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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, July 7, 2013 

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       "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." ... Now, the explanation of the myth is that mankind has been looking at shadow, and not substance; because man has taken the appearance for reality.  The senses give appearances only.  The appearance must be rectified by some higher faculty than physical sight.  The senses tell that the sun arises and sets, but science explains that sunrise and sunset are appearances only." - Emma Curtis Hopkins, Class Lessons of 1888

 In the Gospel of John 7:24, Jesus teaches, "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”  This teaching was not new as it also appeared in 1 Samuel 16:7, " ... The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  And in these teachings we can realize that reality is far beyond the human eye.  It is not easy to control our thoughts as we gaze upon appearances that touch our emotions, our worries, doubts and fears, but the Intelligence that created us has given us the ability to do so and has imparted the intelligence necessary for us to judge with "right judgment" as the Master Mind Jesus instructed.

      Let's look at some more from Class Lessons of 1888: 
"I speak of the marvelous effect of right thinking or silent working.  The science of mind lays great stress upon the force and practical effect of right words.  "A right word, how good it is."  "Who can measure the force of a right word?"  "He sent forth his word and healed them."  Five hundred years after him another declared that "All that we are and all that we see is built by our thought."  One came speaking as having authority to declare from the foundation of absolute knowledge, "According to thy faith be it done unto thee" (Jesus).

     So often we find teachers who tell us to repeat something for 8 days or something for 5 days, 5 times a day ... or something to this effect ... but we know this is superstitious and really has no true value for the mind already is aware that the day will come when we cease to repeat whatever it is that we are to repeat.  We must daily and consciously take into our mind the spirituality that is within us ... incarnated by the Spirit of G-d Itself.  We must consciously remind ourselves that we are the Living Spirit of G-d in form and that all we see is that which is of G-d and no matter what it may appear to reflect in the physical, the Good of G-d shall be revealed to our mind and our heart.  And, I am keenly aware that many of you hearing this or reading this know this already ... but how often do we "consciously" activate this in our mind?  For this is the measure of which we shall realize the "marvelous effect of right thinking or silent working" ... and let us not lose sight of this profound truth, "faith divorced from works" will never provide for us the good results that we seek to experience.

       Let's look again at the Class Lessons of 1888: 
"If thoughts make us what we seem, and thoughts are controllable, then to control thoughts aright is to show forth rightly.  "The primitive mind", says a noted college president, "takes appearance for reality."  The appearances are that external conditions control thoughts, not that thoughts control conditions.  Whoever accepts the appearance for the reality in this particular, proves himself unlearned and untaught in the laws of mind."  Too often we let our emotions rule our thoughts and in doing so we become controlled by our emotions rather than the intelligence that is resident in our mind.  Those who desire to realize success in their life experiences must learn to control their emotions and displace those of a weak or immature nature with that which is more rational and intelligent.

         Truth is eternal ... it was not brought into the world by man or woman, but by the Intelligence of G-d through men and women.  This is why we find the same truth in the Bhagavad Gita as we find in the Torah and the same truth in the books of the Old Testament, the Gospels and the New Testament ... and these are but a few of the books that contain the revelation of Truth throughout history.  The cultural attitudes and expressions of truth may have differed throughout history but the absolute truth has been woven through everything in this universe and beyond.  We must just learn to follow the ancient wisdom and take the authority and dominion over our lives by using the Truth that we know so that we can discover more and more of it to make use of.

     And finally, more from Class Lessons of 1888: 
"Be explicit.  Name the special good you would see brought to pass.  Declare that it is brought to pass. ... Now if you stand firm the law will lead you up to the sight of the beautiful works done for you by the Truth you have acknowledged so faithfully.  By standing firm we mean trusting wholly to the Spirit, ignoring matter's claims (the material appearances).  ... Trust to the protection of Truth.  Be not afraid of anybody's power to harm you.  Expect success.  All things are promised to the whole-hearted and faithful.  Nothing is promised to the half-hearted and faltering."


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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