How I Used Truth - Lesson 8 - Annotation 8
Metaphysically, what is the "stone" that is so great which is rolled away?
8. The "stone" referred to in the text (How I Used Truth 89) represents any hard, fixed, or erroneous state of mind that has manifested as some difficult situation. Probably the most difficult "stone" we have to face is the belief that we are only physical beings, subject to limitation in mind, body, or affairs. When the women went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, they asked among themselves,
The next verse provides the answer:
The words "and looking up" give us the clue to the removal of hard thoughts and conditions. It is only as we can raise our consciousness by "looking up" or looking beyond difficulty for the Truth (through the process of prayer) that the "stone is rolled back."
"Christ has always been alive and always will be. Christ is the Spirit in me that makes me one with God the Father. Christ is the Spirit in me that rises and claims blessed kinship with Jesus.
"Yes, I seal Him in a tomb sometimes as the Roman soldiers did. I shut Him in with a stone of indifference and faithlessness. . . .
"Then Easter comes. It may not be the Easter of the calendar; it may come any day or any hour. The stone is rolled away by the power of some upsurging thought, and Christ comes forth."
-- William A. Clough.
Any limited or erroneous belief that obscures our good -- including our belief in the permanency of material laws -- is this "great stone." The women at the tomb of Jesus questioned the removal of the stone. By "looking up" (which means lifting our consciousness to the spiritual realm), we strengthen our soul with faith and love. This opens the way for removal of the "stone." We do this first in our own thinking and feeling, and then in our outer life.
"One of the first essentials . . . is to roll away the many stones in our life, stones that entomb us, such as hatred, envy, dissension, impatience, and unforgiveness. Love will certainly rout the most formidable stone from our life but it is necessary that we take some action. . . .
"We accomplish this by keeping in tune with God, by maintaining a constant awareness of the need for communication with Him."
-- Estelle Finnegan.
We of ourselves cannot change difficulties. Prayer first of all changes us, and the things and conditions are adjusted to meet our changed consciousness. God-power can accomplish anything. Our Scripture says of God,
There is nothing that the power of God, working through us, cannot accomplish, master, overcome. However, if there is a "stone" blocking our consciousness this mighty God-power cannot go about its work. By "looking up" in prayer, we acknowledge God-power, and our love and faith enables the "stone" to be removed so that the power of God may adjust all situations and conditions. Jesus made two significant statements that show the reciprocal relation between God and us:
In "looking up" we open ourselves to all of the divine ideas that are our spiritual heritage. Through recognition and application of the guidance given to us in our periods of prayer, the hard states of mind are dissolved so that unwanted conditions in our outer life are changed.
Preceding Entry: What has "time" to do with answers to prayer?
Following Entry: What is the "Lord" that is to be trusted implicitly?