Living by Grace: Chapter 9, Freedom in God
- CHAPTER 9 FREEDOM IN GOD Some nations seek political freedom-freedom from dictators and concentration camps. Other nations seek freedom from religious bondage-from teachings that hold them in bondage and make them slaves of men rather than servants of God. Any nation that has gained political, economic, or religious freedom has had to fight hard to attain that freedom and must work even harder to retain it, because there are those who would take that freedom away. There is not one moment of the day when someone, somewhere, is not plotting to control the minds and bodies of individuals, to control nations and the world itself. Not all the enemies are in foreign countries; some can be found within a country itself. The freedom we seek is a spiritual freedom-a freedom in Christ, in God. It is not a freedom from anyone or some circumstance or some condition of lack, limitation, sin, or disease-although we may have started out seeking only that kind of freedom. Spiritual Freedom Spiritual freedom is a freedom attained in God. There is no such thing as freedom from anything or anyone. The longer we attempt to gain freedom from sin, disease, death, lack, or limitation, the more we are kept in bondage to such conditions. What we must seek is freedom in God, in Christ-a spiritual freedom. Originally, we were given spiritual freedom as a divine inheritance, but there was an experience in consciousness called "the fall of man" or the "prodigal experience" in which we set up a selfhood apart from God. We thereby lost our divine inheritance, and spiritual freedom is no longer something that is given to us. Now we must struggle to regain our spiritual freedom. We cannot regain it until we return to the state of consciousness we call oneness, unity, or union with God. Like the prodigal son, we must return to the Father's house. Our spiritual freedom is not gained through the efforts of others. The efforts of others can only instruct us and give us a little wisdom. Throughout the ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter III, The Practice
- CHAPTER III THE PRACTICE There are many forms of meditation leading to the awakening of the sleeping Christ within. There is no one way suitable to all people. Each person must ultimately find the way which appeals to his particular consciousness. All methods call forth that deep sense of humility which knows "I can of mine own self do nothing." Satisfactory meditation requires a letting go of personal selfhood, with its egotistic claim to possessing a wisdom of its own, in order that the Power which we call the Father within can take over. This Power is within us, not within our body, but within our consciousness, and through meditation we permit It to escape from within, that It may act on the without and become the saviour to our experience. The initial stage of meditation may be a contemplation of God: the beauty of God's universe, the law of God, and the activity of God. Our life becomes that of a beholder, beholding the glory of God in all things-in the green grass, in the gentle breeze, in the turbulence of the ocean, and in the calm of the night. In this contemplative state of being, we cannot behold anything in this world, without at the same moment recognizing its cause, the invisible spiritual activity, which produced it. We should never look at a sunrise or a sunset, without instantly realizing the spiritual nature of that which brought it into expression-God, the creative Principle of the mountains, the skies, and the seas; God, the creative Principle of that which fills the air with birds and stocks the seas with fish. If we live continuously in the contemplation of the invisible Presence and Power underlying all things, this very place whereon we stand is holy ground. As we ponder the glory of God, contemplate His wonders, our mind is stayed on God. Fewer and fewer extraneous thoughts thrust themselves upon our consciousness. We are able to sit for many minutes, sometimes for as long as an hour, finding ourselves at peace in our contemplation of God ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 22, Home
- Having no qualities underived from Deity, you have no traits, characteristics, faults, or habits to overcome, destroy, or change. Indeed, you are now the all-inclusive activity of mind, life, love. This is true of you and of all men. It must be equally evident to you that a collection of boards and bricks, even when formed into a structure called a house, does not make a home. That which makes a home are the qualities of life which we carry into it. Atmosphere makes a home, and atmosphere is created by our thoughts, our consciousness. A joyous home is one expressing the joyous thought and activity of those within its walls. To build the right sense of home, to secure a right home, to demonstrate home, is to begin within yourself. Ask yourself some questions: "What qualities must I express that will turn a house into a home?" "What qualities constitute the ideal home?" Soon you will realize that cheerfulness, joyousness, cleanliness, orderliness, brightness, hope, consideration of others, forgiveness, co-operation, beauty, grace, love, etc., these qualities expressed by individuals constitute and form that which makes a home. As you express these in your daily thoughts and acts, you are building within yourself home, and this will externalize itself in what we call our home. Whatever you wish to externalize or experience, must first be built within consciousness, then "consciousness constructs a better body"-a better home. Regarding civic duties, as students of truth we should be interested in city, state, and country, as well as international affairs. We should strive for betterment in every department of human existence, but I do not think (from our standpoint) that we are justified in directly engaging in crusades. Our spiritual and financial support, plus the moral help we give by attendance at meetings, is as far as it seems wise to go. We should keep our interests free from anything that impedes our spiritual growth. A period should be reserved each day to work ...
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Consciousness Transformed: March 31, 1963, My Consciousness
- My CONSCIOUSNESS March 31, 1963 Halekulani Hotel Honolulu, Hawaii I WAS VERY MUCH SURPRISED when I came in today and saw so many of you greeting me as if you knew me, because I am not the same fellow I was yesterday. Appearances must be very deceitful because the Joel of yesterday is gone. So this may not be a talk but a soliloquy. Up to yesterday I had been saying in my correspondence with some who know me very well that all of the inner unrest in me is because my song has not yet been sung-but my song now has been sung. Last night I sat up reading the chapters of the new book and it is all there, so from now on I am a retired gentleman of leisure! As you again go over the tapes and the writings of the past fifteen years, you too will find that it is all there. You just have to separate the metaphysics from the mysticism, and you will find that it is all there on both subjects. To begin with, you note in the writings and in the recordings that attention is called over and over again to the statement that our principal task is to know the nature of God, "whom to know aright is life eternal." You cannot possibly realize how true this is until you catch the first glimpse of the nature of God, not intellectually but in your heart. Then you will be able to look up and out at this world and say, "No wonder you have had such horrible troubles all of these centuries because you have never known God." No one would ever pray to God if they knew God or knew the nature of God, and I mean pray in the way in which orthodox people have been taught to pray and the way in which metaphysicians have been taught to treat. What makes it so difficult is that regardless of what our religious background has been or has not been, we still think of God consciously or subconsciously or unconsciously as if there were a God separate and apart from our own being. It is only when you realize, "God is my own consciousness" that all of a sudden the shoulders relax and you breathe a deep sigh and ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter XVII, Illumination, Communion, and Union
- CHAPTER XVII ILLUMINATION, COMMUNION, AND UNION Meditation leads to that illumination which becomes first, communion with God, and finally union. Illumination is an individual experience. In no way is it related to any outward observance or form of worship; it is entirely dependent upon the realization of our relationship to God. It is an experience which takes place within ourselves separate and apart from every other person. It cannot be shared with anybody-husband, wife, child, or trusted friend. It cannot be sought in the company of others. No two people can seek it together. Each must retire to the inner sanctuary of his own being and find his God-experience there. In a measure, it is possible to share our unfoldment with others who are either illumined or who are on the path of illumination, but let us always remember, a God-experience is an individual one. If it were to come to us in the midst of thousands of people, it would still remain a solitary experience. There can be no partner in this experience. We can share the unfolding truth which may lead others to the experience and, if we have a sufficient degree of enlightenment, we may help to lift them to the point where they also can experience God. Further than that we cannot go; the experience, itself, must take place within them. No one should attempt to teach or share the truth which has been revealed to him, until he has let it work within his own consciousness and has, thereby, achieved a measure of light. After that he will be directed as to how, when, where, and under what circumstances he should share this revelation. God will make known the part he is to play and the way in which he is to play it. Illumination is possible to every individual in proportion to the intensity of his desire for it; but while he is striving to make the God-contact, he would do well to keep that first spark hidden from the world, until it is kindled into a flame. After the first glimmerings of illumination, the wise ...
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Conscious Union with God: Chapter 10, The Mission of the Messiah
- ~ 10 ~ THE MISSION OF THE MESSIAH For centuries, the Hebrews had watched eagerly for the coming of the promised Messiah. They were, of course, practically slaves of Caesar and were not too happy even with their church administration which was holding them under too tight a bond, so they had been scanning the skies for years for this new Messiah. They thought that with his coming they would be free of many of the tithes required of them by the church and of the taxes they were paying to Caesar, because the financial drain on them had grown to be a serious problem. So naturally their expectancy was that, when the Messiah came, he would certainly dethrone Caesar and give them the Holy Land in which to live as a free people. Political freedom probably was uppermost in their minds, because then Palestine would become a political entity, free of the domination of Rome, and they would be a free people economically, politically, and nationally. There is every indication that that is what they were expecting of their Messiah, but when Jesus came he did not give them the material freedom which they sought. In answer to all the requests and demands as to when this long awaited freedom would be given them, he answered, "My kingdom is not of this world." 1 To free the Hebrews politically, economically, or nationally was not his mission, and that is perhaps the reason they rejected him. If Jesus had offered to lead an army against Caesar, they would probably have accepted him as their Messiah and their king. But that was impossible because that was not the nature of his mission. His ministry was a spiritual one, and what he was offering them was spiritual freedom, freedom from every kind of materiality. If the Hebrews had been able to accept this, it would have freed them from Caesar and from all the other bonds, because when people are spiritually free, they are physically and mentally free; but their vision did not go that far. They could not accept a Messiah with that kind of ...
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Consciousness Transformed: January 19, 1964, Communication of Oneness
- COMMUNICATION OF ONENESS January 19, 1964 THIS MORNING WE HAD tape number 2, Honolulu Infinite Way Study Center 1964, and the subject was "Spiritual Attainment Through Contemplation, Meditation, and Communion." When we reach the final lesson on that subject, we will reach a place that can only be attained by the preparation that takes place leading up to that final lesson. Without adequate preparation, the final lesson can never be demonstrated and the final lesson involves the word omniscience. This means an all-wisdom, all-knowledge, and of course includes omnipresence, so that we have a lesson which says: Because of omnipresence, omniscience is always functioning. You have to remember that when you meditate, pray, or treat (whichever way you are thinking) in The Infinite Way, you must start out with this realization: Since omnipresent omniscience or omniscient omnipresence already knows everything, you cannot inform Deity, you cannot tell God, you cannot ask anything of God, you cannot desire anything because you are always faced with omnipresent omniscience, the all-knowing. You have already trained yourself in this form of meditation, prayer, or treatment, so that regardless of the situation or the appearances, you can sit quietly listening until the still small voice utters itself, or the awareness of peace descends, or some other sign is given that "God is on the field." In our final lesson on this subject we cover a wider territory. How do animals communicate with each other? How do fish and birds communicate with each other? There has to be a communication between them. With some birds there is always a leader that goes before them, taking them to the north or taking them to the south. Surely birds have no way of knowing such things, so there must be a communication that puts them in their rightful place in line in the safari. Consider dogs and cats at play. There must be a communication that lets them know they are at play and are not out to kill each ...
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Leave Your Nets: Chapter 12, Fishers of Men
- ~ 12 ~ "FISHERS OF MEN" In spiritual literature and in Scripture, there are many references which might indicate to you that you must change your way of life or you must do something in order to earn the grace of God. Remember what I say to you now: The responsibility is not on your shoulders, nor is it on any other person's shoulders. Therefore, I ask you to refrain from all indulgence in criticism or judgment of everyone in the world, and more particularly judgment, criticism, condemnation, and belittling of yourself and your own understanding because the responsibility to improve yourself is not on your shoulders; it is on the shoulders of the Christ. Rest more in the realization of the Christ as that which is leading, guiding, and directing you. Never believe that the saints and sages and seers of the world, by some great act of their own will, became saints, sages, and seers, because it is not true. Even in this age, we have seen enough of the beloved spiritual lights- teachers, leaders, practitioners-to know that they, by their own will or grace, never gave up their personal sense of life to become spiritual teachers or leaders, but rather that the grace of God pulled them out of the business world or out of their housekeeping duties, and made of them "fishers of men." The Master walked the hillside and as he chose each disciple, his promise was, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." 1 Perhaps you think that there were men of high understanding because they obeyed. No, they had no power not to obey. They had no more power to resist the Master than you and I have right now. When the Master says, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men," you will obey. You have already obeyed in the sacrifice of time, money, effort, study, and meditation that you are making. You have already shown that you have no capacity to resist the activity of the Christ in your consciousness, even if you had the will or the desire, which, of course, you do not have. But ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter I, The Two Covenants
- CHAPTER I THE TWO COVENANTS For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. . . . But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. GALATIANS 4:22-24, 26 In our humanhood, we are sons of the bondwoman, in subjection to the flesh and its claims, in bondage to the things, thoughts, and activities of the flesh, whether it be this flesh of the body or the flesh called money or other forms of human living. Living in and through the flesh as the offspring of the bondwoman, we are under the laws of matter, the laws of economics, and the laws of race, religion, and nationality-under the covenant "which gendereth to bondage." The other covenant is that of our spiritual adoption, which comes through a conscious activity within our own consciousness and at a time when we are prepared for that transition, because the transition from humanhood to spiritual sonship is made only by Grace. When a person says that he would like to be a child of God and be free of the burdens of the flesh, usually he does not really mean it. What he means is that he would like to be free of the burdens of the flesh, but retain the pleasures and the profits of the flesh. It is for this reason that as human beings we cannot choose to be children of God. But there does come a time in the consciousness of every one of us-with some now and with some many lifetimes from now-when, through an inner Grace, we are able and willing not only to be rid of the ills of the flesh, but also of the pleasures and profits of the flesh, and to become acquainted with our spiritual identity or Selfhood, with that new creature-not the old one made healthy, not the old one made honorable, but a new creature which is born of the ...
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Consciousness Transformed: April 26, 1964, Access to Infinity
- ACCESS TO INFINITY April 26, 1964 Between Two Worlds Honolulu, Hawaii "TO BE POPULAR or not to be popular? That is the question." After a lesson such as we had this morning, it would be very easy to be popular because the message sounded so beautiful as it was coming through. It would be a simple matter to be popular by saying nothing more about it, but actually that lesson can only be of benefit in proportion to what you do with it now that you have it: "Between Two Worlds-Man of Earth, Man In Christ, Life By Grace," 1964 Oahu & Maui Series, Reel V , Side 2. Let us take the unfoldment about the source, divine consciousness, infinite consciousness being the consciousness of the men and women of the past, present, and future-going back six thousand years and looking ahead to the next six thousand years and to all the men and women who will appear on the surface of the earth. Then remember that the infinite consciousness of all the spiritual lights, inventors, composers, writers, is that same consciousness that has appeared on earth, will appear on earth, and is available to us on earth here and now. Remember that we, through our individual consciousness, have access to the infinite consciousness and that this includes not only spiritual wisdom but all of the wisdom of the ages: commercial, economic, artistic. If you go back to the wisdom schools of Egypt two thousand years B.C., you will read of the discoveries of mathematics, science, and all of the principles that govern navigation, and you will have to ask yourself, "Whence came this?" You will then discover that these men, living in monasteries with only blank walls and a very limited amount of writing material, brought forth these laws of mathematics through their hours and hours and weeks and months and years of inner searching. They were the very laws that were responsible for the road building, the palaces, temples, and pyramids which now exist in Egypt, India, China, Cambodia, and South America. Thousands of ...
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