this course, please put aside all your previous ideas, beliefs or
notions. By “suspending disbelief” you’ll find it
easier to take in what is being offered you won’t be, as Luke said,
putting “new wine into old wineskins” (Luke 5:37). If you find,
as we go along, something you don’t understand or agree with, just let
it go until you’ve finished the entire course. Many things that disturb
you at first will be made clear later on. Of
course, after you’ve finished, you’re free to return to your old ways
of living and believing. But for the time being,
remember what the Master Jesus said: “except ye . . . become as little
children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.
18:3). Also, when you find things repeated, please
remember that these are lessons, not lectures.
brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be
any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.
every one of us believes that we are ruled by our bodies and the
material world around us and
all our suffering is the result of this belief. If
we look at the Old Testament, though, we can read in the story of Israel coming
out of Egypt the story of
human consciousness growing up out of bondage in the physical, and on
into the spiritual.
(speaking to Moses) I have surely seen the affliction of my people that
are in Egypt, and have heard their cries by reason of their
taskmasters, for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver
them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that
land unto a good land and a large land, unto a land flowing with milk
and honey (Exod. 3:7,8).
words express exactly how the Creator feels toward mankind, today.
God has been saying to us, His (Her) children: “I
have surely seen the affliction of you who are in Egypt [the darkness
of ignorance], and have heard your cry by reason of your taskmasters
[sickness, sorrow, and poverty]; and I am [not I will, but I
am now] come down to deliver you out of all this suffering, and to
bring you up out of that land unto a good land and a large land, unto a
land flowing with milk and honey [a life of joy and comfort].”
somewhere, every one of us must come to our true Self. Like
the Prodigal Son, having tired of eating cornhusks, each of us will
“arise and go to my Father” (Luke 15:18). And we
will do so in all humility and praise, as it is written, “Saith the
Lord, to me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to
God” (Rom (14:11).
that God is a stern autocrat who compels us to bow to Him. Rather,
it’s a description of the order, the law, of the universe: the law of
all love, all good. Humanity, at first living in
our physical, selfish, animal nature, will grow up, stage by stage, to
the spiritual understanding that we are one with the creative force of
At that point
free of all suffering, because we realize that we have conscious
dominion over all things. And somewhere on this journey, our
consciousness comes to a place where our hearts are full of joy and
wonder. Then, gladly, we bow before the greatness
of the Spirit working through us and around us. From
that point on, with joyful freedom, our hearts cry out “Alleluia” and
“Jehovah reigneth” (Psal 93:1). Everyone
must sooner or later come to this experience.
You and I, dear
Reader, have begun to wake up. We have become aware
of the bondage of our past ignorance and have set out from “Egypt” to
the land of our liberty and
now we couldn’t turn back if we wanted to. Yes,
there may be times on our journey when we come into a deep wilderness
or against a Red Sea, and our courage may fail us. Yet, as Moses said
to the trembling Israelites, “Fear ye not; stand still, and see the
salvation of Jehovah, which he will work for you today” (Exod. 14:13).
Each of us must
sooner or later stand alone with our god; nothing else works. Nothing
else will ever make you master of your own destiny. Your own indwelling
Spirit provides all the life and health, all the strength and peace and
joy, all the wisdom and support that you can ever need or desire.
No one can give to you as can this indwelling Presence.
It is the spring of all joy and comfort and power.
were helped and comforted by others, that we received our joy from
circumstances outside of us, but that’s not so. All
joy and strength and good come from inside, and if we only knew
this truth, we would know that nothing outside of us can take away
our joy or our good.
have believed ourselves to be slaves (or victims) of circumstances.
Some have said that, at best, we are servants of the Most
High. Neither belief is true.
for us to wake up fully, to know that we are not slaves, not servants,
but sons and daughters; “and if children, then heirs” (Rom 8:17).
Heirs to what? Heirs to all wisdom, so we need never make
mistakes; heirs to all love, so we need never feel fear, envy, or
jealousy; heirs to all strength, all power, all life, all good.
We’re so used
sound of the words we heard in childhood that we often forget to look
for the meaning in them. Have you ever considered
what it means to be “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom
8:17)? It means, as Emerson said, that “every[one]
is the inlet, and may become the outlet, for all that is in God." It
means that all that God is and has is truly ours, the rightful heirs,
if we can only claim our inheritance.
So in this
will be learning how to claim the inheritance that God wants us to have
in our daily life.
So long as
heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is
lord of all; but is under guardians and stewards until the day
appointed by the father. So we also, when we were
children [in understanding] were held in bondage under the rudiments of
the world: but when the fullness of the time came, . . . And because ye
are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying Abba,
Father. So that thou art no longer a bondservant
but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal 4:1-7).
Son” is the risen Christ that dwells in each of us. And it is through
that indwelling Christ that we are to receive all that God has and is as much or little as we can (or
dare to!) claim.
No matter what
thought started you on this journey, it was really because it was God’s
“fullness of time” (Gal 4:4) for you to claim your inheritance.
You could no longer be satisfied with, or in slavery to,
material world. God’s “fullness of time” for you is
now. It’s time for you to be free, to have dominion
over the material world, to be no longer a servant, but a first-born,
in full possession of your inheritance!
we take in that wonderful truth, we realize that we’re no longer to be
looking for rewards, or for a belief to follow. We’re
not on this journey to get something, or to follow someone, but to find
a new way to live life. And in the course of these
Lessons, we’ll take the first steps toward a new life of freedom, perfect love, and
As we begin the
we discover that every right thought we think, every unselfish word or
action, must by unchanging
laws lead to good results
for us. But on our way, we must learn not to focus
on these results. Instead, we must learn to be the
Truth, consciously. We must learn to be, consciously
the love, the wisdom, the life that we always truly are, though
unconsciously and let the
results take care of themselves.
We bring these
qualities to our consciousness by taking daily time alone, focusing on
the divine Presence within us. In daily
meditation lies the secret of power. No one can
grow in spiritual knowledge or power without it. No
one would ever dream of becoming, say, a master musician without daily
practice! You need to practice the presence of God just as you would
You may be so
working and even helping others that it seems there’s no time to go off
by yourself. But the invitation is clear: “Come ye
yourselves apart . . . and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). And
that’s the only way to gain the definite knowledge, true wisdom, steady
purpose, or the power to meet the unknowns of daily life, that sets us
The thing to
is that doing is secondary to being: when we are
consciously the Truth, it radiates from us and does the works without
our running around looking busy. So if you have no
time for this quiet meditation, make time; take time. If
you look carefully, you’ll find some things better left undone.
You may spend time chatting with friends or neighbors
rather than diffusing your energy, could be spent “refueling” in the
silence. Even some unselfish act may not be so
important that you should neglect your regular, daily meditation.
And when you do
withdraw from the world into the silence, don’t think about yourself or
your failures, but focus on God. Let all your
thoughts center on your relation to the Creator and Sustainer of the
universe. Let all the old fears and trouble go
for awhile; work at turning your thoughts away from them to some line
from a hymn, a Psalm, or statement of Truth.
it, you’ll never know how this simple practice quiets the nerves,
reduces fears, and dissolves the stresses of the day into nothing.
So never let your minutes or hours apart be a time of
concern, but always a time of peace: just calm, quiet waiting alone with the Presence within.
tried it, you may be tempted to make the mistake of withdrawing from
the world, and spending all your time in meditation. This
is asceticism, and is rarely wise or profitable. Jesus,
our Way-shower, helps us to see this: each day he went off by himself,
and each day he returned to share, renewed in Spirit and in power.
In the same way we, too, go into the stillness each day,
can come back into everyday life with new inspiration and new courage
And don’t let
concerns about others stop you. Wherever anyone practices this daily
presence of God, peace and harmony flow through to fill the
surroundings. We go apart to get still, to receive
new life, new inspiration, new power, new supply from the overflowing
fountain within, and then we return to the world around us to share
that life and power in love. When we do this, peace and harmony result
in our home and workplace in
all the world around us, wherever we are.
Yet in our
clarity and power it’s important, again, to remember Jesus, and live in
the understanding that “Thy gentleness hath made me great” (II Sam.
22:36). No one is so grand, so godlike, as one who,
knowing the Truth of Being, can stand meekly and unperturbed before the false
accusations of the human mind. As Jesus stood
meekly, saying nothing, before the false accusations of Pilate, we need
to live that quality of love and acceptance in our daily life.
We must also
as we would be forgiven. To forgive doesn’t mean
simply being indifferent to those who injure us; to forgive is to give
for to give some actual,
definite good in return for the distress incurred. Like most people,
you may think “I’ve got no one to forgive!” Yet if we consider all the
people we feel negatively toward, or that we think “served him right,”
then we find we have much to forgive. Any pain that
you suffer, any failure of some expected good, may be the result of a
spirit of unforgiveness you’re holding
toward someone in particular or the world in general.
We must let go
past beliefs about our circumstances or environment. No
matter how evil circumstances may appear, or how much it may seem that
someone else is the cause of your sorrow or trouble, God, good and good alone is really there, when you call
the Law into expression. Joseph, speaking of his
brothers’ selling him into slavery, said “As for you, ye meant evil
against me; but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). If
we have the courage to see only God in it all, even “the wrath of man”
(Psalms 76:10) is turned to our advantage. Situations
that seemed heartbreaking turn to joy before our very eyes, if we
steadfastly refuse to see anything but God in them.
perfectly natural for the human mind to seek to escape from its
troubles by running away from a situation or planning to make some
physical change, such methods of escape are foolish. There
is no real or permanent physical way to escape from circumstances or
feelings; all our help must come from within. The
real inner consciousness that “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not
want” will supply all needs
more surely (and more liberally!) than any human hand. The
felt understanding that “God is my defense and deliverance,” achieved
by holding the words in the silence until they become part of our inner
being, will free anyone from the arguments of the smartest lawyer in
goal must be to come into full awareness of the indwelling God, and
then, in all circumstances, to affirm our support and deliverance
through and by this One. We don’t need to run
around, helping the Divine, but simply to hold a calm, restful,
unwavering trust that the All-Wisdom and All-Power within us is able to
bring about whatever is needed. When that victory is won in the silence of our own being then we need do nothing
outwardly to relieve any situation. The Psalmist
will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains [to
the Highest One] from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from Jehovah, Who made
heaven and earth. Jehovah [your indwelling
Spirit] will keep thee from all evil . . .From this time
forth and forevermore” (Psalms
we could realize that this mighty power to save and to protect, to
deliver and to make alive, lives forever within
us, and stop,
forever, looking to others!
There’s only one way to fully realize this
the way of the Christ Spirit.
Speaking through the Master, Jesus, that Spirit told us:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Holding onto the words “Christ is the way” when you are
and perplexed and see no way out, will always open the way to complete
GOD, MAN, AND BEING
When Jesus was talking with the
Samaritan woman at the well, He said to her, “God is spirit: and they
that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24) Webster’s, in their dictionary
definition of spirit, says: “life or consciousness
viewed as an independent type of existence. One
manifestation of the divine nature; the Holy Spirit.” We can’t see
spirit with our physical eyes, but when we look with our “sixth sense,”
our intuitive eyes, then spirit is visible and we recognize it. You
don’t see the living, thinking “me” when you look with your eyes at my
body; you see only the form I am manifesting at this time.
God, then, is not, as many of us
been taught to believe, “the big man in the sky,” some gray-bearded
person who lives in some beautiful region above the earth called
“heaven,” where people go where** they die. Nor is
God a stern, angry judge, waiting for the chance to punish people who
failed to live a perfect life here on earth.
God is not a person having
life, intelligence, power, or love. God is that invisible,
intangible, but very real something we call life. God
is perfect love and infinite power. God is the
total of these, the total of all good, both manifested and
God is Spirit, the invisible life
intelligence underlying all physical things, the creative energy that
is the cause of all visible reality. There is only one God in the
universe, only one source of all the different forms of life or
intelligence that we see: animals, plants, human beings,
microorganisms, water, and even rocks. As Plato put
it, there could be no body, no visible reality, unless there is first
Spirit as creative cause.
God is love. We
cannot see love, nor even comprehend what love is, except as love in
action. All the love in the universe is God.
The love between husband and wife, or between parents and
children, is just the smallest bit of God, as made manifest in visible
form. A mother’s true love, so infinitely tender,
so unfailing, is God’s love, manifested a little through the mother.
God is wisdom and intelligence.
All the wisdom and intelligence that we see in the
God wisdom projected through
a visible form. Up to now, we’ve looked for
knowledge and help outside ourselves, not knowing that the source of
all knowledge, the very Spirit of truth and wisdom, is waiting within
each and every one of us. To educate (from educare, to lead
forth) therefore means not to force knowledge in from the
outside, but always to draw out from the student something that
already exists there. God as infinite wisdom lies within every human
being, only waiting to be led forth into physical manifestation.
Understanding and working with this awareness is true
God is power. Not simply God has
power, but God is all the power that can do anything in this
universe. God, as the creative energy that causes all visible reality,
is the power that sustains and evolves this reality.
God is not a being having
but God is the good itself. God, the source of our existence in every
moment, is not only omnipotent (all-powerful); God is omnipotence (all
power). God is not merely omniscient (all-knowing),
God is omniscience (all knowledge), itself. God is
not merely omnipresent (always and everywhere present), God is more omnipresence. Everything
you can think of, in its absolute perfect form, is God.
The Nature of Substance
God then, is the substance (from
Latin sub, under, and stare, to stand), or the real
thing standing under every visible form of life, love, intelligence, or
power. Each rock, tree, or animal every
visible thing is a
manifestation of the one Spirit, God, varying only in degree.
And each one of the infinite forms of
however insignificant, contains the whole. One
drop of water taken from the ocean is just as perfect ocean water as is
the whole: the molecules are the same, combined in exactly the same
way, whether we consider a drop, a pail-full, a keg-full, or the entire
ocean. Each is complete in itself; they differ only
in quantity. Each contains the whole, yet nobody
would make the mistake of confusing a drop with the entire ocean!
So we say that each individual
manifestation of God, contains the whole. We don’t
for a moment mean that each individual is God in the entirety, but that
each is God taking form in some degree or quantity.
<>God is not only the creative cause of
every visible form at its beginning, but at every moment that form
God lives within every created thing as the
life, the ever-renewing, re-creating, ever-evolving, cause of it. God
never is and never can be separated from any created form not for a moment
Then how can even a sparrow fall to the ground without
knowledge? And “ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:31).
The Nature of Mankind
God is. Mankind
exists (from the Latin, ex, out of, and sistere, to
stand forth). Humanity stands forth out of God. As such,
humanity is the fullest and most complete expression of God on the
planet. “In the image and likeness of God He created them” (Gen 1:27).
To mankind, therefore, is given dominion over all other manifestations.
<>Each of us is a threefold being, made
up of Spirit, body, and soul.
innermost, real being, is the absolute part of us, the I
and has never changed
our thoughts and circumstances may have changed thousands of times.
This part of us is God standing forth into visibility.
It is what Jesus called “the Father” in us.
this central part of our being each of us can say “I and the Father are
one” (John 10:30), and be speaking absolute Truth.
Our Relation to God
Jesus said “one is your Father,
who is in heaven” (Matt 23:9). He also said “and
all ye are brethren” (Matt. 23:8), because all of us are manifestations
of one and the same Spirit. As soon as we recognize this truth of our
relationship to all humanity, we at once slip out of our narrow
personal loves, out of “me” and “mine,” into universal love, taking in
all the world. Then, with Jesus, we joyfully
exclaim: “Who is my mother? And who are my brethren? And he stretched
forth his hand toward his disciples and said, behold my mother and my
brethren.” (Matt. 12:48).
God is the name we give to that
unchanging principle at the source of all existence. To
the individual, God takes on personality as loving Father-Mother, a
comforting Presence, but as the creative underlying cause of all
things, God is principle, impersonal, infinite. For some, taught to
think of God as a person, the statement that God is Principle is
chilling. Terrified, they cry out “They have taken
away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him!” (John 20:13).
But broader and wiser minds find the thought of God as a
too small for their understanding, for a person is limited in place and
time and God is the infinite within whom this finite universe takes
All that we can ever need or
available to us through the infinite reservoir of good, God, that we
experience as the loving Mother-Father Presence. We all have direct
access through the central “I” of our being, the Father-Mother within,
to the infinite life, love, wisdom, and power which is God.
This Source is the living fountain of all good, the Giver
good gifts. This Source and you are connected,
every moment of your existence. You can draw on
this Source for all the good that you are, or ever will be, capable of
desiring. There is no limit to God’s willingness to manifest more of
God’s self through us, when we are willing to align our self with God.
Till now in our lives, we’ve
the world outside us to satisfy our desires and we’ve been sorely
disappointed. Our hunger for satisfaction is not
about visible experience; it’s really the cry of the homesick
child-soul for its Mother-Father God. It’s the
Spirit’s desire in us to come into our consciousness as more and more
perfection until we become
fully aware of our oneness with All-perfection. Mankind
has never been and never could be satisfied with anything less.
What we want to know now is how
receive more from the fountainhead within, and how to experience more
and more of God (all good) in our daily life.
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