|Book One, Lesson One
"Finally, be ye all of one mind,
having compassion one of another;
love as brethren."
I Peter 3:8
Not my will but Thine, О Lord, be done in me and through me. Let me ever be a channel of blessings, today, now, to those that I contact in every way. Let my going in, my coming out be in accord with that Thou would have me do, and as the call comes, "Here am I, send me, use me." 262-3
[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-1 through 262-5]
Cooperation in the physical is defined as acting or operating jointly with others, concurring with others in action or effort. In the spiritual it is more. It is losing sight of self and becoming a channel through which blessings may flow to others. The blessing is cooperation in action. Whether in the spiritual or physical, action is necessary to put cooperation into operation-thus those who would come together for a common cause must have united action in the pursuit and realization of a common end.
The best in life is ours, not at the expense of others, but in harmonious cooperation. In every successful organization the law is in effect. The heavens declare the Hand which formed them was the Hand of unity, order, and harmony. All nature follows the same law. Each part of the human body performs its duty without a thought of the other, yet fully depending each upon the other.
When self is lost in the Ideal, cooperation is the natural result. It is the natural consequence of self-service, self-sacrifice, self-bewilderment in Him.
In whatever state we find society, let us meet it upon its own level; as we look up, we lift it. That is cooperation.
Need for Cooperation
We must put cooperation into action in our thinking. Our adverse thoughts have such a paralyzing effect that they will not only retard our own development, but also will build barriers for those who might seek to aid us. The Master could do no mighty works in His own village because of the people's unbelief in Him. Thoughts are deeds and may become crimes or miracles in their application. It is necessary for the accomplishment of any aim, for the reaching of any goal, and for the attainment of any blessing for self or humanity that we have one mind, one aim, and one purpose.
As we seek, in our way, to cooperate in being of service to others, we are lifted up. Let us, then, express the Creative Force within us in such a way that it may bring hope, peace, and understanding into the lives of others, that they too, in their way, may seek to be channels of blessings.
Then, let us attune ourselves to the highest spiritual Force. This will come when we are in accord with His will.
Let us exercise our conscious mind by holding these two thoughts before us:
1. We must lose ourselves in Him.
2. Our every thought and our every deed must be in harmony with the intent and purposes of the best that is within us.
What is the mind of the Christ that we should seek?
As we open our minds, our hearts, and our souls, that we may be channels of blessings, we then have the mind of the Christ, who took upon Himself the burden of the world. So may we, in our little spheres, take upon ourselves the burdens of our world. The joy, peace, and happiness that may be ours are found in doing for the other person. Gaining an understanding of the laws that pertain to right living in all its phases makes our minds in attune with Creative Forces. We have the mind of Christ by putting into action that which we know.
Method of Obtaining Cooperation
Now, the questions arise: How may we accomplish this? How may we work as individuals whose purposes will be in accord with His will? To answer these we must look within to the 1ittle things that go to make up our very nature. We must guard our daily thoughts and acts, and must, through meditation, awaken our inner selves.
In the daily walk of life let us take stock of our thoughts and acts, for cooperation is the offering of self to be a channel of activity, of thought. It is not attained at once, but comes line upon line, precept upon precept, through the giving of self. We must realize that they who would have life must give life; they who would have love must show themselves lovable; they who would have friends must be friendly; they who would have cooperation must cooperate by giving self to that which is to be accomplished, whether in bringing light, strength, health, or understanding to others. These are one in Him.
Let us replace our negative thoughts with positive ones, thinking not unkindly of anyone but speaking and thinking kindly of all. Let us practice thinking kind thoughts of those who have hurt us, letting no opportunity pass to do a little act of kindness that will lighten the burden of another. We should live as we know He would have us live. Begin now. Work! Work diligently and consistently. Let us take thought continually of the attitude of mind we hold; for it makes for that which gives birth to peace, harmony, and understanding; or it brings forth the contending forces that make for unrest and trouble. We will find, when we would do right, that the spirit of unrest is ever present; but day by day this should be put out of our minds and more and more replaced by thoughts of peace, harmony, and understanding-not a latent kind, but an active force. This is the manner in which we give expression to that being sought.
It is a oneness of mind, a oneness of purpose, which we must all seek; the virtue in the knowledge of God-His laws, His precepts-not to the advantage of self, but for others; not for self-edification, but that power and strength may emanate from us to others less strong. Let us seek harmony, for harmony makes for peace, and peace makes for understanding, and understanding for enlightenment.
We of ourselves can do nothing; so let us, in meditation, seek the knowledge of the inner Light. Set aside a time each day for prayer and meditation, preferably at sunrise; quiet the physical body, purify the emotions, and wait on the Lord. Let us draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto us.
As we enter into meditation, let us visualize the force of harmony and love in action. As we put into practice that which we know of cooperation in deed and in thought, there will come to us His peace which passes understanding, and the realization of being His channel. He has promised that power, strength, joy, life, and light will not be withheld from those who seek this oneness in His name.
Realization of Cooperation
As the realization of a perfect cooperation in Him comes to us, there will come also the knowledge of our oneness with the Creative Force of the universe. Self-interest will be eliminated. Joy and happiness, found in service, will reign in our hearts. Our bodies and our minds will function more perfectly, because the Creative Force, which ever seeks expression in all, has been aroused in us. Understanding will come as quietly as the silent shadows of night, and His everlasting peace will live in our hearts.
There is perhaps no better way to illustrate this realization than to quote a few of the experiences of those who have sought light and understanding through cooperation.
"In experiencing cooperation I have been led into a greater field of spiritual understanding and realize that I am a channel through which His will may be done."
"I experienced in my trials a feeling of cooperation from our study group, in that through their prayers and meditations I realized that nothing but good could come to me. All fear was allayed. I knew that justice and mercy would prevail. There came to me a feeling of contentment, a willingness to leave all in His hands, and a realization that all was well."
"With the cooperation of our study group, I have been better able to understand my own individual purpose in relation to the whole purpose of life. At times, when our cooperation was greatest, I have been able to feel myself being a perfect channel through which God manifested. During the nights following such attunements, I have had visions and dreams that were testimonies to me of growth and development."
"I have realized that faithful repetition of efforts which make for cooperation brings at times a feeling of unity with all with whom I work, and a nearness of His presence, which shows that His promise, 'Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them,' is sure."
"In my meditation I have seen our study group come together and form a complete circle, each member of the group being represented by a dot. Each one in the circle seemed to call the others by name and bless them. The circle now turned to a wheel, the dots becoming spokes. Each spoke represented a member of the group. Each spoke became a channel, leading outward from the hub, where was seen the Christ Light. As the blessings of love, harmony, peace, and understanding flowed from the Christ through the channels, the wheel was able to turn. This was cooperation in action. As the wheel revolved, members of the group or channels were able to turn other wheels, which were helping to bring the world to light, love, harmony, and true understanding."
These are the goals for each of us to reach in our varied experiences: unity of purpose, oneness of mind-in that His will, not ours, nor our personalities, may be manifested in all that we do and teach.
Let us be patient and untiring in seeking this cooperation, for we will be preparing ourselves to go on in the study and understanding of spiritual forces, and will become active channels for these higher forces. We will be better husbands, better wives, better neighbors, and better friends. The little world in which we live will be happier for our being a part of it. We will bring more joy and happiness to those about us and will be manifesting God's love for us.
The way is being opened for all who will to have a part in the redemption of humanity. We must keep our hearts singing, not in sorrow but in gladness of purpose, for of all those chosen of Him we should be the happiest. May our united efforts go through the ages to those yet unborn, regenerating them to that awakening which makes all souls safe in the knowledge of Him who made all things, for "without him was not any thing made that was made."
Not my will but Thine, О Lord, be done in me and through me. Let me ever be a channel of blessings, today, now, to those that I contact in every way. Let my going in, my coming out be in accord with that Thou would have me do, and as the call comes, "Here am I, send me, use me." 262-8