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Thought Bricks 23: The Unfolding Way

n this lesson Bernard answer many student questions.

In God’s Plan for You he speaks to us of how God’s plan for us it to realise our connection with Him and live from that knowing. He encourages us to go Beyond Bodies and to see and know others as being more than their physical body. Bernard reminds us, in The Finished Article, to not stop our thought building till we are sure the job is done. Despite Doubts illustrates that things can work out even when we have doubts. He uses GOLF BALLS to show us the importance of going within for our answers.

Blessings,

William M.

—————————————-
THE PRACTICAL LIFE SECTION
LESSON TWENTY-THREE: THE UNFOLDING WAY

My dear Student,

God’s Plan for You

A Student wrote: “Up to now, I’ve had a puzzle I’ve been trying to work out. It is this. In early Lessons you say, ‘What do you want in life? Decide, then start thought building.’ Now I get mixed up with immediate wants and ultimate life-ambitions. I think of extra money, food, furniture, etc., now; then say to myself: ‘Am I wasting time and losing sight of the ultimate plan God has for me? Suppose I decide I want to do healing, say, and He might want me to do something else? Has He a plan at all for me or can I thought build merrily on in my own way, irrespective of what the end might be?”

My reply was: “Now let’s have a look at this puzzle of yours, for it will probably find an echo in the hearts of many. The first thing to realise, is that you are not a puppet, being moved around by a distant God who has a fixed plan for you, which you are supposed to first discover and then follow out to the letter! God-in-you has a plan for you. It is this (as the Scripture puts it) ‘That they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent’.” Now Jesus the Christ came (as He Himself said) to show us the truth about God and ourselves as His offspring and heirs. ‘For this cause ‘, He declared, ‘came I into the world, to bear witness unto the truth.’”

“So you see, God’s plan for you is not that you should do this and that, go here and there, etc. It is that, by exercising the free will He has given you, and using the knowledge and gifts He has made it possible for you to discover, you should come to know God and the inner meaning of Christ-With-Man. The truth about your sonship, and the inheritance you have as child and heir of God. That is God’s plan for you – and for everybody. However, your real Self (wherein God’s Spirit dwells) will certainly unfold to you possibilities if you will ask that these shall be unfolded. Whether you follow them or not, is up to you. The ‘world will not come to an end’ if you don’t! Your life will not be ruined! You will have other chances, opportunities and openings – for, thanks be to God, you have free will. So just live, following along life’s way as it unfolds before your eyes, just as a road unfolds to a motorist as he drives along. Decide what you want in life for now and put away your ‘telescope’. You will find your sight grows rapidly clearer as you look at the unfolding way.”

Beyond Bodies

A Student writes: “I have great difficulty in being free and easy with those of the opposite sex. Also of being at ease with others of a different race and colour to my own. Can you help me to overcome this?”

In reply I wrote: “What we want to do, is to get away from this absorption in bodies: the size of them, the sex of them, the appearance of them, the age of them, the colour of them, etc. Anyone would think we were bodies, moved by some strange mechanical means, instead of eternal beings living, for a brief span, in an earthly body! The truth is that, in our eternal Selves we have a kind of enduring pattern which is an expression of the type of person we are. The natural leaders among us could be classed as ‘males’ and those who mediate, ‘females’, but in our eternal and incorruptible bodies we are neither, even as it is with the angels. In our earthly life, the size, sex, appearance, age and colour of earthly bodies seems so important to many, but as soon as we enter into the Christ-Consciousness, then all this stress on the outer-garment-body falls away and we begin to think and live as eternal beings here and now.”

“As Paul the Apostle said: ‘There is neither Jew, nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus’. It is when we attain to this Christ-Consciousness that we lose all fear of death. If we believe that we are just animated bodies, no wonder there is a fear! But if we know we are living, eternal beings just using this outer-garment-body for a brief spell, then we no more fear death than we fear opening a door and passing into another room… I am reminded of a story I heard once, of a coloured man who, having so often heard the Missioner say: ‘He may have a black skin, but he has a white soul’, introduced the Missioner to his friends by saying: ‘He may have a white skin, but he has a black soul! ‘ What does it matter? White, black, yellow or brown? Male or female? Old or young? We are all children of God and heirs of the divine, so we are indeed kin.”

The Finished Article

A Student wrote: “I told you I have my younger daughter and two small grandsons staying with me. The younger boy, 2, has not been well. When he first got a bad cold and was upset, I tried healing, and was thrilled to find that he appeared normal next morning. But sad to relate, he didn’t keep up the progress. My fault probably. I took it for granted he would continue to be all right.”

My reply was: “It does happen like that sometimes, I know. We thought build. We seem to have accomplished what we desire. We relax – and lose it! But as we progress in the craft of thought building we come to know what is ‘the finished article’ and what is not. Evidently the little boy had not quite lost the cause of his illness, whereas more thought building would have ‘held the thought-mould steady’ for the divine ‘life-filling’. But we learn! That is what makes a spiritually-awakened life so thrilling. Nearly every day I learn something new, and love it.”

Despite Doubts

A Student wrote: “I built for a puppy and, to be quite truthful with a certain amount of doubt in my heart, I regret to say – but lo! my husband arrived home one evening last week with a sweet puppy (highly bred too).”

My reply was: “Some of you, after rejoicing heartily with this Student, as no-one could help doing, may think: ‘Now how did that first thought ‘brick’ come true if she had doubts?’ A very natural question. These doubts, though, were superficial ones, obviously just on the surface of the conscious mind and not deeply embedded in the heart as so many are. Underneath, a realisation of the truth must have been there and it is our inner sleeping-waking thoughts or attitude of mind that build. Her quick success proves this. May this be the beginning of thousands of future successes.”

A Nigerian Student

I have had a beautifully hand-written letter from a Student in Nigeria. I draw special attention to this because, when this Student first enrolled for the Course, his brother-in-law had to write his letter for him as he was unable to write English! Now, though he is only at Lesson Ten, he writes in a clear, round hand and expresses himself most effectively. In fact, in comparison with his achievements before he took the Course, it is really wonderful. This Student himself sums it up with charming simplicity when he writes: “I am vast in learning”. Well, so he is – in comparison! Another interesting point about this Student is that when he first enrolled, he was what we should call a “Witch Doctor “, but what he called “A Native Doctor Herbalist “. He had idols all over his house and had great faith in them, but after starting the Lessons, he threw them all away, one by one, and determined to put his faith in God.

From that day, he has treated all who were brought to him for healing, by means of prayer – with the wonderful results he described. One reason, I think, for his success, is that the people who come to him, have faith in him and so have faith in his God. You will remember that even the Master could do no mighty works in his home-town because of the unbelief of the people, and that, before he brought healing to one person, He asked: “Believest thou that I am able to do this? ” If we want to help others, when we pray, we must have a simple and whole-hearted faith in God. When we want to help others, we and they must have faith in God.

GOLF BALLS!

THE LORD HAS SAID: ‘ASK OF ME AND I SHALL GIVE THEE THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH FOR THY POSSESSION’.” (Ps. 2., 8.) Now we are going to talk about Golf Balls! Have you ever seen inside one? From the outside they appear to he all in one piece but if you peel off the outer skin you will find that inside there is a ball of very tightly wound elastic… I was reminded of this the other day when thinking of my life. Some years ago I cycled down to the village on an errand to the shops and when I returned I said casually to the family: “By the way, I’m going to write a little book called ‘Thought-Bricks and How to Build With Them’. I don’t know how it came to me for I’ve been singing to myself all the time!”

Well, I wrote that book and, thinking it would be helpful to people, began to advertise it very modestly, selling it for a few pence through the post, to cover its cost. A little later I thought I would write a short Course of eight Lessons, amplifying the booklet, so I naturally called it “The Thought Bricks Course”. To my surprise Students were simply delighted with it, but several wrote to say it was so short and they would like more. So I revised and enlarged the eight Lessons. Still letters of appreciation flowed in. Then I added more Lessons of a more advanced nature. Appreciation doubled! Soon I had thought of sending out “Bernard’s News Letter” to my Students and this in turn grew into the monthly ” Bernard’s News “. After only six months it became “Bernard’s Weekly News “. Well, all this led me to the query: ” Where did it all come from? ” First of all I had no idea of it, yet nothing has come to me from Outside, but all from Within. That is what made me think of golf balls!

For instance, suppose you who are reading these words have a longing for health. You may think: “If only I could meet a good doctor who would really understand my case “. Or suppose you are not happy in your job? You may be thinking: “I would be perfectly happy if I could find different employment”. You may not like the house you live in, or the district. “If only I could move!” Or you may long for more money, dreaming, perhaps, of a legacy or of winning some competition. You see? You are looking for something from Outside. Now think again of the last few years of my life that I have mentioned. It was all there Within me. I had to peel off the outer skin of apparent Lack of this inspirational Work, take hold of the end of “elastic” and go on, following it along as it unwound until it opened out all these joys for me, and for those I have had the privilege of helping.

Do you see what I mean? Your present circumstances are like that golf ball we were considering. You think that only a change from outside will help you, but I think that if you make an act of faith in God, telling Him your needs and trusting Him to supply you, you will thus be peeling off the “outer skin”. Then you will find the “elastic” and be able to take hold of the end of it. Everything will unravel itself for you then.

So stop looking Outward to what you desire. Look at your present circumstances, tell your heavenly Father what you need and then Watch with joyful expectation for His “answer”. It will unfold from within, then make itself known to you gradually, by little happenings, little paths that you can follow to your goal.

Your friend

Bernard

***

Indwelling me is God’s great Power;
I rise and meet it in this hour;
I lift my soul to its blest grace
And seem to glimpse His tranquil Face
In every thing that moves and lives
And breathes pulsatingly, and gives
Itself to us-the wondrous sky,
The grass, the trees, the mountains high,
The very ground I walk upon
Cries out to me: ‘Thou art His son!’

***

How do I pray to God Most High?
I enter through the door
Betwixt the heart and soul of me,
Beyond the eternal shore,
Where waters of my consciousness
Flow wide and clear and deep,
And where the heart and soul of me
Wakes-to let my body sleep
I seem to enter a dim lit hail
Where in the shadows deep
There sits a Figure, tall and still;
I bow to Him! My mind and will,
The very heart and soul of me
I give to Him – and more.
I whisper, then, of my deep need
Or of another’s dear;
I tell Him – oh, so simply,
As a child will make it clear;
Then I wait for his dear blessing,
The touch of His loved hand;
I go back through that inner door
Into the busy world, and stand
And sing for very joy!