GOD in ACTION
God in action is a never-ending stream of manifestation: In the world of "taking thought" against which Jesus warned man, it is possible to conceive of the action of Spirit without manifestation, just as it is possible to conceive of the technique, rhythm, tempo, melody, and notation of a concerto and experience nothing audible. "Clouds without rain" is the scriptural language for the thinking of and about God and not bringing Him into manifestation. Thinking of and about a thing immediately hedges it in with the limitations of thought. One of the first barriers which seems impossible to pass is making the unseen seen, the intangible tangible --- except, of course, through the accepted processes of matter. Hence the miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes cannot be thought out. It is impossible to approach it with thought, because there is no dimension in the thought world which will permit producing substances where there is no substance visible. No amount of study or research into the ways of thought will make this possible. In fact, the more thought that is given to it, the less possible it is of attainment.
"But I say unto you, Take no thought for the scrip, the robe, the purse, the journey." No matter how man tries to side---step this and use his so-called "common sense," the injunction stands.
Thought-taking must have its foundation in the wisdom of man, the very wisdom which has been called foolishness in the eyes of God. Pause a moment and clear up the injunction --- remembering that God is not a glorified human being, with great eyes, which are looking down upon man's wisdom. The Eyes of Spirit (the perception of Power) find the puny reasoning of man unable to express or understand the wisdom of God.
The moment we begin to think of doing a thing, or having a thing, or going some place, a host of limitations present themselves. Fears of what might happen --- the conjuring of possible evils, the inadvisability of the undertaking, so weigh the project down that nothing can happen. All this is intensified by "taking thought" about it.
There is no freedom to be derived, then, from "taking thought," according to the Master. "If ye cannot do that which is least, why take thought of that which is greatest?" Answer that.
There is apparently no escape from the present limitations offered through thought. It is foolish to go against the findings of your own mind, just because you have read in a book, or heard someone say, "You can have anything you want, or do anything you like, if you think right." Either the person making such a statement is speaking of thought from an entirely different angle than that which was specified as so useless by Jesus, or else he is playing about with words.
Definitely it is bad policy, and entirely erroneous, to go against your own findings. If you have accepted the wisdom of man as the highest and are just dabbling, as it were, in what you call the teachings of Jesus, then you will meet with one hundred per cent defeat in going against the findings of your mind. If you find that a man has more power to heal you than God, then you would be foolish to turn to God, and forsake the place of your confidence. If you know or find that a financier has more power to prosper you than God, then you are wasting precious time in turning to God for your substance. In other words, if you are coming by the mental, thought-taking way, you are wasting time to enter the place of inspiration.
Jesus, recognizing the limitations of the human mind, and how the thought works out everything by relativity, and the law of opposites, knew that there was little chance to transcend the limitations incumbent upon his birth and station in life. What could the thought of a carpenter boy do to open the doors of the temples, and to feed the multitudes, let alone to resurrect the body, and open the eyes of the blind? Hence the words, "I can of my own self do nothing."
Thought in action lives, moves, and has its being in the plane of imagination. It is so often defeated in bringing anything to pass that the minds of most men are secret gardens replete with the flowers of unfulfilled dreams.
There are repeated attempts to explain and exploit that power which is the spiritual counterpart of thought. Due to the limitation of the language, writers have been obliged to use the words "thought" and "thinking," and we have "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" (as a man "finds" himself or accepts himself, or perceives himself in consciousness, so is he).
Thought does not create anything, much less consciousness. Yet we have been led to believe that if we think hard enough something is sure to happen. How many thousands have trudged down this road of disappointment no one will ever know. Presently man is beginning to perceive that the "thought," which is productive of results, emanates from an accepted state of consciousness, instead of being the modus operandi that created that state of consciousness. "Before you ask" "Before the thought even shapes itself --- the answer has been given. When you ask in the ordinary sense of the word, you formulate a thought regarding the whole process. The law states that before you ask it is done, which shows that it was not the direct creation of your thought-taking, nor your asking. Thousands have asked and asked, again and again, for something which never came into being. Something must be out of alignment, or else that which is spoken of as appearing "before you ask" would appear. If must be the something that has to do with the thought of which Jesus warned men. Certainly the "thought of the heart" --- if we wish to designate it that way --- resolves itself into pure recognition.
"My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," is closely allied with the processes of manifestation. Now it is true that the Father working in the way of Spirit (which is above the way of man and his thinking) accomplishes, by a way we know not of, whatsoever it will. Think, then, what it must be to start with a basis of this kind. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" --- in other words, the creation is already finished, and is merely awaiting recognition. If you start with this basic, then what could it avail you to introduce an avalanche of human thinking founded on the limitations of mankind? "Who by taking thought?" You answer that for yourself, remembering all the while that it is not what Mr. or Mrs. Blank said was true, but what the Master said. Can anyone in your day refute the teachings of Jesus successfully? Has anyone been able to bring out any more of the definite proof than Jesus? So you will answer for yourself this question: "Who by taking thought?" If you can find a "who," then it would be well for you to follow him and not God. If, however, you find in the long list of the possible "whos" no one who can qualify for this place, then turn unto the Godhead and begin to see that "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."
Is human intellect of no avail? Should we all entirely drop away from the standards set for us by civilization? Human intellect is the technique which must be baptized by inspiration. The cold, hard, limiting technique of human intellect must blossom into wisdom and inspiration before anything more than a mathematical hypothesis is apparent.
Remember all the while that we are not coming by the way of man, but by the way of the consciousness which has arrived, partially if not wholly, to the place of "Take no thought."
The moment the carpenter set aside the thought process with the subsequent limitations, he "lifted up his eyes." The perception went from the level of the appearances to the source of the all present, and what the "lifted-up eyes" perceived suddenly came into being. Believing that you could see the whole world through a knot-hole would not in any way change the true nature of the universe.
Because you and your teacher and a host of followers cannot see the Presence of the Power, beyond the narrow confines of your teacher's mind, does not mean anything. It only shows your limitation. Because you have not experienced the things of Spirit does not mean that they are not true. Because you cannot make them fit in with your concept of how it ought to be does not argue for anything but your own ignorance. Hence from now on you are merely stating the limitation of your own thinking. When you say a thing is impossible, you merely are saying it is impossible to you; beyond that you cannot go. In your conceit you may try to fit the strait-jacket of your limited consciousness over the whole of creation.
The person who is speaking to you never says what you hear him say. You have only a certain capacity for hearing an admixture of matter and Spirit, and you hear what you hear --- nothing more or less. So is it with the Scriptures; you read what you can read. Not many people would think of literally cutting off the right hand if it offended them, and yet it has been done by people who have read the law that way. The Scriptures are full of the command, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and Christ (not some person) shall give thee light"; "Awake, and arise from the dead." All the taking thought in the world will not permit you to walk upon water --- nor do any of the things which the human mind calls miracles. There must have been something instant in the gesture of Peter which transcended the thought when he obeyed the command, "Come to me." Try to reason this out, and you have such a mass of testimony against it that it simply cannot take place. It is wonderful what the revelation of the Spirit will bring to you once you begin to see the difference between the old thought processes and the new revelation of the Master.
God in action is a never-ending stream of manifestation. No man can by taking thought put God into action. This you will probably admit is true, and, since it is necessary for God to be in action before anything can take place in your life, you are confronted with the necessity of approaching something higher than the thought-taking process. "Before you ask" is quicker than any human or mental measurement of velocity. "God does not bring to birth and not bring forth"; only man does this. He germinates a perfectly wonderful project in his thought-taking mind, and has it almost ready to function into perfection, but he cannot bring it forth because of the limitation of thought.
"Take no thought for the body what ye shall eat" does not mean that man must run about eating anything and everything, but it does mean that he is freeing himself from the power which has been assigned to foods. It means that he is beginning to escape from the ridiculous law of "One man's meat is another man's poison." Can meat be poison and nutriment at the same time? It frees him gradually from powers many, and causes him to return unto Jehovah --- the One Power.
"Be absent from the body and present with the Lord" --- absent from the embodiment which is the result of human thinking, and present with the Action of God. You will see how Job, after being deprived of everything, had "twice as much as he had before." A pretty piece of mathematics that: a man having spent all his life accumulating a fortune, and then, without apparently doing anything, having "twice as much as he had before." So is it with the Spirit of the Presence.
"Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead" thinking, and Christ shall give thee light, which will cause the manifestation to take place here and now.
"I was glad when he said unto me, Let us go into the House of the Lord." Let us go into the consciousness of the Lord, which is not hedged about with the human thinking, but is the recognition of the Presence.
Suppose for a moment that Jesus had been obliged to think out a plan for feeding five thousand hungry men. They would all have starved to death. The things that Jesus brought forth were not accomplished because of anything he thought. They were brought forth by a "way ye know not of" in the human thinking process.
Moving in this consciousness of the House of the Lord, we find in these dwellings the lovely things and ideas for which we have longed. Within this House (consciousness) of the Lord are ways of pleasantness and peace, and the song of the soul is, "The lines are fall unto me in pleasant places"; "I shall go in and come out and find pastures."
Yes, "I was glad when he [the Christ within] said unto me, "Let us" (you and me) "go into the House of the Lord." Let us step into this consciousness and perceive that the Father hath worked hitherto and that we are merely going through the mechanics of bringing it forth. We are merely being the stewards for the Father within to work His holy plan into materialization. "Whatsoever ye ask in My name." that is an almost overpowering promise, without qualifications, limitations, impartial and impersonal, made to all mankind. "Whatsoever" --- the word includes all the little and all the great things which you have desired so long, and which failed to appear. All your desires shall be given you in their truest and highest interpretation, if you can come to this "no thought" place of Recognition. "Whatsoever" --- the great sweeping wings of its allness seem to encircle the globe and leave nothing out.
But "who by taking thought? --- who by taking thought" ---can come even within the vision of the heavenly consciousness indicated by the "whatsoever"? Isn't it a glorious revelation to know that the "whatsoever" is not prefaced by "If Mr. or Mrs. Blank approves." We know that when you have approached the place of even contemplating the "whatsoever" you will have long ago passed beyond the place of license into the freedom of the Sons of God.
Yes, beloved! The action of God is a never-ending stream of manifestation. To be absent from the thought and present with the Lord is to perceive that the Father hath already worked, and that you are merely going through the mechanics --- just as I am now going through the mechanics of bringing into manifestation the book that you now hold in your hand. The Father hath already worked --- hath already conceived the whole and completed book. It is all in the House of the Lord. Do you see, beloved, why we are so glad when He says unto us (no matter where we are, nor how far we have strayed, nor into what confusion or limitation we have gone), "Let us" (you and me) "go into the House of the Lord?" --- the House of the Lord, where all the former things pass away, and are not remembered any more.
"My Father" (do you sense the My --- how close it is to you?) "worketh hitherto, and I work." The idea has already been conceived in the mind of God, fashioned and completed, and is awaiting your recognition.
God in action is a never-ending stream of manifestation.
Walter C. Lanyon