How I Used Truth - Lesson 11 - Annotation 5
What is meant by "conscious oneness with the Father" (text, page 106)? What changes come about through this realization?
5. "Conscious oneness with the Father" (How I Used Truth 106) means that we are able to feel -- not merely think about -- the Christ or God-presence within, the "Father" of our human consciousness. With the revelation of God as immanent in us, we come to know with deep feeling that our true nature is one with and the same as the God nature. This realization makes us want to shed all of our erroneous attitudes and limited beliefs.
Every person is one with God, for God is the only Creator and is always one with His creation. However, nothing is truly ours until we are conscious of it and feel it as a part of ourselves. Webster's dictionary says, "Conscious applies primarily to that which is felt as within, aware, to that which is perceived as without, oneself." We may study about God and His relationship to us. This will undoubtedly make us intellectually aware of our oneness with God. Learning the truth that God is the one Creator and we are His offspring is not difficult; this is something that can be accepted from an intellectual standpoint. However, there is a vast difference between merely being intellectually aware of Truth principles and actually knowing Truth (God) and rightly using the principles. We can see, then, that we have to add feeling to our thinking in order to reach the state of knowing that is "conscious oneness with the Father."
We may know about a person, but we do not really know him until we are acquainted with him. We may know about our oneness with God, but until we are acquainted with Him we are not really conscious of this oneness. We become acquainted with God by meeting Him in prayer, We turn within and the soul becomes quiet, yet alert to God as we feel His presence. In the first phase of our being -- which is God's own nature and presence in us -- is the substance of God in which all divine ideas inhere. When we lift our consciousness (soul or mind) in prayer, we make contact with the living ideas through identification with them.
We may meditate upon the statement, "God is love" (I John 4:8), until its meaning is so clear to us that we begin to feel God's presence as love and are impelled to affirm for ourselves, "I am love." We become so filled with love that it is natural to express love in the external through loving deeds. When our attention is directed entirely Godward, we are open, receptive, and obedient to God's inspiration. At each stage of our unfoldment we will find ourselves becoming acquainted with different facets of God's nature. Sometimes we are learning the character of love; at another time it might be faith, or power, or imagination. Each time we become acquainted with divine ideas (sometimes referred to as the qualities or attributes of God) we are coming to know God as these qualities. We need to see ourselves as one with them. It will then become natural for us to begin using the ideas consciously in our daily living. In no way can we attain a consciousness of our oneness with God except through prayer, which is conscious communion with God. We then understand how the divine ideas revealed by the Christ, or God's presence in us, are to be used in our daily living.
When the human consciousness (thinking and feeling) becomes merged with the Christ Mind we have conscious oneness with God, and many are the changes wrought in our body and affairs. We no longer feel a sense of lack, of being alone. We no longer feel bound or limited. We let all sense of personal seeking go, and we open ourselves to the inflow of God's good that we may share it with others. We become calm, poised, and peaceful even when challenging circumstances confront us. Now we know how to surmount all that seems difficult. Recognizing our own inner worth, we are able to meet life's problems with the assurance that the fulfillment of every good desire is already ours in Truth. As sons of God we make our claim to that which is ours by divine right. Love, peace, and joy flow naturally from us to bless those who are near and dear as well as the strangers we meet in our daily experiences.
The changes that come about through "conscious oneness with the Father" reach into our approaches to the world in general. We feel a oneness with nature, with everything we use or work with in the outer world; we feel oneness with all people, for recognition of the Fatherhood of God reveals to us the brotherhood of man. We have a broadened outlook on our own individual affairs as well as the affairs of the world.
The text mentions on page 113 that "God in you becomes a law to you, and you have no longer need of external laws" (How I Used Truth 113). We need to seek deeper than the words for the full meaning of this statement, which is followed by one on the same page that states, "You have no longer use for external forms." Having made ourselves one with the laws of God, we no longer see external laws against which we must fight or rebel. We see God's laws being expressed through man in all the ways that make for harmony in human relationships. The desperate desire to get possession of external forms leaves us, for, having followed Jesus' command, "Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness" (Matt. 6:33), we rest in the assurance that the external forms of the ideas of the kingdom will come into our life in divine order, for "all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).
"Put yourself in unity with Spirit. Then you will come into the consciousness of a new world of thought and act and find yourself doing many things differently because the orderly Mind that directs the universe is working through you" (Jesus Christ Heals 118).
If with all our heart we seek consciousness of our oneness with God, we will see the need for change in our mind. We have to face the fact that any beliefs that are not in accord with oneness have to be dissolved. Sometimes (consciously or unconsciously) we may be holding to selfish aims. These "preconceived opinions of Truth" (How I Used Truth 108) are what Emerson refers to in the quotation given at the opening of this chapter as "a private end." All that would stand in the way of our consciously knowing oneness with God must be erased from the mind. This makes us an open channel for His revelations and inspiration. There can be no "striving" for Truth; Truth is free. It belongs to man as a divine birthright. It is true we must "seek" the Truth but it is a matter of seeking in mind that which is already ours in spirit. This seeking, rather than striving, is an opening of ourselves to the inflow of Truth into our consciousness.
Even the desire for knowledge about Truth, about our oneness with God, must give way to desire just to "know God, 'whom to know aright is life eternal'" (How I Used Truth 109, 110). The quotation "whom to know aright is life eternal" comes from an old version of a prayer in the Book of Common Prayer. The words are based on the 3d verse of the 17th chapter of the Gospel according to John: "And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God" (John 17:3).
Life eternal is not something to be attained. Eternal life is already ours as part of our divine heritage -- but we have to have individual, conscious awareness of it in us. We have to have "feeling" in order to come into the realization that eternal life is already ours, not something to be attained. Once the consciousness of eternal life dawns upon the soul, we begin the process of affirming its presence in all of the cells of our body. This same realization of life can then radiate effortlessly through all our affairs.
Preceding Entry: Explain the meaning of the word fact. What is meant by "the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view" (text, page 104)?
Following Entry: What is the "Spirit of truth"? What is its purpose?