Now our great Hindu mystics rarely refer to God as Father. Always, it’s God as Mother. To the Hindu, God is Mother—Mother Kali sometimes or Divine Mother. They mean the same thing that Jesus meant when he said Father. He meant that infinite, divine Love which comes from whatever we conceive parenthood to be. We all idealize parenthood. Jesus did and the mystics did.
Now, when the Quakers came along, Fox, he combined the two, and he said Father-Mother God, because he wanted to give the complete aspect of the occidental and the oriental concepts of God and make it a complete whole and show both the strength of the fatherhood of God and the gentleness of the motherhood of God. Well, Bow, New Hampshire is only eight miles from the home of Mary Baker Eddy, and there is one of the largest Quaker settlements in America during her day, and that’s where she was brought up, and that’s where she learned of the Father-Mother God, and that’s where, in Christian Science, Father-Mother God comes from.
Now, why, if we can still look upon ourselves as children, especially children of God, can we not turn to that divine Father and say, “Oh, forgive me my slips of yesterday, and let me start all over today.” or “Give us this day our daily bread”? Isn’t that what I do before I come to a lecture or class: go into meditation and wait for the word to come, the message, which is wine of inspiration, and water of life, bread of life, meat of life? Oh, perhaps I don’t have to use the words and say, “Give me the bread for tonight.” But I’m implying it just by being silent and waiting for it to come. Do you see?
So whether we voice it or do not voice it, we are all praying this prayer the moment we turn back in ourselves to God and expect something, because what we are expecting is bread, meat, wine, and water—spiritually seen. And so it is, “Lead us not into temptation.” and that isn’t only the temptation that the world thinks of, but is the temptation, which is the main temptation, to believe in a selfhood apart from God—to see ourselves or others as something separate from God’s grace. Do you see?
Now do you see that we can take this prayer of the Master, interpreted spiritually, and see how true it is, and yet see how we do not pray the Lord’s Prayer the way it is prayed in church, because we don’t pray, really, for bread, and we don’t pray for supply, and we don’t pray to be saved from what the world calls sins it’s our own, and so forth.
Now these others apply to prayer or treatment in an individual way, so we will take these up just a little bit later so that we can cover this broader subject of prayer. We had given to us last night the message that in The Infinite Way there are two parts to it: the letter of truth and the spirit of truth, consciousness of truth. We acknowledge that the letter of truth is not a power. You can memorize all the books and not heal a headache. As a matter of fact, I did say to a class in San Francisco early in this work that the chapter “New Horizon” in The Infinite Way was the most important chapter in all the writings, more especially for practitioners. So when the class was over, a lady came to me and told me that she went home and stayed up all night that night memorizing it and she has been reciting it verbatim every day since, but she hasn’t had a healing.
Now that is exactly what I mean that the letter in and of itself isn’t power. It isn’t healing. If instead of memorizing it, if she had taken sentence by sentence and said, “God what is the meaning of that sentence? What lies behind those cold, black words there? What were you trying to tell Joel when you gave him this chapter?” or “What did he perceive when he saw its importance?” then you see something would have happened in her consciousness, but she was trying to take cold, black print, put it in her head and it was an effect to begin with, and she was going to make a cause out of it and a healing agency.
Now, if she had succeeded, it would only have been another pill in another form. If she had had a healing, it would have been nothing more than a mental pill. Do you see that? Because it wouldn’t have been God she was depending on, it would have been that chapter memorized—a mental process in her head, so we’ll call it a mental sort of a pill.
Now, the letter is necessary because studying it that way, getting behind the meaning of these words as we did with the Lord’s Prayer just now that, you see, leads us to the consciousness of it so that now anyone of us could tear up all our copies of the Lord’s Prayer, and yet we would each of us be praying the Lord’s Prayer every day, and we may not even think of one sentence in it, but because now we have the inner meaning in our soul, and so now we can pray without the use of words or thoughts or made up sentences.
So it is, when you understand the book Metaphysical Notes and really understand that “My conscious oneness with God constitutes my oneness with all spiritual being and idea,” then you will begin to perceive the nature of prayer and why it is that prayer has nothing to do with what we want, it has to do with attaining conscious oneness with God. I had an experience today. I visited the publisher of our Dutch translation of The Infinite Way, and I had a most, most beautiful hour there with him and his wife, and I learned something that I didn’t know before, which is a proof of what we are saying here tonight. He told me how it is that he came to publish it. He was reading the “Science of Thought Review” and he saw something about it in there by Mr. Hamblin, and he thought, “It sounds interesting. I’ll send for the book.” And he sent for the book, and the book so impressed him that he decided he must have it translated and publish it.
Now, do you see that conscious oneness with God brought forth the book? That same conscious oneness with God lifted up Mr. Hamblin to recognize it and talk about it; that same conscious oneness with God operated here in Holland with a man sitting at a desk who didn’t know me, didn’t know the book, didn’t know the message, yet it did something to him and to the man in Germany, and to the man in the publisher’s office in London. Do you see what I’m getting at now that a human being had nothing to do except be consciously one with God. That conscious oneness with God operated in Chitchester, London, Holland, Switzerland, Kentucky where the Braille addition is printed, all without human intervention. See that?
Now, so it is at every step of the way of The Infinite Way. My function is to maintain my conscious union with God. Now I realize that I’ve done it a thousand times, but I also realize that if I don’t keep at it that the pressure of the world might set up a break in there. Do you see? And so, every day many times a day I meditate. I get back into my silence. I take some passage of scripture. It could be this Lord’s Prayer. It could be anything from scripture or anything from good metaphysical writing and go in there with it and contemplate it, think about its inner meaning. What did the man Jesus mean when he said this and this? What did Isaiah vision when he wrote this and this? What must have been in Moses’ mind when he said this or did this? Do you see that? Then you’ll get back not to their words, but the meaning of the words, the substance of the words, and then pondering those things all of a sudden you’ll stop thinking and a quiet, a peace will come to you. When you are in that quiet or peace, that’s your oneness with God. Just the ability to be peaceful and quiet and serene, well, the word of God has a way of letting you know it’s there.
Now, as long as you attain that, you are praying. And if you attain it several times you are praying without ceasing because if you can attain it in the morning, it will stay with you till noon. Do it again at noon. Do it again at night. If you wake up in the middle of the night do it again. Keep the continuity of your oneness with God, and then you’ll find that if there is something that could prove to be a blessing to you out in Asia or Africa or South America, be assured that by tomorrow morning it will be on its way to you, be it person or thing or condition. Do you see? You have nothing to do with it. God in some way will raise up seed to bring it about. All you have to do is maintain that conscious union with God.