April 2001

EMMA ONLY

So as you name another error, flesh, and say it is nothing, and has no reality. You tell why flesh is the shadow that declineth, and name with positive distinctness what is real substance. Never till we call all flesh and all matter as it appears, the unreal, and boldly declare Spirit, which is invisible, as all - just as Jesus of Nazareth did, saying, "all flesh profiteth nothing, Spirit is all" - can we begin to prove to others and to ourselves how divine we are in origin.
The Egyptian Balthazar, being made to speak a thought that has run unchanged through the centuries whenever the devout have opened vision to things of the Immortal said, "There is a kingdom on the earth, though it is not of it, - a kingdom wider than the bounds of the earth, though they were rolled together as finest gold and spread by the beating of hammers. Its existence is a fact, as our hearts are facts, and we journey through it from birth to death without seeing it; nor shall any man see it till he has first known his own soul; for the kingdom is not for him, but for is soul. And in its dominion there is glory such as hath not entered into imagination - original, incomparable, impossible of increase."
Yet we may see it. We may speak of it till it dawns upon our sight. For we may know our own Soul.
Then we are like transformed ones, for we have gotten a taste
of the wisdom of the Mind that is God. Then we understand, and look, talk and act more spiritually.
People watch the shadow cast by their belief - that which they call their body. They see it go through changes. They say it is born, it experiences, it dies, and perhaps lives again in a more real form in a new kingdom. They wonder and marvel at it. They talk of its changes. They never seem to be quite satisfied as to its final disposition - what becomes of it. Of course not! Bodies are only shadows of belief; and what becomes of shadows?
These people are as if they watched a cloud-shadow in summertime. We look down upon the grassy field and see a long shadow flitting over it. We say - Oh! see that long strange shadow! how queerly it acts! We give chase to catch and examine it. But it is gone! If we had looked up at the cloud itself, we should know why the shadow disappeared. The real cloud has ascended, or been absorbed into the sun-rays. If we watch the cloud we can see what becomes of it; we can understand its movements. We are not so baffled and discouraged by them as by the shadow and its doings.
Now we are a ray-flash from the Mind that is God. The name of our self is Soul - Understanding - Mind. We, as understanding, cast a shadow. The shadow of understanding is belief. Belief casts a shadow. The shadow of belief is flesh and other material things. Belief watches its own shadow and says they do strange things. The longer it watches them the more puzzled and baffled it gets. But when belief knows that they are but as shadows, and then declares the true Substance or names it, that Substance, which is Understanding, shows forth as judgment faculty in the place of belief.
Then, when we understand, we know the Good. We are at one with it by a state of mind. And this is the atonement - the at-one-ment, of one mind, of the Science of Mind. We are partakers of the atonement when we have understood that all is Mind.
Then we are lifted above the ills and miseries of daily cares. We see the great world slip by us and say to all things - You shall know only the good to me - You shall work only blessedness to me - You shall be servants to do good to all the children of earth.
While we are outside this recognition that there is but one Mind, of which we are each a thought, there is the belief of homesickness and wandering and restlessness, even in the mind of the most prosperous and successful. Understanding is rest. Belief is restless, and the shadow of belief, body, more restless still. Restless people are absorbed in thinking about their body, or some pride of the heart, or ambition for selfish greatness.
Raymond Lully, born on the island of Majorca in 1200, said, "there is nothing the mind so longs for as to get reconciled to, or one with God." This is to get into harmony with; and to get into harmony with, we must understand. Thus, understanding of mind is atonement. Men think it is houses and lands, power and learning they need to satisfy them. But no! None of these things will satisfy. On the death-bed they moan with terror, or tell of their eagerness for reconciliation with the Eternal Mind.
. . .You prove this existing union by declaring it - acknowledging it. Let the shadow of understanding, which is mortal intellect, call spiritual understanding its substance by positive insistence. Then it flashes down into all your ways, and you forget sorrow and misfortune and littleness.
. . .The day is at hand, and now is, when a Science of Religion will be reasoned out treating of the relation of the finite mind to the infinite, and of body to soul. It will be taught in the new church that shall guide and control the coming age; in fulfillment of prophecy. It will at first be unwelcomed, derided by the strong laws of the sciences in vogue and favor; but with heaven for its beams and rafters, and its foundations set into the rock of Everlasting Truth, it shall stand unshaken. All who enter in at its gates do so by their own choice. Whosoever will, may partake of its Word. And the Word will lead to sweet peace all who speak it. The word of it, which we speak, is the Comforter promised, which shall lead into all Truth. Therefore, "Apply thine heart to understanding", for "My words are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh".
Class Lesson 1888.

From the Introduction to the
Class Lessons 1888 Correspondence Course

When studying Emma and her work, it is important to remember NEVER to take her words out of context. Rather like the Bible, look at the entire paragraph. If it does not make sense to you, go to the paragraph before, the paragraph after, even into the next chapter; but never glaze over her words and take only what is good for you at the moment, and leave the rest. Chances are if you are not understanding what she is trying to convey, it could be very possible that the message is especially important for you. It may be time to investigate a little deeper.

Emma is not really difficult to understand - she is a little absolute in her concepts and you may come to feel as many students of her work, that she is also very right in all that she says. So, again, I strongly advise if you do not understand what she is saying, find out WHY you are not comprehending. It is that point...WHY...that you need to focus your concentration for a greater depth of understanding for yourself as well as for Emma's work. If your interest lies in one day becoming a Practitioner or Minister, your depth of understanding is even more important, and you must continue to open yourself to greater insights as you go along. If someone has a question, it is of the utmost importance that you are able to guide them toward the answer.
PJR

For the July 2001 installment click here