|Book Two, Lesson Two
Lesson II - Day and Night
In Thy mercies, О Heavenly Father,
Wilt Thou be the guide In the study of the manifestations
Of Thy love, even as in "Day unto day uttereth speech and
Night unto night sheweth knowledge." So may the activities of my life,
As a representative of Thy love, Be a manifestation in the earth.
[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-54 through 262-67]
Day and night are relative in relation to the earth. Viewed from an outer sphere, there would be only different shades of light and darkness as the earth moves about the sun. Conditions that exist in the material plane are but shadows of truth in the mental and spiritual planes.
". . . and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night." Thus day and night are figures of speech, spiritual symbols of good and evil. Day is facing towards the source of light, which, to those who seek to do His biddings, is the Voice, the Word, the Life, the Light, that comes into the hearts, minds, souls of all to awaken them to their relationship to the source of Light. Night is facing away from the source of Light.
In the mental, night is the knowledge that the soul is out of harmony with God; day is the first period of awareness of a way back to the source of all power.
In a figurative sense, day and night represent periods of growth and of recuperation-in the earth, the activities of a day and a night of rest.
Why the Creation of the World?
All souls were created in the beginning. This beginning refers not to the earth, but the universe. "Let us make man in our image . . ." is a description of a spiritual creation, for God is Spirit. "... and there was not a man to till the ground... And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." This was the second creation.
... all souls in the beginning were one with the Father. The separation or turning away brought evil. Then there became the necessity of the awareness of self's being out of accord with or out of the realm of blessedness ... By becoming aware in a material world is-or was-the only manner or way through which spiritual forces might become aware of their separation from the spiritual atmosphere, the spiritual surroundings, of the Maker. 262-66
So in passing through our various experiences, even as He, the first Adam, our soul becomes aware of its separation from its Creator. As the nature of our relationship to our Maker grows clearer, we begin to walk more and more in the Light in our physical experiences. We came here for this purpose.
Through experience, through suffering, we come to know day and night, light and darkness, good and evil, even as the Son, the Adam. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which He suffered." Finally, we recognize that we are on our way back to our source. This alone brings satisfaction to our souls.
Day unto Day Uttereth Speech
Today is the day of opportunity. Each span of life is just another extended opportunity for light to break forth within us. We are enjoined to use that which we have in hand, and are then promised that our needs for further development will be supplied. A God of love waits for the awakening of each soul.
A majority of us devote the activities of a day to supplying ourselves and others with the material things of earth. Bread, shelter, clothing must be. provided in proportion to the life pattern which we have builded. These things and the luxuries which seem necessary for the body's welfare cannot be made the ideals motivating our daily activities. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." What things? That which we need for peace and contentment. That which we need for spiritual growth. These will be added as we fill our days with activities motivated by Truth, Life and Light.
Would we have light? Then turn within. Let us find the answer to the problem that is keeping us in the dark. Let us judge no one, not even self, but study to know how we are using the knowledge, the understanding, and the opportunities that have been given us.
For, each individual must so live each day that he may look into the face of that he has spoken, that he has lived, and say: "By this I stand to be judged before myself, before my God." 257-123
It is well that we take stock of ourselves to see if we are advancing or retarding our own growth. Are all our plans in keeping with that He would guide us to do, or in keeping with our own desires? Do we love material things of the world more than the praise of God? Then know that in the way we go is the means for a better understanding or a serious retardment. Remember, the mental is the builder, the spiritual is the guide or the life, the conditions built in material things are the results. While there may come the pleasures of those things of the world for the season, the step by step should be for each of us, "I show, in my relations to my fellow man, in my conversation, and in my deed, that which I consider to be the relationship to my Maker." (See 257-123.)
Let us face the question. Do material possessions prevent spiritual growth? The answer must be determined by each individual for himself or herself. An examination of attitudes about material things, a critical study of personal ideals relating to possessions, will provide the solution. Greed and selfishness over a loaf of bread can be as damaging as pride and avarice over great wealth. There must come to every soul the experience of both great poverty and great wealth. In eternity there is plenty of what we call time for both.
When we pass out of the body from the activities in material things, what carries on? Is it not that which we have built within ourselves through constructive or destructive forces? Then, if our activity is as boundless as eternity, let our steps be in the way of Light, that these may bring, not only to us, but to those who follow after, those things that make for better understanding of what life is. Let us study to show ourselves approved unto our Maker, and not be confused, nor consider that the spiritual or mental life is different from the material, but know that one is the reflection of the other. If we live in the Light, the shadows fall behind. If our face is tinned from the Light, there can be nothing in life, in mental and material things, except shadows.
"Day unto day uttereth speech" becomes real to us in proportion to the light we are able to shed on others in our walks and associations among our fellow humans, and in proportion to our true understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven within; for we can teach others only when we ourselves know.
Night Unto Night Showeth Knowledge
Before light there was darkness, the darkness of our separation from God. In this night souls gained knowledge of universal laws through suffering. A way of redemption was prepared through, and out of, this state of separation. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."
In each of us there is the pattern of the original state of separation. With the night, there comes to us an opportunity for rest, reflection, meditation and inspiration; or a time for sin, misery, and mental torture. Just so, in each trying experience of life, night may teach us such a lesson of love and sympathy that we may be changed individuals, or it may harden us, submerge us, until our lives become a burning hell.
Gradually we may learn that life is an opportunity to better understand our relationship with the Father. If our experiences make us more like Him, more kind, more considerate of the fallen, more tolerant of those in authority, they are worthwhile experiences.
The night affords opportunity for us to appreciate the light; for hard experiences show us knowledge. Night is as a film upon which the real may be pictured. In this experience we may obtain a picture of the activity of light and become aware of whether we are making ourselves one with the light or are being held in darkness.
We have within us both light and darkness, and we must make the separation even as God did in the beginning with the whole universe. Creation is going on all the time in us, and we are becoming either children of light or of darkness.
While in darkness, we may become conscious of the light through the light within. It is then possible to realize our opportunity to turn around and come to the appreciation of the light even in the physical. How much more this is possible in the spiritual! "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil." "Choose you this day whom ye will serve."
Our spiritual activity must be in the day, in the light, if we would help others; for the night of doubt will come when no one can work. It will be then the time of harvesting that which we have sown.
When the Master was tempted, He did not deny the existence of evil; rather, He recognized it for what it was, and made the separation, saying, "Get thee behind me, Satan." When passing through the great trials of night, we have only to make our wills one with that of the Christ. If we mean this, then the burdens become lighter, the trials easier to bear.
Experiences Regarding Day and Night
There are times when we are very sensitive to the remarks of our friends and loved ones for they seem so unkind. If we study ourselves, we will find that it is we who are out of time; we have turned away from the light. In this state we unfit ourselves to be channels of blessing to others and bring to ourselves attitudes of doubt and misjudgment. What we see in others is a reflection of that which is within us.
We should come to understand that day is facing the source of Light with a mind that seeks to do His bidding. It is the Christ spirit that comes into our heart to awaken us to our relationships with the source of Light, and that helps us in our associations with others.
"I saw a large light. I recognized it as a manifestation of spirit. It moved toward me and disappeared within my inner self. It made me more aware that my body is the temple of the living God and that I must let my light shine in such a manner as to hasten the day of the Lord."
When we turn ourselves away from God, or good, we are living in the night of our life. There is a constant struggle between the forces of day and the forces of night. We can see readily the misery that it brings to each. All over the world people are seeking for something to allay the unrest, turmoil and confusion that exist; if all would only realize that peace must come first within, before it can come without, many problems would be solved. "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." The world by its thinking shows its states of consciousness. Such states of consciousness may be as high as the heavens, or so low that all may be lost within darkness.
What may we learn from the night? Have we built our night, or are we suffering that others may see the light? Our Lord was brought "as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth" that others might be free. If through suffering we may help others to understanding, we, as the apostle, may rejoice in tribulation, which shall work out for us "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory".
I Am-Alpha and Omega
The sum total of the beginning and end of our earthly existence is that we may fully realize that we are one with the Father and worthy to be companions with Him in glory. Day and night, light and darkness, conflict and conquest, love and service, are means to this end. The problems in a life experience can be stepping-stones to greater service in all realms.
"Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth... hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding."
[God] is the beginning and the end of that brought into material manifestation, or into that known by man as the plane or dimension from which man reasons in the finite. Then there will be to the body the correct conception of that meant. "I am Alpha and Omega; beginning and the end." That God, the Father, the Spirit, the Ohm, is the influencing force of every activity is not wholly sufficient unto man's salvation, in that he is a free-will being. As intimated that Alpha beginning, Omega ending. For, the confirmation, the segregation, the separation, the building, the adding to it, is necessary-in relation to those activities that lie between-for man's building to the beginning and the end. 262-55
Our sonship is exhibited in our choice of free will. Always the urge is to press on. As we were one with Him in the beginning, we will be one with Him in the end, through Him who is the Light, the Truth and the Way.
In seeking to become aware of, or conscious of, our relationship with the Creator and to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable unto Him, we must learn to differentiate between the day and the night side of life; that is, be able to place true values where they belong. To accomplish this a period of supreme testing may be necessary. As we develop toward the light, we imbibe that Divine Wisdom which aids in knowing the Truth.
Our lives must be judged by the results. If the results are peace, harmony, justice, mercy, love, we know the light is shining within; if they are the opposites, then we know that day has not dawned within us.
As we seek, great upheavals may take place in our life. Ideas which we thought had a sure foundation may crumble beneath our feet; that in which we had implicit confidence may prove to be false. Only God is unchangeable. If we live in accord with His divine laws and seek sincerely for the light, obstacles that would hinder us will become stepping-stones to the realization of our fondest desires, while the impurities and dross that would despoil us will be burned out. Such experiences may be hard to endure, but they are very much worthwhile in helping us to attain to that goal toward which we all are striving.
We must not seek selfishly, but with the desire that His will may be done in all things; never with the desire to override, to outwit, or to outdistance others. God knows our possibilities much better than we, and when He sees a place which we can fill acceptably, the way will be opened. Let us give all glory and all praise to Him, the Giver of all good and perfect gifts, for the example of His Son, whom He sent into the world to guide us out of darkness.
The Son's power has not been diminished. His Spirit is constantly on the watch to guide those who would be guided over the rough and stony path, and to lift up those who stumble and fall. Let us have faith in the Infinite Power of Good, and know that God's plan for the world will never be overthrown. If we choose the dark path, know that He, from the very stones over which we stumble, will raise up others to carry on; for God is not mocked.
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me,
And thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me;
Even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee;
But the night shineth as the day:
The darkness and the light are both alike to thee."