As you begin to function on the basis of the principles of reality, you learn to discern the factors which should come to focus in a cycle that is of comparatively short duration and you do not try to bring to focus in the present those factors which are of a larger cycle. You let them work out. One of the causes for difficulty, futility, failure, is this: until the human being learns to so function in the current of the spirit that he can discern what factors are properly to be brought to focus today and what factors are to be left alone to work out in a larger cycle, he will be tending to ignore the things that should come to focus today and he will be trying to bring to focus today things that should be left alone.
Now the human mind, with human intelligence, cannot learn to do this in self-activity—it simply cannot be done. There are no rules and regulations you can point to. In the ordinary sense, you can't put it on what is commonly called the scientific basis, that is, subject to the logic and reason of the intellect. But once you begin to let the spirit control, you find it is on a scientific basis, and that logic and reason recognize the reality as it manifests. So one of the things that you can do very effectively in relationship to your own progress is to watch—not trying to make something be thus and so, but just to watch and observe; be alert. Watch the cycles working out in relationship to yourselves, to whatever degree you can see them in relationship to one another. But particularly watch the cycles as they work out in the material which I present to you, because there, if you are alert, you can perceive the variations.
But learn to watch the vibratory factors, learn to perceive them. If you do not practice looking for them, watching them, you will never learn to see them. It takes alertness, observation, and it takes the process of letting. For here we see letting comes into two specific classifications: one, letting the vibratory factors of the larger cycle alone, letting them work on out; but the factors which are supposed to come to focus in the present, letting them have the proper vibratory pattern, the control and design patterns, so that they can manifest. You go through a process of letting in both cases. One, you let it work out further, let the cycle continue, leave it alone. Do not try to make it be thus and so. The others, you let them come to point in the present, you cooperate, you give them an opportunity of having controlled focalization.
This gives you an opportunityto have a little insight into the way in which human beings fail to receive God's blessings. Because, for some reason or other, whether they are struggling or being concerned about the larger cycle, or whether they are self-centered or functioning wrongly in some fashion, they will fail to cooperate in receiving into focalized pattern, in relationship to themselves, the vibratory factors that should come to focus. Now they are not going to just, by some magic means, gather to a point and manifest for you. There has to be some way of receiving them. You have to give them a contact point. If you are trying to get hold of vibratory factors that are beyond your reach, that you have no business playing with, you are going to be in trouble, or at least fail. But there are those factors each day in your life, right here and now, which are supposed to begin to come into focus. And unless you are so functioning that you can gather them in and let them have point in relationship to yourself, they are not going to come into form; they will pass on by. The thing is so scattered that it never appears.
The point is that we have something to do and we have to learn how to function in relationship to it. Now, at the moment I can tell, by the looks on some of your faces anyway, that this sounds a little ambiguous, a little—well, these are the things we are here to learn. Don't imagine that you are supposed to be able to so function overnight. But I want you to take a little look at it to see the principles involved, so that you could stop rejecting God's blessings which are coming your way, and start doing your part toward letting the vibratory factors come to focus as they are supposed to appear in your life in relationship to the Unit here, or in relationship to the Lord's service wherever the pattern may be working out.
All of this has a very definite bearing on the basic principles that we have been studying in relationship to history, because one of the great values in history as it has been introduced is to let you see how it was that human beings failed to receive blessings when they could have, when they should have, when they were provided; how human reactions or self-activity dissipated the vibratory factors that were supposed to come to point, instead of letting them come into focalization in relationship to the individuals then living. Unless you begin to see history on this basis you will not be able to gain the greatest possible comprehension of the lessons that are contained there.
Of course, you can always say that history teaches various things more or less on the surface, or to be intellectually observed. One of the things that tends to come into consciousness for anyone who really studies history is the idea that there are great cycles that work out and have within the whole scope of recorded history, that can be seen in relationship to the rise and fall of empires. A certain pattern would begin to take form, people would cooperate in it up to a certain point, then they'd begin to be lethargic and self-righteous and self-satisfied and so on. And you can see where the graph of the cycle begins to level out, and in that pattern you look at the historical factors and you see how these people were so self-content, they thought they were on top of the world and they were just going to stay there. And then, perhaps almost imperceptibly at first, there was a decline, beginning to go down, and then suddenly, generally, a plunge, and another cycle begins: the rise and fall of empires, the great cycles in history.
We can look at those great cycles—you probably have enough knowledge of history to see clearly the point I'm talking about at the moment—we can look at those and see how human beings precipitated those things. They were the ones that brought it about. We see a dangerous tendency, that has been in manifestation for some time in our own country, of a leveling off. There is a little rally at the present time; how well it's going to hold we shall see. But being called the greatest nation on earth, etc., taking some of our blessing and privileges and opportunities for granted, tending to be self-righteous and self-satisfied, feeling secure with industrial patterns and business, commerce; we've got the best of everything, etc—I'm not sure that that is true; to a certain extent it is, but not on the basis that is generally thought of—and all of this self-righteousness, and what do we begin to see? Self-satisfied, instead of the forward movement upward, a tendency to level off, a tendency to lose the moral fiber, the strength, the stamina, the pioneering spirit necessary to keep moving upward. Now it's our business, in part, to help maintain that pioneering spirit in relationship to our national program. It works here and in Canada, or wherever there is response to it. There must be something moving upwards. If we pause to consider the matter, just very briefly, we could see that the reason why England, as the center of the British Empire, has managed to stay up as well as it has, has been because of the outlying dominions where something of that upward swing was present, and it siphoned back to England. If England had been left more or less on her own, and the pattern had worked out as it did in England, it too would have reached the point of taking the great plunge before this. But the upward trend in the dominions held it up.
Now all the way back through history we see how God has given man opportunities, over and over again, which man has failed to utilize. He didn't take advantage of them. He started to perhaps, in some ways, and then let self-activity enter in. In recorded history we do not have any specific pattern which makes for easier examination and analysis in this regard than the experience of the Children of Israel. And it is this specific pattern which we begin to analyze in order to see what relationship that outworking has to us. And you will be surprised, if you have not already begun to see it, how closely those same principles, those same factors, show up in relationship to ourselves in this present day. We won't be studying history as something way back yonder. We'll see it in relationship to the present cycle, because the same basic factors are present in any case, and it is brought out into the pattern that you see on the basis of symbolism. And we begin to appreciate the meanings of the various symbolic factors. We begin to see how those things are in operation here and now, so that we are not relegating it merely to a story of the past.
Once you see the prehistoric pattern, see how man went through a process of rapid devolution, and gradually began to move upward again, we began to have a written record, the early Egyptian period, etc—we begin to see the dawn of history. And back in that period of the dawn of history, our attention comes to focus on a man called Abraham and his particular pattern of response, the things that began to work out in his life. I do not suppose that any of you ever think of Abraham without thinking almost in the same split second of Melchizedek. In any case, the very mention of the name Abraham should remind you instantly of Melchizedek—Melchizedek, King of Salem, meaning the Prince of Peace. The beginning pattern, initiated by Melchizedek, who according to the record was not as a man born—he was without beginning of years as we think of it, without end of days; in other words, the picture we have is of a Being who was not subject to birth and death or ascension, as we think of it, in relationship to this particularized pattern. The King of Salem, Melchizedek, comes into the picture—we see the beginnings of this pattern.