Lessons In Truth
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[Lessons In Truth]
[Emily Cady's Works] [Unity on the Web Home Page]
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,
And the man that getteth understanding.
For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver,
And the profit thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies:
And none of the things thou canst desire are to be compared
Length of days is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her:
And happy is every one that retaineth her. . .
With all thy getting get understanding.
--Prov. 3:13-18; 4:7
1. What is this understanding on the getting of which
depends so much? Is it intellectual lore, obtained from
delving deep into books of other men's rocks (geology), or
stars (astronomy), or even the human body (physiology)?
Nay, verily, for when did such knowledge ever insure life
and health and peace, ways of pleasantness, with riches and
2. Understanding is a spiritual birth, a revelation of God
within the heart of man. Jesus touched the root
of the matter when, after having asked the apostles a
question that was answered variously, according to the
intellectual perception of the men, He asked another
question to which Peter gave a reply not based on external
reasoning, but on intuition. He said to Peter, "Blessed art
thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not
revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven" (Mt.
3. You may have an intellectual perception of Truth. You
may easily grasp with the mind the statement that God is
the giver of all good gifts--life, health, love--just as
people have for centuries grasped it. Or you may go
further, and intellectually see that God is not only the
giver, but the gift itself; that He is life, health, love,
in us. But unless Truth is "revealed. . .unto thee" by "my
Father who is in heaven" (Mt. 16:17), it is of no practical
benefit to you or to anyone else.
4. This revelation of Truth to the consciousness of a
person is spiritual understanding.
5. You may say to yourself, or another may say silently to
you, over and over again, that you are well and wise and
happy. On the mental plane a certain "cure" is effect, and
for a time you will feel well and wise and happy. This is
simply a form of hypnotism, or mind cure. But until, down
in the depths of your being, you are conscious of your
oneness with the Father, until you know within yourself
that the spring of all wisdom and health and joy is within
your own being, ready at any moment to leap forth at the
call of your need, you will not have spiritual
6. All the teachings of Jesus were for the purpose of
leading men into this consciousness of their oneness with
the Father. He had to begin at the external man--because
people then as now were living mostly in external
things--and teach him to love his enemies, to do good to
others, and so forth. These were external steps for them to
take--a sort of lopping off of the ends of the branches;
but they were steps that led on up to the place of desire
and attainment where finally the Master said, "I have yet
many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now"
7. He told them of the Comforter that should be in them,
and which should teach them all things, revealing the "deep
things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10) to them, showing them things
to come. In other words, He told them how they might find
the kingdom of heaven within themselves--the kingdom of
love, of power, of life.
8. The coming of the Comforter to their hearts and lives,
giving them power over every form of sin, sickness, sorrow,
and over even death itself, is exactly what we mean by
understanding or realization. The power that this
consciousness of the indwelling Father gives is for us
today as much as it was for those to whom the Nazarene
spoke. Aye, more; for did He not say, "He that believeth on
me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works
than these shall he do" (Jn. 14:12)?
9. All the foregoing lessons have been stepping-stones
leading up to the point where man may realize
that ever-abiding inner presence of the Most High, God.
"Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
which is in you?" (1 Cor. 6:19).
10. I cannot reveal God to you. You cannot reveal God to
another. If I have learned, I may tell you, and you may
tell another, how to seek and find God, each within
himself. But the new birth into the consciousness of our
spiritual faculties and possibilities is indeed like the
wind that "bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the
voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and
whither it goeth; so is everyone that is born of the
Spirit" (Jn. 3:8). The new birth takes place in the
silence, in the invisible.
11. Intellectual lore can be bought and sold;
understanding, or realization, cannot. A man, Simon by
name, once attempted to buy the power that spiritual
understanding gives, from another who possessed it. "But
Peter said unto him, Thy silver perish with thee, because
thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money.
Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy
heart is not right before God" (Acts 8:20,21).
12. Nor will crying and beseeching bring spiritual
understanding. Hundreds of people have tried this method,
and have not received that for which they earnestly but
ignorantly sought. They have not received, because they did
not know how to take that which God freely offered. Others
have sought with selfish motives this spiritual
understanding, or the power it would give them. "Ye ask,
and receive not, because
you ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures" (or
to serve selfish ends) (Jas. 4:3).
13. Understanding, or realization of the presence of God
within us, is as Peter said, "the gift of God" (Jn. 4:10).
It comes to any and all who learn how to seek it aright.
Emerson said, "This energy (consciousness of God in the
soul) does not descend into individual life on any other
condition than entire possession. It comes to the lowly and
simple; it comes to whomsoever will put off what is foreign
and proud; it comes as insight; it comes as serenity and
grandeur. When we see those whom it inhabits, we are
apprised of new degrees of greatness. From that inspiration
(consciousness) the man comes back with a changed tone. He
does not talk with men with an eye to their opinion. He
tries them. . . .But the soul that ascends to worship the
great God is plain and true; has no rose color, no fine
friends. . .no adventures; does not want admiration; dwells
in the hour that now is."
14. "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall
search for me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). In that
day when, more than riches and honor and power and selfish
glory, you shall desire spiritual understanding, in that
day will come to you the revelation of God in you, and you
will be conscious of the indwelling Father, who is life and
strength and power and peace.
15. One may so desire a partial revelation of God within
himself, a revelation along one line--as, for instance,
that of health--as to seek it with all his heart.
And if he has learned how to take the desired gift, by
uncompromising affirmation that it is his already, he will
get understanding, or realization, of God as his perfect
health. So with any other desired gift of God. This is a
step in the right direction. It is learning how to take God
by faith for whatever one desires. But in the onward
growth, the time will come to every man when he will hear
the divine voice within him saying, "Come up higher," and
he will pass beyond any merely selfish desires that are
just for his own comfort's sake. He will desire good that
he may have the more to give out, knowing that as good
(God) flows through him to others it will make him "every
whit whole" (Jn. 7:23).
16. In the beginning of Solomon's reign as king over
Israel, the divine Presence appeared to him in a dream at
night, saying: "Ask what I shall give thee" (1 Kings 3:5).
And Solomon said: "Give thy servant therefore an
understanding heart" (1 Kings 3:9).
17. "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had
asked this thing.
18. "And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this
thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither
hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of
thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to
19. "Behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have
given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there
hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee
shall any arise like unto thee.
20. "And I have also given thee that which thou hast not
asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be
any among the kings like unto thee, all thy days" (1 Kings
21. Thus in losing sight of all worldly goods and chattels,
all merely selfish ends, and desiring above all things an
understanding heart (or a spiritual consciousness of God
within him as wisdom, life, power), Solomon received all
the good or good things included, so that there was none
among the kings like unto him in worldly possessions. "Seek
ye first his kingdom (consciousness), and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto
you" (Mt. 6:33). "For whosoever would save his life (the
things of his life) shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose
his life for my sake (that is willing to forget the
so-called good things of this life for the Truth's sake,
choosing before all things the finding of God in his own
soul) shall find it" (Mt. 16:25).
22. When you first consciously desire spiritual
understanding, you do not attain it at once. You have been
living in the external of your being and have believed
yourself cut off from God. Your first step after coming to
yourself like the prodigal son is to say as he did, "I will
arise and go to my Father" (Lk. 15:18) to turn your
thoughts away from the external seeming toward the central
and real; to know intellectually that you are not cut off
from God, and that He forever desires to manifest Himself
within you as your present deliverance from all suffering
and sin. Just as Jesus
taught, we begin our journey toward understanding by
cutting off the branches of our selfishness. We try to love
instead of to hate. Instead of avenging ourselves, we begin
to forgive, even if it costs us great mental effort. We
begin to deny envy, jealousy, anger, sickness, and all
imperfection, and to affirm love, peace, and health.
23. Begin with the words of Truth that you have learned,
and which perhaps you have as yet only comprehended with
the intellect. You must be willing to take the very first
light you receive and use it faithfully, earnestly, to help
both yourself and others. Sometimes you will be almost
overcome by questions and doubts arising in your own mind
when you are looking in vain for results. But you must with
effort pass the place of doubt; and some day, in the
fullness of God's time, while you are using the words of
Truth, they will suddenly be illumined and become to you
the living word with you--"the true light, even the light
which lighteth every man, coming into the world" (Jn. 1:9).
You will no longer dwell in darkness, for the light will be
within your own heart; and the word will be made flesh to
you; that is, you will be conscious of a new and more
divine life in your body, and a new and more divine love
for all people, a new and more divine power to accomplish.
24. This is spiritual understanding. This is a flash of the
Most High within your consciousness. "The old things are
passed away, behold, they are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
this will be the time when you will not
"talk with men with an eye to their opinion." This is when
you will suddenly become plain and true; when you will
cease to desire admiration; when all words of
congratulation from others on your success will fill you
with an inexpressible sense of humility; when all mere
compliments will be to you as "sounding brass, or a
clanging cymbal" (1 Cor. 13:1). Truly, for that inspiration
a man comes back with a changed tone!
25. With spiritual understanding comes new light on the
Scriptures. The very Spirit of truth, which has come to
bide with you forever in your consciousness, takes the deep
things of God and reveals them to you. You will no longer
run to and fro, seeking teachers or healers and rely solely
on them for guidance. You will gladly let them help you
reach the point where you will know that the living light,
the living word within you, will "guide you into all the
truth" (Jn. 16:13).
26. What we need to do is to seek the revelation of the
living Christ within our own being, each for himself,
knowing that only this divinity come forth can make us
powerful and happy.
27. Every person in his heart desires, though he may not
yet quite know it, this new birth into a higher life, into
spiritual consciousness. Everyone wants more power, more
good, more joy. And though to the unawakened mind it may
seem that it is more money as money, or more goods that he
wants, it is, nevertheless, more of good (God) that he
craves; for all good is God.
28. Many today are conscious that the inner hunger cannot
be satisfied with worldly goods, and are with
all earnestness seeking spiritual understanding, or
consciousness, of an immanent God. They have been seeking
long, with a great desire of unselfishness and a feeling
that when they have truly found God they will begin to do
for others. Faithful service for others hastens the
day-dawning for us. The gifts of God are not given in
reward for faithful service, as a fond mother gives cakes
to her child for being good; nevertheless they are a
reward, inasmuch as service is one of the steps that leads
up to the place where all the fullness of God awaits men.
And while spiritual understanding is in reality a "gift of
God," it comes to us more or less quickly in proportion as
we use the light that we already have.
29. I believe that too much introspection, too much of what
people usually call "spiritual seeking," is detrimental
rather than helpful to the end desire--spiritual growth.
"Spiritual seeking" is a sort of spiritual selfishness,
paradoxical as this may seem. From the beginning to the
end, Jesus taught the giving of what one possesses to him
who has none.
30. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen (said the
spirit of God through the prophet Isaiah): to loose the
bond of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to
let the oppressed go free?
31. "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that
thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when
thou seest the naked, that thou cover him.
32. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and
thy healing shall spring forth speedily. . .
Then shalt thou call, and Jehovah will answer. . .Here I am.
33. "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and
satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in
darkness, and thine obscurity be as the noonday;
34. "And Jehovah will guide thee continually, and satisfy
thy soul in dry places, and make strong thy bones; and thou
shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water,
whose waters fail not" (Is. 58:6-11).
35. Stagnation is death. A pool cannot be kept clean and
sweet and renewed unless there is an outlet as well as an
inlet. It is our business to keep both the inlet and outlet
open, and God's business to keep the stream flowing in and
through us. Unless you use for the service of others what
God has already given to you, you will find it a long,
weary road to spiritual understanding.
36. We cry out and strain every nerve to obtain full
understanding, just as sometimes we have heard earnest
people, but people wholly ignorant of divine laws, beseech
God for the full baptism of "the Holy Spirit" (Lk. 3:16) as
in the day of Pentecost. Jesus said, "I have yet many
things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (Jn.
16:12). We grow by using for others the light and knowledge
we have. We expand, as we go on step by step in spiritual
insight, until in the fullness of time--which means when we
have grown spiritually up to the place where God sees that
able to bear the many things--we receive the desire of our
37. Seek your own Lord. Take the light as it is revealed to
you, and use it for others; and prove for yourselves
whether there be truth in this prophecy of Isaiah, that
"then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thine obscurity
be as the noonday" (Is. 58:10) and "then shall thy light
break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring
forth speedily" (Is. 58:8).
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[Lessons In Truth]
[Emily Cady's Works] [Unity on the Web Home Page]