The Infinite Way

Chapter - The Christ

Ancient scripture reveals: "Hard it is to understand: By giving away our food, we get more strength; by bestowing clothing on others, we gain more beauty; by founding abodes of purity and truth, we acquire great treasures."

Abraham, the father of the Hebrews, founded the prosperity of his people on the idea of tithing--giving a tenth of one's income to spiritual or charitable purposes without any thought of repayment or reward.

"The immortal can be reached only by continuous acts of kindliness, and perfection is accomplished by compassion and charity." The greater the degree of unselfish love that we attain, the nearer we come to the realization of the universal I as our real being.

The personal sense of "I" is busily engaged in getting, achieving, desiring, accomplishing, accumulating; whereas our real Self is giving, bestowing, sharing and blessing. The personal sense of Self is the embodiment of all human experiences, most of which are limited and undesirable; The real Self is the embodiment of infinite spiritual ideas and activities forever expressing Itself without limit or restraint.

The small "I" concerns itself primarily with its personal problems and affairs, enlarging its borders to include members of the immediate family or circle of friends. Personal sense often goes further afield into charitable works or community welfare, but we know that it is personal sense when we analyze the motives which govern. The real sense of Self lives out from the center of its being, blessing all whom it touches, and is recognized by its selflessness, by its unselfishness, by its lack of seeking recognition, reward, or any personal aggrandizement. It is not a spineless entity or a floormop to be pushed around by mortals--it is never even seen or known by mortals.

Two beautiful illustrations come to mind revealing in tender scenes the difference between the personal self and the immortal Self.

Siddhartha, who had left his home and family in search of truth, finally received enlightenment and became the Buddha, the Enlightened One, or as we term it, the Christ of his day. His father, a great king, was about to die and, desiring to see his son, sent for him, asking him to return. When he sat face to face with his son, he realized that he had lost him in the personal sense of father and son, but tried nevertheless to reclaim him. "I would offer thee my kingdom," said the King, "but if I did, thou wouldst account it but ashes."

And Buddha said, "I know that the king's heart is full of love . . . but let the ties of that love that bind you to the son whom you lost embrace with equal kindness all your fellow beings, and you will receive in his place a greater one than Siddhartha: You will receive the Enlightened One, the Teacher of Truth, the Preacher of Righteousness, and also the Peace of God into your heart."

The other concerns the great Master. "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. . . . But he answered and said unto them that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."

In proportion as we become spiritually illumined, we are sought out by those seeking freedom from various phases of material darkness--sickness, sin, limitation, fear, unrest, or ignorance. We are able to meet these needs only as we impersonalize both the quality and activity of Soul, universally and individually expressing itself.

In meditation or communion, we become receptive to Truth unfolding within us--and this we term prayer. Our prayer should not be connected with a so-called patient. Actually, prayer is not a process, a combination of words or thoughts, nor statements, declarations, affirmations, or denials. Prayer is a state of consciousness in which we experience the realization of harmony, perfection, oneness, joy, peace, and dominion. Often, prayer or communion brings to the individual some specific truth, and this truth appears outwardly as the fruitage of his own consciousness of real being.

It has been revealed times without number that the talent, ability, education, and experience of every individual is actually Consciousness unfolding Itself in individual ways--as an artist, musician, salesman, businessman, or actor. It follows therefore that Consciousness, thus expressing Itself, is never without opportunity, recognition, and reception. Thus there can be no unrecognized gift, no unexpressed talent or ability, no unrecorded effort, since all effort and action are Consciousness expressing Its infinite capacities and capabilities. The conscious awareness of this truth would result in dispelling the illusion of unemployment, lack of compensation, or appreciation. Yet - and mark this well - the recitation of these words without some measure of the "feel" of this truth would be as "clouds without rain", "vain repetitions,"--nothingness.

In this same manner, it has been revealed that as there is but one Life, this One is never in danger of sickness, accident, or death. This Life is the life of individual being. It is never necessary to direct a treatment to a person or an animal, but always to be alert and never accept any suggestion in thought of any other presence, power, or activity than that of the one Life, the one Law, the one Soul. To live constantly in this consciousness of good, of harmony, would dispel the illusion of sense whether appearing as a sick or sinful person. The declaration or constant affirmation of this truth would avail us but little, whereas the conscious awareness or feel of it would appear as healing or reformation, renewal, and even resurrection.

Recently, I wrote a friend on the occasion of his birthday and I know he will be glad for me to share with you the ideas that came to me as I wrote:

"As for birthday wishes, I shall just wish that you didn't have birthdays so that you could get used to the idea of continuity of conscious existence without a break or a stop -- a conscious awareness of progressive unfoldment."

"Truly there is no break in the continuity of unfolding consciousness, nor can consciousness lose its conscious awareness of body any more than you can lose your consciousness of the developed musical or artistic or other talent you possess.

"Consciousness unfolds from within to the without from a boundless basis or source, from the infinity of your being to the individual awareness of it in infinite variety, form, and expression.

"Death is the belief that consciousness loses its awareness of its body. Immortality is the understanding of the truth that consciousness is eternally aware of its own identity, body, form, or expression. Consciousness, aware of its own infinite being and eternal body, is immortality achieved here and now. The awareness of consciousness forever unfolding in individual forms of creation or manifestation is immortality demonstrated here and now. This consciousness is you."

Spiritual consciousness is the release from personal effort in the realization that harmony is. This consciousness, with its release from personal effort, is attained as we find the Christ within us a present reality. The Christ is the activity of Truth in individual consciousness. It is not necessarily declarations of truth as much as the receptivity to Truth declaring Itself to us, within us. As we attain an inner stillness, we become more and more receptive to Truth declaring Itself to us, within us. The activity of this Truth in our consciousness is the Christ, the very presence of God. Truth received and continuously entertained in our consciousness is the law of harmony to all our affairs. It governs, guides, leads, directs, and supports our every activity of daily existence. Where a belief of illness or lack may be, this ever-present Truth becomes our healer and supplier, yes, our health and our supply.

To many, the word Christ persists as a more or less mysterious term, an unknown entity, some unknown entity, something rarely if ever experienced by them. This, we must change if we are to benefit by the revelation of a divine Presence or Power within us which has been revealed to us by Christ Jesus as well as by many others. We must experience the Christ as a permanent and continuous dispensation. We must live in the constant conscious awareness of truth active within, maintaining always a receptive attitude--a listening ear--and soon we shall experience an inner awareness. This is the activity of Truth in consciousness, or the Christ attained.

This understanding of the Christ clarifies the subject of prayer for us. The dictionary definitions of prayer all conform to a concept of prayer which is based on the erroneous belief that there is a God waiting somewhere for us to pray to it in some manner. Then if we should find this God in the right frame of mind, we might have our prayers answered favorably; unless of course, our parents or grandparents for three or four generations back have sinned, in which case we would be held accountable for their sins, and our prayer would go into the wastebasket of heaven.

We have a different sense of prayer. We realize that whatever of good comes to us is the direct result of our own understanding of the nature of our own being. Our understanding of spiritual life unfolds in proportion to our receptivity to Truth, not praying up to God, but letting God unfold and reveal Itself to us. This is the higher concept of prayer. It is achieved as we take a few minutes now and then during the day and evening to meditate, commune, listen. In quietness we become a state of receptivity which opens the way for us to feel or become aware of the presence of God. This feel or awareness, is the activity of God, Truth, in our consciousness--it is the Christ, the Reality of us.

Ordinarily, we live in a world of sense and concern ourselves only with objects of sense. This gives us our experiences of good and evil, pain and pleasure. As we, through our study and meditation, turn more to the mental side of life, we find that we develop higher thoughts and, therefore, we express better conditions. As our mental qualities become more refined and we take on more patience, kindness, charitableness, and forgiveness, our human experiences reflect these qualities back to us. But let us not stop there.

Higher even that the plane of body and mind, there is a realm of Soul, the kingdom of God. Here we find the reality of our being, our divine nature--not that body and mind are separate or apart from Soul, but that Soul is the deepest recess of our being.

In the realm of Soul, we find complete tranquility, absolute peace, harmony, and dominion. Here we find neither good nor evil, pain nor pleasure--only the joy of being. We are in the world, but not of it because we no longer see the world of senses as it appears to be but, having awakened our spiritual sense, we "see him as he is" -- we see through appearance to the Real.

Heretofore, we have sought our happiness in the objective universe, in person, place, or thing. Now, through spiritual sense, Soul-sense, the whole world tends to bring its gifts to us -- though no longer through desire for persons and things, but merely through the avenue of these. In material sense, persons and things are objectives -- that which we desire. Through Soul-sense, our good unfolds from within us, although appearing as person and improved condition. Soul-sense does not deprive us of the friends and family and comforts of human existence, but brings them more surely to us on a higher and more beautiful and permanent level of consciousness.

For many centuries, attention has been centered on Jesus Christ as the Savior of man, and during these centuries the spiritual sense of life has fluctuated from one extreme to another of light and darkness. A sixteenth century teacher has written: "Christ (Jesus) calls Himself the Light of the world, but He also tells His disciples that they too are the Light of the world. All Christians in whom the Holy Ghost lives--that is, all real Christians -- are one with Christ in God and are like Christ (Jesus). They will therefore have similar experiences, and what Christ (Jesus) did, they will do also."

Our task is the realization of the Christ of our own consciousness. We acknowledge with joy and deep love the measure of the Christ attained not only by Jesus, but by many spiritual seers and prophets of all ages. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the measure of the Christ manifested by so many men and women of today. We now look forward to the realization of the Christ of our own consciousness. "The kingdom of God is in you and he who searches for it outside himself shall never find it, for apart from God no one can either seek nor find God, for he who seeks God, in truth already has Him."

We must understand the word "consciousness" because we can only prove what we are conscious of. Where do we stand in consciousness? Are we still mortals? Or have we renounced our material selfhood and acknowledged ourselves to be the Christ, the fulfillment, the presence of God? Some day we must give up the effort to get and acknowledge ourselves to be the Giver in action. We must feed five thousand without taking thought as to whence it shall come. Out of our Christhood, the multitudes can be supplied. Wherein then is lack except in the belief that we are humans? We must give up this belief and claim our true identity.

When we are confronted with any person or circumstance that appears to be mortal, we must realize, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," and all that appears as mortality is illusion or nothingness. We will fear no mortal and no material circumstance because we recognize its nothingness.

Truth is simple. There are no deep metaphysics or mysterious truths. It is either truth or not truth, but there cannot be deep truth and shallow truth, nor can there be degrees of truth. Truth to be truth must be absolute truth. We are concerned now with the truth that we individualize infinite power. We must not look to a power outside of, or apart from, ourselves. We individualize infinite power in proportion to our consciousness of Truth.

The Life which is God is our Life. There is but one Life and this is the life of all being, of every individual. We individualize this eternal Life, and it is no less God in one than in another, and it is diseaseless and deathless in all. Our consciousness of this truth is the healing influence within us.

There is but one Consciousness, God. We individualize this omnipotent, omniscient Consciousness; therefore, our consciousness is the ever-present help in every circumstance. For this reason, we do not pray to, or contact, some far-off Being, but realize omnipresence of divine Consciousness as our consciousness, and let go of the seeming problem. The awareness of this truth establishes us in the consciousness of the presence of Life, Truth, God. The understanding of the oneness of Consciousness as our consciousness, of Life as our life, is Truth eternal.

The next step in unfoldment is the realization that as the individualization of Consciousness, we embody within our own consciousness our body, our business, and our home. We can prove our dominion over weather, climate, income, health, and body only as we know these to be ideas of the consciousness of which we are. Home, employment, and body are ideas within us and are subject to our understanding, and the consciousness of this truth gives us dominion. This does not exalt humanhood or make it divine: It wipes out humanhood and reveals our divinity.

We can measure our spiritual unfoldment by watching whether or not we are trying to improve the physical scene. We must remember that the structural life of man, animal, or plant is not the one Life, God, but the human, limited concept of real Life; therefore, any attempt to heal, change, or correct the physical universe is evidence that we have not developed sufficient spiritual consciousness.

Christ-consciousness recognizes all life to be God--but realizes that what appears to material sight and sound is not that life, but merely the illusion or false sense of existence. Spiritual consciousness discerns the life which is real.

Inasmuch as we cannot meet a problem on the level of the problem, we must rise above the level of appearance in order to bring out the harmony of being. That which is visible to the five senses is not the reality of things; therefore, we cannot think from that level. Disregarding appearances, we turn from the picture before the senses and begin there to become aware of Reality -- of that which eternally is.

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