God manifests himself as the Son. The Father and the Son are one, and all that the Father hath, the Son hath, and the Son is. Therefore, as the Son, turning to the Father within, “Flow; Immanuel, God with me. The Spirit of God is upon me.” And then it must flow in any field in which you are interested, any field to which you are dedicating or giving yourself. And the flow can be of an infinite nature, if you will accept infinity.
You see, the beginning of wisdom is when you begin to understand the nature of your own being. This is undoubtedly why it says over the Greek temple, “Man, know thyself, and you will find God.” Because once you know yourself, you will have access to infinity. This is why the ideal that was expressed in the Magna Carta of England, and in the Constitution of the United States, and the Declaration of Independence, these ideals were expressed in order to show forth the dignity of individual man; the dignity, the equality, the wholeness of individual man.
And just as when the Master said to his followers, “Call no man on earth your father, for one is your Father in heaven,” he was not indicating that only Hebrews have God for their Father, even though he was addressing Hebrews. He certainly was not limiting that statement of the Fatherhood of God to the Hebrew race. He voiced this as a universal truth, which had been revealed within him, that God is our Father. Therefore, since this is universal truth, it is the one and same Father that says to every soul on the face of the globe, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”
A mistake is often made in believing that man is great, in and of himself, that man himself is a super man or super being; whereas, the mystics who really knew, the ones who were able to show forth their humility, knew that we are infinite, that we are immortal, that we are individually great, but by reason of our oneness with God, our source. When Paul says, “I can do all things,” please remember that he adds, through Christ, through the Spirit of God in me. When the Master says, “I can of my own self do nothing,” he shows forth the same humility, even though he acknowledges the Father, through me, doeth the works.
In other words, mysticism relates to an understanding of our relationship to God. Mysticism does not set up two individuals, two hundred, or two thousand, as each being great in their own right. It acknowledges no super man, it acknowledges no super consciousness, separate and apart from the man who has identified himself with his source, the divine Consciousness. When Whitman sings the “Song” of himself, be assured he knew he was speaking of the man rooted and grounded in God. You know that by the very humility of his life: that he was not setting himself up as something separate and apart from life itself. So it is.
The world is going through a serious stage today, because there is a warfare, a worldwide warfare against individuality, against individual identity, against relationship with God. All of that which sets up men and women in herds, or unites them for their common good; all of this is a denial of the spirit, of the individuality and the freedom of man. Makes no difference whether it is a Communistic society that sets up two hundred thousand people to govern two hundred million people, or a Socialistic state that owns everything and parcels it out to its citizens, or the form of government that has temporarily taken us over, that tells us we need not think, we’ll be provided for from the cradle to the grave, just follow me.
All of this is a denial of man’s individual Selfhood. All of this is a denial of man’s oneness with God, because in our oneness with God, the manifestation of the presence and power of God through us enables us to serve, and this is our function. Our function is not to get; our function is not to take from each other; our function is not to live off of each other, or by virtue of each other. The function of the individual man is service.
Many people think of the word or the term “the Master,” as meaning somebody who had dominion; whereas Christ Jesus showed us that the term Master, means servant, servant of the most High. And every gift that makes one a Master, makes them a greater servant, not only of the Father, but of the Sons of God. The Master—watch him as the outstanding example of a God-realized man, having attained individual realization of his identity, and notice that at no time or place did he serve himself. He served the world that came within range of his consciousness.
Study the life of Gautama, the Buddha, and you will quickly be impressed by the fact that the very moment the grace of God reached him in his experience of the Bodhi tree, in that very moment, his life was dedicated to the people of India: serving, healing, feeding. Paul, the same. The Bodhisattva, one of the real greats of the mystical world, who received the full and complete illumination of oneness in India, in 900, or between 900 and 1000, when transportation was very primitive, traveled all the way from India to China to spread the word of the Ch’an Buddhism. And he traveled all the way from China to Japan, to carry Zen Buddhism. From the moment of his illumination he was a servant of God and of man. And there is no record that he had any life of his own, except that he ate and drank and slept and probably had some pains once in a while on the way.
When any individual has their first God experience, regardless of how minor it may seem to be, you will discover that they live less and less unto themselves, and more and more unto others. Again, they may show this forth in industry. You’d be surprised how many men we have in industry today who live with the Bible and by spiritual means, and yet carry out their mechanical or commercial wisdom in industry. You’d be surprised if you knew how many medical doctors there are, who live by spiritual grace, and do a great deal of their healing work by spiritual grace, even while passing out a few medicines to satisfy those who must have some external evidence of God’s power.
The experience of God, even to the degree of attaining the estate of a mystic, does not divorce one from this world, but it separates them from being of the world. It leaves them in the world: inventors, artists, musicians, and all. It leaves them in the world, but living a different level of life, where attention is not centered on creating, or their own good, but rather in being instruments through which the Spirit can function. And this is a most important point to remember: To some there may come a temptation, when the Spirit first touches them, to glorify their own egos, and to make them think that they have become righteous or spiritual or moral or good or benevolent.
This is the danger stage, and many have lost their entire hope of heaven, their entire hope of realization, through being given God’s grace, and then allowing their ego to misinterpret it. From the moment that the Spirit of God or finger of God touches you, give recognition to the fact that whatever manifests itself through you is the grace of God, the activity of God, the presence of God. Be sure, whether your sales increase or your novels get better or your acting gets better or your healing work gets better; remember this has nothing to do with you, except as a transparency. It only means that the grace of God is more firmly upon you and working through you.
This is undoubtedly the greatest danger that touches those on the spiritual path. They receive a touch, and before they have had an opportunity to assimilate it, to grow in grace, they run around the world trying to do good with it. This should not be. Be patient. Grow in grace. Do not leave this city until you are endowed from on high, until you know that the Spirit of God is working through you, and the proof of it is the measure of service for which you are called upon. This is the indication.
 Joel was referring to Bodhidharma.