Joseph Benner


From “BROTHERHOOD” by Joseph S. Benner

YOU have been told that the Kingdom of Heaven is within you, and many have accepted that statement as being so. But how many have ever purposely investigated and consistently endeavored to discover its real meaning – how and where within, and how to find it?

It has been liken to many things by One Who unquestionably knew, Who was able to go in and out at will, from the powers He used, and which He ascribed not to Himself, but to His Father within the Kingdom which He said was within Himself.

It has been said elsewhere herein that the Kingdom is within the heart. But it cannot be within the physical heart is meant. What then is meant?

Even as the heart of anything is supposed to be the very center of that thing, so must it imply in the statement that the Kingdom is within man’s heart; it must mean that it is deep within, at the very center of his being. And, of course, it cannot mean his physical being, but something much deeper within.

The only a venue of ingress to man’s interior being must be through his mind, and most of those who have given any real thought to the subject have dimly perceived that the Kingdom of Heaven must be a state of consciousness within the mind. While it is indeed a state of consciousness, yet it is in very truth a place within the mind that can be reached by going there in consciousness, just as definitely and surely as you can go within your house, through several rooms, to an inner chamber in the very center, and there find your den or library, where you love to hide yourself from the world and find therein the privacy and quiet for study and work.

Let us imagine a house that is circular and very large, a house of many windows and doors. In this house the rooms are naturally in tiers, i.e., there is an outer tier into which one enters through doors from the outside. Then there is a second tier connecting with the outer, and connecting with it a third tier surrounding one small room in the center.

Now let us consider this house as the human self, or that part of you that houses your personal or self-consciousness, that consciousness concerned with your physical body and its sensations, your emotions, feelings and desire, and all your thoughts, beliefs and opinions about yourself. While that part of your consciousness concerned with the realms outside of yourself, in which dwell all your concepts of things, conditions and other people, let us consider as your world, the world of physical or material things. Of course each has a different world from everyone else, for each has different concepts of those things which surround him and engage his interest; some things interest one that another never sees, and therefore such have no place in the other’s world.

If we consider this house as comprising your self-consciousness, then the different rooms must be different states of your self-consciousness. Those in the outer tier must of course be what is termed the physical consciousness. There are five doors which connect it with the outer world of consciousness, called the doors of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. Through these doors all sense of the physical world without comes to you.

Suppose we then consider the next tier as that realm of consciousness within you that houses your desires, emotions and passions, from the lowest to the highest of such, called by some the astral realm and by others the desire world. You have read definite statements, made by those who have made of study of such states of consciousness, that these comprise an actual world within the mind, inhabited by the astral or desire bodies of all things that have physical bodies, - mineral, vegetable, animal or human, and also of some things above and below these kingdoms which naturally do not have physical bodies. And it is reasonable to accept that every world must have in it bodies comprised of the natural substance of that world.

Likewise, let us suppose the next inner tier with its many smaller rooms to represent the mental realm of consciousness, which houses all your thoughts, concepts and ideas of whatever nature.

However, to make our analogy in perfect agreement with the statements above, within each of the three large tiers representing the physical, astral and mental realms there are seven smaller tiers or rows of rooms dividing and grading each realm of consciousness, from the lowest to the highest, and all so arranged that the highest of the physical row of that realm connects by special passageways with the highest row of the astral realm and then with the highest row of the mental realm; and likewise with each of the six other grades down to the lowest, the lowest being the outermost of each large tier or realm and the highest the innermost.

But also remember we are trying to depict here in the form of a circular house what properly should be shown as a spherical one, and that we are dealing with and entering into a fourth dimension of consciousness which cannot truly be described in terms of three dimensions. Even as Jesus tried to tell His disciples about the Kingdom, and had to use many parables that their human minds might be “lifted up” to glimpse this great state, so will it be necessary to read with other than mere brain intelligence to grasp the meaning behind the words herein used and the pictures they create.

We have tried, by going thus within the mind, to picture the various states and realms of consciousness encountered in your journey to the center of your being. You know of the physical, emotional and mental realms with you, but you have not as yet penetrated the inner chamber, the den, the sanctuary, where the Master of the house dwells. This chamber can be entered only through one door which is always kept closed and opens only at the command of the Master himself.

Let us consider this inner chamber to be the sanctuary of the Soul, of the Real You, who are the Master of the house, into which none of the sensations, emotions, desires and thoughts of the outer realms are ever permitted to enter. But the Master, because of the peculiar, transparent nature of the walls (for they are only fancied walls, built out of the human sense of a separate mine), separating the different tiers or realms, can always look through them and see clearly all that is going on, and therefore is fully acquainted with everything present in the different rooms at all times. Likewise he naturally can go in and out of the different rooms at will, by simply entering into their consciousness, when of course he is immediately there.

The house, remember, we have pictured to represent the personality, or that combined consciousness concerned with the various, emotions and thoughts relating to the separate self, and which are housed in the different rooms (states of consciousness) of the different tiers (realms or world of consciousness) forming what you think is your separate mind. Also, remember, your world existing seemingly without your house of self you are conscious of in this same mind, proving that all you are and see and know exists only in your consciousness, and nowhere else.

Now try to realize this house of self was built by you in the long aeons past, when you first started on your outward journey from your Fathers House in the Garden of Eden (which House and Garden symbolize His Consciousness, even as the above house and the outer world symbolize your consciousness), and when you first began to think yourself separate in consciousness from Him. This thought of separation became a concept in your mind which in time, along with all your other thoughts of self, formed themselves around the center of your consciousness into what became your mental body; and later as this sense of separation became more real to you there grew about you what seemed to be realm after realm (tier after tier) of consciousness, forming what became your mental world.

Later you similarly built in consciousness around your mental body a desire or astral body, composed of all the desires, emotions, feelings, passions, fears, loves and hates of those early stages of tasting the experience of earning your bread by the sweat of your face, and with it formed in consciousness around you your astral world, containing similar desires and emotions from other centers of consciousness.

Then later, as these and many more fully developed thoughts and desires became established in your consciousness, they gradually crystallized there and seemed each to have solid and separate forms, thus bringing into being your concepts of physical or material bodies, and of the physical world in which they seemed to live and move and have their being.

But remember, all these various bodies, mental, astral, and physical, as well as the worlds in which they seemingly manifested, were but concepts existing only in that self-consciousness of your mind, which, by thinking yourself as separate from the Father Consciousness, now conceived every other thing also as in separate forms or pictures within itself, and which when impulsed by desire outmanifested themselves in astral matter, and later sometimes in physical matter.

Now try to realize that I, the God of you, am the Master within the little inner chamber of your house; that the house is part of My Mind even as is the little inner chamber. While what at present you think to be You is the combined consciousness of all the rooms or states in all the different realms or tiers within the house – outside of and surrounding the inner chamber, which as yet you are unable to enter; for remember, all the ideas, thoughts and concepts inhabiting those rooms compose the different states of consciousness you have built up since you separated yourself from Me long aeons ago. Therefore you must be what we can call the human part of My mind, that part which still thinks itself separate from Me. For as mind thinks so does mind become.

But know, I alone AM. The house of your mind must be and is a part of a center of My Mind, even as the different thoughts, concepts, desires and emotions of the various rooms or states within your consciousness are part or centers of your mind and consciousness. If your mind is a part of My Mind and you, therefore, are a center of My Consciousness, then you cannot be separate from me, but should be able to participate in that Consciousness of which you are a part and become one with Me. For I would open the door that you may walk in and sup with Me and that all that I am you may also be, and all that I have may be yours for the taking. You are in My Consciousness – are a part of My Consciousness; therefore there can be no separation and you may know that You and I are ONE, always were One and always will be One. Think on these things and KNOW the Truth.

Now I will tell you a secret, which is only for those who have come with us this far, - the inner chamber is a magical place; it is the entrance into the Kingdom you have been told to seek, for in very truth it is the door that admits you into My Consciousness. And once within you will learn that chamber which seemed small from the outside in reality extends infinitely within, through realm after realm after realm with untold wonders and glories unfolding themselves at every step. For in here you are no longer separate but are consciously one with Me, and My Consciousness is yours and all that contains is also yours.

And here you learn another secret, - all that was without, in your seeming separate consciousness, were but reflections, sadly distorted reflections, darkened and mis-formed by ignorance, or the glorious realities within, the realities your Soul had for so long been trying to lead you to, but which you insisted in looking for without in the world of things. For even as you look up in the heavens in the dark of night in the outer world and get glimpses of myriads of world and universes shining there, you can now understand they are but glimmering reflections trying to shine through the darkened human mind of the many beautiful mansions in the Kingdom of My Consciousness, awaiting those of My children who truly seek Me and who let My Word rule in their consciousness until it leads them to Me.

You ask, how may you seek within you and find that inner chamber that admits into the Kingdom of such a Heaven? By going in imagination, persistently, day after day, within your mind, through the different realms pictured above, seeking Me and Me only; by visioning yourself in the inner chamber as the Real You, your Highest Self, - as ME, the God of you; by thinking, speaking and acting as you imagine I think and speak and act – until the very might of your desire and efforts at realization compels Me to open the door and thereby to admit you into that Consciousness and that Home which was yours from the beginning.

For long, very long, have I been waiting for such a desire to manifest on your part, and that is why I keep the door close and open it only in response to such an effort to find me. Think you I do not always know both your outer and your innermost thoughts, and cannot see you no matter where you are in consciousness? Remember the walls of self do not exist to Me, and I can look right through into man’s secret desires and can easily see what motives rule, and especially what prompts him to seek with the house of his inner self.

My child, there is only one motive that will ever enable you to penetrate deep enough into consciousness to find Me, and that motive is a desire, a yearning, to serve Me, the Christ within you and with every man; and when that yearning has become first with you and is the one supreme motive of your life, then I not only see you coming but I watch eagerly and send forth My love to help and spur you on.

After a period of trying and testing, of leading you into some of the rooms in the second tier of your house of mind within the realm of Desire, call by some the Realm of Illusion, to see if self still rules and if you can be distracted by the allurements of the astral senses; then if these do not hold you, leading you into the mental realms, named by some of the Hall of Learning, to see if intellect can entice you from your search by tempting you with the marvelous knowledge to be gained there; and if these do not stop you, then I am able to show forth from the Kingdom in your heart some of My real Nature, and may be able to pen it wide enough to pour forth some of My Divine Love. And when that happens you begin to feel Me there, but no so that you know it is I – at first; you only feel My Love trying to find outlet, by leading you to others that I may help and bless them through you; and when others are brought to you, you feel it as a great longing to help them.

Thus do I gradually draw you in consciousness to the center of your being. And there sooner or later do you find the inner chamber – that it is your heart; and you now know you have a heart, and that it is in very truth the most wonderful and most important part of you; for from it issue all the vital things of life – and that most vital one of all, the power to help others.

And then suddenly one day you realize in a great flash of illumination what Love is – that Love is God and that what you feel in your heart is His Presence there. You then know that Love which issues from the heart is God’s life, is your life, that His life and your life cannot be separate, but that through your consciousness of God’s Love in your heart, you are He and He is You – you are ONE!

And then, as you learn consciously to open your heart and let Love out, you find it is a magical, a wonderfully brilliant Light that shines through and radiates from you, clearing away all mists and shadows from your human mind, enabling you to see with My eyes and to know with My understanding of all things I desire you to know.

And as it thus radiates from you it ever goes before you and penetrates to the soul of those who come to you, quickening likewise their heats so that the words I speak through you find lodgment in their minds, and awaken them and make them aware of Me in their hearts, through the response they feel there to the Love coming form you. And they too are thus given a glimpse of the Kingdom within, proving that I, the Christ, am the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world – when I am able, through a human channel, thus to pour My Love into the heart of man, and light the wick that I have previously prepared there.

I have now shown you the way into the Kingdom, that it is through the door of the heart into the little chamber within; that only Loving Service will open the door and admit you and enable you to do in and out at will.

I will not tell you now about the wondrous life within the Kingdom, except to say that Love is the one and only life there, the life that all who abide there breathe, absorb, feed upon, grow with and build from strong, beautiful Souls. Love in very truth is the vitalizing, energizing Force animating, inspiring and directing all activities there; all there abide continually in My Consciousness, receiving freely of all that I am and have; and there even as here with you, as they let Love rule and fill their whole being, am I enabled to serve the more through them on all planes and in all realms of My Consciousness.

Many there are in the world today who in the past have found the Kingdom and who are here now to help Me awaken the many thousands more who are longing and yearning to be shown the way unto Me. They are the ones whom I have sent to answer the call of those who have asked, who have sought, who have knocked; for have I not promised that those who ask shall receive, and those who seek shall find, and those that knock it shall be opened unto them?

But I can only serve My earth children through channels I have prepared, through those who have become empty of self and who now live only to serve. They are of the Kingdom on High, that Great Brotherhood of the Spirit, who are here and are actually bringing Heaven down to earth into the consciousness of many men these days. They are My blessed ones, the forerunners of that Brotherhood which soon is going to manifest, to live, work and rule on the earth, and which is going to raise it to the Heaven, that they too no longer may be separate but may appear as One to all men, as they are in the Great Reality.

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