The Infinite Way
Chapter - Our Real Existence
Our real existence is as Spirit, and only in the degree that we perceive our real existence as Spirit, do we drop the false sense of life as material. Then we see that the structural life of man, animal, and plant is but the false sense of existence; that our concern for the so-called necessities of material living has been unnecessary; that although the beauties we behold all hint at God's creation, they are not that spiritual and perfect creation; that the sick, aging, dying appearances are not at all a part of real life. When we arrive at this state of consciousness, we begin to catch glimpses of eternal spiritual existence, untouched by material conditions or mortal thoughts. As we turn from the world we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, we catch inspired visions which show forth the earth of God's creating.
In healing work, we must turn from the structural universe which we see. We must remember that we are not called upon to heal it, change it, alter it, correct it, or save it. We are first of all to realize that it exists only as illusion, as the false sense of life. From this vantage point in consciousness, we behold through spiritual sense the "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
We are apt to think of certain people as good providers, good earners, good salesmen, or good healers. Let us understand this correctly. It is never a person, but a state of consciousness, which heals, regenerates, paints, writes, or composes. The state of consciousness becomes visible to us as a person because of the finite concept we entertain of God and man. We often suffer disappointment when some people fail to live up to the picture we have formed of them. This is because we have ascribed the good qualities of consciousness to a person, and then when he fails to live up to those qualities we have erroneously believed to be the person, we suffer.
In the Bible, we meet with the characters Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, and Paul. We should realize that Moses represents the leader-state of consciousness, or leadership; Isaiah presents to us prophecy; Jesus shows forth the Messiah-consciousness, or saving, and healing Grace; Paul carries the consciousness of the messenger, preacher, or teacher. Always, however, it is the particular state of consciousness expressing itself and appearing to us as men.
George Washington certainly represents the consciousness of national integrity; Abraham Lincoln, the consciousness of individual integrity and quality.
When we think of ourselves, let us forget our so-called humanhood and human qualities and try to understand what we represent as consciousness and then realize that that consciousness which is expressing itself as us is likewise maintaining and prospering us and our endeavors.
Failure often comes through the belief that we express God, or Life, or Intelligence; or that we express God-qualities. This is never true. God, Consciousness, is forever expressing Itself and Its qualities. Consciousness, Life, Spirit, can never fail. Our task is to learn to relax and let our Soul express itself. Egotism is the attempt to be or do something through either personal, physical, or mental effort. To "take no thought" is to refrain from conscious thinking and to let divine ideas fill our consciousness. Since we are individual spiritual Consciousness, we can always trust that Consciousness to fulfill Itself and Its mission. We are the spectator or witness of this divine activity of Life expressing and fulfilling Itself.
More and more we must become the spectator or witness. We must become the beholder of Life and Its harmonies. Each morning we should awaken with eagerness to watch the new day unfolding and revealing each hour new joys and victories. Several times each day we should consciously realize that we are witnessing the revelation of Life eternal, the unfolding of Consciousness and Its infinite expression, the activity of Spirit and Its grand formations. In every situation of our daily experience, let us learn to stand back of ourselves and see God at work, witness the play of Love upon our affairs, and watch God reveal Himself in all those about us.
Every night we should realize that our rest does not bring to a close God's activity in our experience, but that Love is the protecting influence and substance of our rest, that Consciousness is imparting Its ideas to us even in sleep, that Principle is the guiding law throughout the night. Nothing from without can enter consciousness to defile, and this truth stands guard at our mental portals to admit only reality and its harmonies.
Be a beholder, a witness. Watch the unveiling of the Christ in your consciousness.
There is a constant warfare between the flesh and the Spirit, and this will continue as long as we entertain any degree of corporeal sense. The attempt to bring Spirit and its laws to bear upon material concepts constitutes this war, and peace can only come when the structural sense of the universe and corporeal sense of man have been overcome.
Notice how often you try to apply some metaphysical truth to a human problem and you will discover the reason for the conflict within you. Our goal actually is the attainment of spiritual harmony rather than a continuation in a material sense of existence with more ease or comfort.
In the early days of our search for Truth, we probably had no other thought beyond making a sick body well, a poor person more affluent, or changing a sinning man into a moral one. There is no doubt but that in turning to a practitioner or teacher of spiritual consciousness we seemed to achieve this end and for some time we continued to "use" Truth, or God, to govern our material concept of man and the world.
It is only as we continue in our spiritual studies and meditation that we eventually become aware of an inner conflict. We enjoy moments of mountain experiences; we tumble into the valley of uncertainty; we achieve victories and then experience failure; we alternate between apparent good and evil, success and failure, spirituality and mortality, health and illness. This is the inner conflict that becomes evident as the warfare between the flesh and the Spirit. This will only end as we drop the mortal or corporeal sense and achieve the consciousness of spiritual existence.
"My kingdom is not of this world" is the foundation for the building of the new and higher consciousness. The willingness and ability to look away from the human sense of person and thing and perceive the man and universe of God's creating is essential.
Gaining more dollars is not spiritual supply; greater savings do not constitute security; physical health is not necessarily a foundation for eternal life: These constitute merely improved human belief.
The advancing student will gradually relinquish his attempts to improve humanhood or to improve beliefs in order that the truth of spiritual existence may unfold in his consciousness.
The spiritual realm is the source of health which truly is the eternal harmony of being; it is a consciousness of supply without limits and is gained without taking thought. Remember, however, that we are not again connecting God, or Spirit, with the human sense of health and supply. We are rather coming into the awareness of spiritual health and supply. Heretofore, our efforts have been in the direction of manifesting greater harmony and dominion in our earthly affairs. That this consciousness of heavenly being seems to result in more harmonious human living is true, but these are the "added things" which follow the seeking of heaven and its righteousness. The heavenly sense of righteousness will be found to be far different from the human concept of goodness, and it is this higher sense of good we should seek.
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." For this reason we are not attempting to think more or better human thoughts, nor to have our human ways made more smooth. We truly are seeking to learn God's thoughts and God's ways.
At this state of unfoldment, we realize the need of dropping all concern for ourselves and for our own welfare. We are learning that concern for our personal welfare is building on sand, whereas a life devoted to the search for Truth is a foundation of rock upon which we may build the eternal temple of life. Lasting happiness and prosperity are found when we have a principle or cause to which we can devote ourselves. We are now finding less of self in our existence and thereby making room for the revelation and unfoldment of our divine Self. In this Self, we discover our completeness and the infinity of our being. Here also we discover the reason for our existence.
God evolved the world and all that is therein. What we behold through sense is not that world, but the false and finite concept of the world of God's creating. Rising in consciousness, we begin to perceive the spiritual universe and something of its purpose.
He who has found his inner self realizes that he is one with all men, animals, and things. He knows now that what affects one touches all. The universality of this truth is found in all scripture, as you will note in these examples:
Let one conquer the mean man by a gift. Charity is rich in returns; charity is the greatest wealth, for though it scatters, it brings no repentance.
Theirs was the fullness of heaven and earth; the more that they gave to others, the more they had.
And give unto him who is of kin to you, his due, and also unto the poor, and the traveler. And what good ye have sent before your souls, ye shall find it with God.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. . . . Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
As we realize our unity, or oneness, with all creation, we become more loving, gentle, patient, and understanding. Then only are we fulfilling the great teaching, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," and then only are we glimpsing the kingdom of God, the temple "not made with hands"--the man and universe of God's creating. It is this spiritual man, the man of God's creating, who has been given dominion over all the earth.
There is no mystery about the inner life except the mystery of godliness. Every thinker is concerned for his welfare, for the welfare of his family and community, for his country or even for the world. Experience soon convinces him that there is no hope for mankind in the people or the powers of this world. Men are too selfish. On the whole, they are too occupied and concerned with their own interests to be wholly unselfish in their attitude toward the world.
The more ambitious are often endowed with greater physical or mental attainments and soon sit in the seats of the mighty, and the world is led by those lacking integrity and love. Politicians rarely rise any higher than self-seeking, and the occasional statesman is lost in the picture.
Here and there in the world there are those inspired men and women who long for the dawn of the day of the brotherhood of man. Their hearts ache at the constant ridicule of men of good will and at the ever-recurring success of the power-drunk or money-mad in each succeeding generation. These noble people of vision are buffeted between their hope for the progress of mankind and the realization of the futility of overcoming the forces of evil operating in human thought. Eventually the same question comes to each one: Is there no power to stop this reign of evil, to halt wars, to prevent famine and pestilence? Is man helpless before the Four Horsemen?
The search for freedom from the trials and tribulations of human experience has begun. It is really a search for God and it begins at whatever place in consciousness the individual may find himself. If he has a deep religious sense with a church background, he may seek the Power in religious worship, in some creed or dogma or some particular form of worship. The intellectual will undoubtedly seek the Power in the realm of philosophy or one or another of the philosophical religious teachings. In more recent times, the search may turn to the metaphysical church teachings or oriental yoga practices. Without doubt, many go from one to another of these steps still seeking God, or the Power, which may eventually halt the reign of mortality.
One day something happens within. Consciousness expands and sees that which before was invisible. One feels a flow of warmth; a Presence never before known becomes tangible, very real. This often is a fleeting experience. One may not even be certain that it occurred. It lingers in memory, but more as a dream than an actuality, until it happens again, and this time more clearly, more definite, and perhaps lasting longer. Gradually there dawns in consciousness the realization of a Presence always present. This Presence may be felt as if lurking in the background of one's consciousness. At times it becomes a very commanding Presence dominating the scene or experience of the moment.
Now, however, evil is becoming less real; sickness is not so acute; financial stress or even lack gradually gives way to sufficiency; concern for one's self disappears as every need is met without taking thought or planning or worry or fear. The people or powers which heretofore have been feared now fade from view and either disappear from one's experience or else are seen for their powerlessness. Desires become less acute. Fears evaporate. Assurance, confidence, alertness, keenness--these become evident not only to one's self but to those who are met and dealt with in everyday life.
The inner Presence has likewise become an inner Power. From an occasional experience it has become the constant awareness. Forces of pain and pleasure in the outer experience diminish, whereas one becomes conscious of inner powers which are real and which produce and govern the outer life harmoniously and fruitfully. There is no longer fear of the evils of the outer world, nor is there the intense pleasure in the happier things of the outer world. It is possible to have the pleasures of the world and enjoy them, or not to have them and not miss them. There is a constant joy within that needs no outside stimulus.
In this consciousness, God is found to be the inner light or at least this light is felt as an emanation of God. God is felt as a divine Presence or Influence within. It is felt by those who come in contact with the man who has found his inner Self. It is reflected in his health and success. It radiates from him as sunbeams radiate from the sun.
In finding his inner life, this man has found peace, joy, harmony, security. Even in the midst of a failing world, he stands unmoved, untouched -- the very presence of immortal Being.
When we are no longer limited by the five physical senses and have attained even a measure of spiritual sense, or Christ-consciousness, we find ourselves unlimited in terms of "here" or "there," "now" or "hereafter." There is a going in and a coming out without any sense of time or space, an unfolding without degree, a realization without an object.
In this consciousness, finite sense disappears and the vision is without boundaries. Life is seen and understood as unfettered form and limitless beauty. Even the wisdom of the ages is encompassed in a moment. Death disappears, and once more we see those previously separated from us by this so-called impassable barrier. This communion is not the communication as understood in the teaching of spiritualism, but an awareness of eternal life untouched by death. It is the reality of immortality seen and understood. It is a vision of life without beginning and with no ending. It is reality brought to light. In this consciousness, there are no physical barriers of time and space. The vision encompasses the universe. It bridges time and eternity. It includes all being.
In this light, we see without the eye; we hear without the ear; we understand things not known before. Where we are, God is, because there is no longer separation or division. Here there are no rewards and no punishments. Harmony is. Life is not dependent on processes; we do not live by bread alone. We have the sense of "peeking" into heaven and seeing what mortal eyes were not meant to see.
Spiritual sense is not engaged with human good, and yet this Christ-consciousness reveals the harmony of being in what appears as our human experiences and in forms available to our present circumstance. Although "my kingdom is not of this world," yet "your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things," and He supplies your wants even before you ask.
And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
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