The Art of Meditation: Chapter XVII, Illumination, Communion, and Union
- CHAPTER XVII ILLUMINATION, COMMUNION, AND UNION Meditation leads to that illumination which becomes first, communion with God, and finally union. Illumination is an individual experience. In no way is it related to any outward observance or form of worship; it is entirely dependent upon the realization of our relationship to God. It is an experience which takes place within ourselves separate and apart from every other person. It cannot be shared with anybody-husband, wife, child, or trusted friend. It cannot be sought in the company of others. No two people can seek it together. Each must retire to the inner sanctuary of his own being and find his God-experience there. In a measure, it is possible to share our unfoldment with others who are either illumined or who are on the path of illumination, but let us always remember, a God-experience is an individual one. If it were to come to us in the midst of thousands of people, it would still remain a solitary experience. There can be no partner in this experience. We can share the unfolding truth which may lead others to the experience and, if we have a sufficient degree of enlightenment, we may help to lift them to the point where they also can experience God. Further than that we cannot go; the experience, itself, must take place within them. No one should attempt to teach or share the truth which has been revealed to him, until he has let it work within his own consciousness and has, thereby, achieved a measure of light. After that he will be directed as to how, when, where, and under what circumstances he should share this revelation. God will make known the part he is to play and the way in which he is to play it. Illumination is possible to every individual in proportion to the intensity of his desire for it; but while he is striving to make the God-contact, he would do well to keep that first spark hidden from the world, until it is kindled into a flame. After the first glimmerings of illumination, the wise ...
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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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The Art of Spiritual Living: Chapter 1, The Ministry Within
- ... You must either come to that conclusion or you must come to the realization that there is another way and that you must discover it. For many years I could not find the answer to that problem. I could not find out how to bring God into individual experience, how to bring the comfort, the healing, the raising from the dead, the forgiveness of sin, and the life everlasting that the Master promised. To me these were merely words in a book. Then came the experience that brought with it the ... If you are to receive forgiveness for your sins, do not look for it anywhere externally, but in you. If you are seeking healing, even while accepting the help of the consciousness of one further advanced than you are, remember to turn within. Healing is an activity of the ministry of the Christ. "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." 5 This I, this Christ- kingdom, is within you. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 6 That Christ-ministry is within you; the Christ-forgiving-ministry is within you; the Christ-raising-of-the-dead-ministry is within you; the Christ-feeding- ministry is within you. The entire Infinite Way teaching is based on the principle that you must turn to the Christ-ministry for healing, for salvation, for forgiveness, for food, housing, transportation, for the healing of sin, disease, and death. And where do you turn to find the Christ-ministry? Where but within yourself? Man Shall Not Live on ... You need take no thought for your life, for what you shall eat or drink or wherewithal you shall be clothed. Turn to this Christ-ministry which is within you, and when you hear the words, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," 7 or when you have the feeling of "My peace I give unto you," 8 your healing and the forgiveness of your sins will have been accomplished. In one way or another the still, small voice utters, "Neither do I condemn thee 9 . . . . Thy sins are forgiven." 10 The Healing ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter XVIII, A Circle of Christhood
- CHAPTER XVIII A CIRCLE OF CHRISTHOOD Is it reasonable to expect that there can be a whole group of people in modern times so dedicated to the Christ-life that they will live by actual spiritual contact? Is it conceivable that a body of students or earnest aspirants on the spiritual path will evolve, who will seriously accept the hypothesis that they, of themselves, are nothing, but that God is all? Is it within the range of possibility that a group of people will appear on this earth, who have arrived at that point of realization where life is lived by the Spirit? Such a group would establish a pattern for the whole world. Always there have been isolated individuals who have achieved Christhood by grace, but at no period in the history of the world has it been either realized or maintained by a group. No one has been able to impart it to a group, because up to this moment no effective way of transmitting the Christ-consciousness to large numbers has been found-at least none that has been effective. It was imparted by Jesus to the twelve disciples, and out of the twelve only three or four were able to maintain it. It was taught to several students by Buddha, but only two of them understood it, and of Lao-Tze's disciples, only one was able to carry on. Today the wisdom of all ages is again coming to light in human consciousness: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." This teaching of oneness is the ancient secret of the mystics revealed throughout all time by every one of the great spiritual lights of the world. Every great religious teacher has caught this vision of oneness. This it is which enables us to unite in that selfsame realization that if I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, then, you are in me, and I am in you; and we are all one in the Father, united in one consciousness. Despite the diverse forms of religious worship and teaching prevalent today, men and women of whatever persuasion should be able to unite in this age-old wisdom of ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 15, The New Discipleship
- ~ 15 ~ THE NEW DISCIPLESHIP There must come a time in the experience of every seeker when he no longer tries to gain anything for himself but rather tries to help reveal this Christ that he has beheld to those now seeking it who have not yet seen it. All those who are teachers or leaders have in a measure beheld the Christ, and the only reason they have turned to teaching or to the healing ministry is to reveal that Christ to the rest of the world. That is the function of everyone on this path. But it is not through the human mind that the revelation comes. There must be a deeper intuition, a deeper consciousness that says to us: "I behold the Christ. I behold the Christ, even though the world tried to crucify and place it in a tomb, put a stone there, and seal that tomb. Yet I see the Christ walking the streets." That is inner vision; that is spiritual vision; and that is the vision necessary for a complete and an utter reliance on the Christ. Nothing less will bring about healing, but when we have that, the Christ performs its function in the consciousness of both the teacher and the student. We cannot go out and give to the world what we have found of spiritual healing or spiritual living by talking or preaching it. The offering of the wine, the water, and the meat must be done gently and sparingly, permitting the other person to come in his own good time to his spiritual good. We cannot through preaching save the world, even though we have a principle that could and would save the world if the world could accept it. What we can give to the world, however, is our demonstration of God. By our fruits not only will we be judged, but will we create a hunger in the world for what we have: not by offering it to others, but by letting them see how we bear witness to it. If our faces show forth just a little bit of the glory of God, if our lives attest to the fact that we have found a principle to live by, then we may be assured that in the years to come we will reap ...
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God Formed Us For His Glory: Chapter 2, The Meaning of Living Spiritually
- ... Therefore, whatever we are seeking in life, we must stop seeking for and come into the agreement that it already exists within our own being. Then, as in the experience of the widow with the cruse of oil, the cruse never runs dry, even though in the beginning our material sense perceives that we have only a few drops.9 But the cruse of oil did not fail. A spiritual master sees what the materialist can never see, and that is the infinite unfailing source of supply once we begin to let it flow. This is true of every area of our experience. It is true of forgiveness. Let nobody expect forgiveness, because there is no God to give it to him. Forgiveness has to come from within a person's own being, and then it comes back to him. "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."10 There it is clear as a bell for everyone to see, to read, to hear. Our debts, or our sins, are forgiven in proportion as we learn to forgive. Do we need companionship? We cannot get it. There is no way under the sun to demonstrate companionship, because it ... The Master very clearly says, "I can of mine own self do nothing." So all the words and thoughts that we repeat have no effect whatsoever on the problem or on the condition. The effect is to lift us into a higher atmosphere where fear and concern disappear and we are then ready to enter that silence which is meditation. We are ready to listen for the "still small voice" to receive the inner assurance of God's grace. Then the healing takes place, harmony appears, employment is found, supply, the overcoming or the forgiveness of sin. It is not you or I as human beings who can forgive sin. It is not you or I who can ever counsel or give advice to anybody on his human problems. But we can be still and we can let the inner assurance of divine grace come, and then it will bring the advice or counsel needed, the guidance and direction. It will bring healing, harmony, and whatever form of good may be necessary at the moment. For too long, too many ...
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Living the Illumined Life: Chapter 12, Spiritual Illumination
- Chapter Twelve Spiritual Illumination The path of discipleship takes us through the steps of that first awakening to the spiritual anointing which leads to that final goal of conscious union with God. While the letter of truth is of tremendous help, such an important help that I have not yet discovered a way of dispensing with it, nevertheless, it is only an aid to lead us into meditation, where the real transition takes place. We might know all the truth there is from here to Jerusalem and back again, but if we do not attain the realization of our real Self, knowing the truth is going to play but a small part in our life. We must eventually reach the realization of the real Self-my real Self, your real Self, and his real Self-until there is only one real Self. This is brought about through meditation. It is in meditation that we make that final contact with the spiritual Source of existence that enables us to know the truth, not intellectually, but through realization. The I that I am is the Christ-Self. It is not only the Self of me: It is the Self of you. It is not an individual Self that I alone have: It is a universal Self. It is I, myself, and is also I, you. When I make contact with this I, I have made contact not only with the universal Self which I am, but I have also made contact with you: not with your humanhood, but with your spiritual identity. The Master said, "Henceforth I call you not servants. . . but I have called you friends." 1 The moment I recognize that this Christ-Self of me is the Christ-Self of you, we are equal, and that is the only equality there is. There is no such thing as an equality of social status: there are the socially up and the socially down, the socially somebody and the socially nobody. There is no such thing even as an equality of political status, as anyone who belongs to a political party finds out, nor is there an equality of economic status: there are the poor, the rich, and the inbetween; there are the commercially up ...
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Living the Illumined Life: Chapter 8, The Fourth Dimension
- ... As a matter of fact, some of the greatest spiritual lights of the world were not among the best of human beings when they began. Sometimes being a very good human being is a barrier to being a spiritual light, because it takes a great deal of humility to attain spiritual realization. The first step in that humility is when the recognition comes that man can be neither good nor evil. That is a very difficult thing for good human beings to accept. They love to dwell on their own goodness and to feel that it is a virtue for which they are entitled to great credit. Furthermore, good human beings are very prone to criticize, judge, or condemn the sinner, or the one who is somewhat less perfect than themselves. Right there they create a block through which the spirit of God cannot penetrate. It is true that God's rain falls on the just and the unjust. It is true that the Master held no one in condemnation. To him there was no waiting for punishment, no waiting to be purged, no waiting for forgiveness. It takes a great deal of humility for a good person to recognize that he is not good but that whatever goodness is manifested in him is really the spirit of God trying to find outlet. If that were more clearly understood, we could then more rightfully enjoy goodness by realizing, "This is not my goodness. This is the goodness of God finding an outlet through me. It is not that I am generous, but that God's gift is being sent out into circulation through me." With such an attitude, we understand more readily the person who for any reason or in any way has fallen from Grace or is away from the path of Grace, because it is only the belief that that individual of himself can be good or bad, and at this particular moment being bad seems the most satisfactory way or the most profitable one. The Remnant, Those Who Attain Conscious Union Those who are seriously directed to the spiritual path should understand that their work at this moment is not to concern themselves with trying to ...
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A Message for the Ages: Chapter 10, Educating the Human Mind Out of Itself
- Chapter Ten Educating the Human Mind Out of Itself A spiritual teaching can never be known or taught through or by the human mind. Only a person who has attained some measure of that mind that was in Christ Jesus, the ability to discern spiritually, can teach spiritually. Then his teaching ultimates in lifting up the consciousness of the individual, raising up the son of God, and developing spiritual discernment in the student. If a person had all the knowledge of truth that is in all the Infinite Way books, he would still find himself without spiritual power, unless in the study or reading of the books his spiritual discernment had been developed. Since spiritual truth is the very opposite of what might be called common sense or intelligence in the human world, obviously, imparting spiritual wisdom is difficult and, if not clearly understood, impossible. The first thing that must be understood is what a teacher is trying to accomplish. And what is he trying to accomplish but to educate the human mind out of itself? Good and Evil, Determined by Our Conditioning The human mind is made up of certain laws, theories, and convictions that have been inherent in it for generations, and which are inherited at birth. One of these is the belief in good and evil. The human mind is convinced of the existence of good and evil and decides for itself what is good and what is evil. Interestingly enough, what is good in one place may be evil in another place. What is evil in one place may be good in another. Furthermore, what is evil to one person can be good to another. You may have a beautiful garden of roses which to you is magnificent, God's perfect expression, but another person may become ill with rose fever from being in that garden with the roses. To some persons, animals, cats, and dogs may be the most loving creatures of God, but another person is made miserable and sneezes all day and all night after being in their presence. To one, the dog or the cat becomes evil, and to ...
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Seek Ye First: Chapter 6, Steps to Union with God
- Those who may not believe it in this particular age may have believed it in some previous time, but by now they have outgrown it. Individual Consciousness Is Evolving Out of Spiritual Ignorance How great must be the transition in consciousness from the state of ignorance that believed God is responsible for mankind's ills to the state of consciousness where the teaching that God is too pure to behold iniquity is accepted, that God does not hold sinners in condemnation for their sins, or punish them, but that He sent His only begotten Son to earth to teach the forgiveness of sins, the overcoming of sin, and the destruction of sin! The teaching of Jesus Christ wipes out much of the teaching of the ancient Hebrew scripture, but remember that there are people on this earth today who are still living in the spiritual darkness of ancient times. When you realize that, you will understand why it takes some persons ten ... Praying for health, praying for wealth, praying for supply, praying for home, or praying for companionship is the surest way to lose it. But when you take no thought for those things in your life and pray only for the recognition, realization, and demonstration of conscious oneness with God, you awake and find that all things have been added unto you. The most difficult part of this entire path is giving up the habit and the desire to pray for things and conditions. A person wonders what would happen if he stopped praying for supply. Far better would it be to pray for forgiveness for all the thousands of years of spiritual ignorance that have been absorbed and assimilated. Far better would it be to pray for forgiveness for acts-conscious and unconscious acts-that have violated his spiritual integrity, even though they may not have violated the laws of the land. Much more profitable is it to pray that he be forgiven in proportion as he forgives. Once the idea is clear to you that praying for things is the materialistic sense of life, because it is praying ...
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