Meeting the Cloven Hoof
11. When he of the cloven hoof appears, “count it all joy,” for these times of deviating from the right are the result of the Spirit of Good doing a much needed housecleaning work. Once you become master of yourself, you will not stir up a dust cloud of negativeness when you discover some hidden corner in your mind that needs to be free. In the old days you had to use the broom; now you may use a vacuum cleaner and avoid stirring up large quantities of dust. So you are learning how to use your mental vacuum cleaner in your overcoming and making things easier and more pleasant for those about you.
12. The unpleasant condition is just temporary, and it is dissolved by the Truth that you are and have been thinking. Just as the best housekeepers use modem appliances to enable them to do their work with the least inconvenience and best results, you are helped by using the spiritual methods in renewing your consciousness and setting your body temple in order. Don’t be disturbed by the temporary disorder. See it as the efforts of soul and body to make adjustments, bringing to the surface the things that need attention and the baptism of Spirit.
13. Suppose a person who had a house furnished with old, uncomfortable furniture were to receive new furniture of great value and practicality. Immediately he would set about the work of cleaning house and preparing the way for the new good. He would put out the old furnishing and make room for the new. During this process his home would not be in the “apple-pie” order it would otherwise manifest. Now, you have received some new and priceless ideas of Christ, the Truth, which are renewing your mind and body. The Christ ideas are becoming organic; that is, they are causing the pure life and substance of Spirit to manifest in every nerve, cell, and fiber of your body temple. Your mind and your body are being transformed and spiritualized because you are getting new “furnishings.”
14. One of the most necessary and important things is that each individual soul be about the things it is embodied to do. When you are doing the will of your own Lord, you are growing, and your soul is radiant and satisfied. You are not repressing your true self or sitting negative and hungry while others plan for you and dictate what you shall or shall not do. To allow others to control you, openly or according to conventionalities, is to fail to fulfill God’s plan in you—and of course you cannot then be happy or healthy. Happiness comes with the realization that you are expressing what God has implanted in you and that you are not in bondage to anyone. To busy yourself with outside affairs, simply to get away from the burdensome thoughts and feelings that arise from the sense of bondage, will not get you anywhere. Such efforts are makeshifts. Make up your mind and heart to put your spirit and soul into inside interests, and get real satisfaction out of life. The state we call heaven is awaiting those who are ready for it: the peace and harmony and order that come from living in tune with infinite good.
15. We understand hell to be a purifying process, which the soul goes through to rid it of dross and weakness. The word hell is derived from a word which was used to denote a city incinerator in a valley outside of Jerusalem. Use of the incinerator was a health measure, a means of taking care of the trash of the city. We feel that the Scripture writers were trying to make clear to us the way in which the purifying fire of Spirit continues its work in us until we come forth free from all that does not measure up to the Christ standard. It is for our good, and does not harm us, except we resist it or do not make the effort to give up and to avoid that which caused the undesirable condition of soul, body, or affairs. So, just look yourself over and see what it is that makes it necessary for you to go through “hell” so often, and why each trip seems worse than the last!
16. Perhaps you have just failed to realize that you are entirely purified and free and ready to enter into the kingdom of peace, order, love, and beauty where the fiery furnaces are not necessary. When there is nothing in your subconsciousness which falls short of the Truth, the Christ standard, you will not feel uncomfortable or find yourself meeting problems that seem without solution. “Purgatory” is but a condition of the soul. It is that which cleanses one of undesirable beliefs and habits. That which is termed purgatory is for your good, and takes away something wfiich has been hindering your progress.
17. You can bring these undesirable states to an end right now! First of all, stop believing in them, and the necessity for them. Second, make up your mind that you are not going to stand for them, not a moment longer! Third, watch your thoughts and attitudes and acts, to see that you do not invite undesirable states. (Oh, you do not invite them intentionally, of course, but you do invite them in some way, else they could not come to you.)
18. Some new attitudes will be necessary. Some old customs and beliefs will have to be changed and given up. A new side of you will have to be shown. A new disregard for consequences, in the awareness that God is working in all ways to bring about a better state of affairs and to establish in you His order, wisdom, and joy, will need to be expressed. A new understanding of God as your real source of support and happiness will have to fill your mind and heart. A new faith in your own inner spiritual resources, and your ability to bring them to the surface in the tilings that you need, will have to take the place of negative submissiveness.
19. Should one always be sweet and forgiving? Yes, but not necessarily soft and without backbone and individual conviction. Be sweet; know it is the expression of Christ ideas in your consciousness. Be forgiving, because the true light reveals the fact that others are only children, experimenting, trying to use what God has given, and dependent to some extent upon the discipline and help which come from bumping up against others. Forgive, because you can see the real, and because your forgiveness is the remission of sins, as far as you are concerned—and because it does work mightily to change the individual who falls short.
20. Forgiveness is not silent consent, the negative appearance of making the best of a situation while underneath there is resentment. Forgiveness is the act of putting something else in place of the thing forgiven. You put the positive realization of the Truth of Being in place of the appearance of negation and adversity which your senses and your intellectual training report. It does not matter that there is no immediate transformation; you have made use of your God power to erase the appearance and to establish Truth. Such an attitude invites only the best from other souls.
21. If it does not seem that justice is meted out to you, you must know that there is no hindrance to infinite justice. Whether you realize it or not, you may be holding on to the thought that a wrong was done. Your own thoughts and ways must change to conform to the divine plan and law, in which justice is a quality and an active reality. Light of divine understanding and love will show you that no wrong was intended, and no wrong done. You will see the whole matter in a different light, and so your whole being will be flooded with a great love—even gratitude for the good that is to come as a result of the experience of the past.
22. As you really understand God, you will learn to drop all thought and feeling of anything contrary to good. God is the one presence and the one power—the good omnipotent. The creation is God’s and all that God has made is good. We, His children, are made up of His ideas, the qualities of Being.
23. We in Truth think of ourselves and others as God’s children, endeavoring to develop and to use the divine inheritance of faculties and powers implanted by Him. If an individual fails to make wise use of some power, and for the time being disturbs some of our old fixed beliefs or even harms us, we do not stamp his act as a wrong and let such a belief settle back into the subconscious to build up belief in evil and a fear of evil. We simply bless that individual, and realize that he was not yet in the Christ light in the use of the faculties and power which he was exercising at the time. We remind ourselves that while he may have the stature of a man, he is still just a child in his development—at least when he does that which is contrary to spiritual activity.
24. So long as there is in your subconscious mind (memory and habits of thinking) that which does not chord with Truth (God, Good, the only presence and power, in all and through all), you will keep meeting it in some form or other; you will be obliged to keep using the Truth and the power God has given you to change your mind, to cast out the old and to establish a new order.
25. We must keep remembering that God is Mind, and that man is ever unfolding in his own consciousness the faculties of the one Mind. When this is known, the cities, the people, their habits, their attainments, their wars—all of which outpicture states of mind—will be changed. We should no longer worry about the disposition of those who seem to transgress laws. We should realize that man is always “punished by his sins, and not for them.”
26. All of man’s troubles have come as a result of belief in evil, belief that there are places where God is not, belief that God dwells in a remote heaven and that the earth is very different from His nature. Moses was trying to get his children to transmute the things which they believed to be evil, to lift them up and let the light of God shine upon them. As their faith caused them to lift up their thoughts, they were freed from fear and kept in health, peace, and safety.
27. We must cease to condemn anything in ourselves, or in the earth. Then, we must recognize life as one Life, and substance as one substance, and glorify the Father who is the source of all, in thought and in the very flesh. This we think of as the resurrection and transfiguration. This process goes on day by day, as man awakes and recognizes himself as God’s child and seeks to live by his highest light.
28. e are not to be too concerned with the appearances of inharmony, lack, and imperfection about us. These things are not real, and they will pass away quickly as Truth takes hold in the consciousness. We are to remember that the Light shines in the darkness—and that in the very midst of the darkness, man’s mind opens to the Light, and for him there is no more darkness.