Q: Why do we have that commandment: Thou shall not bow down to them or worship them?
A: Bow down to what? Anything that’s in the form of a creature instead of the Creator. Paul tells us about worshiping the creature more than the creator. We worship, we indulge, we pray for our things: dollar bills, houses, automobiles, instead of for an awareness of the presence of God. No one dies who makes their one prayer the desire for the realization of the presence and power of God. You can’t die because you demonstrate life eternal. The only time you lose your life is when you’re entertaining a physical sense of life, a sense of life requiring food, clothing, housing. We don’t have that life. That’s the material sense of life.
The spiritual sense of life has no need of food or clothing or lodging. No. It has a need only of one thing—God’s presence. When it has God’s presence those things that we call food and clothing and lodging appear. Our heavenly Father knows what things we have need of, and we have them, but never do we have a need for them. Oh no. That would be acknowledging an absence of good, a separation from God. That would be acknowledging that there is a God that knows our need but It is withholding it. There is no such thing.
Let us have this awareness of God, and you watch, you’ll be living under spiritual law, and you’ll never be separated from that which is your own. In other words, just to sum up now, if there is a discord or inharmony it is because of a violation of spiritual law—whether that violation consists of the belief of a selfhood apart from God in any of its infinite forms, there you will find the reason for the discord. When you pray for your enemies all you’re doing is acknowledging that God is their life and their mind, and the only reason they ever were enemies is because you believed that they had a life or mind apart from God, so it was the same basic error—always the error is the same—the belief of a selfhood apart from God.
Every time you believe that your fate is dependent on a treatment or on a bible or on a metaphysical truth, you’re forgetting that your fate is entirely dependent on God at the center of your own being. It’s legitimate to have a practitioner, it’s a legitimate idea to study truth, and to know truth, but to believe that your life is dependent on these—where does that leave God, since God is your life? Never make your life or health dependent on anything in the external realm—even on a treatment. Have the treatment, but remember that the only part of the treatment that is doing the work is the realization of God as your individual experience, as your individual life.
Well, I’ve taken up all the time with my own questions, haven’t I? So let us have a period now for your questions.
Q: Is there anything in the universe but God?
A: Of course not. There is nothing in the universe but God. God is the universe—God Itself infinitely manifested, formed, and comprises the universe. The only reason then for discord is our acceptance of a belief contrary to that. Now, that isn’t your belief or my belief. That is a universal belief and we become victims of it in some measure. There is nobody on earth who is not a victim of that belief. So far there has never been an individual on the earth who has not, in some measure, been a victim of the belief that they had a mind or a life or a soul of their own apart from God, and a few of the great mystics, like Jesus, have risen so high above that belief as to have almost achieved the full freedom from the belief of a selfhood apart from God.
Absolutely, when we take the stand that God is the very essence and substance of all form, God Itself is the activity and the law of all being—that’s all there is to the whole thing, but the reason that we stand here teaching it is because of the ignorance of it, and that not in reality, that only to this thing that’s grown up that we call the Adam man, the Adam dream, this sense of selfhood apart from God.
And our purpose in being together here is to break down that belief—not to change the world—the world is God in expression, but we are here to help each other rise above the belief, the universal belief, and that is why in The Infinite Way teaching we never say that the fault is yours, or the error is in you, or it’s your wrong thinking, or your sin that has brought this on you. Always in our work, the only reason for any discord is the universal belief of a selfhood or activity apart from God, which we, in some measure, are entertaining.
Q: Yes, yes, let me voice that … the question involves really the mental science approach to prayer in that the law or God being impersonal doesn’t know our need, and we tell It our need, we impress upon It our desire or need, and then It fulfills it for us.
A: Now, that teaching entirely leaves out God and has no God. It merely has a universal law which is not infinite, and which is not all-knowing, and for that reason we acquaint It with our vast knowledge of things, and then It becomes a servant and performs a function for us.
Now, it has been proven true that in the human scale of life, if you want to leave God out of it, and think of yourself as an individual with a mind that you can impress your mind with things and then bring about their expression or demonstration. That is perfectly true just as if you want to leave God out of the universe and just have us here, I can think thoughts and draw your attention to me. I can think some good thoughts and make you feel good, and I can think some pretty bad thoughts and start to make you feel miserable. You see? Or I can just concentrate on you and draw your attention to me, and that’s just you and me and the two minds—you see? We’ve left God out of that picture entirely, and that’s what mental science does, even though it once in a while refers to a God, it does it with the fingers crossed because then you have to tell God what things you need.
Now as we are approaching it from the standpoint of the Master’s teaching, we are accepting a God that is not merely an impersonal law, but is the Father/Mother principle, and is an all-knowing mind, and is love. Now, according to Jesus—we just take him at his word—this heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things, and therefore, it’s none of your business to ask for them because you can’t be omniscient. You can’t be the all-knowing mind and know what’s good for you, and therefore, you do not know what to pray for or how to pray, but there is a mind expressing itself, there is a wisdom expressing itself, and as you bring yourself into oneness with It, It pours Itself forth as your particular form of expression.
Now, that brings up this important point: Do you really believe that anyone of us here actually knows where we ought to be next year? Or what would be good for us to be doing? No. We may be in some business or some art or some profession and yet through this ever-increasing light in our consciousness a year from now we may be miracles of spiritual healers or teachers or messiahs, if you will—no reason why not. How would it be then if we keep on praying for more business or more customers or more students, and all this time—an unfolding consciousness is preparing us for greater things? Or, supposing that in our oneness with God where we understand that we receive divine protection, how can we pray for a home in Seattle when it might be wise for us to be out in Alaska or South America somewhere when next year comes. Do you follow what I mean?