Rev. Joseph Murphy, Ph.D.
THIS IS IT: The Art of Metaphysical Demonstration
Church of Divine Science
Los Angeles, 3rd ed., 1948 Revised
The discipline of looking inwardly is Meditation. What we understand we do naturally. What we do not understand we force ourselves to do. Students so often tell the teacher how hard they tried. The very effort meant failure, for meditation is always effortless. Tension, exertion or force result in failure.
An excellent way to still the mind is as follows: imagine yourself on a mountain top, looking into a lake. In the placid surface you see the sky, the stars, the moon and those things above the earth. If the surface of the lake is disturbed, the things seen are blurred and indistinct; thus it is with you. You are not “still”–not at peace–and the answer to prayer comes only to the man who dwells with all tranquility on the joy of already having received that for which he prayed.
Meditation is the internalizing of consciousness. It is the pilgrimage within. If an eight year old child can operate the Law successfully, we can. We first must become as the little child. Half an hour a day spent in meditation upon your ideals, goals and ambitions will make you a different person. In a few month’s time the gentle, silent acknowledgement comes that God is within you, that the spirit of Almighty God is now moving in your behalf and that which you long to be, to possess or do is already a fact of consciousness. Man actualizes this state by feeling the thrill of accomplishment; when he has succeeded, he will no longer be worried, anxious or apprehensive.
Moreover, he will not ask anyone for advice, because he will be under compulsion to do that which is right. His subjective mind compels him to take all the necessary steps to the completion of his goal or objective. After prayer, if a man is still doubtful and begins to argue with himself as to which course to pursue, it means that he has not fixed the desired state in consciousness; then let him go back again and dwell in the reality of it.
“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of woman there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matt. 11:11). This means that any man who prays successfully and touches Reality by getting into the proper mood or feeling is greater than the wisest man. Most of us live life looking outwardly. The wise learn to look inwardly. The disciplines of looking “inwardly” are termed together, “Meditation.”
Detachment is the key to meditation. That is, we must sever ourselves completely from all worldly beliefs and opinions, and focus silently upon our ideal state. It is the effortless-effort which causes us to flow towards that which we realize without conflict. Detachment does not mean that we give up what few earthly possessions we may have. It means that we must give up possessiveness in ourselves, or release the attachments that peculiarly limit us to a human viewpoint in all matters.
“Be still and KNOW.” Stillness is not only keeping quiet; it means that the causes within the Self, by which the inward life is rendered discordant, have been removed. It indicates that there must be no inner dissonance, but rather when man goes within himself, he must find perfect and abiding peace. Knowing that God is within himself makes man live in a world that is ever peaceful. The lack of it makes him live in a series of conditions which grieve him to the end. He fusses about things which, if he saw them differently, would not cause one moment of unhappiness.
Everyday of our life we should meditate on beauty, love and peace. We should feel that these qualities are being resurrected in us. As we meditate daily on this inner beauty, let us feel that we are Jesus the Christ, the illumined man. Let us actually conjure the mood that would be ours were we actually doing his works and healing the blind, the halt and the lame. As we walk the earth, we must sustain this mood or conviction that we are Jesus and those qualities, which he portrayed, will be resurrected within us. They were always within us! This state of consciousness is not born of woman. Jesus is born out of the imagination of man and nowhere else. It is the second birth or spiritual awakening of man. The birth of Jesus the Christ truly takes place in man as he practices the disciplines and meditates on the ideal state.
By moving inward, the mystic finally finds the Real. As he goes inward he realizes first that this thing called the body is very unreal, and this earth upon which we are seated becomes unreal. The external life becomes the dream; the internal life awakens and moves further and further inward. Finally it seems to merge, and suddenly the meditating Self perceives that, by going inward, it has found the Universe. The suns, moon, stars and planets are within. For the first time he knows that planets are thoughts; that suns and moons are thoughts; and also he apprehends that his own consciousness is the realization which sustains them all. Temporarily in space are moving the dreams of the Dreamer; worlds, suns, moons and stars are the thoughts of the Thinker. His eyes are closed; He is meditating, and we are His meditation. It is CONSCIOUSNESS meditating on the mysteries of Itself!
This inward journey ultimately leads man to the Real. It leads man away from the sense of the small “I” to the realization of the eternal Self. The mystic’s mind, through meditation, finds the peace, the strength and fortitude for further steps. The practice of the discipline of meditation bestows beauty, love, peace, grace and dignity upon every impulse, every attitude and every act.
In conclusion, let us meditate on these lines, written by the finger of God, the Ancient of Days, which have come to us, down through the ages–ever the Ageless Wisdom: