Now, you have to learn the nature of God. And you will find in practically every book a chapter with the title of God or soul or spirit or one of the synonyms for God. And I would like to ask you to read the books this coming year in a different way than you have before. I would like you to take, in each book that you have or can get, the chapter heading God or spirit or soul, deity, whichever way it’s written and just study that chapter God in each one of the books and leave all the rest of the book alone. Just take that one chapter in each book that is on the subject of God.
When you have gone through that carefully, take the word Christ. I don’t mean in this order because you can take them in any order you like, but take the word Christ. Take up every book that has a chapter heading Christ in it and study the subject of Christ in every book. Then take the chapter Prayer in every book. Then take the chapter Meditation, Communion, Treatment, Oneness. Do you see that? Make a list in every book of where you’ve got four, five or six chapters with the same heading, or similar, and just study those until you can say “Ah ha! I’m catching an idea of the nature of God.”
You’ll find a chapter in many of the books called The Nature of Error. Stay with that chapter until you can say “I’m commencing to glimpse the nature of error,” or “I’m commencing to glimpse prayer in a new light, or meditation in a new light or communion in a new light.” And so on. Then you can say “Ah ha! I have the correct letter of truth. Now that I’ve got it, this must be developing the very spirit or consciousness of truth.” And then occasionally one sentence will stand out almost in electric lights and that is illumination. That is realization. And that is spiritual consciousness attained.
Now, I go back. First you must see the nature of God. When you understand the nature of God you will know that the nature of God is such that you don’t have to be a beggar. Don’t beg God for anything, don’t ask God for anything, don’t demand anything of God. There is no such God. God actually is love. God actually is eternally in expression. God can’t be anymore tomorrow than God is now. So when you understand that God is not a giving God and God is not a withholding God, you’ll be content not to bother God with your problems. Just leave God where God is – your own consciousness.
And second, the nature of prayer. What is it that makes contact with God so that, that which God is already pouring forth may become visible, evident and tangible in your experience. So we have the nature of God, we have the nature of prayer. I say these things to you in minutes and I expect that you will spend months coming to the same conclusion.
The nature of prayer, in its first stages, is receptivity. In other words, not going to God with a preconceived idea of what you want. But going to God with the sense of “Here I am, You let me know. You tell me. You instruct me.” Now that’s the first step in the nature of prayer, never to go to God to tell it anything, to ask anything of it, to demand anything of it.
There is one exception to that, and this has no relationship to God. It just has a relationship to our own humanness. It is perfectly all right when we first go to God, to say “Oh God, give me light. Oh God, open my consciousness. Oh God, be with me.” It really isn’t an appeal to God at all. It isn’t going to get us anywhere if we think it is. It’s really an appeal to ourselves to become more receptive to God. But it is all right to address God in that way. Somewhere in one of the writings it says it’s all right to ask God for anything you want, as long as what you want is spiritual. So it is all right to say “God, reveal Thyself to me.” Or “Speak Lord, Thy servant heareth.” Or “I will listen for Thy voice.” Or “Here I am, Lord. Fill me, fill me, fill me with Thyself.”
It isn’t that God’s going to listen to us, it’s that we ourselves are making ourselves so humble that we’re emptying ourselves out that God can fill us. The more we can say “I can of my own self do nothing,” the more we can say “Oh Lord, fill us, fill us, fill us; be with me; open me; instruct me” the more we are saying, “I, of my own self am nothing.” And in that sense of humility the inflow comes.