Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture
Chapter - Prayer
Shall I tell you why there is so much lack of demonstration in metaphysical circles? It is because there is a dependence on statements of Truth -- affirmations and denials -- instead of an effort to make an actual contact or realization of God-being. Talk about God -- Truth -- wholeness -- health will not do. Talk less. Pray more. What is prayer? Is it some word or message you send to God? No. Prayer is the Word of God which comes to you when you are silent enough, still enough, expectant enough to receive it. This Word of God which you receive in Silence becomes visible as health, harmony, success, peace, joy and dominion where all the world may see it.
Until every one of us can report that we receive the Word of God continuously, that we can almost at will feel the divine Presence, there will be need of these reminders. From this point on, there is very little need of our learning more Truth. You already know what God is; what the Christ is; what man is; and you know the nature of error and how it claims to operate. At least you can pass an oral or written examination on these subjects and get no less than 100 per cent. Every one of us is intellectually clear on these major points of metaphysics. If any of you doubt your complete understanding of these metaphysical truths, then hurry up and get yourself letter perfect in them: God -- Christ -- man -- error.
The next step is prayer, or treatment. I prefer to think of treatment as a conscious realization, through argument, of the truth about God, Christ, man and error; and prayer as the spiritual consciousness of Truth through Silence. In other words, treatment would deal with the letter, or argument, leading up to realization, and prayer would be the pure Silence and receptivity to the spiritual consciousness of harmony. You understand, of course, that ordinarily in metaphysics treatment and prayer are synonymous, but that I have made this distinction for myself.
To me, prayer is a state of receptivity in which Truth is realized without taking conscious thought. At first prayer is best practiced when sitting quietly and peacefully in harmonious surroundings. We are more apt to achieve Silence when we are away from disturbing noises and unsympathetic thoughts. I mean by this, when we are not in the same room with people who do not understand or lean toward our thought. At one place Jesus shut out all from the room except his disciples. In that way, we should find meditation or prayer an easy matter when we are together like this. We have the stillness of night and the companionship of each other -- all of us are eager for this experience of God-consciousness. The Pentecostal experience comes easily when we are together -- in one place and of one Mind. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." -- the Christ presence is felt and responded to. As we continue our daily praying -- setting aside three or four periods each day and extending to greater length at least the morning and evening periods -- the attainment of Silent Receptivity becomes more and more natural and simple. Gradually we find ourselves in prayer while at work -- driving -- walking. Ultimately we achieve it even while conversing or while in a room where much talk goes on -- even while at the theatre and movies in the very midst of the performance. It all begins with practicing the listening ear. Learn to keep that right ear half cocked all the time. Never get so engrossed in what you are doing that you forget the listening ear. Do not be concerned with or about results. We have no more right to think about results than the beginner at the piano should be thinking of playing a concert. Constant receptivity to the Inner Self should be our aim.
I have shown you in Scripture authority for the teaching that I AM. You followed the revelation of the Orientals in the many statements that I AM; you heard Moses declare, "I AM THAT I AM;" you heard Jesus tell you over and over that I am the Life, the Truth, the Way, the Resurrection, the Wine and the Water.
Likewise, I gave you unstinted authority for my unfoldment of the nature of error. It would be a truth and a correct teaching if I had given you no authority but my word -- but never have I presented anything to you as wholly original because I have found authority all through the ages of history for what has also revealed itself to me. Having satisfied you that I am offering nothing new, except perhaps an individual manner of presentation, I feel that you should be ready to judge anything now on the strength of your own reaction to it. In other words, by now you should be sufficiently consciously aware of the one Mind to be able to read or hear any statement of metaphysics and know for yourself whether or not it is a truth or personal belief. Jesus said, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me." His hearers should have "felt" the rightness of his words. We like to feel that if we had been among the multitudes listening to Jesus that we surely would have recognized the Truth and followed his teachings. Maybe -- perhaps.
I want to introduce to you a most radical teaching -- and frankly, I would not dare do it even to you advanced students unless I could gently carry you across a bridge of authority. Even this bridge will not make the teaching less radical -- but it will serve to hold you up until you have demonstrated it in some measure.
While presenting to you the revelation of your true identity as infinite spiritual Consciousness, I, nevertheless, kept you in familiar surroundings so that the jump would not be too great. But we are now starting out on a voyage into what may be deep waters; and you will need to remind yourselves often that the one Mind is your only Mind, and, therefore, you can depend on IT for guidance and direction and protection.
Have you ever thought about how you would heal if you could not use the human mind?
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