The Uncomfortable Talks by Bill Skiles Talk Number 25 From Law to Grace
This is Sunday August 25th of 2013, about eleven o’clock, and I have here in my hands Joel’s book The Thunder of Silence. In the beginning of this book he states clearly that – I think it’s in the Introduction – that he doesn’t expect anyone to understand this book for years to come, and I suspect he was right yet once again. This book deals specifically with making the transition from one who is under the law, under the tyrannical dictatorship of the law, to that place where you’re at peace and you’re under the grace of God. So in short, he tells us how to come out from under the letter into the Spirit, and that’s the whole intent and purpose of this book. To ascend up over the mind, and you can hear it. You can hear it in such phrases as this in the chapter Henceforth Know We No Man After the Flesh:
To heal, it is necessary to transcend thought. Even though a meditation begins as a contemplation …, it must, before the healing is accomplished, rise into the higher realm of silent awareness.
And we can see that he’s trying to lead us students from the mind which knows truth to a state of silent awareness in which we bear witness that I am the truth. And I feel it’s necessary to review this other part too. Let me find it and I’ll be right back. This is from Galatians, and it says:
“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from … mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. …
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Can you not see in this clear statement that these things are an allegory, the two covenants? One from mount Sinai, which is the law, and one which is Jerusalem, which is above and is by promise.
“And I John saw … [a] new Jerusalem, coming down … out of heaven, …”
Well now, that’s a promise, and that new Jerusalem is this new state of consciousness. If you’ve been following along and listening to the Herb Fitch talks on the Catalina Island series, then you know he’s been speaking to us of Noah and the Ark being this new state of consciousness, which of course rides upon the sea. It’s safe, whereas material law and everything that is material is covered by the sea. Always and always and always the path as Christ Jesus set it forth for us is this very same path that he took, that being crucifying of material sense, rising above mortal mind and resting in a state of “It is finished,” a silent awareness.
So now today we are looking at the chapter, chapter IX, This is a Spiritual Universe, because last week we said we might look at it this week. And if you don’t have the book, The Thunder of Silence, I will read you a little bit about the story here so that you can follow along when we talk of the principles later on. Joel says:
Several years ago when I was on my way to South Africa, I stopped off for a day in the Belgian Congo, and after the man in charge of the bookings and his assistant had taken care of … my tickets, made whatever examinations were necessary, and weighed my luggage, I called a little native boy to carry my three bags out to the plane which I was boarding for Johannesburg. This was such a small air station that I could see the boy as he walked out of the gate onto the field with one large piece of baggage in each hand and a small piece under his arm. A few minutes later he returned without any baggage and I said to him questioningly, “O.K.?” to which he replied, “O.K.”
When I arrived in Johannesburg the next morning, there was only the one tiny little piece of baggage waiting for me, and the other two large pieces were missing. Immediately, the personnel of this tremendously big and active airport at Johannesburg began searching for my baggage, but they did not find it in the enclosure nor was it with the crew’s baggage; and furthermore when they sent someone to search the plane, there was no baggage there, either. The person in charge of the airline said that he would immediately contact the station in the Belgian Congo and would soon have an answer for me, so there was nothing for me to do but go to my hotel.
The Infinite Way students in Johannesburg had arranged for me to visit Krueger National Park, so after buying some necessary clothing, we started out on a three-day trek through this fabulous wild-animal preserve with the full expectation of picking up my baggage when we returned. But upon our return no baggage had … yet been found. The only explanation the airline had to offer was that somebody must have stolen it, and that that somebody must have been the little native boy and a confederate because the last time the bags were seen was when he had picked them up and carried them out onto the field. [Well] The absurdity of such an assumption should have been apparent at once because certainly nobody could have taken those two heavy pieces of luggage away from the airfield without being noticed. Nevertheless, all the native quarters in the town were searched, and the place turned upside down because the authorities were convinced that a theft had occurred. Despite all this hullabaloo, however, no baggage was found.
For three weeks, I was in South Africa without baggage and without money – without purse and without scrip – but this was no great hardship because I ate regularly, my hotel bills were paid, and clothing was purchased, although only the absolute necessities, because I was convinced that my bags would show up, which was a very wrong conviction.
Two nights before I was to leave for India, I sat down to give this whole incident some serious consideration. “This represents a failure on my part. What is that failure? What has gone wrong here?”
He’s gonna leave in two days. He has no baggage. He has no – all his personal belongings, probably his books with things that he uses to teach from, probably his underwear, his toiletries – all of that is missing, and he’s purchased the bare minimum of replacements because he’s sure the baggage is gonna show up. Now he leaves in 48 hours to go to a different country and he’s sitting down as you or I would and thinking what’s the principle here? What have I missed? So he gets quiet.
I sat in my room, pondering and meditating, finally the answer came:
You notice he didn’t say, “I thought it through and figured it out.” No, he sat still and he contemplated until that silence came and then into that silent awareness flowed something which he’s going to tell us.
… finally the answer came: “This is a spiritual universe,…”
Ahh! In other words, this is Spirit! What are you looking for?
[Yes] “This is a spiritual universe, and yet here I am waiting for baggage, when the truth of the matter is there isn’t any baggage. All that baggage is, is [a] part of the belief of time and space – space that is occupied by baggage, [and] time in which it could be lost, and space in which it could be lost. [And] Here [I am] … trying to find baggage, [when] … if it were found would only be an evidence that the human scene had been manipulated.”
How often does he tell us we’re not here to bring about a – to change this bad picture into a good one because that would just be evidence that we manipulated the human scene. That wouldn’t be an evidence of God’s Spirit. So he says:
“There is no truth to this whole picture because we are living in a spiritual universe where nobody has any need of baggage.”
Think about that. Could you sit down 48 hours before your rent is due with no money at all, no purse and no scrip, get silent enough to hear “This is a spiritual universe” and have that inner realization that there’s no need for money. Well, that’s what he’s telling you is required if you’re going to live by Spirit, if you’re going to transcend these human thoughts.
[No] “There’s no truth to this whole picture because we are living in a spiritual universe … . Whatever there is of reality is incorporeal, spiritual, and omnipresent; and whatever appears as finite baggage in time and space must be an image in thought, and it can have no reality to it; so I have been fooled into hoping and waiting for material baggage to turn up in a spiritual universe where every idea is [already] omnipresent.”
[And] With that I retired.
So he had the inner realization that God already is – harmony, perfection, God’s being, Spirit Is omnipresent, and there’s no need for anything else. Then he released it, and I’m sure he stood still there until there was a feeling of the presence or whatever came to him that let him know that God was on the field, as he puts it, which is another way of saying that Spirit is omnipresent, and then he went to bed.
[And] The story came to a quick conclusion after that realization. [Because the next morning] The assistant manager of the airline at the station in Johannesburg was seated at his desk at eight o’clock … apparently out of nothing, the thought came to him, “Baggage can’t dissolve into thin air. It … couldn’t disappear between here and there – it has to be somewhere. [So] … where is it?” [And] Suddenly another idea struck him, and he went to the hotel where the crew was lodged on overnight stops, and there were the two pieces of baggage on the floor where they had been waiting for three weeks. Nobody had thought of that possibility; in fact, nobody thought of any kind of a practical solution until I stopped thinking about baggage.
All right, again, that whole story right there proves this principle in the chapter before:
To heal, it is necessary to transcend thought. Even though a meditation begins as a contemplation of truth, it must, before the healing is accomplished, rise into the higher realm of silent awareness.
Now is that not what he did? He started as a contemplation: This is a spiritual universe and here I am waiting for baggage. Baggage is a part of time and space, time and space in which it could be lost, but this is a spiritual universe, so there’s no truth to that picture! Whatever there is of reality is incorporeal and spiritual and omnipresent, so I’ve been fooled into hoping and waiting for – what did he call it here? – an image in thought to appear, when in fact it’s a spiritual universe and every idea is omnipresent, and with that he sat in the silent awareness until he felt that inner movement and then he retired.
Now, the reason why we brought up the two covenants is because one is under the law, the bondwoman. Thought, images in thought come under the law. But the other is under grace. It’s a new consciousness, and that comes in silent awareness, and so our movement is all taking place within. There’s nothing to do out here. This is an inner movement, a shift, a transformation, a transition in consciousness from thinking thoughts, having images in thought, manipulating images in thought – trying to make this evil image into a good one and seeing this good image turn into an evil one. It’s coming out of images, seeing the spiritual universe, standing still in silent awareness beholding that spiritual universe here, now. Not sometime in the future, right here, right now. God Is. And seeing it, not thinking it, because if you’re thinking it it’s still image in thought. You’re still under the law. If you’re thinking – well, how does Joel say it? We should not say that; we should let God say it to us. See, there’s a difference. One is you’re still in the second chapter of Genesis.
Images in thought are in the second chapter of Genesis. They come under the law, but silent awareness is in the first chapter of Genesis and it beholds the I that makes all things new. This is the transformation we’re making within. And it must be practiced and must be practiced several times, and every time we fall down and stumble and get caught up in the mental images, we must dust ourselves off, pick ourselves up and practice again because it’s staying in the silent awareness which is going to reveal to us our Christ identity. Because Christ identity is God, the Word made flesh, and the Word made flesh is not something that happened 2000 years ago. The Word made flesh is something that happens and is happening now, but it requires your awareness of it for you to experience it, and so that silent awareness is where you behold the Word made flesh or your Christ identity. And he continues to say:
… in metaphysics we would think, “Oh, well, [the baggage] … has to turn up” or “It can’t be lost.” In other words, we would be dealing with an it – an it called baggage. The fallacy of this method of meeting a problem is immediately apparent because in the case of illness, in order to be consistent, we would have to give a treatment that dealt specifically with [your] heart, liver, lungs, stomach, digestion, elimination, head, or foot, [but then] … we would be completely outside the realm of spiritual being.
We become very sure of ourselves and believe that we are going along in the right direction, and then all of a sudden the hypnotism of human sense can make us think about baggage or the lack of it. Now please understand … I was not concerned about the loss of the baggage: My mistake was that I was sure it would turn up, which is exactly like being sure a person’s heart is going to get [better] …, or … his sick foot is going to [get well] …; [but] … the principle upon which all our work is based is that of the real creation [ah-ha!] … the first chapter of Genesis in which God made all that was made, and all that He made is good.
You see it’s not enough to repeat that statement, that scripture, is it? You can repeat that scripture over and over and still be living in the second chapter of Genesis under the law, under the Lord God. So when he says the principle upon which all our work is based is that of the real creation or living under grace, that’s exactly what he means. We need to come out from under that horrible taskmaster called the law, the Lord God. But do you see now that the Lord God is the world mind, and the world mind is the human mind when it’s not – well, when it’s entertaining images in thought? Your human mind is the Lord God when that mind is entertaining images in thought, and since the human scene has no contact with God – God is not in the human scene was where his spiritual journey started – these images in thought have no contact with God. So if you’re standing in those images in thought and you’re praying that God change them, “Please God, please send me the rent by Thursday.” “Please help my nephew. He’s done nothing wrong. He doesn’t deserve this.” “Please, please if you’ll just heal my leg, I’ll do this and that for you.”
Can we not see how ridiculous that is? Images in thought. We’re standing there just as insane really as the person that thinks they’re Napoleon entertaining images in thought. And we’re praying to some God somewhere that God will fix those images in thought, which if they were fixed, now we would have good images in thought instead of bad images in thought. Both of the pairs of opposites exist in the images in thought. That’s where you get the law, karma. Ah, but come out from under those images in thought. Transcend, ascend. Use whatever words you want. The experience means come out from under that. Come up over that. Rest in silent awareness. Now where are you? Now you’re in the promise, the new Jerusalem. And here in the new Jerusalem you live by grace. You don’t live at all; grace lives you.
Think of that. Grace lives you, and this is Christ identity. Now this Christ identity is your identity, has always been your identity and always will be your identity. So why are we bothering with this practicing the principles if this is the absolute truth? Well, it’s like my friend from India which I love dearly. He feels that in the absolute we’re all God, so why bother, and he goes down the road and he drinks a little too much sometimes and the wife’s upset and he chuckles, “It’s all illusion.” Maybe he’s right. I don’t particularly want that kind of life, so if I’m consciously aware of my Christ identity, if it becomes an experience, then I live by grace and I don’t have that kind of life. I have a life of peace, a life of purpose, a life of fulfillment and harmony.
So I don’t care what anybody else’s beliefs are in the universe. I know that I have to have the conscious awareness of this in order to experience it. It may be true in the absolute, but it does me no good until I have the conscious awareness of it, and that’s why I practice principles. And so getting back to his suggestion here:
… the principle upon which all our work is based is that of the real creation as recounted in the first chapter of Genesis in which God made all that was made, and all that He made is good.
Now listen to this line:
The spiritual creation is an incorporeal creation, and the proof of that is that there was light before there was a sun in the sky. If we live and move and have our being [or have our conscious awareness] in the spiritual creation as set forth in the first chapter of Genesis, we can have everything we need without having baggage.
However, now we’re gonna talk about images in thought.
The sense-world, that which we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, is the unreal creation described in the second chapter of Genesis – [it’s] a mental image in [the] mind. If we remember that, [we shall not try to manipulate it] we shall not try to manipulate the human scene or handle the mental image which exists only as a shadow within … thought, and then [then when we stand still in that silent awareness, he says] we shall be witness … to the quick dissolution of these mental images.
Yes, because the awareness – we said that last week or the week before – awareness melts images. Awareness of God, when you have the awareness of the Isness of God right here, right now, images drop away. And as we said before, it’s like turning on a light in the middle of the night. You don’t know where the darkness goes; you just know it disappears. It’s the same here. But he says:
Do not … misunderstand what I am saying: I know … when we are traveling baggage seems real and necessary. I … know [also] that most of the time our concept of body seems real because one thing or another brings it into our awareness, and because of that, there is the temptation to think of it as real.
He’s talking about thinking of your mental image of body as real. But then he says:
We do not deny … body. It is real, …
Yes, but what body is he referring to? Well, he tells you:
… what we see as body is not body: It is a mental image within our … thought – a universal mental concept, individualized within us.
There is no such thing as a material body: …
Now you might want to underline that, put quotes around it or brackets or something or highlight it. He’s going to say – he says something else. In the next two pages he’ll say something quite like it.
There is no such thing as a material body: …
What is this? I’m looking right at it! I’m sitting in it!
[Ah] There is only a material concept of body. There is no such thing as a material universe: There are only material concepts of the one spiritual universe.
Well, now there you go. What if you stepped out of the concept of a material body and had the silent awareness of your incorporeal body? Could you not standing in that silent awareness if the Voice said walk, could you not walk on the water? Could you not walk off that cliff and step in thin air? Could you not walk through a wall before the mob closed in on you the way Jesus Christ did? And what if you knew that there was no – if you had no material concept of the one spiritual universe, but you stood in silent awareness beholding the spiritual universe living you? What if you knew that? Could you not do like it says in Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East and transport yourself from here to Tibet? Is that not the body that Jesus Christ stood in when the five hundred saw him, but the rest of mankind did not? And the five hundred that saw him, were they not seeing him with that eye that sees and as it stands in silent awareness? I guarantee you, they could not see him if they were in images in thought. Why? The human scene has no contact with God. Says Joel:
I have told you the real secret of life: God is not with mortals. Take it from there.
As long as we accept a material concept of universe, we are under the laws of matter, …
Do you not see that standing in the mind and its images and thinking, contemplating, and entertaining those images – you’re under the law? Really it’s the law of the mind, isn’t it? That’s Lord God, and you’re under the law of the mind. But if you will, if you will come up higher, if you will rest back deeper, if you will ascend or transcend or make the transition out of that mind into silent awareness, which is the whole purpose of The Thunder of Silence, then you shall see. Your eyes shall be opened and you shall be satisfied that Christ is your identity, that the Word is made you.
… we are free as soon as we begin to understand … we live and move and have our being in the first chapter of Genesis where man is made in the image and likeness of God, or Spirit, …
And so you in your true identity, you are made in the image and likeness of Spirit. Now draw me a picture of that! You are made in the image and likeness of Spirit. You can’t – you can’t draw a picture of that. How can you have a concept of that? You’re made in the image and likeness of infinite Spirit. You’re made in the image and likeness of infinite, invisible Spirit. You are made in the image and likeness of eternal, infinite, invisible Spirit. You are made in the image and likeness of omnipresence. Draw me a picture of that! You can’t. You can’t have a concept of that. You might have a picture in the mind of it, but throw it out. That’s not it. You must have the experience of it. I AM the Life. I, infinite, omnipresent, eternal Spirit. Be still and know I am Spirit. Be still and know I am you. Be still and experience. Be still and behold. Be still and see. I am come. And so he says:
“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” – not the body as [you see it] … in the mirror, but as it actually is.
And there he’s telling you there’s another body, an incorporeal, invisible body of Spirit, and that is what it actually is. But you can’t see it while you’re standing in mental images praying to an image God to fix an image. No, then you’re under the law which has no contact with God. Yes, “You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, … .” That’s right. Who are you asking? An image in thought to fix an image in thought while you live an image in thought and you die an image in thought, and the whole parenthesis in eternity is a series of universal mental images in thought.
Now again, as he says, he understands it’s necessary to have baggage when you travel. I understand that it’s necessary to use the intellect and the mind when you’re programming a computer, when you’re balancing your checkbook, when you’re filing your taxes, when you’re making your budget. I understand that it’s necessary to use the intellect and the mind when you’re driving your car and taking your driver’s examination to get your license. I understand these things. Yes, I understand. But I also understand that mind is the natural mind, the natural man, and it does not receive the things of God.
And so when you’re not focused in those areas, you must be focused in your meditation on transcending that mind, or dropping that mind might be a better way of saying it, because you’re not really going up or down or sideways. Dropping that mind, being silent and standing in silent awareness, and then Spirit reveals Itself. But that Spirit revealing Itself is you. It’s you. It’s the I. The I of you, your true identity, is revealing itself to your outer awareness. And eventually, I can tell you, it happens more and more frequently that even while you’re taking your driving exam you have the conscious awareness of Spirit. Even while you’re planning your budget you have the feeling of the Presence. Even while you’re discussing with a roomful of your business associates the plan for the next year for expansion, you’re having inner moments of silent awareness.
Rumi says the two worlds have become one. He has learned how to do this.
“And I saw … a new Jerusalem, …”
“A new heaven and a new earth.” The two have become one. John has learned to do this.
“I have overcome the world.” Jesus Christ has learned to do this.
And we must, and we will.
Just as my realization that we were not dealing with material baggage, but with Omnipresence, immediately awakened the one man necessary to the demonstration – … to understand what [real] body is and what [the] … [real] universe is, is to arrive at a realization that [brings] … the solution:
I live and move and have my being in God; I am in my Father, and my Father is in me. How can I be finite or limited if an infinite Father is within me? How can a finite, limited being have an infinite God within Him? Therefore, I must be as spiritual as the Father that created me.
All being must be spiritual, and into this spiritual creation, nothing finite can enter to limit or create any sense of separation.
The suffering of this world is due to our looking around for a piece of material baggage – even expecting it to be in its [rightful] … place. That is the error. There is no place for you or me or … “he,” [or] “she,” or “it,” except in the only place where it is to be found and that is … Omnipresence, where even that which to human sense seems absent is present.
Again, go back and look at this page:
There is no such thing as a material body: There is only a material concept of body. There is no such thing as a material universe: There are only material concepts of the one spiritual universe.
Says Joel in the book we read last week – I think it was last week – Consciousness Transformed:
It is not easy to stop [seeing] … human beings. … But I finally made it!
Yes, the two became one. He stopped seeing a material universe. He stopped seeing human beings. He saw the real spiritual, incorporeal body, the real spiritual universe. He says:
On a cloudy day, the sun seems to be absent when it is merely hidden … . Just so, the clouds of human belief [and mental images] and the density of human thought may temporarily hide from us that which is [really] omnipresent, that which is present where I am. And what is it that is present where I am? All that the Father has …
Just think of that. All that the Father has is here flowing and flowing to as the Word made you, but you cannot see it, and you live in these images in thought, and that’s no different than the person that is living with the images that they’re really Adolph Hitler and thinking that they’re supposed to go out and conquer the world and thinking that they’re members of the master race, but really they’re locked up inside of an institution because they’re not safe. They will be a detriment to themselves or other people if let loose on society and so they lock these people up. They have mental delusions.
That’s the same thing that we do in the second chapter of Genesis, only we have the illusion I’m Bill and I’m such and so years old and here’s my education and I’m limited and I’m lacking because I never had this experience and my environment was this way as a youth and because of that environment now I react this way and it’s not my fault. Or my name is Susan and I’m limited because I’m only this age and I’m lacking because I have this physical problem and I can’t seem to get my relationships right because of this, that, and the other. Or my name is Mary and I’m just too old to get this thing. I should have done this when I was in my twenties and thirties and now I’m sixty or seventy and I can’t possibly make this transition now. It’s too hard and I don’t want to give up my grandchildren and all these ideas.
Well, these are people that are standing in the images in thought and life is tough because they’re coming under the law and there’s no contact with God. All the time Omnipresence, all that the Father has is the Word made flesh, but without the silent awareness of it, to all intents and purposes, standing under the law there is no grace. Yet grace is omnipresent, as free as air. It’s very strange, isn’t it? The second chapter of Genesis is a form of insanity.
“ … my thoughts are not your thoughts, … saith the Lord.”
Oh, that is for sure. But in the first chapter of Genesis everything is fine. Yes, and then we decided we wanted our own personal identities, but there was only one way to have a personal identity. No, we didn’t want to be one with the Father. No, I want my own, I want my own life! Okay, okay, but there’s really no such thing. You’re gonna have to imagine it. Okay, then that’s what I’ll do. I’ll imagine it! I’ll imagine it. I’ll live sort of insane, imagining I’m a human being. Well, okay, if that’s what you want to do. Here.
And then we find ourselves living with the pigs, living with the pigs, and even the servants are better off. I want to go home. I just want to go home. So we start the journey. We start taking the steps necessary. Oh, at first we are tricked. We think we’re practicing principles so we can double our income here in this imagined, imaginary human life. Or we want to have a better set of lungs or we want to have a better heart or we want to get over these panic attacks or we want to just have a little peace of mind or we want to have a better relationship. We want to find our perfect mate, our soul mate, and so we’re practicing principles.
That’s how it tricks us. Later in the work that no longer works. Or we can’t have the healing we seek, so we go deeper and deeper. What did I miss? What did I miss? Oh, and then it all unfolds before us. It never was about improving these mental images. It’s about dying out of these mental images. It’s about dying out of that identity. It’s about awakening to the Word made flesh. It’s about awakening to our Christhood. It’s about having the silent awareness of the spiritually real, the realm of Spirit in which Spirit is what I am. Now that’s a whole different thing. And here we are. Yes, and before we are halfway home we have this wonderful, beautiful inner experience of the presence of God enfolding us and we feel that kiss on the cheek and we know we’re on our way. And we know it won’t be long and we’ll be standing in silent awareness of Christ living us, as us.
People have sought for a way to transcend mind through a process which has been described as stilling the mind, and they have found that such attempts frequently result, not in achieving spiritual consciousness, but in quite the opposite effect, a dulling of consciousness. There is a way, however, in which we can rise above the mental level of life, although we may not be able to remain there permanently because to do that requires years and years of devotion to this and to nothing else; but we can rise above mind to such a degree that, at least when we are in the world, it will no longer disturb us to any great extent.
So he gives you a little technique here. He says:
A beginning can be made by not attempting to stop our thinking processes.
That’s why he’s never been keen on trying to just still your mind and stand there. No, he gives us right from Practicing the Presence and The Art of Meditation, he gives us this technique whereby we take a scripture and we contemplate it. Or we take, as he did – why am I failing with this baggage and he looked at it. Baggage, baggage, baggage – until he began to contemplate, but he didn’t contemplate the baggage. He contemplated omnipresence which revealed to him there is no baggage. Baggage is a concept of the spiritual universe. So he says here:
… [we] … sit and [we] watch as [the thoughts go by] … . No matter what thoughts come, they [cannot hurt us] … . They have no power, … . If we fear or hate them, we may try to stop them, [or hold onto them] … . So let us not hate or fear [them] … [or] love [them] … .
We let the thoughts come and go while we sit and watch as beholders.
You see? And then he says in his contemplation here:
There is neither good nor evil in what I am beholding: These things [or these thoughts] are merely pictures, without power. They cannot do anything; they cannot testify to anything; and even if they seem to be good, they are not good because they are only pictures [images in thought].
If we try this … experiment in our meditation …, we soon will see that we have suffered because these pictures and thoughts have … flooded us and we have become … frightened [and] … [we try] … to run away from them [and] … blot them out; and yet; when we are able to see them in [the] … correct perspective, they are … nothingness, just shadows.
So again, he takes us through the contemplation to that point of silent awareness. He says:
Let us stop being afraid of [these] names.
Or let’s go up here. He’s talking about the images and he says:
This one testifies to … false [appetite] … [and this] … next one is a prophecy of disaster, another one is a fear of lack …
Now these are all thoughts.
… but the truth is that these are only names – … terrible names certainly because of their tragic connotation, but nevertheless only names – names that Adam gave to something which he did not understand – only images in thought.
Now remember in your Bible it says that the Lord God came to Adam and said, “Well, what do you want to name these things?” And Adam gave everything a name. Since we know that the second chapter of Genesis is a dream, is a series of universal images, this is Moses’ way of pointing out, who gave us that story Noah and the Ark, in this story of Adam and his dream he’s showing us how Adam named everything. That mortal mind named everything. Called this one young, this one old, this one sick, this one well, this one lacking, this one abundant, this one male, this one female, this one alive, this one dead. But all of those names were given to images which God did not create.
Let us stop being afraid of [these] names. Even if it is a picture on an x-ray machine, why should we be afraid of it? It is … only a picture, a picture of mind’s image. When we no longer have it in mind, it is no longer possible to have a picture of it. We can only take in pictures of that which is being held in mind. If we can see it, hear it, taste it, touch it, or smell it, it is an activity of [that human] mind, a mental image, the “arm of flesh” – [or] nothingness. … a false creation which God never made.
So he says:
All the time … we are thinking this, we are still in the mental realm, the realm of knowing the truth; but as we continue [in] this exercise, looking … at the picture, we begin to realize … it is a picture without substance or cause. Regardless of how material the condition appears to be, it is not any more material than was my lost baggage, and that was not material: It was a mental image, the realization of [that] … [brought or] revealed Omnipresence.
Eventually [eventually through this contemplation] …
Now you must understand here he says: All the time … we are thinking this, we are still in the mental realm.
Now I hate to break the news to you, but contemplation of spiritual truth is still images in thought, only they help you calm down, which is why Joel says we must use thought to overcome thought. This contemplation, rather than just trying to force the mind to be still, this inner contemplation – just relaxing and contemplating – it brings us to a place where there is no thought, and then we have the silent awareness, and so he’s telling you although contemplation is beautiful, contemplating all these truths, you’re still standing in the mental images. Not until you go beyond contemplation and that stops and a silent awareness begins – ah, then is when you observe the Word made flesh.
[So] Eventually, we come to a place where there is nothing more to be said or thought, …
When we achieve complete quietness and peace, the mind is no longer functioning, and we have transcended mind and risen into the atmosphere of Spirit, in which we are receptive and responsive to whatever God imparts. As soon as we become unattached, that is, as soon as we are detached from thought – from hate, fear, or love of objects or people so that they can float in front of our eyes with the utmost indifference to us – [then] we are no longer in the realm of mind [or under the law]: We are then reaching, touching, or being touched by our own Soul, [by Spirit] which is God, and we are in an atmosphere where, when God speaks, we can hear Him. When God utters His voice, the earth melts, and all problems dissolve.
Now just so you know that it’s not any easier for Joel than it is for you, I couldn’t help but notice this part in the chapter before, which is Henceforth Know We No Man After the Flesh. Just so you know that it’s just as difficult for Joel to step out of that mind and to rest back in silent awareness, he tells you. He says:
Spiritual healing cannot take place on the human plane.
In other words, it can’t take place in images in thought.
It can take place only when you have stopped thinking (brief pause) [when you’ve stopped thinking] of the person and the disease and the condition and the belief and the claim and have returned to Eden [or silent awareness] where there is only God, [or] Spirit … .
Now he tells you just how hard it was for him too.
At one time I was sitting in a room with a person who was to all sense very near death, and I felt the same discomfort that anyone would feel in similar circumstances because I realized there was nothing I could do to prevent his passing. I had no miraculous gifts [or] … any miracle-working words that would prevent the apparently inevitable. Something had to come to me from the depths of … within, or there was going to be a funeral. [And] All I could do was to turn within to that still small Voice and wait and wait and wait, and sometimes beg and plead.
Now that sounds like it was sometimes rather difficult, but he knew, he knew he had to transcend the image in thought, and he wasn’t doing very good at it. And he waited and he waited and he contemplated. Sometimes he even begged and pleaded in that situation. And finally, finally, for only a moment he transcended that thought, that image in thought or those images in thought of a person dying, and he saw, he caught a glimpse – remember, he’s very big in The Infinite Way book in The New Horizon of talking about glimpsing, glimpsing the heaven of here and now. He caught a glimpse, because he says:
Finally it came, and [I heard] … “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” [Well] No one would have believed that if he had seen him! Here was disease in its final form; here was a person dying, and yet despite the appearance the Voice said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [And] After those words came, it was not long before they became an actual fact in demonstration; and health, harmony, and completeness were restored.
Or you might say were revealed. You see that?
[Now] On another occasion, [he says] I was called to my own father’s side [where] … he lay in an oxygen tent and, according to the physicians in attendance, [he] was on his deathbed. I stood there with no words of wisdom that could change this appearance into health; …
Now you see, Joel knows – he knows nothing from the mental realm, no mental thoughts about spiritual truth, no inner intellectual agreement with spiritual truth can reveal Reality. It must come from a deeper source. So he’s not going to do that.
I stood there with no words of wisdom that could change this appearance into health; I stood there just as anyone would stand in front of his own father in such a situation – but with this difference: I knew that if God uttered His voice, the earth would melt. Standing there, watching my father breathing [really his last breath] through that apparatus, [suddenly] the words came, “Man does not live by breath alone.” In less than five minutes, he signaled for the nurse to take the instrument away, and two days later he was out of the hospital.
Now that I bring up only not to show you how miraculous Joel is or anything like that or to show you how to practice principles to heal a human being. No, I bring that up just to show you that it was difficult for Joel too. There were situations in which he found it hard to step out of this very active mind, this Lord God showing these images in thought. Yet through his practice, his many really years of meditation and learning to meditate with eyes open, he was able to reach, even though it was a struggle, he was able to step out of that struggle, rest back in silent awareness until he heard the Voice say, “Man does not live by breath alone.” “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
Now for Joel it came often as words. For you it may not come as words. The words are not necessary. It’s the awareness. You see, when he heard that Word, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” everything about his being relaxed as that cube of ice in the water, and he rested on a sea of Spirit, and then became silently aware with no personal movement of the harmony of God is’ing and the person showed that harmony in front of him, in front of his eyes. But it wasn’t a healing of a person. He was becoming aware of the Isness of God. And standing in front of his own father – that’s really quite remarkable because so often we have personal attachments, all these memories, and Joel says:
It is not easy to stop [seeing] … human beings. … But I finally made it!
And it’s not easy for us to stop seeing a human being when it’s someone we’re emotionally attached to. Yet somehow he was emotionally attached to his father. He says I stood there the same as anyone would. Yet somehow through his practice he was able to detach momentarily and catch a glimpse of Is, which came to him first, “Man does not live by breath alone,” and he rested. He rested in that Word, in that inner – oh yes, okay, ah here’s God – and in resting he became silently aware of that Isness of God which appeared in front of his eyes as his father saying I don’t need this anymore. I’m breathing fine. You see? Do you see? He beheld Christ where the Father was appearing. He stepped out of for a moment the image in thought and caught a glimpse of the heaven of here and now, of identity, of Spirit, the Word made flesh.
And for me it doesn’t come like that, very seldom. Once in a while it comes as a voice, but for me it comes as a flooding of a presence; a spiritual, tingling, vibrant, alive, spiritual energy, but that word doesn’t do it justice. Being, but that word doesn’t do it justice. Is’ing. And when I feel that come upon me – ah, I relax and I rest and I, too, in silent awareness bear witness to God, to Spirit, to heaven here and now, and it appears as harmony before my eyes of harmony of condition, harmony of being, harmony of place. Just I bear witness to God’s harmony and it expresses as person, place, and thing harmoniously. But I know it’s really still that invisible, incorporeal spiritual Is’ing.
So you see, is that making sense? I see we’re out of time. We’re at an hour and five minutes. I think we covered the chapter fairly well, but the point was the principle of stepping out of the images in thought which are under the law, resting back until you feel that inner movement and then standing still in silent awareness as Grace reveals Its harmony, Its being, Its Word manifesting as flesh or appearing. And so we make the movement from law to grace, and in fact, that’s what I think the next – let me look.
I can’t remember; it’s been a while. Yep, part three. After that chapter, This is a Spiritual Universe, part three is called From Law to Grace. And so you see that really is what this principle of this book is about and hopefully this is the time which Joel referred to when he said this book probably won’t be understood for many years to come. Now it’s been – well, let’s see – this book was done in about 1963, this is 2013, so it makes fifty years. Half a century later are we now finally seeing what this book is really about? Well good! I’m glad!
Thank you for taking the time to listen today with me. Let us have a little silence now just for a minute before we finish.
Stand still and see the salvation of God. Stand still and behold the Isness of I. (Brief pause)
Be still and know. Be still and experience I, your own identity, Spirit appearing.
Godspeed. May you awaken suddenly, wonderfully, beautifully to the heaven of your own identity here and now.