If we are holding anyone in condemnation as a human being, good or bad, just or unjust, we have not made peace with our brother and we are not ready for the prayer of communion with the Infinite. We rise above the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees only when we stop seeing good and evil, and stop boasting about goodness as if any of us could be good.
Goodness is a quality and activity of God alone, and because it is, it is universal. Let us never accept a human being into our consciousness who needs healing, employing, or enriching because if we do, we are his enemy instead of his friend. If there is any man, woman, or child we believe to be sick, sinning, or dying, let us do no praying until we have made peace with that brother. The peace we must make with that brother is to ask forgiveness for making the mistake of sitting in judgment on any individual because everyone is God in expression. All is God manifested. God alone constitutes this universe; God constitutes the life, the mind, and the Soul of every individual. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against their neighbor” has a much broader connotation than merely not spreading rumors or indulging in gossip about our neighbor. We are not to hold our neighbor in humanhood. If we say, “I have a good neighbor,” we are bearing false witness against him just as much as if we said, “I have a bad neighbor,” because we are acknowledging a state of humanhood, sometimes good and sometimes bad, but never spiritual. To bear false witness against our neighbor is to declare that he is human, that he is finite, that he has failings, that he is something less than the very Son of God. Every time we acknowledge humanhood, we violate cosmic law.
Every time we acknowledge our neighbor as sinful, poor, sick, or dead, every time we acknowledge him to be other than the Son of God, we are bearing false witness against our neighbor. In the violation of that cosmic law, we bring about our own punishment. God does not punish us. We punish ourselves because if I say that you are poor, I virtually am saying that I am poor. There is only one I and one Selfhood; whatever truth I know about you is the truth about me. If I accept the belief of poverty in the world, that reacts upon me. If I say that you are sick or that you are not kind, I am accepting a quality apart from God, an activity apart from God, and in that way I am condemning myself because there is but one Self. Ultimately, I convict myself by bearing false witness against my neighbor and I am the one who suffers the consequences.
The only way to avoid bearing false witness against our neighbor is to realize that the Christ is our neighbor, that our neighbor is a spiritual being, the Son of God, just as we are. He may not know it; we may not know it; but the truth is: I am Spirit; I am Soul; I am consciousness; I am God expressed and so is he, whether he is good or bad, friend or enemy, next door or across the seas.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Master gave us a guide and a Gode of human conduct to follow while developing spiritual consciousness. The Infinite Way emphasizes spiritual values, a spiritual Code, which automatically results in good humanhood. Good humanhood is a natural consequence of spiritual identification. It would be difficult to understand that the Christ is the Soul and the life of individual being, and then quarrel with our neighbor or slander him. We place our faith, trust, and confidence in the Infinite Invisible, and we do not take into consideration human circumstances and conditions.
Then, when we do come to human circumstances or conditions, we see them in their true relationship. When we say, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,‘ we are not speaking of human love, affection, or friendliness; we are holding our neighbor in spiritual identity, and then we see the effect of this right identification in the human picture.
Many times we find it difficult to love our neighbor because we believe that our neighbor is standing between us and our good. Let me assure you that this is far from true. No outer influence for good or evil can act upon us. We ourselves release our good. To understand the full meaning of this requires a transition in consciousness.
As human beings, we think that there are those individuals in the world who can, if they would, be good to us; or we think that there are some who are an influence for evil, harm, or destruction.
How can this possibly be true if God is the only influence in our life —God, who is “closer . . . than breathing, and nearer than hands or feet”? The only influence is that of the Father within, which is always good. “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.”
When we realize that our life is unfolding from within our own being, we come to the realization that no one on earth has ever hurt us, and no one on earth has ever helped us. Every hurt that has ever come into our experience has been the direct result of our inability to behold this universe as spiritual. We have looked upon it with either praise or condemnation, and no matter which it was, we have brought a penalty upon ourselves. If we look back over the years, we could almost blueprint the reasons for every bit of discord that has come into our experience. In every case, it is the same thing—always because we saw somebody or something that was not spiritual.
Nobody can benefit us; nobody can harm us. It is what goes out from us that returns to bless or to condemn us. We create good and we create evil. We create our own good and we create our own evil. God does not do either: God is. God is a principle of love. If we are at-one with that principle, then we bring good into our experience; but if we are not at-one with that principle, we bring evil into our experience. Whatever is flowing out from our consciousness, that which is going forth in secret, is being shown to the world in outward manifestation.
Whatever emanates from God in the consciousness of man, individually or collectively, is power. What is it that emanates from God and operates in the consciousness of man but love, truth, completeness, perfection, wholeness all of the Christ-qualities? Because there is only one God, one infinite Power, love must be the controlling emotion in the hearts and souls of every person on the face of the globe.
Now in contrast to that, are those other thoughts of fear, doubt, hate, jealousy, envy, and animality, which are probably uppermost in the consciousness of many of the people of the world. We, as truth-seekers, belong to a very small minority of those who have received the impartation that the evil thoughts of men are not power; they have no control over us. Not all the evil or false thinking on earth has any power over you or over me when we understand that love is the only power. There is no power in hate; there is no power in animosity; there is no power in resentment, lust, greed, or jealousy There are few people in the world who are able to accept the teaching that love is the only power and who are willing to “become as a little child.” Those who do accept this basic teaching of the Master, however, are those of whom he said:
. . . I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.. . . Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.