And that brings us then to this subject of prayer. Watch yourself when you believe that you are praying or that you are in prayer. Watch yourself as if you were standing in back of yourself and note whether you’re expecting something from God, whether you are attempting to influence God, whether you are hoping for some setting aside of law. Note whether or not in your praying, you actually believe that God is withholding something that, after this prayer, is to be granted. Watch yourself at prayer so that you’re not reaching up to God at all. You’re merely resting in the realization of this inner communion. Watch that your prayer is a realization of God’s presence, even if necessary the statement, the declaration, or the thought of God’s presence, or the affirmation of it. In one way or another let your prayer be the realization that I and the Father are one, that the Lord is my shepherd. Let your prayer always remain on that level where it is not reaching out or up or within, for something.
Then you will find that prayer, in its highest sense, has no words and no thoughts, no words are used in prayer, no thoughts are used in prayer. It is merely an inner communion that becomes a oneness, a union with God, a resting in God. Then too, you are a clear transparency through which God’s grace touches the consciousness of all of those who are reaching out to you. It is exactly as if this room were filled with God, but no one was aware of it. They were in darkness or sin or disease or lack—as if there were no God in this room. Then one individual realizes:
“God is—I am; God is ‘closer to me than breathing, nearer than hands and feet;’ I and the Father are one; all that the Father hath is mine; the Lord is my Shepherd here and now.”
That one then can rest, be still and be a transparency and the presence and power of God can penetrate the consciousness of those who are in darkness. That is why, in our world work, when in the beginning of our prayer we do use words and thoughts leading up to that final stage, and realize…And we’re thinking now of those in this world who are handled by evil, those who let themselves be outlets for evil, and we are realizing:
“Father forgive them, they know not what they do; and let us hold them not in condemnation, but open their consciousness to this light that they may be freed of this temptation, of this hypnotism, of whatever it is that binds them to personal sense.”
Now with that, there is the removal of condemnation from them, because we have declared that it is not sin, it is merely ignorance; it is not darkness, but an absence of light.
And so, in our forgiveness, in our understanding of the impersonal nature of all this, we are a transparency through which this transcendental presence can function in the consciousness of this world. And you never know where it touches or who it touches. You have no way of knowing how the light which reaches earth through the transparency of those in prayer. You have no idea how it influences legislation, how it changes decisions. You have no idea how far reaching it is. That is why some who have attained the light do retire from this world in order, as they would phrase it, “to live the life of prayer for the world”—not for individuals, but for the breaking down of human consciousness of that duality.
And by remaining in their caves or remaining in their little homes somewhere alone, they permit themselves, by praying without ceasing, to be a transparency through which the light comes. And they, of course, rarely have any way of knowing who is touched by it or how, but it is evident that things do happen on earth that can’t be accounted for. There are people in hospitals about to die who suddenly get well, and no one has a slightest idea of how it happens. There are times when countries are at the brink of war, and a last minute decision changes it, and it isn’t always a human thing that happened.
And that leads to this: we are helped by those who have passed from our sight. You must never believe that there is a retrograde step from developed spiritual consciousness. If an individual attains spiritual consciousness on earth, they are a blessing to everyone who brings themselves within range of their consciousness, and even to some who are not aware of what is going on. But when that individual leaves this plane of consciousness, this plane of life that we call the human, nothing happens to their spiritually developed consciousness—it keeps going just the same. You can’t put it in a grave! As a matter of fact, you have already learned, those of you who have practiced meditation, that I can’t ever be placed in a grave. If you have ever meditated with the I, you know that I was never born and I will never die; you know that I was never confined in a physical body—much less will it ever be confined in a tomb; I and the Father are one.”
Therefore, we are never limited to time or space or place. I and my Father are one, and that oneness is immortality; therefore I go on forever and forever and forever. And that I which I am is the state of consciousness which I am. And therefore, if anyone is benefiting by it here and now on earth, you can be assured of this—those same benefits will be going on throughout eternity.
If you could be made to believe that Jesus Christ was the great light that he was, and that his three years in the ministry could produce an effect on the world for twenty centuries, that it has; and believe that it came to an end on that cross or in that tomb, you haven’t thought deeply enough. That degree of consciousness, which we know as Christ Jesus could never come to an end. There’d be something wrong with God if such a light could pass from existence, if such a light could be withdrawn from the world. And I say this of Buddha, Gautama the Buddha, that if at his state of elevation he could be killed off or his consciousness nullified, there is no justice in divine kingdom. Oh no, no, that state of development or any state leading up to it is perpetual. It is eternal, and it is forever a transparency through which God reaches this earth. And that is what accounts for the individuals on earth who attain spiritual light.
Just think of a man, cobbler, with no greater religious teaching or thought than a very, very darkened theological religion, and one at the time in of tremendous blackness and darkness—spiritual ignorance personified. Think of that man, in one second, receiving such a light that within a couple of years he was known from Switzerland to England as the greatest spiritual teacher on earth, and he became the teacher of several generations of mystics. And to this very day, the writings he left behind are read by so many hundreds-of-thousands of people in the world that editions are continually being published in England and in the United States. That man you recognize as Jacob Boehme of Germany.