Loose Him and Let Him Go
ONE OF THE natural tendencies of the mortal mind is toward proselyting.
The moment we believe something to be true we begin to try to convert others to our belief. In our eagerness we forget that Truth is kaleidoscopic in its forms. We learn to say, with some degree of realization, "God worketh in me to will and to work for His good pleasure," but we quite forget that the same God is working equally in our brother "to will and to work."
Among the wise sayings of the ancient philosopher, Epictetus, we find these words: "Does any one bathe hastily? Do not say that he does it ill, but hastily. Does any one drink much wine? Do not say that he does ill, but that he drinks a great deal. For unless you perfectly understand his motives, how should you know if he acts ill? Thus you will not risk yielding to any appearances but such as you fully comprehend."
Every person has an inherent right to freedom of choice, a right to live his life in his own way. One of the surest signs that a person is no longer in bondage himself is his willingness to give others their freedom, to allow others the privilege of seeking and finding God as they will.
Our great basic statement is "All is good, because all is God." In other words, God is the only intelligence, the only life at the center of every form of existing life. We say that we believe the highest manifestation of God is in man; that God ever abides at the center of man, of all mankind, and is always in process of manifesting more and more of Himself, pure intelligence, perfect love, through man's consciousness until man comes to be consciously one with the Father in all things.
Do you really believe this fundamental statement? If you do believe it, where is there any cause for the anxiety that you feel about your loved ones who are not, as you say, "in the Truth"?
If we truly believed that "all is good," we should not be troubled about those who apparently are going all wrong. They may be going wrong according to our limited conception of right and wrong, but my brother, my sister, you are not your brother's keeper. He that will redeem, aye! He that has already redeemed your brother, lives within Him. The Christ, who ever loves at the center of every soul, "will neither slumber nor sleep." God works, or as the original has it, "God is working effectually to perform" in your brother, to bring him to himself just as much as He is working in you and in me. We have absolutely nothing to fear about the eventual
success of this worker. God never fails.
You have perhaps come to the flowering or the fruiting season, in your growth out of the darkness of sense belief into the light of spiritual understanding. It is blessed and beautiful to be where you are, and it is hard to human belief to see those whom you love just barely showing their heads above the earth of sin and mistake, or harder still to see them daily going deeper into the earth of an animal life, farther away from your conception of the good than ever before.
But just here is the place for us to cling faithfully and trustingly to our basic statement. "In hope were we saved; but hope that is seen is not hope," said Paul. Faith is not sight. Is our basic statement, "All is good," founded on Principle or on evidence of the senses? If on Principle, then it is immutable, unchangeable. And God is just as surely abiding at the center of your loved husband or son, working in him, when he is drinking, or going down, as when he is coming up.
God is just as much the life of the seed when it is being planted in the dark earth, where, to the human sense, it is dead and all is lost, as He is the life of the new leaf which a few days later bursts into sight, In fact it is because God is there at the center, working in the stillness, unseen, and not at
all because of the fussy, noisy outside work that you and I do, that the seed comes forth into newness of life.
"Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit."
Thus it would seem that the dying, the failure, the going down of the old is a necessary step in all true salvation. Every man must go down till he strikes his own level, his own self, before there can be any real growth. We may seem to hold another up for a while, but eventually he must walk alone. The time of his walking alone with his own indwelling Christ, his own true self, will depend largely on our letting go of him. No one will seek anything higher than he is today, until he feels the need of something higher. Your dear ones must have the liberty to live out their own lives, and you must let them, or else you are the one who puts off the day of their salvation .
"But," says someone whose heart is aching over the error ways of a loved one, "should you not help anyone? Should you not run after him, and urge him continually to turn into the right way?"
Yes and no. I gladly, joyfully help anyone when he wants help, but I could not urge anyone to leave his own light and walk by my light. Nor would I, like an overfond mother, pick up another and try
to carry him in my arms by continually "treating" him.
A mother may -- and sometimes does, mentally and morally, if not physically -- through her false conception of love, carry her child until he is twenty years old, lest he, not knowing how to walk, fall and bump his nose a few times. But if she does this until he is a grown man, what will he do? He will turn and rend her, because she has stolen from him his inherent right to become a strong, self-reliant man. She has interposed herself between him and the power within him that was waiting, from his birth, to be strength and sufficiency for him in all things. She should have placed him on his own feet, made him know that there was something in himself that could stand, encouraged and steadied him, and so helped him to be self-reliant and independent.
Hundreds of anxious fathers and mothers, sisters and wives say, "Ah! but I love this one so I cannot stand still and see him rushing on to an inevitable suffering."
Yes, you love him. But I tell you that it takes an infinitely greater, more God-like love to stand still and see your child burn his hand a little, that he may gain self-knowledge, than it does to be a bond-slave to him, ever on the alert to prevent the possibility of his learning through a little suffering. Are you equal
to this larger love -- to the love that does not hold itself on the qui vive to interpose its nagging bodily presence between the dear ones and their own indwelling Lord who is with them "always"? Having come yourself to a knowledge of the mighty truth that "God is all and in all," have you the moral courage to "be still, and know"; to take off all restrictions and rules from others, and to let the God within them, each one, grow them as He will; and, trusting Him to do it in the right way, keep yourself from all anxiety in the matter?
When Jesus preached of a glorious freedom from suffering, through a "kingdom . . . within," He often interspersed His preaching with the words, "He that hath ears, let him hear." In other words, the Gospel message of deliverance is for all who are ready for it. Let him who has come to where he wants it, take it.
No one has any right to coerce another to accept his ideal. Every person has a right to keep his own ideal until he desires to change it.
God is leading your friend by a way you do not and cannot know. It is a safe and sure way; it is the shortest and only way. It is the Christ way; the within way, "I am the door," says the Christ within every man's own soul. "If any man enter in, [that is, by way of the Christ in himself] he shall be saved."
Now you are trying to have your friend enter in through your door. He must enter in through his own Christ, his own desire, and you must let him alone to the workings of that indwelling One, if you want him to manifest good.
"But," you say, "is there nothing I can do when I see my husband, brother, friend, going down?"
Yes, there is something you can do, and a very effectual something, too.
"The sword of the Spirit . . . is the word of God." You can, whenever you think of your friend, speak the word of freedom to him. You can always and in all ways "Loose him, and let him go," not forgetting that the letting him go is as important as the loosing him. You can tell him mentally that Christ lives within him and makes him free, forever free; tell him that he manifests the Holy One wherever he goes and at all times, for there Is nothing else to manifest. And then you see to it that you do not recognize any other manifestation than the good in him.
It is written, "Whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." Will you invariably speak the word of remission or loosing to your erring ones? Or will you bind them closer, tighter in the bondage that is breaking your own heart, by speaking the word of retention to them continually?
If you really want your friends to be free, there is but one way for you: Loose them and let them go. For it is the promise of the Father, through the Son, that "Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Preceding Entry: How I Used Truth 41-46: 3. In His Name
Following Entry: How I Used Truth 55-64: 5. All Sufficiency in All Things