The tabernacle of God is with men. Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts. When the cells of your individual body are holy, when the organs and parts are holy, when your expression of life is holy, when all the levels of your consciousness are holy, the Lord of hosts is present in His holy place. If there is no holy place He cannot be present insofar as the experience of the individual is concerned. The hosts are what you are in the external sense: cells, organs, systems. The hosts are also present insofar as mankind is concerned: individual human beings, nations, operating systems, a quality and expression of life in the overall sense. Here are the hosts, but where is the Lord? Here is the tabernacle, but where are the Priesthood?
Mankind composes the hosts which make potentially possible the presence of the Lord. If we see this, then it is evident that just as there is a sense of self in the individual, there is also a sense of self insofar as mankind is concerned—not only a sense of self but the reality of a self, a self rightly identified by the words I am. That self, insofar as mankind is concerned, has been referred to as the LORD of Lords and KING of Kings. A self insofar as the individual is concerned may be referred to as a Lord, over whom He is LORD. This does not exclude the female aspect of the population, but there are certain limitations with respect to words. When we are aware of the spirit of the words, and we begin to understand the meaning of the words, then the resentful attitudes of human beings, whether male or female, pass away. It is only because human beings do not know, that they become involved in contentious attitudes of resentment. If we see such things proliferating on earth we have the clear evidence of ignorance. Human beings in these days think of themselves as being highly educated and, therefore, presumably knowledgeable or wise, but all the evidence points to abysmal ignorance.
Holy, holy, holy. When the body is holy, and the mind is holy, and the expression of life is holy, there is a holy place on earth. The tabernacle of God is then with men and the Lord of hosts is known to be present.
The LORD of Lords, the true self of mankind, was present on earth in the individual body of Jesus. The statement I have just made is true but it certainly doesn’t mean that I am propagating what has come to be called Christianity. The LORD of Lords was present on earth in physical form and that physical form was called Jesus. This physical form, in the individual sense, was not His true body; it was a substitute body, for His true body includes the whole of mankind.
Within the body of mankind there is rightly another body, which could be referred to as the body of the High Priest. This body is composed of many individuals. Included in it are groups of individuals, taking form according to the design of that body, and there is the quality of an expression of life natural to the High Priest. Again, we use words which tend to have preestablished patterns of concept in human minds, but what I am talking about is not preestablished in any human mind. If it is translated according to the concepts that may now be held, that will not be the truth. The truth is a matter of living experience, not of the theoretical ideas of the mind. The mind is incapable of encompassing the truth; the truth encompasses the mind. It would be extreme arrogance on the part of a human mind to claim that it could encompass the truth, for the human mind itself is one small evidence of the truth. There would be no human mind if it were not for the truth; so how ridiculous to try to bend the truth to the ideas of the mind. Immediately the attempt is made, the mind proceeds to exclude itself from the experience of the truth. The more education there has been in the human sense, with the idea of developing the mind as a means of getting hold of the truth, the more the mind has become separated from the truth, the more it has become involved in lies. The human mind is the epitome of “the liar,” and that was another name for the devil.
If we do have a sensing that mankind is rightly included in the hosts of the Lord, then we behold a form, a body, which has the capacity to reveal the reality summarized by the word Lord; in this instance we are thinking of the LORD of Lords. When He was on earth in His individual body He referred to One whom He spoke of as His Father. We have a dawning consciousness of that reality relating to what is back of the whole cosmic creation. We have used the symbol of the capital letter X to convey an understanding of how it is that what is back of and above all things, in the spiritual sense, is drawn to a point of focus where the two lines of the X cross. The Father is above but the Father comes to focus in the Son.
The Son is at the point, the crossover point, between what is above in the spiritual sense and what is below in the material sense. There is a very specific crossover point for this aspect of the cosmic creation with which we are immediately related, and that crossover point is the point of identity of the body of mankind. That point of identity we can refer to as the LORD of Lords but we don’t know what that means simply by using those words. We only know what it means to the extent that we ourselves, as individuals, find our own identity at the crossover point in the individual sense. Then we discover that we are one with that greater crossover point relating to the whole body of mankind: I Am That I Am.
This seems always rather mysterious to the human mind, because the human mind has gotten itself into a state where the principal sensation is one of isolation, aloneness. It is because of this, of course, that human beings, identified with their minds, always are necessarily on the defensive. They sense the smallness of themselves which could, consequently, so easily be swept away. This is the smallness of the human mind in its state of isolation. The mind of man was not created to be isolated. The final isolation, of course, is called death, when there is isolation from everything, and consequently there is nothing.
The LORD of Lords incarnated on earth in the individual personal body that was called Jesus. Fundamentally, it was the only way that He could incarnate. Certainly, the body of mankind was not willing that He should, and no particular grouping in the body of mankind was willing that He should. The only possibility was on the basis of an individual body, and so this was the way it was worked out. To all intents and purposes at that time His individual body was the only point on earth that was willing to let Him incarnate. Even those whom He called to follow Him did not exhibit any particular willingness to allow an expansion, differentiation, of what remained throughout the period of His presence on earth; merely His own individual, personal body. No one on the face of the earth accepted the challenge which He brought. Even those who were closest to Him scarcely recognized what it was. “How can we know where you are going, or what the way is?” “Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” There was nobody to share, and He remained alone. When the picture is really seen, what a sad, sad thing it is—not because of the wicked rulers of the Jews or the Roman government, or whatever, but because of the self-centered ignorance of human beings everywhere. And has the picture really changed any?
We are beginning to sense a change in our own experience, but we would have to admit that this change which is coming, as we have known it thus far, has not been brought to pass by any endeavor or direction provided by the human mind. If anything has happened in our experience it has happened in spite of our minds and not because of them. It happens to the extent that we are willing to acknowledge ignorance. Now, of course, many people are willing to acknowledge a certain amount of ignorance in a more or less general sense, but when it comes down to specifics a person is inclined to assume a very defensive attitude if the awareness of ignorance actually begins to come to point in oneself. There are certain areas where people are more or less willing to say that they don’t know, but there are some areas where they think they know. If the suggestion is made that even in those areas they don’t really know, then the reaction rises up: “Who are you to say such things? You may not know, but I know!” Really? Do our individual lives portray, in no uncertain terms, the depths of our true knowing? I doubt it! I think the lives of human beings everywhere, even our own, portray mainly ignorance.
The acknowledgment of ignorance may be a first step in repentance, and let us remember that there is a vast difference between confession and repentance. Human beings have been very much engaged, all down through the ages, in confessing their sins but they never repented. They may have received absolution at the hands of another unrepentant human being but never knew what it would be to repent. Confession has been used as a substitute for repentance, and a very poor substitute at that.
We can gaze around us and we can pinpoint here and there—almost everywhere—misbehaving people. We can see the terrible attitudes that people have, the terrible things that they do. We can even name names; and we can consequently clearly recognize how everyone needs to repent. Well, there may be that need, all right, but how is it ever going to happen. Having sated ourselves with the judgment of the world around us, let us be willing to become sick of that, so that we may finally come to the place where repentance is possible; and that is exactly where one is oneself, because any person is only capable of repenting for himself. Nobody can repent for somebody else. Accepting the responsibility of repentance for oneself, we may see the requirement in relationship to the hosts of our own individual bodies and minds and expressions of living. Regardless of the horrors of other people’s function, we finally come to the point of acknowledging our own personal responsibility. Only when this is done can any real change possibly occur.
If the change begins to occur in one person, it at the same time is beginning to occur in the whole of mankind. Because of the concepts of the human mind, this matter of starting with one person looks as though it could lead nowhere. Why? Well, because of the vast numbers of one persons. “What can one person do?” That’s one of the most well-worn excuses on earth. One person can do what needs to be done, and it is only as one person does it that what needs to be done is done. This does not deny the fact that there is more than one person on earth; it does not deny the fact of mankind, for instance; but it does initiate a starting point for what needs to be done.
Now, human beings have been so aware of their own littleness, of their own pettiness, of their own meaninglessness, that it seems impossible to conceive that one might be personally responsible for the world. “Oh, no, not me! I’m a very humble person.” Oh, no, you’re not, if you take that attitude; you’re a very arrogant person, because there is a rejection of the Lord, a rejection of the truth of yourself. So, there is always only one starting point for every person on the face of the earth, namely him- or herself. But how much easier it is to sit in the seat of the scorner and the accuser and see those miserable characters populating the world who have produced the mess that is all around us. That is dishonesty! There are very few honest people on earth who will relinquish the seat of the accuser and the scorner. Am Iaccusing human beings and scorning them by saying this? Only if I look to others to take responsibility without taking it myself. We’re inclined to do that, aren’t we?
How long it seems to take for human beings to come back to the only starting point, where one assumes the responsibility, the total responsibility, oneself. In the assumption of that responsibility is the power by which others may be brought to assume their responsibility too; but we never see the assumption of responsibility on the part of others without seeing the assumption of responsibility on our own part first. When there are those, as there indeed begin to be on earth, who move toward that crossover point where absolute responsibility is taken, the hosts composing the body of the High Priest within the body of mankind begin to become the hosts of the Lord, because, indeed, what needs to be done is done by reason of this collective body. But there is no collective body until the individuals who compose it have themselves come to the crossover point and assumed for themselves the absolute responsibility.
At that point the individual can rightly say, as did the High Priest in His own individual body, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” by me because I have taken the responsibility, not in arrogance, not on the basis of the human mind’s idea, but because there has been repentance in that regard and the truth is accepted; the real quality of the living truth has been accepted and is then in expression through the hosts of the physical body, through the hosts of all levels of consciousness, through the hosts of that capacity by which the creative expression of the truth pours forth in living. When there are those who know this, then the body of the High Priest takes form and the identity of the High Priest is shared by His hosts. It is not a separate identity. It is only the self-centered human mind that tries to preserve itself as a separate identity, to puff itself up with its own self-importance. On that basis there is no importance; it is useless. But as one of those who compose the hosts of heaven, there is the consciousness of meaning, the consciousness of purpose, the consciousness of being, and we do not have to go anywhere to find it. It is present exactly where we are in any given moment, and when we learn what it means to repent we discover the truth of that.
The High Priest must be present on earth, incarnate on earth, within the body of mankind, if the body of mankind is to come again to provide the facility for the creative action of the Son of God on earth. The One who is the true self of mankind said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” the crossover point for mankind, the point of identity for mankind, the point of identity to be shared by all the hosts composing mankind. Now, from the standpoint of the mental idea, that is simply a theory. It only becomes a living reality to the extent that there are those who take individual, personal responsibility to stand at the crossover point in themselves so that there is nothing above other than what comes down from God out of heaven, nothing higher in the individual’s experience than that; and by higher I am referring to what governs or controls, because whatever governs and controls in one’s own experience one has placed at a higher point than one is oneself.
What will be placed at the higher point? What are we willing to allow to be there? Most people allow some pretty coarse, low things to be at the higher point, so that they are pushed around by all kinds of rubbish, and human behavior reflects it. If there is selfishness, self-centeredness, greed, fear, all these things, motivating a person, then that person has chosen to put those low, coarse things at the high point in his own existence, and he is rightly called an idolater; he is worshiping false gods. He may not like his gods very much but he worships them just the same. There is no need to. We can repent, and repentance simply means you stop doing it, that’s all; one chooses to stop doing it. Human beings, when it’s convenient to them, are usually very quick to say they have a right of free choice: “Nobody’s going to tell me what to do!” No? For most people, everybody and everything is telling them what to do, and they’re doing it. Puppets! How people like to delude themselves.
But there is what is rightly above us: the true quality of the character of God which makes it possible for us to experience what it means to be a son or a daughter of God. That is our inheritance. Our inheritance rightly stems from our true, heavenly parenthood, and when we are willing to admit it, acknowledge it, agree with it, then it happens; but as long as we are looking around to be troubled and disturbed and judgmental of all the things that are going on in the world, we have false gods and we die in our sins. The choice is an individual one, but when the right choice is made individually, then there emerge the hosts which compose initially the body of the High Priest; for the body of the High Priest must be present, the High Priest incarnate, if there is to be the essential point of orientation for the whole body of mankind. Mankind as a whole is not going to become correctly oriented spontaneously. The correct orientation comes with absolute certainty when there are those individuals who take responsibility. Then the High Priest incarnates—the point of orientation is present for the body of mankind, and those who compose mankind make their choice. Each one must be allowed to make his or her choice; no one can be forced to make the right choice. The choice is meaningless unless one makes it for oneself. It is impossible to ride into the kingdom of heaven on somebody else’s coattails—it doesn’t work. Each individual must say, “I take absolute responsibility for my world,” and the only way that that can be done is to accept what is coming to point from above. When one accepts that absolutely, in fact keeping the first great commandment absolutely, one has absolute responsibility for all that comes to point out of the world in oneself.
So, the body of the High Priest takes form, and those who compose that body are the hosts of heaven; they share the character, the quality, of life that is natural to the High Priest. There is no distinction; it’s all one thing, even though it is differentiated through many people. It is not differentiated to be something else; it’s simply differentiated to be an expansion of what is present in essence at the true point of identity in the LORD of Lords. It’s all there, and what a delight it is to come again to that crossover point and to share that quality of character which is the natural expression of the One who gives us identity.
O LORD of Lords and KING of Kings, no one comes to the true experience of him- or herself but by Thee. Relinquishing the old position of the scorner and the accuser, we accept responsibility in Thy name. “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,” are Thy words ... “it shall be done of my Father which is in heaven.” Naturally so, for what is above comes down and crosses over through the point which connects heaven and earth. Thy will is done in earth as it is in heaven. So we would let it be, because we choose to let it be, in recognition of Thy choice as it applies to us individually, in the Christ. Aum-en.
Jan Romaner — Martin, may I and all rise up to accept the beauty and the responsibility in standing with you. Might I bow before this throne as a symbol of our open and yielded hearts in love for Thee. And may we all stand at the bottom of the vastness of the heaven above and at the top of the point that stands over the world for which we have control, and may we always continue to hear Thy word in our hearts and act accordingly. Thank you.
Martin Cecil — Thank you, Jan. Let the Word indeed be made flesh! That’s the only way it has meaning. It is because the Word which was spoken by the LORD of Lords on earth has not been made flesh by human beings that it has remained only with potential meaning and the world itself is unchanged. But changes come as the Word is made flesh in human experience. It is made flesh first in one person, always in one person. The question arises as to who that one person is. It is always the person who says “I.”