Methods of Meditation by Jenny Croft
Lesson IV - Realization
In this lesson we take up the last of the four steps in our study of meditation. We shall now determine, so far as we are able, what the word "realization" holds for us when we have released its inner power into our consciousness. We shall know too what it becomes in us when it is incorporated in our whole being. When thus incorporated it is an actuality, an established activity.
In realization we cease thinking about the word upon which we have concentrated, and we come into the center or heart of consciousness, symbolized by the heart. We penetrate this innermost region when we have concentrated and have meditated upon the word "omnipresence" until we know its power and have felt the Presence. Let us continue to feel the Presence without thinking about it. At this point begins a continual realization of the presence of our Source, our Father. Here we become conscious of the activity of the Cause manifesting in the son, Christ Jesus, within the very heart of us. We should endeavor to feel the reality of the Presence and to make real in our consciousness the fullness, the joy, and the freedom of the Presence as it unfolds us within and without. We should not continue to think about it, for in our hearts we should feel the Presence, the one Presence, the All-presence. We are taught that "out of it [the heart] are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23). All life is from within outward. When we become sufficiently aware of this inner power and begin to know something of its activity, all outer manifestation follows in ratio to our understanding of its capability. Realizing this to be true we no longer think about it; we know. If we are not whole we know that the indwelling Presence is health; if we do not yet understand, we know that the indwelling Presence is wisdom and that it executes its will of righteousness in and through us. We are to make within us a realization of God, our abiding strength. Consciousness of the presence of God causes us to realize the fullness of all that God is and of all that man is, and in this consciousness the unification of God and man is established within us.
When the three preceding lessons have been learned and their practice has borne fruit, then mental effort is merged into a quiet, inner knowing-feeling, a something without sensation that is an active reality and that satisfies the soul.
Relaxation, concentration, and meditation constitute half the process of unfoldment from the natural man into the spiritual man. Realization, the illumination of the soul, completes the process of this unfoldment. Realization is making a reality in consciousness of the nature and divinity of the true self and is an actuality beyond compare.
Truth may be realized in this stage of meditation, and the joy that it produces is beyond estimation. Realization will go on forever, continually bringing forth in man a richer and a truer concept of what he is as the beloved child of the Father.
Spiritual realization is a peaceful intensity of feeling that knows without effort of thought the truth of the assertions,"I and the Father are one," (John 10:30) and "Son, thou art ever with Me, and all that is mine is thine" (Luke 15:31).
The great value of Jesus' teaching is that He taught that God dwells in us. "Know ye not that ye are a temple of God?" (I Cor. 3:16). "The true prayer is the prayer of silence, the only door that opens the soul directly to the conscious knowledge of God and brings the realization of the God-nature in ourselves." It is recorded of Emerson that it was his custom to go daily to the woods to listen.
The purpose of prayer is that through it we may consciously unite ourselves with God and ally ourselves with His power. Thus we enter the spiritual atmosphere in which we live, move, and have our real being. In our real identity we are "sons of God." Therefore we inherit the power and the limitless possibilities of the Father.
Religion with Jesus was wholly a matter of realization and not a question of creeds or of dogmas. Does theology heal disease? When we realize our oneness with the Father and with all that is eternal we have the way of life that Jesus taught, in which life and health and strength abide. The whole process of life is a resurrection. Paul said, "I die daily," (I Cor. 15:31) and we are finding these words to be true in ourselves, for we die continually to that which is false, in order that we may live eternally in a greater and truer livingness. Soul-realization becomes God-recognition. Do not let failure discourage you; instead make every failure a stepping-stone to victory by refusing to be defeated in your purpose. This lesson calls for unremitting practice. In realization we do not think; we know. Spiritual consciousness is evolving, and there is no need to think about it; we are to "be still, and know" (Psalms 46:10). The purpose of realization is to form such a high order of consciousness that it will express itself in thought and manifest itself in deed.
Faithful continuance in the practice of meditation is necessary in order to know God aright.
We are now beginning to live in the spiritual influence of reality. We are incorporating the divine. We begin to note a change in ourselves. We no longer are bound by mortal limitations; we are aware of the directing power of the Christ mind, consciously active within us. We experience some of the freedom of Spirit. Every aspect of life may be converted into an avenue of righteousness. It is now our vocation to bring omnipresence—the one Presence—into its full expression and manifestation in ourselves and in our individual worlds through a full consecration to the purposes of reality, the Real.