BEFORE THE descent of the Holy Spirit upon us, we live in the intellect, and our little world is rounded by the thinking faculty. What our ancestors thought is the pattern after which we cut our thinking. To anyone who claims a higher fount of wisdom we say, "Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his sons, and his cattle?" (John 4:12).
2. Thinking is a process in mind. All processes come to an end. Every thought has its premise, its stage of action as a reasonable proposition, and its conclusion. So the I AM that lets the sphere of its existence be encompassed by the limited thinking faculty, follows the process of the syllogism; it believes birth, life, and death to be the major, minor, and conclusion of existence. Instead of recognizing the power to think as simply a faculty of mind, it assumes it to be the whole of mind and all of itself. This identification of the free I AM with its creations brings about a world of illusion. Instead of accomplishment
through an equilibrium of faith and works, it sees no way of reaching the goal except through violent and continued action. To such, existence is not the joyous dominion over many obedient powers, but the rebellious slave of one.
3. To be ushered into life, blindly to toil a few years through its fitful maze, and then to go out in darkness is surely not the method of wise design. Life must mean more than this, and it does mean more. Man is the builder, and to him are given all the materials out of which to construct the temple in which he dwells. He builds in wisdom or in ignorance, according to his obedience—his receptivity to the sphere of intelligence within him.
4. Simon, the first disciple of Jesus, represents a receptive attitude of mind. Simon means hearing—listening for the inner voice and obeying it, when it says, "Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." When the thinking faculty is obedient and does what it is told, it is always rewarded with "a great multitude of fishes," or new ideas. It is then counted worthy to be a disciple of the Master and its name is changed to Peter. Faith, the substance of thought, then becomes the rock upon which the body temple is built. If you are living in your thinking faculty intellectually, if you believe in birth and death, you must come out of that belief; you are not exercising your rightful dominion, but are subject to error thought.
5. You are Spirit, the Son of God, and your place is at the right hand of the Father. To realize this is to call down upon yourself the baptism of the Holy
$commentary_settings = array ( "commentary_nid" => '12607' );
Spirit, after which baptism you no longer labor as a carpenter, or as a fisher, but begin to gather together your disciples—powers of mind. This gathering together of your powers is an orderly process, and you will find that it proceeds right along the lines laid down in Jesus' choosing of His disciples, as recorded in Matthew 4:18 and Mark 1:16. Your first power is the hearing faculty, Simon, and with him is strength, "Andrew his brother." You discover that hearing gives direction to your thinking faculty and that obedience increases your power to control your thoughts and to make your world conform to your ideas. Then you disentangle the I AM from the thinking faculty; you take control of the thinking and direct its power according to your wisdom. But wisdom is of Spirit. "There is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
6. After you have separated your I AM from the thinking faculty, you are no better off than before unless you recognize that all wisdom is from Spirit. You can get flashes of understanding at any time, but the clear light of the Supreme will shine steadily upon you only when you are obedient and receptive to its monitions. The record states that Jesus prayed often; that He sought in every way to do the Father's will, even to suffering the utmost ignominy in order to carry out the message that He had for humanity. He always listened for the "inner voice," and was obedient to it in His meek and lowly work among the humblest class of men. To do the will of the Father was His highest aim, because His success
depended entirely upon knowing that will. "I can of myself do nothing" and "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth" seem to be contradictory statements, but when carefully analyzed they corroborate the premise that all wisdom and power come from Spirit—and Spirit is "given" to man. The highest development of spiritual discernment sees the I AM possessed of nothing as its own, but the user of all things that the Father has.
7. The relation between God and man is very similar to that existing between a co-operative colony and its members. All that the colony owns is for the use of each member to the full extent of his ability to use wisely, but he must not attempt to hoard the belongings of the colony nor claim them as his exclusive property. To know how to establish this relation between Father and Son is the object of every man, for only through its establishment can come happiness. After the I AM has come into an understanding that it is given charge of various powers, its first need is to know how properly to develop those powers. When this knowledge comes, the I AM must faithfully use all its resources in forwarding the grand scheme of creation.
8. Here comes up an extremely intricate and interesting point. Can it rightly be said that man possesses any powers? We say that we have judgment, love, and so forth, but is it not true that they belong to God, and are merely ours to use in the attainment of an object in the plan of creation, which is not yet revealed by the Father? This must be the conclusion of a logical consideration of the matter.
Man is given dominion over all things, but possession is not conveyed. Thus you do not possess even your body—it belongs to God. If it is sick or discordant in any way, the condition must be in your idea of the body and not in the real body itself. All of God's creations are perfect; your body as it appears to Him must also be perfect, and if you will stand aside and let His Spirit shine through it, you will see that it is perfect in every part.
9. Some of the most miraculous cures ever made have been where the healer simply saw perfection in the patient. He saw with the eye of Spirit that which really exists, and the shadow conformed to his seeing just to the extent of his realization of that spiritual reality. The Father lets you use His substance and intelligence to build shadows about the real, but that they are shadows you learn by experience, when you might know by a shorter way. That shorter way is the way of obedience to Spirit. Obedience comes from a meek and lowly heart—a heart that is willing to serve all and sacrifice its mortal pride on the altar of Truth. Jesus washed His disciples' feet, the most humble office. On another occasion He told them, "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted." This erasing of the personal man is the short cut into the kingdom of heaven. It is not a denial of oneself as a "worm of the dust," a sinner against God, and other misconceptions of the relation of the I AM to the Father. It is a letting go of pride, ignorance, selfishness, ambition, and the
thousand and one dense ideas that make the soul opaque to the eye of Spirit.
10. A man's burdens are always the things that he has laid claim to as his personal property, and they are thereby deprived of the sustaining ability of the All-Powerful. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Lay your burdens upon Spirit. Say unto them, "I let you go gladly." You have no right whatever to take upon yourself any burden. To do so is to contradict squarely the universal law of good. There is no such thing as a burden in God's scheme of creation, and if you are bearing one, it is because you do not understand who and what you are and your relation to the great whole.
11. When you carefully sift your burdens you will find that they arise from some idea of possession. You think, for instance, that you have dependents who must be provided with the necessities of life. Your idea of their claim upon you arises from your belief that they have no other protector. When you recognize an all-caring Father who heeds even the sparrow's fall, you relinquish that idea of your responsibility, and you are relieved. Then through the mental freedom that your mind recognizes, there flows to you and to those in whom you are interested greater resources from unlooked-for directions. We do not abandon our friends and withdraw all interest in them, but we recognize their equality with ourselves in the supreme Mind, and by that recognition they are freed from a mental dependency with which we have unconsciously bound them. They begin to
assert their inherent capacities; they step forth with the work that Spirit within them has chosen.
12. People who pose before the world as benefactors and dispensers of charity should rightly be counted enemies of mankind. He who dispenses charity tickles his own idea of benevolence, but he is not a friend of the race. Thousands are held in bondage to the belief that they must be helped, when the blessing would be to make them see that their salvation lies in helping themselves. The most prolific burden producer is the idea that provision must be made for the needs of the future. Childless persons scrimp and strive to provide a competency for old age; those with children pursue the same methods, providing for the future of their children. This fear of a future day of want has become a race belief so absorbing that the old, the young, and the middle-aged are its victims.
13. If you are obedient to Spirit you will not suffer these burdens to be loaded upon you; you will live in the present, do your highest duty every day, forget the past, and let the future take care of itself. To trust Spirit you must know of its guidance by experience. By those who have not learned the guidance of Spirit that experience must be acquired. God does not require you to follow His leading on blind trust always. You may look over all creation first and see the evidence of the invisible intelligence pervading everything, even your own body. Then from analogy you can arrive at a solution of the question: Does that same Spirit pervade man's consciousness? If you decide that it does, and you have
made up your mind to cultivate its acquaintance, you may rest in the assurance that the proof will be forthcoming. Spirit is modest; its voice is silent in a turmoil of argument about its existence. It is not found on the housetops proclaiming its presence. It is Spirit. Spirit is the omnipotent, silent principle pervading Being. You are Spirit, and must find yourself before you can communicate with universal Spirit.
14. The thinking faculty is the gate through which the I AM comes forth from the invisible to the visible, and it is through this gate that you must go to get into the presence of Spirit. Hence, we take words and go to God. We came out from His presence through that gate, and we must return by the same way. On the inner side is the Garden of Eden, but the cherubim stand there, and there is the flaming sword that turns "every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." That flaming sword is the inner motive that rules our thoughts and our acts. It turns every way to guard the tree of life, because that tree is the precious substance of the Father.
15. Disobedience to Spirit is refusal to do right at all hazards. We all know the right, but we do not always do it, because it seems to foil immediate attainment of the objective that we seek. We want quick returns, forgetting that "though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small." We want instantaneous healing of our diseases, but we are loath to sacrifice the mental habits that cause them. The mind of the flesh knows that its existence depends upon keeping the I AM in its bonds, and
it begs that the discord that its ignorance has produced in the body may be quickly erased without disturbing its dominion. Hence the cry goes up from all over the land, "Heal me! heal me! as Jesus of Nazareth healed those who came to Him, but don't ask me to change my ideas."
16. Moses stands for the progressive law of the mind working out its salvation through obedience to Spirit. In the Egyptian darkness of its mortal state, the mind does not see its way out, nor indeed can it see, except through the eye of spiritual perception. Some people mistake spiritual perception for the reality, and refuse to take the second step of science, which is organic realization of the truths perceived in mind. This second step is one of intricate building, stone by stone, of a living temple in which Spirit resides forever. No one can undertake this structure of a spiritual body, until he has covenanted to follow the directions of Spirit as revealed to him from day to day. If he depends upon teachers, healers, books, or the experience of others, he is like the contractor who begins to build after the design furnished by his architect, and instead of consulting that design and its author of each step, looks here and there and everywhere for advice as to what to do.
17. The image and likeness of our spiritual body is as thoroughly defined in us as is the tree in the acorn. Does the acorn consult anything outside of itself as to how it should bring forth a tree? Certainly not. It simply rests in Spirit and unfolds from moment to moment as moved by the impulse within.
Exactly the same law is operative in bringing forth the God man. The external, striving, wandering will must stop its restless seeking without, and repose at the center. It must be obedient to that center, and learn the language of Spirit. Moses was forty years a tender of sheep before he was competent to lead his people out of servitude. He learned the language of the Father in his hours of solitude and he knew without doubting when he was called to go forth. So we all must find the Father consciously in our own inner temple. We must go there day after day and ask for guidance. Mere denials and affirmations will not do it. God is Spirit. Spirit is Mind, and Mind knows. It is not an abstraction that dwells in a vacuum to be invoked by some magic formula, but it must be cultivated and communed with as a child communes with his parents.
18. Thus the reality of living is to live as Jesus of Nazareth lived—one with the Father. Our ideas should be what we have realized in and of ourselves, not what we have learned from books. "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." We must know Him as nearer, dearer, and closer in consciousness than father, mother, wife, husband, or friend. He must be to us the indwelling love and intelligence that leaps forth at every word that we speak, every thought that we think. He is at our right hand and at our left. He is within us and without us. He dwells in a halo about our head. His thought vibrates upon the tympanum of our mind, and we
speak the divine words of health and hope to all worlds.
19. God is our Father-Mother, the one inspiration of all that we do, of all that we are. Why for a moment ignore this one All-Power? Why look to the insipid without when the inspired within forever sparkles with the vintage of eternal youth, health, wisdom, life?
20. God is. Man is. We are now in the presence of that eternal Is-ness—Osiris and Isis are now our Father-Mother as fully as they were the Father-Mother of old Egypt. The mighty works of the men of antiquity are possible to us when we acquaint ourselves, as they did, with the power within. Let us not look abroad for power or for wisdom, but seek at home. There in the silent recesses of our own soul we shall find the pearl of great price. The well of living water must spring up within us. We are His beloved, and nothing short of His opulence will satisfy us. Let us no longer stay in a far country and tend swine, but let us come home to the Father's house. We shall be thrice welcome. Our life will spring up with new vigor and the blush of youth will return to our cheeks, when we know that the eternal fount of life forever bubbles up within our soul.
21. It is your mission to express all that you can imagine God to be. Let this be your standard of achievement; never lower it, nor allow yourself to be belittled by the cry of sacrilege. You can attain to everything that you can imagine. If you imagine that it is possible to God, it is also possible to you. Whatever possibility your mind conceives, that is for
you to attain. This is the law; let none belittle himself or dwarf the Supreme by trying to annul it. "All things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine."
22. God is, and we are. Let us live in His world—not a world to be tomorrow, next month, next year, or next century, but here and now. God's beautiful universe is all about us, only awaiting our acknowledgment of its presence. Let us know God and live—live with love and joy, health and peace, here evermore.
Thou art, O God, the life and light
Of all this wondrous world we see;
Its glow by day, its smile by night
Are but reflections caught from Thee.
Where'er we turn Thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are Thine.
— Thomas Moore, Thou Art, O God, the Life and Light
Preceding Entry: Talks On Truth 75-88: Ye Must Be Born Again
Following Entry: Talks On Truth 101-113: The Church of Christ