We might be reminded of our Master's words, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We can examine that statement and see various implications—perhaps we might see emphasized for us this evening the fact that none of us can actually come back to God by ourselves. Immediately we begin to experience the state of being Divine we discover that we are a part of the nature of God, which we might say is a collective nature. There are many people who have attempted to come to God all on their own. Oneness with God was going to be experienced in their view just simply in an individual sense, as though that experience had no relatedness to anyone or anything else. Whether we recognize it or not, whether we like it or not, we are certainly part of a whole. We cannot help but share the situation that has been produced on earth by reason of mankind.
From the Divine standpoint we recognize that we are also part of a great whole, and the mere fact of coming back to God will cause us to become more keenly aware of the whole of which we are a part. We find ourselves sharing a closer attunement with every aspect of Divine Being, wherever brought to focus. This relates to our fellows and also to all the other manifestations of life in form, indeed to all created things, whether we think of them as having life or not. Our own physical bodies, after all, are composed of mineral substance. We have a direct relatedness to the earth, the dust of the ground.
The unfolding awareness of Divine Being within the range of our own experience brings us to a recognition that we are indeed One Body. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me”—by the awareness, by the fact, of being an essential part of the Body of God on earth. You cannot come to God outside the Body of God. It is futile to make the attempt. Consequently if we do come closer to God we come closer into an awareness of our relatedness to and in the Body of God. This establishes our relatedness one with another. Humanly speaking, where there are attitudes which appear on the basis of what is pleasing and displeasing, there is an inclination on the part of human beings to imagine that they could somehow choose who shall be associated with them in the Body of God. “I don't much care for so-and-so,” therefore the attitude is taken which more or less excludes so-and-so from the concept of the Body of God that the particular individual has. Of course nobody can be excluded actually. Everybody is contained therein but most are unaware of it. We are emerging into an awareness of being members of the Body of God. To the extent of that awareness we are returning to the experience of the state of being Divine. The experience of the state of being Divine is inseparable from the experience of being a part of the Body of God, and if we are a part of the Body of God we cannot arbitrarily exclude anyone from it.
Our attitude must be the Divine attitude, which enfolds all in the Body of God, whether those concerned are aware of it or not. We do not play any favorites if we have the Divine attitude. We do not have any preferences in this sense. We have what might be called preferences, I suppose, by reason of the fact that we obviously pay more attention to those who are willing to become consciously aware of their participation in the Body of God than we do to those who are not so willing. You might recall our Master's words when He questioned as to who was His mother and who were His brethren: those that “do the will of my Father in heaven.” If we find those who are willing to do the will of God, if we find those who are willing to accept the Divine state of being, we are most interested in these, because we have something to work with then; but this does not exclude anyone, because anyone can choose to be willing in this way. We cannot force willingness. The door must always be open for those who are willing.
And also of course, as servers, responsibility must be taken for the manner in which the environment behaves. I recall that Moses became quite impatient on one occasion when he came down from the mountain and found the children of Israel disporting themselves in a manner that was not in harmony with the divine design, and he broke the stone slabs upon which the commandments of the Lord had been written. Well we can understand his impatience, his irritation, but we need to be rather careful that we do not break even the symbol of the commandments of the Lord. We need a great deal of patience if we are to align ourselves with the state of being Divine.
We may observe the way human beings behave, their antics this way and that, their blindness or lack of respect for things divine, etc., but we cannot in any way become involved emotionally with such things. We stand in our Divine identity, observing and seeking the way to handle those things which are brought into our environment. We have a responsibility in this regard. Because there is some awareness of the responsibility that rests upon us individually speaking with respect to our environments, if we see a mess around us then it is obviously a reflection on ourselves, and this sometimes, with different ones, has brought a sense of discouragement. The individual seems to imagine that nobody else has a messy environment. You do not have to look very far to find a mess.
I personally could become probably more discouraged than anyone and more prone to quitting than anyone on this human basis, because of my observation of the mess in the world for which I take responsibility. In spite of all that has been done over the years there is still a mighty mess; one might say, worse than ever. No one is immune from recognizing that there is a mess round about, a mess for which we all individually and collectively speaking are responsible. The question is, What are we going to do about it? If we get discouraged and quit, well obviously nothing is going to be done about it and that does not help; but if we see our responsibility, accept it and continue to serve, extending what we know to be right into the environment, we can play our part in correcting the condition.
Obviously we have to deal with the thing that is closest to us. We cannot leap over anything to set the world straight out there. We have to take what comes in our own environment; we don't have any other, after all; and while our environment certainly includes all those things out there, our immediate reach does not extend that far. It extends fairly closely around us, and while there is no line of demarcation between close environment and far environment, the close environment is the one where we are able to work. We need to begin to see that the close environment is connected with the far environment. There are shells of environment around us, we might say. One shell leads to the next, and when we act in relationship to the environment that is closest to us the repercussions of our actions are not limited to that environment. If that environment is connected to other environments reaching on further and further out, then whatever we do here is going to have an effect reaching out further.
There are those who look at their environments and they say, “Well this isn't very Divine; it isn't very heavenly. It needs adjustment. I am going to take it and move it around so that it becomes a heavenly environment around me”—as though one could pick out just so much of the environment, one's personal environment, take it away from all the rest and get it set up so that it is pleasing and heavenly for oneself. I think that is obviously a foolish idea, because this environment is stuck to all the rest. You cannot pry it free and it is futile to try to do this. It becomes a very self-centered endeavor anyway.
We may recognize this is true of a larger environment, such as the environment immediately surrounding a group here. Over the years there has been some concern for the environment, that it might be changed and made more pleasing and satisfactory. We want to have things nice, but we need to recognize that our handling of the immediate environment is not for the purpose of making a heavenly environment around us. It is a nice idea to say we will create a heavenly environment around us and then we will let it expand. Perhaps in a sense it works a little that way, but how does it become heavenly, if we recognize that this environment is not separate from all the rest out there? Obviously, if there is to be a change in this environment it comes because there is a change out there as well. If you pause to consider, the external state of affairs we have here derives from what is out there. For instance we have electric light; very nice, very useful; it provides us with illumination; it provides us with heat; it provides us with all sorts of things. Where does it come from? Did we generate it here? We used to have our own generating plants, but even those we had to purchase somewhere and bring them in.
All the things that we have in the external sense, that are supposed to make things look good, you know, and be pleasing to us so that we are comfortable, came from out there. They derived from the environment that reaches out quite a bit from 100 Mile House, for instance. The changes that need to work out in our close environment have a relatedness to what is going on out there. It is not unrelated. We cannot do anything here on an unrelated basis. We must see that there is this connection, so that we are not arbitrarily trying to make something appear here in outer form regardless of what is going on out there. It is possible, with effort and energy and willpower and one thing and another, to do this, and we may get something stuck up there which looks pretty good, but it takes a lot of the sweat of the face to keep it there. Relax for a moment and it all tumbles down, because it is being produced on a basis that is unrelated to what is further away.
In our handling of our responsibilities in the immediate environment, when we do it rightly, when our action is based in the fact that we have accepted the state of being Divine, it sets something in motion; it establishes and initiates a creative cycle. We are doing what we are supposed to be doing on the basis of the state of being Divine. This allows, to the extent that we are capable of it, divine action on earth, divine action which in its initial manifestation moves into the immediate environment; but it does not stop there, because the immediate environment is connected up with all the rest and so this goes on out. Whatever we do here—we cannot turn over in bed without affecting all that is connected with that immediate environment, and it has its effect. The human mind cannot possibly comprehend all the effects which might be involved; it cannot by any means discover what they would be. Human mind action of itself is what is primarily responsible for creating a mess, even though it is conceived to be good.
Our concern is with being Divine and letting this be the action, letting this be the impact, the influence, which is extending into our immediate environment. And because it bumps up against this domino, the next domino goes and so it reaches way out, and who can tell how far or where? But it does. It reaches out and produces certain effects out there, which permits—when it has gone to the periphery of that particular creative action—a returning cycle to come back. There has been the effect of the impact, what we call radiation. Perhaps we can see that it isn't something merely imaginary. You hit something close to you, that hits something else, and so it goes—radiation going out, and things begin to be adjusted on that basis. Where there is resilience, or what we call response, things begin to come into line. Where there is resistance things tend to be pushed out of the way. Something happens out there and the response lines things up so that there can be a returning cycle aspect to this creative cycle, coming back from what has been affected out there. And when it gets all the way back here there is a basis for the change in manifestation here.
It may be necessary to exercise a good deal of patience while this cycle is working out. There will be those impatient ones who say, “Why don't you get busy and change this and make that over so that it is right?”—according to the human concept. Well let us wait a minute. Let's just be right ourselves in the expression of what we divinely are in the circumstance as it is. We are not concerned to change it particularly. It will change. This is a silly notion that the human mind has sometimes: “Well I am going to be stuck with this situation forever.” How ridiculous! A bad situation can always get worse!
Things do change anyway. Something does come back if we cast our bread upon the waters, and it returns after many days. Who is to say how long? But when it does, it brings with it a basis for the change which can take place here, a change which is then not unrelated to everything that has happened out there. If you try to make an arbitrary change here, unrelated to anything that is occurring out there, it is worth precious little. Let us remember that everything we do in the immediate environment has an effect a long way off too. Who can tell how far? If it is the Divine expression which is appearing through the individual it will be of a nature which will take it to wherever it needs to go. The word of the Lord does not return unto Him void but accomplishes that whereunto it is sent. It goes out with a specific pattern of achievement related to it. It is not a haphazard thing like the human mind action is, the human mind action which sees only what is immediately in front of its nose and imagines that it can act here without regard to anything else at all. Such action produces a mess, and if the state was bad it will get worse.
We find this occurring in the world around us. There is a buildup, rather evident at the moment, of adverse conditions in the world—a dangerous situation. It always has been a dangerous situation in actual fact, but it is becoming more obvious day by day. There is a buildup of destructiveness, and we can look out there and we can, if we see with divine vision, recognize the childishness of human beings who are playing these dangerous games out there. Most of them do not know any better; most of them are being used anyway as a means to selfish human ends. But we see this buildup of destructiveness on one hand. We might recognize that at the same time there is another buildup which relates to creativeness, something of a balancing nature in this regard, and we have some little awareness of this balancing factor.
From the standpoint of our awareness, from the standpoint of our ability to function, I think we would be inclined to say that the balancing factor is woefully inadequate. We have had many, many years to let it become adequate but we have not always used them the way we should. We have let opportunities slip by so that we are not, if it all depended upon us who have this conscious awareness, in position to deliver the goods yet, and it would be a sad situation if there was not some other compensating factor present. Now this, if it is so, does not relieve us of responsibility but should be cause for thankfulness on our part that, in spite of our stubbornness and bullheadedness and all the rest, the situation is not yet entirely hopeless insofar as mankind is concerned. We had better mount our horses pretty soon and accept this responsibility of being divine, so that we can no longer identify ourselves with a nature which is not Divine.
This is not to say that an undivine nature is not a fact. We have spent years developing undivine natures and they are not going to vanish in a moment; but the mere fact that there is an undivine nature related to us does not mean that we have to be identified with it. It does not mean that we have to allow it to walk all over us, so to speak, and dictate to us the nature of our expression. If the undivine nature is present, so is divine nature, but mostly in potential. However, we may choose to accept the potential and give it manifest form, that we may be in position to allow the formation of the Body of God to come within the range of our conscious awareness.
We say yes this is so. We see certain ones who are participating in this process, we are associated with these people, and so it is appearing in form. Remember, we are in no position to judge it. Let it take form the way it should, because we simply accept the responsibility for being Divine. We don't judge the form it is taking. We don't judge others. We don't even know how it will be with ourselves in the days to come. We certainly don't know how it will be with others or how it should be with others.
We share in allowing this form to appear. Why? What is the purpose? We could say that power is the purpose, Divine Power sufficient in magnitude to allow this creative process, which proceeds from the immediate environment out into the world and comes back, to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. It is a very small thing at the moment, a very little trickle, because there is so little real identification with Divine Being, therefore so little Divine Power on earth. The power works through the Body. The power is the life of the Body—this Body which takes form when there is an acceptance of the state of being Divine on the part of the members of it. We begin to have a form, a container then, in which power is moving.
I am sure that all of you have had individually some experience of being on the ball, so to speak, in the Divine sense, and knowing within yourself that there was power. You could do anything—not anything in the sense of any old thing, but in the sense of the things that you were there to do. Anything that was required in that sense you could do. Of course your experience of this varies from person to person; but I am sure that at some time all of you have touched that sense of power. It may have seemed a rather fanciful thing because it was so unbelievable, just imagination the human mind will say; but then, if you have been functioning correctly and stayed centered properly, you did whatever was required to be done and there was no trouble about it, no problem.
This, which is a faint awareness of the reality of God's power, must be allowed to work in the Body of God on earth. It will when the Body of God is there in form. Power must be contained. Power which is not contained, which is not held under control, is destructive. We see power unleashed in this destructive manner, appearing all over the place in the world now, so we should have no doubts as to the reality of the power. The trouble has been that there has been no adequate container for it under the right control. If we have the container and the control and the power, we have it made; but if we fiddle around with human patterns, human insistence upon identification with some worthless human character, we are of no use. Seeing that we have had this opportunity, we are in far worse condition than someone who has not had the opportunity. That is something that needs to be recognized too.
We have been offered a priceless privilege, something that is beyond the imagination of man to comprehend. This is the fact of the matter. The human mind with its nonsense so often takes a disrespectful attitude toward the reality of God's gift, but when we appreciate it, when we begin to see the truth of it and begin to experience the reality of it, then we know and we begin to share that power. We begin to have an increased awareness of it and we begin to function in relationship to it because we are dealing with our immediate environment on the basis of this power under control. Nothing from the environment can push us around. If something in the environment can push you around you are worthless—absolutely worthless. When there is the acceptance of the state of being Divine the power is there, and the ability to handle the circumstance is there, and we handle it on that basis. We are right in it, in our attitude, in our outlook, and this has an effect in the environment.
We don't stand there waiting for the results to appear in some magnificent blaze of glory. No, that is not to be anticipated at all. The effect is here but the power is taking it out, and it works all the way through because the environment is connected up all the way through. We cannot from the human mind standpoint follow it out and see what is happening. You don't need to anyway, but it goes out according to the Law. The way opens for it on the basis of response. Where there is resistance it is like water flowing—it goes around the rock. It goes to the ocean, and then what happens? It evaporates and back it comes.
There is the returning cycle—the returning cycle which shows up in the immediate environment; the change is there then. Wonderful! Here it is; now we can use it because the change has come. Sometimes we have had to wait a long time. Sometimes what has been released has been frustrated in the returning cycle because those who were responsible for the immediate environment would not let it come back. They had some other idea. They wanted to keep it the way they wanted it, and there has been much frustration on this basis. There was no recognition of what it was that was returning or the value of it, and an unwillingness therefore to let things change. But when it works as it should we have a new situation in the environment, and suddenly there it is and we can make use of that. In making use of that on the basis of the state of being Divine something else goes out, and we have this constant process which brings back these changes in the environment closely related to what has happened all the way out—so we are not endeavoring to create a segregated thing, unrelated to everything out there. On this basis the world is brought back to God. That is what we are here for; not to make a nice, pleasing little paradise for ourselves.
When we are really concerned with this, we are really concerned with being Divine. Otherwise we are not; otherwise we are still self-centered. So as there is an increasing concern in this regard, an increasing delight in functioning in the Creative Pattern as it is divinely established, it is a wonderful thing. This is what brings the sense of fulfilment, the sense of meaning, of being worthwhile. And so on this basis we are a part of the Body of God. Perhaps we may have now, at this point, by reason of the cycles that have gone out and come back, a greater understanding of what this means. We have mouthed the words for a long time but there has been precious little experience of what they mean.
The Body of God—“No man cometh unto the Father, but by me”—by the form which allows the manifestation of God in action on earth, that form which is not separate from the Father. So we come back to God on this basis ourselves, but we also open the door for others because we are preaching the gospel in all the world. That is what it is, isn't it? We have our individual close environment. When we preach the gospel there, we preach it in all the world. In other words when our function is on the basis of the state of being Divine here in our immediate environment, that reaches out in the creative cycles to all the world and comes back. We don't have to go rushing around to the ends of the earth to tell everybody about something or other. They would not understand anyway.
It has been indicated that we participate in a Vibrational Ministry. This is the truth of the matter, but it is a very practical thing, down to earth. It has tended to be too much of an imaginary thing. But it is what we do here in this environment immediately around us that determines as to whether we have meaning or not. When we do have meaning because we have accepted the state of being Divine, then the gospel begins to be preached in all the world, in all our worlds individually speaking. Our worlds reach way out.
If we are in position to appreciate the spirit which has been moving in our meditations this evening we have the foundation upon which to stand to enable us to share in giving a greatly increased manifestation of form to the Body of God on earth—and it is in this that the power of God works under control. We can begin to comprehend something of the means by which this power works as we allow the state in which it works to be our experience, and then we can take the next step and the next. We can begin to be a little more specific in our operations. There has been so much vagueness heretofore, because it could not be any other way. Nothing had gone out sufficiently to bring back, in the creative cycle, a state of affairs in the immediate environment to permit what was required. If we can function intelligently in these things we can move with very great rapidity, and we can allow the balance to be established effectively in relationship to the intensified destructiveness that we see coming on earth. It's coming.
It's coming—but then from our standpoint so is something else. This is our concern. We are in position then to live and serve without fear or disturbance by reason of what we see coming on earth. We would have to be pretty blind not to see it coming. We need to be on the job, I think. Perhaps we are in better position now to let it be so for us.