Chapter 3 – Working With The Law

Chapter III
W. John Murray
The Realm of Reality
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1922.

“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
–John 5:17

[35] It is a truth as ancient as the ancient days that, though we cannot contract the Infinite, we can expand our own conception of it in such a way as to make the Infinite serve us whenever we draw upon it intelligently. This is only another way of saying that the object of true prayer is not for the purpose of bringing about a change in God, quite so much as it is for the purpose of bringing about a change in men. In order for us to work intelligently with any law we must first understand that law, whether it be that of mechanics, mathematics or metaphysics. One cannot work contrary to any law and accomplish desirable results, and it is for this reason that an intelligent comprehension of law is as necessary in the religious realm as in any other.

When it is better understood that the Law of God, like that of nature, is fixed and permanent, unalterable and unyielding, men will cease to pray for petty benefactions and will seek rather [36] to co-operate with Law, and thus bring into their lives greater blessings than they at present conceive. One cannot have read the Scriptures carefully without realizing how very important work is, for, in some places, it ranks higher than faith. James says, “Faith without works is dead.” Another says, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone.” Creative work is that which distinguishes the man from the animal, and, more than this, it is that which distinguishes a superior man from an inferior one.

We know how men differ in their attitude toward work when we observe how the majority dislike it, and how careless they are concerning it. For one Josiah Wedgewood, who permitted nothing to leave his pottery shop that was not absolutely perfect, you will find a million to whom perfection is an unnecessary detail, providing the market is supplied with imperfections at a good profit. For one Dante or Shakespeare whose every word must be such that no other could take its place and convey the exact meaning, we have thousands who, at so much per word, write stuff that is neither grammatical nor commendable. It is the paintings of the Michael Angelos and Raphaels which survive and increase in value, while millions of daubs are thrown into the discard. For a work to succeed, whether it be in art or literature, it must be as perfect as man can make it, and this can be accomplished only in the degree that men love their work, for it is the love [37] of work which gives to any work its real value. Love of one’s work makes for perfection.

It is when we consider work in the light of these facts that we see why Paul ranks work so highly, for it is the visible complement of faith, without which faith would be a mere mental abstraction. Faith and works are like the two oars in a boat which must be used in perfect harmony if we are to cross the river of life successfully, for by using either one alone we merely cause the boat to go around in circles. “Working with the Law” is only another way of saying “Co-operating with God.” Men have accomplished marvelous things who did not realize they were co-operating with God; indeed their sense of God was very vague, and, in some instances, it almost amounted to unbelief, but in so far as they were working with the Law they were co-operating with God, whether they realized it or not.

The physical world as we see it today is a visible manifestation of man’s co-operation with God. If man had not co-operated with nature the race would still be trying to keep body and soul together on wild berries and the herbs of the field; but, on the grounds that “necessity is the mother of invention,” man was compelled to work with the Law to produce what nature unassisted would never supply. We know that man alone could never produce the appetizing and healthful fruits and vegetables which he now enjoys and prospers on, but we also know that nature alone, and without man’s co-operation, could not do it [38] either. It is this working with the Law which has served to raise the race from the limited and the crude up to the unlimited and the beautiful.

The God in man, working with the God in nature, has brought into objective manifestation the invisible things which always exist in the archetypal world of Ideas. In a way that is only dimly perceived man is a co-worker with God, as is evidenced by the persistent improvement of the race. The best in man is always working in harmony with the Best in the universe, which is God, and this naturally leads to the “survival of the fittest” in the individual, as well as in the collective mass. When one looks at all the labor-saving devices in the world by which drudgery has been so greatly abolished, one sees that it has all been brought about by working with the Law. Humanity seems to be divided into three groups: those who, through ignorance, work against Creative Law and suffer untold miseries which might easily be avoided; those who, through laziness, refuse to co-operate with the Creative Law; and those who do co-operate with the Creative Law and increase and multiply in consequence.

The inventor is working with the Law whenever he produces anything of utility, whether he admits it or not, for it is always from something higher than himself that he receives his ideas and creative impulses. He is a channel through which Divine Intelligence communicates itself in terms of beneficial production. The Law of Creation, like that of electrical energy, is not a new law [39] which man has evolved; it is as old as God, for it is God, and whenever men have worked with it results always have followed and always will. Every year at the Flower Show we see the results of this working with the law in the persistent improvements which are taking place in the floral kingdom; but these are only ocular evidences of the persistent improvement which is going on in the mind of the horticulturist, and without which the rose and the chrysanthemum would still be in their primitive imperfection of size and color. Nature alone never presented the race with such things of beauty in the floral kingdom and the architectural world as God and man working together have presented it. There are those who regard all the improvements in the worlds of man and of nature as things which occur according to “the natural course of events,” as if “the natural course of events” was something like the falls of Niagara, which could not be stayed, something which went on making changes in the world consciousness, independent of man’s thinking processes.

There are others who speak of things unusual as “occurrences which take place in God’s own good time,” as if they could not have taken place at any time and in any place, whenever God’s Creative Law was complied with. The reason why so many hopes have been deferred is not because Divine Mind was delaying the process, but because man was not availing himself of God’s Law and thus bringing into manifestation [40] the things which God had “ordained for him before the foundation of the world.” If there is one thing more than another which needs to be understood it is the always-ready and never-failing responsiveness of Divine Mind to any intelligent demand that may be made upon it. God does not have to take our needs under consideration and think them over before granting them, as would a president or a king, for He is Infinite Wisdom and knows beforehand what things we need.

Neither is the answer to our prayers delayed because there is not enough in the Divine treasury to fulfill our request at the moment, as sometimes happens when appeals are made for funds to save human life in a nation whose treasury is empty. The electrician does not have to wait for electrical energy to make up its mind before he can begin to avail himself to it; all he has to do is to understand the law of conduction and transmission and the answer to his prayer is instantaneous the moment he establishes contact. The mathematician does not have to speculate as to the willingness of the mathematical principle to come to his rescue when he is in difficulty. He has learned from long experience that all that is required of him is that he work according to its rules and his answer is automatic. It is this working with the law in these domains which gets results, and this is none the less true in that mental domain where the working out of one’s own salvation is the paramount issue. In nature and in art, in mathematics [41] and in music, we know that it is only as we work with the law that there is any real achievement, and now we are learning that our religious lives must be guided more by law than by emotion, if our religion is to be as workable and satisfactory as our mechanics.

At this point the question presents itself as to what is the Law, and what is the Law’s intention. There are those who tell us that the Law is Universal Mind and that Universal Mind has no intention “because it is impersonal.” But over against this we have those words of Jesus: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” And from this statement it would seem as if Divine Mind had intention, and that this intention is a good one.

It is not that Universal Mind has no intention, but that its intention is for Universal Good, and this is precisely what we must know so that our intention will take the same direction, knowing that whatever works for Universal Good will work at the same time for individual health and happiness, on the principle that that which blesses the whole will bless all its parts. Once let us accept the idea that Universal Mind has intention, and that this intention is always the same, and always beneficent, and then it is only a question of reconciling our intentions to the Universal Intention, and the Universal Good becomes a particular expression. This is what is meant by working with the Law, for when man’s intention [42] is God’s intention, and not a mere personal caprice, a force is called into action which gives direction to the undirected Absolute. Working with the Law, when we understand it, will become as simple as touching a button and getting a flood of light.

In athletics and in war we recognize the necessity of team-work, and now we find it in the field of philanthropy, as well as in church and in commerce. When a man thinks he can work alone he has a fool for a partner, and hence the recognized need for co-operation. When the Allies worked together, and not separately, the war quickly ended. There can be no real success, financially or otherwise, until man makes God his ally.

We are told that “One with God is a majority.” This is understood when we see how unassailable a man’s position becomes when he is working with Law. The Law is always on our side when we are on the side of the Law, but let us go contrary to the Law and we at once invite disaster. “The fool hath said in his heart ‘there is no God,’” but that will not help him as long as there is Law to reckon with. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me.” This is not to be limited to a liking or a disliking of his personality, for what is really meant is that whosoever is working with the Law is working in harmony with God’s intention and all things conspire in his favor, as when a boy throws a stick into a stream [43] all the force of the stream conspires to carry that stick in the direction in which it is flowing.

God’s intention is a stream of spiritual consciousness always flowing in the direction of man’s highest interests. Most men stand on the bank of the stream and idly watch it pass by. These are the men who are neither hot nor cold in matters that make for the general good. Others try to swim against it and are dashed upon the rocks of self-conceit and ultimate failure, while a comparatively few are throwing their sticks of thought into it and in this way uniting their purpose with the Divine purpose. Our object in working with the Law is not for the purpose of gaining ascendancy over other men, or of regulating the affairs of the outer world, but for the purpose of rising above our own limitations and exercising dominion over the world of diverse emotions within ourselves. By working with the Law we draw particular benefits to ourselves and others, for we become healthier, happier and holier, and these improved conditions reflect themselves on those with whom we come immediately in contact.

The Law will serve only in so far as we utilize it. Rivers will flow and oceans roll whether we use them or not, but if we are wise we will use them. Nature will continue from one century to another without our co-operation, but if we are wise we will co-operate and compel her to serve our highest purposes in increased production. Universal Mind will go on through all eternity [44] whether we make it our ally or not, but if we have wisdom we will make it our ally. The tendency of the Universal Mind is to express itself in harmony, and when this becomes the tendency of the individual mind, it is as when two streams unite and mingle and then flow on harmonious to the same end.

All things work together for Good to them that love Good, because the Love of Good unites itself with the stream of Good, and not because Good steps out of its way to show its gratitude. All failure is due to taking sides with the finite that is within us. All success is due to taking sides with the Infinite that is within us. Working with the Law, we make God our Silent Partner. We become consciously identified with the Source of all Power and can affirm:

“All good gravitates in my direction, for I am One with God. I love It, I work with It, I attract It. It is now working through me to will and to do of Its own good pleasure; for this is its intention, and my intention is to bring all my thoughts into harmony with it, so that whatsoever I think or do shall be done to the glory of God, the all-Good.”

Chapter 4

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