At what now have we arrived, and what has been the process? From our own reason and insight, independently of all outside authority, we have found the great truth that a living insight into the fact of the essential unity of the human life with the Divine Life is the profoundest knowledge that man can attain to. This as a mere intellectual perception, however, as a mere dead theory, amounts to but little, if indeed to anything at all, so far as bearing fruit in everyday life is concerned. It is the vital, living realization of this great transcendent truth in the life of each one that makes it a mighty moving and molding force in his life.
Then we have also found that this same great truth was the great central fact of both the life and the teachings of one who comes as authority to practically all the world, the Christ Jesus. That this was the one great truth in which he continually lived, that it was the secret of his unusual insight and power, and that it was also the great truth that he came to bring to the world, he distinctly tells us. That it was not only what he proclaimed he came to teach, but also what he distinctly taught, we have likewise found.
We have found also that the ripest life thought of the philosopher Fichte—he whose spiritual vision was so fully unfolded as to enable him to give to the world such a remarkable blending of the intellectual and the spiritual in his philosophy—was almost if not identically the same in reference to this great truth, as was also his thought in regard to the life and the power as well as the mission of Jesus.
And when I see day after day the wonderful results that follow in the lives of those who have entered into this living realization, then I know that Jesus knew whereof he spoke when he gave the injunction, " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Moreover, I do not believe, but I know, that whoever through this realization thus finds the kingdom of God will find his words—that all else will follow—literally and absolutely as well as necessarily true. All will follow in a perfectly natural and normal manner, in full accordance with natural spiritual law.
He who goes thus directly to the mountain top will find all things spread out before him in the valley below. He who thus becomes centered in the Infinite will find that to the same center whence his inner life issues, all things pertaining to his outer material life will in turn be drawn. The beauty of holiness is one with the beauty of wholeness. To know but the One Life is to live in the fact and the beauty of wholeness; and where wholeness is, there no lack of anything will be found.
If what we ordinarily term our Christian churches, and if the preachers who stand in their pulpits, would fully and universally give themselves to the real message that Jesus gave to the world, then we would find that "the common people" would go to and would hear them gladly; there would then be no hard pressing social situation to face, for the people would then have a living knowledge of the one great truth through which all other things would come.
This great transcendent truth, however, that was the very essence of the life and the teachings of Jesus, has been even in our churches as good as rooted out and lost. And shall we conclude that because it is practically lost the greater part of the time and attention of the preacher in the large majority of them is given to the empty, barren, inconsequential themes it is given to? Or is it because so much time and attention is given to the latter that there is no time left for the former? However this may be, it certainly is true that to a greater or less extent today we find identically the same conditions that Jesus found, and that he continually tried so hard to do away with. "Full well," said he, "ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."
Many a student comes from our theological schools so steeped in theological speculations and in denominational dogmas that he hasn't the slightest conception of what the real mission of Jesus was. What wonder, then, that the church to which he goes soon becomes a dead shell from which the life has gone, into which those in love with life will no longer enter, a church whose chief concern very soon is, how to raise the minister's salary? But once let these minor and inconsequential, not to say at times petty, foolish, and absurd, things be dropped, and let all time and attention be given to the great central truth that Jesus brought to the world, and we shall find that during the next one hundred years, aye, during the next fifty years, what will then be real Christianity will make more progress than what is now termed Christianity has made during all the nineteen hundred years it has been in the world. The fact that during all these hundreds of years it has not accomplished more than it has is quite good evidence that something essential is lacking in it.
The real soul-cry even of all Christendom today is the same as the injunction given by the native ministers of Japan to a noted representative of the Christian religion as he was leaving there not long ago: " Send us no more doctrines: we are tired of them. Send us Christ." And the only way that Christ can be sent is by sending the great central truth that he brought to the world, a truth so worldwide, so universal, that, so far even as the so-called various great religions are concerned, in regard to it there can be no differences, for from its very nature it is at the very foundation, indeed the very life essence, of them all. And so it is true in this sense that there is essentially but one religion, the religion of the living God. For to live in the conscious realization of the fact that God lives in us is indeed the life of our life, and that in ourselves we have no independent life, and hence no power, is the one great fact of all true religion, even as it is the one great fact of human life. Religion, therefore, at its purest, and life at its truest, are essentially and necessarily one and the same.
It is only through this living realization of the essential unity of our life with the Father's life that true blessedness, and even true peace and happiness, can be found. The sooner, then, that we come into it, and thus live the life of the spirit, the better, for neither will they come nor can they be found in any other way. There is, moreover, no time either in this form of life, or in any other form, that we can any more readily come into it, and thereby into all that follows, than we can at this very moment. And when this fountain of Divine Life is once fully opened within us, it can never again be dried up, and we can rest assured that it will at all times uphold us in peace and bear us on in safety. And however strange or unaccountable at times occurrences may appear, we can rest in a triumphant security, knowing that only good can come, for in God's life there is only good, and in God's life we are now living, and there we shall live forever.
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More from Ralph Waldo Trine
- Lived from September 6th, 1866 to February, 22nd 1958
- Born in Mt. Morris, Illinois
- Most popular book is In Tune With the Infinite
- Was an early leader in the New Thought movement.