When Jesus said that there is another kind of treasure that may be laid up in heaven, he did not mean at some future time, for some future happiness, but that we are storing away knowledge which will be of use in our daily life. When I say knowledge I mean the real knowledge of life. Much that we term knowledge is not that in the fullest sense. The kind Jesus refers to is that which we can use here and now — not in some future state of existence. There is a knowledge that we can take with us, there is a treasure that we can lay up for ourselves in the present: and that is the real knowledge of the One Power, the One Force of Life, and the way to use our powers for the good of all people.
The development of knowledge simply to be used in the accumulation of wealth in this world, is not enough of itself. We do not bring riches into the world with us at birth, neither do we take them away with us when we go hence. The knowledge that relates itself to wealth is of very little advantage in comparison with the highest treasures of life. They are just as open for one as for another for the promise is that those who seek shall find, and to those who knock the door shall be opened. And so the promise is for all. It is not for any one individual, but for every individual seeking after the highest treasures. Then, lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moths destroy nor rust corrupts, where thieves cannot break through and steal. AH these are possibilities with the higher knowledge of life. No one can take from you that which comes to you in this way; because it is your own, and will ever remain your own. No one can take this knowledge from you, no one can give it to you. There is but one Source. We must come into that Source, and from that Source derive the true knowledge of life.
Many of us go through this world without paying much attention to the treasures of life. But it is a grand and beautiful thought that no matter whether we do or do not attend to these treasures, there is a certain evolution going on in life even though we may not recognize it. It is going on, nevertheless, and if we work with it in a conscious way we shall obtain wonderful results; or if we pay no attention we get less results. We are all going from the lower stage to the higher one. Everything is tending from the lower to the higher. If we know this to be true and if we seek to understand the law and conform to it, then we see grand results and it is much better to be sure of your treasures in your own life than to hide them away.
The treasures of life come to us through all the varied experiences of life. When we do not choose the higher way (that is, to understand and obey the law), there is another way to prove to us that we are wrong; that is, when we are brought into contact with one thing and then another until at last we see why all the troubles, sorrows, and disasters come. They come to perfect our lives, and it is just such a case as this that Paul had in mind when he said to his apostles that if a man should build on straw or stubble his work would be destroyed, but he himself would be saved as by fire.
The fire enters into the life to purify it, to make it whole. Fire, then, is the symbol of that which is to purify, to make pure—not to destroy anything. That is really the last thing meant, but rather to point out the principles to make the life pure. We must understand that there are many things in life by which we must be purified, and that the truth lives on eternally.
At different times we consider that certain things are necessary, but they are not necessary; and so, in this life, there are many things that are necessary at one stage that are not necessary at another. Little by little we put away old things, and little by little we take on new things, and thus the soul becomes purified.
There is the earthy man and the heavenly man, and the earthy man is not in any sense to be considered as eternal. He is one stage in the development of this heavenly and eternal man.
The time will come when the earthy man is laid aside, and he may be laid aside, and we shall continue to live with the body, which will then be only an expression of that which is not corruptible. But there is a force back of man that forms the body and that influences the mind. The Master, knowing this, said that some should realize the Kingdom of God before death should come to them. The kingdom then that we want we should realize while we yet continue in the body. Many people think that only as the body is discarded can the spiritual shine out but this was not true in Jesus — that the spiritual was ever in the ascendency and he lived in the body. It is not necessary that the body should be discarded. When the great change comes in the mind then we begin to be spiritually pure. When the mind is wholly taken up with the world and the things of the world and dwells thereon it cannot be spiritual. The great change must come through the mind recognizing the heavenly condition and when this is done the whole mind becomes changed, so that though it continues to live in the world yet it is not of the world. It is the new birth. It is being born from the material that is, we no longer place our hopes, our desires, in the material. We see that all material is the expression of the Power of God but we learn to discriminate between the material and the Power. We learn to discriminate between the Creator and the thing created. So, we no longer offer allegiance to the material thing, but we offer our allegiance through worship of God in spirit and truth. This then is seeking the Kingdom to which Jesus referred. This is the laying up of treasures. It is the laying up of things that cannot be taken from one. This is why Paul said that while all such things as we call knowledge shall pass away, that faith and love shall remain eternal in the life.
The Master also said that although heaven and earth would pass away the Word of God would abide forever. Many people take that Word of God as meaning the New and the Old Testaments. That is not what was meant at all. Every soul is the Word of God. The body may pass away, the knowledge may pass away, and the intelligence may pass away but the soul of man, the Word of God, shall live on eternally. This is what the Master meant: the Word of God — that is the likeness, the very soul that came into existence in the image and likeness of its Creator — this shall endure forever.
During our growth toward the spiritual development we pass through many planes, from one to another, and we change from one plane to another. At one time we may think that our attention is wholly on the physical, and we think that is all that there is here. Later, we may think that intelligence is the one great thing to be gained. Then, at another time, we may realize that the spiritual within us is the one great thing in life. So, there are many planes of existence in this world, and some people are living on one plane and others on another. Some people are in harmony with and conform to the law of being and they get good results in the present. Other people are not in harmony with their environment and it shows in many ways. We find that each of us, in going through this life, stands first on one plane and then on another and we must look back upon our lives to see where we stood at a certain time. In this way we see the different planes of development right here in the present. It is only as we die to one plane that we become thoroughly alive on another. That is what people do not wholly understand. They think that they are carrying with them things that they have had on one plane in the past up to a higher plane. They cannot carry them from one plane to another, for as they are thoroughly alive on one plane, so they are dead to the plane below. Some people are endeavoring to live on two planes at the same time. This dissipates their attention and their forces, and so, affects their minds and then their bodies. Many people try to make the law conform to their own particular point of view. Now the only true results come from an obedience to the law. It makes no difference what you may have thought of God's Law in the past, it only requires one thing, and that is perfect obedience.
We become tired of living under the old law of sin and death, for there is such a law; but God never gave it to the world. It was made by man himself. So long as people believe in that law and conform to it, they must get results from it, and sin, sickness, and death will come. It is not God's plan concerning man, but man's plan concerning himself. You will ask why I am so certain of this. It is plainly shown in the New Testament that it was a man-made law, and not given by God.
While the law of man is sin, sickness, and death, the Law of God is the Spirit of Love. We may come under the operation of that Law of God. When we do, it works right within our innermost life. This Law is not recorded in any book, but it is within ourselves that we find it. The Kingdom of God is within. To know God is not to know sin, sickness, nor death. To know God is eternal life. In knowing Him we come under the operation of the Perfect Law, the Law that brings us strength, and health, and happiness, the Law that forces us from the law of sin and death. We see that Jesus in his life demonstrated that Law. The study of his life will show us many things that, if we follow, will tend to bring us to the higher law — the Law of the Spirit.
I cannot conceive that Jesus was mistaken in putting forth these treasures of life. If he was willing to give up his body to show to the world these treasures, I cannot see that he made any mistake by it. Therefore, I believe that there is this Law of life that forces from sin and death, and that forces us only in giving up the lower law. So long as people talk of sickness and death, to the exclusion of the spiritual, so long will they go on expressing this lower law. The Law of the spirit of life is very simple, and can be made so plain that a little child can understand it.
I find then that our earthly existence stands between us and the higher way of life, which is the treasure to which Jesus referred — the treasure that no one can take from us.
At another time, in talking to his disciples, Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." He had just referred to the world and the things of the world, and to the Kingdom of Heaven, and he comes to the point by saying, "There is no avoiding a choice. You must choose one or the other."
You ask then. Is the world wrong? Should we pay no attention to the things of the world ? The world is not evil of itself. But when you give the world a place in your mind which rightly belongs to something else, then you make your mistake. When you give power to the created and not to the Creator, there comes in the idolatry, and there is a great deal of idolatry in this world. When you contribute the power to the world and the things of the world, the power is not of heaven. All power is God. There is no other power. I do not think that people know that there is an idolatry about taking different medicines for different diseases; but there is. You are asking something on the lower plane to help you. Why not take the Power that worketh within you? Instead, you are going down to the animal kingdom, to the vegetable kingdom, for help, and sometimes even to the mineral. It is only as you recognize your own God-given powers, these treasures to which Jesus referred, that you can expect health, strength, and happiness. So long as people seek help from medicine they are not free, they are serving two masters, and neither one in the perfect way. With people who believe in the efficacy of medicine it is a different thing, for they believe in the world and the things of the world but when they know, sometime, of the Christ doctrine and continue to live on the old plane of life, then they are making a great mistake, and are committing the sin of idolatry, worshiping the thing created and not the Creator. This is going to the material for help instead of to the spiritual. You cannot serve two masters, God and mammon.
"Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat and the body is more than raiment." The translators left out one word here it is the word anxious. Take no anxious thought. We must take thought in this world. Now, Jesus said that you are going to take thought, leaving out all anxiety. We must all take care, but there is a true way and a false way. The false way is when you let anxiety come in. A great many people say that they cannot help being anxious. We are all confronted by many things, but if you only stop to consider, you will find that the Power that brought order into existence will continue to care for us through all of life. As we put our perfect faith in that Power we will know that everything will work together for our good. I believe that everything works together for the good of everything. I believe that those who trust in God and His Power know that all things are working together for good; so, the taking of anxious thought is not going to advance anything in this world. It is going to retard everything, and soon the anxiety is going to reflect on the body, showing that it is contrary to the Law of God to be anxious about anything.
Why take you thought for raiment? "Consider the lilies of the field how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Consider the lilies of the field how they grow. How do they grow? Do they take any thought concerning the morrow? When the sun is shining they get all the benefit they can from the sun, and when the rain falls they get all the benefit they can from the rain. So, whether it is sunshine or shower, they grow without anxious thought of the morrow.
We are continually looking ahead, wondering how this thing or that thing is going to come out. We make plans, first for one thing and then for another, and we see those plans come to naught. Sometimes they do not come out as we like. Jesus thought this all wrong. He thought it not wise that we should take anxious thought for the morrow, but that we should grow as the lilies, taking what comes to us, whether it be sunshine or rain. And so it is with this higher law of life. If we would only understand it and see that whatever we are doing today, that if we do it with all our heart, it will make it easier to live the morrow right. You cannot tell what the morrow is going to bring forth. Try to live just as much in the present as possible. I believe that people suffer more from the things that never come to pass than from the things that do come to pass. I believe that people suffer more from looking into the future, or into the past, than in any other way. Learn, then, to live in today. Learn to know that there is a Power that cares for you every moment of your life. Trust and live as the lilies — not that we should not work in this world, for Jesus has told us that whatever our hands find to do, to do it with our might. But work without anxiety for the morrow. Get just as much joy out of today as possible and give out just as much joy as it is possible to give, remembering that we only receive as we give.
More from Charles Brodie Patterson
- Canadian New Thought author
- Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917