Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 12, The Prince of Peace
- ~ 12 ~ THE PRINCE OF PEACE The full significance of Christmas can never be known except through an understanding of the unchanging nature of God, the God who is eternally and everlastingly the same yesterday, today, and forever. That which is of God always has been, that which has been is now, and that which is now always will be. To understand this reveals that the real Christmas did not begin two thousand years ago: it began in the beginning, before time was. What took place two thousand years ago was merely the revelation of an experience that has been continuous, not only since "before Abraham was," 1 but since before time was. God did not inaugurate anything new two thousand years ago. The true meaning of Christmas is that God planted in individual consciousness the seed that was to evolve as his Son. No one has ever existed, exists now, or ever will exist without this spiritual influence and power having been implanted in his consciousness from the beginning. The function of the Son of God was made clear through the ministry of Jesus Christ when he revealed, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" 2 -not I, Jesus, but I, the Son of God. Jesus said, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. . . . I of mine own self do nothing . . . 3 I am the bread of life . . . 4 I am the resurrection, and the life." 5 That was the Son of God speaking. Jesus was not all this: it was the Son of God speaking through him-the same Son of God which is in the midst of all of us as it has been in the midst of every individual since the beginning of time. Go Within to Find the Peace Established from the Beginning There is a story which tells of an ancient king who himself was peaceful, just, merciful, and kind, but who had a neighbor-king intent on war and conquest. Because of the nature of his being, the just and merciful king sent an ambassador to the neighboring king to seek peace. Meanwhile, to protect his people, he began to ...
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The Contemplative Life: Chapter 1, Conscious Awareness
- ~ 1 ~ CONSCIOUS AWARENESS Many persons who are seeking for truth or striving to find a way that will lead them out of the inharmonies and discords of life gather the impression that there is some quick or short way of overcoming all their problems; that there is some kind of a message that they can read in books or hear from the lips of a teacher or lecturer, that will quickly take them away from the troubles of a material way of living into the harmonies of the spiritual life. This is the mistake that is made in every one of the Western countries. It is not so in the East, where the relative unimportance of time is better understood and where it is realized that an evolution of consciousness can take place only over a span of years. But in the West, where in one short life-cycle we have gone from lamplight to modern electric lighting and from the horse and buggy era to automobiles and airplanes, where there has been an increase in the speed of travel from 100 miles an hour to thousands of miles, we do not seem to have sufficient time or sufficient interest to take the time for the development of spiritual consciousness. Because of this unbelievably rapid progress, materially and mechanically, which has set the tempo of our times, many think that it is possible to apply this same accelerated speed to the spiritual life. But when it comes to spiritual unfoldment and spiritual progress, it is quite a different story. There, an element of time enters into the situation, and it is this element of time that our Western world seems unwilling to accept, or may not be able or prepared to accept. It is often possible for those of us who come to a spiritual teaching to have our problems quickly met-physical, mental, moral, or financial-but, of course, even if all our major problems were quickly met, we still would be no better off than we were before, except for a little temporary relief from the world's discords, because regardless of what freedom we attain through the help ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter IX, This Is a Spiritual Universe
- CHAPTER IX THIS IS A SPIRITUAL UNIVERSE Several years ago when I was on my way to South Africa, I stopped off for a day in the Belgian Congo, and after the man in charge of the bookings and his assistant had taken care of all my tickets, made whatever examinations were necessary, and weighed my luggage, I called a little native boy to carry my three bags out to the plane which I was boarding for Johannesburg. This was such a small air station that I could see the boy as he walked out of the gate onto the field with one large piece of baggage in each hand and a small piece under his arm. A few minutes later he returned without any baggage and I said to him questioningly, "O.K.?" to which he replied, "O.K." When I arrived in Johannesburg the next morning, there was only the one tiny little piece of baggage waiting for me, and the other two large pieces were missing. Immediately, the personnel of this tremendously big and active airport at Johannesburg began searching for my baggage, but they did not find it in the enclosure nor was it with the crew's baggage; and furthermore when they sent someone to search the plane, there was no baggage there, either. The person in charge of the airline said that he would immediately contact the station in the Belgian Congo and would soon have an answer for me, so there was nothing for me to do but go to my hotel. The Infinite Way students in Johannesburg had arranged for me to visit Krueger National Park, so after buying some necessary clothing, we started out on our three-day trek through this fabulous wild-animal preserve with the full expectation of picking up my baggage when we returned. But upon our return no baggage had as yet been found. The only explanation the airline had to offer was that somebody must have stolen it, and that that somebody must have been the little native boy and a confederate because the last time the bags were seen was when he had picked them up and carried them out onto the field. The absurdity of ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter X, Ye Have Heard It Said of Old
- CHAPTER X YE HAVE HEARD IT SAID OF OLD At any moment of our experience-it makes no difference whether we are nine, nineteen, or ninety-we can begin the return to the Father's house. But let us not believe that we can return to that Edenic state by continuing to be the same persons we were yesterday with all our human virtues and failings, vacillating constantly between good and evil. Our human virtues will not gain us entry into Eden any more than will our human failings. We have to lose both human failings and human virtues and take on the mantle of the Christ by rising above the mental creation of the second chapter of Genesis which has chained us to the law of good and evil. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Christ Jesus." For hundreds of years before Moses, the Hebrews had been living in a state of slavery with little or no opportunity to make advances in education, culture, religion, art, or the sciences; and under such circumstances it is not surprising that they were living without any greatly developed moral sense. To these people, Moses presented a higher way of life, the backbone of which was the Ten Commandments. If those commandments were obeyed, a person was considered as fine a type of citizen as could be expected, and moreover, if in addition to that he also obeyed the dietetic laws and a few other customs, he merited the title of a good Hebrew. If the law were disobeyed, all the offender could expect was to be stoned or excommunicated. Little or no concept of love was embraced in this teaching. It was strictly a teaching of moral and ethical laws. A moral or ethical sense, high as it may be, however, is only a step on the way to spiritual consciousness. While a person may live in absolute obedience to the Ten Commandments he may still be eons away from the spiritual life because the true spiritual life is a living above the pairs of opposites. When Jesus came, he taught a way of life which was not primarily concerned with ...
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Consciousness Transformed: February 7, 1964, Beyond Metaphysics-I Am
- BEYOND METAPHYSICS-I AM February 7, 1964 GOOD EVENING. Most of our students are having quite a difficult time making the transition from metaphysics to mysticism. Some have not even realized that there is a difference, that they have to die out of their metaphysics in order to be born into realization of their true identity-and here is a question that helps us very much in starting out on this subject: Question: My understanding is that mind is a human instrument. It can be used for good or evil. Here is a quote from your writings: " 'I' am behind the mind and 'I' can think thoughts through the mind, or 'I' can still the mind." Now who or what is 'I' in this statement?" Answer: It must be clear that it cannot be God, because you must understand that God cannot think. God cannot start anything and God cannot stop anything. There is no beginning in God and there is no ending in God. In metaphysical teachings it is said that "God thinks and we think after God." Of course that is not any more true than the fact that God punishes or rewards. God does not do anything. God is being, but God is being the same now as a million years ago, and the same as a million years from now. "God changeth not." That is why in theology there have been so many quarrels about how old the world is. Did God create the world ten thousand years ago? We were told so, but the truth of the matter is that this world never was created. There never was a beginning and there never will be an ending, for "God changeth not." 1 He does not start anything and he does not stop anything, and certainly God does not think any more than the principle of mathematics thinks, or the principle of science thinks, or the principle of chemistry thinks. The principle of all being certainly does not think. It is. It never thought 2 × 2 into being because there never could have been a time when 2 × 2 was other than 4. It never thought H2O into water, because H20 never could have been anything other than water. This ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter XV, The Beauty of Holiness
- CHAPTER XV THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. PSALMS 96:8, 9 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. DEUTERONOMY 10:14 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. PSALMS 19:1 Meditation is not an end in itself. That which we are seeking is a conscious realization of the presence of God, but in the realization of that Presence, before the experience of the full and complete illumination, there may be two of us- God and me. We do not want God and me: we want God alone. That is the final step on the spiritual Path. God is unknown and unknowable to the human senses. One way, however, in which to bridge the immeasurable span between materiality and spirituality is to let thought drift from the cares and problems of the world to God's handiwork. In everyone's surroundings, there is always some object of beauty: a picture, a piece of sculpture, a plant, lake, mountain, or tree. We think of some one of these in meditation, considering the idea of God, the Invisible, expressing Itself through nature or through the mind of an artist or craftsman. The presence and the power of the Invisible is that which is made manifest to us as the visible, the one inseparable from the other. Even a little understanding of God enables us to discern, in a measure, God's life, love, and joy embodied in man and the universe. In this understanding, our life and love expand and become more pure, joyous, and free, leading us into a higher dimension of life. We begin to live not so much in the world of effect as in the world of cause, discovering our good in the Cause of all that exists rather than in effect-in things, persons, or places. The more understanding we have of Cause, God, the greater is our enjoyment of all persons and things. Only through penetrating the realm of the Invisible, this higher or fourth ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 9, The New Dimension
- ~ 9 ~ THE NEW DIMENSION The human scene continues to unfold day by day, as it has throughout all the days of the past. There is always the temptation to hope that things will be different tomorrow. But left to itself, one day will follow another as days always have. The human scene is a state of inertia; it continues being whatever it is now, usually along the same lines. Nothing will be different tomorrow from what it is today, or from what it has been in the past until a new note is brought into the picture. "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 1 . . . I came not to send peace, but a sword." 2 Up to now, what has been said is gentle and sweet, and good-tasting. Now comes the part that makes the "belly bitter" 3 : the living of this truth. This demands sacrifice and great effort. It will not be too difficult for you to remember the truth that you and the Father are one and all that the Father has is yours: the difficulty comes in living it, and it is only in the living of it that it can be demonstrated. Declaring, "I and my Father are one," 4 or declaring your sonship will be of little help to you. You must assume your obligation as a "son." Part of the responsibility entailed in that relationship lies in your readiness and willingness to leave your "nets" in the sense of stopping your search for health and supply and to rest in the conscious awareness of these as divine gifts already established within your being, even though momentarily not visible outwardly. This means no longer voicing truth, but living the truth of your identity, being willing to be called upon to heal or feed the multitudes. Can you do it? You can, if you realize, "I of my own self cannot do it, but by virtue of my divine sonship, I can. All that the Father has is mine: the gift of healing, the infinity of supply, the joy of sharing and the joy of giving, the wisdom of not bearing resentment, anger, malice, and jealousy." That is ...
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The World Is New: Chapter 17, Wholeness of Spirit
- ~ 17 ~ WHOLENESS OF SPIRIT IF THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE CHRIST were understood, one church would never be judged as better than another or as nearer the kingdom of God, nor would anyone think that belonging to a certain group, sect or organization in some way entitled him to benefits of God which others could not enjoy. To an enlightened state of consciousness, that is nonsensical. The Christ is as available to sinner as to saint. He "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." 1 The Master exemplified this teaching by his willingness to heal the woman taken in adultery and the boy born blind. In no wise, did the Master distinguish between saint and sinner, except to caution the sinner to "sin no more." 2 The Master's teaching does not encourage anyone to sin. It merely reveals that the Christ is ready and omnipresent to lift us out of wherever we may be, whether in sin, in disease, in lack, or in prison. And the activity of the Christ which can lift us out of these conditions would so change our consciousness that never again could we return to that same state of sin or disease, lack, or limitation, or a life of crime. Once a person has received the benefits of God, that which caused him to sin should have been eliminated. Understanding the manner in which the Christ acts to transform consciousness and therefore our experience, calls for quite a different capacity than being able to grasp the value of thousands of dollars worth of property or investments, or to be aware that we have a healthy body and are able to enjoy it. A recognition of the Christ requires a different state of consciousness because here we are dealing with that which is invisible and intangible to the finite material, human sense, what Job referred to when he said, "He . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing." 3 A doctor can easily understand how he can remove a pimple or a growth, and he knows of course what medical steps are necessary to remove infection from the blood. But it is a very difficult ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XIX, Attaining Divine Sonship
- CHAPTER XIX ATTAINING DIVINE SONSHIP When we have encompassed the First and Second Degrees, a new dimension of life, an entirely different area of consciousness, opens up to us. In that moment there is something within us that is no longer a quotation, an affirmation, or a recalling of truth: it is an experience. We have entered the Third Degree, where we no longer live by the standards of this world, where the values are different, and life is governed not so much by what the outer law is as by what our inner integrity is. It is at this point that we pass from law to Grace. As human beings we live under man-made laws which continue to operate as long as we remain in ignorance, and until we are awakened, we are held in slavery to all kinds of mental and physical laws. As we come to an awareness of a spiritual Presence within us, we gradually become immune to these laws because as we pass into the third stage, the Presence lives our life, and It cannot be influenced, nor can It be acted upon by physical or mental laws: It is immune to them for they are only theories, superstitions, and the universal belief in two powers. In proportion as the son of God is raised up in us, these laws do not operate, and not only are we not receptive or responsive to them, but we aid in nullifying them for others who may come to us. When an immunity is developed to material and mental laws, we live in an entirely different world because then we do not have to take the law into consideration, nor do we have to be concerned about things. Having found the kingdom of God and dwelling in it, something else is taking over the responsibility for our entire experience. The government is on His shoulder, on this divine Son which in the Third Degree is now raised up in us. In our humanhood It was dormant; It stood by and could do nothing. Regardless of what wrong was done to us, we had to resign ourselves to it unless our human wisdom or strength could provide an escape for us, and in most cases ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter XXVIII, The Tree of Life
- CHAPTER XXVIII THE TREE OF LIFE To understand the nature of the mystical way of life, and to understand it fully, we must first of all understand the underlying conflict that exists among human beings, the struggle between all men on the face of the earth. Even between husbands and wives, parents and children, there is conflict, and the conflict is always a battle for the supremacy of the ego. Each one wants to be something of himself, and that something enters into conflict with the something of the other self. So it is that throughout the human scene there has always been conflict. True, there is an appearance of peace, but as long as each one has a self of his own, he will be catering to that ego, trying to manifest, express, or benefit it. This poses the question: Is it possible for human beings to live together harmoniously, or must they live in constant warfare of one nature or another? None of the efforts made to bring about peace on earth and good will among men has ever been successful for any length of time, largely because these efforts have been based on attempting to unite people humanly, when for the most part they have no common interest. Some contend that in union there is strength, but this is a fallacy. Ever since time began, tribes have been uniting, countries have been uniting, and churches have been uniting, but so far no such union has brought about permanent strength. It lasts for a while, then some other combination arises and falls to make way for still another combination. There is no strength in any union founded by human beings, nor has one ever proved to be enduring. The only strength there is, is in spiritual union, but that in itself is a paradox. There cannot really be a spiritual union because there are not two to unite. There is only one Self, and as long as I recognize that the Selfhood of me is the Selfhood of you, I cannot be antagonistic toward you, but neither can I unite with you because there are not two of us: there is only ...
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