What is it?
Now, the ideal of spiritual living is coming to that place that Paul mentioned, “I live, yet not I. Christ liveth my life” but no one can rightly claim that even in a degree until an experience takes place whereby they know that they are no longer living on their own powers or their own knowledge or their own pull or influence or station in life but that now something from within has taken over and becomes the presence that goes before to make the crooked places straight.
We, ourselves, are the barriers preventing this happening because we do not create this vacuum into which the Christ can appear. We do not realize that there is no use going into meditation with thoughts, no use going into meditations with made up statements of truth. The statements may be true enough, certainly if you are quoting any of the mystics, you are quoting truth but that is not the same as receiving truth from within. There is quite a difference between talking about God and experiencing God. There is quite a difference of meditating and just thinking thoughts about God and meditating and being still enough so that God can utter his voice. When he utters his voice, the earth melteth. God is not in the whirlwind, God is not in the problem, and there is no use of taking your problem into your thought because there won`t be any God in it. For God is in the still small voice.
Therefore, as you go into your meditation, as you go into your period of prayer or communion or treatment, do not go in with a conditioned mind even one that`s conditioned to make statements of truth. Go in, rather, with a pure mind that is receptive and responsive to the presence of God that is within you. It is a simple matter in going into meditation, to remember that the Kingdom of God is within me, the presence of God is within me and the purpose of my being here is to let that voice thunder, let that still small voice come forth. And that alone makes it easy to meditate and to wait even if it`s only sixty seconds. Some of our students wait in meditation too long or they spend too much time at one time in meditation until meditation becomes a mental practice instead of a spiritual awareness. It is far better when you sit down to meditate, to realize, now the Kingdom of God is within me, the Kingdom of God can reveal itself to me as I listen. That still small voice is within me and can utter itself and so my function is just to be here, be still and let it.
Now, if you only can wait twenty seconds, in complete stillness, that`s enough. And the fact that you do not get a response means nothing. You do not need a response. We are not trying to satisfy the intellect. We are trying only through the unconditioned mind, to be a state of receptivity to the truth that is within us and if we make this practice in this way, eventually by doing it three, four, five, six, ten times a day, even if for twenty seconds, you begin to increase in depth of listening, in depth of silence, in depth of un-conditioning and you surprise yourself by discovering after a while that you have been a whole minute or two minutes or three minutes in a meditation without having to have a mental exercise going on.
So it is, it does require patience, it does require practice but remember, that the best practice you can have is to realize that this presence is within me. It makes no difference whether I am in a church or out. The place whereon I stand is holy ground. God is just as much down in the coal mine or in the kitchen. It makes no difference where I am. The thing is that I must be still long enough to give this presence a chance to express itself. And if I can only be still for ten, fifteen, twenty seconds, I have begun the process of un-conditioning, the process of emptying out, the process of creating a vacuum, and then, one of these days when we are not really expecting it, the experience will happen.
Sometimes, we`re too eager for it and want it to happen right away. We forget that we have had generations behind us that have made it difficult if not almost impossible for us really to get back to the Kingdom of God and we have to be patient with ourselves until we do come. It won`t be too late. It’ll never be too late. But we have to begin and we have to be patient. But also we have to know what we are doing.
When we go into meditation, it is to receive the presence and the power of God. You know we don’t have tell God about our problem. We don’t have to explain to God that it is the right knee or the left foot. We don’t have to explain to God that it’s a problem of business or finance or government. None of that. We have only to go within to experience the presence of God because the presence of God is the power of God and where the presence of God is, there is no evil. You find when you have experienced the presence of God, that whatever that discord was, whatever the nature of the appearance, mental, moral, physical, financial, it evaporates. To our human sense, we think of it as an overcoming of error but it isn`t. It really isn`t because there are not two powers, there’s not an overcoming power.
When Jesus said I have overcome the world, you know he did not mean that he had overcome the Hebrew Synagogue and he certainly had not overcome Caesar. He had not overcome the external world at all. He overcame the world consciousness within himself. The material consciousness, the belief in two powers, the belief in good and evil. He had overcome within himself this, this world consciousness. He was enabled to say my Kingdom is not of this world because he had overcome this world within himself. He no longer had two powers, he no longer had to work against one power. He no longer had to overcome it because he had overcome the consciousness of duality within himself. He no longer had a spiritual universe and a material universe. He no longer had spiritual power and material power. He no longer had health and disease.
Now, in our early life in metaphysics and many times even on the spiritual path, you know that we are thinking in terms of getting rid of our discords and taking on harmonies. We`re thinking of getting rid of disease and having health or getting rid of lack and having abundance. And all we are doing really, is trying to exchange one material condition for another. In other words the first condition is we have a dollar a day income but after our metaphysical demonstration, we have five. Or we have a bad heart and then after our metaphysical experience, we have a good heart. And all of this is fine in our early stages where we are merely exchanging the erroneous sense of this world for a more harmonious sense of this world.
But as you go along on the spiritual path, you discover that if you had all of the health you dreamed about, you still haven`t found that inner peace or harmony. And you now discover there are lots of healthy people who are not happy or contented or at peace. In the same way, after you have dreamed about how wonderful it’ll be when you are prosperous, and then find yourself prosperous and still miserable and then you begin to wonder. Evidently, health is really not the solution of life or abundance isn`t the solution of life. There is more to life than just health and abundance and happiness.
What is it?
And then is when you begin the real progressive steps on the spiritual path when you learn that there is a kingdom that is not of this world. When you begin to realize that there is something far beyond health, something far beyond wealth, something far beyond happiness and that you are not going to experience it while you are merely trying to exchange one type of physical condition for another. It is only when you begin to take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, what you shall drink wherewithal you shall be clothed and begin to realize there is a spiritual kingdom. It is not of this world.
And now, now your attention is drawn to passages of scripture that heretofore you have overlooked. ‘My peace give I unto you, not as the world giveth. My peace.’ And now you have days, weeks ahead of you for contemplation. What is ‘my peace’? What is this peace that passeth understanding? What is this peace that the world cannot give? The world can give me health. The world can give me wealth, honour, fame, poems, palaces, harmonies but what is ‘my peace’? My peace. Spiritual peace. Something that emanates from God. Something that is the direct gift of God to his son. Something which when I have it, I have all the other things added. But if I haven`t it and I have all the other things, I have nothing.
This peace that passeth understanding is in the Kingdom of God and it also is within me. Now, Father, I am not coming for truth, I am not coming for the change of any circumstance or condition in my life. I have overcome the world and the desire for anything in this world. I am seeking thy peace. And in this moment, I catch a glimpse of Paul. Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things. Paul, Paul, Paul, what did you mean, thy grace is my sufficiency? God`s grace is my sufficiency. You are not asking for supply, you are not asking for safety, you are not asking for security. You`re just saying `thy grace“. What is this, thy grace that is the sufficiency in all things?