Chapter 8 – Living the life of Grace
Bill: Good morning.
This is Sunday December 15th 2019, 11:17 AM here in North Carolina, and we just had our fifteen minute meditation. If you haven’t had yours, you should probably have one now. Close your eyes, get at peace. If you can’t, you can do what this chapter is going to tell us today, you can practice contemplative meditation, which is where you contemplate, you look lightly at a scripture, a statement of truth , and you kind of mull them over, quietly, in your mind, gently. “Peace, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, giveth I unto you.”
I, in this case, is the Christ, the Presence of the living God, the Presence of the living God inside of you, within you. Deep within your consciousness, the Presence of the living God gives you peace. Not as the world gives you something and then takes it away. No, “My peace,” the peace that this Presence has is forever. Once you have this inner peace, you always have this inner peace. Yes, you may be distracted by the world. But once you find it, once you attain it, once you are given this inner peace, you can come back here, within, settle down, and I will be waiting. I am your inner peace. And so rest, rest back. “Have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known me?” Rest back, I am here. I am your peace. There is nothing to know, nothing to do, only this moment of rest in me, the peace of God.
“I come at a moment you think not.” And so, take no thought, remain at peace. “He leadeth me beside the still waters.” Waters is consciousness. Still is peace. Here within, I lead you to the still peaceful waters of consciousness. “He restoreth my soul.” Yes, when you find this peace and you rest in it, you receive Me, you receive I from the center of your being and I reveal, I give unto you the conscious awareness of my Presence.
And this is life eternal, to know this peaceful Presence. Ten thousand years from now, you can turn within and know my peace, my Presence. Even after the end of this world, you can rest in my peace and my Presence. “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” You may forsake me, you may forget about me. You may become so attached, so hypnotized by the problems or the pleasures appearing out here, that you forget me for a season; yet, I do not go anywhere. I remain here within you, at you very center. And when you grow tired and you return again, and settle back, and you remember “My peace,” I will give it to you. And, in your rest, you will feel my Presence, because I will never leave you. “In the valley of the shadow of death,” when you pass from this plane to another, I will be there – your peace, your presence.
And this is grace, and coming here within to rest in my grace, this is how you practice the principle of “Living the Life of Grace.” And this is chapter 8 of “Leave Your Nets.”
“God is infinite, and God manifests itself in infinite forms and in infinite ways. God is consciousness, and we therefore become aware of all those things necessary to our unfoldment through an activity of consciousness. We see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, but these are all activities of consciousness manifested at different levels. Often in meditation it is possible to see visions or to hear the still small voice…” Now, I haven’t… Well, yes, I have had a vision once or twice, but we’re talking over almost fifty years. “Or to hear the still small voice.” Yes, I’ve heard that a few times. “And then there are times when the Presence makes itself known through the activity of smell and even of touch.” Touch is how it appears to me. “We may feel a touch on the shoulder, the head or on the cheek.” Yes, and even on the arm or the leg. “At other times, the fragrance of flowers may be noticed.” And that has happened a couple of times.
“There is no way to limit God and feel that he can appear in only one way. God can appear in any form, and probably we can understand that best by recalling when Joan of Arc was asked, “Does God speak to you in French?” Her reply was, “I do not know in what language God speaks, but I hear him in French.” Does God speak as perfume or odors, voices, or touch? No! But we can comprehend God in these ways. That is our interpretation of God’s presence.”
And, I have found by observation, people get what they need, what’s right for them. One person will hear the still small voice many times, and that’s right for them. That puts them right in that peaceful center where they receive God. Another person, such as myself, will feel that Presence move in them and through them, and touch them. But it’s not a touch like anything in the world, it’s not like a person touching you. It feels to me, if I was to visualize it, it would be like that tingling, that light tingling that happens on the movie Star Trek before they beam you up; as if that was going on in your body, or on your body, or around it, or in it, or through it. And with it a sense of peace.
Now, here is the important question; well he says: “Let us learn to accept God in whatever way and in whatever form God may appear to us. [But] how do we know that it is God? How do we know that it is not imagination? By the fruitage, by the results.” That’s what we talked about last week. “By the fruits you shall know them.”
“When we are indulging in vain imaginings about our spiritual activities and spiritual work, it leaves us up in the air, dangling in space, with no tangible results.” In other words, it doesn’t take form. When you really feel that inner essence, it will appear in one form of harmony or another. And, you can’t direct it, you can’t sit down, so that it will appear in the form of a new lung, or appear in the form of a new car, or appear in the form of a new companion. We can only sit down, attain our peace, receive the Presence and watch. Wait. Watch. Listen. And then it appears in some way we know not of, as whatever it is we need in our experience. Which is kind of strange, because some times I have unconsciously or subconsciously gone into a meditation because something was bothering me physically. And, it was successful in that I felt that inner movement, that Presence. And then, I got up, came over to my computer and somebody had given me a really nice donation, that I was able to take and pay some things off. But what does that have to do with my physical problem? Well, nothing! (Laugh) But, that wasn’t the need. So, it’s a little bit more than trying to funnel God into your outline, you mold, your cookie cutter.
“But when our experience is actually an experience of God, we can know it by its fruits, and the fruits of the Spirit are joy, peace, prosperity, fulfillment, health, harmony and love. When the Presence announces Itself, there comes with It a sense of serenity, tranquility, a peace which may translate itself into form.”
Now, we have to take all of his talks and writings, and speeches, and books, and tapes, and – we have to realize who he’s talking to, what the audience is and what subject he’s addressing at the moment, because it’s not all black and white, there is very many… dare I say it: shades of gray! (Laugh) And in this case, yes it’s true that if you really attain that peace and feel that Presence, it translates into form.
However, elsewhere he says even practitioners still have problems. That’s in “The Wisdoms” of “The Infinite Way” book. Even practitioners and teachers still have problems. Why? Well he says “in order to have a sense of humility,” so they know that they are not the ones doing these healings, they are not the ones giving these messages. You see? So, it’s not all black and white. You can’t say: “Well, now, if you really knew God, you wouldn’t have this problem!” Yes, that’s true in some cases. If you’re a beginner and you’re just learning how to contemplate, obviously you haven’t yet had a deeper meditation. But Joel says in the “Art of meditation,” if you persist in your contemplation, knowing all the scriptures you know, it will bring you to a moment of rest in which you have no thought. And into that vacuum of no thought, you will feel something or hear the “still small voice.”
So, contemplation leads to meditation, he’s gonna say that in this book. And, when you have the experience, then some form of harmony will appear. But it’s not all black and white. That’s not a forever in stone, because, as he says in “The Wisdom’s,” practitioners and teachers may sometimes have problems. And that’s correct… problems that don’t disappear right away. And if you think: “Well, gosh, they have a problem, I’m not gonna listen to them anymore!” Then you’re missing out, you’re judging, instead of praying for them, you’re judging.
Alright. So, “everything has form,” he says “even thought. All substance must have a form although not a form always visible to our human sense.” Yes, and in the “Kailua study series,” in the chapter about body… I think it’s chapter 8, but it might be 7, he says that God has an idea, and that idea is of His Son, the Christ. And that idea is that Son is invisible, he says the Christ is not this visible body you see, it’s invisible. And God sees, and has an idea, and holds that idea sacred within Himself: Christ. And that’s the real Son.
Now, in your meditation you feel the movement of that Son. And as the Son flows, slowly – through practicing all these principles over this time – that Son slowly becomes more and more one with you, until you finally become convinced: I am the Son. I and the Christ are one, and God holds me in His bosom. And God loveth the Son and showeth Him all things. You see! You always were the Son, but you were walking around in a separate sense of humanhood. This path will lead you back to your Self, to the Christ.
So, he says, “the higher we go in spiritual realization and unfoldment, the more we see the spiritual sense of form rather than the material sense, and the more aware we are of spiritual reality.”
Now, as a teenager, I used to go to the beach a lot, and I stumbled upon a beach that was a nude beach, and I guarantee you as a teenager I was not thinking of spiritual forms on that beach (laugh). Later – and not too long later, probably only seven years, seven years after that – I was in Herb Fitch’s class “Healing Outside of Time” in Avila Beach, California, and I had a spiritual experience that lifted me out of that sense that saw bodies, and faces, and things. I was lifted right out of that, only seven years later. And, I saw the Essence, I saw the Presence, I saw the Christ where everybody and every thing appeared, including myself. Only One… and I as that One. And I stepped right into the sense of life, as the Presence, as the Christ, as the Essence formed. What a strange path, huh, only seven years later!
So, he says, in the beginning you may see “faces and figures, and hats, and dresses, and suits,” but as you rise higher, you become less aware of these things. You might see “a look in the eye or a flick of the finger,” and I see a… in the corner of the mouth. “But, you go even higher. You continue to rise above even that,” he says, “and you’re almost unaware of people as human beings. At that stage, he senses or realizes the spiritual nature of their being.” And that’s what happened to me in Avila Beach, within my consciousness.
Alright, so this chapter is called “Living the life of Grace” and so he’s telling you how you begin to practice the principles, how you get better at it and how you end up. So in the beginning, he says: “Perhaps we have all kinds of human anxieties and thoughts and fears about ourselves and our families and our future; and here an idea is presented to us that God’s grace is sufficient for us. We stop short and we wonder, “Is that true? Does that really mean what it says? Does it really mean God’s grace is enough without my doing all [these things and ] worrying, [and] planning, [and] thinking… scheming? Is that really true? After you have done some thinking about this” – and this is the contemplation – you finally come to the conclusion that you will have to prove it, for yourself.” That’s the conclusion I came to. The man that was telling me about these principles, that I met as a teenager, he passed away after I’d only known him for two and a half years. He changed my life by the way – introduced me to God, as an experience – and then he left. His work was done. But he wasn’t there, now what? Now I had to prove the principles for myself. And I can only say that… that was a blessing, that was a huge blessing, because you see, I didn’t have to rely on his consciousness. I could prove the principles and develop my own.
Alright, that’s what we’re talking about here: how do you develop your consciousness to the place where like Joel, you can smile and the problem disappears, or you can smile and the Presence is felt. I don’t care which side you’re talking about.
“After you have done some thinking about this, you finally come to the conclusion that you will have to prove it for yourself. Your problems are still with you, probably more than yesterday, but with each one, you bring to conscious remembrance this truth: “Thy grace is sufficient for me. I had better stop worrying and being anxious for a while. I will put off taking thought for today. Right now, I rest in the truth that God’s grace is sufficient for me.” So you relax, you rest, you feel at peace.” You see that? These things flow in a circle, don’t they? You find your peace, you rest in it, you feel the Presence, and you let It live your life. “But, that does not mean that tonight, tomorrow, or the day after, you are not going to have more problems. Then again, you remind yourself that God’s grace is sufficient, that you must rest in that Grace with no anxiety, fear, doubt or thought.”
You see that? You see the process? This is how we practice the principle of living by Grace. We’re not very good at it, at first. When I picked up the guitar for the first time, and I tried to strum it, and I tried to do some finger picking, it sounded really bad (laugh). Nobody wanted to be in the room! It twanged, because I didn’t press hard enough and I couldn’t press hard enough, ‘cause I didn’t have any calluses on my fingers yet. But I persisted, I persisted, because I love music. One day, I was finger picking a song, and my wife came into the room: “Hey, that’s pretty nice!” Yes, I had progressed. Don’t let anybody ever tell you this: that pain is the touchstone of growth, and you have to go through a painful experience, before you’re willing to grow. This is a lie! It’s a lie, I’m telling you, it’s a lie. It may be true in the beginning; as you go along, you discover something: you can grow just as much out of love as you can out of pain… and maybe more. My love of music made me persist, until I learned how to make a lovely tune. My love of God and the Presence made me persist, until I learned how to rest and feel that Presence. You see? In the beginning, I did it out of pain, because – as I told you last week – I had run out of money, I had run out of ideas and… I had nothing left, but to practice the principle. But as I went along and I saw how wonderful it worked, I fell in love with it! And I practiced it out of love.
Alright. So he says: “A few days, weeks, or months later, and lo and behold, you may begin to feel God’s grace coming into expression in your experience. You find good coming to you that you had not humanly planned for; you find harmony and health coming to you that at the moment you may not be able to explain; but with the passage of time, it dawns in your consciousness, “Why, it is true! God’s grace is sufficient for me.” By that time, you have come to a place where you rest more in that sense of peace and no longer need to use many statements of truth.”
Alright, so just by what he said right there, you can see: it may take months! You practice these principles, nothing happens! But you practice again and you practice again and you practice again, and then: it happens. You feel that peace, and you’re just resting, not thinking… and you feel something. Wait! Like Joel said: Was that it? It may have happened only for a nano-second. Was that it? Was that the Presence? What was that? And you find, something, some form of harmony appears in your experience. And like it says here: “Why it is true!” You come to see, “God’s grace is sufficient for me.” And now you learn, you are learning to rest more in the peace instead of repeating statements of truth. The statements of truth were only to get you to that state of peace, in which you could receive the Spirit of God, or the descent of Grace. The words don’t matter! In different ages there were different words. Who cares? It’s not the words, it’s the experience. You may have no other word, but ‘It.’ You found your peace and It was upon you. I don’t care. Use It! But practice the principles.
So he says, at another time something comes to you that you have to do, and you don’t feel that you can perform it, and then you remember: Ah, “He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.” That startles you … “What? What? He performeth?” You think you have been given this job.” See, there’s a personal sense there, still. Isn’t there? That personal sense needs to step aside, come to the place where it can say: “I live; but not I, Christ liveth my life.” This is part of the principle that gets you there. He performeth. “Very well, I can do it because actually he is performing it through me.” And “the responsibility drops away, the rest comes,” the peace comes. And “you find it’s true: there is a “He” at the center of your being.”
“So…at first you may have been diligent in the use of statements of truth and may have brought them to your awareness over and over and over again, now you find only occasionally do you have to remind yourself of them because now the words have given way to the actual awareness itself.” Now, underline this next part: “When you have the awareness, you do not need the words.” I found, as I walked this path, and exactly the way he just described it: a problem would be presented, and I’d practice this contemplation until I’ve found my peace; I’d feel the descent of the Holy Ghost and I’d let it go, I’d feel that release. See? You must feel that release. And then I would see harmony appear. And then as I went along, I got to the place, sometimes, where I could close my eyes and immediately I’d feel that Presence. And yet, because I was so use to contemplation, I would, I would try to say the words really fast… (laugh) before I rested back in that Presence – You see? It’s a transition. We evolve. And I learned: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! When you have the awareness, you do not need the words! And so, although I may have closed my eyes and thought that I was going to start by remembering a scripture, and before the thought could start, the Presence was upon me. And so, then I just rest. When you have the awareness, you don’t need the words or the thoughts. It’s a wonderful thing, because then you can have a meditation with eyes open.
Alright. He’s gonna repeat himself here, so let’s skip that. “You do not discard; you just evolve. You grow gradually from one form of meditation to another, and from one state of consciousness to another, and in time, you come to the place where it is only occasionally that it seems necessary consciously to remember some truth. For the most part, truth is imparting itself to you from the infinity of your being, sometimes in the form of quotations that you already know, and very often in a form that you never heard of before.” Such as: “First find your peace, and than receive Him” or “Stop!” or “You don’t have to work that hard… I, am here.” See, those are ones that I never heard before until I heard them within.
Now. Joel said elsewhere that, for the most part, all he had to do was close his eyes, or blink, or smile, and he would feel that Presence. He had done it so often, that it only took… a smile. He could be swimming and It would be upon him. He could be eating, eating dinner, and It would be upon him. Someone wrote to him with a problem, and he had a meditation, but he didn’t feel something right then. So he went to dinner and as he was eating, the Presence was upon him. So, he learned: when he had the awareness, he didn’t need the words. But he said, still once in a while, something wouldn’t… he would meet something that he couldn’t quite… eh… get that feeling of the Presence. And no reason why. It could have been anything. It could have been that the person he is praying for wasn’t receptive. It could be that he had a lot of things on his mind already. It could be, he was just too tired. It doesn’t matter. The point is that, he still found once in a while he had to contemplate.
And in some of his talks, Herb makes it very plain: he still practiced contemplation… at times. And, at times, he could just… in a nano-second, that Presence was upon him, ‘cause he could just not take thought. He didn’t need the process that got him to the peace, he just turned to the peace and there it was.
And, in my case, it’s exactly the same. More and more, I find that I can just pause, and before I can even get to my meditation chair, that Presence is upon me. And I know, whatever it is, it’s been met. But other times, like times when I’ve been… Oh, like when I’m handling problems here around the house, or financial problems, or… eh… you know, figuring out my taxes, like I’m going to be doing next month… um… my mind is not on this stuff, it’s on the world! So then yes, it takes a little while, I have to go sit down, begin with contemplation, to find my peace, and then rest back and feel the Presence. You see?
“Eventually you learn what it means to pray without ceasing. When that time comes, whenever you hear a news broadcast, see a headline, or somebody brings you bad news, automatically you just turn it off with the reminder that in God’s kingdom harmony alone reigns. Wherever you may be-on the street, in a bus, in your office, or in your home-when you witness sin, disease, lack, limitation, or death, you automatically realize, “No, that can exist only as a picture [a mental image] in the human mind, not as any part of God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom could never hold any such pictures [or images] as that.” And so you are praying without ceasing, and yet you are doing it without consciously going around declaring truth, except as the pictures of sense touch you, and you automatically learn to re-interpret them into their spiritual values.”
You see how this is a practice. I have people that come to me that say: “I have been in the Infinite Way for five years, I’ve been meditating, I’ve been reading these books and nothing is any better.” So, I ask them, I say: “Well, did you follow the path as it’s laid out? You know, you have to first, maybe get that book “Living The Infinite Way,” and begin practicing some of those principles. And then, the other book “Practicing the Presence,” and put those principles to work. And then, “The Art of Meditation,” and begin meditation as it is described in that book, first with contemplation. Have you done all that?” “Well, no, but I’ve read a lot of books!” (laugh) “Yeah! Well, um… there’s a path here, and if you follow the path, as Joel said, if you’re practicing the Presence and you add to it the meditation, you will have the experience! But you have to follow the path as it’s been laid out.”
“Jesus was living in such a high state of spiritual consciousness that he was not even aware of a sick woman near him.” Yes, and “she pressed through the throng and touched the hem of his robe,” which means the edge of his consciousness, and was healed. “Because of his years of training, he was able to lift himself into that exalted state so that without any conscious thought, he did not see any error to deny.” And if you stay on this path, you too will get there. “When you arrive at the state of consciousness where you never see, hear, taste, touch, or smell any form of error, you are then in a state of consciousness where your meditations and your prayers are wordless, but you can be assured that then you will be meditating and praying all the time.”
Now, we are not going to get there the day after tomorrow. Of course, maybe some of you are, maybe you’ve been on this path quite a long time. But, most of us, we still see error, or hear it. And we are not walking around in a constant state of prayer without words or thoughts. But that does not mean we can’t attain that state, in moments, or for moments, at different times. I have touched that state thousands of times, but I do not remain in it. One day, I will remain in it, and the Christ within will be the Christ without. Only then, I feel I will walk right out of this experience. Alright.
Alright, so he talks about… most of us feel that we, as a person and as a personal sense of self, we feel that we had a certain environment, a certain education, a certain upbringing, certain beliefs and we “move within the groove of that consciousness. That is the way of the human world.” And, when “spiritual wisdom is brought to them in some fashion, and the revelation given that that is all foolishness,” then you’re able to break out of that personal sense of self. “The truth is that God is the measure of your consciousness. God is the circle and the circumference of your consciousness, and nothing less than the allness of God belongs to you. [And] With that point of view, your life begins to change.”
See? You say to yourself: “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I am the offspring of God, and God is my parent, God is my inheritance, God is my environment. I am not limited to the personal sense of consciousness, or subconsciousness. I am limited only to whatever limitations there are upon God, and since God is infinite there are none.” See again, this is contemplation and you may do it while walking around, or driving. You may have these conversations with yourself. I have had many.
He says if you do that, you recognize that since God is infinite, you have no limitations. “What becomes of the inhibitions you believed arose out of your childhood, or your [lack of] education… or your [lack of] wealth …? All that would be broken down instantly, and your prayer becomes, “Flow, God; flow! Flow into me and through me, and out into this vast world.” And that’s what we meditate on, on Sunday mornings, at eleven.
Okay, so, this is a good one over here, and I had this experience too. “How can you be loving? You cannot: only God is love. But the measure of your love is the measure of God since God is love. To think that you have it in your power to be loving, in and of yourself, or that you have it within your power to be generous, or kind, or just would be to believe that you had gone beyond the demonstration of Jesus Christ. It may happen some day, but it has not happened yet. Remember, Jesus himself said, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” [And] “So with us. When you learn that love is not personal…, you are able not only to love infinitely but to be loved infinitely.”
Now, when you recognize that love is not what this personal sense of love is, but love is of God and God is love; then you open your consciousness to receive Him. You find your peace: “Oh yes, that’s right! Ahhh… (sigh of relief) God is love. So, let thy love flow through me.” And it does, it does! You find yourself doing something that you hadn’t planned on doing: maybe you see an elderly person and you helped them with their groceries, or maybe you see somebody else, a child, struggling with mathematics, and you teach him a couple of secrets. But you pour out love, and you recognize: “Wow! This is God’s love!” And then you get emails, and letters, and love offerings coming just out of the universe from places you never even heard of. That’s God’s love coming back to you. It flows out, it comes back, and before you know it, you are on a sea of love. It’s wonderful! Yes, absolutely wonderful.
Now, “You cannot be loving, neither can you withhold love because God is love, and God is forever expressing itself as love to every open avenue. And that you are. That is where the practice must come. “My grace is sufficient for thee,” but it will not come into active expression until that statement of truth passes from being a statement to being an inner conviction.”
Okay? Now, that’s pretty important. You might want to circle that paragraph, because, – or you can use your highlight, or just a little star or something – because he is saying there: “Yes! God’s grace, God’s presence – remember, God’s grace is not an apple, it’s not an automobile, it’s not a car, it’s not a person, it’s not money – God’s grace is that movement within, that Presence. You find your peace, you receive God’s grace and you feel the Presence: that’s the Grace that’s sufficient for thee. But it won’t express, it won’t take form, until that statement changes from just being a statement, to being a conviction, to being something you feel: “Ahhh… (sigh of relief) Yes! I feel that Grace.” You see? Then it will be in active expression.
“Thy grace is sufficient for me. Thy law is sufficient for me, and I will have no dealings with any other sense of law-only the spiritual. Thy strength is sufficient for me. It is not a question of the strength of my muscles; it is not a question of my strength: Thy strength is sufficient for me. Thy love is sufficient for me.”
Now, you see where you’re laying down your life? “He who finds his live will lose it: He who loses his life will find it.” Lay down your life, “pick up your cross and follow me.” You’re laying down a personal sense of self through all these principles. Oh, you think you’re trying to practice the principle of Grace, so that this problem, and that personal problem, and this personal problem can be healed, so harmony can appear. But what you’re really doing is you’re laying down your personal thoughts, your personal worry, your personal self, your personal outline, your personal mold and standing stalk still! You are creating a vacuum. You are creating an emptiness of self. You are creating a consciousness of peace, where self is not functioning. If only for a moment, into that peace, you receive “My Presence”… Ahhh! Grace (sign of relief) And there is nothing more to do. Just sit and rest, and bask in It. Sometimes It stays for you, with you, for quite a long time. Then, you get up and you watch. You see, you’re surrendering my thoughts, my worry. You’re surrendering my love, a personal sense of love.
All of this, this entire book is really a… a path that you can follow and walk right out of yourself… and into the arms of your Self. “As you come into the awareness that God’s love is sufficient for you, God’s love is made evident to you through men and women.” Yes, it manifests out here. “God’s wisdom, too, is sufficient for you. Is there any need, then, for being concerned about your wisdom?” You see, now here we’re laying down a personal sense of wisdom. “You are opening yourself now to God’s wisdom that is sufficient for you. And God’s wisdom fills you. God’s love fills you. God’s presence is sufficient for you. God’s presence! And you may have been thinking in terms of husband, wife, sister, brother, friend or relatives.” And, in my case, I was thinking of my first spiritual teacher. I didn’t have him. Ho, my goodness! And now, what was I gonna do? God’s presence was what I was gonna do! (laugh) And I did. Yes, first I went to some classes with Herb. But, by then I had already learned how to contact that Presence within.
“Most persons do not believe that. As a rule, they do not accept it. They talk in terms of God’s presence, and then turn around and cry their hearts out for some other presence – or sometimes, for the absence of some other presence. But the real truth is that God’s presence is sufficient for them, and as they rest back in that conviction, [they rest back in that peace] God’s presence appears to them, [or they receive God’s presence, and it appears] as the presence of friends, relatives, husband, wife, child, whoever it may be.”
So, finally he tells this person he’s writing a letter to, Joel does, he says: “Carry this with you; practice it today, and practice it tonight; practice it tomorrow morning, so that you will be able to have the experience of God’s grace unfolding, unfolding, and unfolding.”
That’s a wonderful chapter! You pick it up, you think that you’re going to discover how you live the principle “thy Grace is my sufficiency,” so that your income can be doubled (laugh). And we do! We do that. Or, your illness can be healed, or your relationship can be repaired. And you enter into the consciousness of it, and you begin to put it into practice, and some of these things do happen, some of these added things come. But through the process, if you’re sincere and you follow it, “follow Me,” you come to find your inner peace. You’re surrendering layers of personal sense and you never knew it! You are receiving a white stone with a new name, and that name is Christ. You’re receiving a new Self. Isn’t that wonderful?
And we walk this way, and what a joy it is when we finally discover: “Wow!”… you know I was… Well, like the first time that it ever happened to me, I can tell you about it now. I was watching the movie “Star Wars” – the original “Star Wars” – with my son, he was about eight, and I was enjoying the movie with R2D2, and C-3PO, and Chewbacca, and Han Solo, and the Princess, and Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader, and the Empire and all that. And, in the middle of the movie, I suddenly felt the Presence and I pulled within myself: “What was I just doing?” And I saw…Wow, I was watching the movie out here – enjoying myself, enjoying the movie, enjoying my son’s reactions – and I was in here within, praying. I had opened my consciousness, I was resting in the silence, and I felt the Presence. I was doing both things at the same time! Yes, you learn to walk in two worlds… or ‘between two worlds’… which is also a wonderful book, perhaps we should review after this one.
Now… Thank you so much for allowing me into your consciousness. If you practiced that prayer this morning, thank you so much! Where two or more are gathered, there am I, the Presence in their midst.
Be still and know, I within you, am God. But I’m not a term, nor am I a word, I am not a thought, I am nothing you can describe. And, yet, in this moment of peace, in this stillness, I… am you.