|Book One, Lesson Eight
The Open Door
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock;
if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him,
and he with me."
As the Father knoweth me, so may I know the Father, through the Christ Spirit, the door to the kingdom of the Father. Show Thou me the way. 262-27
[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-27 through 262-30]
Why shrinkest thou, my soul?
Doth thou not know new strength comes but by faith
And faith renewed, and effort newly made?
And couldst thou even dare to hope to catch
The faintest glimpse of the Ineffable,
If thou doth not stretch out to thy full length
The helping hand to open wide the door?
[By Mrs. 2118 for this lesson]
The kingdom of God, the glory of the oneness in the Infinite, is the eternal destiny of every soul, the ultimate goal of every entity, regardless of his or her place or position in the seemingly complex scheme of things. In each there is felt that urge to press on. Through ignorance and misunderstanding many seek only the gratification of selfish desires, fighting, struggling, as it were, against the inflexible laws which an all-wise Creator has set. Eventually, each struggling soul must face the realities of life and make his or her will one with that of the divine Maker. With this comes peace in the realization of "I and my Father are one."
The door to the kingdom of the Father is through the life, the Spirit of the life, manifested in the Christ Consciousness in the material world. It is opened only by the efforts of an individual. Throughout the previous lessons, continual emphasis has been placed upon the awakening of the Christ Consciousness. Bach lesson has presented some attribute of the soul, some faculty of the inner self, which, if magnified in the conscious activities of the individual day by day, will add to and strengthen the growth of the soul's expression through the physical person. May we not ask these questions? Who, then, of us has learned to be truly cooperative one with another? Who has learned oneself sufficiently to know wherein one stands in relation to one's fellow human beings? Who has set the ideal wholly in Him? Who has magnified the faith in the Father and in the Son, that it may be accounted to that one forrighteousness? Who has virtue and understanding? Who has fellowship with the Father? Who has in patience possessed one's own soul?
The Christ Spirit comes as a result of Christ-like action. To each it comes as a realization of the activity of the soul forces. As the creative urge stirs the seed of the flower, just so the activity of the soul expressed through cooperation, a knowledge of self, the ideal set in Him, faith, virtue, understanding, and patience stirs an individual, and there is upward growth. As the flower in due time blossoms forth, just so the soul of humanity, through the Christ Spirit, comes into its full power and glory.
The Preparation of Self
The preparation for the way is a preparation of self. Each of us is the door that He, the Way, may enter. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." "I am the way, the truth, and the life." We must work to bring that consciousness, that awareness of His presence, into our material and mental affairs of life. The lesson must ever be, the spirit is the life, the mind is the builder, and the physical is the result.
Only when we completely surrender to the working of the Christ Spirit, can we say truthfully the door to the kingdom within is open. All selfish thoughts must be obliterated and replaced with the desire to be used by Him in carrying out His will in the world. When we seek our neighbor's good, rather than our own, we may expect our reward in proportion to the good we send out. When we become self-centered, we eventually feel that we are being cheated in life. It is then that we close ourselves to the good we might give out, and at the same time, build a barrier to the good that might flow to us.
As we seek to know the way, we must come in singleness of purpose and think not of the hindrances that are made by mortals; rather, know in whom we have believed and recognize that He has brought all things into being. As we seek and know this, we are His. In choosing Him, He has chosen us. As we realize we are one with Him, we become workers, pointing others to that joy, peace, and happiness that we have found. Will we not be faithful to the calling wherein He has called us?
How shall we begin? Let us take that which we have in hand, that which we have builded day by day, and, without fear, open the door that He may enter in and abide with us. Faith is the beacon that lights the path to the open door of the Father's house. Service is the password that admits us into the banquet hall. Come ye blessed of my Father, enter into the Kingdom prepared for you-for as ye have done unto one of the least of these, My brethren, so ye did it unto Me.
We have to contend with many conflicting forces when we would have faith and serve others. Selfishness and sensitiveness shut the Ideal from view and prevent a wholehearted cooperation with our fellow human beings in our daily lives. They may so retard our development that nothing seems worthwhile. These hindering qualities can even bring thoughts of self-destruction. It is only when self is put aside and the Spirit is allowed to lead that we indeed are free and able to accomplish anything that is of real, lasting value. When the thoughts of doubt, lack, and self-condemnation begin to creep in, the door begins to close more and more, until not even a ray of light may filter through to light the way. When these thoughts are allowed to remain in control, there is no despair more terrible. We are shutting out the light and living behind closed doors-closed to God and His goodness. Do we wonder, that where these thoughts are uppermost there are suicides, murders, and sins of every kind in evidence? Are not many in the world at this time ready to be shown a more perfect way? We show through service that as He overcame the world and became the Way, just so may we, who follow in His steps, overcome all things.
How to Open the Door
We must open the door if we would have the Christ enter. As we, with the Christ Consciousness as the standard, manifest His love in our daily walks in and before others, so we open the door.
Then it is that we heed the call to the Spirit within that stands everready to commune with us. It does not come in the whirlwind, but as a still, small Voice. If we listen and trust, it will teach us all things and bring all things to our remembrance.
If we would recognize this great Intelligence, this great I AM that knocks for admission into every heart, then let us heed these words: Те that have named the Name, make known in thy daily walks, in thy acts, the lessons that have been builded in meditation and prayer."
Good rulers will continually seek a contact with their subjects that they may understand their needs, and they will be quick to reward any special obedience to the laws. How much greater will the Heavenly Father, who watches over His children, be ready to help them! Yet, God requires that we seek His face and believe that He is, before He reveals Himself. We must make the effort, if we wish to open the door to His Kingdom. "If ye will be my people, I will be your God."
What is the way to the Father? It is through the Christ (having the Christ Consciousness) that we come to the Father, open the door, see the way, and hear His voice. When we close our ears to the pleadings of the less fortunate, we close the door to His presence; for in so doing we do not manifest the mind of the Christ. "When saw we Thee naked and clothed Thee, hungry and fed Thee, a stranger and took Thee in? Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these little ones, ye did it unto Me." Let us know that when we speak a kind word or lighten the care of a neighbor, we open the door that He may enter, and through Him is the way into the Father's Kingdom, and there is no other.
As we seek to magnify His Spirit, let us know that we, too, become doors through which others may be drawn into the way. We are living in a material world of three dimensions; the spirituality that we wish to reflect must be expressed in and through material thought and activity, if we sincerely desire to reach and to awaken others. What is to be gained if we shout from the housetop concerning love for others and forget the little acts of kindness or the smiles that will lighten others day by day?
When we are aware of the Christ Consciousness within, we begin to put into action the Christ Spirit without. It is only in the application of our spiritual attributes day by day that we become living examples, showing our at-onement with Him; thus, we not only open the door, but as channels, are doors. Let us not forget, as we work, that those we meet along the way are seekers also and are the Israel of the Lord.
How to Know the Father
As the Father knoweth us, so we may know the Father. The Father judges us in our relationships to our fellow human beings. As we give, so we receive; as we measure, so it is meted to us; as we forgive, so we are forgiven-not because the Father wills it, but because we have chosen it to be so by our own acts, words, and deeds. It is the Father's good pleasure to give to each nothing less than the kingdom. Would we know the Father? Let us then stretch out our hands in love and sympathy to our faltering neighbors, and as we lift them up, so shall we even then in that hour be lifted up. Acknowledge each in his or her respective sphere of development, for that is the necessary stage of experience. Let us remember that Zaccheus climbed higher that he might have a broader vision, and on that day dined with Truth.
We know the Father by exemplifying His attributes in the earth. Let us not hope to reach all in a day, but little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, until we come daily to know more and more of the Father.
As we lose ourselves in Him, earnestly desiring to put into practice the prayer, "Not my will, but Thine, О Lord, be done in and through me," we realize our oneness with the Christ, the door to the kingdom of the Father. We will find that the Father is not an arbitrary master, one who is demanding our service, but an all-wise Provider, a Father who understands all our needs. This was understood by the Psalmist when he sang, "O how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day." We will get a new concept of the Father the moment we make His will our own.
The Great Need for Service
We are our neighbor's keeper. A new revelation is taking place. A new order of things is being born. Old things are passing away and, behold, new things are about to appear. We are considering our relationship to our fellow humans as never before. Let us catch more clearly the note of compassion and love taught by our Elder Brother and, in His Spirit, pass it on. Let us not sit and wait until tomorrow, but use that opportunity, that privilege, and that promise today. Let selfishness be swallowed up in selflessness.
There is a great need for service. A stream that has no outlet becomes stagnant and impure. Self-development is not the whole purpose of service. There is a greater need. We must see to it that our neighbor, too, comes to the knowledge of the Light. There are responsibilities as well as joys in service. Storms may come, but it is He who stills the tempest for us. He brings rest to those who are tired. No matter what the trials may be, keep the faith. Let self be as naught that He, the Guide and Leader, may be better understood by those who look to our activities. He is the Light, and as we walk closer to Him the way becomes brighter.
If we would be channels, we must demonstrate in our lives what we teach. Let us choose each day some truth, live it first for self, then for others, that they may see our good works as we put into practical operation just what we say we believe and teach. It will work. The Master said, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
The Kingdom of the Father
To be aware of the Christ Consciousness within is to open the way for the Christ Spirit to manifest in our lives. The way is open to all who seek. The trials may be many, but through the Christ Spirit we are able to meet them. There is a consciousness of His force, power, and activity upon which we may draw. When doubts arise, it is a call to prayer. Let no doubt linger, but give thanks that it is only a look onward and upward that will again restore the faith upon which our hope is built.
The possession of an earthly kingdom is worth the seeking of a lifetime. There is not only responsibility but honor in its possession. There is a certain satisfaction that something is being accomplished by self and, perhaps, for others. How much greater is a possession in the kingdom of the Father-that kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world. What can stand in our way? Only self! As we realize this, may we not push self aside and let the Spirit lead us fully into that possession which is our birthright, and thereby exercise the benediction of Him who said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth"?
Be still, my children! Bow thine heads that the Lord of the Way may make known unto you that have been chosen for a service in this period when there is the need of that Spirit being made manifest in the earth, that the way may be known to those that seek the Light! For the glory of the Father will be made manifest through you that are faithful unto the calling wherein ye have been called! Ye that have named the Name make known in thy daily walks of life, in the little acts of the lessons that have been builded into your own experience, through those associations of self in meditation and prayer, that His way may be known among men. For He calls on all- whosoever will may come-and He stands at the door of your own conscience, that ye may be aware that the Scepter has not departed from Israel, nor have His ways been in vain: For today, will ye harken, the way is open-I, Michael, call on thee! 262-27
Bow thine heads, О ye sons of men, would ye know the Way: For I, Michael, the Lord of the Way, would warn ye that thou standest not in the way of thy brother nor sittest in the seats of the scornful, but rather make known that love, that glory, that power in His Name, that none be afraid: for I, Michael, have spoken! 262-28
Hark! О ye children of men! Bow thine heads, ye sons of men: For the glory of the Lord is thine, will ye be faithful to the trust that is put in each of you!
Know in whom ye have believed! Know that He is Lord of all, and His word faileth not to them that are faithful, day by day: for I, Michael, would protect those that seek to know His face! 262-29
Let our prayer be expressed in these words:
As the Father knoweth me, so may I know the Father, through the Christ Spirit, the door to the kingdom of the Father. Show Thou me the way. 262-27