This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on June 1, 1976
24:43But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken through. 24:44Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh.
24:45Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath set over his household, to give them their food in due season? 24:46Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 24:47Verily I say unto you, that he will set him over all that he hath. 24:48But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord tarrieth; 24:49and shall begin to beat his fellow-servants, and shall eat and drink with the drunken; 24:50the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he expecteth not, and in an hour when he knoweth not,24:51and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
We read additionally from Matthew 24:43-51, a further elaboration on the theme. Let us review what we have said so far in our interpretation. Unexpected events belong in that category of life experiences called mysteries, and remember that there is no disgrace with having mysteries in your life and admitting them. Unanswered questions are not badges of dishonor. They are a legitimate part of the learning process. If there are no mysteries in life, there is no need to learn. There would only be know-it-alls, and there is not know-it-allness as life experience as existence; but there is the Mind of all-knowingness within us, which will eventually lead us into Truth and the light which gives us the answer to all mysteries; but until you actually have the answer to the mystery, you do have something second-best, which will serve, which will suffice. They have the spiritual resources to cope with mystery.
You may not be able to gain all the answers, all the solutions to the mysteries of existence in this incarnation; you may have to wait for that, but one thing you and I do not have to wait for any more, because we have already attained this, the spiritual resources to enable us to cope with unanswered questions, mysteries of life, until we are able to have the full explanation or answer to it, which will cause it not to be a problem anymore. Then we said that Jesus’ words emphasizing the words "Watch and pray", but knowing Jesus as we should now know Him, we must realize He is not being an alarmist here. Now, when an alarmist says "Watch", he usually always means "Watch out, beware"; but Jesus is not an alarmist. He is a Truth teacher, so He must be using the words in the sense of "Observe, keep your eyes open."
Jesus' instructions are almost always related to the inner part of our being, so He must be saying "Observe within, observe where you are within yourself, observe what is going on." Just don't let things go on, but observe them and know where you stand as far as the I Am of you, even so far as the Adam-self of you. Then, watching is a good first step, but then follow through with what makes watching creative, not just watching for watchings’ sake but watching for creativity's sake. There you need prayer connected with your watching. Watch and pray. See what is going on and where you are in your own inner world, and then pray.
Since prayers are prayers because they are directed to God, to the God-thought, then watching and praying will establish and build and strengthen what we call a God-centered consciousness; that is, you will develop the kind of consciousness which always has at its center, at its core as its roots, the God-thought, the God-presence, the thought of God. And in doing this, we gain awareness of the spiritual resources that will enable us to cope with all kinds of events in our lives. That would include the two categories which all events fall into: expected and looked for, or unexpected and unlooked for. At the same time; it would include the desired and the not-desired, you see; but the event itself, always follows a certain pattern, if it meets us and we meet it in a God-centered consciousness. It's not what happens that matters but how you handle it. Is an old cliché, which is the principle. It is not so much whether I wanted it or did not want it or whether I expected it or did not expect it, but what shape am I in when it happens. If the shape I am in is a God-centered consciousness, then happenings can keep happening, but they cannot devastate.
The "happenee", if there is such a word, cannot be devastated by the happening, if the happenee has a God-consciousness. It is quite that simple.
When you have built a God-centered consciousness through inner self-observation and prayer, you have established that factor, that something, which will enable you to meet and handle correctly anything which can possibly come up in your existence, [and] whether that which happens is expected or unexpected, will not make any real difference to you, because you will react to everything from the same center of power within yourself, from your God-centered consciousness. This is what many of the Old Testament characters did, not always, not constantly; but when they did, you can always tell it, because wonderful things came out of what looked to be pretty dire things. Jesus, of course, did it all the time. He abided in it. So the events of His life never drew Him off balance, never made Him betray His purpose.
The thought we ended our last class with was, when we meet and handle any mystery in life from a God-centered consciousness, that thing must turn out for the good. It simply must, come what may, good, bad or indifferent, expected or unexpected. If it happens, it happens; but if it happens to you and it finds you established in your God-centered consciousness, then it takes its place in a pattern of divine order for your greater progress and unfoldment. The Bible says it this way: "To them that love God, all things work together for good" (Rom. 8:28). Let's paraphrase that. To them that are stabilized in their own God-consciousness, all events turn out to contribute to the good. There are no qualifications here. It says all things must work together for good.
How to build a God-centered consciousness? None better than this way advocated by Jesus in its full meaning, in its full ramification, watch and pray. That is the best way. Watch your own inner life; observe your thoughts, observe your feelings, observe your attitudes; then, based upon what you have been observing, what you have seen, practice the presence of God. This is praying.
Now, we know that God is the Spirit of love in our hearts, of divine intelligence in our minds, and pure and perfect life, expressing through our bodies. We know that God is our all-knowing, all-understanding, all-providing Father; and we can dedicate our inner thoughts and feelings to His glory. Now, I think I have mentioned before, from our side, it is glorifying God. From God's side, it would be that we are glorifying our own consciousness, in glorifying Him, because He needs no glorification. But our attitude about this does glorify our own God-thought, and this is a very good thing, because the more glorious one's God-thought is, the more glorious the existence becomes, the more glorious the soul becomes, because the God-thought is glorified first.
The connotation of the word glory is more important than its definition. We think of it as greater luminosity, beauty, warmth, meaning, just everything good you can think of synthesizes into a composite-type of feeling, you know, always great and beautiful and lovely, powerful, with pure power. By the way, folks, I read a book in which the author says something about God that I never read before. It struck me. The author says that our God is completely harmless and totally without rancor. He is talking about karma, and he compares his realization of karma to the formalistic, Eastern-religion of karma. In making the comparison, he uses little figures of speech which obviously came out of his own creativity. Some of them just hit me with the most pleasant sensation, but this idea "our God is completely harmless and totally without rancor” helps me to begin to see what Jesus meant when He said, “Be ye perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect", become harmless and totally without rancor.
Let's go back. A God-centered consciousness will be our guarantee that whatever may come in earthly existence, we will meet, handle, and somehow extract good from it, with God's help. Instead of with God's help, I should have said because of God's help, really. Remember that no mystery concerning your existence will always remain a mystery, and that nothing in the outer is ever a finality. The outer appearance of an event is never, never the whole story. It is only that which is within a person that tells the whole story. You know why? Because you are whole. You are not something that can get whole, but you are wholeness itself in expression as individuality; so there is where the whole answer to everything is, always, within your being, within your very nature, as part of your wholeness or Christhood.
For a lot of people, the big question becomes, "What is within? If that is where I will find the answer to everything, then what is it that is there?" It becomes a matter of looking within yourself and watching and observing, to know what is there. You see, a person who never does meditate, never does reflect, never does observe his own inner light, has no way of knowing what is there, what his resources are, spiritually. He remains part of the blind, you see; and he really is in outer darkness. So we look within and pray and we practice the Presence, and His Presence becomes more and more real, until we find ourselves centered and poised in a permanent awareness of His spirit within.
We have built a God-centered consciousness, and we can abide in it. Remember, even when we do that, some mysteries of life will still baffle us, but none will paralyze us or devastate us. Then, we will be able to say to life, "Do what must be done. I am ready", even if the next event be something entirely unexpected, we are ready. When we say to events in life, “When you touch me, you are also touching my God-centered consciousness." This is rather fanciful, I know, but see the logic of it. You are not crazy if you speak to your anticipation of your future, and you can imagine whatever and say, "Happen what must happen, but when you happen and you touch me, you are also touching something that is within me, my God-centered consciousness." Then you must begin to work together with all other things in life for good. See what dominion and mastery is involved. When you are realizing your dominion and mastery because of the God-presence within you, you can even speak to probabilities! You do not always have to speak to manifested objects. You have the power to actually speak to probabilities, to the potentials that will become part of form, and they will obey you. How do you think Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes? He spoke to the probabilities of future loaves and fishes.
Q. Don't we really do the same thing in counseling and healing? We speak to the probability of the wholeness, to the Christ; therefore it is drawn out, because we are speaking to the probabilities rather than the facts?
A. Right. Now if you can really do that from a firm and strong and active God-consciousness, just think of the good that you can do. It is what Jesus did, of course; but you see, you are not dictating or outlining to Spirit. What you are really doing is in your God-centered consciousness, you are knowing the Truth, you are basing everything as a sort of prophesy. In this case, of all things working together for good for those who love God and Truth. I love God and Truth, therefore I have the authority to actually speak or decree to good probability. Now, you are not dictating how a thing must happen. You are only saying that it must take its place when it does happen, in the pattern of all-things-working-together-for-good.
Let us get as personal about this as we can. Let's take the matter of your upcoming placement. Now, some of you may have specific places in mind that you want, and you may then want to speak the word of nothing interfering; and it happening as quickly, as easily, as smoothly as possible. You may, then, start affirming or praying or treasure-mapping, etc. in that respect. Now, I am not condemning that; but I am just saying that things can happen. Unexpected things can happen, when you are trying to outline or, in a sense, dictate, results to Spirit. It is not forbidden, but it is risky, at the very least, you see. Usually such praying, such affirming, is not really being done from a God-centered consciousness. Most of the time there is personal will, personal desire involved. Understand, this is not forbidden, but it is risky.
If you are really established in a God-centered consciousness, you are not ashamed of your specific desires. You do not pretend that you do not have any. You simply let them take second place. You put them in the reserve file, so to speak; and you give your main thrust, your main priority, your main dependency on God-Mind, on God-Presence and on the idea of serving man and thereby serving God. Then your prayer and your affirmation very likely will be, "Although I have the personal-self preferences, they are set aside. My main purpose is that, whatever occurs in the matter of placement, whether it is the place I expect to be sent to or want to, or a place I did not expect or do not particularly want to, I decree that this even in my life must take its place in the pattern of all-things-working-together-for-good. Then, even if you get sent to Mesa, it will contribute to your highest good. You see, I did not do that when I went there. I went to Mesa full of self-importance. I went to Mesa thinking, "I'm going to bestow ME on these poor people", and I got kicked squarely in the face by the Arizona desert. It is a matter of attitude. I did not take a God-consciousness into that ministry. I took a misguided ego; so the debt is paid now. Now they have a marvelous minister, whom they love and loves them, and everything is just growing a thousand percent for the glory of God and the honor of man. This is the way it can be in all things.
If we do these simple things that I have been interpreting in Jesus' discourse, it is guaranteed that unexpected events of your existence will lose all terrors for you. Negative anticipations and the bite that can accompany them will be a thing of the past. You will have aligned yourself with God's omnipotence, and every event of your existence will be seen by you, even things that have not happened yet, as stepping stones to higher and greater events. Can you see the practical usefulness of a lesson like this as well as its idealism? We have not betrayed idealism, you see, any step along the way; and yet we have kept it in the realm of practicality or usability for any human being at this present time.
Now, for the average person that will be a member of your congregation, to obey a lesson like this, to take it to heart and to follow it, his most immediate challenge, his most at-hand difficulty will probably lie that in order to get this going, he would immediately have to start changing some ingrained habits of thought, of emotion, perhaps even some of his physical habits. This would entail an immediate willingness to start changing some habits; unfortunately some of these habits which need to be changed might have served him or her well in the past but would no longer fit into this new type of approach, you see. You see, sitting there in your class, in your congregation, hearing you give a lesson like this will be very pleasant and very reassuring to most minds that have been attracted to your church; but there is a difference between that situation and life-involvement.
For instance, he would have to probably start doing some re-thinking about the value he has been placing on certain "security measures". In other words, outer ways and schemes of protecting yourself from unexpected events would have to be re-thought as far as their importance is concerned and possibly start changing some reasons why he has such things as insurance, for instance. It is not an insurance policy that will protect against an unexpected financial challenge, not really; the only guarantee is God as Source, protecting one and caring for one in an unexpected financial challenge, God as Substance, God as all-providing Father. Then the insurance policy may become a channel and an agent for that principle. I have seen people who knew or cared nothing about God and Truth but knew everything there is to know about investments and insurance policies, have the roof cave in, as often happens and the whole pattern of live having to change, very drastic readjustments to a new lifestyle might have to be made. But the annuities, the stocks and bonds, insurance policies could be cashed in and yet the person have no interest in God, Spirit, divine ideas; so the person might nearly go “to hell" with all these, with plenty of cash in the pocket. The change demanded by an unexpected event, the new lifestyle called for, but just drawing upon outer things can cause boredom, self-pity, and horribleness that can cause illness and even passing on.
Practicing the Presence of God can cause an unexpected event to happen to a God-centered consciousness. Anything that happens to a God-centered consciousness must serve that consciousness, must fall into a pattern of manifesting or demonstrating that consciousness; and only good and improvement can be the result. Did Ed Rabel say not to take out stocks or insurance policies? No. He is saying to keep the God-consciousness as THE core, as the whole reality of dependability in all things.
Q. I understand that it is easier for the placement-committee if you give some kind of preference?
A. It helps us to match up candidates with opportunities, and it expedites the process. I guess it is no secret that in those committee meetings, we really do declare that Spirit is in charge of placement, and we consider anything of that nature to be guidance from Spirit. I think we have made mistakes, but at least they were well-meant mistakes. It is such an important thing, that you want to not leave any doors closed. If you have a preference, acknowledge it; but still your main desire would be to serve God and let His wisdom within you and within all concerned bring about the right answer.
Text of the original transcript at the last paragraph of p.283 through the first paragraph of p.288.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-13-2014