Recently I wrote a friend on the occasion of his birthday and I know he will be glad for me to share with you the ideas that came as I wrote:
As for birthday wishes, I will just wish that you didn't have any so that you could get used to the idea of the continuity of consicous existence without a break or a stop - a conscious awareness of progressive unfoldment.
Truly, there is no break in the continuity of unfolding consciousness; nor can consicousness lose its conscious awareness of body any more than you can loose your consciousness of the developed musical or artistic or other talent you possess.
Consciousness unfolds from within to the without from a boundless basis or source; from the infinity of your being to the individual awareness of it in infinite variety, form and expression.
Death is the belief that consciousness loses its awareness of its body. Immortality is the understadning of the truth that consciousness is eternally aware of its own identity, body, form or expression. Consicousness aware of its own infinite being and eternal body is immortality achieved here and now. The awareness of consciousness maintaining its own identity and form is eternal life. The awareness of consciousness forever unfolding in individual forms of creation or manifestation is immortality demonstrated here and now. This consciousness is you.
Spiritual consciousness is the release from personal effort in the realization that harmony is. This consciousness with its release from personal effort, is attained as we find the Christ within us a present Reality. The Christ is the activity of Truth in individual consciousness. It is not necessarily declarations of Truth so much as the reception of Truth. As we attain an inner stillness, we become more and more receptive to Truth declaring Itself to us, within us. The activity of this Truth in our consciousness is the Christ, the very presence of God. Truth received and continuously entertained in our consciousness is the law of harmony to all our affairs. It governs, guides, leads, directs and supports our every activity of daily existence. Where a belief of illness or lack may be, this everpresent Truth becomes our Healer and Supplier, yes, our Health and our Supply.
To many the word Christ persists as a more or less mysterious term, an unknown entity, something rarely if ever experienced by them. This we must change if we are to benefit by the revelation of Christ Jesus and many others, of a divine presence or power within us. We must experience the Christ as a permanent and continuous awareness of Truth active within. Maintain always a receptive attitude within - a listening ear - and soon you will experience an inner awareness - and this is the activity of Truth in consciousness, of the Christ attained.
This understanding of the Christ clarifies the subject of prayer for us. The dictionary explanations of prayer all conform to the orthodox church concept which of course is based on the erroneous belief that there is a God waiting somewhere for you to pray to it in some manner prescribed by the particular church you attend. Then, if you are lucky, and find this God in the right frame of mind, you might have your prayers answered favorably. unless, of course, your parents or grandparents for three or four generations back have sinned, in which case you will be held accountable for their sins and your prayer will go into the waste basket of Heaven. This must be an immense waste basket!
We have a different sense of prayer. We realize that whatever of good comes to us, is the direct result of our own understanding of the nature of our own being. "Only the mind of the individual can produce a result on his body."
Our understanding of spiritual life unfolds in proportion to our receptivity to Truth. "The impartation should always be from Mind." Not praying up to Mind, but letting Mind unfold and reveal itself to us. This is the higher concept of prayer. It is achieved as we take a few minutes now and then during the day and evening to meditate, commune, "listen." In quietness we become a state of receptivity which opens the way for us to "feel" or become aware of the very presence of God. This "feel" or "awareness" is the acitivity of God, Truth, in our consciousness - it is the Christ, the Reality of us.
Ordinarily we live in a world of sense and concern ourselves only with the objects of sense. This gives us our experiences of good and evil, pain and pleasure. As we, through our metaphysical studies, turn more to the mental side of life, we find that we develop higher thoughts and therefore we experience better things. As our mental qualities become more refined, and we take on more patience, kindness, charitableness, forgiveness, etc., our human experiences reflect these qualities back to us. But let us not stop there.
Higher even than the plane of body and mind, there is the realm of Soul, the Kingdom of God. Here we find the Reality of our being, our divine nature. Not that body and mind are separate or apart from Soul, but that Soul is the deepest recess of our being.
In the realm of Soul we find complete tranquility; absolute peace, harmony and dominion. Here we find neither good nor evil, pain nor pleasure, only the joy of being. We are in the world, but not of it because we no longer see the world of sense as it appears to be, but, having awakened our spiritual sense, we "see Him as He is," - we see through appearances to the Real.
Ordinarily we have sought our happiness in the objective universe, in person, place or thing. Now, through spiritual sense, Soul sense, the whold world tends to bring its gifts to us - but no longer through desire for person or thing, but merely through the avenue of these. In material sense person and thing are the objectives of our sense - that which we desire. Through Soul sense, our good unfolds from within us though appearing as person and improved conditions. Soul sense does not deprive us of the friends and family and comforts of human existence, but brings them more surely to us on a higher and more beautiful and permanent level of consciousness.
Joel S. Goldsmith