But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee O Jacob. And He that formed thee O Israel, fear not for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by thy name. Thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned. Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee, for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior. Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord. And My servant whom I have chosen that ye may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord and beside Me there is no savior.
And so you see, the promise does not say that we will not walk through waters or that we will not walk through fires. It tells us that if we walk, or when we walk through the waters and the fires that they will not harm us. And so it is that it may well be that the Master… oh well, we do know that in the Garden of Gethsemane, in the Garden of Gethsemane he was led to doubt for a minute. The pressure was very severe. He asked the disciples, the eleven disciples, to pray with him, to hold him up. And not only that but he even prayed God to “let this cup pass from me, if it be Thy will.” It was a heavy cup he was about to face. And so it may well be that in those moments of despair that the sense of God deserted him, but evidently it came back in time to lift him out of the tomb.
Q: Will you explain reincarnation?
A: Now, there is another thing that if you try to look at it from the human standpoint – if you look out here – then of course you’re bound to say that when this body goes that the life will come into another body, because that’s what appearances would testify to. But now supposing you were standing in back of me and you were looking out, as God looks out upon God’s universe, you see you wouldn’t see any of this out here. You wouldn’t see any of this view that’s in front of me if you were looking out with God’s eyes, because you would see the image and likeness of God. You would behold the form divinely fair, you would behold your own spiritual image and likeness, your own spiritual being. You’d be beholding the body not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. And then you’d understand that reincarnation actually means life forever living itself, forever expressing itself, forever enjoying itself, life eternally lived. Even individual life eternally lived, even though with changing forms.
Just see how many times you and I have changed forms. We were an infant, eight or nine inches long, or ten or twelve inches long. And then we were youth, three feet long. Here we are five feet, six feet, six and a half feet. Look how many times we’ve changed forms. We’ve been thin and stout and medium, been blonde, been brunette, been white-haired – sometimes been all three. (Laughter) We keep changing forms continuously. Why? Because consciousness evolves. Consciousness evolves and as consciousness evolves it keeps producing different forms. And just as the worm finds itself in the cocoon, and then later comes out as a butterfly – and its all the same consciousness doing that, it’s the same life, the same soul – so are we, as evolving consciousness, infants, youth, mature, and grown older.
I have said this before; I’ll say it again. At every period of our development God has a plan and a purpose for us. There are those years of our childhood before we are given any ability to be parents, and in that period of our existence we are performing some function of God. What it is we can’t know by looking at appearances, but there isn’t any question or doubt that God is performing some function of life at that stage. Then comes the period of childbearing, rearing, educating. And God then, through our being, is living at another level of consciousness, performing another activity of being, showing forth another plane of consciousness.
Well now, many people believe though that when that childbearing age passes, that somehow God has deserted them and left them old and forlorn. No, no, no, no! If only we would stop to ask ourselves, “All right Father, that period of my life is behind me, what is the plan for this period?” We would find that the middle years and the older years each would reveal a new function of God in our lives, a new activity, a new purpose. There’d be no room for old age. The only room for old age is on account of grandparenthood. It’s the middle years trying to be young again, living in the grandchildren, thinking they can do it all over again. Can’t do it – grandparents should be outlawed! (Laughter) Parents should have their own children. Grandparents should go to God and say, “Now what do You want me to do?” And I can assure you God won’t say, “Go back and do it all over again.”
God lives Itself. Life lives itself in us, and there is a function and a purpose at every stage of our career. We were one thing in the business world, but we’re another thing as practitioners, we’re another thing as teachers. But the Master said, “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you.” So there must be a time when we go beyond even healing work and teaching work, and what that is we do not know. At this moment we would say, “What could be more noble than spiritual healing or spiritual teaching?” But I’m one who could assure you that there is something more noble, because if there weren’t, the Master would be right here on earth doing just what we’re doing. But he found that there was another stage of development and he went onto it. And so will we!
Q: Well, here is a question really that concerns orthodoxy, and in our work it is a very difficult thing to even be asked to pass judgment on those phases of existence. For instance in this orthodox life we celebrate with Jesus the events of his life – the Advent, Christmas, Lent, Passion, Easter, Pentecost and so on. And when we come to The Infinite Way, should we ignore Christ’s command to take his body and blood for our communion?
A: Certainly not, certainly not! How can you ignore the Christ command to take his body and blood for our communion? But the question is, how are you interpreting it, in some form of literal service or in some spiritual sense? Now, we do not ignore the Advent of the Christ. We do not ignore Lent, Passion, Easter, Pentecost. We merely do not celebrate them with ceremony or rite or ritual. We celebrate them within our own consciousness as activities of our development. In the same way that I’ve just mentioned about childhood, youth, middle years, and so forth and so on. Instead of celebrating them externally, we celebrate them internally.
And so it is, I’ve brought out here with this other question, that in Jesus dying for our sins, he literally died. So did Moses, if you want to know. Moses couldn’t have taken those forty years across the desert if he hadn’t have died to personal ambition and personal desire for popularity and gain, because after all, Moses didn’t get a thing out of it for himself. The whole thing was helping his people, obeying the command of God. Moses died too, and you know that Elijah did. None of these people lived to themselves. They died to themselves in order that they might live to their people. And so it is with all of this.
We don’t ignore these things; we try to follow in their footsteps. And so it is that while we have no church service to commemorate the body and blood, we certainly have this period of class instruction within ourselves when we are learning to take on the body of Christ and give up the body of our materiality. When we are learning to obey Paul and die daily to the mortal sense of existence and be reborn of the spirit. The only thing is that we do not indulge outer.
And you know, its an interesting thing too that our authority for much of this is found in the words of the Master, in the 6th chapter of Matthew. “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them, otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may have the glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth, that thine alms may be in secret. And thy Father, which seeth in secret, Himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet. When thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, which is in secret and thy Father, which seest in secret shall reward thee openly.”