Now this may go to still a deeper form of meditation where this Presence speaks as the still, small Voice. It may not be an audible voice and yet there are times when it may be that. But even if it isn’t an audible voice, its message is so distinct that I can never mistake it. I never need ask how do I know whether this is from God or from mortal mind. It is so definite. There is no question about it this is God speaking or leading or guiding or directing or protecting, because with it is a feeling of well-being, feeling of joy, a feeling of assurance. Probably that word is the best word, assurance. And this communion is the stage at which most people in the world on the spiritual path end. I mean they do not go further than that, although some few reach the final step. And that one is where there is no longer this presence and me. There is only the Presence and I am no longer there. Or it may be that the Presence isn’t there and I am the only one there. But the I in this case isn’t a person and isn’t a corporeality. The I in this case is a free-flowing life.
You find this in the book, The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. You’ll find many of the English mystics who reach that stage in which they felt themselves as the life of trees, the life of the birds in the air, the life of the fish. You’ll find it in Walt Whitman when he finds himself the life in the grass, and the life in the trees, and once he even found himself the life of a prostitute walking across the street. It shocked the good people of his days. But nevertheless, that’s what he felt. He felt himself to be the life of everybody, the high and the low, the poor and the rich. He was the life flowing in them. And he even felt himself flowing in the grass.
So it is you come to that, or some come to that stage of conscious union with God. It does not remain as a permanent dispensation. But it comes at certain periods of time, some very brief ones and some longer ones. And in the case of the Master Christ Jesus, you can tell exactly when he is in that full conscious union with God. When he isn’t, he is saying, “why callest thou me good, there is but one good the Father. Or my doctrine is not mine but his that sent me. I can of my own self do nothing. Now this is when he is not in the full conscious union with God. This is when he is speaking as a teacher and revealing the message of God that comes through him. But when he says to you I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I am the bread and the wine and the water. I am life eternal. Now he is in the full conscious union with God, and there is no more Jesus there to be a messenger. He is the message. He no longer feeds the hungry. He is the food. And then he says, “take, eat of my body.
I am the bread of life.” He is now in the full state of the mystical experience—conscious union with God. I am in you, and you are in me. I, thou seest me, thou seest the Father that sent me.
Do you see that? In one place he is speaking as a son of man. One place he is speaking as the Son of God. In another place he is speaking of as the fully realized God consciousness, when I am God. Now it is because of this that Moses was misunderstood, because Moses, at one point, gained the full and complete realization of his conscious union with God, his Godhood, and he revealed I am that I am. That was not a man speaking. That was God speaking as Moses, and Moses himself had disappeared.
And so it was that Jesus is, in some religions, accepted as God almighty, because he is saying I am. I am. Thou seest me, thou seest the Father. I am He. But remember, it is true, that when he is saying that he is that, for he has attained full and complete mystical oneness with God, consciously realized. And so it has been that there have been mystics who have attained that same degree of Light. Some have had it only once. Some have had it repeatedly. But when they have attained it and are in it, they may say, “I am thou. I am thy life. I am thy bread.” This, of course, is the goal of all spiritual living, is that reason people take to the spiritual Path, the mystical Path in order that they may first of all attain conscious communion with God, which humans never can, and then finally conscious union with God.
And so you will find that even if you attain only conscious communion with God during this lifetime that you will have prepared yourself for the full mystical experience in the next, because all life is progressive, and we go from step to step. If we attain conscious union with God this time, we may never have to incarnate again, unless it be to fulfill some special purpose on earth for the benefit of others, but it will not be for any personal reason of our own living. If we do not attain conscious union with God here, we do have to incarnate again, until we attain conscious union after which there will be no need for it, except if we are sent on some special message.
So it is then that you have contemplative meditation as the first step, as I understand it, toward attaining the higher degrees of meditation. After contemplation, communion. After communion, union.
And so we come finally to a contemplative form of meditation which when realized brings to us the fulfillment of our earthly experience and that is the meditation or contemplative meditation on the word I. Now you understand that when the Master said I am the bread of life, I am the bread, I am the wine, I am the water, that he was speaking of the substance of life, the substance of creation, form, and therefore for us to fulfill ourselves on this plane we too must see that I, the I of my being, the I which I am, and remember you are saying this to yourself as I do, as I say the I which I am you are saying the I which I am, the I which I am is the bread of life, the I which I am is the substance of all life, the I which I am is the substance of my entire experience, the substance of my body, the substance of the food I eat; the substance of my home that keeps it together harmoniously; the substance of my business that enables it to be run intelligently, lovingly; the substance of my relationship with others. I, the I that I am, is the substance of all of these. The I that I am is God. The I that I am is the I of you, the God of you. Therefore, we are one, all members of one household.
The I that I am is what makes me self-sufficient in God. Not self-sufficient as a human being, with a big brain or a big brawn, but rather self-sufficient in God in true humility, in the realization of this Truth the I that I am is the creative principle of my existence. It formed me before I was in the womb. It brought me forth from the womb, the I that I am. And the I that I am has guided and governed to this one. Every step I took in pain, discord, inharmony represents the degree that I drifted away from the knowledge that I within me is the all. In my inability to meditate and commune with this I within me, I have made many missteps and many mistakes on this path through this incarnation. Only through the discovery of this Truth that the very I of me is God, the very I of me is the spiritual Son of God or offspring of God, the very I within my being, the very I that I am, the I that I now am is my bread of life to which I look for my substance. I do not seek man whose breath is in his nostril. I do not put my trust in princes. I realize that the I within my own being, the I that I am is God, closer to me than breathing, nearer than hands and feet, and that I can turn to it in the desert, or in a rubber boat out at sea, or as Lindbergh did crossing the Atlantic and find a visible presence to direct him and adjust his instruments.
In every instance of life I find guidance, direction, protection, support, supply, always by not looking out but by always looking to the Kingdom of God within me. And the only thing I find within me is I. And that I is the substance of my life, the substance of my activity, of my supply, of my relationships, that I is the substance and the Law and the cause and the continuity and the eternality and the immortality of divine harmony, that I within my being, which I am.