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Full text of "A Parenthesis In Eternity: Living the Mystical Life"

•SOPHY MYSTICISM 



II 



I^GENTUNraERSI 



3ifi«iii 

3 '977 00543 9783 

A PARENTHESIS 
ETERNITY 




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A Parenthesis in Eternity, by the world-renowned teacher and bestselling 
author Joel S. Goldsmith, is a dynamic guide to tapping the power that lies 
within each of us. Like the millions of people who have achieved personal 
fulfillment through Goldsmith's teaching, you will learn how to overcome 
lifelong inhibitions and effect positive changes that will enrich your life with 
greater meaning and purpose. 

The "parentheses" of life, says Goldsmith, are the boundaries of birth 
and death that mark off one's earthly existence. In this practical and 
inspiring guide, he shows how to transcend those boundaries and trans- 
form your life into a rich and vital experience. Here is a bold summons to 
free yourself of limitations and get what you want and need out of life. 

Joe! S. Goldsmith, a well-known spiritual teacher who lectured widely 
throughout the world, wrote many books on mysticism, including The Thun- 
der of Silence, The Art of Meditation, and Living the Infinite Way, His 
teaching has been a source of inspiration and help to miliions. 



Cover design by Alan Mazzetti 



ISBN D-Dh- 



HarperSanFrancisco 



USA $18.03 

CANADA S25.00 



Db3S31-3 

51800 



780060"632311 
018b 







31 

am 



Joel S. Goldsrr 

A PARENTHI 
IN ETERNI1 




A PARENTHESIS 
IN ETERNITY 



Except the Lord build the house, they 

labour in vain that build it. 

— Psalm 127 



Illumination dissolves all material ties and binds men together with the 
golden chains of spiritual understanding; it acknowledges only the 
leadership of the Christ; it has no ritual or rule but the divine, imper- 
sonal universal Love; no other worship than the inner Flame that is ever 
lit at the shrine of Spirit. This union is the free state of spiritual brother- 
hood. The only restraint is the discipline of Soul, therefore we know 
liberty without license; we are a united universe without physical limits; 
a divine service to God without ceremony or creed. The illumined walk 
without fear — by Grace. 



THE INFINITE WAY 



a parenthesis IN eternity. Copyright © 1963 by Joel S. Goldsmith. All rights 
reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be 
used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except 
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For 
information address HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street. New York. 
NY 10022. 



FIRST HARPER & ROW PAPERBACK EDITION IN 1986 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARP NUMBER; 64-10368 
isbn: 0-06-063231-3 



98 97 96 95 RRD(H) 10 



CONTENTS 



Introduction 



PART ONE 

THE CIRCLE OF ETERNITY 

The Basis of Mysticism 

I The Two Worlds 

II Release God 

III The Spiritual Adventure 

TV The Journey Within 

V Sowing and Reaping 

VI God, the Consciousness of the Individual 

VII The Sacred Word 

VIII The Mystical I 

IX An Interval in Eternity 

X Reality and Illusion 

XI The Nature of Spiritual Power 

XII The Discovery of the Self 



11 

18 

33 

45 

55 
66 

77 

87 

100 

112 
124 

1 33 



Vlll 



CONTENTS 



PART TWO 

RISING OUT OF THE PARENTHESIS 

Attaining the Mystical Consciousness 



XIII 


The Unillumined and the Illumined 


H5 


XIV 


"And They Shall All Be Taught of God" 


158 


XV 


Self-Surrender 


m 


XVI 


The Secret of the Word Made Flesh 


182 


XVII 


The Mystical Life Through the Two Great 






Commandments 


196 


xvm 


The Function of the Mind 


205 


XIX 


Attaining Divine Sonship 


216 


XX 


The Meaning of Initiation 


224 


XXI 


"The Spirit of the Lord God . . , Hath Anointed Me" 


Z41 


XXII 


The Mystical Marriage 

PART THREE 


252 



LIVING IN THE CIRCLE 

Living the Mystical Life 

XXIII Living In, Through, and By the Spirit 

XXIV The Master Alchemist 
XXV Losing "I"-ness in I 

XXVI "My Kingdom Is Not of This World" 

XXVII Living Above the Pairs of Opposites 

XXVIII The Tree of Life 

XXIX Beyond Time and Space 

XXX God Made This World for Men and Women 

XXXI "There Remaineth a Rest" 

XXXII Address the World Silently with Peace 

XXXIII The Inner Universe 



259 
267 
274 
285 

3 94 
304 

3M 
3=5 
337 
345 
356 



A PARENTHESI 
IN ETERNITY 



INTRODUCTION 



S. 



'omewhere in consciousness there lies a land undiscovered, a land 
not yet revealed by religion, philosophy, or science. I know that it 
exists for it continually pushes itself into my awareness. I know that 
when it discloses itself, it will change the nature of mankind: wars 
will be no more, and the lamb will lie down with the lion. I know 
its name, for it is revealed as My 1 kingdom or My grace. Christ Jesus 
spoke of this Kingdom, but neither the spoken word nor the manu- 
scripts so far discovered have revealed its full significance. 

In my high moments I have lived and experienced this Kingdom, 
and sometimes its atmosphere clings to me for days, but then again 
it eludes me. Sometimes in healings I have witnessed its action, but 
have caught only glimpses of it. It has shown me the human mind 
of mankind and its operations, and how men can use the mind for 
evil purposes as well as for good. 

This spiritual kingdom, this inner world, is as real as the world we 
see, hear, taste, touch, and smell— if anything, more real. What we 
become aware of through the senses eventually changes and disap- 
pears, but this inner world, these spiritual glories that are revealed to 
us, these spiritual lights with whom we learn to tabernacle— they 
never disappear. 

1 The word "My," capitalized, refers to God. 

I 



2 INTRODUCTION 

This is the world the Master Christ Jesus revealed, a Kingdom which 
exists right here where we are if we will but receive the Spirit of God 
within us. It is already estabJished here on earth, only awaiting our 
recognition and realization. 

Finding that Kingdom will in no wise take us out of the world. It 
will leave us in it, but not of it. We will enjoy all the things that go 
to make up a full and rich life; we will not become ascetics, but we 
will no longer desire things or long for them, and even though the 
riches of life will be a part of our experience, inwardly we will be so 
free of them that our whole inner being will be lived in and of God. 

The mystical world is a real world. It is a world of people and a 
world of things formed of the illumined or enlightened consciousness. 
But how do we become the illumined or the enlightened? How do 
we find this mystical world? What is mysticism? 

Mysticism is "the experience of mystical union or direct communion 
with ultimate reality reported by mystics." It is "a theory of mystical 
knowledge; the doctrine or belief that direct knowledge of God, of 
spiritual truth, of ultimate reality, or comparable matters is attainable 
through immediate intuition, insight, or illumination and in a way 
differing from ordinary sense perception." 2 

The mystical message of all times is the same. The language and 
the mode of approach may be different, but the message and goal— the 
attainment of conscious union with God— never change. 

No one can become a seeker of God in his humanhood, but when 
God touches a person to some measure of awakening, he is led to some 
kind of a spiritual teaching. He may remain on that one path to the 
end of his search, or he may go from teaching to teaching until ulti- 
mately he finds that which meets his unsatisfied need and brings him 
to God-realization. Although revealed in different languages, different 
terms, and different forms, the inner unfoldment leads unerringly to 
the one goal. 

Nothing can equal the fascination and adventure of the mystical 
life. It is a life of discovery, discoveries which forever lie ahead of us, 
never behind. We may have had an experience yesterday that lifted 

lMe [riam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, Third International Edition 
(ipnngfield, Mass.: G. and C. Merriam Company, 1961}. 



INTRODUCTION 



3 



us to the mountaintop, but we cannot live on yesterday's "pearl" or 
on yesterday's manna because the experience of yesterday, regardless 
of how great and soul-stirring it may have been, is only a preparation 
for the greater ones that lie ahead. Always there is the challenge of 
the intangibles awaiting our discovery here and now. 

The kingdom of God is without limitation or boundary, and all the 
truth that has been given to the world in the past thousands of years 
is but a thimbleful in comparison with what there is yet to be discov- 
ered. No one has yet experienced even one-millionth of what has 
already been revealed. 

Can anyone ever reveal the last word of spiritual truth? Can anyone 
ever penetrate the depths of God? Can anyone ever discover the all- 
ness of God? True, the mystics of all ages have given us glimpses of 
truth, and their words carry conviction because behind the words is 
the experience itself. But how much of what we have read of spiritual 
revelation have we actually experienced? How much of it still lies 
between the covers of a book? How much of it have we actually wit- 
nessed? How much truth has come as an inner unfoldment with the 
renewing strength and power of revelation? 

Every aspirant on the spiritual path should be constantly alert for 
some original revelation of truth. If he is content, however, to dwell 
merely on words without drawing forth the deeper and richer mean- 
ings of which the words are but the symbol, he is not being fed from 
within, but from the pages of a book. Black ink does not taste good, 
nor is there any sustenance to be found on the printed page, and those 
persons who are living on the printed word are going to be just as hun- 
gry as those who suffer from malnutrition. The sustaining substance 
to be found in words, printed or voiced, lies in the truth that can be 
drawn into consciousness. 

The truths that are revealed in spiritual literature are seeds planted 
in consciousness, and if those seeds are planted in an active and fertile 
consciousness, they spring up and bear fruit; but if they are taken into 
the sleeping consciousness— the unconscious or dead consciousness, 
the consciousness that is living on form, ritual, or yesterday's thoughts 
—they cannot break open, sprout, and mature. 

Every word of truth that we hear or read should be taken into our 



4 INTRODUCTION 

consciousness as if it were a seed, and there nourished and fed. It 
should be fertilized with meditation and by pondering and putting 
it into practice, until in a moment of stillness and silence the seed can 
break open, take root, and begin to bear fruit. 

What we read, then, cannot become stale. Always there is the 
expectancy that the very next paragraph may contain the "pearl of 
great price" for us. The next paragraph, or the one we read tomorrow, 
may be the "pearl" to our neighbor or to someone else. There is no 
such thing as only one "pearl." 

The spiritual life is a necklace that would fit around this entire globe 
— so many pearls are there in it. Every statement of truth is a pearl, 
every single principle is a pearl, every experience, almost every medita- 
tion, is a pearl, if only we search for it deep enough within our own 
consciousness. 

Each grain of truth should be used as a steppingstone or bridge to 
lead to a deeper awareness, letting more and more truth come to the 
fore as we travel further and higher. If we are not alert, however, and 
do not keep the ear and mind wide, wide open to see what lies ahead, 
it would be the same as trying to cross the ocean in a boat while 
asleep at the steering wheel. 

Spiritual literature and spiritual principles are certainly stepping- 
stones or bridges over which you and I can travel, but they are steps 
or bridges leading where? Always to our own consciousness! That is 
the only place where a truly spiritual teaching can ever lead— to our 
own consciousness. 

"God is no respecter of persons," and whatever is possible to one 
is possible to all, but only to those who seek. Seek and find; seek and 
find; but seek within the realm of your own consciousness. Your con- 
sciousness and my consciousness are just as infinite as the conscious- 
ness of any spiritual seer, and whatever degree of unfoldment any 
illumined soul has had, we can have in an equally deep degree. We 
may not express that Infinity in its fullness, but nevertheless that is 
the truth about us. 

Regardless of how much truth reveals itself to us, however, or how 
many experiences we may have of a spiritual nature, as soon as these 
have served their purpose, we let them slide out of memory and look 



INTRODUCTION 5 

forward to the next because the next one will be greater. If we should 
write a hundred books on truth, or heal a hundred thousand people, 
let us never believe that we will have come to the end of our conscious- 
ness, because our consciousness has a depth far beyond that of the 
ocean and a circumference greater than that of this entire universe and 
of all the other universes yet unknown and undiscovered. There is no 
limit to the depth of our being and the richness of our consciousness, 
but we must dive deeply into ourselves to bring forth the revelation 
of the nature of God, and eventually the nature of our own being. 
Then we shall discover that God is in truth our very being and our 

very life. 

To seek, to find, and to experience this inner glow, this inner real- 
ization of the Presence, this inner communication with God, and then 
realize that each time that it is repeated it becomes a deeper, richer 
experience, and a more fruitful one, so that there can never be an end, 
or a sense of dullness, monotony, or boredom in it— therein lies the 
real adventure of the spiritual life. 

God is infinite; truth is infinite. It is for us to rise into that Infinity, 
explore new avenues of truth, open new areas of our consciousness 
because all this truth is our consciousness, our very own! At one level 
of consciousness we can bring forth literature, art, inventions, or dis- 
coveries. At a deeper level of consciousness we can bring forth spiritual 
experiences up to, and including, the final one, which is known as the 
marriage, or union, with God. It all depends on what we are seeking. 

And what is it that we are seeking? Is it merely a healing of some 
nature? Is it merely more comfort in the human world? Is it merely 
a little happier companionship or a little more money? It is right to 
enjoy health; it is right to have an abundance of supply; it is right to 
have satisfying human companionships. And all these things inevitably 
do follow, but if they alone are the goal of our search, we are debasing 
truth. The goal itself is discovering the essence of spiritual wisdom, 
exploring every comer of the spiritual kingdom, every depth of it, 
every height of it. Therein lies spiritual adventure. 

Who knows what great truth will be revealed to us? Who knows 
what wonderful things lie ahead of us an hour from now? Who knows 
what startling revelations of truth may come to us? It is marvelous 



INTRODUCTION 

when they come; it is wonderful when they happen, but they cannot 
come if we permit some particular message to become crystallized in 
us, or if we go to bed tonight thinking we know the truth or wake up 
tomorrow morning believing we have reached the ultimate in spiritual 
wisdom. Every day of the week must be a fresh day. With each day 
there should always be an inner longing, not to recall or remember 
something that was revealed the day before, but an acknowledgment 
of our emptiness and a reaching out: "Father, Father! Come, come, 
reveal Your message! Give me a vision today; let me know You 
aright; let me go deeper into Your consciousness." 

There are greater truths buried in our consciousness than any that 
have ever come forth. Just as truth came through a humble shoemaker 
like Jacob Boehme, so can world-shattering truth come through you 
or me, and if it does not, it may be because we did not want it as 
desperately as have the great mystics of the world, or because our in- 
terest has been more on the surface of life than in its depths. 

Sometimes students who have been studying for only a year write 
me of their dissatisfaction, disappointment, and even discouragement 
over their lack of unfoldment and progress. Often my response is, "In 
just a year, just a year? There are another thousand million years ahead 
of you, and no one is ever going to accomplish the transition from 
that 'man, whose breath is in his nostrils,' to the man who has his 
being in Christ merely by studying or meditating for a year." If the 
kingdom of God were that easily attained, everyone would attain it. 
But how few have done sol 

Make no mistake, this is the most difficult of paths; this is the most 
difficult life there is. It is far easier for a person to become a Croesus 
with fabulous wealth or to attain great fame than to succeed in attain- 
ing the spiritual life. It is far easier to accomplish anything in the 
human world than in the spiritual because in the spiritual world you 
and I are called upon to "die" before we can attain what we are 
seeking. 

The spiritual life is not gained by giving up smoking or drinking or 
the eating of meat, or by studying for a few years, or by attending 
church or classes. If only it were that easy! The Kingdom is attained 
by "dying daily." Every day of the week, as a part of our involvement 









INTRODUCTION 

in the life of the Spirit, we must see to it that some trace of human- 
hood either leaves us or is sent about its business. Every problem must 
be viewed as an opportunity to rise above whatever the situation may 
be, and if that sounds too difficult, it is better not to begin. But if 
there is a drive in us that compels us to go forward, then we must be 
patient and persist until we do attain. 

Attainment is possible to everyone who sets out on this spiritual 
adventure, and it is possible without price— except the one great price. 
There is a price: "Sell all that thou hast." That is the price, and it is 
paid in the coin of our devotion. It is the price the Master demanded 
of his followers when he told them, "He that loveth father or mother 
more than me is not worthy of me Sell all that thou hast Fol- 
low me, and I will make you fishers of men." From this we can under- 
stand how difficult spiritual attainment is and why our progress is 
slow, and we will not complain. We will be satisfied, realizing that if 
the followers of Jesus in his day had to walk those steps, so do we. 

But although we may plumb the depths to the limit of our capacity 
and fail to reach the goal, the search is still worthwhile, even if we 
have to go on for years and years and years believing that we are not 
making any progress. The truth is that with every effort, with every 
expedition, with every search, with every meditation, we are moving 
slowly and inexorably toward the goal of all life— union with God. 

Problems and circumstances affect the lives of different people in 
different ways. They can make or break a person, or they can leave 
him where they found him. There is nothing tragic or disgraceful 
about being broken or about being a failure, nothing at all. A person 
who fails has tried, usually very hard, and there is a satisfaction in that, 
and there is a hope in it because if a person continues to try, he can 
never be kept down, and even though he may be broken, he will rise 
up again. The tragedy, if there is one, or the disgrace, lies in being 
willing to go on day after day, waking up in the morning and going 
to bed at night, and being nowhere tomorrow that he was not yes- 
terday. 

Think of the unlimited opportunties there are in every large metro- 
politan area for gaining a knowledge and appreciation of the great 
art, literature, music, religion, and natural sciences of the world, and 



8 INTRODUCTION 

then think of the thousands of aimless people walking the streets of 
those cities without even being aware of these opportunities, and more 
often than not, not even caring. There is tragedy! 

Is it not the same, only more so, with any truly spiritual teaching 
or message? Are there not countless people in the world who are ex- 
posed time and time again in some manner or by some means to 
truth, and yet who pass "by on the other side"? That is sad because 
finding a spiritual message could and should be the beginning of a 
life of adventure. True, it does not always happen that way. It could 
even leave us where it found us. It cannot break us— that it could 
never do— but it can make us, and it should open life to spiritual joy 
and excitement, to seeking and finding. It should spur us to turn round 
and round and then to start all over again to see how much further 
we can go on this Path. 

There is no God out here in space. The God there is, is hidden 
within us, waiting for each one of us to discover for himself. We do 
not have to go any place in time or space. The spiritual journey, the 
greatest of all adventures, is not made in time or space. It is a journey 
in consciousness — and this journey no one can make for us. 




T 



PART ONE 



HE CIRCLE 



OF ETERNITY 



The Basis of Mysticism 



CHAPTER I 



THE TWO WORLDS 



T 

_Lhe 



. here are two worlds. There is "this world," and there is "My 
kingdom." There is the world that we see, hear, taste 7 touch, and 
smell, the world that we live in, in our business and in our home with 
our family; and there is the world within, where we live when the 
Christ has been raised up in us, the world inside our consciousness 
where we are alone with God and where we tabernacle with the son 
of God in us. On one hand, there is the mortal man, and on the 
other, the spiritual son of God. 

Paul, who was spiritually and inwardly taught by the Master, de- 
scribed mortal man as the "creature," the "natural man" who "receiv- 
eth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto 
him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually dis- 
cerned"; and explained that "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, 
they are the sons of God." 

Until we leam about the man who has his being in Christ— the 
man we must become— we are that "natural man," that "creature," 
that mortal who must put off mortality, that man who must "die 
daily," 

Progress on the spiritual path will be much more rapid once it is 
understood that this human or mortal man, this "creature," the "nat- 

11 



12 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



ural man," is entirely cut off from God, is never under the law or 
protection of God, and is never governed or sustained by God. If he 
were, could there be murder, rape, arson, or war? Could there be death 
if man were God-governed? Could there be disease? Could an airplane 
go hurtling out of the sky to kill all the people in it? 

If man were God-governed, would not disease have diminished? 
But has it not rather increased? For every disease that has been 
brought under control, have not two new ones, more deadly than the 
old, made their appearance? Yet every day millions upon millions of 
prayers go up to God; and then when a solution to the problems of 
the ills of the flesh comes, does it come from God or from a bottle 
of medicine, an antibiotic, or a new surgical discovery? Do not human 
beings die of the most horrible diseases and tragic accidents? Does 
God interfere? 

Human beings suffer terrible injustices at the hands of others: they 
are governed by tyrants; wars are fought, and the righteous do not 
always win those wars. In every age there are those in slavery, there 
are those in bondage. We have only to look at history to know how 
many thousands of years this world has suffered from war, even 
though every generation has felt, as we do, that war is wrong, that it 
does not solve anything, and that no lasting good comes from it. Has 
not every generation prayed to God to end war, and in all these thou- 
sands of years, has there ever been an answer to such prayers? Are not 
nations whose history goes back thousands and thousands of years 
and whose people have been praying to God all those years still in 
slavery, ignorance, and poverty? 

God never has been known to do anything for a human being as 
long as he is immersed in "the things of the flesh." A lack of under- 
standing of this point causes many aspirants on the Way to miss the 
mark, because they are forever trying to get God to do something to, 
or for, a human being, but this He does not do. Regardless of how 
much humankind suffers or enjoys, regardless of whether men are sick 
or well, poor or rich, they are not under the law of God; they are not 
fed, sustained, or protected by God; and for that reason the tragic 
things that happen to the human race keep right on happening gen- 
eration after generation, with only a few escaping the common fate. 






THE TWO WORLDS 1 3 

This need not be, for both Christ Jesus and Paul, as well as others 
before them, taught that these experiences of the human race can 
be avoided, and they also taught how it is possible to "come out from 
among them, and be . . . separate," and bear fruit richly. That was the 
whole purpose of the ministry of the Master— to reveal to the world 
how to come out from among the masses and avoid the strife, the 
lack, the sins, and the diseases that beset mankind. 

Human beings think they can add spirituality to their humanhood 
and thereby attain God's grace. This cannot be: there has to be a 
"dying daily"; there has to be a putting off of "the old man"; there 
has to be a putting off of mortality and a clothing with immortality; 
there has to be a transition from the man of earth to that man who 
has his being in Christ; there has to be repentance. God has no pleas- 
ure in "the death of him that dieth . . . wherefore turn yourselves, and 
live ye." There must be a turning before we can live again. 

Most of us think that we can turn to God and persuade Him to add 
something good to us, without our losing, giving up, or changing any- 
thing. We expect to add immortality and divine Grace to our human 
self. But it is only as the old man in us "dies" that the new man can 
be "born"; it is only as we change our outlook that spiritual harmony 
can begin to function in us and as us. 

It is not that God, Spirit, is going to do something for mortal, ma- 
terial man: it is that mortal, material man is to put off his materiality 
that his spiritual identity may be revealed. It is nonsense to believe 
that human beings are under the law of God when all the prayers 
that the human race has ever invented have never brought God into 
human experience: they have never brought peace on earth, elimi- 
nated disease, nor have they overcome the sin or the poverty of the 
world. Have the prayers of the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus, or 
the Buddhists been answered? Why not? What is wrong? Is God a 
respecter of persons? Is God a respecter of races or religions? 

for thousands of years there have been human beings who have 
observed every kind of ritual without ever approaching the kingdom 
«f God. Jesus made that clear when he cautioned his disciples that 
their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees 
who of all men were the most scrupulous in their rigid following of 






14 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

the Mosaic law. And yet Jesus said that the righteousness of those 
who seek the kingdom of God must be greater than theirs. They must 
enter into the silent sanctuary of their own being and pray where men 
cannot see them. They must not merely support the temple or the 
church: they must do benevolences without letting anyone know 
about them. 

It is easy to be a human being full of trouble— that seems to be the 
easiest thing in the world to be. But it is not easy to be the child of 
God, spiritually free of troubles. Anyone who tries to live the Sermon 
on the Mount or to give up this eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth 
business, anyone who seriously tries to "resist not evil," anyone who 
earnestly attempts to resist the temptation to return evil for evil, finds 
such a way difficult at first. This is because, as human beings, we are 
not children of God, nor are we under the law of God. If we would 
be children of God, there is a price to pay, and the price is to "resist 
not evil"; the price is to learn to pray for our enemies, to forgive sev- 
enty times seven; the price is to dwell in the realization that we of 
out own selves are nothing. 

Gaining the kingdom of God has to be accomplished inside of our 
own being. Something must take place within us; there must be a 
conscious remembrance that the Christ abides in us. Through this 
conscious remembrance of our oneness with God, the grace of God 
becomes active, a Grace that brings things and experiences to us that 
humanly would be improbable, if not impossible. There is a lessening 
of dependence on our mind, our education, or our pocketbook, and a 
greater reliance on the Infinite Invisible. Consciousness is being 
opened to receive the invisible things of God, of which all things that 
are visible are made. 

The whole of the spiritual life has to do with an activity of con- 
sciousness, an activity of your individual consciousness and of mine. 
To live as the son of God and not as a human being means to dwell 
consciously in the realization of an invisible Presence; it means to live 
consciously in the awareness that God is the guiding and sustaining 
principle of our life. There must be a change of base; there must be 
a change of consciousness. It is not God who comes to the human 
experience: it is the human being who has to give up the human 
experience, exchanging it for his spiritual identity. 



THE TWO WORLDS 



15 



I 



Whether a person is good or bad is not the determining factor in 
the descent of Grace upon him. There have been, and are, millions 
of good people who have never attained their spiritual estate because 
human goodness does not bring it about. What really counts is the 
degree of devotion there is to the search for God. How much hunger- 
ing and thirsting after truth is there? How much longing is there for 
an understanding of God, for coming face to face with God? 

It is not what our outer life is. We do not prepare for the accept- 
ance of our spiritual identity merely by trying to change ourselves into 
good human beings. Being good humanly has no relationship what- 
soever to "dying daily." "Dying daily" is a realization that we are dis- 
satisfied with our present mode of life, dissatisfied even if we have 
economic sufficiency, good health, or a happy family. Still there is 
that dissatisfaction, that sense of something missing in us. There is 
an inner unrest, a lack of peace, an inner discontent. 

Without this hunger and this inner drive, there is no "dying." But 
as soon as we make the decision that we are going to walk the way that 
leads to spiritual fulfillment, we have begun the necessary transforma- 
tion of mind; we have begun our spiritual journey. First must come 
the clear-cut realization that we cannot go on being just human 
beings, and attempt to add God's grace to our humanhood. There 
must be a turning; there must be an inner transformation. This has 
nothing to do with our outer life. The change takes place within us. 
The whole experience is an inner experience; it is one of consciousness, 
but when it takes place, it affects our entire outer experience. 

No one of himself has the power to receive God's grace. Grace 
comes through an evolutionary progressive unfoldment of conscious- 
ness. To illustrate that, let us go back in memory to our own life- 
experience, and as we recall our childhood, youth, young adulthood, 
and our thirties or forties, we may be able to pinpoint a time— possibly 
even a specific date— at which a change of consciousness took place 
within us which caused us to turn and look in another direction. It 
niay have been a disease that compelled us to reach out and up to a 
new and higher dimension of life; it may have been a sin or a false 
a Ppetite; it may have been lack, limitation, or unhappiness; or it may 
nave been just a natural unfoldment that led us to the place where 
We were dissatisfied with life as it was being lived and wondered if 



16 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

there were not something better, something higher. It was then that 
our consciousness began to change, and even though we could not 
observe any noticeable progress, progress nevertheless was being made 
gradually from day to day and month to month. 

Anyone far enough along on the spiritual path to be seriously pur- 
suing a study of this nature was undoubtedly on the Path before he 
was born into this experience. Whatever his former state of existence 
may have been, had he not been on the Path in some previous life- 
experience, he would not now be ready for a mystical teaching, nor 
would he have been led to the reading of this book. Once a person 
touches a mystical teaching, he is drawing closer and closer to the 
ultimate realization of the name and nature of God and of his true 
identity. Throughout all time, it has been true that when an individ- 
ual realized the name and nature of God, that individual was free; 
and furthermore, in proportion as that individual could impart this 
realization or revelation, those who could accept and receive it were 
made free. 

In every age, when there has been a great religious teacher, there 
have been those able to receive the imparted word of wisdom, to re- 
spond to it, and to demonstrate divine sonship, but in that very same 
age and very same country, there were also those who rejected the 
Word, who were unwilling to accept the principles. Living side by side 
were the saved and the unsaved, those who were able to rise above 
the discords of the flesh, and those who could not receive the spiritual 
word in their bosom. 

No one who believes he is man or woman has even begun to sus- 
pect spiritual truth. No one who believes that there is a power some- 
where that can operate on him for good and a power that can operate 
for evil has come even close to touching the hem of the Robe, for 
there are no such powers. There is no power of good; there is no power 
of evil. 

No one can be prepared to receive this knowledge in one lifetime, 
nor is anyone capable of assimilating this wisdom in one lifetime. It 
takes many lifetimes of living and of spiritual unfoldment to prepare 
an individual for the final revelation of his true identity. Only those 
who have been prepared have the capacity to receive such truth. 



r 

THE TWO WORLDS 17 

Do we have eyes and do not see? Do we have ears and do not hear? 
We cannot see spiritual identity with physical eyes or hear the still 
small voice and its impartations with physical ears. Every individual 
has a Soul-faculty which has no relationship to the physical senses of 
sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell, nor even to the intuitive sense 
which is the seventh sense. It is this spiritual faculty which becomes 
our power of discernment, the power to discern the nature of the two 
worlds in which we live. 

With such discernment this outer world becomes only a symbol, a 
shell, almost a "suffer it to be so now." The real world is the world of 
Consciousness and Its forms, not the forms created by nature, not the 
forms created by the imagination of man or the forms we see with the 
eyes, but the forms that Consciousness assumes, the forms that we 
behold in the kingdom of God within us. 

The lessons that we learn in the interior world become the basis 
of our conduct in the outer world. The spiritual grace we leam within 
becomes our life without. Without the impetus of this spiritual grace, 
the life as lived on the outer plane is an animal life. It has its periods 
of good and its periods of bad, its periods of health and its periods of 
disease. It never knows the peace that passes understanding; it never 
knows the life that God gave us, the life that is God, This life is dis- 
cerned only through inner grace. Through this power of discernment 
we glimpse the Spirit of God and then behold It 1 in others; we witness 
that Spirit living in what we call human form, and just as the Spirit 
of God lived as the human form of Jesus, so It lives as individual you 
and me when we are animated by It. 

Ah, yes, there are two worlds— the outer world of the senses and the 
inner world of the Spirit, and once we have been touched by this inner 
world of the Spirit, the "natural man" becomes less and less that the 
son of God may be more and more. 

1 In the spiritual literature of the world the varying concepts of God are indi- 
cated ^ by the use of such words as "Father," "Mother," "Soul," "Spirit," "Prin- 
ciple," "Love," and "Life." Therefore, in this hook the author has used the* 
Pronouns "He" and "It," or "Himself" and "Itself," interchangeably in referring 
t0 God, 



CHAPTER H 



RELEASE GOD 



0. 



nly the very courageous can embark on the spiritual journey, 
and only those of great strength and vision can hope to continue on 
this Path, Nearly twenty centuries ago, the Master made it clear 
that the way is straight and narrow and few there be that enter. That 
this is tiue is borne out by the fact that up to the present time very 
few have been able to remain on the spiritual path and continue to 
go forward. It is not easy to surmount superstition, ignorance, and 
fear, and, despite prejudice and previous failures, to set forth in search 
of new horizons. 

We cannot adopt new ideas while still clinging to the outworn 
beliefs of the past: we must be willing to relinquish our old concepts. 
That is where the courage comes in, and the daring. It takes courage 
to leave behind that which has proved to be unsatisfactory in our 
experience. It takes courage to look at ourselves objectively and ask: 
Have I sincerely worshiped God? Have I in some measure lived up to 
my convictions about God? 

When we turn to the search for God, we should be bold enough to 
ask ourselves: Am I satisfied with such answers to prayers as have 
been given to the world? Do I believe that such truth as has been 
revealed is all the truth there is, or am I seeking for something yet 



RELEASE GOD 19 

unknown except to those few mystics who have experienced the 
truth, tried to impart then knowledge, failed, and gone on their way? 

Man's heritage is spiritual freedom, and if the revelation of Jesus 
Christ has taught us nothing else, it is that we are entitled to live in 
the full freedom of the Spirit as children of God, not as prisoners of 
the mind and body. 

Freedom is not a condition of mind or of body: freedom is a con- 
dition of the Soul. If we do not find our freedom in Soul, we will find 
only limitation and bondage in our experience. Freedom cannot be 
given to a nation or to a race of people: freedom must first be real- 
ized in individual being, and then some measure of that freedom can 
be shared with those who are in need of it. 

Nothing external to us can limit or hinder us because our freedom 
must first take place in our consciousness, and this, no one can pre- 
vent because fortunately no one can read our thoughts, look into our 
consciousness, or know what is going on in our Soul. So it is that 
wherever we are — at home, on the street, or at business — we can 
make a transition from the slavery of the senses to the freedom of 
the Soul. It all takes place within our consciousness. 

There are those who complain that they cannot find this freedom 
because of a lack of time, but there is no lack of time : that is merely 
an excuse that one person uses; another uses as his excuse his lack of 
money; a third, his lack of sight or of hearing. All these are just 
alibis and excuses. 

Some persons complain that they cannot study spiritual wisdom 
because they cannot afford to buy books. Just another excuse! The 
public libraries of this country and many countries of the world arc 
filled with books and teachings of every nature. It would take only a 
few minutes to pick up a telephone and leam how many informative 
and inspiring books there are in the library or in a nearby second- 
hand bookstore. The person who uses his inability to buy books as 
an excuse for not studying is merely trying to hide from being taught 
°r trying to ensure that he will not be taught. 

Freedom is attained within us, and it is not at the mercy of time, 
money, health, or relationships — not even at the mercy of those 
countries that have made laws against religion. 



18 



20 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



The point that I am making is this: if we are bound by sin or 
disease, or by any form of limitation, physical, mental, moral, or 
financial, freedom is ours if only we have the desire to break through. 
It cannot be a mild desire; it cannot be just the hope, "Oh, I wish I 
were free; 1 wish I were like other people; I wish I knew what other 
people know; I wish I had their education," 

These are excuses, alibis. There is education available for every- 
body, from elementary schooling on up to courses in universities, 
and this, without even attending classes in person. There is physical, 
mental, moral, and financial freedom for anyone who has a sufficient 
drive for freedom. Without that drive, it cannot be attained. There 
must be such a desire for freedom that it is virtually a passion if we 
are to attain the heights that we sit around wishing for, hoping for, 
and complaining that we do not reach. No person and no condition 
external to us are binding upon us. They may bind us for a year, or 
five, or ten, while we struggle, strive, work, and pray for freedom, 
but eventually freedom must come from every form of limitation. 

The only thing essential to freedom is the desire to be free — 
nothing else — because with the desire to be free, the means toward 
bringing it about reveal themselves. It has been said that when the 
student is ready the teacher appears, sometimes externally as a per- 
son, sometimes as a book; but if in no other way, when the desire is 
sufficiently deep, the teacher will appear inwardly because there are 
just as many spiritual teachers on the inner plane as there are on 
the outer, if not more. 

Freedom comes only when we can break through the limitations 
of our mind, when we do not try to pin everything down to a meaning 
or confine every statement to meaning the same thing always. Words 
sometimes seem to be contradictory, but that is because they mean 
one thing today, and something different tomorrow, when they are 
used in different ways. 

The real things of life cannot be restricted. Freedom will not limit 
itself to a word. It is like joy; it is like peace: we know what they 
are, but we cannot describe or explain them because they cannot be 
confined to a word or a phrase. How can anyone explain what the 
Psalmist meant by "the secret place of the most High"? What is 






RELEASE GOD 21 

that? Where is it? Is it a place? Is it up high somewhere? Can "the 
secret place of the most High" be located in time and space? 

Paul said, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being." 
How can we describe the place where we live, when we five in God? 
Where is that? What is its climate? 

We are instructed to open our consciousness. How do we open 
our consciousness? What does it look like open, and what does it 
look like closed? When we speak of going within, closing the door, 
and entering the sanctuary to pray, where is that sanctuary? Is it in 
our home? Is it in a church? Is it anywhere except in consciousness? 

Those are just words, and if we try to break them down into their 
meaning, we lose them. We might say that they are poetry. They are, 
but we are never going to find the kingdom of God without poetry. 
We must let imagery and poetry have their way with us, and not try to 
confine ourselves to the literal meaning of words. Let us be free from 
the limitations of made-up words and made-up prayers and accept the 
poetry and the imagery of our Soul, accept our freedom in God— not 
lose it by trying to analyze and dissect every word. 

For years I have been seeking for a word in which I could imprison 
what I am trying to teach, and so far I have not succeeded in finding 
that word. What comes nearest to expressing my meaning is the 
word Christ, but if we try to pin down that term and find a mean- 
ing for It, we will lose It because what the Christ stands for cannot 
be hmited within the confines of a word or a term. 

The Spirit, or the Consciousness, of man cannot be restneted. We 
cannot confine God; we cannot understand, analyze, or dissect God; 
we cannot even name God. God eludes us when we try to put God 
into the letters Go-d. The Soul of man is free; the Spirit of man is 
free; the consciousness of man is free. That is why we cannot put God 
m to a religion; we cannot put the Christ into a religion; and we can- 
^t put religion into a man. We cannot confine, restrict, or limit 
G °d, the Christ, or religion. These are free, and if we ever try to 
Britain them within a form, we lose them. 

One thing we do know: there is God, and the nature of God is 

omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. These do not limit 

od, but the reason they do not limit Him is because we certainly 



22 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

cannot claim to know the meaning of omnipresence, omnipotence, 
and omniscience. Those are just words we use that have a special 
meaning for us. 

If we can accept the Christ, if we can open ourselves to receive 
and rest in It, It will function in and through us. If we try to under- 
stand or explain It, or have It explained, we will lose It. We cannot 
bring It down to the confines of our mind. Nobody has ever had a 
mind big enough to hold the Christ; nobody has ever had a mind 
big enough to embrace It, and yet the Soul of man can experience It. 
But we must be willing to experience It, and then let It go. The 
experiences come, over and over, and they go. When they go, we let 
them go because it is not possible for anyone to sit on Cloud Nine 
twenty-four hours a day. Those to whom much has been given, of 
them much is expected. So, when we receive even a ray of this 
spiritual light, we have to come down to the valley and share it with 
others who are seeking it. 

Spiritual freedom is attainable by any one of us. It is our birth- 
right. Every person on earth, be he white, yellow, or black, friend or 
foe, Christian or Jew, Moslem or Buddhist, is entitled to the fullness 
of life. But the attainment of that spiritual fulfillment does not come 
lightly or quickly. The whole point is whether the desire for it be- 
comes the ultimate meaning of life, or whether we are hoping to 
achieve it in our spare time. It cannot come that way. It will involve 
effort and struggle. 

Why, then, are we not enjoying it? Only because of ignorance, an 
ignorance of God and an ignorance of prayer, for when we know 
God as He is, when we understand how to pray and to pray without 
ceasing, we find that none of the evils of the earth come nigh our 
dwelling place. 

It requires boldness and daring to release God, to acknowledge 
that we do not know God and that we do not know how to pray. 
It takes courage to be done with the old and to seek the new, to 
prove that we can live as children of God, as the very temple of God, 
glorifying Him. 

The first bit of courage required is to acknowledge that we have 
never really prayed to God. Instead, we have prayed to some concept 



RELEASE GOD 



23 






i" 



of God, a concept that came either from our parents, a church, or 
from books. Nevertheless, it was not God that was revealed to us, for 
if God had been revealed to us, we would now be living as children 
of God, and all our prayers would long ago have been answered. 

No one can deny that in the presence of God there is fullness of 
life. Who would be presumptuous enough to deny that "where the 
Spirit of the Lord is," there is fulfillment and freedom, freedom from 
all the discords of the earth? Unless we deny this, we must be willing 
to admit that it is true; and if it is true, we will have to confess to 
ourselves, "I have not known God: I have known some concept of 
God which I have accepted and to which I have prayed, and this 
concept of God is really an image in my mind, a thought, a belief, or 
an idea." Such an admission takes courage. 

If God is infinite, it must be self-evident that God cannot be con- 
tained within the mind, yet we go on believing that some concept of 
God in our mind is the infinite God. If the Spirit of God were as 
close to us as to be within our mind, we actually would be children 
of God, and as such would be set apart from this earth. But, instead 
of having the Spirit of God, what we really have is only a concept of 
God, a concept which may envision God as a man with a long white 
beard sitting up on a cloud, as a man hanging on a cross, or as a 
hundred other different concepts. And what do we do? We pray to 
these images in our own thought and expect to receive answers from 
them. Is that sensible? Is it reasonable? 

No image that can be conceived in the mind can ever be God; 
no concept of God ever entertained by man has the power to an- 
swer prayer. Then, is not the acknowledgment that God is too great 
to be bound by the mind and body the very first step that a seeker 
must take? 

"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image . . . Thou shalt not 
bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them." What difference 
whether the graven image is external to us or an image in thought? 
It is still a graven image which we ourselves have carved out of our 
°wn thought. Let us do away with graven images; let us have no 
'mage of God; let us have no belief of what God is. 

No one knows what God is, but if we think of God as Omni- 



24 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

presence, we are free of concepts because since God is, God must 
be here, there, and everywhere. There is no place where God is not, 
or God would not be infinite Being. If we think of God as Omnip- 
otence, we are not building any image of God: we are merely stat- 
ing that God is the only power there is, the all-power and the omni- 
present power. If we think of God as Omniscience, then we also are 
not building an image in thought: we are merely realizing that there 
could not be a God if Its nature were not infinite intelligence. In- 
finite Intelligence, All-power, All-presence! And still there is no 
picture in our thought, still no image in thought, still no creating of 
a God in our image. 

Ultimately, every concept of God we have ever had must be 
dropped — every image, every belief. The moment we think Omnip- 
otence, Omnipresence, Omniscience, we have no time, no space, 
and no place, nor is there any time, place, or space where there 
is an absence of God. 

This may cause some to shout, "Oh, you have taken my Lord away 
from me. Where have you buried Him?" Yes, yes, we have, and that 
is a very healthy place to come to— where our Lord has been taken 
from us. But was it our Lord, or was it our concept of Lord that was 
taken away? 

Do not think for a minute that every one of us is not guilty of 
having created a God, and then going to Jerusalem to look for Him 
— to Rome, to Mecca, or somewhere else. We have all done that: 
it is part of human nature; it is part of the belief that we are man 
and that somewhere there is God — and if we could only get the two 
together! Originally, this was part of paganism, this making a mental 
image of what God is, and then going out to try to find Him. Later, 
this sense of separation from God was made a part of the teaching of 
Christianity. 

The beginner who thinks of God as something far-off, perhaps 
only half believing that there really is a God, should be guided into 
acknowledging that there is a God and that it is His good pleasure 
to give him the Kingdom. But that is really a trap into which we are 
leading him, for when he believes that there is a God and that God 
is within him, then afterward, when he is ripe, we tell him, "Now, 









RELEASE GOD 25 

throw it away. That image was all right for yesterday, but today let 
us throw all images away." 

"You mean there is not a God, that God is not within me, that 
there is no God above me, that there is no God here with me?" 

"No, that is not what I mean. I mean that God is both within 
and without, up there and down here." 

We are now making a transition, having gained a better image 
in mind than we had before, but only for the purpose of leading us 
step by step up to the moment when we can say, "Now be still, be 
still and know." That is all — just be still and know, but we are not to 
know anything because anything we know will be incorrect, only an 
object of sense, an object in mind. 

God is: that is enough to know. No images! No concepts! In the 
moment of not knowing, of unknowing — not in a moment of blank- 
ness, dullness, or of falling asleep — in a vibrant aliveness, God is 
experienced. Then we find that through this experience we live and 
move and have our being in God, and God in us. 

Mind and body cannot contain God, and He is so far beyond our 
imagination that no one can draw pictures of Him or hold mental 
ideas or concepts of what He really is. All we can do is to declare 
with all our heart and soul that God is. Only God can maintain and 
sustain the heavens, and hold the sun, the moon, and the stars in 
their orbits. Only that which is beyond man's ability to conceive 
could bring forth such wisdom as is evidenced by man's ingenuity in 
his discovery of the principles underlying the inventions resulting in 
the manufacture and use of the automobile, airplane, radio, tele- 
phone, television, space rockets, and atomic energy. Only out of the 
storehouse of God could these emanate. 

Who can stretch his imagination sufficiently to conceive what God 
<s, God that is the Source of all that exists in the sky and in the air 
a »d in the earth and in the waters beneath the earth? We earth bound 
creatures are aware of only one tiny corner of the universe, one little 
s ?eck called the earth, but what must the wisdom of God be that 
encompasses the countless planets, suns, moons, and stars of this and 
a " the other universes? 

' hink of the discoveries and inventions of past centuries, and then 



26 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

remember that an entire century is of no more importance or signifi- 
cance in the mind of God than is one grain of sand on all the beaches 
of the world. Think of what is yet to be revealed! Think of the 
marvels which already exist and have existed since time began, only 
awaiting to be revealed! 

After we begin to see how foolish it is to cling to a concept of God 
will come the second piece of wisdom, and we will see how foolish 
it is to tell God what we need or think we need, or to try to in- 
fluence Him through our prayers to give us our desires, as if He were 
capable of withholding good or as if He were some kind of human 
being with power to give and to withhold. How limited is our con- 
cept of God if we believe that we have the power to influence God to 
do for us what He is not already doing, and how finite our sense of 
God must be when we go to Him with our picayunish desires or 
approach Him in any way except to ask for light, grace, and wisdom, 
for an understanding of His ways, His laws, and His life. 

When we pray, we should release God from any personal obli- 
gation to us, release Him in the awareness that we are trusting that 
which created this universe to maintain and sustain Himself and His 
creation, that we are trusting God in His infinite wisdom to be about 
His business and God in His divine love to care for His own. When 
we do this, we are releasing God and no longer trying to channel 
Him in the direction of our personal desires. Actually, we shall find 
that we cannot release God, for God never was imprisoned in our 
mind or in our desires, nor was He ever obedient to our will. 

God will not change His ways to benefit or bless us: we must 
change our ways in order to receive God's grace. We cannot bring 
God to our disobedience and ignorance, but we can become obedient 
and spiritually wise. 

Let us give up every attempt to use God and every expectation 
that God will do our will or fulfill our desires, and yield ourselves to 
Him: 

Not my will, but Your will be done in me. I do not ask You to 
fulfill my desires, my hopes, or my ambitions: let me fulfill Your wilL 
Your grace, Your direction. 



RELEASE GOD 27 

You have never failed me, but now, Father, 1 ask in what way I 
have failed You. Nevermore will I ask You to do my will; nevermore 
will 1 pray that You do something for me. Use me; fulfill Yourself in 
me; let Your will be done in me. 

Release me, Father, from all desires, hopes, wishes, and plans. 
Let me be obedient to Your plan for me. Show me plainly the way 
in which I am to go, and 1 promise to follow the light as it is given 
to me. 1 

We must let go of God and let God use us. We must release Him 
from our mental clutches, stop hanging on to God, and let Him hang 
on to us. If we are in ignorance of God and His ways, let us become 
spiritually wise. If we are willfully disobedient to the laws of God, let 
us correct ourselves and bring ourselves into attunement and align- 
ment with His laws that the finger of God may touch us to His will 
and His grace. The moment we relax and stop trying to bring God to 
our mind or body, that moment we shall find that God has always 
been there. 

God has made a covenant with His own image and likeness: 

Fear not! Fear not! If you walk through the fire, the flames will not 
kindle upon you; if you walk through the water, you will not drown. 
I' ear not! Let go and be confident. In quietness and in confidence 
shall you realize your spiritual sonship. 

My peace, give I unto you. Do you not see that there is no need for 
you to struggle, no need to exert mental effort, or to attempt to mold 
My will to yours? My peace, I give to you. That is My gift to you, a 
spiritual gift of spiritual peace. Only let go! 

And still with some there is a mental strain, as if it were not true, 
as if we had to make it come true, or as if we had to woo God. The 

com t ltauc ™ d portions of this book are spontaneous meditations which have 
sen J ° auth or during periods of uplifted consciousness and are not in any 
insert mt 5 nded t0 be used as affirmations, denials, or formulas. They have been 
f t ] '" ? llis booi: from time t0 time to serve as examples of the free flowing 
merit 6 ■i 1 i rit ' As the reader practices the Presence, he, too, in his exalted mo- 
ts, will ieceive ever new and fresh inspiration as the outpouring of the Spirit. 



28 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

mind struggles to get God instead of to let God, while all the time 
the gentle Presence envelops and enfolds us. 

We cannot make God do our will, but that does not leave us hope- 
less. Rather does it give us added courage and strength because we 
know there is no need to reach God in order to sway, influence, or 
persuade Him. When we leam that, we will realize that instead of 
releasing God, we have released ourselves from finite concepts of 
God, from our ignorant superstitious beliefs about prayer, and from 
the paganistic belief that we know more than God and have more 
love than God. 

When we pray for ourselves or for our neighbors, we evidently 
think that we know better than God what our need is or what oul 
neighbor's need is, and furthermore that we have the love to want 
that neighbor to have it, but believe that God neither knows the 
need nor has the love to want to fulfill it. In our innermost heart 
we know that that is not true even though that is the human picture. 

Human picture or no human picture, however, it is not that way 
at all. God is not the servant of man and God does not act in 
accordance with what man thinks God should be or how He should 
work. If it were left to man to guide the affairs of the world, all his 
friends and relatives would be blessed and all his enemies cursed. 
Then, tomorrow when his enemy becomes his friend, this procedure 
might be completely reversed: he might begin to pray for the enemy 
who has now become his friend and curse the friend who has become 
his enemy. 

God is not like that. God is not changeable as we are, and we 
must give up these childish concepts of God and grow into spiritual 
adulthood, not attempting to tell God what His grace should be or 
when, but resting in the confidence that His grace is our sufficiency, 
and releasing ourselves from the absurd idea that we can reach some 
God who may, if it pleases Him, do something for us. 

Let us release ourselves into the rhythm of God and thereby be- 
come a part of the rhythm of this universe. The Master gave us 
explicit instructions as to how to do this; "'Take no thought for 
your life. ... It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the king- 
dom' — it is your Father's good pleasure to give you life eternal. Take 



RELEASE GOD 



29 



no thought for your supply, for it is your Father's good pleasure to 
give you supply. Take no thought for peace on earth, for it is your 
Father's good pleasure to give you peace on earth." 

Let us follow the Master's teaching. Let us give up believing that 
our wisdom is greater than God's wisdom or that our love is greater 
than God's love, and in silence let us accept God's grace. Silence is 
the only form of spiritual prayer. True, we may use words and 
thoughts to lift ourselves into an atmosphere where we can be still, 
but the words and thoughts we are using are not prayer: they are 
merely aids to lift us to the heights where prayer can be experienced. 
If prayer is to be effective, whatever words or thoughts we use in 
the preliminary stages of prayer must eventually come to a stop, and 
we must retire within in the attitude of "Speak, Lord; for thy servant 
heareth." Whether it takes a day, a year, or many years, it is impera- 
tive to have those periods of silence until we do hear that still small 
voice within and feel the Presence and Its power. 

We do not have to go anywhere to find God: we carry God within 
us, not in our mind and not in our body, and yet the kingdom of God 
is within us. God constitutes our being; God constitutes our life; 
therefore, our life is as eternal and immortal as God's life, for there 
is only one Life. God constitutes our consciousness; therefore, our 
consciousness is the same consciousness as the consciousness of God. 
There are not two: there is only one. "I and my Father are one. . . . 
He that seeth me seeth him that sent me." 

There is only one Life, infinite Life; there is only one Conscious- 
ness, infinite Consciousness; there is only one Soul, infinite Soul. The 
Soul of God embraces man; the consciousness of God contains man; 
and the life of God is the life of man — not a part of it, but all of it. 
To pray aright, then, means to release God from any obligation 
to give us more than we now have. True prayer is a realization that 
God constitutes out being and our life. God is the Father, and God 
•s the Son, and all that God the Father is, God the Son is; and all 
that God the Father has, God the Son has: all the dominion, the 
grace, and the glory. 

To pray without ceasing is to rejoice all day long that the grace of 
God is working in us and through us without our telling God or 



50 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

pleading with Him, without our asking or desiring anything from 
God because He has already given all good to us, and we have only 
to be still to realize it and show it forth. 

We have sought every kind of power in heaven and on earth to 
meet our needs except one, and that one is the power that is within 
us. That power is not in heaven, and it is not on earth; it is not to be 
found in a book, in a building, or in great teachers. True, it is within 
great teachers, but it is there in exactly the same measure that it is 
within you and me, and in no greater degree. We are all equal before 
God, and the grace of God that has given spirituality to one has given 
it to all. The one difference is that only a few seem to have gained 
access to it because only a few have learned that the power of God is 
made manifest in silence and in stillness. It is a power that we can- 
not use, but which we can permit to flow from us by our recognition 
and realization of it. 

As we walk the earth, realizing that the kingdom of God is within, 
we are releasing this power and letting it flow out from us to the 
world, but if we try to use the power of God or push it out into the 
world, we lose it. It is when we realize quietly, peacefully, and con- 
fidently that all the power of God is within us that we have it. We 
need but be still and know that God in the midst of us is mighty, 
and then go about our daily work, whatever it may be: housekeeping, 
painting pictures, building buildings, or ministering to the sick. We 
do all that we are called upon to do, always realizing that we are just 
witnesses to God's glory and to the kingdom of God within us. 

When we do this, our very presence makes the Spirit of God felt, 
giving peace and comfort and uplift to others, not because we want 
to be a blessing to our fellow man, but merely because we have 
learned to be still and let God's power and grace flow without any 
faelp from us, without forcing, begging, or pleading for it, and without 
nny thought that you and I are spiritual. There is only one Spirit, 
and that is God in the midst of us. 

We are dishonoring God if we think that He is withholding wis- 
dom, integrity, loyalty, fidelity, justice, or harmony from us or from 
anyone else. Whatever qualities seem to be absent will quicklv begin 
to appear as we learn to honor and love the Lord our God with all 
our heart: 






RELEASE COD 31 

I will rest in the assurance that Thou, God, knowest my need 
before I do, and it is Thy good pleasure to give me the kingdom. 

I will not seek: I will rest. I will release myself from any belief that 
Thou art separate and apart from me. "If I make my bed in hell" 
Thou art right there with me. If "I walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death" Thou art with me. Wherever I go, Thou goest 
with me, for I and Thou art one. 

Our realization and acknowledgment of this bring the presence of 
God into activity in individual experience. It is important to remem- 
ber that there is no power in the sky to which we can appeal to 
save this world from catastrophe. There is no power except what 
comes from God: there is no power in the whirlwind; there is no 
power in the storm or the tempest; there is no power in madmen; 
there is no power in ambition, lust, or greed. Power is only in the still 
small voice within. Then, as we tell no man what we have learned, 
but share the truth with those who by their dedication and devotion 
have shown their readiness for it, we will be releasing this infinite 
power into the world, and the world will respond. 

We do not have to do or think anything to release the kingdom 
of God into the world: we only have to know that it is, and be still. 
It will do its own work. It may be that the faithful practice of the 
principles of spiritual living by "ten righteous" men here, and 
another ten there, will release this power of God on earth. Nobody 
will be able to take credit for it. God's power has always been avail- 
able — that is the glory! And no one can brag or boast that he is able 
to use it. On the contrary, the greater the power that flows from a 
person, the less the person is as a person and the greater he is as a 
child of God. Within ourselves, however, we will know that releasing 
God into the world brings spiritual freedom and spiritual fulfillment 
to those who are receptive. 

God's will, God's love, and God's law are all-embracing truth and 
Universally in operation: for you, for me, for friend, enemy, saint, 
smner, for the just and for the unjust. God's activity is not directed 
t° you or me, and yet it includes you and me: it embraces all men 
because of its all-inclusiveness. 

^Ve cannot bring God to our body or mind: God is already the 



32 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

life of every body; every body is the temple of the living God, whether 
animal, vegetable, or mineral. We are now under God's law, God's 
love, and in God's being, not by bringing God to us but by bringing 
ourselves to God, and by placing every person— saint and sinner 
alike — in God. 

Those who bring themselves to God are the beneficiaries of God's 
grace. Those who try to "finitize" God and pull Him into their 
minds and bodies lose Him. Loose Him and have Him. 

When we release ourselves from the mental struggle and let God 
have His will here where we are, and in this whole universe, we have 
released God and we ourselves are free. The fetters that bind us are 
in the mind. It is with our mind that we are trying to hold on to God. 
If we let our mind relax, we will realize that we cannot lay hold of 
God, but that God can lay hold of us. We cannot use the mind to 
get God. Our mind has a function, and it can operate constructively 
in our life, but let us not try to use it to get God. 

There is no struggle except in the mind. When the mind is still, 
there is no strain, and God becomes a living presence: the Christ, 
the individualization and individual experience of God, has come 
alive in us. We feel It as a Presence, as a Cloak around us. 

Release God from any obligation, and let God perform His work. 









CHAPTER III 



THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE 



F 

-L ro 




rom earliest times this world with all its magnificence, yet punc- 
tuated by untold tragedy, has been a mystery, with man himself the 
greatest enigma of all. Here a man, and there a man, has sought to 
penetrate this mystery, but for the most part men have gone about 
their business, doing all that needed to be done humanly — some 
with great integrity and some with less, some with great ability and 
some with less, but all having one thing in common: all that existed 
for them was what they could see, hear, taste, touch, or smell, or 
could reason and think about. 

They might have looked up at the sky occasionally — a passing 
glance, a passing thought — but it had no meaning for them except 
that the sun was up there in the daytime, often very uncomfortable, 
and the stars and the moon were there at night, very beautiful. These 
things had no significance: they were just something they saw or felt, 
things they were aware of, but of which they had no knowledge, 
and in which, at the moment, no interest. 

To these people it was as if there were no world other than the 
°ne in which they lived. They saw the horizon, and it was so real 
">at, to them, it represented the edge of the world, and they did not 
dare to go out to investigate. Had they only known the global nature 

33 



34 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

of the earth and the laws of navigation, they could have sailed all 
around the world and found continents, islands, and unlimited 
wealth, but because of their ignorance, they were confined within 
the limits of their immediate environment. 

Similarly, is not the world today filled with people, educated and 
uneducated, yet knowing nothing beyond what they see, hear, taste, 
touch, smell, or feel? 

The human race, as we know it, is composed of men and women 
living completely shut off from divine aid, divine sustenance, and 
divine providence. From the most ancient of times up to modern 
days, man has not only lived by the sweat of his brow, but has en- 
gaged in strife to gain his ends, whether in the case of individuals, 
or companies under the name of competition, or as nations under 
the name of war. 

Somewhere along the road, man lost sight of his identity and began 
to look upon himself as a person separate and apart from his Source, 
under the necessity of earning his living, having to provide for his 
family, and later being compelled to protect his family and com- 
munity from neighboring peoples who had also lost the awareness of 
their true identity and, in seeking their livelihood, cared little 
whether they gained it by earning, stealing, or by going to war for it. 
Thus developed this world of human beings, each one of whom looks 
upon himself as an individual separate and apart from others, with 
interests of his own and with the responsibility on his shoulders of 
providing not only for the present but for the future. 

Among even primitive peoples, however, there must have been 
some not earthbound, some able to rise above their surroundings, 
able to rise in consciousness, and at least begin to question the 
wonders of this universe. Those who watched the sky out on the 
desert on a clear night, the stars hanging low, probably a moon 
close by, or those who were alone on the sea surely must have sensed 
the mystery of the atmosphere, of the sky, and something even of the 
incomprehensibility of the desert and the sea. 

The awesomeness of this great universe undoubtedly raised ques- 
tions in ,the mind of the person who was already attuned to its 
mysteries, or who for one reason or another had come into this world 



THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE 3 5 

unbound, not of the earth, earthy, walking the world, but not of it. At 
nighttime, as he looked up into those wondrous, faraway, unreach- 
able stars, he must have felt that there was a hidden mystery, some- 
thing not known to the mind of man. Yet here it was; it existed. There 
must be a meaning to those stars in the sky; there must be a cause. 
To him, whether on land or sea, came the inevitable questions: 
What lies behind this visible world? How did this world come into 
existence? How did I come into existence? What am I doing on 
earth? Is this really life— being bom, doing a little hunting and 
fishing, raising a family and carrying on a business, and then getting 
old and dying? Is this universe the product of something greater 
than I, or am I just a little bit of protoplasm thrown out here on the 
earth for a time and for no good reason? Is this an accidental world? 
Am I here as a victim of chance and change, a victim of a merciless 
desert, of a tidal wave, a hurricane, floods, fire, or other cataclysmic 

disasters? 

There must have been times in the experience of the men who 
sought to penetrate the mystery of life when they envisioned the 
possibility of being the masters rather than the victims, when they 
really believed that this world had been given to them, and that it 
was theirs. These may have been fleeting glimpses, but nevertheless 
they surely were there. 

Probably long days and nights of riding a camel across the desert 
or waiting on board a small ship for a catch of fish led to extended 
periods of introspection, wondering and pondering. True, this may 
not have happened often, but someone, somewhere in the dim, 
dark past, thousands of years before recorded history, caught a 
glimpse of the inner man, the inner Self, and each one must have 
interpreted and evaluated it differently. 

As the centuries rolled by, the record of these many revelations 
shows us clearly and unmistakably that these men of the long gone 
past knew that they, as human beings, were not the men of God's 
creating. They discovered, centuries before Abraham, Isaac, and 
lacob, that there is within every person what has been called the 
Christ, the spiritual man, the divine Self, the infinite Ego, the son 
of God, and although each of these ancient mystics coined new 



36 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

words and new terms to express this Withinness, they are all descrip- 
tive of the same experience. 

Four thousand years before the birth of the Master Christ Jesus, 
there were teachers of spiritual vision revealing to their followers 
man's true identity and instructing them how to live by an internal 
Grace, rather than by external might and power. Those who were 
at all receptive were drawn to these teachings and undoubtedly some 
of them made the transition from the man of earth to the man who 
has his being in Christ. There perhaps were not too many because 
mankind as a whole has remained in complete ignorance of the 
spiritual way of life. This ignorance can be likened to a group of 
people, born and brought up on an island with no knowledge of, or 
contact with, the outside world and therefore living as if their par- 
ticular island were the circumference of the entire world with nothing 
going on except what was taking place in that small and isolated 
sphere. 

In much this same way the three-dimensional man, the man of 
earth, lives in a world circumscribed by his own limited concept of 
himself and his world, believing that that is all the world there is 
and that in order to survive it is necessary to lie, cheat, and to use 
all the tricks of the trade even up to, and including, warfare. To him, 
might is a right and normal way, and anything else is a sign of 
weakness. This is the life lived by the man who is in ignorance of the 
truth that there is another realm of consciousness which he could 
enter and there find a more glorious life, one not lived by might or 
by power, a world in which he could live at peace with his neigh- 
bors, with his competitors, and with all other races and religions on 
the face of the earth. 

Just as the people on the isolated island could not move out into 
a world they did not know existed, or the American Indians of five 
hundred years ago could not move to Europe because they were not 
aware that there was such a place, so it has never been possible at 
any time in the past several thousands of years to tell man that he is 
living in the prison of his own mind, hedged in by his own limita- 
tions. How could man visualize such a thing! How' could he believe 
something so far beyond his wildest imagination! 



THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE 



37 









There have been individuals, however, who first of all had some 
kind of an inner conviction that there is something beyond and 
greater than this state of limitation, this state of mental imprison- 
ment, and glimpsed that there is a fourth-dimensional or spiritual 
realm about which they knew nothing. They merely had the feeling 
within themselves that there must be something more to life than 
being born, acquiring a family, making a livelihood, and dying; there 
must be something better, something beyond all this. 

The few who experienced this inner stirring were those who began 
the search. But where and how could they begin to search for the 
unknown? In those days, there were no books in which it could be 
found, no schools, and no public libraries. How, then, could man 
begin his search and where would he begin it? We can only specu- 
late as to what he did, but that he had to begin within himself we 
can be almost certain; there was no other place to turn. So probably 
he began asking himself questions, pondering circumstances that 
surrounded him, thinking about the meaning of them, and trying to 
see beyond the appearance. 

Miracle of miracles, one day something wonderful might happen, 
and he would meet another man in whom he felt some sense of 
kinship and attraction, and soon these two men would be talking to 
each other, and then it would come to light that they were both 
trying to fathom the same mystery and break through the veil of 
illusion. 

It might be that one man would say, "You know, I have heard 
of a man over in the next village who seems to know something, 
a very strange man. Let us go and find him." And off they would go 
to find this strange character in a neighboring community. At first 
they may not have been able to get a word out of him, but their 
persistence finally might force their new-found acquaintance to 
recognize them as set apart and on the Path, and then he might 
begin to reveal to them the little secrets that he had discovered, He 
""grit tell them of a temple miles away that other men of like mind 
We te using as a meeting place. 

In a temple, in a cave, or far back in the hills, they might come 
upon some group of men who had found spiritual truth, and they 



. 



38 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

would then join this group. As time went on, these groups multi- 
plied until there were some who had received the full light of 
spiritual understanding. Experience soon taught them that there 
was no use going out into the highways and byways to tell this to 
other persons because most persons live inside their own minds, 
limited by their own ignorance, and are unable to visualize anything 
beyond their present mode of life, and therefore they cannot accept 
any new teaching. 

In the light of the gross ignorance of humankind, is it not quite a 
miracle that Jesus found even as many as a dozen disciples whom 
he could ask to leave their nets and follow him? The man of earth 
living in his shell of ignorance, could have responded only with "How 
can I ear n a living without nets to catch fish, or without a farm to 
till? And you are telling me to leave all that! How can I do it?" 

But evidently those who were drawn to the Master had enough 
inner intuition to understand that even if they did not know where 
he was leading them, at least they had the discernment to know that 
the Master knew, and they could trust him. 

Today, as then, if we tell the world that it is not necessary to live 
in a dog-eat-dog world, but that there is another way, the question 
comes back, "Well, what is it?" And there is no answer. The ma- 
terialist has no way of comprehending what is meant by living by 
Grace or how to live "not by might, nor by power" but by the Spirit 
of God. Tins is a language that is as foreign to him as Sanskrit, and 
so today, as then, the spiritual message reaches only those men on 
earth who for some reason or other have had their eyes opened to a 
Something beyond themselves and their world of strife and struggle 
-not because anyone has told them or because they have read about 
it, but because of their inner feeling. These are the people who even- 
tually are led to a spiritual teaching. These are the ones who already 
have eyes that can see and ears that can hear. These beginners on 
the spiritual path are the neophytes, who even while living on this 
human plane of mind and body are expanding the.r vision and 
catcn.ng gl impses of another state Qf consdm]Sness< ™ w 
begun the search. 
With some, the search for ultimate reality is a very long search and 



r 


















THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE 



39 



a roundabout way with many, many false steps. But in the end, none 
f this is important. The only thing that is important is that the 
search be begun and then that the seekers maintain within them- 
selves a sufficient drive so that even if they have to take the long way 
around and meet with stumblings and barriers, with discouragements 
and problems, they do not give up, but always maintain within 
themselves the hope and the conviction that there is a way to reach 
this realm of the Real. With that inner conviction, step after step 
will unfold, until eventually they find themselves home in God. 
That was ensured right from the beginning of their journey on the 
spiritual path. 

The reason they could not take the step directly or quickly is that 
the goal is something that as human beings they cannot conceive. 
They do not know how to go directly to it, and therefore they follow 
any little path that opens to them that promises it might take them 
there, and very often find themselves going down a blind alley or a 
dead-end street, having to retrace their steps and start all over again. 
If they could but know positively what the goal is, they might reach 
it more directly and quickly. 

The things of God are such foolishness to the man of earth that 
even if he were told what the truth is, it would appear so ridiculous 
to him that he could not accept it, and for this reason alone he would 
be led into all kinds of bypaths, trying to find ways that seemed more 
sensible and reasonable to him. To the "man, whose breath is in his 
nostrils," the spiritual path is absolutely impractical and unreason- 
able. 

To this man of earth, everything in the world is accomplished 
through external activities, and so when he begins to seek for truth, 
he tends to continue to search in the external, seeking in holy moun- 
tains or in holy temples, thinking to find it here or there, even though 
the Master stated very clearly that the kingdom of God is neither 
Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within 
you." That is plain language, but human beings cannot accept or 
believe it, and the reason they do not believe it is that they cannot 
understand it. It is so foreign to their thinking that it does not 
register with them as being plausible or even as a possibility. 



40 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

After a person has been on the spiritual path for a sufficiently 
long period of time, however, eventually a revelation comes to him 
from within his own being, or he is led to a teacher who can reveal 
truth, and probably by the time he has found this teacher, he has 
reached a readiness which enables him to assimilate the truth that is 
to be imparted to him. 

Human beings are the un illumined; they are born and brought up 
in ignorance of their true identity, in ignorance of that indwelling 
Something, and uninstructed by the divine Master. This is the human I 
race as we know it; these are the people we read about in the news- I 
papers: those in prison, in the prison of lack, sin, and disease, in the 
prison of political and ecclesiastical slaver)', and scholastic ignorance j 
— these are the unillumined, the earthbound. 

From the beginning of all revelation it has been pointed out that 
this need not be, that at any time we can turn within and begin our ' 
ascent out of the tomb of our darkness, out of the prison into the 
light, out of ignorance into understanding. The unillumined can ' 
become the illumined. The man living in darkness can become the 
light of the world. The man living in sin, disease, and poverty can I 
become the son of God, and thereby an heir of God, joint-heir to all ] 
of heaven. 

Knowing this marks the beginning of our spiritual journey, the 
ultimate end and purpose of which is illumination. In mystical 
literature this illumination is referred to as initiation, or attaining 
that mind that was also in Christ Jesus. What difference does it 
make how this is expressed? The meaning is clear, and when our 
footsteps have been directed to a spiritual path, inevitably we shall 
arrive. 

The ancients who discovered that within themselves was a Some- 
thing recognized that whatever it was they had touched was not out 
floating around in the air, nor did they have reason to believe that it 
was up in the sky. They sensed that there was a Something indwell- 
ing— a Something with a capital "S," Something that had a voice, 
Something that could impart, Something that could reveal, and so 
they learned to be attentive. They learned the nature of the ear that 
can hear. They communed within themselves, and when the answer 




THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE 



41 




came, they knew that from some deep pool within themselves, 
some depth of Withinness, pearls of wisdom were being given. 

So it was, then, that some one or more among these ancients de- 
clared, and later wrote, that there is an indwelling Presence, that 
there is a Christ, or son of God, within, but they were wise enough 
to realize that this was really only another dimension of themselves. 
It was not some other person occupying them: it was some deeper, 
richer Self, and gradually they learned to commune with this inner, 
divine, spiritual Self. They learned to receive instruction, and the in- 
struction that they received became the basis of the religious teach- 
ings of the great mystery and wisdom schools of India, Tibet, Egypt, 
and later of Greece, Rome, and the Holy Lands. 

Long, long centuries before Jesus, it was revealed that there is this 
inner Self which is our true Self, and which is the Mediator be- 
tween man and God. The connecting link between us and our 
Source is this divine Center within us, the Christ of which Paul 
speaks, the Father that dwelleth in us of which Jesus speaks. This is 
the Mediator by means of which we reach the ultimate and absolute 
Source of our being from whence we derive our experience on earth, 
our function, task, and duty, our life, immortality, harmony, and our 
preparation for the next phase of life, that which is to come when 
we have been graduated from this earthly experience. 

No one can commune with his Mediator, with his Christ-Self, 
except by engaging in periods of introspection and inner communion. 
If we keep ourselves so unreasonably busy in the outer world, how- 
ever, that we do not have frequent periods of turning within, we miss 
the ultimate experience of receiving the word of God out of the 
mouth of God. 

'I Tie purpose of a mystical teaching is to reveal the son of God 
within. It is not to instill in us the worship of another deity in the 
person of the founder of a new religion. True, even' spiritual teacher 
must evoke gratitude and appreciation because of his life of dedica- 
tion, but not worship. The real mission of the teacher and his teach- 
lri g is to turn us back within ourselves until we, too, like the teacher, 
r eceive impartations. When this begins in our experience, the earth 
melts, the problems disappear; the discordant experiences of earth 



42 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

are resolved and dissolved— not by any wisdom that we have, not by 
what we have learned in books, but by the thunder of that silence 
which is within us. 

We need not hear an audible voice — we may, but it is not neces- 
sary. We need not see any visions — we may, but it is not important. 
What is necessary and important is that we enter the sanctuary, this 
temple of God that we are and in which the presence of God dwells. 
When we recognize this and go within, we then begin to commune 
with that Presence. Very soon we shall see fruitage in our life, and 
things will begin to happen for which we know we were not humanly 
responsible. Something has gone before us to make the way straight; 
Something has gone before us to prepare mansions for us; Something 
walks beside us to protect us from the discords and inharmonies of 
earthly living. 

Only when we begin to understand that there is an inner king- 
dom, only when we can agree that there is a realm of knowledge 
unknown to "the natural man," only then can we begin our search. 
We must arrive at the point where we are able to perceive what the 
Master meant when he said, "My kingdom is not of this world. . . . 
Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the 
sword shall perish with the sword." 

The mystical way, the infinite way, is not the way of the sword; 
it is not the way of might or force: it is the way of stillness. Sooner 
or later we must see that within us there is an inner realm. It will 
answer every question. It will teach us in the only place where we 
can be taught — within. The still small voice will instruct us in what- 
ever our particular gift, talent, or field may be, whether in spiritual or 
mathematical wisdom, art, literature, science, or music. 

So great a genius as Einstein was aware that there is a point in 
mathematics where the most brilliant mathematician comes to an 
end of reasoning and thinking and steps off into the intuitive. And so, 
if we wish to be limited by what everyone else has said about mathe- 
matics, or what everyone else has written about music, we will be, 
but we need not be. 

All the art, science, mathematics, and religion have come out of the 
Soul of man through his turning within and bringing forth glories 



THE SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE 



43 









that have never before been known on earth, and there are still 
greater things yet to be revealed. How far we are from tapping the 
inner resources of our being! This makes it clear why it is necessary 
in our age to attain the ability to meditate, to cogitate, and to com- 
mune with our inner Self. 

It is not too difficult to learn to do this after we come into the 
awareness that there is a Presence that dwells within us. That was 
God's gift to us in the beginning, and without this gift of God, man 
would be an animal. The fact, therefore, that we have risen this far 
above the animal stage proves that we have something within us that 
has been developed to a higher degree. We are only at the beginning, 
however, and just as the spider unfolds its web from within its own 
being, so we must unfold grace, divine wisdom, and divine power 
from within our own being. 

The unillumined, unaware that they can have recourse to an 
inner infinite Soure, have to endure all the limitations of this 
world. The illumined, who have touched the infinite Divinity at the 
center of their being, are never limited to time, space, place, or 
amount. There is no limitation when we realize that the whole king- 
dom of God is locked up within us. It does not have to be attained; 
we do not have to go to God for it: we have to loose it from within 
ourselves. 

God, in the beginning, planted Himself in us and breathed into us 
His breath of life. He did not breathe into us human life: He 
breathed into us His life. God did not give us a limited soul, but the 
Soul of God — infinite, eternal, and immortal — if we but go to that 
Center. 

When we have opened this Source within ourselves, we shall find 
the Master there. We are never the Master: we are always the ser- 
vant. But once we are illumined, the Master within us is expressing, 
functioning, and performing. 

Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." Who is 
this He? The Master, the Spirit of God in us, the son of God that is 
raised up by virtue of our acknowledgment and humility — not hu- 
^dity in the human sense of permitting ourselves to be imposed upon 
° r having to endure abuse, but humility in the sense of realizing that 



1 



44 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

whatever it is we are, it is because of the Master flowing out through 
us. Without that, we would be nothing, less than nothing. The Spirit 
of God has lifted us above the animal man into a people who can 
live not only according to the Ten Commandments, but who can 
go far beyond them into the Sermon on the Mount, and beyond the 
Sermon on the Mount into a life by Grace in that interior kingdom. 



CHAPTER IV 



THE JOURNEY WITHIN 



T 

lhe 



he person who is one with God is merely the transparency 
through which God is living Its life: he does not have a life of his 
own, a mind of his own, or even a body of his own. His body is the 
temple of God, and his mind is the instrument of God, the mind 
which was also in Christ Jesus. That mind can be attained only in 
silence, not with words or with thoughts, although words and 
thoughts may be used as a preliminary step in what we know as 
meditation, which plays a vitally important part in the development 
of our spiritual life. 

Without the practice of meditation, a spiritual teaching, whether 
pursued under the guidance of a personal teacher or through the study 
°f books, descends to a purely mental exercise. Spiritual unfoldment 
cannot come that way. It is meditation that makes a teaching come 
alive, because meditation is the connecting link between our outer life 
a nd our inner Self, which is God. 

It is true that in the first stage of our spiritual life the only way we 

can fill our consciousness with truth is through the mind. That is why 

ln The Infinite Way we do not seek to stop the operation of the mind; 

^e never tell anyone to stop thinking, to make any effort to stop 

nought, or to try to destroy the thinking mind because the mind is 

45 



46 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

the gateway through which truth finds entrance to our consciousness. 
The mind is the instrument through which we can become aware of 
the spiritual wisdom of the ages— Scripture and spiritual literature and 
teachings. It is through the mind that we discipline the body and 
that we seek to discipline our thoughts; it is the mind that keeps itself 
stayed on God; it is with the mind that we think spiritual thoughts; 
it is with the mind that we ponder the deep things of the Spirit. 

This pondering, these thoughts and words, we call contemplative 
meditation. The words may be spoken or they may be thought, but 
they are only a step leading to meditation itself. Since it is almost 
impossible for most of us to keep thoughts from swirling about in the 
mind and since it is difficult to bring about a complete cessation of 
thought, the practice of contemplative meditation helps us reach a 
state of consciousness in which we find ourselves ultimately in a com- 
plete silence. A weight goes off the shoulders, and perhaps for ten, 
twenty, or thirty seconds we are so still that not a single thought in- 
trudes. That stillness at best, however, is a very brief period, but re- 
gardless of how brief it is, in those few seconds we have attained our 
contact with God, and that is all that is necessary for that moment. 
Then we resume our conscious thinking and are ready to go about our 
business. 

When we sit down to meditate, we must seek to hear only the word 
of God, desire only the feeling of God's presence, only the re-establish- 
ment of ourselves with our inner Source, and nothing beyond that. 
Then, when we feel the assurance of the Presence, our meditation is 
complete: the Word becomes flesh, and the Spirit felt within us be- 
comes tangible as individual experience. 

It is when we think we know what things we have need of that we 
are making our greatest mistake because we are measuring our needs 
in terms of our previous or present experience, and are looking upon 
life as a continuation of our past, the same, monotonous, dull way of 
existence, except with possibly the addition of a little more health or 
money; whereas, when the Spirit of God takes over in our conscious- 
ness, It fulfills Itself at Its own level. That fulfillment may carry us 
off into a new country or into a new activity— business, artistic, pro- 
fessional, or social— because we have no way humanly of knowing the 






THE JOURNEY WITHIN 47 

will of God any more than we know the ways of God. But God's will 
can work through us if we surrender ourselves and realize : 

Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things. I take no thought for the 
form in which that Grace should appear; I take no thought as to how 
Thy will should work in me, or Thy ways. I seek only Thy grace. 

J am content to relax in the assurance that Thou art omniscience, 
all-knowing intelligence, divine, infinite, all-love, and I can trust my- 
self more to the infinite Intelligence that governs this universe than 
I can to my own judgment as to what I need, or what I would like to 
do, or how I would like to live. Certainly, I can trust myself more to 
the care of divine Love than I can to my own finite sense of love which 
is not even as a grain of sand in comparison with the nature of that 
Love which is God. 

With each meditation there must be this surrender of ourselves to 
the Spirit within, together with a realization that God's grace is our 
sufficiency and that we are in meditation for the express purpose of 
receiving the comfort of His presence. Nothing greater can come to 
us than the still small voice of assurance because then we know that all 
of Infinity is pouring Itself out for us, all of Omnipotence, and in that 
there can be no power apart from God. 

Once we know the nature of God, even in a measure, doubt and 
fear seldom enter our consciousness because to know the nature of 
God means to realize Omnipresence: God, here where we are now — 
hereness, nowness. Knowing that, we relax in it, and we have nothing 
more to do than to let there be light: let there be light in our life, let 
there be love, let there be health, strength, and abundance, just let. 
We do not try to make it so because, understanding the nature of 
God, we know that it is God's will to provide all good. 

My customary method of entering contemplative meditation is to 
°pen my ears for a second for a subject to be given me, and if it does 
n °t come quickly, then I take the word God. In my first meditation 
early in the morning before I am out of bed, I attempt to align my- 
self with the presence and power of God so that my day will be God- 
governed, and not man-governed: a day of spiritual fulfillment, not 



48 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

one filled with accidents, limitations, mistakes, and human judgment. 
And so the contemplative part of the meditation might follow some 
such pattern as this : 

"This is the day which the Lord hath made." God made the sun 
to shine today, giving us its light and warmth; God has provided the 
rain and the snow in their due seasons; God has regulated the incom- 
ing and outgoing of the tides. God has provided periods for sowing 
and for reaping, for activity and for rest. God governs this world with 
infinite wisdom, intelligence, and patience. 

This day I am God-governed. God is the intelligence directing the 
activity of my day, the still small voice protecting and sustaining me. 

This is my prayer— that I be God-governed, that I never forget to 
seek God every moment of the day. I pray that 1 may never forget to 
thank God for my daily bread, never forget to realize God as the 
Source of all, and that 1 am never unmindful of the limitless abund- 
ance of supply which God expresses through me to all those who 
come within range of my consciousness. 

God's grace is with me throughout this day, and His presence goes 
before me and walks beside me. In this Presence there is harmony and 
fulfillment because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom j 
from any and every limitation. 

Then, having established myself in this meditation of words and 
thoughts, I can now enter the true meditation or communion in which 

I invite God, " 'Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth Thy will be 

done— not mine." After a short period of listening, of inner com- 
munion, stillness, quietness, and peace, the awareness of the Presence 
is with me. And now I am free to go about my day's work. 

The stress of the day, however, and the mesmerism of the world's 
animosity, jealousy, and intrigue have a tendency to enter my con- 
sciousness as well as yours, and with these come disturbing moments, 
so there must be another period of contemplative meditation, and 
this time it may take a different form. 

"My peace 1 give unto you" is the promise of the Master, "not as 
the world giveth"—not the peace that comes from a pocketful of 




THE JOURNEY WITHIN 49 

jnoney or from a bankful of bonds, not the peace that comes from 
just a healthy body — but "My peace," spiritual peace, the peace that 
passes understanding. That peace is all 1 seek; that is all I desire. 1 do 
not ask for silver or gold, nor for the good or the peace of this world. 
I ask only that this "My peace" be upon me. 

Then I wait for those few minutes of inner communion, and again 
I have prayed the prayer of a righteous man because I have sought 
nothing but that which is the divine right of everyone: God's grace 
and God's peace, not only for me, but for all those who may be led into 
the realm of my consciousness. 

Contemplative meditation, practiced faithfully, leads to a moment 
of silence in which all words and thoughts are stilled, a silence so deep 
that we become a transparency for the still small voice to speak to us. 
The contemplation of God's grace, of God as the One and Only, and 
the contemplation of scriptural passages which give the assurance of 
the divine Presence lead to 3n inner stillness, and then the second 
phase of meditation enters our experience. That is when something 
comes to us, not something that we have consciously thought, hut 
something that was thought through us. These thoughts come out of 
the void, from the depth of the Infinite Invisible, out of that spiritual 
consciousness which we are. 

At other times a message may come to us, and if not an actual mes- 
sage, a sensing that all is well, just a feeling of peace. Sometimes it is 
a feeling of warmth, gratitude, or of love— not fo anybody, or for any- 
body, or for any thing. It is a feeling complete in itself with no object. 
« we are faithful in our work, this continues to occur more and more 
frequently until the day comes when we abide so much in the Word 
rl, at we are more or less in It all the time, and need only a moment of 
tillness to bring forth some particular message to meet the need of 
9*e moment. In this stage we have risen above the thinking mind, and 
15 no longer our master: it is now our instrument. As long as we are 
" earth, however, we are going to need our thinking mind, and we 
°uld thank God for having given us one, but as we go higher and 



higher 



Part 



in consciousness, this thinking mind will play a lesser and lesser 



'" our spiritual life. 



50 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

In this stage of our spiritual instruction, the impartation of truth 
comes from within like an invisible Something pouring Itself out. We 
merely tune in, and It imparts Itself to us. This is where two enter the 
scene: I, myself, in meditation or contemplation come face to face with 
the Presence within me, with that Something other than myself. This 
may take the form of an inner glow, or at other times of a voice within 
which seems actually to speak. 

Sometimes we are not sure whether it really was a voice that we 
heard or only an impression that we received. But whatever the form, 
it is in this stage that we are in communion with God. An activity 
takes place that goes back and forth, almost as if it were from me to 
God and from God to me — a gentle flow backward and forward, in. 
and out. Then I know that the Spirit is with me. "The Spirit of the 
Lord God is upon me. . . . Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is i 
liberty." It is an actual experience of release. 

The third stage, that of conscious union with God, is the ultimate, 
and in this stage the personal or separate selfhood disappears. It is as 
if one were not aware of himself as a person, but as if only God Itself 
were there. It must have been in moments like this that the Master 
spoke from the standpoint of the word I 1 : "I will never leave thee, 
nor forsake thee." That was not a man speaking: that was God speak- 
ing, and at such times the man Jesus was temporarily absent from the 
body. Later that same man said, "If I go not away, the Comforter will 
not come unto you." That was God speaking when Jesus was absent 
from himself and only the Spirit of the Lord was present. 

There is a Presence that is as real as we are real to one another, and 
once It is felt and experienced, there is a relaxing from personal effort. 
When this Presence is realized, we shall find that It takes form as new 
organs and functions of the body, as our home, family, supply, and as 
our human relationships, even as a parking space. 

"I can of mine own self do nothing" is the man Jesus speaking, but 
then as the Presence is realized, "I have meat to eat ye know not of." 
Later comes the third stage, when God speaks as individual being: 
"I am the way, the truth, and the life," This is the Word made flesh, 
God incarnate walking this earth, and that ultimately is the destiny 
of every individual. 

1 The word "J," italicized, refers to God. 







THE JOURNEY WITHIN 51 

There is an overturning and an overturning and an overturning in 
individual consciousness "until he come whose right it is." That He is 
God, There will be an overturning in our consciousness, and it will 
appear to us as a warfare between the flesh and the Spirit, a warfare 
between disease and health, between lack and abundance, and finally 
between the two I's : the I that we are as a person and the I that is God. 
And oh, the human being "dies" so hard! He wants to perpetuate 
himself; he wants to be something, to do something, to know some- 
thing. Thus, the warfare goes on until finally that human being is 
shaken so thoroughly that he awakens to the fact that of himself he is 
nothing, but that the I which is God is all. 

Then meditation takes on its final phase. When, in this nothingness 
of the individual, the Father speaks-takes over, heals, redeems, and 
instructs— then the Father lives that life. 

Eventually, every one of us will come to Paul's state of consciousness 
in the realization, " 'I live; yet not I, but Christ,' the son of God, the 
very Spirit and presence of God, lives my life." Then, and only then, 
are we a state of humility that has in it not a single trace of virtue,' 
but only the realization of the truth that we are nothing, that we can 
do nothing and be nothing of ourselves. 

It is true that this may bring with it a sense of emptiness, but 
strangely enough with that sense of emptiness, there comes a sense 
of completeness and perfection. Yet this is not in any personal sense; 
it is not that egotistic sense that claims "I am spiritual," "I am per- 
fect," or "I am whole." It is more a sense of having no qualities of 
our own and yet feeling this transcendental Presence and watching 
It live our life. 

Once we are united with our Source, we discover that our life is 
really the life of the Life-stream, the life of the Source of life which is 
now flowing as our life. We are being fed by the Stream, by the 
Waters falling from the clouds above, by a Source greater than our- 
Se 'ves which is now flowing as our life. 

Knowing this truth is a freeing activity. No longer do we feel cut 

and alone, nor dependent only on ourselves: we are united with 

j e Life-stream, no longer limited to our own wisdom, strength, or 

fgevity, to our education, our social or economic status. Now we 

ay e access to Infinity: infinite Wisdom, infinite Love, infinite Life, 



52 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

the infinite Source of all good. No longer are we limited to our im- 
mediate surroundings, to an island or a continent, and not even 
limited to a whole planet. There is no limitation except that which 
man places upon himself by believing that what he sees of this world 
is all theie is to it, or that what he sees in the mirror is all there is to 
him. What he is aware of with his senses is a part of him, but cer- 
tainly rot the whole of his being, just as his little finger is a part of 
his hand, but not the whole of it. 

When we attain this contact with our Source, we have also made 
contact with the Source of every person's life and are now one with all 
spiritual life. The same life that flows in one of us is flowing in all of 
us because there is only one Life-stream, only one Source of life, one 
creative Force in life. Whether that spiritual life appears as a human 
being, as animal, vegetable, or mineral form, we are now one with it 
through the act of meditation which has united us with the Stream 
within us, and we are one with the Stream which was in Christ Jesus, 

The mind which was in Christ Jesus is your mind and my mind, 
and when we have broken through this human exterior of mind and, 
through meditation, have contacted the Source, we are then one with 
the spiritual mind of the universe, which is the mind of the Buddha, 
of Jesus, of Lao-tse, and the mind of every spiritual saint and seer. We 
have become one with it when we have become one with the Source 
of our own life. 

The Spirit that is flowing through us is now consciously flowing 
through all those who are attuning themselves to that One— those who 
may be praying in orthodox churches or those who may be praying a 
paganistic prayer. We are a blessing unto all of them because, regard- 
less of their form of worship and while they may not know it, they are 
turning to Something beyond the human, and in turning to that 
Something, they are turning to the Christ, and all who reach out to 
the Spirit in any way are blessed. 

Often people in the last stages of illness who may not be religious 
or may not even have thought of themselves in spiritual terms reach 
out to God in their extremity and receive healing. Doctors report 
that many times patients have had sudden healings without any 
known reason, but this was perhaps because within themselves there 





THE JOURNEY WITHIN 53 

w3 s a reaching out toward God, and they probably tuned in and made 
contact with someone in the act of meditation, and thus their prayer 
w -as answered. As long as we succeed in making contact with our 
Source, anybody, anywhere in the world, who is turning to Something 
greater than himself, tuning in to God on any level — a false or a right 
concept of God— may benefit from our meditation. 

When we are filled with the Spirit, then everyone who is attuned 
receives that Grace, each in accord with his need at that moment. 
One receives God's grace in a physical or mental healing, another in a 
moral or financial healing, and still another in greater joy in his house- 
hold. The degree of dedication of our individual lives and the purity 
of our consciousness and motives have an effect on the lives of all who 
come in contact with us. Our individual conscious oneness with God 
becomes a blessing unto all those who are receptive. Every time God 
is released into this world through us, It has the opportunity of going 
out into the world and neutralizing some of the carnal influences in 
government, the courts, business, and industry, even in the arts and 
professions. 

Every time that we meditate— and we meditate only for the attain- 
ment of this conscious awareness, this "peace, be still"— we are at that 
same moment lessening the evil and selfish influences in the world. 
The degree to which evil seems to be lessened may be of minute pro- 
portions—it probably is— but once the Spirit is loosed, there are no 
limits to Its far-reaching effects because there is no such thing as a little 
of Spirit or a little power in this Spirit. 

The Spirit Itself in infinite, and It is just as infinite through one as 
It is through a million. This is proved in the lives of the great mystics: 
me Spirit of God in Jesus Christ became the release unto a whole 
Christian world; the Spirit in Gautama the Buddha became the light 
a nd the illumination to all of India, China, and Japan for a long 
Period of time. We cannot measure the effect of the Spirit, even when 
" e Spirit finds entrance to this world through, or as, the consciousness 
of one individual. 

fTie ultimate of spiritual living is to live so completely in attune- 
^ent with the Source, God in the midst of us, that the influence of 
w °o which is flowing through us will flow out and be a law of good 



54 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

unto all who come within range of our consciousness, thereby lifting 
them up and increasing their desire for the spiritual. 3 

2 For a complete exposition of the subject of meditation, see the author's': 
The Art of Meditation (New York": Harper & Row, 1056; London: George 
Allen and Unwin, 1957). 




CHAPTER V 



SOWING AND REAPING 



M, 




.ost people of the world believe that the evils they experience 
have come upon them because of their sins of omission or commission. 
Essentially this is true. But because they also believe that God has 
inflicted these evils upon them as a punishment, they have been 
cheated of the opportunity of avoiding them in the future. As long as 
they believe that God, for any reason whatsoever, would sink a ship, 
let an airplane fall, or permit children or adults to be mangled, lost, 
drowned, or suffer disease, they cheat themselves of the opportunity of 
learning why these ills have come upon them, and what they can do to 
prevent them from touching their households. 

The sun, the moon, and the stars were certainly not given by God 
to the people of the earth as a reward for anything, nor were the 
stiver and the gold, the platinum and the diamonds, the rubies and the 
sa Pphires in the bowels of the earth, nor the pearls and the im- 
measurable riches in the sea. All these are but the natural order of 
Nation appearing in wondrous ways, but never given as a reward 
c °m God, nor withheld as a punishment. The real nature of God is 
express Himself, to express His qualities, character, and nature as a 
harmonious universe, 
" we could but see this world without people, we might better be 

55 



56 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

able to understand that it is a perfect creation of God, functioning 
harmoniously and operating continuously. Whatever problems arise, 
arise not from the world as such but from man himself. Acknowledg- 
ing, then, that God is the creator of this universe, the maintainer and 
sustainer of it, and that God governs this universe perfectly, without 
any help, advice, or urging from man, we stop holding God responsible 
for our ills and turn within and ask ourselves, "What about error? 
What about evil? Whence come these, and how can we rid ourselves 
of them?" 

One of the first steps for anyone on the spiritual path is to leam 
that on the human level of life there is such a thing as karmic law, the 
law of as-ye-sow-so-shall-ye-reap, a law that we set in motion, individ- 
ually and collectively. Every thought we think and every act we per- 
form set in motion a law of action and reaction. If we sow to the flesh, 
we reap corruption. The law within us knows what we are doing, and 
it rewards us accordingly. Scripture credits God with that, but it is not 
really God: it is karmic law. 

If all our charity, benevolence, and philanthropy were done anony- 
mously, if any and every bit of good we do were done without letting 
a single soul on earth know that we were the instruments for it, our 
reward would be tremendous. There is no God in heaven looking 
down, patting us on the back, and saying, "Oh, my dear son, that is 
so wonderful of you. I will reward you." No, nobody need know any- 
thing about what we have done : the law itself, the law that we have 
set in motion, knows and will operate to reward us openly. 

On the other hand, we can do as much evil as we feel inclined to do, 
and even though it be completely secret and no one ever learns about 
it, that same law will react upon us, and eventually we will be 
punished. 

Whatever law we set in operation today will return to us tomorrow, 
next year, ten or a thousand years from now. In other words, we arc 
creating our tomorrows today, even unto the next century, and the 
next and the next. This has nothing to do with God: this has to do 
with you; it has to do with me; it has to do with our individual self- 
hood. 

But because there is only one Self, that which we do to another we 







SOWING AND REAPING 57 

are really doing unto ourselves. 1 1 am you, and what I do to you I do 
to fliyseJfc whether for good or for evil. The good that I do to you has 
a way of returning to me; the evil that I do to you also has a way of 
returning to me because there is but one Self. It is as if I took money 
out of my right-hand pocket and put it into my left-hand pocket. Re- 
gardless of where I send my dollar— or my love— it ends up in my 
own pocket. When we know that, it changes our whole concept of 
giving and sharing from one of division to one of multiplication. 

There is only one Selfhood; there is only one Being; and everything 
that I do to you, I do to my Self; and everything that I do to my 
enemies, I do to my Self. That is why it is important for me to take 
time out every day to forgive all those who have aught against me, to 
forgive any enemy of my nation, my race, or my religion— not because 
I am a good man, but because I am wise: I am forgiving my Self. There 
is only one Self; there is only one divine Being, and anything that I 
do to harm your life has its reaction on mine. Anything that I do to 
another must return to me. I may think that it is hidden, but it is 
not hidden in the one place where ultimately the score is settled, and 
that is within me. 

If we close our eyes so that we are in darkness and then think, "I 
seem to be in here all alone, and nobody but me is going to know 
about anything I think or do," we soon discover that right there with 
us is our Self. There is not a thing that we can think or do that is 
not known to our Self, nor that our Self does not return to us. It is as 
simple as that! We may think that our motives and deeds are hidden, 
hut the "Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee 
openly." The divine Law that sees in secret rewards openly. 

We could not give away even a nickel without our Self knowing it 
an d reflecting it back into our experience immediately. On the other 
hand, we could not take five cents from anyone without our Self know- 
,n g it and immediately beginning to make restitution through the 
operation of karmic law, because there is a law of as-ye-sow-so-shall-ye- 
rea p that eventually makes us pay for our wrongdoing, and rewards 
Us for our good deeds. It is not God doing it: it is the law that operates 

y ^Sce "Love Thy Neighbor," in the author's Practicing the Presence (New 
"*: Harper & Row, 1958; London: L. N. Fowler and Co. Ltd., 1956)- 



58 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



within us. That which the Son does, the Father is aware of, because 
the Father and the Son are one. 

In this whole world there is only one Self, and that which constitutes 
my Self constitutes your Self and the Self of every person, in spite of 
the fact that each one expresses his identity in an individual way. 
There may be a thousand oranges on an orange tree, but there is only 
one Life. So, too, there are millions of people on earth, but there is 
only one Life, there is only one Self on earth, and that One is God, 
Spirit: your Self and my Self. 

Because of this oneness, then, what we do to another, we are actu- 
ally doing to ourselves. If we do good to another, we set in motion the 
law which returns that good unto us: we are casting good bread on the 
water, and it is good bread that returns to us— but always because it 
is an activity of the Self. Whatever of evil we set in motion, even 
though it may temporarily harm someone, the greatest harm eventu- 
ally is the harm done to us because it is we who have set in motion the 
evil. 

As long as the world is in ignorance of truth, it may be possible for 
a person to do evil and bring harm to others temporarily, and prob- 
ably even postpone the harm that returns to and befalls him. The evil 
that we do may not return to us today or tomorrow, a year or even 
five years from now, and often by the time it does return, we have 
forgotten the event that set it in motion. But the law never forgets: 
the law is inexorable. 

In another century, or less time than that, this may not be true. 
By that time, man may be enlightened enough to know that any evil 
set in motion does not touch the one toward whom it is directed but 
returns instantly to the sender. No one then will be able to do evil 
because if he does, it will strike right back at him. It will never touch 
those toward whom it is aimed because they will know that no weapon 
that is formed against them will prosper. In the conscious realization 
of their divinity, evil cannot operate in their experience. 

In any given moment we can begin to prove this if we set aside a 
daily period in which to realize that God is our Self, that Spirit is the 
life and essence of our being, and that no evil can come nigh our 
dwelling place because God is our dwelling place. To know that there 







SOWING AND REAPING 59 

is but one Selfhood and that that One is God is to set ourselves free. 

We may not demonstrate this in its completeness because the 
world's mesmerism still touches every individual, and as long as we 
are on earth we will have some problems to meet, Yet, it is possible to 
be free of eighty or ninety per cent of our problems if we realize that 
God constitutes individual Selfhood : my Selfhood, your Selfhood, and 
the Selfhood even of those with whom we do not agree, of those who 
may be said to be our enemies, or our nation's or mankind's enemies. 

To know this truth of God's identity as individual Selfhood means 
that we recognize that whatever of good we are setting in motion, we 
are setting in motion unto ourselves; whatever of evil we are setting in 
motion, we are also setting in motion unto ourselves. This begins to 
set us free from any capacity to do evil, even though for awhile it is 
not easy to become completely free of this temptation. Nevertheless, 
from the very instant in which we realize that there is but one Self, 
we begin to lessen the world's belief that you and I are distinct from 
one another, and that we can do good or evil to one another. Each one 
of us is a law into himself. 

This carries us a step further to where we can realize that it is not 
God who is giving us our blessings, and it is not God who is visiting 
upon us our evils: it is we ourselves, and not necessarily because we 
are doing evil consciously. Often we bring more trouble upon ourselves 
through our ignorance of this principle than by any evil that we do. 
Even humanly speaking, there are very few really evil people in the 
world— very few. Perhaps ninety-nine per cent or more of all the evil 
in the world is committed through an ignorance of truth, and even the 
evil for which we ourselves are or have been responsible has not been 
s ° much because of an evil nature as because of an ignorance of 
spiritual truth. Had we been taught the principle of sowing and reap- 
ing early enough, our lives would unquestionably have been different. 
But it is not too late! Our lives will be different the moment we con- 
sciously accept the fact that there is but one Self, and that what we are 
doing to another we are doing unto ourselves. 

An understanding of karmic law enables us to begin to release God. 
Within our own thought we hold God responsible for good and evil; 
We fear God because we fear punishment. Many times we worship 



60 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




God in the hope of a reward, a gift, or something or other from Him. 
In fact, most of the prayers today are not prayers to God but prayers 
to karmic law to violate itself. Many persons believe they can do evil 
and then pray to God to give them good. That cannot be: good cannot 
result from evil; evil returns as evil. 

To place our faith and confidence in friends, political influence, or 
in any form of human dependence is to sow to the flesh, and we will 
reap corruption because someone will betray or fail us at the most 
inopportune moment. If we place our hope in that which man has 
created, whether made of silver and gold or of stone, whether a crucifix, 
a star, or any other symbol of religious belief, sooner or later we will 
be disappointed. 

If our dependence is on persons and things, in the end that is what 
we must reap. All this dependence on human ways and means is of no 
avail and must inevitably lead to the frustration and disappointment 
which are too often the lot of mankind. 

To live the mystical life is to live in a normal, natural way, fulfilling 
our function in life, whether in the home, school, office, or factory, 
yet within ourselves realizing: 

God is my good. God is the health of my countenance, my safety 
and my security, my high tower, my rock, my foundation. 

God is my abiding place, my home. I live and move and have my 
being in the secret place of the most High, hidden from the world. 
My body may be seen, but not the I of my being because I live in an 
inner awareness of God. My body is out here walking and working in 
the world, but I am not. I am living in the temple that is within me, 
the temple that is my consciousness. 

In any and every place or situation in life, I remember that I am 
invisible, I am hid in the divine Consciousness. Wherever 1 am, in 
the air or on the sea, I remember that underneath are the Everlasting 
Arms. 

If called upon to share with others, I can do so without feeling that 
1 am taking something of my own to give away, thereby leaving my- 
self with less, because all that 1 have is of God. If called upon for 
extra work, I can do it without feeling that I am using up my strength 
because alt the strength of the Father is my strength. 



SOWING AND REAPING 61 

I do not have to fear the passing of years because "before Abraham 
m » I existed in the bosom of the Father, and that is where I exist 

now. „ 

Only my body is visible, but not I: "I and my Father are one, and 
we are invisible; we live in each other— the Father in me, and I in the 
Father, inseparable and indivisible. 

When we tabernacle in this way with God, we set in motion good 
karma; we set in motion the karmic law of knowing the truth, and the 
truth comes back to us. The reverse is true whenever we waste time in 
hating, fearing, or loving unduly. This does not mean that there will 
never be a momentary normal reaction to certain evil conditions, or 
a natural rejoicing over good human conditions, but it means not 
taking either one too seriously, not letting it eat into us, but remem- 
bering: 

God in the midst of me is the only power. I shall not fear what 
mortal man or mortal conditions can do to me. 

This is knowing the truth that makes us free. It has nothing to do 
with God; it has to do with us; it has to do with our knowing the truth. 
The more spiritual our consciousness becomes, the more harmonious 
our outer life becomes because we have set the karmic law of good 
into operation. 

When we stop believing that God is going to Teward or punish us, 
we will leave God alone to function: we will not try to advise or tell 
Him what to do, when to do it, or how to do it. This will be honoring 
God by giving him credit for knowing His own business and being 
willing to perform it. 

What we accept in our mind as being real and as having power is 
what determines the kind of sowing we are doing. The more power we 
E»ve to persons or to things, the more we are sowing to the flesh, and 
the more corruption we reap. The more attention we give to abiding 
'n the Word, the more we dwell on the truth that there is a Spirit of 
God in us which teaches, feeds, supports, maintains, and transports 
^, the more we are letting the Christ, Truth, abide in us, and the more 
We are abiding in It. 



62 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

As we continue a practice of this kind, we are throwing the weight 
on the right side of the scale; whereas before, the majority of our 
thoughts and deeds were bound up in human and materialistic values 
and power. At first we may be giving only two, three, or four per cent 
of our thought and time to entertaining spiritual truth, but gradually 
as we continue the practice of the Presence, more weight goes over on 
to the spiritual side, and very soon twenty or twenty-five per cent of 
the time there is some spiritual truth or some spiritual conviction 
occupying first place in our mind. 

So it is that we go forward until the day comes when the weight is 
so completely on the spiritual side that more than fifty per cent of our 
waking hours and some of our sleeping hours, too, are occupied with 
spiritual activities. The activity of the law never stops: karmic law 
operates for good while we are asleep, or it may work for evil: it can 
produce healing in us while we are asleep, or we can wake up feeling 
ill; we can be so uplifted in our sleep that we wake up whistling or 
singing, or we can wake up in the doldrums. 

To go to bed at night with the final few minutes before sleep filled 
with God is, in itself, enough to give us a restful night and a peaceful 
morning. Always, we are thinking something: we are either knowing 
the truth or not knowing the truth; we are either thinking spiritual 
thoughts or carnal thoughts. Always, we are either placing our faith, 
hope, and trust in the Infinite Invisible that is within our very own 
being or in something covered with silver and gold, or of a fleshly 
nature. In one way or another, we are setting in motion the law that 
in the end either rewards or punishes us. 

That is why the Master, even when he forgave and held the sinner 
in no condemnation, could say afterward, "Sin no more, lest a worse 
thing come unto thee." Why? He was not the one to say whether 01 
not a person should be punished. It is what the person thinks; it is 
what he does that determines that— not what the Christ does. When 
we appeal to the Christ, the Christ can set us free in that instant— 
but not tomorrow. It is up to us to go and sin no more, or sin less, 
until such time as we are fully and completely in the Spirit, 

Where there is receptivity to the Christ, there is spiritual regenera- 
tion, and it makes no difference whether a person has been good or 
bad, rich or poor, saint or sinner. What counts is the degree of re- 




SOWING AND REAPING 



63 




ceptivity there is within him to the spiritual message because, in the 
last analysis, it all comes down to the individual. True, the activity of 
the consciousness of a spiritually endowed person can bring infinite, 
divine harmonies into our experience, can bring release and freedom 
to us, and can become a law unto us if we are willing to open our con- 
sciousness to it. Some benefit may come to us through another, but 
unless we cany on from that point, unless we ourselves respond and 
open our consciousness to let the Christ abide in us, it is only tem- 
porary. 

Abiding in the Spirit, we set in motion the law of good karma. On 
the other hand, living with our thoughts constantly dwelling on our 
human affairs is setting in motion the karmic law of good and of evil 
with the possibility of a preponderance of error, discord, or inharmony 
because we are sowing only to the flesh. 

To sow to the Spirit does not mean becoming ascetics; it does not 
mean giving up our work, our profession, our home, or our family. It 
has nothing to do with what we do externally: it has to do with what 
is going on in our consciousness white our mind and body are perform- 
ing their functions on the outer plane. What is going on in conscious- 
ness determines whether we are sowing to the flesh or whether we are 
sowing to the Spirit, and whether we are setting in motion the karmic 
law of good or the karmic law of evil. 

We do not always reap what we sow immediately or quickly. "The 
mills of the gods grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding fine." It is 
true that sometimes a person may live for many years in a measure of 
spiritual realization before the overturning comes, and He comes 
whose right it is. Then there are also those persons who indulge in 
every manner of evil and seem to be able to do it for a long period of 
years before their karma begins to operate. Therefore, we should not 
be too discouraged if we do not see the fruitage of our spiritual ac- 
tivity instantaneously because we have generations of humanhood and 
numanness to cast out of our system. On the other hand, let us never 
despair if the evildoer seems to flourish. We have no way of knowing 
what goes on in his mind, in his soul, or in his body. It may be a worse 
Picture than we think it is, and even if it is not, the karmic law adjusts 
these things in its own time and in its own way. 

To seek to return evil for evil is to set in motion karmic law of a 



64 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

negative nature. Instead, let us, as we are taught, return good for evil— 
not for the other person's sake! For our own sake! For ours because we 
have some knowledge of how the law operates and how we set kannic 
law in action. 'When we see this, we then realiEe, "Well, that means 
that I have a lot of debts to pay for my previous sins of omission and 
commission," But right here is where we come to the most encouraging 
aspect of karmic law: "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as 
white as snow." When? Now, in this minute! We do not have to 
confess outwardly; in fact, it is not wise to do that, but confess within 
ourselves: "This was not right"; "I know better than that"; "I am 
done with that." Whenever we make a confession within ourselves, 
we have annihilated the evil results of karmie law. 

In the very second of her repentance, the woman taken in adultery 
became a follower of the Christ, with no punishment, no period of 
waiting. It was now: "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no 
more." The thief on the cross was not condemned to a period of 
purgatory, or to any suffering: "Today shalt thou be with me in 
paradise." Why? Because he turned to the Master and asked for help. 
The karmic law does not have to be worked out generation after 
generation unless we choose it so. In other words, if we decide to cling 
to our humanhood, we can be assured that the karmic law is con- 
tinuing to operate, but any moment we choose to do so we can come 
out from among them and be separate and apart. Then the past is 
past— done away with. 

In my work with all those sick physically, mentally, financially, or 
morally, I have observed that, regardless of what their past may have 
been or what particular sins of omission or commission they may have 
committed, when they seriously turned to a spiritual teaching, the 
penalty was erased. They may not have become angels overnight. 
Who does! But that is not the point, even though it is possible to 
accomplish that angelic state in a quick or short period of time by 
"forgetting those things which are behind," and by setting good 
karmic law in operation through sowing to the Spirit. 

Our conscious oneness with God constitutes our oneness with every 
spiritual being and idea. 2 That means that we are one, and as we love 

2 This theme is developed in the author's Conscious Union with God (New 
York: The Julian Press, 1962; London: L. N. Fowler and Co. Ltd., 1960). 







SOWING AND REAPING 65 

our neighbor as ourselves and act toward the other person somewhat in 
the same way that we would like to be acted toward, in that degree are 
we setting spiritual law in operation. 

The responsibility of a spiritual student is great. No one else has 
quite the same responsibility as do those of us on the mystical path, 
because we cannot rely on the hope of most Christians that Jesus' 
dving on the Cross will save us from all the penalties for our sins, or 
that our minister, the confessional, the mass, or church attendance 
will take away our burden. We cannot lean on any system or person. 

Knowing the truth, following spiritual principles, sowing to the 
Spirit instead of the flesh— only this will bring our regeneration, resur- 
rection, renewal, and finally, our ascension above all materiality. In 
that exalted state of consciousness even the karmic law of good ceases 
to operate in our experience, because in the recognition that we 
are never the actor or the doer, but that only God is acting and 
doing through us, we have stopped sowing. Karmic law is then forever 
nullified. 



CHAPTER VI 



GOD, THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL' 



M. 






-any persons think that they understand the mystery of life 
because they can trace the growth and development of themselves and 
their children from a tiny seed at the time of conception to birth, and 
then from birth to full maturity. But that is not the mystery of life: 
that is the effect of the mystery of life. The mystery lies in what pro- 
duced the seed and in what brought this seed into expression. No 
matter how scientists may theorize as to the origin of life, eventually 
they amve at a point that defies explanation because beyond the ap- 
pearance of everything visible is an Infinitude, a Something that we 
call Consciousness or Life, and this Infinity is expressing Itself as all 
form, as the world and everything in it. 

Everything that is visible first had to have an invisible Something 
to send it into form, and that invisible Something is Consciousness 
which sends Itself into expression as a seed and all that comes forth 
from the seed. Were it not for Consciousness, there would be nothing 
expressed as form. Regardless of how beautiful a thing may seem to be, 
how wonderful or how abundant, we must look behind it and realize 
that it could not exist but for the Consciousness that formed it. 

A few years ago, a very severe winter was forecast for the Eastern 
and Middle Western parts of the United States, a prediction based 

66 



GOD, THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL 67 

n the fact that the animals were growing much thicker fur than 
usual, and that they were also storing up more than the customary 
ajn ount of food for their use during the coming winter. But can an 
animal decide how much fur it is going to grow? Does an animal know 
that it is growing fur any more than we know that we are growing hair? 
Then, what is the underlying cause of the growth of fur on an animal, 
and why does the fur grow thicker in some years and thinner in 
others? What causes an animal to store up more food one year than 
another? 

Very recently, another prediction was made to the effect that the 
forthcoming winter would be extremely mild because practically no 
fat was being found on the meat of the bears and the deer. Do these 
animals know whether or not they are producing fat? 

To those on the spiritual path, the answer is obvious : every animal 
has a consciousness, and that animal's consciousness determines the 
thickness of its fur, the accumulation of fat, and the amount of food 
that it will store. It even provides coloring that blends in with its 
native habitat as a protection. 

Every bird has a consciousness. Does a bird know east, west, north, 
or south? Yet the birds fly north in season and south in season, and 
they are not supplied with maps. Only we need those when we travel, 
not the birds. They know whither they are going, and why, and when. 
What is there about a bird that knows this? Is it its brain, heart, feet, 
or wings, or is it the bird-consciousness that carries the bird north and 
south? Is there not a consciousness that acts without conscious 
volition? 

Does this not explain and give meaning to the scriptural passage, "I 
can of mine own self do nothing. . . . The Father that dwelleth in me, 
he doeth the works." There is something about us greater than what 
We appear to be. Eventually, we will discover that that something is 
0u r consciousness. It is with us up in an airplane; it is with us in a 
submarine; it is with us on the ocean; it is with us on the earth. 
" hither can we flee from our consciousness? If we make our bed in 
" e ll, our consciousness is there to lift us out of it. 

" once we perceive that God is our individual consciousness and 
"derstand how this consciousness leads us in the way that we must 






68 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

go, then for the first time we can honestly sav, "Oh, how love I the 

Lord, my God! Oh, how love I this God of creation." 

Only when we have discerned that God, the Infinite Invisible, func- 
tions as our individual consciousness can we understand the true 
meaning of the scriptural passages: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake 

thee Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world " 

What can be with us throughout all time except our consciousness? 
The Master called this consciousness "the Father within," and he 
said, "I and my Father are one." Certainly, we and our consciousness 
are one! How can we be separate or apart from our consciousness? 

Do you realize that a human body cannot stand by itself? Remove 
consciousness from the body, and it collapses and falls down. Only 
the omnipresence of your consciousness can make your body stand 
upright. And what about your digestive organs? Can they digest or 
assimilate food? Can you not see that if consciousness were not func- 
tioning in your body, the stomach and digestive organs would be just 
so much dead matter, without the power to move? What then causes 
the operation of the organs and functions of the body? Is it a God up 
in the sky, or is it the same consciousness that grows fur for the animals 
and governs the birds in their flight-consciousness, their conscious- 
ness, your consciousness? 

This consciousness is all-knowing, and it molds your body in con- 
formity with its needs. For those people who have lived for generations 
m tropica! and subtropical climates, it has developed in them a deeper, 
darker skin pigmentation, probably as a protection against the intense 
heat of the sun; whereas for those living in the temperate zones, such 
protection is not necessary and, therefore, the color of the skin of the 
people living there is usually lighter. Here again consciousness has 
formed itself in consonance with where it is expressing itself. It is 
not an unknown God doing this: it is the consciousness of the indi- 
vidual meeting his every need. 

"Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these 
things. ... It is your Father's good pleasure to give vou the kingdom." 
Who is this Father? It is not any Father within your body: it is your 
very own consciousness. Your consciousness knows what things you 
have need of; it provided you with your body, and exactly the form of 
body you need for your present experience.' 



COD, THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL 69 

prom the moment of birth, however, you were taught to look to 
others for what you needed; you were warned about the devil over here, 
and the God up in heaven over there, and you began to be separated 
from your consciousness. Soon you were so completely divorced from 
vo ur consciousness that you went through life without ever drawing 
on it. Then you began blaming those who did not give you what you 
wanted or needed, when all the time your very own consciousness was 
the source, the substance, and the activity of your every experience. 

If you mount up to heaven, you take your consciousness with you; 
if you make your bed in hell, it is with you; and no matter what prob- 
lems or troubles arise, turning to your consciousness can bring release. 
The deepest kind of a prayer might be a smile to yourself as you think 
back on the animals that grow heavy fur in anticipation of a hard 
winter and of the birds flying north and south in due season : "If their 
consciousness can provide in advance for a cold winter, my conscious- 
ness can provide for an eternity. If the birds have a consciousness that 
leads them north and south, I also have a consciousness that leads me 
north, south, east, or west, and that fills my storehouses and bams, 
with twelve baskets full left over." 

Consciousness has a way of providing the animals with heavy fur in 
winter and light fur in summer, and this God which is our conscious- 
ness has a way of providing for us in whatever climate we may be, 
whatever weather or in whatever stratum of the air we may be living. 
This consciousness forms and molds itself in accord with our need. 

Once you understand that God is infinite, divine, spiritual, perfect 
consciousness, yet individual, you have come close to knowing God. 
How can you not love that God— perhaps not now, this minute, but 
after a year in which you have found that that God has gone before 
}'°u to prepare the way for you, that that God has walked beside you 
as a protection, behind you as a rear guard? After a year of relaxing in 

us infinite, divine Consciousness and finding the miracle of the 

ystery of life, closer than breathing, how would it be possible not to 
Iov e the Lord thy God? 

*ou only have to remember those birds up in the sky and those 

ir nals out in the woods, and you cannot help but smile when you 

,ze that their very own consciousness provided so wisely and amply 

hem without the birds and the animals having to say, "Father, 



70 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

how about a heavier overcoat," or "How about taking me out for a 
vacation this winter?" Do you not see that consciousness functions 
without taking conscious thought— without taking thought for yo ur 
life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, or wherewithal you 
shall be clothed, or whether you are going to pass from sight at thirty, 
sixty, or ninety? 

When you can bring God closer to yourself than your skin, when 
you can realize that the consciousness of the animals and the birds 
meets their needs in advance, you begin to understand that you, too, 
have a consciousness. Then you can relax, satisfied that yours now is 
not a blind faith in an unknown God. 

Watch the difference in your approach to life when you know God 
aright, and then read the Gospels and understand life as presented by 
the Master. I may be wrong, but I can almost detect a twinkle in 
Jesus' eyes and see the look on his face when he is talking to the 
multitudes: "Why are you fearing? Why do you come to me for loaves 
and fishes? Did I not show you the mystery yesterday? Is there some 
power out there that is going to eat you up, or stop you? Come on, get 
up on your feet!" 

Is God the consciousness of the animals, birds, and bees, and not of 
us? Does God clothe the flowers in their beauty and give them their 
form, outline, and perfume, and not us? Do they all have a God that 
does such wonders for them, and not for us? No, it is only that we have 
"prayed amiss." 

In my mind's eye I can see Gautama before he became the Buddha, 
I can see him walking through all those forests in India, going from 
teacher to teacher, and being told that if he would sit in the lotus 
position, stand on his head, lie down on a bed of nails, abstain from 
eating meat, or cease praying to God for anything, he would surely 
find God. The poor man is bewildered: he is honest; he is sincere. He 
does it all, but he does not find God. Then when he decides to eat and 
be comfortable, he sits down under the Bodhi tree and there, alone 
with God, he meets Him face to face and receives his illumination. 

He had been seeking God in practices, exercises, diets, and fasting, 
and God is not to be found in any of these. God is to be found only 
within. It is not easy to shut out the world and enter the inner 



GOD, THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL 71 

sanctuary of your being, but if you have to do this and stay away from 
the world for a year, or seven years, it is worth it because when you 
find God you will find life eternal. Then you will never die. You may 
pass from view, but you will never die, nor will you ever again be 
anxious; and no matter what the human appearance or circumstance 
may be— wars, persecutions, disasters— you will still keep going on, 
knowing that this is the mesmerism of the outer senses. God does not 
desert you, and if you will just stand still, the storm will pass, and you 
will be out in the clear again. 

The captain of a ship has to go through storms, but as he abides by 
the principles of seamanship, he will sail out through the storm. No 
storm can last forever. So with us. There are storms in this human 
life— some of our own— but often we take on the storms of our families 
or of our students who are unable to find their peace. Every teacher 
must accept the burdens of his students and patients. He cannot 
avoid it. He has to sit up nights sometimes; he may have to go weeks 
and weeks with problems of this one, that one, or the other. He is 
always taking on the burdens of those whom he is trying to lift across 
the wilderness, but that also makes life interesting, because there, too, 
no matter how severe the storms, no matter how difficult or deep, he 
proves for himself and for others that the way out is to know God 
aright. 

To know Him aright is life eternal, but we do not know God 
aright until we know Him as the infinite, divine Consciousness that 
formed the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets, that informs, 
governs, supports, sustains, leads, and directs us to our ultimate 
destiny, which is the realization of our true identity as that Conscious- 
ness. I do not think we could be brought any closer to God without 
bumping into Him. 

Down through the years there have always been a few men who 
nave realized that the goal of life could be achieved if only they could 
and God, but for the most part they have thought of God as something 
se parate and apart from themselves and they, therefore, have gone out 
Etching for Him where He cannot be found. 

Success in this search is possible only when it is understood that 

onerousness is the substance of all form and the activity, not only of 



72 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

all life, but even of the body, this very body with which we walk and 
eat and sleep. 

If there were not an invisible Consciousness forcing Itself into ex- 
pression as form, there could not be a tree or even a leaf on a tree. 
But the one Life is expressing Itself in infinite form as hundreds of 
different species of trees, plants, flowers, grasses, and leaves. Life must 
be pushing Itself into expression as these forms, but must not Life 
have been present before Its forms were able to come into being or 
manifestation? 

The issues of life are invisible in Consciousness, and as a greater 
understanding of this truth is gained Consciousness will then come 
forth in greater measure in our experience. We are that infinite Con- 
sciousness, but we are not showing forth that Infinity at this stage of 
our experience. We are showing forth only the degree of Consciousness 
which we can realize at this moment, but because we are evolving 
states of consciousness, that should be a far greater degree than it 
was twenty or thirty years ago. In fact, one of the purposes of living 
on this plane is to provide our individual consciousness with the op- 
portunity of evolving, evolving through and as us, as we open ourselves 
to Infinity. 

The kingdom of God is within our consciousness, and when we turn 
within in meditation to this infinite Consciousness to let It flow, we 
will show forth more of the Infinity which we are and always have 
been, and next year a greater degree, and the year after, a still greater 
degree. In other words, we are expressing as much of infinite Con- 
sciousness as we can at the moment comprehend. 

Let us begin with the realization that we are not form : we are con- 
sciousness, and by our devotion to meditation, we bring forth a 
greater degree and deeper awareness of God-consciousness. Conscious- 
ness forever expresses Itself as individual forms of intelligence. 
Whether it takes the form of a musician composing an oratorio, a 
poet writing an epic poem, an artist giving a Mona Lisa to the world, 
a sculptor carving out a David, or an engineer designing a bridge, it is 
the one Intelligence that thrusts Itself out into life as form, as multi- 
tudinous expressions of Its own infinite gifts. 

When we realize that we are God-consciousness expressing Itself as 



T 



COD, THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL 1 3 

, n dividual form and variety, we do not feel so great a responsibility to 
perpetuate our little selves, or even to be overconcemed about our 
creature comforts. The Consciousness that existed before this particu- 
lar individual experience had individual form is responsible for main- 
taining and sustaining Itself as us, as our business, profession, ability-, 
and as our integrity. The government is upon Its shoulders: the re- 
sponsibility for living is not ours. Our only responsibility is to live up 
to our present highest sense of right. 

We cannot be other than we are at any given moment, any more 
than a sunflower can be an orchid, or a blade of grass a rose. And if a 
sunflower or a blade of grass should struggle to be something other 
than it is— if it could-it would destroy itself. Many students on the 
mystical path continually berate themselves because they are not more 
spiritual and they want to know how to become more spiritual. They 
cannot be! If only each one of us could relax and realize, "I am what 
I am, and I cannot be other than I am. That which created Itself as 
this form perpetuates it unto eternity." 

That does not mean that we can grasp form and hold on to it. Just 
as we cannot keep a child a six-year-old forever, so we cannot per- 
petuate our own form on this earth. We all outgrow our bodies: our 
infant bodies, childhood bodies, adolescent bodies. Life is a con- 
tinuous process of outgrowing and outgrowing. 

Life cannot be seen with the physical eyes. Life Itself is invisible: 
we see only the forms which Life assumes. Life pushes Itself into ex- 
pression as beautiful flowers and leaves, but we know that in time they 
all drop away. The Life does not-just the leaf or the flower does. The 
Life goes on forever and ever, always appearing as new forms. 

We are Life— Consciousness. We are not that which is visible: we 
are invisible Being appearing as form, but neither that form nor that 
personality is our real being. Our being is Consciousness individual- 
ized, the great infinite Consciousness which is manifesting Itself as so 
many forms and varieties of beauty and harmony. 

Living thus with the Invisible produces a miracle-change in our 
life. We train ourselves not to eat or drink at any time without con- 
sciously pausing for a second to realize that whatever it is that we are 
going to eat or drink comes out of the Invisible. God appearing as our 



74 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

individual consciousness is its source. Always, we him our thought to 
God as the invisible Source, and then watch how in a few days od 
weeks things begin to take place in our life that never happened before. 

With everything that comes into our experience, we dwell for a 
second on the invisible nature of its source, realizing that it has its 
foundation in the consciousness which we are. That infinite divine 
Consciousness which sent us into expression brings all good into our 
life, or it would not be here, because nothing that is not a part of our 
consciousness can appear to us. Everything that appears or is expressed 
by us first has to be in our consciousness, or we could not be aware 
of it 

This can be proved by any person who, after walking down a busy 
thoroughfare, stops to take stock of what he has seen on the street, 
and then upon retracing his steps observes how many things did not 
register with him at all. Why? Because they were not a part of his 
consciousness. The point is that one person walks down a street and 
sees every jewelry store he passes, and almost nothing else, while 
another one sees every dress shop, and almost nothing else. 

Everything that appears in our life must first be a part of our con- 
sciousness. Therefore, when we recognize that each and every form— 
the very table that is set before us, the dividends that come in, the 
salary, allowance, interest, or whatever it is— is a product of conscious- 
ness, then the whole nature of our life begins to change. Instead of 
living a material life in and of things, we live a spiritual life in and of 
Cause, and then the things appear in our experience as added things, 
and by that time we no longer hate, fear, or love them; we merely 
enjoy them as they come and go, but no longer have an attachment 
to them. Tli ere is no way to break undue attachment, except through 
dwelling constantly in the fact that there is an invisible Cause or 
Source of all that appears. 

And what is that Invisible but consciousness? And whose conscious- 
ness but ours since it is our consciousness that is drawing to us our 
experiences? When we realize God as the Substance and Fabric of 
our consciousness, we then begin to draw forth from it only good, but 
if we draw from human consciousness, there is always the possibility 
of drawing good or evil. 



r 




GOD, THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL 75 

Consciousness is the essence and the substance of all that is. This, 
however, would be as meaningless as saying that God is the substance 
f all form or that God is the essence of our being, unless we under- 
stand that we are talking about individual consciousness— not a con- 
sciousness, nor the Consciousness, but our consciousness. 

With that as a basis, out only concern is our own state of conscious- 
ness because that is what determines our individual experience. Every 
person benefits or suffers from his own acts, and this squarely puts it 
up to the individual to determine the nature of his own experience. 
Scripture of all times has brought out the truth that the individual is 
responsible for his experience. 

When we understand this, we shall understand the biblical passage, 
"Cast thy bread upon the waters." Why should we cast our bread 
upon the waters? Because this is the bread that must come back to us. 
We cannot expect to enjoy the bread that someone else has cast upon 
the waters, and whether or not we expect to, we shall not be able to 
do it. The Master accepted this truth when he taught that as ye sow 
so shall ye reap, which correctly interpreted means that whatever our 
experience is, is an emanation of our consciousness. God— Infinity, 
Etemality, Immortality— is our consciousness in its purest state. We 
are not a self separate and apart from God: we are God expressed as 
individual being. That is what we are when we are the Adam and Eve 
in the Garden of Eden. 1 

Only when the belief of two powers enters our consciousness do we 
find ourselves cast out of the Garden of Eden, and then we live as 
human beings who have to earn their living by the sweat of their brow. 
We are human beings who live lives, sometimes good, sometimes evil, 
sometimes healthy, sometimes sick, sometimes rich, sometimes poor, 
and for most people the negative aspect usually predominates in their 
lives. All these things happen to us because we now have developed, 
through this belief of good and evil, handed down to us through the 
a g«, a consciousness, a mind, and a life of our own, and we refer to it 
as my life or your life, as my mind or your mind. And because of this 
'dentification we find that we have a life to lose or a mind to lose. 

> See "Who Told You?" in the author's The Thunder of Silence (New York: 
" ar Per& Row, 1961; London: Geoige Allen and Unwin, 1961). 



76 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

The search for truth has always and ever been a search for a way to 
return to God-consciousness. All human experience is the Prodigal's 
experience. The Prodigal had a certain amount of his father's sub- 
stance with which he started uut, but each day that he lived he used 
up some of it, and in the end he bad none left. So it is in human ex- 
perience. We start out in life with some measure of God-life, but 
because we believe our life is separate and apart from that God-life, 
we call it our life and begin to use it up. By the time we reach three- 
score vears and ten, or twenty, we have used it all up and with it our 
strength and mental capacities. 

Living the spiritual life means finding a way to return to the Father's 
house and there be robed with the royal robes of sonship and have 
placed upon our hand the jeweled ring of spiritual authority. On the 
spiritual path, we are seeking to "die" to our human life, a life made 
up of both good and evil, and be reborn in our original Essence, divine 
Consciousness, or God-life. 

Fulfillment begins to appear with the recognition that God con- 
stitutes our consciousness and that that consciousness is infinite: it 
embodies our life and our being unto infinity and eternity; and there- 
fore, our good will unfold from within us, and the human ways 
through which this is to appear will open. 

We are Consciousness: Consciousness is our identity; Conscious- 
ness is the infinity of our being; Consciousness is the source of our 
being; Consciousness is the creative principle; and it is our state or 
consciousness that has manifested itself as our particular form and 
experience. 

The most important factor in our lives and in our progress on the 
spiritual path is Consciousness— our individual consciousness. 



CHAPTER VII 



THE SACRED WORD 

I AM THAT I AM: Exodus 3:14 

I am the bread of life: lie that cometh to me shall never hunger; and 

he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:35 

Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58 

I am the light of the world. John 9:5 

I am the wav, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, 

but by me. John 14:6 

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though 
he were dead, yet shall he live. John 11:25 

I will never leave thee, nor foisake thee. Hebrews 13:5 

Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. 

Matthew 28:20 



1 



n an attempt to fathom the mystery of God, to explain what can 
"ever be explained, and to encompass what can never be encom- 
passed, man has used words. But words can never explain God. There 
can never be a word that is God. Not even the word God is God, nor 
the words Mind, Soul, Spirit, or Truth, for all these are effects objec- 
,Ve to the person voicing them. 

Jnere are no synonyms for God in absolute truth. Those that we 
are really only attributes descriptive of God. Soul is an attribute 



Use 



°f the 



purity of God; Spirit describes God's incorporeality; love, 




. n< 3. principle, and law are facets of God-being; but none of these 
1S "*lly God 

77 






78 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

When we are done with all these words, we are no closer to God 
than we were before: we have not found God. And so, we go on to 
another word, and another word, and another word. Finally, wJ 
realize that we cannot find God in a word, in any word out here.« 
Ultimately, we come back to the one word which holds the secret of 
the ages — I. I is neither objective nor subjective, and that I is the I 
that I am, the Knower. It is the Knower and the known, that which 
knows and that which is known; and I am both: J am He. 

If all the words that we use as synonyms for God really were God, 
the room in which we are sitting and repeating those words would 
be aflame with illumination, and there would be no disease or discord 
in it. But all we are doing when we repeat these words is declaring 
or affirming them, and since nothing happens, they therefore cannot 
be God. There is no word that we can think of that is not the effect 
of the thinker, and the thinker must be greater than any word he can 
think, voice, declare, or write. 

Regardless of what word we utter — even the word God — there is 
an I that utters it, and an it to be uttered. After all the words have 
come and gone, and we cannot see or hear them any more, I still 
remain. I must be greater than any thought I can entertain, or any 
concept I can hold or form, greater than any belief or theory that I 
can formulate or accept. 

Any word for God, except one word, would still leave an It and a 
me. The only word that obliterates everything but itself is the word 
I. J is the ultimate word behind which we cannot go because I is the 
thinker, the be-er, the doer, the consciousness, the cause. There is no 
word that really expresses God except the word I. If any other word 
is used, there is still an I declaring it, and certainly the I that de- 
clared it, thought it up, invented, or discovered it would be greater 
than any of the words. 

What was it but the understanding of the word I that made 
Moses the leader and the saviour of the Hebrew people? This word 
was so sacred that its use was reserved only for the high priests, an* 
they were never allowed to voice it except on one day a year, when 
they were hidden in the Holy of Holies, in the inner sanctuary ot 
the temple, and nobody was allowed to be there to hear it. 



r 



THE SACRED WORD 79 

Moses guarded this word carefully because he knew that human 
beings tend to use the word I falsely. They use it to identify them- 
selves as Jim, Bill, or Mary, If they were told that J is God, they 
would translate that to mean that Jim is God, Mary is God, or Bill is 
God; and we would have human beings going about flapping their 
wings and sacrilegiously mouthing, "I am God." 

For that reason the word I was held as a sacred, secret word, the 
knowledge of which set the priests apart, and it was that knowledge 
which constituted their priesthood — this understanding of their true 
identity. With this understanding they could minister to the needs 
of those who came to them, because anyone who knows the I can im- 
mediately give up all concern for his own welfare, can feed the multi- 
tudes, supply, support, and heal them. 

King Solomon, too, had learned this secret and, during the build- 
ing of his great temple, he promised that when it was finished all 
those who had worked on the building would be given the password 
that would enable them to travel in far places and always command 
a master's wages. No one was permitted to know this password until 
he had gone through every stage of his craft, from that of the lowest 
apprentice up to that of a master. 

Symbolically, this means that ignorant, illiterate, uncultured, and 
unspiritual human beings are the apprentices, the lowest grade in 
spiritual evolution, and in that state they could not be given this 
password because it would do them no good, but if they worked up 
through the various stages of humanhood until they arrived at a 
place of discernment, of masterhood, they would be given the word 
because they would then be able to understand it. 

And what was that password? I AM. Those who know I AM will 
never have to look to "man, whose breath is in his nostrils" for any- 
^'ng. Anyone who realizes I AM can travel any place in the world, 

ran or without scrip. Everything needed will be provided for him out 

Withinness. He does not have to depend on charity, on the good 
of anybody, or on influence. He carries with him everything that 



W 'H ever need. 

_ ne I AM known to Moses, Solomon, and Isaiah was the secret 
m g of Christ Jesus: "I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 



teach 



80 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

. , . I am the bread of life. ... I am the way, the truth, and the 3if e% 
... I am the resurrection, and the life. ... I and my Father are one," 
Yet the "Father ... is greater than all." In other words, the invisible 
part of us is greater than the visible, and I is greater than we are 
because we are fed by the f that we already are. 1 is not another word 
invented by the mind of man; It is not another power, presence, or 
character created in time or space: It is the I that we are that feeds 
us, whether in the form of material for books, lectures, food on the 
table, clothing, housing, or transportation. It all comes from the I. 

The ultimate of the correct letter of truth is when we go beyond 
using a word like God to where we are left with nothing but I, or 
I AM. And that is enough. 

J is God: there are not two. When this reveals itself to us, some- 
thing warm, joyous, and sacred has taken place within us. This is the 
"pearl of great price." Would we throw such a treasure out for the 
lovers of baubles to trample on or to put in a ten-cent mounting and 
wear? If the J of us is God, what is there external or internal to us 
that can thwart God's will, destroy God's life, or destroy God's mind 
or body? 

Is there a God up in the sky? Is there a God sitting on a cloud? Is 
there a God floating in the air? Is there a God walking around on 
earth? I know not any; I have never seen or heard of any. The only 
God that has ever revealed Itself is the one that has come thTOUg 
the still small voice which is uttered within me. But there is nothing 
within me but me; I am the only being that I am, and if I hear a still 
small voice, it must come from within the depths of my Self. It 
cannot be what is called a human self; it must come from that Self 
of me which I recognize to be divine. If "I and my Father are one,' 
I must be that one; and therefore, unless I know that I in the midst 
of me am He, I do not know God. 

I AM — not the bold, brazen "I"-man that wants to walk up and 
down the street saying, "I am God," but the I-man that sacredly a n< * 
secretly has received this inner assurance: 

Be still, be still: I am God. You be still! Do you not know that I 



THE SACRED WORD 81 

fa the midst of you am God? I will never leave you, I am come that 
you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly. 
You be still! I am in the midst of you. I am your being, I am your 
bread, your meat, your wine, your water. Let that mind of yours be 
still; let those fears be still! There are no powers external to you; there 
is no God in words or thoughts. I am God! 

This is the "pearl," "the pearl" that must be hidden so that it is 
not trampled upon, but it is a "pearl" that must be shared. It can 
be shared, however, only with those who can receive it sacredly and 
be trusted with it, because when it is given to the unprepared human 
mind, that mind wants to use it to conquer the world: "Oh, I am 
God, now I want a million. Ah! I want ten million, a hundred mil- 
lion. Why not? I am God!" 

But to the Soul that is prepared, It whispers: "Oh, I am God: J 
do not need anything, I do not want anything. J have all that I 
need, I have all that I want, and the world's baubles are of no inter- 
est to me." We cannot be that I that is God and still be interested 
in name, fame, or fortune. These will come to us, but by that time, 
we will not value them. 

As long as there is an "I" seeking God, we have not come home. 
Only when we realize that I is God are we at home in Him, at peace, 
for when we know that J and the Father are one, we have nothing to 
°e unpeaceful about, nothing to fear and no one to fear, nothing to 
"ate, nothing to resent. Neither life nor death can separate us from 
fre love of God. 

fa sharing this "pearl" it may be that a few who learn of it will 
|»use it and thereby destroy themselves. They will not destroy us; 

e y wdl not destroy the world: they will destroy themselves. Never- 
' e e K, in spite of such persons, this truth must be revealed in order 

a t those able to accept it can be completely free— spiritually free 
"e realization of the great wisdom that Moses veiled from his 

I A? 6 3nd that the Master was crucifi ed for revealing: "I AM THAT 
M- ■ ■ . I and my Father are one." 

If 1" 

aivme Grace has given us the wisdom to accept this— and 






82 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



nothing can give it to us but divine Grace — let us accept it sacredly 
and keep it secret, not mouthing it or letting anyone know that we 
know it. 

If we tell a person not developed or trained in spiritual wisdom that 
God is J, in his unillumined state, he will think that we are deifying 
a human being. This is not true at all. The human being has to "die" 
in order that the I which is his true identity may be revealed in all 
Its purity, completeness, and fullness. That I which is God is the I 
of you, but it is also the I of me, for there is only one I, one Ego, 
There is only one divine Life which I am and which you are. 

The Infinite Way teaches that a person must never say "I am 
God" because it is not true. No human being is God. If a human 
being were God, then every word that he spoke would heal the sick, 
raise the dead, and open the eyes of the blind, but it does not. Why? 
Because a human being is not God. But when he goes back into the 
Kingdom of his own being in peace and in quiet, and hears the Voice 
speak to him, "Fear not; I am here," that is God within him uttering 
His voice, and the earth, the error, melts. 

We are the instruments, the witnesses to God's word, and that 
Word is I. But we must not speak I: we must hear I. These things are 
so sacred and so secret that they should never be voiced by anyone: 
they are true only if they well up within and are heard in the inner 
sanctuary of our being. 

When we are in prayer and feel that stirring which means that God 
is on the field, a healing or an improvement takes place because 
nothing can ever stand in the way of that I — nothing. We could 
voice It from now until doomsday, and nothing would happen, but 
if It voices Itself through us, then It becomes the Word made flesh- 

The only thing that heals is the word of God, and even though it 
may use the old familiar language, it always comes through as fresh 
inspiration because it has come up out of the depths of the Soul. This 
teaching does not claim that you and I are God : this teaching reveals 
the I within you and within me, not by virtue of our speaking It, but 
by our hearing It. This revelation does not make us one with the 
Father: it establishes within us the realization that before Abraham 




THE SACRED WORD 83 

y iSt I and the Father were one. That I is the presence and the power, 
an d It is omnipresent and omnipotent. 

j is the embodiment of everything necessary for our unfoldment, 
s0 that if we should leave our home with nothing, we could walk 
wherever we chose — around the world if that is to our purpose — and 
reach our destination, as long as we did not look outside ourselves, 
taping someone would help us or give us a ticket or a dollar. Any- 
thing is possible as long as we hold to I AM. 

When we know that I is here, I is there, and I is everywhere, we 
can use any one, or all, of the many synonyms there are for God — 
Life, Truth, Love, Soul, or Principle. It makes no difference because 
we are merely using terms describing attributes of God. No one can 
ever define God for us, however, because I is indefinable. We do not 
know what we are: we are a mystery even to ourselves. There is an I 
within us that has never been known to anybody. 

IE, in sacredness and secrecy, we keep locked up inside our own 
being the word I, that which we are entertaining secretly will reward 
us openly, and all those who are brought into our presence will feel a 
divine impulse. It is as if a voice inside of us were speaking and say- 
ing, "I in the midst of thee am God, and all that J have is thine." 
Then we rest on the promise that the Infinite Invisible within is the 
very Source of our life, that which created us in the beginning. God 
created us — not human parents, but God. We are spiritually created 
and spiritually formed, even though to human sense we entertain a 
physical sense of that spiritual creation. 

« we will learn to withdraw our gaze from this world and realize 
Mat we are not dependent on anything in the external world, we shall 
"Sgm to understand that I in the midst of us is mighty: 

J need not put my faith in "princes"; I need not trust "man, 
«ose breath is in his nostrils," but neither need I fear what man can 
to me because I cany within me the great Saviour, the great Prin- 
P ie , the I of my own being, the I which created and maintains 
' the I that is the very bread of life: my meat, my wine, my water, 
y Salvation, and my resurrection. 



84 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

If this temple of my body is destroyed, in three days somethi 
called I will raise it up again. Even if I were unconscious, even if J 
were dead, I in the midst of me am alive, and that I will resurrect 
even the body should there be any occasion for that. 

What is it that restores the lost years of the locusts? I. What is it 
that resurrects our body, business, home, strength, health, and 
vitality? I. There is only one divine Presence and Power, and It is all 
embodied in that which, sacredly and secretly, is called I. 

The Master had great difficulty in imparting this idea to the 
Hebrews who had observed ceremonies, rituals, and holy days, but 
who had been given little or no spiritual enlightenment. All their 
instruction had been in the realm of the mind and in the observance 
of outward rites, and that is not sufficient. Spiritual teaching must 
enter the heart; it must be in the Soul: it must be felt rather than 
reasoned or thought; it must be intuitively understood. Only then 
can we take the word / into the sacred and secret place of the most 
High and dwell there with It. If we dwell in the secret place of the 
most High and abide with that I, let the I abide in us, let that I 
flood our consciousness, It will impart Itself to us and say: "Know 
ye not that I am God? 'Be still, and know that I am God'; / in the 
midst of thee am mighty. I will never leave you, nor forsake you." 

Are we looking to some God other than the I for our health? If we 
are, we are missing the way. The Tree of Life is truly planted in the 
midst of our consciousness, and it is all embodied in that little word 
I. "It is I; be not afraid. ... I will never leave thee." Let us keep this 
Word in the center of our being, in our consciousness, keep tins 
Word in our heart. Let us not parade or flaunt It, for if we do, we will 
lose It. The more silently and the more sacredly we hold It, the 
greater will be our demonstration of It. 

No one can boast in the Lord; no one has the right to act as if &ti 
secret were his personal possession. It is a secret, but it is not y ° r 
secret and it is not mine: it is the secret of the mystics of all ages- 
It was known to Lao-tse of China; it was known to Gautama ^ 
Buddha; it is the central theme of the teaching of Shankara; and it a 




THE SACRED WORD 



85 



the central theme of the teaching of Jesus Christ as revealed in the 
Gospel of John. It is the central theme of the life of every mystic. 

The word J is the secret of the mystic's unfoldment! Even before 
there was a concept of God in the mind of man, J, God, existed. 
Before there were any human beings on earth, I existed as the creative 
principle of all that is. It is difficult for a person to accept this idea 
unless there is an answering response within, a something which says, 
"Yes, that is what I have always believed, but could not voice. That 
is what I have always known; that is what I feel." 

J is the sacred word. It is a soft and gentle Presence, yet withal, a 
powerful Presence. If we have a sense of rightness about this sacred 
Word, then we can begin to hold It within ourselves and to five out 
from the center of our being. Then it is that we can walk up and 
down this earth as a blessing to all who come our way. 

When a person has attained a realization of God, his very presence 
is a benediction to others; and if he is charged with the care of some 
consecrated place such as a church, temple, synagogue, or truth- 
center, the atmosphere of his consciousness so permeates it that even 
entering it is a blessing. Any place of worship where there is a 
minister, rabbi, priest, or any person who is truly dedicated to the 
spiritual way of life is holy ground, so holy that we have only to walk 
into it to find healing. The stones themselves must cry out with 
spiritual tongues, "The presence of God is here." 

^ is not the temple that consecrates a man: it is the man who con- 
secrates the temple. It need not be a temple, a church, or a syna- 
gogue. What it is, is of little importance. It can be a room in our 
home, or a chair, but if we are consecrated to God and if we fill our- 
ev es with the conviction of the omnipresence of God, the very 
^osphere around us is charged with spiritual power, and those who 
Wa| k into that place feel its healing influence. 

nerever there is this recognition of the presence and the Spirit 

°d, the power of God is flowing, maintaining our mental, moral, 

_ nc »al, and physical freedom, and then whenever a need appears, 

and rCate Wtl3t seems ^ e a vacuum within us, a listening attitude, 
ln that second, the right word comes to us, the word of God 



86 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

which is quick and sharp and powerful, and which does the work of 
healing, reforming, and sustaining. 

There is only one I permeating every person, constituting all in. 
dividual life, whether human, animal, vegetable, or mineral. That one 
I is the Soul of all being, the creative principle, the activity, the 
cause, the life, and even the body itself. It is both cause and effect. 
It is I which is the sacredness of our being, the Consciousness of our 
being. That it is that governs us. I in the midst of us is mighty. 

Take off your shoes in the presence of that word I because you are 
speaking the holy name of God. 



CHAPTER VIII 



THE MYSTICAL I 



T 

_Lhe 



. he search for God must be conducted within, but this does not 
mean within our body because no amount of mental or physical 
probing has ever revealed the kingdom of God in any person's body. 
Therefore, we can quickly put aside any idea of searching for it in 
the spinal cord, stomach, heart, or even in the brain. The Kingdom 
w to be found within—within us. 

This leads us to the questions: Who are we? What are we? Where 
are we? Most of us already know that we are not confined to our 
body, and once we know that, we have taken a tremendous leap 
forward on the spiritual path, because if we are convinced that we are 
n °t in the body, it should not take very long or involve overmuch 
reasoning to establish the truth that being out of the body and 
'^visible, we must be incorporeal and spiritual, something other than 
od y. So, when we seek the kingdom of God within, we are not 
-eking for it inside the body, not even in the mind: we are seeking 
Wlt hin ourselves 

o understand the nature of life as consciousness reveals how it is 
s 'ble for the kingdom of God to be within us, within our con- 
Usness, within that part of us which knows, but within no paiticu- 
part of our body. Consciousness alone constitutes the Self. 

87 



88 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

When we have realized ourselves as consciousness and can look at: 
our body in a mirror and thank God that we are not there, thank 
God that we have a body, but that we are not in the body— we are 
invisible— we shall begin to understand the Master's great teachings 
which are the "open sesame" to progress on the spiritual path. 

"Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, 
which is in heaven." How can the son of that Father be other than 
spiritual being, spiritual entity and identity, incorporeal and invisible 
being? How can that son of God be seen walking the earth? The truth 
is thab our real Self is never seen by anybody: it is completely in- 
visible. True, our body is visible, but we are not. We are hid with the 
Father. 

The spiritual identity of our being is Melchizedek, the man who 
was never bom, can never die, and is always invisible. 

I am Melchizedek. I am lie that was never bom and will never 
die, Self-maintained and Self-sustained. I am the offspring of God, 
God Itself springing forth into manifestation and expression, God 
Itself appearing as individual being with individual identity. 

Nobody has ever seen Melchizedek— not with his eyes. Nobody 
has ever seen you; nobody has ever seen me. You and I can see the 
forms as which we appear, but we cannot see the reality because that 
is invisible. We merely see a form, so big or so small, and who knows 
ten years from now what size it will be, or where it will be, and it 
makes no difference because it will not be the I of you or the I of me. 

So we look in the mirror with a new kind of vision: Now 1 kno* 
that I am not inside of this form: I am that which governs this form 
I am that which moves around in, and is identified by, this form, I 
I am not this form. I am in the bosom of the Father, and the Faffl 
is in me: we are both in heaven, both spiritual. God the Fall 
and God the Son are one, and that One remains our eternal spirit" 8 
identity, that part of us which was never born and can never die. 

"Neither death, nor life . . . shall be able to separate us from t 
love of God." There is a Self which is inseparable from the love a n 
the life of God, and when we discover that Self, we find the O 



r 



THE MYSTICAL I 89 

^ith which we are one: the one Life, one Love, one Substance, one 
Being. 

The materialist cannot perceive this: the materialist looks in the 
mirror and says, "There am I," but on the spiritual path we search 
ourselves from head to foot and from foot back to head, and arrive 
at the conclusion, "There am I not." 

If we are honest, we will have to admit that nobody knows us ex- 
cept ourselves, and perhaps more than ninety-nine per cent of us do 
not understand or know even ourselves. There is an area of our being 
that is not known — not to mother, husband, or wife. It is a secret 
place in us, the real, true individuality of us that nobody can quite 
perceive or understand, and that we keep hidden from the world. 

That part of us is the J, that J which is individual identity, that I 
which must have existed before conception, before there was a form 
as which to manifest, fust as that I will continue to exist after I 
relinquish this form. This does not mean that I will be without 
form: it means that the form of that I will probably be of a differ- 
ent nature and texture. It is merely this particular concept of form 
that will be outgrown and will disappear. But I, I continue forever. 

Does this mean reincarnation? In many cases it does because if we 
ate bom into this particular plane once, there is no reason why we 
could not be born into it a dozen times if there is a valid reason for 
repeating the experience. The questions that must be answered by 
each one of us are: Why did I choose to come here? Why was I 
^nt here? The answer depends on our point of view. Were we sent 
into expression here? Did we choose to come into expression, or did 

e lust come? That you can only determine for yourself. 

Priced" thC Hght ° f my ex P erience ' * sa y t0 vou wha t I am con- 
that D ' S tme ' that We are sent here for a s P ecific P ur P°se and that 
it to v ri>0Se " bdng worked out ' there is no wa y that I can convey 

Soviet? 1 S ° ftat y ° U Wil1 beHeVe **" h is Up t0 you t0 arrive at that 
it l «n within yourself, so that you can receive enlightenment on 

'^w" C ° nViction of the twih of this is the result of my particular 

here °nt m nCC ! 3nd eVe " n ° W 3S l tFy *° com P are m Y fomier life 
! s plane with the one I am now living, the questions arise: 



90 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

How could this happen? What could make such a thing happen 
How could one live two such completely different lives and be twol 
such completely different persons in the same lifetime? Then I go 
bade inside and ask: Is this really true? Am I not now the person that 
I always was, but unable to show outwardly what was inside because 
I did not know how to reach it? Is not this what I have always longed 
for? Is not this what I have always visioned, but could not break 

through? 

I can recall the day when, as a very young boy, my mother said to 
me, "I know what's wrong with you, Joel. You're looking for God." 

"Mom, how can you say that? I don't even know if there is a God." 

"Oh, but I know. You're looking for God." 

Certainly I was, and this life today is just the fruition. I came into 
this world looking for God, but no one would believe that judging by 
my first thirty-eight yeais. That hunger was all locked up inside of 
me. I would not have dared to tell that to anybody, although when I 
was nineteen, I could tell my mother, "I've discovered you're right. 
There is a God, but I can't find Him. No matter with whom I talk, 
they don't seem to know Him." 

And she said, "Well, please don't stop, and when you've found 
Him, come and tell me"— and I hope I'm telling her. 

That is one way I know that I am the same 1 that I was when I 
came into this world, the I that was born at a level that was seeking 
God-realization, and It had to break through the shell and find 

Itself. 

This, I cannot prove to you. You will have to take my word tor n 
or doubt it until you have an experience of your own that shows yo« 
that this I of which you have been aware since you were bom really 
existed before you came forth into this experience. By divine Grace 
I have been shown other lives which I have lived, so I know that 
was here before and I also know some of the experiences that I have 

had. . 

Every one of us in some time past, in some earlier form of evoluttc 
was the animal man, then the mental man, and later was prepared I 
come into this particular state, evolving into some measure of spirit ' 
man. All this takes time although it is really not a matter of time: 
is a matter of evolution which in our experience appears as time- 




THE MYSTICAL I 



91 



This is because eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and 
evil in what is known as the Garden -of-Eden experience has resulted 
in the false state of consciousness which we call humanhood, and in 
this state of humanhood we not only need one another, but we need 
things, we need money, we need this, we need that. All human ex- 
perience is a going out and a getting of things. 

There is the man who is the purely animal man who goes after 
what he wants with hammer and tongs, using the sheer physical force 
of his body or the might of temporal weapons. Then there is the man 
who goes after things with his mind, and although most persons are 
honest and try to earn what they want, when these things do not 
come easily, they sometimes develop tricks to get what they want 
legally, but not too ethically, and if that does not work, they may go 
outside the law and steal or even kill to get what they want. On a 
larger scale, man resorts to a legal form of murder that is called war. 

Eventually, perhaps after many lifetimes, that man who has de- 
pended upon physical and mental force begins to rise to the status of 
spiritual man, and that is the story of unfolding consciousness. 

Whether you or I will be born again depends on this question: 

Will there be a reason for it? There was a reason for my being born 

this last time. It was because I had not made God-contact; the 1 

had not broken through, and it took this experience to break the shell. 

What further lessons have to be learned that can be learned only in 

the context of a life-experience and whether there will be a need for 

m e to be born again will depend on whether there is a need for the 

particular service I have to offer on earth. If there is, I will reincar- 
nate. 

jo with you. It is your unfolding consciousness that has brought 

u !n to this particular phase of experience sufficiently developed to 

P 6 " yourself to a spiritual approach to life. You have lived on the 

m al plane; you have lived on the mental plane; and now you are 

Pproaching the spiritual plane. Let us not forget that during all this 

]■ c ' "ere is still a little of the animal left in each one of us and a 

e of the mental also, but by now most of us are committed to the 



s Piritu a ] 

Each 

bt °ught 



Way. 

0l ie has formed for himself a body, a home in which he is 

U P> and an activity in which to function, all of which serve 



92 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

the purpose of developing consciousness to the point of recognition] 
or realization. Every- experience of our childhood, the good as well am 
the bad, and every experience in our business or home life have been 
necessary to bring us to this unfoldment. We have always been fund 
tioning at the particular level necessary for our spiritual development 
because the purpose of our being here is to unfold spiritually, moving 
from experience to experience until the I that we are stands forth in 
all Its purity and fullness. 

J is neither male nor female: I is I. I is neither bond nor free. I 
is the universal, supreme, divine, true identity of all of us, regardless 
of what form it may have assumed in this incarnation. 

We must leam to live with this I in the midst of us, leam to look 
to It for all inspiration. If we need an idea for a book or for a paint- 
ing, for business or for law, regardless of what it is, the I encom- 
passes it. And this I is within us. Then if it is necessary to find a 
book, a teacher, a publisher — whatever it is — when we turn within,, 
the I will appear outwardly as the form necessary to our unfold- 
ment at any moment. 

We never discard our form — our concept of form, yes. We dis- 
carded one such concept when we were three years of age, one when 
we were thirteen years, another at twenty-one, and still another 
when we were in the forties. So we keep on discarding these concepts 
of form, yet the I goes on forever, and the I always has form; I is 
always embodied as form. I can never lose Its form any more than I 
can lose my identity. 

My true identity was never bom, and it will never die. It was 
present when I was conceived in my mother's womb, and it will be 
present and looking on when I pass from this scene, when my body 
seems to remain here as I progress onward. That I is the I of me 
which was bom, that I is the I of me which was a child, that I is the: 
J of me in my maturity, and I is the I of me in my ongoing. I " 
immaculately conceived, Self-created, Self-maintained, Self-sustaineA 
inBnite, individual, eternal, and immortal. 

That is my true identity, and that is the 1 that is looking o& 
through my eyes. That is the I of me that now is a teacher and * 




THE MYSTICAL I 



93 



healer, but that same I was with me when I was a salesman selling 
merchandise. That I is the same I that was there when I was in 
school' This same I kept watching these different stages of my un- 
foldment, but It could not function any faster than Joel could catch 
up with It. It is the I of me; it is the I of you; it is the 1 of our friend 
and the I of our foe. 

All those who put their hand to the plow must determine never 
to turn back — never. Lot's wife turned away; she looked back, away 
from God, and was lost. The way is straight and narrow, and few 
there be that enter, but those few an; those who attain. And when 
they attain, what is it they have attained? The awareness that 1 
in the midst of them is mighty, the realization that I has been with 
them since before Abraham, and that I will never leave them, nor 
forsake them. 

I in the midst of me feeds me, clothes and houses me, I in the 
midst of me has never been limited. I in the midst of me has pro- 
vided me with everything necessary, for I is nor dependent on "man, 
whose breath is in his nostrils." 

I in the midst of me need not advertise Itself; I in the midst of me 
dwells secretly, sacredly, silently, abiding in God, and together we 
two, who are one, walk this earth. 

I in the midst of me is the spiritual son of God, the Christ, Mel- 
chizedek—He who was never born, who will never die, and who is 
and always will be invisible. 

I am the invisible Presence within me. I am the invisible Presence 

which goes before me to make the way clear; I am the invisible 

resence which walks beside me as protection. I am the invisible 

T ?sence which follows after me as a rear guard. 

1 am the life of my friends, and I am the life of my foes: we are 

Tte , yet each, individual in expression — one in essence, infinite, but 

lv tdual in form and modes of expression. 

l am the author in one, the composer in another. I am the healer 

■ 0n e, the minister in another. I am the painter in one, the poet in 

neT - I am the inspiration unto my life and the inspiration to 



94 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

everyone who seeks inspiration, I can close my eyes at any time of the 
day or night and turn to this Infinite Invisible, to the I within me 
and receive new illumination, new light, new health, new strength. 

Inwardly and silently, say the word J softly, gently— J, meaning 
youi Self, your true identity. Close your eyes to all outer appearances 
and inside the inner sanctuary, alone with God, listen to the voice of 
God as It speaks to you: 

I say to you: Son, cease from depending upon man. I am here in 
the midst of you — this I that you have declared. 

Listen to Me. 1 Look unto Me, the I of your being, and be saved. 
Do not look to effects, do not look to persons, do not look to fame, 
fortune, or position. 

Look unto Me, for I in the midst of you am your bread, your staff 
of life. You need not earn your bread by the sweat of your brow. 
Work, but enjoy it. Work, and love it, but never feel dependent on 
it for your living, for I am living you: I am your living. 

I am your Being. I have placed Myself as the Tree of Life in the 
midst of the garden which is your Self. I in the midst of you am 
mighty. 

Even your body is the temple of the living God which I am. 
Your body, your mind, your soul: these are all dedicated to Me, and 
I have ordained them. I have given to you your mind and your body. 
I am the substance of your body. I am that which beats your heart 
I am that which governs every organ and function of your body. I 
did not make your body and then leave it to control itself. I made it 
in My image and likeness, of My substance. I knew you before you 
were conceived in the womb. I formed your very body in the womb- 
I have never left it, nor forsaken it. 

Many times you have left Me. Many times you liave made falsf 
gods: gods of gold and silver, gods of pills, powders, and plasters, and 
looked to them for health and joy. You have looked outside f or 
pleasures, satisfaction, for peace, and yet I am the wine of inspiration 
Seek Me while I may be found, and be at peace. 

1 The word "Me," capitalized, refers to God. 




THE MYSTICAL I 



95 



L 



Does the creature talk back to the Creator? Does the clay talk to 
the potter? No! I am the potter, I am the creator, and all creation 
hearkens unto Me. The heavens declare My glory. The earth showeth 
forth My handiwork. Do you know that I have given you dominion 
over everything on earth, everything in the sky, everything in the 
waters and beneath the earth? 

I am the way: live by way of Me. Do not live by way of the world. 
Do not live by way of form — even so powerful a form, as a hydrogen 
bomb. I am your high tower, and I am your fortress. Hide in Me, 
hide in the understanding that there is only one power, and I am 
that. Look unto Me and be saved — not by might, not by power. 

Put up your sword! Those who live by the physical or the mental 
sword will die. Live by My Spirit— not by might, not by power, but 
by My Spirit. 

Dwell in Me; let Me dwell in you. If you dwell in Me, and if you 
let Me dwell in you, if you live in the recognition that I in the 
midst of you am your true identity, your eternal life, I will draw 
unto you whatever is necessary for your harmonious unfoldment, 
be it person, place, or thing. 

Go into the inner sanctuary of your being and be quiet. Do not 
pray in public. Do not tell man what you need. Do not tell man what 
you would like to be. Do not tell man what you would like to do. 

Live in Me! Let Me live in you, and let Me be the invisible 
Presence that goes before you to prepare the way for you. Let Me 
go before you, silently, sacredly, secretly. 

Do not be impatient if it takes a little time for you to reach home. 
You have already become involved with people and entangled in 
Situations that you cannot have suddenly. You will have to be led 
awa y from these without injury to the life, the well-being, or the com- 
fort of others. You cannot have your life and well-being at the ex- 
|&we of others. That is not the law. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" 
ls the law. That, you can do, if you look unto Me, if you understand 
" a t I in the midst of you am Self-sustained. 

Do not be impatient if you have to take some long way around. 

*"« bring you by a way you know not of. It will not always appear 
■° you as a short cut; it will not always be without a few bleeding 



96 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

footsteps or even a cross, but nevertheless I am leading you through- 
this world of illusion back to your Father's house which I am. 

I have meat— be assured of that. "I have meat to eat that ye know 
not of." Do not let your mind get weary wondering how you are going 
to get a home, companionship, supply, or health. Be assured that I 
have meat. I already have meat, and wine, and water. Rest here, and 
Jet it come to you. 

Do not try to attract supply — not mentally, not physically. Just do 
your work each day, the work that is given you to do. Do it in the 
best way you know how, but do not do it for a living: do it for love. 
Let the living be the added thing, I, your Father which art in heaven, 
I, who am in the midst of you, I know your need before you do. It 
is my good pleasure to give you the kingdom if you abide in Me and 
let My word abide in you. 

Live in Me, live in the realization that this I in the midst of you 
is God, this I in the midst of you is ordained of God, for God is both 
the Father and the Son, God is both the giver and the gift. 

Trust this I at the center of your being. Trust Jt with your secret 
desires, but do not let your secret desires be aimed at persons, places, 
or things. Your secret desires must be for rest in Me, peace in Me, 
satisfaction in Me, joy in Me. 

Tabernacle with Me, for I in the midst of you am your life. I am 
That which prospers you. I am That which draws unto you all that is 
necessary for your spiritual development and unfoldment. 

If there he forty years of wilderness before you reach the Promised 
Land, be patient, be patient. You have made this wilderness through 
which you must be led. If there is the experience of the cross, accept 
it. You have brought it upon yourself, and it is just another way ottt 
of the wilderness. Whether you make your bed in hell or in heaveth 
I in the midst of you will never leave you, nor forsake you. Even if 
you are the thief dangling on the cross, I will take you with me th& 
very day into paradise. 

Do not fear effects, do not fear outer conditions. I, the I of yov? 
being, I am that part of you which was never born. I brought f^ 
into this experience; I will carry you through it; and I will carry y^ 
on into the next experience, even unto the end of the world. 



.^ 



THE MYSTICAL I 



97 



Have I been so long with you, and you have not known Me? Have 
I been so long with you, and you have not recognized that I am 
Melchizedek, I am the Christ, I am the spiritual Son? When you 
have gone far enough you will understand that I am God the Father 
as well as God the Son. And then you will understand oneness. 

You will understand that because I am infinite, there are no evil 
powers. The evil pictures that you see and hear and touch and taste 
and smell are made of the fabric of nothingness, the fabric of hypno- 
tism, the fabric of suggestion. Do not fear them. They have no 
entity; they have no identity; they have no real being. Only under- 
stand them to be of the fabric of mental illusion — nothingness — 
for I in the midst of you am the only power and the only presence. 

"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as 
thyself." I am He, and I in the midst of you am the I in the midst 
of your neighbor. Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these 
neighbors, you have done it unto Me, for I dm he, even as I am you. 
Inasmuch as you have not done it unto the least of these, you have 
not done it unto Me. Anything tlmt you have withheld from anyone, 
you have withheld from yourself, for I am your Self, and I am your 
neighbor's Self. I, God at the center of your being, am He; I, God, 
am your neighbor. 

I am Melchizedek. Everything that has form must pay tithe and 
honor to Me. I am Melchizedek, the unborn, the undying. I am the 
Spirit of God in you. I am your true identity. I am the very Soul 
0/ your being, the very life of your being. 

"Awake thou that sleepest." Awake, and when you awaken, you 
will see Me as I am, and you will be satisfied with this likeness! 

On the spiritual path, we make a transition from living under the 
aw to living under Grace, and consciously remember that we are 
n °t under the law. This means every kind of law: medical law — in- 
ec tion, contagion, and heredity; theological law — punishment for 

°s of the past or of the present, or sins of the parents or of the 
& ra naparents. We no longer live under the laws of matter; we no 

u ger live under the laws of mind; we no longer live under the laws 
theology; we live under Grace. 



98 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things — Thy grace, not money t 
not my heart, liver, or lungs. Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things 
— in health, in supply, in companionship, in freedom, in joy, in peace, 
in dominion. 

Thy grace! I no longer live under the law. I do not live by taking 
thought for supply, for God's thoughts are far greater than my 
thoughts. 1 live by every thought that proceeds out of the mind of 
God, by every Word, which is Grace. I live my life listening to that 
still small voice. 

1 am the child of God, heir of God, joint-heir to all the heavenly 
riches. I have been given dominion over this body. I am free. I have 
found my freedom in the realization of my true identity as I. As the 
child of God, I am free, and 1 no longer live under the law of limita- 
tion, but under Grace. 

As human beings we are in the tomb where the Christ lies buried, 
and ail that the world sees is this living corpse in which we are 
entombed. Within us, in this tomb of human selfhood, is the Christ, 
and in certain moments of our lives, such as can happen to us this 
moment, an experience takes place, and then a few hours later when 
we look in the mirror, we suddenly find that our eyes have been 
opened: 

I have been limited by a finite body and a bank account, circum- 
scribed by their dimensions. Even my wealth was a tomb in which 1 
have been buried, but now I am not in these: I am risen. I am no 
longer buried in the tomb of a body, nor am I any longer subject to 
its limitations. 

This form is now a vehicle unto me, just like my automobile. And 
this money — this also is a tool, an instrument, and a medium of ex- 
change, something that has been given to me to use. 

I am no longer in the tomb of finite belief: I have risen. I am no 
longer entombed in a body or a checkbook. Now I am outside of 
these: they are my servants, the tools given me for my everyday hf e - 

Do not fear to step out on the waters of Spirit. Remember, yotf 



THE MYSTICAL I 99 

can only fail, and there is no disgrace in Failing, There is only dis- 
grace in not trying. Everybody stumbles a little bit as he goes for- 
ward. Even Jesus Christ was subject to temptations up to the last 
moment. Do not be ashamed of the temptations that assail you. It 
needs must be that we stumble and fall, that we be subject unto 
temptation, for each of these strengthens us in our ongoing until we 
reach the Mount of Transfiguration, and there having "died," we are 
reborn of the Spirit, and those of our disciples who have risen suffi- 
ciently behold us as we are, in our pure spiritual perfection, even the 
perfection of the body. 

Through Grace we attain a point of transition, and then our 
friends and relatives say, "You have changed. Something wonderful 
has come into your life." 



CHAPTER IX 



AN INTERVAL IN ETERNITY 



J_ (ife has frequently been depicted as a circle, representing eter- 
nity, without beginning and without end. If we visualize life in that 
way and realize that our immediate human span of life is confined 
within a segment of that circle and that all the other segments of the 
circle are yet to be encompassed, we can see that within the confines 
of that circle, there is a past as well as a future. 

One mystic described this life as "a parenthesis in eternity." This 
life! Observing life objectively and using the circle as symbolic of all 
life, it is obvious that we have come from the past into a parenthesis 
in the circle, and when this parenthesis is removed— the one marking 
birth and the other marking death— we will be on our way into another 
parenthesis, or what is called the future. 

This should help us to understand that our present life on earth is 
only an interval in eternity. We have come from somewhere and we 
are going somewhere, but because life is an unending circle, we are 
again going to come from a somewhere, and we are again going to go 
to a somewhere, and this will go on, and on, and on. Will it ever end? 
Who knows? 

The ancients tell us that when we are perfected, that is, when we 
live this life as God lives life, in that degree of purity, we will not 

100 




AN INTERVAL IN ETERNITY 101 

enter the parenthesis again: we will just live in the circle, outside, 
bevond, and above all human experience. 

Even though the unillumined and uninitiated may claim that all 
this is only speculative, I can tell you that there are those who have 
completed their cycle of life on earth, and therefore would not have 
to return to this-world experience. Nevertheless, they do reincarnate, 
in some cases voluntarily and in others under instructions from those 
w ho likewise have been graduated and who perhaps act as spiritual 
influences behind this earth-plane. 

That there is an evolutionary life process going on in this human 
picture, surely few can deny. That human consciousness is unfolding 
on a progressively upward spiral is born out by the fact that years ago 
when nations had conflicts of interest, they seldom sat down to discuss 
their problems, but settled them by going to war. The very horrors 
of the wars that have been fought in the twentieth century, however, 
have forced such an evolution in consciousness that nations are now 
trying to work out their problems without warfare, even though here 
and there, there is still a desire to return to the old way. On the whole, 
the trend is away from war, perhaps because the realization is dawning 
that war as it would be fought in this nuclear age would completely 
annihilate the human species. 

In other areas as well, a significant change has been taking place in 
consciousness. Those of us whose memory goes back far enough can 
recall that during the strikes in the ready-to-wear industry of New 
York, in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, and in the automobile indus- 
try of Detroit, it was not an unheard of occurrence for management 
ai *d labor to engage in what at times amounted almost to a shooting 
Wa r. There is little of that today, and more and more of arbitration and 
Mediation, all of which represents an evolution in consciousness. In 
le gal disputes, too, there is a greater attempt today to settle lawsuits 
outside of court rather than to force every case into court. 

If such a tremendous evolution has taken place in the past fifty 
J ea rs, how much greater has been the evolution over the past thousand 
'^rs! Cannibalism is now practically extinct; tribal wars which often 

s ulted in the defeated men and women being pressed into slavery 

a ve been almost completely wiped out. 

WHJJA^ T'HP 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



102 

Thinking of the progress and changes that have been made must 
cause one to speculate as to how and why such an evolution has taken 
place, inasmuch as every generation eventually leaves the human scene, 
and a new one follows, Is each new generation better than the one of 
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or two hundred years ago? Are these men 
and women better, or could they conceivably be the same men and 
women who learned lessons in their previous experiences and are now 
profiting from them? 

Is not everything that we learn in this lifetime transmitted to the 
next generation? Will not the new generation take up where we leave 
off? Will it not accept unquestioningly the mechanical and material 
progress made by preceding generations? 

Today we do not use whale-oil lamps, we do not study by candle- 
light, we do not have to go out and hunt or fish for our food. And why7 
Because we were not bom at the same state of development as our 
ancestors. Had we been compelled to begin where our great-grand- 
parents began, we would have had to go through the same process of 
life as they, but we are the beneficiaries of an evolutionary state of 
consciousness. We have come into this world more highly civilized 
than our predecessors, but that would have been impossible if they 
and we, too, had been bom from a standing start. 

How can anyone fail to recognize that there is an evolutionary 
process of consciousness going on constantly? This means that regard- 
less of what conditions of evil we may behold they are transitory and 
temporary. The next generation will have less of them, and the follow- 
ing generation still less of them, and so on, and on, and on. 

This does not mean that individuals in every succeeding generation 
will avoid problems characteristic of its particular time or resulting 
from catastrophic upheavals like world wars and economic disasters 
which often bring on waves of juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, drug 
addiction, and crime. With maturity and an exposure to a better and 
higher way of life, many problems harassing the world today wi« 
disappear. 

Is it not possible that those engaged in crime may have carried sofflC 
of this over from a previous still lower state of consciousness in *« 
former life, just as very young children who give evidence of gr ea * 



r 



AN INTERVAL IN ETERNITY 



103 



musical skill or of an artistic or religious nature must have lived before, 
peen on the Path, returned, and brought with them a developed state 
f consciousness? Is it possible to believe that they could have learned 
all these things from birth to three or four years of age? Is a mathe- 
matical skill or an inventive turn of mind inherited, or is it the em- 
bodied development that was attained in a former life? 

Probably nature has wisely decreed that we cany with us into this 
present experience no memory of specific hardships endured, or the 
sordid aspects of former lives, but that we carry only the attained, de- 
veloped consciousness, whether it be of music, literature, art, science, 
or spiritual wisdom, and probably not even a memory of the particular 
form it took. 

If we could see this life as a parenthesis in eternity, we would 
realize that each one comes into this parenthesis to advance himself 
beyond what he was before, and therefore, there must be a going on 
from this experience in order to evolve into the next. 

There is no denying that in the consciousness of most people there 
is a natural reluctance to leave the human scene, a reluctance to pass 
on, make the transition, or whatever we may choose to call the change. 
There is also a reluctance and resistance to having our friends and 
relatives leave this experience. Strangely enough, there is no resistance 
to birth which ushers in most of mankind's troubles. Then, why 
should there be a resistance to death, which in most cases is an end to 
many of our problems? True, we have formed the habit of being with 
certain people and have become attached to them, and when they 
ar e gone, a void is left which causes grief. 

But even from a common-sense standpoint, how dull and monoto- 
nous life would eventually become if we had nothing to do but go to 
sleep at night, wake up in the morning, and unendingly go through a 
found of doing the same things that we have been doing for sixty, 
seventy, or eighty years! There has to be a break in that. What would 
£ a Ppen to men who today retire at sixty-five and sometimes are frantic 

y the time they are seventy or seventy-five, if they were to go on for- 
mer and ever living that same kind of useless, monotonous existence? 



Th, 



er e must be an escape from this kind of "vegetating." 

Hie beginning, then, of overcoming this dread and fear of death is 



104 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



to Tealize that our human span here is but a preparation for anothci 
experience, and we should bid Godspeed to those who have finished 
this cycle and are ready for the next. This very overcoming of the fear 
and dread of death would prepare us for a more harmonious experience 
on earth and undoubtedly prolong our life, because many of the pass- 
ings are unnecessary and are brought on by the very clutching to our- 
selves of a material sense of life which often works in reverse and 
hastens us out of this experience. 

To understand, however, that we cannot be moved outside of our 
cycle, that we are part of an eternal destiny, and that as we were 
moved into this parenthesis, so we will be moved on out of it— but 
only in accord with the unfolding of consciousness and not by being 
pushed out of it— would expand consciousness and contribute to a 
more satisfying human experience. 

When we realize that we are a part of a circle, we no longer fear 
what mortal conditions can do to us because we are under a divine 
destiny, and nobody, no thing, and no condition can push us out of 
this body until our time has come. Our time does not necessarily mean 
the commonly accepted human span of years : it means the time re- 
quired to reach the individual development of consciousness that is 
possible to each one of us on this plane, a development which cannot 
expand any further until it has made the transition into another ex- 
perience. 

Instead of pitying those who have reached advanced years and are 
not functioning vitally and actively, let us realize that they, too, are a 
part of a cycle, not acted upon by the human belief of threescore 
years and ten or by the belief of deteriorating matter, but that they are 
a part of this circle of eternity. With that realization, one of two 
things happens: they either revive and lose ten, twenty, or thirty years 
from off their shoulders, or if they have arrived at the fulfillment of 
time, they will be released into their ultimate attainment. Whichever 
it may be, they will no longer be victims of fear or dread, or of the 
loneliness of those who hold them here because they want their com- 
panionship. 

From the standpoint of our spiritual development, it is important 
for us to leam that when we came from that unknown somewhere, we 




. 



AN INTERVAL IN ETERNITY 



105 



brought with us an attained state of consciousness, and that while we 
3 re here, we are expanding that consciousness. The period in which 
we live on this earth is like a school. If we go through life wasting our 
time and not availing ourselves of the opportunities for spiritual un- 
foldment provided here, when we leave this plane we will have to re- 
turn and go through the entire experience again, just as children who 
do not leam the lessons of one grade in school must repeat the grade 
in order to be ready for the next one. If we go out on a down cycle and 
come in on another down cycle, it will just keep on, and on, and on, 
until eventually every knee bends to God, to the spiritual life. So, if 
we have to come back a thousand times— experience a thousand or 
more parentheses— it is because we have brought it on ourselves. 

This is a hard saying, and it is especially hard for those who are 
afraid to face up to themselves, who are reluctant to admit that they 
have brought all their problems on themselves. "Whatsoever a man 
soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall 
of the flesh reap corruption" — not only in this world, but in the 
worlds to come. 

As we visualize the circle and move around it, it is apparent that 
everything we do at any given point of the circle determines what and 
who we are at the next point of that circle. We either stay a mortal 
material being and keep on going around and around, repeating the 
same life-experience and reaping the same karma over and over and 
over, or we are an expanding consciousness, and with every time 
around we are a bigger, better, more spiritual consciousness with 
greater dominion. 

As we sow in this lifetime, so will we reap in the next. Many persons 
nave thought of the doctrine of karma and reincarnation as being pri- 
marily an Oriental teaching, and while it is true that it did originate 
ln t" e Far East, this doctrine has been accepted and acknowledged the 

odd over by mystics, poets, and philosophers to whose attention it 

as been brought and who have seen the rightness of it. Many of these 
erv people, however, are unaware of the Christian teaching of re- 
pentance and do not understand that the Christ-teaching, unlike the 

ne »tal teaching of karma, does not doom a person to his karma 
11 it has been exhausted, but rather wipes out the past in the 






106 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

moment of real repentance. With the recognition of the Christ, with 

repentance and with turning, karma is instantly erased. 

The approach of The Infinite Way to the concept of karma and 
reincarnation, however, is different from that of other teachings which 
embrace this doctrine. The Orientals teach that every bit of sowing 
creates a corresponding karmic debt which must be paid off in this 
lifetime or in subsequent lifetimes, and that regardless of any change 
of consciousness in us, we must pay to the uttermost farthing, whereas 
The Infinite Way teaches that irrespective of what sin of karma has 
been stored up, in anv second of repentance, in a breath, we are as 
pure and white as snow. In a moment of real repentance, in an awak- 
ening which brings the realization that sin is no part of us and has no 
right to be, in that second, karma is wiped out, and we are on the 
spiritual cycle. 

From there on, the sowing not only results in reaping while we arc 
still here, but it results in an ever-greater reaping as we go on. Every 
bit of metaphysical or spiritual wisdom that we have attained in this 
lifetime is of value to us on this plane as well as hereafter, so that we 
cannot separate karma from reincarnation, any more than we can 
separate karma from our next year. Our next year is being built this 
year. The degree of spiritual consciousness we can attain this year will 
be evidenced in our outer life next year. An expanding and evolution- 
ary consciousness will continue to operate forever— inside the paren- 
thesis and beyond. 

This must be true if there is any reason to life or any purpose in 
living. Were the millions of people of India, China, and Russia bom 
to know nothing but the suffering and horror of their lives for the past 
hundreds of years? Are they only living out the destiny of the karma 
they have built up in preceding lives, or are they struggling for freedom 
from hunger, exploitation, and oppression because they are the very 
ones who will return to enjoy the better conditions they are helping 
to create? 

Are the efforts that parents make to educate their children, even 
though it may involve such a life of sacrifice that they themselves a' 
never free from hackbreaking labor or household drudgery, made on J 






for their children, or are they building their own karma? Their c 
dren may not even benefit by their sacrifices, and it would make 



Itil- 



AN INTERVAL IN ETERNITY 107 

difference if they did not because no one can build another's karma, 
not even that of his own children. Each one builds his own, and what- 
ever form this present life takes, even if it is a complete cycle of 
sacrifice upon sacrifice, struggle upon struggle, it is for the development 
of his own consciousness and will come back to him in the form of 
education, freedom, and opportunity— whatever it is that he has given 
to others. 

There again is a wider application of the truth that the bread we 
cast upon the waters will return to us. Some persons complain that 
they have gone through their whole lifetime without having any bread 
return. No, they have only gone through this parenthesis. This present 
parenthesis eventually is rubbed out; and then when the next paren- 
thesis comes into being, there is a higher experience, which is the 
evolutionary fruitage of the one before. 

It really is a form of ignorance and egotism to say that we have laid 
down our lives for our country or for our children. We never did; we 
never did! We have been building our own karma, and it would he 
impossible to sow to the Spirit and not reap life everlasting, to sow to 
freedom and not reap freedom, to sow to love and not reap love, to 
sow to friendship and not reap friendship. Even if every friend on 
earth betrayed us, that is only inside this parenthesis. 

There is no need to feel sad or discouraged, therefore, about those 
closest to us who have never touched the spiritual path because this 
condition exists only within the limits of the parenthesis. Everyone 
is free while he is here, and he is just as free to find his way when he is 
no longer here. He has not wasted his life: he has merely wasted a 
parenthesis. He will still have his awakening, and the fruition and 

le tullness, because undoubtedly each one of us has lived the same 

upid ]jf e tnat t ] ie ma j or jty f mankind lives— the life of the walking 
^d, the Soulless life— and probably lived it dozens of times. 

Just as in this particular experience we are beginning to awaken, so 

e witness those who are living this experience or passing from it 

unawakened, we can look at them with the realization that it 

* s not: matter. This parenthesis is only a period of threescore 

rs and ten, twentv, or thirty, but thev have all of eternity in which 

awaken, and will.' 

e are not building for eternity, of what benefit is sacrifice? Why 



108 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

not live today because tomorrow we die? Why not enjoy it while we 
are here? No, that we cannot do because we would be reaping a 
negative and selfish karma, an ingrown self. If that is what we sow, 
that is what we shall have to reap. 

Many persons have never been exposed to the as-ye-sow-so-shall-ye- 
reap teaching, nor to the teaching that the bread they cast on the 
waters returns to them. These ideas have not been taught because they 
are not popular subjects. Few persons want to be faced with the truth 
that they are manufacturing their experience of next year right now, 
and furthermore that at this moment they are manufacturing what 
their life will be ten years from now. It takes only one step of the 
imagination to see that karma really means that we are building not 
only for the next ten or twenty years: we are building for eternity. 

The only persons who are willing to face that are those who can 
turn their backs on the past and determine to sow to the Spirit, de- 
termine to have an end to this human bickering, greed, jealousy, and 
fear, to stop worrying whether they pass on at thirty or at a hundred 
and thirty, and to be willing to live each day as if they were building 
tomorrow, and consciously to realize when they think or do wrong 
that it has to be undone and cannot be left to accumulate. 

It takes spiritual courage to face the teaching contained in the Bible 
because when its true meaning is understood, it compels us to live in 
the now, repent, and to begin sowing the right kind of seeds. 

Our life-expression within the parenthesis need not be limited to 
threescore years and ten or twenty, but on the other hand, it would not 
make any difference if it ended at twoscore years or less because it is 
not the number of years that develops us: it is the intensity of the 
experience that expands consciousness. There may be those who com- 
plete this earth-cycle within the parenthesis at thirty, forty, or fifty 
and there may be others who will go on to seventy, eighty, ninety, 0- 
a hundred; but whether early or late, the life-span can be completed U» 
health if it is done in the understanding of life as expanding con* 
sciousness, not as finite time. 

It is possible and highly desirable to reach a place of recogniz^S 
that our present state of consciousness embodies the spiritual progress 
of every life-experience we have had since the very beginning— 110 * 



r 



AN INTERVAL IN ETERNITY 1 09 

that there ever was a beginning to the circle or to what we call co- 
existence with God. Every time that we meditate, we can realize that 
our consciousness embodies the fruitage of our spiritual development 
for a million years. It embodies every bit of spiritual development and 
attainment that we have been accumulating throughout all time, and 
it is present here and now as the degree of maturity that we have 
attained. If it were actually the full maturity itself, we would no longer 
incarnate except either voluntarily or under orders to perform a specific 
mission. 

In each parenthesis within the circle, we draw to ourselves the 
atmosphere and environment in which we can best unfold: the par- 
ticular parents who can give us the lessons we need whether they be 
harsh or gentle ones, and the companionship needed for our develop- 
ment. If we look back on our life now, many of us can recognize that 
we would not be where we are except for some of the experiences that 
we have gone through, even some that we would like to have avoided. 

But whether we have or have not the courage to admit it, to face up 
to ourselves, the truth is that we have drawn unto ourselves our own 
state of consciousness, and so, too, as we enter the Path, we are drawn 
into a spintual atmosphere and companionship which have no rela- 
tionship whatsoever to racial, national, geographic, or religious roots. 

Let us carry this a step further and realize that as we pass from 

«"s experience and leave this plane of consciousness, we will be 

rawn mm the very atmosphere necessary to learn the lessons impor- 

m to our unfoldment, whether intellectual, emotional, or spiritual. 

we are on the spiritual path, are we not then going to be drawn 

tho° an „ atm0Sphere ° f Service where we wi " be companioning with 
« of our spiritual household? If that does not include husband or 

our ff Par ? tS ' br0thers ' or sisters ' ft is beca «se they are not a part of 

band f l0ng 3S WC are °" ** earth 'P lane we d ° not disown hus- 

°bliar m ° ther ' father ' Sht " S ' ° r Drothers - W e have a human 

the m *° them Wh ' Ch We fulfi11 ' but aside from ^ we fol]ow 
lej]?]i Mters teaching, "Who is my mother? and who are my breth- 

Wtf,i e eCOgniZing 0UI com P anions ° n the spiritual way as mother and 

here ar*» 

^e persons who are greatly concerned for fear that they will 



110 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

not rejoin their mother or father, their sister or brother, or their hus- 
band or wife. They will rejoin them if that is their state of conscious- 
ness; and, if that is what represents heaven to them, that will be their 
heaven, even though it really is hell. But to them it will be heaven— 
to be tied. 

The moment that we are spiritually endowed, however, and have 
attained the correct sense of who our mother and brother really are, 
then we find ourselves tabernacling with those of our spiritual house- 
hold. We fulfill ourselves spiritually among the spiritual lights who 
have gone before us, and we are drawn higher, and higher, and higher, 
and then we do not have to fulfill ourselves humanly, even if we re- 
turn to earth. 

The higher our spiritual development here, the higher we attain 
there and the more quickly we attain even greater spiritual heights 
because we are now free of the fetters of fear, ambition, lust, greed, and 
hate. So our unfoldment is increasingly progressive after we have 
been drawn into a spiritual atmosphere, just as our spiritual growth is 
so much greater because we have been drawn to one another here. If 
each one of us were trying to work out his spiritual salvation alone, 
he would not make the progress that can be made in a united 
spiritual atmosphere. 

As we leave this plane and are drawn to those who have attained 
spiritual wisdom, our development continues. Then, even if we do 
reincarnate on earth, we will be fulfilling ourselves in a sphere more 
closely akin to a spiritual activity. Those who have not gone far 
enough spiritually will fulfill themselves culturally, educationally, ar- 
tistically, or musically, but if they are developed spiritually, there will 
be a spiritual function for them to perform, even before they incarnate, 
because there are influences working behind the scenes that animate 
those who are on the spiritual path here. 

Nobody who is in a position of leadership in a spiritual activity here 
is dependent entirely on his own state of consciousness. lie has at- 
tracted to himself a spiritual atmosphere, a spiritual support a ntl 
guidance, because on the spiritual level there are no such barriers $ 
heaven and earth, as over there and over here: they are one. Once ** 
are in some measure spiritually attuned, we are in the conscious!^ 



r 



AN INTERVAL IN ETERNITY 1 1 1 

f all those who are so attuned, whether they are here or there. In 
other words, we are in and of the household of God. 

The household of God is composed not only of people who are 
here on earth, or of those who have passed: the household of God en- 
compasses the universe. The household of God is embodied in our 
consciousness, and we are embodied in the consciousness of the house- 
hold of God. 

Those who love God are brought into one household, one family, 
one companionship, into a sharing with one another; and just as we 
are sharing with those coming into the Light, so somebody with an 
even higher consciousness is sharing with us. 






CHAPTER X 



REALITY AND ILLUSION 



T 






. o recognize that we live in two worlds, the world created by the 
five physical senses and the world of Consciousness, is to bring our- 
selves closer and closer to illumination. 

In the first chapter of Genesis, God made man in His own image 
and likeness, without any help from anyone. This pure spiritual 
birth, this immaculate conception, is God manifesting and expressing 
Himself and His qualities, Consciousness revealing Itself as form. 
This is pure, unadulterated, spiritual creation, the immaculate con- 
ception of man and the universe, God, the infinite Life expressing 
Itself individually without any material forms, processes, or systems. 

In the second chapter of Genesis, God not only creates but He 
miscreates, and because of His mistakes, He has to do it over and 
over again. First, He "formed man of the dust of the ground," then, 
He brought woman forth from man's rib, and finally He decided W 
bring man and woman together for the purpose of creation. Is " 
reasonable to believe that the infinite Intelligence of this univet* 
needed to make two attempts at creation? This man of earth, "o 1 * 
natural man" who is not under the law of God, "neither indeed can 
be," is not a man at all: he is a mythical creation of the hum* 11 
mind, of the five physical senses. 

To make clear how this mind creates, let us examine how it » a 

112 



REALITY AND ILLUSION 113 

created a man-made God. Close your eyes for a moment, and take the 
word God into your consciousness. Do you believe that this is God, 
or is this not a projection of your mind? Has this God any power? Is 
there really such a Presence, or is this just a self-created image of 
your own thinking? 

Let us go further afield and let us attempt to decide what God is. 
Instantly to our thought comes an answer, but the answer is not truth, 
and the answer is not God because the answer is a projection of our 
background. Anyone who has been an orthodox Christian almost 
immediately thinks of Jesus Christ. If one's background is Hebrew, 
he probably thinks of a dear old Gentleman up on a cloud with a 
long beard, looking down and wondering whom He is going to smite 
or reward next; if one's background is metaphysical, he probably 
thinks of God as Mind, Principle, or Law. 

^ Regardless of what comes to our thought when the question 
"What is God?" is presented, is it not clear that it is a picture pro- 
jected into our thought, usually by someone we recognize and accept 
as an authority. Perhaps the truest words ever spoken in reference to 
God are: "If you can name It, It is not That." If we can think God 
It could not possibly be That because how can we encompass an 
infinite God in our thought processes? The harder we pray to this 
^d that we have in our mind, the more barren will we become 
All we have is a man-made projection of God, an image in thought. 

e cannot pray to that— yes, we can, but we know what kind of an 
answer we will get. 

Now let us dig a little deeper into this subject. Suppose you ask 

IZ ,<Wh ° 3m I? mat 3m I? What 3m 1 like? " Would ^ y 
you r you gave to those questions be correct? Would not you or 

Who'd St f " end 3nSWCr th ° Se questions in one wav and a Pwson 
does not like you answer them in another? Could they come to 

theV gree ? ent ° n the kind of P^ 011 y° u are? Whatever opinion 

you T ¥ ' they are merely P I °i cctin g their own thought about 

Hiine T T 0Wn pre ' udice or con cept, or an opinion based on some- 

th ey V someone has told them. They do not know the real you: 

ften, '^r^ 111 beliefs and conce Pts, many of them good, but all of 
' subject to change tomorrow. 

; v ery ones who pledged their undying allegiance to the Master 



114 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

were the ones who ran away while he was being crucified. Some of 
those who were sitting at his feet adoring him when he healed them 
of their ills were among the loudest shouters of "Crucify hirn 
crucify him." They never knew him. They had a picture in their 
mind, an image in thought, but it never revealed the Master in the 
fullness of his spiritual identity. 

If we would know anyone, we have to discard everything that 
we now believe, everything we have heard, and everyone's opinion 
about him. We have to clear out and rid ourselves of all our con- 
cepts of him. We first have to acknowledge that all we know about 
him is some concept that has become crystallized in our mind. To 
know a person, we would have to empty our mind of all opinions, 
concepts, theories, and beliefs, and train ourselves to shut out every 
opinion we have ever heard or formed because these opinions have 
been formed only as the result of some personal experience which 
pleased or displeased us. 

If we could erase from our thought everything that we have heard 
or read about a person — everything, every opinion that we ourselves 
have formed — and say, "Father, wipe all this away. I am willing to 
start all over. Show me this man as he is. Show me his name and 
his nature. Reveal him to me," we would find that by turning within 
with a listening ear, the truth would be revealed to us. In this way we 
would know him aright. The I of him would be born in us im- 
maculately. 

Are you beginning to see how much we all have accepted about 
God and about one another without any real knowledge? Those tf 
our friends and relatives whom we like have in some way pleased 
us, and when they do not, very often we do not like them any more, 
which should prove to us that we are accepting others, not as they 
are, but because of the concepts we entertain. 

Is this not also true in politics? One President is a hero to sofl>& 
and a devil to others. Another President is a devil to one, and a he* 
to another, and this country has never yet had a President who ** 
not both a devil and a hero, depending on to whom we went for ^ 
information. Could anyone be a hero and a devil at the same tit 11 ' 
No; these opinions are not the truth about the man: they are && 
cepts of him formed by the five physical senses. 




REALITY AND ILLUSION 1 1 5 

The world that we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell is the world 
the Master overcame, but it is not a real world: it is a world formed 
by our sense impressions, by what we like or dislike at the moment 
So it is that this world of the second chapter of Genesis, the world of 
a man created out of dust, of a woman created out of a rib, and of 
children created from the union of man and woman— this is not a 
world, this is a dream. This is the world of sense impressions, beliefs 
and theories which exists only as a mental concept, just as our man- 
made God exists as a mental concept, and not as God. 

This world of sense impressions is not under the law of God. All 
kinds of fanciful ideas can whirl around up here in our mind all 
kinds of fanciful pictures, but they are not under the law of God 
they are not an expression of divine Intelligence. We can have 
opmions about God, opinions about man, and we can have opinions 
about one another, but they are not the truth, and the V do not come 
forth from God. The world that we can see, hear, taste, touch, and 
smell ,s not under the law of God, and yet this very world that we 
are living m is under the grace of God when we see 'through the ap- 
pearance to Reality. 5 P 

In this world created by the senses, this unreal world of mental 

mages, we are deceived by appearances because in "this world" 

"like : , n "My kingdom," we are faced always with the pairs of 

mlTl Evt 7 thin S has lts °PP° s *e: up, down; health, sickness; 

^ ^ death; wealth, poverty; good, evil; purity, sin; white, black; gain, 

°pJoT " ??** ^ thC WOdd ° f Sense that does not ^ve its 
jwu7' ! WC a " aIy2e human ex P erience > we will see that life is 

*e oth er w U ° US ^ t0 Ch3ngC ° ne ° f the P airS ° f °PP° sites ^ 
'"to ah, \ 3re } ' S tiying t0 Chan g e sickness int0 health, lack 
« w e aw! nCe ' Sm int ° PUTity ' ° r Cvil int0 § 00d ' knowin g that even 
of the sa t0morraw ft can be reve «ed again, with a continuation 

,a * of c a mer W- ro,)nd - ™ e re ason &* this is clear: there is no 
^ed an! '" " ■**** H there were ' S ood wou 'd be main- 

^ orJLV UStamed - BUt ^ th£ h ^ d0m 0f God wh ™ *e law of 
¥ do n Q !?' WC n0t ° nl y do not have a!I ^se pairs of opposires: 

fhan w e h . even one of them - We do not have life an y ™°« 

«ve death; we do not have health anv more than we have 



116 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

disease; we do not have abundance any more than we have lack; we 
do not have good any more than we have evil. None of these things 
exists in the kingdom of God. 

The kingdom of God is a spiritual universe, and it has no qualities 
and it has no quantities. The kingdom of God is the realm of being, 
but that being is divine being— not good being because good has its 
opposite, evil; not live being because life has its opposite, death; but 
being— possessing no degrees, amounts, quantities, or qualities. "The 
darkness and the light are both alike to thee." 

Now close your eyes again, and as you look into the darkness, 
if you see anything that looks good, it looks good or desirable only 
because it is a mental image in your thought, and its goodness is 
based on your concept of good. Someone else might look at that 
very same thing and find it valueless because nothing is good or bad 
but thinking makes it so: it is the concept of it that a person enter- 
tains that makes it good or bad to him. 

In this world of the senses, there is good and evil, and there is the 
centering of attention on changing the evil into good. In "My king- 
dom," the spiritual kingdom, we ignore the appearances and seek to 
realize spiritual truth, to realize God's grace, God's presence, and 
God's power. The moment that we feel a conscious oneness with 
God, the appearance changes. To our human sense, the evil appear 
ance now has a good appearance, the appearance of lack has an 
abundant appearance, the sick appearance has a well appearance, 
sometimes even the dead appearance has a live appearance. But « 
are not fooled by the changed appearance. We know that in seek* 
the kingdom of God within, we are merely beholding Reality appea 
ing the grace of God appearing. We come face to face with Go 
we see Him as He is, and we are satisfied with that likeness. 

To understand the illusory nature of the finite world is to grasp t 
kernel of all mystical teaching, but if it is misunderstood, it can * 
as a deterrent to progress as it has in India which has one ot 1 
noblest spiritual heritages of any nation on earth. 

Perhaps the greatest of all the Indian seers was Gautama 
Buddha whose revelation of absolute truth was so profound 
while there are other revelations equal to it, there are none «* 




REALITY AND ILLUSION 117 

have surpassed it. Gautama had the full realization of the one Ego, 
the one I which constitutes the Consciousness of the universe, and 
he himself understood and proved that the appearance-world is maya, 
or illusion. Because of its fruitage, his message spread like wildfire 
across all of India, but his teaching of maya was misinterpreted. 
The belief that the world is an illusion led to a do-nothing attitude, 
a passive acceptance of the evil conditions in the world. His followers 
failed to see that it is not the world that is illusory. The world is real: 
the illusion is in the misperception of the eternal, divine, spiritual 
universe which is the only universe there is, and which is here and 
now. 

Because of an illusory sense of the universe, however, the mortal 
scene appears as mortality with all its errors, whereas it is in reality 
a divine universe. This world is God's world; it is the temple of the 
living God; but when we see it with finite eyes and ears, what we see 
and hear is but the illusory picture of the reality that is there. The 
illusion is in the mind that is falsely seeing the world: the illusion 
is never out in the world. An illusion cannot be externalized. An 
illusion is a deceptive state of thought, and it can take place only 
within a person's mind, not outside it. 

With our human eyesight we see a world constantly changing: 
a world made up of young, middle-aged, and old people, of the sick 
and the well, of the poor and the rich, of the unhappy and the 
nappy. All this is an illusory picture in the human mind, but because 

«e is only one human mind, it is an illusory picture in your mind 
and mine. Such a world has no externalized existence. 
co are aware of the world through our senses, but what the senses 

6 n 'ze is illusion, an illusion not outside the mind but in it. To be 
e to understand and grasp this idea, therefore, is also to be able to 
pier!! ^^ tHat th ' S illusion cannot ** corrected in the outer 
trvi re ' That " Why S0 much P ra y er fai]s - Through prayer, people are 
m\V° impmve the i]iusion which > if the y succeeded in doing, would 
, an illu s i 0n except that it would be a good illusion instead of a 

u one. 

wf iich t' S n0t ^ " thlS worM '" contrar y t0 ihe doctrine of pantheism 
caches that this world is a manifestation of God, that God 



118 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

transforms Himself into the world, so that God and the world are f 
the same substance though the form is different. If this were true and 
if the world really were a manifestation of God and made of th e 
substance of God, it would be eternal, and there would be no chang. 
ing process going on: no aging, no dying, and no decaying of either 
animate or inanimate objects. There would be no seasons if this 
world were of the substance of God because it would then be of the 
substance of eternality and changelessness. God changes not: God is 
the same yesterday, today, and forever; God is from everlasting to 
everlasting; and if this world were made of God-substance, it would 
be as immortal and as eternal as God, but it is not. It is changing 
moment by moment, dying every minute and every day. 

The erroneous assumption in the teaching of pantheism and of 
much of modern metaphysics is that man is spiritual, that his physi- 
cal body is spiritual, that trees and flowers are spiritual. This is true 
of the reality of these, but it is not true of the physical manifesta- 
tion as it is appearing to us through the senses. If the world were 
spiritual, we could eat our food and have it too, we could drive auto- 
mobiles that would never wear out, and we could have trees that 
would grow forever. 

But the substance of the forms we behold is not of that sub- 
stance which is God, and once we perceive that, we shall understand 
the true meaning of the word "illusion," which is that our perception 
of what we behold constitutes the illusion. It is not that there is an 
externalized illusion: it is only that what we behold is not the real 
substance of which it is made: it is of the substance of mind, the sub- 
stance of universal mind. 

Theism goes to the opposite extreme. Theism regards God an 
the world as two distinct substances, each having its own independei 
existence as a creation of God, yet not made of the same substan 
as God. How impossible it would be for God, the creative Princspl*j 
to create anything unlike Itself, anything different in nature a 
character from Itself, anything other than Consciousness! If ^ 
sciousness is infinite, there is no other substance beyond Consctf 
ness, and the world of God's creating must therefore be Consci° 
ness formed. 



REALITY AND ILLUSION 119 

The next question then is: What about this physical universe? 
The answer to that is the Master's statement: "My kingdom is not of 
this world." "This world" is the world of the Adamic dream; this is 
the world of mortal conception; this is the world of mental projec- 
tion. When we recognize this and are able to close our eyes and 
realize the I in the midst of us, this body loses its sense of mortality; 
even the material universe loses its mortal sense and becomes what 
God's world really is — harmonious and perfect. 

The truth is that God is Spirit, Consciousness, and therefore all 
that really exists is God formed, God in manifestation. The world 
that we cognize with the five physical senses, however, is not the 
world of God's creating: it is the finite sense of the world which uni- 
versal mind has created. With our mind, we cannot discern the 
world of God's creating. We do not see God's kingdom : we see only 
the human, limited, finite concept, or mental image, only the physical 
concept of the spiritual universe. That is why it is changeable and 
changing, sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes sick a«d 
sometimes well, sometimes alive and sometimes dead, all these con- 
ditions existing only as concepts and not as reality. It takes spiritual 
discernment to know the things of God. 

Let us not look at this visible world and call it spiritual, but on the 

other hand let us not look at it and call it a creation separate from 

God. Let us rather cleave to the Middle Path which leads to our inner 

spiritual center where we are the Christ of God, and where we can 

see that we are one with the Father. 

aome of the people we see on the street, on television, and even 

"°se around us certainly do not appear to be one with the Father, 

nd surely many of us must wonder how this can be. Of course, we 

now it cannot be because a person who is one with God would look 

Cerent and act differently. 

° call a human being the Christ is an indication that we either 

' e been endowed with interior vision and are able to see the per- 

as he really is, or that we are lying to him and to ourselves. No 

an i!" ^ e '"^ Can ^°°^ U P 011 pfoysfeaMtj! and with his mentality detect 
lln g Christlike. All the human mind can be aware of is a phvsi- 



^'bod 



L 



y. and with it probably a personality, a personality that he 



120 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

may or may not like, or one that he may like today and not tomor- 
row. Only inner discernment, inner light, only an inner vision that 
beholds something the eye does not see and the ear does not hear 
can discern the Christ in any person. 

To go into a prison, look at the assortment of men and women 
there, and say, "You are spiritual; you are the Christ," would he 
ridiculous, but if we went there clad in the Spirit, the Christ is what 
we would see. We would never make the mistake, however, of voicing 
such a statement to them or to anyone in charge. 

When the Master asked, "Having eyes, see ye not? and having 
ears, hear ye not?" he was referring to an inner vision, an inner 
hearing, which we call spiritual discernment or Christ-consciousness. 
Only the Christ can recognize the Christ, and when we understand 
this, we will never look at a human form and declare, "You are well! 
You are healthy! You are young! You are spiritual." We would never 
do that, but if we could look through the appearance to the Christ 
of God, the Christ ever-present, although not apparent to our hu- 
man eyesight, we would be able to break the mesmerism that looks 
at the body with the mind and believes the evidence of what it sees, 
hears, tastes, touches, and smells; and in breaking the mesmerism, 
we would be able, through our inner discernment, to behold the 
spiritual nature even of a dying or a sinful person. 

This is the difference between The Infinite Way and such teach- 
ings as pantheism and theism, and that is what makes it possible for 
healing work to be carried on in this teaching. In our spiritual work 
we are not deluding ourselves with the idea that this physicality that 
is wasting away with sin, disease, and death is spiritual, nor are * e 
trying to spiritualize it and make it perfect: we are looking through 
the appearance with inner discernment and there beholding the i"' 
visible, spiritual child of God who was never born and will never die> 
eternal right here on earth. 

Miracles can be performed by the person who does not try to hea' 
disease and who understands that he is but the instrument of Go°f 
that God constitutes individual being, and that any appearance I 
the contrary is illusory, a picture in the mind, without spiritual so b * 
stance, spiritual cause, spiritual law, and without spiritual entity ° 
identity — maya, illusion. 



REALITY AND ILLUSION 121 

On the spiritual path, we do not try to change the external world; 
ffe do not try to change our friends and relatives — their tempera- 
ments, their dispositions, or their health— but we recognize that the 
very omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God within 
our own being make it impossible for sin, disease, death, lack, and 
limitation to exist as externalized reality. These can exist only in the 
mortal dream which consists of the belief in two powers. As that be- 
lief in two powers is surrendered, so is the dream punctured. 

Living in the fourth-dimensional consciousness, we seek nothing 
from the dream. To seek supply, companionship, a home, or employ- 
ment is to seek an improved dream, an improved illusion. It is seeking 
our own concept of good which, after we get it, may not prove to be 
the thing we wanted. We seek nothing of this world: we seek only the 
realization of our oneness with God. 

Whatever is to come forth into expression must come forth from 
deep within, even though it still comes in ways that appear to be 
external. When we see fruit on the trees, we are seeing the fruitage 
of an invisible life, an invisible activity, an invisible unfoldment ap- 
pearing visibly. As we lead the spiritual life, looking to no man, seek- 
long nothing in the outer plane, but living in continual rapport with 
the Life-stream, our experience will unfold as the fruit appears on the 
tree, as an extemalization of an inward Grace. 

When enlightenment has been attained, the temporal picture is 
recognized for what it is: maya or illusion. Then when we are faced 
wth evil people, evil or erroneous conditions, we will not fight them 
w try to get God to do something to them or for them : we will re- 
**> knowing that this is the illusion or hypnotism of the five senses. 

hen we awaken from beholding this mortal dream as if it were 

'fy, we will see one another as we are, and then we will love our 

'gnbor as ourselves because we will discover that our neighbor is 
out Self. 

, this is apparent to us, not through knowledge, not because we 
d ear ned a little more truth, but because we have developed a 
Ch * !!!. ner s P^ tua l awareness and are able now to perceive the 



■■ i ne object of The Infinite Way is to develop spiritual con- 
ey. ess ' °ot primarily to produce health out of sickness or wealth 
a ck. Those are the added things, and those who catch even a 




122 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

grain of spiritual perception are showing forth health, prosperity, and 
happiness, and thus they are living more useful lives. 

But this is not the goal. The goal is attaining the spiritual vision 
so that we can behold God's universe and can commune with Him 
walk and talk with Him, live with Him, and learn to live with one 
another, not merely humanly because our most joyous human com- 
panionships are much more worthwhile when we have attained a 
measure of spiritual companionship. 

Spiritual companionship is achieved, not because we are studying 
the same books, not because we belong to the same church, not be- 
cause we owe allegiance to the same flag. None of these things en- 
sures harmonious companionship. Only through our being united in a 
spiritual bond, owing to our having attained some measure of spiritual 
light, do we find companionship with people of any country or of any 
religious conviction. There are no barriers once we have perceived the 
nature of true being. Being has no nationality, no race, and no religion. 
'Ibe reality of our being is God; the nature of our being is Christ; and 
when we are able to discern that Being through inner spiritual vision, 
we have a relationship that is eternal, eternal on earth and eternal 
forever afterward. 

Looking at life through the materialist's eyes, we would have to 
grant that God has never overcome evil and that He never will over- 
come evil, but if we look out at life through spiritual discernment, 
we are convinced that God is infinite and that there never has been 
an evil power, a negative power, or a mortal power. That heighten 6 " 
vision heals sickness, changes sin to purity, insanity to sanity, a 11 " 
death to life. 

The attaining of some measure of this spiritual vision is enough- 
It is an awareness that reveals that God is Spirit, that all that really 
is must be spiritual, and that all the power there is, all the law the** 
is, and all the life there is must be spiritual. There will never be 3"^ 
confirmation of this through our eyes because Spirit cannot be see* 1 
with the eyes. The eyes must be closed to the objects of sense * 
that we can inwardly behold God's creation. 

The development of spiritual consciousness is the greatest 3^* 
ment there is. Only in the degree of this attained consciousness a 1 



REALITY AND ILLUSION 125 

we able to see the spiritual forms of God's creating. This has nothing 
{0 do with the development of the mind or with any intellectual 
powers; it is not attaining the feeling of knowing more than we 
knew before: it is a matter of attaining a depth of inner awareness, 
an awareness that expresses itself not so much in words as in feelings. 









CHAPTER XI 



THE NATURE OF SPIRITUAL POWER 



T 



. he development of spiritual consciousness is possible when we 
learn that there is only one power. If we can rise in spiritual vision to 
the apprehension of the one truth that God is, that God is infinite 
and omnipotent, and therefore nothing else or nobody else is power, 
that is enough. This is spiritual discernment. 

To the world, there are great powers and little powers, but he who 
is anchored in spiritual consciousness knows that no weapon that is 
formed against him shall prosper. If we accepted that literally, we 
would believe that there is a deadly weapon that could prosper except 
that God in some way is going to save us from it. To the uninitiatedi 
that passage would indicate, "I have an enemy who has a deadly 
atomic bomb, and I know what it can do to me, but fortunately Go" 
says that no weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, an" 
therefore I am now immune, and this deadly weapon can no IonS e 
harm me." 

But the weapon does do harm when it is let loose in the world. AI1 
this is because people do not understand the real meaning ot * 
weapon having power over them. The truth is that no deadly weap 
has power because Life is God; and God has never made any" 11 ' 
to destroy His own immortality and eternah'ty. God is our life: we 
eternal and immortal. 

124 



THE NATURE OF SPIRITUAL POWER 



125 



If we took out at this life through our mind, we are subject to every 
manner of deadly weapon: germs, bullets, bombs, and so many other 
things we need not rehearse them. Even an automobile on the road 
c an be a very deadly weapon, and, above all, the calendar is so 
deadly that all we have to do is to keep looking at it for threescore 
vears and ten, and then any day we are due for extinction. But the 
deadliest weapon of all is the mind of man that believes in two 
powers, and therefore accepts a mind of its own in which evil is a 
power. Neither bullet-proof vests nor bomb-proof shelters can save us 
from that weapon. Only in the understanding that we are life eternal, 
that God is our life, that we are immortal and spiritual, and that in 
the entire kingdom of God there are no deadly weapons — physical, 
mental, or otherwise — can we find safety and security. 

With practice and meditation, we shall come to see that it is 
literally true that there is no weapon that has power because there 
is only one power, and that is the immortal life and the divine truth 
which we already are. There is no life for us to attain; there is no 
truth for us to attain: there is only the recognition of the truth that 
we are the truth, that we are life eternal, and the realization that the 
infinite nature of God makes it impossible for any deadly weapon to 
exist. 

When this becomes realized consciousness, we can face the bomb, 
the bullet, the jion, or the weather: "I have lived in fear of you, but 
the truth is that you exist merely as a belief in two powers. The only 
existence you have is in the mind of man, and you cannot get outside 
°t that mind to do anything to anybody. All you can do is to destroy 
hose who entertain that same belief in two powers." These powers 
at appear to be destructive are so only to the individual who insists 
'at there is a "this," a "that," or an "it"; but it is he himself who has 
, . e<] the weapon, and all that weapon is, is a belief entertained in 
" ls own mind. 

d ^° e WC acce P* ^ e principle that because God never made a 
y weapon, no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper, 
it i l, m k will explode in the midst of the very person holding 
^ 's hand. He is the person with the belief in two powers, and 



ltl his h 

^"st reap the results of his belief 
tha *is why 



wrong mental practice, mental malpractice, whether 



126 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

ft is done individually, collectively, or by universal belief, has rjn 
power whatsoever except on the malpractioner himself. The rna]_ 
practitioner accepts two powers, and he is, therefore, a victim of h« 
own belief. Harm can come to us if we agree with him that there are 
two powers, and seek refuge behind a wall or in a statement of truth- 
but if we know that we are life eternal and that nothing can destroy 
the immortality of life or create a power destructive to the life of 
God, we are no longer the victims of the belief in two powers. The 
malpractioner believes in two powers, but as he sends out his belief 
in two powers, it touches our understanding of one power, and all it 
can do is to boomerang because those who accept the belief in two 
powers go down under their belief. 

If there is a person left in this enlightened age who is still en- 
gaging in malpractice — trying to destroy the life which is God, or 
trying to prove that there is a power other than God-power — it is an 
object lesson to watch what happens to him when his malpractice 
hits up against a person who has perceived the truth that God is 
individual life. If we believe that there is an evil power from which 
our understanding of God will protect us or if we believe that we 
have an "in" with God that will save us from some evil, we are lost: 
we have accepted two powers, and according to our belief so is ft 
unto us. 

The spiritual path demands complete purity, and by purity is 
meant an absolute conviction that God is the only power there is: 
there are no other powers. Omnipotence, which means All-power, 
is spiritual; and if Omnipotence is spiritual, then neither material 
nor mental powers can be power. To perceive that is to prevent not 
only the individual, the group, or the universal belief from function- 
ing in our experience, but also to begin to destroy it for the whole 
world. 

Realizing that no weapon formed against us has power develop 5 
in us the mind that was in Christ Jesus which knows that there a tfi 
no powers, physical or mental. The only power that exists is ** 
power of God, which is spiritual. Only a person who has that c ° n 
viction has some measure of the Christ-mind, and even a tiny m^ 3 
ure, a grain of that consciousness, can do wonders. 




THE NATURE OF SPIRITUAL POWER 1 27 

Even after Jesus had revealed the nature of spiritual power to his 
disciple 3 ' they were unable to catch the full import of it sufficiently 
to carry on his teaching to any great extent. And how many have 
there been since the time of the Master who have discovered this 
teaching in the Bible? The reason few, if any, have found it is be- 
cause spiritual teaching is something that cannot be grasped by those 
living primarily in the material and mental realm. As a matter of fact, 
no one will ever learn the secret of spiritual power with his mind. 

Spiritual power is not a facet of the mind. There is no amount of 
knowledge that anyone can attain that is spiritual power because 
knowledge alone cannot move mountains, heal disease, raise the 
dead, or forgive the sinner. 

Spiritual power can be brought into expression only through the 
attainment of the fourth-dimensional consciousness, a higher aware- 
ness than that which is possessed by the human mind. It makes no 
difference what truth we study, or what truth we believe we know, 
there is no spiritual power in it. There is no known truth that will 
ever function spiritually. 

If we were asked to give spiritual help to someone who needed 
physical healing, mental stability, or moral regeneration, our only 
possibility of success would be in proportion to our ability to be still, 
to refrain from using spiritual power, and let spiritual power flow 
through us. If we attempted to heal anyone spiritually or to try to 
exercise a spiritual influence, we would set up a barrier that would 
prevent our success. 

Did Jesus make any conscious attempt to heal the woman who 

broke through the throng and touched the hem of his robe? She was 

ealed, but he could not have consciously brought forth that healing 

DCCa use he did not know she was there, and if he had seen her, he 

°uld not have known whether she was sick or well. He was merely 
ding there being himself, abiding in the consciousness that the 
er within was doing the work, and letting the Father have His 

y and His will, not trying to channel it, or to make any attempt to 
^spiritual power. 

pintual power cannot be used, and yet it can manifest itself as 



°lr lif 







e and being. We can come into an awareness and an under- 



128 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

standing of its nature, and thereby that power operates as Grace i* 
our life, but we cannot pray it into doing that for us. We cannot 
bribe God into doing anything for us: we cannot promise to be 
good; we cannot even be good, and expect God to do something f or 
us. What God is doing, God is doing, and no man can influence God 

God -power is not to be invoked by man. God-power is not attained 
by attempting to influence God in our behalf, God-power is not a 
power over sin, disease, or death, any more than light is a power over 
darkness. God is the creative, maintaining, and sustaining power 
and God never made sin, disease, or death. Had He done so, they 
could never be changed or removed. What God creates is forever 
and that which God did not create was not made. Therefore, we do 
not need any God-power to do something that never was made in 
the beginning, that never had existence, and that represents only 
our ignorance of the truth. If God ever created a disease or a law of 
disease, we might as well give up all hope of overcoming it, for no 
one is ever going to overcome God or God's works. 

God is the all-power, and that power operates in our consciousness 
in proportion as we know this truth. When we begin to realize God's 
omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, we shall need no 
power, and we shall live "not by might, nor by power, but by my 
spirit." When we have learned not to resist evil, not to fight it, and 
not to try to get God to fight it for us, we will not have to labor for 
our good: we will receive it by Grace. 

Our very acknowledgment of the unreal and illusory nature of the 
discords of this world is the spiritual power. If God is omnipotence, 
then what power is there in any physical, mental, moral, or financial 
condition? If God is all-power, can there be a power in any negative 
condition? Every time we become aware of some negative, materia'. 
or mental power, we must realize the truth of Omnipotence: 

Spirit is the only power; spiritual law is the only power; spirit® 
grace is the only power. 

If God is omnipresence, we must be the very presence of G°°~ 
That must mean that there is no other presence, and even we, &&> 



THE NATURE OF SPIRITUAL POWER 1 29 

have no presence. Why? Because God fills all space, and that does 
not leave any room for us, except in the degree that we are a part of 
that Omnipresence. This wipes out that false selfhood, that ego- 
selfhood, and leaves only the divine Selfhood which we are. 

[f we are the presence of God, we must act like it. We never will 
live by Grace until we make that acknowledgment and until we 
know the truth that we are the presence of God, that each one of us 
is that place where God shines through, that place where God is 
fulfilling Himself individually. Every time we become aware of a 
presence, whether it is a person, or a condition, or anything contrary 
to what we know God to be, we have to know the truth: Omni- 
presence. We will not judge by appearances and believe what our 
eyes see: we will judge righteous judgment: 

God is omnipresence; therefore, Spirit is the only presence — 
spiritual lew, spiritual life, and spiritual formation — even though 
my eyes cannot see it. 

All this remains in the realm of theory or belief until we take the 

next step which solves the mystery of spiritual power: we do not 

have God and us. God is manifested as us; God is incarnated as us; 

God's life is our individual life, and we have no life of our own. 

Only the life of God is made visible as our life. God is our mind. 

We have no Bill-mind, Mary-mind, or Joel-mind, no young mind or 

°ld mind, no stupid mind or intelligent mind: there is only one 

mind, the mind which is the instrument of God, and that mind is 

°ur mind. Without this understanding of one mind, there is two- 

n ess; and twoness, the sense of separation from God, is the source of 

" e world's discords. There is no separation from God. 

rhc truth is that God, divine Life, is our life. God, immortal Soul, 

°ur Soul. God, divine Being, is our being, and even our body is the 

em ple of God. This is the truth that makes us free. It is not praying 

^od to do something; it is not seeking a God -power: it is knowing 

e truth, and this knowing of the truth is spiritual power. It sets us 

™m the continuous struggle and striving to do something, be 

"tething, or accomplish something. It sets our minds free to rest, 



130 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



to be still, and to know that we are one with the eternal, infinite 

omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God. 

Omniscience— All-science, All-wisdom, All-knowledge! What is 
there to think of a person who is trying to tell God, Omniscience, 
what he needs? God is all-wisdom, and yet we in our ignorance beg 
God, "Send me my rent next Monday." If God has a sense of humor 
—and I am sure He has— He would wink and tip His halo, and 
reply, "Are you telling Me?" 

When we stop taking thought for our little selves and live in a 
conscious realization of Omnipotence, we shall know that there is no 
power to prevent God's gTace from reaching us because there is m 
power other than God-power. If we live in the realization of Omni- 
potence, there is no power creating sin, disease, death, lack, or limi- 
tation for us, no power delaying our good, no power interfering with 
our life by Grace. 

We have been praying to a hole in the sky and expecting it to 
shower down blessings, but how can we need blessings if Omni- 
presence is true? If God is omnipresent, can there be God and any 
other person or thing to be sought after or desired? If we already are 
the presence of God, what more do we need? In God's presence is 
fulfillment, and we are that Presence; therefore, in us in fulfillment. 
There is no next Monday about it. Omnipresence means that we 
are one with the Father now. 

We can know Omnipotence, but we must know Omnipresence to 
put the seal on it. We can know that God is infinite, all-power, all- 
good, all-life, all-wisdom, but then we have to conclude with "And I 
am the presence of that. That constitutes my being. That which I 
have just declared about God is the truth about me. Since I already 
am the presence of God, I do not have to look for any more God- 
power than I already embody." 

Intellectually, most persons agree that there is only one power, 
but seldom do we find an individual who believes in one power 
enough to rely on it. The attainment of the spiritual or transcendent 1 
consciousness brings the conviction of this truth. 

To attain that mind that was in Christ Jesus and to develop t n3t 
consciousness which is the source of spiritual power, it is necess 3 *? 



r 



THE NATURE OF SPIRITUAL POWER 



131 



g rs |- to adopt the principle of one power, and then after having 
adopted it, begin to apply it in every circumstance of life that pre- 
sents itself to us, to face every situation with an understanding that 
there is no power except what is derived from God because there 
cannot be an infinite God of Spirit and material power, too. 

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve" : the belief that there is 
material force and power, or the truth that the Spirit within is the 
only power. If we are reading the newspaper or listening to the radio 
and hear threats of war or disaster, we must be alert within ourselves 
to realize that there is but one power, the power of the Invisible. We 
have to be able to meet every circumstance of life with the same 
answer Jesus gave to Pilate: "Thou couldest have no power at all 
against me, except it were given thee from above." 

Why should we need to use power if there is only one power — 
God? What would we want to use it for, on whom, or on what? And 
why do we need any power to correct a belief in two powers? When, 
through practice, we have trained ourselves so that we no longer use 
the power of mind or try to use the power of Spirit, we are in spiritual 
consciousness and we have the secret of spiritual power. 

Spiritual power is the power that animates each and every one of 
us, but it operates only when we stop trying to use God. The nature 
of spiritual power is being, and it is being spiritual power here and 
fow, it is functioning here and now, and there is no other power 
functioning. 

We cannot expect the Spirit of God to go out and do things of a 
temporal nature for us: find a house, provide an automobile, or put 
our competitor out of business. Spiritual power is not temporal 
Power; it is not a power that is subject to our bidding or our will; it 

°es not punish those who wrong us; it is not something that we can 
"*% 't will not give us a monopoly of all the dollars, nor will it make 

s dictators or help us pull down existing dictators. 

*ne Christ is a spiritual power which reveals harmony, peace, 
udance, and wholeness to us and transforms our affairs. This it 
s not do by destroying anybody or anything. God has nothing to 
v 'th temporal power. God is Spirit, and He does not remove 
rs > enemies, lumps, obstacles, limitations, or restrictions. But 



132 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

when we worship Him in Spirit and in truth, we find that there are 
no such things. This can come only as we turn from praying to God 
to remove a fever or rheumatism to praying that God reveal Himself 
to us as Spirit, that God reveal the divine harmony of His spiritual 
nature. 

Let us surrender all belief in a God of temporal power — bury that 
idea : — and let us resurrect from the tomb within ourselves where it is 
hidden the truth about God as Spirit, Life, Love, and Light. Light 
dispels darkness, but in the dispelling of that darkness, the darkness 
does not go anywhere; it is not overcome or destroyed. So, too, when 
we realize God as Spirit, our sins and diseases will disappear, but they 
will not go any place: they will only be dispelled as illusions, just as 
the light of knowledge dispelled the illusion of the horizon for those 
who believed it was the edge of the world. 

Human beings in their extremity seek to find a God of power. 
Such a God is not to be found, for God is being, and when we over- 
come any sense of wanting or expecting God to be a power over any 
person, thing, or condition, knowing that there is no other power, 
we will be able to abide in the Master's teaching of "resist not evil." 
Why should we resist that which has no power? 

There is no God that has to do something: God is already being 
life, the life of all being; God is already being love, loving the saint 
and the sinner. The emphasis is on is: God is life; life already is; 
eternal life already is: there is but one life. Love already is. Let us 
relax and rest in the is-ness of God, right where we are, giving up the 
concept of God as a great power, and rejoicing that we can put up 
our sword and that we need not fight— not physically, not mentally- 
With this spiritual vision, we stand still and see the salvation of God, 
resting in Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience. 



7 



CHAPTER XII 



THE DISCOVERY OF THE SELF 

And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from 
him. Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art 
northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy 
seed for ever. Genesis 13:14, 15 



W. 







as God speaking only to Abraham? Does God speak only 
to a certain person, in a certain place, at a certain time? Or when 
the voice of God speaks, does it not speak to His son, wherever that 
Son is? Are not you and I that Son? Is not the Father saying to us, 
"Look out there. As far as you can see, I give this land to you, be- 
cause all that f have is thine"? 

Our astronauts have seen half the world at one time. They have 
encompassed this whole world, and for a few fleeting moments it was 
theirs. They had conquered it, and yet not by themselves, but by the 
1 °f all the scientists that made possible this feat— by the I that is 
you and the I that is I. We possess all this world— all the way to 
"e moon. True, nobody has a guaranteed title to it: it is ours in 
l°int-ownership, as joint-heirs in God: 

have access to all the heavenly riches; J have access to all of the 
m ' Ve Principle of this world. I can look into infinity, claim it all, 
en ioy as much of it as I need for my daily use. 

133 



134 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

In the materialistic way of life, it is a natural thing, humanly, f or 
us to be proud of being American, Canadian, English, German, or 
whatever our nationality may be. But what happens to that swash- 
buckling materialism when we discover our Self, when we discover 
that we all are brothers and sisters, regardless of the flag that flies 
over us, the color of our skin, or the church to which we belong, and 
realize: 

Never am I limited to a country, to a nation, or to a state. I am 
limited only to the kingdom of God, and there I am of the household 
of God, heir of God, and joint-heir with every spiritual being in this 
great wide world of ours, of one great family, one great spiritual 
brotherhood. 

To rise above the limitations of personal sense does not make us 
any less good citizens; in fact, it makes us better citizens, but better 
citizens because we respect the citizenship of other persons. Real 
citizenship is to live in fellowship, but this cannot be experienced 
until the nature of our true identity is understood, and then, whether 
we are Jew or Greek, bond or free, we are all of one spiritual house- 
hold. 

Nothing can establish permanent peace in the heart of an indi- 
vidual except the entrance into that heart of the Christ, the Spirit 
of God. As peace is established in the heart of the individual, ulti- 
mately it will be established in the world, a peace that comes, not 
by the knowledge of man, nor by the wisdom or power of man, but 
by the Spirit of God functioning as the consciousness of man. 

This Spirit which God has planted in the midst of each one of us 
seems to be absent because of our ignorance of Its presence, but 
when we become aware of this invisible, transcendental Presence as- 
our Self, in that moment does It begin to function in our experience. 
We then become something more than creatures sentenced to earn 
our living by the sweat of our brow or to bring forth children in pain 
and suffering. No more are we separate and apart from God. 

How could the son of God have any power other than to be the 
son of God? Is it possible for God to lose His son, or so to lose H' s 






THE DISCOVERY OF THE SELF 1 > S 

power that He would allow one of His sons to wander from His 
household? God has never lost His dominion over the spiritual king- 
dom, and spiritual man has never left his Father's house. Just as 
there is no fallen man in the sense of God's man falling into a state 
of mortality, so it would be equally impossible for mortality ever to 
rise into immortality and become a child of God. 

To know our true identity destroys the mortal sense of existence 
which has kept us earthbound. Earthbound! Some of us can re- 
member how our cities and towns looked before there were auto- 
mobiles on the streets and airplanes buzzing overhead. How 
earthbound we were! How limited we were to the little plot of 
ground where we lived! Even our work had to be close by because of 
the limitations of early forms of transportation. 

The first release from that limitation came with the automobile 
which made it possible to travel as far as twenty, thirty, or forty miles 
in a single day. With that, our vision increased, and our knowledge 
grew because we could take in greater territory, meet more people, 
and come into contact with broader areas of life. How different life 
is now when we travel easily and comfortably four, five, or six hun- 
dred miles a day in an automobile! Almost simultaneously with the 
increased mobility made possible by the automobile came the day of 
the airplane which took us completely above the earth, and made 
our travels and our experience almost limitless. We were no longer 
earthbound. We had entered a new dimension of life. 

But those who have experienced the limitlessness and boundless- 
ness of the Spirit have gone far beyond the new dimension of the 
automobile and the airplane into still another dimension of life— 
unbelievably higher and wider. 

Just as men were limited in the early days by the existing means of 
transportation, so are we earthbound by the belief in a limited being, 
a hmited life, and a limited mind. The process of dropping this 
belief i s exactly the same as the process of dropping our sense of 
'Citation in regard to travel at sea, by automobile, or by airplane. 
* re quires rising to a higher altitude of understanding, recognizing 

e taws of Spirit, and letting the sense of mortality drop away. 

*"e kingdom of God is, and always has been, perfect. What is 



136 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



called mortal existence not only is no part of God's kingdom, but 
cannot even evolve into God's kingdom. Mortal sense and mortal 
creation have no part in God, never have had, and cannot be td 
turned to God. Mystical wisdom does not teach that a mortal is t 
become immortal, but that he must "die daily" and be reborn of 
the Spirit, that is, he must awaken to the awareness of his true 
identity, and just as he would drop any illusion, so he must drop 
once and for all time the belief that he is fallen man. 

When we are unclothed of mortality and clothed with immortality, 
there is no fallen man: there is only the original, perfect man, the 
spiritual identity which is now, and always has been, intact, just as 
a child taken from a family of wealth and culture and brought up 
in poverty, possibly in sin, disease, and ignorance, is still the child 
with the same identity and potentiality with which he was originally 
born. He has merely been clothed upon with an illusory identity, 
but his name, identity, wealth, and all the other things that belonged 
to him at birth could be restored in any moment. This child did not 
fall: he is the same child he was at birth. All the experiences that 
he has gone through have merely been imposed upon him, but his 
original heritage and identity are what they were in the beginning. 

Ultimately, we shall all discover that our true identity is Christ, 
and although we may have been brought up as Jones, Brown, or 
Smith, our real name — our identity and our potentiality— is Christ, 
the spiritual offspring of God, In the moment that this truth is 
revealed to us, all that has been imposed upon us by human belief 
will drop away, and as soon as we begin to perceive our true nature 
and identity, it will not take long to become accustomed to the 
atmosphere of Spirit which is our original abiding place. 

Bit by bit, as we pursue the spiritual path, as we realize that o ur 
real heritage and identity are in God and that we are of the house- 
hold of God, living in fellowship with the children of God, we begtf 1 
to lose pride in our family name and heritage, and, inwardly, we may 
take on a new name, indicating that we have come to a place when 
we identity ourselves with our Source. Now when we say h * 
understand that we are not speaking about five- foot-five or si*-* 00 
one of flesh, about a white skin or a black one, or about Occident 




THE DISCOVERY OF THE SELF 



137 



r Oriental features. Now we are identifying ourselves with our 
Source, which is God, the creative Principle of our being. 

While we were living the materialistic life, we depended on rela- 
tives, friends, parents, husband, wife, children, employer, business, 
investments, and, in the end, on social security. How sad that the 
God-created, God-maintained, and God-sustained man should have 
to look forward to living on some pittance handed out to him near 
the end of his days— especially in the light of the truth that he is 
an heir of God. An heir of God, and thinking in terms of pittances! 
We have to make a transition from the materialistic concept that 
believes that we must earn our living by the sweat of our brow, or be 
dependent on someone else who is doing it for us. We have to come 
out and become separate from the atheistic belief that we do not 
have contact with Infinity, with our Source. 

Let us in this moment do away with the belief of being that 
fallen man who in some way or other has to struggle back to the 
kingdom of God, and let us realize here and now: 

I and the Father are one. The Father is Spirit, and I am the off- 
spring of that Spirit, therefore I am spiritual. I dm of the household 
of God, under the dominion of God, "joint-heir to all the heavenly 
riches" by virtue of the Spirit of God that dwells in me. 

God has never removed His Spirit from me, and certainly no man 
has the power to undo the work of God. The Spirit of God that 
dwelt in me in the beginning must be the Spirit of God that dwells 
m me now, awaiting first, recognition, then, acknowledgment, and 
finally, realization. 

Something must sing within us that this is true, or else we are in 

" e untenable position of having to acknowledge that God is not 

0R ini P otent ; that God permitted His son to fall, that God made 

P^sible the failure of man to live, move, and have his being in God, 

r »at God instigated the Fall. How can we ascribe such things to 
od? How can we believe that there is a God capable of losing a 

"—even one Son out of all the billions of Sons that have been 

n 'fested as form? How could we trust such a God or have faith 



138 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

in the infinite capacity of God, if we also believed that a son of God 
could be lost out of the kingdom or that one single child of God 
could go astray with or without the knowledge of God? If God is 
all-knowing— and God is— then nobody wanders out of the kingdom 
of heaven without God's knowing it, not even a sparrow. 

We have never left the kingdom of God: we have never left the 
jurisdiction and government of God; we have never come under any 
law but the law of God, and have never lived any life but the life 
of God. God-life is the life of all being, and there never has been 
any other. 

Whether man accepted the belief of limitation in the form of 
being confined to the earth and not able to travel on water, or in 
the air, or of being able to travel only a few miles in a day, let us 
understand that all these limitations are not, and never were, actual 
limitations: they were but due to man's ignorance of the laws govern- 
ing these activities. These laws have always been available to man, 
and at any time a knowledge and application of them would have 
enabled him to rise above his bondage to the earth. They became 
practical in his experience, however, only when he was able to open 
himself to receive the wisdom that is be von d the visible. 

So we enter the Fourth Dimension of life in the same way, by 
realizing that we need not be earthbound. Being earthbound or 
limited to the three-dimensional world is only a sense of limitation 
that has been imposed upon us because of our ignorance of that 
transcendental consciousness which is our heritage. It was our birth- 
right, and it is ours now because the kingdom of God cannot be 
restricted or limited, nor remain forever hidden. We do not have to 
fight our way back to God; we do not have to find God: we have 
only to open our consciousness in the assurance that God could 
never lose us. How could God lose His Self? His Self is our Self, 
for there is but one Self. 

Your Selfhood is the unconditioned Self. So is my Selfhood. It 
wholly spiritual: It is, in fact, Spirit Itself, which has no race, 0*" 
tionality, or religion. This Selfhood of you and of me co-exists W 1 
God, has co-existed with God in the Is-ness which God is — witho 
beginning and without ending— and this Selfhood has known i° 
vidual expression throughout all time. 



T 



THE DISCOVERY OF THE SELF 1 39 

You are this Selfhood, and I am this Selfhood, living as one of God's 
incarnations; and that Selfhood remains eternal in the heavens, un- 
touched and unaffected by the surroundings in which we find our- 
selves. With birth, however, there has sprung up around the one 
Self a sense of human identity, and from the moment of conception 
this begins to be identified with its surroundings. 

Selfhood Itself, the Selfhood of you and of me, is unconditioned, 
and therefore, in the actual realization of our previous life-experience, 
it becomes possible to know the unconditioned freedom of the Self, 
to be wholly and completely fiee of national, racial, and religious 
theories and doctrines, and all inhibitions or conditionings. 

To accept intellectually the truth that we are that unconditioned 
Self is one thing, but to experience It in a measure is another thing, 
and to experience It in Its completeness is quite another. A step 
leading to the realization of the absolute, unconditioned Self is to 
experience the Self as It lived in Its previous incarnations, or at least 
in some of these, so that it becomes possible to live free of one's 
immediate surroundings, or free of the surroundings of this present 
incarnation. 

When I have been able to see myself as an American, as a Hebrew 
of two thousand years ago, as an Arabian, or as a Chinese, it is a 
simple matter to see the trappings that have attached themselves to 
me in each of these incarnations, and to see that the 1 never came 
down to the level of these trappings or conditionings, but remained, 
as It always is, the Self. Then, and then only, did I have the ultimate 
experience of realizing the unconditioned, absolute Self. In this, of 
course, I see it is possible to have been either male or female, white 
0r black, Occidental or Oriental, and although the Self that J am 

as never been any of these, yet It has drawn unto Itself all of these 
as the need was established for the particular experience at specific 
times. 

J his realization of our Self enables us either to surrender this 

f ese "t incarnation, or to remain in it, and yet not be of it or con- 

ioned by it, but to live always as the Self. In this realization, we 

come the universal Self, or the Self of all others, more especially 

°se with whom we come in close contact. 

Paiate and apart from our fellow man, there is no God to worship,' 













140 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

no God to love, and no God to serve. We are loving God only as 
we love our fellow man; we are worshiping God only when we are 
serving our fellow man. 

When Jesus taught, "He that seeth me seeth him that sent me," 
when he referred to your Father and my Father, was he claiming to 
be God's only child, or was he not rather speaking about a universal 
relationship? Is there any God separate and apart from man? Has 
not God manifested and revealed Himself on earth as man, and when 
we look upon one another, are we not seeing the Father that created 
you and me and sent us forth into expression? And since you and 
your Father are one, in serving you, I am serving my Father; in 
loving you, I am loving my Father. 

There is no God up in the sky, or down below in the earth or 
the sea, "The kingdom of God is within you." If we are to find that 
Kingdom, therefore, we shall have to seek inside to find it, for that 
is where it is; and if we wish to show our love for God, we shall have 
to express love to one another because that is where we will find the 
God to love. If we want to serve God, we had better leam to serve 
one another, because only in that way can we serve the Father that 
sent you and me into expression. 

Every bit of love that we express is a love that is expressed to us. 
When we are expressing love impersonally to the downtrodden and 
abandoned people of the world, we are really expressing love to our- 
selves because the Self of those others is the Self of us. This is the 
Way: there is but one Self. I am that Self; and I am that Self even 
if I am appearing as you. I am that Self, even when I am appearing 
as the beggar or the thief. Is it not easy, then, to forgive, knowing 
that I am forgiving myself, that I am forgiving my own ignorance, 
forgiving my ignorance even when it appears as someone else? 

"Love is the fulfilling of the law." Therefore, love is the Way, ^ 
this means the love that I express, for I am the Way. I must express 
love, forgiveness, and patience; I must pray that the light of the world 
be revealed even in the darkest consciousness. I must do unto others 
as I would have others do unto me, because the 1 of me is the I °* 
the other: we are one. The Self of me is the Self of you, because 
there is only one Self, and this is God's Self. This is oneness; B : ' 



THE DISCOVERY OF THE SELF HI 

is divine sonship. The spiritual way of life is a recognition of one- 
ness, sonship. ° 

The Way brings the recognition that the J of me and the I of 
you are one and the same I. The I AM that I am is the I AM that 
you are, because this is the I AM that God is, and God is the I AM 
winch is the I AM of you and the I AM of me. Therefore, the 
recognition of I AM-ness is the Way. 

It is some measure of this realization that enables us to live as if 
I am you and you are the I that I am, and therefore we are one- 
and smce all that the Father has belongs to me, all that I have also 
is yours. This is a state of consciousness which is a step beyond doing 
DBto othm as we : would have others do unto us, because it recog 
nizes that the Self of us in the Self of the other, and therefore, all 
that we are doing is always done unto the Self that we are 

ITiere are no boundaries in the spiritual relationship, for there is 
only one / AM, and that J AM is universal, individually manifested 
and expressed as every individual, past, present, and future. I AM 
-5 the Way, and the more we dwell in the remembrance of our true 
■aentity, the closer we are living to the Way. 
I AM-ness is oneness, divine sonship, and because of this sonship 
e have a spiritual relationship of brotherhood based on the under- 

V 3 v g , °1 °^r S ™ th ° Ur S0UrCe " ™ e Wa ? is ™ en <^ the 
moicZ^ e ^ y V hG reC ° gnitl0n ° f ° Ur trae identit >' * ** 
n^re of the /on ' " * ieC ° 8niti0n °' * "^ ° f °* "* the 

*]f^£? ° f T^™ " ^ attainment ° f ^ realization of one's 

comi 1 S ° iS 3 continuin g experience of the Self, with a 

£B down to the persona] sense of self only for the purpose of 

<* i T r te W ° T \ t0 * d ° ne - Th£ att3inment 0f the ^tical 
into H C ° UrSe ' thC ascension ° ut of the personal sense of life 

the experience of life lived as the Universal and the Divine 

is thT !" Ae Way ' I AM k the Iife 0f me and the «* of you. I AM 
diviner m0r ! ty ° f m£ 3nd the immortali ty of you. 7 AM is the 
* ^race by wh.ch we live. And this is the basis of all mysticism 



i 




R 



PART TWO 






ISING OUT 

OF THE 



PARENTHESIS 



Attaining the Mystical Consciousness 



CHAPTER XIII 



THE UNILLUMINED AND THE ILLUMINED 









T 

-Lhe 



he parenthesis in which we live consists of the degree of mental 
or material limitation that we come under through the universal 
belief in two powers. Removing the parenthesis means unseeing the 
human picture and becoming consciously aware of our spiritual Self- 
hood. 

What we are really doing on the spiritual path is trying to wipe 
°"t that parenthesis by realizing that we are not living in any form 
of human limitation: time or space, calendars or climates. Fhe more 
*e attain a living realization of the spiritual nature of our being 

">ugh meditation, the fainter the parenthesis becomes and the 
C °if r we are to becoming one with Infinity and Eternality. 
^ »c moment we perceive that there is but one Life and that we 

so k" 1 ^ tfl3t *^ e ' ^ e P arentnes i s is being removed, at least being 
rubbed out that there are only faint traces of it left. For centuries 

■w trim* ti * 



^ ° m e, there may be remnants of that parenthesis in the lives of 
■ Us > but it will not be such a hard and fast parenthesis that it 

lso »s us in mortality, that is, in a material concept of life. 
f a <]j ^ me ditation that results in an inner response hastens the 
tie,,, ^ °, Ut oi tne parenthesis. Every experience of depth in medita- 
ak « us less subject to the limitations of the parenthesis, less 



145 







146 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

subject to the calendar, to climate, and to the changing economic 
conditions of the world. 

One of the evils of living inside the parenthesis is that we resist 
change. As long as our particular parenthesis is halfway comfortable 
we want to live in it. It does not even have to be a healthy or 
wealthy parenthesis so long as there is enough for survival and the 
pain is not too severe. But while human nature resists change, spir- 
itual unfoldnient compels change, breaking up the old patterns con- 
tinuously. In fact, spiritual progress demands that every form be 
broken, no matter how good it is. No matter how comfortable life 
may be, Spirit will not let us rest in some degree of finiteness, even 
if that finiteness should be what the world calls a million dollars or 
its equivalent. To Spirit, that is still finiteness, and Infinity does not 
mean that Spirit is going to give us two million: it means that It is 
going to give us greater freedom, greater harmony, and increasingly 
less dependence on material forms and limitations. 

Advancing evolving consciousness would ensure an improved state 
of affairs, but that improvement probably will not come, as it should 
come, as a natural evolution of progress, because human beings are 
too determined to hold on to what they have, and they will not give 
up their limitation for something unknown. Human nature tries to 
hold on to the past, to hold on to present limitations: it is unwilling 
to break through for something else. 

If we were willing to surrender each day what we had yesterday, 
we would find something better tomorrow, but our very attempts tc 
hold on to what -we have takes it away from us by force. The onl) r 
way in which we can remove the parenthesis harmoniously arw 
without pain is by allowing the changes to come without living > n > 
or trying to hold on to, the past, and by not believing that evCJ 
change means failure, even though it may temporarily cany with it 
lack of some of the material comforts. The spiritual universe has 
different set of values from that of the material. 

Even death does not remove the parenthesis and put us into » 
circle of eternal life. The wiping out of the parenthesis is a 000 
plished as an activity of consciousness; it is a "dying" to our hum 
hood and a "birth" to our spiritual identity. That is not a phy sl * 



THE UNILLUMINED AND THE ILLUMINED 147 

death or birth: it is the "dying daily" and the being reborn of the 
Spirit of which Paul spoke. It is an act of consciousness. 

The parenthesis is human life, and our purpose on this Path is to 
remove ourselves from the parenthesis while we are here on earth 
If we do not do that here, we will still have the opportunity after- 
ward, but the passing from this plane into another experience does 
not of itself remove the parenthesis and place us in eternity or give 
us immortality. In fact, if we leave this stage of our experience in a 
human sense of life, we awaken in a human sense of life in another 
parenthesis. The other side of the grave is still a parenthesis. 

In the degree that we become more and more aware that Spirit 
is the only power, and that we do not have a separate life or con- 
sciousness of our own, but that God constitutes our being does the 
parenthesis become lighter-fading, fading, fading. With every spir- 
itual realization that we have and with every meditation that results 
m a conscious contact with God, the parenthesis is growing fainter 
until eventually, in the final conscious union with our Source, comes 
the complete elimination of the parenthesis. 

The function of a religious teaching is to lead man to the aware- 
ness of his true identity and to reveal secrets of life that have, 
heretofore, been hidden because human obtuseness has rendered 
man incapable of understanding the underlying principles of exist- 
ence. In his unillumined state, man does not realize that in order 
w prosper and be fruitful he must live in accord with spiritual laws, 
t in accord with his own will or personal desires. He cannot act as 

canT e WCrC n ° SUCh ' aWS and th£n CXpeCt t0 live ^"nom'ously, nor 
He escape the operation of spiritual law by attempting to make 
f JJis own laws as he goes along. 

hI* §rCat maStCrS Wh ° br ° Ught f ° rth the 0riginal herrings upon 
gove m0dem rdi S ions are built knew that there were invisible laws 
lQ J'ng this world, and they taught man how to bring harmony 

the J"? throu S h 3n understanding of these laws, promising, as 

Nily I 6r dld ' th3t th ° Se Wh ° foi3ow in this Wa y wouId bear fru 't 

in st ead "J " 1 " W ° rdS ' they W ° uld ** worki "g with th e laws of life, 
I n ot working in antagonism to them. 

,eir gross human ignorance, most persons accept the appear- 



148 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

ance that they have come into this world with nothing. Working 
from that basis, almost from the beginning, they try to add to thern- 
selves. Whether it is a baby trying to take some other baby's rattle 
away, or whether it is a nation trying to take some other nation's 
land or industry away from it, most persons live their lives on the 
assumption that they have nothing, and therefore, they must get 
something, work for it, plan and plot for it. 

Then there are those who reach a stage in which they realize the 
futility of this constant striving and struggling for the things that 
perish, things which after they are obtained prove to be shadows. It 
is at this stage that some persons turn from this seeking for things 
in the outer realm to a seeking for them from God. That which they 
have not heretofore succeeded in gathering to themselves by ma- 
terial means, they now hope to get from God. Even though this is 
only a faint glimpsing of the Path, it is at least an opening wedge 
because it does turn some people from the expectation that they can 
get from the material world that which will satisfy to the belief in 
some invisible Source from, or through which, their good may come. 
Those who fail to find God an open door to health, wealth, and 
success are naturally led to seek further for the Way, or to seek the 
meaning of the Way. 

It is not given to a human being of himself to decide when or 
whether he will enter the Path or the Way, and until the Spirit of 
God touches a person, he has no interest in finding it, and certainly 
no inclination to follow it. In the life of every person, however— and 
not necessarily in this particular lifetime or lifespan— at some titoc 
or other he will be touched by the Spirit. He may never know when 
this actually happens : all he knows is that a curiosity has developed 
in him, a hunger, or a thirst for something— he knows not what— 
that drives him forward. It is at such a moment that he enters tW 
Path, and from that point on, it does not lie within his power v 
decide to what extent he will embrace it, or how far he will go- 
Early in his progress, however, he learns that there really a re ° 
bad people and good people; there are not sinful people and P* 
people; there are not sick people and well people : there are ° J 
those who do not know the truth, and those who do : the unillurru 11 
and the illumined. 




THE UNILLUMINED AND THE ILLUMINED 149 

Those who are in sickness, sin, or poverty are the unillumined: 
they do not know their true identity, and they are therefore wander- 
ing in the wilderness, seeking for harmony, but seeking for it in the 
wrong direction. They are struggling for things, for fame and fortune, 
honestly believing that when they attain these, they will have at- 
tained their goal of happiness, peace, and contentment. But do they? 
Are they not usually in the same misery they were before they at- 
tained them? True, they may be enjoying their misery in more 
luxurious surroundings, but the misery is there nevertheless, and the 
reason is that regardless of the outer attainment, the inner self is 
still starving and thirsting. 

In his state of unillumined being, each person has a life of his own 
ito live, a life probably destined to be manifested on earth for three- 
score years and ten— a little less or a little more— a life subject to 
disease and death, a life that began and must therefore end. This 
constitutes the unillumined, the human race. 

When a person is illumined, however, that is, when he knows the 
truth of his real identity, he loses all capacity for sin or poverty, and 
for disease as well; he loses the propensity and the potentiality for 
evil in his life, but only in proportion to his illumination. 

The illumined do not live by laws of limitation, by the law of 
threescore years and ten, by the laws of good and evil. They live by 
the Grace and Truth the Christ Teveals, not a Grace and Truth 
separate and apart from the son of God, but a Grace and Truth as 
the life of the son of God. The individual illumined with the under- 
standing of the nature of God and the nature of his own being is no 
tonger the "creature," but is now the son, the heir of God, living 
"nder Grace. 

Once even the tiniest little crack of insight into the nature of God 

ls opened, the rest comes more or less quickly, because now, instead 

bnnd faith, there is a complete relaxing from mental strife, 

r,1 ggle, and effort in the realization that, since God is infinite 

saom and light, we can rest and let God illumine, instruct, and 
guide us. 

., n even a small measure of spiritual illumination must come 
realization that God is not to be prayed to and that there is 
lln g for which we can pray. This first glimmer of light reveals 






152 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




for their families, it is quite understandable why, upon returning 
home from a day of such labor, the men would be more eager for 
food and sleep than for study and meditation. The women, also, with 
their large families and arduous duties would hardly be ready for 
serious study or have any interest in the deep and abiding things of 
life. 

For these reasons, and probably many others, practically the 
only place where revealed truth was taught was in the mystery schools 
that existed thousands of years ago in Egypt and brer on in Greece 
and in Rome, There were also such schools in India, and some of 
them were found as far north as Tibet. Those of a religious or 
philosophical turn of mind became the students in those schools or 
in the religious orders where truth was taught. 

In order to ensure against the misuse of truth, a candidate for 
membership in a school of wisdom was required to pass very rigorous 
tests and give evidence that he was not entering the school for 
personal or selfish motives, or with any idea of immediate material 
gain, but that he was entering it in a sense of dedicating his life to 
the most High and proving his dedication by service to mankind. 

One of the main requirements was that students remain for at 
least six, seven, eight, or nine years in order to receive instruction, 
and as they absorbed the lessons taught, they were advanced by 
degrees. Undoubtedly, in some of these schools, there were teachers 
of great spiritual wisdom, although it was the mental and the occult 
realm of thought that received the most attention in those days. 

The early Hebrews also conducted religious schools where those 
with a religious bent were accepted for instruction and eventually 
became priests or rabbis— some lesser lights and some greater. 

At the time of the Master, Judaism was divided into three maj° r 
sects, the Essenes, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees. Of all these 
the Essenes probably had developed the highest degree of spirit 113 
wisdom. The practices of this sect, however, differed in so man] 
respects from those of other groups that it was greatly persecut 
and eventually became almost an underground movement. Becatt 
of this, and in my opinion, primarily because of this, the Esse" 
became the most highly organized and disciplined of any or 



THE UNILLUMINED AND THE ILLUMINED 



153 



judaic sects. They came to a place where they lived almost entirely 
]jv rules and regulations, and the im partition of spiritual wisdom 
played only a minor part. In fact, for the Erst seven or eight years 
f 3 person's membership in that order, he was not allowed to know 
an y of the secrets of its wisdom. Such an emphasis on discipline, 
rules, and regulations not only killed whatever inspiration an indi- 
vidual might have brought to a group, but it undoubtedly destroyed 
anv hope he may have had of reaching his goal. 

Some scholars believe that Jesus was a member of the Essenes, 
but parted from them because he felt that truth should be given to 
the people, whereas the hierarchy felt that the people were not 
ready for it. It was because Jesus imparted truth to the people, the 
truth that would have set them free, that he was crucified. 

Although the Master did teach this truth, he perhaps recognized 
that the masses, as such, could not at their stage of consciousness 
understand it. Probably, he hoped that here and there among them, 
there would be one or two, a dozen, or a hundred who would be 
able to perceive the spiritual nature of truth and demonstrate it, 
and that as time went on these dozens here, and hundreds there, 
would perpetuate the message and continue to give it to succeeding 
generations until eventually everyone would have the truth. 

kven though the masses could not receive the truth the Master 
taught, there were many persons who did, and because of that, for 
the next three hundred years, mighty works were done by those who 
had become followers of the Master's teaching: spiritual healing con- 
tinued to be practiced; every person was given freedom of thought; 
at, d inroads were made on the dogmatism of some of the Hebrew 
ects which taught that only the Hebrews were worthy of being 
§ iv en the truth. 

t must have been a great struggle for Paul to break through the 

Q'tional narrowness of the existing Judaic sects and to begin 

m S truth to the Gentiles. It must have been a great wrench for 

Cr to learn that lie must call nothing unholy that God had made, 

01 him, too, to begin preaching to the Gentiles. But when Peter 

an] arrived at the state of consciousness where they were willing 

e ach to the pagans, and as they began to bear witness to the 



154 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

spiritual truth that there is neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free, 
and that we are all one in Christ Jesus, they broke down the barriers 
of spiritual ignorance. 

The moment a person begins to know the truth, he breaks down 
barriers: he is set free, whether from economic lack, bigotry, bias, 
nationalistic pride, or from narrow religious convictions. The truth 
reveals the universal nature of God's love which is bestowed alike 
on saint and sinner, and is not reserved for those who belong to a 
particular church. 

This truth was in existence thousands of years before Jesus. It did 
not set many people free, but that may have been because only a 
limited number were permitted to learn about this truth. Unfor- 
tunately, it has not set many free since that time because of mental 
inertia which is only a polite term with which to describe downright 
laziness. 

Let us face it: we are mentally lazy. The truth is available, but 
we do not fenow the truth. We read it. We read it and say, "Isn't it 
beautiful!" We hear it, and we say that it is even more beautiful, 
even more powerful. And then probably we go home and either wish 
we could make it come true or hope to find a spiritual master who 
will do it for us. The fact is that it is not going to be done for us by 
any spiritual master now, any more than it was done by spiritual 
masters in the days when there were more of them on earth than 
there are today. 

Many years ago this wisdom was taught in the mystery schools, 
in some fraternal lodges, and in religious orders, but today there are 
no such schools on earth. Such as do exist on the inner plane are 
available only to those who have spiritualized their consciousness t< 
the extent that they can find entrance into the spiritual orders which 
exist behind the scenes, that is, beyond the realm of the human mm* 
Those who have thus spiritualized their consciousness through kno* 
ing the truth make a transition from being the man of earth, de- 
scribed by Paul, to being that "man in Christ . . . whether in &Q 
body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell." 

We are men of earth until we know the truth and demonstrate 
sufficient degree of it so that we reach a state of consciousness whic 
is no longer fettered by ignorance, superstition, and fear. In tlw 






THE UNILLUMINED AND THE ILLUMINED 155 

state of consciousness, we are enabled to penetrate behind the realm 
f mind into the realm of divine Consciousness, but it takes spiritual 
Illumination to make that possible. 

These ancient schools of wisdom had neither silver nor gold to 
give, neither name nor fame. What they had to offer was spiritual 
illumination, the transcendental consciousness which would lead the 
aspirant into harmony, joy, peace, and glory, but not always in the 
wav that he might outline. 

In such a school, initiation, which was a significant landmark on 
the spiritual journey, always took the form of going from darkness 
to light, from material sense to spiritual consciousness, from the un- 
illu mined state of consciousness to the illumined; and while the 
method of study, practice, and unfoldment might differ from place 
to place, and from one era to another, the goal and the result were 
always the same— the development of a transcendental state of 
consciousness. 

Many different terms have been used to describe the enlightened 
consciousness. In Christian mysticism, this enlightenment is some- 
times referred to as Christ-consciousness; in India, the aspirant who 
has received a measure of spiritual light is said to have attained the 
Buddha-mind; whereas in Zen Buddhism the term used is safari. The 
terms are different, but the idea is the same. 

Whenever an individual attains a very high state of consciousness 
or what is understood to be illumination, he is said to be enlightened. 
Each of the great spiritual teachers, Christ Jesus, Buddha, Shankara, 
received complete illumination and became the light of his particular 
world. 

Illumination really means going from a human state of conscious- 

nej s to a spiritual state of consciousness, the transcendental or Christ- 

c °nsciousness, which is above and beyond the human. While it is 

not beyond possibility for any human being to attain this in some 

^ee, it cannot be experienced by the human state of consciousness, 

When a measure'of light comes to a person, it brings with it new 
tacult; 



Hi 
oft 



■es and new experiences. "There are diversities of gifts." Among 
^e is the gift of healing which some enlightened leaders have had; 



et s have had a gift for spiritual teaching, that is, the ability to lift 
tu <3ent above his own humanhood into an enlightened state; 



156 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

others have received by Grace an inner power of prayer which has 
enabled them to release many, many persons from their discords and 
inharmonies. 

A case in point, of course, is Moses who, brought up in the social 
climate of the court and well educated, was just an ordinary person 
until that one great mountaintop experience when he came face to 
face with God, received his illumination, and attained transcendental 
consciousness to the extent that a whole new faculty developed 
within him. He was lifted to such heights that he was enabled to 
return to Egypt and, without taking up the sword, to lead the 
Hebrews right out from under Pharaoh. Under the direction and pro- 
tection of this transcendental consciousness, he guided them out 
from slavery, lack, limitation, ignorance, and superstition, across the 
wilderness until they came into view of the Promised Land, and 
brought them into some measure of freedom and light, the measure 
of course being only that of which they were capable at the time. 

So it is, then, that this man Moses, with no special or outstanding 
talents to set him apart from other men, became at that moment of 
attainment a leader and a liberator of a whole people. Throughout 
the history of the Hebrews, from Abraham right on up to Christ 
Jesus, whenever an individual was endowed with the transcendental 
consciousness, he, too, was given the strength and wisdom to bring 
a measure of freedom, light, grace, and healing to the people under 
his care. 

Christ Jesus is perhaps the most outstanding example of an attained 
transcendental consciousness. Very little is known of his early life 
bevond the fact that he was of a family of carpenters, that he himself 
worked as a carpenter, that it is believed he was educated in the 
Essene Order, and that he was trained as a rabbi. Eventually, he went 
out to preach, but because he possessed gifts that the other rabbis 
of that day lacked— gifts that even Gamaliel, the greatest of the 
Hebrew teachers, did not possess— the great gifts of healing and 
supplying, of leadership, teaching, and of revelation, and because he 
often preached contrary to the teachings of the Hebrew hierarchy; 
he aroused its ire. 

During this period, and a thousand years or more before it, mafl 



T 



THE UNILLUMINED AND THE ILLUMINED 157 

learned the hidden secrets of the spiritual life in these schools of 
wisdom. It should be remembered, however, that the secrets imparted 
were not the same in every school because when we come to the sub- 
ject of truth, we find that truth is revealed on two different levels, 
the mental and the spiritual. 

Two types of schools therefore developed side by side: those that 
taught the power of the mind, and the purely spiritual that revealed 
how to unfold spiritually and develop the transcendental conscious- 
ness. On the level of mind, great works and great feats of magic 
can be performed, and sometimes this deludes people into believing 
that they are witnessing God in action, when it is nothing more nor 
less than the action of the mind. 

It is vitally important that every aspirant on the spiritual path 
should recognize and know the difference between these two ap- 
proaches. Whatever exists on the material or mental plane of life 
can be used in two ways, for good as well as for evil. The effects of 
spiritual or transcendental consciousness, on the other hand, can be 
only good. 

Seeking entrance to the spiritual path is no different today from 
what it has always been. It must always be, not for the purpose of 
personal gain, not for a selfish motive of any kind, but only for the 
purpose of enlightenment. 







CHAPTER XIV 



"AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD" 



A, 



.11 work on the spiritual path is directed toward the develop 
ment of a consciousness higher than that of the intellect or human 
mind. In the beginning, when there was no awareness of good or of 
evil, man lived out from the divine Consciousness, but after what is 
known as the Fall of Man, he took unto himself a consciousness of 
his own. He no longer had an awareness of the Father-consciousness: 
he now had a mortal consciousness, a consciousness of death, as does 
everyone who is under the universal belief in two powers. The pur- 
pose of work on the spiritual path is to bring about the return to this 
divine state of consciousness. 

In some cases, the impartation of that mind which was in Chnst 
Jesus takes place in an individual when, through some act of Grace 
within himself, the Master — I am not speaking now of a man: I a" 1 
speaking of the Master, the divine Consciousness— touches an lfl ' 
dividual and operates in him without the help of a teacher or with- 
out the help of a teaching, 

Paul, who received his illumination thirty years after the CruC* 
fixion, had no personal teacher to help bring about the spirit" 3 
transformation which took place in him. His religious teache > 
Gamaliel, was a scholar with a thorough knowledge of Hebie 1 * 

158 



"and they shall all be taught of cod" 159 

theology* but probably with little spiritual awareness, and spiritual 
power seems to have been completely absent from him. So, this Saul 
f Tarsus, who had been out on the mission of persecuting and help- 
ing to kill Christians, this Saul, one of the most highly educated and 
trained of religious scholars, but apparently without a trace of the 
spiritual, received his illumination from within himself without the 
help of a teacher or of a teaching on the outer plane. 

Paul may have received his teaching and illumination directly 
from the Spirit of the Christ Itself, but it may well be that because 
of his identification with the Judaic movement in the days of the 
Messiah, he attributed his illumination to the man Jesus who may 
have appeared to him and taught him. It may even have been that 
the consciousness of Jesus actually was there as the instrument of 
this illumination, just as in the case of John who claimed that he 
was taught by Jesus Christ, and this fifty years after Jesus had been 
crucified. 

Gautama the Buddha went from teacher to teacher for at least 
seven years, and some say more; and while he must have absorbed 
something from each one, it was only after he departed from all 
teachers and began to draw upon the resources within himself that 
he had the experience of complete illumination under the Bodhi 
tree. 

Without the aid of human teachers or teachings, these men un- 
doubtedly all received their illumination through their own inner 
devotion to the search for truth, and they are all in agreement that 
without this illumined mind, man is spiritually nothing: with it he is 
spiritually everything. 

There are two ways of receiving instruction leading to illumination, 
bu t always that instruction involves a progressive unfoldment and is 
b y degrees. One way is by direct impartation from God to the con- 
SCl ousness of the student, the way Gautama, Jesus, John, and Paul 
a ttained it. The other way is through a teacher and his teaching, 
Whether by direct contact or through his writings. In either case, if the 
n stniction is truly spiritual in nature, it is God revealing Itself. 

wringing about some degree of development of that mind which 

as also in Christ Jesus has for centuries been the activity of teachers 







160 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

working with students; and these students, through learning ar ,j 
applying specific truths, plus the contact with the teacher's conscious, 
ness, gradually take on spiritual light and spiritual power until thev 
finally attain the ultimate. 

No one can attain spiritual illumination by choice. If that were 
possible, probably those with the greatest financial resources would 
be the first to receive it because if they were interested in finding 
God they could search out a spiritual teacher and arrange to have 
him give them all the instruction needed until they reached the goal 
Spiritual illumination, however, cannot be bought with money. 

No teacher ever chooses a student for any human reason: because 
he has money, time, or because he may be a good friend. The teacher 
knows the consciousness of the student and leads him on, and on, 
and on, watching and waiting for the signs that indicate that there is 
now a preparedness not only to receive the divine Grace but also the 
capacity to continue in It. 

Unless a person is one of the few able to receive Grace without a 
human teacher, undoubtedly there comes a time when it is necessary 
for him to be in the physical presence of his teacher. It is said that 
when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This does not mean 
when the student thinks he is ready; it has no relationship whatso- 
ever to what the student thinks. It means when the student is actually 
ready. 

But how will the student know when he is ready? When the 
teacher appears and taps him on the shoulder. Until then, a student 
has nothing to do but abide within himself, perfect himself, accept 
whatever guidance is given to him of which he feels a Tightness, and 
then pray that his day of illumination will come. This day the teacher 
will recognize before the student does, and usually the teacher is 
standing by waiting for the student to look up. There comes an ex- 
perience which in human life is called love at first sight, and that is 
what happens when the teacher recognizes his student, and the 
student recognizes his teacher. 

It is possible that sometimes a spiritual teacher may misjudge the 
readiness of the student. Certain it is that Jesus miscalculated the 
readiness of about twelve of his disciples, but he took those who were 
most nearly ready, and he did not do too badly with them. Two <* 



"AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD" 161 

three of them turned out fairly well, and that is a good percentage. 
ar e must remember that he came in contact with only a limited 
number of people, many of whom were ignorant, illiterate, and cer- 
tainly untrained in spiritual matters. Had they all been Essenes, 
njobablv his disciples might have accomplished more than they did, 
but the)' were not. 

It is difficult, almost impossible, for any teacher to say, "You are 
perfect. You are going to attain the full selflessness." The best that 
a teacher can do is to sense that a student is ready, not necessarily 
that he is going to fulfill himself or that he is going to attain the 
heights of spiritual realization, but that he shows forth all the quali- 
ties necessaty for attainment, and from then on, it is up to the stu- 
dent whether or not he can attain. 

At this point the teacher gives the student all that he has to give, 
and then it rests with the student to what extent he will be able to 
complete the journey. No teacher can complete that journey for a 
student: the teacher can only take the student, lift him, bring him to 
discernment, and, at a specific time when so instructed from within, 
confer the initiation. From then on the student, working with the 
teacher, can go forward, but whether he attains the full measure in 
this lifetime is something no one can foretell. 

Hie giving and receiving of spiritual instruction is a sacred act 
and one which must be undertaken by both the student and the 
teacher with the utmost dedication and consecration. Real spiritual 
instruction begins only when the student is able to turn to God with 
such receptivity that he can hear Him speak to him, or when the 
student has found his teacher or his teaching and comes into the 
Presence of that teacher or teaching with no questions, with no 
de sire but one: Reveal truth to me. 

'he proper attitude of the student is one of sitting at the feet of 

le roaster, not with questions, but almost with a pleading, "Give me 

an understanding of God! Reveal God; reveal Truth." As the student 

s 'n quiet expectation, confidence, and assurance, the teacher is able 
et the word of God pour through his consciousness, and then it is 
a teacher talking, not a man or a woman, but the very Spirit of 

1 the Orient this kind of teaching was known long, long centuries 






162 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

before the Christian era. In this system there is a spiritual teacher 
who has attained some measure of spiritual wisdom — some more and 
some less — and who by sitting quietly in his cave, in his mountain 
retreat, or by the riverbank gradually attracts those individuals who 
feel drawn to him. These, then, become his student body. They wfll 
sit around the teacher, come back day after day for a session, and 
sometimes remain for two, three, or four nights and days, or for 
years, sleeping outdoors if necessary, until some measure of light 
begins to dawn in their consciousness. 

There are other teachers in India who have founded ashrams 
or have established small temples or places of worship where students 
can come to them, led there by an inner impulsion. There is no ad- 
vertising, of course, nor is there ever any reaching out for students. 
People sometimes travel thousands of miles just to spend a week or 
two with a particular teacher. Some students come and remain with 
the teacher for many years because today, in spite of radio and tele- 
vision, there are people, particularly in the Orient, who know that 
truth cannot be imparted or absorbed over a busy weekend, and they 
therefore find it quite normal and natural to spend from three to 
seven or more years with their teacher. 

When the student comes into the presence of a spiritual teacher, 
if he has prayed earnestly and sincerely to be led to his teacher or 
teaching, he will be in the presence of one who has little knowledge 
to give, but one who, because of his hours of meditation and attained 
conscious union with God, will be such a transparency that the Spirit 
pours through him either in words, thoughts, or in complete silence. 
In whatever form the instruction is given, however, if the student u 
receptive, he will receive the impartation. So the work is primarily 
meditation, with occasional impartations of truth from the teacher 
which the student can use in his meditations until he attains a degt 66 
of awareness of some of these truths. 

If the student's mind is in a state of questioning and disputation 
if he doubts or has not yet recognized his teacher, he cannot accep 
spiritual instruction from him. Truth can be received only when "" 
student reaches that deep humility which is willing to admit, "I 3 * 
empty; I know nothing. Fill me." Then when he comes into r 
presence of his teacher or finds his teacher's writings, he will be P 18 




L 



AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD*' 163 

pared to accept the teaching in humility and without argument, just 
as we have been prepared to accept the teaching of the Master, not 
because there is the authority of Christ Jesus behind it, but because 
something within tells us that this is the truth and we must follow 
in this way. 

No aspirant on the spiritual path should ever be influenced to 
follow a spiritual teaching simply because his friends have embraced 
it, are enthusiastic about it, or because it appears to be successful or 
popular. That has nothing to do with him. 

No one should ever be in a hurry to choose his teacher or his 
teaching. Rather should a person wait until he has such an inner 
conviction that he has found the right way for him that there is no 
turning back. Then, when it is revealed to him that this is the way 
for him, he will follow it even if it is a very difficult one. 

When a student finds his spiritual teaching, he should thereafter 
give up all others, and be as true to that teaching and the teacher as 
he expects the teacher to be to him. A student has a right to expect 
from his teacher complete and utter devotion to God and also all the 
assistance he can give to the spiritual unfoldment of his student; but 
the student must give that same devotion to God, to his teacher, and 
to his teaching, abandoning all others and clinging only to the one. 

No one should try to ride two horses in the same race. It has never 
keen successfully accomplished. Tire Master warned that there are 
many, many persons taking upon themselves the Robe and setting 
themselves up as the Christ who are not "Christs" at all. There are 
Oaay teachers parading under the banner of truth who have no 
understanding of, or relationship whatsoever to, truth. No one can 
te ll another who these are. The student himself will have to be led of 
«e Spirit to find out whether the teacher with whom he is working 
13 "lie that should come." 

When John the Baptist questioned whether Jesus was the Promised 

nc > Jesus' answer was, "Go and shew John again those things which 
^ e do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame 

a| k, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised 

P. and the poor have the gospel preached to them.'' That is the only 
pt Jof that can be given. 

Nobody can decide for another which teachers and which teach- 
















164 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

ings are true or false. Each one has to stand within himself and 
measure whatever is offered to him against what he witnesses as 
demonstrable truth. By the fruitage of the teaching and by the life 
of the teacher, each one will have to determine which teaching is for 
him, but no one should attempt to work with two, three, or four 
teachings at the same time. The Master called upon his disciples to 
leave their nets — leave their past, leave everything of which thev 
were convinced, leave everything behind them — to follow him, and 
he would make them fishers of men. 

When a person goes to God, it must be with complete surrender 
and a complete yielding. At first that is not possible because every- 
body has some religious convictions, even if his convictions are 
atheistic ones. The student who turns to truth discovers that many 
of his former beliefs were erroneous man-made teachings or interpre- 
tations of teachings, and that he has followed them only through 
blind obedience and ignorance. Then when he comes to the truth, 
he is shocked to discover that he cannot continue to accept some of 
his most cherished beliefs because, to his enlightened sense, they are 
not true. Some of these he is able to surrender easily, but to others 
he will cling with unswerving tenacity. 

The surrender of all that the student has held most sacred often- 
times takes place against his own inner convictions, against the faith 
and beliefs that have been stored up for years and yean. These he 
finds difficult to relinquish, and so he continues to attempt to grasp 
the new while still clinging to the old. 

The way of truth is not easy. It is not easy to be a seeker after 
God because in the end we have to drop all our cherished convictions 
and come to that new day when we make the great discovery that 
God is in the very midst of us. 

One function of a spiritual teacher is to reveal the principles with 
which the student must work in order to lift himself in conscious* 
ness to an apprehension of the Divine. The Master gave his disciple 
just such a way when he urged them to pray for their enemies, t° 
pray for those who despitefully used them, to pray in secret, to gi vC 
alms in secret, and to forgive unto seventy times seven. Jesus' f°'' 
lowers were expected to put these teachings into practice, and j usr 
as he pointed out certain principles, so today docs a teacher of sp> n | 





"and they shall all be taught of cod" 165 

ua l wisdom receive his own spiritual impartations and reveal them 
to his students. Such teachings are of no value, however, as long 
as they are merely impartations from the teacher to the student. They 
become meaningful and effective only when the student puts them 
into practice. 

Some persons think that reasoning and logic are sufficient for the 
attaining of the spiritual life, but I learned long ago that no spiritual 
teaching can be imparted intellectually. The reading of books alone 
will never give the majority of seekers the real import of a truly 
spiritual teaching because no one can grasp a spiritual teaching from 
books unless he is spiritually attuned. 

Only through spiritual consciousness can truth be imparted, and 
it is for this reason that so much time must be devoted to medita- 
tion, both on the part of the teacher and of the student. If a student 
has lifted himself up out of his reasoning, thinking mind into that 
area of consciousness where his intuitive faculties have full play, then 
he can comprehend and understand what the teacher is imparting. 
Otherwise, he is able to hear only with his ear, and in imbibing a 
spiritual message, hearing with the physical ear is meaningless. 

After he has revealed the principles with which the student must 
work, the second function of the spiritual teacher is to open the con- 
sciousness of the student so that a way can be made for the student 
to reach the center of his own being where God can reveal Itself to 
him. God is no respecter of persons. God does not choose out of all 
mankind a Lao-tse, a Buddha, a Shankara, a Jesus, a John, and a 
Paul and expect all the rest of the world to sit at their feet. No, the 
w °dd sits at the feet of the enlightened one to learn how he became 
a light and how it can go and do likewise. 

If the student is faithful, a spiritual teacher can open that student's 
consciousness to a receptivity to the Father within, so that the actual 
vjod-experience can come to him. Some persons receive spiritual 
'gnt very quickly, others more slowly, depending upon the develop 

le nt of the individual: what his background is, how prepared he is 
give up the reasoning, thinking, arguing mind, and how willing 

e 1S to sit, as it were, at the feet of the master and receive, and re- 
Ceiv e, and receive. 

^hile there is nothing that can either be asked or answered 









166 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




through the mind that will enhance a student's spiritual understand- 
ing or powers one iota, in the beginning it is natural for students to 
have questions which, when answered, may in some measure correct 
any false impressions the student may be entertaining and help clear 
away some of the underbrush in his consciousness, thereby preparing 
him for a spiritual experience. The teacher does answer the student's 
questions, but the continued asking of questions means that the stu- 
dent has not attained that inner awareness, and his attention must 
be directed, not to having his questions answered, but to going deeper 
and deeper into consciousness until he comes up with the "pearl," 
No spiritual teacher avoids answering questions that will clarify 
the meaning of the message, but once a student has attained the 
actual contact with his Source, questions seldom arise. As God un- 
folds in his experience, he is left without questions, without any doubt 
about what to do, or why. He is not concerned about understanding 
what sin is, or about being guided as to what he should or should not 
do. If he knew of how little importance these things are, he would 
never let them disturb his thought. His one concern would be to fol- 
low the light that is within him. 

Since spiritual impartation does not come through the human 
mind or through the reasoning faculties, the only reason that ques- 
tions have any place at all in the unfolding of spiritual consciousness 
is because the hodgepodge of erroneous teachings, which many have 
been taught from their earliest years, will continue to puzzle them 
until it is cleared out. The day must come, however, when the stu- 
dent realizes that all his questions, together with their answers, are 
absolutely worthless so far as his spiritual development is concerned. 
Spiritual development comes about through the experience of God, 
not in questions or answers. Through meditation, the teacher works 
to elevate the consciousness of the student, and this makes the stu- 
dent free. It is not a matter of knowing or not knowing the answer 
to questions posed by the human mind: it is a matter of attaining 
spiritual consciousness. Real spiritual teaching begins when the atti- 
tude of the student is: "I have no more questions. All I want now is 
answers, and I want those from God. I want them to come through 
inspiration either from my teacher or directly from the Spirit of G°& 
within me." 



'and they shall all be taught of god" 167 

Up to the time that such answers are received, the student must 
satisfy his mind by asking questions. That is the only method by 
which he can dispose of his queries, skepticism, and doubt, but he 
should rid himself of these as quickly as possible and then be done 
with that phase of his spiritual journey, which is only the pre-be- 
ginning stage. Even the beginning of spiritual wisdom is not attained 
until the questions are out of the way and the student is completely 
emptied and pleads, "The past is passed. I am not even interested in 
what I heretofore thought or believed. I do not care about answers 
to questions: I care only about the God-experience. Fill me; fill me 
with spiritual wisdom; fill me with the presence and power of God." 

With that attitude, the student has entered the beginning stage— 
the First Degree. From then on, by the grace of God which has been 
given him, the teacher can impart not only spiritual wisdom, but 
spiritual consciousness. Sooner or later, the way opens so that the 
student will receive his own impartations from within. The same 
light that has come to every mystic can then come to him; the same 
truth that has revealed itself to every mystic can then reveal itself to 
him. Truth in its essence is the same, but it comes in different lan- 
guage and in different degrees to each and every person. 

Truth has come to hundreds of people, but it always comes through 
an individual. Just as God spoke through Gautama the Buddha, 
Lao-tse, and Shankara, through Jesus, John, and Paul, so God can 
speak through the words of any God-realized person, and when the 
student himself has made the God-contact, truth will come through 
him. 

Tire teaching that is imparted without words and without thoughts 
1S the only absolute teaching there is. There have been students in 
The Infinite Way who have been able to receive such teaching, and 
w hcn that happens there are long periods of complete silence in 
w hich no word is spoken, and none thought, and yet the message is 
conveyed to them. 

fheie does not have to be any conversation between teacher and 
student because there is an area of consciousness which is really an 
area of impartation, so that without speech and without thought 

^atcver communication is necessary between the student and the 
ea cher will take place. It is not necessary to speak or to think when 



168 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD 



169 



two people are attuned, but they cannot be attuned by having some- 
thing in common humanly — only by knowing that / AM. 

When no personal sense enters, either in imparting or receiving, 
that is absolute teaching. It is accomplished entirely on the spiritual 
plane. When the Absolute is reached and the student rises with the 
teacher into divine Consciousness, the human sense of truth drops 
away. 

The spiritual teacher is not a mentalist. He never intrudes into the 
mind of his student, nor does he ever try to influence his student's 
thought even for good. The teacher's work is the purely spiritual work 
of making contact with God, and then letting it appear to his si 



: 



it is 



dents as it will. 

The ultimate destiny of a student has to be realized in his own 
consciousness. True, he may avail himself of a teacher, of a teaching, 
or of books. Books, of themselves, however, will not make his demon- 
stration: they are merely tools or instruments for his use as he goes 
into his periods of contemplative meditation. When he is in prayer 
and communion in that inner sanctuary within himself, there the 
transition takes place, the Word is heard, and ultimately the indis- 
soluble union is revealed. 

If the teacher is in conscious union with God and the student 
attuned to the teacher's consciousness, sooner or later the student will 
have some kind of an experience. It may be an experience in which 
he has an actual realization of the presence of God. If he is a Chris- 
tian, it may result in his recognizing a presence that he identifies as 
Jesus Christ; if he is a Buddhist, he may identify it as Buddha; but it 
is the same Consciousness appearing as different forms. Even though 
It appears as a person, It will be God appearing, and what the stu- 
dent has done is merely to translate the appearance into what most 
nearly approaches his idea of a spiritual teacher. 

The spiritual teacher makes conscious contact with God, and then 
if the student is sufficiently attuned, that conscious union may o° 
occasion appear to Iris student as a mystical experience in which h« 
will behold some form of Reality that he will translate in accordance 
with his own state of consciousness. 

Through the God-contact of the teacher, the student receives th 6 
God-experience and his illumination, but no teacher can do this t Qt > 



r to, a person by willing it, desiring it, or trying to mate it come 
about through any mental means. This will only thwart it and can 
lead to danger. 

Truth imparts itself through the teacher-consciousness, and when 
the student is Teceptive, that teaching is received, but because the 
instruction is not received in the mind, but in the Soul, the student 
would not be able to pass a rigid examination on it. The only way to 
know whether or not he has received it is that the light is shining in 
his face, and the fruits of the Spirit are appearing in his experience. 

Within the consciousness of each one of us there is a something. 
It is impossible to reveal the true nature of it, except to explain that 
to me it seems as if it were a tightly closed bud, almost like a fresh 
new rosebud. As students come to me, I can sometimes feel that 
something in them, that tight little bud in their consciousness, and 
1 know it is their spiritual nature, the Christ or the divinity of them. 

In Oriental teaching this is symbolized by the lotus. As the lotus 
opens, it represents a greater degree of spiritual illumination, and 
this can be observed in all Oriental art where figures representing 
attained spiritual consciousness are depicted as either sitting or 
standing in the middle of the open lotus. Spiritually interpreted, 
that means that they are rooted and grounded and established in the 
divine Consciousness. 

Often I see this little bud in the consciousness of an individual, 
and as the relationship of student and teacher continues, I can watch 
as it opens and unfolds until it is a full-blown flower. 

Some of us may not humanly have a spiritual teacher or even 
know of one, but inasmuch as no spiritually illumined person has 
e ver passed from Consciousness, all the great spiritual lights of the 
Past are still functioning, and they are just as available to you and to 
^ as is a teacher living on this plane right now. There are many 
Persons who have contacted a teacher within their consciousness 

ithout ever having had a teacher on the outer plane. This does not 
'flean that they have achieved their spiritual light of themselves. No 

e can do that. The light is awakened in them by someone who is 

le hght, whether or not they contact him in the human experience 



< Jr 



are even aware of his existence. 



1 



Should it be necessary for us to find a teacher or even to contact 



170 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

some teacher on the inner plane who could be an instrument fo r 
bringing this wisdom to us, he will appear. When we are in medita- 
tion, we are tuning in to the I that we are, the Source, and receiving 
whatever is necessary from that Infinity. It may be that right from the 
pure Source Itself wisdom comes, unfoldment and revelation. Some- 
times it leads us to a book in which we find what we have been seek- 
ing, but that is only because we are not yet fully attuned to receiv- 
ing it directly from the Source. There are other times when the 
great spiritual lights of past ages serve as teachers to us. God never 
brings the activity of the spiritually illumined to an end, and that 
spiritual illumination is available now and is operating on earth, in- 
spiring, teaching, and helping all those who are turning to God, 

For example, today I am a teacher revealing truth, but if tomorrow 
I should do what we call "die" and my physical presence should 
leave this world, that would not remove me. My I would still be 
here. What is done with my body would make very little difference 
because the 1 of me would still be here and could still teach if only 
those reaching out for that teaching can realize that there is no 
death and that we are separated from physical sight but not from 
actual communion. 

If we truly believe in deathlessness, we know that Lao-tse, Gautama, 
Jesus, and John are still functioning, but because we cannot be aware 
of anything outside our consciousness, the only place they can func- 
tion is in our consciousness: they cannot be up in heaven and they 
cannot be out in space. It is perfectly possible, therefore, for any 
great teacher to be our teacher until such time as we have complete 
access to the Source and Fount Itself without mediation. 

Many persons receive impartations in this way without even know- 
ing that they have a teacher because all teachers do not announce 
or reveal themselves: they merely work through the consciousness 
of the individual in a completely impersonal sense. Whether we a 
touching the I Itself or whether there is mediation is of no imp ' 
tance. If the impartations are coming through a teacher, they a 
■coming from the Source — not from the teacher, only through t 
teacher. No teacher could be a teacher if he were not one with V* 
Source. 



"and they shall all be taught of god" 171 

There is an invisible bond connecting us with every spiritual being, 
person, activity, thought, and thing in the entire world. Through the 
tealization of that, we are instantaneously at-one with the spiritual 
consciousness of those who have lived throughout all time. We are 
instantaneously at-one with the spiritual consciousness of everyone 
functioning on earth, and of all those who have not yet been born. 

Everyone exists here and now. But where is here? Are we talking 
about a room or about consciousness? The J of us is not, and never 
can be, in a room. The room in which our body is, is in our conscious- 
ness. That is what makes us aware of it. So, if we are attuned to the 
inspired masters of all ages, we have them with us at this moment 
in our consciousness. 

On this point hinges a tremendous revelation: we are never alone. 
Just as we attract to ourselves the companionship we deserve at any 
given moment, so in our invisible life there is companionship. As 
Jesus could tabernacle with Moses and Elias whom he looked upon 
as great teachers and spiritual seers, so do we today have those who 
are our companions on the spiritual path. You have yours, and I have 
mine — if so be we awaken to the realization that none of these has 
died, that our own is with us, and our own teacher is within us. 
Your teacher may be a man or a woman living in this particular 
parenthesis, or your teacher may be an invisible Presence and Power. 
Such is the mystical life. 

This communion is always with a divine state of consciousness, not 
with a human consciousness existing on another plane. Regardless 
M how many generations have elapsed, the possibility of contact 
exists because merely possessing a different form would not change 
" e situation. We are not limited to a body; we exist not as a physi- 
ea "ty» but as the I that we are, that I which we know ourselves to be. 

" I wish to commune with you, I have to close my eyes, shut out 



the 



a ppcarance, and go deep down within my consciousness. There 



find the J that you really are— the Soul, the divine child of God, 

e * that lives in the bosom of the Father and has never left the 
Father. 

e do not have to go any further than to turn to the f within to 



r ecei 



Ve impartations of truth and of wisdom from the Source because 






172 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

that I is one with the Source. In the very chair where we are sitting 
are both the Father and the Son — God the Father, and God the 
Son. We have only to turn within, and the 1 which is the Father 
begins to reveal Itself, Its truth, Its wisdom. 

Then if these impartations do not come in the form of words or 
thoughts, it makes no difference: they will still appear as effect. We 
may have no awareness that anything has taken place, but as long as 
we have gone within and made ourselves a state of receptivity, we 
can be assured that something is going to happen in the visible. 

Let us never forget that we do not have to go out searching for 
masters, or turning round and round in our mind trying to find 
them. What we have to do is to seek the kingdom of God, to desire 
God -consciousness and God -awareness, and if this is to come to us 
through the God-inspired, they will find us. It mav not even be necesr 
sary that we know the identity of those who are destined to guide us. 
There are many inspired and illumined men and women on earth who 
are totally unaware of that identity or of the individual source of their 
inspiration and strength. Others are consciously aware of specific 
identities, but I have never known of one who had this awareness 
who sought it. It was the grace of God that brought it to him. 

If we seek illumination from any being less than God, we certainly 
can be led astrav into idolatry. But if we seek it of God, and it comes 
through an instrument of God, through one illumined of God, there 
is no idolatry in that, and there is no personalizing of it. If we under- 
stand that masters are merely those individuals who, bv their spiritual 
preparedness, have been illumined of God, wc will not worship 
them: we will appreciate them and be grateful to them for being 
instruments through which God appears to us. If we see them a s 
something separate and apart from God, however, we may make the 
mistake of worshiping them as masters, and that can lead to trouble 
just as if we were to worship human teachers on this plane instead o> 
understanding what their function is and what makes them teachers- 
Teachers are not teachers because of themselves- they arc teachers 
because of a preparation that has been going on over many lifetir» eS 
and has made of them transparencies through which God, Trut' 1 ' 
can be revealed to human consciousness. 



"AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOd" 173 

When we understand teachers in that light, we will be grateful 
to them for the life they lead, but we will never go so far afield as to 
worship them; and when they pass from our personal experience, 
are will not feel that truth has been taken from us. Rather will we 
understand that from then on, truth will come either directly to us 
from within our own being, or if we have not yet reached that stage, 
another teacher or master will find us. 

So whether our particular teacher is on this plane or another, we 
can understand him correctly only if we understand that he comes to 
us as an instrument through which God, Truth, can reach us. Then 
if perchance we become aware of someone acting as an instrument 
from another plane and if through that contact the fruitage is good, 
we need not fear it, but welcome it. If, on the other hand, we find 
ourselves touching a realm on another plane made up of good and 
evil, we can know that we have touched only the human plane, 
whether here or there. 

The real teacher knows that I was before Abraham, and that I 
will be with him until the end of the world. That we are unable to 
see this teacher or this I with our human eyes makes no difference 
because I is not a physicality: J is Spirit; I is consciousness; I is life 
eternal, and if we can understand that, then where the / of the 
teacher is physically will never concern us, for that I will always be 
where we are, unto the end of the world, unto the end of time. J 
will be where we are, but inasmuch as the J of the teacher is the I 
W us, we can have that individualized J with us wherever we are by 
wowing that the I of our being is where the I of the teacher is: we 
ar e inseparable and we are indivisible. 

At a certain moment, when all the necessary requirements have 

^n fulfilled, the light of the teacher's consciousness illumines the 

udent, and then the student comes into the full awareness of his 

tUe identity and has a transcendental experience. When that takes 

f ac e, the student is as free and independent as the teacher, and is 

he f u ]] anc i complete realization of his true identity and of the 

ntity of every man, woman, and child in the world. 

Th 



d 



r ough this developed spiritual eye, we see the heart of an in- 
1Vld "al and the heart of nature: the heart of a leaf, of a flower, and 






174 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

even the heart of a stone. There is no such thing as dead matter. 
Everything there is lives and breathes, and everything there is has a 
soul. There are souls in stones, and there are souls in trees, but these 
souls are the one Soul interpreted at different levels. Seen materially, 
a stone is a stone. Seen mentally, a stone can be a weapon. Seen 
spiritually, a stone is really a little spark of God— a jewel, a gem— 
and strangely enough, it is incorporeal: it has form, structure, color, 
and beauty, but it does not have density. So with a tree: a tree has 
form, light, beauty, color, grace, but it has no density when perceived 
through the transcendental consciousness. 

No man of himself can bestow the Holy Ghost upon another, but 
as an instrument of God, the teacher becomes the transparency 
through which God reaches human consciousness, elevates and 
purifies it, lifts it from the stony soil into the barren, and from the 
barren into the fertile. 



CHAPTER XV 



SELF-SURRENDER 



q 




S-Audents setting out on the spiritual adventure often labor under 
the misapprehension that they are going to mount up on to Cloud 
Nine, Ten, or Eleven and not come down to earth at all except 
perhaps to help a few of their neighbors. But it does not work out 
that way, although at first there may be for them an "adding to" 
kind of experience, 

The spiritual path is a way of sacrifice; it is a giving up, a sur- 
render. If we can picture the Master saving to his disciples, "Leave 
your nets," or the disciples, the apostles, and the two hundred going 
about carrying the Christ-message far and wide, yet taking no thought 

1 their life, depending upon neither purse nor scrip, suffering 
Persecution and later on death itself, we can begin to realize that 

e way of the Christ is not a way of getting, but of givingness: it 
iSa way of surrender. 

dually the metaphysical student does not come to a truth-teach- 
surrender or to give up anything. His primary thought is on 



Hat he 



will get out of it, and while there should be no criticism or 



111 nation of those who are on that level of consciousness, it 



c ond 

"lUst h 

3 8 . e re cognized that getting has nothing whatsoever to do with 

P'ntua] teaching. 

175 






176 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

It is true, however, that the first year or two of study does result 
in a considerable amount of getting for most students. Their per. 
sonal lives begin to be adjusted; harmonies come into their experj. 
ence: greater health, sometimes a greater supply, and nearly always 
a greater sense of peace. 

A year or so later they run into a little trouble : the ego comes into 
the picture as students begin to realize that in order to attain spir- 
itual grace they are called upon to surrender all human qualities, 
desires, and passions— not only their evil ones, but also traits labeled 
by the world as good. Many cherished things have to go out the 
window when the Spirit comes in. Many comforts have to be re- 
linquished, and this is the period when even physical difficulties may 
arise. 

The human body has within itself the potentiality of discord and 
disease, and if it is left to itself, these errors would just continue 
multiplying until they became serious enough to cause pain. Under 
a program of two or three years of very serious spiritual work, how- 
ever, these errors are not permitted to lie dormant: they are roused 
up. 

It is not only physical discords that lie dormant in most persons, 
but the ego itself because in many cases it has had very little op- 
portunity to receive any attention. Those who have known little of 
honor and glory and who often feel like nobodies, which really all or 
us are as human beings, suddenly begin to blossom and find them- 
selves in the midst of activities heretofore unknown. Then it is that 
the dear little ego is fanned and begins to feel important. With that 
comes the period of rebellion— the inability of the ego to maintain a 
proper perspective— and a period of struggle ensues. 

In other words, during this second, third, or fourth year of very 
serious spiritual study, we can expect the worst of us to come to the 
surface, whether it is a physical worst, a mental worst, or even » 
moral worst. In many different ways the early years are troublesorn 
ones because, if the temptations that come are not wisely handled' 
we can find ourselves, not only like Lot's wife looking back at t« 
city, the state of consciousness, that she had left, but also walking 




back to those cities, to those places of outgrown consciousness 



arhicb 



we have long since gone beyond. The goal looks so far away that 



\VC 



SELF-SURRENDER 177 

^ay become discouraged and decide to turn back. It is in these vears 

therefore, that we need to watch ourselves most closely to be sure that 

,ve are not overcome by our problems or by the situations that face us 

but that we continue moving forward. 

During this period of unrest, doubts and questions come to our 

thought: Am I on the right path? Is this my way? If we could but 

remember the changes that have taken place in our life or if we 

could just recall the blessings that we have witnessed in the lives of 

others on this Path, we would know that regardless of what may have 

happened to us, this is still the way. Unfortunately, in this period of 

doubt, most persons forget all the evidence they have had over the 

vears which should have been sufficient to prove to them that this 

is the way for them. 

And so it is that at this point those of us who aspire to the spiritual 

life must remember that the goal of the Spirit is not more or better 

matter. The goal is not merely adding more material good, not 

doubling or quadrupling our income, or turning a sick body into a 

well one. If, however, we believe that those things represent the goal 

and that judging by appearances we have failed to reach that goal, 

fre may be tempted to leave the high road and turn away from what 

our real goal should be. 

The spiritual path leads to God-realization, to God-government 

arid God-control. Along the Wav, and as a result of our progress on 

that Way, healings come to us: physical, mental, moral, financial, 

and healings also of discordant human relationships. These, however, 

ar e not the goal: they are but the added things. At some point in 

°ur experience they may serve as a temporary- proof of the Tightness 

ot the Path, but in the final analysis they never are, because "neither 

"I they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." But these 

ea lings, nevertheless, do serve a purpose, and a good one, and they 

** necessary to the fulfillment of the teaching of Jesus Christ. 

1 am come that they might have life, and that they might have it 

or e abundantly." That is the promise, but there are footsteps 

!1, g up to the fulfillment of that promise, and these are some- 

es very, very hard, primarily because of the surrender that is 
^ssary/ ' 

0r the person who is merely seeking more harmony in his daily 



F, 






178 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

life, however, this surrender is not necessary. A little reading or an 
occasional call upon a practitioner or a teacher will give him sufficient 
help to make him comfortable so that he can go along avoiding mo$t 
of the discords of human life, and leave the ultimate working out of 
his salvation to some future time, perhaps even to some future lif e 
But for those who cannot rest in that, for those who have felt the 
son of God in their breast and who have had their footsteps turned 
to a spiritual path, there is no such thing as being satisfied with a 
little physical comfort, mental and moral stability, or financial se- 
curity. There has to be the pressing onward to the ultimate goal, 
and that is where the surrender comes in. 

We must surrender all desire to the one desire: to see God face to 
face, to know Him, and to let the will of God be made manifest in 
us. There must come the complete surrender of our personal selfhood, 
so that the Spirit of God can fulfill Itself in us in accordance with 
Its will, not with ours. 

It is the will of God that we have life eternal; it is the will of God 
that we bear fruit richly. As a matter of fact, the Christ is planted 
in our consciousness for one reason, and one only : that we might be 
at peace; that we might have life and have it more abundantly; that 
if we are blind, our eyes may be opened; if we are deaf, our ears may 
be unstopped; in other words, that the grace of God fill us with an 
infinite abundance of spiritual good. Christ Jesus said not one word 
about using the spiritual path as a goal to acquire palaces and king- 
doms and earthly treasures. Rather did he say, "My kingdom is not 
of this world." 

The student of spiritual wisdom must pray, not for the king- 
doms of this world, not for "the four temporal kingdoms." One o 
the reasons for our discontent is that the four temporal kingdom' 
have not been fulfilled in us as we had hoped thev might be, a " 
now we are being called upon to surrender our desire for thos* 
kingdoms— for the things of "this world," for the things for wrn c 
we have heretofore prayed. Our goal must now be the purely spin* 
one of attaining the kingdom of heaven. 




The kingdom of heaven is a state of great peace and harm 1 



on? ; 



it is a place of many mansions where everyone is a master, 



and the* 



SELF-SURRENDER 179 

are no servants. What a strange kingdom! A place in which there 
af e all these great wonders, but no servants to take care of them, 
gach one >"s a master, and each one is his own servant. Unfortunately, 
however, some persons believe that heaven is a place where they will 
^ masters with servants to wait upon them. It must come as a 
shock to many to realize that in their spiritual ongoing, there are no 
places of honor, greatness, or fame; there are no kings and princes; 
there is no upper ten or lower five. All these are one in Christ Jesus: 
there are no greater and no lesser. There is only a complete depend- 
ance on the Spirit of God. 

There is a Spirit of Christ, and It will raise up our mortal bodies; 
It will be the bread and the wine and the water to our experience; 
It will take us out of those empty years of the locusts. There is a 
Spirit, but there is a price to be paid for It— a surrender. Spirituality 
cannot be added to a vessel already full of materiality. We cannot 
add the kingdom of heaven to our personal sense of self; we cannot 
attain the kingdom of heaven if there is an inordinate love of per- 
sona] power, a love of glory, a love of name or fame, or a desire 
merely to show forth the benefits and the fruitage of the Spirit in the 
form of better human circumstances. Our vessel must be empty of 
self before it can be filled with the grace of God. 

The Master Christ Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, touched 
"e lepers, and served in any and every way to show that it was not 
"e. himself, who had power, but that it was the grace of God that 
*as operating through him, not a Grace in him alone, but a Grace 

a t would operate in all those who were willing to leave their nets 
a "d empty themselves of self. 



Wh 



s <tt to do 
stand 



en a person realizes that it is impossible for him of his own 



any mighty works, impossible even to have enough under- 
'"uaing to heal a simple headache, then, and then only, does he 
■^coirie 
*'ork 



an empty vessel through which the Spirit of God can do Its 
■ °" earth. It is when sitting humbly and completely aware of 
fun S . 1Ilabint y' even to know how to pray, that the Spirit of God can 

l0 n and perform Its miracles on earth, 
ifjg spirit of God is ever-present to lift us up out of our every 
7* but it has to have a human consciousness to use as an 



1 









180 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

instrument. There had to be a Jesus Christ to perform those miraca. 
lous and instantaneous healings in Galilee. There had to be discing 
to carry on the healing work. God always acts through an individual 
consciousness, just as He acted through Moses, Elijah, and the 
disciples, and as He has acted through the mystics, metaphysicians 
practitioners, and teachers of these later days. God operates through 
the instrumentality of individual human consciousness when indi- 
vidual consciousness is purged of its desire for self-glorification, for 
self-profit, or for whatever it is that "the four temporal kingdoms" 
represent to a person. 

When we come to the point of serving as practitioners or teachers, 
we shall have to be courageous and completely purged of any per- 
sonal sense because we will undoubtedlv offend many of the very 
persons whom we wish to bless. In this ministry there can be no 
catering to anyone because of his position, wealth, or fame; there 
can be no catering to the grosser part of human nature. Even' person 
will have to be brought to the same state of surrender, and, there- 
fore, we may have to "pluck out eyes," "cut off hands," and point 
out, "This way is straight and narrow, and you either follow in the 
straight and narrow way, or you will not enter." This Path is not the 
pathway of popularity. We may make ourselves unpopular because 
we will be called upon to discipline, to correct, and to teach undevi- 
ating principles which the human mind resisted in the days of Moses 
and of Jesus Christ, and always will resist. The human mind had to 
have its golden calf even after Moses had revealed the nature of God; 
it wants a golden calf today because human nature does not like t> 
surrender its golden calves, and the biggest golden calf it has i 
self— self-indulgence, self, self, self. The human mind wants an]?' 
thing but self-surrender. 

Man has to be a hollow emptiness through which the Spirit p? 3 )' 
but when the Spirit prays in and through man, spiritual fruitage ta* 
place in this world. It is the Spirit of God that performs the g^ 
healing works on earth through those people who are able to be » 
and silent, listening ever and always for the voice of the Lord. 1 
the emptiness inside, the Spirit of God flows, and spiritual fn» 
appears. 



SELF-SURRENDER lfi] 

Certainly in the early stages it may be painful when tfo « ■ ► 

is breakmg up the humanness in us; certainly there Jl J*^ 

t0 rbances in our existence. These we must accept with L£ j 

This very pain and these very disturbances indicate that JE J" 

u , Now they are bang roused up, rooted out, and if we are £ n ful 
we will be purified. ^ u ™ 




CHAPTER XVI 



THE SECRET OF THE WORD MADE FLES 



In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the 
Word was God. 

The same was in the beginning with God. 

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing 
made that was made. 

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it 
not. 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that ill 
men through him might believe. 

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light 

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into 
the world. 

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the wond 
knew him not. 

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become t 
sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 

Which were bom, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, not ' 
the will of man, but of God. .■ 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beM 
his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of g 18 
and truth. John v.t'H 



T 

±he 



» cnflD' 



he Word becomes flesh, that is, the Word becomes the sod 
God in the consciousness of men. The consciousness of most 
is dark so that it cannot receive or believe in the son of God. " u 

182 



THE SECRET DF THE WORD MADE FLESH 



183 



those who can receive, to those who have some measure of spiritual 
n ttiitio n J to them the son of God can come and be received, and 
wause the son of God can be received even by one person in all 
the world, that makes it possible for all men, for us, too, to become 
jons of God. 

All the mystics of the world have revealed that there is but one 
Selfhood, one Ego, one infinite Being. God created individual being, 
individual you and me, in the image and likeness of Himself, not 
through the act of human conception and birth, but He sent man 
forth into expression as the showing forth of all that He is and has— 
and this without any processes. 

Because of this spiritual relationship with God, man is one with 
his Creator even though at some remote time he left his Father's 
house and decided to be something of himself, thereby becoming 
the Prodigal. He was not satisfied to share the Father's wisdom, His 
wealth, and His grace, so when he wandered away from the Father's 
house, from that divine I, he took unto himself the personal sense 
of "I," trying to make his way by means of his own efforts, wisdom, 
and strength, but failing— failing miserably. There in essence is the 
whole story of the human race. It is the story of the "natural man" 
who is not under the law of God. 

That has been the experience of every one of us. Before we under- 
stood the nature of God and of individual being, we perhaps thought 
°f God as some far-off being, probably sitting on a cloud or up in 
heaven, a sort of superhuman Father who rewarded us when we were 
good— if He happened to notice it — and who punished us when 
we were evil, which He always noticed. In those darkened days God 
as a kind of super-Santa Glaus, who, if we succeeded in pleasing, 
'5 n t condescend to do something for us, and who, if we displeased, 
°uld hold us in some kind of darkness or inflict some punishment 
u P°n us. 

n that darkened stage we had to rely on ourselves alone for our 
grcss through life, earn our living by the sweat of our brow, go 
|7 °ugli Hfe subject to all its laws— health, economic, and legal— 
n y of them unsound and unjust, and live under the domination, 






c "mes of family and sometimes of government. We had no 



184 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

access whatsoever to anything of a spiritual nature that could solve 
our problems for us or be of any help in an emergency. We w^g 
human beings, unenlightened, unillumined; we were in darkness; 
we entertained a sense of a selfhood apart from God. God was j 
million light years away, beyond the stars; and in that sense of sepa- 
ration we believed that our sins and those of all our forebears were 
operating to keep us from God. 

In our innermost hearts we felt dissatisfied and incomplete because 
we had not shown forth the wealth of the son of God, nor the 
health and perfection of life eternal. Feeling that absence, that sense 
of separateness and that incompleteness, we reached within ourselves 
and asked, "O God, where art Thou? Is there a God, or have I been 
deluded? Is there a supreme Being, or have I been fooling myself in 
trying to find One?" 

This inner pleading testified to the vacuum somewhere within ns, 
and this vacuum cried out to be filled. This vacuum, or sense of 
separation, may have appeared in us as sin, false appetite, disease, 
or poverty. What difference the form? However it appeared, it was 
really a sense of incompleteness, and this brought about within us 
a longing to be complete and whole. We may have interpreted this 
as a longing to be healthy, or to have a sufficiency of supply, or as a 
longing for companionship, but deep within us, our real longing 
was to be reunited with our Source. 

Yet at that very same time this Word made flesh, this son o 
God, dwelt in us, but was shrouded about with so much darkness 
that we could not perceive It; we were not aware of Its presence 



So in this spiritual darkness, brought upon us by our ignorance 



of 

the truth that within us is this Word made flesh, this Light of t 
world, we struggled by ourselves with whatever measure of hurna 
wisdom or human strength we had. 

But whether we struggled for a healing or to be free of sin, ***': 
appetite, or lack, what we were really struggling for was to get b a 
to our Father's house, to drop this sense of the personal "I, 
once more rest in the assurance that we are not a prodigal. In 
earnest longing and struggling, this false sense of self drops av 




THE SECRET OF THE WORD MADE FLESH 185 

and greater harmony appears. In our ignorance we call that a heal- 
jjjtr. It is not: it is the more-appearing of our divine Selfhood. 

Paul rightly declared, "Neither death, nor life . . . shall be able 
to separate us from the love of God." In reality we have never been 
separated from God; we have never been separated from our good, 
from on r wholeness and completeness; but from the time we were 
infants we have been taught about a personal "I," and we have, 
therefore, entertained this false sense of self which claims, "I am 
Mary," "I am Bill," or "I am Joel," instead of humbly realizing: 

"Be still, and know that I am God." I at the center of me is God, 
and therefore, I live by Grace and by divine inheritance. 

To live by that divine inheritance does not mean that we do not 
work. There is no provision in heaven or on earth for parasites. Re- 
gardless of the material wealth that we may inherit, we cannot sit 
by and watch the sun rise and set without working, and in some way 
making a contribution to this world. 

So it is that even though we are heirs of God and, through our 
spiritual realization, do ultimately derive our good from God, we 
will work, and work more hours and more diligently than we did 
when we were working merely for a living because now we realize 
uiat we cannot manifest God's glory only eight or twelve hours a 
da y: it takes twenty- four hours every day to show forth God's grace 
a *io God's glory. The whole of life becomes a matter of letting this 
pmtiial Influence flow through, but because we are united with one 
another, everything that flows through from the Father to any one 



of 



Us is instantly shared bv all of us. 



of 
tain 



Nothing can come into our experience except through an activity 
0llr consciousness. It is through our consciousness that we enter- 

a sense of separation from God, from good— supply, companion- 
Pi wholeness and completeness— but it is also through our con- 

1; »ncss, when we consciously make ourselves one with the Source 
good, that we are restored to this realized oneness with God. 

1 a, s consciousness man either lacks or has. Within his conscious- 



186 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

ness he either separates himself from his good, or he meets up with 
his good. Whatever it takes, therefore, to fulfill him at his present 
level of life can come to him only through an act of his consciousness 
and that act must be repeated again and again until eventually ^ 
culminates in conscious union with God. 

Attaining union with God does not usually come at a' single 
bound. It is more than likely to be the result of years of dedicated 
study, meditation, and service, the earliest stage of which might be 
called the First Degree. When we come to this First Degree, we 
begin to leam that there is a God and that we are so much one with 
Him that He performs that which is given us to do. 

As we persist in following the teachings of the Christ, learning to 
forgive seventy times seven, praying for our enemies, and resisting 
not evil, we draw closer and closer to the realization of our true 
identity and the realization of the presence of God within us. But 
we cannot go into His presence with a cruel and condemnatory at- 
titude toward life: we have to go in gently and peaceably, quietly 
and confidently, if we hope to hear that still small voice. 

Gradually, we attain a conscious at-one-ment with the infinite 
Source of our being, a greater and greater awareness of Infinity. We 
become more and more aware that there is a Presence that goes 
before us to make "the crooked places straight." We feel that we are 
not alone, that within us there really is this Infinite Invisible. At 
times it seems almost as if It were within our chest, sometimes as if 
It might be sitting on our shoulder or standing back of us, but we 
are aware, even if dimly, that there is a Father, an invisible Presence 
and Power, and more and more we relax in It. All this is progress 
in the First Degree. 

As we come toward the latter part of the First- Degree-experiencet 
we begin to perceive that we are living more by Grace than by effort' 
we are living more by a power that is doing things for us without 
our taking conscious thought, and sometimes doing them before * 
even know there is a need for them. Something seems to be g 011 * 
before us and changing the relationships between us and ' 
people we meet. 

The end result of passing through this degree is the gaining or 



THE SECRET OF THE WORD MADE FLESH 



187 



absolute inner conviction that where we are, God is, that the place 
w hereon we stand is holy ground, that there is a He that performs 
that which is given us to do, that there is a divine Grace that pro- 
vides for our needs, "not by might, nor by power," but by the very 
gentle Spirit of God that is within us. 

In spite of this continuing awareness of a Presence within, there 
js yet another barrier that separates all men from the realization and 
demonstration of God: the belief that there are two powers. In the 
early stages of our study of truth, we seek God as a power because 
in our ignorance we would like to use God-power over some other 
power. But the greatest attainment at this stage of our unfoldment is 
the realization of God as One, not as a power over some other 
powers, but as the only Power. It is when we begin to come into 
the realization of God as the only Power that we no longer fear 
external powers in any form, not even "the armies of the aliens." 

In going through the First Degree, a transformation of conscious- 
ness takes place, and in proportion as we attain an awareness of 
God's presence and a realization of the Infinite Invisible, we begin 
to lose our hate, our fear, and our love of the external world. We no 
longer hate or fear germs, infection, contagion, epidemics, or acci- 
dents; we no longer hate, fear, or love form in whatever varietv 
expressed: we are beginning to attain the realization of the non- 
power of all form. We do not fear earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, 
cyclones, or floods: we understand that because of the infinite nature 
of spiritual Being these are not power. They are the "arm of flesh," 
nothingness. 

I nrough the building up and strengthening of our realization of 
Y°d as a Presence, as Law, as Life eternal, and as Peace, we are at 

e same time losing our fear of all material forms, whether appear- 

8 as condition or person. We are beginning to feel as the Master 
before Pilate: "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, 
t were given thee from above." Through our enlightened 



^nscio 
s tado\ 



usness, we perceive that all the evils of this world are but 
3 ws brought about by the universal belief in two powers, and 
re losing that belief in proportion as God is becoming more and 
e r eal as a Presence and a Power. 






188 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




Hie enlightened consciousness is a state of individual conscious, 
ness— yours and mine— when the fear and the hate of external fonti s 
begin to disappear. Undue love for the things of this world also 
lessens, although that does not mean that we are not to appreciate 
the beautifu! things of life, experience them, and if it serves an? 
purpose, own them. It does not mean that we are not to enjoy a 
beautiful home, if so be it is brought into our experience; it does 
not mean that we are not to enjoy wealth, if wealth comes our way: 
it means that we are not to be so attached to any form of materiality 
as to make of it a necessity, a something of importance in our life 
when it really is but a part of the passing picture. 

Losing our hate, fear, or love of the external realm is not achieved 
by the mouthing of words or the making of affirmations or declara- 
tions, but only by the developing of our consciousness through the 
realization of a divine Presence which in the end we realize to be our 
own Self, the very I of our being. 

At the beginning of our spiritual journey we were in darkness, in 
gross spiritual ignorance; we did not know the truth. Because of this 
we were living in material consciousness: our whole sense of life 
was materialistic; everything that we thought of was from the ma- 
terial standpoint; and power was placed in matter or in form, either 
for good or for evil. We were aware of ourselves as individuals living 
our own lives, fluctuating between successes and failures, all because 
we were limited to our own mind, our physical strength, and our 
persona] sense of right and wrong. 

One of the first things we learned was that we are not alone, that 
there is a Presence within us, a Presence greater than anything B 
the world, a Presence that in the beginning we call He, not for any 
particular reason because this Presence has no gender: It is neitJitf 
male nor female; It is incorporeal and spiritual; It can never t 
seen, heard, tasted, touched, or smelled; It is known only as *' 
experience It. We may say that we feci It, but we do not feel 
through any sense of touch that we have. More correctly, we rwg 
say we are aware of Its presence. 

We practice this Presence, which we later identify as God, 
waking in the morning and recognizing that God gave us this « j 



THE SECRET OF THE WORD MADE FLESH 189 

that God rules the day as God rules the night, and that just as God 
governs all the forces of nature, so does He govern us. 

As human beings we are not God-governed, nor are we under 
the law of God; and for this reason anything can happen to us— 
anything from slipping in the bathtub to running out in front of an 
automobile, or picking up a tiny little germ and being laid low in 
hed and ill for weeks. Anything can happen to us until we become 
aware of the Presence and begin practicing the truth within ourselves 
every day. 

As we continue in this practice, an inner stillness takes place. We 
become more quiet within, more peaceful; we have greater confidence 
in ourselves because now we know that there is Something greater 
than ourselves working with us, in us, and through us. It may be 
that we hear the still small voice speak to us as clearly as any person 
might speak, giving us specific instructions in a language that we 
cannot possibly misunderstand. Sometimes we are aware of a great 
light within ourselves, and just the presence of that light changes our 
entire outer experience. 

There are many ways that this Presence can announce and reveal 
Itself to us, but one way we can know whether it is a true spiritual 
experience is that there are always signs following. These may be in 
the form of the healing of some physical, mental, moral, or financial 
discord. The experience may bring about happier human relation- 
ships with others; it may increase our supply; or it may find employ- 
m «it for us. In one way or another, a spiritual experience is always 
a <Xompanied by signs following — what in metaphysics is called dem- 
onstration. 

While this process is going on, something else is taking place at the 

s& nre time. Intsead of putting our entire hope, faith, and reliance 

m the external world and instead of living by the world's standards 

life, W e now begin to see that there is a spiritual Something that 

°f far greater importance than the material. There is a Spirit 

ltllin us, and it is this Spirit that is playing the most important 



role 
If: 



m our life. 



sonig need arises in our experience that involves a sum of money, 
*> not immediately set about planning, scheming, or figuring 



ISC 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 












alow we can obtain that amount of money, but rather we realty 
H'lit a minute! 'Man does not live by bread alone'— by outet 
fets; man does not live by money alone." Then we drop the proh 
ia, and very soon whatever is necessary for its solution comes into 
to experience. It may cost money, but if so, the money will be 
frctided; or it may even come without the need for money. It is not 
ittey that is the need : it is the word of God that is the need, and 
4a the word of God comes, it either furnishes the money, or 
'kever is necessary without money. 

Dnring the days of our dependence on human ways and means, if 
*we having a physical problem, such as the heart causing diffi- 
culty, our whole attention would have been centered on correcting 
k functioning of the heart; but now, through this practice of the 
feetice and through meditation, something within says, "Man shall 
Kt live by heart alone, by liver, lungs, digestion, or elimination, but 
b'tvery word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!' " Now we 
*siMt thinking in terms of heart, liver, or lungs; we are not thinking 
s trims of digestion, elimination, or muscles: we are realizing that 
H lives by the word of God. As a result of that realization, either 
iitoigan or function of the body is repaired, or we are able to live 
■fflfortably without it. 

larough inner unfold men t we learn in this First Degree that 
*taeas before we thought we needed things on the outer plane and 
"3 whole life struggle was to attain more of these things, now «# 
'<ai from that struggle and realize that "man does not live by 
fed alone." 

As re took our first faint steps toward the Kingdom, we were led 
bins spiritual revelation: "Know ye not that the kingdom of Gw 
isu'thin you7 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God? Kn° w 
What the son of God, the Christ, dwelleth in you?" 
These words came with some measure of conviction of their truth 
id our heart answered, "This is what I believe, or what I wo°' 
li« to believe— that I am not alone in the world, that God has not 
ttme out into this world and then abandoned me. God h a * 
W me on this earth that I may glorify Him. But how can 

&1 



God in any way, bound as I seem to be by my sins, 



THE SECRET OF THE WORD MADE FLESH 191 

diseases, my false appetites, and my poverty? How can I glorify God 
j n my struggle to survive, in my struggle to provide for my family? 
flow can I glorify God?" 

The answer is, "You cannot! But if the Spirit of God dwells in 
you, then you become the child of God, and are heir to all the 
heavenly riches." 

Our first instruction in spiritual wisdom reveals that we are no 
longer to look up into the skies, and that the hills to which we look 
for our help refer to the high places in consciousness. When we 
return to the highest sense of our Self, to the Christ of God that is 
lifted up in us, we are looking unto the hills. Our vision turns within 
and upward into that altitude of consciousness where we can discern 
that the Word has become flesh and dwells in us. 

When, in a flash, Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus was 
blinded to his ignorance, to his past, to everything that he had known 
before, and when all of his former beliefs were wiped out, he became 
a pure vessel, with his sight restored to him, a sight beyond physical 
sight— spiritual vision. He recognized that the Light shining within 
him was the Christ; he knew that the son of God had been raised 
up in him. 

He dwelt alone with this sacred secret, retiring from the worid to 
commune and tabernacle with this Word made flesh within him. 
He learned to be less concerned with the physical sense of life and 
its needs, wants, or fulfillments. Now he was lifted up in conscious- 
ness, and he was tabernacling in his mind with this Spirit that had 
been raised up, this Spirit bom in the lowly mental environment of 
the humanly wise, but spiritually ignorant, Saul of Tarsus. And just 
as Joseph and Mary carried the Babe down to Egypt for several years, 
So Paul carried his Christ to Arabia, hiding there and letting It grow 
and develop in him until he himself became so consciously aware of, 
a "d one with, It, that just as the old Saul had "died," now the new 
aul began to live less and less, as the Christ lived in him more and 
more. 

Finally, the day came when the Christ could speak to Paul, "Begin 

y ur ministry. Go out into the world and preach Me. Preach to all 

e, i that I, the Word made flesh, dwell in you, and not only in you, 



1 






192 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

Paul, but in all those whom you address. Say to every one of them 
'The Spirit of God dwells in you.' And when your friends, the dis- 
ciples, and others try to caution you to give this Word only to y )e 
Hebrews, for the Hebrews are the chosen of God, and only they are 
worthy to receive this Word, you will suffer their persecution; y 0ll 
will be tried for standing for the truth that the Word made flesh 
dwells in the consciousness of all mankind, whether Jew or Gentiie 
whether Christian or pagan. You will carry to the world the uni- 
versality of the Word made flesh. You will break this bondage to 
one religion, to one teaching, to one teacher; you will reveal to all 
mankind that the Word becomes flesh, and dwells in the con- 
sciousness of all men, awaiting their recognition." 

Paul went out into the world spreading the glad tidings to those 
of all religious beliefs: "I bring to you the message of the son of God. 
I bring to you the revelation of the Word made flesh that dwells 
among you as the Light of the world— as the Light unto your world, 
I bring to you the revelation that you are children of God. 'Neither 
circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision,' neither fasting 
nor feasting availeth anything: you are already the children of God, 
for the Spirit of God dwells in you." 

The Word made flesh is the son of God, or Christ, and It is in 
the midst of us for the purpose of performing the will of God. I" 
this very moment there is within us the son of God, the Christ, and 
Its function is to heal and to raise us out of our "dead" humanhood, 
to restore the "lost years of the locust," to forgive us whatever » 
we have committed while in ignorance of our true identity. Th' 5 
Christ is forever saying to us: 

I am come that you might have life, and that you might have- 
more abundantly. Relax'. Rest! You have sought Me. I was here 6 
Vie time, but now you have found Me. 

Now you know the folly of sin; now you know the stupidity °! 
and now you know something even more important: there '* 
necessity for sin. No longer is it necessary to steal, no longer 
necessary to bear false witness, to scheme, to plot, or to take u»l! 
advantage, for I in the midst of you am mighty; I in the mi"- 5 * 



THE SECRET OF THE WORD MADE FLESH 



193 



you am your bread and your supply unto eternity. I am the source of 
Opportunity and of inspiration. I am the light unto your world. 

I am the resurrection, and if your body has been wasted away by 
jj-fi or disease, I will raise it up again. I— the Word made flesh, tho 
Christ that dwells in the midst of you— I am here to raise up your 
body from the tomb of sin, from the tomb of disease, and even from 
the tomb of old age. 

Do not let even the calendar defeat you, for I am the resurrection, 
and I am here to resurrect you out of that old body into a body not 
made with hands, a spiritual body, eternal in the heavens. You do 
not have to go through physical death to attain this new body: just 
dwell in the realization of Me in the midst of you! Morning, noon, 
and night, ponder Me, think on Me, dwell in Me, trust Me, rely on 
Me. 

Know the truth that I am in the midst of you, and I am mighty. 
I am performing the function of God in you and through you. I in 
the midst of you am the mediator between you and your infinite 
Source. 

Those things that I receive from the Father, I bestow upon you. 
The gift of Grace, the strength, the healing power, the redemptive 
power, and the forgiving power that have been given to Me of the 
Father, I in turn give unto you. Look unto Me and be saved 1 . 
Relieve in the son of God, and that that son of God, the Word made 
te, the Christ, is in the midst of you. 

Since "before Abraham was, I am" here in the midst of you. I will 
n ever leave you, nor forsake you. Even if your parents forsake you, 

will not forsake you. I will be with you unto the end of the world. 

°m to go before you to light your way and to prepare mansions 

far you. 

Regardless of the trials or tribulations that face us on our human 
°ur recourse is to remember consciously the Word made flesh 



*av, 



at dwells within us, and Its function. If we slip, Its function is to 
us np again; if we sin, Its function is to forgive us, seventv 

tlm « seven. 

Aft i_ ■ 
ner this truth has been revealed to us, we then begin a most 



194 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

difficult part of our journey because now comes that period when &. 
have to make truth a part of our own being, and bring it to fruition 
in our individual life. The way to accomplish this is through pra c 
ticing the presence of God. 

Very soon this practice of the Presence becomes second nature to 
us, and we can hardly draw a breath without realizing that but for 
the grace of God, we could not draw it. The body of itself cannot 
breathe; the body of itself cannot stand on its feet. A body, separate 
and apart from consciousness, collapses and falls down. We cannot 
live a moment without the conscious realization of the function of 
this Spirit of God in us. 

When the full significance of the meaning of the Word made flesh 
dawns upon us, and we realize that It is the mediator between God 
and man, we begin to see that this presence and power of mediation 
is in our consciousness, and therefore, all that the Father intends for 
us individually to have is ours by the grace of this realized, raised up 
son of God in us. 

This continued practice of the presence of God leads to an inner 
silence and stillness, so that the turmoil of the world does not enter 
in, and when we sit down, we find ourselves in a meditation in which 
we come into conscious union with God, and we are witnesses now 
to the Christ that is living our life, beholders of Its glory. 

We are no longer living by might or by power; we are no longer 
living by human wisdom, but by a divine Wisdom that flows out 
through us in what seems to be a human way. We live now, not by 
force, but by Grace, as if there were Something always out here 
knowing our need before we do, and supplying it. This comes about 
through the unfoldment and revelation that are attained in medita- 
tion when we have contacted that inner wellspring of life, that 
inner force which is our true Selfhood. 

In relaxing from conscious effort, struggle, might, power, concertU 
worry, and fear, the glory of God can be made manifest through on 1 
personal life, so that all men may witness it and know that w^ 
the Spirit of God is come to individual life, that life becomes one o 
glory and of service. No one's life becomes glorified that he may #° 
through life sitting on Cloud Nine: one's life is glorified that it nW 



THE SECRET OF THE WORD MADE FLESH 195 

, e a service and a dedication to the Creator of all, the Spirit of God 
that dwells in us. 

During the First Degree, we come to the realization that there is 
th ; s inner spiritual Substance, Activity, or Law, and that It is flowing 
out through our consciousness, becoming the substance of our new 
svorld. The man of flesh has "died," and in a measure that man who 
has his being in Christ is now beginning to come alive, resurrected 
from the tomb of material beliefs and risen into the realization of 
his spiritual identity. 



CHAPTER XVn 



THE MYSTICAL LIFE 
THROUGH THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS 



T 







he first stage of our spiritual unfoldment is an experience of 
coming more and more into a conviction of the Presence and Its 
availability in all circumstances and conditions. Simultaneously with 
this growing assurance, we also become aware of how much we are 
failing to live up to the stature of manhood in Christ Jesus and how 
far short we come even from measuring up to the Ten Command- 
ments, 

Realizing the presence of God and tabernacling with Him awakens 
us to our failings, and it is at this point that we enter the second 
stage of our spiritual life. Here it is that we begin consciously to try 
to live up to the Commandments, particularly those we have most 
failed to observe. It is not too hard for us to discover the degree of 
envy and jealousy that may be lurking in us, the bias and bigotry, t" e 
little lyings and deceits, the hypocrisies. These all come to light be- 
cause the more we bring the word of God into our consciousness, the 
more we expose our own lack of godliness. This forcibly brings to oo f 
attention the necessity of developing a greater ethical and m ora 
sense. 

In this second stage of our unfoldment, therefore, we earnestly W 

196 



MYSTICAL LIFE THROUGH TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS 1 97 

t0 live up to our highest sense of right, depending on the presence of 
God to help us and relying on the inner Invisible to lift us to a 
higher degree of humanhood. We begin to think; more about being 
benevolent and charitable, and about practicing brotherhood. Not 
onlv do we recognize the importance of caring for our own families 
and those needing help in our community, but we begin to think in 
terms of people in foreign countries, of aid for the distressed, or of 
providing education for those who at the moment cannot afford it. 
We turn our thought in the direction of living for others, helping 
them, and of bringing about better human relationships between 
management and labor or between members of different religious 
denominations. All this is an attempt to make the Ten Command- 
ments an integral part of our daily life. 

These Commandments were a part of a code of ethics given to the 
world by the Hebrews in the form of rules governing their religious 
conduct. Whether it was something concerning dietary laws, fasts, 
feasts, rituals, or one's personal life, everything was regulated accord- 
ing to laws which apparently proved so effective that they have been 
largely carried forward into the present Christian era and adopted by 
many people, despite the fact that Jesus emphasized only one of the 
Ten Commandments. To that one he added another from ancient 
Hebrew teaching, thereby giving the world the great Christian ethic 
embodied in the two great Commandments: 

TIi on shalt love the Lord thv God with all thy heart, and with all thv 
soul, and with all thy mind. 
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 22:37, 39 

Hie importance Jesus placed on these two Commandments did 
n °t imply that he considered it right and moral to violate the other 
ommandments — to steal, lie, cheat, defraud, bear false witness, kill, 
T commit adultery — because those to whom he was speaking under- 
°°d that a strict adherence to these two great Commandments 
° u 'd naturally make obsolete and unnecessary all the others. 

ere 'n lies the difference between living as a human being under 

e 'aw and living as the child of God under Grace. In order to ap- 

C1 ate this difference it is necessary to understand why, and how, 






198 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

nine of the Ten Commandments could be dropped from a teaching 
and yet right and perfect conduct be maintained. 

No one can live the Christ-life by willing or desiring to do so 
Living this life is not a matter of will because, if he could, everyone 
would like to live without the temptation of sin or disease, everyone 
would like to be honest. Until God comes through and makes Itself 
felt in a person's consciousness, he cannot live by Grace: he must live 
under the law, and more especially the law of the Ten Command- 
ments. Although living under the Commandments is only a step in 
human evolution, it is a necessary one in the experience of those 
human beings who have not yet been touched by the Spirit because 
the alternative is living in violation of them, and this inevitably 
leads to destruction. 

Living in obedience to the Ten Commandments is very much like 
living in obedience to city, state, national, and international laws. If 
we live according to these Commandments, we will be able to avoid 
most of the troubles that afflict the men and women of this world: 
we will certainly stay out of jail and we will have more harmonious 
human relationships. This obedience, therefore, not only makes of us 
good citizens, but it takes us a step beyond that to the point where 
we are also good brothers one to another universally, and we thereby 
bring into concrete expression love and good will. 

But now let us see what happens when we begin keeping the 
two great Commandments in our mind and in our heart, bound 
upon our arm, and even hanging upon our doorpost. To love God 
supremely means to place our entire faith, hope, confidence, reliance, 
and assurance in God, to acknowledge Him in all our ways from rising 
in the morning until sleeping at night, and to understand and rely on 
God as infinite Intelligence and divine Love. It is a relaxing into that 
assurance given in the Twenty-third Psalm, "The Lord is my shep- 
herd; I shall not want," and a resting in it without mental agitation, 
without fear, doubt, or concern. There is no other way to love God 
supremely except to place ourselves wholly and completely in Hi" 1 ' 
under Him, and with Him. 

Jesus knew that since God and man are one, there is no way °* 
loving God without loving our neighbor, and the only measure of * at 




L 



MYSTICAL LIFE THROUGH TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS 199 

love is that it be the same kind of love wherewith we love ourselves. 
■Therefore, to live, doing to no man what we would not wish to have 
done unto ourselves, giving forth nothing to another that we would 
„ot willingly, gladly, and joyously receive, produces an effect beyond 
jhat which is involved in humanly loving God supremely and our 
neighbor as ourselves. 

A third factor enters, and this is the great mystery. In loving God 
supremely and in acknowledging Him as the Principle of our life, the 
Source of our good, the Substance and the Law of our being, we are 
being unselfed. We are departing from the materialistic plane of life 
in which self-preservation is the first law of nature, a law that is com- 
pletely antagonistic to the law of God and contrary to the spiritual 
life. The Master revealed that the highest form of life and love is to 
lay down our life — not to preserve it at the expense of someone 
else's, but to lay it down in the realization that in losing our personal 
sense of life, we gain life eternal. 

This does not mean that we must let someone kill us, although it 
does mean that if it were a question of our life or another's, we would 
be called upon to lose ours rather than take the other's, hard as that 
may seem. Actually what it means is that in the acknowledgment of 
God as our wisdom, as our strength and the health of our coun- 
tenance, and as the life, substance, and reality of our being, we 
are, by that acknowledgment, giving up a measure of our personal 
sense of life. There is no other way of finding life eternal than by 
laying down our personal sense of life. 

In the personal sense of life we are almost always confident that 
atl y wisdom we express is our own; we are quite certain that the 
health of our body is ours; we glory in our mental and physical 
opacities because we believe that they are ours, different and set 
^ice apart from the mind and body of others. On the other hand, 
as God is recognized as constituting the health of our countenance 
" the source of our intelligence, guidance, wisdom, and direction, 

e are thereby providing the necessary atmosphere and consciousness 

r the awareness and the capacitv to understand the mystery of 
Un£ clfedncss. 

lr ni!ar!y, when we love our neighbor as ourselves, we bring about 



200 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 










a state of being in which we watch ourselves more closely to see that 
what we do and think gives offense to no one, and in this connection 
it must be remembered that it is not merely what we do that rnav 
give offense, but even what we think. 

Until this past century it was believed that as long as we kept anv 
critical, destructive, carnal, or sensual thoughts within ourselves, we 
were not harming anybody because these thoughts remained locked 
up within us. The Master, however, knew, as all mystics know, that 
this is not true. The thoughts that flow out from us are sometimes 
more powerful than the physical acts, and it was because Jesus recog- 
nized this that he taught that it was not sufficient to resist the act of 
stealing, but that it was necessary even to give up inwardly coveting 
anything belonging to another because the nature of what goes on 
in a person's mind permeates the atmosphere. 

It is hardly possible to be in the presence of a mystic or of a 
spiritually endowed person and not feel a sense of lightness, a joy, or 
a spiritual uplift. On the other hand, it is also hardly possible to be 
in the presence of a gross individual and not fee! the heaviness, lust, 
animality, or greed that is emanating from him. 

Adopting the attitude of loving our neighbor us ourselves does not 
mean to be anxious or worried about our neighbor, but it does mean 
to watch our thoughts and deeds toward him. There, of course, we 
come to the mystical point of maintaining in our consciousness the 
truth about our neighbor— the truth, yes, but not the truth about a 
human being; and here is the line of demarcation: it is not enough to 
believe that our neighbor is good; it is not enough to believe that out 
neighbor is our equal, or that our neighbor means well, because none 
of those things may be true of him. 

It would be ridiculous to call certain people good, honest, ana 
spiritual when their actions testify to quite the reverse qualities- 
Loving our neighbor as ourselves does not mean adopting a Pollya nna 
attitude and saying to a criminal, ''Oh, you are a sweet person, and a 
child of God"; it does not mean looking upon some of our politi' cal 
figures and trying to realize how gentle and honest they are. AH ^ a 
comes under the heading of stupidity. 

To love our neighbor as ourselves means to acknowledge that G° 



MYSTICAL LIFE THROUGH TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS 201 

; s just as much the reality, life, mind, and law of our neighbor as He 
js f ourselves, whether or not our neighbor knows it or is acting in 
accordance with it. This does not mean looking at an evil person 
a nd calling him good, but it means looking at him and understand- 
ing that the same God that is our very being and our very breath is 
a ] s o that close and that near to him. It means to understand that 
God constitutes the nature of his being as well as of ours. Let it be 
clear that this does not mean looking at carnality and calling it 
spiritual; it does not mean looking at mortality and calling it immor- 
tality: it means looking through the appearance to the reality. 

"If then I do that which I would not . . . it is no more I that do 
it, but sin that dwelleth in me.'' So, regardless of a person's degree of 
sin, wc do not claim that he is a sinner, even though at the moment 
there may remain a sense of sin in him. In this way we are acknowl- 
edging God as constituting our neighbor, even those neighbors who 
do not yet know their identity or that which is the reality of them, 
or that which could release them from their discords. 

We are not trying to live other persons' lives : we are trying to live 
our own lives in accordance with the two great Commandments. 
When we accept these as our guide and adopt them as our way of 
life, wc have not only embarked on our spiritual journey but have 
made some headwav on it: we have become followers of the Master 
and students of the real Christianity, of that which basically con- 
stitutes the Christ-teaching, and in that moment we have come out 
horn the mortal sense of life and have made ourselves separate. 

With our vision held high in the continuous acknowledgment of 
^*°d as that which constitutes individual being, we are so completely 
unselfed that at some given moment the miracle takes place, tire 
m iracle known as the Annunciation which is the conception of the 
^"nst m our consciousness. 

% desiring or willing it, we cannot, of ourselves, receive the Christ. 

*■ ' s an act of Grace, but It comes in a moment of unselfedness, when 

e arc loving the Lord our God supremely and loving our neighbor 

s °urselves. In that split second of unselfedness, room is made in our 
c ° n seiousness for the entrance of that Seed, the Christ, and then, as 

e nurture It silently, secretly, and sacredly within ourselves, telling 



X 









202 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

no man, eventually the Birth takes place, and it becomes evident that 
we are a new being, that we have "died" to the old and been reborn 
to the new, that we have put off mortality and are being clothe^ 
upon with immortality. 

This life of self-effacement is not a belittling of ourselves; it is not 
being overinterested in, or concerned with, ourselves. Rather is ft 
practicing what was learned in the First Degree, watching our 
thoughts and inner feelings, keeping consciousness in line by means 
of the continuous acknowledgment of God, and holding our neigh- 
bor in our consciousness in the same light in which we would like to 
be held in the consciousness of our neighbor. 

If we could, we would all prefer to be judged by whatever measure 
of spiritual light and divine sonship we have attained rather than as 
merely good human beings and certainly rather than as bad ones. If 
we could have our way, we would have all men overlook our human 
errors, and if we could rise high enough in spiritual consciousness, 
we would also have them resist any temptation to praise our human 
good. We would have them look through both the good and the evil, 
and behold God operating through and as us. 

This is sowing to the Spirit and not to the flesh. This is the recog- 
nition of the spiritual integrity and identity of every person, so-called 
good or bad, in spite of appearances. It is a recognition of God as the 
central theme and true identity of all being, and then permitting that 
recognition to bring something new and different to light in the con- 
sciousness of those individuals. 

Loving our neighbor as ourselves, then, is giving our neighbor that 
same recognition of godliness that we give ourselves, regardless of the 
appearance of the moment. That neighbor may be the woman taken 
in adultery or the thief on the cross, but we have nothing to do with 
that. What we have to do with is to love all our neighbors by knowing 
their true nature, just as we would be loved by having them know o« r 
true nature, in spite of what outward appearance may temporarily 
be evident. 

In the loving of God and the loving of our neighbor there is 3 ° 
unselfedness which creates something of a vacuum, an absence of 3(l 
awareness of the little "I," insofar as I, Mary, or I, John, or I, Joel, atf 
concerned. That little "I" for the moment is absent, and in J 



MYSTICAL LIFE THROUGH TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS 203 

absence conception takes place — the overshadowing by the Holy 
Ghost, the Annunciation, or the planting of the seed of the Christ 
within us. 

From then on we walk quietiy, sacredly, and secretly with this 
inner Presence until It comes into visible manifestation. And if we are 
wise we take It down into "Egypt" for a few years and hide It, until 
we are so thoroughly imbued with It, so thoroughly alive in It, that 
we can expose It to the gaze of the world and not be affected by the 
world's persecution of, or animosity toward, It, for the world always 
violently opposes any manifestation of the Christ. 

The Christ in the midst of us foreshadows the death and destruc- 
tion of mortality, and it is to that mortality that the human race 
wants to cling: mortality in the form of its personal good, in the 
preservation of its personal self, in the preservation of either its per- 
sonal fortune or national survival at the expense of anything or any- 
one else. The nature of mortality is such that it resists anything that 
would dethrone that personal sense of self. So it is that if we were to 
tell our friends and relatives how to live without taking thought 
for what they should eat, that they should pray for the enemy more 
than they pray for their friends, or that they must forgive seventy 
times seven, we would bring upon ourselves their criticism, judgment, 
condemnation, and eventually, if they had the power, crucifixion, 
albeit not in the same form as Jesus' crucifixion. 

In Scripture there is that nine-month period before Mary brings 
forth the Christ-child, in other words, before the visible evidence of 
^hristliness can be brought into manifestation. Then there is the 

§"t into Egypt to hide the Babe, a two-year period in which It 
could grow so strong that later, without wavering, Jesus was able to 
toount the Cross, knowing full well that the hatred and mental mal- 
practice of mankind — envy, jealousy, bigotry, lust, carnality — are not 
power. 

I takes those two, and possibly more, symbolic years in "Egypt," 
e n after the Christ has been bom in us, to come to the full realiza- 

II of the non-power of the carnal mind, the non-power of human 
e mporal power, whether that of Pilate, of the Sanhedrin, or of 

Mother Goliath. 



In 



°Ur first experience of Christ-realization we may be tempted in 






■ 



204 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

our enthusiasm to expose It to the world, but in so doing we may l 0se 
It because it is only by degrees that the Christ is enabled to p rove 
Itself to us, first in minor ways, and then ultimately in the ability to 
stand before our particular Pilate or to rise out of any tomb of sot- 
row, disease, trouble, or poverty. 

Being humanly good and living under the Ten Commandments 
is wise and necessary for all of us at a certain stage of our un?oldment 
but for those who have embarked on the spiritual path, it is vitally 
important to take a further step, and that is to embrace the two great 
Commandments, consciously living them until that point of self- 
surrender, that point of vacuum where we make way for the grace of 
God to establish the Christ-presence within us. This is our path; 
this is our goal. 





CHAPTER XVIII 



THE FUNCTION OF THE MIND 



f\i 



fter we have been in the First Degree long enough for its 
lessons to solidify in consciousness, we begin to realize that we our- 
selves are responsible for our character and for the harmonies or dis- 
cords that are coming into our experience, and that it is within our 
power to prevent or remove the discords and inharmonies of life 
from being a part of our experience. 

When we were living only as human beings, it was largely a mat- 
ter of chance or luck whether the right circumstances came or the 
wrong, the right person or the wrong. The one thing every human 
^'ng is sure of is that he is not responsible for the ills that befall 
*m and, if he is honest, he will have to admit that he is not too 
^sponsible for the good things that happen either: they just happen. 

When we realize that we ourselves have it within our power to 

termine our experience, that we could have prevented most of our 
roubles had we only known what we know now, and moreover that 

e c an begin at any moment to change the entire course of our ex- 
igence, we begin to take hold of our life and mold it in accord with 

T desires, not just accepting what someone thrusts upon us or 

•t the world deals out to us. 
a we sow, so shall we reap. In the human experience it is we, 

205 



206 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

ourselves, who are forming our own life, and we are doing it cither bv 
living a materialistic kind of life or by beginning to understand that 
we can live by the word of God if we will but take the word of God 
into our life. We reap what we sow. 

In the Second Degree a great principle is revealed: a mind im. 
bued with truth is 3 law of harmony unto our life; a mind ignorant 
of truth results in a life of chance, luck, and circumstance, a life over 
which we have no control. We can control our life only in propor- 
tion to the truth we entertain in our consciousness. We ourselves 
can determine whether we want one hour out of twenty-four of 
harmony, or twenty-four out of twenty-four. We alone can determine 
how much of our attention we wish to give to truth, to every Word 
that proceeds out of the mouth of God. 

In the early stages of the Second Degree we begin to apply and 
use principles of truth, taking hold of our life and governing it by 
spiritual law. If there is a problem of supply, we realize that supply 
is spiritual, within us; it is the very presence of God, for God is ful- 
fillment. We work along this line; we remind ourselves of truth, and 
mentally apply every statement of truth we know to the erroneous 
appearances that present themselves. If we have a task to perform 
and it seems to be too hard for us, we turn within and remember 
that He perfects that which concerns us. As we relax in that re- 
membrance, before we know it, our task is performed. 

It is in this second stage that our humanhood mounts and im- 
proves, and we are coming closer to where we can be like the scribes 
and the Pharisees, claiming that we are righteous and virtuous, good 
men and good women, and proud of it — and of course we are trying 
our best to make everybody else over in our own image and likeness. 

It is not long before we begin to think that we of ourselves are 
doing all this and that we are very clever and capable. We are ridding 
ourselves of all our discords and bringing about harmony, and « 
think that this mind of ours is really powerful. It is then that we may 
begin to believe that mind is God. 

There are many persons who use the word "mind" as synonym^" 
with God, but the very fact that we can use our mind is in i" 
proof that mind cannot be God because it is hardly possible 0" 



THE FUNCTION OF THE MIND 207 

an yone could use God, and moreover since the mind can be used 
f or both good and evil, it cannot be God, for God is above the pairs 
f opposites. 

When the secrets of the mind were first revealed, it was evident 
that the mind could be used for both good and evil. But some of 
those who learned these secrets could not maintain their spiritual 
integrity, nor did they have sufficient humility to be servants. To 
these people conversant with mind-power and its potentialities, the 
idea presented itself that inasmuch as they knew how to work with 
thought, thought and mind must be power. Mind, according to them, 
therefore must be God; and thought, the instrument of God, must 
be power. This led them away from the spiritual path; they dropped 
out of their particular wisdom school; and some of them became 
founders of what are known as the black brotherhoods. These brother- 
hoods were made up largely of men who had originally been part of 
a spiritual teaching, but who, after discovering the powers of the 
mind, left that teaching and formed brotherhoods where they could 
make use of mental powers for their own glorification and personal 
P r °fit. Unquestionably, many members of these groups used mental 
power for what to them was a good purpose, but too often these 
mind-powers were used primarily for selfish or ulterior purposes. 

Many books have been written on the subject of witchcraft, voo- 
<"»ism, and malpractice, some of them containing authentic ac- 
counts of actual experiences which testified to the fact that while 
^e people had touched the realm of mind, they had not yet 
°uched the realm of Spirit. The ceremonies, rites, and rituals of 

ost of the primitive races of which I have any knowledge were, 
nd are. based on the power of the mind. Participants in the primitive 

™ a l dances shriek, holler, and scream, and paint their faces in 

P°tesque fashion, all for the purpose of frightening the spectator, 

'I ling fear in his heart, and a dread of some terrible power close at 

"". Every trick of the art of suggestion is used. 
le higher we go in spiritual awareness, the more we learn about 
j t . men tal realm, not because we seek that knowledge, but because 
revealed to us. It is like being on a mountain top where, having 



^thu] 



the summit, we can see from that height down into the 






208 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

valley far better than those who are looking out from the limited 
perspective of the valley. Those who are on the spiritual level can see 
into the mind, thereby becoming aware of things that those living a 
materialistic and mental life can never know because they are too 
close to the picture and too much involved. 

A knowledge of the secrets of the mind gained through spiritual 
wisdom is entirely different from the knowledge gained through the 
human mentality. Moses, for example, had been initiated into all 
the secrets of occultism at the Court of the Pharaohs, and when he 
returned to Egypt after his I-AM-THAT-I-AM revelation, he and 
Aaron performed mental tricks such as transforming the rod into a 
serpent and turning the water of the river into blood. This was pure 
mental manipulation. It all took place on the mental plane and was 
in no sense spiritual. 

What we must remember always is that even when such tricks are 
used by spiritual-minded men, they are still mental. They may play 
a part in the life of the spiritual disciple who rises high enough, as is 
evidenced in the experience of Moses, but they will do so only foi 
one reason. Moses made no use whatsoever of these mental tricks 
when he was at the stage of leading the Hebrew people, but in the 
presence of the Pharaoh and ail his magicians, how do we know 
but that he may not have felt himself called upon to prove to them 
in their own language what he could do? 

A person of developed mentality can withdraw consciousness from 
any part of his body, and have no sensation there. In India, this 
mental control is a form of yoga which teaches such complete control 
of the body that a person can virtually do anything with it that a 
wants, depending on the degree of his practice and determination 

In our humanhood we are usually subject to the whims of W 
body: it tells us when it feels pleasure, when it is in pain, when it 
cold, and when it is hot, and we do not seem to be able to do anj 
thing about it except change the outer conditions in an attempt 
make it happy. As we rise into the mental plane, however, the a 
does not exercise that much control over us, and often instead o 
telling us, we can tell it how to act and feel. This is because we ^ 
arrived at the place where we realize that heat and cold are 




THE FUNCTION OF THE MIND 209 

p t0 perties of the body: they are properties of the mind. The body 
joes not know when it is hot or cold; it does not even know whether 
it is alive or dead. The mind of man does know, and therefore the 
mind can be trained to reach that point of development where re- 
gardless of how hot or how cold the body is, the mind does not report 
it. 

Men of spiritual illumination leam everything there is to he known 
about the mind and the body, but they do not use this knowledge for 
performing tricks, for show, or for a display of power. If an occasion 
should arise when they need to use it secretly and sacredly for some 
demonstration of dominion, or if there is ever a time when they feel 
the necessity of using it in public, they might do so. Normally, how- 
ever, those of spiritual illumination do not ever resort to an exhibi- 
tion of mental power, although it is true that the spiritually illumined 
know how the mind operates and how it can be manipulated. 

'Hie mind does have a rightful purpose in our experience. At the 
present time, the scientific world is beginning to agree with the find- 
ings of spiritually developed men and women that mind is the sub- 
stance of this physical universe. The universe that we know with the 
physical senses is not a material universe: it is a mental universe. This 
materia] body is not material: it is a mental creation, the mind- 
creation of the second chapter of Genesis. 1 

The substance of body is mind. In and of itself, the body is dead; 
11 has no life, no sensation, and no intelligence; it cannot move 
' ■elf about. It is our mind that governs our body, and therefore our 
*&f can behave or misbehave, according to our mind. When we 
Perceive this, we can understand that as long as we are functioning 
the level of mind, we are functioning on the level of either good 

T ev| l. so this cannot be God. God is neither good nor evil: God is 

spirit. 

n We Second Degree, then, we learn that the truth with which the 

•nillcl 

ab nnd 



is imbued becomes tangible as the health of our body, as the 
a "ce of our supply, and as the harmony of our experience. 

S^iri-M*™ com P ,cte exposition of this subject see "Transcending Mind" and 
5r »cr iT 6 " Mind" in the author's The Thunder of Silence (New York: 
Row . 1961; London; George Allen and Uiiwin, ig6i). 



210 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 










Whereas before we were spiritually blind, in ignorance, and goy. 
erned by circumstances, conditions, environment, and prenatal ex- 
periences, now we are being governed by the truth that we entertain 
in our consciousness. Truth is the substance and the law of harmony 
but this truth does not dangle around in the air: it must be embodied 
and incorporated in our mind. 

If we use the mind for personal and selfish ends without con- 
sidering the effects upon others or upon the world, we are heading 
for trouble, because as we sow, so shall we reap. If, in using our 
mind for our own gain or satisfaction, we injure anyone, that injury 
will return to us. There is no denying that we can use the mind in 
any way we want to use it — erroneously, selfishly, or personally, and 
without due regard for the rights of others — but this may prove 
extremely dangerous and may be fraught with dire consequences. 

As long as the mind is governed by truth, there will be no selfish- 
ness in it because we will not be directing the mind toward specific 
ends, but only toward attaining a greater awareness of truth, and 
letting this truth change our consciousness. 

Entertaining truth in consciousness is not for the purpose of being 
able to buy expensive automobiles, palatial yachts, or magnificent 
homes; it is not for the purpose of reducing a fever or getting rid of 
a disease: the purpose of entertaining truth in consciousness is to 
spiritualize mind and body, to bring to our awareness the light of 
truth so that our whole being may be transformed from a material- 
istic sense to a spiritual sense. By the truth entertained in our con- 
sciousness, by this renewing of our mind, we are transformed from 
the man of earth into that man who has his being in Christ. 

But this truth must be the truth about God. There is no truth 
about man; there is no truth about supply; there is no truth abou 
health; there is no truth about safety. The only truth there is, is "^ 
truth about God, the truth that God is the substance of our body, 
our business, and our life. God is the cement of our human relati 
ships: God is our fortress and our high tower. In Him, not in mateO" 
or physical structures, do we live, and move, and have our being- 

God must be in everything we do throughout our work in 
Second Degree — God. By dwelling in this consciousness of God 



THE FUNCTION OF THE MIND 2 1 1 

our being and nature, gradually all hate, fear, and love of the outer 
world disappear, and their place is taken by a realization of the Spirit 
within. 

Every word of truth that we embody in our consciousness becomes 
the breath of life to us, even the very activity of the organs of our 
body. We do not have to think of any of our bodily functions: all 
we have to think of is of God as the activity and the law unto our 
being, and then all action is performed harmoniously and perfectly 
in accordance with divine law. 

Originally, the mind was— and it must again become that for 
which it was created— an instrument of awareness and knowledge. 
For example, through our mind-faculties we can know that God 
governs the weather, but with our mind we cannot make the weather 
good or bad, although by realizing God as the very nature, sub- 
stance, and activity of weather, we can bring harmonious weather 
into visibility. Using the mind to create something or to draw some 
person to us would be taking the mind out of its natural orbit, and 
we might thereby bring forth something that could become a Frank- 
enstein to us. 

When the mind is used for the purpose of knowing the truth, that 
truth then becomes the law of harmony unto our experience; it sets 
us free from every sense of limitation: physical, mental, moral, and 
financial The truth that we entertain in our consciousness takes over 
0u r life, eliminating discords and inharmonies and bringing about 
P^ce, harmony, and security. 

ft is in this Second Degree that we decide whether we will serve 
J*» or mammon, and if we decide to serve God, we must determine 

fojT many h ° UrS a day we wil1 serve Him ' Even tually, those who 

°w this Path learn that there is not a moment of the day when 

JJ* mind is not stayed on truth. They do not have to state truth 

j.^ciously: they are living it. It is much the same as living an honest 

thou h° neSt Pe ° ple IiVC honestlv: *<* do not entertain in their 
a toui d ldCaS0f dish °nesty, but that does not mean they have to go 
have declann S' sta * ir <g, or affirming that they are honest. If they 
Wsfl/^^ a " h0nCSt St3te ° f consciousness > th ey merely live 



212 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

In the unfolding of our spiritual consciousness, which means out 
progress or journey from a material sense of life back to the Father's 
house, we may have to know and affirm truth for hours and hours 
and hours to break the discordant appearance. We have to live with 
this truth until, through our meditations, there eventually comes a 
time when the contact with our Source is so well established that we 
never have to use the mind again for the purpose of knowing the 
truth: truth springs up from within our own being and utters itself 
to us. We do not declare it any more: it declares itself. 

When the Voice utters Itself through us, the healing is instan- 
taneous and complete. So it is that when we have studied truth, 
worked with it and lived it, filled our consciousness with truth day 
and night, then one day in our meditation, we find that whenever 
it is necessary for a truth to appear, we have only to close our eyes, 
turn within in an attitude of "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth," 
and then truth comes up from within and announces itself to us. 
When that happens, there are signs following. 

At Erst we fill our consciousness with truth until the mind is 
transformed from a material to a spiritual base; then we stop using 
our mind as a mental power to make something happen, and let it 
become an avenue or an instrument of awareness through which to 
receive God's grace. Ultimately we live by the Grace that flows from 
the Spirit within, and that becomes apparent to us through the mind. 

From the time of our entrance into the First Degree, we worked 
toward the goal of the God-experience, but whereas in the First 
Degree we concerned ourselves only with practicing the presence 
God and with meditation, in the Second Degree we begin to apply 
every word of spiritual truth we can to our daily living, thereby 
spiritualizing the mind until eventually our mind no longer reaches 
out for some kind of a weapon— whether mental, verbal, or phyS'C* 
—but automatically goes within for a word of truth. 

At that stage of consciousness, regardless of what problem P rese f 
itself, we reach into our consciousness for a word of truth wl 
which to meet it. Whereas the human mind would think of runni I 
to a policeman, to a law court, or to some other kind of a hum 
weapon, we rush back inside ourselves for the truth with which 



THE FUNCTION OF THE MIND 213 

peet the situation. We are now learning not to use the commonly 
acC epted modes or means of life, but to rely upon the word of truth 
that is within our consciousness. Eventually we will draw from within 
our own consciousness enough truth to change our entire world be- 
cause we are learning in this Second Degree that our consciousness 
embodies all the truth that has ever been known from the beginning 
of time. 

For more years than can be numbered, religion has had as one of 
its objects the conversion of individuals in the hope that, if all the 
people of the world could be converted, a new world would emerge. 
What most of these zealots have failed to realize is that by the time 
everyone had been converted, a new generation would have been 
born, and they would have to begin the same work all over again. 

The Infinite Way reveals, however, that the conversion of the 
world or even of a whole generation is not necessary: it is only neces- 
sary that a sufficient number attain the ability to go within and 
draw their spiritual good from that Withinness, and then the next 
generation will be born into this new consciousness. It is out of the 
understanding that good and evil are impersonal that the state of 
consciousness of the next generation is being built. The state of con- 
sciousness that we are forming, therefore, is not merely your con- 
sciousness or mine. Can consciousness be limited to time or space? 
h not every word of truth that is transforming our state of conscious- 
ness also, in a measure, transforming the state of consciousness of the 
ent,re worId? Once truth is brought to light in individual conscious- 
ne ss, the next generation will be born into the same state of conscious- 
n «s that we have developed. 

J? 0llsci °usness cannot be limited. God is individual consciousness 
* G od is infinite; therefore, our consciousness is infinite. Through 
ivith^ 31123 * 1011 ° f th ' S Infinit >'' a com POser could shower the world 
for ,,° riginal melodi es, or a writer could invent new plots and ideas 
scio neXt hundred y ears " T"' 5 complete reliance on infinite Con- 
m ea USri " SS does not entail § oin S out int ° th e world for anything: it 
Sfccfc! g0 ' ng Within ourselves ' bringing forth all things needful as the 
kta, S ,° f a s P irituaI impulse, and then beholding how this Infinity 

" s ftsclf on the outer plane. 



rSO> 



- 



214 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

The part the mind plays in all this is at once apparent. Through 
the activity of our mind it is we who go back into our consciousness 
into the center of our being, and draw forth spiritual truth. Thereby 
we are enriching our entire life — our body as well as our mind. 

The earth has to be fertilized; it has to have water and sunshine 
and in proportion as it gets these, does it bring forth abundant fruit 
So with us. The mind must be enriched; it must be fed with spiritual 
meat, wine, and water; and the only place it can get these is from 
the Soul, from the deep Withinness. As we bring this nourish- 
ment up and let it feed our mind, we are building that mind in us 
which was also in Christ Jesus, and that mind becomes the sub- 
stance of our body. Whatever the nature of the food we feed our 
mind, that is the nature of the quality of our body since our mind is 
the substance of our physical body. Every time that we tum within 
and bring forth a word of truth, we have released it into conscious- 
ness, and we have not only fertilized and enriched our own state of 
consciousness but we have enriched the state of consciousness of the 
world. 

Mind, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. Mind is uncondi- 
tioned. Behind our mind we stand, and we have the power to fill our 
mind with good or with evil, with abundance or with lack. We can 
fill our mind with truth, leave it empty, or we can let it be filled with 
the mesmerism of the world. Mind is unconditioned, and we arc 
either letting it be permeated with the rubbish of "this world" or 
with wisdom, with material or with spiritual thoughts. 

Because the mind is an instrument, it can become aware of truth 
in its entirety, whereas if it relies wholly on what is already known, 
it never can rise out of its self-imposed limitations and learn what is 
awaiting its opening. As long as we do not limit our mind to what we 
hear or read and as long as we are willing to go back into our Self) 
we can be taught of God — given wisdom, safety, and direction. This, 
however, does involve a surrender of the little self and the ability t° 
be still and know that the I at the center is God; it involves a will' 
ingness to listen and let God direct and illumine the mind. 

When we have progressed in the Second Degree to the point 
where we have spiritualized the mind, where we understand the mirw 



THE FUNCTION OF THE MIND 215 

be an unconditioned channel for God's wisdom, and have learned 

be still, then when problems are brought to us for solution, we are 
n0 t concerned about thinking thoughts, but go within and let His 
voice utter itself, let ourselves be instructed from within, and let 
£jj s power come through. 

Although it usually takes students from five to nine years to en- 
compass the Second Degree — not a quick process — they do not have 
to wait those long years for the fruitage to appear. The fruitage be- 
gins to come very quickly: it is only the full attainment that does 
not coriie so quickly. 

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Shall we serve the dis- 
cords and inharmonies of this world along with some of its pleasures, 
or shall we rise above both its discords and pleasures and leam the 
secret of "My kingdom"? 

In the First and Second Degrees, most of us do attain harmony 
of body, pocketbook, and of human relationships, but this is only a 
step on the spiritual path because we have not yet discerned the real 
nature of immortality, eternality, and infinity, of completeness and 
of perfection. That lies ahead of us — but not until we have encom- 
passed these two degrees. 

"In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. ... Be still, 
and know that I am God." J, that J, way deep down inside us, that 
1 comforts us, that I is the Presence, that I will instruct us. Then we 
will never have to use our mind as a power, but this rich spiritual 
food which wells up from within will feed our mind and become the 
substance and activity of our life and our body. 



1 













ATTAINING DIVINE SONSHIP 



217 



CHAPTER XIX 



ATTAINING DIVINE SONSHIP 






WL 



hen we have encompassed the First and Second Degrees, 
a new dimension of life, an entirely different area of consciousness, 
opens up to us. In that moment there is something within us that 
is no longer a quotation, an affirmation, or a recalling of truth: it 
is an experience. We have entered the Third Degree, where we no 
longer live by the standards of this world, where the values are 
different, and life is governed not so much by what the outer law is 
as by what our inner integrity is. It is at this point that we pass 
from law to Grace. 

As human beings we live under man-made laws which continue 
to operate as long as we remain in ignorance, and until we are 
awakened, we are held in slavery to all kinds of mental and physical 
laws. 

As we come to an awareness of a spiritual Presence within us, 

gradually become immune to these laws because as we pass into t 

third stage, the Presence lives our life, and It cannot be 

if is 
fluenced, nor can It be acted upon by physical or mental laws: 

immune to them for they are only theories, superstitions, and 

universal belief in two powers. In proportion as the son of Go 

raised up in us, these laws do not operate, and not only are we 

216 



reC eptive or responsive to them, but we aid in nullifying them for 
others who may come to us. 

When an immunity is developed to material and mental laws, 
#e live in an entirely different world because then we do not have 
to take the law into consideration, nor do we have to be concerned 
about things. Having found the kingdom of God and dwelling in it, 
something else is taking over the responsibility for our entire ex- 
perience. The government is on His shoulder, on this divine Son 
which in the Third Degree is now raised up in us. In our humanhood 
It was dormant; It stood by and could do nothing. Regardless of 
what wrong was done to us, we had to resign ourselves to it unless 
our human wisdom or strength could provide an escape for us, and in 
most cases it could not. 

In the awareness of this transcendental Presence, however, we 
have entered a state of consciousness where we do not have to fight 
and oppose error, or continuously try to destroy it. We are now in a 
state of consciousness where error does not touch us— we are not 
even aware of it. We are not just experiencing more and better 
human things and conditions, but a new factor has come into our 
life, a new joy. 

Probably the only way that this can be explained is that in our 
humanhood we experience pleasure or satisfaction because of some- 
thing that takes place out here. For example, learning that some 
activity has been successful or awakening on Christmas Day to find 
ourselves blessed with beautiful gifts arouses joy in us; but, on the 
other hand, failure or the absence of gifts might bring sorrow. 

Our joy as well as our sorrow is usually prompted by outer occur- 
ences, whereas from the moment that this transitional experience 
^gins, joy, which is an integral part of our being, bubbles up from 

't'l in without any external cause, and when sorrow comes, it is 
eco gnized as "this world" and is quickly dissolved. 

'n the Third Degree we do not try to demonstrate anything in the 
, ter world: we are seeking only that inner release or peace which, 

'tself, is the demonstration and the attainment of our goal. It is 
to be attained for any purpose, but only for itself, and it pro- 

Ce s an effect in the outer experience that follows just as daylight 




<-J, 



4" 



218 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

accompanies the sun. The sun does not rise and then produce light- 
the sun itself constitutes the light. Just so, we discover that there » 
no God to give us health, supply, or companionship; there is no 
God to give us anything, but there is God, and when this Spirit i» 
consciously realized, It is the very substance of our outer experience 

As the sunshine does not give us light, but is the light, so the 
grace of God within does not produce something in the outer plane: 
the grace of God within is the very substance of the good that is to 
appear outwardly. There is no such thing, therefore, as the presence 
of God and a discord; there is no such thing as the presence of God 
and lack or limitation. God is the peace, God is the comfort, God 
is the supply. 

Spirit and Its outer activity are one; Spirit and Its formations aTe 
one; Spirit and Its creation are one. Spirit does not create in the 
sense of their being a Spirit and a creation: Spirit is the substance 
that appears outwardly as form, not as the form of what we see, 
hear, taste, touch, or smell but as spiritual form. The impressions 
received through the senses represent our concept of that spiritual 
Presence that is here. 

In this third stage, we outgrow and undo all the work of the first 
and second stages. We stop depending on a God, and while this may 
sound incredible to those not yet advanced to this stage, it is not 
too difficult to do because, with the experience of the Christ, every- 
thing is provided for us before we know we need it. The Christ im- 
parts wisdom, provides protection, and bestows love, and there is no 
need to depend on anything without: there is always That which is 
going before us to make "the crooked places straight"; there is 
always That which is walking beside us as our safety and security. 

Such heights of consciousness are not experienced in the first two 
stages. There we have only our own thoughts, hopes, and the as- 
surance of the mystics who have written the Scriptures and the meta- 
physics of the world. These are a staff upon which we lean, and they 
stand with us until we receive the Experience. 

With the advent of the Experience, however, all of this changes. 
Very slowly it begins to dawn in consciousness that we are no longe* 
the person we were because now we are not depending on sorflC 



ATTAINING DIVINE SON5HIP 219 

nl0 te God, thinking or talking about a far-off God, and certainly 
aot trying to influence Him. Not only are we not trying to be good, 
and of course, anyone who advances into the Third Degree could 
n ot be bad, but now there is no awareness of goodness because there 
Is nothing with which to compare it: there is no temptation to be 
bad. In fact, nothing from without now acts as any kind of a tempta- 
tion to us. 

It is like the mathematician so well-grounded in his science that he 
never for a moment is tempted to believe that twelve times twelve 
is one hundred forty- three. There is simply a complete awareness of 
one hundred forty-four. The mathematician would not be able to 
understand those of us who are always faced with the temptation 
that two times two is not four, and three times three is not nine. 

It is difficult for anyone living in this consciousness of the Third 
Degree to understand a person who steals or lies, or who attempts 
to gain his ends by false advertising. Wliat must be going on in a 
mentality that engages in such practices when there is no need for 
them? "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof," and there- 
fore, is not all that the Father has ours? Yet in this higher conscious- 
ness, we never consciously think of these truths; they never enter our 
mind except when someone presents the opposite picture to us, and 
there is the need to assure him of God's loving, omnipresent care. 

When we come to the third stage, which is reached by passing 
through a series of initiations, each marking a transition from a lower 
state of consciousness to a higher one, there is no sowing and there 
's no reaping: there is only a state of divine being, the fourth- 
dimensional consciousness which, when attained, enables us to live 
% Grace. When the son of God is raised up in us and is alive, we 
"ced take no thought, for It is of the essence of Omnipotence, Omni- 
P r esence, and Omniscience; It is the All-knowing, the All-powerful, 
11 ie All-presence, and It does these things for us. 

hi our humanhood we are a sleeping entity, but when we awaken, 
w »at do we find? We find ourselves in His image and likeness; 
^' e find that there is a God, that God cares for His son, and that you 
and I are that Son. We are consciously one with God; and then we 
Ca » give ourselves up to be crucified, sent to war, or to anything else 




■*<■'■*, 



220 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

that the human mind wants to do to us, and we will walk right out 

of the tomb, free and clear— we will walk right out of the situation 

Why? Because the son of God is spiritual and, therefore, is no i 

subject to the laws of cause and effect, nor is he subject to karrnic 

law. 

In this Third Degree we are no longer good or bad, we are no 
longer well or sick, and we are no longer rich or poor: we are just a 
state of divine being, and it is not that we are that of ourselves; it 
is that This that has taken possession of us is it. There is then no 
personal responsibility for supply or for health : our only responsibility 
is to live in God. 

When this experience of living in God first comes to us, it is dis- 
turbing because, just as in our first stage we were "dying" to the 
negative sense of life and being reborn into a more positive sense, 
now we are "dying" all over again. This is not only an annihilation 
of our undesirable humanhood, but it is also an annihilation even of 
our good humanhood, and at first it is frightening and disconcerting 
as veil after veil drops away, and we come face to face with naked 
truth. 

The first flush of enthusiasm on the spiritual path brought to us 
a sense that being healthy is a proof of our spiritual understanding, 
and being wealthy is, of course, another great proof of the degree of 
that understanding. But in the Third Degree we rise into the con- 
sciousness where there is no health and there is no wealth. There is 
neither good health nor bad health; there is neither virtue nor vice; 
there is neither honor nor dishonor; there are neither high people 
nor low people; there are no greats, near-greats, or not-so-greats: there 
is only a spiritual state of being which is described as "My kingdom," 
My consciousness, the Christ-consciousness— and that is not a state 
of improved humanhood. 

In our first stage of spiritual development we were improving our 
humanhood merely by virtue of our greater awareness of a spiritual 
Presence. In the second stage we were consciously improving ov* 
humanhood so as to measure up to our highest concept of goodness, 
virtue, integrity, loyalty, and fidelity, using the mind as an instru- 
ment for the activity of the Spirit. But in the third stage all this 



ATTAINING DIVINE SONSHIP 221 

is taken from us. In this degree we cannot rejoice in our benevolences, 
in our health, or in our wealth because now we see that we do not 
have any of these of ourselves. The Christ, the spiritual Son, is our 
life, our health, our wealth, and the source of our good. This spiritual 
Selfhood, this Messiah which is within us— this is our good, the 
source of it, the experience of it, the expression of it. In this there 
is no little human "I" left 

The final experience is the annihilation of our human self, of its 
good qualities as well as its evil; it is "dying daily" until even the 
best of humanhood is gone, and spiritual identity is revealed. Death 
to the materialistic concept of life and a rebirth of the Spirit— this is 
what takes place through our spiritual unfoldment and progress on 
the Path. 

When the transition takes place, sometimes slowly or sometimes in 
a flash, it always leaves us with a trace of our old self, This is a diffi- 
cult period because we have glimpses of what spiritual living can be, 
and yet at the same time we have the frustrating experience of not 
being able to live in the Spirit continuously. While our old un- 
til umined self does not dominate the scene, its shadow still lingers, 
and we are often tempted to indulge in the old habits and modes of 
life. So there is a need for great patience until the son of God has 
been more fully raised up in us. 

The Master, himself, even after having made the transition from 
being a Hebrew rabbi to being the Christ, was tempted three times, 
which indicated that there was enough of personal sense left to tempt 
him by saying: "With this power, you can make yourself great. 
Show this power; show the world that you and God are on such 
•ntimate terms that He will not let anything happen to you. Show 
the world that you have all the supply in the world because you are 
So close to God; show the world that you are a saint." 

Rut these temptations were overcome because of Jesus' realization 
of the nature of each temptation. He did not try to reform himself; 
" e did not say, "Oh, I am weak; God has left me." He did not try 
blame it on anything: he recognized instantly when he com- 
manded, "Get thee behind me, Satan," that this was the impersonal 
Sa *anic suggestion of a selfhood apart from God. This was truly a 







C 

E- 



222 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

temptation to believe that he and his Father were not one, tw 
there was an "I" and a God, and that he was some favorite of God 
He recognized this as an impersonal mesmeric suggestion, an im 
personal evil, or impersonal tempter. He refused to accept an "p 
who could be good or bad. He did not accept an "I" who needed 
food, clothing, or housing; he did not accept an "I" who required 
healing. He knew the truth, "I and my Father are one," and that 
that J would never leave him or forsake him; It would be with him 
to the end of the world. 

In that revelation and realization the total "death" of the man of 
earth took place, bringing about his complete rebirth in Spirit as 
Christ-consciousness so that thereafter he knew himself as the Christ, 
the son of God. Then Jesus, the son of man, was "dead," and the 
Christ was risen from the tomb of mortality, of mortal identity, and 
stood revealed as individual, infinite, eternal individuality. 

Jesus Christ was not absorbed in God: he remained as individual 
identity, as he does to this moment, just as all the mystics who have 
attained conscious union with God live now, live here, and are avail- 
able to every individual who attains even a touch of Christhood. 

When we rise high enough, we, too, tabernacle with those who 
have left human sight and are on the level of Christ-consciousness, 
for we are of one household, in one place, and of one Father con- 
sciously realized. 

In Christ-consciousness there is divine harmony, and this divine 
harmony, in some measure, makes itself evident in various ways in 
our experience. Because of the activity of the Christ in consciousness, 
we witness healings in our bodies and minds, healings in our human 
relationships and in our economic condition. We have seen how the 
activity of the Christ lifts our individual experience out of the world 
of sickness and health, swinging back and forth between good and 
evil, and even though we may not attain the fullness of the Christ, 
at least if there is "a thorn in the flesh," we forget "those things 
which are behind," and live as much as we can in this higher con- 
sciousness. 

When we first set out on this Path, let us not forget that we al- 
ready are the Christ, but that the Christ is so heavily veiled that w 6 




ATTAINING DIVINE SONSHIP 



223 



cannot behold the real Self. Every moment of our journey the veils 
are dropping away from us— the claims of humanhood— until eventu- 
a ]]v we stand forth and see ourselves as we really are, sons of God, 
united in a brotherhood with all mankind, wherein there is neither 
Greek nor Jew, bond nor free, where all are one in Christhood. 

Nevermore can we be evil any more than we can be good; never- 
more can we be sick any more than we can be well; nevermore can 
we be dead any more than we can be alive. Henceforth we are the 
sons of God, the offspring of God, God Himself incarnated as 
individual being, God Himself made manifest. 



t : 






CHAPTER XX 



THE MEANING OF INITIATION 



I 

JLr; 



L nidation is an act of Grace bestowed on individuals at a certain 
time in their unfoldment, lifting them into the master-state of con- 
sciousness. There is far less opportunity for a student to attain in- 
itiation in the Western World than in the Eastern because in the 
West we are brought up from childhood with the idea of equality. 
We are taught that we are all equal, and therefore we do not have 
the correct understanding of the role of a spiritual teacher, or what 
spiritual consciousness is. We do not realize that while we may have 
political and economic equality, we are far from being equal in spirit- 
ual development. 

We of the Western World do not lend ourselves to becoming 
students of a spiritual teaching. Oh yes, we are very eager in the first 
year or so to jump up from the status of a beginner into being a r 
least a master, and then going on from there. Attaining the spiritual 
life, however, does not come so quickly: it is a life of continuous 
dedication to that which is greater than we are. 

Personally, I do not believe that a student can consciously prepatf 
for initiation, nor have I ever seen anyone who had initiation as his 
goal achieve it. Rather the goal must always be the attainment of 

224 



THE MEANING OF INITIATION 22S 

that mind that was in Christ Jesus without any thought of receiving 
initiation or experiencing the effects of initiation. 

As the student takes his first steps on the Path leading to illumina- 
tion, he leams to meditate on the indwelling Spirit. Initiation carries 
dim from one step to another into the awareness of the Presence, on 
a nd on and on, purifying him to the extent that he no longer wants 
God to destroy his enemies, but is willing always to forgive and love 
them because he knows that it is only through their ignorance that 
evil is being expressed. He is purified to such a degree that he no 
longer wishes to gain his ends by any personal sense of might or power. 
In way after way his life becomes so purified that it is lived in dedica- 
tion to others. 

The world loses its attractions for him, not because he planned or 
willed it so, nor because he studied to bring it to pass. Rather has an 
experience taken place within him. The Spirit of God has begun to 
come alive; his Soul-center is being opened, and instead of indulging 
in the pleasures of the world, he now finds himself more at home with 
persons who are spiritual-minded and with books of an inspirational 
and spiritual nature. He has not yet reached the Absolute, but hav- 
ing been elevated above human consciousness, he is now partaking 
of the nature of, and living in large measure in, the divine Conscious- 
ness, being fed and clothed by It. The activity of this Spirit is making 
of him a better human being and is making of his human life, a bet- 
ter life. 

Now comes the period that is described in the mystical literature, 
both of the East and of the West, as "dying daily." This is the ex- 
perience of putting off mortality and putting on immortality. It is an 
experience in "death," an experience that comes to very few, but 
w hen it comes, it carries them further along the Path up to illumina- 
tion. 

On the spiritual path we have to "lose" our life before we can gain 
spiritual life, that is, we have to lose our physical sense of life, that 
^nse which believes that we are alive because the heart is beating or 
"^cause the lungs and the digestive and eliminative tracts are func- 
l °ning. We have to come to a point where life is living the body, not 
tne body living the life. At present it is not we who are living ° ur 







226 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

Kfe. The body tells us, "I have a cold"; "My heart is not functionin 
properly-or my liver, or my lungs." It is constantly telling us aboi 
all the things that are threatening our human sense of life. 

How stupid can we be? Life is eternal. The life of God is eternal 
The life of God is infinite. There is only one Life, and therefore that 
eternal Life must be your life and mine. The very life that we are 
living is infinite and eternal, and it is not dependent upon the action 
of the body: the action of the body is dependent upon life. Such a 
realization leads us to the period of transition where we move from 
existence in the body to an existence which is external to body, and 
yet which governs the body. 

Before this transition is complete, usually so much good has come 
into our experience that we think we have entered the land of milk 
and honey. We have become accustomed to good health, and if we 
have not achieved it, at least we would like to experience it. Probably 
sometimes we envy the people who are forty, fifty, or sixty years of 
age, and have never had a day of illness in their lives. We wish we 
could be like that, but it is not to be so-not on the spiritual path. 
To most persons this is as far as they go on the Path in any one 
lifetime, unless they have made some progress in a previous existence 
and are now ready to go beyond it. It is a shock for them to discover 
that when all is apparently going so well, that is just when their real 
problems begin. Now the really deep ones come-problems of life 
and death. 

Sometimes I find myself smiling a little sadly when I read in my 
mail of the number of people who want initiation. I wonder what 
would happen to them if they came up against real initiation and 
had to go through some of those fiery trials that are included in every 
mihation of the spiritually illumined. How manv Lot's wives there 
would be to turn around and look back at the good old city' 

It is not usually taught that before there can be an ascension there 
must be a crucifixion. It is comforting and comfortable to accept the 
theological belief that Jesus was crucified for us, and that therefore 
we can experience the ascension without the crucifixion. That we 
should never believe. No, to experience the ascension, we have to take 
all the footsteps that Jesus showed us including the temptations and 
the crucifixion. 




THE MEANING OF INITIATION 227 

These temptations do not come only when we are lowly mortals, 
fesus' three temptations in the wilderness took place after he was 
w ellestablished in his spiritual life. Knowing that he had glimpsed 
the secrets of life and could do many miraculous things, now came 
the temptation to use this power. How could such a thing have hap- 
pened to Jesus Christ at his advanced stage of development? How 
could he have been tempted to glorify himself, to enrich himself, to 
use personal powers? If we study this experience of Jesus, we will 
understand why it is that just when we think we are entering the 
kingdom of God, our trials begin, and our temptations. 

The temptation of Gethsemane came to Jesus when he was a 
fully ascended Master, and that of Golgotha when he was already 
a Saviour. Even he did not attain the infinity of his being until after 
the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension that finally 
lifted him completely above material sense or finite form. 

Had Jesus succumbed to those temptations, there would be no 
Christian teaching today because he would have failed the tests re- 
quired of him for his initiation. Every initiate on the way to the 
Absolute reaches the place where he is tempted to accept the fortune 
that is awaiting him, if only he wants to reach out for it; every 
initiate is tempted to accept the world's fame. These temptations 
come to all those on the spiritual path, and usually at a time when 
they have reached the place where they are good human beings and 
are about to shed their humanhood. 

With a small degree of illumination, it is not too difficult to 
achieve fame or to gain fortune. Many opportunities open to those 
who have attained some measure of spiritual light, and it is when 
these temptations in the form of such opportunities present them- 
selves that a choice must be made: whether to bend every effort 
toward the acquisition of wealth and fame or to renounce all ambi- 
tion to be numbered among the great and powerful. While there is 
nothing wrong about name or fame that comes of its own accord 
without seeking it, those individuals who use the knowledge or power 
mat has been given to them for that purpose lose their way on the 
spiritual path. All of humanhood must be renounced, and every 
person on this Path must "die" and come to this point of absolute 
realization: 



228 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

Of my own self, I am nothing. There is a Spirit within me that 
does the work; there is a Presence; there is a Power. 

I am a beholder of this invisible Presence and Power at work I 
watch how It goes before me and witness the miracles It performs 

When this spiritual way of life begins to change our nature and 
we find ourselves being cut off from society, we do not always realize 
that we are going through a transitional period and that once this 
transition has been made and we are completely isolated from our 
former associates, we will be led into the companionship of those of 
our own spiritual household. But as long as we are still tabernacling 
with the world, we are not going to meet those of our own house- 
hold. It is only when we have "died" to the world that suddenly out 
of this whole universe one person crosses our path whom we recognize 
as a kindred soul, and then another and another. 

If our lives are cluttered up with the social activities in which our 
friends and relatives have involved us, however, we are not free to 
enjoy the companionship of that one, two, or more who eventually 
cross our path, nor are we free to make the journeys that are some- 
times necessary to be in their company because we may not always 
find that one, two, or three in our own community. It is true that 
we may see these companions only once in a year or once in three 
years, but that will not make any difference because this is a spiritual 
companionship that takes no thought of time or space, and even if 
there were years in which we were physically apart from those of our 
spiritual household, upon the next meeting we would be wholly at- 
one. 

The student who is at the stage of witnessing his friends and 
relatives drop away, and for that matter the whole world, sometimes 
becomes fearful and lonesome and begins clutching at something at 
someone, and very often he is clutching at the wrong thing or the 
wrong person. And why? Because he cannot take aloneness, and # 
he cannot endure aloneness, he cannot enter into this fife. 

As spiritual truth begins to reveal itself in a person, a silence 
descends upon him, an inability to speak and to be a part of the 
world's gabble, gabble, gabble, and this of course makes everyone 
feel that he is odd. Even those who are starting on the Path cannot 



THE MEANING OF INITIATION 229 

quite understand that desire to be still, that total inability to say 
anything and yet to impart and even to receive, and so this, too, 
w hich is another form of that inability to endure aloneness and quiet- 
ness, breaks up many a student's progress on the way. 

Many do not realize that the "my own" which "shall come to me," 
referred to by John Burroughs, is contingent upon an attained state 
f consciousness which is absolute stillness and peace. When that is 
attained, all a person has to do is to be a beholder and watch the 
whole world come to him. Most persons go through life frustrated 
because their own does not come to them: their own companion 
does not come, their own opportunity for service, their own oppor- 
tunity for showing forth God's grace. They do not realize that "my 
own" will not come to a human being. It will not come except by 
being still and knowing that I is God, and then letting the aware- 
ness that the I of our being is Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and 
Omniscience perform Its work. 

This can be attained only in the degree that each one of us realizes 
that I am I, that I am Consciousness, that I am the Consciousness 
which brought me and every individual being forth into expression, 
even including the trees and all that is. This does not mean that we 
have conscious dominion over things in the external world; it does 
not mean that we can "mentalize" anybody and everybody and 
thereby bend them to our will. The indulgence of human thought in 
the direction of control is domination and often ends in tyranny and 
destruction— usually self-destruction— and is such a form of egotism 
that it almost borders on insanity. 

When we realize that all dominion lies in not exercising that 
conscious dominion which in the end becomes domination, it is 
because we know the truth of the I-AM-ness of our being. To know 
that since I is God and that I is the very I that I AM, then that 
1 AM has dominion over everything on the earth, above the earth, and 
^neath the earth. To be still and know that I am God makes way 
for a divine Presence to go out before us, prepare mansions for us, 
and draw unto us our own When we know the I, we will know that 
* is the creator, but there must be no egotism connected with that. 
That, too, is one of the great temptations. 

Verv few initiates succumb to these temptations and fall by the 




230 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

wayside after a certain point in their development, but up to that 
time, even though the teacher knows that the aspirant is ready, the 
aspirant does not always fulfill that readiness, largely because per. 
sonal sense is still in the saddle. 

As long as there is any personal sense of self, we try to protect it 
and whenever anything seems to threaten it, we rise up to do battle. 
Such a reaction may cause us to fall by the wayside because on the 
spiritual path we are not permitted to take up the sword, fudas, who 
was so close to the Master as to be his treasurer, retained enough of 
a sense of personal selfhood that he wanted to be "top banana," he 
wanted to be the most important disciple, and as soon as any of the 
others seemed to gain the favor of the teacher, he rose up to protect 
his position. 

The personal sense of self that has left in it even a trace of ambi- 
tion, envy, or jealousy is enough to trip up a student at any stage of 
his development. Until he has completely lost all sense of self and 
there is no further possibility of falling away, every initiate faces the 
temptation of fame or money, and if it is not a mad ambition for 
money, it may be just the ambition for enough money to ensure 
security. These are the devil- tempters. The enlightened conscious- 
ness has no need for safety or security and no need to be concerned 
about a future, but until one has attained that state of consciousness, 
the temptation is certain to be present, and there is always the possi- 
bility that the initiate may yield to it. 

The fabric of every temptation that assails us consists of some form 
of personal sense. It is only with the final illumination, that final 
experience of God incarnating as individual man, a revelation that 
has come to so few people in all the world, that personal sense is 
dead. At this stage of unfoldment there is none of the human self 
left. Fame means nothing, fortune means nothing, safety means 
nothing. Does God need safety? Does God need security? Impossible! 

But students on the Path have not attained that final revelation 
of God incarnated as the Self, the revelation that enabled the MasteS 
to say, "He that seeth me seeth him that sent me." How few there 
are who can make the statement, "You are looking at God"! And 
until they can do that, there is some measure of personal sense rf" 



THE MEANING OF INITIATION 231 

gaining that could cause them to fall. After that, when all personal 
ense has been eliminated, when there is no "I," "me," or "mine," 
there is only God, there is only the Light Itself, and this is Self- 
supporting, Self-maintaining, and Self-sustaining, needing no help 
from any human source. 

The final step for every initiate is the command to "die." No one 
attains the heights until he reaches a complete surrender of self, 
a willingness to give up the human sense of self, give it up com- 
] ete ] y _if necessary to jump off the cliff into the ocean, to swim out 
to sea, to keep swimming and never turn back, to do what the Mas- 
ter commanded: "lose" his life, "die" to his human sense of life. 

The "death" of the self is explained in different ways in different 
teachings. In the older teachings, in addition to the story of Osiris 
and the Phoenix rising up out of their own ashes, there are accounts 
of the crucifixion of six spiritual masters before the time of Jesus, 
each of whom rose again. In the wisdom schools the final attainment 
was always dependent on the "death" of the student. Every student 
of a wisdom school was required to go through a "death," be "buried," 
and "resurrected"— raised up again— before he was given the spirit- 
ual status of a master. In the ancient Egyptian teachings, as well as 
those of Greece, there is always the "death" of the master, followed 
by his resurrection and rebirth. Many fraternal teachings include, as 
a part of their ritual, the "death" of the initiate, and his being raised 
up again. This "death" of the self is exemplified in the Master's ex- 
perience by the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension 
above all personal selfhood. 

Crucifixion can be an actual physical crucifixion, and resurrection 
can be an actual resurrection from the grave, but not necessarily so. 
They may be symbolic to show the "death" of the self and the rais- 
ing up of that divine Selfhood which we are, out of the dust of that 
corpse, out of the tomb. In other words, the crucifixion, which is the 
"death," or the crossing out of the self, may come in any dark night 
of the Soul when the last trace of selfhood is being swallowed up 
a "d there is nothing left but the light of the divine Selfhood— no 

vestige left of any "I," "me," or "mine," just the J that is the I of us. 
Whether during this particular lifetime on earth or in another, 



i 



232 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

the day must come when we "die"— not in the sense of a physical 
death as the result of disease, age, or accident, but a "death" tn 
all human sense. We can know how rapidly we are "dying" by jj, e 
degree to which we insist on the preservation of our human self 
which is said to be the first law of nature. If we are at the stage of 
consciousness where we would shoot to death a burglar who had 
entered our home, we have not yet "died": we are still in human- 
hood, still living a life of self-preservation. If we believe that in the 
event of any conflict our country should throw a bomb before the 
other country does, we have not yet started on the spiritual path: 
we are still under the law of self-preservation. The connotations of 
that law are terrifying to contemplate. It is another way of saying 
that our life is more valuable than that of others. 

On the spiritual path, and particularly as we rise high enough 
above and beyond all personal sense of self, we are able to under- 
stand that when the Master commanded his disciple to put up his 
sword it was as if he had said, "I know that they are going to crucify 
me, but what is the difference whether I die, or this soldier dies? 
Is it not the one Life? Is it right to kill him in order to protect me? 
Life is life, whether it is his life or my life. I have taught you to lay 
down your life that you may End it. I know what my fate is, but do 
not take someone else's life to protect my life because then all that 
I have taught you is lost." 

Only in the degree of our self-surrender, only in the degree of what 
we give up, will we ever find our Self, and if we think to preserve or 
save our life by taking that of another, we have given telling evidence 
that we have not advanced very far spiritually. It takes only a little 
spiritual light to see that the life of one person cannot be more 
important than that of another, for life is life. The truth is that my 
life is your life, and your life is my life; and when you die, I die; 
when I die, you die. 

We are never on the spiritual path until we have risen above the 
pairs of opposites, above good and evil, above "me" and "mine, 
above "thee" and "thine," until we have risen to the place in con- 
sciousness where there is One. When there is One, and One only* 
we can feed the multitudes and have twelve baskets full left over, 




THE MEANING OF INITIATION 233 

yc can heal the multitudes, we can forgive the multitudes, but not 
W 'hile there is a sense of a little self that is seeking for itself. 

That which originally caused us to be cast out of our spiritual 
home into a material sense of the universe was duality — the belief in 
a selfhood apart from God with its belief in, and fear of, two powers. 
It js not in someone else that this belief is overcome: it is overcome 
in us, and by us. 

The overcoming is never the overcoming of something out here: 
it is always the overcoming of a belief that has been accepted in our 
consciousness. The overcoming is within out own consciousness. 
The longer we postpone that overcoming, the longer will we postpone 
the day of our final initiation when we become the master of our 
experience. 

No one attains the spiritual heights except those who have been 
in the lowest depths. When we are going through our darkest human 
experience, very few of us actually believe that God is with us. Most 
of us are convinced that He has forsaken us. But God has never for- 
saken anyone — not even those in the lowest depth of sin imaginable. 
God is just as much omnipresent with the sinner as with the greatest 
saint. 

When Moses was leading the Hebrews through their forty years of 
wilderness-experience, I doubt that many of the Hebrews around 
him would have acknowledged that God was present; but Moses 
himself surely must have known during all those forty years that the 
place whereon he stood at any given moment was holy ground. Had 
God not been with Moses, would there have been an end to those 
forty years in the wilderness and the next step into the land of milk 
a nd honey? 

Elijah, too, must have had a little feeling, for a time at least, that 
Perhaps God was not present when he was out in the wilderness and 
Wa s being so persecuted. But if God had not been present, ravens 
w °uld not have fed him, or the poor widow, nor would he have 
to und cakes baked on the stones in front of him. Regardless of the 
P^blems through which Elijah went, had there not been Omni- 
presence, Elijah would perhaps never have been heard of again. 
w hat an inspiration it is to us when at the end of his trials and 



234 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

tribulations, God reveals to him, " 'Yet I have left me seven thousand 
in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baa!' — I have 
saved out your completeness, your perfection, your harmony, ari{ j 
your mission in life." God always saves out for us, too, our complete- 
ness, perfection, harmony, and mission in life. 

If God had not been with Jesus, even on the Cross, could there 
have been a Resurrection? Separate and apart from God, does man 
have powers of good, powers of resurrection or ascension? It is im- 
portant for those of us on the spiritual path to recognize that 
wherever there is the restoring of the lost years of the locust as in the 
case of Elijah, Isaiah, and Joel, wherever there is an experience, 
such as the ministry of Jesus Christ culminating in the Resurrection 
and the Ascension, there must be Immanuel, God with us, there 
must be Omnipresence, even though there have been those intervals 
in which the appearances were not outwardly testifying to the 
Presence. 

Watching Paul in his persecution of the Christians and in his 
many attempts to eradicate them completely, it would have been 
hard to believe that God was with him. If we had been part of that 
Christian band, we would have looked on Saul of Tarsus as a devil 
But he was not so great a devil that God was not with him. In fact, 
God was with Paul awaiting recognition and realization even in the 
years of his ignorance, in the years of his persecutions and what the 
Christians would have called his deviltries. God was with him when 
he received the light and when he became a major factor in the found- 
ing and teaching of the Christian faith. 

Peter and John were imprisoned, but God must have been with 
them in the prison, or else there would have been no escape for 
them. But there was an escape, and there was a whole ministry await- 
ing them because of Omnipresence, and not so much because o* 
That as because of their recognition of It. 

There is no one anywhere, at any time, without Omnipresence. 
There is no one anywhere, at any time, who does not have the full' 
ness of the Godhead within him, regardless of what crosses, trials, or 
tribulations, regardless of what years of ignorance, sin, fear, or evil 
may be his lot. And but for these trials there would be no rousing 
out of mortality, out of humanness, out of evil humanhood, a nd 



THE MEANING OF INITIATION 235 

] a ter on there would be no rousing out of good humanhood, although 
eventually, both of these steps must be taken. 

In the beginning of our spiritual experience we are merely coming 
ut of the mortal or erroneous sense of life, usually into a good sense 
f human life — healthier and more abundant. But that is not the 
ultimate of life: the ultimate of life is spiritual realization. 

To attain that spiritual realization, the primary responsibility of 
the student is the practice of meditation. It is in meditation that he 
loses the self with a small *'s," and gains the Self with a capital "S." 
It is in meditation that he is developing, enriching, and unfolding 
his inner Self, but not while the human mind is busy with the ambi- 
tion or desire for attainment. 

The preparation for spiritual attainment, if there is any, therefore, 
is to forsake a goal. Let us suppose that initiation came to a student 
at this moment, and then he was told never to appear in public 
again, never to let himself be seen, but to find a cabin in the woods 
somewhere, and pray. How would he feel if he were a master and 
nobody else knew it, and he could not even wear a robe? Everyone 
who has attained that high realization has been given something to 
do that, while he was doing it, made it impossible for him to have 
name or fame. The Master Christ Jesus was not known as the Saviour 
or the Messiah during his own lifetime: he was a simple rabbi walk- 
ing up and down the streets and villages of Palestine. Later, he was 
given the honor of being the Saviour, but only later. 

Certainly, then, a prime requisite in the preparation for initia- 
tion on the spiritual path is the understanding that the aspirant 
is ready to be unknown and to be nothing. If he is instructed to 
sit in silence the rest of his days, he will sit in silence. If he is bidden 
to go off somewhere and pray for the world, he will do that, and 
above all things, he will never let his neighbors or friends or anyone 
else know that he is a person of spiritual attainment. That is a denial 
°f attainment. 

A real master does not look anything like a master: the real master 
•s more like the servant who comes knocking at the door, asking, "Can 
)ou give me a little food?" and if we have the vision to recognize him 
a s a master, there is a great blessing in it for us. 

I he more of a master one becomes, the more of a servant he really 



■- 



I 

J. - 



236 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

is. There never has been a real master who called himself master 
there never has been a master who did not realize that he was not a 
master, but a servant, a servant to all who came unto htm heavy 
laden, to all who came seeking the Light. He who has attained the 
consciousness of a master becomes the servant of everybody, and a 
person with such a high state of consciousness could never stoop 
even to have a lurking desire to set himself up to be bowed down 
to and worshiped. 

When a person is identified by the title of master or guru, it is 
only a means of signifying that individual's spiritual attainment. The 
person we see is not the master. What constitutes the master is his 
divine Consciousness. Did not the great Master tell us in effect, 
"Do not call me master, do not call me good: there is but one Mas- 
ter, there is but One good"? 

No one can take credit for attaining the spiritual heights because 
no one has done anything to deserve or earn it, even on the lower 
levels. I can remember the time of my entrance to the spiritual 
path when the first signs given me were that I cared no longer for 
smoking, drinking, or playing cards. I could not even go across the 
border and put a two-dollar bet on a horse. All of that disappeared. 
How foolish it would have been if I had taken credit for this, and 
boasted about how noble I was when I had nothing at all to do with 
it. These things were simply taken from me: there was no credit 
accruing to me. 

As one goes higher on the spiritual path, he attains a humility 
and a complete freedom from worldly fear. Almost with the first 
spiritual experience, the fear of death disappears because in the 
realization of life eternal, it becomes of relative unimportance 
whether he lives on this plane or on that. No one attains spiritually 
while a fear of death remains in consciousness. But there again, 
how could a person possibly take credit for not fearing death, when 
it is something he did not accomplish, but something that was done 
for him by the Grace that was given him. 

In order to attain the spiritual heights, every initiate must go 
down into the depths and go through a period known as "the dark 
night of the Soul," which may last months and months. This is a time 



1 



THE MEANING OF INITIATION 237 

of anguish, a period of barrenness in which he is torn apart and feels 
cer tain that God has forsaken him, that he is unworthy, that he has 
made a mistake, or that he has committed a sin, and God has there- 
fore cast him into outer darkness. The reason for this desolation is 
n ot that God has thrown him off: it is only that a greater, deeper 
light is coming, and there must be an emptying-out process before 
that greater light can come. 

There are many "dark nights of the Soul" on this Path until the 
final one. The final one, of course, is the real night of the Soul, and 
that very nearly costs some their life before they can pass through 
that particular experience and come out into the full realization of 
the light. 

This "dark night of the Soul" culminates in the "death" of per- 
sonal selfhood and the lifting of the initiate into the master-state of 
consciousness. In this experience the initiate may witness a tremen- 
dous light, a filmy cloud, or a pillar of cloud, descending as if from 
above and taking form on earth as an individual. In other words, he 
beholds God incarnating Himself as man, and in this vision I, God, 
is now I, man: the Father has become the Son, and now I am that 
I AM. 1 am He; I am He that should come. 

With this revelation there exists forever after what the world calls 
teacher, saviour, or guru, but which is really the light of God mani- 
fested as man, and the power shown forth is the power of God which 
appears to others to be the power of a man. That is why so often an 
individual has been set up and glorified as God : it was not seen that 
it was not a man who was God, but that God was the man. There is 
quite a difference! A man is never God, but God becomes the man. 

While it is true that there have been only a few full and complete 
God-incarnated-as-men on earth, there have been very many who 
nave appeared as God incarnated on earth in a measure, and some 
>n a very great measure. Otherwise the works they have performed 
c ould not have been performed because they were always works 
'hat a man could never have done. No man could have left as his 
contribution to the spiritual literature of the world the Gospel of 
John, the Advaita Vedanta, or any of the gTeat original teachings 
t"at have become the spiritual heritage of man. 



■Q 



■5 



238 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

The Absolute is not a teaching but an experience. When it j. 
given in words in a book, it is a revelation, but still not a teaching 
Nobody can teach anyone to become the God-incarnated man, but 
after it has been revealed, it can be taken into consciousness, and the 
measure of the readiness of the student will be the measure of ^ 
experience of it. 

Although there are some few in the history of the world who have 
come to earth so highly endowed spiritually that they have received 
the impartation of the Spirit directly by Grace without the interven- 
tion or help of a teacher, the vast majority of those who have at- 
tained the realization of the Absolute have attained it through a 
teacher. 

What might be called the first revelation of the Absolute is accredi- 
ted to Krishna, and while there are no proofs of his attainment, nor 
are there any manuscripts attributed to anyone by the name of 
Krishna, this name recurs again and again and again in religious 
literature, and is always in some way associated with the revelation of 
God as individual being, God as the only I AM, and that God, or 
I AM, constituting individual being. 

We have no knowledge of how many attained this consciousness 
in the days antedating written accounts, but probably one of the first 
authentic records of such an attainment is that of Melchizedek. With 
Melchizedek there was no teaching; he taught nothing to anyone; 
and if he did impart his experience of the Absolute, there is no record 
of it. Our only information is that there was such a person as Mel- 
chizedek, he to whom even Abraham, the father of the Hebrew 
nation, paid tribute, that is, acknowledged as greater than himself— 
Melchizedek, never born and never dying. Has anyone but God Itself 
never been bom and never died? No, only God is from everlasting 
to everlasting; therefore, it was the awareness of his identity as spir- 
itual being, as God, as the J AM that was fully revealed as Mel- 
chizedek. 

Moses, too, on the mountain top, at the very height of spiritual 
revelation, received the awareness that I AM is God. He never taught 
the Absolute, however: he attained It. The teaching he gave to his 
followers was a very relative one. To try to reveal to them what he 



THE MEANING OF INITIATION 239 

had attained was an impossibility, and the most he could do with his 
followers was to attempt to teach them to be good human beings, 
a nd this by means of The Ten Commandments. 

Isaiah and John, also, undoubtedly attained the Absolute, but they 
never taught It: they merely revealed in their writings that they had 
attained It and Its truth. In one way or another, a teacher can show 
that he has attained the Absolute and can impart It in a measure, 
but he cannot teach It because It is not a teaching: It is an experi- 
ence. 

With Sliankara, the experience of the Absolute became more of a 
teaching. While he probably did not achieve it in the same degree 
as Moses and John, and certainly not in the degree which Melchiz- 
edek attained, still he was able to leave behind him a wealth of 
writing which became the foundation of the Advaita Vedanta, the 
only absolute teaching of India, 

Whenever an individual attains conscious union with God and 
realizes in some measure the I-ness of his being, he is in the Abso- 
lute, he is then the divine Consciousness expressing Itself. When 
this happens, he either decides that he has finished with this par- 
ticular phase of existence, lays down his body, and departs, con- 
tinuing his life in an incorporeal form, or he is given some specific 
mission on earth and continues working to accomplish that mission 
until it is fulfilled, because the Consciousness which he now is per- 
petuates him as long as the need remains for his earthly experience. 

Moses took his people right to the Promised Land, and probably 
fust have felt that that ended his ministry. Elijah undoubtedly 
completed his mission because he ascended and rose beyond visible 
Manifestation without having to go through disease or accident. 
) e sus must have felt that his work was done because in the presence 
°* his disciples, he "lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said ... I have 
"nislied the work which thou gavest me to do." John was given the 
M'ssion of preparing the manuscript of the Gospel of John, so that 
Ul at revelation might be preserved, and Shankara was enabled to 
c °mplete his work of presenting the philosophy of the Advaita 
Atlanta of India. 

Each one who attains some measure of the realization of the 






240 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




Absolute has a work to perform, and part of that work is irnpartin 
the Absolute to those few who are able to receive It. Not all are abl 
to accept It because it takes, first of all, an evolved consciousness 
and secondly, it requires the ability to leave all to follow the work 
Scripture speaks of leaving mother and father, and sister and brother, 
for My sake. There are not many people who have done that, nor 
many who are, or would be, willing to do so. There are not mariv 
who, if asked to leave their "nets" and follow the Christ, would 
actually give up their jobs and leave their families to follow that 
Me. That does not mean, however, that there are not such, nor 
does it mean that it is not happening, because it is. 

"Many are called, but few are chosen." There are many who re- 
ceive some spiritual light, but instead of instantly saying, "Ah, I 
must follow this to the end," they usually are content to rest in the 
additional comfort gained. They accept the increased human good 
and are satisfied with it, rather than seeking to find the principle 
that brought it about. 

Spiritual evolution comes about not in one lifetime: it comes 
about over a period of many, many lifetimes. There are those who 
receive some measure of spiritual light, but aside from using it to 
gain better health, more abundant supply, or more satisfying com- 
panionship, go no further with it. This, however, gives them such a 
firm foundation that in their next parenthesis thev go higher, and it 
is possible that in the one following that, or the one after, they 
will attain the highest initiation and receive the illumination of the 
Absolute, 




CHAPTER XXI 



"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD 
HATH ANOINTED ME" 



o 

\_y nee the mystical realm has been touched, we live in a world 
where things happen that never happen in the human realm. It was 
in this realm that Jesus was living at the time of the Transfiguration, 
and it was through his conscious oneness with the Father that he 
was able to show Moses and Elias to the disciples, thereby proving 
to them that these prophets had never died. 

In the mystical realm there is no past, present, or future: there is 
only now. The form that we think of as our body is not externalized 
reality, nor is it outside of our being: it is a mental concept or image 
in thought. The spiritual form as which we exist today is the same 
form as which we existed yesterday, and it is the form as which we 
w il] exist forever. The I of us and of all God-substance are one and 
fte same, and even the body is made of that same pure substance. I 
is incorporeal and spiritual; I has form, but it is not a dense form: 
]t has no thickness and it has no weight. It is really a "light" form. 
To begin to perceive this is to understand that our present existence 
ls of the same spiritual nature as our pre-existence was and as our 
future existences will be. 

As we unfold spiritually, we are no longer quite as aware of 

241 



r 



242 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

physical form as we were before. Instead of noticing the physical 
appearance of a person we meet, we quickly look into his eyes be- 
cause behind those eves sits the I. We have learned by now that a 
person can never be found in any part of his body: in his feet, legj ; 
torso, or even in his brain. It is in meeting the eyes that we meet 
the person. 

The further we go in spiritual development, the less awareness 
we have of, and the less importance do we impute to, outlined 
physical form. We begin to perceive other forms of beauty, real 
beauty, intelligence, even love and life shining out of a person's eyes, 
or around his lips. We hear something in his voice and catch 
glimpses of something deep within him. 

As our state of consciousness evolves to a higher level, we even rise 
above that and become aware of an aura or an atmosphere, and re- 
gardless of what the physical appearance or the speech of a person 
may be, we are either drawn to the atmosphere flowing out from 
him, repelled by it, or we are indifferent to it. 

Everyone carries his atmosphere with him, and there is no way to 
hide it or cover it up. For a person of spiritual discernment, it is not 
too hard to sense whether those with whom he comes in contact are 
simply good human beings or whether they have developed spir- 
itually to any degree. Something tells us when that spiritual develop- 
ment is present in a person. The person himself cannot tell it be- 
cause, if he does, that is a denial of it. But we can feel it and are 
attracted to it. In fact, such a height of spiritual elevation can be 
reached that a person with a highly enough developed spiritual con- 
sciousness can see the entire body of a spiritually illumined person 
disappear and, in its place, there will be nothing left but light. It may 
be either a light around the body with the body invisible, or the 
entire body may be a body of light. This is a momentary thing; • 
does not last for long, but it does happen. 

Nobody can say, "I am spiritual, and my body is light," and then 
expect that others will be able to see that light. No, even when a 
person has attained the place where he is a body of light, no ° nl 
else can see that body as light until he himself has attained the 
gree of spiritual illumination that makes it possible to witness wW 
is there. 




"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD . . . HATH ANOINTED Me" 243 

At the time of the Transfiguration, Jesus was at the stage of his 
u nfoldment where he was no longer a man: he had become the 

Way, the Truth, and the Life— incorporeal and wholly spiritual 

but as far as those in his immediate environment were concerned, he 
was still walking around in what the universal human mind in- 
terprets as human form. His friends, relatives, and followers had not 
risen in consciousness. They still remained on the human plane, so 
they, therefore, were able to cognize only materiality. 

During the experience of the Transfiguration, Jesus had with him 
the most highly developed of his disciples, and inasmuch as by this 
time they were perhaps too far advanced spiritually to be taught 
much more of the letter of truth, they were with him on the Mount 
only for inspiration, meditation, and illumination. 

Through his meditation and through his going deeper and deeper 
within himself, he was able to raise his disciples the extra notch that 
was necessary so that their human sense was "dead," and as he be- 
came more deeply immersed in the Spirit, the fullness of his spiritual 
body, his light-body, was made evident to them. They had "died" to 
their finite sense and had been lifted to a state of consciousness 
where they could behold him as he really was. 

Every practitioner who has worked spiritually, or even one who has 

used mental arguments, has been lifted up above mental argument 

to a place where it stopped, and quietness began. Such a practitioner 

lias witnessed something much like the Transfiguration even though 

he may not have been aware of it. In response to a call for help 

"Om some person, he may have so far forgotten the person and the 

condition in his knowing the truth about God that all of a sudden 

" e came to the end of the mental argument and for just a flash— 

ne tiny bit of a second— something happened: it was as if he had 

iCc n spiritual man, and then he knew that everything was all right. 

. «C may not have realized what had happened, but in that blind- 

§ flash he lost all sense of corporeality and saw man as he is. He 
did 



He 



n ©t see him with his eyes: he perceived him with his inner vision. 



'tua] di 



saw with inner spiritual discernment, and with that inner spir- 



it, 



iscernment there was that second's glimpse of the real man. 



we continue with our spiritual development and unfoldment. 
catch a glimpse of spiritual man, sometimes even of spiritual 






r - 



244 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

form, and eventually we arrive at the place where it is almost a daily 
experience to see some person, usually a patient 01 a student, J n 
his spiritual identity. 

The Transfiguration is not an experience of two thousand years 
ago. It is a continuing experience that always has been and always 
will be. It is an experience in which individuals so lift themselves 
above the physical or mental state that they become less aware of the 
corporeal form, and more aware of what is shining through that form. 
Thus we have Transfiguration, and we have it here, and we have it 
now, available for all who have eyes to see. 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me 
to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken- 
hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight 
to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Luke 4:18 

That is the mystical experience. But before that happens, we are 
human beings, separate and apart from God, mortals who have no 
God-contact, who are not blessed or reached by God, and not even 
known to God. When we first feel that divine Presence, however, 
we are ordained; we are no longer human beings, no longer mortal: 
we are now the sons of God. We are still the son of man insofar as 
those who see our body are concerned; we eat and drink, use trans- 
portation, and carry on our normal daily activities, but we are the 
son of God in that those things are the least part of our life. The 
major part of our life now is the presence and power of God, the 
same Presence and Power which Jesus said anointed and ordained 
him to heal the sick. 

When a person comes to that place where a transition has take: 
place in his consciousness and he no longer looks out on this 
and sees men and women, good and bad, sick and well, but 1$ a 
to see through the human picture to the spiritual reality, that on 
spiritually ordained. 

There is no need to tell this to anyone, to advertise, or to v 
it because when the Spirit of the Lord God is upon a person an 
has received light, there is something within his consciousnes 
communicates itself silently to others. They feel comfortable 
presence, and they ask him to pray for them. 




"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD . . . HATH ANOINTED Me" 245 

It makes no difference where he lives, whether in a tiny village or 
a big city as the word spreads, he will be called upon for comfort, 
healing, and eventually for teaching. His work will grow because the 
m oment anyone has a healing, he is quick to tell his friends and 
relatives and to write to those in other cities and states. The teacher 
may never receive honor in his own city; he may remain hidden in 
his home and not even his next-door neighbor realize the work that 
),e is carrying on, but he will be known far and wide. Nothing 
spreads quite so rapidly as the news about a healer who can heal. 

The Master was wise when he said, "Go and tell no man." No 
person should ever advertise in any way the spiritual light that has 
come to him, or give testimonies about it, but he does give a cup of 
cold water in this spiritual Name whenever the opportunity presents 
itself. An indication of the degree of spiritual light that has come 
to anyone is his willingness to be anonymous, to stay away from the 
activities of the world, and to be drawn only where he can be of 
service. 

If we sincerely love truth, we will give ourselves unstintingly to 
the search. Whatever is necessary to do, we will do: if it is to buy 
books or teachings, if it is to give time, if it is effort, if it is devotion, 
rf it is meditation, whatever is necessary to give, we will give. Every 
part of our life must be dedicated to God; our first fruits must be 
given to God, for God is not to be attained with a little spare time 
or a little spare change. It takes the whole heart, the whole Soul, the 

nole love of one's being, and above all things, it takes secrecy. We 

et not our right hand know what our left hand is doing. We do 

tell our neighbors or our friends and relatives that we are seeking 

because when we have found Him, they will know it without 

filing them. 

, er y person who goes into spiritual work must be certain that 
I as been called and ordained of the Spirit and that he has not 
b u m Er ,i s activity simply because of a human desire. To desire 
f a ' L,a ' activity is a wrong desire: to want to meet God face to 
Uii s ' ° ex P en ' ence Him, to want spiritual light and illumination— 
lot - ■ le 0n ^ ^ es ' re triat ' s worthwhile. Human ordination does 



make 



a man spiritual, nor does it make of him a healer or a 






246 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

comforter. Only spiritual ordination from the Father within can do 
that. What happens to a person after the light comes rests with God, 
not with man. 

The spiritual teacher must wait until he knows within himself 
that the Spirit of the Lord God is upon him and that he has been 
ordained to heal the sick, to lift up, to redeem, to forgive; and he 
must also be very sure that he is ready to pay the price. 

Few people realize the price that has to be paid for engaging in 
spiritual work. Many still have the idea that it is a part-time job, or 
that a person in this ministiy works for an hour or two a week giving 
lectures and classes, and then hires a big firm of income tax spe- 
cialists to make out his income tax. That is nonsense. Spiritual work 
demands a seven day week, and usually a twelve- to eighteen-hour 
day. As a rule it means the loss of one's family, and it always means 
the loss of one's friends because in spiritual work no one has the 
leisure necessary to enjoy friendships or for time-consuming social 
dilly-dallying. 

If a person is not prepared to leave this world and all his friends, 
even his family if necessary, he obviously has not been ordained and 
has no right to embark on this activity, because in spiritual work no 
one's life is any longer his own. The truly spiritual teacher belongs 
to his students and patients. If he is unwilling to have a telephone 
at his bedside and be awakened at any hour of the night, or if 1 
does not go about almost with a walkie-talkie, he does not belong 
in the work because he must be at the beck and call of telephones, 
mail, and telegrams or cablegrams seven days a week. There is n 
time out for weekends or vacations, and it is extremely rare for the 
person in this work to have even an occasional holiday. 

Sometimes the price is paid in the coin of loneliness. No matta 
how many students the teacher of spiritual wisdom may have < 
how many friends, in his spiritual life he will have to be content W 
live all alone in the center of his being. He may be physical 
present with many people, but he is not otherwise present. The pn 
is high! Everyone who has been successful in this work knows W 
very high it is; and the price one has to pay in loss of family a» 
friends, and in loneliness, does not take into consideration 




"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD . . . HATH ANOINTED ME ' 247 

hatred that is brought down upon the person who stands for truth— 
sometimes the persecution, and always the misunderstanding. No- 
body can quite see another's motive because he is not seeing through 
the same state of illumination, and what someone else is thinking 
and doing very often looks wrong to a person who is on a different 
level of consciousness. 

So die questions that must be answered by us in the depth of our 
consciousness are: Do we love the Lord God with all our heart and 
with all our Soul, and for no other reason than to want to know 
God? Do we want to make that dedication and devotion to God our 
life, and leave the healing and teaching to the Christ within us? This 
we must answer in our hearts. Only a love of God, a love of being in 
God's company— away from people, not with people— must remain. 

Above all things, if we have any desire whatsoever for the spiritual 
life, we must realize that we cannot at the same time have a desire 
for some outer activity. Our only desire must be for God Himself: to 
love Him, to know Him, to commune with Him — and not for any 
reason. If we have a reason, we will erect a barrier. No one must ever 
go to God for a reason. To go to God to commune with Him, that is 
enough. Then, if we are entrusted with spiritual work, that is just 
one of the added things. 

On the day when the Christ touches us, that is the day of our 
mystical experience. We do not become mystics— we may never be- 
come mystics on this plane. This experience of the Christ may be 
°nly the preparation for the day when we will be mystics, but we will 
nave the mystical experience, and it will be followed by others, as 
'°ng as we are living in the awareness of the Presence. 

In the assurance of the Presence we Test, not on our human wis- 
dom, our human health, or human strength: we rest on It, and It is 
atr nost like resting back on a cloud, so tangible and so evident is It. 
" is much more valuable, much more powerful, much more present, 
n< i much more satisfying and reliable than any human relationship 
las ever been. 

That is the I AM; that is the Christ; that is the son of God. When 

c son of God is conceived or bom in us, from then on, if we 
Ut ture It, if we keep reaching toward It, relying on It, keep turning 




248 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 









within and acknowledging Its presence and power, It develops and 
grows. We have to take It down to "Egypt" to hide It because if w „ 
tell our friends and neighbors about It, they may ridicule us to such 
an extent that we may wish such a way of life had never become a 
part of our experience; but as we keep It secret and sacred, one day 
It becomes evident by Its fruits. 

It never becomes evident as a tangible thing. Nobody will ever 
come up to us and say, "Oh, you have the Christ." But very often 
people do come up to us and ask, "What are you doing lately?" 01 
"What are you reading or thinking? You seem to be changed, and 
things seem to be improving for you." There is no recognition of the 
Christ as such. What has happened is that the Spirit of the Lord 
God is upon us, and now we are ordained to speak the truth, to heal 
the sick, and to comfort those in need of comfort. 

After this first glimpse comes to us, this first awareness that there 
is a Presence within us which really does miracle-working things, 
from then on we behold It at work. "He performeth the thing that 
is appointed for me. . . . The Lord will make perfect that which 
concerneth me." 

In the very moment we attain a realization that we are no longer 
alone, that there is a Presence and a Power within us, we have 
touched the mystical experience, the experience of a transcendental 
infinite Presence, a transcendental Something that cannot be ex- 
plained. It goes right to the roots and the marrow of our bones and 
bodies and makes us every whit whole. It cements relationships. It 
takes persons out of our lives, too, who cannot be a part of a spiritual 
life. 

There are many persons who have mystical experiences, but they 
are not therefore mystics: they have merely accidentally had an ex* 
perience that was never again repeated. Mystics are those individuals 
who have attained conscious union with God and who can attain 
this union almost at will— although not completely so because » 
is not a matter of human will power. Those who do actually attain 
the mystical consciousness recognize it for what it is, and they there- 
after live in that consciousness at least in some measure most of the 
time, and in the fullness of it at frequent periods. 




"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD . . . HATH ANOINTED ME" 249 

Many a time some students have felt that they have had a spiritual 
experience, but have found later that it was either an emotional or an 
occult one, stemming from the mental realm and not the spiritual, 
gut when we have a genuine spiritual experience and the Presence 
becomes very real to us, and there is an inner stirring or awakening, 
there are always signs following so that we cannot mistake the way. 
]f some question remains in our mind as to the validity of the ex- 
perience, obviously we have not had the experience, for when that 
occurs there is no question. 

God is positive. God never leaves us in doubt. He may make us 
wait. In fact, in the spiritual life there are often long periods of 
waiting, waiting between one step and the next, between one un- 
Eoldment and the next, or between one experience and the next. 
Spiritual experiences do not come every day of the week, just by 
turning something on and turning it off, or by closing the eyes for 
meditation. 

Each spiritual experience is like a plateau, and our progress on 
the Path like a series of plateaus. We reach a particular plateau, 
and then stand there, seemingly making no progress, and all we can 
do is wait. There is nothing to do but wait. Just as a rosebud cannot 
be hurried into a rose, but must take its normal natural time to 
unfold, so must a spiritual experience. 

So we have an experience, and it is deep and rich; it is bright; 
it is light; and it gives us a vision beyond anything we have ever 
known before. We live with that, and we work with it, and we dream 
with it, and all the time whatever work is given us to do is performed. 
Then it seems as if everything is taken away, and there comes an 
emptiness, a vacuum, a sense of absence from God, a sense of sepa- 
ration, but this is only to make us ready for the next step or plateau, 
for a still higher experience and unfoMment. 

These experiences are not given to us lightly, nor do we earn them 
I'ghtly, nor can we ever deserve them. They come by Grace, and 
e ach one places a demand on us that we fulfill life at the level of 
that realization until by Grace the next one is given us. We cannot 
doubt these experiences, nor can we ever tell of them. This may be 
surprising because many books have been written about initiation 



n 



250 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

and about the lives of the great masters. But do you believe that arjo 
one of these accounts is authentic? Do you believe that any master 
has ever revealed the inner secrets of his spiritual life? In all th e 
history of the world could there be a manuscript or a book fully 
revealing the inner life of a mystic? Can such an experience ever be 
expressed in words? 

Even though the mystical experience may not come to you in its 
fullness, it is not likely that you are on this Path without the possi- 
bility of having some measure of spiritual experience. The very fact 
that you have been led to a spiritual path would indicate that there 
is something in store for you of that nature. When it does come, re- 
gardless of how small the experience may be, or how great, do not 
share it with anyone because to do so is virtually to ensure that it 
will not happen again, and that it will not bear fruitage. 

If you have a spiritual teacher who has played a part in bringing 
you into the light, you may share your experience with your teacher, 
and thereby be led into a greater expansion of consciousness because 
your teacher knows how to hold your experience secret and sacred, 
and deepen and enrich it. But no one else— not a parent, not a 
wife, not a husband, not a child, not a friend— should ever share 
the depth of a spiritual experience— no one but your teacher, if you 
have one. 

Those who have never had a spiritual experience do not speak 
this language, and they therefore have no way of understanding what 
we are talking about. Friends and relatives think we have gone off 
center, and they begin to doubt our sanity. So it is the part of wisdom 
to remember that spiritual experiences are not a subject to be 
flaunted before the world to bolster one's ego or to make one seern 
great in the eyes of others. 

Many persons believe that the spiritual experience will increase 
their health and wealth, or increase their powers, making itself 
evident in some human way. But the Master did not accumulate 
wealth, and in his own days on earth he was never accepted as a '4 
saviour. He was a very much misunderstood person, and a much 
persecuted one. He never attained name or fame while on earthi 
nor for hundreds of vears afterward. 



"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD . . . HATH ANOINTED ME" 251 

A mystic is never known as a mystic to anyone except the few 
ff lio have the ability to discern the spiritually real behind the ap- 
pearance. A real mystic will never set himself up as a great teacher 
or as the head of anything because that is not the nature of the 
mystic. Left to himself, a mystic would prefer to live separate and 
apart from the world and carry on his work in secret. 

Ibe mystic wears no robe; the mystic wears no halo: the mystic 
is a simple person with an inner light and with enough wisdom to 
keep that light hidden from the outside world— not to seek place or 
position by means of it, but always willing to share it with those who 
recognize and desire it. 

If we have a spiritual experience or have been given a spiritual 
message, the world will beat a pathway to our door. If we have the 
light, if we are the light, we shall never need to announce it: the 
world will seek us out. It is far better to wait until we are ordained 
of the Spirit, and then let those who have seen the son of God raised 
up in us come to us, and let us share with them whatever measure of 
light we have. 




CHAPTER XXII 



THE MYSTICAL MARRIAGE 



E 



I very mystic eventually achieves such a oneness with the Spirit 
within that forever afterward there is a union with the divine Con- 
sciousness. That which is human and that which is divine meet: the 
human element is dissolved, and all that is left is the divine. The 
two become one. This coming together in oneness is called the 
mystical marriage, the spiritual marriage. This Marriage is sym- 
bolically described in some mystical literature, such as the Song of 
Solomon, as the union of the male and female, brought together by 
a Jove that transcends love in any human sense. It has no sensuality 
in it because there is no corporeality about it, and yet this relation- 
ship that develops between the spiritually endowed individual and 
God can be described only in terms of love. 

In the consummation of the mystical marriage, the Father and 
Son become one: "I and my Father." There is a close, intimate 
relationship between the two. "He that seeth me seeth him that 
sent me." There are no longer two : there is only one. It is no long et 
Jesus, son of Joseph: it is now Jesus, the son of God, the Christ, ot 
Jesus, the Christed one. 

In many spiritual teachings the names of the disciples are chang^ 
at a certain point in their unfoldment. Their former names identic 

252 






THE MYSTICAL MARRIAGE 253 

them with a physical body and a human ancestry. Thus it was that 
Simon was called Simon Bar-Jonah, meaning Simon, the son of 
Jonah, but when he awakened to his divine sonship, his name was 
changed to Peter. He was no longer identified with his human an- 
cestry: he now took on the name of his spiritual ancestry, the Rock. 

Today in some spiritual teachings when a certain point in the 
student's development is reached, the teacher gives the disciple a 
new name, symbolic of the "death" of his humanhood, and signi- 
fying that he has "died" to his past history, he has "died" to his 
mother and father, sister and brother, and has been reborn of the 
Spirit. To everyone who attains the mystical experience comes this 
changing of name and of character, even though it may not be out- 
wardly known. Those to whom it happens do not tell the world 
about it, but when it happens, they know it. 

The bestowing of the Robe is also a mystical experience, and every- 
one who comes into the mystical consciousness has felt that Robe 
descend upon him. He would never refer to it: it is an inner spiritual 
experience — not an outer robe, but something to be worn spiritually 
as a garment which one places around himself to separate him from 
whatever is left of human sense in his consciousness. 

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. , . . 
I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Here is the mystical 
marriage: Paul and his Christ. They are wedded, they are one. Paul 
does nothing without his Christ. The Christ thinks through him; 
the Christ works through him; and this is the fruitage of the Marriage. 

Every mystic not only experiences this dual relationship of "I" 
and the indwelling Christ, but each one, at certain times, transcends 
this relationship and becomes that higher One. He loses sight of his 
human identity. The Master revealed that he had attained this high 
state of complete union when he said : "I and my Father are one. . - - 
before Abraham was, I am." This is the Master speaking from his 
Godhood, from those moments when he had transcended the duality 
of the Marriage and had become the He that is greater than any 
!l,J man identity. 

Mystical literature gives accounts of those who, at some time or 
ot her, transcended the sense of a Presence always within them, and 



254 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

became the Presence Itself. There must inevitably come a time in 
our spiritual journey when we realize our I-ness, and then we are 
that One, and the other one has disappeared from view. So far there 
is no record of anyone's attaining that level and remaining on it 
permanently, although this does not mean that it has never hap- 
pened. It means only that when that state is attained, the person's 
work is finished here, and he leaves this plane of consciousness. 

The ultimate of the mystical experience is conscious union with 
God. It is a state of inner communion so intense and so lofty that 
the person disappears and exists then only as the infinite J, while at 
the same time maintaining his individuality as a person. There is no 
absorption into God at any time, even in the moment of conscious 
union. 

In the period just before the full and complete union, there is 
sufficient oneness so that the mystic perceives his oneness with all 
life: 

I am the life of the grass; I am the life of the tree; I am the life of 
the ocean. I can look up from under the sea and see the sky, but at 
the same time I can look down from the sky and see the sea. I can 
look out from a tree and see the birds, and at the same time be the 
bird that is sitting on the branch of the tree. I am the life of <i« 
being. 

I am consciously sitting on a star, or inside of a star, looking out 
at this world, while at the same time looking up from the ground dt 
the star. I am the life of the stone, and at the same time I am look- 
ing up from the ground at the stone. 

I am here, and I am there, and I am everywhere: I permeate v* 
creation. I can see in every direction at once, and always as if "*/ 
Selfhood were centered in just one tiny spot, and yet in every sp° 
at the same moment. I am the life of every person around me. I df " 
the mind, I am the law, and I am the power of Grace unto then*' 
I am the way, and I am the truth, and I am the life. 

Always in the end the spiritual aspirant discovers that the kingdo 11 
of God is within him, and realizing that, pondering it, almost und* 1 ' 



THE MYSTICAL MARRIAGE 



255 



standing it, step by step he is taken along both the mental and the 
spiritual path until one day the parenthesis is erased, his initiation 
is complete, illumination comes, everything drops away, the Light is 
there, and he realizes: 

I am That. That which I am seeking, I dm. 

Then comes a complete inner release from personal selfhood, from 
human sense, and I stands revealed within as his identity. 




PART THREE 



L 




IVING 



IN THE CIRCLE 



Living the Mystical Life 



CHAPTER XXIII 



LIVING IN, THROUGH, AND BY THE SPIRIT 






T 

Xhe 



he attainment of the fourth-dimensional or illumined con- 
sciousness is the secret of harmonious, abundant, and gracious living, 
living without strife or struggle, completelv free from the material 
sense of life. This freedom of the illumined is really a freedom from 
ignorance because only the ignorant can cleave to the belief that life 
is dependent on things and people in the external realm. Is not the 
whole material sense of life characterized by a faith, hope, and 
reliance on the external? To believe that life is dependent on a heart 
and sustained by food alone, or that strength is dependent on the 
development of muscles, in short, to believe that life is subject to, 
°r dependent on, any thing or any thought is material sense. 

The truth is that life governs the external realm, but to come into 
agreement with that, we must understand that out body and our 
mind belong to us, and that it is I that governs that mind and that 
body, not the mind or the body that governs us. 

In the degree that we realize that J governs the mind and J 
g°vems the body are we illumined and free from the domination of 
m 'nd and body. The mind is given to us as a thinking apparatus so 
tliat we can think what thoughts we want to think. We have a mind 
and we therefore determine what is going to occupy our mind. 

259 



260 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




But inasmuch as we are human antennas, we often find ourselves 
thinking the thoughts that everybody else is thinking. That is why 
at times fear overwhelms us, a fear that is not our fear but the uni- 
versal fear that we pick up through our everyday contact with the 
world. This that comes to us by way of the universal mind can be 
fear or it can be doubt, it can be almost anything; and until we are 
aware of the 1, those things will continue to intrude into our ex- 
perience and dominate us. But that domination will become less and 
less, the more we realize the I. There must be that recognition of I— I 
Self -complete being: 

I am the embodiment of all that God is. Because of my oneness 
with my Source, all that is true of the Source is true of me, for I and 
my Source are one. 

Even when we come to a place where we are convinced of this 
truth, this is not yet illumination. Illumination does not take place 
merely by reading words and agreeing that they are beautiful, and 
hoping they are true. Illumination is that moment of realization 
when we know that whereas before we were blind, now we see. 

Illumination is the attainment of that fourth-dimensional con- 
sciousness in which we no longer see materially, hear materially, or 
believe materially, but in which we see through the appearance, just 
as we would see through the appearance of a mirage on a desert. 

The human being, living in the third dimension, sees an ailing 
body or a disturbed mind, and longs to do something about it, 
whereas the fourth-dimensional consciousness sees through it. This 
does not mean that this higher consciousness has no awareness or 
the existence of such things, but to the fourth-dimensional con- 
sciousness they do not have existence as reality. That is the difference. 
Even Jesus Christ saw the crippled man, but while his physical ey« 
took cognizance of this condition, his inner eye saw through tn 
appearance to the man's Christhood. 

The fourth-dimensional consciousness sees the discords as well a- 
the beauties of this world, but when it sees these, it does not becom 
hypnotized, enthralled, or excited by them. This enlightened c° 



LIVING IN, THROUGH, AND BY THE SPIRIT 261 

sciousness sees both abundance and lack as but temporary phases of 
human existence— here today, and perhaps gone tomorrow— full well 
realizing that it makes little difference what the appearance is be- 
cause the reality is still there. And what is the reality? The reality is 
consciousness. If through our consciousness we manifest a certain 
amount of supply or abundance, and if for some reason it is wiped 
away, what difference does that make, if we still have the conscious- 
ness that brought it forth? 

It is much the same as stripping a tree of its fruit. What difference 
does it make as long as we have the tree? If the tree is still intact, 
in due season it will have another crop of fruit because that is the 
nature of the tree. And so, too, it is the nature of our consciousness 
to produce and reproduce itself, to multiply, so that regardless of 
what may be taken away, the consciousness of it remains, and tomor- 
row it will begin producing again. 

The substance of the fruit is consciousness, and whatever con- 
sciousness contains, consciousness can bring forth. Inasmuch as God 
is our consciousness, our consciousness, therefore, contains infinity, so 
the measure of our bringing forth the fruits of consciousness must be 
infinite. If, on the other hand, we believe that we have a conscious- 
ness of our own, we measure our fruitage in terms of our education 
and experience, and since these are limited, they cannot bring forth 
infinity. The fourth-dimensional consciousness is satisfied to have 
that mind which was also in Christ Jesus, but it requires illumination 
to be able to realize that, and until that illumination comes, we will 
continue to judge by appearances and thereby hold ourselves in 
limitation. 

When the fourth-dimensional consciousness is attained, even in 
a measure, life begins to flow more by Grace than by effort. Things 
c «me more easily and more abundantly than ever before, because 
vv "th illumination comes the realization that the I of us, individual- 
•zed as our consciousness, embraces infinity, and good flows forth 
from our consciousness into visible expression. The more we abide 
in the truth, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of," the more we 
"ring infinity into expression. 
The only way we can arrive at a state of complete Self-reliance is 



262 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

to attain such a measure of the fourth-dimensional consciousness 
that we are content to know, "I and the Father are one, and all th« 
the Father has is mine," and then close our eyes to the outside 
world. There has to be this inner conviction: "If there were not a 
soul in the world, I and my Father are still one. If I were a million 
miles from civilization, I and my Father are still one, and my m . 
foldment must come to me from within." As we abide in that, we 
are free of dependence on "man, whose breath is in his nostrils." 

Illumination brings freedom from dependence on persons and 
things, and the only perfect human relationship there can ever be is 
one in which we do not look to anyone for anything. It is impossible 
to want anything from anybody and not have friction develop. No 
matter how close two persons may be, the moment one of them 
wants something from the other, 3 defense mechanism is set up, and 
conflict ensues. There is no way to enjoy perfect human relation- 
ships except to want nothing from anybody. Then we have normal, 
happy relationships because we are free to share without thinking of 
any return. We will never be free of needing money, companionship, 
or a home until we reach the stage of illumination in which we have 
no desire for any of those things because they are all in-built, all 
included in the consciousness which we are. 

We do not try to demonstrate persons, things, or conditions be- 
cause if we succeeded in gaining any desired object, we might be 
afraid to let it go, and on the spiritual path we must not be afraid 
to let anything or anyone go. In fact, at least once a day there should 
be a period of releasing this world and everything and everyone in it. 
We have no right even to try to hold on to the truth that we learned 
yesterday. If we could empty ourselves every day of all we know, we 
would make way for what God has to reveal and what man has 
never so far even yet received. If we are trying to hold on to any- 
thing or anybody, if we continue to live on yesterday's manna, we 
are living wholly in materia] consciousness, and we have no measur- 
able amount of illumination. The manna falls day by day, and the 
more receptive we are, the greater the measure of it that we receive. 
The three-dimensional consciousness thinks always in terms of 
that which has concrete form. On the other hand, the fourth-dimen- 



UVING IN, THROUGH, AND BY THE SPIRIT 263 

sional consciousness sees the form, but looks through it and finds 
concreteness in the Invisible. The real substance is in the Invisible, 
the Invisible which is the I AM, the invisible I AM which we are, 
the invisible Being, the invisible Life, the invisible Omnipresence 
which we are. All this seems so intangible that we cannot grasp it 
with our mind, and that is our safety and security, because if our 
mind were able to grasp it, we can be assured that that is not It. 

The fourth-dimensional consciousness, Christ-consciousness, or our 
consciousness when it is illumined, does not have to labor or struggle : 
it has to be only a state of receptivity. It is always receiving by Grace; 
it is always receiving nourishment because of the ever-presence of 
that invisible meat, bread, wine, water, substance, law, and activity. 
"I have meat!" There is more power in the realization that we have 
meat that the world knows not of and that we embody within our- 
selves the divine Substance of all form than in all that we could 
attract to ourselves in the external world, because with this inner 
realization, supply will multiply itself over, and over, and over again, 
as the plants keep multiplying leaves, flowers, and fruit. It is just a 
continuous state of multiplication once we realize Withinness: 
within us is the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Allness. 

Desirelessness attests to the degree of illumination. By the degree 
to which we no longer desire persons or things from the outside 
world, can we measure our progress. Our progress spiritward can also 
be measured by watching our own reactions. The less we feel called 
upon to use a power, the higher we are going spiritually. The less 
use we find for powers, even God-power, the closer we are drawing 
to the realm of Is. 

God is\ There is nothing we can say, do, or think that is going to 
make God do anything. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom: 
it is not of "this world," and the more we try to use spiritual power 
for the purpose of attaining the things of this world, the further we 
ar e from the attainment of spiritual enlightenment. We are free in 
Proportion to our freedom from seeking for powers, even spiritual 
powers, and to the degree that we can relax in n on -power. 

"Resist not evil" is the realm of the Fourth Dimension. In the 
third dimension, humanhood teaches, "Resist the devil, and he will 




264 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

flee from you." Not so the fourth-dimensional consciousness in 
which the command is "Resist not evil." The more we relax in this 
assurance, the more we are in the Fourth Dimension, and the higher 
is the state of our illumination. 

Illumination frees us from the fear, hate, or love of any form i n 
the external world. The nature of God is light, or enlightenment, 
but since we can never know light except through our consciousness, 
it is only our enlightened consciousness that constitutes our God. 
Consciousness, the universal Consciousness, is individually expressed, 
and our consciousness is that Consciousness, but not until the 
moment of illumination. Up to that moment, we are "the natural 
man [who] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God"; we are not 
under the law of God, "neither indeed can be." 

Only when we reach the stage where we realize God as our Con- 
sciousness have we reached the stage of immortality. The difference 
between the continuity of life after death and immortality is that the 
continuity of life after death is just a continuation of the same state 
of consciousness that existed prior to death, whereas immortality U 
the expansion of consciousness to the point of infinity. 

The human being is bom, matures, deteriorates, and dies — all this 
as an existence separate and apart from God, all this as a personal 
selfhood that has in it no element of spiritual law, spiritual life, or 
spiritual creation, all this as a purely animal life. That is why, even 
when the heart has practically stopped beating, it can be kept active 
by means of a drug, but it is not the God-life that we are sustaining 
with a drug: it is the animal life. God-life cannot be affected by 
drugs: human life can be. 

What a difference there is between the "natural man" who lives 
like a vegetable and is fed by food alone and the individual that we 
are when some measure of illumination takes place and we no longer 
live by bread alone, but "by every word that proceedeth out of the 
mouth of God"! What a difference there is between the individual 
that we are when we are not being fed just by books, but being taught 
of God— when inner light is coming to us directly from within, when 
we find ourselves experiencing Grace that we have not earned or 
deserved, but yet which comes to us! 



LIVING IN, THROUGH, AND BY THE SPIRIT 265 

The degree of our illumination will determine the degree of our 
freedom, freedom from personal sense, freedom from living on ex- 
ternals, freedom from outer dependencies, freedom that enables us 
to tabernacle and commune with our inner Selfhood, not only 
blessing us, but eventually making us forget ourselves and using us 
nlv as instruments for the blessing of others. 

Spiritual freedom comes with illumination, and with that illumina- 
tion, no more power is given to the things or thoughts of the outer 
world. At some period in our study or meditation, the light dawns, 
and whereas before we knew the truth intellectually, now we feel it, 
now we see it, and now we live it. 

It is a great miracle when we can look out at all the people in the 
world, those close to us as well as those far away from us, and realize 
that we can tabernacle together, be friends, and can live in the same 
house, but always, under all circumstances and conditions, "I and my 
Father are one." There is that sense of oneness, that circle of joy 
and of sharing, and yet with it a separateness and a lack of de- 
pendence. 

It is usually much easier to be free of places and things than to be 
free of persons; but to be able to see everybody in the world and 
have no sense of need or attachment, to see each one free as an in- 
dividual unit maintained in oneness with his Father— this is the 
height of freedom. This is the supreme freedom. It is one of the 
last freedoms to be attained, and certainly the greatest freedom that 
can come on earth. When we have attained our freedom from per- 
sons, or freedom in our spiritual oneness, we are then united with 
everyone on a spiritual basis, and this is a relationship unlike any 
other in all the world. The strange thing is that in attaining that 
freedom, we find ourselves bound to people throughout the world, 
<hawn to them, and they are drawn to us— in freedom, always in 
freedom. 

There is the Spirit of God in man, the Spirit of life, of abundance, 
and of wisdom; there is the Spirit of God's presence in man. There 
' s the Spirit of God in us; there is the Spirit of love, of peace, and 
of comfort. There is the Spirit of the divine kingdom within you 
a "d within me. 




266 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

I live by the Spirit of God, not by external things, thoughts 
persons, but by the Spirit of God. 

This is the real meaning of the life of Witliinness, the mystical 
life that lives in and through the Spirit, rather than in and through 
the material world. It releases us from all attachment to the outer 
universe: we have no fears, no hopes, no ambitions. We are living 
in the Spirit, through the Spirit, and by the Spirit. And this is 
living the mystical life. 





CHAPTER XXIV 



THE MASTER ALCHEMIST 



T 



. oo many Occidentals believe that the mystical life is not only 
impractical, but largely a figment of the imagination. In this age, 
however, the way of mysticism is being shown to be, not something 
mythical, mysterious, or occult, but spiritual, and a far more prac- 
tical way of life than any yet devised in the human realm. It changes 
life from the everyday humdrum human experience with its trials 
and tribulations and its ups and downs to an entirely different kind 
of life, one lived from within, and yet not lived by us, but rather 
lived through us — a life in which we pass from living by taking 
thought and by our own effort to living by the Spirit. 

The Master Christ Jesus taught his followers to "resist not evil," 
to cease from strife of all kinds whether by the sword or the law, and 
to give twice as much in return if something were taken from them. 
Such a teaching sounds very impractical for this day and age, but as a 
"latter of fact, it is far more practical than living a life dependent 
™r its security and safety upon an army, navy, and air force: not 
only would we be relieved of the staggering expense of maintaining 
them, but we would also be relieved of any danger from an enemy 
because in this way of life there are no enemies. It would be as im- 
possible to live with this transcendental Presence and have an enemy 

267 



268 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

as it would be to live with It and then find oneself in danger from 
snakes, wild animals, starvation, or any other form of physical or 
mental discord. 

This is a very difficult idea for the human mind to grasp. What the 
unillumined mind sees, hears, tastes, touches, and smells seems so 
real, and the material and mental universe looks so real, that nothing 
could be considered quite as ridiculous as to stand before the highest 
temporal authority of the day and calmly state, "Thou couldest have 
no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above," oi 
to say, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 
The human mind is simply unable to understand such an attitude. 
But that is the human mind. The unconditioned mind, the illumined 
mind, the mind that comprehends the meaning of the word f, that 
mind is an instrument for the activity of the divine Consciousness. 

When we can rise to the fourth-dimensional state of conscious- 
ness, we do not need anything anyone else possesses: we then live not 
only in freedom from fear, for there is nothing to fear, but in peace, 
security, and freedom from every discord of human experience. As the 
Master's consciousness becomes our consciousness, and as we enter 
that circle of eternity, we too can know: 

Within my own being I have the kingdom of God. It is not out- 
side, or in the heavens: the kingdom of God is within me. 

In this moment of quietness I hear God say, "Son, thou art ever 
with me, and all that I have is thine. I have meat the world knows 
not of. I am the meat, and the wine, and the bread. I am the resur- 
rection. I am life eternal," 

All of this is within me; all of this is embodied in my consciousness. 
All of this constitutes the Withinness of my own being. 

I myself embody the kingdom of God and all that is therein. 1 
do not have to curry the favor of "princes" because I embody my 
bread, meat, wine, and water unto eternity. 

Within me there is a Presence that says, "I will never leave the*' 
nor forsake thee. I will be with thee to the end of the world. I OXR 
thy bread, and thy meat, and thy water." 



THE MASTER ALCHEMIST 269 

This Kingdom is already established within me, and I need not 
look outside my own being for anything. 

Such a relationship with our Source makes our relationship with 
every person one of love and sharing. It is literally true now that we 
do not need anything that anyone else has and that no one needs 
anything that we have because within our own being is established 
this infinite Storehouse, this infinity of Good, this allness of God. 
As we continue to look within, It pours Itself forth as we need It, 
abundantly and with twelve baskets full left over to share with others. 

The key to living a complete and fulfilled life lies in the realization 
that there is a mystical, transcendental Presence within us that has 
already provided our infinite supply unto eternity, that contains with- 
in Itself our companionship unto eternity, and that has within Itself 
the power of fulfillment. 

What a miracle takes place in our lives when our sight is removed 
from looking upon a person as a possible source of something and the 
realization dawns that all that we can ever need of infinite abundance 
from everlasting to everlasting is within us! What courage and 
strength are ours! We are no longer living on our intellectual power, 
our physical power, our inheritance, or by virtue of our business or 
employment: we now live because we know that there is a mystical 
Presence called I within us, an I that is our eternal substance and 
to which we can look to fulfill Itself and to multiply. 

But just as we have no way of proving that an apple tree has life, 
for we have never seen its life, so we can never see, hear, taste, touch, 
0r smell this invisible Withinness. We will always be able to witness 
'ts fruitage, however, just as every spring we see the inner invisible 
l! ' e of the apple tree flowing and manifesting, producing buds, blos- 
soms, leaves, and eventually fruit. Looking at the tree in full bloom, 
We have little difficulty in believing that that tree has a beautiful 
ail d an abundant life, a life that functions even during those seasons 

"Cn the tree appears to be dead and barren. Life is invisible, and 
a 'though we never see life, we do see the fruitage of it. 

So it is that although we never see the Christ of our own being, 



270 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

nor will we with our eyes ever see the Christ of another's being, the 
Presence is easily and quickly recognizable in those who live in the 
constant awareness of Withinness: there shines forth an inner peace, 
integrity, and joy that are at once apparent. More than that, there is 
the necessary measure of abundance in their life as well as the health, 
protection, and security. 

At some point in the initiate's progress on the Path, he feels this 
invisible Presence stirring, and It either speaks to him in the still 
small voice, or in some other way gives him the assurance that It is 
with him and that It will never leave him: 

Live and move and have your being in Me; live and move and 
have your being in the realization that I am here, that I go before 
you to make straight the way, and to prepare mansions for you. 

I go before you to multiply the loaves and fishes. 

I go before you to be the cement of love between you and all 
whom you meet in your business, professional, and family life. 

I am He that is your rest and your abiding place. 

Be still and know that I in the midst of you am God, an invisible 
Presence, to human sense intangible, but tangible in expression and 
practical in life. 

When this moment comes — and I would not give anyone the im- 
pression that until that time there are not many periods of doubt, 
frustration, and sometimes even false hopes — and after it comes, 
there is another period when there are many joys and many suc- 
cesses, and then occasionally in between there are doubts and frus- 
trations because the fullness of the realization has not yet been ex- 
perienced. 

Until such time as that fullness dawns, we have the benefit of 
teachers and the companionship of one another, and then in the 
dawning of that fullness a whole new life opens, a life of dedication, 
filled with new joys and new experiences. Hidden capacities and 
hidden talents come to light as this realized Presence opens up > 
new pathway in life and new vistas of experience. 

Until illumination takes place, we do not live a full life or even a 




THE MASTER ALCHEMIST 271 

God-protected life because we are living separate and apart from 
God — not that God is absent from us, but if God is not consciously 
known it is just as if He were not there. It takes the experience of 
illumination — darshan or satori — to awaken us to the invisible 
presence and Power that will live our life for us, instruct, teach, 
guide, direct, support, maintain, and sustain us. This is not accom- 
plished by out directing or ordering the Presence, but rather by re- 
laxing into that Presence and letting It make the decisions as to 
what direction we are to go, or in what capacity we are to function, 
and when and where and why. This entire activity remains on the 
inner plane without taking conscious thought, and yet the fruitage 
appears in the outer life. 

At this stage of our life we come into what might be called a life 
of prayer, a praying without ceasing. From early morning to night, 
and sometimes in the middle of the night, we are living constantly 
and consciously in the realization: 

Thou within me art mighty. Thou within me art the presence and 
the power in which I rest. Thou art my bread and my meat; Thou 
art the inspiration of my life, and its fulfillment. 

There is a constant communion going on with this inner Grace, 
and before we know it, we are bearing witness to experiences in oui 
life that we did not consciously set in motion and which we recog- 
nize to be the result of Grace, an act of God brought into our life 
without any human volition or human will. When this begins, our 
faith and confidence deepen; we relax our fears about tomorrow, 
n «t month, or next year in the assurance, "What more can I have 
f han the divine presence of God Himself within me, the Source of 
a '», the Creator of all, the Maintainer and Sustainer of all? And all 
'"ii is walking around within me!" 
Such an assurance would enable us to look everv man, woman, and 
"''d in the face as much as to say, "You will never have to fear me. 
have access to a divine Source that you know not of. I have meat 
)e world knows not of. Keep what you have; enjoy what you have: 
tave no designs upon it." 



272 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



The miracle is that we would never be called upon to say or even 
to think this because now that we have this infinite Source within 
ourselves, no one could ever come into our presence without feeling 
that he does not have to put up a mental wall of protection against 
us. Lines of anxiety and concern disappear from our face: it shines 
with the confidence and certainty of our own abundance, and with 
our willingness to share. Our eyes are pure: no longer does desire 
look out from them; no longer does fear haunt them. Our whole 
bearing testifies to the fact that we have found Aladdin's lamp. 

"Aladdin's Lamp," usually placed in the category of the fairy tale, 
is really the truest story in all the world, built on truth, but written 
in such a way as to conceal the truth from those too gross to perceive 
it. This is the story of J, the I that is within our own being, the son 
of God, the Presence which is the power of resurrection unto out 
body, business, home, and family. Whatever temple in our life has 
been destroyed, the I will raise it up again. This I that is within our 
very own being, this is the Aladdin's lamp* — and we do not have to 
rub it; we do not even have to tell it our desires. It knows our need 
before we could possibly utter it, and it is Its good pleasure to ful- 
fill it. Our only part is to remembeT that we have the hidden Alad- 
din's lamp; we have the power of alchemy. 

Every one of us has a MasteT Alchemist within his own being, 
and Its name is I. This I will take the dross of human nature and re- 
fine it. This I will take ignorance and provide the necessary knowl- 
edge in its place; It will take the grossest, most material human 
nature and evolve it into the Christ; It will take the lowly fisherman 
or the tax collector and make of him a spiritual disciple. 

Ponce de Leon went out searching in time and space for the Foun- 
tain of Youth, and all the while he was carrying it in his own breast. 
There is no greater fountain of youth than I AM: I is the fountain or 
youth; I is the fountain of life eternal. 

Did not the Master say to the woman of Samaria at the well i n * 
many words: "If you knew who I am, you would ask me, and I coul 
give vou water that would bubble up into life eternal"? And I can-' 
this I that is in the midst of us, if only we know who I is, and whs* 
is. If we could know the I that is at the center of our being, * 



T 



THE MASTER ALCHEMIST 27? 

would have the wellspring of life eternal, the fountain of youth, 
within our very own being. 

The mystical life has to do with the secret of our true identity. 
"Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? . . . Whom say ye 
that I am?" If we have risen to the spiritual level of a disciple, we 
will respond with, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. 
Thou art the beloved of the Father. The Father is in you, and you 
are in the Father, for you and the Father are one, even as I am in 
the Father and the Father is in me. And you are in me, and I am in 
you, and we are one in the Father." 

This completes the circle. When we realize that because of this I 
that we are, because the I within us is one with God, and because 
there is only one God, and therefore only one J, we are one with 
every spiritual identity in the world of the past, the present, and the 
future. We are one with all spiritual identity, whether on the level 
of the saint, the human being, the animal, the vegetable, or the 
mineral. 

We are one with Infinity by reason of our oneness with the J 
that we are. The I that 1 am is the I that you are, for there is only 
one I, the Father in heaven; and He is your Father and my Father; 
He is the I of your being and the J of my being. Therefore, when I 
am one with my Father, I am one with you, one with your spiritual 
identity, with your love, with your life, with your truth, but not 
only with you who are human beings, but with you of the animal 
world, the bird world, the vegetable world, and the mineral world. 
w e all know one another because of our oneness with the I that 
w e are. 

There is nothing fictional about alchemy, the turning of dross or 

a se metals into gold. That is not fiction: that is fact. When this 

^chemy takes place in us, when that catalyst, the divine Spirit, 

°"ches us, It transmutes the base and useless part of our nature into 

e gold of our spiritual nature, into the purity of divine Conscious- 

Ss > and then in some degree we are less human than we were, and 

m °re divine. 





CHAPTER XXV 



LOSING 'T'-NESS IN I 



T 

_Lhe 






here are very few persons in all the world who are really in- 
terested in living spiritually or in attaining the spiritual goal, and 
certainly there are even fewer who have any conception of what it 
means to "die daily" and be reborn of the Spirit. Many must inevi- 
tably fall by the wayside, but those few who understand that true 
greatness, true wisdom, and true success lie in the very opposite direc- 
tion from that of glorifying the self or pushing forward the personality, 
and who remain and persist, will reach the highest degree of spiritual 
consciousness, spiritual awareness, and spiritual unfoldment. 

To submerge the personality and make it subservient to that which 
is greater than itself is well-nigh impossible for most persons and 
gives rise to inner conflicts which may deflect them from the path 
leading to the goal. Through meditation and the practice of the 
Presence, however, the mind is stilled, and an awareness of this 
Something greater than themselves is developed. Eventually, a state 
of complete quiescence in which there is no thinking or planning » 
reached, and the human will yields to the divine will. 

This surrender of the human will to the Divine can be roO» 
readily understood if we use the analogy of a cube of ice floating < n 
glass of water. The ice rests in the water, cradled in it: it has n 

274 



LOSING 'Y'-NESS IN I 275 

power to move itself. Only the water can propel it from one place to 
another. The ice itself is inert, immobile, passive, its every motion 
dependent upon the movement of the water. Let us think of our- 
selves as the ice, and of Consciousness as the water, while we wait in 
silence and stillness for the movement of Consciousness. In other 
words, we must wait patiently for the will of God to make itself 
known; we must be as completely quiescent as the piece of ice. 

Such a state can be achieved only when all desire has been sur- 
rendered because desire nourishes the personal sense of 'T'-ness. As 
long as there is a desire, there is a projection into the future; as long 
as there is a regret, there is a return to the past, both of which are 
dead, without substance and without life. Yesterday and tomorrow, 
therefore, must be discarded in newness. Now is the only life; now is 
the only reality; now is the only time. 

There can be no desire, not even the desire to give, for that, too, 
feeds the sense of 'T'-ness and bloats the ego. There must be a* 
complete resting, as the ice rests in the water, or as the sap flows up 
from the roots of the trees into the branches to form the buds, 
flowers, and leaves of the tree. The ice has no concern or worry: it 
lets the water move it where it will. The tree has no concern or 
worry about whether there will be enough rain or sun in due season: 
it waits patiently; it does not try to interfere with the normal and 
natural flow of life. 

So, too, we must not interfere with the free flowing of life by in- 
acting 'T'-ness into the already completed picture, an "I"-ness 
*nich manifests as fear of the past or dread of the future: concern, 
anxiety, desire. 

The difference between living the life of 'T'-ness and the spiritual 

1 e is the difference between permanent success and some temporary 

»nse of success. The "I-me-mv" life is limited and hampered b V that 

' J i -ness which is dependent upon personal experience, educa- 

( | 0n > the personal sense of what is right or wrong, or on what is timely. 

tbe degree, however, that we can relax in an inner silence, quiet, 

^ peace, we can be led of the Spirit, influenced by an infinite Wis- 

J**, an infinite Intelligence, and an infinite Power.Then our actions 

y become the earning out of the divine will, not our will. This 




276 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

ability to be still and to let divine Grace move us leads to a 
governed, God-directed, and God-impelled life. 
* At first it may not be easy to make the transition from the ordi- 
nary 'T'-life to the life of spiritual guidance and protection, but 
actually it takes only a few months of meditation and really serious 
practice of the Presence to come to a place where we can accept 
divine guidance, the divine will, and divine movement. 

To begin with, the retiring into a quiet state should not be of more 
than two or three minutes' duration at the most-probably only one 
or one and a half minutes would be better-but this should be re- 
peated as many times in the day as possible, and it should be repeated 
at night any and every time that one may awaken from sleep, and 
then again early in the morning. If we make a habit of turning within, 
even for that one minute, we are preparing our consciousness for 
the experience of receiving divine Grace. 

living as human beings has cut us off from the kingdom of God 
which is within us, and what we are doing in our periods of silence 
and quiet is maintaining a contact with this Withinness in which 
our entire good is already established. The kingdom of God is within 
us It is within us in all Its fullness, completeness, and perfection 
This means that the fullness of life, its completeness and perfection, 
is alreadv established within us from everlasting to everlasting 1 
we were to live a thousand years on earth, our completeness for I 
length of time is within us: fulfillment, infinite supply, infinite wis- 
dom, infinite Grace-Infinity Itself. It remains for us to open out 
a way for this Infinity to escape and find expression. 

But how do we open the way for infinite wisdom, eternal life, «n 
divine love to flow out from us? First of all we must beg* , 
acknowledge that Infinity is, and if we acknowledge that It alrea y 
is and is within us, we should give up all attempts to get or actu 
anything from outside ourselves. Instead, we should center our att 
tion on letting It escape from within our own berng. Then ev 
time that we close our eyes, even if it is only for fifteen seconds, 
to acknowledge: 



LOSING 'Y'-NESS IN I 



277 



The kingdom of God is within me. Lord, let It flow forth tf 



expression. 



1 



After that moment of acknowledgment, we return to our work, 
whatever its nature, and are active in what we have been given to 
do today. We take no thought about tomorrow, All we are called 
upon to do is to live in this moment, and to live in the assurance 
that the full Christhood, the fullness of spiritual being, is established 
within us. 

This is making a transition from the human sense of life in which 
we look to others for our good to the spiritual life in which we look 
within ourselves, and let God's grace flow out from us. 

No one can expect or be expected to prove this beyond the ca- 
pacity he has attained: no one should try to walk on the waters until 
he has been given an inner assurance that he may attempt it. If the 
still small voice tells him to take a step which at the moment he can- 
not humanly see as right, it should be taken only after the contact 
within is so certain that there can be no question but that the Voice, 
and not the human will or desire, has spoken. When the Voice 
speaks, It never leaves a person with the responsibility of doing 
something alone through his human strength and wisdom, but It is 
always beside him, performing that which It gives him to do. 

In the early stages it may appear that this frequent turning within 
is not producing any fruitage, and that is why so many persons lose 
heart and give up. It is like the hundreds of people who have taken 
piano lessons and who today would be able to play quite acceptably 
had they only had enough perseverance to continue practicing the 
scales and exercises which would have developed proficiency in the 
ar t; but instead they became discouraged and lost interest when, in a 
comparatively short time, they found that they could not perform 
Wl th the facility of a concert pianist. So also, in the spiritual life 
w nen results do not come quickly, some of us stop making an effort. 

The spiritual life differs so completely from human experience 
'"at when we embark on this course, we are really setting out on un- 
charted seas, not that others have not been there before us, but the 

8 of someone else's journey does not always point the way for us. 

e have to have the patience to move forward slowly, yet with stead- 

st purpose. Above all things, from this moment on, we must never 
e pt any sense of limitation, we must never feel that any good is 

joiid our capacity or reach, or that any heights are too high to at- 



278 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

tain, for there arc no limits to the I which we are, after we have 
made contact with It. 

In proportion as we understand that we are one with the Father 
in that proportion do we understand that all that the Father has is 
ours: the mind of God is ours, the life of God is our life, the Soul of 
God is our Soul. There is only one Spirit, one Life, one Soul — and 
that is yours and mine. 

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and 
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the 
air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping 
thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26 

That dominion was not given us as something of ourselves, but 
by virtue of the I that we are, the I that is within us, the J that con- 
stitutes our individual being. That is why we can rest as if we were a 
piece of ice floating in the water, and let the water move us, let the 
water be the substance of our being, its activity, quality, and quan- 
tity. 

The substance of the water and the substance of the ice are the 
same, H 2 0, and all that is true of the water is true of the ice. What- 
ever qualities water has, ice has. These are not two separate sub- 
stances, these are not two separate qualities: ice and water are one- 
two different forms, yes, but they are one in essence, one in sub- 
stance, and one in quality. The ice does not turn to the water for 
anything that the ice does not already have, but its movement is 
dependent upon the activity of the water. 

That same relationship exists between man and God. It is true that 
God is invisible to human sight, but nevertheless God is the sub- 
stance of which man is formed and the substance as which he lives 
and moves and has his being. The qualities of God are the qualities <» 
man, and yet God is always the greater, for God is the creator, the 
law, and the activity of man. 

To understand this makes it clear that in our spiritual identity * 
that God is, we are. There is no need, therefore, to turn to God to 
something: there is the need only to recognize this relationship ° 
oneness, and then create within ourselves a vacuum, so that we ca 
realize: 




LOSING 'Y'-NESS IN I 279 

My being is constituted of the quality, the substance, and the 
essence of God; and it is the law of Cod that governs, guides, directs, 
and instructs me. 

The nature of our being is the same as the nature of God-being, 
for we are one. Relaxing in that oneness, we permit the Invisible to 
govern, uphold, sustain, move, feed, clothe, house, direct, and instruct 
us. This is different from thinking of ourselves as something separate 
and apart from God, having to ask God or attempting to influence 
Him: this is the difference between successful spiritual living and 
unsuccessful living of any type. 

God's grace governs us. God's grace is our sufficiency, but that 
Grace is not brought into our experience by praying to God in the 
sense of asking, pleading, or seeking for it. Rather does it come by 
relaxing into an atmosphere of receptivity. 

At this very moment let us turn from the human picture which 
is presenting itself to us and realize that we live and move and have 
our being in God. Wherever we are, let us relax in the Invisible. We 
cannot see, hear, taste, touch, or smell It, but through faith, through 
an inner conviction, we can understand that the place whereon we 
stand is holy ground, that where the I of us is, God is, that the king- 
dom of God is within us, right where we are, and then, feeling that 
relax. & 

The God that made and formed this universe is certainly capable 
of maintaining and sustaining your identity and mine unto eternity. 
'hen why not let God's intelligence move us as It will— feed, clothe, 
house, direct, resurrect, restore the lost years of the locust, and return 
* to the Father's house-let His will be done in us without any 
' d ea at all of its being necessary to tell Him what we need, or what 
we would like, without any idea at all of advising God as to what we 
'ould have, or what we think we should have, or even what we 
*°uld like to have? 

L^t us acknowledge God as infinite Intelligence and divine Love 
a,ltl be satisfied with that: 

am satisfied to be what You want me to be, to do what You want 
e ( o do, to be where You want me to be. 



280 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

1 live and move and have my being in Your consciousness. You ar e 
closer to me than breathing; You know my needs before I do. It « 
Your good pleasure to give me the kingdom, and I can rest and relax 
in You. 

We must relax in His consciousness; we must relax in His Spirit, 
His wisdom, His judgment, and His will. A person who does that is 
developing a healing and redeeming consciousness because he is not 
seeking a God-power; he is not acknowledging a power that has to be 
overcome: he is living in God-power. That is going back to the full- 
ness of mysticism in which we learn that evil has no existence at all 
except in the mind that believes in good and evil. 

The healing consciousness comes only to those who arrive at a 
state of consciousness in which they can live consciously at-one with 
God, in full and complete confidence that God is infinite, needing 
no help from anyone. In this God -consciousness there is nothing for 
God to battle, nothing for God to overcome. 

The mystical life rests on the premise that in the presence of 
spiritual consciousness neither material nor mental power is power. 
That is the healing consciousness, and in its presence human power 
of every kind dissolves. All spiritually illumined individuals are in 
agreement that they know nothing of the nature of any power with 
which to overcome sin, disease, lack, or inharmonious human rela- 
tionships, but they also testify that in proportion to their attainment 
of an inner stillness, without any sense of needing a power, the dis- 
cords evaporate. 

The realization that God is the one infinite all-power and that 
neither material nor mental power is power is what constitutes spint- 
ual consciousness. Spiritual consciousness is not something mysten- 
ous: it is not a consciousness of might, power, or human effort, but 
the consciousness of My Spirit. Spiritual consciousness acknowledges 
that God alone is power; it is a consciousness that is not divided, a 
consciousness that sees with a single eye, and sees but one Power, of e 
Presence, one Being, one Cause. 

Spiritual consciousness is our individual consciousness when we 
longer give power to physical force or mental force, but understand 




LOSING ' Y'-NESS IN I 281 

God as the only Force, and then live the command of feus CW 
•'Rest not evil." We do not consciously direct S^Z^. 
ness: it performs ,ts function in us and through us, and we mereTv 
become aware of what it is imparting to us 

For example, our hand, of itself, cannot go up and it cannot *o 
down; it cannot give and it cannot withhold. We must move the 
hand. We must direct it. If we are living on the physical or mental 
level, then we can do this for good or for evil; but if we have attained 
even a measure of the consciousness that God alone is power then 
the hand is moved, not by us personally, but by the divine I that we 
are, and never for evil, never for destruction, never for harm We are 
not consciously moving it; we are letting it be moved bv the Con- 
sciousness which is God, the Consciousness that we are 

This is true also of our body: we can move it where, when and 
how we want to, and we can move it for good or evil. The choice 
hes within us. But in proportion as we come to the realization that 
Uod .s the only consciousness, we will find that our body is being 
moved. We are not consciously moving it: it is being moved but 
never toward sm, never toward disease or old age, and never toward 
death. It ,s being moved in accord with the grace of God, and when 
he tjme comes to pass from this human scene for greater experiences 
« will be a passing, not a pushing out. 

Cod is the one and only infinite consciousness, the all good Mv 

consciousness, and everything within the realm of my consciousness is 

MJd-govemed, God-maintained, God-sustained, God-fed God divine 

onsciousness, is the substance of all form: there is no evil form 

re is no destructive form, no harmful form, no injurious form, for 

^M is the substance of all form. 

qu^'J ™, fS ° f thC name and nature of God ' All fo™ is of the 

SeS^S?^^ G ° d ' 3nd ** Under the law of God - As ™ 
"stand God to be the substance of all form, in the clarity of our 
. vi Slon we wi n know that there can be no destructivc { 

CTv 01 r fU ' f0rm " W£ d ° n0t den >' tliat there « germs, 

*aliJ- c e 3 germ cannot •* in !"rious or destructive in the 

«stam of one Power, one Intelligence, one Love, and one Life. 

endless of the name or nature of the problem which is brought 



282 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

to our awareness, we have to begin with the truth that God is one- 
one Presence, one Being, one Power — and all that God is, we are 
God-consciousness is our consciousness, and nothing can enter that 
consciousness which "defileth ... or maketh a lie." In this truth of 
oneness, of one Being, one Presence, one Power, there are no opposing 
powers. 

When we rest in that truth, it picks us up and transforms the mind, 
the body, and all that is called our life or outer experience, which is 
not really an outer experience at all but an experience that is taking 
place within us, in that inner world that is the only world there is. 

This consciousness of truth, which is attained through medita- 
tion, becomes the illumined consciousness. We may have a realiza- 
tion about one facet of truth, and we may bring forth mighty works 
with that, but let us never believe, when we have had a realization of 
truth, even to the extent of illumination, that we have gone the full 
distance. We have only started on the Path. Afterward, there come 
realizations of other truths, more and deeper realizations, and actually 
this goes on forever, and as far as I know, it never ends. This must 
be so because of the infinite nature of God. 

God is forever imparting Itself to us, infinitely. The beginning of 
wisdom is the understanding that all that we are seeking is already 
established within us, and that we are seeking only to bring it forth 
from within our own being. This will prevent us from worshiping 
something or someone outside our own being. As we realize the 
nature of the J within us, fear will lessen and eventually fade away 
because then we will neither fear nor worship anything or anybody 
external to us. 

In the brief periods of meditation which we should experience as 
many times a day as possible, our first thought must be: 

God made this day, perfected it and decreed its activity. His wto ** 
done in me today. 

Even if we have time for nothing else, we will have made a cofl" 
tact with the Presence and prepared the way for the infinite glory oi 



LOSING V-NESS IN I 283 

God to express as us. In that short meditation, we have acknowledged 
the presence, the power, the life, the wisdom, the perfection, and the 
protection of God. We have fulfilled Scripture by denying ourselves 
as if we of ourselves were anything, and we have made ourselves re- 
ceptive and responsive to the spiritual influence in the realization 
that we alone do not live our life, but that Christ lives our life. 

There are not too many persons who are at this moment fulfilling 
their spiritual purpose and activity, or even any activity which ap- 
proximates it. They therefore must do whatever is given them to do 
today and let the future take care of itself by acknowledging God to- 
day, even while scrubbing the floor or preparing a meal. Acknowledg- 
ing God in these activities that seem so far removed from a spiritual 
activity brings God into actual expression, and leads them from one 
activity to another, and another, and another, until they are being 
fulfilled spiritually. 

Wherever we may be today, in a prison, in a hospital, or in a men- 
tal institution, in the most luxurious home or the most poverty- 
stricken one, we disregard the appearance. 

What the appearance is has nothing to do with our oneness with 
the Father; what the condition of the person may be has nothing to 
do with it; whether we are sick or well, living or dead has nothing to 
do with that realization of oneness, and cannot alter it. Those con- 
ditions are the appearance, but the J of us is picking us up where 
w e are at this moment, and from now on, I in the midst of us will 
wad, direct, govern, feed, clothe, and house us. 

To attempt to leave the place where we are now through human 
tteans and while in the same state of consciousness would serve no 
Purpose because without a higher consciousness of truth we would 
eventually return to the same place where we are at this moment. 
** w c abide in the truth that I in the midst of us is one with God, 
° u r consciousness becomes enriched, deepened, broadened, and filled 
' !t h spiritual truth. Gradually— sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly 
^ t[ "uth comes alive in us, and as this truth which we are fills our 
°nsciousness, it literallv appears outwardly as greater harmony in 
° Ur experience. 




284 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




We must live and move and have our being in the consciousness 
that we are one with the Father, and that all that lie has is ouis r 
here and now, where we are. As we continue to disregard the appea t . 
ances, not trying to change 01 improve them, but standing fast where 
we are, we let the Spirit move us as we are prepared for It. 





CHAPTER XXVI 



'MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD" 



T 

J-o] 




. o live in My kingdom is to live in the circle of eternity. "This 
world" is the world of mankind, but My kingdom is of an entirely 
different nature. My kingdom is not the realm of physical health. My 
kingdom is not the realm of material riches. We all know what 
constitutes physical health, but what is the health of My kingdom? 
What is the health of the spiritual kingdom? What is God's state 
of health, and the state of health of the son of God? 

We know of what material supply and material wealth are con- 
stituted, but what are heavenly riches? What does it mean to be 
joint-heir to all the heavenly riches"? What are the heavenly 
riches to which we are heir, and yet which we are not enjoying in 
tn e human scene? They cannot have anything to do with such 
things as money, investments, or property because "My kingdom is 
"ot of this world." 

On the spiritual path, therefore, there is no use in going to "My 

kingdom" to get something for this world. We must seek first the 

fcln gdom of God; we must leam how to pray so that in praying to a 

~°d of Spirit we are praying only for heavenly riches, spiritual 

ea 'th, and spiritual companionship. 

As long as we are trying to get material riches, physical health, or 

285 



286 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

human companionship, that is what we will get, and it will some- 
times be good and sometimes evil, sometimes right and sometimes 
wrong, because all materiality is made up of the belief in two powers 
— good and evil. But if we keep our consciousness aligned with spir- 
itual reality and keep our desires in the realm of spiritual form and 
spiritual well-being, we shall experience the joy and the peace of 
spiritual oneness. 

To seek to know the nature of heavenly riches, of spiritual health, 
and of spiritual companionship is not seeking for anything of a ma- 
terial or human nature: it is a resting in the Grace of the spiritual 
kingdom. The word "Grace" cannot be translated into such things 
as money, houses, or families. We have to leave the word "Grace" 
right where it is, and if we do not understand the meaning of Grace, 
we can always pray that God reveal His grace to us. 

Getting rid of problems before we have attained spiritual wisdom 
merely opens the way for another problem, or seven problems, until 
we are compelled to learn to pray aright. For example, if a headache 
or any other ill can be removed without advancing us in spiritual 
understanding, what will have been gained except a temporary 
period without a headache? Sooner or later, another headache will 
come, and eventually we will have to take our stand and realize that 
this problem will be with us forever unless we are given the necessary 
wisdom with which to meet it. Just as Jacob wrestled all night long 
with the angel, praying that he would not leave him until he had 
received his enlightenment, or the spiritual truth necessary to the 
overcoming, so must we be steadfast in prayer. 

Only our problems compel us to seek spiritual good. For the most 
part, human beings are content with good health, a sufficiency » 
supply, and moderate happiness in family life, and after these needs 
have been satisfied, many persons feel that there is little more to t» 
desired from life. Those of us, however, who have had problems 
thrust upon us, not by God, but through our ignorance of God, an* 
have had to go through some very trying experiences, know that o 
for those problems we would never have risen above the level of W 
ing good human beings. 




MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD*' 7 87 

To live the spiritual life and to pray aright means that insofar as 
possible we put the problem aside, and begin with the realization 
that God's kingdom is not of this world, so it is useless to pray for 
anything in this world. Let us therefore learn to pray for those things 
that are of My kingdom, and to seek only the grace of that Kingdom. 

Our function on the spiritual path is to learn what the kingdom of 
God consists of. Isaiah said, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is 
in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" The human 
being is that "man, whose breath is in his nostrils." Why, then, 
should we take thought about making that man better, healthier, 
or richer? Why take thought about him when we can take thought 
about the son of God? But first we must know what the son of 
God is. 

The ancient Greeks taught: "Man, know thyself." And what is 
this Self, but the son of God in us. There is a part of us, an area of 
our consciousness which is the son of God, and yet how few of us 
have any knowledge of this part of our being or any acquaintance 
with our innermost Self? How can we know that son of God in us? 
Only by turning within where the kingdom of God is, taking the time 
to be alone to seek the kingdom of God within. If we have to beg 
God, then let us beg God to reveal Himself, to reveal the son of God 
in us, to reveal the nature of His grace and of the spiritual kingdom, 
and the nature of the heavenly riches to which we are heir. 

As we give ourselves to the seeking of this spiritual kingdom, we 
discover that our outside world falls into place by itself; things begin 
to happen; and suddenly we awaken to find that the grace of God 
has brought us something of an unusual nature in the form of a 
healing, an enriching, a supplying, a companioning, or the teacher 
^hose function it is to open our eyes. But these will not come while 
w e are praying for them. They come, not by taking thought or by 
Paying for them, but by dropping them out of our thought and 
etting God take care of our needs in His own way while we center 
° Ur attention on what the kingdom of God realized is. All the en- 
ding things of the material realm are added unto us when we do 
°t pray for them, when we seek only the Kingdom, when our 



1 



288 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




thought is no longer on the things of this world, and is centered on 
the spiritual kingdom. 

When we have progressed sufficiently far on this Path, doubtless 
we, too, as was the Master, will be tempted to use spiritual power, and 
it is then that we must resist the temptation to perform miracles, and 
be guided by the Master's spiritual wisdom not to glorify or cater to 
the self. If we could turn stones into bread, we would not need God, 
and those of us who are on the spiritual path would rather be an hun- 
gered than to find ourselves not needing God. It would be tragic to 
come to the place where we believe that we have risen so high that 
God has no place in our life. Rather, then, than attempt to perform 
a miracle that will make a show of our power, we will put away the 
temptation to pray for persons, conditions, or circumstances and 
make our life of prayer one of spiritual seeking, a seeking for spiritual 
enlightenment and spiritual Grace, one of praying for the under- 
standing of the nature of spiritual riches and spiritual fulfillment. 

What is fulfillment? What does "in thy presence is fullness of joy" 
mean? How does that fullness express and interpret itself? What is 
the fullness of God? When we seek the understanding of that spir- 
itual wisdom, all things will be added unto us, and they will appear 
in due course without our taking thought: we need only do every- 
thing that is given us to do every hour of every day and do it to the 
best of our ability, keeping our mind centered on God, the things 
of God, and the realm of God. 

As has been pointed out before, one of the cardinal principles of 
spiritual living is that, to the transcendental consciousness, temporal 
power is not power whether it is of a physical or a mental nature. 
Only the grace of God is power, only the realized consciousness or 
oneness, of one power and of the non-power of all else other than 
God. Prayers have failed because they have largely been an attempt 
to overcome a temporal power which in reality is not a power. Such 
prayer is like trying to overcome the mirage on the desert or u* e 
trying to overcome two times two is five. How can we use a power 
over a non-existence? 

The human world is filled with temporal powers: disease, money! 



politics, war, and preparations for war. To persist in the age-o 



id 



MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD" 289 

prayer of "God, overcome our enemies," or "God, overcome those 
atomic bombs" is to waste precious time and energy because such 
prayers have never succeeded and never will succeed. 

The struggle physically and mentally, and finally the attempt to 
use God to overcome the evils of this world, must fail because they 
are not power and do not need to be overcome. It is only our ac- 
ceptance of the universal belief that evil is power that causes us to 
linger in evil conditions. The instant we accept God as Omnipotence, 
our problems begin to fade away. 

When we realize that the Christ-kingdom is not of this world, 
and yet that that Kingdom is the only power in the world, then, when 
we are presented with an evil appearance, no matter who or what it 
may be, we stop and ask ourselves, "Is this spiritual power? Is this 
evil power of God? Can there by an evil power coming from God? 
Is not any such claim of power, therefore, only temporal power?" 

The whole teaching of the Master was the revelation of the non- 
power of that which appeared as power. To the blind man, he said, 
"Open thine eyes": he knew that there was no power to keep them 
closed. To the man with the withered hand, he was able to say, 
"Stretch forth thine hand" : he knew that there was no power to stay 
the hand. Jesus' entire ministry was a revelation that what is called 
"this world," while it exists and he was given the mission to dissolve 
it, does not exist as power; it exists only as an appearance. That 
realization enables us to sit back in quietness and in confidence and 
realize: 

God alone is power. This, that has been troubling me and that I 
have been battling, is an appearance that I am retaining in my 
thought as a mental image: it is not really a thing. I cannot win a 
"aitle over nothing, but 1 can relax in quietness and in confidence, 
and realize that this picture with which 1 am confronted is nothing 
"Ut a picture— not a person or a condition, even though it may ap- 
pear as person or condition. 

As soon as we recognize evil as temporal power, we can inwardly 
sr >nle and realize that this means no power because that which is 



290 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

not of God is not power. God lias given us dominion over all that 
exists, and therefore, this that appears as effect is temporal. All power 
is invisible. This danger that is so very visible and apparent cannot 
be power and cannot be of God. 

And as we sit beside a person who is ill, and realize, "I will not 
give power to this disease, this sin, or this false appetite. This is 
temporal power which means it is no power, and I will not believe 
in it," we shall find him getting better, and then we will know that 
we have proved, if only in a small way, that temporal power is not 
a power in any form. 

The spiritual life is not the overcoming of evil but the recognition 
of the nature of evil: evil is not ordained of God; evil has no law of 
God to sustain it; evil has no God-existence, God-purpose, God-life, 
God-substance, or God-law : it is temporal, the "arm of flesh," or 
nothingness. 

As long as we are praying for a God-power to overcome evil, we 
are resisting evil, but when we are anchored in the truth, we relax 
in the realization that this thing that is facing us is a mirage, not a 
power, and that we need not fear what mortal man can do to us, 
or what he can think or be. All fear of mortal power is dissolved— 
temporal power, material power, the laws of infection, contagion, 
calendars, or age — because we know that nothing in the realm of 
effect is power. All power is invisible, and that which is appearing 
to us as power is a mental image in thought, a picture, a mistaken 
concept of power. 

Knowing this truth will make us free, but while we are knowing 
it our thoughts and action must conform to the truth we are know- 
ing. We cannot be denying the power of effect and the next minute 
indulge in it, or to put it more bluntly, we cannot deny the powei 
of effect and then hate somebody or fear somebody because he is a 
part of that effect. 

If we are unable to do this one hundred per cent, or if occasionally 
we fail, we must not be disheartened. It is hardly possible for any* 
one to change overnight from a material state of consciousness to a 
spiritual state of consciousness, or to become wholly and comple te v 
spiritual after only a year or two of study and meditation. 




MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD 291 

Let us be grateful that from the moment we have set foot upon the 

spiritual path and begun to practice living this way, in some measure, 
we are attaining that "mind . . . which was also in Christ Jesus," 
and in that measure, however small, we are demonstrating outwardly 
the fruitage of it. The point is not that we expect to attain Christ- 
hood in a single bound, but that with every day of this kind of 
prayer and meditation, we are attaining some measure of that Christ- 
mind. As we look out at the temporal universe, let us realize: 

This world is not to be feared or hated or loved: this is the illusion, 
and right where the illusion is, is the kingdom of God, My kingdom. 

My kingdom is the reality. This, that my eyes see or my ears hear, 
this is the superimposed counterfeit, not existing as a world, but as 
a concept, a concept of temporal power. 

My kingdom is intact; My kingdom is the kingdom of God; My 
kingdom is the kingdom of the children of God; and My kingdom 
is here and now. 

All that exists as a temporal universe is without power. I need not 
hate it, fear it, or condemn it 1 need only understand it. 

As we are able to understand the nature of the temporal universe, 
the forms of this world will begin to disappear: forms of sickness, sin, 
false appetites, and lack and limitation. All these will drop away, and 
in their place will be harmonious conditions and relationships, and 
these will be the showing forth of our higher state of consciousness. 

Our world is the extemalization of our state of consciousness: as 
w e sow, so shall we reap. If we sow to the flesh, we will reap cor- 
ruption: sin, disease, death, lack, and limitation. If we sow to the 
Spirit, we will reap life everlasting. 

The word "sow" can be interpreted to mean "to be conscious of." 
" we are conscious that the spiritual kingdom is the real and that 
tn at to which the five physical senses bear witness is without power, 
temporal, the "arm of flesh," we are sowing to the Spirit and will 
rea P harmony in body, mind, purse, and human relationships. If we 
c °ntinue to fear "man, whose breath is in his nostrils," if we con- 
tll 'uc to fear infection, contagion, and epidemics, we are sowing to 



292 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

the flesh; whereas, if we realize that all power is in the Invisible, we 
are sowing to the Spirit, and will reap divine harmony. 

My kingdom, the Christ-kingdom, is the real, and it is power. All 
that we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, the temporal kingdom, is 
the illusion and is not power. 

The spiritual path is a training ground where we gain the convic- 
tion that the temporal world is presenting merely a picture of tem- 
poral power, and temporal power is not power. The Invisible alone is 
power, the Invisible which is the I we really are. 

Let us cany that idea into our consideration of the body. Because 
our body is visible, there is no power in it; it cannot be well or sick: 
the power is in the I that we are. If we believe that this body has 
power, we are giving power to the temporal universe. Looking out at 
a finite world and a finite body, we can change our entire experience 
by realizing: 

Since you are effect, the power is not in you; the power it not in 
this body: the power is in me. I direct my body, and my body cannot 
talk back to me. I talk to it, and I assure it that I am its life, I am its 
intelligence, I am its substance, I am its law — that I which I am — 
and then the body has to obey. 

Such a practice turns us away from looking for material good. We 
are not thinking in terms of a better physical body: we are "absent 
from the body, and . . . present with the Lord," and our whole at- 
tention is turned in the direction of spiritual harmony, not better 
human relationships, not better health, and not just more dollars, 
but to the peace and harmony of My kingdom: 

My kingdom reigns here, not human good and not human evd— 
My kingdom, the kingdom of God. 

If there is any human evil here, any sin, any hatred, envy, jealousy, 
or malice, what of it? It is not person, and it is not power. It cannot 
manifest, and therefore it has to die of its own nothingness. It <* 
temporal, and it is impersonal; it is forever without person in wftorrt, 
on whom, or through whom to manifest. It is the "arm of flesh, 
or nothingness. 



"MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD" 293 

Divine love, not human love, is the only power operating in the 
place where I am. Divine wisdom, not human intelligence, is the only 
power operating in my life. 

Thus, more and more our attention is centered on God's kingdom 
and His grace rather than on form and effect, and then as we are 
absent from the body of form and effect, that body, form, and effect 
appear harmoniously. 












CHAPTER XXVII 




LIVING ABOVE THE PAIRS OF OPPOSITES 






F. 



rom the time of the second-chapter-of-Genesis creation, man has 
lived in a world of two powers, fluctuating between good and evil, 
and often experiencing more of evil than of good. As he gains the 
concept of one power, and one alone, and perceives that there is 
neither a good power nor an evil power, he is no longer fascinated by 
either the good or the evil of human experience, and he becomes 
less identified with sensations that arise from one or the other. 

Man gradually learns to look upon evil without emotion, without 
attaching it to anyone, one might say almost without sympathy. He 
recognizes the nature of the appearance, and instead of accepting it 
as real, he accepts it as an appearance or as an illusory experience. 
This is not always easy to do, and it is far easier to see the illusory 
nature of an appearance of evil than it is to see the illusory nature or 
an appearance of good; but, easy or hard, the attitude must be attained 
and maintained that if the good is not of God, it will not be perma- 
nent, and therefore there is no use in rejoicing over it. 

It is obvious that this attitude takes a great deal of pleasure out 
of the human aspects of life, just as it takes a great deal of misery 
out of it, but it does replace those human emotions with an innef 
conviction that behind this visible scene there is a spiritual reahtyt 
and at any moment it can come into full view. 



294 



LIVING ABOVE THE PAIRS OF OPPOSITES 295 

When a call for help comes, our first and natural human reaction 
js the desire to change the evil appearance to a good one. If we are 
to succeed in spiritual living, however, we must very quickly bring 
to conscious awareness the truth that the object of a spiritual min- 
istry is not to change disease into health, for health is only one of 
those temporary conditions that become disease tomorrow, next 
week, or next year, and not to decry the evil and try to bring about 
the good; but rather to turn away from the appearance and keep our 
gaze on the Middle Path, realizing that right where there is an ap- 
pearance of either good or evil, there is spiritual reality. 

An evil appearance of today can change into a good appearance 
tomorrow, and, as we so well know, every good appearance can soon 
be turned into an evil one: the peace on earth one day is only a 
momentary pause before another war; perfect health today is only a 
temporary condition which germs or the calendar can change. In the 
human picture we are on a merry-go-round that goes round and 
round and round; in the human picture we sway like a pendulum 
between sickness and health, between lack and abundance, between 
war and peace, going back and forth, but never getting anywhere. 

But the pairs of opposites do not operate in My kingdom: My 
kingdom is a spiritual kingdom in which everything is intact; My 
kingdom is under the direction, protection, maintenance, and sus- 
tenance of its divine Principle, God. In My kingdom there is no 
darkness. That statement would seem to imply that darkness is evil, 
but by the time we reach the Third Degree, we have risen to the 
spiritual stature of the Psalmist who said that "the darkness and the 
kght are both alike to thee." 

Darkness and light are the same. In the eyes of God there is no 
difference between them. In the spiritual kingdom there is neither 
%ht nor darkness in any physical sense: there is only Spirit, a Light 
w hich has no similarity whatsoever to what we know as light. 

Light in the spiritual sense is the illumined consciousness, not 
'lhimined by a light but illumined by wisdom. "Whereas I was blind, 
n °w I S ee" does not refer to blindness or to an absence of sight. It 
ls *^e figurative way of stating that whereas before we were in igno- 
rai >ce now we have attained wisdom. Ignorance is frequently re- 



1 



296 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



fened to as darkness, and wisdom as light, but there is no actual 
darkness or light about them. 

It requires months, sometimes years, of spiritual experience before 
we can realize that in My kingdom light and darkness are the same, 
and that we are not trying to change darkness into light, or to get 
rid of darkness in order to get light. Darkness and light are one. 
Grasping that concept is a big leap for anyone, but for the person 
ignorant of spiritual wisdom and untrained in metaphysics and 
mysticism, it is an even greater leap—almost an impossible one— to 
grasp the idea that disease and health are one. They are really just 
opposite ends of the same stick. When we can state with conviction, 
"As far as 1 am concerned, darkness and light are one. I am not 
seeking to get rid of one to get the other: I am seeking only to realize 
spiritual wisdom, spiritual truth, and the divine Presence," then we 
shall begin to perceive the spiritual nature of this universe. 

It is when we are trying to get rid of something, or to get some- 
thing, that we have left the spiritual universe for the universe of 
human concepts. Neither disease nor health has any part in the 
spiritual life: all that exists in the spiritual life is God, Spirit infinitely 
and eternally manifested as individual incorporeal being. 

Incorporeal being cannot be known through the senses of sight, 
hearing, taste, touch, or smell: it can be experienced only in our 
consciousness, but once that experience comes to us we shall really 
understand that darkness and light are one. And what is that one? 
Mortal illusion, maya, appearance. Whatever we are aware of through 
the senses-sickness and poverty today, or health and wealth tomor- 
row—is arl illusion. We are not beholding reality until, through our 
spiritual awareness, we behold incorporeal spiritual being. 

When we can look out upon this human world and ask, "Wha 
has it profited the world all its wars?" and receive the answer, 
"Nothing," we are beginning to reach the goal. Hand in hand with 
this question must come a second one, "What has it profited the 
world all the days in which there has been no war?" and this, too 
must receive the answer, "Nothing." Spiritually, it is not war or p#^ 
we are seeking: it is the government of God, spiritual governmert 
divine government. And where does this take place? In our co 
sciousness. That is where it must be realized. 




LIVING ABOVE THE PAIRS OF OPPOS1TES 297 

No matter how many solutions are offered today to the problems 
of the world, tomorrow they will break out in new and more serious 
forms. The end of all this shifting back and forth will come only 
when we perceive the nature of spiritual power, and realize that 
spiritual power has nothing to do with good conditions today or 
evil conditions tomorrow. Rather does it have to do with our under- 
standing that we are not seeking to change the conditions of matter 
but to realize the omnipresence of Spirit, that we are not seeking to 
turn sickness into health or war into peace: we are seeking the gov- 
ernment of God, the revelation and the realization of God as our 
consciousness. 

This changes our whole mode of life. Under our old way of 
living, the best that we could hope for was to turn some evil condi- 
tion into a good one or some negative condition into a positive one, 
and even though there was the ever-present fear that it would not 
be permanent, we were always striving for those temporary moments 
of health, of peace, or of harmony. 

The revelation and understanding of one power helps us to arrive 
at the consciousness where we do not seek to change the negative to 
the positive. In the realization of one power, we not only stop seeking 
some material power with which to meet our need, but we stop seek- 
ing a spiritual power. 

Since there is but one power, then, there is nothing on, against, 
or for which to use this power. What in essence does this really 
mean? What does it mean to reach a point in consciousness where 
we relinquish all thought of using God as a power? Have we not 
thus really released God from responsibility? And is not that exactly 
what we all must learn to do? 

God is forever about His business. God is the creative, maintain- 
ln g, and sustaining influence of the spiritual universe. God governs 
"is universe by Grace, and this not tomorrow or next week. The 
divine Grace that has been in operation from everlasting to ever- 
tasting will continue from everlasting to everlasting without our 
bribing or trying to influence God, without our praying, pleading, or 
Qoing anything else to persuade God to do His own work. God is, 
a "d this includes the truth that God is forever about the business of 
k'ng God. 



298 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

Our function in prayer and meditation is to "know the truth," and 
the truth will make us free: know the truth that there is but one 
power; know the truth that "thou couldest have no power at all 
against me, except it were given thee from above"; know the truth 
that in the kingdom of God, light and darkness are the same. This 
constant, consistent, and dedicated knowing of the truth will develop 
a state of consciousness that does not shift back and forth between 
the evil and the good: it holds itself at least with some measure of 
stability to the spiritual path and to spiritual realization. 

God is, but in order to realize that God is we have to rise above 
time and space because in Is or Is-ness there is no time and no space. 
God's is-ness is from everlasting to everlasting; therefore, nothing is 
ever outside the jurisdiction of the is-ness of God; nothing in the 
spiritual kingdom has ever gone wrong. Our whole state of con- 
sciousness has to change from a material base, from its functioning 
in two powers, to a resting in the is-ness of God. 

In the entire kingdom of God there is nothing of a changeable 
nature, nothing of a discordant or inharmonious nature, nothing 
that needs healing or improving. In that state of consciousness we 
are no longer hypnotized by appearances, nor are we compelled to 
try instantly to change the evil to the good, or to try to hold on to 
whatever good appearance there may be. This does not in any way 
affect our outer life. As this spiritual realization comes to us and our 
life becomes more harmonious, we are no longer dealing with a good 
appearance that was once evil: we are now dealing with the spiritual 
reality that has come into view. 

Sometimes students are not happy with the detachment that must 
come to them as they continue on the spiritual path. Often they 
feel as if they were losing something worthwhile in life. Their 
treasured art objects, their pets, and their lifelong friendships are not 
quite so important to them as heretofore. The world is becoming 
more objective to them— their body and even their life. In looking 
out at this world as a beholder, much of what constitutes a great pa rt 
of human life, that is, emotion, is lost. 

It is true that there is a reorientation of human values as students 
go forward in the spiritual life: they are not quite so hurt by t" e 
negative aspects of human life, but neither can they rejoice so mucB 



LIVING ABOVE THE PAIRS OF OPPOSITES 299 

over the good things as they once did. Feelings and emotion do not 
enter into daily life to the extent they formerly did. As these things 
drop away, however, there are gains that far outweigh the losses. 

When we become beholders of life, we do not look out at life 
3nd wonder what is going to happen. We behold what God is doing. 
The beholder on the spiritual path awakens in the morning and real- 
izes, "This is God's day; 'this is the day which the Lord hath made.' 
What is God going to do with this day in its relationship to me? 
What experience will the activity of God bring to me this day?" 

In that objective and detached way we go through the day with 
the expectancy of something just around he comer, the feeling that 
whatever God brings to pass in this hour, the next hour, and the 
hour after that is the product of God, and the effect of the activity 
of God. We now come into the experience of an unchanging har- 
mony. We are at that point where we are no longer as concerned 
with outer effects as we once were; we have come to that place of 
looking at the appearance whether good or bad, and realizing its 
illusory nature. 

Concerning ourselves with the nature of the appearance indulges 
and perpetuates the hypnotism. Morning, noon, and night, we must 
maintain within ourselves a spiritual balance in the realization that 
in the kingdom of God there is neither good nor evil: there is only 
Spirit; and in the kingdom of this world the appearance of evil and 
the appearance of good are equally illusory. If we wish to bring about 
a spiritual demonstration of Christhood, we cannot concern ourselves 
with the momentary appearances, but must hold fast to the spiritual 
truth within ourselves. 

Although the kingdom of God is invisible and incorporeal to 
human sight, it is tangible and real to those who have the spiritual 
^sion to behold it. Only through spiritual awareness, through spir- 
itual consciousness, through the fourth-dimensional consciousness, 
Christ-consciousness, can we behold spiritual identity. We cannot 
Sfi e spiritual identity with our eyes, but just as God can look through 
light and darkness and behold them as one, so can the spiritually 
"'umined look through the appearance of good or bad humanhood 
an d behold Christhood. 

In a mystical teaching we have no right to look at a human being 



300 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 




with the idea of changing evil into good, disease into health, or lack 
into abundance. What we must do— and it is imperative that we do 
it— is to look through the appearance and realize: 

Unseen to my human eyes, this is the Christ, the son of Cod, 
I do not seek to change him, improve, reform, or enrich him. I foofe 
through the appearance, and remember that even though I cannot 
see it, here is spiritual Identity. 

For those who have been trained to see the unreality of erroneous 
appearances, this may not seem to be too difficult to do, but the 
reason most of us do not have greater success in looking through 
the appearance is that we do not applv this principle when we see 
good human appearances. Why should there be rejoicing over a 
healthy, wealthy, successful, or happy appearance when the whole 
picture can be reversed in less than an hour? 

It is not easy for anyone, riot even for the spiritual student, to be 
able to look at himself, his friends, or his relatives when they are the 
healthiest, the wealthiest, and the purest, and realize that this is 
only an appearance, but that invisible to human sight is the Christ, 
the spiritual son of God, the Reality. If a person is able to do that, 
however, he will always be tabernacling with the spiritual identity of 
his friends, relatives, and students. It is the very love of God flowing 
through him that is closing his eyes to appearances and showing him 
the Soul of everv person, of those who are good as well as those who 
are bad— the same pure Soul which is God. 

In proportion as we can be in this world, but not of it— in it, 
and yet not be fascinated by the human identity of persons, but 
realize that even' person is really the Soul of God made evident on 
this earth— we shall be living in "My kingdom." This takes a de- 
veloped inner vision which sees the presence of God in every person. 

It is amazing what miracles take place when we give up all at- 
tempts to make bad people good or sick people well, and begin to 
dwell in this realization: 

God, reveal to me Thy spiritual Selfhood; reveal Thy spiritual Son; 
show forth the son of Cod in every individual. 



LIVING ABOVE THE PAIRS OF OPPOSITES 3()1 

With this vision we begin to see and to feet spiritual sonship all 
around us. People act differently toward us and we toward them 
because we are no longer treating them as we think they deserve to 
be treated. We hold no one in condemnation because we know that 
it is only his ignorance of what he is doing, his ignorance of his 
divine sonship, that makes him act as he does. Crimes against so- 
ciety and individuals— lying, stealing, cheating, defrauding— can be 
committed only as long as we think that you are you, and I am I. 
All that stops the minute we discover that we are brothers with the 
same Father, and that we belong to the same family and live in the 
same household. At once this makes the world less real and My king- 
dom more real, revealing the universe as a spiritual kingdom where 
nothing has to be attained by force. 

This is the mystical life: we look not at the good human appear- 
ance and rejoice in it, but look through the good, as well as through 
the evil, human appearance, and behold Christhood. We can do it. 
We all can do it. True, it requires some discipline and some training 
because what we are trying to do is to overcome the effects of hun- 
dreds of generations of those who have left us as a heritage the 
belief in two powers. We are casting aside both the good and the 
evil to behold the spiritual, casting aside both good health and bad 
health in order to attain the realization of that Christhood which is 
our permanent identity in God. Only our spiritual identity as the 
child of God enables us to eat of that meat the world knows not of. 

It is not by virtue of being a good human being that any of us 
can claim that we are "joint-heirs with Christ" because good human- 
hood is as far from heaven as bad humanhood. The scribes and the 
Pharisees were the very best of the Hebrews: the most religious, the 
greatest worshipers of the one God, the greatest supporters of the 
temple. Being good was an obsession with them, and yet the Master 
told his followers that their goodness must transcend that of the 
scribes and the Pharisees. Humanly that would have been well-nigh 
lr n possible because they had already practically attained perfection. 

Real goodness lies in the ability to realize that the kingdom of 
^°d is ours, not by virtue of our goodness, but by virtue of our 
spiritual identity. This means being courageous enough to throw 
as 'de all thought of our badness past or present, and in the same 



302 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

breath to throw aside our goodness as well— throw them both out 
and take no credit unto ourselves for the good and no condemnation 
for the evil, but claim for ourselves only our spiritual identity in 
God. In this relationship with God we shall find that we are one with 
God, we are joint-heirs with God to all the heavenly riches, but as 
long as we think that our evil ways are keeping us from those riches 
or that our good is bringing us closer to them, we are missing the 
way. 

The one who believes that some error, some temporary evil, or 
some mistake of omission or commission is separating him from 
God is just as far off the beam as the person who believes that his 
goodness is earning him God's grace. No one attains God's grace 
by goodness alone: God's grace is attained by the realization of 
spiritual identity; and in the recognition of our spiritual identity, we 
will be good in every spiritual way. How that good measures up 
with human goodness there is no way of knowing, but spiritual in- 
tegrity can come only through our relationship to God, and not by 
virtue of any good qualities or because of any personal sacrifices or 
efforts. 

Our human experience of the past and the present with its good 
and evil is the mortal dream, but within our Soul we are God-being; 
in our inner light, we are children of God; in the depths of our 
inner being, we are one with God; and we have "meat," which we 
may not even have earned or deserved, but we have it nevertheless 
by virtue of divine inheritance. 

Many of us have received, or will receive, much that we know in 
our heart and soul we do not deserve. Far more will this be true m 
our spiritual experience when we find God's goodness pouring itseli 
upon us faster than we can accept it and realize that nothing in our 
human life entitles m to this. It comes to us as the grace of God 
from which neither life nor death can separate us. 

There is no place where we can go and be separate from Gods 
care, God's jurisdiction. God's life, and God's law. Whether we live 
on one side of the veil or on the other is of no importance excep 
to those few people who temporarily will miss our physical presence' 
But very soon, when that sense of absence is healed, nothing L 



LIVING ABOVE THE PAIRS OF OPPOSITES 303 

changed, no one has lost anything, no one has been hurt, for in God 
life and death are the same. They are mortal appearances, human' 
illusions. To understand that both are of the same substance the 
fabric of nothingness, and that there is no difference between life 
and death brings about an understanding of the meaning of im- 
mortality. 

Immortality has nothing to do with life or death, for life and 
death are but illusory pictures, whereas immortality is the spiritually 
real, etemality is the spiritually real, incorporeality is the spiritually 
real. Life and death are two phases of human illusion just as are 
disease and health, poverty and wealth, sin and purity. 

On the spiritual path we have to overcome both the evil and the 
good, and while it is true that in our first stage we do try to change 
ill health into good health, as we advance on this Path we realize 
that we have to rise above good health just as we rise above poor 
health into the realm and the realization and the consciousness of 
God's presence as Spirit. To the illumined consciousness, darkness 
and light are one. 



1 




CHAPTER XXVIII 



THE TREE OF LIFE 




T. 



,o understand the nature of the mystical way of life, and to 
understand it fully, we must first of all understand the underlying 
conflict that exists among human beings, the struggle between all 
men on the face of the earth. Even between husbands and wives, 
parents and children, there is conflict, and the conflict is always a. 
battle for the supremacy of the ego. Each one wants to be some- 
thing of himself, and that something enters into conflict with the 
something of the other self. 

So it is that throughout the human scene there has always been 
conflict. True, there is an appearance of peace, but as long as each 
one has a self of his own, he will be catering to that ego, trying to 
manifest, express, or benefit it. 

This poses the question: Is it possible for human beings to live 
together harmoniously, or must they live in constant warfare of one 
nature or another? None of the efforts made to bring about peace 
on earth and good will among men has ever been successful for any 
length of time, largely because these efforts have been based on at- 
tempting to unite people humanly, when for the most part they have 
no common interest. 

Some contend that in union there is strength, but this is a fallacy 

304 




THE TREE OF LIFE 305 

Ever since time began, tribes have been uniting, countries have been 
uniting, and churches have been uniting, but so far no such union 
has brought about permanent strength. It lasts for a while, then some 
other combination arises and falls to make way for still another com- 
bination. There is no strength in any union founded by human be- 
ings, nor has one ever proved to be enduring. 

The only strength there is, is in spiritual union, but that in itself 
is a paradox. There cannot really be a spiritual union because there 
are not two to unite. There is only one Self, and as long as I recog- 
nize that the Selfhood of me is the Selfhood of you, I cannot be 
antagonistic toward you, but neither can I unite with you because 
there are not two of us: there is only One. There may be many forms, 
but back of the forms there is the One. 

True peace can be established between us only when there is a 
subjugating of the ego in the realization that there is but one Ego, 
but one Self, and God is that Ego, that Self, and God constitutes 
the Self of every individual. Now instead of being in conflict with 
one another, we are united. 

There may he a hundred papayas on one tree, but there is onlv one 
life, one tree, and anything that injures the tree ultimately injures all 
parts of the tree. The life of the tree constitutes the life of every 
branch, and of every piece of fruit on it. If each papaya felt that 
"t had a life, a dignity, and an identity of its own, there would soon 
be a struggle. Only because of the oneness of the fruit with the tree 
can the tree, branches, and fruit all abide together harmoniously. 

Now for a moment try to visualize a branch of a tree that is cut 

W. set off by itself, having no relationship with the tree whatsoever, 

a "d you will understand what is meant by twoness. Moreover, were 

« Possible for any one part of the tree to have an ego, it woul'd also 

e possible for a branch to become envious of all the good that is on 

e tree and want some of it, or the tree, seeing the glory of the 
ra nch, might want to subdue or possess it. 

B ut look again and see that branch back on its tree: now there is 
^ tree and one life, and the life of the tree is the life of every 

the' h ^ thC treC ' l1lerC ' S n ° Uni0 " there bccause there are not two: 
er e is just one. There can be dozens of branches, but there is only 



506 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

one life, one intelligence, one source of supply — just one — and the^ 
fore, no single branch of a tree could ever be in conflict with any 
other branch of that tree. 

As we understand this about a tree, soon we shall also be able to 
understand and realize that there is a Tree of Life, a central source 
of Life, and that we are all parts of that Life. We are not separate 
branches, as we appear to be, but we are bound together by an in- 
visible tie, which is Life Itself, the central theme of being. Life is the 
Tree of which we are all branches, and we all derive our life, intelli- 
gence, love, care, and protection from the same Source. 

Let us return once more to the branch that has been cut off from 
the tree, a branch that at this moment is laden with fruit. Imagine 
how proud that branch of the tree might be of its wonderful fruit, 
and how it might think, "What a glorious thing I am! I am so beau- 
tiful! I have such exquisite flowers 1 I can bear such luscious fruit!" 
Then imagine what might happen to all this fruitage in just a few 
days when, because the branch has been severed from the tree, life 
is no longer feeding that branch, and when life no longer feeds it, 
there is nothing left for it to do but to wither, and naturally there 
will be no more flowers and no more fruit of which to be proud. 

This is similar to what happens to a person when he believes that 
he is intelligent, good, strong, wealthy, healthy, or moral. Think 
what happens to this person when one of these days, wandering 
around as a separate branch, he begins to feel himself withering up 
inside, and hears his friends say, "Oh, that's natural! You're getting 
old." But it is not natural at all from the spiritual standpoint. It is 
natural only because he has been feeding his ego, and believing that 
he, of himself, is something, when the truth is that he is something 
only because he is one with the Tree of Life. 

Those who are living the ego-life are fighting or competing with 
one another, trying to supersede or be better than another, richer 
or more beautiful, living a life of friction because there is always 1 
a sense of twoness. Wherever and whenever there is twoness, there 
is bound to be friction because one person is always hitting 
up against the other. But all this friction disappears, all com- 
petition and all opposition disappear, in the realization of oneness. 




THE TREE OF LIFE 307 

When the conviction of oneness is realized, we perceive that each 
branch derives its good from its Source, and therefore there is no 
need for one branch to compete or 6ght with another branch, to try 
to get the better of, or overcome, another, because each branch then 
realizes what John Burroughs so beautifully expresses in his poem 
"Waiting": "My own shall come to me." Why will it come? Because 
it is coming to us from our Source, not from another branch, not from 
somebody else, and not from going out into the world trying to get it. 
This removes any desire or compulsion to take anything away from 
anyone else, or to draw anything to us from any outside source. "My 
own shall come to me"— mine, not yours. 

Om own will come to us from the Source because we are branches 
of the Tree of Life, and we are fed by the life of that Tree, which 
finds a way to draw to us out of the Ground whatever our particular 
nature requires. The function of a branch is to be still and know that 
it is not merely a branch but part of a tree. When we look at a tree 
from afar, we do not dissect it and point out that here is the trunk 
of a tree, and there is a leaf. No, we see the tree as a whole, consti- 
tuted of trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit. So is the Tree of Life con- 
stituted of you and me, and all the other you's and me's in the world, 
and even though our particular function may be that of a branch, 
a part of the tree, nevertheless, we are the Tree, Itself. 

As long as we are united with the Tree, whatever it is that is func- 
tioning the life of the Tree is supplying us with our wisdom, love, 
guidance, direction, activity, remuneration, recognition, and reward, 
with whatever it is that is to become a part of our life. 

The ego-man, the man of earth, is always asserting himself in the 
world: discussing, arguing, striving, competing, fighting. The con- 
templative, the man of God, may be out in the world doing whatever 
his work may be, but mentally and spiritually he is at home within his 
own being. 

The contemplative does not withdraw from an active life; in fact, 
he may become increasingly active. He would undoubtedly be better 
qualified to be the president of a corporation than an ego-man, be- 
cause the ego-man could accomplish only what his own mental power 
could encompass, but the contemplative would draw his wisdom 






308 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

from an inner Source to which the ego-man would have no access. 
The contemplative knows that the branch cannot dictate to the 
tree, and that the branch need not tell the tree what it needs, 01 
when it needs it. The branch knows that it has to be still and let the 
tree manifest its own glory, and any glory the tree manifests will be 
showered upon, and shared with, the branches, and that will include 
all that the branch may need. The only function of a branch is to be 
still and let, and in due time the life of the tree will provide the 
branch with all that it needs; and then when the branch is full of 
flowers and fruit, instead of taking pride in it, the branch- will be 
humble and remember that it is but showing forth the glory of the 
tree, and that of its own self it did not, and could not, create this 
beauty, this fruit, or this wealth. 

As good begins to unfold in our experience, whether it is peace, 
harmony, health, or abundance— whatever it may be— we have to 
develop that deep humility which enables us to recognize that this 
is the showing forth of God's glory, God showing Himself forth as 
our health, our life, and our supply; and in the recognition of this, we 
are contemplating God's grace, His love, omnipresence, and omnip- 
otence. In dwelling in that contemplative state we are permitting 
the law of life to function in our mind, being, body, and business. 
Furthermore, the flow is normal because it is not cluttered up or cut 
off by an ego trying to boast or preen itself, and give credit to itself. 

It is so easy to think that we can be of benefit to one another. 
This is the natural belief of the natural man, the ego-man. One 
branch cannot really benefit another branch, however, because what- 
ever benefit may come to you or to me through each other is really 
only the Life Itself using us as Its instrument. The blessings that come 
into our experience from any direction are really God Itself flowing to 
us. It is true, of course, that as servants of the most High we also serve 
each other, but we serve only as instruments of God. 

The truth that enables us to serve each other is knowing that I 
have nothing of my own to give you, and you have nothing of your 
own to give me: we derive our good from the same Source because 
we are one— one Tree. We are the manifestation of one Tree o 
Life and, by an invisible bond, we are all branches of that one Tree. 




THE TREE OF LIFE 309 

The person who knows this is beginning to purge himself of ego 
because he does not see himself as the source of someone else's good' 
he is thinking only in terms of one, not of two. Where there are two 
there will eventually be friction, even when temporarily one is doing 
good for another. 

The antidote for all friction is a realization of oneness. We must 
keep consciously before us a picture of the Tree of Life, and we must 
see ourselves as branches of that Tree, each growing from the cen- 
ter to the circumference, with no dependence upon one another, 
yet with a co-operativeness because we are parts of one complete 
whole. 

In the mystical life, a person lives constantly and consciously as out 
from the Center, in the realization of oneness, and with every temp- 
tation to see twoness, opposition, or competition, he inwardly smiles 
in the realization: "Be not afraid, it is I. There is only one of us here, 
not two. There is not a 'me' and danger, there is not a 'me' and 
competition, there is not a 'me' and an enemy — that is twoness." 

The way of the mystic is not a struggling to overcome enemies 
and a striving to make friends. The mystic knows, "It is I; It is J — 
this Tree is all there is. Even if I am seeing a thousand different 
branches, it is one Tree. 'It is I; be not afraid.' There is one Tree of 
Life, and we are all one in that Tree, and of that Tree." 

The mystic has had long months, and sometimes even years, of 
being faced with outward temptations to believe in twoness, to be- 
lieve that there is a "me" and another, and he has overcome such 
temptations by the ability to look around and realize that, while there 
may seem to be a dozen different persons, actually they are all one 
Tree, all parts of the Tree of Life, and therefore, whatever is good for 
one is good for the others. This is the Master's teaching of "Love thy 
neighbor as thyself," and it is only when we are seeing our neighbor 
a s a part of this Tree of Life that we are loving him as ourselves: we 
ar c seeing him fed from within, sustained, strengthened, healed, and 
resurrected from within, needing no outside aid. 

In living this life the mystic becomes a blessing without con- 
sciously desiring or attempting to be. All those who come into his 
Presence feel something emanating from his consciousness. And 



310 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

what is it that they feel? Not any desire to do good: just the ability 

to live at the Center in this contemplation of oneness. _ 

The ego-man is always desiring something out here; he is always 
getting something, doing something, achieving something, and that 
Sn r and onter Lultant turmoil can be felt The mystic is a wa^s 
Lng at the center of his being. Regardless of what work he is per- 
fonlg, he is not reaching out to attain or to compete he » not 
s nVing to get anything from anyone: he is at rest, and that rest is 
fdt by everyone who touches his consciousness, that is, everyone of 

3 wSnT ^petition, opposition, or friction of any kind com* 
into our experience, we retire to that center o ^^ 
realizing that we are not two, but one, we ag.» 
oTdivine harmony. As long as we can translate an appearance of twc 
ness into the picture of the Tree of Life, we are the hght of the 
world and a blessing to it. 

The pnnciple which would unite people and ensure hannonious 
and fruitful relationships in the family, the community and _ ev n 
tolly the state, the nation, and all the nations of the world is con- 

scious oneness with God. 

When a person carries this relationsh.p of oneness with God ^o 
his business or professional life, he increasingly draws un to lumseK 
those who more nearly represent his state of conscousne s^Thefc* 
to a fulfilled life, as well as the key to success, is m oneness «th God. 
Only in our relationship of oneness with the Father can wehavea 
permanent bond at any and every level of human «^n«-on £ 
Ll of friendship, the marital, the social an business level, W 
can be one through our oneness with God, and in that oneness i* 
flows a iov at every level. ., >31 

Tt is only in oneness with God that peoples of all the world a* 
united in the household of God: Americans English, Chines ; 
Japanese, Africans. In that oneness we are of the same hou hoW 
our relationship with God, our fellowship in the spirit, and our com 
muiuon with God un.te us in communion with one another. 

One day we shall be able to prove that when a penonj ™kes L, 
contact the first order of business on h,s agenda, he wul draw to hu* 



THE TREE OF LIFE 311 

self in marriage someone interested in the spiritual way of life, some- 
one searching for God, someone who is also seeking to attain con- 
scious union with God, and that common interest will be the bond 
that will enable them to enjoy a marriage, fruitful in every respect. 
There are so many factors involved in marriage: companionship, 
parenthood, social and community responsibilities, and financial 
arrangements; but when there is this spiritual rapport, all phases of 
the relationship fall into their proper place. Without this spiritual 
bond even the best of marriages has little or nothing in it but a 
human relationship which is sometimes pleasant, and oftentimes 
very unpleasant. 

It is not possible for two or more people to live together in God 
and lie to one another, cheat or defraud one another — it cannot be 
done. A person would wreck his mind and body who attempted thus 
to live contrary to the way of God or the will of God, trying to bring 
his human will, human desires, and human tricks into a spiritual 
way of life. Whoever attempted to deviate from spiritual integrity 
would soon be uncovered and be removed. No treachery or devious 
practices can remain covered up. Nothing is hidden from God. There 
is only one reason that dishonesty in human relations continues, 
only one reason: human beings do not knowingly or willingly expose 
their conduct to the light of God, They are clever enough to stay 
away from God, and for a time they may succeed in their wickedness, 
but when they bring themselves close to God, they find that they 
cannot deviate from spiritual integrity. 

Nothing "that defileth ... or maketh a lie" can enter the con- 
sciousness of those who are united in the family and household of 
God. When we understand that we are one with the Father and that 
wc are the temple of God, is it not clear that sooner or later we will be 
compelled to live up to that estimate of ourselves? The moment that 
We can begin to catch that vision, we cannot then violate our in- 
tegrity, nor can we violate our relationships with others, especially 
when we realize that inasmuch as we are the temple of God, so is 
everyone else. 

To recognize others as well as ourselves as the very temple of God 
's a step toward the fulfilling of the Commandments to love God su- 



i\ 



312 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

prcmeiy and our neighbor as ourselves. The truth is that humanly 
nobody can do that. We can try, but we are on the Way only when 
the first instinct to want to know God aright comes to us, an inner de- 
sire to discover the nature of "My kingdom" and "My peace." Then 
our relationship to God and man changes: love enters in, not your 
love or mine: it is the love of God that has entered into whatever 
part of our consciousness we have opened to its flow, and that love 
of God becomes the love for God and for man. 

We give evidence of our love for God in our love for our neighbor. 
There is no God hanging up in space — not in the space in this room 
or above the room, and not in the space above the ground, or the 
space above the sky. The only God there is, is incarnated in our 
Sou!, and in the Soul of every individual. 

The only way to love God is to love one another, but not just those 
others in our immediate environment. That would be such a restric- 
tive sense of love that it would be selfishness rather than love. If 
this love that we feel for one another is true love, it makes us also 
want to help people who are in distress, people of any nation, any 
coIot, or any creed. 

If this love that has entered our heart does not give us an interest 
in all of the unfortunates of the world, we can be assured that it is 
not the love of God, and we have deceived ourselves. We love one 
another only because we have opened ourselves to God and have 
thereby discovered the God in me and the God in you, and found It 
to be the same God, the same Life, and the same Love. Even though 
depressed and despised peoples of the world may not yet know their 
identity, we do; and moreover, we know that one of these days they 
will awaken to their true identity, just as those persons whose ma- 
terial needs are being met so abundantly that they feel no need of 
God will someday awaken to their spiritual identity. 

There can be peace on earth, peace between nations and races, 
peace in our communities, peace in our homes, but this peace will 
come on a permanent basis only when it comes because of some 
measure of realization of our relationship to God. We ourselves must 
first attain that realization. 

As we attain even a degree of realization that God has incarnated 



THE TREE OF LIFE 313 

Himself as our very being, that we are the temple of God and God 
dwells in us, we begin to draw unto ourselves from out of the world 
those who are traveling in the same direction, those whose goal is to 
dwell in the household of God, the Temple not made with hands. 
The invisible bond with which we are bound together is our con- 
scious union with God, and because of our realized oneness, we draw 
to ourselves out of the world all those with any measure of love for 
God. 




CHAPTER XXIX 



BEYOND TIME AND SPACE 



A s 



.s human beings we live in the past, the present, and the 
future. The past has been, and there is nothing more we can do 
about it; the future has not come, and there is nothing that a human 
being can do except wait to see what the future is going to do to him. 

On the spiritual path our whole attitude toward the past and the 
future is changed because we realize that we are building our future 
now. Whatever fills our consciousness this minute is the seed we are 
sowing, and it determines the type of fruitage we will have. If we are 
sowing to the flesh, we will reap a future of corruption; whereas, if 
we sow to the Spirit, we will reap in the future, life everlasting. 

In the absolute sense there is no future: the future is only a con- 
tinuation of the present; it is an extension in time and space of the 
present; and it is safe to say that our future will be this present, 
whatever this present is, extended into time and space. 

Since life is consciousness, the seeds that we sow in our conscious- 
ness at any and every moment of the day will determine the nature 
of the crops that we will reap in that extension of the present which 
is called the future. There is no future separate and apart from this 
minute: the future is only this minute extending itself, and the nature 
of that future must be the nature of this minute extending itself. So ; 

314 






BEYOND TIME AND SPACE 315 

jf we abide in the Word and let the Word abide in us now, we will 
reap richly, spiritually, divinely, and harmoniously. 

Man is continually sowing the seeds of his own future. Each min- 
ute of his life he is building tomorrow, and next year, and the year 
following, and even ensuring that there will be these years to come. 
W'e build our life in consciousness by the nature of that which 
occupies our thoughts. As we live this minute, this minute extends 
itself forward into time and space, carrying with it the quality with 
which we have imbued this minute. 

If constantly and consciously we are realizing that God is Spirit, 
and God is law, and therefore that law is spiritual, and if we are 
governed by spiritual law, that becomes the law, not only to this 
present moment, but this present moment goes on extending itself 
in time and space. All there is to time and space is our conscious- 
ness extending itself. If our consciousness ever stopped functioning, 
time and space would no longer exist for us. 

Time plays no part in the functioning of God. There is only now 
in the spiritual kingdom, there is only this moment, this continuing 
moment. It is because of this continuing moment that everything 
that happens in the future will happen. If next month all the leaves 
on the trees in the park will have turned brown, yellow, or red, it is 
only because of the process going on in the tree this minute. When 
the leaves drop off the trees in the autumn, it is because of what took 
place in the tree prior to that time. What occurs this minute deter- 
mines what conditions will be an hour from now, a day or a week 
from now. God is functioning this minute, and it is because of this 
minute that something occurs when it becomes "this minute" a 
minute from now. 

Whatever activity of the Spirit is going on now determines the 
activity of the universe a second from now. God cannot inaugurate 
an action. God cannot make two times two four now, and if He 
Wanted to do so, He could not make it five either. What two times 
t^o is has been determined from the beginning of time. 

God ts, and the only time God is, is now. God is "is-ing" now, and 
"lis "is-ing" continues as a continuity of the now. It is always now in 
God's kingdom: it is never fifteen minutes ago or fifteen minutes 
from now. 






316 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

We are living a godless life every moment: that we waste time 
living in the past. There is nothing God can do about the past 
because God is not there: God is here, and God is now. The place 
whereon we stand is holy ground — now. If anything is to take place 
in what we call the future, it has to be as a continuing of the presence 
of the God of now. The only way to bring ourselves under God's law 
is to give up both the past and the future and align ourselves with 
God through the realization of Omnipresence, Omniaction, Omni- 
being, all here now. 

This is living the life of the-place-whereon-I-stand-is-holy-ground. 
If at any time our lack of understanding of that has resulted in our 
being in prison, in a hospital, in sin, in disease, or in poverty, then 
the remedy is to begin this second where we are, get up-to-date with 
God, and realize Omnipresence. 

We know nothing about tomorrow, nor can we have the faintest 
idea of what will take place tomorrow. If we think we know, we are 
limiting our tomorrow to what we know about yesterday and today; 
and if we do that, we are not leaving ourselves open for a God-experi- 
ence. 

God does not operate tomorrow. The tomorrow-operation of God 
is dependent on the now-operation of God because God is function- 
ing only in this split second, and in every continuing split second. 
Even God cannot take a rosebud and in a few minutes turn it into 
a full-blown rose. God functions now. We, then, being a part of the 
functioning of the now, unfold in accordance with the nature of our 
being, but we cannot do this without God. We cannot get God to 
do it yesterday, and we cannot get God to do it tomorrow. The 
tomorrowness of God is due solely to the nowness of God. Now, 
God is God, and God is an eternal God, functioning eternally in the 
now, never in the past and never in the future. When we are living 
in the future, we are living as godless a life as if we were living in the 
past. 

If we are leading the mystical life, however, we will have a period 
of thanksgiving when we retire at night, thanking God for the way 
He has managed this universe the past twenty- four hours, and giving 
Him a little pat on the back because the sun and the moon came up 
on time, the rain came in due season, and the sunshine; the tides 



i 



BEYOND TIME AND SPACE 317 

came in and the tides went out on time. He deserves a little credit 
for such accuracy and balance, and with that as a basis, we can look 
forward with confidence to tomorrow. Undoubtedly, tomorrow He 
will take care of all this, too, so that tonight we can go to sleep and 
trust it to Him. 

And when we wake up in the morning, we will not again attempt 
to take over all the responsibility for this universe but we will re- 
member, "God, You did all right last night without my help. I think 
I'll trust You with today." 

The mystic does not sit around worrying about what is going to 
happen to the world: the mystic beholds life and watches God at 
work. If he wants to see the sun rise, he gets up early, but then 
realizes that he is watching an activity of the Principle that governs 
this universe. 

As we become beholders and watch each hour unfold to see what 
God does with it, we overcome the egotistic belief that this is our 
world and that we are responsible for it. We do not fear "man, 
whose breath is in his nostrils," man who has forged the weapons of 
this world; but we awaken in the morning with the same confidence 
with which we went to sleep at night, leaving this world in His care. 
And we leave the day in His care, too, and learn to stand a little bit 
to the right of ourselves, watching how beautifully God runs this 
universe, and how He provides in advance for every need. This is a 
glorious universe when we behold God at work, God in action. 

This is being a witness. A witness is not an active participant: a 
witness is one who bears witness, who sees and beholds. That is what 
we are: God's witnesses. At first this principle is difficult to practice. 
It takes time to become accustomed to trusting God with our days 
with the same degree of confidence that we trust our nights to Him. 
Some of us would not trust Him with the night, except that we are 
too tired to stay awake! 

Those of us who do sit up much of the night meditating and 
communing are not doing so for the purpose of helping God. We 
meditate because we like to behold God at work even in the middle 
°f the night, and He does as many miraculous things then as He does 
*« the day. 

"Now is the day of salvation." Now is the only time, and now is the 



318 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



perfect time. Now J am. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." 
When? Not tomorrow, not when we are dead — now! Now do we live 
and move and have our being in Christ-consciousness. 

All life is predicated on now. As long as we are living on the human 
level of life, the law of as-ye-sow-so-shall-ye-reap will operate in our 
experience; and that means that as we sow now, so will we reap. The 
nature of our sowing determines the nature of our reaping, but the 
reaping in the future cannot be any more harmonious than the sowing 
that we do in the now. The spiritual fruitage of tomorrow is the 
product of the spiritual sowing of now, and if we do not sow spiritually 
now, there will be no spiritual fruitage later. All karma can be erased 
in any moment because the results of karma can last only while the 
seeds of karma are operating. As soon as a person moves out of that 
material consciousness where he sowed materially, there is no more 
material reaping because he is not there: he has "died." 

In the moment that we "die" to the past, we are reborn in this 
nowness, and in our rebirth in the Spirit, we carry with us nothing of 
the past, not any more than the butterfly carries with it anything of 
the worm. After the worm has spun its cocoon and has had a long 
period of quiet, separate and apart from the outside world, it dies, 
and the butterfly is bom, but that butterfly has no remembrance of 
its worm-state. 

Any moment in which we have the conscious realization of the 
presence of God, we have "died" to our materialism. The birth of 
the Christ has taken place. Twenty times a day it can take place 
in meditation, and each time it does, some part of the human past 
that has continued to intrude is wiped out. 

It is necessary to have periods in which we consciously live as 
though we were looking right down a long straight line of now, 
seeing nothing of the past, being unconcerned about the future, and 
living now in conscious oneness with the Father. 

When in our silence this oneness has been confirmed in us, God 
is working with us, and we can go ahead. If we are called upon to 
make plans for next week or next year, we can make them, or even 
for ten years ahead, if after our meditation we are given any plans- 
Such planning does not make this an act of the future: it makes it a n 
act of the present extending itself forward. 




BEYOND TIME AND SPACE 319 

When it is said that we do not make plans for the future, that is 
true in one sense, but not in another. For example, when an aware- 
ness comes that there should be class and lecture work in various parts 
of the world, this idea is presenting itself to me in some given present 
moment. Although this involves the future, the idea came in the 
present, and the carrying out of it can be considered a continuation 
of the present, and I can then go ahead with plans of a human nature 
which include the necessary arrangements. In that sense we do plan 
for the future, but these plans aTe only the product of God working 
with us now, and revealing to us that there should be a class here or 
there at a particular time. As soon as that conviction comes, then 
we make all the plans, but that is not human planning: that is 
merely taking the human footsteps following the divine plan that 
lias been revealed to us. 

Worrying about the past, being concerned or having a guilt com- 
plex about it, is a waste of time because there is no God in the 
past, and if God is not in the past, we might as well remove ourselves 
from it, too. Moreover, there is no need for undue concern about the 
future, except insofar as plans for the future are the natural result of 
ideas that are given to us in the present as to what to do about the 
future. 

As this principle of nowness is grasped, every moment of life be- 
comes a vital and important one. No yesterdays can ever be impor- 
tant after we have learned this lesson. Even if we achieved some great 
thing yesterday, we cannot rest back satisfied with that accomplish- 
ment because we are not going to achieve anything in the future 
except as a product of what we do today. It is today that we are build- 
ing our future. The past is past, and there is nothing we can do about 
it. But there is a great deal we can do about the immediate present 
which governs all that we call the future. 

A spiritual realization now produces harmony that can make itself 
evident tomorrow or next year; it can set in morion forces that may 
bring about tangible effects a year from now. The realized truth of 
this instant is preparing the way for our next incarnation and deter- 
mining at what level it will be. If we are satisfied with whatever we 
have achieved during our years here, if we are not concerned with 
anything beyond this lifetime, or if we are convinced that we live 



320 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

only for this earth-span, there is no need to pay attention to any of 
this. 

If, however, our study of spiritual wisdom, our meditation, and out 
contemplation have convinced us that life did not begin at birth and 
that it will not end at what is called death, we must of necessity be 
as much concerned for our life a hundred vears from now as we are 
for our life next year. It is for this reason that we have to come con- 
sciously to a realization of the newness of life because we cannot 
even mold next year, except on the basis of what we are molding 
in this moment of conscious awareness. 

Life is a continuing experience; consciousness is a continuing 
experience; and what we are conscious of now determines the nature, 
state, and degree of our consciousness in all the tomorrows of which 
we may ever dream. We never live in any time other than now; we 
have never lived other than at this moment. Every moment of our 
life has been a "this moment." We cannot live behind it, and we 
cannot live ahead of it: we must live out from it. When we realize 
that the depths of our consciousness and the heights of our spiritual 
attainment are the measure of our peace as we rest and sleep tonight 
and the measure of our health and harmony tomorrow, then ours is 
the responsibility for living every single moment in the conscious- 
ness of now, and the consciousness of that now determines all the 
future "nows." 

The harmony of this month is the product of the depth of our 
spiritual vision of last year, of our hours, days, weeks, and months 
of study, meditation, and preparation. Every moment of last year 
went into whatever degree of harmony we are experiencing this year. 
So it will be unto eternity — not only throughout this lifetime, hut 
throughout all the lifetimes to come. 

It was only because the Master had demonstrated life to be eternal 
and immortal that he was visible to his disciples after the Cruci- 
fixion. His life after the Crucifixion was the product of every moment 
of his life on earth. Whatever he had attained on earth he carried 
with him. The great lesson of the Resurrection, as far as we are con- 
cerned, is that it demonstrated that life goes on beyond the grave. 

The question is: What is the nature of that life beyond the grave. 




BEYOND TIME AND SPACE 321 

To the world, this is a serious problem, and one for which it has no 
answer. No one is certain what form life will take on the next plane 
of experience, whether it will be lived on Cloud Nine, or whether 
it will alternate between heaven and hell. Although the world as a 
whole has not yet arrived at any understanding of that, mysticism 
reveals that our life after the transition will be the result of our life 
before the transition, and that every bit of spiritual awareness that 
we embody on earth is the degree of spiritual awareness with which 
we will begin our new experience, 

A high school graduate with an A and B record needs no fortune- 
teller to predict what his scholastic achievement in college will be. 
It is very likely to be of a high order because the knowledge and 
study habits gained in his high school years will serve as the founda- 
tion upon which to build greater achievements. So it is that the degree 
of our attained spiritual awareness is the degree that carries over with 
us this year, next year, the year after, and eventually beyond the 
point of transition. 

We can accept and prove this only if we can realize that, because 
of our study and meditation in the preceding years, we at this 
moment exist at a certain degree of realized consciousness. Because 
of our willingness to give up some of our material pleasures and 
profits for the development of our Soul — keeping our thought stayed 
on God and dwelling in the secret place of the most High — there 
has been at least some measure of unfoldment of our consciousness. 
And that unfoldment is responsible for whatever degree of harmony, 
peace, happiness, satisfaction, and abundance we are now expressing 
and enjoying. By the grace of God we have given ourselves to the 
attainment of further spiritual light, and we are now in a state of 
consciousness showing forth some spiritual fruitage. 

So it will always be. The health, the success, and the fruitage that 
will come to us this year or the year after can be measured by the 
degree of our attention to our spiritual development. How foolish it 
would be to feel that all wc are doing is making life a little more 
comfortable for ten, twenty, or thirty years, that all this ends at the 
grave, smack up against a tombstone. But that is what we will bring 
to ourselves if we accept that in our thought. 



322 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

Now, now, now are we the children of God, not yesterday or to- 
morrow, only now! Now, "I and my Father are one," and this now 
that we are living is a continuing experience because whatever we are 
now we are infinitely and eternally, and if we are one with the Father 
now, and if all that the Father has is ours now, we have only to live 
in this now. 

According to the clock, it may have been ten minutes ago when 
we first began considering this whole subject of "now," but are we 
living ten minutes ago, or are we living now? And is not that now of 
ten minutes ago the continuing now unto this moment, and are we 
not higher in consciousness now than we were ten minutes ago? Ten 
minutes of now-Hving in the Spirit must bring forth a deeper, richer 
consciousness, and yet, if that living in the consciousness had not 
been started in the now of ten minutes ago, where would we be now, 
ten minutes later? We would be back where we were ten minutes 
ago, but we are not. We have more truth, more awareness, more 
conscious alertness, and that only because we started with what we 
had in the house ten minutes ago, and we have built on that. 

What have we built on? Now! Now! The conscious remembrance 
of what we are now, of who we are now, the conscious remembrance 
of the nature of life, and of law, and of Spirit now. 

It is this realization of the nature of consciousness, the realization 
that consciousness is conscious only now, that helps us in every 
department of our life. As we look out at the trees in the park or in 
our garden, we can see that they are living now. They cannot live 
yesterday, and if there is to be a tomorrow for them, there has to be 
a continuing now. There will be no tomorrow for those trees unless 
it is that of a continuing now. So there is no after-life for anything 01 
anyone except as that after-life is a continuation of now. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate 
us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 8:38, 30 

Neither life nor death can separate us from the consciousness of 
living now, and that is the only moment we should want to live. 







BEYOND TIME AND SPACE 323 

Now is a continuing experience beyond the confines of the flesh. 
Life is expressing Itself now. That takes away the words "I," "y°u," 
"he," and "she" and enables us to move out of finiteness and mor- 
tality into Infinity and Etemality. When we use these personal pro- 
nouns, whether consciously, unconsciously, or subconsciously, our 
thought goes back to the space between the cradle and the grave, to 
birth days and death days. We are attached to that appearance— that 
finite appearance— but if we live in the realization that just as Con- 
sciousness is expressing Itself, so Life is expressing and living Itself, we 
have gone beyond the finite form, and are in Infinity and Etemality. 
As long as we are thinking of our life, our body, and our affairs, 
and how to change or improve them, we are in the parenthesis, in 
finiteness and in limitation. But the moment we can see the whole 
circle, we are not confining Life to the parenthesis. We may be wit- 
nessing It at the point of this particular parenthesis, but at least we 
are witnessing the Life that has no beginning and will have no ending, 
and we are thereby erasing the parenthesis. 

No spiritual truth is true about life as lived in the parenthesis, 
so we have to go beyond the parenthesis and realize that Conscious- 
ness is now revealing Itself as form. If we think of form as the Life, 
however, we are in the parenthesis, but if we see form as Life express- 
ing Itself, It must go on and on forever even if It has to create new 
forms every hour. 

If you and I believe that we are expressing love, we are holding 
ourselves inside the parenthesis. If, on the other hand, we see that 
Love is expressing Itself, Life is manifesting and forming Itself, and 
Consciousness is unfolding and disclosing Itself in infinite form and 
variety, we are lifted out of the parenthesis and moved into Eternity. 
Fternity never ends. Eternity has no past; Eternity has no future; 
Eternity is a continuous now. 

Through meditation we can reach back into that Eternity because 
in meditation we are opening ourselves to Infinity, watching for It to 
express Itself, watching for Consciousness to appear as form, what- 
ever the form may be at the moment. When we are in meditation, 
we are inside of the parenthesis but reaching outside, reaching way 
back into Consciousness so that there may be more of Consciousness, 



324 






A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



more of Life, Love, and Truth expressed in what appears to be the 
parenthesis, but which is rapidly breaking the bounds of the paren- 
thesis. We are sitting in what appears to be finiteness, reaching back 
into Infinity and Eternity. That Eternity is always functioning now, 
it is always now that we are reaching back into Eternity, and this 
makes for a continuity of now. 

As we gain the true concept of what now means and as we live in 
this now, then all of a sudden we awaken to realize that what we 
have been trying to do is to live three lives at one time — past, present, 
and future. We have been thinking of the good of the past and 
thinking of getting more good in the present and the future. All this 
has proved to be merely a way of separating ourselves from God. 
But now is the only time when we are the sons of God; now is the 
only time when I is with us, and that I will never leave us, nor for- 
sake us, I is the bread of life now. 

It all comes back to nowness, living in the now, and not trying to 
hug to ourselves the tatters of what we wore yesterday. If we can 
give up our yesterdays and our tomorrows for a spiritual experience 
that we can have in meditation now, and then continue living in the 
realization that the grace of God is functioning now, we become the 
leaven, until all of human consciousness begins a process of being 
lifted out of the parenthesis. 





CHAPTER XXX 



GOD MADE THIS WORLD FOR MEN 
AND WOMEN 



M 



1 



_^an is a prisoner of his mind. He is locked up inside his mind 
just as a little chick is locked up inside the egg. If it could look 
around inside the shell, it would see only darkness; it might even 
feci a sense of hunger and find no food there, and certainly, above all 
tilings, no companionship. In this lone, tightly locked up shell, that 
little chick must wonder what it has to live for. There is nothing for 
it to be happy about, but on the other hand, there is also nothing to 
be unhappy about: it has never known the world so it does not know 
what it is missing. All it knows is what it is experiencing while 
locked up inside the shell, and yet it does not even know that it is 
locked up inside its shell. 

As far as the chick is concerned, it might stay on there forever, 
living in that darkness. It might even find enough food in the shell 
to keep it alive. It would not really be living: it would be existing, 
and of itself it could no nothing about it. There it is, and it looks as 
if there it is doomed to be. But fortunately for these little chicks, 
there is something beyond themselves, there is something that causes 
a chick to peck at the shell, and to keep pecking and pecking at it 
until it breaks a hole in it and sees some light. 

325 



326 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

Imagine what goes on in a little chick's mind when it begins to 
catch a ray of light from outside, and realizes that there is something 
out there that it has not seen, something it has not felt, some place 
it has not been. It keeps pecking away, and pecking away. It knows 
nothing about an outside world; it has no desire to get out; and 
probably left to itself, it would be satisfied with the comfort of the 
shell in which it is enfolded; but there is a something that eventually 
compels the chick to break open that shell and come outside, and 
find a great big world in which to go looking for food, and other 
chicks with which to play. 

In the first six hours that that chick is out of the shell, it will find 
more new and interesting things than would a child at the foot of a 
Christmas tree on Christmas Day. It is now no longer restricted, no 
longer bound, but is able to look out into the world and see, hear, 
feel, and experience countless things in a great new world. 

Is not the force of nature that pushes the chick out of its shell 
the same force that urges and pushes the unbom child forward and 
out of its mother's womb? It, too, knows nothing of the great outside 
world, and all it learns from the moment of birth is gained from its 
parents, teachers, environment, and experience. Knowledge from 
these sources comes through conditioned minds, and enters a mind 
conditioned by these factors. All that most people know about what 
is going on in this world is known through the limitations of a con- 
ditioned mind. They are living a restricted and limited life: they do 
not know the limitless possibilities of their own being. They are 
living in a shell that we call the skull, thinking only their own 
thoughts, believing only their own concepts, and accepting their own 
limitations. 

It is a stultifying world in which to live, this world of one's mind, 
because that mind knows nothing beyond its own limitations. It 
knows nothing except what it has experienced, or what somebody 
else who may have a very limited concept of the world has told it, 
and so it accepts every kind of belief that is given to it, every law 
of limitation, finally settling down on a little plot of ground about 
thirty by sixty and calling it home, considering itself lucky even to 
have that much. 



GOD MADE THIS WORLD FOR MEN AND WOMEN 



327 



Most persons are on a treadmill: they eat, drink, and sleep; they 
have families; they are living a life of limitation, locked up in their 
minds. In a few, something stirs inside the mind and makes them 
wonder: Is there something beyond this that I know? Is there some- 
thing bevond this that I am seeing with my eyes, or hearing with my 
cars, or thinking with my mind? 

Let us take the blinkers off our eyes and really begin to see the 
trees, plants, and other forms of life on this planet, picture the vast- 
ness of the ocean stretching out to the horizon, look up at some of 
the towering mountains of this world, and see the world beyond the 
mountains, beyond the seas, and watch the moon shining on the 
ocean with its cool beauty, lighting up the mountains, showing us 
something of the vastness of the Infinite; observe the millions of 
stars up in the sky, each one a world, each one telling its own story 
of light, of fire, of its reason for being where it is, and of that which 
caused it to be. Why are they there? What are they doing there? 
What purpose do they serve? 

Suppose that there were no men or women on earth? To what 
purpose would all of this be? To what purpose would there be a sun, 
a moon, and stars; those gigantic trees of all kinds; plants, flowers, 
vegetables, fruits; diamonds in the ground and peai.s in the sea; if 
there were not men and women, if there were not what we know as 
human life on earth, which is not human life at all but divine? 

Once we begin to peck our way through the shell of the human 
mind and look outside, we find that all of this glory is there for yon 
and for me. God has created an illimitable universe, not only for 
birds to fly in the atmosphere and fish to swim in the water, but that 
man should travel, own, and enjoy it— not own it in a sense of having 
title to a little piece of land, but own it in the sense of being a part 
of its beauty and magnificence. If we think in terms of owning even 
a square mile of land, we must see how small that is in comparison 
to the vastness of the world. But when we can look down on the 
panorama that stretches out before us and realize that God made this 
for our enjoyment, the wonder of this universe surges through us. 

Nobody can buy an ocean, and nobody can buy a large enough 
piece of land to feel that he possesses very much of this earth. If 



328 A. PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

only we lift the restrictions imposed upon us by the mind, and, in- 
stead of seeing our own man-made limitations, mind-made limita- 
tions, come out of this ironclad skull and live, not exist by 
circumscribing our lives to eating three meals a day, having a place 
to sleep, or a family to enjoy, we will begin to see that a universe 
such as we have here must have been created by nothing less than 
what we call God. 

To create a universe such as this must have taken the wisdom of 
an infinite Intelligence, of a divine Love— a great love— but a love 
for what or whom? It must have been a love for us that all this has 
been given us to enjoy, not to own or possess, but to enjoy, to be 
grateful that there is a God, a Something, a Spirit that has created 
this great universe and then set us down in it. 

If we compress ourselves inside our skull, we have no more vision 
than the chick that is inside its shell, That is the limit of its world, 
and this skull will be the limit of our world if we permit the petty 
little thoughts that crowd in upon us, the little room, the little town, 
or the big city where we live to shut out the grandeur round about 
us. If we let these "little foxes . . . spoil the vines," we are unable to 
open our minds to an awareness of the divine qualities that exist 
throughout this world, the qualities that exist as the love of men and 
women, not only family love, but the love that is the cement of 
relationships on a world-wide scale, and on a personal as well as an 
impersonal scale. It is a love that is not limited to the few people who 
are around us: it is a sharing of the love of people throughout the 
world. 

How can we be aware of the people in this world? There is only 
one way. We have to peck that shell open; we have to break through 
the limitations of this mind that tries to tell us that there arc only 
the people and the territory around us, and we have to open our 
vision until we are aware of the sun, moon, and stars, the oceans ana 
mountains, and then before we know it, as our vision grows wider 
and wider and wider, we discover that there are lands and countries 
across the sea filled with people. We may not have seen them wit" 
our eyes, but when we stop this limited thinking, based only on what 
we know, we open ourselves to what God knows, the God that 



COD MADE THIS WORLD FOR MEN AND WOMEN 329 

placed us here and that placed all of this here for us; and the God 
within us reveals that there is something beyond our immediate 
environment: there are people beyond, there are joys, glories, and 
experiences beyond this present one. 

It is not necessary to travel the world to experience this expansion 
of consciousness. Once we have opened our consciousness to the 
tremendous universe about us, it begins to come to us. It comes in 
books, in visitors, in new experiences; and it comes in interior revela- 
tions. We would never have to leave our own environment, and yet 
this whole universe could be brought right to our doorsteps. In one 
way or another, we can enjoy art, literature, sciences, inventions, and 
discoveries, as well as people because there are always people traveling 
from country to country so that the joy of meeting them would be 
ours— but only if we have broken through the limitations of the mind 
so that we are not anchored to this finite sense that tells us we are 
restricted to the room in which we are sitting. 

If it could consciously think, the chick would call the shell in 
which it lives its world, but then, when it is out, roaming around 
its barnyard, it unconsciously goes a step further and thinks that this 
new environment is its world. That may forever be the limit of the 
world of the chick, but to us it is not. We are never confined to time 
or space because we are not locked up in our skull: we are not even 
locked up in our body. There is something that acts as a force to 
drive us to look out, to look up, to look around. We would not do 
it but something within us is nudging, pushing, and compelling us 
to look around until we become aware of this immensity all around 
us, of the beauty, harmony, joy, and companionship, of the past, the 
present, and the future. 

Simultaneously with this increased awareness comes introspection 
leading to Soul-searching questions: Why am I on earth? Am I 
reallv living, or am I only existing from one day to another? Is my 
life just a round of going from home to office, or from home to the 
market place? Does my life consist of going from one meal to the 
next, from one night's sleep to the next? Am I really living? Am I 
a part of this wot Id? Was this world meant for me? Was I born to 
hve in a tinv corner of the world, or was this whole world created 



330 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

and given to me? Is not the earth mine? Are not the heavens mine? 
Are we less than Abraham? And did not God say to him, "For all the 
land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever"? 

The higher we climb in an airplane, the further we see; the 
higher we rise in consciousness, the wider and broader will be our 
vision. Soon we will realize that we are not here. We are not here 
even on this limited piece of ground. We have broken through the 
limitations of the skull; we are no longer tied up inside of a skull 
bone; we are not even limited to this body: we are I. 

Now, as we look up and sec ten thousand square miles of sky, ten 
thousand square miles of ocean, and the people of all nations, of 
every quality and quantity, all of a sudden we find that we are I. 
We are out of the shell, out of the skull on a mountaintop of vision, 
and we hear: "All that you can see is yours." See? Not with our eyes! 
All that we can apprehend, all that we can comprehend, all that we 
can discern. Anything that we can envision is ours! 

This world was created for us. The whole earth, the times and the 
tides, are ours. We are heirs to this universe, joint-heirs. We do not 
want title to it, any more than we want title to a two-million-dollai 
painting. It is enough to be given the privilege of going into an art 
museum, filling our Souls, our eyes, and our minds with its beauty, 
and then in the quietness of our homes, reliving the wonder of that 
painting. Our enjoyment of it may be far greater than that of the 
man who paid his two million dollars for it, for he may be too much 
aware of its dollar value and his sense of possession. In that sense of 
possession he is locked up in his pocketbook. To be confined to a 
pocketbook— even a big one— is a dark place to be locked up in, a 
strong prison. 

But what freedom comes when this that is within us forces us to 
go higher and higher in vision, breaking bit by bit out of the skull. 
and more and more realizing the nature of our true identity as I, th e 
offspring of God, the heir of God, joint-heir! There are no limitations 
then to our inheritance, no limitations to our vision, no limitations 
to what we can possess. The whole earth is ours, and the sun, the 
moon, and the stars. How much more could we have if we had legal 
title to them? We would still have to leave them where they & e 
for everybody who did not have title to them to enjoy. 




l 



GOD MADE THIS WORLD FOR MEN AND WOMEN 331 

This that pushes the chick out of the shell, this is pushing us out 
of the shell, out of this limited skull, forcing us to push those skull 
bones away so that we can be free, and be the f that we are. When 
we do this, we realize that wherever we look we are meeting our 
brothers and sisters, wherever we look we are seeing our mother and 
father or our children— everywhere, everywhere. Even the birds, the 
dogs, and the cats come running up to show that they sense that 
they have been recognized by their brother, and they, too, see their 
brother and know as they are known. The vision through which we 
see is the vision that is given back to us. 

There is no limitation, and now we know that there is not even 
the limitation of time. We are not even limited to the century in 
which we live. There, too, is another example of how being locked 
up in those skull bones makes us believe that our life is being lived 
only in this twentieth century. That is such a small part of our life. 
Our life really encompasses all the past and the present, and all of 
the future that we can climb high enough to envision. If only we 
climb high enough in our spiritual vision, we can know this whole 
world for generations to come. It is all here to be seen; it is all here 
to be experienced. 

Nothing new is going to be created tomorrow, not a thing; all 
that was is now, all that ever will be is now; but we have to ascend to 
the mountaintop of vision to behold it, and we arrive at that moun- 
taintop when we have broken through all limitations and know, "I 
am J, the son of God, heir of God, joint-heir to all the heavenly 
riches." Then we walk out on the street, by the sea, up the moun- 
tain, or go flying through the air with no sense of personal possession, 
just a sense of enjoyment of all there is because it is free. 

In the early years of my work, a very prosperous and successful 
businessman came to me for help. He was an extremely busy man 
and claimed that he had no time or money for any kind of relaxation 
or recreation. Morning, noon, and night were spent taking care of 
his possessions. As he studied with me, I would say to him, "Let's 
take this weekend off." 

"Oh no, I can't do that. No, I have to take care of my business." 

"Oh, come, let's enjoy ourselves for a few hours!" 

"No, no; I have appointments." 



332 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

"What are you going to do with all this money? After all, at the 
rate you are going, you will probably drop dead before you get a 
vacation to spend it on." So it was that out of the Spirit it came, 
"Let's look around here, and see if we can't find some things to 
enjoy that don't cost any money. Let's go over to Central Park, stand 
around the lakes, and watch the children with their little boats, and 
the birds in the bird sanctuary." 

So we went to Central Park; another time we sunned ourselves on 
a roof garden; and yet another time we attended a concert. It was 
not long before he began to say, "You know, the best things in life 
really are free." And they are, if we can free ourselves. The world is 
free, but we are not free. 

It is because we are not free that we bind everything with a price 
tag. Originally, the most worthwhile things in life never had price 
tags on them: it is we who placed these on them. God has never 
put a price tag on time, space, or place. God has never put a price 
on mountains, lakes, or oceans, and it is only when we are locked 
up in this skull that we are bound by the limitations that the human 
mind has placed on such things. 

Come out, break through the limitations of your mind, and do not 
believe the signs that you see. Work more with yourself; realize who 
you are. There is no more rewarding experience than to take a day 
off for walking where you can see mountains, lakes, or the sea, and 
if you do not live where these are, you can always look up at the sun, 
moon, and stars, at the flowers and trees. All of this was made for 
the upliftment of our Soul, for the fulfillment of our lives. They 
were given to us so that we might have beauty in our lives, not the 
kind we must pay for, but the beauty that is already present by 
virtue of the fact that God made it before He made man, and then 
He made man to enjoy it. God placed food in the ground and trees 
in the earth; He formed the mountains, the lakes, the seas, the rivers 
and streams, and He did it for us; but it is we who put the beauty 
and the value into these. Everything in this universe is translated 
into its true worth by our inner awareness. 

Men and women are prisoners of their minds, and they see only 
the limitations of their own thinking until they begin to break 



GOD MADE THIS WORLD FOR MEN AND WOMEN 333 

through its barrier and look out at this world, and in observing the 
grandeur of the universe, then realize, "It is all here for me. See what 
God has done for me, to give me this universe to live in and all 
this beauty to enjoy." 

Parents work a lifetime accumulating an estate so that they can 
have the joy of leaving a munificent legacy to their children. How 
much greater God's love must be that He has stored up the secrets 
of mathematics, science, art, literature, music, and all the great 
wisdoms of the world for us, His sons and daughters! Why then do 
we go around bemoaning our fate, fearing some insignificant little 
event or condition, with the great fear of death lurking always in the 
background, as if death could make any difference in our relationship 
with God? Neither life nor death can separate us from the love of 
Cod; neither life nor death can take from us that which God has 
stored up for us— and God has stored up this whole universe. 

Is it not sinful to believe that God stored it up for some particular 
person, family, country, or race? Would we not have to be locked 
up within the confines of a skull to believe that what God has done 
is for some one person or group of persons? It is not for some special 
person or group: it is for everybody capable of accepting it, when 
he can break through this limitation and realize: "I am J; I am the 
offspring of God; I call no man on earth my father. There is but One, 
He that created me in His own image and likeness and made me heir 
to His whole creation." 

If we keep living within the confines of our mind, we are like the 
chick in the shell, and will never be able to encompass the limit- 
less heritage that Abraham was given: "Look, look out! As far as 
your eyes can see, I am giving to you." How far can our eyes see, 
not our physical eyes, but the eyes that look out from the mountain- 
top of spiritual vision? How high can we rise in consciousness to 
realize we are not another kind of chick in a shell, not a man locked 
up in a skull? Let us break open that shell, stop thinking in terms of 
Suite personalities, come out, and realize, "I am J." 

When we are on this mount of vision, we can look down and see 
"Ho the mind, see the nasty little scrawny things that make us do 
the things we do-the limiting things, the evil, selfish, and jealous 



334 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

things. We see these dark places in our mind, and longingly wish, 
"Oh, if I could only break open that shell and come out and realize 
that I am I, and that there is no reason for me to act this way, no 
reason to do this because I am an heir of God." Then when we have 
grown sufficiently beyond and above our little "I"-self, we can look 
out and not be jealous of another's success, but rejoice that another 
soul has opened itself to the vision of its true identity, and come into 
its heritage. 

Only from the spiritual heights can we see that the earth is not 
matter, and that it cannot be divided up into building lots. It makes 
no difference if we are on a small island or a great big continent, we 
are subject to limitation as long as we are living in that skull bone 
called "me." There are persons who are gloriously free, persons who 
have never traveled beyond their small community, but through their 
vision they have brought the wealth of the world and the people of 
the world to them. 

We do not live in time or space: we live in consciousness. We can 
live as big as our consciousness can be, or as small as what can be 
compressed between the bones of the skull, as if all that is taking 
place in there is the world. The less time we spend in our limited 
sense of mind, the better off we will be. 

When we go into meditation, we are not living in the mind with 
our thoughts: we are living in a receptivity to Infinity. That is why 
we do not think our own thoughts in meditation; that is why we do 
not restrict ourselves to what we know; we do not just declare what 
we think, or believe, or what our concept is. When we turn within 
in meditation, it is to realize that the kingdom of God, the Kingdom 
of this whole universe, is within. So our chest expands to include the 
whole of God's universe, and now we can look into that silence and 
darkness and experience His whole wisdom coming to us, His whole 
love, His whole life, His whole companionship flowing forth, because 
now our consciousness is as big as the universe: it is holding the 
whole universe inside of it. 

If we think in terms of our education or lack of it, we are bound 
up in finiteness because no one person could store up enough knowl- 
edge out of books so that it would be equal to one grain of Gods 



GOD MADE THIS WORLD FOR MEN AND WOMEN 335 

wisdom. We have to go beyond all that we know or think we know, 
all that we have learned or think we have learned. We have to go 
beyond that to the infinite Unknown, and until we reach into the 
infinite Unknown, we do not have the limirlessness of God's king- 
dom. The wisdom of God can reveal itself to any individual in the 
world today just as it did to those ancients to whom the laws of 
mathematics and engineering were first revealed, the laws that made 
possible the pyramids, the great temples, and Caesar's roads that are 
:>till being used in Italy and in England, roads that have stood for 
thousands of years. 

The architectural wonders of a bygone world that are unequal ed 
and still stand as marvels today were possible to men because they 
had access to the Wisdom behind the wisdom of man. The only 
way in which they could have accomplished these miraculous things 
was to go back in consciousness into the infinite Unknown, and let 
It declare Itself. Just as the great music, art, literature, and science 
must come through contact with the Source, so must the secrets of 
the universe that are being unlocked to us today be tapped through 
contact with that same Source. 

Why are these great things being revealed to us today? Are they 
not being revealed because man is an heir of God and entitled to 
all that the Father has— all the joy, all the abundance, all the 
infinity, all the life, all the love, and all the wisdom? Man is entitled 
to every bit of it, and it is being revealed unto him for his use, his 
joy, his beauty, that his life may be one of Grace and peace. When 
this is understood, we can then take the next step and realize, "I am 
that man; I am that being for whom all of this has been created." 

To each of us will come whatever fulfills his nature. To me, the 
principles of mathematics and science will not come because that 
would not fulfill my particular nature. To me come the secrets of 
the spiritual universe and of the Soul of men who have lived through- 
out all the ages because that fulfills me. In that, 1 find my joy and 
my companionship; in that, I can tabernacle. But then there are 
others to whom will come the mathematics, the chemistry, the arts 
and sciences because these will fulfill their nature. 

God is infinite, and we are infinite in being. There is an infinity of 




336 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

nature on earth, and each one of us has some part in that nature as 
which we are to be fulfilled. It is all here for us, and we are so great 
in God's eyes that He has stored it up for us, that we may know 
infinite and boundless good. 

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and 
the stars, which thou hast ordained; 

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, 
that thou visitest him? 

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast 
crowned him with glory and honour. 

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; 
thou hast put all things under his feet. . . . Psalm 8:3-6 

The greatest thing on earth is men and women. In them we find 
fulfillment; in them we find God's Soul, full of life, full of love, 
full of joy, full of peace. We can enjoy the magnificence of this uni- 
verse—its mountains, lakes, oceans, stars, sun, and moon; we can 
enjoy good food, comfortable homes, and wholesome recreation, but 
none of these constitutes our real joy. We know real joy only in men 
and women because in them we find the whole of God revealed. The 
whole of God is stored up in us, and all this world is really an 
instrument, a playground of joy, a place of inspiration made for our 
fulfillment 




CHAPTER XXXI 



'THERE REMAINETH A REST' 



0, 



f old it was taught that there should be one day of Sabbath 
each week, a day devoted to worshiping God and living in His word. 
In order to be immersed in the Spirit, this Sabbath was to be kept 
entirely free of all worldly cares and worries. 

The mystical meaning of Sabbath is a resting from power. All 
through the year and throughout our entire life, we resort to material 
and mental forces and powers, and the period in which we rest from 
the use of these forces, thereby experiencing the spiritual Presence, 
is in reality the only Sabbath there is. 

Ideally, there should be at least one entire day in the week set 
aside for such rest, but because of family duties and professional 
responsibilities that is often well-nigh impossible. Everyone can have 
a Sabbath during the day or night, however, even if it is only in ten-, 
fifteen-, or twenty-minute periods. Then, when an occasional day 
tomes along completely free, there is the opportunity of living with 
Hie Bible and other spiritual writings, living in meditation, and thus 
experiencing a full and complete day of spiritual refreshment. 

A Sabbath is only truly a Sabbath if we do not permit the human 
world to come into that period. We must have one purpose alone: 
tf J seek the realization of His presence, His power, and His grace. 

337 



338 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



When we emerge from these periods, usually we find that the 
"things" are added unto us: whatever knowledge we need to carry 
on our business, whatever physical strength or moral support. 

In The Infinite Way no provision is made for specific Sabbath 
periods such as any one day of the week or any one hour of the 
day, nor for rest homes, cl lurches, monasteries, or retreats. In the 
light of spiritual revelation the Sabbath is not so much a specific day 
of the week as it is a specific state of consciousness. Any day of the 
week— Saturday, Sunday, Monday— any day can be a Sabbath. This 
very hour can be our spiritual Sabbath, and again tomorrow morn- 
ing at six o'clock, if we understand that the Sabbath means a 
period of rest from our physical labors, material resources, human 
faith, and more especially a rest from temporal power. 

The true Sabbath is a resting from any power which we know or 
can understand, and in that resting period something takes possession 
of us and renews us. There is no indication anywhere in Scripture 
that on this Sabbath we must sacrifice our thinking capacity, our 
thoughts, or our actions. It is not said that we shall not think 
thoughts, only that we shall not "take thought" for what we shall 
eat, or what we shall drink, or wherewithal we shall be clothed: it is 
pointed out only that there should be spiritual renewal. 

As a matter of fact, even to fast from food for a period makes of 
our particular Sabbath a period of renewal. The holiest Sabbath 
periods are the davs of fasting: fasting from the pleasures of the 
senses, even fasting from the necessities such as eating and sleeping, 
and from those things upon which normally we place reliance. "In 
quietness and in confidence shall be your strength"— in quietness 
and in confidence is the source of strength, in quietness and in 
confidence is the period of spiritual renewal because it is a denial of 
sense, 

Jesus did not teach that we should not eat bread: he said that we 
should not live by bread alone. Jesus did not deny to anyone the 
eating of meat: he said, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 
He did not denv to anyone the partaking of bread, water, or wine: 
he said, "I am the bread of life." 

Those on the mvstical path do not deny the human body: t < 





"there remaineth a rest" 339 
bring spiritual refreshment to it. They bring a food to the body which 
is not a material food, but a spiritual food which produces spiritual 
energy. That spiritual food is obtained through fasting from material 
food and physical activity, even from mental food and mental 
activity, during which period the transcendental Presence permeates 
mind and body, renewing them, so that a person then finds himself 
with greater mental capacities and greater physical capacities than he 
has heretofore known. 

In The Infinite Way there is no denial of the mind or of the body. 
Rather do we let the mind and the body become imbued with the 
Spirit; we let the mind and the body be fed, clothed, and housed by 
the Spirit; we let the Spirit be the resurrection to both mind and 
body; we let the lost years of the locust be restored to us— those years 
of our spiritual barrenness, years in which we were only physical and 
mental beings— in order that our ancient, true Selfhood may be 
revealed. This can be done only through the Spirit, and the Spirit 
can be entertained only through silence, in quietness, confidence, 
and assurance, and in a resting from the physical and the mental 
activities of daily experience. 

Resting from worry and fear; resting from knowing, doing, think- 
ing, and taking thought; resting in stillness, peacefulness, assurance, 
and confidence does not mean that we have to play God. Our only 
function is to be still, to be quiet and at peace. Nothing is expected 
of us, for J, the Spirit of God in us, will perform that which is given 
us to do. 

If we give the first fruits of our time, the first few minutes of 
every hour, to God, sooner or later we shall learn that we can earn 
our living in a shorter number of working hours than heretofore 
seemed necessary. So it is that we do not need to use sixty minutes of 
every hour: we can accomplish more work in fifty-four, -five, -six, or 
-seven minutes than we ever did before in the full sixty minutes, if 
those other minutes are reserved for quiet and spiritual renewal. 
Everyone who has ever lived the spiritual life has discovered that 
when he has given himself wholly to God and dedicated his work to 
God, the quantity of his work is greater and the quality better. 

The bibles of the world are replete with accounts of religious men 



340 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

and women who have at some time or other laid down their persona] 
sense of life and dedicated themselves to God. They have not gone 
hungry, homeless, or friendless, but rather have they prospered. 

The Old Testament prophets experienced intervals of spiritual 
refreshment for as long as forty days and forty nights. It was also the 
custom of the Master to go apart for many hours and have a Sabbath, 
a freedom even from ministering to his disciples, and spend them 
in an inner contemplation of the spiritual universe. There were times 
when he went apart for days and fasted from his labors, fasted even 
from acts of benevolence, and lived wholly and completely in the 
Spirit 

In monasteries and wisdom schools the idea of the Sabbath reached 
a high point of development. Those entering such schools or mon- 
asteries were required to give up all their worldly interests, desires, 
and possessions in order to devote themselves to a lifetime of restin; 
in the atmosphere of God and making themselves subject unto God 

Living in and through God is what we are all striving for, but th 
one great fault to be found with a complete withdrawal from thj 
world is that once the normal, human activities of life are separated 
from the spiritual life we are likely to think that the world of the 
Spirit has no relationship whatsoever to daily life. Under such a 
system the spiritual life is set apart, and in the end rendered value- 
less because unless the Word becomes flesh, that is, unless th 
atmosphere of God can be made a part of daily living— not something 
set apart for those people who desire to retire from human life 
unless the atmosphere of God can really come to embrace the human 
universe and have a part in its functioning, It docs not fulfill Itself. 

All periods of turning from our customary reliances and hopes* 
from our recurring fears and doubts, to an inner stillness in whi> 
there is no power— no power that we know, no power that we ca 
understand, and no power that we can use— are Sabbaths. 

For the laborer in the field, the worker in the factory, or the 
office worker, the Sabbath may be the one day in the week which 
he can dedicate to God, but eventually all of us must leam to 
seize upon short periods of stillness and quietness while about o 
labors, so that out of every block of time there will be one, two, o 





"there remaineth a rest" 341 
three minutes for inner devotion, a time set aside for the eating of 
spiritual bread and spiritual meat. "Labor not for the meat which 
perisheth" is only another way of saying, "Rest and relax from your 
labors for this brief moment." 

Spiritual work, or laboring "not for the meat which perisheth," 
is a resting from mental activities as well as a resting from physical 
activities because spiritual power is not generated by what we know 
with our minds. What we know intellectually leads us to the place 
where we are released from doing and from knowing into that 
moment of listening, and then being filled from within. 

If we have such Sabbath periods and are able to abide in the 
presence of the Lord and be absent from the body, the body of our 
home or the body of our work, be absent from this world and be 
present in the consciousness and Spirit of God, we shall discover 
that when we return to our labors, we carry with us the atmosphere 
of God. By casting our burdens upon the Lord, our labors become 
lighter and our burdens less. His yoke is easy, and when we take 
upon ourselves this yoke of God, it carries the weight of the labor 
and frees us to perform whatever we have to do without worry, 
without fear, and without any feeling of heaviness, any drag, or any 
weariness. 

Our periods of meditation are really our Sabbath periods of inner 
spiritual refreshment and renewal. When they are observed regularly, 
there is no need to set aside one whole day in a week because our 
Sabbath is being observed throughout every day of every week. 
Usually, when we begin with one period of ten or fifteen minutes 
of Sabbath each day or night, that time becomes so important that 
we find it necessary to have three or four such periods. We feel a 
greater hunger for these ten- or fifteen-minute intervals of Sabbath 
than we will ever feel for food. 

The possibility of having a whole day or a weekend once in a 
while, in addition to those periods of meditation, is really worth 
thinking about because only those who have had the experience of 
living for an entire twenty-four hours in nothing but spiritual 
literature, meditation, and Scripture can appreciate what a difference 
this Sabbath can make in one's experience. Being able to live in a 



342 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

piece of beautiful poetry, more especially of a spiritual nature, or in 
some thought-provoking bit of prose brings us into that same holy 
atmosphere in which these writers were living when those gems came 
through. 

All mystics and the founders of the great world religions have had 
periods when they were completely in the Spirit, and in those 
moments they received the highest and most spiritual impartations, 
many of which comprise a great part of the scriptures of the world, 
whether Hebrew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or Moslem. 

There are degrees of awareness of spiritual consciousness. Con- 
sciousness Itself is always at the standpoint of absolute perfect Being, 
but we are not always in a state of absolute awareness. When we are 
abiding in the impartations of truth which have come through the 
great spiritual lights of the world, however, and particularly in those 
hours when we have gone apart from the world, we are living in the 
consciousness of those who brought them forth, and then we actually 
feel ourselves in the very presence of God just as those great seers 
did when they were receiving these impartations. 

The object of a Sabbath is to lay aside the world, that world 
which Jesus said he had overcome. We, too, are to overcome i^ 
even if we overcome it for but fifteen minutes or an hour. Whether 
we give one hour a day, fifteen minutes, or whether we take a full 
Sabbatical day or occasionally a full Sabbatical weekend, we become 
so filled with the Spirit that like spring, it is bursting out all over. 
Then we come down from the mountain into the valley, as Jesus 
did, and heal the sick, comfort the comfortless, feed the hungry, 
and help to lighten the burdens of the world, sharing with others 
some of the Spirit that has been given to us in our Sabbatical period- 

The day will come when every person will have free access to the 
Spirit and the presence of God, and every person will be able t 
walk into that holy sanctuary, the Shekinah, and there tabernacle 
with God in meditation and contemplation. 

Father, 1 am here with Thee for only one purpose: I must kno# 
wlmt Thou art, who Thou art, where Thou art, and why Thou art- 
I must even find out if Thou art, attain some awareness, some c° 



"there remaineth a rest" 



a 



343 

sciousness, that Thou dost exist, and that Thou dost really exist 
within me. I must find some way of linking up Thy Spirit with my 
individual life. 

1 hunger and thirst to know Thee. I must tabernacle with Thee, 
commune with something within myself that is greater than my 
human self, something greater than my human capacity or my 
human goodness or human evil, tabernacle with something in me 
that is divine. If there were not something divine in me, or about 
me, I could not be alive and I must know what this something is. 

Lord, how long can I go on living without knowing Thy 
presence within me? How long can this go on? Am I to live here 
threescore years and ten, twenty, or thirty, and at the end feel that 
I have contributed nothing to this world, nothing to Thy kingdom, 
nothing to Thy people? Why am I on earth? Am I to live a wasted 
life with nothing to show for it at the end but just a living? 

1 would do Thy will if 1 but knew Thy will; I would live the 
spiritual life if I knew how to live it. Now, here in the inner 
sanctuary of my oviti being, cut off from the world, Father, reveal 
Thyself. Reveal Thy will, Thy way, Thy kingdom; reveal Thy pur- 
pose to me. 

As we continue with this kind of meditation, eventually an answer 
will come from within. There will be a period of release, and we will 
feel a quietness and confidence and a complete freedom from this 
world. Then we can go back to our life again because we have had 
our interval of spiritual renewal and peace. 

One day we come to what is the grandest experience that can take 
place in a human life: we lose all desire except the one desire- 
consciously to know God. Now as we go into our meditation, we 
have overcome the world. It is almost like feeling a hand on top of 
our head in a benediction as we pray: 

Let Thy grace be my sufficiency. I ask not for persons, things, or 
conditions: I ask only that I may honestly be able to say that Thy 
grace is my sufficiency, whatever form it may take, fust let me know 
I hy grace, know and fulfill Thy will, sit at Thy feet, tabernacle with 



344 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

Thee, and feel that Thy life is my life. Let me only know that 

wherever 1 am, Thou art; and that wherever Thou art, I am. 

I am at the state of unknowing. Let Thy wisdom be expressed 
through me; let Thy wisdom be my wisdom. Supply the wisdom, 
the energy, and the Grace that 1 may always feel my own nothing- 
ness, and yet feel an eternal and ever-present perfection and com- 
pleteness through Thy grace and Thy wisdom. I have no work to do 
but that which Thou givest me, and 1 have no wisdom with which 
to do it but Thy wisdom, and no power with which to perform it 
but Thy power. Let me always abide in Thee. 

We are not surrendering ourselves to God's will unless we make a 
conscious surrender of ourselves to that Will by disclaiming any will 
of our own: 

I have no will and no desire of my own. Fill me with all that Thou 
art. Fill me with Thy wisdom, Thy might, Thy justice, that 1 may 
have nothing of myself and be nothing of myself, but be the All that 
Thou art. 



What a Sabbath that is! What a fasting that is from the world, 
the things of the world and the people of the world, and how it 
spiritually fills, renews, and rejuvenates us! After that we can come 
down from the mountain into the valley, mingle with and help meet 
the needs of those who are drawn to us, not because of any virtue 
in us but by virtue of the grace of God which now fills us. 

We are in the presence of God any time that we can close our 
eyes to this world and retire into our inner sanctuary. If we have 
these periods of Sabbath, we shall find that as we go out into this 
world we will be a light unto those who are still in the darkness, 
worrying only about this world, a light to those who have not 
learned to tabernacle with God. 



CHAPTER XXXH 



ADDRESS THE WORLD SILENTLY WITH PEACE 



M 



.ore and more, as we follow the mystical path, we become 
spiritual centers, and out from us is projected spiritual light and 
wisdom, the spiritual Presence and Power. Sometimes it is hard for 
beginners to grasp the idea that no one attains spiritual wisdom or 
spiritual light for his own sake, or for any personal benefit that may 
come to him. Whenever spiritual light comes to a person, he is called 
upon for that light, and from those who have the most, of them is 
the most expected. 

It is almost unthinkable that Moses could have gone away to live 
the rest of his life by himself after he had received his illumination 
on the mountain. How could Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jesus, John, and 
Paul have hidden their spiritual light under a bushel basket, or gone 
away to a cave somewhere or a mountain retreat, and lived this 
spiritual life unto themselves? 

This is true also of those who are lesser lights. Every grain of 
spiritual light that we attain is meant, not for ourselves, but that it 
may be used for the benefit of human consciousness in general, until 
''urrtan consciousness is entirely dissolved, and nothing remains but 
t" a t mind which was also in Christ Jesus. It might seem that the 

345 



346 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

light an individual receives dissolves some of the grosser conscious- 

ness of his own being, but that is not true, because no one, of him- 

self, has any mortal consciousness. All the mortal consciousness there 

is, is the universal sense of separation from God, which is a universal 

hypnotism. 

Every bit of light that any person receives, therefore, dissolves 
some measure of that human, mortal, or carnal mind, some measure 
of the vast human illusion of which material sense consists. This dis- 
solution of material sense can be observed in our own experience or 
in that of our family as these spiritual principles solve some problem 
for us or remove some undesirable trait or negative experience. 

As we take each principle of truth and apply it to the working 
out of some personal problem, and as we attain enough light so that 
the particular problem is met, we will find that thereafter we wil! be 
called upon, day after day, to share our understanding and to apply 
the wisdom given us to the problems of others. We may wonder how 
our friends know that we have this light, and humanly they do not 
know: it is only that spiritually they have discerned the direction 
toward which the)' can turn for help. 

The demands made upon us will become greater and greater, as 
our spiritual light and wisdom increase, until eventually we discover 
that we are not only more aware of the problems of the world, but 
we are also beginning to apply our understanding of truth to them. 
Then we will observe how quickly the light that we have received is 
beginning to dispel the darkness of the wider circle of humanity. 
In our early experience there are practitioners and teachers to 
whom we can turn, and they usually solve most of our problems' 
for us. This is but a temporary relationship because the time comes 
when we begin to meet our own problems through our own under- 
standing, and turn to someone for help only when we are faced with 
a problem that does not yield to our present understanding. Then, 
of course, we have every right to seek the help of those who have 
attained some deeper realization of truth, and who have gone a step 
further on the Path. As we continue, however, we find ourselves ask- 
ing less and less help of others, more and more able to solve our 
own problems, and also able to help those in out immediate environ- 






ADDRESS THE WORLD SILENTLY WITH PEACE 347 

ment, and eventually we begin to work spiritually with the problems 
of the world. 

All the help that we can ever be to anyone, any group, or to the 
world is in direct proportion to our understanding of the spiritual 
principles with which we are working, and to the degree of spiritual 
consciousness we have attained. Ours is the responsibility to study, to 
meditate, and to do all that is necessary to bring greater light to our 
individual consciousness, not for our own sake alone, but that this 
light which touches our consciousness may flow forth to the world 
and benefit it, that we may become a center from which goes out this 
light of healing, regeneration, blessing, peace, comfort, and especially 
forgiving. 

How few of us realize the importance of the forgiving conscious- 
ness! Does not everyone carry with him the memory of some sin of 
omission or commission which, if he could, he would recall or undo? 
Do we not all have at least some small feeling of guilt? Are we not 
always hoping for our own forgiveness and trying to forgive ourselves, 
and often finding that very hard to do? That is why it is so necessary 
that each one of us develops the forgivingness side of his conscious- 
ness, so that everyone who comes to us may feel a complete absence 
of judgment, criticism, or condemnation. 

We do not go about telling anyone that we do not condemn him. 
We would hardly say to another, "I know that underneath, you are 
as much of a sinner as I am." We do not express this audibly: we 
know it, and we know that just as we wish to be relieved of our sins 
of omission and commission, so do we know that everyone else does. 
Above all other things, it behooves us to develop within ourselves a 
consciousness that inwardly, silently, and sacredly — not outwardly in 
speech — can say to our relatives and neighbors, "There is no judg- 
ment upon you; there is no memory of the past: there is only the 
understanding of this moment." This was the attitude shown forth 
by the Master when he forgave the woman taken in adultery, and 
when he said to the thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with me 
in paradise." 

Sin has a far deeper meaning than the commonly accepted con- 
cept of it. Sin is not only lying, stealing, cheating, bearing false wit- 



348 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



ness, committing adultery and murder; sin also includes those minor 
ignorances into which we were all born: the human judgments and 
inhibitions, the human fears and superstitions. The forgiving con- 
sciousness dissolves all of this. 

Anyone who can realize that the errors of his life have all been 
brought about by ignorance, superstition, and fear can easily de- 
velop a forgiving consciousness. That kind of a consciousness is a 
healing consciousness because it understands the nature of the uni- 
versal fears, superstitions, and ignorance. It lives always in that at- 
mosphere of releasing everyone from his hidden fears and hidden 
sins, whether of omission or commission, all of which are not per- 
sonal, hut the result of a universal sense of condemnation. 

Fot what I would, that do I not; hut what I hate, that do I. 

Romans 7:15 

In this statement Paul recognized that there was nothing personal 
about sin. Sin becomes a part of our experience only because it is a 
part of the universal ignorance of human consciousness; and then in 
some weak moment we indulge the very things that later we regret, 
most of them minor, but occasionally something of a major nature. 
What a blessing it is, when faced with a sense of guilt, to come into 
the presence of a person whose mind is not filled with criticism, 
judgment, and condemnation, but who understands, forgives and 
forgives, and whose gentleness is such that no thought enters his 
mind of any harsh nature! 

This is having that mind which was in Christ Jesus, and as we rise 
to that state of consciousness, everyone who comes within range of 
our consciousness feels what the world calls love. Forgiveness is an 
attribute of love; understanding is an attribute of love; and above all r 
understanding the universal nature of the evils of the world is love. 
To understand is to forgive; to forgive is to love our neighbor as our- 
selves. 

When we understand the impersonal, universal nature of evil, we 
will understand the spiritual nature of individual being, and why, 
in spite of those things that outwardly appear to be our faults, we are 
forever and always the temple of God. We will understand why it is 



. 



ADDRESS THE WORLD SILENTLY WITH PEACE 349 

that these faults are not ours, but the universal hypnotism, and that 
our real nature is a center from which emanates God's grace and 
God's love, a very center of peace and harmony. This inner peace can 
come to us only when we have released mankind from its faults, our 
neighbor from responsibility for his past, and our friends and rela- 
tives from our condemnation: "Go thy way in peace. Thou, too, art 
the child of God; thou, too, art the temple of the living God " 

On every hand mankind is gripped by fear in the face of nerve- 
shattering world conditions, and those of us who have been able, 
even in a measure, to see the unreal nature of the evil rampant in the 
world have not only the responsibility of releasing people from their 
fears, but, in releasing them from their fears, preventing the greater 
tragedy that their fears may bring upon them. People do not fear 
because they are cowards: they fear because they are gripped by a 
universal hypnotism that makes them act in ways foreign to their 
own nature. It is mass hysteria, having its foundation in ignorance. 

All world affairs eventually will be subject unto the influence of 
the Divine through the prayer that God's grace is sufficient unto this 
world. We do not pray to God for victory or that our enemies may 
be destroyed. We abide in the will and the way of God. We do not 
make the mistake of trying to channel God to do our will: we pray 
that the Spirit of God flow through us and bring justice to earth, not 
in accord with our concept of it, but in accord with the divine idea 
of justice; we tune in to God in the realization that if we make this 
contact and God is on the scene, there will be equity, mercy, har- 
mony, peace, and all the divine qualities made manifest equallv 
everywhere. We do not let the conditioned mind determine what 
we hope God will do, or how He will do it: we approach God with 
an unconditioned mind: 

Thy grace is my sufficiency. Thy grace is the sufficiency unto this 
universe. Let It take form as It will. 

The Word becomes flesh. All that concerns us is to hear the Word, 
and then let that Word become flesh, not outlining what form It 
">IiouId take. Let us never go to God with any thought of victory over 



350 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



anything or anyone. Victory always implies a right and a wrong; it 
means a winner and a loser, and there cannot be winners in God, 
nor can there be losers. There cannot be a right in God or a wrong 
in God: there can be only Spirit, spiritual Grace, and spiritual har- 
mony, and this not in accord with man's opinion. 

The questions knocking at the consciousness of all those who, to a 
degree, are living in the circle of eternity, and who are thereby living 
according to the two great Commandments, are: How can we ex- 
press our love for our fellow man in a concrete way? How can we 
help to allay these fears and quiet this mass hysteria? 

First, and above all things, we must withhold judgment and under- 
stand that people are not responsible for their fears: they are victims 
of a mass hypnotism. After we have done that, we can turn to the 
specific truth of Scripture which reveals that God is the life of man, 
the life of the universe, eternal and immortal life. Whatever life we 
have, then, is the life that was given us of God, and it must be God's 
life that is our life— divine, spiritual, immortal, and eternal Life. Do 
we, therefore, have any other life but that which was given to us of 
God, our Father? 

What a release from all fear would come to us once we could 
realize that God constitutes our life eternal, that the Father's life is 
our only life, that we have no life of our own to lose, that we have 
never had any life but the life of God, that the very Spirit of God 
dwells in our being, even in our body, and that our body is the 
temple of the living God! 

Disease has no power of survival in our body once we are able to 
discern that we have no life of our own. God constitutes the very 
breath of our being, the very life of our being. The belief of age and 
limitation has no power when we see that our life did not come into 
being fifty, sixty, or seventy years ago, but that the life that came into 
expression then is the immortal life that came forth from the Foun- 
tain of Life. God breathed into us His life— not your life or mine, but 
His life — and His life is my life and your life, and His life is immortal 
life and eternal life, and you and I are the temple of that Life: 

Thank You, Father. I had no life of my own to begin with, and 



ADDRESS THE WORLD SILENTLY WITH PEACE 351 

have no life of my own that can come to an end. The life that I have 
been given is Your life, the life of the spiritual son of God. 

As we abide in that Word and let that Word abide in us, as we 
consciously entertain this truth, we become aware of the effect that 
it has on our mind and body. To understand that the life of God is 
animating us is to "die" to the belief that we have a life of our own, 
and that it even has an age attached to it. 

ft will not be long before we feel the magical effects of this truth 
in our mind and in our body, and as we continue to dwell in the 
Word, quickly we will begin to realize that this is a universal truth. 
Silently and secretly, we shall find ourselves looking at every mem- 
ber of our household and rejoicing in the truth: "I know thee now 
who thou art. The life of God is your life; the Christ-life is your 
life"; and soon there will be changes in the mind and in the body 
of everyone around us. 

Now we are becoming the center from which this light is flowing, 
the center through which forgiveness, understanding, and truth will 
begin to pour. Then, as we read or learn of this mass hysteria, whether 
it is some epidemic going its rounds or whether it is long-range mis- 
siles or bomb-proof shelters — whatever it may be — we will be so at 
peace within ourselves that as we see our friends succumbing to this 
hysteria, within ourselves we will say, "Thank God, I know that you 
have life eternal, and whether you know it or not, I know that your 
life is not in danger, I know that not even your body is in danger, 
for your body is the temple of the living God." The peace that flows 
out from us will be felt throughout the whole community, and as it 
flows from community to community, the day will come when this 
hysteria will end. 

Peace must begin somewhere, and it must begin with one in- 
dividual. Spiritual light has always entered consciousness through 
one individual so permeated with truth that a dozen disciples here, 
or a half dozen there, have caught hold of it, and then from them 
come the fifty, the two hundred, and the two thousand. No one can 
be the light of the world: he can be only the light that sparks the 
light in others until it spreads around the world. So it is that we be- 



352 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

come that one in our household, that one in our neighborhood, and 
depending on the depth and degree of our own love, we can become* 
the one to a whole nation or a group of nations. Why not? It always 
begins with one. 

We can be that one; we can be that light in the measure of our 
understanding; but if we do not perceive that the God that is om 
life and the life of every individual is the same God that was the life 
of Jesus Christ, we can have no part in bringing peace to this troubled 
and fearful world. 

Are not all death and destruction based on the belief that each one 
has a life of his own, a life that can terminate at some particular 
moment? But there is only one Life, one Father, one Creator, one 
creative Principle, and this One has breathed into us that Life which 
is eternal and immortal. How could any weapon destroy that Life? 
Once we can really see this, we become, not only the light unto our 
world, but the life unto our world. We resurrect our neighbor from 
the tomb of the belief that he has a life of his own and that it is in 
danger. We become the source of the peace that passes understand- 
ing; we become the source of forgiveness; we become the comforter, 
None of us was born just for the purpose of living threescore years 
and ten, twenty, or thirty, accomplishing something for ourselves 
or for our families, and then dying. None of us was born to attain 
name or fame, except such as comes to us as a part of God's glory. 
We were all born to show forth God's glory, and the only reason we 
exist is to show forth God's life on earth, His eternal and immortal 
life. When we really know that, deep down inside, we are virtually 
addressing it to every member of our household, but if we are wise, 
we do this silently, sacredly, secretly. 

The prayers that we pray in secret are the prayers that are answered 
openly. The truth that we address to another which has for its main 
purpose letting the world be made aware of how much truth we 
know is so much wasted truth. It is a waste to those to whom it is 
addressed and, furthermore, it deprives us of the benefit of it because 
we ourselves lose a little in giving it where it is not wanted. 

There is only one time when truth should be voiced, and that is 
when truth goes out from a spiritual teacher to an open and receptive 







ADDRESS THE WORLD SILENTLY WITH PEACE 353 

consciousness. Then it goes out in a circle and comes back because 
there is that spiritual bond between teacher and student. Teaching 
truth to the masses serves no purpose, but when seekers bring them- 
selves to a spiritual message or teacher, they are receptive and re- 
sponsive, and the message that comes through is a blessing to them 
and to the teacher. When we find someone eager to hear and to learn, 
then we share openly whatever we have learned: otherwise we pray 
silently, secretly, and sacredly, and these truths that we know within 
ourselves are received by those who could not receive them con- 
sciously, but who can receive them because of the spiritual bond that 
exists among all children of God. 

Within ourselves we can know the truth about everyone in our 
household : 

You are the child of God; you are the temple of the living God. 
God is your life, your Soul, your being, your mind; and even your 
body is the temple of the living God. 

We know this truth silently and sacredly, voicing it audibly only to 
those who ask and seek it, those who welcome it. 

Then, as we leave our household, we remember that in order to 
love our neighbor as ourselves, we must know this truth about every 
neighbor, friendly neighbor and enemy neighbor, nearby neighbor 
and neighbor ten thousand miles away: 

You are the Christ, the son of the living God. The Christ-life is 
your immortal and eternal life. The life of the Father is the life of 
all mankind. 

Such a realization may touch those in high places and in low places, 
in every kind of place, and may awaken them in the measure of their 
readiness. 

Our responsibility in life is to be a center of light, to be the light 
of the world, and so to permeate ourselves with truth throughout 
our waking hours that it circulates in our consciousness even when 
we are asleep. Our spiritual being never sleeps, and anyone who 




354 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

reaches out to us finds this truth awaiting him, even while our 
physical senses are at rest. Our consciousness rests in action, but we 
spark it by the fact that our last thought at night is one of spiritual 
truth, a welcome to anyone in the world, anywhere, any time, to 
reach out to our consciousness to find the blessing of the truth we 
have known before we dropped off to sleep. 

Every time that we consciously remember that the only life there 
is on earth is the life of God, we are helping to allay fear, we are 
helping to restore the peace that passes understanding. Until peace 
has been established in our innermost being, there will be no domestic 
or world peace. Only when peace shall have been established in the 
minds and hearts of mankind will peace be restored nationally and 
internationally. 

At some period of each day, we must face out toward the world 
and remember: 



ADDRESS THE WORLD SILENTLY WITH PEACE 355 

Soul, and in some measure lightens his burden, sometimes freeing 
him from sin, disease, and false appetites. 

As we unite with the Source of life and let It have Its will, Its 
rule and reign on earth as it is in heaven, wherever there is a receptive 
thought, wherever there is an individual who may be saying, "Oh, 
God, God, God, help me! Is there something beyond the human?" 
that Soul will be touched by the Spirit of God that is upon us. We 
thereby unknowingly become transparencies through which this light 
flows to a world full of darkness, sin, ignorance, poverty, and bond- 
age. To be the instrument through which God's grace may touch all 
human consciousness and enlighten and awaken it that all mankind 
may be free— this is living the mystical life. 



Lo, I am with you always. I am the life divine; I am eternal life. 
I am with you always. 



As we thus address our household, our neighborhood, and then go 
to the window and address the world, we will be the light of the 
world. 

When the grace of God is received in your consciousness and 
mine, it is not a static and limited something embodied somewhere 
within our frame: it is a light that permeates us and flows out through 
us and from us; and inasmuch as there are no barriers to the activity 
of Spirit, this light which we have received as the result of our union 
with our Source flows out through the walls and windows of oui 
homes into the world and becomes a leaven wherever an individual 
is raising his thought to God, regardless of what concept of God he 
may entertain. Whether he be in a hospital or in a prison, whether 
he be walking the earth free or be living in some nation where he is 
in slavery, if he is lifting his thought above human power, to what- 
ever may be his concept of the Divine, the light which goes out from 
us and through us because of our meditation reaches that receptive 












CHAPTER XXXIII 



THE INNER UNIVERSE 



F 

J— I very spiritual aspiration, every effort in the direction of God- 
realization, is a step forward out of the parenthesis into the full and 
complete circle of eternity. As we sow, so shall we reap, and if today 
we are sowing to the spiritual awareness of life, the parenthesis is 
becoming fainter and fainter. But if we are sowing only to physical 
comfort — health, wealth, and position — is it not inevitable that we 
will remain imprisoned in the parenthesis, reaping both material 
good and material evil? 

Our primary concern, therefore, is with the sowing of this present 
moment, and that has nothing to do with anyone else. There is no 
one who can help and no one who can impede our spiritual progress. 
We determine to what extent we will dedicate ourselves to the 
spiritual path; we determine how seriously we will devote ourselves 
to this Way. If we are devoting ourselves to an inner spiritual prac- 
tice, no one can interfere with it because no one knows that it is 
going on. 

It makes no difference what violent objections to this way of life 
we may encounter in our home, in our business, school, or social life. 
Nobody knows what is going on in our mind because we are praying 
in secret; we are living in an interior world, an interior universe. 



THE INNER UNIVERSE 357 

This is a secret life that we are living, this mystical life, and it does 
not serve any purpose to violate that secrecy by telling others about 
it, more especially those who have no interest in it. 

'in this moment we can leave our family outside— father, mother, 
sister, brother, husband, wife-leave all to enter the Christ-Spirit. 
Life is so completely individual that, for the time being, we can 
forget that there is anybody else in the world but ourselves. We can 
forget any obligation or duty we may have to others; we can forget 
our past, whether it is good, bad, or indifferent, and even if we are 
not fully able to do so, we can try to forget the future in the realiza- 
tion that we are creating our future: our tomorrows are determined 
by what we do today. 

The Christ-Spirit is right here where you are and where I am. 
This presence of the Christ is in the midst of our own being. It is 
filling our consciousness. We do not have to reach out for It; we do 
not have to think: all we have to do is to be still, and let It talk to us 
from within our own being. 

The kingdom of God is within us. Within our very own being is the 
kingdom of Love. If it is love that seems to be lacking in our ex- 
perience, we do not look outside our own being for it, for even if we 
seem to find it, we will be disappointed. All we have to do to find 
love is to turn to this great spiritual realm that is within us, and 
there divine Love has Its abode. 

Go within yourself, rest there, and acknowledge Its presence, pray 
that It reveal" Itself to you, invite It to now out from you, and then 
give action and expression to It by letting that love pour out to your 
friends and your enemies, to your nation's friends and your nation's 
enemies, to men of good will and men of evil will. Open your heart, 
embracing the whole world, and say to yourself, "Love, flow out: 
flow out to the saints to support them in their activity; flow out to the 
sinners to cleanse and purify them; flow out to the tyrants to soften 
and give them mercy and justice." 

If you seem to lack wisdom, turn within, remembering that the 
nature of God is infinite intelligence, and infinite intelligence is in 
that kingdom of God within. If you need wisdom, pray that the 
wisdom already locked up within your being as the grace of God be 



556 



358 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

made manifest to you in proportion to your need of it. Seek wisdom 
but seek it within yourself. Pray for it. If your need at this moment 
is for guidance, turn within. Do not seek the guidance of "man, whose 
breath is in his nostrils." Turn to the one place where infinite intelli- 
gence and loving guidance await you, the kingdom of God. 

Freedom— seek your freedom from within : do not seek your free- 
dom in the externals. It makes no difference whether it is a govern- 
ment or a church that would shackle, whether it is a sick body, sin 
or fear, turn within and you will find that freedom is a quality of 
God, and it, as every quality of God, is already locked up within you. 
When you achieve the demonstration of freedom from within 
you will experience it in the without; but be sure that when you in- 
vite freedom to come forth, you are also willing to give freedom to 
those you are holding in bondage. Even if you are holding them in 
bondage to the belief that they are human beings, give them their 
freedom. Recognize that nobody is a human being, but that God sits 
m the midst of every individual, past, present, and future, so-called 
hvmg, soolled dead, and so-called unborn. You cannot have free- 
dom unless you first give freedom. You cannot have love unless you 
first give love. You can have only what you are willing to give: what 
you hold on to you lose— that is a spiritual law. 

You can never get supply spiritually or in any other way. Supply 
is an activity of God; supply is the gift of God; supply is that which 
is embodied and embraced within God, and God is in the midst of 
you. Therefore, an infinity of supply lies within you, but if you let 
your vision stray outside to the husband or wife who may seem to be 
the channel, to the position, the business, or the securities that may 
seem to be the avenue, you may be lost, for everyone on earth has 
found sometime or other that all outside reliances collapse. 

Whether you think of supply in terms of a supply of love, of home 
and companionship, a supply of opportunity and recognition, a supply 
of money, compensation, or reward, the supply is within you and 
must flow out from you, and you must live your realization of its 
omnipresence by beginning with a penny, if necessary, and giving it 
to some impersonal purpose. Supply is omnipresent within you- 
supply will never leave you, nor forsake you. You can never go any 




THE INNER UNIVERSE 



359 




place where supply is not. You cany it with you just as you carry 
your integrity, your loyalty, and your fidelity. You cannot leave it 
behind because supply is spiritual : it is your awareness of God in the 
midst of you to be proved by beginning at once to give, share, and 
express it. 

If necessary, you have to give forgiveness: you have to sit down 
and search your thought and see what or whom there is on the face 
of the globe that you are holding in condemnation, criticism, or 
judgment, and forgive it or them. Forgive, forgive. 

God is infinite being, and God is the infinity of your individual 
being. Demonstrate this, prove it. Begin, in whatever way is open to 
you at this second, to let God's grace flow out from you. Do not pray 
that God's grace come to you: open out a way to let God's grace 
flow from you. 

There is a Presence within you that goes before you to "make the 
crooked places straight," Your realization of It releases It. There is a 
cement within you that cements your relationships with everybody in 
the whole world: your realization of that releases it. 

This world is governed from within. This world, this outer world, 
is governed from within. No flower blooms except by virtue of an 
invisible activity. An invisible activity draws from the earth into the 
roots, and sends that which is drawn in up into the branches and 
out into the shoots that finally become the blossoms and the fruit. 

There is an interior bond between you and God that makes it 
possible for God to send you where you will find whatever you need: 
the truth, the employment, the human relationships. The power is 
within you, and it is invisible. 

What you behold in this world consists of effects, but there is not 
anything that you can behold that is not the result of an inner 
activity. You release this inner activity which goes out into the world 
invisibly and then produces visible fruitage. To abide in the Word 
is an invisible procedure. You cannot live in God externally; you 
cannot live in the Word externally: you must live in the Christ in- 
ternally; you must let the Christ-word abide in you internally; and 
then you will bear fruit richly externally. 

This world is invisible. The effects of it become visible— the fruit- 






360 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



age and the harmonies — but the Cause, the Law, the Creator, the 
Activity, and the Substance are invisible. They are part of an invisible 
universe, and thanks be to God, that invisible universe is locked up 
within you. The Kingdom, the invisible Kingdom which is the source 
of the visible universe, is within you. You release the forces that bless 
you, and in your ignorance you release the forces that curse you. But 
the kingdom of God, the whole of God's creation, is within you. 

This is an invisible world. Human beings live only on the exterior 
fringe of life, and that is why they find little or no satisfaction. In 
childhood they gain a momentary pleasure from their toys, and then 
they smash them: they are no longer useful, no longer satisfying, so 
they are broken, and another toy has to be found, and another and 
another. Then man finds a game, and then a business, and sometimes 
he finds a church, but nearly everything he finds is in the exterior 
world. He lives on the surface of it, and he gets a little pleasure out 
of it, a little joy, and perhaps a little profit, and then because it does 
not bring lasting satisfaction, he wants to break it up. Nothing in the 
exterior will ever satisfy, but when we learn to let the Invisible flow 
out and release Itself through us, It appears as fruitage of which we 
never tire. 

The kingdom of God, the whole Source and Fount of this world, 
is within you, and it is this invisible world, so beautiful, so satisfying, 
and so complete, that appears as outer fruitage, as food, clothing, 
home, human relationships, marriage, or whatever it is that is needed. 
Then you never weary of it; you never tire of it: it is always joyous. 
You pass from glory to glory because, in this mystical life, you no 
longer hold on to form. You find joy in this city or that; you find 
companionship in this person or that; you find truth in this religion 
or that; you find peace in this church or that. You find them because 
you did not seek them in external forms, but released them from 
within your own being, and then they appeared outwardly as infinite, 
eternal, joyous, and satisfying forms. 

This world within has been called a mystical world, and the life 
that flows from it, a monastic life. Many persons have misunderstood 
these terms, and they think of the mystic and the mystical as some- 
thing mysterious, or of the monastic life as entering a monastery or 
a convent, bottling oneself up away from society, thereby avoiding 




THE INNER UNIVERSE 361 

labor and removing all temptation to sin. Is it not foolish? Some of 
the hardest workers in the world are in monasteries and convents, 
and if they did not lose their sense of sin before entering upon this 
life, they carried their sin with them right into the monastery and 
convent. You cannot bottle yourself up in any place where you will 
not find some measure of loneliness, sinfulness, lack and limitation— 
if these are in you. 

The mystical life is the life you live when you recognize that the 
invisible Presence within you is the reality, and that It forms the 
joys of your outer experience. When you find the source and sub- 
stance of your joy, prosperity, happiness, wisdom, and love within 
you, and then automatically find it developing into fruitage in the 
without, you are living the mystical life which often results in living 
the monastic life. 

In the monastic life, you live within, where you find your com- 
pleteness in God, and where you discover that you do not need 
anyone or anything because you have found Self-completeness in 
God. You draw to yourself worthwhile companions, understanding 
and loving relatives, capable and honest business associates, because 
the monastic life bears fruitage on the outer plane in harmony and 
all forms of good. 

You are living the monastic life when you are in the business 
world, even if you are surrounded by a thousand people, because 
within, you are living as one with the Father. You are living the 
monastic life when you are married if you have found your Self- 
completeness within, and then share it with your companion without. 
You are not living the monastic life if you are dependent on parents, 
wife, husband, or children, and cannot find your peace without them. 
You have not found the monastic life if, out in the business world, 
you are placing your dependence on person, influence, power, or 

money. 

The monastic life is a life of Self-completeness. You can lead the 
monastic life while living in the midst of a busy city or alone on a 
desert because you have found your Self-completeness within, and 
yet that Self -com pie ten ess you have discovered within, you share 
with others. That is the true monastic life. 

You do not have to live separate and apart from your family or 



362 



A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 



your business; you do not have to be separate and apart from this 
world. You can hold political office, and still lead the monastic life, 
if you have inner integrity, and bring to that political life the in- 
tegrity of your inner life. 

The greatest, the most satisfying, rewarding place in all of this 
world is within you. There you can tabernacle with the Spirit of 
God in you. And do not be surprised if in that temple within your- 
self you meet the saints and the sages of all times, for these saints 
and sages are only spiritual consciousness at different levels, and you 
must expect to meet spiritual consciousness within yourself at many 
levels. When you make your contact with God within, you find 
fulfillment, for it is by what takes place within that you establish 
your outer life, and the degree, intensity, quality, and quantity of 
the without. 

Living in the interior world ensures a perfect balance to life. If 
you live wholly on the outer plane, everything with which you come 
in contact ultimately becomes just a toy that either breaks of its 
own weakness or that you yourself break. If, however, you live part 
of your time in this interior world, tabernacling in the kingdom of 
God, communing with the inner Presence, you will then find that 
that inner substance you have released will appear outwardly as a 
successful day, a protected day, a day in which you can bless those 
with whom you associate. 

Of your own self you can bless nobody. You are of no value to 
anyone except in the measure of your contact with the Spirit within. 
As you draw on the kingdom of God within you, it has a way of 
satisfying all those who come to you. It becomes meat and drink, 
opportunity, supply, home, happiness, and joy. 

The springs of water within bubble up into life eternal, and it is 
water you can draw without a bucket. How? By living an interior 
life, by realizing that the Substance of all form is within, and then 
by going in and being with It, praying with It, living with It, and 
releasing It. 

You have meat that the world knows not of, but you must go 
within to find it, to share, experience, and release it. "I am the 
bread of life." Why struggle so hard for bread? Why fight for it, 






THE INNER UNIVERSE 363 

sometimes lie, cheat, and deceive for it? Why? You need not fight. 
All good is within you, but if you do not go within, if you do not 
learn to spend a little more time there, if you cannot find there a 
peace, a joy, it will not appear outwardly, and you will walk through 
this world, with nothing to give anyone. 

If you have quantities of money and give of it, the world may hate 
you for it. If you forgive those who have wronged you and tell them 
so, they will hate you because they wronged you. You have nothing 
to give humanly— no one has, not even Jesus Christ himself had. 
But as you spend time with your Father within, God's grace within 
you can flow out, and you can share abundantly with all who are a 
part of your experience. God's grace is equal to any demand that can 
be made upon it. No demand upon you can be too great when you 
have divine Grace upon which to draw. 

The interior world, the world within you, is the world of Reality. 
Externally, you find only forms, hollow forms, if you have not first 
gone within to make contact with the Father. The promise is, "I 
will never leave you, nor forsake you." What good is that to you 
if you do not go inside and meet that I? 1 is there in the midst of 
you; I is mighty in the midst of you. But what good is that to you if 
you will not go in and get acquainted with that I? 

You must have periods day and night when you go within to meet 
God. But because for centuries He has been hidden under layers 
of humanhood, centuries in which man has been walking up and 
down the world, living on the edge, the outside of the world, living 
for the externals, the first few times you go within you may not 
meet Him. With patience, however, eventually you will. 

There is probably a thick crust of self between you and the I that 
is within you. Be patient: knock, and it will be opened unto you; 
ask, and it will be given to you— but go within and knock, go within 
and ask, "Father, reveal Thyself." Learn to go within because the 
whole kingdom of Reality is locked up deep inside of you; the whole 
of the Christ is embodied within you. It is not walking the streets 
of Jerusalem, although I will say to you, that if you walk the streets 
of Jerusalem with sufficient humility, you will feel It there. You can 
walk the streets of Damascus and feel Paul walking right beside you. 



364 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

In that great rush of mass humanity that today walks the street 
called Straight, where Paul walked, you can actually feel Paul's 
presence. 

The Spirit of God is within you, but how are you going to meet It 
if you play around on the surface of the world with toys and baubles? 
Go within and meet the Christ which is the Spirit of God individual- 
ized. This Spirit of God was the intelligence and the love of Lao- 
tse; It was al] that went to make up Gautama the Buddha; It was the 
life, heart, and soul of Jesus. 

The message of Jesus Christ has given It to the world in words so 
plain that you cannot miss It. You cannot miss It if you once catch 
a glimpse of the truth that he is revealing an interior kingdom, an 
interior world that is more real than the exterior one. The interior 
world cannot be destroyed, and even if a bomb were released that 
destroyed this whole earth, there would still be as much of God as 
there was before. When there were only a few million people on 
earth, was there less of God than there is now with three billion? 
Will there be more of God next year when there are an additional 
one hundred fifty million on earth? Is not God always present in 
Its completeness and Its perfection even when there is but one? Is 
not the allness and the fullness of God represented in everyone? 

You are that one. The fullness of the Godhead bodily is expressed 
as you. If you were the only person left on the face of the earth, you 
could live the monastic life— complete, perfect, and harmonious. 
If there were a billion around you not understanding and not be- 
lieving, you still could lead the monastic life, that full and complete 
life in God, because you could always close your eyes in your office, 
in a park, or in your own kitchen, turn within, and realize, "Within 
me is the secret of the universe. Within me is the whole secret! 
The Holy Grail is within me; the word of God is within me, the 
Hebrew Torah, the Ten Commandments, the Bhagavad-Gita, the 
Hebrew Testament, the Christian Testament— all of these are within 
me. I can open myself to them, and let them flow out." 

You go within and tabernacle with God, with the Christ, and with 
the saints and sages of all ages, and when you come out into the 
exterior world, their spirit will flow out through you to be the 







THE INNER UNIVERSE 365 

bread, the wine, the meat, and the water to those who come in con- 
tact with you in your family life, your business, your social, and your 
political life. They may not know the Source— they do not have to 
know It. That is your secret, and it is a secret you can divulge only to 
those who know how to respect and appreciate it. 

To the many persons you meet every day, you are just a man or 
a woman in everyday clothes, and for the most part they are com- 
pletely unaware that locked up in you is the secret of life, the king- 
dom of God, the healing grace of the Christ, the power to multiply 
loaves and fishes, the joy and peace of the universe. Locked up in 
you is the power to attract to the word of God all those who are 
seeking God. 

To some extent all of you have demonstrated this, but not enough. 
To some extent I have demonstrated it, too, but not enough. I 
know, as you now know, that there is an interior world, a real world 
which is the Source of the outer world, the creative, maintaining, and 
sustaining Principle of the outer world. 

You must learn to tabernacle with God, to commune with Him at 
the center of your being. Meet Him there every day. And there, too, 
you can meet all the other people that you have known on the spir- 
itual path. Go within yourself and meet them there. You can never 
be alone— those you know on the spiritual path are always with you. 
They are as much a part of your consciousness as your own family, if 
only you will close your eyes and look for them there. 

Every word of truth that God has ever uttered is locked up within 
you. Loose it and let it go, but never tell this secret except to those 
of your spiritual household. Do not expose your "pearl" to those who 
are not connoisseurs of pearls. Do not ever give anyone an oppor- 
tunity to ridicule your inner life. Do not let anyone try to destroy 
your faith, your understanding, or your wisdom. You have a "pearl" 
for which the people of the world would sell their souls if they only 
knew what it could do for them. 

This is the mystical life. This is the monastic life: 

"I and my Father are one" and in God I find my Self-complete- 
ness, and then when I open my eyes and go out into the world, I 



366 A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY 

share the glories of God, the grace of God, the peace of God that 
passes understanding. 

I of myself am nothing, but I can go within and there enjoy God's 
grace. 

No man can take your riches from you; no man can take your 
peace. The world cannot find you when you are living inside because 
it knows nothing of an interior world, and if it were told, it would 
only laugh in disbelief. If the world strikes at you, it will merely be to 
take your money, your property, or your business. It does not know 
that those are your toys, the fruit that grows on your Tree of life, 
the effect of the mystical life. And so that is all the world will ever 
want to take from you. If it does try to deprive you of this fruitage, 
you will remain undisturbed because you know that if this attempt 
should be successful, a process of spiritual multiplication is already 
in progress, and in due time there will be more fruitage on your 
Tree. 

No man can take your peace from you after you have discovered 
the interior world. After you have discovered that within you is the 
substance of all form, the law of all effect, the divine Grace, never 
again can the world disturb you, never can it touch you. 

The heart and the soul of The Infinite Way is its mysticism and its 
monasticism, a way of life that has nothing to do with leaving the 
world on the outer plane. It has all to do with leaving the world 
while you go within and eat of that inner meat, drink of that inner 
water, tabernacle with the saints and sages— the Christ— and then 
come out and enjoy every person and every thing that God's grace 
hangs on your Tree of Life. 




Set in Linotype Electra 

Composed, printed and bound by The Haddon Craftsmen, Inc. 

Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated