So then, as you contemplate this, and you will learn in this contemplative stage of meditation that passages of scripture which you have known in the intellect for years and years and years, now come alive within you. Now have meaning for you and they live: they live like glowing coal. They live like electric lights within you. They illumine your entire being and you learn also, why it is said that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And you will find, there never will be a lack of any form; any name or any nature in your experience, if you are living not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
And so in your contemplative meditation, all of the scriptural passages which you can undoubtedly recite by the mile, will now come alive and you find that these passages are not quotations and they are not affirmations and they are not clichés: they are the living Presence of God. And you live by them, not by dollars. You live by them and not by your influence. You live by them and not by your business. You will find that even your business will live by them. You will find that your art and your profession will live by them. And so you will determine eventually that the word of God maintained and sustained in your consciousness, is the Bread of Life.
This is the Bread and the Wine and the Water; the Word of God which you maintain in your consciousness. Now then, first the practice of the Presence of God leads to this inner assurance which brings quiet and peace. And this leads then to the actual contemplation of God; of the nature of God, of the word of God. And this brings a deeper quiet, a deeper peace, and eventually it brings you to the place where neither words nor thoughts will come to you. But you will settle down into a listening attitude: speak Lord, thy servant heareth.
You have now contemplated God and the word of God. You have brought to your conscious remembrance these many passages of scripture which become your bread, meat, wine and water. And now that these are all a part of your very being, now you can settle down to listen for that still small voice: The still small voice that sometimes thunders. He uttereth His voice, and the earth melteth. That´s a thundering voice and it does do that whereunto it is sent and so as you enter the second stage of meditation you are in communion with God. Now this is where God becomes real; this is where the very Presence and power of God is felt, realized and sometimes heard. And in your listening attitude, you may receive a message; you may hear the still small voice, but if not, you will at least receive something that will give you the assurance that God is present with you.
It may be in a feeling of release; it may be in a feeling that all is well; it may be in some sense that reveals to you the healing has taken place. To each it comes differently and to every individual it comes in a hundred different ways, at different times in their lives. There is no set way for God to announce itself, but in the second stage of meditation, which is the communion stage, you are now not merely contemplating God, you are communing with God. There is a flow from you to God and from God back to you. It is as a rhythm; it is almost the rhythm of life expressing itself in you. It is a flow; a flow back and forth between you and God.
Sometimes accompanied by words, sometimes messages, sometimes just a feeling, an awareness. Always remember that there must be an alertness and an awakeness when you’re meditating. It cannot be a dropping off to sleep. Although on that point too, there are times when a meditation is completing itself and one does fall into a sleep and whatever the name or nature of the demonstration may be that is needed can take place. But don’t count on going to sleep with your meditation. Count more on staying awake and being receptive, because God is very important. And it would be kind of foolish to go to sleep and find that He had been there and you hadn’t made your contact. Stay awake, be alert! It’s a wonderful experience to come face-to-face with the presence of God.
This stage of communion is one that usually is the final stage for most of mankind. There is a further stage but very few have the fortune to experience it and that is conscious union with God. That is the third and final mystical state, in which the Self is merged into God without losing individual identity. There is always the knowledge of one’s own identity and yet, not separate and apart from the one infinite eternal, universal Being that is called God. But relatively few achieve that and of those who achieve it, very few achieve it more than once or twice in a lifetime. For some reason or other, only a few can return to it over and over and over again and sometimes at will.
But for most of the world the contemplative meditation; well, the contemplative meditation is as far as most people get and communion is about as far as most metaphysicians and spiritual students get. And out of these then, there will be the exception; one here or there, who will attain conscious union with God. A point I would like you to remember is this: that having attained the contemplative state of meditation and the communion state, do not believe for a moment that you are going to live on cloud seven, eight or nine continuously. There will occasionally be a drop to cloud two or one. And I have also known where one drops into hell.
There is a need for this or it would not be. And the need is this, that the ego doesn’t get too great, because sometimes there comes with these experiences the belief that one has become Spiritual or Holy, and something has to come along to teach them that no one ever is Holy or Spiritual. No one is ever good and no one ever attains goodness. And no one ever attains holiness or spirituality. And sometimes it takes a hard knock to reveal that to people that even Jesus Christ could announce: “Why callest thou me good!” In other words, only God is good, only God is spirit; only God, only God is real and therefore the very moment that a temptation comes that might make us feel that we’re getting important, we have to be dropped right back again, so that humility comes to us.
And we remember that it is the grace of God that is operating through us; not our goodness, not our importance, not our Spirituality. And when healings begin to take place, we hear really of miracles that take place among our students, it becomes oh, so necessary to remember that we had nothing to do with it, except being the transparency through which the grace of God could operate.
So it is, when it comes to teaching, you will find that as individuals come to you for healing and later for teaching, that unless you’re very careful you really begin to believe that you know truths and then your teaching will become worthless. It will just become a handing out of yesterday’s manna and heaven help your students when you get to depending on yesterday’s manna or the truth that you learned last year, or last week, or the class you gave some time ago and want to repeat it, because you will be feeding them stones when they came for bread.
In spiritual healing it is necessary that no treatment be given today that was given yesterday. Every treatment must be spontaneous; every treatment must come from God, not from your stored up memory. Every passage of scripture that you give to a patient or every passage in a book to read, must not be one that you remembered from yesterday, but a spontaneous one that God wants you to give specifically today. The treatment that raised somebody from the dead yesterday, may not heal a cold today. The passage of truth that caused a cancer to disappear yesterday, may not cause a pimple to disappear today.
Why? It isn’t the words that heal anybody. It isn’t the quotation, it isn’t the words one after another; it is the spontaneous state of consciousness of the practitioner and this always results in a spontaneous statement of truth. Therefore, what you knew yesterday is of relatively little importance to you. And what you treated with yesterday is of no importance: it may be a barrier. Each day you go to God for fresh manna; you do not store up today even the most wonderful truth in the world for tomorrow. Each day you go to God as if God were infinite and as if God had infinite capacity to give you a new and fresh truth. Every day you go to God for fresh manna.
And then you impart this fresh manna to your patient and when your patient wants instruction and it makes of you a teacher, don’t teach what you knew yesterday; don’t teach what made a successful class for you last year. But remember the infinite nature of God’s being and remember that as the child of God you have infinite capacity to receive the infinite truths from the throne of God. And therefore go each day for fresh manna; fresh instruction in healing, fresh instruction in teaching.
There are certain principles which are the same today and tomorrow and forever. But even these must be clothed in fresh language; even these must be presented in a different way than they were presented yesterday or last year. In other words, don’t give your patients or students memorized truths; give them spontaneous truths. Give them that which comes from the throne of God. Your consciousness is as infinite as God and your power and receptivity are as infinite as God’s capacity to express. And therefore, realize the infinite nature of your being and go to the throne of God for infinity, for eternality, for immortality and let it always come in a fresh way.