The Silence by E.V. Ingraham
UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY
LEE'S SUMMIT, MO.
This little book is presented to the student as a textbook covering the principles and practices of the silence. The endeavor is to make clear the various points involved in the practice of the silence, and to render the benefits of that practice clear to every student.
Inasmuch as the silence is fundamentally for the purpose of bringing man into an understanding relationship with God, it is a form of prayer. Nor is it a new form of prayer, for it is in strict accord with Bible teachings, such as, "Be still, and know," and "Thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret."
By stating that the silence is a form of prayer, we do not mean to imply that it is the only form of prayer. It is, however, one of the most vital phases of prayer, and through a right understanding and application of it man will find the silence a strong factor in bringing himself to a realization of the good for which he has long sought in vain.
The effectiveness of prayer does not depend on the form followed, but on the spirit involved. The monotonous beat of the Indian medicine man upon his tomtom, as an appeal to the Great Spirit, has worked relatively as many miracles for the red man as has the well-thought-out and scientific prayer of the modern metaphysician. If one discerns the purpose of the form, and receives the thing for which it was designed, that is well; but if through following the form one loses sight of its purpose, it were better that the form did not exist.
Henry Ward Beecher said:
"A man has a right to go to God by any way which is true to him. If you can think it out, that is your privilege. If you can feel it out, that is your privilege. One thing is certain: The child has a right to nestle in his father's bosom, whether he climb there upon his knee or by the chair by the side of him; any way, so that it is his father. Wherever you have seen God pass, mark it, and go and sit in that window again."
It is in that spirit that we present these lessons. By the method that we shall outline here, others have come into a closer realization of the power and presence of God, and we sincerely trust that you, in following these suggestions, also may receive the blessing of a closer communion with our Father.
If you have the belief that the silence is mysterious or difficult, just forget your experience for a time. Let us study together the simple means by which we may commune with God and the ways by which we may most effectively appropriate the blessings that He has had for us since the beginning of time.
From the points outlined in the following pages, take only those that seem to meet your need at the time; practice them until they have yielded their results in your consciousness, in your body, and in your affairs. Then pass on to the next idea that offers the possibility of linking your own soul with the great Oversoul in a closer bond of unity and communion.