Now, the average person does not have this spiritual awareness developed. Some few people have it seemingly from birth—at least in some degree—and others develop it, or let us say it is developed in some, through their interest in religious or spiritual reading, pondering, meditating. The age of miracles comes into individual experience in proportion as this spiritual consciousness is developed, since it is the development or let us say the attainment of this consciousness, which results in the spiritual discernment, which in its turn results in the appearing of miracles on earth. If you read The Way of Lao Tzu or The Bhagavad Gita of India or The Cloud of Unknowing or our Scriptures, and more particularly the New Testament and even more particularly, the Gospel of John, you will agree that you do not understand these books. That may seem a broad statement to make, but in my 27 years of connection with these books and the people who read them, I have found a very, very few outside of the few mystics whom I’ve met—I have met very few others, if any, who understood these books.
Now for my purpose, I will have to tell you my own experience with them so that you will know what I mean. For many years I read the Bible. I would say that, perhaps for 20 weeks a year, and every year for 10 or 12, 13 years, I read some parts of the Bible. Then I had the period in which I was in the active healing practice for 16 years, in which the Bible was a major factor in my life. In other words, I read some part of it every day of the week, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year for 16 years. I can truthfully say that with the exception of a half-dozen passages, the Bible remained a closed book to me. I could read it and read it and read it. I could study it and quote it, but very little of it really had a meaning for me.
Now as I discovered these other writings, I seemed to grasp Lao Tzu very quickly. First of all, because it seemed so clear to think of some of the points that he makes on not using human might to accomplish one’s purpose, but when it came to the Gita and The Cloud of Unknowing, I frankly was stumped, just as much so as with the Bible. In the reading of the Gita I undertook something quite unusual—certainly for me—after having read it more than a dozen times and finding that I could not discover the key to it, what its meaning was, what it meant to convey, I decided that I would read it 100 times straight through, from cover to cover, without any attempt to grasp its meaning and that after the 100th reading, I would go back and then try to see what I could learn. Well, I guess it was pretty nearly 100 times, before here and there a sentence clarified itself to me. As I went on I discovered that the major theme of the Gita became as clear as a bell. With the Cloud of Unknowing, it was different. The Cloud of Unknowing attracted me so greatly that I must have read it at least six to ten times a year, and that was for a period, I would say of not less than ten years, but it still refused to reveal itself to me. I could not catch its theme. I didn’t know what it was driving at, and then one night I read, and it was almost as if there was a light on the book, not a physical light, but a light so that I could say, whereas before I was blind, now I see, and in one evening, that entire book revealed itself to me so that I knew it; I understood it; it was mine.
Now, quite some time before this, I was called upon to teach and I was asked specifically for what I knew about the Bible. You know that I had to admit how little I knew—just a few passages of the Bible, but these students were so insistent that I teach them something of the Bible, that I took my Bible in my hand and I prayed: “Father, You have sent these people to me. They’ve come out of the blue. Their very asking me for this is an unusual experience in my life, which never happened before. I know that it has nothing to do with me. I know that I have never sought it, so you have done this, and why—what is it that you want me to reveal to them? What is it that I’m to teach them?”
That’s the way I prayed for quite a long time, and then I opened my Bible in my hand and found that I was reading about Moses, and after reading a few pages, decided to go right back to the beginning of Moses and read through. I did, I started with the very beginning of Moses; and I continued reading slowly, carefully, hoping to find what it was that God wanted me to know, until I came to that part in Exodus where we have the Ten Commandments.