PRINCIPLES OF SPIRITUAL LIVING
“As the heart parteth after the water brooks so parteth my soul for thee O God, my soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.”
God is life – the fullness of life, and in that fullness the light of life shines forth which reveals to us life’s relations in all its different aspects. This understanding of life not only gives us that deep, inner hold from which to operate as an individual, but it furnishes us with the light and strength and security from which to operate harmoniously as groups or individual, It is for the full understanding of God as LIFE, the understanding of life in all its harmonious relations, that the soul thirsts.
On different occasions I have listened to some of the most earnest students here picturing in glowing terms this house of spiritual worship as it will appear in time to come; a holy atmosphere throughout, impregnated with the indomitable strength with the unlimitable joy of life in its fullness, and where anyone who is _______ may come and eat freely; drink of this living manna and be satisfied.
In this beautiful picture, which has been drawn, during the hours of worship, we have been asked to imagine the sounds of sweet, deep, low, vibrating music flowing in from some wonderful organ in a far-distant part of the building, this music being so subdued, yet so vibrant and in such beautiful accord with the atmosphere that it does not hinder hearing even the lightest word which may be spoken. Then at the close of the service for these sounds of harmony to come forth with doubled and re-doubled intensity, rolling forth huge billowy notes, and finally, as the congregation goes forth, the strains of music to die away in a sweet and holy reverence, the harmony soothingly echoing and re-echoing throughout the recesses and halls as the music ceases altogether. In short; this spiritual house of worship as imaged is so saturated with the unselfish love and harmonizing Word of God, so alive with the sustenance and faith and strength of Spirit, so imbued with the unselfish love and tender mercies of Jesus Christ that he who enters here is fed- by the living manna and his thirst is abated by drinking of the living waters, is conscious and must go forth to conquer according to the Master in his face.
As you meditate upon a spiritual service of this nature, and as you begin to liken it to this and that which you have experienced, or read about, no doubt the thought will come to you how much the description resembles that of a high spiritual realization, which you yourself have called forth. The body is the holy temple, and God’s Word in action at the center of being, breathes forth such a wonderful symphony that no words are adequate enough to describe it. The five senses, together with the other two, intuition and thought transference, which we are "just unfolding, are the vehicles which convey and transmit this soundless sound of the living Word from the inner to the outer portals of the soul and even out into the environment, and in the rhythm and scale best suited to the individual. But above all is transmitted, that which the most wonderful organ ever built (though it be operated by the greatest musician on the earth today) is unable to convey to living soul (unless in a very limited way), and that is the living intelligence of the Almighty which thrills through the being and out of which this inner symphony is composed.
Here again the senses which have been lifted up into spiritual consciousness are the powers that aid us to discern that which the living God is giving out, not only in melody, but in living measures of Truth. The sense of feeling is really that from which all the other senses are unfolded. Through feeling after God, we are able to feel the joyous movements of the living Word from the inner to the outer poof these inner melodies of light as they play themselves through the being; through thirsting for the _____, and we are able to see spiritually. Then we are able to taste the substance of the living bread, and to scent the fragrance of Divine Truth, and then to really hear with the spiritual ear the living words spoken to us. All this is contained in the living symphony sent forth in a high spiritual realization.
It is those who are in this way attuning themselves to the Word of God that are going to unfold and go from glory to glory, and it is the associated work of such souls as these that are going to build the real Church of Christ, that Church not made with hands.
Knowing that the Word of God is now active at the center of your being, and that you are laying hold of the very principles which are giving forth this joyous symphony, of light and life, meditate upon this prayer:
THE LIVING PRINCIPLE OF LIFE QUICKENED IN ME IS SENDING FORTH ITS HARMONIZING MESSAGE INTO EVERY PART OF MY BEING AND I UNDERSTAND LIFE IN ALL ITS RELATIONS.
PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN LIVING
Read Matt. 6:1-7.
What a wonderful, yet simple message Jesus was giving in these words, and how clear he has made the principle of Christian living which is, “work to gain the favor of God rather than man,” if we would lay hold of the spiritual kingdom.
"Take heed that you do not your righteousness (your alms) before men to be seen of them; else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." God is absolute honesty and justice and God judges the inner impulses of the heart, he does not judge from the outer. He who gives alms for outer show and glory, must look to the outer, to man, for his reward. If he is working for man's good opinion, for outer position and influence, working for the reputation among man as being a great philanthropic power in the world, and spends his time and energy to gain this _______ viewpoint, that which he wins from man is the wage that is due him, he has nothing coming to him from God; it was not God’s favor irrespective of man’s, he was working to attain; therefore he cannot expect to reap where he has not sown. You cannot work to serve one master, and look to another for your recompense. Whatever glory and praise man may see fit to bestow for deeds of this kind, is what such givers must be satisfied with.
On the other hand, if you wish to unfold those rare and wonderful spiritual qualities for which the soul thirsts, the way is to seek God’s will, though it may be ever so meek and lowly a path we tread; to cast about continually and find opportunities to be instruments through which lasting good may come to some of the down-trodden souls of the earth, and then let your deeds be a secret between you and God, realizing all the time it is God through us that does the work, that all glory belongs to God, this will change any stony path to one strewn with roses, if you are persistent and faithful.
When we serve to seek God only, and not seek the glory of men, it is our privilege to enter the silence, to go into the very presence of God and say, "Lord, I am your willing servant: I am earnestly trying to serve you, to serve your children, all to your glory. I am not working for outer pomp and show. Now, I ask that I be given the ability to lay hold of your love, of your light, of your power to a greater degree; that I unfold the capacity to serve you better. Therefore, I ask for that which I have of my reward from you. “Man knows little of my deeds." This method, as you know will bring results. The honor of the Almighty himself is challenged and the spiritual efforts are put into execution for the purpose of making it possible, yes, for the purpose of giving you greater ability to receive that which is due you. (CANNOT DECIPHER HANDWRITTEN NOTES ABOVE THIS!) The Lord is the sure, unfailing paymaster; one that never fails.
How does our good come? In stronger realizations of power; in the ability to show greater mercy, in the ability to lay held of stronger spiritual light, and finally the power to assimilate and to digest and to digest this spiritual _______, These spiritual qualities ___________________ affairs by leaps and bounds. New blessings may come through outer means, in fact, they usually do; but the real, eternal blessings come direct from the heart of God. But the law is, when man has the ability to work in the deep stillness of the soul in such a manner that the Lord is pleased, humanity is kneeling at His feet. This is laying up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust can corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. The heart is with God, and the treasury are in God's keeping. But, as we have said, God's best gifts are kept in the innermost portals of his Kingdom, under lock and key, where the holy light sheds its radiance round about them day and night. It is only those who, by living the life, can pave their way into this inner precinct, and with the fervent understanding key of faith, open the door and enter and partake of the spiritual blessings. Therefore, to attain the real riches be not as the hypocrites who do not really seek the inner communion with God, but pray merely to appear to be spiritual, for the sake of outer display. Verily I say unto you, they have received their reward.
In order to lay hold of and to apply the principles of Truth, the eye, too, must be kept single to Truth, for the eye is the power which perceives Truth in its simplicity. It is the pure in heart (the pure heart) that sees God. The eye is the window of the soul that opens on the beauty of God in man, and this inmate who dwells in the temple (the pure heart) sings out the beauty of God in every thought, pulses it in healing streams of love and life to every chamber until the household (the whole being) is illumined, the man resplendent in the image of the Father. Surely, this is the idea Emerson had in mind when he said that the eye was the best composer. To compose means to make, and the meaning of the word "make" is essentially causative. Therefore, light is causative. Emerson also says that light is the first of painters, that there is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful. What a wonderful affect then, Divine Light must-have on the soul, Divine Light, God's artist, transforms destructive thinking into constructive thinking; it changes dead cells of the body into living cells, and arrays the whole being with an ethereal substance finer than the lily's garb; clothes the being in a garment, the texture of which is light interwoven with the very essence of beauty, freedom, love, power, all this making very clear the Master's words. "The lamp of the body is the eye: if .therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light," a living Principle of Truth. This spiritual Light is the Divine Effulgence which enfolded Jesus when he went up on the Mount of Transfiguration, and finally clothed him with such beauty that we could not see him any longer.
“The lamp of the body is the' eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light, "a living principle.” This is the Divine Effulgence which enfolded Jesus when he went up on the Mount of Transfiguration, and finally clothed him with such beauty that we couldn't see him any longer.
Another one of the fundamenta1 principles laid down by Jesus was, “do not be anxious for your body, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” This is according to the American Version. The King James Version says, “Take no thought for your life, etc. Now we know this latter translation does not bring out the lesson Jesus meant to teach, for we are to take thought, for thought is the great transforming power in the universe. It is by thought that we make out of life that which we desire. But the injunction is “Be not anxious for your life.” And we know there is a great lesson in this. On the invisible side of life, the spiritually quickened eye beholds, and the feeling side of us comes in touch with that transparent living substance out of which all things are made, and which shiny, glisteny essence yields readily to the slightest thought touch. The pattern of our thoughts and words is that which contacts this living substance and molds accordingly. Anxious, "I don't know" thoughts bring forth anxious, "I don't know" results. It is aggregations of negative, destructive thinking in the race as a 'whole that cause destructive floods and storms and cyclones. It is angry, burning, criticizing thoughts of the race that cause droughts. But when our thoughts are grounded and rooted in Truth, full of strength and assurance, love and power. Shaped, after the Divine pattern, the results are always more than we could have possibly hoped for.
One of our number here at this center, and in whom the inner vision is spiritually quickened, while in the silence a few months back, saw this transparent, living substance out of which things are made. He beheld how readily it yielded to the slightest impulse of thought, yet it was so imbued with strength and seemed so real that he knew it was substantial enough to sustain worlds. Every thought image that appeared (and in truth every thought has back of it an image) was clothed upon by this substance in much the same way as when one is immersed in water. Here we see how one of the Principles of Christian living which Jesus taught, ’'According to your faith be it done unto you," is so wonderfully true, for out of this substance either consciously or unconsciously, we make whatever our thoughts register. We reap according to the words we say.
As this individual in the silence, stood looking at this radiant, magnetic stuff, of a soft, pearly white color, out of this mother substance unfolded a beautiful moss rose." About the rose many blades of grass sprang into being, like tiny emerald swords. Then out of this substance, worlds sprang forth--balls of fire which revolved with terrific speed. Then mounted terrace upon terrace the throne of God appeared. Then slowly the vision faded and a single blade of grass appeared, perfect, entire, but with the blade of grass came the impression that out of the whole vision, that blade of green mass was the most important thing.
We can readily see that this truth student had not only entered into that universal plastic substance which responds to every thought of God and of man, but he had one so deep into the cause of things, that he beheld the principle of God at work bringing forth objects from out of the invisible into visibility. The beautiful moss rose which appeared and had back of it God’s image of a beautiful moss rose. The worlds which he saw and which are vibratory life, show how our earth and the whole planetary system was brought forth. The throne of God has back of it the Divine idea of God, as dominion, purity and power. But the lesson which the Spirit of Truth was presenting to this individual was, that if he could understand how a simple blade of grass was brought forth from the invisible into visibility he had the whole secret of creation. From this inner vision, it is clear that to understand the creative principles which call outer things into manifestation we must enter into the process and work with the principle. This brings to mind a verse written by one of our poets, who must have been meditating along these very lines. One day walking by an old stone wall ,partly thrown down, and where much earthy substance had lodged in the crevices, from out of one of the little niches, grew a tiny flower, and as he pulled it and thoughtfully looked at the delicate bloom, the stem and the root, these words came:
"Flower, in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies; hold you here in my hand, root and all, little flower. But if I could understand what you are root and all and all in all, I would know what God and man are."
If we can understand the principle which brought forth the little flower, we may understand the process by which man is created. But it takes very, very close application, close communion with Spirit day after day, to be able to center into the creation process. But surely man is wonderfully and gloriously made. No doubt the most spiritual developed souls would be astounded if he could see the progress which will be made during the next fifty years. It brings to mind that scripture in Hebrews which says:
“What is man that thou art mindful of him? Or, the son of man, that thou visitest Him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels. Thou crownedest Him with glory and honor, And didst set Him over the works of thy hands."
It is true that God has set man over the mighty works of his hands, but nevertheless, man must work according to the law, if he would get the right results. But, men in their relations with each other have lived so long in the outer; have thought for so long a time that men, not God, ruled in all the affairs of the world, that he has nearly lost sight of the Divine principles which are the real, and which are sure, sooner or later, to take control of every situation.
Yes, our poets we find have all been deep mind students and understood these laws and have found the language and made the thought people through which to give these messages to the world. One of our own American poets, in his poem "King Robert of Sicily" has shown when how man has gone too far beyond the spiritual boundaries in the outer, his outer power and dominion are overturned, and the spiritual law must be recognized and obeyed, before the transgressor can again come into his own.
In this poem. King Robert of Sicily has two brothers, one Pope Urbane of Rome, and another, Almond, ruler over Allemaine. The story opens on St John's eve, and King Robert in his cloak of ermine and gold and with his retinue of many knights and squires attended the vesper services at the holy Church. As he sat there, the priests repeated over and over and over again a chant which words, without knowing why seemed to catch in his brain, and he tried to get the idea, again came the chant: Deposuit potentes De sede, et exaltevit hamiles. Turning to a learned clerk who sat beside him, the King said: 'What mean these words." The clerk made answer that the chant was, "He has put down the mighty from their seat and has exalted them of law degree."
At this the King laughed scornfully and said that it was well that such words were sung only by priests and in a latin tongue. Then he added that he wanted it to be known and understood by both priests and with people that there was no power in heaven or on earth could push him from his throne. Then in a self-satisfied important air, he yawned and fell asleep. When he awoke, it was night, everyone was gone, and all was dark, save here and there, a candle was burning beneath some saint. King Robert was enraged because he had been treated thus, and uttered awful threatenings and complaints against both man and saints. He grouped to the door, and found it locked. He called aloud, and knocked and then listened. Finally, the sexton hearing him and thinking he was some drunken vagabond or worse, came with his lantern who was there. Half choked with rage, King Robert fiercely said, "Open. 'Tis I, the King. Art thou afraid. The door was opened and King Robert strode out into the night, bare headed, without cap or cloak. All covered with mud he strode up to the palace and thundered at the palace gate. He rushed through the court yard, thrusting everyone he came to out of his way. Bounded up the broad stairs, passed from hall to hall, until he finally reached the banquet room which was all lighted up, all ablaze and breathing with perfume. But there on the dais, on his throne, sat another king, robed in his cloak, had on his crown, and even wore his finger rings. King Robert's self in features, form and height, but instead of the cold authoritative atmosphere, there was a sweet, angelic light. In truth it was an angel in disguise who had taken the throne.
The angel met King Robert's look of anger and surprise with poise and divine compassion. Then said, " Who art thou? and why combat thou here?" King Robert sneeringly answered "I am the King and am come to claim my own from an imposter who usurps my throne." But at these words the crowd sprang up and drew their swords. But the angel answered, with unruffled brow, "Nay not the King, but the king’s jester. Thou shalt henceforth wear the bells and scalloped cape and for thy counsellor shalt lead an ape."
The next morning when he awoke his first thought was: "It was a dream. .But even as he spoke, the straw rustled as he turned his head and there by his bed was the cape and bells. And over in the corner, a. revolting shape, shivering and chattering, sat the wretched ape. It was no dream. The outer world which he had learned to love and worship, and which he had ruled as king and had turned to dust and ashes at his touch.
The isle under the angels rule thrived bountifully, it seemed to dance in corn and wine. King Robert in the jester's garb became sullen, and disconsolate, was mocked by the courtiers and was laughed to scorn by the pages. Yet, every so often from the chapel near he would hear the monks chant those same words: "He has put down the mighty from their seat and has exalted them of low degree." And when he would meet the angel on his way the angel would say half in earnest and half in gest, yet in such a way that King Robert could feel his velvety words had in them a blade of steel: "Art thou the King?" the passion of his woe would spring forth, and with head lifted high he would fling the haughty answer back. "I am, I am the King."
Finally his brother Almond came to bring the angel a message from Pope Urbane telling them that they were all invited to home to spend with Pope Urbane the Holy Week. The angel received his guests with great joy, and presented them with wonderful presents. Then they all prepared to journey to Home, the angel and the couriers and squires all in magnificent attire and on wonderful steeds leading the party. But in the rear, in mock state, on a piebald steed with shambling gate, King Robert rode, his fox tails flapping in the breeze and the monkey perched gaily on behind, making great merriment for the children in the different towns through which they went.
When they arrived in Rome, King Robert full of rage, burst through the crowd, and coming before his brother, Pope Urbane, denounced the angel, and appealed to his brother, asking him if some voice within did not tell him that they were a kin. The Pope with troubled brow looked at the angel's countenance serene; the Emperor made answer to the angel that it was strange sport to have a mad man for a fool at court.
The Holy Week went by and finally Easter Sunday came. The angel and its presence, before the sun rose, made the city bright. All the people felt a spiritual power as never before. Ever the jester on his bed of straw was awakened, and a wonderful light he had now known of awakened within his heart, for the first time he caught he caught the heaven vision, and saw the true viewpoint of life.
Then the visit being ended, the angel with his party returned home again. Finally, when they were all within their own walls again, the angel motioning the others to. retire, said to King Robert, "Art thou the king?" Then King Robert bowing low his head, crossed both hands upon his breast meekly answered, "Thou knowest best." "My sins as scarlet are,” and then he asked that he might go hence to some” cloister school of penetance, and across the stones that pave the way.to heaven, walk barefoot, until his guilty soul be shriven. The angel smiled, and from his radiant face, a holy light illumined all his face. And through the open window they hoard the same old chant. He has put down the mighty from their seat and exalted them of low degree. " and through the chant a second melody ran like the throbbing of a single string, "I am an angel, and thou art the King."
King Robert was standing there with bowed head, but finally looked up only to find himself alone. But he was all appareled ins in days of old, with crown and cloak of ermine and gold. But when his courtiers came sometime later they found him there, kneeling upon the floor absorbed in silent prayer.
Many today are going through life in mock state because they have not yet learned the lesson King Robert learned. All outer pompt and show must go down unless sustained by the invisible principles of truth which upheld the Forms. But when one has learned how to lay hold of the ________________
Now we know this narrative is not taken from a happening in the outer world, but it does show how the spiritual forces enter into the souls of men take control of their lives in order to teach them this or that lesson, ---to establish the living Principles of Christianity within the heart, and to make them living realities in all the affairs of life.
Many are going through life in mock state, just as King Robert did, because they have not yet learned the lesson set before them. But all outer pomp and show must crumble away, unless the living Truths are adhered to; unless one lays hold of the spiritual visions and molds his words, his life after the Divine Pattern. For the law is, Unto the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is King, the true meaning of the name Jesus Christ being, "God Manifest”.
I THANK YOU.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on July 2, 2018.