16 Jul Joseph S. Benner: “Wealth” [Rare New Thought – Law of Attraction Book]
“For you who are truly seeking the Kingdom, the time has come to hear certain truths, to see if your Higher Self deems you ready to receive and accept these truths and to make them a part of your soul consciousness. If so they will bring to you an illumination of understanding that will quicken your soul, free your mind from what has been holding you back perhaps for many lifetimes, and will consequently now permit you speedily to proceed on your journey.” Joseph Benner
YOU, to whom I have given an abundance of that which the world calls Riches, hearken unto this My special Message to you.
Who are you, that you should be thus blessed above your brothers?
Who are you, that you should be given such a privilege, when millions of your fellows apparently have nothing?
Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you ever satisfactorily answered it?
Or perhaps you think YOU did it all; that you have no one to thank for these so-called blessings but yourself?
Think you this is so?
Let us see.
Did you ever wonder WHY you were born as you were, into the particular conditions that surrounded your entrance into this life?
Did you ever wonder why you had to contend with the particular conditions that surrounded and confronted you all along your journey up through life?
Did you ever wonder why YOU came equipped with the certain tendencies, qualities and powers of mind and soul you had while your brothers and sisters and even your parents were so entirely different or came much less fortunately equipped?
Have you arrived at any satisfactory conclusion?
I AM responsible for all this. I did it all. I chose those conditions for you to be born into. I created every condition you met in life, and forced you through them, and through every experience of whatsoever nature. It was I who brought you to where you are today.
You, of yourself, did nothing. That personality you call yourself is merely an automation which I move to suit My purpose.
– I –
Who am I?
I, Who speak with so much assurance and authority?
Be Still and Know.
I Am YOU, Your TRUE Self;
That higher, purer, supernal part of you that arouses itself as you read, which sits back and listens and judges, and points out the truth of these words to your consciousness, and which from the beginning has guided and taught you all the Truth you know today.
Not that personality you show to the world and which you THINK is yourself; not that proud, selfish mask of a self that has been feeding you on error all these years.
For I AM your REAL Self, that Something in you which you KNOW has made you all you REALLY are, that has inspired, and cautioned, and chided, and urged, and led you on and on, despite hardships, obstacles, suffering, failure, until you have, in a dim, half-conscious way grown to rely upon it, without knowing definitely why.
Yes, I AM that Something. I AM that Divine SELF of you, abiding deep within your human personality, almost stifled by its worldly ideas, its selfish desires, its foolish pride and ambitions, yet ever seeking, longing, yearning to make you conscious of My existence, of My REAL Identity.
Yes, My Child, that Something AM I, I, Who from the beginning have been sitting here within, quietly waiting for this moment. Yet while waiting it was really I Who was guiding you all the time, Who put each thought into your mind, made you do everything you did, and Who utilized the foreknown result of each thought and act so as eventually to bring you and others to a final conscious recognition of Me.
And if I have permitted you to feed on these worldly ideas, to follow these selfish desires, to grow fat with pride, and even to gain the summit of all your ambitions, it was only that you might learn the hollowness of it all, and that you could awaken to the realization that there is something else, something which the SOUL of you yearns to bring forth.
Yes, I have “blessed” you by giving you all these things you sometime in the past desired, desired so strongly that you FORCED Me to give them to you. For Desire is the agent of My Will, and supplies you with everything you want, if you want it with sufficient power to compel It to serve you.
But have these things proved the blessings you thought and expected? Have you gotten out of them real enjoyment, and is your heart now at peace?
If not, why?
It is only because you have failed to recognize Me, your True Self, as the Giver, and have used them not at all in My service, but only to satisfy your own selfish pleasure.
But I have allowed you to indulge yourself to your heart’s content with all such empty joys, even leading you on from one to another, holding out to you the possibility of finding in some new bauble, or sensation, or accomplishment, or power, that something you craved, but which, alas! you have never found and never even glimpsed, — except, perhaps, when in the hours of deeper remorse and penitence you turned from this world of self you created around you to the Ideal within, and dimly sensed THERE My Presence.
Ah, dear son, I have indeed given you these blessings, and they ARE REAL blessings; for they are My special sign of approval to YOU.
But the blessings are not what you think them to be. The real blessings are in the qualities I have developed in you in the acquirement of these riches, in the attainment of these desires, — the qualities of determination to win, of persistency of purpose, the power to do, the ability to master every natural fault and weakness that stand in the way; all of which are but different phases of My Will, the USE of which I have been teaching you, that later on I can manifest in and through you, with your consent, My Will in Spiritual ways, even as you have been manifesting It in worldly ways.
In other words, all attaining, whether it be of money, power or fame — in art, literature or music, science, philosophy or religion, is but so much training in the USE of My Will; and therefore labor, business, science, religion, the arts or the professions, are merely incidents, or the outer means I use to develop in you the CONSCIOUS use of My Will.
You may think it is YOUR will that is so acting, but so long as you consider yourself as separate from Me, and you use this will only to please yourself, it naturally is self-will, and that is why it brings you no lasting or tangible good, only trouble, unhappiness and heartache, when the novelty of possession wears off. And so, of course, you cannot know Me, and therefore cannot acknowledge that ALL that you do, or have, or suffer, is but the result of the action of MY Will working thus in and through you to bring about My Purpose.
But the time is coming when you will understand somewhat of this. Hence this Message. Hence this special favor to you.
You may ask, why I, God, the Omnipotent One, the all Good, the all Wise, made such an unequal distribution of My Blessings, of My Substance, of My Intelligence, of the use of My Will, giving to the few the vast surplus and to the many such a pitiful lack.
You may well ask, for that is the problem I have given you, and all, to solve.
But as I have enabled you partly to solve this problem, even though you do not know it, I will now disclose to you some of its apparent mysteries.
KNOW, My son, that I give no thing to anyone unless that thing has been earned by him. By earned, I mean, grown ready for it, through desiring it so strongly that he finally draws from Me, his all-powerful, perfect SELF within, sufficient life-force and vital energy to compel conditions and circumstances to yield up and other intelligences to supply the necessary means and substance to provide form or actuality for that thing.
So it is that sometime in the past, either in this life or in a previous existence, you had arrived at the point where I could inspire in you the Idea of possessing Wealth.
I could do this, for you had grown in Soul stature and strength so that it had come time to awaken and develop in you certain of your Soul qualities and faculties which I needed for use in My service.
So I implanted in your mind the Idea of possessing Wealth or Riches. This Idea, following the usual course of Nature, in the process of time, put forth its rootlets within the soil of world conditions. These rootlets of determination, persistence, daring, doing, saving, seeing only success ahead, undiscouraged by obstacles, never recognizing failure, pushed their way unerringly to the most fertile soil through and past all obstacles, deep into the earth nature. Likewise and at the same time a little shoot from the Idea pushed its way up towards the light and gradually began to show itself above the surface of your mental and material life. This shoot, which was the STOCK of the Idea of Wealth, grew fast, when once firmly rooted, and it soon became a sturdy, wide-spreading tree.
That tree is the outward manifestation of your life today. The nature and kind of a tree is what your character is. Its leaves are your money; its fruit just what the possession of that money has meant to you. If there is decay or unsoundness in root, trunk or branch, it is because of error, wrong or disease somewhere in the tree, which finally will destroy it unless remedied or removed.
Is there any error, wrong or disease in YOUR tree, My son? Are there any worms gnawing their way into its heart?
Let us see. Let us search deep beneath the surface soil of world conditions, with its finely worked out system of “legitimate” methods, and its politically gained protection of the law. Let us look underneath the bark of selfishness, with its human beliefs and opinions regarding the rights of the strong. Let us peer into the cracks and crotches, the dark places in your life which are carefully hidden from the world. Let us look unflinchingly into all these places, and see if there are not some rotten spots.
Have you attained all this Wealth by absolutely honorable and righteous methods? Has any part of it been gained by sharp business practices, — yes, legitimate from the law’s standpoint, but not from Mine, your True Self? Was part of it gained by deception of friends or partners? Part by taking advantage of trusts imposed in you? Part by going through bankruptcy and settling for a percentage of your just debts? Part by riding roughshod over weaker Souls? Part by deliberate fraud? Part by any means which aroused a protesting voice within you, and which voice, in moments of quiet and solitude, ever appears to remind and accuse?
Ah, My dear child, can you truly say that none of the Wealth you possess is thus tainted?
Yes, I know, and understand.
And dear one, if you have suffered, and have regretted, and are now seeking to make restitution, it is because you have listened to My Voice, and are beginning to recognize and long for My guiding influence in your life.
But if you deny, and loudly proclaim that none of the above applies to you, and you still refuse to listen to My loving Voice within, wee, faint, almost drowned by the loud tumult now going on in your heart, — know, dear one, that you, too, must suffer, must enter into a life of heartache and misery and sorrow, into which I must plunge you, in order to purge your Soul of the pride, self-will and self-love that now control you; so that you, too, can awaken to My Love and thus learn to hear and know My Voice, ever seeking to point out to you the true way of Life.
As for your brothers, many, very many, I do not yet deem ready to receive the Idea of acquiring Wealth. In many others the Idea has been planted, and they are merely feeling the quickening power of Desire, My agent. Others are forced by Desire to think and strive, and are beginning to see the means of future acquirement. And still others are in the act of producing tangible results.
With all, however, I AM merely using the Idea of Wealth, and the motive power of Desire for its acquirement, to develop those Soul qualities and mental faculties which will enable Me finally and fully to bring into manifestation their Real Self, I, God within them, that through them My Will may be made manifest on earth even as It is in Heaven.
With you, My blessed one, in whom I have brought to complete fruition My Idea of Wealth in the form of Money and Possessions, and who as My custodian are now capable and ready consciously to co-operate with Me in its use in My Service, when you can be convinced that I, God, will direct you in such use, — know that soon, very soon, you will become conscious that I AM within you, and that you need not go without to any other authority to learn this great fact. For I will cause you to KNOW that I AM leading and guiding you, and will gradually open up to your consciousness My Plan and Purpose for the Use and distribution of ALL that I have given you.
You, who have already heard My Voice within, and are seeking to satisfy Me by giving a portion of your wealth to churches, or libraries, or scientific research, or charity, or settlement work, or other enterprises thinking My Voice can be stilled that way, and that the yearning hunger in your heart may be thus appeased:
Know that such acts are all in vain, for never can I thus be satisfied. My Voice will become only more insistent, as you strive by giving merely a portion of the wealth you hold and which is ALL Mine and none of it yours, in such effort to please Me.
For, My child, I AM already pleased with you. Are you not what I have made you? Is not all you have done what I permitted and even caused you to do?
And if I have permitted you to try to propitiate Me by using your Wealth in such manner, it is only because such was all I could make you understand at the time of My Purpose surging within you.
Therefore, when, in your desire to please Me, you attract to you many who ask you to give of your abundance to this or that charity, to this or that project for helping humanity, and what you call your business judgment tells you what is given will not be used properly or wisely for such purposes, and you do not respond, — know that you have likewise been led thus to refuse by Me, Who thus chose for you, even as I chose for you to give to those other enterprises; and all this for the fulfilling of My Purpose.
For I have not only reserved this Wealth I have given you for a special Service, and I have chosen you as My Agent in its distribution in the way I shall disclose to you all in due season; but I AM preparing your human mind so that you can understand it is not your Wealth I want, but YOU. I want you to know that you and I are One; that I, your REAL Self, must now rule; that self-will and self-pleasure must die, and My Will and My Pleasure must live and be FIRST and ALL with you from now henceforth.
Therefore, I AM preparing your mind so that I can speak direct to your Soul consciousness from within, and I AM quickening your heart so you can become wholly conscious of My Presence therein.
So, beloved, if I say I want YOU, ALL of you; heart, soul, mind, body, — all you are, all you have, all you ever hope to be or have, I say it because I want My own, — YOU the mortal expression of My Self.
The time has come when you must know We are ONE, that there is no separation, no difference — only as you think there is. Hence, all you have or are is Mine and always has been Mine and Mine only. And now I claim My own.
My own MUST come to Me. My claim you MUST recognize. And you MUST give back ALL, – every penny, your home, lands, securities, business; your body, intellect, heart, faculties, will, your whole personality — every loved possession, even the dearest treasure of your heart.
For not until you have brought all and laid them at My feet, and said, “Here, Father, take ALL. Take and use, and only let me serve Thee. Command and henceforth I will obey;”
Not until you thus come in true humility, with a desire as strong to give to Me as the one which impelled you to get for self; not until your Soul is so possessed with a yearning to serve Me and to rest Its wearied heart in My Love that It can no longer be denied, — can you ever enter into My Kingdom.
Long ago to another people I said, “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
This is just as true today. For he whom I have deemed worthy to express the qualities of Soul I AM now expressing through you cannot easily humble himself, — cannot reduce that haughty personality, which so long has led and ruled, so he can go through the narrow gate of self-abnegation and self-denial.
Yet I say unto you, you must come to that if you would enter into My Kingdom.
This is all foolishness, you say. You cannot enter the Kingdom of God here on earth. Even if you could, you would have to be shown of what practical value such an attainment was to one in business, with a family and all the associations and responsibilities of large and varied interests.
Let us see if it is not possible to find that Kingdom and to enter it right here on earth.
LISTEN! And ponder.
Are you not seeking happiness, peace, health, love, the fullness of life here on earth?
Think you you will find them in the things and practices of the world? Have you not learned the futility of that?
Think you you can be truly rich and truly happy, when millions of your brothers are in poverty and misery?
No, My child; not until you have risen above all the illusions of this world of yours, have had your sight cleared by misery and suffering, have felt the poverty of love, have hungered for the TRUE Bread of Life, and have finally gotten a taste of it through forgetting self and serving your brothers, with My Righteousness as the guiding influence of your life, — can you ever find true happiness, find that peace, that harmony, that love your Soul craves. But when you HAVE found THAT, then you have indeed entered into My Kingdom.
I AM come to you now to help you find that Kingdom, to make you aware of My Presence, I, that Something deep down in your heart that yearns for the highest, for PERFECT expression; that craves for the true riches of life, which now you know all the money in the world cannot supply.
I, God, within you, AM speaking straight from out the depths of your heart, from My Kingdom there, sweeping aside all your accumulation of worldly ideas, beliefs and opinions, and am talking direct to your Soul consciousness.
For the time is come when you must awake to your Divine mission, to the REAL purpose of your coming into this world, into this life, into this personality, into the possession of these qualities, this ability, which entitled you to be the custodian of the Wealth I have given you, — but only for such purpose.
The time is come for you to know this, to know Me, that within you which gave you this desire for wealth, which gave you the power to acquire it, which inspired and impelled and guided your every effort to attain it, and finally which now gives you the desire to use SOME of it in My Service.
Can you not see that Something is I, your own True Self, yes, God within you, the only God you will ever know, the God Who is not only dwelling and working thus in the Kingdom within you, but within your every brother, be he high or low, rich or poor, wise or ignorant; the God Who is gradually evolving your human personalities, with their mortal bodies, minds and intellects, so that He can eventually through you express ALL of His Divine qualities, even as it is in Heaven?
So I have been evolving
Joseph S. Benner
Joseph Sieber Benner (January 3, 1872 – September 24, 1938) was an American author, New Thought writer and Representative of the Brotherhood of Christ who used the pen name “Anonymous”. He was the first to introduce the Knowledge and Teachings of Impersonal Life (also known as the “I AM” Teaching) to the world in his first book, The Impersonal Life published in 1914.
In his writing, Benner expresses the New Thought concept that we are all one with God, and that God endows each of us with the power to create our experiences and reality by means of sustained, believed thoughts.
His book, The Impersonal Life, is difficult for many persons who are new to the theory. In the first chapter, Benner repeatedly uses the phrase, “I AM,” to express the concept that God is inside of each one of us, doing the thinking and creating. This is an ancient belief, reflected in the Bhagavad Gita. However, it is new to many Christian readers, and can be a difficult concept for many in the West to initially accept.
Benner seems to be using his first chapter as a litmus test, to drive off readers who are not committed to his premise that we are all “one with each other and with God.” It is only after the first, difficult chapter that he reveals the true kernel of his theory, that a believed sustained thought has the power to create. Benner describes the process as follows:
In accordance with the definiteness with which the picture of the Idea is held in the mind, and the extent to which the Idea possesses the personality does its creative Power, impelled by Desire, proceed with It’s work. . . . When the Word is spoken, either silently or audibly, consciously or unconsciously, this substance at once begins to materialize Itself, by first directing and controlling the consciousness and all of the activities of both mind and body, and of all the minds and all bodies connected with or related to the Idea, — for remember, all consciousness, and all minds and all bodies are Mine, and are not separated but are One . . . and then so attracting, directing, shaping and molding conditions, things and events, that, sooner or later, the Idea actually comes forth into definite, tangible manifestation.
In other words, Benner contends that a sustained believed image, projected into the Universal Mind, has the ability to control not just one’s own thoughts and behaviors — but the thoughts and behaviors of all humanity—causing the image to ultimately become reality for the person projecting that image.