"MARVEL not ye must be born again."
The definite statement of what must take place before you can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven here and now made manifest, is little heeded by the average Truth student. He does not stop to see or realize that in order to do the works that Jesus said were possible for him to do, that he would have to be "born again" into a state of consciousness where those things which were formerly impossible, come under the head of the natural and possible.
He is admonished time after time, that it is useless to put new wine into old bottles, or to put a new patch on an old garment, and yet he will try with the limited physical senses to do those things which at the beginning are listed in the category of the impossible. Hence, he is merely trying to hypnotize himself into believing that some "miracle" will happen to him if he tries hard enough.
There is no possible way for the mind of the limited human senses to grasp the statements which set aside the laws of time, space, gravity, cohesion, and adhesion.
All the works of Jesus come under this head. Nothing he did was in any way subservient to the human findings. Everything that he showed forth set aside definitely a humanly accepted theory of law. How, then, is it possible for a man to attain these works working from a limited human sense capacity? "I can of myself do nothing" immediately states the position Jesus took to the limited faulty human senses.
"Having eyes, ye see not, and ears, ye hear not," was addressed to people who in the human sense of the word both saw and heard -- and yet they could not "see nor hear" that which belonged to the Power which he manifested.
"Marvel not ye must be born again" -- do not get excited about it, if you must be -- you can be, and the sooner you get over the idea that it is some strange and elaborate initiation, the sooner you will find you are "gradually merging into this new-born state.
"As you have borne the image of the earthly, so shall ye also bear the image of the heavenly." Is there anything so strange in that statement? No, there is nothing strange in any of the teaching of Jesus; it is sane, practical, and usable by the man in the street; the only strange thing about it all is the weird and difficult processes that have been thrown about it by the human mind.
If the child could get into the Kingdom of Heaven through the all-embracing capacity of accepting something which could not be reasoned out, then it does not seem so impossible for the adult to lay aside his adultery, his making the universe two instead of one.
The "peace which passeth all understanding" certainly is not going to be sounded or experienced by the understanding of you or your teacher, however famous you or your teacher may be. And yet that peace in which lie all things, is possible of attainment, but apparently not through the "understanding."
"Seek peace and pursue it, and all good shall come unto you." It is definite and direct -- all good shall come unto you. Do you hear? That is what you have been after, isn't it? You have wanted the all good, and there is no ambiguity as to how it will come if you follow the instructions of Jesus Christ -- if you come unto Me.
"Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which are prepared for them that love the Law."
The eyes have grown dim trying to see that which has been prepared, and have finally decided that it is some invisible thing that will come after death. And yet, not satisfied with this, man keeps on trying to see it now -- or to experience some of the marvelous things which the heart has been unable to sense.
It is evident, if you cannot see and hear and experience by the human senses the things which are prepared for you, it is because of their limitation, and yet we know that through these very senses comes the verification of the Presence of the Lord. "Feel Me, and see that a spirit hath not flesh and blood."
Through these very senses man experiences the word made flesh and discovers that what he is seeking, and what Jesus was talking about, is not an imaginary kingdom where vaporous bodies float about singing all day long, but that the resurrected word made flesh functions in the world though not of it as a tangible and very much alive and real thing.
The command to transcend both time and space is too difficult for the human limitations. "You say it is four months until the harvest, but I say, 'Look again,' " carries with it a demand for the extended vision -- a something that telescopes the thing the human mind calls time and space and which says it is so necessary to produce the said harvest.
What are you going to do -- argue about the possibility of it being so? Then you are arguing with the Teaching of Jesus Christ and you are setting yourself up. Why? Because you are looking through your limited human senses, and what you cannot see with your eyes and handle with your hands you will not accept and, further than this, you insist that because you cannot see or understand it that it is not so -- yet in the same breath you will insist that you follow the Master.
"Follow Me" means precisely what it says -- "Follow Me." You have already admitted your defeat. You have already decided that you do not know where you are going nor what is going to happen.
"Anything might happen" is the uncertain shaky human reasoning and understanding -- but this could not possibly be so of a "Changeless God and a changeless perfect law"; the only thing that changes is your human belief regarding a thing -- all else remains in its eternal undisturbed harmony. It is wonderful to contemplate the extension of the senses, the capacities of the "new born" idea. These capacities start where the human capacities leave off. Without the proper grasp of the senses you will be bound to draw all your conclusions from the seeing of the eye and the hearing of the ear. These conclusions, then, naturally will be faulty, and your judgment will be from appearances, and meet with the stern, unrelenting law, "Judge not from appearances, but judge by righteous judgment."
"Marvel not ye must be born again," otherwise you are still working in the "four months until the harvest" of human reasoning, and you may perish if you have four months before the harvest can come. If your prayers are put through the same time and space proposition, you may fall by the way long before the answer has time to reach you -- and how will the limited human reason handle the statement, "Before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear."
This is an utter impossibility, and you easily can get a group together to prove that it is an utter falsity; but what you are proving only are the limits of your own enlightenment. Because you cannot prove a thing does not argue for or against its reality; it merely states a condition of your own progress. "There are many things I could not tell you because of your unbelief." There are many things that you cannot grasp through the limited human senses -- there is not sufficient capacity in them to grasp the new elevation. The "before you call I will answer" needs something higher than human reasoning to cause you to come in line -- and that "something" is pretty near to the power which dissolves the mirage of time and space and human limitations from you.
The "look again" seems to be merely an adjustment of the lenses of the eyes; the time element in it is so sudden and impossible. "Who by searching can find me?" What have you in the human mind which can "search out the deep and hidden things of Spirit"? Nothing but the quality of imagination, and of that you think little in the practical, workaday world.
Yet Jesus submitted to the baptism of John the Baptist -- inspiration permitted itself to be baptized by reasoning, but the moment this ceremony was over, the glorious balance of Life having been established, he was through forever with that idea. We see him moving with the glorious power of the inspiration.
"When the inspiration of the All Mighty (heed the word All) has come unto you, it shall lead you (yes, you) into all things" -- when you see the inspiration that is the quality of the newly born moving into place of expression through and against everything, since it recognizes no condition or limitation -- then you will know why it is necessary for the eyes to be opened and the ears unstopped, no matter how keen your physical hearing and seeing may be at this moment.
As the aggregate mass of evidence of the senses forms the life of the human kind, so does the evidence of the spiritual senses reveal the kingdom here and now -- and when the one is lost in the other, then the word becomes flesh. When the limited human sense is lost in its divine counterpart, then the new capacities of the sense so far transcend the human reasoning that it is impossible to understand. The blending of the life with the universal life causes the "glass darkly" to disappear from in front of the vision.
Little by little it dawns upon man that the purpose of God is not for demonstrating the power of Truth, and that the idea that he studies about God in order to be able to do something that his fellow man cannot do must fall by the way in favor of the conscious knowledge that he is merging into the nature of God, and this very merging causes that which the human kind call miracles to be the ever-present manifestation.
The end and ultimate of this search for God is not, then, as had been supposed by thousands, to find a way to make bread out of stones or do strange and curious things -- in short, to perform miracles - but it is for the releasing of the True Nature of God into manifestation. If the action that is about to take place through it is not natural, because it is God action, then it is a false human belief trying to make itself felt as something.
If the child can get into the Kingdom, so can you. Or can you? Perhaps your intellect is so great that you have to smile at the simplicity of the child and Jesus, and so you smile until you stop smiling and that is the end of that.
Neither is the end of this search for God self aggrandizement. He who seeks the Power so that he may be known by men to do many "good" works, mistakes the Divine Nature which could not possibly act in any other fashion. He is limiting God and attempting to place a personal trade mark on the Infinite.
We do not good works for any other reason than that we cannot do any other kind of works: the nature of a blackberry is to produce blackberries, and the nature of God is to be God. And that "being" God is what the human man calls supernatural and miraculous, yet it is but natural and true to God. No law of God is set aside when a miracle takes place, but the Nature has finally overshadowed a human consciousness with such a flood of light that it has got through the "glass darkly" and in a measure has neutralized the thing called problem, the problem only having been the product of the foreshortened senses of the reasoning man.
"If you ask anything in my name [nature], that do I unto you." When you plant the blackberry bush and water it, you are asking it in the nature of the blackberry bush to produce blackberries -- what else can it do? and how naturally it is functioning when it does. It is the ultimate end or purpose of its existence.
And so, when you ask anything in the name or nature of Jesus Christ, the action that takes place before you ask is merely the expression of the nature, and it is going to be natural, simple, glorious; and only when you get into alignment with this idea can you ever hope to "Follow Me" into the heaven here and now made manifest. If it is not natural, then it cannot take place often, for it will be supernatural and will have to come under the heading of the supernatural.
The supernatural is that which happens once in a lifetime to the limited human reasoning, when for a moment it has relaxed the narrow confines of itself and let the power through. The rest of its life it is trying to make it happen again; but, as you cannot stand before a blackberry bush and demand that it give forth a measure of blackberries at your command, neither can you "make" the God nature act - in both instances the human mind first lays the wall of impossibility in front of the proposition.
"Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." We are beginning to understand why; the child can have his Father Christmas because he can transcend his human reasoning sufficiently to believe in that which he has never seen and which through every avenue of human reasoning is impossible.
"Except ye become as a little child ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." The ruling is strict and definitely outlined. "Except you become as a little child." All the human reasoning is set aside, and the Divine flow of inspiration carries us into the presence of the eternal Father Christmas and the everlasting Christmas Tree which stands in the midst of the Garden of Life.
It is all so wonderful, the new day that is even now breaking over the horizon of your day.
Walter C. Lanyon