(Reading a question) “What is our state of being when we pass from this world?” One thing is certain; that those who are not on the spiritual path are not going to be put there just by the act of dying. It is very safe to assume that they will be in the same state of consciousness when they awaken as they were when they left here. But, and this I know not from assumption but from experience; those who are on the spiritual path, regardless of how small a progress they may seem to have made, are instantly, by the very virtue of passing, lifted into a higher atmosphere than they had experienced here on Earth. In other words, the very act of passing is a release from a great deal of this material sense of existence, if we’re on the spiritual path. And of course, that doesn’t mean jumping out of windows to attain it. Because that’s an increase of material sense. But the very act of passing, even when it’s accomplished through disease or accident, seems to release those that are on the spiritual path from much of the material sense of existence, and they instantly enter a higher consciousness.
Now, the ultimate is that everyone of us eventually attains complete Christ realization. Now, how many days, weeks, months, or eons; or how many times we have to return to the human sense of existence? That, perhaps knoweth no man. One thing is certain; you did not choose to enter the spiritual path. You have no such power as a human being, because the only thing that the spiritual path can assure you is that its going to destroy in you all the good things that you humanly expected to get from it. In other words, the spiritual life does not enhance our material good. It opens a world of spiritual good. That is why people who believe that they can increase their physical health, or physical wealth, through spiritual means, have lots of lessons coming to them. They will increase their physical health, and their so called financial wealth, only in proportion as they drop those as aims, and accept as their aim the desire for God realization. In the desire for God realization, it is true that all of these things are added unto us. But the goal of spiritual life really isn’t just a perfect physical life or a perfect financial life. That’s not the goal of spiritual life.
The goal of spiritual life is awakening in His image and likeness, and realizing our spiritual identity as Christ, as sons of God. That’s the goal of spiritual living.
It does so happen that every incident of our human life does appear to improve physically, mentally, morally and financially; it improves. But that isn’t the goal. That just happens to be an added thing, when our desire is not in that direction. When our desire is for God realization, for God attainment, for Christ-realization, then it is that the Father opens to us a realm that is beyond what any human being can know, or understand.
You can not know what things God has laid up for those that love God. It is impossible for the human mind to grasp what is meant by “Christ consciousness”; spiritual consciousness; a spiritual realm; a spiritual universe; spiritual good. Only as we give up trying to be better humans, or healthier humans, or wealthier humans, and turn our entire attention into the realization of our Christhood, will we then find ourselves so free of human entanglements, that all of the human good is automatically found added unto us. Like the prisoners in prison who believe that by trying to pray to get out of prison they’ll get out. They’re wrong. They’ll stay in. And probably be bound with deeper chains. Whereas, those in prison who will pray for God realization, for the realization of spiritual freedom, automatically they’ll find that the chains break right off of the windows and doors, and they walk outside free. I witnessed an actual experience of that in a case of a man who was about to be tried for murder, and who was guilty of murder. And in his prison experience, he had found truth. And he had found it to quite a degree. And he said to me one day; “Isn’t it too bad that just when I’m about to die, I have found this thing.” And my answer; “No, if you really found it you’re not about to die. Because if you really found it, you have found life eternal. That’s what the Master said; ‘If you find me, you find life eternal.’
The question is whether you have really found it, or are just putting on an act. And there is no use putting on an act, because I can’t get you out of this prison. But you can get yourself out, if you have really attained this awareness. Well it turned out, after a little questioning, that he really hadn’t quite attained what he thought he had. Because I asked him, that if he did get out and found himself broke outside, and a man passed by with a 20 dollar bill sticking out of his pocket, what would you do about it? And he says; “I’d grab it.” (laughter) Because you know, 20 dollars is very precious when you’re broke. And yes, I quite realized that; well I don’t think you have quite attained. But it was only a few weeks later when he came to me and showed that he’d had a physical healing through his own realization. And he said; “Ah, I really, I’ve got it now.” I said; “You have?” He said; “Well yes, that fellah can have his 20 dollar bill and I would like to add 20 dollars to it.” He said; “Any God that can get me out of here isn’t going to worry about my having 20 dollars.” “Well,” I said, “that sounds much closer to it.” And what actually happened, was that as the day of the trial drew near the district attorney sent to him, and said; “I can’t send you over. I just can’t do it to you. Something’s happened to you in this prison, and I’ve got to see that you get another chance. And he was given another chance. The board let him go free. They let him go free. He never was tried.
Now, his desire for freedom didn’t do it. It was when he caught the realization of what the Christ is and can do, that he found his freedom. And so it is, men of old, our Hebrew friends of old, who were in prison and prayed, weren’t praying to get out of prison. They were praying hymns of praise to God. And in their hymns of praise to God, they found their freedom. So with us, with our health. We don’t get our health or our supply by wanting it, but by releasing ourselves from the fear of lack and the fear of disease, and turning whole heartedly to the realization; there’s no power in effect. There’s neither good nor evil in effect. All good is in God, and I have to attain that awareness of God’s presence and God’s power, and my life is dedicated to that. And in proportion as I attain it, in that proportion do I find myself free of the limiting sense of human existence.
Well, you see that with your background of this spiritual reading and hearing, that you have been prepared for what you receive today. Now, there are undoubtedly some here who could not be benefited by what they heard here today, I mean consciously benefited, they may have some indirect benefit, but they could not be benefited in the sense of understanding it or grasping it. And that is because you can not grasp the things of God through your mind, until your mind has been in a measure spiritually prepared first. The Master brought that to life when he told us of the three types of soil; the rocky soil, the barren soil, and the fertile soil. And of course, in the rocky nothing is going to grow. And in the barren soil, or visa versa, it might take on and grow a little, but then it will quickly die out. But in the fertile soil; that’s where the crop grows. So with us. It is the years that you give to reading a spiritual message, the devotion that you give to the practice of a spiritual message, that fits you to receive the final word of God Itself; the word that takes root and becomes flesh. It is the years of devotion. It is the years of, you might really say toil, sweat, mud, tears. It all comes in. It all has its place, because it is a continuous wrenching away from our old material standpoints, the standards, the things that we thought were good demonstrations. You know; if we had an abundance of supply we were demonstrating; if we had an abundance of health, oh we were demonstrating; and if we had a Cadillac, that was even a better demonstration. But, you know now that you may be making your bed in hell, physically, mentally, morally or financially, and really be on the way to a better demonstration than the person who is this minute showing forth perfect health and perfect supply. There is a material sense of health, and a material sense of supply, which may be abundant today but which may not last. You see that all around you. As you see the vitality of youth, and then watch them thirty years later and see how much of it is missing. It’s because there was a physical sense of it, and now there’s a physical sense of its absence. Whereas, we’re told that those who catch the spiritual glimpse will mount up as the eagles. It makes no difference what their age is; they bounce right up into vitality, and strength, and joy, and abundance, and all good things, through the spirit.
Now, be not concerned with what your demonstration appears to be at any given moment of your life. Don’t be concerned with whether you seem to be making a good demonstration or not such a good demonstration as your neighbor is making. That doesn’t concern you. Be concerned with what devotion you are turning to the assimilation of a spiritual principle, and the demonstration in its time will take care of itself. I have told some of our students of the incident when I was a first reader in a Christian Science church. And about five minutes of eleven in the morning, just before I was going on the platform, I developed one of the — it all happened in a couple of minutes — one of these terrible colds that was very evident in the eyes and nose and mouth, and I had to walk on the platform with two handkerchiefs up here. And I saw quite a lot of disapproval, that a First Reader should walk on a platform holding himself this way, giving evidences of so much error, which we’re not supposed to have. (laughter) But for fifty minutes, I stood on that platform reading that lesson, and mopping all of the time. But in the fiftieth minute, it went just as it had come. Out of nowhere, it disappeared and the handkerchiefs went back in my pocket, and I spoke normally, and I appeared normally. And then you oughta see the rejoicing afterwards. “Oh, why you’ve proven Christian Science.” “Well,” I said, “of course. I was just one sick man with a cold up there, and you were about 250 Christian Scientists down here giving me treatments.
Don’t you think I oughta be well?” Don’t be ashamed of being sick today, or poor today, or sinful today, if that’s what you happen to be. Remember, it isn’t your fault. It’s the universal belief that brought you wherever you are at this particular moment. But take advantage of the spiritual principles, and spiritual teachings, and spiritual books, and spiritual practitioners and teachers, and let them help you out of it, and into wherever it is that you dream to be. And in the same way, if you happen to hear by chance that I make a mistake, don’t condemn me too harshly but give me a good treatment. Because, I’d like to be lifted above all of those calls, even the deeper ones, just as well as you would, and I appreciate as much as you do every time that you disregard my human appearance and behold the spiritual nature of that which is operating in me. And I do the same for you. I don’t hold you in bondage to appearances of any moment. I don’t hold you in bondage to your sins, or your diseases, your lacks or your limitations. But I’m striving to see through that, to the spiritual reality which is your true being. The only time I do get mad at you, and I do get mad sometimes, is when with all the persistence with which I say these things to you, you refuse to accept them and expect me to mull this over to your liking. And that I can’t do. And so, I know occasionally some of you get a little mad at me. But, I can’t help it. I’m sticking with my 2 x 2 is 4.
Well, there we are. And now we’ve had it. And I, for one, am very very happy with today. And I hope I leave you in the same spirit.