First printed 1958, Birmingham, Alabama
First printed 1958, Birmingham, Alabama
There is a simple and gentle Light within these pages that will change your life and make all things new. It can! It will! But it is a message only the Heart can find. Search with the Heart and you will find it.
With honest and straightforward simplicity, I am here to tell you that you can never be free of personal trials and tribulations until you make your own discovery of Reality, God. You will never find more than the most temporal, ephemeral happiness until you make a personal discovery of God, Isness—until you get off your soft sofa and actually make your own determination of Reality, of Truth, of Fact. You will never permanently rid yourself of the grind and grate in the pit of the stomach nor find yourself free of that feeling of impending doom until you make your own, individual determination of exactly what God is to you!
Just what does the term 'God' mean to you, Reader? Prior conditioning need not deter you nor anyone else from making this personal determination. Often the mere mention of God brings the disillusioned dismissal, “Here's another of those God messages. I already know what it's going to say.” Similarly, the highly educated and sophisticated slam mental doors, having already erected countless defenses to protect their old and cherished opinions as to what God is. Yet, both those who disregard and those who build the most elaborate defenses are usually those suffering the greatest personal agonies. To plunk mental fingers into mental ears at the mere mention of God cannot alter Truth, but it does a superb job of gluing one to unnecessary fears, frustrations and anxieties.
Let me say it another way: If you have tried everything else and are still periodically miserable, if you still contend with one problem after another, if you still have not yet solved the problem of fear and increasing pressure, and if you are really ready to stop suffering, it is time to do yourself a favor. Start now, this minute, to begin your own determination of what God, Reality, Truth is. One can never be happy nor self-satisfied until he does. One can never be free of trials and tribulations until he does. One can have no permanent sense of health or wealth until he does. No one will ever be free of personal fear or insecurity until he makes a determination for himself of just what God is to him.
Who am I; who are you? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Who or what is God? What is absolute reality?
Reality is the most real thing in a person's life. The term, the very word itself, should, therefore, mean something real and tangible to one—more so than any other word. Obviously one's determination of Reality embraces much more than words; it includes the infinity of non-verbal feelings, sense perceptions and intuitive knowings. The word itself, then, brings to mind this vast meaning that is considerably greater than a mere definition. Thus, the academic sockdolager stating it is not possible to define infinite God by means of finite words becomes little more than a lame excuse to go on sleeping, to make no personal effort to define Reality at all.
Reader, what do you know about Reality? Do you know what is real and what is not? Can you separate fact from fiction? Can you answer Pilate's old question, “What is truth?” Can you define God? These terms must mean something specific to you, Something concrete and understandable that expands as the light of understanding grows brighter.
Well, the time has come to stop fooling around. It's time to get the answer—not from someone else, not someone else's version of the answer—your own answer, arrived at yourself from the depth of YOUR very own being.
Here and now, you can begin this personal effort to determine just what Fact, Principle, Reality, Truth ITSELF is. In spite of all that mankind has been told for centuries, this is not an impossible task. It is not hard to do. It is not even an uphill struggle. It is the happiest thing you will ever undertake. As one divests himself of former beliefs and opinions and begins to arrive at his very own concept of God, through his own effort, from out the wisdom of his own heart, then God, Reality, Truth reveals Itself to that one—just as it has been said, “Seek and ye shall find.”
Everyone, every single person on this earth can arrive at a precise understanding of God! How can this be so? Because God is uncomplicated and easily understood! When one lets go all the things they say about God and stops accepting them blindly as his own beliefs, God becomes remarkably apparent. And why not? What sort of God would it be that withholds Himself from all those who have not suffered enough, studied hard enough, searched diligently enough or prayed earnestly enough in just the right way? What sort of God would it be who absents Himself from those who have not been baptized in this or that fashion, or have not joined this organization or that one? What sort of Love would it be that withholds itself from half the population of the world because it is not Christian or Muslim, because it is not acquainted with this or that arcane, unprofaned wisdom; what sort of Love withholds itself from those not subscribing to this or that set of dogmas and beliefs, not honoring this or that ritual and that ceremony?
Well, be assured, God does not withhold Himself from aught. God is right here, right now, closer than fingers and toes, closer than breathing. There is no distance nor separation between oneself and God, mentally or otherwise. You will find that God is all that is here, and “They shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest, saith the Lord.”
God's simplicity is astounding. It is this very simplicity that the pompous intellect of mankind can neither see nor understand while struggling through its jungle of erudite beliefs.
Let the beliefs go. Let what “they say” go. Drop all the old personal opinions no matter how near and dear they seem. You start anew, turning within to the heart. Then when you arrive at your own meaning of God, you happily find you are also discovering your own real Identity and its childlike simplicity.
This is not a slow process of spiritual refinement over a hot fire of personal ordeals. You do not have to wade through thousands of volumes of ancient and occult lore, to join various and sundry organizations or practice their precepts with fanatical diligence. No need to spend years doing good deeds, here a little, there a little. You might very well DO some of these things; good works are not disparaged here. But you do them, ultimately, because you enjoy them and want to—indeed, because you cannot keep from it—not because some special favor is supposed to accrue from doing them, and not because you are afraid of what might happen if you do not.
One simply does not have to delay his awakening from agony. He does not have to “put off the old man” bit by bit or “die to the self” a little every day or laboriously educate himself. One does not have to delay for any reason at all. He may drop the “old man” with all his trials and tribulations here and now if he chooses and immediately experience a joy and tranquillity beyond belief—all of this as easily and quickly as awakening from a daydream.
Reader, how easily can you withdraw from your own mental fantasy in a land of make-believe? Who snaps you out of your wool-gathering but you yourself?
When one begins to answer these questions for himself, extraordinary things start happening in his experience. Trials and tribulations slip away, one after the other. Even the most persistent pressures lose their power to disturb. One finds oneself seeing old concepts in a new and lovelier light. Suddenly, health, wealth, and happiness appear where they seemed absent before. Freedom and tranquillity blossom forth in business; love permeates every nook and cranny of experience; untoward conditions of every kind vanish like the morning mist—all because you have begun a personal determination of exactly what Truth means to you.
But let me pause a moment, lest this be misleading. The joyful occurrences in one's experience are not the GOALS at all. They are the “added things” that come from a personal determination of what God is—and they all have to do with Reality, with one’s real Identity, with who, and what God is, with who and what “I” am. Answer the question “What is Truth?” for yourself; let the attention remain here, and then, as the answer begins to occur, you will enjoy the seeming changes that take place in your day to day living quite as something “extra,” as “signs following”--yet not half so wonderful as the recognition of your honest Identity.
Continue Reading: About Agnosticism
Continue Reading: About Agnosticism