Part III—The True Kingdom
Now we have seen the importance of the first-place heart desires, and if I have made my meaning clear we should have removed some of those coverings that have long hidden the beauty of the saying,—"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." We should now be ready to look into the face of the child in the manger. Truth always presents herself in this way;—she scorns trappings, and asks only the childlike mind.
What then is the main lesson of our searchings in the kingdom of the heart, and of our exploration of the false kingdoms enthroned there? Simply the old thought that the true kingdom is of the unseen world, and not of the seen; that it is indeed a moral kingdom that we have to bring upon this suffering earth, and not alone a material kingdom. Truly an old thought,—a thought which the Great Teacher spent his short but beautiful life in trying to unfold in the hearts of those he met, knowing full well that it would ripple down through the centuries to our own time. This then, is the kingdom of which these world-saviors have spoken in various ways and tongues. It is a kingdom of righteousness (i.e., a living in harmony with the Law on all planes, physical, moral and spiritual). This kingdom is within you—and not only within the human soul, but enthroned within all living things. Within the heart, if we search deep enough, we shall find the Universal Good. Now it is the unfoldment of this Good in the hearts of men and women, the expression of this Love in mutual service, compassion, sympathy, right thinking and right living, that constitutes the bringing of the kingdom on earth. We have to spread Peace, Joy, and Love, until Strife, Sorrow, and Hatred are lost in one Grand Human Brotherhood. It will not matter that our methods differ, if we hold this as our Ideal and pursue it with all our mind in the highest way we know. Our path lies towards all that makes for a better relationship one with another, a nobler kinship with all men, rich and poor, Gentile and Jew, black and white. It is within that we find the bond that binds us all in one Grand Unity; it is the finding of the right relationship that strengthens the bond.
Long perhaps have we fostered the hope of a material kingdom in some future life. That kingdom, however, it is of the things added to the purified heart. It is already here if we had eyes to see it, minds to encompass it, hearts to respond to its beauty. The enlightened vision is our greatest need. When this vision has dawned more fully on the race we shall live from the inner Love, and all material things will reflect that Holy Joy. If we have caught the true spirit of this kingdom, we shall act in sympathy and compassion towards all; we shall know that broad spirit of charity in which we find it difficult if not impossible to judge for each other. This is the spirit of the kingdom—the spirit that knows a tolerance for all opinions and differences of expression.
How may we find and live in that kingdom within? The greatest aid to finding and living in this kingdom is to know just what constitutes a universal charity, and then to attune our own heart into conscious oneness with it. Doubtless we all know something of this holy bond, wherein we are conscious only of an inexpressible Joy and Peace. Yet we cannot too often remind ourselves of the necessity for this soul-food. This is the spiritual manna; to partake of it is the true Holy Communion. It comes to heal and refresh us when we have completed our little task so far as we know; when the heart has become childlike and trustful. Having fulfilled, to the best of our present powers, the activities of the kingdom, having emptied ourselves, of all mental doubts and fears, this gentle spirit steals over us bringing renewal and health. Almost unconsciously we shall find the outer life becoming simplified, and as a consequence many of our difficulties fading into the past.
If we would live in this kingdom, we need its food just as much as we need physical food for the nourishment of the body. Mind and body only work really healthily when the mind has been refreshed by regular daily reflection. Let us then practice and develop the power of becoming receptive to those gentle, healing forces of the Inner Kingdom.
And what are the things added to the True Kingdom? All those things which, in our present stage of development, we need for bringing this Kingdom of Love into outer expression. This beneficent law works with the same unerring precision as the physical laws controlling night and day, summer and winter. It holds an abundance of good things in store for the simple-hearted. The true health and strength that flow out from the Central Life to meet the demands of the spirit’s activities. The true prosperity, which is the power to use wisely and well all that comes to us in the natural working of this simple law of inner cause and outer effect. Lastly, the real happiness—the spontaneous joy of the heart in harmony with Truth. All these things and all the abundant blessings they include are added to the simple effort to seek first and only the True Kingdom of the Heart.