by Henry Thomas Hamblin"
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principle of perfection which, when co-operated with, brings our own
personal life into a state of order. There is beneath the surface of
things an inner harmony into which we can enter, and with which we can
Inner Secret of
all true religions; - to show people how to find this interior order
and harmony. and to become adjusted to them, and at one with them.
life discordant - nothing goes smoothly - everywhere they go they find
trouble, and everything they do is done with strain and friction. The
cause of all this disharmony is that they are out of adjustment with
the principle of order; they are not working in agreement with the laws
which govern their being - they are not thinking and living in accord
with the interior harmony which is beneath the surface of things.
They all desire
outward life should be adjusted and harmonised, but before this can
become possible they must themselves become inwardly adjusted to the
laws and principles of life. Infinite Wisdom is always ready and
willing to lead us into the way of order and peace. Infinite Love for
ever calls us to enter the Inner Harmony which is the Reality. Also,
all the experiences of life have the same object in view; to bring us
into a state of Divine Adjustment.
"There is a River known of old
mankind suffered from the belief that it is not only "born to trouble
as the sparks fly upwards," but condemned to endure it, and that there
is no way of escape. It is still a common belief amongst many of us,
who profess to believe in God, that disharmony is inevitable. If we
escape from certain evils, then we say we are "lucky". Too often, alas!
our only belief, as far as this life goes, is not in God ( a God who is
of any practical use or help in this life), but in chance and luck.
My point is just this: that if we do not believe that greater things are possible, they must of necessity remain impossible in our experience; whereas if we accept this larger truth about God and life, thus bringing it within the horizon of our thought and the boundaries of our mind, then greater and more glorious things become possible.
The first step, then, is to believe that greater things are possible, to believe that we are greater than we seem, that we are spiritual beings, living in a spiritual universe, governed by spiritual laws, and that all things are ours, if we do but exercise faith.
First of all, then, we have to believe that God really is good, that life is good, that there is a friendliness in things, that a good and wise purpose is working out, or which is seeking to find expression. This truth may be, and is, stated in a number of different ways: but it is always the same truth. It is generally stated as "all good comes from the Lord?. This is a fundamental truth. At first we think that we can create our own good. We think that we can visualize it, and will it into manifestation. If we succeed in doing this we find that such "good" is only fleeting; for 'Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up'; and, also, 'Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it'.
stage of conscious effort is necessary, and has its place in the scheme
of things, but it is a stage that has to be left behind. It is only
preliminary. Really, the first step is to acknowledge that all good
comes from the Lord.
But what do we mean by "coming from the Lord'? First of all, what do we mean by the term "Lord''? By it I mean the One Creative Centre or Spiritual Source from Which all creation or manifestation springs. This, in its essence, is pure and perfect. God, the Source, is perfect, and can express only order and perfection.
Perfect order and good can come only from the One Source of all order and good. "All things were made by him, and without him there was not any thing made that was made." All that is real and perfect and good comes from the One Divine Source, and nothing else is permanent, or real, or of God. Neither can good come from any other source, for there is only one Source, one God, one Good.
The first lesson, then, that we have to learn, is that all good comes from the Lord, the One Source and Fountain of Good. It is not necessary to define what is meant by the term good, for we each know intuitively what is good, and what is not good. We know that sin, such as lust, impurity, selfishness, hate, uncharitableness, untruthfulness, insincerity, unfaithfulness, living below our ideals, fear, mistrust, is not good, but evil. We also know that disease, sickness, penury, disaster, disharmony, wretchedness, misery, care, anxiety, ugliness, disorder are evil and not of God, although He can bring good out of every experience. Intuition tells us that the Divine idea concerning each one of us and the world in general is perfect, and that this Idea is not merely a negative absence of evil, but a positive expression of love, truth, order, beauty, wholeness - in other words, Heaven.
Heaven is where the Lord is, and where, consequently, Divine Order is. When we are conscious of the Divine Presence we are in a state of Heavenly consciousness. Actually, the Divine Idea is for ever being perfectly expressed, but we live in a lower consciousness ( a form of separate consciousness), in which we fail either to live up to our privileges and possibilities, or to apprehend or appreciate the Divine beauty and order.
Divine Love and Wisdom are continually endeavouring to lead us into the right way - the way of order, perfection and harmony. But, man, being a free agent, cannot be forced or overruled, he must come to the Truth in his own way, and of his own free will. In the true Path of Life is harmony, peace, beauty, order and infinite good. Everything comes to pass at the right time, and everybody and everything is in his and its right place at the right time, and the whole works harmoniously in co-operation and co-ordination with one Supreme Will, which is Infinite Love guided by Infinite Wisdom.
life are due to our being out of the harmonious Stream of Life and
Blessedness, instead of in it. Such disasters and disorders are not
"sent to try us," but to guide us into the Path or Stream of true
harmony and blessedness.
the first step is to acknowledge that all good comes from the Lord. We
have seen that "good'. is a heavenly state of affairs. Consequently,
'good' can come only from Heaven. the presence of God, and the
expression of the Divine Idea. But, before proceeding farther, let me
make yet another digression. Some readers may already be in revolt, and
want to say: 'Yes, but what about discipline, what about chastening,
what about being purified in the fires of affliction ?" I am aware of
all this. in fact, I have just read in Ecclesiasticus the following:
"My son, if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for
temptation. Set thy heart aright and constantly endure, and make not
haste in time of trouble. Whatsoever is brought upon thee take
cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate. For
gold is tried in the fire. and acceptable men in the furnace of
adversity.' But such quotations of which there are many in the Bible
merely go to prove my point.
ourselves, then, in the stream of the Divine Blessedness or Providence,
partly through acknowledging that all good comes from the Spirit, from
the One Central Source, and not from ourselves, or our own efforts; and
partly through depending upon the Divine Source instead of upon our own
efforts, wisdom, or subtlety. But, so I have found, it is necessary
that this acknowledgment that all good, all wisdom, and all
deliverance, etc., come from God should not remain merely an
intellectual assent, or belief. It is true that we must first start
with belief, but this must pass on to a state of knowing, or
realization through experience. "First within, then without: first in
the unseen, then in the seen. We learn the first truths about life even
as children are slowly taught but the further stage is one of actual
knowing through experience. It is a matter of attainment. Those who
remain in a state of mere belief can never enter into freedom, or live
a wider and more spacious life. But those who pass on to a state of
real knowing, attain to a wider consciousness, in which they are free,
to that degree, from the limitations which restrict man, and which keep
him bound, a helpless victim, to the wheel of painful experience. Here,
as in all spiritual truths, there is a subtle paradox. It is through
choosing the difficult path that we find ourselves in a state of
freedom: it is through choosing the easy path that we find life
increasingly difficult. If we seek the personal happiness of the
selfhood we never find it: if we follow the painful path of duty and
high achievement we find rest to our soul, and joy which transcends
mere happiness, even as the mountain towers above the plain.
will want to know if suffering may legitimately be avoided. Some may
have discovered that through an attitude of the mind and will suffering
can to a large extent be either accepted or refused. Experience has
taught me that it is wise to accept all life's experiences and meet
them in a spirit of co-operation. It is through being in mental
conflict with them that many evils arise. Thus we have yet another
paradox, which is, that if we accept life's experiences, thus accepting
anything that life may bring, we not only rise above fear and
apprehension, because we accept that which we have feared, but we also
avoid the suffering that conflict and strain, due to opposition, cause.
All this is somewhat subtle and difficult to understand, but through
experience and through meditation, being helped and instructed by the
Spirit, we enter into an inner understanding of this great truth.
Swedenborg truly says: 'To those who are in perception it is granted by
the Lord to know good and truth by an interior way'. It is through
spiritual perception that we are able to understand in an interior way
these great truths which are a complete enigma to the finest
life is simply to prepare us for higher service, to make us ready for
the sublime revelation that is waiting for us, and to build us up so
that we can bear the responsibility that the revelation entails. We can
meet all this with co-operation, willingness and self-discipline; or we
can wait for painful experience to drive us into the Path; or we can
oppose life's experiences, and thus cause further and quite unnecessary
If the object of life is to prepare us for godhood (or Sons-of-God-hood ) - and no one can read the Bible understandingly without coming to this conclusion - then there is one Royal Road which most people can follow, and this is Meditation. We become changed into the likeness of that which we contemplate. If we meditate upon God, and upon the qualities which we attribute to Him, which are the highest qualities of character that we can imagine, then gradually these same qualities become built up in us. Concurrently, the evils in our nature and selfhood die and pass away. Through contemplating the Divine, we become changed into the nature of the Divine. This is the positive way of destroying all sin, weakness, and imperfection. It is due to nothing that we can do ourselves. It is the work of the Spirit. All that we have to do is to contemplate; but this, however, is an accomplishment that is the result of much practice and patient persistence and perseverance.
When we contemplate we do not have any desire in our heart for anything except to know God and be changed into His likeness. We have no thought about avoiding experience or suffering; therefore, there is no conflict - no conflict between ourselves and the leading of the Spirit: no conflict between ourselves and life's experience: no conflict between a thought that God is love, and a thought that God is one who sends suffering. All conflict ceases, and we rest in the Divine Presence, willing to receive all that life can give us, knowing that whatever it is, it must be good; and that through 'trusting the current that knows the way', we are carried along on a Stream of Blessedness to our highest good.
During such times of quiet contemplation of the Divine, instead of the fears that afflict the selfhood or finite personality, come glorious revelations of blessing and love and care. As Edward Carpenter wrote: " All the Divine forces hasten to minister to our eternal joy".
conscious of a state of blessedness, of ministering angels, of being
led harmoniously in paths of peace and eternal joy. We then know that
all is well, and that in our experience the best is yet to be.
"Divine Adjustment" by Henry Thomas Hamblin"
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