In all man’s concepts of God he never fails to see Him as the Supreme Good. He constantly reaches out and strives for the good, and knows that if he were God he would be first, last, and always wholly Good. When man describes his concept of Good, he says it is love, life, intelligence, justice, harmony, freedom—a combination of qualities that go to make up his ideal of an existence that will give him the greatest happiness, the greatest good. A careful analysis of these qualities will show them to be spiritual. Love does not occupy space nor can it be described in dimensions, hence it must in essence be a spiritual quality, and if spiritual it must blend with and be identical with God. John says, "God is Love."
If you are in heart sending out a feeling of love to all creatures you have touched the mind of God, and are thinking His universal thoughts. You may not be a professed worshiper of God, nor know Him as pictured in the Apostles’ Creed, yet if you love truly, unselfishly, and have no narrow range in the object upon which you center that love, you have found God. If you are manifesting life, you are in touch with God, for God is life, and the source of all. If you are manifesting intelligence, you are putting forth the thought’s mind, and there is but One Mind universal, and you cannot get outside of it. If you are free in your mental action, and not bound by beliefs of time, space, form, matter, or personality, you are touching the inner consciousness of God—Mind. You are then free indeed, and the God-Mind has become to you a great sea of light that flashes before you every moment some new and more beautiful ideal.
We must get rid of the idea that God punishes man in any way, or that He has made saints of some and withheld His grace from others, or that He will accede to our wishes, and change laws in order to accommodate us, or that we are unjustly used because our poverty or sickness has not been removed after much beseeching. The whole order of our thinking must in this respect be reversed. God is more willing to give than we are to receive, and has actually placed every desire right at our hand, waiting for us to get into the proper mental attitude to have them fulfilled, for God is not matter, nor do His gifts consist of things made; God is Spirit, and they who receive His gifts do so in spirit, and through the spiritual wisdom and understanding which is poured into the consciousness they create through mental action the fulfillment.
The Father—Principle and man—its manifest side—are so closely related and the connection between them is so intimate, that they cannot be treated intelligently as distinct things. You cannot describe a mathematical problem or imagine it separate from the principle of mathematics. Man is just as intimately associated with the Father-Principle as is the problem with its principle. Where the problem is there also must be the principle, for from the principle must originate all that appears in the problem. If the problem has departed from the relations inherent in the principle, just to the extent of that departure has removed itself beyond the active support of the principle. So man draws his every quality from the Father-Principle, whose parallel of accuracy is goodness, harmony, and satisfaction in all with which it has to do. Now, if man is not getting harmony and satisfaction in his life problem, it is evidence that he is not in proper touch with the Father-Principle. Through his inherent quality of freedom he has in consciousness strayed away from exact expression of principle. If any of you are in this mental state, you are not therefore under condemnation of the Father. You are simply exercising inherent qualities of freedom, and doing just what is your privilege to do. Neither is the Father to blame for your condition. You are children of the King, and have all the rights of a Sovereign. One inalienable right is the freedom to do as you wish. The Father is free, and you could not be in His image and likeness without having a like quality. This is strikingly illustrated in the parable of the Prodigal Son. You took your share of the Father’s estate-life, love, intelligence, freedom—and went in consciousness to a far country. You separated yourself from an intimate spiritual association with the Father, and thereby lost His wisdom in your affairs.
If you are in the far country eating husks, and are ready to return, the Father’s house is always open to you. You do not have to travel to find that house. It is the centre of your consciousness, and is made manifest to you by mental processes alone. "No man hath seen God at any time, and "He who hath seen Me hath seen the Father," are apparent paradoxes, but both true. One looks out upon the external visibility, and says, "Where’s your God? I have never seen Him," and the natural scientist delves more deeply into the study of flora and fauna, acknowledges the great design and intelligence there manifested, and says he fails to discover anything beyond natural law. But when the inner perception sees the Absolute Good expressed, it says, "Thou art the Christ," etc. Thus it is always: they who study the without are always searching for God, but never find Him. Those who look within sense his loving presence and exclaim, "My Lord and my God!" Yet a gulf always exists between these two mental attitudes, because one looks to cause and the other to effect. God is Cause, is Spirit, and can never be known by a study of the things which appear. They are but the formulations of man’s ideas of himself and God.
We find that all creation is according to one simple law—thinking. You are the lawmaker. God simply furnishes the material. "But," exclaims the neophyte, "Do you mean to say that I can extricate myself from the myriad claims that bind me physically, mentally and socially, by the mere holding of certain thoughts?" That is just what we claim and are demonstrating. If the law is based in principle it will demonstrate, and we are so bold as to put it to the test right here and now.
Many people think that they will be extricated from their undesirable conditions by a change of environment. Some look forward to it in this earth-life through the acquirement of money or health, while many put it off until after so-called death. But few are bold enough to make a start at this day, at this hour, at this moment, and unravel the tangled ends of life. Yet we know that if the fact is accepted that we are free agents, and that our own acts produce these results, it must follow logically that only through our own volition, begun at any time, and under any circumstances, can we bring about the change. This is why we advocate an immediate beginning of thought discipline. We do not favor eloquent sermons or flowery language if they in anyway detract the attention of the individual from the work that he is to do from day to day in training his mental currents into the right channels. If another tells me about a certain desirable place, be his description never so beautiful, it will not be of permanent value unless he also tells me how to get there myself.
We teach a doctrine of practical everyday value to everyone who follows its instructions. This doctrine shows you that you are your own minister, lawyer, and doctor, and that you have within yourself the storehouse from which you can supply every need. It is the ministry proclaimed in its original simplicity by Jesus Christ. It asks you to return again to the estate of simplicity in which you are as a little child believing implicitly what the Father tells you from the innermost recesses of your own being.
We have found this a good doctrine. It has opened to us a new world, and we see how through it shall be brought about the fulfillment of that promise: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away."
Life finds its noblest spring of excellence in this hidden impulse to do our best.