All our years come to us out of the east because all our days and nights come to us out of the east. This is an appearance, because relatively speaking nothing is moving much except the earth—the earth rotating on its axis, the earth moving in its orbit around the sun. And so it seems that our nights and days come to us out of the east. We may visualize something here which is helpful to understanding.
There is a wave moving from east to west through the consciousness of human beings on earth, a wave of intensified activity followed by a trough of reduced activity. This correlates somewhat with day and night. What is called the terminator moves across the face of the earth—this is the line between the bright, day aspect on the surface of the earth and the night, dark aspect. This gives particular evidence of the movement of the wave. There is this intensified activity in human consciousness, reflected in the physical realm, and then that subsides and there is reduced activity in consciousness during the time of sleep. Every twenty-four hours this wave rolls around the earth and human beings are moved by it. They wake up in the morning and become partly conscious at least, participating in the day’s activities until these pass once more into the oblivion of sleep.
As this wave moves around the earth and human beings are activated by it, most of what occurs, the most intense part of it, is in the Northern Hemisphere, simply because the greater landmass is there and the more population is present. It happens all the way from north to south but there are fewer people in the Southern Hemisphere. As the movement continues there are certain pauses, one might say—over the Atlantic Ocean, for instance; there are not so many people there. A greater pause is by reason of the Pacific Ocean, a very large body of water.
We ourselves find ourselves as the last bastion of human consciousness along the West Coast before the terminator, or whatever the hour may be, moves westward from us. As this wave moves around the earth it is conditioned somewhat by the fact that there are wakeful ones present in the mass consciousness of humanity. We are thinking of this as a movement in consciousness. It is also a movement in physical events, but these are consequent upon the movement in consciousness. So what is happening is conditioned in some measure by the fact that there are some points of wakeful light present amongst the population of the earth. Probably we may think of this in terms of Emissaries, but there are others.
This wave finally comes to us, having been conditioned in whatever measure before it arrives. Those who dwell on the West Coast of the North American continent, particularly, have a special responsibility in this conditioning process, so that what moves on of the distorted state of human consciousness may be properly dealt with and sink easily into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, so that reaching the date line, four hours farther west, there may be a somewhat refreshed beginning. I am sure all of you can visualize in your own consciousness what actually occurs day by day. You may not, however, have seen the responsibility which all awakened ones carry, but more particularly those who dwell on the Pacific Coast of the North American continent. We trust that others have done their job so that what arrives in our immediate vicinity has been conditioned to a point where we can more or less easily handle it. It’s important that we should be aware of this process. It relates of course to the administration of the creative cycle.
What I have been talking about so far is what has been happening in the earthbound human consciousness, but of course there is something else as well. We are aware of periods of light and darkness because of this something else. There is what is contained in the heavens, thinking of the heavens simply at the moment as whatever there is beyond the immediate vicinity of the earth. There is much more in that direction than there is in the experience of this movement, this wave motion, around the earth. I wonder if it’s this wave motion that causes seasickness, disease, in human experience because all concerned are very much wrapped up in this movement. It is all that most people know of themselves. There is a faint awareness that the sun sometimes shines in the heavens and sometimes there is a moon out there, a few planets and a multitude of stars—only visible at night.
There is apparently far more in the heavens than there is on the surface of this little speck of cosmic dust called the earth. The astronauts have had a different perspective in viewing the earth, being far away out in space. They don’t see the date line, for instance, which is a human invention, after all; they don’t see the divisions that are marked on the published maps. They see a wholeness to the earth; they see the terminator in motion—but there is quite a different perspective from the standpoint of the heavens. The astronauts are aware that there are many things going on on the surface of the earth but they are not noticeable; they don’t amount to a row of beans. Yet for those who simply dwell on the surface of the earth, involved with this wave motion, it all seems so tremendously important, so tremendously weighty. This is so because of the effect it has on people, on individuals, on oneself in particular.
This is not where the base of our particular perspective should be. It could be said of most of us that we have risen up a little higher—I don’t know how far into space yet, but we have a slightly different perspective than most with respect to what is happening on the surface of the earth. We do not judge so much by the appearance anymore. Appearances are very deceptive. They may tell us something, but not, in a direct sense, what is really there. However this is related principally to physical things. Most people do not have a base from which to comprehend what is observed with understanding perspective at other levels. Most everyone learns to comprehend at the physical level, but unless one has another base from which to proceed, our translations of what we otherwise observe will lack in understanding of perspective. It can be analyzed in this way—and this human beings have done in all their realms of knowledge, without ever having first developed in their own experience a base from which they might be in position to observe with true perspective.
As long as all people tend to be involved in this wave that is moving over the surface of the earth they can never stand back to see what is really happening. The base for the observation of what is actually happening on earth is in the heavens. As long as a person is trying to understand what is happening on earth from the standpoint of involvement in this wave motion, he has no basis for a true perspective view. He simply does not know what is going on.
Relative to the earth, what is present in the heavens is quite stable. The sun is there—the sun has a relative motion with respect to something else, but insofar as the earth is concerned, there it is—a stable point. There are other stable points in the heavens: all the various star systems, for instance. And while there is apparent motion insofar as the other planets are concerned, they are nevertheless a part of a relatively stable whole apparently. But it is what is in the heavens that induces the wave motion of which I have been speaking. This is obviously so from the standpoint of day and night. The rotation of the earth wouldn’t make any difference if there were no sun. It is because the sun is there that there is the succession of day and night, there is the succession of the seasons of the year, there is the succession of the years.
To comprehend what is going on, one would necessarily have to have a perspective that was present in the heavens. Immediately there begins to be such a perspective everything comes into a better balance. It ceases to be merely a very distorted figure that we are looking at. We may have a new base for our experience, so that we become capable of translating what it is we observe rightly, and we are not fooled anymore merely by the appearance. It requires experience to translate things correctly in consciousness. Human beings are indeed earthbound. As long as one is earthbound, involved with this wave motion, being pushed around by this wave motion, it is impossible to have a true perspective.
We ourselves have been richly blessed, if we have been willing to receive the blessing, so that we have some experience of a new base for our perspective, a heavenly base. There may be the inclination to jump off our heavenly base again, but our business relates to this heavenly base, from which we may gain experience of the correct translation of perspective. As we translate the perspective which we are capable of observing, as we translate that correctly, the world becomes a different place. We see it at least three-dimensionally, in living color; and what we thought was so, when all we saw was something flat, two-dimensional, black and white, was not what was there at all. But the ability to translate correctly comes through our actual experience of being in the heaven. It cannot come from any experience that we may have, being a part of the wave motion in human consciousness. We can be aware of the wave motion in human consciousness, just as we can be aware of the waves in the ocean without being in the ocean. In fact, our awareness from above the ocean, of the wave motion in the ocean, is much more accurate than if we were down in the ocean. What is going on in the world of human consciousness is not at all what it has seemed to human beings to be.
Along the way we have perhaps run into difficulties of various sorts in our experience in this wave motion. We were still somewhat involved in the waves, we couldn’t see clearly, but it was helpful for someone who had a true perspective vision to say, “Everything is all right; it’s just that you are not capable of seeing that it’s all right, that’s all.” Many of you have gained experience in this regard. But it isn’t because someone tells you that everything is all right, so that you nod your head and say, “Yes, now I am assured,” but because you yourself begin to know that it is all right. This is the dawning evidence of the fact that you have this new perspective. You are seeing things from the standpoint of the heaven.
One of the great fears which disturbs human hearts in these days is the fear of nuclear war. If you were capable of surviving on the surface of the sun and you were looking out into the solar system and you saw the earth over there, would the threat of nuclear war be so weighty to you? It seems like a great burden to people, a fearful burden, simply because they are all involved in this wave motion and what they are seeing is a flat picture which they don’t understand at all—and this is the basis for all human activity. But standing back with perspective vision, you know it’s all part of a total picture which has depth and color unseen heretofore. It was said that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. No one has believed it but the fact of the matter is that it’s right here, when we have the base for true perspective. Our concern at the moment is to provide what we may from a new base of observation so that others may relinquish their flat, black-and-white view of things in favor of rising up to a level where there might be not only an awareness of true perspective but a correct translation of that perspective. Something needs to drain away from the consciousness of human beings to allow this to happen.
So one of our responsibilities along the Pacific Coast here is to handle what comes to us of this wave in such a way that it may be cast into the depths of the Pacific Ocean. In other words, when this wave gets past us it is cleared of all the debris. And this happens, not because we try to make somebody else change but because we let it happen in our own experience. After all, one can only have the true perspective for oneself; you can’t have it for somebody else.
Day by day this wave comes to us, as I say, conditioned by wakeful ones along the way in these days, and we receive what comes. What do we do with it? Do we object to it?—“I don’t like this; this is uncomfortable.” Look at the news and we see all this flat, black-and-white view of things. That’s not true; it’s not the way things are at all! It’s the way that someone embedded in that state sees them. Are you going to believe that? It may be the way the newscaster sees it. Don’t you believe it! It isn’t that way at all. Well it’s nice to be able to say, “We don’t need to pay any attention to that,” but what else have you got? It depends on where one stands, in the heavens or in the earth. In the heavens we have a base for true perspective, and we gain experience so that we may understand what that perspective is saying. Just as a child has to learn in the physical world, now we are learning something in the greater world, not the childish world anymore but what may well be spoken of as the mature world. It’s been there quite a while.
So we learn to stand in the heavens, unaffected by the wave motion. We can observe the wave motion but we see what it really is. That capability of beholding comes only when we have learned to be stable in the heavens so that we do not cast ourselves down anymore, so that we do not allow ourselves to be dragged down. No one can be dragged down to become involved in this wave motion without opting for being dragged down. Why not be ourselves? You can't actually, truthfully, be anything else. And what anyone else does has no effect whatsoever on what we are unless we ourselves decide to accept someone else’s black-and-white, flat perspective.
This is handed down from generation to generation; we all swallow it, to start with at least. But we can come out of it, and we have been in the process of coming out of it, in order that we might be in position to offer the opportunity for this false view of things to be dumped, from our standpoint in the Pacific Ocean, so that nothing of that wave motion and its distorted content can get beyond us. We translate everything correctly. If we do that then nothing that is distorted gets beyond us, and those who live the other side of the date line will have a clear shot. What they do with it of course is their responsibility. Probably they will muck it up again, and it will come around to us again, and we will have to deal with it again and again and again and again, day by day, moment by moment—that’s what we are here to do!
We come to the hour of our morning meditation on the last Sunday of the year 1953. This Christmas Season, just past, has heard many expressions from choir and pulpit with respect to the birth of the Christ Child, commemorating the coming of our Lord on earth. In our meditations, we have recognized the Gospel of our LORD as, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” The world has long celebrated the coming of the King, and has come to anticipate what is called His “second coming;” but, by and large, the so-called Christian world has ignored the coming of His Kingdom, assuming that His Kingdom could not come, in fact, until He, in some mysterious fashion, should come again. Such an attitude suggests the belief that His first coming was not adequate to the establishment of His Kingdom on earth.
Many tender and sweet songs have been written in recognition of His birth in the form of the Babe Jesus. The finer instincts in human hearts have been stirred by the thought of that Babe in the manger, and the stories have been recounted with respect to the shepherds and the wise men. But the primary purpose of His coming has been largely ignored; for of what value is the coming of a king if his kingdom does not likewise come? Is it necessary that we, as human beings, steadfastly ignoring the message of His first coming, should require that He must come again before His Kingdom can be established among men? If His first coming cannot establish His Kingdom, what assurance have we that human beings would let any second coming establish His Kingdom?
The picture portrayed with respect to that second coming assumes that the matter will be taken out of the hands of men, and that He will arbitrarily impose His Kingdom, regardless of what human beings do, and in spite of them, not because of them. But such a concept places the load of responsibility on the King and does not truly share that load of responsibility with the citizens of the Kingdom. A kingdom that is imposed upon unwilling peoples establishes a realm of dictatorship, of tyranny. And our King has no intention of establishing a dictatorship or a realm of tyranny. The citizens of His Kingdom must willingly and eagerly accept the privilege of living in that Kingdom as citizens of it.
He came, and we know the story. The tender sentiments, the sweetness, the beauty, the vibrancy of Life, the wonder of Love, found in that outworking, is something from which human beings have largely separated themselves, and they have considered it only as they have celebrated, in memory, the event.
How shall His Kingdom come? We ourselves know, by our lives and our experiences, that something of the influence of His Kingdom has, most assuredly, extended into our lives. We have tasted of the reality of that Kingdom, and from what we have known, in actual, personal, experience, if we consider it without the obscuring veils of darkness which tend to arise from old world patterns, it has a peculiar and distinct character. That which we have experienced, be it ever so little, and though we know it to be inadequate as yet, has had, in its coming into our lives, exactly the same qualities which we find so richly portrayed in relationship to His birth; for we have found, to whatever degree we have yielded to His Kingdom and let it have meaning in our hearts and lives, that unspeakable sweetness, the delicacy and yet the overwhelming all-inclusive quality of Love. We have found in it a beauty which can transform even a stable in a manger into a Heavenly place. We have recognized that, regardless of external factors which may be pressing in round about, Heavenly music as of an angel's song reached into our hearts.
While we were in the process of letting this Kingdom have real meaning, we found expressions of wisdom coming into the realm of our awareness—the wise men. And in this experience we have received rich gifts into our own lives, for it was indicated by our Lord Himself, when He walked among men, that as He had received, both from God and through channels on earth, the things of God, so likewise should we. He indicated that as He had received ill things at the hands of men which were not the gifts of God to Him, so might we also expect to receive certain ill things from the hands of men who were not under the control, or dominion, of God. But, regardless of that which we might receive from men who were not under the dominion of God, He indicated that we should receive something from God.
Now, the Master, as a babe, received certain gifts from God. Gold and frankincense and myrrh are specifically mentioned. But He received these gifts from God through the wise men. They were the agents of God, making available to Him the gifts of God. He received responsive recognition from the shepherds, and in this response there was one of the gifts essential to a king—response—for he who is a king in name only, having no response, is not, in fact, a king. It is only as there is response to a king that there can be acknowledgment of a king, and only so can he express his kingly qualities and make them known within the scope of his kingdom.
As the King came into the world, it was signified, by that very fact, that the world was included in His Kingdom. From His standpoint, according to the Divine Pattern, the world was included in His Kingdom; else the King would not have come into the world, as a babe or by any other means. Regardless of appearances, in spite of all the ways in which human beings had spoiled the Kingdom through rebellion and traitorous conduct, this world was still, and is now, a part of His Kingdom. He did not go into someone else's kingdom to try to take someone else's kingdom to Himself. He came into the realm that belonged in His own Kingdom, that the fact might be made evident in the world.
Now that His coming is at a safe distance in the past—nineteen centuries or more—human beings feel quite free to celebrate that coming in the limited fashion that the world uses, as long as they can postpone the idea of the coming of His Kingdom to some fantastic future. But the world of men has never admitted that the world is, in fact, now, a part of His Kingdom. Human beings have consistently taken the attitude that this world is the kingdom of the devil, and that only by some fantastic means could this kingdom be taken away from the devil that it might become the Kingdom of our King.
We remember the manner in which it is presented in Revelation: “And the kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” Now, it does not say, “And this world has become the Kingdom of our Lord,” for this world has been the Kingdom of our Lord all the while, although human beings have not acted like it. The statement is, “The kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” Once we accept the basic fact that this world is now, and always has been, contained in His Kingdom, regardless of the nature of function of the people living in the world, we can begin to be in position to recognize the true nature of that which He brought into the world when He came as a babe born in a manger. Only so can we begin to see that the evidence of the coming of the Kingdom was supposed to follow the evidence of the coming of the King. The evidence of the coming of the Kingdom into manifestation, a revelation of the fact, was supposed to follow the evidence of the coming of the King. But that evidence has not followed, though nineteen centuries have passed. Instead, when we look into the world we find evidence that the Will of God is not being done in millions of lives, that the real control, from the standpoint of that Heavenly Kingdom, has not been revealed on earth. There is chaos and fear, misery, suffering, disease, every sort of ill thing appearing to have control.
As a representative of that King who walked among men so long ago, I am interested in having citizens in the Kingdom. I am interested in people, that they might share the manifestation of the evidence of that Kingdom. In fact, human beings are essential to that manifestation of the evidence of the fact of the Kingdom on earth. But, my interest in people, as such, even so, is secondary, secondary to the fact of the King and the fact of His Kingdom, whether it is as yet evident or not. The reality of the King and the Kingdom is basic. The rest is incidental.
As long as human beings imagine that the Kingdom, as such, is not a fact, they think that they must go through some kind of fantastic experience in order to bring that Kingdom on earth, which is not the Truth of the matter at all. The Kingdom is here, and always has been here. It was never away from here. This is not the whole Kingdom, but the Kingdom is here and always has been here. And, once we clearly see that basic Truth, we can see that we do not have to go through some peculiar experience in order to get the Kingdom to come. Our concern is that the evidence of the Kingdom shall come into manifestation. “Thy Kingdom come,” into manifestation. But the Kingdom already is, and it is already here. So, as long as the human being is imagining that God's Kingdom does not extend to here, he feels that he must somehow make God's Kingdom extend to here; and then he imagines that everything will automatically change and be thus and so, which is not the case at all. The Kingdom is here, but there has been very little evidence of the fact. So, our concern is with the coming of the evidence of the presence of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom itself is, in fact, the evidence of the presence of the King. Human beings have been looking, in one way or another, for evidence of the presence of the King without being concerned about revealing evidence of the presence of the Kingdom, and it leads to all kinds of fantastic concepts and beliefs, longings and futile desires. The Kingdom is the evidence of the presence of the King of the Kingdom. So, we need not be so concerned about making the evidence of the King present, that it may be seen. We should be concerned about revealing the evidence of the presence of the Kingdom, and the Kingdom itself will reveal the evidence of the presence of the King. Once we accept the Kingdom as being here as a basic fact, the rest is really quite easy.
If we, then, would derive the greatest possible Blessings from the Christmas Season, now past for this year, and be prepared thereby for the greatest possible expression of service in the year that is at hand, we need, more than anything else, to become thoroughly conditioned to these basic Truths, so that what we do and say, what we feel and express in various ways, shall in the New Year conform to the Truth, and our lives shall give evidence of our conviction of the Truth.
In the coming of the King nineteen centuries ago, in spite of the limitations that were present in the world, there was that which characterized His coming—all the sweetness, the beauty, the vibrancy of Life, the tender, and what we might call the magical, aspects of His birth and babyhood. He received these things from God through other human beings on earth. He received the opportunity of birth through His mother and His father. He received the essential care from His parents and others. He received the gifts of God's provision through the wise men. He received the significant gift of response from the shepherds and from others, from the lowly and from the great, as is necessary to a king. Response from the great—the wise men; response from the lowly—the shepherds; portraying a response that was destined to be all-inclusive throughout the body of humanity. And in all of this there was an exquisite and beautiful simplicity, something clothed in the Spirit of Love and Truth and Life.
If we are to allow the coming of the evidence of the Kingdom, as those few then allowed the coming of the evidence of the King, we must realize that the qualities which characterized the coming of the King likewise characterize the coming of the Kingdom. Human minds have tended to attribute to the Kingdom qualities which were not of the King. Just as surely as it was important to the salvation of man for the King of the Kingdom to come, so must the second step be taken, and the Kingdom of the King must come into manifestation.
Now, the King of the Kingdom was a reality, and had been through the thousands of years prior to His birth in the form of a babe on earth, but the evidence of the presence of the King had been lost to the consciousness of man. So, in actual fact, what do we see in that Babe that grew to be the body of a Man? What do we see? Simply the evidence of the presence of the King. The King was a fact before, but the evidence of His Presence was not adequately recognized by human beings. Therefore, in His coming there was the evidence of the presence of the King so made manifest that humanity has had to acknowledge it, but the meaning of that evidence has not been adequately comprehended or grasped. Its significance has been limited because human beings have failed to comprehend the fact that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and they have not taken any real steps toward providing the coming of the evidence of the presence of the Kingdom. They were going to be good, so that when they died they could go to Heaven; or they were going to be saved; or, “When Jesus comes, then everything will be all right”—a thousand and one concepts and ideas, but nothing actually done according to the Divine Pattern, nothing actually worked out.
So, if we accept the evidence of the presence of the King, as that evidence was made manifest nineteen centuries ago, then, to be consistent and to let that have any meaning, we must likewise accept our responsibility in letting the evidence of the coming of the Kingdom, or the presence of the Kingdom, in fact, now, come. And if we can see this point clearly, and if it penetrates deeply into consciousness, so that it is not forgotten in any moment of time, so that it conditions everything we think and say and do, every attitude we express in life, then the new year shall have true meaning unto us. But, to whatever degree we fail to comprehend this and let it be a central conditioning factor in our lives, the new year will be meaningless unto us, filled with miseries, turmoils and difficulties, unnecessarily.
There must be the coming of the Kingdom, the coming of the evidenceof the Kingdom; the coming of the King, the coming of the evidenceof the King—because, in actual fact, they who then lived did not see the King except as His evidence was made manifest through the body that was called Jesus. The inner Reality of the King and the body were one, yes, but it was the evidence of the presence of the King shining through that body that made Him meaningful. And if we let the evidence of the presence of the Kingdom shine through us, we, too, will be meaningful.
He revealed amply, adequately, the evidence of the presence of the King. It is not our task to try to do what He did. We are delegated to doing the greater works, providing the evidence of the presence of the Kingdom, not just of the King. He provided that, and if we look at His life we see the evidence of the presence of the King. If we let this be the centering of the conditioning factors in our lives through the new year, we shall accomplish something to the glory of our King; if not, then it will be of no avail. But, in this day and time, since He did reveal the evidence of His presence as a King, the evidence of His presence as a King must appear by reason of the evidence of the presence of His Kingdom. That is our purpose here. And let it be clear in all that we do this coming year, that the increase of the evidence of the presence of the Kingdom, as revealed in and through and by our lives through this coming year, may glorify the King and be a Blessing to all who will accept the evidence made manifest, the evidence of the presence of the Kingdom of the King.
And so we come to the evening of Christmas Day, in the Year of Our Lord, One Thousand, Nine Hundred fifty-three, and to our meditation period on Sunrise Ranch. And as we are gathered here in the Chapel after a beautiful day, the manifestation of many, many blessings, including a most delightful dinner a little while ago. And then having listened to the music with which our programme began, I am reminded of a text in the 21st Chapter of the Gospel according to John, beginning with the Fifteenth Verse: “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?”
Now this was the occasion of the third time that the Master had appeared to His Disciples after the Resurrection, and they had dined, and Jesus asked the question, “Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith unto him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him. Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto Him, Lord thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
And as we note these three expressions, the questions and the answers, followed by the admonition in each case, we are reminded of the fact that Peter had denied our Lord three times—three times he had denied. Peter was supposed to understand something of the basic principles of being, and yet when he was asked the question the third time, he was grieved—he felt that the Lord was picking on him unjustly. If he had been aware of the basic principles of being, he would have recognized the opportunity to establish a clearing with respect to those three denials, and likewise to have that clearing established in all three planes of his own being. “Lovest thou Me?” Lovest thou Me more than these who are round about you? Do you love me more than you love them?
I know that a different interpretation has been put upon those words, and some have assumed that it meant, “Do you love Me more than these love me?”—and I suppose the way it is worded here, that could be read into the text. But His question was, “Lovest thou me more than these?” Do you love Me more than these others, which would include himself—and in view of later events we can see that our Lord was well justified in asking that question.
Each time Peter gave assurance, “Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” It has always seemed to me that Peter gave a very tame answer to a very vital question: “Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee”—almost offhand, almost suggesting that the question was obviously superfluous, it was really unnecessary; as much as to say, well you know that I love you, why do you ask the question?” Instead of recognizing the opportunity to give verbal assurance in a deep way to his love, it was a, more or less, offhand reply, containing a hint of rebuke to the Lord, for even having asked the question. “Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” What a wonderful opportunity that was for Peter to have said something about the depth of his love, to have given expression to something that would have given vital form to that love.
If our Master were to appear here tonight, at the close of this day on which the world celebrates His Birth, and if He were to ask that question of you, “Lovest Thou Me”—I wonder, what would your answer be? Would you say, “Why yes Lord, you know I love you”? If you answered that way I would be utterly ashamed of you. If you could not find some better way than that, to voice the depth of your love, I would feel that my years with you had been in vain. You might express it in a thousand different ways, but surely you would say something about the longing you have known, through the days of your years, to know Him and to know His Love more deeply. How there had been a longing in the hearts of men for so long, with respect to which they did not know how to act, and the precious joy of such a moment in His Presence, consciously to see and to hear, would surely inspire an expression—recognizing that words were inadequate—giving assurance, or establishing your position as the case night be, being thankful for the privilege of living life on earth, to the end that there might be evidence of the unspeakable love in one's heart, in your heart. But it is not the question here so much, in relationship to Peter's answer, about which we are concerned tonight, but the question to you, your answer, and the admonition.
First, “Feed My Lambs”, and then the following two times, “Feed My Sheep”—and if the Master asked you three times over, would you be grieved, and take the attitude that He was doubting you, that He was asking unnecessary questions, that He might better occupy Himself otherwise? If He asked you thirty times, would there be enough trust, enough centering, to be assured that He must have some reason, that He must be doing something of importance, to accept a cue, as it were, and to work with Him, to give the answer, no matter how many times the question might arise. And if the question was given twice, or thrice, or more times, would you repeat the same answer each time? The third time he changed it enough to say, “Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” There was an attitude of rebuke, to our Lord, that was wholly and completely out of place—to tell the Lord He knows all things, therefore He knows that you love Him. When you stop to think about it, wasn't that a very unresponsive attitude for him to take?
If he had said, “Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest whether I love Thee. I feel I do. I trust that my life shall reveal the fact that I do, but if Thou dost perceive in anything, a quality of lack in this, then pray help me, that it may be healed, and that I may love Thee fully.” Isn't that a different attitude? Instead of simply saying, “Lord, thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee, it goes without saying, you have asked a foolish question.” But in each instance He said feed. “Feed My Lambs. Feed My Sheep, Feed My Sheep.” There is not any purpose in life on earth, other than this, that has any real meaning. To the degree that we are feeding the lambs, and the sheep, feeding the Bread of Life, offering the Water of Truth, our lives have meaning.
It is in this connection that I would share with you something of what I feel, see, and experience, when I am working in the Field, seeking to Feed the Lambs and the Sheep. It must be that there are those who hear the question, even if I do not voice it in so many words, “Lovest Thou Me?”—the question sounding through the centuries from the lips of our Lord, and an answer that does not have the mediocre nature of the one which Peter gave so long ago, an answer that springs from the depths of a full heart.
I have here a letter from one of your number. Unless there is change and progress we stagnate and come to naught. This letter expresses some realizations, indicating progress along the way The first of these realizations, “that to love God, to let His Love move through all we think, say or do, is true salvation from all that besets us, whether from the world, from the pressures here, or from our own temporary un-wisdom, or mis-function—and it is also the avenue of our guidance into service. Also, service does not begin with accomplishing. It begins with Being. It is the Being that accomplishes when the Father does the works. When the human being tries so hard to accomplish, he invariably stirs things up, muddies the water, spoils the pattern. It is not just in doing, as important as doing in the outer sense may be, it is in Being—and it is Being that accomplishes when the Father does the works.”
There are other points here that might be worth our meditation, but those are the ones that particularly fit our pattern tonight. What are we doing? It is not the external bustle of doing, according to the worldly pattern, that accomplishes. First there must be Being, and then within the reality of Being, something is done. We need to do many, many things. We need to feed the Lambs, and the Sheep. In the doing of this, we have a great variety of action, many, many places to be filled, responsibility in many directions. Here we might raise the question of what has it been in relationship to myself, which was most effective in achieving the results that have been achieved in you, and through you? You might say the Services, or the Truth presented through the Services, and that would be fine. Has it been what you have seen me rushing about to do? Or has it been the constancy and the consistency of Being, that finally put it across in your heart? Just the words that I spoke? That had its place. The things that I did, those things had their place. But wasn't it the constancy, the consistency of Being?
At first, I think with most if not all of you, there were tendencies to expect that stability of Being to topple over now and again, to be a sort of humpty-dumpty thing—but while the words came, words went, and the deeds were done, the days passed, and you forgot the words, and you forgot the deeds, wasn't it the fact of Being? Didn't most of you try to upset that Being? And when you could not, you argued with yourself, struggled with the words that were spoken, looked for something to find fault about, the way things were run, or what somebody else did, or something? There have been, with most at least, various reactionary theories, and unless it got too severe I just ignored it and went on, and I let the waves of your own reactions come and go. They washed up on the rocks and made it splash, and were gone. You pushed and you shoved and you pulled and you struggled, trying to shape things around, but finally you began to come to a realization of Being. And either you had to share that Being, that Reality of Being, that state of Being, or find that what you did turned out to be of no avail. You began to find that that state of Being could not be pushed around, no matter what came or went—there it was. That constancy of Being is what finally drove home to you the fact that it was more than mere doing. You had to share a state of Being if you were to be a part of this that is Sunrise Ranch.
You cannot give what you do not have. People are not looking for works, as such, though works are necessary—people are looking for a revelation of Being. Until they begin to sense—see, feel, know that Reality of Being, they won't have any faith in what you try to feed them, will they now? You can offer it to them. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. What is it that makes the individual finally receive the food you offer, receive the cup of cold water that you extend? Not merely the fact that you have some food, or say you do, to offer. It's the persistent influence of your Being. At first there is not any faith in it, there are doubts, there is skepticism, and efforts to upset the Being, just to prove that it doesn't work, that it does not amount to anything. But as you hold steady, in Being, a part of the Central Being of the One Body, finally there begins to be enough faith in you to make people willing to accept the cup of water and taste it.
Of course, once they taste it and find out that it really is so, that there is something in the cup, then they begin to drink more freely. But they have been handed an empty cup so often that they still think that if you offer a cup that it is going to be empty. So they won't take it. They have been fooled too many times, so that it is not just a matter of extending the cup of cold water, or a piece of the Bread of Truth—that is not enough, not nearly enough. The convincing thing, the thing that turns the tide—against which no arguments can avail, no twistings and turnings of the mind, no judgments or resentments, no struggles—that consistent, constant state of Being, that remains unmoved by all the pushings and the pullings, the ups add the downs. And unless you share the state of Being, you cannot share in any true sense the work of Feeding the Lambs or Feeding the Sheep.
Our Gracious lord, and Holy King, we thank Thee for the privilege of Being the Body of Thy Being on Earth, that the evidence of Thy Presence may be revealed to the Children of Men. We realize that millions accept the idea that the evidence of Thy Presence was on Earth long ago, and that the evidence of Thy Presence will appear on earth some day, but few there are who are yet aware of the Way, the Truth and the Life, relating to the Second Coming of the evidence of Thy Presence on earth. We would do our part toward letting the evidence of Thy presence again appear on earth, and if we would let that evidence be made manifest, we realize that we must first be so centered in Thee, so centered in Thy Being, that the Reality of Thy Being in us may be made evident through us, in the processes of our living, that Thy Kingdom may come, and Thy Will be done in earth as it is in heaven, for Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory forever; and as this Christmas Day comes to a close, we would, in the seven days intervening until the beginning of a New Year, be filled with meditation upon these things, that we may ponder them in our hearts, and be prepared for a greater service than we have yet rendered.
O Lord, we would be honest in examination, facing the issue with respect to the evidence made manifest through us—evidence of the lack of the Kingdom, or of the Reality of the Kingdom; evidence of defiance of the King, or evidence of the Being of the King; evidence of our sharing a state of Being in Thee, or evidence that we are failing to share any true state of Being. What is the evidence as revealed through thought and word, and deed, through attitude, now and in the days to come. Gracious Lord, I thank Thee for the Love which Thou Dost bestow upon these here, and all who serve with me on Earth in Thy Name.
In the case
of Jesus we speak of Him as LORD of Lords. He is the One who provides the focus
of man's true identity. Man is not just one person but, rightly, the collective
body of mankind, however many that should be. That collective body has an
identity, just as our own individual bodies have an identity. We have referred
to the identity of the body that was conceived at the time of the birth of
Jesus as the Archangel. Now, we are thinking of this one cell, this one person—the
Archangel—providing the focus of spirit at that point so that conception would
take place. It is the same Archangel throughout the whole operation, just as
with respect to each one of us individually, from the point of conception on,
the same angel was present right to this present time. The incarnating
Archangel, who has been identified in human consciousness relative to Jesus, is
rightly to be revealed through His body. The Archangel is to come forth.
If we are
considering this now from the standpoint of the Archangel being present with
His focus of spirit at the point of conception within the body of mankind, then
we may recognize that the Archangel has been present all through the operation.
Everything that has transpired since has transpired because the Archangel was
present and in the process of incarnating—first of all in building the body of
incarnation and then experiencing the birth of that body and continuing on to
the point where the Archangel might come forth through His body. That would be
called “the second coming,” wouldn't it? It isn't really a second coming at
all, because that One has been present in the midst constantly ever since
conception took place. I'm sure you
can see that there has been the conception of this body of incarnation for the
Archangel, and following conception has come the continuing development of that
body by the spirit of the incarnating Archangel. This was a matter of building
a flesh body essential for the coming forth of the Archangel. The initial
coming forth was simply at the point of conception, but the ultimate intent is
that the Archangel should be revealed in expression on earth in all His glory.
Because the first point of initiation in this cycle has been looked upon as the
coming of the Christ, then the idea would be that this coming forth now would be
the second coming, but of course it's all the same thing. These are not
separate events—the Archangel has been present over the last 1,980 or so years
and something has been happening because of that within the body of mankind.
creative cycle in this light, then at Christmas we are indeed celebrating the
conception of the Archangel on earth which took place many centuries ago, and
without the presence of the Archangel all along nothing could have emerged as
it has emerged now within the range of our own experience, and the experience
of many other people. We are concerned with the coming forth of the Archangel.
The coming forth of individual angels is related to the coming forth of the
Archangel. If something of rather more cosmic proportions is viewed by human
consciousness there tends to be the idea that God establishes what is happening
on a more or less arbitrary basis, regardless of human beings. There is a
certain truth to this, because human beings have undertaken to go their own
not-so-sweet way, which cuts right across what is actually unfolding in the
cosmic sense—but God so loves the world, loves mankind, His creation, that He
takes them into account with respect to everything that is happening. His
coming forth relates, obviously, to people. There is a coordinated state of
affairs here. We ourselves have some experience of this, knowing our
relatedness to what it is that is happening. Whatever it is that is unfolding,
it takes us into account. Everything that is happening relates to what it is
that is unfolding.
There is the coming forth of the Archangel to occur. It is
occurring in fact.There is present a
new identity within the range of the consciousness of mankind. We ourselves
participate in allowing this new identity to be our experience and to be drawn
more and more to a point of focus. Ultimately that point of focus is in fact
the Archangel. (from The Continuing
Incarnation of the Archangel Martin
Cecil December 21, 1980)
Martin Cecil December 25, 1980
We all have the opportunity
of sharing this service this morning, bringing a gift to the Lord, and also a
gift to the children of men. It is well and fitting that we should take time in
this day to be together in oneness of spirit, aware of purpose and in position
to provide what is right and needful now.
This day has dawned
over the earth. Perhaps we here on the west coast of North America are about
the last to have come to that dawning. I am thinking particularly of those who
are consciously aware of true purpose and who share this day on that basis.
There may be a few present in Hawaii who are yet a little while behind us, but
most of those who are consciously aware of true purpose, the reality of being,
having a certain measure of experience in this regard, have awakened and are
present with us in these moments.
In oneness of spirit we
are assembled in the presence of the Lord to present the gift of ourselves in
manifest form to Him. We have awakened to an increased awareness of the reality
of the presence of the One whose birth is this day celebrated around the world.
We recognize that original birth as a point of conception. That One is present
in the body which He has been forming over the centuries. He is present in that
body in this hour. We share whatever awareness of this to the extent of our own
awakening. Certainly we do not look back, any more than as individuals we
particularly look back to the point of our conception. We know there was a
conception or we wouldn’t be here. But we are here; that would seem to be the
point. Exactly the same thing is true with respect to this larger body in which
the Lord, as we have known Him, is incarnate.
No one needs to look
for the day of His coming, because the fact of the matter is that He never
left. According to the story He was taken up into heaven, and this is assumed
to mean that He went someplace else. But we proclaim with our lips at times
that heaven and earth are one. His presence has been constant. As He said,
“There am I in the midst.” It has always been so, up to this very hour, and His
body forms in consequence. Because of the spirit that has been present individually
with us we are here. Because of the spirit which has been present in this
larger body He is here. We may have taken the attitude that He is here; we may
be inclined to take that attitude now; but if it is His body and we are a part
of that composition, both in form and in consciousness, then the word is
naturally spoken by reason of that body, “I am here.”
We share this awareness
to the extent that we are awake. Those who still slumber may say, “He is here,”
or perhaps, “He is at hand,” or “He may be here one day”—there are various
levels of understanding—but the truth is to be known, and the truth is that “I
am here," and each one of us can say that. Because we can say that, the
truth is proclaimed; the body is present of the One who brings peace, peace on
earth, goodwill to men. Most human beings are not awake; they slumber on.
are those on earth now who are awakening or are awake and who are in position
therefore to proclaim the truth. We rejoice this particular day because it is a
reminder for all people that conception did take place, that there has been
gestation and birth since, and there is One on earth incarnate in His body who
says, “I am here,” and so the gift is offered to the children of men. Because
there are those who have brought the gift of themselves to the point of
awakening, then the gift which the Lord would give is given to the world, and
we find this to be increasingly so. It is given that others also may awaken to
the truth. The Word is spoken on earth, in living, not merely in words, although
words are spoken.
We all speak words. Do
these words that we speak ring true always? What are our words day by day? Is
the Word present by reason of our words? What of our attitudes day by day? Is the
Word present by reason of our attitudes? What of all aspects of our living, in
every detail? Is the Word present because of this? If we are awake it is so. If
we are not awake then dreams persist, words are spoken, deeds are done, that do
not ring true. Today is the day when we may well rejoice to be aware of the
truth and to be very sure that all that finds release this day shall be true to
the truth, ring true, that it may be so henceforth forever. There are those who
have cried unto the Lord, “O Lord, how long, O Lord.” I would suggest that probably
the Lord’s word is, “O human beings, how long, human beings!” Why drag it out?
Why not let the truth be known? Why not let the reality of the power of love be
the expression of living? What better day is there to experience this in the
fulness of our oneness in the spirit of the Word? Let the Word be spoken this
day and in all the days to come because we, with many more, provide a body and
a consciousness, a facility, by which this may be so, to the glory of God, to
bring the experience of peace on earth and goodwill to men.
Our most gracious Lord,
it is our most thankful privilege to be together in these moments here in this
Chapel. While we are together in person we have a keen awareness of those who share
these moments with us in spirit the world around. We ourselves as human beings
have experienced rich blessing, but now Thy spirit comes forth. We no longer
stand merely as human beings on earth but as the angels of the Lord who proclaim
in their living the truth of Thy presence, that all things may be under Thine
hand, that Thy dominion may be restored to Thee, and that thereby all things
may work together to perfection as the newness of Thy kingdom is made known, to
Thy glory, in the Christ. Aum-en. Glory to God in the highest.