St. Luke, on the Teachings of New Thought and Explains the Erroneous Beliefs of the Same.
I am here, St. Luke.
Let me write a few lines tonight as you are in better condition, and I am able to make a rapport with you and deliver my message.
I was with you today at a meeting of the New Thought people, and saw the impression made upon you by the speaker in his efforts to show that God is within man, and that only the opening up of the soul, or mind of man to the development of that God is all that is necessary, to bring that man into a perfect at-onement with the truths of God's will.
Well, I have to say that this speaker, when he comes to a realization of himself in the spirit world, will find that God is not in him or in anything that he may have possessed in his earth life, and that his development of the kingdom within him, as he termed it, was a mere delusion and a snare to the progress of his soul in its career through the earth life, as well as through the heavens or spirit world.
He is mistaken when he announces that the Kingdom of Heaven is within him, or that he has that within him which can by its development, lead to the condition of the perfect man in the sense that he spoke of. He is following a false way, and all the efforts that he may make will not lead him into the paths that end in the perfect man that partakes of the Father's Divinity.
He is also mistaken when he asserts that God is everywhere--in the flowers, and in the thoughts of men and in the heart, for God does not find his habitation in any of these things, and men do not live and move and have their being in Him. He is a distinct and individual entity, and is not spread over all His universe, as the preacher proclaimed, and can only be found by the longings of the soul, followed by a development of that soul in His love. No, God is in His Heavens, and man can reach Him only by the persistent longings of that soul for the inflowing of His Love. These things that the preacher declared were the presence of God, are only the expressions of His being, and they do not declare His presence in any other sense than as the evidence of His existence in His habitation, from which these expressions flow and make known to man His presence as these things reflect it. I am sorry that this speaker has not more knowledge of the true God, and of His seat of habitation, for then he would realize that these things upon which he places so much belief as being the very God, Himself, are but the expressions that flow from Him.
Man, has within him that which has in itself wonderful possibilities. I mean the soul. And it may, by the observance of the way that transforms it into a Divine angel, become Divine itself, or it may only by the slow process of renunciation, become merely the perfect man with his natural love in a pure state, which was the condition of the first parents. If men will listen to the call to their souls, they will realize this possibility and receive this Divinity, and with it, immortality; but without this transformation they never can become other or greater than the perfect man.
I know that men teach that there is implanted within the souls of all men, that which is capable of being developed into an existence like unto God--that man needs only this development in order to become a God, and that there is nothing else necessary to make a human soul a part of the Soul of God. But in this teaching men are mistaken, and will find themselves at the stage of their highest development, nothing more than the perfect man. Man has within him only that with which he was created, and can of himself add not one thing that will change him from this condition of his creation. It is true that he can by a right course of thinking and living renounce those things that have tainted his soul and alienated it from the Father, and made it sinful and disobedient; but when this is done, he is still only the perfect man, and nothing of the Divine is in him.
Jesus was the perfect man and, as such, was an exemplar of what all men will ultimately become; and if Jesus had never become more than the perfect man, he would not now be an inhabitant of the Celestial Heavens and the beloved Son of the Father. Yet he became more than the perfect man, and it was only after he attained to this condition of excellence, that he could say, "I, and my Father are one," for it was then only that he possessed the Divine Love to that degree which made him at-one with the Father. Only he is at-one with the Father that realizes that he is possessed of the very nature and Essence of the Father, and there is only one way in which this can be obtained, and that is by the inflowing into the soul of the Divine Love.
Jesus could not say to the multitude that they were at-one with him and with the Father, for they had only the natural love, and had not experienced the transformation of their souls; and such sayings as this were addressed only to his disciples, or to those among his hearers that had received this Love.
The speaker spoke of the New Birth, but had no conception of what it meant, and like many other teachers, in and out of the churches, believes that a mere condition of the purification of the natural love, constitutes this New Birth, and that that is all Jesus meant when he taught the necessity of being born again. There is only one way in which this New Birth can be brought about, and that you already know.
As to the moral truths taught by the Master, such as are referred to in the sermon on the Mount, undoubtedly they will, if observed in the heart, bring about a regeneration of the soul, that will lead men to the glory of the perfect man, and make him at-one with the laws of his creation; and this condition is devoutly to be wished for and sought after by all men, and when they attain to this condition, they will experience the beatitudes that are mentioned in the sermon; but this is only the state of the perfect man, and nothing of the Divine enters into their condition.
New Thought, as it is called, has in it something that is an improvement on orthodoxy, and men will be the better, if they will embrace some of its teachings. The great stumbling blocks of the Trinity, and the vicarious atonement and the blood would be moved from the worship of men, and they would then rely on the moral truths in the development of their souls for salvation, and would not rest supinely in the belief of the efficacy of the vicarious atonement. But some other things that it teaches are all wrong, and its followers will find when they come to the spirit world, that there is a God to be worshipped, and that man has not within him that God to be developed by his own thoughts and deeds.
I know that according to the orthodox teachings too little is thought of the natural goodness of man, and too much emphasis placed in his innate depravity, and that nothing in man is worthy of the release from the sin and disobedience in which he is now living; and that of himself he can do nothing to bring about his purification and restoration to his original condition of the perfect man. This is wrong, for very largely upon man's efforts depends his redemption; "and as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." He is naturally good, and his present condition was brought about by his permitting his soul to be contaminated with sin, and to become again good, he needs only to pursue that way that will remove sin and its consequences from his soul. Man created sin, and he will have to remove sin, and the process will be slow, but ultimately it will be accomplished, and by the efforts of man himself. He will be helped by spirits who are God's ministering angels in these efforts, but upon him depends the removal of that which he created and imposed.
And here let me say, that unless man wills it, he will forever remain in sin, and God will not, contrary to man's desires, make him a pure and undefiled being; and man's belief, unaccompanied by striving and seeking, will not be sufficient to bring about this remedy.
The speaker is a good man, and has experienced to a large degree the workings of his own will upon the conditions of his soul, and knows that his own efforts have caused him to renounce many things that tended to defile him and cause doubt, and in this condition realizes much happiness, and thinks that he is of himself sufficient, to attain to that which will bring him into a perfect unison with the God that he thinks is within him. In this he is deceiving himself, for what he thinks is God is only an unusual condition of soul development in its natural love, that gives him a happiness which causes him to believe that God must be in and a part of him.
As you have been told, the happiness of the purified soul is beyond all conception of humans, and the nearer a man approaches to that condition of purification of his soul the greater becomes his happiness, and the belief that God must in some way be in that happiness and form a part of it, when the fact is that this happiness is only that which was bestowed upon man in the beginning; as the soul becomes purer and relieved from the defilement of sin, man becomes what he was in the beginning, and has regained only that which by nature is his. He does not receive any part of the Divine, nor does the Father bestow upon him anything that was not his at the creation, and he must realize that by the removal of sin, his soul becomes more and more in harmony with the will of God, and less and less in harmony with his own perverted will.
Let New Thought progress until men may realize that they are at-one with themselves, their created selves, but let it not teach them that what they experience as a removal of sin from their own souls, by their own efforts and thoughts, is evidence of a development of any supposed God within them, for it is not true, but is merely the development of their own natural created selves, freed from that which defiled and made them unnatural.
The speaker said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within all men, and needs only for men to realize that fact, and declare its truth, and that then they will become pure, and like unto God, and find themselves in the presence of God, and see Him face to face. Well, in this he is all wrong, for the Kingdom of Heaven or Celestial Kingdom is not within men, though it may be, and neither is God in their souls and capable of being seen face to face. These men who teach purification of their natural love, and a superior state resulting from that purification and nothing more, will never see God, and they will always remain in the mere image in which they were created, a merely purified man made in the image of God, and nothing more.
The Father will then be the same unseen Creator as he is now, and men will worship Him in faith only, for their soul perceptions, which are the only eyes of the soul that can see God, will not exist, and to them God will still remain the unseen and unknowable being that exists today in the knowledge and belief of men.
Well, I have written enough for tonight, but saw that you were somewhat interested in the teachings of the day, and thought it best that I should write you as to the truth of the subject of which he discoursed and evidently believed.
With my love to you, and the hope that our messages may now continue without interruption, I will say, good night.
Your brother in Christ, LUKE.