Now then, a sense of physical or mental or financial discord at the present time is no sin; it really just represents that phase of our lack of transition and there’s no disgrace to that. The way is straight and narrow and few there be that enter. We are the few who are seeking to enter, and in some measure, all of us have entered and we’re going to keep on until we make the grand entry.
But while we’re doing it, do not condemn yourself for—or another—for some lack of demonstration. Remember, they may have gone ninety-nine percent further than you or I in some ways, but not visible to us and that we would gladly exchange for what we have progressed in. I know that is very, very true that there are modes and means of spiritual development and unfoldment that go far beyond any immediate sense of merely health and wealth.
So let us take our own demonstration in stride and imbibe all of the truth that we possibly can—Learn it all, study it all, listen to it all, read it all, ponder, meditate, and let it fulfill itself. And, if at the moment we are able to help others more than ourselves (they said the same thing of the Master, “Others he could save, but not himself in the end”), but not if we indulge in condemnation or criticism of ourselves or others, not if we permit a sense of frustration to enter on the Path. Please let it be understood that we have at the very best only attained one grain of spiritual awareness and just go to any oceanfront and see how small one grain is and you’ll know how much further we have to go. And I make no exceptions to that.
I know nothing about whether or not Lao Tzu or Buddha or Jesus Christ attained all that they’re credited with having attained in the complete fulfillment. But those that we have come personally close to, those of our own era whom we have known or met or heard about, none so far have attained the supreme demonstration of complete Oneness while yet tabernacling in the flesh.
Yes, it is possible that at a moment of transition, even what the world may call death, passing on, that one may attain, may step right from this lack of completeness into the full awareness. But so far, we have nobody on earth, certainly in this generation or the last one, ready to claim that they have attained the fullness.
Now let this be understood, the fullness has been attained in momentary glimpses. There are many on earth at this very moment who have attained the full and complete realization and revelation of Christhood in momentary flashes of meditation, inspiration, initiation. But they cannot walk the face of the earth or at least are not walking the face of the earth in the complete sense of Christ attainment.
All of this really means stop depreciating yourself: Stop criticizing, stop condemning yourself. If you attain that you will attain the second: of loving your neighbor as yourself. In other words, you will no longer criticize, judge, or condemn your neighbor’s lack of demonstration. But first, overcome the mastery and give up all sense of rebellion, frustration, doubt.
And that leads naturally to this: We think we know what spiritual demonstration consists of; we think we know what we would like. And one of the things is that everyone who comes to us for help should have an instantaneous healing. I don’t know of a practitioner who hasn’t that dream or hasn’t had that dream. I don’t have it anymore because I have seen so many instantaneous healings where nothing happened to the individual except the greater sense of freedom to go back and sin again. You know, that was one of the lessons of the Master. He healed the ten, no, he healed twenty, but on occasion he said, “Go and sin no more.”
And you know, I noticed this in our work: many of our people, students, believe that if they once attain a certain degree of consciousness that they never again can lose it. Don’t you ever believe that. You can become as good a practitioner as there is on the face of the earth and as good a teacher, and you can attain heights of spiritual demonstration beyond your belief and end up in the gutter. And if you doubt it, it only represents your lack of experience in this work.
Just as it takes great effort for any man or woman in life to attain success, it embodies greater attainment to retain that success. Every champion has found that it was easier to get to be a champion than to continue to be one. Every person who has achieved name, reputation, fame has found it more difficult to hold on to that than to get it in the beginning. Right? Yes, yes, there isn’t any question about it. The moment that you attain success the next question is, “Can I do it over again tomorrow? Will my work tomorrow be as good as today?” It is no different in this spiritual activity. The mesmerism of the world is terrific and a person may go on to spiritual success and then find themselves up against a thousand temptations.
Somewhere the Master tells of a healing making room for seven more to enter. One devil going out making room for seven more to enter. We get cleaned out of seven devils sometimes to make room for seventy to come in. Now, we don’t speak of this ordinarily in our work, it isn’t in the writings but I’m telling it to you here: that every gain in spiritual understanding must be retained by as harder a work as it was to attain it or more so.
Every day brings temptations to rest either in material health or material wealth or to rest on ones’ oars or to now indulge some of the things that we didn’t have time or money for before, or to accept the adulation of the world. Oh, the temptation to accept banquets and medals! Well you say, “That would not tempt me.” Probably not, it hasn’t tempted me but other things have, so who knows what it is that will temp you. The temptations are there, whether or not we give in to them, that depends upon the degree of our watchfulness. Watch! watch, watch, watch, watch! Isn’t that on the Christian Science Sentinel? Watch! Watch! Work and pray … somewhere. Yes, Watch! watch! watch, work and pray because every gain must be held onto. For every spiritual gain there are two temptations lying in wait to snatch them from us.
It has been one of the sources of sadness in my experience in The Infinite Way work to see some students make rapid headway, wonderful headway and do some fine things and then very quickly fall by the wayside. Reminds me a great deal of the Master’s teaching of the planting of the seeds and some of it does take root and spring up but it doesn’t last long. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen people seem to gain a wonderful understanding of truth and go out and have some nice healings too. And then very soon fall by the wayside with one of these temptations of sense or another. And there are so many that there would be no use now of rehearsing all of them.
Now, in our work we have need to watch one word. One word can make us or break us. One word alone can not only set us on the path, it does set us on the path. Rightly understood it will keep us there. If we’re not careful it will unseat us. That word is the word “I.” Watch it! Watch it.