Personality and Individuality
Lesson Seven

1. One of the greatest beauties of the Sermon on the Mount is the childlike simplicity of its language. Every child, every grown person, be he ever so uneducated, if he can read at all can understand it. Not a word in it requires the use of a dictionary; not a sentence in it that does not tell the way so plainly that "the wayfaring men, yea, fools, shall not err therein" (Is. 35:8). And yet the Nazarene was the fullest, most complete manifestation of the one Mind that has ever lived; that is to say, more of the wisdom that is God came forth through Him into visibility than through anyone else who has ever lived. The more any person manifests the true wisdom, which is God, the more simple are his ways of thinking and acting; the more simple are the words through which he expresses his ideas. The greater the truth to be expressed, the more simple can it (and should it) be clothed.
2. Emerson said, "Converse with a mind that is grandly simple, and all literature looks like word-catching."
3. In the metaphysical literature of today a good many terms are used that are very confusing to those who have not taken a consecutive course of lessons on the subject. It seems to me wise to give here a clear, simple explanation of two words frequently used, so that even the most unlearned may read understandingly.
4. The words personality and individuality present distinct meanings to the trained mind, but by the untrained mind they are often used interchangeably and apart from their real meanings.
5. Personality applies to the human part of you--the person, the external. Your personality may be agreeable or disagreeable to others. When you say that you dislike anyone, you mean that you dislike his personality--that exterior something that presents itself from the outside. It is the outer, changeable man, in contradistinction to the inner or real, man.
6. Individuality is the term used to denote the real man. The more God comes into visibility through a person the more individualized he becomes. By this I do not mean that one's individuality is greater when one is more religious. Remember, God is wisdom, intelligence, love, power. The more pronounced the manner in which any one of these qualities--or all of them--comes forth into visibility through a man, the greater his individuality.
7. Emerson was a man of large individuality, but retiring personality. He was grandly simple. He was of a shrinking, retiring nature (or personality). But just in proportion as the human side of him was willing to retire and be thought little of, did the immortal, the God in him, shine forth in greater degree.
8. John the Baptist represents the illumined intellect, the highest development of human consciousness. We may think of him as standing for personality, whereas Jesus typifies the divine self or individuality. John, recognizing the superiority of Jesus, said, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn. 3:30).
9. One's individuality is that part of one that never changes its identity. It is the God self. It is that which distinguishes one person from another. One's personality may become like that of others with whom one associates. Individuality never changes.
10. Do not confound the terms. One may have an aggressive, pronounced personality, or external man, which will, for a time, fight its way through obstacles and gain its point. But a pronounced individuality never battles; it is never puffed up; it is never governed by likes and dislikes and never causes them in others; it is God come forth in greater degree through a man, and all mere personality instinctively bends the knee before it in recognition of its superiority.
11. We cultivate individuality by listening to the "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12) down deep within us, and boldly following it, even if it does make us different from others, as it surely will. We cultivate personality, in which live pride, fear of criticism, and all manner of selfishness, by listening to the voices outside ourselves and by being governed by selfish motives, instead of by the highest within us. Seek always to cultivate, or bring into visibility, individuality, not personality. In proportion as one increases, the other must decrease.
12. Whenever we fear a man, or shrink before him, it is because his personality, being the stronger, overcomes ours. Many timid persons go through life always feeling that they are inefficient, that others are wiser or better than they. They dread to meet a positive, self-possessed person; and when in the presence of such a one, they are laid low, just as a field of tall wheat is after a fierce windstorm has swept across it. They feel as though they would like to get out of sight forever.
13. All this, dear timid ones, is not because your fellow really is wiser or better than you, but because his personality--the external man--is stronger than yours. You never have a similar feeling in the presence of strong individuality. Individuality in another not only produces in you an admiration for its superiority, but it also gives you, when you are in its presence, a strange new sense of your own inherent possibilities, a sense that is full of exhilaration and comfort and encouragement to you. This is because a pronounced individuality simply means more of God come forth into visibility through a person, and by some mind process it has power to call forth more of God through you.
14. If you want to know how to avoid being overcome and thrown off your feet by the strong personality of others, I will tell you:
15. Always remember that personality is of the human and individuality is of God. Silently affirm your own individuality, your oneness with God, and your superiority to personality. Can God fear any person?
16. If you are naturally inclined to be timid or shrinking, practice of the following will help you overcome it. As you walk down the street and see anyone coming toward you, even a stranger to you, silently affirm such words as: "I am a part of God in visibility; I am one with the Father; this person has no power over me, for I am superior to all personality." Cultivate this habit of thinking and affirming whenever you approach any person, and you will soon find that no personality, however strong and aggressive, has the power to throw you out of the most perfect poise. You will be self-possessed because God-possessed.
17. Some years ago I found myself under a sense of bondage to a strong, aggressive personality with whom, externally, I had been quite intimately associated for several months. I seemed to see things through another's eyes; and while I was more than half conscious of this, yet I could not seem to throw it off. This personality was able, with very few words, to make me feel as if all that I said or did was a mistake, and that I was a most miserable failure. I was always utterly discouraged after being in this presence, and felt that I had no ability to accomplish anything.
18. After vainly trying for weeks to free myself, one day I was walking along the street, with a most intense desire and determination to be free. Many times before, I had affirmed that this personality could not affect or overcome me, but with no effect. This day I struck out farther and declared (silently of course), "There is no such personality in the universe as this one," affirming it again and again many times. After a few moments I began to feel wondrously lifted, and as if chains were dropping off. Then the voice within me urged me on a step farther to say, "There is no personality in the universe; there is nothing but God." After a short time spent in vigorously using these words, I seemed to break every fetter. From that day to this, without further effort, I have been as free from any influence of that personality as though it had never existed.
19. If at any time the lesser affirmation of Truth fails to free you from the influence of other minds, try this more sweeping one, "There is no personality in the universe; there is nothing but God," and you are bound to be made free.
20. The more you learn to act from the "still small voice" within you, the stronger and more pronounced will be individuality in you.
21. If you are inclined to wilt before strong personalities, always remember that God has need of you, through whom, in some special manner, to manifest Himself--some manner for which He cannot use any other organ--what need have you to quail before any person, no matter how important?
22. However humble your place in life, however unknown to the world you may be, however small your capabilities may seem at present to you, you are just as much a necessity to God in His efforts to get Himself into visibility as is the most brilliant intellect, the most thoroughly cultured person in the world. Remember this always, and act from the highest within you.

Spiritual Understanding
Lesson Eight

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, And the man that getteth understanding. For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, And the profit thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: And none of the things thou canst desire are to be compared
unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: And happy is every one that retaineth her. . . With all thy getting get understanding.
--Prov. 3:13-18; 4:7

1. What is this understanding on the getting of which depends so much? Is it intellectual lore, obtained from delving deep into books of other men's rocks (geology), or stars (astronomy), or even the human body (physiology)? Nay, verily, for when did such knowledge ever insure life and health and peace, ways of pleasantness, with riches and honor?
2. Understanding is a spiritual birth, a revelation of God within the heart of man. Jesus touched the root of the matter when, after having asked the apostles a question that was answered variously, according to the intellectual perception of the men, He asked another question to which Peter gave a reply not based on external reasoning, but on intuition. He said to Peter, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven" (Mt. 16:17).
3. You may have an intellectual perception of Truth. You may easily grasp with the mind the statement that God is the giver of all good gifts--life, health, love--just as people have for centuries grasped it. Or you may go further, and intellectually see that God is not only the giver, but the gift itself; that He is life, health, love, in us. But unless Truth is "revealed. . .unto thee" by "my Father who is in heaven" (Mt. 16:17), it is of no practical benefit to you or to anyone else.
4. This revelation of Truth to the consciousness of a person is spiritual understanding.
5. You may say to yourself, or another may say silently to you, over and over again, that you are well and wise and happy. On the mental plane a certain "cure" is effect, and for a time you will feel well and wise and happy. This is simply a form of hypnotism, or mind cure. But until, down in the depths of your being, you are conscious of your oneness with the Father, until you know within yourself that the spring of all wisdom and health and joy is within your own being, ready at any moment to leap forth at the call of your need, you will not have spiritual understanding.
6. All the teachings of Jesus were for the purpose of leading men into this consciousness of their oneness with the Father. He had to begin at the external man--because people then as now were living mostly in external things--and teach him to love his enemies, to do good to others, and so forth. These were external steps for them to take--a sort of lopping off of the ends of the branches; but they were steps that led on up to the place of desire and attainment where finally the Master said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (Jn. 16:12).
7. He told them of the Comforter that should be in them, and which should teach them all things, revealing the "deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10) to them, showing them things to come. In other words, He told them how they might find the kingdom of heaven within themselves--the kingdom of love, of power, of life.
8. The coming of the Comforter to their hearts and lives, giving them power over every form of sin, sickness, sorrow, and over even death itself, is exactly what we mean by understanding or realization. The power that this consciousness of the indwelling Father gives is for us today as much as it was for those to whom the Nazarene spoke. Aye, more; for did He not say, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do" (Jn. 14:12)?
9. All the foregoing lessons have been stepping-stones leading up to the point where man may realize that ever-abiding inner presence of the Most High, God. "Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you?" (1 Cor. 6:19).
10. I cannot reveal God to you. You cannot reveal God to another. If I have learned, I may tell you, and you may tell another, how to seek and find God, each within himself. But the new birth into the consciousness of our spiritual faculties and possibilities is indeed like the wind that "bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is everyone that is born of the Spirit" (Jn. 3:8). The new birth takes place in the silence, in the invisible.
11. Intellectual lore can be bought and sold; understanding, or realization, cannot. A man, Simon by name, once attempted to buy the power that spiritual understanding gives, from another who possessed it. "But Peter said unto him, Thy silver perish with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right before God" (Acts 8:20,21).
12. Nor will crying and beseeching bring spiritual understanding. Hundreds of people have tried this method, and have not received that for which they earnestly but ignorantly sought. They have not received, because they did not know how to take that which God freely offered. Others have sought with selfish motives this spiritual understanding, or the power it would give them. "Ye ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures" (or to serve selfish ends) (Jas. 4:3).
13. Understanding, or realization of the presence of God within us, is as Peter said, "the gift of God" (Jn. 4:10). It comes to any and all who learn how to seek it aright. Emerson said, "This energy (consciousness of God in the soul) does not descend into individual life on any other condition than entire possession. It comes to the lowly and simple; it comes to whosoever will put off what is foreign and proud; it comes as insight; it comes as serenity and grandeur. When we see those whom it inhabits, we are apprised of new degrees of greatness. From that inspiration (consciousness) the man comes back with a changed tone. He does not talk with men with an eye to their opinion. He tries them. . . .But the soul that ascends to worship the great God is plain and true; has no rose color, no fine friends. . .no adventures; does not want admiration; dwells in the hour that now is."
14. "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). In that day when, more than riches and honor and power and selfish glory, you shall desire spiritual understanding, in that day will come to you the revelation of God in you, and you will be conscious of the indwelling Father, who is life and strength and power and peace.
15. One may so desire a partial revelation of God within himself, a revelation along one line--as, for instance, that of health--as to seek it with all his heart. And if he has learned how to take the desired gift, by uncompromising affirmation that it is his already, he will get understanding, or realization, of God as his perfect health. So with any other desired gift of God. This is a step in the right direction. It is learning how to take God by faith for whatever one desires. But in the onward growth, the time will come to every man when he will hear the divine voice within him saying, "Come up higher," and he will pass beyond any merely selfish desires that are just for his own comfort's sake. He will desire good that he may have the more to give out, knowing that as good (God) flows through him to others it will make him "every whit whole" (Jn. 7:23).
16. In the beginning of Solomon's reign as king over Israel, the divine Presence appeared to him in a dream at night, saying: "Ask what I shall give thee" (1 Kings 3:5). And Solomon said: "Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart" (1 Kings 3:9).
17. "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
18. "And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern justice;
19. "Behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
20. "And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee, all thy days" (1 Kings 3:10-13).
21. Thus in losing sight of all worldly goods and chattels, all merely selfish ends, and desiring above all things an understanding heart (or a spiritual consciousness of God within him as wisdom, life, power), Solomon received all the good or good things included, so that there was none among the kings like unto him in worldly possessions. "Seek ye first his kingdom (consciousness), and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Mt. 6:33). "For whosoever would save his life (the things of his life) shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake (that is willing to forget the so-called good things of this life for the Truth's sake, choosing before all things the finding of God in his own soul) shall find it" (Mt. 16:25).
22. When you first consciously desire spiritual understanding, you do not attain it at once. You have been living in the external of your being and have believed yourself cut off from God. Your first step after coming to yourself like the prodigal son is to say as he did, "I will arise and go to my Father" (Lk. 15:18) to turn your thoughts away from the external seeming toward the central and real; to know intellectually that you are not cut off from God, and that He forever desires to manifest Himself within you as your present deliverance from all suffering and sin. Just as Jesus taught, we begin our journey toward understanding by cutting off the branches of our selfishness. We try to love instead of to hate. Instead of avenging ourselves, we begin to forgive, even if it costs us great mental effort. We begin to deny envy, jealousy, anger, sickness, and all imperfection, and to affirm love, peace, and health.
23. Begin with the words of Truth that you have learned, and which perhaps you have as yet only comprehended with the intellect. You must be willing to take the very first light you receive and use it faithfully, earnestly, to help both yourself and others. Sometimes you will be almost overcome by questions and doubts arising in your own mind when you are looking in vain for results. But you must with effort pass the place of doubt; and some day, in the fullness of God's time, while you are using the words of Truth, they will suddenly be illumined and become to you the living word with you--"the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world" (Jn. 1:9). You will no longer dwell in darkness, for the light will be within your own heart; and the word will be made flesh to you; that is, you will be conscious of a new and more divine life in your body, and a new and more divine love for all people, a new and more divine power to accomplish.
24. This is spiritual understanding. This is a flash of the Most High within your consciousness. "The old things are passed away, behold, they are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). this will be the time when you will not "talk with men with an eye to their opinion." This is when you will suddenly become plain and true; when you will cease to desire admiration; when all words of congratulation from others on your success will fill you with an inexpressible sense of humility; when all mere compliments will be to you as "sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal" (1 Cor. 13:1). Truly, for that inspiration a man comes back with a changed tone!
25. With spiritual understanding comes new light on the Scriptures. The very Spirit of truth, which has come to bide with you forever in your consciousness, takes the deep things of God and reveals them to you. You will no longer run to and fro, seeking teachers or healers and rely solely on them for guidance. You will gladly let them help you reach the point where you will know that the living light, the living word within you, will "guide you into all the truth" (Jn. 16:13).
26. What we need to do is to seek the revelation of the living Christ within our own being, each for himself, knowing that only this divinity come forth can make us powerful and happy.
27. Every person in his heart desires, though he may not yet quite know it, this new birth into a higher life, into spiritual consciousness. Everyone wants more power, more good, more joy. And though to the unawakened mind it may seem that it is more money as money, or more goods that he wants, it is, nevertheless, more of good (God) that he craves; for all good is God.
28. Many today are conscious that the inner hunger cannot be satisfied with worldly goods, and are with all earnestness seeking spiritual understanding, or consciousness, of an immanent God. They have been seeking long, with a great desire of unselfishness and a feeling that when they have truly found God they will begin to do for others. Faithful service for others hastens the day-dawning for us. The gifts of God are not given in reward for faithful service, as a fond mother gives cakes to her child for being good; nevertheless they are a reward, inasmuch as service is one of the steps that leads up to the place where all the fullness of God awaits men. And while spiritual understanding is in reality a "gift of God," it comes to us more or less quickly in proportion as we use the light that we already have.
29. I believe that too much introspection, too much of what people usually call "spiritual seeking," is detrimental rather than helpful to the end desire--spiritual growth. "Spiritual seeking" is a sort of spiritual selfishness, paradoxical as this may seem. From the beginning to the end, Jesus taught the giving of what one possesses to him who has none.
30. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen (said the spirit of God through the prophet Isaiah): to loose the bond of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free?
31. "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him.
32. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring forth speedily. . . Then shalt thou call, and Jehovah will answer. . .Here I am.
33. "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thine obscurity be as the noonday;
34. "And Jehovah will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in dry places, and make strong thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not" (Is. 58:6-11).
35. Stagnation is death. A pool cannot be kept clean and sweet and renewed unless there is an outlet as well as an inlet. It is our business to keep both the inlet and outlet open, and God's business to keep the stream flowing in and through us. Unless you use for the service of others what God has already given to you, you will find it a long, weary road to spiritual understanding.
36. We cry out and strain every nerve to obtain full understanding, just as sometimes we have heard earnest people, but people wholly ignorant of divine laws, beseech God for the full baptism of "the Holy Spirit" (Lk. 3:16) as in the day of Pentecost. Jesus said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (Jn. 16:12). We grow by using for others the light and knowledge we have. We expand, as we go on step by step in spiritual insight, until in the fullness of time--which means when we have grown spiritually up to the place where God sees that we are able to bear the many things--we receive the desire of our hearts, understanding.
37. Seek your own Lord. Take the light as it is revealed to you, and use it for others; and prove for yourselves whether there be truth in this prophecy of Isaiah, that "then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thine obscurity be as the noonday" (Is. 58:10) and "then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring forth speedily" (Is. 58:8).

The Secret Place of the Most High
Lesson Nine

1. There is nothing the human heart so longs for, so cries out after, as to know God, "whom to know aright is life eternal."
2. With a restlessness that is pitiful to see, people are ever shifting from one thing to another, always hoping to find rest and satisfaction in some anticipated accomplishment or possession. Men fancy that they want houses and lands, great learning or power. They pursue these things and gain them, only to find themselves still restless, still unsatisfied.
3. At the great heart of humanity there is a deep and awful homesickness that never has been and never can be satisfied with anything less than a clear, vivid consciousness of the indwelling presence of God, our Father. In all ages, earnest men and women who have recognized this inner hunger as the heart's cry after God have left seeking after things, and have sought, by devoted worship and by service to others, to enter into this consciousness; but few have succeeded in reaching the promised place where their "joy" is "full" (Jn. 16:24). Others have hoped and feared alternately; they have tried, with the best knowledge they possessed, to "work out" their "own salvation" (Phil. 2:12), not yet having learned that there must be an inworking as well as an outworking. "By grace (or free gift) have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves (nor of any human working), it is the gift of God, not of works, that no man should glory" (Eph. 2:8-9).
4. To him who "dwelleth in the secret place of the Most high," there is promised immunity from the "deadly pestilence" and "the snare of the fowler," from "the terror by night," and "the arrow that flieth by day" (Ps. 91); and even immunity from fear of these things. Oh, the awfully paralyzing effect of fear and evil! It makes us helpless as babes. It makes us pygmies, whereas we might be giants were we only free from it. It is at the root of all our failures, of nearly all sickness, poverty, and distress. But we have the promise of deliverance from even the fear and evil when we are in the "secret place." "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night" (Ps. 91:5), and so forth.
"In the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion: In the covert of his tabernacle will he hide me" (Ps. 27:5)." In the covert of thy presence wilt thou hide them from the plottings of man:
"Thou wilt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues" (Ps. 31:20).
5. The secret place! Why call a secret place? What is it? Where may we find it? How abide in it?
6. It is a secret place because it is a place of meeting between the Christ at the center of your being, and your consciousness--a hidden place into which no outside person can either induct you or enter himself. We must drop the idea that this place of realization of our divinity can be given to us by any human being. No one can come into it from the outside. Hundreds of earnest persons are seeking, night and day, to get this inner revealing. They run from teacher to teacher, many of them making the most frantic efforts to meet the financial obligations thus incurred.
7. You may study with human teachers and from man-made books until doomsday; you may get all the theological lore of the ages; you may understand intellectually all the statements of Truth, and be able to prate healing formulas as glibly as oil flows; but until there is a definite inner revealing of the reality of an indwelling Christ through whom and by whom come life, health, peace, power, all things--aye, who is all things--you have not yet found "the friendship of Jehovah" (Ps. 25:14).
8. In order to gain this knowledge--this consciousness of God within themselves--many are willing (and wisely so, for this is greater than all other knowledge) to spend all they posses. Even Paul, after twenty-five years of service and of most marvelous preaching, said: "I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. . .and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ" (or the consciousness of His divine self) (Phil. 3:8).
9. Beloved, that which you so earnestly desire will never be found by your seeking it through the mental side alone, any more than it has heretofore been found through the emotional side alone. Intuition and intellect are meant to travel together, intuition always holding the reins to guide intellect. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah" (Is. 1:18). If you have been thus far on the way cultivating and enlarging only the mental side of Truth, as probably is the case, you need, in order to come into the fullness of understanding, to let the mental, the reasoning side rest awhile. "Become as little children" (Mt. 18:3), and learning how to be still, listen to that which the Father will say to you through the intuitional part of your being. The light that you so crave will come out of the deep silence and become manifest to you from within yourself, if you will but keep still and look for it from that source.
10. And conscious knowledge of an indwelling God, which we so crave, is that of which Paul wrote to the Colossians, as "the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested. . .Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:26,27). "The secret place of the Most high" (Ps. 91:1), where each one of us may dwell and be safe from all harm or fear of evil, is the point of mystical union between man and Spirit (or God in us), wherein we no longer believe, but know, that God in Christ abides always at the center of our being as our perfect health, deliverance, prosperity, power, ready to come forth into manifestation at any moment we claim it. We know it. We know it. We feel our oneness with the Father, and we manifest this oneness.
11. To possess the secret of anything gives one power over it. This personal, conscious knowledge of the Father in us is the secret that is the key to all power. What we want is the revelation to us of this marvelous "secret." What will give it to us--who can give it to us except Him, the "Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father" (Jn. 15:26)? Surely none other. That which God would say to you and do through you is a great secret that no man on the face of the earth knows, or ever will know except yourself as it is revealed to you by the Spirit that is in you. The secret that He tells me is not revealed to you, nor yours to me; but each man must, after all is said and done, deal directly with the Father through the Son within himself.
12. Secrets are not told upon the housetop; nor is it possible to pass this, the greatest of secrets, from one to another. God, the creator of our being, must Himself whisper it to each man living in the very innermost of himself. "To him that overcometh (or is consciously in process of overcoming), to him will I give the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone (or a mind like a clean white tablet), and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it" (Rev. 2:17). It is so secret that it cannot even be put into human language or repeated by human lips.
13. What you want today and what I want is that the words that we have learned to say as Truth be made alive to us. We want a revelation of God in us as life, to be made to our own personal consciousness as health.
We no longer care to have somebody just tell us the words from the outside. We want a revelation of God as love within us, so that our whole being will be filled and thrilled with love--a love that will not have to be pumped up by a determined effort because we know that it is right to love and wrong not to love, but a love that will flow with the spontaneity and fullness of an artesian well, because it is so full at the bottom that it must flow out.
14. What we want today is a revelation to our consciousness of God within us as omnipotent power, so that we can, by a work--or a look--"accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Is. 55:11). We want the manifestation to us of the Father in us, so that we can know Him personally. We want to be conscious of God working in us "both to will and to work" (Phil. 2:13), so that we may "work out" our "salvation" (Phil. 2:12). We have been learning how to do the outworking, but have now come to a point where we must learn more of how to place ourselves in an attitude where we can each be conscious of the divine inner working.
15. Mary talked with the risen Jesus, supposing that He was the gardener, until suddenly, as He spoke her name, there flashed into her consciousness a ray of pure intuition, and in an instant the revelation of His identity was made to her.
16. According to the same sacred history, Thomas Didymus had walked daily for three years with the most wonderful teacher of spiritual things that has ever lived. He had watched this teacher's life and had been partaker of His very presence, physical and mental. He had had just what you and I have thus far received of mental training and external teaching. But there came a time when there was an inner revealing that made him exclaim, "My Lord and my God!" (Jn. 20:28). The secret name, which no other man could know for him, had that moment been given to him. There had come, in the twinkling of an eye, the manifestation to his consciousness of the Father in him as his Lord and his God. No longer simply our Father and our Lord, but my Lord and my God--my divine self revealed to me personally.
17. Is not this that which you are craving?
18. Each man must come to a time when he no longer seeks external helps, when he knows that the inner revelation of "my Lord and my God" to his consciousness can come to him only through an in-dwelling power that has been there all the time, waiting with infinite longing and patience to reveal the Father to the child.
19. This revelation will never come through the intellect of man to the consciousness, but must ever come through the intuitional to the intellect as a manifestation of Spirit to man. "The natural man receiveth not (nor can it impart them) the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged" (1 Cor. 2:14), and they must be spiritually imparted.
20. In our eagerness we have waited upon every source that we could reach for the light that we want. Because we have not known how to wait upon Spirit within us for the desired revelation, we have run to and fro. Let no one misunderstand me in what I say about withdrawing himself from teachers. Teachers are good and are necessary, up to a certain point. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14).
21. Books and lectures are good, teachers are good, but you must learn for yourself that Christ, the Son of God, lives in you; that He within you is your light and life and all. When you have once grasped this beyond a doubt with the intellect, you cease looking to teachers to bring you spiritual insight. That Christ lives in you, Spirit itself must reveal to you. Teachers talk about the light, but the light itself must flash into the darkness before you can see the light.
22. Had the Master remained with the apostles, I doubt whether they would ever have gotten beyond hanging on His words and following in the footsteps of His personality.
23. Jesus knew that His treatments for spiritual illumination, given to His apostles from His recognition of Truth, would act in them as a seed thought, but He also knew that each man must for himself wait upon God for the inner illumination which is lasting and real. God alone can whisper the secret to each one separately.
24. The inducement of power was not to come to them by the spoken word through another personality, not even through that of Jesus, with His great spiritual power and discernment. It was to come from "on high" (Is. 32:15) to each individual consciousness. It was the "promise of the Father, which. . .ye heard from me" (Acts 1:4). He had merely told them about it, but had no power to give it to them.
25. So to each of us this spiritual illumination that we are crying out after, this inducement of power for which we are willing to sell all that we have, must come from "on high," that is, to the consciousness from the Spirit within our being. This is the secret that the Father longs with an infinite yearning to reveal to each individual. It is because of the Father's desire within us to show us the secret that we desire the revelation. It is the purpose for which we come into the world--that we might grow step by step, as we are doing, to the place where we could bear to have the secret of His inner abiding revealed to us.
26. Do not be confused by seeming contradictions in the lessons. I have said heretofore that too much introspection is not good. I repeat it; for there are those who, in earnest desire to know God, are always seeking light for themselves, but neglect to use that which they already have to help others.
27. There must be an equal conscious receiving from the Father and giving out to the world, a perfect equilibrium between the inflowing and the outgiving, to keep perfect harmony. We must each learn how to wait renewedly upon God for the infilling, and then go and give out to every creature that which we have received, as Spirit leads us to give, either in preaching, teaching, or silently living the Truth. That which fills us will radiate from us without effort right in the place in life where we stand.
28. In nearly all teaching of Truth from the purely mental side, there is much said about the working out of our salvation by the holding of right thoughts, by denials and affirmations. This is all good. But there is another side that we need to know a little more about. We must learn how to be still and let Spirit, the I AM, work in us, that we may indeed be made "a new creature" (Gal. 6:15), that we may have the mind of Christ in all things.
29. When you have learned how to abandon yourself to infinite Spirit, and have seasons of doing this daily, you will be surprised at the marvelous change that will be wrought in you without any conscious effort of your own.
30. It will search far below your conscious mind, and root out things in your nature of which you have scarcely been conscious, simply because they have lain latent there, waiting for something to bring them out. It will work into your consciousness light, and life, and love, and all good, perfectly filling all your lack while you just quietly wait and receive. Of the practical steps in this direction we will speak in another lesson.
31. Paul, who had learned this way of faith, this way of being still and letting the I AM work itself into his conscious mind as the fullness of all his needs was neither afraid nor ashamed to say:
32. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and height, and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled unto all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:14-19).
33. And then he gives an ascription: "Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us" (Eph. 3:20).