Lessons In Truth
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[Lessons In Truth]
[Emily Cady's Works] [Unity on the Web Home Page]
Bondage or Liberty, Which?
In entering upon this course of instruction, each of you
should, so far as possible, lay aside, for the time being,
all previous theories and beliefs. By so doing you will be
saved the trouble of trying, all the way through the
course, to put "new wine into old wineskins" (Lk. 5:37). If
there is anything, as we proceed, which you do not
understand or agree with, just let it lie passively in your
mind until you have read the entire book, for many
statements that would at first arouse antagonism and
discussion will be clear and easily accepted a little
farther on. After the course is completed, if you wish to
return to your old beliefs and ways of living, you are at
perfect liberty to do so. But, for the time being, be
willing to become as a little child; for, said the Master,
in spiritual things, "Except ye . . . become as little
children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of
heaven" (Mt. 18:3). If at times there seems to be
repetition, please remember that these are lessons, not
"Finally . . . be strong in the Lord, and in the strength
of his might" (Eph. 6:10).
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever
things are honorable, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be
any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these
things" (Phil. 4:8).
1. Every man believes himself to be in bondage to the flesh
and to the things of the flesh. All suffering is the result
of this belief. The history of the coming of the Children
of Israel out of their long bondage in Egypt is descriptive
of the human mind, or consciousness, growing up out of the
animal or sense part of man and into the spiritual part.
2. "And Jehovah said [speaking to Moses], I have surely
seen the affliction of my people that are in Egypt, and I
have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I
know their sorrows;
3. "And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of
the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a
good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and
honey" (Ex. 3:7,8).
4. These words express exactly the attitude of the Creator
toward His highest creation, man.
5. Today, and all the days, He has been saying to us, His
children: "I have surely seen the affliction of you who are
in Egypt [darkness of ignorance], and have heard your cry
by reason of your taskmasters [sickness, sorrow, and
poverty]; and I am [not I will, but I am now] come down to
deliver you out of all this suffering, and to bring you up
unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with good
things" (Ex. 3:7 adapted).
6. Sometime, somewhere, every human being must come to
himself. Having tired of eating husks, he will
"arise and go to my Father" (Lk. 15:18).
"For it is written,
As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow,
And every tongue shall confess to God"
7. This does not mean that God is a stern autocrat who by
reason of supreme power compels man to bow to Him. It is
rather an expression of the order of divine law, the law of
all love, all good. Man, who is at first living in the
selfish animal part of himself, will grow up through
various stages and by various processes to the divine or
spiritual understanding wherein he knows that he is one
with the Father, and wherein he is free from all suffering,
because he has conscious dominion over all things.
Somewhere on this journey the human consciousness, or
intellect, comes to a place where it gladly bows to its
spiritual self and confesses that this spiritual self, its
Christ, is highest and is Lord. Here and forever after, not
with sense of bondage, but with joyful freedom, the heart
cries out: "Jehovah reigneth" (Ps. 93:1). Everyone must
sooner or later come to this point of experience.
8. You and I, dear reader, have already come to ourselves.
Having become conscious of an oppressive bondage, we have
arisen and set out on the journey from Egypt to the land of
liberty, and now we cannot turn back if we would. Though
possibly there will come times to each of us, before we
reach the land of milk and honey (the time of full
deliverance out of all our sorrows and troubles), when we
shall come into a
deep wilderness or against a seemingly impassable Red Sea,
when our courage will seem to fail. Yet God says to each
one of us, as Moses said to the trembling Children of
Israel: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of
Jehovah, which he will work for you today" (Ex. 14:13).
9. Each man must sooner or later learn to stand alone with
his God; nothing else avails. Nothing else will ever make
you master of your own destiny. There is in your own
indwelling Lord all the life and health, all the strength
and peace and joy, all the wisdom and support that you can
ever need or desire. No one can give to you as can this
indwelling Father. He is the spring of all joy and comfort
10. Hitherto we have believed that we were helped and
comforted by others, that we received joy from outside
circumstances and surroundings; but it is not so. All joy
and strength and good spring up from a fountain within
one's own being; and if we only knew this truth we should
know that, because God in us is the fountain out of which
springs all our good, nothing that anyone does or says, or
fails to do or say, can take away our joy and good.
11. Someone has said: "Our liberty comes from an
understanding of the mind and the thoughts of God toward
us." Does God regard man as His servant, or as His child?
Most of us have believed ourselves not only the slaves of
circumstances, but also, at the best, the servants of the
Most High. Neither belief is true. It is time for us to
awake to right thoughts, to know
that we are not servants, but children, "and if children,
then heirs" (Rom. 8:17). Heirs to what? Why, heirs to all
wisdom, so that we need not, through any lack of wisdom,
make mistakes; heirs to all love, so that we need know no
fear or envy or jealousy; heirs to all strength, all life,
all power, all good.
12. The human intelligence is so accustomed to the sound of
words heard from childhood that often they convey to it no
real meaning. Do you stop to think, really to comprehend,
what it means to be "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
Christ" (Rom. 8:17)? It means, "Every man is the inlet, and
may become the outlet, of all there is in God." It means
that all that God is and has is in reality for us, His only
heirs, if we only know how to claim our inheritance.
13. This claiming of our rightful inheritance, the
inheritance that God wants us to have in our daily life, is
just what we are learning how to do in these simple talks.
14. Paul said truly: "So long as the heir is a child, he
differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is lord of
15. "But is under guardians and stewards until the day
appointed of the father.
16. "So we also, when we were children [in knowledge], were
held in bondage under the rudiments of the world:
17. "But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth
his Son . . . And because ye are sons, God sent forth the
Spirit of his Son into our hearts [or into
our conscious minds], crying Abba, Father.
18. "So that thou art no longer a bondservant but a son;
and if a son, then an heir through God" (Gal. 4:1-7).
19. It is through Christ, the indwelling Christ, that we
are to receive all that God has and is, as much or as
little as we can or dare to claim.
20. No matter with what object you first started out to
seek Truth, it was in reality because it was God's "fulness
of the time" (Gal. 4:4) for you to arise and begin to claim
your inheritance. You were no longer to be satisfied with
or under bondage to the elements of the world. Think of it!
God's "fulness of the time" now for you to be free, to have
dominion over all things material, to be no longer bond
servant, but a son in possession of your inheritance! "Ye
did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that
ye should go and bear fruit" (Jn. 15:16).
21. We have come to a place now where our search for Truth
must no longer be for the rewards; it must no longer be our
seeking a creed to follow, but it must be our living a
life. In these simple lessons we shall take only the first
steps out of the Egyptian bondage of selfishness, lust, and
sorrow toward the land of liberty, where perfect love and
all good reign.
22. Every right thought that we think, our every unselfish
word or action, is bound by immutable laws to be fraught
with good results. But in our walk we must learn to lose
sight of results that are the "loaves and the fishes" (Mt.
15:36). We must rather seek to
be the Truth consciously, to be love, to be wisdom, to be
life (as we really are unconsciously,) and let results take
care of themselves.
23. Every man must take time daily for quiet and
meditation. In daily meditation lies the secret of power.
No one can grow in either spiritual knowledge or power
without it. Practice the presence of God just as you would
practice music. No one would ever dream of becoming a
master in music except by spending some time daily alone
with music. Daily meditation alone with God focuses the
divine presence within us and brings it to our
24. You may be so busy with the doing, the outgoing of love
to help others (which is unselfish and Godlike as far as it
goes), that you find no time to go apart. But the command,
or rather the invitation, is "Come ye yourselves apart . .
. and rest a while" (Mk. 6:31). And it is the only way in
which you will ever gain definite knowledge, true wisdom,
newness of experience, steadiness of purpose, or power to
meet the unknown, which must come in all daily life. Doing
is secondary to being. When we are consciously the Truth,
it will radiate from us and accomplish the works without
our ever running to and fro. If you have no time for this
quiet meditation, make time, take time. Watch carefully,
and you will find that there are some things, even in the
active unselfish doing, which would better be left undone
than that you should neglect regular meditation.
25. You will find that some time is spent every
day in idle conversation with people who "just run in for a
few moments" to be entertained. If you can help such
people, well; if not, gather yourself together and do not
waste a moment idly diffusing and dissipating yourself to
gratify their idleness. You have no idea what you lose by
26. When you withdraw from the world for meditation, let it
not be to think of yourself or your failures, but
invariably to get all your thoughts centered on God and on
your relation to the Creator and Upholder of the universe.
Let all the little annoying cares and anxieties go for a
while, and by effort, if need be, turn your thoughts away
from them to some of the simple words of the Nazarene, or
of the Psalmist. Think of some Truth statement, be it ever
27. No person, unless he has practiced it, can know how it
quiets all physical nervousness, all fear, all
oversensitiveness, all the little raspings of everyday
life--just this hour of calm, quiet waiting alone with God.
Never let it be an hour of bondage, but always one of
28. Some, having realized the calm and power that come of
daily meditation, have made the mistake of drawing
themselves from the world, that they may give their entire
time to meditation. This is asceticism, which is neither
wise nor profitable.
29. The Nazarene, who is our noblest type of the perfect
life, went daily apart from the world only that He might
come again into it with renewed spiritual power. So we go
apart into the stillness of divine presence
that we may come forth into the world of everyday life with
new inspiration and increased courage and power for
activity and for overcoming.
30. "We talk to God--that is prayer; God talks to us--that
is inspiration." We go apart to get still, that new life,
new inspiration, new power of thought, new supply from the
fountainhead may flow in; and then we come forth to shed it
on those around us, that they, too, may be lifted up.
Inharmony cannot remain in any home where even one member
of the family daily practices this hour of the presence of
God, so surely does the renewed infilling of the heart by
peace and harmony result in the continual outgoing of peace
and harmony into the entire surroundings.
31. Again, in this new way that we have undertaken, this
living the life of Spirit instead of the old self, we need
to seek always to have more and more of the Christ Spirit
of meekness and love incorporated into our daily life.
Meekness does not mean servility, but it means a spirit
that could stand before a Pilate of false accusation and
say nothing. No one else is so grand, so godlike as he who,
because he knows the Truth of Being, can stand meekly and
unperturbed before the false accusations of the human mind.
"Thy gentleness hath made me great" (2 Sam. 2:36).
32. We must forgive as we would be forgiven. To forgive
does not simply mean to arrive at a place of indifference
to those who do personal injury to us; it means far more
than this. To forgive is to give for--to give some actual,
definite good in return for evil
given. One may say: "I have no one to forgive; I have not a
personal enemy in the world." And yet if, under any
circumstances, any kind of a "served-him-right" thought
springs up within you over anything that any of God's
children may do or suffer, you have not yet learned how to
33. The very pain that you suffer, the very failure to
demonstrate over some matter that touches your own life
deeply, may rest upon just this spirit of unforgiveness
that you harbor toward the world in general. Put it away
34. Do not be under bondage to false beliefs about your
circumstances or environment. No matter how evil
circumstances may appear, or how much it may seem that some
other personality is at the foundation of your sorrow or
trouble, God, good, good alone, is really there when you
call His law into expression.
35. If we have the courage to persist in seeing only God in
it all, even "the wrath of man" (Ps. 76:10) shall be
invariably turned to our advantage. Joseph, in speaking of
the action of his brethren in selling him into slavery,
said, "As for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant
it for good" (Gen. 50:20). To them that love God, "all
things work together for good" (Rom. 8:28), or to them who
recognize only God. All things! The very circumstances in
your life that seem heartbreaking evils will turn to joy
before your very eyes if you will steadfastly refuse to see
anything but God in them.
36. It is perfectly natural for the human mind to
seek to escape from its troubles by running away from
present environments, or by planning some change on the
material plane. Such methods of escape are absolutely vain
and foolish. "Vain is the help of man" (Ps. 60:11).
37. There is no permanent or real outward way of escape
from miseries or circumstances; all help must come from
38. The words, "God is my defense and deliverance," held in
the silence until they become part of your very being, will
deliver you out of the hands and the arguments of the
keenest lawyer in the world.
39. The real inner consciousness that "the LORD is my
shepherd; I shall not want" (Ps. 23:1 A.V.) will supply all
wants more surely and far more liberally than can any human
40. The ultimate aim of every man should be to come into
the consciousness of an indwelling God, and then in all
external matters, to affirm deliverance through and by this
divine One. There should not be a running to and fro,
making human efforts to aid the Divine, but a calm,
restful, unwavering trust in All-Wisdom and All-Power
within one as able to accomplish the thing desired.
41. Victory must be won in the silence of your own being
first, and then you need take no part in the outer
demonstration of relief from conditions. The very walls of
Jericho that keep you from your desire must fall before you.
42. The Psalmist said:
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains [or to the
From whence shall come my help?
43. "My help cometh from Jehovah,
Who made heaven and earth.
44. "Jehovah [your indwelling Lord] will keep thee from
evil . . .
45. "Jehovah will keep thy going out and thy coming in
From this time forth, and for evermore."
(Ps. 121:1, 2, 7, 8)
46. Oh, if we could only realize that this mighty power to
save and to perfect, to deliver and to make alive, lives
forever within us, and so cease now and forever looking
away to others!
47. There is but one way to obtain this full
realization--the way of the Christ. "I am the way, and the
truth, and the life" (Jn. 14:6), spoke the Christ through
the lips of the Nazarene.
48. Your holding to the words, "Christ is the way," when
you are perplexed and confused and can see no way of
escape, will invariably open a way of complete deliverance.
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[Lessons In Truth]
[Emily Cady's Works] [Unity on the Web Home Page]