12. Opening Our Minds to God
Spirit responds to us by corresponding to our states of thought. We enter into Spirit in such degree as we comprehend It. It enters into us through correspondence in such degree as we comprehend It. Prayer, communion with Spirit, and meditation or contemplation are for the purpose of unifying our minds with the Universal Mind, opening up the avenues of our thought to a greater influx.
Spirit is ever ready, ever waiting, because Its nature is to incarnate. The greater our receptivity and comprehension, the more complete Its flow. The Universe is not only a spiritual system, it is an orderly system. We are living under a government of law, always, whether we deal with the soul, the body, or Spirit, whether we are dealing with physics or with metaphysics. The law is subject to Spirit, which does not mean that Spirit is capricious and may create a law only to break it, but does mean that law is subject to Spirit, in that the law is Spirit’s servant, just as all the laws of nature are our servants and obey us insofar as we understand them and properly use them. Spirit, being Omniscient, understands and properly uses all law. Hence, Spirit never contradicts Its own nature, is always harmonious, is complete within Itself; It exists in a state of perpetual bliss and always acts in accord with the law of Its own being.
We are of like nature to this supreme Spirit. Everything exists within It. We exist within It, having arrived at a state of consciousness whereby we can consciously approach It, believe in It, and receive It. In receiving Spirit, we receive the law which is Its servant, and that law becomes our servant.
We are intelligent beings living in an intelligent universe that responds to our mental states, and insofar as we learn to control those mental states, we shall automatically control our environment. This is what is meant by the practical application of the principles of Science of Mind to the problems of everyday living. This is what is meant by demonstration.
Naturally our first thought is that we would like to demonstrate health of body, peace of mind, prosperity in our affairs, to neutralize a circumstance which is unhappy, or to attract to ourself some good which we have not been enjoying. Such a desire is natural and in every way normal, and the possibility of such demonstration already exists within the mind of every living soul. Every one of us has within ourself the power to consciously cooperate with the spiritual side of our existence in such a way that it will create for us a new body and a new environment and a greater happiness. But the greatest good which this philosophy of life brings to us is a sense of certainty, a sense of the reality of our own soul, of the continuity of our own individualized being, and the relationship of this self to the great Whole.
The greatest good that can come to us is the forming of an absolute certainty of ourself and of our relationship to the Universe, forever removing the sense of heaven as being outside ourself, the fear of hell, or any future state of uncertainty. We are each a part of the only life there is, some part of the Eternal God. We are forever reaching out, forever gaining, growing, expanding; Spirit is forever incarnating Itself in us.
Such an understanding teaches us that there can never come a time when we shall stop progressing, that age is an illusion, that limitation is a mistake, that unhappiness is ignorance. We cannot be afraid when we know the truth. The greatest good accompanying such an understanding of truth will be the elimination of fear.
This understanding will rob us of our loneliness and give us a sense of security which knows no fear, a peace without which no life can be happy, a poise which is founded on this peace, and a power which is the result of the union of peace with poise.
We can be certain that there is an Intelligence in the Universe to which we may come, which will inspire and guide us, a love which overshadows. God is real to the one who believes in the supreme Spirit, real to the soul which senses its unity with the Whole. Every day and every hour we are meeting the eternal realities of life, and in such degree as we cooperate with these eternal realities in love, peace, wisdom, and joy, believing and receiving, we are automatically blessed.
It is not by a terrific mental struggle or soul-strain that we arrive at this goal, but through a quiet expectation, a joyful anticipation, the calm recognition that Love, the Living Spirit Almighty, is all the peace, power, and good there is.
A mental treatment is a definite act of the conscious mind, setting the law in motion for the one specified in the treatment. A treatment is a spiritual entity in the mental world, fully equipped with the intelligence and the power to demonstrate itself.
When we are giving a treatment, we believe that our word is operated upon by an intelligent, creative agency which has at its disposal the ways, the methods, the means, and the inclination to receive our treatment and to create those circumstances which would be the logical outcome of this treatment.
If we wish to demonstrate supply we would not say, “I am a multimillionaire,” but we would seek to realize that Infinite Substance is irresistible supply. We would say to ourself, “I am surrounded by Pure Spirit—Perfect Law, Divine Order, and limitless substance—that intelligently responds to me. It is not only around me, but it is also in me; it is around and in everything. It is the essence of perfect action. It is perfect action in my affairs. Daily I am guided by this Divine Intelligence, I am not allowed to make mistakes, I am compelled to make the right choice at the right time; there is no confusion in my mind, no doubt whatsoever. I am certain, expectant, and receptive.”
As the result of statements such as these, we reeducate our mind, recreating and redirecting the subjective state of our thought. The subjective state of our thought decides what is going to happen to us, and because the subjective state of our thought often contradicts our conscious desires, a sense of doubt arises.
When we affirm the presence of good, this sense of doubt is an echo of previous experiences; it is the judgment according to appearances which we must be careful to avoid. Unless we are conscious that we are dealing with a transcendent and Creative Power, how can we expect to demonstrate at all?
We must never lose sight of this Power. The demonstrations, produced through the scientific use of the power of spiritual thought force, are a result of the operation of a law which in no way is limited to any present condition. Evolution itself proves this to be self-evident. The one seeking to use this power must have some sense, some inward conviction that he or she is dealing with an originative, creative law.
Why these things are so no one knows, but experience has repeatedly proven that we can deal with a law which is unconditioned by anything except our unbelief, so there need be no question in anyone’s mind. It is never a question as to whether the law is able or willing.
The law is both able and willing, and we might say that the only limitations it imposes upon us are these: the law cannot do anything which contradicts the divine nature or the orderly system through which this divine nature functions. It must always be true to itself. The law cannot give us anything we cannot mentally and spiritually digest. In these two propositions we find the only limitations imposed upon us by the creative law.
But these are not limitations at all, for we do not wish anything contrary to the divine nature, nor can we expect either Spirit or the law to make us a gift we do not accept. We are certain that the Divine Nature is one of goodness, truth, beauty, reason, love, kindliness, sympathy, understanding, and responsiveness. We feel our own natures to be like unto It, the same in essence, though of course not the same in degree.
There is really, then, no limitation outside our own ignorance, and since we all can conceive a greater good than we have so far experienced, we all have within our own minds the ability to transcend previous experiences and rise triumphant over them, but we shall never triumph over them while we persist in going through the same old mental reactions. There is something positive about a good mental treatment, something almost arbitrary, something relentless, unquestioning.
How can there be an acceptance of a greater good unless its spiritual significance rises through our mental equivalents to reach the level of that good? If we are still submerged in doubt and fear, in uncertainty and dread, shall not these monsters need first to be slain before peace and confidence can be gained?