Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Spiritual Development
- ... The sky is not sitting on the mountain, and the illusion is not "out there" where it seems to be, but is your false sense of what you are beholding. You cannot get rid of the illusion; you must understand it as illusion, and see through it to ever-prevent Reality. Understand that all that appears is God- appearing, despite the illusory sense of it you may be momentarily entertaining, and even the illusion will be dispelled. Error is never personal. You must therefore never condemn a person, but see the error as impersonal, a part of universal mesmerism and no part of any individual. In this impersonalizing of error, you dispel it. One of the great laws of the Bible is, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44). Your understanding of the prayer of forgiveness is that it is the realization of oneness. To know that that which is appearing, as persecutor, hater, enemy in any form, is really the Christ itself, which finite sense has misinterpreted, will free you of any evil effects of hate, persecution and enmity. Never forget that there is in reality no sick person to heal, neither a sinner to reform - only the Christ-presence to be spiritually discerned. This is the true law of forgiveness. Thus we pray for our enemies. There is a prevalent belief that the thought of certain individuals or groups can harm you. You cannot be made to suffer from any belief other than your own acceptance of a selfhood apart from God. Those who entertain a belief in two minds or in a life that can be impaired or ended, or in a selfhood apart from God, suffer from that belief in proportion as the belief is accepted. This, too, can be healed in a moment by relinquishing the belief in two powers, and the belief in more than one Presence. The purpose of your study is, first, the improvement of humanhood - the improvement of health, wealth, harmony, companionship, home and ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 8, Prayer
- ~ 8 ~ PRAYER The essence of our work is that God is. We all talk about God; we think about God; we pray to God. When we realize that God is not to be prayed to, we begin to see why the talking about God is so useless, and why much of our thinking about God is fruitless. The first point that becomes clear when we see that God is, is that God is not to be prayed to. If only we understood Mrs. Eddy, we would have known this long ago. Listen to her words: "God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than he has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and Love." 1 "God is love. Can we ask him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend?" 2 "Asking God to be God is vain repetition. God is 'the same yesterday and today and forever;' and He who is immutably right will do right without being reminded of His province." 3 "Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem?" 4 Then, the first step in progress is when we learn not to ask or pray to God, or expect something from him. The next step is learning to turn to the kingdom within you, which is the kingdom of God, not for something, but in recognition of the present perfection and harmony of all which God governs. And he governs all reality. Also, we learn in Science that there is no evil in any person, place, or thing, but that the evil is in the universal concept of person, place, or thing. Knowing that there is no evil in any circumstance or condition frees us from ill effects that might come from the belief in evil. While it is spiritual sense that meets every so-called human problem, it is nevertheless true that a conscious awareness of the truth of being results in harmony that never forsakes us, and which we consciously experience. Therefore, we must "know the truth" in order for the "truth to make us free" from those things that seem to mar or ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 9, The Mind of Christ Jesus
- ~ 9 ~ THE MIND OF CHRIST JESUS Our task now will be the revelation of the consciousness of the statement, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." 1 Throughout all recorded history, no such works were ever done as those of the Master and, yet, he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing," 2 and again, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." 3 It is agreed by all students of metaphysics that the mighty works were the direct activity of that mind which was in Christ Jesus and, according to his own word, that mind was not personal to Jesus, but was "my Father and your Father"-the universal mind or creative principle of all men. Thus, the mind of man is the creative principle of the universe. We, however, long taught to believe that our mind is personal to us, that therefore the mind of one individual differs in intelligence and understanding from another, have lost the consciousness of the infinity of mind, our mind. We can regain this true consciousness of mind only in the degree that we perceive the universality and oneness of mind. We often hear it said, "Oh, if Jesus were only on earth today." Whereas, we must realize that the mind which was in Christ Jesus, the consciousness which healed the sick, fed the multitudes, and raised the dead, is your mind and my mind, and in proportion as we gain spiritually this perception, will we do those works, "and even greater works." After the re-introduction of spiritual healing many mighty healing works were done. So much so, that great edifices were erected in gratitude for marvelous healings and works of reformation. Today we hear that healing work does not compare to the early days in the field of metaphysics, and yet we know that healings were not accomplished by person, but by principle; not by people, but by that mind which was in Christ Jesus. Is it not clear then that we need, more than anything else, to recapture the consciousness of the presence of that mind? Must we ...
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The Joel Goldsmith Reader: Barriers to Spiritual Attainment
- 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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Living by Grace: Chapter 2, Rising into Spiritual Consciousness
- CHAPTER 2 RISING INTO SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS In our work we do not ask for loyal followers. Certainly I do not want any personal followers, and I am sure that those who get anywhere in this work will never want personal followers. Our only desire must be to share with others whatever God-given Grace we have so that they can find God too. But no one will ever find God by merely following a particular teaching and obeying its rules and regulations. You find God through the study of the letter of Truth combined with meditation, prayer, and a very humble desire to know God, "whom to know aright is life eternal." There have been Catholic mystics, Protestant mystics, Christian Science mystics, Unity mystics, and New Thought mystics who knew God aright. In any one of their teachings, there is enough Truth and light to lead you to the Kingdom of God although there are many errors in them. It makes no difference whether you are an Infinite Way student, a Christian Scientist, or some other. You will achieve results even if you are following a teaching that is not entirely correct in its statements of Truth as long as you are not merely concerned about glorifying the teaching. Any teaching must be considered only as an aid in your search for the light of revelation. Do not follow a teaching just to be thought of as some kind of loyal follower of the teaching or of the teacher. All you have to be concerned with is knowing God aright and with your relationship with God, and staying with it through the trials and tribulations until it brings you to the spiritual experience of knowing God. When that experience takes place, you will lose all anxiety and fear for yourself. Fear and responsibility will drop away. Your supply will begin to flow without your taking thought for your life. You will no longer have to support yourself by physical or mental means. You will know that you are the same infinite spiritual being that you now are no matter whether you are sick or well, or dead ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 8, Rising Above This World
- ~ 8 ~ RISING ABOVE "THIS WORLD" As human beings, we are made up of theories and beliefs-false education, false religious knowledge, and superstition. For example, there are few persons in all this land who do not believe that God punishes and God rewards, and furthermore that God will destroy all their enemies and discords if, through some kind of hocus-pocus or abracadabra, they can get on the right side of God. It is difficult to empty out the old bottles and free ourselves from the concepts to which we have clung throughout the years. It is not easy to develop a flexibility which permits the old forms to be broken up, making way for the new wine of the spirit. Every time we are faced with some absolute spiritual truth, we unconsciously reject it and then experience repercussions because of the inner conflict that is set up. We are continually looking back and comparing this new truth with what we have heretofore believed and which is so firmly rooted in us that it really goes beyond belief to absolute conviction. In fact, we would sacrifice almost anything in the world before we would give up our cherished beliefs. "The Wisdoms of The Infinite Way" 1 contain some of this new wine that will help sweep aside old concepts. Every one of these "Wisdoms" came through revelation, most of them by my being awakened in the middle of the night and having to get up and write down the particular "Wisdom" that revealed itself. All told, they comprise only a few pages, and yet the contents of those few pages were two years in being unfolded to me. The study of these "Wisdoms" can carry the student into a whole new realm of consciousness as it has already done with some of the few students who were given these "Wisdoms" for study and meditation long before they were released to the public in an additional chapter in The Infinite Way. All Illusion Is a Mental Image in Thought From birth, we are faced with appearances, which are the source of all the troubles that befall us. To ...
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Practicing the Presence: Chapter III, God the Only Power
- CHAPTER III GOD THE ONLY POWER Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. ISAIAH 44:6 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. DEUTERONOMY 6:5 Throughout all time, scripture has revealed that God is the only power, but who has accepted this literally? Even in the Bible, there are accounts of people fighting, one against another. The teaching of most religionists of the world has been that there are two powers, the power of God and the power of the devil: The power of God is good and blesses; the power of the devil is evil and damns. Always there are these two powers; always God is battling the devil for control of man's soul; and always the question is: Who is going to win? Today it is the same story. Accidents, disasters, and sickness are explained either on the basis of two powers, or by making God responsible for these evils. How can God be held responsible for any evil in the light of the message and mission of the Master, which was the healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, the feeding of the hungry, and the overcoming of every kind of disaster. The Master said, "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill," so none of these things can possibly be the will of God. In the presence of God, there is no evil. If God tolerates the sin, disease, and death that we are experiencing, what chance have we to survive or overcome them? If God is permitting these evils, or if God is a human parent teaching us a lesson, how can we rise above them and return to the Father's house? From the very beginning of our spiritual study, we have learned that God is the one power, the all-power, and not only the all-power, but the all-good power. Is it then possible for an all-good power to create, permit, tolerate, or send forth evil? In The Infinite Way, we engage in what is called spiritual healing so we must have a ...
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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: May 1957, The Christ - The Presence in You
- CHAPTER FIVE: MAY The Christ, The Presence in You THERE is a Presence and a Power which is always available to us, but it can only be realized in secrecy and in silence. Secrecy is one of the most profound truths revealed in the Master's teaching: Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.1 Secrecy is an important principle of The Infinite Way and forms a vital part of its message. Those who have taken this teaching seriously and have followed it have benefited beyond words. There are others who have received the teaching, but who have not understood it. In their inability to perceive its significance, they have not obeyed it, and therefore, have not benefited from it. No teaching is of real value as long as it remains an abstraction; it must find expression in our daily life. Every principle of The Infinite Way should be related to our experience and then lived as our experience. Let us take, as an example, this principle of secrecy enunciated by the Master and see how it can be applied to our everyday relationships. If I perform some good and generous act and if my friends hear about it, they will, in all probability, praise me, thank me, and speak well of me. My ego may be considerably inflated by their acknowledgment and recognition of my good deed. On the other ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter III, Beyond Power
- CHAPTER III BEYOND POWER As long as man has someone or something to which he can cling, he will not find God. Whatever man knows or is able to know with his human mentality-whether a thing or a thought-is not God. No one is going to find God while he has anything on which to stand, anything to which he can hold, or anything about which he can think. Startling and unbelievable as this may seem to be, nevertheless it is true. Most of us have known a fair share of the good things of life and a few of the bad ones; and while we may not have been happy with the bad things, we undoubtedly would also admit that we did not find any permanent happiness in the good ones. Many of us must have suspected that there is something beyond all this, but what? What is that something? Is it God, and if so, what is it that men call God? Is God just a vague hope, a senseless dream, or is God really attainable? Is it possible to know God? The search for God is not easy for anyone, and when the revelation of God does come, it is something so entirely different from what was expected that if a person is honest he will have to confess that it is beyond his understanding. Only after finding corroboration for what he himself has discovered as it is presented in a thousand different ways through the spoken and written word and then living with it for years and years, does it ultimately register. Religions have evolved because somewhere far back in the past men were constantly encountering troubles of one sort or another in their human experience. If they were fishermen, they found that the fish were not running well in some seasons; if they were hunters, there were periods when the game was scarce; and for those engaged in farming, some years there was too much rain and some years not enough. Occasionally, there were enemies from across the border molesting them, and at such times the strong nearly always overcame the weak, plundering their less powerful neighbors and often reducing them to the ...
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