The same way that if you are a good mother. Wouldn’t you feel foolish if someone told you that you were a good mother? You’d say, “What do you mean? You mean I was just a mother.” That’s right. There never was a good mother. There are just mothers. There are those who perform the functions of motherhood, not because they are good, but because that’s the nature of motherhood. They couldn’t be otherwise.
And so, there are people who hare honest, not because it’s the best policy and not because there is a commandment about it that Moses gave the world, no, they are honest because that’s their nature. They couldn’t be anything else. Why take credit for it? That’s our natural nature as children of God. It isn’t natural as humans because the human lives only to glorify himself and to get whatever he can out of life at no matter whose expense, but that’s not the child of God.
Do you see what I mean, then? Once you begin to perceive that God isn’t giving and God isn’t withholding, God is right here in this room in all Its fullness, and God knows our need before we do, and it’s already here, right here within our own consciousness. Now, if we stayed in this room our need would fulfill itself at every level every day. If we went out into the wilderness, we would find it there. If we went out to sea, we would find it there. Why because we are carrying it with us. “I and the Father are one. Son thou art ever with me and all that I have is thine.” That’s a spiritual truth. That’s not fiction, and it doesn’t refer to a man who lived three thousand years ago. That’s a spiritual principle that all that the Father hath is mine, but not mine, and not yours ,because that wouldn’t be God. If it’s true that all that the Father hath is mine, be assured of this: everything the Father hath is yours.
Now, we in the message of The Infinite Way have discovered how to make this good of God available to ourselves. We have discovered the art, the practice of meditation, and we fulfill it in two ways. The first way we call “practicing the presence.” And that is, that from early morning, from awaking in the morning until sleeping at night, we make it an active part of our consciousness to acknowledge God in all our ways or to keep our minds stayed on God. That means: wake up in the morning and thank God that this is the day the Lord hath made and it must be beautiful. God made it, and maintains it, and God sustains it. And at breakfast time to acknowledge again, not outwardly where man can behold our prayers or thanksgiving but inwardly, silently, secretly, “Thank thee, Father, for this bountiful table for without thee there would be no crops in the ground. Thy spirit hath made it all.” Leaving the house for business for marketing for social engagements, “Thank thee, Father, that thy presence goes with me, for where thy Presence is, there is safety and security and peace and joy forever.”
And so it is, finding, well, at the beginning, probably twenty, thirty opportunities during the day for acknowledging that without the grace of God, I would be nothing and have nothing, but with the grace of God, I am all and have all. As time goes on this multiplies itself until you’ll find that a thousand times a day wouldn’t even be enough to keep up with your constant recognition that “I of my own self am nothing. Only by the grace of God am I healthy, wealthy, wise, safe, secure, at peace.”
We call this “practicing the presence of God,” like Brother Lawrence of centuries ago called it Practicing the Presence living always in the consciousness of God’s presence, thanking God, glorifying God, acknowledging God in all our ways; that’s the first step. And the second step comes after some weeks or months of this practice you then find it possible to sit down quietly, two, three, four, five times a day and meditate, and your meditation now is easy because you have been filling your mind so full of God that now when you sit down to meditate obstreperous thoughts do not come in, or if they do you’ve learned to ignore them and pay no attention to them.
You never try to still your mind. That’s a very dangerous practice. If thoughts want to go around in your mind, even bad ones, let them. They are not your thoughts, you are not guilty, they are world thoughts. We are all antennas for what’s going on in the world, and there are a lot of bad thoughts going through every single one of us; doesn’t belong to me and it doesn’t belong to you. It isn’t your nature and it isn’t mine. I’m ashamed of them when they go through me and I’m sure you’re ashamed of them when they go through you because you know they are not you. You just wonder how they got there. Well, I can tell you. The got there by virtue of this universal world mesmerism that sends us thoughts of doubt of God. It sends us thoughts of animality. It sends us thoughts of carnality.
Paul called it “the carnal mind.” Mrs. Eddy called it “mortal mind.” They mean the same thing. It means the worldly mind of man, that which is “enmity against God.” It’s a universal thing. It isn’t personal. It doesn’t belong to you or me, but you and I suffer from it until the time when we begin to so fill our consciousness with God that gradually only God is there, and these other things never come in again.
Now, in meditation you open yourself to the kingdom of God realizing:
The kingdom of God is within me. God is neither lo here nor lo there, but within me, here where I am. The very place whereon I stand is holy ground for I and my Father are one. God’s grace is where I am. My Father knoweth that I have need of these things and it is His good pleasure to give me the kingdom. Therefore, I need not fear what mortal man can do to me. I need not fear what mortal conditions can do to me, for I have learned that God is the only power there is and that the mind of man isn’t a power; human thought isn’t a power; ignorance isn’t a power; sin isn’t a power; fear isn’t a power. There is only one power; that’s God in the midst of me.
And so, you see you learn to meditate, and you receive God’s grace in your inward parts. You learn, then, that you do not really pray. That’s only a figure of speech. You really never pray. That man was right who said, “I know not how to pray. I know not how to go out or come in. I know not what to pray for. Father, bear witness with my spirit; make intersession within me.” And our real prayers come to successful fruition when we learn that we do not know how to pray and cannot pray, that our prayer is an attitude of receptivity in which we let the word of God enter our soul. He uttered his voice, the earth melted. When you hear the still small Voice within you, you can be assured that it is destroying some of these illusory pictures of human sense.