The Text      

Through the Bible by Eugene Halliday

Part One.

Our Bible is not merely a single book but a number of writings carefully gathered together by many intelligent thinkers in order to give to us a view of the progress of spirit in the world, a movement which ultimately will bring mankind to full realisation of the presence of God in creation and His absolute and final power over all things.

Our purpose in reading through and studying the books of the Bible will be to clarify for ourselves our own significance and ultimate destiny within the universal plan which these scriptures outline for us, we say outline for us, because life itself is infinitely beyond expression by any words we may formulate in any of our earthly languages.

But although the ultimate meaning of life cannot be conveyed by mere words, yet words are all we have in our scriptures. Fortunately for us we have not only the external printed words of the Bible, but also a special faculty within us, God-given, by which, under the right conditions of meditation and prayer, we are enabled to arrive at a true interpretation of them. The rules for arriving at this true interpretation are themselves contained in the Bible; but we have to read and let ourselves be led by them.

Let us begin at the beginning and follow the way laid down for us. In the first chapter of the book of Genesis we read, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". This tells us that heaven and earth had a beginning. What is the meaning of "beginning"?

"Beginning" means a start, commencement, opening of a possibility to expression or manifestation, a starting point, the origin or source of anything. Every beginning implies that before the start of any activity there was that which could start it. Before anything can begin to act, there must be present a power able to act but not yet activating. At the very first beginning of all beginnings there must be a power able to activate itself. This self-activating power, which is the source of all other powers, is what we call "God". God is the absolute infinite power from which all other powers derive.

Before this infinite power began its work of creation, this power was hidden in itself, had not yet manifest itself as the universe that we know. All the things that we know in time were still mysteriously concealed in the pre-creational state. We may think of these things as held in potentiality in the eternal power of God. "Potentiality" means power held in, power not yet allowed to express itself. Before creation began, all the things of the universe were held in a timeless condition in Eternity. Eternity is the Infinite Power of God in its wholeness, all simultaneously co-present with Itself. Time is how this Infinite Power expresses itself in a series of events, each one succeeding that which precedes it. This is why Plato said, "Time is the moving image of Eternity". Eternity produces time by an act of creation.

What are we to understand by "creation"? The word "create" means "to cut free", "to allow to go forth", "to let appear". The word implies that whatever is created already somehow has its being before it is allowed to come forth into expression or manifestation. Thus whatever can appear in the sequences of time has already in some mysterious manner its being in Eternity. This means that we ourselves, who appear to ourselves as Creatures of Time, are in ultimate reality beings of Eternity. The source of the human soul is in Eternity; Eternity is its proper home. The time-expression of the soul is in the world that shows itself to us in the sequential events of our daily life.

Creation is a special act by which the Infinite Power of God allows that which is hidden in Him to pass into expression or manifestation. If the things that we now know had remained concealed in God's power, the world as we know it would not exist, and we ourselves would not be here. All things would be "wrapped" mysteriously in the unbroken wholeness of Eternity.

Because the act of Creation releases the beings of Eternity into the sequence of Time events, and because without such release we could not know ourselves to be what we are in our unique modes of expression, therefore we say that God's Creative act was an act of mercy, an act whereby we are enabled to enter into a process of self-discovery.

Jesus said, "God is Spirit". Now, the essence of Spirit is known in its immediacy to Itself. We cannot tell from where Spirit comes, or to where it is going. We know it only in the very instant of its Presence. So also we can know those "born of the Spirit". All creatures which do not act from the immediate Presence of Spirit are moved by habit, by the inertia of energies once released by the Spirit but later allowed to fall into some repetitive pattern. Only those who are able to remind themselves, moment by moment, of the presence of the divine Spirit within them, and to will to hear and obey the Spirit, only these can free themselves from established inertic patterns of activity and enter into the kind of life which characterises true spirituality, the life of unique creativity.

Let us imagine, so far as we can, the condition of all beings before the very first creative act. There, in Eternity, we are not yet separated from each other. There, in Eternity, all possible, conceivable things have their being in a mysterious condition of interpenetration, their forms not yet marked off and separated from each other. None can know in that pre-creational condition how they would act in total self-isolation; none can know what "self-knowledge" in its purest form might mean. The pre-condition of such "self-knowledge" is that there shall be an act of creation, which will release temporarily each being from the others, and so allow each one to activate itself according to its own will.

In the first act of Creation, beings mysteriously before hidden in a condition of interpenetration, in which they could not act freely and from their own will alone, are released into the sequential activities of Time, and here allowed to do with their lives whatever they will, are here given power to pursue whatever purposes they care to define for themselves. Here they can prefigure for themselves the kind of beings they would like to become, design the pattern of their own thinking, the attitudes of feeling they prefer, the deeds of free will they will to choose. The divine act of creation has released us into the Time-process so that we may discover for ourselves in act what we are in our innermost will. This places us at once in a two-fold position; by the divine creative act we are released into freedom to make of ourselves what we will and desire, and by the same act we are placed in a position of total self-responsibility for what we so make of ourselves.

To be "created" is to be functionally and formally separated from other creatures. To be created is to be allowed to be free to become whatever we choose to become. But this freedom is a freedom is a freedom each creature has in the presence of other creatures. This fact means that the universe of created beings constitutes a most wonderful device for mutual education. God by His Creative act has given us the possibility of self-discovery in a world designed to present us over and over again with the fruits of our own self-chosen actions. The lesson we shall learn is that as we sow, so shall we reap. When we have learned this lesson we shall have fulfilled the purpose of Creation.

The human soul is an encapsulated part of the Divine Spirit; "God breathed into man the spirit of life, and man became a living soul". The physical body of man is formed of the "dust of the ground", formed of matter. But matter itself is a part of creation, a mere mode of activity of the Power of God, a behaviour of energy, established to provide physical vehicles or bodies by means of which souls can "anchor" themselves within the Time-Matter world and so gain repeated experiences.

By repeated experiences we can begin to understand the nature of cause and effect, the law that says that as we sow, so shall we reap. Then when this law is fully understood, we shall do only those acts of which we shall be happy to accept the results; we shall sow only such seeds that, when they have fully grown, we shall enjoy their fruits.

To understand fully the law of "cause and effect", we must understand something of what God is. God is the infinite absolutely intelligent power which created the universe by act of will. Today almost anyone believes that the universe is the result of the activities of power or energies. What many people do not believe is that this universal power is a personal power.

If we think of the universe as a manifestation of impersonal energies, we can approach it in a quite different way from that we must use if we believe that it is the work of an intelligent all-aware God. If the world is just an impersonal system of energies that are open to scientific investigation and technical manipulation, then we can view ourselves, because of our scientific and technical knowledge, as "masters of the world". Than we can believe that we are "in charge of the universe", that we are the highest beings yet evolved by natural forces, and that we can legitimately, as "masters of the world", do with whatever we like. We have but to study "the way nature works" and then appropriate this knowledge and so force nature to obey us.

But if we accept for a moment that the energies of the universe are but special modes of an infinite power which is intelligent and knows itself to be such a power, then we shall have to take into account the possibility that this intelligent power has some purpose of its own in bringing the universe into existence. And if this should be so, then it will be for our own welfare if we find out what this purpose is.

That there is a universe of active forms demonstrates that it is a work of power. That these active forms are related together in certain mutually influencing ways shows that this power is a relating power, not merely a chaotic mass of unharmonised energies. The stars have their places and movements within the vast pattern of things and events. The sun has its function in passing energy from the infinite to determining the orbiting of the planets in the solar system and to provide a means of sustenance for life-forms on earth. All of these facts we might admit without believing that the originating power of the universe is an intelligent being, self-aware and in charge of the world's processes.

But we human beings present ourselves with the problem of our own being. We know that we have a certain amount of power, and that this power is part of the universal power, part of the vast store of energy which constitutes the world we live in. We know also that we have a certain amount of intelligence. If, then, we are forced to believe that what power we have is derived from the same power that has brought the universe into being, then we must also admit that whatever intelligence we have is derived from the same source. Ultimately all things are but ways in which universal power behaves and manifests itself.

Part 2

Intelligence in us is one of the ways that power demonstrates certain aspects of its nature. That we are intelligent shows that the universal power which is the source of our being had inherent in it the capacity to reveal itself at certain levels of evolution as intelligence. Man is at these levels. He has no logical justification whatever for believing himself the only intelligent or the most intelligent being in existence. Just as the individual cells inside his body conduct their little lives probably with no awareness that man as a whole being exists, so man on earth may be performing his functions within the universal scheme of things with no awareness that he is but a living part of a much vaster being whose plan for evolution is as unknown to him as his private purposes are to the separate little cells which swim in his blood stream.

The sixty-six books which, bound together, are our Bible, give evidence of an order of intelligence quite other than that which we use to conduct the private affairs of our daily lives, at home and in business, or in the wider field of national and international affairs. In spite of the different periods in which the various books of the Bible were written, there is a community of theme running through all, a continuity we would be surprised to find in any other collection of books covering such a long period of time. What is this theme?

The theme that runs through all the books of the Bible is the continuous restatement that God, the Creator of the Universe and of man, is a personal God, a God with a plan for mankind, a God who acts in history to further this plan, a God who supports His friends and opposes His enemies in order to bring His plan to its supreme consummation in the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.

The personal God is far, far from the impersonal energy which appeals to the mind, of the materialist. The impersonal forces of the universe are supposed by the materialist to have produced all the things we see around us by a series of accidents, a vast number of events which could have been other than they have been, and yet, by mere statistical probability, have given rise to the ordered world we know. To materialistic minds the improbability of the universe being the work of a supreme creative intelligent will is too high to contemplate. But to those who prefer an intelligent purpose behind all creative activities, the improbability of the universe being a product of an unconscious blind force is even higher. It is an impossibility. Absolute non-intelligence could never evolve intelligence. What is not at least potentially present from the beginning can never become actual, and we human beings are intelligent to a sufficient degree to be able to understand at least some of the implications of intelligence itself. What is intelligence?

Intelligence is that essence in any being which makes it able to see the means to the possible realisation of a purpose. We humans have this capability in some degree. It follows logically therefore that, at least potentially, the power which evolved the universe had also from the beginning this capability.

The materialistic sciences view all moral and ethical behaviour as the result of the accidental, contingent clash of opposing forces within human organisms. The separate members of the human race are assumed to meet each other somewhat in the manner of highly complex atomic compounds, crashing accidentally into each other and in the crashing modifying each others modes of action. Sometimes the assumed accidental clashing of energy patterns produces what for convenience we have come to call "friendly" or "helpful" behaviour' At other times the assumed accidental collision produces what, again for convenience, we call "unfriendly" or "antagonistic" behaviour. In both cases the materialist assumes unintelligent forces to be the cause of every event.

The writers of the books of the Bible hold quite another view of the universe. For them the universe comes into being by an act of will of a supremely intelligent and sensitive being, whom they call God. In the very first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis, God is the first Being to be mentioned; "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". At the end of the whole collection of the Bible's books we read; "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away".

Here we see expressed that belief of the writers of the Bible that it is so utterly different from the beliefs of materialist evolutionists: "In the beginning God, that is, an Infinitely intelligent, sensitive and powerful being, there right at the foundation of the world, creating the world by exercise of His inherent power, sensitivity and intelligence.

At this point the sceptic asks: "if this God of yours is infinitely powerful, sensitive and intelligent, why has He made such a mess of the world?"

We answer this question by saying that "In the beginning" refers to the generation of Time, the creation of those sequences of events which we call, as to their sequential mode of presentation, the Time-matter world-process. Before any sequence of events arises, there is always the power there which can make such sequences appear, and this power is not itself sequential, for it is always there, present to itself, in its' wholeness, not broken into Time-units. It is always simultaneously co-present to itself, before the breaking of its manifestations into Time-matter units. The condition of the infinite power before its breaking into Time-matter sequences is what we mean by Eternity.

Time and Eternity are both constituted of power, but Time is power manifesting in sequences of events, while Eternity is power in its original non-sequential condition, the state of absolute coincidence with itself. To understand the difference between Time and Eternity is to hold the key to the unlocking of many mysteries. Time had a beginning, and what had a beginning must also logically have an end. When the purpose for which God allowed Time-sequences to begin has run to its term, "there will be Time no more".

Time is a sequence-process, a behaviour of energy in which one event follows another. But Time is also a cyclic process, that is to say, it tends to repeat its patterns. The moon goes round the earth; the earth orbits rounds the sun; the other planets also follow their orbits; the sun itself orbits round a larger sun-mass somewhere amongst the stars. Everywhere we see cycles of events repeating themselves, "wheels within wheels" as in Ezekiel's vision.

This "wheeling" or rotation process is the cause of the generation of what we call "matter". Matter is nothing but a rotatory behaviour of energy. Time and Matter came into being together. Both are cyclic behaviours of power. Both show sequences of events. Matter is continually on the move; Time is continually on the move. Time and Matter are mutually bound together, and because of their sequence-action neither of them is Eternal. Eternity is not an infinite quantity of Time-matter; it is simultaneous power, non-sequential. Eternity stands in itself, ever identical with itself. Time continually falls out of itself. Matter continually dissolves and reassembles itself, for it is only energy changing its mode of behaviour.

The Infinite Power which brought the Universe into existence is not a thing. Any existent thing is a limited quantity of energy and therefore is not the infinite power as it is in itself. When we say that God created the world out of nothing, we should mean by this word "Not a thing, not a limited quantity of energy". God created the world by an act of His infinite power, which is not a thing, not a limited amount of energy. The statement that God created the world out of nothing has been misunderstood. If we think carefully about it, we will gain another key to the mystery of creation.

A "beginning" is a head of a series of actions. These actions are acts of power. Before the beginning, this power stood in itself, not serialising itself as time events. It stood in simultaneity with itself. It is this non-serial simultaneity of power that we mean by "Eternity". Whatever was happening in Eternity was not sequential but simultaneous. Every act of the infinite power of Eternity occurred simultaneously with every other act. This is a difficult thing foe us to imagine clearly only because we are so conditioned by our time-matter sequential mode of being that we can hardly think without it. We tend to thin of events and things as following one another. In our habitual way of thinking, ideas tend to be presented to us in series, one after another.

Even when engaged in meditation we tend to let our ideas follow one after another, for meditation is a discursive process, that is a process in which ideas run through the mind in a series.

But in an act of pure contemplation our ideas do not follow after one another like soldiers marching in "Indian file". In contemplation we do not see a series of separate ideas, we see a whole pattern of ideas in simultaneity, that is, co-presented at once, in a special kind of "nowness". This is why great sages used contemplation as a means to escape from the serial Time-matter process, and so to enter into the awareness of Eternity, which we call "Enlightenment".

It was in the highest stages of contemplation that the inspired writers of the books of the Bible discovered the Great Plan on which is based the evolutionary movement of the universe. In high contemplation the enlightened sages saw that before the beginning of Time-matter, in the simultaneity of all actions of the infinite power, one of these actions was such that the Infinite Creative Intelligence, which is God, saw that the only remedy for it was to generate Time and Matter. This momentous action is that which we call the "Fall of Lucifer".

"Lucifer" means "Light-bearer". Amongst the infinite number of beings which were together in the simultaneity of Eternity before Time began, was one more splendidly illustrious than all the rest. This one is the one we call "Lucifer". The differences between all the beings in Eternity result from the fact that the Infinite Power, which we call God, wills an infinity of different forms of activity, an infinity of different beings, each with its own unique form of expression. These are the beings which the ancient sages called "angels". It is not wrong of us to think of these "angels" as different "angles" from which the works of the Infinite Power may be viewed. They are different viewpoints from which their Creator is able to contemplate the infinite actualities of His own creative process. When they activate the minds of super-sensitive men and women they are called "messengers" of God. Thus we find that the word "angel" is defined as "messenger".

Lucifer, then, was the brightest of all God's "angels", a definite amount of power dedicated to demonstrating the meaning of "supreme light". He was a being concerned solely with "outshining" all others. Admittedly his position was one of delicate balance. He had been created by God as bright and lustrous as it is possible for any created being to be and yet retain his brightness. To have tried to have made him even brighter would have been illogical. A creature, by definition, is a being of limitation, a being with a binding line round it. To try to make such a being infinitely bright would have been to remove his finiteness and so to plunge him back into the infinity which is God Himself.

Part 3

God had created Lucifer to demonstrate the meaning of light. If all the creatures in existence were exactly the same degree of brightness, there would be no possibility of comparing their brightness. The very notion "brightness" requires the notion of degrees of brightness. From seeing brightnesses of different degrees we evolve the idea of the least possible light and the greatest possible light. Lucifer was created with the greatest possible degree of light any creature as such could bear. God is not a creature, and therefore not in any way limited as a creature must necessarily be. To be created is to be limited. Lucifer was created, and so limited, but he was given as much light as it is possible for any created being to contain. But this much light was necessarily less light than the infinite light of God Himself.

For whatever reasons he gave himself, Lucifer decided to make the attempt to gain more than God had given to him. He ignored the fact that he was a creature, and therefore necessarily of limited capacity. He strove to take in more power from the infinite power of God, in whom he had his being, and to turn this intaken power of God into an even greater light than God had bestowed upon him. But because he was only a created being, a being of limited capacity, Lucifer, by his presumptive act, took in more light-power than he could safely assimilate. Thus "from excess of light came darkness". Lucifer, by his excessive light-power intake impeded his own internal processes, blocked the free internal motions of his being as it had been given to him by God, and plunged himself into darkness and self-frustration.

The self-precipitation of the brightest of all angels into a condition of self-compacted darkness generated what we know as the mineral world, the world of the densest, most intense concentration of power ever known. At this point of greatest self-impedance, Lucifer earned the name "Satan", the self-crucified serpent. Jesus Christ saw "Satan fall like lightning from heaven".

It is at this point of the self-precipitation of Lucifer into his Satanic condition that Time began. Here is the point at which the book of Genesis opens with the words: "In the beginning..." The fall of Lucifer introduced into Eternity the condition of Time, that is the appearance of separated sequences of events, where before, in Eternity, all beings had been presented by God in absolute simultaneity, in completely harmonious interplay of forms of delight.

With the Luciferan precipitation of the Satanic conditions of Time-sequences, the absolute Oneness of Eternal Being appeared to be disrupted, and although such disruption cannot be absolutely real, for the Being of God is not made of parts, and is therefore unbreakable, yet the apparent disruption became to occasion of a new type of creative action, the insertion into the mineralised, fallen, Satanic world, of a new order, the first step towards a new heaven and a new earth. And in the place where proud Lucifer had once made his mighty onslaught on the light-power of God, there was placed a new being, the being we know as Man. Man was God's reply to the Luciferan revolt and the fall of Lucifer into the Satanic condition of immobilised minerality. Thus on the sixth day of Creation, the book of Genesis describes the creation of Man, the being upon whom God conferred the authority He had previously given to His brightest angel, Lucifer.

Immediately after the fall of Lucifer the Time-matter which resulted from this fall was worked upon by the spirit of God. The great mass of Satanic matter precipitated in the fall is imaged in the book of Genesis as "formless", "void", with "darkness upon the face of the deep". And on the "face" of this deep moved the spirit of God.

The movement of God's spirit over the surface of the dark Satanic Fall-mass was the occasion of the generation of light. Light is a wave-motion of energy, a special mode of action of divine power, the movement of God's eternal life. In the Gospel of John we shall later read that the divine life is the "light of men". "light" symbolises intelligence, understanding, consciousness. When we wish to understand something, we say, "we need some light on this subject". By careful study of the Bible we can gain "enlightenment" on everything of concern to mankind.

The movement of God's spirit over the "waters" of the fallen Satanic world began to introduce into its chaotic state, a new order, an order that, although it was then begun, has not yet been completely established. Within the chaos of the fallen mass of Satanic energy, God began at once to work. He made light and divided it from the Satanic darkness. He separated certain parts of it from others, made dry land, and gathered together the waters we call "seas". He brought forth from the earth all kinds of vegetation, set up a system of time-measuring in the heavens, the great wheel of the stars, the sun and the moon, created the animals of the earth and all living creatures, and finally, on the sixth day, man, to rule in the place of the fallen Lucifer.

To understand profitably the Bible and the Divine Plan of World evolution in which man of all creatures has the most important part to play, we must grasp the meaning of the Luciferan fall into the Satanic condition.

Before the Creation described in the book of Genesis, the whole _r, universe of beings created by God was in Eternity. We are to remember that Eternity is a condition in which all possible beings co-exist in God in absolute simultaneity, absolute co-existence, in mutual harmonious interplay, not in the sequential or serial mode with which we are so familiar in Time as we, in our fallen state, experience it.

We have to remember that we, as descendents of the first man, have been involved in his fall, a fall which repeated the error of Lucifer. Lucifer strove to become greater than God had created him. The first man also tried to become as great as his Creator. God had warned Adam, which is a Hebrew word signifying a certain aspect or condition ,of man, not to try to gain "knowledge of good and evil". "... of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the days that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". But man, Adam, acting under the suggestion from his wife, Eve, disobeyed God's command as a result of this dis-obedience, was expelled from the Garden of Eden, a place of paradisical harmony.

To understand why we are involved in the Fall of the First Man, we need only to remind ourselves of the laws of heredity, which today we all accept as a demonstrated fact. Parents pass on characteristics to their children, and not only their body-type, colour of hair and eyes and skin, but also certain internal chemical conditions and correspondent psychological modes of balance, temperament, and so forth. We are none of us absolutely free from the forces operative in our ancestors. It is this fact we refer to when we say that we are born in the "Sin of Adam".

Adam's sin, to which he was provoked by Eve, was to desire to know "good and evil". His life in the Garden of Eden was all good. Before his fall he had no notion of the opposite of his condition of happiness, in which he had been created. The word "evil" had yet no experimental significance for him. It was as if he had been told: "Do not want to know X, the unknown".

It is very important for us to realise that Adam did not have to fall. He was not compelled to disobey God's command. A suggestion was made to him by Eve, who had received the same suggestion from what the book of Genesis calls "the serpent". The "serpent" had power to make the suggestion, but had no power to compel its acceptance.

To understand this "serpent", we are to remember that the very earth on which Adam stood was made of energies precipitated into the Satanic state by Lucifer's fall. The physical body of Adam was formed of the "dust of the ground", that is to say, of matter flung down by Lucifer's act of rebellion against the state in which God had created him. Into this physical body of rebellious dust, God had breathed the "breath of life" by which "man became a living soul".

Thus inside man we see the conditions of war, a war between a rebellious force, the Satanic energies precipitated in the vain attempt to gain the absolute power of God, and the spirit of God, breathed into man to give him life and power to fight against the Satanic energies locked inside the body. We do not have to examine ourselves very closely to be able to see that we have this battle inside our being; we have enough experience of it daily.

Inside our body we have impulses which, if not checked, operate always to seek their own satisfaction, if need be, at the expense of every other being. Impulsive man "wants what he wants when he wants it". Kierkegaard the Danish philosopher, calls this the state of "first immediacy", by which he means that when man begins his life as a baby, before he has begun to think of the consequences, to himself or others, of his actions, he tends simply to obey the impulses which naturally arise in his body. The baby loves pleasure and hates pain. He tends to move towards the source of any pleasant stimulus and away from any painful one. He loves to do what he wants to do, in the very moment of wanting to do it. He hates being frustrated or impeded in his purposes. These tendencies, the Bible tells us, are from the energies hidden inside our bodies.

Man's soul stands between two worlds. The soul is the life-spirit placed by God inside a physical body made of Satanic dust. From its Satanic material inheritance the physical body tends to move towards pleasure and away from pain. The physical body is inherently self-indulgent. It wants what it wants when it wants it. It is the home of pride, covetousness, envy, anger, gluttony, concupiscence and sloth.

But the spirit in man's soul has another nature, of divine origin. It prefers truth to falsity, recognition of its creatureliness in the presence of its Creator, sharingness, delight in others good fortune, forgiveness in place of anger, no excess in eating, freedom from slavery to sensuality, and readiness to work to further the development of God's plan for men.

The presence of such opposite forces in man means that man is a battlefield. Whether he knows it or not, or likes it or not, man is a place in which is being fought a tremendous war, a conflict between the force of good and the rival forces of evil. The forces of evil are the energies locked inside matter at the fall of Lucifer. These energies are, from the fact of their fall, frustrated. Their proud purpose has been thwarted. They are out for revenge. Man is the instrument through which they hope to "turn the tables" on God. Man is thus in a very precarious position, and if he does not know his plight, his condition is the worst possible. But if he comes to a true understanding of his station between two worlds, he can choose which he will serve.

The force of good has an advantage over the forces of evil. This advantage is its unity. God is not made of parts, and so cannot fall into separativity.

Part 4.

God is Spirit, infinitely intelligent absolute power. No created being, no matter how strong it may be, can possibly approach to the power of infinity. No Time-Matter creature can, by its own strength, gain entrance into the realm of the Eternal Divine Spirit.

But by the fall into identification with Time-Matter bodies, the minds of men have been trapped and made forgetful of the God who is the Supreme Source of all things. This forgetfulness makes mankind subject to the battle which began with the revolt of Lucifer and his consequent fall into the Satanic condition, for unless the cause of this struggle is understood, man has little likelihood of gaining the victory.

We know that all the things that we see in the universe are made of energy. We know that these things are subject to certain laws which govern their mode of action. We know that until we discover these laws we shall not be able to control the things that are governed by them.

Among the innumerable things governed by these laws, we must recognise our own bodies, brains, nervous structures, and other organs which make our lives possible on earth. As to our physical bodies and their functions, we know that we are governed almost entirely by the same laws that govern the rest of the things in the physical universe. We say "almost entirely" because physical laws do not control absolutely all our possibilities.

Although our physical bodies are made of matter like that of the earth on which we live, matter composed of elements of the atomic scale, elements which can be detected throughout the whole physical. universe, so that our material bodies must be subject to the same laws which govern the rest of the chemical elements which distributed in space, yet there are other forces at work than merely chemical ones.

Where the book of Genesis says that man was made of the dust of the ground, any materialistic thinker can agree with us. But when it says that God, after so forming man, "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul", the materialist cannot accept it. The very notion of materialism implies that man is merely a material thing, complex no doubt, but still mere matter, of the same basic elements that constitute the atomic scale from which the stones of the earth and other planets have been built. These material elements are assumed by the materialist to be entirely governed by physical laws: there is no room here for freedom of will, all is law-conformable. In the materialists universe there is absolutely no room for free will. Man's organism is a machine, under the control of rigid laws which in theory it cannot break.

But this view raises a most important question: if man's body is merely a machine, built of senseless chemical elements, how is it possible for such a machine to feel itself to exist? And further, how is it possible for such a machine, made of elements void of consciousness, to experience the stirrings of conscience?

We can accept that our physical body, as composed of chemical elements, must be under the control of chemical laws. We can accept that the processes of our nervous system are largely governed by the same laws that control other electro-chemical and electro-magnetic systems. But unless we are prepared to deny facts of our own experience, we cannot believe that all that we are is governed in the same way. Materialism cannot explain the facts of feeling-life as we experience it.

We can see• how materialism grew in the mind of man. It was a result of a turning outwards of attention, an extroversion of consciousness onto the merely outward aspects of the things of the world. In the simple fact of this out-turning we can see the origins of a multitude of errors committed by mankind throughout history.

When we look at a tiny seed, from the outside, we can see no evidence of the tree it may become. Yet we have observed repeatedly that this seed has the power mysteriously to produce the tree. Because we cannot see from the outside where is the tree that it may become, we have tried to disclose it by breaking open the seed and examining its parts. But when we examine each part, we do so from its outside, and we find no evidence of the tree's presence. If we then break each part into smaller parts, we are still left with the fact that we have to view each part from the outside, and in each broken-down sub-part we still find no evidence of the tree. Right down to the smallest particle of the matter of the seed, down to the simple atom and even into the level of sub-atomic particles, we are still compelled to examine it from outside, and we find no evidence of the tree. We cannot find any evidence of the tree in the particles into which we may break the seed. What we are forced to admit is that the tree, in its fullness of growth, is somehow mysteriously present as an invisible power of 'treeness'.

No matter how closely we may examine the outside of things, or the outside of their constituent particles, we shall never find the activating principle of their development. The power resident in all things cannot be made visible on the outer surfaces of things. Jesus says that the Kingdom of Heaven is within, and 'heaven' consists in power. The essential creative power of things is in their innermost centre.

But it is this innermost centre of things that we tend to ignore, and especially in our own selves, in our bodies and minds and souls, because the act of examination of the innermost essence of things is very difficult. Atomic research scientists have smashed their way into the nucleus of the atom with great results to industry and commerce, but they have not yet penetrated into the depths of the single electron, and, more importantly, they have not yet disclosed the fundamental principle of thought which has enabled them to accomplish what so far has given them the amount of success they have attained.

There is a gradient of power in the universe. At the top of this gradient is the Supreme Power from which all other powers derive. The Supreme Power is not made of particles. It is a partless continuum, symbolised in the Bible as the "seamless garment" of Christ. Because this Supreme Power is not made of parts, it cannot be broken into by created things that are made of particles. Everything that is limited in form is limited in energy. What is limited in energy cannot break into the unlimited power-field of the eternal God.

And yet, in the world as we know it, there is a battle in progress, a 'struggle between the Supreme, Infinite Power, and the many inferior derivative powers. We ourselves, as created beings, are limited in our available energies. We know this as a fact of experience. Yet inside us we feel everyday tendencies to assert ourselves, impulses to act regardless of the real situations in which we find ourselves. We know that our power is limited but something inside our bodies seems intent on disregarding what we know. This something is the result of the action of the Satanic forces which reside in the fallen matter of our physical world. By "Satanic forces" we mean those energies which we feel in our bodies which demonstrate by their mode of action an intent to disregard, If possible, all modes of restraint that might be placed upon them. These forces have no regard whatever for the principles of order which life must obey if it is to remain alive. It is these forces which lead men towards the grossest materialism, towards a refusal of all belief in the possibility of intelligent co-operation amongst the peoples of the world, towards violent reactive behaviour whenever stress-strain situations present themselves.

It is most unprofitable for us to ignore the presence inside us of these forces, for unless we become conscious that they are at work in us, we shall not be able to avoid the unpleasant and destructive effects of their uncontrolled activity. If we could see them for what they are, forces of unreason, forces of unconsidered reactivity inside us, to lead us into situations which in our more enlightened moments we would avoid, then we could begin to do something to combat their activities.

It is this struggle against the reactive forces of unreason in us that we refer to when we sing "Fight the good fight with all thy might".

There are bad fights, and there is the Good Fight. The bad fights are seen wherever unreason battles against unreason, stupidity against stupidity, selfishness against selfishness. Bad fights are many. The Good Fight is One, and always the same One; it is the fight against unreason, against disregardant energies’ egotism, against the impulses that made Cain murder his brother Abel.

The Good Fight is a battle between the Supreme One and the many derivatives. The Universe is held together by One Supreme Power, the Power-Source from which arise all derivatives or created beings. By very definition, the forces locked inside creatures cannot be superior to the One Infinite Power from which they derive. Partial powers cannot win a battle against the Supreme Unific Power from which they have come into existence. Thus the ultimate outcome of the battle is already in principle decided before it begins. The Infinite One Power will defeat the many separative powers. "The battle was won before the foundation of the World".

But many of mankind today have fallen into disbelief in the Supreme Power of God, because their minds have become extroverted, turned outwards towards the things of the external material world, and in this world we see everywhere around us the evidences of enmities and pluralities of interest. In the outside world we see physical bodies in action and reaction, crashing into each other, driven by uncontrolled forces into rivalries and wars. We do not see the One Supreme Power which works secretly in the innermost depths of beings to further their evolution to higher levels. In the outer world there is much noise, the scream of rival missiles, the incessant cacophony of quarrels, private, national and international. In the innermost world, where the real work towards a new and better humanity is operating, there is silence, the silence of real efficiency. It is to this silence that we must turn to extricate ourselves from the inharmonious clatter of the outside world.

This Silence is a special Silence in which ever speaks "the still small voice" of God. To become able to hear this voice in the outer-worldliness of our innermost heart, we must learn to bring the clamour of our outer mind to stillness. The Bible is a handbook containing the instructions for the attainment of this stillness.

First we are to learn that division is required. We are to acquire the capacity to divide our consciousness into two parts; (1) consciousness of the things of the outside world, and (2) consciousness of the contents of the inside world, the world of impulses, emotions, feelings and ideas. This division is referred to metaphorically in the Book of Genesis, where it says, "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters". The writers of the Bible often express physical and psychological truths under the images of things of the outer world, for these things often give good illustrations of the mode of operation of invisible forces. The parables of Jesus have a similar intent and serve to waken our consciousness and stimulate our intuition to grasp spiritual truths we might otherwise fail to comprehend.

Part 5

Let us go a little into considering why division is a necessity of creative intelligent living. If we allow ourselves for a moment to imagine the removal of dividing lines from all the things in the universe, we see at once that all the energies of which things are made would run together. There would be no world as we know it. No defined forms of things, nor order, would exist. There would simply be an infinite ocean of chaotic energies, an endless confusion of random motions.

But actually we exist in a world in which some order is manifest. The planets move in an orderly predictable manner around the sun, keeping by some mysterious power in their orbits. Our earth, as one of these planets, orbits around the sun, and also rotates on its own axis to give us the measure of our days and nights.

Inside our bodies are other systems of order. Our blood leaves our heart, travels through our arteries and veins and organs and returns to the heart to complete its orderly cycle. Every organ of our body has its own cycle of activities, and responds to the action of others, and to the outer world. Everywhere we look, there is evidence of orderly process, within and without our bodies.

When we look with our physical eyes into the outer world, we see some degree of order. But we see also some evidence of disorder. In the outer world we see nations subsisting by means of some orderly system of behavioural controls, yet we see also nations at war with each other, trying to break down each other's working systems by which they maintain their existence in a competitive world.

In the same way we can see inside our own beings a degree of order, by which we are maintained in existence; and we can see also evidences of disorder. Order maintains us; disorder disintegrates us.

We can see that the disorders and conflicts of the outer world endanger the existence of nations, peoples, societies and families. It is easy to see internally also that disorders and conflicts of the inner world may endanger our individual existence. Conflicting ideas, emotions and impulses may seriously affect our lives. The inner battle creates tensions, stresses and strains which may have the same effect on our body and brain, that an external war between nations has on the earth. We all know what a battlefield torn with shell-fire and bombs looks like. A microphotograph of the inner organs of a human being with an internal war shows similar effects.

Apart from order, there is disorder. Disorder is chaotic energy. Where forces undefined disturb and dissolve each other there is disorder. Where order is, the forces are defined and have specific functions which relate to each other in clearly defined manners. Without definition, order is impossible. Definition rests upon division of forms of energy activity. This is the meaning of "firmament" in the book of Genesis. "Let it (the firmament) divide the waters from the waters". The "firmament" is the Bible word for that activity of energy which divides one thing from another, in order to create the conditions of existence without which the created world we see would not have its being.

"As within, so without; as without, so within". The world, and all things in it, exist by means of the Principle of Order, which rests upon a function of division. If we study the laws which govern the outer world, the laws we there discover are related to laws which we discover in the human being. What we discover outside our being, we can discover also inside, and what we discover inside our being, we can also discover outside it. The same chemicals that are existent in the external world, exist also in our internal world. The same principles of electronic action that we find in the things of the outer world, we discover at work also in our own nervous system.

It is permissible for us to view the outer universe as a mirror-image of the inner world of mankind, or for us to see as a mirror-image of the universe in which we live. For every process we discover inside our own organism, we can find a correspondent function in the universe. Thus when we meditate on our inner processes, we may discover rules which govern the outer world, and when we meditate on processes we observe in the outer world, we may disclose principles inside our own being.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is within" says Jesus. "Heaven" means the place of the balancing of power. It is another word for the firmament, or dividing place of energies. In order to be "in heaven" we must be in a condition of balance. When all our energies are perfectly balanced, our condition is "heavenly". An Olympic Gold-Medallist has gained his well-merited position by efficient balancing of the energies of his organism in relation to the external situation in which he demonstrates his skill. The "heavenly" performance of the great musician is the result of the perfectly balanced co-ordination of muscles, nerves, brain, emotions, intellect and will. Without balance nothing can be effectively performed.

It is this need for balance that requires us to divide our consciousness into two parts: consciousness of the things of the outer world, and consciousness of the contents of our inner world.

From the viewpoint of our survival in the physical world, it is clear that we must make ourselves conscious of the things and conditions of the outer environment. If we wish to remain alive, we do not step off the pavement into the stream of moving traffic without first looking for an opening through which we may pass. In this sense of external world survival need, we might say that our consciousness of the outer world had better take precedence. If we manage to survive physically, we might then be able to pay attention to the processes of our inner development. If through lack of awareness of events in the outer world we are killed, then, temporarily at least, our inner development will cease. Therefore it is well that we usually have sufficient outer awareness to be able to maintain our physical existence.

But when our physical continuance is more or less secure, then we have other, higher levels of existence to consider. We have to look not only at the gross fact of our material continuance, but also at the quality, of our life. It is not enough for us merely to exist; stones do that. Nor is it enough for us to grow; plants do that. Nor is it enough for us to move; animals do that. Nor is it enough for us to be able to think; materialistic men do that, often quite efficiently. If we are to reach the highest station of development destined for us, we are to become spiritually aware.

For this spiritual awareness to develop in us, we must first make ourselves conscious of the difference between the outer world's realities and the realities of the inner world. Outer world realities include material things, objects that act on our physical sense organs from outside, with the changes they undergo, and the events and relations we perceive amongst them. Inner world realities include sensations, feelings, emotions, volitions, ideas and thinking processes, and intuitions.

In the well-balanced person there is an awareness of the realities of both the outer and inner worlds and their contents, and there is a point of consciousness of where these two worlds meet and relate to each other. We can use a figure of eight (8) to represent the two worlds and their meeting point. We can think of the figure eight as composed of two circles which touch at a certain point (8). The upper circle then represents the inner world of the mind, and the lower circle then represents the outer world of material things and their relationships. At the meeting point of the two circles is the point of consciousness where the two worlds meet.

Consciousness is very mysterious, for we can 'centre' it wherever we wish. We can "focus" it outside our physical body onto some object of the external material world; or we can centre it inside our body, in the head or elsewhere. When we focus it outside we say we are extroverted. When we centre it inside ourselves we say we are introverted. We can all do both outer and inner concentration to some degree. But most of us tend to se biased to some degree towards extroversion or introversion. If we tend habitually to focus our attention on things of the outer material world, we call ourselves extroverts. If we habitually turn our attention inwards to mental events we are introverts. The ideal condition is that in which we can at will turn our attention to either the outer or inner world or to be able to stand mentally at the intersection point of both, and look both ways, like the double-headed eagle seen in heraldic designs.

Although for material survival reasons we have to pay attention to the outer world's things, yet once we are assured that we are relatively likely to survive, we are to turn our attention inwards in order to "see" how to improve the quality of our lives. Simply looking at things in the outer world is not enough to improve the quality of living. We must also move them about, change their relations with each other, see how they act and interact with each other. This is the way followed by many materialistic scientists, and can be a long and very laborious process. Any method of economising on this method can be a great time-saver.

Luckily for us there is another method of studying the interrelation of things, and this is by setting up images in our minds, and then performing with them operations by means of our imagination. Imagination is the power in our mind which is able to form images of things of the external world and to perform operations with them and observe the results of these operations, and to imagine new operations by manipulating the results of previous ones. Also to perform images of things that do not yet exist in the material world, and operate with these images, and combine them with images of outer world existent things, and observe the results of all these operations, and so on, to infinity. Such mental operations are the source of many*of man's greatest inventions.

But imagination is not only a very efficient and economic way of creating new inventions to increase the number of useful devices in the outer material world. Imagination is also a very potent force by which we can investigate the contents and possibilities of our own being. With it we can do internal experiments in our soul. We can find out all our psychic capabilities and investigate even our spiritual nature.

For this investigation we need a clear division between our inner, mental world, and the things of the outer material world. The gross material things of the outer world can be used as "anchors" for consciousness, while the more fluid contents of the mental and soulish and spiritual life are investigated. Here we can see the use of an external object designed to remind us of an eternal principle. Let us take a simple example: The circle as drawn on a piece of paper (0) can serve to remind us of the need to make ourselves aware that our physical being is a limited being, bounded by our skin surface, and that outside the circle of our limited being is infinite space, in which are innumerable beings, other than our own self.

The binding circle of our skin is our "firmament", the pre-condition of our continuing existence in the world. Destroy this "firmament" and we shall destroy our own being, just as if the Creator of the Universe were to destroy the celestial firmament, the whole universe would vanish.

Without division God could not have made the orderly world in which we live, move and have our being. By means of division, He has created all the different levels of existence which we observe around us. The primary division from which derive all others is the sphere.

Part 6

The sphere is the simplest form of container, and the most economic. The Creator of the universe used spherical motion to enclose the world, and in doing set up a system of cyclic actions, which brought order into being. Every system we know of is based on circular motion patterns, and the typical most economic three-dimensional circular motion is spherical.

We can see that if we surround a portion of space with spherically rotating energy, that space will be protected or guarded from whatever energy activity is occurring outside that place. We can call such a place a guarded place or "Garden". We can think of the whole universe as a vast guarded place. "Universe" means "one turn", and we use the word when we wish to think of all reality as a whole system protected from the infinity of forces beyond. The universe we know is expanding into boundless space, like a vast balloon, the "skin" of which is made of spherically rotating energy. This whole sphere we can call the "ordered realm of Being", as opposed to the infinity of non-ordered forces beyond.

With the vast "guarded" place which is our universe we can think of other smaller guarded places, smaller spheres within the Great Sphere of the Universe. Such a sphere is our own solar system with the sun at its centre and even smaller spheres within it, which we call planets, one of which is our earth. Each sphere can be thought of as a "guarded" place, and on our earth we can think of certain places as more "guarded" than others. For instance, a valley surrounded by a ring of mountains which protect the valley from the fierce winds that blow around it, or a place around which man has built a strong wall to protect that place from destructive forces which rage outside. Such a place we call a "garden". Such a place is signified by the "Garden of Eden" in the book of Genesis.

A garden is a guarded place, an enclosure in which are grown things of use to whoever decided that the garden should be made. The Garden of Eden was such a place. We read in the second chapter of Genesis, "And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil".

There is something very mysterious about this Garden. It is made and planted by God. Everything that man needs for his life is in it, trees of beauty to delight his eyes, and bearing fruit to serve as food for him; and in the centre the "Tree of Life", and yet also a "tree of knowledge of good and evil". Why should this Tree of Knowledge be there? God planted it, yet commanded man not to eat of its fruit, for said God, "in the day that thou eatest of it, thou shalt surely die". This tree of knowledge, and the forbidding of it, is one of the greatest mysteries in the Bible. What is there in the knowledge of good and evil that makes it dangerous and a source of death to man?

To answer this question we must look at the nature of knowledge. To know a thing we must enter into some sort of relationship with it. To enter into relationship with it we must in some way contact it, either directly or indirectly. To contact a thing is to be touched by it, or influenced by it. To be influenced by a thing is for that thing in some sense to "flow" into us. This knowledge places us in some degree under the influence of that which we know. To know "Good" is to be influenced by good. To know evil is to be influenced by evil.

When we wish to know something we have to subject ourself to that thing, we have to expose ourself to it, allow ourself to be vulnerable to it, allow it to flow into us, to influence us. Now, this is all very well if we allow only good things to influence us; but it is not well if we allow evil things to flow into us.

But why should there be a tree of knowledge of good and evil? Why should there not be two trees, one of the knowledge of good, and one of the knowledge of evil? If the knowledge fruit of good were on one tree, and the knowledge fruit of evil were on another tree, then we would be able safely to eat of the good knowledge tree, and ignore the evil knowledge tree. Why did God not plant just a tree of good knowledge in the garden? The answer to this question is found by looking at the nature of knowledge itself, and especially at the nature of that mental faculty which we call the intellect.

We can be aware of things with various degrees of vagueness or of clarity. We can "feel", as we say, a thing, or a relationship, or a situation, without bothering to define precisely its form. For most occasions we often think that this is enough for our purposes. But if we wish to know precisely the nature of a thing, we have to define its form and the way this form functions. For this, we have to sharpen our awareness, examine the form of the thing, note how the form determines the way the thing can act, or can be used. The form is closely related to the function. The form of a hammer allows us to use it to deliver a blow to a thing; the form of a screw-driver allows us to turn a screw; the form of a saw allows us to saw through a piece of wood, and so on.

Now, to look closely and sharply at the form and function of a thing is to gain precise knowledge of that thing, and to see what purpose or purposes it might be used for. As soon as we decide to gain such knowledge with a view to the possible fulfilling of some purpose, we are using the very precise mental faculty which we call the "intellect". Intellect is that mental power which enables us to see how to realise certain purposes by precise definition of the form and function of things.

There is nothing vague about the intellect. It deals with precisely defined forms and functions and purposes to be attained. But the intellect, through its aim of gaining perfect clarity, has developed a peculiar characteristic: it sees things exclusively. In the pursuit of perfect clarity it has taught itself to see things as separate from other things. It defines one thing as not another thing, one form as not another from, one function as not another function. In the process of gaining this power to separate things clearly from each other, it has invented some rules, and by these rules it conducts its thought processes. The three basic rules that it has made for itself state that (1) a thing is what it is; (2) a thing is not what it is not; (3) a thing cannot be both what it is and not what it is. These simple rules appear self-evident and safe to use, but in practice there are dangers.

Total reality contains all conceivable forms and functions of all possible things, events, conditions and relationships. But the intellect, the faculty by which we gain sharply defined knowledge of forms, functions and purposes, has developed an exclusivist way of thinking which uses the idea that we can say that one thing is not another, and then, by extending this, that one state of a thing is not another state, then that states have "opposites". For example, "Good" and "evil" are viewed as opposites, as are "high" and "low", "near" and "far", "kind" and "Unkind" and so on. But all these are parts of total reality. The opposites presuppose each other. If there is "high", there is "low"; if there is "near" there is "far"; if there is "good", there is "evil". The intellect, having aimed for exclusivist clarity of knowledge, has put itself in the position where it has to accept that opposites presuppose each other, that if "good" exists, then "evil" exists.

But having evolved his precise intellectual instrument, man has then found that he prefers one of a pair of opposing ideas to the other. Man sets his ideas in pairs of opposites which presuppose each other, and calls this "logical", then illogically pursues one of the pair to the exclusion of the other. He sets up pairs like "good" and "evil" and "pleasure" and "pain", and then tries to secure for himself the "good" and the "pleasant", and to avoid the "evil" and the "painful". It is just precisely this error that Jesus Christ came to remove.

Whatever is meant by "good" and "evil", both are part of a total reality. Any attempt on our part to remove one from the other absolutely denies that the one we wish to remove is part of total reality.

We can see now that when God planted the tree of knowledge in the garden, it had to be a tree of pairs of opposite ideas. Knowledge brought to its greatest clarity demonstrates that it is based in ideas of opposites: if there is knowledge of "good", there must also be knowledge of "evil". As long as man pursues knowledge of the one, he will commit himself to the discovery of the other. If he pursues knowledge of the "good", he will find "evil". If he seeks knowledge of "evil", he will find knowledge of "good".

God's wisdom contains the totality of all conceivable knowledges, of things called "good" and things called "evil". In this wisdom is the knowledge that if man takes it upon himself to know "good" and to know "evil", he will divide his mind. This is what is meant when God says that in the day that man eats of the knowledge, he shall die. After eating the fruit of the tree bf knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve are still alive, and are banished from the Garden of Eden, outside which they continue to live for a time, and to beget children, but a change has been brought about in their being.

By their choosing to know "Good " and "evil" Adam and Eve have introduced into themselves a conflict which will later kill them. By this knowledge they have placed themselves under the idea of separativity. The intellect works by separating one thing from another. It pursues clarity of form, and clear forms are separated from each other. The final stage of this separative action is the separation of man from God. Man, in pursuing formal clarity, defines himself as distinct from God. Man sees man as an existent visible being. The opposite of "visible" is "invisible". Man then concentrates on what is "visible" to him, his own body, and the body of the thing around him. His consciousness is thus shifted from the realm of the invisible Spirit of God, into the world of the visible things of matter. By his act of choosing knowledge rather than obedience to God, man had alienated himself from God, his very source of being. This alienation was a spiritual death. The free spontaneous creativity of Spirit had been abandoned for the slavish, calculated subordination to the dictatorship of external materiality. God-worship was given up for Mammon worship.

That man feels guilty about this self-alienation from Spirit is shown in the third chapter of the book of Genesis, for after the eating of the forbidden fruit, "Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden.

Part 7

One moment Adam was able to communicate freely with the spirit which God had breathed into him. The next moment the whole balance of forces within Adam has changed. His attention has left the centre of his being where God's eternal Word can be heard within the quiet mind. Now his grasp at external knowledge has drawn him out from his spiritual centre into the world of his external sense organs. He has fallen into the outer material world. With one act he has destroyed his power of listening wholeheartedly to the Spirit of God within his own sacred centre, and has placed himself under the dominion of external matter.

Henceforth Adam would have to conduct his life guided not by God's all-knowing spirit, but by the external knowledge of the material world he would have to gain from the use of his outer physical sense-organs and the action of material things upon them.

"Where the treasure is, there is the heart also". By accepting the suggestion made to him by Eve, who had been given to him as a helpmate, Adam had placed himself under the direction of a hinder-mate. The true relationship with the Divine Spirit had been broken. Adam, a creature of God, was supposed to listen to the voice of his Creator, the Creator who had placed in Adam's centre the Spirit of Life, by which Adam was to allow himself to be conducted through life.

By allowing his mind to be caught by Eve's suggestion, Adam had externalised his attention, focussed his mental powers upon the things of the outer, material world. Thus, by this act he had placed himself under the dominion of matter.

Let us think clearly about this. We have two directions in which we can focus our attention. We can look inside ourselves and see what is taking place in our thoughts and feelings and will, thus becoming conscious of the ideas which pass through our mind, aware of our feelings, our likings and dislikings, and of what our will is trying to achieve. We can also look outside our physical body and focus our attention on the things we see in the external material world.

When we look at external material things, these stimulate our sense-organs, our eyes, our ears and so on. The impressions received by these sense-organs are stored up in our brain and become centres of interest for us. Gradually we furnish our mind with images of the things of the outer world. The more our interest is in external things, the more our energy is used to perceive them and to relate to them. We see them, and we act on them according to whether we find them productive of pleasure or pain.

But all our activities use up energy. We are creatures, that is, beings with limited bodies, limited sense-organs, and limited amounts of energy. If we use our energy in one direction, we are taking energy away from other directions in which we might use it. To engage our attention with things of the external world, is to take away energy from our inner psychological processes.

Adam is the type of all men. When he turned his attention away from the inner voice of God which reminded him of what he had been commanded, and placed his interest in the suggestion made to him by Eve, he removed some of his energy from his inner mental processes and focussed it in the outer world of things. Thus the Voice of God within him became relatively less easy to hear, and the voice of Eve and the things of the outer world dominated his mind and carried his attention into the material things of that world.

That to which we give our attention dominates our consciousness. In the act of deciding that he would like to know what things in the world were good, and what things were evil, Adam, without realising it, cut himself off from easy communication with his own innermost soul. In effect, he split himself into two beings, a forgotten innermost being, and a strongly remembered outer being. This was the beginning of the split in the mind of Adam and of all his descendants.

We, who are descendants of the first man, still suffer the consequences of his act. Our mind has been divided in two. When we are awake our attention tends to be caught by the things of the outer world, and in being so caught, our energy becomes drawn away from our innermost processes, and is carried into the external world. Thus we have become less and less aware of what is going on in our mind's depths, and more and more aware of what is happening amongst the things of the outer world. Our loss of inner awareness, and the superstress placed on outer data of the external material world's things has divided our mind into what we have come to call "the unconscious" and the "conscious" minds.

This split into conscious and unconscious minds is the biggest single cause of the world's troubles, for the purposes of our conscious and unconscious mind operate in opposite directions.

Not only has the mind of man been split into an outward turned and inward turned part, but each part has its own intention and purpose. The outward turned mind aims to examine the things of the external world, to sort them out into what is called "good" and "bad" for it, by which generally it has come to mean "what is pleasant" and "what is unpleasant". Thus it tends to spend all of its time and energy trying to accumulate knowledge of outer material things, and only when it has expended all of its available energy in this outer process, and is tired, does it allow itself to withdraw into the neglected inner mind and soul.

By the time that its lack of energy has caused the externalised conscious mind to withdraw its attention from the outer world, it has insufficient energy to examine its neglected inner world and so falls asleep. It is glad to be able to escape for a while from the hard work of continuous examination of the things of the outer world, but it has insufficient energy to examine the state of its own inner correspondent split-off half of the mind.

Thus sleep falls, and consciousness is displaced by unconsciousness, disturbed, perhaps, only by dreams arising occasionally in the depth of sleep, dreams caused by unsolved problems of waking time.

Mankind today believes that there are two minds, a conscious mind, about which it knows, and the contents if which it can give a fairly accurate verbal description, and an unconscious mind, about which it knows practically nothing, except that it is entered into in sleep, that dreams sometimes disturb it, and that there arise from it at times vague feelings of uneasiness and anxiety.

In principle the contents of the unconscious may be made conscious. This happens for odd moments in sleep when a dream breaks our rest. But in general the processes which take place in the unconscious remain unknown to us.

Yet these unconscious processes are not without their effects upon us, and upon our conscious processes. The unconscious has a problem which the conscious refuses to consider.

The conscious mind is externalised, and occupies itself daily with an attempt to analyse the things of the world, to decide which of them are "good" (that is, give pleasure) and which of them are "bad" (that is, give displeasure or pain).

This analysis of the things of the outer world aims to cut them to pieces, to reduce them to primary particles. This aim led to the attempt to locate the ultimate particles of matter which, it was hoped, would be atoms (i.e. uncuttable bits of matter). If these were found, it would then be possible, so the scientists thought, to determine which atoms, or combinations of atoms, would be "good" for a given purpose, and which "bad".

But unfortunately for the scientists, the believed-in atoms were not found. The "atom" was found to be misnamed. It was not "uncuttable". With new technology the atom was cut, split into still smaller particles, into electrons, protons, neutrons and other energy-behaviours. And all these, instead of being accessible to careful laboratory experiments which could force them to give up their secrets, became more and more tenuous, more and more like mere behaviour-probabilities of energies, all of which were but modalities of one vast energy field.

The conscious analytic attempt to split into assumed constituent particles, was an attempt to divide the world into the parts, believed to constitute it. But the unconscious has another purpose. The splitting of the world into imaginary constituent particles, makes the unconscious mind uneasy. The unconscious aims to reverse the process of splitting the world into bits which occupies the conscious mind. The unconscious is at war with the conscious. Here is the origin of humanity's troubles.

A process of division of reality into bits, started by the first man, whom we call, for convenience "Adam", is still continuing. In spite of splitting of the believed uncuttable "atom" and the disclosure that it has parts, electrons, protons, neutrons, etc., and in spite of the knowledge that these "parts" are but particular behaviours of energy, and that energy itself is a vast partless continuum, the search for ultimate particles goes on. The inertia of the original belief in unsplitable atoms carries on and carries with it many of the thinking processes of scientists.

Meanwhile, the "unconscious" mind continues its attempt to put back together again the broken particles of thought invented by the analytical mental process. But the unconscious has been deprived of much of the energy it needs by the extroverted mental processes of the waking condition, and only when tiredness forces the conscious analytical mind to rest in sleep can the unconscious mind continue uninterruptedly its work of "putting Humpty Dumpty together again". In sleep the unconscious mind repairs the ravages made by the conscious mind's analytical activities on the body and its cells. And in sleep the unconscious mind works to "knit up the ravell'd sleeve of care" which makes uneasy the whole being.

But in most of us the battle of the conscious and unconscious is very uneven, and is weighted on the side of the conscious, for it is in the conscious events of our daily life in the outer world that our greatest interests lie.

The dangers to our physical body in our swiftly moving society are very real. Every year thousands of people are injured or killed on our motor roads, or in airplanes. Every year we hear of thousands killed in natural cataclysms, storms, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. The external world is a dangerous world. It is not surprising that we spend so much of our energy on trying to understand and control outer material events.

But in our justifiable watching of the external events of the material world that exists and threatens the existence of our physical body, we have fallen into the neglecting of our inner psychological processes. We know much of the great technological improvements introduced into our life pattern in the outer world. We know very little of the effects of the splitting of our being into "conscious" and "unconscious" parts.

Correspondent with our increasing external technological advances, we have deep within us a decreasing inner awareness of our own motivations. The conflicts that split the outer world of mankind's civilisations have arisen from the deficiencies or our inner understanding of our own selves. The violence we see everywhere breaking out in our societies is but the reflection of the inner violence we have done to our own minds and hearts.

When Adam, our first human ancestor, accepted the suggestion that he should know "good" and "evil", he had put his foot on a long, long road which all his descendants would have to tread.

Part 8

The decision of Adam to know "good" and "evil" resulted in his expulsion from the garden of Eden, for "Eden" signifies a state of innocence and non-judgement. The real "Eden" is in the centre of the human soul. To turn our attention outward into the external world of material things with such intensity that we forget our innermost being is to leave "Eden". To lose energy by our continued interest in the things of the outer world so that we have sufficient power to fight our way back into our innermost soul, is, in effect, to "shut out" from the garden. Differences of energy levels are relative. Fallen Adam had not the level of energy needed to re-enter the "Eden" within him, the innermost centre of his being.

Thus God "drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life".

When Adam turned his attention from the centre of his being in order to "know good and evil" in the outer world, God said "now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever", he must be sent forth from the garden. Here is a tremendously important idea.

Let us consider for a few moments the significance of this statement. Having fallen into extraversion, that is, having had his interest captivated by the things of the outer world, if Adam, our first ancestor, had been allowed to "eat of the tree of life", he would have lived for ever. But having been captured by the things of the external world and having lost interest in the inner world in which alone lay his awareness of his real spiritual nature, he would, if he had been immortal, have been condemned to live forever, in a state of externalised materialism.

If our mind were to remain captivated by the things of the outer world, so that we forgot the reality of our innermost spirit, we would, in effect, live as materialists without any consciousness of our spiritual origin. And if we were also immortal, we should be condemned to live forever as if we were but part of the world of gross material things. We would have lost the one thing that differentiates us from the other creatures that live on earth, the consciousness of our origin as spiritual beings.

What would be our mental condition if we did not believe in our spiritual origin? Let us suppose that we became so captured in our mind by the things of the material world, that we came to believe that only material things are real. Then we would pursue knowledge of things only in material terms. We would see "good" and "evil" merely as the ways in which one material thing affects another. We would see our own beings merely as material things, structures of matter, which act in the way they act merely because they could not act otherwise. To see our bodies as nothing but material things functioning only according to the rules of matter, would be to see ourselves as nothing more than somewhat complicated machines.

Included in our materialistic view of ourselves would be the idea that our mind is nothing but a function of our brain, and our brain but a rather delicately structured machine which could not react in any way to stimuli reaching it from the things of the outer world other than mechanically. Thus we would see ourselves physically and mentally merely as machines.

There are certain kinds of scientists in the world who have brought themselves to this view. They have followed the directives of their outward-turned sense organs and come to believe that they are actually nothing but material mechanisms which cannot do other than obey the same laws which they assume govern the other material things of the universe. Such men interpret their behaviour as entirely conditioned by the mechanical laws that rule in the material universe. These men do not believe that the words "free will" have any meaning. For them every activity of mankind is governed entirely by material law.

What does it mean for us if we accept such a view? It means that "life" is a meaningless word, that it is a word that has arisen from mechanical processes in a material brain, from some not understood brain-activities that have given rise to the process we call "speaking" (which is itself but a product of mechanical or electro-chemical processes in the material brain).

On this view nothing is "meaningful" in the sense we have so far believed. The very word "meaningful" is itself but another example of the activities of our materially conditioned brain. The question "what is the meaning of meaning?" is here nonsense. Life on this view has no meaning. Words are but noises arising unavoidably from the working of the material brain.

If we were to accept this view, our whole process of existing would be merely that of machines, acting in the way that they act simply because they cannot do otherwise. Now, let us imagine that these "machines" can last forever, that they cannot wear out, that nothing can destroy them; what kind of world is this? It is a senseless world.

But something in us revolts against this senselessness. As we actually experience ourselves, we are not senseless. We feel our own existence. If we were really machines, and nothing but machines, we would be unable to feel, unable to revolt. But something in us does revolt, and this something is not mechanical, and cannot be mechanical.

The revolutionary impulse within us is evidence of spirit within us, for spirit implies freedom, and machines have no freedom.

Now we can examine the idea that expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the departure of man from his innermost spiritual centre, implies death. "In the day that thou eatest (of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) thou shalt surely die," said God.

When man fell into captivity of the outer material world, he had placed himself on the path that leads to total materialism of the grossest kind, a materialism that would lead him finally .into total identification with his being as a mere machine, entirely bound by the laws that govern all material things. If in this state of material machine-identification, man had been allowed to "eat of the tree of life", he would have been trapped forever into a mere machine-existence.

Here we can see death, not as an enemy of mankind, but as his greatest friend, a friend who saves him from the perpetual meaninglessness of a mere machine existence. For in death the soul of man is released from the mechanicality of external material things. In death man returns to the spiritual origin which is his true home, from whence at the creation of Adam he first emerged.

Death and sleep are closely allied. Each night when we go to sleep we let go of the material things of the outer world and enter again into our innermost centre. On the way, we may pass through the realm of dreams, where we are to some degree still conditioned by memories of things of the outer world, but once we have passed through this dream-realm we enter into the innermost depth of our being, the Garden of Eden from which our extraverted waking life shuts us out.

It is really astonishing, if we think about it, that we have the courage to let ourselves go into the realm of deep sleep, for there we have no knowledge of ourselves as we know ourselves in the light of day. At night we enter a kingdom of non-Self, and return in the morning to the world of Self. And we do this each night fearlessly. It is as if somehow we know that when we lay down our outer Self to sleep, we have laid down nothing of any ultimate value. We act as if when tomorrow comes we shall return from the Kingdom of our innermost essence and pick up our outer waking Self as a kind of garment which we will wear during day-time consciousness in order to conduct whatever business we have in the outer world.

Machines neither wake nor sleep. We do both. In our outer waking state we can attend to the things of the outer world which we decide profitable to manipulate. In our deepest sleep state we return to our spiritual source to replenish our soul and repair our body.

Our dream state is an intermediate state between the outermost and innermost worlds. In the dream we find elements, from the external world commingled with elements from the inner world. Some of these inner elements are reminiscences of the innermost world of spirit, the world which is our true eternal home. Sometimes these innermost elements find their way into our outer waking life, and give us back a sense of the real meaningfulness of our being. It is at the moment of such inbreaks of spiritual awareness that we begin to understand the meaning of our presence in the universe. Adam, our first human ancestor, need not have fallen into the state of identification with external material things, but he did so. Now-we, who are his linear descendants, have to find the way back to the lost Garden of Eden. Luckily for us we have a guide, but before we talk about this guide we will restate our present position, so that we shall know clearly from where we must start our return journey to the garden.

Adam, the first father of us all, although warned by his Creator not to presume to know "good" and "evil", acting on advice from outside himself, disobeyed the warning. As a result of his disobedience he and his adviser, Eve, had to leave the garden in which only the innocent could live. To make sure that fallen Adam and his spouse would not live forever in a state of slavery to external mechanical laws, a band of energy (called symbolically "a flaming sword") kept the pair from the tree of life thus allowing them to escape their external slavery by entry into death.

We, as the descendants of this first human pair, have the same tendencies to extraversion that they had. We are their inheritors. We tend to externalise our attention onto the things of the outer material world. We tend to forget the spirit of freedom which dwells in the innermost centre of our being. We tend to fall into repetitive mechanical behaviour patterns. In effect, largely we behave as if we were merely machines operating under material laws of stimuli and reaction. If we were immortal we would be condemned to a perpetual existence of repeated mechanical activities. Luckily for us death offers us an escape from such ceaseless mechanicality.

The question for us now is this: Expelled from the Garden where only innocence can live, deprived of the immortality which would have been ours if our first parents had obeyed the divine command, what are we to do? God, the Creator of all living beings, has set before us the choice between life and death, and has recommended us to choose life.

Death can be viewed in various ways. The worst way is the perpetual slavery of repetitive mechanical behaviour, which we call a "living" death. But death may be viewed also as a transition from one world to another, from the world of mechanistic slavery to the world of free initiative, which we call the world of spirit, for "His worship is perfect freedom".

We are to see the expression "this world and the next world" as having a special meaning. By "this world" we mean the outer world of material things, By "the next world" we mean the world of innermost being.

Part 9

These two worlds, the inner and the outer, are "next" to each other, not in the sense that two material objects are next to each other, but in the sense that two forces of different vibrational frequency are "next" to each other on the vibratory scale. Their vibrations interpenetrate each other without fusing together, just as our inner mental world interpenetrates the world of our physical body, yet remains somehow distinguishable from it.

We know that "matter" is only energy behaving in a certain way, and we know also that "mind" is energy behaving in another way. We can think of "matter" and "mind" as two different behaviour patterns of energy, or two different rates of vibration of the one supreme energy that differentiates itself as all the things we experience in the universe. "Matter" is a relatively coarse kind of behaviour of energy. "Mind" is a relatively fine kind of the same energy.

When Adam fell into identification with the coarser kind of energy which constituted the "matter" of his physical body he lost his previous awareness of the very fine energy that operated in his innermost centre. His whole consciousness thus fell from its highest level of operation, in which he was aware of the spiritual nature of his being. By this fall he became a being conditioned by the coarse, lower energies of his physical body. His spiritual capacity for intuiting divine truths was lost. Now he had to rely for his mental contents merely on what his physical sense organs could convey to him. He had become a being of the outer world. He was no longer aware of his innermost spiritual essence, which now was covered over by the coarse sense perceptions of his physical body.

In this fallen condition, Adam was no longer in his original state of Edenic innocence. He had chosen to know "good" and "evil", and by this choice had committed himself and all mankind to experience both.

Once fallen into the outer coarse physical body, he had made himself dependent on his outer physical sense organs for all his knowledge, except for a vague memory of his previous unfallen state, a memory which left him with a sense of guilt and anxiety. This anxiety still exists inside us, for we are his descendants, and it constitutes the ever-present background of our mental life. Somehow we know that somewhere long ago we fell from grace, from a state of unalloyed happiness into a world where care dogs our footsteps every moment. We try to cover up this awareness that all is not well with us by throwing ourselves into the outer world. We occupy our bodies and minds with the struggle for external physical survival, but still, in the background of our minds we feel that we have made a mistake in our choice of direction.

When Adam found himself outside the garden of Eden, fallen from awareness of his own innermost spiritual centre, he found himself facing a world of things the inner significance of which he could not comprehend. Before his fall he had been able to intuit the innermost spiritual nature of things. Now he had ne possibility of knowing them other than by the use of his physical sense organs. Now he must begin the external study of things and try by use of his outer senses to disclose their nature.

Thus in the fourth chapter of Genesis we read that "Adam knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain". Cain, this first born child of fallen Adam and Eve, was "a tiller of the ground". By his parents' fall his consciousness had been directed downwards to the earth, towards matter. From this point the rest of human history was to be an attempt to "raise Cain" from his identification with the material world.

The mind of Cain was a mind with a direction like that of any thorough going materialistic scientist, a mind dedicated to the investigation of the properties of the outer material world, a mind determined to find out by physical experiments the nature of "good" and "evil", but meaning by these terms "that which is efficient" and "that which is inefficient". The spiritual meaning of these words, which pertains to the condition of the innermost will, was forgotten.

When we say that a hammer is "good" for hitting a nail, or a pair of pincers is "good" for pulling one out, we mean by "good" that it is "efficient" that is, that it can do the job economically, without waste of energy. When we say that a flat tyre is "bad" to ride on, we mean that it is inefficient, that it does not make for safe, speedy travelling by car.

Such uses of "good" and "bad" refer to the efficiency or inefficiency of material things when applied to activities which we wish to pursue in the outer world.

But there are other uses of these word$. We can talk of "good" and "bad" will, and here we may refer, not to the efficiency or otherwise of the will but to an altogether different idea, an idea not very easy to define in material terms.

When we say that a certain man is a "man of good will" we do not mean that he is a man of material efficiency. We mean that his innermost attitude towards the beings and creatures in the world is one of love and helpfulness. Such a man may not actually be physically very efficient. He may have been born with some disabilities, like those we see in certain babies who come into the world with impaired functions of body or brain. Or he may have little interest in the things that make for outer material efficiency. But whether the one or the other, he can still be a "man of good-will".

Whether he is a man of "good" or "evil" will, does not depend on his capacity for efficient performance of physical activities, but on the innermost state of his Will.

"Will" is the most mysterious of all powers. "Will" is not a material thing that we can put on a laboratory table and cut up. It cannot be put under a microscope and its structure disclosed. to a camera. It is so intangible that some scientists disbelieve totally it its existence and think that the word "will" is a non-sense word. Such scientists do not use the word "will", but prefer to think of all the activities of so-called living beings as a product of mechanical, chemical or electrical action and reaction.

But actually, inside ourselves, we know what we mean when we say that we "will" only the best for those we love; and we know what we mean when we experience "hate" for someone who has deliberately done us an injury, and we do feel that we have a "good" will towards that person. For us, who are not materialist scientists, the word "will" refers to a fact of innermost reality. We cannot define this fact in external materialistic terms, but we do know by our own innermost feelings the difference between the will that is "good" and the will that is "bad" or "evil".

We find, then, that the words "good" and "bad" have two different fields of application: one in which they refer to efficiency and inefficiency in the outer material world, and one in which they refer to the condition of the will in the inner spiritual world. These two opposing uses we are to keep clearly distinguished in our mind.

Cain, the first born of Adam and Eve, killed Abel, his brother. When he did this deed, what was the condition of Cain's will? The Bible says that "Cain was very wroth". He was angry because he and his brother had made offerings to the Lord, and his brother's offering was accepted, and his own offering not. In his anger, Cain murdered his brother.

Cain's will towards his brother was at that moment evil. The blow he struck was efficient in causing Abel's death. When a soldier intends to shoot another soldier, and does so, he says that his marksmanship is "good". If he misses, he says that his aim is "bad".

But the soldier who shoots another soldier has also a state of will, which is defined as "good" or "evil" according to his belief in the righteousness of his cause. If a soldier believes sincerely that he is fighting for the "right", he can say that his will is "good", regardless of the efficiency of his marksmanship, and he can justify his act to himself by defining the soldier that he shoots as fighting on the "wrong" side, fighting for the "evil" enemy. This is how soldiers are able to kill their opponents during a war, whilst during a period of peace they would fee! "wrong" to do so.

This question of the different uses of the words "good" and "bad" (or "evil") is very important for us to understand. We can do an efficient act of destruction (like bull-dozing down a building no longer needed) without defining destruction as "bad". But the same act could be done with "evil" intent, with a "bad" will, and then would not have the same human significance.

Cain killed his brother. Cain was angry. His action sprang from his anger. His will was to strike at Abel because God had accepted Abel's offering. Cain might have asked himself why God distinguished between the two offerings, and might have discovered that his own offering sprang from a wrong state of will. But he did not. He dare not strike at God, so he struck instead at his brother. How often is one person punished for another's action? Here is the beginning of the idea of the "Scapegoat".

The "Scapegoat" is one who, being himself guiltless, is punished for the misdeeds of another. Abel is the first example of the scapegoat given to us in the Bible. There are other examples given later, and human history's advance may legitimately be viewed as the history of a long line of scapegoats, each one an Abel in his day, and Jesus their conscious head.

The Bible traces certain type figures through from their first appearance to their final gathering together for their great confrontation in the book of Revelation. The scapegoat is one of these type figures. The thwarted, angry man is another. Adam and Eve are the type of innocent but disobedient figures. The serpent is the type of subtle, sensual being who pursues knowledge for the sake of pleasure and pleasure for the sake of self indulgence.

All these, and other type figures, represent aspects of the total pattern of universal life, each aspect having its own significance and value within the whole. Without its opposite, no quality can be adequately defined. Without "evil" we cannot define "good", without "disobedience" we cannot define "obedience". This fact places us in a very difficult position, in which only extreme sensitivity can bring us to clear understanding.

Adam and Eve, created in a state of innocence, with no idea of the meaning of evil, could not have known in that state what today we all know very clearly. The question is raised for us, are we better or worse off than our first ancestors were in their state of innocence?

If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God's command; if, as a result of their obedience they had remained in the garden of Eden, and had lived forever, could they have understood the kind of things that we today understand? Could they have known compassion as we do when we see our loved ones suffering? Could they have known what it means for us to stand firm in the presence of temptation? Could they have known what purification of the fallen soul means in the act of repentance?

However we reply to these questions we must believe that our understanding of life differs from that of the Unfallen Adam and Eve.

Part 10

If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God's Command; if they had not chosen to know evil as well as good, they would never have known the stresses and strains to which the human soul may be subjected. They would have known only the harmonious, easy life of the soul fully conformed to God's will. They would not have known the difficulties under which we today live our lives.

Do we consider ourselves fortunate that we know something of evil as well as of good? Do we believe that our condition as human beings would have been better than we now know it if our first parents had not chosen to know evil as well as good?

This is a very difficult question, one that may give rise to much discussion, and raise problems bearing on matters of theology, but we can say that, in the world into which we are born, it is better for us now to know that "good" and "evil" exist, and better for us to gain some power to discriminate between them, especially in relation to their effects upon our being.

We say that God moves in a mysterious way to perform His wonders, that He can bring forth good out of evil, but this does not justify any evil that we may do. We cannot say that because God can turn everything to good account it does not matter what we do.

Once we accept that "evil" means "against life", and that we have some power to choose between actions that make for life and actions that-tend towards death, then we place ourselves under the definition either of "good" or of "evil", according to whether our will is directed towards life or death.

That Cain was angry and killed his brother, allows us to say that in this act Cain did "evil". He acted against the life of Abel. That God did not immediately put Cain to death for his murderous act, we may view as an example of God's mysterious way of dealing with evil. When Cain feared that every man would seek to kill him, God set a mark upon Cain, to forbid men to kill him. Cain would have to live long enough to be able to contemplate the meaning of his evil deed. No wonder that he said, "my punishment is greater than I can bear". What worse punishment can a man suffer than to be placed in a position where he must face the consequences of his evil actions, and yet be required to live?

The world cannot be quite the same after a man has committed an evil deed. Like Cain, he must fear reprisals, and his life must be lived in a state of self-defensive tension and unease. We all know that even a little crime tends to make us fear discovery and reprisals. Even to be unkind to another human being tends to put us on guard against a possible like reaction from that being. The life of an ill-willed person cannot be happy.

The precondition of true happiness is a good will, a will that affirms life in all its forms. The precondition of unhappiness is an evil will that directs its energy to the construction or impedance of life, whether in others, or in itself.

That it is impossible for an evil will to direct its destructive intentions against itself we see in people who deliberately act against their own best life interests. Such people are often enraged against the results of their own previous evil actions. They have acted against the life interests of others, and their actions have failed of their intent. Their failure galls them. Their frustrated evil will, having failed to destroy the life-possibilities of another person, turns in its rage against itself. There is no worse condition of soul than this. Rage against oneself is ultimately totally self-destructive.

But God is compassionate. Somehow he will "raise Cain", lift him to a higher level of awareness and self-control, so that he will never afterwards do another such deed again.

We are not only descendants of Adam and Eve, but of Cain also. "Woe to you who are inheritors", said a great philosopher. "The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children", says the Bible. We have in us not only the tendencies to disobediences of Adam and Eve, but also the tendencies to be quickly enraged which we have inherited from Cain.

We like to know good and evil; we like to indulge ourselves in the pleasure-activities of the world; and are quickly roused to anger when our activities are impeded. Not only do nations make war against each other in order to secure for themselves what they consider to be for their good, but individuals also make war, in their own little ways, against each other. Next door neighbours quarrel about the height of a dividing hedge, and take legal action against each other. Cain's spirit is still inside US.

How is God to raise Cain's level of awareness in us so that finally we shall be able to accept what is sent to us without at once flying into reactive violence?

Firstly God has given us the great religious teachings of the world, each of which tells us, in one way or another, that we are all children of the one universal power, and that this power wills for all of us the highest that is possible for a living creature to possess.

Secondly, if we reject the great teaching of universal good will, God has another way of leading us finally into His way. This other way is via the path of experience. What we refuse to accept on the basis of God's command, we will finally accept because our own personal experience forces us to accept it.

We may pursue our own pleasures and react violently or cunningly against any who impede us, and try to avoid the unpleasant consequences of our actions or we may choose to accept the great teaching of good will that God has given us. If we choose this second course we will place ourselves on the straight path of true self-development. If we choose the course of private pleasure pursuit and personal advantage, we will place ourselves on the devious tortuous way which will require us to deceive as many other persons as we can.

This devious way, this unstraight way, is not narrow. It does not go directly on the shortest path to the Truth. In its tortuous turnings it covers a very wide territory, and in the process encounters many things that the one who goes straight to the Truth never meets. This is the basis of the prodigal Son's self-justification. Certainly the prodigal knows much more of the ways of the world than does the one who stays on the "straight and narrow way". But what "more" the prodigal knows is not to do with Truth, but with Untruth, with the many ways that men in the world, in their dealings with each other, can continue to gain advantage over each other.

The way of the devious man is much more complex than the way of the straight man. Truth is very Simple, but lies are innumerable. "To see a hand in the place of a hand, an eye in the place of an eye" is the simple way of seeing that Jesus recommends to us. To misrepresent everything and to obscure the simplicity of God's truth with a multitude of overcomplications, is the way of the confidence trickster.

We have a very Simple definition of God: God is Love. We know what love is. It is a feeling power that works for the good of living beings, a sensitive power that acts always to lift life onto higher levels of existence. It is a power that intelligently operates to bring harmony into the relationships of all living creatures, for their every greater true happiness.

But the devious man, the man of private purpose, ever pursuing his own advantage over other men, dislikes simplicity, hates the uncomplicated truth that would expose his trickery. "Men love darkness rather than light, for their ways are evil". The tricky man is afraid of truth, and so does what he can to suppress it. But in trying to suppress Truth in the world, he suppresses it inside his own soul. Thus he cuts himself in two. In one half of his mind he works to conceal Truth, in the other half he has to use Truth, the Truth of Logic and mathematics, for without this Truth he cannot conduct his private business, cannot keep his business accounts, cannot know where he stands with other men with whom he has to deal.

The devious man therefore cuts himself in half, one half committed necessarily to the simple Truth of good book-keeping, and the other half committed to a multitude of untruths, to deceive others.

It is this devious man who needs saving from his own crookedness, this man who, like Cain, needs raising to a higher level of understanding of what God's Universe really is, not a garden to be raided and its divine fruits stolen by those who have not tended it. God's Universe is a vast garden. laid out for the nourishment and delight of those who devote themselves to its proper use. Sensitive ecologists know more of this great truth than do those men whose disregard for principles have polluted the world's atmosphere, rivers and seas.

Yes, Cain, the first murderer, and the devious men of the world, must somehow be raised to a higher level of personal self-responsibility. And if they will not take of their own free will the straight path of the simple Truth, given to us by Jesus Christ, that we are to love one another, then they will need the harsh lessons of the world of devious men, the world where "every man's hand is against them".

The man of selfish private purpose, who refuses to learn from the world's great teachers that the man of private purpose cannot for ever pursue his selfish aims without finally coming up against the simple truth that he himself, by his own privative intentions, has cut himself in two, this man is his "own executioner", and must be driven by the very logic of his own orientation to final realisation of this fact.

This man, feeling himself approaching inevitably towards his own self-imposed punishment, must twist and turn to avoid the marching logic of his own mind, that tells him of his perilous plight in the presence of the eternal Truth. Before this truth he must stand at last, with his own mind his own accuser.

How do we feel when we find ourselves in a dangerous situation into which we have entered entirely through our own disregard of facts? At the entrance to a quarry, a sign says "Danger. Blasting. Keep out". A young boy, though able to read, driven by the impulses of youth, goes into the quarry. We say of him, "He was only young. He did not realise the danger".

But what of the adult who reads the warning notice at the entrance of the snake-pit of lies and misrepresentations and deviousnesses, and yet enters into it? Are we to say of him, "Well, he was immature, he did not really know what the notice meant". And if we do say this, will he himself, knowing his own motives, be so lenient with himself?

What is the 'judge' in man's mind? It is that which we call "conscience". "Conscience" means the totality of one's knowledge of oneself, one's thoughts, feelings, motivations and actions.

When we do something to another being that we would not like to have done to us, we feel the "prick of conscience".

Part 11.

Conscience arises from the records in ourselves of the totality of our experiences. It warns us of the effects of actions and tells us what we would like to be done to us and what we would like not to be done. Our awareness of our own reactions to the actions of other people tells us the probable reactions of others to whatever we might do to them.

But when strong desire drives us to act in a certain way, we tend to disregard the probable reactions of others. We tend to be too busy pursuing our own ends to be able to spare much time in considering the purposes of our fellow men. We blind ourselves to all purposes other than our own. So it was with Cain. He had a purpose in making his offering to God. When his offering was not accepted, he did not ask himself why. He could not attack God, so reacted violently against Abel, his brother, and killed him.

Only after this deed of violence did he think about its possible results. Then he realised that, from fear of him, every man's hand would be against him. This was more than he could bear. He found himself unable to stay in the place where he had killed his brother, and unable to face God. So he withdrew himself and went east of Eden to the Land of Nod. There he lived and built a city and called it after his son, Enoch.

Here we have a man, afraid that the hands of other men would be against him, building a city, where he would beget children and those beget other children, and so fill the city. Many a guilty man since then has found it convenient to hide himself in a crowd.

But "the sins of the fathers have their effects in the children". The city's inhabitants bore some of the characteristics of its founder. Soon one of them, Lamech, would prove himself as headstrong and violent as Cain. Lamech would tell his wives, "I have slain a young man to my hurt!" His position would be worse than that of Cain, further degeneration was to come.

When men behave very badly and refuse God's directive, God has His own way of response. Eve brought forth another son, whom, she said, God had appointed to take the place of murdered Abel. From Seth was to come another line of men, a line that would follow God's intent.

When a man turns away from God, God selects another man to do His work. When a whole nation rejects God, God elects another to do His will. Nothing can stop the forward march of God's purpose. From Seth came his son Enos, and then men "began to call upon the name of the Lord".

It is when corruption is at its height that men begin to remember God. Surrounded by the violent tendencies of Cain and Lamech the Sons of Seth found it necessary to call for help from God. Intelligent men meditate on the causes of lawlessness and violence, and their meditations bring them closer to God's Truth. Today, presented with increasing violence and vandalism, we also are being driven to meditate on our situation, and to seek solutions of our problems. Only when driven to the cliff edge do we sharpen our wits.

Enos, the Son of Seth was an ancestor of Jesus Christ, as we see in the Gospel of Luke. With the birth of Enos, men had first begun to call on God for help. The name Enos means "Man in his frailty". Only when man realises his own weaknesses does he see that he needs help. "Man's extremity is God's opportunity".

To Seth was born Cainan, whose name means "Acquisition". From prayer to God one acquires power to make a fresh start in one's life. We, today, are the descendants of the sons of Seth and the daughters of Cain, and we have in us the tendencies of both lines. In us are violent destructive impulses from Cain, and side by side with them, a desire from Seth to return to the goodness of God.

Our whole life oscillates between these two tendencies. Where are we strong and confident in our own strength, like Lamech, we tend to ignore everything except our own purposes. We have no room in our mind for God or for the consideration of other people's welfare. Where we are unaware of our frailty, like Enos, we tend to seek help.

It is this oscillation, this doubleness of nature, that Jesus had to do battle with in the desert, and in Gethsemane. It is this doubleness which we have daily to face in ourselves. The battle began long ago when the first man and woman decided against obedience to God. God, as Jesus said, is Spirit, and spirit is free intelligent infinite power. In disobeying God, Adam and Eve had turned away from the free intelligent spirit which lived in their innermost heart, and had enslaved themselves to the stimulation of the things of the outer world.

Corruption once started tends to accelerate. From the first Error of Adam and Eve sprang the violence of Cain, from this the further degeneration of Lamech. It would not be long, on God's Time-units, before "the wickedness of man would be great in the earth, and their imagination continually evil". The time had come for a change in divine tactics. God sought for and found a man whom he could trust to obey Him. This man was Noah, whose name contains the meaning "This shall give us rest". Noah is the principle of enlightened intelligence. In the presence of such intelligence our minds can attain rest and peace.

Noah, being intelligent, knew that listening to the innermost spirit inside him would be more beneficial than subjection to the violent impulses which arise from slavery to the stimuli of things of the outer material world. Free intelligence and initiative dwell in the innermost centre of one's being. Slavery is a product of making oneself dependent on things of the outer world, and believing that these things are the real values of existence. But real values are not in material things, but in the intelligence that designs them or knows how best to use them. The inventor is greater than the thing that he invents. The Creator is greater than the Creature.

We human beings have tendencies to impulsive action, and we have intelligence. The impulsive actions in us have the same evil route that ruled in Cain. The Intelligence in us has the same divine Source that moved Noah to anticipate the Flood which would destroy the corrupt generations of men who were impeding God's evolutionary purpose.

The Bible has various levels of interpretation. Apart from references to actual events of history, Bible stories also have psychological and spiritual significance. The earth gives actual evidence that at times great floods have occurred. On such occasions the lives of animals and men must have been greatly endangered, and survival would have been more probable for the more intelligent. Thus intelligence, the principle of the mind signified by Noah's name, was the chief instrument of survival.

But in the Bible the word "water" refers not only to the liquid with which we are all familiar, but also, symbolically, to the fluidity of the animal and human soul. "Water" symbolises plasticity of substance, for water adopts itself to the shape of any container into which it is poured. In the same way the substance of the soul tends to assume the shape of any idea presented to it. This characteristic of the soul we refer to when we talk about its tendency to fall into "identification" with whatever is perceived.

Modern psychology tends to avoid the use of the word "soul" because of its religious associations, and prefers to use the word "mind", or, in certain schools, "behaviour-patterns" of an organism. But however the word "soul" may be avoided, its significance still has reference to facts of our actual experience. We still think, and feel and will, whatever names we use for these activities, and the word "soul" is still used by sensitive persons who are not captured by modern scientific theories of the mind's functions.

By "soul", then, we mean that in us which feels and thinks and Wills, and we know that this soul is very flexible, very adaptable, very plastic, and, in consequence, unless we take more care of it, very unstable. A soul is easily disturbed, easily shocked, falls easily into identification with whatever it experiences. Where a given behaviour is successful, we find that people tend to copy it. If a young lady selected to be the bride of a prince, wears her hair in a certain manner, numbers of young women tend to follow her example. Whatever famous men and women do, others tend to try and do likewise. Everyone tends to prefer success to failure and to copy whatever successful persons do.

All this is a result of the soul's plasticity, its tendency to assume the shape of whatever is presented to it. Examples of adults tend to shape the behaviour-pattern of children. The activities of famous persons tend to shape the behaviour of others who are not famous.

Because disobedience manifested itself in Adam and Eve, their son Cain was tainted by the same tendency. Because of Cain's impulsive violence, Lamech, too, cried out that he had slain a man. By the accumulations of such examples, their children and their children's children became more and more corrupt, until by the time of Noah, there was no evil deed that they did not commit. The souls of nearly all men had fallen into the patterns of action followed by their parents. Symbolically, the souls of men were flooded by the passions of their ancestors. Now the Deluge would destroy all except the very few intelligent human beings symbolically represented by Noah, the Noetic principle, the Nous in man.

Intelligence in mankind is a gift of the Divine Spirit. Without this Spirit man would be at the mercy of every stray stimulus that strikes him. But this intelligence, this Noetic principle, this "Noah", must be placed in an Ark. The Ark symbolises the protective vessel in which man's intelligence is carried. It is like the hard boney skull which protects the soft sensitive brain which is the organ of our intelligence.

All around us is the vast ocean of the life-force. On this sea we sail our body-boat, our personal "Ark". This sea will drown us unless we stay in our "Ark", the protective hull of our intelligence.

Like Noah we have three "sons", three parts of our being. These we have with us in our "Ark", in the skull which protects our brain. The three "sons" correspond with our powers of thinking, feeling and willing, all of which have there special zones in the brain.

When the great ocean of life threatens us with its violent waters, we can be kept safe within the Ark which shelters our intelligence. We need not drown in the wild waters of uncontrolled feelings and emotions. Safe in the Ark of Noah, the place of intelligence, we can wait for the Flood of impulses to subside.

Our brain has parts that correspond symbolically with the three Sons of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japhet. "Shem" means "Name of renown"; that part or our soul which is destined to lead us to Divine Enlightenment. "Ham" means the hot dark impulsive part of us which tends to lead us astray. "Japhet" means "He that persuades". These three names contain by implication a complete psychology and doctrine of spiritual enlightenment.

"Shem", the "Renowned name" points forward in time to the most glorious of all names, which will be borne by Christ. Before this name "every knee shall bow". It is the name of the Saviour.

Part 12

The name of the Saviour is Jesus, which means "Jehovah is Salvation". This name, in various forms, is given to a number of men in the Bible, each of whom believed in Jehovah's power. No name can be superior in meaning to this name, for it signifies the effective presence of Divinity Itself, the inner presence of God Himself in Man.

Insofar as a man believes that his intelligence and sensitivity and power of action are gifts from the infinite Spirit which is God, that man is connected with that spirit, and so can act as an efficient instrument of God's will. "It is my will to do the will of Him that sent me", says Jesus.

Let us return for a moment to a reconsideration of Noah and his three sons, and see what they symbolise in our own nature.

"Noah" means Nous, Intelligence, that in us which is open to receive guidance from the divine Spirit. It is by this intelligence that mankind has been led to make all the marvellous discoveries that have carried him from a very primitive form of existence up to the highly advanced stage of civilisation that we now enjoy. All our sciences and technologies are the product of this intelligence, investigating the mysteries of nature.

Today, we often hear people criticising these same sciences and technologies as the causes of the disgusting pollution of our lakes, rivers, seas, atmosphere and Earth, but a careful thought will reveal that it is not too much science and technology that has caused this pollution but too little. There has been more consideration of the economics of industry than for the polluting effects of means of waste disposal.

The nations who have little science and less technology are not better off than those more highly organised. It is no use dreaming of returning to the "simple life" that we lived before science had changed our world. We cannot go back, we can only go forward, intelligence is the presence of spirit in us.

Noah has three sons: Shem, Ham and Japhet. The meanings of these three names is very important for us, for it is by no means of what they signify that our intelligence becomes more clear to us.

A human being's intelligence has three aspects, which the three sons of Noah symbolise. "Shem" signifies that aspect of intelligence which is conscious of the tremendous value of names in the development of Man's spiritual nature. Without the use of names we could not pass from the animal or subhuman state to the human. Names allow us to bring order into the world, both within and without names to serve as anchors to our feelings and thoughts, our inner energies would remain in a condition of compulsive chaos, the condition that is signified is the name "Ham". By applying words to the events of our inner and outer life we can begin to control our feelings, impulses and thoughts and so reduce chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

We tend hardly to be aware of the power of words in our lives, yet we admire great orators and their powers of persuasion. Daily we are subjected to the verbal suggestions of advertisers, who, by means of words, aim to convince us that we need commodities of which, perhaps the day before, we had been utterly unaware, but now, under the stimulus of clever word-play, we believe are highly desirable.

Everywhere we are surrounded by word-patterns specially designed to condition our thoughts, our feelings, desires and actions. Politicians depend for their positions on words. Business-men depend for the creation and continuance of their businesses on words. Sciences, philosophers and religions depend on words. Not for nothing is the Word viewed as all-powerful by certain thinkers who have studied its capacity to move human nature.

The Bible is often called "The Word". Without it the mind of man would be very impoverished. People who say that they do not believe the Bible often unconsciously quote from it. Shakespeare and other great writers could not have written their works without the cultural background given by the Bible. Every major religion has a book to refer to, when faced with a problem.

Jesus is called "the Word made Flesh". This embodied Word is Truth made physically manifest in action. "The Words that I say to you are truth, and they are life", says Jesus, because without true words we cannot escape confusion and disorder.

The Word then is of tremendous importance. The first man to discover the value and power of the Word was the first man to start the forward march of human culture. This man, in the Bible, is called Shem. He it was who was to gain the title of the Man of the Name, the man of renown.

Once the Power of the Name was made conscious, it followed that names should be carefully studied and recorded, and their use expanded. This expansion of the use of names and of words in general is the meaning of "Japhet". By extension of the use of words we can gain wider control of the elements of our experience.

There are people, even today, who cannot read, and so cannot' acquire words needed for complex. Such people cannot take on jobs of responsibility which depend on word-power. Often they do not realise that their problems of social adjustment depend almost wholly on their lack of words.

The Bible is a collection of words. If we understand these words. If we understand these words we possess an instrument of life. When we read that Noah was drunk, we are being told that intelligence was intoxicated or overwhelmed by the colossal implications of spiritual understanding.

When we read that his son, Ham, exposed his father's nakedness, we are being told that the hot, impulsive nature of man tends to leak out any information that spiritual insight may reveal.

When we read that Shem Japhet covered up their father's nakedness, we are being told that the man who had discovered the power of names, and the man who had decided therefore his vocabulary, had sufficient self-control to conceal what intelligence had to say.

But why should what intelligence has to say be concealed? Surely men would be better off if they were to receive intelligent information? Yes, of course, if they could receive it and use it intelligently. But the history of mankind does not give evidence that intelligent words are gladly accepted. The great prophets were persecuted. Every new idea threatens old patterns of behaviour. Every new invention disturbs old modes of production.

Daily we see that unfamiliar ideas are viewed with suspicion. The status quo resists changed. Why is this? Because everything whatever that exists is energy, and established energy-patterns automatically resist change. Inertia is a real force, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. A mental preference for a familiar idea resists attempts to change it. An habitual emotional tendency tends to resist whatever would deny its validity. Not only in the divisions of religious sects do we see evidence of this, but everywhere throughout the world, in every situation. Racial and class distinctions today disrupt our society and all such distinctions have their own inertias which resist any attempt to change them.

Thus, in the presence of their knowledge of the possible devastating effects of words, Shem and Japhet covered up the information which their inborn intelligence had revealed to them. They decided to cooperate and to use their new insights to control the hot, impulsive nature of their less self-possessed brother.

This problem of the control of impulsive energy is today everywhere presented to us. Vandalism costs millions of pounds annually. The energies of adolescence are not easy to control, even when other complicating factors are absent. Vast unemployment makes more difficult the problem of energy-direction. Insufficient intelligent education leaves many without the nervous-system organisation to make it easy to gain self-control. The division of societies into Haves and Have-nots creates a twofold of conceit and envy.

Those who comprehend the tremendous power of words will, like Shem and Japhet, be careful of their speech. They will accept the facts as they see them clearly demonstrated, that new truths produce reactive behaviour in those unprepared for them. Yet evolution must go on. New truths must be said, or mankind will cease to develop, and so will become fixated as the animals have become. A static mankind would cease to have any useful function for the forward march of evolution.

Spirit is essentially forward moving. "Behold, I make all things new", says the voice of spirit. Without new truths, the world would settle down into an unaltered repetitive round of thoroughly known events. The result would be universal boredom, hardening, loss of consciousness, and, finally, death. Without the ever re-Hewing power of the spirit, life would become utterly unworthy of living.

It is true that Intelligence, the Noah-principle,, tends to become overwhelmed with the infinity of new possibilities of spiritual revelation. It is true that the Ham hot impulsive nature tends prematurely to expose its new insights to unprepared people. It is true that the Shem and Japhet word-power consciousness in us sees the need for care in protecting new revelations from the reactions of an inertic people. But it is also true that new truths must be set free to do their evolutionary work in the universe, for, if this is not done, mankind will come to a dead end, and the forward march of Spirit will have to be taken over by some more intelligent being.

There is something about the idea of mankind failing to achieve its true goal that we do not like. A grey mist descends on our minds when we contemplate this possibility, and a deep melancholy follows the mist. We hate to miss the mark set for us by the Divine Spirit. To miss the mark is sin in its deepest sense.

The word in the New Testament that is translated into the English word "sin", means "to miss the mark". What is the mark? Quite simply it is the remaking of man into a true image and likeness of God.
Man at his first creation was made as an image and likeness of God. By presuming to know Good and Evil, man lost this likeness. This lost likeness is to be regained by man going through a long process of development, a development depends largely on man learning to use words truthfully, so that he ceases no longer to deceive himself.

Self-deceiving is a very common error in man. When Eve and Adam decided to disobey God's command that they should not seek to know Good and Evil, they did not think carefully through the results of their disobedience. They acted impulsively, without consideration, as Ham would later do.

To control impulsive behaviour, words are needed. To control ourselves we have to talk to ourselves, use words of truth to ourselves. Without telling ourselves the truth of our position, we cannot persuade ourselves to act intelligently. One of the meanings of the name "Japhet" is "persuasion". Our thinking processes are really inner talking processes in which, by means of words, we order our thoughts and feelings, and control our impulsive tendencies to action.

But if we are not truthful to ourselves in our inner talking, we create false connections in our nervous system, and cause false emotional attitudes to arise. If we make ourselves very alert to our inner processes, we find that often we do not like to hear certain truths about ourselves, especially truths that show us less admirable than we would like to be.

"Good name in man and woman is the immediate jewel of our souls", says Shakespeare. We do not like to have a bad name, for a bad name spells trouble for us, either without or within.

Part 13

We can understand fairly easily how having a bad name with other people may spell trouble for us. To have a bad name in the business world can mean that a man may find himself in a position where no other business man will trust him. A man with the reputation of being a bad payer may have difficulties in getting supplies of the commodities he needs to keep his business going. A man with a reputation for inefficient delivery of goods may find that his customers have gone elsewhere for their supplies.

How does having a bad name inside oneself affect one's own mind? It makes us uneasy and apprehensive, makes us expect trouble, and this puts us on guard, and this on-guardedness creates tensions in our body which decrease the efficiency of our organs so that we become unhappy or ill.

Supposing we have a bad opinion of our own character, that we give ourselves a bad name, so that we don't trust ourselves, what happens internally to us? We are to some degree made anxious about our inner security.

Let us carry this condition to its extreme limit, so that we see quite clearly its effects on ourselves. Let us imagine that we cannot trust our senses to give us true information about the things in the world that we see and hear and smell and taste and touch. If our eyes are not trustworthy, then what we think we see may be other than we think, and perhaps may even not exist at all. So with things our other senses may appear to tell us.

What we do to deal with such possibilities is to use each of our senses to verify what the others appear to tell us. We think we see something and to verify its presence we stretch out our hand to touch it. If the two senses of sight and touch verify each other, we have strengthened our belief in the object's existence. If we think we can smell gas, we may go to the gas fire or cooker and see if the tap has been left turned on; we use our eyes and finger-touch to check what our nose appears to have told us.

But supposing we somehow come to have a bad opinion of our mental capacities, suppose we distrust our reason itself, so that although we believe that our senses are giving us true information, we don't know how to think profitably about this information. What now is our condition? We tend to feel confused, disorientated, anxious.

A man who cannot trust himself, who has come to have a bad opinion of his own capacity for seeing clearly, or reasoning correctly may feel very insecure. Worse still will be his condition if he knows that his basic motives are wrong. If his intentions are such that if he thought similar intentions were in another man's mind he would have a bad opinion of that man, then he must have a bad opinion of himself. If he would give this other man a bad name, then he must give himself a bad name also.

But, as we have seen, "Good name is the immediate jewel of the soul". The real view that we hold of ourself is the central reference of our being. If this self-view is not likeable we may suppress it from our surface awareness, but it will still remain the real centre of ourself.

An unpleasant view of oneself, even if repressed from consciousness, remains a centre of discomfort and unrest in our being. To give oneself a bad name because of one's bad motives is to condemn oneself too much unhappiness. One becomes guilty. One expects, consciously or unconsciously, reprisals from the other beings in the world.

If we know that our own motives are bad, we cannot have a good opinion of ourself as the author of these motives, and the bad opinion of ourself that we have, can only condemn us to a reduction of efficiency. For a bad opinion creates tension in our body and mind, and tension impedes blood-circulation, and impeded blood-circulation starves our cells of food-energies and oxygen, and such starvation is a movement towards discomfort, and ultimately to disease and break-down.

To give oneself a bad name is therefore to condemn oneself to trouble, discomfort and unhappiness is to reform or re-shape one's motives.

Of all the motives for our actions that we may have, only one is absolutely basic, and the rest derive from this, or are acquired from outside, usually by copying the declared motives of other persons.
The absolutely basic motive of every living being is its will to develop its capacities for ever fuller being. This basic motive is called Love. Love is the will to work for the development of the possibilities of being. When all our possibilities are fully developed we experience what we call "satisfaction". Satisfaction means "being full of being".

Now "being" is a verb, that is, a word denoting action. "Being" is doing. Our organism is being as long as it is doing, as long as it is actualising itself. Satisfaction is full being; full being is full actuality.

If our organism ceases to work, it dies. If our heart stops beating, our blood will cease to circulate, and our cells will be deprived of food-energy and oxygen, and will die. Life is working; life is process, life is actualisation.

But if our motives are unworthy, we do not have a good opinion of ourself for harbouring such motives. Consciously or unconsciously we give ourself a bad name. We say that we must conceal our unworthy motives from other persons, and to make quite sure that we don't accidentally let out our intentions, we hide them even from ourself. We repress bad motives into the unconscious part of our mind. But when repressed they do not cease to exist, do not cease to operate, and even at unconscious levels they still generate tensions that impede proper organic functions.

If a bad name is harmful to the functions of our being, there is only one effective way of getting rid of it. It is no use repressing it into the realm of the unconscious, for there it continues to work and to generate feelings of guilt. "Guilt" is a feeling in which we expect reprisals for what we have done or intend to do.

It is no use trying to justify a bad motive. A bad motive cannot be justified. If we have been harmed by someone, and we do not like the harm we have been done, we cannot do harm to that someone and expect him not to dislike it. And if we try to justify the harm we do him by saying that it is merely reprisals for the harm he has done us, we cannot logically be surprised if he also makes reprisals for the harm we do him. A vicious circle of harm and counter-harm will be generated. There is no end to such a circle. At some point, one or other of the contestants will have to stop retaliating, or the circle will perpetuate itself forever.

The only effective way of getting rid of a bad name one has given to oneself because of one's bad nature, is to get rid of the bad motive by putting in its place a good one. "Nature abhors a vacuum". We cannot have absolutely no motive, so if we get rid of a bad motive, we must do so by filling its place with a good one.

The basic good motive is love, the will to develop the possibilities of being. The evil motive is hate, the will to destroy the possibilities of being.

Hate arises when one mechanically reacts to something that impedes the expression of love. We say here mechanically reacts, because if we are fully in control of our own self and responses, we do not react mechanically. We respond to impedances to our expressions of love with further love. We modify our actions, change our way of expressing our love. We find some way of making our love acceptable to the one who is impeding it.

Of course, it is not easy to control mechanical reactions to the impeding actions of others. Our bodies do not like being hurt, and-our mind does not like things that refuse its offerings. The lower levels of our being tend to work on a pleasure-pain level. Our body-cells dislike pain, and love pleasure. It is because our physical body-cells react in this way that we call their level of action a "lower" level. The "higher" level is that level of the mind that has some control over the tendencies of the body to prefer pleasure to pain. The "highest" level of the mind is that level at which there is total control of pleasure-pain reaction tendencies. To reach this highest level involves much internal work in one's mind. The men and women who have reached this highest level are called "Saints".

As long as the life-process continues, there is a battle to gain or to maintain this highest level, for all the forces of the outer material world operate in such a way as to impede its attainment. Only by recognising in ourselves that the true basic motive of life is love, can we give ourselves the good name that in our heart of hearts we desire for ourselves.

When we delve down into the deepest depths of our being and fined truly that the basic motive of our life has always been love, and when we consciously, as an act of free will, reaffirm this love as our basic motive then we enter the realm wherein we can give ourselves a good name. We enter the realm of absolutely true love itself, and this realm is that in which God dwells. Here, in this truly basic love, we become at last one with God, one with the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present infinite life, in which we have always, though without realising it, lived moved, and had ourself actualising.

In this deepest depth of Being, where infinite love dwells, which is God (for "God is love") we see that all our bad motives in life were the result of failure to understand the significance of impedances to our will. Here we see that without impedances to throw our love-energy back upon itself, we could not become free self-initiating individuals.

This question of the individual self is very subtle. What we call "Selfishness" "egotism" is everywhere viewed as bad, and rightly so, for the totally selfish person, the total egotist, cannot freely relate to any other being. But real life consists in free relationship. Real life requires reciprocal interplay of all forces of being. Only in such interplay can a living being activate all parts of itself; and, as we have seen, "being" means actualisation. Every part of a living being has a specific function which is operable and meaningful only in reciprocal relation with every other part. The feet walk to carry the body and are fed from the body, put food in the mouth to feed the body. The digestive organs take the food and change it so that it can be used for the benefit of the whole body. Everywhere in the body the cells work in relation with each other for their mutual benefit. Such inter-workings show clearly the nature of love.

But the One life of the body has subdivided its cells, and formed them as individuals with specific functions, and each cell group has a specific function which has a special part to play in the economy of the whole body.

Part 14

We start life as a fertilized cell. If this cell did not subdivide itself into many sub-cells and then differentiate these into the various organs of our body, we would not have our present human self as we know it. Without differentiation of these sub-cells there could be no specific differences of our various parts, our heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, etc. We would not have the individual differences between us which we so much value. Individuality depends on differentiation of forms and functions.

Each of our body cells is a little "self" with its own individual form and function. All of them together are subdivisions of the one original cell which the one original life has built for itself. We must therefore distinguish between being a "self" and being "selfish".

We can help our thought to clarify itself by thinking of a cell in our body as a "cellf", that is a "cell" built for the life-force for itself to serve for it as a dwelling or abode. Then we can change the spelling of "cellf" to "self" and remember, when we use the word "self" that it implies some kind of "cell" to serve as a place for the life-force to live in.

A cell in our body has a membrane or binding skin around it by which it maintains a degree of separativity from other selves. As we have already seen each living cell is a little self, with its own special form and function. But the functions of all the living cells in the healthy body are not isolated from each other. All are interfunctional; all contribute to the good of the whole organism.

When all the cells healthily interfunction, each one, as a little "self" acts for the benefit of all, and we then do not think of each cell as "selfish". We see that a self can be an individual self without being "selfish". To be "selfish" is to isolate oneself from other selves and to act only from one's private gain, without regard for the good of other selves. In the same way, if certain cells in the body for some reason break out of control of that part of the organic system whose function is to hold all the cells in harmonious inter-relation, we can think of these rebel "cells" as "selfish". Various kinds of cancer show this type of "selfishness" in the cells.

We human beings, by means of our cell-differentiation, have attained a high degree of individuality. Each one of us is unique and has some special value for the whole human race. If our special value is actualised and put at each other's service,, we do not call ourselves "selfish". But if we keep our own special values to ourselves, "hide our light under a bushel", and do not allow any others to gain a benefit from us, then we say that we are "selfish".

Thus we can clearly distinguish between being a "self", and being "selfish". By the fact that we are living beings, we are "selves". By isolationist action pursuing only private benefits, we prove ourselves "selfish".

Because each of us is a unique self, each of us can specialise in some particular kind of life-activity. One of us may become a technician, one a designer, one an artist, one an artist, one a musician, one a lawyer, one a business man, one a steel-worker and so on. Each has a valuable contribution to make to the good of all mankind.

Each special talent is a gift of the divine spirit, and so has divine justification for its presence. The parable of the talents tells us that we are to develop our divinely given gifts and to show a profit from them. We are not to "bury our talents", not to hide them, not pretend that we do have them. A talent is for use, and is to be used for the good of all humanity.

A self that pretends that it has no talents in misrepresenting itself. Every self has some special talent which under the right conditions it may develop. If we understand this, it becomes our duty to help people who believe that they are void of talents to change that belief. Love is best defined as a working for the development of the hidden possibilities of all beings. The lover always seeks to raise the beloved to a higher level of being. A self that forgets this and acts to gain only its own advantage is "selfish", and in the process of doing so acts against its own best interests. Why should this be so?

Just as the sub-cells in the healthy human body inter-relate their functions to serve the good of all, and cannot be themselves healthy without their inter-relation, so the vast number of selves which constitute mankind cannot be healthy or happy without inter-relating their various talents.

Each sub-cell in the healthy living human body has a special talent, its own special function. To be aware of this, and to work to develop it is to justify being a "self". But to try to keep the benefits of this talent for oneself alone is to be "selfish", and in being so to be unintelligent, for every talent is developed into its fullest expression only in full interrelation with all other talents. A football team of talented players reaches its highest performance only when all its members inter-relate their talents in the most efficient way.

To make ourselves thoroughly conscious of the great law of talent development which says that only in full cooperation with others can any single talent fully develop, is to have the key to the more abundant life that all of us desire. Not to know this law is to lack this greater abundance.

When Cain, the first murderer, killed his brother, Abel, the possibility of the inter-relating of their diverse talents ceased. Dead Abel could not share his talents with Cain. Cain could not bring his own talents into their full expression. Every Man's death in some way diminishes the life of other men. Every man's death cuts down on the inter-relational possibilities of all men.

When a man of talent dies, if he has not imparted the knowledge involved in his gift to another man, his talent dies with him. Every man who imparts the "know-how" of his procedures to other men enriches the human race and gives perpetuity to the action of his own being. Thus, when his body dies, his work moves towards immortality.

Immortality, or "non-dyingness", or eternal survival, can be thought of in several ways. We may think of a man, who, because of the fame attained through exercise of his talents, survives in the memories of the people who saw, or heard of, his attainments. We praise famous men for their great achievements. We remember the great heroes of mankind, and in our remembering of them they have a kind of survival. Their great deeds inspire us to develop our own talents and to place ourselves in positions where we also shall be gratefully remembered.

The energies and intelligence of great men somehow embody themselves in the living present souls of those who remember them, and thus a linking together occurs of those great men and their appreciators. Thus we come to talk of "the chain of the prophets", in which each individual plays the part of a link between past and future prophets. In the same way, each great scientist is a link between past and future scientists, and every great sportsman is likewise a link between past and future sportsmen. Every great man "stands on the shoulders" of his predecessors, and in his turn every future great man will stand on his.

Viewed over the long expanse of evolutionary time, every living being who has made special efforts to improve its performance has served as a link in the great chain of developing life-forms, and every living being who has not made any special efforts to develop its capacities for living, or has not tried to make good use of the talents that life has placed in its being, cannot truthfully consider itself as a link in the chain of evolving life.

To recognise the real significance of the uniqueness of individual beings is to grasp the true value of "self-hood". To try to keep the gifts and talents that life has conferred upon each one of us only for oneself is for the "self" to fall into "selfishness".

In the long climb of evolving life-forms, each form that has made any special effort to raise itself above its established level has served as a link in the long chain of divine intention. At the beginning of this chain stands the great plan of universal evolution, the Alpha idea held in God's Mind. At the end of this chain will stand the fully developed Universe, the Omega of Cosmic fulfilment. Between the beginning and the end runs the evolutionary chains of living beings who make special efforts to develop their talents and so further the movement of the divine Spirit.

We are all of us living beings, that is, beings of feeling, will and thought, pursuing or not pursuing some goal. Those of us who pursue a goal, organise our feeling, will and thought to attain it. Those of us who do not pursue a goal do not organise ourselves. To "organise" is to set up an "order of work" in order to fulfil some purpose. Not to set up a "work order" with a purpose is to fall short of the evolutionary intent of the divine Spirit.

"Those I love, I chasten", says God. To "chasten" is to hasten the development of the chastened. Where there is a talent to be developed there is either a will to develop it or not. If there is a will to develop a talent in a being, that being is a recipient of a special action of God's will, an action which accelerates that being's development. If there is in a being no will to develop its talents, then God acts upon that being in a different way. He has given to each of us a will. He has by this fact conferred upon a freedom of choice. Having done this He respects the freedom He has given up. Our free will, which is a gift of God, He will us to use as if it were our very own, and by it to make the choices which determine our life-patterns. Having given us this power of free choice, God will let us use it as we ourselves will. He will let us do as we will, and we shall pay the price.

God dwells in Eternity, and so has infinite patience with His creatures who live in Time. To live in Time is to be subjected to the Laws of Time; it is to be conditioned by the serial nature of temporal events. With God all his knowledge of reality is simultaneously co-present. It is not cut up into separate moments of time. Thus, with God, His knowledge and Wisdom are identical.

But for man, knowledge is acquired moment by moment, one experience after another in the time-sequence of events, and thus man's knowledge is not simultaneous with what Wisdom he has.

Knowledge, for man, is gained in time, in a series of events which follow one another serially. Such knowledge is built on separate events. But Wisdom depends on the simultaneous presentation of elements of knowledge. Wisdom sees the pattern of events, not merely the separate events in their disjoinedness. Wisdom knows the proper use of the separate elements of knowledge. A separate element of knowledge does not know the pattern of all events which Wisdom knows. Gods spiritual universe is built on Wisdom. Man's material world is known to men only by gathering the separate elements of serialised knowledge.

Part 15

Man, as we have seen, gathers his knowledge of the material world in which he lives, bit by bit, part by part, one thing after another. We call this a "serial" way of learning. God, the Supreme intelligent infinite power which has created all things, is not limited by this serial, part by part way of knowing the world. He grasps all things simultaneously in the one great Now we call Eternity.

Learning bit by bit can never add up to infinite comprehension of the totality of reality. All that Man can do in the time process is to add one thing after another to increase his knowledge. But this bit by bit addition of separate items of knowledge never becomes whole Wisdom. Whole Wisdom is the totality of all conceivable knowledge held simultaneously in the divine Mind. Only God has whole Wisdom.

The egotism of Man does not like this fact, and so drives man ever onward towards more and more knowledge. This increasing knowledge results in an ever more complex pattern of thought, raises Man's mind to ever higher levels of comprehension. This process of ever-increasing knowledge is that process which we call the "raising of Cain".

Cain, the murderer, had to be brought to understand the nature of his crime. It would have been useless to kill him immediately for his own death would merely have removed him from the world without his being able to learn the full results of his folly. Therefore God placed a mark upon him, so that, seeing him, no man would be unaware of his crime.

Cain had to be spared in order that the full results of his deed would become known to him and all mankind. "The sins of the fathers are upon the children". Cain had to live in order to see how his violence would pass into his children, how his own impulsiveness would appear in them from generation to generation.

We may think about Abel as having worshipped God as his heavenly father. Then we may interpret Cain as a man who believed in his own self-sufficient knowledge. Then we may see the "raising of Cain" as the increasing of his knowledge through his experience. Cain was a delver in the earth, a seeker of knowledge of the material world, as his brother was one who cared for God's creatures, and a man of faith.

When a man is strongly biased to act in a certain manner, it is generally useless to try to change him. "A man conceived against his will, is of the same opinion still". A man who is biased towards the acquisition of knowledge of material things is not likely to heed a suggestion that he should strengthen his faith in the world of spiritual things.

When Abel was murdered, he left no children to carry on his way of life. Cain, surviving, passed his characteristics down to his children and they to theirs. The world of man from the line of Cain was to become a very violent world. The violence and vandalism that we see around us today has its roots in the heredity of Cain. Cain's murder of his brother made Cain afraid that every man would be against him. His bias towards the acquisition of knowledge led him to seek means of self-defence against possible attack from other men. It is interesting to see how this first seeking for means of self-defence grew gradually into the development of ever more sophisticated weapons. The first murderer was also the first man to invent methods of protection against murderous intents. There is a peculiar logic in this. Our present nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles are the natural results of the dual aspects of Cain's character. Violently impulsive he sought knowledge of means to protect himself.

But violence begets counter-violence, and knowledge breeds counter knowledge. Every weapon of attack has been the spur to invent a means of defence and counter-attack. Every problem cries out for a solution, like the blood of murdered Abel from the ground.

Thus the "raising of Cain" must go on until it reaches its final term. The man of violence seeks knowledge of how to use it against others, and of how to protect himself from others violence.

The ultimate goal of knowledge-seeking is the gaining of power over the thing known. Often we meet men who claim a "disinterested" seeking of knowledge, "for its own sake", as they say. But there is no "knowledge for its own sake". All knowledge is for the sake of its possessor, either for his sense of self-value, or for his sense of being of service to others, or for his sheer aesthetic delight in having knowledge, or for the sense of performance-ability it gives him.

Knowledge without a knower of this knowledge is impossible. Thus "knowledge for its own sake" is a meaningless expression.

Cain sought knowledge. To him knowledge was a way to power, power which ultimately he hoped would be infinite, power which would make him at least equal, if not superior to God. This same will to attain in finite power is the will which led Lucifer to rebellion and resulted in his downfall and Satanic disgrace. This same will to power still rules in the linear descendants of Cain, the men of knowledge-pursuit who tear atoms to pieces in order to disclose the final secret of the universe.

The pursuers of knowledge cannot be stopped. They are of Cain's lineage, like him they must be raised, lifted to ever higher levels of knowledge of the way the things of the universe are structured and empowered. They will "seek to take the kingdom of heaven by storm". Their researchers into the possibilities of nuclear power are part of this "storming". Undoubtedly they will increase their knowledge and control over things. But there is here a certain logical difficulty.

When Cain struck Abel, the two men were in striking distance of each other. Later, when stone-throwing became the mode of attack, the contestants were within stone-throwing distance of each other. When they invented the sling and then the bow and arrow they withdrew from each other, but had to stay within arrow distance of each other. When they invented the gun, they withdrew yet further from each other, but still had to be within range of their bullets or shells. Today they have retired to secret missile emplacements, or down into the depths of the sea in their nuclear-powered submarines. Yet they must still stay within striking distance of each other.

In the pursuit of infinite power, to be effective in its use they will still have to remain within its striking range, and to avoid its destructive effects they will have to retire to an infinite distance. The situation becomes a joke. Cain will be raised to that level of knowledge in which he will know that his pursuit of infinite power will require him to be himself infinite. But for this he will have to abandon his whole concept of himself as the finite being he knows himself to be. He will have to lose all the limiting characteristics whereby he recognises himself as Cain. Like the Prodigal Son, he will have returned to his heavenly father.

All the great thinkers of the world have been aware of this problem. Man as a creature is characterised in certain recognisable ways. By these characteristics he knows himself to be what he is, a creature. If he desires to transcend his creatureliness, his limitations of recognisable forms, he must abandon all that he knows about himself as a creature. To be as powerful as God, he must become God, and in so doing cease to be what he is as a creature.

On earth, the desire to be as God started with Eve. She believed the tempter's suggestion that if she ate the forbidden knowledge-fruit, she would be like God. She ate, and persuaded Adam to do likewise. This desire to know embodied itself in her son Cain. Cain became a delver in the ground. He desired to know the "How" of things, the modes of their operation. Cain's foot was placed on the "ladder of all high designs". He, a mere creature, was determined to carry his parents' power-pursuit to its conclusion. By knowledge he would become as God.

When God did not accept Cain's sacrifice, Cain became enraged. It is usual for a man who prides himself on his gained knowledge, if his knowledge is treated as nought, to become enraged. Intellectual pride is easily injured, and when injured tends to become violent, either physically or verbally. The history of philosophers shows how often thinkers have fought each other and tried to destroy each other's systems of thought, and this not less viciously than military aggressors have tried to eliminate each other.

The hardest thing for the knowledge-pursuer, the Cainish man, to accept, is that there is a limit to knowledge as such. Knowledge is concerned with ideas. Ideas are mental forms. All forms by definition, are circumscribed, that is, bounded by a characteristic line. But beyond the line is infinity, that which cannot be bound by a line.

That which absolutely cannot be limited is infinite power. No amount of knowledge, no matter how great its accumulation, can add up to infinity. All knowledge is necessarily finite, limited, circumscribed. Thus the pursuit of infinite power by means of gained knowledge is necessarily vain. Those who hope to gain control of infinite power by means of knowledge are doomed inevitably to failure. Plotinus indicated this when he said that after the perfecting of the intellect, one has to "take the flight of the alone to the alone". There is only one absolutely supreme power. That power is the "Great Alone", the Great All-One". That power is not circumscribable, not boundable, not definable, and so is not graspable by the thinking mind. Thinking is defining, and defining does not apply to infinity.

The "raising of Cain", the perfecting of man's intellectual knowledge will never arrive at the infinite power of God. What it will do is convince man that knowledge is not everything. Beyond the reach of definitional knowledge are innumerable indefinable powers which are nevertheless operative. Love is such a power.

We can feel love, experience its effects upon our being. We can define our use of the word "love" as being equivalent to "working for the development of the potentialities of being". But unless we feel Love we cannot know anything essential about it, and it remains for us just a word amongst other words. No one has ever seen with his physical eyes what Love is. We can see certain kinds of physical behaviour that we believe spring from love, but not love itself.

Likewise, "No man has seen God at any time. "God is love". Love and God are invisible, yet make their presence felt. To love God is to love Love itself. Because God is infinite intelligent power, and God is love, then Love is infinite intelligent power. Truly to love is to participate in this power and to participate in it is to be of God.

The Bible is the history of the workings of God's Love. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him shall be Saved". In order to create the world, infinite power and intelligence had to give itself into existence. The world is power. Everything in the world is power, and expresses power. "From the things visible, we know the invisible".

When the scientific knowledge-pursuer investigates the sub-atomic world, what he finds is nothing but modalities of power, behaviours of energy. There is no matter that is not energy, and all energies are modes of action of one infinite field of power, the space-time-energy continuum. Everywhere scientists seek knowledge of ultimates, they find only power.

Part 16

The power that manifests everywhere in the universe shows a two-fold tendency: (1) towards concretion of "gathering together" of energy-units, and (2) towards disintegration, a process of scattering energy-units, which, if continued long enough, would result in the disappearance of all the forms in the universe as we know them.

Everywhere around us we see these two tendencies, a "gathering" tendency and a "dispersal" tendency. Physical science calls these two tendencies "ectropy" and "entropy". Living things show the ectropic, gathering of energy; dying things show the entropic, dispersal of energy. Both tendencies are behaviours of the one energy that controls the "coming to be" and the "ceasing to be" of the things of the universe. "Life" and "death" are both functions of the mysterious power that rules all things.

Everywhere energy is working to build or un-build the forms of existence. This energy is of the power of God. "My father works" says Jesus, "and I work". There is nothing in the whole of existence that is not energy, nothing that is not at Work. Where there is interest in building, there the energy works to build. Where interest is withdrawn, there building ceases and un-building or disintegration begins.

Interest is a form of love. Love is divine power at work, creating and developing the multiplicity of forms in the universe. Creation is a process of gathering energy together to bring things into being. Development is a process in which a thing is modified progressively in order to show more possibilities of its functions than were at first apparent.

Development may at times require extraordinary changes, as, for instance, the change from caterpillar to butterfly. In such a change there is a committal of a living form (the caterpillar) into a condition that may look almost like death. The caterpillar weaving its cocoon round itself is restricting its previous form of activity, and entering into a form of near death. The cocoon woven around it is like a shroud. The caterpillar enters an apparent death, but from this "death" it will resurrect, re-emerge, as a butterfly. The ancient Greeks used this image to signify the soul's capacity for self-renewal, and thought of the soul as a butterfly, a creature that once dwelt crawling on the earth, but later made a marvellous change into a creature of the air, a creature with wings, able to fly upwards from the earth into the realm of spirit.

The word we use for the soul, the Greek word "psyche", from which we derive the word "psychology", commemorates the Greek sages' observations on the mysterious capacity of the caterpillar to become a butterfly. And also the equally mysterious capacity of the human earth-bound being to become a being of spiritual power, able under the right conditions to rise above the limitations of the material world and enter freely into the realm of pure spirit.

We have said that interest is a form of love. In English we make use of the word "love" to cover a very wide range of different meanings. We can say that we love food, or sport, or music or each other. We can use it to cover anything whatever that we like doing, or find pleasant to do.

The ancient Greeks used the word "Eros" in a somewhat similar way. Today this word gives us the word "erotic" which we use often to refer to that which stimulates sexual desire. "Eros" was the name of the Greek God of love, like the "Cupid" of the Romans. Eros meant to the Greeks the kind of love that springs from a sense of need or desire. Basically referring to sexual attraction, it later developed a deeper meaning, not confined to the merely physically sexual sphere.

Plato and his followers developed the meaning of Eros and lifted it above the merely physical level towards a spiritual, other-worldly sphere. Instead of being confined to the merely physical things of the world, it was redefined as a thirst after truth, beauty and goodness, a search for the Beatific Vision, an attempt to attain to purity of heart, which alone can lift a man to heavenly heights. "Blessed are the pure in heart", says Jesus, "for they shall see God". The Greek sages had a similar idea.

Yet although Plato and others refined the meaning of the word "Eros", it still remain connected with Man's sense of his own needs and desires. If the Greeks could talk of Eros as "divine", it was only by seeing that it aimed at a vision of God. Eros still dwelt in the realm of human desires and needs. Eros was not a quality of God himself, for Eros arose from need, and from desire to fulfil that need, and God Himself needs nothing, desires nothing, for he lacks nothing. Eros is the desire that arts from a sense of lack or deficiency or deprivation in a created limited being. God is not a created being; He is the Creator of all. He is not a limited being; He is the infinite intelligent spiritual power that has brought into existence all the things that are in the Universe. Thus God has nothing in Him of the erotic, the desire that springs from a sense of need or lack.

We men think or Eros in its refined form as the desire in all creatures that moves them to try to improve their situation, the desire to become more knowledgeable, more intelligent, more God-like. We men thus think or Eros as the human being's way to God, the force that moves man away from his less efficient manner of living towards a more sensitive and intelligent mode of relating to the great creative power of the universe which we call "God". But however we may refine our definition of the use of the word, Eros still remains a term referring to a process that starts in man's awareness of his own deficiencies and needs and desires. Eros starts from man's sense of lack of something very important.

But there is another word for love, a word that does not signify any lack or need or sense of deficiency. It is the word Agape. "Agape" means that kind of love which springs not from any sense of deficiency or lack or need, but from the infinitely loving free will of God Himself. If Eros-love is accepted as that kind of Love for higher things which first places a man's feet on the path towards divine perfection, because of man's own sense of his own lack of perfection, then Agape-love is the kind of love which springs from that Being who lacks nothing, needs nothing, and desires nothing, for already that Being has everything that any being could conceivably desire, for that Being is God Himself.

When man's erotic love moves him to action, it is always because he wants or desires something for himself that he feels he lacks. When God's Agapic love moves Him it is never because He wants something for Himself. Being infinitely powerful, God man make anything whatever that He wills to make of His own free will.

When a man says that he loves something, he means this thing can do something for him, give him pleasure, remove from him a sense of lack, a sense of deficiency. He loves food because it pleases his taste-organs, or because it gives him strength to do something he wants to do, or because it gives him satisfaction, which means a sense of fullness. All this is Eros-love at work. Eros slakes his thirst; Eros satisfies his hunger, Always it is Eros for man's sake. Man loves only those things that make him feel in some way more or better than he was. Man loves in order to get something for himself that he thinks he lacks. This is Eros-love.

But with God it is quite otherwise. God does not love a creature because he can get something out of it that God has not already got in His own being. God's love does not spring out of a sense of lack, or from a desire to fulfil a deficiency. God is all-powerful, all-intelligent. He lacks nothing whatever. Therefore, when He loves, He does so out of His infinite fullness, his infinitely free will, His Agape-love.

The idea of Agape-love was unknown before Jesus came. The Greek Eros love has been progressively refined and raised to the level of a pursuit of Spirit, of things divine instead of earthly; but Eros-love still wanted something for itself, wanted to receive something back from the thing or person that it loved. But says Jesus, "What are you if you love only those who love you — are you anything more than a shopkeeper"? With Jesus another kind of love came into the world, not merely that kind of Eros-love that loves only those from whom it can get something in return. The Agape-love of God shows itself in Jesus. It manifests as a love that desires no return to the lover, but simply wills the well-being of the beloved.

Agape-love is absolutely free from self-seeking. It demands no return for the good it gives, requires no "this-for-that". It is an infinitely free love that gives out of the infinity of its own fullness of well-being.

Agape-love in its pure form is essentially divine. The love of man as an unreformed creature is never quite free from the self seekingness of Eros. In his first experience of love a young man is stirred by the desirableness of someone he meets, or something he sees. His desire is called into action by the charm or assumed merit of the thing or person he sees. Later he may find that the person or thing he loves is actually worthy in some way of his love. But when he loves that person or thing for its worth to himself, it is still a selfish love, still Eros, and not Agape. But gradually a man may come to love another person, not because of what can be gained from him or her, but because somehow that person is lovable in his or her very nature. This kind of love is a sort of half-way house towards Agape.

But the Agape-love of God does not require the one He loves to be lovable before He loves him or her. God loves even those who have no manifest lovable qualities. God's love is a love that is directed, not only towards those who would appear to merit it because of their good qualities, but also towards persons that most men would consider quite unworthy.

This is the difference between Eros-love and Agape-love. Eros-love even at its highest, most refined level, wants something for itself, as a reward for its loving. Agape-love wants nothing whatever for itself, for it lacks nothing whatever.

Agape-love, the love that God, the Creator, has for His creatures" is infinite in its concern for them, not because the Creator lacks anything that His creatures might have, for whatever good they have is from Him, given to them by His own free will. This divine love, lacking nothing in itself, freely wills that His creatures shall benefit from this love, and so, come themselves to more abundant life.

If a -human being loves another, not for anything that may be gained from that-other, but purely for that other's good, not because of some merit or existing good quality that the other may have, but for some as yet undeveloped potentiality the other may have, then that human being is moving along the path towards divine Agape-love. For here we see something of the quality of fatherhood which manifests even in earthly fathers, when they persevere in striving to help a child who as yet has shown no tendency towards worthiness.

Part 17

Beyond the ordinary earthly level of fatherhood, is the real source of true fatherhood, the Fatherhood of God, the Supreme Creator of all beings, who loves all His creatures with an unlimited love. He loves with a love not based on some merit or existing good quality in His creatures, as if they had gained merit by their own unaided efforts. The love of God, the Father of all creatures, is utterly the true essential quality of His own eternal Being. God is love itself, the infinite power of eternity that works forever for the well-being of His creatures.

This eternal love, which is God Himself as He wills Himself unchangingly to be, lacks nothing, needs nothing, and desires nothing for Himself. Yet He wills to create, and wills the good of his creatures.

Essential to the good of the human soul is freedom. This freedom was conferred on Man when God breathed into him the breath of life and gave him the capacity of discrimination by which he was enabled to give names to the animals and to everything else he encountered.

This power of free discrimination is both the highest and most dangerous of all Man's capacities, for use of it, we can choose to do either right or wrong. Freedom implies the capacity for choosing wrong as well as right. If we could not do wrong, and had no alternative but to do always the right, we would be no better than a perfectly designed, perfectly constructed machine.
The perfect machine does not make mistakes. The perfectly designed, perfectly made computer, fed true data, always comes up with the right answer. But it is a machine. It gives no correct responses other than those some intelligent human being has programmed it to give.

Now, perfectly designed, absolutely efficient machines, are useful to us, but they are not persons. A person is a being who can think, feel and will freely what to do or not to do about what it feels or thinks. A relationship with a perfect machine has predictable results, so that we can fall into a habit quite safely when we use a perfect machine. But because we can safely fall into a habit or fixed routine when operating a machine, we can also fall asleep in that routine, so that we can operate the machine even whilst sleeping.

This kind of machine-operating-while-sleeping is not very far from the kind of relation that human beings tend to fall into when they have known each other a long time and so got used to each other's habitual responses. It is possible for two people who are very used to each other's habits to question and answer each other and relate their actions together just as if they were machines, so that they can go through their lives together asleep. Jesus calls such people the "dead", and distinguishes them from the "quick", who are very much alive and conscious of what they are doing.

The "dead", the routine-ruled people, are behaving as if they were machines. But God, the creator of human beings, did not intend them to operate like machines, even perfect ones. Machines, however perfect in design, and manufacture, are not living beings. God made human beings to be free, conscious, living beings, not machines, because God in His wisdom knows that a living, conscious, free-willed being can experience something quite impossible for any machine, something which we humans, when in our best state of health call "joy".

God, being all-intelligent as well as all-powerful, does not will to create a merely machine-universe. Some biased philosophers have taught that He did, but examination of their motives for such philosophising would reveal that their purpose was rather to deceive others than themselves. A merely machine universe would be utterly joyless. But God, as He is in Himself is all joy and does not will to create beings incapable of sharing His joy with Him. An infinitely joyful being lacks nothing, and so wills to create other beings capable of the same joy. Jesus says that he comes that we might "have life more abundantly". This "more abundant life", when we attain it, will be a life of pure joy.

As we have seen, a perfectly designed and perfectly made machine operates perfectly but joylessly. True, when a man with a good car listens to its efficiently running engine, he often says to himself that the engine is "singing like a bird". He tends to call his car or his boat "she", to personalise it, and when it is well behaved to become fond of it. But this "personalisation" is a projection of the car-owner's or boat-owner's own personality. A human being can engage in such "personalisation" of treasured things only because he is himself a human being. A machine cannot "personalise" a human being, because a machine is not a person.

For a human being to be capable of experiencing the joy felt by God. the human being must not be a mere machine, no matter how perfect in design. The human being must be a person. A person is a being through whom sounds the voice of intelligence, sensitivity and free will. A machine has none of these three properties. A machine can be designed to operate as if it is intelligent. A computer can be programmed to solve complex problems. A machine can be designed to react to stimuli as if it is sensitive. So we say of some electronic devices that they have "sensors". But they are not sensitive consciously as is a human being. A machine can be designed to look as if it can choose between different courses of action as can a human being, but the machine is programmed to select this rather-than-that by a human being.

Intelligence, sensitivity and free will are properties of human beings, not of machines. This trinity of properties in mankind is the glory of mankind. But as we have seen, it is also the great danger for mankind. Especially dangerous is man's free will, for it is by this that he is able to choose to do either evil or good. Free-will is an essential of the experience of joy, for joy is essentially the state of an intelligent sensitive being when conscious of his own capacity for free action.

The sense of the capacity for free action is the essential factor in the experience of the supreme happiness that we call "joy". This word implies the conscious free-willed affirmation of any situation in which the joyful man may find or put himself. God is joyful because He creates the conditions of His own self-experience by creating His universe for Himself.

The Being that creates His own universe and the conditions in it, and has total control of it, is in a state of joy, and in this joyful consciousness of His absolute power He can confer upon any of His creatures a capacity for free willed action which is absolute in every way except one. The creature of free will can choose between any alternatives or action possibilities within the created world. The one thing he cannot do is to eliminate the consequences of his chosen actions. In the created world the law of action-reaction operates. God, the Creator of the Universe, has made this action-reaction law, so that, through its action, it will bring everyone who acts face-to-face with results of his action. Hindus call this action-reaction law "Karma". Jesus pictured its operation in the words "As a man sows, so shall he reap".

The alternative for the Creator, is either to create unfree machines, which thus have no self-responsibility; or to create beings of free-will who are by definition responsible for their own self-chosen actions. But the creature with free-will, the human being, simply because he has freewill, can choose either to accept or reject the will for him of his Creator. If he chooses to do as the Creator wills for him, then he lives in the same joy as his Creator. If he chooses to do other than His Creator wills, then he opposes the principles of the Creator, the very principles whereby the Creator attains His own joy. Thus the man who opposes God's will for him puts himself outside the sphere of operation of the divine joy. It is not that God wills the man who opposes Him to be deprived of the divine joy; it is the man himself who, by his own freely willed opposition to God's will, deprives himself of that joy.

Because of the great danger inherent in the possession of free will, God, who gave mankind that will, watches over him, and has given him a means whereby, if he will accept and use this means, he can attain to the divine joy. This means is contained in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Shortly it is expressed in the words "Love God, and your neighbour as yourself". The rest of the teaching is commentary on these words.

A good human father makes allowances for his child's errors of behaviour. He hopes that, with a good example and some intelligent advice, his child will eventually "get the message" and begin to enjoy living in the right way. But a merely human father is a creature, a limited being, of limited power, limited self-control and limited patience, and so, at some point, he may lose his "temper" (which means his "balance") under the strain of having to endure the consequences of his child's repeated wrong choices.

But the divine Father, God, unlike man, has eternity in which to wait for mankind's recognition of the true way to live. An earthly father has only time to play with and wait in for his child's re-formation of his behaviour. Death awaits him in the not very distant future, and the consciousness of this, or even the unconscious background awareness of it, tends to make him impatient and irritable, and so to lose his self-control, and with this, his loving good will towards his child.

God, unlike man, is immortal, eternal, and so beyond Death's reach. Thus he is not worried, as man is, about the future. God creates His future. Man on earth, in time, suffers the consequences of his temporal actions.

From Man's first wrong choice, in Adam's decision to disobey God's warning, followed by Cain's wrong choice in murdering his brother. From such beginnings arose fear of consequences, and from this fear a further darkening of the mind, and from this mental darkening an increase of the probability of further and worse errors.

Because of this worsening of Man's condition, his Creator decided to send to mankind a series of teachers, who, inspired by God, would be able to help men, if they would listen to their advice, to halt the deterioration of their condition. God would not take away from men the freedom of will he had given them, for that would reduce them to machine level. Instead He would offer to educate men in a worthwhile joyous way of living, and when they committed further errors, and sank deeper into mental darkness, He would have mercy on them, and make special allowances for their self-induced ignorance of the divine truth.

Even if men sank down to the point where they would be void of all evidence of merit, and even if they expressed no wish to acquire it, but rather deliberately persisted in their foolish or evil ways, "thumbing their noses" at God, yet He would persist in His will to help them gain a footing on the right path to full joyous living.

If we begin to feel in our hearts the extraordinary quality of this divine love, then we shall begin to understand what the words mean: "We know that we have passed from death into life, because we love the brethren".

Part 18

"Because we love the brethren". What is a "brother"? Ordinarily, we may use the word to signify a male member of a family born from the same parents as other members of that family. But often we use the word in other ways. We may talk of "brothers in arms" when we mean "men fighting on the same side in a war against others". Or members of an organisation may think of themselves as "brothers" because of their will to co-operate in order to fulfil some purpose.

Because in the primitive world of our ancestors hunting and making war was usually a male activity, in which the necessary cooperation of men placed them in "brotherly" relation with each other, there arose the notion that the word "brother" referred only to males. And because of long practice in the hunt and at war, males became able to impose their will physically on non-males, there arose the idea that the world human beings live in was "a man's world". We still hear this expression. What is implied in it?

The idea that "brotherliness" means "cooperation" arose from the necessity of coordinating the actions of men in the hunt and in war. Obviously, a group of men faced with a large and fierce animal has greater survival probability than has a single man. Cooperation meant a higher probability of staying alive.

Where the conditions of life are tolerable most persons tend to prefer life to death. If the life-conditions are productive of happiness, and the conditions leading to death are unpleasant or painful, then the preference for life over death increases.

Let us think a little more closely about what is implied in the idea of "cooperation". Our physical body is composed of many organs, themselves composed of cells. The organs in our body have special functions, each of which contributes something to the welfare of all. It is quite correct to think of our body as a cooperative organisation of cells grouped into organs in order to maintain the process of living. It is also permissible to think of our cells figuratively as "brother" cells working together for the fulfilment of the common purpose of living. Grouped cells which constitute "organs" with specific functions can be viewed as brother-members of those organs. Organs which cooperate within the body can be called "brother" organs.

Each organ in the body works in a particular way. Its way of working is called its "function". Wherever the work or function of one organ aids the function of any other organ, we can think of their conjoined functions as cooperative or "brotherly". The heart is an organ involved in the circulation of the blood which brings food and oxygen to maintain the lives of all the cells of the body. The other organs of the body have their special functions, each of which makes a contribution to the living processes of all.

The more closely we look into our body processes, the more certain we become that the function of each part is needed for the function of every part for the survival of the whole. We see that all function is interfunction. No cell or organ lives merely for itself alone. Only by their brotherly cooperation and interfunction do the body's cells and organs maintain their livingness.

Now, if we love something and that something can be attained only by the help of some other thing, then it is intelligent of us if we love the thing that helps us to gain the thing we love.

By "brotherliness" we mean cooperation, co6rdination of our action or functions to attain some desired goal. Thus , if we love life, and life is possible only if there is co6peration between the different functions which together constitute life, then we must also logically love co6peration, which is "brotherliness". Then we can agree that to "love the brethren", the brothers who cooperate with us to increase our probabilities of living, is the sign that we have understood that life is a cooperative function.

Wherever co6perative interfuntion is, there is the high probability of life. Where co6perative interfunction begins to fail, there we see the beginning of the approach to disintegration, disease and death.

Because in the ancient world it was usually the males who went forth to hunt or make war, they gained much experience of the value of co6rdinated actions. From their extended experience men gained many physical skills that women did no ordinarily need to acquire. Hence the saying to which we have already referred, "It's a man's world". But the overstressing of man's skills must not be allowed to make us forget the Great Rule "All function is interfunction". It is not only men who function in relation to each other, as in the hunt or in war. Men would not exist if there had been no interfunction with women.

It is the misunderstanding of the necessary interfunction of men and women that has lead to the "war of the sexes".

In the ancient world, before the division of labour, men and women made for themselves whatever they felt they needed to make their conditions more endurable, less unhappy, and more pleasant. Each man made his own weapons, shoes, clothes and so forth. Each woman made for herself her own clothes, cooking pots and storage utensils, and so on. Carrying through the making of a complete useful thing from start to finish involved acquisition of many different skills, each of which took time and effort to attain. Thus from the spreading of energy over many separate skills, very great lengths of time were needed to attain proficiency in them. Thus the lack of cooperation between people slowed down their rate of improvement of their skills.

At some point someone saw that special skills could be acquired more quickly if these were concentrated upon fully. Repetition of a particular act increases efficiency in it. If the various skills required to make a thing were spread amongst several people, and each person concentrated his energy his energy and mind upon the particular skill allotted to him, then his speed of production would increase and time thus be saved.

But division of labour amongst various skills required also a coordinating function to bring together the products of these skills and to assemble them in their proper inter-functional pattern. The final product embodied the results of many separate skills. Coordination itself became a special function, and for this there had to be an "overseer", one who would overlook and direct the progress of all the skilled workers involved in the production of the parts of the thing required, and the assembly of these parts into their pre-designed interfunctional whole.

Within the Church the word used for this overseer is "bishop". The word "Church" means the coordinated assembly of those persons called out from this general mass of mankind to serve in a very special manner as exponents of the idea or co6rdinated co6peration between all men at all.

We can easily see the advantage of the division of labour and of the co6rdination function in the production of material objects, cars, planes, ships, shoes, etc. What we less easily see id that division of labour and co6rdination of its products applies also to levels other than the merely physical. Male and female animals in general physically cooperate to propagate their kind. But human males and females, men and women, are very much more complex than mere animals. Humans have levels of function utterly unknown to the "beasts of the field" "whose breath goes down to the ground". And all function is interfunction.

Human beings not only live to eat and reproduce their kind as do the animals Humans have a purpose beyond their present condition, and the attainment of this purpose requires the greatest degree of interfunction, at all levels of their beings. Human beings have not only a physical body and an animating energy such as we see evidence of in the animal world. Humans have also an awareness of a universe of possibilities beyond everything so far attained. What are these possibilities?

Basic to these is the faculty or capacity for understanding. The human mind is impelled in a manner that animals are not towards the attainment of the mysterious condition we call "understanding". With all your getting, get understanding".

"Understanding" is another way of saying "Knowledge of interfunction of things", or "Knowledge of the way that things necessarily act on each other, or interact to produce certain results or effects".

Not only things interact. Minds and emotions and wills also affect each other. We say that a cruel word may damage a sensitive soul, that a sharp retort "cuts to the quick" the person against whom it is directed. "Sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child".

The separate functions of the human soul, thought, feeling and will, all interact in health for the maintenance and development of the living human being. Failure of necessary interaction leads to breakdown of health. Health is wholeness of being, proper interfunction of all parts of the living organism.

When Cain murdered his brother Abel, Cain reduced interfunction not only between himself and Abel, but also between the parts of his own being. His guilt split his unity of being. "My punishment is more than I can bear", he cried. Abel's spilled blood "cries from the ground for vengeance". The unity of heart, mind and will that previously had existed had gone. Cain was now afraid that every man's hand would be against him. Free cooperation between Cain and other men had now become impossible. In all men the guards were up.

But guardedness impedes free flow of life energy. To be on guard against possible damage is to be over-tense, and excess tension spells reduction of the flow of blood and nervous energy to the body's organs and cells, and cessation of this flow leads to oxygen lack and starvation of cells.

The extra skills gained by men in the hunt and in war in the ancient world led men to conceive themselves as "superior" to women. This apparent superiority led to a reduction of interfunction of the two sexes, and this to physical and physical disorders of various kinds. The differences between male and female mental and physical functions, which could be so valuable to both in their interfunction, now became a grave cause of disagreement. The scriptures have much to say about the cure of this conflict, and the restoration of the true interfunction of the male and female halves of the human race.

A mind totally isolated, deprived of all interrelation with other minds, cannot function at its highest level. A child deprived of the influence of other minds cannot gain the education needed for it to take its proper place in human society. Without conversation with other minds, without the skills of reading, a child cannot gain the vast stories of information held in the great books of the world.

So also with the feelings and emotional potentials which reside in the depths of our souls. If we do not experience the interchange of feelings and emotions which relations with the same levels in other persons can give us, we are "emotionally starved", and our life is to that degree less than it would have been. Emotional starvation is one of the worst kinds of impoverishment of the soul.

So also with the exchange of willed actions. Where two or more people c000perate volitionally there is a marked feeling of well-being. We all know of the wonderfully invigorating effect of "pulling together" to realise a shared purpose. The sound of men singing a sea-shanty and the sight of the coordinated willed muscle-actions is a joy to experience.

What has not yet been fully realised are the tremendous gains to be made if the man-woman relation is intelligently developed on all levels. Intelligent cooperation between man's intellect and initiative with woman's. feeling-sensitivity and body-process awareness can bring enormous enrichment.

Part 19

What has the Bible to say about the value of the interfunction of man and woman? The name of God given in the book of Genesis indicates that the qualities that we think of as those of man exist also in the Creator of all things. God Himself, within His all-embracingness, contains qualities both male and female. Let us consider carefully what these imply.

A whole human being has several properties or capacities for function. The most basic of these are those we call sensation, feeling, mentation, conceptual capacity, volition and comprehension of these.

Of these capacities, some have characteristic more of men than of women more than of men. We have already seen how the hunt and war developed in men certain capacities for co-operation, and for the fashioning of tools and weapons of the hunt and of war.. Here we see the beginnings of the amazing science and technology of our own day, nearly all of which we tend to think of as masculine achievements. The names in a history of "sci-tech" are nearly all male. The great inventors are generally male, and the faculties with which they fashioned their inventions, the initiating will and intellect, are both viewed as more male. than female. Also the Great Law-Makers of history have largely been male, and again the faculties of mind which define such laws are those of initiative and will.

Yet initiative and intellect alone could not constitute a whole being. There must also be feeling-sensitivity and a body in which to anchor this and other functions. And both feeling-sensitivity and body-process awareness have become more closely related to woman than to man. The reason for this is not far to seek. The child-bearing process of woman has made her very sensitive to all her body processes, and her general vulnerability has sensitised her in a way unfamiliar to the male.

The hunt and war tended to extravert man's awareness and focus his consciousness in his physical sense organs, so that he is very aware of the outer physical possibilities of the objects of the material world. For survival he must be conscious of the action possibilities of the wild animals he hunts or of the enemies he must face in war. The need for clear ideas also forces him into a sharp intellective introversion and control of thought.

Woman, on the contrary has had to develop her feeling-sensitivity by which she becomes aware of the moods which might affect her menfolk. This same feeling-sensitivity works in her in two ways: it makes her aware of her own inner physical condition, tells her whether or not she is pregnant, thus introverting her attention; and it also tends to spread her awareness over a very great distance while she is trying to sense whether her man, out of the hunt or at war, is safe and free from harm, and able and willing to return to her.

The thinking process that we call mentation is one in which ideas follow one another in succession. It has for its object either the body and feeling states which we tend to think of as female, or the intellectual concepts and initiatives which we tend to think masculine. Thus we can think of mentation as a process intermediate between the male and female processes, or as partaking of or embracing both.

In the world of human beings as we find them, the different capacities are not always sharply defined. Especially in the group of humans that we call artists (which includes not only painters and sculptors, but also musicians, singers, composers, dancers and others) we find a type of being that usually partakes in some degree of the so-called male and female characteristics. The good artist has the initiative and intellect commonly thought of as male, and the feeling-sensitivity and body-awareness that we think of as female. This is seen very clearly in the great ballet-dancers. All good artists possess this double capacity to unite the so-called male and female characteristics.

The fully developed human being is one who, either from birth or by training, has become sensitive to all his inner capacities and functions, and is able to carry these into all his living processes. The Greeks of the classical period were well aware of this double nature of the whole human being, a fact well shown in their beautiful sculptures. The figure of Hermes, messenger of the gods is nearly as female in form as he is male. So with many others.

Every human has in some degree capacities usually thought of as male and female. In the Book of Genesis we read that Adam, the first human being was created in the image of God, male and female. Only later in the story do we read that the female principle was taken out of him and given separate bodily form. Here was the first "division of labour". Adam would dig, and Eve would spin. We all know the riddle "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?" On this question was built the whole political hope of the Left.

Now God, who is the All-in-all, the One Supreme Source of all creation, put certain of His qualities into His creatures. Original life is His and His alone. To plants and animals He gave part of this life, and to man also extra qualities which we think of as peculiarly human. Plants are to a degree living, sensitive things. Animals are also self-mobilising. Mankind has added to these, the further faculties of intellect and free-will.

The extra qualities that the Creator has placed in man are those implied in the word "Spirit" and include the power include the power of tree-will and the capacity for reception of eternal Truth. Apart from this dual gift man would be little different from the animals.

Free-will we can easily think of as a capacity to initiate action without impedance. What of the power by which we are able to receive Eternal Truth? What do we mean by Eternal Truth?

In our mind we oppose the notions of Eternity and Time. Things of Time appear and disappear. Time events succeed one after the other, and as one vanishes, another appears, only to vanish in its turn and be displaced by another.

"Vanity of vanities" says the preacher; all Time-things vanish. Every object that appears in the Time-process wears out, quickly or slowly. It is of the nature of things that are born in Time, that at some point they will pass out of Time. Buddha said, "To the born, certain is death".

But if we in thought oppose Time and Eternity, then as Time is that in which things vanish or cease to be, then Eternity is that in which things never vanish, never cease to be. This is the quality of Eternal things, their never-ceasingness. Have we any experience of anything that never ceases to be? To answer this we must distinguish between the things of the outer world, of which we know by means of our sense-organs, and the things of the inner world, which we know without the use of these organs.

Things of the outer world can act on our sense organs from without. Our ears are stimulated by vibrations of the air which act upon our eardrums. Our eyes are stimulated by the action upon our retina of light from the sun or elsewhere. Our sense of smell is stimulated by the action of minute particles suspended in the air which enters our nose. Our sense of taste is stimulated by food substances taken into our mouth. Our sense of touch operates when our skin surface is pressed. What of the things of the inner world? Here great controversies rage between materialists and men who believe that spirit is a reality. For the materialists the physical body is merely a very complex machine, operated by mechanical, chemical and electrical and other forces of the material world.

But the one who believes in the reality of spirit holds another view. For this man, the inner world of ideas is real, and certain of these ideas are eternally unchanging, and the Law of the Being of the eternal will endure for ever. A perfect circle is a form the perimeter of which has been, and always will be, in all its parts equidistant from its centre. The reality of the circle is forever unchangeable in idea. The question is raised, what is an idea?

The word "idea" is from a Greek word which is translated into Latin "form" and Old English "shape". In modern English all three words are used more or less interchangeably, although "idea" is used more for a form or shape in the mind.

Now, an idea, form or shape is not nothing. It is a quantity of energy, as is everything else in the world. An idea, because it is an energy packet, can act on another idea, interact with it, and yet somehow remain what it is. When in our mind we superimpose the idea of a circle on the idea of a square, the two ideas do not change their form, yet in our mind in this superimposition we discover another emergent, the shapes produced between the superimposed ideas. It is by such superimposition of ideas that many great discoveries and inventions have been made. Yet the originating ideas still remain as they were before their superimposition. Ideas remain eternally what they are.

It was just this eternality of ideas that fascinated Plato and led him to his theory of an eternal "World of Ideas", a theory later seen to explain much of what Christ meant when he uttered such mysterious statements as "Before Abraham was, I am". Jesus accepts and affirms that there is a real world of Eternal Forms. "Every man goes into his own place, and his works follow him". Everything in the Time-world is borrowed from the Eternal World. "Time is the moving image of Eternity", says Plato. What appears in Time and vanishes from Time has come from that other level of Being that we call Eternity.

Holding the notion of Eternity in our mind tends to bring to us a sense of stillness which the notion of Time does not. The great sages of the world have held close to the idea of Eternity and by this have attained to that stillness of mind that is the mark of the sage. The man who is obsessed by the passage of time finds too little time for all the things he wants to do. He lives "on the run" passing from moment to moment in his fevered search for what he thinks he needs. The mind of the Time-conscious man is restless. The mind of the Eternity-aware man partakes of the stillness of the Eternal.

Yet although Time and Eternity are opposed, they nevertheless constitute aspects of reality. It is a fact that we see things with our senses as in a world of movement. It is also true that the ideas in our mind of certain geometrical concepts do not change. Circles remain forever circles, and squares forever squares.

This peculiar polarity is reflected in the name of God, which in English we call "Jehovah", which derives from a Hebrew word, a verb meaning "to be", in its past, present and future forms. It would be quite permissible to translate this word as "I am that is, was, and shall be", and to understand this as referring to a Being whose very essence is of that which is, was and shall be forever beyond Time, but holds in itself the whole of whatever Time may produce. This is not an easy idea to grasp, but deep meditation upon it may reveal something of its meaning.

Part 20.

We creatures of the time-matter process are born, grow, reach maturity, fade and die. Where we came from, to there finally we return. Tho ne born in time is to leave the eternal state of our being. To die is to leave the time-matter world and return to our origin in the eternal field of divine power. We leave our eternal home but to return to it.

In the time-matter process we have work to do on ourselves and on the earth in the universe. We have not arrived on the globe to do nothing with it, nor merely to amuse ourselves. He who made us has a purpose with us. This is what we mean when we say that God has made a covenant with Man, a covenant made with Noah, re-stated with Abraham renewed in Isaac and Jacob and in all those able to receive it, the prophets and all truly wise men. This covenant was made fully incarnate in Jesus Christ, the recipient of all the efforts of those of this ancestors who were true believers in the divine message God had given to them.

God's high purpose with Man is to bring him into the developed condition where he can be a worthy representative of divine power and intelligence, on earth and elsewhere in the universe. The divinely appointed work of Man is the re-spiritualisation of the world made grossly material and corrupt by the fall of Satan and Mankind.

Once the whole universe was a spiritual, free, creative delight to its Creator. Then, by refusal to obey the cosmic laws of true action, freedom was lost. This loss demanded a new and special creation, which, once completed would never again fall. A new heaven and a new earth is to be brought into being, and in this work man has a very special part to play.

There is something that we must understand if we are to become able to play effectively our part in the creation of the new heaven and earth. We must understand that the highest attainment has to be paid for by the highest effort. The highest prize must cost the highest price. There are no "bargain basement" purchases for those who seek the highest self-fulfilment. The Olympic runner has to push himself through a hard training regime. So also the man of the highest spiritual attainment.

There are no great musicians who have not studied and practised hard. Only great application produces the performance of genius. The child prodigy who develops his talents to the highest degree applies himself to all that is needed for the utmost development of his gifts, and if this is so with the great artists of this world, how much more must it be so with the greatest geniuses of the spirit?

When we perform actions against resistances, as a weight-lifter lifts his weights against the down-pull of gravity, we find that our physical body grows in strength and fitness. When we desire to grow in spiritual strength, we find likewise that we develop most efficiently in the presence of some resistance. For physical weight-lifting we have to exert ourselves against the earth's gravitational pull. For spiritual "weightlifting" we have to use our spiritual powers, our intelligence and will, and the resistance provided for us in this field is that of interest in the things of the material world.

The things of the material world tend to draw out our attention into those situations in which we can externalise our mind and feelings and will. When we do this our whole being is abandoned to the things of the outer world, which then tends to rule us, to determine our actions and thoughts, to force us into reaction to its stimuli.

If our life becomes dictated to by the things of the outer world, we lose our spiritual freedom. Of course, we have to relate to things, in order to do the work that we have to do for the proper development of the world and of ourselves. But in relating to things we are not to allow ourselves to be subjected to them. Things are not to be our rulers, but we are to rule them, to use them intelligently, and with sensitivity and good will.

When Cain became angry with his situation and killed his brother, Cain had lost control of himself. He had been triggered into violent reaction to an event of the outer world. This fall into subjection to an outer event spelt further errors. To God's question "where is Abel thy brother?" Cain replied "I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?"

In these few words Cain joined himself to the father of lies, and also denied ethical responsibility for the fate of all men. Henceforth he would escape all the duties that man owes naturally to fellow man lying his way out of every difficult situation in which he would find himself. The generations of man to follow would see a continuous further down-going into the ever greater lack of human responsibility.

Not many years would pass before the Creator would see that man's wickedness was great in the earth, and his heart only evil, so that God would find it needful to destroy all but a few men from the face of the earth. Of these few, "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord", for "Noah was just man who walked with God".

Here we must note that the Hebrew names of persons in the Bible have meaning, and like all contents of the scriptures have several levels of interpretation, each having an application in a certain type of situation or at a certain level of understanding. For our present purpose we shall take "Noah" as signifying "Intelligence", a meaning we see also in the Greek Noe, the principle of the highest function of the human mind, the poetic principle by which we are able to understand not only the things of this world, but also those of the Spirit.

Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japhet, whose names also have important meanings, for they signify the three faculties by which intelligence operates in the world.

"Shem" means "name"; Ham denotes "hot, dark impulse"; Japhet signifies "enlargement", "Persuasion" and "beauty". The order in which these names are placed is very important, for it was firstly through the discovery of the power of naming that the first truly human beings evolved from their pre-human ancestors. Secondly, when the power of naming was first introduced, there occurred an impulsive reaction against it from the lower nature of mankind, that is, from what today we call the unconscious mind, the dark areas of the psyche or soul. Thirdly, the naming power increased its activity in order to impose controls upon the dark reactive, impulsive, unconscious energies. In these names of the three sons of Noah is hidden a total psychological system which, if properly applied, may resolve all the problems of the human race.

Man's intelligence depends upon the principle of correct naming of phenomena. By giving appropriate names to things, events and interrelations of these, the human being has been raised above the level of all other creatures on earth. When Adam named the various animals and plants and things of the garden, there was begun the system of classification of things which would eventually lead to the defining of all the categories of what today we call science. Without a naming system we could never have invented all the marvellous devices that have lifted mankind from the pre-human darkness of the primitive ancient world, never have put man on the moon, never have probed outer space, nor have opened the gates to infinite human advance in so many directions.

But there is not only power in names; there is also danger. For when a truth is put into words and clearly expressed it is not always happily received by all those who hear them. The prophets who uttered unwelcome truths were persecuted or put to death, unless they were able to flee to the safety of the mountains. Thus the principle of intelligence, personified as Noah, was on guard against the dark, impulsive reactivity shown by his son, Ham.

We ourselves would be well advised to be aware of the dangers, as well as the power inherent in names. In the last war we heard the slogan, "Careless talk costs lives", but it is not only in wartime that the tongue is better controlled. "If one can control the tongue, one can control the whole body". The tongue, the organ which articulates speech, is a miracle of nervous organisation, and is at once both helpful and dangerous.

The whole of the printed Bible merely records words once on the tongue. Without this wonderful instrument there could have been no revelation of God's plan for mankind, and without its careless, uncontrolled action most of Man's social problems would never have arisen.

Two of Noah's sons, Shem and Japhet, were quite clear about the importance of the need to control the tongue. Ham, the son of dark, impulsive reactivity, was less aware of this need. Hence we read, in the ninth chapter of Genesis, that Ham, finding his father drunk and naked in his tent, told Shem and Japhet. But these brothers took a garment and covered their father's nakedness, thus showing their understanding of the need in certain circumstances for concealment. When Noah awoke from his drunkenness he knew that Ham had talked of his condition, and therefore put a curse on Canaan, Ham's son, that he should be a servant of servants to his brothers. For Canaan would carry the heredity of his father, and would therefore have difficulty in controlling his tongue. "The sins of the fathers are upon the children".

Intelligence (Noah) operates through words. Words are articulated by the tongue. Truths uttered to those unfit to hear them may cause impulsive irrational reactions (Ham). By careful control of the name (Shem) and enlargement (Japhet) of vocabulary, we, may be able to increase the controls which must be imposed on the dark side of human nature.

This problem of the control of irrational impulses is a delicate one, for unintelligent suppression of such impulses can store up energies which in the future may manifest in sudden volcanic eruptions of protest against the suppressive forces. Large-scale examples of such eruptions are seen daily in the sudden outbursts of vandalism, violence and individual irritability with which we are all so familiar. Battered wives and babies are further examples.

The Bible is not merely a "religious" book in the sense in which irreligious people use this word. It is a one-volume library of the wisdom of the ancient world, a gathering together of many works of men who had meditated deeply on the basic problems of humanity and of divinity. Throughout the Bible recur certain symbols of the most important principles that rule all living beings. Knowledge of the meaning of these symbols is essential to the true understanding of the real meaning of the word "religion".

When in the primitive world wickedness had spread through most of mankind, so that their hearts were continually evil, there was a need for some protection of the few intelligent members of the human race from the rest. Only by selection of the most wise men from the others could the human race be saved from total degeneration and a fall backwards into the sub-human stage of life. The Bible symbolises this selection process by God's command to Noah to build an ark of gopher wood. Because of the violence of men, God would have to destroy them, but because life must go on, intelligence (Noah), and his three sons and their wives would have to be saved. A new world would have to be built, with intelligence as the preserver of that world.

Part 21

Daily we see everywhere more and more violence in the world: in vandalism, air-plane high-jackings, political up-risings, military take-overs, race-riots and individual acts directed against other individuals. The world situation once again repeats the conditions of Noah's day. But the cure to come will not be in the form of a universal flood, for this was an insufficient measure, and after it men returned again to their evil ways.

The cure for our time promises to be in the form of a world-wide nuclear war. Only the intelligence of a modern Noah, guided by the inner divine principle, can avert this threat. The hot, dark impulses of the unconscious pleasure seeking power, symbolised by Ham, must be brought under the control of the higher levels of awareness signified by Shem and Japhet.

The three sons of Noah symbolise the three powers which together constitute intelligence as we know it in the human being. These three powers function respectively as feeling awareness (Shem) impulsive pleasure seeking (Ham), and intellectual analytic capacity (Japhet). The impulsive pleasure-seeking power, acting without contact with the highest intelligence, insensitive to the need to veil the real significance of what was meant by Noah being drunk, exposed his father's nakedness to his two brothers.

Why should there be a need to veil the significance of Noah, the principle of intelligence, being drunk in his tent? To answer this, we must understand the nature of fallen man, we must understand unfallen man.

Unfallen man was man as originally created, sensitive, intelligent and of unspoiled pure will. Fallen Man, as a result of his error in succumbing to the temptation to know the nature of Good and Evil, lost his original purity of will, for in choosing to know evil as well as good, he exposed himself to the effects of evil.

What are the effects of evil? Evil is a force acting against life. The effects of evil are therefore, reduction of life-forces, degeneration of the organs of a living body, cessation of living processes, and finally in a single word, death. The approach to death may be lingering, accompanied by a slow, painful corruption of body tissues, or there may be a swift, immediate departure from this world into the next.

Death can occur at different levels of being, physical, affectional, mentational, conceptional, volitional. It is possible for our physical organs to die from lack of food, or from intake of poison, or from deficient circulation resulting in shortage of oxygen supply to body-cells. It is possible for our affections to die, from lack of kindness, our mind may die from insufficient mental stimulation. Our principles may die from non-application. Our will may die from experience of non-appreciation of our good intentions.

When Adam sinned, he became at once aware that he had in some way diminished his, reduced his capacity for participation in the living processes of all the other creatures around him. In choosing to know evil as well as good, he had chosen to experience forces contra life.

Unless we actually experience things by participating in them with our own being, we cannot truly say that we know them. If we hear the word 'evil', and do not actually take part in the type of activity signified by this word, the word remains for us a mean sound, with no real meaning. Only if we engage in an action which manifestly results in a diminution of life do we actually know the meaning of the word 'evil'.

How did Adam become aware of the meaning of evil? We human beings are wiser in our depths than our conscious mind comprehends. Modern psychology has accepted the idea that the human mind is rooted in unconscious forces that are capable of actions not only constructive. There are powers at work in our depths may suddenly flash out in deeds of violence. As long as we are capable of conscious control of our energies, we are able to maintain harmonious relations with our fellow men, and we consider ourselves to this degree "good". Our energies work constructively, creatively, not destructively.

All the energy in the Universe around us exhibits a two-fold process, building up and tearing down the innumerable forms of things and creatures that constitute for us our environment. As living beings with a love of live, we tend to view the tearing-down aspect of the world-process as "bad" or "evil" especially where it begins to threaten our own continuance. For us the worldwide present fear of a nuclear war illustrates this point very clearly.

Great religious thinkers of the world have seen that somehow the world we live in is a "fallen" world. They have perceived that the tearing-down processes of the universe indicate that our world has somehow, somewhere back in history, gone wrong, has fallen from a prior state of perfection, has been precipitated from an eternal perfectly harmonious state of inter-relatedness, into a temporal imperfect disharmonious state of disintegrated warring forces. The mystery of this fall has fascinated the greatest intellects of the world.

The Bible has something to say of tremendous importance about this problem. Clearly the universe, as a product of one supreme power, must originally have been in perfect harmony with itself. Yet the world we live in, the universe around us, is torn apart, everywhere exhibits destructive tendencies, and threatens the lives of all living creatures. True, not all the forces of the universe are destructive, for if they were, we should not be here. Myriads of living creatures go about seeking sustenance and the continuance of their existence. But at any moment a careless boot may crush out the lives of minute ants pursuing their own modes of livelihood; or an earthquake may cast clown man-made buildings and destroy thousands of human lives.

How the forces of destruction gained entrance into the universe is indicated in the words of Jesus, where he says that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven, Today few educated people believe in the "heaven" referred to in the world's religious systems, the "after-world" in which, after "this life's fitful fever" the "good" shall be eternally happy, unperturbed by the "bad" souls of fallen humans and devils, who have been forever excluded from that paradisal world.

Most people use words without adequate definitions, for the defining of terms can be a very delicate process. Thus the word "heaven" is not usually clearly defined. "Heaven" means the condition of perfectly balanced power, a state of being in which all the energies of that being are held in perfect easy harmonious interplay, a state of spiritual bliss beyond all possible discordances. This was the state of Man before the fall. This was the condition which Adam suddenly lost as he accepted the serpentine suggestion that he should know both good and evil.

Prior to his fall Adam was in the state of perfect harmony with himself and his situation. He was in the condition of supreme good, but had experienced this without the contrast of evil. 'Good' was simply his being as he experienced it with no opposing or impeding forces to his unadulterated bliss.

Let us imagine that in his "innocence.., Adam did not understand the nature of evil, did not comprehend that in order to know 'evil' he would have himself to experience evil. The good he already knew, but not as contrasted with evil. So far he had lived the good, but not comprehending it as any other than his own natural harmonious state of being, with no opposite with which to compare it. He lived and knew harmony. He had not yet lived and known disharmony or disruption. Suddenly he felt within himself that his own interest in evil had somehow virtually cut him off from his relationship with his Creator, for now he felt that he would have to conceal this interest from God. Hence Adam hid himself, thus committing himself to the first fruits of his disobedience, the alienation of himself from the very source power of his own being.

Of course Man cannot actually completely cut himself off from God. But what Man can do, led by his own sense of guilt, is to behave as if so cut off. We all know this type of behaviour. We do something wrong to someone, and at once feel the need to remove ourselves from the presence of the one we have wronged. We remove ourselves physically or mentally from the situation. We are afraid of condemnation, afraid of being proved guilty. So with Adam. At the very moment of his disobedience he experienced the evil of self-imposed alienation. Henceforth he would hide from the Creator who had brought him into being. His hiding would be ineffective, for creative power cannot be totally cut off from the creature it maintains. But from Adam's stand point the degree of separation he was able to sustain had to suffice. Again we all know the feeling. We cut ourselves off as much as we can from the person we have wronged. We know that we cannot do this completely, but we think we can do sufficiently for our purpose. We can suppress our knowledge of the reality to a degree; push it down into the deepest depths of our being. We can create the conditions of nearly total unconsciousness, but only nearly. In spite of all our efforts to repress our guilt, we cannot totally succeed; there still remains in us a degree of discomfort about our real position in relation to the person we have wronged, and not only in relation to him but also to all his friends, and others beyond who fear that we may do a similar wrong to them.

We now come again to the question why there should be over Noah, the principle of intelligence, a covering; why Shem and Japhet, respectively the principles of feeling sensitivity and intellectual analysis should, after Ham's exposure of his father's condition, cover up his nakedness.

Guilty people do not like their guilt to be exposed to the gaze of others. Prophets who, in the ancient world, spoke against inhumane rulers, were put to death. Intelligent men who criticised the bad behaviour of unintelligent men soon learned that direct criticism brought immediate reprisals, so they devised an indirect way of exposing the stupidities and cruelties of insensitive rulers. This indirect way led to the development of the theatre, in which plays could be presented to expose the unintelligent ways of persons in high places. "The play's the thing", says Shakespeare, "where in we'll stir the conscience". The Greek word for an actor was "hypocrite". "Hypocrite" meant "one who criticises from below", that is, "one who indirectly criticises". Things can be said through the medium of a play that none would dare openly to express.

Thus it came about that Shem (the feeling sensitivity that knew how to name things) and Japhet (the intellectual capacity that knew to analyse correctly a situation) "dwelt together" and conjoined their gifts to control the dark impulsive behaviour of Ham and his descendants. The spiritual intelligence and purpose of Noah had to be covered over so that unfit men, of dark, uncontrolled, impulsive behaviour, should be subjected to indirect control.

Naturally, people do not like to think that indirect methods of control are applied to them. They tend to cry out against every influence that may act upon them and determine their behaviour without their knowledge. Especially is this so with people who pride themselves on their own strength of will.

Such people are generally ready to react forcefully against anything that threatens to impede the attainment of their ambitions.

True will is not reactive in this way. It has respect not only for its own goals, but also for those on other beings.

Part 22.

True will and enlightened intelligence co-operate. Enlightened intelligence, symbolised by Noah "drunk with the Spirit", sees that each living being has its own unique life-mode. Even the ant in an ant-colony are not absolutely identical in their individual behaviour-patterns. True, they all subscribe to the maintaining of their colony, but each ant makes its own contribution to the general welfare in its own individual way. We all know the song of a blackbird, and how it differs from that of a sparrow, but each individual blackbird sings his song in his own individual way, and experiments with different melodic note-sequences.

Thus Noah, the enlightened intelligence, knew that each living creature would follow its own special life-path, and so he recognised the need for selection of his companions. Even among his own sons he saw that behaviour patterns differed, and that therefore he would receive more co-operation from Shem and Japhet than from Ham.

Ham, the impulsive son, would be less likely to curb his behaviour than would his two brothers. Ham would be no lover of words that might tie him up. The impulsive nature does not like to hear the words, "control yourself". A new baby does not try to control its behaviour. If it feels like screaming and kicking, its kicks and screams. Only very gradually does it accept the modifications of its behaviour that allow us to think of it as a "civilised" being.

Civilised behaviour is activity acceptable to people who have agreed to live as harmoniously as possible in a relatively closed social situation. Civilisation began when mankind first joined together to live in a city. The first city dwellers banded together to ensure a greater possibility of survival, to defend themselves against inimical forces of nature and against peoples of other cities. Enlightened intelligence says that mutual aid gives a greater guarantee of a secure life than does unconsidered impulsive behaviour.

When we consider things we do so by means of words. We name the things we are to consider. This giving of names to things we call the "Shem function". By means of names we become able to control our thoughts. Thinking is a process in which we gain clarity of ideas by giving to each idea a name. Thus we give to one kind of thinking the name "Merciful", and to-another kind "Severe". When we think of "Mercy", by this word we mean an attitude of mind which allows us to feel compassion for unfortunate people. When we think of "Severity", we mean an attitude of mind which recommends us to apply some form of punishment to people we define as wrong-doers.

When we have a name for a thing we are able more easily to focus upon that thing. The name allows us to hold in our mind the image of that thing, to make it an element in our thought process. Thus a name allows us-to exercise some degree of control, over our mental processes. Thus the naming function (Shem) aids control of the contents of our mind, and through this of our physical behaviour.

But impulsive behaviour does not like to be restrained by words. Thus Ham and Sham tend to disagree. Onto Shem's side in the conflict goes Japhet, who is very pleased with the power conferred by the naming process, and so decides to extend his collection of words. He enlarges his vocabulary and refines it until it becomes a beautiful, persuasive instrument. He becomes a great orator and aims to exercise some degree of control over the dark, impulsive behaviour of his brother, Ham. So Shem and Japhet join forces, "dwell in tents together", share a common purpose.

Noah, the enlightened intelligence, is very pleased with his two-word loving sons, Shem and Japhet, but not pleased with Ham, his impulsive son, for the impulsive person is forever acting without due consideration of the results of his actions. He wants what he wants when he wants it. He tends to reject words of good advice that conflict with his desires. He is not open to enlightened intelligent discussion.

Now, what Noah and his three sons represent are present in all of us. Each of us has a capacity for intelligent thinking, for using words, and for extending their use as instruments of persuasion. But each of us also has a tendency at times to act impulsively, without proper consideration of all the possible results of our actions. This impulsive tendency is the "Ham" in us.

The Bible is not only an account of certain events that are supposed to have occurred long ago. It is also a hand-book of principles that have, and will always have, an application in the business of living.

"Principles" are first things, things that were there at the very beginning of creation, things that it is better for us to know about, things that, if we know them and take heed of them, we shall the more easily survive and develop our potentialities of living expression.

Science is an activity of mankind aimed at the discovery of principles, because when principles are known and applied, life becomes more liveable, more enjoyable. Knowledge of the principles of the aerofoil enable us to design efficient aeroplanes. Knowledge of the principles of escape-velocities and of other related principles allowed us to put men on the moon. The principles of rocket-propulsion have given us the power to probe interplanetary space, and allied to principles of radio-control and photography to make beautiful pictures at close range of the rings of Saturn.

But, there are not only principles of physical action, whereby we can control material things; there are also principles of mental action, of psychological and spiritual action. Noah signifies the principles that govern enlightened intelligence. These principles are the most important of all the principles we know.

The human soul is subject to possible "Flooding", that is, to submergence in an ocean of uncontrolled emotions. This is the psychological meaning of the Flood in the story of Noah. It is true that there have been actual submergences of vast areas of the earth, under water. There have been floods which have drowned animals and men in great numbers. There has been one great flood that marked the minds of early men in an unforgetable manner. But it is not the fact of the physical flood that occupied so intensely the minds of the early sages of the Bible.

More important to us than any physical flooding of the earth is the inundation of man's mind by uncontrolled forces of the unconscious. Modern psychology, about the turn of the twentieth century, rediscovered what the ancient sages and enlightened prophets had known long ago, that man's soul is in danger from dark, impulsive forces of the unconscious mind.

Uncontrolled forces in man's soul threaten his survival and inhibit his development. Freud thought that these forces were basically sexual, but they are deeper than sexuality. "Sex" is a polarisation of biological forces into male and female forms. But before polarisation there is a pre-polar force, a power which determines the split into polarities, but is not itself polarised. Ultimately, behind all the things and events of the universe, is a supreme, infinite power, the power that sensitive religious people call "God", and intellectually characterised philosophers call the "Absolute".

This God, this Absolute, is the power which creates and maintains and ultimately recalls to itself all the things of the universe we know or may know. This power is that which threatens to flood the world and the minds of men with its mighty contents. Why should this power threaten us so? To understand this we must return to the consideration of the Fall of Man, his lapse from obedience to divine law.

It is clear that if we know and understand the basic principles which govern the universe, and obey them, we shall be raising our survival probability to its highest level. If we know certain basic principles and do not obey them we shall work at much lower levels and have less probability of surviving.

One of the greatest principles taught by the ancient sages was that embodied in the words, "A soft answer turns away wrath". This is carried even further by Jesus in his rule of "turning the other cheek". The opposite of this is seen in the immediate self-defensive retaliation of the man who, whenever opposed, is ever-ready to justify his own anger.

Noah builds an ark to save the lives of himself and his family and their animals. This ark symbolises the structure of ideas which serves as a vessel in which the human soul can survive the deluge of impulses that threaten to drown it. Enlightened intelligence (Noah) builds a system of true principles in which his consciousness can take refuge when the world goes awry, when psychic forces of the unconscious threaten to engulf the soul and swamp it in wild irrationalities. Noah's Ark is the idea structure of governing principles which guarantees the survival of the spiritual mariner sailing the raging seas of the life-force.

In Noah's Ark, the three sons have each one his own special use. Shem names everything and everyone aboard the Ark. Japhet describes the various purposes of each thing and person. Ham supplies the power impulses which, when properly directed, ensure the carrying out of all actions necessary for survival. Noah is the enlightened ruling intelligence that contemplates the high governing concepts, the principles which all must obey.

We have each of us in our mind the correspondent functions of the whole Noetic family. We have our powerful impulsive tendencies (the Ham in us) wherewith we are enabled to put into practice energetical the actions name in general for us (the Shem-function(, and we have the more particularised names (Japhet) which allows us to handle efficiently the many detailed activities needed to guarantee our survival. Above all these we have the enlightened intelligence (the Noah) which we can contact in moments of spiritual contemplation, and so ensure that the overall pattern of universal life is not forgotten.

The Noah level of enlightened intelligence is said to be "drunk" when it is so engaged in contemplation of the spiritual truths that govern the universe that it ceases to bother itself with their lowest level material application. It is at such moments of with-drawal from the cares of the immediate material situation that the Ham impulses tend to break out of control; and it is at such moments that Shem and Japhet principles "cover their father's nakedness", and so protect enlightened intelligence from its irrational critics.

Today we can read past history and see how ignorant, evil-minded men treated the prophets of the ancient world. We can understand the words of Jesus that warned his disciples that speakers of truth are not welcome in the world of gross materialists and power seekers.

In the story of Noah and his three sons and the Ark we are taught how to deal with the threatening inundations of the things of the unconscious world's energies. We are given lessons in the art of survival, instruction in the building of the Ark of governing principles in which we can safely ride all the material world's storms. We are shown how to contemplate eternal truths which stand forever as the guiding principles of enlightened intelligent action. We are given the key to the good seamanship which allows us to become the captains of our own souls.

"Noah" signifies that enlightened intelligence which meditates on the eternal principles that govern the universe, and contemplates the God who is their absolute source. If we place ourselves in the hands of the infinite intelligence that is the origin of our being, if we listen to the "still small voice" that ever speaks within the innermost depth of our soul, we hear the divine advice that, if obeyed, will steer the Ark of our soul safely across the vast flood of tempestuous psychic forces that threaten to inundate us.

Part 23.

The Ark of Noah signifies the Structure of Truth inbuilt into the mind of intelligent Man. This Truth-Structure protects man's mind from the untruths and phantasies of uncontrolled desires which tend to flood the Un-enlightened Soul. When this flood subsides and the Ark finally finds ground on Mount Ararat, then go forth Shem, Ham and Japheth to over-spread the whole earth. Shem, the power of naming, Japhet the extended naming process of analytic intellectual capacity, and Ham the dark impulsive tendency, these are the beginnings of languages and nations which today still divide the world.

But before they are scattered over the earth, they conspire to build for themselves a tower that will reach to heaven, and in so doing establish for themselves a great name. The mind of man still tries to build such towers and monuments to self-esteem. And God still comes down and confounds their foolish purposes.

Man is equipped with three basic functional possibilities. He can feel likings and dislikings for the various things and conditions he encounters .in the world; he can let natural impulses carry him into action; and he can think rationally about his real situation and the opportunities presented to him in the world. If these three functions are brought into harmonious interplay then Man has the highest likelihood of solving any problems presented to him. But if these three fail to attain harmony in their action they are bound to produce confusion and bring upon themselves the judgement of Babel.

Before Men's determination to build the tower that they hoped would establish their name in the world, they shared a common language. Then every man understood the meaning of every other man's words. But as soon as the intention to build the tower was defined, then men began to conceal from others their real thoughts. Ambition, the spur to the building of a great name, can see that if every man is equally famous, then every man is as great as every other man, and then fame becomes-meaningless. Thus the ambitious man tends to keep secret his intentions.

This tendency to keep secrets naturally results in private significances for words and symbols and signs. Men that plot together to achieve group aims tend to invent their own sign language; and individual men with secret ambitions develop their own individual-symbologies. We see this illustrated in that period of a child's life when he suddenly takes an interest in "secret languages", changing one letter of the alphabet for another, or one number for another. The growing child tends to echo the evolution of the race. Thus at a certain age he becomes intensely interested in "codes", "backslang" and other word tricks; this age corresponding with the "Babel Tower", period of early mankind.

Thus, in the place of the one original natural language of mankind appeared a multitude of languages, so diverse that man could understand only the language of his own group.

With the diversification of language into many different modes of word-use, followed naturally the diversification of the one human race into many nations. Today, language differences are still the main barriers between nations. How many of us can understand a conversation held between men of a nation other than our own? How many of us can speak fluently the language of the countries where so often we take our* holidays?

We must take note of the words in Genesis 11: 4-9. When the Sons of Noah connived together to build the tower, the top of which they hoped would "reach unto heaven", the Lord came down and saw that the people had all one language; and the Lord said, "nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Let us confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech". Then the Lord scattered them over the earth, and they ceased to build the tower. Therefore the place was called "Babel" (confusion).

Just as the three Sons of Noah then took divergent paths, so the three parts of the mind of Man, when divided by secret ambitions, also take divergent paths; the heart goes one way, the impulsive nature another, and thought thinks something else quite different. Here begins the disorder in man which today we call "neurosis". Confusion of purposes in man, the contradiction between feeling, will and thought, have brought mankind to the edge of personal and national disaster.

In the dividing of their paths, the Sons of Noah spread out — the descendants of Ham into Africa and Arabia; the descendants of Shem into Assyria; and the descendants of Japhet into Asia Minor and Europe. This relatively easy-to-see original division of peoples was later complicated by inter-trading, wars of conquest and intermarriages of peoples of all nations and at all levels. Today we cannot find with any degree of certainty, the pure children of Ham, or of Shem, or of Japhet. All have intermingled in some degree. Everywhere is confusion of blood, of race and of nation.

In the same way, within the souls of most individual men, the three functions are now confused and have no true order in them. Few are the members of the human race who have managed to re-gain the original order of functions which existed for a time before the attempted building of the tower of Babel. And it is precisely this original order that is the goal of all true religion, philosophy and psychology.

Let us examine this more closely. When we feel, or activate our body, or think some thoughts, we are using some Soul-capacities that are natural to us. If we use them in the way they were by God designed to be used, that is, harmoniously, we have no trouble with them. Our feelings is sensitive, our will is strong, and our thinking is clear and logical. But if we use them in an unharmonious disjointed manner, then our feelings becomes confused, our will weak and divergent, and our thought irrational.

The way to become unharmonious and disjointed is simply to keep secrets from ourself, to keep what our heart is feeling concealed from our thought, and it from them. And we do this whenever we decide to build a Babel-tower inside our soul. The Babel-tower is another expression for ambition. "Fame is the spur".

As soon as we desire Fame for our self, we begin to create trouble within us. No man desires for himself without desiring other people to admire him. And, strange as it may seem, this desire to be admired by others is a kind of disguised acquiescence in idolatry. To wish to be admired is to wish to be someone's idol. We acknowledge this when we talks about "idols" of the theatre. It is a fact that many famous actors of stage, screen and television are worshipped, , that is, viewed to be somehow most extraordinary beings, way beyond the common people in talent, intelligence, beauty, or some other quality.

There is a natural tendency in the human race to "look up" towards any being of surpassing performance in any field of endeavour. We see this tendency at is most obvious in children, for children aim to acquire qualities that will centralise them in their situation, and so copy, to the best of their ability, any "superior" type of behaviour. How the child knows what to copy, is simply by observing what gains most admiration from others. The child judges what is admirable by how much applause is given to the performer. The child at first has no valid standards whereby to judge between the songs of Schubert and the songs of the Beatles, but, by watching the reactions of others to such music, it develops a taste for one or the other. So with the violin and every other instrument; and so with all works of art, and every product of the human soul.

Of course, at first the child must "look up" to the parents who nourish and clothe and protect it. The child "looks up" physically because parents are taller than their children. Then it "looks up" to them because the parents know more, or give more love, or help the child to grow, physically, mentally and spiritually.

But here is the beginning of the terrible error of idolatry: Having at first needed to "look up" to its parents, the child then tends to "look up" to any human beings who can do well. Human beings are visible. The child's mind tends to be caught more by visibles than by invisibles. A child has very little capacity for what is called "introvert meditation", and so is not likely to listen to the "still small voice" of God within. All the values the child sees are outside itself, embodied in older beings, more grown-up children, and adults of obvious physical and mental superiority. The external physical fact catches the child's imagination. Idolatry has started.

What the child cannot see is the fact that a# talents, all capacities, physical and mental and spiritual, all performances of all kinds whatever depend on energy,- and that all particular modes of energy expenditure depend on the Supreme Source of all energy; and that the Supreme Source of all power whatever is invisible. "No man has seen God at any time". We can see the effects of power. We cannot see power itself as it is in itself. The whole universe of things that we know is a universe of effects. Effects are things done externally, outer facts.

Which is the greater, the millionaire's millions of pounds, or the power and intelligence in him that gave him the capacity to make those millions? Obviously the power and intelligence.

Now, to worship effects is idolatry. To worship the Ultimate Cause of all effects is not idolatry. The Ultimate Cause of all things is invisible, yet mysteriously is still the Ultimate Cause; infinitely powerful, infinitely present. The short name for this infinite powerful, intelligent everywhere- present Ultimate Cause is God. To disbelieve in infinitely intelligent, everywhere-present power, is to disbelieve in God. To disbelieve in God is to disbelieve in infinitely intelligent everywhere-present power.

When the three Sons of Noah said, "Let us build a tower to reach to heaven, let us make a name for ourselves". they took the first step to setting themselves up as idols for worship. But idol worship is the worship of effects, not the worship of the Ultimate Cause that is God. Thus it was fitting that the Ultimate Cause should come down and scatter the would-be idols. Idol worship is bad; because idol worship is idle. Idols don't actually work as their worshippers believe.

When we see the Colossal Statues of Ancient Pharaohs and Kings, set up long ago to intimidate people of little understanding; and when we see displayed the giant pictures of modern totalitarian states' dictators, carried in procession with exaggerated pomp and ceremony, we are seeing the modern equivalent on the tricks that Noah's three Sons at the Babel-tower were essaying to play on each other and on all other peoples on earth.

Not all "idols" are external figures like the megalithic carved figures of ancient Kings, and the enlarged photographs of modern dictators. There are inner "idols" in the minds of many men, ideas of greatness, worshipped in secret, in the more or less hidden depths of the soul, images of self-aggrandisement, "blown up" pictures of self-importance, mentally secretly hugged closely, egotistic self-images of super-worthiness which men dare not openly exhibit to their fellows. Such inner images are every bit as much "idols" as any that history and archaeology have found carved in stone; and every one of these inner idols has been set up by their creators for worship.

PART 24.

We have seen that Noah's Ark is the Structure of Truth inbuilt into the mind of intelligent man. But if we accept that such a Structure is possible, we see at once that there must also be possible a Structure of Untruth. Our intellect works with pairs of opposite ideas. If we define any idea, we find that we have also defined its opposite, for if we say "high" we at once think of "low", if we say "near" we think of "far"; if we think of "good" we allow also of the possibility of "evil". That we think in such pairs of opposites is due to the nature of our intellect.

Intellect is that in us which defines possibilities in relation to our aims or purposes. A "purpose" is something set up in our mind for realisation. What we set up in our mind is an idea of a thing or state we wish to attain. By this idea we direct the application of our energy so as to establish in actual fact that condition which the idea defines.

The ultimate aim for any intelligent being is Self-establishment. We spell the word "Self" here with a capital 'S' because the Self we mean is one worthy of final establishment. There is another "self" which we write with a small 's' that is not worthy, nor is capable of, final establishment. Let us consider the difference between the capital 'S' Self and the small 's' self.

When God made man in His own image and likeness, He made man's body of earth-material, but into this earth-body He breathed the spirit of life. By this life-spirit man was made a living soul.

Human beings have inside them, in their very centre, the principle of Self-determination by which they are freely to choose a course of action from many possible alternatives. This capacity to choose freely may not always be exercised, but it is always there. It is called "Emanuel" ("God-with-us") because it was breathed into our first ancestor by God, the infinitely intelligent power which is the Source of all things.

But we have also a little 's' self, a self which does not freely choose to act, but reacts to stimuli that come to it from outside. This little self, often called "petty ego", is the cause of all errors that we make. Let us look closely at it so that we shall understand why it makes mistakes.

Our physical body is enclosed in a skin, an integument, which serves to hold together our organs, to stop leakage of the blood which is essential to our life, to protect us against harmful bacteria etc. which might make us ill, or even kill us. If we accidentally cut our skin, cells in our blood immediately set to work to try to repair the cut. We might think of this as a basic self-defence reaction, and consider it as the type of little 's' reaction to any painful or harmful thing done to us. Obviously, if we did not repair damaged skin, we might bleed to death. Thus we can say that such a little 's' self-defence has its utility; without it we might cease to exist. But this kind of self-defence, although justifiable at its own level, tends to extend itself beyond its legitimate sphere, for having suffered a painful physical damage, we tend to avoid repetition of it.

In our self-defence we tend to anticipate possible further damages, and to guard against them. Then we tend to let our defensive reaction change into an aggression against anything whatever that we believe is associated with the possible source of any painful experience that we, might undergo. The thinking process that leads us into such aggressive reactivity we call protopathic thinking. It can lead us into all kinds of trouble. It is the reaction-level of very primitive minds. We see an example of it when we see a dog bark at a postman who approaches a house door to deliver a letter. The dog is reacting at a low level to what it feels is an invasion of its territory. Another example is seen when a baby, having been smacked by a person in a red hat, reacts to all red-hat wearers as if they were smackers of babies.

The little 's' self, having defended itself against actual painful situations, tends to extend its defences from the physical world into the world of ideas. "It is not only my body I must defend", says little 's' self, "but my mind also, and all my favourite ideas". Thus petty ego says, "No-one is allowed to contradict me, or disagree with me. All ideas that do not agree with mine are enemy-ideas, and against all enemy-ideas I will defend myself". And, as in playing chess one does not win by playing merely a defensive game, petty ego, the little self, adopts the chess-player's favourite maxim "Always attack".

When Cain murdered Abel, Cain's first thought was "Now everyman's hand will be against me". He did not say to God, "Lord, I have lost my temper, and through jealousy have killed my brother, and am very sorry, and ask you, Lord, for help so that I may never do such an act again". No. He said "Am I my brother's keeper?" He fell into foolish self-defence, and in doing so laid the seed of this evasion of self-responsibility in his children. We, today, are still suffering the consequences of Cain's avoidance tactics, for "the sins of the fathers are upon the children". All today's vandalisms and violences spring from the same root.

Petty ego, then, the little self, was long ago set on a wrong course, a course of evasions of personal responsibility, a course on which the little ego in us is still set.

The little self in us reacts to outside stimuli. If they are pleasant it tends to move towards them; if they are painful, it tends to withdraw from them. And not only the lower physical stimuli tend to produce such reactions, but also mental stimuli, ideas expressed in word or gesture.

The little self's mind is as self-defensive as is the physical body, but unlike the physical body, whose reactions are relatively simple, being concerned with pursuit of actual pleasures and avoidance of actual pains, the little self's mind tends to pursue imaginary pleasures, and to avoid imaginary pains.

Actual pleasures and actual pains are few, compared with the number of imaginary pleasures and pains which the mind of the little self may fabricate. Ultimate Truth is One; lies are innumerable. Truth integrates; falsities disintegrate. When we feel that Ultimate Truth is one whole, we feel wholeness to be a possibility for ourselves; when we think that there is not one Supreme Ultimate Truth, but only an innumerable number of diverse opinions, we feel an insecurity within us.

The integration-possibility of our large 'S' Self depends upon the reality of One Ultimate Truth. The impossibility of such integration would result from the non-reality of such Unific Truth. That voice in us that says that there is no One Ultimate Truth, is the voice of the little 's' self.

Little self is self-defensive, loves pleasure, hates pain. To gain its beloved pleasures and to avoid its hated pains, it will do anything whatever, deprive others of pleasures, inflict pains on others it misrepresents facts or conceals them wherever it feels this needful for attainment of its purposes. There is nothing little self will not do to get its own way and satisfy itself. Thus little self is at war with Large Self.

Large Self is Self-sacrificing, is not misled by offers of pleasure, nor frightened by threats of pain. Large Self is Emanuel, God-with-us, the Spirit of Christ in us. Large Self's mind is One with the Intelligence that created and rules throughout the universe; thus Large Self's mind is confident. It knows that the ultimate Victory of Truth over Falsity is fore-ordained, that little self must finally fail and disintegrate.

But little self clings fiercely to its own viewpoint, clings with all the energy of desperation to its known erroneous ideas. We say known erroneous ideas because even the little self prefers integration to disintegration. The little self knows that if it dis-integrates it will cease to exist, and it is very afraid of non-existence, very fearful of infinite voidity.

The little self believes in voidity, believes that it is possible to come to nothing. Nothingness terrifies it. From where did the little self get this notion of nothingness? From its own identification with its own finite being as a something. By identification with its physical body, the little self has come to view itself as a thing, a locatable material being, a something existing in space. This space has then become, in the mind of the little self, the opposite of a thing; it has become a nothing. We remind ourselves that the intellect works with pairs of opposites, with notions of "near" and "far" etc. "Being" and "Non-being" are a pair of opposite notions. Little self has fallen into identifying itself as a "being", and the space around it as "non-being"; and with the notion of "non-being", it has terrified itself.

Little self in identifying itself with its physical body instead of with the divine spirit which constitutes man as a living soul, has fixed itself in the notion that whatever can disintegrate the physical body can also disintegrate the soul and so plunge it into nothingness. Nothingness, voidity, emptiness, the notion of an infinite vacuum, have gained great power to intimidate the little self.

The Large Self, the Soul given by God, has no such fears. It knows that "nothingness" is an unreal notion as conceived by the little self. The Large Self, which is the eternal True Self, knows that the little false self's notion of "nothingness" is quite misconceived. The True Self knows that there is no nothingness. How does the True Self know this?'

The True Self knows itself to be of the divine spirit, knows itself to be of God. It has accepted Christ's words and can meaningfully say with Jesus, "I and my Father are One". The Heavenly Father is Christ's name for God. Gos is the infinite intelligent power which is the source of all things. He is the Creator of the Universe and all things in it. His Wisdom and power extend infinitely throughout all space and time, so that there is nowhere and no-when where He is not. Thus there is not anywhere a "nothingness" such as the little self fears. God is the All-in-all. Voidity is a concept, a notion in the mind of the little self, which has no correspondence whatever in reality.

When the builders of the tower of Babel set out to make for themselves a name, they did so because they were afraid of the feeling of emptiness in their souls, a sense of "nothingness" which had arisen from their cutting off from their awareness of their creative source. By the extended sin of Cain they had invented the false sense of voidity, of nothingness. God excluded left them only with their sense of finity.

This "exclusion" of God from the minds of the tower-builders was an act of their own will, a deliberate ignoring of the very idea of God, a shutting out of their minds of every thought of the divine origin of the human soul. But this "exclusion" of God is only from the viewpoint of man's mind; it is not a real shutting out of God from man, for such a shutting is impossible.

Part 25.

"God" is the short word we use to refer to the infinite intelligent power which is the source of all things whatever. If some people dislike the little word "God", this dislike does not affect the reality of the source-power of all things. All things are manifestations of power, are behaviour-patterns of energy. This is no longer a mere theory. SO-called "matter" is energy acting in a certain definable manner. Nuclear weapons demonstrate this fact very convincingly.

It is a fact that some people dislike the little-word "God", and not only the word, but the idea it represents, and not only the idea, but that which the idea calls to our mind. How did these people come to dislike that which is signified by the word God? To answer this we must go back to the root of fear as it shows itself in man's mind.

First we will distinguish between two kinds of fear, one physical and one mental. The physical fear is easily understood. We dislike pain, dislike having our physical body attacked and damaged, dislike broken limbs, diseased organs and so on. And because severe damage may result in death, and death is thus sometimes associated with damage and pain, death itself became feared.

But if death were really the end of man, if death meant total annihilation, if the death, corruption and disintegration of the physical body meant the absolute cessation of the human being, then death could hold no threat. The approach to death, as painful, might be frightening, terrifying, but not death itself as finally completed.

Most people who believe themselves to be frightened of death are really frightened by the possibility of a very painful approach to it. A man who disbelieves -in the existence of, the soul, who thinks that nothing whatever survives physical death, cannot logically be afraid of death as such, for if his belief is truly founded there will be no experience of death. Death will be the cessation of his existence, and for him that will be the end of everything. -There Will be-no one there to worry or fear anything whatever.

Fear of physical pain is natural because of its unpleasantness and because it generally signifies that something is wrong with the body; that if nothing is done to remedy the condition, the body's functions will deteriorate, and with this deterioration, there will be further pain, possibly-more severe, until the severity of the pain may lead to the feeling that life is no longer worth living. At this point, if a man disbelieves absolutely in the existence of the soul, he may ask to be released from his pain by being put to death, by drugs or some other method. This we can understand, if we accept his viewpoint.

Now let us consider mental pain, not the kind of pain that we ,experience when our physical body, is damaged or deceased, but the kind of pain for which no physical cause can be discovered, even with the most advanced techniques available.

The mental kind of pain can be just as unpleasant as the physically-caused pain, and under certain conditions may even exceed it. Most of us have experienced such mental pain. Perhaps we have committed some act which has caused severe pain to someone whom we love, and the memory of this act will not leave our mind, and because of it we cannot sleep or rest peacefully. Perhaps we have done something that has caused us to "lose face", so that we cannot bear to show ourselves in public. Perhaps we have hurt someone and believe that we stand in danger of reprisals. This last is seen in its extreme form when because of some act of ours, someone is killed. This was so with Cain. After falling into a rage and killing his brother, Cain said, "My punishment is more than I can bear". He had discovered how devastating mental pain can be.

Unlike physical pain, which has a limit, in that when it is too severe, we can faint, or "black out" on it, mental pain can increase and reach a level at which it is sheer torture, and yet leave us still conscious of its horribleness.

Mental pain can come to us before we have experienced gross physical pain. When Adam disobeyed God's command, Adam hid himself. He had not yet been physically punished, yet somehow he could anticipate trouble, could expect some sort of reaction from God which might be unpleasant, perhaps to a high degree.

How can it happen that before suffering physical pain, we can suffer mental pain? To answer this question we need but to consider in what life consists, Life is relational interactivity of sensitive beings. If we, as living, sensitive beings, are denied relational interactivity with other living sensitive beings, our life diminishes. We know what it means to be "sent to Coventry", to be refused relations with other living beings. We cannot live and function properly without interrelation with others. All function is interfunction. To be refused interfunction is to be denied function.

We living human beings live because we relate to each other. If all our capacity for interrelationships is denied, we begin to die. Without exchange of energies of thinking and feeling and willing, our organism begins to lose tone, to lose elasticity. It begins to set, to become rigid. And finally complete rigidity spells death.

We are considering how the people who dislike the word "God", and the idea it represents, the infinite intelligent power, came to dislike it. We have seen that Adam's disobedience led to him fearing God. We have seen similarly that Cain's murderous act placed him out of relation with his brother, and caused Cain to try to cover up his deed with his clever words "Am I my brother's keeper"?

In hiding from God, Adam alienated himself from God. In trying to deceive God with a clever answer, Cain alienated himself from God. It is always that when we try to conceal facts from God, or from ourselves, or from others, we alienate ourselves. Concealing implies reduction of interfunction, and this implies reduction of life-processes, for life is what it is because of interrelationships.

"Men loved darkness rather than light because their ways were evil". Adam's and Cain's self-alienation was a hiding from God, a covering of the truth, and so an entry into mental darkness. When truth causes mental pain, truth tends to be hidden. In modern psychological terms the unpleasant truth is suppressed, pushed down out of consciousness, hidden in the darkness of the unconscious mind. If it were not for the suppression of knowledge of unpleasant facts, there would be no unconscious mind. The unconscious mind became so by suppression of unpleasant memories, and the incapacity to assimilate facts resulting from this suppression. A fully alert, open mind can assimilate any facts to which it is exposed, even the fact of the violent destruction of its own physical body. Every brave man who heroically consciously faces death knows this. It is the fear-dulled mind that cannot assimilate the meaning of the facts it encounters.

Those persons who dislike the idea of God are afraid. They fear the All Seeing-Eye. They prefer not to believe in a supreme being who knows all things. They fear reprisals. The desire of injured people to avenge their injuries can be taken care of. The doer of the injury can be watchful and guard himself against the attacks of those he has harmed, for these are tangible visible beings, who can be seen. But the idea of an invisible God, a supremely intelligent, all-knowing being who is also all powerful, is a very frightening idea. Only the absolutely pure and sinless being can feel safe in the presence of the Divine All-Seeing Eye. And as all men are in some degree impure, all men feel nervous when presented with the idea that an All-Seeing Eye might really exist.

There are two things we can do about this All-Seeing Eye. One is to accept it as a truth and believe that it not only sees the sins and errors we commit, but also sees the difficulties of our position as mere creatures, that is, beings of limited capacities, limited power, limited understanding and mercifully makes allowances for our misdeeds and impure motives. "He who judges us is He who made us".

The other way of reacting to the idea of the All-Seeing Eye, is to deny its existence. This we tend to do when fear of reprisals for our misdeeds becomes too painful. When our deeds are such that we desire them never to be exhibited in the full light of consciousness, we suppress them, push them down out of sight. But in so doing we place part of our own being in darkness; we lose awareness of parts of ourselves, and the parts of ourselves that we place in the darkness are alienated from the rest of our being. We become strangers to ourselves; and strangers are possible objects of fear, so that in our self-alienating action we increase our fear.

One way of looking at the idea of "Original Sin", is to see it as the self-alienating action of our first ancestor. When a person who is a stranger by himself begets a child, he begets something partially influenced by his own alienation. A man who hides from himself the memories of his experiences reduces his capacity to be helpful to his child, and the child is deprived of useful information by his father's error. This is one of the significances of the words, "The sins of the fathers are upon the children".

Many children experience the inabilities of their parents before examinations. The parents have forgotten what they once knew of school problems and their solutions. Or the subject matter is so new, that the parents know little or nothing about it. The knowledge of one generation may be unlike that of the following one. We hear of the "generation gap". All this is understandable and forgiveable.

But when a man deliberately suppresses information that might be useful in the education of his child, because he is afraid to expose himself to the child, and so possibly "lose face" before him, then although his fear makes it possible for us to understand why he hides that information, yet we do not feel so comfortable about it. It is very hard for us when we see children suffering from our lack of essential information that might have been given to them. And it is here that we have to remind ourselves of our own past errors and fearful --concealments of facts.

We are all the recipients of the effects of the errors of our ancestors, and especially of Adam's error in hiding, and Cain's error of trying to escape responsibility by means of clever talk. It is for us to try, to the best of our ability, to reduce our tendency to hide from ourselves and from each other, and to cease to try by clever talk to escape the consequences of our actions.

Naturally this work of reducing our hiding tendency and clever talk is very difficult. We have within us certain habit-patterns so deeply ingrained in our nervous system and bodily organs, that we find ourselves rather in the situation of a salmon striving to swim against the flow of the river, or jumping upwards against the falls in order to reach the river's source. This image of the salmon leaping the falls is one of the three symbolic figures used in Celtic Christianity to represent the Holy Trinity. The other two are the Goose and the Fool.

The Goose symbolised the intention to share with others whatever is worth having. This intention does not often get much exercise. The Fool is the "Fool for Christ's sake", which we shall discuss further.

Part 26.

What is a fool? It is a human being whose intelligence is less than we think it ought to be, an "empty-headed" person, a person who does not understand what he is doing, or the consequences of his actions, or the relations of his ideas to each other. With this definition, we might justly say that we are all in some degree foolish, in so far as we do not thoroughly understand ourselves, our feelings, thoughts and deeds.

What do we mean by a "fool for Christ's sake"? We are foolish when we act without knowledge of the effects of our actions. We are fools for Christ sake when we accept Christ's life as a pattern for our own, for we do not know before-hand the consequences of our acceptance. We know what happened to Him as a consequence of taking His own advice. He was crucified. Yet He asked His disciples to follow Him. Are we to do so?

To answer this we have to ask ourselves what are our basic beliefs. When we do not know the consequences of certain actions, if we decide to act, we do so not from knowledge, but from faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God". Of course we begin our life not with clear knowledge of it. A new born baby takes its first breath not because it has a conscious knowledge of the breathing process whereby its body gains the oxygen it needs in order to live. Conscious knowledge of the physical or mental conditions needed to perform a given act is not our first possession. We might believe, as some do, that the breathing process of a baby is "instinctive", but what finally is the basis of "instinct" we do not know. "Instinct" is a convenient word for "explaining" things that we cannot yet explain. What we do know is that we--live before we acquire the knowledge we think we need in order to live.

When we move forwards in life, knowing that we do not know what lies ahead of us, we move in faith. Faith is that power in us by which, in the absence of knowledge of the effects of our actions, we never-the-less, continue to move forward in the belief that somehow things will finally turn out alright. Even after Christ's way of living had led to His death, His disciples strove to tread the same path. Something in the personality and being of Jesus convinced the disciples that His death was significant for mankind, in a way that the deaths of other men were not.

By His willed treading of the way to Golgotha, Jesus demonstrated that for mankind there is something more important than mere survival in physical life. Jesus taught of another life beyond that of our present physical world. "My kingdom is not of this world" He said, thus indicating another kingdom more important to Him ti-,,an the material one.

From the example of Jesus, His disciples gained -a spew view of life. They accepted His words, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life", and saw that what was embodied in Him was of infinitely greater value than anything the material world had to offer. Worldly fame they saw to be merely opinion. "Honour and shame are the same" had said Lao-Tse an ancient Chinese sage, "they are both opinion". Jesus indicated something of more value than opinion; He pointed to the reality of eternity, to everlasting values beyond any that the mere time-mind knows of.

His disciples had not seen the eternal values of which Jesus spoke, yet they believed in them, on the strength of His word. "The words that I say to you are truth, and they are life". This belief in them was an act of faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God". Without faith we cannot take a single step into our future.

Where we have no knowledge, it is foolish to act. But where we have no knowledge of a world beyond the material one we daily live in, and yet go forward into our future in the faith that Jesus knew something of another and better world, we are "fools for Christ's sake".

To be a "fool for Christ's sake" is to be the highest thing that it is possible for a human being to be. Why? Because by being such a fool we can go forward with perfect confidence to meet the unknown, the next moment, the next minute, the next hour, the next year and throughout our whole life, and beyond, into death, in the sure faith that beyond death there is a further life, infinitely more glorious than this so often tedious and painful one which we pass through on this earth.

It is fashionable in these days of scientific advance to disbelieve in spirit. Yet there is still a hope in the minds of many that immortality will become possible with advancing science. People are arranging to have themselves put in "deep freeze" in the hope that future science will be able to resurrect them, give them new organs for old, new hopes, new dreams for old, better dreams of a hither life than they have hitherto known. What is the source of this hope?

Fundamentally this hope is rooted in a deep conviction that life itself is eternal. We accept that physical bodies may be injured, or become diseased, or otherwise made unfit for life. But we do not so easily accept that life itself ends when particular bodies die. "Life goes on" we say, when somebody dies; and behind these simple words there is more than a mere refusal to face the fact of a particular death.

What is life? It is a process in which intelligent power pursues goals that it has designed for itself. It is a process in which energy experiences itself in feeling, thinking and willing, a process in which a very strange triple interactivity conducts itself towards the fulfilment of its own purposes.

In recent science programs, we have seen a statement that human intelligence is simply a result of activities of our physical brain, that we are intelligent only insofar as our brain functions correctly. There is no better logic in this statement than the contrary one, that our brain functions properly only in so far as an intelligent guides it. There is no reason at all why we should not say that our brain is a kind of computer which has to be programmed by intelligence in order to be able to work efficiently. The gross materialist believes, not knows, that the one view is correct; the man of faith-in-spirit believes that the other view is correct. Both believe, both have faith in their own view-point. There is as yet no way of providing material proofs for either view. Simply, one belief opposes another.

But the belief of the gross materialist is an imprisoning belief, for it ties man down to machine-like activity, makes a man act like a robot, while the faith of the man who believes in spirit allows him to travel beyond mere materialistic offered explanations of things, onward into realms of free action utterly incomprehensible to the machine-man. "His worship is perfect freedom".

That belief which confers upon us the greatest possible freedom is the best and highest belief, the most profitable belief, the most beneficial faith. "Christ in us, our hope of glory". We can reach as far as our faith allows us to. If our belief is that we are unfree robots, robots we shall become. If our faith is that we are free creative intelligent beings, we shall become so.

The Universe is an expression of energy. That energy has produced the world of plants, animals and human beings and has not yet stopped working. "Greater things than these shall you do if you go to my Father". The "Father" that Jesus here refers to is the infinite generative intelligent power that has produced and is maintaining the world we live in.

All thinkers allow that there is a power to think. They also allow that energy is used in this thinking. What we have now to do is simply remember the rule that says that there cannot ultimately be two totally dissimilar origins for the universe. Total dissimilars cannot possibly interact. But energy and intelligence interact. We experience their interaction in ourselves every time we accomplish some defined act, every time we attain a declared aim. Thus energy and intelligence must be two aspects of one ultimate reality. We cannot separate energy and intelligence. If we design an experiment to test whether we can separate the two, we use both in performing the experiment.

There is no escape for us. To test energy we have to use intelligence to devise the test. To test intelligence we have to expand energy. For us the two are factually inseparable. We are compelled to say that energy and intelligence are two aspects of a very mysterious something behind both. This mysterious something is what intelligent persons mean when they say that they believe in God, "God" for them is the infinite intelligent energy, which by means of its activity, produced and continues to maintain the universe in which we live.

When in the book of Genesis we read that God made man in his own image and likeness, we are being told, in symbolic language, that just as God is intelligent energy, so is man.

Man actually has power to think, to feel and to set himself in action. This power is of the infinite power of God. It is God's intelligent energy working in man. Man is a zone of threefold action of and in God. Man's mind is a zone in God's Mind; his feeling is a zone of feeling in God's Feeling; his will is a zone of individual action in and of God's Universal Will and Action.

Without God's triplicity of powers, man could not be man, could not think, feel and will. Without man, God would have no individual representative on earth, thinking and feeling and willing for Him. Man is an instrument of God, a means whereby God can fulfil his purpose in this world. For this end God created man, to do work for Him that the mere mineral, vegetable or animal cannot do. And in so creating him God gave to man the means whereby he can accomplish this divinely appointed work. This means is the triplicity of thought, feeling and will which man experiences in himself. To realise the full significance of this triple gift is for man to realise himself as God's representative in this world. Full realisation of this triple gift is man's work, his true aim and the justification of his right to receive the title "son of the Most High". "I have said, ye are gods".

All of this is at this day beyond our full comprehension, and so, to believe in it as possible of realisation is to go beyond our present knowledge; and to go beyond our knowledge is to be a fool, and because we strive to do so on the authority of Christ's word, a "fool for Christ's sake". Of all kinds of fools, this is the most profitable for us to be.

Science of gross materialists offers us explanations of the world that oppose the words of Christ. It is for us to choose between them. "I have this day set before you life and death; therefore choose life". Thus speaks God. There is a belief that leads to the mechanisation of the human soul; and there is a faith that leads to attainment of creative freedom. It is for us to choose, for it is precisely because we have a God-given power to choose that we are human beings and that we are defined as made in the image and likeness of God.

Part 27.

The power to choose between alternatives, a power given in a special way by God to man, is not that which we see operative in the animals, for animals choose only between pleasures and pains. They have no ethical or moral problems such as those which so often disturb mankind. If a thing gives pleasure, an animal tends to move towards it, and, if not impeded, will do so; and if a thing gives pain an animal will withdraw from it, if able to do so.

This same pleasure-pain reaction tendency is seen also in man, but along with it we find also another factor, a power to go against this simple pleasure-pain reactivity, and to conduct ourselves along quite other pathways, towards defined goals which animals cannot even conceive. This power to reverse our pleasure-pain activity is the distinguishing mark of mankind, It makes possible an act of pure self- sacrifice, in which one's own pleasures and pains are derived first place in our heart and mind and body, and we are enabled to go forward to achieve deeds of heroism not possible for the merely animal side of nature.

Because Abram obeyed God's command to leave his country and kindred and his father's house, and go to another land that God said He would show him, Abram showed his power to make an act of human choice, based not on immediate pleasure-pain reactivity. Abram was then seventy-five years old, hardly an age when we might expect him to be pleased to leave his country, kindred, and his father's house and to go travelling to a land unknown to him.

True God promised that in Abram all families of the earth would be blessed, yet no explanation was given to-Abram how this blessing would be effected. Abram was presented with a command and chose to obey it. If he had chosen to disobey, the history of the world would have been different, and God would-have chosen someone else to do the work that was to be done. Then it would not have been the children of Abram to whom we would be so indebted.

But Abram chose obedience to God's command, left his house in Haram, and went into the land of Canaan. And the Lord appeared to Abram and said "Unto thy seed will I give this land".

The present state of Israel has been founded on this promise. A whole people's history has been determined by the choice of Abram's descendants to believe these words. We see here the power of choice to be a-maker of history. Who in Abram’s day could have foreseen the present tensions in the Middle East, the manifest result of Abram's obedience to God’s command?

A famine in the land led Abram to choose to go to Egypt, where corn was plentiful. When he left-Egypt he had become very rich in cattle and silver and gold. He returned to where he had first made the altar to God. And Lot was with him and also had flocks and herds, so many that the land could not provide enough food to support them. The herdsmen of Abram and Lot quarrelled. Here was another situation requiring an act of choice, and it was Abram who spoke and said to Lot, "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left".

Here Abram reveals himself as a man of great flexibility. He chooses to initiate the suggestion that he and Lot should separate, remind him that they are brethren, and then allows Lot to choose in which direction he shall go. He is sure that whichever way he goes he will be led by the Lord towards good fortune.

After Lot had left, the Lord showed to Abram the land of the north and south and east and west, and said to him that all the land that he could see would be given to him and to his children, for ever. And God said "Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and the breadth of it: for I will give it unto thee". Then Abram moved his tent and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, in Hebron, and there built an altar to the Lord. Again Abram chose to believe and obey God, and another step was laid in history.

War broke out, and Lot was captured. When Abram was told of Lot's plight, again a choice was made. Abram pursued the enemy, rescued Lot and his goods and people; and Melchizedek, King of Salem, and priest of the most high God, blessed Abram.

Again Abram had to choose, for the King of Sodom to him, "Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself". But Abram said, "I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldst say, I have made Abram rich". Abram thus showed his faith that, if he were to become rich, it would be by God's aid, not man's.

After this the Lord appeared in a vision to Abram and said, "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward". And Abram said "Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless?"

Then God told Abram that he should have an heir of his own seed, and showed him the stars of heaven, and their number and said "So shall thy seed be". And again Abram chose to believe in the Lord and his belief was counted to him as righteousness. Then God made a covenant with Abram and gave to his seed the land from the river of Egypt up to the river Euphrates. Another indicator in history.

Sarai, Abram's wife, had no children and accepted this as from God's will, and suggested that Abram should beget children by the Egyptian handmaid, Hagar. Hagar conceived, and at once showed her colour by despising Sarai. Sarai then asked Abram to judge between them. Again Abram had an occasion of choice, and told Sarai to do as she wished with Hagar. Sarai dealt hardly with her, so that she fled into the wilderness, where an angel of the Lord found her, and told her to return to her mistress, and said that Hagar's child would be a son called Ishmael because God had heard of her affliction. Out of Ishmael would come a multitude, and Ismael would be a wild man, his hand against every man, and every man's hand against him. Here is an echo of Cain.

When Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, Abram was eighty-six years old. When he was ninety-nine, the Lord said to him, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly... Thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee".

The addition of the "H" in the name "Abram" changes its meaning in accord with the symbolism of the letters of the Hebrew language, each letter having its special significance.

Then God appointed circumcision as a symbolic act, signifying the separation of those who believed in God, from those who did not. This symbolic act became later a point of great controversy among men, some believing that actual physical circumcision was an essential mark of God's chosen people, and others holding to the view that physical circumcision was merely an external symbol, and that the real efficacious "circumcision" was that spiritual act by which a man dedicates his life to the service of God, a drawing of a symbolic circle around one's own being, to exclude from one's heart, mind and will, anything whatever that would impede this service.

By his continuous choosing of the true path of service to God, Abram became Abraham, in whose seed all the nations of the world were to become blessed. The possibility of us attaining this blessedness likewise requires us, like Abraham, to choose.

Ordinarily we do not think that every act we do is an act of choice. We think and feel and act usually without any conscious deliberation. We do not realise each moment that we are choosing to think and feel and act. We say, "I think such and such", or, "I feel such and such", or "I will do this or that". But seldom do we say to ourselves, I am choosing to think X, or choosing to feel Y, or choosing to do this act rather that that". Our choices are not always fully conscious. To be fully conscious of the fact that we choose our thoughts, feelings and actions is to be fully responsible, and often we find "responsibility" a heavy burden. We see this in the expression, "He was weighed down by responsibilities". It is as if life should not have responsibilities, should not have any burdens of any kind, but rather should be an endless holiday with no responsibilities whatever.

But life is not like this, much as we should like it to be. Life is responsibility. To live we must eat; to eat we must work. This fact we cannot avoid.

Of course, all around us we see examples of people who do not appear to have to obey this law. We see some who come into the fruits of the labours of others, some who have inherited the wealth of once industrious ancestors, some who gain their livelihood in ways that do not look obviously like work, and some the sick and aged, whose work is minimal.

But life is energy, and is always at work in some way. To live we need a heart that beats, blood that circulates, a brain and nerves that work, muscles that move, internal organs that never rest, not even in our sleep, for then repairs must be done to fit us for tomorrow and tomorrow, throughout all our life.

Abram chose to believe in God and received the symbolic "H" into his name and became Abraham. His wife Sarai, at the same time also received the same "H" and became Sarah, for she too had chosen. Choice is unavoidable. To refuse to choose is to choose to refuse. Life is a series of acts of choice.

Our choice may have more or less clarity, according to our degree of mental, emotional, or volitional awareness. Some people live in a kind of prolonged dream, sleeping or waking. They choose as do dreamers, drifting semi-consciously, like primitive marine creatures moved by invisible ocean currents along watery pathways barely felt.

Yet, for man, the time comes when the dreamer is forced into a higher level of awareness, and finds that his' choices have somehow become more conscious, and with this increased consciousness has become a greater sense of responsibility. The more conscious of our choices we become, the more responsibility we have for so choosing.

In the Bible consciousness is symbolised as "light". To be "enlightened" is 'to be conscious of our choices and their results. As "light" symbolises consciousness knowing what we are doing, so "darkness" symbolises unconsciousness, not knowing what we are doing. Millions of people still "dwell in Darkness", people born in situations that afford only minimal true education. We cannot say that these people are wholly responsible for their "darkness". The world-situation for mankind is not so simple as we might wish it to be. Future history has still much to reveal.

Part 28

Let us repeat that people are not wholly responsible for their mental "darkness", their lack of certain kinds of knowledge. The world is not as simple as it was in the days of our first ancestors. Technological advances have complicated our living procedures far beyond the capacity of any single individual's learning powers. We just simply do not have enough time to be able to keep up with every new emergent of scientific research, nor with the continuously changing conditions in the world of national and international relationships.

But it is not only scientific and technical advances that make it hard to "keep up", with our changing world's multitudes of aspects; there are also deliberately set up impedances to the widening of our knowledge and understanding. Some of these impedances originate in certain types of government-controlled educational systems, but others originate in our own desires not to impart knowledge to each other in case such knowledge should be used against us.

But there is another, far more difficult to detect, source of impedances to increased understanding. It is our own desire not to know certain things about ourselves. It is this desire not to know that has closed off part of our mind from us, this desire not to face certain aspects of our own nature which we find unpleasant or even painful to contemplate. "Men loved darkness rather than light because their ways were evil". Put so bluntly, this means that mankind prefers not to know certain things that are unpleasant to face.

Yet reality is reality, whether we wish to face it or not. The "dust swept under the carpet", is still real dust; the slipshod workmanship at the unseen back of a cabinet is still real slipshodness; and the deliberate misinterpretation of the motives of other persons, and of our selves, is still real misinterpretation.

When Hagar conceived her son, which Abram had fathered at Sarai's suggestion, Hagar chose to interpret the event as a demonstration of her superiority over Sarai. There was no need to make such an interpretation; Hagar could have chosen to have been grateful to Sarai for her suggestion, could have chosen to have been helpful to her and to Abram. Instead, she made the foolish decision to boast about her new situation. Because of this, she found herself in the desert; and found herself with a child who would grow up to be a man whose hand was against every other man, and every man against him. Ishmael's destiny was set for him by his mother's wrong choice of response to a situation that might well have been to her great advantage, if she had chosen better.

But it is not only that historical Hagar who made that unfortunate misinterpretation. There have been countless "Hagars" since who have made similar errors. Everywhere that ingratitude has been shown in reaction to a well-intentioned deed, the same mistake has been made. And this is the kind of unpleasant fact that certain parts of our nature do not desire to recognise.

In a survey of what people set as of highest value, it appeared that a good "self-image" was given first place. This is not so surprising as it might at first sight appear, because we have to "live with our self". "Good name in man and woman is the immediate jewel of our soul". Let us notice this, "the immediate jewel", the very first value that we recognise within ourselves.

If we have a low opinion of ourself, we do not like to look at ourself, for then we become depressed, made negative by our low self-image. We feel inferior to other persons, we shrink within ourself; and this shrinking impedes the flow of our life-energies, so that we take a step downwards towards disease and possibly death. A bad self-image is a nail in our coffin.

There is only one way to avoid a bad self-image, and that is not to do things that create such an image. But this is a "counsel of perfection" we tend to cry out; surely we cannot be perfect; we are only human, only creatures; we are not God.

Nevertheless we are told to "be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect", and until we are, we shall not be at peace with our own self. Perfect internal harmony means that every part of our being works with every other part as it was designed to do. But when we are not "at one" with our self our parts cannot harmoniously work together. Harmonious co-operation of parts is possible only where there is no conflict. But conflict is inevitable where there is an image of a perfection that we might have, and another image of our self as we know it to be.

Let us accept the fact that we are at present imperfect. Let us understand why we are imperfect. Let us see that perfection can be gained only if we first face the fact of our imperfection. Let us admit that facing our imperfections is painful. Then let us face this pain. Facing the pain of our own imperfections is the first step on the way to the perfection we all crave. Yes, we all crave perfection, even though we like to tell ourselves that we can put up with our imperfections. Perfection is our final destiny. That we have not yet reached it is the present cause of our sorrow.

When Abram, in his old age, saw himself with no children to carry on his line, he was, no doubt, unhappy. He knew himself not yet perfect. He hoped that, if he had children, he would be able to pass on to them whatever knowledge of perfection he had. He had a vision of a possibility of perfection attained in some future time. He foresaw the birth of a perfect man. "Abraham rejoiced to see my day", Jesus will later say.

Meanwhile, Abram had no existing evidence of the perfection he foresaw. Perfection was still only an idea in his mind.

From where did this idea arise? Not from the outside world of things as they were presented to him. The rocks and stones of the desert through which he made his way could break and crumble; the flowers that looked so near perfection as they grew by the wayside could fade and die; the splendid wild creatures that he saw could be killed, or would age and cease finally to be; the stars in the sky seemed nearest to ever-enduring perfection, but even they were subject to change, to eclipses and obscurations. Not from outside did Abraham derive his belief in the possibility of perfection.

Men look for the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of perfection, saying "lo! here, lo! there". But the kingdom of heaven is within. Abraham's vision of the perfect man was within. Somewhere, in the depths of his soul, he could feel the possibility of the elimination of all errors, the washing away of all false ideas and wrong motives. He could feel in his depths the hidden seed of perfection.

He couldn't grasp this seed with his hands, could not bring it out and say to himself, or to others, "look, this is my seed of perfection, which will grow inevitably into the perfect tree of my being". No. There was nothing externally visible of this seed, and no inevitability of its development. This seed develops, if at all, not mechanically, but as a result of a long series of choices.

A seed may be planted, and in good soil. But it still depends for its perfect development on proper care. It must be watered, and fed, and protected from wild animals, and from the winds and storms that would uproot it, and even from the weeds that grown from other seeds. Guaranteeing perfect development implies much hard work, and also the action of the Divine Power that is the One Source of all things, and which alone finally can give the increase. To Abraham, who was prepared to do all the needed hard work, there was still one thing needful; the faith in the Divine Power which alone could guarantee the increase, the survival and development of the seed and its multiplication till its numbers would be as the stars of heaven. "And it was counted to Abraham as righteousness that he had faith".

What is faith? We know that it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, but what is this "substance"? Simply, "substance" is power, a power that knows itself to be power.

We know today, as a fact, that "matter" is a form of energy. It is not what the early "solid atoms" were supposed to be. The Universe is a behaviour pattern of energy, a way in which power brings itself into expression as the forms of all the things we see around us. What ordinarily we do not know about this power is that in mar) this power functions as will. Abraham's faith in the possibility of perfection is another way of saying "Abraham's innermost will was towards perfection".

Abraham was a man of persistence, a man who, once he had seen a worthwhile possibility, would hold tenaciously to it as the object of all his striving. He was a man who, guided by his inner vision, could make his way across unfriendly terrain, facing all kinds of danger, to travel from Chaldea to Egypt and further. He was determined to follow his inner voice, which he believed intensely was of God. No external objects of worship, no local, tribal "gods" could divert or delay him. He knew that salvation, if it could be gained at all, must come from within. And he knew that this "within-Hess" was not the ordinary egotistic self of common man; he knew that the Inner Voice was from a Being far beyond ordinary man; and to the Source of this Inner Voice he raised an altar.

Of all the books ever written on the power of positive thinking, Abraham is the chief figure, after Noah, that should be noticed. Noah had placed himself by faith in an ark, with no sails or rudder, trusting in God finally to bring it to rest. Abraham with a like faith, with a will to a perfection not yet externally visible, had made himself into a nomad, not a "dweller in the land", driving himself along through extremes of terrain towards a state of perfection that he knew that he himself would not attain, confident that somewhere, sometime, his seed would attain it.

When we see that faith is the Substance of things hoped for and remember that "matter" is really energy, we can see that faith is another word for that in man which we call Will.

Will in man is the spiritual power which God breathed into him at his first creation, and which God still breathes into him as the very essence of his freedom. This power is man's power of free will.

When a man is willing, he is moving towards some goal. When he is not willing, either he is being moved by something other than his own willing, or he is merely drifting.

We all know what it means to drift; and we all know what it means to be moved by other than our own will. We know also that we do not use our willpower as much as we might.

It is sometimes pleasant to let ourselves drift, or to let ourselves be moved by something other than our own will; but at such moments we are not working at our highest level. To get the best out of ourselves we must will to do so. We cannot just drift to our best. Drifting and dreaming go together. High performance requires us to be awake.

Part 29.

Drifting will not guarantee our best performance. Any white-water canoeist knows this. Somehow we must steer our way through life's rough waters. But there are two ways to steer: an egotistic way, and God's way.

Every Olympic athlete knows that an egoistic self-image is not the best aid to top performance. A man who struts about thinking how marvellous he is, how wonderful he looks to other people, is wasting energy that he needs for his greatest concentration of effort. Energy not focussed on the goal to be attained is energy dissipated and wasted.

Abraham as a young man broke the idols that were man-made. He knew that idol-worship was idle worship. He knew that idling is energy wastage. Inside Abraham was a "still small voice", the voice of divine intelligence. He listened to this voice and heard it say, "Do not waste energy on useless things". His God-given intelligence saw the wisdom of this advice, and knew that the highest achievements result from energy concentration.

God is God precisely because He is the most supreme concentrator of energy. "God is One" means that God concentrates on being One, that He concentrates on the unification of His purpose. If the energy of eternity were not gathered together by God's will-to-unity it would disperse into the infinite void.

What makes God mankind's ideal object of worship is precisely that His will-to-Oneness guarantees his eternal persistence of Being, and so shows us how to move towards the immortality we desire. As we now are, we human beings are mortal. We die, corrupt and vanish. But we do so only because we do not will only one thing, our unity. We have not yet fully learned the lesson God wills to teach us, the lesson of true Oneness.

True Oneness does not disintegrate, does not die and corrupt and vanish. Every part of true Oneness involves in itself every other part. Man has not yet fully realised that his ultimate survival as a living being rests on his capacity to resist disintegration. Disintegration implies lack of a single unifying purpose. So far, man has scattered his energies over multitudes of ultimately profitless activities. He has lived striving to accumulate material things that at death he cannot take with him. He has not striven for those things that can resist the forces of disintegration, the truths that finally fit together in one consistent wholesome pattern. He has neglected the truths that add up to the ultimate Oneness which confers immortality on his soul. Today millions of people have taught him that he is but a material body, doomed finally to disintegrate into atomic dust, to lie in the ground or be turned up and blown by wild insensate winds ceaselessly about the world. Thus man has come to believe that it is not worthwhile to try to understand himself. He sees no profit in the study of depth psychology, no advantage in believing in the spirit. He busies himself in the materials of the outer world, where he can see, or thinks he can see, what is going on. Material things he can touch and hold in his grasp, and, if he works hard and becomes able to pay for them, may legally do so and declare them his own. And they are outside him, where he can keep an eye on them, so that they are not stolen away from him.

But in the inner world of his soul, his eyes are not so reliable. The inner world of the unintegrated mind is a world of ever-shifting ideas, feelings, emotions and impulses of obscure origin. The outer world of hardware commodities can be seen for what it is, and can be dealt with in hardware terms. The inner world is a world of software, of fluid shifting shapes less easy to handle.

Thus the materialist apparently has chosen the easier lot. He lives in a world of external handleable hardware. But he also finally dies in it, unaware that his neglected inner self is not totally annihilated by his physical "death", and so must then be faced.

We know that energy may change its form, but we know also that it cannot be totally annihilated, cannot become absolutely nothing at all. We know that all things in the universe are but forms of energy. Therefore we know, whether we like to know it or not, that we are ourselves forms of energy, and so not finally reducible to nothingness, and so finally must face ourselves.

During our life we change our form, from baby to adult, without ceasing to be what we are — forms of energy. At death also we change our form, yet remain the still energy we always were, the energy we were is forever inescapably itself.

We may hope that at death the energy that has constituted us in life will disperse without our knowing it, and that thus we shall escape suffering. We may hope this, but we cannot be sure that it shall be as we hope. And there is something about this that "must give us pause", for, as that energy which we unavoidably are persists beyond the change we call "death", so it, and thus our self, may have to face itself, give an account of itself, judge itself for what it has done in its life. No other judgement will be so hard, and it will not be so merciful as the judgement of God, for we do not like to think badly of ourselves, do not care to face that idol which in life we worshipped as our self-image.

To avoid this painful self-judgement we need to learn from Abraham's example. We need to destroy that idol which is our outer self-image, and to turn inwards towards our true self, that self which is made in the image of God, not an idol image, not and idle image, but a highly vital like Hess of God Himself, breathed into man at his first creation.

When we have broken our outer idol, our false powerless self-image we shall discover astonishingly within our innermost centre the true divine image of our Creator, and with this our own true creativity, whereby we can work as God works and Jesus worked and works, for the creation of the truly beautiful order that is the meaning and purpose of Cosmos, the harmonious joyous interplay of all beings.

Abraham looked forward to the time when all false images, all idols, shall be broken, the time when mankind will have seen the folly of all idol-worship and will have attained the true likeness of the God within, and so fulfilled the destined human role in the universe.

The Beirut massacre is near enough to us to show us what idol-worship does, for all the false partisanships that divide man from man are of such idolatrousness. Jesus gave us the clear command "Love one another". Love creates; it does not destroy. Love harmonises; it does not bring discord. Love heals, and does not wound. Of course, we know that in the world as it is there is little true education, little belief in the doctrine on mutual aid. We know that we have thousands of years of fear in our blood and bones. We know that our very cells tremble at the mere thought of suffering violence, and prepare to defend themselves against it before it comes over the horizon.

But we know also that Abraham rejoiced to see the day of the coming of Jesus. And it is to Jesus that we look for guidance in how to deal with idolators. Jesus knew what was in man, knew man's hidden as well as his manifest idolatry, and knew that there is only one effective way of relating to it.

When a man worships an idol, he does not take calmly its destruction. For the idolator the idol appears to be powerful. If it did not, he would not worship it. Thus to smash a man's idol is equivalent to breaking his personal power. This is most obvious when we see a man's reaction to an attack on his self-image. Nothing is dearer to fallen man than his self-image. It is the anchor of his mind, the centre of what mental and emotional stability he has so far attained. It appears to him that without his self-image he would be dispersed in the void. Fallen man knows nothing of the true divine image within -his innermost centre, and so must cling to his self-image as a drowning mat) to a piece of driftwood.

Nothing we can do from outside can compel a man to give up his self-image until he personally is ready to give it up. Fallen man believes that he needs his self-image to maintain his sanity. It is his anchor, to which for the time being he must cling. Only little by little will he give it up, and only then by replacing each removed bit with another and better one. He must improve his anchor, not lose it. He must build into it, bit by bit, some better elements, until finally he can bear to look it in the face and say, "This is my self, seen in the mirror of my mind".

Jesus saw this need in man for an anchor, an acceptable self-image. He knew that finally for man the only permanently acceptable self-image is the divine image implanted in man by God. And he knew that man had lost awareness of this inner divine image. Therefore Jesus re-presented the divine image to man, by living as God Himself lives, willing wholly the Oneness of being which will finally be the salvation of mankind. "I", said Jesus, "and my Father are one. Be one with each other as we are One". And Abraham rejoiced to foresee Jesus demonstrate this Oneness on the cross of self-sacrifice.

As long as men are idolatrous in the worship of their false self-image, they will put to death the idol-smashers. This Jesus knew, and foretold for his disciples a like end to his own. But he foresaw also that his sacrifice would force the idolators to improve their idols, little by little, until they would finally perfect them, having discarded what in them was unworthy.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do", is the cry of Jesus to God from the cross. The world is too complex for us to be able to see all its forms and interfunctions. Advancing materialistic science has solved some of the cruder problems set for us, but so far it has not begun to accept even the existence of the subtler problems of the human soul, the problems of love and hate which today so devastatingly sweep through the world. No scientist has so far put love and hate on his laboratory table and cut them up. He has measured some of the more obvious physical changes that take place in their presence, but these changes tell us nothing of love and hate as they are in and for themselves and each other.

Yet these forces really exist and move the world, conjoining and disjoining the living individuals and groups within it, to the general delight or misery of the multitudes of human beings and their governments, who so far cannot control each other or themselves.

The world situation is something like the situation inside the physical body of an individual human being where thousands of millions of cells struggle for survival, each one in its own way, each group with its own rights and responsibilities, each organ with its special contribution to the whole, and its special demands on the whole and all subjected to the myriad stresses and strains of the ever-changing outer world.

Part 30.

Because the inside world of man's physical being, with all its millions of little cells, each striving for self-existence, is like the outside world where millions of individuals strive for their own existence, we may say that each individual human being is like a little universe which corresponds in its many parts with the big universe outside.

We can easily understand that the things inside our body are related to the things outside our body. All the chemical elements that we find inside our body we can find outside also, and all the elements outside us may enter into us and help to constitute our being. We may think of our skin as a barrier between two worlds, an outer world and an inner world. We know that this barrier is permeable: we perspire and let some of our constitutive chemicals out into the external world from which we borrow them whenever we eat or drink anything. The breathing process that sustains our lives is a two-way movement that carries air into and out of our bodies. We know that if we stop this two-way process for more than a few minutes, we shall die. We know therefore, that living is an exchange-process.

But the exchange-process that is our living is not merely a chemical element exchange-process, although it is so at the very lowest level. We have other levels of living, finer and more subtle than the merely gross chemical level. Not only do we exist as a collection of chemical materials; we are also aware that we exist.

Our awareness of our existence depends on finer forces than those of the gross chemical elements that constitute our lowest level of being; it depends on our capacity to sense ourselves. Sensation is the basis of all our self-awareness. The word sensation is related to the Latin word "sentire" which means "to feel". Our ability to feel our existence is the basis of all our knowledge; hence "sentire" means not only to feel, but also to know. "Where there's no sense, there's no feeling". Where there is no feeling, there is no participation in life.

Feeling may be vague or well defined. We might make a scale of degrees of feeling-sensitivity. At the bottom of the scale we would place the least possible feeling awareness, the degree of feeling we have in deep, dreamless sleep. In such sleep we know that we have some degree of feeling, because when we wake up from it, we can say "I slept well". If our sleep is disturbed by dreams, we feel this disturbance, and say, "I had a disturbed sleep". Dream awareness, therefore, has a slightly higher degree of feeling-intensity than the dreamless sleep state.

If we have a frightening intense dream, such as we call a nightmare, the feeling intensity may be so great that it may force us to wake up, perhaps perspiring with fear. The nightmare has a higher degree of feeling intensity than the ordinary dream.

In our waking state also we may have various degrees of feeling awareness. On first awaking in the morning we may not be as "collected" as we need to be for the tasks ahead of us in the day. To "collect" ourselves we may need to remember what is to be done. We may rise from the bed, have a bath and shower, and so place ourselves more consciously in our body, meanwhile reminding ourselves of the particular things we have to do, keep appointments etc. All the time we are talking to ourselves mentally, we are "collecting" our sleep-scattered wits, and beginning to focus more intensely on what lies before us.

By so talking to ourselves about what we have to do, we are raising our level of feeling-awareness to a more focussed condition. When our mental content is fairly well defined and the relations between our ideas are clear and distinct, we say we are "conscious". "Consciousness" is the state when we know more or less clearly that we really exist and are thinking definitively about some subject matter. There are, of course, degrees of consciousness. When using sharp, dangerous tools, we need to be at least as sharply conscious as our tools are materially sharp.

When we are clearly thinking about the things we have to do in the time process, the needful activities of daily life, we say that we are "mentating". "Mentation" is the process in our mind whereby we think through our daily life's problems, and count and evaluate all the things related to these problems, so that we shall be able to deal efficiently with them. In mentational thinking we have to remember the things of Time, the things that we encounter in our daily living from moment to moment, and the past commitments we have made, and the future plans we hope to realise. Mentation also has degrees of intensity.

But there is another mode of thinking, in which we do not think merely of the things of time and matter, which are always changing. We think also of things that never change, of principles that remain, and always will remain true, no matter what happens to the things of time and matter. These changeless things we call things of eternity.

The problem of the relationship of the things of time, and the things of eternity, has occupied many minds. Plato saw Time as "the moving image of eternity". To understand this we have but to remember that we can mentally grasp a distant scene, say a mountain range, in one glance. We can close our eyes, open them for an instant, and in one "eye-blink" catch the fact that we have seen a mountain-range. With practice we can gain much information in one quick look. We can see that the trained observer can grasp a whole wealth of information in a single instant.

Having understood this power of the mind to grasp much in a moment, we can see that, by "focussing down" onto a particular detail of a large whole, we can temporarily ignore the whole and focus on the part selected. And we can spend as much time as we like on examining this part. Then we may leave this part and focus our attention on another part, again consuming as much time as we care to on its examination. We may call this way of looking at things, the Time-Way, as opposed to the other mode, in which we grasped a whole mountain range in an instant, in the Eternal-Way.

If we stretch out our arm and spread out our hand, we can see in one instant that it is a hand. If we then draw our hand very close to our face, we can focus on each finger in turn, examine it, and "take time" in doing so. The first way is the Eternal-Way, the second is the Time-Way. Both have use. With the Eternal-Way we can see at once the whole plan of a thing. With the Time-Way we can expend lots of energy examining the minutest details of the thing. On a clear night we can see in an instant that the sky is studded with stars. But we can also use a very powerful telescope and study one star at a time. To focus down onto a detail is to enter Time, and to consume it. To hold the infinitely wide instant view is to enter Eternity. The Way of Time-looking is the way of the ordinary "down to earth" man. The Way of Eternal-looking is the Way of God and of the prophets. The ability to prophesy belongs to the Eternal Way of looking.

Throughout the year the stars in the sky appear to rotate, as if they were fastened to a great wheel. This Star-Wheel was watched by shepherds at night, and became for them the occasion of prophesy. The Star-Wheel Clock told of the years events that had been, and would be again. "One day tells another", and one night tells another, and one month tells the moon-phases of another, and one year foretells another. Thus the sky-watchers and star-gazers, by increased interest, became the forerunners of the prophets.

Abraham knew about the two ways of looking, the Time-Way and the Eternal-Way; and knew the use of both. He also saw in the interplay of the two ways a developmental process, which finally would lead to the perfecting of knowledge in Wisdom. And, just as he knew that he had practiced these two Ways and improved his capacity in them, so he knew that someday, somewhere, far away in the future, some man would come into the fruits of this two-way practice; and he rejoiced to foresee that day and that man.

There is an heraldic symbol showing a double-headed eagle. This eagle symbolises the two ways of looking. Some thinkers have thought that the double-headed eagle meant "Look east, and look west", as if it had merely a geographical-political significance, as for a royal dynasty threatened from both ends of its kingdom. But its symbolism is wider, deeper, and more subtle than this.

The eagle, like the hawk and vulture and other high-flying birds, was used as the symbol of the "over-view", the all-comprehending consciousness that looks down from above. But the eagle and the hawk not only look from above and see the whole landscape spread out below them. They have amazing eyesight that can focus on details. They can see their prey. They can "stoop to conquer". Not for nothing did the great emperors study the ways of the eagle; and adopt it as their special emblem.

Abraham could talk effectively with Kings because he knew the ways of the eagle, the two ways of looking, the Over-view, or Eternal-Way, and the Time-Way. He knew that the Overview is the Way of God, the Way by which God secures His Oneness; and he knew that the particular view, the Time-Way view, if isolated from the Eternal Way, is the view of fallen man.

If we forget the Overview and involve our consciousness only in particular details which catch our interest, we may fall into identification with Time-Matters. We may thus forget the Eternal principles that rule over the universe, and so ignorantly oppose them. But these principles cannot be broken, rather they break whoever opposes them.

This fact, that eternal principles are not breakable, but break those who oppose them, may be very frightening. We all know what guilt-feelings are; they are expectancies of punishments or reprisals for things we have done and which we know, or believe, were wrong.

At the back of our mind we all believe that there are principles that govern the universe in which we live. By 'principles' we mean forces that operate in the universe, like the 'force of gravity', or the principles we know that we must obey, for if we ignore them we do so at our own peril. One great principle is that which we call the "law of action and reaction". This principle says that if we do something, we cause something else to be done, or our action is the occasion of a counteraction. "As you sow, so shall you reap", says Jesus. Hinduism calls this the Law of Karma.

Abraham knew that the whole creation is as it is because of certain great principles which operate in it and control it. And he knew that one greatest of all principles ruled all the others. This One greatest principle is the principle of Oneness. By this principle God Himself maintains His unity. This principle is also the principle of Love.


The principle of love requires very careful defining. In ordinary usage the word is a synonym of 'desire'. The little child says "I love ice-cream", or "I love playing with my toys", or 1 love holidays"; but by these statements he means only that he derives pleasure from such things. The same meaning is contained in the words "I love you", said by a young man or young woman to one whose presence causes the arousing of certain feelings of pleasure and desire. "Love" in the ordinary sense of the word thus means "desire", the feeling that pleasure of some kind is believed to be attainable by certain special relationships with persons or things.

But this is not the meaning of the word "Love", as used by Jesus when he says "Love one another, as I have loved you". The kind of love that Jesus was talking about is quite other than that which is a mere synonym for "desire for pleasure". Jesus was not concerned with getting pleasure out of people or things. He was concerned to*save them from erroneous ideas and wrong attitudes of feeling and will, which, if allowed to continue, would gradually reduce the possibility of fuller living.

Jesus came and taught in order that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. This was the way he used the word "love". For him it signified the will to work for the creation if ever higher and higher levels of living. "Life more abundant" was his aim for everyone. "Life more abundant" meant to him, life more free, life more creative, life more reciprocally interrelational, life more joyful.

We must not equate "pleasure" with "joyfulness". Let us see how we distinguish "pleasure" from "joy". "Pleasure" is that kind of feeling we have when something is done to us which we can easily assimilate whilst we remain relatively passive to the received stimulus. Passive reception of the stimulus or energy-input is a characteristic of pleasure. We can lie down, relax, and let the sounds of beautiful music enter our ears and so derive pleasure from them. We can lie down, relax, and allow ourselves to be massaged and brought into a state of pleasant quietness. In receiving pleasure, we allow ourselves to be acted upon by something or someone other than ourselves. Pleasure reception is relatively passive.

But "joy" is a word signifying more than passive reception of an easily assimilated stimulus. "Joy" is a more active word. It implies an energy input into a situation, not passive, but active, a deliberate focussing of the power of the will into an activity aimed to raise the living level of a being, or to produce new conditions which will make for higher level living. Joy is active, not passive. To enter into a joyful state is to enter a condition in which pure positively rules, a condition in which Spirit is the lord of the situation.

"Joy" is present when we affirm the situation to which we have assented. We have allowed ourselves to enter into an environment, and because we have entered it, we affirm our presence there and make ourselves active to raise that environment's suitability for higher living. By "higher" living, we mean living in greater freedom, for "His worship is perfect freedom".

When we know a truth we are freer than when we do not. To know the truth of a situation is to be better equipped to survive in it. Every situation has certain things in it. If we know what these things are, we can better adjust-to them, better relate to them. An expert bomb-disposal trained soldier can deal with an unexploded bomb more efficiently than can an untrained layman. True knowledge is power, "know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".

True knowledge of a situation allows us to be active in that situation. Lack of knowledge makes us passive. Where we do not know what is in a situation, we can be acted upon by the things in it without our being able to make an adequate response to them. In the presence of unknown things, our life may be endangered. Hence the unknown tends to produce in us a degree of nervousness or anxiety. Are there any ways of reducing this nervousness?

The world is filled with innumerable unknowns, each of which might be a source of possible benefit or harm, pleasure or pain, joy or misery. Lack of knowledge may mean that we could miss something that would have been good for us, or that we fail to avoid something bad for us. Unknowns, then, may be occasions for anxiety.

We have various possible ways of dealing with unknowns. Two of these ways are the way of heightened awareness of possibilities, and the way of Faith in the power of Spirit to guide us. These two may in certain situations, coalesce, as in Abraham, or the first, (the heightened awareness of possibilities) may operate on its own, as when a man who does not believe in Spirit sharpens up his awareness of things by increasing his rate of perception of them.

The sharpening of awareness, if separated from faith in the guiding power of spirit, may cause hyper-tension states which may have bad effects on the nervous system and on the organism in general. Continuous on-guardedness may result in increase of anxiety and many unbeneficial side-effects of this. Most people suffer in some degree from such undesirables.

How does faith in the guiding power of spirit affect us? Not to have such faith leaves us dependent on our own egotistic efforts to remain in charge of our situation. Without this faith we have to rely on our five special outer sense organs and on our mental rational capacity for properly interpreting their messages. With this faith, we have another ally.

Faith in the guiding power of spirit can do something for us that the use of our sense-organs and ego mental capacities cannot do. Spirit is God. In us this Spirit, if we will listen to it, can give us information not accessible to our outer sense-organs. This inner information arises in us when we have faith in its possibility and listen sincerely to what is innerly given to us. It is intuition, an inner teaching, graciously given to us by the Spirit of God. Such inner teaching is not received by any one who believes only in the messages received from the outer world by means of his sense-organs, for such a person does not pay attention to anything other than these sense-organs.

Thus the egotistic gross materialist disqualifies himself from receiving information and guidance from the Spirit of God. For him there is no profit in listening to other than his outer sense-organs and reasonings based on their messages.

How can believers in the divine Spirit receive inner information and guidance about outer life situations? To understand this we must think carefully about the nature of the Universe. Luckily today we are nearer to understanding this than we were in the nineteenth century, for science has carried us far beyond the too simple view then current of the nature of Matter. Matter was then viewed as composed of irreducible particles called 'atoms', final unbreakable units of hard character, these believed to be moving about in void space and so producing the universe of things seen around us.

Today we know that there are no unbreakable atoms of Matter. The atom has been smashed and proved to be a manifestation of energy. We also know that there is no absolutely void space. Everywhere we place our satellites in interplanetary space we find energies in action. We are being driven unavoidably to accept the truth that the whole universe, with all its stars, and planets, is a mode of behaviour of energy. There is nowhere where energy is not.

Thus we are being forced to recognise that both the outer world that we see around us, and the inner world which we know in our mental and other psychological processes, are alike energy-activities.

If information can be gained from the outer world, and the outer world is made of energy, then energy within our being can also be a source of information. What is the difference between outer and inner information?

Our outer sense-organ information is the result of stimuli from outside, acting on our special sense-organs. These sense-organs are sensitive only to certain types of energy-input. For example, our eyes can respond only to a limited range of the spectrum of possible light-vibrations; our ears can respond only to a limited range of the gamut of sound-vibrations. So with our other sense-organs, of taste smell and touch. When we undergo x-rays in order to gain a picture of some inner organ, we do not sense the action of the x-rays in our body, because our five special sense-organs have not been evolved for this purpose. Nevertheless the x-rays have an effect on our organs and cells, which, at some level, respond to their action.

Our five special sense-organs have been evolved to deal especially with a limited number of vibrational energies coming to us from the outer world. They have not been evolved to deal with the innumerable other energies which exist, to some of which, like x-rays, our bodies are transparent. These other energies convey information to any organ able to tune into them. A condition of becoming aware of such information is faith in its possibility. Where we have no belief that something is possible, we do not make attempts to experience it. Disbelief is an insulator. From this we can see that a man with no faith in the inner workings of Spirit cannot experience it. A faithless man is spiritually blinded by his own lack of faith.

We can now see that a person of strong faith has an advantage over the faithless one. The man of strong faith in the guiding power of the divine Spirit can tune in to very fine sources of information of which the five outer sense-organs can know nothing. It is clear that the man of faith has an advantage over the doubter and the sceptic. The man of faith can use his five special sense-organs as effectively as the other man, but the man of faith can also augment the ordinary sense-organs' data with information much finer than these organs can sense.

We can now see why it has accounted to Abraham as righteousness that he had faith. The faithful see more than can be seen by the faithless. The gross materialist who relies only on his outer physical sense-organs may pride himself on the results of his investigations into the crude mechanical principles of his outer world, but there is another world of which he knows nothing.

This other world, like the outer world of which the gross materialist is so sure, is also a world constituted of energy, but its energies are immeasurably finer than those of the gross 'material' world. Not only are the Spiritual world's energies finer, but they are also very much faster in their vibratory action than are the energies of the gross world. Just as very high frequency radio waves cannot be tuned in by a receiver capable only of low frequency responses, so the very high vibratory energies of the Spiritual world cannot be detected by a mind focussed only on very low vibrations. Such a low level of response is found in the gross materialist who, in spite of the newest discoveries of science, still clings to the belief that matter is only "matter" and not energy, and so cannot release himself from the naive materialism which dulls his possibilities of finer sensitivity. For such a man we can only have the deepest compassion.

Part 32.

Why should we have compassion for people less fortunate than ourselves? Some believers in "evolution" have accepted the idea that in nature there is a law "Eat or be eaten", the law of the "survival of the fittest", which is believed to favour the strong against the weak, the clever against the foolish.

Of course, it seems better to be strong and intelligent rather than weak and dull-witted, better to be healthy than diseased, to have the advantage than the disadvantage. At first sight it may seem so; but there are many instances in the history of mankind where the strong have been led by their strength into dangerous situations, where their strength has counted for nothing. There are many examples of intelligent men whose extra mental brightness has led them into self-conceit and careless entrance into situations beyond their capacity to control. The cleverness of Prometheus brought innumerable troubles to the human race. The conceit of Alexander the Great led to his early death, the expanded self-image of Napoleon led to his deflation, and exile and death. The images created by Hitler and Mussolini finally collapsed under the concerted opposition of nations with other ideas.

It is clear that the notion that "Nature is red in fang and claw", has no unchallengeable position in man's mind. There is also a belief in the possibility of mutual helpfulness, and also a conviction that self-sacrifice in many instances may resolve an otherwise insoluble problem.

Sacrifice of oneself can be relatively easily understood. The person who sincerely decides to sacrifice his own security or well-being for the sake of someone else, has to answer his actions only to his own self. He does not need to ask another's permission, and may not even let the person for whom he sacrifices himself know of the idea governing his deeds. But what is the moral position of someone who is required to sacrifice not himself but someone else? How is he to square his actions with his own conscience?

Precisely this position was Abraham's when he was required to sacrifice not himself, but his own son, and not merely to impose upon this son some unpleasant experience, for some definable benefit, but to put this son to death, to kill him, this very same child by whom the father had been led to believe would come great blessings to the whole human race.

Here was a test enough to shake any man's faith. How could it be that the God who had given this child to Abraham in his old age, and had promised that in Abraham's seed would all the families of the earth be blessed, would now demand that this same child be killed? Was the divine promise to be made void? Had the child been given simply to create the conditions of a test of its father's faith in God?

How are we to interpret this sacrificial situation? We know that various levels of interpretation of sacred scriptures are used, each for its own special purpose. At the lowest level, that of the merely physical significance of what was demanded, a man was told to kill his own son. We might see this demand as a sign of irrationality in the one making the demand. In this view the God who had made possible the birth of the child, had for no known reason decided to take back what he had given. In this case Abraham would have been cruelly misled by the promise made to him.
At the next level of interpretation, the allegorical level, the story is not about a sacrifice of an actual child by an actual father, but is about the possibility of any treasured possession whatever being given up by any person in the hope that this giving up would prove in the long run profitable.

At the third level, the story become a recommendation to people in general to be prepared to sacrifice their own well-being, or even their lives, for the benefit of each other or for the whole human community.

At the fourth level is hidden another interpretation, indicated in the name "Isaac". This name signifies "Laughter", but not the laughter of fools. A great philosopher has said, "The only legitimate laughter is the laughter of acquired power".

The laughter of fools is that which we hear when some highly placed person falls from his elevated position without bringing any benefit whatever to those who laugh at his fall. We all know the sound of the sniggering laughter of those who are pleased to see dignity slip on a banana skin, where the sniggerers receive no benefit from the slip. "Isaac" does not signify this kind of laughter.

There is a laughter of delight in a newly acquired real power of performance. We hear it when a child takes his first successful step, or stands for the first time successfully on his two feet without the aid of his mother or. r father. We see in his child-face the sign of a new power acquired, and we laugh with him for his new realisation.

Abraham in his old age was given power to beget a child. Sarah laughed at the idea that at her age she could give birth. Isaac was an extension of his father's power, acquired at an age when everyone would have thought this impossible. Isaac was the physical evidence of a power acquired when probabilities seemed to make this impossible. Let us think carefully what this could have meant to Abraham.

Here, in Abraham, we see a man with a highly intelligent mind, and a soul of wide and long vision. Here was a man who had seen men of all conditions, from the highest to the lowest. He had seen Kings with power, and had seen power misused to enslave men where it could have set them free. He had seen multitudes of men who were far from Kings, masses of men who lived little above animal level, men of hardly any personal integrity. And Abraham had had a vision of a far future when powerful men would no longer abuse power, and the multitude would no longer live like animals. He had foreseen the birth of an utterly new kind of man,-one who would be absolutely powerful, as a Son of the most high God would be, and one who would never abuse his omnipotence. And Abraham rejoiced to see his day.

And this son, Isaac, whose name signifies the laughter of acquired power, was a first evidence to Abraham of that man of the future that he had foreseen and rejoiced to see.

But this acquired power had been given by God, and still belonged to God. Having received this power and the evidence of it in Isaac, could Abraham return it to the God who gave it? Could Abraham sacrifice the very power which, once received, seemed to guarantee the realisation of his vision of a new mankind, a mankind that would reverse? the fall of Adam and give back to humanity the glory once conferred upon it by the divine fiat?

If Abraham had not been able to let go of his child, his newly acquired, God-given power, his laughter of delight: if he had not been able to give this manifestation of God's power back to the God who had given it, Abraham would have been no better than any other powerful man of his day, and he would not have become for us the figure he has become. We revere Abraham precisely because he was able to return to God what belongs eternally to God.

All the power in the whole universe belongs to God. It is God's own eternal power. There is no other owner of this power than god. By "God" we mean precisely this eternal power, and all that is implied in it. The energy in ourselves that we call our life-force is part of this eternal power. Without it, neither we, nor anything else in the universe could exist. But it is precisely this that fallen man forgets. The fall of man is this very forgetting.

Some of us have powerful healthy bodies, well-developed muscles, healthy internal organs, and we rejoice in what we call our "own" strength. We forget that when we say our "own" we are saying that we owe our strength to the one source power of all strengths; we forget that everything we "own" we do so only by the grace of the infinite divine power that has entered into us.

the strongest amongst us will eventually cease to be strong. The energy given to us by the eternal power will be recalled, and we do not foreknow precisely when it will be withdrawn. In our self-deceit we glory in our life-force as if we had generated it by our personal individual effort. We refuse to anticipate our inevitable death, the removal from us of that power which has conferred upon us our capacity to exist. In the time of our strength, we do not care to foresee the day of our weakening. There is too little of Abraham in us.

Let us see what Abraham's example has to teach us. The life-force by which we live is not the product of our individual self. This "self" has nothing whatever in it that is not derived from the infinite power that is the source of the universe and of things in it. All things whatever are modalities of this infinite power, ways of operation of it. Every hair of our heads, every organ and cell in our bodies, is nothing but a mode of actualisation of the divine power. If we think that what power we have is not derived from this supreme power, we sin.

"Sin" is this very act by which we deny our derivation from the infinite power which is God. "Sin" is nothing but that state of will in us which prefers to be self-originated and in no way dependent on God for our existence. "Sin" is not any given act of mind or body. It is the willed preference for self-origination, the will to be in absolutely no way dependent on anything other than individual will-to-be.

The sinning self is the self that has not understood why Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, his acquired power. Abraham's sacrifice was intelligent It was the preparedness to give back to God whatever had been received from God.

We moderns live in an age that tends to believe more in the achievements of science than in the miraculous power of an invisible God. Yet physical science has been driven towards the recognition that all the energies manifesting in the universe are modes of operation of one supreme power. True, science has not yet managed to shake off its conceit and so confess that even the energies of scientists are derivatives of the universal power. Abraham foresaw the day when such conceit would have to be given up, the day when the highest human intelligence would gladly confess the derivate nature of their intelligence and power, and would see both of these as but evidences of their capacity for service to another intelligence and power, infinitely beyond their own.

When Abraham, ready to return to God that power which God had given him, raised his knife to slay Isaac, his beloved son, another was substituted for him, but not before the knife was ready to descend.,

Who, or what was this other? As the knife was raised to deliver the fatal sacrificial blow to the child, a voice called to Abraham out of heaven, "Abraham, Abraham, do not lay your hand on the lad to harm him; For you have proved that you will not hold anything back from God". And Abraham looked up, and saw, caught by its horns in a thicket, a ram, and took it and put it in Isaac's place.

Part 33.

The ram caught in a thicket, taken and substituted for Isaac, tells us of the idea of Substitute Sacrifice, one thing sacrificed for another. But what is here being sacrificed? Is it simply an animal for a human being, a less for a more important?

Let us remember that there are various levels of interpretation. Some thinkers have pointed out that in the ancient world it was not unusual to sacrifice human beings in the hope of appeasing the imagined wrath of some 'god' or other. These thinkers believe that at some point in time it occurred to someone that instead of sacrificing a human being, an animal could be put in place of the human and be acceptable to the 'god' to be appeased. If this is so, they say, it may have been that Abraham was the first man to substitute an animal for a human being in a sacrificial act. But this is only the lowest level of interpretation.

At a higher level we may see that the story of the substitution of the ram for Isaac has a more important aspect. Human beings as we know them show diverse tendencies, behaviours that we call 'animal' as well as those we call 'human'. At this level of interpretation we can see that the 'animal' and the 'human' aspects of our being are in certain way opposed to each other. The 'animal' in us tends to pursue pleasure and to avoid pain, while the 'human' in us strives to attain some degree of control over our 'animal' tendencies.

If we equate Isaac with our human aspect, and the ram caught in the thicket with our animal tendencies, we can see that we have a more valuable lesson to learn than that contained in the first version of the story, which says merely that animal sacrifice was at some time substituted for human.

Let us remind ourselves that as human beings we consider a higher form of life than that of the animals. By use of our innate intelligence we have gained control of the world in a way that animals have failed to do. We can invade animal territories, destroy their environment, capture the animals and put them in zoos, or, if we will, can kill them. We are aware today of the problem of endangered animal species. The superior power of human beings everywhere threatens animal survival.

Isaac, in this interpretation, means the laughter of acquired power. We humans have power enough to destroy all the animals for which we have no profitable use. In the process of our destructive activities, we can impoverish the world, remove from it the millions of non-human lives, destroy the landscapes natural beauty, and reduce all vital differences to one flat plain of radioactive rubble. And we can laugh at it, and glory in our tremendous destructive power.

At this point we can see that, if we do not curb ourselves, the delight we feel in being so powerful might lead us to destroy our whole world. It is here that our intelligence, the Abraham in us, may be called upon to sacrifice Isaac, the power to which our intelligence has given birth. And this is a demand that we cannot refuse.

If we do not sacrifice our power, give it back to its source, we may find that our laughter at possessing it will end In dreadful tears. Power without a sense of responsibility is the most dangerous thing in the world Somehow, if we are not to destroy our world, and ourselves with it, we must gain a full sense of responsibility for its use.

But if we give up the power itself, we shall reverse the whole process of human evolution. For millions of years our ancestors have striven to attain power, over their environment and over other creatures. It is now time for all of us to do what a select few have already done - that is, attain power over ourselves.

God, the Creator of the Universe and of ourselves, does not will us to regress back to our primitive state of powerlessness. But He does will us to give up our power to Him. Absolute power belongs to God, and God alone. The power we humans have is lent to us by the Infinite Source of all power, and lent to us for a specific purpose, the building of a new heaven (that Is, a new idea), and a new earth (based on this idea). Without power we could not build this new heaven and new earth.

God tests us as He tested Abraham, to see if he will give up the power that He has given us. If we bring ourselves to this point then He offers us another solution. A ram in a thicket appears for us also.

Our animal self lives by a law of pleasure pursuit and pain avoidance. Instead of giving up our humanly gained power, we are given an opportunity to sacrifice instead our animal tendencies.

In the Bible the ram symbolises the original raw, uncultured energy from which the universe evolves. This energy is, from before the beginning of creation, a chaotic, directionless force, moving randomly through infinite space. "Creation" is the beginning of the control of this force. To "create" is to encapsulate, to ensphere, to contain in a restricted place. All creatures are made of energy held in a particular place and made to work within it. To exist as a being in time and matter is to be confined within a body, as we are held in within our skin.

Now, when energy is first trapped within a being, it does not take happily to the restrictions imposed upon it by the fact of being a creature, that is, an ensphered or embodied force. We can see this clearly demonstrated in the activities of little children. They act as if they can do, anything whatever that they feel like doing, and they are surprised when they find themselves unable to do it, and their surprise quickly turns to anger. The child shows clearly the essential nature of primitive, raw energy. It hates to be frustrated, and very quickly becomes enraged when its ways of self-expression are blocked.

Now, if we are not to give up our evolutionary movement towards greater power over the world and over ourselves we must impose curbs on whatever opposes this movement. But the greatest opponent of our evolutionary intent is this primitive, raw force that is symbolised as the Ram.

The "Ram" energies in us do not like to be curbed, do not like to be frustrated or controlled. They want what they want when they want it. Their desires are immediate, spring from the very depths of pre-creational force, and precisely because they are directionless, become entangled in a "thicket" of their own indecisiveness. The "Ram caught in a thicket", has, by its own uncurbed wildness trapped itself.

If we are not to give up the power we have already gained, and if the Ram-power in its wildness opposes our further pursuit of power, then we have to sacrifice the Ram instead of our humanness.

All evolutionary advance involves sacrifice. For every gain made, something has to be given up. The diesel-train led to the giving up of the steam train. The gains in any given direction remove energy from other possible directions. The gain in human control spells a loss of primitive, animal spontaneity.

We all love to see the beautiful action of the limbs of a wild tiger, the natural harmony of its movements as it leaps towards its prey. We do not like to be the prey.

Animal strength, in its wild uncurbedness, does not make for the growth of human control, and we humans all have this wild energy in us, awaiting its opportunity for spontaneous expression. It is this wild ram-in-a-thicket energy that shows itself in juvenile delinquency, in vandalism, in violence, within society and between nations at war. It is this wild energy that Abraham sacrificed instead of Isaac. It is this same primitive irresponsible force that we are called upon to sacrifice in the place of our humanity.

The sacrifice of Isaac, even as idea, placed a very heavy load upon Abraham. But when the Ram was placed on the sacrificial altar in place of Isaac, Abraham's burden was not lightened. To sacrifice one creature for another is to raise very heavy problems of ethics and morals. By what right does man sacrifice other creatures? Only if man himself rises to higher evolutionary levels in his sacrifice of other creatures justified. It is not enough for man to increase merely his own animal capacities for the pursuit of pleasures and the avoidance of pains. Man, to justify any sacrifice he makes, must raise his own intelligence level. He must become more human, more humane, gain more understanding of the universe in which he lives, and of the lives of all the creatures that live in it with him. He must make himself learn to live and to let live. Man did not himself create the universe. He is himself a creature, brought into being by the self-same power that brought also into being all other creatures.

Not only man has purpose. All other creatures also have purpose, and all purposes of all beings are sub-purposes of the infinite power that made them all.

In the process of attaining the civilised state, man has had to sacrifice whatever forces seemed to oppose this state. But man has made mistakes. He is not omniscient as is God. Man has made sacrifices which had to be made, but he has not always made these sacrifices in the most intelligent way. Some of his methods of sacrifice have been unintelligently suppressive, and so have brought unintelligent reactions. There is no 'short, sharp shock' solution to all the world's ailments. Suppressive methods may, bring some instant superficial improvements in external behaviour patterns, but they do so at the expense of long term laying of deep resentments, which in one generation or another suddenly erupt with devastating results.

Today we are reaping the results of unintelligent sacrifices and suppressions made in the name of an enforced social cohesion. But life does not grow from outside in, but from inside out. Not by the external imposition of resented controls will man take his next evolutionary step; his improvement, where genuine, will come from greater understanding of his real place and function in the universe. God has a purpose for mankind, and will establish it in His own good time. Meanwhile it is for man to study, with all the intelligence and power God has conferred upon him, that divine purpose, so that he can intelligently cooperate with it. And for this cooperation, for the time being, man must sacrifice not his human Isaac-Self, but his will Ram-in-a-thicket energy.

Finally, all sacrifices bring their proper rewards. The sacrificed Ram-energy, sublimated intelligently, is resurrected in the true human being, whose Isaac-laughter of acquired power will be energised by that same Ram, "Slain from the foundation of the world".

That same Ram-energy, raised to its highest level of operation, is the energy which, in Jesus Christ, was sacrificed for the Salvation of all Mankind and of the world. The Young Ram, the sacrificial lamb of God, gave its blood so that a higher mankind might arise. Every higher level must draw upon a lower level for its energies, but underneath the lowest creaturely sacrificial level is the infinite sacrificial energy of God Himself.

To understand the significance of this divine sacrificial level is to see that the first creative act which brought the universe into existence was itself the original sacrifice made by God in order to manifest His glorious being to mankind and to all creatures. This sacrifice was that of His own Son.

Part 34.

What does it mean to a man to sacrifice his own son? His son is an extension in time of his own being, a prolongation of his own life-span.

Muslims say that before creation God was a hidden mystery, and that God created the universe to make manifest this hidden mystery.

Ancient wise men long ago thought very differently from the way that modern minds tend to think. We humans of today try to think in the manner we call 'objective'. We do this because our minds have been influenced by the successes of scientific procedures. In general we try to be 'objective', that is, to describe the things of the world as if they had reality as objects in themselves, things that do not depend on us for their existence. We tend to forget that 'things' are really behaviours of energy, patterns of forces which cohere for a time, and then disintegrate. We forget that 'thing' is mere shorthand for a dynokinetic process.

The Sages of the ancient world saw that world as a play of forces. When they used the word 'thing', they did not of it as an object in its own right, as we tend to think of it. They thought of a 'thing' as a play of spiritual forces, or as a pattern of energies. What they said was not what they thought. They spoke allegorically. They said 'thing' and meant 'patterned play of forces'.

Speaking allegorically, that is, having a wider and deeper and higher meaning than was apparent on the surface, they could talk about the 'Son' of God, and not mean quite what we would mean by a 'Son' of a man. Just as a son of a man is an extension of that man's being in time so they could say that the Son of God is an extension of God. But they would mean here by 'extension' something different from what we tend to mean by it. To understand this we must think very carefully about God's nature.

God is infinite intelligent power. We creatures have a limited amount of intelligence and power. We cannot imagine what infinite means, because to imagine is to make an image, and an image has limits, definable edges. This is why we are told not to make 'images' of God, that is, limited, definable forms of Him. This command was given to protect us against restricted and false ideas of Him. An 'image' of God in our ordinary sense would be some Shape which we might think belonged to God, by which, if we saw Him, we would be able to recognise Him. But God is infinite, unlimited; no shape or form or image could possibly represent Him as He is in Himself.

Yet the ancient Sages could talk about God as the 'Father' of all things. What did the sages mean by 'Father'? They did not mean a being like a human father, with a certain masculine form. They meant an infinite power which by itself and from itself could generate another being. This derivative being they called a 'Son'.

To understand the words of the wise men of the ancient world, we have to remind ourselves that they spoke in two quite different ways: one as if things were what they superficially appeared to be, and another as the wise men knew them to be, that is manifestations of spiritual forces, complex behaviours of energies brought into existence in order to show forth things that otherwise would be hidden in the mysterious intelligent power that we call God.

This double manner of speaking is what is symbolised as the two-edged sword that comes out of Christ's mouth. One edge of the sword speaks simply of things as objects; the other edge speaks in allegory. When Jesus says 'Fox', of a certain person, he does not mean that that person is a certain kind of four-legged animal; he means that that person is as cunning and sly as the behaviour of that animal shows it to be.

The 'Son' of God, then, to the early sages, was not a Son in the same sense that a boy-child of a human being is a 'Son'. God is infinite intelligent power. He has nothing other than Himself with which to operate. He begets only Himself, or some aspect of His infinite power. When He begets Himself wholly, that which He begets is called by the Sages His Son. The ‘Only begotten Son' of God is God Himself in His full intent to manifest as Himself.

God as He is to Himself in Himself is infinite, and so unknown. He is the eternal hidden mystery utterly beyond the comprehension of any creature whatever. But to manifest His hidden mystery to His creatures He knows that He, the eternal infinite intelligent power, must take on a form comprehensible by them, yet expressing to them in time and matter the fullness of His real being. This form, by which God made Himself known is called His Son.

To beget this divine Son, the infinite God had to take on a special form observable by mankind, a human form; for man could not accept any other form as the vehicle of the most worshippable Being of all beings. God as infinite could not show Himself to mankind, but he could take on the form of man, and then show man how God would behave as man. God could not show the infinity of his intelligence and power to man, for man cannot grasp infinity. But God could assume the form of man and then, in that form, act as God Himself would act under such limitations. Thus God could show man how to behave like God, in man's situation.

But in order to become manifest to mankind, God had to make a double sacrifice: in His Son-form He had to hide His infinite intelligence and power, so that He would not utterly terrify man; and He had to expose Himself in His Man-form to the reactions of men; He had in this exposure to suffer all the indignities that fallen, ignorant, stupid and ambitious men would heap upon Him. Abraham's preparedness to sacrifice his son, Isaac was the sign of his great faith in God, yet in that preparedness was tremendous suffering. God's actual of Himself as His own Son involved Him in greater suffering.

There was no guarantee that His great sacrifice would do what it aimed to do. God has given to Man freedom of will. Man could in principle use this freedom to disobey God, who had given it to him. If God were to revoke this gift, man would be reduced to the level of a robot, and the whole problem of obedience or disobedience would have been reduced to nonsense. Only a free being can obey or disobey; and only one who can obey or disobey can demonstrate worthwhileness. Only such a one can manifest the supreme value that is divine love.

To know what divine love is, man must receive a demonstration of it at his own level. He must see it at work in man. But for this demonstration only God can be sufficient. Fallen man cannot of himself know what, under man's condition, God would do. Only God can do this, and do it effectively only in man's fallen situation. Hence the tremendous twofold sacrifice of the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

To make this immense sacrifice and demonstrate it to mankind, God had to take upon Himself the form of man. For this He had to select a suitable Mother for Himself, a woman of such refined intelligence that she could see the need for the sacrifice of God Himself, and herself make in her will the full act of acceptance which alone could fit her to receive the divine spiritual influx necessary for the birth of God from her on earth. And here the sacrifice became threefold, for many the chosen woman, would have to participate in the suffering of the divine Son.

All this was foreshadowed in Abraham's acceptance of the command to sacrifice Isaac, except that with God's sacrifice were involved infinities of considerations beyond Abraham's comprehension.

For Isaac a ram, taken from a thicket, was substituted. For God's Son there was no other being who could stand in for Him. He Himself had to play His own part, and to play also the ram's part. This is why the wise men say that a young ram, a lamb, was 'slain from the foundation of the world'. There was no fit substitute for God in this great drama, He had to play Abraham and Isaac and the sacrificed ram Himself.

We do not so easily comprehend this mystery, yet it is as it shows itself to be, the supreme divine mystery, the mystery of the infinite God, the Creator of all beings; the mystery of the One beyond the many, emptying Himself of His infinite intelligence and power to bring Himself down to the level where He could be born without endangering the life and being of the earthly woman who was to receive Him.

Having accomplished this extraordinary birth, God has then to participate for a while in all the ordinary living processes of mankind, accept no better than the facilities available to them, undergo the same education they suffered, be exposed to all the processes of State-controlled existence to which they were exposed. And throughout all this, He had to keep His divine secret to Himself until it became time to reveal it.

The Divine Son knew what would happen when he displayed some of His power to Mankind. He knew what was in Man. He knew of the Adamic fall into the lust for external power. He knew that in a physical body, He was on territory which the Evil One had sought to make his personal property. He knew that the Devil's representatives, the Mammon-worshippers of the world would strike back at Him for every good deed He did. And worse than this He knew that His victory over them and over Death would start a series of wars about Him.

It is fitting that one man should die for the people', said the High Priest. But that 'One Man', the Divine God-Man, knew that, as a result of His death, the people, many, many people, would die for Him. There is a universal divine Logic that says that if one dies for the many, the many shall later die for that one.

For nearly two thousand years the death of that One has been the signal for the deaths of millions. Unbelievers persecuted and killed believers, and believers, over points of doctrine persecuted and killed each other. And there will be no end of this struggle until the believers and unbelievers will become aware of the utter stupidity of their conflicts. Judaists, Christians and Muslims all know that the God they worship is the same God. What most of them have not yet done is to live as He lives, in the very spirit of self sacrifice. The earthly path trodden by the God-Man showed exactly how to live when in the human situation. Such a life-path is not easy for earth-bound creatures to follow. Nevertheless it is to be followed, and especially by professing Christians. Others have some excuse if they fall short; they are not sure that Christ's path is truly divine, and so they are justified in thinking things through with their own human brains. But the professing Christian has no such excuse. If he believes that in Jesus Christ the true Divine Way has been clearly shown, then he has no excuse whatever but to follow that way. The words of Christ are clear enough: 'Love one another as I have loved you'.

Part 35.

What does it mean when Jesus says "love one another as I loved you"? "As I have loved you", means in the same way that Jesus has loved mankind. What way was this? It was the way of total self sacrifice. Jesus loved the human race so much that he let himself be put to death in order to save human beings from a terrible fate. What was this terrible fate? To understand the answer to the question we must first understand the nature of man, and the doctrine of the Fall.

We have all heard of the Fall of Man. Perhaps we have heard it too often; perhaps over familiarity with the expression has dulled its meaning for us. Nevertheless man has fallen. To fall is to descend from a higher to a lower level. A fall may be either deliberate or accidental. An example of a deliberate fall is seen when a parachutist jumps from an aeroplane and allows himself to fall freely for a number of seconds before pulling the cord that lets the parachute open and slow down his rate of descent.

An accidental fall is when someone at a higher level finds himself at a lower level without having deliberately planned to do so. An example of this is seen when a man trips and falls downstairs and arrives non-deliberately on the floor below.

When we think about ourselves as distinct from the animals, we think that in certain essential respects we are better than they are. We say that we are a "higher evolute"; we are higher up the "evolutionary ladder". We might ask ourselves the question "who was the first truly human being"? For our convenience we might agree to call this first human being "Adam". If we agree to use this name we can talk about "Adamic Man", and mean by it "the first truly human being".

What do we mean by "truly human"? Most of the philosophers have agreed to call a man "truly human" if he is able to think very logically and then to act upon the basis of his logic. "Truly human" here means logically correct, able to reason accurately, and to obey the directives given by true logic.

We must be careful to note that true logic is rational, that is it takes account of all things that are effective in a situation. One of the factors in a human situation is feeling. A human being does not merely think about things, that is, have ideas about things. Human beings also feel about things, experience likes and dislikes, experience emotions. They also exercise their will, that is, they deliberately act on things, interfere with things, try to change things.

A man who ignores feelings, emotions and the will to act on things is not being truly logical, for these are real forces affecting life; and if he is not truly logical, he is not truly human.

If we accept the truly human position as a high position, then we must say that if a man abandons his truly human position he has fallen, either deliberately, like the parachutist, or accidentally, like the man who trips and fall downstairs. When he has fallen, he is at a lower level than he was before his fall.

The glory of man is his capacity for truly logical living, where "truly logical" means living with total reality, which includes not only thinking or manipulating ideas, but also being aware of feelings and emotions and volitions, and making proper allowances for these. It would be quite wrong for a man to think himself truly logical, if he ignored feelings, emotions and impulses of the will. It would be quite right to say that such a man would be undeserving of the title "human being". Such a man would be "fallen" to the degree that he ignored such essential factors of life.

We are all "fallen" to some degree, for we do not always remember all the factors that make for truly human living. We do not always remember to think clearly, feel sensitivity, will strongly, co-ordinate our different processes, and make allowances for errors which we and other members of the human race commit.

What was the condition of the first truly human being? He was a being able to reason, to feel, to will his own actions. He had a very high state of being. But he did not stay in his condition. Now, either he deliberately left this state, or he fell from it non-deliberately. Deliberately to abandon that state would have been a deliberate abandonment of the truly human position. Most thinkers prefer to believe, either that the first man did not possess such qualities as we call truly human, or that, even if he had them, he did not have sufficient knowledge of the world as to be able to handle all events with total efficiency.

From whatever causes, mankind fell, and the condition of our world today gives daily evidence that we have not yet managed to pick ourselves up again.

The book of Genesis tells us that man fell by preferring to know good and evil. Now, as soon as we begin to want to know something, we tend to investigate it. But if we do not already know what about it, we could be entering into a situation without the capacity to handle its contents. There is a relevant proverb, "Do not open doors you cannot shut". Few of us feel comfortable at the thought of entering an unknown labyrinth in the dark. But "Curiosity killed the cat". The "Cat" symbolises "fixity of purpose". Curiosity tends to induce forgetfulness of our real purpose. The fringes on a garment tend to attract the eye, although they are not essential to the garment. A sage has said, "The whole problem of life is in the fringes".

The truly human being has a function in the universe. He is to represent the invisible original power that we call God, and to do so visibly, in a physical body. Hence it is said, "God made us for Himself".
"God" is the short name for the infinite intelligent power that brought the universe into being. But the infinite as such is not visible. To be infinite is to be beyond limitation, and to be beyond limitation is to have no defining lines and therefore to be invisible. The things we call "visible" we do so because we can see that they have binding contours or "outlines".

As Infinite, God is unknowable to us. To become manifest to us He must show Himself. To do this He must embody Himself. This is the fundamental idea behind the doctrine of the Incarnation. Man cannot know infinity. Therefore, if he to learn anything about the nature of God, God must somehow present to man a form, a body that man can see and touch, yet one that fully expresses the nature of God. A being able to do this is an embodiment or incarnation of God, the invisible made visible, the uncomprehensible brought within man's reach. This is the Great Mystery, how the invisible became visible.

What is the nature of God? He is defined as all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present. He is infinite power, infinite wisdom, infinite presence. This is not an easy concept for us to grasp. We may begin to approach it by thinking of all the most powerful, most wise men that have ever lived, or are living, or ever will live, and then seeing their power and wisdom as but a partial expression of the power and wisdom of God.

Human beings have come into existence because the source-power of all beings has brought them to be. We cannot get more out of a box than is in it. We cannot actualise what is already potential. That human beings have come to be, demonstrates that the capacity for human beingness was there in the infinite before it finited or expressed itself. This human beingness hidden in the infinite before the world was created, is called by the sages, the Divine Human. However we might like to avoid believing in this idea, we cannot dismiss the fact that every actualisation of a being is before its actualisation a hidden potential.

Now it is precisely this that constitutes the salvation that Jesus came to offer to man. There is an ideal in man's mind, a picture of a possibility of a man that would be truly human, that is, a man of perfectly clear thought, of the most sensitive feeling, of the most powerful will, a man of universal understanding and compassion, a man able to enter into our fallen condition and show us the way back to the realisation of our true heritage of actualisations of divine potentialities. It is just such a man that we see in Jesus of Nazareth.

In the Bible it is said that "Jesus" is the most excellent of all names. What is meant by this is that the name "Jesus" means "Affirmation Saves", or as the gospel puts it, "He shall save his people from their sins". The shorter expression is more immediately helpful, for it means that if we face the events of our life with courage and fortitude, we shall get better results than if we try perpetually to avoid trouble.

"Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards". This trouble is a result of man's fall from grace. The pursuit of knowledge has led man into ever more complex life situations. Today, in the midst of all our scientific and technical accomplishments, we have not yet found the peace of mind which we feel should be possible for us. We strive ever towards what we think is for our good, and we try always to avoid what we conceive to be evil, and our avoidance of what we deem to be evil is as harmful to us as is the pursuit of what we judge to be for our good.

The way of Jesus is to accept what comes to us as an occasion for test where we stand in relation to true humanity. The true human being is God's representative on earth. He is wise, compassionate, strong willed in carrying out the decisions indicated by his wisdom and intelligence.

What the life of Jesus demonstrates to us, and what he recommends for us a way of life, is the same way that God himself goes when he creates the universe. Everywhere in the world we see evidence of the interfunction of all things. Nothing exists only for itself. All things work together to produce their joint results. Some misguided beings act upon each other destructively. Others interact harmoniously. None can escape the fact of interfunctionality. Whether we like it or not, our destinies are interwoven. None of us can live solely to ourselves alone.

Jesus demonstrated the true way and called us to tread it with him. It is a way of mutual helpfulness, not a way of mutual destruction. We do not live our daily lives holding deterrents over each other's heads. We try, as far as we know how, to get along with each other in as harmonious a way as possible. Where we react discordantly to each other we do so because of fear, often unconscious fear ingrained in us by ancestral experiences of damages received long ago. Jesus asks us to become more conscious of the origin of our fears, and to face them with courage. "Affirmation Saves" says Jesus. To go forward with our eyes wide open, and our minds and hearts too, is the true way.

The world in which we live is a dangerous place. Everywhere forces antagonistic to life demonstrate their presence. Viruses and bacteria dwell in our environment, ready to take advantage of any weaknesses in us. Natural cataclysms and man-made wars threaten our existence. Industrial pollutants fill the air we must breathe. And in the middle of all these hazards, Jesus, the God-Man, says to us, "Tis I; Be not afraid". To allow ourselves to sink into fear and negativity is not the way to improve the quality of our lives. Life is not a mere material phenomenon; it is a manifestation of spiritual power, and such power proves its presence, not in counsels of despair, but in acts of courage and initiative.

Part 36.

As we have said, the world we live in is a dangerous place. We are not wrong if we view it not only as a playground but as a battle-field. There is a good fight we have to fight, with all our might.

This "good fight" is not a senseless war of masses of egotists against each other. The good fight is the fight of good against evil, within each individual.

"Good" is that which promotes life and its development. Evil is that which destroys life or reduces its efficiency or lowers its quality. A life of good quality is one in which intelligence, sensitivity, compassion and strong will go forward together towards a better world than the one we now live in. A life of bad quality is one in which intelligence is lacking, one in which sensitivity is low and compassion non-existent, and will is displaced by uncontrolled impulsive reactivity to alien stimuli.

The good fight we have said is not fought outside, against other people. It is fought within ourselves, against those forces which dehumanise us, the forces that show themselves in stupid pride, envy, covetousness, anger against others, and even against ourselves, which is very foolish, because it is not anger we need to improve the quality of our lives, but under-standing. We must go down below the level of our superficial thinking about daily outer events, and find out what we are in our depths. "He descended into hell", means that Jesus went down into the deepest depths of the human soul, there to release the unfortunates who from uncomprehended fears and guilts have become alienated from the true free life of spirit.

This "hell", is that part of what is today called the "collective unconscious mind", which is inhabited with all the products of guilt and error of the whole human race. We are not as isolated from each others' fears and guilts as we would like to be. We participate in each others' sins and errors, and feel each others' "onguardness" beneath the superficial calmness of our civilised consciousness.

We are to remind ourselves that each of us has two parents, each of which had two parents, and so on backwards through time. In very remote times long ago the peoples of the world were much fewer than they now are, and there was considerable intermarriage of our earliest ancestors. None of us today can claim to be totally unrelated to each other. "God has made of one blood all nations", whether we-like to think so or not, the whole of humanity is really one very large family, with all its members of one origin.

Not only do we partake of the one original human blood, we partake also of the one original protoplasm, the very substance of our physical being. "'This substance has a marvellous capacity for recording its experiences. Not alone does it record the form of these experiences, but also the feelings and emotions and tendencies to react to them. Our protoplasmic memory is filled with-such experience-records, with .ideas, feelings, action-tendencies, etc., and these, although largely stored in the unconscious levels of our mind, are so inactive at their own level. Thus there are processes going on inside the unconscious depths of our mind, that are not without effect upon our conscious behaviour. We see here where the "good fight" is to be fought — in the "no-man's land" between the conscious and the unconscious minds.

This "good fight" has been fought, and is being fought, by every human being who has preferred perfection to imperfection. Jacob fought this fight on the "ladder" of being. Jesus fought this fight in Gethsemane. But wherever we fight this fight its always within our own being.

What is this battle about? Simply, it is about whether we will obey, or not obey, God's Law of Love. It is about whether we will live only for our own advantage, and at the expense of other human beings, or live in such a way that whatever we do benefits not only our own self but also others.

Now, in our conscious mind the problem may appear fairly simple. It is just a matter of "my way" excluding or including others. We can watch consciously the battle of exclusive and inclusive tendencies in our will. But we have seen that our battle is being fought, not only in our conscious mind, but also in our unconscious protoplasmic records of our past experiences, and not only the records of our own individual experiences which we have undergone since we were born, but also those of the long line of ancestors from whom we have descended.

Let us remember that we inherit from our parents not only physical characteristics, but also psychological tendencies, feeling-attitudes, emotions and reaction-tendencies. "Woe to you who are inheritors", said a great philosopher, and meant that there is more work in our depths than is known to our conscious mind.

How can we deal adequately with the contents of our unconscious mind? Well, first we can accept that human nature is, and always has been, fundamentally everywhere the same. The fundamental capacities of mankind consist of processes of will, feeling, thought and physical activation on the basis of these. We can next accept that the problem for every human individual throughout the whole of history has always had in it the element of conflict, the conflict between the exclusive and inclusive will, the will that works only towards advantage for itself, and the will that works for the advantage of all mankind.

Having understood this fact of the identity of the human battle at all times; we can then begin to see that the content of our unconscious mind must be the same as the content of of our conscious mind. The problem of "my exclusive way", and my inclusive way" is the same for all mankind, everywhere and at all times, both in the conscious and the unconscious mind.

Once we firmly and clearly grasp this, we can say that whatever battles we have in the conscious mind, we have also in the unconscious. We know the nature of our conscious struggle. It is always the same. It shows in the internal debate that incessantly occupies our consciousness. Shall I do this act for my advantage alone; or shall I modify my action so that other persons also share in the advantage.

We feel this battle inside us and know what it is about. We do not always put it into words as clearly as we could do. The reason that we are less clear than we might be is that we tend so often to move only to our own advantage, and do not like to admit this to ourselves. We try to find reasons why we should do what we want, and we try to convince ourselves that we are right to do so. If we cannot give ourselves good reasons why we should do what we want, we feel uncomfortable, have twinges of what we call "conscience", (which means that we know more about ourselves than we wish to know). If our discomfort is too great, we try to repress the knowledge we have its cause, and in this way we add to the store of our "unconscious" records.

We know we do this, but we do not often think that our ancestors also did it, and that our unconscious records are not merely our own. The totality of all our ancestors has left our unconscious mind with a very full treasury of records, some pleasant which do not give us a bad conscience, and some unpleasant, which make our unconscious mind quite uncomfortable.

Let us make a mental picture of a vast library of records, containing a full account of all activities, emotions, feeling and thoughts of our total ancestry. Let us not bother about the pleasant records, for they do not make us feel uneasy. Let us remind ourselves that the records of the unpleasant ones make us feel uneasy at unconscious levels of our mind. Let us understand that this uneasy feeling is a product largely of our ancestors "bad conscience", felt and recorded by them in their protoplasm. And let us remind ourselves that every moment of "bad conscience" in us adds to the store of our anxiety-producing records.

As long as we allow ourselves to act as badly as did our ancestors in their moments of preference for their own exclusive advantage, we join with them in their guilt and bad conscience, and we increase our own anxiety no matter how well we may succeed in repressing it.

Where our ancestors fought their ego-centric, selfish, exclusivist desires and lost the battle, they felt badly about it, and recorded their bad feelings in their protoplasm. Part of this protoplasm, with its records, was passed down on their children, and to their children' children, and so on down to us. The totality of our ancestors records of "bad conscience" moments constitutes that general background of uneasiness which all people know is there the moment they begin to examine the contents of their own mind. Some degree of anxiety is present as a background to all our everyday likes.

Only when we begin to "fight the good fight" within ourselves, and win some of the battles, does our anxiety begin to lessen, and only then do we begin to rescue our protoplasm from the discomforts of our ancestors defeats. Only when we have fought hard and won a very difficult battle do we begin to forgive our ancestors for their mistakes and weaknesses. And only when we understand all will we forgive all.

When we fight and win the battle against egoistic pursuit of exclusive self-advantage, our conscience becomes clear. When our conscience is clear we see everything in the world in a new light. The clear conscious mind sees Truth wherever it is, and, seeing Truth, can adjust itself easily to reality, and so act more efficiently in everything it undertakes.

And there is another advantage: the effect of a clear conscience works backwards down our ancestral protoplasmic line and conveys to our ancestors, by the law of resonance, the same effect to them. In a real sense, our fighting the good fight, and winning it, helps all our ancestors, all those that we too easily think of as "dead and gone". There is no death other than withdrawal from body, and what withdraws persists at other levels of being and receives by resonance the effects of all the efforts of their living descendants.

It is good to know that just as our ancestors by their deeds, laid the foundation of our character, so we by our deeds can act back by the law of resonance upon them, give them the benefits of our victories in "fighting the good fight" and help them towards the attainment of that final state of good conscience that is signified by the word "salvation".

We are all, we the present living, and they the "gone ahead" ancestors, parts of the one great stream of human substance, which came forth from God, the One Supreme, eternal life, and passed from eternity for a while into Time. Finally the victory won be each of us shall bring its benefits to all.

This is for us a very important fact to remember. Every victory we win in the good fight against selfishness and exclusivist purposes, not only benefits us, but also releases others of the human race from the guilt of their errors, for, as we win each battle, our victory is passed down the protoplasmic line and is assimilated by our ancestors.

We are not to think of our physical substance, our protoplasm, as merely chemical elements, as do materialists. We are to see it as chemical materials, the atoms of the scientist, but held together and organised by a field of life-force. When this life-force departs the chemical atoms fall apart and so the body corrupts, but the life-force itself continues at another level of being, or as we say, in the "next world".

Part 37.

We are to remember that the Life-force which moves in us and conducts all our activities is the power of the holy spirit in us, the Spirit which is God Himself. This life-force is not a thing made of atomic matter, but an organising force which brings together in a functioning pattern this atomic matter. (We must continually remind ourselves that so-called "matter" itself is but a behaviour of energy, energy organised into a pattern of action which allows us to view the world of things as what it is, a highly complex energy system).

All the things of the world are energy patterns in a vast ocean of power. This power has the very mysterious property of being able to feel its own state and condition. There is nothing in the whole of reality that is not made of this power. This power is that aspect of God's infinity of qualities which acts as the cause of all things, all events and all relationships of these. Nowhere is this power absent.

Because there is nowhere where this self-aware is not present, we say that God is omnipresent, everywhere throughout total reality. Because this power is the only real power, we say that it is omnipotent, all-powerful. Because this power is able to feel its own states and conditions, we say it is omniscient. This power is a threefold power, everywhere present, everywhere causative, everywhere self-knowing. Hence we talk of the Holy Trinity, "Trinity" because threefold, and "Holy" because the three aspects constitute One supreme Reality, the only ultimate Real Being, of which all other beings are derivative expressions.

This Holy or Whole Threefold Being is the Way, the Truth and the Life of Itself and of all its expressions as "other" beings. It is called the "Way" because it "makes itself", as a stream makes its way through a valley. It is called the "Truth" because in making its way it builds for itself perfect and true forms through which to experience itself. It is called the "Life" because in making its way and building for itself its innumerable forms, and operating through them, it feels its own significance and knows itself to be the one ultimate supreme living Being.

Some people find it difficult to think of God as a living Being, but find it relatively easy to think of Him as an intangible intelligence somehow observing the world in a more or less detached way, not totally unconcerned about world events, but not actively concerned in the day to day happenings of ordinary life.

This notion of a god not concerned with the events of ordinary every day life is false, because God is the only power in all things, and even the minutest event has actual significance for Him.

"Faithful in little, faithful in much". The tiniest wave on the ocean of life has its own special significance. From the wave-patterns in the Pacific Ocean, the ancient Polynesians could know the presence - of islands far away, and sail to them. There is nothing in the whole universe that is totally void of significance. Straws can show how the wind blows, and so the movement of minute visible things can show how the divine Spirit moves. "From things visible we can know the invisible".

Hidden motives may display themselves in the tiny movements of facial muscles. Slight variations of tension in the eyes can show a degree of interest or disinterest in any subject under discussion. Because power can feel its own condition and can modify its code of action accordingly, we can see the operations of power in the slight changes in the action of its physical vehicles, the bodies through which we live our lives.

Television's merciless zoom-lenses have put politicians and others on guard and set them trying to control their facial muscles, their gestures and postures in a way not so necessary in the days before the advent of the television. Everywhere the celebrities are made more conscious of how easy it is to "give oneself away", and the viewing public are becoming ever more critical of what they see. Everywhere there is "feedback" destructive as well as constructive. Everywhere sensitivity is increasing, and with it the speed of perception. The "quick" are made quicker, and even the "dead" (the slow of perception) are being wakened and compelled to rise from their mental graves.

And so, even with those who do not yet believe in the God that is the Spirit of immediate response, there is happening an awakening, a resurrection from the dead state of mental disinterest. The threat of a nuclear war, a world war of unparalleled ferocity, now stirs in millions of minds to alert them in a way before unknown.

In the old "conventional" wars, the battle fields and armies were more or less outside the towns and civilians could think of themselves as outside the battle zones, and get on with their ordinary lives, perhaps shorter in food supplies, etc. than in peace-time, but nevertheless less endangered than the fighting men.

But now all this has changed. The advent of long range nuclear missiles has placed everyone, civilians as well as army personnel at risk. And with this new risk, peoples' minds have everywhere begun to wake up. "Man's extremity is God's opportunity".

Men have been happy in their illusion of separativity for thousands of years. The exclusivist egos have sought to mind their own business, and not that of each other. But the threat of world nuclear war is teaching people that any man's business is everyman's business.

"No man is an island". Egoists like to believe in their insularity and the effectiveness of their defences, but it becomes daily more and more difficult for them to mind merely their "own business". A notice reading "Nuclear Free Zone" does not mean that the nuclear missiles can read, and will respect the directive.

Just as God has make of one blood all nations, so He has made of the one Universal Soul all other Souls. We are all of one origin, not only physically, but also psychologically and spiritually, and so our fate and destiny also are one. There is no escape from this fact: we are all in this world together. Every advance of one national power into the territory of another alerts the whole world. Everyone fears everyone else's intentions.

The cure for these fears is universal love, the same love that God has for all His creatures; but mankind is largely unready for the love. Hence men will bring upon themselves the necessary correctives for this unreadiness. It is by meditation on this human unreadiness that the world's prophets have been led to make their pronouncements. For just as God, the Supreme Power Source of all powers, is One, so His purpose is one; and this purpose cannot be thwarted by mere creatures produced expressly for the realisation of it.

God's purpose is to make all creatures finally like Himself, lovers and of life and of all beings. No creatures can halt forever the realisation of this purpose. Man has only Time to play with; God has eternity. God has all the trump cards.

We are of one flesh and blood and soul and spirit. From this fact we can never escape. Our attempts to do so sow the seeds of disharmonies, conflicts and wars. But all these struggles result in an awakening of awareness of our basic interrelatedness with each other. Daily our mental and emotional inertias become more and more disturbed. Psychiatrists talk of the "Stress" produced by the pace of modern living, but it is only the pace of life that is increased but also its complexity. Mankind is being driven towards ever more intimate interactivity. The social pattern of interactivities of commodities and services throws an ever increasing strain on every civilised community. And with this increasingly complex patterns of commodities and services exchange, goes also an increased awareness of the psychological and spiritual interrelatedness of all beings. Everything and every person is being forced by the acceleration of events into a more and more hastened speed of perception. Modern minds are sharper than those of primitives in their awareness of world-danger. Simple tribes in remote jungles know little or nothing of the deep-lying terror of annihilation which lurks in the minds of the civilised nations' inhabitants.

Prophets of the past have often cried out, "The time is at hand. Now is the time for repentance!" But their cries have gone largely unheeded. But today's prophets are in a better position than were their predecessors. Never has the real danger been so great, and with the increase of danger it becomes progressively harder to turn a 'deaf ear", to the prophet's words. The "time for repentance" really is Now. It always was, and always will be in the present Now that repentance is possible and imperative.

To "repent" is to re-think our position, to re-hang ourselves on the cross of existence, to make ourselves aware of our real dependence on the power of God. Our very first ancestors had this awareness as an intuitive content of their being, but lost it in the moment of turning away from it and preferring the things of time and matter to those of eternity.

"Eternity" is not simply "unending time"; it is the threefold everlasting presence of power-wisdom-presence that we worship as God. Eternity is spiritual intelligent ever-present power, held by Itself in the infinite unchanging divine Now that never shall pass away. The little momentary "nows" of time pass away as fast as they arise. This is the very nature of Time, that it is but a series of finite little "nows" each present one of which is displaced by the one that follows it, as it displaced the preceding one. But all these little "nows" are but minute bits of the One Supreme Eternal Now, which never was not, and never will cease to be, but always is.

The minds of fallen creatures are tied down to the little "nows" of the Time-process. But the mind of God is not so tied. Fallen man thinks Time and Matter the only realities. The man who can "repent", that is, re-think his position in relation to his eternal origin, is not tied down to Time-matter. Thus he is released from the inertias of Time, from the deadness of matter, and can regain his lost divine nature. He can become again a "Son of God", the prodigal returned to his Eternal Father whose ever-open arms lovingly await his home-coming.

What is it like to live untied by Time and Matter? Abraham was not fixated in such restrictions. He looked beyond Time into Eternity, beyond matter into the spirit. Naturally he was aware of the passage of temporal events and of the material worlds' resistant objects; but he saw beyond these the eternal wisdom which has created them, and knew why they had been precipitated into existence.

Without the world of Time-Matter, the Eternal Spirit would have remained hidden' in itself, a Mystery beyond the comprehension of creatures such as we are. But with the creation of the Time-Matter world, the invisible power of God became manifest in a manner comprehensible to us. Instead of the immediate whole presentation of the Eternal Now-Being of the divine Spirit, Time-Matter allows us to experience reality little by little, like the separate pictures that make up a cine film. Everything is adapted to our limited sense-organs, so that parts of the Eternal Reality can come within the grasp of our intellect and feeling-life. We have but to use our intelligence and put together the multitude of things we experience, and we will see everywhere the signs of a purposeful will, the will of the omnipresent supreme power which is the source of all things and of our own souls.

Part 38.

A problem sometimes raised is that of the relationship of time and eternity. Time continuously changes; eternity is changeless; yet eternity, the changeless, produces the changes of time. How can the changeless produce changes and still remain changeless?

Undoubtedly the things of time and matter change. This we see with our eyes, and perceive through our other senses. But the changes we see move in two directions, one towards disintegration and death, the other towards integration and life. Surprisingly these two opposite movements are behaviours of the same originating power or energy. Why does the one original energy work in two opposite directions?

If we look at the history of man's inventions, we see there also two opposite processes, an introduction of new ways of doing things, and the discarding or destruction of the old ways, There is evidence of a force in man that is ever working towards new and more efficient ways of utilising the things, materials and energies that constitute the world.

This force drives man to change the pattern of events in his environment. He may think that he is ambitious for better levels of living. He seldom asks himself what is the source of his driving energy. Rather he tends to see only a relatively short-term goal for his activities. He seeks an improvement of his present life-style. He does not often ask himself what will be his final condition when all possible improvements have been made. He changes his situation and also thereby changes his own being. Man in time, as he experiences himself, is a changing being.

But "Time is the moving image of eternity". All the changes of time take place within eternity, and by the power and developmental intention of the eternal. The eternal is spirit, spirit is intelligent power. This intelligent power has always been, is now, and always shall be what it is. Its changelessness consists in the unalterable fact that it is intelligent power. Whatever changes it may precipitate, it yet remains eternally what it is, the intelligent power, the absolute cause of all the changes which characterise what we call the Time-process. The Eternal is changeless as to its properties of power and intelligence, and yet by this double property produces all the changes that we know as our vast universe and all the things within it.

This is what we are to remember in order to understand the relationship of the Eternal Changeless and the Time-Matter world of change. The Eternal is infinite intelligent power; the temporal is finite, bound power which, by its very boundness obscures in some degree the infinite intelligent power which creates it. The creation of boundaries is the bringing into existence of the forms of the things we see in the world.

Now, just as when a man finds a way of doing something better than earlier ways and so creates the conditions of the justified abandonment or destruction of earlier forms, so when the Eternal intelligent power puts into the Time-process a new and better way of living, it creates the conditions for the leaving of an earlier and less good way. This process of displacing earlier forms of living-patterns by later ones more suited for higher-level activities is the mode whereby intelligent power evolves ever nearer to its final goal. What is this final goal?

Eternal intelligent power is spirit. The final goal of spiritual evolution is the bringing into being of perfectly free, creative, intelligent beings. "His worship is perfect freedom." No higher or more perfect being can be conceived than this; a being of intelligence and power able to determine absolutely its own course of activity, a being able effectively to create for itself a world according to its own design, a world fit for itself to dwell in, a world in which itself can incarnate, and, embodied therein, can joy in its own wonderful creativity.

With such a final goal the process of spiritual evolution is guided over countless ages, through innumerable forms, each meaningful within the whole, each a step towards final total comprehension of life's possibilities.

We are not to scorn anything. Everything that has ever existed, now exists, or shall exist, is a part of the vast jigsaw pattern of ultimate Wisdom. Every step, even a side-step, contributes to the understanding of the final essential interplay of the universal forces which originate the world which we have to come to understand. Even mistakes play their part in the vast evolutionary plan. Often a mistake has opened a new door into a higher understanding, and incidentally taught the committer of it that ever-needed lesson of humility in the presence of the One Supreme Intelligent Power who is the Supreme Cause of all things.

Humility does not receive recommendation in order to make us think that we are miserable, impotent beings. It is given to us simply that we may realise that we are not yet at the end of our evolution; we have not yet attained the final state of the fully divinised human being to which our destiny calls us. We have a long way to go, and humility merely reminds us of this fact. It is not to cripple us or make us cease from our striving towards the Supreme Goal.

Within us, at the innermost centre of our being, is the Emanuel, the "God with us", the inner divine spirit that drives and guides us along the path of our evolution. This divine spirit is at once the origin and the goal of the evolutionary process. It is the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last step towards total divine Self-realisation. As Alpha, it is the Divine Light, the Father of all Lights. As Omega it is the attained goal, splendid in its glorious Self-fulfilment.

This Alpha-Omega is in the innermost centre of all human beings. It is the Eternal Spirit Self-substantiated in man as it is in the universe at large It is the absolute guarantee of the final salvation of all beings that apply to it for aid in their self-development. In its Alpha-aspect, it is the Supreme Intelligence from which all intelligences derive their light. In its Omega aspect, it is the Mystical Body of attained ultimate reality.

Our own intelligence is a little light borrowed from the Great Alpha-light. Our own body is a little zone within the Omega-Substance which is the Body of God. When we think truly, our thought is an inner shining in our mind of the Alpha-light. When we move our body to act rightly, our action is the action of our own little area of the divine Cosmic Body. When we feel sincerely, our feeling is the Self-experience within us of the pure Alpha-Light-Omega-Body of God, at work in the place where we are.

This is an astonishing thought. Nowhere is God not. God is Spirit. Therefore spirit is where we are; God is where we are, where all of us are. God is Infinite Intelligent Power, here where we are. Here, where we are, we are in God, of God, of His Intelligence and His Power. When we lift a single finger, we do so by the grace of God, by His power and his intelligence. When we move our body it is as an instrument of His will.

Yet we are not passive instruments. From the power of the God within us we can choose our life-direction. We can choose to act as God's instrument, in His name, or we can choose to act as if we owed nothing to Him. We can choose to believe ourselves self-generated, and act only for our self-advantage. To believe is to choose. We do not simply believe, as if we had no alternative but to believe. Belief is an act of our will. We think we see an advantage in believing this or that, and so believe.

As we choose to believe, so we choose to evolve, or devolve. We can move nearer to the ultimate goal of absolute freedom, or we can move away from it towards deepening degrees of bondage. Does anyone really choose bondage rather than freedom? Yes. Why? Because freedom implies self-responsibility. The free being is responsible for himself, and responsible for his degree of freedom in God's presence.

Where we are not yet perfectly free in our will, it is because we have not yet willed our perfect freedom, because we have not yet willed our total self-responsibility. Total self-responsibility seems to the ego-bound mind a tremendous burden. One with such responsibility has no excuse for his actions. His actions are the expression of his free-will. The effects of his actions must by cosmic law return to him. Which one of us is ready happily to receive from the universe the reactions of all the beings affected by our actions? The burden is very great. "As we sow, so shall we reap". This is a hard saying. How many of us are prepared to accept with equanimity the fruits of our actions?

"Dodging consequences" is a favourite game of human beings. To be able to "get away with it" is popularly considered to be a sign of superior intelligence. But is it really so? Does not real superior intelligence assent to the idea that it is only right and just that we some day come face to face with the consequences of our actions?

What kind of world would it be if every action produced no reaction? How could we possibly know where we were up to with ourselves, how far we had gone in our evolution towards the goal? We would shoot our energies into the world, and they would not produce any effect, either on the things of the world or on ourselves. It would be as if we shot our arrows into a pure void, and never ever received back a message that our arrows had been loosed. Such a world would be no world at all in any meaningful way.

There is, however, something about us human beings. We love to think our lives are meaningful. If we think our lives meaningless, we become disorientated, dejected, miserable. Despair begins to wrap us round as an impenetrable mist or fog. We have lost direction. We are goal-less and so cannot evolve.

All evolution depends on a goal, whether this goal is adequately defined or not. The mineral world's goal seems to be simply to exist. The rocks press into their centre simply to perpetuate themselves. The plant-world's goal is not mere existence, but with this also growth and selfpropagation. The animal-world's goal is to exist, to grow, to propagate and to move about in the space available. The human world's goal is to add to all these processes a new principle: that of free creative activity, an activity that will change the world and everything in it. "Behold, I make all things new". And this changing of the world by mankind is to restore to it something precious that was lost long ago - the joy of supreme creativity such as God takes delight in.

The kind of men that Jesus called "dead", are those who have lost contact with the inner creativity of the Emanuel within, the divine Spirit of Eternity. To lose this contact is to fall into Time and Matter, to become a slave to closed systems of repetitive, uncreative behaviour. The "dead" are on a treadmill where-on every foot set down leads nowhere. The wheel turns, but the treader of the wheel stays where he is.

The man on the treadmill is the unhappiest of all creatures. Unlike the ox which has been put to work by man and has no thought that things should be other than they are, the human being knows that his life should have more meaning that that of endless circular plodding continued till death gives release.

Man is not content to live a meaningless life. For him activity without meaning is not real living. Something in the human soul says that life has a higher purpose than the treadmill provides, and this something is Spirit.

Part 39

The pet mouse of a child is usually kept in a little cage. Inside the cage is a small wheel into which the mouse can climb. When the mouse runs, the wheel turns. The mouse stays where it is in the wheel and its running feet drives the wheel round. The mouse does not get anywhere; it simply drives the wheel round and round. No doubt this is good exercise for the mouse's muscles, and helps to keep it fit; but the mouse learns nothing new after the first few revolutions.

In the ancient world, and still today in some countries, oxen are used to turn wheels that perhaps draw water or grind corn, or do some other useful work. Here the oxen are doing something better than merely exercise their muscles; they are freeing mankind from a ceaseless routine process and so liberating human energies for other, more creative activities.

Jesus distinguished between two kinds of human beings: the "quick" and the "dead". By the "dead" he meant those of mankind whose processes were under the dominion of habitual routines of thought and feelings which produce no new emergents, no new creative attitudes towards the world. By the "quick", Jesus meant those human beings whose minds ever perceive new possibilities. New ways of living, different from the old routines.

The "dead" are those who have fallen into routine behaviour patterns, which, if persisted in, will produce nothing new in the world, those who walk like the oxen, in the same circular path, treading over the same ground to no new effect: learning nothing new, gaining no new insights that might be profitable to their souls in a world changed by their own thought and feeling and will, The "dead" are not moving towards a new Eden or new Jerusalem. They know nothing of the Paradise that awaits the "quick".

The "quick" are those whose minds are awake, whose senses are active, whose feelings are supersensitive to new possibilities and whose will is strongly determined to reach a goal worthy of attainment. The "quick" are those who have faith in things worthwhile, beyond the present state of mankind.

We know that the "quick", in every situation, seize the initiative. They perceive that new things are possible, different ways of life better than those we have so far known, and they work intensely and interestedly towards the precipitation of those new, improved ways.

We have all heard of a fall from a once free state of man's soul. The ancient sages told of a time called the "Golden Age", when man had not yet lost his freedom, his grace; a time when man's mind and senses, and will had not yet fallen under the dominion of habitual routines. In the "Golden Age", man was a being of initiative and intelligence, capable of free creative activity, a being of destiny, whose purpose in the world was to change it, and raise it to ever higher4evels of significance. Man was then the creative representative on earth of the Universal Being who had created the world for the very purpose of demonstrating the very meaning of creativity itself.

Before the Fall, in the Great "Golden Age", man had been placed in charge of the further development of the world, and given the means to create, by his own will and intelligence and sensitivity, whatever was needful for that development. Man was God's agent in the world, working there for the realisation of God's purpose.

But at the Fall, a curious thing happened. Man forgot his real purpose, forgot his essential free creative will and intelligence, and became more interested in externals. He left his inmost creative centre and turned outwards into the external things of the world. Thus he lost awareness of his initiative, his free spirit, and was trapped in the outer forms of things. He became like a man who was so interested in the pleasure he derived from having a body and using it to enjoy the things of the world, that he forgot his Creative purpose in the world, and so sought only to give pleasure to himself by means of his body. Thus forgetting, he descended into a materialistic view of the world.

The Materialist is a man who thinks that the things of the world are the source of his ideas and feelings. He thinks that there is nothing in his mind except the results of the stimulation of his sense organs by external things. Thus he abandons his innermost centre of creativity and places himself under the dominion of the things of Matter. He becomes a slave to information given to him from things of the external world. He believes that he cannot change anything except by first studying the way that external material things work. He thinks that his thoughts, his ideas, feelings and actions, are all products of the action of material things upon his body. Thus he reduces himself to the level of a merely reactive material thing, complex no doubt, as is the physical body of a man, but nevertheless material, and subject to the laws that govern all material bodies. Like Esau, he has sold his birth-right, his free-spirit, for a mess of potage.

Before the Fall, Man could have fulfilled his destiny by using his free creative intelligence to change the world in ever more significant and valuable directions. He could have evolved to ever higher levels of being without having to depend on external material things for the sources of his information. Within Man is a special power, God-given, a power of intuition, of inner self-teaching, whereby he can gain supreme knowledge of everything in the universe, without all the drudgery of examining all the material things of the outer world.

This intuition, or inner self-teaching power, is set in motion by the practice of meditation and contemplation. Every great thinker of history has known and used these practices in order to conjure from the depths of his innermost soul the hidden wisdom that awaits there for the one who seeks and asks and knocks on the inner secret door.

Before the Fall, Man, by his intuition, awakened by his own initiative in acts of meditation and contemplation, could have designed and created an infinity of new worlds, more wonderful by far than this world in which we now live. This was the period of Creative Evolution, which at the Fall ceased. From the moment of the Fall Man lost his innermost awareness of his essential creativity, and became from then on dependent on things outside him to awaken his mind and stir his intelligence.

If some special act of grace had not occurred, fallen man would have been doomed forever to slavery to external things and their action upon him. He would have become a merely reactive mechanism, totally determined in his behaviour by the chance stimuli of external things. But the needed special act was done.

The intelligence of all beings has a source. The source is not inferior to the things that come from it. "Nothing goes up but that which came down". The source of intelligence is more intelligent than its derivatives. The source of all beings is God. God is more intelligent than any of the creatures He has made. The special act of grace which was done at man's fall, was an act of God. God, the supreme power and intelligence, creator of all things, at the Fall inserted into a man a special emanation of divine intelligence. This divine emanation we call Emanuel, God-within-us. It is the voice of cosmic conscience. If we will listen to it, is the power which will save us from our own foolish mistake. But to be saved by it, we must listen to it. It is a "still small voice", ever speaking within our soul. It is the same voice that we hear in the words of Jesus Christ.

People are often puzzled by the idea that the Infinite Godhead might speak inside the human mind. To understand how this can happen we must remind ourselves that the human mind is a part of the great cosmic mind, the universal mind that is God's. In our own mind we can hear our own intelligence speaking to itself. If we listen carefully, we can hear a dialogue, or even a multitude of dialogues going on between the various parts of our mind. And over and above all these voices, we can be aware that a consciousness is listening to all of them, a kind of awareness greater than that possessed by any particular voice or group of voices. Thus higher consciousness is the divine in us; it is the consciousness of the God that dwells in all of us.

By the Fall we lost our original free creative power and became enslaved by the stimuli that come to us from the things of the outer material world. By the special divine act of grace, there was inserted into us the saving consciousness of inner divinity, the God within, which is also the "Mind of Christ". By this inner divine mind we can do a special saving act, an act of "redemption". We can redeem or re-assess our position and purpose in the world.

"Redemption" is re-assessment in the light of inner divine consciousness. Redemption allows us to judge where we stood before the Fall from Grace, and where we now stand in relation to it. To attain "Grace" is to re-gain the state of spiritual free creativity that humanity enjoyed before the foolish fall into identification with the material body and things of the outer world. If we listen to the God-within-us, placed there by the special divine saving act at the Fall, we can re-assess our relation to the universe in which we live, and to its Creator. We can re-find our true relation with Supreme Reality and re-enter the lost paradise which is our true eternal home.

Today almost everyone believes in "evolution" of lower forms of life to higher forms. Materialist scientists tend to teach that this "evolution" is largely a product of "accidents", by which some forms come to have more survival probability that others. But there is more to the evolutionary process than this. Whatever "accidents" may have happened in the past, or are happening now, or may happen in the future, there is more than "accident" at work putting men into outer space, more than "accident" probing beyond the orbits of the outer planets of our solar system, more than "accident" penetrating into the deepest secrets of the atom, where so-called "Matter" melts away into fields of force, where the apparent division of body and mind, material and spiritual reality, become indistinguishable. Here is where "Grace" can re-enter human life and destiny.

Today we are approaching nearer and nearer to disclosing the true relationship of mind and body, of spirit and matter. The old naive notion that matter was made of irreducible hard particles or "atoms", has gone. Nuclear research has shown us that "matter" is but a form of energy. Thus the old division of "mind" and "matter" as two utterly dissimilar things has had to be given up. Mind and Matter are two aspects of energy, two modes of behaviour of a hidden something that operates behinds both. This "hidden something" is what we mean by "Spirit".

The difficulty in understanding "Spirit" is that it is invisible and intangible. We cannot see it, and we cannot touch it with our "Material" hands. But its invisibility and intangibility do not prove it non-existent. We cannot see or touch a magnetic field, but it gives evidence of its presence by the way it can move needles on dials, or move iron-fillings about, or pull the opposite poles of two magnets together, or force the like poles apart.

So it is with the invisible, intangible spirit. It can move our souls to feel and think and act, and thus without the mediation of any gross external material things to aid it.

Part 40

From the moment of man's fall, the special divine act of grace by which God inserted into man the inner voice of divine consciousness, which is the human conscience at its highest level, gave to man a new power. His original creativity, which had become obscured at the Fall, and by which he had been destined to aid in the evolution of the World, now was replaced by a capacity for inner re-assessment, the capacity that is signified by the word "Redemption".

Those of mankind that Jesus calls the "dead" do not redeem or reassess themselves. They have routine processes of thought which maintain themselves in the same old forms and admit no new light into their minds. As they do not re-assess themselves, they continue in their old set ways, and cannot change. The memory of their once so precious freedom has lapsed from their consciousness. Their thoughts continue in the same old grooves. They are "dead in their sins".

Their "sins" are the private aims which they set up long ago and never re-assessed. These aims isolate them from universal reality, hold their minds in the prison of thought- patterns, set up at the time of their fall from free creativity. Such thought-patterns, based as they were on the erroneous idea that the external world of material things could give satisfaction, continue to chain them to the things of that world, and so hold them back from the rediscovery of their inner spiritual creativity.

Unless the "dead" will redeem or re-assess their position in the universe, they will continue in their routing behaviour-patterns, and never re-attain their true status as spiritualised human beings.

Now, we are to remind ourselves that whatever "Mind" and "Matter" are, they are both aspects of reality. "Mind" is as real as "Matter". Mind and matter are both forms of energy. The forms may change, but the energy remains what it always has been, a capacity for action.

Mental energies and Material energies differ in their external forms and manifestations, but as energies, both are indestructible. We may change the form of action of energy, but not the fact that it is energy.

Thus the energies which manifest as the routine habitual processes of the "dead" do not cease to be energies, and at the so-called 'death" of the physical body, they continue in their routine behaviour-patterns in the next world. Thus, after "physical death" those whom Jesus calls the "dead", continue in their established activity patterns just as they did when in their physical bodies on earth. Their behaviour patterns carry on beyond physical death without any new forms. Such souls, identified with their unchanging behaviour-patterns, continue as they did during their earth-life, without any re-assessment or redemption. It was for the sake of such souls that Jesus descended into Hell, for "Hell" is just such an endless unchanging routine process, a mere shadow of a possibility of the real spiritual life which constitutes the creative activity of the "quick".

In the routine behaviour of the unredeemed "dead", all the petty worries and fears that beset them during their lives on earth continue to act on them in the next world as in this.

We all know how difficult it is to break a long established habit. We are not all alcoholics or drug-addicts, but we know that such unfortunate people, if they try to break their habits, under-go "withdrawal symptoms" that may be very unpleasant. We know also that people with strongly established habit patterns tend to become irritable and bad-tempered if another person tries, without permission, to break them from their habit.

Habits are energy-patterns, circular tours of nerve-energy running round nerve-path-ways in the brain and body. These circular tours at their start are not "habits", but are experiments in certain kinds of activity, which have either captured the person's imagination, or have been initiated by him as worthy of investigation. But once a circular tour has become well established in the nervous system, it tends to perpetuate itself and to resist attempts to change it. Also, after long establishment it tends to lapse from consciousness, so that the first person who first initiated it becomes no longer aware of its action, and, if it is pointed out to him, will be surprised, and may even deny that he has such a habit. Such may be the condition of persons after leaving their physical body at so-called "death".

A well-established habit, lapsed from consciousness, may be called a "living death". People in such a condition are those that Jesus called the "dead". To themselves, no thought of their condition arises. They simply operate like a machine designed particularly for their kind of operation. But to those who are not so "dead" the thought of being in their condition may be very distressing, and to the "quick" the very idea of being so mechanically determined is abhorrent. The "dead" may not feel their "deadness", but the "quick" can see the condition of the "dead" for what it is, an imprisonment and denial of the vigour and beauty of spiritual creativity, and so the "quick" will to increase their "quickness" and determine themselves never to lose it. To them, routine is death, and free initiative is spirit, and life.

Now, because the "quick" know that free initiative gives the highest form of life, they are in a position to act on the "dead" in ways that the "dead" cannot act on others or themselves. The "quick" are in a better position in the game of life. They can initiate actions that continually improve their survival value and developmental possibilities, and these same actions may be very difficult for the "dead to respond to or assimilate.

It is very important for us to recognise that there are degrees of "deadness" and of "quickness". Not every one of the "dead" is exactly as "dead" as the others, and not every one of the "quick" is as "quick" as the others.
Now, to be "quick" is to have an alert intelligence, and the more intelligent a person, the more he understands that the fates and destinies of all beings are bound together. But a person who is "quick" but not so "quick" as he might be, may be less aware of the linkage of all lives. Such a one might be proud of the degree of "quickness" that he has, and in his pride might think himself "superior" in some way to the "dead". He might go even further and come to believe that the "dead" are fair game on which he can demonstrate his quickness by taking advantage of them. He may even consider himself as playing a justified role of predator, with the "dead" as his prey.

It is here where the "dead" cannot afford to remain so. It is here that it becomes imperative that they wake up. All the great religious teachers have called upon the "dead" to waken from their sleep, that sleep which is imposed on them by their long-established habits.

At the highest level of development, the "quick" have full knowledge of the interrelatedness of all living beings, and of their universal destiny, and so have great compassion and consideration for the "dead" and for those of the relatively "quick" who are not as quick as they will ultimately become. Thus the highest of the awakened are universally helpful and work incessantly for the re-attainment of the lost spiritual freedom of the fallen. Such awakened ones, because of their commitment to full universal compassion and helpfulness, are called "Sons of God".

In principle, every man has the potential of this divine sonship, and may realise it by taking certain steps on a special path already fore-trodden for him by Jesus Christ. The first of these steps is the greatest, for all subsequent steps of the path are presupposed in it. This first step is the giving up of the idea of separate self-existence. The great sages and teachers and mystics have called it the step of ego-annihilation; or self-abnegation. Because it is the first and most important of all the steps of the path, it requires the greatest amount of energy and courage to take it. Once having seen the logical necessity of is for the gaining of spiritual freedom there can be no going back. "Remember Lot's wife", says Jesus. To look back at the material world after having had a glimpse of the meaning of spiritual freedom, is to be turned into a "a pillar of salt". "Salt" symbolises here materialism and the sense-dictated life implicit in it.

When a person seriously and sincerely undertakes to annihilate his egotism, he enters into the path that leads into free creative spiritual life. But this path is not easy to tread in this materially based world, where the values and purposes are Mammon-ruled. Not only will the ordinary people who have not yet decided to redeem or re-assess their way of life come against him, but inside his own being, in his body of flesh, a myriad ancestral habit-patterns will also react against his decision.

Not only do we have habits of thought and feeling and actions which we have personally set up inside us since our birth, but there are in us other habits bequeathed to us by our ancestors. We have family and racial habits, ways of thought and feeling in our very flesh, which tend to pass into action as soon as a certain kind of stimulus strikes upon our organism. We are all inheritors of the total past of our ancestry. The Irish problem, and the Jewish problem, and the Negro problem, and all problems of race, religion and colour, have come to us from the total ancestry of the human race.

"God has made of one blood all nations", but the nations find great difficulty in remembering their common ancestry, and indeed have very little desire to do so. There is too much at stake for the ego-driven. Everywhere, in all countries, and amongst all nations, pride of position is taught as an essential for maintaining the social hierarchy, with all its class divisions and advantages. But the advantage of one group may be the disadvantage of another.

In India, when a lower caste was given aid by a group of well-wishers, and a pump installed to enable them to draw clean water, a higher caste group smashed the pump, for by the raising of the lower level, the whole caste system was believed to be threatened.

When a man takes the first step of the path of God, he is thus in danger from those who have not yet taken the same step. To confess openly that one has declared war on egotism in oneself, is to make all who believe the declaration to be serious very wary. When one declares war on egotism in oneself, one might then start to do the same against it in others. The ego-structure in man has been liked to the skin of the snake. When the snake is ready to slough it off, it will do so, but not before; and if one tries to strip the skin from the snake before it is ready to lose it, it becomes very angry.

Hence Jesus warn us that in our relationships with other persons, we are to be as wise as serpents. Just because we decide to do battle against the materialistic tendencies of the ego in ourselves, does not give us a right to make war on the same tendencies in others. Finally our deepest problems are those of motivation, and we do not have the power or the right to probe into the very depths of other people's souls. Nothing is so deep as the human heart, for at its greatest depth it reaches down into the heart of Jesus Christ, and so into the centre of God Himself.

Part 41

We have said that finally our deepest problems are those of motivation. What is motivation? It is that which causes a living being to move, to pass from a state of in-action to a condition of action. A motive is that in us which induces us to move.

Most of us prefer rather to live than to die. We have inbuilt in us a survival tendency. Survival we may call our basic motive. If we do not survive, we are generally convinced that we shall not do anything else. Hidden within this conviction is 6 belief that our survival is a precondition of every other thing we may do.

For most of us this survival motive has become tied to our physical body. When suddenly physically attacked we usually find that our body itself leaps to self-defensive action. It is as if our very body itself had an inbuilt survival tendency. We see this tendency very obviously exhibited in the sub-human animal world where the almost invariable response to any physical attack produces a fight, flight, or feign response. An animal under attack either fights its attacker, or takes flight, or feigns death by holding itself as still as possible in the hope that it will be overlooked. If it feels itself strong enough to fight successfully, if does so. If it does not feel strong enough for combat, it tends to flee from its attacker. If it feels that it cannot flee, it tends to "freeze", to become immobile.

For most ordinary human beings this three-fold response possibility seems to be a "rule of life". But some human beings show another kind of response, a response in which fight, flight and feign (which we may call the "Triple-F response), do not show themselves. Instead there is a fourth kind of response, which we may call "the conscious intelligent self response". This is the kind of response we see so admirably exhibited in the life of certain great men, and for true Christians, in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. When attacked, he did not physically defend himself, nor did he take flight, nor did he freeze into immobility and a sham death, hoping his presence would be overlooked by his enemies.

The man of the fourth response, where he exists, exhibits a remarkable degree of self-control, a self-control based not on fear, but rooted in a superlatively high intelligent awareness of the true nature of reality. Above all, such a man knows himself intimately: he knows the real source of his life-power and intelligence: he knows that he is one with the Spiritual Source of all being.

For most people, certainly for materialists, physical survival is the only real thing of survival. For them, physical death is not only the end of life on earth; it is the end of life itself. The dead man is dead in all senses of the word, that is, incapable of response, physically, emotionally, mentally, conceptually, volitionally or spiritually. The totally dead body is like a stone, inert and insensate, a mere thing lying immobilely where it is.

But some people are less conditioned by materialism and the ideas that stem from it. Some people believe that mere physical survival is not enough to justify the continuance of the human race. These people believe that there are values in the universe other than those of Mammon-worshippers. Accretion of material properties and other forms of physical wealth are seen to serve mankind only for the duration of life on the material plane, whether on earth, or on some other planet, or on some space-station somewhere in the physical world.

These people who believe in some form of life beyond that of the mere physical world have another purpose than that of merely material survival. They are not satisfied to live a life on earth or on another planet, or on a material man-built platform moving amongst the stars. They do not believe that a material one-plane existence is the whole of reality. They believe that there are dimensions of existence beyond all that may be conceived by materialist man. They feel in the very centre of their innermost being another reality, a multi-planar reality of spirit.

What do these non-materialist people mean by "spirit"? They mean Creative intelligent self-operative power, eternal, everywhere present; and they believe themselves essentially one with this spirit, one not as lost in it, but one as found and founded in it. They believe that whatever true, intelligent creativity there is in the universe, or in any being within it, it is of the original infinite creative spirit. They believe this spirit is eternal, and they are not afraid to call this eternal spirit "God".

Jesus of Nazareth was such a man, one who declared himself one with this eternal spirit. One who called this same spirit, "Father", and told his followers to do likewise, thus making them all into his spiritual brothers, Sons of the One true God.

Just as there are biological "blood brothers" on earth, so there are "spiritual brothers" in heaven; and by "heaven" we mean the perfect balance of infinite spiritual power. And just as amongst biological "blood brothers" there is possibility of co-operation of a particular kind, so with "spiritual brothers", but here the possibility is always actual.

Earthly "blood brothers" may co-operate in action against a common enemy, or to attain some agreed aim; yet they may act against each other where their aims differ.

"Spiritual brothers", true Sons of God, never strive against each other, never try to destroy each other; never work to bring each other’s purposes to nought. Always their eyes are upon the same goal, upon the furthering of the purpose of the eternal Spirit, upon the justification of the ways of God to mankind.

The earthly "blood brothers" lead an ambiguous life, tread an uncertain path with each other, one moment co-operating, the next working against each other, either openly or surreptitiously.

"Spiritual brothers" walk together along a unific path, known to them in all its tessellations, all the minute steps of life's mosaic open to each one of them. There is no misunderstanding here, no mystery, no non-comprehension of each other's part in the furtherance of God's plan. "Spiritual brothers" know themselves to be the Sons of the One Universal Spirit, from whom nothing can be hidden. These Sons of the One Father walk in Light, the Light of Divine Intelligence, empowered by the One Infinite Power, source of all beings. These Sons know that the final victory of Light over Dark, of Wisdom over ignorance, was won before the foundation of the material world.

When we compare the two types of "brothers", those of the "blood" and those of the "Spirit", we find ourselves in the presence of the necessity of choice. Seeing the alternatives we must place ourselves on one side or the other. We must decide whether we shall tread warily with each other, as "blood brothers" do, sometimes agreeing and sometimes not; or whether we shall walk openly side by side in the light of the all-comprehending Spirit; exchanging all that we know with each other for the furthering of the Divine Purpose.

This Divine Purpose is nothing less than the creation of Sons of God by the reclamation of fallen men. With one man, our first human ancestor, all men fell. With one man as leader, all men can be raised again. This one man is he who was first to give himself totally to the Will of God. First to say with his whole being "Into Thy hands I commend my spirit". "My will is to do the will of Him who sent me". "I and my Father are one".

Those human beings who see in reality more than a merely material world, those who feel within the centre of their heart the Spirit of God, those who desire to become one in their will with the creative eternal spirit, these have nothing to fear. However little energy they can gather together, however feeble the efforts they are able to make towards the furthering of the purpose of the Divine Spirit, they are assured of final victory. It is not the actual physical performance that a man can make that determines his acceptability to God. It is his preference for God's Way.

This preference alone, no matter how weakly it may at first show itself to be, is like the seed of an invisible tree which must make itself ultimately visible by simply following the law of its own innermost being. The acorn becomes the Oak-tree. The tiny preference in man for spiritual life becomes finally the all-comprehending, all-encompassing Spiritual life itself. The love-seed in the littlest heart of man grows and becomes the all-embracing love-tree of the eternal spirit.

This love-seed, sown by God in the heart of fallen man, preferred by man to the hate-seed sown in the material world by the rebellious spirit of the Satanic impulse, must inevitably grow to its fullest stature. The man who nurtures in himself this love-seed must finally see it embodied in his whole being. Once preferred, it must grow. Like a tender shoot of a delicate plant that amazingly finds its way, upwards through a narrow crack in a concrete paving stone, and finally breaks apart that stone, so must the tiny preference for the creativity of the free spirit find its way through the interstices of the human material fabric and finally break through to blossom in the open light of the Divine Spirit.

"Blood brothers" of the material world have come to think physical force the final determinant of the relationships of mankind. "Spiritual brothers" know otherwise, and place their faith in the ever-present, supremely gentle preference for divine light. Just as certain kinds of fungus grow in the dark, but melt to nothingness in the presence of bright sunlight, so there are in the minds of materialist "blood brothers" certain kinds of erroneous ideas which may grow quite efficiently in a darkened, ignorant mind, but on exposure to the light of true knowledge vanish away and leave no trace.

It is possible for "blood brothers" to shake off false materialistic notions of their relations, and by a simple act of self-re-assessment convert themselves into "spiritual brothers" walking openly with each other the same straight path. Happy indeed are those who do so. There is a supreme delight in all those who see clearly where they are going, and what is the final spiritual destination of re-evaluated humanity. this delight is not for those who prefer darkness.

The essential characteristic of the materialist is a non-belief in any spiritual explanation of the phenomena of the universe. Today the oversimplified materialism of the nineteenth century, with its naive "atoms" of unsplitable nature, has gone. The atom has been split and found to be merely a manifestation of energy. Really, in today's idea-context, it is no longer correct to talk of "materialism" as a tenable view of reality. Rather it would be safer to think in terms of "energism". But the old inertias of thought will continue and people still hold to "materialism" as if it were a legitimate view of reality; and those who are content with their "materialism" lead lives based on the notion that at the death of the body, there is simply a cessation of the state called "living". And until death comes, life is to be conceived as a struggle for survival, where each individual's first consideration is to be for himself. If a degree of cooperation between individuals happens to be profitable for a time, then for a time there shall be co-operation, but if there is no profit, then cooperation is a waste of energy.

For diplomatic reasons the materialists shall not put their cards on the table face upwards, and all shall give lip-service to the idea of mutual helpfulness and fair dealing. What is not realised is that this kind of mental acrobatics leads to neurological disintegration, and with this the loss of psychological unity or harmony of self. In gaining the materialists' world, one can lose one's soul. But the convinced materialist does not care about this. He accepts Schizoid behaviour as part of ordinary social phenomena.

Part 42

Schizoid behaviour is behaviour split into unrelated bits, separated activities not co-ordinated with each other. There is far more of this type of behaviour in the world than most of us care to realise. Not only in mental hospitals is it found. There it is just more obvious than outside. People at large have managed to conceal their mental departmentalism from each other and from themselves, sufficiently to conduct their lives in some socially acceptable manner.

But there is another kind of behaviour possible for us, a kind of activity of our being which is not departmentalised in such a way that parts of us do not know what the other parts are doing. This non-departmentalised behaviour is that which we are able to accomplish when we know ourselves thoroughly.

The Delphic oracle bore the words "Know thyself'. It is certain that if we do not know ourselves, we shall not be able to become the kind of beings we would prefer ourselves to be. Full self-knowledge is the precondition of the wholeness of our being that we call "health". Health means wholeness, of body, mind, soul and spirit. It implies harmonious interfunction of all the parts of our being.

Now, such harmonious interfunction is not easy to attain. It requires that we know what kind of beings we are, what kind of materials we are made of, what kind of forces are operative within us. Where we do not know what is activating us, we are at the mercy of the activating forces.

In its own system of symbology, the Bible tells of what mankind is made. It tells us that human beings are composites of Spirit and Matter, soul and body, that we have mind and feelings; and it tells us how to use these in the most efficient manner. It tells us also, and this is most important, what is our ultimate goal.

To lack a defined goal is to be aimless. To be aimless is to wander fruitlessly, to miss the real purpose of living. We are here on earth, not to expend our energies to no effect. We are here to learn what kind of beings we are, and to realise all the potentials we have, and so to make us into such kinds of beings that we shall be glad to be.

As to our physical bodies, we are "dust of the ground", merely the chemical materials of which the earth is composed. Our bodies obey the "law" of gravity, and of chemistry and electronics and various other "laws". But we are not merely "dust of the ground". These materials of which our physical bodies are composed are influenced by other forces than those of the material world that surrounds us and constitutes our physicality. And here is where the believer in spirit parts company with the merely materialistic scientist. "Intelligence" and "Will" are not material facts accessible to laboratory investigation. But they have accessibility to sincere introspection.

Introspection is a looking into the contents of our mind, a process of searching within ourselves to disclose our inner thoughts and feelings and motivations. What we find in our introspective self-examination we cannot find any other way. Measuring our brain waves and nerve impulses by electronic devices does not tell us what we think and feel and will. It gives us readings on various kinds of dials or screens, but these readings do not tell us what ideas and likes and dislikes and volitions we have. The realities of our psychological self-experience are not accessible to electronic metering. Yet these realities are what make our lives worth living or not.

Let us realise, then, that external electronic devices have not displaced the need in us for introspective self-examination. Not external scientifically designed machines can save our souls. In spite of all scientific advances, and they have been many and marvellous, and will be more so in the future, we still are essentially what we always were: beings of thought and feeling and will. Needing inner self-knowledge in order-to be able to attain the inner and outer harmony we all know that we must find if our lives are to be lived purposefully, intelligently and sensitively with each other.

Where we do not know ourselves, there is a high probability that the parts of our being will contain some contradictory elements. Only full self knowledge can. give us the power to remove such factors. Inner self-contradiction is the main cause of our disharmonies, both in our selves and in our relationships with each other. The disagreements that make wars between nations are merely larger scale examples of the discordances between the parts of our own individual beings. The threat of nuclear war on an international scale is merely a magnified version of the inter-neuronic battle that disrupts our inner peace. Not until each and every individual has attained inner wholeness will there be a real possibility of perfect peace between nations.

How is such peace to be gained? Jesus and other great teachers of the world have told us that universal love is the only real solution of the problem. But as a bishop said on one occasion, "Two thousand years of Christian exhortation has produced little result". Exhortation from outside cannot compel an inner change of heart. The heart itself must initiate the needed change. By "heart" we mean here not the fleshy pump in our chest that impels the blood through the body. We mean the feeling sensitivity that recognises that all living beings, because of their very livingness, are demonstrated to be of one prime source.

This one source is what Jesus called "Our Father", the Father of all of us. "Father" means generative power. All living beings are generated or brought into being from one primordial power. This power is that which religious people call "God" and philosophers call the "Absolute" and scientists may call "universal energy", the differing names refer to the same originating cause. However we come to think of it, or argue about it, we cannot help recognising the fact of power as the primal origin of all things.

Another fact we cannot help seeing is that everywhere we look we see evidences that this originating power has a capacity to act in an orderly manner, not that order is seen equally established everywhere, but that it can and does bring itself to be orderly in a sufficient number of instances to convince us that the order in the universe is no mere accident.

When an expert violin-maker takes some pieces of wood and by the work of his hands, directed by the power of his mind, produces a beautifully toned violin, we do not think that this instrument is the result of an accident. We know that an intelligent power has been at work. We also know that there has been more than one violin-maker in history, and that the various great makers have shared in that intelligent power that knows how to make beautiful instruments. If we were able to gather together all the great violin-makers of history, from all times, we would find that all would agree that there are certain principles that must be obeyed if beautiful violins are to be made, and that there is a power and an intelligence at work wherever they are made.

Everywhere that anything of beauty has ever been produced by an act of man, we see evidence of the operation of intelligent power. Now it would be foolish to profess that an intelligent artist had himself been the sole originator of the intelligence-power which his work demonstrates. There have been many great artists, and there will be more in the future. All share in or draw from a vast source of intelligent power. This power all geniuses have sought to draw up from the centre of their own beings as living water from the eternal well of life.

Only a very unilluminated mind could believe itself to be the sole source of whatever intelligence operates through it. All beings are modalities of one supreme intelligent power. To recognise this is to take the first step towards the harmonising of all beings. If we were, each individual one of us, totally severed from each other, so that only totally empty space existed between us, we could not communicate with each other. Lacking intercommunication, there could be no harmony between us.

As in the outer world that we call the great universe, so with the inner world that is our own individual being. If the atoms and molecules of our bodies were absolutely disconnected from each other and floating in totally void space, there could be no harmonious interrelation of them, and our bodies as they actually exist could not have come into being. The fact that our bodies do exist demonstrates the operation of some intelligent power. There is energy in our bodies, and there is design, that is, form functioning in a survival-orientated manner.

If we see that the energy and design in our bodies are two modes of one primal originating power in us, we arrive at the One worthwhile object of worship. Whether we are conscious of it or not, what we all worship is intelligent power, the power that can formulate itself efficiently, the power that knows what to do and can do it. At the universal level this is the intelligent power that we call "God", the supreme object of the worship of all intelligent beings. At the level of individual men, it is that very same power that constitutes their individuality and all in them that is worthy of salutation.

"If thine eye be single, thy whole body is full of light". This means that if we have inner unity, our whole being will be full of understanding. To attain this singleness of being, we must eliminate all contradictions from our will; we must cease to think one thing, feel another, and will something quite other. We must unify our thought, feeling and will, so that finally we shall be at one with our own Self, and this Self is the God within.

This question of the God within is a very subtle one. We all know that in order to be worthy of the name "God", the creator of the universe must be of unlimited power, wisdom, intelligence and presence. He must be everywhere. But if He is everywhere He must be in us, in the very centre of our being, as well as infinitely beyond us. His unlimited power and wisdom must be inside us as well as outside.

But if He is inside us, why does He not make Himself innerly manifest in our hearts and minds? Why does He leave us to our own devices? Why does he let us make foolish and harmful mistakes? To understand this, we must see that when God made us, He had a simple alternative. He could have made us as perfect machines, entirely dominated by rules of action place in us from our origination, that is, He could have made us puppets entirely moved at the will of Himself as grand puppeteer over all. Or He could have made us with a degree of freedom, so that within certain limits we could do whatever we like within his universe.

If God had made us only as puppets, void of free will, in effect He would have no one to play with but Himself. But by allowing us free will to choose our courses of action within the universe, He has provided Himself with intelligent companions to join in His creative activities. This is what we mean when we say "God made us for Himself". That we have not yet realised the full wonder of this fact does not alter it. At some time in the future we shall do so. Meanwhile God as one of His attributes, infinite Patience.

Part 43

God's infinite patience allows us to travel at our own pace, to evolve and develop in directions which we chose for ourselves. We are not puppets moving only as outer forces act upon us. Within the large environment of our world we can chose where to go and how to conduct our lives. As long as we have respect for certain natural laws, such as that of gravity and acceleration etc., we can accomplish whatever purposes we set for ourselves.

But in the midst of all our freedoms we do not escape the effects of one ever-present law, the law that says that every act that we do has altered the nature of something in the world around us, and that the altered thing must act back upon us in a new way, with which we shall have to deal. We may call this the law of action and reaction. Hindu philosophy calls it the law of KARMA. Jesus puts it in the words, "As you sow, so shall you reap.

The word "Karma" is interesting because it contains a hint of the cause of most of our actions, the cause that we call desire. Nearly all of our everyday actions spring from desire. Desire is seen at work throughout the whole world of living things, most obviously in ourselves and in animals, less clearly seen in plants.

What is desire? It is an energy driving living being to try to attain something they do not yet possess. It is a force that acts to seize and add to the living whatever the living may feel might increase its life-capacity. Desire is thus a driving power which is seeking always to attain more than it has already has. It is a force giving evidence of a sense of lack. Desire wants something. Wanting is a sign of the inner sense of lack.

Desire, then, is the evidence that living beings have not yet reached the fullness of that sense of power that alone can give them perfect peace. Where-ever we feel or think ourselves deficient or ineffectual, we feel disquiet, we sense that all is not as we would prefer it to be. To lack power is to lack an essential of living.

We cannot live effectively or survive in any way unless we have some power. We need power to move our limbs, power to breathe in the air without which we cannot survive, to take in and digest our food, to move our bodies from place to place and to accomplish our work. Power is everywhere the effective cause of every act of coming to be. The whole world, the entire universe itself, is a manifestation of power. Nowhere does anything come into being other than the operation of some form of force or energy.

Now, when we consider the fact of the omnipresence of power as the primary cause of all things, we are considering that the mysterious presence that people of all ages, consciously or unconsciously, have worshipped, and this mysterious universal presence is something that the sages of all ages have called "God", the supremely worshippable Being, and the absolute source of all other beings.

Anything whatever that exists does so because it has power to do so. Power is the absolute basis of Being, and from power all beings derive their existence. Power is called by wise men "mysterious" because it is itself not a thing, but the ultimate source and cause of a thing. We cannot put our finger on power as such. We can touch an expression (a "pressing out") of power, as when we place our thumb against one of our fingers. Our fingers and thumb are visible and tangible, but the power that expresses itself as thumb and finger is itself invisible and intangible. Power has puzzled thinkers of all ages. The greatest intellects have wrestled with the problems of power; the most strong-willed of history's great heroes have sought to seize power inside the depths of their own being in order to increase the power they already possessed. The great Alchemists have sought by all kinds of strange techniques to attain the power which, if gained, they were certain would confer upon them that eternal durability which that power already possesses, and which confers immortality.

The forms of power may change, but the power that creates those forms remains eternally what it has always been and is and shall be. This power is that to which we refer when we say it is "the same yesterday, today and forever".

This mysterious power, the source of all whatever that has existed, is existent, or shall exist, and is the only true worshippable. It is the source not only of the energies that constitutes all things, but also of the informing intelligence in all things. We do not worship it simply as naked push-power, but also as the source of all creative intelligence and not only as the source of creative intelligence, but also of sensitivity, the capacity to feel precisely whatever is happening everywhere within it. The Universal Source-Power is not only the Prime Mover of all things, but also the creative intelligence and supreme senior of all things. From it absolute power it can move all things; from its absolute intelligence it can structure all things; From its absolute sensitivity it can take part in the experiences of sufferings of all things. Hence the prophets have described it as the All-Power, the All-Knowing, the All-compassionate.

The sufferings of living beings in the universe are not without significance. The Infinite Power is the very source and substance of all beings. Every being is a portion of the Supreme Power, and this power is in no way separate from the beings it creates. It is a co-sufferer with the suffering of all beings, the inseparable sharer of their sorrows and of their joys. To realise this fact is the essential of all real religion, and of all true philosophy and right science. Not to know this, is to be travelling on the road to despair and annihilation.

We are ever to remind ourselves that one thing is impossible for God. It is not possible for Him to cease to be what He is, that is the absolute power which is fundamental to all things. Whatever is done is done by virtue of His power and presence. Nowhere is there anything that is not constituted of the power, of the force, of energy. To be is to be able to produce effects. Being is power; power manifests as being.

Now the most effective use of forces or energies is where they are best coordinated. Lack of coordination of energies spells ineffectuality. But to coordinate energies one must know their nature and mode of action. Thus intelligence must be present wherever efficient coordination occurs. "If thine eye be single, thy whole body is full of light" says Jesus. To be single is to be coordinated in all one's energies. For this singleness one must have one only goal. "My father works, and I work", says Jesus, "it is my will to do the will of Him that sent me".

If the infinite power, (which i the only real worshippable) is also the guiding intelligence in all things, and the all-compassionate presence participant in all things, then we ourselves are modes of its manifestation. We are in no way separable from it, yet mysteriously by it have been given a degree of freedom within the universe it has created.

The All-Power, Supreme Intelligence and Infinite Compassion, has a purpose with its universe and with all creatures in it. This purpose, in its wholeness, we call the Will of God. It is this will to which we are to bring our will to Conform. Its purpose is to raise all beings to their level of perfection. Included in this purpose is the bringing of mankind to a state as close to that of God as it is possible for a created being to become. It is the state that we call "deification", the making like God. Obviously a man, a created being. in order to remain what he is as a man, cannot become infinite, for this would remove from him his createdness, whereby we recognise him to be a man. But within the limit of his createdness he can participate in the qualities of the God who created him. It is thus participation in the qualities of God, within the realm of createdness that we mean when we speak of the "deification" or "making like God" of man.

Man as a created being can never become infinite as God eternally is, but within the realm of createdness man can come very close to possessing all the powers and qualities of God which may receive manifestation or expression in the created world. Man raised to his highest level of possible perfection can embody and demonstrate the properties of God which we call Universal Intelligence, Universal Love, and all-embracing compassion. Man, like God, can learn to incarnate all divine qualities that may be expressed in the manifest universe. He can do this simply by taking as his model the embodied God, the incarnate Christ as demonstrated in the all self-sacrificing life of Jesus of Nazareth.

We know that there are millions of people in the world who are not professing Christians, not believers in the divinity of Jesus Christ, people who are members of other-religions, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim in various sects and differences. But we also know that all great religious teachers have taught the necessity for sacrifice in one form or another. Sacrifice is an essential of all true religious teaching. Willingly to give up something of value for the sake of benefitting another being is the very essence of religion.

We know that it is unavoidable that our decisions and actions affect other people. We know that not one of us lives to himself alone. We know that "no man is an island". We may not like to know this, but nevertheless we know it. This knowledge is inherent in us, is of the very nature of our beings. We cannot escape it. The question in this fear torn, nuclear-threatened world, is whether we are going to continue to like or dislike what we know to be fact.

Every living being has been born from other living beings. Everywhere life has begotten life. Life itself is the great Mother-Father or Father-Mother of all living beings of all times. We are all children of the One great living intelligent Being that we call "God", whether we believe it or not, whether we like it or not. Truth is not determined by our personal likes and dislikes. It is a product of the action of the Will of God. Truth is the way that the infinite divine power has formulated itself and eternally will formulate itself. This way is called the way of the "Words" or "Logos".

This word which stands in the Greek gospel for the Word of God is "Logos". "Logos" means "Words", "Ratio", "Divine Reason's Way of doing things". Everything that has been, or will be made, is a product of this Divine Reason-Power. In so far as a thing can exist in any way whatever it has some element of Reason in it. Some ratio of its constituents. "Without the Word (logos) was nothing made".

We have to think of this Word, this Logos, this "Reason of thing", not as an abstraction, but as the real power which is the basics of everything that has ever been or ever will be made. This "Reason-Word" is real energy, operative in the making of all things whatever in existence. Nothing has ever been brought into being except through this energy's agency. Nothing will ever come into existence in any world anywhere except as an operation of this infinitely extended and intended power.

This amazing, astonishingly productive intelligent power is the only truly worshippable thing. It is the supreme mystery of mysteries, the joy and delight of all the world's most intelligent men and women, the ever-loved presence which all sages, wise men and prophets of all times have worshipped. It is God.

Part 44.

Naturally we tend to take pride in any ability that we possess. We tend to be pleased if we can perform efficiently any special kind of act. If we can play well some musical instrument, we please our self and others, and feel ourself valuable. We feel that we have a special place in the affections of our fellows. So with every other skill we may have. Every special talent that we have developed increases our sense of value in our self and to others.

But there is a danger in being talented, for in being delighted in the demonstration of our special gifts, we may begin to feel that we are very special persons, superior to others. Worst of all we may forget the real source of our gifts; we may come to believe that we have, of our personal power, brought our talents into being without the help of any -other being. We may come to believe ourself self-made, self-generated, independently of every other force, every other intelligence. We would tend to laugh if we met a man who had become a multi-millionaire and believed that he had done so without help from others, and, without help from the existing monetary system.

When a man forgets his profound indebtedness to other men, and to the cultural heritage of humanity at large, he is in danger of cutting himself off from the source of whatever talents he possesses. When a whole civilisation forgets the primal power and intelligence which gave rise to it, it is already on the edge of degeneration. If anyone believes that a developed civilisation could not forget how it rose to pre-eminence, that person is ignoring the evidence of history. Great Babylon fell, and Egypt, and Greece, and Rome, and in our own day we have seen the British Empire, declared "the greatest empire the world has ever known", giving up its global authority, although here we have seen much of its withdrawal handled with more intelligence than history has previously perhaps shown.

The point to be emphasised is this: to forget the source of our talents, our powers, our gifts, is to take a step downwards towards disintegration and failure. An individual man who forgets his indebtedness to human society at large, has taken a step towards self-isolation and a weakening of whatever powers he has.

If we forget the Infinite source-power which we call God, then we commit ourself either to dependence on some inferior power, like a nation or other social group, or to total dependence on our individual ego-structure. If we depend only on our ego we have reduced ourself to the most feeble of all structures.

The great architectural monuments of the world could not possible have been built by one single ego-centred man. The Egyptian Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and other colossal structures built by mankind required vast numbers of men for their erection. But were such marvellous works the product only of muscle-power and engineering techniques?

Before any great work of collective mankind has been undertaken there has been an idea. An idea is a form held in the mind to serve as a pattern to which one may work to produce some definite result. Before Noah's Ark was a material fact, it was an idea in a mind. Every great work has arisen from an idea, and without the idea could not have come into existence.

Where do ideas come from? This is a problem that has worried the great thinkers of the world, and they have offered three solutions. 1. from within; 2. from without; 3. from interaction of the inner and outer.

Now, it is clear that if ideas arose only from within we would have to view the whole universe of forms as a projection from within a mind. But if ideas arose only from without, we would have to view man's mind as something entirely dependent for its ideas on the impressing forces of the outer world. But if we allow that there is interaction of inner and outer, we will have to say that the inner and outer must at base be of identical substance, because two totally unlike substances could not possibly interact. The interactionist view thus forces us towards a non-dual view of the origin of the universe.

All the things we see in the world are not known to be forms of energy. Energy is the working force or power which constitutes all things. Energy as such is eternal and cannot change its essential nature. It can change the form of its activity, but not what it is in essence.

As eternal, energy has always been present, is now, and always will be. It can turn in upon itself, or turn outwards to express itself. When in-turned, we can think of it as potential, that is, as power held in and not expressed. When turned out, we can think of it as actualised, that is expressing itself as activity made externally manifest as a form of motion. Thus we talk of the things we see operating in the world as actual things, things constituted of activated forces, powers made manifest as things.

The totality of all energies, forces or powers, the ancient sages and prophets revered as the source of all things, of all worlds and universes.

This totality of all powers, the wise men worshipped as God, the Supreme Being. All beings are constituted by power. The Supreme Being is infinite power itself.

Egotism in man feels itself in some degree powerful, but tends to forget that its power is derivative from the infinite supreme power. When such forgetting occurs, the ego-man thinks himself separate from other ego-men and from the original source-power of all. Thus he alienates himself from other selves, and from the supreme self which the wise call God. He thus makes of himself and alien, a stranger, not only to others and to God, but also to himself.

A man who is a stranger to himself is in great danger, for where he does not know himself, the forces or energies that constitute his being may work against him and against each other. Such a self-alienated person is symbolised in the man possessed by demons and dwelling amongst the tombs.

By "demon" is here meant an alienated portion of one's being, a part of one's organism, or body, or mind, which somehow has become separated in its activity from one's other components. We are to realise that, at the present stage of our evolution, our being is not yet the perfect unity we would prefer it to be.

If we had perfect unity of our being, we would be as Christ is, we would have what Jesus calls "the single eye", and our whole body would be "full of light", that is, of intelligence, and we would be as God first designed us to be. But we are not yet fully in possession of our being; we are "on the way" to this magnificent unity, but not yet there.

The problem for us is extremely difficult. As we have said before, a human being has many parts and many functions, all of which may fall easily into a dissociated condition. When it is said that all creatures have "fallen short of the glory of God", this is to point out that since the creation of the world a fall has occurred.

This "fall" was caused by an excessive interest in parts of reality, to the loss of awareness of the wholeness of being. This "fall" may occur in any area of our being, in our thoughts, our feelings, our impulsive nature, etc. And we are influenced also by the thoughts, feelings and impulses of others, of our ancestors and friends and enemies.

To reverse this "fall" and regain our original unity, we have first to see that we have in fact fallen, that the parts and functions of our being have lost their original natural state of co-ordination, in which all our organs co-operate together as a wonderful harmonious unity. In our present stage of evolution it is not easy for us to conceive the marvellous unity that we once possessed, not easy for us to imagine the kind of world we shall live in when that unity has been regained. Modern psychology has disclosed the inner disunity of the elements of man's mind. We all know in our dis-jointed society what we mean by stress disorders and neuroses. What we do not know so well is the real cause of such misfortunes. We are told that they arise from conflicts between individual purposes and social demands, or that they spring from contests between pleasure-tendencies and inhibitive social moralities. What we are not told so often is that we have lost our original unitive relation with the supreme intelligent and all-compassionate power that the sages long ago called "God". Yet it is precisely this loss that has brought us to our present unfortunate condition, in which our whole worlds totters on the edge of annihilation.

The Infinite God, the Supreme Power from which all things have emanated, as infinite, is invisible, beyond the comprehension of the minds of created beings, who are by definition limited in their being. Yet this infinite God is the Supreme Source of all beings.

The invisible is the source of all visibles. We ourselves, as visible, tangible beings are of the Supreme Invisible. As visible we appear to be separate, but as of the Supreme Invisible, we are inseparable from it, and inseparable also from each other. To believe in separativity is to fall. To believe in inseparability is to rise again.

No scientist has seen power as such. Its modes of action, its effects, its results, are measurable on specially designed instruments, but power as it is in itself, for itself, is invisible, yet this invisible power is the source and cause of all the visibles known to science. We are moving towards a moment of history in which science itself will have to face the truth about the Source-power of all things, that this power is not only the Source of all things and phenomena, but also that this power itself is infinitely intelligent

If we do not accept that this power is intelligent, then we are driven to the point where we have to think that power and intelligence are two separate somethings. But two totally separate somethings could not possibly interact. Yet the fact that power and intelligence can interact disproves their ultimate separativity. Finally every human being will be forced by developing facts to recognise the Oneness of power and intelligence. Then the "fall" will be reversed and our alienation from God, the Supreme Source of our being, will cease. Harmonious interrelation of all beings will be restored and "God will wipe away all tears from our eyes".

An idea is a form or pattern in the mind which may serve to guide our activity. If the idea is false, our activity will be falsely guided. If we have an idea that there is no God, no supremely intelligent power in the universe, then we can make up our own mind about what is right or wrong. An idea as a guide of activity leads us to become, such a being as acts in such a manner. "It isn't what we do, but what we become in doing it, that is important" said a brilliant writer of the-last century. [Jane Austen]

In doing things we modify the very nature of our actuality. An idea not acted upon does not become part of our actuality, but an idea acted upon makes us actually such a being that does such an act. Thus if we accept the idea that there is no God, and act on this idea, we become Godless; we become actually a being who refers only to his own view of what is right or wrong. We may submit to powers obviously superior to our own, as the general pressures of the society in which we live, governmental, military or police forces, but we see nothing beyond these and will dodge them wherever we can.

The idea that there is no God alienates us from God, and so reduces us to the level of actual egotism, and so makes us all inner strangers to each other, and finally strangers to ourselves. An idea is a very powerful thing. We need a more healthy respect for ideas than we have so far shown.

Part 45.

How are we to acquire respect for ideas? First we must see that ideas are not mere shapes in our mind. We must see that, like everything else in the universe, they are energies, forces, powers.

Ideas are shapes or forms in our mind, but they are forms of power. They are not passive shapes simply lying about within our consciousness or unconsciousness. They are forces formed in particular ways, and they are operative, that is, they work inside themselves and upon each other. They are inter-active, interfunctional. When they meet, they do not have no effect upon each other; they push each other about, force each other to behave in different ways, form patterns which condition every constituent sub-idea within them.

All the interactivity of our ideas constitutes what we call our thinking process. Most of the thinking is a non-reflexive mind is unconscious, that is, our conscious ego-mind is unaware of it. This non-reflexive thinking is dangerous. Let us see why.

Thinking is of two kinds: reflexive and non-reflexive. By "reflexive" we mean "bent back on itself". If we turn our consciousness deliberately back upon itself so that we are able to say to ourself "I am conscious that I am conscious of a certain idea in my consciousness", this process of consciousness we call "reflexive". In reflexive consciousness we not only know the idea in our mind, we also know that we know it.

The capacity for such reflexive consciousness is the most valuable of human activities so far evolved. It is this reflexive power that has lifted us up higher than all other forms of living being on earth. It is this that has created all the great religions, philosophies, sciences and arts that we know. Without this power of reflexion we would be little better than the beasts "whose breath goes down to the ground".

One level of realised humanness is our level of reflexivity is our degree of humanisation. It is not enough that we have ideas in our mind. To be really human we must know that we have them, and know what they are, and how they interact and affect each other. It is this knowledge that has made all the great men of history what they were. It is this knowledge that has made all the sages, all the wise men, all the prophets, all the men and women of history who have ever been considered as worthy of remembrance.

Let us go into this a little more deeply. The problems of the nature of human mental and psychological and spiritual processes are not easy to solve, not because in principle they are difficult, but because the substance of the mind and of consciousness is power. Power, energy or force is not easy to, stabilise or balance. Power, by its very nature tends to do things. Energy tends to activate itself. Force tends to move. Thus our mental processes tend to be always changing direction.

If we look into our mind we find that it is filled with ideas, emotions and impulses. Nothing in it stands still for long. If we think of a clearly defined ideas and try to fix it in our mind so that it does not change, we do not succeed for long. Other ideas crowd in on it. Its implications tend to unfold themselves. Even a little self-examination can convince us that stability is not a natural condition of the mind. The mind is not a thing made of solid matter. It is not a well-built palace filled with static images carved in marble, at which we can gaze at leisure.

Everything in the universe is what it is because of the nature of what constitutes it, and what constitutes it is power, and power tends to do things, to move and activate itself. The universe is a vast moving power, an energy system, an interrelation of innumerable forces. Stability is not its natural condition. Hence our problem.

We have seen before that ultimate reality cannot be of dual or double nature. There cannot be two ultimate substances, for if there were such, they could not interact or relate to each other.

Now, we know in ourselves that we are made of power or energy, for we can move our body about, walk, raise or lower our arms, and so on. But we can also think and feel and will and focus our consciousness, manipulate ideas and so forth. We are power-systems and we are conscious. And as there cannot be two ultimates, power and consciousness must finally be modes of expression of the real, ultimate cause of all things. The ultimate reality is thus possessed of what at a certain level may appear to be a dual nature, of power and consciousness, yet this apparent two-ness is but the expression of a final single reality that at its top level has no quarrel with itself. Human beings may quarrel with themselves internally, for the power aspect of their being may not be harmonised with their consciousness aspect, but the ultimate real source of all power-consciousness, the source that we call "God", does not quarrel with itself.

We human beings know inside ourselves various activities. We can feel, activate our bodies, and think, and coordinate these with some degree of success. We have many other functions of which we are not usually conscious. We have a degree of control over some of our functions, but our control is not what it might be. In principle we have a possibility of total control of every function of our whole being. In practice we do not possess this total control. If we had it and used it intelligently we would be perfect It is this possible perfection that is the ultimate goal of all true religions and philosophies and sciences.

That we have not now the practical power to demonstrate our possible perfection is due to a fall. This idea of a "fall" is found in the great religions and philosophies. Once, long ago, at some unthinkably remote period, the human soul was in possession of its original unity. It had not yet started to quarrel with itself. All its functions of feeling, action and thinking had not yet been divided. The soul then had a wholeness of function which allowed it to act without self-contradiction. All its potentials of self-government were then simultaneously co-present with each other. Feeling, thinking and action were mutually interpenetrating and immediately self-adjusting to each other. Thus all action was then perfectly harmonious and attained its goal.

But in an organism built of power there is a possibility of a diversification of function, and in a diversification of function is the possibility of a division, a split, in which one function may cease to relate fully with another. It is here that the warning voice of the Supreme Intelligent Power that we call "God" spoke in the human soul. Here were heard the words: "Do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil".

We human beings in our fallen state are very fond of "knowing good and evil". We like to think that "good" and "evil" can be separated, and that we can keep the "good" and get rid of the "evil". So we work very hard to make "goods" and to remove "evils", and we do this without much thought of the results of this division of the world into "goods" and "evils". We have very little sense of ecological balance.

We produce "goods" packaged for cleanliness sake, then litter the world with the discarded packages. We produce power by nuclear processes we call "good", and endanger our lives with waste products of radioactive materials. We think it "good" to go on holiday by the sea-side and pollute the ocean we bathe in. We like clean water, and create the conditions of acid-rain that kills the fish in our rivers and lakes. Fallen man has made a great puzzle of himself, for himself.

All our troubles come from this fall, this splitting of our feeling action, and thinking. We feel one thing, do another, and think something quite different. We feel how nice it would be to live harmoniously together, we act in ways that cannot produce other than disharmony, and we think up all kinds of excuses for our failures. We are adepts at self-deception.

The notion that once there was a "Golden Age" in which mankind lived in harmony, is thought by many to be a myth. The fact that we actually live in disharmony is not a myth. That our pursuit of "goods" generates "evils" is not a myth. That the nations of the world contest with each for the raw-materials with which to make their "goods", and that these contests lead to wars which result in "evils", is not a myth.

What we really need, and what all the great sages and prophets for thousands of years have said we need is a thorough reappraisal of our real situation within the world.

Whether we ever really lived in a "Golden Age" of harmonious cooperation or not, we know that our present condition is far from that mutual helpfulness which would be the solution of all our problems. What we most need is that reflexivity of consciousness which alone can lift us out of our fallen state of disharmony. We need to make ourselves more and more aware of what we are feeling and thinking and doing. We need to say to ourselves, as often as we can, that our being is a being of power and consciousness, and that, in order to save ourselves from the holocaust that threatens our very existence, we must become reflexively aware of what we are. Without this reflexive awareness, we are doomed to annihilation.

Once long ago, great dinosaurs dominated the earth. They perished, and their bones have become more exhibits in museums. Man for thousands of years has ruled all the lesser beings of the earth. Yet his dominant position, if he continues as he is doing, is not secured. He also may perish, and with him all his "good" and "evil" works. And his museums themselves may fall down so that there will be no grand buildings in which to house even his bones.

If we are to leave our earth in a state fit for others to live in, we shall have to modify our whole behaviour pattern, and to do this we shall have to reverse the "Fall" which split our various functions from each other. We shall have to teach ourselves anew the correct way of interrelating our feeling, thinking and behaving. We shall have to re-think and re-feel our whole relationship with that infinite intelligent universal power that we call "God". It is useless for us to try find any other solution of our world-problem. No longer can we pretend that separative egotistical action is the meaning of existence. We have proved sufficiently that this pretence is vain and foolish.

There is an ecology of spirit as well as of matter. We owe it to ourselves and to all future generations to learn this ecology and to base upon it all our present and future activities. What the future world will be like, or whether for mankind there will be a world at all, depends on us, now.


In the natural world we see a delicate balance of mineral, vegetable, animal and human life. We call the study of this balance "ecology". In the world of spirit there is also a need for a similar study, the study that we call "spiritual ecology".

Just as in the natural world all things are interrelated, so also in the spiritual world. Let us remind ourselves of the difference of these two worlds. By "natural" world we mean that world in which everything happens in accord with what we call "natural law". Everything in the natural world is ruled by forces that seem to have no control over themselves. The natural world is a world of laws. There is a law of "gravity", by which things tend to fall towards centres of compaction; there is a law of "inertia" by which things tend to continue doing what they are doing, either "resting" or "moving", there is a law of "conservation of mass energy", and so forth. Everywhere in nature there appears to be "law-conformability". Minerals remain as they are because they are bound by certain forces; plants grow in certain ways because they are conditioned by their environment, by earth, water, rain, wind, heat or cold, etc. Animals are as they are because of survival instincts which compel adaptation to each other and to their surroundings.

But when we come to human beings, we find something that we do not find at lower levels. We are presented with a belief in freedom. We human beings not only believe in freedom; most of us are prepared to fight to retain what we believe we have of it.

There are few people who profess to disbelieve in freedom; who declare freedom to be an illusion, but when contradicted by the freedom believers, the disbelievers tend to fight to maintain their disbelief. They not only disbelieve in freedom, but work hard to try to persuade others to accept their disbelief, apparently quite unaware of the inconsistency of their persuasion attempts.

But most people in practice behave as if they believe in freedom, and freedom is held by them to be basic to meaningful human existence. If there is no freedom, then there is either an entirely mechanically determined world, or a random one in which "order", wherever it appears, is merely accidental.

We humans, or most of us, do not like a totally mechanical universe, and we do not like a merely random and accidental appearance of "order". We like to be in charge of our own destinies. We hate to think of ourselves as merely the products of "accidents".

In our belief that we are "free", those of who embrace this belief present ourselves with a problem. If we are really "free", why do we so often find ourselves "bound by events"? We have seen that we are inheritors of a doctrine of a "fall". This doctrine says that once we were perfectly free, and then that through some error we lost this prefect freedom; and since that loss our freedom is no longer perfect. What freedom we have is now merely relative, influenced by conditions over which we apparently have little or no control. We are imposed on by natural forces, gravity, terrain, climate etc. We can, to some degree, adapt ourselves to the presence of these forces. We can study them, arrive at some understanding of their modes of operation, and adjust our actions to them, but we cannot safely ignore them.

But when we have gained a sufficient degree of knowledge of the operations of these forces to give ourselves a fairly high probability of our survival, we are still faced with another problem, the problem of our own significance within the universe at large. We ask ourselves what we are, what is our real function within the realm of natural ecology, and this question leads us to the other: what is the meaning of "spiritual ecology"?

"Spirit" acts freely. "Matter" is bound to behave as it does when forces act upon it. "Spirit" has initiative; matter is ruled by inertia. Spirit can choose; matter cannot choose; spirit has the power of self-determination; matter is determined by other than itself.

In so far as we are human we can act freely; insofar as we cannot act freely, we fall short of our full human potential's actualisation.

To survive in the natural world, we need knowledge of the balance of forces which constitute nature. To retain and enlarge what freedom we have, we need knowledge of the balance of forces which constitute our spiritual being. What are these forces?

A human being comprises forces of matter (body); of feelings (likes and dislikes); of mentation (dealing with the things and events of time); of conceptual thinking (dealing with eternal principles of logic, mathematics, geometry etc.); and of volition (free will).

It is with the balance of forces that comprise the human being that our study of "spiritual ecology" must deal, and especially with those forces that manifest in acts of free decision.

The materialist empirical scientist denies the possibility of free will and free decisions arising from it. Such a scientist reduces the world and all in to law-compelled patterns of behaviour, and includes himself in his law-conditioned system. Thus he is, by his own hypothesis, unable to act in any unconditioned way. His view-point condemns him to conformity with natural law; he is enslaved by his belief in his own unfreedom.

But the man who believes in spirit as a real force of free self-determination, from his own understanding of himself, can bring himself to attain the freedom he believes in. The question is raised for the human being: Which is the most profitable belief, that man is unfree, or that he is free? In both cases there must be study, either because the unfree man is compelled by natural forces to think, or because the relatively free man wills to extend his freedom.

The man of spirit, believing in the possibility of extending his freedom, by acts will, will study his own constitution. He wills to know how to eliminate the causes of further falling, and to increase the freedom he still retains. All the great religions and philosophies and true sciences teach ways to this freedom. The great religions call the final freedom "Salvation"; the great philosophies call it "Enlightenment". The great sciences will call it ultimate "Truth".

The low-grade, old fashioned, materialist scientist confines his attention to study of what he believes to be "matter". Mental inertia still binds him into the world of "atoms", although these are now known not be the basic building bricks of reality.

The man of spirit continually returns his attention to the central principle of his own constitution, that is, to his initiative. He works always to regain his hold on his own real self, the hold that he partly lost at his fall.
Jesus says, "Two fight three, and three fight two in one house". The two are the Will and the Intellect; the three are the lower mental activities, the emotions, and the inertias of the physical body.

Let us look at these five more closely. They are modalities of the sixth principle which transcends and embraces them. The five, counting from the lowest, are the body, the feelings emotions, the time-thinkings or mentations, the eternal principles or concepts, and the Will or Initiative. The sixth is consciousness itself.

The body is the easiest to consider, for we can locate it in space, touch it, experience its resistance. Feelings and emotions are less easy to deal with, because of their fluidity or instability. Time-thinkings or mentions are like Time itself, floating, momentary, here one moment, gone the next. Eternal principles are hard to hold because of their high abstraction. But hardest of the five is the Will itself, for it is present only in the now- moment. "Initiative" means the power that starts action. Only at the now-moment when an act is started is initiative or free will present. Immediately afterwards the effects of initiative roll on their way as inertias.

We repeat, only at the instant of the start of an act is there real initiative or will. After it the released forces go on their way inertia. From this it follows that the man of spirit must from moment to moment re-posit his awareness of himself as the initiator of his own acts. He must hold himself wholly responsible for all his actions. We can see immediately why there is so little tendency to re-gain our lost freedom. Freedom implies self-responsibility, and this implies possible "comeback". "As you sow, so shall you reap", says Jesus. This is the most frightening of all thoughts.

We live in a world constituted of power. Our every thoughts, feeling and will releases energy into our environment. Energy cannot act without producing reactions. With every act we perform, we impose not only on our surroundings, but also, by the reactions we stimulate, on ourselves. We are our own executioners. This, of course, is as it should be, but not as we like it. We prefer to believe that not all our actions generate reactions. We prefer to believe that the energies we release will somehow be dissipated or absorbed by the environment, and that we shall not have to deal with their results, unless we find them pleasant enough for our glad acceptance.

Spiritual ecology is the study of the interrelationships of all levels of our being, the recognition of the ways in which our body, feelings, time-thinkings, eternal concepts and initiative interfunction. As in natural ecology we observe that the destruction of one form of life balances the whole natural system. So in the realm of spiritual ecology the malfunction of one level produces deterioration in others. We cannot neglect any one of our five levels of function without impairing the rest.

If we do not take adequate care of our physical body, we expose ourselves to the possibilities of infection and disease. Physical cleanliness is essential to the maintenance of health. If we do not understand and control intelligently our feelings and emotions, we endanger our organism with stress disorders. If we do not pay sufficient attention to our time- commitments and the needs of daily life, we may find our mental life out of phase with our time-schedule. If we do not make ourselves aware of the eternal principles that rule the universe, we may foolishly strive to accomplish things that are by nature illogical and impossible. If we do not use the initiative which is the essence of our free will, we shall fall under the laws that govern all inertic things, and finally we shall lose our faith in our own freedom.

Once faith in our free will is lost, we tend to fall under the dominion of the stimuli that strike upon organism; we tend to become slaves to the things that surround us; we tend to become negative, depressed, unable to respond adequately to the challenges of our situation. We have repeated the conditions of our original fall.

As long as we have a whole belief in our capacity to act freely by the power of our will, we retain our positivity towards our life in the world, and we do not fall under the dominion of the outer world's things. But as soon as we lose our faith in our power of free will we are reduced to the level of all subhuman things.

By the principles of spiritual ecology, we owe it to our own selves to balance the various forces that constitutes our being. We can do this most effectively by reminding ourselves that the five levels are all expressions of the sixth, which is pure consciousness itself. To become conscious of what constitutes us is to have taken a decisive step towards the regaining of our lost freedom.

When we speak of "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" we are referring to his freedom, his capacity for absolute self-determination, a capacity resulting from his total self-knowledge. "He knew what was in man", means that he knew himself thoroughly, and, in knowing himself, knew all men. Only by such whole self-knowledge could be "all things to all men".

Part 47.

Spiritual ecology we have seen to be the balancing of all the distinguishable functions of our being. It is this balancing that confers on us what is called "holiness". Holiness is whole-ness, the bringing together in harmonious interrelation of the whole of our being. It is the purpose of the Bible to tell us how to regain our wholeness.

Today, world-wide unrest demonstrates to us the unwholeness of the human race. Everywhere there is conflict, between nations, political parties, social groups, families and the different parts of individuals. Yes, even the parts of an individual contest with each other, the head warring with the heart, these with the appetival nature in the lower abdomen. As long as the battle continues within us, we must see the truth of the observation that "there is no health in us". Health is wholeness, harmonious interplay of all parts of our being.

In the first epistle of Peter we find the words "The Stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence". Now, we know that there are several different levels of possible interpretation of the scriptures. One favourite interpretation of the "rejected stone" is that it stands for Jesus himself, who was rejected by the officials of the temple of his day. To them he was a stumbling block, offending them, criticising their institutions and ritual procedures. Yet he was destined to become the corner-stone of a new temple, the true Temple of the divine Spirit.

But we have also another interpretation, equally valid, and psychologically very useful. In this view the "rejected stone" is the principle of universal truth inside our soul. This "Stone" is the pure Logic of eternal truth, the truth that the fallen part of our being rejects because it appears to threaten its existence. Our "fallen" part has chosen to defend itself and its ego-pattern from the. Truth, because it knows that the Truth will attack and undermine every untruth in us.

The great untruth that the fallen ego-self strives always to defend is the untruth that says that the ego-self is a separate reality, a self-existent being, independent of its source, that source which is God Himself. The ego-self wills always to believe itself self-created, self-originated, independent of the eternal Holy Spirit.

Now, as long as the ego-self believes itself to be separate from the Holy Spirit, it must necessarily be afraid of being attacked from other selves and by unknown alien forces. This is the cause of the popularity of films depicting violence of all kinds. Such films continuously present people as in danger of violent action against them. Heroes are shown as beaten up, stabbed or shot by.geng5ters. Police are shown pursuing the bad men. Everywhere violence, is shown as of daily occurrence, and the lesson offered is, "Defend YOU-SELF or be robbed or murdered". Violence is suggested to be the correct reply to violence. "Turn the other cheek" is either viewed as unrealistic advice, or *as the product of stupid sentimentality.

Now, when a truth is rejected by the human mind, that truth is pushed down into subconscious levels. The "rejected stone" of universal Truth, pushed down out of sight of consciousness, is then the "Rock of Offence". It offends the untruthful ego-mind.

Yet when it is pushed down into the unconscious, the "Rock of Rejected Truth" does not cease to exist, does not cease to be, and as other truths are pushed down they all gather around the first one. The "Rejected Truth-Stone" becomes the corner stone of a New Temple, hidden in the unconscious zones of the mind. Gradually the truths rejected by fallen ego-self build in the unconscious the Temple of Innermost Truth, the "Temple not built with hand".

The more truths the ego-self rejects, the more stones are added to the hidden Temple of Eternal Truth within, and the more uncomfortable becomes the ego-self. For the ego-self knows that it has deliberately suppressed every truth it has encountered which has accused the ego of lying. The ego is a "liar and the father of lies, and feels very insecure when exposed as such.

The dialectic of the ego's self-defence process, which is suppressive of Truth, is that in continuously pushing down into the unconscious mind the truths it rejects, it supplies truth materials for the building of the hidden Temple of Universal Truth. Thus the ego-self continuously works for its own ultimate defeat. The false Temple, the temple of ego-lies, built in the conscious mind, thus finds that, by its rejection of truths, it has worked to build a contrary Temple of Cosmic Truth. From this Temple speaks forth the voice of what we call "Conscience".

"Conscience" consists of all the truths that the false ego-self has rejected and buried in the unconscious zones of the mind. From the hidden Truth-Temple in the unconscious speaks out the voice of conscience, a "Still small voice", yet powerfully insistent. It does not need to make a great noise to make its points heard, for it knows that the fearful ego-self is always alert and on guard about it.

The more afraid is the ego-self, the more it guards itself against the voice of truth, and to guard itself, it must listen to the truth that it does want to hear. How can it protect itself against an enemy if it does not make itself sharply aware of that enemy?

The more truths the ego-self suppresses, the more it knows that it has strengthened its enemy, the Hidden Truth, and the more afraid it is of what it has hidden. The false ego is in a foolish position. It knows that every truth that it suppresses becomes a stone used in the building of the Temple of Truth that must ultimately send out from its centre the "One on the White Horse" who is finally to conquer the untruth and the father of it.

This inner contradiction in the false ego-self is the cause of its basic uneasiness, anxiety and neurosis. How can the lying ego be at peace with itself when it cannot avoid knowing that it is itself laying the stones which will become the stronghold of its enemy, the Eternal Truth. From this stronghold, this fortress-Temple of Truth, will finally ride forth He who Himself is the unbreakable Verity of all verities. The very shadow of a thought of Him terrifies the fallen ego-self, and as this shadow falls on the false-ego, the unfortunate one feels himself shrink. A saturnine grip is upon him, and he knows that this grip is his own grip upon himself.

Today we all know of the existence in us of what we call "chronic hypertension states". What we do not know clearly enough is that these states come from our basic erroneous belief, the belief that we are each one of us separate from each other and from our spiritual eternal source, the God who is our creator. Deep down in our unconscious mind we know that the "Rejected Truth Stone" is there, gathering to itself every other truth our ego-self rejects. We know also, although we strive vigorously not to know it, that someday we are to be brought face to face with the true "Eternal Dweller Within". It is this knowledge that generates and maintains and intensifies our hypertension states.

There is, fortunately for us, a way of release. It is the way of the cessation of the rejection of Truth. We do not say that this way is easy, for it is not. It is a hard way, but its hardness is what it is simply because of the inertia of our old-established false way. After years and years of • misrepresentation it is very difficult to see things as they really are. The outlines of truth have been blurred or distorted by the preference for self-flattering lies. It is natural for the false-ego, with its erroneous belief in its separativity, to seek to defend itself, and its greatest enemy is Truth. Truth says that we are not separate selves, not independent of each other, not severed from our original source.

Truth says that we are all "members of one body", the body of the Eternal God who is our heavenly Father. Truth says that our lives are inextricably bound together, that our destinies are related together like the threads in a Persian tapestry, that ultimately we are all going to recognise our essential spiritual identity in the community of the Holy Ghost. Truth says that harmony with each other is finally unavoidable. Ultimately we are going to put our arms around those we have thought to be our deadly enemies, those we have intensely hated and feared, those we have considered most alien to us. "God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes", all the obscuring tears of self-pity which have kept us from seeing reality as it is. We shall see each other face to face and shall know that not one of us has been, is, or shall be, better than another.

On that day we shall understand that all our guilts are wiped out. We shall understand how the first fall from grace occurred, how the first man made the first mistake precisely because he was the first man.

The command to Adam is called the "Dispensation for Innocence". The first man, hearing for the first time, "Thou shalt not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil, for in the day thou eat of it, thou shalt die", could not comprehend the meaning of "good" and "evil", nor the significance of "death". He had no experience yet of evil or of death, and without the contrast of these with "good" and "life" he could not yet reflexively define the "good life" already given to him as what it was. We define things by their forms and modes of action as distinct from each other. We define concepts by their opposites. By "high" we define "low", by "near" we define "far", by "evil" we define "good". Before we learn to define things, we simply live spontaneously, without consideration of the effects of our actions, upon ourselves or upon others. Hence Cain, becoming enraged, killed his brother, and only on seeing the effects of his action did he say, "Now every man's hand will be against me". We learn by our mistakes. This is why a wise man said "0 happy fault".

From Adam's sin we have been forced to travel a long remorseful road, but we have learned, and are still learning and shall continue to do so to the end of time. There is a tradition that after Cain had murdered Abel, God forgave Cain and placed a mark upon him so that no man would kill him. God planned the "raising of Cain" to even higher levels of understanding so that finally Cain would see his error and truly repent of it, and be himself the instrument of the resurrection of Abel so that his blood would no more "cry from the ground" for revenge. We have still much to learn from the "raising of Cain".

Especially we have to learn from him that we can change, that we do not have to repeat always the same error. We can learn from our mistakes. A mistake can be the very means whereby we rise to higher levels of comprehension of the nature of reality. This is what we mean by the "raising of Cain".

The "raising of Cain" is the elevation of consciousness ever nearer to our original unfallen state. Mistakes examined and meditated upon can give rise to new discoveries, new inventions, new insights.

Here we meet a difficulty. Strictly we cannot make a "deliberate mistake". What we do in full consciousness of all the factors involved we call "deliberate", and such an act is not a "mistake". A "mistake" is a product of a misunderstanding, or of some incapacity, a failure of comprehension or other misfortune.

If we knew all things, and had the power to handle them, we would not make mistakes, and we would be totally responsible for all our actions. But we do not know all things, and we do not have unlimited power to handle them. Consequently we are bound at times to make mistakes, and from mistakes we may learn, may gain new insights, and may reduce the probability of future similar errors. Here we meet the need for forgiveness of sins.

Part 48

What does it mean "to forgive"? It means to erase a right to retaliate, to pardon, to cease to resent an action, to place oneself in a position of understanding why an action was committed and to excuse it, not to bear ill-will to the doer of an act.

To be beyond the possibility of making a mistake, we would have to be all-knowing, all powerful, like the omniscient, omnipotent God. But no creature can be thus. To be a creature is to be limited, circumscribed, encapsulated, and so reduced in power and knowledge.

Because we know that we are not all-knowing and all-powerful, we know at some time, in some place, we shall make a mistake, shall misread something, misunderstand what is involved in a situation, and shall therefore react in a manner less than fully efficiently. And we know that not only we our-selves shall commit mistakes or fall into error, but that every other limited creatures shall at some time also fall.

If, as a result of our errors, we find ourselves in an unpleasant or painful situation, we tend to look for a way out. We tend to make excuses for our errors. We do not usually say simply, "I am a finite creatures, lacking total knowledge and power, and therefore made mistake, and require you, as another creature of limited power and understanding, to pardon my error and carry on relating to me without feeling any antagonism towards me".

It is not easy to accept with equanimity the unpleasant consequences of error, either our own or of someone else. The spirit may be strong, but our flesh is weak and tends to shrink from pain. If we could see how quick we are to guard ourselves against possible unpleasant results of actions, we would be surprised at the subtlety and speed of our responses when under threat of painful stimuli.

The Serpent in the Garden of Eden was credited with being "the subtlest of all the beasts of the field". The serpent symbolises our sensitivity to pleasure and pain, our aesthetic sensuous capacity for becoming aware of possibilities of pleasant or painful experiences. This "serpent" capacity in us is so sensitive that it can feel even the slightest preparation within a situation for a change that is to come. Thus animals may feel the electro-magnetic changes which occur in the earth before an earthquake actually occurs, and so may flee to safety before the actual event. In our own souls we often feel disquiet when some other person is, as we say, "in a bad mood". We can sense it and move away to a less unpleasant situation. Ordinarily we do not confess consciously, even to ourselves, the reason for our withdrawal, but underneath our conscious level of being, we know why we do what we do.

This super-sensitivity of our "serpent" level of being is, of course, very valuable for our self-preservation. But in its subtle, swift actions of avoidance of possible painful situations, it tends to do what many real, physical snakes do. As these seek safety from harm by sliding away into crevices in rocks, or holes in the earth, so the "serpent" level of our being tends to slide down into the so-called "unconscious" parts of the mind. Our pleasure-pain response-capacity can act just as defensively as any actual, physical snake, and with equal speed.

If it were not for the super-sensitivity of our "serpents" level of being, there would be no "unconscious" mind. The unconscious mind is simply the storehouse of all the records of pleasures and pain we have experienced and do not wish at the moment to expose. The painful records we repress, precisely because they are painful, and we do not want to replay them, for they make us tense and inhibit the free flow of our life-force, and diminish our capacity for sensuous enjoyment.

The pleasant records also may be kept in the unconscious, though not for exactly the same reason. If we were to advertise the things in which we find pleasure, we might suffer some sort of condemnation from society. We have a history of the out-lawing of certain kinds of pleasure. In primitive city-states, for the sake of group security, it was needful to forbid activities that might weaken the city's defences and expose its inhabitants to attack from other peoples.

If a man of one walled city were to fall in love with a women of another group, his carefulness about the safety of his own city might become lax. Many stories are told of cities falling as a result of emotional entanglements between members of different groups.

In consequence of such misfortunes it became needful to formulate rules of behaviour of social groups. Men and women were taught by the group leaders the means of survival for their group, and were required to obey rules devised for this purpose. The totality of such rules called the "morality" of the particular group. "Morality" meant the collection of rules deemed needful of observance for the protection of the group. A "universal" morality would be the totality of all rules needing observation by every group for the survival of all.

But each group lives under special conditions, in a definite place, and, consequence, its survival rules must be relevant to its particular situation. Thus the survival needs in one environment differ from those in another. Here is where great relational difficulties may arise for different groups who may for various reasons have come to into contact with each other.

Some early societies created within themselves sub-groups, each group specialising in some particular activity. One group may make furniture, another pottery, another may grow food, another build houses and walls. Each group would contribute to the welfare of the whole community, yet each would have its own particular materials, tools, skills and terminology to denote these.

Within a given sub-group every member would understand the meanings of the words used for its working procedures, but might not understand the terms used by other sub-groups for their special work. Without special, clearly defined terms it would not be possible to work efficiently in any given sub-group. Today a carpenter may not understand thoroughly all the terms used by an electronic engineer, or he those of a biophysicist. The troubles of many sub-groups in our modern world arise often from a misunderstanding of the special needs of each sub-group. Coal-miners may not thoroughly understand all the conditions of the men in the steel works, nor these the relation of their output to general conditions of world trade. Obviously there is need for some persons to study the basis of all the activities needed for the creation and maintenance of modern social groups and their inter-relational activities demanded for the survival of the totality of humanity dwelling on earth, and possibly in the not far future in outer space.

We can see the tremendous difficulties facing human groups in our own day. We can see that no single creature's mind can contain all the information demanded for total human survival. And we can see that mistakes are inevitable.

Faced with the unavoidability of errors in man's calculations, we can see that we learn to forgive the mistakes that will be made. If we do not forgive inevitable mistakes, we shall fall into the lowest level of mechanical reactivity. An error may produce unpleasantness, suffering and pain. If this pain dictates; our reactions we may attack and damage or destroy the committer of the error. Many a mistake in the interpretation of Marxist philosophy has sent off to Siberia a man who before his error had held high rank in Russian society.

A great difficulty lies in the fact that not every error has been unprofitable. Many mistakes have given rise to new discoveries, new useful inventions. "Who never made a mistake never made anything" is a proverb worth remembering.

"Forgiveness" does not mean a careless disregard for the results of human actions. We are not to "Forgive and Forget". We are to forgive and remember so that we shall be less likely to commit the same error again. In remembering, we are not to bear grudges or harbour resentments, for grudges and resentments inhibit the free flow of the energies which make lives possible.

A "grudge" is an inner tension state which imposes on our cells and diminishes their possibility of free function. A "resentment" is a re-feeling of an experience. Originally "resentment" had none of the negatively restricted meaning it now generally bears, but today it is usually taken to mean the re-feeling of a merely negative state, unpleasant or painful, when we remember some unfortunate action of a person which resulted in an undesirable effect on our being.

Resentment finds its worst and most unprofitable manifestation in that pathetic negative state we call "self-pity". Self-pity is the great self-poisoner, the-auto-intoxicator. It arises when a person believes himself unjustly suffering as a result of some faulty action of his own, or of another person, or as a product of the action of an uncompassionate god, or of a fundamentally badly designed world.

Of all the errors most in need of forgiveness perhaps self-pity is the worst and hardest to forgive. When we see a person in a state of deep self-pity we tend to find it hard to maintain our patience. We tend to think that he is "responsible" for his own state, perhaps more than other people are who commit more ordinary errors, and with assumed "responsibility" we tend to wish to impose a verdict of "guilty" on the sufferer.

Some errors we believe are unavoidable; some we think might be avoided if we took more care. The first we usually do not resent too much. The second we tend to have greater difficulty with. What we believe is a deliberate evil act we find impossible to forgive.

The question is raised: is a fully deliberate evil act possible? To commit such an act one would have to be absolutely free from all restraints upon one's will intelligence. Only an absolutely free being can be absolutely response-able for all aspects of its actions. But no created being can be absolutely free. The created being is embodied, enclosed in his skin, conditioned by the activities of his various internal organs, his brains, nervous system, heart and circulatory system, liver, kidneys, glands, etc. To be able effectively to control all these, a man would have to know them all thoroughly, their various structures, functions and interrelations. But this is not within the power of any created being. Not all the scientific knowledge of all the medical men and physiologists and psychologists can suffice to confer upon mankind the total control needed for his attainment of perfect freedom.

But precisely because of this we are all in need of forgiveness. We have all somewhere, at some time, committed errors, made mistakes, and shall do so in the future, let us make no mistake about this.

Yet we have the statement; "His worship is perfect freedom". What does this mean? It tells us that in spite of all our deficiencies of power and knowledge, which as creatures we must bear, there is yet a way for us to attain perfection. We can establish in ourselves, of course with much hard work, perfect motivation, perfect will to become able to do God's will for us.

Inside ourselves, at the very centre of our being, we have a God-given capacity to exercise our will; we can make an act of choice, and we can be truthful with ourselves. We can decide to state to ourselves what we prefer for our ultimate goal. We can choose to agree with God's will for all beings. God is love, and love is the will to act for the development of all beings. This divine love is real power. It is not a mere sentimental attachment to things that we find pleasant. It is power, spiritual power, the power that has created and sustains and develops all beings; and this power is intelligent, knows what it is doing and why it is doing it.

And this divine spiritual intelligent power dwells within us in the innermost centre of our being, waiting for us to make our free willed decision to co-operate with it. When we do, this will be our perfect freedom.

Part 49.

The attainment of perfect freedom is possible for us, but only if we, from the innermost centre of our being, will to co-operate with the divine spiritual intelligence that is the creator and ruler of the universe in which we live. How are we to find the innermost centre of our being?

Today there is much talk of yogic meditation as a means of attaining deeper consciousness of our spiritual self, but in principle the methods of yoga meditation are not different from the meditation procedures of all serious religious persons in all the major religions. "Yoga" means "union" of the human soul with its divine source. "Yoga" and "religion" have really the same meaning.

All meditation procedures follow generally the same course, and differ only in the form of language used to express them. First there is a withdrawal from the distractions of the outer world's things and events. Then follows a concentration of the inner consciousness on a chosen subject of meditation. Then follows the meditation process itself, a process in which we examine the interconnections of all ideas related to .the chosen subject. Finally follows the state of contemplation, in which the interrelations of all things and events discovered in the meditational process are held together in a meaningful pattern which allows us to enter into a more efficient level of survival within the great universe of which we are living, dynamic parts. Meditation presents to us in sequence a number of ideas relevant to our chosen subject. Contemplation in a single comprehensive moment gathers these ideas together in a meaningful pattern in a flash of insight which simultaneously places every element of our meditation in proper interrelationship and gives us a power of living adjustment which before our meditation was not possible for us.

Life is like a jig-saw puzzle, its pieces lying higgledy piggledy in the box of our being until we sort them out into their various patches of colour and tone and fit them together in their correct order. In their right arrangement we see a whole meaningful picture, which when the pieces were jumbled randomly together, we could not see. Meditation is like the process of sorting out the bits of the puzzle into their related colours, tones and forms. Contemplation is the whole grasp of all these as the meaningful picture they represent.

In meditation we examine each part and look for its relation with other parts. This is a serial process, a one-by-one, then two-by-two, etc. act of examination and comparison of all the parts of the puzzle. We look for similar colours tones and forms, and gradually bring them together. At each stage we get some inkling of what a part of the pattern may represent. This meditation is a step-by-step process moving little-by-little towards the final state in which, for the first time, we see the whole picture. The moment of the seeing of the whole picture is the moment of the attainment of the state of contemplation. In this state the step-by-step movement of ideas ceases, and the whole significance of all the parts of the puzzle is suddenly grasped in one single seizing. At this moment one attains enlightenment, and will never again be "puzzled" by this subject matter. A power is attained at this moment which enables us to adjust to life's demands in a way that was before impossible to us.

It helps greatly in the meditation process if we are thoroughly conscious of each step that we take. To attain to such consciousness, we are to gain some preliminary knowledge of our structure as human beings. For this we have to become aware that we have, and live on, different levels of being. Our lowest level is represented by our physical body as a merely material thing. We can think of this as our mineral level. Our bones are the type of mineral existence in us. Our next level is like that of the growing things we see in the vegetable word. Our food-intake system is here the type. Just as vegetable forms take in the minerals of the earth and environment, and digest and assimilate them, and throw out what is of no use to them, so our own inner processes of ingestion, digestion, assimilation and excretion echo those of the plant-world. We tend to think of the mineral world as "dead", and the vegetable world as "living", because the mineral world of stones and rocks gives us no obvious activities of growth, while the vegetable -world is full of demonstrations of the growing process.

When we consider our capacity to move from place to place we are in the realm of animal life. Whilst plants merely grow, animals also move. Human beings as self-movers are at animal level. Here the movements of our body and limbs are similar to those of animals, and in so far as we react to stimuli without conscious consideration and free will, we are not above the animal level of response. Much of the behaviour of human beings springs from lower than truly human level.

The fourth level of our being is that in which a degree of intellectual forethought is present, so that at this level the human being is able to exercise some control over his animal-like impulses. It is this fact of the presence of intellectual control that in general justifies the use of the term "human" for the rationally self-controlled level of our being. The human being is what he is because he has risen to the level where he is no longer driven into irrational, impulsive reactions in the presence of painful or pleasant stimuli. Animals lack this rational self-control, and so lead lives conditioned by the environmental forces which bring to them pleasures and pains.

Some thinkers have believed that the intellectually developed human being is the highest of all beings on earth, and that the intellectual should be allowed to lay down the rules of life for all other levels of being. Certainly much of the evolutionary advance of life has been made by an increase of the intellectual faculty. But we must make ourselves aware that intellect is not itself the ruler of mankind, but is merely a tool of the Will, whereby the free will enables itself to act more and mor6 profitably. The intellect is a servant, not the master, of the world-process. Above the fourth level, the level of the human being is a fifth level, that of the free will itself.

Now, we must be very careful when we try to think about the free will. Free will does not react to the pleasant and painful stimuli that reach it from the outer world situation. Nor is free will subordinate to the intellect. Free will is the very mysterious creative force that initiates changes that the intellect itself cannot predict.

It is beyond the reach of the rationally definable. Free will creates new conditions for the intellect to work upon, but is not itself conditioned by the conditions it creates. In the presence of the absolutely free will, we stand in the realm of God the Father at the point where He takes on His role of world creator.

So rare is the consciousness of the fifth level, the level of the freely creative will, that we have little information of its essential characteristics. Nevertheless, it is a possibility for us, a mode of being which, if we fully attain it, will make us able to participate with God in the process of world creation. But we must always remind ourselves that Free Will is not reactive to outer stimuli, not compulsive like the forces that drive the animal life, not conditioned by intellectual considerations. Free Will is the wholly self-determining spiritual power that gives to all creatures and to itself the capacity to become whatever it wills to become.

But there is a sixth level, above that of the Free Will, the level of Pure Consciousness, utterly beyond all conditions which the Free Will projects downwards as its means of manifestation. The ego-identified level of ordinary man's consciousness knows nothing of the sixth level, for at ego-level the affairs of time and matter, and ideas derived from these, obscure the pure light of consciousness wherein eternally true ideas are themselves forms of light, all in mutual interpenetration.

When we consider simultaneously all the six levels, we are able to conceive of them as a whole sphere of being, which we may term the seventh level. All that we have conceived as constituting total man, from the mineral, vegetable, animal, human, free-volitional, and pure consciousness -up to the whole sphere which contains these as modifications of itself, we here see as the totality of real being. To think of less than this totality is to indulge in abstraction, that is to take out of their real context the elements of the universe, and in so doing to falsify their relationships.

To see truly we must see from the still centre of our being, where alone the seven levels have not been severed from each other. As we shift our focus from this centre outwards, we become more and more subject to the lower levels of existence. We pass down from pure consciousness, via an act of Free Will into the realm of the human intellect, then into the animal level of impulsive reactive motion, then into the level of vegetative digestive and growing processes, and finally enter the mineral world, where we reduce ourselves to merely mechanically directed things whose sole mode of communication is by senseless collision. At this lowest level we become as gross materialists, unable to believe effectively in any of our higher functions, least of all those of spirit.

We cannot gain the perfect freedom which alone can bring us the real happiness we all pursue without entering the innermost centre of our being. And we cannot enter this centre without passing through the various levels of our being in order, beginning first with our physical body, which is the most easily contacted, and has relatively the greatest stability.

It is not for nothing that spirit, which is the finest of all beings, should have precipitated within itself a physical body as its basic reference point and vehicle of expression. The physical body at its most dense level of the bones, is clearly the most stable of all our levels of being. What changes occur at physical body bone-level, do so only at a very slow rate, over years of growth. Changes of muscle form occur under contractions and extensions, and within well-defined limits.

Our physical sense organs, directed outwards, bring us information of the external material world, the world of mineral existence, which has greater stability than even our bones, insofar as these change with growth.

From information conveyed to us by the material things of the outer world, our consciousness is provided with relatively stable references. What stability our earthly mental life possesses is a product of the unchanging forms of ideas gained by encounter with the fixed world of material things. (There is another kind of stability in the eternal world of spiritual truths, but this is unknown to the ordinary level earthly thinking.) The ordinary members of the human race need the stability of the things of the material world to give the much needed security without which mankind would live in a very confusing world of feelings, emotions and impulses of reaction. The creation of the relatively rigid things of the mineral world was a first condition of later created stabilised thought by the incarnation of the divine spirit itself. Here is a fact of foremost dialectical significance: gross material creation was a pre-condition of the embodiment of the subtlest of all spiritual powers. Only by material incarnation could the divine spirit enter most fully into manifestation. The "rejected stone" became the corner stone of the "new Jerusalem", the cosmic dwelling of the most High God. Gross materiality receives here its greatest significance and divine justification. Only thus could the true Messiah manifest Himself in time and to earthbound beings. Physicality is the outermost expression of spirit.

Part 50.

At the present moment many Christians are being disturbed by a new attitude towards their received doctrines. Much that has been taught as essential to Christian belief is now represented as outmoded, no longer binding on the faithful. Even leaders of the Church have abandoned the solidarity of teaching that lay-persons have assumed them to possess. Some have said that it is no longer necessary to believe that Jesus was God incarnate. The Virgin Birth and Bible Miracles, it is now said, may be mere stories told to strengthen belief in doctrine, and to maintain the existence of the Church in times when its very survival was in question.

At the same time, in the very centre of all the new questionings, is a real fear that essential spiritual truths may be lost in the attempt to fabricate new interpretations more acceptable to the modern mind, more consistent with the facts of our technically advanced world, with its Concordes, astronauts, space-stations and interstellar nuclear warfare possibilities.

What are the essential spiritual truths that we fear to lose? What do mean by "spirit" and by "truth"? These words were not invented for nothing, nor merely to create difficulties for thinkers. Human beings are what they are precisely because of the real meanings of these words. Without these words to anchor our energies we would be in real danger of annihilation as human beings. We are what we are because these words have been meaningful to the human race for thousands of years, and we shall raise our humanity to ever higher levels only if we retain under-standing of them.

By "spirit' is meant "intelligent initiating power", the creative origin of all efficiently operative things in the universe. By "Truth" is meant "the Form" in which spirit brings itself to self-realisation in action.

What people may believe or not believe of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, or of his miracles, or of any other declared historical event associated with Him, is of infinitely less importance than whatever may be believed of real human capacity Now. It is not enough for us to believe in a possibility if we have no actual capacity to realise it in our own being. The unrealisable is worthless.

Jesus taught of "spirit" and of "truth", and by these words meant something of tremendous importance to us. History since His day has been largely determined by His words and life-example. "God", He said, "is spirit, to be worshipped in spirit and in truth".

"Worship" is the act of training to become of worth. Spirit is intelligent initiating power. To train to become of worth is to exercise our free intelligence, powered by our will to become worthy. "Worthiness" is embodied truth. Truth is the eternally reliable, the form of the reality that never changes and never will change, the Truth that is "the same yesterday, today and forever".

Normally we do not worship liars and deceivers who misrepresent the facts of existence in such a way that to believe them would be to lose all contact with reality. We like "to know where we stand". We cannot live effectively in a swamp-universe where at any moment unsurety of our footing might result in our being sucked down into oblivion. Above all things we need surety.

Surety is the ground of the possibility of our freedom. If the earth opens and swallows us when we put down our feet, we shall not travel far. Truth is the form of reality. Luckily for us, reality is formed, shaped, structured, learnable. And the structure of reality at base is unchangeable.

In Time we live in a continually changing world, where surety is seldom easy to find. We have the hard rocks of mountain-ranges, but we also have volcanic eruptions and earth-quakes. But underlying all the varied changes of the Time-world, there are certain principles, certain laws of being which are unalterable.. These principles, these laws, are the real ground of eternal surety. They will never change. As we discover these laws and obey them, we shall enter the realm of eternal Truth, the place where immortality is our already attained Reality, not mere desire of mortal mankind.

It is the function of science to discover these basic laws of reality. It is function of religion to believe in the possibility of the discovery of these laws and to aid the scientists wherever humanely possible to advance their research. This is the "raising of Cain". "Cain murdered his brother Abel" means that intellect killed original faith. From that moment it became necessary to protect Cain, to keep intellect on the long path to truth, which must be followed so that Abel, that is, Faith, may be resurrected. Abel's blood crying from the ground is the voice of murdered Faith crying for resurrection.

The basic laws or principles of Reality are three, and refer to Power, Form and Function. This triad is the meaning of the Holy Trinity. Power is of God the Father; Form is of God the Son; Function is of God the Holy Spirit. These are not three separate Gods, but one God thought of in three ways.

The reason we humans have to think of the One God in three ways is because of the nature of our fallen intellect, which is an analytical machine. Intellect examines and compares things. To compare is to place in our consciousness pairs of ideas. As long as we compare, we split reality into separate forms. If we can mentally exactly lay one form on another, we say that the two are identical. We might do this with two triangles which have the same size and angles. We cannot do this with a triangle and a square. We cannot make three sides exactly fit four.
In committing ourselves to form-analysis we have agreed with ourselves to ignore what is not-formed. Thus in order to measure a form we have, for the time being, to ignore the same reality as power or function.

Today, we know that all material bodies are compounded of energy, that "matter" is energy established in a certain way. But for accurate spatial measurements of things we must ignore, for time of our measuring, that reality is fundamentally an energy system with all its constituent energy impulses or waves constantly in motion. What surety we may attain in our world will depend on our knowledge of the relationship that eternally exists between power, form and function.

By "Our Father" Jesus referred to the Infinite Power which is the source of all things. In claiming Sonship with this power Jesus declared Himself to incarnate this power in the Form of Truth. "I am the way, the Truth and the Life". In promising to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples, Jesus meant that all those who believed in, and acted upon his words would be enabled to function with Power and Truth.

The doctrines of Jesus were representations of the truths of the old Jewish faith. "I come not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it". Real truths are eternal. To be true, a "new" doctrine must simply represents the old eternal truth in a new form, must put it into words more acceptable to the contemporary mind.

There is one very important law, which embodies a statement of the eternal and necessary relation between Power and Form, which is symbolised as the relation between God as Father and God as Son. The relation of God as Father and Son is the operation called the Holy Spirit. The relation of Power and Form is the operation called "Function".

The reason for the non-explanation of these basic ideas is found in the statement of early Christian leaders that we are not to expect too much understanding from the uneducated converts to the then new religion. To understand any doctrine, there must be a comprehension of the meaning of the words in which it is expressed, and a new religion generally has some new words, or new meanings for the old words it may be compelled to use.

We cannot be too careful about the meanings of the terms we necessarily have to utilise to express our thoughts, our feelings and our will, not only if we wish to communicate them to others, but also in order to talk to ourselves. As distinct from the animals, for our communications we humans have a very great dependence upon language. We do not merely grunt or howl or bark or snarl to let others know what attitude we have towards the world in which we find ourselves. We have somehow learned to modify the sounds we make, to articulate them, to join the different sounds in special ways, and confer upon them particular or specific meanings in accord with the movement and structure of our thought.

We might ask what the problems of language as a medium of the control and expression of thought have to do with the apparently more important problems of morals, ethics and religion. Actually historically such problems have been presented to us step by step with the development of language. We cannot clearly think about things and relationships for which we have no words. As far as the humanisation of our thinking is concerned, we are profoundly indebted to words.

It is to this fact that we must turn in order to understand why the fourth gospel begins with the statement: "in the beginning was the Word". By means of the Word, human beings were elevated above the level of the animals. Let us look a little more closely at this idea.

A word is a sound with some definite significance which confines our thought to some definite view of reality or a part of it. A word allows us to order our thoughts or to express it so that we can communicate it to others. Order rescues us from chaos. Before the utterance of the Word that brings order into our minds, we are relatively in a state of chaos. The Word to which the fourth Gospel refers is the universal power which brings order into chaos.

We know that the matter of the world is nothing but energy. We know that in many parts of the universe, forces move in a non-organised way, that is to say, chaotically or randomly. But we also know that in certain parts of the universe, its constituent forces move in an orderly manner, and we know that wherever this happens the principle of order has gained ascendancy over the random forces of chaos.

Long before the appearance of the historical Jesus of Nazareth, the ancient sages had observed that reality presents evidences of a battle of opposing forces, and had named them as forces of Order and forces of Chaos, the forces of Order being defined as good, and those of Chaos as bad or evil. The wise had observed that the world is a battle-ground in which mankind stands in grave danger from the forces of chaos, and in great need of the power of Order. And the wise had looked forward to the appearance of a very special kind of human being in whom the power of good would once and for all gain victory over the forces of evil.

Did this very special kind of being actually appear, the man whom the prophets had foretold? Or is he yet to come? The Christians believe that he came; the Jews believe he is yet to come. Neither can prove what is the reality. Belief here is the only judge. Reason cannot decide for us what to believe.

What is of most importance for each one of us is to see clearly that the nature of our belief will determine for us the patterns of our life and our ultimate destination? Whether we believe with Christians that the Messiah came to us about 1984 years ago; or believe with the Jews that he is not yet to come; we are in the position of having to see how we stand, or shall stand, with him, how we, in fact, relate ourselves to the very idea of him.

Do we like the idea of the Perfect Man, the Man who triumphs over all evils? Do we love not merely the idea of him, but the very Being and Fact of him, whether he has already been or is yet to come to us? Upon the presence or absence of his love in us hangs the personal destiny of each one of us, and future of all mankind.

Part 51

The idea of the coming to earth of the Most High God in the form of a Perfect Man has always fascinated the human mind. The poor and oppressed and sick have always looked forward to the One who was to come as their Saviour. But the excessively rich and powerful and healthy have believed themselves in no need of Salvation. Thus the Promised One who is to right the world's wrongs is not to walk into a situation where everyone will totally affirm His coming. The question for each one of us is that of our attitude towards Him, if and when He comes.

Let us think for a moment of the possibility of encountering Absolute Truth, incarnate in a human body. Let us visualise the sudden arrival in our midst of the Divine Creator Himself. His whole being breathes Truth, Goodness and Beauty. His eyes see us just as we are, He is under no illusions about us. He knows what is in us, and we feel in His presence totally transparent to Him. We have no place inside ourselves unknown to Him; no dark zone of privacy in which we can cover our real motives and purposes. Are we comfortable in our spiritual nakedness?

It is easy to see that in the presence of the all-seeing Divine Being we must take up a position in relation to Him. We are none of us perfect. "All have fallen short of the Glory of God". The question is; would we like to be perfected if we could? Would we like to have taken away from us all our erroneous ideas, all our false attitudes to each other, all our flattering self-imagery? Shall we have anything left if we are stripped of all our worldly pretences, all our "airs and civil graces". Without these, will there be anything left sufficient to constitute us as a being?

Finally, when divested of all our external defences, what are we? What is a human soul?

A human soul is an ensphered zone of the spirit of God, a spark of Divinity with the three attributes or properties of that Spirit. A soul can will and feel and think. It is precisely this trinity of properties that constitutes its soulishness. It is because we can do these three things, or activate ourselves in these three ways, of thought, feeling and action, that we know that we have a Divine Origin. Only because we can feel and know ourselves capable of action in the light of our feeling and thinking do we have our human dignity.

The animals do not have this power of threefold self-analysis. Animals live by instinct, not by reflexive self-directives. Animals have no sense of conscience such as we have. They fight or play or sleep under the influence of natural forces about the origin of which they know nothing. They lack that mysterious power of self-examination that constitutes human beings precisely as human. They have no tendency to study their cosmic origin; they do not write thick books about the ethics and morality of animal relationships.

The human being, however, as far back as we trace his history has concerned himself with exactly these relations. Innumerable words have been penned or engraved or carved recording human thoughts about the human predicament. The tablets of Babylon are covered with cuneiform inscriptions, the walls of the temples of Egypt are covered with hieroglyphic writings recording the thoughts and beliefs and deeds of Pharaohs long gone. In every ancient culture we see the evidence of man's preoccupation with his fate and destiny. Nowhere has man been free from thoughts about his origin and his final resting place.

What is it in man that has driven him to seek to know the nature of his own being? Quite simply it is the original source-power of his being, the very spirit that constitutes him as man.

However we think about ourselves, we cannot escape the fact that we think about ourselves. Human beings are problematic about human beings. We do not simply eat, reproduce ourselves, and play and fight and sleep. We think about why we do these things. And out of our thinkings we invent rules to govern ourselves. We fabricate imperatives, 11shoulds", "must" and "oughts". We are never fully at rest with ourselves.

If we were mere clods of earth we could rest, lie down on the ground like unthinking stones, unmoving, unbothered by the realities around us. But we are not mere clods. For better or worse we are thinking and feeling and willing beings. And we cannot rest easily until our thinking and feeling and willing are balanced in us in some sufficient agreement. Above all, what our humanness requires and demands from us is consistency.

We shall never rest comfortably in our souls until we have gained self-consistency. Consistency is that in us which holds our being together. It is that which stops us disintegrating into innumerable particles. Consistency attained is the guarantor of our existential security. Without self-consistency there can be for us only atomisation or annihilation. This is why mankind has fought for thousands of years to gain a condition of non-self-contradiction, for self-contradiction finally spells annihilation.

Man's three greatest problems have been those of God, of immortality, and of the soul. These three problems are inextricably linked together. Let us see why.

Our idea of God is that of an Infinite Intelligent Power, Creator of the Universe and of all things in it. Today we have but little trouble with the idea of Universal Power. We know that matter itself is nothing but a form of energy, and we know that the Universe itself is constituted entirely of energy in various forms. What science has excluded, and deliberately excluded, is that fact of experience which we call intelligence. Intelligence is not a proper subject-matter for scientific research, for it cannot be put on a laboratory table and dissected with sharp scalpels. The brain can be cut to pieces, but the intelligence of the operating surgeon cannot be cut to pieces in the same facile manner. Intelligence is not a thing, not a gross material body which may be attacked with a material knife. Intelligence is a Mystery. Intelligent men know what they mean by their own intelligence, but they experience it only internally, beyond the physical knife's reach.

Power we can understand more easily than we can understand intelligence. Power or energy we can define simply as the cause of effects. We strike something with a hammer and the thing breaks; and we call the blow struck the "cause", and the breaking of the thing "effect". All this is relatively simple; we can touch the thing, see it, hear the sound of the blow struck. We can, if we wish, taste or smell the material of the thing. But we cannot physically touch, see, hear, taste, or smell intelligence. Here is our problem of the idea of God.

Universal power or energy is an idea that we can grasp. It is simply the idea of a force striking and producing effects which we call phenomena, or appearances or events or things. But if we leave out the idea that this universal power is intelligent, then we cannot legitimately call it "God". A God is a proper subject for worship, A power or energy void of intelligence is not worthy of worship. We may use energy, trap it in various devices and make it work for us, like we do the energy of petrol in our car-engine. But we do not worship petrol, we merely use it. We pump it up from the depths of the earth and compel it to serve our purposes.

God, to be worthy of our respect, must be intelligent. It is not enough to think of Him merely as unintelligent universal energy, at the beck and call of man's intelligence, subject to human whim or fancy. If the originating Power of the Universe in not intelligent it is not God. It may be used by man, but not worshipped by him. To be worthy of worship, power must be intelligent, and unless we are to fall into a foolish and illogical dualism, we must allow that universal power and universal intelligence are but two different names for two different aspects of one primary universal fact, the fact of Being itself. What being we ourselves have is but that portion of the Universal Being allotted to us by that Being. Our relation with God is like that of a part of an indivisible Whole to that indivisible Whole. "In Him we live move and have our being".

The human soul is that intelligent power which we experience as our own self. At our present level of evolution we experience this as associated with a physical body. But the soul is not the physical body. The body we can cut up, take away parts of it, remove a limb or a kidney or a heart by a surgical operation; and after the operation the soul, the intelligent power that is man, can say, "I had an operation; I had my heart removed, and another one given to me in its place; and I am still the person I was before the operation. I am still the same intelligent power, the same soul, the same identity". This is an unarguable fact of experience.

Now we shall consider the problem of immortality. To be "mortal" is to be subject to death. The evidence of death is firstly a lack of the activities that we associate with life. The "living" are active, can move themselves; the "dead" cannot; the "dead" are passive; they lie where they are placed. They are inert. A final proof of death is the disintegration of the body, which at last falls to dust. "Mortal" means finally subject to disintegration. Can a soul disintegrate?

The soul is not subject to disintegration, for the soul is but a locus of divine spirit, which itself is absolutely beyond the possibility of disintegration. The soul can separate from the body, but not from itself. The body can disintegrate, can fall apart, become dust and ashes and return to the earth from which these were derived. But the soul must go back to God who gave it its being as part of Himself. If the soul cannot disintegrate, is there anything that it need fear?

The soul itself is immortal, but one of its powers is that of memory. The soul stores in its substances the memories of all its deeds, feelings and thoughts. It may hide itself from these memories, but it cannot eliminate them. Suppressing unpleasant or painful memories has created the so-called "unconscious" mind. But suppressed memories of facts are not eliminated from the soul. The totality of all our deeds, feelings and thoughts, all our innermost motivations, good or evil, remains with us eternally. This is why we need a Saviour, why we need divine help.

Although the soul itself cannot disintegrate, its body can, and finally will. But not only the body can disintegrate; so also can idea structures. Here we are in grave danger. During life we strive to build an image of our self, and image that we impose on our soul as worthy of persisting in being, or that we may impose on others in order to gain their respect or good opinion. But if this image is to survive; if it is able to resist disintegration, it must be self-consistent.

Now, the soul builds in itself an idea-structure in order to give itself what it refers to as its identity. Apart from an idea-structure one soul would be like another. If we were to remove from the soul all its ideas, that is, every mental form, then we would have removed from it precisely that which distinguishes it from all other souls. A totally formless soul would be a mere zone of feeling, with no thought or will. A mass of such souls would be formally undifferentiated, indistinguishable from each other. Without formal differences, that is diversity of ideas, no soul could be recognized as itself as opposed to the others.
This fact of the indistinguishability of souls which lack idea-differences, or form-differences, gives us the means to understand why souls are brought into association with physical bodies, that is why they incarnate. Souls embody themselves in order, by experiences, to gain formal or idea-differences, for this alone can distinguish them from each other. Our individuality depends upon the diverse experiences we undergo while incarnate in a physical body.

Part 52.

Within the experiences we undergo as living souls in physical bodies is the experience that we call "choosing". To choose is to select from all possibilities open to us some particular course of action or thought, or some feeling attitude which relates us to events in a particular way.

If we like, we can make an image of an act of choice by thinking of the whole of reality as like a great Christmas pudding, and ourself as taking a sharp knife and cutting out of this pudding a piece which we imagine will be enough to satisfy our appetite for the time being. We are to remember that this pudding, which represents total reality, is not like an ordinary physical pudding, which is limited in size and is made of material constituents. The pudding which represents total reality is infinite, unlimited, and so can never be reduced to nothingness. No matter how often we may cut a piece from the unlimited pudding of total reality, we shall never reduce its size, never be able to take it all into ourself and digest it so that absolutely nothing remains.

It is this impossibility of our ever swallowing and digesting the whole of the totality of reality that gives all intelligent persons their sense of humility. Humility is the feeling that we experience inside ourself when we stand consciously in the presence of something that we know beyond doubt is, and will remain, impossible for us.

We may put men on the moon, or on mobile space-platforms among the stars, but there will always be somewhere we have not yet been. Beyond ail our attainments, no matter how clever they may be, there will always be another "beyond". "Beyondness" is one of the characteristics of total reality. "Beyondness" is the source of the humility of intelligent human beings.

Thus, when we choose anything whatever, we know that our choice has not reduced the possibility of further possible choices. Choice-possibility will always remain infinite.

There are people who have not yet realised this everlasting possibility of further choices. These people live and work and choose in the belief that finally they will have reached the point where a last and final choice can be made. Then, having made this last choice, they believe there will be no further choices to make, for all things and events and relations will be known, the effects of all choices understood, and man will have become omniscient, and be a real "lord of total reality". Such is the belief, conscious or unconscious, of many empirical scientists. They believe that someday all things will be discovered, all things will have become manipulable by man, the scientist. All that will then remain to be done will be to shuffle and re-shuffle the elements of reality until all permutations of all parts of reality shall have been exhausted. Then the fully accomplished scientist will be able to rest. But there will still remain the possibility of a choice, whether this all-knowing scientist will take his well-earned rest, or whether he will continue to shuffle the elements of reality, not into new patterns (for there will be no new patterns, for all shall be known) but into patterns already known, merely for the sake of the exercise. For the alternative to this exercise will be everlasting uniform stillness, an eternal non-activation of possible actions.

But there are a few people, so far only a few, who have made another choice, a single choice which makes all other choices unnecessary. This is the choice that places one's whole soul in the hands of the Supreme Being who constitutes of Himself the total reality of which we ourselves are but minute parts.

This single choice makes one who so chooses into a willing acceptor of all things. This single choice brings us into a condition where we can adjust our whole soul to the whole activity of the whole reality of Universal Being, and in this adjustment find the real meaning of our being and of the infinite intelligent power-Being we call "God".

Many people have thought that total acceptance of all things would reduce them to a state of total passivity, so that they would be but a mere piece of flotsam on the infinite ocean of life. In fact, the contrary of this is true. Total acceptance gives total adjustability.

When we accept anything into our consciousness, we do not lose our capacity to adjust our actions to it; rather we gain increased ability to deal with the elements of the situation we have accepted. A parachuter committing himself to free-fall in the presence of gravity, air-resistance, and laws of physical body-balance, etc. does not lose control of himself; rather he finds new ways of self-control unknown to those not yet committed to the laws of free-fall.

Every acceptance of new conditions discloses new possibilities of adjustment. Therefore infinite acceptance of the infinity of possible new conditions reveals an infinity of possible new adjustments. This is what is meant by the "infinite transparency of the sage". To be mentally opaque is to be deprived of information. To be transparent is to be open to all the information offered to us be total reality. To be opaque is to be closed to reality. To be transparent is to be open to reality and to all its contents. The stupid man is opaque, the intelligent man is transparent.

To become opaque one must refuse information. To become transparent one must accept information. Information increases our capacity to adjust. Lack of information decreases our intelligent adjustment possibilities. When we read that Jesus was "all things to all men", we see that He was transparent to all men, that he was open to all men, that he knew all that was in men, because he accepted all that was in mankind. Jesus knew what was in man, and rejected nothing of this information, for he knew that by this information he could adjust to the reality of man, and so help man towards self-acceptance.

Not to accept oneself as one is, is to deprive oneself of the possibility of self-change. To be unconscious of a fault is to be in a position of inability to change it. To change we must know ourselves. "Know thyself" said the Delphic Oracle. Self-knowledge is the first condition for self-change.

Without self-change can be no improvement of the conditions of the self. To know what is within us is to be like Jesus. Most of us do not know what is within us. We have been trained as children to acquire some socially acceptable behaviour patterns. We have been conditioned to act within human society in certain ways which do not too much disrupt society. We have come to believe largely that we are socially adjusted and acceptable in sufficient degree to our fellow men. But underneath our garb of social acceptability we know that other forces are at work in us.

"I send you out as sheep amongst wolves", said Jesus to his disciples, "Be ye therefore as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves". Jesus knew what was in mankind. The creatures here mentioned are representatives of certain kinds of tendencies. The "sheep" signify our tendency to stay with the flock and follow the flock leader; the "wolves" represent the basic appetite hidden' in every living being; the "serpents" are the symbols of the inherent cunning which wriggles in all creatures to pursue pleasures and avoid pains; the "doves" are emblems of the universal desire for peace and love which all beings have central to their hearts.

In us all there are sheep and wolves and serpents and doves. No living being is without these four types of being. To know thoroughly this fact is, in this respect, to be like Jesus. Jesus accepted the sheep, wolves, serpents and doves in man, and adjusted to them with all his intelligence. We are all "in the same boat" the Noah's Ark which contains all kinds of beings. One of the titles of Jesus is "Pantherion", which means all animals.

The problem for us as human beings is how to live with the animals in the Ark. "Noah" means intelligence, the Noetic principle or Nous. Man is what he is precisely because he is a Noah's Ark, a vessel of intelligence, filled with all kinds of animal instincts, impulses and tendencies, all gathered into one body-boat, and all needing care, attention, and good government. We are to remember that the Bible has at least four levels of interpretation, and that one of these is the allegorical. When we read the Bible, we are not to read only the literal face-meaning; we are to look for the "other-reading", the allegory, which gives depth to our understanding. When we thoroughly understand allegory, we know the basis of homily and of the mystical meaning so carefully protected from misuse by the "profane" or uninitiated masses of unbelievers. We are to remember that in the early days of Christianity, believers in Jesus Christ's message were often persecuted, tortured, or put to death, for the new teaching of spiritual freedom threatened the overthrow of tyrants and dictators, and these struck out against those who spread this gospel. Today, the Truth of the right of individual self-determination and the inviolability of personal conscience, is still under threat from the totalitarian states. Brain-washing attempts to stifle individual free spiritual expression are not confined to Russia. Everywhere the sheep are in danger from the wolves, and the serpents seek to deceive the doves.

In the presence of the all-seeing eyes of the perfect man, He who knows what is in man, we are to ask ourselves if we mind being understood by Him. Here we are to choose whether we will like to be seen through, or whether we would rather be opaque to the All-seeing Eye, although this opacity is impossible to attain.

When we try to make ourselves opaque to the All-Seer, we merely bury within ourselves things that we would rather not admit. But this burying does not eliminate the faults we wish to hide; it merely encoffins them in the depths of our mind. This is how the so-called unconscious mind was created. It is but the zone of our being in which we have encapsulated all the things we do not wish to know about ourselves. And it is this zone of the mind which is the residence of all that we mean by neurotic of psychotic unconsious reactivity. To return to whole spiritual health we have to do away with our opacity, we have to return to the original spiritual transparency which was the state of the first human being before he fell into the opacity of mind which evermore, until now, was to make true perception extremely difficult, if not impossible.

After a long period of self-deception, spread over many generations, we have reached a position where truth presented openly can be the occasion of painful reaction. We have all experienced some degree of pain when we have been brought suddenly to face something about ourselves, our character or behaviour, that we would rather not know. It is painful for us to admit the wolf and serpent within us. The sheep and dove seem harmless, and so are more or less acceptable to us, but they do not have a highly developed sense of personal self-responsibility and they are not likely to be able to rescue those who fall into difficulties.

To choose between things that are obviously able to please or hurt us is relatively simple. But to choose between total acceptance of whole reality and total rejection of it, is not easy. Most of us tend to compromise, to accept some things we find pleasant, and to reject some we find unpleasant, and to have a scale of degrees of pleasantness and of unpleasantness. But ultimately this compromise must cease. Only total acceptance of total reality is finally saving. And this is the meaning of the Cross.

The Cross, with which all Christians are familiar, is a symbol of the colossally important universally true fact, that all things whatever are inextricably interrelated with each other and with the Source power of them all. Things have as much possibility of being separated from each other and from their universal origin, as waves on the sea have of being free from mutual interference with each other, or from the very sea which makes their existence possible. Absolute insulation of things from each other is a total impossibility. Whether we like it or not, our fate and destiny is that of the Universal Supreme Being that is our very origin. We are in and of God. There is nowhere at all where we can possibly effectually hide from Him.

Part 53

There is one thing that we can say with certainty: it is that whatever else we may appear to be, we are all of us of the original power that constitutes all the things of the world we know. We can say that we are modalities or modifications, or modes of activity of that power which has built or created or evolved the universe and everything in it. If we call this originating power "God", then we say, "In God we live, move and have our being". We have all heard this many times. It will be good for us to meditate upon its meaning. Often sheer familiarity with a saying leads us to believe that we do not need to think about its meaning. We think we know enough about it already.

But we do not know enough about it. Not even the most accomplished of scientists knows for certain what is the real nature of the power that constitutes the things of the world. Theories are many, but certainties are rare. We are offered "Steady State" theory, or "Big-Bang" theory, or various other opinions of the origin of the universe, but we are not given certain proofs of their truth. Ultimate source-power is as much a mystery today as it was thousands of years ago.

But yet there is something, as we have said, that is certain. Whatever the originating power of all things may be, ourselves are part of it, or activities of it, patterns of its behaviour.

When we think of a cause of anything, we often call this cause the "Father" of its effect. "Father" means generative power, the power that put us here, where we are. Hence, when we think of the power which is the source of all things in the universe, we can say, as the Norse-men used to say, this universal power is the "All-Father", the Father of all things. When we think of ourselves collectively as the whole human race, we say "Our Father", and mean the power that put us here where we are in existence.

When we pray to "Our Father", if we do so in good faith, knowing what we mean by this title, we place our mind in touch with this originating universal power; we tune our consciousness to it, and receive from it a response. This is a very important fact. It is the basis of all faith-healing, all harmony of spirit, soul and body. We tune our mind to its corresponding part of the universal all-creative power. We thereby partake of this power, and so increase our survival probability.

The all-originating power, the All-Father, is our Father, our generative power, our creativity, that whereby we are able to do all the things that we do. This is the power that Jesus speaks of when he says "greater works than these shall you do, if you go to my Father". There is creative power in us for more than we have yet realised; and this power is intelligence itself. We can afford to remind ourselves of the fact that an ultimate dualism in the primary cause of all things is impossible. Two totally different things could not in any way interact. There is power in the universe, and there is also intelligence. Dualism is impossible. Power and intelligence interact. We know this even in our own small human way.

That power and intelligence interact proves that they cannot ultimately differ; they are two different forms of a mysterious something or somewhat behind both. This mysterious somewhat is what we mean by "God". "God" is a short, economic way of saying "That mysterious somewhat which appears to our mind as the intelligent power-source of all things". Let us try to remember this when we use that little monosyllable. To remember this is to tune ourselves in to the greatest intelligent power that is, in all reality.

There is a proverb that says: "To voice is to invoke". This means that when we utter a word, we call into our mind that which that word represents. If we say "War", we stir memories in us of conflict. If we say "Peace", our memories change to more harmonious form. Let us remember this: "To voice is to invoke".

In India this idea that speaking wakens memories hidden in the mind, gave rise to a whole system of mind control which uses words or sound-patterns as determinants of the contents of our consciousness. This system is called Mantra-Yoga, and as such become of recent years somewhat popular. A Mantra is a sound-pattern, or a word, or a group of phonetic vibrations, or even a single sound, used to tune in the mind to some mental, psychic, spiritual or physical state.

But although Indian Mantras have caught popular imagination, the truth that sound patterns or words can influence the human mind and stimulate it to react has not been confined to India. All the great religions have- taught the efficacy of sounds to produce effects in the human soul, mind and body. Every hymn sung seriously is a mantric invocation. Every prayer sincerely voiced is a sound-pattern with tremendous power to awaken the soul to awareness of capacities that otherwise would lie latent in us. Real, sincere prayer is magical, that is, it awakens powers of performance in us that ordinarily we know nothing of.

We have said, "Every prayer sincerely voiced". It is not enough simply to say the words of a prayer. We must know what we are saying, understand what we are saying, and mean it. We must back what we are saying with our will. Will empowers speech. Without the will to make our words operative, it is useless merely to move our lips, vibrate our vocal cords and move our tongue to modify the sounds that result from the air that we breathe out. Our heart must be in our words. The heart is the centre of our real feelings, our innermost motives, and it is these feelings and motives that model the energies of our soul and make them effective within our being and in the world.

Prayer is work, mental, psychic and spiritual work that can change things, determine events, create relationships in the various parts of our being, and the external world, even in material things. Real prayer is operative power. So far, we have not taken the power of prayer seriously enough. We have thought that the idea that "faith may move mountains" is a mere figure of speech, an allegory, but sincere prayer is faith at work. Faith is the very substance of things hoped for. Faith is power. Things are modalities of power, ways that power or energy behaves. Properly formed sincere prayer is faith in process of modelling events.

Events themselves are but behaviour patterns of power, and we are to remember that power and intelligence are but two aspects of the one ultimate mysterious somewhat that is the originating source of all things.

In these days of general fear of nuclear war, we need faith in our ability to survive, faith in one power to influence events, faith in our inherent intelligence, which will tell us what to do if some unfortunate madman presses the fatal button that initiates equally mad retaliations.

It is certain that a mind charged with intelligent power has the greatest survival probability in any situation. It is certain that faith gives us our greatest positivity, and that positivity is the power that put us here in the first place.

To "posit" is to establish power-patterns. Positivity is our power to establish a pattern of events for ourselves and for our world. The existential world itself is proof of the positivity of the power that created it.

To "negate" is to say "No" to something, to inhibit its development, to halt creative tendencies. To be "negative" to events is to think that we have no power over them. In states of negative feeling, we believe that we are at the mercy of forces that act on us, that they can determine what is going to happen to us, that there is nothing we can do about things. But this state of negativity arises from the way we talk to ourselves about events. Let us remember: "To voice is to invoke".

We hear voices in our mind and we tend to think that these voices are our own. When we think, we tend, consciously or otherwise, to believe that what is being thought is our own, originated by ourself. If we listen carefully, we will find that not all our thoughts that we find in our mind are created by us, not all of the talking in us that formulates our thoughts is our own. We have all stored up in our minds the statements of all the people we have heard voicing their assessments of things. The voices of our parents, our relatives, our friends, our teachers, and the world at large are aft recorded in our mind, most of them unconscious.

Most of what we think is derivative from the expressed thoughts of others, stored unconsciously in our mind, and stimulated into activity by random events of the world. Careful internal listening will prove this to us and make us realise that we have inner work to do on our selves, a work that must be done if we are to gain the freedom that we know we need.

To think a thought that is truly our own, we have to learn to discriminate between our own inner voice, and those innumerable voices of all the people we have ever known. This sounds like very hard work, and is so. But it is not impossible work. It is work within our capacity. After we have taught ourselves to listen well to the voices that conduct the thought processes in us, we begin to recognise the voices of parents, friends, etc. expressing their opinions of things, and we become able as we listen to say to ourself, "That voice is not mine! It is the voice of mother or father, or aunt Matilda, or uncle Ronald, or my friend, or my old teacher, etc."

We begin to be able to recognise our own voice among all the others, and to separate it from them, and to know whether it is truly expressing what we really mean. We begin to find our own true inner self, the self whose view of reality is our very own. When we do this, we are "born again."

Our ordinary life is led for us by the voices and opinions of the most impressive and forceful persons we have known, our parents, relatives, teachers, friends, enemies, and so on. Not many of us are quite uninfluenced by the opinions of people we have met or heard of. Great men create followers, famous women fascinate the public. We are seldom left free to examine our own innermost self and to decide precisely what we really are or will to become. Our ordinary life has been dictated to us from the moment of our birth from our mother, the birth that we call our first. But we have another life possible for us, a quite non-ordinary life, a life of intelligent creative power. This new life requires us to undergo a second birth. This is what is meant when we are told we must be born again.

Ordinary life is lived under orders from outside ourself. Our first birth, the physical birth from our mother, puts us under the authority of the external world's organisations and institutions, and this subordination to outer authority is very necessary for the formulation of our character as socially adjusted beings, members of human society, able to relate effectively to each other. We have duties to perform to justify our position in relation to other people in the world.

But we have duties to perform not only in order to be able to adjust our actions to those of other people, we have also a duty to our own self, to develop our self and our talents, which are God-given. A Beethoven, a Bach, a Mozart, a Michelangelo, a Turner, each had his duty to perform, in accord with his talents or genius. This duty is a divine imperative, and to become able to perform it, we must go through the process we call being "born again". We must at some point begin to listen to and obey our own unique, innermost voice, the voice of our deepest essential will, for this voice is the voice of God within us, telling us what very special talents we have and are to develop and to express, for the, glory of God and the further enrichment of the collective human soul and of the world.

Part 54

How are we to distinguish between our own God-given, unique, innermost voice and the innumerable other voices that we may hear speaking in our mind? The voices of other people that we innerly hear have a certain urgency about them. Urgency is the sign of private aim. Private aim is found in most people most of the time. Private aim is the aim that seeks to benefit some creature or group at the expense of other beings. It aims at self-aggrandisement or self-security, or self-survival, without regard to the effects of its actions on other selves or groups. It is precisely because of its private nature that the selfish aim is characterised by urgency.

Of quite opposite character is the God-given innermost voice, for this has no urgency, no intent of private gain. The God-given voice is "a still, small voice". When all the noise and bluster and cunning suggestivity of private voices cease, we can hear, a very quiet voice within us, a voice that needs no urgency because it has no private purposes, and speaks only Truth.

When we say that a triangle has three sides, the self-evidence of this statement makes it unnecessary for us to shout about it. Extra loudness of voice will not make the statement more true than it already is. We do not need to jump up and down or bang our fists on the table-top to prove that two times one make two, or two times two make four. Urgency has no place here. Self-evident truth needs no special extra weight to display itself.

When the "still, small voice" speaks, its truth is not private, does not aim at merely selfish advantage. It is happy to let itself give universal benefit to all who will to receive it. The truth of the four-sidedness of squares has universal application. The structural strength of triangles is for anyone to use. Regardless of race, colour or creed, everyone who understands pi-ratio, or the principles of geometry, or universal logic, may benefit from their use. "God is no respecter of persons", nor of their private selfish purposes. He has no need for urgency. His all-powerfulness makes it unnecessary. His "mills grind slowly, but down to the smallest of all grains". He has eternity to work in, while creatures have only limited time. Hence He has no need to "raise his voice".

When we listen inside ourselves to the endless chattering of the voices of everyone recorded in our mind, if we observe carefully, we find bias in them; we find the voices loaded with degrees of emotional urgency; and we know that each voice belonged originally to a person with a purpose.

A purpose may be private, or it may be universal. A private purpose precisely because of its privacy, must be to some degree afraid, for someone may frustrate it. Privacy is always fearful of frustration. Thus privacy must guard itself against those it fears. It is this guardedness that creates the tension that we hear and feel in the urgent voice. To be free from this tension and urgency we must be happy to see the benefit of any truth made universal. When we are prepared to let whatever benefits we have given universal distribution, urgency ceases, because private purpose with its personal fears and tensions also ceases. Then we can hear the "still, small voice" of God within us. The clamour of private urgencies has ceased, and nothing now drowns the little voice of eternal, universal truth.

People with private selfish aims are necessarily secretive about their intentions. Having to keep a secret creates tension, and tension expresses itself as urgency. Hence the records of voices of people in our mind are usually charges with urgency. Just as the persons with private purposes use emotional charges on their words to influence our responses and persuade us to obey their suggestions or commands, so the mental records in us of their voices are emotionally charged, and, if we are not careful, may drive us into activities that later we have cause to regret.

In our minds are the records of all words we have heard, and most of them are emotionally charged and urgeful. Ordinarily we tend to accept the words recorded and replayed in our minds as of our own thought processes. When we hear sentences spoken in our mind, we tend to believe that we ourselves are so speaking; we think that we ourselves pre thinking the thoughts the sentences and words express. But seldom Is this really so. Most of the ideas and thoughts that run through our mind are second-hand or third-hand, or from even more remote sources. The only ideas that we could truly say would be our own, would be those that after deep consideration we would agree with wholeheartedly.

None of us like to be deceived. All of us, in our innermost selves, would prefer, if possible, to be truthful to ourselves. Only if we know the truth do we know where we stand in the world and in ourselves. But although we do not desire to be deceived, we find that in certain parts of us there is a tendency to find certain truths uncomfortable, or even painful. Whenever we have allowed ourselves to fall into the pursuit of private gain at the expense of other persons, we tend to be afraid that our private aims may be exposed and that our self-image may be damaged. To pursue private advantage over other persons sets us on guard against possible exposure. Here is the source of much of our guilt.

"Guilt" is the feeling we experience when we think that there may be reprisals for something we have done. When Cain murdered his brother, there at once arose in him fear of reprisals. "Now every man's hand will be against me" he said, and began to guard himself against counter attacks from other people.

What today we call "stress disorders" are largely the products of fears of reprisals. Everywhere in human society people seek advantage over each other, and know that they do so. Our society is, as we say, competitive, internationally, in business, in personal relationship, in all the affairs of daily life, and because of this, we do not wholly trust each other. How can we trust each other, if we know that we have private purposes, if we know that we are competing for the limited gains that human society has to offer. If we ourselves are misrepresenting to others our purposes, are we not bound to suspect others of doing likewise?

Everyone knows that great nations spy on each other, misrepresent to each other their aims, hold banquets to exchange ideas, but take care not to leak out their own intentions. At the top level, all accept the rules of the game. They applaud the maxim "May the best man win" and do their utmost to be this "best man". They accept that in the pursuit of power and control over territories rich in raw materials and strategic advantages, other nations will do their best for themselves and their own nationals. According to their lights they fight what they believe is the "good fight", the fight for the survival of their own kind.

But although almost everyone accepts the facts of international espionage on the world scale, and loves to read novels about it, or to see plays dealing with international trickery, yet few are happy with the idea that perhaps not only great nations, but small groups also play similar games. Not many people are able to contemplate with equanimity that there is war and espionage even amongst very small groups, as small perhaps as a single family, where, as Jesus said, there would be father against son, mother against daughter, and so on. Yet we all know of inter-family squabbles over properties and money and the means to self-security.

But all these external battles of nations, and governments and trades-unions and sub-groups and businesses and families are not what is meant by the "Good Fight". There is no real good in the external battles of peoples with each other. The only real true "Good Fight", is the battle which each individual has inside himself with the contradictory elements of his own being. Inside us all are innumerable voices, multitudes of feelings, emotions, impulses, all needing to be brought face to face with each other, for only in this face-to-face meeting may their contradictions be exposed and resolved.

Amidst the hubbub of contradictory voices in us is waiting the "Still small voice". We shall not hear it until the clamourous multitudes are stilled. When the storm ceases then we can hear. We can know what it means to say, "Be still, and know that I am God".

To gain this stillness, we have to know that the urgencies that would provoke us to reaction are not from real spiritual self. We have to divide ourselves into voices of truth, and voices against truth. And we have to take sides -for truth, against falsity. We must "blow hot for truth, and blow cold against untruth". If we will not choose truth and refuse lies; if we try to compromise with them, and "blow neither hot nor cold", the God of Truth will have nothing to do with us.

There is no room for compromise in the battle of Truth and Untruth. The one is not the other, and we must choose between them. Inside our own mind we must distinguish between the One Truth, the Truth quietly voiced by the non-urgent "still small voice", and the legions of lies told urgently by the voices of the privately purposed persons to whom we have been from childhood so long exposed.

A little child records in its innocent mind all the statements of everyone around it; and not only the words are recorded, but also the emotional charges upon those words. Thus the little child is conditioned, not only by the words it hears, but by the emotional attitudes of the ones who speak them.

The little child at first has no developed critical faculty of intellect by which to discriminate truth from falsity. It takes its directives largely from the emotional attitudes of the "grown-ups" who surround it. The child can believe for a time in Santa Claus, in fairies, in goblins, in "goodies" and "baddies" and in hosts of things that later it will discard as nonsense.

But the emotional attitudes to things that the "grown-ups" like or dislike are not so easy to remove. If not re-assessed they will remain as they were when first acquired, and will condition the whole future life of the child. Hence it would be better for the adult who has misled a child to "have a millstone put round his neck and for him to 'be drowned in the sea". This is a very strong metaphor, and if taken literally would be very rough justice. But its meaning is hardly less comfortable. Every time an adult misleads a child, the child acquires a false attitude to life, and will respond wrongly to its life situations. And as the adult sees the results of the mis-education the child has received, they will be felt as a great weight upon him. It will feel as if in truth he has upon his neck a mill-stone, and that its weight is pressing him down into a sea of negative emotions.

We all know how an accidental or careless remark can lead a child into a false attitude to life, and we try wherever we can to avoid making such remarks. But although we are as careful as we can be to teach our children to love and honour truth, we find it much harder to do this ourselves in our dealings with adults. If we deliberately tell lies to a child, we feel uncomfortable, and tend to invent reasons to justify them, and call them "white lies", lies backed by good intentions, stories told to pacify the child for the time being.

But when we hide truths from adults, we feel less guilty; we feel self-justified; we tell ourselves that our distortions of truth are necessary for our survival. We believe that other "grown-ups" are also engaged in misrepresenting the realities for the sake of their survival. We believe we are in a "cold war" situation, and that we are justified in our external battles, and in disguising them under the rituals of social intercourse and surface-appearances of harmony and concord. We neglect the inner "Good Fight" for the sake of the outer "bad fight". Its effects on our own souls we know little of. We are not such good psychologists as Jesus showed himself.

Part 55

This problem of the "Good Fight" as opposed to the "Bad Fight" is so very important that we need to examine it more closely. The "Bad Fight" is the outer fight which is fought against other human beings we have defined as our enemies. The "Good Fight" is the inner struggle we have with our own mental, emotional and impulsive tendencies, tendencies which drive us to think, feel and do things that we later know it would have been better for us not to do.

Just as in the outer "Bad Fight" there are rules that the great military leaders observe, so there are rules for the inner "Good Fight". Why do we call the outer fight a "bad" one? Because it does not produce the effects it aims at. The 1914/18 War was fought to make "a world fit for heroes to live in". The 1939/45 War was fought so that "Germany should not rise again." Neither aim was attained. There is no way that an external war can give final peace. "To every action there is a reaction". No human being likes to have suffered defeat at the hands of another. Resentment for injuries received tends to devise means of retaliation, and sooner or later these means are put into practice. Evidence for this is found throughout all history.

But although no final peace has been attained by waging the outer war, the techniques of that war have throughout time become more and more refined. From the original physical clash of arms there has arisen knowledge of certain procedures that have proved more effective than others. Gradually there has been developed a growing awareness that sheer brute force is not the most effective way of using energy. Slowly it has been realised that intelligence is the final determinant of any successful outcome of action. But intelligence is inner, not outer. Instead of mere muscle against muscle, or steel against steel, the battle has become characterised by the use of more and more intelligence. Strategy has displaced the low level violent fist.

The great warrior-leaders of the outer battles have been led over more inward to discover the principles that lead to victory. The rules have discovered have attained formulation by ever deeper meditation on the nature of war as such, and these rules are all based on knowledge of the nature of man himself, on knowledge of his body, mind, soul and spirit.

Man has several levels of being. He exists as a physical living body, as a feeling being, as a being recording in himself the events of his temporal existence, as a being able to contemplate certain eternal principles of universal significance, as a being of will or initiative, as a being with conscious awareness of the relational possibilities of all these.

From meditation on these various levels of being, the great leaders of mankind have built a system of analysis of any and every situation. From awareness of the physical level of being has arisen the consciousness of the material factors which must be considered in any act of war. From the fact of feeling and emotional responses to stimuli has arisen the study of methods of building, maintaining or destroying morale, of raising or lowering confidence and belief in the possibility of success. From knowledge of the opportunities of given times and places has arisen the study of tactics and consciousness of when and where to do this or that group of actions.

From contemplation of the world-wide nature of conflict has come the over-all knowledge of the nature of strategy. From deep self-awareness of the nature of initiative and will has come the ability to take the first step which can change the direction of events. From study of the nature of consciousness itself has arisen the overall wisdom which can control in the most economic way all things below it; and the knowledge that consciousness itself can function as a catalyst, a precipitator of world-situations.

Materials, morale, tactics, strategy, initiative and overall awareness of all these, are all needed for the waging of successful outer wars. These same factors are also needed for the conducting of the efficient inner battle which we call "the Good Fight". Let us look at these a little more closely.

The basic materials of the "Good Fight" are all those physical elements which constitute our physical body. Mineral elements which exist in us have their own specific natures. Largely they come from intake of food which itself is composed of certain chemicals and their combinations. Each type of food we eat requires a particular kind of chemical to deal with it, to digest and assimilate it, and build it into our body and maintain it. If we take in the wrong kind of materials, we create conditions of trouble within our body, and if our body is troublesome to us, it tends to distract us from the other and higher work we have to do. A badly fed body, and an unhealthy body is not happy, does not leave us free to contemplate other levels of being which would bring us nearer to our ultimate goal. From an unhappy body come the conditions which tend to lower morale.

Morale is high when we are happy and functioning well. The feeling of well-being which comes from the healthy well-fed body can give us the confidence to go forward to fulfil our life purposes. Lack of the feeling of well-being tends to lower our morale, to weaken our belief in our capacity to continue our advance into the future.

Tactical knowledge comes from our experience of events in time and space. In each time-space situation, certain things are possible and other things are not. The time of year may make some things difficult or impossible, and other relatively easy. Spring, summer, autumn and winter have their particular characteristics, which help or hinder certain kinds of activity. As with time, so with space. Certain places make possible or easy, or difficult, or impossible certain types of activity. Many wars have been fought on wide plains which would have been impossible or very difficult on mountain peaks. Vast oceans demand ships or powerful air-planes to make international trade or war possible. Deserts and thick forests demand very different techniques of survival.

Everywhere the conditions of time and place largely determine our successes and failures. We cannot afford to neglect the study of either.

Strategy demands an over-view of the total field of conflict. We need to know all the activities taking place at all times and places, for all influence each other. An action in one time and place may alter the whole balance of forces in the total field, and demand adjustments everywhere.

Initiative, the power of the will to start new movements, is the means of breaking inertias. Every action once initiated, if not contradicted by another, will tend to continue and become habitual. When an activity is known to be habitual, it may be capitalised on by one who has studied this habit. The habitual use of certain paths in a forest by particular animals makes it possible to lay traps for them. The habitual tendency of certain nations, groups or individuals to react to stimuli in certain ways, places them at a disadvantageous position in relation to any other who knows their habits. Power to break habits, the power of initiative, releases us from unprofitable habit formations.

Consciousness itself is the pre-condition of all freedom. Only where we are conscious of the constituent elements in a situation are we able to deal adequately with them. The things of which we are totally unconscious we can do nothing about. They can condition our reactions without our knowing how or why. If we prize freedom, we cannot afford to remain unconscious of the factors that determine our responses. We owe it to our own selves to know ourselves thoroughly. Hence the very modern tendency of scientists to seek more and more knowledge of every level of our human constitution. No longer are we satisfied to thump each other at the grossest physical level. We know that this brutish reaction to each other, this most outward mode of relationship, produces lasting resentments and the desire for revenge. Hence the intensification of research into more refined ways of influencing each other. We have been driven more and more inward. The day of the straight punch to the jaw has gone. Everywhere research is being done into the more subtle processes of brain functioning, and the most internal of all, the study of inner motivation occupies our foremost thinkers.

Now, everything we can say about the principles of external war, we can say about the principles of the internal war we call the "Good Fight". We need to know how our material body is built, what chemical processes go on inside it in digestion of food and so forth so that we can create and maintain the conditions of healthy functioning. We need to know the origin and nature of our feelings and emotions, what causes their arising and disappearance. We need to know how the events of time influence us, how particular places support or destroy our being-possibilities. We need to clarify our knowledge of eternal principles which operate everywhere and at all times. We must discover in ourselves the very centre of our motivations, our centre of initiative, our deepest will. And we need above all to become ever more aware of the nature of consciousness itself. Without all these knowledges, we cannot be truly wise. Wisdom is the totality of all possible knowledges held together in true interfunctional relationship, so that whatever action is undertaken, all things which are involved in it are given their rightful places of relative importance. All of this sounds like, and is, a tremendous undertaking, but it is for all of us possible, and ultimately necessary, and fortunately for us there are known steps which we can take to ensure success.

The first step we have to take is to define the nature of the task. We have to see its enormity. This gives us the humility that allows us to proceed step by little step. "Faithful in little, faithful in much". We are not to leap across difficulties, across chasms of whose nature we know little or nothing. We are to learn to build bridges between all the various parts of our being, so that we do not crumble into little islands or unrelated knowledges. We are to learn how the body, which is our most fixed material reference point, influences our feelings and emotions and tendencies to reaction. We are to understand how time affects us, that there is "a time for everything, for gathering and for throwing away". We are to note how different places affect our feelings, our moods, our possibilities of response. We are to learn universal principles which rule over all action possibilities everywhere and at all times. We are to develop our will, our initiative, our power to break habit patterns which once might have been useful but now are not. And above all we are to become more and more conscious of all the different aspects of our being so that we may interrelate them more efficiently. All these activities are parts of the inner "Good Fight" which must be fought before we can attain within our souls the perfect peace which passes all understanding, the permanent peace which all the external wars have claimed to be able to confer upon mankind, but which all have failed to achieve.

No amount of external fighting against defined material enemies can ever give the final inner peace which every human being seeks. Only the "Good Fight" within can do this, for finally it is a matter of innermost self-consistency, attained after long and hard battle against forces of disintegration which, in this material world and within our own beings, attack us from every side. But hard as the battle is, and shall be, we have an assurance of final victory. The battle of Truth against falsity was fought and won before the foundation of this fallen world in which we dwell.

Disintegration can occur only where false relationships exist, for these have no true, permanent interconnexions. Where relationships are true, all their constituents are so intimately related that they all presuppose each other, so that to know any one thoroughly is to know all. This is the meaning of the "seamless garment" of Jesus Christ, the clothing of Divine Power in the Universal self-consistent form that the fourth gospel calls the Logos of Divine Word. Every true word we possess has a necessary relation with every other word, so that from every single word, by passing from its true definition to every other word, we may arrive finally at the wholly self-consistent Universal Truth, which is itself the ground-substance of all our understanding. We have but to submit ourselves humbly to learn from any truth that which it has to teach us, and we shall arrive finally at the One Supreme Truth which we call the "W ord of God". This word is not a fabrication of earthly man’s mental cleverness; it is the very operative energy which is the power of the universal Creator Himself, whom we call "Our Father".


We have said that the battle of Truth against Untruth was won before the foundation of this world in which we live. How are we to understand this? The world is made of energy, is a behaviour of energy, and this energy itself has in it the capacity to produce effects. In fact the world and all the things in it are energy-effects, activities of energy. This is why we call our world an actual world.

A great German thinker once said that the fourth gospel's opening words should be not "In the beginning was the word", but "In the beginning was the Deed". By this he meant that the world is an actual world, a world of activities. But this same man knew that a word is a deed, and by his modification of the text, he meant merely to correct a possible misunderstanding.

So often when we speak we do not pay as much attention to our words as we might do. We tend to think that words are "merely words" and not deeds. We tend to believe this because we often make promises to ourselves and to others, and then do not fulfil them. Not only do we make and break our "New Year" resolutions, but we also make and break promises throughout the rest of the year. At last we come to believe that words are merely words and no more. We tend to forget that when we speak we do so by activating our organs of speech, our vocal cords and tongue, etc. We tend to forget that speech is an actualisation of some of our energy.

Even more so, we tend not to realise that our thinking is largely an activity of our mind, that in our thinking we are using energy actualise certain possibilities of our formative powers. An idea is a form of energy. When we set up a series of ideas, and direct them towards some goal, some solution of a problem, we are actually manipulating energies in our mind. If we think very carefully and convergently, we may find that our thinking processes have made us tired. Thinking is an energy-forming and directing process that consumes energy. A German proverb says "Thinking is difficult". This means especially directed formulation of ideas. Convergent thinking may prove even exhausting, if continued over a prolonged period of time.

We can now see that the Fourth Gospel's statement "in the beginning was the word", is to be understood as meaning "In the beginning of creation energy was expended to form the things of the world". Without this energy expenditure nothing could have been made.

The word "word" implies an ordering of energy. Energy itself could move randomly and so chaotically, but if it had done only this, the world we know could never have come into existence. Ours is an ordered energy system, not a random chaos. The planets hold to their orbits. All things that exist exhibit a degree of order. When order apparently collapses, as in conditions of disease or death, the disorder is much less than we tend to think it is, for disease is a battle conducted between warring energies, and the battle has its rules whereby the conflicting forces conduct their modes of opposing each other. In death the battle changes its character as the body tissues and cells come under attack from various bacteria, viruses, etc. Really bodily death is merely the triumph of one kind of life over another. Life is everywhere, and merely changes the form of its activities. Some of life's actualisations we like, and some we do not, but this liking and exists merely because we have set for ourselves certain goals to attain.

The general goal of large numbers of people is pleasure, and with this goes the avoidance of pain. This double aim has led us to equate "good" with pleasure, and "bad" with pain. But these two equations cannot always be valid. Pleasure may seduce us and lead us away from our true goal, the mastery of our own being; and pain may be the means whereby we develop characteristics which without some degree of pain we could not develop, qualities of courage, intellectual integrity, supersensitivity to coming events, compassion, and strength of will by which to go forward in every kind of situation, under every adverse condition which might face us. Without such qualities we shall not be able to "Fight the good fight" to a successful conclusion.

Naturally we prefer pleasure to pain. Pleasure relaxes us and allows our energies to circulate more freely within our body, and so can help us towards conditions conducive to health and happiness. Pain closes down on our energy flow, impedes the free flow of blood which is essential to the oxygen and food supplies our cells must have in order to make existence possible for them.

There is nothing in the whole of reality that does not contain both positive and negative forces which require for their proper relationship a balancing activity. Our very being is a balancing of opposing energies. Too much or too little on either side of the life-scales can spell failure, or even disaster. and to maintain this living balance we need great sensitivity as well as clarity of mind and strength of will.

What are the necessary factors by which we can attain and maintain the true equilibrium we must have if we are to live the kind of life that we shall be able to say truly is worth living?

First of all we must have very keen perception of all the elements of reality operative within ourselves and in the world. Of course, in actual practice we cannot perceive all the elements at work within our selves or in the word around us, so that we have to do the best with that we can perceive. The fact that we cannot focus on all the factors that constitute our own being and the world around us, gives us an opportunity to practice a degree of humility.

Humility is the feeling we experience when we realise how little of what we need to know is already known to us. This feeling, if we are able to remember it, can keep our mind and soul open to the infinity of possibilities which constitute the world around us. The world around us. The open mind can perceive things quite unknown to the mind that is closed. What closes the mind? Prejudice and fear.

Prejudice is an assessment of reality before experience of it. Fear is anticipation of damage. When we pre-judge a thing, we do so on the basis of a former judgement which we believe was helpful to us, and which can still be so. If we do not re-examine our prejudices we may find that something we once found profitable is no longer so. long ago our ancestors judged that various animals were dangerous to us. Some these animals no longer exist, yet the fear of them still resonates in our mind's depths.

We are not to think ourselves free from such ancestral fears. Much of our general anxiety is but the reverberation of the deep records of once really dangerous situations in which our ancestors have lived. Many of our prejudices persist in us at deep mental and emotional levels and today determine our responses to the situations in which we find ourselves. Often we defend ourselves against enemies no longer existent, and, in so doing, create new enemies. This is why we need to sharpen up our perceptions, to train ourselves to see what really are the threatening factors in our lives.

Our greatest enemies are not outside us, but inside. Far worse than any external enemies are our own inner hidden fears, which, if we are not aware of them, may distort our view of reality. We receive a stimulus from a situation and before we are aware of its real nature, some hidden fear has gone into a defensive reaction and covered the realities with a veil of misinterpretation. Someone speaks to us, and before we can realise what are the actualities of the situation, a reaction bounces out of us, and we say or do something we would have been better not to say or do.

Here is where we engage in the "Good Fight", not outside, but inside our own mind and soul. If we think very carefully about it, we shall see that the whole of reality, in so far as we know it, is inside our consciousness. The world we know is inside our field of awareness. Once we thoroughly understand this, we shall see that everything whatever is in principle within the possibility of our control. This is to say that if we realise the inner nature of the world that we experience we shall realise also that by controlling our inner responses to it, we can introduce into the world new forces, which can change our destiny and guarantee the results that we intelligently will for ourselves.

Let us think about this very carefully. We have never known anything other than in our consciousness or field of awareness. The world and all the things it contains, in so far as we have ever been able to know them, have always been within our consciousness. What has never been in our consciousness, we have never known. Whatever we have known has been at some time within our consciousness. This is quite a difficult idea to take hold of and understand its full implication, for we have been taught to divide reality into two parts, an inner world in our mind, and an outer world in external material fact. But both these worlds are really one, and this one inside our field of awareness.
Because everything we have ever known or ever will be able to know, is, and will be, in our field of awareness, then if we change our attitude towards anything whatever, we also change our relationship with it. If a relationship exists between two things, and we change one of the two things, we change also the relationship between them. To realise this is to have the key of life and destiny, for this is also the key to victory in the inner "Good Fight".

"God" is a shorthand way of saying "Infinite intelligent sentient power". This power is all there is anywhere in total reality. It is within this power that we "live, move, and have our being". Nothing can ever be outside this power. Whatever in us we most highly prize is but a property of this power. Our power to will, our intelligence, our sensitivity, our status as persons or individual conscious willing and beings, is nothing but an expression of this infinitely marvellous power. Our being is this power operative in the place where we are.

Whatever capacities we have are ours only because we are of this infinite power. We participate in its will, its intelligence, its sensitivity, and by this participation we can successfully "Fight the Good Fight". "if God is for us, who can prevail against us?" No one.

We have only one enemy — our own lack of knowledge of who and what we are. Nothing whatever can ever separate us from the love of God. God's love is God himself, powerfully operative in us. False ideas have made us forget this simple fact, and have led us to think that it is possible for us to become alienated from our everlasting source. Careful thought will convince us of the contrary of this. God's love is intelligent, sensitive power everywhere at work in total reality.

To answer the question "Who and what are we human beings?" We have no alternative but to say that we are personalised expressions of the originating power which is the primary cause of all things whatever in the universe. We are zones within this originating power, participants in its universal operations, localised expressions of its infinite capacities, having qualities conferred upon us by this power. We are also persons, through-put points by means of which the infinite intelligent power expresses its evolutionary intentions. We are specialised eyes and ears of God, perceiving for Him and putting into operation. His universal plan to bring all things into His great cosmic harmony, finally to resolve all the terrible conflicts and disagreements which today tear asunder the world.

Part 57

The moment that we accept the idea that we are eyes and ears for God, we begin to see and hear in a quite new, way. If a single individual thinks that he is seeing and hearing only for his own sake', in order to make profits for himself,* he makes his observations in a personally biased manner. He sees all things only insofar as they are utilisable and can be made subservient to his purposes. He ignores, as far as he can, anything that would tend to frustrate the attainment of his goals. Thus the world, as he sees it, is an abstract world, a world from which he excludes all that does not suit him.

Thus the self-profit-seeking-individual lives in great danger, for he dwells in a universe of forces about which he knows very little, and these forces act upon him and influence his physical, mental and emotional processes in ways unknown to him.

But t with those who know themselves' 'to b 6 serving as eyes and ears of God, there is no impeding of perceptions of individual or egoic bias. These observers see whole reality as it is, a seamless weaving power, all zones of which are always inter-functioning in mutually inter-penetrating ways. To see for God is to see as* God sees.

The private profit seeking individual can and does make mistakes, is subject to biased-determined observational errors. He sees things as disconnected from each other, and gathers them together only if he believes that he can arrange them in manners profitable for his private self. He sees things as separate from each other, and does not see the forces which exist between them and influence their modes of interrelation.

But if we accept the position of observers-for-God, we see all things as manifestations of divine power and intelligence; everywhere we see God's love at work, creating and sustaining and. recalling to Him his creatures. For the observers-for-God there is no death as ordinarily defined. So-called "death" is but a return to the origin of all things, a re-entry into God, the All-Father.

Observers-for-God see infinities of interrelating powers, where profit-pursuers see only separate things which they interpret as manipulable by their own individual wills. The relation between the two kinds of observers is somewhat like that between profit-seeking materialists who pollute the world's rivers, oceans and atmosphere with the by-products of their activities, and the ecologists who are intelligent and capable of discerning the interrelatedness of all forms of existence, who see the interdependence of all phenomena in the universe, and see the function of mankind as an aid to the attainment of cosmic balance. The ecologists are on the way to becoming observers for God.

In a world in which space travel has become an established fact, we cannot help seeing that man has extended his possibilities of interfering with nature in a much more extensive manner than our predecessors could have conceived possible. Just as we have increased our power to build or destroy things on earth, to improve or worsen them, to clean or pollute environment, so now we have become able to do the same in the spaces beyond our planet.

It is not impossible that we might become able to release nuclear forces,, and other powers not yet discovered, in such proportions that we could actually alter, the balance of the whole planetary system, either to its greater harmony, or to its' total destruction. Just as a tiny trigger may release a deadly bullet, or an electric switch might send a nuclear warhead on its violent destructive path, so we might discover "trigger" situations in interplanetary space which might have repercussions beyond our present imaginings.

The story of the attempted building of the Tower of Babel tells us of men whose ambitions aimed to rise to the attainment of divine powers, men who did not think it impossible that they might successfully usurp God's position in heaven. "Heaven" means "perfect balance of power". Men of private ambition do not think it is wrong to strive for ever-increasing power. They believe in power, but not in a God with absolute control of it. They believe in the possibility of attaining lordship over all space, over the realms of power, over all planetary bodies (which they see as sources of raw materials) and ultimately over all reality,

We are not to think that there are no so ambitious men. We are not to believe that no man is so foolish as to conceive that he might attain absolute power. It is a peculiar characteristic of human beings that they are able to aim at development of further powers, and at the same time conceal from their consciousness that beyond the powers they may attain, there will always be a possibility of more powers beyond these, and more and more beyond these, to infinity.

This human, all too human, tendency to strive for ever more power, has its origin in the fact that infinite power Is the source of all beings, and that the human beings has already gained powers far beyond the dreams of any lowly form of life like a simple monocell. Factually man has evolved to a level so high above that of other living beings on earth, and after this fact alone is sufficient to account for his conceit and -scorn of lower forms.

Religious teaching tells us of the type of all ambitious beings, in the story of Lucifer, the brightest of all God's creatures. Lucifer means "Light-bearer". He represents an original being of such brightness that he outshone every other created being. All lesser beings gazed upon his brightness and were astonished. Seeing their astonishment he conceived the idea of becoming even brighter, "Power corrupts", said Lord Acton, and "absolute power corrupts absolutely".

We have seen Hitlers and Mussolinis and statesmen and politicians carried away by the "exuberance of their own verbosity". We have seen forceful little men place crowns on their heads and believe themselves "entitled" to do so.
The Lucifer story tells us that it is possible for a creature to gain so much in power that he becomes deluded into believing that he can transcend his own creaturehood, and take his destiny out of the hands of his creator. Many so-called "great men" have believed themselves superior to the Very Being that created them. To believe this they have demoted their Creator to a subordinate position, or denied. Him existence altogether. "The fool hat said in his heart, there is no God", and believed that there is no power above him that he cannot by willed effort overthrow.

In moments of quietness and meditation we do not tend to believe in such possibilities; but in times of passion our true orientation tends to vanish. Then anything seems possible to us, and sanity is displaced by insanity.

To be sane is to have a balanced mind. Such a mind knows itself to be what it is. It has no ambition to be other that what it truly is. We find the use of an expression "The Mind of God". This Mind is the Mind that balances total Reality, and has no desire to be other than it is, the Balancer of total Reality.

But God is not a-creature. He is the Creator. Creatures are less than their Creator; their power is less than His. To accept the reality of the lesser position and to do the best one can with the talents we have it to be sane, that is; balanced. To refuse to accept one's real position I is to be already on the way to unbalance.

Because some creatures are stronger or more beautiful, or more talented than others, there is a double danger. The weaker, or less beautiful, or less talented may envy the stronger, the more beautiful, the cleverer, and in this envy forget their real position and so fail to balance themselves at their own true level. The stronger, more beautiful, more talented, may fall even more dangerously, into self-admiration, and into worshipping their own image in the mirror of their own mind.

Their position is worse than that of the envious, for the envious have at least a relationship with those they envy, while the self-image worshipper has no relation other than with himself as self-imaged, and this is the demonic state which finally condemns him to total self-imager identification, and so to complete isolation from the rest of creation. Can we conceive any worse hell than this state of total self-isolation, a state in which consciousness, will, mind and feeling sit forever gazing at a mirror-image, self-projected and self-trapped? To avoid falling into this state, we must fight the Good Fight.

Luckily we very seldom encounter a thoroughly mirror-trapped person. The nearest we approach to this condition is when we see some-one in such a high state of shock that his mind is temporarily totally immobilised.

Although we seldom see such a shock-isolated person, we often see people partially trapped in the mirror of self-imagery, and we tend to think that this is all "very natural", and even beneficial, for we say that a "good self-image" boosts our morale, gives us confidence, makes us able to do things that otherwise we could not do.

There is a very fine line between having a good self-image and being the victim of an image of self-superiority over other's self-images. A truly good self-image is one in which one sees oneself as one really is, a creature created by God to serve as an instrument of God, to do God's Will.

We must not have any doubt about this true self-image. It is a picture of our real self as God created it, a self. With certain qualities, characteristics and talents, unique to itself. This self is not the external physical self that is subject to the accidents of the material world that suffers from physical diseases or ageing processes. It is the eternal Self which originated in God's mind as an idea of a certain unique pattern specially brought into being to fulfil a specific divine purpose.

We have no need to fear that our true self-image might be undesirable or horrible, or ugly. Every image originating in God's mind is perfect in its own unique way; it is part of the infinitely beautiful Pattern of Reality which guides the development of the Universe and all beings within it. To discover the real qualities of our true self-image, we have to quieten ourselves to still our mind and emotions and impulses, so, that we shall become able to see what is out deepest truest will. Our real divinely given will is to be able to cooperate with God's purpose for us. This Will is never under the dictatorship of external stimuli or events, as is the reactivity to which fallen selves submit. The Will of the true Self is one with the Will of God. To disclose this deepest Will is to discover our true identity, which, when we know it thoroughly, we shall affirm as God's Will for us.

All our life we seek to uncover this Divine Will in us, and until we find it, we fall short of the true spiritual happiness which is our divinely appointed rightful heritage. To "fight the Good Fight" is to remove little by little the impediments to the attainment of this happiness. The method is simple: "Daily deal with less and less". This means "Daily, eliminate spiritually profitless activities".

The "spiritually profitless" is any mental process that increases inertia in us and reduces our initiative. Inertia holds us in habits. Initiative releases us from habits, and places us where we ought to be, in the realm of spiritual freedom.

"His worship is perfect freedom". "Worship" means "Worth-Shape", the shape of all activities of spirit, soul, mind and body that raise us to the level where we comprehend the meaning of the words: "Man is made in the image of God". It is this image that is our rightful self-picture. We are all God's children, and like children we bear the Image of our Divine Father. When, having cast off all false self-images, we stand in the true Image designed for us by God, we shall not be ashamed. We shall stand in full realisation that all our sufferings have been but steps on the way to that perfect understanding that shall find its justification in the final attainment of our divinely appointed goal.


The question of self-image is tremendously important, for the image we may hold of ourself could be the difference between the attainment of our highest human and spiritual goal and failure to do this. A rich young man asked Jesus what to do in order to be saved. Jesus replied that the young man should give up all that he had and follow Jesus. The young man went unhappily away. Why? Because he had an image of himself that he could not reconcile with the advice he had received.

Let us remember that there are more levels than one of interpretation of scriptural texts. At the lowest level, we might think that the young man was very rich in material possessions, that he had many properties, houses, interests in businesses, etc. and that these demanded all his attention, so that he had no energy left over for the consideration of other things, no free time left in which to contemplate the condition of his own soul.

Materialistically-minded people do not believe that there is in them a soul. They believe that the body in which they live is the real self, and that when the body dies, that is the end of their self. Beyond death, for such people, there is nothing. Their self simply ceases to exist. For such people, to give away all they have of material possessions, just does not make sense, and "Salvation" is a meaningless word if it refers to anything beyond the material world.

A man with such a materialistic world-view could interpret the advice of Jesus only as the product of an unrealistic mind, ill-informed about the real nature of existence, a mind perhaps well-intentioned but certainly foolish. To take such advice would indeed be to make oneself a "fool for Christ's sake", and to throw away all material profits for a mere dream.

Let us look at another level of interpretation of this event.

Here the rich young man is rich not only in material possessions, but also in some inward things. He has an inner image of himself which he cannot give up. He images himself as a well-established person, a notable, worthy of worship, a successful member of human society, one moving among the "best people", one to whom the less favoured many would look up.

His image of himself is rich in ideas of his own importance. He has received a good education which has furnished his mind with a great number of terms, a vocabulary far wider and higher than that of the lower orders. His mode of speech, his pronunciation of each word, demonstrates his high culture. He is one of the elite, far beyond the mass of ordinary mankind. The more he realises his high estate, the more involved he becomes in maintaining his self-image. All his energies are devoted to self-admiration.

What does it mean to him to be asked to give away all that he has, not of material possessions, but of self-imagery, self-opinions? Let us remember that ideas are energies. To give up established energy-patterns (his self-opinions), he will need a lot of free energy. We need energy to break down old established energy-patterns, old inertias. Most of us totally underestimate how much energy is needed to re-form our established patterns of behaviour. Drug-addicts and alcoholics know more about such difficulties than do their more fortunate fellows. Ordinary people tend to think that such unfortunates are the only ones held fast in behaviour patterns. That nearly the whole human race labours under similar, though less obvious, difficulties is not usually considered. We human beings are all needing awakening to the realities of our positions, and most of us are afraid of this awakening.

When we awaken from a horrible nightmare, we are glad, very glad. But when we are asked to wake up from the non-frightening dream that we call daily life, we are disturbed. We have lived in this day-to-day dream taking it as "reality". Only if something painful or very unpleasant has happened to us do we for a moment wake up and realise that all is not as our day-dream tells us it is.

"Salvation" means the removal from us of all falsities, all unrealities. It is a condition that follows the washing away of all misconceptions, all erroneous ideas about ourselves and the world. It is a restoration of the mind of the child that we once were before our miseducation began. Unless we regain this original child-mind, which sees things merely as they are, uncoloured by the biases of pleasure-preferences and wrong doctrines, we cannot enter the perfectly balanced state of being that we call "heaven".

"What must I do to be saved?" asks the young man rich in self-opinions. "Give up all your self-opinions, and follow the True Logic of reality", says Jesus, for He is the very incarnation of this Logic.

We are all like the young man, rich, very rich in opinions, opinions of this, that and the other. Opinions of our own self, and of the selves of others, and of the things of the spacious universe in which we live and in which we shall die. To be "saved" we must give up all these opinions, all the self-definitions in which we have clothed ourselves to hide our spiritual nakedness. Habits are clothes. We design our habits to make ourselves as presentable and acceptable to each other as we can. At heart, we are all like the exquisite young men and women of the eighteenth century. We dress as tastefully as we can, orate as beautifully as we can, and try hard to believe ourselves living in an "age of enlightenment".

Yet internally we know that all is not as well with us as we like to represent it. Externally we are rich in social graces, but innerly we do not match our self-image. We would love to be able to trust each other, but cannot quite trust our own selves. Heads of nations meet, wine and dine together, discuss world problems and depart again to their countries with no guarantees of peace in their portfolios.

Our own human organisms are like the nations. We also, have heads and hearts and bellies, ideas and feelings and appetites. Individual men and women discuss together their problems, sit at the same tables, eat and drink, and rise again from those tables with no real solutions. So also in each individual in the privacy of his own chamber, streams by a sequence of ideas, of opinions, of beloved principles. But in the rest of the individual's organism, outside the authority of his intellect, wrestle innumerable feelings, emotions and impulses to action, all of these self-determined not to be dictated to by a mere intellect and its versions of truth.

There is a real battle inside us of which we can well afford to become aware. Within our complex organism there are appetites, emotions and impulses that oppose every rational attempt to control them. These appetites etc. are not mere abstractions. They are real forces with which we have to contend. Let us be in no doubt about this. We need all the energies that we can gather together to be able to deal effectively with them. And one of these energies is that which we call "faith". Faith is not just a belief in a possibility of a certain event. It is the very power which is basic to the generation of the conditions of that event. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for". "Substance" here does not mean matter". It means Power.

Power is the very substance of reality. "Matter" is only a behaviour-pattern of a certain kind of power. Nuclear fission has demonstrated this beyond all argument. Power self-compacted gives rise to all the phenomena that we call material. Matter uncompacted disperses itself as power radiating through all space.

Faith is the power that holds itself to the actions which realise all purposes. To have power to hold on to the means of realising a defined purpose is to possess the means to its realisation. Let us stress this fact: faith is not mere irrational belief; it is power that can accomplish all things, power that, by holding on to its aim, can attain all goals.

Let us return to the rich young man who asked how to attain salvation. He was occupied with many things, very busy thinking about all the things he had to do to maintain his position as a well-established personage in the world of things. In this thinking he had become fixates upon things and upon ideas of things. He thought incessantly about ways of maintaining himself and his position in society. He had no time to think about his own relationship with his own soul. He lived by calculation, riot by faith. He did know that faith is power. He thought he lived by knowing about things and ideas, and how these corresponded with each other. He was rich in knowledge of things, rich in ideas of what to do with things, but he was not rich in self-knowledge, not rich in the power which is faith. In the Soul he was poor, lacking that very faith which alone could have given him the salvation he sought.

What does it mean to be "saved"? Saved from what? From tile world and all the things in it. We tend to forget that we are creatures, and that to be a creature is to have only a limited amount of energy. We can turn this energy into one field or another, make it work for us, make it show us a profit. But we cannot work in one field without ceasing to work in another. We can use our energy supplies to work in the outer world of things and commodities and services. We can use our energy to work on our own inner selves in order to discover what kind of beings we really are. But we cannot do both these kinds of work, outer and inner, simultaneously and equally effectively. Perhaps some day we shall be able to do so, but very few of us would claim to be able to do so now. It is a question of available energy and of our manner of using it.

"Where the treasure is, there is the heart also". Where we place our values, there is our affection. If we place our values in the outer world of material things, then our affections will dwell in those things, and our life will be spent in service to these things, and we shall become slaves of external materiality, and at the moment of our death, our mind will be filled with thoughts of material things which we must necessarily leave behind us.

If we place our values in the inner world of our own true soul, then at our death we shall not have to leave behind what in our life we have gained of truth, beauty and goodness.

Outer material things do not belong to our essential self. We may cling to them for a time, but they cannot ever become truly parts of our own innermost self. The innermost qualities of our soul, however, cannot be separated from us. They are not acquired from outside ourselves. They are generated from within ourselves by our own will. Finally the soul is its Will, the very power whereby the soul became a soul.

Let us look closer at this statement. Within the Infinite Sentient Power which we call "God", are infinities of possibilities, innumerable potentialities of power which become actualities only by acts of will.

We ourselves are some of these possibilities made actual by acts of Will. What we have so far become is the product of all our willed acts up to the present moment. We are the totality of our willed acts. What we shall further become will be the product of our future willed acts.

What we do not will from our soul's deepest depths, we shall not forever retain. Things of the material world that we may superficially desire but do not deeply desire will not cling to our soul. They may stay with us for a while, but Time will carry them all away from us.

The things that we most deeply will for ourselves stay with us in all eternity. They clothe us with a very special kind of garment. For this reason we are to choose most carefully what we deeply will for our own everlasting possession. The quality of our eternal soul will be just precisely what we have willed it to be.

The garment that we shall wear eternally after we have left this material world will be the "seamless garment" of pure truth, identical with that worn by Jesus Christ and all those who have given themselves to utter self-consistency and the will to do the Will of God.

Part 59.

In the fourth chapter of the gospel of St. Matthew is the story of the temptation of Jesus. It is very important for us to understand this in relation to the question we have raised of the Will and of what we shall become. What we persistently will to think and feel and do, that we progressively build into our being. Finally we shall be the totality of all that we have willed.

The temptation story in Matthew tells us that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Why should the Spirit do this? This spirit is the very Spirit of God, the eternal Holy Spirit. God wills for mankind that wholeness shall be gained. Ultimately, every human being who prefers wholeness shall possess it, and do so eternally. Wholeness is the precondition of everlasting happiness. Wholeness is total self-consistency. Without self-consistency, the parts of our being are at war with each other, and this war makes impossible any real peace or joy in us.

But why tempt Jesus? Is he not certain to be able to resist temptation? Simply because of who he is, is not his victory already fore-ordained for him? Let us look at this question very carefully.

"Temptation" means things and events and relationships that are presented to us in Time. We are not tempted in Eternity. To be tempted is to be stimulated by things in Time. Time presents us with a series or sequence of stimuli one after the other. Time does not present us with the totality of all possible realities at once. Time splits reality into little bits, each bit being a moment or instant. In each moment of Time we are given a minute part of total reality, a little bit of infinite possibility. The fact that Time gives us only bits of reality is the reason why temptation, that is, Time-presentation, is so dangerous for us. Time gives us reality in bits. Any bit of Time in isolation is deprived of its total context.

When anything is seen out of its total context, it lacks its proper position within the whole pattern of universal reality. Now, if we see a thing out of context, we cannot understand it. To understand a thing is to see its relationship with every other thing with which it interacts. All action is interaction. All function is inter-function. Nothing in the whole universe can act without interaction with other things around it. There is no such thing as a totally non-related action. Reality itself is an unbroken whole actuality. It is this whole Reality that is symbolised by the "seamless garment" of Jesus. Reality itself is a seamless whole.

We have asked, is it not certain that Jesus will triumph over temptation? The life-story of Jesus is the life-story of all mankind. The soul of a human being has its source in God, that is, in the eternal power which is the origin of all things. The soul of every human being and of Jesus as human is eternal. It is a spark of the Eternal light-power of God. It is this light-power which confers upon humanity the consciousness and will that mark it out as a special creation.

In eternity there is only wholeness. There is none of the separativity of Time-moments, and therefore in Eternity there is no temptation. Only when a soul leaves the wholeness of Eternity and enters Time does it enter the field of temptation.

Now, before we leave eternal wholeness, have we any notion of what it means to be in bits, what it means to be made of parts acting independently of each other? No. In our eternal state of being we are whole; we have no idea of separated bits of being. We do not know what it is like to be "bitty", to be subject to localised reactivities divorced from wholeness. We have no understanding of "partialities" as they are in themselves. We do not know what it means to be isolated. We do not know what it means to be torn from our Eternal Context. We do not know what it means to be separated from our loved ones. Suffering miserable solitary confinement is unknown to us. Such suffering is possible only in Time.

But if we do not know what suffering is, can we know what is meant by compassion? No, we cannot. Compassion is the awareness that we suffer together.

Ultimately we desire to know everything that might possibly act on us. Nothing less than omniscience will finally satisfy us. We desire to be like God, and God is omniscient. From the first moment of our creation we were warned about the dangers of omniscience. We were told not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God knows this Tree's fruit very well. The eating of it involves logically every kind of suffering. Good is wholeness, Evil is bitty-ness, reduction to parts, subjection to disintegration, to corruption and death.

When parents in their lives have suffered terrible torments, they desire their children, if possible, to avoid such torments. They advise their children not to do things that will result in sufferings. They desire their children to gain the possibility of happiness. They know that some sufferings may destroy all love for life. From excessive suffering suicide may occur.

Jesus said to John the Baptist that the aim is to "fulfil all righteousness". By this he meant that we are to allow ourselves to experience all things necessary for the attainment of full understanding.

In Eternity, before our entry into Time, we know only wholeness. We know nothing of the misery of separativity, isolation and loneliness. We are like the children of a great monarch who protects his family from all harm, so that they never experience suffering or pain of any kind. Such children know nothing of misery, and so nothing of compassion. The father of Gautama Buddha tried to protect his son from all the pains of the world, and if he had succeeded, Buddha would never have learned compassion.

The Way of Jesus is the Way for all mankind. He willed to attain full understanding of all things. We cannot understand what we never experience. To understand suffering we must suffer, as to understand joy we must experience joy. But we cannot enter the conditions of suffering unless we leave the wholeness of Eternity and enter the bitty-ness of Time. "Bitty-ness" is the condition that allows us to experience bitterness, the product of extreme suffering.

Jesus, the Eternal Soul of the Universe, therefore wills to enter Time, the condition of suffering. Temptation is Time's offering to man, whereby man may learn compassion.

That Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the Wilderness, means that Wholeness leads us to experience bitty-ness as necessary for the full appreciation of Wholeness. Before we experience the isolation effects of Time, we know only the wholeness of Eternity, and so our knowledge and understanding are incomplete; we have not suffered, and therefore we have no compassion. Wholeness requires us to experience separativity, and therefore leads us into Time.

That Jesus is led into the Wilderness, means that we are to experience isolation in its pure form, uncomforted by the benefits of protected, civilised existence. Within civilisation we are shielded against rawness of merely natural existence. The buildings clustered together in a great city protect us from the searing winds blowing from vast open plains beyond. To place ourselves under real test conditions, we must withdraw from civilisation's comforts and expose ourselves to the "rude March", to rain and snow and ice, and a thousand other unpleasantnesses.

To make sure that he understood the rigours of mere existence in Time, Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights. In this fast he encountered hunger in its pure form, an extremely painful experience. At this moment, temptation comes to him. He is challenged to use his divine power to appease his hunger by turning the stones of the desert into bread. But he sees the implications of such a miracle.

If Jesus had turned the stones into bread, this would have meant that he had become a materialist, that he believed that man could sustain himself, feed himself, by mere operations on matter. But although materials may be needed to maintain the existence of our physical body, they are not enough to sustain our minds and soul and spirit. So to this temptation Jesus replies, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God". Words that proceed from God are eternal Truths. Material food is not itself enough to sustain the human soul. We need also mental food, and this is Truth. Without Truths to feed our mind and soul, we shall die as surely as we shall die physically if we are deprived totally of physical food.

The next thing with which Jesus is tempted is the idea that he should test God's care for him by throwing himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple. The devil in his mind says that it is written that angels will save him from harm, and that therefore he can afford to demonstrate his divine sonship in a physical act in Time. But Jesus triumphs with the words, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God". God is Eternal. It is useless to try to provoke Eternity to react to the suggestions of Time. Wholeness is not to be overthrown by bitty-ness. The Whole is greater than all its parts.

The third temptation in the mind of Jesus is that, as he has won the first two battles, he is very worthy of worship in his visible form as a man. Clearly, with the knowledge and power that his victories have displayed, he is far above the status of ordinary mankind.

Thus he goes up to the top of a very high mountain, from which he can survey "all the Kingdoms of the World, and their glories". And the devilish idea in his mind is that he could rule over all the world, as a visible God before whom all mankind would fall down.

But this idea of being a visible God for mankind to worship is the very essence of the Satanic. Satan is the incarnation of the desire to be a visible God, a God surrounded by beings terrified of superior power embodied, and subjected to such power to such a degree that the individual dare not move without permission.

To this idea that he should take on the position of the Almighty God in the Time-World of visible things, Jesus replies, "Depart Satan; for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only". The One True God is invisible to creaturely eyes, for He is infinite. The limited eyes of mankind cannot see the Unlimited Spirit that is God. A visible God would by his very presence paralyse the individual wills of mortal men. When Jesus showed even a little of the divine power in a healing miracle, already there was a danger that his followers therefore would worship him as God become visible and willing to fulfil all the desires of his worshippers. Such worshippers would, for their own purposes, en slave God, and require Him to rule the whole world for their own particular benefit.

Because of the very human tendency to require the God they worship to give to them whatever they want, and not to exercise fully their own creative talents, human beings need to be left for a time to their own devices. Thus Jesus says that he must go away, return to his heavenly Father, and so leave men free to conduct their lives in accord with their own beliefs for a time, after which he will return.

If all our desires were fulfilled from a visible source, we would tend to go to that source every time we lacked something. We would not tend to supply the thing we lacked from our own individual resources and willed efforts. Thus we would not develop our own innermost creativity. Our talents would remain unused, and we would tend to be parasitic on the visible source of our goods. For this reason, although God is quite able to incarnate His powers in a visible form, He does not ordinarily do so. In Jesus He showed some of His capabilities, sufficiently to make mankind aware of some of their own creative talents, and having done so, He withdrew from the world of men.

From the time of the departure of Jesus from this world, we human beings have been left free to exercise uninterruptedly our capacities for making up our own minds what we shall believe and do. Apparently deserted by God incarnate, we have been put upon our own merit. We are now to seek the invisible divinity within our own souls.

Part 60

What is this inner divinity that we are to seek? It is the very Source of all things whatever, the origin of all bodies, mineral, vegetable, animal, human, angelic and divine. This source power in infinitely intelligent, sensitive, able everywhere to define for itself its purposes, and to realise them. Nothing anywhere or at any time can successfully oppose this infinite Source-power, for whatever power things may possess, it is derived from and is less than their source. Created things are by the fact of their createdness limited, finite, less in power and intelligence than the infinite power from which they derive.

If we seek the divine power within us, we are seeking what is infinitely more than we ourselves are. Are we to seek such power in order to control it and put it to our own private uses? This would be a very foolish notion indeed! To understand why we are recommended to seek within us the infinite source-power which we call God, we must remember that in God the infinite power and infinite intelligence are not separated from each other, but interpenetrate each other, so that wherever one is, there also is the other.

This means that if we are successful in our search for our inner divinity, in finding the infinite Source-power, we are also finding the infinite intelligence which is inseparable from that power. Thus, as we draw near to divine power, we draw near also to divine intelligence. As we become more powerful in our contact with God, so we become also more intelligent.

Intelligence is that faculty in us by which we are able to define for ourselves a worthwhile purpose, and the means to its realisation. The totality of all knowledges, purposes and means to their realisation, seen as a whole pattern is called Divine Wisdom, or Heavenly Sophia. Wisdom seems simultaneously what knowledge in Time see separately. Wisdom sees the whole picture of the cosmic jigsaw at once, while knowledge takes up the pieces one by one, and tries by careful examination and thinking to find where they might fit in the whole picture.

If we seek and find the divine intelligent power within us, we see that we do so, not in order to dictate to it, or tell it what to do, but in order to let it tell us what to do. We are not to think that we seek divine power merely in order to become able to fulfil any private purpose that we might desire. We seek divine intelligent power, not merely to gain power as such, but also to increase our intelligence so that we will better know what is worth doing with that power.

We have all done things that later we would rather not have done. We, in the past, have had power to do things that later we have regretted, and we have wished that, along with our power, we had had knowledge and wisdom to see the future results of our use of that power.

We know in the depths of our mind that we tend to prefer power to knowledge, and knowledge to wisdom. Somehow we live our lives in too much of a hurry. We spend our time "getting and spending". We strive to acquire money as a precondition to everything else we want, whether simple survival or the gaining of conditions to make us ever more pleased in the life we live. And in all our "getting and spending" we fill our time less in the pursuit of wisdom and understanding than in the pursuit of pleasure. Only late in life do most of us think that we would have been better advised to seek wisdom rather than the things that we have desired simply as means to what we have believed could guarantee our happiness.

Wisdom sees the whole pattern of our life, not merely the separate things and events of Time. Knowledge may acquaint us with the means to attain particular goals. It cannot of itself tell us of the ultimate goal that we are destined to fulfil, the goal set for us by the infinite intelligent power that is our origin.

When we attain our predestined goal, we shall see ourselves as we are, see what we are, see our real eternal purpose. The human soul is a spark of the divine intelligent power. In the act that we call the "Fall", we have imposed on ourselves a condition of forgetfulness by our interest in power without an equivalent interest in Wisdom.

"Get Wisdom, get understanding" says the Bible. Are we to do this merely in order to have within us a self-satisfying picture of ourselves as wise, as full of understanding? No, certainly not. Wisdom and understanding are to be gained as guides to action.

God has been defined as "Pure Act", an infinite power that actualises itself. Within His self-actualisation God realises all His possibilities of Being. Without Self-actualising God would not actually realise anything at all. Without Self-actualising God would not actually realise even His own divinity, but rather would be as if He were nothing at all. That He who is all power and all intelligence should do nothing at all would be the most tremendous waste conceivable.

In so far as it is logically possible for a limited being to do any of the things that God might do, God wills that a human being may become able to do these things. God will give into human hands all the power that will enable them to do all things that their highest intelligence conceives as profitable to them, profitable in the very highest sense, not merely physically, but also psychologically and spiritually.

Jesus said, "You are gods". By this he meant intelligent, powerful, creative beings able to bring into existence by their will things that before did not exist.

But this very power-intelligence in human beings is at once their greatest glory and greatest danger. God has allowed man to exercise his powers freely, and in this fact puts into man's hands a possibility of his trying to "go it alone", do everything he decides to do as from himself alone. Man can will to ignore his divine origin, can act as if he himself had created himself, with all his powers and clevernesses.

By this wilful putting aside of his awareness of his divine origin, man can conceive himself as capable of complete self-development. He can come to believe himself as a self-perfecting being needing no help from God. Thus he can substitute a humanism in place of the theism which he knows in his deepest depths to be the Truth. He can put mankind in God's place, and having done so, he can set himself the task of taking control of world-evolution. He can use his permitted freedom as if it were truly his own, generated by him, extended by him.

Such a man can decide to use every means in his power to further his own purposes. He can picture himself as the only real ruler of the universe. What he cannot yet do, he can believe that he will become able to accomplish by using his individual will and intelligence. He can see that he can extend his powers by devising various instruments. He has already invented many things that prove to him in practice that the limits previously imposed on him by his lack of knowledge can be transcended. He can believe that God does not exist, and that this does not matter, because man can stand in His place, and conduct everything just as well. He can believe that by clever genetic engineering, he can eventually create even man, and raise him to the height of a new divinity.

This wisdom of man as a self-evolving, potentially all-powerful ruler of the universe, is not so new as the humanist likes to think. The story of Lucifer and his ambitions tells us that this is a very old idea.

Lucifer is described as the first inventor of the idea that God can be transcended, dethroned and reduced to the level of a subordinate being subjected to Lucifer's commands. This notion is the product of what we call "Luciferan Pride", the Pride that went before the first Fall.

Lucifer fallen is given a new name, the name "Satan", which means "he who by his own act cast himself down into the material world". Lucifer was the brightest of all created beings, far outshining all others in creation. Like many other very gifted beings since, he conceived that there was no reason why he should not become even greater that he was. After all, his degree of brightness had not yet been proved to be the greatest of all possible brightnesses. Who could have known the highest limits of brilliance except one who had gone beyond it? William Blake, great English Mystic, saw that only he who experienced excess can know for certain where "enough" stands. Lucifer, long before Blake, found this out for himself. He put forth tremendous efforts to make himself more brilliant than God had made him, and discovered that from excess of light come darkness.

We can, if we wish, view Lucifer as the first of Time's Scapegoats. We can see him as one who has provided us with a tremendous lesson. We are all on guard about the dangers of excess in every field of action and we could not be so unless someone had been excessive and thereby brought disaster to himself, and possibly to others. Our one-guardedness is something we have inherited from our ancestors. In a strange way we should be grateful to all in the past who have ever been excessive, and shown us thereby the meaning of "enough". This is one reason that we should not harbour feelings of hate against evil-doers. They are scapegoats from whom we can learn very needed lessons. The greater their evil, the greater their scapegoat function for mankind at large. This is why Jesus taught the rule of "Turn the other cheek", and "Forgive others trespasses". There is very deep significance here. Some persons who have suffered greatly through the evil actions of others will find forgiveness very hard, but the effect of hatred on the souls of those who do not forgive may be very harmful, not only to themselves, but to others whom they love.

God wills all of us to become as much like Him as created beings can be. We cannot be infinite in power and intelligence as He is, but was can be powerful and intelligent in the situation in which He has placed us. Intelligence has fine sense of what is economic, that is, of what can make the best use of energy available to it. Intelligence does not use more force than needed to produce a particular effect. "Efficiency" means "greatest effect for least energy expenditure". This rule has application at every level of being, not only physically but psychologically and spiritually. Thought consumes energy, and some ways of thinking are more efficient than others. When we think of anything we are using energy. If our thought is unclear, we waste energy and lose effect. The kind of thinking we allow in us acts upon our own mind, and through this, on our own body.

Thinking of things as hateful creates tension in our organism. Harsh criticism of others hardens us and makes it difficult for our cells to do their work. Resentment of others' actions reduces our efficiency. Self-pity poisons us. We cannot reach our highest level of being if we cling to memories of injuries done to us by others.

Memories are repetitive patterns of events left in our mind. We can have good memories or bad. Good memories are good for our health. Bad memories produce deterioration of function in us. We can change our attitude towards our memories, and in so doing help ourselves to higher levels of understanding, and so of efficiency.

It is a strange fact that when we change our inner attitude to our memories, we actually change the kind of being we were, into a new being. This is the meaning of the statement that we can be "born again", and by so doing, become better that we were, and finally become perfect.

There are said to be two ways of being born. The first is from a physical mother. The second is from the Spiritual Father, whom we call God. In so far as we have a physical body we are children of our mother. In so far as we can study universal power and its cosmic expression as Truth we are children of God. If we obey the Truth that we learn we are obedient children of God. If we learn a truth and then ignore it, we are not worthy to be called obedient children.

Of course, children do not easily obey their parents, for they are new to existence, and want to find out for themselves about the things of the world and their values.

Part 61

All living human beings have gone through the process of physical birth; but not all know what it means to be "born of the Spirit of God". The physical birth process naturally tends to turn our attention outward. The birth from the Divine Spirit can be known only internally. We can watch from outside the physical birth of a baby. We cannot watch the innermost processes of another person's spiritual birth. This can be known only by the one who actually undergoes it.

Spiritual birth involves entry into a wholly different level of consciousness than that of physical birth. To be born physically a baby may be passive to the forces which push it into the external world. To be born spiritually one must have exerted oneself to some degree in an act of choice, which is experienced as a preference for participation in Universal Truth. To be able to choose Truth we must have seen Truth as an idea in our mind and judged it to be beneficial for us if we follow it, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" says Jesus. "Way, Truth, Life" constitute a very important trinity. A "Way" is distinguished from a path or a road in that a path or road has been laid down for us before we walk upon it. We have but to place our feet on it and keep to it, and we shall arrive finally at its end. We do not need to make new choices each step of the path, other than to decide whether to stay on or not. But with a "Way" it is different.

We make our way in life each moment by the choices we make. Our "Way" of life is not already paved for us. When we tread a material path or road, we have but to keep our eyes on what is already laid down for us. We look outwardly at the road. But when we make our "Way" in life, we do not look only outwardly. We look also inwardly, at our inner mental and emotional processes, and at our motive for each choice. Our life is the Way we live, the Way we think and feel and act. Our Way is built into our being. What we become is the product of all our deeds, and these are the product of all our choices. Our Being is our Life-Way become substantialised.

Truth is the Form of Reality. When we speak to describe something our words may or may not correspond with those which could adequately express the form, quantity and qualities of that thing. If the words do adequately describe these, then we can say that we are speaking the, Truth about the thing.

We may speak the Truth about a thing, or we may speak Untruth. If we do so deliberately we build into our mind a record of our words, and this record will to some degree condition our future thoughts. We may make mistakes in our choice of words, and these mistakes also may condition our future thinking. We may introduce confusion into our mind by wrong use of words, and find this confusion very distressing. Only Truth helps us finally to make an efficient Life-Way.

A true Life-Way is a product of clarity of mind and good will. Unclear thinking and ill-will make a bad Life-Way. By "bad" we mean a way that leads to distintegration of our being. Good will and clear perception of reality allow us to make for our self a True Life-Way, which finally will bring us to state of perfect harmony of Being.

How do we come to make a bad Life-Way? Generally by lack of clear perception of the realities that surround us. Most of us live in a state of more or less continuous anxiety. Often this anxiety is unconscious, because we tend to suppress unpleasant feelings, and anxiety is unpleasant. We have a remarkable capacity for suppressing anything that we do not wish to know, about our own self, and about our past deeds, and about our future intentions, and about things in general and particular. This capacity for suppression of things that we do not wish to know is one of our worst enemies, for it builds walls inside us against truths that we need to know.

Only if we base our actions on Truth can we gain the self-consistency which brings harmony and true happiness into our Life-Way and so into our Being. We do not yet sufficiently understand the damage that inconsistency can do to us. If we have hidden contradictions in our will, mutually contradictory directives, our life cannot be harmonious, and happiness will be beyond our reach. We may try to hide this fact from us by pursuing all kinds of pleasures, but we cannot hide it from our inner-most self.

By hard focus upon pleasurable things, we can mask our inner anxieties about where we really stand in our life, but we can never actually eliminate inconsistencies and conflicts of thought, feeling and will that are dwelling inside us; and as long as such conflicts exist inside us we can never be at peace within our own self. The only way we can establish real peace within ourself is to follow the way of Truth. For this, we must see everything clearly and accept what we see in order to be able to adjust to it. What we do not see clearly and accept, we cannot adequately adapt to. What we do not adapt to works against us. It is to this that Jesus referred when he said "go with your brother in the way". As far as possible we are to try to find some way of harmonising our Life-Way with that of others. We are not to contradict others simply in order to exhibit our own self-will. Wherever possible, without abandoning our own true life-way, we are to seek to harmonise our actions with those of others.

Our true life-way, the Way that alone can lead us to our ultimate goal and final happiness, must be based on Truth. It is our conscious committal to Truth that allows us to attain the spiritual birth which is the precondition to the fulfilment of all our most intelligent purposes. If we do not know the Truth, we cannot gain that innermost integration of mind, soul and spirit, which in our deepest depths we know that we desire.

If it were not for deep fears in us, we would seek Truth as the great saving power. What is the origin of these fears? We can indicate this with the one word "pain". Pain has many levels of existence, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Pain is that which a living organism experiences as destructive to its being. The degree of pain is the degree of destruction of the organism. Every being has a life-way peculiar to itself, a mode of thinking, feeling and willing, which has been built out of its own life-experiences as a means of survival, or of attaining what it most values. To contradict, oppose or impede a living being in the pursuit of its aims is to present it with pain.

The life-way of each being is a product of innumerable choices made in particular situations and under various stimuli. Each choice is based on some element of experience, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, and is made in the belief that it may make life more worth living. Each choice is based on experienced fact, perceived, felt, thought about and taken into our being, and recorded to serve as a basis for the future experience and development of values. Each choice is orientation towards some value. A value is developmental power, and a possibility of the attainment of a higher level of being. To contradict a living being's sense of value is to threaten to destroy some part of its life-way.

What we value we love. To say to a man that what he loves is worthless is to attack the basis of his life-way, and so to attack his life itself. So often we forget this simple fact, and doing so, bring pain to others, and ultimately to ourselves, for every frustrated life-energy seeks to rebalance itself by counter-attacking whatever it believes to be the source of its frustration. The counter-attack may be immediate, or delayed for a short or long time, and may be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Many otherwise puzzling events in life arise from these counterattacking forces, which may be released consciously or unconsciously. We live in a dangerous world. To be "born of the spirit" to become very conscious of this fact.

"Spirit" is intelligent power. It is power of immediate response to whatever may present itself. It is initiative, the real opposite to the inertia of matter. To achieve spiritual birth is to gain intelligent initiative power of immediate response capacity. It is to attain to the position in which we may defeat all inertias and so gain perfect freedom of spirit, soul and body.

To be born only physically is to be placed in the material world in which true initiative is almost a total stranger. In this world inertia rules most actions, for we are conditioned here by ancestral tendencies, by communal mass responses, by indoctrination originating in various organisations or establishments, by group biases and various other determinants of action, most of them largely unconscious. The merely physical man is, as such, an enemy of spirit, for the physical of itself is non-developmental and incapable of evolution to higher levels of being. The evolutionary instinct springs from spirit itself. Without spirit, forms of being would never have risen above the level of minerality, and stones would have been the only occupants of the world.

Apart from inertia, which tends to keep things as they are, there is only initiative, the power of free intelligent response. It is this power that we mean when we used the word "spirit". Let us think for a few moments what this power does for us, and can do. Spirit is intelligent initiative power. By it, and by it alone, we can become able to act freely, intelligently and immediately, in every situation in which we may find ourselves. Spirit apprehends at once whatever is required for survival and development. It allows us to perceive with perfect clarity the realities in every situation. It enables us to group together immediately all our percepts, and to form from them concepts which structure reality for us in the most beneficial way. It empowers us to battle against and to overthrow all inertias of erroneous behaviour patterns which hitherto have held us in slavery to untruth.

To attain to spiritual birth is to participate consciously in the Divine Powers which alone guarantee ultimate victory over all enemies of Truth. On this attainment the physical body itself begins to become more refined in its constituents. It becomes progressively more and more spiritualised, that is, freed from the down-dragging forces of inertia and gravitation. Decisions become more and more intelligent and less weighed down by Time-matter processes. Solutions of problems that might have taken many hours to find are given in a moment. Joy begins to displace the general anxiety that afflicts mankind. Things once opaque become transparent to the enlightened consciousness. All good things become attainable.

Spiritual birth, once achieved, tells us of our origins. It lets us see into the structure of Universal Truth, and informs us that it is the very ground of our Being. By this birth we participate consciously in qualities and powers which are of God Himself. We understand what is meant when it is said that we are made in the image and likeness of God, that from Him we ourselves are recipients of divine qualities and capacities, which we may by divine grace at will put into operation.

To attain to the spiritual birth, we have to live first like a caterpillar, which spends all its time eating until it has stored enough energy to date to essay the entrance into the dangerous state in which it will change into a butterfly.
For us as human beings, the equivalent of the caterpillar's eating phase is the gathering of knowledge through our sense organs. We mentally "eat" what we see and feel and undergo in our experiences, until we are so full of information about the nature of reality that we become able to let go of our appetival phase and enter by faith into the realm of spirit. As we assimilate the meanings of all our experiences, we begin to trust more and more in that in us which has empowered us to perceive, conceive, feel, evaluate and will. We begin to perceive the true nature of divinity and our participation in it. We become able to say to mountains of old erroneous ideas, "Be removed into the sea of formlessness".

Part 62

Divinity is the power that divines, the power that is able to penetrate into the very essence of all things, the power that sees the natural divisions of things and functions. That we are made in the "image and likeness of God" means that we have within us something of the divine qualities that distinguish us from other forms of life. A human being is a very special kind of being, with special qualities not found elsewhere.

As humans we stand in a middle position on the great ladder of life. At the bottom are senseless stones, the products of compaction of universal energies, things with no capacity for inter-communication other than by gross material knockings. One stone rolling down a slope may strike on another and be a cause of a change of direction of both, but the stone does not apologise to the one it struck, does not discuss the meaning of the collision.

Plants are of similar materials to those that constitute stones, but the plants show evidence in their growth that another principle is at work, the principle of self -development. A stone has a kind of "self", a closed one. A plant has a "self" that opens itself to the influence of the sun and moon and rain and wind. The opening bud of a spring flower leaves us in no doubt that there is a principle at work, a principle not seen in the stone, a strange power of opening, of receiving, and of developing what it receives. From a seed fed with sun and rain a shoot is put forth, a mystery is unfolded, a whole tree appears, with trunk and branches and leaves, flowers and fruits, bearing seeds for new trees.

Animals evidence another power, that of locomotion. They move from place to place. In their bones are the chemicals that exist in stones. In their growth and development they show qualities developed in the plant-world. In their movements from one location to another they demonstrate a new kind of freedom. Stones have shown what it means to be separately existent and in bondage. Plants have demonstrated a first kind of developmental capacity by which they grow and change their forms of being. Animals have added another freedom, the power to change their place, to move from one situation to another in search of the food they need to sustain their existence. But there is a power beyond that of mere locomotion, a power insufficiently developed by animals.

In mankind this new power shows itself in articulate speech. Animals may show the beginnings of this in their growls, whines and snarls, but we have not heard animals engaged in discussing complex ideas of religious, philosophical, scientific and other subject matters.

Through speech man can communicate ideas, results of life experiences, and so enrich the whole sphere of human knowledge. The stone lies passively on the ground. The plant begins to free itself from gravity by striving upwards. The animal gained the new freedom to pursue its sustenance over the earth's surface. Man through his capacity for speech has named all the things he could see, and in so doing has raised his eyes, to the stars. "The breath of the beast goes down to the ground". The eyes of man raise themselves to the heavens, and by his speech man begins to forecast his lordship of the world. Prophecy is by speech, and prophecy create5 the expectancies which carry man ever onward in his development.

This strange power of articulate speech we hear demonstrated in man has an extraordinary origin. The fourth gospel says, "in the beginning was the Word". "In the beginning", at the very start of creation, was the creative Sound by which all things were precipitated into existence. We tend to think of the "Word" of the gospel as only a figure of speech, an expression for something we do not really comprehend. We think that the "Word" is not really a "Word" as we understand it. We tend to think that God did not really "speak" this word in the sense that we speak words. But we are less right about this than we think we are.

A spoken word emerging from man's mouth is not originated in his mouth, but in the centre of his will. Before we can discuss this problem of the Word, we must first make clear to ourselves exactly what we mean by the word Word, and we must know how and by what power in man this Word is originated.

First we must see that something in man empowers him to name things, to indicate things by sounds produced by means of the vocal organs. A sound made by man with intent to focus consciousness on something is called a word. Next we must make ourselves aware that the cause of our utterance of a word is our intention to draw attention to something. Intention is willed. The will to focus the energy of consciousness onto something is a power possessed by a conscious being. This power is the most mysterious of all our powers. In materialistic science there is no place where the word "Will" has any meaning. The materialist views man as a body of reactive matter, the behaviour of which is a product of energy impulse and reactions of that body, resulting from the energy put into it. Here there is no room for intelligence or will. Both "intelligence" and "will" are not properties of a body defined as a mass or mere matter.

As soon as we allow ourselves to use the words "intelligence" and "will" we leave the realm of mere matter and enter into the world of psychology, that is, the world in which mental as well as purely material things are examined.

At this point we can divide human beings into categories, one of pure materialists, who believe that all things of man's behaviour are explainable by means of words of merely material significance, the other of those who believe that mere matter cannot adequately explain certain of man's inner activities, thoughts, feelings and volitions. These two kinds of human being totally opposed to each other in their fundamental concepts of the nature of ultimate reality.

The pure materialist has no room in his universe for intelligence or will. For him organism are a product of accidental groupings of non-intelligent, non-volitional chemical elements and electrical and other forces. For him there is no volitional purpose anywhere in the universe.

Man, on this view, has come into being as a conglomeration of non-conscious forces brought together either accidently, or by forces which cannot act on each other in any ways other than they do. There is no choice in such a world, no way whereby things can escape the blind laws of electro-chemical and other inter-actions which govern or are assumed to govern the universe.

But those who oppose the mere materialistic view of basic reality have a use for words which refer to inner experiences of thought, feeling and will. These inner processes are known, or can be known, only to those able to experience them as what they are, that is psychological activities, processes not the result of blind non-sensible forces.

The two kinds of men, those who believe only in non-intelligent matter, and those who believe that intelligent forces can act upon and influence that "matter", often use words from each other's vocabulary without full awareness of what is really signified by them. A man who believes, from his inner experiences, that he has powers of thinking and feeling and willing, often uses words borrowed from the so-called "sciences" which rule the behaviour of materialists. A man who believes himself to be a pure materialist often uses words borrowed from those who have -accepted the terminology of thinkers who are convinced of the validity of their inner thinking, feeling and willing. The reason for this double borrowing of terms by the two kinds of men is found in the historic battle that has raged between them for thousands of years. The exchange between them has not been quite equally justified.

The believers in free will may legitimately use words that refer to things of the "material" world, for they view "matter" as itself a result of original Will's operation on its own being. For them the whole universe and everything in it is a product of the action of free divine creative energy, that is to say of God, where the word "God" is used to denote the originating intelligent power of all things.

But those who believe in mere "matter" and non-intelligent forces are not legitimately so well placed, for they cannot pretend truly that basically non-intelligent matter can evolve terms that utterly contradict their own definitions, terms such as "free-will", "intelligent purpose", "love", "mercy", "severity", and so on. No. The mere materialist cannot logically allow himself to use such words. For him they have no real significance.

If we allow that the two kinds of men are really as they represent themselves to be, then we have to say that the mere materialists have the less beneficial belief, for they doom themselves to live as if void of free will and intelligence. Their existence, as they represent it, is a mere purposeless accident of colliding material forces or sub-atomic senseless energies.

The man, however, who takes his inner experiences of thought, feeling and will seriously, as valid evidences of his own creative powers, has a belief that progressively can lead him truly ever nearer and nearer to the full development of the divinity which is implicit in the very definition of him as an image and likeness of God.

Of course, we must see that we cannot have qualities that are not inherent in the very source of our being. If we see ourselves as beings of will and intelligence, we have to assume that whatever we may possess of these is a derivative of our source-power. What we have in us of worth is a gift of this power. If we have will and intelligence, so has our source and origin, in at least the fullness of all the power and wisdom that all the greatest of men and women of the past, present and future can demonstrate.

We praise will-power, intelligence and sensitivity wherever we find them,' in art, religion, philosophy and science. It is only logical to praise them most where they most reside and reveal themselves, and that is in the ultimate source-power of all beings. All the world's greatest men and women have understood that their powers derive from the Supreme Power that rules all lesser powers. This supreme power, the power of all powers they have named "God" as the supreme good, the good of goods, the Truth of truths, the ultimate subject of all acts of worship.

Only a weak being fails to realise that there are powers beyond its own. Only the very unintelligent fail to appreciate intelligence beyond their's. Only the totally insensitive could fail to sense some sensitivity beyond itself.

The greater the man, the more ready is he to bend his knee in the presence of the Most High. There is an ineffable Being before whom every other being shall bow. Let us not be ashamed to confess this to ourselves in the-most secret and innermost centre of our being. There is a power infinitely greater than the totality of all the powers of all created beings. This Infinite Power is that which Jesus called "Abba", Father, and prayed that we would have the courage and intelligence to do the same. "Have I not said, you are the children of the Most High?" "is it not written in the scriptures, you are gods?".

The authority justifying our claim to the Divine Origin in none other than God Himself, Emanuel, the God who dwells within the deepest centre of our being, the God who says to us, "Do not look outside for what is inside". "Why go far away for what is near at hand?" "The Kingdom of Heaven is within". It is found by the one who realises the true nature of his own innermost self. He it is who speaks to us in the "Still, small voice" within.

To hear this "still, small voice, "we must teach ourselves how to still the incessant clamour of the outer everyday world which makes us deaf to the inner voice. The outer world's noise, ever with us, is the noise of material demands, the noise that tends to compel us to forget all spiritual considerations. "The world is too much with us" says the poet, knowing full well what he means.

Part 63

What do we mean when we say "The world is too much with us'.'? We mean that the externals of the world, the non-essentials, take up too much of our energy. "Getting and spending we lay waste our powers". We have been too much caught up in the processes of the outer world in which we strive to survive. We need food, clothing, housing to help us to sustain ourselves, to keep us warm and protect us against nature's wild elements. But having gained the basics of our existence, we strive ever onwards to gather more and more things around us, to give ourselves a greater and greater sense of security.

The "sense of security" in the outer world has gradually diverted us from another "security" which is actually more important for us, the "inner security" which can exist only in the quiet mind seated in faith. No matter how much of the outer world's things we gather around us, if we do not gain the quiet mind of faith, we feel uneasy. We know that whatever we may have gathered from the outer world, the fact that it has been so gathered means that it may also be scattered again into the world from which it was taken. "There is a time for gathering stones together, and a time when they will be scattered". "Gathering" and "scattering" presuppose each other.

Very industrious and clever men may amass large fortunes, surround themselves with very expensive things. Yet these clever men finally have to leave behind them whatever they have amassed. Pharaohs and great kings of the ancient world tried to take with them into their tombs all their gathered wealth. They gave instructions that their goods were to be buried with them. In response to these commands, not only valuable material things were buried with them, but also their favourite animals and the servants they desired to take with them into the next world. At the death of a great ruler it became customary to bury with him all his valuable material things, and to kill all his servants so that he would have with him their services beyond this world. Such was the sense of ownership of properties, that the, thought of leaving them behind was too painful for a great king to contemplate.

But some men, not so sure of the existence of another world, broke into their wealth-packed tombs and robbed them of their gold furnishings, and found that the Great King's b6dy, like those bodies of his slaughtered servants, had corrupted and mouldered away. It became apparent that there was little use in trying to take with oneself into the next world all that had been amassed in this. The whole concept of property" had to come under review.

"Property" is what truly belongs to a being. It is the redness of the ruby, the green-ness of the emerald, the hardness of a diamond, the untarnishableness of gold, and so on. "Property" is that without which a thing cannot be what it is. Whatever could be taken away from a thing without that thing ceasing to be what it is, is not its real property. Misunderstanding of this has led mankind into many errors. Things have been thought to be properties which were not really so. Even the very idea of property in its real original sense has been overlaid by legalistic definitions which have but obscured its real meaning.

What is external to a thing, what is capable of being removed from it is not its real property. We see in an estate agent's window a notice saying "properties for sale". We may buy a house from this agent and receive, documents to verify that we are now the "owner" of this acquired property. But we may sell this property and cease to be its owner, and so demonstrate that whatever the word "property" meant in this case, it did not mean that the "property" could not be separated from us, or that it was an essential of our real being, without which we could not be what essentially we are.

It is not a real property of a human soul to be made of bricks and mortar, or stone, or girders and concrete, or electrical installations, central heating appliances and mains sewage, and well-made approach roads. These may be conveniences which the soul may enjoy, but they are not the essential properties of the soul itself.

During wars, properties are often destroyed, and large numbers of houses, public buildings and social conveniences are disrupted. Also many people are killed, their bodies made unfunctional. But the surviving human souls who still occupy their bodies discover that what they had believed to be their "properties" are not so. These survivors walk about amidst the ruins of their once legalised external "properties", and begin to build new lives. Again they gather from the ruins whatever they can salvage and to amass what they believe to be "properties" that will ensure security. But they seldom think about the nature of their own real properties, the qualities that constitute their nature as human beings.

The human race as a whole has certain properties which are essential to its continuance as the reality which it is. These properties include what we call sensitivity, intelligence, will, and the power to co-ordinate these in some degree. These properties are essential to us. Without them we could not be what we are.

These properties are essentials of the human soul. In a war, or by accident, we may lose parts of our physical body, a limb or two or more; we may undergo surgery and have some malfunctioning organ cut out: or we may have plastic parts inserted wherever helpful to our continuance in our body. But all these losings and takings-away and replacements do not take away or add to our essential properties as human souls. Something in us is untouched by all these externally originated operations, and this untouched something is our real human property. And it is this untouchable property that we refer to when we think of ourself as a human soul. It is this soul that has the inalienable right to see itself as what it is, a human being.

Loss of limbs or organs does not mean loss of our human soulishness. We are not matter-bound in our essentials of thought, feeling, will and the power to relate these together, and to relate these to other human souls and to other beings in the universe at large.

When we forget our real human properties, and turn our attention to the things of the outer material world, we lose contact with our essential self; we deprive ourself of its sensitivity to the real values of the human soul; we forget that we have a capacity for realisation of universal truth; forget that essentially we are beings of creative power, able to select from the infinity of universal possibilities those things and activities that alone can lead us to real fulfilment.

In our forgetting of our real properties, our powers of true thought, of fine sensitivity, of will and co-ordination-capacity, we fall under the dominion of the gross material things of the outer world, we become slaves of "Mammon", that is, slaves of a merely material counting process. We forget our essential human freedom, a freedom that is the essential property of spirit. "His worship is perfect freedom".

In the outer world of material things, the world of Mammon, we receive stimuli from those things, and we tend to react mechanically to them. If the stimuli gives us pleasure, we tend to move towards their source, like the sailors, hearing the seductive song of the mythical mermaid, steering their ship towards the rocks on which she sat. If the stimuli causes pain in us, we tend to move away from the source of the stimuli. Thus in both pleasure and pain we tend to become subjected to forces of the outer world, and in doing so, lose our essential creative freedom of will. We lose contact with our inner divinity; which gives to our human-ness its essential soul-quality, which alone justifies our existence.

We humans are not here on earth for nothing. We have experiences to gain and a destiny to fulfil. Stones cannot escape their stony bondage. Plants are tied to the ground from which they derive their needed minerals. Animals cannot leave the earth over which they move in search of their food. Even birds cannot fly beyond the atmosphere that makes possible their flight. Only the human being can transcend these limitations. Only he has limitless possibilities of extension of his powers beyond the capabilities of any other creature.

We must ask ourselves what is the source of this inner divining capacity that we possess; and we must reply logically that this source is God Himself. Only divinity can confer divinity. What we have in us of divinity, our sensitivity, our intelligence, our free will, is a gift of God. Let us think carefully about this.

As creatures, we are not the source of our own being; we are beings created by an intelligent power beyond us. The power that has created the universe and all things in it was there before us. By its action it has brought our world into being with all the things we see in it, minerals, vegetables, animals and our own selves. When we say our "own" selves, we should mean logically that our selves are "owed" to the infinite power that created us. As creatures we have not created ourselves, have not started from nothing to build ourselves into what we have become. Everything we have has been given to us by the source-power of all beings. As creatures we are in the deepest possible debt to that source-power. For all the things in us that we consider most valuable, our only valid attitude and feeling is one of total gratitude. We have nothing that we do not owe to our source-power. Knowledge of this fact is the ground of the essential humility of all intelligent men.

We are all in debt to the source-power which we call God. By whatever name we refer to this power, Jaweh, Jehovah, Elohim, Allah, we mean always the same thing, the infinite source-power of all things. "God" is a shorthand expression for this power. We should not be ashamed to use this shorthand, providing we remind ourselves what it means. Whenever we use the word "God" we should mentally remind ourselves that we are referring to the infinite source-power of all things, a source-power that is the origin of all that we know of as sensitivity, intelligence, will and power to create, to sustain and to develop and evolve everything that has been or is now, or may be brought to being. This is a lot for us to remember when we say the little word "God", but it is most important for our well-being that we do so.

If we forget this true meaning, we will find ourselves in great trouble, for then all our words and thoughts and feelings and actions must lose their relation with the very power with which they should remain in contact. Without the closest relation with our real source-power we are in continuous danger of alienation from the very creative intelligence which sustains us and makes it possible for us to move towards and finally attain the trim goal of our divinely destined humanity.

Let us remind ourselves that we are a very special kind of being. We are not senseless stones, nor mere dreaming plants, nor animals wandering over the surface of the earth. We are human beings, beings with a very high destiny divinely appointed for us. We are not earth-bound, not even the sky is our limit. We have infinity to probe, and not merely the levels of it that we have been pleased to call "material". Radio telescopes have already revealed strange worlds whose existence we previously have not dreamed of. Beyond these are other worlds, realms of finer and finer forces which todays' most sensitive instruments cannot reach. But the future will disclose these mysterious realms, worlds that not even our wildest present guesses can anticipate. Wonderful things are yet to be discovered and great deeds to be performed which "if it were possible, would deceive even the elect".

Fortunately for all of us, it is not possible to "deceive the elect", for they have a very special test by which they can probe all things.

Part 64

What is the special test by which the elect avoid being deceived? If a thing is in the realm of phenomena, that is, the realm of appearances, it is to be placed under suspicion. An appearance is the result of the action of certain forces upon our sense organs. It is a product of energy encounters in which outer and inner factors interact. The external world-forces act upon the energy-complex which constitutes our being. What arises in our consciousness is what we call "phenomena", and "appearance". But there is something that is never shown in a phenomenon, and this something is of the highest importance.

A phenomenon or appearance has a form, a shape by which we know it to be itself and not another phenomenon. This shape may be visual, a form perceptible by the eye; or it may be audible, recognised by the ear; or tactile, known by the sense of touch, which tells us whether a thing is rough or smooth, hard or soft, etc.; or something known by the sense of taste, sweet, sour, salt, bitter; or something known to our sense of smell, pleasant or unpleasant. But all these are the product of an energy stimulus acting on a sense organ, and the interaction of these two patterns of energies is so complex that we cannot in the instant of perception know all the factors involved in it. Because of this, we are forced to accept what we perceive as to some degree reliable. If we did not accept phenomena as reliable, we could not profitably react to them. Because of our need for order, we accept phenomena as trust-worthy to some degree. If we did not, we would live as in chaos, distrusting every appearance, unable to take anything seriously. But although we, for order's sake, need to take phenomena as to some degree reliable, we cannot give to them an absolute belief. Why not? Every phenomenon, to be profitable to us, must be interpreted. If we see a cloud in the sky, we have to decide whether it is the kind of cloud that signifies the coming of fair weather or foul. Without interpretation, every phenomenon is meaningless. A great storm may sink a ship. We have to decide whether this sinking is good or bad. In war-time we want to know whether the ship is one of ours, or one of our enemy's. At all times we are busy interpreting appearances. Without interpretations we cannot live an orderly life, cannot adjust to the world of appearances, cannot profit from our experiences. But, as we have said, there is something of the highest importance that appearances cannot give to us. This something is motive.

The motive for any act we do, or our intention in doing it, never becomes an external phenomenon, never shows itself as an outer appearance. A man selling a car or refrigerator or any other thing, may smile, but his smile does not tell us his motive in smiling. He may genuinely wish to supply us with something good and useful, or he may simply desire to unload something at a price that might help his survival. Similarly with all the achievements of science and high tec. Rocketing to the moon might be the result of mere human curiosity; or it might be to search for a new source of mineral wealth, to help us when our earth supplies run out; or it might be to set up a good safe observation post from which to observe the Armageddon by television, without being too involved in its worst aspects; or for any other of several reasons.

Whatever the motive or intention behind anyone's action, the motive does not show itself as an external phenomenon. Motives or intentions are contained in the soul's deepest depths. They become part-cause of the phenomena which appear in our consciousness by interacting with forces which come to us from outside our organism, and from within it. We decide how to view the stimuli we receive according to our innermost motives. By our intentions to improve or worsen our situation, we interpret whatever comes to us.

Phenomena or appearances are mere patterned plays of energies until we decide to interpret them. Nothing of itself is good or evil until we think of it in relation to our motives or intentions. We say a thing is good for the fulfilment of some purpose, or bad for that purpose. Good and bad are relative to the fulfilment of our intentions.

When very intelligent persons view any phenomena, they observe them sharply so that their forms or characteristics are made very clear to consciousness, and their modes of interaction noted. By such observations knowledge of causes and effects is gained, and adjustment to the realities of the world is made easier. But behind all the things that we see, no matter how much we may come to know about them, it is not what they are that is of most importance, but how we respond to them. Our motives in responding to the things of the world are more important for us than are the things themselves.

Of course, without the things we would have nothing to respond to, but the things' importance, such as we see them to be, consists merely in their providing us with occasions to exercise our capacity for choice. This capacity is the essential of our humanness. We are human precisely because of our ability to choose between alternatives. To lose this ability would be to lose our essential humanity.

But in an act of choice there must be a motive, an intention, an aim or goal. An act of choice is motivated by a purpose which the Will intends to fulfil. But in each instance the Will's purpose never becomes a manifest object. One person's Will cannot be exhibited to another person in such a way that there can be no doubt about it. The Will itself is not an object. We cannot see, hear, touch, taste or smell a Will. In the realm of philosophy the Will is the most mysterious of all concepts that may be presented to us. "Will" refers to Initiative, to prime causative power, which of itself transcends all formal representational possibilities, yet is wholly responsible for them. Will in man is a spark of original divine causal power.

It is not by his intellectual or rational ability that man is worthy of the title, "son of God", although some intellectuals have thought so. Man is justly called a child of God only when he is acting from his free will, his power of free choice, whereby what he does is not a product of forces beyond his control. Man, from his spark of inner divinity, is not conditioned from forces outside himself, nor from memories of his past reactions to such forces. Divine man has risen above all alien forces. His actions are the results of nothing other than his own power of immediate free choice. In this is man's supreme dignity. The elect know this, and so cannot be deceived.

However marvellous may become the phenomena produced by ever advancing science, whatever distant galaxies of stars may be penetrated by spaceships, whatever wondrous inventions may be brought into existence to fill previously void spaces in cosmos, the elect will always confront the inventors with the supreme question, "What is your will in all this display?" Beyond all the brilliant displays, the fireworks and razzmatazz of scientifically produced phenomena the elect will always ask, "What is the intention behind all this?"

The elect will say, "Very marvellous, very accomplished, very interesting indeed, but why have you produced such phenomena? What do you hope to accomplish by them? What is your intention? What finally is your Will?"

If the inventors say, "To make them dependent on us; to make the masses worship and adore us; to make them subservient to our Will; then the elect will say, "Wrong motive!"

Lucifer himself had precisely this motive, this intention, when he willed to become brighter than his Creator had made him. He willed not merely to astonish other angels by his increased brilliance, but to subordinate them absolutely to his Will. He had not seen the hidden contradiction in his contradiction of God's Will for him and for all other creatures.

For millions of creatures life is full of difficulties, crammed with incomprehensible phenomena. For the elect, life is simple. It consists in possession of right motive, that is, good will. Whatever we may do, and whatever the results of our actions, neither our doings nor their results are of supreme importance. Only our Will, our motive, our intention, finally moulds our soul into the form that it shall have to present to God. Our goals or aims model our soul. They are what our Will sets for itself as its target; and what Will wills, it finally becomes. The Will projects itself in its purposes, and identifies itself with its projections, forms itself in their form, and finally must confront itself as it has formed itself. A horrible rapacious Will builds into itself the forms of its own rapacity, and so exhibits itself to itself. At the last judgement it needs no outer judge; it is sufficient for it to see in itself its own handiwork. Oscar Wilde said. "It isn't what you do, its what you become in doing it". Our actions mould the form, not only of our physical body but also of our soul. And our soul's hidden inner motives, which we never dare to exhibit to our fellows in the outer world, mould our soul into their correspondent forms within the very substance of the soul. Our worst motives we try to hide, even from ourselves. This is how we create the so-called unconscious realm of our mind. If we were suddenly to see how these hidden motives had moulded our soul we would be horrified. We could not bear the shock of coming face to face with what we have made of ourselves. This is why psycho-analysis can take such a long time. A million little shocks spread over a long period of time we may be able to endure. But the total energy of all these shocks given in a single instant would be too much for us to assimilate. Receiving this without long preparation and education, we would simply disintegrate, fall apart, become again physically the dust of the earth from which our bodies were assembled, and our soul would lose the one supreme concept, which had so far held it together, the concept of itself as a God-given Unity of Will.

If we identify with many different things, and these things, from whatever causes, disintegrate, then we are in danger of suffering a like disintegration of our soul. Only if we remember with full concentration that our soul is fundamentally a Will-to-be, can we resist dismemberment.

Coherence of our ideas allows us to refer to a unific pattern in our consciousness. This gives us a sense of inner security; we feel at one with ourself. It is this at-one-ness that is the meaning of "atonement". Atonement is at-one-ment. It arises in our soul when our ideas, words, feelings and deeds do not contradict each other, but fit together in perfect harmony. It is this harmony in the soul that is referred to when we talk about the integration of the personality . The whole of our inner psychological balance depends upon such integration.

Without harmonious integration of the elements in our consciousness we are in a state of inner self-contradiction, and therefore of discomfort. If the discomfort reaches a too high intensity we say that we cannot bear it. We might even say that it feels "hellish". Any excessive inner self-contradiction is felt as an inner war in which the different forces continually attack each other. To be in such a state of unbearable self-contradiction is the meaning of being in hell. Whether in this present life, or in the life beyond death, the degree of freedom from inner self-contradiction is the degree to which we are not in hell. The nearer we are to perfect inner harmony, the nearer we are to heaven.

To escape from hell we have to release our self from inner self-contradiction. To do this we must return to our original unity of Will. We must see that all our thoughts, words and deeds, no matter how numerous or disintegrated they may be, are all products of our Will. We have but to return consciously to our Will to contact our original Unity, and so gain release form all hellish conditions.

It was precisely to enlighten and inform souls imprisoned in self-contradiction that Jesus after his death descended into "hell". There he taught the suffering souls that they could abandon their self-contradictions by simply returning to the original Will's unity and from here begin a new life. To return to the unific will that subsists in the soul's deepest depths is to return to the divine spark within us, and it is from this spark that all fresh starts are originated.


How are we to become able to re-gain our lost unity of Will, our freedom from destruction inner self-contradiction? Each of the great religions has a procedure whereby this re-turn path may be travelled along. For the Hindus the path is one of Yogic meditation; for the Muslim, acceptance of the Will of Allah, for the Jew, study of the sacred Torah or divinely given law. For the Christian it is the following of Christ, the treading of the path of universal love.

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". What did He mean by this triple definition! A "Way" is something that we make in life. It is not an already laid down tarmac road along which we can drive without difficulty. We have to "pick" our way, choose its direction from among many possible ways, To our right may be a stoney desert; to out left ,a marshland, in front of us a mountain. If we are to travel we must choose which way we shall go. The essence of Way-making is the act of choice.

Choice-capacity is the mark of our humanness. Whatever dignity man may have, it is in his capacity for choice that we find it. Apart from this ability to choose, man would be no higher than the instinct-driven animals, at the mercy of every stray stimulus that might strike him. Thus when Jesus says "I am the Way", He means that He is the chooser of His life direction.

Jesus also said, "Before Abraham was, I am". Here He sees Abraham as a particular person in Time, and Himself as Eternal. What did He mean by this? The Jews, who looked backwards in Time to the man Abraham who had chosen for himself a certain life-way, which by his moment-by-moment choices he would have to make for himself, led by his faith in the invisible God's power to inspire his choices. It was counted to him as righteousness that he had this faith.

But Jesus did not think of Himself as a Time-being. He knew that His innermost spirit in His soul was that very God in whom Abraham so long ago had had faith. Therefore, identifying with this Spirit, Jesus saw Himself as Eternal, outside of the beyond the Time-process. And Jesus willed that we human beings should, like-Him, see ourselves in our innermost souls as also Eternal.

What does "Eternal" mean! It means "Life-Three-fold", with power to maintain itself forever as such. We all participate in this threefold life, in our thinking, feeling and willing.

We have a three-aspected life in which we can think and feel and will to activate ourselves in accordance with our self-chosen purposes. In this three-fold life we are correspondent with the three aspects of God, which we call the "Holy Trinity". God's Trinity or three-foldness is called "Holy" because it is Whole; it does not contradict itself. As it thinks, so it feels, and so it wills. But with man this threefold life is not yet holy, for it is not yet Whole.

Man can focus his powers of thinking and feeling and willing either in Time, or in Eternity. Ordinarily he spends his energies of mind and body trying to establish himself in the Time-process. He desires to survive and develop in Time, to accumulate material possessions and the wealth to be able to maintain them in good condition. Time and Matter are very intimately related.

Along with his material possessions, man also desires to be seen to possess them, seen by others, and seen by himself, for the knowledge that he has possessions gives him a sense of security and value. It is very important for human beings to believe themselves to be valuable, that is, to have the power not to be nothing. Man has a great fear of "nothingness". He suppresses this fear as much as he can, but always in the depths of his mind and soul he dwells in continuous anxiety that, in spite of all his efforts to survive, he might nevertheless finally become nothing, might vanish into the void abyss which threatens all things and all beings with final annihilation.

What is the origin of this fear of annihilation? It is the simple fact of death. All around, all over the world, we daily meet with death. We see our loved ones, our friends and our enemies grow old, sicken and die'. We come to believe that death is the final, unavoidable fact that every living beings in some kind of existence other than that of our ordinary statements we read that some persons have been "translated" from this world to the next without having had first to die. Most people today, even some churchmen, find the resurrection of Jesus too difficult to assimilate.

But the claim is made that Jesus has overcome death, and millions of people in the world believe in reincarnation, which implies persistence of living beings in some kind of existence other than that of our ordinary earth-bound life.

How did death come into the world in the first place? What is death? Put very simply, it is disintegration following loss of the self-determination of the soul. In our ordinary living process we generally believe that we have enough energy to be able to defeat attacks made upon us by other beings human or other. We know that most of us actually have power to repel enemy bacteria and viruses, and that we can do this for many years. We know that our life-expectancy is far higher than it was two or three hundred years ago, when death about thirty was common for most people in civilised countries. We attribute our longer lives to advances of sciences of hygiene and proper diet, and generally take better care of ourselves. We look forward to a progressive increase in the improvement of conditions of living. Bernard Shaw at one time thought that better thinking, feeling and willing might let us live to be about three-hundred years old. But however long we might imagine life to become possible, at the back of our minds lurks the anxiety that does not wish to face death and annihilation.

But Jesus said not only that He is the Way, but also the Truth and the Life. This is a very interesting trinity: Way, Truth, Life. We have seen that the Way is chosen by the acts of Will, that it is not a ready-made tarmac road. Choosing a way when we have no certain knowledge of the situation into which it might lead us is an act of faith. What did Jesus mean when He said also that He is the Truth?

"Truth" is the substantial form of reality, of existence, and of being. Truth is the Eternal structure of Spiritual Being. It is the ever-unalterable fact of the fundamental self-formative power of God. It is helpful for us to think of geometrical shapes, such as circles, triangles, squares, and so on. Such shapes are ever what they are. A circle is a circle, a triangle a triangle, a square is a square forever, eternally. Now, let us take the idea of all possible shapes of all possible things in their totality. Let us call this totality the "Truth". What does this mean? All the forms that we can think of, and might be able to think of if we tried our very hardest, all of these, thought of as unalterable, will be our conception of Truth. If we were able to think of that which Jesus meant when He referred to the Truth.

When He said "I am the Truth", He meant that His "I am", His real Self-subsistent Essence, contained this total Truth. He meant that His very Being is this Truth. How could He mean this?

What we have to understand and realise is that we, as creatures, owe our being to the Truths that we have so far embodied in us. Our being is our Truth; our embodied or incarnate Truth is our being.

Because we, as creatures only partially know and incarnate Truth, so we, as creatures, only partially embody Being. What we know and make really active within us, mentally, psychically and physically, becomes our very Being. Every new Truth that we take into our three-fold being, and make operative in us, adds to our being. The whole of reality is a manifestation of energy. Our physical body is composed of energy: our mental content of ideas and thinking processes is energy at work; our feelings and emotions and acts of will are all operative energies. Thus, to take in a new idea, to absorb a new feeling or emotion, to will a new attitude is to change the nature of our being. What we do partially, Jesus has done, does, and will do wholly. To the degree that we absorb new Truths and so become new beings, we approach every moment nearer to the Being condition of Jesus.

The Way is made by our choices of directions, our orientation to realities. The Truth that we know and make operative in ourselves constitutes our being. What is the life to which Jesus referred when He said, "I am the life"?

Life is the operation of sentient power upon itself. Sentient power is power or energy that can feel itself, and feeling itself can know itself, and refreshing and focussing itself, can think of itself and its activities, and can will its orientations or directions of its action within the universal Being which it has created and posited substantially for itself.

The Way of True Life is the way that every being finally is to affirm for itself, to choose for itself, to make operative for itself by its own will. This is the meaning of the statement, "His worship is perfect freedom". We human beings all like to believe that we are free to choose our course of life. We do not like to think that perhaps we are slaves of uncontrolled impulses induced in us by stimuli reaching us from outside the centre of being, where dwells our sensitivity, intelligence and will. Yet if we are strictly honest with ourselves, if we stand before a good mirror, which does not distort fact, we know, as we gaze at ourselves eye to eye, that we are not yet in the fullest possible control of ourselves. We know that somehow we have fallen from our original state of pure free, intelligent will, and that we have come to some degree under the sway of forces not centred in our own selves.

Having seen and acknowledged this fact, we need to re-choose our Way of Life, to re-think our relation to the Truth which finally we must embody.

Self-observation is not easy, for energy inside us naturally tends to run out from our centre along nerve lines to our sense-organs. Our eyes are instruments for looking at the things of the outer world; our ears have, evolved so that we can hear sounds that come to us from without and bring us information that might have survival value for us in our relations with the things of the outer environment in which we live. So also with our other sense-organs; all tend to draw our attention away from our inner-most self, and to focus our energies upon things of the external world. Our sense-organs naturally tend to externalise our energies and carry them away from the most intimate part of our soul, in which our Will generates itself. This is why great religious teachers have warned us against what they have called the "sins of the flesh". "Sin" is alienation from our real self. It is loss of consciousness of our own soul as the initiator of our freely willed acts.

This warning is given because we are so easily carried away from our real innermost centre, and captured by the reactions of our sense-organs, so that we become enslaved by the things of the outer world. We see around us today so many examples of such slavery, in drug-addicts, alcoholics and others.

None of us, in the depths of our soul like to think that we are slaves, but we tend to hide our enslavements from ourselves, because our self-image is comfortable only if we believe ourselves to be free. Ingrained habits may actually be evidences of our enslavement to some pleasurable stimulus. We may try to justify such habits but we might be wiser to re-examine them.


We have seen that the true dignity of man lies in his capacity for free choice. Whenever we choose a particular course of action, we lay down in our nervous system a pathway along which we send nervous energy as a series of electrical impulses. Each time we choose the same pathway, we make it easier for the electrical impulses to travel along it. The increasing ease of travel of the impulses makes it less and less necessary for us to pay conscious attention to the particular action that results from our choice. This is how habitual action-patterns become established.

When a habit-pattern is strongly set up inside us and no longer needs our full attention, this pattern may conduct our life-processes for us while we remain unconscious of its action. This unconscious action would be economic if its pattern were really well-related to our living needs. But if the pattern falls .out of right relation to the essentials of our life-direction, we may find ourselves actually walking into situations for which we are not adequately prepared.

Time marches on, and in its march enters many changing conditions. If our habitual action-patterns efficiently fit into the new conditions, we may continue to lead a life acceptable to us. But if these patterns have become outmoded and no longer applicable to our life-requirements, we may find ourselves dis-orientated and unable to satisfy ourselves.

When a habit-pattern has become so well established that it has lapsed from consciousness, in effect it reduces our life-action to a merely mechanical level. Very much of ordinary daily living is conducted by such mechanically operated habit-patterns. We may not like to believe this, but serious self-observation will confirm that much of "living" is not real living, but mechanical. It requires no conscious attention of our will. It does not demand from us anything of our real selves. We may carry on apparent conversations with our friends, comment on the weather, business problems, world affairs and other matters, without involving our Will in what we are saying, and all the time what we are doing or saying has little or no effect on our innermost selves. In such 'conversations" our souls are not touched. We have paid no willed attention to what we are talking about, and so remain quite unchanged in our innermost essence.

Many people are so used to such mechanical interchanges or words that they resent strongly if anyone requires them to pay conscious attention to what is under discussion. Such people may thoroughly dislike any attempts to persuade them to deal seriously with any real-life problem.

Many of the real problems of life contain elements which occasion discomfort or pain, physical or mental. It is natural for us to avoid thinking of such problems. Our flesh dislikes pain, and our mind tends to avoid the memory of it. Where thinking of some situation or event presents us with unpleasant feelings, we tend to divert our thought from it.

The result of continual avoidance of unpleasant thoughts and feelings is the building into ourselves a body of self-comforting memories. This "body" is a real body of energies, just as real as the body which we think of as our physical one, although less gross. We can talk meaningfully of a "body" of ideas, for ideas are actual energy-patterns, and when integrated together, such patterns constitute a real body, with in-built resistance to change, as strong as any physical body. This is why we have an expression like "mental inertia".

Mental inertia is the tendency of an established pattern of thinking or feeling that tends to continue operating, even if we try to bring it to a halt. We have all experienced chains of ideas which persist in running through our minds even when we would rather stop them. It is not incorrect to call such mechanically repetitive idea-sequences "chains", for they often chain our consciousness to them in spite of our desire to be free from them. Such idea-chains often cause suffering to us, especially if the idea in them are tainted with a sense of guilt.

"Guilt" is a feeling which we bear inside us when we have done some act, or spoken some words, or thought some thoughts that we believe we should not have done. The chain of ideas which accompanies a guilt-feeling may appear to be unbreakable. At any given moment we may not possess sufficient free energy to break it, and then we suffer as if we are in chains of real irons. Guilt-feelings and their idea-chains may be so strong that they make even ordinary physical movements very difficult or even impossible for a chained individual. Muscles may become so tense that they are immobilised. We may be, as we say, "rooted to the ground", "unable to place one foot in front of another". When this happens there may be a real need for help from another person, a person himself not in similar chains.

The whole meaning of the teaching of Jesus is the removal of chains, the conferring of freedom upon those who cannot free themselves. It is true that all the great religious teachers aimed to free mankind from bondage to erroneous ideas. Buddha taught a rational method of attaining such freedom. So also did Zarathustra, great Jewish teachers, and the Greek philosophers, Hindu Sages and Muhammad and others. In what way did the teaching of Jesus differ from that of other prophets and wise men? We may answer this question by quoting His words. "In as much as you do this to the least of these, you do it to me". Jesus identified himself totally with all beings. He had broken the chains of separativity ideas which keep all ordinary people in bondage to earthly things.

This identification of Jesus with the totality of all beings was extraordinary. Human beings, each one bound by his own skin, are ordinarily bound by what they are convinced is a self-evident truth, the truth of actual separateness. It is true that men can act as if they are separate, but their separateness is not a real separateness of the energies that constitute their very being. All the diverse things of the universe are but different ways of action of One Universal Energy. It is impossible for any energy to be wrenched out of its interpenetration with every other energy in existence. There is no way whereby an energy may be totally insulated from another so that the two have absolutely no effect on each other. We can wrap rubber or plastic around a wire to confine electrons to it, but we cannot insulate the wire so perfectly that it goes totally out of all relationship with the forces outside the wire. For lower-level practical purposes we may be content with the degree of apparent insulation that we achieve, but at higher levels our insulation is imperfect, and at the highest level is non-existent. Thus we can say with Jesus, "if you do anything whatever to any being, you do it to me".

When we see a jellyfish in the sea, they are often nearly invisible to us. We have to focus our eyes very sharply to detect them. Perhaps only the high-lights reflected from the sun to us from their very thin skins allows us to see them. The jellyfish are constituted of water and chemicals very like those of the sea. We can think of a jelly-fish as an amount of sea-water held together by a thin skin made of water and sea-chemicals floating in the sea composed of the same chemistry. We can think of the jelly-fish as a sea within a sea, a little ocean within a great ocean. So we can think also of our own selves. We are little zones of life-force in an infinite life-ocean. This is how Jesus thought of himself and of all other beings. It is no accident that his followers wore the sign of a fish as a means of mutual recognition. The very word the early disciples used for "fish" had for them a very special meaning.

The energies which constitute our being and the Being of the whole Universe are in no way essentially separable. Reality itself is an infinite ocean of energy. It is this infinity in its wholeness that the great religious founders and philosophers of Spirit called "God". To them the word "God" meant the Supreme Source of all Good. They knew that whatever they themselves received of Good in their lives had its origins in that infinite Ocean of energy. All whatever that they valued they knew came to them from this infinite good. Gratitude felt for good received was their prayer.

Whatever we have of good, we have from the Infinite Energy which is God. To feel gratitude for what we receive is prayer. It is the expression of our love of our freedom. Freedom is Grace, an unconditioned motion of spiritual power. What we have of Grace is a gift of free spirit. Jesus was full of Grace, that is full of free spirit, able to act at Will in accord with the Supreme Truth, the Truth that declares "What you do to any being, you do to Me". Do we feed the starving? Do we help the suffering ones? We help the Supreme One who is the All.

If the origin of all beings is the Infinite Good, what is the source of all the evils that we see around us, the cheating of each other, the lying, the injuring, the murdering? They are products of the Fall from the Grace we once had. We have heard often of this Fall, but few of us have thought through all its implications.

Freedom, or Grace, is in the innermost centre of our being, in the place that we call our "heart"; not our "heart of flesh", but that Spiritual Heart which is our very power to feel, to feel supersensitively, so much so that we penetrate to the very truth of our being and motivation. By this supersensitive feeling-power we can go down into the very ground of the Infinite Spiritual Being of which we ourselves are ways of activation, and in which "we live, move, and have our being".

There is a sacred saying, "To swim, one must be a fish". The mystical meaning of these words is that to survive in the infinite ocean of Spiritual power, we must remember that we are in and of this ocean. We ourselves are zones of this spiritual power-ocean. To forget this, and to believe that we are separate from it, and from each other, is the Fall. How the Fall happens is very simply explained. We fall because we become interested in things as if they were separate from each other. We attain the apparent separativity of things by focus of our attention.

In photography, if we use a very wide aperture and focus on a thing at a certain distance, other things are put out of focus and become blurred. When we look at a thing in which we are very interested, we tend to open wide our eyes and focus them on the object to gain a clear image of it. If we have no interest in a thing we tend not to focus it or look sharply at it. When we sharply focus an object, other things, in which we are not at the moment interested, become blurred, and may lapse altogether from bur consciousness. This is precisely how the Fall of Man occurred. Particular interest in an object brought it sharply into focus and blurred all else. By repetition of focus on the same or similar things, habit patterns of focussing on particular things become established, in accord with the laws of energy-pattern formation.

Thus human beings, focussed tightly on the things that interested them, lost awareness of their infinite context. Sharp focus gave rise to a belief in separativity of things. The infinite spiritual power of which they are formed, and in which they exist, was put out of focus, and became to mankind as if non-existent, or as empty space or infinite voidity, a cause of fear, for the object-focussed mind, dependent for its sense of security on its perception of things, feels afraid of loss of its particular perceptions. To the focus-enslaved mind, loss of particular focus seems like a Fall into the Void, a real descent into an Abyss where existence itself is in danger of being lost.

But this Abyss is the very opposite of what to the object-focussed mind it appears to be. This "Abyss" is in reality that eternal spiritual power which, in its aspect of creativity, we call God the Father. From this "Abyss" we have nothing to fear.


Let us think carefully about the "Abyss". We have said that we have nothing to fear from it. Let us see why.

When we think of 'things' we think of objects in space, and we tend to think that Space is nothing at all, or an emptiness or voidity, in which things exist and may move about, or be moved by application of forces. We call this a "naive" way of thinking about space. It is the way a child may think, or a person who knows nothing about space as it really is. The moment that we begin to think carefully about space, we know that it is not really empty or void. Everyone today who knows anything basic about radio or television transmission, knows that space is at least traversed by energy waves that carry our daily programmes to us. We know also that the space of our solar-system is continually crossed by radiations from the Sun, and that other radiations reach us from the Stars.

The more carefully we think about such matters, the more we shall be compelled to think that all space is full of energy, that all things are in an energy-relation with each other, that all influence each other, that no thing can be totally insulated from another. All this today is elementary science. But we have to ask ourselves, even if this is true, what relation has it to do with "religion". If the whole universe and all things in it are accepted as energy functions, explainable scientifically, why should we be bothered by the notion of "God" as the Creator and Sustainer of reality?

For many years a battle has raged between believers in God, and those men we call "atheistic scientists". The trouble is that these opponents are in a position where neither can prove their viewpoint to be valid. Believers in God cannot put God on a laboratory table and demonstrate experimentally that He is really there. Their definition of God as an Infinite Spirit places Him beyond finite proof. Thus God-believers live by faith, not by laboratory proofs.

But atheist scientists are not in a better position, because, by the very fact of their confining themselves to proofs dependent on finite sense organs, they disqualify themselves from talking about God, who by definition is Infinite and not composed of materials accessible to scientific laboratory testing. The position, then, of God-believers and God-disbelievers is not open to proof either way. As to the existence or non-existence of God, both the believers in Him and the disbelievers are on the same level, that of faith.

Now, there is one notion that is not discussed by those atheistic experimental scientists, and that is the notion that the energy in which they believe might be sentiment, that is, able to feel itself. Let us think --very carefully about this.

We know that we ourselves can feel. We experience pleasure and pain. We call this capacity to feel, our sentience or sensitivity. We may agree with scientists that our physical bodies are made of energies of various kinds. We may accept the equation E= Mc2. Nuclear bombs have sufficiently demonstrated this for us. The peoples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are in no doubt about it.

But if we accept that our bodies are composed of various types of energy, we are presented with an important problem. We must ask ourselves what is the relation between these energies and the fact that we have a capacity to feel. And we must ask ourselves if our feeling capacity is confined only to some of our constituent energies, or is it a property of energy as such. If we say that our feeling-capacity as such is a property only of certain kinds of energy, we present ourselves with another problem.

Scientists in general tend to see energy as everywhere essentially the same, and differing in different situations only by the forms of its actions. But if energy is everywhere essentially the same, then we have to say of it that it has at least a potential of capacity to feel. If we accept that our bodies are made of energy, and admit that we have in some parts of ourselves a capacity to feel, then we must say that energy, under certain conditions, also can feel.

We know that anaesthetics exist. We know that under certain conditions we may not feel what is happening to us. But this does not prove that energy as such is incapable of feeling. We know that some of the energies in us contradict each other. We know that one feeling may oppose another. We know inside ourselves that we may be so self-contradictory that one feeling may nullify another, so that we experience a feeling that we may call "indifference", a feeling that something is not important to us. We know that in certain disorders, physical or mental, there is no external evidence of feeling.

We know that energy tends to move in wave-forms, and that one wave form may contradict another, so there is no outer evidence of wave-activity. We can demonstrate this with waves of light and of sound. We can make waves with their troughs cancelling out the crests of other waves, so that two different light waves produce apparent darkness, or two different sound-waves produce apparent silence. We say "apparent" darkness or "apparent" silence, because by the appropriate techniques we can prove that contrary lights or contrary sounds are co-present in the "apparent" darkness or "apparent" silence. We may apply this principle of mutual cancellation to the problem of feeling sensitivity.

Accepting that energy may behave in a wave-form manner, and that the action of some energies in us are experienced as sensations of pleasure or pain may cancel each other out by their particular trough/crest relationships. This explains why energy that can feel itself may experience itself under certain conditions as void of feeling.

Now, if we allow that all energy has at least a potentiality of a feeling experience of itself, and that the whole of reality is an energy-behaviour system, then we have to admit that Reality Itself has a capacity for experiencing itself through self-feeling. We may then see that it is not impossible that total Reality may feel itself and all its processes and be self-determinant in its activities. But to allow this is to be on the way to accepting that belief in God is not without justification.

Those God-believers who have meditated on the possibility of the existence of God have defined God as "all powerful", "all-knowing", "all-present". But this is precisely how we will have to define Reality if we allow that Reality is energy and energy has the capacity to feel itself, its modes of activation and its projections.

The question that will be raised by those who disbelieve in God, is that even if we accept that all energy is at least potentially sentient, and so can feel itself, why should we think that this energy is sufficiently intelligent to be worthy of the name "God". The disbelievers may say that the evidence they have of energy-forms such as those of minerals, plants and animals do not justify attributing great intelligence to them, and even in mankind we often see behaviour-patterns that we can describe only as stupid or ignorant, or far from the all-knowingness that God-believers ascribe to their God. To this kind of objection, true God-believers have their reply.

All the great religious thinkers say that the present state of the world is the result of a Fall. They say that somewhere in the distant past the world and all beings in it were in a state of harmonious inter-relation with each other. In the realm of mythology there are many references to a "Golden Age", when all beings were as their Creator willed them to be. What is said to be the cause of this Fall? It is simply the loss of internal awareness of essential Being, and the subjection of the Self to external stimuli.

We all, or most of us, know what it feels like to do something that we innerly really enjoy doing, how all is harmonious within us, how all our energies co-operate within us to produce a feeling of happy well-being. And we know what it feels like if some inconsiderate person bursts in onto our happy state and disrupts it. We feel annoyed, or irritated or angry. The interruption has pulled us out of our harmonious inner state and thrown us onto the externals of our being. This is the meaning of the "Fall from grace". We are one moment in a state of happy self-enjoyment of our own processes, and the next moment suddenly dragged out of our blissful condition into one of irritated, angry externally. When this happens we experience the Fall, just as the great thinkers have described it.

Now, let us think of the condition of energy that can feel itself. Let us call this energy "Sentient Power". Let us say that energy itself is infinite, that there is nothing other than this energy, and that, being infinite, there is nothing outside it. Because there is nothing external to it, it cannot suffer an outer stimulus. Such an energy or Sentient Power cannot be dragged out of itself, for there is no "outside". We must now see that such a Sentient Power is wholly self-determined from within Itself. It is infinite power, self-feeling, self-activating. Whatever it does, it does so from within itself by its own capacity for self-activation.

When a being is able to operate wholly from within itself without interruption from other beings outside itself, we say that it is happy with itself, or in a state of unalloyed bliss in itself. Such is the state that the great thinkers say is the inherent property of God. If such a state ever existed in the Infinite Power, how did our present condition come into being? To understand this, we have to look carefully at the nature of a creative act.

To create is to encapsulate. What do we mean by this? To encapsulate is to place energy in a sphere or a limited place. All creation implies the closing of energy in a finite place. If more than one such closed energy place is created, there arises the possibility of outside contact of the different zones. Let us call spheres of enclosed energies "creatures". Then if there are more creatures than one, when they move they may collide with each other. When two or more creatures contact each other, we see that each undergoes stimulation from outside. Such outer stimulation might be an occasion of the externalisation of attention of the creatures. If each creature, on being externally stimulated, retained consciousness of its own being and its own essential purposes, and could still remember itself and remain wholly self- determined, there would be no "Fall" into external subjection to the outer stimulation situation. But if the creature, on being stimulated from outside, fails to remember itself and its own inner purpose, it undergoes a "Fall" and becomes a slave to the outer stimulus.

The Infinite Creative Power that God-believers call "God", in the act of creation has precipitated the possibility of external stimulation of creatures by each other, but "God" has not imposed on creatures the necessity to identify themselves with the outer stimuli. Each creature is able from within itself to decide whether to subject itself to the received stimulus, or to return to itself and re-state its own essential inner condition of self-determination. To be enslaved to outer stimuli is to Fall. To retain one's own inner Self-awareness and essential purpose is not to Fall, but to be able to fulfil one's own destiny.

The outer world of stimuli from other creatures is called the "Time-world", and stimulation from that world is called "temptation". The inner world of the essential Self is called the "Eternal World". We can choose in which world we shall live and to which we shall be subject, but when we choose, we thereby place ourselves in the position in which, at sometime, somewhere, we shall have to pay the price of our choice. As we sow, so shall we reap.


Because we live in two worlds, an eternal world and a time-world, we have to decide to which of these worlds we shall pay most attention, or which we shall consider most important. In the time-world everything is changing from moment to moment. "Everything flows" said Heraclitus. "No man bathes twice in the same river". The river's water continually changes as it flows by, and the banks of the river are continually eroded and washed away. "To the born, certain is death", said Buddha. "Store not treasures where moth and dust corrupt", said Jesus. "Time marches on" and carries away with it all our earthly talents and treasures into oblivion. In the time-process nothing endures; things appear and disappear, one after another, rise and fall in sequence, serially.

But although Time is ever on the march, and carries away with it everything we experience, yet, while we are in occupation of our bodies, if we are to survive, we must pay attention to its demands. To live we have to eat; to eat we must obey the agricultural time-cycle of the year. There is a time when we must sow seeds; there is a time in which these seeds must grow; there is a time for reaping; and a time for storing food to sustain us in the winter when nothing will grow.

When our consciousness is bound to our physical body-needs, we must obey the rhythms of Time. We must work and play and rest at different • times. And Time is intimately related to space. There are places where we can safely cross the road at a given signal, places that motorists are required to respect. There are places where we can speed time in studying what we need to learn, libraries and universities. There are quiet places, churches and cathedrals in which we can spend time in mediating on the things of eternity. These places occupy a special mediating position wherein Time may touch Eternity. These place are not like the holiday resorts in which we spend time thinking only of time-pleasures.

Always in Time we are presented with the necessity to choose how we shall spend it, and as we choose, so shall we encounter in time the effects of our choices. Every choice finally catches up with us. We place our feet on a certain path, proceed along it, and inevitably meet what is on this path. Many a road would be untrodden if we could see what lies in wait for us at its end. Lack of this knowledge is the cause of so much of our anxiety. "If only I had known - - -" we say, and then we are carried by time along another road we have not had time to fore-examine. If we could stop, stand still for a while, and intelligently consider the results of our choices, often we would choose differently. "Time is the moving image of Eternity". If we could make an image stand still long enough for us to see its full significance and implications we would enter, Eternity.

As "Time is the moving image of Eternity", so Eternity is the standing still of the totality of all possible Time-events. In Time we travel along roads laid by Eternity. Eternity is the map of all Time-possibilities. If we have a map of a city, showing all its roads, one-way streets and cul-de-sacs, we can consult it and choose our way about it. If we have no map, we may find ourselves in trouble with the law for going the wrong way down a one-way street; or we may finish up in a cul-de-sac and have to return along the way we have chosen, having wasted time we might more profitably have spent elsewhere. A good map may save much heart-ache. Eternity is the perfect map.

When we look at a map, we see marked on it, in simultaneous co-presence with each other, all possible different routes we may take to reach a chosen destination. The map does not force us to follow any particular course. Eternity does not compel us to travel along a certain life-way, but merely shows us what alternative routes we can take, and what objects we shall encounter on the way, here a city, there a town or village or farm of open country. Each has its offerings of certain experiences, suffering or rewards, and because we meet these one after another in Time, they are called "temptation", time-stimuli.

A "temptation" is a Time-stimulus presented in a certain place. Time and space are inseparable from each other in any particular experience. A Time-place stimulus is a little part of Eternity. If the Eternity-map is forgotten, there is a possibility of a Time-action being taken out of its proper context, its full implications not seen, its results bringing undesirable, unhappy fruits.

In our physical bodies we live in Time and space. In our deepest consciousness we have the power to read the map or plan of Eternity. We may think of a map as a drawing of a certain terrain, showing its material characteristics. When we think of a "plan" we may mean not only a map, but also a purpose we have to fulfil. A plan may be held in our mind as a guide for some action-procedure designed to lead to certain results. It is in this sense that we use the expression "God's Plan for His universe". The idea conveyed here is that the Creative Power of the universe had a purpose in deciding to create. Materialists fail to see any purpose in the universe, for they believe, not know, that the universe came into existence by the accidental failing together of material particles into patterns which they call the things of the world. For them there is no plan, no intelligent power at the basis of the universe. Even what they think of as their little own intelligence is for them but a product of accident.

But believers in Universal Creative Intelligence do not think that the world is merely a result of unplanned accidents. And these believers are not afraid to refer to this Universal Creative Intelligence as "God". "God" means the whole totality of all good. "God" is a convenient, short word for a very long creative purpose and the Fulfiller of this purpose. The word "God" has been attacked by materialists because they do not like the idea that there may be an intelligent power greater than their own, a power that may be able to overthrow their attempts to rule the universe, and to dictate to all creatures their course of action.

"Acknowledge Me", said Jesus, "and I will acknowledge you". By this He meant that if we have the strength of mind to believe in an intelligent creative power directing the course of universal evolution, that same power will confer upon us the ability successfully to cooperate with it, and so bring us to ultimate participation in that Power. "Whatever you command in My Name", says that Power, "shall be done".

In the presence of scoffing materialists, we may not feel inclined to confess that we believe in Spirit as the real creative originating Power behind and within all things, but if we dare not confess our belief, we shall feel ashamed of our weakness. Whatever we truly believe, if we are afraid to confess it, we feel a degree of shame. We may keep quiet for diplomatic reasons, or to protect our skin, or our possessions, or our life, but we do not feel comfortable in having to be so diplomatic or to conceal our real position.

When we dare not confess our real beliefs we impose on ourselves a state of inconsistency, we declare a state of war within ourselves. Our real beliefs and our pretended beliefs make war on each other, to our inner discomfort. We suffer from our inconsistencies, the "war in our members". There is no other way out of this battle other than to gain thorough self-agreement, self-consistency.

Today, we live in a world in which temporal successes of science and high-technology have pushed out of most people's minds the old belief in Eternity which conferred upon the world its basic sense of security. This security sense has been displayed by a new spirit of adventure, a sense that "anything may happen", and that the world, the whole universe itself, is open to the bright-minded, the courageous, the men of will and intellect who, without belief in God, shall essay to subject the whole of reality from the earth to the farthest reach of the stars, to their own purposes. But whatever these men may accomplish they will do so only by obeying universal laws which they themselves have not created. Obedience to cosmic law will become more and more known to be the necessity. "God is not mocked" will be seen to mean that Universal Creative Intelligent Power must be obeyed. Finally every intelligent human being shall be brought to this admission. Those who fail to do so shall meet their own fate.

Materialistic scientists have made what advances they have accomplished by studying natural laws and obeying them. They have not been able to ignore them, or bend them to their own purposes. They have been under the necessity of obedience to them. Progressively they shall be led more and more to see and to admit that in the presence of universal power and truth "every knee shall bow".

Let us be very clear about this. Truth is the Reality of the Universe. Only by following where Truth leads can humanity fulfil its highest purpose, the purpose destined for it, the purpose laid out in the map and plan of the Eternal Intelligent Power which true believers call "God".

Ultimately the Truth must be obeyed by all creatures, regardless of their opinions of themselves and of each other. Those who reject Truth reject the very basis of their own being. Being Itself is the source and origin of everything that we call "good". If we were not in Being we could not possibly know the meaning of the word "good". The opposite of "Being" is "Non-Being", "Voidity", "Nothingness". In Nothingness is no good.

To what power do we owe what of Being we possess? To the Supreme Being Itself. This Supreme Being is Power, Power that is Intelligent. "Hast thou an arm like Mine?" says God to Job. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?" Job as a creature is a product of the Creator's Will-power and intention to create. Before its creation a creature's being has the status only of an idea in the Creator's Mind. The creature as idea only has no substantiality of its own self. Whatever it has it owes absolutely to its Creator, and in all eternity there is no way of escaping this debt. So it is for all creatures.

No materialist, whatever the degree of his self-imagery and conceit, believes that he created his own being. He knows that before his birth the universe was already here. He knows that everything he is is from a power utterly incomprehensible to him, a power that he cannot possibly usurp. He knows that everything that he values as good, true and beautiful is from the Supreme Power which is the Creator of all things. And he knows that never ever will he be able to escape from his indebtedness.

Here is where the thoughtful man will be driven finally to feel gratitude for his very being, for every good things that he may hold dear and loveable, for every truth that he has been fortunate enough to grasp, and to which he knows that he is indebted for his happiness.

When we first feel this indebtedness to the Supreme Creative Power which is our origin and source, we have taken our first step towards a real belief in that to which the little word "God" refers, that Infinite Intelligent Power which is the creative force in all things and the originator of the Divine Plan which stands eternally as the Supreme Guide for all evolutionary striving. The End was already in the Beginning. The Omega was in the Alpha before the Time-process began its serialising of events. When all the plan has been fulfilled, the Time will be re-enfolded into Eternity, and all creatures shall again dwell in the House of their divine Father.

This dwelling in Eternity is not an easy notion for us to understand. Our Time-mind has been conditioned to think of things serially, that is, one after another, each rising in the present, then vanishing into the past. In the Eternal world all co-exist in wonderful harmony.

Part 69

In Eternity all things co-exist in perfect harmony. We human beings, living in time, do not see such harmony. Instead of things coexisting simultaneously we see things following each other in sequence. One thing or event has been preceded by others. This sequential or serial mode of presentation of things and events is what we call "Time".

Let us think about a reel of "movie" film such as we go to see in a cinema. This reel of film has on it a series of pictures taken by a camera. If the film is put into a machine called a "projector" and run through at a certain speed and a strong light projected through it onto a screen, we see what we call a "moving picture", a picture that reproduces the movements of certain things that were photographed onto the film.

But we know that this appearance of movement is a product of the projection of light through a reel of film on which has been photographed a series of pictures, each one of which is a "Still" picture. The appearance of movement is a product of a mental process which relates these "Still" pictures and interprets them as "moving".

As long as we show the series of pictures at a certain rate which allows us to interpret them as evidences of movement, we do so with some degree of interest, possibly pleasurable, possibly not, in accord with our notions of what is pleasant or unpleasant for us.

It takes "Time" to project the picture series, perhaps an hour or more or less. This "Time" is the condition of our way of viewing the series. We know that the whole reel of film has "still" pictures on it, spaced at certain distances, and that our belief in the movements of things seen in the pictures is a product of a mental process in us.

Now, let us suppose that we take the reel of film out of the projector and lay it down on a flat surface so that from a certain distance we can see all the "still" pictures at once. What happens to our sensation of movement that we previously believed that we saw during the projection of the film? It is no longer present. If the projected film were of a comedy, then we would not find it so amusing when laid out on a surface for simultaneous' viewing of all the pictures. If the film were of a tragedy, we would not feel the tragic nature of it so easily.

Now, let us consider that the Time projections of our living experiences allows us to experience reality kinetically, that is, as moving. We live from moment to moment, or instant to instant, from one point of interest to another, and we tie these instants together by some subtle mental process so that we believe that our living is continuous. We -tend to believe that we live continually, that one event of our life passes without a break into one another. In our continuing life, we look for "pictures" that will give us happiness, and we carry one picture over into another in our memory, where we store them in case we wish to replay them. If a picture series brings us pleasure, we tend to desire to repeat it. If it brings pain we tend not to repeat it, but repress it, to hide it from our consciousness. But if we allow ourselves to divide our pleasure pictures from our pain pictures, and to hide our pain pictures, we divide our own mind. We become a victim of this division.

The divided mind has destroyed its wholeness. Part of it is furnished with conscious pleasure- memories, part with unpleasant pain-memories. When we hide a memory of a picture-series, the pictures and their related feelings or emotions do not cease to exist. They are energy-forms, and energy cannot be destroyed. Its forms may change, but its essence cannot.

Energies cannot do nothing. It is of their very nature that they must work. Energy is the ability to do work. Work may be external or internal. External work can be seen by our eyes, or heard through our ears. We can see the up-and-down strokes of a mechanical hammer, and hear the thud of the impact at the end of its down-stroke when it strikes on some matter. We ran see car-wheels turning, and hear the sound of the car's engine working.

Internal work is more difficult to observe. The pistons in the car's cylinders may be invisible to us. There is work going on, but we do not see it. We may hear some of its effects, as vibration, etc. but we do not know exactly what is happening inside the engine. At any moment something unforeseen may happen. Some moving part may break and the engine suddenly stop, cease to work.

Everything whatever in the whole of Reality is energy, the ability to do work. "My Father works", says Jesus, "and I work". With these words Jesus gives us his way of looking at Reality. The whole world is a vast work-place. The work products may be visible, as it is in the outer things and events of the world, or they may be invisible as in the innermost processes of the atom or of the earth's centre where unseen forces may be preparing the next earthquake or volcanic eruption.

As for ourselves, some of our work is visible, the movements of our body, our legs and arms, toes and fingers, movements of our jaws and lips and eyes, etc. But hidden deeply inside us are other more subtle activities of inner organs, liver, kidneys, heart, and brain cells, ever at work day and night, each with its own particular characteristics and rhythms. We are never totally motionless; even in our deepest sleep we do repair work and re-orient ourselves for the future.

If Time is a sequential or serial work process, in which one thing follows after another, and energy never does nothing, what is the character of the work done in Eternity, where all things are simultaneously active?

We may gain a slight inkling of what Eternal work is like by considering how a child learns to play a musical instrument, a guitar or an electric organ, or a piano. He learns to put his fingers down on certain keys, to press them down and strike them, one at a time, at first slowly, then gradually faster until he can play them at the desired speed. Then he begins to combine his finger-work, to create patterns, chords with notes played simultaneously, each note and chord and sequence having its own particular characteristic feeling and emotional quality.

If a pianist has great talent and works hard to develop it, he may play multi-finger chords so marvellously that he fills the air with cascades of delightful sounds which coalesce in the mind and give us a little pre-experience of the simultaneous concordances of Eternity's music.

Eternity's work is like the creative compositional activities of an infinite number of Mozartian geniuses all simultaneously at work, and all in perfect mysterious harmony with each other. "God has a few of us whom He whispers in the ear; the rest may reason, and welcome, 'tis we musicians know". The poet who wrote these inspired lines had inner experience of their meaning. Music is called "the type of the arts". Somehow it brings together the virtues of both Time and Eternity. "He to whom Time and Eternity have become the same has finished his process of spiritual and natural development".

When at our death we leave the serial process of Time, we enter the infinite simultaneity of Eternity. Here our work is not the slow, step by single step process of second-by-second Time; it is the immediate joyful play of Eternity's energies with each other, without the disjoined conditions of ordinary matter's limitations. It is this Eternal delightful energy-play that is meant by "Heaven". "Heaven" is a wonderful balancing of infinity's innumerable energies, all conspiring, breathing together in blissful interplay, an interplay not in any way limited by the merely linear serial processes of Time. It is extremely hard, if not impossible, for a Time-conditioned mind to comprehend the characteristics of the workings of the eternal energies. We may get a hint of it in certain dream-states which simultaneously interpenetrate each other. For the waking-state consciousness, such may be very confusing, but in the dream-actuality they are quite comprehensible.

If the simultaneity of the Eternity's heavenly co-present harmonisings are so blissful, why did we human souls leave them? To understand this, we turn to the words spoken by Jesus, "Thus it becomes to fulfil all righteousness".

If we had stayed in Eternity and had never left it, we would have known nothing of sorrow, of pain, of death, for all these belong in the Time process. What would we think of a human being if he had never at any time experienced any of these things? If he had no experience whatever of such things, would he be capable of sympathy, of compassion for those who had? What would we think of a being that arrived on our earth with an infinitely beatific smile upon his face, and kept this smile while walking amongst the emaciated bodies of starved prisoners in a concentration camp? Would we think, "What a wonderful person"? Would we say to ourselves, "I wish I could be like him". Could we think of him as a whole man?

Bliss and happy disportings constitute only half of life. One who knew only this half would not be worthy of emulating. He would know nothing of suffering, sacrifice, heroism, or any of the qualities that go to make up a worthwhile individual human-being. We know, when we look inside ourselves, that we Would rather know everything about everything. We may shrink when we pre-imagine ourselves undergoing all the sufferings and tortures that are needed for our complete divine-humanisation. We may avoid whatever painful misfortunes we can, but we wish we could gain the fortitude and personal integrity to be able to endure all things.

It is not without significance that we have taken to ourselves the picture of a man crucified, and accepted him as our paradigm, our example. We all know, deep down inside us, that, to gain our ultimate perfection, we need to suffer, to suffer, to tread the via dolorosa, the way of the cross. We all would like to become strong enough to be able to help those we love to grow into the full stature of Divine Humanity that Jesus has shown us, he, the greatest controversial figure of all history.

As we have said, we may shrink at the thought of our own crucifixion, but the fact is that we are crucified already, by the very fact of existing as individuals. This is a fact that we must accept, simply because it is a fact. As we hang on our individual, personal cross, we may twist and turn and wish ourselves off it, but we know how deep within us that we are moulding ourselves with our sufferings into very valuable beings, beings with immense insights and wisdom far beyond the ordinary mind's calculation-possibilities.

We all desire to be valuable, to be valued by those we love. What we have continually to remind ourselves of is that all values emanate from the One Supreme Source, the infinitely wise power that Jesus so manifestly evidenced and declared to be his Father. "What the Father does in secret", Jesus said, "that I do openly". Infinite power as infinite is invisible, but as embodied in the fully realised humanity this invisible becomes visible. "Who has seen me", says the Nazarene, "has seen the Father".

How are we ourselves to relate this incarnation of God to our own humanness? We are all children of the same God, the same Supreme Creative Power from which derive all things whatever. What does it mean to each individual one of us, this incarnation of Divine Spirit? If we truly understand it, we shall know that every moment of love and truth, and action springing from these, is itself an incarnation in us of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we really love life, in ourselves and in others, whenever we speak truthfully, whenever we act in accord with this love and truth, the Divine Origin of these is embodied in us. At such moments God Himself is operative in us. Our real work as true human beings is to increase in our lives the number of such moments of Divine incarnation.


We have said that every moment in our lives that we experience Love and Truth, and act from these, that moment is an incarnation in us of the Divine Spirit, an embodiment of God, operating in us as Divine love and Truth. How are we to increase in our lives the number of such operations?

In principle this is simple, we have only to love and be truthful and act from these. In practice we find that it is not easy always to act from love and truth. There is something inside us that finds it difficult to love and be truthful in everything we do. We see that there is war inside us. The things that we know we should do, we tend not to do; and the things that we know that we should not do, we tend to do. We have good intentions, yet somehow these good intentions are blocked by something inside us, some contrary thought or feeling or emotion. What is the source of such contrariness? It is memory, memory of past experiences, memory that may be conscious or unconscious.

Unconscious memory is probably the most difficult to handle. Conscious memory we can observe, examine, deal with our intellect and will. Unconscious memory we cannot see, yet it is operative within us and can work against our conscious intentions. Why should we have an unconscious memory which can operate against us? Quite simply we can see how this can be so by noting that we tend to like something and dislike others. We say that this is "natural" for us.

There is something in us which tends to prefer pleasure to pain, "naturally" we say. Yes, nearly all the great thinkers have said that "naturally" we prefer pleasing experiences to displeasing ones. And they have said also that there is something inside us that says that we should not always pursue pleasure, but that sometimes we should listen inside ourselves to another voice that says that pleasure must give way to duty, and even sometimes that we should do something that "naturally" we do not want to do. Sometimes we know that we are to face the possibility, or even the certainty, of pain. A sick child, crying in the night, may need attention, and its mother, already tired and needing sleep, may have to oppose her "natural" tendency to stay in bed, and force herself to get up and attend to the child. A mother who ignores the child's needs and cares only for herself, we tend to call "a bad mother", meaning that she prefers her own pleasure rather than her child's welfare. We could give many other examples of such unsympathetic behaviour.

Every experience that we undergo leaves inside us a record of it. Some experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant, to some degree. Those that are so weak that their degrees of pleasure or displeasure does not force us to pay attention to them, we call "indifferent" because they do not compel us to react differently to them; we can ignore them fairly easily. When an experience record is so strong that we cannot comfortably ignore it, we are not "indifferent" to it. It commands us to react; it makes us behave differently to the way we would react if this record were not inside us, or did not replay.

Usually we tend to replay the records of our pleasant experiences and to suppress our unpleasant records. We do this, as we say, "naturally". We can say that our "nature" is pleasure-preferring and pain-avoiding. This is true not only of human beings, but also of animals. "Naturally" we prefer happiness to unhappiness, pleasure to pain. But we cannot live always in such preference, because the world is not only a place of joyous action, but also a place of danger. Some things in the world threaten our existence. Death strikes at thousands in an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. Floods can drown us; plagues bring painful ends to what before were happy lives. And not only such natural events may destroy our pleasures. Human beings may act against each other, individually or in groups. Members of the same family may struggle against each other. Fathers and Mothers, sons and daughters, brother and sister, the elder and younger, may engage in damaging conflicts of no profit to any one. Why do such conflicts arise?

When pleasures are being pursued, impedance to these pleasures may come. Not everyone likes the same things, or likes them to the same degree, and where there is difference of opinion about what is and is not pleasant, conflicts may arise.

When energy is set on a course of action in an animal, if this action is impeded, the animal tends to become angry, and to try either to slip around the impedance or to attack and destroy it. It is not different for human beings. When they are pursuing pleasure, and are impeded in this pursuit, most human beings become angry. They may for certain reasons conceal for a time their anger, but concealment does not annihilate it. Concealed anger continues inside the impeded pleasure-pursuer and "bides its time". It waits for an opportunity to spring forth and destroy the impeder.

Civilised people have been taught that they must control themselves that they must not react destructively every time that they cannot immediately get what they want. Civilisations could not exist without controls placed on their members. We all know this, but knowing it does not mean that we like it. We accept the controls placed necessarily on us by civilisation, but we do not always accept them gladly, and whenever possible we try to slip out of them. Where we do not gladly accept them we fret under their demands, and from our fretting arises the conditions that psychologists call "neurosis". Under continuous impedance, nervous energy cannot run freely along the nerve-pathways, and tends to "pile up" in certain centres in the body. Because impeded action-tendencies result in unpleasant sensations, we tend to hide these from ourselves. The results of this hiding process, continued over a long period of time, is the creation in us of our so-called "unconscious mind". The "hiding" is an act of suppression or repression, a pushing or pressing down out of our consciousness. Our "unconscious" mind contains records of experiences that we do not wish to remember either because we find them unpleasant or painful to think about, or because we have little or no interest in them. Apart from lack of interest, or real dislike of our experience records, we would have no "unconscious" mind. Our mind-stuff is naturally a good rememberer.

We are seeking to find the cause of our difficulties in remembering to be loving and truthful in all our doings. The cause is the content of our unconscious memory. This memory is largely constituted of records of experiences that we do not wish to replay because of the unpleasant or painful effects of this replay upon our consciousness and organism. A record of a painful experience replayed can cause us to become very tense, and so can inhibit proper circulation of our nerve-energy and blood. Tension in the organism, in the brain and elsewhere, can result in oxygen starvation and cutting off of necessary food-supplies to our cells. From such starvation and cut-off can arise diseases of various kinds according to the part of the organism in which they occur, and the degree and prolongation of the cut-off. Only by removing the causes of excessive tensions in the body can we return to the health and happiness we all desire.

To remove these destructive tensions, we must learn to face the experience records that naturally we do not desire to face. We must dare to re-examine our unpleasant and painful memories. To dare to do this is Jo enter our own personal Gethsemane. Only when we have done this will we have gained the courage fully to love life, to tell the truth, and to live in accordance with it.

Love of life is essential to life. When we say "God is love" we mean by "Love" the power to live joyfully, the will to develop all our potentialities into actualities. "Perfect Love casts out fear" means that the will to actualise all our good potentials gives us the power to face all our experience-records of miseries and pains, to expose them to the light of perfect consciousness, and in this exposure to wash them all away. It is this "washing away" of unprofitable painful and unpleasant experience-records that is meant by "Salvation". "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" means that love and truth and action in accord with these shall remove from our mind and body all those fear-produced tensions that threaten our existence and destroy our real happiness.

We tend to defend ourselves against pains, unpleasantnesses and the memories of these, but this defence-tendency is itself a cause of tensions which mar the true action of our life-force. We have to learn to stop defending ourselves. We have to learn to "Let go and let God". This is our greatest difficulty.

Most of us today have difficulty in believing that God is at work, now and always defending us, and that only our abandonment of our own personal defensive actions can release us from our private fears and anxieties and the tensions these induce in us. We can perhaps believe that God exists, but we find it more difficult to believe that He has at heart the welfare of each individual one of us. There are so many of us, millions of us pursuing private aims and disregarding God's love for us. We are so busy, so wrapped in our own self-love, that we can hardly find time or space in us to allow God's love to work in us.

The self-defensive human-being's mind is filled with its own system of defences. Everywhere its walls are up, and are continually reinforced by fear. And as long as these walls are up they impede the entrance into us of God's Spirit.

We do not know enough about the Divine Spirit. We do not realise, that is, make real to ourselves that God is not a mere idea in our mind, of a Universal Ruler who wields His power from a great distance, from far beyond the outer-most stars. We do not understand that the infinity of God's Spirit means that He is everywhere present, and therefore that He is here, now, permeating our being and conducting our living processes for us, that is, if we will let go of our personal defences, and cease to impede His work in us.

Once attained, this "letting go" allows our life-force, which is God's spirit in us, the Emanuel in us, to function truly and freely and joyously as God intended from the beginning that it should. Our egotism hates letting go of its defence-system. We have been hurt too often to be able to put down our weapons easily. We have so many painful experience-records in us and we have become habituated to their presence in the depths of our so-called unconscious mind, where they constitute in each one of us a private and personal "Hell". For this is what "Hell" means; it is the totality of our encapsulated fears of pains recorded in us from our experiences. There is no other "Hell" than this. Hell is not a place far away where terrible pains, punishments and tortures are suffered. It is simply the place in which we have sunk all the painful memories of all the unpleasant experiences we have ever suffered.

To have the courage to enter this private, personal Hell of ours, which we carry about with us wherever we go, is to be like Jesus and to share in his power and positivity, and so to be able to release all the tortured elements of our own being from their suffering, and to rise from our own Hell and regain our lost divine-humanity, which was so carelessly thrown away by our first ancestors.

What we have to remember is that it is the memories of our past pains and miseries that have set up our present defences, and that these defences are themselves the maintainers of our miserable unhappy states. How often will we need to be reminded that fear of pain prolonged over a long period of time does us more damage than the actual original pain that we suffered? A cut finger remembers the pain of its cutting long after the real factual pain has gone, and keeps us in fear of its recurrence, and so keeps us in a state of injurious tension.

Part 71

Remembered pain keeps us on guard against its recurrence, and memory exists even in our unconscious mind. Let us remind ourselves that our unconscious mind exists either because we are indifferent to certain things, or because we are afraid to re-awaken the memories of unpleasant or painful experiences. Let us remind ourselves that the totality of the records of all our unpleasant and painful experiences are hidden in the depths of our unconscious mind. If we realise the meaning of this, we will be able to understand why Jesus chose to descend into hell to rescue souls there locked up in dreadful suffering and misery.

We do not realise how much we all suffer unconsciously. We know what conscious suffering is, but we tend to believe that if we are not conscious of suffering we are not suffering at all. The notion that we can actually have pains that we know nothing about seems very strange. How can we be in pain and suffer the consequences of it in our bodies and not know that we do so? We can do this because we can block the passage of nerve-impulses in our body so that a pain message does not actually reach that part to which normally it would travel.

We know that naturally we do not like pain, and we know that we have some capacity to suppress or ignore it under special conditions. When we are faced with a survival situation in which we need all our energies to stay alive we feel no pain, we are too busy fighting for life. The fact that we can suppress pain in such circumstances proves that we can live without consciousness of it. But this does not prove that the pains we are able to ignore do not exist.

What is pain? Simply, it is refusal of experience. If we are undergoing any experience at all, we are receiving into our organism an energy-input. Energy comes to us from everything we encounter. We call this energy-input a stimulus, because it tends to make us react in some way to it. A speck of dust blowing into our eye tends to result in a blink. This blink is a mode of action intended to defend our eye against damage.

We can class stimuli or energy inputs according to the amount of energy they contain. If their energy is very small, we might not notice that we have received it. If their energy is not quite so small, we might notice the input but find it very easy to assimilate, perhaps even pleasurable. If the energy-input is a little heavier, we might find that we have to work a little in order to be able to accept and assimilate it. If the energy-input is very large we find ourselves unable to assimilate it at all. It might actually damage our flesh, destroy some of our cells, and in extreme cases might even kill us. When we find that a stimulus is more than we can comfortably bear, we tend to try to stop its entrance into us. We try to refuse it, and this refusal is what we call pain. Unfortunately, by the time we have decided that a stimulus is too painful for us to accept, we have made a record of it in ourselves. Even if we manage to escape the painful stimulus very quickly, we still have, in us the record of that pain, and we do not like it and what we do not like we tend to avoid or push out of our unconsciousness.

A friend of mine had his right arm blown off during the war. Afterwards he had recurrent pains like those he had experienced when it was first blown off. The pain he felt seemed to him to be in his arm, as if he had not lost it. He experienced what is called the phenomenon of the "phantom limb". Although his physical arm had been blown off, he insisted that he could still feel it, as if it were still attached to him. The memory of his arm was so strong that he felt it as if it were still with him.

Just as it is possible to experience such a "phantom limb" and repeatedly suffer its original pains, so it is possible to re-experience any event in our lives, just as it was originally experienced. We can re-experience pleasure and we can re-experience pain. Pleasure tends to cause us to relax, pain tends to cause tension. Pleasure allows easy circulation of our energies and our blood. Pain impedes circulation of these. Persistent pain may wear us down, or perhaps prefer death to life.

All the great religions tell us that the result of a truly good life is a state of bliss. "Bliss" is a condition in which our life energies flow freely, without impedance of any kind. The opposite of "bliss" is the experience of total impedance of our Will. Between bliss and total blockage of our will are various degrees of relative impedance. Most of us live a sort of "fifty-fifty" life, a life in which we experience pleasure and pains in about an equal degree. A few persons live a life more pleasant than painful. A few others have more pains than pleasures.

To gain a pleasure-biased life many people pursue activities that cover up what pains they have, so efficiently that they come to believe that their lives are happy. Their pains and displeasures are well hidden. So they are unaware of them. They present such an appearance of happiness that their friends and enemies believe that they really are as happy as they seem. Their friends are happy to see them so happy, and their enemies may be envious of them and even wish to destroy their apparent happiness. Yet all the time, under their facade of happiness may be hidden deep unconscious suffering.

To gain true bliss we have to gain release from all the impedances to our will that are hidden inside us. To do this, we have to expose to ourselves all our hidden pains and fears. To do this we have to have the courage to face ourselves as we really are, not as we would like to be. Just as we dislike pains, so we dislike anything whatever that we have difficulty in assimilating. Where we have memories of pains we dislike re-awakening these memories. But where we have unconscious records of pains, we have impedances to the flow of our life-energies.

Now, one of the biggest pains we suffer is that which we feel when we believe that our image of ourself has been damaged. We all tend to prefer a good image of our self. "Good name in man and woman is the immediate jewel of their souls". If we have a good self-image we believe that we shall find that other persons will like to be with us, to relate to us, to share their lives with us. If we can persuade other people to have a good image of us, we shall be on the way to social acceptability and "success". In practice nearly everyone works hard to present a good self-image to everyone else. Most people know this and tacitly agree to swap good images with each other. Many "success" books offer lessons in how to create good, socially acceptable images, and how to impose them on others. "Politeness" is a key-idea in such books. "Politeness" means behaviour conducive to easy social intercourse. "Oiling the works" makes the engine's parts run efficiently.

Self-image making is used most often to stabilise the mind. We need a good central reference to enable us to balance all our inner processes and to relate them to those of others. Without such good images, social intercourse would be difficult to maintain. We need to be able to rely on each other to some degree. We want "a man's word be his bond". If it is not we feel insecure and vulnerable.

But although we believe that we need good self-images in order to maintain human society in a working condition, we stand in danger of committing a grave error, the error of making an image of goodness that does not correspond with the fact. If we have a good self-image, yet know that this does not correspond with our real self, we live in fear of exposure. We are afraid that some sharp-eyed person may penetrate our facade. When we see the possibility of this exposure, we tend to tense ourself. We try to strengthen our defences. We thicken our walls. We become "thick-skinned".

It is just this "thick-skinned" self-defensiveness that we call egotism. When it exists, we become less and less sensitive to the finer realities of life. We miss the real values and grasp at the most gross. We build thicker walls around ourself. We reduce the size of our windows so that we see less and less of the realities of the world outside us. "We have eyes, but see not". "We have ears and hear not". We allow into us only those things that we believe will strengthen our self-image. We fall far short of the glory that could be ours. We alienate ourself from our fellows and from God.

It is just this alienation that is meant by "Sin". To sin is to "miss the mark". What we are to aim at is a free, open, joyous interrelation with our fellows and with God. When we "sin" we alienate ourself from others and so cannot enjoy the free, open interrelation that we were destined to have. Where we are not free and open we are bound and closed, and our energies are impeded and unable to experience the bliss that should truly be ours.

To cease to "sin" is to cease to alienate ourself from others. For this we must get rid of any falseness in our self-image. "Man was made in the image of God" means that man was given the potential whereby he could become like God. To be like God is to be able to think clearly, to feel sensitivity, to will strongly, to co-ordinate these three, and to activate oneself accordingly. When a human being is able to do this, and does it, he is said to be "divinised" or made like God. This is the final goal of human evolution.

To cease to "sin", to be released from alienation, is what is meant by "Salvation". The egotised man cannot do this without help. Luckily for all of us the needed help is at hand. It comes to us from God directly and indirectly, directly from His Holy Spirit, and indirectly through the great religious scriptures of the world. These scriptures give the rules of our divinisation and direct us to contemplate the Creator of all things as our source and guide. Without these visible scriptures, we might fail to be aware of the Infinite Source-Power in which we "live, move and have our being", for this Source-Power is invisible to our physical eyes.

When the outer, material world batters on the doors of our sense-organs we tend to be drawn out of our innermost self wherein dwells the Spirit of God. We tend to forget our inwardness, our essentiality, from which springs our free spirit. And in this forgetting we fall into slavery to the external world's stimuli. We become machines, and act like machines. We react to every stimulus of the outer world as if we were utterly devoid of freedom. We lose our essential humanness. At the lowest level of our degenerative fall we become as free as stones. We roll down the mountain of time and strike haphazardly against each other as we roll. In our strikings we become convinced materialists. We lose all belief in free will. We think ourselves ruled absolutely by senseless "laws" of matter, and so make no effort to lift ourselves out of our degenerative condition.

Yet all the while within us is the hidden divinity that confers upon mankind the most marvellous of all gifts, the gift of divine grace, the gift of free will. To exercise this will we have to leave our external mechanical self-image and return into that mysterious centre of our being wherein dwells our God-given free-will. "His worship is perfect freedom". Without this we cannot know real bliss.

To enter the innermost depths of our being, where dwells our freedom, we must penetrate through all the hiddennesses of our painful experience-records. We must face ourselves as we really are, not as we would like to seem to be, knowing that we are not.

It is a hard and narrow path that we have to tread to penetrate into the hidden mystery of our self-being. To tread this path we must love God, our original source, and fellow path-treaders as our own self. It is a path trodden only by those who love the whole of Reality, and love its parts as of that whole. It is error to love the whole and not its parts. It is equally error to think that we can love parts without loving the whole that generates them.

Part 72.

We talk of the "Narrow Path" that leads into eternal life, and the "Broad Way" that leads to destruction. Why should the path to eternal life be called "narrow"? Because in order to attain eternal life as an individual we must integrate all the parts of our being. To "integrate" means that we are to gather together all our parts, our thinkings, our feelings, and our willings.

We live in a wide, wide world that momently acts upon us and tends to draw our attention out of our selves and to scatter our energies among that wide world's things and events. We have sense-organs, eyes, ears, etc. Touching we do with our skin surface, tasting with our tongue, smelling with our nose. Without thinking of other senses that we might have, like the senses of heat and cold, etc., we have quite enough to handle with what we call our five special senses.

With our special sense-organs, we can "focus" on things in such a way that we become highly conscious of the stimuli we receive from them. If we focus on one particular sense, say that of sight, in the act of focussing, we concentrate energy in the particular organ (the eye) by which we receive stimuli from light. This concentration of energy on one sense organ tends to withdraw energy from our other senses. If we try to look sharply at the form of some object, we tend at that moment to forget to hear, touch, taste and smell it. We find in practice that concentration on one particular object causes us to lose focus on others. It is not easy to give full attention at the same moment to several people all talking at once. We tend to listen more to the ones in whom we are most interested.

This focussing of one sense-organ onto some particular thing in one form of "narrowing" down our attention. Is this the kind of thing we have to do to put our feet on the "narrow way" that leads into Eternal Life? Let us consider this very carefully.

The material objects that we see in the world come into existence, persist for a time, then are broken, or wear away, and finally cease to exist. If, therefore we narrow our attention down onto such things, which must at some time cease to be, we are not leading ourselves into Eternal Life, but into a life that by definition is merely temporal.

"Time" for us is a way we have of experiencing things one after another. We say that we experience things in Time serially or sequentially. As long as we confine ourselves to the things and events of Time we are focussing on things that must at some time cease to be. We call such things "vain", meaning that they must finally vanish. "Vanity" means "coming to nothing", like straw or the husks of things blown away by the wind when winnowing. This is why we are given an image to think about of a man with a winnowing fan in his hand. "Fan" and "Vain" and "Vanity" are closely related words.

It is natural to prefer to be healthy and beautiful rather than ill and ugly. But there is a fact which we all have to face, the fact of the "march of Time". Time ages things, carries away all the things we hold dear. "Beauty vanishes; beauty passes". We prefer health and beauty, yet live in a world where Time must gradually carry them away. The geriatric wards of hospitals leave us in no doubt about these facts.

We can see, then, that narrowing our focus onto things of Time cannot have the same effect as narrowing our attention onto the "things" of Eternity. We know what Time things are. They are whatever comes into and goes out of Time, whatever appears and disappears, whatever comes into existence and later ceases to exist. What are the "things" of Eternity? What is Eternity? We know what Time is; it is the mode of serial or sequential presentation of things in our consciousness.

Eternity is not what many people think it is. It is not unending Time or everlasting duration. Time is serial presentation of things. "Duration" is the "hard-wearing-ness" of things. Eternity is not serial presentation, nor is hard-wearing- ness. Eternity is beyond both of these ideas. Let us look very clearly at Eternity, for on our understanding of this rests our true comprehension of the "Narrow Way that leads to Eternal Life".

Let us say at first that Eternity is the simultaneity of all that may have existed, now exists, and may come to exist. It is all that we or any other being, no matter how intelligent, may conceive as able to be, as coming to be, or as ceasing to be. Shortly, we may say that the "Three times", past, present and future, held together in one whole non-temporal "Now", with all that these may actually or possibly contain, are Eternity. "Eternity" means Life-Trinity, Three-fold Life, beyond the reach of Time's comings, goings and ceasings, beyond Time's births, deaths and decayings.

Now, what is there in Eternity? What is there that is not compelled to suffer the ravages of Time? Obviously not the material things of the world, for these we are away or disintegrate. In Eternity there are "things" not subject to decay. What are these "things"? They are ideas.

The word "idea" means a shape or form in the consciousness in which all mental things are contained. Everything we have ever known, now know, or may come to know, has been known, is known, or shall be known in consciousness. Consciousness is the container of all that we have ever known, now know, or may come to know. Without consciousness we could never know anything. Thus we have to say that it is the very ground and possibility of all knowledges of all things.

Now, when we know a thing, we do so because it has a shape or form. This form may be focussed by a mental act of observation and then stored in the memory as an idea. The idea is the form of a thing without the gross matter of the thing. We can say that an idea is a "think" of a "thing". We can take a thing of matter, examine it and - commit to memory all its forms, all its constituent shapes as ideas. Then we can smash the material of the thing, reduce it to dust, or even to "particles" of energy or "wavicles" that may scatter throughout space invisibly and be lost to our ordinary mental processes. But when we have destroyed the material thing, we still have in us, stored in our memory, the idea of the thing, its form and structure.

Some philosophers have thought that our ideas of things derive from things we have experienced. These place the thing prior to the thinking of it. Others have seen the problem of the relation of "thing" to "think" in the opposite way. These believe that before the gross material world's things existed, there were already in being the ideas or nonmaterial forms of these things. Today we know as a fact that matter is only a form of energy. Before gross, dense matter exists, the forms of things can exist as subtle energy-shapes. Such subtle shapes are what we mean by ideas, contents of consciousness with shape, but not yet condensed down to the level of gross matter. Here we can view ideas as existing before their gross material correspondent forms, "thinks" before "things".

As soon as we accept the possibility that "thinks" may exist before "things", ideas before gross material objects, we can begin to gain a better understanding of the meaning of "Eternity". In Time, gross material things wear out or disintegrate. This is of the very nature of gross matter. It is subject to dissolution. Any ideas similarly under the laws governing gross material objects? Let us think carefully about this.

If we have an idea of a thing, say a triangle, or a square, or a circle, this idea does not "wear out" in the same way that a gross material object, triangular, square, or circular, wears out. Our idea of a circle or square, once we have become aware of it, remains as it is.

Let us accept that Eternity is the simultaneously presented content of all possibilities of the Three Times, past, present and future. Then these "possibilities" are "ideas", forms of things before they become gross material objects in the Time-process.

Now we begin to understand why we are told not to store up things in Time, "where moth and rust" corrupt things, but to store only those contents of consciousness which do not corrupt, do not change or disintegrate. Such contents are ideas which are consistent in themselves.

Ideas which are self-consistent are those that are such that if we define any part of them, we are able to define every other part, for their parts are functionally interrelated with each other so that the action of one part necessarily affects another part or parts in a certain definable manner.

The parts of a triangle define each other in this way: it encloses a space with three lines. At each corner two lines form an angle. If we form a triangle in our mind, we can examine its construction and check that the principle on which it is based remains unalterably as it is, and will so remain in Eternity.

Now we can see what it means to narrow down our mental focus to take the narrow way that leads to Eternal Life. Instead of narrowing our focus down to the things of Time, we are to leave Time and the material things of the outer world, and raise our mind to contemplate the Truths of Eternity, the Eternal unalterable Ideas which have their being in the Divine Mind. To rise from the outer world of Time is to enter into the innermost centre of our being, the heart of our Self. It is to narrow our mental focus, to leave the broad outer world of the great material universe.

External interests in the gross material world spread our awareness over a very wide universe. In this process our senses organs are turned outwards, presented with innumerable objects which draw out our mental energies from their proper centre within us and scatter them over the spread-out world of Time and Matter. It is this "scattering" that is signified by the "Broad Way that leads to destruction".

Things of Time and Matter are subject to such scattering and destruction. To focus our attention on things that must eventually be destroyed and scattered is to place our mind in a state that subjects it, too, to the same destruction. The broad way of Time and Matter fills our mind with ideas that have no inherent self-consistency and so leave us without any stable reference centres.

When we leave our physical body at the moment of its so called "death", we ourselves do not cease to be what in essence we are. Our gross material instrument, having served its experiential purpose, is no longer of further interest to us. What we still have in us, within our souls, is the memory of all the things we have deemed "important", the things into which we have poured our life-energies. And these things are either subject, as Time things are, to disintegrate, or belong, in their self-consistency, to the Eternal Realm of True Ideas.

An "idea" is an energy-form, a product of a complex activity of forces, held together by some control-force. If the control force holding the other forces together is strong enough, it can maintain the "unity" which is the idea-complex, so that the idea-complex does not disintegrate.

An idea-force-complex may be either internally self-consistent or not. If it is, then its constituting force-forms naturally hold together and do not require any external control-force. But if the idea-force-complex is not internally self-consistent, then, if the external control-force is removed or fails, the complex disintegrates. This means that only naturally self-consistent idea-force-complexes have perfect self-maintenance capacity. Idea-force-complexes that are not internally self-consistent are doomed to ultimate disintegration.

A human being who has by external force held together a group of idea-force-forms that are not internally self-consistent is ultimately bound to suffer when they disintegrate. His reference centre has collapsed, and with it his sense of security. But what of the human being whose ideas are internally self-consistent because eternally True? Such a being has within him or her the very substance of immortality, the essence of eternal life. Here is perfect security.

Part 73

The human being whose ideas are perfectly self-consistent has a "body" of ideas able to resist disintegration. Such a "body" is immortal, able to triumph over the "last enemy", Death. Let us examine what we mean by a "body of ideas".

We know that all matter is energy closed in on itself. When we release matter from its state of closure, we find that the energy which constituted it as matter escapes into the environment, either as an "explosion" or as radiation, which affects other "bodies" or energy-closure-zones in the surroundings.

Now, ideas are forms of energy. There are no non-energies. If anything whatever exists, it does so because it is an energy-form. The whole of our thinking processes, as a whole, is a great mass of formed energy. If our ideas are consistent with each other, they naturally hold together, and constitute in our field of consciousness an object of reference. To this object we can turn whenever we desire to stabilise our mind. A "body" is an energy-mass. A "body of ideas" is an energy mass formed in the mind with the intent to stabilise our consciousness, and so increase our survival probability, and possibly further our development.

But to increase our survival probability, our body of ideas must be so well integrated that it can resist "the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to". We live in an energy-world. We are exposed continually to the action of forces which tend to disrupt us. Every energy-input or stimulus action upon our body and mind tends to after it in some way. Just as a physical blow on our physical body may injure it and spoil its harmony of function, so a mental blow, a forcefully presented idea, may shock our body of ideas and impair its action. Because this is so, we need to make our ideas-body as strong as we can.

When we look on a mass of unspun wool, we see something not very useful. Certainly we could not wear it as a garment in that state. But if we spin the wool into thread-form, and with this thread knit a pullover or a cardigan, we can wear this garment to give us some protection against body heat-loss, and so on. As a mere unspun mass, the wool gives us very little protection, and could be blown away by a strong wind, leaving us exposed to the inclemencies of the weather. But when we are clad in a well knitted garment, we are equipped to face most of the conditions that natural weather may fling at us.

So it is also with the energies that constitute our mind. if we are vague in our mental processes we often refer to this as a "woolly" mental content. If a person allows his mind to wander without definite aims we say that he is "wool gathering". We also say that a mind that has well-arranged ideas is "well knit". When we talk of "spinning ideas" we mean relating them together so that they are no longer so diffused. We also talk of "spinning a yarn" when someone tells us a story. All these expressions have grown into our language because the process of taking a vague feeling and weaving from it a garment of words is very similar to the way a mass of wool becomes an article of apparel.

We weave garments of wool to protect against weather-conditions we do not like. We weave word-garments to protect our mind and body against the attacks of an antagonistic world.

Now, untruths are false ideas, and false ideas are those that naturally fall out of relation with the realities of existence. A false idea has nothing in it correspondent with facts of the world. If we weave with false ideas they will not protect us against the forces of reality. Only true ideas correspond with things of the real universe. Only true ideas can help us adjust ourselves to movements of world-energies possibly antagonistic.

Just as false ideas tend to fall apart, so true ideas naturally cohere. Every true idea has a necessary relationship with all other true ideas. A "body of truths" is a body of ideas which corresponds exactly with some Universal Structure of Truth.

Let us be sure that we understand that all true ideas naturally cohere, naturally fit in harmoniously with each other, and constitute in their totality the "Body of Universal Truth". This is the Body that we think of when we think of the Divine Word, the Logos, which is Christ's body. It is of this Body that we have to "eat", if we are to be saved from the disintegrating effects of Untruth.

Let us remember that we die twice: first as a physical body, and secondly as a body of dis-coordinated ideas. After ordinary physical death, when we have left our gross material body, we still have our idea-body, the body of all the thoughts that we have found of interest to us. If this idea-body is well-integrated and built entirely of truths it has great natural coherence and does not fall apart. We say that it is "not hurt of the second death", and by this we mean that it does not disintegrate after the physical body's death. The perfectly integrated body of true ideas is indestructible, immortal. It coheres not only within itself as an individually closed system, but also with the whole universal Body of Truth that we call the "Word of God" and the "Body of Christ". All truths in our mind correspond with the identical truths in the Mind of God. Wherever we have in us a truth we have contact and union with the Divine Truth of the Universe. As long as we have in us even one truth we are connected to God's Truth, and this Divine Truth is the Life of the Universe, and therefore of our life also. Where we are truthful we are at one with ourself and with the Universal Self of God. It is this oneness with God that constitutes Salvation.

Jesus says that no man can approach to God except by means of the Word of Truth, which He Himself embodies. Truth is the Way to the life of Eternity. Eternal Truth is entirely self-consistent. What is wholly self-consistent is unbreakable; nothing can disintegrate it, nothing can disrupt it. To gain union with Eternal Truth is to gain immortality.

What is it like to be immortal? Firstly it is to be free from fear. The immortal is not subject to disintegration. What is not disruptible is secure. What is truly secure is free from fear. What is free from fear can afford to love reality. "Perfect love casts out fear". "Perfect" love is love based firmly in Truth. All this is so simple, so obvious, the moment we think clearly. Why do we not immediately attain the clarity of thought that is for us Salvation?

When we are born, we are introduced into a materially biased world where untruth is generally given more attention than truth receives. Our material world is a world in which businesses keep secrets from their rivals, a world where physical survival practically demands misrepresentation. The producers of commodities must advertise their wares and represent them as better than those of their competitors, even when they are practically identical. Party politicians have no alternative but to blacken their opponent’s characters and projected solutions of social problems, which no single party can really solve. Everywhere in the world of Mammon, Truth is obscured by falsity.

"My Kingdom is not of this world" said Jesus. He meant that the Kingdom of Universal Truth is not the world of materialistic Mammon-thinking. How is a lover of Truth to live in this world where untruth seems often profitable and Truth itself is thought to be too abstract to be of serious interest? We must remember the words of Jesus, "I send you out as sheep in a world of wolves. Therefore be as gentle as doves, and as wise as serpents". We are not to join in with the misrepresentation game. We are to be as helpful as we can be to other Truth-lovers, and we are to trust that the Truth hidden behind this world of untruths is great, and will finally prevail.

Above all, we are not to allow ourselves to sink into a marshland of doubt or despair. We are to know that, by our adherence to Truths that we have learned we shall build for ourselves a permanent, indestructible idea-body which will be to us as a true temple of the living God, in which we shall dwell eternally, knowing with certitude that in our earth-life we have chosen for ourselves that alone which has made our life meaningful and acceptable to God and to our own soul.

When we hold within us all the truths that we have learned in our earth-life, we hold a marvellous treasure, the full meaning of which is too great for us to comprehend. If we could see the complete significance of our body of Truth, we would be astonished. Let us think just a little of what is implied in our Truth-Body. With it we are made impregnable, immortal and free. In it we have the perfect impenetrable shield which makes us invulnerable to any enemy forces. In our freedom we shall find ourselves infinitely creative. We shall find ourselves creative. We shall be able to build new and marvellous worlds which at present we cannot even imagine.

In these wonderful worlds, we and all Truth-lovers will joyfully cooperate to bring forth ever new creations, ever more marvellous evidences of the immense creative power of universal divine Love. Ever fed from the infinite store house of the Divine Mind we shall show forth delightfully what we have received. We shall know with certainty what it means to say that "in God we live, move and have our being".

To be is to be consistent. What is not consistent must fall apart and cease to exist. By our committal of ourselves to Truth, we attain consistency, and with this, True Being. The feeling of True Being is pure joy. Loss of Being is misery. Energy is eternal and itself indestructible. When its form is self-consistent, it feels itself totally acceptable to itself, and in this total acceptance is Bliss.

When energy is inconsistent it feels itself so, and has only self-contradiction and sense of failure as its constant companion.

We are to remember that all things are forms of energy, our physical bodies and our minds. And we are to remember that all energy is sentient, that it feels itself and its condition. We are ourselves made of sentient energy. This energy is eternal, so that we can never escape from ourselves. We can form our energy in terms of Truth, and so attain self-consistency. We can try to form our energies in terms of Untruth and so fail to attain to True Being. The choice is our own. We choose either Eternal Truth, or temporal falsities. Truth is one and so is wholly self-consistent. Falsities are many and inconsistent and so must finally fall apart.

Only Oneness with our Self can give us peace and joy. Only Truth gives Oneness. Thus only Truth can confer upon us the bliss We all seek and yearn for. This Oneness is hard to attain, for in this world in which we spend our earth-lives, the cards are stacked against us. But in spite of this fact, we are not at the mercy of the cards. We can choose how to play them. They have no power over us. The cards do not play us. We play the cards. Arid somewhere in the pack is the joker. God has put him there to remind us that we have to remain alert. We are not to think that the game is entirely mechanical. We and every soul in the world have free will, which God requires us to use.

That we have free will and can use it, this constitutes our essential dignity as human beings. We have no great respect for creatures that we believe to be unfree. We do not like to think that we are slaves to anything. The very centre of our feeling is self-respect is the conviction that we are in essence free to choose our own life-course. We are not mere senseless stones, nor are we vegetables rooted in the ground, nor are we animals driven by energies that we cannot comprehend. We are human beings. We can grasp the meaning of the differentiation of powers in the world, and know what this means to us.

Part 74

What do we mean by differentiation of powers in the world? We mean that the world in which we live is made of energies, and that these energies are of different degrees of effectivity. There are low-level energies which are relatively weak; and there are high-level energies which are relatively strong, and between the weakest and the strongest there are many different degrees of effectivity.

A large expensive car may have a very powerful engine able to give a very high performance. A small cheap car may have a relatively weak engine, not capable of high acceleration or of great pulling power. So also with the physical bodies of different men and women. Some are powerful; some are weak. Some are disease resistant, some disease prone. So also with human minds. Some are strong; some weak; some strong in one way and weak in another. Everywhere we see around us differences of power, physically, emotionally, mentationally, conceptually, volitionally.

To be aware of the differences of power that exist between beings is very important. Such differences exist in individuals, in groups, in nations, and at all levels. Some people are less well nourished than others, less well educated, less well equipped with the ideas that make survival and development possible. Because this is so it is needful for us to know, each one of us, where we stand, how well equipped we are for the battle of life. We must ask ourselves how strong we are physically, how sensitive we are in our feelings, how much emotional balance we have, how much mental equipment we have of the ideas we need for our day to day living in time, how comprehensive is our view of the world, how strong is our will to accomplish whatever we decide to do, and how conscious we are of all these different capacities and incapacities we may have.

There are people who don't believe in God, don't believe that the universe is controlled by a supremely powerful and intelligent being. These people believe that the universe came into being by a series of accidents. They believe that they need to keep their eyes wide open to watch out for the next accident, which might at any moment end their life. Some of these people become tired of the continuous effort needed to be ready for each new accident. They may develop "stress" disorders, nervous diseases of various kinds. Some are naturally strong and alert and believe that they can deal adequately with most of the accidents that may happen to them. They believe themselves "lucky", and maintain a positive attitude to life.

Many people are not sure about the existence of God, but believe to some degree, that there is some intelligent power at work in the universe. Everywhere around them they see evidences of intelligence at work, in the formation of crystalline structures in the mineral world, in the design of plant forms, flowers and seeds able to become more plants like their parents; in the animal world in their wonderful power to care for their own offspring, and in the human world where men have built cities, developed technologies for survival, put men on the moon, sent out space-probes to disclose previously hidden secrets of cosmos.

As soon as we begin to think closely about the actual evidence set before our eyes, we begin to believe that, in at least the organic living beings of the world, there is intelligence operating and aim at goals.

In man, many of the goals are mentally pre-set. We think of something which does not yet materially exist, and which we think would be useful to us; and then we make it an actual material fact. It is no good pretending that we do not pre-set goals for ourselves, no use saying that every idea we have is an accident, that bringing into the world a material object that corresponds with the idea is another accident. We know within ourselves that we think towards a goal, that we work to realise what we have thought. We know that we human beings do actually use our minds and bodies to modify the things of the world in which we live.

Are we to believe that we human beings have developed our obvious creative capacities merely accidentally. We cannot do this. There is in us a feeling that somehow we are purposefully creative, and we cannot deny the validity of this feeling. Some people deliberately take a stand against the idea that human beings are somehow part of the universal creative power. Why? Because if it be true that human beings are creative, and influence to some degree the way the development of the world occurs, then we human beings are partly responsible for the condition of the world.

It is remarkable how human beings in general are uneasy about accepting responsibility for their actions. It is so much more comfortable to believe that if anything goes wrong, it occurs because of the action of forces not within our possible control. When a war breaks out between two nations, their members prefer to believe that the war was forced on them by the other side. The idea of the "collective guilt" of the members of the other side is much more comfortable than the idea of the individual responsibility of each member of our own side. "Passing the buck" tends to be a near universal practice.

Separate individual responsibility may be a very heavy burden, which most people would prefer not to face. During the last world war, the German people were declared to be "collectively guilty", and one orator voiced his desire by saying, "Germany shall not rise again". But Germany has risen again, in industry, in business, and as a force needing consideration in any attempt to balance European and world interrelationships. Short of absolute annihilation, no human group can sink down to the level of total ineffectuality. Roman victories over the Britons did not totally crush them. Invasions of Angle, Saxon, Jute and Dane did not wholly subdue the British spirit. Norman-French conquests and the Domesday Book have not eliminated individual elasticity and the will to survive as a person.
Of course, the moment that we think seriously, in an unbiased way about human creativity, we cannot believe we are the only purposive, intelligent beings in the universe. True, we can claim to be "lords" of the earth, relative to the animals and plants that spring forth from it. We have the job of "subduing" the earth where it needs it for the furtherance of life-forms. It is our duty to irrigate waterless places, to make the deserts bloom, to drain unprofitable marshes, and so on. All these things are good and justifiable works for us to do. It is for this that we have been evolved. Without proper care the earth might become uninhabitable. We human beings have the power and technical know-how to be able to turn the whole earth into a life-supporting paradisal garden. And we have also the power to pollute it and make it totally unfit for further human occupation.

This is a tremendous responsibility, which we humans must take upon our shoulders. Whether or not we believe in God, factually the intelligence in us has placed us in this high position, a position in which we can make or mar our earth. There are some greedy, "get-rich-quick" persons who think only of the monetary profits they can make. For their "quick buck" they would de-forest the earth and leave nothing for us but a flat desert to contemplate. For an increase in the bank-balance they would reduce all the seas' great whales to cube-shaped blocks of dead flesh. It is a special kind of mind that can undertake to do this, a "Mammon"-mind. But even this kind of mind as comfortable as it would like to be. It has somewhere hidden within it a conscience, a degree of awareness, that all human beings are individual centres of responsibility who finally, before the world-court of whole humanity, must stand trial.

It is for each one of us, as an individual, to accept responsibility for our actions, our thoughts, feelings, motives and words. We cannot hide forever hidden in the central mass of a large human "collective". Just as each of us has an individual birth, and an individual death, so each of us has an individual life, developed by individual effort, or undeveloped for lack of this effort. We know perfectly well that if we choose to do so we can lie longer in bed than we need to. We know what it means when we hear of "a little folding of the hands in sleep". We know the words of Jesus, "my father works and I work", and "Work while it is light, for the night comes when no man can work".

The universe is rhythmical. It has its vast periods of manifestation, when the great creative powers of the universe are operative; and it has prolonged periods of latency, in which no work can be done. It is to these great periods of oscillation between work and no work that Jesus refers. The period of manifestation, he calls "light", and means consciousness; and the period of non-manifestation he calls "night", meaning unconsciousness. When we are conscious of the power and form and function of things, we can work effectively, and we live in the world of "light". When we are unconscious we cannot work effectively, and we sink into the dark world of nescience, where we have no control over our soul's processes.

What is it like to be asleep and unconscious, to have no self-control, and yet still to be a self, a soul? Consciousness has a clearly defined content.

There is a kind of awareness which has no clear forms, no well defined clearly seen ideas. This kind of awareness is a feeling state, a sentence condition lacking any graspable, meaningful content. In this condition the soul has no goals, no aims, no purposes. It is as if it were a formless jelly-fish so unsubstantial that it can barely be distinguished from the water in which it floats, and entirely at the mercy of the movements of that water. This is the state to which Jesus refers when he says, "the night comes when no man can work".

We have discussed the possibility of building a consistent body of true ideas which can serve us after death as a vehicle for our consciousness. This "idea-body", once attained, is the guarantee of our soul's immortality of form. Without this idea-body, the soul would have no formed existence, but would be merely a formless mass of feeling substance, subjected to every undirected motion of the infinite ocean of sentient power. From this we can see the desirability of "working while it is light", that is working in the full light of consciousness to build for ourselves that body of true ideas which alone can stand as our permanent centre of reference.

Only with such a permanent reference-centre can the soul know itself to be eternally what it is, a true image and likeness of God, that is a truly intelligent creative centre of will and formative power. It is for this that we have been led to evolve as representatives of God's will in the universe. The universal can act particularly creatively only through the particular created being, the soul. The human soul has been brought into being to serve as a co-creator with God. There is much work to be done in the world, and many of the details of this work are in our human hands, and we are responsible for the quantity and quality of the work that we are to do. God has delegated to us the care of vast areas of His creation. It is for us to work in the light so that we shall not be ashamed when finally we meet the total results of our work in the cosmic theatre of the divine power. To be permitted to be a co-creator of the universe with God is a tremendous honour. For our part in this vast creation, we shall receive our just reward, and joy in what we see.

But our part can be played well only if we cooperate with each other. All creation implies co-operation. Even in ourselves as individuals, our very being depends on the co-ordinated activity of all the living cells that constitute our organs, our heart, our liver, kidneys, etc. And just as all our cells must co-operate to accomplish the purposes of our being, so must all we human beings co-operate to attain the highest of life's goals, those supremely significant goals which God has designed pre-destined for us. Not until this full human co-operation has been gained shall we be able to dwell in that supremely happy state which, having once lost, we must regain in the second paradise which, by our conscious intelligent and mutually sympathetic co-operation, we shall create together. And this shall be for the delight and joy of all of us.

Part 75

We have said that all creation implies co-operation. "Operation" is work. In work forces interact with each other. This interaction is their co-operation, their working together. Usually by "cooperation" we mean harmonious working together towards a common goal. But working together of forces might involve also some contradiction of some forces by others, for example, in architecture we often see forces opposing each other, and by this opposition a building may be stabilised, so that it does not fall down. In the same way, when we build a thought structure we may find it useful to stabilise it by using opposite ideas, such as "mercy"- and "severity" or "individual responsibility" and "collective responsibility".

In all human inter-relations the "individual" and the "collective" need consideration. We have to define how much of responsibility is "individual", and how much "collective". In a co-operative act responsibility must be both individual and collective. There must be an individual decision to participate in a collective act, and there must be a collective agreement of the participating individuals to co-operate.

Now it is immediately obvious that when a group of individuals discuss together what mode of co-operation they are to have, they display certain differences. Not all think or feel or will equally well. Some are clear in thought, sensitive in feeling and strong in will, but there are degrees of these capacities, so that there are differences of power in these, in individuals and in groups. It is these differences of powers to which we refer when we speak of the hierarchy of things.

By "hierarchy" we mean the differences of power in things and individuals and groups, by which one thing or individual or group may control or rule another. There is nothing in the whole of reality that is not characterised by hierarchical differences. In a single atom, there are differences of power between protons and electrons, such that the protons gather at the centre of the atom and the electrons orbit around the protons. In a hydrogen atom made of one proton and one electron, the electron orbits around the proton, not the proton around the electron. Some things naturally tend to have a centralising capacity, and others to have a capacity for orbiting around a centre. Both functions are essential to total reality.

As with protons and electrons, so with human beings. Some have more self-centralising power than others, and some more orbiting power. A very "centred" person is less likely to be disturbed than is a peripheralising person. A well-centred person has at centre either a strong will, a well-balanced feeling, or a reliable idea. A peripheralised person is drawn outwards, away from centre, by multitudes of interests in things external, and so tends to lack unity of being, which is the declared goal of most meditation systems.

In Judaism, Christianity and Islam God is declared to have unity as his basic attribute. "The Lord God is One". Unity is the essence of his divinity. Because of His unify God is at peace with Himself. Human beings lack unity and so are to some degree at war with themselves. Even a single individual harbours diverse opinions about things. Just as party politics divides a nation against itself, so within the single individual there are parts biased towards conservative, towards liberal, and towards labour views, for we all tend to conserve or keep things to ourselves, and to demand freedom for ourselves; and we must work or labour in some way to maintain ourselves as objective beings in the world.

It is hard to think clearly about these things. Thinking requires mental convergence, and convergence requires inwardly directed energy of the will. Convergence of mental faculties over a period of time may be tiring, and when we become tired, we tend to prefer to rest rather than to push through mental difficulties. Here, in this tendency, is the explanation of procrastination. When we feel tired we tend to postpone what we have to do until later.

Now, God is God because He is the Supreme Original Unity. This Unity means that he has no quarrel with Himself, no disagreement with Himself about His intention, His aim, His goal. Contrary to this divine Unity is the manifest dis-unity of creatures. All the beings we see in the world show signs of self-disagreement, human beings more than others. The animals are less self-contradicting than man, but they do suffer from likes and dislikes which tend to split their interests. They dislike pain and tend to avoid it. They tend to like pleasure and to trap themselves in it. To suffer is to be passive to a stimulus. Passivity to stimuli, painful or pleasant, may result in slavery to them. In the Bible this slavery is called the product of the "Fall from Grace".

Quite simply, the "Fall" is a loss of inner centrality of the free will, and a subjecting of the .will to the disintegrating results of peripheralisation. When a man leaves his centrality of free will and forgets it because of his interest in the multitudes of things of the world, he loses also his essential unity, his oneness with himself. The essential will in a man is one. The things of the world, which stimulate him, are many. There was a man living among tombs. He was said to be possessed by demons. Their name was "Legion". He was a man lacking unity, lacking it to a great degree. From whatever causes, he had fallen from the free will centre of his being to his periphery. At the centre of being is Unity. At the periphery of being is plurality, multitudinousness. The man possessed by demons was suffering from pluralisation of interests.

Where we become interested, we tend to expend energy. If we have too many interests, we expend energy over many things and peripheralise ourselves and deserve the name "Legion", for we are like a legion at war, on the march and lacking the commander that could bring us to unity.

When we have too many interests, our energy is split and becomes many little energies scattered far and wide over the field of our interests. And when our energies are scattered they tend to be less efficient than they would be if they were unified. The Greeks of St. Paul's day scattered their energies by "marvelling at every new thing". This scattering led to their downfall.

At any given moment there is a tendency for our energies to scatter. If this tendency is not opposed by an opposite movement of gathering, then the scattering will continue and increase. We say to a man who is panicking in a stress situation, "gather yourself together!". If he does not gather himself together his panic will increase. In times of emergency or danger, the man who gathers himself together efficiently finds that he has become a centre around which the scattering many will orbit. For them he has become like the sun to the planets. He produces order where otherwise would be chaos. When the panicking many rush to the life-boats, it is the unified one who commands, "Women and children first!" Why? Because he has a long view of life. He sees children as the developed adults of the future, and women as the nourishers of the children. He sees the glory of the humanity of the future, and is prepared to sacrifice the static present for that dynamic future.

Ordinarily we tend not to notice the degree of our mental and emotional scattering. Our interests are so many and give us such pleasures that we are carried away by them, and forget that we have a central will which could better employ itself. Or we allow ourselves to be dominated by fears of the unknown future, and scatter our mental faculties in continuous fruitless search for ways of escape from all kinds of imaginary dangers. How many non-existent demons terrify our nights and days!

This question of gathering and scattering of our energies is of tremendous importance for our present and future state of being. People who do not believe in life after death never-the-less suffer from this gathering and scattering process. At any given moment they are moving from one condition to the other. As they move towards gathering, their unity and confidence in their efficiency grows. As they move towards scattering, their unity is lost, and their confidence diminishes and they are on the way to failure.

Yogis have one supreme aim, which they call "one-pointed mind". Jesus the perfect Yogi, says"! and My Father are One". By this he means that the generative power of his being (which he calls "Father") is one with his own free will to be. "It is my will to do the Will of Him that sent me", he says. There is no difference between God's Will and the Will of Jesus. In this non-difference of will is the one-pointed mind of the Supreme Yogi.

In the presence of the One-pointed Mind, which is One by willing Oneness, every plurality, every multitude, must bow. All multitudinous creatures must bend the knee before the Supreme Unific Being. A small quantity of rightly disciplined men can scatter a large rabble mass. A single individual with centralised will can weld a mob into a unity of military might. Always the One reflexive Being has power to bring order to the many non-reflexive masses of separatist individuals.

Original man had unity because he was made in the likeness of God, that is, he had primary unity as his centre. At the true centre of all men is God. When man forgot his divine centre and left it in order to go out into the external world and there acquire knowledge, he lost contact with his free unific central will and became pluralised by the many stimuli offered to him by the multitudinous forms of the external world. It is this leaving of his free central will and his peripheralising of his interests that we call the Fall of Adam.

Let us not think that this Adamic fall happened long ago and has no effect on us. The very substance of our body comes to us from our ancestors and carries with it the records of their experiences, and these records, these ancestral memories, still condition us and obscure our own original unific free will. And we are conditioned by our education, given to us by our parents, and their parents, and their parents, and so on backwards through time. We come into the world ruled by the past, by folk-knowledge, by tradition, by religions and philosophies of the past, and by ancient sciences which still condition our behaviour to some degree, however "modern" we may believe ourselves to be.

As the first man left his centre, and forgot it going out into the wide world beyond Eden, and so scattered his wits, so we today, we up-to-the-minute human beings, also scatter our wits, disperse them over multitudes of technical devices designed to make our external physical life more bearable, more bearable on the outside, but at the expense of the loss of our innermost awareness of our spiritual self. And with this loss of inner awareness we have lost also the powers proper to spirit, powers of consciousness and will which are in their essence magical, able to perform miracles.

Yes, by our fall from centre, our intense interest in the external world, we' have gained multitudes of material advantages unknown to our ancestors. We can fly at speeds beyond that of sound. We can put satellites in orbit around the earth to improve Television reception, send probes into outer space to disclose previously hidden secrets of the planets. But we have not kept inner pace with our outer knowledge gains. We know less about our own souls than we know about the chemistry of the stars.

But there is hope. As scientists increase their knowledge of the constituent forces of the universe, they devise ever more sensitive instruments. Especially in the field of electro- magnetic and bio-magnetic studies, they are moving towards discovering facts of the substance of reality so far unsuspected. As instrument-sensitivity increases, an approach is being made to the solution of the problem of the human will. And it is this will that is the doorway to the will of the Supreme Creator of all things. As future scientists gain the ability to look through this door, they will find that they look in, they will see another Being looking out, eye to eye with them. And they will know that this other Eye is that of the Great Cosmic observer that they have for so long hoped does not exist.

Human beings who are biased towards power pursuit know that they are observers. of the things of the world, but they hope that other beings are less observant than they themselves are. The power-pursuers like to believe themselves superior to other beings, superior in will-power, in intelligence and in direction. The one thing that they definitely do not wish to believe is that there is a Universal Will and Cosmic intelligence who is absolutely undefeatable. They have yet to learn that God is in control of the final outcome of all things.

Part 76

The idea of an observer observing another observer raises a very interesting question. What are the essentials of an observer? Firstly, an observer must be to some degree conscious, that is, aware of something characteristic of the observed thing, something that makes it possible to distinguish one thing from another with different characteristics. We are conscious that an apple is not an orange because each of these presents to our senses something possessed by itself and not by the other. But what is the situation if two observers observe each other? Do they observe each other purely as observers, that is, as conscious beings, or do they observe bodies in which they assume consciousness to be present? Each one knows his own body from inside, and the body of the other from outside. Each one assumes an observer in the other's body, but does not directly and immediately know the other's observing consciousness. By studying the mode of activity of another body, we decide whether it belongs to an inner observer or not. We do this by assuming that activities that we ourselves perform by conscious act of will are performed in other bodies by similar acts of will.

We can all tell, by looking at each other's eyes, whether we are or are not paying attention to each other. We can tell whether the other's eyes are or are not focussed on us. What we call "eye-contact", when it occurs, is very intimate. That is why so many people try usually to avoid it. Looking intently into another's eyes in order to discover that other's degree of sincerity may be very disturbing to that other. We ourselves may have felt as if we were being psychologically invaded when some sincere person has gazed searchingly into our eyes to try to find out what we really think and feel about him.

Now let us return to consider a materialistic scientist who busies himself with observing material objects and experimenting with them in order to discover of what materials they are made. Does he normally think of himself as an observing consciousness making observations of things, or does he focus so strongly on the object that he is studying that he ceases to think of himself as an observing consciousness, and merely concentrates on the object observed?

Let us note very carefully that objects that can be observed are all circumscribed or encapsulated or limited, bound inside some kind of skin. It is this skin-closure that allows us to define an object as an object. Now let us examine consciousness itself. Is it bound by an outer skin? Has it an edge beyond which it does not stretch or extend? We have to answer "No". Consciousness is not confined inside bodies as bodies are confined with consciousness. Everything we know is within consciousness. Everything that we may ever come to know will be in consciousness when we know it.

Now, if we ask a materialistic scientist to remind himself, when he is observing an object, that he is a conscious being, and that consciousness is not confined to the object he observes, we are asking him to become aware of consciousness as such, which is not an object, for objects are limited, have an edge beyond which they do not extend, and consciousness has no such edge. Let us now ask the materialistic scientist to look into our eyes and make himself aware of the possibility that he is not the only conscious being, but that we also are conscious, and are observing his eyes and inferring that he also is conscious as we are.

If this materialistic scientist co-operates with us, and follows what we have said, he will have to admit that what his eyes see, looking into our eyes, is something objective, our physical eyes, eyeballs, irises and pupils, etc., but that he does not see our consciousness itself, as such. Consciousness is not wrapped in a skin, not encapsulated, and so cannot become an object. As an object it would be confined to the zone of the place occupied by the object. As not confined, consciousness must be infinite. Confinement is the essential of objectivity. Non-confinement is the essential of consciousness.

If a scientist decided to investigate the nature of consciousness, he would have to start by examination of his own consciousness. It would be no use if he tried to uncover its nature by examining the physical body or the brain as a material thing, for these are objective, that is limited, confined within a skin, and consciousness is not so confined.

But if this scientist began to investigate the nature of his own consciousness, he would find that although it contains ideas that are definable, it contains also feelings that are not definable, and by this fact they are placed outside the realm of so-called exact science.

If he has the tenacity to continue his investigation of consciousness and recognises its unconfinedness, that is its infiniteness, he may then realise that limitations apply only to objects, not to consciousness as such. This would then allow him to see that as to our objective aspects, (physical bodies, material components, etc.) we must consider our physical organisms as separable, but as to our consciousness (which is not skin-confined)we are not in essence separable. How then, have we come to believe that we are separable mentally and emotionally from each other? We have done this by a process which is one of the capacities of our consciousness, the ability to ignore certain contents of consciousness. "Ignoring" is wilful disregard. That is why ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it. We distinguish between "ignoring" something and simply not knowing about it. New babies do not ignore the laws of social behaviour, they just don't know about them. New babies are innocent, not ignorant.

A materialistic adult scientist ignores what he does not wish to consider. He ignores any idea of non-materialistic explanations of the phenomena of the universe. He does not know about such explanations, he is not unaware of them. He just doesn't like them.

Now, to be a real true scientist, one has to investigate whatever is, whether one likes it or not. There is no room in true science for likes and dislikes. All things must be examined for what they are, not for how they please or displease us. We are human beings, but we are not to view reality as existing merely for our convenience. We are what we are because we are able to think, and if we will to, we can think clearly, and clarity helps us to define accurately what we are thinking about. Clear thinking tells us that there are limits to all objects. But it tells us also that there are forces at work influencing our thinking, and that we are to be on guard against such influences, likes and dislikes.

The materialistic thinker does not like this idea that there may be forces that he cannot control, perhaps forces that he may never be able to control objectively. He wishes to rule his world, and studies matters to enable him to do so. In moments of intense frustration he wishes to control the universe so that it will not take away from him the marvellous self-image he has of himself as "Lord of the Universe". At such moments he does not like to think that there is a real "Lord of the Universe" which is not his own little ego-self, a real "Lord" who has always existed, is now, and ever shall be Lord of all things.

We can sympathise with this materialistic thinker, just as God sympathised with Cain after he had, in a rage, murdered his brother, Abel. The materialistic thinker is a Cain figure who has murdered his own inner Abel. Cain was a materialist digging in the earth to wrest from it whatever valuables it might contain. Abel was a believer in the Fatherhood of God, cared for his sheep, and believed that God would care for him. This enraged Cain, for it suggested to him that God was biased in Abel's favour, and that Cain's efforts to extract power from matter would result finally in failure. In the same way, the materialistic thinker thinks that his personal efforts should be rewarded with success. He thinks it is wrong that a man of mere faith, as Abel was, should be able to succeed, and that a man of material knowledge, a Cain-man should not be guaranteed success.

But the Cain-man, the materialistic thinker, by his striving after material objective knowledge, murders his inner Abel-man, and so loses faith, which is the characteristic of Abel. So much does the Cain-man lose faith, that he loses it even in himself, and when he loses faith, he loses his dynamic, his creative power. In losing his faith he becomes enslaved by his intellect. He condemns himself to dig in the ground, into matter, and wills to subject himself to the object, that is put himself in a position where he must take orders, not from the true subject, which is pure consciousness, but from the material world of limited objects. He does not see that this is a terrible lapse from the level of pure creative consciousness, and a fall down to a level of an enslaved object consciousness.

An object is created. It is fixated by a creative power which itself is not objectified. This creative power is consciousness itself. It is only at the level of pure consciousness that one becomes truly creative and creates objects, and is freed from the conditioning effects of objects.

When a man sees an object and allows himself to be conditioned by it he has enslaved himself to it as long as he forgets that he willed to see it. If he remembers that he willed to see it, he can release himself from the object, free himself from a condition of object-slavery. If a man wills to support a given football team, he may become elated when it wins, and depressed when it loses. If he thinks that there has been foul-play, or bad refereeing working against his beloved team, he may, in his identification with it become enraged and attack the rival team's supporters. We all know that this results sometimes in death.

When a man realises that consciousness is not limited or bound as are objects within consciousness, he is in the position of being able to release himself from object-slavery. Then he can see that consciousness in him is really God-in-him. Where there is full consciousness there is the possibility of initiative. Initiative is the power to start to act in a certain direction without being conditioned by any previous state of being. Initiative is real free spirit, intelligent power totally unconditioned by any past event. Initiative is Grace, divine power within us, Emanuel, God with us.

When the materialistic thinker finally comes to the end of his Cainish search for power, and takes his peep through the slightly opened last door, the eye that he sees looking through this narrow opening into his own eye will be an eye of pure consciousness. And at this moment he will realise that his own consciousness is but a minute spark of that unlimited pure consciousness that we refer to as God.

"God" is a little word for a big idea, the idea of infinite consciousness, the Divine Eye, and of Infinite Power, the Divine Will, and of Infinite Activity, the Divine Spirit. "Man" is a little word for a being with a big idea of himself. From where did he get this idea? From God Himself. God, the infinite creative power-behind all creaturely appearances "made man in God's image". God's image is the totality of all beings, viewed as universal whole power intelligence and activity. In this wholeness man was created as a vehicle or vessel of manifestation, through which the whole power could express itself and it infinity of capacities.

Man is a very special being. Whatever materialistic evolutionsists may think, man is not merely a clever ape, strutting about, driven by mere instinct. Man has purpose, and the best of men, conscious purpose, to try to bring to full expression in him the powers and talents that the Universal Divine Power has placed in him. Man alone of all living beings on earth has the power and the vocabulary to contemplate his Source, to learn finally that he is a finger of God, pointing in the direction God intends mankind to go. Man, as this Finger, can point the direction of his development, can indicate his final state and the means to attain it. In Man, and Man alone is the possibility of an eye-to-eye encounter with God. Man, and Man alone, stands as mediator between Heaven and Hell, where "Heaven" means absolute balance of perfectly controlled Will and Intelligence, and "Hell" means total frustration of egotised existence, self-condemned by its own identification with its own egotistic and separative purposes.

Part 77

What do we mean when we say that man has the possibility of an eye-to-eye encounter with God? Of course we are not meaning that the physical eye of man can see God. We mean that the consciousness of man, under certain circumstances, can become aware of God's consciousness. Let us think carefully about this, for the possibility of our spiritual development depends on our comprehension of the nature of consciousness itself.

The basis of all knowledge is our capacity to sense changes in our being-state. This capacity we call "sentience", which means the power to "feel" the condition of our organism at all its different levels of function. The Latin word "sentire" from which we take our word 'sense", means "to feel" and "to know". If we were absolutely incapable of feeling, we would also be unable to know anything.

We often use the word "feel" in two different ways. We may use it to refer to the act of making contact with physical things, as when we use our fingers to discover the degree the hardness or softness or the texture of things. And we may use it to make ourselves aware of a "mood" which we sense in ourselves or in others. Sometimes we talk about the "psychological atmosphere" which we can sense between people. We may say that the "psychic atmosphere" between them is "tense" or not, as the case may be. Some people who are not very sensitive may say that a sensitive person is only imagining an "atmosphere" of disquiet or hostility.

Our capacity to sense or feel the state of a mental, or "psychic atmosphere" has degrees. Some people are relatively insensitive to such "atmospheres" and some are relatively so sensitive that their lives are lived in a continuous state of supersensitivity to the feeling states of other people. These can feel when someone is internally apprehensive about something, even when there is no external visible sign of this disturbance. We will not be very surprised at this if we remember that all so-called material things are really masses of energy vibrating in specific ways. Every "material" thing is an expression of vibrant energy, which, if we become sensitive enough we shall feel to be such. A man in a state of suppressed anger does not vibrate in the same way as he vibrates when he is in a state of pleasure-appreciation. A mother hiding her concern about the condition of her ailing child does not vibrate in the same way as she does when her child recovers.

Often we have reasons for concealing our sensitivity to the conditions of other people. We may know that one of our friends is "touchy", as we say, about a certain subject matter. We can feel their "touchiness" and deliberately steer clear of reference to what we know is the hidden cause of it. There are energies at work in all of us. Some of them are so well hidden that we would never suspect their presence, yet an unguarded reference to a certain matter may result in a sudden collapse into tears, or a sudden outburst of rage. We are all "touchy" somewhere in our being, and only the most insensitive - of us are unaware of this fact. We are all sitting on volcanoes which might erupt process as a reference for consciousness. All the use of "I", "me", "mine", "myself" etc., is simply to stabilise a reference centre for consciousness.

Why do we need such a reference centre? Because without it we could not say "I", "myself", "me", "mine" etc., and without this capacity for self-witness we would not be able to function as a "being", an "entity". Without this self-witness we would have no individuality whatever, and without this there would be no responsibility and no individual ability to respond to anything whatever.

When we think of the stone as least self-aware, least self-mobile, and spirit as most aware, most self-mobile, we can then ask ourselves where we, as human beings, stand on the ladder of attainment of such capacities. We know where religious teaching places us. We are midway between the least and the most consciously capable of beings. We are in the mid-phase of the evolutionary process which arises from "matter" to spirit, from "death" to full life, from inertia to initiative, from "hell" to "heaven", where "hell" means "the greatest frustration" and "heaven" means "perfectly free balance of power" in which everything can be accomplished by immediate act of intelligent will. Not surprisingly, when we understand this, we shall know why we prefer "heaven" to "hell".

Absolutely there is nothing but spirit, spirit is supremely sensitive power, power that because of its supreme sensitivity is intelligent in all its activities, power that in its all-presence is all-knowing, power that in its all-capacity is indeed the most worthy of worship of all beings. To worship less than this is idolatry. This omnipotent, omniscient spirit is the only ultimate power. All that appears to be other than this spirit is but a modification of it, a mode of its activity, as waves on the ocean are but modes of activity of the ocean.

We human beings, as standing midway on the ladder of the Universal Being, have a special function. We are mediators. Our duty is the communication to the lowest levels of the Will of the Highest. Between the locked-in energy of the stone and the absolutely free energy of the spirit is a series of beings, each with its own characteristics and modes of activity. We know that the stone is a bound energy form and that spirit itself is not bound. We know that at some point in the very remote past the stone's energy was free, as spirit is free. And we know that the energy that fell into that bound state did so because of some activity which naturally resulted in bondage. We know that the story of this fall as it occurs in the great religions is presented as the story of Lucifer, the Bright Star of the Morning of Creation, the Lucifer or "Light Bearer" who in his fall received the name "Satan", the "Great Serpent of Fixation".

Now, after the fall into the grossest state of self-immobility of the material stone-world, all there held in bondage would eternally have remained so, but for one fact — the fact of the creation of man. With the appearance of man on earth, came the possibility of the release of the energy bound in the stone, the reclamation of the fallen spirit by the at any moment, given the right stimulus. Hence we can all afford to know more about the nature of our sensitivity, and of that of others. Once we accept that there are degrees of feeling sensitivity, and that what we know depends upon this fact, we can begin to appreciate that we are all in need of some method of extending our feeling awareness beyond its present degree. On our sensitivity in the past has depended our survival. On the refining of this sensitivity has depended our evolutionary development.

Some thinkers have tried to separate sensitivity from spiritual awareness. They have done this by limiting their use of the word "sensitivity" to the type of response that the special sense organs of the physical body give to certain "material" stimuli, and have thought of "spirit" as absolutely non-material. When they do this they do themselves a mis-service by dividing reality into two totally unrelated halves incapable on interaction. Actually it would be more intelligent and useful to think of "matter" as a behaviour pattern of spirit rather than to think of matter as being what it is "in its own right".

Having accepted that feeling-sensitivity is the basis of all knowledge, and that it has degrees of refinedness or coarseness, we can see that at the very lowest level of existence (that of the mineral world)a stone has the least degree of sensitivity, and the plant a degree more, and an animal more still, and a well-developed human being still more, especially in the realm of higher mental activity. (Humans in general have lost some of their once-possessed animal sensitivities in pursuing the higher sensitivities that we see operative in higher mathematics and logic, but the loss of the lower sensitivities has been much compensated for by the increase of certain survival capacities which lower levels of sensitivities do not have.)

Sentience, the capacity to sense or feel the changes that take place in ourselves, is inherent in us. It is not something that originally we were absolutely lacking. There are no absolutely non-sentient beings. All beings are behavioural patterns of original spirit, which we call God, because it is the source of all good. We have to say that just as a stone has the lowest level of sentience or feeling-capacity, so spirit has the highest level possible. A stone is a mode of action of the power that we call spirit. The stone has least power of self-locomotion, that is, of ability to move itself from one location to another. Spirit has the greatest power of self-locomotion, a power of instantaneous presentation anywhere whatever, and everywhere simultaneously. The ordinary thinking processes of the unenlightened human being cannot grasp what this means, but we are promised that when our evolution is completed, we shall understand perfectly how the spirit can accomplish such deeds. All depends on increase of sensitivity.

When we say to ourselves "I", as in "I feel" or "I know", the "I" to which we refer is that sensitive power which is basic to all things, but which tends to identify itself with some particular thing, as for instance, "my" body. "My" here means simply that the "I", the observing sentient power, is affirming the presence of a local substantiating Unfallen Spirit. All true religious teaching is about this reclamation, and about man's destined part in it.

For man to realise his special role in this work of reclamation is for him the realisation of a tremendous responsibility. Without man as mediator between the bound spirit of stony matter and the free spirit of God, there would be no possibility of the energy in the stone ever gaining its release. When science split the atom, its bound energy was set free and radiated into space. The scientists who did this atom-splitting were human beings. Most of them did not at the time know that they were acting as mediators for spirit and, like all incompletely developed men, they made mistakes. They did not realise the necessity for the full control of the released energy. They were pursuing power without a proper sense of the necessary responsibility of all power-wielders. Ultimately they will develop this sense of responsibility, but man as mediator is in a very delicate position. Above him is infinite power, the presence of which he intuits and seeks. Below him is the greatest depth of degradation and bondage. Man has to balance himself between these two in order to perform efficiently his mediating work.

Within man are two powers, one from the Infinite Spirit, the Eternal Truth, and one from fallen Satan, the bound, frustrated spirit of the time-matter world. All power is sentient and so feels and knows itself. The Infinite Spirit of God knows Itself as free, as blissful self-fulfilling power-intelligence, absolutely efficient in everything it does. The other spirit, the Fallen Luciferic-Satanic spirit, feels itself as it is, bound, frustrated, enraged. In man these two are co-present and opposed in their purposes. God's spirit works to free created beings from all unnecessary bondage. The Satanic spirit works to hold on to itself, to keep what it has for itself, although what it has is the cause of its own intense suffering. Having fallen into finite self-hood; it strives continually to drag every other being down into its own domain of misery.

This Satanic spirit is very hard to understand, although we see it often enough at work in human beings in what we refer to as states of negativity, that is the state in which there is an extraordinary will to say "No" to every good suggestion made.

We stand, as human beings, between these two worlds, the world of the free spirit of God which says "Yes" to all things that are good, the affirmative spirit of High Eternity, the spirit which in Jesus says "He is wholly Yes, there is no No in him", and the world of the fallen bound spirit of Satan, who says "No" to all good, the spirit that says "I despise everything except my self". This is the spirit of Negation, for it says "No" even to the freedom of spirit that it could have for itself, and in which it would experience Eternal Bliss.

We can see this Satanic Negation-Spirit trying to operate in us every time that we do not delight in someone else's good fortune or happiness, and every time that we become angry when some private purpose that we hide inside ourself is frustrated. We need to be very observant indeed to detect in us the operations of the "No"-saying Satanic spirit.

Part 78

Our title "Through the Bible" may have two meanings. Firstly it may mean that the Bible can be read through in the order in which it is printed, book by book, from beginning to end. Secondly the word "through" may be taken as equivalent to "by means of". We have used this second meaning, not going in order from beginning to end of the whole Bible, but taking from it a given important idea which had some relevance to a given problem presented to us, and following this idea's implications wherever it may have led us.

To read the Bible through from beginning to end, without missing out any part of it, might give us some idea of a line of historical development, but it would involve reading many things for which we could find no immediate application in our daily lives. For instance, there are many long lists of names of individuals who gave birth to other individuals, as when we read that a certain family or tribe descended from an original ancestor considered to be of special importance. For example, from Jacob descended twelve sons who became fathers of twelve tribes, as we see named in the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis.

In the Bible names of persons are very important, because they bear meanings which indicate their particular characteristics and probable behaviour, as we see in this same chapter, where Jacob says of his first son, Reuben, that he shall not excel, that he is unstable as water, and of his sons Simeon and Levi, that in anger they slew a man, and had instruments of cruelty in their habitations. Jacob foretells what shall befall his sons in the last days. To understand such things we must go deeply into the meanings of names given by parents to their children, for in the ancient world every name given signified some characteristic or quality of action-probability. Study of the meaning of names is very rewarding if done thoroughly, but is very time-consuming, far more than most of us these days can afford.

Even today we tend to choose carefully the names we give to our children, for we feel this or that name more or less suitable for each individual. "Christian" names are given to Christian children in the hope that some of the qualities of the original bearer of the name will appear in a child so named. Most Jewish children are given a Hebrew name to continue a line of development of certain characteristics of a certain ancestor, and also a non-Hebrew name for use amongst non-Jews, to make it easier to relate to them. A large number of people are made uncomfortable by what they call "foreign-sounding" names. Feelings may run high when the question arises of how to name a new baby, and emotional bias against certain names may give rise to strong disagreement among people. In Hitlers' Germany, to bear a Jewish name might lead to one's death. In England today racist feelings may be triggered by names of Hindu, Muslim and other origins. Most people's minds are reactive to words, and of words names are very important.

A lesson we can all afford is that behind all the various names of different nations stands the fact of the common humanity of all. In the ancient world travel was very slow, largely on human feet, or perhaps on donkey or camel. Few people could afford a chariot, which was a possession rather like a Rolls Royce today. Slow travel must sparse inter-communication of peoples, so there was little need to understand different languages. Apart from governments there was hardly any communication between one nation and another. But today travel is not slow. We can have breakfast in one country, lunch in another and dinner in another. Language differences today are in the melting pot. Almost everyone has some smattering of other languages, and most people who holiday abroad acquire at least a working vocabulary of a language other than their native one.

More and more it will become necessary for all nations and peoples to realise their common humanity in order to make possible their working relationships in a continually accelerating world. Those who fail to make this adjustment will find that they have dropped out of the general mode of intercommunication of whole-world conscious individuals.

In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, God says "Let there be light". "Light" is the Bible symbol for consciousness and understanding. Therefore we can translate these words, "God said, let there be conscious understanding". "Light" is not that which comes to us only from the sun or stars or various burning materials. It is also that which comes to us as a gift from the Divine Universal Mind, to enlighten us, to enable us to comprehend the meaning of the things of the world in which we live.

In the first verse of the first chapter of the Gospel of St. John, it says, "In the beginning was the Word" and "The same was in the beginning with God". It is by means of Words derived from the First Word that we are enabled to order our thoughts and so banish chaos from our minds. The first man named the animals and other things around him, and so began the ordering of them. The last man will likewise name and order the things in the Universe in which his larger life will be spent. Only insofar as he does this will chaos be kept at bay, for without words we cannot differentiate good from bad, the helpful from the unhelpful, the valuable from the worthless. Hence today there is a tremendous interest among the great thinkers in the study of words and their meanings. Finally only the Hermeneut, the true interpreter of words will be honoured above other men.

To become a true Hermeneut, a true interpreter of words and of the things and events and relationships these signify, one must be true to oneself. One cannot afford to misrepresent things to oneself. Misinterpretation puts one out of contact with reality. Misrepresentation is falsehood and lies, and these introduce chaos into our mind and soul.

"To thine own self be true", is the best advice anyone can give or receive. "Love God and they neighbour as thyself" can be obeyed only if we tell ourself the truth about ourself. To tell ourself the truth, we first see the truth in ourself. To find this truth we must observe how we think and feel and will. We must think truly, that is, accurately and logically; logically because we must use words to tell ourselves what we are thinking. What we do not put accurately into words, we are not yet clear enough about. Also we must feel sensitively about what we are thinking. Feeling tells us whether a thought is pleasant or unpleasant, likeable or unlikeable. Feeling can tell us whether we have had unpleasant or pleasant experiences of the things we are thinking about. Feeling can leap in a moment over years of experience and find similar experiences in other times and places. Feeling can enslave us or release us, according to our degree of sensitivity. We need to remain in touch with our feeling sensitivity to be able to evaluate our experiences in terms of life-worthwhileness or the opposite. Also, when by feeling and thinking we have disclosed what is valuable in life, we need to exercise our capacity for willing. We need to be able to make ourselves do what we have discovered to be most valuable. This is less easy than at first sight may appear, for we have an enemy, the inertia of our old established behaviour. Habits sit very heavily on us, and often break our will to reform our actions. Special efforts are needed, or our old behaviours will persist.

It is clear that being true to oneself is not easy. In the world in which we live we are surrounded by untruths, from advertisers of commodities, from biased party politicians, and so on. We need to correct the untrue statements that we hear, at the moment we receive them, or thy may lodge in our mind and distort our own thinking. If we cannot correct them immediately, we should do so as soon as possible. It is a good practice at the end of the day to run over again in our mind the statements made to us during the day and check them for truth or falsity. This practice enables us to free our mind from misinterpretations, and so increases our capacity for being true to our own selves. Truth to oneself is the precondition of truth to any other being, whether a creature or the Supreme Creator Himself.

Perfect interrelation of one being with another depends on each being true to the other, and this depends firstly on truth to oneself. Without truth to oneself, truth to another is impossible, for what is misrepresented to oneself will be misrepresented to the other.

The world of Mammon, of materialistic greed, into which we are born, and in which we must spend our lives, is said to be in the grip of the devil, who is described as the adversary of God and Man, and as a liar and father of lies. The confidence trickster who tricks the unwary of their money or goods is a devil's disciple, doing the devil's lying work. Today most people doubt the existence of the devil as a definite person devoted to lies and evil deeds, but few have gone through life without encountering a liar or his works of mis-representation.

People in general do not like to be lied to. We say people in general, because professional liars and confidence-tricksters do not believe anything said to them by others. They assume that, like themselves, most people tell lies, either consciously or unconsciously.

They know that most people have a self-image which they protect in any way available, and they play on this untrue self-image, boosting it, lifting it as high as possible to unbalance the judgement of its owner. Self-imagery is man's biggest enemy, for it causes him to hide himself from the knowledge of his real state of being.

The books of the Bible have been written and collected together in order to show man, as in a mirror, what kind of being he is, and what kind of being he may become. If we were to take all the characteristics of all the people in the Bible, and say that all these are in each of us, we would not be wrong. Human beings are capable of all deeds of good and evil. The first human being, whom the Bible calls Adam, contained in himself a God-given free will. Contrary to God's advice, Adam chose to know evil as well as good, and from that choice humanity has been committed to the path of knowledge of good and evil.

Today we are still in the choosing position. There is evil in the world, and there is good. We need to become more conscious of this fact. Having been committed to the path of choice, we must teach ourselves to know more and more clearly what is good and what is evil. The good is that which leads us towards more wholeness. The evil is that which leads us to disintegration, in our own being and in our relations with every other being. Disintegration is corruption, the way to final and total death. Wholeness is that state of perfect and complete integration of all parts of our being which will confer on us the power to stand in all eternity in the state of the immortals, the great ones who, by their total committal of their souls to truth, have earned for themselves, by divine grace, the ability to stand in the presence of their creator in perfect love for Him. These are the undying Ones, the immortals whose souls internally ever sing the praises of their mighty, glorious Creator and Heavenly Father.

Whatever purposes God may have in His eternal Wisdom, whatever worlds He may in the future bring to be, these immortals will be with Him as His chief instruments and wise executors of His Divine Will. To become one of the band of the immortals, one thing is needful, true love of God and His children. It is within each one of us to join the immortals; whether we do so depends on what we choose for ourselves, life or death. God recommends life. It is for each one of us individually to accept fully His Divine Offer and so to receive the promised reward of our acceptance. Then Jesus will not have died for us in vain.

END of Title
(December 1986 – Michael Graham, the vicar of St Michael and All Angels - Lawton Moor, on whose request the Through the Bible series was requested of Eugene Halliday, going to another Parish. Eugene Halliday passed on in July 1987.)

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