Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.
THE PROMISE that the Garden of Eden will be restored on earth is older than the Bible. Other bibles of other peoples far antedating the Hebrews prophesy a time when man shall possess the earth in peace and plenty; a time when the elements shall be subdued, disease and death eliminated, and immortal life in the body again set up. It should be observed that all prophecies to this end that come through mystical channels say that this
is a state to be regained. They do not hint at evolution, as understood in modern thought. But the students of physical science arrive through their deductions at virtually the same conclusions concerning the ultimate condition of humanity.
2. They also agree that this condition of peace and happiness will be brought about through causes originating largely with man and his acts. In other words, its consummation will depend upon the wisdom and the energy with which men act at certain crises in history. These prophets, both ancient and modern, say that we are now at one of the most vital turning points in our experience. They get at it in a variety of ways, and they differ widely in minor points, but they are unanimous in their conclusions that now is the time foretold by prophets of old, and reiterated by prophets now.
3. But it does not require a prophet's perception to discern the signs of these times. The dissolution of the old and the birth of the new are manifest in every walk of life. For instance, the thought that has been held inviolate for thousands of years about the opaqueness of matter has been shattered. The materialist and his world are no more. This, however, is only a minor example of the astounding swiftness with which the material sense of things has been dissolved in recent years. The past half century has witnessed more of this than the history of all the world records before. The past few years have accelerated this dissolution at a tremendous pace, and a prominent scientist says that the changes have been so many that the textbooks of nearly
every science will have to be rewritten. Yet those who are watching the mental realm know that still greater changes are going on there. The religious world of a few years ago does not exist today. There is but one sect in all Christendom that stands by its creed and carries forward its work on the old lines. All the others are shaken to their foundations. Their creeds and dogmas are skeletons in their closets, which they do not care to talk about.
4. In politics and in government the same upheavals are at work. The rights of men are no longer theories; they are about to become real conditions in the world of affairs. So from any plane of observation that may be chosen, we can assert with conviction that a crisis is here. Something is happening. All along the line are evidences of the birth of the Prince of Peace. A higher state of consciousness is bursting full-blown upon the whole race. It is everywhere, and those who are most open to its influx are being rewarded. The power is abroad in the earth, and it calls to men and to nations, "Come up higher."
5. All this presages a new state of consciousness for the whole race. It is the beginning of the visible reign of the Christ, whose seed man was Jesus of Nazareth. Every state of consciousness is first planted as a seed idea by some individual. So Jesus of Nazareth planted the seed thoughts that are now springing up in so many forms and shapes. He it was who went into all the domains of thought and formulated ideas that have waited for a people who could comprehend and utilize them. We are that
people. The dawn of the millennium is in our keeping. We possess the keys that open the gates of the New Jerusalem.
6. It should not be assumed that this refers to any sect or class; it refers to all the people of this great time who are open to spiritual understanding. The keys are presented to those who come into a perception that all is mind and that all things and conditions represent states of consciousness, produced through the free action of the I AM in every man and woman. This is the key that is being intrusted to many in this great day of the Lord.
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7. But the possession of this key is not all. A key is for use. We may know all about the way in which mind formulates states of consciousness and all about our relation to God, but unless we have made a change in our consciousness and realized, in a measure at least, the presence of God in our mind, we are not using the key. Theory is one thing; practice is another.
8. The balanced mind no longer seeks to do evil, and the factor of evil no longer enters into its problem; but a proper discrimination between the enduring, permanent things of existence and the transient and evanescent is not so common. To choose wisely in this respect requires wisdom and spiritual perception. Those who are unconsciously building on the shifting sands of the material world are many. They try to perpetuate the existing state of things by calling it spiritual, and their ideals are but little removed from the materialistic. The new heavens and the new earth are not to lie darkened
or cumbered by any conditions that exist today. All things are to be made new. This is the promise of all the prophets of all the ages. There is to be no more war, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, nor poverty; hence, all conditions that cause these must be destroyed.
9. Our ideal world must first be formed in mind on a very high plane. We may choose to build it from the standpoint of the most transcendent dreams of humanity's perfection. Nothing less will answer, and all attempts to bring forth the new civilization in conformity to any lower ideal will mean failure to the true metaphysician of the Jesus Christ school. Jesus Christ has a distinct school. He has His ideals; they have been sown in the minds of men, and will surely come to fruitage. He saw a people here on earth with all the powers of the gods, but He did not look to governments, or churches, or industrial movements to bring about the civilization that He planned.
10. His kingdom is now ready to be set up. The conditions are ripe for it. It is open to all, but only those may come in who are willing to give up for it all their ideas of earthly possessions. "Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." This admonition still holds good, and its fulfillment is capable of visible realization by those who are willing to accept the conditions. But it is not to be attained in the Ananias and Sapphira way (Acts 5:1-11). There can be no reservation. Every earthly link must be broken, every mortal love crucified. This was the way by which
Jesus of Nazareth got into this kingdom, and His way is the way that we must employ.
11. It is not for us to quarrel with the conditions of the world, nor to take upon ourselves the burden of righting them. That is a long, circuitous route into the kingdom, and those who are choosing it face many weary years of waiting. We are to accept that which is now prepared for us. The feast is ready and the invitations are out. This is no longer a parable, but an exact statement of that which really exists in the very atmosphere of this planet. There is a state of consciousness that can be attained and is being attained by men, where all things are provided to fulfill the desires of the regenerated souls. It is not removed to some problematical heaven, nor is it on some distant planet; but right here in our midst are the form and the substance of the condition promised by Jesus Christ.
12. The day is not distant when this kingdom will have its place in the geography of this people, and those who have chosen it will be known to exist under laws and through means beyond the ken of the Adam man. The way into this kingdom is through the mind, and its doors all open in response to words.
13. If the "kingdom of heaven," to which Jesus so often referred, is a city with golden streets, in the skies, He could easily have located it; but He did nothing of the kind. On the contrary, He again and again gave illustrations to show His listeners that it is a desirable condition which can be brought about among them by the power of Spirit. He did
not speak of it as situated anywhere in particular, or say that it could be attained quickly. For instance, in Luke 13: "Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I liken it? It is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his own garden; and it grew, and became a tree; and the birds of the heaven lodged in the branches thereof." And again: "It is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened."
14. It is a great mystery how these comparisons of heaven ever came to be construed to refer in any way to a locality in the skies. What relation to a city with streets of gold has a mustard seed planted in the earth and springing forth into a tree? or a little cake of yeast fermenting a baking of bread? A remarkably strange lot of comparisons this wise one used, if He had in mind a place where the good were to go after death!
15. But He never pretended to represent any such thing. His command to His disciples fully carries out His idea of the kingdom of heaven. It was a condition to be brought about in the affairs of men. It was to grow from small beginnings, like the mustard seed or the yeast cake. His disciples were sent forth to sow this seed in a definite way, by carrying into the midst of men the signs that evidence the power of Spirit through which the kingdom of heaven is to be established right here on this planet. There is no basis for any other view. All the visionary theories about a place called heaven are founded on John's symbolical description of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2),
which was a picture, an imagination, of the fulfillment on earth of the very movement inaugurated by Jesus and by Him described as having such small beginnings. The city that John saw was among men.
"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away."
This all describes what is to take place here among us. No reference is made to its being among angels, nor is it stated that it was established at the time that John saw the vision. It means that heaven is to be consummated in new conditions on earth.
16. If the kingdom taught by Jesus is in the skies, why did He direct His disciples to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth" (Matt. 6:10)?
17. The fact that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and "within you," the sense man totally ignores. He does not see beyond the range of the three limitations of space, hence cannot cognize that which lies within and is interlaced with phenomena on another plane. The kingdom of heaven is not only an ideal realm in which all possibility is freely transformed into externality, but it also has its externality, as tangible to the higher faculties as are the aspects of nature to the sense man. It has its working plans, and it executes them with a fidelity and an accuracy not comprehended by the
lax methods of the lower plane. So you who have looked upon the kingdom of heaven as a potentiality to be realized by the power of your word should change your base and see it as it is—a real place already formed, and waiting for you, as a bride adorned for her husband.
18. It is here all about you; the knowledge of its presence only awaits the opening of your interior eye, the single eye, as Jesus taught. When you look with this eye your whole body is made full of the light that is neither of the sun nor of the moon, but of the Father.
19. As a disciple, it is not necessary that anyone should know all the intricacies of the metaphysical law; he has simply to act on his inspiration. He need only preach the kingdom of heaven as being at hand, and it will manifest itself. Electricians do not know what electricity is; they have merely utilized some of its laws. They have found that an unknown principle in nature is made manifest when they observe certain conditions. They simply make the mechanical apparatus, set it in motion, and the invisible unknown becomes visible as light, heat, power.
20. In the world of ideas the metaphysician has discovered that there is a realm having potentialities whose depths he has not sounded. This realm is to him the greatest storehouse of wisdom and of life, and he finds that his own center of consciousness is like it. He is essentially one with it. His thinking faculty represents the mechanical device through which this all-Principle is made manifest. His word sets
the machinery in motion, and results follow in the realm of ideas that parallel those in the realm of dynamics. When you know this, you have the working plan upon which is based discipleship. Then go forth and preach, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." As to defining what that kingdom is like, you must be guided by the Spirit of truth alone.
21. The Master could not describe it to men on the sense plane except in symbols. He said that it was like a pearl of great price, to possess which the discoverer sold all that he had. He compared its growth in the mind to a small seed or a little leaven. He summed it all up in the words "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21).
22. You cannot understand mathematics until you have studied mathematics; neither can you understand what the kingdom of heaven is like until you have studied that kingdom on its own spiritual plane.
23. "Awake! thou that sleepest" (Eph. 5:14) in the sense mind! Rouse yourself, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. You are a king! Bestir yourself; the Christ of God is born in you, and the hour of your reign is at hand!
Preceding Entry: Talks On Truth 114-121: The Lord's Body
Following Entry: Talks On Truth 132-145: The Holy Spirit