On the Importance of Being Alone
“And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Ye, the newborn, the resurrected one. In the silence, in the tomb, in the aloneness, shall ye know the things which ordinarily are not written nor spoken of — things which are neither seen nor heard by the noisy ones who are clamoring for place and power.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.” When you hear what it is saying to you (for you are the Church of the Living God — the center from which pours this glorious white light of revelation), then you will fold your tent and steal silently away into the new place of expression. And this shall be a natural event, not some human concept of moving out of evil conditions, but a showing forth of the God-power into expression. Do you see why “He that travelsalone travels far”? And why the command, “Salute no man as thou passest along the highway,” is not unfriendliness, but the essence of wisdom? “Behold, I make all (not some) things new.” Do you believe that? Where is the I? What about it — you who read these lines? Are you going to run to someone and ask him to explain this to you or are you going to be still and let ME explain, and thereby turn your barrenness to fruitfulness and make you a gladsome land?
“THEN WENT HE IN and shut the door.” What goes on behind the closed doors is going to be of tremendous interest to the outside world. “That which is told in secret is called from the housetops.” When you think of the word “secret” you think of the “closed door”—-you think of the “Secret place of the Most High”—-in fact, you think of the center of Being. Until a man learns the law of silence he cannot leave his burning desert of human experience.
“He that travels alone shall travel far”; “He that holdeth his tongue shall take a city [a new state of consciousness]”, and so he who learns to “come apart from among them and be separate” is getting his feet firmly placed on the ladder that leads safely to heaven-realization.
Power is noiseless; its manifestation may make a terrific tumult, but power of itself is noiseless. “Be still and know that I Am God” has been a command which has been as little heeded as the one “Before they ask I will answer”—-but that also bespeaks silence accomplishing something that noise could not. The burning coal which is placed on the lips seals them forever, and it is to such an one that power is given—given because he has discovered something in the silence that he can never discover anywhere else. He has found certain secret springs which, when released, will cause the whole face of his universe to change, and people will say, “It is a miracle,” but he will know differently.
Until man learns the law of silence, he will travel on in the heat of the burning desert of experience, comparing notes with others; discussing and arguing about the vital truths which never seem to work, and yet seem so plausible and real.
“I do not see why it is that I cannot make more progress.” “I have been faithful—-I have helped many—-I have heard hundreds of lectures—-I have read hundreds of books—-I have given of my substance—and am still in this terrible condition.”
The answer to all this is simple, yet it will be rejected by many because they like to “talk it over” first with someone who is supposed to know more than they do; and then they want to talk it over with God and tell Him just what to do before things will be right in the Universe. But nothing happens, and they either go down into the ditch of human failure or hear the “still, small voice” which constantly says, “Be still, be still, be still, and know that I AM God.”
“In quietness and peace shall be thy strength.” A thousand times that is read over, and by the very one who is seeking light and understanding, but will you obey it? Nay! nay! you will pass it over, and go again into the desert of human hope seeking for shade and water. In the desert through which you are traveling is the deep secret well of silence, and when you drink the waters thereof you are refreshed, and the water there from will transform the desert into a garden.
“Be still”—be very still and KNOW that I AM God, and you will find out something about the Promised Land you have been seeking, lo, these many years. The something you will find out is that the Promised Land lies in your own consciousness, and the moment you are through seeking it, and begin the process of recognizing it as here and now within the secret place of your heart, that moment you see the transformation beginning to make itself manifest.
“Awake, thou that sleepest, and Christ shall give thee light”—awake and arise from the dead. Fold your tent and steal silently away into the secret place where you can enlarge the borders of your tent without asking the permission of anyone. No matter how loving the advice may be, the things of spirit that are deep and pure will have to be found alonein the silent place, alone with God.
All that is necessary to enter therein is willingness on the part of the student—willingness to listen instead of to tell; willingness to accept the promises as made by the Master, and to plant the seed and let the human limitations and husks of belief rot away from it, in order that the new life may appear. In the place of the Most High you have no favors to ask, no special permission to gain. What you tell yourself in secret shall be called from the housetop —the Word shall become flesh—there is a rest for the people of God. All of these beautiful things become true to the silent soul. “Be still and know that I AM God.”
He who travels alone travels far—no man along the way can discuss these things with you. Either you do or you do not know that within you lies this great fountain of life which gushes up into a pure white stream—shoots far up into the azure skies, and is transformed into a mist of glorious colour by the Sun of Life.
Walter C. Lanyon