There is a He within me which performs that which is given me to do, so that I need not take thought for my life, or what I shall eat, what I shall drink or wear or with what shall I be clothed, because now this presence within me knows my need and it is His good pleasure to give It to me. And so, there is a communion back and forth between the individual and this realized presence within. This is the state in which most students remain throughout their period on earth.
Here and there, a few take the final step, which of course, they cannot themselves. It can only be taken by Grace, that is; if it happens from the other side, it happens. If it doesn’t, no one can do anything about it but be patient and wait. And that final stage is Union with God; Oneness with God, conscious Oneness with God in which the individual realizes himself or herself as the Life Eternal, the Life which is flowing in my body or your body: the life which is flowing in the trees, in the grass, in the birds, in the fish, in the animals.
The individual attaining Union with God is living in the actual experience of being the life of the world; is living in the actual experience of being the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Bread, the Wine, the Water, the Resurrection and of course, you know from your reading how few of those there have been. And the few actually attain it only at certain periods of their experience and for short periods. The great part of a mystic’s life is lived in the state of communion with an occasional Grace of God experience of the actual union itself.
Now, from the first moment that a student perceives even intellectually that God is not of the nature of God as thought in religions, that actually there is no such God, that is, a mythical creation of man; as soon as the student begins to discern God as God is, to know him aright, from that moment even he only comes into an intellectual agreement that this is true. He is on the spiritual path and he is beginning to perceive that God cannot be a Hebrew God, a Christian God or a Muslim God, but God can only be God. And also, that God cannot be a God far off, that God must be within me and that it is literally true: “the place where thou now stand is holy ground.” If you mount up to heaven, you find God there but if temporarily you are making your bed in hell, you’ll find God there, if so be you are recognizing this Omnipresence. If you walk through the shadow of death, you can relax and you will find God there.
Now, as one agrees with this, even intellectually, and lives with it and practices it in daily experience, losing gradually the fear of the outer world, there comes a brief second during meditation in which one actually feels this presence or contact. It is as real, it is more real than a ton of bricks falling on you, even though the effects of it may seem to last for a brief second. No! That is not correct; the experience may last a brief second but the effect will go on for weeks and months and sometimes years, because this is truth: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” “In Thy Presence is fullness of life,” and therefore the very moment that a person feels their first conscious contact with God, from that moment on freedom begins to unfold.
There are those who are in bondage to their bodies, others are in bondage either to lack or prosperity and they are both evils if they make a bondage of themselves to an individual. Others are in bondage to sin, others are in bondage to undue worship of persons and things. Oh, there are so many different forms of bondage that an individual can fall into, and the very thing that is a bondage to one, isn’t of course any kind of bondage to another.
We were remarking on that yesterday, my wife and I, passing a beautiful-looking candy shop here, and believe it or not, we had to look in the window and my wife remarked: Now you know, if there was a window full of whiskey we would not even have stopped to look at it, but of course, this looking-good candy, we have to stop to admire, showing we are still in bondage to some chocolates and to each his own: some are in bondage to sin, some to desire, some to the fear of death, some to the fear of poverty, some to other fears, but it is all bondage.
But the very first touch of this Spiritual impulse, this Spiritual Presence and freedom begins to appear in some form or other. That doesn’t mean by any manner of means that our worries are all over. No, it is strange that people have attained quite a lot of light, and turned back and became a pillar of salt again. Many have been far on the spiritual path, like, oh, about ten of the Master’s disciples, that it was proved to be worthless after all, even after three years of contact with the Master, even after three years of discipleship. Without the Master there, they went back and became nothing.
So it is, that there are many who seem to come quite a distance on the spiritual path and fall away. So, it doesn’t mean that the very first glimpse of the Christ one attains is a freedom of all bondage. It only means that a beginning has been made and then comes the injunction to stand fast. You will remember that the Master cautioned us: “the Way is straight and narrow, few there be that enter.” And the reason is that entering the spiritual path really means forsaking the human path. Now, this sounds easier than it is and it is only as one enters the Spiritual Path and begins to perceive the nature of that which must be given up, that one finds this is too hard a way.
Oh, this is too hard a way, and then you hear the cry, “you have taken my Lord away from me.” Oh, yes! You have taken away from me that broken reed, the belief that let God do it and it will happen, or just let’s pray for peace on earth and then maybe lightning will strike and something will happen. Let us pray for the brotherhood of man and maybe it will happen. Of course it won’t, of course it won’t! It will only happen as consciousness heals and man comes to that spiritual place in which they realize: “I have meat the world knows not of,” and thereafter have no designs on that which belongs to another.
It is a beautiful thing to write the Ten Commandments and say, thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not envy, thou shalt not want, thou shall not steal. Beautiful, but you see, by the human race, that is impossible for the race to live up to, because all there is to this humanhood is the warring to get that which belongs to another; the competing to get that which belongs to another, the mad scramble for the attainment of that which is temporarily in the hands of the other. And none of this can end until the individual comes to the place of realization that there is a He within me. And because of this He within me, this Spiritual Presence is my meat and my wine and my water.
It is the resurrection even of my lost fortunes. It is the resurrection even of broken homes, this that is within me is this, and then, as alegiances are transferred to this withinness, all desire for that which the other fellow has is lost because with this comes the realization: I will never leave thee or forsake thee, son thou art ever with me and all that I have is thine. And then, through this Spiritual Grace man is freed of all those qualities that he was supposed to heal himself of with the Ten Commandments and never has succeeded.
The Ten Commandments have their place, but it is a very minor place because for the most part, man cannot obey them, and it is only when they come to the place visioned by Christ Jesus, where he takes nine of those commandments and throws them away and says, you have no need of those. You have need only of one of those, “Thou shalt love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul and the other one I shall add to it; love thy neighbor as you love thyself.