I have tried thus far to deal fairly with you in presenting these vital truths, and have spoken of everything on the basis of our own reason and insight. It has been my aim to base nothing on the teachings of others, though they may be the teachings of those inspired. Let us now look for a moment at these same great truths in the light of the thoughts and the teachings as put forth by some of the world's great thinkers and inspired teachers.
The sum and substance of the thought presented in these pages is, you will remember, that the great central fact in human life is the coming into a conscious, vital realization of our oneness with the Infinite Life, and the opening of ourselves fully to this divine inflow. I and the Father are one, said the Master. In this we see how he recognized his oneness with the Father's life. Again he said, The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works. In this we see how clearly he recognized the fact that he of himself could do nothing, only as he worked in conjunction with the Father. Again, My Father works and I work. In other words, my Father sends the power, I open myself to it, and work in conjunction with it.
Again he said, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. And he left us not in the dark as to exactly what he meant by this, for again he said. Say not Lo here nor lo there, know ye not that the kingdom of heaven is within you? According to his teaching, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven were one and the same. If, then, his teaching is that the kingdom of heaven is within us, do we not clearly see that, putting it in other words, his injunction is nothing more nor less than, Come ye into a conscious realization of your oneness with the Father's life. As you realize this oneness you find the kingdom, and when you find this, all things else shall follow.
The story of the prodigal son is another beautiful illustration of this same great teaching of the Master. After the prodigal had spent everything, after he had wandered in all the realms of the physical senses in the pursuit of happiness and pleasure, and found that this did not satisfy but only brought him to the level of the animal creation, he then came to his senses and said, I will arise and go to my Father. In other words, after all these wanderings, his own soul at length spoke to him and said, You are not a mere animal. You are your Father's child. Arise and go to your Father, who holds all things in His hands. Again, the Master said, Call no man your Father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Here he recognized the fact that the real life is direct from the life of God. Our fathers and our mothers are the agents that give us the bodies, the houses in which we live, but the real life comes from the Infinite Source of Life, God, who is our Father.
One day word was brought to the Master that his mother and his brethren were without, wishing to speak with him. Who is my mother and who are my brethren? said he. Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
Many people are greatly enslaved by what we term ties of relationship. It is well, however, for us to remember that our true relatives are not necessarily those who are connected with us by ties of blood. Our truest relatives are those who are nearest akin to us in mind, in soul, in spirit. Our nearest relatives may be those living on the opposite side of the globe, —people whom we may never have seen as yet, but to whom we will yet be drawn, either in this form of life or in another, through that ever working and never failing law of attraction.
When the Master gave the injunction, Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven, he here gave us the basis for that grand conception of the fatherhood of God. And if God is equally the Father of all, then we have here the basis for the brotherhood of man. But there is, in a sense, a conception still higher than this, namely, the oneness of man and God, and hence the oneness of the whole human race. When we realize this fact, then we clearly see how in the degree that we come into the realization of our oneness with the Infinite Life, and so, every step that we make God-ward, we aid in lifting all mankind up to this realization, and enable them, in turn, to make a step God-ward.
The Master again pointed out our true relations with the Infinite Life when he said, "Except ye become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven". When he said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God", he gave utterance to a truth of far greater import than we have as yet commenced fully to grasp. Here he taught that even the physical life cannot be maintained by material food alone, but that one's connection with this Infinite Source determines to a very great extent the condition of even the bodily structure and activities. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. In other words, blessed are they who in all the universe recognize only God, for by such God shall be seen.
Said the great Hindu sage, Manu, He who in his own soul perceives the Supreme Soul in all beings, and acquires equanimity toward them all, attains the highest bliss. It was Athanasius who said, Even we may become Gods walking about in the flesh. The same great truth we are considering is the one that runs through the life and the teachings of Gautama, he who became the Buddha. People are in bondage, said he, because they have not yet removed the idea of I. To do away with all sense of separateness, and to recognize the oneness of the self with the Infinite, is the spirit that breathes through all his teachings. Running through the lives of all the medieval mystics was this same great truth—union with God.
Then, coming nearer to our own time, we find the highly illumined seer, Emanuel Swedenborg, pointing out the great laws in connection with what he termed, the divine influx, and how we may open ourselves more fully to its operations. The great central fact in the religion and worship of the Friends is, the inner light—God in the soul of man speaking directly in just the degree that the soul is opened to Him. The inspired one, the seer who when with us lived at Concord, recognized the same great truth when he said, We are all inlets to the great sea of life. And it was by opening himself so fully to its inflow that he became one inspired.
All through the world's history we find that the men and the women who have entered into the realm of true wisdom and power, and hence into the realm of true peace and joy, have lived in harmony with this Higher Power. David was strong and powerful and his soul burst forth in praise and adoration in just the degree that he listened to the voice of God and lived in accordance with his higher promptings. Whenever he failed to do this we hear his soul crying out in anguish and lamentation. The same is true of every nation or people. When the Israelites acknowledged God and followed according to His leadings they were prosperous, contented, and powerful, and nothing could prevail against them. When they depended upon their own strength alone and failed to recognize God as the source of their strength, we find them overcome, in bondage, or despair.
A great immutable law underlies the truth, Blessed are they that hear the word of God and do it. Then follows all. We are wise in the degree that we live according to the higher light.
All the prophets, seers, sages, and saviors in the world's history became what they became, and consequently had the powers they had, through an entirely natural process. They all recognized and came into the conscious realization of their oneness with the Infinite Life. God is no respecter of persons. He doesn't create prophets, seers, sages, and saviors as such. He creates men. But here and there one recognizes his true identity, recognizes the oneness of his life with the Source whence it came. He lives in the realization of this oneness, and in turn becomes a prophet, seer, sage, or savior. Neither is God a respecter of races or of nations. He has no chosen people; but here and there a race or nation becomes a respecter of God and hence lives the life of a chosen people.
There has been no age or place of miracles in distinction from any other age or place. What we term miracles have abounded in all places and at all times where conditions have been made for them. They are being performed today just as much as they ever have been when the laws governing them are respected. Mighty men, we are told they were, mighty men who walked with God; and in the words "who walked with God" lies the secret of the words "mighty men." Cause, effect.
The Lord never prospers any man, but the man prospers because he acknowledges the Lord, and lives in accordance with the higher laws. Solomon was given the opportunity of choosing whatever he desired; his better judgment prevailed and he chose wisdom. But when he chose wisdom he found that it included all else beside. We are told that God hardened Pharaoh's heart. I don't believe it. God never hardens any one's heart. Pharaoh hardened his own heart and God was blamed for it. But when Pharaoh hardened his heart and disobeyed the voice of God, the plagues came. Again, cause, effect. Had he, on the contrary, listened—in other words, had he opened himself to and obeyed the voice of God, the plagues would not have come.
We can be our own best friends or we can be our own worst enemies. In the degree that we become friends to the highest and best within us, we become friends to all; and in the degree that we become enemies to the highest and best within us, do we become enemies to all. In the degree that we open ourselves to the higher powers and let them manifest through us, then by the very inspirations we carry with us do we become in a sense the saviors of our fellow men, and in this way we all are, or may become, the saviors one of another. In this way you may become, indeed, one of the world's redeemers.
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Ralph Waldo Trine - Provided b
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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.