GOING INTO THE SILENCE
STUDENTS should not try so hard to “go into the silence.” When your growth brings you to the place where your consciousness may be so completely merged with Christ ideas in God-Mind that you lose all sense of things about you, it is time to seek to go into the silence. But one should not try to hurry this experience. Anything that is an effort and that disturbs the natural functioning of the body is not going to bring your mind into conscious at-one-ment with the source of your light and every good.
It is because a person tries to force the process of going into the silence before he is ready for it, that he has that unpleasant experience, about which some ask, of the heart’s beating so rapidly and hard. This comes from trying to get the body to become inactive in the effort to go into the silence. Instead of stirring up greater activity, laying hold of more life and using it, you cause the body to become tense. So the heart must pump harder to take care of its work. When wisdom and love and life and power prompt your thoughts, you are living and moving and having your being in the very presence of God, and you know that all is well. Then you will be able to concentrate upon anything that requires your attention, and you will be quiet and poised and comfortable. With a relaxed body you will lay hold of more life activity and come forth refreshed.
When you start to go into the silence, you should breathe evenly, in the happy feeling that you are taking in great drafts of God’s pure life-sustaining air, which is being used by every cell and blood corpuscle.
Take your attention down out of your head into the organism. The flow of blood will follow the at-_ tention down into the trunk of the body and into * the feet and hands, and thus the forces of being as well as the flow of the blood stream will be equalized. You should be just as fair to the members of your body as you would be to a neighbor. You wouldn’t expect to hold the neighbor’s attention on one spot all day long. Nor would you expect to demand of the neighbor that she do without something that she should have, nor would you burden her with more work than she should do. Now you are to treat your own members (which are close neighbors in your body temple) with just as much consideration and wisdom and love, giving them the benefit of this quiet time with the divine Creator.
A little period of quiet and rest each day is your opportunity to establish yourself at the center of your being, the one place where the supply of life and substance is inexhaustible. God is this eternal life that we make into living. Each day you should have a regular period of stillness when the soul may gather sustaining power and restoring life. God gives freely; it is for us to keep the receiving channels open, to keep attuned to the realities so that this intellect of ours does not take us out among the limited ideas of the world. The manifest man must have the sustenance that can come only from within. We should not draw the strings of this instrument of Spirit so tight that the music of the soul cannot find expression, but this is what living in the world without withdrawal to the secret place does to us.
One can stay in the silence too much. It is merely the doorway opening onto that which is beyond the silence; i.e., activity based upon the light and strength gained in claiming it, accomplished by contacting it as the mind slips away from the clamor of dissipating thoughts. One can get too much of this good thing, just as one could get too much of perfectly good nourishing food, and then sit still, failing to convert it into living energy and the results of that energy. So, dear, watch that you do not remain too much alone, too much in the silence, too much in contemplation and adoration, and not enough in the practical use of what the walks and talks alone with God would give. The Indian goes solitary into the forest, on rare and stated occasions, to gain a certain sense of his own superior strength and poise. Then he comes back to familiar scenes and regular activities, and runs, and leaps, and rides, and sings, and plants, and harvests, and tells the stories that inspire his race, and ministers to those in need in the spirit of love. He takes plenty of time to play, and he works at nothing else while he’s playing!
So instead of spending too much time in the silence, begin to make real practical use of what you have already gotten from study and from the silence. It is possible to waste strength and energy and substance in dwelling in that passive mental state sometimes called the silence, or in the personal effort to make certain thoughts go out and accomplish results that are not really based on the divine order and plan of life. So when you turn to the secret place for silence, be sure that you get away from yourself, your old ideas and desires, and bring your mind into perfect harmony with the Christ ideas. Work definitely to bring those ideas to bear upon your thought centers, and then come forth to practice what you have just seen with spiritual vision and declared for yourself.
The more you think about the Christ within, the stronger will grow your consciousness of the divine presence and your oneness with Him, until you can “be still, and know that I am God”; until you can still all the outer thoughts and meditate upon “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Many have been helped mightily, gloriously in finding the silence, by repeating the holy name “Jesus Christ” time after time, with short intervals between.
When you go into the silence, it would be well for you to direct your attention down into your organism, away from your head. The flow of blood will follow the attention, and thus the forces of your being and the flow of the blood stream will be equalized.
You owe God attention. You owe Him the full measure of your faith, of your thought, of your service. He abides in your mind as the wisdom that will reveal the way to you if you will quiet your thoughts from their ceaseless outer searching for ways and means. He not only gives you wisdom, He is the wisdom that can direct you into paths of peace and plenty. You cannot listen to Him while your ear is given to your affairs. You can gain nothing by incessantly milling around in negative thought. You can gain all by quietly letting go of these outer appearances and laying hold of God.
You love Jesus Christ and He is now with you, guiding you and teaching you, bringing you consciously into oneness with the Father. His prayer was “That they may be one, even as we are one,” (John. 17:11) His mission is to bring us into unity with the Father, and His promise is “Lo, I am with you always.” (Matt. 28:20) He taught us to pray in this way: “When thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret.” The inner chamber is that quiet place within the heart. We are taught to center our thoughts within, and then to shut the door; that is, to close our mind to all other thinking and think about God and His goodness and wonderful love; to pray to God in secret, in “the secret place of the Most High,” and all things needful will be added.
“Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet—
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.”
That is what the poet says to help us remember how close and loving God is. Speak to God in the quiet of your heart, just as you would speak to me; tell the Father how much you desire to know Him and feel His loving presence and how glad you are to receive His blessings and to do His will. Then be very still and just feel God’s love infold you.
Be still. Be still. Be still. God in the midst of you is substance. God in the midst of you is love. God in the midst of you is wisdom. Let not your thoughts be given over to lack, but let wisdom fill them with the substance and faith of God. Let not your heart be a center of resentment and fear and doubt. Be still and know that at this moment it is the altar of God, of love; love so sure and unfailing, love so irresistible and magnetic that it draws your supply to you from the great storehouse of the universe. Trust God, use His wisdom, prove and express His love.
As you come out of the silence, count your blessings and give thanks for them. Realize that only the good exists in you and in your world, that the power you contacted in the silence may have opportunity to multiply and increase your blessings. Give thanks that you have already received the good for which you looked to God in the silence, feeling the assurance “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isa. 65:24
On the “mountain top” we receive new illumination, inspiration, and insightinto the providing law. Then we have a work to do away from the mountain top, lifting all our thoughts to the Truth standard. We should carry the light, joy, peace, and strength we receive on the spiritual heights of consciousness down into our everyday life for the purpose of redeeming the human part of us.
Jesus had His times on the mountain top, but afterward He descended to minister unto the needy ones. This symbolizes our habit of giving attention to thoughts of lack, weakness, negativeness and redeeming them by bringing them into the Spirit, after we have entered the “secret place of the Most High and communed with the Father.
The thing to bear in mind is to take with you and hold on to all that you gain on the mountain top of prayer, and not let go of it when you meet the thoughts and states of mind on the material plane that need to be spiritualized. In other words, maintain your spiritual poise and control when you meet adverse thoughts; otherwise you cannot redeem the Adversary.
When we seek God for Himself, all our temporal as well as spiritual needs are supplied. The providing law will always work for us when we work with it.
“Through wisdom is a house builded;
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge are the chambers filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.” (Prov. 24:3-4)
So it is through the development of our mind that we find the way to success. God is mind. “We have the mind of Christ,” and it is for us to make conscious union in the silence with the all-providing Mind, lifting our thoughts to its standard of Truth and holdng them in this Truth as we go about our own particular duties of living.