Chapter XVW. John Murray
The Realm of Reality
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1922.
“The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in His season, and to bless all the work of thine hand, and thou shalt lend unto many nations and thou shalt not borrow.”
 In these days of metaphysical investigation, it is not surprising that thought is turning in the direction of a more general application of spiritual psychology. Time was when men felt that the employment of spiritual means for what they called, in their ignorance, material purposes was ignoble and sacrilegious. Even today we seem to feel that we may call upon the Infinite for anything and everything, save money, and yet when we examine the thought carefully we see that it is based upon the belief in opposites. We hesitate to implore Spirit to act for us on what we call the plane of the material, and by so doing we defraud ourselves of those visible blessings, the which, if we do not possess, leave us little time or thought for the contemplation of the Real. Life that is  not visible in energy and animation is not expressed, and unexpressed Life is not appreciable either to God or man.
Health and strength which are not made visible in clearness of eye, elasticity of step, and in what men call physical endurance, may as well be, and remain in kingdom come, so far as the individual is concerned. In like manner then, abundance or prosperity, unless expressed, is a hollow mockery to the man besieged by creditors and haunted by the needs of his family.
When all earthly means have been exhausted, is the individual to conclude that there is no help for him in the Lord, since it is an error to apply Spiritual Science on the plane of the material? Who or what is it that suggests a material plane? In the Science of Spirit is there such a plane as the plane of the material? And if so, on what basis is it established?
If there is a material plane, then there must be a material foundation for it, and if there is a material foundation, then God, or Spirit, is not the Only Founder and Foundation. “Other foundation shall no man lay than that which is laid.” To believe in another foundation than that which is the only Foundation, namely, Pure Spirit, is to be a house divided against oneself.
When we learn that there are not two planes–the spiritual and the material–we shall not try to “materialize spirits” nor “spiritualize matter,” for we shall have learned that a thing can never be transformed into its opposite. Money is not,  as some suppose, the materialization of spiritual substance; rather is it the visible expression of Invisible Abundance.
It is we who materialize money when we use it for sinful purposes, just as we carnalize the affections when we reduce them to self-gratification. Materialization is not the conversion of one substance into its opposite, quite so much as it is our mistaken or malicious use of that which is in itself a particular expression of the universal Reality. We have condemned the flesh and thought we were following the example of Jesus, who “came not to condemn the flesh, but the sins which are done in the flesh.” We have despised wealth because of the false and ignoble uses to which it has been put, when we should have worked to acquire it for the purpose of putting it to grand and noble uses.
We have been taught, by a fat and prosperous clergy, to regard poverty as a virtue, but they have not been nearly so eager to cultivate this particular virtue as they have been to make others comfortable in a most uncomfortable position. Poverty is no more a power to be submitted to than is pain or profligacy, for it is all too often the mother of both, and through these it is the grandmother of an innumerable progeny.
The best that can be said in favor of poverty is that it occasionally causes men to seek divine guidance by which to escape from it. On this principle we may declare that pain is a positive good, since it causes men to seek a remedy for it;  but these declarations are based on a one-sided view of things.
For centuries we have faintly believed in the therapeutic value of prayer. That we can, through prayer, be liberated from or sustained through painful experiences, all true believers in God will readily concede, but the Science of Christ reveals to the receptive soul the prophylactic value of prayer. Prevention is better than cure, and the prevention of poverty is a subject that is frequently under discussion these days.
To instruct humanity in the Law of unlimited Abundance is to enable them to turn to the Inexhaustible Source, which is God, and this is the work of the true educator and emancipator. To teach humanity, individually and collectively, that God is the source of supply, and that “There is no lack in Him in Whom all fullness lies,” is the function of the real philanthropist.
Man, knowing his relation to the universe, is an inlet to the Over-Soul. Becoming a channel in himself, through spiritual understanding, he depends less and less on other channels, and more and more on the Source of these. Having freely received through other channels from the One and Only Source, we must freely give, continuously, however, pointing the gaze upward so that others, too, will presently tap the Reservoir directly, instead of indirectly.
We must learn sometime, somewhere, somehow, that dependence on anything short of the  Dependable is a looking to the creature instead of the Creator, and that such dependence is false and must eventuate in disappointment. “Put not your trust in princes,” said the Psalmist–not that the princes are unreliable always, but because they, too, are tributary to the King. We must learn that we also are princes, children of the King, and that in the court of Spirit there are no favorites.
Man, in his ignorance, would separate man from man and all men from God; but God in His infinite wisdom ever unifies and knits all together in bonds of love. He causeth prosperity, like the rain, to fall upon the just and the unjust alike, and this because His love is impartial and universal.
When we see an unjust rich man we are prone to declare that evil succeeds where goodness fails, and then we question the justice of God, forgetful of the fact that there is a psychological and scientific reason for this apparent injustice and favoritism.
Not knowing that man is the Expression of God in all that God is, we seem to feel that each individual can express the Universal only in some one particular direction. On this false assumption we declare that the literateur and the artist must of necessity be impecunious. Art and true literature may have nothing to do with a sinful commercialism, but if the artist and literateur leave out from their calculations the commercial value of their productions, they are apt to starve  in a garret, or subsist on the crumbs which fall from other men’s tables. On the other hand, we often hear it said that men of wealth cannot, by reason of their wealth and attendant responsibilities, be spiritually minded, and in support of this we have the story of the camel and the eye of the needle repeated to us. If man expresses Deity in Prosperity, a limited understanding of Man’s possibilities as the reflection of the Infinite asserts that he cannot express Deity in Purity. If man is pure he cannot be prosperous, says finite belief, and thus we argue for limitation and finiteness. When the individual learns that he is the complete reflection of the universal, he will know that that is not a perfect “image and likeness” which reflects only in part. “A righteous man thinketh that which is righteous,” and whilst he does so and walketh uprightly, he shall have the Lord favorable unto him in all his enterprises.
If the Bible promises healing and health as the result of righteousness, or right thinking, it also promises immunity from poverty. The foolish belief that poverty is a virtue should not close our eyes to the sacred assurances of Holy Writ. If an unjust man be a rich man it is only an evidence of the fact that he has concentrated on riches to the exclusion of righteousness, but this is no proof against the fact that he might have had both riches and righteousness had he been so minded. If a pure man be poor it is no evidence that poverty is the natural accompaniment of purity; it is only an indication of the common error in  believing that no one man can reflect God in all His attributes. The tiniest dew-drop or the tiniest blade of grass, as well as the limpid surface of the largest lake, reflects the sun, not in part but in its entirety. Man, as the manifestation of the Invisible Whole, cannot be the slave of limitation except by his own ignorance or weakness of consent, and it is just these errors that Truth comes to destroy.
As ignorance makes for slavery, so enlightenment makes for emancipation, and here, again, we are to rise superior to the belief in limitation. Emancipation from one task-master, while remaining in bondage to others, is not absolute freedom, and nothing short of absolute freedom can be likened to “the glorious liberty of the children of God.” “By humility and the love of the Lord are riches and honor, and life,” says the wise man, and we should lay as much emphasis on the one as the other. The only danger comes from emphasizing one more than the other. One boasts that honor is preferable to riches. Another thinks he must sacrifice honor to acquire riches, while still another is so fearful of bodily injury that he will sacrifice honor and riches to save his skin.
From whence cometh this distorted view of things, if it is not from the belief that man can never be the unlimited Expression of Un-Limited Mind? That the individual may manifest one or more of the attributes of the universal is almost generally conceded, but that the Individual may  manifest all the Deific characteristics is a Truth which comparatively few can appreciate, and hence it is that while we strive to be satisfied with health minus wealth, and wealth minus health, we instinctively reach out for both, and this because it is according to the Law of Complete Abundance that we should have both.
“There is a spirit in man,” says Job, and it is this very spirit which some speak of as the Divine urge which ever protests against anything short of Perfection. The nearer the spirit (thought) in man approaches the spirit (thought) of God, the more it appreciates its likeness to this spirit of the Real, and the more apparent does it become that poverty, like pain, is a flaw in an otherwise perfect gem. The most perfect gem is a righteous mind, but that is not a flawless mind in which the slightest cloud of fear or doubt appears, and the fear of poverty obscures the sun of joy and gladness in many a heart. To what, then, shall we turn in our dilemma if it is not to the Divine Lapidary? Like traders in precious stones, we may be satisfied that our particular gem of character cannot be improved upon.
We have not regarded poverty as a mental flaw quite so much as we have considered it an unavoidable circumstance–therefore, we present our mental gem to the scrutiny of the Divine Lapidary in the belief that it is a facsimile of His own, and lo! it is returned to us for correction. The human mind in its spiritual state  is an exact reproduction of Divine Mind, the very “image and likeness of God,” and for this reason the Divine Lapidary points out the flaw. Having failed to observe it, or having observed it, to excuse it as an evidence of virtuousness we present it, and not until its imperfection, as a true copy, is made clear to us do we awake from our delusion. The eye of the expert sees what we have not seen.
Looking into the soul of man, it detects what cannot be found in God, namely, a belief in insufficiency. Now, in the Mind which is God, there is no such belief, and no ground for it, since “there is no lack in Him in Whom all fulness lies,” and the recognition of this fact, coupled with the understanding that Man is the manifestation of the Unmanifested, will dissipate the delusion. “Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.” In relying upon these promises of the ever-beneficent Lord of Hosts, we cultivate the habit of serene trust. A serene trust is something entirely different from a blind hope, and its difference lies in this, that it is based on the conviction that “God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Not a few, not a great number, but all your needs are to be supplied through a knowledge of Truth. “And the Lord (Truth) shall guide thee continuously and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered  garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.”
There are two statements, often used, sometimes accepted, but as often rejected. “Be good, and you will be happy,” is a true declaration, but there are many good people who are not happy, and there is a saying which has grown out of this one, and it is, “Be good, and you will be lonesome.” It does not seem to follow that because man is good he will be happy. Some of the best men we know are not happy, but this is not because they are good, but because with all their goodness they are, all too frequently, sorry for themselves. They know they are good, and they cannot understand why everybody else does not know it, and praise them for it. Goodness is its own recompense, and one should be happy because he is good, if for no other reason. The consciousness that one is doing the best he can under all circumstances is a certain remedy for unhappiness. A man may not directly create the most harmonious conditions for himself, but he can so order his thought that these indirectly will eventuate in producing such conditions as are most desirable.
Another statement which is often used is, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you,” and while this also is true, have we not seen those who have most diligently endeavored to live the spiritual life confronted with the most distressing poverty? What is the answer? Surely it is not  because a man seeks the kingdom of God that he is poor. May it not be that, with all his seeking, there is a lurking fear of lack? And may not this obsession be the sediment in the channel which prevents the free flow of the Substance which, when expressed on the objective plane, we call money? To trust God with one-half of our minds and to fear poverty with the other half is to be “a house divided against itself,” and hence the failure to demonstrate.
If we are mindful that the Source of all wealth is omnipresent and inexhaustible, and also remember that this Source is saying in its still small voice, “Behold, all that I have is thine,” we shall get ready to accept that which God has so richly provided, as did the widow when the prophet told her to “Go, borrow thee vessels, abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels, borrow not a few.” This illustrates the need of preparation as well as prayer. To pray for oil, but to get no vessels to put it in, is to defeat the purpose for which we pray. To pray for prosperity and to doubt its appearance in our lives because we cannot see at the moment how, or through what particular channel, it is going to come to us, is to make it impossible for it to manifest through us at all.
It is not necessary for us to think in terms of specific sums as when one “visualizes” a particular amount, for this is to limit the Illimitable, on the principle that “One cannot get a three-inch  stream through a one-inch pipe.” Our thought must not be of some special manifestation of wealth, but of Wealth itself, which as we think Wealth will tend to flow into us through innumerable channels, even as water tends to flow from a higher to a lower level into such receptacles as man or nature has provided for it. And just as water which flows into any vessel tends to assume the form of that vessel, and of no other, so unlimited Substance, or Opulence, will assume the shape of that which is most needed at the moment.
There is one point that must not be forgotten in this matter of seeking first the Source and having all things added, and this is that the channel must be as wide on the dispensing as it is on the receiving end; otherwise harmonious circulation will be interfered with. Man is not a funnel with the big end held in the direction of the Source of Supply, and the little end in the direction of other men. To expect abundance from God, and at the same time to be afraid to spend for that which is really necessary, is like squeezing a hose-pipe so that what might be a good sized flow of opulence becomes a mere trickling stream which hardly suffices to meet Caesar’s demands from day to day. It is not that God’s supply is limited, nor is it always that our demand is too small, all too frequently it is because our distribution is niggardly and mean.
To affirm Opulence in order to get it, and then to plead poverty in order to excuse ourselves from  giving to worthy charities and holy causes, is like screwing a metal cap on a fire hydrant. There is plenty of water in the reservoir, but none for the fire; and hence, through the fire of indignation at so-called “Christian conduct,” is destroyed the faith of many which might have been preserved if the cap of parsimoniousness had been removed.
Whatever the phase of poverty may be–spiritual, intellectual, or financial–we may have recourse to the Inexhaustible Font, for “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things may abound in every good work.” Claiming abundance for the purpose of dispensing it, we become free and open channels. Circulation and not stagnation is the law, and this order will become more general as men cease from their fears of “future poverty,” which is as much the haunting specter of the rich as of the poor. Let us know, then, once and for all, “As He is so are we in this world.” As He is Life, Truth and Love, so is He Substance, and for this reason our Substance is imperishable as our Life is indestructible. “I cause those that love Me to inherit Substance, and I will fill their treasuries.” Accepting Substance as literally as we accept Life and Health, we shall enter into our inheritance. Poverty, like pain, shall flee away and Universal Prosperity shall be the natural consequence of spiritual enlightenment.
* * * * *
The Realm of Reality
Table of Contents