Living by Grace: Chapter 9, Freedom in God
- CHAPTER 9 FREEDOM IN GOD Some nations seek political freedom-freedom from dictators and concentration camps. Other nations seek freedom from religious bondage-from teachings that hold them in bondage and make them slaves of men rather than servants of God. Any nation that has gained political, economic, or religious freedom has had to fight hard to attain that freedom and must work even harder to retain it, because there are those who would take that freedom away. There is not one moment of the day when someone, somewhere, is not plotting to control the minds and bodies of individuals, to control nations and the world itself. Not all the enemies are in foreign countries; some can be found within a country itself. The freedom we seek is a spiritual freedom-a freedom in Christ, in God. It is not a freedom from anyone or some circumstance or some condition of lack, limitation, sin, or disease-although we may have started out seeking only that kind of freedom. Spiritual Freedom Spiritual freedom is a freedom attained in God. There is no such thing as freedom from anything or anyone. The longer we attempt to gain freedom from sin, disease, death, lack, or limitation, the more we are kept in bondage to such conditions. What we must seek is freedom in God, in Christ-a spiritual freedom. Originally, we were given spiritual freedom as a divine inheritance, but there was an experience in consciousness called "the fall of man" or the "prodigal experience" in which we set up a selfhood apart from God. We thereby lost our divine inheritance, and spiritual freedom is no longer something that is given to us. Now we must struggle to regain our spiritual freedom. We cannot regain it until we return to the state of consciousness we call oneness, unity, or union with God. Like the prodigal son, we must return to the Father's house. Our spiritual freedom is not gained through the efforts of others. The efforts of others can only instruct us and give us a little wisdom. Throughout the ...
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The Foundation of Mysticism: Chapter 3, Treatment - Knowing the Truth
- ~ 3 ~ TREATMENT: KNOWING THE TRUTH Good evening. The other evening we started by saying that as a human being you are a pendulum. You are acted upon, and whichever way thoughts fly in the air they move you. If there is pessimism or fear or danger in the air, you feel downhearted, discouraged, blue and fearful. If optimism, boom and prosperity are in the air, you feel inflated. If there is infection and contagion in the air, the first thing you know, you have flu or grippe. These things ought not to be because you were given dominion over everything between the sky and the bottom of the ocean-you were given dominion by the grace of God. But instead of exercising dominion, you wake up in the morning, get dressed, have breakfast, and run off to work leaving your minds a perfect blank for anybody to operate on or in, for anything to influence by whichever way the wind blows. This is why the human world experiences the things it does. You know it has been demonstrated that those who are willing to take the driver's seat in their minds and govern their own thinking, who decide what they wish to think and for how long a time they wish to think it, those people have some dominion over their own lives. We have been taught how to do that. I'm going to give you a concrete illustration of how the power of thought acting on us influences us. There is a minister who recently wrote a book on the effect of prayer on plants. He wrote this book after several years of conducting experiments that others had also tried through the years, and the results of his experiments and those of the others are always the same. He discovered this: If you take a plant, place it on a table, and have one, two, or three people sit in front of it and address it with what you might call prayer or treatment, in a few days the plant will grow at least four inches beyond the normal growth of that species. They love the plant, tell the plant that God created it, that it is a child of God, that it is fed and ...
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Awakening Mystical Consciousness: Chapter 7, Concepts or Is?
- ~ 7 ~ CONCEPTS OR IS? IF I were to ask you what you think about the Bible, your opinion would most likely be different from the opinion of everyone else reading this book. There seems to be very little agreement on the subject of the Bible. But no matter what you or anyone else believes about it, it is what it is; and what it is no one really knows. If you had been asked a year ago about it and then again today and again a year from now, probably none of the three answers would agree because your concept of the Bible changes with the unfoldment of your consciousness. So, too, whatever you may be thinking about a person is wrong. I do not care what you are thinking. Whatever it is, it is wrong because what you are thinking represents your concept of that person at the moment; and that concept changes from moment to moment and from year to year. You must learn not to hate or fear your concept of life, whether it is a concept of humanity, of sin, or of disease, because it is only a concept. There is no real power in concepts. What you are considering as person is not person: it is a concept of a person. But that concept has no power. All power is in God. For example, whatever your concept of me may be, there is no power in it that can touch me. If you think I am good, it makes no difference to me. If you think I am bad, it makes no difference. Your thinking has no power over me. God maintains and sustains me, and I am not subject to anything but God. There is no life in your concept of me. Life is in me, not in your concept of me. It is much the same about everything you see, hear, touch, taste, or smell: you never really know what it is. A diamond may be beautiful and it may be valuable. Whatever beauty and value there is, however, is in the diamond, not in your opinion of it. You may think it is a rhinestone, but your thinking has not touched the value of the diamond. You have not changed it or its quality. You may think it is perfect, and it may be imperfect. You ...
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Consciousness Transformed: March 31, 1963, My Consciousness
- My CONSCIOUSNESS March 31, 1963 Halekulani Hotel Honolulu, Hawaii I WAS VERY MUCH SURPRISED when I came in today and saw so many of you greeting me as if you knew me, because I am not the same fellow I was yesterday. Appearances must be very deceitful because the Joel of yesterday is gone. So this may not be a talk but a soliloquy. Up to yesterday I had been saying in my correspondence with some who know me very well that all of the inner unrest in me is because my song has not yet been sung-but my song now has been sung. Last night I sat up reading the chapters of the new book and it is all there, so from now on I am a retired gentleman of leisure! As you again go over the tapes and the writings of the past fifteen years, you too will find that it is all there. You just have to separate the metaphysics from the mysticism, and you will find that it is all there on both subjects. To begin with, you note in the writings and in the recordings that attention is called over and over again to the statement that our principal task is to know the nature of God, "whom to know aright is life eternal." You cannot possibly realize how true this is until you catch the first glimpse of the nature of God, not intellectually but in your heart. Then you will be able to look up and out at this world and say, "No wonder you have had such horrible troubles all of these centuries because you have never known God." No one would ever pray to God if they knew God or knew the nature of God, and I mean pray in the way in which orthodox people have been taught to pray and the way in which metaphysicians have been taught to treat. What makes it so difficult is that regardless of what our religious background has been or has not been, we still think of God consciously or subconsciously or unconsciously as if there were a God separate and apart from our own being. It is only when you realize, "God is my own consciousness" that all of a sudden the shoulders relax and you breathe a deep sigh and ...
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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 Contemplative Life: Chapter 9, Daily Preparation for Spiritual Living
- ~ 9 ~ DAILY PREPARATION FOR SPIRITUAL LIVING The young student-the beginning student-should realize that there are specific principles that constitute the message of the Infinite Way. If these principles are not understood and practiced, the Infinite Way remains in the category of a philosophy, just an interesting approach to life, something to read about and then put on the shelf. But that is in no sense what the Infinite Way is. The Infinite Way is a living experience, practical for use in everyday life. It has been said many times, and claimed by many persons, that the teaching of Jesus Christ is so impractical that it could not possibly be adapted to our modern way of life. This seems strange when we remember that, according to biblical accounts, this so-called impractical way of life healed the sick, raised the dead, provided supply for those who needed it, stilled the storm, and brought peace where there had been discord. This way of life has been called impractical, and yet nothing in the religious history of the world has ever been quite so practical as was Jesus' teaching. It was difficult, but it was practical. And so in these modern days, we, too, will find that living as the Master taught is difficult, but also that it is practical. The fact that a religious teaching can bring about the healing of physical and mental ills, that it can lead to an increased sense of supply and can provide safety and security, that it can bring an inner peace and a release from the world's major problems, and even some solution to these problems, warrants calling that teaching practical. Students Must Never Advance Beyond the Principles Although the Infinite Way is one of the most practical of teachings, it is difficult for the beginner because there must be an understanding of the basic principles, and then there must be a practice of them until the student develops an actual consciousness which makes it possible to let go of any strenuous attempts to make these principles ...
URL: http://acropolisbooks.com/...ration for Spiritual Living.pdf
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The Heart of Mysticism: January 1957, Out of Darkness - Light
- CHAPTER ONE: JANUARY Out of Darkness - Light 1 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1: 2 THE light of God, the light of spiritual wisdom, enters consciousness only in the degree of our own receptivity and devotion to it. It cannot force itself upon us, nor can it come to us in any greater measure than we, ourselves, permit. God is the full and complete brightness thereof, but it is for us to determine the measure of the light we shall receive. It is not enough to say, "I would like the wholeness of God," when our actions disprove such a statement. If we really wanted God above all things, we would provide sufficient opportunity for It to fulfil Itself in us, so that we could receive the fullness of God's light. To a great extent many of us are still living in spiritual darkness. Although we may all have experienced God's grace in some slight measure, even though it be in as slight a measure as is one grain of sand compared with all the sands in the universe, nevertheless, we do not yet know the real meaning of grace. Darkness is upon the face of the deep so far as spiritual health, spiritual harmony, spiritual supply, spiritual relationships, and spiritual peace are concerned. In acknowledging that spiritual darkness reigns, however, we have arrived at that place in consciousness where we are ready to open ourselves to the influx of spiritual light. There is a moment in your life and in mine when darkness is upon us, and we are without form and void. If, in that emptiness, we can become very still, we shall feel the atmosphere of God envelop us, filling our whole being with light. Then comes the assurance: "I 2 will never leave you, nor forsake you. I was with you before Abraham was, and although you have not known Me, I have known you." Yet, even with such comforting assurance, you will be tempted, ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: May 1959, God-Realization Dissolves Material Sense
- CHAPTER FIVE: MAY God-Realization Dissolves Material Sense THE human world is stumbling from one form of error into another, seldom if ever able to extricate itself from the web of its own weaving, but always rushing onward toward destruction. Those of spiritual enlightenment, however, who understand the nature of error will no longer battle or struggle against it; they will no longer try to find a cause for it; and, what is more important, they will no longer attempt to find a cure for it, because they will perceive that it is but the material and mental concept of the universe that is destroying man. It is not a material universe-there isn't one: It is the material concept and material sense of the universe that man entertains which is his destruction. Material sense always operates through the word "I." It never appears in any form other than "I": "I need this"; "I require that"; "I have this"; or, "I do not have that"; "I long for this"; or, "I miss that"-always the word "I" appears negatively to hold us in its grasp. Or it may appear positively and say, "Oh, yes, I am healthy," or, "I am wealthy," and then sooner or later we find that we are not that at all. In other words, the personal sense of "I," claiming either to be something, have something, or do something, or the personal sense of "I," claiming that it cannot do something or does not have something-this personal sense of "I" constitutes material sense. The personal sense of "I" is always under the necessity of acquiring, achieving, or attaining. Once this is perceived, it quickly appears that this personal sense is not a part of God's universe, never was, and never can be. We begin to understand that there is a spiritual Presence and a spiritual Power, and, in that perception, the personal sense of "I" is lost, and spiritual harmony begins to appear. To all appearances, we remain the same as we have always been, except often with improved health of body or improved condition of purse. Outwardly, we are ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: September 1959, The Impersonalization of Good and Evil
- ... At the present stage of your unfoldment, this realization should come to you with the force and power of a recognized, definite principle for continuous moment-to-moment practice. The Christ Cannot Be Finitized There is a second part of this principle which is even more difficult to practice. Just as evil cannot be personalized, so good cannot be personalized. We now know that it is incorrect to say that anyone is a sinner, but it is equally incorrect to say that anyone is spiritual. Let us not make the futile attempt to pin Christhood to any person's humanhood or to any part of a person that is visible or tangible to sense. If there is any quality of good flowing through him, it is not his personal quality. It is a God-quality for which he is but the instrument. We have learned that any evil quality which flows through an individual is not of himself, but is really a universal mesmerism which he has not consciously rejected. Now we must realize that if love, charity, benevolence, forgiveness, kindness, and co-operativeness are flowing through us, we must be careful not to take the credit for these qualities, for they do not have their source in us. We are but the instrument through which, and as which, God appears, the instrument through which good appears. When we are called upon for help, we do not attempt to make a bad human being good, a poor human being rich, or a sinful person pure, but we turn immediately to the realization of the Christ. Note this point carefully: We do not try to add the Christ to a person, because the Christ cannot be finitized or personalized. The Christ is infinite, the son of God, which you are and which I am, but never can we finitize It or personalize It. Do not try to fasten your realization of the Christ onto a person, or direct It to a person, or send It out to a person, or believe that a person is It. This is a very difficult point, but one which is absolutely essential to the healing work: Do not pin any form of error onto your ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 4, Open Out a Way
- ~ 4 ~ OPEN OUT A WAY Since there seems to be a sense of separation between the Father and us, and between all those who are to play a part in our life's experience, our work is to realize our oneness with the Father, the one consciousness, and then we automatically become one with every spiritual being. There is but one consciousness, and that consciousness, functioning as your consciousness and as mine, is the connecting link between you and your world and me and my world, establishing us in oneness with all those who are a part of our fulfillment. Unless we wish to engage in a daily battle of competition, a daily battle of trying to work with persons antagonistic to our ideas, unless we wish to take our chance with whether we will have the right employer or right employee, or whether we will deal with those who are the right people for us or the wrong- unless we wish to do that, we must establish firmly our oneness with the Father before we leave our home in the morning to embark upon any enterprise, commercial, social, or ministerial, realizing that the consciousness of the Father, which is our consciousness, is the consciousness of every individual. Therefore, all those ready for the experience of association with us, by the attraction of that consciousness, are brought to us, and in the same way, we are led to everyone we can serve or bless. When we understand our connection with the vine, we do not compete with any man. We do not fight, we do not war with him or sue him because we have access to the infinite source of our being, and it is this source that feeds and supplies us even while it is feeding and supplying all the other branches on the tree. So instead of looking to one another for our needs, we learn to look to the one universal life that is flowing through all of us, and receive our good from it. Then everything works together for good, and we are led to where we can work with others, benefit from and cooperate with them, and yet not live off them. ...
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