ACCEPTING AND REJECTING
EACH man, sooner or later learns that life, to a large extent, is made up of accepting and rejecting things. I need not explain that all this process is first mental. No gift is ever a gift until it is accepted; yet all things in the universe are gifts. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights."
You speak of people possessing certain gifts. If these persons did not accept and recognize these gifts, we would never be able to see them and speak of them.
During the journey into life, man finds that he has accepted many a thing which later he does not want; and in his ignorance he tries to rid himself of the thing, while mentally accepting it as his own. How often does a person label a problem on which he is working, "my problem." He stamps it with the personal trademark. He works hard to get rid of the manifestation, with small success; until he comes to a full realization of the fact that a thing to be loosed in the earth (body) must be first loosed in the mentality.
A very interesting case of rose-cold---more commnonly called hay-fever---is the one of the patient who suffered untold agonies when within sight of roses. To most people this seems unimaginable, but to this man in particular it had a most disastrous effect. Finally, in desperation he called for a doctor's help. No amount of argument would cause him to sec the absurdity of this belief. He knew the effect roses had upon him. He could not see the logic of accepting and rejecting, even though he often viewed hundreds of others handling and smelling roses. Finally, a bunch of artificial roses was brought into the room with him. Immediately the old conditions manifested themselves. He explained that he could stay no longer in the room with the flowers; he or they must leave. Imagine his surprise to find them artificial. The result was, as might be expected, a complete healing.
Thousands of people accept superstitions, and in their belief would get results from them. They try, to run from them only to find them everywhere. The thing that you accept as true will be called to you from the housetops everywhere. If you have accepted a belief in a particular disease, thousands of advertisements and articles on the disease will loom up before you. Everything will be constantly bringing it to your attention, because you are accepting it as a true state, and what you accept as true will come to abide with you in the manifest world.
A man may accept fear, and run from it, but he meets the same fear everywhere. Personal devils come to man for recognition and acceptance, and finally man learns that he speaks with authority when he says: "Get thee behind, me, Satan''; that is, go into the past, or oblivion, where you are dissolved into a belief. "The former things have passed away," is the final decree to a thing that is rejected in consciousness.
How often does a Truth student find himself saying, when some little unpleasant thing such as just missing a car comes to him: "Just my luck!" and yet he is surprised when all these little irritating things flock into his door. What you call your own will abide with you, for your recognition and acceptance of it in consciousness forms the magnet which holds it in the manifest world. No matter how often the object of your loathing is destroyed, a new picture of it appears, a suggestion of it reaches you through a thousand avenues.
I had an agreeable surprise one day from a friend who received a letter, and having opened it and read it,' exclaimed: "Just my luck!" "What? bad news?" I asked. "No, a check for five hundred dollars." There is something to think about in such simple lessons.
Once I received a letter, full of the most scathing criticism and implications. Strange as it may seem, it was signed by one who professed to be in the Truth. Instantly a rush of blood -to the face and a feeling of injustice and criticism arose. An answer formed itself in mind more scathing than the letter, when suddenly out of the clear sky the solution came "What are you accepting?" --- What a refreshing thought to come at a time like this. "You, son of God, have never had anything addressed to you but love, for God is love." Then this letter was never really addressed to me---and putting it back in the envelope I penned across the corner, "Opened by mistake," and dropped it into the post box to return to the sender. Suddenly the soul was free and in heaven. No answer was needed, for it was never accepted. No criticism, no judging, no hot surges of blood to disturb the peace of life! So easy, so quick, and so effective!
For the sake of argument, suppose it had been accepted-it might have taken years to work out of the unpleasantness that would have arisen there from. You see in this little illustration the easy versus the hard way. Remember the old advice: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
You understand why you have difficult problems to solve. There is always an easy, direct method in contra-distinction to the difficult way of trying to force the issue by fighting and struggling. "Ye shall not need to fight; set yourselves and see the salvation of the Lord," does not bespeak beating your very life out trying to fight things. To become aware of the way of non-resistance and come under the command, "Ye shall not need to fight," you must first recognize that there is nothing to fight in the Kingdom of Heaven. The only thing you have been fighting is the belief which you have accepted as true. In reality it has neither intelligence nor life, except that which you give it. Thousands of illustrations of this are given in the superstitious of so-called savage races. And what better picture could we have of it all than Jacob struggling all night (in the darkness of belief) with a problem which he afterward loosed and let go.
You have all been so much like Jacob; you have stood in the darkness of belief and fought against the thing which you were holding on to, and then crying because it seemed to fight back.
Like the fable of the cobbler and the camel who wanted only to warm his nose, using this excuse to crowd all his ungainly shape into the room, man by accepting the first appearance of evil, finally has a problem on his hands. The camel that only wanted to warm his nose finally occupies the whole room (consciousness) and the cobbler is crowded far into the corner, unable to express, except in a limited way.
The way of life is simple, so simple that you stumble over it, because you have long believed that to be godlike is a difficult job.
People have suffered and died from mistaken messages and information. Blisters have been raised by a cold piece of steel applied to the body of a person believing it to be white hot, and it is almost common knowledge that in India, yes, and even many times in our own side shows, magicians and fakirs are able to pass white hot irons over their bodies without making even a discoloration. In some of the American Indian initiations the novice is required to walk through a bed of embers or plunge his arms into a vat of boiling water without manifesting any discomfort or physical effects.
An adopted child has been known to die of the disease of which his foster parents died, because he believed them to be his own parents and the disease hereditary. What you accept as your heritage is yours surely. Small wonder then that Jesus said: "Call no man your father." Life is God, the Creator of everything from the most minute to the most sublime, and' his creation is perfect. Away then with the survey of ancestry, birth records, and the like. Recognizing this Truth, even in a mild way, begins to free us from the bondage of certain family shortcomings, and makes for the larger expression of life. The personality undergoes a change because it loses much of its density, and the individuality of man comes more to the surface.
Man created in His image was made a little lower than the angels (thoughts) and was given dominion over all things. Everything was placed under his feet (understanding)---what a contrast to the man who is eternally overcoming and fighting for a right even to exist, let alone live.
And some will answer to this, "yes, that is all true but so advanced, so hard to live." Is it any wonder that Jesus referred to the Kingdom of Heaven as being made up of children?---not children in years, but those who could accept the things which reason and intellect said were impossible.
There are many cases on record of people who refused to accept age, and the manifestation of it failed to be pictured on their bodies.
You find too often that you have made the outside of the platter clean, but. that the inside is full of fears and beliefs. Some of them seem so solidly placed that it is almost impossible to root them out; yet you are told: "Every plant which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." As in the beautiful story of the cleansing of the temple, when than goes within his own beautiful temple and drives froth his consciousness the evil beliefs, he rejects them and puts them into the oblivion of things which shall never more come into mind.
"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Why this command? Are we all asleep? Shall we find, too late, that the bridegroom has come and the oil (joy) in our lamps has been spent? We cannot have oil in our lamps when we have spent it all on the belief of evil as a reality. Then would we try to borrow from some other one and cannot. We rush from one book to another, from one person to another, trying to borrow of the joy therein, and fall by the way complaining bitterly about the circumstance. Surely we are the foolish virgins when we try to put on a semblance of joy. It is so heartless and so built upon the sands that wash away at the first appearance of sorrow. Sometimes we fill our lamps with self-pity, and presently we find that all those carrying the light have moved away from us. They do not like the smeech of self-pity. Its smoke is thick and dark and shuts off the light.
"I came that your joy might be full"---not nearly full, not just a few drops---but full. "Behold I stand at the door (of your consciousness) and knock; if any man hear my voice and .open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me." The Christ stands in the midst of every man---awaiting what? Acceptance and recognition. He stands with the cruse of oil that never runs dry so long as there is a vessel to be filled. And all this snakes one want to run away by himself---yes, alone with the wonderful pearl that he has suddenly discovered; alone, to view its beauty and luster; there alone, to praise the Giver of all Gifts; there alone to recognize that the gifts were always there waiting acceptance.
Sometimes we are prone to say, "yes, I know, but," and we have only to pause a moment and see that we are on the brink of accepting something that we do not want again.
"You shall find me when you feel after me." Where are we going to "feel after this-me," but in the same locality that the Master taught---within? These things come only by prayer and fasting." Prayer is recognition of God, all good, and fasting is starving out by rejecting the beliefs we have hitherto accepted.
From "glory to glory" we go with the great command from the "still small voice": "Stand fast therefore with the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." All this joy does not bring a sense of personal achievement and arrogance, nor yet spiritual pride, but a beautiful sense of peace and quiet and a constant recognition of the good as everywhere present.
Sometimes, like the Hebrew children, we go through the fire---but note the effect upon those who accepted it as destructive and those who did not. Not even the "smell of fire remained on their garments." "I will lead them in paths that they have not known." Can we accept this? or will we wonder if it is possible? In the darkest condition remember: "My ways are not your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways." Surely we have seen over and over in our lives absolute proof of the fact that "man's extremity is God's opportunity." When we learn to stop telling God about himself and our needs, we begin to experience the sweet, calm assurance that every need is known and met before it comes to us. "Your father knoweth that ye have need of these things." What more can be said? If he knows, is not that sufficient? And is our attention not called to the fact that if our earthly parents know how to give good gifts, our Heavenly Father knows better still the way and means of supplying them.
What we are today is the result of what we have accepted.
"You shall eat your own words" seems a strange bit of English until it is coupled up with the truth, "My word shall not return unto me void." The power that we, put out in negative words and conditions comes back to us, since it is rejected of others.
Some fear that perhaps they have already done and said so many negative things that they will never finish with the eating; but we are told: "Turn ye even to me, with all your heart, and ye shall find rest for your soul," and the evils that have been red as crimson shall vanish in the white light of understanding. Yes, truly, "He giveth his beloved rest."
Walter C. Lanyon