In one letter of response after this morning’s service there was this sentence: “It is as if the shadow of the Fourth Sacred School was already here.” We might be reminded of the 91st Psalm: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The secret place of the most High is the Holy Place, as it has been referred to, a sacred place, the place of spiritual expression, the place of the Third Sacred School, the highest place in the earth. Above this third-dimensional level is the fourth-dimensional level.
We have a certain awareness that there are in fact seven such levels, three composing the heaven and three composing the earth, with the connection in between. We also have some awareness that each level permeates all the levels below it. The second level, the mental level, permeates the physical level, the first level. The spiritual expression level permeates the mental level and the physical level. The third level is the highest level in the earth. This is the Most High insofar as the earth is concerned. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,” under the shadow of all that is above that level. The fourth level is permeated by all the three levels of the heaven above. It is through the fourth level that all three levels of the heaven above permeate all three levels of the earth below. So we may see what is being said here in this particular verse: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Our dwelling place is rightly in this Secret Place, this Holy Place, this sacred place, the place of spiritual expression. In order that we might discover what it means to live at this level there is the Third Sacred School. We have seen that the Third Sacred School includes the Second and the First Sacred Schools. We have noted the Tone as it relates to these three Sacred Schools of the earth, using the word commandment to indicate the nature and quality of the First Sacred School, agreement the Second, and fulfilment the Third. Dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High, that Secret Place permeates the level of mind and body, so that what finds expression by reason of the mind and the body on earth is a revelation of the spirit of God. This is so because abiding, living, dwelling in that Secret Place, we find that the shadow of the Almighty is above. There is an enfoldment by all that is present in the levels of heaven above.
So the shadow of the Fourth Sacred School brings with it a consciousness of the Almighty. The fourth level is the connecting level. We might say it is the window of heaven and when the window is open the heaven is known. It is not known as someplace else so that we might feel the necessity of scrambling out of the window into heaven, but it is known in its relationship with the earth. It is known as not being separate from the earth. It is known that heaven and earth cannot in fact be separated. They were created to be one and are therefore one in fact, if not in the present state of human consciousness. This certainly emphasizes the situation the way it is, namely that the present state of human consciousness is in utter confusion. It has no idea as to what it is that is going on. It imagines itself to be wise and capable but what it has seen and understood is not so. It simply is not so! The true seeing and understanding, the knowing of the truth, only becomes possible because of the shadow of the Almighty, and the shadow of the Almighty is unknown until there is a dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High.
Dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High requires spiritual expression. That Secret Place is, after all, the level of spiritual expression and we can’t experience that level without spiritual expression. If all we have experienced is mental and physical expression we find ourselves abysmally ignorant. So there is the necessity of dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High, of living there. If we live there at the level of spiritual expression we find that the experience of living there permeates the levels below, permeates the mind and permeates the body, so that mind and body dwell also in the Secret Place of the Most High. If this is so then the mind has no authority of itself. Of course the body just goes along with whatever the state of affairs is; it has no particular choice in the matter. It reflects whatever it is that is in the heaven, whatever it is that is in the state of consciousness of the individual—but not only of the individual, because the individual state of consciousness is just a part of the state of consciousness of mankind. So you can never really pin down the troubles that occur in human bodies solely upon the individual consciousness in the sense of holding that responsible, because there is far more than that.
We recognize that we have, all of us, earthly heredity, so that many things have been inherited in this way—and there are vast ramifications in the total consciousness of mankind which impinge upon our individual state of consciousness. Looking at it that way it seems as though there is a condition of turmoil here incapable of solution, but this is only from the standpoint of someone in that state of consciousness trying to look at it. That state of consciousness is properly to be dissolved. It does not belong in the scheme of things. If we find ourselves associated with it and identified with it, when we say that the state of consciousness must be dissolved we are saying that we must be dissolved. Yet we recognize that, while this state of consciousness seems to exist, we need not be associated with it, in the sense of being governed by it. We may let that state be rebuked so that it may be dissolved, thereby making the capacity of consciousness available for the heavenly consciousness which has been excluded for so long from human consciousness as we now know it. It has been excluded so that it has seemed in human consciousness that there was no other state. It is clearly evident that if we function in that state we must see everything from the standpoint of that state. Consequently we see everything as it isn’t—and that is the unreal. To see everything as it actually is, heaven must be included.
Actually what takes place is that the earth is included with the heaven. The heaven already is, even though it has been excluded from human consciousness. The door needs to be opened, or the window of heaven, so that the heavenly state of consciousness may occupy the earthly capacity of consciousness. If the heavenly state does occupy the earthly capacity then the prior state where heaven was excluded will have been dissolved. This is the way to go about it. The human state of consciousness is going to be dissolved in any case. It is supposed to be normal for this dissolution of the human state of consciousness to occur at the point of what is called death. Well good riddance! Don’t imagine I am speaking ill of the dead particularly, because what is dead isn’t; there is nothing to speak ill of, whereas what is is.
The heaven is. As there is an adequate connection reestablished within the range of human consciousness then the fact that the heaven is becomes known. Otherwise it cannot be known; there can only be imagination, sometimes vivid imagination no doubt but imagination just the same. These things become known to the extent that we dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High—it could be said in a state of holiness, a state of wholeness. Obviously if we dwell simply in our minds and in our bodies we are far from being whole. Those are only two levels out of the seven and even those two levels remain very obscure as to what they really are until there is a consciousness of wholeness. Then those two levels fall into their appointed places as a part of the whole; but if they are looked upon as being the whole we are bound to be in a very unbalanced state.
We have only to observe what is going on in the world to recognize imbalance, a great deal of irrational expression on every hand. We can see it so easily, can’t we, all over the place. Well if it is all over the place maybe it is here too. Maybe it is right where one is! We are good at seeing what is wrong and irrational with respect to others, usually forgetting however that what we see with respect to others is likely to be at least in some measure a reflection of what is true of ourselves. We see others through our own state of consciousness and if we think they are irrational out there, how about us? Well as long as there is an attempt to function on the basis of the mind and the body alone there is bound to be madness, not because someone else made us mad but because we chose to be mad.
We have awakened in some measure to the reality of the Secret Place, the Holy Place. Only those who are holy can dwell there. Those who insist upon being partial people cannot dwell in the Holy Place. It requires spiritual expression to be at the spiritual expression level and in the Holy Place in consequence. For spiritual expression to become the continuing experience, what is not spiritual expression needs to be rebuked. We have taken note of this fact: the world is to be reproved. Many people have rubbed their hands and said, “Ah now we will reprove the world,” thinking of the world as everything else but themselves. However whether we like it or not the world includes us too and if the world is to be rebuked, well naturally we would be rebuked as well. But we have the recognition that insofar as we as individuals are concerned the world that needs rebuking is our own world, our own state of consciousness. The state of consciousness which everyone experiences initially is a false state of consciousness in which there is a vast accumulation of things that need rebuking. None of us are exempt from this. Anyone who is born into this world in human form necessarily is born into the state of consciousness that is present in the body of mankind—he cannot help but be.
Generally speaking there has to be a good deal of accepted rebuke before we begin to recognize that there is the possibility of another state of consciousness. However, each individual must accept the responsibility for that rebuke with respect to his own state of consciousness if that state of consciousness is to be cleared. There are those who have been striving manfully, or womanfully, over the years to become what they would think of as better people. This is considered to be very commendable in the world, isn’t it?—we should all strive for this—you are encouraged to continue to function on the basis of improving your ego. After a while it becomes somewhat discouraging. You reach a point where you say, “Oh I don’t seem to be making any progress; the same old things keep coming up.”
In another letter of response I had after this morning’s service there was indication that the easy way is to let the human ego be dissolved in the truth, like sugar is dissolved in water. That is right—it needs to be dissolved—but it is never dissolved, it is simply strengthened, if the individual tries to improve the human ego. I don’t care what method he may use, what techniques he may find, this will always be the case. Some of these techniques are looked upon as being extremely spiritual but all of them without exception strengthen the human ego. Some people develop human egos that are extremely spiritual! The end result is always the same—the human ego is inflated, and every bubble bursts sooner or later! That is not the way. The ego only begins to be dissolved on the basis of rebuke. The rebuke may come through somebody else to begin with. If it does, probably you rebel against it—“Who does he think he is, rebuking me?” Well if you won’t accept it from someone else, try doing it yourself. It has got to be done somehow, and in the ultimate it has to be done by the person himself or herself—it only works then.
So we come into the Holy Place, that we may have a place to stand from which to extend the rebuke, and we rebuke the world of our own consciousness. That includes a lot, you know. It includes everything of which you are aware. But the point is that you rebuke what is happening in your consciousness as it arises in the moment. Dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High we abide under the shadow of the Almighty, under the positive expression of heaven; and that expression is pressing—it is expressing, it is pressing to come forth. In its coming forth it always rebukes whatever stands in the way of its coming forth. It comes up against that, so that what needs to be rebuked becomes quite apparent. It is like a stone in a stream. The water comes up against it and it makes the stone very evident; the swirling around it makes it very evident. In this way each person becomes aware of what it is that needs to be rebuked. The habit of the human ego has been to justify whatever it is that needs to be rebuked as being present because of somebody else. We have noted that it is so very easy for human egos to find scapegoats. We blame our emotional peccadilloes on other people—everybody else is at fault. “If the world would just clean up its act I’d be perfect.” When we bring it out and look at it it all seems so irrational and stupid, doesn’t it? Yet this is the way human beings behave. It could even be the way that you on occasion behave.
We are here to rebuke what is present, in the immediate sense, in our own state of consciousness, the things that need to be rebuked—and they are quite self-evident. When the stone in the stream has been rebuked it dissolves and the water flows smoothly and never will you think it is reasonable to say that someone else made you mad, for instance, because nobody then has the power anymore to make you mad, or what you assumed was the power they had to make you mad before. You recognize that they did not have that power; the power was in yourself. And by the way, when you begin to look at these things you begin to become aware of how much power there is in yourself. Well that power is at least partially used for rebuke—in the initial stages it is mostly used for rebuke. But when there is rebuke there begins to be space, there begins to be more of a Secret Place. I think when reference is made to the Secret Place it has seemed rather a little place in human consciousness but it is really a vast place when the clutter that has been in it has been dissolved by rebuke—we find that we have a mansion, all kinds of room in which the creative processes may be generated.
This generation only really begins after there has been sufficient rebuke so that there is some space. There is space to begin to appreciate the reality of what may be referred to as the ordinances of heaven. We become aware of the ordinances of heaven because there is space into which they may emerge and we can see them—space in our own consciousness for the things of heaven. If you start looking at the clutter that there is in the consciousness of mankind as a whole you will be discouraged right away, but you do not need to look at that. You may even be discouraged just by looking at the clutter in your own! But there is only one way to go about it and that is by rebuke, by reproof, as these things become apparent. Then the space increases and the ordinances of heaven become apparent to us. We play a part in setting the dominion thereof in the earth, in the earth of our immediate expression.
I think when this matter of the ordinances of heaven has been considered, and setting the dominion thereof in the earth, people have had a wide-ranging view all over the place where these things are going to be done. But they need to be done right where one is in relationship to one’s own state of consciousness and in relationship to one’s own behavior. The ordinances are set in the earth of one’s own behavior, in the earth of one’s own momentary living, so that what finds expression is according to the ordinances of heaven. That is spiritual expression. Then you find, having set the dominion thereof in the earth in the immediate sense, that in the seasons of the Lord the effects of that appear.
There have been those who have been sufficiently faithful in their knowing of the ordinances of heaven and in the setting of the dominion thereof in their own momentary living that the effect of that reaches out and produces what should be produced on the basis of such connections as there are with what has been established close to home. Who could foretell where those effects were going to appear?—all part of the evidence of what has been done in the setting of the ordinances of heaven in the earth of daily living on the part of some people, those who have some understanding in this regard and who were extending a rebuke where it was needed. Then things proliferate on the basis of the times and the seasons, the days and the years, that are consequent upon the creative movement of the spirit of God.
The Seasons of Mazzaroth. What do you know about it? Well maybe we need to know more than we do, but regardless of whether we have known anything about it or not, when we have attended to our own business and done what we were supposed to do and left undone what we were not supposed to do, something has been set in motion that brings forth on the basis of the Seasons of Mazzaroth—not on the basis of the concepts of the human mind as to what should be done when, where and how, or as to who should be affected by what is done when, where and how. Who knows these things? Let’s mind our own store, attend to our own business, rebuke what needs to be rebuked within the range of our own consciousness. As individuals let us rebuke what is rising up when needful. Let us allow the space to be there so that the ordinances of heaven have somewhere to appear, and when they appear we can be conscious of them and set the dominion thereof in the earth of our living so that what we do, what we express, is of the spirit of the living God. That allows all that needs to occur to occur in ways that at the moment we may know not of. But we see it happening; we see the evidence of it; we see the fruit.
As there is a body of people dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty, what the human mind might look upon as miracles occur. The world is reproved because individually we take the responsibility of reproving the things that do not belong in our own personal human consciousness. Maybe there has been rather a tendency toward arrogance in imagining that we can go out and teach and rebuke other people before we have attended to what is close to home. Let us be humble in this regard and recognize that no matter where we may be, what the circumstances may be, there is always a field available to us where rebuke is necessary, and it is not because we are looking at other people but because we are looking at what is arising in our own consciousness. When we rebuke these things that get in the way in our own consciousness then we can see clearly what is beyond the immediate range of our own consciousness.
Let us be concerned to dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High, that the clutter that has been in the Holy Place may be cleared out so that it becomes once more a Holy Place and not the place where human ego dwells, where the devil dwells with all his filth. How beautiful, how clear, how perfect, is the Holy Place—the place of life, the place of power, the place which ever abides under the shadow of the Almighty. When we dwell there we abide under that shadow and we are keenly aware of the reality of the ordinances of heaven so that we may understand what it means to set the dominion thereof in the earth.