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Thought Bricks 20: Money

In this lesson Bernard speaks of Inner Kingdom Consciousness. He emphasises giving our attention to the Inner Kingdom and not getting out of balance either by being overly focussed on accumulating money or going too far the other way and strongly repudiating money. He also gives Real Life Examples of his own experiences.

Blessings,

William M.
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THE “PRACTICAL LIFE” SECTION

LESSON TWENTY: MONEY

My dear Student,

What a confusion of thought there is about Money. It is based, in reality, on the fact that people love money too well – both those who seek it greedily and selfishly, and those who renounce it. Yes, this latter statement may seem surprising at first, but why should people make a great effort to renounce something that they do not value very much? If money is regarded calmly it is seen as just one of the aspects of divine supply.

Money itself is only a symbol, a convenient form of exchange. All that it buys comes from the original substance created by God. Once money is seen for what it is, there is no point in picking it out and renouncing it! Remember that the Scripture says it is love of money that is “the root of all evil” – and how true this is.

I have often noticed that the people who declare emphatically that it is wicked to ask God for His divine supply fall into two main categories. One is poverty. Because they are poor, unable to buy all they need in life, they comfort themselves with the belief that they are in a holy state, that God wants them to be poor. (They do not look around at the abundance of nature and wonder why God wants nature to be so abundant.) Yet if these people are given money or goods from the despised supply of others, they show great joy and appreciation as a rule.

The second category is undue love of money in the past. If you look into the past of this type of person you will often see that he once loved money intensely, sought it persistently, was perhaps a “big business” man or woman and may even now be living in a house bought with the aid of past financial successes, or is perhaps in receipt of an income which primarily sprang from such successes. His (or her) present state of mind arises from a revulsion of feeling against previous errors of thought.

As before, I am not criticising such people adversely. Both categories are “growing” – as we all are. But one must live a practical, balanced life and see things clearly at all times. Here are a few examples:-

Inner Kingdom Consciousness

A Student wrote: “I note what you say about stumbling blocks. The first one regarding saving money, prompts me to ask how should one go about acquiring this abundance of life consciousness when one already owns property, a business and money in the bank? Shall he start disposing of these material possessions at once in order to possess the true abundance of God through faith?”

My reply was: “You asked me this, once before, I remember, and I replied that when you receive more than you actually need, this is capital, and when you conduct a business, you must and do have capital. This is entirely different from wanting to amass a vast capital for no special reason – except that you will then be ‘independent’ of God’s daily supply. You see? When the Master said: ‘Sell all thou hast and give to the poor,’ it was because the rich young man trusted in his riches and preferred them to the seeking of the inner-kingdom consciousness. (‘The kingdom of heaven is within you‘, said the Master.)

That is why the Master also said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. It did not mean (as so many people imagine) that no wealthy persons would be able to go to heaven. Where else could they go? To the medieval idea of hell, with actual, physical flames? But how awful, when the rich person has tried to live a good life, has perhaps, had great estates left to him by members of his family, has a title, and has been a just and generous landlord to his many tenants.

What the Master meant, was that no-one trusting in riches and thinking this was all that was to be desired in life, could enter the inner-kingdom-consciousness, and no-one seeking other people’s wealth, trying to impress and please them, could gain this inner consciousness. This consciousness is the ‘pearl of great price’ for which we must be willing to leave all that stands in our way of its attainment. Do you understand now? Let your surplus accumulate, but do not put dependence on God aside, because you do so. Seek always the inner-kingdom consciousness.”

A Student wrote: “Ever since I started your Course I have been thought building for some financial assistance for my sister. Well, would you believe it? Last week her husband won a large sum of money. Do you think that my thought building had anything to do with this, or did it just happen by chance, and my thought ‘brick’ has yet to materialise? I am wondering about this as it was double the amount, and it is a very large amount for a beginner.”

I replied to this Student, saying that I am quite sure her thought building had something to do with her sister’s good fortune, for when we think, something happens. However, it may be that her thought building gave an impetus to the thoughts of her sister and brother-in-law, or hastened the “reaping” of past good “seeds” sown. The fact that the money was double the sum asked for is not significant as we are told that “more than we ask or think” shall be given to us from God’s limitless abundance. Taking this Student’s letter as a whole, I perceive that she is inclined to phases of great enthusiasm and good spirits-and also to the opposite. Considering that our thoughts create (even the fear and doubt ones) it is not surprising that, even for a beginner she should have “some wonderful results” as well as some set-backs, as the more strong the feeling put into our thoughts, the more pronounced the results will be.

This Student will, I feel, find that nearness to God, which she so much desires, when she has established herself and her thoughts, and has gained a quiet knowing that she is offspring and heir of God. This realisation comes not from without, but from within, usually growing unobtrusively, till all at once we thrill to the knowledge that it is ours… Yes, she is doing very well indeed.

A Student wrote: “I have a house and large garden to keep in order. I am thought building for a smaller house and garden, to give me more leisure for the spiritual side of life.”

My reply was: “Have you thought, instead of thought building for a smaller house and garden – of the idea of sub-letting a part of the one you have? There are so many people who are in urgent need of accommodation and you could wait until you found just the right person (or persons). Someone would be found, perhaps, who could tend the garden for you, and if you are out all day you would not find it irksome to have others in the house. It might be partitioned off-even, temporarily, with one of those folding draught-screens if necessary, to see how it all worked out before doing anything permanent. Who knows? This may be a by-way opening out for you, leading into ways of great peace and joy. It is worth while to explore it, if only with the mind.”

“Of course, these are ideas that just come naturally into my mind, and so I wrote them here in case you (or others with large houses) might be interested. But they are only suggestions, offered in a friendly, humble spirit. I do not know the full circumstances – therefore I am not qualified to express an actual opinion. So ignore the whole thing if it doesn’t appeal! I have had people offer opinions to me, unasked, which were absolutely laughable because of the ignorance behind them. Although they didn’t know it, they talking ‘twaddle’. ! So if I’ve been talking twaddle above, don’t mind me, will you?”

A Student wrote: “I had been doing the ‘Shaft’ exercise for £1,000 to tidy up my affairs generally and leave me something in hand till my husband’s return.”

My comment was: “Regarding the ‘Shaft’ being used to ask for £1,000, many of the Family will recall that I have often advised against asking for any set sum. You see, there is always the tendency to ask for money ‘to tide one over’ a certain period, as though God were likely to leave a person abruptly to his or her own devices. If we realise that God has been pouring out His blessing of power since the very beginning of the world, and that He has never ceased to do so, then we can rest on Him always, day by day, and He will ‘tide us over’ every period, always.

“Suppose a child went to its father and said: ‘Please may I have, instead of my usual 1 pound a week, 52 pounds to tide me over this year?’ Surely the father would say: ‘But I am here, every day. I will give you the money week by week and then you will have a supply all the time.’ That is what we should seek from God-loving union with Him, so that we shall receive a continuous supply of His blessings. While, then, I rejoice in these happy examples of answered prayer, I do advise this continuous-supply prayer for the future. Then there will he blessings without end.”

In my letters from Students I sometimes come across phrases like this:- “Of course, what I would really like to do is to live and work in the country, but I have a job in town so this is not possible.” and “It is all very well to pray for what one needs but what I want is expensive and money doesn’t grow on trees. If I was trained to some craft I might realise my desire but as it is I am just hoping to be lucky and win a big prize in a competition.”

Do you see what these remarks and similar ones, reveal to me? That people will not trust God in the darkness – they want to see first that there is a way before they will even ask for what they want and need. Which is not faith at all, is it? Anyone can have faith in what they can see.

You can have faith that you will be able to cut a cabbage for dinner if you have a row of cabbages growing in your garden. But you have to have faith that one day you will be cutting a cabbage when you have just sown some cabbage seed in the ground! “That’s all very well”, you may say at this point, “but suppose some slugs come and eat up all the seed?” My reply to that is “Your fear thoughts are just like those slugs; they come and ‘eat up’ all the precious seeds that your faith sows before it is time for the reaping.”

 Faith, then, is to be so sure of the mighty Power of God that one knows He can find a way; and also to be so sure of the mighty Love of God that one knows He will find a way.

Real Life Examples

As real events are always a thousand times more interesting and more valuable than theory, let me give you some examples from my own life and then you will see how God could and did find a way when there was no way visible at all. Way back in my youth I became very, very ill. A doctor was sent for and declared that I was in for a long illness with much pain, would have to have morphia three times a day, would not be able to work for many months – perhaps years – and needed very careful nursing. Oh, and also that I would not be able to walk for about six months.

The difficulty (to put it mildly) was that I had no home, no money, had not enough ‘stamps’ to receive sick benefit pay but just enough to have free medical attention – and that at the time I was staying with friends. All the doctor could suggest was that I would have to go into hospital and he might be able to get me into some sort of convalescent home afterwards. But instantly, even before the doctor had left the house, my friends offered to keep me in their own home, where I then was! And so they did. They insisted that it was a privilege and joy to have me; they gave me constant and devoted nursing; they fed me. The doctor came every day for six months and every other day for another six months. They followed all his instructions for my care and gave me all the special invalid diets he ordered. It took me four years to be even moderately well and their devotion never wavered. They even pushed me around, in the later stages, in an invalid chair! Did not God find a way then?

“That just happened”, the doubting ones may say. All right – then listen to this. Years later, when those generous people were miles and miles away, I had another illness almost as bad as the first – and somebody else offered me a home and nursed me just as devotedly! I did not want for loving-kindness or any good thing.

Now here’s quite a different example. I had a relative who fell upon times of great poverty. I wanted to help him. I had a sort of brainwave – and began to write for a literary competition. I won over a hundred prizes and earned enough to help this relative over his difficult time. As soon as the need was past the gift left me! Never once did I win a prize again, and I soon gave up and lost all interest in the competition. Did not God find a way then?

The third example: – As soon as I was well enough to work on some light task, after the long illness, a congenial, part-time job was offered to me – and one that I could do in my own time. Did not God find away then?

The fourth example:- I yearned to live and work in the country but was completely unfitted for field-work and knew no other way. A way was revealed to me by a chance remark made to me in an ironmonger’s shop. I followed it up-and this supported me, allowing me to live in the country until this present Work was unfolded and revealed to me. Did not God find a way then?

The fifth example:- We wanted a country cottage and enquired at many house agents. They all laughed at us and said such a thing just wasn’t obtainable {for such a low sum}. I didn’t believe it! We put one low cost advertisement in ‘The Western Morning News’ – and received an offer for a cottage, with vacant possession, which we could afford. Did not God find a way then?

The sixth example: – Years ago I used to say: “One day I will live in a little country cottage, doing pleasant and lovely work. I shall have a little community around me and God will reach out to them all through me. I am writing all these books now for these my readers. “At first others used to laugh, saying good naturedly: “When are you going to begin?”

“But I mean it; it’s all true “, I would reply. Then I would be asked: “What is the community and who are the readers?”

“I don’t know”, I would explain. “I don’t have to know. God knows – and He will find a way. “After we had been out for a lovely walk or enjoyed some particularly lovely day I used to say: “Oh, I am going to write it all down for my readers!” I never doubted once that I would have readers, but who they were to be I had not the faintest idea.

Well, as you all know – God found a way. I have the supreme joy of really providing that abundance of which I spoke. If we trust Him, God can and will find a way!

Your friend,

Bernard