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A Matchstick a Horse and Man: Chapter Eleven

WHAT PRACTICE DOES

One of my new Students wrote the other day: “Very many thanks for your most kind and helpful letter, and those precious Lessons, and for accepting me into your large Family of Students, all bent, like myself, on gaining the victory over all negative conditions by putting God and His Perfectness in the place of our Selfhood which all our lives through ignorance has kept us prisoners. ”

“You are indeed a real leader, bent on making something out of us by spurring us on by your wonderful Lessons. Yes indeed, I feel I do need a ‘spur’ as it’s so easy to get content with reading books and finding no time to spare to get down to real practice.”

“I gasped when I opened your package and said to myself: ‘No settling down on your lees my woman, now. You have got a leader who means business ‘ God bless you and all your efforts to keep us up to the mark by practice”. In my reply I said: “Yes, I do mean business you are quite right. So glad you are entering into the spirit of our Family right away. It is a joy to have you.”

I am particularly pleased with this new Student because she is so very much aware of the need for practice. How many, many times I have mentioned this in the Magazine! People will so often think that it is enough to believe that there is a God somewhere Who will answer prayer provided they can convince Him that they believe in Him; then they gabble a few fearladen words and hope desperately that something will come of it. They call this having faith! But I do want to impress on you all again that if you have any fear at all, the only thing you have faith inis that evil is greater than good, that weakness is greater than strength.

If we have faith in good, why should we fear? Ponder on this for yourselves and you will see that if we fear anything we are showing our faith in weakness. So that is why practice is so important. Firstlearn about and lean on God’s Love. Then practise your faith for all you are worthnot with tenseness and effort, but with loving confidence in Him. As you do this, results will come and then you will never doubt for you will know.

As part of the practice we have to prepare our minds for His Life to flow through as it will, when we make good thought moulds of our desires.

To a Student this week I have written: ” The first thing I want you to do is to let go of all resentment against anybody. ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he’so you see, if you wish your life to be ‘a haven of peace’ you must begin to make your mind ‘a haven of peace.’ Let go of every resentment at once, then, and cease to mind what other people say or do. It is your mind alone that is able to build your environment and if you think ‘poverty’, ‘resentment’, ‘worry’, ‘chaos’, these things will come to passnot through God’s will, but throughyour will because God gives us free will. (Ponder on this sentence.) So start to live now the sort of life you want to live in the future, and the future will become now, as you shall see.”

Another point that is made plain to me in some of the Student Family’s letters is the fact that you sometimes say you haven’t time for the practice of your thought building. Now, as you have time to work, cook, wash, eat, etc., however busy you are, it must be that you have not quite enough faith in the power of your thought building to keep you doing it always
This is how I look upon thought building. If I have, say, six hours in which to work, I put five hours into writing, typing, etc., and one hour into thought building. No matter how busy I am nor how sleepy I am I wouldn’t dream of cutting out the thought building I thought build for one hour a do) at least as a matter of course because the thought building is the basis of the work.

As you know, I keep a notebook and write all my meditations, book extracts and prayers down and in my book so far there is not one prayer that has been unanswered! That, my friends, is what practice does.

- Bernard