The Mind Receives
1. As you study, you will learn that your mind receives from two sources: the universal l. Mind of Being, which has its outlet through your consciousness, and the intellectual activities of the individual minds about you, which have both conscious and subconscious phases of expression.
2. Now, that which you receive from the Mind of God is always good, always helpful, health-inspiring, and peace-inspiring. That which you receive from the reports of your senses, or the minds of others, may be true and helpful or it may be false and harmful. The study and practice of Truth will help you to discriminate between the false and the true, and to combine rightly the ideas of the Christ Mind within you, that you may express and bring forth whatsoever you will.
3. The mind sends its messages along the nerves; therefore, you can see that the character of your thoughts does affect the nerves. When the thoughts are of worry, fear, anxiety, grief, lack of life, loneliness, lack of supply, or any other negation, the nerves suffer and become depleted or sore. The nerves, being affected by the mind, get into a chronic condition of cross currents from repeated anxious, worried, fearful, sorrowful thoughts; and many forms of nervousness result.
4. The treatment, then, is to turn one’s attention to God, the indwelling Lord, with the happy assurance that all old, disappointing things are dropping away and the healing, peace-giving, joy-filling, prospering ideas of God’s love, life, and substance are filling the mind and heart, quickening new energies in the body.
5. Now that we know a bit of what we are doing, let us decide why we are doing it! You see, it really is important that you understand the reasons why you are praying for these blessings. For usually it is some lack of vision and purpose, or at least a lack of understanding of the way in which to proceed, that is responsible for the appearance of lack. When we know just what we want and why we want it, we usually find the way opening toward it. If there is need for a different attitude, our attentiveness to Spirit and our willingness to do that which is best, and our confidence that we can do it, give us the light. If there is need for more strength, the happy acknowledgment of God as unlimited life and strength, and our eager use of that strength in doing the very things which appeal, will increase the life flow and prompt the organism to demand that which it requires.
6. When, in the development of the soul, man became self-conscious he began to discriminate between that which brought desirable results and that which 55 resulted in something undesirable. In order to impress his subconsciousness with the fact that he should avoid the undesirables, he began to name them evil, sin, devil, adversary: that which is opposed to the good. Of course, these activities of mind were in operation before man had language, and the feelings and habits were interpreted in words as man grew to know how to put his mental operations into words.
7. The God of the Old Testament was, therefore, an outgrowth of man’s expanding concept of power and the good. But, because he was still in the state where he tried to avoid undesirable results by threatening himself, he attributed these same qualities to his God.
8. In the study of the Bible, we must understand that those who have received glimpses of the Truth of Being sometimes speak of Jehovah God, or Lord God, and sometimes they refer to God, Elohim, or Creator and Source of all that is.
9. The Lord God, or Jehovah, is the individual consciousness of God, the Christ Mind unfolding the ideas of God-Mind. Because God has created man in His image and after His likeness—given him the same qualities and ideas that inhere in God-Mind—man can comprehend the Father, the Creator, Elohim. But because it is man’s work to unfold all that God has implanted in him, he is growing; and because he is given freedom and the privilege of interpreting the kingdom individually, he sometimes makes unwise experiments. The experiments are unwise in the sense that the results are not what he desires to continue, but profitable because they give him the lessons of experience. So man’s own experiences and growth determine his concept of Jehovah, or the Lord.
10. Until he awakens in the son-of-God consciousness, and knows that there is but one Presence and Power, the Good Omnipotent, he tells himself, or accepts from the race mind, that there is an adversary or a devil, with which he must deal. When his faculties have developed to the point where he can comprehend spiritual qualities and law, he will not listen to unwise suggestions nor make foolish use of his God-given faculties and powers.
11. Our salvation is in our living by the Christ pattern—not only by the teachings of the man Jesus Christ but by the Christ Mind within us. Jesus Christ is merging His consciousness with the universal race consciousness, that we may have His presence and the light, power, life, and love which are expressing as our pattern and constant, quickening help.
12. If you have lived in what men call hell, what of that? Interpreters and translators of the Bible sometimes used the word hell to describe refuse grounds. Some of the writers of the Scriptures were trying to show their students how it is that the Holy Spirit of God, active in the lives of men, will put them through a process similar to the purifying fires which were built in a ravine outside cities, where garbage and trash were dumped and burned as a measure of sanitation. These fires were kept burning all the time; and of course, to the things thrown in them, they were destructive. But there is nothing in all the Scripture to cause us to believe that they were in any measure destructive or harmful to man.
13. Other words that have been interpreted as hell referred to graves and pits. Many of the old writers believed that when sinners died and were buried, that was the end of them. But there is no indication here that there was great suffering or torment in the grave or pit. It was simply an end to a thing which error had caused.
14. We have come to think of hell as a sort of reaping of what has been sown—not a punishment, but rather, a cleansing and purifying process which results in the individual’s being brought to face his mistakes and being set free from them and their effects. The work of the Spirit is thorough, and lasts until we measure up to the Jesus Christ standard of life. So long as there is that in us which needs the refining fire of Spirit, we may be sure we can receive its benefits.
15. Sometimes we seem to have more unpleasant experiences than at other times. If we study the matter, we shall find that we have these unpleasant experiences when we have been tampering with the law. We have taken it upon ourselves to hurry up the growth of another, or of ourselves; we have seen fit—mentally or otherwise—to call attention to shortcomings, and sometimes to condemn another or ourselves. When we do this, we simply stir up and bring forth more of the errors that are in the subconsciousness, and must meet the consequences.
16. Our teaching is that Jesus Christ is ever with us, and is able to handle all these overcomings in the right way. When we identify ourselves with Him and seek to think, speak, and live in harmony with the ways of Jesus, we get along nicely, and are able to handle each and every situation in a splendid way.
17. If it seems you are in hell at times, just close your mouth, smile, hold steady, and give thanks that God is there, Jesus Christ is with you, raising you up out of the false beliefs and the effects of shortcomings, and helping you to abide in the pure and free Mind which expresses in you as joy and sweetness and ability to bless and free others. Do not brood on things which stir up strife. If it seems that you are in hell, just know that there is a stairway leading from hell to heaven. When there is nothing in you to require the purifying fires, you will rise on the very spiritual atmosphere you have created, into a beautiful new realm of life.