1. Brave New World
There was a time when a man was so convinced that the world was round that he was determined to prove it. Columbus felt that if the world was round it could be circumnavigated. Superstition, ignorance, and fear surrounded him, yet there were a few adventurous souls who dared to finance his expedition, for they had caught the vision from him because of his certainty. One man’s courage and persistency, backed by an interior vision, made it possible to discover a new world.
Long before Columbus, another man came to some far-reaching conclusions. By some inner awareness or spiritual conviction, Jesus had come to believe that every person is a spiritual being living in a spiritual universe. He had come to believe that there is a center in every person that is as perfect as that life that gave us birth.
It is no wonder he brought down the anathemas of his age, that he was labeled as one worse than a heretic — blasphemous. But so great was his conviction that he set sail on a voyage of self-discovery that changed the whole course of human experience. He opened up a new territory where few people had been — the discovery of our direct and intimate relationship with God, the Creator. Working alone with himself and the Cause of all things, Jesus brought forth the greatest spiritual philosophy the world has ever known.
The great example
You and I are trying to follow in Jesus’ footsteps to make the great discovery for ourselves. Can we reach in and out and up to something beyond? Can we grasp the meaning and significance of a direct relationship to something that, while it is greater than we are, is at the same time what we are?
Researchers in the fields of science have unlocked many of the secrets of nature, and their inventions have brought great good to the human race — and yet, we are more confused than ever. This is a time to see if we cannot discover the missing link — something that can bind humanity together in one common good, while at the same time leaving freedom for all.
So we are embarked on the voyage of self-discovery. And fortunately, we have much to go by — the lives of the great, the good, and the wise of the ages. It is to these few great souls that we must look to for guidance. They have all been in accord in saying that there is a Spirit within us.
Possibly the skeptic may say that this is but the dream of one who seeks escape from the realities of life, one who would find security in seclusion, in a meditative life withdrawn from the world — something entirely impractical, visionary, and mystical. Let us remind ourselves that this type of alleged practicality has brought the world almost to the verge of destruction.
What we need now is the kind of people whom the over-practical have overlooked. For we are convinced that we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual universe governed by spiritual laws. We have gone far enough in our research to prove that there is something within us — in our physical bodies, our environments, and in nature itself?that responds to our belief in it. We know that anyone who has this solid conviction in mind can prove this claim.
We may not yet have reached the promised land, but we already can see it — a light in the darkness, a new continent to be explored, a new world to be gained. We are indeed on the pathway of a great adventure, the adventure that Jesus must have had in mind when he said: “Greater works than these will you do.”
This achievement is not to be found in books, preachments, or proclamations. Fortunately, only the individual can make this discovery for himself or herself. This must be the starting point. The search must begin with the self. From this self-discovery we can then reach out to others and finally to the world. We need not be bound by the ignorance and superstition of others, nor by what they think or feel. We each have our own life to live, and as that life is without end, the progress we make along this eternal pathway is up to us. The cold fact is that such growth may only occur as a result of what we do to ourselves, not what something else does to us. We cannot, like a fairy godmother, wave a wand and have what we desire appear. Instead, we have to create a thought, a thought that is more powerful than any wand or any magic of mythology’s magicians.
We need to face life in the light of a new truth, a new understanding, and a conviction that we are in partnership with the Infinite. Then we may receive direct divine guidance and know how to live as human beings, because we first have discovered that we are divine beings.
I am one with the infinite and perfect Spirit, the giver of all good and perfect gifts. I open my mind and my heart, and, indeed, my body, to the inflow of this divine Presence. I know that this living Presence is in every cell of my body and every function of my being. I accept it as my health of body, here and now. I accept it as that which releases me from all that is unlike the perfect expression of life. There is no doubt or fear in my mind that could reject in any way all that God is, right here and right now.
My conscious acceptance of the fullness of the presence of God flows out in joy and love to bless those whom I would help, those with whom I would share this inner joy. And I decree that the loved one I now bring into the scope of my thought is blessed and healed through the presence of good that is within. The radiance of joy in my own heart brings happiness into the lives of all those about me. The abundance that prospers me supplies everyone around me with the good things of life. The light that warms the center of my own being so shines forth that all may find guidance and warmth and comfort in its rays. This is the light that lighteth every person that cometh into the world. This is the fount from which spring the living waters. I drink, and shall not thirst again. And even as I drink, I hand the chalice of my faith to all.
Realizing that we are in the midst of an ever-present good, and believing that there is a law that brings everything of its nature into our lives, we should learn to think and act as though every wrong condition of yesterday were converted into something new and better today.
I believe that all the mistakes I have ever made are swallowed up in a love, a peace, and a life greater than I am. Therefore I surrender all past mistakes into the keeping of this ever-present and perfect life. I affirm that love is guiding me into a real and deep cooperation with life and a sincere affection for everyone.
Today is a fresh beginning, a new start, and a joyous adventure on the pathway of eternal progress. Today is bright with hope and happy with fulfillment. Therefore I affirm that this is the day that God has made, that it is good, and that I find fulfillment in it.