Now much of this sounds as if love were just a word, but not a reality. And again I say to you, Love is the greatest reality in the world, but it isn’t anymore what men think it is than God is what men think It is. Love is something far different from selfishness, from greed, from pity, from all of these things that would bring us down to the level of mortality, instead of lifting us up into the realization of Christhood.
Now the Master walked up and down all of the land, of the holy land, and he healed, and he forgave, and he raised the dead. But he did it always without coming down to the level of either the sin or the disease. He always held himself high above it. You can read that, as you read this red-letter book, and immerse yourself in his words, you will find that in walking up and down that holy land, he didn’t walk over to the side of the road to pity everybody that was there or try to heal them. He ignored them, and he gave himself only to those who ran out from the side of the road and chased after him and begged, “Master, master, master, heal me! Do something for me.” And to those, he gave himself.
If you have never been to the holy land, and if you have not read of those lands in its earliest days, you may not know that the conditions that prevailed then, prevail now. And that is that the roadsides are clogged with the poverty-stricken people of that area. The roadways are clogged with diseased people, walking in and out. An automobile doesn’t dare travel too fast over the roads of the holy land, even though there are good roads, because of the masses on the street: masses of men, women, children. And it is very evident that most of them are undernourished. It is very evident that they still have the same sores on their bodies that you read about in Biblical times, because poverty is rampant over there and always has been. And if you visualize the Master walking down those roads, you will see, as you read in scripture, that he walked straight and narrowly down the road, looking neither to right nor left, except as someone ran out from the throng and sought him. And those few he healed. He did not stoop to pitying those who were continuing to sit over where they were.
So it is, we learn that … oh, we’re aware of all the sick people in New York, and San Francisco, and Los Angeles: physically sick, mentally sick, morally sick. We’re aware of that. What can we do about it? If we could make them well, they would become sick again tomorrow, by going back to their same old ways of living. And so we have to stay in an insulation that says, “I recognize God, and I recognize spiritual identity, and I remain in that. And if no one comes near me for healing the rest of my days, I will not move out of my orbit, looking for anyone to heal. But the very moment that someone moves out of their orbit and brings themself into mine, I will work with them day and night, and day and night, until harmony is restored and God’s Christhood is revealed.”
All of this, you see, is bringing forth God’s love. But God’s love, and this must be understood—it isn’t God’s love, if you maintain in yourself, condemnation, if you hold people in judgment to their faults, to their errors, to their sins. You can’t do that. You can be aware of them, but don’t hold them in judgment to it, because you can’t heal. There is no spiritual love in condemnation. There is no spiritual love in holding a person to punishment for their offenses.
There is only spiritual love in forgiveness, spiritual love in seeing through the evil, spiritual love in understanding that people only sin because of ignorance. Nobody in the world would steal, if they knew they were joint-heir with Christ in God to all the heavenly riches. Nobody in the world would seek satisfaction in carnal desires, if they knew that God was the greatest satisfaction there is in all the world. Nobody in the world would ever be lonesome, if they ever found out that God is “closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet,” and oh what a companion God can be, once you get to know Him aright; once you stop fearing that He is going to punish; once you stop hoping that He’s going to reward, and get to see God as really, divine love. Then you will find that it’s an impossibility to be lonesome. To be alone, yes, but not lonesome; to live in aloneness, yes, but never lonely, because there is always God in the midst of us.
It isn’t possible to be poor. No one can ever be poor, who understands the love of God. You may be without money, and you may be without food, but you won’t be poor, and you won’t be hungry, and you won’t be thirsty. Contradiction? Probably so if you read it line for line, but not if you read between the lines. No one, no one … I have never seen the righteous begging bread. No one can be poor who has God in his heart, who has an understanding of love as something that embraces all, not just yours or mine.
No one can ever lack companionship, bread, wine, water, inspiration, who holds all mankind to be the very image and likeness of God, regardless of whether they themselves at the moment know it, live it, exhibit it. But to hold no man in condemnation, to hold no man in his own errors or his own faults, that’s to understand the love of God. And to love like that is to be spiritually fed, spiritually clothed, spiritually housed. In that there can be no awareness of poverty, no awareness of lack, no awareness of lonesomeness, no awareness of homelessness.
One could be walking the streets or sleeping in the park, but there would never be a sense of homelessness. My home really is in God. That’s our real home; it’s in God, not in houses, not in brick, mortar. The real home is in God. But no one can enter that spiritual household unless they can see God as the light of all creation. As long as they can come down to a human level of pity, of accepting appearances, God isn’t understood as love.
Be assured of this. Because God is love, not even a sparrow falls. You say you’ve seen sparrows fall. You’ve even seen dead ones in the street. Yes, you’ve also seen hospitals, and insane asylums, and poor houses, but they don’t exist. They don’t exist. That’s all part of that insanity that is living outside of God’s love. That’s all part of that dream that’s brought about by that Mosaic sense of God: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, and dear God, come down and slay our enemies. Annihilate those who don’t love us.
That’s where you find all of the so-called evil conditions in the world. You do not meet them in love. You do not meet them in forgiveness. You do not meet them in releasing man from his sins and his ignorances, and understanding that these aren’t powers. These are just states of self-deception, self with a small “s.” Ah no, the secret of life lies in gaining an understanding of the nature of God, and you never will get an understanding of the nature of God if you read too much of the Bible, and too much of the metaphysical writings, because they don’t reveal it.
Stick closer to Jesus Christ and John, until you do gain a sense of God as Love—as Father. Do you remember what he says? If you as human parents give bread to your children, what do you think about God as a parent? You don’t give your children stones when they ask for bread. Why do you think that God will give a stone in place of bread? Because you don’t know the nature of God.
God doesn’t give bread or stone; God gives Himself and Himself is the bread of life: I am the bread and the wine and the water. God gives Himself to all those who seek God, but they cannot truthfully be seeking God while they are holding their fellowmen in condemnation.
That is why the mystic life and the monastic life breathes an insulation from human pity, why it finds no need of mother, brother, sister, father—because who is my mother and who is my father? You, my disciples. The mystic, the leader or the liver of the monastic life finds a mother and a father and a sister and a brother in every single disciple on the spiritual path. So it makes no difference whether I am a blood relative or whether I am not.
And that isn’t cold; that is warm. It sounds to the human world like coldness to deny that you need your own mother or your own child. If you stop to think awhile, why should you? Isn’t the other woman and the other man as equal in God as your mother or your father or your boy or your girl? The answer is yes; then there must be an equal tabernacling with all men’s sons and daughters and all men’s mothers and fathers.
Well, I told you that this was going to happen, and it did!