The following is excerpted from a lesson given by Emma Curtis Hopkins on November 18th 1894. It is found in Bible Interpretations Manuscript 2, published by The Ministry of Truth International, Chicago.
What was that which was not born when you were born, has never been interested in anything you have done while you have been on this planet, and will not die when you lie down? This is the 'Jesus Christ' in you. It is sometimes called the divine ego in you, sometimes called the divine soul of you, sometimes your deathless, changeless spirit.
'Never the spirit was born,
the spirit shall cease to be never.
Changeless the spirit remains,
Birthless and deathless forever.'
Thus to the watcher of his own soul, the only name that acts like a key to identification with light on the path, is that one which was once charged with the splendors of revelation. Are not all writings charged with something? Read Dumas' works and openly receive the word that runs through the enchanting pages. Is it not 'brains'?
Read Shakespeare with open mind and catch the word. It is 'Judas.' Why? Because there we find intellect at the height of human possibility explaining the passions, the loves, the hates, the foibles of human life as the strength of life. With what mastery enchantment he would make us forget that it is the Jesus Christ in man that is all there is of man.
Intellect, when offered the statement that love conquers death and goodness confers changeless beauty, declines the statement because appearances have not exhibited that way. What a describer of appearances is the Judas genius! When the Jesus Christ is heard speaking, what saith He? — 'Judge not according to appearances.' (John 7:24)
In today's lesson, the Judas genius is opened out with the divine intelligence that pure poverty of appearances is God. He who is poor in earthly things is all mind. The charitable teachings, which caused me to give everything I had or could get hold of to my religion, promised me wealth of mind or spirit in lieu thereof. But the 'Jesus Christ' in me is as little interested in my mental and spiritual stores as in my bank account. To the Judas mind, first of all, the soul fire declares: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit.' They are God. The whole of God they are.
1. JUDAS 'Blessed are the poor in Spirit.'
Whatever teaches one that wealth of spirit is better than wealth of silver is as Judas-like in religion as Shakespeare is in ethics. I am to own and possess nothing. Lao-Tze taught that we must produce, but not possess. Possession is robbery. The high mathematics of Jesus Christ says that I must surrender my mighty spirit. Its dauntless glory I must not hold. So I let the spirit blow where it listeth. I gloat not to be spiritual. I couldn't be free while holding on to the spirit with might and main. Through the first gate — namely my intellect — I let all that I know and all that I have been taught go free. I know nothing. 'The wisdom of the schools is foolishness with God.
2. SIMON 'Blessed are they that mourn.'
My love of sacrifice gate, my idea that I am meritorious in giving up, my missionary and reformer spirit of mind gate, my hearkening to the doctrines of men gate, flow comfort, power for a universe, when only the soul voice is heard.
3. THADDEUS Blessed are the meek.'
Watching the One in me that has never yet been interested in the world, because its kingdom is not of the world. I find that through the third gate of my being, the ownership of the world is mine through giving up the world and bowing my head for my soul to do all things and know all things. Its ways are not my ways, yet let them be done. That in me which is identified with what I am doing I give it its own way. That was my love of praise characteristic. The 'Jesus Christ' in me is above praise. When I feel the power of my Jesus Christ nature blowing its white winds through that disposition, I shall not be praised any more. No wonder the monks and nuns disfigured themselves to get rid of praise. They had a glimpse of that one in them that esteemeth not praise. To be free from praise is the third power of Christ. We do not seek or try to care nothing for praise – watching the one in us that is not elated when we are applauded will accomplish it for us. 'Because I live ye shall live also.' (John 14:19) The management of this universe from spiritual zephyrs to molten centers is in the fingers of Him that can wisely praise. One who is seeking favor cannot praise anything wisely. The supreme of meekness is seeking not commendation.
4. JAMES 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.'
The fourth power that is manifest through giving the unenlisted One in me full control is radiance of confidence in the new life that supplants my former life. Turning to watch the soul entirely overturns past conditions. He who supplants. Confidence in the excellence of the new is not forced — it forces. The former state of James was trying to do the best he could. Now he knows that all that he does is divinely well done.
5. THOMAS 'Blessed are the merciful.'
Before we turned to watch our mysterious One that is not mixed up with our human life, this Thomas quality was the discretion of our speech and actions. We bow to this Thomas gate for the indiscrete to reign. The discretion of the world shut Melanchthon's lips, but when discretion was lost in Luther, the Protestant Church sprang its millions upon millions into view. So the most merciful one is the most indiscreet and least self-protective one, for over his foolish head the new dispensation rolls its merciful provisions. Thomas means twin. Exactly like the highest discretion, in view of the fact that the fool turns out to be God in being fool. The early church tried to show that we should certainly all become fools for Christ's sake, thus obtaining mercy for the whole race.
6. MATTHEW 'Blessed are the pure in heart.'
The gift of Jehovah. The sight purged of sights. Pure blindness to what is going on. Clear sight of what the reigning principle of life is. Principle, or the Absolute, confers all when once it is seen. Do you see that this very day, not a moment's waiting, every clerk in the store ought to get equal daily pay with the owner of the store? Do you see that the miners who go down into the mines ought to share with the stockholders equally, on the basis of all doing up to the best they could? Do you see that if I think the South Sea islanders need teaching, I am robbing them of their good name, since God, at their center, is as truly God as at the center of Jesus Christ? Then if all this you see, your sight is pure. There is a promise here that he who sees these things through close contemplation of the One at his own center, who is not pleased when he gives to beggars as beggars — since the divine in the beggars is what he should give unto — shall certainly see God come rolling down the ways of men to overturn, and overturn, and overturn the systems that are based on the presumptions of inequalities among men.
7. BARTHOLOMEW 'Blessed are the peacemakers.'
The seventh is the peaceableness of Bartholomew. Whoever thinks reproof is his mission is most haughty when reproved. There is no evidence of seeing the central soul in yourself like your freedom from rebuking. Finding in the thief something to rebuke, you certainly cannot be seen in his unrebukable heart's center. The only rebuker is he who questions you from the center of the prison of your criticism, asking, 'When saw ye me in prison?' Have you noticed how death or idiocy strikes those whose breath is full of accusations? Do you remember Cagliostro's pledge to honor and respect the principle that always touched those who tore the truth from their neighbors? Did he not say that its effect was death or idiocy? Why tremble before me, and spend hours in decrying against me, if I know that your heart's center is the living Jesus? I shall be safely housed as a child of God, because I feel the warm rush of the untouchable One in me, whose brightest activity is peace.
8. PHILIP 'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'
Lover of horses. The message through strength of character, gained by sight of divine principle, is found in this verse. There is nothing like the love that flows from your strong heart when you feel this Philip gate open. The persecutions of men seem like children's toy soldiers. In symbology, horses stand for the swiftness and strength of any principle, which is plain to you. The mother knows that her boy is good. Let her trust her knowledge. If the neighbours think he is bad, if the police are after him, never mind; her knowledge is the working factor. The neighbours will soon be proud to know him when he was young. Why trembleth the mother at opinions of others? Knowledge is a better working factor than are opinions. So with love. If you love anybody, why don't you trust that love to straighten out the tangles between you? Never mind what is interfering. Love is stronger than death or discord. Notice how it is here given that the kingdom of harmony is his who has felt the Christ in him as the strength of him. What Jesus Christ principle is plain to you? Keep your eye on it. It will give you a heart of oak. Stand to it. Swiftness and strength are in its legs.
9. ANDREW 'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely , for my sake.'
This gate of power being opened, the joy of the unchanging presence rushes through. Andrew is the unchanging one. To know that the presence of God in the universe is the extensiveness of your own soul is to find your own every-where-present soul. Wherever you walk you meet yourself. What should it profit you to gain the friendship of mankind as the prince of this world, and lose sight of the spreading forth of your own divine essence? The day when you, by sight of God at your center, recognize that evil speech against you is truly a subtle breath of elixir vitae, you are opened on the Andrew side and can never feel pain any more.
10. JOHN 'Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.'
Grace of God. Three thousand times more than you could expect of mercifulness and gracefulness. Every way you turn, rearward, forward, to right, to left, angels on angels working your miracles for you. Did you ever expect one blessing but have two instead? That was free grace. The thief on the cross asked only for one thought, and he got all heaven. This was free grace. Something wrought an easy victory for Jacob. That was free grace. How often Jesus taught that something would go before me, plead my cause and defend me. This is free grace. How much he said about my doing nothing, for something stood ready to break through my life with miracle-working in my behalf. This is free grace.
11. JAMES 'Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.'
The son of Zebedee. That power which we have been exercising as an ambition we find being run through as beauty. Ambition is ashes. The promise is 'beauty for ashes.' In this verse this savorless life drops down. The salty savor that Elisha sweetened the brackish, tasteless lot of the theological students at Jericho with, makes beauty everywhere. Notice that in this illustrative exercise the divine in man speaks through the last two gates with two over powering assertions. Through the gate of falling ambition when the divine radiance streams in, it is plain that life is worth living. Ye are the salt, the beauty giver, and the changeless wisdom of this universe.
12. SIMON PETER 'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel: but on a candle stick: and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.'
The light that streams because of blunders made. When you had been so steadily worldly wise that you were the wonder and admiration of your neighbours, what was that which caused you to undo the whole reputation at one stroke? That was your Simon Peter quality. Blunders enough, of that unexpected sort, would make a Jesus Christ light of you.