A Message for the Ages: Chapter 7, Material Sense of Demonstration or the Unfoldment of Grace
- Chapter Seven Material Sense of Demonstration or the Unfoldment of Grace Two aspects of life confront us on the spiritual path: the material sense of life, made up of good and evil, with more evil than good and the good sometimes turning to evil, and the spiritual consciousness of life which is neither good nor evil but is wholly spiritual, wholly the offspring or activity of God. In reality we are not dealing with two powers. We are dealing with material sense and its claim to power and with spiritual consciousness which is the only power. Along with the rest of the world we are being faced with a material sense of world: material powers and mental powers. But having learned something of the nature of spiritual power and spiritual reality, we can reveal the nothingness of this material sense of world. The Master gave us a glimpse of this in his statement, "My kingdom is not of this world."1 In other words, the spiritual kingdom is not of the material world. When normal, ordinary, material methods are used to get the things a person desires, wants, or needs, and these fail, he turns to Spirit and tries to get from Spirit improved matter and improved material conditions. He tries to use the power of Spirit to nullify the powers of mind and matter. Therein lies the first mistake. At one time mind was looked upon as a power over matter, but the impossibility of this is evident to those who realize that what the world calls matter really is mind. The substance of matter is mind. Matter is the visible form of invisible mind. It is not that mind is a power over matter or that thought is a power over material conditions. It is that mind itself constitutes matter and material conditions, and the more mind is used for good purposes, the more good matter appears because mind and matter are one. The more evil or error there is in the mind, the more erroneous matter there is because mind and matter are one. Mind is the substance and matter is the form, just as glass is the ...
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Living The Infinite Way: Chapter Seven, God Is Omnipresent
- ... Nothing in the message of The Infinite Way is radical or extreme, since it has its roots in the Bible. There is nothing radical or startling in admitting that you need not seek God or pray for God to come to you or to help you, but that you need only to acknowledge the presence and power of the Father within. The kingdom of God is within you-the Father within me, He doeth the works -your Father and my Father. So, instead of seeking and searching and praying to God, go to a quiet, peaceful corner, give up searching and make the acknowledgment, "Here and now, the kingdom of God is within me. I have all the authority I shall ever need; the kingdom of God is within me, and my heavenly Father knoweth what things I have need of, and it is His good pleasure to give me the kingdom." In this understanding you do not have to demonstrate supply, companionship, home, or health, but go out and begin to spend-money, time, service, love, or forgiveness. Spending has more connotations than just buying a new hat, a bag of groceries, a car, or a house. We spend out of the abundance and infinity of our being when we give love to someone, when we give forgiveness or a bit of joy. A great Mohammedan poet, Moslih Edden Saadi, wrote: If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft And from thy slender store two loaves alone are left Sell one, and with the dole Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul. Does it seem strange that of two pennies one should be spent for something as seemingly useless as a flower? If we have only one dollar, let us buy our loaf of bread, but let us also spend some for a purpose that will enrich the soul. Let us spend ourselves, for that is true spending- much more so than when we spend our possessions. Taking this from the standpoint of either God or supply, we find the same principle, and that principle is Omnipresence. When we consider the subject of health, we find that we cannot pray for God to give us health. It really does not work, except here and there under some great ...
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Living the Illumined Life: Chapter 1, The Now Activity of the Christ
- Chapter One The Now Activity of the Christ The spiritual path is the way through which we enter the spiritual life, and ultimately it leads us to that place where we know beyond all doubt that the spirit of God dwells in us and is living our life. The activity of the Spirit is always fruitful, productive of harmony, peace, joy, and abundance. In spiritual living there is no chance, nor are there accidental events of any nature. Most persons think of going to church, to a lecture on spiritual subjects, or reading a book of spiritual wisdom as if it were a human act, even an act of their own will. This really is not the case at all because human instinct does not lead a person naturally in that direction. It is only when the activity of something greater than one's self has touched an individual's consciousness that he is led to a truth- teaching. So it is that same something that has brought you to the reading of this letter. You would not be doing this if it were not for the activity of the Spirit, the Christ, functioning in you, and functioning as your consciousness. That this Christ function as your life is the goal of spiritual living. This is the ultimate attainment. Letting Go of This World for the Kingdom Truth is not an easy path to walk. Many persons still have the mistaken idea that in coming to truth they are going to find their human problems quickly met and then perhaps they will dangle on some kind of a ninth cloud. The harp has been eliminated, and I am not quite sure what has taken its place. It is true that entering the spiritual path does eliminate many problems-the major discords and inharmonies of our lives-and usually very quickly. However, since eliminating problems is not the primary goal of truth, these outer harmonies indicate that we have merely entered the spiritual path at this stage. The next step to which we must look forward is the overcoming of our human pleasures, human profits, and human harmonies. The basis for this is the Master's ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 2, The One Great Demonstration
- ~ 2 ~ THE ONE GREAT DEMONSTRATION Learning the importance of meditation is one of the first requisites in the development of spiritual awareness. Regardless of our intellectual capabilities or the amount of reading or listening we may do, our spiritual capacity expands only in proportion to our ability to meditate. This spiritual awareness is developed in silence, not in thinking, in listening, or in reading. More of it can be developed in one minute of silence than in twenty-four hours of reading. For this reason, reading and studying are but tools which we use to enable us to reach that inner silence known as meditation. As we meditate and open this inner Soul or spiritual faculty, we shall not only understand things that we knew about and never before understood, but things that we may never even have heard of before. In the stillness and quiet of the silence, we are able to receive what cannot be heard through the ears. The more often we meditate-not the length of time in any one period, but the number of times in each twenty-four hours, even if each time be only one minute, or two or three-the more rapidly will our spiritual awareness be developed, and spiritual harmony brought into our experience. When our eyes are closed and we are in the darkness within, we find the entire kingdom of God there, ready to pour itself into our mind, our body, our home, our business, and even into our purse. With eyes closed, our attitude is one of receptivity as though we were inviting God to speak to us, or as though we were inviting the spirit to flow forth through us. Our part is to remember that the fullness of God is within us, and as we are still, the spirit makes itself manifest in our experience. Infinity Is the Measure of Our Being The first and greatest principle of The Infinite Way, the principle upon which its entire activity has been founded, is that God constitutes individual being, your being and mine. God is the mind of me, the life, the Soul, the spirit, and ...
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Spiritual Discernment: Chapter 9, The Christ Kingdom
- Chapter Nine The Christ Kingdom The principles of the Infinite Way are used to explain its purpose and function, but it is you and I who must embody these principles in order that they may come alive. What are the principles that we are to embody in our consciousness? What is the goal? Here is where the Infinite Way departs from concepts held by the rest of the world. Certainly, it is true that I do not want to be bad, but neither do I want to be merely humanly good: I want to be spiritually pure. I do not want to be poor; I do not want to be rich: I want only God's spiritual grace. I do not want to be sick; I do not want to be well: I want God to be the health of my countenance; I want God's health, not mine. So when I am helping others, I must try to realize that I am not trying to make my patients well, employed, or pure: I am trying to bring the realization of God's qualities to them. This goal is quite different from the goal of most persons when you realize within yourself that you are not trying to be healthy: you are trying to realize the health of God. You are not trying to be wealthy: you are trying to prove God's grace as your sufficiency-God's grace, not your wealth. You do not want to be bad, but you must be very careful that you do not think you are good because you will be setting yourself up as someone separate and apart from God. You seek only that God's good be expressed in and through you. You do not want to be miserly, but you do not want to be prodigal, either: you only want to be the instrument through which God's abundance is distributed. In other words, no qualities are to be ascribed to you: not the bad or negative qualities and not the good or positive qualities. You strive to understand and always feel that it is God's love that flows through you, and then it is pure. You want God's life to flow as your life, and then it is immortal. You want God's grace to flow through you, and then it is abundant. Always it must be God's, never yours. ...
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Invisible Supply: Chapter 10, Temporal Power is Not Power
- CHAPTER 10 TEMPORAL POWER IS NOT POWER To the transcendental consciousness, temporal power (whether it is of a physical nature or of a mental nature) is not power. The only power is the realized consciousness of the One Power and recognizing the nonpower of all else. When Hezekiah's people came to him and said, "The armies of the enemy are upon us and they are greater in number than we are," he replied, "Be not afraid! They have only temporal power, the arm of flesh. We have the Lord, God." The Master could say to Pilate, the great temporal power of that time, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from the Father." Take unto yourself the task of understanding what these two passages mean. Could you, right now, turn your face toward a hostile country and in your honest, open heart say, "You have no power over me," or, "You have only temporal power, the arm of flesh"? Could you say that and actually feel completely and perfectly safe? Of course not, and you will not be able to until you understand that temporal power is not power. To the degree that you attain a confidence and assurance in Omnipotence, you will know that temporal power is not power. The Principle of No-Power Some of you who have done healing work have achieved to some degree this transcendental consciousness. None of us has achieved the fullness of it, but everyone who has done spiritual healing work has been able to say to infection, contagion, or disease, "You have no power," and has seen them dissolve. Everyone who has been an instrument for healing has proven that in the Presence of God temporal power is not power. There is no power but the realization of God's Presence, and we have proved it in the knitting of fractured bones, in the healing of blindness and deafness. We have proved again and again that temporal power is not power. In the human world there are many temporal powers: those of disease, sin, money, politics, war, and so forth. If you pray in the ...
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Practicing the Presence: Chapter I, Spiritual Consciousness
- CHAPTER I SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS The secret of harmonious living is the development of spiritual consciousness. In that consciousness, fear and anxiety disappear, and life becomes meaningful with fulfillment as its keynote. The degree of spiritual consciousness which we attain can be measured by the extent to which we relinquish our dependence on the external world of form and place our faith and confidence in something greater than ourselves, in the Infinite Invisible, which can surmount any and every obstacle. It is an awareness of the grace of God. There is a specific practice which will aid in the attainment of this spiritual consciousness. It is a practice which can be carried on throughout the day as the world crowds in upon us, reminding us that we need this or desire that. To every such insistent demand, let our answer be: "No, no. This is not what I need or want. Thy grace is my sufficiency, nothing else-not money, not marbles, only Thy grace." Let us learn to hold to that resolutely. If the need seems to be railway fare, rent, clothing, housing, or health, let us steadfastly acknowledge that our only need is His grace. Our work may require greater strength, greater knowledge, or greater ability than we seem to possess, or there may be greater demands made upon our purse than we can meet. Instead of accepting this apparent lack, let us remember, "He performeth the thing that is appointed for me. . . . The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me," or some other scriptural passage. The human belief may be that there is a physical, mental, moral, or financial demand made upon us greater than our ability to fulfill; but the very moment we turn to that He that is within us, recognizing that He performeth that which is given us to do, He perfecteth that which concerneth us, a weight drops off our shoulders, and the sense of personal responsibility lifts. All of a sudden, we are given the necessary ability, which we discover is not our ability at all; it is ...
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A Parenthesis in Eternity: Chapter II, Release God
- CHAPTER II RELEASE GOD Only the very courageous can embark on the spiritual journey, and only those of great strength and vision can hope to continue on this Path. Nearly twenty centuries ago, the Master made it clear that the way is straight and narrow and few there be that enter. That this is true is borne out by the fact that up to the present time very few have been able to remain on the spiritual path and continue to go forward. It is not easy to surmount superstition, ignorance, and fear, and, despite prejudice and previous failures, to set forth in search of new horizons. We cannot adopt new ideas while still clinging to the outworn beliefs of the past: we must be willing to relinquish our old concepts. That is where the courage comes in, and the daring. It takes courage to leave behind that which has proved to be unsatisfactory in our experience. It takes courage to look at ourselves objectively and ask: Have I sincerely worshiped God? Have I in some measure lived up to my convictions about God? When we turn to the search for God, we should be bold enough to ask ourselves: Am I satisfied with such answers to prayers as have been given to the world? Do I believe that such truth as has been revealed is all the truth there is, or am I seeking for something yet unknown except to those few mystics who have experienced the truth, tried to impart their knowledge, failed, and gone on their way? Man's heritage is spiritual freedom, and if the revelation of Jesus Christ has taught us nothing else, it is that we are entitled to live in the full freedom of the Spirit as children of God, not as prisoners of the mind and body. Freedom is not a condition of mind or of body: freedom is a condition of the Soul. If we do not find our freedom in Soul, we will find only limitation and bondage in our experience. Freedom cannot be given to a nation or to a race of people: freedom must first be realized in individual being, and then some measure of that freedom can be shared with ...
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Conscious Union with God: Chapter 2, Teacher, Student & Teaching
- ... Only through the development of the spiritual consciousness exemplified by Jesus will all nations finally be enabled to put up their swords and turn them into ploughshares. You may wonder whether or not anyone can live up to a teaching as demanding as this, but it can be done-it can be done individually and collectively. You can begin now to live up to the Master's teaching by forgiving your enemy and by praying for those who persecute you; and if you, as an individual, can do this, the world can. One of the greatest laws of the Bible is the law of forgiveness, of praying for your enemies. But forgiveness does not mean looking at a human being, remembering the terrible offense he has committed against you, and then forgiving him for it. There is no virtue in that. True forgiveness is the ability to see through his human appearance to the Divinity of his being and realize that in the Divinity of his being there has never been, and is not now, error of any nature. It is as if this person were to ask you for help, and in helping him you would have to behold him as he really is, as pure spiritual being. Every day we are called on to look upon all those toward whom we have any negative feeling as spiritual beings and practice this act of forgiveness. This means turning to the Christ of our own being, and there knowing that nothing but love exists. There never has been a mortal being, and all that appears as a mortal is but the Christ Itself incorrectly seen. Like forgiveness, praying for our enemies is one of the great laws of life and of the Bible. This does not mean that we are helpless before the enemy: It really means being able to understand God as the life and the mind of individual man, and to know that there is no other mind but that one. Appearances have nothing at all to do with it. We are not dealing with appearances. We are dealing with the reality of being. Oneness, the Keynote The teaching is that you must individually contact God. God must become real and ...
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Consciousness In Transition: Chapter 2, Teacher & Student
- ... It has nothing to do with today. Today our consciousness is unfolding and disclosing itself in every new way, in every new form, and always increasing abundantly. This subject of God is an infinite one. We will come back to it over and over again, because it is the next most important part of our work. Without the knowledge of God, we would have no knowledge of the effect of God, which is our universe. I want to teach on living this Christ. In the Bible we have certain laws. We have known them mostly as quotations, without taking them seriously as something to be lived. But one of the greatest laws of the Bible is the law of forgiveness, of praying for one's enemies. You may take that very seriously, because it is a proven law. The idea of forgiveness does not mean looking at a human being and remembering the terrible offense he committed against us and then forgiving him for it. There is no virtue in that. The virtue lies in the ability to see through the human to the divinity of his being, realizing that in the divinity of his being there has never been an occasion for error of any nature. It is as if he were asking us for help and we would have to behold him as he really is-a spiritual being. Without their asking for help, we are called on every day to look upon those toward whom we have any negative feeling, and develop this act of forgiveness, which means to turn to the Christ of our own being and there know that nothing but love exists. There never has been a mortal and all that appears as a mortal is the Christ itself, incorrectly seen. That ability to forgive is one of the greatest laws of the Bible. Praying for our enemies is the same idea. It does not mean we are to believe that the other fellow can shoot us first; it means the ability to understand God as the life and the mind of individual man, and to know there is no other mind but that one. Appearances have nothing to do with it at all. We are dealing with the reality of being. In Spiritual ...
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