Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture
Chapter - Cleansing the Temple
When you come to the Christ, come with a sincere desire to be cleansed within. You are not merely coming to a teaching from which you expect to receive more or better human conditions. You are not merely seeking to have your human existence made easier, healthier or even a bit longer -- but you really are asking to be lifted entirely above the human level of life to an awareness and demonstration of Life eternal -- the spiritual consciousness of Life and its harmonies. Do not then hold on to the personal sense of good that has so long obstructed your vision of the Christ. Be willing; be prepared for the Christ to dispel all personal sense -- even that which is humanly good. To come to the Christ -- to put on the Robe of Christ, and yet consciously insist on holding to greed, hate, envy, lust, bigotry, jealousy and ingratitude -- is to invite disaster.
When you open your thought to the Christ with honesty, the divine Presence will dispel all erroneous traits and characteristics, and will reveal you as the perfect spiritual Temple.
If you cling to certain errors while inviting the entrance of the Christ into the Temple of your being, you set up a warfare between the Spirit and the flesh -- between the Soul and material sense -- and this warfare may wreck the Temple of your being, your body, at least temporarily.
Come to this search for Truth with spiritual integrity. Your present sins, faults and limitations are not to be feared. They will disappear as you surrender the personal or material sense of existence for the spiritual consciousness of Life.
The Metaphysical Dictionary says, "Solomon's Temple is a symbol of the regenerated body of man, which, when he attains it, he will never again leave. This enduring Temple is built in the understanding of Spirit as the one and only cause of all things."
When you realize God, Soul or Spirit as the only causative Principle, you likewise understand that all that exists is of that eternal substance and is therefore immortal. This understanding constitutes your spiritual awareness of Life and its formations, and when you have achieved this understanding, you will never lose your supply or your body, you will have attained eternal Life here and now and there will be no more death or passing, or even disease, for you.
In building this new consciousness you are building the Temple "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." This Temple you cannot build with materials other than the pure substance of Spirit. You cannot build with human qualities of evil, nor even with human qualities of good. You cannot build it with wrong thinking, but no more can you build it with right thinking. Human thought will not build this infinite eternal spiritual edifice. Human thought is finite and changeable, and it cannot result in an indestructible and immortal structure.
The Temple of God which is your body, and which is also the body of all that concerns your individual existence, is not visible to "man whose breath is in his nostrils." The real body, or Temple of your existence, is seen only with spiritual vision, even as it is built and maintained only by spiritual consciousness.
You do not have to declare that you have attained this consciousness, it is evident even to the world by the harmonies, joys, peace and dominion you show forth in daily living. Your spiritual attainment is evident by its effects which are seen as health, success, poise and peace. Even that which the world sees as your physical body will be apparent as health, vitality, youthfulness and beauty. That which the world sees as your supply will be evident as abundance and security. That which the world sees as your home will reflect love, compatibility, companionship. In other words, that which you receive in secret, in spiritual consciousness, will be shouted from the housetops as visible evidence -- and yet you will utter no word with your mouth.
Again the Bible Dictionary says, "Spiritual thought and spiritual meditations are constantly carrying us to the place of ascension where form is resolved into its divine idea."
By consecration of thought to spiritual ideals, or by meditation, we attain this state of consciousness wherein we find our perfect and immortal existence. By listening we attain a state of receptivity, through which all the Realities are revealed to us. In this consciousness we do not live by bread alone, nor do we live by taking thought; instead life to us becomes a state of Grace -- the very gift of God.
Let us begin first with the concept of God, Teacher and Practitioner. At first we look to a God somewhere in the sky -- or at least Something apart from ourself; then, as we seek, we begin to feel God near or with us. Finally we realize God as the Reality or Soul of our very being. Then we understand that there is no separation between God and ourself, that we are one-and in that oneness we find completeness, perfection, harmony and Grace.
With our Teacher -- it follows the same pattern: at first we seek teaching from a book; it may be a Bible, a textbook of metaphysics, a lecture or sermon. We then go further and feel the need of a Teacher in living form, a man or woman external to ourself. The book serves to raise consciousness to where it seeks a higher form of Teacher -- and this translates itself to us as a man or woman teacher. This Teacher acts to raise our consciousness still higher to the level where we apprehend that all the while we were seeing Teacher as a book or man, we were actually being taught by God, our divine Consciousness appearing outwardly (because we were seeking outwardly) as man or book. If the book and the man were true, they have led us gently to the Kingdom of our own being, where we behold the Teacher within and thus realize that what appeared as a Teacher outside was actually our own consciousness appearing. There is no higher revelation than this, because the Teacher has led you to the realization of the infinity of your own being, embracing and including the Teacher and the Teaching -- Truth itself.
When the three Hebrews went into the fire, a Fourth appeared and so these men went through the flames -- and they did not kindle upon them. We are going through the fire of human experience and each time we come together in silent receptivity, that other One enters our united consciousness and that divine Presence becomes a living Christ, a vital Influence for all time. Once realized, the Spirit of God, the Christ, is never lost. We would feel naked if we ever again faced the world without this Presence before us and behind us and beside us. Once realized, this Love becomes the essence or substance of all our experiences. What we behold "out there" is but the shadow cast by the Reality, the Christ, which fills our being.
We come now to spiritual healing, or healing without mental argument. Who and what is the Practitioner? In seeking help we at first sought a man or a woman we believed to be more spiritual than ourself. We did not realize that that man or woman was our concept of the healing Christ and this Christ was really a divine idea within us, within our consciousness. Do you see whither we are going? What you have believed to be a man or woman "out there," is the Christ, the Saviour, the healing Influence within you. Now let us go another step. You are the Practitioner on whom one has called for help or healing. You now know that the human sense of you is not a Practitioner, but that of you which is Practitioner is really the Christ of the so-called patient. Now what have you to say or argue or treat? What necessity is there for mental argument if you have caught the truth about God-Teacher-Practitioner -- the Truth of Oneness?
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