1. We learned in the second lesson that the real substance within everything we see is God; that all things are one and the same Spirit in different degrees of manifestation; that all the various forms of life are just the same as one life come forth out of the invisible into visible form; that all the intelligence and all the wisdom in the world are God as wisdom in various degrees of manifestation; that all the love which people feel and express toward others is just a little, so to speak, of God as love come into visibility through the human form.
2. When we say there is but one Mind in the entire universe, and that this Mind is God, some persons, having followed understandingly the first lesson, and recognized God as the one life, one Spirit, one power, pushing Himself out into various degrees of manifestation through people and things, will at once say: "Yes, that is all plain."
3. But someone else will say: "If all the mind there is, is God, then how can I think wrong thoughts, or have any but God thoughts?"
4. The connection between universal Mind and our own individual minds is one of the most difficult things to put into words, but when it once dawns on one, it is easily seen.
5. There is in reality only one Mind (or Spirit, which is life, intelligence, and so forth) in the universe; and yet there is a sense in which we are individuals, or separate, a sense in which we are free wills and not puppets.
6. Man is made up of Spirit, soul, and body. Spirit is the central unchanging "I" of us, the part that since infancy has never changed, and to all eternity never will change. That which some persons call "mortal minds" is the region of the intellect where we do conscious thinking and are free wills. This part of our being is in constant process of changing.
7. In our outspringing from God into the material world, Spirit is inner -- one with God; soul is the clothing, as it were, of Spirit; body is the external clothing of the soul. Yet all are in reality one, the composite man -- as steam, water, and ice are one, only in different degrees of condensation. In thinking of ourselves, we must not separate Spirit, soul, and body, but rather hold all as one, if we would be strong and powerful. Man originally lived consciously in the spiritual part of himself. He fell by descending in his consciousness to the external or more material part of himself.
8. "Mortal mind," the term so much used and so distracting to many, is the error consciousness, which gathers its information from the outside world through the five senses. It is what Paul calls "the mind of the flesh" in contradistinction to spiritual mind; and he flatly says: "The mind of the flesh [believing what the carnal mind says] is death [sorrow, trouble, sickness]; but the mind of the Spirit [ability to still the carnal mind and let the Spirit speak within us] is life and peace."
9. The Spirit within you is Divine Mind, the real mind. Without it human mind would disappear, just as a shadow disappears when the real thing that casts it is removed.
10. If you find this subject of human mind and universal Mind puzzling to you, do not worry over it. Just drop it for the time, and as you go on with the lesson, you will find that some day an understanding of it will flash suddenly upon you with perfect clearness.
11. There are today two classes of people, so far as mentality goes, who are seeking deliverance out of sickness, trouble, and unhappiness, by spiritual means. One class requires that every statement made be proved by the most elaborate and logical argument, before it can or will be received. The other class is willing at once to "become as little children" (Matt. 18:3) and just be taught how to take the first step toward pure understanding (or knowledge of Truth as God sees it), and then receives the light by direct revelation from the All-Good. Both are seeking and eventually both will reach the same goal, and neither one should be unduly condemned.
12. If you are one who seeks and expects to get any realizing knowledge of spiritual things through argument or reasoning, no matter how scholarly your attainments or how great you are in worldly wisdom, you are a failure in spiritual understanding. You are attempting an utter impossibility -- that of crowding the Infinite into the quart measure of your own intellectual capacity.
13. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged" (I Cor. 2:14). Eventually you will find that you are only beating around on the outside of the "Kingdom of heaven," though in close proximity to it, and you will then become willing to let your intellect take the place of the little child, without which no man can enter in.
14. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath [not will] prepared for them that love him.
15. "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit. . . .
16. "For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God" (I Cor. 2:11).
17. For all those who must wade through months and perhaps years of this purely intellectual or mental process, there are today many books to help, and many teachers of metaphysics who are doing noble and praiseworthy work in piloting these earnest seekers after Truth and satisfaction. To them we cry: "All speed!"
18. But we believe with Paul that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men" (I Cor. 1:25), and that each man has direct access to all there is in God. We are waiting for the "little Children" who, without question or discussion, are willing at once to accept and try a few plain, simple rules such as Jesus taught the common people, who "heard him gladly" -- rules by which they can find the Christ (or the Divine) within themselves, that through it each man for himself may work out his own salvation from all his troubles.
19. In other words, there is a shortcut to the top of the hill; and while there is a good but long, roundabout road for those who need it, we prefer the less laborious means of attaining the some ends by seeking directly the Spirit of truth promised to dwell in us and to lead us into all Truth. My advice is: If you want to make rapid progress in growth toward spiritual understanding, stop reading many books. They only give someone's opinion about Truth, or a sort of history of the author's experience in seeking Truth. What you want is revelation of Truth in your own soul, and that will never come through the reading of many books.
20. Seek light from the Spirit of Truth within you. Go alone. Think alone. Seek light alone, and if it does not come at once, do not be discouraged and run off to someone else to get light; for, as we said before, by so doing you get only the opinion of the intellect, and may be then further away from the Truth you are seeking than ever before; for the mortal mind may make false reports.
21. The very Spirit of truth is at your call. "The anointing which ye received of him abideth in you" (I John 2:27). Seek it. Wait patiently for it to "guide you into the truth" (John 16:13) about all things.
22. "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). This is the universal Mind, which makes no mistake. Still the intellect for the time being, and let universal Mind speak to you; and when it speaks, though it be but a "still small voice" (I Kings 19:12), you will know that what it says is Truth.
23. How will you know? You will know just as you know that you are alive. All the argument in the world to convince you against Truth that comes to you through direct revelation will fall flat and harmless at your side. And the Truth that you know, not simply believe, you can use to help others. That which comes forth through your spirit will reach the very innermost spirit of him to whom you speak.
24. What is born from the outside, or intellectual perception, reaches only the intellect of him you would help.
25. The intellect that is servant to the real Mind, and when servant (but not when master) is good, loves to argue; but when its information is based on the evidence of the senses and not on the true thoughts of the Divine Mind, it is very fallible and full of error.
26. Intellect argues. Spirit takes the deep things of God and reveals Truth to man. One may be true; the other always is true. Spirit does not give opinions about Truth; it is Truth, and it reveals itself.
27. Someone has truly said that the merest child who has learned from the depths of his being to say, "Our Father," is infinitely greater than the most intellectual man who has not yet learned it. Paul was a man of gigantic intellect, learned in all the law, a Pharisee of the Pharisees; but after he was spiritually illumined he wrote, "The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (I Cor. 1:25).
28. It does make a great difference in our daily lives what we think about God, about ourselves, about our neighbors. Heretofore, through ignorance of our real selves and of the results of our thinking, we have let our thoughts flow at random. Our minds have been turned toward the external of our being, and nearly all our information has been gotten through our five senses. We have thought wrong because misinformed by these senses, and our troubles and sorrows are the results of our wrong thinking.
29. "But," says someone, "I do not see how my thinking evil or wrong thoughts about God, or about anyone, can make me sick or my husband lose his position."
30. Well, I will not just now try to explain all the steps by which bad results follow false thinking, but I will just ask you to try thinking true, right thoughts awhile, and see what the result will be.
31. Take the thought, "God loves me." Think these words over and over continually for a few days, trying to realize that they are true, and see what the effect will be on your body and circumstances.
32. First, you get a new exhilaration of mind, with a great desire and a sense of power to please God; then a quicker, better circulation of blood, with a sense of pleasant warmth in the body, followed by better digestion. Later, as Truth flows out through your being into your surroundings, everybody will begin to manifest a new love for you without your knowing why; and finally, circumstances will begin to change and fall into harmony with your desires, instead of being adverse to them.
33. Everyone knows how strong thoughts of fear or grief have turned hair white in a few hours; how great fear makes the heart beat so rapidly as to seem about to "jump out of the body," this result not being at all dependent on whether there be any real cause of fear or whether it be a purely imaginary cause. Just so, strong negative thoughts may render the blood acid, causing rheumatism. Bearing mental burdens makes more stooped shoulders than does bearing heavy material loads. Believing that God regards us as "miserable sinners," that He is continually watching us and our failures with disapproval, bring utter discouragement and a sort of half paralyzed condition of the mind and body, which means failure in all our undertakings.
34. Is it difficult for you to understand why, if God lives in us all the time, He does not keep our thoughts right instead of permitting us through ignorance to drift into wrong thoughts, and so bring trouble on ourselves?
35. Well, we are not automatons. Your child will never learn to walk alone if you always do his walking. Because you recognize that the only way for him to be strong, self-reliant in all things -- in other words, to become a man -- is to throw him on himself, and let him, through experience, come to a knowledge of things for himself, you are not willing to make a mere puppet of him by taking the steps for him, even though you know that he will fall down many times and give himself severe bumps in his ongoing toward perfect physical manhood.
36. We are in process of growth into the highest spiritual manhood and womanhood. We get many falls and bumps on the way, but only through these, not necessarily by them, can our growth proceed. Father and mother, no matter how strong or deep their love, cannot grow for their children; nor can God, who is omnipotence, at the center of our being, grow spiritually for us without making of us automatons instead of individuals.
37. If you keep your thoughts turned toward the external of yourself, or of others, you will see only the things that are not real, but temporal, and which pass away. All the faults, failures, or lacks in people or circumstances will seem very real to you, and you will be unhappy and sick.
38. If you turn your thoughts away from the external toward the spiritual, and let them dwell on the good in yourself and in others, all the apparent evil will first drop out of your thoughts and then out of your life. Paul understood this when he wrote to the Philippians: "Finally, brethen, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil. 4:8).
39. We all can learn how to turn the conscious mind toward universal Mind, or Spirit, within us. We can, by practice, learn how to make this everyday, topsy-turvy, "mind of the flesh" be still and let the mind that is in God (all-wisdom, all-love) think in us and out through us.
40. Imagine, if you will, a great reservoir, out of which lead innumerable small rivulets or channels. At its farther end each channel opens out into a small fountain. This fountain is not only being continually filled and replenished from the reservoir but is itself a radiating center whence it gives out in all directions that which it receives, so that all who come within its radius are refreshed and blessed.
41. This is our relation with God. Each one of us is a radiating center. Each one, no matter how small or ignorant, is the little fountain at the far end of a channel, the other end of which leads out from all there is in God. This fountain represents the individuality, as separate from the great reservoir -- God -- and yet as one with Him, and without Him we are nothing.
42. Each of us, no matter how insignificant he may be in the world, may receive from God unlimited good of whatever kind he desires, and radiate it to all about him. But remember, he must radiate if he would receive more. Stagnation is death.
43. Oh, I want the simplest mind to grasp the idea that the very wisdom of God -- the love, the life, and the power of God -- are ready and waiting with longing impulse to flow out through us in unlimited degree! When it flows in unusual degree through the intellect of a certain person men exclaim, "What a wonderful mind!" When it flows through the hearts of men it is the love that melts all bitterness, envy, selfishness, jealousy, before it; when it flows through their bodies as life, no disease can withstand its onward march.
44. We do not have to beseech God any more than we have to beseech the sun to shine. The sun shines because it is a law of its being to shine, and it cannot help it. No more can God help pouring into us unlimited wisdom, life, power, all good, because to give is a law of His being. Nothing can hinder Him except our own lack of understanding. The sun may shine ever so brightly, but if we have, through willfulness or ignorance, placed ourselves, or have been placed by our progenitors, in the far corner of a damp, dark cellar, we get neither joy nor comfort from its shining; then to us the sun never shines.
45. So we have heretofore known nothing of how to get ourselves out of the cellar of ignorance, doubts, and despair; to our wrong thinking, God has seemed to withhold the life, wisdom, and power we wanted so much, though we sought Him ever so earnestly.
46. The sun does not radiate life and warmth today and darkness and chill tomorrow; it cannot, from the nature of its being. Nor does God radiate love at one time, while at other times, anger, wrath, and displeasure flow from His mind toward us.
47. "Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter? can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine figs" (James 3:11).
48. God is All-Good -- always good, always love. He never changes, no matter what we do or may have done. He is always trying to pour more of Himself through us into visibility so as to make us grander, larger, fuller, freer individuals.
49. While the child is crying out for its Father-Mother God, the Father-Mother is yearning with infinite tenderness to satisfy the child.
"In the heart of man a cry,
In the heart of God, supply."
50. There is but one Mind in the universe.
51. Human mind, or intellect, makes mistakes because it gathers much information from without.
52. Universal Mind sees and speaks from within, it is all Truth.
53. Our way of thinking makes our happiness or unhappiness, our success or nonsuccess. We can, by effort, change our ways of thinking.
54. God is at all times, regardless of our so-called sins, trying to pour more good into our lives to make them richer and more successful.