“Take No Thought II”
You have heard the story of the centipede who was getting on very nicely in life until the cricket asked him how he knew which foot to put forward first. This set him to thinking so hard that he lost the use of his legs and was unable to move at all.
There is a wonderful point in this bit of homely philosophy. The more we think about the way a thing is done, the more involved becomes the doing. The greatest compliment that can be paid to an artist is to say that his performance was unlaboured, and hence, abandoned. Imagine, if you can, an intricate run on the piano with its infinitely difficult fingering, which must go with lightning rapidity and abandon, and see how bewildering it would be to give a specific thought to every note. Its perfection appears,after the thought of each is lost in the whole and perfect thing.
Such is the law of Spirit—when a man knows, he then operates with ease and facility, and without thought. That of which you are thoroughly conscious, in the final analysis, becomes an unconscious process. That body is best governed which is most out of thought. The more attention given to the functions of the body, the more laboured will be the expression. It can truly be said that a body which is manifesting perfect health is the body which you are hardly conscious of possessing; and yet, reversing this statement, you are wholly conscious of it.
All action and power belong to God, and when a man comes to know this he “lets” this power think and act through him. Then the manifestation is natural and normal.
A man does not consciously think which foot he is going to put forward first; very often he does not even think of the process of walking, yet the action is carried on perfectly. When he becomes conscious of this action it is usually because his movement is impeded.
We understand, then, what the Master meant when he sent his disciples forth with the injunction: “Take no thought of purse or scrip on the journey, “knowing that the things one takes thought of are constantly giving trouble. He made it plain to them that taking thought about a given thing would not alter the thing: “Who by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? “As long as man insists on taking thought about things, he is working at the wrong end of the equation. A plastic surgeon may attempt to change the expression of a frown to a perpetual smile, but until the smile is on the inside no amount of change on the outside will hold it there.Inversely, as soon as the smile is on the inside it is recorded on the outside.Gradually man learns that the whole work of life is to “Know Thyself,” for to know himself is to know God. “All is God and beside him there is none else.”
The man who clings to the idea of treatment does not realize that the changeless principle of God remains permanent and eternal, and that as soon as he glimpses this he will see what appears to be a change take place in the outer realm, but which in reality will be the reflection of the Finished Kingdom.
“He is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity.” If God could be not conscious of a difficulty, how could man, his offspring and his expression, know it? This shows clearly that all our difficulties are in the realm of imagination and are illusions which fade before the sunlight of Truth. Man can only believe evil, for evil is a belief.
Science has long since discovered that colour and form are not in the object, but in the eye of the beholder, and we can readily understand then what is meant by: “If thine eye be single thy whole body is full of light.” Single to what ? Single to the oneness of God —the isness of good—thoroughly recognizing there can only be good in a world created and sustained by God, from whose infinite nature all things were taken and expressed in perfection.
At first man insists on a duplex world, a world of evil and good, and as long as he insists on this he will have the double eye; he will continue to judge from appearances, and hence reap the reward of “having other gods besides me.” When, however, he begins to realize the utter absurdity of acknowledging anything evil in a universe created by good, he begins to let go of the habit of judging from appearances-” Judge not from appearances, but judge righteous judgment.” Many a man has failed to see that the chaos around him was but the urge of freedom breaking the shackles that he had imposed on himself. As the egg cracks and the chick is released into a larger world, so man, if he clings to the all good, will see what he formerly called evil in terms of growth, and he will not spend time weeping over the shells of the past, but rather he will rejoice in his freedom. If you turn back and regard the outgrown conditions you will crystallize to the old conditions and come under the law of those old conditions.
“Awake, thou that sleepeth, and Christ shall give thee light.” Awake from this lethargy which has bound you to the past. Away with the contemplation of that which has been. Know you not that as surely as you die daily are you born daily, and that with every new birth you are ready to start again, clean and fresh and new? The swaddling clothes you used yesterday are relegated to the dump heap to-day. Your course is ever onward and upward.
Nothing happens by chance or coincidence in this universe. All comes under the law and order of the Most High, from the lowliest insect to the greatest whirring planet. Man has only to behold the sunrise from the mountain top to know that he has no power which is self-derived, and that he could not in any way interfere with the action of the magnificent laws of God. He is happy when he knows that his day of struggling to have recourse to God is ended and that he does not have to run the universe any more. He has ceased to be an Atlas holding the world on his shoulders.
“In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path.” How will he direct it?—in ways of evil and sickness? How will an all good Power direct your path?—among thorns and thistles, where serpents hide ?Beloved, if you learn to leave it to him, you will find that your ways will be ways of pleasantness and peace, and you shall finally say: “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.” You shall come to know what the Power is that could cause the ferocious lion to lie down with the lamb.
Oh, the gentleness of his instruction, “Consider the lilies”—and what a lesson is to be gained from the lilies, growing silently into their full perfection and beauty, taking no thought, and yet expressing the fulness of perfection. What greater sermon could be preached on prosperity than this?— “Consider the lilies how they grow; they toil not, they spin not; and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Seek deep for the hidden meaning. Heed the gentle rebuke for those who constantly toil and work under the belief that it is necessary to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow to sustain God’s idea or expression.
Again comes the lesson: “Consider the ravens; which neither have storehouses nor barns; and God feedeth them; how much more are ye better than the fowls?” What can you say to this? What can he say who insists that you must make God prosper you by declaring a thousand times: “I am rich; I am rich; all that the Father hath is mine.”
Out of the within comes the velvet voice of Silence which says,”Peace, be still and consider for a while.” While you are considering the facts of Being you let go the thought which has been binding you to the hard condition, and having let go, you have released all that ever held you to the condition.
Can anyone deny the statement that “if God cannot do it, it cannot be done? “No, Beloved, you can change nothing by taking thought, for the more anxious you become the more aggravated the situation becomes; the harder you try to change a condition the more enlarged and troublesome it appears. “If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
Of all the people haranguing about ways and means of demonstrating success and prosperity, how many have done it? There are those who will try to argue and convince you that the conditions, which are untoward, are real, and must be overcome; but of such it may be said they have not seen him. To that one who has seen him—recognised the allness of good—there will be nothing left to argue about, for he knows that it is.He knows that because God is, he (man) is, and only because of this.
If the use of affirmations would heal the world, then already enough have been said to have settled once and for always the so-called evil conditions of the universe. Words will avail you nothing.
A word is a sign, or that which stands for the state of consciousness, but it is not the consciousness. The very best practitioner I ever knew was one who could not speak the English language, but could heal English people.
We become divinely indifferent to the relative conditions when we realize that they are only in the field of imagination, and are sustained because we hold them in thought, and not because they have any power of their own.
Easily man recognizes that “All meaning is outside of, and obviously independent of words”; but not until he recognizes the difference between the word and the consciousness, of which it is only a symbol, will he be able to cease from his chatter. “The word was made flesh,” gives us some idea of what the Word is. Here we see clearly that it is the conscious state that was made to appear. Whatever man has in consciousness he will be able to reproduce infinitely.
As a man standing in front of a million mirrors may cast a million reflections without an effort and without giving of himself, so the consciousness of health and substance out pictures itself in the universe of man infinitely and effortlessly. You do not have to treat to bring out the reflection in the mirror. No amount of work done with the reflection in the glass is going to change it. Breaking the glass will not destroy anything real.
Working with the affairs and body to change them will not do so, as long as the consciousness remains unchanged. Not once do the reflected and the reflector mingle, and yet they are one, inasmuch as one is wholly dependent on the other. The body (manifestation) is simply the reflection of the consciousness within, just as the image in the glass is the reflection of that which stands before it. We understand then a little more clearly the distinction between oneself and his universe—which is simply an outpicturing of his present state of consciousness—and that the only possible place to change anything is within.
That the body is non-intelligent goes without saying, since the body deprived of its so-called life, cognizes neither pain nor pleasure; it recognizes no one, nor is it recognized as anyone; for while the body yet remains they say, “he has departed.” Do you think for a moment if the body were considered the real man it would be buried?
The more we associate ourselves with the body concept, the more will we register all the ills to which the flesh is heir on the relative plane of thinking. We all have known that on the plane of the relative the very thing that sustains man may kill him if he partakes too freely of it. Likewise, the knife with which he cuts his food may kill him if used for that purpose.Everything in his universe may seem to be used against him; his attitude and interpretation of it determine what it shall be to him.
Finally, man must know that he came first in his universe and that any seeming evil in his universe has been brought out through his ignorance of good as everywhere present.
“Thou shalt have no other God before me” is considered the greatest commandment, and yet perhaps is the one which is given least attention. Man has not realized that every time he looks to the created instead of the creator, and endows the created with power of its own to help or harm him, he has failed to fulfill this commandment.
If man will blend himself with God, he will come under the sway of divine Power which will cause him to know the “peace which passeth all understanding.”
Walter C. Lanyon