So you see it all works out together, and convinces me that this message has been given to us in this form, for the one specific reason of fulfilling a need. Heretofore, even though the letter of truth, as we’ve had it in this class, is in all of the writings. It has not been understood by our students, hasn’t been practiced by them even if they’ve understood it. And I believe, probably, what is natural, that they have given more attention to the mystical side, to the inspirational side, than to learning, first of all, these specific principles and then practicing them until consciousness is developed.
And therefore, if our students are to attain the mystical consciousness, it will have to come through this study and practice or purification. Because this I know from inside; we cannot have any degree of mystical or spiritual consciousness as long as we have good and evil, two powers, personalization of good or evil, or consciously or unconsciously battling evil, trying to overcome it—whether to heal disease or sin or fear or lack. I know that only in proportion as our consciousness accepts the truth that ye need not fight, the battle is not yours—only as we are able to be that consciousness, which does not take up the sword—physical battles or mental battles. And incidentally, just because I’ve used that quotation, “Do not take up the sword,” please do not interpret that to mean that I believe in conscientious objections. I don’t.
We are all citizens of our community, of our nation, and as such we do not live unto ourselves entirely. Therefore, just as we benefit by the laws of our community, just as we benefit by this citizenship, so when we are called upon to serve it, it is our function to serve. And even though we know that wars can never be right; there can never be a right side in a war and there never has been one, and there never will be one; nor is there a wrong side. There is only one side and that’s stupidity, greed, lust.
Now…and there aren’t any wars that are fought for any other reasons, regardless of who fights it. And fighting wars will not bring peace, and will not bring prosperity, and they never have. They’ll just bring intervals between wars. Nevertheless, if our nation goes to war, just remember this: that for every man who objects or refuses to be a citizen and fulfill himself, he is merely saying, “You go out and get killed for me.” Because, when the government decides on having a million men, it’s going to have a million men, and if you aren’t one of them, somebody else is.
Therefore, we really have no moral right to say, “Let the other fellow get killed and not me.” On the other hand, as spiritual students, we know that life is eternal; we know that the grave is not the end of our life. Therefore, we are in much better position to lose our human life than those who grieve about it and fear the experience and think it is the end of all things, and therefore we make much less of a sacrifice than they do. For we cannot surely value this human sense of existence to the same extent that those do, who have no spiritual vision. Therefore it is better for us to place ourselves in danger than those who fear the experience.
And beyond that there is still another reason. With our understanding of spiritual law, it does not necessarily follow that we will be killed or wounded even if we go to war, and that has been demonstrated. That has been demonstrated, but tremendously in World War I and World War II, among those who had been metaphysically and spiritually trained, the results were far different than the statistics.
Therefore very often, our very going is an act of service, and of good. I’m thinking right now of a man who was a Chaplain, Christian Science Chaplain, and there was a machine gun nest that couldn’t be reached, couldn’t be wiped out, and it held the armies here and there, and prevented them uniting and going forward. And so a volunteer group was called upon, to go out and draw fire, so that that nest could be located and wiped out. And of course, the volunteer group quickly assembled. Now of course there was no possibility of their coming back. Their function was to go out and get shot, and shot vigorously enough so as to make the nest show itself, where it was. This Chaplain showed up at the point of departure to go with them, and was told by the Captain that he couldn’t go.
And his answer was, “I’m disobedient to orders, so shoot me when I come back.”
And he went out with them, and not a single man was lost and not a single man was injured, and yet the purpose was accomplished. He was one of those men who was decorated by this government for bravery far beyond the call of duty.
I’m thinking of another, also a Christian Science Chaplain, who went out with minelayers, and during the flu epidemic brought thirteen ships back without one single man getting the flu, in the First World War when it really was a tremendous factor.
Therefore we, above all others, not only have less to lose or probably nothing, but we have tremendous opportunities for bringing this consciousness into active expression. So I wasn’t referring to being a conscientious objector when I said “not take up the sword.” But I do mean that we are not to struggle physically or mentally, but rather to learn this Christ consciousness, develop this Christ consciousness that does not have to take up the sword or resist evil, but can abide in the word that “Thou, Pilate, hast no power over me; for there is only one power, and that is of God.”
Now, with all of that, our progress should be more rapid. It should show itself, first of all, in more students doing more healing work. Secondly it should show itself forth in those students who are doing healing work—doing better healing work and quicker healing work. Thirdly it must show itself forth in our attainment of a greater degree of Christ consciousness, because the more or these particular principles are practiced, the more Christ consciousness is developing in us, or the more we are a transparency, or the better transparency we are for the activity of the Christ—and this is the mystical consciousness.
Now remember, spiritual consciousness is your consciousness when you have no evil to combat, when your evil has been impersonalized and nothingized—that is Christ consciousness. It isn’t some other consciousness that’s going to come to you. It is your present consciousness when your consciousness is divested of personalizing good and evil, or empowering evil. Your consciousness, this very consciousness, which is you is Christ consciousness in proportion as you are impersonalizing and nothingizing.
Therefore there is no new consciousness to gain; there is no other consciousness to go out after. It is a purification of the consciousness which we now have, and which in its purified state is Christ consciousness. In other words Moses, after his illumination, was still Moses, but with purified consciousness; Jesus was still Jesus, but with purified or Christ consciousness. That is why he is called Jesus The Christ, Jesus The Enlightened. He is still Jesus, the same Jesus, but now The Enlightened. And enlightenment means only one thing: the recognition of these principles. That is what constitutes enlightenment and opens the way for illumination.
The inner experiences that we have, and the inner experiences that come to us, and the instruction that comes and the wisdom, the guidance, the direction comes only at those times when we are living in that consciousness of no condemnation, of impersonalization, and they can’t come to us at any other time. That is the full meaning of that statement that “When you go to the altar and pray, and there remember that anyone has ought against thee, first get up and make thy peace.”
So it is if you hope to pray someone into health, don’t try it if you believe that they are diseased. Until you have come to the realization that God constitutes their being and that this condition is the impersonal carnal mind, you have no ability to heal and your prayers won’t reach any further than your own mind.