Thought Bricks 4: You are a Prince (whether male or female)
In Lesson 4 Bernard talks about the importance of maintaining our enthusiasm as that is what has creative power. He also teaches us that we are a Prince in our Fathers Kingdom and of the power of thinking along those lines. Please note that Bernard comments elsewhere that even if you are female you should use the term “Prince” as we are invoking a dynamic, active type of principle in these exercises.
As usual Bernard starts with a letter then the lesson follows.
My dear Student,
Now that you have completed three Lessons, it is time, don’t you think, to pause and “take stock”? If you have made a fair use of the teachings in the Lessons that have gone before, you may be able to say with truth: “I have certainly more confidence than I had before “. If you have made good use of Lesson One, Two, and Three, you will probably be able to say: “I am definitely conscious of a new power”. And if you have gone “all the way” and followed all the exercises without fail and with faith you can say: “I am a new being” – and really mean it.
Whatever category you put yourself into, however, remember that you have many Lessons before you and there is nothing to stop you from attaining to the heights! One Student wrote: “For some years now I have devoured many books with pleasure, but always have omitted to get down to a bit of real, earnest endeavour in the way of putting them into practice. I found it very easy to talk about the subject and enjoyed the superficial pleasure an intellectual understanding gives.”
“When I took up the Thought Bricks Course I said to myself: ‘No talk until results appear, but more concentration’. Hence my silence for so long! Your clear, forceful teaching, presented from so many different angles, has been a spur to keep on, with the result that all round conditions seem to be easier. Lesson Ten, following the great Truths expounded in Lessons Eight and Nine, appealed to me very much. I awoke about five a.m. last Saturday with the thought of the ‘Real Man’ in my mind – the ‘Looker behind our thoughts’, – one with the Eternal, you say. I was then able to sense in a very dim kind of way, the ‘Real Man’ and the kingdom of Power that lies all around us, where the real ‘I’ functions, and I was very happy for the remainder of the day … I have so much to thank you for, not only for your kindness to me, but what you are doing for others.”
See, then, Student, how determined practice can awaken Realisation for you!
LESSON FOUR: YOU ARE A PRINCE!
One fact which emerges about this stage of the Lessons with some Students, is that their joy and enthusiasm begin to wear off. At first, they write things like: “Words cannot express what I feel. I have been transported into another world and all my desires are being fulfilled.” Many write to report splendid happenings – a better job within a week of starting the Lessons, a big rise in pay, reunion with a loved one, a miraculous healing, and so on.
Then, as their enthusiasm wanes they report: “Nothing much has happened recently and I am not making such swift progress.” Of course not!For it was the joy and enthusiasm which lifted the Student to a higher plane where prayer-answers are the normal thing. Do you see? This, is a proof that all the exercises and affirmations in the world are useless without the thrill of joyful realisation to give them life.
So at this point, dear Student, do not let your enthusiasm wane. Read over the earlier Lessons, and this one, and thrill to the joy of the truth. This is essential to your success. Do not let it be a superficial thrill, a mere burst of emotion. It should be the thrill that can only come to a human being when he knows himself in touch with, and beloved by, the Divine.
These three things are necessary to such a thrill of realisation:
(a) An awareness that God is good, unchangeably, eternally good, that He is the Sum-Total of all the good that has ever been, or is, or will, be.
(b) An awareness that you exist because He exists in you and that without Him you could not exist at all.
(c) An ardent desire to unite with Him so that He can express Himself through you, to others. We must know God as Love before we can ever be Love to others, you see – and love is the way of realisation.
If you have any difficulty, in knowing God as Love, think of someone who loves. Know that God loves each one of us millions of times more strongly and deeply than any one person can love, for each true lover of humanity in the world drew his or her love from that great Reservoir of limitless Love-God. When you can know God as Love, you can recognise Love in others and then you will open your heart to Love and let Love pour through you to everyone. The way of unceasing Love is the way of unceasing joy. The way of love leads to the thrill of realisation. Think for a moment of these wonderful words: “Thou, shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” (Isa. 26, 3.)
Or we may interpret the text in this way, using the word “thoughts” instead of “mind” to make it even more clear:-
“Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose thoughts rest upon Thy support.”
This sentence has not the beauty and the mystery of the original, but how clear it is. For if all our thoughts rest upon God’s support, how safe we shall feel. Mentally we can lean back upon Him, upon His might and power, knowing that it is impossible for us to fall out of His Hand, since He is everywhere. When we have experienced thoughts of panic, fear and helplessness, it was only because we thought we, were separate from God. Thus we failed to draw from Him all that we needed. We were like thirsty men whose eyes were so blinded by our tears; of misery that we could not see the crystal spring gushing out of the rock before our eyes. What I want you to cultivate is the attitude of a Prince. Say within yourself:- “I am a Prince in my Father’s Kingdom.”
How does a true Prince act? He does not boast or bluster or swagger, seeking to impress others with his power. He has no need to do this for they know his power, and he knows it too. A Prince is quietly confident, leaning back upon the support of his high estate, upon the knowledge that the King is his father. Above all, he is calm. Begin, then, to live a calm life. Lean back upon the thought that you are a child of the heavenly Father, that you are the King’s child, that you are the offspring of the King of the whole Universe.
“Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose thoughts rest upon thy support.”
Keep on thinking of this matter until it is very clear to you. Don’t just read it and then forget. Think about it, realise that you are a creation of God, that His life is in you, that if He withdrew His life for an instant you would immediately crumble to dust and dissolve away! Your body is not the real you. If it were so, how could it be that your body and mind differ so much from others? Behold the vast expanse of nature! Think of trees. Trees differ from one another in outward appearance, but in their action, or purpose in life, they are completely one. They do not have conflicts, the one with the other; they are not helpless, striving to grow into the shape they desire and failing miserably! Trees live calmly on the support of God, yielding up their nature to Him and allowing His life to manifest through them in perfect order and completeness.
Thus we learn to lean upon the support of the Divine Life within us so that perfect order, health and beauty is manifested. The real you is, as it were, a globe containing a spark of the Divine Life. All the rest of you is just the outside, the part that you will leave behind you when you die.
But the real you will not die, for it is filled with Divine Life, and life must live. Are you beginning to understand, to get a glimmering of what I mean? So when I say: “You are a prince”, I speak of the real you. I speak of that wonderful self within you in which dwells a spark of the Divine Life.
So think of the tree! Don’t strive to do and be what your outer self wants, as though a tree strove to grow in the shape it had chosen for itself. Strive to do and be what the real you wants – and the real you desires to be a prince and to live like a prince. In order to cultivate this understanding, do this exercise every day for this period-as soon as you wake is a good time.
The Prince Exercise
Breathe in slowly, saying within yourself: “I am a Prince in my Father’s Kingdom “-.
Hold your breath for an instant, then breathe out slowly, and repeat.
Do this five times, and, while you do it, try to realise what you are saying. Do not be held back by thoughts of unworthiness.
Remember that it is only your outward self that is imperfect. In your inwardness your Real Self is one with the perfect Divine Life. Your outward self is like the prodigal son who went out from the presence of his father and lived with the swine. Your Real Self is like the son who remained with his father and to whom the father said: “Son, thou art ever with me and all that I have is thine”. (Luke 15, 31.)
What we have to do is to bring back the “prodigal son” (the outward self) to the happiness and perfection of the father’s home (the Real Self). By living in the consciousness and knowledge of that Real Self, we gradually bring back our outward selves, so that they rest upon the support of the Divine Life within. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” And so it shall prove to be.
Here is a letter from a Student who came to understand what Realisation really is. This Student is a Doctor of Science, Bachelor of Law and also Author of several published books on learned subjects. He writes:-
“Thank you again and again for all your help and encouragement. I have known so much about Occult matters, but when I sit and meditate upon the love of God, I realise that such knowledge, like almost all purely mental knowledge is only effective on the mental plane; arid as Occult knowledge is particularly concerned with the Spiritual life and unseen forces, such knowledge has to be realised and its meaning understood within the depth of one’s own being. So you see, Bernard, I am really just a little child learning the meaning of the things I have known and not understood!”
Now consider this other point. There are thousands of wise, informative books in the world, giving – provided you are patient and search for it – much of the teaching that is contained in this Course. But not all! Some of the teaching you will find in these Lessons, you could find nowhere else, if you searched the Globe from end to end and studied all the books that there are. The reason for this is that this “extra” teaching is original. Through long training my mind has developed the gift of raising its vibration to a plane where direct contact with limitless intelligence can be made.
This plane is the Source of all inspiration, “bright ideas “, worthwhile inventions, revelations and the like. The Master Himself taught the existence of this gift and this plane when He said: “I have much to say to you, but ye cannot bear it now. Howbeit, when the Spirit of Truth shall come, he shall lead you into all truth.” Here is proof that, throughout the ages, more and more truth can be revealed as we develop and are “able to bear it”, and that everyone is capable of finding, by effort, persistence and self-discipline, the Spirit of Truth within.
Now, if you could find in books alone part of what is in this Course, you could get it all very cheaply indeed, for most good books are cheap, in comparison with the knowledge they impart. But you would lose the personal element, the mind-contact, which is the difference between a book and a Course. I pray for my Students every day, lifting them up to the realm of Divine Blessing, and I shall go on doing this, even when I have passed from this earthly plane into the wider plane Beyond.
Read what a Student has written, and my reply on the subject of Realisation and Understanding, and then resolve whole-heartedly to seek this for yourself.
The Test of True Realisation
(This letter was written to a would-be Student who wrote: “I am working for a full realisation of the kingdom of heaven within. I feel the Great Presence when entering the Silence ” – yet he admits being in debt for years and “breaking promises to the bank manager” about his deficit.)
I have given careful consideration to your letter and decided I will accept you as a Student. Usually, when a person is in debt, I do not, for the money is not his (or hers) to spend on the Course, is it if it is owed to others. As however, I see that you have been in debt for thirteen years, then the fee for the Course, if you can follow it fully and humbly, will be an investment and will rescue you from your debts. I see, though, that your mode of thought will have to be changed right round if you are to have this happy result.
At present you are having a great deal of joy in your spiritual life, but unless the physical and mental life is receiving adequate attention, this is ‘stolen’ joy based on illusion rather than on facts. The FACT is that when we make complete contact with God, all our needs are met on all planes. Yet, while you are apparently having joy in your spiritual life, it is based more on the higher emotions rather than on spiritual consciousness. To merge spiritually with God is to receive all, on every plane, for the ‘windows of heaven’ open to such a one and God’s ever-flowing supply is contacted always all the time.
People who mistake the higher emotions for the silence of spiritual consciousness, put down their failure to receive the supply for their needs to the idea that God’s WILL is for them to be unsupplied. But God is an unchanging spiritual Power, all-mighty, ever-present and eternal, and His will is therefore unchanging and it is that we shall ‘delight’ in Him and have our ‘heart’s desire’. Not as a reward, but simply because it is impossible to contact Him without receiving an abundant flowing of all things from Him.
Can you, then, follow with simplicity in the teaching? You have thought you have travelled far upon the spiritual way, but you could not have remained in debt to others, therefore receiving the necessaries of life from them, rather than God, if you were advanced in spiritual union. You will have to become ‘a little child’ in this, and learn for the first time ‘the truth to make us free’.”
Do not be content then, Student, to think, “I do not yet realise that ‘I am a Prince in my Father’s Kingdom’.” Add firmly: “But I am determined to seek until I find, to strive with happy confidence until I too, understand. I am determined to think of myself as God’s loved child, to relax in His Love and to desire so ardently towards full Realisation that nothing shall separate me from the Love of God.” This is the way to a glorious Fullfilment.