by Nona L. Brooks
1924. Divine Science Federation Intíl 3rd Printing, 1977.
Copyright Material Reprinted by Permission
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Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||What is a Mystery?|
|Chapter 2||The Mystery of God|
|Chapter 3||The Mystery of Life|
|Chapter 4||The Mystery of Matter|
|Chapter 5||The Mystery of Suffering|
|Chapter 8||The Mystery of Healing|
|Chapter 16||The Mystery of Individual Unfoldment|
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What is a Mystery?
Down through the ages men have been accustomed to call that which to them was unknown, unexplained, or uncomprehended--a mystery. There has been a tendency to wrap veils of mystery around natural phenomena, also around the causes of daily experience in the lives of men, and even around God. That which is in any particular out of what we have called the usual and the commonplace has aroused a sense of the supernatural or the mysterious in relation to it. Mankind has relegated much to the realm of the mysterious which is explainable under the light that true thinking throws upon the experiences. There rises the question, why is this? Long, long ago, in the childhood of the race, before men thought intelligently about life and living, they felt within themselves an impelling urge for Something higher than their daily experiences. They naturally looked to that which was above them, and found it beyond their power to understand. So it came about that while these primitive men were still a great way off, the greater experiences of life looked weird and incomprehesible to them. They were thinking in terms of separation; hence all greater experiences were mysterious to them.
It has been our custom to meditate upon those experiences which touch us as individuals most closely. Hence we hear the world asking, "What is the reason for illness, evil, poverty, old age, death?" There is an answer in Divine Science to many as yet unanswered questions. With the omnipresence of God as our basic principle, we Divine Scientists feel that we are speaking with authority. We shall endeavor to answer all questions from the point of view of omnipresent good.
Much of the thinking of the race has been negative. Men have seen evil, sickness, poverty, suffering, decrepitude, in human experience; and judging from appearances they have been unwilling to accept a philosophy that proclaims God as all, visible and invisible. "God must be the invisible power, but he must remain in the unseen, for if he is in the visible, how can you account for the wrongs of the world?" is the question that we hear repeated so often. Men have said for ages, "This is a mystery." They have accordingly continued to visualize places and conditions where God is not.
Do the appearances of inharmony that men call sickness, poverty, evil, and death, deny the principle of Omnipresence? From which side are you thinking--the inner or the outer? To many the outer is more real than the inner; to such I can only say, "Detach your thought from that which is without and fasten it to that which is within." We have lived in the external for so long that it seems much more real to many of us than the internal or eternal. We have lived with our eyes fixed upon phenomena, and now we are beginning to look through the phenomenon to find the cause. Detached thinking has done much to lead us farther and farther from reality. We have seen the manifestation--matter--apart from its source. Now we are seeing that cause and effect are one.
There is nothing hidden from him who knows God and God in action as all there is. There is mystery from the point of view of the wonder of it all; but there is nothing inexplainable to the one who is willing to see from the standpoint of unity that the Universe is one. The nature of God is wholeness--holiness. He filleth all with His holy presence; and there is no truth in anything that is unlike God--in anything that seems to limit us. The Father is infinite Spirit; we live in Spirit; we abide in its abundance. The one who sees the holiness of wholeness knows that in the presence of God is fulness of life.
We wonder at the greatness of solar systems; but from the solar system to the grain of sand, there is nothing mysterious to him who sees the meaning of Omnipresence. The grain of sand is a thought of God and so is the solar system; the process that we call life is God in action. Men plant a seed; it takes root, and sprouts; it springs into growth, a living organism. This process of unfoldment is God-Activity in manifestation. The process is perfect, for all that is of God is perfect. Perfection is the nature of the Omnipresent One.
I shall deal in this series with the so-called mysteries of God, life, suffering, old age, death, healing, wrong habits, human characteristics, human relationships, thought transference, power, prayer, success and individual unfoldment.
I hope to show you that there is an answer to all questions in the light that the concept of Omnipresence throws upon life. From my angle of vision I see the Universe as One; and I stand in the center of this unified Universe, looking out and saying, "All is good--God." The universe of form is the living presence of God. Law is God in action. There is no chance. The Divine Purpose is expressing as infinite love. We, children of one Father, are sharers in the divine intent; we are working not for divine purpose, but with it.
Thinking true to the presence of God enlarges our vision; it is our ignorance and unwillingness to see truly that holds us out of participation in the glories that open to the one who is faithful in his practice of the Presence. We are troubled about things just so long as we do not see that all life is related. It is ignorance that keeps us in bondage; it is truth that makes us free. Let us cease walking on the shadow side of the path, on the path of human opinions, superstitions, and fears; for in God-Consciousness, the consciousness of wholeness is fulness of light.
If I take my stand in the presence of infinite Love and Power--that Presence--besides which there is no other, I shall solve every mystery. A mystery is a shadowy place in our thought; but in the consciousness of God there are no shadows. There is only light. When I take my stand in Omnipresence, I know that the thought which I think and the good works which I am able to do, are not mine, but His that sent me. God is thinking and expressing through His children. Light is our heritage. There is no darkness at all. Shall sons of God delude themselves into thinking that they live in shadowy places? As long as we do this, we shall be held in the bondage of this unreality and that unreality--this mystery and that mystery. Sons of God are able, if they will, to solve by their thinking and their living those problems and mysteries which have seemed impossible of solution. There is, let me repeat, nothing unknown to the one who knows God. There is nothing incomprehensible to the man who understands the infinitude of the love and power of God. All phenomena are explainable by law--God in action. Where, then, is the mystery?
The Mystery of God
Men have long believed that they could not know God, and that what the eye of the senses could not behold was an insolvable mystery. Their concept of God was that of an almighty ruler governing the universe invisibly and mysteriously; God had created the world ages ago, and after creation was complete, had departed out of the world, never to be seen of the children of men. He had, however, created the first man and the first woman, before he disappeared from earth to abide far off in the heavens. Hence arose the mystery about God.
When we were children many of us worshiped a different God from the one we are worshiping today. The change is not in God, but in our conception of God. Men conceived a God hidden from his subjects, ruling arbitrarily, and visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children from generation to generation.
The conception of God is changing from this limited belief into the vision of an almighty, loving Father including His world. We are conceiving of God as infinite Life, Love, Intelligence, Power, Joy, bringing forth His Universe by law. Natural science, modern ethics, true religion, emphasize law as the principle of the Universe upon which all life rests. Law is the unchanging method by which God is expressing; it is always true to Divine Being. Law is the basis upon which truth rests. It is the assurance that God is expressing; law is our assurance of good. Our lives, then, are based upon the certainty of the unfailing principle of omnipresent good.
"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." We find that it is comparatively easy for the thought of the twentieth century to understand the concept of the infinitude of God. The infinite universe of form is God in action. God is infinite changeless abundance. The Universe abounds not only in infinite love and power, but in those things needed every day from the greatest unto the least, from the most important to the seemingly least significant. We are awaking to the immediacy of God also. This infinite nearness of God is more difficult of comprehension, however. We can see God in measureless distances and mighty systems, but to see God in the tiny flower and to come to recognize that there is no point in space or on earth where God is not, is more difficult. The concept of the immediacy of God reveals to us that God is in the smallest details of daily living, as well as in the greatest events of the progress of man.
Natural science is marching hand in hand with modern religious conception; one, it is true, uses scientific expression; the other, religious expression. There is, however, small import in terms; according to both conceptions there is one substance. We Divine Scientists spell Substance with a capital; for to us the universe is Substance, and Substance in action. Astronomy shows us that God is responsible not only for the forming, but for the revolution of the planet in its orbit. Chemistry and physics reveal a reign of law, also; biology stands for integrity of expression. Let us not fall short in our thinking; let us keep steadfast, and each hour will show us more of God in action on every hand. The most vivid of lifeís experiences is found in the consciousness of the omnipresence of God--love, power, abundance, integrity. To know that the breath of life is the breath of God, that the loving word and deed are God in action, that your strength and my strength are limitless in God, that our gifts and our joys are Godís intent for us, that every right thought and every corresponding action of ours are approved of God, is the greatest of experiences.
The God of integrity is the God of love. God is love, means that God is in action; and God in action is law as well as love. In the light of the unfolding concept of God as love and integrity, we see that all law is beneficent. The God of love knows no unforgiveness. Jesus, through whom we see the Father working, showed in his living and in his teaching what it means to love perfectly; he showed us how to forgive. Jesus taught that the quality of our love for the Father is shown forth in the way we love our fellow men.
Recall the words of the wise in the hours of stress and in times of meditation: "Behold, do I not fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord?" Whither, then, shall we flee from Spirit? We are always in the presence of God. It is true, our ideal is so great that our shortcomings stand out in vivid contrast--a contrast which causes us to lose heart at times, and think that we have wandered far from Spirit and truth. This, however, is not true. We are in the presence of God, even though we know it not. Our failings are evidence of separation in our thinking only. It is in the hard experiences, and at times of discouragement, that we should be able to use what we know of truth in order to discern between the true and the false, and to see that God does fill heaven and earth, with His presence, His life, and His abundance. Let us train our thought to realize the immediacy of God, and also to think out with understanding faith into the great expanse of universality. We see God as He is when we learn to see wholeness instead of separation. Might it not be, that we shall come to know the Father as He knows himself, when our vision grows more nearly complete? Then shall we know the fulness that filleth all.
Let us bring God as near as we can get Him. When we do this we shall see reality instead of appearance. When there is something unsightly in that which we see before us, what should be our reaction? So often the seeming defect is all that we see. Our first impulse is to think that God is not there. Why not look through the unsightliness? It is only our concept of the experience--our misconception. True insight proves to us that what we are seeing imperfectly, God is seeing perfectly. The one Creator is bringing forth perfectly.
We are worshiping today a perfect God. Let us keep true to the ideal of perfection in every experience as well as in every thought. It is necessary to see perfection in process and in form, and not to weaken when we see imperfection, for there is no truth in it. Always ask yourself this question, "Is the difficulty in the condition, or is it in my seeing?" The answer will come immediately, if you have kept your attitude true. "I am looking upon that which is by nature perfect." It is our responsibility to keep our vision true to what we know. What is the reaction then of God to His world? He is His world; He includes it; He is expressing as His world. The true vision reveals God-Life everywhere.
I look upon the desk in my study. It has served me well. I touch it; my senses, true to the old conception of form, report in a certain way. I was trained to see my desk as something entirely different in substance from myself, and to think of matter and Spirit as separate and distinct. From this point of view I have called my desk lifeless. It has always seemed to resist my touch; hence I have called it hard--a solid. I look at the desk, and I see with these two eyes an unbeautiful mass, dull, lifeless, static; I say to you, "This is inanimate matter." In the old way of looking at the outer manifestations there is no connection between this desk and me, a living organism, except that subject to my will it serves me. Through this kind of thinking the misconception, duality, arose.
The one who is well informed in recent discoveries in the scientific world says to me in answer to my recital of these facts concerning my desk, "You do not understand matter according to the new concept. Nothing that you have said of your desk is true. The senses can never illumine you, even though the eyes see and the touch feels. The mentality is bound by statements long worn out. This desk is not a solid, lifeless mass; it is a center of activity composed of tiny, intelligent, whirling bodies called atoms held in the form which we call a desk by the law of attraction. Matter is a mode of motion; all form is living, intelligent activity."
There comes to me new meaning in the words of Jesus, "According to your faith be it unto you." Then, the proverb, "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he," flashes through my thought. Is it not true that as a man believes about the universe of form and the world of experiences, so is the universe to him; so does he experience? I see my desk in a new light; I see the blade of grass by the wayside with new comprehension. Each is a center of motion, of intelligent activity in the great expanse of universal ether. I no longer perceive deadness but livingness, not matter subject to decay and death, but living substance radiant with the life-principle of universal activity. I see Life as God himself in action. The words of natural science are being heard throughout the land, for scientists are speaking with no uncertain voice, and these words are being received with wondering approval.
We are hearing other voices speaking with authority also. Divine Scientists are saying, "The explanations of natural science accord with our deepest perception of truth. We see God everywhere. We know the Universe as the One Substance in action. A universal God must be present in His creation." When we say this, we imply all that the natural scientist says about creation or form. We like to say, "There is only God and God in action." God in action is form; God in action is law. God is infinitely intelligent, and is bringing forth according to His perfect idea. The intelligence of God is evidenced in the law and order of the universe and is manifested as living forms. There is no inanimate matter, for matter, according to Divine Science, is Substance in action. Substance, as we see it, cannot be subject to mishaps and corruption. I like to quote these words of Jesus, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto me." He saw that when thought is lifted up in you and in me, we lift all that is around us. As we lift our thoughts the world around us arises to meet these. All nature and all men are seen in the light of wholeness as perfect expressions of the infinite Creator. Being is perfect. We are Being in manifestation. "In thy light shall we see light." In this light shall we look upon all that God is making, and with God call it good.
How shall we look at God? With the eyes of Spirit! How shall we think of God? As Universal Expansion; yes, this is easy; but I am making a special plea to all of us to acknowledge God in all our ways--in all expression; to accustom ourselves to the concept of the nearness of God, to the immediacy of the Presence of perfection. When we look at the objects around us, at our bodies, at all nature, let us see to it that the wrong conception shall not dominate, but that we shall perceive with inner vision only intelligent, loving, powerful, harmonious activity--God in action. God is all, both visible and invisible. Let us see as God sees; God sees by the understanding of His love. He knows reality, and never swerves. He sees you and me as perfect expressions of His own idea. God sees us as living soul. He sees our bodies as form, His own Substance in action. Our lives are in God.
The old beliefs are passing; the New Revelation is showing us God in action in every expression of the universe of form. God is His universe. If we raise our eyes to the stars we see the light of God shining through; if we watch for the glory of the sunlight we see God again. Mother Earth and all of her children show us God--Activity radiating love. Nature is God in action; what about the affairs of men? Is God active in these, too? God is working out His universal plan in the affairs of men. Are we cooperating? God is not a ruler of men; He is the very life of men. God works by means of you and me, and of all other people on the earth. Let us be by choice co-workers in the kingdom. There is neither first nor last here. All men are one.
There are neither mysteries nor miracles in the kingdom of God; there is cause and effect, which Divine Science thinks of as one. This is the truth of every day. There are no places where God is not. Our ignorance of the principle of universal love accounts for the lack that we sometimes feel. There is only one way; it is the way to life eternal. The light of truth is ever shining on this path, which leads to reality. The light of truth shows us that there is one Presence and Power, and that this Presence is the only Presence, this Spirit, the only Substance; this Mind, the only Intelligence; this Love, the Universal Nature; this Activity, the only Activity--God.
In God there are no mysteries; there is only light.
The Mystery of Life
The origin and the process of life have seemed to many the greatest of mysteries. "What is life, and how can it persist in such a variety and under so many different conditions?" are common questions. There have been so many problems in the thought of the race concerning causes and effects that all thinkers have been searching for solutions. Much of this research has not afforded us very much light on the solution of our problems, because students have thought they were dealing with two powers--matter and Spirit. The concept of an unknown power which is directing the process of life has given rise to the assertion, "We can take you so far, and no farther." This assertion is the last word of many scientists, philosophers, and religionists. God has been thought of through the centuries by students in various phases of human knowledge as the Great Unknown--hence, the mystery of life!
How are we thinking about the great word Life? Are we taking it in its highest meaning? The word may be written in two different ways. Divine Science usually writes it with a capital letter; popular usage spells the word with a small letter and thinks of life as meaning everyday existence, the passing show, outer relations and activities. Out of this conception many questions arise, such as, "Why did this happen to him? What is the reason for this tragedy? Why are the lives of so many people on this earth seemingly miserable?"
Divine Science holds out a solution for all problems and an answer to all questions in a conception which interprets Life as God in action. Life written with a capital stands for the Activity of God. God is omni-active; and what God is must come forth in His activity. Since God is good, the activity of the universe of form is good; since God is love, all activity is loving; since God is power, all activity is powerful for good. God-Activity is what natural science calls the universal energy. In God-Activity you and I live, move, and have our Being. As we function in this consciousness of the oneness of the Universe, we lift the thought of the world around us. "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto me." Jesus' words prove his faith in the power of right thinking.
Since the Presence which we call the I AM is the only Presence and Power, let us lift ourselves into that consciousness of oneness through our daily living which brings those around us into the concept of wholeness. Our thinking must be based on the affirmation, "God is all, both visible and invisible."
We are likely to think of God in the highest and the best that we know, but let us not fail to see God in the least of the things of Life; there are no high and no low in the Kingdom of God-Life, and when we think of man in the Absolute, we see that by nature, he must be Godlike, for is not man the highest expression of an infinite, all-powerful Creator? Let us apply this concept to ourselves, our families, and our friends, as well as to all the world of men; it is our obligation to keep ourselves in the most positive attitude toward the Divinity of all Life. Each one has the power to attain to the realm of Divine Consciousness, if we hold true to the vision of our unity with God.
See truth; stand for truth; affirm truth in your lives step by step. Such statements as the following show us the Divinity of Life:
God is Life. What God is comes forth in Divine Activity. We live, move, and have our Being in God-Life. By Divine Power we are alive now. I know that Life is perfect, for God is All. Man is Living Soul, brought forth perfect in nature. Man is divine, because he is one with God. Man has the power to realize the truth of Being, and to accomplish the best in every relation and activity. Consciousness of God is the light of the world. Why not spell Life with a capital letter? Does not Divinity include all? I am asked, "How can you say that God is all that is visible, when there is so much inharmony and imperfection in the visible?" Are you looking with the outer eye of the senses, or are you seeing with the inner eye of Spirit? It is with the inner eye that we see truth. Appearances of inharmony are the results of wrong conceptions. When the inner vision comes, we see that God is the only Creator, and that we live by the power of His consciousness, and that we are brought forth by the impelling Spirit of His Love. When you and I see imperfection, it does not mean that in this place God is working imperfectly. It is we who are seeing imperfection. Godís work is perfect; manís conception of it is often imperfect or partial. Imperfect seeing, then, is the cause of our list of sorrows and evils.
When in the hour of silence or in the time of activity, it is possible for us to free our mentality from beliefs of limitation, and the soul, standing conscious of its oneness with God, looks out upon the universe with the God-Vision, it realizes truth. We see that the temporal experiences of sorrow and lack are the results of ignorance and are unimportant compared with the real experiences. In our earnest attempt to dissolve these misconceptions, we see that after all temporal experience is like a little shadow passing across the face of the sun. You and I are coming into the understanding of the affirmation, God is All. God is His world.
God-Mind is speaking through us. God is working by means of man. Divine Love is radiating through us. God-Light is the light of the world. There is no darkness in the Light that is illumining the Universe. We live to serve; true service means cooperating with God in His activity. Let us be sure that we are true to Life in its highest meaning. This very moment is the testing time; it is our opportunity to prove ourselves true by thinking to our highest and by translating our thinking into doing. Remember, it is living the Life that counts. Are you practicing the Presence? Am I? We know that God is active in this place as Living Soul; since God is active here, there is no other power to interfere with perfect expression this moment; let us not falter. Let us face the situation whatever it may be, with knowledge that the Father is doing the work. God is in this place now; hence there is no room for sickness, weakness, sin, lack.
God is in action; hence all is Life. Life is the fulness that filleth all. We live because God lives. God is living us this moment. It is easy to fall short, if we are living in the lesser conception of life which deals with outer things only, and are basing our decisions on every day happenings. If a man seems to be walking in darkness, we may be sure that it is because he is unwilling to see the light. Jesus said, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
I read an interesting sermon recently in which the author says that you and I have a rendezvous with Life and that we must keep our engagement. What does this mean? It means that we have a rendezvous with Truth, and it lies with you and me to keep our engagement. We may exist for many years without living at all. "Clinging to existence, we may, nevertheless, refuse Life." Laziness, fear, prejudices may prevent our keeping true to our obligation. We must be alert and vital now in order to give our best. We miss Life itself through mental indolence. Fear keeps us bound to petty experiences; we are afraid to rise. Many of us have a pet rut; let us welcome the mental earthquake that comes and shakes us out of it; but why wait for the earthquake? I do not wish Life to have to force me out of my limited conceptions; I must make the effort to rise. Spiritual initiative is necessary to true living.
Life is one with truth, beauty, love, wisdom, power, joy; it is a rendezvous with goodness, courage, kindness, faithfulness, service, and it is calling you and me to action. Life is, above all, a rendezvous with God; if we do not keep it, we miss the joy of living.
What, then, is the origin of Life? Are you ready to answer the question? Infinite Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding is the origin. Hence we use a capital to emphasize the Divinity of Life. What is the process? Process is God in action. It is the working out of the universal plan. Life is all-powerful. It is God. God is not unknown or unknowable. Hence, there is no mystery; there is only infinite Love and Power in action; the expression is by law; there is no chance; neither is there secret process. God is revealed as Life.
The Mystery of Matter
What is matter? For ages men have asked this question. Philosophers and scientists have been making earnest endeavors to answer the question satisfactorily, to explain away the mystery of that which we have called matter. There is always a mystery associated with what we do not understand--hence, the mystery of matter. It has been a phenomenon that we have not understood. Many scientists and philosophers of all schools and of all times have touched on the truth of matter, but we as Divine Scientists believe that there is one great step which must be taken before a satisfactory answer can be given by any of the thinkers of the world. They must see God in action as manifestation.
We are moving toward the concept of oneness. This is a most hopeful sign. The belief of dualism is passing; monism is taking its place. The concept of two powers and two substances--Spirit and matter, one having control over the other, is evolving into a greater vision which is revealing a Universe of One Substance. Divine Scientists translate the philosophy of monism into terms of religion; our basis is Omnipresence. We have taken the one great step; instead of seeing the world as a multiplicity of unrelated phenomena, we are seeing these phenomena in terms of the whole.
The dualistic conception separated the effect from its cause, the manifestation from its source, creation from the Creator; hence there arose a belief in two powers, Spirit and matter, good and evil, life and death, sickness and health. Naturally that which was separate from the perfection of Spirit was thought of as subject to all kinds of ills. Now we see no separation in any phase of expression. We believe in the continuity of life, and we know that nothing is ever lost. Although the One Substance is manifested in myriad forms, the fundamental remains unchanged. Natural science tells us also that there is nothing lost in this universe of form, and that we are seeing the universal ether, the one substance, in millions of forms. Is it true, then, that the mysteries of life are only contradictions in our thinking?
What is called matter, Divine Science looks upon as Substance, or Spirit visible. We shall in these chapters use the word form instead of matter, not because there is any objection to calling the Substance involved in form, matter, but because there has always been connected with the term, matter, a conception that it was something susceptible to disease, decay, and death.
At the outset let us declare the truth of the Universe; it is God and God in action, as the Whole. The universe of form and force is creation. Form and force are God in action, the One Spirit visible. There is no process of separation evident in all the diversity of universal expression to the one who sees form as Divine Idea being expressed. The God-Method of thinking infinitude into form, we call the law of expression. To us law is God in action. God is ever expressing His Ideas in an infinite variety of manifestations, for is not God infinite in potentiality?
Omnipresence is our foundation; we shall be building from it always. It is the only one upon which to base our thinking. If we are true to our Basis, contradictions will fade out of our thought process, and the old beliefs will begin to scatter like clouds before the sun after a summer rain. To us who use the word divine in relation to the science of life, the universe of form is God in action, Substance in manifestation, Infinite Intelligence in expression. The new heaven and the new earth are one; creation is the outspoken word of God. Is it true that a new universe is revealed to him who sees God in action in all manifestations?
Through the new understanding that form is not an outline confining a solid entity, but according to natural science a grouping of self-determining electrons, the natural scientist is traveling far from the traditional concept of an inanimate universe. There is nothing that is not living; all is life and activity in the natural scientistís concept of the universe. In the Divine Scientistís there is nothing which is not perfect by nature, since all form is God in action, for is not Life, God in action, the universal power? All activity is by law in both phases of science, natural and divine. There is no chance. Natural science calls this the law of cause and effect; Divine Science calls it God in action.
It is vital that you and I get the truth of form firmly fixed in our thought. A new universe is being revealed by natural science as a unity of Being, expressing by a unity of law. Divine Science is revealing a Universe that is God and God in action--a Universe in which there is nothing but God--a Universe which is God and God-Idea in expression. Form cannot by this concept be susceptible to conditions of inharmony. All of us who have thought of matter or form as opposed to and unlike Spirit have been worshiping other gods besides the One. As a result of misconception as to the nature of form we have thought of our flesh as liable to many ills--sickness, poverty, sin, death, loneliness. We have, of course, conceived a partial God; a great power, it is true, but one limited by another power which men have called evil. The concept of separation is responsible for the misconception, evil, in the thought of men.
There are those who say in regard to this universe of form that all visibility is unreal; in fact, that it does not exist. This we do not accept. We see the visible as Mind in action, and we see that like its Source, the visible is perfect by nature. We declare that right thinking leads to realization of perfection, and that the truth of life is revealed to the man with the single eye. If thine eye be single, if it sees only the One Presence and One Power at work in the universe of form, thy body shall be full of health; thy thought shall be filled with light.
Since God is omnipresent and includes all as well as being the Creator of all, creation is by its very nature, whole and good. God sees only wholeness; he is infinitely conscious of His creation, for is God any less a creator than He was in the days when the wise man of old said of Him, "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good"? In the Infinite there is no past or future; there is only the living present--the Now. There is no place for a false creation in a universe of form that is Infinite Mind in action; there is no false world except in manís misconception. Let us clear out our subconscious; a mental house-cleaning is a valuable exercise in this day and age of the New Revelation.
We are perfect and complete in God; all form is Substance in action. God is expressing as living form; these living forms, then, are Divine Ideas in manifestation. Do you see that all life is one? When we are true to Omnipresence, we see that there is no place, not a dot on earth or in the heavens, the size of a pin point, where God is not. Substance--God--is everywhere; hence, activity, Substance expressing as form, is the universe of form and force. Where the Spirit is, and it is in all places at all times, there is freedom, love, health, power, truth, life, joy.
We no longer dwell on imperfection; we do not think of form as something played upon or molded by individual mind; we know form as Infinite Substance in activity. We agree with the natural scientist in his conception of form or matter as a mode of intelligent motion. We see this motion as God Activity. The vibration of the natural scientist is the Divine Activity of the Divine Scientist. It is Godís method of expression.
There are various beliefs about the relation of Mind to its manifestation. Some people say that if we keep our thinking true the body will respond. There is much danger attendant upon this conception--the one of giving too much power to what men call the human mind. Those who believe that everything depends upon their mental power, naturally become too strenuous in their efforts to bring about the desired conditions, and employ formulation and suggestion. The method is wrong; it is not based upon principle, but on opinions. We go through life contending with two powers. Mind and body become separated in our thinking, and there follows a struggle which emphasizes the power of the mentality. We think in terms of a material force and of a spiritual power, and we are placing our faith in both. This kind of thinking gives rise to a dualistic conception, and to a practice of mental suggestion which is often harmful. There are times when we seem to experience an absence of God in our lives, when we allow ourselves to form thought habits of mental and autosuggestion. Divine Science teaches that the body, a God-Expression, is perfect by the nature of its Source. We teach the eternal perfection of all manifestation or form. This assertion of the eternal perfection of form we base upon the fact of the perfection of God, the Father. Since form is Godís creation, it is not affected by human conception about it. The body, as Godís manifestation, can be neither repaired nor impaired by human effort.
The moment we take our stand in Omnipresence, the One Universal Power and Presence of perfection, we see everything in terms of its nature; there is only One Substance to him who sees. He is seeing God in action; God is ever thinking himself forth as the universe of form according to a pattern in Divine Mind. Perfect Idea is resting eternally in God-Mind, and is also expressing as visibility. It manifests as perfect form. The Aristotelian philosophy teaches that the universe is a thought in God-Mind--God, The Thinker--His Thought, The Universe! Let us be well content in the assurance that all form is a thought of God, for He that keepeth the world as Idea in Mind-Universal is living us now; there is no instant of separation. Substance is Spirit; Spirit in action is Creation; matter or form is Substance or Spirit in action.
The analogy between what we call natural and what we call Divine Science is heartening. Natural science speaks in terms of varying rates of vibration; Divine Science accounts for the vibration by seeing it as God-Activity. God is expressing, as the tiniest particle and the mightiest solar system; hence we are conceiving the immediacy of God as well as the universality. We see God as the Infinite Being who is including men and all other forms of manifestation in His love. The old human conception of separation and limitation is truly giving place to the consciousness of the universality of God in the hearts of men.
Whereas, the word matter has implied inactivity and inertness; in the newer modes of thought it implies continuous activity; and to the Divine Scientist it is form, God in manifestation. The rock by the wayside was dead to the thinker of old, but man was alive. The loveliest flower that grows was thought of as insensitve, and unconscious of its surroundings, while the animal was supposed to be capable of feeling. Everything which did not have the sense organs with which men and animals are equipped was thought to be lacking in the power of consciousness. The thought habit of separating differing expressions in the world grew in proportions until it proclaimed dead matter and living substance. Today when we say, I, we include the whole. All life is one. Body is one with Spirit; it is whole, beautiful, and wonderful in its mechanism. There is truly one body in Christ. Let us glory in the universe of form which God is creating, and know that he who loses his limited conception of matter or form for truthís sake, shall find all life--forms one. He shall see God in action.
Why do we speak of matter? Why not think and speak only of God? It is through our understanding of form that there comes release from bondage--the bondage of sickness and sin. When we see that form is perfect activity, that it is the God-Mind in manifestation, we are free from world opinions about ourselves and about all other forms of God-Expression. You see, I am sure, why the mystery of matter has persisted so long. It had its inception in a dualistic conception of the universe. We have emphasized the outer and minimized the inner values for so long that the old mysteries have quite a hold on our thought today.
The poet says that, if we understand the flower in the crannied wall, we should understand God and all things. As we come into an understanding of the simplest expressions, the Universe is revealed as one. We are beginning to see truly--to see God in action. In a universe in which we can interpret form as Spirit made manifest or visible, a universe wholly one, there are not two powers or two substances; but there is Substance and motion. There is only God and God in action. That which we think of as evil is only the result of our imperfect concept; thought images become very real to us. Let us be careful which kind of form. What I believe I shall see. Just so long as we hold a belief in the imperfection of form, we shall see imperfection everywhere. Let us endeavor to raise our thinking out of the current of personal opinions ever flowing around us. He that sitteth in the heavens, in the harmony of the realization of oneness, laughs at appearances. He sees them in their true perspective.
Divine Science teaches eternal progression; there is no final revelation. The Spirit of Truth is our guide. Natural science begins at the visible and works toward the invisible, the cause; Divine Science begins with the invisible and works from Cause to effect, but it sees these as one. Both groups see the unity of the Universe of form and force. The natural scientist is telling us that the nature of matter is continuous activity; the Divine Scientist says that this activity is God in action. There is no mystery about matter to us; God is Creator and Creation. Just as the light of far away stars reaches us after centuries of traveling through infinitude, unchanged in its constituent elements, so today the light of the truth of Being that has shone from the universe of form and force through the ages, uncomprehended by the many, seems to be growing brighter, because we are beginning to see with the eye of Spirit. The consciousness of Omnipresence is the light of the world, and the mystery of matter is solved.
The Mystery of Suffering
Let us be sure that we are gaining a clearer understanding of the term matter as we consider the pages of this small volume; for without more light on matter, we shall not come nearer to a solution of the problems that confront us in our daily lives. Of these that of suffering is one of the most insistent, whether it takes the form of evil or of pain. What is suffering? What is evil? In order to approach a satisfactory answer to these questions, it is necessary to study carefully the meaning of form or matter.
What has been our concept of form? Something manifesting in limitation, and subject to inharmony and decay, is perhaps as clear an answer as most of us could give. The visible has been thought of as that which is separate from the invisible. We have been dealing with what we conceived to be two phases in the life process--a visible and an invisible existence, only one of which, the invisible, has been thought of as perfect. Imperfection has always clung to that which is manifested. Why should this be? Belief in separation is the answer. Let us make sure that we see form as Living Substance in manifestation, expressing according to the law of unity in infinite variety. To the one who sees this truth, the mystery of suffering begins to clear. What is the conclusion that thinkers in the realm of natural science are moving toward? It is a conclusion that has already been reached and accepted by Divine Scientists--that the universe of form is alive--that it is One Universal Intelligence in expression. We say that God is Spirit and that the universe of form is God in action. As natural science teaches one source or power, so we teach one Cause in the Universe of Spirit, which is Love Universal. We have learned that cause and effect are one, hence the expression of perfect cause is by nature, perfect. Whence the seeming imperfection? What is suffering? What we believe we experience in regard to our bodies and to all kinds of form. Wrong believing gives rise to untrue seeing; and imperfect seeing is the cause of that which we call imperfection. Where, then, shall we look for an answer to the mystery of why we suffer and why we sin in a universe of form which is God in action? You will see that we must turn to the thought realm where we have been harbouring misconceptions as to the nature of form; through thought training we can learn to see truth.
What shall we think about form? The natural scientist says that all form is vibration; he accounts for different forms by speaking of these as varying rates of vibration; but he deals with a universal substance which he calls ether. The discovery that matter is a mode of motion leads to the truth, that the universe of form is God-Activity. Infinite-Activity is form. We are told in Genesis that God saw His creation and called it very good. In the knowledge that time is only a concept in our thinking shall we change this great truth into the present tense to meet the views of the present day? God sees His creation and calls it very good. God is true to himself; He sees us and all that He is expressing, as one with Infinite-Life, hence, as whole. God is not expressing that which is unlike himself in nature, since cause and effect are one. What of suffering? Why do we suffer? Surely not because we are by nature intended to suffer but because we have been as a race unwilling to consecrate our thinking to the God-Standard.
Picture a world filled with God-Love and every one in it radiating outstreaming goodwill. Would there be any suffering? Would there be any evil? There could be neither suffering nor evil if all men were thinking true to God-Thought. Wars would end; greed would go; selfishness would cease; destruction would give place to constructiveness. We should see only God in action if the world were thinking true thoughts. It is only in the thought realm that we find suffering and evil, for it is here that we believe in separation, while the truth of life is oneness. As we think, so do we experience. Therefore, let us watch our thinking, for it is through the process of true thinking that we unfold into the consciousness of God and God in action as all there is. True thinking is the basis of all development; it is the key that unlocks the gates of the kingdom--the gates that our thoughts have been locking for us through misconceiving the true meaning of life.
We shall begin to solve the mystery of individual suffering and evils when we believe with all faith that God is thinking forth His own Ideas as perfect, complete, intelligent forms. This is the truth of creation. As we make this truth the basis of our thinking about the universe of form and of all human experiences, darkness, doubt, fear, and all other human limitations will vanish. Think of the universe of form as a living organism, by nature perfect, and you will draw the world of form around you, into the realm of your thought. Natural science tells us that the universe is a living organism controlled by mind; we believe that the Universe is Mind and Mind in action, and that every expression is conscious to a degree. Mind is manifesting everywhere; the flower evidences this; and so does the tiniest insect that crawls, as well as the mightiest solar system. The mind of the molecule is the God-Mind in manifestation; there is no other mind. Every cell thinks because it is Mind in expression. Mind, universal cause, is revealed by every expression in the universe of form. Universal Mind thinks only truth and wholeness; it is thinking you and me, as it is thinking the solar systems and the grains of sand. This infinite variety of activity shown forth in myriad forms of manifestation is all after a pattern in Divine Mind; each form has its part in Godís mighty design of his activity--the universe of form. The Universe is glorified in God.
What of suffering from the standpoint of Omnipresence? It is purely mental. Pain is caused by fear; and there is nothing in Universal Mind to fear, for all is perfection. It is when we believe in another mind and power that our sufferings begin. Get back to God. Remember the foundation word--oneness. God above all, through all, in all!
You and I must decide as to whether we shall suffer and be sick. The choice is ours. Our attitude will determine what the effect of that which comes to us shall be. After our decision to stand true to Basis is made, we begin to grow in understanding, and the Universe becomes illumined for us with the light of God. We see that the Infinite Being is all and includes all. What God is, is wherever you and I are. Why should we suffer when God is through us and in us? Our own thinking must be at fault! Man, the spoken word of God, is in reality always divine and whole; consequently, in the real of him he does not suffer. It is through belief in separation that he suffers. There is only one God-Expression, and that is good, for God brings forth only that which is like unto himself. Each form of the infinite variety of God-Expression is inherently good. Each of us is always being brought forth by the power of His own consciousness. Expression is eternal; it is always good. We are alive in God. Can God suffer and be sick? Since the good is eternal, what about evil? Has it any place in the plan of existence? Could it really exist? Like suffering, evil is in the thought realm.
Tolstoi says, "God is That All, That Infinite All, of which I am conscious of being a part." Another has said, "God is the totalized consciousness of the whole."
Natural science is fast working out of the concept of a dead material universe tossed about by various forces, to a universe all force, life, soul, thought. God is not half dead, but wholly alive; hence the Universe is wholly good. In form, God the Infinite, is called finite, because infinity is centered and located in the visible expression of invisibility. The man who is conscious of this intimate relationship between himself and God is blessed indeed. There is no material universe in the sense of a universe apart from God.
Our suffering is purely mental; it is induced by belief in another power than the power of good. As soon as we separate ourselves in the thought realm from the realization of the eternal and ever present goodness of Life, we suffer. As long as men believe in two powers, they will suffer. Suffering and sin are the results of wrong thinking. Are these experiences mysterious? They are only the result of our unwillingness to face the full import of the law of cause and effect.
The mystery of evil is allied with the mystery of suffering. How can there be evil in a universe of form that is wholly good? Again I say, evil, like suffering, is in our thinking. There is no principle of evil, for principle is eternal, and evil is temporal. Where, then, does it originate? Whither does it go? That which has its inception in a wrong mental attitude really comes from ignorance and returns to nothing. Evil is a temporary condition of the mentality which can be banished when we choose to live aright, for since the power of good is at the foundation of all expression, evil has no real hold upon the individual. The power of good is the power inherent in the development of the world; it is all-powerful in civilization. Evil is being overcome by the setting of a higher thought standard for the race. Jesus overcame evil with good; this he did by his thinking. His love, deep, true, and steadfast, has touched humanity in a way that no other love ever has. We do not overcome evil by denying it with the lips; we must overcome it as Jesus did, with good.
Nine-tenths of the wrongs and sufferings of the world come from manís inhumanity to man. All conditions of evil, such as the sweat shop, unjust labor conditions, all immoral conditions, could be banished from the face of the earth, if men would turn their thought to universal love, for the evils of the world would fade away in the light of good.
There is no evil to the one who lives with the vision of God before him. Evil is the outer result of a mental condition of fear, ignorance, doubt, unbelief. As fear is the cause of suffering, so is it the cause of evil. We fix our attention on the dark places because we fear these; we emphasize darkness instead of light. Our world becomes peopled with fears, doubts, misgivings, and our birthright of health, peace, power, and joy seems to desert us. But does it really leave us? No, that cannot be. Since power, love, health, wisdom, and joy are the truth of us, these cannot really desert us, except when we turn our thought away from these to false images of sin and suffering; then we seem to lose our heritage of good for a time. True thinking brings us back to the good. We are by nature children of righteousness and truth. That evil is not one of the eternal realities is evidenced by the instability of its nature. Even though there are numerous world conditions which are obviously evil, such as war, jealousy, dishonesty, injustice, suspicion, it is also evident that these conditions have no place in the universal plan. God does not know these. Since God is all, evil must be a temporary condition without power. Evil always vanishes when you and I take a strong enough stand in God-Consciousness.
How is it, then, that we continue to believe in the power of evil and suffering in a Universe which is God and God in action? I believe that men are brought forth, children in consciousness in order that they may have the opportunity of working out their own salvation. The intent of the Father for his children is that they shall attain; hence they are brought forth perfect, divinely capable of unfolding. Great is the privilege of development! Men are left to make their own decisions, and to exercise their own free-will as to how and when to attain. God must desire the companionship of His children, or He would not have created them capable of Divine understanding. God knows about each one and shares in the development of the individual; every true thought you and I think is approved of God. Upon our decision to choose God as our comrade in every experience of life depends our well being. It is the Spirit which preserves us from all evil.
Ignorance keeps before us pictures of unrealities called evil and suffering, and fear keeps us bound to these. Knowledge of truth frees us from bondage, and right thinking makes us free from evil and suffering. These are mysteries only in so far as we give them power to shape the lives of individuals. Why do we suffer? Why do we sin? The same answer suffices for both questions. Our thinking is not true to the foundation principle of Life; the Universe of form is God in action. God is infinite Love, and in Love there is only light; there is no mystery.
The Mystery of Old Age
Why do we get old? If the Law of Life is continuous progression, why do signs of age appear to us? How shall we account for the decrepitude that seems to accompany the later years of life? These appear to be mysteries, but there is a solution of any mystery in the contemplation of the life process from the basis of Omnipresence. Life is eternal progression in the thought of those who are keeping the faith. In the real there is no stagnation, neither is there retrogression. There is change in the process in the visible, but nothing is lost. Years are dreaded and feared by many because age, as we call it, has usually been accompanied by loss of power and joy; we are learning to live now, however, so that the signs that follow the passing of years are being done away with.
It is difficult to understand the experience of old age as we see it, unless we consider for a moment the fixed habit of thought in relation to the burden of time upon men. The race has thought for ages in terms of time; we have emphasized a past and a future, instead of a present. Why not live in the eternal present? In it we do not get old. He who lives in his thought in a living present begins to see the place of what we call age in the unfoldment of man. I am glad for every year; a birthday is a landmark in progress, not in deterioration. It is worthwhile to have lived three hundred and sixty-five days well, my friend. Have you ever thought of your birthdays in this way?
Old age does not mean the burden of years; it means the fruition of a life. Years are our friends, not our enemies, if we live in harmony with these, and think of them as opportunities for development. Each day of the year is in itself an opportunity to realize more of truth; but unwisely we resist the passing of the years instead of cooperating in spirit with the seeming flight of time. It is human ignorance in relation to process that makes us old, not the experiences of time in its passing. It is our attitude toward time that keeps us free from the limitations that the race would burden us with.
What about the signs of age? These are unnecessary in the world of continuous progression. There are some of us who are learning to come up over the old thought habits that made us feel weak and incapable. We are learning to demonstrate. It has been said that you and I are as old as we feel and act. I believe that we are. Age is a belief about the body; youth is of the soul; it is the joy of living. Age is the concept of separation from this very joy of living. I like to feel the dignity of the years, and I am proud of having lived a good many. Years I count not as the passing of time, but as opportunities for the gathering of wisdom. The well-spent years are very rich.
A race belief in a material process has dominated our thinking for many years. What are we going to do about it? Why not begin today to change our attitude toward the experience of age? There will never be a better time than now. Some people are getting old; others are growing old. There is a difference in the results of viewing age from a material or from a spiritual point of view. Which shall we see--youth and progress or decline and stagnation? This lies with you and me. Are we watching the passing of the years and believing that with each one we lose strength, intelligence, power, joy? Some of us believe so strongly that as we get old certain faculties grow weaker and are finally lost. Is this true or do we only think it is? Why are we seeing decay? The question is easily answered; we are thinking it. Men do not have to go down hill until their process ends, as we say, in death. To be here and not to live is the only death there is. If we consecrate our living to development in consciousness, we shall come into the whole truth about man. The knowledge of all the processes of life is with man. The belief in disease and old age is a phase of our misconception about ourselves.
It is difficult to tell just what old age is, even if we feel old. We are told by natural scientists that the body is in a condition of change, and that no part of it is over a year old at a given time, unless it be the teeth, which change about every two years. It is self-evident that age is a mental condition. The world has so long believed in process with a beginning and an end that we have much to overcome. The question may be asked, "If disease is a mental condition, why should animals be ill?" It is a case of the higher influencing the lower; animals respond to the thoughts of men; they do not originate mental images of imperfection, but they follow ours.
Thought bridges all things. There is neither space nor time that thought cannot obliterate. There is no age in eternal Being, neither is there youth. There is only one Source of life and health--God. We are illumined when we recognize our Source. The cause of all ills is the turning of the thought to an outer source. In the external there are all kinds of misconceptions; we are self-hypnotized into believing that there is much wrong with us because we are getting old. We get old resisting the outer. The only power that the external has is what we give to it. The race has believed in the decrepitude of old age for centuries; therefore, men have been greatly afflicted with the burden of years; they have watched for and emphasized the symptoms of advancing years. We are still yielding to race conceptions.
There is neither youth nor age to the one who knows God as his Life; there is increasingly powerful living. The use of our faculties should not be affected by the addition of years. What are years in themselves? How shall we keep young? How shall we overcome the belief in years? It is all worked from within. The mentality must be kept active and powerful by identifying it with the one Mind which knows neither youth nor age. Let us keep alert; inertia is a sign that we are forgetting to keep close to God. Loss of memory is another one of the ills that we bring upon ourselves by misconception. Divine Mind never forgets; it never overlooks a blade of grass in this Universe of its creating. As we identify with Divine Mind we see that there is no loss of memory possible, for constant activity is the state of Infinite Mind. Do not listen to the race belief that because we have lived on this plane of existence for three score years and ten we must begin to retrograde; there is no truth in it. Listen to the Life Principle speaking always in terms of Life, Life, Life!
Inertia keeps you out of the kingdom; alertness leads you in, if it is the alertness of truth in you. Keep alive; stay young; be joyful. Life is ever new; there is nothing old. Take your part in the progressive life of the race; do not stay behind. Thrill with the meaning of each new discovery in the world of natural science. Know yourself for what you are--a child of the living God. Keep close to little children; they love life and are happy.
There is nothing like the outpouring of love to keep us young. Do not allow the suggestion of years to enter into your thought about the conduct of life. He who thinks he canít run, canít; and he finds that he is falling behind in more ways than one. Remember that the strong man rejoices to run the race as much as he rejoices in reaching the goal. Consider your birthdays as days marking progression. Take no thought for tomorrow. The tomorrows will take care of themselves. Keep the present rich, vital, alive with God. Live more buoyantly and more abundantly. Forget the race misconceptions. Do not think that you must wait until you die to know Eternal Life. Life in its fulness is here now.
Make for yourself a list of the outstanding qualities of eternal youth. Ask yourself, "Am I learning to apply these qualities more truly with the passing of days? Am I expressing the inherencies of youth in my thinking and my doing?" Check up! Can you place a yes beside the following qualities: buoyancy, alertness, vitality, appreciation, cheerfulness, powerfulness? If you can, you are not getting old.
Is old age mysterious? Wherein lies the mystery? Perhaps there has been a mystery to those who did not understand that life is eternal progression. We grow old in wisdom, love, and joy, with the years. That is well. The mystery is solved; it was in your thought and mine. Life is eternally young; it is ever new. We thought it had an end. We thought we saw process end in the individual; but that is not true, for process is universal and eternal. Yielding to the race conceptions we looked old and showed the results of our thinking in signs of age. We called this a mystery, while it was only the effect of a cause in our thinking. The mystery of old age is solved; it is the sign that follows a thought process. Now that the mystery is solved, why not stay young?
"And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday: thou shalt shine forth; thou shalt be as the morning."
The Mystery of Death
Men have been so engrossed in watching process in the visible that they have missed the vision of the invisible; contemplation of the part has taken the place of meditation upon the whole. Men have believed that because their comrades passed out of the radius of the senses that there must be a mystery about their abiding place. "If we cannot see and touch our loved ones in this body which we have always known, where are they?" This question is asked over and over again. It is easily seen why a mystery arose around the experience men called death. They have been in bondage to the world conception of death as the opposite of life.
The New Revelation is changing our conception about many things; best of all we are coming to know the reality of the seen and the unseen; we are seeing these as one. We are seeing life and the experience called death according to a clearer vision as we free ourselves from the bondage of world conceptions and look directly through appearances into reality. The light of truth is revealing to us that there is only one experience of death: this is when men die in sin and in ignorance. Limitation is death, because it is the opposite of freedom. He who frees himself from these limitations--sin, sickness, and fear--shall not taste of death. We are coming to see that just as bondage to wrong belief is death, so is the belief of separation from God. In fact the man who separates himself from God in his thinking and from his fellow men in his doing is experiencing one form of death.
A consideration of the experience of death from the standpoint of Divine Science will bring an answer to the question, "Who are the dead?" The so-called dead are those who conceive themselves apart from Life--God in action. In this God-Plan of eternal progression there is no death. The process of life is that of resurrection, continuous unfoldment. Divine Science sees resurrection as an eternal process; we rise out of limitation daily. This is living. We rise out of the belief in death or separation into the realization of unity and cooperation. To rise we must train our thought to see the true and the beautiful--God in action--instead of the false and the ugly, menís opinions from the standpoint of duality.
It is interesting to trace the differing attitudes toward death that have characterized the expressions of our fellow men. The Christian has faced it as a calamity with fortitude and resignation, while he has resisted death and mourned it as the worst of evils; for to him it was synonymous with separation of loved ones and the ending of earthly life, but it was the will of God.
Has the dread and fear of death, as we call the experience of transition, passed out of the thinking of those who call themselves followers of New Thought? With many resistance to the experience still remains; it is considered an evil, because they think it is a sign that truth has failed. Divine Science is not willing to admit that the incident in life that men call death is an evidence that truth has failed. We believe that God does not know death, for God is Life. What, then, is the origin of the belief that prevails concerning the experience? It is a condition in your thinking and in mine. Natural science tells us that death is an acquired habit of the race, and that since men have taken it on, men must throw it off. Divine Scientists know that there is only one place in which to overcome death; this is in your thinking and in mine. Natural science tells us that men are potentially able to throw off this acquired habit; we believe that the race is able to rise out of the misconception that men must die. Wise men have told us that death is the last enemy to be overcome, and this is a reasonable assertion, for the race habit of the thought of death is deeply imbedded in our subconscious mind. It will take consecrated effort to root it out. We all recognize the difficulties attendant upon weeding our gardens, especially in keeping weeds out even after much effort.
Let us keep our thinking true to the principle of God and God in action as the basis for our thinking. God and God in action, then, is the Universe. Eternal evolution is the law of Being. We have within us the power to unfold continuously in the realization of God-Consciousness. We are alive in God, the eternal Creator expressing as Creation.
Men resist what they fear; hence, they have resisted death. What is the ground for a fear of death in the light of the New Revelation? Think for a moment. How can we fear if we believe that law is God in action, and that this experience called death comes by law, and is an incident in a living process? In life there can be no cessation of activity, no instant when God is not. Why fear? In the concept of Omnipresence there is no place for the absence of life. Fear is a belief in separation; a misconception that there is life and that there is death. We have thought in terms of activity and inactivity; whereas there is only one state, God in action.
We have thought of a beginning and an end. Reflect for a moment. We have accepted Omnipresence--God everywhere--how can there be a beginning and an end in God? You will agree with me that the limitation is in our thinking, not in the universal plan of which there is neither beginning nor end. It is only human experience that conceives death and calls it an ending; in the infinite plan what we call death is only transition, one of our opportunities for higher development.
We are all seeking truth; those who seek faithfully find. The men of natural science are hardheaded, patient men working carefully, persistently, accurately, definitely, to discover more and more of the facts about life. They are careful to make no mistakes; integrity and accuracy are their standard. We are careful to make no mistakes--our Basis is eternal truth. As they declare the fact of life everywhere, so we affirm the truth of their declarations by asserting that God-Life is everywhere. Natural science teaches that everything in the universe is active; there is nothing static. The truth of this statement is affirmed in Divine Science by the declaration--God and God in action is all there is.
The world as we see it is factual; the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms are facts. Form is a fact; process is evident. The fact is the temporal; truth is the eternal. The fact is the phenomenon, the thing that is evident; the truth is the meaning back of the phenomenon. We seem to see when we consider only the phenomenon, the beginning and the end of process. Hence, there arises in the individual a peculiar dread of the end of things; the end of what we call the world process seems to us vital. Let us turn the inner eye upon the eternal Process; even though to you and to me there may seem to be a cessation of the process in the visible, so far as we can see with the eyes of the senses. Are we learning to think through facts into truth? Is life in the light of truth made up of phenomena alone, or of the Cause and the phenomenon? There is an answer to this question in the teaching of Omnipresence; for Life is Omnipresent Spirit, and process is God-Expression.
We seem to have dwelt upon separation until we have come to think in terms of duality; this side, meaning the manifest world, the other side, meaning the unmanifest. It is the unmanifest or the unseen that we persist in veiling in mystery. Humanity has clung to the visible and the tangible; the factual has held men firmly in its grip. They have been sure of the visible, so they thought, and correspondingly unsure of the invisible. The invisible was thought of as that which is coming next, instead of that which is now. All sadness in relation to the experience we call death passes when we understand the truth of the universe of form--that everything from the atom to the solar system is alive in God. All is Life; all Life is God-Life. Where can we go from Life? We leave Life only in our thinking; and then we think that we are no longer one with God.
Let us never get away from the truth of an orderly universe of form. Everything comes by law; and everything that comes in the process of law is progression. The eye of faith looks straight across the gulf of seeming separation, and see that every experience is good, and means progress for the individual, and that what we have called death is only a transition, an evolutionary step. I can almost hear you say, "What about the sadness of separation from our loved ones in the life of the home? Why is one whose life is so full of promise taken out of this sphere of action?" When we are at one with the truth of law as God in action and when we put that which we know into practice in our daily lives, we shall see that there is no separation, and shall be able to make practical use of this great truth. Our loved ones are in the One Presence. Let us turn away from any concept of cessation of activity in relation to the incident we call death. No experience can retard our development; it is only our attitude toward the experience that limits us.
The prodigal son was progressing all of the time that he was in the Far Country; he was satisfied when he had seen the meaning of husks, to return to his Fatherís house. His journey proved a worthful one, in that it showed to him the glory of that which he had left. So it is with us; we journey away often, and make mistakes the world calls evil, but as we begin to live truth, we rise from our dream of sense satisfaction, and go back in our thought to Spirit. How wonderfully the law works. We find that we have not really been away at all; we have only conceived separation in our thinking. In other words out thoughts have been in a Far Country; we have been emphasizing the part instead of the whole.
How many of us have expected to find our satisfaction in the outer only to discover that all we wish for is already fulfilled within. Our eyes have been turned in the wrong direction. We have seen lack and imperfection, and through our misconceptions these things looked real to us. The experience itself has neither meaning nor effect until we endow it by our mental attitude, with the power to cause results in our lives.
The question comes to all of us sometime in our lives, ďWhat must I do to be saved from all of these misconceptions?Ē We find ourselves getting under conditions of sickness, lack, fear. We become disheartened; the need seems very great. The responsibility is still yours and mine. It is left to us to take the step that leads to salvation. We must clear our vision, and turn our thought within to the true Source of help; then shall we see life rich and filled with blessings. It will be proved to us that all process is worth-while and has a deep meaning, if we see Life as a Divine Process. We are here to develop; let us welcome experiences as means to an end; not as ends in themselves. We shall not fear the process, when we understand that it is all progress. Then we shall cease to see experience detached from progression. When we fail to catch the relation of experience to a progressive plan, it assumes undue proportions, because we are thinking of what the experience can do to us, instead of what we can do with the experience.
In the light of the new understanding it is revealed to us that it is unnecessary to go through a hard experience of suffering and separation which the world calls death in order to attain freedom from limitation; but if we have not outgrown this conception, when death comes, we should see that it comes by law when it is best for the individual. We move from house to house, from city to city, without fear; yes, even from country to country. In fact, the experience of change is a pleasurable one. Why, then, should we dread journeying from one plane of activity to another? Life is a school; when you and I have done the work in one grade satisfactorily, we are promoted to the next higher; so it is that when we have learned the lessons in one stage of development in the process of education, we are pronounced worthy of the next. Promotion in the school of life is eternal. As we progress we are needed somewhere else in the eternal plan; and you and I go on when it is best for us as individuals. The law of progress is perfect at every point.
Sometimes we fall into narrow grooves of thinking and doing; these are called ruts; and without doubt, retard our development. Ruts offer to us the line of least effort; and when we become mentally lazy or when we feel that we have reached the final word of knowledge, and refuse to progress of our own accord, we must be jostled out of the rut. Blessed is the law that moves us out into greater opportunities for progression.
There are so many questions connected with a discussion of this subject of death that it is difficult to find the most pertinent; I think, however, that one engrossing question in the thoughts of those who doubt and of those who believe is: Where do those who have passed through the experience known as death go? They seem to drop the body; hence, the world belief has wrapped the departed, as they are called, in a veil of mystery. Can they function without the tangible body which has seemed to identify them as individuals here? Think of the little we have learned of the infinite universe of form around us; the laws of the solar systems are no more difficult to understand than are the laws of the tiniest flower that grows. There is so much that is still in the invisible in so far as we are concerned. Our senses register much that is vital in the universal plan, as it functions, but these also miss much that is wonderful. The universe of form is active in myriad ways that our senses are unable to comprehend; however, we see that these phenomena are the results of an infinite Cause. Can we not see that the Infinite Intelligence which is ever creating the universe of form is equipped to take care of the individual? Are we trusting it? The law of love is unfolding you and me into ever greater awareness of truth. Life is continually enlarging for us, as we live it with understanding.
Do you believe in God? If you do, you must see that death is only a name for an event in Life Eternal. The law of Life is good; hence, the event is good. When we have learned how to live, the experience that we speak of as death will not be preceded by difficulties, suffering, and sadness; we shall simply go on. There is no weakness in the process of Life; it is only our attitude toward the experience that is wrong. The same is true of the event known as death; it is our attitude that is wrong. There is without doubt a possibility of reaching a state of consciousness in which we shall be translated without pain and sadness. "Enoch walked with God, and was not." Moses, Elijah, and Jesus all reached the degree of consciousness which has proved to us that death is only an event in life. Jesus rose from the dead; for to him all was Life; he ascended over the beliefs in limitations; and he proved to us that he did this through faith in the law of Life.
Death is no longer to be thought of in the old ways. It does not mean an end or in itself the way to attainment; for the event of the passing on does not open all possibilities to us at once. Law is working; there are no leaps into untried spheres; there is orderly progression. Heaven is here; it is in our thought, and we need not pass through the gates of death in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, as the older creeds taught. As we unfold we rise into the heavenly state, for we are dropping our limitations of fears and beliefs. There is no other life; there is only Life. The word, other, must have come into use to meet a need of those who taught the dualistic concept. It has no meaning in the New Revelation.
There is no joy aside from knowing God. In the greater freedom of the thought of the one who knows God there is opportunity to develop in ever richer ways. There is no finality of expression; phases of the Infinite Life to live. The law of love transfers us from our good. Let us trust it for ourselves and for others. It is our faith that makes us whole. See Life, not death. Think of the joys of eternal progress, and you will rejoice in every process. There is Life, Life, Life! There is no death--hence, there can be no mystery.
The Mystery of Healing
Mankind has looked upon healing as a bodily process, and there has always been a sense of the mysterious attached to it. Among primitive peoples there are rites and medicinal herbs that are thought to hold within themselves the power of restoring men to health. As you see, faith in something is necessary. While men are believing in these means of restoration, they are shrouding them in mystery. How we have worked to take life out of the natural and to surround its observances with the supernatural. Now we are coming to see that there is no supernatural, for the natural is God in action.
Divine Science is revealing to us two things: first, that healing is not a physical process but, spiritual realization; and second, that health is not a condition of physical well-being only but the realization of a state of wholeness in the individual. Healing is the turning from the belief in disease to the realization of Godís Presence and Perfect Activity. God is health. Do I hear you asking, ďSince God is health and God is omnipresent, what is there to be healed?Ē There is only one condition to be healed--our misconceptions.
When we understand form, our point of view on healing becomes clearer. In the old thought what was called form or matter was considered susceptible to all kinds of ills. Healing, consequently, meant a righting of wrong conditions, a changing of disease into health. Divine Science holds that Substance is God and that form is Substance in manifestation; hence, form is declared incorruptible because by nature it is perfect. God is being rediscovered. In the light of Divine Science, we see omnipresent Spirit manifesting in an infinite variety of forms. We believe in the perfection of the manifest because God is everywhere. We know that imperfection is only our misconception. Form is the expression of God; it is Spirit manifest, and Spirit is perfect, true, and harmonious.
As the misconception, dualism, passes, and the true conception of One Presence and Power takes its place, the unity of all life is being revealed as well as the perfect nature of all God manifestation--and there is no other. Divine Science recognizes the unity of the universe, and form and Spirit, not as two, but as one. Just so long as we persist in thinking in terms of two powers, there will be a mystery about all manifestation. So long as we emphasize the power of mind over matter, we are holding on to a dualistic conception; we are proclaiming the existence of two powers. There is danger in this; it retards our development.
While healing to the mental scientist is brought about by exercising the power of mind over body; to the Divine Scientist health is the natural state of the individual and is only waiting for his realization of perfection as his divine heritage. Health always is universal, but we do not always realize it.
Mental healing does not differ so much from the old conception of healing the body by external means, for the mental power of one person is supposed to restore another to health. Spiritual healing is realization; it does not bring about anything but realizes what is already there. The greatest thinkers are agreeing that there is only one Power and its activity is the Universe and that we are one with this activity everywhere.
Divine Science sees Godís creation like its Creator, eternally perfect, and untouched by human thought. The creation of God is eternal; the misconception about it is temporal. Spirit is always expressing in terms of perfection; there is nothing that needs healing in God-Life. Where God is, there Substance is, whole and perfect, and God is in all places at all times. There is no place where God is not. What is it, then, that is ill and sinful? It is only our thought of the body; it is not the Body, the temple of the living God; and remember there is only One Body--the God-Body. Divine Science knows one Substance--Spirit--and one Mind--Universal Intelligence. You and I are included in this Mind. All that we see with true vision is Spirit brought forth.
Men are not creators; there is but one Creator--God. Men are sharers in creation which is the very presence of God-Power: Wisdom, Love, Truth, Light. We see what we believe; we believe in imperfection of all kinds, and we see it; hence, there is to you and to me, sickness, lack, sin, as long as we see these. If you are seeing with a limited vision, God seems limited to you. God seems to be a fluctuating power, sometimes in the ascendency, other times under the domination of another power called evil. It is as we think that we experience.
Divine Science teaches that men cannot recreate or rebuild tissue. Tissue is always perfect and does not need restoring; neither can they reshape or restore a body to health. The body does not need this, for it is always perfect. They can, however, accomplish wonderful results by right thinking, and glorify the world with great healing power by consecrated thinking which brings realization of perfection. Body is Mind in manifestation. Do we believe this? If we do, you and I are healed. Body is perfect as its Source; it can not suffer, be sick, or die. Jesus said, ďBe ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.Ē He meant this. Since ye are perfect, why not realize your perfection. Right thinking restores us in consciousness to our normal state--perfection, although we seem to have been straying far from it.
We are responsible for our wrong thinking as well as our wrong doing. Difficult experiences are the results of misconceptions about our bodies and our affairs. Ignorance is blindness; it is darkness. And in the darkness, yes, even in the twilight, things assume grotesque shapes; a tree stump takes on the semblance of a huge bear, and until our vision is cleared, we fear the bear on the path before us as much as if it were a bear. To us it is. So it is with the body when we see it through the shades of twilight-thinking; it seems to have many ills; it does not look to us in the half-light like the God-Body. Why? Is it the Body or is it our misconception of it? Since we believe that there is only One Substance, God, and that our bodies are Substance in action, these are in truth perfect. We see the body imperfectly and say that it is sick, when we look through the dimmers of sense experiences. Remember always that the senses give us only a partial report of the true state of anything. Let us look with the eye of Spirit, the single eye, and our bodies shall be full of light.
Misconceptions are shadows that fall across sunlit paths only to flicker away. We are emerging into the full light of truth to see that man is perfect Being. When we realize this, we are healed. Faith in God makes us whole; health is wholeness, and it is our normal state. There is no mystery in healing for God is Health.
The Mystery of Wrong Habits
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Strangest of all inventions is the belief that man may be in subjection to certain wrong habits; and that he can become so enslaved to drink and drugs, or to some other wrong habit that he loses the uprightness of manhood and finds himself lower than the animals. That man should yield himself to such degradations is the greatest of all mysteries.
What shall we think about it? Just this--that in the light of Omnipresence man is in truth free from all bondage to human opinion--the many inventions--but that as a child of God made in His image and likeness, man may regain and maintain his uprightness. As soon as man knows his liberty as a son of God and stands true to his divine heritage, he will find his release from every conception that has held him in subjection to race belief. Glorious liberty! Joyous freedom! And it belongs to us as our birthright from God.
Can this be proved? It has been proved over and over again. Thousands, perhaps millions, are, with head erect, walking uprightly as God made them; all because of their knowledge of Truth. Here are a few demonstrations of this kind that I have seen. About two months after we had studied this Truth, a man came to the house to tune our piano. My sister, in talking with him, learned that he was a slave to the tobacco habit and, feeling that it was making havoc of his health, longed to overcome it, but thought that he had not the strength of character to do so. My sister told him a little about her new outlook upon life and asked if he wished her to help him to break the habit. He was grateful. We did not see him again for some weeks, but one day he came in to thank Sister for the great help that she had given him. The desire for tobacco had quietly slipped away, and he had not desired any for weeks. I have known a number of such cases.
One splendid man had lost out on account of drink. He longed to stop but could not. He was induced to come to one of our courses of lessons, and there he learned the power of realizing God as an all-powerful help in every need. Years afterwards he told me of the joy that had come to him when, through his own faith, he was healed, and never since had he wanted to take liquor in any form.
One of the most interesting cases I know is that of a steady drinker who went to a practitioner for help in freeing himself from his thraldom. After she had given the treatment, he said to her, "I always begin my drinking for the day by taking beer at a luncheon. I must not do that today, must I?" He told that the burden ahead of him was heavy upon him. To his surprise the practitioner replied, "Do not fight the desire for liquor. If you wish it, take it; but I am quite certain that you will not wish it much longer." A great weight was lifted from him as he went away with the thought, "I can have my beer if I wish it." And such a thing as his not wishing it did not enter his head. At lunch time he ordered his bottle of beer with his luncheon. He felt particularly well and happy and ate his meal with relish. He was pushing his chair back from the table, about to leave, when he noticed the untouched bottle of beer. He had forgotten it. Now he did not wish it, and from then on he had no desire and had never tasted a drop from that time. Was not that a wise practitioner? She caught from him the fear of the struggle ahead of him; he had been through it before, and he dreaded the days ahead. She, with faith in Godís presence and certain of His Spirit in the man, was not afraid to trust, and by her quiet attitude of certainty dissolved all resistance in him. She loosed him and let him go, keeping herself positive in the consciousness of Godís Allness.
One may have help from others, or through oneís own study and endeavor, he may overcome any wrong habit and be the man that he is. By nature he is Divine. How is it done? Through the knowledge and practice of Omnipresence. Here are the steps to attainment: first, make yourself certain of Godís universal presence. From every point of view this fundamental teaching of Divine Science is reasonable. Natural scientists after years of earnest seeking say there is one substance, one life, one intelligence, found throughout the universe. Unity is their great word. Philosophers asking the why of things find monism (oneness) the only reasonable interpretation of the universe.
Religion with spiritual insight declares, "There is one God and Father of all, above all, through all, and in you all." "For in him we live and move and have our being." "For of him and through him and to him are all things." "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" "Behold I fill heaven and earth," saith the Lord.
The first step in our freedom from bondage is to know God. The second step in our overcoming is to live by this truth of Omnipresence, to bring our thoughts up to its standard in integrity, love, life, health, and power. This means watchfulness, exceeding watchfulness at first, until the habit of right thinking is established. We must also keep our attitude always sweet, true, and kind, and faith-imbued--serving wherever opportunity affords.
Thoughts and deed combined, when based upon the foundation principle of the universe--conscious unity with God and with our fellow men--are invincible; all-powerful in cleansing us from false beliefs and wrong habits, and in blessing those with whom we come in contact day by day. First to know, then to do are the laws of release.
The mystery? Yes, it is a mystery that man brought forth by Divine Power, endowed with God-Being and, therefore, Godlike in nature, infinite in potentiality, should conceive in his thoughts that which is untrue, ungodlike; but so he has done, and the point with us now is not to waste time wondering over this phenomenon, but to know God and to translate this knowledge into thought and action. Thus will the mystery disappear--"Behold, I have considered the place thereof and it is no more."
The Mystery of Human Characteristics
The race has been acquiring undesirable characteristics through the centuries instead of turning to the divine inherencies: wisdom, love, knowledge, understanding, power, life, and joy. All of these are inherent in God-Life, and Divine Love is sharing these with you and me. In considering every subject we should turn our attention toward our foundation; we cannot then go very far astray. For example, the question is often asked: "Why do these undesirable human characteristics persist after we have learned that, in the light of truth, we are divinely endowed?" This is a practical question; and a satisfactory answer to it will be most helpful to those who are seeking to serve more efficiently by living truer lives.
We are children of God, heirs of God, and we truly inherit a nature that is divine. Let us see then, why we have this fault and that fault, this virtue and that virtue. We are wondering the same things about our neighbors as we do about ourselves. Are we not? The assertion that human traits are transmitted from father to son which is so generally accepted shows that we really believe in a human source. This concept is deeply rooted in the thought of the race, and like all racial concepts is not easily dissolved. It seems that if we view these human characteristics from the point of view of the Universal Presence and Power of Good, the mystery of them should fall away. God is living us and God is manifesting perfection. What does it mean to be alive? It means that Infinite Love is expressing as form, and that you and I as God-Expressions are destined to realize God-Life--that Life which is powerful, true, pure, and joyous. Nothing is thrust upon you and me, however, as children of an Almighty Love; we are free to choose which kind of thoughts we shall think.
Do you see what our foundation is? Men are wonderfully and eternally good by nature. We are sharers of Life Divine; we partake of the Nature of God. Universal Love is expressing as the individual; the Father is working in us to will and to do. The same Power that brings my work to me, helps me to do it well, for Divine Power is radiating through me. Since it is the only power, why do we give power to so many things?
It is true that we do not all move forward toward the realization of our Divinity at an even pace even though our destiny is unchangeable. We shall ultimately know truth, and this knowledge shall set us free from the limitations of the human characteristics that seem to keep us from realizing our destiny. There is in reality no standing still, and no going backwards. Each one is progressing to some degree. Did the prodigal son retrograde during his journey in the Far Country? It does not seem so, for did he not rise out of the experience of separation from God in his thinking, and return to the Fatherís house? The Father did not force the prodigal to return; but he loved him all of the time he was away.
There is no ruling power that forces us into realization of our heritage; we may wander far and suffer many tribulations before we decide to return to a right attitude--one that will put us in harmony with good. Divine Love is always sharing its warmth, glory, and beauty. It impels the individual to do better things, but it does not compel him to live to his highest. Man is a free agent in so far as his power of choice to realize the good that is always his is concerned. We cannot as individuals by using our personal wills change the truth of what we are in God. A child of God can not change his nature for it is divine. He can, however, neglect to cooperate with Divine Activity, and thereby retard his own progress. Those who through ignorance deny their divine nature live in limitation until they change the trend of their thinking. We seem so eager for the worldly inheritance, and correspondingly indifferent to the Divine Inheritance.
What you and I think does not change the truth of Life. Divine Law is working irrespective of our opinions; let us cooperate with the working of law. If we depend upon our inner heritage, the outer will take care of itself. If we choose the right way, we shall move forward at a much more rapid rate. The choice of the ignorant way means the retarding of our unfoldment. Fulness of life for us depends upon our decisions; we must decide for ourselves what our reactions to experiences shall be. Are we moved and changed by outer things? Is the trend of your life and of mine to be determined by circumstances and conditions? Or shall we say with Paul, "None of these things move me?" The decision lies with you and me.
Jesus believed in freewill; he believed that manís destiny is realization of the whole, but that the rate of his progress is determined by the kind of thinking he chooses to do. He shows us that we are truer companions of God because we are endowed with the power of choice. The victory is much greater if we choose the way of truth as free agents. Although our destiny is chosen for us, our rate of development toward this realization is a matter of our decision. Jesus brings out this truth in the Parable of the Talents. Shall we use the Divine Inheritance that is ours, or shall we bury the riches of it under a load of fear and material limitations? Again the choice is left with us. Shall we follow the example of Jesus, and merge the personal into the Divine? This means progress. It means acceptance of Omnipresence as a working basis for life. As we accept the Allness of God, so do we prosper in every phase of our expression.
How shall we make use of the acceptance of Omnipresence as a basis for the overcoming of wrong human characteristics? First of all, let us apply to our dispositions the fact that harmony is Godís way. Do these need changing for the better? It lies within us to make all necessary changes; we may turn a gloomy disposition into a joyous one, or a selfish one to an unselfish one. We can overcome evil with good. The person who looks out upon human experience from the standpoint of the eternal presence of God as the background of his life is the one who comes up over limitation. He overcomes hardship with understanding, foolish ways with wise ones, ignorance with knowledge, separation with love, weakness and inefficiency with power, sorrow with joy, death with Life Eternal. We are much concerned about our temperaments and those of our children and our friends; psychologists are planning ways and means for overcoming undesirable temperaments by outer methods. Why do we not turn to the true method of overcoming--to the understanding of the truth of Being? By this truth we see that we are inherently whole; we are neither weak nor are we sinful.
Some of us are easily discouraged. I hear people say that after years of the study of truth they are still facing conditions of limitation such as weakness, temper, selfishness, depression, hatred of others. This simply means that your victory is not won; be steadfast; keep the faith. Life is eternal progression. You are perfect in nature as the Father is perfect, for you are his expression. The human characteristics that you are holding up in contrast to the divine, and grieving over, are only misconceptions of that which really belongs to you and me by our true nature. He who knows that strength is inherent in his Being cannot be weak for long; if you believe that God is Love, you cannot hate. The one who sees God as harmonious activity cannot lack self-control. Those who know that Life is God--joyous and free, cannot be depressed and fearful.
Do not deplore your weaknesses; work with yourself until these go. You are the one to decide whether or not the human failings shall persist. Be sure that you are not falling below Godís high intent for you, his child. If you inherit a temper according to the thought of the race from some one who has gone before you, turn to this affirmation: I inherit poise from my only Source of inheritance, God. If you are afraid of lifeís experiences, say to yourself, I know that God is Life. The Life-Principle is infinitely strong; I will trust it. To the sensitive person I say, "Affirm your part in the universal plan as a child of God, and know that there is only the spirit of love in the real of you and of those who seem to hurt you. Bless the one who tries to do you an injury in word or deed. Know that all Life is One. Sensitiveness is self-centered thinking; think out into the universe; get yourself out of the way, and you will see more clearly."
Do not concentrate on your faults; centralize your thinking around God-Life. Know yourself as God in manifestation. You will overcome by the very process of your thinking; the weak traits will vanish. Ask yourself at some moment when you seemed to lose control, "Why was I angry? Why did I criticize? Why was I thoughtless? Why was I hurt?" In the old way of thinking you may believe that you have answers to these questions that are satisfactory. Have you? Let us see. I was angry, because another was unjust. I was critical, because another was in the wrong. I was thoughtless, because I forgot. I was busy attending to concerns of my own. I was hurt, because another did me harm. Is anything that you have said true? You are receiving only what you open yourself to receive. Another cannot hurt you. You are self-centered and open to discordant thoughts; therefore you receive these. Remember, too, that there is no explanation that is satisfactory for destructive criticism or for lack of consideration; your responsibility is to do your part, not to try to do your neighborís. Thoughtlessness is always selfish; you are thinking only of the personal self, not of the principle involved. Ask yourself, "What is my part?" You will receive an answer.
Are you thinking, "Why was I not put forward as she was or as he was? I am just as capable of doing this greater work." Perhaps you are, but the law of life is working for your good and for the good of all your fellow men. You who believe in law will see that your place is best for you; there is neither high nor low in Godís sight. "All work ranks the same with God."
Are you feeling separation? Are you condemning others? Are you at odds with your work? Are you interpreting everything that comes on the dark side? Are you wondering where these disastrous traits come from in a child of God? From you, not from God, I assure you.
You and I come into this phase of Eternal Life as little children in development; we are not fully aware of our heritage even after many years of growth and unfoldment. We feel the force of race beliefs, and we find these beliefs persisting in us. These human characteristics that have caused us so much trouble--fear, loneliness, despondency, discontent, envy--we carry over from the race owing to our misconceptions about our heritage. These are deeply fixed in us, and it takes definite work--also illumined work--to eliminate them.
It is well for us to face failures squarely; we should know where we fall down, and repent according to the true meaning of the word, repentance, by turning our thoughts in the direction of the truth of Being. What human characteristics have you? Face these without fear, and begin the work of substitution at once. For every limiting trait substitute a universal one. Begin now to strengthen your thinking; this is not difficult. We live only a moment at a time; overcoming means faithfulness. We are not subject to race beliefs; for since we are children of God, the power of God is active within us. We inherit from God only divine characteristics. Let us refuse to acknowledge the power of anything unlike God. We are free by the power of God. Failings and weaknesses do not belong to us; these have no part in divine Life. Failure does not belong to the one who knows his Source; neither does fear.
Universal Life is infinitely powerful. By cooperating with it we can come up over the undesirable human characteristics that have limited us. Let us rejoice that our real inheritance is the inherencies of God-Life. Our method of realization is right thinking.
The mystery of human characteristics is soon cleared away when we view these from the point of view of our true endowment as children of God. Our characteristics are limiting only in so far as we give them power over us. It is the right use of the power within us that makes us powerful. Weakness is a misconception of our potentiality; loneliness is our own thought of separation affecting us; depression is fear of what may happen to us as individuals; temper is misdirected power. We cover our divine power with loads of material limitations, and then, we wonder that we are burdened in a world that is divine, by human characteristics. A few hours of reflection should set us right. There is no mystery about our characteristics; it is our attitude towards these that has caused us to be mystified by their presence.
The Mystery of Human Relationships
We have thought that human relationships held an element of mystery for us, because it has been the custom of the race to speak of that tie which binds families and friends into closer relations as something strange. We have felt ourselves attracted to one person and repelled by another; and some who professed to be revealing the secret of human love and its opposite have told us that there were psychic attractions and repulsions taking form in thought currents. In these years when great stress is being laid upon cause and effect we are learning to reason more wisely about the subject of human relations.
One of the best habits you and I can form in our thinking is to begin to investigate any situation by getting our bearings; in order to get our bearings it is necessary to go back to our Basis and to think from principle. Since we have found that there is a great Reality underlying all relationships in life, let us find out how it applies in your relationships and in mine.
There are two phases in our daily experiences--an outer aspect and an inner reality. Let us turn our thought to that Something within, and begin to solve the problems of our human relationships from this basis. What is that Something within? It is the truth of the Omnipresence of God. It is what Paul taught us--that we live, move, and have our Being in God-Being. There is one God above us, in us, and through us. The psalmist tells us that we cannot flee from the presence of God. Whither shall we go? It is this Presence and Power that inspires us in all our expression--be it in our relationships or in our work. Are we considering this point carefully enough?
What are we seeing in our fellow man? That which we are seeing in ourselves. If we hold steadfastly to the concept of Omnipresence we see that man must be Godlike. We are all divine; we are endowed with the inherencies of infinite Life, and we are all working out our missions as individuals. God is loving through us. Back of us all, there is only one true nature; it is Love--the infinite Presence itself. How, then, can we love some of our neighbors and hate others? Let us see. This is a point for meditation and reflection. If we really know this Presence as infinite, we can draw from it all that is requisite for our development; and we must see our neighbors as we are. That which seems to differentiate one from another is what we call our likes and our dislikes. One person seems to exhibit certain splendid qualities; another, undesirable ones. Consider for a moment. Is it the person or the quality that offends us? If we hold true to Omnipresence our neighbor is not one with his faults and weaknesses; he is one with God. Our neighbor is in God and of God, even if he does not see it. Shall we distrust him for his ignorance? If you and I really get hold of God we shall never separate men into classes--those we admire and those who offend us.
Are we getting our bearings? Do we see where we stand in truth? As we unfold in the process that we call life, God grows greater and greater, nearer and nearer, with the years of our development. We become increasingly more capable of appreciating the larger values of life; and appreciation is another name for love. He who loves, appreciates; and he who appreciates, loves. Spiritual unfoldment and intellectual development should be parallel; the intellectual is simply one phase of the spiritual. In true development, the Spirit within is seeking the Spirit without; there can be no separation. The Divine Urge is impelling us to choose a spiritual basis from which to judge and decide. There is only one retarding element to progressive unfoldment, and that is dependency upon the outer. There are many mysteries for the one who lives in the outer, some of which he never solves until he changes his point of view. Absorption in the external experiences holds us out of the true satisfactions of life.
We never meet any one only on the surface, and establish any bond of understanding with him; we must look through his appearance into the man, if we would understand him. The one who meets the experiences of the home, the schoolroom, the office, the store, the pulpit, or the platform from the deep inner standpoint of high realization sees the bearing of the demands, the events, the circumstances of life upon his individual unfoldment. The man who sees these only as surface incidents falling into his life by chance, fails to establish any contact with the truth of human progress. The former meets the day with power and shapes his own course of progress; the latter falls under the load of the day, and separates himself from the law which is working for his good.
I am often told that Divine Science is a difficult religion to live, and that other forms of religious belief afford an easier way. Perhaps this is true; for in Divine Science we never hold anyone else responsible for the things that come to us; we hold ourselves responsible for meeting the experiences of the day with power and of living our own lives divinely. We work within ourselves. This is a glorious and an easy way after we have made a positive decision, for we soon begin touching reality, and then every phase of human experience is illumined by truth. The thing that makes our living difficult is vacillation. We stand upon the mount of consciousness one minute and see the whole; the next, we are wandering in the valley of indecision. There is, of course, at present necessity for traveling in the valley sometimes, but this does not mean that we need to descend from the consciousness of the mount. We can travel from the heights without losing anything. There is great satisfaction in radiating the light that it may illumine the valley, and bring comfort to the valley dwellers, who often ask, "Why has this come to me?" Those who have spent much time on the mount know why it comes. Experience is by law; we are responsible for making the most of all that comes to us in the way of opportunity, and each experience gives us opportunity for service. Our attitude has all to do with determining the kind of experiences that come to us. The love attitude brings harmony of experience; the fear attitude, confusion.
Love, then, is the basis from which to work out the problems of human relationships. There is always this question to be answered first: How are we loving? Is it an impersonal love? Are we demanding from the one we love or are we giving? Love is reciprocal. The practice of the Golden Rule in relation to our fellow men will solve all mysteries and problems. We must see another in the same light as we see ourselves. Love is freedom, not limitation; faith, not suspicion; light, not darkness. God is Love; and law is God in action. Hence, let us consider well the place of law in our lives; it is fundamental. Law is ever coming forth to bless us instead of to limit us. Relationships come by law; hence, these are experiences to be met with our best. Relations from a human standpoint are often more or less difficult; it often requires a big attitude in order to keep them harmonious. If we lose our sense of perspective in relation to others, these relationships often become obstacles in the path of him who might make of them opportunities if he would. Do you see that after all it is a matter of attitude? In order that we may love our fellow men as Jesus loved his, we must take our personal will and opinions off. Law is always working; we cannot interfere with it. There is nothing by chance; no person comes into our lives who does not for the time being at least belong there. Each one comes by law; there is something to work out before he goes. Only the ones who belong in our lives come to us. What about the ones who seem to cause us much trouble? They are not causing the difficulty; it is only that you and I are seeing the situation from without instead of from within. Let us turn to principle; it is always at hand. No one is unlovable, if we see him as an expression of God-Life, even if he does not see himself that way. We can love everyone, if we will. We must first make our unity with him as a part of the universal plan. If there is at present someone in our environment whom we dislike, let us work with ourselves toward overcoming the aversion. Let us leave the supposed reasons we had for disliking the person out of the question all together. There is tragedy in the thought of how many of Godís children there are who cannot live together harmoniously, because the individual is so busy with his neighborís shortcomings. It is our faults that we are responsible for; these are probably causing inharmony in the group now. Had you ever thought of this?
The law is perfect at every point. Are you longing for a beautiful atmosphere in your home? Test yourself and see if you are keeping the inner glow alive all of the time. You are helping to form the atmosphere; perhaps, you are responsible for it. It is living the Life that counts. Others feel our atmosphere, whether we are aware of it or not.
It is not strange that we are drawn to the one who loves truly; it is not strange that we love; for God is Love, and in Love we have our Being. The mystery is why we do not love all men more. We shall, when we see that love is God in action, and that we are opportunities for the expression of God-Love. Love is not emotion; it is Life. Without Love, Life would not be. God so loves that He gives His all in expression. This is why we live.
The Mystery of Thought Transference
We say, "How wonderful! What marvelous things the brain of man conceives," as each new invention takes its place among the marvels of the century. "What next?" we ask. It is not the brain of man in the accepted sense of the word brain, that is producing the wonders of the age; it is the Mind of God working through the brain of man. All of this development that so often seems to us mysterious, comes by law; there is no chance in it to the one who sees life as eternal progression. Although the latest invention seems greater than the one before it, each has its own place in the line of development that man is following. We think of great achievements as mysterious. How can man think out such wonderful things? Divine Science teaches us not to marvel at the brain power of men, but to recognize the One Mind in action through these men who are cooperating with the great forces of the Universe.
The trend of modern invention is toward the annihilation or elimination of time and space. To the one who believes in the unity of life this is a hopeful sign; for by means of the great mechanical devices of this era of development men are steadily being brought nearer and nearer together. We are today closer to those on the other side of the world owing to the great discoveries of radio and wireless than we were a hundred years ago to those a few miles away. This is all part of the law of progression.
I thrill when I hear that a heart beat in Schenectady was heard recently in San Antonio. We shall not need assembly rooms always; we shall sit in our homes, and hear the Sunday morning sermon, as well as the great musical programs, the operas, and speeches that are being broadcast now. From present indication we shall sit in our homes, some day in the not very distant future, and see the actors, as well as hear them, give their lines.
We who have watched the onward movement of natural science and invention with spiritual insight have known that greater and still greater developments would follow. The world is becoming truly one. Let us by our thinking and living speed the day when the oneness of mankind will be not only theorized over but practiced. It is the bringing together of men in common sympathy and clearer understanding that is the great ideal for the world to follow. The elimination of time and space by mechanical means is wonderfully significant of the unifying process that is working in the Law of Life.
We are almost tempted at times to think that in the greatness of recent discoveries we have heard the last words spoken in the development of different phases of human progress. Is there nothing more to be said? I believe that there are greater things still. When an inventor produced the amplifier for the radio which made it possible for ten thousand persons to hear what ten had heard before, we thought a final word had been spoken; then came the microphone, another invention which is so sensitive that it registers the sound if I drop a crumb of bread upon my table. This sound is registered many miles away. Some of us are saying, "There can be nothing greater than this." I say that there are greater things in our midst right now.
The idea of radio is not new; the practical application of it is. The next step in the application of the principle is mental radio, no doubt. This is thought transference or telepathy. The psychologists are testing out the method of the transference of thought--and are proving that it can be done. Mental radio has been known by many people for years, but they have said little about their experience because they were awaiting further developments. The natural scientific men are not alone in their discovery of thought transference; the spiritual scientific women have seen this possibility for a long time. Their experiences have proved to them that thought messages can be sent without any mechanical means. Women have a deep insight into the things of the Spirit; this does not mean that men do not, but they are more concerned with the outer than women are--of necessity, of course. They are focusing thought upon that which is taking place in the outer conditions of daily existence. It was a woman, you remember, who first recognized the Christ; and she found it difficult to convince the men.
Mental telepathy means that thought messages sent out by me are caught by you. When thought messages were broadcasted by mental radio in years gone by, the phenomenon was considered supernatural. In the light of recent discoveries we find that this is not outside of the law. A great step had been taken; the scientific world is depending less upon material means.
There are two ways of contacting others metaphysically. We may reach them by mental concentration; this method is used by workers in applied psychology and mental science. It has its analogy in radio. The other method of contact is spiritual. In this method we reach another by knowing that there is only one Mind, and commune with him through this realization of unity. Let us for a moment assume the office of the one who forecasts. The spiritual method is the way of the future. It will be applied more and more as we think in terms of unity. The elimination of distance and time in our thought takes place as soon as we are established in the consciousness of the One Mind.
There is most helpful work being done today by the Spiritual scientists who are giving messages of the truth of Being to all the world. We in our treatments and silences are doing what wireless telegraphy is accomplishing by mechanical means. The effect of our thinking is felt not only in our midst and among the loved ones of our home group; these thought messages reach the uttermost parts of the earth. We have no way of measuring the power of thought; we know, however, that it is the mightiest force in existence. No one lives to himself alone. There is a universal radio system. Any one may listen in whose thought instrument is attuned. It is becoming recognized among natural scientists that every man is a radio station, and that we are constantly sending and receiving in the realm of thought. The psychologists are testing thought with instruments in order to prove to the world that thoughts are things. This is well; for the reports that come from learned men in great universities will be accepted by the world at large.
Divine Science teaches that since there is only one Mind, the transference of thought is by law; it is the natural method of communication among men. I like to think that we send thought blessings even to what the world has called the dark continent. I am sure that the natives in Africa can be reached by thought messages and blessed by these. Many of them are tuning in.
Luther Burbank tells many interesting incidents of thought transference in a recent magazine article in which he says that his mother was able to receive and send out thought messages. Mrs. Burbank was at one time attending a wedding at some distance from her home; she had intended to remain in this town during the night. Suddenly she became aware that her son had broken his arm. She returned to her home at once, to find that Lutherís arm had been broken at just the time the mental message had been received. Mr. Burbank says that his sister, according to tests made at the University of California, was able seven times out of ten, to receive messages sent to her telepathically. He says that weak thoughts must soon fall flat, while strong ones may travel to the ends of the earth, and that thoughts held in common by large numbers of people must "swell into a tremendous chorus." Think of the privilege that is ours as individuals--that of lifting up the thought of the world. Every positive thought is an uplifting power. The ideal for the race is unity of thought. Is it true that the confused condition of the world today can be traced to the negative thoughts that the human race has been and still is generating and transmitting? We might well heed these words. We do not give sufficient attention to the power of our thoughts.
Mr. B.F. Mills told an amusing incident of thought transference which proves that we must not be too strenuous in our attempts to get a message across. Mr. Mills and a friend of his, by the name of Thompson, who were especially congenial mentally, decided to try an experiment in thought transference. They agreed that the experiment should be made at ten that evening. About six-thirty Mr. Mills was planning casually what message he should send to his friend. I will ask him when he last heard from his friend Anthony, and tell him to write to Anthony at once. Mr. Mills then dismissed the subject. At ten oíclock he set to work to concentrate with great vigor on the message to Mr. Thompson. He felt assured that such strenuous thought-work could not be done without results. At ten-thirty they were in communication. "Well, Thompson, what did you get?" asked Mr. Mills. "Not much of anything," was his friendís reply. Mr. Mills was greatly disappointed. "Well, didnít you get something?" Mr. Thompson in a vague way answered, "I got something about an automobile. What did you really send?"
"I asked you when you had heard from Anthony, and added that you must write to him at once." "Thatís queer," said Mr. Thompson, "at six-thirty I seized with the greatest desire to write to Anthony, and I did." It was at six-thirty that Mr. Mills was planning his message to Mr. Thompson in a casual, easy way. The ten oíclock message had been blocked by the strenuous efforts of the sender to get it across.
Healing and all thought transference should be carried on with lack of effort, quiet certainty and confidence. Do not treat with screwed up faces and try to send out thought messages by making strenuous efforts. When our thought is directed toward the right thing, the realization of the truth of Being, we shall not be troubled by outer conditions. Let us not be diverted from the Big Thing by the lesser thing, the phenomenon. We should fix our thought upon the truth of the experience, not upon the experience itself. The truth is that good is omnipresent, and that he who is attuned to the harmonious activity of the universe of form will receive and likewise send out worth-while messages. Are we using the perfect thought power which is God-Mind in action? Are we ever more or less disturbed by the thought that there are many negative messages out on the waves of ether? We are told that this is true. We need not be disturbed, however, by these waves of thought; we shall not be affected by these unless we open ourselves to them. The great broadcasting process is ever at work; let us cooperate in the universal system by opening ourselves only to that which is true and by sending out only that which is positive.
I look back now upon the experiences my grandmother had in thought transference; her power was considered supernatural at that time. My grandfather with four other pioneers started out to explore the unbroken West. He had reached what we now call Missouri. This part of our continent seemed far away then; it took three weeks to get a letter from the West in my grandfatherís day. Grandmother dreamed one night that my grandfather had passed on; those in her family who tried to comfort her with the thought that it was only a dream after all, were assured that her dream was true. In three weeks a letter bearing the news of my grandfatherís passing was received. In those days what to many seemed supernatural, to me seems the most natural thing in the world.
Another instance of thought transference interested me. Four of us were driving around Denver in the days of open carriages; two of our party were strangers out to see the city. In the midst of a conversation in which we were all engaging, one of the guests said, "Pardon me, I am called upon to give a treatment; please go right on with your conversation." After a time of silence she joined in the conversation again, and nothing more was said about the incident. Some time after this I met my friend, and she told me that at the time when she dropped out of the conversation the day of our drive, she did so because a call had come from her husband who seemed to be in great need. She responded to his call for help by beginning to treat at once. Her help had been needed; for she received word from her husband that at the time of receiving the impression of his need the walls of the mine in which he was working had caved in. He was buried in the dirt for a time, but after being carried out regained consciousness, and was found to have escaped injury.
Right thinking is the basis of powerful living. When we are tempted to think a thought of criticism, hatred, fear, envy, let us immediately meet the temptation, and come up over it. Someone else might be likewise tempted to open himself to the negative, and our wrong thought may find lodgment and do more harm than we think. While we are in a negative condition mentally, we are open to what we call the evil messages of others. But as long as we are positive in our thinking, we are safe in the Good.
I have had innumerable experiences in thought transference; in fact, they are daily occurences.
When we think of ourselves as broadcasting and receiving stations, is there not a thrill that comes with the thought? Reflect for a moment on the privilege that is ours--that of helping to uplift the world. Let us keep our station in tune with the good and the true; then none of the negative thoughts can possibly reach us. Negative thoughts are evils--temporal of course. I would prefer, however, to face one good-sized devil than a thousand sneaking ones in the form of wrong thoughts. If only the race would wake up to the truth, and guard its thinking, for there seems to be what we may call race thought--an attitude toward life that is infixed in the race. Some psychologists have much to say about what they call the subconscious--the reservoir of race conceptions that seem to be a force in the world. What kind of thoughts are you and I contributing to the race consciousness? Remember that our responsibility is that all of our thinking be constructive. The world needs lifting up out of the concept of separation into the realization of love.
The greatest of all methods of thought transference is spiritual realization of the unity of all men. There are many of our brothers seeking the best; let it come persistently from you and me. I often think, as I speak, and look into the eager faces of the audience before me, of our invisible audiences in other cities and other countries; those who are searching to find God. Let us feed the spiritually hungry. This means cooperation with the law of love. There are seekers everywhere--in homes, schools, and offices--and there are broadcasters everywhere. Remember that we can broadcast truth from the kitchen as well as from the platform. Let us be sure that we are receiving our messages from Spirit, and then, broadcast these and no others to the world.
The Mystery of Power
What is power? Is it a quality brought into existence in the individual life by the touch of a magic wand? Where is the mystery of the powerful life? Is this mystery to be revealed only to the few? Power is an inherency of infinite Life. The sons of God are inherently powerful, because Father and Son are one. To many people it is a mystery that we do not demonstrate that power which we are. Let us set about to fathom this mystery. Power lies within ourselves; we do not find it in outer things. It must become a realization. The worthwhile life is the powerful life. What do we mean by the term worthwhile? The life, so lived from day to day that each day brings the richest possible returns, is the life worthwhile. What do I mean by the richest possible returns? The best accomplishment, the truest attainment, the highest realization, that each one in his stage of development is capable of reaching, are the richest returns. How shall we accomplish, attain, and realize our best? There is only one way--in right use of present attainment.
The day worthwhile is the one that is dedicated to the giving of our best, so that when the time of quiet comes at its close and we think over the dayís work, we see that the hours have been spent in service, accomplishment, and unfoldment into greater realization. Let us come to the close of day with such assurance of Godís presence and power that we are richly blessed in consciousness.
How shall we live the day so that it will bless us? To get the best out of each day we must put our best into it. We must carry into the day the right attitude toward the events of every hour. The power within us is the divine gift, and endows us with the greatest of all blessings, the opportunity to express. Our highest duty is to make sure that what we put into the day is the best there is in us to give.
When I say that we must have a right attitude towards the events of the day, I mean that we must react toward the process of life spelled with a small p with the same faith, love, and joy that we do toward Process, spelled with a capital P. Let us have faith in the external experience, seeing it as an expression of law. If we are willing to take our best to the dayís experiences, we shall carry away from them a richness of insight, a fulness of consciousness, a satisfying awareness that, after all, these were good. Let us keep the prayer of affirmation always in our hearts and on our lips: "Father, we have the faith to meet every experience, be it positive or negative, apparently ill or good, with the quiet confidence and poise that only communion with Thee can possibly give to the sons of God."
"How," do you say, "shall I react toward the experiences of the day with love?" Love is an attitude that we establish through sensing the unity of all life. If we truly love, we see that the events of the day belong to us; in fact, these bring us a message from the Father. We hear the voice of Spirit saying, "Here is my right place, and I can fulfill with fulness any obligation that the law reveals as mine." Then, shall we meet our work with love, the consciousness of unity which shows us that the external is by law, and not by chance. We have little difficulty in thinking of the internal or spiritual process, as the God-Process. Remember, first and last, that all is one; hence shall we not think of the outer as the Process manifesting in human experience?
There are those who have the attitude of faith and love, but they fail to live joyfully. Of all the lights that shine from the human face or from any other God-Expression joy shines farthest out to sea. It is the light of the world. The gloomy man is not the powerful man, because the light of God within him is not shining forth. Let there be joy---joy in the inner Process; joy in the events of the day, the outer process.
The man who goes to his dayís work enriched with the attitude of faith, love, and joy is the strong man whose influence has been felt in the uplifting process of the world through ages of progression. He is the one who rejoices to run the race of progress. He is the one who meets the day in the spirit of a man out on a divine adventure. He is one with the best in all experience. His days might be likened to those spent in a gymnasium; tests of strength present themselves. He rejoices because the power to meet these tests with integrity and completeness is within him--his God heritage, as the son of Power. He does not falter before the most difficult tasks; he rejoices in the power that he has to meet the tasks well; and his day abounds in good for himself and for others.
In order to keep the triune attitude of faith, love, and joy in the inner and in the outer, we must have a right philosophy of life, a scientific method of procedure, and a deep religious experience. Since these are the elements that combine to bring a realization of power, let us consider them well. What constitutes a true philosophy of life? The philosopher is a lover of wisdom; the philosophy of the ages is the story of manís search for the meaning of life. He who loves wisdom never leaves it behind him; he applies it to the dayís experiences as Jesus, who taught the true philosophy of life during his ministry, did. Jesus showed us that there is one Father, and that all men are brothers; also that principle is the foundation of all true living. His was the wisdom of the ages, and his life exemplifies the meaning of the attitude of faith, love, and joy applied to daily living.
Let us work out in our own lives the Jesus philosophy. His working basis was unity, brotherhood, if you will. Have you ever thought of living as a privilege? That is what Jesus did. The days bring us opportunities for the realization of our sonship in service and of meeting experience in the spirit of unity. The morning light of every day is a call to go forth with poise, faith, love, joy, to meet the day with its experiences--all good if we but understand.
He who would live powerfully must have a scientific method--a way by which he can carry his ideals of Fatherhood and brotherhood into action. Many great souls have seen the unity of life, but they have not attained to the realization of it. Godís ways are certain; he is working out the good of the whole. He is doing it by law or method. ďOrder is heavenís first law.Ē Since unity is the basic principle of universal expression, let us base our living, our thinking, and our doing upon this law. When we live true to basis the hard experiences of the external pass away, and our days grow restful, free, and full of joy. That which we experience in the spirit of unity cannot limit us.
The first two steps, then, toward the realization of power are an attitude of faith, love, and joy, and a true method, the practice of those qualities which are the basis of our attitude. Method means practicing the Presence continually; in other words, it means seeing all men as brothers and all life as one. All men are members of one family, and the family name is Christ. Jesus and Paul used the Christ method. It is true that there are in this family many prodigals; but these may go home as soon as they are tired of the husks, for the Fatherís attitude is one of expectancy.
A working philosophy and a scientific method are requisite to the one who would live a worthwhile life; but there is still something bigger. Men may see the meaning of experience, and practice the truly scientific method in thinking and doing, but they must take one more step in order to live the life of power; there must be a religious experience. This is fundamental in all worthful living. If mankind is persistent, and true to the vision of oneness, there comes the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the basic experience; without it life is cold and mechanical. Hold to your philosophy; train your thinking; but think and act so that the great religious experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit will come upon you. As we live faithful to the divine trust, and practice steadfastly, persistently, and consistently the Presence of God in our daily experiences and in our thinking, we come to the great moment in which the Holy Spirit descends upon us as it did upon them of old. Our lives are transformed. In that great moment we are fully conscious of Godís Presence; we stand in the realization of this consciousness. Life is manifestly wonderful, glorious, free, and rich every day and all days.
True attitude and right method are necessary; it is well to keep our affirmations true to principle. This is a means to an end. The end is illumination which means inner vision--perfect seeing. Remember we cannot put on the Holy Spirit, although we may use the words--descend upon us, because our fathers used them to express what we are meaning now: a realization of the presence and power of God within and without. Baptism--and we say that we are baptized of the Holy Spirit--is an inner realization. We are baptized in the name or nature of God, the Father, and of the Eternal Son. We rise to the heights; we stand with Jesus on the Mount of Consciousness, and experience the baptism of the Spirit which shows us that God is All.
Glorified by the baptism of the Spirit we go forth powerfully equipped to meet life. The day is filled with God. This is the secret of power; it is the only way to attain. We are not speaking here of personal power, the power of domination. This is not The Power. Power that has its source in individual formulation is temporary power. It blesses neither the possessor of it nor his associates. True power is the realization that God is the only power. The powerful man is the man who has made his unity with God and man. There arises from this inner realization of the unity of life a mighty radiation which we call power. It is the power that Jesus demonstrated. It is the power that will raise the world. The man who radiates this kind of power has a great influence upon his fellow men; he does not identify with their weaknesses, but he blesses them with his consciousness of their strength. To those who think of themselves as weak he gives courage, as Jesus did. He refuses to recognize weakness as our heritage, but he helps those who cannot rise alone. Jesus fed the multitude spiritually and physically; he demonstrated power on every hand, because he realized that of himself he could do nothing, but that the Father worked through him. What Jesus did we can do, if we consecrate our lives to acknowledging God in all our ways--to practicing the Presence without ceasing.
Jesus applied the principle of unity in every experience of the day. He blessed not only those whom he touched in person, but he is blessing the world after nearly two thousand years. He was conscious that the Father was doing the work, and that his responsibility was consecrated cooperation. Jesus taught us that in the consciousness of God we can do all things.
He accepted the principle of Omnipresence, and lived his life in accordance with it. Are there those who wish to follow in his footsteps? Let us suppose that there is someone young in this thought who wished to live the Christ life. I would say to him, "Keep the faith; be consistent; practice integrity; keep up the simple practice of affirming the Presence moment by moment." The exercise of affirming is uplifting; it sets the trend of our thinking in the right direction. We often think that because we have studied for five, ten, or fifteen years, we may let go a little now and then and not be so watchful of our thinking. I have studied for thirty-six years, and I find that as surely as I think that I know a great deal, and can afford to be less faithful, I come up against experiences that make me turn to my simple exercises of the affirmation that wisdom, strength, love, power, and joy are Godís intent for me.
If we wish to live a rich day, before rising in the morning, let us set the thermometer of our thought for the day. Many of us feel that we have not the time. We have time for our other appointments; what about the one with God, which should be kept first? The early morning is the time to set the hands of my thought-watch at Truth. Every moment is my moment to think the right thought--yes, it is; but the moment of solitude which morning affords may not recur in the course of the day. It is precious; let us use it, and look out upon the day as a process of progressive action, saying to ourselves. "Every moment of this day is filled with good, with joy, and with abundant supply."
The day is rich with blessings to the one who sees his relation to God. His is the day of power. The day of power makes rich returns, for it is based upon an endeavor to realize Godís Presence in every event and experience of the hours.
Each one of us has the little things that often require more wisdom and power to meet than do the big things. The mother, the housekeeper, the business man, the teacher--all who serve have their difficulties. How are these difficulties to be met? Shall we let the day with its experiences shape our thinking, or shall we by our thinking shape the events of the day? Think well on this before rising. We may be irritated or we may be peaceful. Which shall it be? Choose carefully, because today is forecasting tomorrow. As we live by Principle we meet the big things and the little things with poise and power, and build character for every day. Do not become identified with the wrong condition that confronts you; make it right first; then make your unity with it.
Moment by moment we live; moment by moment we think. If our thinking is optimistic, constructive, and right, and our doing is consistent with it, we shall find the day an opportunity for development. A day met with faith, love, and joy is the best preparation for the next day. Make the day worthwhile; make it a day of activity and of overcoming, and tomorrow will be richer as a result of your attitude today. So let us pass through life making the days worthwhile to ourselves and to others certain that the law is perfect at every point, rejoicing in the good of the whole, and as a consequence, realizing heaven every day. Thus shall we pass on into the open court, the place of freedom and power. With the morning light let us consecrate ourselves to living true to the principle of unity, to practicing the scientific method of thinking, and the great religious experience shall be ours. Jesus says, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you."
Why have men believed that power was mysterious? It is simply because they have not known what power is. The mystery is in ourselves. The solution is in ourselves--that is, in our realization that all power in heaven and earth is ours, if we understand the Source of power.
The Mystery of Prayer
Prayer has seemed a mystery to men because they have not understood the nature of the relation between God and man. When God was thought of as abiding in heaven and ruling the earth from a throne on high far from the homes of men, there was reason in belief that he did not know the thoughts, needs, and ideals of earth-dwellers. For centuries our thinking has been in terms of space and time; hence, heaven seemed a long distance from us, and the time when God walked with Adam in the garden at the close of the day seemed an eternity. According to this conception, God had visited the world after creating it, but He had withdrawn His mighty presence to become a ruling power; hence, in order to reach this presence, it was necessary that men become subservient as they did in relation to earthly kings, and implore the mercy of this heavenly king. Some among the children of this earth seemed favored by this ruling power; others were less favored, or in fact, were is disfavor--hence, the mystery. Men sought to reach the mighty one by various methods; sacrifice of possessions, expiation or individual repentance, and supplication were the most commonly employed means. It is the relation of supplication to the newer form of prayer that we shall discuss in this chapter.
In the old prayer, men sought to get that which they needed and desired; in the new prayer, men seek to give of themselves, to commune with God that His perfect will may be known to them, and to give of themselves to their fellow men according to this Purpose; in other words they seek to cooperate with God, the Giver of all good gifts. Instead of beseeching a far away power, they are affirming the immediate presence of an abiding Power. Instead of begging for bounty, they are working to realize the abundance that is theirs by divine heritage. The great lesson of prayer today is that God and man are one; the high purpose of prayer is to establish this relationship in menís thinking. Instead of the old conception of a God who is reluctantly withholding his favors from the lives of men, and who, therefore, must be appeased and besought in order that he may grant favors, there is a new concept--Infinite Spirit sharing its all.
The new conception of God requires a new method of prayer in which men do not ask for things but seek light and more light. This is the powerful prayer, if it is backed by conviction. The new prayer, then, is for realization. From the dawn of consciousness that something within has sought That Something Bigger; it is the Divine Urge impelling men to seek the good and to find it. Prayer is the method by which the sons of God come to realize the immediate Presence and Power of God in their lives. No matter by what method men have prayed, however, if their prayers were backed by faith, these have proved effective. Worship and prayer have a reflective benefit upon the one who worships and prays; prayer is not for Godís benefit except as the Father finds satisfaction in direct communion and companionship with his children.
The Indians of Colorado in times long past believed that the Great Spirit lived upon the top of Pikes Peak, and they would march for many miles in order to camp in sight of this mighty mountain, that they might offer their prayers directly to the Great Spirit. These children of the race watched for signs; if the sun shone, the Spirit was commending their plans; if clouds covered the top of the peak, he was saying no, and they would abandon their project. The yes of the Great Spirit meant courage to these children, and they went forth prepared to carry through their purpose.
Today many of us believe that we are praying a larger prayer than our forefathers did; we must remember, however, that our prayer is larger and more powerful, because they prayed before us the prayer of supplication with great faith. The consciousness that lies back of prayer is dynamic. Faith is the great motivating power. I look back to the first time that I was directly conscious of the power of prayer. My mother was going to visit my grandmother and my aunt; I was to be left at home. Now, to visit my grandmotherís home was the height of my dreams. My brothers were to be taken. I saw why later. It was easier and safer to leave the girls at home without paternal guidance than it was to leave the boys. I was heart-broken for the first time in my six years of life. What was I to do? I had been told to pray for what I believed that I should have. I resolved to pray a special prayer. I did not put my supplication into the regular morning and evening prayer, but I had a time set apart. I would break away from my play over and over again to hasten to my room; there I would kneel at my bedside and ask the Father to let me go to visit my grandmother. I kept my prayers secret; but I silently prepared my dollís clothes for a trip. The day before my mother left, she decided to take me. My prayer had been backed by conviction; it was effective.
Prayer is fundamental in life. Whether we know it or not, we are continually praying. Every aspiration, all worthwhile desire, and all true attitude are prayers. All praise to God and all appreciation of his goodness to the children of men is prayer. True service is prayer. Highest prayer is that prayer which is based upon great principles; it is the prayer that is in accord with the nature of the Universe; it is the prayer that aligns itself with Truth. Knowing and living the truth of the Infinite is the highest prayer.
The prayer of affirmation is most powerful; in the old way I asked God to heal me and to give me what I needed; in the new way, I affirm that God is Health and Abundance. I know that wholeness and abundance are Godís will for me; I know that I am well, whole and perfect. It makes no difference what I think about it; human conception does not determine the state of my Being; Truth does this. I do not plead, but I train my thinking to realize that in God-Mind I have my Being; this Mind is always manifesting. Mind and Mind in action is the Universe. Before I call for health, God has answered by being Health, Love, and Harmony. The new prayer is affirmation of fulness. All things are possible to the one who prays the prayer that is in accord with principle. There will not be one thing that seems to be wrong that can not and will not be righted, when we identify our thinking with God-Thought.
Faith is the dynamic power, remember. Above all, pray. The praying life is the life of power; Jesus lived it. The new prayer is the prayer of illumined faith, and of the acknowledgment of Godís Presence and Power. It is the foundation of all true seeing and believing; and through it comes the greatest of all joys, the realized comradeship between God and man. Through praying the larger prayer we become constantly more conscious of God and God in action, and of Infinite Mind everywhere in all life experience.
Sometimes one longs to pray the old prayer--to ask the Father for something very near to the deepest desires and aspirations of the heart. I have felt this, and I have known that God has understood. Even though we do not consider that the prayer of supplication is that of the highest vision, still, we know that it has brought satisfaction to the lives of many men. Sometimes a few words like these spoken from the heart bring comfort and rest: "Dear Father, you know for what I am praying, and I trust you to help me to realize that which is best about it." Prayer is the essential.
I recall the evolution of prayer in my own life. First I prayed for things; then, there began to come within me a deep longing for a greater Something; at first I did not know for what. One Sunday morning when I was ten or eleven years old, all of the family were at church; I went out into the garden, and walked up and down between two old-fashioned flower beds, gay with flowers that my mother loved. I can see again the glow of sunshine that flooded the garden; it was there that I had my first deep religious experience. I prayed, "Oh, Father, make me good; I want to know You--to come close to You, Father." The aspiration which awoke in my heart that morning is the fundamental aspiration of my life today; this great desire underneath every act of my life, this aspiration to get closer to God, has been a constant experience. God answered my prayer; although I could not see then in what way the answer would come. This desire within me to know God has been steadily realized; it is supreme above everything in my life.
Our prayers are answered; the fundamental things come to us in answer to our deeper prayers; while those things which are not essential, and do not further our development in deeper realization are withheld. Prayer prepares us for bigger things. That which is best for our development comes to us by the eternal working of the Law of Life. At one time I prayed for light; and light came. I felt that I was touching God; I was alive in God. I am living my answered prayer now. I do not ask for this and that; I seek realization. The larger prayer in my life grew out of years of deep inner longing, without my knowing what the results would be. The way was opened for me to come into a greater revelation of truth. I was led to study; I entered the first class held in Pueblo thirty-six years ago; in that class my prayer of the years was answered. I found God. I saw my first great light; it has been growing deeper, clearer, and more powerful ever since. In this light there is no darkness. I was one of a simple little group searching for more of truth when I saw this great light; how well I recall that afternoon in the class when radiant glory filled the room. I knew that I was healed. I felt the Spiritís blessing upon me; I had touched God.
We have been taught to pray without ceasing. What does this mean? It means true aspiring, high thinking, being infinitely patient, keeping the faith, trusting deeply, serving with integrity of purpose. Prayer is not a matter of words merely; it is a treatment, an affirmation, a thought of love, an assertion of faith; these establish within us an attitude of certainty and of confidence in the goodness of God-Law and Love which is the most powerful prayer. When I am going on a journey, I do not say that this or that must be done; I rest in the certainty that Spirit is going before me to prepare the way. Your ways and my ways are divinely directed; all is well. When I rise to speak before a strange audience, I know that only the Spirit is speaking; I get myself out of the way. These are some of the ways of praying without ceasing.
We are agreed, I trust, that all prayer is powerful; its effect is always uplifting. It reacts for good upon the one offering it. The one who knows that he is praying according to the nature of the Universe, and whose affirmations are backed by faith, prays the dynamic prayer, and it reacts wholesomely upon him. The man who lives the praying life is not moved by outer conditions; he is able to solve these. He says with Paul, "None of these things move me." The praying life is the powerful life, for it touches all the fundamental principles and is able to apply these. To him who knows himself one with all Life only good comes; all of his prayers are answered; his thoughts, words, and deeds are worthwhile. The praying attitude was the Jesus attitude; he identified in his thinking with Spirit, and showed us the meaining of praying without ceasing.
There is no longer mystery about the perfect communion of God and man that we call prayer. We have found the key that unlocks all of the mysteries in the concept of Omnipresence. In the light of Omnipresence we see that God and man are One; that heaven and earth are One; it is this established attitude that is our most powerful prayer. Time and space vanish from our thinking as we grow in the realization of Truth. We see now that the garden in which Adam walked at the close of day was itself Infinite Mind in manifestation, and that as we walk among the flowers, we walk with God. Sincere that there is no separation, there is no true need, uplifted thought, or loving aspiration, of which God is not aware. Instead of asking to be given more, let us make the best use of what we have--the gift of God within us. What is the powerful prayer? It is the life lived in the realization that God and man are one.
The Mystery of Success
Why have we always looked upon successful people of the world with wonder in our eyes? Perhaps, we have even added in a whisper, "How did they do it?" Our tendency has been to wrap veils of mystery around success, and to think of it as an achievement of a favored few. Now we know that man is, by nature, a success, because he is a son of God. Success is the normal; it is the rule in the kingdom of God; hence, the successful man is a normal man. As long as we are thinking in terms of the visible only, we are likely to look upon everything that is not common to most men as a mystery. Achievement and attainment are synonyms of success; falling short is an antonym. The question is, in which phase of Life Universal must we succeed in order to be thought of as a success? Sometimes you and I pass the successful man by without a nod of recognition, because he has no outer accumulations of material possessions to mark him in the eyes of the world. Let us learn to know success, when we see it; we find true success in the lives that are lived with highest purpose.
We feel that we are very certain of the mission of man as man, the generic man. Wilberforce says, "Man is the outburst of God." I like to think that we are spontaneous expressions of Divine Love because this love could not contain itself for joy--the joy of giving. Man must be a wonderous outburst, when we remember that God can bring forth nothing unlike himself. Divinity has a divine mission to fulfill; man by nature of his Divinity is here to cooperate. We must have faith in the process of daily living, for we are impelled by the Power within to work up and on until we reach a fuller realization of truth. Every man is responsible for living his own life to the highest that he knows, and he has even a greater opportunity and obligation that this, that of taking his part in the fulfillment of the mission of the whole. Humanity can not fulfill its mission perfectly, unless you and I do our parts. The good of the whole is the purpose of the life of the individual.
There is also a special something for which individual life is destined. Everyone has his or her particular mission. Each one of us has his significance in the plan of the Universal. There is this danger in the thought process of the man who believes that he has a mission; he may think that he is intended for a big work, something important in the eyes of the world, and that fulfilling of his mission means journeying into far places, when the greatest work he can do lies right at his door. A mission sounds like a call to something greater than we are doing in our daily lives, while it really means realizing more definitely the truth that we know just where we are.
There are many men fulfilling their missions out of sight of the world. Always take into consideration when you are endeavoring to understand the meaning of success, that he who lives quietly and steadfastly true to the truth that he knows is attaining as much and is as important a part of the universal plan, as is the platform speaker or any other outstanding man. Jesus more than any one else knew his mission, and fulfilled it. His was the successful life. Best of all he fulfilled his mission in his daily living; it was in the experiences of the day that he proved himself a son of God. He did not fail in the little things, those details which many of us consider insignificant.
I like to think of Jesus at the carpenterís bench with his difficulties much like ours--a normal lad learning of his father, preparing to do his work, and after his father is gone, feeling as the eldest son of the family, the responsibility for his mother and brothers and sisters. I know that Jesus did his part; he did not falter in the carrying out of his part in the domestic conditions, nor did he consider this responsibility a handicap. I picture him at his work which, I am sure, was always done accurately. As Jesus stood at the carpenterís bench he doubtless knew that there would come a time when his life would open into wider service; but he did not neglect the thing at hand for the vision of the thing beyond. Integrity and love were applied to every experience of his life.
Think of the mark Jesus left upon the world in three short years of public ministry. I like to think of the way he attained to the great influence he has left upon daily living. I enjoy thinking of him in his free times, wandering in joyousness over the hills of Galilee, loving all that God had made and was making. What was the mission of Jesus? Isaiah gives it as the office of the Christ--to be a light unto the world; to do the will of God; to preach the gospel to the poor; to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives. This is the mission of the Christ in every man, but Jesus fulfilled his perfectly. What is the individual mission as we analyze it? I am the light of the world--it is then our part to shine forth in the radiance of love. Are we doing it? Jesus told us that he came into the world that men might have life and have it more abundantly. Did not you and I come into the world for this purpose? Are we realizing life for ourselves and for others more abundantly? There are broken hearts to bind up, and there are also broken world conditions to be mended. Let us help bind up the wounds by living true, thinking true, and speaking true to the principle of Omnipresence. Are we so living that our lives are preaching deliverance to the captives--those who are bound by limitations of sin, sickness, poverty and fear? We have been sent to attain. There is for us a Divine Intent; our lives must show it forth. It is your and my mission to stand forth and live truth. You and I are centers of light; keep the light shining. We are witnesses of the truth of Godís immediate Presence as life, health, beauty, goodness, truth, and joy. We can never bind up the broken hearted by weeping with them over their wounds; but we can heal their wounds by realizing truth for them. We must not weep over the sins of the world, if we would release those that are bound in the prison house of sin. We must greet them with love that is triumphant over all else. Jesus says, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Truly as children of God we have a right to health, supply, happiness, position, and all else that is good. Are we thinking in terms of real success? Have we ever thought that there might be a secondary success? Are we sacrificing the real success for it? It is the getting of outer things that obscures our vision often. If we can keep our vision clear and true, we shall see true success--the inner triumph that comes from realization. When we understand the true success, we shall choose that line of work which gives most to the world instead of to us as individuals. When an experience that comes to us makes it necessary that we should decide upon a course of action, we shall have the wisdom to choose that course which leads us to the good of the whole.
Faithfulness is essential to the successful life. We are told that those who are faithful unto the end shall receive a crown of life. Death is the word used, but I believe that it can be interpreted to mean the end of a process of life. The overcoming of self-seeking, of wrong habits, of temper, of instability, is accomplished by faithfulness. That something which does not really belong to you will pass, if you are faithful to the end of the process of overcoming. What is this crown of life that is promised to us? It is the realization of life more abundant, more glorious, more deeply understanding. It is the certainty that all power in heaven and earth is ours, if we are true to the principle of Omnipresence. Success, the normal state of a son of God, is your heritage and mine, and the successful life is the one that realizes the glory of its heritage. The man who fulfills his mission realizes his oneness with God in all his ways, and solves the mystery of success.
The Mystery of Individual Unfoldment
Mysteries are shadows; only he who looks down sees the dark places. Tradition and superstition cast their shadows around them; but truth and wisdom dispel the gloom. Men have lingered too long in the dark places; truth is calling us into the light. Some of us are tempted to stay a little longer in the valleys of ignorance, even though the sunlit stretches of open country lie just above. There seems to be something that holds us in the valley, and Something that calls us to come up out of the limited places into the full light. The something that tells us to stay seems to be the voice of the self which race thought has implanted in us; and sometimes we stay a little longer becoming more mystified while we wait.
There has been an attempt in this volume to solve some of what the world calls the greatest mysteries by directing the searcher to follow the highway that leads to God.
Are you saying, "Yes, I can see that there is a solution for the mysteries connected with the general experiences of mankind--life, death, matter, sin, sickness, old age; but what about the mysteries connected with the personal experiences in the individual lives"? What are the answers to questions like the following: Why did this come to me and not to you? I am not responsible for this condition, why should I suffer? Why did my loved one have to leave me? Why, why, why? Are you trying to see why this experience came to you because it was you who was affected? Is one of these the mystery for which you demand a solution? The first step to take in solving what we call the personal mysteries is that of shifting our center of interest from the continual stress on self to a contemplation of the good of the whole. Instead of asking the question, why did this come to me; let our query be, what can I do with this situation? It is an opportunity for some kind of service or for a step in my development. It is by rising out of the personal self into the consciousness of our oneness with universal Life, that we solve all mysteries. Infinite Mind does not work in mysterious ways but in open and infinite ways, its wonders to perform. There is always the rising process we call the Resurrection. What is the goal to which we are lifting our lives? It is God-Consciousness.
The closing chapter of this book tells the story of the resurrection as attained by Jesus, a true son of God. I trust that we shall find here a practical method of coming up over limitation into the consciousness of resurrection. Resurrection, the greatest event in the individualís story, is also the greatest event in the history of the race. If we understood the principle back of the resurrection, we should touch truth universal which applies to every one of us at the present day. Jesus reached the culmination of life process in the individual.
Resurrection is the culmination of life process in the one who lives in the resurrection consciousness; it is the end of one process and the beginning of another. Since the process of resurrection is taking place in every one of us, the event which we speak of as the Resurrection is especially significant to each individual. We all feel the Law of Life working within us; it is urging us upward and on. As we are led by the spirit of light into more and more truth, our vision broadens, and we come into a clearer realization of what it means to live truth as Jesus did. There is great comfort and joy in knowing that we, too, share in the process of resurrection, and are capable of attaining to the glory of even a resurrection morn, as Jesus did.
The story of Jesus reveals to us the history of the life process from its earthly beginning to its glorious outcome, from the manger to the cross, through the sepulchre to resurrection, from the babe to the risen Jesus. The man Jesus attained as you and I must attain; he rose out of limitation moment by moment. Is it not interesting to watch Jesusí unfoldment as a lesson for our own lives. Think of the glory of the culmination--through the sepulchre into the resurrection morn.
How did Jesus accomplish the resurrection? He taught, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." He lived true to God-Presence; he realized the immediacy of the Presence. What do we mean by the immediate Presence and Power of God? It means knowing and feeling the Presence of God active in every moment of our lives. It means the realization of Godís Presence in the smallest experiences of life as well as in the greatest. Godís Presence is Life.
As God was a father to Jesus and the source of his living and of his thinking, so let it be with us. God was also the companion of Jesus always; therefore Jesus was never alone. You and I need never be alone either, if we think as Jesus thought. Jesus saw himself as Godís opportunity for expression; he, the individual, was an opportunity for the expression of God---Wisdom, Love, Power, Life, Joy. Jesus was certain of God; hence when something came that needed a special exercise of power and love, Jesus spoke the word with authority. He knew the Father as immediate Presence, as the Source of all his individual power. His attitude was one of intimate association with the Father. There was one dark moment on the cross, and probably a short time in the struggle at Gethsemane when he may have felt a fleeting moment of separation. However, these experiences were so rare that they need not be dwelt upon.
Out of Jesusí deep love for God grew his first commandment, and out of his all inclusive love for his fellow men grew his second commandment. Jesusí love for God was expressed in his love for men. He understood the meaning of the great word love; we so often miss the true meaning of this most wonderful of all words. Love is God; and to touch a life radiant with love is to touch God. This greatest of all lives that was ever lived was radiant with love and beauty, power and joy. The two commandments which this great teacher gave us are the basis of all true living.
Jesus lived the most powerful life the world has ever known, because he kept these two commandments in letter and in spirit. Jesus was interested in the multitude; he was also interested in the individual. When he touched the multitude, his heart yearned over them; he was so eager to show all of his brother men the meaning of the great realization that he had come into. Some were not ready for his message, it is true; but nothing was lost. Through his living, Jesus put something into the race which has been the foundation of all the greatest movements that have arisen in the development of mankind. His teaching is embodied in all of the great ideals of mankind. The Christ ideal is steadily expanding into more and more practical movements for the benefit of mankind. There is a constant increase in the number of those who are consecrating their lives in human service. People are seeing the truth of the human family, and are realizing a greater love for its individual members. The message of brotherhood is being carried to the ends of the earth by followers of Jesus, the friend of God and man. We are getting together; even though there are wide distances still apparent. The coming together movement holds out great promise.
The teachings of Jesus are being embodied in more movements today than ever before. The Christ principle is practiced by many persons who are not church members. There is at present a feeling among many that the church is not fulfilling its mission. I like to attend general meetings even if there is opposition to the churches expressed by the speakers who feel that the church does not see and embody the message of Jesus.
There are many indictments against the church which accuse us of teaching Jesus but not living according to his precepts. If these indictments are true the church must listen to the charge, and change its methods. The ministers and the people are responsible for righting the wrong; we must see to it that the Christ principle is practiced as well as preached. It is interesting that in meetings and all kinds of gatherings where the church is criticized, one never hears a word against Jesus, the man. Every one agrees that the practice of the principles which he taught would accomplish immeasurable good. I listen to those who say that the church is not fulfilling its mission among men, and I feel that there is truth in what they are saying. However, I believe that it is not nearly so much a matter of not understanding the teachings of Jesus, as it is of not being willing to live up to as much as we understand, that gives ground for the charge.
Doubtless we are not living up to the best that we know; but there is this to be said: the fundamental principle of true living is eternal progression. There is no final attainment in progressive achieving. There is always the next achievement and the next. If we were satisfied that we are living up completely to the principles that Jesus taught, there would be no more steps to take. Our vision would not be as high as we in our ideal of eternal unfoldment in consciousness would have it. As I listen to what is being said of the Christian church today, I feel a greater call within me to hold up before our people the Christ principles and the Christ life, in order that we may be resurrecting our lives day by day with greater power.
The two great outstanding principles of Resurrection are conscious oneness with God and love of our fellow men. Establishing a steady realization of the immediate presence of God is the essential of true living. It is true that all Life is one; we must live up to this truth, and meet men as brothers in every experience of the day. You remember that Jesus fed the multitude spiritually, but also that when they hungered physically he gave them food. Some of us attain to a vivid consciousness of love for humanity; but others say to me, "Oh yes, I love all people, but there are certain individuals toward whom I cannot feel love." I say to you that there is still something else for you to accomplish. What are you going to do about the unlovable ones? We must love them as Jesus did, if we hope to attain to the resurrection consciousness. Jesus could never have attained to this consciousness, if he had divided people into two classes: those he loved and those he did not. Do you remember how patient Jesus was with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews? He tried to give him a message of truth in a loving way. I like to think of the understanding that Jesus expressed for the woman of Samaria, and also for the loving spirit he showed toward the rich young man who appeared so eager to inherit eternal life, but who was so unwilling to give up his personal possessions. Again, I like to picture that day in Jerusalem, when Zaccheus, chief among the publicans, hence unpopular among the people, being small of stature but very eager to see Jesus as he passed that way, climbed a sycamore tree in order that he might have a better view of the great teacher. There was evidently in this man a deep desire to come into touch with Jesus; hence, he took this way of making his purpose sure. Can you imagine Zaccheusí surprise when Jesus, looking up and seeing him, said, "Make haste, and come down, for today I must abide at thy house"? Do you still say to me, "I love everybody--well, almost everybody"? I suppose that we would put Zaccheus into the almost everybody class; from the external he was not lovable, it is true, but he needed Jesus more than anyone else in the group; and this great one who always lived by principle, knew the need and acted accordingly. This is what I mean be love--a love that pours itself out, an all-inclusive love. If we are to attain to the resurrection consciousness, we, too, must have it.
The resurrection consciousness is the consciousness that raises the body from a belief in mortality to a certainty of Life Eternal. It is the consciousness of Universal Love. Love on the lips is good as far as it goes; but love in the heart, the love that calls Zaccheus and goes with him to his home, is necessary in order to attain. The love that met the need of every one around him is the love that Jesus felt and practiced and taught. As this love illumined the life of Jesus, so does it illumine yours and mine. It is the true light of the world.
Jesus met every human need. The fact that he experienced all phases of what we call our human problems brings him closer to us. The dark hour in Gethsemane when he went alone to pray at the time of deep need touches our hearts, and shows us that the Master was human, too. After the struggle in Gethsemane Jesus arose and went forth, saying, "Father, not my will, but thine be done." Can we follow him in this experience? It was his great resurrection moment. He had come up over personal feelings, and was standing in the consciousness of Divine Will. He yielded himself to the cross to show humanity the glory of the resurrection process. Perfect consecration and absolute faith were essential in his development, as they are in ours. Shall we rise with him up to that triumphant moment when none of the outer things can touch us?
Peter, who had not reached the resurrection consciousness, when the soldiers came to take Jesus, saw only the outer injustice of the proceeding and cut off a soldierís ear. Jesus, with great love, healed the ear. When just preceding the crucifixion the accusers of Jesus tried to humiliate him, Jesus met them with the same unswerving love. They did not really touch him. On the cross at the time when most of us would be saying, "Why, why, are they crucifying me? Why, why, why?" Jesus, who knew that why is a sign of unbelief, said, entirely free from any rebellious feeling, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do!" Are we forgiving as Jesus was? Are we praying that our ignorance may be lifted? Only then shall we know the truth of Being. Are we thinking of others with love and consideration? Do we see them as our brothers? When Jesus looked down from the cross, and saw his mother standing beside the disciple whom he loved, he said to her, "Woman, behold thy son." And to the beloved disciple he said, "Son, behold thy mother." Jesus saw that his mother would be lonely, and consequently he was entrusting her to his friendís care. Even on the cross Jesusí first thought was for others. He never failed to apply the principle of universal love; Jesus was consistent. His was the resurrection love.
When Jesus saw Mary weeping before the empty tomb, although he knew that if she could see the whole in the process, she would not weep, he sympathized with her human loneliness, and comforted her with the assurance, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God." Jesus, who had passed through the darkness of the sepulchre guided by Love supreme, still understood the human love of Mary. Because of this conscious love there came that first resurrection morning, the blessedness of which has been felt ever since.
The world today needs resurrection. Just as there was first century resurrection, so let there be a twentieth century resurrection. This resurrection time will be brought about by the spirit of consecration in your heart and in mine which says with Jesus, "Thy will be done in us." Resurrection will be brought about by our own thought process. It is that consciousness which loves without wavering. The resurrection consciousness is the complete consciousness; it includes the whole man--soul and body.
I hope that many of us who read this chapter will find that today is a day of resurrection--a day in which our lives are being lived closer to Divine Consciousness than ever before; as we attain to the resurrection consciousness our lives become radiations of unwavering love for our fellow men. Is this a day of resurrection for you? Test your attitude toward God and man--then answer to yourself. He who attains the resurrection consciousness becomes a saviour in whatever age he lives. Let us become twentieth century saviours. God is working through us; let us give Him an opportunity to speak and act through us to His highest purpose. We are Godís opportunities. Consider well. Outstreaming love shining from our lives is proof that our day of resurrection is here. If we meet all demands of the days with love we shall rise out of our limitations for Love is Resurrection.
It is by the process of resurrection that we rise out of the contemplation of that which is hidden, the mysteries as we have called these, into the full light where everything is made clear. There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed to the one who sees the unity of Life. We are rising into a recognition of the glory of process when we stand before a blade of grass and see that even this is wonderful. Are we leaving the mysteries behind us as we rise, or are we lifting these old mysteries into the wonder of it all!
Nona Brooks Biography
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