One of the first essentials, if we would rule circumstances, instead of be ruled by them, is to see what we are, in our essential being, or ego, in contradistinction to what we appear to be in our relation to the external world. We must look within as well as without.
We have been living in the without to the exclusion of the within; ignorant of it, in fact. We have been looking at the working model which veils the divine idea without making any attempt to lift the veil, though we have flattered ourselves that we were rending it in twain with our researches in matter. We have dissected and analyzed this physical organism which merely represents the living being, only to find at the end what we found at the beginning—dust. And we have taken great credit to ourselves for our wonderful discoveries, for our ability to trace all organic bodies back to the primal cell, for the recognition that this cell has its center of force. But when asked, "What and whence this force?" we have answered, "I do not know," and the veil is still unlifted.
Says one of the greatest intellectualists of modern times: "Experimental research but brings us at last face to face with an infinite and eternal Energy from which all things proceed and to which they are related." Here is one of the greatest discoveries of the day—one original—for it must be original or uncreate, having no beginning in time if it is infinite and eternal—continually operative Energy or Force, the initial impulse for all "modes of motion "; the "God said" from which comes all that we are and all that we can become.
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." In our real being we live or exist by every “God said" in this chapter of Genesis. Every expression of Deity is a part of our generic nature. The vitality, the great throbbing pulse of our being, is God. "In God we live and move and have our being." Note that it is our “being," not the visible material shape, that lives, that moves, or acts, by and through its relation to Mind.
We need have no concern about our being. We have something to do for our soul, and we are coming to that in due order by and by; but our being is as good and complete and perfect as "the image of God" as it can possibly be; and it will continue to " live and move," continue to be and to act in spite of anything we can do to the contrary, however much we might wish, in the blindness of ignorance, to bring it to an end.
Our being is as eternal, as ever-operative as is God, for cause and effect are indissolubly bound together. The nature of our being, the rights of being, the powers of our being, are what we need to recognize and apply if we would master fate. "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils." Cease to look upon this visible machine that walks around the house and through the streets, as the living being, man. It is only the thing used. That which uses it is the living, while it is only the dead.
We must think of our being in the present, not in the future tense; of what it is, not what it becomes, for it does not become. It is fixed and changeless. "Brethren, now are we "the sons of God; but it doth not yet appear what we shall be." In our being we are sons of God now. What we are as such does not yet appear, or is not yet manifested.
Do not forget the definitions of our terms. "Expression" is that which is "set forth." Our being is what is set forth. It is the image or expression of God; the effect of that Cause. "Manifestation" is that which is visible, plain, clear, obvious to understanding. What our being is, is not yet wholly visible, plain, clear, obvious to understanding. It is not yet wholly manifested, but it is.
Paul is an excellent teacher, but misunderstood by those who have formulated "the Pauline doctrine," which is not Paul's teaching, but their opinion about it. It is founded upon the letter of his statements, and "the letter killeth." Anyone can read what Paul says, but what does he mean? That is the question their doctrine does not answer.
If we shall help forward this manifestation, this “appearing" of what our being is, we must center our thought upon it, instead of upon the visible body. We must try to see the divine idea as well as the working model which represents it. We must try to discern its nature and the relativity of the model to the real invention.
When we see that the visible machine is only the means by which the invisible invention is revealed in its nature and value, only the means by which the nature and powers of our being are made plain, clear, and visible, at once we withdraw the thought and effort we have been fixing upon the physical as the all, and center them upon our being instead, that we may help forward this appearing.
We recognize the importance of thinking in the present tense, "I am spiritual in my being, now. I am whole, complete, and perfect as the divine idea. I am eternal in my being, not subject to change or to death. I am fixed and substantial, not evanescent and temporal; for the eternal God is my lasting substance. In my being I am eternally intelligent, for I express Mind. I can never lose one of the faculties or powers that belong to my being, and I have no cause for fear. All that I am in my being is eternal and ever-operative, and dominion over all things belongs to me in consequence.' I claim my birthright as the child of God. All things are subject unto me. I recognize that I must conquer a mistaken sense about these things, a mistaken sense about my own nature and being; but because of what I am, the power to sub, due this sense and its errors is mine, now. Though I have ignorantly sold my birthright for a mess of pottage, as the Son of that God which knows no variableness or shadow of turning I now reclaim and use it. I am that I am."
If you are saying "I am a poor, miserable worm of the dust," stop, and speak these words to yourself instead. Your words are not true. A “worm of the dust" is not, never was, never can become, "the image of God." Every time you say them your self-consciousness is held to the dust level. There is nothing particularly elevating about it. You are down on all fours with the lesser creature. Do you want to stay there? Of course you do not. You want to be lifted up. Then by your thought, your mental word, claim your divine birthright of God-like being. It will lift you up out of the dust. It will draw you to itself. "Then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God."
We should never fear God. There is no need to fear God. God is Love. Why should we be afraid of Love? A wrathful, vengeful God is a human invention. We are afraid of our own handiwork, not knowing that we have made this God for ourselves. We have ignorantly surrendered the rights of individuality, the right to lift up our faces fearlessly unto God, instead of bowing, trembling suppliants, before a mental idol.
But once we gain the true idea of being, once our own idea becomes like God's idea, this divine incarnation makes all things new to us. A "Happy New Year" dawns upon us; the old year has found its end. "Behold, I make all things new." The tiny babe within—this new to us, but old in itself, conception of being, is to grow to full stature as the God-Likeness in Man.
Fed with the wisdom which it attracts unto itself, while it is still young, still far away from the full stature, it disputes with those who are learned according to a false conception of the nature of man. It asks them questions they cannot answer and answers all the questions they can ask. For this new consciousness growing within, there is no unknowable. A vista stretches before it which the keeper of traditions cannot see or know; an outlook which is limitless and ever ascending.
The one who conceives truly, or immaculately, of his own being, becomes the spectator of his own ego and its possibilities. The world and "they that dwell therein" become but the figures on the blackboard, the temporal aids by which he works out the problems of individual existence. At once his relation to them, and to all the experiences in which they are involved, changes. He is no more subject unto them except through his own submission. Though he continues to meet them—will meet them till he has proved the higher as well as the lesser possibilities of individuality, it is as their master rather than as their slave.
Looking each experience squarely in the face, because he has lifted up his face unto God and caught the "Light" that illumines all dark places, he says to it: "I know you for what you are, and you have no power to terrify me. All the evil in you is the product of my own former ignorance, begotten in and born of it. All the good in you is of the Almighty, and with the good I can rule the evil. You shall be my servant and bring to me more self-knowledge, more consciousness of my divine birthright and its power. Whatever you hold for me, I am. When you have lived your day and come to an end, I am."
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More Articles by This Author 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.