Nona L. Brooks
The race has been acquiring undesirable characteristics through the centuries instead of turning to the divine inherencies: wisdom, love, knowledge, understanding, power, life, and joy. All of these are inherent in God-Life, and Divine Love is sharing these with you and me. In considering every subject we should turn our attention toward our foundation; we cannot then go very far astray. For example, the question is often asked: "Why do these undesirable human characteristics persist after we have learned that, in the light of truth, we are divinely endowed?" This is a practical question; and a satisfactory answer to it will be most helpful to those who are seeking to serve more efficiently by living truer lives.
We are children of God, heirs of God, and we truly inherit a nature that is divine. Let us see then, why we have this fault and that fault, this virtue and that virtue. We are wondering the same things about our neighbors as we do about ourselves. Are we not? The assertion that human traits are transmitted from father to son which is so generally accepted shows that we really believe in a human source. This concept is deeply rooted in the thought of the race, and like all racial concepts is not easily dissolved. It seems that if we view these human characteristics from the point of view of the Universal Presence and Power of Good, the mystery of them should fall away. God is living us and God is manifesting perfection. What does it mean to be alive? It means that Infinite Love is expressing as form, and that you and I as God-Expressions are destined to realize God-Life--that Life which is powerful, true, pure, and joyous. Nothing is thrust upon you and me, however, as children of an Almighty Love; we are free to choose which kind of thoughts we shall think.
Do you see what our foundation is? Men are wonderfully and eternally good by nature. We are sharers of Life Divine; we partake of the Nature of God. Universal Love is expressing as the individual; the Father is working in us to will and to do. The same Power that brings my work to me, helps me to do it well, for Divine Power is radiating through me. Since it is the only power, why do we give power to so many things?
It is true that we do not all move forward toward the realization of our Divinity at an even pace even though our destiny is unchangeable. We shall ultimately know truth, and this knowledge shall set us free from the limitations of the human characteristics that seem to keep us from realizing our destiny. There is in reality no standing still, and no going backwards. Each one is progressing to some degree. Did the prodigal son retrograde during his journey in the Far Country? It does not seem so, for did he not rise out of the experience of separation from God in his thinking, and return to the Father's house? The Father did not force the prodigal to return; but he loved him all of the time he was away.
There is no ruling power that forces us into realization of our heritage; we may wander far and suffer many tribulations before we decide to return to a right attitude--one that will put us in harmony with good. Divine Love is always sharing its warmth, glory, and beauty. It impels the individual to do better things, but it does not compel him to live to his highest. Man is a free agent in so far as his power of choice to realize the good that is always his is concerned. We cannot as individuals by using our personal wills change the truth of what we are in God. A child of God can not change his nature for it is divine. He can, however, neglect to cooperate with Divine Activity, and thereby retard his own progress. Those who through ignorance deny their divine nature live in limitation until they change the trend of their thinking. We seem so eager for the worldly inheritance, and correspondingly indifferent to the Divine Inheritance.
What you and I think does not change the truth of Life. Divine Law is working irrespective of our opinions; let us cooperate with the working of law. If we depend upon our inner heritage, the outer will take care of itself. If we choose the right way, we shall move forward at a much more rapid rate. The choice of the ignorant way means the retarding of our unfoldment. Fulness of life for us depends upon our decisions; we must decide for ourselves what our reactions to experiences shall be. Are we moved and changed by outer things? Is the trend of your life and of mine to be determined by circumstances and conditions? Or shall we say with Paul, "None of these things move me?" The decision lies with you and me.
Jesus believed in freewill; he believed that man's destiny is realization of the whole, but that the rate of his progress is determined by the kind of thinking he chooses to do. He shows us that we are truer companions of God because we are endowed with the power of choice. The victory is much greater if we choose the way of truth as free agents. Although our destiny is chosen for us, our rate of development toward this realization is a matter of our decision. Jesus brings out this truth in the Parable of the Talents. Shall we use the Divine Inheritance that is ours, or shall we bury the riches of it under a load of fear and material limitations? Again the choice is left with us. Shall we follow the example of Jesus, and merge the personal into the Divine? This means progress. It means acceptance of Omnipresence as a working basis for life. As we accept the Allness of God, so do we prosper in every phase of our expression.
How shall we make use of the acceptance of Omnipresence as a basis for the overcoming of wrong human characteristics? First of all, let us apply to our dispositions the fact that harmony is God's way. Do these need changing for the better? It lies within us to make all necessary changes; we may turn a gloomy disposition into a joyous one, or a selfish one to an unselfish one. We can overcome evil with good. The person who looks out upon human experience from the standpoint of the eternal presence of God as the background of his life is the one who comes up over limitation. He overcomes hardship with understanding, foolish ways with wise ones, ignorance with knowledge, separation with love, weakness and inefficiency with power, sorrow with joy, death with Life Eternal. We are much concerned about our temperaments and those of our children and our friends; psychologists are planning ways and means for overcoming undesirable temperaments by outer methods. Why do we not turn to the true method of overcoming--to the understanding of the truth of Being? By this truth we see that we are inherently whole; we are neither weak nor are we sinful.
Some of us are easily discouraged. I hear people say that after years of the study of truth they are still facing conditions of limitation such as weakness, temper, selfishness, depression, hatred of others. This simply means that your victory is not won; be steadfast; keep the faith. Life is eternal progression. You are perfect in nature as the Father is perfect, for you are his expression. The human characteristics that you are holding up in contrast to the divine, and grieving over, are only misconceptions of that which really belongs to you and me by our true nature. He who knows that strength is inherent in his Being cannot be weak for long; if you believe that God is Love, you cannot hate. The one who sees God as harmonious activity cannot lack self-control. Those who know that Life is God--joyous and free, cannot be depressed and fearful.
Do not deplore your weaknesses; work with yourself until these go. You are the one to decide whether or not the human failings shall persist. Be sure that you are not falling below Godís high intent for you, his child. If you inherit a temper according to the thought of the race from some one who has gone before you, turn to this affirmation: I inherit poise from my only Source of inheritance, God. If you are afraid of life's experiences, say to yourself, I know that God is Life. The Life-Principle is infinitely strong; I will trust it. To the sensitive person I say, "Affirm your part in the universal plan as a child of God, and know that there is only the spirit of love in the real of you and of those who seem to hurt you. Bless the one who tries to do you an injury in word or deed. Know that all Life is One. Sensitiveness is self-centered thinking; think out into the universe; get yourself out of the way, and you will see more clearly."
Do not concentrate on your faults; centralize your thinking around God-Life. Know yourself as God in manifestation. You will overcome by the very process of your thinking; the weak traits will vanish. Ask yourself at some moment when you seemed to lose control, "Why was I angry? Why did I criticize? Why was I thoughtless? Why was I hurt?" In the old way of thinking you may believe that you have answers to these questions that are satisfactory. Have you? Let us see. I was angry, because another was unjust. I was critical, because another was in the wrong. I was thoughtless, because I forgot. I was busy attending to concerns of my own. I was hurt, because another did me harm. Is anything that you have said true? You are receiving only what you open yourself to receive. Another cannot hurt you. You are self-centered and open to discordant thoughts; therefore you receive these. Remember, too, that there is no explanation that is satisfactory for destructive criticism or for lack of consideration; your responsibility is to do your part, not to try to do your neighbor's. Thoughtlessness is always selfish; you are thinking only of the personal self, not of the principle involved. Ask yourself, "What is my part?" You will receive an answer.
Are you thinking, "Why was I not put forward as she was or as he was? I am just as capable of doing this greater work." Perhaps you are, but the law of life is working for your good and for the good of all your fellow men. You who believe in law will see that your place is best for you; there is neither high nor low in Godís sight. "All work ranks the same with God."
Are you feeling separation? Are you condemning others? Are you at odds with your work? Are you interpreting everything that comes on the dark side? Are you wondering where these disastrous traits come from in a child of God? From you, not from God, I assure you.
You and I come into this phase of Eternal Life as little children in development; we are not fully aware of our heritage even after many years of growth and unfoldment. We feel the force of race beliefs, and we find these beliefs persisting in us. These human characteristics that have caused us so much trouble--fear, loneliness, despondency, discontent, envy--we carry over from the race owing to our misconceptions about our heritage. These are deeply fixed in us, and it takes definite work--also illumined work--to eliminate them.
It is well for us to face failures squarely; we should know where we fall down, and repent according to the true meaning of the word, repentance, by turning our thoughts in the direction of the truth of Being. What human characteristics have you? Face these without fear, and begin the work of substitution at once. For every limiting trait substitute a universal one. Begin now to strengthen your thinking; this is not difficult. We live only a moment at a time; overcoming means faithfulness. We are not subject to race beliefs; for since we are children of God, the power of God is active within us. We inherit from God only divine characteristics. Let us refuse to acknowledge the power of anything unlike God. We are free by the power of God. Failings and weaknesses do not belong to us; these have no part in divine Life. Failure does not belong to the one who knows his Source; neither does fear.
Universal Life is infinitely powerful. By cooperating with it we can come up over the undesirable human characteristics that have limited us. Let us rejoice that our real inheritance is the inherencies of God-Life. Our method of realization is right thinking.
The mystery of human characteristics is soon cleared away when we view these from the point of view of our true endowment as children of God. Our characteristics are limiting only in so far as we give them power over us. It is the right use of the power within us that makes us powerful. Weakness is a misconception of our potentiality; loneliness is our own thought of separation affecting us; depression is fear of what may happen to us as individuals; temper is misdirected power. We cover our divine power with loads of material limitations, and then, we wonder that we are burdened in a world that is divine, by human characteristics. A few hours of reflection should set us right. There is no mystery about our characteristics; it is our attitude towards these that has caused us to be mystified by their presence.
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