"O! yes! this teaching is very attractive. As a theory I like it very much, but I do not see any pronounced change in myself."
This utterance—perhaps you have expressed the same view or something like it—shows that the gulf between the ideal and the practical has not yet been bridged for the speaker.
The theory may be ever so perfect, but if it is not also practical, is not capable of practical demonstration, it is of but little value as compared to that which would meet this need.
There are those who know that the teachings of the Science of Being are capable of practical demonstration. They have had the proof. What has been done may be done again. And the reason why you do not "see any pronounced change" in yourself is because you have not performed your part of the necessary work.
You accept the statement "Thought is creative" as true, and then you wonder why you are not immediately transformed from a suffering human being into a white-winged angel.
Why do you expect translation instead of growth? Perhaps because the strength of the old view "Jesus Christ has done it all for me and I have nothing to do" remains with you; but for whatever cause, your expectation will fail of fulfillment till you do your part.
Turn to Nature for a lesson as to what your part is, and see how, when this is performed, the rest is sure. There is a process known as grafting, by which a shoot from one tree is inserted in another tree which nourishes the shoot so that it will grow and bear fruit. The tree is the stock which supplies the vitality necessary to the graft; a supply which brings the graft to the fruit-bearing stage. But the fruit borne by the graft is always after its kind and not according to the tree.
This well known fact in Nature indicates a law back of it; and as what we call Natural law is but one plane of operation of Absolute Law, it points us to another plane which we will do well to discover and utilize.
Remembering that the Natural World is representative of the spiritual Real; that the overruling Law of Cause and Effect works uninterruptedly from First Cause all the way down to what we call the physical world, this fact, that fruit will be according to graft, and that the stock nourishes the graft and brings it to the fruit-bearing stage, is of great practical value.
Thought-Force is creative. It is the stock which nourishes and brings our individual thoughts to pass. Your thought which you are thinking this minute is a graft which you are placing in that stock. The consequences, the fruit it bears, will be according to it, therefore of your own making.
For example, you graft a shoot from a blue plum-tree into a red plum-tree, and when that shoot has grown to the fruit-bearing stage it will bear blue, not red, plums. The fruit is according to the graft.
Each thought you think is a shoot grafted into that stock—Thought-Force. This Force nourishes your thought and brings it to the fruit-bearing stage. Its fruit is your subsequent experience. Your experience at any time is the legitimate fruit of your previous thinking, for it is the fruit according to the graft.
Thought-Force is unqualified. It brings fruit, it is creative. But it does not determine the kind. It nourishes the graft placed in it, whatever this graft may be. It shows neither favor nor disfavor. It is not a kind itself. It is absolute, therefore unqualified. It brings all kinds to pass, for it, to be true to itself, must nourish every and any graft placed in it.
This is Law. And because of the nature of Thought-Force, because it is the Creative Power, we can determine beforehand what kind of fruit we will have.
We can gather the fruit of the tree of life, if we will; or we can keep on gathering the fruit of the tree of knowledge, which, as we eat, brings us death.
Here is the power of individuality. We can choose between the two. But we do not, we cannot choose till we see that there are two possibilities for us; and here is where experience has served us.
It has brought us to where we have sought and found that knowledge of truth which is wisdom, instead of mere knowledge of facts. We have suffered, and through our suffering we have been led to seek the reason why. Well for us if we have found that it was the fruit of the graft we ignorantly placed in the stock that brought the graft to fruitage.
With this understanding we no longer attribute our suffering to God's intention, we begin to render righteous judgment. We have gathered the fruit of ignorant grafting; and now, learning through experience,. we can graft wisely, knowing that "in the fullness of the time " we can gather the fruit of wisdom.
Here is a simple rule to remember and apply.
In complete RESULT FROM OUR THOUGHT, BUT WE DETERMINE ITS KIND.
We can choose the graft which shall be placed in the stock; hence, we can choose what our experience shall be. We can work with law, knowing that the result is sure.
"Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."
Read this statement again and again.
"Which is able."
Do you see what the trouble is? Why you have not yet seen "any pronounced change" in yourself? Is it not because you have not received with meekness the engrafted word?
When you were told to think a certain way continually, to make daily affirmations for yourself, to think thoughts and speak words contrary to the outward seeming, you said " But I do not see how that can do anything. There is no getting around facts."
And you did not do this, except in a half-hearted desultory manner now and then. You knew too much, that was the trouble. You knew so much that you did not know enough. You could not receive with meekness that which was able to change you "from glory to glory."
It was too simple. Had it been some exceedingly complex and complicated process, requiring means to be gathered from all four quarters of the globe, acquired only by great outlay of time and money, you would have had great faith and would have moved heaven and earth to lay hold upon it.
But "the engrafted word” is too simple, and you have stood one side saying “How can that do anything?" instead of doing your own grafting and finding out.
Note that James says that the engrafted word is able to save the soul; able to save your self-consciousness from the limitations of mortal sense existence; able to eliminate the death element; able to remove evil and suffering.
You want redemption, salvation from these conditions, of course. Do you want it enough to attend to your grafting? Enough to watch and see what kind of a graft you are momentarily inserting in the stock?
Can you drop your intellectual theories for a time while you attend strictly to this work of conscious grafting? Can you be meekly faithful and obedient to this law of cause and effect?
Will you pay the price of the thing you desire? Will you be fair, and not say "This is impossible" till you have grafted consciously and wisely as many years as you have been grafting unconsciously and ignorantly?
Stop declaring that you cannot accomplish this or help the other. You are grafting negatives into that stock which will bring them to fruit-bearing, and you will experience lack of ability and helplessness. Whatever is in accord with the true being can come to pass; but the graft of your own thought must first be inserted in the nourishing stock.
You alone can do this. You think your own thought, you must do the grafting. When your thought is like your true being, when it is an affirmation of what you are and what belongs to you as the child of God, the fruit, or result to you, will be according to the graft.
"Be it unto thee according to thy word."
Here do we find "the perfect law of liberty," and James also says “Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
Who gets the blessing?
The doer of the work, not the forgetful hearer.
Now ask yourself this question when you are disposed to grumble or feel doubtful of the truth because you do not yet see its manifestation—"Have I been doing the work? Have I inserted the right graft?"
You will catch yourself with the old graft whose fruit is sickness, sorrow, and death ready in your hand again and again. But take courage, it is something, a great something, to have found " the perfect law of liberty;" and it is better to try again and again than to be content with the old graft and its fruit of bondage to mortal sense.
The fruit does not appear immediately when the graft is placed in the tree, but it comes. So have that faith, through knowledge of the law, which is " the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for."
This faith is based on understanding that the fruit is according to the graft, and is accompanied by the patience that can wait for the fullness of the time.
Attach your conscious true thought to the Creative Power. Then you are a " doer of the work " which shall make the Truth itself, manifest.
"Show me thy faith by thy works."
To be a hearer of the word is good, but to be a doer of the work is so much better. You can forget what you hear, but what you do, is done; and your true being will not be manifest till you permit manifestation by doing your part.
Stop finding fault and open the way for your likeness to God to appear. Divinity in humanity is the eternal order.
Think your God-likeness instead of your sense-weakness. Graft that self-ideal into the eternal stock—Thought-Force. It will be nourished and sustained till it bears fruit according to the graft.
Then, and before the fruit is full grown, you will "see a pronounced change" in yourself; a change "from glory to glory" till the divine imprint shines forth, transforming the flesh.
More from Ursula N. Gestefeld
- Born April 22, 1845 and died in 1921 (burried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago).
- Involved in Christian Science
- Most famous work is The Woman Who Dares.