Emile Cady’s Garden of the Heart
Hi Friends -
Emilie Cady’s essay entitled The Secret Place of the Most High is about space, not language. The “Secret Place of the Most High” is, as I found written in the margin of my 1935 edition, a “Garden of the Heart.”
Most theologians today assume that the only way to convey spiritual things is with words. But I want to share some of the inside cover of a groundbreaking book that has come out this year:
How to we think? The natural answer is: with words. Everything from ancient philosophy to the theory of evolution is assembled and transmitted through language. But our ancestors did not speak. Neither do infants. Yet they still think. So if we can think before we have language, then what are our thoughts really made of? ... In Mind and Motion, psychologist Barbara Tversky makes the groundbreaking case that movement and our interactions in space, not language, are the true foundation of thought.
Let’s remember that Jesus taught in parables. And he roamed the Galilean hillside as he taught. A few weeks back I wrote that the most important spiritual discipline in Unity is thinking, not prayer. And last week I wrote that spiritual understanding begins with infant bonding. Thinking and spiritual understanding are pre-verbal. This may be why Emilie Cady has chosen to use similar metaphors in her essay on the spiritual journey—The Secret Place of the Most High—that of a “secret place” where we go to find safety, to meet God and to discover Truth—a “Garden of the Heart”.
Sadly, the current edition of the Complete Works of H. Emilie Cady has removed her preface to The Secret Place of the Most High. I don’t now why the preface has been removed, but I do know that she defends herself in the preface from critics who “object to the language as being too ‘orthodox.’” It’s fair to assume that Emilie Cady’s critics are still with us. And their methods are to remove entire sections from Lessons in Truth that they find objectionable. That is why anyone who wants to understand what she has to say and to follow her simple lessons will need to read her original writings, untouched by 125 years of unknown editing.
It is true that understanding the writings of Emilie Cady and Charles Fillmore can be difficult. But it is no more difficult than understanding the parables of Jesus. That is the nature of spiritual discovery. It just may be that Emilie Cady is right—we need to spend less time reading books and spend more time waiting in the stillness of Garden of the Heart.
Here is a summary of some of the terms we find in her essay:
- The secret place. The place we go to become still and to meet God.
- Intuition. The gate to the secret place, the still small voice that beckons us to the gate.
- Intellect. Our thinking and feeling pathway to the secret place.
- Inlet, Inflowing. Divine ideas given by God to us at the secret place.
- Outlet, Outflowing. Experience of illumined thinking and feeling that radiate outward.
- In-working. God's working in our minds, transforming our thinking and feeling (grace).
- Out-working, Working out one's salvation. Our task in cleansing consciousness by means of thinking, denials and affirmation.
- Silence. Waiting and allowing Spirit to "work in us."
- Language. One way to convey Truth.
- Words of Truth. Words that are "made alive in us" by revelation of Spirit.
- The hope of glory. Letting Spirit work in us (hope) so that we may have the mind of God in us and that we may claim into manifestation as the image and likeness of God (glory).
- Hidden manna. A secret word for overcoming.
- White stone. A clean consciousness ready for the secret word.
- The Father. God.
- The Father within. Our experience of God the Father.
- Spirit of Truth. The Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father to reveal our Christ nature in the Silence.
- The secret/friendship of the Lord. A revelation of our divine nature (Psalms 25:14).
- Christ. Consciousness of our divine self. The "mystery hidden from Ages," the mystical union between soul and Spirit.
- The enduement of power. The promise/desire of God for spiritual empowerment that we might grow step by step to where we can manifest our divine nature (Luke 24:49).
- According to the power that worketh within us. The in-working power of Spirit that transforms our consciousness (Ephesians 3:20).
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Lesson 8 — The Secret Place of the Most High
In the progress of these simple lessons some may object to the language as being too “orthodox,”—too much of the religious side of the question. I use Scriptural terms simply because I prefer them; but it is all essentially one and the same thing. It is not Mental Science or Christian Science as such, that you want. It is not so-called “Orthodox” teaching that you want. It is not any ism, for each is but one side of the truth. It is truth we are after: and at the centre of all these various forms of presenting the truth the thing itself is One.
So let us be big enough and broad enough, no matter on what side of the truth we have thus far been seeking the Light of the world, to put away all prejudices, all the limitations which the mere form of words may heretofore have made in our minds, and be open to all there is for us.
1. There is nothing the human soul so longs for, so cries out after as to know God “whom to know aright is life eternal.”
2. With a restlessness which is pitiful to see, people are ever shifting from one thing to another, always hoping to find rest and satisfaction in some anticipated accomplishment or possession. Men fancy they want houses and lands, great learning or power. They pursue these things and gain them only to find themselves still restless, still unsatisfied.
3. At the great heart of humanity there is a deep and awful homesickness which never has been and never can be satisfied with anything less than a clear, vivid consciousness of the indwelling Presence of God our Father. In all ages, earnest men and women, who have recognized this inner hunger as the heart’s cry after God have left seeking after things, and have sought by devoted worship and by service to others to enter into this consciousness, but few have succeeded in reaching the promised place where their “joy is full.” Others have hoped and feared alternately; they have tried with the best knowledge they possessed to “work out their salvation,” not yet having learned that there must be an in-working as well as an out-working. “By grace (or free gift) ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; (or of any mortal working) it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast.”
4. To him who “dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High” (Psalms 91:1) there is promised immunity from the noisome pestilence and the snare of the fowler, from the terror by night and the arrow that flieth by day; and even immunity from fear of these things. O the awfully paralyzing effect of fear of evil! It surely “doth make cowards of us all.” It makes us helpless as babes. It makes us pigmies where we might be giants, were we only free from it. It is at the root of all our failures, nearly all sickness, poverty and distress. But we have the promise of deliverance from even the fear of evil when we are in the Secret Place. “Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror, etc.” “In the time of trouble He shall hide me; in the secret of his tabernacle shall He hide me.” “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man; thou shalt keep them secretly from the strife of tongues.”
5. The Secret Place! Why called a secret place? What is it? Where may we find it? How abide in it?
6. It is a secret place because it is the place of meeting between the Christ at the centre of your being, and your consciousness,—a hidden place into which no outside person can either induct you or enter himself. We must drop the idea that this place of Realization of our divinity can be given to us by any human being. No one can come into it from the outside. Hundreds of earnest souls are seeking night and day to get this inner revealing. They run from teacher to teacher, many of them making the most frantic efforts to meet the financial obligations thus incurred.
7. You may study with human teachers and from man made books till doomsday; you may get all the theological lore of the ages; you may understand intellectually all the statements of truth, and be able to prate healing formulas as glibly as oil flows. Until there is a definite inner revealing of the reality of an indwelling Christ through whom and by whom cometh life, health, peace, power, all things,—aye who is all things,—you have not yet found the “Secret of the Lord.”
8. In order to gain this knowledge, this consciousness of God within their own soul, many are willing —and wisely so, for this is greater than all other knowledge—to spend all they possess. Even Paul, after twenty-five years of service and of most marvelous preaching said “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; and do count them but refuse that I may win Christ” (or the consciousness of his Divine Self.)
9. Beloved, that which you so earnestly desire and seek will never be found by seeking it through the mental side alone, any more than it has heretofore been found through the emotional side alone. Intuition and Intellect are meant to travel together. Intuition always holding the reins to guide intellect. “Come and let us reason together;” saith the Lord. If you have been thus far on the way, cultivating and enlarging only the mental side of truth—as probably is the case—you need in order to come into the fulness of Understanding, to let the mental, the reasoning side rest awhile. “Become as a little child,” and, learning how to be still, listen to that which the Father will say to you through the Intuitional part of your being. The light you so crave will come out of the deep silence and become manifest to you from within you if you will but keep still and look for it from that source.
10. This conscious knowledge of an indwelling God which we so crave is that of which Paul wrote to the Colossians as “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest. ... Christ in you the hope of glory.” The “Secret place of the Most High” where each one of us may dwell and be safe from all harm or fear of evil is the point of Mystical Union between soul (or conscious mind) and Spirit (or God in us) wherein we no longer believe but we know that God in Christ abides always at the centre of our being, as our perfect health, deliverance, prosperity, power; ready to come forth at any moment we claim It into manifestation. We know it. We know it. We feel our Oneness with the Father, and we manifest this oneness.
11. To possess the secret of anything gives one the power over it. This personal, conscious knowledge of the Father in us is the secret which is the key to all power. What we want is the revelation to us of this marvelous “secret.” Who shall, who can give it to us except he, the “Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father?” Surely none other. That which God would say to you and do through you is a great secret which no man on the face of the earth knows or ever will know, except yourself as it is revealed to you by the Spirit which is in you. That secret which He tells me is not revealed to you, nor yours to me; but each soul must, after all is said and done, deal directly with the Father through the Son within himself.
12. Secrets are not told upon the housetop. Nor is it possible to pass this, the greatest of secrets from one to another. God, the Creator of our being must Himself whisper it to each soul living, in the very innermost of itself. “To him that overcometh” (or is consciously in process of overcoming) “will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone” (or a mind like a clean white tablet), and in the stone a new name written which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.” It is so secret that it cannot even be put into human language or repeated by human lips.
13. What you want today, and what I want, is that the words which we have learned to say as truth, be made alive to us. We want a revelation of God in us as Life to be made to our own personal consciousness as health. We no longer care to have somebody just tell us the words from the outside. We want a revelation of God as Love within us so that our whole being is filled and thrilled with love,—a love that does not have to be pumped up by a determined effort because we know that it is right to love and wrong not to love; but a love that flows with the spontaneity and fulness of an artesian well because it is so full at the bottom that it must flow or burst.
14. What we want today is a revelation to our consciousness of God within us as Omnipotent Power so that we can by a word or look “accomplish that whereunto the word is sent.” We want the manifestation to us of the Father in us, so that we can know him personally. We want to be conscious of “God working in us to will and to do” so that we may “work out our salvation.” We have been learning how to do the outworking, but have now come up to a point when we must learn more of how to place ourselves in an attitude where we can each one be conscious of the Divine inner working.
15. Mary talked with the risen Jesus, supposing it was the gardener until suddenly as he spoke her name, there flashed into her consciousness a ray of pure Intelligence, and in an instant the revelation was made to her innermost soul of his identity.
16. According to the same sacred history, Thomas Didymus had walked daily for three years with the most wondrous teacher of spiritual things that has ever lived. He had watched this teacher’s life and been partaker of his very presence physical and mental. He had had just what you and I have thus far received of mental training and external teaching. But there came a time when there was an inner revealing which made him exclaim “My Lord and my God!” The secret name which no other man could know for him had that moment been given to him. There had come, in the twinkling of an eye, the manifestation to his consciousness, of the Father in him as his Lord and his God. No longer simply our Father and our Lord, but my Lord and my God, my Divine Self revealed to me personally.
17. Is not this that which you are craving?
18. Each soul must come to a time when it no longer is satisfied with or seeks external helps,—when it knows that the inner revelation of “my Lord and my God” to its consciousness can only come to it through an Indwelling Power, which has been there all the time waiting with an infinite longing but an infinite patience to reveal the Father to the child.
19. This revelation will never come through the intellect of man to the consciousness, but must ever come through the Intuitional to the intellect as a manifestation of Spirit to the Soul. “The natural man receiveth not (nor can it impart them) the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned,” and they must be spiritually imparted.
20. In our eagerness, we have waited upon every source we could reach or hear, for the light we wanted. Because we have not known how to wait upon the Spirit within us for the desired revelation we have run to and fro. Let no one misunderstand me in what I say about withdrawing yourself from teachers. Teachers are good and are necessary up to a certain point. “How then shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
21. Books and lectures are good, teachers are good until you learn by the hearing of the ear that Christ the Son of God lives in you; that he within you is your Light and Life and All. When you have once grasped this beyond a doubt with the intellect you are forever through with external teachers; and every day you look to them after this you put off the day of revelation for yourself. That Christ lives in you, Spirit Itself must make real to you. Teachers talk about the Light, but the Light Itself must flash into the darkness before you can see the light.
22. Had the Master remained with the disciples, I doubt if they would ever have gotten beyond the place of hanging on his words and following in the footsteps of his personality. With the knowledge and power he possessed he might at anytime have spoken the word which would have opened the eyes of their understanding. But he did not.
23. Jesus knew that no “treatment” for spiritual illumination given to his disciples from his recognition of truth could produce in them anything more than a temporary change in their understanding. He knew that each man must for himself wait upon God for the inner illumination which should be lasting and real. God alone could whisper the secret to each one separately.
24. The “enduement of power” (Luke 24:49) was not to come to them by the spoken word through another personality, even that of Jesus with his great spiritual power and discernment. It was to come from “on high” to each individual consciousness. It was the “promise of the Father which ye have heard of me.” He had merely told them about it, but had no power to give it to them.
25. So to each of us this spiritual illumination which we are crying out after, this “enduement of power” for which we are willing to sell all that we have, must come from “on high,” i.e. to the consciousness from the Spirit within your being. This is the secret which the Father longs with an infinite yearning to reveal to each individual soul. It is because of the Father’s desire within us to show us the secret that we are drawn to desire the revelation. It is the purpose for which we came into the world, that we might grow up step by step as we are doing, to the place where we could bear to have the secret of His inner abiding revealed to us.
26. Do not be confused by seeming contradictions in the lessons. I have said heretofore that too much introspection is not good. I repeat it, for there are those who, in earnest desire to know God are always seeking the light for themselves and neglect to use that which they have already to help others.
27. There must be an equal conscious receiving from the Father and giving out to the world, a perfect equilibrium between the inflowing and the outgiving to keep perfect harmony. We must each learn how to wait renewedly upon God for the infilling, and then go and give out that which we have received to every creature, as the Spirit leads us to give, either in preaching or teaching, or in silently living the truth. That which fills us will radiate from us without effort, right in the places in life where we stand.
28. In nearly all teaching of truth from the purely mental side there is so much said about the working out of our salvation by holding right thoughts, by denials and affirmations. This is all good. But there is also another side which we need to know a little more about. We must learn how to be still and let Spirit, the “I am” work in us that we may indeed, be made “new creatures,” that we may have the mind of Christ in all things.
29. When you have learned how to perfectly abandon yourself to Infinite Spirit and have seasons of doing this daily, you will be surprised at the marvelous change which will be wrought in you without any conscious effort of your own.
30. It will search far below your conscious mind and root out things in your nature of which you have scarcely been conscious simply because they have lain latent there waiting for something to bring them out. It will work into your consciousness light and life and love and all good, perfectly filling all your lack while you just quietly wait and receive. Of the practical steps in this direction we will speak in another lesson.
31. Paul who had learned this way of faith, this way of being still and letting the “I am” work Itself into his conscious mind as the fulness of all his needs was neither afraid nor ashamed to say:
32-37. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
That He would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge; that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
38. And then he gives an ascription of praise “unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the Power that worketh in us.”