Bible Lesson XLIX
See Things As They Are


by Emma Curtis Hopkins


Astronomers tell us that we see points of light in the skies which we name stars, that are the lights of globes long vanished from the heavens. It takes light so long to travel that we have only just received the radiance they sent forth ages ago.

Metaphysicians tell us that we are just now seeing people in the light or shade of ways we used to think. We may have ceased to believe the imaginations of our youth, but the beliefs of that time often proceed forth from us and cover some person or circumstance with our imagination of them, which they ought not to be judged by.

It is the province of the knowledge of Absolute Truth to cause us to see things as they are; not through our predilections. It may happen to one who has carried a heavy grief for twenty years that some idea enters the mind which takes out the core of the grief, and yet the mind will sometimes feel mournful on the shades of the memory of how the heart used to grieve. One often loves or fears on the shadow of what he used to feel positively.

Religionists tell us that the world lay in the night of deep darkness till Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, arose and broke the night with the glory of His life. And now, all the ignorance and misfortune we experience are but the broken memories of a night long since erased.

Material things and human experiences are all the symbols of thoughts. The thought that there is a mixture of goodness and evil in the universe may have been reasoned out of our mind, and yet what we used to think about good and evil being sadly mixed may now cover the ways of our neighbors or the state of the world with what seems to us to be a very bad state of affairs. If so we must get rid of the “shades of the departed.” In Truth there is a way to be rid of them.

All belief in astrals is the remnant of darkness of mind. All coverings of people with our past ideas are astrals. Let us be rid of astrals. Let us look back upon Alpha and. forward to Omega. God, the Lover and Friend; God, the Keeper and Protector; God, the Provider and Inspiration is behind us and before us. This is Truth.

There are some ideas that come into the mind and stay there as embedded as slivers in the flesh or bullets shot into undeliverable places. An instance of how stories will penetrate and shed abroad their effects is here in point:

A young lady was reading in a Spiritual Science lesson of a man who had kept saying “The Lord is your keeper,” till the words had saved a child from the hurt of an accident. The accident took place minus its hurt. The beautiful text, ‘The Lord is your keeper,” found a lodgment in her mind. There it lay ready to spring forth when an opening should be made for it. The opening came when the train on which she was riding ran off an embankment. Suddenly like a living creature the text sprang from her mind and caught the baggage car in such a position that the coaches were saved. No one was hurt.

“Thy words are Life to them that find then.”
“Truth is a shield and buckler.”
“The Truth shall make you free.”

It was mentioned in a recent magazine that for the last fifteen years, drunkenness, and crime had been terribly on the increase. The whole plan was then made plain, whereby the innocent holders of horrible stories are the shedders abroad of temptation.

For just about fifteen years the eloquent crusaders against vice have transfixed impressionable audiences with stories of wickedness, which they have unconsciously projected, as the beautiful words, ‘The Lord is your keeper,” flew on its mission.

What kind of stories do you fix into the minds of the people you meet? Ideas are living things. They are caged lions of prowess. They are projectiles from small bore-rifles or heavy caliber guns.

The Bible lessons for the last quarter have been loaded with ideas whose purpose and sure results are to cause those who have read them under the light of Truth, to be workers for the redemption of mankind from its imaginations of evil. You, who have carried one single idea around with you, whose reasonableness and grandeur have captured,  have stopped some lie on someone’s lips before it was uttered - have caused some hand about to strike to fall down - have taken the sting out of some cup - have withdrawn the drowsiness from some brain.

Which of them has appealed to you most out of the last quarter’s mine of golden texts?

This being a review, let us name them. They are the radiance of stars in the firmament of Jehovah, and of their glory, there is no end. The stars of the night may fall from their bright places, and the suns of the invisible heights may be darkened ere their first beams strike our planet. But the words of Eternal Truth shall go on and the hearts that love them shall rise on their wings of light out of the reach of sin, death and pain.

The first one was April the third (this quarter). Its point was that you attract people who represent your thoughts; as Socrates said that grief would attract sickness, waste of property and death.

A young metaphysician suddenly discovered that by being with one who was a reliable healer of sickness, he caught a state of mind quite different from what he had been holding. It was efficient to cure without his making any effort. He said he just left his mind free to take on the strong lights and shades of other people’s minds, and knowing just how to drop their errors he could keep their virtues. He noticed that being prosperous is entirely a state of mind. He is now practicing being near prosperous people so that he may minister the quality of mentality that draws prosperity when he walks among the wretched. He means to get so strong in the idea of the providing bounty of the Almighty, that stories of poverty cannot stick in his mind, no matter how real they may seem to others, not even if some great preacher describes them.

While training to be strong on the side of power, health and loving kindness, do not tell anyone your experiences. Self-feed and self-increase with Truth. Truth told before you are positive as the archangel may be so argued down that you feel as weak in spirit as a rag of nothingness. Jesus Christ said: “See thou tell no man.”

Remember that methods count for nothing. If you are in the proper state of mind, you might as well sell warming pans in the torrid zone, like Lord Timothy Dexter, as to sell lace at $100 per yard, like Steward or Field.

You certainly must have noticed how some people are lucky, anyhow. That is because they have a mind that attracts luck. This Science teaches one how to attract good into his life. It is a good doctrine to preach to the disconsolate. God is the feeder and healer and companion, according to this doctrine, and nothing is too small a situation or state of affairs for His goodness to pay close attention to. If you stop to think of it, no one is so prosperous and wise as Jehovah. That is why we are advised to talk with Him much. Misfortune and ignorance cannot stay in His presence. Stop often and commune with the Owner of the Worlds.

The next was that all kinds of divorce came from the dark belief once started that God is without, and not within. It dropped its shades down over men till they thought other people could get the advantage over them, so they fell to fighting them. This was warfare on the battlefield and in the home. Did you ever think that many a martial hero got his prowess from the brave fight his mother made with that fate which she believed had given her husband the advantage against her?

Why did she not rise and proclaim that God is both within and without, since God is everywhere? The Jehovah within the feeblest little woman is the Jehovah without in the husband she fears or the legislation against her. Who shall prevail against the Omnipresent God?

Now, the idea that God is within us, not without us, is just as divorcing as the other that He is without, not within. For it gets us to feeling able to get ourselves healthy, but gets us into tangles with the outside world. It withdraws us from our fellow men and makes hermits of us. We get to thinking that people do not understand us. We get a multitude of feelings, which separate us from people.

The third lesson was the injunction not to feel responsible for anything - to let God take the responsibility. “At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh.” They tell you that the cars have run off the track and killed a hundred. According to God, it is no such thing. The whole thing is the shadow of an idea, which never was true. So laugh in your soul and silently tell your High Counselor you do not believe He ever let such an event happen in His beautiful kingdom. Then you will do and say to the messenger the right thing. Many will be suddenly helped into healing and life. Turn to your Comrade, Jehovah, when they report evil concerning your home, your prospects, your friends. Tell Him, “I know Thy goodness towards me. How Thou dost glorify me continually.”

The fourth tells us to practice every night, and very early in the morning, telling the Spirit of God that we never made any mistakes. Because God being our mind and our life, mistakes in that mind and life are impossible. Then, through the day, act from the standpoint of having done very wisely always. Take it for granted that methods do not count. Nothing counts except our relation with God. If one has “wasted his substance in riotous living,” and feels downhearted, he is to tell the Spirit that there cannot be any waste in Truth, because all comes from God and goes to God.

“Omnipresence none can flee,
Flight from God to God must be.”

One who had formerly been too economical for any use got up from table and burned a plate of doughnuts, saying, “I praise you for your increasing substance, food from the table of God. Wherever the airs blow this smoke there someone will kindly feed a neighbor.”

To her hearers it sounded like superstition. They thought she had gone daft. No, she was spreading the healing word. Her stinginess was broken down. She had to do something exactly opposite to her stinginess. “My ways are not your ways, saith the Lord.”

The fifth tells us that we must learn to get our living in some other way, than earning it by the sweat of our brow by hiring out to our neighbors.

The result of that idea that got embedded into mind ages ago that man must labor in a material fashion is that now it is almost impossible for the laboring classes to rest a moment without suffering for it. The average wages for an adult are $1.02 per day (1892). He pays rent at the rate of four or five times what the same home would have been a few years ago. And the poor man’s taxes are out of all proportion to the capitalist’s taxes.

It is the result of the curse or lie concerning labor. Jesus said, “Labor not for the meat that perisheth.” He advised looking to God for clothing and food. All the shiftlessness of mankind, all the weariness of them, all the discouragement, are from ceasing to expect the Almighty to provide. Therefore, this lesson advised all the world to put up its hands and receive from the invisible Hand, of our Everlasting Parent, all its provisions.

Every single morning at some particular hour, tell the Spirit that you do not look to any enterprise or to any human being for your provisions, but to the Spirit only. Then go on as usual about your daily tasks, till the Hand of Love stretches down and changes your lot. There is a change of affairs belonging to every child on this planet.

“Let’s take by faith while living
Our freehold by thanksgiving.”

The only labor enjoined according to Jesus Christ is thanksgiving to the Omnipotent God. “My yoke is easy,” He said. Here we find that it will soon be made utterly impossible for one to get more goods than his neighbor. The truth concerning our God as our Provider will equalize all things. Caste will be abolished - not by anarchy, but by prayer. Labor and capital will soon be erased - not by fighting, but by thanksgiving to God. The morning that dawned on Galilee’s waters is just falling on my lot and on your lot. God is here.

The sixth tells about Satan. It shows that all the satan there is or ever was is our subconscious thought that after all maybe God intends for us to be afflicted somehow. While the preacher is praising God for being so good to him, he is secretly thinking how often, God has seen fit to afflict him or his family, “in His inscrutable providence.” All subconscious or secret thoughts come to the surface in home, business, friendships, and positions among mankind.

Many a poor minister or half-starved pietist may lay his decrepitude and misery to his own reserved opinion concerning God. Each one must face up this satan of thinking, “What if evil should be my portion whether I call upon God or not?” Meet Satan promptly. Jesus Christ is the antidote to Satan. Look your vague terror in the face with the name Jesus Christ. That Name means the visibility of God.

The seventh shows that if you know what is true according to the Life of the Spirit, your knowing is like a river set flowing. One does not have to strive to carry out his Truth by stopping his factory when he hears that all clothing should be made out of the Word of Truth. He does not have to close up the schoolhouse when he learns that all schools are founded on the lie concerning the absence of intelligence. No, he sees that his knowledge is all the power he needs to exercise. He need not stop eating to show how long his God will keep him alive without food. His knowledge will regulate his actions. No man should give up any thing by force of human will. All should be accomplished by the irresistible action of the Principle. The action of Spirit is as positive with us when we hear it as it was when it struck Saul to the earth.

The Supreme Truth that is now being believed by so many people is flowing through the bodies, and homes and affairs of men like a river. Away over the horizons, into the abysses of a forgotten dream, are all the former ways being washed.

“And the former heaven and the former earth shall be forgotten; neither shall they come into mind any more.”

The eighth shows that the science of mathematics, of stars, of stones, of chemistry, is as helpless to provide against earthquakes, tidal waves, lightning, plagues, cyclones, as the simple Indian’s sure prognostications that these things are coming. Only the Science of Spirit annuls calamity. This lesson shows that our boasted civilization
is the mixed iron and clay age spoken of by Daniel. We have had our golden height of sincerity that man is ruled over by his brother man by
right of inheritance from God. This has descended into the scramble for power on every hand. We have had the golden head of conviction that some men are given more judgment from Jehovah than others. This has descended into the systems of cramming with masses of teachings that are foolishness with God.

We have had our golden height of sincere believing that the church was instituted for the salvation of souls, which has now descended into the flinching and cringing of the preachers in the face of death and disease, as powerless to hush as the schools.

The scramble of the religious for salaries and honors in common with the believers in material methods is the mixture of clay and iron.

And all the time the hammers of the true kingdom are sounding on the ears of those who know that the Spirit of God is in every man equally as in his neighbor, so that there is no need of any government, save the knowledge of Spirit. This age closes the reign of intellect and matter.

The sciences of the schools shall not count us in hand for this kingdom only so far as they wear down the intellect to acknowledging that the most it knows is that it knows nothing. To study the sciences of the schools chafes the brain into inflammation and softness. The study of the Science of Spirit quickens the intelligence to know what was and is and shall be.

The ears can hear the sound of the voices of the workmen hewing out the mansions for those who do not mix their knowledge that there is no soul to save, for God is the only Soul, with the former idea of salvation.

The ninth and tenth show that we never need to face up people who have done us injuries, but we are to look the injuries straight in the face and get right with them, after which it will be easy enough to get on with our fellow men and women. Paul and Peter and James saw this, but not so plainly as these lessons bring out.

Tell those troublesome affairs that they are your kind and loving friends with ability to go right to the treasure house where your rightful inheritance is, and bring you your rights at once. Love them and praise them. The other side of them is delight. They will fly to the places whence your help can come easily. The first thing you do after praising them is right. You were not intended to be burdened, or sick, or ignorant, or unfortunate, or abused. These states of situations need praising, and loving and directing, not hating, and repelling and striking. They are angels of goodness in disguise. Talk to them wisely. Never mind people. Keep your world under your feet, not on your back nor in your arms.

The last is all about keeping your own counsel. If the Spirit tells you to go and heal a dying case, do not tell of it. Go and do as you are bidden and come again bringing your triumphs. If the Spirit bids you rest, obey and ask no odds of any man. If you are given to spreading your spoken words concerning your secret with God you will be saved so as by fire. That which is true of the world at large, preach boldly. What the Spirit gives you alone keep as the secret of the Lord. The Spirit intends for you to cure everyone and raise everyone to Life when it whispers to you. It does not come to take you by the hand through tribulations, but out of the reach of them.

There is a particular way for you to get out of that difficulty you are now in. Keep counsel with no one save the powerful Champion, the Lord God of Sabaoth. “Thou shalt hear a voice behind thee saying: This is the way; walk ye in it.”

June 19th, 1892


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