Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture
Chapter - From Law to Grace
"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that built it." That which you receive through spiritual sense comes as the grace of God, and only this is important. Always, you must remind yourself of this, because it is impossible to learn spiritual reality. The mind is not capable of digesting spiritual Truth. Regardless of the words you hear or the statements you read, they are less than nothing in your experience until there is a realization within of the Truth of which the words can only speak.
Literal interpretation of Scripture has created a God in a place called heaven, often pictured as if above the clouds over us; and likewise a God within some favored Son, such as Krishna and Jesus. This has brought about the belief of separation between God and you making sense of duality which is responsible for every sin, disease and discord on earth. "I AM THAT I AM", reveals Moses. "I and my Father are one" -- "he that seeth me, seeth Him who sent me", teaches Jesus. "I am that", insists the Advaita of India.
The consciousness of the oneness of God and you, which we now interpret as God appearing as you, restores the lost Truth of all Scripture, re-establishes health, harmony, completeness and thereby ends discord and limitation.
Exalting any of the historical characters of the world Bibles prevents the recognition of the Christ being which you are. Looking outside yourself for the source of grace, you lose the real presence within.
There must, however, be a right appreciation of those men and women who attained a great measure of Christhood as to become revelators of the truth of our being. These have all made great sacrifices of personal existence to reveal and teach the great Truth that I AM.
There must be gratitude felt in the heart, not merely expressed as lip-service, for the modern Teachers and Practitioners who have renounced personal life for the ministry of Truth. There must be a recognition of the sources and avenues of good; that is a part of gratitude and is a Christ quality.
Krishna and Shankara of India, Moses and Jesus of the Holy Lands, are the ancients who have revealed the secret of the oneness of God and man, who battled the organized ignorance of their periods of history and sacrificed self for the privilege of revelation.
In modern times, Mary Baker Eddy repeated this revelation in the First Edition of Science and Health, and accepted the merciless persecution of pulpit and press to repeat this one wisdom, I AM.
There are strange happenings in the religious world today. Many books are being published, some of which have become best sellers, repeating the ancient wisdom. The realization is dawning in thought that there must be something more real than the letter of religion.
Alvin Kuhn writes that this age will witness the Renaissance of ancient culture, and we see his words being fulfilled by the tremendous interest in such books as Cheney's, "Men Who Have Walked With God", Aldous Huxley's "Perennial Philosophy", and the many new translations of the Chinese Laotze and the Gita of India.
Of what benefit will it be for men to turn away from outworn church forms to the reading and study of the ancient and modern unorganized revelations?
The first benefit is that of mental freedom. When men are no longer tied to superstition, obedience to man made rules of religious conduct -- when men "feel" that they can, without fear of criticism and ridicule, open their thought to being taught of God -- they really begin to live. Bigotry, racial and religious prejudice disappear as the old landmarks of "my church", "my God", "my creed" are realized as myths, superstitions and false theology.
When men open their thought to Truth, they soon learn that there is but one God; that all men are the showing forth or presence of the One; that therefore, all spiritually are equal -- "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" and truly "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free."
The first fruitage of man's investigation of Truth will be the end of racial, religious and color bigotry. Another fruitage of the revelation of the oneness of God and man is the falling away of fear: the elimination of fear of lack, fear for health, fear of disease. Sin, likewise, or the desire for it, drops away in the consciousness of oneness with God.
Since, "I and the Father are one", it is impossible that this "I that I am"should know lack, sin, or disease. In the realization that I am, there comes a sense of rest, of relaxing, of completeness and perfection. This in no wise exalts humanhood, but, in the realization of your spiritual identity, the erroneous traits of humanhood disappear.
Opening thought to the search for Truth in the religious and philosophical literature of the world is but one step toward liberation from the evils of the world. Final release from sin, disease, death, wars, economic changes, comes only when the next two steps are achieved.
The first step may be termed the intellectual understanding of the truth of being, the first dawning in thought that I AM--not will be, should be, would like to--but I already AM.
The second step is an understanding of the nature of error. Throughout these pages the nature and character of error is told and re-told.
As long as attempts are made to cure disease, prevent sins or reform sinners, to halt lust, anger or revenge -- the axe is not laid at the root of evil, and evil therefore will not be destroyed. The belief of a selfhood apart from God has created a host of beliefs and fears about and for this supposed personal selfhood, and these beliefs have become mesmeric in their intensity and action.
When we recognize that evil, regardless of whether it appears as sin, disease, lack, wars or death, is but one evil, mesmeric suggestion of hypnotism, we have found our freedom from these discords. In other words, the specific errors we behold or experience are not realities which must be fought or destroyed; they are not powers requiring some deific prayer or Personage to act; they are mirage or nothingness and need only to be acknowledged as such to reveal their impotence. This recognition is attained as our God consciousness unfolds and our spiritual sense of man and the universe expands.
Let us take as an illustration the vaudeville hypnotist who, as part of his act, invites members of the audience to come up on the stage to be hypnotized. Then he suggests to them that there is a white poodle on the stage which he wishes the mesmerized person to chase off into the wings. Sometimes the white poodle goes off stage with little effort, but at other times it proves to be very obstreperous and difficult to make obey. Let us suppose now that our hypnotized friend recognizes help in removing his white poodle. Remember, to the hypnotized man the white poodle exists as a real entity, an actual presence, and he wants it removed. To the metaphysician, however, who is not hypnotized and sees clearly, there is no poodle there to be removed: only a mesmeric suggestion to be recognized as such, and this recognition brings the awakening and the disappearance of the white poodle. Thus, that is brought about which is termed healing.
In the same sense every problem, whether of health, supply, sin or fear, is real to the deluded sufferer, but to the metaphysician these exist only as the non-existent "white poodle" and he heals all manner of error through this understanding of the unreal nature of what appears as evil conditions of mind, body or purse.
The third step is the attainment of spiritual consciousness and this naturally follows the study and practice of the first two steps.
In the early days of metaphysical practice, the practitioner's understanding brought about the healings. There were at that time no text books on metaphysics, no churches or reading rooms or centers. The practitioner's understanding brought about the healing -- or else there was no healing. If we accept that sense of practice today, we will have better results in our work.
The moment we attempt to impart Truth for the purpose of helping the healing work, when we ask a patient to read or go to the church or attend a lecture with the idea that it will help or hasten the healing, we have forsaken the basic premise of our teaching: there is no reality to sin or disease, there is no erroneous person or condition to be changed, healed or reformed.
It is far better when we are called upon for help that we, as practitioners, assume the responsibility of realizing the present freedom of the so-called patient. Then, if there is a degree of receptivity, there will follow, in those who have been the recipients of the benefits of our understanding, the desire to know this Truth, to understand and eventually to preach and practice it. We cannot relieve any individual of the responsibility of studying and realizing Truth for himself.
Before the advent of Truth or of metaphysical healing in your experience, you were in a darkened state of thought -- without spiritual illumination -- without higher understanding. In this dark sense you were in bondage to physical pain and pleasure; to lack of peace and security, often in slavery to fear, sin and disease.
In the Bible we find the Hebrews under Pharaoh in just this state of ignorance, poverty and bondage. Into this blackness came Moses with promises of a better Land. To you Moses came as a promise of metaphysical healing, which was to lift you above the errors of sense -- the same evils that bound the ancient Hebrews. In your case, as in the history of old, the promise was fulfilled with a better sense of health, supply, and freedom.
Under Moses the Hebrews experienced a greater area of land, more fertile land, on which to live, a greater freedom of physical movement. Also they enjoyed a freer sense of religious worship and a more abundant supply. All of this represents a greater degree of human good. So far though there is no spiritual development -- even their religious worship is human form and ceremony.
There was also a constant fluctuation between good and evil, plenty and lack, freedom and serfdom, human good and human ill in their experience -- further proof that their demonstration was wholly on the human plane.
As you look back upon your own experience in metaphysics or Truth, you will find that you also were only experiencing, even in healings, a greater degree of human good. You had not made the transition to the spiritual understanding which destroys the fluctuating experiences of humanhood.
No doubt many inharmonious physical and financial conditions disappeared to give place to physical conditions of harmony and increase. This was your Moses promise being fulfilled with greater human good. During this period of human improvement, you, just as the Hebrews of old, were under the law. Ten Commandments, church laws, rules and restrains -- all these are necessary under the progressive steps with Moses. Moses, in your case, is the first Promise in your consciousness of a better Land.
When Christ dawns in consciousness, you are under grace. You are no longer righteous because there is a law decreeing it; you are not good because there is regulation requiring it; you are not healthy because of some mental juggling; nor wealthy because of some miracle statements. You are, through Christ, the ever-present Spirit of God, lifted to Christ Consciousness or grace.
As you advance from Moses and improved humanhood, into Christ or spiritual consciousness, you touch the spiritual sense of health, wealth and harmony.
In the Old Testament, it is good and evil, with good being invoked to overcome evil. In the New Testament, there is only the divine presence of God, one power, Good; one presence, Love; one condition, perfection.
You only achieve the realization of the nothingness of evil as you attain spiritual consciousness. Moses represents that type of leadership which leads the unillumined human thought out of sense slavery into human good. In his teaching, Moses did not enter the Promised Land or spiritual consciousness. He never went beyond revealing human betterment.
If we think of these Hebrews as a slave race, illiterate, uncultured, uninspired, we now find them led out into a place of freer, better conditions, and to an obedience to the law. Even if you lived up to all the Mosaic laws ever written, you would at best be better humans only. Grace and Truth, spiritual freedoms, come only with Christ or Spiritual Consciousness.
Christ consciousness sets you free from the desire for that which does not belong to you: sets you free from erroneous traits of character -- from limitations of every sort.
It is wonderful to realize that the man who is set free in Christ, who is free of all human entanglements, was at best only a short time before a good human! It is merely a transition form one sense or state of consciousness to another. All the experiences under Moses and Christ can be those of you and of me.
You are this state of darkened consciousness to which Moses, or the promise of Truth, comes bringing improved health, happier home and greater wealth; and you are that same consciousness to which comes the Christ or Saviour or divine idea, and sets you free as sons of God, as the Word made flesh.
As the starved Hebrew's first thought is for more food, clothing, shelter, so do you in your first steps in Truth seek more and better matter. To the Christ this thought of getting or achieving never comes. The Christ feeds five thousand yet has not a thing laid by. It meets all needs through grace.
How do you measure your spiritual progress? By the degree that your concern is not for gain, addition or multiplication, but rather that your understanding is grounded in the realization of omnipresence. As your conviction or confidence grows in the unfolding of good rather than in accretion -- then you are coming into living by grace.
In this consciousness you realize, "Son, thou art ever with Me and all that I have is thine." You can measure your acceptance of the spiritual teaching by the degree of concern that you are losing about personal welfare.
You must come to that place in consciousness where you live by grace, where you attain a measure of the Christ and can always find yourself in the same relative condition of harmonious life regardless of any human changes that take place politically or economically.
Three states of consciousness have now been revealed to you. First was spiritual barrenness before the advent of Truth in your experience; then the Moses state of your consciousness in which you enjoy better health, more supply, greater freedom -- although all of it is subject to chance and change, subject to superior human force; subject to loss, discord, depletion. There are no human guarantees.
Since you are seeking permanent peace, security and substance, you must find it in spiritual consciousness. You must raise yourself to the third degree in which you find Grace, in which you take no thought for the body, food or raiment.
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