The Demands of Truth

Because he was able to show by his works that he understood God better than did other men, Christ Jesus became the way of salvation for all mankind. As the truths of spiritual being unfolded to his consciousness, he found the lines of his endeavor converging toward one supreme end,—the overcoming of the world, the refutation of the claim that material modes belong to the divine order. Not only did he succeed in thus overcoming the world of material beliefs for himself, but he implanted in human consciouness the germ of truth which, as the great Teacher so clearly indicated in the parable of the leaven, was destined eventually to do away with the illusion of error in its entirety.

In demonstrating the power and presence of the spiritual idea the Master's course ran in the main counter to that of friends, surroundings, and merely human inclinations. "In the world ye shall have tribulation," he said to the disciples as his earthly career was drawing to a close; "but," he added exultantly, "be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Although Jesus has commonly been regarded as "a man of sorrows," that estimate does not accord with his own testimony; for even in the face of impending crucifixion, he prayed that his joy might remain with his followers.

Unlike the type of asceticism which seeks to subdue the desires of the flesh while believing in their reality, spiritual demonstration takes away the material sense of pleasure by proving that true satisfaction is found in the reflection of Spirit alone; it discriminates between the ephemeral gratification of a deceptive sense, which ultimates in discord and dissatisfaction, and the abiding consciousness of heavenly harmony from which there can be no reaction. The experience of the Wayshower proved disenthralment from material appetites and enchantments to be a blessing, and not in any true sense a deprivation. He declared that "it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profitech nothing." The spiritual law which antidotes fear, hate, greed, and like propensities of mortal mind, is equally efficacious in bringing all fleshly desires into subjection. "Love not the world," was the admonition of the beloved disciple, "neither the things that are in the world.... For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."

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Independent Work
June 13, 1914

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