Lesson VIRev. W. John Murray
The Murray Course in Divine Science
Society of the Healing Christ
New York, 1927.
God, being the source of all life, must necessarily be the source of health. Health is the pure inflow of Creative Life coming to us freely for the free operation of all our powers. Life in its fullest and freest sense is synonymous with health. God is the source of all life, the fountain of health.
There are few men who do not believe in God. But the conception of God varies largely with the individual. We have spoken of what God is not. Let us speak now of what He is.
God exists in all created things. The word ex-ist means a standing forth out of, or a manifestation of, being. As the scientists have reduced all energy to the atom and this to the etheric principle we can see how God dwells in and composes all things. He manifests Himself in man in life, mental, physical and spiritual. Even the least religious person realizes that there is an area in the soul in which God can be felt. We cannot conceive of God through the faculty of reason so much as we can through the realm of feeling. We have an intuitional knowledge of the existence of God. We feel that He is within us, however elusive may be our idea of Him as an entity. We are conscious of a divine element in our composition.
St. Paul, in addressing the Greek philosophers in the Aereopagus, said:
- “The God who made the earth and all things therein, seeing that He is lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made of hands;
“Neither is he served by men’s hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth life to all, and breath and all things;
“And hath made of one all nations to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined all times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
“That they should see God, if perhaps they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from any of us;
For in Him we live, move and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”
“If perhaps they might feel after Him,” Paul says, He hath made all men “that they should seek God.” Now that seeking must be done from within, and we find God by and through the feelings. Even the most ungodly man has his rare moments of deep self-introspection and questioning, when he is feeling after God. Even this man realizes in a dim way that “He giveth life and breath and all things.”
God is the Principle of Life. He is not a person, because if He were He could not be present in all things. He could not as a person be our life, our breath and “the health of our countenance.” To realize what God as Principle means, let us think of the principle of music or of mathematics. If we compare God as Principle with the principle of mathematics it is because in so doing we may more closely recognize the actuality and operation of God. What does St. Paul mean by saying: “For in Him we live, move and have our being?” This is a vivid description of God as Principle. In Him we live, that is the principle of life; in Him we move, that is the principle of power; in Him we have our being; that is the principle of Spirit; all operating under laws as immutable as the law of mathematics. The more we analyze this description the more we must become convinced of the fact that essentially we are an extension of Divine Principle.
God is the Principle of life in and through all nature. He is immanent (indwelling) in all created things. These are expressions of God, the projection of God’s thought into visible form. Hence, man is a manifestation or expression of the Divine Idea of Man, and here we must refer to the Mosaic account of Creation, wherein we are told that God made Man in His own image and likeness. This does not mean, as the Christian world has so long taken it to mean, that we are imaged in God’s form physically, or have a likeness to Him corporeally, for our physical formation is designed as an equipment for earthly requirements entirely. But it means that we are made in God’s image and likeness spiritually–we are all emanations of the Divine Spirit.
God is not a person and is therefore without sex. God unites Himself, the masculine and feminine, in His creative powers and in His attributes. In speaking of God it is necessary that we should employ human terms so that the simplest mind may comprehend Him. Jesus spoke of God as Father, for this word brings to the mind in the simplest form the quality of God as Love and His relation to us as our Creator.
God (Good) is without beginning and without ending. If He had a beginning then God has created Himself and could not be God, for He would owe His existence to an antecedent power. And if He had a beginning He would necessarily be obliged to have an ending. God is Life Eternal, the Principle of Life existing from all Eternity.
The inspired thought of all nations and men agrees that God was always existent as pure Being. The loftiest thought of all the great religions of antiquity conceives of Him as living in Self-contemplation, until, seeking to manifest more and more the joy of living, He by the power of His thought pressed life out into visibility, into external shapes. Thought is creative. To think constructively is to create, for the thought ever seeks to manifest itself in shape. Our thought is constructive. The architect thinks into shape the great building that he is engaged to design. Before the first sketch is made the architect’s mind has pictured it and his thought has shaped it, and so on to the completed drawings, through all the stages of arithmetical calculation and draughtsmanship, writing of specifications and drawing of plans to scale, the first image and the constructive thought have been projected into shape, and the contractor and the artisans then construct the building.
However, this is but a weak illustration. For God to think the Universe into shape was to employ constructive thought in terms of the Omnipotent and to cause conditions (etheric, for example) through which Substance could appear in all its varied forms, by the employment of the word expressing the idea in Divine Mind. The Universe and all that it contains is Thought clothed upon with Substance through the energy of the atom and the essential elements residing in the ethereal.
If we consider God first as Pure Being and then as the Creator of the Universe to manifest in Substance the Divine Thought by the spoken word, we can best apprehend God as Principle, since every created thing is an emanation from God and is informed with His life and power. Thus we speak of God as Life, Love, Wisdom, Substance, Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience.
Many people may regard this as a cold and abstruse view of God, whom they consider humanly as a tender, loving Father. But there is no other way in which He can be apprehended because He is Spirit; His Being is on a plane totally different from ours. It has been said that if fish could speak and reason as we do, living as they do in the element of water, they would consider God as a huge form of fish confined entirely to a water element. We are narrowed or limited in our conception of the Divine by the human elements we possess. We use the masculine gender in speaking of God when we should use both genders, masculine and feminine. A better understanding of God would be to postulate Him as our Father-Mother, and since there is no sex in Principle to refer to Divine Principle as “It.” But this we have to omit because the word “it” is used for the neuter, and God is not neuter, as we know the term, for that implies a sexlessness that is uncreate. We are in difficulties here because of the lack of terminology to properly express God. As we have said, He is best expressed as “Good.”
When God appeared to Moses He said–that is, the Voice said–“I AM THAT I AM.” Again He said: “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob hath sent me to you. This is my name (I AM) forever and this is my memorial to all generations.” Later, when Moses had begun the work commanded of him, the Voice said: “I AM the Lord. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.”
Jehovah means “I am that I am,” or “I am that am,” a most complete definition of continuous being. Now, there is nothing about this that implies either masculinity or femininity. It is a thorough definition of what we understand as principle–immutable, changeless, perpetual, uncreated.
For instance, the principle of music, or of mathematics, or of goodness, is immutable, eternal. There never was a time when the principle of music was not in being, nor equally that of mathematics or goodness. Harmony is a law of symphonic vibration. Its expression is in rhymical reasonances. It is the soul of what we call music or the concord of orderly sounds. Harmony is order in expression, audible in sound, inaudible in feeling. The law of music permits no discord or disorder. Mathematics is a law, always was a law and always will be. Two and two makes four. It cannot be otherwise. You can put the symbols that we know as figures down on paper, and the results, by addition, subtraction or multiplication are always the same. We cannot think of any time that ever was or ever will be when this principle did not exist, or where it will not exist. Goodness, similarly, is always the same, is changeless, is ever-present and its results are certain in effect. True, it is understood by comparison with badness as something positive, but it is positive where evil is unknown as well as where it is. Evil is the opposite of goodness in this, that it is the absence of goodness, just as discord is the absence of harmony.
The Divine Principle is self-manifesting in Law, and as such can be and is in all things created and uncreated. It permeates the Universe. In personalizing God we are certain to err because of our conception of personality. We limit the Infinite in its powers and operations. The poet tells us that to the one who sees God in nature every bush is a burning bush and the ground on which he stands is holy. And we know that the statement is true. God’s omnipresence would be impossible were He a person.
But the spiritual or the metaphysical can be made known to us only in terms of human relationship and through the common language that each of us speaks. Jesus referred all his power to that of his heavenly Father because of the paternity of God and the reciprocal love between parent and offspring. Creator God is our Father, but He is our Father in a much more impressive sense than as our Creator. We are the consequence of Infinite Love seeking an outward expression and a reciprocal satisfaction. We are children of God created with all the possibilities of feeling for God the exquisite sensibility, the supreme ecstacy, of God’s love for us. We owe our immediate existence to our human parents who beget us in love, and the ecstacy of that love is a feeble approach to the Divine type of begetting the human race in Love. Our human parents act under the strongest impulse of the race, the passing on of themselves in perpetuity, self-expression in creativeness, and in this manner reflect God and God’s love. This love is expressed also in the sustaining love that nourishes and protects the offspring. Hence the word “Father” carries a tremendous significance.
It was this image that Jesus sought to impress on our consciousness. For while we can understand God best as Principle we cannot apprehend Him as principle solely, since principle is not sentient, whereas God is Principle and Consciousness both. We can understand Principle as power, law, order, harmony and life, but in God we must add intelligence, understanding, feeling wisdom, love and all those elements that are included in consciousness. Therefore while God is not a person, God has the qualities of personalness. It is only by considering His possession of the qualities of personalness that we can clearly apprehend Him. God has created nothing that is not in Himself, hence we speak of Him as Life, Love, Wisdom, Substance, Justice, Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience. In this way we can better understand how it is that “in Him we live, move and have our being.” Viewed as Conscious Principle we can apprehend God in all His phases.
This view takes nothing away from that which regards God as person merely. It adds scope and distance to that concept, which has been limited. It explains what before one could not well understand. It reveals God as Paul sought to reveal Him and we are the more illuminated by the larger view.
In this light we can understand the character of the power of healing and recreating that Jesus possessed and which he promised to his followers who believed on Him and had faith even as a grain of mustard seed, and it points to us the way to obtain healing and to order our affairs so as to express ourselves, in all things, in concord with the Divine harmony.
It illumines the darkness that has clouded the mystery of our own consciousness. By it we can apprehend the true meaning of the declaration that we are made in the image and likeness of God. We posess in thought the creative power inherent in thought and we can use that creative power upon ourselves through the manipulation of our own consciousness and the expression of the word. Understanding that life is health, and that as Principle God’s creations are perfect, obeying the operation of law in every particular, we can see that any interference with, any abridgement, impairment or extinction of, health is due to human error and can be corrected by the application of the creative powers in us that inhere in the Divine.
What, therefore, avails it to understand the mechanism and operation of the subconscious mind if we do not apply correctives in consciousness in co-operation with the Divine Mind? Must we not, when contemplating the wonderful power within ourselves realize also how immensely it is reinforced by the application of the Divine power within us? Must we not feel that this is another wonder revealed to us in order that we should “seek God?” There is but one answer to these questions and that is that if we ever needed anything to convince us of God’s tender love for us this revelation should surely bring that conviction.
For God is healing. When all is said and done about the power of the subjective mind we are yet to know that the supreme power of healing is in God, and that however much we may be able to do for ourselves the very powers we exert are God’s powers seeking manifestation through us.
Knowing God as Principle it is our business to seek the science of the operation of His laws. We use the word “science” in this connection not only as the equivalent of knowledge but as the equivalent of knowledge correctly applied. For spiritual healing is a science. It is the power of reforming and recreating applied through the knowledge of Divine causation.
Underneath all healing is the Law of Attraction, the law that attracts to conscious creation those forces of the Unseen which we are aware of but only dimly comprehend. And to work perfectly with this law we must work with the Unseen.
Now this explanation of God’s nature and attributes is made necessary in order to clarify what we in Divine Science believe God to be. It has been well said that the surest way to lose God is to attempt to define Him. To those who wish to know God we say that this knowledge is not to be had from books or teachers, or sermons or pictures. The best way, the only way, to know God is to seek Him by “feeling after” Him. We must seek after Him in the very center of our own being. All of those dim gropings for expression of the divinity within us must be recognized as efforts of the Spirit to impress itself on consciousness and must be waited on, attended upon and developed. God manifests Himself to the individual in His own way. And one experience of the individual with God as a directive, illuminating and sustaining influence is worth more by way of interior conviction than all the essays on the Divine ever written or sermons ever preached. “The Spirit witnesseth to our spirit that we are the children of God.” The Spirit is its own witness if we desire to put Him on the stand to testify to Truth. One revelation of God’s presence or power within the individual soul is worth all the books ever written so far as that one person is concerned. If every person who believes in God were asked as to the cause of his or her belief the answer would be: “I believe there is a God because He has manifested Himself to me. I have felt God within me.” As Job in the midst of his afflictions said: “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” There is a time in every person’s life “when Spirit with spirit doth meet,” when we know that, as Browning said,
“There is an inmost center in us all
Where truth abides in fullness; and to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.”
PRACTICE IN DIVINE SCIENCE
Methods Recommended for Putting Into Daily Application
I saw no phantom shape, no sound I heard,
But life unveiled itself in vivid Thought,
Distinct, imperative, and luminous;
For now mine eyes had seen Eternity,
The Source, the Truth, the work and urge of all;
The Soul of things, the Light ineffable,
That all the wide star-spaces floods with life;
This–This was God, and there was none else beside.”
“Speak to Him thou, for He heareth
When Spirit with Spirit doth meet;
Closer is He than breathing,
And nearer than hands and feet.”
Denial and Affirmation
(Memorize and Repeat Often)
“There is nothing true but God. God is the Principle of all knowledge and Truth–The Source of all Activity, all Wisdom, all Substance. The Love of God is my only guide. The Christ within is my Light.”
Health, Prosperity, Protection
The order and Harmony of the Christ Consciousness, established in me throughout all eternity, is expressing itself now as perfect Health. The vitalizing energy of the Holy Spirit is circulating freely through every artery of my being, strengthening and invigorating me.
That Omnipresent Opulence which is God is now expressing Itself in and through me in terms of Unlimited Abundance.
The Lord, the everlasting Truth, sustains me. Divine Love alone governs me, and I reflect its government, in Peace, Power, Purity, Prosperity, and Perfection of Mind and Body.
2. How is God apprehended most commonly?
3. Is God a Person? If not, what is He?
4. What is the origin of the Universe?
5. How does one define Principle?
6. What is the proper way to view the sub-conscious mind?
7. What is the most convincing proof of the existence of God?
The Murray Course in Divine Science
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