Nona L. Brooks
Men have been so engrossed in watching process in the visible that they have missed the vision of the invisible; contemplation of the part has taken the place of meditation upon the whole. Men have believed that because their comrades passed out of the radius of the senses that there must be a mystery about their abiding place. "If we cannot see and touch our loved ones in this body which we have always known, where are they?" This question is asked over and over again. It is easily seen why a mystery arose around the experience men called death. They have been in bondage to the world conception of death as the opposite of life.
The New Revelation is changing our conception about many things; best of all we are coming to know the reality of the seen and the unseen; we are seeing these as one. We are seeing life and the experience called death according to a clearer vision as we free ourselves from the bondage of world conceptions and look directly through appearances into reality. The light of truth is revealing to us that there is only one experience of death: this is when men die in sin and in ignorance. Limitation is death, because it is the opposite of freedom. He who frees himself from these limitations--sin, sickness, and fear--shall not taste of death. We are coming to see that just as bondage to wrong belief is death, so is the belief of separation from God. In fact the man who separates himself from God in his thinking and from his fellow men in his doing is experiencing one form of death.
A consideration of the experience of death from the standpoint of Divine Science will bring an answer to the question, "Who are the dead?" The so-called dead are those who conceive themselves apart from Life--God in action. In this God-Plan of eternal progression there is no death. The process of life is that of resurrection, continuous unfoldment. Divine Science sees resurrection as an eternal process; we rise out of limitation daily. This is living. We rise out of the belief in death or separation into the realization of unity and cooperation. To rise we must train our thought to see the true and the beautiful--God in action--instead of the false and the ugly, men's opinions from the standpoint of duality.
It is interesting to trace the differing attitudes toward death that have characterized the expressions of our fellow men. The Christian has faced it as a calamity with fortitude and resignation, while he has resisted death and mourned it as the worst of evils; for to him it was synonymous with separation of loved ones and the ending of earthly life, but it was the will of God.
Has the dread and fear of death, as we call the experience of transition, passed out of the thinking of those who call themselves followers of New Thought? With many resistance to the experience still remains; it is considered an evil, because they think it is a sign that truth has failed. Divine Science is not willing to admit that the incident in life that men call death is an evidence that truth has failed. We believe that God does not know death, for God is Life. What, then, is the origin of the belief that prevails concerning the experience? It is a condition in your thinking and in mine. Natural science tells us that death is an acquired habit of the race, and that since men have taken it on, men must throw it off. Divine Scientists know that there is only one place in which to overcome death; this is in your thinking and in mine. Natural science tells us that men are potentially able to throw off this acquired habit; we believe that the race is able to rise out of the misconception that men must die. Wise men have told us that death is the last enemy to be overcome, and this is a reasonable assertion, for the race habit of the thought of death is deeply imbedded in our subconscious mind. It will take consecrated effort to root it out. We all recognize the difficulties attendant upon weeding our gardens, especially in keeping weeds out even after much effort.
Let us keep our thinking true to the principle of God and God in action as the basis for our thinking. God and God in action, then, is the Universe. Eternal evolution is the law of Being. We have within us the power to unfold continuously in the realization of God-Consciousness. We are alive in God, the eternal Creator expressing as Creation.
Men resist what they fear; hence, they have resisted death. What is the ground for a fear of death in the light of the New Revelation? Think for a moment. How can we fear if we believe that law is God in action, and that this experience called death comes by law, and is an incident in a living process? In life there can be no cessation of activity, no instant when God is not. Why fear? In the concept of Omnipresence there is no place for the absence of life. Fear is a belief in separation; a misconception that there is life and that there is death. We have thought in terms of activity and inactivity; whereas there is only one state, God in action.
We have thought of a beginning and an end. Reflect for a moment. We have accepted Omnipresence--God everywhere--how can there be a beginning and an end in God? You will agree with me that the limitation is in our thinking, not in the universal plan of which there is neither beginning nor end. It is only human experience that conceives death and calls it an ending; in the infinite plan what we call death is only transition, one of our opportunities for higher development.
We are all seeking truth; those who seek faithfully find. The men of natural science are hardheaded, patient men working carefully, persistently, accurately, definitely, to discover more and more of the facts about life. They are careful to make no mistakes; integrity and accuracy are their standard. We are careful to make no mistakes--our Basis is eternal truth. As they declare the fact of life everywhere, so we affirm the truth of their declarations by asserting that God-Life is everywhere. Natural science teaches that everything in the universe is active; there is nothing static. The truth of this statement is affirmed in Divine Science by the declaration--God and God in action is all there is.
The world as we see it is factual; the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms are facts. Form is a fact; process is evident. The fact is the temporal; truth is the eternal. The fact is the phenomenon, the thing that is evident; the truth is the meaning back of the phenomenon. We seem to see when we consider only the phenomenon, the beginning and the end of process. Hence, there arises in the individual a peculiar dread of the end of things; the end of what we call the world process seems to us vital. Let us turn the inner eye upon the eternal Process; even though to you and to me there may seem to be a cessation of the process in the visible, so far as we can see with the eyes of the senses. Are we learning to think through facts into truth? Is life in the light of truth made up of phenomena alone, or of the Cause and the phenomenon? There is an answer to this question in the teaching of Omnipresence; for Life is Omnipresent Spirit, and process is God-Expression.
We seem to have dwelt upon separation until we have come to think in terms of duality; this side, meaning the manifest world, the other side, meaning the unmanifest. It is the unmanifest or the unseen that we persist in veiling in mystery. Humanity has clung to the visible and the tangible; the factual has held men firmly in its grip. They have been sure of the visible, so they thought, and correspondingly unsure of the invisible. The invisible was thought of as that which is coming next, instead of that which is now. All sadness in relation to the experience we call death passes when we understand the truth of the universe of form--that everything from the atom to the solar system is alive in God. All is Life; all Life is God-Life. Where can we go from Life? We leave Life only in our thinking; and then we think that we are no longer one with God.
Let us never get away from the truth of an orderly universe of form. Everything comes by law; and everything that comes in the process of law is progression. The eye of faith looks straight across the gulf of seeming separation, and see that every experience is good, and means progress for the individual, and that what we have called death is only a transition, an evolutionary step. I can almost hear you say, "What about the sadness of separation from our loved ones in the life of the home? Why is one whose life is so full of promise taken out of this sphere of action?" When we are at one with the truth of law as God in action and when we put that which we know into practice in our daily lives, we shall see that there is no separation, and shall be able to make practical use of this great truth. Our loved ones are in the One Presence. Let us turn away from any concept of cessation of activity in relation to the incident we call death. No experience can retard our development; it is only our attitude toward the experience that limits us.
The prodigal son was progressing all of the time that he was in the Far Country; he was satisfied when he had seen the meaning of husks, to return to his Father's house. His journey proved a worthful one, in that it showed to him the glory of that which he had left. So it is with us; we journey away often, and make mistakes the world calls evil, but as we begin to live truth, we rise from our dream of sense satisfaction, and go back in our thought to Spirit. How wonderfully the law works. We find that we have not really been away at all; we have only conceived separation in our thinking. In other words out thoughts have been in a Far Country; we have been emphasizing the part instead of the whole.
How many of us have expected to find our satisfaction in the outer only to discover that all we wish for is already fulfilled within. Our eyes have been turned in the wrong direction. We have seen lack and imperfection, and through our misconceptions these things looked real to us. The experience itself has neither meaning nor effect until we endow it by our mental attitude, with the power to cause results in our lives.
The question comes to all of us sometime in our lives, “What must I do to be saved from all of these misconceptions?” We find ourselves getting under conditions of sickness, lack, fear. We become disheartened; the need seems very great. The responsibility is still yours and mine. It is left to us to take the step that leads to salvation. We must clear our vision, and turn our thought within to the true Source of help; then shall we see life rich and filled with blessings. It will be proved to us that all process is worth-while and has a deep meaning, if we see Life as a Divine Process. We are here to develop; let us welcome experiences as means to an end; not as ends in themselves. We shall not fear the process, when we understand that it is all progress. Then we shall cease to see experience detached from progression. When we fail to catch the relation of experience to a progressive plan, it assumes undue proportions, because we are thinking of what the experience can do to us, instead of what we can do with the experience.
In the light of the new understanding it is revealed to us that it is unnecessary to go through a hard experience of suffering and separation which the world calls death in order to attain freedom from limitation; but if we have not outgrown this conception, when death comes, we should see that it comes by law when it is best for the individual. We move from house to house, from city to city, without fear; yes, even from country to country. In fact, the experience of change is a pleasurable one. Why, then, should we dread journeying from one plane of activity to another? Life is a school; when you and I have done the work in one grade satisfactorily, we are promoted to the next higher; so it is that when we have learned the lessons in one stage of development in the process of education, we are pronounced worthy of the next. Promotion in the school of life is eternal. As we progress we are needed somewhere else in the eternal plan; and you and I go on when it is best for us as individuals. The law of progress is perfect at every point.
Sometimes we fall into narrow grooves of thinking and doing; these are called ruts; and without doubt, retard our development. Ruts offer to us the line of least effort; and when we become mentally lazy or when we feel that we have reached the final word of knowledge, and refuse to progress of our own accord, we must be jostled out of the rut. Blessed is the law that moves us out into greater opportunities for progression.
There are so many questions connected with a discussion of this subject of death that it is difficult to find the most pertinent; I think, however, that one engrossing question in the thoughts of those who doubt and of those who believe is: Where do those who have passed through the experience known as death go? They seem to drop the body; hence, the world belief has wrapped the departed, as they are called, in a veil of mystery. Can they function without the tangible body which has seemed to identify them as individuals here? Think of the little we have learned of the infinite universe of form around us; the laws of the solar systems are no more difficult to understand than are the laws of the tiniest flower that grows. There is so much that is still in the invisible in so far as we are concerned. Our senses register much that is vital in the universal plan, as it functions, but these also miss much that is wonderful. The universe of form is active in myriad ways that our senses are unable to comprehend; however, we see that these phenomena are the results of an infinite Cause. Can we not see that the Infinite Intelligence which is ever creating the universe of form is equipped to take care of the individual? Are we trusting it? The law of love is unfolding you and me into ever greater awareness of truth. Life is continually enlarging for us, as we live it with understanding.
Do you believe in God? If you do, you must see that death is only a name for an event in Life Eternal. The law of Life is good; hence, the event is good. When we have learned how to live, the experience that we speak of as death will not be preceded by difficulties, suffering, and sadness; we shall simply go on. There is no weakness in the process of Life; it is only our attitude toward the experience that is wrong. The same is true of the event known as death; it is our attitude that is wrong. There is without doubt a possibility of reaching a state of consciousness in which we shall be translated without pain and sadness. "Enoch walked with God, and was not." Moses, Elijah, and Jesus all reached the degree of consciousness which has proved to us that death is only an event in life. Jesus rose from the dead; for to him all was Life; he ascended over the beliefs in limitations; and he proved to us that he did this through faith in the law of Life.
Death is no longer to be thought of in the old ways. It does not mean an end or in itself the way to attainment; for the event of the passing on does not open all possibilities to us at once. Law is working; there are no leaps into untried spheres; there is orderly progression. Heaven is here; it is in our thought, and we need not pass through the gates of death in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, as the older creeds taught. As we unfold we rise into the heavenly state, for we are dropping our limitations of fears and beliefs. There is no other life; there is only Life. The word, other, must have come into use to meet a need of those who taught the dualistic concept. It has no meaning in the New Revelation.
There is no joy aside from knowing God. In the greater freedom of the thought of the one who knows God there is opportunity to develop in ever richer ways. There is no finality of expression; phases of the Infinite Life to live. The law of love transfers us from our good. Let us trust it for ourselves and for others. It is our faith that makes us whole. See Life, not death. Think of the joys of eternal progress, and you will rejoice in every process. There is Life, Life, Life! There is no death--hence, there can be no mystery.
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