In giving thought this morning to the spirit and purpose of Thanksgiving, we are reminded of something our Master said while He walked among men, something that is of vital significance to us today; for He said: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In this we recognize that to whatever degree we have found the things of heaven, the things of joy, the things of peace, things Divine, added to our lives, we have evidence that we have first sought and found something of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. But even as we give thanks for all these things, we know in our hearts that we have not yet adequately found the kingdom of God, the control of God, on earth, and His right use of our lives, our capacities on earth, and as a consequence there are many blessings which God would have added unto us had we permitted it to be so.
Therefore, even as we give expression to the Spirit of Thanksgiving, we find it in our hearts to begin a soul-searching, an examination of those factors which have heretofore prevented the larger expression in life; for we know that we have not permitted God to give as He would have given through our lives; we know that we have not allowed enough of His spirit to find expression in body and mind and heart; we know that we have not allowed enough of His power to manifest under the control of His kingdom; we know that we have not allowed life to be, in fulness, that vibrant and glorious thing which God would give to all His children. So, thanking God for that which we have received, let us examine somewhat this morning the reason why we have not received more fully of the great gifts which God would give to His children.
First, inasmuch as the Master said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,” we need to give heed to the pattern of our searching, our seeking for the kingdom of God and His righteousness—for it is evident that if there have not been an adequate number of the things of God added unto us on earth in the expression of life, we have not adequately sought and found the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We agree on earth as touching this, that the kingdom of heaven is supposed to be on earth, even as the Master taught men to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Therefore it is not some kingdom for the hereafter to which we give attention in this hour but the kingdom that is supposed to be made manifest in this hour, knowing full well that as we obey our King and serve Him well the times that come hereafter will allow an adequate manifestation of His kingdom. But it is now, here in this place and in our own lives, that we must give thought to the fact that the kingdom of heaven has not yet been adequately found by us. Seeing that we agree that heaven and earth should be one, that the kingdom of heaven should be made manifest on earth, that the control of God should extend into all phases of our lives, we need to ask the question, having accepted this truth and having accepted the truth the Master spoke—Why? What is the reason for this intellectual acceptance of the idea of the coming of the kingdom of heaven on earth and our failure to let it be so in a larger sense than we have yet known? Why? Surely that is a question to which each and every one of us may well give serious thought now.
Looking back along the way by which we have been drawn to this hour, we can see the working of God's hand in our lives. We can count many blessings and recognize that there are more blessings which we cannot count; but we can't find any basis for smug self-righteousness, we can't find any basis for feeling that what has been achieved is enough. We are not concerned about having enough for the future now; all we are concerned about is having enough for the now made manifest now. We trust that a larger expression is to appear in the days to come, but we are not concerned about that coming in this moment. We are concerned about the coming of that which should appear in this moment, in this hour, in this day, in this week, in this month, and in this year—yea, in this life which we now live. So—Why? Why is there not enough in the kingdom of God and His righteousness made manifest in our lives now to take care of this present time?
When we recognize that God has done so many things to draw man nearer unto Him, and when we recognize that this Divine Pattern of action has extended back over a period of thousands of years, when we remember the prophets of old, the blessings of God made manifest at the time of the children of Israel, when we remember such men as Abraham and Joseph and Solomon, when we remember the prophets, when we remember Moses and Caleb and Joshua—on down to the present time their influence has extended—and when we remember that even our Master Himself came into the world nearly two thousand years ago, and that nearly two thousand years have elapsed and yet man has not allowed himself to come sufficiently into attunement with God and His kingdom, His right-useness, His will, to permit in this day an adequate manifestation of the power to meet the troubled conditions in the world, we must recognize that this barrier is not something that is peculiar to ourselves. It is not something that is limited to us personally or as a group, it is not something limited to the people of this day in the world, but it has been a consistent thing down through the period of recorded history.
Since this is true, we need to search and to find what it is that has so consistently stood as a barrier between the intellectual idea of God, the power of God, the kingdom of God, the will of God, and the practical, functional expression in daily life. Why this vast difference? Why the separation? Why the gulf between? Some might answer, “Man's self-activity,” and that would be true. Or, “Man's disregard of God's will,” and that would be true. And yet, consider the untold millions of earnest, sincere men and women who have gone before us and who now live upon the face of the earth in every land, in every race, in every religion, and here we see the spectacle of a world torn with turmoil, filled with misery and suffering and sorrow, even while there are untold millions of earnest, sincere men and women, of every race and color and creed, who seek to the best of their knowledge and understanding to do God's will or to let God's will be done, as the case may be.
So we cannot attribute this state of separation, this gulf between, to wilful disregard of God's will. It isn't a lack of religious patterns in the world; it isn't because there aren't enough churches. It certainly isn't because there aren't religious denominations—we surely have enough of them. And yet here we have the condition. And we read the pages of history and we see how these men and women of the past have sought to serve God, have dedicated themselves, have gone through untold difficulties, troubles and problems, and lo, the condition still remains. We can't say that there are not earnest, sincere men and women today. There are. Wherever we go we find them. I have traveled in many places on this continent and I have never yet been in any place where I could not find earnest, sincere men and women who were seeking to serve God, who were doing the best they knew in selfless service, and in many, many ways, to serve God and man. Why? We come back to the Why. And in consideration of the picture, our minds turn to our Master Himself. He surely did enough on earth; He surely said enough; He surely accomplished His purpose. We can't say that He didn't speak the truth when He said, “Father, I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.” We can't put the blame at His door and say that He should have done something more.
And so, what is it, and why? I wonder how many of you have meditated upon these things and asked yourself the question, Why? Then we stop looking at the pages of history, we stop looking out into the world, and look at ourselves for a moment. Here on Sunrise Ranch is a place set apart to prove the reality of God's Plan, His purpose, His will, His power, a place completely dedicated to one purpose—to prove that God's way can have a larger meaning on earth than has yet been known. We look at ourselves this morning and we cannot say that the expression of the Divine in and through us here has in any sense been adequate. We can recognize with deep thanksgiving that it has been growing, increasing, that we have made progress, and for all the blessings we are grateful and gratitude is in our hearts; but we need to come face to face with the question as it relates to ourselves.
Why is there yet such a separation in those of us here who have acknowledged the fact that the kingdom of heaven should have form on earth? We have accepted the idea, we are not rejecting it intellectually, and yet when it comes to the functional processes of daily living we have not let it be so. Why? I could, if I was so minded and felt it would be wise and proper in the service of our King, I could begin with the front row, or the back, and point to you one by one through the entire group here this morning, and individually indicate some of the reasons why you have not been letting an adequate expression of the kingdom of God and His righteousness find manifestation in your life. But I don't think that that would be the wise course.
As I watch your lives I see these things, whether I mention them or not. I see you here, earnest, sincere men and women, who have been willing to dare so much for the service of God, who yet consistently reject the functional processes of seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, so that all the things we need in this present time might be added unto us. Not one of you can stand up and say, “I have let all the things that I should have allowed to manifest be added unto my life in expression, in the service of God on earth”—not one. We need to face it and to acknowledge it, and give thanks to God for the vision, the ability to see it, and the strength of character to acknowledge it and do something about it.
We know that we cannot in our human strength correct whatever needs to be corrected. What is this reason why? Even if we found it, even if we could put our finger on it and give the answer, as I believe we can, we cannot in human strength, by the imaginings of our hearts, through the working of our minds, as human beings, solve the problem or correct the situation. There has to be a realization that it is only as we obey the Master's injunction to seek first—not second; first—the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that we can share the experience of having all these things added unto us. Wherein have we as a Unit failed? Wherein has there been a consistent stumbling?
Now if I were to point to you, one by one, and illustrate the particular pattern of your failure in this, while it would be different in every case, it would simply be an individual manifestation of one thing. There is one answer, and it applies to each and every one. The peculiar ways in which the individual as a human being gives form to his own failure is not the vital point. The point is—What is it that applies to all alike? What is it that is given form in so many ways? If we say self-activity, it is true, and yet it does not give the answer. And again we come back to the question, Why? Earnest, sincere, yes. Why? Is there anything more important to us in this hour than finding the answer to that—Why? Let us see if we can't see and know and understand this question and the answer.
In our search for a clear understanding of the question, which must precede an understanding of the answer to the question, our minds turn to the fact that in the popular concept the tendency has been to see the fulfilment with respect to heaven after death or sometime in the future, far away, or after Jesus comes, or something of that nature—when we go to heaven—a hereafter of some kind, either in heaven now or in heaven sometime, someday. We see that whether the concept rests with respect to something that is to come in the future or the concept rests with getting to heaven when one dies, it is the same principle of separation between the acceptance intellectually and functionally of what the Master taught.
Intellectually, yes; but functionally, how? when? under what circumstance? Actually there is no disagreement intellectually. There may be a little variation in idea, but no basic disagreement in all Christian peoples, religions, churches, denominations, with respect to the idea that the kingdom of God is supposed to have meaning, yes, to some degree in our lives now, but to have its fulfilment either when we die and go to heaven or sometime in the future—some variation of these ideas. But to get it down to the present: Seek ye first. “Now I will live on earth, and I will seek to enter the kingdom of God when I die.” Or “I will first live on earth and then I will seek to enter the kingdom of God when Jesus comes, or when there is a resurrection, or when there is something in the far-distant future somehow.” But the Master put it, Seek ye first. Most human beings say, “I will live on earth first and then I will seek to enter the kingdom of God, and I'll go to heaven.” It is separated.
When we think of heaven and earth we naturally begin to consider the One Law, the positive aspect of Being and the negative aspect of Being—and the invisible realm that is called heaven is normally positive and this earth, ourselves, and that which is in this world, normally negative, or responsive to that positive. Now if the mind of man says, “I can't penetrate into this invisible realm. I can't adequately comprehend God and just how that is—not now anyway,” well we shouldn't say we can't understand it; for if this problem appears in a range where we can't see it clearly we can rest assured that it will be projected, by that very fact, into a range where we can see it clearly, because we are living in the world as it is. We don't want to have any fanciful ideas about it; we need to be practical. So if there is a condition here which prevents man from having a full comprehension and an understanding of the relationship of the invisible positive and the visible negative, and that is out of tune, then that very fact in and of itself will guarantee the projection of exactly the same principles into the visible pattern of our daily lives. So we don't have to try to go into some invisible realm to see—we can see right here where we are. We could examine the principle in the vegetable kingdom perhaps, or the animal kingdom, or something of that nature, and see the principle. Yet it is here in the level of human beings where we need to examine it and where we can see it.
Now the normal, natural impulses that function in humanity as a whole suggest that the positive and negative aspects of mankind should live together in peace and harmony; in other words men and women. It is evident from the pattern of function. There are many, many evidences of it. Something appears in the life of practically every individual on the face of the earth for at least a short time. It may be destroyed and it may be lost, thrown away in some fashion, but there is that which comes to play in every individual life which emphasizes the fact that men and women should live together in peace and harmony and love, to express and make manifest a beautiful life.
Young people are drawn together, and they begin to have dreams of the future. They are going to be different from their parents or their friends or their relatives or their neighbors. They are going to get along; they feel this drawing together and they dream rosy dreams and plan plans and build hopes. And then, generation after generation, the history has been that those rosy dreams dim, the plans fail to come into full manifestation, there is discord, even though husband and wife may live together in the same house and have a certain amount of, well, harmony. They may not fight all the time, but how often we find that they have grown apart, that they really don't fit. They have gotten in the habit of each other, and yet they know within themselves that that which could have been has been lost. They didn't experience it; it didn't come to full fulfilment. It started out so nicely, and then where did it go? What happened to it? Why? Generally speaking, they tend to blame each other. “If my wife had only done so-and-so, if my husband had only done so-and-so, then it would have been all right.” But that isn't true.
This is exactly the same Why in a different setting—why heaven and earth are separated, why men and women are separated vibrationally, why they have not come into a pattern of understanding and harmony, why this widely accepted idea of the conflict between the sexes. How is it that there is something in human lives which keeps women from fully understanding men and men from fully understanding women? It's a failure to understand each other. I think we have a pretty good standard of human relationships between husbands and wives here on Sunrise Ranch, and yet it is far from perfect, according to my view anyway. If you think it is perfect, well I suppose we could say ignorance is bliss! So, Why? again. It is the same Why on a different level, on a level where we can see enough of it so that we should be able to understand the question and the answer. And if we can see it here, see the principles at work, we should begin to be able to see how it functions in relationship to this matter of heaven and earth, of God and man.
There are two different patterns of function. The tendency—and it has been quite justified in the world as it has been; I am not finding fault, but we must examine the facts—the tendency for the lady, when she begins to aspire to the establishment of a home, has been to find her man, corral him, get a little house, build a fence around it, and keep something inside that fence and everything else outside. That which the woman wants to build a fence around and establish on a tight little basis is her heaven. Now the man, if he has a wife who inspires him and helps him, he wants to go out and give this little heaven expression in the world. He may want to come home and find a place of peace, a place where he can relax and be understood and not be on the offensive or defensive, where he can just let go, but to him, as much as he may have joy in his home—now I am talking about general principles, and there are individual variations—as much as he may enjoy his home, it relates to his business. It [his professional life, his business] is a sacred place to him too, it is a heaven, but to him this home-heaven, heaven-home—that is what it is supposed to be; that was God's intent; that was the original idea with respect to home, that it should be a place of heaven, a place where heaven should manifest—to whatever degree there is something beautiful for him, he seeks to let the inspiration which he knows in his heaven-home find practical expression in his professional life, or whatever he does out here.
Let's take an honest look at things. If the woman becomes what is called successful in the professional world, she is doing one of two things. She is either, as a career woman, married to her work and not to her man, so that she has carried the sanctity of her individual pattern over into this and it becomes the same thing there in its manifestation—she is married to her task, her expression in the professional world—or if she undertakes to function both in the business world and on the basis of a home as such, she does not know, generally speaking, how to carry the current of the home pattern into a normal, natural, blended, positive projection into the business world. She cannot, ordinarily, balance the two.
I do not say that in any condemnation, any judgment, but as a simple fact. And under the circumstances as they have been in the world the woman has been justified in trying to keep them separate, because generally speaking the world pattern would have degraded what she was trying to produce.
Sometimes the man didn't have adequate comprehension of what she was trying to produce, and it wasn't to him the sacred thing that it was to her. Other times the man was able to appreciate that and maintain it and carry the current out so that he was, as far as he was concerned, functioning in one thing, and everything he did out here in the business world—giving form, giving meaning from his standpoint to the heaven of home—was for the purpose of glorifying the heaven of home.
Now it is in these two patterns of vision, feeling and attitude that we have the basic causes of the so-called conflict between the sexes. We don't have time this morning to analyze it down into all of its aspects; we can perhaps in future meditations, if it is your pleasure. But here it is.
In the world, the earth as it has been would have violated all the beauties of heaven if we could have somehow put them together, and the heaven up here, the invisible realm, would have turned into a hell if we had just simply taken the earth as is into it. The way the earth was we could not bring heaven into the earth, so we had the gulf between and no true coordination, no true manifestation of the kingdom, no true revelation of the power.
How many times have you seen married couples where they started out on a basis of really being in love but where the inspiration of the home-heaven proved inadequate or something, or the man didn't prove to be capable of carrying the pattern out successfully one way or another, and the husband and wife began to feel individually that they were robbing each other of something? And it starts. They either separate or they learn how to get along with each other in a certain amount of friction, tolerating each other for convenience sake, for the children's sake—for some sake tolerating each other, but no true blending, no true harmony, no true oneness of heaven and earth in relationship to the pattern of everyday living out here. Now we see this opening up into all channels of human relationships and it becomes a tremendously big subject, but here is the center of it, here is the reason Why.
This has not as yet presented the answer. That is something I hope to consider with you tonight. But we first had to begin at least to see something of the basic nature of the question and to see it in relationship to ourselves. We can examine it over there, on a basis segregated from ourselves, from now to doomsday and get nowhere. We may develop theories and ideas and concepts, but they will mean nothing. It must be brought down to a point where the pattern of personal relatedness begins to be clear, so that we can see it in relationship to our own lives. Once that begins to be the case, we can begin to see the true nature of the question. Why this failure to have coordination between the male and the female, the man and the woman? When we understand that, we will understand the why of the separation between heaven and earth. And unless we are willing individually to allow the changes to take place in ourselves which remove that which we individually may have contributed to that discord, we will never know the reality of the oneness of heaven and earth.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then these things shall be added unto you. You cannot maintain an individual contribution to the conflict patterns of the world and at the same time experience the fulfilment which may be known by entering the kingdom of God. And tonight, in our hour's meditation, I hope to carry this further so that you can begin to see it more clearly and more effectively in relationship to yourselves—some more of the reason Why and, I trust, a beginning at least of an understanding of the answer to the problem.