Now, as Paul says, “Pray without ceasing,” so I say to you that to live this spiritual life, it becomes necessary to have available to you a spiritual truth with which to meet every situation of the twenty-four hours of the day. That is why you will find that in reading my writings they are filled with Bible passages, and the Bible passages that have been found to be helpful in all of our experiences, all of our students’ experiences, and there are enough of them so that we don’t pick any one as a formula, but we have a choice of them, and we get familiar with them. We get to know them by heart and to meditate on the inner meaning of them, and then we find that regardless of what problem comes up, just by turning within ourselves, one of these passages comes to thought. And we use it then in just that way: “Ah, I have a problem. This is what I hold up to that problem,” and the problem then can get no further.
While we are learning the correct letter of truth, we are at the same time developing the ability to make contact with this He that is within us—this Father within—this Christ that Paul called it or Father within that Jesus called it. Because now I must say this to you: Within each one of us here, and this is true about every individual on the face of the globe. This is true of every saint and of every sinner. This is true of every person sick or well, The kingdom of God is within you. Now I don’t care who you are or what your color may be or what your religion or lack of religion. I don’t care if you are Christian or atheist, Mohammedan or whatnot, The kingdom of God is within you. I don’t care if you are the purest human on earth or if you are the most vicious criminal on earth, the kingdom of God is within you.
But mark this: Whether you are good or bad that kingdom of God is of no avail to you until you have made contact with it, until you have had the actual touch of it, realization of it. It is as if it weren’t there at all. It just doesn’t function. You can have all kinds of trouble in your life. You can have trouble with health, with wealth or lack of it. You can have trouble with morals; you can have trouble with safety or security.
You can have any kind of trouble there is in this world and all of the time the kingdom of God is within you. People are dying right and left with the kingdom of God within them that would prevent it. People are going to jail for crimes that they would not have to commit if only they knew that the kingdom of God was available to them.
And you see the story is that the kingdom of God is there, but it is of no help to mankind until mankind first of all knows this, secondly, makes the desperate…often times it is a desperate attempt, a difficult one to achieve contact with it, the realization of it. Then from that moment of realization one’s life begins to change, because now you will find it is literally true He performeth that which is given me to do. He doesn’t do it for the human race until the human race, by inner contact, brings It into life.
That is why the Master said, “Awake thou that sleepest, awake thou that sleepest, Christ will give thee light.” Not while you are sleeping, only when you have awakened, and he also said, “Do you have eyes and do not see? Do you have ears and do not hear?” Oh yes, we have eyes and we have ears. “Yes, but you are not hearing my message. You are not hearing the spiritual import of the word. You are seeing the healings, but you’re not seeing what makes the healings. You’re seeing the feedings, but you’re not catching the principle of the feedings.
Now get those inner ears opened; get those inner eyes opened so that you can behold the spiritual realities of life, then you will find why Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ,” or why the Master could say, “The Father within me doeth the works.” Why it has been said, “Cannot God set a table in the wilderness? What cannot God do?”
Ah, but you say, “Can He? We haven’t witnessed much of it in this 20th century.” Ah, I have. I know a lot of people who have. The world hasn’t. The world hasn’t made its contact with the Father within, and it hasn’t got a Father within. The world hasn’t got a God. The world isn’t praying to God. The world is praying to some concept of God.
And to show you how literally, truthfully I’m speaking to you: A year ago when all the religions of the world, that is all the Protestant religions of the world, met at Evanston, Illinois, the opening speaker said that it is our hope that during this conference some of these matters will be straightened out and a better understanding realized so there will not be so many differences in these Protestant teachings, and the last man who closed the meeting said, “We regret to say that there are more differences now than when we met.”
Now, would that be if there were just one God? No, because if there were one God you’d say, “Well, that’s the end of it.” If there is only one God, there is only one God. Now how can we have any differences after that? Whether you get down on your knees to contact It, or whether you sit up straight in a chair, or whether you lie down in bed, or whether you sit in the lotus position cross legged, tell me, what difference it makes as long as you make contact with the Father within in a way that is comfortable to you. Tell me, would we have any differences if we acknowledged one God because I may like to call that God my soul? You might like to say Mind and another one may like to say, “Oh, I see it as a Principle.” Well now, tell me why should we quarrel over a name when what we are talking about is the same God? It would be just as foolish to quarrel over whether I am Joel or I am Solomon or I am Goldsmith. Now those are only three names, but those three names are all my names, so I would be the same person under any one of those that you choose to like. So it is with God. If you realize that there is only one God, and that that God is in the midst of you, what difference whether you call that God: God, Mind, Life, Soul, Tao, Brahman? It makes no difference. As long as you are sure you are speaking of the one, infinite, invisible God that is in the midst of you. From then on we can have no quarrels. Do you see that?
Last month, the conference of the Episcopal Church was held in Hawaii, the whole Episcopal Church of North America. All the newspapers agreed that it was the most revolting spectacle that has ever been witnessed in Hawaii. The whole week was given over to quarreling, fighting, and raising money. One speaker got up and said, “The world has two enemies: Roman Catholicism and alcoholism.” Nice thing to link together a major religion and alcoholism. And another speaker got up and said, “What are people coming to? We need fifty million dollars and they are not producing it for us.” They are not producing it. What are we producing for them, quarrels over what is God or whether we should be baptized or half baptized. Do you see that?
Now, the world then hasn’t a God, because if the world had a God it would have nothing to quarrel about. The very moment we in this room can agree on God, and more especially, God in the midst of you, the kingdom of God is within you, the Father within me, the moment we can agree on that there is no possibility of us quarreling because the rest doesn’t matter. It isn’t important after that whether you wear a crucifix or a star or a hammer and sickle if you so like. It makes no difference what you wear. What counts is what your reliance is; where it is.
Now, what difference does it really make in the world whether you go into your church and wear a hat as the Hebrews do, or take your hat off as the Christians do, or take your shoes off as the Japanese do? In each case it’s a mark of respect. The Hebrew going into his synagogue keeps his hat on as a mark of respect to his God because that’s the way he was taught. The Christian takes the hat off as a mark of respect because that’s his way. Ah, but the Catholic woman has to keep her hat on as a mark of respect, and the Japanese must remove their shoes as a mark of respect. Now, will you tell me, could we quarrel about those things when at the bottom of our heart we know that each one means what ever he is doing as a mark of respect? Do you see that?