities revealed-mental, moral, and physical-in students who really work and live with this message. Even though students realize that and see the outer fruitage, many of them are never satisfied until they have gone a long, long way on the spiritual path developing their own inner capacities. If a person feels that way, what is more natural than to want to share the message with a neighbor, a friend, or a relative? What is more natural than to help someone else find his spiritual source? What is more natural than to want to send one's children out into the world imbued with the spirit of God? There surely cannot be an adult student of the Infinite Way who does not feel that the greatest gift he could give his child would be a knowledge of God, an acquaintanceship with God, and an ability to commune with God. The Fruitage of Conscious Union with God When a man lives consciously one with his source, he bears rich fruitage in health, harmony, inner peace, joy, prosperity, and all kinds of human relationships, not by virtue of himself, but because the grace of God hangs rich fruitage on him in the form of supply, health, home, and happy relationships. He is merely the place through which God is expressing His infinite abundance of all things. We have had years of witnessing what happens to those who live consciously one with God. Looking out at this human scene, we know that human beings living separate and apart from their conscious union with God are sick or well, have accidents or do not have them, ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter XIV, When Ye Pray
- CHAPTER XIV WHEN YE PRAY For centuries the world has believed that merely voicing words in an attempt to reach God was sufficient to bring the power and the presence of God into daily experience. For hundreds of years, millions, even billions, of people all over the world have prayed for wars to cease, famine to be wiped off the earth, and disease to be healed-but all these have continued unabated. No one experiences answered prayer when he prays merely with his mind, relying wholly on words and thoughts, because there is then no opportunity for the Spirit to break through into expression. Regardless of what form prayer may take, there is no connecting link with God until there is a conscious awareness of His presence. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. MATTHEW 6:7 Many of us have been guilty of using vain repetitions, thinking that we are praying when in reality all we have been doing is repeating over and over again somebody else's man-made prayer. Even the repetition of as great a prayer as the Lord's Prayer, if recited with the idea that the mere rehearsal of its words has power, is not effective prayer because anything that is thought, spoken, or written is but an effect-and how can the power of God be in an effect? Does not all Scripture state that there is no power but the One, there is no God but one? Prayer that is made up of words and thoughts cannot and does not reach God, and therefore remains unanswered. The prayers that are answered are those deep within a person when no words and no thoughts are present, but when there is a hunger, a desire, or a need that is beyond words. In that intense longing, God is reached. The absence of fruitage in prayer merely bears witness to our failure to go deep enough into our consciousness to make contact with the Presence which is always there and which is ever available. God is not to be found on the surface of men's minds; ...
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1954 Infinite Way Letters: Chapter 11, Attain That Mind
- ~ 11 ~ ATTAIN THAT MIND Life is much like a play, unfolding from the first to the last acts, in which the leading characters go through all manner of trials, temptations and troubles before reaching the happy ending. In this world we shall have these experiences of seeming good or bad, up or down, well or sick, rich or poor, but in the attainment of the "Mind that was in Christ Jesus," we shall have life everlasting. The story of every major prophet is one of illumination after struggles. Joseph accepted his delivery into slavery as an act of God. Elijah finally realized that through every step of his banishment God was present, seeing him through. Moses accepted the deliverance of the Hebrews as an act of God, and had proof of the Presence every step of the long, hard journey. So must we, regardless of our world experiences, and even though we go through the trials of Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Paul and John, understand and realize that the Divine Presence overshadows and accompanies us every step of our way. Having touched this spiritual Hem, having made the contact, we are never alone, never forsaken, never permitted to fail. There is always the last act: the attainment of the Mind of Christ. If we recognize this truth we are living by Grace, and we let the reasoning, thinking, planning mind relax as we recognize our good as the gift of God, as Divine Ever-Presence. Should we experience any human sense of discord, keep watching for the angel of the Lord, the Christ, the Father within, and listen for the still, small V oice. It will never leave us nor forsake us. It is our permanent dispensation. Human existence before the awakening is life cut off from its Source-an accidental hit or miss affair with anything as possibilities, and most things as probabilities. Yet, even then, there is a Presence lurking in the background, only awaiting the right moment to emerge as the very Christ of our being, as our individual salvation. As students of Truth we come to the study for ...
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Living Now: Chapter 12, The Revelation of Spiritual Sonship
- ... You can lose anything on the outer plane-your home, business, or bank account-but if you have your contact within, with the only real Substance, eventually all losses will be turned to profit. As you practice this, it will not be long before you discover the wisdom of it. Many persons write to tell how much happier they have been since studying the Infinite Way, even though their income has not increased. Perhaps they are not aware that doctor's bills are less, expenses for amusements have decreased, and money spent for practitioners is less because they have not had to call upon them so frequently. The income may not have vastly increased, but there are many places where money is not being spent. Money now fulfills a higher purpose because they are making contact with the only real substance there is: God. Whatever spiritual inspiration you receive within, adapt it to your human experience. This inner life manifests itself above all things in human relationships and at every level of life. In your conduct and attitude toward the stranger or those closest to you, there must be the same integrity, the same tolerance, the same patience, and the same forgiveness. This does not in any sense mean that you permit yourself to be taken advantage of. Your inner wisdom would quickly remove any such conditions from you. When you lead the contemplative life, you do not live for yourself only. Even if you go off to a cave, multitudes will find you, and through you they will find freedom. When you touch God, it does not mean that you will sit on Cloud Nine. In some measure, you will be called upon for your light so that others may also be set free. As part of the Infinite Way student group, you have a responsibility. You will be called upon to share your light with others. God will not let you store up spiritual treasures for your own benefit. Of those who have much, much will be demanded, and the more treasures you lay up, the more often will you be called upon. If you set ...
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Living Now: Chapter 2, Barriers to Spiritual Attainment
- ~ 2 ~ BARRIERS TO SPIRITUAL ATTAINMENT As human beings we all want or need something, and it is the desire for that something that blocks our spiritual development. It is the desire or need for something apart from God that sets up within us a sense of separation from Him, or leads us to believe that we could be satisfied with something other than the presence and power of God. The very desire for something good, something as good as to be of service, is a barrier to spiritual development for we have no right to want anything, even to want to do good. We have only one right: to want to know God. Then, if God places us in some form of service-teaching, healing, nursing, painting, writing plays or books, or whatever it may be-we perform our work with joy and gladness because we are permitting ourselves to be transparencies through which God can shine. But for us to desire to do any of these things would be to glorify ourselves, and that is wrong. It is difficult to live the spiritual life because in the human picture we are continuously desiring something-to be something, to do something, to benefit or to bless someone-and that is the barrier to spiritual development. The dissolving of the barrier comes with the relinquishment of our desires, wants, wishes, or outlining, so that we can go to God pure, not asking for supply, companionship, or to be of service, but asking only that God's grace be established in us, that God envelop and permeate us, that we may come to know Him aright, realize our oneness with Him, and thereby become consciously one with the creative Principle of our being. That is all. We, then, have no further needs, no further wants, no further desires. The Fruitage of Conscious Oneness with God To live in conscious union with God draws to us all that is necessary to fulfill our experience as long as we do not outline what that experience is to be or desire it to unfold in some particular way. That union with God, acting through us, forces us into the ...
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