Living by Grace: Chapter 7, God, The Source and Substance
- CHAPTER 7 GOD, THE SOURCE AND SUBSTANCE Regardless of the degree of spiritual consciousness we have, some around us may not respond. Even the Master, Christ Jesus, could not avoid his Judas, or his doubting Thomas, or his denying Peter, or his disciples asleep in the garden. Peter eventually awakened and undoubtedly atoned in a measure, and probably Thomas did as well. Of Judas's eventual awakening to the spiritual Light we have no record. We do know there must have been a time when Saul of Tarsus could not respond to this spiritual impetus, yet eventually at a certain moment he not only responded to it but he also became a living witness to it. There are moments in the lives of many when they cannot respond to the spiritual influence that is about them. But eventually they will respond, in their time. With some it may take days, weeks, months, or years. With others it may take many lifetimes. But sooner or later, at some time, every knee will bend- every knee! So we need not despair if we find some in our families, in our church groups, or in our national or international life who are not at this moment responding to the spiritual impulse. That brings us to a very important point. In our experience, we are apt to believe that we are being held back by the lack of demonstration on the part of someone around us or that, for one reason or another, their lack of demonstration may be having an adverse influence on us. That would be true only in the degree that we permit it. If we are not yet ready to leave those who are holding back our demonstration, the blame is ours for clinging to the universal belief that our good comes from others or that their good comes from us. To understand how and why this is so, you need to know your true identity and your relationship to God. Your True Identity and Your Relationship to God The Master Jesus tells us that in order to attain the heights of Christhood, we must leave mother, father, brother, and sister for His sake. We must ...
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Man Was Not Born to Cry: Chapter 6, Bringing Grace into Active Expression
- ... I will dwell in the Word, and let the Word dwell in me. All this must become a part of our consciousness, but in addition to that we have the obligation of adhering to the pattern given us by the Master by which we mold our lives in order to maintain the spiritual life. First of all, we must pray for forgiveness of our own sins. There is no one on this earth so righteous that he is not daily sinning against the Holy Ghost. Every time that we bear false witness against a neighbor, every time we indulge our hate, fear, jealousy, animosity, bigotry, or bias, we are sinning. Sins are not just those major offenses against society and individuals that most people have overcome before they enter the spiritual life, but sin is something that normally we do not even consider as sin. It is necessary, therefore, that we pray frequently and seriously to be forgiven those sins of omission and commission that may be soiling us and keeping us from being a transparency, those bits of darkness that accumulate and withhold the light. The second step is to engage in these periods of forgiveness for the dictators of the world, and especially for those who would personally harm us-persecute, lie, or cheat-realizing that it is but the carnal mind and that it exists only as the "arm of flesh" and is without power. Let us make sure that we are living in an atmosphere of continuous love and forgiveness, and even though we may thoughtlessly indulge at times in resentment or animosity, let us retire quickly into the silence and begin a period of self-forgiveness as well as forgiveness of all others. Life was not meant for the glorification of ourselves. We do not have the right to seek things for our self or for our personal glory. We must show forth the glory of God in service to man. We cannot live unto ourselves, or for ourselves. The wonderful things of life that are given to us-and they do come bountifully, abundantly, joyously-come not for us, but that God's grace may be witnessed and ...
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Our Spiritual Resources: Chapter Twelve, The Principle of Nonpower
- CHAPTER TWELVE THE PRINCIPLE OF NONPOWER Christmas holidays hold many important lessons for us, and it would be well to approach this season with an understanding of the nature of all our holidays, or holy days, as symbolizing important aspects of the spiritual life. In ancient times when truth was taught only to those who had some measure of education-and usually this meant only to those in the upper stratum of society -in order to keep these teachings from the uneducated masses who might, in their ignorance, misunderstand and misapply them, all teaching was done by symbols. That the Master recognized this fact and the desirability of giving the most sacred teachings only to the few is evidenced by his cautioning his followers against casting pearls before swine lest they be trampled upon. Because truth could be misunderstood, every attempt was made to keep it from those who might misuse it. You may wonder whether it is possible to misapply truth or to use it destructively, and that of course would depend upon what truth you are thinking about and the truth about what. For example, today the area of learning related to the realm of the mind is almost completely untapped. No one up to the present time has undertaken a study of the mind from a correct standpoint even though thousands of years ago the secret of the mind was known in its fullness. With the complete knowledge of mind and its operation in those early days came the abuse and misuse of such knowledge. Separate and apart from the ancient schools of wisdom, other schools which were called black brotherhoods, sprang up. In these brotherhoods, the membership consisted of some of the students who had received their original training in the wisdom schools and who perverted their knowledge to evil purposes and sometimes used it merely for personal or selfish ends; but whatever the purpose, the knowledge was used erroneously. Out of that, in all the primitive races, there sprang up practices in which the mind was ...
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Practicing the Presence: Chapter V, Love Thy Neighbor
- ... If we are harboring within us personal animosity, or if we are indulging in national or religious hatred, prejudice, or bigotry, our prayers are worthless. We must go to God with clean hands in order to pray, and to approach God with clean hands, we must relinquish our animosities. Within ourselves, we must first of all pray the prayer of forgiveness for those who have offended us, since they know not what they do; and secondly, acknowledge within ourselves: "I stand in relationship to God as a son, and therefore, I stand in relationship to every man as a brother." When we have established that state of purity within ourselves, then we can ask the Father: Give me grace; give me understanding; give me peace; give me this day my daily bread-give me this day spiritual bread, spiritual understanding. Give me forgiveness, even for those harmless trespasses which I have unwittingly committed. The person who turns within for light, for grace, for understanding, and for forgiveness never fails in his prayers. The law of God is the law of love, the law of loving our enemies-not fearing them, not hating them, but loving them. No matter what an individual does to us, we are not to strike back. To resist evil, to retaliate, or to seek revenge is to acknowledge evil as reality. If we resist evil, if we refute ... Let us never accept a human being into our consciousness who needs healing, employing, or enriching because if we do, we are his enemy instead of his friend. If there is any man, woman, or child we believe to be sick, sinning, or dying, let us do no praying until we have made peace with that brother. The peace we must make with that brother is to ask forgiveness for making the mistake of sitting in judgment on any individual because everyone is God in expression. All is God manifested. God alone constitutes this universe; God constitutes the life, the mind, and the Soul of every individual. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor" has a much broader ...
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Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Ruth and Naomi
- RUTH AND NAOMI NAOMI is the individual soul when it has failed to realize its oneness with God; it is seeking good in the material realm. Naomi may be the state of your being when, not rising to the spiritual consciousness in which you live, move and have your being, you start out to seek your good through material means and human beings. Your Soul is God, but when this sense of separation from good arises in you, and you start looking for good in the outer realm, in things or persons, that is when you are the Naomi state of consciousness, and when thus seeking, you are seeking it in Moab. The metaphysical interpretation of Moab is sense consciousness, or material sense. Ruth, of course, represents the beautiful, the thought which loves the one good - spirituality. You have forgotten that "all that the Father hath is thine"; that you need not seek or labor for your good; that you do not even have to earn or deserve it. You need only realize that "I and my Father are one"-you are "joint-heir with Christ" to all the heavenly riches. Then you would not have to suffer the experiences through which you now follow Naomi. Naomi having left her divine state of spiritual consciousness in which is her eternal substance (Beth-lehem-judah) and gone down into materiality (Moab), now loses all her earthly possessions: husband, sons and lands. She has left, however, one spiritual idea, Ruth, and with this one Light within her consciousness, Naomi returns to her original home, spiritual consciousness (Beth- lehem-judah) and through Ruth realizes again her rightful consciousness, home and security. Ruth, the spiritual Light, shines in ail individual consciousness to show us and lead us to home, heaven or harmony. This Light appears now as Ruth, again as Moses leading the Hebrews to the Promised Land, and again as Christ revealing through Jesus the Kingdom of God within you, lifting you from sense to Soul. Within each one, regardless of where he may be at any moment, there is always ...
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Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture: Scriptural Symbols
- SCRIPTURAL SYMBOLS SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE of Scripture is often revealed in the metaphysical interpretation of names of people, places, mountains, seas and rivers we find in the Bible. The historical sense of the Bible is often not correct and is rarely of much importance. The spiritual sense of Scripture is the important one, and it shows forth the laws and principles of harmonious existence. Spiritual ideas and moral lessons have been interpreted as men, events and movements, and these must now be re-interpreted in order to unravel the mystery of the Bible and make Scripture practical in destroying its superstitions and mysteries. People have considered their place of worship almost as important as the God they worshipped. The Holy Temple in Jerusalem was considered of such importance that Jews from all over the Holy Lands made pilgrimages there every year. The Temple, however, rightly understood, is a symbol of the spiritual universe or body and is attained not by means of a pilgrimage from one place to another, but by an expansion of consciousness, which then includes within itself the secret of immortality or life eternal achieved here and now. Jesus showed forth this truth about the Temple when he said, "Ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father . . . But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:" Again, he said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The material sense of Temple localizes and finitizes it; the spiritual sense reveals the infinite and immortal Temple of your life, your body, your experience of good. This true view of Temple likewise spiritualizes your understanding of worship. Thinking of church as material, as having edifices and rules, materializes and finitizes and localizes worship, whereas, the spiritual sense of church reveals the unlimited, unfettered prayer uttered within your own being. Following this line of thought, ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter II, The Purpose
- CHAPTER II THE PURPOSE The purpose of meditation is to attain divine grace. Once this grace has been attained in a measure, it takes over our experience and lives our life, performs those things which are given us to do, and makes the crooked places straight. We no longer live by bread alone, but by this inner grace. Satisfying relationships, abundant supply, successful business activity, and creative endeavor are the tangible effects of grace. First must come the inner grace before the things of this world can be added to us; but we can never receive the grace of God so long as we seek it for the purpose of demonstration, that is, seeking God in order to possess some person or thing, or to achieve some place. That is the reason meditation can never be used to demonstrate an automobile, more money, or a better position: meditation is for the purpose of realizing God. In meditation God is revealed as the life of individual being. God is the embodiment of all good. In achieving the experience of God, our good appears as whatever the need may be. We fail if we attempt to gain any thing separate and apart from God. God, Itself, is the good. Prayer or meditation for material things and persons cannot be answered by a God of Spirit. Such an objective defeats the purpose of meditation. Scripture tells us that the natural man receiveth not the things of God. Who is the natural man but the human being, the prodigal son, still deep in material consciousness, praying that his materiality may be made a little better, a little richer, a little more, or a little less? We pray to be stouter or we pray to be thinner; we pray to have more money, seldom to have less, although that might be a very spiritual prayer. The point is that we pray for an improvement or an increase of that very materiality of which God has no knowledge, and such prayer is not answered. Very often our human desires, if fulfilled, would leave us unsatisfied, because as human beings we do not possess the wisdom ...
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The Art of Meditation: Chapter XVIII, A Circle of Christhood
- CHAPTER XVIII A CIRCLE OF CHRISTHOOD Is it reasonable to expect that there can be a whole group of people in modern times so dedicated to the Christ-life that they will live by actual spiritual contact? Is it conceivable that a body of students or earnest aspirants on the spiritual path will evolve, who will seriously accept the hypothesis that they, of themselves, are nothing, but that God is all? Is it within the range of possibility that a group of people will appear on this earth, who have arrived at that point of realization where life is lived by the Spirit? Such a group would establish a pattern for the whole world. Always there have been isolated individuals who have achieved Christhood by grace, but at no period in the history of the world has it been either realized or maintained by a group. No one has been able to impart it to a group, because up to this moment no effective way of transmitting the Christ-consciousness to large numbers has been found-at least none that has been effective. It was imparted by Jesus to the twelve disciples, and out of the twelve only three or four were able to maintain it. It was taught to several students by Buddha, but only two of them understood it, and of Lao-Tze's disciples, only one was able to carry on. Today the wisdom of all ages is again coming to light in human consciousness: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." This teaching of oneness is the ancient secret of the mystics revealed throughout all time by every one of the great spiritual lights of the world. Every great religious teacher has caught this vision of oneness. This it is which enables us to unite in that selfsame realization that if I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, then, you are in me, and I am in you; and we are all one in the Father, united in one consciousness. Despite the diverse forms of religious worship and teaching prevalent today, men and women of whatever persuasion should be able to unite in this age-old wisdom of ...
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The Art of Spiritual Healing: Chapter I, What Is Spiritual Heating?
- CHAPTER I WHAT IS SPIRITUAL HEALING? The world is not in need of a new religion, nor is the world in need of a new philosophy: What the world needs is healing and regeneration. The world needs people who, through devotion to God, are so filled with the Spirit that they can be the instruments through which healings take place, because healing is important to everybody. Until the last century, healing had been considered largely the prerogative of the medical profession; but in recent years, so many churches have turned their attention to this subject that today the healing of mind, body, and personal relationships is beginning to be considered as much the function of the church as of the doctor's office. Churches are opening their doors to discussions of the possibility of healing through prayer and other means. Other organizations are being formed for the purpose of engaging in research and in promoting the study and practice of various forms of healing, ranging all the way from spiritual healing to psychological and psychic healing. More and more, spiritual healing is being discussed and practiced. It looks as if within the next half century or so, materia medica will have found a remedy for almost every physical disease now known, and there will then be little need of metaphysical practitioners as far as the healing of physical disease is concerned. That, however, will not solve life's problems; it will not solve the problems of the world because the world's problem is not really a problem of disease. Disease is only one of the many facets of inharmony and discord in life. Advances in medicine will not eliminate the need for spiritual healing because, even with 100 per cent success in physical healing, I do not believe that such healing will ever succeed in revealing man's Soul to him. That will be the function of the practitioner of spiritual healing. Man will find that even when all physical, mental, moral, or financial discords have been eliminated there will ...
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The Early Years: Chapter 30, War
- ~ 30 ~ WAR Of all the so-called errors on earth, war is the belief most likely to ensnare the Christian Scientist into accepting an illusion as reality. The reason for this is that there always seem to be two sides; one on the right side defending "democracy," "modern society," "Christianity," "freedom," while the other, on the wrong side, would destroy these precious gifts from God to man (which gifts, it would seem, God is not able to preserve without the help of defenders). I am not referring exclusively to either of the "World Wars" because these same conditions have existed in all wars throughout the ages. Christian Scientists cannot say, "A thousand shall fall at thy (my) side, and ten thousand at thy (my) right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee (me)," 1 unless they see through the snare of a right side and a wrong side and realize that there is no such condition as right and wrong because there is no war, no error, no sin, disease or death: God is all; God is omnipresent; God is the only life and being, and in this life which is one there can be no conflicting forces, energies, or desires. Christian Science teachers and practitioners throughout the world, daily assure their students and their patients that there is no disease; that the appearance of such is but the false testimony of human sense; that they are not to fear error nor believe in its reality or power. They are taught and they teach that God is the only mind. Shall they not be consistent and remember that, as this divine mind is the universal mind, and therefore the mind of individual being, there is no lack of intelligence and love in this mind and therefore these qualities of love, intelligence, harmony and peace are the actual and only states of being here and now, regardless of human testimony to the contrary. Only in the degree that we, as disciples of truth and love, maintain in our consciousness this truth of being, shall we be lifted up so as to "draw all men unto me," and thereby ...
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