Who And What God Is
Who And What Man Is
1. When Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, He said to her, "God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24 A.V. reads, "God is a Spirit," but the marginal note is, "God is Spirit," and some other versions render this passage, "God is Spirit.") To say "a Spirit" would be to imply the existence of more than one Spirit. Jesus, in His statement, did not imply this
2. Webster in his definition of Spirit says: "In the abstract, life or consciousness viewed as an independent type of existence. One manifestation of the divine nature; the Holy Spirit."
3. God, then, is not, as many of us have been taught to believe, a big personage or man residing somewhere in a beautiful region in the sky, called "heaven," where good people go when they die, and see Him clothed in ineffable glory; nor is He a stern, angry judge only awaiting opportunity somewhere to punish bad people who have failed to live a perfect life here.
4. God is Spirit, or the creative energy that is the cause of all visible things. God as Spirit is the invisible life and intelligence underlying all physical things. There could be no body, or visible part, to anything unless there was first Spirit as creative cause.
5. God is not a being or person having life, intelligence, love, power. God is that invisible, intangible, but very real, something we call life. God is perfect love and infinite power. God is the total of these, the total of all good, whether manifested or unexpressed.
6. There is but one God in the universe, but one source of all the different forms of life or intelligence that we see, whether they be men, animals, trees, or rocks.
7. God is Spirit. We cannot see Spirit with these fleshly eyes; but when we clothe ourselves with the spiritual body, then Spirit is visible or manifest and we recognize it. You do not see the living, thinking "me" when you look at my body. You see only the form which I am manifesting.
8. God is love. We cannot see love or grasp any comprehension of what love is, except as love is clothed with a form. All the love in the universe is God. The love between husband and wife, between parents and children, is just the least little bit of God, as pushed forth in visible form into manifestation. A mother's love, so infinitely tender, so unfailing, is God's love, only manifested in greater degree by the mother.
9. God is wisdom and intelligence. All the wisdom and intelligence that we see in the universe is God, is wisdom projected through a visible form. To educate (from educare, to lead forth) never means to force into from the outside, but always means to draw out from within something already existing there. God as infinite wisdom lies within every human being, only waiting to be led forth into manifestation. This is true education.
10. Heretofore we have sought knowledge and help from outside sources, not knowing that the source of all knowledge, the very Spirit of truth, is lying latent within each one of us, waiting to be called on to teach us the truth about all things -- most marvelous of teachers, and everywhere present, without money or price!
11. God is power. Not simply God has power, but God is power. In other words, all the power there is to do anything is God. God, the source of our existence every moment, is not simply omnipotent (all-powerful); He is omnipotence (all power). He is not alone omniscient (all-knowing); He is omni-science (all knowledge). He is not only omni-present, but more -- omnipresence. God is not a being having qualities, but He is the good itself. Everything that you can think of that is good, when in its absolute perfection, goes to make up that invisible Being we call God.
12. God, then, is the substance (from sub, under, and stare, to stand), or the real thing standing under every visible form of life, love, intelligence, or power. Each rock, tree, animal, every visible thing, is a manifestation of the one Spirit -- God -- differing only in degree of manifestation; and each of the numberless modes of manifestation or individualities, however insignificant, contains the whole.
13. One drop of water taken from the ocean is just as perfect ocean water as the whole great body. The constituent elements of water are exactly the same, and they are combined in precisely the same ratio or perfect relation to each other, whether we consider one drop, a pailful, a barrelful, or the entire ocean out of which the lesser quantities are taken; each is complete in itself; they differ only in quantity or degree. Each contains the whole; and yet no one would make the mistake of supposing from this statement that each drop is the entire ocean.
14. So we say that each individual manifestation of God contains the whole; not for a moment meaning that each individual is God in His entirety, so to speak, but that each is God come forth, shall I say? in different quantity or degree.
15. Man is the last and highest manifestation of divine energy, the fullest and most complete expression (or pressing out) of God. To man, therefore, is given dominion over all other manifestations.
16. God is not only the creative cause of every visible form of intelligence and life at its commencement, but each moment throughout its existence He lives within every created thing as the life, the ever renewing, re-creating, upbuilding cause of it. He never is and never can be for a moment separated from His creations. Then how can even a sparrow fall to the ground without His knowledge? And "ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matt. 10:31).
17. God is. Man exists (from ex, out of, and sistere, to stand forth). Man stands forth out of God.
18. Man is a threefold being, made up of Spirit, soul, and body. Spirit, our innermost, real being, the absolute part of us, the I of us, has never changed, though our thoughts and our circumstances may have changed hundreds of times. This part of us is a standing forth of God into visibility. It is the Father in us. At this central part of his being every person can say, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30), and speak absolute Truth.
19. Mortal mind -- that which Paul calls "the mind of the flesh" -- is the consciousness of error.
20. The great whole of as yet unmanifested Good, or God, from whom we are projections or offspring, in whom "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28) continually, is to me the Father -- our Father; "and all ye are brethren" (Matt. 23:8), because all are manifestations of one and the same Spirit. Jesus, recognizing this, said: "call no man your father, upon the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven (Matt. 23:9). As soon as we recognize our true relationship to all men, we at once slip out of our narrow, personal loves, our "me and mine," into the universal love that takes in all the world, joyfully exclaiming: "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold, my mother and my brethren" (Matt. 12:48).
21. Many have thought of God as a personal being. The statement that God is Principle chills them, and in terror they cry out, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him" (John 20:13).
22. Broader and more learned minds are always cramped by the thought of God as a person, for personality limits to place and time.
23. God is the name we give to that unchangeable, inexorable principle at the source of all existence. To the individual consciousness God takes on personality, but as the creative underlying cause of all things, He is principle, impersonal; as expressed in each individual, He becomes personal to that one -- a personal, loving, all-forgiving Father-Mother. All that we can ever need or desire is the infinite Father-Principle, the great reservoir of unexpressed good. There is no limit to the Source of our being, nor to His willingness to manifest more of Himself through us, when we are willing to do his will.
24. Hitherto we have turned our heart and efforts toward the external for fulfillment of our desires and for satisfaction, and we have been grievously disappointed. The hunger of everyone for satisfaction is only the cry of the homesick child for its Father-Mother God. It is only the Spirit's desire in us to come forth into our consciousness as more and more perfection, until we shall have become fully conscious of our oneness with All-perfection. Man never has been and never can be satisfied with anything less.
25. We all have direct access through the Father in us -- the central "I" of our being -- to the great whole of life, love, wisdom, power, which is God. What we now want to know is how to receive more from the fountainhead and to make more and more of God (which is but another name for All-Good) manifest in our daily life.
26. There is but one Source of being. This Source is the living fountain of all good, be it life, love, wisdom, power -- the Giver of all good gifts. This source and you are connected, every moment of your existence. You have power to draw on this Source for all of good you are, or ever will be, capable of desiring.