A Message for the Ages: Chapter 2, God and Prayer
- ... If we have a God of omniscience, we refrain from trying to influence Him. With a God of omnipotence, we can release God and stop looking to Him to do something. We do not pray to God to have the sun come up in the morning or to have the sun go down at night. No, we know that God appearing in the form of the operation of nature governs all phenomena of nature. Some persons, however, mistakenly speak to God and say, "God, You do not know that Mr. Jones is hungry, Mrs. Brown is poor, and Mrs. Smith is sick, so I am begging and pleading with You to do something for them." As a matter of fact, why should God? Why encourage a person to pray to God for something without first sufficiently enlightening him that he will not get any answer unless he changes? Preparation To Receive God's Grace There must be a fitness to receive the things of God. When a person reaches the point where he cries out, "Oh, Christ cleanse me, purify me"-not "Christ, save me from being killed"-that is the preparation for forgiveness. That is what happened to the woman taken in adultery who received God's grace after she had given up her adulterous ways and had obviously so reached the end of the road that she pleaded, "Oh, Christ!" Then her sins were forgiven. The thief on the cross received God's grace because he was reaching out for the Christ. If he had reached out for the Christ and Jesus had not been there, somebody else would have been, because no one can seriously want to be purified or made whole without the Christ appearing as a man, a woman, a book, a teacher, or a teaching. If none of those is available, somebody will be raised up to let the person reaching out know that something closer to him than breathing will release him. Why? The spirit of God is in him. There is no spirit of God separate from the spirit of man. In the absolute sense, God is omnipresent, but God is only omnipresent as the consciousness of individual being. Therefore, if there is one person in a room with a ...
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The Art of Spiritual Living: Chapter 4, The Hidden Kingdom
- Chapter Four The Hidden Kingdom We have been erroneously taught to pray to God for things like money, automobiles, homes, companionship, marriage, or divorce, and that, under certain circumstances, God will grant our requests. We have also been taught that we can pray for peace on earth, while at the same time our armies are out fighting, using the most sophisticated and deadly weapons. When the metaphysical movement began, this type of petitionary prayer was changed into an affirmative type by which we hoped to accomplish better results. We became convinced that if we just made the right declarations, we not only could get an automobile, but we could name the particular make of car we wanted. We not only could get a home, but we could select the climate in which the home should be located. We could pray for a wife or a husband and could even pray for a divorce. All things, we were told, are possible to God, if we just used the right combination of words and thoughts. To a God of Spirit, Pray Only for Spiritual Things Certainly, this new type of prayer has not been any more successful than the old form of prayer. One element was forgotten, one! "God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." 1 We must take no thought for anything of a material nature, not for what we should eat, what we should drink, or with what we should be clothed. That includes taking no thought for money, because it is money that brings us food, clothing, and housing. When we pray, let it be "Give us this day our daily bread," 2 meaning, give us Grace for today, give us Thy substance, Thy truth, Thy word. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 3 So we must pray for that Word. The Word is incorporeal and spiritual, but somehow, when we pray for the Word, the bread comes, and the meat, the wine, the water, the clothing, and the housing. God is spirit, and if we ask anything of God-not in the name of a ...
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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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Living by the Word: Chapter 2, Spiritual Discernment of the Bible
- Chapter Two Spiritual Discernment of the Bible The Bible, which is given to us as the word of spiritual wisdom, as revelations concerning the kingdom of God, must be spiritually discerned, but today even twenty centuries after the time of the Master, some religionists are still trying to interpret this hidden word of the kingdom literally, and, of course, are failing. There is a spiritual kingdom. There is also the son of God who spiritually discerns the nature of this kingdom, the things of God, the laws of God, and who knows how to live a God-centered life. This kingdom can never be entered with the human mind or human body. It must be spiritually discerned. If the kingdom of God were attained, if the things of God were understood, and if God were known aright, there would be none of the evils so evident on every hand: none of the sins, none of man's inhumanity to man, none of the diseases. All this would be wiped out in the understanding of God, because the understanding of God would leave no trace of sin or disease. Letting Go of the Man of Earth The statement, "My kingdom is not of this world," 1 sets forth very clearly that there is a difference between "My kingdom" and "this world." Later, Paul revealed that there are two men: There is the son of God, and there is "the natural man [who] receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 2 "The natural man" does not have the ability to discern spiritually. And so it is that we are living partly in the world of sense, "this world," and partly in the kingdom of God, but certainly those of us who are on the path are striving to "die" to our humanhood, to "the creature," 3 to "the natural man," in order that we may be reborn spiritually as children of God with spiritual discernment. To all sincere seekers, the question arises: Is there a way for us to drop the man of earth? Can we "die" to it? Can we be reborn of the ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: August 1955, Essential Points in Infinite Way Practice
- ... Although outwardly it may seem that you have but one dollar, in the recognition of the infinite nature of your own being you can take at least one coin and say, "Out of the visible evidence of my infinity, I will share that which I have." On the scale of the Spirit, money is the least of that which we have to give, so let us not look to the purse to see how many dollars we have. "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee." Turn to the infinite consciousness within and see how much of forgiveness, justice, kindness, freedom, harmony and wholeness you can bestow. Count your wealth by the realization of your Sonship with God. Every truth that has been revealed from the beginning of time is given as living scripture, to be embodied within you, lived and practiced. "I and my Father are one. . . . All things that the Father hath are mine," does not mean anything unless you are willing to take that truth into consciousness, and practice it daily by beginning to give and to ... A teacher who has learned spiritual wisdom has a responsibility far beyond teaching A-B-Cs and 1- 2-3s, and that is to realize that these are not child-minds and child-bodies, but that each is the Mind of God, disclosing and revealing Itself; each is the Temple of the living God, unfolding normally, joyfully, innocently and harmoniously. Philosophy and religion teach that we are poor, weak mortals, and yet they acknowledge that God is our Father. Is that not a sin? God is our Father, therefore we are divine sons, subject only to the government of the Father! We are Children of God, and we have the infinite spiritual storehouse of the Father to draw upon for life and love, for forgiveness, justice and mercy, for integrity, loyalty and fidelity. The very Soul of God is your individual Soul, and it is out of that Soul (the kingdom of God within you) that your good flows. However, it is available only in the degree of your knowing the truth, consciously realizing it, practicing and making ...
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Consciousness Unfolding: Chapter 3, God Revealing the Infinity of Being
- ~ 3 ~ GOD REVEALING THE INFINITY OF BEING The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. Ecclesiastes 9:17 We are surrounded at all times by what Scripture calls "angels," which hover about us always. Within us are those divine ideas or spiritual impulses which guide, lead, and direct us, even though as human beings we are not aware of them. As human beings, brought up with the ordinary church experience or with no church at all, we are not aware of the fact that we are constantly under divine government, divine guidance. In reality we are under the law of the Spirit of God, and under the spirit of the law of God. In practice, we walk around like the Prodigal, thinking, "I, of mine own self, am something and I am going out into the world to make a name for myself, to earn a living for myself, and to become something great of and by myself." Thereby, we set up a counterfeit identity and develop concern about the health, wealth, success, and contacts of this counterfeit identity. Yet, all the time, even though probably we have never thought of it, we have been completely surrounded by an atmosphere of love and completely enveloped in divine Being. As a matter of fact, we are divine Being. We are the Father-consciousness Itself, but we have walked about in the world, believing that consciousness to be something small, finite, insignificant, and unimportant. The purpose of this ministry is to bring us back to the Father's house, back to a consciousness of the presence and power of God. We are in this work but for one purpose-to be led back to the kingdom of our own consciousness in which God is manifested as divine wisdom, as divine love, as life, truth, permanence, immortality, and eternality. Synonyms for God For a moment, let us consider the synonyms for God, taking just a few with which we are familiar. We know God as infinite being, and therefore, we take each of the synonyms for God as representing the allness and ...
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Living the Illumined Life: Chapter 1, The Now Activity of the Christ
- Chapter One The Now Activity of the Christ The spiritual path is the way through which we enter the spiritual life, and ultimately it leads us to that place where we know beyond all doubt that the spirit of God dwells in us and is living our life. The activity of the Spirit is always fruitful, productive of harmony, peace, joy, and abundance. In spiritual living there is no chance, nor are there accidental events of any nature. Most persons think of going to church, to a lecture on spiritual subjects, or reading a book of spiritual wisdom as if it were a human act, even an act of their own will. This really is not the case at all because human instinct does not lead a person naturally in that direction. It is only when the activity of something greater than one's self has touched an individual's consciousness that he is led to a truth- teaching. So it is that same something that has brought you to the reading of this letter. You would not be doing this if it were not for the activity of the Spirit, the Christ, functioning in you, and functioning as your consciousness. That this Christ function as your life is the goal of spiritual living. This is the ultimate attainment. Letting Go of This World for the Kingdom Truth is not an easy path to walk. Many persons still have the mistaken idea that in coming to truth they are going to find their human problems quickly met and then perhaps they will dangle on some kind of a ninth cloud. The harp has been eliminated, and I am not quite sure what has taken its place. It is true that entering the spiritual path does eliminate many problems-the major discords and inharmonies of our lives-and usually very quickly. However, since eliminating problems is not the primary goal of truth, these outer harmonies indicate that we have merely entered the spiritual path at this stage. The next step to which we must look forward is the overcoming of our human pleasures, human profits, and human harmonies. The basis for this is the Master's ...
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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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Living Now: Chapter 7, Living Divine Sonship
- ~ 7 ~ LIVING DIVINE SONSHIP The word "consciousness" sums up the teaching of the Infinite Way. It is what we are conscious of that operates in our experience as law. "Ye shall know the truth," 1 and then the truth functions as the law. "Come out from among them, and be ye separate" 2 -give up ignorance and superstition. The Infinite Way teaches that there is only one power, and that we are never to use one power over another or to protect ourselves from a power. Our protection is the realization of our Self as the only power. When we make the statement that God is the only power, unless we realize that the God we are talking about is the I of our own being, we can be led into the false hope that there is some God out in space who can be prevailed upon to protect us. There is no such God. There is no God protecting anyone because there is nothing to be protected from. If we want to be free, we have to leave "this world" and enter God's kingdom. Only in proportion as we can recognize the impersonal, universal nature of error and then realize it as nonpower, only then are we protected, and only then can we do healing work. There is no God and disease. There is only God, and every thing that happens to us as sin, disease, lack, or limitation is an appearance. The recognition of that truth destroys the appearance. God Constitutes Individual Being "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 3 In the presence of God, there is liberty. In that Presence, there is no entity called sin, disease, or false appetite. We do not heal them: they are illusory concepts, but the illusory concept is always in the mind. There is no such thing as an externalized illusion. When we know the truth, the illusory concept is gone, but nothing has really gone with it. Sin and lack do not go anywhere. We merely prove that they were not there. It is on this point that many metaphysicians lose their way. They believe God is some sort of a power that they are going to use over ...
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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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