Impressions of a Nomad
Impressions of a Nomad
By WALTER C. LANYON
“And it Was Told of a Certain Potter”
“London Notes and Lectures,” etc.
THEO. GAUS’ SONS, Inc
New York 1930
Printed in the United States
Address P. 0. Box 524
New York, N. Y.
The impressions in this book were gathered from many lands and formed the basis of lectures given in the principal cities of the world. The characters are for the most part real, and most of the incidents actual happenings, though not all. It is not a far cry from the fear of the little Chink to the distress of the modern business man-both have their idols to bring down.
- SMILE IS A DIVINE THING
- OUT OF THE FOG (LONDON)
- THE LEAD SINKER (PERSIA)
- THREE WISE MONKEYS (JAPAN)
- BROKEN IDOLS ( CHINA)
- IN THE SUBURBS (FRANCE)
- WORSHIPPING RUTS
- THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER
- IN A ROMAN GARDEN (ITALY)
- DECISION (ENGLAND)
- WHAT WENT YE OUT FOR TO SEE?
- ARE YOU A BUTTER JAR?
- THE LADY WITH THE HOT POTATO
- PARADISE ISLES (HONOLULU)
- THE LOTUS (INDIA)
- ACCEPTING AND REJECTING
- THE LUMBER-JACK’S STORY
- I HAVE CHOSEN YOU
- THROUGH THE SHADOWS
- TO EVERY MAN HIS OWN INSPIRATION
- THE STUFF OF DREAMS
- THE SOUL OF THE WORD
- WHY DOUBT YE?
- ARE YOU AN OFFICIAL STONE CASTER?
- PEACE (KAMAKURA)
- BE NOT ANXIOUS (SINGAPORE)
- HEAVEN AND HELL (EGYPT)
- AT THE SIGN OF THE THREE BALLS
- HIS REBUKE WAS TERRIBLE
- CHRISTMAS NIGHT (GERMANY)
- HEARD ALONG THE WAY
1. A SMILE IS A DIVINE THING
I was hurrying along a side street leading into Haymarket, when I perceived in a doorway a bundle of rags, in the midst of which sat a woman, dirty and grimy. I paused before her a moment. She looked up as I dropped the coppers into her lap, her face the picture of despair.
A message can be wirelessed to Australia now in a fraction of a second, and thought is even quicker, and it rushed over me in the twinkling of an eye that what she was really seeking was recognition; so I smiled at her. If I had been Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother with her magic wand, I could not have worked a greater miracle than I did with that smile.
Instantly her face was changed; the expression of her whole body was transformed; through the grime and dirt and distress, a new creature appeared, radiant and changed. “Where have I met you be fore?” She said, and, quite unexpectedly I answered, “Everywhere,” and hurried on. She sat there smiling, forgetful of the coppers, for something greater had been given her—she had been recognized and for the moment raised to the level of self respect. We usually respect those we smile upon, and a smile is a contagious thing that spreads almost as rapidly as light. It is a universal gift and anyone can use it at any time. We only have to “let” it into expression. All big things were “let,” not forced into expression, even this very old world of ours.
And so through the long day a little song kept running through my mind, the words of which were: “A smile is a Divine thing, the gift of Everyman.”
2. OUT OF THE FOG (London)
Long before the boat train pulled into Victoria Station, the wet green landscape of England had been smudged from view by a soft gray veil of fog, which increased in density; until upon arrival it was with difficulty that one could see three feet ahead. As I came out of the well lighted station, I was suddenly enveloped in obscurity. I stood, as it were, shut off from everything. Great shimmering balls of iridescent light hung suspended in the heavy fog. Vague voices called to one another, through the mist. I might as well have been in the midst of the Sahara Desert as far as appearances were concerned, and yet I knew I was in the heart of London, that not so far away stood the great dome of St. Pauls, The Parliament House, Westminster and a thousand other things dear to me. Yes and wrapped in that very fog were hundreds of people whom I should meet, grasp by the hand and call friend. Yet nothing was visible. The chimes of a nearby church told me it was three; yet my eyes told me it was night.
“Well I am here,” I said half aloud, as if talking to a great multitude of silent listeners. I knew there lay hidden in the fog, friends who at this instant did not realize that I was in existence. It was enough that I knew it. I stood for some moments thinking of man and his universe—the perfect universe which he lost when a mist went up and watered the whole face of the ground.
A mist or fog does not change the nature of any thing permanent. London was still there, yet invisible. The mist which went up was not destructive. It did not destroy the Finished Kingdom that God had created for his Beloved Son. But the son had stopped down his viewpoint to such a degree that he accepted the evidence of the senses and with it the misery of evil. Because you do not see a thing or hear it, does not in any way argue that it does not exist. A short time ago anyone who had told you that your very home was filled with music would have been considered crazy, but today we know differently.
The man in the fog of senses and belief tries to make the best of it by refashioning things. He struggles and fights to get his place in the sun; to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. He strikes off blindly on the path of a sub-creator, not heeding the injunction that there is One Creator who finished the whole beautiful Kingdom of Heaven and gave it to his idea. He forgets his dominion—a little lower than the Angels—everything placed under his feet (understanding)—and so he goes blindly on accepting the bitterness of life, beseeching and begging God to bring to pass that which is already here.
In contrast to this stands the soul who recognizes the fact that the Word of God is True and enduring, and begins to accept the Finished Kingdom as a reality. No sooner does he take this stand than a peace fills him—a peace that passeth all understanding for he has “put up his sword” and knows that he does not need to fight to attain his birthright but he must remember.
He begins to recognize the Isness of Good. Even now the mists are rising and he sees, not through a glass darkly, but face to face. He begins to realize that the very place on which he stands is heaven, irrespective of the argument of the heavy fog of human belief, and presto! He has arrived by a Way he knew not of. Yes, he begins to free himself from the belief of good and evil, and comes to an understanding of the All-good.
There is as much God in the lowest dive in the worst slums as there is in the greatest cathedral—if God is all present. Whither comes the idea that God is more present in one locality than another? He is present whenever man recognizes him—yes even in hell. And when man recognizes this he— transmutes hell into heaven. Hell and heaven are not localities. A man soon finds that he cannot run away from hell for he is creating and accepting his own hell which he takes with him wherever he goes. Ah I but when he recognizes the fact that God is there—then he may go in and come out and find pastures, pastures without doors and bars, for I am the door. “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.” What lines? The lines of life, of self expression, of joy. Believest thou this?
So a man may stand in a fog of hatred—he may be surrounded by enemies—by poverty and sickness against which he fights as one who beats the air, when suddenly he begins to recognize the presence of his God here and now—begins to accept the word of the Lord as Truth and sees the former things pass away and all things become new.
He puts up his sword. He stops fighting the darkness of belief. He begins to see. “I shall lead the blind by a way they knew not of.” Yes those who have been blinded by the false testimony of the senses shall be led by a way that they knew not of. Is it any wonder then that “man’s extremity is God’s opportunity”? When man stops fighting for his good and begins accepting it as a natural order of life he shall find it. The black bird in the rusty old cage at home has suddenly become the blue bird which he has sought the whole world over. Until he recognizes it he cannot see it.
“No good gift will I withhold from them that walk uprightly” is a promise glibly skimmed over by many. No—not any good gift. What need then to seek a single good gift when the promise reads that no good gift shall be withheld? Are the promises of God then nothing but words? Man wastes half his time trying to make these gifts appear, always doubting in his heart that they will, instead of accepting them as his inevitable heritage. He runs hither and you looking for his Master. He seeks him in people and books, always failing, but never ceasing his useless search.
“When the student is ready the Master will appear”—he will not be hidden from view to the student who is ready. Do you hear? Peace be unto you. Even while you are clamoring for Me “I stand at the door and knock.” I am within you, waiting your recognition. Be still (very still) and know that I am God.”
“When the student is ready,” frightens the human thought. It immediately says “yes, but I may not be ready yet.” Be still! The fact that you are asking for it is the surest sign you are ready—else whence comes this asking?
3. THE LEAD SINKER (Persia)
NIGHT of sapphire, night of dreams and fantasies. Stillness of velvety texture. Air, laden with the exotic perfume of heavy lilies. Earth dew drenched—intense with newness and life. A silver crescent riding white fleecy clouds, led by a single fiery star. Inky black shadows sharply cut by the green light of the moon. Beauty, loveliness, throb bing life and youth. Earth rejuvenating herself.
The Mosque—green white against the sky; while garbed figures moving silently among the heavy bloom-laden shrubs. In the distance across the sands a caravan silhouetted against the sky. Mystery, loveliness, beauty almost overpowering—and peace. Stillness—a hushed silence.
From the minaret a voice, vibrating away into silence. The call to prayer: “Allah be praised, there is no god but Allah.”
A soul paused and listened to the call. A soul seeking peace. In the loveliness of the night he beat upon his breast and said aloud: “What good is prayer? Is all the senseless beseeching and begging ever heard? Does prayer avail the soul anything? Is it ever answered?”
His voice sounded strange and hollow with futility. Almost at the precise moment that he was going to answer his own question in the negative, a white clad figure emerged from shadows and a voice spoke to him: “Pilgrim, every prayer you have ever asked has been answered.”
The pilgrim started—”Every prayer?” He asked, addressing himself as much as the stranger.
‘’Yes, every prayer.”
The pilgrim laughed and the sharp cadence of his voice rang with metallic sound on the night air.
Suddenly he felt the firm yet gentle pressure of a hand on his arm. “You are tired and weary with seeking. Why go you toward the desert? Come—” The voice was like velvet and yet it had an under lying quality of strength. Something in its gentleness made it impossible to resist. It enveloped the stranger with a decision to yield.
“Rest here,” again the impelling gentleness of the lone, that entreated and commanded. A small prayer rug was thrown down for him in the shadow of a palm tree, and out of the nowhere a cup of Turkish coffee was proffered him. As he looked about he noticed that he was seated in a company of white-clad figures. Silence again, and haunting strains of music, so low, so resonant; as if an errant breeze swept across the strings of a harp. A voice, soft and sweet, full of meaning, sang in rich deep tones:
I am alone.
The desert enfolds me.
I am alone—yet not alone
Thou art with me.
The desert is blossoming as a rose,
I am alone, yet not alone.
I am with thee.
The Peace of Allah abides with me.
Peace, peace, peace, peace.
The last quivering note died away, followed by a sweeping accompaniment, and then vibrant silence again. Suddenly a feeling of peace stole over the stranger—a quietness.
Peace is not gained through long and tiresome arguments. Nothing is gained that way. All the gifts of God, all the miracles, come not with argument and struggle, but by an unconscious intake of Truth—by recognition. Man struggles to have recourse to God and cries out, “Oh, that I might find him,” and fails to fulfill his desire; but after the wailing and struggling have worn themselves out and he has given himself up, he suddenly becomes aware of the Presence.
“They have taken my Lord away,” is the cry of man trying to find God, not recognizing him when he stands at his side calling him by name.
As a flower sheds its perfume without effort and without partiality, so the peace of God envelops every man, but the stench of belief in strife and fear is so strong it has stultified you. You look every where for peace and find only strife; you want so much to do good and only accomplish evil. Good does not have to struggle into being. It has always been, and always will be. But we are slow in recognizing it. Right in the place you stand, it is. Unloose the sandals of your reason and belief—you stand on holy ground. Man will never get to heaven until he recognizes that he is in heaven. “The way to heaven is through heaven, and Christ is the Way.” Not a Jesus hanging on a cross, but a Christ, who has never left you, and who is within every man.
All this passed quietly through the mind of the pilgrim. He was sure he heard no voice speak, and yet, it was almost as though he remembered the deep, warm tones of the voice. Everything shall finally be thus—instruction will come with its refreshing dew of Spirit in just this manner.
He wondered if he had been sitting there for hours, but at the same time he heard the last dying note of the harp which had accompanied the singer. There is no time in Spirit-— thousand years can be as a day. To become consciously one with Spirit, is to approximate the time element and to gain instantly what it might take years to reach through the letter. The letter, being dead, can only at best point to something, but it can never lead there.
“Be still and know,” can never be anything but words, until man actually, through no effort or struggle, suddenly finds himself “still,” and if he once “still,” he is at that instant “knowing,” and if he be “knowing,” he is not offering any suggestions. He is not busy telling God what is the matter, or offering him ideas as to running his life and universe. He is still. He is unconsciously intaking consciousness.
Man has, through the ages, struggled consciously to contact God through outside means. He has gone to the Scribes, and mulled through endless store houses of dead letter, only to exit from this path, worn and old, knowing all about God and his wonderful laws, but never knowing God—as one who knows perfectly the technic of music, but is without an instrument with which to express himself.
Only when man has abandoned his personal ideas (and sometimes this comes only when he has been defeated on every hand and is driven into a trap of his own making), can he receive the gifts of God. Choose the road ye shall travel. Will man run the gamut of experiences and go down to his hopeless-ness before he abandons himself to God”? Or will he turn and recognize the utter impossibility of there being more than God? And if God be all, what more can be needed? Does anything need correcting, or changing in God’s universe?
Finally man answers his own question in the negative, and sees for the first time that the only thing which needs changing is his belief. Nothing is the matter with the universe, except his beliefs regarding it.
“Surely,” thought the pilgrim, “a voice has spoken this time”; but as he turned he saw that all this had taken place during the time it had required his unknown host to fill his cup a second time. A soft smudge of red light came from the brazier of copper.
“We talk more in our silence than when we utter words,” said his host at last. “People feel us more than they hear us, and while we may think to hide the self under cunning words or beautifully turned phrases, yet the hearer gains an impression contrary, it may seem, to the words uttered, and he knows not whence it comes.”
“You asked if prayer was ever answered” he continued, “and I answered you that it was, and to bring this to your attention more clearly I will repeat to you the Old Arabian Nights story which, for want of a better name, I will call the ‘Lead Sinker.”
A little murmur of joy ran around the circle of those gathered there. No setting could have been more perfect for such a story.
It happened, in Persia, as two merchants were traveling together, they fell into an argument as to the best means of making a man rich. One of the merchants was strong in his idea that in order to become rich a man must have a certain amount of capital with which to get started, while the other was equally strong in his feeling that a man must build from the ground up, and start with nothing. Being unable to settle the argument, they agreed to try out their ideas, and for this purpose they selected a conscientious but very poor tentmaker. Entering his tiny shop the first merchant gave him a purse containing a hundred pieces of gold, saying to him, “Here, with this start your fortune,” and then departed.
The tentmaker was overjoyed at this piece of good luck and, since all his life he had been deprived of everything but bare necessities his first thoughts were of food. He would go to the market and buy such food as his wife had never even dreamed of eating and would come home and celebrate his good fortune. Accordingly he laid out ten pieces of gold with which to make the purchase, but, not having any place to hide the other ninety, he rolled them up in his handkerchief and placed them in his turban.
As is still the custom in most of the Oriental countries, nothing is wrapped, and accordingly the tent maker was forced to carry the large piece of meat which he had purchased, on a skewer. As he was hurrying home, a vulture, smelling the raw meat, flew down and tried to take it from him. A combat ensued between the tentmaker and the vulture. The man finally succeeded in driving the bird away only to find that one of its talons had caught in the stuff of his turban, and on looking up he beheld the huge bird flying through the air with his turban and ninety pieces of gold dangling from its foot.
He was greatly chagrined at this event but attributed it finally to the evil star under which he was born. Months passed, and the merchants came again to the tentmaker to see what progress he had made. When he related the story of the vulture, they laughed with glee, half-way believing that it was a subterfuge; but the same merchant who had given him gold before said, “I will take you at your word; here is another hundred pieces of gold, now make your fortune.’’
Imagine, if you can, the joy of the tentmaker. This time he decided to meet with no such accident. So, in an old brass jar, which had stood for years on the pantry shelf, filled with bran, he buried the ninety pieces of gold and proceeded with joy and anticipation to the market.
During his absence a buyer of brass came through the streets calling out for old pots and pans made of brass, for which he offered to pay top prices. The wife of the tentmaker, upon hearing this, remembered the old brass jar and, post-haste, sold it, bran and all.
Upon the arrival of her husband she rushed to him to tell of her wonderful transaction. The poor man threw his hands up in despair. “You have given away ninety pieces of gold, with which I was to start my fortune.” But being of a Stoical mind, he shrugged his shoulders and said: “This time I am sure Allah is against me.”
Months passed before the two merchants who had made the wager with each other came again and this time they laughed long and heartily at the story of the disappearance of the gold. “Well,” said the first merchant, “at least I acknowledge that I was wrong; now let us see you prove your theory.”
Thereupon the second merchant took from his pocket an old lead sinker, which belonged to a heavy fishing net, and tossing it onto the counter he said to the tentmaker, “Here, with this start your fortune,” and they departed.
“Alas,’’ said the poor, miserable tentmaker, “ no wonder they make sport of me, after having given me two such magnificent chances,” and he threw the lead sinker on the shelf and went on with his work.
Late that night, Aggra, the village fisherman, came through the streets, protesting hotly against the fact that the main sinker of his fishing nets had disappeared, and that unless he could find it, he would be unable to go to sea that night. He further made the somewhat rash promise that to the one who replaced it he would give the first catch made with the nets. The tentmaker suddenly remembered the old sinker on the shelf and gave it to Aggra, who assured him that his should be the first findings of the net.
The first catch, which Aggra turned over to the tentmaker, was not a great one, but in cleaning the fish, his wife found a most exquisite and wonderfully cut diamond, and while it was of no great value, yet it enabled the tentmaker to buy material for a dozen tents and employ other tentmakers, thereby increasing his output. With the money from these tents he was able to buy double the number and to increase his staff, and gradually the little shop grew to be the greatest tent factory in all Persia, and the tentmaker became a prosperous man, and dwelt in a high palace.
* * * *
As the story finished a chuckle of appreciation passed around the group, and the host continued—
“Someone is always giving you a lead sinker, figuratively speaking, but it is such a small and seemingly useless thing that you cast it aside. Your prayer is always answered, but because the answer does not look exactly as you imagined it should, you throw it away. You may pray for an oak tree and be given an acorn, which you scorn to have and throw down. The man following you will plant it, and while you go on seeking for your oak tree, the man who followed you is growing his. He is bringing the invisible into visibility, the unmanifest to the manifest.
“The time element in bringing out our good, once we have recognized that we have been given the seed-thought or idea in answer to our prayer, is up to the man. The more consciously he holds to the perfected vision here and now, the sooner it will come into being. Now the lead sinker which you receive may be anything—a message, a word, a book, a picture—but if you are awake to the knowledge that all prayer is answered, you will arise and act upon the little incident in which is hidden the precious jewel, which will eventually bring out the perfect result.”
“Allah is good, and Allah be praised. There is no God but Allah,” called the distant voice from the minaret.
“There is only one God and he is good,” said the host.” “It is his good pleasure to answer the requests of his children, even before they can formulate the words. ‘Before they ask I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will give it unto them.’ Can anything be more reassuring, more definite, and more wonderful?”
“’No good gift will he withhold from them that love him.’ Then trust it all to him; ask and give thanks to the God who has already supplied everything in Spirit before you have desired it. Take your lead sinker with joy. The Open-sessame to the King’s treasury, is the absolute faith of a child. Peace as glorious as the night is yours now. Rest, my beloved, I will never leave you. It is well.”
4. THREE WISE MONKEYS (Japan)
I crossed over the tiny red lacquer bridge which makes a circular frame by its reflection in the water, and offers an intriguing picture of a miniature Jap garden backed by purple iris. I stood for a few moments and admired the quaint stone lanterns, and watched one group of Japs after another, with their gay parasols and multicolored kimonos, making a series of pictures against the artistic backgrounds.
The tiny kimono clad babe, on its mother’s back, points a finger to a flock of blue birds that are caught in the mists of pink cherry blossoms. A faint tinkle of the wind-bells in th morning air, laden with lotus, is heard. I stand before the gate of he temple, whose name is “Before Which One Pauses a Whole Day,” so fantastic and wonderful is its workmanship.
A figure in a blue and white kimono with a crimson obi, mounts the step, and takes the long rope in her hand which rings the soft-sounding gong of the temple.
Above the temple door, exquisitely carved in teak wood, is a silent lesson. Many pass it by, seeing only the wonderful workmanship, or the oddity of the design.
In just such a fashion is Truth presented, hidden yet perfectly visible—beautiful yet not realized. “Pearls are not cast before swine,” as pearls; but they are cast before every man when he is ready to see them.
Having eyes we see not, yet we think we see; and presently, when a little more light comes into consciousness, we look again at the same book or picture and find something entirely new and different, and we say, “isn’t it wonderful? I never saw that before, though I have read the book” or “seen the picture many times.” Pearls are becoming visible to us all the while, when we begin to realize that the kingdom is not to be found, “Lo, here, nor lo, there.” The eye becoming single to one Power—good—will perceive that the window in heaven has been open always and the blessings which one did not perceive have been pouring down upon him, in a measure which he was unable to grasp.
And so I stood for a long time looking at the somewhat grotesque design above the temple door: ‘’The Three Wise Monkeys’’—see no evil; hear no evil; say no evil. Hidden away in this quaint carving was a greater sermon than could have possibly been preached. The little blue clad figure who had struck the soft gong raised her eyes to the carving. She put her finger on her eyes, her ears and her lips, and dropping a few coppers in the huge receptacle departed. The wonder of it impressed me—no books, no talk, no arguing.
Man must, and finally will, work out everything for himself. He will cease running from one person to another. He will begin to read as he runs, and run as he reads. He will perceive the great lessons in everything and everywhere. He will recognize the universality of God, and then he will also come to the place where he will take from every symbol, the truth back of it.
When he learns to place his hand on his eyes, ears, and lips, he will have learned that “God is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity,” and that what God cannot do is futile for men to attempt. He will learn that to sec no evil, hear no evil, say no evil, is a key which unlocks the very gates of his kingdom, and as he holds more to the universality of God, good, those things which before manifested evil, will drop out of his line of vision. He will walk in new
ways, and they shall be ways of peace and quiet.
As soon as an evil is deleted from the mind of man, the appearance goes, for it is sustained only by his thought. So simple, it is difficult. We are sure that we must set something right, and, at the same time, we acknowledge that it is God’s universe. We (these little human, personal selves) must set something right in a God-created universe, and so we proceed to multiply our griefs and sorrows. While we are busy setting it right, we must be consciously recognizing that something is wrong in God’s universe, and hence are working with two powers.
“He that holdeth his tongue shall take a city” ( a new stale of consciousness). He hath beholdeth no evil shall behold God. He that heareth no evil shall hear the “still small voice” without interruption and confusion. Life will be as easy and natural as breathing, for man shall have swung into the universal harmony and rhythm of the universe, and shall be carried on into expression. “Eye (the judging personal sense) has not seen; ear (the human mind) has not heard; neither hath it entered into the heart of man (who is still busy with judging) the things which God hath prepared for him.” Why hath it not entered? Because, man keeps the door shut tight against the entry of inspiration, which is to lead him into all things. He is so busy judging, saying, hearing, seeing evil in his brother, that he cannot hear the knock at the door of his consciousness, nor see the divine Presence that waits to come in and sup with him and talk with him.
Following the lesson of the Three Wise Monkeys—although it does come from what we have called in our ignorance, a heathen land—simply bears out the teachings of the Bible: “thou shalt have no other God before me.” How can we have the God of good as the first and only God in our lives if we indulge in evil? If we constantly picture the evil of personal sense in our universe, we will miss the peace that passeth all understanding. We are asleep, mesmerized by the dream pictures of evil we are casting on our universe.
In the clamor of so-called evil, the Voice of Truth speaks: “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you, here and now.” Do you hear it? Certainly you cannot if you are still hearing evil reports of the universe, and believing them to be true. Heaven could not be a mixture of good and evil. You are not a judge that comes out of his kingdom periodically and passes sentence on others, and then thinks to go serenely back into his state of peace.
“Follow thou me.” Do you hear it? It has been ringing on dull ears for centuries, but always it is there; and one after another, we cease from the hearing of evil reports and begin to hear this, though even faintly. Then we leave our nets, our old trade of judging from appearance, and follow. The Voice guides us ever, for when we are tempted again to see or hear or speak evil, it speaks to us, “What is that to thee?” Is it something real, or something unreal?
The wind-bells tinkled like silvery waterfalls in the distance, and the gay paper and silken lanterns stirred in the spring breeze. A vendor of Jap dolls, dressed riotously in a hundred colors and gold, passing by, stopped for a moment and looked up at the Three Monkeys; touched his eyes, ears and mouth and went on.
I had come a long way from a Christian land, where underneath we secretly believed that God was of English origin, or at least belonged first to the white man, and that it was to be the white man’s duty to pass out little parcels of this God to the heathen. I had come to a heathen land to be entertained and amused by their strange customs and worship. “Many (fools) have come to scoff and remained to pray.” “Watch, for ye know not at what hour I shall come.” If I am everywhere present, “ye know not in what country or manner I come.” And so I touched my eyes and my ears and my mouth and looked up to the lesson above the temple door, and went away through the avenue of cherry trees through the garden where the purple iris bloomed. The stream was quiet, and the grass was green beside the stream, and there was peace, and I learned that there is peace to every man who can touch his eyes, his ears and his mouth in understanding.
5. BROKEN IDOLS (China)
Hop Toy loved color. He loved silk and fine brocades Blue, he loved, indescribable blue, that sometimes appeared in the skies, on certain rare days when the sun struggled out of the mauve mist over the Yellow Sea. This he loved; it intrigued him, and more especially when a band of cerise set it off on a jaunty little coat, against black silk trousers. Ah! for a jade pendant on a chain of crystal, and an exquisitely carved ivory fan, that would fit in the pocket of the little coat. There was a head-dress too, with pretty little rose colored balls on silver wire and gold beads, but….
Hop Toy belonged to a family who believed in respecting ancient customs, and so he had to be content with the somewhat scanty dress of a silver collar and two huge canings, all of which were worn for a special reason. Hop Toy’s august ancestors had been worshippers of a strange god. This god was horrible to look at and his decrees were to be obeyed without question. Hop Toy wore the silver collar and earrings so that the devil would think he was a dog. His playmates wore the same elaborate dress, or had their hail braided in tiny pig-tails, all over their heads, to imitate a girl. These were the ways of deceiving the devil—for the devil, it appears, according to Hop Toy’s god, did not bother with such wretched things as girls and dogs. Later on, much later on, he would have a little white coat, that would be fearfully difficult to keep clean.
Hop Toy did not believe so very much in the god of his fathers, although he knew all the rites and ceremonies that went on in the home and the sacrifices and tributes paid to him. In the heart of him, he wondered if the devil himself, even if he did have a cavalry mounted on huge dragons that spurted fire from their nostrils, could be much worse than his god, who required so many strange offices.
Still, Hop Toy, was a little nervous, when on one occasion he sneaked away and went to a Joss house and burned some Chin Chin paper at the altar of the fat and laughing Joss man. He was torn at times between belief and proof. Certainly the god of Hop Toy could cure sickness—at least, many times he had seen a miracle worked, right under his eyes. But be did not like the methods, and so when he saw a group of men go to the bed of a sick man and begin pinching him, he wondered. Hop Toy did not know that when a greater pain is introduced into the body of man, he forgets the lesser, neither did he know that when the thought is taken away from the body it fails to suffer. But he wondered at the cures of the pinching method. He had seen one of the wise and learned men shake the evil spirit off a sick person. But he had heard a very old man talking to a group of students, in one comer of the garden, explaining just how it took place. He was a little frightened when this man said so defiantly that his god really did not have any power, and that what took place was that the mind had been turned off of the body. This man also said that evil pictures on the body and in the world were held in place by thought, and that it played on the body and world like a patter of light. The moment the thought was broken the picture of evil disappeared.
Once or twice, Hop Toy had gone to the cinema and seen the fearful spectacle of dead people, or at least people who were not there, acting in front of him, and he had also seen that every little while all the pictures disappeared, and that all the color and action had not affected the screen which eternally remained white.
In his mind he fitted this in with the teaching of the old wise man, who sat under the stumpy tree, near the stone lantern in the temple garden. And one day he heard the wise man telling about this very thing. He heard him say that the body was just like the cinema screen, and that the pictures of joy or sorrow that were thrown on it were not real, for they could be; changed at any time; in fact, that they did change constantly when the continuity of a thought was broken and a new thought introduced. He also said that these pictures, whether they were of sickness, sorrow or even poverty, were never real and never made any impression of a lasting nature on man, whose body, which as pure Spirit, was above all these things. These were the beliefs of personal sense, and man would one day find that they had made no impression on him, but, like the screen, his body remained perfect and beautiful. Just as soon as the thought was taken away from a certain thing, the manifestation would disappear, for the manifestation of evil was held there by belief.
Hop Toy went home in a defiant mood sometimes. He thought he would defy the family god and have done with it all; but when he came up to the little family shrine and saw that hideous grinning monster, with eyes so terrible, he meekly laid his rice cake at its feet and said his little prayer and ran out of doors. When he was away from this terrible image, Hop Toy felt strong. He even said, “I’m not afraid of you,” but every time he; saw him, with his great and terrible body, occupying so much space in the tiny house, he changed his mind He was so big and terrible to look upon that he seemed to dominate the whole house.
Not always did the old man under the stumpy tree in the palace garden talk of Hop Toy’s god. Sometimes he read the most beautiful poetry, in words that sounded like music, and sometimes he talked about the glories of ancient China. It was almost impossible to imagine that China had been the leading nation of the world and had done wondrous things, and had been free and open to all progress long before other nations had existed that were now so flourishing and great. But the old man seemed to know, and he even seemed to feel that the present condition of China was due to the fact that something had gotten into the wheels of this great machine and clogged it, and made the wheels go backward—and one day he told what this some thing was.
Hop Toy was not prepared for the shock. The old man had almost taken away his family god, and now he was sweeping with a reckless hand, an even dearer belief. The old man said the reason China had ceased to go forward, was because of the worship of ancestors, and that this was all foolishness. Hop Toy ran away when he heard this; it was too much for him. Were not his own ancestors buried in the garden back of the house? and were not ceremonies carried on over the tomb every so often, and food placed at the door of the tombs of the newly dead?
He ran fast, dodging rickshaws, coolies and pedestrians. He ran, he did not know where, through the narrow streets of the native city. He paid no attention to the gay glitter of the parasol maker. He did not see the carver of jade and ivory with his fascinating wares. He passed the brass merchant and rushed through avenues of gorgeously colored silks. All this was as naught to his eyes. He was afraid. Everything in his little world was getting loose and shaky and threatened to slip over the edge of a cliff of darkness.
Finally he found himself m front of the Joss Temple Incense was pouring from the windows and doors and a host of people were coming and going, burning Chin Chin joss. Near the door sat Ching Low, the fortune teller, his long finger nails coiled up under his hands like a great mass of tangled springs. He looked up at Hop Toy and laughed. A man had to be intellectual to get his living without using his hands, and here was the proof—no man could work with finger nails as long as those of the fortune teller.
Hop Toy dropped his coppers on the little table and took up the ivory box and shook out a bamboo stick with a number on it. The old man filched among papers and finally handed him a tiny yellow sheet with black writing on it.
“Thought is the key which unlocks all doors,” it read. This was followed by some remarks by Confucius and Lao, the meaning of which conveyed the idea that man had within him all Power; given from the great Spirit of life, which was everywhere—that life must be lived today and the things of yesterday must be dropped and forgotten.
“Ancestors too?” Hop Toy asked himself. He remembered the white missionaries who claimed to have a new god, and started off in the direction of the mission; but as he passed the palace gardens he saw the old man under the stumpy tree, alone, and so he ran up to him and laid the little yellow slip of paper in his hand.
The old man looked at him and smiled. He motioned with his fan for Hop Toy to be seated. The old man seemed so joyous and at the same time peaceful, that it reassured Hop Toy.
“The world at large laughs at beautiful China because of its worship of the dead, and because of many other customs which that world calls heathen. Their teacher, who lived thousands of years after Confucius and Lao, made plain to them that they were to ‘Let the dead bury their dead.’ Jesus, was his name, and he told them to progress, to leave the outgrown things and tum not back. Misunderstanding the parables of this great gentle teacher they thought he talked only of dead bodies; so they discontinued any worship of the dead. But Jesus meant anything that is past. He referred to out grown states of consciousness. He admonished them to live in the present, and leave the mistakes and fears of yester-years and ‘Come out from among them and be separate.’
“And so they smile at our worship of ancestors, and think that they are quite above such practice; but in many instances they are bound to much of the past, and live and re-live it, and they relate the evils which befell them years ago, or the evils which they overcame, until the stench that arises from these orgies is equal to the smeech of our Joss houses. They claim with great disdain that idols are for the heathen and ignorant, and that graven images are wrong; but their mental domiciles are cluttered up with a thousand and one little personal gods, some of them very vicious.
“They laugh at your belief of wearing silver collar to ward off evil, but, hidden, they have a thousand things they are afraid of. They laugh at them and call them their pet superstitions, but they recognize that it is only a nice way of speaking of their Masters.
“Their great Master made plain to them that there is but one Power in the universe, and that, that Power is eternally good—that all evil is but a belief and can be changed. One of their most cherished descriptions of their God is, ‘He is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity,’ and yet they imagine they can of themselves behold,’ iniquity and evil, independent of their all-powerful all-wise God. You can see how impossible this is, and why their Master came to explain the difference between belief and understanding, and why it was he knew that perfection was always present, only awaiting recognition.
“Over and over again their great Master told them that life and joy are one, and finally he said to them: ‘I came that your joy might be full,’ and ever since they have been looking for something on the outside of themselves known as joy, with which to fill their sorrowing and distressed hearts. Ah, how true was his saying, ‘My sheep hear my voice.’ Did he not also tell them to look within themselves for everything, and as soon as they became aware of it as a quality of God, they would see it thrown out into their universe, just as the picture is thrown on the screen? He gave them the key to heaven, but few grasped it. ‘I and my Father are One,’ is the key. He dared to tell them they were one with God, and that therefore what God is they must in reality express.
“He pointed out to them that this Power would overstep the bounds of human limitations and beliefs, and would raise the dead, open the eyes of the blind, make straight the crooked, and endow them with new and unexpected capacities. It would enable them to speak with new tongues and to go about the whole world, free, without taking thought, for all would be provided. They had heard often ‘All that the Father hath is mine,’ and they tried often to make this come true—tried to graft this pure understanding on to a mind that was filled with the beliefs of evil and fear. Many of them claimed they were the chosen people, and that they had the only correct use of the Power. How Jesus would have smiled!
“Almost as soon as he gave out this new and beautiful gospel of freedom and joy, his disciples came running to him and told him that someone was trying to steal his glory, and not giving him credit for it. And he only said: ‘let them alone; those that are not against us are for us, and he told them that the Power of which he spoke was not bound by cult or creed, nor yet by color or race—that it was the one and only Power and was the God of every man, no matter how he had distorted: it with beliefs and limitations of personal sense.”
* * *
Several years slipped noisily by. Nothing moved noiselessly in Shanghai, where the streets were crowded to an almost unthinkable degree—rick shaws, taxis, tourists, vendors of a thousand and one little merchandises. The great Bund swarmed with whites and natives, and the river was full of lazy Chinese junks with yellow oiled sails, trying vainly to compete with the white man’s motor boats. Little crafts with eyes painted on the prow were conducted by black, clad Chinks who told the delighted tourist, “Allee samee, no eye no can see where he go,” as a reason for the decorations on the front of their boats.
But things were not easy in the ancient household of Hop Toy. There were debts and much was needed. His venerable parents paid tribute to the ugly grinning god who had sat for years in their little home. They had placed offerings and food at the tombs of their august ancestors; but nothing seemed to appease the wrath of them, and the father was threatened with unlikeable measures known only to the Chinamen.
There was a sadness that brooded over the house. Hop Toy saw his parents kneeling before the grinning monster, pleading for aid and succor. Money was scarce and the household god seemed more austere than ever. Finally his father took him to one side, and told him the wrath of the god had been raised, because Hop Toy refused to pay him homage.
And then something rose up in Hop Toy. It was the end of what he had long since found to be foolishness. His father had told him that he would be taken away unless money was forthcoming, and that unless he knelt before this god and paid him homage all would be lost. Hop Toy loved his parents, they were gentle folk and they were sincere in their beliefs. He did not want to hurt them. They had forbidden him to speak of the one Power that brought only good to man.
“It is well, father,” he said, rising, “I will pay your god the homage that is due him.” A smile lighted the sad faces of his parents. Hop Toy arose and entered the house. He stood before the god who seemed to grin at him in triumph, but instead of kneeling before him, he placed his hand on the large plaster head of the image and pull hard on it. Suddenly it toppled and fell to the floor with a crash, scattering its bits all over the room.
Fear, wild and furious, stirred the father. Grief and agony filled the mother. But Hop Toy stood still smiling.
“All is over,” the father gasped, “a curse be upon you.” But Hop Toy was fumbling with the broken bits of plaster that still hung to the pedestal of the statue. He was so interested in prying out of the mass a small box, that he forgot all else. Opening it, his amazement was complete when he found it filled with golden coins. He ran them through hi fingers. “Here,” he said to his father throwing a handful of gold over him, “here is the way out”—out of superstitions into the glorious freedom of life.
The gods of our superstitions hold from us the gold of freedom. He who stops paying homage to a belief will know the absolute power of understanding.
6. IN THE SUBURBS (France)
It happened one evening during Christmas week I took the train from St. Lazare Station in Paris to have dinner with a friend in the country. Having booked to La Vallois, I settled back comfortably buried in my newspaper, when suddenly looking out of the window I perceived what I thought to be the station and alighted, only to find that it was La Vallies. Not another train “for an hour! Three miles to go by train and six by bus, and a deal of walking between collections!
Already a light snow covered the ground. Out side the walls of Paris, that gay and happy city of light, one is suddenly hustled into the provinces— nestling little suburbs, quaint and interesting, seem to be miles from the gay capital.
I stopped for a moment in amazement at a window full of pastry, too tempted to pass, too puzzled to make a decision; I could not make up my mind whether I should devour, like a cannibal, a “Nun,” a “Madeline,” or be vegetarian and consume “A Thousand Leaves.” All looked so tempting, I com promised with the situation and ate all three.
The next bus would not pass for fifteen minutes, and it only connected with a line half a mile away; so I decided to walk.
There was Christmas cheer in the air, and every cafe and restaurant was lighted and glowing with the spirit of joy. Finally I overtook a fellow traveler who not only proved talkative but interesting. He was a little bit pensive, in spite of the season, and after exchanging commonplaces, he began his life’s history. It was a sad story, as most of our histories are. He had lost everything, and life to him was nothing but misfortune. I tried to cheer him and change the subject, but he, like the old farmer with the straw in the corner of his mouth, was sot” on telling it. He enumerated at length his misfortunes, punctuating each incident with an impressive silence.
Finally I said to him, “But you are married?”
“Mais oui, Monsieur,’’ He assured me.
“You have your wife then to cheer you.”
“Then you are fortunate,” I said.
‘’Yes,” he replied, “unfortunately I am.”
And then suddenly we both laughed. How much we are like every man that we meet on life’s high way. How often do we repeat evils and bemoan our fate until we even count our blessing as evils if we count them at all.
After this laugh my companion’s conversation took on a happier but more philosophical trend. And so we parted company. Out of the night he came and into the night he went, leaving me with my thoughts.
The time was when we disdained the statement of another, that we were not sick or poor or unhappy. Could we not see with our own eyes? And did we not know that medicine would surely make it right? And did it not? For a while—and then perhaps it did not work and we had to change the brand. And one day we awakened from this delusion and realized that in the scale of things God had as much power anyway as a teaspoonful of bitter stuff or half a dozen pills; and so we saw the delusion as such.
A man lying in bed suffering from what is termed delirium tremens certainly sees “snakes” but you do not. He suffers from them, is dreadfully afraid of them—but you are not. Yet you are in as close proximity to them as he is.
Another may be bothered, yes even considerably harassed, by what he chooses to call disembodied spirits. He may have to listen to their messages, their guidance and prophecies much to his dislike, but they do not speak to you. But he “sees what he sees, and hears what he hears,” in spite of the fact that if he checked their ranting for a single week, he would find that fully nine-tenths of it was absolutely nothing and the other tenth he could have thought out for himself.
You can certainly “see” a wart on a child’s hand as a reality. It is a growth, which has to be burned or cut off; but the child perhaps will find some secret trick and make the wart disappear. Most of us have either experienced or heard of this. It is not uncommon by any means. How in the world can that lump of flesh disappear without any outside effort?
Every thing is held in mind. All outline, color and form are first mental. No building was ever erected that did not first exist in the mind of the architect. And that picture held in his mind can be reproduced a thousand times; he can change it;. add to it; take from it; but when it comes into being it will be in accordance with the picture which he has held with in. The expression can be destroyed a thousand times and it can always be reconstructed as long as it lives in the mind of the builder.
If we are used to accepting appearances, we shall evolve a series of distorted pictures, and probably be ready to stand our ground with the statement: “Well there it is, you can see it for yourself.”
Imagine what great conflict must have existed in the minds of many who listened to the Master when he refuted this law of personal sense, and declared the Kingdom of Heaven to be at hand. Anyone had only to look about and see hell everywhere. Anyone who looked a second time could see that Lazarus was dead. Anyone could see that a certain man that had been blind from birth was blind. What was the good of saying he was not? No good, but knowing he was not and knowing the reason why he, as the Son of God, could not be in capacitated, or lose any of his senses, would be a different elevation. Knowing that life eternal could not die, made death appear as sleep. Yes, Lazarus was asleep to the fact that life is eternal.
Yes, Beloved, slowly perhaps, but surely we too are awakening to the glorious facts of being, and are thereby beginning to see that we have so long been accepting the sense testimony as real that we have been mesmerized to these false pictures as the Truth of Being.
7. WORSHIPING RUTS
Is there anything more pathetic than the worship of old things? An art jury may squabble and harangue about a picture and finally decide that it is a priceless old master. Instantly it is protected, and its value increases at an alarming rate, only later on perhaps to be discovered a clever fake. For a while it gives the same joy and pleasure that the original would have given; then, presto, the picture that was protected from robbers, vandals and thieves is cast out as valueless. In the meantime nothing has happened to the fake picture; it has remained just the same; yet the attitude has changed and hence it is worthless.
Guy de Maupassant gives us a fine illustration of this in his “String of Pearls.” The poor arrogant soul who wanted to appear in borrowed finery lost what she supposed to be real pearls and spent a whole life trying to replace them, only to find when it was too late that they were imitations. If the pearls had been genuine she could not have suffered more.
Many a woman is mooning over a lost Romeo whom she would not recognize or care to know if she could see the original of the picture she has cherished for so many years—and the ladies are not alone in this; there are also a few Juliets in the offering. Very often the “girl I left behind me” gives one a tremendous shock, and strangely enough the image goes crashing to the ground, when one sees that the original docs not in any way check up with the mental picture.
In Millar’s play “Thunder in the Air,” each character was able to bring forth the one who had passed on, just as he or she remembered him. He was a different person to every one, and yet the same boy all the while. It is almost as though there were within us an apparatus somewhat akin to the motion picture machine and that everything in the universe is a screen to catch the reflection of our concept of things.
Perhaps this is more clearly brought out by the fact that two people will have radically different ideas and pictures of a given person known to both. In the personal sense of things, a friend may become an enemy, and vice versa, and yet the person remains physically the same, and sometimes mentally the same.
You have all staged the little drama of the Lot family. You have been all the characters. Sometimes you have moved into a new state of consciousness without turning back to see the destruction of the former, and sometimes you have looked back and crystallized to the past. “The good old days” would not be so enjoyable if you had to live them over. Not many people would repeat the experiences of their lives if they had to take the bitter with the sweet.
One generation condemns another and speaks complacently about the morality “in my day,” not realizing that the generation before them did the same thing. How long are you going to fix your selves to this wheel and be crushed by memories of the past?
At the same time that you utter the statement, “I am demonstrating youth eternal,” you are talking about twenty and thirty years ago and of how different things were. You are pouring the acid criticism of your judgment on your own beautiful lives, believing you are setting things right for others, or at least trying to.
“What went ye out for to see?” Rest assured, that is what you are going to see. If you are eternally looking for evil, you will find it everywhere, because you are projecting it as you go along.
It does not require much reasoning along this line to be convinced. A musician usually finds musicians and music, for they are what he is looking for; a doctor finds patients and sickness—”Water seeks its level.” Do you know that you are filled with the waters of life, supplied from the river of life that flows in the midst of the garden? When you begin to realize this you will understand that when this water seeks its level, you will find it one of joy and power.
“Ah!” But you say, “if you had had all your fortune swept away, etc , etc.” Standing looking at disappearing symbols will not bring them back. If they could be taken from you, they were only symbols and had no consciousness back of them, for the law is one of a never ending stream of good pouring out for man, and as fast as one symbol goes, a other, yes, even a great many more, move into the field of manifestation. The money that you carry to the bank you may never see again, and the consciousness that money is there is all that you have.
You do not fuss with the banker because he does not give you the exact bills you deposited. Every man who begins to recognize his birthright, becomes conscious of the fact that he has an inexhaustible account in the Bank of the Universe. He learns how to make out his check and draw his substance in the form that will neutralize the seeming need. In the Bank of the Universe there is more than money. Money would be of little use to a drowning man, or a man without food in the desert.
As soon as man learns to stop his worship of ruts, he takes the high-road of peace, and finds pastures where he may go in and come out. Demonstration follows demonstration, with such rapidity that they cease to be outstanding. He forgets to remember every time he has a manifestation of the Spirit, just the same as he forgets every breath that he takes. He learns to “judge not from appearances,” for they are always faulty, and his conclusions will eternally be wrong. Of course, he cannot see how it can all be possible; there seems to be no way for the manifestation to come through; and just so long as he busies himself with this, no way appears. But after he has many times turned to a pillar of salt, he begins to realize that the way for which he has been looking is within. “I am the Way” into all things and for all things, if by your anxiety you do not crowd me out or fail to recognize this.
You stand at the top of a hill viewing it all mid saying: “Years ago I had the most wonderful demonstration. I cannot see why I have seemingly lost the power of former years.” You are worshiping ruts, relating them over and over until they have become great gullies in the way of life. Standing on sands that are full of seeds, you look back to some green pasture of former years, instead of causing the desert to blossom as a rose all about you. Yet, “I am with you always.” The I am to which all things are instantly possible is here and now in the midst of you.
Paul said, “I die daily.” If he went through the process daily, he must have been born daily in order to accomplish this feat. You die daily to that day. You shut it off like the chambered Nautilus. It is gone forever, and the things with it; only the consciousness of understanding that you have become aware of remains. If you could only learn to die to the ruts of yesterday, whether they be good or bad, you would soon come into the consciousness of the nowness of Spirit. You would hear the Voice eternally calling your attention to the fact: ‘’Now is the day of salvation”; “Now are we the Sons of God”; “Now is the Kingdom of Heaven at hand”; and begin to experience some of the liveableness of life in God.
Listen to the exhortation of the Dawn.
Look to this day!
In its brief course lie all the verities and
realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty;
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today well lived, makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
This old poem from the Sanscrit brings us up sharply to present possibilities of the nowness of Spirit. You take your eyes and hearts away from the ruts and memories of yesterday, and your feet cease their stumbling and you go on your way rejoicing.
The memory of an accident, until erased from the thought, may carry its baneful effects after it for years; but once you realize that the man of Spirit has never fallen in anything but belief, you release yourself from this bondage, and the picture that hangs upon that incident disappears from the field of manifestation.
You are new creatures in Christ Jesus. You are born again. You are transformed because your minds have been renewed by the recognition of the ageless principle which is your very life. “Behold all things become new” to the poor, benighted senses.
Old ruts are filled in, the crooked places are made straight and the rough places smooth, and leaving the valley of despond you scale the hills of attainment. This is the heritage of every man.
8. THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER
The Bible is the story of every man. It is almost as if it were a personal diary, compiled from day to day. If you doubt this, you have only to open your book, substitute your name for the character of which you are reading, to find that you have gone through the same experience.
Who has not written the psalms of Joy and of Desolation? Who has not enacted the role, of Job, or known the glory of a Solomon? Who that has spoken the Truth has not received the Kiss of Judas. Every Christ has his Judas, metaphorically speaking.
This should not frighten you for from this kiss which was meant for destruction came freedom. After Judas had kissed Jesus he had done the last thing he could do. He had then but to receive his reward.
Judas was a holy devil living in a whited sepulchre. Many of those who attempt to destroy the word of Truth along with the messenger of it live thus. Some of them loudly proclaim their desire to help the race, but their words are clouds without rain.
Too late the spiritual busybody learns the awful truth that he who tries to steady the ark of Truth has his arm withered away. He finds that “every tongue that is raised against thee shall perish.” I should not like to be the one who attempted to stop the word of Truth.
“I looked for mine enemy and the place thereof was no more.” All this seems ghastly in one way, and yet it is in strict accord with the law. The word that Judas sends out must return to him. He sends out the word of destruction. A rubber ball thrown against a wall returns.
What of the thirty pieces of silver that must be spent and which draw such huge interest? Is it not enough to bring compassion to the stoniest heart?
When thy accuser stands with scornful finger pointing to you, attempting with his viciousness to destroy you, turn the searchlight of Truth on his house (consciousness) and you will find it filled with leprous manifestations that need healing. “Physician heal thyself” is the thundering voice of Truth which many fail to hear. “Judge not lest ye be judged”— your protection lies in judging not. What you attempt to do for another comes directly and swiftly to you. It is so written in the law. Perhaps you think you are doing it in the name of Truth. You may excuse yourself and draw your holier-than-thou robes aside. Presently your ships shall come in laden with the cargo you sent out.
“Not one jot or tittle shall be removed until the law be fulfilled.”
The rod of Truth descends and demands payment to the uttermost farthing, and the reflex action is set up—”the measure ye mete shall be measured to you again, pressed down and running over.” Only think of it—“pressed down and running over” with the results of hatred.
The kiss which seemed to bring upon Jesus the chaos of death only brought to his attention the fact that a newer and greater liberty awaited him; and so it is with all the seeming evil conditions that have come to you. If you insist eternally on the universal nature of good, you will know the gentle blessing which comes from the wrath of your enemy, for this wrath must also bless you. Out of the curse of your enemy shall you receive a blessing. Out of the Judas kiss you shall receive freedom. “Fear not, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom of Heaven.” It is the pleasure of God to see his beloved manifestation securely dwelling in the kingdom of peace and harmony.
“I am the Light, the Truth and the Way.” The “I’’ of you is not seeking the way, for it is the Way; just as it is the Truth and the Light.
What a glorious sense of freedom comes to you when you come to this understanding; henceforth you shall not run about trying to seek the source of Truth in another, but shall find it a well-spring within your own consciousness. You shall go forth with a song rejoicing on your lips and a deep sense of peace your heart for the dark shadows of fear and hatred shall be the open sesame to your good. The chaos which seems all about you is only old conditions dropping off so that the new and finer manifestation may come into view. “Wist ye not that I am about my Father’s business?” Do you not know that you are engaged in the revelation of Truth and that your Way is clear and perfect, leading through all sorts of material conditions that human opinion says are impassable?
“Who did hinder you that ye should not obey the Truth?” Who could hinder the soul except the belief of human opinions as real and eternal Many a soul has been sent out of a condition into a “land flowing with milk and honey’’ with the instructions: “Go forth and look not back”—that is, take no thought of problems passed. And many on reaching the first hill started wondering what had happened to the so-called evil conditions left behind; thus disobeying the command and thereby crystallizing to old conditions, as did Lot’s wife. There are thousands of pillars of salt among us today, who have their eyes fixed on old conditions, self-hypnotized to that which has been.
He that has set his hand to the plough shall not turn back.”
Beloved wayfarer, you have heard the Voice; “Go into all the world.” All the world is your world, but turn not back and consider old things and conditions. Waste no idle tears and regrets over the has-beens of your life. Go forth—so much awaits you in the new revelation.
All of us have heard this call— “Arise and go forth.” “Arise arise! Arise and go forth!” No dead fathers to bury, no feasts to celebrate, no good byes to say, no other little things to be done. Go forth into your new service; the upper chamber awaits you. Go forth without thought of the how and why. Have I not commanded thee and is that not enough? No thought for the purse, for the script, for the body, and no thought for the things left behind.
He that walks forth by the command of the Truth shall find himself rising from the ashes of human opinions to the mountaintop of dominion. He shall know the sweet assurance that “the former things have passed away and shall not be remembered any more.” Divinely indifferent to the former things, not considering the chrysalis from which he has freed himself as anything but limitations cast off, he shall rise upon wings, and his youth shall be renewed as the eagle’s.
The same Voice that spoke through the man Jesus speaks through you and through every man today. Are you listening for it? Or do you con sign it to some certain personality? Where you look for the Christ? Many would see him come as a new and wonderful man in glorious robes and with great acclaim; but he has said “I am with you always”; and “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” If you want to see Christ and hear his voice, you must begin to realize the fact that the life of; every man (manifestation) is this Christ. When the eyes are opened to this fact you will begin to see him everywhere, and, rest assured, you will call him forth in every living thing.
Is it not a fact that two people may know the same person and to one he may be a benefactor and to the other an apparent enemy? And yet the physical appearance of the person is the same to both; it is simply the mental attitude each adopts toward him. If you go forth with this in mind you will see that even shining through the Judas kiss is the liberty of the Son of God.
9. IN A ROMAN GARDEN (Italy)
In Rome, the Eternal City, the conflict still goes on. At every comer, the statue of some ancient god or goddess looks down upon you, some smiling and others stern and austere. They refuse to give place to modem civilization. They defy the lofty structure of St. Peters. The city may be in the hands of a newer people, but the gods remain in all their glory. Their houses and temples, their shrines and playgrounds all remain—in ruins many of them, but defying the hand of the modern to remove the debris and replace it with his own temples. There they stand representing the “unknown God” or Power, “whom ye therefore ignorantly worship.”
Great pointed cypresses against white marble fountain facades and cerulean skies entrance one. Rome sits on her seven hills a strange and proud city, laying claim to eternity, without a qualm.
The Comtesse had invited us to have ices and coffee in the garden of her beautiful villa, but was first showing us some of the wonders of “her” Rome. We swept along the Appian Way with its slender trees, so gracefully etched against the wonderful transparent skies; past the vineyards where colorful peasants harvested the wonderful red grapes that would later yield their juice to the sparkling Chainti and Frascati wines. Life is filled with wonder and mystery in this sunny clime. Finally, we paused and entered the Church of Quo Vadis.
In the dark little chapel we were shown the marble slab upon which, so it is said, are the foot prints of the Master, and we heard once again the story of how Peter and Paul when leaving the city, wretched and defeated, encountered an apparition of their Lord. Peter addressed him—”Which way Master?” To which the voice is said to have answered, “I go to take up the work that you leave unfinished.”
We had visited the Catacombs and seen the humble dwellings underground where Peter and Paul lived and the rooms where the followers used to meet and pray. Even yet about the walls one sees on bits of stone, petitions to these saints to pray for them. We had seen the Sainted Stairway that Jesus trod up to Pilate. The day was lowering and wonderful, and so was life. It was so full that silence fell on the little party as the automobile moved on and on among the wonders of the Eternal City, around little hills and mountains, past ancient, half destroyed villas until at last we drove in through the large marble gateway of the Comtesse’s villa.
A pair of snowy-white peacocks were strutting about the soft green grass, making pictures, as if vying with the graceful swans on the little lake. Even an atheist must believe in God when he sees such torrents of beauty and loveliness.
We sat in the garden, wonderful and majestic, as only an Italian garden can be, filled with ancient myths and the ghosts of half-a dozen Lauras and Petrarchs and shy Beatrices and Dantes. The Comtesse fluttered about in her soft, clinging gown of delphinium blue and white. She was an exquisite bit of femininity, as though taken from a Fragonard fan, so dainty and almost ethereal that one imagined her to be a part of the dream picture which was real and yet unreal in its loveliness. Surely all this beauty and loveliness would fade away and one would find himself seated on the terrace of a cafe, half asleep in the lowering afternoon sun and the Comtesse with her glorious head of silver-white hair would be only the lady who for a few moments had stepped out of a Louis Quatorze picture.
The Comtesse was lovely, delicate, fragile and shimmering, and yet she was real. Somewhere hid den deep in her ancestry was the blood of a fiery Oriental that had stirred the Anglo-Saxon blood of her grand sires. There was a calm stream of light that flowed from her eyes, that made a strange balance to her fluttery, ethereal appearance—a gleam in the depths of those eyes that at times seemed strangely in keeping with the silver-white of her Louis Quatorze hair. Such a fragile little thing and yet something in the eyes spoke of the most ancient of doctrine.
One was shocked to find that this delicate beauty was not only a financier but a lady of methodical habits and ways. She would drive her decision to the last ditch. She seemed to have one hard and set rule. Simple, yes, “a thing was either right or wrong.” She had no middle path. She loved her chosen country because it gave the proper setting to her personality, but she brought with her the decisiveness of a Scotch grandfather.
As full of stories and legends as the Book of Decameron, she entertained us with one tale after another. “There is no compromise in Truth” she said, as the servant cleared away the coffee cups. “A thing is 1ight or wrong. That is why I love the Church of Quo Vadis. I do not say that it may not all be a legend, but what an example for us! The Master spoke to his disciples; rebuked them and left them free to take their own course. “I go to take up the work which you leave unfinished.’ In that one sentence is the clear statement that if a thing is right it can and will succeed against the so-called odds. And so it has long since been proved that the Master was right and that the Truth does prevail. No matter how it may be distorted and twisted to fit creeds and teachings, the Master knew that, that which is right must and will stand.
“There is no neutral ground; either all things are possible to this Power or there are two powers warring eternally one against the other; and from appearances, the evil power seems to have the odds in its favor; but looking back over it all we see that the so-called evil has always been defeated in the end, and could have been much more easily disposed of if in the minds of the adherents had there been no compromise.
“When you are right—and you innately know whether you are right or not—you will stand, even though everything seems to be slipping. The moment you are willing to stand on this ground and let go of everything, even as in the case of Isaac and Jacob it be the dearest of things, you will find that no sacrifice is required of you and that you have gained the freedom of No compromise.
“Faith drops by the way when the understanding comes that a fast and set rule cannot be broken and that it works a hundred times out of a hundred. There is no compromise in mathematics. If the principle is applied the result is eternally correct, and so it is with Truth. If the principle is applied the result is a natural consequence; it was there before you had set about working the problem. Every problem that has ever been given you has been worked out before you set about the mechanics. Your ignorance and unbelief may cause you to take many a by-path, but finally you will return to the direct method and find that the answer existed long before you saw it through the mist of unbelief. Could any promise be stated more plainly than this— ‘Before they ask I will answer and while they are yet speaking I will give it unto them’? Who shall doubt that the platform of Jesus the Master was built upon the lines of No Compromise. All through the records of the Bible we find that the method of no compromise worked out its perfect results. Lot and his wife show a clear example that between the so-called evil and good there is no bond of halfway ground. Lot proved this. His wife dallied about the decision. She tried to look back upon that which was being wiped out, tried to compromise.. She is like many people in the Truth, who wish constantly to review the dead past and yet be considered in the Advance Guard of the Word. ‘The former things have passed away and shall not come into mind’ of that person who is willing to go forward on the No Compromise platform. No time to look back at the shells of yesterday, however wonderful they may have been!
The glories of the new so outstrip the past that there is no comparison. A thing that may have been wonderful yesterday, is naught when contrasted with the growth of today. A child may think it amazing when he has manipulated a string on his finger into various designs, but the man who is stretching great steel cables and sinking heavy piles into the deep waters, does not waste any time relating all this. He is busy with new and more wonderful use of his hands and mind. You may have used what seemed to you years ago a marvelous power and overcome belief that had been tenacious, but that is as child’s play to the glories that await you today, if you will but ‘Go forward!’”
The charming, fluttery Comtesse stood with a dainty foot poised on the edge of the marble step that led down to the lake with its white swans. A silvery something in her voice seemed to say between the words “1 have proved that which I say; therefore I speak with authority.” And so it had been with the Comtesse, she had stood her ground when all her worldly advisers—and some of these considered the most eminent of minds—had admonished her to compromise. “I am right, and I shall stand on this ground. What matter though everything be swept away. That will only convince me that it was not mine in the first place and that it should have gone.” She seemed to be the embodiment of the Winged Victory. As in the case of all souls who have stood on this ground, even though it seemed at the very last that everything dear and worth while would be given up on the altar of sacrifice, the Comtesse found that nothing had been lost except an appearance which had proved untrue.
And then out on the beautiful lawn near the cypress trees appeared a group of dancers, lovely sylvan creatures in white followed by Panplaying on his pipes.
“Life is beauty,” continued the Comtesse, “I make no compromise with ugliness. It is as unnecessary as filth, it is the result of too much thinking and no action. The moment a soul turns to action it is lit with the Divine Light of Truth and grows from that moment more and more beautiful, but when it creeps back into its cloistered cell and draws all its light inside, the expression becomes sordid and dull.
“ ‘I go to take up the work that you leave unfinished’ is the Soul of man speaking to the pygmy personality that is just on the eve of a compromise with appearances. ‘Judge not from appearances,’ they are never twice the same, they change constantly. Even this very pleasant afternoon could never be repeated, something would be just a little different—the flowers a little further into blossom or the fruit more in evidence. Everything must change for it is the picture thrown out on the ether by the mind’s eye.”
If the mind knows no compromise with evil or even a so-called “near” good, these pictures will continue to evolve into newer and finer beauty.
10. DECISION (England)
The whole thing started this way—Jane went out to dinner. Not that it was anything unusual for Jane to go out to dinner; she was always doing that, having a penchant for dining (which is perhaps a common trait of most human beings); but some way or other it was an eternally new stunt with her, for she sought as her companions men of experience and of varied nationalities.
For half an hour before she started, excitement reigned to such an extent that the very air snapped with preparation. She became quite French or Italian or Spanish in turn, and almost lost the use of her mother-tongue in the excitement. She was a seeker of atmosphere, pure and simple.
From what Marie said, together with Jane’s unintelligible chatter, we gathered that she was dining with a rather tempestuous Spaniard, who had already reached the danger line, if girth of waist is a sign. If you are Epicurean, it is safe to have as a dinner companion a person with a broad expanse of waist line—he usually has ferreted out the finest cuisines.
Being assured that if we waited we would have a very thrilling report of both the dinner and the evening, we waited. Monte, the composer, an incessant talker, somewhat passe in his ideas of music, but still insistent on the beauty of the polka, of which from all appearances he was the father, had the floor. We lolled about the comfort of Number Forty-nine exchanging bits of interesting news, sipping tea and consuming an unmentionable quantity of cakes and scones. The teakettle was always boiling at Number Forty-Nine.
For at least three cups of tea, Lena had been quiet. Lena was an analyst and sometimes she thought so hard it was almost audible. She adjusted her green hat and everyone knew that something was about to be said—Lena was English and discreet.
Monte was still talking about the polka and disparaging the American jazz when Lena spoke:
“You know,” she said, talking to Marie, “I did not like the way that Spaniard said ‘good night’ when he left-there was something in the tone of his voice that didn’t ring just right to me.” Marie was Jane’s mother.
Nobody waited for Marie to respond. Every body in the room had something to say and said it, except Kit, who had a way of sitting quietly by and not bothering with the things over which other people troubled their heads.
Ethel got the floor after the silence, which inevitably follows such an outburst, and said, “What is to be will be.” Ethel was a little bit fatalistic, but her husband was not; he was a practical dreamer, who dreamed and made things that worked by the uses of light. “And what is to be must be good” he added. “Good must come out of everything; only we are so afraid of knowing it. We judge from appearances—first appearances—and cry at the cracking of a shell or the destruction of a cocoon, but later on we say, ‘What a glorious bird, or butter fly!’ And are willing to throw the cocoon and shell into the dust heap.”
Monte thought this was beautiful philosophy and wondered if out of the chaos of jazz, the polka would be reborn and the Charleston and Black Bottom would die.
“Then we are helpless things,” put in Lena, “and there is no good trying to change anything.”
“Thinking that a thing is or is not so, does not change the facts of being; it only changes appearances to the thinker. None of the eternal facts of being have ever been changed by mere thinking. The world did not become flat because at one time everyone thought it was so,’’ put in Kit.
Nothing stirs up such excitement a telling people who are essentially interested in thought, that thinking does not change things. And yet it is self evident. No two people think the same thing about a given subject. What appears as one man’s meat is another’s poison. How can the same thing be meat and poison, except by the respective thinking? The man of the tropics would freeze in what the Eskimo would call a mild spring day.
It is the attitude of mind which counts, and, when we come to the place of seeing the working of God in and through the affairs of man, we come to understand that nothing but good can possibly come from a cause that is eternally good.
“I shall come as a thief in the night,” is but a signal that at the most unexpected moment and in the most unforeseen situation the lesson comes.
“I suppose there is a grain of truth in it all,” said Monte as he listened to this philosophy which had been pieced together by many voices, “but I am a firm believer in an ounce of prevention.”
“The ounce of prevention may have been duly swallowed in this case,” put in Marie.
“We must ache and ache before a thing can come into expression,” asserted Ravino, the poet, whose whole theory of life was the “aching to be born’’ sort of belief.
“And all your aching is not going to change things,” answered Monte; It was evident that he had been aching to bring back the polka ever since the day of Gilbert and Sullivan.
Ethel got sort of panicky. “This all makes 1rie feel rather helpless and hopeless and gives me a sinking feeling,” she said, “I have been praying and making affirmations for years. I hate to think there is nothing to prayer.”
“There is a lot to prayer,” answered her mate, “every, prayer is answered, only we do not recognize the answer. Prayer is not a means of changing the eternal law of the universe; it is the one and only way of aligning yourself with the law, ‘which to know aright is life eternal.’ When we pray we become one with God, and what mortal would deign to offer suggestions to the Omnipotent as to how to run his universe; but what a glorious thought to know that we can become one with this law of harmony, and function with it into perfection and happiness.”
* * * *
Tea had long since been over, when a latchkey rattled in the front door and footsteps were heard on the stairs. Evidently Jane was bringing her Spaniard back to the flat.
The door opened and in rushed Jane, out of breath and flushed with excitement. Everyone expected to see her followed by her Spanish escort; but instead she brought in the headwaiter of the cafe where she had dined—at least, he acted in that capacity that night. Bringing waiters, even head waiters, into English homes is not always done, even in these days of freedom; but he was in, that was sure. Between courses he had spoken to Jane in French, and by one of those queer workings of the law it all ended in his being in our midst.
He was not a very prepossessing man. There was nothing very startling about his appearance. But some way or other we learn, in looking back, that our teachers and masters who gave the most, appeared to have the least. A carpenter once gave a great message that found its way into Imperial Rome and later circled the globe with its refreshing sweetness and power—Watch! No man knoweth when I shall come nor yet in what raiment or guise.
After Jane had tried to describe the dinner and the meeting, and to make what excuses she could, all in the same breath, her friend with a peculiar sort of dignity took the floor and began to speak:
“I came to you,’’ he said, “because as you sat here earnestly seeking the light, I heard your call. The fact that I was a headwaiter tonight does not mean anything; tomorrow I may be a banker, a beggar, a singer or anything else that means attaining the necessary end. You have heard it said, ‘When the student is ready the Master will appear.’ The mechanics of his appearing are as nothing. It is the end which must be accomplished. I came to you in what seems to be a miraculous way, or at least, an unusual way, but it was only miraculous because you are always looking to the mechanics of the law. There are no miracles or wonders in the law. They only appear so because you are not wholly centered in the understanding of the isness of good. You are still floundering about in the making of demonstrations, healings and cures. In one breath you proclaim that God is all and in the next you are recognizing conditions which you say are not of God and beseeching him to do away with them. Whence comes this wavering but from judging from appearances and recognizing two powers? Know ye not the law—‘A house divided against itself must surely fall’? A house or consciousness that believes in two powers is divided against itself. Its fall is only a question of time.
“ ‘Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.’ You cannot serve or love two masters. Either you will recognize the understanding and have done with the belief, or else you will still go on working with the mist of belief. The ‘I’ of you, as long as you hold it in the beliefs deducted from appearances, will be in the midst of evil, right in the God created universe, and in the midst of a God who ‘is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity.’
“As long as man strays in the beliefs he will do what he calls ‘thinking’ but which in reality is only mis-thinking, for the results will be full of mistakes. What has thinking done in the belief world to change things? Over and over again you are asked if you cannot add one cubit to your stature by taking thought, why take thought for other things? And there is the command, ‘Take no thought for the purse, the script, the body.’ God must be and is the only thinker, and to become one with him is to receive direct the divine inspiration which makes for the bringing into visibility of the unmanifest and invisible. Unmanifest and invisible to whom? To you only. Because a thing is unmanifest to you, it is not necessarily so to every man. You, in your present state, stand for great attainment to someone who does not see the light to the same degree that you do. Your present concept of prosperity may be small to you, but to one wallowing in the belief of a beggar, it appears that you are enjoying affluence and an abundance of all the things he desires. It is unmanifest to him in his own uni verse. He is looking over the wall of his limitations into your Garden of Eden and rankling with envy, while he has only to choose to enter and claim a garden of his own.
“ ‘Choose ye this day.’ The present tense of the word rings through eternity— ‘Choose ye this day.’ You choose, when you pray aright, when you align yourself with the understanding of the allness of God as operating perfectly in his universe. You choose when you come to the understanding that God could not make a mistake, and this very knowledge awakens you at once to the recognition of the fact that the seeming mistake in your life, which you are trying to eliminate, is but the miasma of your belief thinking. Can God make a mistake? Can he fail to express himself?
“ ‘Choose ye this day.’ You choose or decide about many things in your life. Even before you rise from your chair you make a definite decision to do so, and the mechanics take care of themselves. In fact, it is almost an unconscious act and thought. It is rather conscious recognition of the fact that you can and will rise. So it is with everything. But if you hesitate you do not rise and if you waver in your choosing of anything, you do not accomplish.
“ ‘Is anything hard for me?’ asks God. ‘Is any thing impossible for me?’ When man makes his decision everything in the universe rushes to serve him. Out of the nowhere comes his help. The seemingly most detrimental conditions turn and aid him. The most unexpected things transpire. ‘I am the way’ and ‘I am always with you.’ ‘Look not to the right or left.’ You have made your decision, not with the human will power but with your alignment with God, and your decision is merely the willingness to ‘let’ the Power express through you. It is not lazily sitting about waiting for something miraculous to happen, but rising to the place of activity. Nothing is too small to do, nothing too trivial to be performed, for how do you know in what so-called trivial thing is the sign of your on-going? Awake thou that sleepeth! arise! shine.”
THE STORY OF THE HEADWAITER
“I was born the illegitimate son of a Belgian milkmaid and an itinerant workman. Soon after my birth my mother left the farm where she had been employed, leaving me behind. Until I was nine years old I believed that I was a serf belonging to a hard taskmaster. I used to go to the fields alone day after day at sun up and stay until it was too dark to do more work. Undernourished, unloved or cared for, I lived in a little imaginary world that I created for myself. It assumed great and noble proportions, this make-believe world. There was plenty of food there, plenty of love, plenty of everything. I often ordered a gorgeous repast of the most tempting foods, and one day when hunger was particularly annoying to me I accidentally stumbled on to the law of decision. I addressed the farm woman very definitely in my make-believe world—yes I brought it very close to me—I decided that I would have two eggs for my evening meal that very day. There was a feeling of finality about that decision and the nearness of it, but soon it slipped from my mind as I went on with my work. That night, much to my surprise, the farm woman placed two large eggs in front of me for the evening meal. Some thing new had been born in me—something definite even though vague. I did not know it then, but I was asking in the truest sense of the word—yes I had for that moment lifted myself up to a place where I had taken my good. ‘When ye pray believe that ye receive (present tense) and it shall be so.’
“I went to the field next day well fed for the first time in my life that I remembered, and tingling with a self confidence. I stood alone and decided that from that time on I was no longer a slave, but free born. I revelled in my new freedom. It was a different sensation from the day dreaming I had been accustomed to. I decided that it was so. Nothing startling happened for several days, but each day I stood on the point of decision that it was so, and one day I found that the entire menage where. I had lived all these long hard years had gone to pieces. The farmer told me I must shift for myself, that he had no further use for me.
“I remember doing my little earthly belongings into a bundle and taking the long road that led to Paris. I was not unhappy for something in me seemed to say, ‘Well, you made your decision for freedom; so stand on it. The human sense often asks for things that it does not recognize when they come. Freedom at that time meant release from the bondage of slavery, but it also meant giving up what seemed to be my only means of support and life. I learned here that we have to pay the price for the thing for which we ask. And as soon as we are willing to do this there is no price to be paid. ‘Come eat, drink, without price.’ Ways and means take care of themselves to the person who is ready to let things work into expression. So often we make a decision and then try to formulate a way by which it must come into expression, or else we stand hesitating to take the new gift because it does not come in the manner we have prescribed: I am the Way.
“ ‘Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.’ Have you chosen a god mixed with evil. Is the business of God’s child that of getting rid of evil?
“ ‘The wisdom of man is foolishness in the eyes of God.’ Why? Because looking back over the years of human knowledge, we find that it has been changing constantly. The textbooks you used in your laboratory work are now obsolete. Many of the rules and regulations you had to learn in order to make your grade, are now found to be untrue. Man with his knowledge gained from human belief has adulterated the Truth of Being. The child never commits adultery, that must be the province of the adult. Hence the Truth is given unto the child. Not the child in years but the consciousness that can accept good irrespective of the sense testimonies.
“There is told the story of an ancient initiation which perfectly lays before man the power of decision.
The Neophite is taken blindfolded from the pyramids to the Sphinx. As he approaches the Sphinx his Master says to him. ‘On a table before you are two goblets of wine. One is the wine of life the other is poison. Choose!’ If he hesitates for one instant in stretching out his hand he is given the poison, and as he dies he is told this burning Truth— ‘The only poison in life is indecision.’ When you stop for a moment you see the utter folly of a blind folded man hesitating in his choice. Human reason gets in with its doubt and causes him to do evil where he would automatically do good. Every man seems to be blindfolded when he faces his decision. He is blinded by the mists of human appearance of things and when he begins to reason he gets con fused. The fact that the Master (his inner lord) says ‘Choose’ bespeaks the truth that he has infinite ability to choose rightly without hesitation. Gradually man begins to understand that when Spirit speaks it brings with it the ability to perform that which it commands, even while the human belief is shrieking ‘impossible—it cannot be done.’
“All the power of the universe moves with one who has come to a decision, especially if he follow the command of the Master to take no thought. If a man makes a decision and then throws himself into the how, the why, and the wherefore of its coming forth, he misses the goal. When the Master said ‘Go into all the world’— ‘Take no thought,’ he clearly implied that when man had made the decision to go ahead, all things would be provided with out the troublesome worry of the human thought. Here the radical reliance on the Principle of life enters in.
Making a decision is like silently broadcasting to the entire universe. Every agency and channel that is to aid in the bringing about of this decision comes to the foreground at just the right time to lend its aid in the fulfillment of the decision.
When a man gets on a tram car he automatically picks up the velocity and motion of it, though he personally may remain perfectly quiet and relaxed in his seat. He discovers however if he tries to jump off in the opposite direction that he is thrown to earth. He actually throws himself down by not complying with the law of motion. So when a man makes a decision and it gathers all the power of the universe toward its fulfillment he finds that by changing his mind and breaking his decision an ugly reaction sets in.
“A noted psycho-analyst has said that one of the easiest ways to make complexes is to make and break decisions. It is a truth that when a man knows what he wants he can have it. Do you know what you want? Are you willing to pay the price for it? It must come into expression in its own way, not in a way outlined by man. The price is complete abandon to the working out. When the shell of consciousness which has been holding you cracks, to free you into a larger phase of expression, the first thought is one of fear. ‘Let us return to Egypt’—but he who stands will see the new freedom and joy coming to him. Then he finds that when he is willing to pay the price, which is simply letting go of personal beliefs, everything is free. ‘Come eat and drink without price.’
“There is the law of secrecy in regard to decision, that many fail to heed. ‘See that y tell no man.’ The seed thrown into the ground is best left alone. If it be dug up often, it dies. The egg placed under the hen must not be tampered with. ‘Thou fool, do you not know that a seed must first fall into the ground and rot before it shall live’ seems like a stem rebuke to the fretting and curious human mind. The time will come when you can go and show John’ the accomplished works of Truth. No need for worry or anxiety about ways and means— ‘I am the Way,’ and I shall take you ‘by a way you knew not of.’ Why worry and plan about the fulfillment of your decision. It is done.
“I have formulated this bit which completely covers the ground:
When after prayerful deliberation
You have come to a decision,
Suffer not to change your mind,
For caprice spells ruination.
“New and unexpected capacities are opened up to the man who knows decision. All things are possible to the Son of God. All thing’s are his for the acceptance—not to use to make himself a great personality, or to lift himself above other men; but merely that he may live and laugh and enjoy this Kingdom of Heaven which Jesus came to proclaim. The way is easy, the burden of this Truth is light. ‘Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden (with beliefs) and I will give you rest.”
* * * *
Going to the piano the speaker played strange and unusual melodies which seemed to have left the ordinary paths of music and harmony and expressed an intangible something, never to be forgotten, and then he was gone, and a silence fell on those gathered there and a wonder at the hypnotism of the belief world. The student was ready and the Master appeared. “As many as hear my voice are saved”— from the fear of their beliefs.
“It is a very beautiful philosophy,” said Monte, “No ‘aching to be born,’ only I wish I could get the hang of it and then the polka. ..”
But the rest of the guests had gone, each one filled with wonder.
11. WHAT WENT YE OUT FOR TO SEE
He who looks for evil to overcome, either in himself or in another, shall find it in everything. He shall enter into an arena of battle that will end in his own defeat, for he has defied the Voice which saith: “Ye do not need to fight; set yourself and see.”
He who looks for good, either manifest or unmanifest in everything with the clear understanding of the impossibility of anything existing but good, in the God-created universe, will travel the road of peace. He shall “come over” negative circumstances, recognizing them as the expression of misapplied good, because he shall know that “God is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity,” and surely, Beloved, what God cannot see or behold does not exist as a reality, but as an illusion of the senses.
Because the Son can do nothing except that which is first done by the Father, it is impossible for you to see, or to know, that which it is impossible for God to see, or to know. “My father worketh hitherto and I work.”
12. ARE YOU A BUTTER JAR?
The good people of the house were away, and so the Household Gods had the stage to themselves.
The Bokahra Rug, being the most prized thing in the room, quite naturally opened court. The somewhat somber red of his gorgeous body became livid, as he glanced at the blue-green Butter Jar, with its crude tracings of black. It was quite easily seen that His Majesty the Rug did not relish the fact that the butter jar was entirely out of place. In spite of the fact that the butter jar was ancient, the rug had no respect for her.
“Imagine,” he said to the beautiful Teak-wood Stand, on which the jar rested, “Imagine, you who have known the intimate touch of Emperors of the Ming Dynasty, acting as a throne —for that peasant a butler jar.”
At the outburst, all the “Objects d’Art” sat up, as it were, and took notice. The High-boy with the Louis Quatorze minor over it, seemed to chuckle with the mirth of a mischievous lad, and waited.
The Piece of Brocade that once graced the cape of a pope tried in vain to draw herself from in under the Teak-wood Stand upon which the jar rested. She sighed: “Think of it—a common butler jar, that once stood in a dirty Arabian kitchen, sitting like a pretender on the throne, and me, used as a carpet for her ugliness.”
“It is terrible,” agreed the Cloisonne Vase, trying to tum the chipped side from the light.
“Ah, be yourself,” blew the Bellows, a product of a modem antique shop, fashioned to look like a Sixteenth Century product. “The same material that is in you, might have been made into anything but what you are—look at me, instead of being a yule log, here I am associating with all the Big Wigs.”
It seemed as if one might have heard a chuckle from the little ivory God of Destiny. No one spoke, but it was plain that the rug was waiting for further defamatory testimony from his subjects.
A Mid-Victorian Table tried to move her “limbs” (in her day, it was almost vulgar to call the supports of anything “legs,” even a table, and especially if that table were a lady): “My word, in my time such a person caught in such a distinguished group, would have been so embarrassed; that she would have crashed to the floor in shame-what humiliation one is subjected to in these modern days of antique collectors.”
The Brass Fire Irons (those twin brothers who had known the Mid-Victorian lady in her rightful setting) tried to acknowledge this great truth, but they only made a gritty sound on some ashes that the maid had carelessly left under their feet.
The silence was ominous—something had to be done.
Suddenly a little breeze came through the open door and turned a leaf in a book of illumined texts, which was lying where the Master of the House had left it and as it lay, it was reflected in the minor so clearly that all could read. It was startling, as if it were the “handwriting on the wall.”
“Let patience have her perfect work”—what knave of an artist had thought to enlarge and embellish the word “perfect,” and under this: “The stone that has been rejected by the builder, the same shall become the head of the corner.”
“If I hadn’t been so nasty to the cat,” thought the King, “and bristled so that I was uncomfortable to walk on—I might have gotten some assistance from that arch-villain though I hate cats. It would have been easy for him to have knocked her over, by accident.” And then he remembered hearing the Master reading an essay from Emerson aloud, on the value of making every man your friend. But he drew himself up at such a thought as being a friend to the common herd. That was impossible—unthinkable.
Just then a woman entered. She paused for a moment and said, “Whew! What a musty smell.” She threw open the windows, still talking to herself— “That old rug (the King bristled) fairly stinks.” The Bokakra turned crimson with rage, and the little Piece of Brocade ashed gray with embarrassment.
The Mid-Victorian Table squeaked at the vulgarity. Oh, for the ability to faint, but she could not, since she had been gone over and newly glued, and nailed together. “And those dirty irons, they are a disgrace.” Then she stopped in front of the Fragonard Fan and looked at it and laughed. “What fools we are,” she said, “perhaps after all you are only a cheap imitation, and you are rather dull in color,”—and again she made a grimace, as though she disliked the musty smell. The little ivory God of Destiny smiled, surely this time, a wicked, knowing smile. Going to the Butter Jar, the woman passed her hand over its glassy surface and took off its cover. “You will do it,” she said, as a rush of perfume greeted her from the rose leaves inside. “You are the only thing in here that is really good for any thing—but looks—but then,” she mused, looking at the softening green-blue shades and the crude black tracings, “you have always served.” The mirror on the wall reflected a new text from the little book: “He that would be greatest among you, let him serve.”
The rug turned green with jealousy; but the soul of the Butter Jar breathed deep and filled the room with her fragrance.
13. THE LADY WITH THE HOT POTATO
Like standing on some foreign beach watching wave after wave come in and go out, the joys of boulevarding are found in watching what each wave leaves behind it. A rare lot of shells and queer bits of driftwood come in with every new movement.
A raw food wave left behind it many “addicts” and many lessons of interest. After sitting through a somewhat tempestuous course of lectures, and listening to a lecturer scream until he was hoarse and so nervous that it amounted to hysteria, I wandered one day into a restaurant catering largely to his teachings.
The place was almost deserted, save for a few late diners who were apparently putting into practice the instruction of their late teacher. Just ahead of me a little old-fashioned woman carried her tray. She wore a black satin dress with ancient beaded trimming. Her hat showed plainly that it had been made by “loving hands” at home. She was the essence of neatness and thrift, and carried a suspicious looking handbag—leather, with great bulging ends of black cloth. She seated herself at my table.
“You are a raw fooder “ she queried, opening the conversation. “Not exactly,” I replied, “I have listened to the lectures and thought I would give it a trial for a couple of days anyway.”
“A couple of days”—she was utterly disgusted—I’ve been living on it for ten years—I took a course with Dr. C . . . in Detroit years ago and I have stuck by his teachings ever since.”
Seeing my utter ignorance of the science which she had embraced she closed the conversation by plunging her fork into a huge baked potato. She devoured it with avidity and proceeded to tackle a piece of peach pie. Not being able to finish this, she opened the mysterious black bag and produced a little bucket into which she scraped the pie, adding to it several generous spoonfuls of sugar. Then she departed—with this admonition, “Yes, sir, I have lived on raw food for years and I know what it will do for you.”
There are many of us like the little lady with the baked potato—we imagine that we are adhering to a given line of endeavor and in reality we are no nearer it than she was. We go into the restaurant which caters to the raw food diet and proceed to choose all cooked foods. By the self-hypnosis of associating with those who are eating raw foods, we imagine we are adherents.
We stand alongside of people who are doing things—going through the same motions, but with a different kind of food on our forks—and presently we wonder why it is that we do not arrive.
The association with success may bring us to a higher plane of thinking, but as long as we foolishly delude ourselves that we are following out the rules carefully, when we are simply living alongside of those who do, we shall get the same results as the woman with the baked potato—it will be all imaginary.
14. PARADISE ISLES (Honolulu)
Millions of pale pink blossoms wafted into the jade green sea, were being thrown up on the golden sands in great festoons of white foam. For days the gentlest of breezes had been carrying them in rose colored clouds from the groves of flowering trees. In the distance purple points of land ran far out into the water, and black silhouetted coconut trees shot out against the magic of color, like giant skyrockets. Great phantom ships of gold tinted clouds moved lazily about the sapphire skies, as if drawn landward by the incoming tide.
Riding the crest of an incoming wave, on a surf board, was a young Hawaiian god, as golden as the very sun itself, his fine young body sparkling with spray, his arms raised, his head thrown back, white teeth gleaming and eyes flashing. From the beach his companions, flower laden, called out to him. They sprang into the water with infinite grace, giving full play to the fine muscles, visible beneath their covering of bronze. The gorgeously colored leis about their necks and heads floated on the water, as though to spread a flower-perfumed path for the arrival of the young god.
One might have thought this a page from ancient mythology, at first sight, only to learn that this sort of thing was habitual among these people. The soul that is starved for beauty sees beauty as an occasional thing, just as he sees good as an unlooked for event. He cannot even imagine the continuity of it.
We have all been so starved for beauty and goodness, that sometimes we remain looking among the husks of our world of belief, seeking for a last grain of substance. So rarely do we find one, that we consider it wonderful and unnatural when we do. We talk about the wonderful time when we made a demonstration, or the magic of knowing the Truth, not recognizing that goodness should not be unusual, and that healings, happiness and peace, should not be the “once in a while” event in life, but should be the natural order.
If a man can remember the isolated periods when he did good or saw good manifested, he must admit that the time between these realizations must of necessity have been of the opposite nature. When man begins to see even in a faint way the present possibility of God, he ceases to remember good as an unnatural unusual thing. It happens with such ever increasing rapidity that it becomes the order of life.
We are so busy with the “making” of things, that we have no time to see that which is already made and has been pronounced “good and finished”—yes, “very good,” and sustained by a changeless Power, which we choose to call God.
The business of prayer, has so long been in the keeping of those with long, sad faces, physically unfit bodies, and repressed minds, that it seemed almost sacrilegious to imagine that this youth, landing on the beach with a shout of joy, and dancing about with his flower bedecked playfellows, had come with the express purpose of telling them of prayer.
We who watched with our false values garnered from civilization, hung about with false modesty, felt little shy in our very decent attire. And yet, “I came that your joy might be full,” has been said many times. How could our joy be full if we were to be burdened with a body that was aging and getting ugly under our very eyes. We might have said, “Ah, yes, but the joy is mental, and so what care I for this body?” But that is only the juice of sour grapes, for we do care, and we do recognize that, that which is truly in mind must come out into expression.
A cloud of incense from the heavily scented flowers blew seaward from the land. The surf board rider tossed a wreath of purple flowers over his golden shoulders and spoke:
“As natural as breathing, so is life, natural—no hoarding nor saving necessary. Always a recognition of life as everywhere. It is not a conscious effort—it has long since ceased to be that—one never thinks of the air or the mechanics of breathing, until he recognizes certain limitation along these lines.” That of which he takes no thought is in order and right. There is something higher than thought—there is the thinker of the thought—God. It is interesting then, that the Way-shower, Jesus, should have said on certain occasions, ‘take no thought.’
“To the one who is taking much thought about the acquiring of things, the ‘take no thought’ command of the Great Master, means nothing. In his effort to get things by taking much thought about them, he unconsciously denies the Master’s injunction. He does not remember If ye deny me, I shall also deny you; ‘Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature.’ This is a blast upon the trumpet which should awaken us to the Truth of being.
“There is something infinitely higher than taking thought, and that is the recognition of God as everywhere present. It will stop the endless effort to demonstrate a little of God in a certain part of the body, and enable us to feel life surging through every part of the temple—body—washing it clean of the ‘dove sellers’ and ‘thieves’ of belief.
“We do not put on health like a garment, nor Truth as a mantle. ‘I am the Truth and the Light and the Way’—this needs recognition and not demonstration, in the old sense of the word. We are beginning to follow, in part at least, the way which eventually leads to this understanding. Judging from appearances, we are on the outer rim of things, forgetting that within the new and ageless substance of Spirit is awaiting the recognition of this principle, to bring out a new and beautiful manifestation.
“We fail to see the lesson in nature, that as soon as a thing has reached its maturity, it is cast off quickly, in order that a new idea may come into expression. This truth has been discovered by the physicists, who recognize that the body is renewed yearly; but through our hypnotized beliefs, we fail to recognize this in practice and hold only to it in theory. Yet this being true, no part of the body— temple—could envisage age.
“As each wave is a part of the ocean, yet individual, so is it with man. No sooner does the wave reach perfection than it is lost again. Man, the highest manifestation of God, has not yet learned this beautiful lesson. He cannot let go, but hangs on to a demonstration. He talks about the time he made the Power work. He collects the rags of memory about him and tries to hide behind them.
“Small wonder that the Master told us to consider the lily. It is so free-growing, so easy into expression, so sure of success, so impersonal in the giving, so ready to release the flower once it is perfect, knowing full well that nothing is lost. Within the heart of the lily lies the possibility of infinite reproduction. Past manifestations are not lost, but cast down around the roots to furnish richness and substance for future use.
“None of our past manifestations are lost, and yet they must all be lost in the wonder of the ever increasing manifestation. To lose your life in the infinite is to find it; to hold it is to lose it in a maze of beliefs.
“A flower severed from its stem is dead. The moment it is cut from the parent stalk it is finished. Man who believes himself separate from God, is dead, and every man who thinks he has to struggle and beg and beseech God to come down to him, is living in this separation. He has not yet recognized the utter impossibility of being separate from Life.”
The boy was smiling at his hearers now; there was a radiance of recognition shining in his eyes. The group suddenly rose and rushed off into the sea, diving, plunging and shouting for joy. Out into the clear deep water they swam. It was so transparent and light that a depth of forty or more feet was visible. Below lay the gorgeously colored marine gardens, with the giant trees of green kelp, red seaweed, great abalone shells, and lace-like coral, making a place of enchantment, full of highly colored fish, which flashed like moving jewels in the clear waters. Amethysts, rubies, canary diamonds, sapphires, and sun-bursts, darted about among the sea flora, or floated listlessly through the giant sea anemones with their long fringe of orchid and pink. Magic—color—beauty—life.
Everything was alive with beauty and vitality; everything called to the oneness of life; man was instinctively in his real element—he was one with it all.
Many times had Adanorah, the teller of ancient legends and stories, told of the time when her people had so perfectly harmonized with all life that the animal kingdom was unafraid of man. She had seen her grandmother place strings about her body, go into the woods and come back with a mantle of what seemed to be fur. She had heard her speak a word and seen the soft lines of fur break up into a thousand caterpillars and crawl away. She had heard her grandfather call to the brightly colored fish and seen them flock about him in the water as he swam. But Adanorah’s grandparents knew that life was One and that everything was united with the one great stream of life.
Later she heard a white man tell of a great Teacher who knew that “we are all members of the same body,” and that one part of the body was no more important than the other.
All is one body with the same great floods of life sustaining ideas flowing through it. All is the same life, never aging, never dying, never disturbed. Man can only be disturbed when, in belief, he separates himself from this life. He can in reality n yer be separated. Because he has come to believe that sub stance is in the symbol, instead of understanding that the symbol is the shadow of soul, he has become prodigal. The reflection in a mirror is lifeless, has no power of itself, cannot change, unless the changes take place in that which stands before it.
Once Adanorah met a very ancient man who was unhappy and she told him to pray to God, to which the old man replied: “The good God is much too old to pay any attention to me.” Judging from appearances, to what other conclusion could one come? Man, the highest idea of God, seems full of years; then God too must age. Man refusing to understand the law of Spirit has strayed from his Garden of Eden, out into the land of belief, the place where he believes life to be in the reflection or symbol.
But always there come to mind the words “Be ye transformed”; “His youth was renewed like the eagle.” Renewing the mind transforms the body. “Turn ye even unto me.” Where was this me and what was it? If it were a god that could not know age, how was it possible for an aged manifestation, full of years and also sins to approach him, “who was of too pure eyes to behold iniquity”?
Adanorah swam on with her joyous companions diving through the great breakers. It was like being in the sea of life, being one with it all, like a great wave that formed into manifestation and then melted into the sea again. Life was like that, finding itself by losing itself. “He that loses his life (personal separate idea) hall find it.”
15. THE LOTUS (India)
If it had not been for his white turban and loin cloth, you would never have seen Sudeva, for his body was the same color as the copper sands. In fact, everything seemed to be copper color; even the sky looked like a copper bowl. Across the barren waste, a patch of black could be seen where a clump of trees silhouetted themselves against the skies and shaded a water hole. And toward this Sudeva moved. Further on could be seen the domes of a while marble palace, glistening in the sunshine with a dazzling whiteness. Everything was silent save for an occasional rustle of the sands as some lizard scurried away from the path of Sudeva.
Sudeva had just been talking with his Master about reflection and had been sent away to a quiet spot to gain the Truth of his master’s teachings. Already he had learned that all knowledge of real worth came to one when alone. He might learn the letters of a word, from a teacher, but the true meaning would come to him when he took the letters and formed them into the word which he himself could understand. His master had told him that man could only convey the spirit of a word or letter. Everybody has a different picture of the same word. Take for instance the word “rose”—to one it might be red, to another pink, and to still another it might be multicolored; it might be full blown or a newly opening bud. It was so with everything, and this is why the Master was teaching him the futility of argument and the value of true concentration. “In quietness and peace shall be thy strength.” No one could have quietness and peace as long as he was in the midst of an argument about what peace and quietness meant. Quietness and peace had to be felt more than to be talked about, yes, more than they had to be thought about, for a man could say a thousand times “peace, peace,” and be in the midst of confusion. Peace might be suggested to the mind by much repetition, but not the lasting peace that passeth all understanding. That was a higher process than mere thought. It was a thing that had to be felt and experienced.
At first when his Master told him there was a higher thing than thought, called “recognition,” Sudeva was almost hopeless, and yet at odd times in his life he had come to realize that most of the really worth while things that had come to him, had arrived more by a process of recognition that they were so, than by trying to make them so by his thought.
The Master did not discourage the idea of thought, but made it clear that there was a sort of mental action which could only be placed in the category of mis-thinking, and then there was ignorant thinking . All sickness and unhappiness came into existence by the process of this mis-thinking; that was why it could be moved out by right thinking; and now his Master had gone one step further and said that the Thinker of the thoughts of the uni verse must have fully recognized the thing before it was even thought. And long ago Sudeva had learned that this Thinker of the thought, or rather this Recognizer of the universe was infinite and everywhere present. There could not be more than all.
One thing that Sudeva knew from his experience in the world, was that most of the inhabitants were decidedly unhappy, no matter what their material stale might be. They were tired looking among the husks for a few grains of substance, and gradually one by one they were turning their attention to a memory of something better which they had once known and enjoyed in the dim distant past.
Sometimes every bit of tangible hold on life seemed to slip through his fingers, for the Master talked about thinking at the same time he said there was a higher state called recognition. Every time Sudeva came to the conclusion this teaching was too high for him, the Master brought home some illustration that made it clear to him that he was already using this recognition process in his everyday life.
There were many things that came to Sudeva which could not be shaped into words. He had tried many times to tell of an experience in a dream, which he knew perfectly well, but when it came to putting even the slightest semblance of it in words or thoughts it evaded him and he was left with only the memory of a memory of something, but also with the feeling of a reality which was more or less permanent.
It was perfectly clear to Sudeva that the things which gave the most trouble in life were those which were constantly in thought—a sick body, a lack of money, the loss of a friend. No one ever thought of his body when it was manifesting perfect health, or his funds when he had abundance, or the making—or holding of friends when he had plenty of them. No one would question whether he were or were not loved by another, unless he thought he was not.
Things that are real are so obvious that to speak of them is almost profane. Real love is more expressed than spoken. Results of trying to force ones self to love another were practically nil in the old way of life. Anyone could recognize friendship and love without difficulty, just as anyone could recognize the existence of perfect health when perfectly unconscious of his body.
But how was one to be able to “recognize” realities instead of trying to create them by thinking? It was just this question that Sudeva had asked, and the Master told him to go across the desert to the water hole under the clump of trees.
At first when Sudeva left the Master, he hesitated as to whether he would do as he was bidden. After all, was this teaching only imagination? Had he not better return to the city of his birth and live the life that so .many lived, satisfying himself by going occasionally to the temple, and listening to the priests in their soiled robes made of orange cotton stuff, drone out the mere words of Buddha from their palm leaf books? Would it not be easier to stop for a moment before the grotesque figures of Buddha as he lay in his cheap,gaudy, colored robes, or sat with his eyes closed? A few flowers and coppers would be all that were necessary to obtain a favor, or at least to discharge his religious obligation. Why not leave it to the priests with their shiny heads to trouble about understanding the symbols? Why should he bother’? If this fashion of worship did not suit, he could pay his tribute to the temple of the sacred cow.
But somehow when he thought of kneeling to a cow, even though she did stand in a temple which was beautiful in its ornate workmanship of white marble, and even though perhaps she was only a symbol, something in him called out—a voice that would not cease, a something that would not be quieted: “I will overturn and overturn.” Many might understand and accept the symbols and there by gain their peace, but to others it was nothing but the merest pretense. It was always pleasant in the temple grounds in the shade of he dark trees, and nearly always quiet; but occasionally some noisy tourist party would parley with the self appointed doorkeepers of the temple. They always had flowers which they forced into the hands of the curious whites that came to peep at the ancient customs of other lands. Sudeva knew that these doorkeepers would give the flowers with a blessing, and then later demand pay for the gift, and if not forthcoming would curse those they had blessed, yet they professed to be doing it for the love of Buddha.
The priests were not concerned with this bit of by-play. They had students to instruct and ceremonies to perform.
Perhaps these priests, after all, had the Truth hidden away under the necessity of satisfying the ignorant with rites and ceremonies. Many things had Sudeva learned from them. He knew that the fakir who cut a boy into pieces or made him climb a rope which ascended out of sight, only used the power of hypnotism upon his spectators, and now he had learned from his new master, that all pictures of evil and in harmony were produced by the same process. It was a case of hypnotizing oneself by a belief in two powers, and yet every man has seen these pictures fade out when their nothingness was understood. It is necessary to de-hypnotize oneself, as it were, from accepting appearances as real.
“Judge not from appearances, but judge righteous judgment” was the teaching of the white man’s Master, called Jesus, the Christ. It was sound teaching, for who could judge actually from appearances? The roadway did not narrow down to a point in the distance; the sky did not touch the earth at the horizon; reflections of tall trees upon water did not go down into the water although they seemed to do so—they were only on the surface.
As Sudeva looked up, he was a bit surprised to find that while he was busy thinking, his feet had carried him in the direction the Master had instructed him to go. Again the “feel,” within that he had “recognized” that the Master was right— and he had acted unconsciously on this “feel.”
After all, Jesus had made it clear that no man by taking thought could add one cubit to his stature, and if this were so, surely he need not take thought about changing other things. Surely Jesus must have recognized the unchanging nature of the Finished Kingdom here and now.
One might fear that he would do nothing and get nowhere with this idea, but there was also the promise of the Voice: “This is the way, walk thou in it—tum to the right or left,” ind there was the pillar of cloud and of fire. It did seem that every thing was right when man began to see it that way, and that nothing could be lacking if man followed the teaching of Truth, which was one of recognition that God, having finished his universe and called it “very good,” would not be moved to change anything because of the thought of man. Still, thought played its part in aligning man with this fact.
Thought seemed to be like the tiny hard shell which fell away from the seed that was dropped into the earth the moment the recognition; of life came. And so as Sudeva went along he found that when thought gave way, the vision came. No man has ever brought a vision about by willing it into expression, and the visions that people had were usually different from anything of which they had actually thought. Did Joan of Arc picture herself leading an army of men to victory? That little peasant girl working in her tiny garden hardly knew what a soldier was, let alone an army.
The Truth of all this quickened Sudeva’s foot steps; a feel “it is so” seemed to catch him up as it were, and suddenly he stood at the edge of the water.
The water hole was fed by a tiny stream in which grew a clump of lotus. Their soft green leaves coated with silver dust swayed slightly in the shade of the overhanging trees. Suspended in the air about the lovely white blossoms a brilliant blue-green in sect buzzed its gossamer wings. The water in the pool lay still and clear catching the reflection of the lotus and the trees. One lovely flower had fallen over into the pool and spread its creamy leaves upon the surface of the water. For a moment Sudeva could almost see it turn to bronze and gold with a brazen image of Kwannon sitting in the midst of it, his thousand hands offering gifts of all sorts. Not a bad idea, that thousand-handed god, as far as symbology was concerned—he great Giver of all was thousand-handed and held everything ready for acceptance in his great storehouse. God had in finite ways and means-infinite hands and channels to pour out his blessings on the “sons and daughters.”
Sudeva sat still, and everything seemed to link up into a perfect chain of understanding. For the first time he began to understand why there were so many symbols of Truth in the world.
If he looked through a symbol he would see what it stood for, and get at a fundamental truth. There was always the surface and then that which was below the surface, just as he could look through the reflection of the pool and see the bottom of it, and at will he could return to the reflection which seemed to shut out anything else. His Master had, told him that Jesus was able to look through every appearance of things and see the reality back of it, and that just beyond the reflection was the real. Just beyond the reflection of sick beliefs stood a perfect spiritual man, well and strong; back of the reflection of a withered arm was the perfect arm; and through the belief of blind eyes were the eyes of Spirit In recognizing this he could call forth to the real man: “Stretch forth your arm; receive; your sight; rise up and walk”; and see the spiritual idea come through the reflection. When anything disturbed the surface which held the reflection, it automatically disappeared; yet it did not go anywhere, because it was nothing in the beginning. So was it with sickness and in harmony—they never went anywhere when they disappeared for they were only reflections of beliefs.
Always there must be an original with which to make a reflection. The reflections of the lotus looked as real as the flowers themselves, and yet The flowers gave nothing of themselves to the reflection; they put forth no effort to be reflected, but they could be reflected millions of times on as many surfaces without being lessened one iota. This was a clear illustration of how “all that the Father hath is mine,” and yet every Son can claim and possess the same thing. The real is reflected into the visible world, but gives nothing of its reality to the reflection. Man (body) is made in the image and likeness of God. There are millions of men, and yet God is indivisible; hence we see that a reflection (body) is not a repository for a little bit of the God substance, else God would be separated from his manifestation. It is just this belief in separation that causes us to experience our difficulties.
It is when we begin to recognize that intelligence is not in the symbol that we get back to the oneness of God, and see the possibility of harmony being established here and now; begin to see the perfect and true situation through the imperfect belief; and we are able to call forth, through recognition that “it is so.” Small wonder then that Jesus commanded: “Judge not from appearances.”
We soon learn that there is no actual substance in the symbol called money. It may go up or down in value, yes, may even become wholly worthless, according to the value placed upon it or taken from it. Foods that were at one time thought to be poisonous are now eaten with relish. Medicines that were one time said to be efficacious are now considered worthless.
People try to get a specific thing because of the belief of limitation. We imagine that there are only a few of a certain thing and that we must have a particular one. Some try vainly to apply this to people, not realizing that there are millions of reflections expressing the same qualities that are so attractive. Much trouble is caused by insisting on a certain set thing, but this is all destroyed when man comes to recognize the presence of that which is doing the reflecting.
All this came over Sudeva as he sat and watched the surface of the pool with its reflection. Suddenly a bird flew down and skimmed the water; instantly the reflection was gone, but that which caused the reflection was unchanged; and as soon as the water was still again the reflection returned in all its perfection.
Sudeva had even experienced this in life: He recalled his mad desire for a certain book, only to be told it was out of print and there were no more to be had, nor would there ever be any more. He had borrowed a copy to read, and even had been guilty of trying to bring about a law which would make him the possessor of that particular book, but all to no end, when suddenly he had declared, “I am already in possession of the book I wish—there is nothing lacking in the Perfect Kingdom.” He returned the book to its owner with thanks, satisfied that having done all, he would stand on the recognition of all. Almost as if by magic news came to him that an edition of this book which had been lost sight of, had come to light and that he might not only have one but a dozen or a hundred if he wished. What a joy it was to know that hen he gave up his idea of limitation, holding on to a particular reflection, he found the infinite supply was equal to the infinite demand, and that nothing is, was or ever shall be impossible to God.
Sudeva arose, filled with a new glory. He realized now that the real understanding had come, that he had found Him because he had “felt” after Him— had actually come to the place where he could understand what Jesus meant when he said: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand here and now. Through the hell of belief and appearances he saw his perfect kingdom waiting recognition, not to be thought out into existence, but to be recognized, accepted and lived.
There was rest and peace, not sluggish inactivity, in his soul. The Master was right, “In quietness and peace shall be your strength.” In quietness is the possibility of seeing the perfect reflection of what one has recognized as true and eternal. In quietness and peace shall the “still small voice” speak. Where does the still small voice come from?—from thinking? This could not be, because what it said had been heretofore unthought of. Where did all things come from, but from the one eternal, changeless source of the All Good, which was willing and ready to cast forth its reflection in whatsoever mirror was ready to receive it? No more trying to make the reflection appear. Recognition of God and his Finished Kingdom would be all that was necessary.
With one thing lacking or desired, heaven would be incomplete, hence no heaven, and this was the authority for knowing that every desire is fulfilled before it presents itself. In fact, the desire is but the urge of the thing pressing toward you for expression, awaiting recognition. “Before they ask I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will give it unto them,” was then a statement of the Finished Kingdom here and now, and was the essence of the doctrine of recognition.
16. ACCEPTING AND REJECTING
Each man, sooner or later learns that life, to a large extent, is made up of accepting and rejecting things. I need not explain that all this process is first mental. No gift is ever a gift until it is accepted; yet all things in the universe are gifts. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”
You speak of people possessing certain gifts. If these persons did not accept and recognize these gifts, we would never be able to see them and speak of them.
During the journey into life, man finds that he has accepted many a thing which later he does not want; and in his ignorance he tries to rid himself of the thing, while mentally accepting it as his own. How often does a person label a problem on which he is working, “my problem.” He stamps it with the personal trademark. He works hard to get rid of the manifestation, with small success; until he comes to a full realization of the fact that a thing to be loosed in the earth (body) must be first loosed in the mentality.
A very interesting case of rose-cold—more commonly called hay-fever—is the one of the patient who suffered untold agonies when within sight of the roses. “To most people this seems unimaginable, but to this man in particular it had a most disastrous effect. Finally, in desperation he called for a doctor’s help. No amount of argument would cause him to see the absurdity of this belief. He knew the effect roses had upon him. He could not see the logic of accepting and rejecting, even though he often viewed hundreds of others handling and smelling roses. Finally, a bunch of artificial roses was brought into the room with him. Immediately the old conditions manifested themselves. He explained that he could stay no longer in the room with the flowers; he or they must leave. Imagine his surprise to find them artificial. The result was, as might be expected, a complete healing.
Thousands of people accept superstitions, and in their belief would get results from them. They try, to run from them only to find them everywhere. The thing that you accept as true will be called to you from the housetops everywhere. If you have accepted a belief in a particular disease, thousands of advertisements and articles on the disease will loom up before you. Everything will be constantly bringing it to your attention, because you are accepting it as a true state, and what you accept as true will come to abide with you in the manifest world.
A man may accept fear, and run from it, but he meets the same fear everywhere. Personal devils come to man for recognition and acceptance, and finally man learns that he speaks with authority when he says: “Get thee behind, me, Satan”; that is, go into the past, or oblivion, where you are dissolved into a belief. “The former things have passed away,” is the final decree to a thing that is rejected in consciousness.
How often does a Truth student find himself saying, when some little unpleasant thing such as just missing a car comes to him: “Just my luck!” And yet he is surprised when all these little irritating things flock into his door. What you call your own will abide with you, for your recognition and acceptance of it in consciousness forms the magnet which holds it in the manifest world. No matter how often the object of your loathing is destroyed, a new picture of it appears, a suggestion of it reaches you through a thousand avenues.
I had an agreeable surprise one day from a friend who received a letter, and having opened it and read it, exclaimed: “Just my luck!” “What? Bad news?” I asked. “No, a check for five hundred dollars.” There is something to think about in such simple lessons.
Once I received a letter, full of the most scathing criticism and implications. Strange as it may seem, it was signed by one who professed to be in the Truth. Instantly a rush of blood to the face and a feeling of injustice and criticism arose. An answer formed itself in mind more scathing than the letter, when suddenly out of the clear sky the solution came— “What are you accepting?” What a refreshing thought to come at a time-like this. “You,
Son of God, have never had anything addressed to you but love, for God is love.” Then this letter was never really addressed to me—and putting it back in the envelope I penned across the corner, “Opened by mistake,” and dropped it into the post box to return to the sender. Suddenly the soul was free and in heaven. No answer was needed, for it was never accepted. No criticism, no judging, no hot surges of blood to disturb the peace of life! So easy, so quick, and so effective!
For the sake of argument, suppose it had been accepted—it might have taken years to work out of the unpleasantness that would have arisen therefrom. You see in this little illustration the easy versus the hard way. Remember the old advice: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
You understand why you have difficult problems to solve. There is always an easy, direct method in contra-distinction to the difficult way of trying to force the issue by fighting and struggling. “Ye shall not need to fight; set yourselves and see the salvation of the Lord,” does not bespeak beating your very life out trying to fight things. To become aware of the way of nonresistance and come under the command, “Ye shall not need to fight,” you must first recognize that there is nothing to fight in the Kingdom of Heaven. The only thing you have been fighting is the belief which you have accepted as true. In reality it has neither intelligence nor life, except that which you give it. Thousands of illustrations of this are given in the superstitions of so called savage races. And what better picture could we have of it all than Jacob struggling all night (in the darkness of belief) with a problem which he afterward loosed and let go.
You have all been so much like Jacob; you have stood in the darkness of belief and fought against the thing which you were holding on to, and then crying because it seemed to light back.
Like the fable of the cobbler and the camel who wanted only to warm his nose, using this excuse to crowd all is ungainly shape into the room, man by accepting the fist appearance of evil, finally has a problem on his hands. The camel that only wanted to warm his nose finally occupies the whole room (consciousness) and the cobbler is crowded far into the corner, unable to express, except in a limited way.
The way of life is simple, so simple that you stumble over it, because you have long believed that to be godlike is a difficult job.
People have suffered and died from mistaken messages and information. Blisters have been raised by a cold piece of steel applied to the body of a person believing it to be white hot, and it is almost common knowledge that in India, yes, and even many times in our own side shows, magicians and fakirs are able to pass white hot irons over their bodies with out making even a discoloration. In some of the American Indian initiations the novice is required to walk through a bed of embers or plunge his arms into a vat of boiling water without manifesting any discomfort or physical effects.
An adopted child has been known to die of the disease of which his foster parents died, because he believed them to be his own parents and the disease hereditary. What you accept as your heritage is yours surely. Small wonder then that Jesus said: “Call no man your father.” Life is God, the Creator of everything from the most minute to the most sublime, and his creation is perfect. Away then with the survey of ancestry, birth records, and the like. Recognizing this Truth, even in a mild way, begins to free us from the bondage of certain family shortcomings, and makes for the larger expression of life. The personality undergoes a change because it loses much of its density, and the individuality of man comes more to the surface.
Man created in His image was made a little lower than the angels (thoughts) and was given dominion over all things. Everything was placed under his feet (understanding)—what a contrast to the man who is eternally overcoming and fighting for a right even to exist, let alone live.
And some will answer to this, “yes, that is all true but so advanced, so hard to live.” Is it any wonder that Jesus referred to the Kingdom of Heaven as being made up of children?— Not children in years, but those who could accept the things which reason and intellect said were impossible.
There are many cases on record of people who refused to accept age, and the manifestation of it failed to be pictured their bodies.
You find too often that you have made the out side of the platter clean, but that the inside is full of fears and beliefs. Some of them seem so solidly placed that it is almost impossible to root them out; yet you are told: “Every plant which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” As in the beautiful story of the cleansing of the temple, when man goes within his own beautiful temple and drives from his consciousness the evil beliefs, he rejects them and puts them into the oblivion of things which shall never more come into mind.
“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Why this command? Are we all asleep? Shall we find, too late, that the bridegroom has come and the oil (joy) in our lamps has been spent? We cannot have oil in our lamps when we have spent it all on the belief of evil as a reality. Then would we try to borrow from some other one and cannot. We rush from one book to another, from one person to another, trying to borrow of the joy therein, and fall by the way complaining bitterly about the circumstance. Surely we are the foolish virgins when we try to put on a semblance of joy. It is so heartless and so built upon the sands that wash away at the first appearance of sorrow. Sometimes we fill our lamps with self-pity, and presently we find that all those carrying the light have moved away from us. They do not like the smeech of self-pity. Its smoke is thick and dark and shuts off the light.
“I came that your joy might be full”—not nearly full, not just a few drops—but full. “Behold I stand at the door (of your consciousness) and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me.” The Christ stands in the midst of every man—awaiting what? Acceptance and recognition. He stands with the cruse of oil that never runs dry so long as there is a vessel to be filled. And all this makes one want to run away by himself—yes, alone with the wonderful pearl that he has suddenly discovered; alone, to view its beauty and luster; there alone, to praise the Giver of all Gifts; there alone to recognize that the gifts were always there waiting acceptance.
Sometimes we are prone to say, “yes, I know, but,” and we have only to pause a moment and see that we are on the brink of accepting something that we do not want again.
“You shall find me when you feel after me.” Where are we going to “feel after this me,” but in the same locality that the Master taught—within? “These things come only by prayer and fasting.” Prayer is recognition of God, all good, and fasting is starving out by rejecting the beliefs we have hitherto accepted.
From “glory to glory” we go with the great command from the “still small voice”: “Stand fast therefore with the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” All this joy does not bring a sense of personal achievement and arrogance, nor yet spiritual pride, but a beautiful sense of peace and quiet and a constant recognition of the good as everywhere present.
Sometimes, like the Hebrew children, we go through the fire—but note the effect upon those who accepted it as destructive and those who did not. Not even the “smell of fire remained on their garments.” “I will lead them in paths that they have not known.” Can we accept this? Or will we wonder if it is possible? In the darkest condition remember: “My ways are not your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.” Surely we have seen over and over in our lives absolute proof of the fact that “man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.” When we learn to stop telling God about himself and our needs, we begin to experience the sweet, calm assurance that every need is known and met before it comes to us. “Your father knoweth that ye have need of these things.” What more can be said? If he knows, is not that sufficient? And is our attention not called to the fact that if our earthly parents know how to give good gifts, our Heavenly Father knows better still the way and means of supplying them.
What we are today is the result of what we have accepted.
“You shall cat your own words” seems a strange bit of English until it is coupled up with the truth, “My word shall not return unto me void.” The power that we put out in negative words and conditions comes back to us, since it is rejected of others.
Some fear that perhaps they have already done and said so many negative things that they will never finish with the eating; but we are told: “Turn ye even to me, with all your heart, and ye shall find rest for your soul,” and the evils that have been red as crimson shall vanish in the white light of understanding. Yes, truly, “He giveth his beloved rest.”
17. THE LUMBER-JACK’S STORY
As you may imagine, he was tall, angular and well built as though of steel. He was like a thousand other nature men whom one sees in the great forests of the world, except that there was a gleam of something different in the eyes. He loved his woods and he was happy, for in them he had found God.
One evening after the day’s work was over he told me a most remarkable story:
“When I was a boy of fourteen, while working in a lumbering camp in the States, I split my foot open with an axe, cutting the main artery. The local doctor came and examined it, and tried in vain to stop the flow of blood. Finally he said: ‘It is no use, the boy will bleed to death.’
“There was a great deal of excitement among the workmen at this announcement, but finally one of them spoke up and said: ‘Over yonder in the ravine there is a queer old man who works all kinds of tricks on people, I’ll go for him.’
“By the time he returned with the old man, I was almost unconscious from the loss of blood. An old man with a long white beard stood over me and said something, and all of a sudden the blood stopped flowing and a feeling of well-being stole over me. He left almost at once, and the foot healed in a surprisingly short time.
“Wonderful as this incident may seem to you, with the passing of a few weeks it almost entirely dropped from my thought.
“Years passed away and I found myself under the verdict of death again, ‘he will die, I can do nothing more for him.’ When I heard these words it was almost like the echo of the former experience which I had hardly thought of since that time and, strange as it may seem, again someone said: ‘The old German woman in the village might help him by prayer.’ I felt the presence of something wonderfully peaceful and soothing. The little fat German woman stood over me speaking in her native tongue, for she could not speak English, and again I knew it was all right with me, and my recovery was like magic.
“When I was about again I determined to find out what this strange thing was that had healed me. The German woman could not explain as I did not understand her language, and so one day I packed my things and went off in search of the old man of the mountains.
“I found him in his simple dwelling, and told him why I had come, relating the incident of years ago. He watched me with a kindly face and finally said: “ ‘Generations ago, some of my”’ ancestors stood in the congregation of people watching Jesus when he staunched the flow of blood, and since that time every succeeding generation has brought forth one member who possessed this wonderful gift.’ He looked at me curiously for a moment, ‘but,’ he continued, ‘I have since learned that it is the gift of every man when he looks for it. He comes upon it by himself, because it is within himself. And saying this he got up and walked away leaving me to my thought.
“I wanted to run after him and say, ‘but how? and where? and when?’ but something within me bade me go my way in peace.
“I sought for many years, in books and in people, to solve this. I looked far and wide for some tangible trace of it, and then one day I slopped looking, I gave up the search, and as if by magic I was aware of it all.
“It was as if a voice spoke to me, and said : ‘The kingdom lies within—if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God—not man.’
“Consciousness is not something to be created, it is something to become aware of In fact it is a state of awareness—the awareness of God, all good, everywhere present. I had heard this glibly spoken, and sincerely spoken, over and over, and I had read it a dozen times, but suddenly I heard it for the first time. We hear many things with the ear, and see many things with the eye, but it is not until we understand the illusion of the senses, that we see through and hear through them all into the realm of pure Spirit. It is as though you sat before the picture of Jesus and, instead of seeing his face, you saw your own face reflected by the glass. You know that no picture of you is hanging on the wall, yet your eyes would have you believe so, but you have only to change your position slightly to see right through the illusion. We only change our attitude toward things, and they seem to change there with. Often a masterpiece in the art world has been discovered beneath the dobbings of some later student. It was there all the time. It only needed to be recognized to clear away the smear of outside paint.”
The perfect self for which you are looking, trying vainly to put on, is there all the while; but as long as you believe that you have to create it, instead of recognizing the perfect creation, you will continue to work with things.
All this working with the outside is like rubbing on a little salve or lotion to the manifestations of a blood disease. You may wipe away the eruption in one place but it comes in another, because the cause which produces it remains. You wear yourselves out trying to get help from the outside, and finally drop by the way, weary with the struggle. No man can give you that which you already possess, and presently you will learn this vital fact, and quietly and secretly you will begin to bring it out into manifestation.
The mechanics of it all may be hinted at, or taught, but the actual practice of it must be done by you. You are fed as a baby, but from the very outset you are being taught to feed yourself, and after this bit of mechanics is done, then it is up to you to eat your own food. No good will come of another eating it for you. You may be fed by the bread of life from another while you are learning the mechanics, put presently you find that you must do your own eating if you expect to get on. Thousands of people are still seeking to be fed, rushing from one person to another to be filled, but presently they find they are only getting the few crumbs that fall from others’ tables. When they come to recognize this, they will take their place at the table and eat their own food, which is supplied by a very generous host.
You finally lose yourself in the Truth of life. This does not cause you to lose your identity—that can never be—but it is like the illustration used by a famous Hindu:
Man is like a glass bottle thrown into the ocean with the stopper taken out.
The waters of the whole ocean flow in and out.
As soon as you put the stopper in the bottle, at that instant the water begins to stagnate, because it is shut off from its source; just at the moment a flower is plucked from its stem it is dead, no matter how fresh it may appear; the moment you separate yourself from the One life, you are dead. Of course you can only do this in the belief world, for God is One, and there is no possibility of separation. So many beautiful illustrations of this are given of the branch and the tree, and so on.
The man with the stopper in his bottle is talking about the Truth, instead of talking the Truth. There is a vast difference between these two operations. One is merely relating things and the other is making statements of clear and definitely established facts. You may talk for years, and correctly too, about the principle of music, but this does not make you a musician, and so is it with Truth.
You are so anxious to cram into your minds what you think is spiritual good. A man who overeats suffers from a very unpleasant reaction. Without the conscious use of the food you take in, the results are nil. You may sit in a thousand lectures where the Word is spoken, but unless you take it and use it, it is nothing to you. Sometimes you do this almost unconsciously, or at least in a way that seems unconscious. What you do, when you receive benefits, is that you make the agreement. “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything it shall be done for them of my Father.” You cannot agree on a point, unless you are thoroughly convinced and satisfied that that point exists now.
The Master well knew the characteristics of the human reasoning when he said: “Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your hearts hardened? Having eyes ye see not, and having ears ye hear not, and do ye not remember?” You cannot possibly reason how the increase could take place, neither how the healing could be made; you have failed to grasp the keynote of his teaching, because you do not remember and make the agreement, thereby establishing the consciousness of it for all time. What you once become aware of in consciousness is possible of manifestation at will or desire. You do not constantly have to work yourselves into a state of this again and again; you have came to the place of recognition. All about you, you see people who, whether in the Truth or out of it, know this law and reproduce it before your very eyes. They know what they can do and they do it, while others are still trying to copy their inspiration by imitating them. To every man his own expression and inspiration, which will lead him into all things; but this will be discovered as eternally existing within him, and not found in another.
Jesus asks: “How is it that ye do not understand?” Many of you can answer this, if you will. Perhaps you do not care to, but the simple confession to yourselves brings you to a higher level of understanding. “Ye seek after the loaves and fishes.” That is, you have been seeking for the actual bread that was multiplied, instead of allying yourself with the Power that did it, and would do it at any time it was necessary of increase.
Now there is no condemnation of teachers and books; all of them have their part in being sign posts to the “straight and narrow way,” which is so broad and beautiful when once taken; but it must be traveled alone. Along this road you meet with your own family, those who do the will of God, those who are of the same mental level as you, those who can agree and recognize instead of trying to create and change the Changeless God and Heaven. Then you learn that you give up nothing when you give up everything, for you find the substance back of it when you let go of the perishing transient symbol.
This great consciousness is ever alert. Not the smallest experience is imposed upon you when you recognize this fact. Nothing is too small. “He that is watching over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” The belief sleeps and dreams, and awakes. Many times upon awaking you say: “I had a wonderful sleep last night.” If you could actually sleep, how could you know that it was wonderful.
“My sheep hear my voice”—again the word “hear.” You have heard mere words for ages, and then one day you hear that which is back of the word. The word is not written down in any one language, for people of different tongues may hear and use the same word, though the symbol each uses for it may not be understandable to the other; but the consciousness of it is. This is the word that cannot return unto you void, but must accomplish where unto it is sent. And finally you come to understand that you yourself are the Word, spoken into existence by God or Principle. What can this word be but perfect in expression and power?
In the “Streets of Belief” :are many lions, and so you go within and shut your doors. You have heard their roar and felt the direful effects of their presence. When you emerge again into the “Streets of Life” to make your journey, it is with the command, “Salute no man by the way.” Stop talking about everything to everybody. “Let your conversation be yea, yea, and nay, nay.” He who still argues about the Truth has never heard the Truth. There is nothing to compare, for comparisons are odious, as Shakespeare tells us. Truth is not a business, it is life itself. It becomes so obvious that it ceases to be something to talk about, and becomes something to be lived. You do not take account of every breath you breathe, nor all of the functions of your bodies. They are obvious and need no mention.
“Come out from among them and be ye separate.” Jesus often went apart from them, and one day you will learn fully and deeply why.
18. I HAVE CHOSEN YOU
Sooner or later, beloved, you are going to recognize a glorious Truth— “You have not chosen me, I have chosen you.” And all the time you have thought you chose God, and have been struggling to serve this Power to the best of your ability. God has caught you, having chosen you as a vessel of his love an expression; and all the time you have been imagining that you were going to put on God, or that you were trying to serve him from your own choice.
Realize for a single moment that you have been chosen for a purpose so holy and beautiful, and then all your fretting will dissipated and you will be able to say: “Speak, Lord for thy servant heareth.” You will be able to let go of your personal ideas and wants and say: “Be thou expressed in me”; and if you are willing and ready to follow out the Voice, rest assured it will lead you “in green pasture, beside still waters.” You will find your self in pastures where you may go in and come out without fear and trembling.
The little things you craved last year you do not want today. I do not say that you are not to have things; the things will he added, for they are simply the signs that shall follow. Signs, symbols and proofs of the Truth always follow understanding.
I often think what I would say if I met Jesus in the highway of life. Would I rush at him and say: “How can I make a demonstration of five dollars?” Or would I be willing to wait a moment and see if he had anything to say to me? He would have something to say to the quiet soul, for the Christ always has something to say when we are ready to listen.
Since there is a very remote possibility of meeting Jesus, you charge all this speculation off to supposition; but there is a great possibility of you meeting the Christ within yourself and within your brother. Why not then come to this Throne of Grace, and wait and see if it has anything to say to you. Just for once approach it this way, forgetting for the moment the troubling things of sense.
“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” You do not need to say, 1 have labored without results and am heavy laden.” He is already calling to you, because he knows this particular thing, and is saying to you in the sweetness of Spirit, “and I will give you rest.” This means a rest from worrying and struggling for things and place and power. Your rest would be disturbed if you were; still to worry about all these things.
“Thy gentleness has made thee great,” does not sound much like the recipe for developing a dynamic personality and trying to psychologize others into believing something about yourself that you do not believe to be true, and only hope to put over. The gentleness that is spoken of is strength, for it is superior to the flurry and fuss of human opinions and conditions.
The gentleness of Spirit is manifested because it is aware of its strength. Suppose you go to an army training field and see a thousand men roaming about at will, and try to put !them in order, by bringing each man separately into line. What has happened to the first man after you have reached the thousandth? All is confusion again, yet the man who knows and is in authority can speak a few words and a thousand men are in order. Working from the outside is always futile. The word that shall not return void of results is the word that is backed up by authority. Everything that proceeds from the inside out works from the standpoint of authority. A man may work with things, but he brings only confusion until he understands his right relation to them. Then to speak the word is to see action in the outside. As the acorn holds its oak tree, perfect and ready for expression any time it is let to come into being, so the faith that is only as large as a grain of mustard seed holds the same possibility for man, but not until he recognizes it and uses it.
You may say and think that your faith and understanding are small—so is the proverbial mustard seed. Standing and looking at it, and examining into its contents will never cause it to increase. Mustard seeds have been known to grow into plants so large that they resembled trees, in which the birds build their nests. If you withhold the seed too long from the secret place in which it must be planted, it will die, and so will unused faith. Faith without works is dead. Begin with the little faith you have; do not wrap it up in the napkin of conservatism. Plant it deep in your soul and water it with the joy and appreciation of it you have. The hard shell you have wrapped about it will fall away in the secret place and it will increase and grow. A little plant that starts growing increases constantly, and so is it with faith.
Begin with faith in yourself. There must be some good and worth-while thing you recognize within yourself, no matter how far you have strayed from what you think is the right path. God gives the increase. Begin by being true to yourself—the self that you know at this moment—and presently you will find that Shakespeare was right that it is impossible to be false to any man.
Emerson once said: “It is as easy to be great as to be small.” Underlying this statement is the fact hat there is only one Power in the universe, and whatever you are doing you are employing this power. A man can be killed by a life saver, just as he can be saved by it. It depends upon what use he is making of things.
Everything can be made evil. The Temple, referred to in the Bible, was called a “den of thieves” by the Master. It was the same temple in which he afterward talked. The building did not change, but a different use was made of it. If your temple body—is a den of the thieves—disease, distress and in harmony—follow the Master’s example and use your scourge, made up of the cords of your present understanding, and cleanse it. Of this point you may be assured, you have within you the faith necessary to meet the issue which confronts you.
Wisdom is typified by a rod upon which we lean, but if this is cast down into the realm of belief, it becomes a serpent and we run from it. Running from it will not help to get away from it. You must pick it up—reclaim the lost power.
The temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, is the spiritual body, which has not been touched or marred by the beliefs of age, sickness or sin. It is the picture shown to us on the Mount, and is the thing we are to bring out into manifestation here and now.
“My grace is sufficient for thee.” What bigger promise do you want? The grace of God is sufficient to carry you through the valley of the shadow and out into the smiling pastures of contentment arid happiness. Pretty soon it dawns upon you that having cleansed your temple, you are a light that is set upon a hill and cannot be hid. You can give and give abundantly to all that ask you.
He that careth for a wounded brother,
Watcheth not alone.
There are three in the darkness together,
And the third is God.
-Henry Van Dyke
19. THROUGH THE SHADOWS
“1 am the resurrection and the life”—the very I am which sent everything into expression, the I am to which Jesus referred so often as “the Father within,” that does all the works, and without which Jesus admitted that he could do nothing. “Though a man were dead, yet shall he rise again.” There is a soul-stirring message in that line. So many of you have literally found yourselves dead to life as you see it all about you. You are dead, or in a stale of not knowing heallh, when you manifest sickness, and so on through all the list of God qualities—dead, because life is action. Everything is in a constant state of change, inanimate as well as animate, but the Life, the I am, is the changeless quality, working always to one end, and that is to bring out the perfection of what actually is.
We see it all as a constant process of evolution, from the seed the flower, from the egg the bird, but both the seed and flower are perfect in the Mind of the I am. Having thought out all things into expression and finding them very good, the Power ceased from the creative process. The belief man then took on the idea of a sub-creator and tried to pattern after the I am.. He has only done this in belief. As fast as a thing becomes real to him he imagines that he has created it, instead of discovering it. All things are held eternally in the Mind of God. With our reasoning we say it is yet four months till the harvest, but the I am calls to us, “Look again, the fields are white with grain.” “Thrust in the sickle.” There must be something to reap, if the command has gone forth to “thrust in the sickle.” We are dead to this when we keep on in the process of trying to create, instead of accepting it as done. We are still among the symbols looking for a few grain of Truth, forgetting that the surest way to find relief and life, is to return to the Father’s house. All things are possible with God, and the invitation eternally stands, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and I will give you rest.”
We spend years playing with dead letters; we group words together; we make speeches and write articles; and still miss the crucial point that it is the “Spirit which quickeneth.” The words only indicate an intangible, unutterable thing. And the wail goes forth, “Oh that I might find him!” And so we search the world over for that which is within. “Behold I stand (eternally) at the door and knock.” The I am is always there, for it is everywhere; hut not until we find it within can we see it beaming through everything on the without.
Like a code message which means nothing on the surface, yet may send ten thousand men into action, when the spirit and meaning of it are deciphered, so the word of God may appear just a beautiful bit of poetry or an interesting story. The pearls of it lie hidden from the wise and prudent, but they are there all the while for the seeing eye. The first step for a fuller, freer life, is the recognition of just this fact; that is, the acknowledging of the presence of that Power within. Once it is recognized and called by name, it answers with the eternal, joyous response—“I will, according to your faith be it unto you.”
You may feel a sinking sensation at the difficulty of such a stand. It seems strange to the reason that the way ‘to get things is to give them up. Solomon showed his wisdom in seeking that which was back of things instead of the things, knowing full well that things could easily slip through the hands of man, but that the understanding of how to bring them forth again was to be possessed of a lasting and permanent source.
“The last enemy that shall be overcome is death,” is a thrilling statement, full of promise. It does not leave you dangling over the abyss of despair with the statement that the last enemy is death, but states that it shall be overcome. It must then be possible even to overcome the thing to which we have bowed so long. There is something strong and vitalizing to that promise.
Paul admitted that he died daily. His dying was the unknowing of false beliefs of the day and the glorious process of being born again to a higher and better slate of things. When we come to under stand fully that there is no death, we shall sec that there never has been any death or separation, and we shall have the eyes which see this truth in a way which will wipe away the tears and the crushing sense of separation we sometimes experience, because of our unbelief. If we accept God as life and every where present, then we begin to see the uselessness of grief. Lost from the material vision, does not mean lost to the Power, which knows even the fall of a sparrow. Here the great understanding carries us up on wings of freedom. This is the test of our understanding. Do we stand fast at this time and rise above the belief which is trying to picture to us the idea of separation and unhappiness? You would not be afraid to trust your loved ones to God, if you actually understood his infinite love and care.
I will not say, and I cannot any
That she is dead
She is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand,
She has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming,
How very fair, it needs must be,
Since she lingers there.
-James Whitcomb Riley
The “unknown land” is the land we are all seeking. It was the land of which Jesus spoke so often, as being here and now, and he styled it the Kingdom of Heaven. Vistas of unknown fields stretch before us, when we begin to realize that God is One, and that nothing that is ever real or true can be lost. The only thing that can disappear is that which is not true or real. You do not weep because the little child that you once knew as yourself has long since passed into oblivion. You are happy that this little child has given way to a finer and more powerful manifestation. And one day you are going to feel the resurrection taking place within you. Yes, at the moment you pause in your noisy clamoring for things, and respond to the rap that is constantly sounding on your door, a new birth is going to take place, a resurrection to a life that is quickened by Spirit. Then you will look out upon a new and glorious world for you will have transformed the desert into a garden, laden with beautiful promises that are waiting the harvester.
You too, shall leave your tomb and walk out into the consciousness that “all is well with the world”— the world of God’s creating.
It is all so simple that it seems difficult, hard to grasp, because we have so long been taught that we must strive and battle for that which we are told is our rightful inheritance.
In the dream you chase many fancies, and face many horrors, but when you awaken you recognize the glorious fact that no matter how real they may have appeared, they were nothing but thoughts. Back of the day dream of evil is the same substance—thought—and as soon as man’s thought is taken from a thing, that thing passes out of his line of vision, or rights itself to a level that is acceptable. We do not wonder then at the command, “Awake thou that sleepeth,” addressed to men, who to our present sense of things were already awake.
When we awaken from the night dream, no matter what torture we have suffered we say, “It was a dream—it was not real,” and dismiss the whole thing. But in the day dream we sometimes make the mistake, even though we have been awakened to the fact that it was only a dream, of going back to it and treating it as real, and sometimes we suffer again for this mistake, because we make it so real that we dream it all over again. “Let the dead bury their dead,” carries with it the lesson of forgetting the past and of leaving the remains of our dreams to disintegrate and go away into its native nothingness.
“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work,” Jesus said. The Power always moves before the manifestation takes up the action. But if you reverse this process in your belief, and feel that you must make the first move, you will bring chaos in your universe. Too many people have already spent years telling or attempting to tell God what is wrong with the universe and advising him how to set it right. From a source which is eternally right and just, will flow these qualities in a never ending stream. Fear not then, neither be dismayed.
Dear searcher after Me, cease this useless wandering up and down upon the globe and “turn ye even unto me with all your hearts, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Stop running from one person to another to find Me, and recognize Me as the very life of your life. “The Lord in the midst of thee is strong and mighty.” What more can you ask than that this very Power be resident in the midst of you. When you recognize this you come to the place that Jesus understood so well, and begin to identify yourself with the Father within, and then you see that you can avail yourselves of the golden promise, “The works I do ye shall do also”—yes, and “even greater works shall ye do.” The sluggish sense of inertia gives way to the quickening urge of the within when it is recognized and you rise, fresh and ready to live, to be, to express, that which you were sent here to express. “I came that your joy might be full” is more than a pretty phrase to him who recognizes and identifies himself with the Indwelling Lord; it becomes a present possibility and an enduring sense of peace, which makes for a joyous abandon.
20. TO EVERY MAN HIS OWN INSPIRATION
“The Inspiration of the Almighty will lead you into all things.” Why then seek for things, if you can possess that which will lead you into all that you can desire? While you are wandering about looking for a single demonstration, the inspiration will lead you into all things, right into the midst of heaven (harmony) here and now. So often you have taken the inspiration of another and tried to use it for your own, with the usual result— imitation, which is the subtlest flattery to the one imitated.
We are not ignorant of this mistake. Rare is the child who has not at some time been very disdainfully called to account for copying someone whom he admired. It is very disheartening to the child, but it usually puts an end to the imitation. It is a fault in our training that we should follow in the foot prints of another who has attained.
Formerly the son followed in the father’s path, but occasionally the son took his own inspiration, and went out to new glories. Imagine Turner having contented himself with his father’s profession of a barber, with all those glorious symphonies of color and light struggling within him for expression!
So hypnotized are we to this error, that many of us have accepted it without questioning. We have striven to be that which we recognized at the outset as impossible, and have sledded through life acting a part which did not fit us. Square pegs in round holes, they call the most obvious ones of this class.
Order is the first law of harmony and heaven, and when man squares himself by this Truth, he finds it impossible for misfits to exist. All these things have happened either by consciously or unconsciously accepting the evidence of the things and conditions around us, instead of following the inspiration within Those who have lifted themselves out of the drab monotone of the mass, have been those who followed the inner light, against which the greatest odds fell away.
After dreaming about the great vision which every man has within, most people have carefully laid it away in the lavender of memories and only occasion ally looked mournfully at what might have been. “Too late!” Has been the cry of many souls; but again the ringing, cheering voice cries out: “Awake thou that sleepeth.”
Today is the day you have thought long since dead. “Now is the accepted time.” “Now is the day of salvation.” Arise, slave to the beliefs of limitations, self imposed; break free from the chains that have bound you, chains of your own forging. Sooner or later man will find that the only things that bind him are those chains and bands that he has created by his belief regarding appearances. It is hard perhaps, when one finds himself done up in a straight jacket which he is sure the world has placed on him, to take this medicine. It is a bitter pill, but it is sweet on the inside, and at least gives man a basis from which to start a constructive work—that of freeing himself.
Hard knots and rusted buckles are difficult to unfasten. They have been there so long and seem so real. But the hardest knot and stoutest buckle give away to the Power within. When man begins to recognize this, he stops trying to undo the knots and buckles on the outside. He is so intent on expanding as it were the Power within that one day this glorious power, which knows no limitations nor hindrance, breaks free—breaks all the knots and buckles. This is a simpler process than it seems, because we have felt the necessity of undoing each knot, and while we were working with one, we were only drawing another tighter. It is a hopeless thing to work with conditions. Back of every condition stands the cause of that condition, and as soon as it is understood and lifted up, its expression will be freedom.
Daniel thrown in the lions’ den, offers a good illustration of working from the within instead of the without. Suppose he had tried to defend himself against the lions and had successfully killed them, he would still have been in prison with a greater job to accomplish. No, he stayed at the center of his being, knowing that the Power within could deliver him, not only from the lions but from the prison as well; and so it was.
We fight against the lions in life’s pathway. We run away from the rod cast down. We beat against the prison doors, until we are spent, and perhaps we turn like children to the only Power, and, presto, as though by magic we see the doors open to us. It makes no difference how—if an earthquake is necessary it has been known to happen.
The resounding note of the soul song, “Who is so great as our God will open closed doors and break the stoutest chains, for these have all been self imposed, and when the attention is turned to the Source of Power, the manifestation of evil gives way. With the eyes fixed upon the conditions to be overcome, it is hard to sing from the heart, and knowing this Jesus advised that we look away from conditions, because looking at conditions always causes us to see limitations of all sorts.
The language of Spirit is varied; but, as Shakespeare said, “what’s in a name?” What’s in a word? The word Buddha fills certain Christians with dread of all sorts of black magic. The name Jesus affects many people in the same way. The Mohammedan is sure that Allah is all, but some nations have divided the power into the hands of a thousand gods and lesser gods. The American Indian spoke of it as the Great Spirit, everywhere present.
This was beautifully illustrated by a story told to me by an early-day pioneer. Having been given up by the best medical authorities of his time, and sentenced to die, he was sent west in a prairie schooner with the thought that he might live few months longer. Once at nightfall his schooner drove into an encampment of friendly Indians. The medicine man when he saw the sick man, immediately said in broken English, “You die quick if you get not to Great Spirit.”
There was nothing surprising about this verdict to the sick man; he had already been apprised of this fact, but there was a grain of hope in the last part of the sentence— “if you get not to the Great Spirit.” Accordingly he asked how he could get to him. “He here,” the Indian stamped on the ground; “He there,” the Indian pointed to the skies; “He every where, but he work heap quick here,” he indicated the earth.
Submitting himself to the care of the Indian, the sick man soon found that he was put to bed that night in a shallow grave dug in the earth. Only his head remained out.
The man who told me the story and to whom this happened was long past three score and ten years when he talked to me, and this strange and interesting experience had happened when he was a youngster.
After the sun had gone down, it seemed as if millions of volts of electricity were passed through his body— “Mother Earth giving off her energy and all of it passing through me. In the morning I found myself sleeping in a mass of mud. I rose and ran to the stream near by and swam about, a new man, and never since has the disease or its manifestation made its appearance on me.”
This is matched by the case of a child, now sixty years past the incident, who was pronounced incurable and sentenced to die. An Indian spoke almost the same words. Always they were to get back to the Great Spirit, and she dug up the green sod and lay flat on the earth and breathed in the very life of the earth and was healed. There was yet another who lay flat on the earth in the form of an X, and was renewed and made whole.
Yes, Spirit speaks a varied language. Thousands of cases testify to this great language which is always ready to help in the way that you can best understand the Voice.
One night in coming from a reception, I stopped at a soda fountain for a drink. It was just closing time and the man in charge was alone. During the drinking of the soda he told me of the wonders of healing. Having been ruptured as a child, his whole youth and manhood had been spent in seeking a cure. He had been operated upon by European specialists, with little but temporary results, and finally he was told that absolutely no more cutting could take place, and further that there was no hope. Then he heard of a man who prayed for people and healed them and he crossed the seas to find him.
Much to his surprise and dismay, he found it almost impossible to get even within sight of the man, so vast was the mob. The next day he rose early and went again. Already the line had formed and he had no chance, and so on the following day he went earlier and waited all day while the line passed. At last he was next to the door, when he was told that no more patients would be seen that day. Weary and wretchedly unhappy he returned home in a state of helplessness. During the night he had a dream in which the healer appeared to him and said, “Did you call me? What do you want?” “To be healed,” he called out. “So be it,” and the dream vanished.
He arose earlier than usual that morning and again went to the healer and this time he was admitted. When the healer saw him he said, “Why did you come here? There is nothing the matter with you,” and in that instant the man remembered that he had forgotten his body braces and appliances and that all day long he had suffered no pain.
In the far off islands of the South Seas many diseases are treated by placing the patient in the path of the great waves, and allowing the energy of them to pass through the body.
A nun I once met restored her youth by realizing she was one with the life in the tree which blossomed with ever increasing newness and beauty.
A taxicab driver who had passed his fiftieth year appeared as a boy of twenty-five, because once he had seen Christ in a vision and knew that he could never change.
Yes, Spirit speaks in the symbol or language which you can understand, and to each man is given his inspiration. We have come under the regime of the Christ, who explained how these wonders were worked consciously. He knew that all of the manifestations of Spirit were worked through the same process, no matter in what symbols or terms they were couched. He knew that to become one with the Father within was to recognize the wholeness of Spirit and to be able to let it consciously bring into manifestation the real and eternal.
And he called attention to the oneness of it all and that Greek, Sythian, Bond, Free and Jew, were all one in Spirit. When they came to him and told him that another was doing the works and not giving him any credit, his rebuke was “let him alone, those that are for us are not against us.” The great sweeping understanding that gives the right to every man to seek his own path of light and to understand the symbol that was given to him, showed that he understood them all, because he understood the principle back of them all.
Let no man deceive you into believing that you must follow after him, and that he has the only method or means of bringing out the glorious principles of life. Follow no man when he deviates from the principle laid down by the Master, for you were born under the regime of the Master and that is the source of your understanding and wisdom.
That with which you make your agreement, will you see in manifestation, and every man is his own inspiration. He therefore expresses in a way which is distinctly his own and which puts him into his rightful place in the scheme of things.
In the photographing of thousands of snowflakes, no two were found to have the same design, and yet each one was perfect and beautiful; and so in the Infinite Mind of God there is such a vast storehouse of expressions that no man need pattern after an other. The Spirit of inspiration will lead you by a way you have not known and possibly cannot see at the beginning.
Standing before the Red Sea, did not look very inviting, especially when hedged in with mountains and a furious enemy pressing in the back; but “I have ways ye know not of” because “My ways are not your ways.”
After you have struggled and fought to find a way of your own making and find there is none, yet there is a way you knew not of, and that is the Christ, for “I am the Truth, the Light and the Way,” and I am within every man, and am known as soon as he is unafraid to go forward at the command. The Red Sea will separate, and the very thing that separates and makes way for you will drown the thing that was pursuing you. There is a reason for the faith that is in us, surely.
21. THE STUFF OF DREAMS
Poetry for a long time has acclaimed that life is but a dream, and yet sometimes it seems to be a terrible reality. This refers to the life we call material, which upon consideration does appear surprisingly like a dream. Even yesterday has vanished like thin mist before the eyes of today.
Surely we are conscious of the fact that life— God—never slumbers nor sleeps. No one who understands the law, even in a small way, can imagine God sleeping, or yet that he needs refreshing or renewing by a process of unconsciousness; and yet we in our present limitations function under the thing called sleep. Some of us believe we need a great deal. Edison can manage on four hours, and there are few who have a greater capacity for work than he. Jesus spoke, in several instances, of death as sleep.
This is not written as a plea for less sleep, but with the idea that perhaps some light may be thrown on the thing which we in common parlance call the “sleeping dream.”
Once during a series of most illuminating lectures given on the Continent, each night I experienced the most harassing nightmare. I tried for a long time to understand this thing which seemed to go contrary to principle. Why should I come home after having given a most illuminating talk and feeling the Spirit of it, drop into a state of unreality that was almost unbearable.
After looking about for light from a good many sources, I still found myself as much mystified as ever, and then it dawned on me to seek the wisdom from the only source from which it came— “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God”—and so I asked, knowing that “before they ask I will answer, because the answer always is.” The answer to every problem that you have ever experienced is already there in Spirit, and as soon as you have the answer to a problem you have no problem; hence we see how it is that there are no problems in heaven.
And so the answer came to me:
“With the sleeping dream it is easier for you to dispose of conditions upon awakening in the morning than it is with the waking dream. While you appear to suffer and worry about conditions during the time of the dream, once you are awake you dismiss them as unreal, and you find your body and affairs untouched by what seemed to be catastrophe and chaos. All evil is but belief. It is only the power of good used wrongly, and by going through these beliefs in the sleeping dream, you have been saved many unhappy experiences in the waking dream. The evils of the sleeping dream are as real during the time they are happening as those of the waking dream. The dream of sickness which you experience in the waking dream you have often seen proved a belief; but you inject the time element into it, and an aftermath many times. Having experienced the expression of these beliefs in the sleeping dream, and found them to be unreal has dissipated the power of the belief. It has come to its fruition and been found to be nothing and therefore disposed of.”
Dreams cannot stand the light of day, any more than evils can stand the light of Truth. The dreamer continues to surfer until his thought is changed. Instantly the sleeping dreamer may let go of a belief which has brought about all sorts of evils, and find himself released from its effects; but the belief has been spent. At night thousands of people go into the unconsciousness of sleep, but no two have the same dream, and all admit upon arising that they have been experiencing something that was not real.
Gradually we are finding an ever increasing army of people who know the day dream of evil and in harmony to be unreal, sometimes instantly awakening to the fact, thereby dispelling all the effects of the belief. Hell becomes heaven when we realize the presence of God, and evil becomes good when we realize there is nothing but God, and that his ways are past finding out. What man can know the mind of the Lord? Who has been able to place his hand on life?— The manifestation of life, yes, but not life.
“Awake thou that sleepelh,” awake and find that all the dreams of age, sickness and unhappiness have vanished and left you still untouched and unharmed. Awake to the life eternal upon which no finger of time has traced age and decay. The vision shall replace the dream, the vision of reality.
As the picture passes from the screen and leaves it free from blemish, so the dream finally passes from man and he discovers “whereas, before I was blind, now I can see.” Whereas before we accepted conditions and circumstances as real, we are beginning to see them as the dream pictures of beliefs.
Jesus was always about his Father’s business, which was to see beyond the beliefs of the world into the Kingdom of Heaven; to see the untouched soul standing back of the thin veneer of beliefs that man has placed over it; to recognize that the soul had all its capacities forever intact and eternally at the height of perfection.
This seeing was not a quality of the personal Jesus, but was possible only when he identified himself with the Christ within. It is the heritage of every man, and, Beloved, we are already expressing this Power, because we are this Power; Few there be who have not the memory of one belief at least which was proved to be a dream. This knowledge spurs us on into greater fields of activity. A great quickening of spirit takes place within us the moment we recognize the infinite possibilities of this Christ Power. The illusion of sickness and in harmony gives place to the reality of Being.
Everything points back to the isness of Being, the isness of God, good. Back of it all is the fact that God is a changeless power, mindful of his own and not disturbed by the beliefs of man. What a wonderful privilege has been given us then, that we have been shown the way in which we can become one with this Power. Surely one with this Power is a majority, for it is one with the only Power there is.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Be still for a moment and meditate upon this. The very I am of which you speak so often is God. It is the individual point of contact—the point of—expression it is your individuality. The personality with its beliefs and limitations is seen to be swallowed up in the all-encircling Power of Truth.
Awake thou that sleepeth, arise and shine for your light is come. It does not have to be created, or made; it is already there waiting recognition. Rejoice and be glad. The people of God are a people of joy, we are told, and joy is the oil that keeps the manifestation of the light in evidence.
Awake thou that sleepeth; if God be for you, who can be against you?
22. THE SOUL OF THE WORD
To him who in the love of nature, holds communion with her soul, she speaks a varied language,” might well be rendered “to him who holds communion with life,” for the moment a man comes to understand the omnipresence of God, he finds that God speaks to him through a million channels. We have become so hypnotized with the idea that all our learning must be gained from books, teachers, lecturers and preachers, that we pass, in the highways of life, the greatest lessons, simple lessons, and therefore dynamic lessons, for only the simple can be dynamic. Truth is called to us from everything. It is the eternal Voice calling in the wilderness of human beliefs, and we heed it not.
One day I was riding along on the top of a London bus, passing sights upon which the tourist loves to feast his eyes. St. Paul’s glorious dome might as well have been the steeple of a country church; the Strand with its thousand and one interests might have been a side street in a small village; Westminster and the House of Parliament were just buildings; and even Regent Street and Hyde Park were just incidents along the way of my journey—for, that particular morning I was so busy with the imaginary load of thoughts that I had eyes for nothing.
I was about to drop into a state of self-pity, when a man sitting in the seat next to me turned to his companion and said: “Ah, forget it, don’t be an Atlas.” That was all I heard, but that was all I needed. The Voice had spoken. Instantly I felt the whole thing slip off. Hours of talking might not have accomplished this wonder.
Another time, in another city, when confusion seemed to be paramount in my thinking, suddenly out of the fog appeared these words written in gold: “Cool, Clear Courage.” I was startled at the thing which seemed to be a vision. It turned out to be the sign on a public house, Courage Ale, which is supposed to be cool and clear. It did not mean ale to me at that moment; it meant three qualities of the right thinking mind, which instantly set to flight the mist of confusion.
And yet another time, being almost tempted to give in to a cold which I had picked up, a great hand raised itself on a sign board and lettering gave a command: “Don’t take cold.” It was the ad for a cough medicine, but to me it was the command of the Spirit. I need not say that the cold disappeared instantly. You may smile when you read such trilling things. Only a coincidence, perhaps, and yet when coincidences continue to happen, they cease to be classified under that caption. We are beginning to understand the varied voices of Truth, and this makes us hark back to the time when the question was asked of the Master: “When did we see you . . and clothe and feed you?” and his answer, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least, of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
“I am the voice crying in the wilderness.” I am always speaking and expressing myself to you, for I am the Way.
A friend found herself riding on a tram one day, going over within herself the irritating experiences of life. She was about to close the whole findings with, “Well life is . . .” when she looked out the window at the housings along the way and saw a sign: “One Damn Thing After Another,” and underneath in brackets “But Cheer Up” —and she burst out laughing. The conductor came up to her and said “What’s the matter Ma’am, are you sick?” “No,” she replied, “I’m free.” She had read the signboard of a London theatre.
The advertising world has long since recognized the fact that it is the soul back of the sign that carries it across. Words of themselves amount to little; it is what is back of them. “Say It With Flowers” is a rather silent speech to make, but one with a soul. “The Voice with the smile wins” has something more to it than the mere words. We can repeat words forever and get nowhere. You may shout to the top of your voice “Peace, Peace,” and have nothing but confusion. And you may say “Peace, be still” and see a great calm.
The motive back of what you are giving to the world is the measure that comes speedily back to you. Repeating words may bring a sort of self hypnosis which satisfies for the time, but it wears off, because you are trying to make yourself believe something that you feel is not true. “Be not like the heathens, for they think by repetition to gain the ear of God.” “Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the time?”
The thing that is unuttered is greater than any thing that can be said; the unspoken word is greater than the spoken. It is the golden silence which gives birth to the “still small voice” of Truth. Hidden away in everything and everybody is the “Pearl of great price,” perfectly visible and yet invisible. Look again, the fields me white with harvest,” where only a moment before you have seen nothing but barrenness. Look again, the seas are full of fishes, wherein you have fished all night without results. I am everywhere and in everything, is the dictum of Spirit, I am what you conceive me to be.
l swear l see what is better than to tell the best,
It is always to leave the beat untold.
“Discretion preserve you.” “Cast not your pearls before swine.” Surely silence is golden. “See that ye tell no man,” is more than a figure of speech, for when it is ready to be told, it will be so obvious that the thing that was told you in secret shall be called from the housetops, and then you may go and tell the world that the deaf ears are unstopped—when you carry the proof with you—and the blind eyes are opened and the lame walk, and that joy is supreme.
Yes, joy and- peace are walking abroad in the land which is called heaven, and presently you will find that it is possible to encounter glorious beings right here and now who express these things, for this is the Kingdom of Heaven, “to those who have eyes and ears.
Finally you come to understand the divine abandon. How can it be otherwise when you take the firm stand of the omnipresence of good. This is not a careless drifting; it is the same quality that possesses an artist who knows, and knows that he knows. He is abandoned into his expression. He is divinely indifferent, knowing that God can and does run his universe after a divine plan which is perfect and harmonious.
Be then like a bird, balanced on tho too frail branch,
singing, the while, knowing that he has wings.
A lion sleeps where he will. Being conscious of his strength and power, everything else in the jungle gives way to this self knowledge. He roams about free, taking what he will and asking no favors. This great power of self knowledge is an interesting thing for study and meditation. Considering it from the point of freedom and abandon it is glorious, although the thought of brutality and selfishness may make us turn from it. But pause a moment, conceive this beautiful self knowledge tempered by the love of God. It spells dominion, the very quality with which the Son of God is endowed, and which was given to him so that he might place all things under his feet, and enable him to trample upon the lion, the adder, and the dragon of belief.
And this oh Saphur is Omar’s alchemy, to gather something from everyone thou passeth on life’s highway. -Omar
Strange as it may seem, at nightfall after your long day of gathering, you will find you have collected only what you have given out.
“The works that I do ye shall do also” is proven ground. The parable of changing the water into wine has happened over and over again. A lady being accosted by a hold-up man, transformed him into her protector, by saying to him, “I have great many valuables with me and a long dark road to travel; will you act as my protector “ It is not the spectacular use of this power that we seek. If we have an idea to do our deeds to be seen of men they accomplish nothing, but the unseen act of the widow’s mite lays the foundation for real and lasting things.
Everyone from time to time falls under the mesmeric sway of the personal sense, and shoulders the world and becomes an Atlas.
You make yourselves responsible for all sorts of things, not heeding the command, “Lean on me.” If you were to lean on the principle of Truth, it would not indicate that you were to carry much of a load of responsibility. “Take my yoke upon you, for it is light and the burden of it is easy.” Would you exchange the load of grief and care that you bear for this yoke of love? I, the Spirit of Truth have asked you to do this, can you not trust me?
“Yes I know but”—and then the story begins. It is the same old story. It is a well-known fact that your story is the saddest and the worst in the world (to you). All are like that, so sure of it. Every one could handle the other man’s problem quite easily. You even laugh at some of them, and offer a ready solution for the rest, but for your own particular pet, you can see no way out.
A peculiarly interesting instance of this once came to me. The wife of a shell shocked soldier decided that it was her duty and responsibility in life to take him from the mental hospital where he was having treatment, and work it out at home. This could have been accomplished and in some instances it might have been the very thing that should have been done, but this particular woman took on such a responsibility and problem that she lost sight entirely of the end in view, and fell into the way of self-pity. She was angry to hear the lecture on “self imposed responsibilities,” and made her feelings known, by some such remark as this: “It is all very well for you to stand up there and say such things when you never had a responsibility in your life.” She had only heard words, and on the face of them they were both untrue and hard. Looking at the appearances of things constantly is a hard way to get back of them. She knew what it was to live in the house with a demented man, strong as an ox and requiring daily more and more of her liberty. Many times now she wished that she had left him to the treatment which he was receiving, but she had forfeited this right. No wonder she rebelled against the statement, “You have no responsibility.”
Then one day she heard the soul of the words, and though nothing had changed, she knew she was free. On her return home, the man appeared at the head of the stairs in a saner condition than she had yet seen him. There was a tone of almost sadness in his voice, when he said to her, “Why do you hold me here a prisoner, away from the treatment which is mine as an ex-soldier?” In his hand was a letter reinstating him in the place where he most wanted to be.
So often you mistake the sense of sympathy. So often you hold your dear ones in bondage to the very thing from which you would free them. You are urged by a sense of duty to get busy with the affairs of others, because you fail to see them right. Cast out the beam from thine own eye, for the mote is small that is in the other’s eye. If you have a beam in your own eye and are looking through that, what must the picture be? All the work to be done is within. When it is done there, the without will adjust itself perfectly. “Know thyself,” has been the call of Truth for ages, for to know yourself is to know God, and to know God is to know all.
“If my husband would only take up the Truth, things would be wonderful,” is a hackneyed statement. If you know the Truth, things are already wonderful. Do not be deceived; the straying husband is watching to see if there is anything worth while in what you are saying. He is looking for the soul of what you are saying. If he finds nothing but the chaff of words he is little convinced. “Stand and deliver” what you profess as this wonderful thing you have found, and the world looking on will have to acknowledge its supremacy. “Faith without works is dead.” Merely talking about it, and living contrary to it makes little impression on any one. Accord the right to every man that is accorded to Thomas. If he must see, let him see by the actual living of the thing into expression.
Life becomes void of the sacharine sympathy, and takes on the compassion of understanding. It is no good to descend to the level of one in the ditch by sympathizing with him, if you want to pull him out. You may be compassionate with his struggles; yet stand on the high ground and lend him the helping hand of power, indifferent to the appearances of evil because you know they are beliefs that will presently be changed. And all this tempered with love. Nothing is so harassing as to meet with the cold indifference which glibly speaks the language of Truth with no understanding, saying to the person in the throes of a problem; “Nothing is the matter with you,” and leaving him in his misery, to which you have added the smarting lash of your uncompassionate words.
23. WHY DOUBT YE?
In a recent book on the life of Jesus, the story is related that the mother of the boy who had fits brought him to Jesus and said to him: “Lord if thou possibly canst, make my son whole”; to which Jesus answered by this one searching question: “Why did you say possibly?”
What a glorious lesson is hidden in this answer! It is a rebuke to the doubt shown in the single word “possibly.” How often you search for help with this underlying doubt and wonder. “I hope I can get help” is a very thin sort of faith, mixed with a great percentage of doubt. Yet, has it not been said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Removed hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
You repeat the beautiful words over and over, and no results follow because of the doubt back of them. You use them sometimes as though they were a magic formula which would do wonders. You use them sometimes with self-pity, thinking God is moved by the self-sacrifice and self-pity. But he who uses them with the grain of faith will see the manifestation. The grain of faith locked up in the tiny shell must be dropped into the dark, secret earth, and in the silence and secrecy it is released. Such a little seed becomes a mighty tree. Such a little faith grows the moment it is recognized. But if you ponder about it and question it watering it with the acid doubt, it remains unmanifest, and the mountains you would move loom large against the tiny thing.
Do you say: “If I only had the faith of this one or that one, I too could work wonders”;. “my understanding is so small, I am so young in the Truth”? The mighty oak was once held in the tiny acorn. The one you think so strong, planted the tiny seed long ago. Life is action—without action there is no life. When you begin to realize that life is God, you lose your little personal sense of separation in the immensity of the One, and by losing it you find life, and by holding to it you lose life. Even as the seed which is never planted finally dies, “faith with out works is dead.” The faith that you have is sufficient to move the mountain of belief that is confronting you, if you will use it. As soon as you use a thing you become one with it. Until you actually Use the law of mathematics and become one with it you work no problems, even though you know the law in theory perfectly. Begging the law of mathematics to work does not help, any more than begging God to be God aids you. You must become one with God, according to the Master.
They accused Jesus of calling himself God, and he proved by his works that identifying himself with this Power enabled him to do what his accusers’ prayers to a wrathful Jehovah failed to accomplish. “I (Jesus) of myself can do nothing, but with God all things are possible.” All things—this is a pretty large measure for those seeking the light.
Again we are caught up shortly on the habit of “seeking after the loaves and fishes.” Many people have been stranded high and dry by this habit. “Oh, foolish and perverse generation. . . . .How long must I be with you?”
How long will it be before you come to the understanding that he who finds God finds all? Once you see clearly this Truth, manifestations will come and go as they are needed, without struggle and without effort. The old habit of trying to get a little health for the heart or lungs will give place to the “whole garment” without seam. Then man will come to recognize that it is impossible to have just a bit of God. He will have all, and find its wholeness in health, abundance and harmony here and now. You cannot imagine the presence of God as health and at the same time his absence as abundance or happiness. To know him at all is to know him as All.
The tiny loaf that you manage to demonstrate is soon eaten and you are back again struggling to get another. The little bit of health is used up and you are back again for more of it. Do you not see that this is just a belief of a separation between you and God Do you not see that it is recognizing that there is God and something else, instead of just God?
There cannot be more than All. Rest a moment on this beautiful peace that certainly passeth all understanding. The “Inspiration of the Almighty” will come unto you when you recognize that it is instantly available, and it will lead you into all things.
Every man has his own beautiful inspiration, for there is a diversity of gifts. “What is one man’s meat is another’s poison,” shields us from trying to use another’s inspiration.
How often have you read of someone who suddenly came into a beautiful manifestation by the use of a certain thing, and then have faithfully tried to follow the same lines, only to find it did not work for you. But, in turn, how often have you found that suddenly you were able to do a mighty work by something that came directly to you. All this makes you see how each man must finally look to his own sou1ce and bring out the hidden wonders of his own particular expression. As fast as one gift is used another is supplied. He who can use ten talents will have the ten talents to use, but he who fails to use the one he has shall finally lose that. The way to get the ten is to use the one.
Consciousness is a state of awareness. When we are aware of a truth, it comes to exist for us. Looking at a swimming pool will never make you a good swimming, even though you understand all that must be done. Listening to a great musician will never cause you to emulate his works. Association with meta-physicians will not make you a good meta-physician, unless you actually put into action what you learn.
Things that your belief says, are reversed in the Truth. Before you know differently, you are sure you cannot keep afloat unless you beat the water fiercely. You are sure you will sink if you do not hang on to something or support yourself with water wings, but presently you learn that these things you cast them aside confident in the awareness of your ability to do. Struggling with the Truth is not only unnecessary, but unproductive of results. Nothing that is forced into expression is worth anything. Clinging madly to affirmations, books, and people, will finally give way to the eternal over ow of inspiration within, and all these things, having been used, are laid aside.
You begin to understand why Solomon was so wise in his request for greater wisdom, for with wisdom he could replace and manifest thing. Always in the manifest thing lies the possibility of disappearance— but what matter, if it can be replaced again with ease?
“I will overturn, overturn, overturn it until he comes whose right it is to rule,” is the mandate of God. One little idol after another crashes to the ground until all the idols of belief are broken and trampled into the dust. And when you learn to let go of them you find you have lost nothing and gained much. Why is it you hesitate to give back to God what he has given to you? By giving it back you find you have kept it. You lose nothing by entrusting your desires to God. If God cannot do a thing, it cannot be done, and so you free your mind of struggle and fear. Learn to leave it with him who has said, “Before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear them.”
We are admonished by the Master to “consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” It may be that we consider only one angle of the process—a beautiful sheath of lilies, glowing in silvery whiteness of the sun, filling the air with sweetness and giving beauty to the wayside. We may have gained the wonderful lesson of the effortless manifestation of perfection. We may have realized also the silence of its unfolding; but more than likely we have failed to see that the great work is accomplished in the darkness, in the secret place, as it were, far away from the prying eyes of reason.
All winter long the bulb has lain hidden from sight, under the snow and earth. “All this time, if one did not know better, he would say that it lies dormant, because there is no visible manifestation. Yet were you to investigate you would find that great white roots are shooting deep down into the earth; a hard shell is falling away and work of preparation is going on, unseen, unheard, and unadmitted. A great and glorious preparation is going on in the silence, a preparation, without which the manifestation would be impossible. As the glorious lily holds its silvery chalice to the dew and sun, strong roots are supplying it with vitality and strength, roots that, to the eye, play no part in the glorious manifestation.
Suddenly a silent voice of nature speaks to the unseen bulb, almost as though an officer called to his men “Stand and deliver!” And up shoots the great shaft of beauty.
One of the big points to be gained from the parable of the lilies is that everything that amounts to anything must do its work silently and unseen, unheeded and unsung, as it were—the bird in the egg, and butterfly in its cocoon, the oak in the acorn. Everything points to the fact that during the period which seems like waiting, tremendous things are going on, unseen by the eye.
Many people miss this in their own unfoldment. They forget that man too must have his season of preparation, when to the outside world little may be happening. If you could conceive of a lily bulb worrying and fretting to get into visible manifestation, you would get a pretty good idea of how many people fail to profit by this glorious time. Accordingly many try to force the manifestation, only to find that a cold wintry wind nips the promise in the bud. They may use the hothouse method of bringing it out, but it is of short duration and a weak thing at best. Anxiety and wonder have delayed many beautiful demonstrations, for this time of anxiety should be spent in preparation.
A clear example of this came to me once, I had been successful as a Truth practitioner, only to find one day that it had entirely dropped away from me. I spent a certain amount of time trying to solve the mystery, with no success. At this very time an offer came for me to conduct classes in French. I rebelled at this, insisting that I had entered the work of Christ and was entitled to carry it on. And here is another lesson—sometimes we classify the work of Christ in a pigeonhole all of its own, away from the work of what we call the world. If everything is not the work of Christ, then we must be serving two masters.
In the course of time, after rebelling and fretting, I found no way open but to conduct the French classes. They grew and grew in size and capacity, including everything from the most elementary lessons to the advanced reading of late plays and novels. This sudden change of occupation brought with it a great deal of study and research work. Often I would question it all, wondering “why?”
Months afterwards I stood at the crossroads in a small town in France. A French Division was trying to evacuate and an American trying to enter. Neither wanted to give way to the other. Traffic was congested and men were screaming to each other in the two languages, without arriving at any solution. I stood by and watched it all, waiting as soldiers are taught to do. Finally the officer in charge shrieked: “Good Lord, isn’t there anybody around here who speaks French and English?” The Voice within spoke, “Stand and deliver!” And accordingly I stepped forward. The time had come for the manifestation of the long preparation.
Again, once in the “no light sector” a voice called out at midnight, “Interpreter, interpreter.” I answered.
“You speak French perfectly—you are sure? Don’t undertake this if you don’t, for the lives of hundreds of men depend upon it. Are you sure you are prepared?”
I was sure. So we whirred away in a car in the darkness and gave the message which gave permission to return fire.
All the time in the dark little dug-out the officer stood over me— “Be sure you get it absolutely right. It must be perfect.”
As we rode back again, it all came back to me. Now the answer was clear. All the tedious work with beginners and advanced students meant firm foundation for me. What I gave them I kept with increase, for a purpose.
Again, I was used in gathering testimony, that helped one boy to go home a soldier with his buttons in place.
If we could only recognize that the visible manifestation is not all there is to the scheme of things! Two-thirds of a great ship is out of sight, but it is a mighty important two-thirds. What goes on below the water-line is not visible to the eye, but how important to that which is visible.
We need also to recognize that no sooner does a manifestation of nature come to its maturity than preparations are made to free it, and presently the sap runs down deep into the ground out of sight.
Defeated? No, back to the source to bring out again a new and more abundant manifestation. Jesus was constantly directing the attention of his students to the inner process of working: “I and my Father are one”; “The Father within me, he doeth the works.” All the healing and happiness, and even heaven itself are found within. When once found there, the manifestation becomes unlabored and easy, beautiful and natural. It is in its right place at the right time.
In the heart of the lily lies the perfect vision of the flower. It is not creating the flower; that is already there, and presently it will be let out into expression, for “that which is told in secret shall be called from the housetop.”
Nothing is lost by letting go of the manifestation. The leaf that is cast off, falls at the roots of the tree and fertilizes the soil. If you could only realize this about demonstrations. Some of you have a single demonstration of power that you hold on to all your lives, because it is so beautiful and big, and thereby you miss the possibilities of having an endless and ever increasing number of manifestations come into visibility.
Waiting, in the true sense of the word, is not apathy or inactivity. “Patience must have her perfect work.” Notice the word “must.” “Wait patiently on the Lord (life) and he will bring it to pass.” You cannot wait patiently if you are eternally fussing and worrying and running about asking someone the cause of your failure to make demonstrations.
“I used to make such wonderful demonstrations,” you say ; “for twenty years I seemed to do almost the impossible— but now, etc., etc.”—not realizing that even Jesus was sometimes driven into the wilderness, alone— yes, to the very center of his being— only to come out renewed, strengthened and revitalized for a greater and more lovely manifestation.
When you learn this beautiful truth, you will cease struggling; you will come to understand the lines of John Burrough:
Serene I fold my hands and wait
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate
For to my own will come to me.
One glimpse of the truth that you are rooted and grounded in the love and life of God, will cause you to fold the busy mental hands and wait serenely, caring nothing for the raging of the winds, or the tide or the sea. Why should you not be serene if you are anchored in the understanding of God, everywhere present, knowing full well that your own must and will come to you.
“Seek peace and pursue it, thereby all good shall come unto you.” When you can be peaceful, resting in the knowledge, “It is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” you can be assured that his promises are kept, and you glory in the period of silence and preparation. You are happy as you wait, for soon you will hear the command, “Come forth!” And you shall walk out of your tomb and “stand and deliver.”
25. ARE YOU AN OFFICIAL STONE CASTER?
“I do not see why it is,” he said, “I have tried to live the truth; I have followed along certain lines of thought and action; have studied and meditated; and yet such uncalled for things come to me.”
“Nothing comes to you that is not called to you by your own self,” the Voice answered.
“I cannot believe that—certainly I did not call this condition unto myself. Who with intelligence would call such a hateful thing unto him?”
“Does a radio pick up every message that passes by it?” asked the Voice.
“Of course not, only those to which it is attuned.”
“And what is it that ‘tunes in’ or decides what shall be received? Is it not the operator of the receiving set?”
“That is true; but when you are attuned to good, how can evil come in?”
“Evil is always in the nature of a boomerang. You never get rid of it by loosing it on another. Perhaps you feel that you are justified in assuming the position of an ‘official stone caster,’ but just as long as you may cast a stone, rest assured that, that evil will one day come home to you with accelerated force.”
“Yes, but should we not destroy evil?’’
“Is evil anything to be destroyed? And in reality can anything be destroyed? Know ye not that the only evil there is, is in yourself? You must have recognized it there, or else you could not see it pictured forth in your universe. Casting stones at the reflection of your own thought, is like throwing rocks at a mirror which shows you an ugly picture, hoping thereby to destroy the cause of the picture, but succeeding only in temporarily getting rid of the thing. The very next mirror you pass, the picture springs again into view. Or perhaps it is because you have assumed consciously or unconsciously the position of ‘holier than thou.’ Perhaps, because of your study and desire to live a better life you have thought that the effort to do this has justified you in exposing and condemning evil in everybody and everything else. How long, how long will you need the lesson of the simple law—Only that which cometh out of you is evil?”
“Am I then to shut my eyes to evil?” asked the student.
And the Voice answered: “Contrary to that you are to open the closed eyes, which have been looking through a glass darkly. The eye must become single—single to what? Single to good. Become so conscious of the omnipresence of good, so everlastingly on the lookout for it that you can and do see only good. One learned in music hears melodies that the unlearned cannot understand, and yet they are there.
“It is not by studying the nature of so-called evil that you find good, but by becoming so conscious of good that it stands out in everything, for there is nothing evil in the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now. Where is the dividing line between your good and evil? Is it not as indefinite as the dividing line between heat and cold? If heat is the absence of cold, just where does this dividing line rest? Since you may say it is cold when the instrument indicates it is freezing, what will you say of zero and many degrees below zero There are thousands of sounds too loud and too soft for you to hear; for this reason do you insist that they do not exist There is infinite good that you have not experienced, but it is there just the same.
“Centuries ago it was said to you: ‘Not until you come to realize that neither you nor anyone else has ever sinned, can you come to the fullness of Good. Note the sweeping words of this statement: ‘You have never sinned. It does not say that you have been forgiven, or that someone else has sinned and been forgiven. The you that has always been and always will be uncontaminated or untainted by opinions and beliefs is the only thing that counts, and that glorious soul has never for one instant dragged its splendid wings in the mire of personal sense and belief.
“Neither do I condemn thee’”was said to you. Think well then before you condemn another, for the rest of the command is ‘go and sin (recognize sin) no more.’
“Presently your whole attention is centered on goodness, and the transformation of you and your universe takes place because you have renewed your mind.
“Be not, therefore an official stone caster; do not bring yourself under the hard rebuke, ‘He that is without sin let him cast the first stone,’ which will cause you to slink away in shame.
“When the one sheep strayed from the fold and was found far from its rightful place, instead of being stoned to death for its disobedience, a loving arm was placed around it and it was brought back rejoicing. You remember that the rod and staff were in that arm that lovingly reclaimed the lost— but there was no stone.”
Most people who know nothing about the Truth, as here referred to, and even some who have been studying it for years, consider the matter of demonstration as something which is miraculous, and wonderful. They feel it is the bringing forth of things by an unnatural process; that is, something different from anything ever used or heard of before. Making the unmanifest appear, is placed in the category of the supernatural, or under the caption of slight of hand.
People who have studied for years still cling to the demonstration of Truth as the unusual, not realizing that the unmanifest has been becoming manifest ever since the beginning of time. Everything that you now see was at one time invisible. You think nothing of the fact that an oak tree which is today invisible will in a few years appear; that the fruit you will eat next year will come also out of the unmanifest; that the material you will wear in your clothes next year is not yet in existence. The automobile of tomorrow has still to be brought out.
You accept this as a natural law working in the universe. It is a natural law, and is the law of demonstration. When you stop for a moment to consider that after all what you have been trying to explain as unnatural has actually been going on under your very eyes all the time, it takes away the mystery and darkness in which you have wrapped the working of this magnificent power.
As fast as man becomes aware of this principle, he is able to speed it up; hence you see that man is bringing out an ever increasing expression of the manifestation constantly eliminating the time element and also the material. The earliest dispatches were carried on foot by the runner; this service was in turn performed by the horse, the train, the automobile, the telegraph, the airplane, and then the wireless. At every move man expressed the power with increasing knowledge and understanding, there by eliminating the sense of time and space. You see in it all the working of Mind through the avenue of expression, man, and it is then no far cry to demonstration what we have talked so much about, in our Truth.
Jesus understood, as all will understand one day, that time and distance were purely man’s concept, and that thought traveled more swiftly of itself than any material thing could ever do. He realized that to think a thing was to see it in manifestation. One might say he simply speeded up the law which man has put under the operation of time and space, by eliminating both of these elements. And so today we are emulating his example and seeing from time to time that we can do the same things.
The process is not being gained from books, for the books that were studied yesterday, are cast aside today as out of date and of no use. The presence of this Power, which you choose to call God, is becoming so evident in its everyday use that your grandparents would stand aghast at what the child already grasps and uses of this without training. He is taking it as his birthright.
Imagine the consternation of your ancestors if a child had accepted the fact that .he could talk to Europe with the simple apparatus of wireless, and while he was talking that he could transmit his signature and broadcast his photograph. And what would have happened to the poor little chick if he had said the mom was full of music and lectures? There would hardly have been charity large enough to attribute those things to imagination, and more than likely he would have been considered a liar and had his mouth washed out with soap. Yet had he made those statements at the time of your grand parents, he would not have been misstating the possibilities that were as much present then as now, only they were not recognized. We are beginning to see that everything always has been awaiting recognition. The principle of all the wonderful inventions we see today has always existed; yes, and the principle of even greater things awaits the recognition, for “nothing is impossible to God.”
Professor Theremin demonstrated the fact that he could draw from the air whatsoever he would in the line of music, that he could play a solo which sounded surprisingly like a violin or cello without any instrument, except a small machine above which he held in his hands.
The child being born at this time comes into this heritage of understanding, and accepts it without a thought of how, why, when or where. The Kingdom of Heaven is made up of such as the child; not in years, but in that mentality which can accept the things which reason many times rejects. Eventually we will accept the statement of Jesus, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” not as a pretty bit of phraseology, but as an actual fact; and when we accept it, without equivocation or question we will see it manifest. Everything that we today see manifest which at the start seemed wonderful, was accepted by the man who brought it out.
Once you are convinced that when you make demonstrations you are not working with an unnatural law, you open up the channel where your good can automatically pour out to you in a never ceasing stream; then the surprise and wonder will give place to recognition that it is natural for good and perfect gifts to come into your universe. Sickness, sin, and limitation will become unnatural, a perverted sense of the real, and will be handled accordingly. The same power in an elephant which makes him a terror to man, may if properly handled become an aid to man.
Man, the highest concept of this Power, has been endowed with this Power, and is actually the Power if he will let it express through him; but in the beginning he mistook the infinitude of its nature and expression and tried to turn it to personal ends and soon produced a misshapen manifestation.
He branded things as personal possession, and brought upon himself a deluge of evils that were also his own. Then he set about trying to get rid of the manifestation without going to the cause of it. It was like trying to fill up a barrel with a hole in it as large as the measure with which he was trying to fill it. Years of hard labor ensued. His work was in vain; he finally fell by the way; and having strapped himself to the wheel of chance and change he was crushed and broken by every revolution. So intent was he upon his misery and trials, that he even failed to take advantage of the centrifugal force, which at every turn gave him a new chance to let go and be thrown free of it all. What would happen if he were to let go? In ancient times a prisoner sometimes lived so long in a dungeon, that when his chance came to be released, he cried to go back. He was afraid of the new experience, unwilling to take the new step, or he may have been like Peter, who having taken his first step out into what seemed to him an impossible realm of expression, looked down upon it, and reasoned within himself, and so went under.
No person could have held Peter on top of the waler, but the Power within was able to do what the power without said was impossible. So is it with man—the Power within being not subject to any law of matter and limitation, asks no favors, nor yet considerations. It asks no questions, for it is conscious of its ability to do the impossible. “Nothing is impossible to God.”
You may be questioning all this, and setting it down as a Bible story, so remote from the work-a-day experience of life that you fail to read the same law broadcast in your everyday papers. Who has not heard of a hospital catching fire and patients who could hardly move a finger, rising and walking out of the burning building. What did this? A patient may have been pronounced incurable, a hopeless invalid—and yet he walked. I know of a case of a mere slip of a girl who with perfect ease lifted a man who weighed some two hundred pounds. In the flurry of excitement she forgot her limitations, forgot herself. All that she knew was that her father had been injured and needed to be put on the bed, and she did it; and then afterward she thought about it, and her reason said impossible—but it had been done.
A rose has grown through the Wall of China. A rose is a tender thing, and masonry is hard and solid. Trees have grown through solid marble. Grass has grown through thick pavement. Mushrooms have tilted over great rocks. Reason does not support such action. Impossible to force a rose bush through solid masonry? Impossible to force a tender tree through twenty inches of marble? But it has been done. Think then what it must be to use such a magnificent power consciously. In every instance where man has in a moment of excitement done that of which his physical body was incapable, it has been at the moment he forgot himself. Forget the little personality, and in that instant you become one with the Principle of the universe, to which nothing is hard or impossible.
You may have put layers of marble over yourself—public opinion, race consciousness, inheritance and environment—but all of these things can be pierced and pushed aside by the law of God when man uses it unselfishly with self-forgetfulness.
You will notice that in all these instances of accomplishment there was no effort to get rid of the self; rather it was simply ignored, together with its limitations and shortcomings. Yet man spends much time getting rid of the self in order to use the Power, instead of realizing his oneness with the Power and ignoring the thing which is only a belief. You spend years trying to get rid of things, and creating, as it were, a vacuum in your minds, hoping first to put out self and then let the Power in, instead of recognizing that the Power is already in. To become one with this is to become a majority.
“The Lord in the midst of thee is strong and mighty”; “His ways are past finding out.”
If you are wasting any time trying to find out “how” the law works, you are playing a losing game, for you have nothing upon which to base your equation, except the material reasoning, and that has already proved to you that you cannot do or be or have anything that is outside of your present capacities, as measured by brain and brawn.
“Those that are for us are more than those that are against us,” when we are one with the Power. So the prophet assured his servant who was quaking with fear. Yes, the prophet smiled at the fear of the servant, who stood looking with terror stricken eyes at the advancing army. One reasoned, and the other knew. One was trying to get rid of the manifestation, and the other was instantly one with the Power. “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way.” Agree with the One Power in and through everything, and then you be come one with that Power, even the power-that your supposed enemy is trying to use against you.
A perfectly equipped electrical apparatus is dead without the electricity. To work for things, as detached from the power that is back of them, is to get the same results. To become aware of the consciousness back of a thing is to bring the symbol of it into manifestation. Always the substance precedes the manifestation. Light came before the symbol of light, the sun. The personal sense has to have the abstract expressed by a symbol.
To every man is a different symbol for the same thing. One man in bringing out a sense of prosperity, may think in terms of hundreds, while another thinks in terms of thousands and yet another in terms of millions. What one person calls wealth, another uses every year for what he considers the bare necessities of life, but the same substance is back of it all. You have your own symbol which stands for a given abstract quality to you. One person might consider five dollars a big demonstration, while another might casually drop this into the hands of a waiter for lunch while he was meditating on making a financial demonstration.
Like the child at the seaside who wondered whether anyone would miss it if she took away a bucketful, many of us have approached the God-principle of life with a very small pail as our measure. But be not disturbed one day you will not carry away a little bucketful of the water of life, but will plunge into the ocean of it, and be refreshed and renewed. Ah! Yes, beloved, one day you will throw away your little measure of God, and take him all, and leave all for every other manifestation. You cannot exhaust the Infinite.
One peep into the Truth of life, stimulates you to the gifts which await the acceptance—the Father standing with the robe and the ring, and a great encircling love. Poor little children, all of us, we feel that we would like to throw ourselves down before this Power and weep, when we think of the mistakes we have made; but when we arrive at this point, everything is so wonderful there is nothing about which to weep; we are shedding the tears of joy.
Look! Just before you lies the Father’s house. Yes, he is coming to meet you, and he is rejoicing, and all is well. The Son has returned to the Father; there shall be no more feeding with the swine and filth of beliefs. Deeper and deeper into the great arms of love you go, the heart of you beating a rhythm of joy and peace. “Not even a sparrow falleth” without his knowledge. You are worth many sparrows.
There is such a wonderful feeling of abandon, when you come to realize that this glorious Principle not only can but does run his universe perfectly. There is the “peace that passeth all understanding.” Of course, it would have to pass all understanding because reason comes in and says it is impossible for man to dwell here in anything like harmony and peace. But over and over we have seen that what man says, he has to unsay, and what he knows is impossible becomes possible before his very eyes.
Yes, there is a reason for the hope that is within us. We are already standing well on proven ground. The sturdy pioneers of the Truth have hacked away the path for us and we are already on the highroad of attainment. Go not back to your former bondage. Let not the free limbs which feel and know this wonderful freedom be entangled again with past beliefs and reason. You are free, because the Truth has made you free. What you know is always the Truth. You know that two and two are four, you do not believe it; you can believe it is five, but it does not change the eternal Truth of it.
Have you ever thought about this in relation to knowing that God is good, instead of believing he is mixed with evil or subject to petition and beseeching! You may believe what you want to about him, but you can only know the Truth of what he actually is. Try this for a while: Come to the Power free from the self seeking; come to it once free to accept what it has in store for you. You will not be disappointed in leaving it with him, The poor little things that you have been begging him for, will fade into insignificance when you view the glorious gifts he has in store for your acceptance.
“No good gift will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” This is a large measure. It is worth the effort you may make to walk uprightly, which after all only means to recognize God as good. Walking in an erect position would not influence the All Wise, but moving into the right knowing position of. “I and my Father are one,” will bring a pouring out of joys that you will not be able to receive, so magnificent and abundant will they be.
27. PEACE (Kamakura)
Suddenly you come upon it. You have been jabbering about nothing in particular as you rode gaily along in your little black rickshaw and your coolie has been singing a sort of monotone song, in spite of the fact that he has been running most of the way.
The birds had a good deal to say. They were talking mostly about spring and the joy of the sun. You are sure of this, because your heart is chuck full of light and spring, and your spirit is as gay as the dancing yellow butterflies that are playing some sort of fairy game about the pond where the blue lotus are in full bloom.
But suddenly you come upon it—all noise ceases, and you are quiet. How could you be noisy in the presence of such immense dignity and peace. The great jade-green Kamakura Buddha stands in the open among the trees. He is a thing of peace; he is tranquility itself, and seems to be saying , all the while, “Peace, peace, be still, rest.”
A woman who might have lived all her life on a fan, wearing a fluttery pink silk kimono, with a bunch of blue lotus in her hand, accompanies a gentleman from the tea caddy that has stood on the shelf back home for many years. They kneel, these exquisite picture people and when they rise they go away in silence.
The Kamakum Buddha is a lesson in Being, instead of trying to be. We of the West are always trying to be still or lying to have peace or trying to be something. We seek for peace far and wide, and all this commotion and fury of the search comes home strangely to you, when you find that the thing you have been seeking so long, is suddenly yours and you have it, you are being peace, instead of trying to put it on. The great jade colored statue seems to speak, “I am peace,” and though he has stood there for years, he always seems to speak in the present tense. You are aware of it, no argument is necessary—it is.
Something is singing deep within you, a song that only you can hear. It is the peace that passeth all understanding, the peace of great light and joy, but which is still and deep at the same time. Sometimes we have thought that peace meant a cessation from activity and was a sort of depressing state of mind, but in reality peace is the most joyous thing in the world. We come and lave in the fountain of peace and fill our vessel in silence, so that we may carry it back into our more or less noisy worlds and give to those who do not know the road to Kamakura.
And then comes the realization that in the garden of every man’s heart, stands that monument which is the symbol of peace, and that he need not go half way around the globe to see it typified in a statue of Buddha. At every turn in life there is a great silent, wonderful lesson for us, and it is always in the present tense for it actually brings out the idea we have been seeking. It embodies it as a reality. ‘’Seek peace and pursue it, thereby all good shall come unto you.:” “All” is surely enough and the recipe is simple enough. Why seek ye the things hoping thereby to get the peace; when peace is yours it will be sustained, and if it is necessary to have certain things to keep the peace, will they not come forth in their perfect order? “I have ways that ye know not of.” We will hear and understand this one day, and then all doubting and worrying about the how, when, and where will melt away. God will provide in his own good time, and that time will be soon enough to sustain the everlasting sense of peace that fills you.
“Who did hinder you?” Ah, Beloved, soon you shall learn the lessons of simplicity, and then you shall find that it is all so simple, so natural, so effort less that you will smile as you look back and see the hard road that you chose to climb. Then shall come the great activity, the great expression; lost motion will disappear, for then you will know that is 1s your Father’s good pleasure to bring all these things to your remembrance.
28. BE NOT ANXIOUS (Singapure)
At five o’clock a great flaming disc had been thrown into a copper colored sky. It was the beginning of summer in the Malay country, and early in the morning nature gave her signal that a long, hot, dusty day was to follow. Already for three hours or more the business of the day had been under way, and scurrying feet flew about as if to defeat the on-coming heat. Black, half-robed figures in variously designed and colored costumes hurried about, and lazy sacred cows and water buffaloes wended their way along the uneven paths and road ways.
Singapore paid no attention. The breeze from the sea offset in a measure the heat of the sun, and then too, Singapore is East of the Suez, and Kipling has long since given to the white world the somewhat interesting bit of description of the place as being located in the zone “where there ain’t no ten commandments and a man can raise a thirst.” Certainly the last part of his description was true and was aided and abetted by nature. A group of natives squatted in their brightly colored saris on the pier, watching the great steamers, which were safely in side the breakwaters. Many of them had their stores of ebony and ivory elephants, and strings of crystal beads, along with innumerable Buddhas made of every describable material.
Some of the more effete gentlemen were making their toilet and arranging the great combs in their long black hair, and all of them were chewing the betel nut which makes their lips fiery red against their dark, sun-burned skins. One “peacock” was regarding himself in a mirror and arranging the great gaudy earrings which hung from his neatly shaped ears. Bronze and black children of the sun and sand rubbed elbows with the early businessman in his white duck and helmet.
The white plaster and stone edifices of the West rose against the more primitive architecture of the native. In the distance, palm and banana trees stirred in the early morning breeze.
Already the attendants of the temples had made their appearance and were passing in and out before the shrines of Buddha. Some of them had delicate white and yellow lilies wreathed about their black hair. There was a never-ending stream of people coming and going to the temples, and the orange clad figure of a priest or his student flitted in and out among the crowd.
Little Adanna crawled from his sleeping place, stretched himself and made off to the grove of palms and banana trees that skirted the temple. Hidden away in the soul of this little dark-skinned disciple was a desire for the Truth, and so he hurried, unnoticed by the mobs of inhabitants through whose veins ran the blood of a dozen different races. Already a sense of repentance had come to him, to think that he had idled away some golden moments in sleep that might have been spent in listening to the wisdom which the Master would give.
He knew that the Master would be reading from The Vedas, made of palm leaves which folded like a fan and seemed to Adanna a veritable fount of wisdom. But when he came to the grove he found to his surprise that he was the first to arrive. The Master was perusing his book and paid no attention to the first arrival, and so Adanna sat down at his feet, looking at the folds of palm leaves from which he was reading. What a store of wisdom lay hidden away between those leaves and how the little brown fingers longed to take for a moment the precious document and hurry away with it to some quiet spot. He sat longing to possess such a book, when the large dark eyes of the Master rested on him, a smile playing about his lips.
“It is not impossible,” said the Master, having divined the ardent longing in the boy at his feet, “and it is worth the effort.” Adanna started. “But the cost Master?” He questioned. “Little by little it can be accumulated,” and he went on reading; “and the glorious lesson it brings—man must pay for everything he gets in this universe and yet after he has paid it is all free.”
Adanna rose and went apart; already he had had his lesson for the day. The more we come to realize the Truth the more we come to know that a single idea well meditated upon is worth a thousand sermons and lectures.
Adanna had something to work out. His desire was possible of attainment, and if he followed the leadings the way would be shown. He must learn that to give is to take and that one cannot exist with out the other. He went down into the city and looked at the hordes who were trying only to take. The beggars before the temple and on the street comers were trying to get without giving, and so were the hosts that awaited the steamers and incoming whites. No matter how much they seemed to take, without giving, they had nothing in the end. They had been there for years and were no better off today than they were ten years ago, and yet they had continually received, sometimes most generously too.
He seated himself under an ancient magnolia tree, where the perfume of the flowers was strong and pungent. Here it was quite still, except for the distant noise of the city and the occasional sound made by the falling leaves of the magnolia. One great white petal after another fell to the ground; the flower was giving itself so that the seed might come into being. Sometimes the green outer leaves of a bud burst and fell to the ground, for things happen quickly in the tropics, but all in their good time. Adanna thought of the times he had tried to help a flower into expression by forcing back the green pod which held it, only to find that it turned black and wilted without coming to blossom and fruition.
“Be not anxious, wait patiently,” the Voice spoke within him, “only give.” What had he to give? A copper a day for bread was the only thing that came into his life; yet the Voice said “give,” and so Adanna decided to give from time to time this copper to the Master, so that one day he too might have a book in which lay hidden all the secrets of life.
Sometimes Adanna weighed the whole thing, and wondered if after all it was worth the effort, but to hear the Master reading the wondrous wisdom from the book again reassured him, and on he plodded. Then one day the Master placed in his hands the wondrous book of palm leaves. “There Adanna,” he said, “that is your very own.” Adanna took the book in his hands and caressed it lovingly. He prized it as nothing else he had yet possessed. It seemed to be his very own in a larger way than anything else.
The Master was speaking— “Adanna, because of my love for you I would have given you the book long ago, without taking the coppers which you could so ill part with, but knowing the law, I knew that to have done this would have deprived you of one of life’s golden lessons.
“We all love gifts, and we take eagerly the help that is proffered us, but later on we learn that the thing we pay for is the thing that we value. And yet after we have learned to pay for a thing, we find that we come under the law, ‘Come eat and drink without price’; that is, we learn that everything is a gift, and that the payment we have made has only been because of our ignorance in understanding the law of receiving. We can only know this law of freedom when we know that all things are here for our use, but not for our possession.
“How is it that we do not already understand this, since we see that no man holds anything longer than his sojourn here, and then is forced to relinquish it? Yet, until we are awakened we persist in hoarding things and trying to amass the world’s goods into places where moth and rust corrupt and steal them away.
“Take the manna of the day and use it; there will be more tomorrow, and the manna that has been saved is worthless. Take and use the infinite goodness of God, freely; but be sure you do not hoard it or store it away, and think thereby to fill your barns and take your ease. If you do not learn to take your ease today, the disease of life will call for its toll by the time you think to take your ease. You have been diseased (uneasy), all your life, and suddenly you hope to put on ease because of the accumulation of things, but the soul or sense of them has fled and it is all nothing.
“Man finally comes to know that he is a distributor of good, and that it flows through him out into expression, that he is always giving and receiving the infinite substance. The more he is ready and willing to give, the more he is able to receive. Perhaps one thinks that he will first get and then give; but the channel of his outpouring has become so small that when he desires to pour out his god to the world, the great onrush chokes the narrow opening and he is finished.
“You will recall the old Sanscrit poem ‘Look well to this day’; and the sayings of Jesus: ‘Now is the accepted time’; ‘Today is the day of salvation.’ Unless we begin to live and move and have our being in the eternal vibrating presence of good, we shall go on hoping that some future day is to bring our goodness, and this very thought separates us from our good, and we perish of thirst at the very fountain side.
“Again this giving is impersonal. It seeks no favors or favorites. A dog may partake of the perfume of a lily. The lily gives, and gives, because it is receiving all the while If we are anxious to do good, we fail to understand the law, and many an anxious hand has opened the bud of another’s unfoldment, thinking he was helping, only to find that he has blasted that promise. In our anxiety we rush about trying to force upon another the Truth, as we see it, only to find we have harmed or hindered where we thought to help; but the pouring out of the impersonal love and Word on all mankind will bring refreshment to those who are ready to drink.
“Peace be unto you, be not anxious. When we are anxious about the working of the law, we are actually doubting the All-wise and his ability to express. Why do we hinder the Truth by trying to force it into expression, instead of recognizing it as already expressed. The tiniest leaves of a plant have as great a mission as the blossom and at their stage of appearance are of equal importance.
“Do not attempt to make every seed a mushroom because of its rapid manifestation. There must be oak trees and palm trees, and these take longer to mature than the mushroom, and they endure longer. A desire expressed to you by another if good should be encouraged and agreed with, but do not try to precipitate that desire in your eagerness. Had I given you the book which you treasure now so much, when you first desired it, it would have long since found itself in the dust, because it would have been of little value.
“Farewell, Adanna, go your way and preach the gospel (the good spell); show by the works what is meant by the Word; open the blind eyes; heal the lame; and unstop the deaf ears. All these things are possible and even greater things, as the great Masters of all times have taught. Be not anxious to do good. Be good and let it flow forth naturally, without anxiety or effort. Mind is effortless and must not be forced. When you begin even in a small way to learn this, you come upon the law of no time. You begin to realize that a thousand years can be as a single day; hence there is no need for anxiety. The mechanics or working out of a thing in solar years can be brought about instantaneously by the effortless letting of God into expression. When you realize God as present in everything and everybody, you slop the time-lag and see the Finished Kingdom of which Jesus so often spoke.
“Adanna, remember this, you are not trying to get into heaven, you are in heaven now; the moment you recognize this you will see it has always been so, and you will wonder at the hindrance you placed in your own way by trying. ‘Who did hinder you?’ will be answered by each man. And the answer will always be the same.
“For a long time man imagines that everything in the world is hindering him and he works hard to get away from these things, not realizing that he is holding to him everything of which he is conscious, whether it be good or bad, and that what is true of his world might not necessarily be true of another’s.
“Go forth, giving freely of the Word, leaving all anxiety aside. Only those who are willing to receive, can receive.. ‘In many places Jesus did not many mighty works’ because of their unwillingness to accept or receive, but he poured his love out to all alike. Many will tome saying they are ready to receive, expecting to be fed daily, and presently they are the serpents which tum and strike at the hand that has warmed them into life, because they have given nothing, hence have only ingratitude and lack of appreciation in their hearts.
“The mother bird which with greatest care has fed and sheltered her young so long, is not cruel when one day she gently pushes them out of the nest. She has taught them their lessons, and now has come the time for them to put them into practice. If they return she pushes them out again and again until they arouse within themselves the self-assurance and courage to find and use their own good. There is a gentleness about it all, and yet a firmness, and as you go forth, you will not deprive those who come to you of the privilege of using their newly gained power by eternally holding them in bondage to your teachings. Neither will you run ahead of them and set every seeming obstacle right so that their road shall be a smooth path. They will soon learn that the rough shall be made smooth and the mountains shall be laid low. They will find that when dependence on outside things and conditions has been set aside a wonderful fount of wisdom and strength has opened up within.
“Finally, a child must learn to make its own way, to use its own body, to bring out its own glorious expression. Be not anxious to do good. Hinder not Me (the God within) from expressing through you, by your anxious thought, either for yourself or another. ‘I have a work to do through every channel of expression,’ says the Voice within; ‘hinder me not with anxiety.’ Patience must have her perfect work, for all work is perfect in the beginning, and will finally be found so by all mankind.”
And so Adanna one day sat under a great spreading palm musing over his dear book hen a little brown hand dropped into his lap a copper, the first payment for a book. Adanna’s heart started with a desire to give the book to the little seeker, but the voice of his Master, who long ago sat under the magnolia tree seemed strangely alive. “Be not anxious. Patience must have her perfect work. I know my sheep.” And a year passed before the final copper had been dropped into the hand of Adanna, but the student had grown to a mental stature worthy to lay hands on the book, and to hear from the lips of his Master, “Be not anxious to do good; be good.”
29. HEAVEN AND HELL (Egypt)
I sent my soul into the invisible
Some message of the after-world to tell,
And by and by my soul returned to me
And said, “I Myself am heaven and hell.”
A strong clear voice, fresh and young, spoke aloud the words of Omar, giving them wings and freeing them, it seemed, to the whole world. The green moonlight tinted the long white robe and turban of the speaker, his heavy, rich brocade sash sombered in the light. Eyes large and full of fir looked up to the stars of the desert night.
A charcoal brazier threw its light on the rich Oriental rugs and made jewels of warmest hues of the vari-colored patterns.
In the background the pyramids, black and silver triangles against the deep blue, and the dark silhouette of the Spinx as she sat overlooking the quiet, even-lapping Nile. Occasionally the huge sail of a river boat drifted by, and the song of the boatmen beat its strange but winning monotone on the air.
Occasionally the voice of the dragoman could be heard as he talked to the camel-boy who stood guard over the sleeping beasts. But the stillness had swathed everything in peace and rest and seemed to shut out the noises of life. Across the sand and the river could be seen the pale green-white towers and domes of the Mosque of Omar.
Again the speaker: “I”—and he paused long, half in reverence it seemed as if he were speaking the name of a god— “I myself am heaven and hell.”
“I am not only seeking heaven but I am heaven, as I am also hell. Who has sent you? Is the question asked of every man, sooner or later. He may answer a hundred different ways until he understands the Truth of Being, and then he will answer I am has sent me.’ ‘I am’ is the point of contact between God and man, and at the same time is God. Certainly you have been sent into expression, not of your own personal volition but by a Power, which even the most antagonistic will say is above and beyond the personal longings and desires, or even will.
“You are sent out of slavery, out of bondage, into the promised land and you must not turn aside and look back. The I am that sent the children of Israel (you and I are those children) out across this very desert, and cleared every obstruction from their path, is both heaven and hell, both wilderness and garden. We alone shall choose which it shall be.
“Man who finds himself in hell feels sure that he did not put himself there. He runs from it; he tries every means of escape; but though he run to the uttermost part of the earth his hell shall also be with him, for it is self-created and self-sustained. He finally comes to a wretched state of hopelessness and in his extremity finds, during this period, that he has time to hear something other than his personal sense reasoning.
“ ‘If I make my bed in hell Thou art there.’ If man finds that he has made his bed in hell and turns knowingly to the ‘I’ within, which is his point of contact with God, and recognizes that ‘I and the Father are one,’ he finds that he is suddenly in the presence of God, and that where God is, is heaven. “Anything of which you become conscious, is eternally established and can be used instantly. Just as you are conscious of certain simple mathematical equations, you can at any time, anywhere, and times without number, offer the correct solution to a given problem, almost with out thought. You are conscious of it. A man may believe he is conscious of evil, but since evil must and does constantly change, either getting better or worse, you see that this is but a changing conclusion drawn from the appearance of things.
“Once you are conscious of health as an innate quality of God, the problem of sickness resolves itself into nothing but a belief. For the time being, man has strayed into the belief realm and is accepting it as real. He is being the ‘hell’ of which Omar speaks. One man may believe that partaking of a certain food will destroy his health, his sleep and comfort; yet another may thrive on this same food.
“What today is considered a cure for the seeming malignant disease, may tomorrow be scrapped as being out of date. Surely the ‘wisdom of man is foolishness in the eyes of God.’
With them the Seed of Wisdom did 1 sow,
And with my own hand labour’d it to grow;
And this was all the harvest that I reap’d—
I came like Water, and like wind I go.
“The futility of trying to solve the riddle of the universe from the changing panorama of pictures which men make on the skies of time, is like grasping at reflections and releasing real substance. And so the man who tries through theology and argument to find God, inevitably comes to the place where he finds:
There was a Door to which I found no Key;
There was a Veil past which I could not see;
Some like Talk awhile of Me and Thee
There seemed and then no more of Thee and Me.
How interesting the contrast between the personal sense, trying to find a key to the door and a way through the veil, and the teaching of the Master, which says—‘I am the Door, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ We see the helplessness of man seeking outside himself, in the husks of appearances for that which lies within.
“Hither and yon we run, seeking the Fountain of Youth; too late we learn that youth was the thing we prized so lightly and let lip through our fingers. We seek to regain it, not realizing that it is the very prototype of inspiration and that with the letting go of this glorious quality we have become dry and withered and old:
Then said another with a long drawn sigh,
My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry;
But, fill me with the old familiar juice (inspiration)
Methinks I might recover by and by.
‘’When the inspiration of the Almighty has come to you, it shall lead you into all things. It shall lead you to know that youth is not a transient quality in the keeping of a body, but that Mind and God cannot age, and what God cannot do is impossible to man; yet man judging from his beliefs, which he may change tomorrow, finds himself a help less victim of a so-called power. He finds solar years can trace upon him lines and wrinkles and bring decrepitude and old age. It is all because he has so long been associating himself with the body concept of life, and has placed this under the law of the calendar. Who has made the calendar, and who has said that the Offspring of Life Eternal shall faint and fall by the way with age, just at the time he should be most ready to live and express his God given qualities?
“Yet man will run hither and yon seeking new inspiration, only to find that it fades and turns to ashes in his hands, and it will continue to do this until he shall learn that the I am that has sent him into expression, is a living well of inspiration and power right in the midst of him. ‘The Lord in the midst of you is strong and mighty.’
“As a very tired child, man will finally abandon himself to this Power, and then he will find that all the cares and worries about the outcome of the petty things of earth are as naught, and that somehow everything works itself out. It is not a careless state of mind, this abandoning, but an awakening to the consciousness that God can and does run his universe, and that man is never for one instant separated from him. He is a member of the One Body and has the care and protection of the Life of that Body, and it is well.
“And then the great words of Truth become living realities to him: ‘Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ He begins to dare to live today. He begins to hear through the fog of belief that still, small voice which says: ‘This is the clay of salvation. This is the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now.’ Look no further, but stop and recognize it as being within. Throw away the cares and worries that harassed you in yesteryears. All the dream pictures of these worries shall pass away and come into mind no more. ‘Beloved, I stand at the door and knock.’
Ah, my Beloved, fill the cup that clears
Today, of past regrets and future fears,
What could fill the cup that the Master chained of its bitterest dregs, but the pure sweet wine of Inspiration, and newness of life? And what but this pure wine of Spirit could clear away the past regrets and destroy the future fears? Who can fear for the future which he has given into the keeping of this One and Only Power, called God?
“Drink deep of Me, this great inspiration. Feel it stirring the very depth of your sluggish senses, which have been so long offering a thousand and one excuses, which you thought, plausible, for your inactivity and laziness. ‘Arise and shine’ with this new light and Inspiration.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garments of Repentance fling;
Cast off the old garments of discontent, mourning and self-pity; let them be consumed in the fire of the new Inspiration which has awakened in you. Let it burn them until the very air has picked up the ashes and scattered them into space, and not a trace of them is left. Self-pity, excusing self on every little passing fancy, self-condemnation, holier-than thou, fear, and sluggishness, are the winter garments which have frozen themselves about your limbs and caused you to walk with leaden feet. When the fire of spring’s Inspiration is awakened in you these old garments are thawed free from your limbs and are cast into the fire, and you are free, untrammeled, unconditioned. And those who saw you, back a little while, frozen into a personality, fail to recognize you. ‘For in the twinkling of an eye all shall be changed.’ The twinkling of an eye is quick, as the sense-man judges time, but it is not quick to God.
Anything is possible to God, more especially that which is pronounced utterly impossible by man. Your case is never hopeless when it is placed in the hands of God. You are never lost in the Kingdom of heaven, you are only befogged by the mist of your own beliefs. They may have been thick and dark, but great shafts of light pierce them and show them to be nothing but imagination. And as the Sun of Inspiration dries up the mist of sense, you find your beliefs have disappeared into nothingness. Your desert has suddenly blossomed. It was always in full bloom, but the mist of your own making obscured it “from you. Your desert of waiting is of your own making; the moment you arise to the activity of your God-given authority you find there is no more waiting, but activity everywhere.”
And now the night had waned; already the green light of the moon had grayed for a moment and then a burst of rose-pink shot into the heavens, followed almost instantly by a belching flame of red and gold. The pyramids threw of their mantle of night and caught the first yellow light of the morning. The river became alive. The land was in the full glory of an Egyptian morning, and the call could be heard from the Minarets. The natives could be seen salaaming to the Sun, the Monarch of the day. They gave their thanks for a new and beautiful day. What a wondrous way to start the day. The camel boy roused the sleepy beasts and adjusted their colorful trappings. The speaker drew about his shoulders the gorgeous silk mantle; drew the white hood of his cape over the thick black curls, raised his hands to the heavens and stood smiling—a smile of recognition of God, and God smiled back at him.
30. AT THE SIGN OF THE THREE BALLS
She sat in front of her establishment each morning and assiduously washed and cleaned her beautiful fur; but all of no avail. The pavement left its mark on her. What she washed off with her tongue she put back on with her foot. The bench on which she sat was grimy. Everything that she had to do with was smeared with grease and dirt, and the irony of it all was that she was white and had a beautiful feathery tail, and a desire to be the most beautiful cat on the row. Fate must have laughed as it looked on and saw her futile efforts to beat the circumstances into which she had been thrown. Why could she not have been a black cat with short hair and not too much appendage? But no one had a chain on her—except herself—nothing was holding her.
In the open country spaces or in the small town she would have been a decoration and a thing of beauty as she gamboled over the green grass or hid under the rose bush and sported about with the sun and shadows; but in her present location she was out of place and was the most undesirable somebody in the world. Everybody who spoke of her called her “a dirty thing,” and yet she spent half of her day trying to get clean.
What kept her from taking the open trail and finding her place in the scheme of things?
Down the street in another shop stood a big fine giant of a boy. His eyes were blue and he had the hulk of a man who loves the open places. He was a nature man; yet he had been born and bred in the city and had been “shoe horned” into a tight-fitting suit and put on the job as a clothing salesman. He longed to smell the fresh earth- as it turned over in the furrow. He wanted to hear the birds singing in the pink peach tree-he wanted the open road what held him? Fate looked clown upon his tormented soul and laughed.
The reason fate laughs at us is that we have in our own power the means of breaking down every untoward circumstance and we do not use it. In the vernacular of the street, “No one is holding you.” The white cat could have struck off down a side street and crossed over the boulevard and finally, after a certain amount of persistence, would have come to her own beautiful country. The man could have struck off across the town and finally found a place waiting for him—his place—the place which would have made him happy. And yet, he went on-wishing that he had been made to like the clothing business; just as the white cat went on envying the black coat of her neighbor, who literally rolled in the dirt of the street and got up and shook it all off without the unsuspecting public knowing she had had her little fling with the seamy side of life.
Are you a white cat in a pawn shop1
31. HIS REBUKE WAS TERRIBLE
“The people of God are a people of joy”—Do you know anyone who belongs to this race of people? Do you know anyone who, five moments after he had told you that he is full of joy, will get you into a comer and tell you his heart’s story about some dead Romeo, or Juliet, or some terrible grievance he is bearing up under? Or perhaps he will invite you to an organ recital; but instead of hearing sweetest concords of tones, you hear everyone near you tell of the organ upon which he has had an operation, and how the doctor told him personally that it was the only case of its kind on record.
Are you one of those who proclaim the joy of life as real and eternal, and then sink into a slough of mental sluggishness at the first opening that is presented and strew about the beautiful universe the dregs and refuse through which you have made your way?
Watch–it is so easy to self-aggrandize, to confide to another what a strong character you are, and to parade all the terrible wars you have waged against the seeming evils of this world. We all seem to like to do it. It is the dramatic instinct within us which makes us imagine we have suffered untold or unheard of agonies that no one else could possibly have understood or experienced. Out of the distance comes the Voice thundering: ‘’Adam (the man who knows both evil and good) where art thou?”
Your time has come to be cast forth from your Garden of Eden, for you are not fit to dwell in it. You have coated the outer surface with a knowledge of Truth, but inside you are whitened and full of dead men’s bones, and it is your special joy to show these when you think it will make you appear a tower of strength to anyone.
You, with your wonderful gifts of vision and hearing—with your perfect power of locomotion, and with your supply assured—moping and inactive, pondering over little mental quirks! You wasting your time relating what you have done or left undone! You profess to follow the Master, the very keynote of whose teaching is Joy. Ah, yes! You have joy but you want the privilege of telling what a brave soul you are, what mountains you have scaled, how wonderful your power of overcoming is.
Beloved, you do not know that you have already advanced well in the direction of the “Tree of Good and Evil” that stands in the Garden, and one day you will pluck of its bitter fruit and eat. It only takes a certain amount of dwelling on evils, past, present or future, to make the pathway easy and straight to the “Tree of Knowledge” which has made you as gods, and which will also lead you out into the wilderness of the belief world which you are setting up about you
Until gratitude comes into the heart, man has only heard the letter of the word. Until he arises with the song of gratitude on his lips, he has only been playing with the gorgeous Truth of Being.
The teaching of the Master is one long song of joy. To bring joy was the express purpose of his coming. Is there any record of him troubling the listeners to his glorious message with stories of the hardships of his apprentice days in the carpenter trade? Does he tell in wondrous words how he finally took his stand against family? Does he tell about any one who suffered from something so terrible that nothing could cure it, but that he came along and healed it? Does he tell of the poverty that he set aside?
All these achievements of Truth in the past had their place. “Works not words,” was his eternal cry. “The letter without the Spirit is dead.” Who wants to feed upon the letter? And what is more monotonous than to hear the record of another’s evils? You may have taken on the role of a confidant and imagine it is because you are so strong that you are confided in, but when the final analysis is made you will discover that you were weak and vacillating and have been used as a private dumping ground for the false beliefs of another.
Ah! You are too clever for this, you must know the infinite details of the evil in order that you may get at the root of it. You must know the infinite details of that which you term, “nothing,’’ in order that you may get rid of it. When the empty caverns of your mind have had enough of these reviews you will realize that they are full. Full of what? You will wonder and will run to another and tell how you have done nothing but good all your life; you have healed thousands and listened to the tales of thousands; and you cannot understand why you are unable to help yourself.
That which is full can receive no more. Are you a speaker of the Word? Are you a doer of the Word? Would you suffer a child to waste hours of your time telling you all the mistaken methods he had employed trying to arrive at the right result? Or would you say: “This is the way, walk thou in it,” and set him right and go on your way?
“His rebuke was terrible!” I wonder what the Master would have said to us if he looked into the soul of us—you and me who claim to be his followers and who claim to be exponents of his teaching. Perhaps he would smile, as we sometimes smile now when we hear and see certain things.
It has been said that a certain meta-physician treated a man for three years for yellow jaundice before she found that he was a Chinaman. There are those of us who are busy trying to set the whole world right while we crawl about in old, worn-out bodies, diseased and unhappy. “Our duty,” we say, “is to see the world right”; but the world on the outside will never be right until it is first right on the inside.
Two thousand years ago, in Jerusalem, Jesus said: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” but to look at the outside of Jerusalem today is to conclude that it is a far cry to Paradise.
Small wonder that the Master constantly called attention to the fact that the work had to be done within; that as soon as a man recognized the Kingdom of Heaven, harmony and happiness within himself, he would see it without. Yes—right in the place that seemed so dirty and disease laden to others.
Look not lo, here, nor there, for it is at hand, it is within.
Awake, thou that sleepeth, and Christ shall give thee light. Let us awake to the fact that all work must be done within. Let us put on the whole armor of God and go forth into our Kingdom of Heaven, and surely as soon as we are ready to do this the Kingdom of Heaven will appear. As soon as we realize our God as a God of good, the appearances of evil will cease to be pictured forth in our universe.
We may talk about the Truth forever without results. A paralyzed man lay on his bed talking about the Truth for years but nothing happened. When we learn to talk the Truth, we shall be voicing the realities of Being and they shall appear.
There shall come times of Silence. There shall come times when we hear the Voice within, which says: “see that ye tell no man”—and there shall come the command: “Go and tell John that the blind have received their sight.” There shall be this glorious council within, and we shall learn to listen and obey. Not because of some rule set down in a book or a creed shall this be, or because some personality has said it is the right thing to do, but be cause we shall know, and feel. Yes, we shall know that when the time comes to speak, the words will be supplied and they will be effective and healing.
Nothing can be more grotesque than talking about the Truth. It is like the corpulent lady who is stabbing her thick beef steak with her fork, while she say “I tell you there is no matter.”
Ah, but you say, “If I cannot listen to the evils and ills of another, then I have no sympathy.” Beloved, it will be well for you when this which you think such a godlike quality, is completely dissipated. Half of it is curiosity anyway, and the other half desire to play the role of the good Samaritan. Not behind doors does the sympathizer wish to play this glorious role, but so that he may be seen by men. And if this sympathy with evil shall go, the great understanding and compassion of Truth shall come unto you. You will no more descend to the level of the mind that is groveling in evil, as you did when you sympathized with it, but you will be patient, unyielding and strong—compassionate, yes, and gentle, yet firm and strong on the platform on which you stand. If you descend to the level of sorrow, you are small help to the sorrowing one. If you descend to the level of sickness, there is little strength you can give to the suffering, and sometimes you may even take the same belief. But if you stand firm and fixed on the place of Truth, you will be able to lift, gently, tenderly and yet firmly, him who seems to be in the ditch.
Christ has redeemed you from the curse of the law, if you be in the Spirit. Note this word, “curse”—the curse of the law of belief in evil—and think well before you again delve into the rehearsing of evils, past, or the prophesying of those to come. The evil that you predict for another may, and possibly will, come into manifestation in you own life, for you have believed it to be real.
“Go to, thou sluggard, consider the ant.” You have set supinely by, thinking and thinking without action so much that now you are traveling a morass of indecision. God is action, and if you are not active it is because you are in a slough of indecision, made by your own thinking. “But,” you exclaim, I am willing, but I do not seem to get the chance to act.’’
Yes, we are willing to do the thing in the way we have planned it. We are willing to make our debut in the Truth in a blaze of glory, but we refute every avenue that is opened to us for action, if it be not in accord with our own preconceived notions.
All action that is real is the God action. There is no lost motion, no over-action, no inaction. There is no uncertainty in the law. It goes straight and direct to its goal. “Arise, and shine,” go forth in service. Do that which is nearest at hand to do, and the starting of this tiny activity will increase the capacity to act. Like a tiny ball of snow on the side of a mountain, the more it moves the larger it becomes. The more you serve the greater is your capacity to serve. The old saying is, if you want anything done well and quickly seek a busy man to do it. A person with nothing but time on his hands is unable to perform the task, for he is not conscious of his capacity to express. He is playing the role of Atlas—a thankless job—and he imagines that he is carrying the world on his back; but no one else sees him in this light. Most people have long since put him down as lazy, and worthless, or an idler.
Awake thou that sleepeth! Push out from the stagnant backwaters of the river and get into the ever active waters of Truth, and move with the great current of life into your glorious expression. Soon you will find that your bark is guided into many wondrous ports, through green valleys, and some times into quiet streams of peace. A new interest and zest will fill you. You, as the expression of God, have been sent here for an express purpose.
The beautiful course of your life is guided and directed by the All-wise, so you can “lean on him” and be satisfied that he “fulfills all your pleasures “ Such glorious possibilities await us; such unknown cities (states of consciousness) await us; such unlimited and unanticipated capacities suddenly come into being.
Great mountains are, after all, made of little grains of sand. Great giants that dominate a city (a state of consciousness) are made of evil thoughts, arid it finally requires David to remove them—a David with his five pebbles (his recognition that the five senses of ma are spiritual) finally comes and destroys the vain imaginings of years.
Awake! Arise! Get thee up unto a high mountain.
32. CHRISTMAS NIGHT (Germany)
We had just flown home from Berlin, ahead of a terrific snowstorm. The pilot kept his weather eye on the onrushing clouds as we sped along at a hundred or more miles an hour. The earth below lay mantled in white, except where the heavy dark forests had shaken it off. Hans with his cheery smile and his red cheeks met us at Lubeck. We were laden with toys, for it was Christmas in Germany, and great festivities had been planned at Haus Dorothea;
All the little German tots of the Ploener district were to be there to celebrate. It was to be areal affair of joy. Everything in the house bespoke the yuletide, from the spicy smell of cakes to the roaring logs in the open fireplace. The great double windows that gave onto the garden were gradually being smudged out by the storm. Across the garden and down the hill the little lake lay, frozen into a silver mirror. There was a cheery chatter of merriment that issued from the great old kitchen as the door swung to and fro, and Eliza, the maid, was in her glory. She was preparing all sorts of interesting and substantial things to tempt the Christmas appetite. There was a sound of sleigh bells coming along the drive, and then the house bell, and the greeting of the postman, as he brought in a veritable load of gifts. Cousin Elsa in Switzerland had not forgotten the Marzapan and Swiss chocolates, done up in a hundred different designs and colors.
The forest of pine trees now became a great black wall and the lights of the village glistened through the windows onto the snow.
There was joy in the land. Everybody must be sharing his joy with another; everybody must be giving to another; it seemed as though that was the whole idea of Christmas—just to make someone happy by sharing one’s joy with him.
The postman left, after partaking of the sweets and hot coffee, and the first tiny guest accompanied by her older sister came in, star-eyed and rosy cheeked, and filled with a wonder at the great Christmas tree with the tinsel and lights. From every conceivable place fluttered carnival ribbons of all colors, and the little German band was already tuning up its instruments.
After all, what could better bespeak the celebration of the birth of Jesus than the rapturous joy of giving? It was a holiday (holyday) when man took his merriment as the truest expression of his higher self. And, what would man do without his holidays? The world would go to pieces without these days when man breaks free into expressions of Joy.
And so, the spacious rooms of Haus Dorothea filled with children of all ages, and the place was full of joy. For the time being, at least, everyone forgot the cares of the day.
Hours of joy and merriment slipped by like so many minutes, and almost before one realizes it, the great clock on the stairs sounded twelve, and a hundred voices blended in the carol “Silent night, holy night.”
Outside, the soft snow was falling. In the distance the village lay sleeping, and there was peace.
As suddenly as they had all appeared, they seemed to disappear, and silence filled the spacious rooms. Only the crackling of the logs broke the stillness as they glowed warm in the fireplace. A serene quiet and peace hovered over everything.
We sat there in silence—Dorothea, the gracious mistress of the place; Gertrude, the indefatigable novelist; her husband, the Count, whose innate kindliness filled him with concern for the welfare of others to such an extent that he threatened from time to time to disturb the one whom he would serve; and Frau De Greiff the calm soul who said little, but much. Yes, there we sat, musing silently, and yet so beautifully. And presently Eliza came in and placed on the serving table a pot of freshly made coffee. Eliza was very quiet; she served in a beautiful, unobtrusive way. She must have known some thing all her own, for I watched her at the seaside years before cultivate the acquaintance of a single gull. I always felt that when she was left alone with it they understood each other. They had something in common. Yes, Eliza was a strange soul to the average person. I have watched her, thinking herself unobserved, touch a flower or a tree, very much as a lover touches the loved. She never talked; she served.
A great log burned in two and fell crackling on the hearth, and brought each one back from his reverie. Arid almost as though drawn out of the witchery of the night, each in his tum told a story, and some of those I have jotted down, feeling that they are worthy of recording.
Dorothea spoke first—she would—and that explains her perfectly, a great, responsive, generous nature which gives all, and asks all in return—and gets it.
“Several years ago, I took a cottage in California—such a dear little cottage, on the beach with a name that is wholly American. It was called the ‘Honey Bug.’ Eliza and the children were with me. The cottage faced the sea, and at this particular point of land the sea always seemed to be in a violent state of motion. I sometimes wondered if it were not an out-picturing of my own thought, for I was turbulent and in a state of mind that bordered on mild insanity. I had long been a student of the Truth, as we know it, but I had arrived at the state that every Truth seeker reaches.
“I wondered within myself whether it was imagination or fact. I had seen the best of the students fail in their proof. Every man who travels the path of Truth arrives at this point sooner or later. It is, as I have since learned, just at this juncture in the road of progress where a man becomes free or a slave. Sooner or later he stands at a point of decision—either he will fallow the inspiration of the Spirit within or he will bow down to accepted be liefs. Such a time—I knew not where to turn—and I was afraid to travel the path alone. Early Greeks and Romans decided whether a man was a slave or a noble by whether he was able to stand on his own convictions. I, in a half-hearted way, knew this; I felt that I should stand; but instead of listening, I went into town to consult a so-called mystic. I got exactly what anyone should get who deviates from the path of Truth to this extent.
“The only thing I remembered in his story was that my youngest child would die in a year from that date. I denied his statement, after a fashion, and I tried to laugh it off—as they say in America. But in a year from that time I found myself here, in this very house, with my youngest ill with a high fever, calling out in the night that a great dark man was coming to take him. I admit that I tracked back on the prediction, and found it still alive in my mind. Then it was, as though in a dream, I recalled the law in the book: ‘Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God.’
“I was alone, and I fought against my fears, but to no avail. The cry of the child was in my ears. Finally in deference to the wishes of my husband, I called a physician, who was puzzled, and could do nothing—the child would die.
“I heard the boy wailing about the dark man. I tried to comfort him, and to know the Truth; but finally I felt as though I had reached the limit of my understanding. I called the nurse and told her I was going out. She protested, for it was after mid-night, and the ground was covered with snow, as it is tonight. I left, crying to God to send me help. I walked what seemed many miles over the frozen roads, praying beseechingly for light.
“Suddenly I felt a certain calm, and seemed to awaken to the fact that God was and is omnipotent. I turned back toward the house. When I opened the door the first sound that greeted my ear was that of the boy calling: ‘Mother come quick; the dark man is coming to get me.’ All the fear that the mystic had instilled in me came to the surface. I wrung my hands and called to God for help. But I felt a sense of desolation.. Some way or other I felt as everyone feels when he knows consciously that he has tried to break the law—it was a feeling that I was outside of it and its protection. The Voice seemed to be ringing in my ears: ‘If ye consult those with a familiar spirit, ye are an abomination to the Lord.’
“I knelt down right here on this hearth and asked for light. The cries of the boy came to me. All the predictions that I had paid for and listened to in California came to me.
“ ‘Oh, God,’ I cried in my misery, ‘Help me.’ I remembered the old clock in the wall striking two, when the bell rang and I went to the door.
“You can imagine my surprise to be called to the door at two in the morning! Out of the darkness and snow came Frau S . . . and her husband.
“ ‘A million pardons, I ask,’ said Frau S . . ., ‘but I answered out of a deep sleep the command, “Go, Dorothea is in trouble.” I arose and opened my Bible to a certain passage, and I bring it to you.’
“I was glad to welcome anything. And this is what was told me in the simple language that you can imagine would accompany a messenger who would have the courage to brave the blizzard at two in the morning:
“ ‘The king called Moses into his court and asked him for a sign. He accordingly cast his rod on the ground and it became a living serpent. Immediately, the magicians, sooth-sayers and wise men cast their rods down, and they also became serpents. The king then stood, as if in defiance, as though to say : “See, what you claim for your God is also possible to the gods of these men.” But Moses was not disturbed, for the serpent he had brought forth swallowed up the serpents of the magicians.’ ”
“Frau S . . ., the timid little German woman suddenly stopped, as though she had offended; but what a glorious flash of light came over me. I realized that the understanding of Truth swallows up all the appearances of evil that might take on the semblance of Truth. I rushed to her and said: ‘God has surely sent you.’
“Instantly I seemed to realize the wonders of the light, which dispelled that which seemed to be real. I sat there for what might have been an hour or only a moment, bathed in the glorious peace which passes all understanding. I was praying —for the first time in my life. It was the prayer of acknowledgment and understanding, the thanksgiving of a soul that had seen and understood the power of God. When I rose and went to the child, he was sleeping gently. Presently as I sat beside him he awakened and looking up at me said: ‘Well, Mother, that was a bad dream, but suddenly the black man melted away and a beautiful creature of light stood by me and said, “Do not be afraid, Harry, I am with you.’ ”
Frau De Grieff spoke next. She was a slight little woman, with the face of a girl and the eyes of an ancient. She was the embodiment of strength and standfastness.
“I was once traveling in England years ago, and on one of the side trips out of London, I visited the home of Lord Lytton. ‘Nebworth’ is the name. We came upon it just before sundown. Who has not seen and loved England in the spring—with her pale green dress spotted with golden primroses and edged about with white and pink Hawthorne, as whimsical and beautiful as a young girl, ready at any moment to let fall a splash of tears, through which she smiles like a child. No wonder the poets lived there and wrote and left for us the rich heritage of Shelley, Byron, Keats, and volumes of unsigned bits that live with us always.
“After we had gone over the beautiful estate, we turned in at the quaint little church. The rays of the sun were just level with the horizon, like a great fan of searchlights. The little church, half hidden in ivy was already a study in lights and shadows. We entered quietly. Through the rose window a light streamed, filling the church with a soft warm glow, and there at th altar knelt a single figure in prayer. It was the most perfect picture of prayer I had ever looked upon. I knew that man kneeling there was praying in truest fashion—not to be seen of men. Few people would have come to so out of the way a place at that time of day to pray. I knelt down and joined him in his glorious acknowledgment of God, and rose and went out into the open again, refreshed and with new light. Genuine things always bring to us a sermon that cannot be uttered. I was full and running over with the wonders of God.
“The old sexton met me: ‘Would the missie like to see the tomb?’ I followed him to the tomb and listened while he told me the story:
“ ‘Lady Ann Grimstone was said to be an infidel. A brave woman she must have been to have admitted it in her day, when so many people believed in hell and damnation. She even defied God, and almost her last statement was to the effect that if there was a god he would grow seven large trees through her tomb.’
“I looked at the white marble tomb, from which seven oaks grew in a tangled mass. Fully twenty inches of marble lay between the ground and the top of it. It was a wonderfully interesting sight, and the little old sexton loved it as one might love a child, and he was proud too to show that there was a god, who could and would show himself in this fashion.
“As I went away thinking about it all, I was not giving any particular thought to the story that had been told to me; but to the thing that I had seen. I do not for a moment think that the God who whirls the planets into space and keeps such beautiful natural order in his universe, paused in his tremendous work to prove to a poor little soul that he actually exists. The legend may have sprung up long after the manifestation had taken place—England is full of legends and stories—but I was interested in the manifestation of a Power so great and wonderful that it stopped at nothing. Can anything seem more difficult than piercing marble twenty inches thick with a piece of oak?—And yet it had taken place.
“I thought of the problems of many of us, who seem so hopeless when we look at the appearances. There are plenty who will reason with you and even show you that there are many things impossible to God, but ever and anon we see the works that prove to us that nothing is impossible to him. I wanted to run out and announce it to the whole world. It seemed so full of hope for everybody; but the Voice said: ‘Be still; your time will come’; and since then I have seen this Power work through many conditions that seemed as impossible as the oak trees growing through the tomb.
“Yes, there is a reason for the hope that is in us. All things are possible to God, when we take away the eyes from the appearances, and go to the basis of Truth and there abide.”
Gertrude was in a humorous mood. She had the gift of making everything seem amusing. Gertrude had struggled in early years to keep house for her father, a German professor, on an income that was not sufficient.
“One day I was about at my wits’ end with the bills and worries. I fell to wondering what the matter was, and accordingly I took up my Bible and read about the woman whom the prophet found gathering a few sticks to make a fire. He asked her what she was doing and she told him her story. She was going to make a fire and cook the last bit of meal into a pancake so that she and her son could eat it and then lie down and die.
“I do not quite understand why she wanted to prolong the misery one pancake farther, nor what the son was doing while he was waiting for his mother to come in with the firewood; but I was rather interested, if not astonished, at the remark of , the prophet, ‘Make me a cake first.’
“Rather hard lines when it comes to giving up the last bit. But the woman heard something entirely different; and so she made the cake, first realizing that she had only given up a symbol. And in return, she received the never–ending flow of oil and meal, the real substance of life.
“I learned right there what Jesus meant when he said, in so many words, that the substance was not in the thing any more than it was in the shadow. What the woman let go of was her little consciousness of a handful of meal, and took on inexhaustible abundance. We all have to do this sooner or later.
“So I went to my desk and began writing for the sheer joy of letting the Power express through me. I would give and give of all that I had—and the same thing which happened to the woman came to me—the flow started, and ever since it has been increasing.”
Yes, it had been flowing, as the forty novels she had already given to the world would indicate. When we finally touch the garment, as all will sooner or later, we will feel this wellspring within burst into action, and we shall be filled. Yes, we shall even go to our neighbors and borrow all the empty vessels and fill them to overflowing with the joy of it all. What you give, you keep, and that is all.
The Count looked at Gertrude with an admiring eye.
“That must have been what happened to me once when I was a young lad. I was at Heidelberg, and it was just about time for afternoon coffee, when a dear old German haus-frau handed me out a square of the most delicious coffee cake. You know, the way through school was none too easy for me, due to finances, and she probably knew this. I looked at the coffee cake with only one thought—a cup of coffee with this would be perfect. I thought of the pension, but knew that would be impossible, and besides that, twenty youngsters stood in the way. I walked along the street looking for a little restaurant, bucking myself tip to do something I knew was not done in the best of civilized countries—but the cake did look so good. Finally I walked in, cake in hand.
“A woman in white came up to me. She eyed the cake. I said rather timidly, I want to eat my cake in here. May I have a cup of coffee At one side a table of cakes and pastries stared at me in remonstrance.
“ ‘It looks awfully good,’ she said. ‘I’ll give you half of it,’ I said, ‘I’ll give you some of my pastry,’ said she, and so we sat down and had wonderful little party.
“It seems that the innate nature of man is to give, and yet his civilization has withheld this beautiful trait; but it does crop out in spite of everything from time to time. I learned a great deal from that little square of coffee cake. It may be a simple thing, but it all tracks back to the One Power working in the universe. We are the givers of good, if we but recognize it.”
This reminded me of the story a happy stage driver told me, and so I told it in his words:
“For several years, I had been driving a bus along the beautiful western trail, when one morning an elderly man climbed into the seat beside me. We chatted, and I explained to him the various sights along the way. Two days passed, and on my return trip the same old gentleman and his wife got into the bus. The man asked me if they might sit along side of me, and whether I would explain the trip to his wife. When we neared the end of the journey he turned to me and said: ‘What is your ambition in life?’—to which I promptly answered: ‘Some day I want to own a bus of my own; but they cost ten thousand dollars.’
“When they left the stage they thanked me for the happy trip. I thought no more of the incident until on my return trip a letter was handed to me by the manager of the company. I opened it and out fell a check for ten thousand dollars and a brief letter explaining that it was but a small appreciation of the joy I had so freely given them.
“Since then, many wonderful things have come to me through the giving of joy, but in my excitement over the discovery of this law I tried many times to sell my joy, with no returns. I learned that only that which is given with no thought of return can actually have the return.
“The spontaneous giving of joy is without effort and without afterthought. It is so with all life the flower does not try to bloom; the child does not try to smile. The practitioner who gives for the love of the Truth is sure of rich returns. The man who gives his service with love will not go wanting. It is a glorious thing to remember that we are here only to give of the inexhaustible spirit of Truth.”
In an early day in Kansas, a child played all afternoon with a rattlesnake, until its mother became curious about her and went to see what was so beautifully entertaining the child. The moment the rattlesnake saw the mother it coiled to strike. There is a big lesson in a thing like this. What did the mother bring the rattlesnake, but fear, hatred, and loathing? Is it any wonder that it coiled to strike? Her own thought took form. And is it any wonder that in the Kingdom we are told the lion shall lie down with the lamb and that they shall be led by a little child? What you bring to the world is what the world brings to you, and life is full of beautiful lessons of this kind when we have eyes to see, and ears to hear.
33. HEARD ALONG THE WAY
A woman, who for her age manifested a marked degree of youth, told me that she had been restored by the use of oranges, but she wanted to know why her friend who tried the same diet only broke out in a rash.
Another found that though her friend had received tremendous benefits from a practitioner to whom she had given a dollar, she herself had given five dollars and received nothing.
A man complained that he had studied and sacrificed his whole life to God, and had only had misery and problems, while his friend who had merely heard of the Truth had accomplished a complete regeneration of body and affairs.
A woman assured me that her whole life had been given up to the Truth, and was positive that she had done nothing but good and lived a perfect life, and yet she got little or nothing in return for it. She wanted to know why another woman who had a very shady career, and had broken most of the commandments, should manifest such magnificent results.
Another was in a quandary as to why her husband seemed so inharmonious at home and yet so happy when out with other people. This seemed to her to be terrible since she was a model when it came to knowing the Truth about everything. She had spent years trying to make him accept it—for his own good, of course.
And so, the questions go on—eternally the same. Yet all of them, after asking questions, instead of waiting for an answer, begin a discourse on their lives, in which they answer their own questions a dozen times over. Certainly they did not wait for any answer. All this questioning is futile and of no avail. Every man has within him the power to answer his own questions. He need but ask from the one and only source of wisdom to receive the answer clearly. We know what the answer is, but refuse to accept it because we want it to be some thing different, and more to our liking. Yet the answer is; and sooner or later, we have to accept it. The fault, if any, lies within the individual, in each case, but the keen desire of the personal sense is to fasten it on another.
Surely one man’s meat is another’s poison. The power of regeneration does not lie in the orange or the lack of the orange, but in the thought that is back of it all. One pins his faith to a given remedy and attains results; another uses the same thing and fails to manifest anything. If the power were in the thing, a given medicine would cure every case of a given disease for which it was administered, but from past experience and knowledge we know that this is not so. “According to your faith be it unto you,’’ and so the voodoo man—sometimes in very modern clothes—uses his charms and potions with faith, and gets what seem to be results.
When will we begin to see that the thing that will not work always, is not a law but a belief. The law of mathematics is always workable no matter what altitude, climate or condition it may be used. It is as true in the hustle and confusion of the crowded city streets, and as workable, as it is in the best equipped classrooms.
So is it with the law of God. There is element of chance or luck entering into either. You may believe anything and operate from any belief, but you are always in danger of having that belief set aside by a stronger or more negative belief; but the same thing is not true when it comes to mathematics and the law of God.
Beliefs come and go. What was supposed to have healing power at one time may be thrown into the scrap heap most any day as having no power.
A person who thinks to buy the Truth finds that he gets little for his money. He does not realize that when he seeks Truth for the “loaves and fishes,” he cannot find the understanding. It is like the lad in school who first looks at the answer of his problem in the back of the book and sets down a lot of figures, draws a line, and puts down the answer. He has done nothing and gotten nowhere, even though he appears to have reached the answer correctly.
Whatever you know, be it music, art, mathematics or Truth, you can always use with sure and certain results. Therefore the command, “Get wisdom.” Note this does not say to get things, but get wisdom, for it is better to know how to produce fire than merely have a fire lighted for you. The moment you have the manifestation of it you can use it; but suppose it goes out? Suppose you have had all your demonstrations this way, and that you are eternally dependent upon another to make them—what will happen if that person cannot be found?
The Wisdom that every man seeks lies within himself, and as soon as he recognizes this, the ways and means of the expression come out. When the student is ready the Master appears. A lot of people have taken this to mean that in a rather sudden and mysterious way a man of strange and unusual appearance will come into view. The Master may be a book for a time, a picture, or a word from a passer-by! But he will appear when you are ready. As soon as you recognize the fact that you can do a thing, the opportunity to do that thing comes into the line of action.
Many of us think because we have spent years in the Truth that we have done something that should entitle us to a sort of seniority in the Truth. Unconsciously perhaps there is a desire to be considered “holier than thou!” And sometimes this cries loudest through the apparent self effacement. But underneath we know just what is going on. And we have recalled to our attention that the workers in the vineyard who arrive at the eleventh hour receive the same pay as those who have been working the other ten. Perhaps, on the face of it, it appears a little unjust to us, but soon we learn that the Power is no respecter of person, time, place or thing. The fact of the matter is that if we had been working in the vineyard with the joy that is rightfully ours, then: would be nothing but rejoicing when we knew that another had attained the end so quickly. Certainly the question answers itself, and it should not be hard to see that if envy is still there, we have failed to learn the lesson that was ours long ago.
The woman who wanted to know why it was that she had received so little for being so pure, while her sister had received so much and had been so wicked, was missing two big points in the law “what is that to thee follow thou me,” and the fact that she had a chance to rejoice because the one whom she called a sinner had seen the light. This is another case of “holier than thou.” It never pays for it has such an ugly twin sister—self-pity. It would seem that common sense would come to the rescue of a person in such a case. If you have served a God for twenty years and gotten nothing but cursing and abuse for your service, it is time for you to look up another god.
If you are so sure that everything in your home is wrong except yourself, how can you account for the fact that the soul that knows itself, finds itself in heaven? When you come to recognize the presence of heaven, you will not then become a sort-of glorified practitioner. There are no sick, sinning or poor in heaven. There cannot be, else it is not heaven. If you are very busy trying to save another person, be sure you are not fastening the thing on him which you dislike, and be very sure that your busy little hand is not trying to steady the ark. You remember what happened to that hand, do you not? Love does not grip the beloved by the throat and say: “Now you have to take this medicine of love that I am going to give you.”
All sorts of queer notions are obtained from various interpretations of the Truth. A woman who had mortgaged her house for two thousand pounds and spent the money, ran away from it all at about the time she thought she would be presented with a demand for payment. She went from hotel to hotel in one city then another, from the best to the worst, and finally in her effort to get away from what she thought to be her problem, she lost her sense of pride, and was put out of several places. The time was when she would have drawn her skirts aside from another sister who had been guilty of this.
At last a cheap hotel kept her baggage, and then it was that she heard that by saying a few words or going into the silence she could suddenly get all the money she wanted. She listened restlessly to a talk on prosperity. I say restlessly, because she wanted to get to the speaker and make sure that it would be done at once. No sooner was the lecture over than she bolted for the speaker and said in a half defiant tone: “You just said that all things are possible to God—now can you prove this to me by having him make out a check for two thousand pounds for me today’?’’ She was much disappointed when the answer had to be “No.” And this in the face of the beautiful truth, “All things arc possible to God:”
A woman who claimed that most of all she wanted to know and hear the Truth about her dire poverty which had been with her for fifteen years, slammed the door in the face of the one who told her the plain facts. She did not relish the idea that instead of frying to demonstrate the Truth, she had been trying to use it as a cloak for the ancient profession of begging. And when she was advised to get a tin cup and get into the profession in a legitimate way, her sense of refinement was upset—yet she knew this was the Truth, for it healed her.
A man who had worn out a frail little practitioner by a twelve-hour vigil, during which time he had yelled to the top of his voice, “I am dying; I am going to die,” was instantly brought to his senses by another suddenly saying to him: “Well, what difference would it make if you did” and explaining to him that if he used in a constructive way half the energy he had spent all day long on shrieking out what he actually knew to be false, he would have been healed and well long ago. The sympathy seeker sometimes needs a shock.
You can answer your own question, and you can heal yourself; and the moment you decide to do this then it is that the loving cooperation, yes, the untiring assistance of others makes the way glad for you. Sympathy goes by the board, but compassion stands firm and strong and gives the supporting arm, the cheery word, and the glorious recognition. Is it any wonder that Jesus eternally went within?
There is an interesting French fable of an old hermit who seemed to exert great healing powers over his people. One day a woman came to him and told him she would like a charm which would cause her husband to change his present manner of life. She explained that the moment he came home, he started to nag and abuse her with foul language.
The old hermit looked at her, and then taking down a mysterious looking bottle poured some of the liquid into a small vial, which he gave her with the instructions that whenever she saw her husband coming home she should take a mouthful of it, and hold it in her mouth for twenty minutes after he came in.
She returned in a few weeks full of praise for the medicine. It had completely changed her home. Whereas before her husband had been ugly and unkind, now he was peaceful and gentle.
“Ah,” she said, “I must know the name of that wonderful elixir.”
Imagine her surprise when he told her it was water. All the magic of the universe lies in the very simple things.
Verily it is so that “he that can hold his tongue can take a city.” It takes two to make a quarrel. We have to recognize everything as either good or bad, for it to come into our presence in that capacity. Sleeping Beauty discovered that when she looked past appearances with the eyes of love she saw a prince and not a beast as she had supposed.
A woman was both surprised and shocked at her best friend, when, after she had insisted on rehashing the evils of her life to her, she asked, “and what do you think of that?” Only to receive the reply, “I think that you are a liar.’’ But she was healed. The fact that she was called a liar did not do the work, but it acted like a great blast of Truth which awakened the sleeper to the fact that the things she was saying were not in any sense of the word true of herself as the Image and Likeness of God.
A woman in the Truth had glorious time telling how she demonstrated clothes. Strange as it may seem they were always the clothes of her rich friend who was also in the Truth. She had never stopped to realize the fact that while her friend always got new, she was happy with second-hand. Her god was a second-hand god. And when she began to realize this she transfered her account. This did not in any way mean that many things might not come into the life of a person through such channels, but it meant an awakening to a little higher level. The open fount is free to all! Come, drink without price.