Spiritual Discernment

Maeterlinck once said, in substance, that if our eyes were made differently, we could see through leather just as readily as we can through glass. If, for instance, our human vision were as penetrating as an X-ray, the objects beyond the leather would be as discernible as the objects beyond the glass. The difficulty is evidently with our discernment, for obviously the things beyond the leather are no farther away than the things beyond the glass. So it is with the belief of death. God's children, who dwell forever as ideas in the eternal Mind, can really never pass away or leave us, but by wrongly thinking of them as material, we put the belief in death and separation, or a belief in a material life which has been lost, between ourselves and others of God's children. In reality they are spiritually just as near us now as before we believed them dead. It behooves us, therefore, to clear our perception of all that pertains to the material, to see through the opaqueness of material beliefs with the eyes of spiritual discernment which are really ours.

Some time ago I had a quarrel with a very dear friend. For days I saw that friend as the embodiment of all that was unkind, unjust, and disloyal. Now in reality this friend was unusually radiant with kindness, justice, and loyalty, but I was putting between us the barrier of material, erroneous belief, so I could not see her as she really was, and consequently the sense of separation was very strong. Even when in the same room, we might as well have been a hundred miles apart, so far as any sense of nearness existed between us. Eventually, however, the truth cleared away that mist, the misconception, and I saw the real child of God, loving, kind, a perfect reflection. Immediately the sense of separation was dispelled, and the oneness of all God's children in infinite Mind was established.

Similarly, so long as we think of our friends as made up of inanimate bones, brains, flesh,—in other words, as material beings who have died,—we are putting an opaque, erroneous belief between ourselves and them. When they were with us, it was the spirit of love, kindness, unselfishness, happy humor, the expression of God's ideas, which we loved in them, not the material body, which is but dust. Then why should we so suddenly change and think of a friend as a lifeless corpse? Are not our dear ones still the eternal manifestation of God's eternal qualities? Until we see them as God's spiritual children, forever existing in divine Mind, there is a sense of separation between ourselves and them. To realize again our spiritual oneness with them, we must clear away the mist of material beliefs from before our eyes, our inward vision, then the unity of all God's children will no longer be thought of as transient, a dream soon shattered, a myth without actuality in our own experience; but with the realizing sense of God's ever-presence will come the corresponding nearness of all God's children.

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"No variableness"
October 9, 1915

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