|Book Two, Lesson Nine
Lesson IX - Knowledge
Let the knowledge of the Lord So permeate my being that There is less and less of self, More and more of God, In my dealings with my fellow man; That the Christ may be in all, Through all, in His name. 262-95
[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-96 through 262-99]
Seeking for knowledge has led us into the intricate tangle of physical existence. When the call, "Where art thou?" came to Adam, it brought the realization that God-given powers of creative thinking had been misused. Then fear and doubt became entrenched within our heart.
The first "don't" was: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Adam in his weakness made the choice which led him into tribulation, toil, and misunderstanding, for he did not choose the knowledge of good, but he chose the selfish use of the divine power of creative thought, which brought to him confusion, destruction and death. Humankind (a spiritual being), taking things into its own hands, still makes itself ridiculous in the eyes of its Maker by flaunting its knowledge of things that be, not even knowing that they have always been.
What is true knowledge? We have knowledge when we seek to express less and less of self and more and more of God in our dealings with our fellow human beings; for the expression of self is that which hinders us in gaining knowledge of the more perfect way. True knowledge is of God, not apart from God. It is shown fully in our unselfish dealings with our fellow humans day by day, as we manifest the spirit that we care, that we understand, and that we are willing to take a portion of their burden when they are bowed down with the cares of the world. It is being willing for Christ's sake to aid those in distress, to feed those who are hungry. The world is crying for this knowledge.
Knowledge is the ability that enables us to live in harmony with the laws of the universe. This again is known to us when we become selfless, and rid ourselves of the little differences that breed hate, contempt, and those things that hurt our fellow humans in our dealings with them. Do we understand that to forgive is knowledge, to be friendly is knowledge, to be selfless in the midst of a selfish world is knowledge? It takes an understanding of only one law to do these things, and this law is love.
Knowledge Is of God
God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all. The Father judges us by our activities. We dwell then in the light as we study to show ourselves approved unto Him and are workers who are not ashamed of the things that will prove our sincerity and our earnestness. We know that as God is the Author of knowledge, He is the Supreme Judge of all, and that when we judge our fellow humans we are assuming the office of the Lord. "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?"
Knowledge Is Power
Knowledge is power, yet power may become an influence that brings evil, when it is not used constructively. Hence, let us become more and more aware of the desire to be the channels through whom God may carry out His will. Secular knowledge is man-made. The knowledge of God does not bind us to dogmas, or man-made beliefs; rather it sets us free.
Worldly knowledge causes many to become faint, many to fall away. Have we emptied ourselves of tradition, of malice and of hate? Do we encourage the weak, strengthen the fainthearted, and know that in such activities we gain a more perfect knowledge of God's way? In such application of knowledge we will find an understanding of ourselves, and learn to interpret ourselves in our relation to others, as well as in our relation to God.
In our study of the needs for cooperation we found the following statement: "Gaining an understanding of the laws that pertain to right living in all its phases makes our minds in attune with Creative Forces," which are in His Consciousness, One of the first of these laws is to know ourselves. In our lesson "Know Thyself," we approach the study of the physical body as a part of our own being. Here, in our lesson "Knowledge," we must turn to a study of the body as it relates to, and indeed pictures, the universe. We should know of the functioning of the organs which are constantly carrying on the processes of digestion, assimilation, and reconstruction of tissue, but it is more important that we should know something of the creative powers that operate through the spiritual centers. Such knowledge is power; for unless our knowledge brings to us as individuals an understanding of a regenerated life and an ability to live with others, we are failing to fulfill our destiny.
Interpretation of Self
Through the study of spiritual forces we learn that before we can know the world without, we must first know the world within. The physical person is of the earth; the soul-with the mind of the infinite-is of the universe. Souls choose to take physical bodies, and thus mind, which is of God, finds an expression in the physical.
Thus the study of self becomes our first consideration if we would be a good neighbor, a good parent, a good friend; and this means to look within to see if we have the knowledge that will help us to walk in the way of Him who is the Way, and to serve others, who as ourselves are made in His image.
Mind is defined as the rational faculty of humanity. It may be divided for convenience into the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious. We must not confuse the unconscious mind with the subconscious. The unconscious is but a deeper portion of our conscious thinking, through which the subconscious operates in the physical and acts upon and affects the conscious mind. It is through the mind that creative forces seek activity, whether in a lowly organism seeking to express itself, in us seeking a kingdom for ourselves, or in a soul seeking its way back to God. It is with the mind of the soul that we can be consciously aware that our physical body is the temple of the living God. With the will we choose for ourselves that activity which will either take us away from or to our Creator. It is active in both our conscious and subconscious minds. In the one it brings the ability to reason inductively and deductively, in the other to transcend and know, even as we are known.
Finally we turn to a brief study of the nature of our spiritual self. It has been said that the individual who would seek God must first believe that He is. It was Jesus who taught that the kingdom of God is within our own being. The God-spark within each of us is the force that enables us to love our enemies, to do good to them who persecute us, to pray for them who despitefully use us. Of ourselves we can do nothing; with Him we can do all things.
Our soul, a creation of the Father, constantly desires to glorify Him. Though we stumble blindly at times and often fall, yet, through suffering, we grow to understand and to give expression of our soul purpose by becoming channels through which the Father's will may be done in us.
Perhaps we have been afraid to "let go" and be absolutely happy. Whenever things have been almost perfect we would always think that it wouldn't last, that something would come to spoil it. This should not be our attitude. Although worldly cares and trials may be around us, when the question comes "Where art thou?" we should be ready to answer, "Here am I, Lord, use me."
We may often wonder in analyzing ourselves if we are right in what we believe, if we really know God, and if we have knowledge of Him that we can give to others. There is an answer: If we would know God, we must experience God; and as we experience Him, we become a guide to someone else. This should be to us the answer to every problem.
The Application of Knowledge
Knowledge, divine knowledge, that we had in the beginning, is needed in the affairs of our life. If we had only known the motive which prompted the act, the cause which brought about the unpleasant experience in the life of our neighbor, the severe test and trial which our wayward friend was experiencing, how differently we would have acted! Let us remember that to be kind is acting as if with foreknowledge. We never forget the one who understands us when we fail in the discharge of our duty. How like the Master is that one to us! Kindness is a simple act, but it is great enough to express divine knowledge.
Education is only the manner or the way [to reach the final goal]. Do not confuse the manner or the way with that of doing what ye do know! Not when there is a more convenient season, or "When I have attained unto a greater understanding I will do this or that." Knowledge, understanding, is using, then, that thou hast in hand. Not to thine own knowledge but that all hope, power, trust, faith, knowledge and understanding are in Him. Do that thou knowest to do today, as He would have thee do it, in thine understanding! Then tomorrow will be shown thee for that day! For as He has given, today ye may know the Lord! Now, if ye will but open thine heart, thine mind, the understanding and knowledge will come! 262-89
What is applicable to an individual is applicable to groups. It is like leaven; it leavens the whole. In groups, we will find differences of opinion, of thought, of interpretation, of development. We do not have true knowledge if we let such differences cause us to judge one another. The way of the Lord is hard only for those who become so fixed in ideas that they are not willing to be led by the Spirit of the Christ.
Knowledge must be applied in the affairs of nations. Have the World Wars made the world safe for democracy? Why not? Doubtless those who were trained in worldly knowledge felt confident that arms, power, and force were the things needed to bring about a Utopian condition. We, the nations, have to learn that the principles of peace and equal rights for all must come first in the hearts of individuals. They must begin with us. We cannot legislate goodness into the hearts of others while we live a life of selfishness.
It has been given that we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart, our soul, our mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is the basis of all spiritual law. Safety is founded in the knowledge of the spirit of truth, and the right application of that knowledge is just as effective in bringing its blessings to nations, as the misuse of it is in bringing about confusions among them.
Knowledge of universal laws brings clearer concepts of the purpose of creation. Without knowledge of that purpose we would have no reason for existence. We know that the misuse of knowledge will wreck individuals as well as groups or nations. If we persist in the misuse, then that which seems to be worthwhile will fade, and spiritual decay will follow. Consider the person who worships money, the mob that takes law into its own hands, the nation that wars upon its neighbor; all in time reap that which they have sown.
Correct Evaluation of Knowledge
What experiences do we hold most sacred in our lives? Are they not such as the smile of someone we love, the thoughtful act of a friend, a kindness in time of trouble, a word of praise when things seem to be going wrong? Such knowledge brings spiritual growth. Worldly pleasures and physical gratifications bring excitement for the moment, but they do not last.
A kind word under trying circumstances not only creates for us an attunement with the "I Am" but makes others aware of the presence of the Lord. Our responsibility in applying the correct evaluation of knowledge cannot be overlooked. We should study to show self more practical in the application of that which we hold to be true. But if there are question marks here or there as to our sincerity and our consideration of others, trouble and discord will arise, bringing distressing experiences in our activities.
We are continually meeting ourselves. Would we have disappointments if we had not disappointed someone? Would we be despitefully used if we had not within us some grudge or unkind thought of someone? The law is, that which we sow we shall reap. Though the heavens fall, the law will never change, for like begets like. Knowledge assures us of success; that is, if our purpose is in the Lord and not in our self. Knowledge used aright bears the fruit of the spirit.
No soul, no mind, can comprehend anything beyond its own understanding. Understanding is made perfect in virtue, and virtue is of God, Do we have it? If so, we see the Christ in others, and are filled with love, kindness and peace. To us is given the means to secure that which we need, not in doing someone else's job or attempting to do God's job, but in doing our own. This brings success that fills us with the fullness of a perfect life.
Knowledge of His Presence
We have been told to "Be still and know that I am God!" Do we ever try to pray and know that we are only uttering words? What is the trouble? Have we stepped aside, out of the strait and narrow way, and left God out of our life until we feel alone? God never breaks down doors to get in. He stands at the door and knocks. He is not past finding out, and with Him we can do all things; for His presence brings power and assurance into our lives. Then let the love of the Christ surround us, and let us glory in knowledge that we walk with Him, and that He sustains and strengthens us day by day.
Let us take no thought for tomorrow; for in His presence we shall find strength for each trial, each disturbance. He has promised that He has given His angels charge concerning us.
We must stand fast in Him, knowing, believing, acting that which we profess.
As ye have received, as ye are moved, as ye apply that ye receive, give to those that seek. Be patient, be kind. Speak not unkindly of anyone. Let not gossip nor unkind things, either in thought or deed, be in thine experience. And ye will find the true Knowledge of the Christ in the Father being close to thee. 262-98No tags for this post.