Seek Ye First: Chapter 3, Becoming Aware of God's Ceaseless Activity
- Chapter Three Becoming Aware of God's Ceaseless Activity This latter half of the twentieth century is perhaps the first time in recorded history that so many persons in the Western world have been seriously interested in a mystical message. When I say "so many," do not understand me to say that I mean great numbers, but I do mean that for a message of this nature the number is large. There are probably sixty thousand homes in the world in which the Infinite Way is read, but in those homes probably only ten thousand students earnestly study it. How many there are who actually practice it is something I have no way of knowing. Those who are serious in their study will bring forth a fulfilled experience in their lives, and their number is sufficient to make a real contribution to the world. What determines the nature and the extent of our contribution to the world, however, depends on the extent of our own individual demonstration. For many years I had absolutely no interest in any "you" anywhere in the world, none whatsoever. I had only one interest in life, and that was discovering the secret of why God is not in the human universe, how He could be brought into it, and more especially how He might be a part of my experience. My interest in the world was purely academic; there was no thought that this work would actually help the world. My goal was to seek God for myself, to see if God could be brought into my personal experience. First Attain the God-Experience Yourself I was living the same kind of a human life that nearly everyone else lives on earth, and even with some of its successes, it was not satisfactory. In fact, with a considerable measure of success, there remained an irresistible drive to find out if God could be brought into my experience so that something of a different nature could take place. What that would be, I had no way of knowing. Therefore, my experience for years and years had nothing to do with the world: it had to do with my seeking, my ...
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Showing Forth the Presence of God: Chapter 9, Seek the Substance, Not the Form
- Chapter Nine Seek the Substance, Not the Form The world seeks to find peace, joy, satisfaction, supply, home, or companionship in people and things. But the Master said, "My kingdom is not of this world." 1 So the purpose of our work is to turn away from the way of the world to the spiritual way. In turning to the spiritual path, we learn that the world's weapons, its manner of protecting itself and its way of seeking its good, will not do for us. "The kingdom of God is within you." 2 If we think of that literally, it immediately becomes clear why there is no use going outside ourselves to find our good, that is, not if the kingdom of God is within us. The place to seek our good must necessarily be within. The spiritual revelators of all time agree on this truth, and they have been able to teach their immediate disciples or students how to make contact with that withinness and, because of making this inner contact, they have been able to lead a life without struggle or strain, a life of harmony and peace. The disciples of these spiritual revelators seem to have had difficulty in passing that principle on to those of the next generation, and those who followed experienced much the same difficulty, so that a spiritual teaching has thrived principally during the immediate lifetime of its revelator and to a lesser degree in the following generation or two. In the case of the Master, his ministry lasted for about 300 years before it died out and all but vanished from the earth, probably longer than any of those of which we have knowledge. The Spread of Spiritual Teaching and Healing Since that time there have been individual mystics who have caught the vision of withinness and have had the usual experience of some measure of success with their immediate disciples and for a short while afterwards. From the 12 th to the 17 th century, reaching all the way from Switzerland to England, there were mystics with large followings who had attained the spiritual vision. But ...
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The Contemplative Life: Chapter 4, The Esoteric Meaning of the Easter Week
- ... If overnight you do not find yourself in that land of milk and honey, remember that it took Moses forty years to get there. It took Elijah quite a long time before he found the seven thousand who had not bowed their knees to Baal and who were saved out for him. It took Jesus three years to fulfill his spiritual ministry, and even then he had to encounter actual death before he could experience Resurrection and Ascension. So do not be surprised or disappointed if you fall down or fail many times. Everyone who has been this way before you has done the same. There are no great spiritual lights who have not come up through trials and tribulations of one sort or another, and probably those who have the greatest love in their hearts, those who have the greatest spiritual gifts of all, are those who have most deeply experienced failure and, therefore, know what it means to walk with us in our failures. Those who have risen highest and can still look down to where they were are the ones who help us the most on the way. Those who do not understand forgiveness do not understand love, and those who do not understand love do not understand the Spirit of the Lord God Almighty. The Final Step Must Be Taken Alone The spiritual life is an individual life. There are ways of receiving help from a teacher and from one another, but the final battle and final victory are entirely individual matters, which must be fought out in the consciousness of each one of us. Jesus probably could have received a little support from his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane; he did not get very much, but the fact that he expected more showed that it was possible. But even if he had, he still had Golgotha, he still had the crucifix, and he still had the tomb. That had to be worked out in his own consciousness. Only those who have received the light can know what a terrible struggle it is before it comes. Moses was alone on the Mount when he received his light, and it must have been a tremendous ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: January 1956, Withinness
- ... If you abide in the Word of God, and let this Word abide in you, you will be as a branch that is one with the Vine, that is one with the Godhead, and you will bear much fruit. As you continue to dwell "in the secret place of the most High," you will find that it is not a matter of God's doing something for you-it is a matter of maintaining conscious oneness with God, keeping your mind stayed on God, acknowledging God in all your ways, abiding in the Word and letting the Word abide in you. In actual practice, this means awakening each morning and veritably bringing the presence of God right into the room with you in the realization that "This is the day the Lord hath made." Instead of bringing to consciousness your problems, sins, and inharmonies, bring God into your awareness in the realization that God is with you throughout the day. You can face any problem or task in the realization that you do not face it alone, "For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me." God is your supply, forgiveness, life, love. Emmanuel-God with us-is that which enables you to be, to do, to prosper. Consciously realize that God's presence goes before you, and when going about your affairs consciously know that the Christ is greeting you through every individual encountered. Acknowledge Him in all thy ways and you will be obeying Paul's injunction to "pray without ceasing." In God you will have a friend, a big brother, the Father within; and you will come into the realization, as did Paul, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." As you persist in the practice of the Presence you are carried along by its beauty and harmony, and a day will dawn when "you" no longer exist. Then there will be no need to think about God-there will be only God, functioning as your individual being, thinking, being, knowing, living through you, and then it is literally true: ". . . I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the ...
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1954 Infinite Way Letters: Chapter 12, The Religion of Mysticism
- ... In living the truly Christ life, the spiritual or mystical life, the motivating and guiding impulse of our experience must be that of love. We must develop ourselves to the point where we hold no one in judgment, and where we entertain no feeling of separation from our fellow-man. This does not mean that we will not have individual opinions, nor does it mean that we will agree with some teaching which our intelligence cannot accept. It does not mean giving up our individuality, or our sense of right or wrong, but it does mean that by giving up our sense of judgment we permit each man to go his own way and to follow his own convictions. But we must love him just the same, seeing that the basic spiritual principle is God. In other words, despite any disagreement on the human level of life let us understand, within ourselves, that we are one in Christ, regardless of race, color, national, political or religious affiliations or convictions. Whatever we or others do that does not conform to this standard must not bring forth criticism, judgment or condemnation, but in every case forgiveness. As the Master might have said, "Neither do I condemn thee nor sit in judgment upon thee-who made me a judge over anyone?" So by closing our eyes to the physical appearance we can agree that, spiritually, we are one with each other; we are one with every individual on the face of the globe because of our Sonship in God, our Brotherhood in Christ. In that consciousness of love in which there is neither judgment, criticism nor fear, all sense of opposition to error fades, and in fading, all discord fades with it because discord is nothing more nor less than a false sense entertained within our own being. This false sense is not one for which we are necessarily responsible, because every one who has ever been born is a victim of universal belief until, through some activity of his own consciousness, he begins to understand that God is the creative principle of his being. He begins to ...
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Living by Grace: Chapter 3, The Christ Ministry
- Jesus said unto His disciples: Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Matthew 11:5) That is the will of God for man! Never let anyone tell you that God's will for man is not good! Never let anyone tell you that it is God's will that you be punished for any sin that you have committed. The Master's ministry was one of healing and forgiveness. He forgave the woman taken in adultery and the thief on the ... He taught that we must not pray until we have established peace with our fellowman. In other words, when you acknowledge that you love your neighbor as yourself, you are asking God's Grace not only for yourself, not only for your friends, but for all those who are reaching toward spiritual realization, whether they be friends or enemies. Christ's ministry was one of forgiveness. He condemned no man. It is not God's will that people be punished for their sins, but that they be forgiven. Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:11) He that is without sin among you, let him cast the ... Each group within a community had a priest who would call them together twice a year. He would line them up in front of him and ask each one, "Have you had any trouble with anyone in this group in the past six months?" If the answer was, "Yes," he would instruct, "Make peace now. Begin forgiving him or asking for his forgiveness!" And then, "Have you entertained any jealousy or animosity? Begin now by asking forgiveness and by forgiving!" And, "Have you had lust or animality toward anyone? Start now asking forgiveness and by forgiving!" Thus, each person was compelled to purge himself and herself of these negative human emotions. They were then told, "Now the peace of God can begin to flow in your minds and bodies. Without this, you are blocking entrance to the Divine Grace." Is it ...
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The Foundation of Mysticism: Chapter 9, Metaphysics and Mysticism - The Infinite Way Path
- ~ 9 ~ METAPHYSICS AND MYSTICISM: THE INFINITE WAY PATH Many of you who have been in class work with me know that at no time in my life did I dream of there being such a work as the message of the Infinite Way or that I would ever be connected in any way with a spiritual teaching. My work was in the business world, and while I was never interested in any organized religion, I did have that longing to know what made the wheels of truth go 'round, especially after I began traveling in Europe in 1909. There, for the first time, I was awakened to man's inhumanity to man: I was awakened to the fights, the discords, the inharmonies that take place, and to the dens of iniquity that existed. I didn't know they existed in the United States too, but I learned later we also had our own San Francisco and New Orleans, and these things puzzled me because there were so many religions that claimed there is a God. So it was, I turned my attention to learning more about God. My only purpose was to find out for myself what lies behind this world, so I asked why this thing called God, or man called God, or whatever this being is, wasn't doing something about the sins of the world, the wars, the discords, the causes of strife. I was only a youngster in New York when the first ladies' ready-to-wear strike took place where men and women were killed, beaten up, and injured in the name of business. I remember when the steel workers in Pennsylvania were striking for a dollar-and-a-half a day and the militia was called out to shoot them down. I wondered about these things. I was in London in 1909 when the German and English fleets were lined up against each other in the North Sea, the World War ready to start. It was man's inhumanity to man that brought me to the search for truth but with no other object or motive than to learn for myself why, if there truly were a God he would permit this inhumanity. Many years later, when my first religious experience took place, it brought with it the ...
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Consciousness Unfolding: Chapter 8, The Principle
- ~ 8 ~ THE PRINCIPLE Some of you are becoming aware of the fact that a principle of spiritual living and spiritual healing, different from any of the approaches that have been given to you before, is being presented to you. That does not mean that the principle involved is something new. There is nothing new about it; it is the principle revealed by Jesus Christ, as set forth particularly in the Gospel of John. In this principle, it becomes clear to us that we do not judge the spiritual world by looking out upon the human world. Rather, we come into an awareness of what the spiritual world is, through looking out from God. "My kingdom is not of this world." 1 There is no way to judge the spiritual kingdom by looking at the appearance. When Jesus spoke of "the meat to eat that ye know not of," 2 and of the living water, we know that he was showing forth an inner principle; one which those of the world know not, for "having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not?" 3 Yet this is the principle which is capable of feeding, protecting, sustaining, and maintaining us. In this approach to spiritual living and demonstration, we stay with the word God whenever we are called upon for help. We forget, immediately, the name, the body, and the disease of the so-called patient and jump at once to the word God and then go on from there. When we turn to the word God, we say, "What is God?" The answer may come back, "God is life eternal. God is Spirit, therefore incorporeal, and without material embodiment. God is Soul. God is law." The moment that we begin to catch a slight vision of what God is, we go out from there and realize: All that God is, I am. Therefore, am I not as incorporeal-as un-material-as God? I am as immortal and as eternal in my present embodiment as God is, since God does not cast off any embodiment or body. If you stay in that line of consciousness, how can you accept any teaching which believes that there is a body left behind to be buried, while it- ...
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Practicing the Presence: Chapter IV, The Infinite Nature of Individual Being
- CHAPTER IV THE INFINITE NATURE OF INDIVIDUAL BEING There is an old, old story about a great spiritual teacher who knocked at the gates of heaven for admission into paradise. After some time, God came to the door and inquired, "Who is there? Who knocks?" To this query, came the confident response, "It is I." "Sorry, very sorry. There is no room in heaven. Go away. You will have to come back some other time." The good man, surprised at the rebuff, went away puzzled. After several years, spent in meditating and pondering over this strange reception, he returned and knocked again at the gate. He was met with the same question and gave a similar response. Once again he was told that there was no room in heaven; it was completely filled at that time. In the years that passed, the teacher went deeper and deeper within himself, meditating and pondering. After a long period of time had elapsed, he knocked at the gates of heaven for the third time. Again God asked, "Who is there?" This time his answer was, "Thou art." And the gates opened wide as God said, "Come in. There never was room for Me and thee." There is not God and you or I, there is only God expressed, manifested as individual being. There is only one life-the Father's. We are outside of heaven with no hope of ever gaining entrance to it as long as we believe that we have a selfhood apart from God, a being separate and independent of God. All through the ages, duality has separated us from our good, but it is a sense of duality, not duality, because there is no duality. The secret of life is oneness, and oneness is not something that we bring about. Oneness is a state of being. Let us take, as an example, a glass tumbler and think of the outside of it and the inside of it. Where does the outside end, and where does the inside begin? As a matter of fact, is there an outside to this tumbler and is there an inside to it? Are there two sides to this tumbler or is there simply a tumbler? Is the outside not the inside, ...
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Showing Forth the Presence of God: Chapter 4, The True Demonstration
- Chapter Four The True Demonstration Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. . . For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:25,32,33 With many truth-students, the word "demonstration" has become a part of their vocabulary. They have come to believe that they have the right to health, harmony, wholeness, completeness, perfection, and satisfaction as the fruitage of their study. Too often, however, as the student continues in this work, he finds his attention fastened too much on the outer demonstration rather than on what produces the effect, that is, on what brings the demonstration into expression or manifestation. Basis of "Miracles" of Great Spiritual Leaders The Hebrews thought that the manna falling from the sky was the demonstration. In fact, they believed it so firmly that they rushed out to gather all the manna they could, not only for what they needed for the day but to store up for tomorrow, not realizing that the manna was not their demonstration. The demonstration was their consciousness of God's presence, the consciousness of the activity of God, the consciousness of God as fulfillment. Moses' entire demonstration was based on his realization of I Am. It was Moses' realization of I Am which produced the manna falling from the sky. The demonstration really was a realization of I Am: and the result of the demonstration was the manna. Throughout scripture many miracles such as the multiplication of loaves and fishes are recounted. Did the Master multiply loaves and fishes? No, he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing. 1 . . . The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." 2 But what is "the Father that dwelleth in me"? He referred to that Father later as the truth which is the Comforter, the spirit of truth, 3 the conscious ...
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