You know, there are lots of people with a tremendous faith in the Bible; that the Bible can do it, and what they must be going through now when they hear the thousands and thousands of statements in the Bible will have to be taken out because they were incorrect. It must be an awful shock to them if they survive it, because it isn’t the book. The kingdom of God is neither lo here nor lo there, it’s within you, and sooner or later you must come face to face with it in your own inner meditation.
And be sure of this: that it will not take too long if you can go in there wholly pure, no ulterior motives, no outside desires, just to know Him aright, to commune with that inner Spirit—not to use it as a power for someone or over someone; not to gain an advantage through it—to know it aright. And then, when you have the experience you discover that it really takes in the universe of men and women. There is no longer a barrier, and there is no longer a capacity to be other than brother and sister, mother and father, son and daughter, to each other. When it says, we are all one in Christ Jesus. All it means is that we are all one in this spiritual relationship, of one spiritual household.
The Spirit exists as a transcendental presence and power, and it exists within the consciousness of individual man. Its function is to reveal … yes, first of all, reveal the oneness of all men, regardless of what island or continent they were born on or what flag they were born under or what particular color was given to them. The first thing this reveals is oneness: one life, one spirit, one soul, one being, one interest. Another function: it establishes … in the revelation of this oneness, it establishes peace, because it has eliminated the reason for discord.
Now, here’s a mystery. Our five physical senses, without this spiritual endowment, sees the strangest kind of pictures. It sees materialistically and this means divisively. It sees more and less. It sees mine and thine. It sees good and evil. And yet, the same physical senses, once consciousness has been touched by that spiritual communion, those same eyes see only and hear only and taste, touch, and smell only lovingly—in other words in oneness, in union, in being. The touch of the Spirit takes from us the materialistic view.
Well now, let us see what that materialistic view does to us. You have been reading lately about the twenty percent of the population in the United States that is poverty stricken. Probably there is no way for you to conceive in your mind, how that can be. Because you know that every warehouse from Maine to California is so filled and laden with food and cotton and all of the rest of things needful for society that it could supply not only that one fifth, but that it could supply five fifths. And that it has been paid for mostly by the government, so that it would take nothing from anyone’s pocket to share it with that twenty percent of the people.
But material sense says, “Oh no, we can’t do that because, you see, that would compete with the man on the corner who has it for sale. We can’t interfere with his business,” so we must let this twenty percent starve and freeze, because that would take from the profits of our neighbor if we were to give that away. But in this materialistic view, do you think that it enters anyone’s thought that this twenty percent are poverty stricken because they haven’t any incentive to live or to work. They are experiencing man’s inhumanity to man.
They know what is in the warehouse. They know what’s in storage, and they know why they are not getting it, and therefore, their reaction must naturally be: Why? Why? With four-fifths of a nation as cruel as this, why should I even make the effort to survive or to benefit anyone else? Whereas, giving them their needs from this surplus would, at the same time, give them an incentive to live, an incentive to love their neighbor, instead of hating their fellow citizens.
Do you see that the moment the Spirit touches you, you have to share. You couldn’t possibly pass a poverty stricken family, regardless of what it was going to cost you, nor would you stop to say: “Oh, but that will take business from the corner grocer.” He isn’t going to get that business anyhow. It changes the nature. So the function of the Spirit is to change the nature of the individual so that he thinks, sees, hears, tastes, touches, and smells spiritually. The Spirit doesn’t destroy a human being. It doesn’t annihilate human love. It endows it with spiritual capacity, so that we soon discover what it means that to lay down one’s life for a friend is something noble, not taking the life of another to save our own.