2. The Open Mind
We know that things are not always what they seem. For instance, the earth and the sky do not meet. The horizon is simply the limitation of our vision, but not a thing of itself. We also discover that the hurt has largely disappeared from experiences we have had, which at the time we were having them seemed very trying.
We know that a two-dimensional mind looking at a cube would not see the cube; to it, the cube would look flat. Similarly, at our stage of evolution our three-dimensional minds might well be looking at that which is four-dimensional or more. So if our gaze is focused only on the physical, we might be looking right at the spiritual, the mental, or the intellectual, and not see it. Science has proven that there are almost infinite variations of vibrations of color and sound that the human eye and ear do not detect because they are not perfected enough.
There have been people like Jesus, and a good many others, who have experienced what we call cosmic consciousness. They have looked through the material universe into a spiritual universe, and they have announced this spiritual universe. If we could for one moment break through this shell that we are looking with, we would see reality. We believe that there is a Spirit in humans. This Spirit is God. This same Spirit is in all people, and the Spirit that is in you is the Spirit that is in me. It is one Spirit, just one, always one. The Spirit that is in the dog is the same Spirit. The life principle in the tree is the same thing. There is one Spirit, but there are different manifestations of it.
This thing that we call the personality is the objective evidence of the use we are making of our invisible and subjective individuality, the projection of the power, presence, and intelligence in us, as us. In other words, consciousness itself is God — one indivisible, infinite, and eternal reality. Our conscious use of our individuality personifies it.
I have always held that ideas do not belong to anyone. All ideas derive from God, therefore no idea belongs to anyone, but we all have access to every idea in the divine providence. It is like the figure two. What intelligent mathematician would say, — The figure two belongs to me? The mathematician knows that it is impersonal; the concept belongs to the universe. It can be used many times and there is just as much left.
We need to believe that reality is already delivered to us — reality as we see it, according to our awareness of it. This is the whole essence of spiritual mind treatment. How can we give an effective treatment if we are just mumbling a lot of words — A treatment must not be like that. We must believe in our own treatment if it is going to be effective. How can we believe in it unless we first believe that there is such a thing as Spirit, and that Spirit is right here responding to us and expressing as the experience or the condition we wish to enjoy?
All life is One, and God is the One Life in which we all live. Even the power by which we measure out our limitation is God. One of the great fallacies of theology has been the inability to see that negation and affirmation are identical, and are not two separate things. This is the hardest thing we will ever have to understand. When we treat someone for spiritual healing, if our minds do not get any farther than the appearance, then the appearance will not be changed. It is only as the mind transcends the appearance that the appearance can be changed, because a mental concept is the original causative factor.
In a certain sense we dramatize life. We are thinking, feeling, desiring, warm, and colorful beings, and I am glad we are, and I do not think we have to change at all. The great souls like Jesus, Emerson, and Whitman who delivered real spiritual insight for the ages have been very spontaneous, very sweet, very simple souls, and most of them even had a good sense of humor.
Here is the thing that Jesus uncovered: We do not have to become immortal; we are immortal. We do not have to become spiritual; we are spiritual. We do not have to become geniuses; we are geniuses. We do not have to go anywhere — “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
We wish to experiment with this reality to see what we can do with it. Every time we work for a spiritual healing we are experimenting to see what we can make the Mind do for us. The Mind is creative because it is God.
Through spiritual mind treatment we endeavor to more specifically express reality in our objective life, thus becoming more successful in every legitimate undertaking. The idea that God is trying us is all wrong. God is not trying us; we are merely gradually waking up, and the awakening is what we call a process of evolution, our awakening to what already is. I do not mean that a building is an eternal thing, but the mind that built it is an eternal thing. I think that every temporal thing which is good should be enjoyed to the utmost, because we are dealing with an infinite Spirit which by its own divine imagination creates all that is out of itself.
We must think of ourselves as being the way we would like to be. We do not make the thought creative; it is God. There never was a human thought. All thought is divine, even though it is divine in a humanly circumscribed way. We need not look for some other power; we have power now. It is the only power we will ever know. Since it is invisible, the essence of reality, it transcends anything that is visible. The appearance is true and real but not self-creative. We should forget all the negative arguments, forget all the reasons why it is not so, and begin to think of a few reasons why it is so.
To live affirmatively is to live as God lives, so we must plunge beneath the appearance. Here is where the test comes. We are testing ourselves to see whether we can forget evil and conceive more good, let go of limitation and take hold of the limitless, let go of the appearance and embrace reality.