Practicing the Presence: Chapter VIII, The Rhythm of God
- ... Sometimes, when we are faced with frustrating or disturbing circumstances, we may wonder how we can praise God, but if we are awake in spiritual sonship, we can always find ways to acknowledge God. This continuous practice of the Presence, acknowledging God in all our ways, providing ample periods for sitting in the silence, and waiting for an inner feeling that the Spirit of God is moving, makes God the governing, maintaining, and sustaining principle of our entire experience. The real prayer of spiritual understanding is a prayer that God's gift of Himself may be given to us. Infinity is within us at this and at every moment: all spiritual wisdom, all divine grace, eternality, and immortality-all of these are embodied within us at this and at every single moment. Let us begin to show forth this infinity. How? Begin to pour. Search around in your spiritual house, your consciousness, and see if you cannot find some biblical passage, some mite of love to express to someone, or a few drops of forgiveness. Find something in your house. Begin to let the few drops of oil you find there flow silently, secretly, and sacredly. Keep them flowing, and as you do, be receptive to what is unfolded from within. Do not attempt to make up statements or thoughts. Wait patiently in a relaxed state of receptivity for them to come to you. Soon a second idea will be added to the original thought. Contemplate both of them. Dwell upon their meaning; dwell upon their possible effect in your life or in the life of another. As you ponder these two ideas, sometimes gently, sometimes explosively, a third thought comes, something which you had not thought about before. And where are these ideas coming from? From within you. Remember they have always been there, but now you are letting them out. Within that Withinness is the storehouse that is your individual storehouse, yet it is infinite because it is God. The kingdom of God is within you, and in meditation you are drawing on it. If there is ...
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Seek Ye First: Chapter 6, Steps to Union with God
- Those who may not believe it in this particular age may have believed it in some previous time, but by now they have outgrown it. Individual Consciousness Is Evolving Out of Spiritual Ignorance How great must be the transition in consciousness from the state of ignorance that believed God is responsible for mankind's ills to the state of consciousness where the teaching that God is too pure to behold iniquity is accepted, that God does not hold sinners in condemnation for their sins, or punish them, but that He sent His only begotten Son to earth to teach the forgiveness of sins, the overcoming of sin, and the destruction of sin! The teaching of Jesus Christ wipes out much of the teaching of the ancient Hebrew scripture, but remember that there are people on this earth today who are still living in the spiritual darkness of ancient times. When you realize that, you will understand why it takes some persons ten ... Praying for health, praying for wealth, praying for supply, praying for home, or praying for companionship is the surest way to lose it. But when you take no thought for those things in your life and pray only for the recognition, realization, and demonstration of conscious oneness with God, you awake and find that all things have been added unto you. The most difficult part of this entire path is giving up the habit and the desire to pray for things and conditions. A person wonders what would happen if he stopped praying for supply. Far better would it be to pray for forgiveness for all the thousands of years of spiritual ignorance that have been absorbed and assimilated. Far better would it be to pray for forgiveness for acts-conscious and unconscious acts-that have violated his spiritual integrity, even though they may not have violated the laws of the land. Much more profitable is it to pray that he be forgiven in proportion as he forgives. Once the idea is clear to you that praying for things is the materialistic sense of life, because it is praying ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: January 1957, Out of Darkness - Light
- CHAPTER ONE: JANUARY Out of Darkness - Light 1 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1: 2 THE light of God, the light of spiritual wisdom, enters consciousness only in the degree of our own receptivity and devotion to it. It cannot force itself upon us, nor can it come to us in any greater measure than we, ourselves, permit. God is the full and complete brightness thereof, but it is for us to determine the measure of the light we shall receive. It is not enough to say, "I would like the wholeness of God," when our actions disprove such a statement. If we really wanted God above all things, we would provide sufficient opportunity for It to fulfil Itself in us, so that we could receive the fullness of God's light. To a great extent many of us are still living in spiritual darkness. Although we may all have experienced God's grace in some slight measure, even though it be in as slight a measure as is one grain of sand compared with all the sands in the universe, nevertheless, we do not yet know the real meaning of grace. Darkness is upon the face of the deep so far as spiritual health, spiritual harmony, spiritual supply, spiritual relationships, and spiritual peace are concerned. In acknowledging that spiritual darkness reigns, however, we have arrived at that place in consciousness where we are ready to open ourselves to the influx of spiritual light. There is a moment in your life and in mine when darkness is upon us, and we are without form and void. If, in that emptiness, we can become very still, we shall feel the atmosphere of God envelop us, filling our whole being with light. Then comes the assurance: "I 2 will never leave you, nor forsake you. I was with you before Abraham was, and although you have not known Me, I have known you." Yet, even with such comforting assurance, you will be tempted, ...
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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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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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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 9, Spiritual Dominion
- ... Only when it gives itself up, surrenders itself, and permits itself to be broken open by the natural elements, does the seed change its form and eventually become a whole tree full of fruit. So it is that we-insignificant you and I, who of ourselves are really nothing-suddenly become the source through which flows infinite wisdom, love, companionship, supply, forgiveness, and infinite good in every form. Jesus was quick to admit that of his own self he was nothing, but we all know ... If, for any reason, there are those who are unable to do that, they can begin to share forgiveness. They can look out at the everpresent world of enemies-personal, national, racial-and begin to forgive them, praying that God's mercy open their consciousness. They can begin to pray, not so much for their friends and relatives, but for the sick and the sinning of the world, for those who are downtrodden, dejected, and rejected. One reaction to such a program may be, "Oh, but I'm further down in the scale than are these people for whom I am supposed to pray." In this realization, we forget that: we give what we have to give, and if we have nothing to give but prayer, then we pray. If we have nothing to give but forgiveness, we give forgiveness. If we have nothing to give but service or dedication, we give it-but we give! This is a practice. This is not conversation; this is not reading a book and exclaiming, "How lovely!" This is taking it out of the book and putting it into practice. In other words, it is acknowledging that infinity dwells within, and if we have only one dollar's worth of infinity at this minute let us give ten cent's worth of it away. It makes no difference how little we may have at the moment. What counts is that we make the acknowledgment that infinity is the measure of our being and act as though that were true, even though we act only with pennies, or if we act only with forgiveness or prayers or service. The way of the spiritual life was presented to the world by ...
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Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Unveiling the Christ
- UNVEILING THE CHRIST I FIND IT NECESSARY to repeat that you will make no headway spiritually until you acknowledge that the Mind of you is the only law unto your affairs. There is nothing outside or apart from you acting upon your health or body. If there is discord or inharmony, you yourself must realize that the mesmerism of sense cannot use you as a target or victim. True, the error of sense is not personal; it is not you who are the sinner or wrong thinker - yet it is you who are accepting some suggestion, which in turn is manifested as sin or fear or disease. Sometimes evil comes to us in the guise of good. Assuming the troubles and burdens of others is one beautiful way to let in discords. Our task should be the realization of the freedom of everyone - even those who appear outwardly in bondage to sense. To sympathize or pity them is to accept the condition as real, and this opens our thought to many errors. In one way or other you are accepting the suggestion of error - and usually it is through some form of human love or hate. Wake up. I mean wake up this minute. See your human love or hate as mesmeric suggestion. See it for what it is and stop being handled by it. Stop your sympathy and pity for the embattled Greeks or the starving Armenians or the persecuted Jews. This will not make you hardhearted, but it will enable you to pierce the veil of illusion and thus help the receptive thought. Your sympathy will only fasten the condition more firmly in thought. If you pity your patient, you will not heal him. "Loose him and let him go" - or can't you do that? In connection with the affairs of the world today, we need to remember certain Biblical laws, which ordinarily are not thought of in connection with national and international events. For instance, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." This is taught as a law of Christ. Is this law really binding upon you? Is it binding upon men individually and collectively? Is it true that if we sow seeds ...
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The Art of Spiritual Healing: Chapter XVII, If I Be Lifted Up
- CHAPTER XVII IF I BE LIFTED UP Now we have done with words and thoughts and have entered that place of communion with God. "Yet in my flesh shall I see God." When? When we are still; when we have obeyed the First Commandment, recognizing only one power and acknowledging God as the central theme of our being; when we have loosed all erroneous concepts, as but the "arm of flesh," nothingness; then we stand in that consciousness of oneness and let the light within us shine. The weapons of human belief-human concepts and human thoughts-have no power against that person who has consciously realized his oneness with God and his oneness with everything on every level of life. There need be no words and no thoughts; there must only be the inner feel of that union which may express itself as words. All that God is, I am. Thou seest me; thou seest the Father shining right through me, for I and the Father are one: I in Him, and He in me; I in you, and you in me; and all one in Christ Jesus-in spiritual being, in spiritual sonship and identity. There is nothing in this world antagonistic to me, and I am antagonistic to nothing in this world because my oneness with the Father constitutes my oneness with all spiritual being. God speaks the universal language of Spirit: We may hear God actually as a voice in our ear, or we may see God as light, or as a form; but on the other hand we may feel God only as a release, a warmth, or as a lifting in consciousness. There will be a sign; there will be a signal-but no sign shall be given in advance: These signs shall follow them that have this conscious awareness! Therefore, our prayer in its highest sense is the prayer of contact, the prayer of communion, in which no words or thoughts pass from us to God, and there may not even be words or thoughts from God to us, but there will be an awareness, there will be a sense of communion, an inner peace. True prayer comes to its completeness and perfection when there is no desire; it comes to full ...
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The Foundation of Mysticism: Chapter 6, One Power
- ... God alone governs, and God does not share his government with man whose "breath is in his nostrils," for he isn't even to be accounted of. There can be no fear of this infinite, universal God. When you study scripture and see how the Hebrews lived their lives in fear of God's punishment, and then turn to the New Testament and realize that the Master gave as one of his reasons for being on earth, the forgiveness of sin and sinners, you know there is no reason under the sun for continuing to fear punishment for your sins of omission or commission. As a matter of fact, even if some of those sins should be continuing into our present experience, even if we have not reached the spiritual elevation in which all sin has departed from us-and who has?-even then we are to know we are not under the law of punishment but under the law of grace, under forgiveness, under God's grace, which not only wipes out the penalty for sin but wipes out the capacity for sin. Sometimes sin lingers on even after the penalty has been wiped out, but it isn't any different from the chicken that runs around after its head is cut off. It's just fooling us for a little while; it's dead but it doesn't know it. So, too, our past is dead, ... These cannot be laws if God is law. God is Spirit, therefore his law is spiritual. Then what we have termed law is recognized, not as law, but as an imposition, a universal malpractice that has been passed down to us, one we have accepted and demonstrated and which we must now consciously reject. We have to recognize frequently that we are not under the law of punishment but under the law of forgiveness. We have to remember every single day that we are not under law, we are under grace. We were under the law when we were under Moses. We came under grace when we came under Christ Jesus. But this grace cannot act except through our recognition and acceptance of it. The ways of God are exactly the ways of all God's work. There could be no automobiles and airplanes ...
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The Heart of Mysticism: January 1956, Withinness
- ... If you abide in the Word of God, and let this Word abide in you, you will be as a branch that is one with the Vine, that is one with the Godhead, and you will bear much fruit. As you continue to dwell "in the secret place of the most High," you will find that it is not a matter of God's doing something for you-it is a matter of maintaining conscious oneness with God, keeping your mind stayed on God, acknowledging God in all your ways, abiding in the Word and letting the Word abide in you. In actual practice, this means awakening each morning and veritably bringing the presence of God right into the room with you in the realization that "This is the day the Lord hath made." Instead of bringing to consciousness your problems, sins, and inharmonies, bring God into your awareness in the realization that God is with you throughout the day. You can face any problem or task in the realization that you do not face it alone, "For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me." God is your supply, forgiveness, life, love. Emmanuel-God with us-is that which enables you to be, to do, to prosper. Consciously realize that God's presence goes before you, and when going about your affairs consciously know that the Christ is greeting you through every individual encountered. Acknowledge Him in all thy ways and you will be obeying Paul's injunction to "pray without ceasing." In God you will have a friend, a big brother, the Father within; and you will come into the realization, as did Paul, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." As you persist in the practice of the Presence you are carried along by its beauty and harmony, and a day will dawn when "you" no longer exist. Then there will be no need to think about God-there will be only God, functioning as your individual being, thinking, being, knowing, living through you, and then it is literally true: ". . . I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the ...
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