The Heart of Mysticism: November 1957, Gratitude
- CHAPTER ELEVEN: NOVEMBER Gratitude FEW people understand the nature of gratitude. Just what is gratitude? Are human beings capable of gratitude? Actually, we should not expect gratitude from a person, and if we do expect it, we shall be disappointed because gratitude is beyond the capacity of a human being. Many people believe that money and gratitude are synonymous, but in reality, they have no relationship to each other. There are times when money can be a symbol of gratitude, but it is a mistake to tie them together because gratitude goes far beyond money. For example, if we should ask a practitioner for help for a headache and attempted to express our gratitude in a monetary form, we might well believe that a nominal payment would be a sufficient expression of gratitude; but on the other hand, if we were healed of a cancer, we might feel that even if we took our last dollar and ran into debt besides, it would be a very small token of gratitude for such a healing. In both cases, we would be wrong, because gratitude for spiritual healing has no relationship at all to what has been healed. Spiritual healing can only come through a realization of God. It can only take place when an individual has so dedicated himself to spiritual living that he becomes a transparency through which God can act; and when the Spirit of God flows through an individual, that Spirit of God can heal the headache or the cancer. There should be no difference in the degree of gratitude in either case because our gratitude should not be merely for the healing of a headache or for the healing of a cancer. No, we should be grateful because we have been privileged to be a living witness to the fact that God is as available on earth today as He was two thousand years ago. How, then, can we be more grateful for the presence of God in one case than in another? The world at large does not have access to God because it has cut itself off from contact with God. Many people believe that if they go to ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 7, The Power to Become the Son of God
- ~ 7 ~ THE POWER TO BECOME THE SON OF GOD Life is a matter of individual demonstration. Hundreds of persons may be exposed to the same truth, but only a few will benefit from it. The words each person reads may be the same, and the consciousness back of those words the same, but the difference lies in individual receptivity and individual responsiveness to the spiritual word. The benefit derived by any person results by virtue of some active receptivity within him. Those of you who have had experience in the healing work must realize this. If ten patients come into your orbit in a single day and you give the same degree of integrity to each one, the same understanding, consciousness, and faithfulness in treatment, one of them may receive an instantaneous healing; three, very quick healing; three, long drawn out and protracted healing; and others, no healing. Why is that? In every case, the treatment was equally able and faithful, so what is the difference? The difference is in the degree of spiritual receptivity in the consciousness of the person who is seeking your help. He may have it in great or slight degree, or he may have no spiritual receptivity whatsoever. That is no reason for criticism or praise because no one is responsible for the degree of his receptivity or spiritual integrity. That is a matter over which he has no control. Some people have come into this world more spiritually blessed and more spiritually receptive than others, whereas some have come into this world more materialistically inclined, and they, therefore, will have a greater struggle developing the necessary spiritual receptivity and responsiveness. When a practitioner begins to work with a patient or student, it is not possible to know whether he will have an instantaneous or a slow healing because the practitioner does not know the factors that are involved. He does not know what there is in the patient's consciousness that may be blocking the message or preventing the spiritual ...
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Seek Ye First: Chapter 7, The Practicality of Illumination
- Chapter Seven The Practicality of Illumination The spiritual path is a difficult one, without any question. The Master warned about that when he said, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." 1 Indeed, very few! The spiritual path is difficult because ever since the fall of man, that is, since man entered into a material state of consciousness, his attention has been centered on worldly pleasures and profits. From the earliest days of humanhood, dependence has been placed on might and power-bows and arrows, swords, dynamite, gunpowder, walls, barricades, fortresses-all for the protection of life and property. Over the centuries a material state of consciousness has developed, a consciousness seeking always for something out in the world to supply satisfaction, safety, security, peace, supply, and health. When the transition is made to the spiritual path, all this has to be reversed, and that is what is called "dying daily," being reborn, surrendering, giving, or yielding one's self to God-nonattachment as it is called in Oriental teaching. All this, however, must not be misunderstood. It does not mean that we do not eat or require food; it does not imply that there is anything wrong with wealth or health. All these are implicit on the spiritual path, but without attachment or dependence on them. Transferring Reliance from the Visible to the Invisible On the spiritual path, all attention is transferred from the visible to the invisible, and it has been taught by the Master in this way: I have meat to eat that ye know not of. John 4:32 I am the bread of life. John 6:35 I am the resurrection, and the life. John 11:25 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 It is not that we claim that protection, food, clothing, and housing are unnecessary, that we ...
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Spiritual Power of Truth: Chapter 7, Sin - Its Illusory Nature
- CHAPTER 7 Sin: Its Illusory Nature SIN; WHAT the world calls sin; what the metaphysician calls sin-disease, lack, limitation: these, we are given to understand, have their foundation in a sense of selfhood apart from God, and they have no existence in the Kingdom of God, which is our individual being. Once it has been revealed to us that these so-called conditions exist only as appearances, there is nothing more to be done about the matter. We have done all. So if I say to you, "I don't feel well, give me help," and you immediately come back with all the metaphysical arguments you know, then all you are trying to do is combat, enter into conflict with, or try to overcome, what I have said. Whereas instead, you should go very quietly within your own being, and realize what can be done with an illusion. Then, once you have discovered its illusory nature, what can you do about it? Why should you fear a toy serpent after you have discovered that it's a toy? We can understand right well that I may have a toy serpent and yet I believe that it is a serpent and say, "Give me help." However, you, from the higher standpoint of your wisdom, discern that it is a toy serpent. So what should you do about it? Do nothing. Just give me that assurance, that's all, that all is well. Do not try to combat my statement of error. Do not try to convince me of its error. Do not try to get rid of the serpent, overcome it, or destroy it. Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. Now the truth about a toy serpent is that it is harmless. The truth about any infection or contagion is that it is harmless. Why, then, try to overcome it? Why argue with it? Agree with thine adversary. So when a call comes for help, since we do know how real a discord appears to the one asking for help, the most compassionate thing we can do, the most loving thing we can do, is to say, "I will help you immediately; I will be with you immediately." Then the patient understands, right well, that you ...
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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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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter X, Reality and Illusion
- CHAPTER X REALITY AND ILLUSION To recognize that we live in two worlds, the world created by the five physical senses and the world of Consciousness, is to bring ourselves closer and closer to illumination. In the first chapter of Genesis, God made man in His own image and likeness, without any help from anyone. This pure spiritual birth, this immaculate conception, is God manifesting and expressing Himself and His qualities, Consciousness revealing Itself as form. This is pure, unadulterated, spiritual creation, the immaculate conception of man and the universe, God, the infinite Life expressing Itself individually without any material forms, processes, or systems. In the second chapter of Genesis, God not only creates but He miscreates, and because of His mistakes, He has to do it over and over again. First, He "formed man of the dust of the ground," then, He brought woman forth from man's rib, and finally He decided to bring man and woman together for the purpose of creation. Is it reasonable to believe that the infinite Intelligence of this universe needed to make two attempts at creation? This man of earth, "the natural man" who is not under the law of God, "neither indeed can be," is not a man at all: he is a mythical creation of the human mind, of the five physical senses. To make clear how this mind creates, let us examine how it has created a man- made God. Close your eyes for a moment, and take the word God into your consciousness. Do you believe that this is God, or is this not a projection of your mind? Has this God any power? Is there really such a Presence, or is this just a self-created image of your own thinking? Let us go further afield and let us attempt to decide what God is. Instantly to our thought comes an answer, but the answer is not truth, and the answer is not God because the answer is a projection of our background. Anyone who has been an orthodox Christian almost immediately thinks of Jesus Christ. If one's background is Hebrew, he ...
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Consciousness Is What I Am: Chapter 2, The False & Right Sense of I
- ~ 2 ~ THE FALSE AND RIGHT SENSE OF I The Infinite Way reveals that God is infinite individual being and, therefore, God constitutes our being. Whatever is spiritual, eternal, and immortal in us is God-being. That which is mortal, human, and finite is not an expression of God but an illusion and cannot be raised up to the atmosphere of Christhood. It must "die," but that death is not what normally is thought of as death. It is the death of the false concept of God and man that has been built up throughout the years, which constitutes what may be called the human experience. As we "die daily" 1 to that human experience, we are reborn into the spiritual experience. Jesus acknowledged his sonship with the Father, and at the same time denied power to his humanhood when he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing." 2 Can we hope to do more than Jesus did and claim more for ourselves than he claimed? When he was called "Good Master," 3 Jesus even went so far as to deny that. "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." 3 The truth is that God, the Father, appears individually as God, the son. If we were to say that we express God, we would be trying to have some power of our own. But this we do not have. God, being infinite, God alone can express Itself, and God expresses Itself as individual being. It is God expressing, not man expressing, and God expressing becomes you and me in our spiritual identity. God always is the presence and God always is the power. Never do we have power, never. All power is God-power as it flows forth from the Godhead, appearing as our individual capacity. If it were your capacity or mine, it would be limited, but because all capacity is God-capacity, it is infinite. Jesus understood his own nothingness and thus became the instrument through which the allness of God could appear. Potentially anyone who can sufficiently understand the nothingness of humanhood can in that degree show forth God's allness. THE TROUBLEMAKER ...
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Showing Forth the Presence of God: Chapter 5, God, the Substance of Universal Being
- Chapter Five God, the Substance of Universal Being Jesus' statement, "I and my Father are one," 1 must be ingrained in your hearts and minds as one truth never to be forgotten. Otherwise, you will have a God separate and apart from your own being, and you will be attempting to contact It, trying to be worthy of It, or praying to It. In the Infinite Way you begin your real unfoldment when you can understand not only that God is life, but that God is your individual life. Unless you understand that, you will always be meditating to get health, whereas the life which is God needs no healing. The life which is God can never age or change. One Individual Mind and Consciousness All the error, all the mistakes, all your ills come from the ancient belief that there is God and man, that there is God, eternal life, and your life. The only reason a person has mental upsets or a nervous disease is because of the universal belief that God is mind but that man has a mind separate and apart from God. The mind of God is indivisible and is a facet or instrument of the God- consciousness you are. Understanding that, your mind and mine would continuously show forth the glory of infinite intelligence. If you accept the universal, world belief that there is a God somewhere to be reached, to be prayed to, or to become at-one with, you lose your demonstration. I and the Father are one. I and the Father have been one "since before Abraham was."2 I and the Father will be one until eternity. I and the Father are one, now, always, and throughout all time. Whatever there is of treatment or prayer in our work is the realization of the truth of that I Am-ness. To forget that would be to lose the entire sense of spiritual demonstration because it would leave you in a state of having to achieve that oneness or attain it; whereas it is already the truth. Your World, an Expression of Your State of Consciousness God is the substance of which this universe is formed, but when you understand that God ...
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Consciousness In Transition: Chapter 16, Illumined Consciousness
- ~ 16 ~ ILLUMINED CONSCIOUSNESS AGAIN WE HAVE A TERM like Christ-consciousness, or illumined consciousness. Sometimes we wonder, "What is that thing, Christ consciousness? What is illumined consciousness?" The consciousness that thinks of God as something separate and apart from its own being, the consciousness that has not received some training or teaching along a metaphysical line, is a very much unillumined consciousness. Let us say that is your consciousness or my consciousness before we receive any spiritual or metaphysical teaching. And now let us say that for a year or two or three we study with any of the schools of metaphysical thought. By that time we have learned of God as the reality of being, we've taken God out of the skies and identified him with us. In our unillumined state of consciousness, we thought of Jesus as Christ, but now, through illumination, we understand Christ as the spirit-of God, of the man Jesus, and of you and of me. For Jesus said that before Abraham was, he is, and that the Christ will be with you until the end of the world. So the Christ is a possibility for us. Perhaps we have learned in the first or second or third year of metaphysical study that prayer isn't asking God to give us sunny weather on the day we want to go picnicking and it isn't asking God to take away our sins or our diseases. Perhaps we have learned enough to know that prayer is an inner realization of our present spiritual perfection. By that time we have become an illumined consciousness up to that point; we are at least some degree of illumined consciousness. Now, we come to this point where we learn to take into our consciousness any word or term on which we are seeking light or knowledge. We have learned now that we don't have to go to a teacher, we don't have to go to a church. All that we have to do now is to take that word or term or idea into our own consciousness and there, in a state of expectancy, wait for the light to shine on it and reveal its ...
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The Foundation of Mysticism: Chapter 20, Purifying the Mind
- ~ 20 ~ PURIFYING THE MIND Good evening. As far as I can remember, this is the first class I have ever conducted about which I can truthfully say I'm sorry to see come to a close tonight. Saturday night has usually been the most glorious night in the world for me, and after Saturday night I could dance in the streets. There is a very definite reason for feeling this way tonight. I believe that for the first time in all the classwork that's been going on since 1947, the principles of the Infinite Way have been understood. I have never felt that way before. You see, truth is universal. In mystical truth there is no such thing as an original idea. But the major principles of the Infinite Way, the healing principles, are an unfoldment that have never before appeared in religious literature of any nature, whether mystical, orthodox, or metaphysical. I have never been able to convey that before because students were either listening to me through their Christian Science background, their Unity background, or their mental science background, and so they were not able to clearly understand and grasp these specific principles. I know that if these principles had been practiced and demonstrated by our students, we would have practitioners in every city in the world. The only reason we haven't is because these specific principles have not been grasped, have not been understood and practiced, and therefore could not be demonstrated. Now I don't say this in a complaining sense because it is perfectly natural. Every one of us have received teachings which we more or less accepted as divine authority. It makes no difference how mistaken those teachings may be, we find it impossible to dislodge them from our thought, our conditioned mind. In every message that embraces either mental or spiritual healing, we address the individual, and in doing this we personalize error. You either call the patients by their name, or you address them as "you," and you seek to uncover the error in ...
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