THE PERMANENT IDENTITY
"BUT who do YOU say that I AM?" A thousand answers are made to this question. If you know a thousand people, they all answer differently. They know you to be what you have manifested to them enemy to some, benefactor to others; coward, liar, cheat, wastrel, holy, unholy, just, unjust. You are all these things and yet not one of these answers suffices.
The symbology buried in this question, which every man will one day ask himself, is so profound that it is lost by the judgement from appearances. You are found to be of a certain race, creed, breeding, colour, etc. Your past incarnations may be brought up, but still the answer is incorrect. Nothing will suffice but the answer made from the full recognition of the Truth, "I say you are the Christ."
You may have been Julius Caesar, or Mary Queen of Scots, or a lackey in the king's service, or a priest or priestess in an ancient temple; you may have been all these things, but none of these will answer the question. Until the eyes are opened, and you understand you have been fooled by all these mass for centuries, you will fail to see that the I AM leas been permanent. Yes, you may be able to recall a half-dozen incarnations, but you find yourself saying "I" was so and so---and yet the "I" eternally has remained the same, down through the ages of futile seeking for release from its miasma of belief.
It is the sudden discovery of this PERMANENT and Changeless Identity which transmutes, and in some instances translates, you out of the difficulties of an assumed character.
Note in the case of Jesus he instantly went to this "Father" (changeless identity) within, and, finding in that perfection a capacity to express, he was able to bring out that which the character Jesus could not do. It all seems involved at first, but when you look into it you begin to understand just what Jesus did every time he "went unto my Father."
He spoke of this identity which was the perfect creation, and which was changeless, possessing all of the capacities of a God-manifestation as the "Before Abraham was I AM." Before any of the so-called characters through which you have played, arid which have added all sorts of human beliefs of prenatal influences, karmic laws, destiny, etc., etc., this Perfect, Changeless Identity, the I AM, existed, and has continued to exist.
Jesus discovered this Identity. He know that the moment he made the assumption of it he was no more under the laws of Jesus but was in the Spirit, or under Grace. It is a wonderful revelation to see this technique in action. Jesus did not overcome evil, although there are repeated references which apparently tell one to do this. It is only because of the poverty of the language that the word is used. When he moved into the consciousness of the Permanent Identity called Father, he was no more under the LAW of the former belief. The power that was then in operation was only a natural power of the new consciousness, and was riot performing miracles, but merely expressing itself.
If the "wisdom of man is foolishness in the eyes of God," the reverse is also true, and the action of Spirit is decidedly false and untrue to the relative mind. Unless you are prepared to work from this basis there is little use going on with the revelation of Jesus Christ, for it is definitely founded on this understanding. If you are not to judge from appearances, and if every "man is a liar, and the father of it," you will see the futility of trying to approach this God through the measures of the conscious thinking.
No man can explain the fourth dimension or the action of Christ satisfactorily to the three-dimensional consciousness, because it is not true to that plane of thinking. The miracles of Jesus are all untrue, and subject to argument and debate to the three-dimensional mind.
"I can of myself do nothing" and "I can do all things through Christ" states the unspannable gulf between the conscious thinking and the revelation as given by Jesus Christ.
Taking Jesus as the type man, we find him unable to do other than fulfill his destiny as a carpenter. When he asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I AM?" they said many things; recounting all the possible incarnations, etc., but this did not satisfy him, and he insisted, "But who do You say that I AM? "-and is not satisfied until the full recognition is made of the Permanent Identity. This Identity is referred to often as the FATHER consciousness.
When, through recognition, man begins to see that Jesus as a type man is only going through the various patterns of life to show every man the way back to this Permanent Identity, he begins to see the answer to the question, "But why, if he had so much power, didn't he set things right?"
Again and again Jesus tried to steer his followers away from the human Habit of making a God of him. "Call me not good." This was not disparagement, but an attempt to point them back to the Christ, the Changeless Identity which was within each and every one of them, and "which to know aright is Life Eternal." Amazing as it may seem at first; gradually we begin to emerge from the dank morass of human argument and thinking.
Trying to use the God power and "making himself as God" are two entirely different things, and here is the dividing-line between the so-called metaphysicians and the followers of Jesus Christ. There is nothing the matter with the idea of trying to use God to get rid of evils, but it is definitely on a lower rung than arriving at the consciousness of the Changeless Identity of Christ which is within every man. "Let that mind which was also in Christ Jesus be in you." LET is one of the most difficult things for the human mind to understand: It has never let anything happen. It has been so busy creating the thing on the outside and then trying to give it a soul or make it "work."
"He made himself as God." He did not make himself God, for he immediately said, "My Father is greater than I," in this instance using the word "Father" to refer to the universal Power called God. The "Father" or the Permanent Identity, so often spoken of by Jesus, is the point where the Power is stepped down into visibility.
When, therefore, man discovers that his Body (Jesus) and Identity (Christ) are joined together as a "Temple of the Living God," he begins to understand why it was so natural for Jesus Christ to step down into visibility that which was utterly impossible to the separated Jesus, or the man trying to work or use the Power. When he made himself as God, he became God in action, just the same as when you become one with the law of mathematics you, are mathematics in action; or with music; and the expression of this assumption is natural, in no way a fantasy, or a breaking of the laws of that state of consciousness, although it sets aside every law of ignorance and disbelief.
"The picture shown to you on the mount " is the glimpse you have from time to time of this Changeless Identity. At such moments you have experienced healings, etc., which you have named demonstrations. The reason they have been so intermittent is that this "perfect picture shown to, you on the mount" you did not have placed correctly, and did not make the assumption Jesus found necessary before he could bring it into visibility.
When Jesus said, "Go thou and do likewise," he meant just that. That is either an historical saying to you, or it is a command that is just as imperative as far as you are concerned as any of the other sayings of Jesus. But the moment you hear it you begin the age-old talk about it being impossible, hopeless, because you are trying to do it in the three-dimensional consciousness where it is utterly impossible.
So long have you been engaged in overcoming the limitations of the Jesus, or "John Smith," that you have forgotten the injunction, "Put not new wine into old bottles," or "New patches into old garments": all will be lost. You cannot inject this Christ teaching into the old, conscious beliefs of the human mind. God is not a narcotic which is used to stultify or set aside human limitations, as many believe. "He made himself as God" lifted him entirely out of the consciousness of the limited Jesus. He broke with it all the moment he discovered this "Changeless Identity" called the Christ Mind. For a long time people have been trying to use the power instead of "being" the power, not by right of demonstration, but by right of Divine Inheritance.
"If you make your bed in hell, I AM there." Unless you recognize this fact, it is of little value. So is it true of all the evil in your life. Instead of fighting the flames of your hell, the recognition of the Presence is a dispelling Power which will instantly translate and transmute the whole thing into terms of Heaven and harmony. But who can explain it?
"Who by seeking can find out God?" Do you know any wise head who knows how the Power of God operates? If so, they are more learned than Jesus. He knew that "I have a way ye know not of," and that the ways of God are past finding out." He did not waste any time trying to see how the difficulty confronting the conscious thinking was to be eliminated. He knew this one thing, however: that in the Permanent Identity that which was true to Jesus was no more a reality.
The disciple walking on the water is no demonstration of overcoming gravity. It is merely the showing forth of the capacities of the new level of consciousness. When you are lifted up to a new consciousness you find yourself functioning naturally from that plane. The former things that were limitations are nothing but beliefs clearly powerless on that plane. It is wonderful, the revelation of your True Identity.
When Jesus was met with the problem of supplying food for the five thousand, we see him instantly ascending into this consciousness of the Father, or the Permanent Identity. From that place there never has been an unfulfilled desire. You begin then to see the necessity of "Be still and know that I AM God."
There is no brand, trade mark, or hallmark on the teaching of Jesus Christ. Any and all of these show a fear and an attempt to foist some pygmy personality upon the universe, which falls into the dust of oblivion so fast as to become almost a myth while it is bothering over "copyright" protection. Can you imagine what all the little people with personal messages and systems of truth would do if confronted by Jesus Christ in the flesh? There would be a horrible wailing and gnashing of teeth, a scuttling down some dark alley to oblivion. "Why make ye my Father's house a den of thieves?"
As man begins to understand the "going to the Father" idea he will understand why a student, copying a picture, returns often to the original. If he makes a copy from a copy, he soon finds he is streets away from the original idea; and so is it with life, "if the blind follow the blind." "Follow me" means just that. What about it? Are you following a fantastic story of the truth, or an old idea of the truth, or are you following ME? Do you still look for something to come? Do you know the Messiah has come, or look you for another with a series of lessons and ideas?
No wonder Jesus referred to children as making up the Kingdom. He knew that the adult would commit adultery with everything in life because he would square it by his human reasoning.
When the beggar is told to "rise and walk," he must do this from something higher than the consciousness of the beggar. As the beggar, or as YOU, you have done everything possible. It is the impossible which is interesting you now, and you cannot do that. The thing you are seeking is impossible, or else you would have done it long ago. You know you cannot do it, and yet you keep trying. Presently you come to your extremity, and then you say, "It is God's opportunity," and something happens. Why? Because through force you have come to a place where you stop trying to use the power, and, the first chance it has, it comes through into manifestation.
The Power of God is eternally seeking a point of expression. You are here for the purpose of expressing God, but until you understand this you will keep on trying to do that which should be done through you. You will keep on trying to use the Power instead of BEING the Power through your "going to the Father." Your Father, or Divine Consciousness, is the point where you come into open communion and contact with God. That is why Jesus instantly ascended to the Father. The government being upon HIS shoulders takes the responsibility off the shoulders of Jesus, but it does not relieve him of the integrity and fulfillment of his contracts.
"My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," is a perfect picture of the "Jesus Christ" manifestation in operation. The Father moves first and the body carries out the mechanics. When the body moves first it moves to failure. The man at the temple gate had tried the outside movement for years. He had come to the place of human knowledge where this was impossible. When he was told to rise, he did so because his "Permanent Identity" suddenly HEARD the word and made the gesture, and the body (no matter in what condition) carried out the mechanics. This went so far as to even pick up the mass of corruption formerly known as Lazarus and bring it forth. There is nothing God cannot do; if you know of a single thing, then you can no longer subscribe to the Omnipotent God. No matter what the high and mighty intellects of the universe say God is either All-Powerful or there are two powers, and, if so, then the Jesus Christ revelation is a lie.
"Choose ye this day whom you will serve." Do you hear? What do you believe? Have you the history of your case, and is it so terrible, and so fraught with proof that it is impossible to escape? When you stop trying to escape this monster, and magnify and recognize and assume the Permanent Identity, you will suddenly find yourself functioning from a new consciousness. "Whereas before I was blind, NOW I can see." Before what? Do you begin to see that Jesus was not healing in the ordinary sense of the word, but was revealing the Permanent Identity? "Many could not believe"---and in some places "he did not many mighty works because of their unbelief." The human mind cannot believe. It is impossible for one born blind to believe that he will have his sight from the relative standpoint, because he has never known what sight is, hence he cannot believe anything but imagination.
"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven, and on this rock will I build my Church."
Suddenly it dawns on man that he is reaching for a new dimension, and that he must assume it if he is to overtake it---just the same as he assumes that he will one day be a musician if he studies music, though at first he knows not one note from another. These illustrations are inadequate to express the God revelation, but they will point, after a fashion, to what is being inserted between the lines.
"Whatsoever you ask in my name [nature], that give I unto you." "Whatsoever" is a pretty big measure, but whatever you find in the nature of God as a reality, that can be brought into manifestation if there is a temple ready to "step it down" into manifestation.
"Blessed art thou, because flesh and blood hath not revealed this to thee." We see that the blessing goes to this inward recognition of the thing before it has been made manifest. Jesus made this inward recognition and acceptance to the point of "giving thanks" before he saw the manifestation take place in the outer. Trying to make this teaching operate through the limitations of the human consciousness is folly.
Remembering that the dimension of the Permanent Identity knows nothing of the limitations of the human consciousness, we see an entirely different set of laws in operation. "Decree, take, ask, seek, knock, come to me, have, etc." All of them in a line diametrically opposed to the "trying to get" measure of the human mind. No wonder Jesus discovered early in his career, "I can of myself do nothing."
In this new consciousness you find that whatsoever you can "take" you can take. You can take or have whatsoever you can believe (not credulity). "Believest thou this?" Yea or nay. There is no more argument about it---yes or no.
Walter C. Lanyon