Lesson 17 – Short Lessons in Divine Science – When Shall We Realize Our Good?

Lesson 17

Nona L. Brooks
Short Lessons in Divine Science
© 1940 by Nona Brooks
Divine Science Federation International
Denver, 6th ed., 1973

Purpose: To urge the student to withdraw his thought from dwelling too much on the past or on the future that he may give special attention to the richness and beauty of the present.

Now is the day of salvation. –II Cor. 6:2.
Come, for all things are now ready. –Luke 14:17.

[84] There is an old habit of thought that still clings to us; the yielding to which retards us in our spiritual development. By “us,” I mean those who have decided that the thing of most importance to the individual, the one thing needful, is knowledge of Truth. For we know that consciousness of Truth will bring the realization of that perfect harmony for which the soul of each one longs.

Have you noticed how little our thoughts dwell in the present? They are continually reverting to the past or turning to the future. This is the habit to which I refer. The present moment with all its fullness is, by many, given but little consideration compared to the thought given to the past and future. This habit of thought is a mistake. By lingering in the past we let ourselves be bound by the events and experiences that we call therefrom. Think well over this, for it means far more than can be seen at first glance.

[85] We also make a mistake when we let our thoughts dwell in the future, for this gets us into the habit of postponement; or should I reverse this and say that, because we do not understand the fullness of the present, we postpone, we look to the future for our good; therefore, our thoughts turn naturally to where we believe our treasure to be.

The truth is that if we make it our chief aim to sound the depth of the present, we shall find it so full of riches, so altogether satisfying that there will be no chance for longing, no room for emptiness. The soul will become so filled with the consciousness of good that it will exclaim, “My cup runneth over!” “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Now is always the important moment.

All that is interesting, vital, and true is concentrated in the present hour.

And, yet, we crucify the consciousness of the present between recollection of the past and anticipation of the future. When the thief on the cross, looking for his good as something to come, said “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom,” Jesus’ answer was, “Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Jesus said unto Martha, “Thy brother shall rise again.”

Martha saith unto him, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said unto her, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

[86] It was this consciousness of ever-present Life with all that it means that enabled Jesus to speak the word with such authority that life and health and supply were immediately manifest.

Let us get an understanding of the present and live today, solely and wholly for today. This is the only way to find the living God.

“God Himself is the Perpetual Now.” When he gave his name to Moses, he said, “I Am That I Am.” Only when we live in the present do we commune with Him, the ever-present God, the eternal Now.

“We do not enter immortality by thinking of a future life, but by communing with God and infinite realities now.”

“He only knows the future well who knows the present well. The wise man can forsee, because he can see. Insight is the only foresight.”

And, again it has been said, “We escape a future hell by coming out of our present hells. We reach a future heaven by the portal of a present heaven.”

Two-thirds of the happy life of a child is due to the fact that it is so much absorbed in the present. Its little mishaps are not aggravated by the remembrance of past evil or by the fear of evil to come, nor are its joys lessened thereby. It does not brood over past sorrows nor long for future good; it is joyous in present possession.

“But,” you may ask, “is it not necessary, in order to shape our lives aright, to remember past experiences that we may get the lessons they teach and plan wisely for the future?”

[87] When, with all earnestness, we turn our attention to the present and search for its riches, we find here with us always a Teacher far above the accumulated experiences of the entire world.

We find here equipment for the whole of life, present and future, and for every conceivable condition of life. We do not have to go to the past or to the future for anything. We do not have to search outside ourselves for any good we seek; “The kingdom of God is within you.” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Jesus laid even greater stress on the doctrine of the Eternal Now.

This consciousness of the fullness of the present was the secret of Jesus’ power.

And it may be the foundation of power in you and me, in each one who says, “Now is the time for the fulfillment of all things.” The Father was in no wise more generous to Jesus than he is to us, but Jesus made better use of the gifts than we have; he kept himself free from every encumbrance; he did not permit the least weight of doubt, fear, ignorance or sin to rest upon him. He was free and open to the whole Truth, an unobstructed channel for the outshining of every divine attribute.

The Holy Spirit that came upon the disciples as they tarried at Jerusalem was nothing more or less than the coming to them of the consciousness of the perfect Now, the fullness of the present. Filled with this consciousness, they went forth to their mighty works, and with this same realization, so may we.

[88] Without this consciousness, we are nothing; with it, all things are possible unto us.

James Freeman Clarke says, “The Christian church has often backslidden to the standpoint of Brahmanism in asserting that heaven must be postponed to the next world, and that it is necessary to be miserable and sinful as long as we live in this one. It has loved to say that former days were better than these, and to complain of the degeneracy of the times. But true Christianity never does this. It looks at the Now as miraculous and full of a divine spirit. It makes the world full of God now–nature full of God, man a child of God, the Holy Spirit coming and dwelling in all hearts that open themselves to receive it.

“What we need, therefore, at this time as much as ever, is to believe in a present salvation, and to be sure that Now is the accepted time. We need a God at hand, not afar off; a present and not a past inspiration; a present Savior, a present immortality, an eternal life abiding in us and a heaven in our midst.”

I wish we might lay aside all thought, all remembrance of the past, its events and experiences. I wish we might put from us the vision of the future with what seem to be its demands upon us, and enter fully into the Now by concentrating our attention wholly upon the present moment. For this is the only time that concerns us, the only time we need be careful of or watchful over; the future must become the present before we can live it. If we get from the Now all that is here for us, so full of all that is desirable will this consciousness become [89] to us that it will run over on both sides, and we shall find the present including within itself the whole of the future and all of the past; for here and now is the fullness of eternity.

The past has gone from us, and the future never is, but is always going to be; therefore, the present is the only time that is truly ours, and it contains the whole of Truth and the Truth of the whole.

Close the eyes for a few moments and let the thought dwell upon the One Presence that we know is here, eternally filling heaven and earth–above all, through all and in all.

In doing this, we find, first of all, the consciousness of peace. This must come when we recognize nothing but the One Presence. All conflict, every inharmonious condition of whatever nature or however real it may seem to us, is but the result of our yielding to the belief of two powers, one good and one evil, that will continue to war against each other until one or the other is destroyed. While we may feel that good will finally triumph, the present conflict presses hard upon us; therefore, this consciousness of peace is welcome and restful and very precious to us, for it prepares the soul for a fuller revelation of Truth.

I hesitate before this higher vision, for who can describe it–who can receive it? Only he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High.

In this vision, we see God only and God as All in all, whose Presence bright fills all; whose Life is life of all; whose Love is the nature of the whole; whose Substance, eternal and changeless is manifested [90] in living forms as eternal and perfect as God Himself is perfect.

What more can be said? Not much–but infinitely more can be realized, for infinity itself lies before us and eternity is ours–Now.

The End

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