The Thunder of Silence: Chapter XI, I Say Unto You
- ... And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. MATTHEW 6:5 Jesus had a way of seeing through human nature, and in this statement he strips bare of pretense those people who gather in churches solely to be seen of men. And he had a word also for the people who resort to and depend on affirmations: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. MATTHEW 6:7 The Master had an answer for everything. He knew that God is our Soul, closer than breathing and nearer than hands and feet; he knew that there is nothing going on within us that the Soul of us does not know. Therefore, while we may possibly hoodwink the man standing beside us, we certainly cannot fool the Man standing within us. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. MATTHEW 6:14, 15 To live humanly is to forgive in one instance and withhold forgiveness in another; it is to judge, condemn, and criticize, to live the human way in which we might feel justified in retorting, "Well, look what he did-he deserved it." Jesus, however, brought to light a spiritual way of life which takes no cognizance of what anyone thinks, does, or is. He merely said, "Forgive." Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. MATTHEW 6:16 There again is the human desire not only to be good, but to want everybody to know about our goodness. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, which is in secret. MATTHEW 6:17, 18 Here is Jesus' reversal of the whole human picture, and if we follow his teaching, we do not advertise ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter XII, Resist Not
- CHAPTER XII RESIST NOT To live the spiritual life means to live above the human sense of life, to live without recourse to human modes and means, that is, to live by the Christ. It means never to return evil for evil, never to pray or hope or wish or desire that another suffer for his offense-even his offense to us-never to desire to recoup our losses, which is the human way of life and, under our laws, legal. But legal or not, this is not the way of the Christ. True, if someone defrauds us, it is considered legitimate, proper, and right to sue him, but such procedure is not spiritual. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. MATTHEW 5:40 If someone were to counsel us, "I say to you, you must stop your lawsuits. If anybody wants to take your property, let him have it; if he wants your home, let him take it; if he takes your automobile, let him have it; and if he decides to come in and get your jewelry, let him have that too, and then look around and see if you cannot give him a few extra things in addition to what he already has taken," such advice would seem contrary to all reason. But that is what Jesus tells us to do in the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, and at this moment we have no way of knowing whether he was right or wrong. We have no way of knowing whether we might not benefit twice over by obeying that very command because most of us have not tried the resist-not-evil way of life; and moreover, until we have reached that state of consciousness, it would probably be very unwise for us to try it. At first thought, such a teaching might seem to mean that we are to let anybody and everybody walk all over us, defraud and take from us all that we have while we are just the sweet gentle things that permit ourselves to be walked on. But Jesus the Christ never meant that. What he meant was that we should not retaliate humanly, but he did not say what would happen spiritually if his advice were followed. ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter XVIII, Ye Are the Light
- CHAPTER XVIII YE ARE THE LIGHT Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. MATTHEW 5:14-16 We become the light of the world in proportion to our degree of illumination. Some students attain that illumination quickly; and some wait, wait, and wait for the great experience to descend upon them. When it comes, however, it comes suddenly, although the preparation leading up to it may have taken many, many years of studying and meditating, during which time we seem to have made little or no progress. From the first moment, however, that we seriously turned to the attainment of realization, our progress has been rapid even though, to outward appearances, imperceptible. It is like removing a mountain. From the first shovelful of dirt that is carried away, progress is being made in leveling the entire mountain. But a mountain is made up of countless shovelfuls of earth and stone, and not until many of these have been removed is it apparent that any noticeable progress has been made. So it is that when we are aware of the density of human selfhood, we know that we are moving a mountain of ignorance, and although a beginning is made with our first serious meditation, progress will not be too evident for a long, long time. Then all of a sudden it seems to burst upon us like a flash of light. When we have been touched by the Spirit, it is evident in the light shining forth from our eyes and the glow on our face. Outwardly our life changes: Our human relationships change; our nature changes; our health changes; and sometimes even our physical form changes-but only because such changes are the outer manifestation of an inner glory, an inner light, which has been attained by contact with the Father within ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter XV, As We Forgive
- Over and over again Jesus extols the virtues of forgiveness. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy ... One of the most important lessons for all of us to learn is that there is no room in the spiritual life for the return of evil for evil-there is no room for anything but a life of forgiveness. From the moment of waking in the ... That night, however, as I was meditating, all of a sudden the word forgiveness flashed into my mind. The first thought that came to me was, "Am I completely purged? Am I entertaining anything in my thought regarding anyone or ... And so I wondered if I had been completely forgiven and purged of any offenses of which I might have been guilty. There is a secret about forgiveness: There is not anything or anybody that can forgive us. Therefore, there is ... Just let us suppose for a moment that we could carry on a conversation with God about our faults. We confess our fault and we seek forgiveness, and to all this God says, "What? Forgiveness to do it all over again?" "Oh, no, God, it will never happen again. It couldn't ... Then we can go back again and ask for forgiveness. This time, God says, "I don't even know who you are any more. I don't see anything wrong in you to forgive." That is the true idea of forgiveness. There really is no God to forgive. When the state of consciousness that could be guilty of resentment, anger, jealousy, malice, or whatever it may have been "dies," there not ... If I have, forgiveness is complete; and if I have not, there must be a continual dying until I have realized my Self-completeness in God. I may not be able to praise myself and declare that I am pure, but this much I can do: I can turn and with an open heart forgive every offense that has ever been aimed at me or mine-at me personally, at my family, community, nation, and the world-and entertain a complete and full sense of forgiveness." With ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter II, Karmic Law
- ... Eventually, this will be the universal relationship on earth, and the law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, the karmic law of punishment, will not be operative in our experience. The thoughts to which we give expression as human beings come back upon us because that is the nature of the karmic law of as ye sow, so shall ye reap, but God is not to blame for that. We have set in motion the karmic law, and that is what is returning to us. All of us by the very nature of having been born have been guilty of offenses of omission or commission and have therefore brought ourselves under the operation of karmic law. Naturally, then, the question arises: Can this karmic law be broken? Can it be ended? And the answer is, Yes. We can stop the operation of karmic law at any moment in our life when we recognize that we have set this law in motion by our own thoughts and deeds or by the acceptance of racial or religious or national consciousness, and then begin renouncing it. The way to break the karmic law is through repentance and by living constantly in an atmosphere of love and forgiveness. Then we are no longer human or mortal because we no longer harbor thoughts and deeds of mortality. From then on the only karma that comes into our experience is racial or national, and this, too, we must disavow in our own consciousness. If there were a war tomorrow and if we should be called to service, we must answer that call. We "render . . . unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's"-we must fulfill our obligations as citizens because if we do not do our part, we are only removing ourselves from that temporary trouble by compelling someone else to serve in our place and putting someone else in the position where we should be. This is far worse than ourselves accepting the call to service because at least in answering that call we can disavow the act and pray as earnestly for the enemy as for ourselves. We can pray for the freedom, safety, and security of the enemy and, ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter XIII, The Father Which Seeth in Secret
- CHAPTER XIII THE FATHER WHICH SEETH IN SECRET And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. MATTHEW 6:5, 6 These words of the Master must come as a shock to us when we realize how many people believe that their most effective prayers are those said in church. How many times have we, ourselves, prayed in public, forgetting that, according to Jesus, prayer must be practiced in secret. Of old, the Pharisees and the scribes prayed in public in much the same manner as do most of the people of our world today, and for their much praying, they received the praise of their neighbors: There is only one thing they lost-God's grace. When our prayers become a matter of public utterance, we are inflating our ego, trying to make something of ourselves, setting out to glorify ourselves, not realizing that thereby we sacrifice the reward of the Father and separate ourselves from the very blessings we are seeking. Anything that glorifies ourselves or attempts to make the world believe that we are something of ourselves tends to separate us from the love of God. The whole teaching of the Master is, "I can of mine self do nothing . . . the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. . . . My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." This injunction to pray in secret does not mean that we cannot unite with others in prayer or meet in church or temple for the purpose of prayer because Jesus also taught that "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." His intent was that we should not attend church because it is the accepted thing to do-fashionable or politic-or because our ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter X, Ye Have Heard It Said of Old
- CHAPTER X YE HAVE HEARD IT SAID OF OLD At any moment of our experience-it makes no difference whether we are nine, nineteen, or ninety-we can begin the return to the Father's house. But let us not believe that we can return to that Edenic state by continuing to be the same persons we were yesterday with all our human virtues and failings, vacillating constantly between good and evil. Our human virtues will not gain us entry into Eden any more than will our human failings. We have to lose both human failings and human virtues and take on the mantle of the Christ by rising above the mental creation of the second chapter of Genesis which has chained us to the law of good and evil. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Christ Jesus." For hundreds of years before Moses, the Hebrews had been living in a state of slavery with little or no opportunity to make advances in education, culture, religion, art, or the sciences; and under such circumstances it is not surprising that they were living without any greatly developed moral sense. To these people, Moses presented a higher way of life, the backbone of which was the Ten Commandments. If those commandments were obeyed, a person was considered as fine a type of citizen as could be expected, and moreover, if in addition to that he also obeyed the dietetic laws and a few other customs, he merited the title of a good Hebrew. If the law were disobeyed, all the offender could expect was to be stoned or excommunicated. Little or no concept of love was embraced in this teaching. It was strictly a teaching of moral and ethical laws. A moral or ethical sense, high as it may be, however, is only a step on the way to spiritual consciousness. While a person may live in absolute obedience to the Ten Commandments he may still be eons away from the spiritual life because the true spiritual life is a living above the pairs of opposites. When Jesus came, he taught a way of life which was not primarily concerned with ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter V, Transcending Mind
- CHAPTER V TRANSCENDING MIND In the beginning, there was only one state of consciousness, the spiritual, but ever since the so-called Fall, man has been divided into three states of consciousness -the material, mental, and spiritual. Spiritual consciousness, when made flesh, is the perfect, immortal body, but few of all the billions of people who have lived on this planet have achieved spiritual consciousness, very few. Instead, throughout countless generations of humanhood, the world has been living in a material and mental state of consciousness, and for the most part, all that has been known is a material sense of the world, a world in which men make their living by the sweat of their brow and in which everything they do is done by physical or mental means. Even today the world has not risen too far above that physical sense of a universe, despite the fact that in this last century more of the mental has been revealed, although revealed primarily in the sense of the mental governing the physical. Out of that has come what is known as the science of right thinking, designed to manipulate the human scene. For example, if a person does not have a home, all he has to do is to catch hold of the right thought and the home appears, or if he does not have a satisfactory companion, just a little right thinking, and the old companion vanishes and a new one appears! If he suffers from some physical discord, just a little bit of right thinking, holding the "right thoughts," and lo and behold, the diseased body disappears and the harmonious body appears in its place. Even when this sort of mental therapy is effective, and it often is, those using this technique are still left with a physical universe-a physical body, a physical companion, a physical anything subject to the laws of good and evil-and the very next day it is possible for the discords and inharmonies to begin all over again. One part of the body is healed, and then another one speaks up; the problem of supply is ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter IV, Who Told You?
- CHAPTER IV WHO TOLD YOU? The world can never rise above the idea of using one power over another and into the realm of no power until the mystery of Genesis is solved. In this first book of the Bible, are found two completely contradictory and conflicting records of creation: The first chapter is obviously the work of a mystic who had achieved complete union with God and who saw that this entire universe is Consciousness appearing as form; whereas subsequent chapters contain an account of the creation of mind. The first record of creation is a revelation of the activity of Consciousness in all its purity and eternality. It recounts the unfolding of a spiritual universe where there is light before there is a sun or a moon, where the crops are in the ground before the seeds are planted, and where there is man before there is woman. That which is formed of Consciousness is never born: It is merely an emanation of Consciousness, which not only has no beginning but has no ending because as long as there is Consciousness, there is Consciousness formed. When Consciousness appears as form, it can appear as a seed or as a completely developed tree without ever having gone through any process of growth. Consciousness, or Soul, which we call God, reveals and expresses Itself as a spiritual universe in which there is no conception and no birth. In other words, creation is the immaculate conception of God revealing Itself as individual identity, an identity expressing as human, animal, vegetable, and mineral forms; so that in reality, God, Consciousness, is the very essence and substance of the earth -even of what appears as stones, rocks, sand, and soil-just as that same Consciousness is the substance of our true identity. In Genesis, we learn that God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden in the midst of perfection and harmony, surrounded only by goodness, love, and beauty. Joy and harmony reigned there until into that Eden came something that destroyed it ...
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The Thunder of Silence: Chapter XIV, When Ye Pray
- CHAPTER XIV WHEN YE PRAY For centuries the world has believed that merely voicing words in an attempt to reach God was sufficient to bring the power and the presence of God into daily experience. For hundreds of years, millions, even billions, of people all over the world have prayed for wars to cease, famine to be wiped off the earth, and disease to be healed-but all these have continued unabated. No one experiences answered prayer when he prays merely with his mind, relying wholly on words and thoughts, because there is then no opportunity for the Spirit to break through into expression. Regardless of what form prayer may take, there is no connecting link with God until there is a conscious awareness of His presence. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. MATTHEW 6:7 Many of us have been guilty of using vain repetitions, thinking that we are praying when in reality all we have been doing is repeating over and over again somebody else's man-made prayer. Even the repetition of as great a prayer as the Lord's Prayer, if recited with the idea that the mere rehearsal of its words has power, is not effective prayer because anything that is thought, spoken, or written is but an effect-and how can the power of God be in an effect? Does not all Scripture state that there is no power but the One, there is no God but one? Prayer that is made up of words and thoughts cannot and does not reach God, and therefore remains unanswered. The prayers that are answered are those deep within a person when no words and no thoughts are present, but when there is a hunger, a desire, or a need that is beyond words. In that intense longing, God is reached. The absence of fruitage in prayer merely bears witness to our failure to go deep enough into our consciousness to make contact with the Presence which is always there and which is ever available. God is not to be found on the surface of men's minds; ...
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