The Pathway of Roses/The Infinite Revealed
THE INFINITE REVEALED
When we think of God as absolute and infinite, and try to picture His spirit as it fills the universe with His transcendental omnipresence, we seemingly lose, at first, that beautiful something that makes Him personal to us. God does not seem to be God unless we can think of Him as a friend, and go to Him as we would to some person that was very near and very dear. It seems difficult to speak to an Infinite Being, and there is no beauty or comfort in believing in God unless we can speak to Him at any time when we feel the need of His tender care. Nevertheless, our reason declares that God must be infinite or He would not be God; and our spiritual discernment concurs with reason upon this great, momentous theme; but since God is infinite, absolute and omnipresent, how can He be personal? And if He is not personal, how can we think of Him as being different from cold principle and law?
We cannot think of love as existing apart from personality, and God is love; therefore He must be personal; but how can God, who fills the universe, be personal? This is the problem that confronts nearly every mind that passes from the literal belief in truth to the spiritual understanding of truth. When we try to think that God is not personal, we feel as if we have lost a great friend, the very friend of all friends; there seems to be no use for prayer, because how can the limitless Soul of the universe be interested specially in one of us, a mere atom in the immensity of the cosmos? Besides, we find it practically impossible to pray to something that is nothing but changeless principle and immutable law. We therefore cease prayer and substitute affirmations; but something is lacking; the soul remains comfortless; the intellect may be satisfied, but the tender elements of love and sympathy are gradually disappearing, and finally we come to a place where nothing but cold intellect remains. Then we discover we are not on the path; we have gone astray, and everything the heart has wished for seems to be far in the distance.
With God all things are possible; therefore, it is not beyond His power to be personal as well as absolute; nor is it beyond the power of man to understand how this can be. God is the great Soul of the universe. He lives and acts everywhere, and there is no place where He is not; nevertheless, He is just as personal to any one of us as the very dearest friend; in truth, more so, because His personal nearness to us is closer than that of any friend, closer even than life itself. He is not limited and circumscribed as the form of a human personality; if He were, He could be personal only to those who lived in the same locality as He might happen to live; and therefore the vast throngs would receive no more comfort from His personal care than if they should try to worship principle and law. The very fact that God is infinite makes it possible for Him to be personal to all the souls in the universe; and the fact that He is present everywhere throughout the limitless vastness of space makes it possible for Him to give His personal care everywhere, thus ministering individually to every soul in existence.
God is individualized in every soul; that is, He actually lives in the very being of every soul. God is within us, closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet; therefore it is not necessary to look to the great Soul of the universe whenever we think of God, to look within is sufficient. To contemplate the vastness of infinite life or the immensity of a universal soul is to lose sight of God. We can know Him only when we meet Him face to face within the sacred realms of our own divine spirit. Do not look towards the vastness of the without, but look towards the divinity of the within, and God will be there. He is always there, and His being there means that He is personal to us, ever ready to give personal attention to any need that we may have at the time. Being within us, and being in the very life of our own spirit, He is nearer than even our own personality, and can therefore give us His personal attention whenever we may so desire. Though He is not personal to any one or any special number alone, being omnipresent, He is personal to all souls at all times, and that is a truth that is beautiful indeed to think of. The vine is united with all its branches, and gives its very life to each individual branch at all times. The vine is personal to each branch, and yet is not confined to the personal form or personal limitations of any one branch. In like manner, the Infinite is personal to every soul, but is not localized as any one individual soul may be.
When we state that God is in His heaven, we do not mean that He occupies a certain local heaven, because God is everywhere, and where He is there heaven must be also. Nor do we mean that He has a local throne, because the Infinite is enthroned in every soul, and all souls are spiritually one; therefore the great throne of God is the spirit of all souls united in one perfect, universal divinity. But there is also a local heaven; there is a local heaven in every soul, and God lives there eternally; there is a local heaven wherever two or more are gathered in His name; there is a local heaven wherever there is a new heaven and a new earth; there is a local heaven on the spiritual heights of every word of divine existence, and there are heavens above heavens both in the great without and the great within, the higher we ascend upon the great eternal path of endless and limitless glory. God has provided everything that the life of man may desire. There are heavens for the senses and heavens for the soul; there are heavens that the eye can see and the person enjoy, and there are heavens that only the soul can discern while on the mountain tops of its own exalted divinity. And everywhere there is God giving His personal thought to every human desire or need.
God is not a personality, but He is personal to every personality in existence. He is personal to each one of us because He is in actual personal touch with each one of us. He lives in all, therefore he is personal to all, and can give personal attention to the needs of each and all. The soul knows this; the mind in its higher states of consciousness has discerned it, and thus the belief in a personal God has arisen. The mind has discerned only the personal presence of God in the soul at certain intervals, but the soul knows that God is personally present at all times in all souls. Thus the former belief in a personal God is not lost; it is only made infinitely larger. The feeling that we can speak to God as we speak to a personal friend continues, only that feeling has become infinitely more beautiful. To realize that God lives in us and we in Him, is to know that we are personally in touch, not with a part of God, but with all of God; and that all His power, all His wisdom and all His love is for each one of us now and eternally. All that the father hath is mine; and being infinite, He is personally interested in me even though He be personally interested in all the other souls in the universe at the same time. What He can be to one He can be to all, and He is. His eye is ever upon each one of us, and His hand is ever ready to guide whenever we may so desire.
God never ceases to think of you, nor should you cease to think of Him. He is personally interested in you and your welfare; then how can ill befall you? Why should any of us ever go wrong with the Infinite Hand so near? There are no reasons why unless it should be our endeavor to understand through reason that which the spirit alone can discern. Depend upon the spirit; follow the light of the spirit and every moment shall reveal the presence of God. Everything we do will be directed by His wisdom, and His power will see us through. Nothing need disturb us, neither need we ever be anxious. God wants us to reach our goal. He is personally interested in every undertaking we have in hand, and He is working with us, placing His limitless power at our command. Therefore, we need not be concerned when unexpected changes appear; every change will be a change for the better; every turn in events will lead us into greater events, and every door that may close on the left will open another door on the right through which we may pass to a greater world than we ever knew before. This is what will happen when God is with us; and He is always with us, only we must learn to receive everything that He has to give.
To know God is the beginning of wisdom, because God is the source of wisdom. The nearer we live to the source the more we receive of that which comes from the source. The mind that is not consciously living with God may have intellect and mental capacity, but the wisdom that knows can come only to that mind that is walking with God every moment of conscious existence. The mind that does not know God thinks in the darkness; the mind that does know God thinks in the light.
God is my light forever,