"RISE up and walk." It is related that a helpless mass of flesh and bones, having lain at the temple gates for almost half a century, suddenly arose, sprang into the air, and ran off, praising God and leaping for joy as he sped on his way.
"Rise up and walk" has been said many times since that memorable occasion, sometimes with instant results, but many times with nothing taking place but a volley of questions, "But how can I rise up and walk?"
The moment the thought enters in upon the occasion it is impossible for the one addressed to escape from the weights of his belief. Pause for a moment and check what the beggar at the temple gate had in his thought. Not only was his body a wreck, but think for a moment of the general physical condition of the bloodeam, the tissues, the muscles and nerves after sitting hunched over in the dirt and filth for years. Imagine the condition of his mind, filled with resentment and envy of the rich lords and merchants who passed daily into the temple, many of whom, no doubt, drew their robes aside, lest they should come in contact with the filth of the beggar, and then try to escape from under that mountain of belief. Yet in spite of all this we see in the narrative that he "arose," and we have seen many times since that memorable occasion that other beggars In differing degrees of filth and sickness have "heard" the Voice and have risen and found themselves possessed of a glorious sense of Life.
What, then, takes place?
"Open your eyes," was said to a man born blind, and he opened his eyes and beheld. A man born blind in reality has such imperfectly formed eyeballs that they are hardly entitled to the name eyes. You are asking a lot when you ask such a one to "Open your eyes." In the common sense of man "it cannot be done." There is no sight in the unformed eyes even if he could open his eyelids. An intricate set of muscles and nerves are necessary to sight, and these have to be trained and educated through years of careful attention. No, it is no use to ask a man to "open his eyes" when he has no eyes to open.
What, then, takes place? Because, in spite of all your findings, all of which are relatively true, the man, who could not possibly open his eyes (because he had no eyes), not only complies with the command, but also sees.
What, then, takes place?
"Come to Me?" What, across the waters? A heavy material body which weighs fourteen stone asked to step out on that which will not bear the weight of his hand? Well, it cannot be done. I would like to try it, but what do I do first, and how is it done, and what thought, if any, do I hold, or what affirmation, do I make? Of course, I know it is done in the realm of imagination, but actually the physical body is left behind and so the human reasoning arrives at its usual conclusion that it cannot be done. And yet it is done.
What, then, takes place anyway?
What takes place the moment Peter begins the thinking process while he is actually walking on the water? He goes down. Why?
What takes place in the case of the beggar at the temple gate when he rises and walks? He obeys the command, and then he must make the gesture. The gesture is the part of the miracle which the recipient must perform. When the Voice said, "I will come," it is up to Peter to make the gesture - a gesture which is as unconscious of the thought-taking process as the instant return of a rubber ball thrown with violence against a stone wall. It reacts instantly, and without consideration of the laws back of the reaction. The moment thought enters in, the testimony of the human mind makes it impossible for the laws and limitations which it has imposed upon itself to be broken.
"Arise and shine, for thy light is come," is something that must be done. When one begins to consider the best way to "arise" and the best way to"shine," he finds that he is not equal to either. Perhaps he is too filled with sin, or sickness, or evil of some sort or another. Years of self-immolation are necessary. Perhaps the hypocrisy of false modesty holds him back. But, while he is debating the best way to arise and shine, Mary Magdalene arises and drops the dirty garments of her own making into the oblivion of yesterday. "Where are thy accusers'" Mary cannot find any outside of herself and suddenly she cannot find anything within to accuse her, for in the new state of consciousness at which she has arrived there is nothing there of the former thing. She has, however, to arise. She has to make the gesture.
"Stretch forth thy hand" - yes, I know that it is withered and old and incapacitated and crippled through an accident, etc., etc.; but I said, "Stretch forth thy hand," and the hand is either stretched forth or you are going to tell me why you cannot do it, or ask me how it is done. You will have to make the gesture, the instant response to the Voice of the Power which is within you, waiting and ready to fulfill all your desires as soon as you come to the place of accepting the Power as here and now operative.
"Cast your burden on me and I will sustain you." Do you hear? Are you going to reason it out? I did not say perhaps, or maybe, or if Mr. and Mrs. Blank thought or did not think it would be done. I said, "Cast your burden on me and I will sustain you." Do you hear? Can you make the gesture, or is your burden too big for me? But yet you are able to sustain it yourself, however wretchedly. What kind of a god are you praying to, and where is he? "Am I a God afar off?" Answer me. Can I sustain you or are you able to do that which I am incapable of doing? Answer me. "I am the Voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord." I am the Voice in the midst of thee constantly saying "I will; come to me," but you must make the gesture. "Arise and shine, for thy Light is come" - yes, this great spiritual light which you have been expecting to come slowly and by degrees, or which you hoped to some day get from a Master or a strange teacher, is come - now. Do you hear? Do you feel the thrill of the secret doctrine which is even now speaking to you between the lines of this book, conveying to you the inspirational interpretation of the gesture, which it is necessary to make in order to receive the manifestation?
The ways of Spirit are not the ways of man; why check them against the findings of man? There is no law of man which can explain in any way the manifestation of Spirit. In the truest sense of the word healing is merely revelation of that which eternally is.
The making of the gesture in response to the Voice of Spirit is the purest unconscious-conscious recognition of the Presence.
"You say it is four months until the harvest?" Why, it is a long story and a true one, isn't it? The seed must be planted after the ground is ready to receive it, and then watered, cultivated, garnered, harvested, etc., etc. That is why it takes four months; anyone can figure it out. But I say unto you "look again; the fields are white." You have evidently been looking and seeing through the eyes of relativity, human thought-taking, knowing, reasoning, and then suddenly you hear, and, standing in the same place, you make the gesture, and this time the "Look again" reveals to you that which does not have to come by the way of man. "Look again!" Why don't you begin to look again and see that the heavy bondage of the human mind does not have to be set aside?
The thrilling revelation of Spirit comes to you as a flood of light in the darkness of night. The Voice crying in the wilderness is making itself heard through the tangled mass of thinking, and making the way for the expression of the Lord here and now. But not by slow degrees does the harvest become visible before the eyes, but as if a veil were torn asunder and the finished thing appears. The revelation of the Presence does not "grow": it reveals the finished mystery. From the extreme of the human limitations to the fullness of the Christ in the twinkling of an eye, or at the instant man is able to make the gesture. The moment he is able to look again. The moment he makes the gesture which in one fell swoop disregards the teachings of centuries of evolution.
On and on the glorious revelation sweeps; it does not stop with the fertile fields which have been for years cultivated and planted with grain - no, it rushes you into a still greater proof of the Power when it says: "The desert shall blossom as a rose."
Yes, the desert whereon nothing has ever grown, where the lizard scurries about amid the dry sage brush and sun-soaked sand, and over which the brazen dome of heaven looks down daily - this very impossible place shall blossom as a rose. The contrast is too great and it comes definitely under the heading of the impossible.
But there in the great Book of Life which is opening before you, you are beginning to see why Jesus said, "Having eyes, ye see not, and ears, ye hear not," for when you realize for a moment the capacity back of the sight and the hearing you will obey the command and "Look again," and your eyes will behold the glory of the Lord in this very hell of evil and despair. "Awake, thou that sleepest, and Christ shall give thee light." Awake, awake and arise from the dead thoughts.
The ears hear the words "Arise and walk." It would be wonderful if I could do it; but how is it done? There is no way for it to be done because you are an incurable; you have something that cannot be eliminated or destroyed; you have something that is stronger than God - or so you say. Perhaps not in those words, but you definitely say it is hopeless, which is virtually the same thing. You only hear the sound, "Arise and walk," and it has no more power to heal or help than any other three words would have, until you hear, and, when you HEAR, you make the gesture and find the action of God is a perfect stream of manifestation. You find that the dumb speak - yea, sing and shout for the joy. They do not lisp for a season of convalescence. What though the muscles and structure of the throat and mouth be absolutely impossible of producing speech, they not only speak, 'but they shout and sing for the joy of the new day revealed to them through making the gesture.
What is back of all this gesture idea? Why is it that the making of the gesture is necessary? Why shouldn't the Power come into full manifestation without a single movement on your part? Perhaps it does. Making a gesture is not confined to the physical movement. It goes so far beyond that that perhaps you remain in a perfect ecstasy of stillness - the deepest emotion is stillness, both physically and mentally, because it comes under the command, "Be still and know that I AM GOD." The deep emotion of the gesture of stillness causes you to hear the inaudible-audible Voice which is described as "still and small." The voice commanding you to "rise and walk" in stentorian tones or in velvety resonance is not the voice which brings about the change or the revelation. It is the still small voice, wrapped in the word, hidden under the command, which carries the authority with it, and when heard and understood, causes man to make the gesture, because it immediately frees him from a lifetime of thinking, wondering, guessing, or trying to reason how it is done.
"I come as a thief in the night," at a moment ye think not; when you are not trying to make the Power work; when you are not trying to heal yourself; when you are not trying to prosper yourself or make your organization a paying proposition. "I come as a thief in the night." I come with the revelation of the deep hidden meaning which causes you, in an unthinking moment, to "rise and walk" - which causes you to make the gesture.
"Come eat and drink without price." You will have to come; no one can come for you. Either you "come" or you sit and try to reason it all out. Many have "come" to the feast and spent their time trying to see if they could find out how the law worked, trying to pry into the "birthing out" process of nature - peeping under the veil that hides the Ark of the Covenant to see if they might learn the law of increase, so that they may go their way and "show" to a crowd of personal followers how the trick is done. But when they "come" in this manner to the feast, they see nothing but a very ordinary banquet taking place, and as they watch they begin to see more and more discrepancies about it all, and go away "telling" the world there is nothing to it. Having dismissed the whole glorious revelation with such ease, they return and try to find therein some affirmation which can 'be polished up again and set into action.
"Come, eat and drink without price." Either you can COME or you cannot come. Either you have too many dead fathers to bury or too many weddings to attend to "come, eat and drink" of the living Waters of Life which bring eternity to you. But one day you will "leave all - follow me," and this gesture will have to be made by the individual. I said, "Leave all." All what? All of the human thinking and reasoning, all of the limitations interposed by the false education of the Presence and the Power. "Leave all; follow me." I am taking you by a way ye know not. If you already knew the way you would not need me, but, since you have found the way so difficult and hard, and have admitted your defeat, why not "leave all - follow me"?
With your human reasoning you will attempt to tear the delicate membranes away from the gestation of the egg in order that the curious unbelieving eyes can "peep" upon the processes of birth. So will you make a sharp incision with the all-knowing human mind into what you suppose to be the veil of Life, hoping to find out how to make money out of the ethers or increase out of the nothing. But all that you shall find is the nothingness which you knew was there all the time.
"Arise and shine, for thy light is come." You hear it over and over. Again you wait for the light to come. One day you hear it for the first time, and find the place flooded with the light of revelation. You remember that which you had forgotten - that "your Father hath enough and to spare" - not that He will have nor that He should have, but that He has. Nothing you can do will make this so nor help to make it so. It is already so or else it was never so. Nothing you can do can ever make any Truth so. It is already so, or else it would never be so. What you can do is make the gesture and let the great Power find its own glorious expression here and now.
You can arise and walk into the new day of expression now. You can open the eyes born blind. You can raise the dead when you begin to make the gesture following the command of Jesus, "Go thou and do likewise" - exactly the same as he did.
You are, with Jesus, not ashamed to assume this glorious Power. Your God-given heritage awaits you, because you have long since realized that you as a personality are helpless and can do nothing. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Jesus knew that he could do nothing, and suddenly you come to the same honest place of expression.
It is hard for the old man, the old personality swollen with pride at what it has thought it has accomplished, to give up and admit that it can do nothing. Why, didn't I build a church, no matter how small, and didn't I heal a certain person, or give generously of my money, and have I not been recognized as a great healer and helper and a doer of good deeds? As long as all this remains it is impossible for you to follow the Christ teaching. If Jesus found he could do nothing, and asked his followers not to call him good, let the brazen personality who can stand in this revealing light come forth, and claim his or her temporal power, and glorify his temple filled with the dead men's bones of little things that have happened in the past. But if you find with the Master the deep secret thing which we are designating as making the gesture, you will leave all and follow me. You will automatically rise when the Voice speaks, and will carry on from the heights of the Secret Place.
The Secret Place is not visible to those seeking place and power, neither is the place of the Host. "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." What do you feel? Can you come? Can you rise? Can you open your eyes? And can you "Go thou and do likewise"? ;Can you? Can you make the gesture?
Walter C. Lanyon