Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture
Chapter - Universality of Truth
"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it."
A Bible text is that on which we build our state of consciousness. We do not take Bible quotations and expect by much repetition for them to do something for us. We understand that every statement in the Bible that can be construed as a law must be embodied in and become a part of our consciousness in order that we may externalize the thought or idea in the text.
"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it." We understand that the "Lord" in this case is our Consciousness. Our Consciousness is the law, is the constructor of our universe. Our Consciousness is the substance, the force, the fabric of which our entire experience is built, therefore, whatever we take into our consciousness and make a part of our consciousness, becomes externalized in some form of human experience.
We sometimes wonder why this year we are no better off than we were last year. It may be that last year we had some lack of wealth, health, morals, position, companionship, and this year that same condition exists. We need go no further than to realize that we have added nothing to our consciousness of Truth than was there before, and therefore nothing could happen to the external. We learn that the external existence is the reflection of our internal awareness.
These statements in the Bible, which really are laws, must become a very part of our being. They must be realized, not merely declared or stated; they must become the very fabric of our being, then we can experience the outward result.
What is this Consciousness that becomes a God, or law, unto our experience? We have been tracing this truth through what we know in Scripture to arrive at that which we know is universal Truth.
"Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God." "I can of mine own self do nothing." "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." We know that these statements show forth the nothingness of the so-called human identity and the allness of that part of us which is God -- the infinite. That is universal Truth. We must understand Truth to be universal. As an illustration, let us take what we know is the Golden Rule, when Jesus said, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:"
Aristotle, Greek -- Isocrates, Athenian orator, 300 B.C. -- "What you wish your neighbors to be to you, that be to them."
Confucius, Chinese philosopher, 500 B.C. -- "Do not unto another what you would not have him do unto you."
Hillel, Hebrew Rabbi and teacher, 50 B.C. -- "Do not to others what you would not like others to do unto you."
Sextus, 450 B.C. -- "What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be to them."
RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL:
Jesus -- "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Forgive "Until seventy times seven."
Buddha, Hindu Saviour, 500 B.C. -- "Overcome evil with good."
Loatze, Chinese philosopher, 500 B.C. -- "Recompense injury with kindness. Return love for great hatred."
Socrates, 300 B.C. -- "It is not permitted to return evil for evil."
Jesus -- "I am the way, the truth, and the life." "I am the resurrection, and the life." "I am the true vine:" "I am the good shepherd:" "I am the door:"
From the Bhagavad-Gita -- India: "I am the origin of this world. I am the taste in the water, I am the light in the sun; I am the sound in the ether and the manliness in men. I am the pure fragrance in the earth, and brightness in the fire. I am the life in all creatures.
"Know me to be the primeval seed of all things that are; I am the wisdom of the wise and I am the glory of the glorious. I am the strength of the strong - free from desire and passion. And I am the desire in all creatures, which is not in conflict with the law. And whatever things there may be - know thou, they are all for me. Four types of righteous men worship me - the man in distress, the man who wishes to learn - the man who wants to realize Truth and the man who realizes.
"Of these the man of realization who has his devotion centered in One and who is ever attuned is the best.
"Great indeed are all of them -- but the man of realization -- I deem him to be myself."
From the Advaita of India: "I am Spirit itself, incessantly entertained, disperses the hallucinations born of ignorance. The disciple, possessing perfect discernment, contemplates all things as subsisting in himself, and thus, by the eye of knowledge, discovers that all is the one Spirit. He knows that all this movable world is Spirit or that beyond Spirit there is nothing, as all varieties of vase are clay, so all things he sees are Spirit."
Mencius of China: "All things are already complete in us."
Loatze: "Heaven is lasting and earth enduring. The reason why they are lasting and enduring is that they do not live for themselves. Therefore, they live long. In the same way the sage keeps himself behind, and he is in front -- He forgets himself and he is preserved: -- Is it not because he is not self-interested, that his interest is established?
GOD IS SPIRIT:
Jesus -- The Word -- The Light
Hindu Brahm -- Spirit
Chinese Tao -- The Word
Zoroastra Persia -- Ahura Mazda -- Light
Jesus -- "Ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem (externally) worship the Father . . . but in Spirit and in Truth."
India -- "We can never know God as we know a tree or building - as an object outside ourselves. God is not an object (twoness). Therefore, we can- not attain Him through external knowledge but by internal growth."
Jesus -- "Ye are the light of the world."
John -- "Now are we the sons of God."
India, Upanishads -- "The human spirit is divine and should be ultimately free. It is based on the supremacy of spirit over matter, knowledge over ignorance -- freedom over bondage."
S. Radhakrishnan: "There is something more in us than is apparent in our ordinary consciousness, a finer spiritual presence. It is the task of man to recognize this presence lying hidden behind the mask of his self-conscious personality. To find that deeper being, to function consciously in the world of truth in which it dwells, to let it inspire our daily life and transfigure our personality, is the purpose of human living."
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The most vital truth in the history of the world is the truth, I AM. Jesus gave the world this truth in his statement. "I am the way, the truth and the life." If that truth had been the truth only about Jesus, it would have had no value to the world as a Principle, but would have merely set up another man to worship. But long before Jesus ever voiced this truth, Moses founded his forty year journey with the words, "I AM THAT I AM." It was a sacred moment in his experience when he realized that I AM. Isaiah tells us the same thing when he says, "Before me there are no other gods."
There is only one substance, and that is Mind, and that is universal, and that Mind, that substance, I AM. Out of the Consciousness that I AM is formed my universe, and that is as true of you as it is of me. This Truth that is so universal, this Truth that is the wisdom of the ages, this is the Truth that I AM -- not some truth that we are going to learn -- not some truth that we are going to find in books. Unless we say that I AM that Truth, we are missing the path, as it has been missed for thousands of years by those who took these teachings and embroidered them.
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