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Weekly Message To The Masses (May 30, 2004)         

         A GREAT deal of confusion seems to exist in many minds concerning the precise avenue through which the Divine Power is to be approached, and realization and harmony attained.  So many schools of thought seem to be competing for the attention of the student; so busy is the printing press; so many new books and pamphlets are written; so many magazines come and go; that people have told me that they have felt quite in despair of ever discovering what it really is that they must do to be saved.
        Sometimes it seems as though the story of Babel were repeating itself in the metaphysical movement - and yet we all know in our hearts that the true Gate is narrow and the real Way is strait.  One well known Eastern teacher of great spiritual power has actually published a pamphlet from which it appears that the genuine criterion of authenticity is to have no Path at all.  This is the reductio ad absurdum which pulls us up short and restores the light.
         The truth, of course, is this, that the only solution of the problem is definitely to contact the Divine Power which dwells within your own soul; and, having consciously done that, to bring it to bear upon the various difficulties in your life, taking them in due order, that is, attacking the most urgent first.  This is the right way of working, and it is the only way that can possibly help you, or your affairs, in the long run.  The real remedy for every one of your difficulties is, as we are told on every page of the Bible, to find and know the Indwelling Presence.  Acquaint now thyself with Him and be at peace.  In His Presence is fulness of joy.  Behold, I am with you alway.
        This, then, is the task, and the only one - to find, and consciously know, your own Indwelling Lord.
         You see now how the confusion disappears, melts away, and the perfect simplicity of the whole thing emerges once you realize this fact.  From this it necessarily follows that all schools and churches; all teachers, under whatever name they may be called; all the textbooks, magazines, pamphlets, and what-not; are but temporary expedients for enabling you to make this contact.  In themselves they are of no importance except as a means to an end.  The best mode of approach to Divine things for you is the one that happens to make it easiest for you to locate the Inner Light within yourself.
        Such things as temperament, education, family tradition, and so on, will make one book, or one teacher, or one school, more useful than another; but never as anything more than the means to a certain end.  That end is effective self discovery.  "Man know thyself" - thy true self which is the Divine I Am.  And so we see that the best "movement," the finest textbook, the greatest teacher, is just the one that happens best to fit the individual need.  It is entirely a practical matter, and the only test that ever could, or ever will, be of any use, is the practical one of judgment by results.  Of course, Jesus anticipated this difficulty, and met it, as he has met all our difficulties.  He gave us the simple and perfect standard:  By their fruits ye shall know them.
The great peril to true religion has always been the building up of vested interests in wealthy organizations, or in the exploitation by individuals of their own personalities.  An organized church is always in danger of developing into an "industry" which has to provide a living for numerous officials.  When this happens the rank and file are sure to be severely discouraged from seeking spiritual things for themselves at first hand.  A tradition of "loyalty" to the organization is built up as a means of self-protection.  Not loyalty to Truth, or to your own soul, be it remarked, but to the ecclesiastical machine.  Thus the means becomes an end in itself and spiritual power then fades out.  Rash promises and vague claims take the place of real verifiable demonstrations.
        In the case of leaders who exploit their own personalities, the student is discouraged from going elsewhere for enlightenment or help; and here again "loyalty" to something other than God is allowed to block the avenue of Truth, and therefore becomes antichrist.  What is this but the jealousy of the petty tradesman who warns a doubtful customer of the danger he runs in going to the "shop next door"?
        Remember that you absolutely owe no loyalty whatever to anything or anyone but your own soul and to the furtherance of its spiritual development.  Your most solemn duty is to make everything secondary to that.  "To thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." - Shakespeare

 And So It Is! 

Maximum Love,
Rev. Hank Bates

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