The Gate of the Year by Freedom Barry

The Gate of the Year by Freedom Barry

The Gate of the Year by Freedom BarryTo NEVILLE

The Mystic Genius

who opened the gate

and coaxed me through.

Author’s Note

Each of the articles comprising the several chapters of this volume was originally issued as a monthly circular letter to students and interested friends throughout California. The intent was to attend to the needs of the field on a more frequent basis than was possible through occasional lectures and classes.

My first book, I DO, is really the textbook of a unique spiritual premise, and sets forth in concentrated form the fundamental tenets of my approach to the subject.

The present volume touches on all basic issues but does so in a more expanded and less formal way. Either book will further elucidate the other.

Each chapter was written in a single sitting and as the immediate result of an illumination on a timely topic that seemed to lend itself to the central theme of Individual Spiritual Awakening.

F.B.

“And I said to the man

who stood at the gate of the year;

Give me a light

That I may tread safely into the unknown…”

–M. Louise Haskins

THE GATE:

Jesus Christ is born.

When the familiar symbols of Christmas are in the forefront of public attention, it is my fervent hope that you and all other interested persons in the world may draw from them a more enduring and meaningful direction than can be afforded by the annual observance, however reverent in character, of what is considered the most extraordinary occurrence in human history.

The very fact that the story of this remarkable birth has endured nearly two thousand years, continuing to capture the undiminished interest of Christians and non-Christians alike, is a rather persuasive argument that this narrative has a far more substantial significance for every individual, whatever his time in history, than the recording and retelling of an historical event could possibly contain.

The concentric emphasis of my teaching is the individual’s discovery of his identity as Spirit, the essence, or conviction of actually being; and the disciplined exercise of Self-reliance which is imposed by his awakening. Human beings, almost universally, crave to be led, even though they may chafe under the conditions exacted by those who lead them. My purpose is to awaken such a degree of spiritual awareness as will enable anyone, by his free expression of this insight, to shake off the fetters of dependence and subservience, which are the spawning ground of tyranny.

World conditions are, after all, only an exposed enlargement of the attitudes, aspirations, fears, and hopes of those who comprise the world. How then, except through the individual expression of what is best in each of us, can the world experience “on earth peace, good will towards men?” And is this not the announced purpose of the birth of Jesus Christ?

If the Bible has revealed anything at all to us, surely the most fundamental disclosures are these: (1) that God, or Cause, is I AM; that this conviction of actually having identity is the one originating core, from which is shaped every identification, and therefore every outwardly interpreted situation and condition; (2) that Christ means the active functioning of this causation in the affairs of men; hence the term Christian, intended to characterize one who actively lives as the embodiment of spiritual creativity; (3) that the word Jesus is the anglicized Iesous, the Greek translation of Jehoshua, which is the Hebrew term for Jehovah saves; (4) and since the word Jehovah is the Hebrew name of I AM, we arrive once again at the point where we began–the conviction of actually having identity.

The brief foregoing analysis should explain very simply the Christian’s claim that Jesus Christ is God on earth. The whole basis for disagreement rests in whether, in making that claim, we mean that Jesus Christ was God on earth, or that Jesus Christ is God on earth.

One verse in the vision of Isaiah alludes to the kernel of universal applicability of this archetypal birth as the inevitable spiritual experience of every individual:

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Bear in mind, the book of Isaiah is the vision “which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem”; that Judah refers to God’s activity, and that Jerusalem refers to God’s dwelling. Inasmuch as God dwells as your conviction of actually being, and acts as your conscious direction of this indwelling presence, Isaiah’s vision of the eternal spiritual sign relates to all men of all times–to you and to me.

But we are given a sign, not an historical occasion. This sign is the virgin, your spiritual consciousness, uninstructed by any external evidence, conceiving your spiritual identity to be your savior and your deliverer, bearing the results of such disciplined practice, and calling this the proof of Immanuel, or God with us.

These introductory comments are based on my conviction that all the contents of the Bible–characters, localities, and events–when understood in their intended spiritual meanings, refer to some aspect of the individual, and not to something that only once happened somewhere at points in time and space removed from the reader, to somebody other than himself.

Here let me present the account of the nativity from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, with an accompanying paraphrase based on the foregoing premise:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:

The discovery of the process of individual salvation comes about in this manner:

When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

When in your development, your spiritual consciousness embraces this expanded idea of salvation, before the idea is fully realized, you recognize there exists a relation between visible effects and your own faculty of perception.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

In your ordinary sense of expansion, governed by the reasonable logic of what the majority will admit to be practical, not willing to expose this newly discovered conception of salvation to ridicule, you consider dismissing the whole idea.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

At this stage of your deliberations, a spiritual conviction is intuitively impressed, whereby you become emboldened to adopt this conception of salvation as spiritually valid.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

And your expanding spiritual consciousness shall give visible proof of its capacity to save you from failing to fulfill your ideals.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

All this is written in Gospel accounts to reiterate that the vision of the prophet is an eternal spiritual verity, occurring at a certain stage in the development of every individual, that he may discover this seed that is in himself which matures into the conviction of Emmanuel, or “God with us.”

Isaiah’s vision tells what must happen; the Gospel accounts tell how it happens. Let me ask two penetrating questions. Why does the Jew insist this vision of the Hebrew prophet has not been fulfilled yet?

Why does the Christian insist this vision was fulfilled once? The answer to both questions is the same: Because the New Testament narrative has been taught as an historical physical event that occurred solely in one person, rather than as the eternal spiritual sign that must occur in each individual.

The almost universal appeal of the story of the virgin birth is accounted for when you discover “…in the volume of the book it is written of me.” (Ps. 40:7) Then you join the company of those who have already divined this miracle of salvation, and you sing with them:

“…unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

And this is the name of the SON that is born in you! Then you will know why it is that

“…of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,”

Because, having made that peace with the Self of you, you are occupying the throne of David, which is another way of saying that Love is enthroned in your heart, ruling the administration of your affairs.

Is it not clear why the diligent efforts at conference tables by leagues of nations and other mass media have been historically incapable of legislating “peace on earth, good will towards men?” It is because this individual spiritual awakening must precede the universal physical evidence of it.

The writer of the Gospel according to St. Mark, well knowing the built-in human tendency to single out someone else to bear the responsibility for its salvation, warned:

“And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ: or, lo, he is there; believe him not..”

Christ is the active understanding of spiritual causation, and is fulfilled by living consciously as this causation; this is the process that makes Jesus the Christ. Therefore, he can never be pointed to as there or here, but must always be acknowledged as the spiritual identity of the perceiver–in a word–YOU.

Considering the symbols of Christmas, John Greenleaf Whittier rightly

understood their relation to the spiritual experience they signify:

“The outward symbols disappear

From him whose inward sight is clear,

And small must be the choice of days

To him who fills them all with praise.

Keep while ye need it, brothers mine,

With honest zeal your Christmas sign;

But judge not him who every morn

Feels in his heart the Lord Christ born.”

THE YEAR

JANUARY

The holiday observances are over, and another new year stands unblemished before you, quite like a slate which has been washed clean with new resolve. How will you face the unfurling of this new year?

Will you be found responding to events as they occur in the world which surrounds you, cowering fearfully before some, rejoicing triumphantly over others, nevertheless reacting to all of them, whatever their character? Or will you be analyzing these outward appearances, discovering the mental attitudes and moods which underlie them, and then diligently tracing the way in which your own feelings has been shaped into those very attitudes on any number of occasions, thereby contributing to the animation of them into external conditions?

Your answer to these questions will establish for you at the outset whether you may regard yourself as the victor or the victim of the circumstances that will arise in your environment. I am sure that no one, not even the most embittered defeatist, would continue to identify himself as a helpless victim, if he knew his innate capacity to exert the absolutely unlimited freedom of choice which is everyone’s fundamental birthright.

A created effect has no freedom of choice; you do have. Does not this recognition immediately liberate your sense of selfhood from the helplessness of

  • created effect? A clear-cut understanding of that which is you and that which is yours provides a basis for exercising an ever-increasing dominion over circumstances.

Your selfhood is your conviction of actually having identity, called in all sacred writings I AM; this is what you are. There are the definitions you make of this selfhood; these are what you have. Your identity always remains Spirit, the essence, or feeling of being; your personality, or characteristics, your body, or appearance–these are what you have, or the definitions made of what you are.

In the first chapter you discovered Jesus Christ to be your actual selfhood, that consciously living presence of spiritual creativity. This realization is “the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” This understanding of selfhood is the foundation on which you freely build all definitions.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 3:11)

Could Jesus Christ have been one person who was introduced into the unfolding panorama of historical events at the year of One A.D., and still be the only foundation laid? If Jesus Christ had been the one personal appearance of God on earth, what had been the foundation of the persons and events comprising the history of the thousands of years B.C.?

Divine logic insists that Jesus Christ is the individual’s living consciously as spiritual causation; and this is indeed the “foundation that is laid.” Further fortification for this insistence is found by reading the foregoing reference in its context:

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver,

precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work

shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try

everyman’s work of what sort it is.” (I Cor. 3:12, 13)

All are building on this same foundation, whether consciously or unconsciously, and all are choosing freely (albeit perhaps sometimes unwisely) the definitions which become molded into outward events. “The day” that “shall declare it” is the enlightenment that comes from tracing appearances to their source. “The fire” which “shall try every man’s work” and by which “it shall be revealed,” is the individual’s own experience.

And this is, mercifully, the nature of life: that whatever our manifested works may be, we are free to alter them, because they are only transitory shapings we make of the one changeless substance–our conviction of actually being.

“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:

but he himself shall be saved.” (I Cor. 3:15)

Should any individual anywhere determine to vacate the ugly states of revenge, greed, intolerance, fear, and hatred, he not only would no longer be a victim of the insufferable conditions arising from his occupancy of those states, but also he would be displaying a most desirable dominion and self-control as a result of his spiritual awakening.

  • critical examination of the attitudes you habitually inhabit may not result in any immediate elevation of your self-esteem, but it is nonetheless a task none of us can afford to neglect. The time has come when, in the face of widespread alarming events, the thoughtful individual can no longer feel at ease in looking about for someone “else” to label as responsible.    Shifting the burden of blame may cushion one’s own conscience with a temporary solace, but effective absolution comes from squarely facing one’s own accountability.

Anyone with a social conscience wishes to be a useful part of an informed citizenry; but the chasm which exists between this wish and its realization is substantially bridged only by a genuine understanding of what constitutes the brotherhood of man, and that is the first-hand experience of the fatherhood of God.

To function consciously as Spirit, knowing that your conviction of being is the substance which activates the attitudes and moods which erupt into conditions that are the likenesses of the images maintained–this is to experience first-hand the fatherhood of spiritual causation. The offspring of this experience is the understanding of the relationship of manifested appearances, that is to say, the brotherhood of man.

In line with this premise, let us all resolve to be watchful of the negative atmospheres we inhabit, for, unless we deliberately vacate them they burst into visible circumstances which we might be reluctant to admit to be our contribution.

In a speech near the end of one of his plays, T.S. Elliot has his leading man sum up, in one statement, the meaning of what two of the other characters have been talking about:

“…But Sir Henry has been saying, I think, that every moment is a fresh beginning; and Julia, that life is only keeping on; And somehow, the two ideas seem to fit together.”

For my part, those two ideas fit together admirably, and are pointedly relevant to the theme of this first Letter of the new year: Every moment is a fresh beginning for the one who understands his identity as the life which keeps on.

Does this not provide the answer to our original question, “How will you face the unfurling of this new year?” By keeping on, shaping your feeling of being ever more wisely as these new beginnings appear.

FEBRUARY

When I was a boy in the fourth grade, the music instructor taught a song which was intended to instill in us a patriotic reverence for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as the two outstanding Americans, born in the month of February, who distinguished themselves in the service of their country, thereby establishing examples which might profitably be emulated by all American youth. The song began:

“In February there were born two heroes great and good;

They loved their country, and they lived and died as heroes should.”

At the fourth grade level, the tonic had its effect, and if I consistently failed to duplicate their heroic deeds of greatness, I came out of that class with a reverence which bordered on worship; so much so that, years later, I was temporarily offended at the enormous contrast between the moods in which these two great men were depicted in the murals of the Statehouse in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Washington was shown as an erect, triumphant figure, eyes shining and cheeks ablaze, surrounded by flying flags and drummers beating their drums, brilliant sunshine flooding the evident show of victory.

On the other hand, Lincoln was shown as a bent, sorrowful, and brooding man, almost completely enveloped in dark, threatening clouds; the whole mood was permeated with the flavor of well-nigh hopeless despair.

At first I wondered why the artist had made such an immense difference between “my” heroes, but after considerable reflection on their different functions in the unfolding history of America, I perceived, from that vivid example, the gulf which exists between conceiving an ideal, and maintaining it.

Ideas are conceived in a blaze of inspiration, charging the conceiver with an exhilaration and ambition to establish them as conditions which will benefit mankind; but the task of maintaining that original vision when all efforts are confronted by apparently insurmountable obstacles, takes quite the opposite outward appearance. This accomplishment requires a disciplined living as the life or substance of the ideal, rather than as one human being attempting to bring about a certain condition.

Peace is unquestionably the ideal which is being most urgently considered by today’s world-at-large. If peace could be the product of conferences, of summit meetings, or political negotiations, it would have become the world’s established order long ago. Negotiators fail to realize that peace comes to the individual; it comes with his discovery that his conviction of having identity–his feeling of actually being–is the cause and substance of any and every conceivable concept. The one who makes this discovery enthrones this spiritual identity as his only authority, and from then on he witnesses the shaping of outward conditions as the precise likenesses of his sustained attitudes and moods.

Inasmuch as the shaping of feeling (spiritual conviction) is the sole cause of events as they appear, is it not the height of useless endeavor to continually strike out against the conditions which we consider to be the evils of this world?

What utter powerlessness to correct or even influence events, if an event could exist “out there” as an independent substance, and not as the perception of the perceiver! To beat the air can bring no lasting results out there, and the frustration that accrues to the “do gooder” projects a compounded unpleasantness of appearances.

In saying this I do not recommend bowing under the pressure of events as helpless victims; quite the reverse. Instead of frantically trying to straighten shadows, the wise one adjusts the substance which is casting them. Far from advocating a cessation of honest efforts in educational, political, economic fields (which are vital to the maintenance of an effective social order), this teaching urges only a deeper inquiry into the source of ideals, and the individual adoption of the spiritual method of their fulfillment.

Spiritual experience teaches the folly of imitating examples in the attempt to be and do good, because if you think of yourself as an obedient child of an external Creator, you are functioning as the lifeless marionette of an unknown operator. We sleep collectively as Adam, whole masses being moved and directed by dictatorships of one kind or another–political, ecclesiastical, personal–but we wake individually as Christ, the living presence of creativity, and no longer tremble to take the next forward step on the authority of our own spiritual initiative.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, in his Essay on Self-Reliance:

“Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men, but what they thought.”

Cease looking to anyone “else” for authority to act. Lincoln could not look to Washington, nor even to one of his own time, for authority to take the course that he alone could feel he must take in order to preserve the union. As you rise from fourth-grade patterns of worshiping idols and trying to emulate “them,” and reverently live the Godhood which is your identity, you become free from that state presented in the Old Testament as the “Law of Moses” and characterized by the language of “thou shalt not”; then you cease looking to others to save you, or to manufacture the condition of peace for you over the conference tables of the world. As long as you cast about on the outside for authority, you will find someone to wield it, and as a consequence you will find yourself subservient to that one.

If you have an inspiring ideal, as the painting of Washington illustrates, live it. Live as the very substance of it, as the picture of Lincoln illustrates. Then nothing and no one can prevent its appearance. But do not look to anyone “else” for the authority to give it evidence, for in so doing, you would be surrendering your standpoint of “I am the light of the world,” and would be identifying yourself as a mere character in a play, totally helpless to be or do anything.

Remember the words of Paul:

“For we are made partakers of Christ (spiritual creativity) if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14)

The painting of Washington symbolizes “the beginning of our confidence,” and the one of Lincoln, holding it “steadfast unto the end.” I do not mean to indicate that this process of holding (maintaining the conviction of the causativeness of your feeling of being) is a gloomy, or sorrowful, or a depressingly tiresome task; the symbolism of that painting implies that this realization is reached alone, because the feeling of being is all-one.

The characters in Life’s drama can do nothing; it is “the Father” (spiritual causation) which produces effects. Live consciously as this causation, knowing that “…he that hath seen me (his own identity as the feeling of being) hath seen the Father.” Rest your whole confidence of success on this living consciously as Spirit, and the “aloneness” will then become to you that singleness of purpose which you will willingly appropriate and expand.

God, as infinite Cause, presents Himself as Man, not for the purpose of duplication or imitation, but for the animation of creation. Sooner or later, all must desist from the arrogance of claiming an identity apart from the awareness of being, and reverently acknowledge this life of ours to be the living (awakening) of “the Life divine.” As we do this, the joy of living characterizes our days, and the spontaneity of our acts, freed from a burdensome sense of dutiful living, will leave in our trail a more lasting benefit.

Emerson, continuing his Essay on Self-Reliance, emphasizes this necessity of awakening the divine withinness, and enthroning it as the only authority:

“A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses with-out notice his thought, because it is his.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *       *

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the

conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that

he must take himself for better or worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

MARCH

Ever since mid-February, when Ash Wednesday introduced the season of Lent, orthodox Christians have been preparing, by means of a relatively rigid self-denial, for the annual commemoration of the events of Holy Week.

My purpose is, not deliberately to overthrow established traditions and practices, but rather, to encourage you to educe a more advanced meaning for these symbols of individual spiritual development.

Is it not a pity that the word spiritual is generally associated with religious practices, and that your spiritual education should be considered the responsibility of the churches, and not your own? To me the word spiritual implies fundamental character, and has the unlimited scope of all-inclusiveness, referring to every department of life.

I am convinced that the Bible records, not historical events, but symbols which illustrate the landmarks everyone encounters in the inescapable process of awakening spiritually; that it is the textbook which reveals fundamental Selfhood of the individual, and not an instrument for the conversion of the irreligious to some form of sectarian worship.

Thinking from this viewpoint, let us now free the symbols of Lent and Holy Week from the restricted perspective of an observance of a two-thousand-year-old miscarriage of justice, and consider them in terms of practical value to you.

The Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote of “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Here is the perfect introduction to the meaning of Lent, a period of preparation for a higher spiritual order. Yours is the voice that appeals in the wilderness (the unconquered areas of the mind) for a clearing in the path of deliverance.

The writer of the Gospel according to St. Matthew makes use of this same symbol, depicting it as “John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

John the Baptist illustrates the morally good human, so it is quite understandable why this ministry must precede that of Jesus. Each, in the process of awakening his divinity, tries, through deeds of human goodness, to earn it. Bear in mind, John the Baptist is beheaded; that is to say, the attempt to earn divinity must yield to the individual’s discovery of it as his own identity, and this is the ministry of Jesus: the revelation that “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father (discovers cause) but by ME (living consciously as spiritual being).

The original Greet metanoeo, translated repent, means “to think differently.” To clear the way mentally for a spiritual discovery provides a broader benefit than merely to fast physically in conformity to an accepted custom. The injunction to “Deny self and follow ME” is spiritual direction to look within for your identity.

In my textbook (I DO, by Freedom Barry, Vantage Press, 1963), you will find two chapters devoted to the explanation of crucifixion and resurrection. These two landmarks of individual spiritual experience are so universally taught as the incredible physical experience of one holy man, that huge numbers of intelligent people are understandably reluctant to accept their validity.

When you understand the life-history of Jesus to be the awakening of your spiritual identity, you will read it with a keener interest and will realize that a miracle is not magic. A miracle is the instant confirmation of a clear-cut, decisive, complete change of conviction. The literally-minded, restricted by the narrow limits of what they will admit to be mentally plausible and physically possible, term such changes in appearance miraculous, supernatural, and inexplicable.

The events of Holy Week, so encrusted with religious ritual, glow with practical value for the one who discovers their more advanced meanings as illustrations of the milestones he attains in his spiritual awakening. As you free your sense of your Self from that of a limited person, and accept it as the invisible conviction of being that furnishes the personal definitions of Itself, you are actually experiencing Holy Week; you resurrect your concept of identity out of the area of frustrating effort, to the conviction, “I am the light of the world.”

Palm Sunday is illumined with a new practicality when you read Matthew 21:8-16 in this light:

Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem (city of God) Indicates your first acceptance that your I AM is Cause. This acknowledgement casts out bickering and conflict-ing beliefs and overturns “the tables of the moneychangers”;

that is, your fundamental values are completely altered. You overthrow “the seats of them that sold doves,” the helpless

necessity of accepting peace at any price; functioning consciously as spiritual causation, you establish peace by experiencing it.

Your invisible spiritual identity is the “closet” with its door shut against the distractions of ignorant notions and opinions (the blind and the lame) which, if permitted to intrude, make of your consciousness “a den of thieves,” and rob you of your control.

Your most deep-rooted and longest-accepted prejudices

(the chief priests and scribes) are challenged by your

acknowledgement of Spirit as your identity, so, in defense

of accepting the responsibility, you chide yourself for being

so gullible as to permit such an unlikely premise to pass for

logic. Then comes the reminder that praise is perfected “out

of the mouths of babes,” in your open acceptance, unspoiled

by the countless educated arguments to the contrary.

The next four chapters in the narrative present parables which urge spiritual Self-reliance; the intent is sufficiently clear that “those who run may read.”

At the Last Supper, bread (the literal interpretation of the Word) is broken (analyzed) and fed (as sustenance) to the disciples (disciplined attributes of attention); also, the cup of wine (inspiration, the life’s blood of higher meaning) is recommended for the remission of sins (the reward of satisfying achievement).

The Greek word, paradidomi, which is translated betray in the English New Testament, means “to surrender, yield up, entrust, transmit, recommend.” After the Last Supper, Jesus (your own spiritual identity) is surrendered, yielded up, entrusted, transmitted, recommended to the chief priests (old established concepts of identity). Judas, the betrayer, is your capacity to reveal the whereabouts of Selfhood, and should be cultivated rather than branded as malicious and wicked.

On trial before Pilate (edified judgment), invisible Spirit never attempts to justify its position, nor in any manner explain its Self in terms acceptable to literal erudition; instead, your entire confidence of salvation rests in being stationed as Spirit.

Crucifixion is done in Golgotha, “the place of a skull,” symbolizing mentality, which is the “alphabet” of conceivable possibilities. When your conviction of being is molded into the conviction of being something, this affixation is entombed and “a great stone” is rolled against the door of the sepulchre, symbolizing the freedom from distraction necessary to mature the conviction, “I AM HE.” The stone illustrates the denseness which literal-mindedness cannot penetrate, but which spiritual identity can “roll away”; and when you reach this wicket in your spiritual development, every fiber of your being will exclaim, “He is risen!”

Instead of commemorating the unjust earthly agony of a martyr and looking for the second coming of a physical savior into the world, prove by your own living consciously as Spirit that you know your redeemer liveth. Your own awareness of being is the savior, the redeemer, the power which resurrects you from the tomb of non-expression; you are no longer confined in the grave-clothes of a traditional acceptance of selfhood.

Now you understand, as never before, the poet’s characterization, “Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.” Far from robbing you of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, this teaching reveals this same savior, infinitely more intimate and vital, when you realize, through your own experience, that it is your spiritual identity that is resurrected on Easter morning!

APRIL

“Happiness is in action, and every power is intended for action; human happiness, therefore, can only be complete as all the powers have their full and legiti-mate play.”

Industrious persons everywhere will admit the logic of these lines by David Thomas (1776-1859), but they may neglect to underscore the word all, which unveils the profoundest implications of his statement.

Any consideration of power should begin with the primal source, or essence, of all that appears to the various stages of interpretation to be powers. My purpose in bearing down so heavily on spiritual identity in previous chapters has been to resurrect your sense of power to that point of origin which is power itself: “All power is given unto ME in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18)

But your discovery of power in its essence and eternal availability would be of no practical benefit if it were to be left lying fallow and not exercised and disciplined for its “full legitimate play.”

It is said that seven-eighths of a floating iceberg is below the surface of the water, concealed from the view of the one who sees only what the eye reports; but it is there, nonetheless, as the greater portion of the mass. It comes as something of a shock to many when they discover the enormously creative power of Spirit lying unrecognized for what it is beneath the surface of their physical-mental-emotional structure. The secret of the most satisfying activity lies in releasing this power through controlled convictions.

“Life was not given for indolent contemplation and study of self, not for brooding over emotions of piety: actions and actions only determine the worth.”

–Immanuel Hermann Fichte (1797-1879)

St. Paul, the consecrated expounder of Christian principle, regarded his mission as a sacred trust which was, in effect, to see to it that the understanding of Christianity should be lived, and not only talked about in endless recitals of platitudes, nor defended as merely a doctrinal platform. “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” (I Cor. 1:17)

What is it that determines whether the cross of Christ shall be of none, or of some effect? The true practice of Christianity as a way of life is the active living of divinity, not a passive absorption into a state Absolute. Here is the mystery of the cross, the emblem of God living as man, illustrating the human and divine coincidence of one Being. Living consciously as spiritual causation, you are free to experience the conceivable contents of eternity in a time-space display of them.

“I am come (spiritual identity is awakened) that they (in whom it is awake) might have life, and that they (when interpreting literally) might have (evidence of) it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

To live imaginatively, beyond the constricted limits of humdrum necessity, is to release your unused potential; it is then that you are delivered from the pressures of having to decide and act from the mole’s-eye perspective of a mortal who lives separated from God, from his divine Life.

John Ciardi, addressing a group of businessmen, said, “An ulcer, gentlemen, is an unkissed imagination taking its revenge for having been jilted. It is an unwritten poem, a neglected music, an unpainted watercolor, an undanced dance.”

Perhaps you have wished for a long time to express some artistic bent, but have not acted to fulfill that desire for any number of what may have seemed to you good reasons. You may have felt your degree of talent was insufficient to warrant the necessary expenditure of effort. You may feel your opportunity is past, that you should have done all that as a child, and that it is now too late. You may even feel that such a discussion has no place in a chapter dedicated to the art of spiritual awakening. But have we not established that your spiritual identity is the divine Being? “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)

Remember, your purpose is to live creatively, “lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” The vertical aspect of the cross symbolizes eternity, where all conceivable ideas are arranged in levels of significant meaning; the horizontal aspect illustrates the act of the feeling of being as it molds itself into the feeling of being a selected ideal and, developing its conviction of being that, literally projects the appearance of being it in the world of three-dimensional interpreting.

“And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (I Cor. 12:6)

Truly, it is the same Spirit, the same essence or conviction of being, that accomplishes all that is done in all that appear to do it. Then what should be your attitude, from the point of view of this teaching, in whatever you undertake?

A very frail and elderly man, whose life was dedicated to his art of building keyboard instruments, revealed quite inadvertently to a friend one day the secret of his special quality; he said, “I face every day as though it might be my last, and every painstaking detail of the day as though I had all eternity.”

If this attitude were to characterize every secular effort you make, would not the spirit of perfection permeate all your achievements? And would not the dedication you consciously lavish on your activities, exercising your attention with such discipline, necessarily develop and awaken this power “which worketh in you”?

Taken in this light, how could any endeavor seem not worth the effort, or any opportunity to have come too late? Those arguments appear valid only when you permit your identifications of your Self to pass for your identity. With your spiritual identity awakened to its intrinsic power, and remembering that “every power is intended for action,” begin directing this force deliberately to activate the ideals that are eternally conceivable, requiring only the occupancy of your conviction of being to give them the literal appearance of being your condition.

In pursuing this course, be reminded often that the human is the divine, asleep to its own divinity; that humanity is not an echo of divinity, nor a different substance counterfeiting the divine nature. The central seal of Christianity is the cross–Cause presenting and interpreting Itself as effect. Try not to lean so far in one direction that you flounder in a theoretical and frozen Absolute (which is supposed to be incapable of perceiving a world it at the same time permits to exist for you!), or so far in the other direction that all objective appearances are devoid of divine causation.

Around two hundred years ago, William Blake saw this divine and human coincidence, the true cross of Christianity, the Word (meaning) made flesh, when he wrote:

“God only Acts & Is in all existing beings and men.”

Another two hundred years before Blake, Shakespeare offered, in his inimitable economy of words, sage advice based on the same perception:

“Suit the action to the word and the word to the action.”

Even before the Christian era began, the same advice was urged by one who knew what it was to search for truth:

“We should not be so taken up in the search for truth, as to neglect the needful duties of active life; for it is only action that gives a true value and commendation to virtue.”

–Cicero

MAY

Whoever teaches the process of spiritual awakening is certain to encounter one question more often than any other, and that is, “What happens to us when we die?”

It is not surprising that the topic of survival should occupy such prominence in the thinking of the spiritually inquisitive, considering the plenitude of promises of eternal life and immortality which are set forth in the scriptural writings of the world.

The stumbling block in the way of the acceptance of these promises lies in the failure to comprehend what it is that constitutes the identity of the individual. If you identify yourself merely as a human personality in the form of a physical body, with a mentality and an emotional system as the principal components, it is no small wonder that you may have thought it improbable that immortal or eternal life is really yours. However, if you understand that these identifications are interpretations, made by the invisible conviction of being which you are, then you can come to grips with this problem, because it is to your spiritual identity that the promises of immortality are addressed.

In each chapter, emphasis has been placed on awakening your awareness of being as your actual identity. The reason for this has been to set you free from concern about what will become of you. You are the Identifier, and therefore survive every identification you make of your Self.

To illustrate: you once identified yourself as a child who was ten; after considerable development, you changed your identification of yourself to that of

  • seventeen-year-old adolescent. What became of the ten-year-old? You, the identity, did not die, nor did the child die, because you were the only actual life which that identification ever had. However, death, as it is spiritually understood, did occur, and has continued to occur, each time the identifier (which you are) has ceased maintaining certain identifications of its Self in order to present different ones.
  • million years from today, your identity will be shaping identifications of its Self, and, even though they may differ more radically from your present appearance than your present appearance differs from the ten-year-old you once appeared to be; nevertheless, awareness, because it is aware, will be aware of something, and whatever concepts of it Self it embodies, will constitute its body.

Immortality has not been promised to any identification whatsoever. On the other hand, immortality is the condition of spiritual identity, and this is why it cannot be earned, but must always be awakened. This pattern of individual awakening is brilliantly dramatized in an account that is familiar to all readers of Old Testament stories.

With the use of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, which gives the original meanings of the key Hebrew words that have been translated into English in the versions commonly used by English-speaking people everywhere, read now a more intimate and practical meaning which lurks beneath the surface of the well-known allegory:

“Jacob (the capacity to augment, enlarge, expand) went out from Beersheba (the pit that has been digged), and went toward Haran (to glow, melt).”

In the process of spiritual awakening, you leave the limited conception of yourself as one of God’s personal effects, and expand to the acceptance of your invisible conviction of being as your actual substance, or identity.

“And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.”

When illumination subsides, you remain in relative darkness, retaining certain conceptions based on the information avail-able to that degree of awakening.

“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”

Then comes your discovery of the levels of interpreting that range from where you lie completely asleep to your divinity (the literal interpretation of appearances) to where you are wholly awake as the actual substance of those appearances.

“And the Lord stood above it and said, Behold I am with thee, and will

keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into

this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have

spoken to thee of.”

This revelation, so fantastic to the one who has had only a

personal sense of himself, flowers into the understanding and

acceptance of the promise of immortality: Identity does not

forsake its identifications until it is awake as its Self, until it is

“brought again into this land.”

“And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God; and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house.”

From this pillar, this monumental waymark in your experience, you live the drama of life, aware of its redemptive value, recognizing in each new pinnacle of deliverance your survival of another identification.

One’s first brush with this teaching is likely to leave the impression that too much is claimed by insisting that the identity of the individual is the divine Being which IS; and yet it is this very point on which the promises of eternal life become totally acceptable or are discounted altogether as the doctrinal double-talk of theology.

The change of base is so shocking whenever this sudden illumination occurs, that the one in whom it is revealed inevitably shrinks from the implications of such overwhelming responsibility. But this reluctance is an integral part of the drama of life, as you can see by these verses from the narrative we have been considering:

“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

Even though the demands seem well beyond your present capacity

to achieve, divine logic compels the recognition that this is indeed the way, so you (as Jacob) will “set it up for a pillar and pour oil on

the top of it.” You will be dedicated to this highest ideal–maintaining the spiritual meaning of Life!

On the thirtieth of this month, our country observes Memorial Day, a national holiday designated to offer the tribute of memory to those called dead. As your spiritual awakening proceeds, you will develop firmer convictions regarding life and what it means to be the life (identifier) of all living (identifications). Death will not be to you the destruction or end of life, but the cessation of a particular identification made by the Identity which has been the only living thing all along.

When you accept this fundamental premise of being eternal life, your previous concepts of life and death will be shattered, and you will understand the higher meaning of these familiar words: “See ye not all these stones (theories which worldly erudition has built)? Verily I say unto you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Identifications do not survive the experience of awakening from such interpreting, but identifier does!

The Gospel of John presents Jesus as God Himself (as Life itself), and the entreaty that the reader relate to this central character is constant. When the point has been made that “no man cometh to the Father but by ME,” there comes the sharp reminder, “If ye had known ME, ye should have known my Father also; henceforth ye know him and hath seen him.”

Obedience to the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before ME,” is intensified in these verses which culminate in the disclosure, “He that hath seen ME (his own spiritual identity) hath seen the Father (the Life of all appearances).”

Then, after this groundwork is unshakably established, the subject of life and death is introduced and settled in one statement of such ringing vitality that the question, “What happens to us when we die?” should never again concern you: “Yet a little while, and the world (your literal interpreting) will see me no more, but you (awake to your divinity) will see (understand) ME; because I (your conviction of being) live, you (your identifications) will (appear to) live also.”

JUNE

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (I Cor. 13:11)

Every year at this time, young persons by the hundreds of thousands pass that pivotal point in their lives when they graduate from the years of gathering theories and venture into the world of “hard, cold facts,” where they are obliged to press their accepted theories into practice.

The acid test of experience seldom leaves anyone’s idealized conceptions one hundred percent intact, and all face, sooner or later, the necessity for some sweeping revisions of plan and direction, in order that each may design the methods best suited to carry the freight of his unique contribution to life.

Adolescents, on the whole, are at first somewhat graceless in their acceptance of the inescapable deliverance to maturity. The innocence of childhood encourages the habit of regarding society as existing for the sole purpose of gratifying our wants. This habit is broken forcibly for most of us when, through imposed self-reliance, we discover that living becomes truly meaningful only as we cease our attempts to siphon substance out of life, and begin instead to live imaginatively, creatively, enriching society in the fulfillment of our raison d’être, and by this process, begin awakening our sleeping divinity.

The rebuffs that greet the young graduate are symbolic of all development; they do not stop when the first encounter has been hurdled, for the simple reason that obstacles are the out-pictured interpretations of our ignorance of what lies ahead. Therefore, nothing short of total awakening can prevent a continued deliverance to further stretches of wilderness, a term employed in scripture to indicate the unconquered areas of the mind.

“God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” (Gen. 3;23)

This expulsion from Eden is the inescapable graduation from innocence to experience. Attempts to avoid this step can never accomplish more than a temporary delay. Try as you may to seek again the protective comfort of innocence, the journey, as mapped in the Bible, does not include a return to Eden, but on the contrary, portrays the relentless unfolding into the New Jerusalem (total awakening as spiritual causation itself).

The entire Exodus from Egypt (ignorance of one’s divinity) is tinctured with the murmuring and whining of the reluctance to mature.

“…it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” (Ex. 14:12)

The urge is to turn around, as frightened animals might, and run back across the same old familiar roads at the first sight of the enormity of the wilderness. But is it ever better to serve ignorance, prejudice, superstition, and frozen tradition? Continuing in that path you are dead in the unconquered areas of the mind. How can you prevent this “eternal sleep?” By awakening. The awakening process provides the only sure-footed entrance into the New Jerusalem.

Do you think this process demands too much, that it is too late for the old dogs of the traditional course to learn the new tricks of imaginative living? Remember who you really are. Trace this pattern of awakening from sight to insight as it is set forth in the Book of Job. Following the graduation from innocence, the same cry goes up:

“Oh that I knew where I might find him!” (Job 23:3)

But the exercise of an analytical search is not, of itself, very comforting:

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him.” (Job 23:8,9)

Every direction but the only accurate one! Your use of sight as the photographic reception of appearances will never yield a dominion over those appearances. But when your powers of recognition have developed the insight of vision, the actual perception of causation, you discern that:

“My foot hath held his steps…”   (Job 23:11)

Your own divinity, your feeling of being, is the substance of the attitude-shapes which, if they become habitual, you interpret as the solid conditions of your environment.

With this insight you bridge the transition, or “graduation,” and the passing from innocence loses its sting. No longer will you complain about what is not coming your way, because you will then be oriented toward fulfilling your purpose. Now you know who it is that treads in your steps as your very walking; none other than God himself.

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver (knowledge);have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction (experience). For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it; for how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory to another.” (Isa. 48:10, 11)

So you see, you are not something besides “ME!” “I AM you!”

Now, understanding as the Father, you willingly “put away childish things.” From now on, the propulsion is towards expression rather than accumulation. The barriers you erected to protect the treasures garnered from society can now be dissolved. Paradoxical though it may sound, once they are dissolved, by your consecrated outpouring from the fountainhead of divine imaging, such a multiplication of harvest floods through this newly opened avenue as you have never before dreamed possible.

“…prove ME now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts ( your fundamental identity), if I (this spiritual originality) will not open you the windows of heaven (undifferentiated consciousness), and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal. 3:10)

The burden of proof rests on your own ME, before which “thou shalt have no other gods (concepts of causation).” Living consciously from this standpoint, you continually expand your degree of spiritual awakening and, as outwardly interpreted, you genuinely enrich society with your unique contribution to life.

The model of this process is illustrated with telling effect in the often-cited parable of the sower and the seed. What may have escaped the notice of many is the purpose outlined in the very first sentence, namely, that the sower went forth to sow! Before the maturing results of experience have made their impact, the spiritually innocent quite generally believe they have come into this life to reap; and reap they surely will, but not in a really meaningful way until they plumb the depths of the soil which are symbolized in this old story. It is I AM, the conviction of having identity, that has sown itself as this conviction of being you, and this living presence awakens its native divinity by fathoming these degrees of deepness.

“And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side

(remained on a literal level of interpreting), and the fowls (life’s “hard knocks”) came and devoured them up:

Some fell upon stony places (the superior attitude of the

intellectually complacent), where they had not much earth:  and

forthwith they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun (illuminating experience) was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root (conscious spiritual foundation), they withered away.

And some fell among thorns (lack of moral discipline); and the thorns sprang up (uncontrolled emotional reactions) and choked them:

But other fell into good ground (discovered their identity to be

spiritual causation), and brought forth fruit, some an hundred-

fold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold (depending on the use made

of their discovery.)

WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.” (Matt. 13:3-9)

JULY

Surely everyone, at some time or another, feels driven by compulsion to break through some cramping limitation and achieve a freer functioning in circumstances more native to his taste and talent.

If you have felt the spur of this symptom and have subdued it in face of the barriers which are, to all appearances, impenetrable, you may be encouraged by tracing the pattern of emergence from restriction to unqualified freedom.

The necessity, as old as time, is for the spiritual identity of the individual to awaken from its sleep, in which it has interpreted itself in terms of literal, physical limitation.

In the process of living, either we look at life, as spectators, or we look from Life, in the conviction that our life is Life’s own living. The New Testament refers to these two views as “the natural man” and “the spiritual man.”

“Howbeit, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual… And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (I Cor. 15:46, 49)

In the order of identification, you do begin observing life literally. Everything, including yourself, appears “of the earth earthy.” This is not Life, but an image you bear of Life. After much experience, this same Life comes to view as “that which is spiritual.” In other words, as you awaken your divinity, you make a declaration of independence from “the image of the earthy,” and from this illumination, you “bear the image of the heavenly.”

In the Old Testament, the “natural” and “spiritual” poles of the individual’s functioning are generally depicted as “brothers” with sharply contrasted natures. As the external, or physical sense appears first, this viewpoint is called the “elder son,” and because the spiritual view is hidden from the natural, it is called the “inner,” or “second son.”

To illustrate: Cain was “a tiller of the ground,” while his brother Abel was “a keeper of the sheep.” Jabal was “the father of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp.” Then there were Esau and Jacob, the twins that struggled within Rebekah before they were born. The Lord had told Rebekah that two manner of people should be born, and that “the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” As they grew up, Esau was “a cunning hunter, a man of the field,” while Jacob was “the smooth-skinned lad.”

Why did the second son always manage to be blessed above the elder? Why, even over Joseph’s protest, did his father, Jacob, pronounce the blessing on his younger son, Ephraim, instead of Menasseh, the firstborn? Because all these pairs of brothers indicate the opposite standpoints each individual may take. Every member of every generation is obliged to burst through the fetters of his own interpreting as “the natural man,” and declare the independence of his spiritual identity. The story of the blessing of Joseph’s sons pointedly dramatizes this spiritual essential:

“And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon

the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s

hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Menasseh’s head.

And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the

firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father

refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become people,

and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he,

and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” (Gen. 48:17-19)

Using the original meaning of the Hebrew names in the foregoing text, you should be able to adapt the intent very productively to your own case. Jacob is the capacity to supplant; Joseph is the capacity to augment; Menasseh means “causing to forget,” and Ephraim is defined as “fruitfulness.”

Interpreting literally, frustrated by the pressures of limitation, you are “caused to forget” your spiritual creativity; but living your divinity, you discover its “fruitfulness,” and prove to your satisfaction that “signs follow them that believe.”

To activate Ephraim is to declare your independence from the restrictions of the known and accepted, and to be “the branch that runs over the wall,” as Jacob termed Joseph’s blessed issue.

World history saw America break away from the established kingdom of England and declare its independence; almost daily you read newspaper accounts of internal strife and struggle, the birth-pangs which attend the prologue to national independence. Whether interpreted individually, nationally, or on a worldwide scale, the activity is the same: spiritual independence is being awakened and asserted.

What do you suppose is the meaning of the frantic competition in the race to conquer outer space? Is it anything other than the same urge, this time interpreted on a planetary scale? Do you think these incidents occur only at isolated intervals in history? This urge rises in each one who walks the earth, who ever has walked it, or who ever will walk it–and not only the earth. The conviction of being, which is your life and identity, is growing over the wall that literal interpreting calls the circumference of existence, and is revealing no limit to that which is.

The writers of the Bible took these symptoms of burgeoning, common to all, and dramatized them as brothers with conflicting dispositions, but the meaning is clear that the conflict is yours, and it must be waged on the battleground of your own interpreting. When Jacob wrestled all night with an angel (spiritual intuition), he was alone; the dawn that followed was the dawn of enlightenment, and he could say, “I have seen God face to face.” It took the recognition of his divinity to change his name (sense of identity) from Jacob (the capacity to supplant) to Israel (the whole Mind of man).

Sooner or later, you are obliged to make this same recognition, and when you do, it may be that you will not change your name, but you will surely change your values. You will begin to forsake the opinions you clutched so rigidly as your trademarks in the past, and will dare to forge ahead with confidence into altitudes of thought of which you never have dreamed. And this is when your Father (spiritual identity) sends you “legions of angels to deliver you,” an abundance of fresh ideas to explore, elevating you beyond the pressures inherent in literal interpreting.

The Pilgrims left their homeland when the free exercise of their religious conviction was curtailed by the authority of the Crown, and dared to venture into the unknown with implicit confidence in the assertion of their spiritual independence. Out of this bold act of living faith grew the concept of religious freedom, the actual cornerstone of this great nation “that grows over the wall.” In their zeal to promote this ideal of individual freedom, they organized churches, which provided a sense of security in numbers; but they failed to recognize this reliance as the formation of a new shell which would corrode as it solidified, and ultimately impose the same restrictions on individual spiritual freedom which they had hoped to obliterate in their dare-all act of bravery.

And this is the great lesson of Life. The rise and fall of ideologies, the dictatorial parade of personal importance, the obsession to be remembered as the best in history: these are all illustrations, negatively interpreted, of the one eternal activity, the freeing of spiritual identity from its limiting literal identifications.

Do not be afraid of spiritual acrophobia! You will not lose your balance on dizzy heights unless you are deifying your identifications of yourself as your Self. The danger comes from basking in someone else’s theories instead of your own spiritual experience.

“No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.” —William Blake

AUGUST

August is the month when mankind’s attention becomes diverted to seeking pleasurable ways and means for spending holidays from its routine employment, and it has occurred to me that God is interpreting His presence as man for the purpose of experience, rather than entertainment.

The introduction of this concept will not, I trust, be considered a kill-joy attempt on my part to dampen your vacation plans. On the contrary, my intention is the very reverse. By drawing a distinction between leisure and idleness, between the joy of more expansive expressivity and the vacuity of chasing illusory pleasures, you will discover how you may spend your leisure weeks, and even your daily leisure hours, in a manner which will continue to reward you and society for long after those hours and weeks have passed.

In 1771, when Benjamin Franklin was “expecting the enjoyment of a week’s uninterrupted leisure,” he utilized that period to begin what has become, in spite of the fact that he never fully completed it, an accepted English classic– his Autobiography. Franklin’s industrious attitude exhibits quite a considerable departure from the seeking of entertainment which usually characterizes forthcoming spare time in this day and age.

As long as man regards himself as just one among billions of God’s good and bad children, he will not only be seeking to receive constantly, he will be needing to receive constantly; he will mistakenly interpret the fundamental urge to awaken his spiritual identity as the necessity for relief from any expressive activity whatever, and this is what sends him in fruitless pursuit of pleasure. This unproductive expenditure of energy also accounts for the fact that so many return exhausted from their vacations, almost welcoming as a restorative the humdrum routine from which they so lately required respite.

When you fully realize that your actual Self is the Source of all creative expression, you will be free from the tedium that necessarily attends the opposite concept of yourself as one of the effects of this Source.

The fifteenth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John yields a remarkable dominion to the one who understands that the I which is speaking is his own spiritual identity, and not one historical figure who was holier than his hearers of two thousand years ago, not to mention the unnumbered millions of readers of varying degrees of worth, from the time those documents were written, down to the present moment. Four verses from this chapter are especially cogent in this connection.

“Abide in ME (your conviction of having identity), and I

(this spiritual original) in (as the reality of) you. As the

branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye (your identification of Self) except ye abide

in ME. (your spiritual identity) am the vine, ye (the interpretations of it) are the branches; He that abideth in ME (lives consciously as spiritual causation), and I in him (as his actual substance, or reality), the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me (this conscious presence) ye can do nothing.”   (John 15:4,5)

The next verse is fortification for my insistence in teaching that your identity is “the vine,” and not one of “the branches.”

“If a man abide not in ME (as the awareness of being), he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and

cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)

How believable would be the unconditional promise of your having eternal and immortal life, if there were even the remotest possibility that your identity could be burned? Yet that eventuality is far more probable than merely possible, if your sense of your Self were to continue as a branch and not the vine. The name of the vine is “I AM,” and that is your identity; the name of the branches is “ye are,” and these are your identifications, or interpretations.

Now, “hear the conclusion of the whole matter” regarding the condition imposed if you are to realize success in whatever you undertake:

“IF ye abide (live consciously) in ME (as spiritual causation), and

my words (this meaning) abide in you (underlies all your interpretations), ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

Here is the secret of all truly creative activity, and therefore of all truly satisfying results. Now, with this standpoint in sharp focus as your position in life, re-orient your thoughts about leisure, which is defined as “Time available for some particular purpose.” Certainly this definition does not imply idle drifting, or surcease from all action; instead, it sounds a bugle-call to some purposeful activity that differs from the routine.

The project I am about to recommend will not in any sense interfere with your vacation schedule, no matter what you may have planned, because, to be at all productive, it must be begun in the quiet region of your spiritual depth, and then extended consciously into all that you do in the interpretative levels of your being–moral, mental, and physical. So you see, leisure is required when you initiate this operation!

For lack of a better term, I shall call this procedure your “resurrection of the patriarchs.” Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph represent far more than the names of four illustrious ancestors of an ancient race of people. The spiritual meaning of these names is revealed in the nature of the characteristics which comprise their parts in the genesis of the drama of Life as it is unfolded in the book of Genesis.

Inasmuch as the children of Israel are referred to throughout the Bible as “Abraham’s seed,” the process of resurrecting these capacities in individual character should begin properly with Abraham.

The circumstances attending the story of Abraham called forth the general tenor of fidelity to, or faith in, divine direction. Your disciplined exercise of fidelity to your spiritual identity gives birth to another capacity, Isaac.

The name Isaac is literally translated, ” to laugh.” An abiding joy is the identifying characteristic of this patriarch, and when you can do whatever you do with the joy of knowing”… it is God which worketh in (as) you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” you then bear Isaac’s successor, Jacob, the supplanter.

The spiritual activity of molding your feeling of being into an ideal that is not objectively apparent, always develops this capacity to supplant undesirable situations with satisfactory solutions. When you have activated this Jacob of your own character, you are then in a position to bring Joseph alive.

No matter what adverse conditions were heaped upon Joseph in the story of his long career, in every detail he rose, not only to the occasion, but far and away beyond it, and eventually was the appointed overseer of all the Pharoah’s supplies and treasury. Joseph is your capacity to augment, to expand, to extend.

Paralleling these four capacities with the spiritual, moral, mental, and physical levels of your being, you can see the necessity of consciously activating them. When these four “patriarchs” are awakened as integral parts of your own character, they comprise what William Blake termed the “four quarters of the human soul.”

Faith in and fidelity to your own I AM-ness is the creative core, or spiritual depth of you. Doing joyously whatever you do, is your moral interpreting. Supplanting unacceptable concepts with those which are more desirable, is your mental resolution. Witnessing the expansion in symbols of these adjustments, is the physical result.

Do you see why such an enterprise requires leisure in which to form the root of a greater individual dominion, and also why it is that you can enjoy it?

Happy holidays!

SEPTEMBER

“I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” (Mark 2:11)

Like the blast of a trumpet, this rousing dictum comes to us all, more than once in a lifetime, to stir our sleeping divinity from the lethargy inherent in its dream that the interpretation of Life is the substance of Life.

In context, the above command is addressed to “one sick of the palsy,” symbolic of the halting ineffectualness, the stupor, of spiritual inactivity. If our response to this inner directive should be as immediate as that recorded in Mark’s gospel, we, too, would be glorifying God and saying, “We never saw it on this fashion.”

God is Life, and Life is glorified in living. But this living is an essentially spiritual experience, hence the terminology, “Arise (ascend consciously to your essence), and take up thy bed (elevate your sense of the foundation on which you rest), and go thy way into thine house (continue this course to the dwelling place of spiritual causation).

This habitation of creativity, this city of God, is “the New Jerusalem” of scripture, and it is indeed “built without hands,” but not without effort, as some may have fancied. An intense discipline of attention is required in order to bring every appearance into the focus of your spiritual perception. Countless distractions lure your senses into reaction until, time after time, your perspective becomes so contracted that you are obliged to start all over again with firmer resolve.

The sixth chapter of Nehemiah cites an example of commendable dedication to the work at hand, but the vital impact is lost if you read it as an incident in the life of a man who bore that name. With Strong’s treasury of original meanings for the words translated from the source material, you may unravel the spiritual intent of the writer of that document, and find it eminently practical for yourself.

Nehem-jah is the combination of two Hebrew words which together mean “the consolation of the Self-Existent or Eternal,” and this imperturbable conviction of being the substance of Life is the builder of the wall, or fortification, of “the New Jerusalem.”

“Now it came to pass when Sanballat (‘satrap: petty ruler under a king,’ representing the annoyances always attend-ing the literal interpreting which is the enthroned authority

of ‘this world’), and the rest of our enemies (intrusions,

distractions, interruptions), heard that I had builded

the wall (when I had consciously erected the fortress

of my spiritual identity), though at that time I had not

set up the doors upon the gates (although I had not, at

that stage of development, become completely secure

and free from some weak spots, or loopholes, in my

reasoning), that Sanballat sent unto me, saying, Come,

let us meet together (parley with these distractions) in

some one of the villages in the plain of Ono (futility,

where plans come to naught). But they thought to do

me mischief.”   (Neh. 6:1, 2)

Bear in mind, these intrusions do not originate in “others.” These characters in Bible narratives all refer to some characteristic of your own awakening, and your acceptance of these states as “persons doing it” can only deceive you into failure to resurrect your Self from these states, and you will continue to experience similar annoyances (with perhaps different actors to portray them), until this point is seen.

“And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work (redeeming my sense of identity), so that I cannot come down (return to that limited perspective): why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come

down to you?” (Neh. 6:3)

Why, indeed? Why should my sense of what I am perpetually slip back to that contracted perspective? Why should I not be consciously elevating the “I” of me, which, if “lifted up, will draw all men (identifications of Self) unto” that level to which the Identifier has attained?

The uphill climb of spiritual awakening may be postponed, but it cannot be avoided. The ascent seems steep only because the route is so direct. You will be astonished to discover in what measure your wholehearted consecration to the endeavor diminishes the laboriousness of it; then, when enthusiasm displaces dread, your intent is not to escape the experience, but to seek the liberating illumination it yields.

Every interpreted shape is a distortion, or limitation, of the Substance which has taken that shape, and the salvation of the Believer from its beliefs is the eternal awakening process that, like the Red Sea, lies before everyone who identifies his being by his conscious admission, “I am.”

This redemptive process is outlined in the Bible as the great Exodus from Egypt, and you, in vacating the ignorance of what constitutes your Selfhood, are confronted by this same Red Sea which looks impassable only from the “beforehand” side of the experience.

Moses (“to draw forth”) is your own capacity to marshal the children of Israel (your straying, undisciplined thoughts) out of Egypt (the abysmal ignorance of your spiritual identity), through the wilderness (uncharted areas of experience), to the Promised Land (the “New Jerusalem,” or the total realization that “I AM HE!”)

“And Moses stretched out his hand (tested and proved understanding) over the sea (the turbulent appearance of concepts that have no meaningful relationship because, up to this point, they have not been brought into focus through your spiritual experience of being their substance); and the Lord (your all-powerful conviction of having identity) causes the sea to go back by a strong east (‘to project one’s Self’) wind (‘with the spirit of courage’) all that night (when no results of this activity are visible), and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Through your experience of being the substance of every interpreted appearance, the meaning of these appearances is revealed; the waters, or unformed meanings, recede into intelligible shape.) And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground (your thinking is now based on the bedrock of your own spiritual experience). Thus the Lord saved Israel that day (awakens its powers of perception at that point of development) out of the hand of the Egyptians (from the sorry state of understanding ‘through a glass darkly’); and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.” (Ex. 14:21, 22, 30)

In your deliverance from the chaotic nightmares of literal interpreting, you discover that all conceivable states of mind are “dead upon the sea shore.” That is to say, your feeling of being is the only actual substance present, even when it is molded into the feeling of being any one of the conceivable possibilities which constitute the drama of Life.

To illustrate: suppose you awoke one morning feeling depressed, but, before the forenoon had passed, you were feeling wonderfully elated. Was it not the same feeling of being that shaped, in the first instance, as depression, that later shaped as elation? What, then, was the actual substance of either mood? Where was the reality of elation while your feeling of being was not in the shape of it? And where was the reality of depression when your feeling of being had vacated the shape of it?

Your spiritual identity is the only living thing, and any possibility is “dead on the sea shore,” inactive in the mental alphabet, until this one living Substance molds its Self into the shape of that possibility. Then, identifying from the limited perspective of the shape it has taken, the Identifier interprets its appearance as a solid condition, or a fact.

This is the great lesson all should be learning: “I am the light of the world!” Your own capacity to perceive is the stuff of which every perception is formulated. As your recognition of this fundamental truth expands to realization, you are going “thy way into thine house,” and St. Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians comes within the bounds of credibility:

“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead

(shapes in which your substance is interpreting itself), and Christ (living spiritual creativity) shall give thee

light (ever-increasing illumination).  (Eph. 5:14)

OCTOBER

Before your work-a-day routine grows so colorless that you cannot approach it with healthy enthusiasm, it might be well to assess your attitude regarding whatever it is that you do, and determine whether or not your sights are set sufficiently high to carry you beyond the status of being a mere servant of your job and possessions.

Interpreted literally, the repeated cycles of necessity become tiresome. The dishes you washed after breakfast must be used again for dinner, and so goes the endless recurrence of details for the one whose perspective is never stretched far enough to challenge the existing limits of the most widely accepted concepts.

Obsessed by his reasoned theory about the size and shape of the earth, Christopher Columbus persisted against what must have seemed to him diabolical opposition, and the results of his relentless pursuit of proof constituted the first major breakthrough in navigation, opening unlimited opportunities for commerce, from which world-wide political and economic ramifications were bound to unfold.

Any number of pioneers in various fields have tasted the same trials and setbacks that attended the long history of Columbus. The all-important question confronting each after his triumph has always been, to phrase it in today’s vernacular, “Where do I go from here?”

It is humanly characteristic to think that satisfaction would be complete if certain situation could be achieved. But why is it that, when the desired condition has become a fact, we are still plagued by a further need? William Blake has given the answer:

“If the many become the same as the few when possess’d, More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul; less than All cannot satisfy Man.”

Careful look at Blake’s capitalization shows why disenchantment lurks behind every attainment. As spiritual awakening proceeds, new heights are unveiled to the Beholder. Wherever identity is being claimed, the process is identical, although infinitely various in details of expression: the Identifier’s perspective is expanding from the extremity of compression to the infinite realization of being divine Causation. Therefore, nothing short of total awakening to his own Allness can ever satisfy this Identifier who, while he sleeps to that Allness, is pleased to call himself Man.

Whether the identifying being is awake or asleep to what it is that comprises his identity, the Being is the same. Blake understood this. The writers of the Bible understood it, too. Take, for example, these few verses:

“There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he

hath neither child nor brother.”  (Eccl. 4:8)

“I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm (understanding) brought salvation unto me.” (Isa. 63:5)

“…he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me

alone.”   (John 8:29)

I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30)

“…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

The seriousness of my purpose in making such an issue of this one point may be inverse to the light concern with Hallowe’en, which falls at the end of October; however, this holiday grants license to the curiosity over ghosts, and souls, and such, and is worth our consideration, if for no other reason than to serve as a focal point for clarifying the concept of reincarnation, which is inescapably involved with this month’s subject of breaking through the barriers of recurrence on the literal level.

Funk and Wagnalls’ Practical Standard Dictionary gives this definition of reincarnation: “A rebirth of the soul in successive bodies; specifically, in Vedic religions, the becoming of an avatar (manifestation) again; one of the series in the transmigration of souls.”

This theory evolves from the conception of a multiplicity of souls. Failing to equate soul with identity or original causation (I AM, which is never plural, but always first person, singular number, present tense), the individual mistakes one of the identifications (as in Blake’s “less than All”) for his identity (soul), and falls into the trap of regarding himself as divided from what Emerson refers to as the Over-Soul.

If you identify from the constricted perspective of a result, you would quite naturally conclude that, all things being equal, the likelihood of your ever experiencing Allness must be ruled out unless you were permitted multiple opportunities for living again. On the other hand, if you understand that persons and personalities are the interpreted appearances of the shapes your Identity is presenting, you know that the Identifier (your actual Self) is not being deprived of, and therefore cannot be required to repeat, any of Its incarnate experiences.

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also

the soul of the son is mine.”  (Ezek. 18:4)

It is as though modeling clay, if it could talk, were saying of the shapes it takes, “I, the clay, am the substance of all these various shapes; inasmuch as the shape was not there of itself, and I, the clay, am all that was there in every shape, what would be the necessity of becoming again that which I have already been?” Perpetual unfoldment, not repeated performance, is the path of true awakening. The inequalities of the shapes are only instructive in the awakening process, and in no way imply injustice, because the substance which is shaped into these inequable appearances is in no way affected or impaired, so far as what it is is concerned.

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight

before thee.” (Prov. 4:25)

The word translated “eyes” in this proverb, originally carried the meaning of “fountain.” In line with this connotation, direct the expansion of your spiritual understanding in the same forward line of which Paul spoke in his letter to the Philippians:

“…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in

Christ Jesus.”(Phil 3:13, 14)

Convinced that the One who is awakening (where you, by saying” I AM,” are claiming identity) is the Performer of all the parts in the great Life-drama, your progressively clearer seeing would epitomize a fountain, which pours out from its central source.

“And let him that is on the housetop (who understands his identity as Original Spirit) not go down into the house (the concept of Self as person), neither enter therein, to take anything out of his house: and let him that is in the field (liberated from the limited perspective) not turn back again for to take up his garment.” (Mark 13:15, 16)

The theory of reincarnation is, at best, an attempt to capture the invisible, indivisible, impersonal life-principle, and subjugate it again to the limitations from which, by living the life of the individual, it is redeeming itself. In refutation of the necessity, or even the possibility, of repeated detours in the process of spiritual awakening, the seventeenth chapter of Matthew deals a master stroke.

In the experience of transfiguration, when the concepts of law and prophecy appear to the disciplined attributes of attention in the persons of Moses and Elias, the urge, at that stage of development, is to “make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” But the attempt to perpetuate personifications of what is being revealed, can only cause the vision to fade. “And when they had lifted up their eyes (perceived the higher meaning), they saw no man, save Jesus (I AM-ness) only.”

 

The question, then, is not whether the Identifier is obliged to return to activate again that which It has already animated, but rather, “Is soul one or many?” Here, again, Blake resolves the mystery:

“Contracting our Infinite sense we behold Multitude; or expanding, we behold as One.”

NOVEMBER

“An enterprise, when fairly once begun, should not be left till all that ought is won.” –Shakespeare

Having before your memory of the example of what was done on November 11, 1918, you should be eager to follow Shakespeare’s advice and, with determination, see every undertaking through to proper fulfillment.

To accept a substitutional but uneasy solution of any problem, or to be willing to tolerate less than satisfaction, always leaves you a little less in control, little weaker, a little more cautious (if, indeed, not suspicious), and, as a consequence, a little less inclined to venture boldly into the next forward step.

When frustrated aims are left to smolder in the ashes of expediency, they invariably flare up later on in blazes that are far more difficult to bring under control than would be the case if they had reached fulfillment in your first attempt, however Herculean the effort on your part at the time.

“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no

peace.”   (Jer. 8:11)

If you are inclined to rankle over the practice of appeasement on the widespread scale of international involvements, ask yourself if the world’s mood differs fundamentally from yours as you feel and think about the world. Now, having answered yourself in complete honesty, just scan the events intimately related to your own recent living. Do you find perhaps more than one instance in which, beset by the pressures of intrusions and obstacles, you modified your original goal?

What is it that makes any ideal attainable?

Ideals are the eternally conceivable concepts, or shapes, if you will, into which it is possible for the basic Substance to form Itself. Inasmuch as the basic Substance is I AM, unless this feeling of being will mold its Self into the feeling of being the selected ideal, that ideal cannot appear as a condition.

Do you make attempts at defining yourself in terms more satisfactory than your present functioning would indicate? If so, are you influenced at all by the evidence on every side that denies your attempts? Do you then question whether or not your desired definition may be unattainable for you? Is it perhaps too much to expect, in view of the way things are? Doesn’t it begin to seem too lofty a desire, and don’t you start thinking you would really be satisfied with a much more modest solution?

If an ideal is ever to become fulfilled, you must fill it full of the one animating Substance of the universe; your own conviction of having identity. When the Identifier identifies its Self as a fulfilled ideal, the conviction of being becomes the conviction of being that!

Is there, then, a logical excuse for modifying your original intent by basing your conclusions on the interpreted obstacles, which obstacles appear there because the same feeling of being sustains the feeling of being obstructed?

Your ideal has only the substance you give it, and if you would credit it with reality, you must be the reality of it, just as clay is the substance of the shapes it takes. Learn not to back down before literal arguments that deny your success, but continue in your conviction of being your ideal. Then you will understand

“The divine insanity of noble minds, that never falters nor abates, but labors, endures, and waits, till all that it foresees

it finds, or what it cannot find, creates.”                 —Longfellow

You have only to remain convinced that your spiritual identity is the actual substance of every interpreted appearance, in order to persist confidently in maintaining a definition of Self that differs from the one you have been accepting. The temptation to postpone the occupancy of your ideal until appearances begin to conform to your desire, can but leave you defining yourself as someone desiring.

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)

The ripeness of your grain is in direct proportion to your fidelity to the feeling you have assumed. As you exercise the perceptive faculty, you will develop confidence in your ability to maintain assumptions that are not yet visible, and this disciplined practice will make of you a veteran, in the true dictionary definition of the word: “One long trained or exercised in any service.” It is gratifying to note that this nation has changed the name by which it now designates the eleventh of November; the term “armistice,” which is defined as “a temporary cessation, by mutual agreement, of hostilities,” has been forsaken in favor of ‘Veterans’ Day.”

Adapting this connotation to the process of spiritual awakening, you find yourself the veteran, skilled by your own experience in the art of redemption.

This is the procedure by which you can truly “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: (and) be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (Ps. 100:4)

And what is “his name?” It is “I AM.” Practicing the art of redemption, you discover your spiritual identity to be your savior from the identifications it has been presenting.

Americans traditionally observe a yearly Thanksgiving in the spirit the Pilgrims established when they reverently acknowledged the protection and bounty supplied by the divine Creator all through that first year in this land that was then hazardous and new to them.

If you consider the industrious dedication to their ideal of spiritual freedom, which was, after all, the irresistible compulsion that sent the Pilgrims on their way and kept them on it, can you think of a greater legacy than your own freedom to enjoy the spirit they exemplified?

Really meaningful thanksgiving requires total entry “into his courts,” which implies being consciously positioned as Spirit, the essence, and therefore the ultimate source of protection and plenty. Literally interpreted results merely confirm spiritual activity, as shadows confirm the presence of objects. Then is it not just a trifle short-sighted to confine your proclamation of gratitude to the benefits received, and not to remember your spiritual activity which is the Substance that benefits merely confirm?

There is a divine validity behind the law of identical harvests. You are permitted, in fact, obliged, to reap circumstances which are the literal likenesses of the concepts, good or bad, that you occupy with conviction. But do you think it is an unfair oversight on the part of Original Spirit to have allowed the enforcement of this absolutely irrevocable law? Not if you understand the interpretative levels of being! The intent of spiritual Causation is not merciless, but divinely merciful, because the final understanding from the experience of productivity is to know your Self, the invisible Identifier of all your identifications, to be the only creator.

“And I (spiritual Causation) will give thee (literal interpreting) the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel (Creator, or the Mind of Man).” (Isa. 45:3)

DECEMBER

With this chapter, your path through the “drama year” comes full circle, and I hope the fundamental premise, that your conviction of having identity is the ultimate cause of the appearances you interpret, has been presented so logically that a more limited concept of individuality is giving way to this expanded view. If this is the case, then you are in accord with Emerson’s observation that

“…around every circle another can be drawn, that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens.”

The birth of Jesus Christ is the eternal symbol of the awakening of the spiritual identity of the individual. From this fulcrum all begin to draw their circles in the form of conclusions, each one seeming final until penetrated by the light of a greater illumination.

The pattern of deliverance is laid out in the Exodus of the children of Israel from the harsh taskmasters of Egypt (ignorance of spiritual Selfhood) to the flowing milk and honey of The Promised Land (full realization that “I am the light of the world”).

The forty years spent wandering in the wilderness illustrates that dry, desolate, and utterly fruitless casting about in externals for the satisfaction of a hunger that finds satiety only in opening the flood-gates from within, washing away all hollowness by the outpouring of divine Self-expression.

Throughout this deliverance, attention strays always in the same direction, seeking in outward appearances the explanations of life, and following mass theories in direct disobedience to the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before ME.”

As long as this ME of you sleeps to its divinity, just so long will it continue dreaming itself to be your person or personality, the Adam that was made from the dust of the ground–an effect. Unless that dream of selfhood is pierced by a higher awakening, you go on tilling the soil from which that concept of self is constructed, by the sweat of your brow rearranging surfaces with no lasting results, until the prophesied return to the oblivion of mindless dust seems almost attractive.

Awakening is individual! Here is the great chasm which exists between Christian principle and the practice of organized religion. Attempts to reform “them” only mistake the meaning and method of salvation. The evidence is social, but the initiative is individual. The world’s disorders as seen are indeed social, but they are experienced individually. Effective remedial action must, therefore, be individual, where experience is; then results can appear socially, where evidence is.

“Look unto ME, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:

for I am God, and there is none else.”  (Isa. 45:22)

This injunction for all to “look unto ME” for salvation has been largely misinterpreted, in the extension of organized religion, to mean that individuals must recognize and make themselves subservient to a static Perfection called God. However, the enlightened teaching of Paul reveals the more practical understanding that God is the Life of manifested appearances, and that salvation from any appearance is obtained by living as the life and not as the manifested appearance.

Throughout the Acts of the Apostles, there are repeated exhortations “that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God.” It is vanity at its arrogant limit to claim a separate living that is not the divine Life’s living, and at the same time, to pretend to believe that God is All, and the only Life!

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars (the Greek god of mentality) hill, and said, Ye men of Athens (symbolizing intellectuality), I perceive that in all things ye are too super-stitious. For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”   (Acts 17:22, 23)

Merely to acknowledge a static Absolute Perfection that is not your own Being, is to worship ignorantly, without understanding. To understand happiness spiritually, you must become conscious of actually being happy. The knowledge, understanding, and worship of God is no exception to this basic method, hence the crux of Paul’s instruction:

“That they should seek (to understand) the Lord, if haply they might feel after (the manner of) him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us (manifested appearances): For in (the One we have been calling) him, we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:27, 28)

The miracle in the birth of Jesus is not that it occurred in only one historically, but that it occurs in all individually. The conjunction of moral, mental, and literal interpreting establishes a polarity in which this phenomenal spiritual experience unfolds as the reality of every one:

“And there were in the same country (superstructure)

shepherds (moral values) abiding in the field (mentality),

keeping watch over their flock (interpreted appearances)

by night (unawakened to spiritual Self-hood).  And, lo,

the angel of the Lord (message of salvation) came upon

them (all who so interpret), and the glory of the Lord shone

round about them (illuminating their sense): and they were

sore afraid (standing utterly astonished). And the angel

said unto them, Fear not (do not be awestruck): for, behold,

bring you good tidings (the first inkling) of great joy,

which shall be to all people ( to every one who claims identity by his own admission, I AM).

For unto you (individually) is born this day (made plain by this revelation) in the city of David (where Love is enthroned as ruler in the Mind) a Savior,

which is Christ the Lord (the Self-conscious Presence, God Almighty!)”  (Luke 2:8-11)

Salvation is the destiny of everyone; it is for all, but must be experienced individually by unraveling the mystery of the Savior’s birth. When you have solved the mystery, then this revelation becomes more to you than an accepted doctrine of salvation; you begin to draw larger and yet larger circles, relinquishing outgrown religious concepts in favor of increased opportunities for wider spiritual service.

When temptation offers “all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them” in exchange for divine Self-awareness, the one in whom the Savior is awake will put that deception behind him, because he has discovered why “it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

The only truly divine worship is the reverent outpouring of your divinity, bringing apparent social disorders into adjustment as the inevitable by-product of this individual, and therefore, fundamentally motivated spiritual living. Your identity is the life of manifested appearances, and not a mere by-product of Life.

“The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end.” –Emerson

About the Author…

Freedom Barry was born on a farm in the remote hamlet of East Parsonfield, Maine. Educated in Boston, he very early in his life displayed a devotion to the cause of awakening spiritual individuality that has since endeared him to an ever-increasing audience of students and friends.

Mr. Barry lives on a pine-clad hilltop near a small village where the Santa Lucia mountains meet the California seacoast. Here he prepares his work as a free-lance lecturer and teacher of the standpoint he presents in this book.

The genius of the teaching is that it enable students to achieve their own freedom, rather than enlisting their support of a system or organization.

In these days of increasing emphasis on collectivism where men are drawn together physically and apart spiritually, Freedom Barry invites you to come out of the darkening grove of modern paganism into the clear daylight of purely spiritual identification.

WINTHROP B. CHANDLER

Summary
The Gate of the Year by Freedom Barry
Article Name
The Gate of the Year by Freedom Barry
Description
To NEVILLE The Mystic Genius who opened the gate and coaxed me through.