THE SHAPE of
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing
that the utility of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing
that the utility of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house;
And it is on these spaces where there is nothing
that the utility of the house depends.
Therefore, just as we take advantage of what is.
we should recognize the utility of what is not.
AT THE VERY OUTSET, the title seems quite ridiculous, --- nevertheless necessary in order to bring out the idea of what takes place when we pray aright.
If we cut a stencil of the figure seven (7), we would remove a perfect seven (7) of opaque paper, --- at the same time leaving a perfect seven in space, or a hole in the paper which would have the shape of a figure seven (7).
Now suppose we were in a dark room with no apertures, and we cut a window in the wall, --- we take out a piece of material the exact shape of the window. We have not created the LIGHT that comes through the window. The light is eternally existent, waiting to be 'let' into expression, --- -in whatever shape or form we choose to accept.
The size or outline of the window can be changed at will and an increased amount of light released into the room. We do not build a house around air or atmosphere. It is already there and instantly takes the shape of the room or house. Always the air in a vase takes the shape of the vase. Remove the walls of the house and you have no shape of air left, --- break the vase and the shape disappears.
If we hold the stencil of the seven (7) to the light, it casts a light shaped as a seven, --- but if we hold the opaque paper seven (7) which we have cut out, it will cast a shadow. Both of them are sevens, --- one a shadow, the other a light. The nearer we approach the light, the greater the size of the seven (7).
So it is with the shape of consciousness, --- human or Divine. "For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. "Through a glass darkly" of human thought, we receive only darkness, --- no matter how ever hard we struggle for the light or illumination.
From the inside of the house we can obscure part of the light or all of it, by hanging a curtain over the window. Likewise, we can and do obscure the degree of LIGHT that comes through our lives by human thinking. We ourselves control the amount of LIGHT that comes through, since there is no limitation in LIGHT.
The old habit of trying to visualize an empty form and then attempting to "fill" it with substance lacks the "gesture" or the actual making of the window which brings the whole manifestation of light into being. On one side, we have the attempt to create, --- on the other, we recognize it as already existing. The LIGHT is there at all times, --- just as LIFE is eternally existent. But if there is no shape or pattern in consciousness, then it is invisible, being obscured by curtains of belief.
Without the shape of consciousness, the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things eternally present does not appear understandable to man. The diffused, general concept of Life as everywhere present gives no evidence that it is actually present unless it is manifest in some form or shape.
The stencil of the figure seven (7) is a perpetual seven as long as it is held to the light. There is no exhausting its supply. Once the figure seven is conceived in consciousness and held there, it cannot be depleted.
Whatever we shape in consciousness is immediately filled with substance and remains that way, always fresh and new, as long as there is a consciousness of it. Light is not solid, --- neither is health and wealth static, --- but a constant pouring through the shape of consciousness we are holding to it. A thousand persons in a lecture hall will each have a different concept or shape of health, --- which in reality has nothing whatsoever to do with UNIVERSAL LIFE.
"The measure ye mete", --- the consciousness you form --- is all that will come back to you out of the Universal Mind-God. And everyone will have a different measure at will. No one hinders another in any way when it comes to consciousness. All are free agents. "Who did hinder you that you should not obey the Truth"---is answered with a thousand and one complaints, jealousies and fears. "Well, you see I try and try and try..." Do you try to get light from a window, or do you just get it? And does it do any good to try to force more light through the window? It can and does give only the amount that can come through the shape of consciousness you are holding to it.
From this elevation does the command "Enlarge the borders of your tent" mean anything? Why do you wish to enlarge the borders of your tent? So you can have more room. From where is this room coming? Certainly by enlarging the borders of your tent you do not create more space, since your tent is in all space, just as your body is in Universal Life and knows of itself no limitation of health. There isn't sufficient room in the tent and so you change its shape by pushing out the borders, --- and you automatically have more room. You do not create the room space, --- it has always been there. You are merely encompassing more of that which already is by the enlarged shape of consciousness.
All the manifestations of God-power are as effortless as light passing through the window. God is pressing against the temple-body for a "shape" of consciousness through which to manifest, --- inviting you constantly to accept more and more.
Nothing limits the light in the window but your thought. The same is true of all manifestation. You can drop the curtains of disbelief, or cement it up, or complain that there is not sufficient light, --- but this still does not diminish the light, except insofar as you are concerned.
This is true in all departments of Life. The moment you have a consciousness of anything, it comes through the "shape" you have of it and diffuses itself on the other side. If it is insufficient, then it is necessary to enlarge the "shape" of consciousness.
No man ever reduced the size of a window because there was not enough light to fill it. He knows the "measure ye mete" is already filled. All speculation as to who, why, when or where are entirely eschewed and set aside, --- in fact, they never existed in his mind. He makes the "shape" and the rest is automatically taken care of because long since he knew that light is everywhere and only needs to be "let" into a room to make it full of light.
When he even faintly knows that LIFE is everywhere and only needs to be "let" into expression, he will understand how it is that the darkened body or temple will be flooded with health the moment there is the "shape" of health in consciousness, --- or the moment he takes his health with the same ease as he takes his light, and with the same abandon. He is not asking or begging that when his window is completed, light will fill it. Jesus paid no attention to the quantity of Life in the world when He healed all who asked, --- good, bad and indifferent.
That which is true of health and happiness is true of wealth and prosperity. There is only the ONE indivisible substance pouring through any consciousness which holds a "shape" up to it, --- and it will continue to pour through until that conscious "shape" is destroyed.
Do you now begin to understand how it is that nothing can be taken away from you so long as you have that "shape" of consciousness, --- and how it is that nothing can be lost? And do you understand how it is that "To him that hath is given"? How can it be otherwise !
And so you will be given more and more Light because you already have Light, --- and you have the "shape" of consciousness which permits LIFE to take shape and form.
The Adam man, trying to pattern God and become a creator, fashions himself a figure seven (7) and holds it to the light, --- but instead of casting a light, it casts a shadow. True, that shadow is the same shape as the light figure cast through the stencil, but it is opaque and in darkness. The nearer he brings it to the light, the larger the shadow becomes. The more he "tries", the less his results.
And so with the health of the body, --- man's human concept of it, --- he "works" and tries to hold it, only to find it constantly diminishing. When man discovers that he has filled in the very shape he wanted to reflect light, he is in despair and may try to paint it in bright colors, --- but still it casts a dark shadow.
He must discover that he is in reality "hid with Christ in God", --- that he is lost in the Universal LIFE of God. Then the human-thought shape of consciousness he has been working with goes down and he cuts his new stencil and LETS the Life through into manifestation of health which nothing can take from him. Just as abundantly as he will, is he able to have this health, eternally new and fresh.
Light cannot be stored and saved any more than can health. The moment man tries this he is defeated, --- and yet in reality he can never be without all of it, --- that is, all that can come through the shape (recognition) of consciousness he has taken unto himself. The moment he thinks to "possess" God, he finds himself without Him, --- for he is possessed by God, --- and eventually discovers the truth of that statement, "For in Him we live, move, breathe and have our Being."
Moving in this universal sea of substance, holding always his "shape" or measure of consciousness to the light, he will perpetually manifest the full measure he metes to God. It happens automatically, --- and yet nothing happens for it is always there. "He, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, ... and drink, without price." No limit for any reason, whether he be a Holy Man or a wretch of the lowest order. It is for every man, no matter whom.
COME unto ME, all ye that labor with the human patterns of belief, and I will GIVE you Life-LIGHT. GIVE is the word. "Cast your burdens upon ME"---and "Take My yoke upon you". The yoke which binds you to God is one of LIGHT and GLORY. "He careth for you" is enough to set everything aright if the "shape" of your consciousness is right.
A complete surrender to the ONE God will cause you to throw into the Gehenna of purifying fires all the old idols and shapes of human thought you have hugged to yourself through your fears and beliefs engendered by trying to break the law, "Judge not from appearances". All these evils you see about you are the results of human consciousness casting the shadows of their self-made "shapes".
It is all so easily changed. We see the old Prophet putting his hand in his bosom and taking it out white with the most dread disease, --- and then making the same motion and taking his hand out clean and fresh with health. It is somewhat like taking down the shutters which filled the shape of the window, shutting out the light, --- and then putting them in place again. The very thing the human mind thought was something real turns out to be the thing which shuts out the real, --- although it has the appearance of the real.
The measure you mete shall be returned to you, pressed down and running over. The measure of the human mind is the human picture of it all. It works in reverse, --- "when I would do good, evil I do", because it still believes it can "create" something that is already there. The "motive" ye mete is what actually will be returned to you, pressed down and running over. If enough light is not coming into the room, then the borders must be enlarged to meet the new demand.
No man has yet been able to shut light in a box and store it for future use. It would be foolish to try. Likewise, no man has ever shut life in a body temple.
No man can create health. Health is the manifestation of life and is not produced by taking a red pill or a green pill. The pill has no more creative power than you have. Health IS. Man can appropriate it through his recognition of it as a reality, and this in any degree he will. He may produce a temporary semblance of it through a belief in a pill, --- but health is an already established thing. Prayer may reveal it and cause it to come through into manifestation by the disintegration of the human thought-patterns.
It is a wonderful rest for man when he finally realizes he has no part in creation, --- the work having already been accomplished and pronounced good and very good. What do you pronounce it?
And how is it we imagine we are creators or co-creators? God needs no help from man (body). When understood, the body is the reflection of Spirit, --- "the temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens". When man comes out of his Adam dream, into his heritage, he finds he is a stencil of LIGHT in a world of LIGHT, --- even as a transparent bottle is cast into the sea. The whole ocean may take the shape of the bottle, as it passes in and out, --- and yet is never that shape.
Jesus taught by parables because His listeners were not able to grasp the wonders of His revelation. And so we go step by step into the thing called "consciousness". As we arrive at any level of consciousness, we find we have always been there, --- and so we have, but did not recognize it.
"The former things are passed away and shall not be remembered nor come into mind any more"---for there is nothing in that mind which can possibly understand them. The ugly beliefs never did exist as a reality, --- only as a congestion of human thought, working always from the without to the within and doomed to failure from the start, --- no matter how wonderful they appeared from the outside.
Finally Noah cut a stencil in his ark. He had been floating around for a long time, --- and when he cut his window, his stencil, the LIGHT flooded in, filling the entire ark with LIGHT. The waters receded and he landed on a mountain-top, --- an exalted state of consciousness, --- which had always been there. And from that moment he was always THERE.
"Come unto ME", --- the Soul of you calling to the body to come into that great union of body and Soul, --- and in that "shape" of consciousness, anything can happen through the body. Yes, the body is the reflector of Soul, coated with human beliefs which obscure the innate capacity to "rise and shine". The moment this is discovered, "thy LIGHT is come, and the GLORY of the New Day is risen upon you."
Now we see why Jesus endeavored to bring man to a state of belief in the ONE GOD. When it becomes a matter of "letting" instead of making, man will realize that all this dazzling picture is for the Glory of God and not the glorifying of a human being.
So cut your window in your ark and "let" the LIGHT stream in. Hold your "shape" of consciousness up to the ONE GOD and SEE the Glory of it all. "In a way ye know not of', your "shape" of consciousness shall be established on the earth.
Walter C. Lanyon