Paul says we seek a country from which we came forth, and to which we shall return. We are travelers that have wandered away from home and have not found our wanderings pleasant. The outer man looks upon the home he is seeking as a place fixed in the heavens, but a fuller realization of Truth shows that this home is in the place Jesus pointed out—“the kingdom of God is within you.” Having once established yourself in this place it is an easy matter to externalize it.
We shall find the kingdom of God by closing the doors of the outer consciousness and turning the attention within. There we shall find the king enthroned, and when we realize this truth it will become a reality to us. There are certain attitudes of mind that make it easy to find the kingdom. One is receptivity—mental obedience. Let us be still and go into the kingdom with this keyword, “I am obedient unto the heavenly vision.”
We consider man first a spiritual being, then a mental and physical being. When we speak of Principle, we mean the principle as it is related to Spirit. All so-called principles in the outer world are secondary. The real principle is always Spirit, and by Spirit we also mean the higher range of mind. According to Webster’s Dictionary, Spirit and mind are almost synonymous. When we understand that Spirit and mind are closely related we get a better understanding of what Spirit is and what we are as spiritual beings. We should deal with our mind as if it were a Spiritual Principle—which it is. We may thus erase from consciousness all misunderstanding of mind, and give place to a broader, higher understanding of the Real Self. If we are spiritual beings it behooves us to study ourselves in relation to the Supreme One, who is our Source.
We are related to the Universal Mind by certain faculties, one of which is faith. Instead of looking upon faith as something which belongs especially to the religious nature, we see that it has to do with every department of life. When Jesus Christ called his disciples, his first was Peter. Peter represents faith. Peter’s first name was Simon, which means, hearing or listening. This name, therefore, stands for that type of mind which is open to spiritual influx through aspiration, prayer and affirmation. These are the positive attitudes of obedience.
Theology teaches that man’s disobedience opened the door to all the ills of the flesh, and finally to death through sin. If disobedience is the cause of all man’s troubles, obedience is the remedy for them. According to the allegory given in Genesis, man was originally in direct touch with Divine Mind-He walked and talked with God. If man is the offspring of God he must be of the same character, and if he is of the same character he should know what is going on in the universe. In right relation with Divine Mind he may know all the secrets of nature. The poet has said that if he could understand the flower in the crannied wall he would know God. He would know the secret of making things. That same secret power is in man, forming his life and intelligence, and all that goes to make him an intelligent being. But men live so much on the surface, so much in personal egotism, that they separate themselves from God and his creative laws. So in order to get back to their original estate, they must study these processes and co-operate with them. In other words, they must become obedient to the Divine Law.
Obedience is the first step in bringing forth faith. Jesus called Simon Peter a rock. He became established in the reality of the Spiritual Principle. Paul says that faith is substance. It gives a firm base to the mind and keeps it from being carried off in the vagaries of mortal thought. Wherever you concentrate you can feel a gathering together of spiritual power. If you concentrate on strength, you have a new consciousness of strength. This is the gathering together of the waters, or weak elements of thought that float around without a center. Faith forms this center and the “dry land” appears.
As we listen to the Spirit we become more and more obedient, and ideal spiritual realities become substantial in our consciousness. By prayer and obedience we can dissolve the egotism that builds up the personality which shuts us away from the Universal Life. For example, in ear troubles metaphysicians give treatments for obedience. A listening, receptive, obedient attitude of mind will relieve the tension that is producing the trouble in the ears. Children crying with earache may be relieved by a denial of stubbornness and disobedience, and an affirmation of obedience.
When Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians he heard the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave him command what he should do, and Paul wrote later, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” If Paul had refused to do as he was told, the mighty works that he did in the name of Jesus Christ would never have followed. Believe in the reality of the heavenly commission to you. By earnest obedience you will bring the law into manifestation and bless yourself and the world.
When Samuel heard the voice of the Lord he thought it was the High Priest calling him, and he ran to Eli to find what was wanted. But Eli said he called him not. Three times he heard the call of the Lord, and then Eli, perceiving that the Lord had called the child, told him to say, when the voice came again, “Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth.” Thus Samuel’s point of attention was turned from the without to the within. We hear in the world all kinds of voices, and it is possible in the development ot the inner consciousness, to hear the voice of the soul and mistake it for the voice of the Spirit. But if you are determined to know only the Lord Jesus Christ, and open yourself continually to the Spiritual Mind within, you shall discern between the soul and the Spirit and be always safely guided. To attain this inner guidance say to it, “Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth.”