We often hear someone say, “Oh, I know that I am in the presence of God, and that God is present in me.” This very statement, of itself, is evidence that the speaker comprehends very little of what is meant by the Presence of God.
If we are merely in the Presence of God, then we must exist as something other than God. If God is merely in us, we must have or be a substance that contains God but is not God. If either one of these premises could be true, it would mean that God is not All.
If God is All, God must be All that is presence and All that has presence. In order to really comprehend the total significance of this word Presence, we must go all the way in our acceptance of the fact that God is All.
You are the Presence of God because there is nothing but God to be present as your Presence. You are the Power of the Presence of God because there is nothing but the Presence of the Power of God present as you.
It is true that the illusory world certainly appears to present a picture of presences and powers that are not God. These false pictures cannot deceive you when you know that there is only one Presence, only one Power.
If some fallacy of weakness should attempt to deceive you, it is so easy to just realize that you are the Presence of the Power of infinite strength, and you are the Power of the Presence of infinite strength.
If there should seem to be a lack of any kind, you can contemplate the fact that you are the Presence of the supply of that which seems to be lacking or absent. No matter what the seeming need may be, you are the Presence of the Supply, thus you are not the presence of a need.
Now when you say, “I am the Presence of the Power of God,” you will experience a greater, deeper realization of the tremendous spiritual fact that you have stated. Furthermore, you will experience the joy of knowing and of seeing the evidence of that which you know.
Below are questions that have come up regarding the last two posts about those “Stubborn Problems.”
Allen, what you’ve written in the last two posts sounds like old Christian theology where God sends adversity to teach us a lesson. Am I missing something?
Yes, you are. These posts could not suggest anything like that. It’s clearly stated that the problem, no matter how long-standing, is not real. By not real, I mean not really present. However, these problems seem real and appear to be very present.
God cannot send non-existent difficulties. As you must know, God (Perfection) is right there where the difficulty seems to be. For many years we have declared that God is the only Presence … until a problem arises. Then, the One becomes two – God and the problem.
These two posts about “stubborn problems” are merely saying there is still just the One Presence and Evidence. Part 2 offers suggestions on how to see and experience the One, and only the One. Reader, our whole business in life is to know, see, and consciously BE the One, and that’s because there is only One to know, see and BE.
You write a lot about asking and listening. Even your last post boils down to asking and listening. That’s hard for me. Any alternatives?
It was a challenge for me as well. However, I realized that without revelation, you only have words you’ve read or heard. Words, just words. Revelation establishes these words as verifiable facts.
If you are asking for a suggestion, here’s one. Read the last two posts again. Then, if you appear to have a problem, make a decision to resolve that problem via the suggestions made in those posts. Take no human steps to resolve the seeming problem. All steps are inner steps of mounting realization. No matter how long it seems to take, resolve it only in this way. Having done that, I know you will never default to any other way. Furthermore, the listening and hearing will be much easier.
So far, we’ve established our foundation:
If it seems as though your problem is still clinging like a tree monkey, it’s time for more decisive action – the activity of God realization. From this point forward you’re going to move beyond all of your frustration and confusion.
Perhaps doubt has snuck in through the back door of your frustration, and you thought, “This Truth isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.” You’re going to move beyond this illusion of a doubting mind to embark on the most thrilling adventure of your life. I mean it. Despite the many pleasures and happy moments you have enjoyed, nothing compares to what is about to happen for you.
The thrill of discovering a God-fact via direct revelation is matchless. Why? Because that God-fact, revealed, shows up as a so-called “healing” of the problem. Let’s start the adventure.
Don’t fear it! Don’t resent it! Love your problem! Love it. Not because it is real, but for what it can reveal. If you’ve endured a long-standing problem, you’ve probably said many times, “Why is this happening to me? After all the Truth I know, how could this happen to me?” Loving your problem is going to reveal exactly what is happening.
The problem, no matter how long-standing exists (or at least seems to) for one purpose – to draw your attention to a specific God-fact. Once the God-fact is known, the problem has served its purpose. The God-fact reveals a Truth of God, and in the wake of that revelation is the perception of God’s presence right where the problem seemed to be. Had the problem not appeared in the first place, most people would not be steadfast and faithful in wanting to move beyond their present understanding of God’s Allness.
It was not a long-standing problem, but one that seemed life-threatening. All night I was in and out of silent, God-focused listening prayer. The revelation that came forth was a watershed moment completely changing my perception of the Body. For that reason, I loved the problem. Otherwise, I would not have been pushed to go beyond my present understanding of the Body.
Is the problem necessary in order to discover the God-fact? Absolutely not! But let’s be honest. Most people pray more fervently when things are going wrong. And that’s when more God-facts are realized. Do you see why I urge you to love your problem? The God-fact that it is turning your attention to is priceless.
It’s time to turn and see exactly what God-fact your seeming problem is signaling. God-facts cannot be reasoned out. God-facts cannot be intellectually discerned. They can only be revealed by way of silent, listening prayer. There are many ways to approach this, but I’m suggesting two.
After you’ve settled in and are ready to listen and “hear,” simply ask your God-Consciousness, “What is the Truth I most need to realize?” You ask and you listen. Repeat if necessary. In this approach, you are totally bypassing the seeming difficulty and your total focus is on the spiritual discovery of a God-fact.
This is the approach favored by many. I think it’s because the seeming problem is at least addressed, and then immediately dismissed. Here you start with the problem and use it as a trampoline to spring to greater awareness of God’s Allness.
After you’ve settled in and are ready to “hear,” you lay it all out on the table as it appears to be. Below is an example:
It seems that I’ve been suffering from kidney pain for the last fifteen years. The doctors say that it is due to a rupture of some type and that I need surgery. Sometimes the pain is unbearable, and I can barely move. Then, I spend the rest of the day in bed. This is all what appears to be, but what is the Truth I need to know?
That last sentence is the most important. Again, you ask and listen, and repeat if necessary. In either approach, you continue until the Revelation of the God-fact is experienced. Your question may be, “But what about my problem?”
Problems, long-standing or otherwise, remind me of the Mission Impossible movies. Have you ever seen one? The adventure-packed film opens with Ethan receiving a plain envelope. Inside there is a gadget with the IMF mission that concludes with “Your mission, should you decide to accept it ….” After that, the device self-destructs. Problems alert your attention to a God-fact. Once the God-fact is discovered, the (seeming) problem self-destructs. Or, in spiritual language, its “something” is revealed and evidenced to be nothing.
It’s time I wrote about those stubborn cases – those problems that seem to cling like barnacles to a whale’s belly. This could be a chronic disease such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis, etc. Or it could look like a chronic case of “I never have enough money.” Then again, it could appear as chronic dysfunctional relationships. Whatever the case may seem to be, the problem looks like it’s been hanging around for years, and you just can’t beat it. Reader, you can’t beat it, but you can know the nothingness of it.
Starting from our basic premise that God is the only Presence, and this Presence is changeless Perfection, you can rest assured that Perfection IS the only Presence and the only Evidence. This, and not the barnacles, is your starting point.
Do you have a long-standing problem that seems real? Have you been trying to heal yourself, or get rid of it? Go back to the starting point and stay there. This has to trigger the realization that since Perfection (God) is All, this thing cannot be, and it is not present. No matter how long-standing the problem has been, a clear realization such as this is like sunlight flooding a room that’s sat in darkness for years. The darkness (trouble) is now nowhere to be found.
Regardless of how stubborn and resistant a problem seems to be, no appearance of imperfection should be tolerated. Stiff and aching joints, frequent migraines, tumors and tubercles, turbulent relationships, paycheck-to-paycheck living – none of these should be tolerated.
When a problem seems difficult to “heal,” some resort to snuggling up and getting as comfortable as possible with it. At night, those who seem to suffer from arthritis reach to the nightstand for some pain-relieving ointment. They slather it all over their aching joints and hope for a good night’s sleep. All the while, they have resigned themselves to a lifetime of joint rubbing.
There are some who can’t seem to shake the “I can’t make ends meet” dis-ease, and they enslave themselves to the latest magic-working budget plan. Or, as a woman once told me who could not shake a seemingly dysfunctional relationship syndrome, “I’ll just stick with my same jacked-up friends.”
These are examples of snuggling up to a problem rather than perceiving the nothingness of it. Stop! The realization that God is All must goad you to rise up and say to these hallucinations, “This far and no further.” If you seem to be experiencing a stubborn case of “whatever,” imagine there’s a large black billboard in front of you, and in big bold red letters are these two words: Don’t Resign!
You’ve heard it said that behind every problem is the Perfection of God. For the sake of this article, behind every stubborn case is the Perfection of God. However, this is very dualistic language, so let’s correct it now. Let’s take the next step and know that INSTEAD OF THE STUBBORN CASE, GOD’S PERFECTION IS. Doesn’t this stay true to our starting point? Staying and not straying is the key to resolving seemingly stubborn situations.
Don’t give in and don’t give up is the take-away from today’s part one of a two-part series. Maybe it’s been months, perhaps years, that you’ve endured your seeming problem, but all the while it was a lie about the Omnipresent Perfection.
I remember the first time I listened to a Nikki Giovanni recording. I remember the golden voices of the gospel choir that sang in the background as she read her poetry. One particular poem evoked the joy of seeing sunlight at the end of a dark tunnel. I played that poem over and over again. It wasn’t the entire poem that grabbed me; it was just the opening words. “One ounce of truth benefits like ripples in a pond.”
Picture it. A little boy throws a stone into the middle of a still pond. Water circles ripple from the center to the circumference of the pond. One stone, many circles. One ounce of Truth does benefit like ripples in a pond. One ounce of Truth. Not a quart, not a gallon, but just one ounce of Truth.
The spiritual implication of this means that you don’t have to read an entire shelf of Truth books. Just one sentence from one book is enough to “benefit” every area of your life. Haven’t you sometimes felt that you didn’t know enough Truth to meet your need – to handle your emergency? Then, perhaps, you flipped through book after book hoping to find some magic Truth statement that would fix the situation. “One ounce of Truth benefits like ripples in a pond.” Any Truth statement from any book would have been enough!
Haven’t you sometimes felt that your present understanding of Truth wasn’t enough? Whatever Truth you do understand is enough to meet any need. If you really know one statement of Truth, rejoice. That one statement will carry you through the rest of your eternal life. Of course, you will contemplate that one statement, and you will listen in silence as it unpacks all of its mysteries and secrets. Out of that one statement will come a hundred and one Truths.
Do you wonder how one Truth statement can benefit every area of your Life? Here’s how. Every statement of Truth is your Life. It is not a statement about your Life. It is your Life. One statement of Truth understood shows itself, in some way, to be the reality of your Life.
What is your favorite statement of Truth? I mean that one you default to when the going seems rough. Imagine that statement to be a nutshell, and inside that shell (statement) is every Truth that has ever been written or spoken. When you contemplate that statement and ask it to reveal its mysteries, you open the door for all Truth to flood your Consciousness. This is Revelation. Every statement revealed to you then shows itself to be the reality of your Life – every aspect of your Life.
Right this very moment you know enough Truth to handle any appearance of lack, limitation, disease, etc. Don’t believe otherwise.
Let it be clearly understood that the wisdom of man is not sufficient to give anyone the specific truths adequate to meet a problem. When you are confronted with specific problems, whether your own or somebody else’s, you cannot rush around looking for a memorandum of some recording you have heard or some passage in a book you have read to remind you what truths you are supposed to know, because, even if you found them instantly, they would not be too helpful.
All truth is given to us from God, and if you want to know the truth about anything – the specific truth – you do not have to go to a book to find it. Turn to God within. There is a specific truth for every problem, and the abiding place of that truth is in your consciousness. Your consciousness is the place where every bit of truth is found.
“The kingdom of God is within you.” There is nothing for which you could seek that you cannot find within yourself. When you learn to receive the answers, you will find that you are given a truth, a specific truth with which to meet every problem because there is a specific truth about every problem which will be revealed through turning wholeheartedly to God and in meditation seeking Him alone.
The question often arises as to whether or not God knows anything about our problems. Probably not, but when you go within asking, “What or where is the bread of this day?” the answer may come, “I am the bread, the wine, and the water.” Or if you should ask what the truth is about a particular situation, you might hear the words, “I am the truth.” The problem of the organs and functions of the body may be uppermost in your mind, and then the truth may reveal itself in this way, “I govern the organs and functions of the body. Life governs the organs and functions of the body. Organs and functions do not govern life.”
There are stages in our experience with problems. The first period is when we have a problem that to us is a very real one, and we turn to a practitioner, teacher, or teaching for help in solving that problem. The second stage of our unfoldment is that stage in which a problem becomes an opportunity.
Jacob had reached that stage when he wrestled with the angel all night long and would not let him go: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” It is when we are at that point that we, too, say, “I don’t want this problem to pass until I have seen the spiritual light that dissolves it, and which, in dissolving this problem, will dissolve all the problems which may be developing tomorrow or next year.”
Suppose that we do have a problem of disease? Suppose that we are meeting with lack and limitation? Why be concerned and why struggle as if we must get rid of those problems when our function is to prove the nothingness of them? Therein lies the secret. If our function is to prove the nothingness of all the appearances that the world calls discord, then why should be we concerned when the opportunity comes to us to prove their nothingness, first to ourselves and then to the world.
“Allen, believe it or not, people have emergency situations where they don’t have time to go into long periods of silence waiting for a revelation. What do you do, in the moment, when you’re facing danger?” That’s the question a member of my congregation once asked.
I plead guilty to writing an awful lot about silent prayer. In my estimation, it is the golden key that opens the door of revelation. Is it the only key? I don’t know. What I do know, for sure, is that silent prayer gets the job done. But, silent prayer is not a god. It is a tool for the realization of God.
When life-threatening trouble seems to spring out of nowhere, you don’t turn to silent prayer for deliverance. You turn to the Truth that’s been revealed in silent prayer. Often that revelation is the inner conviction that God is really all. That, reader, is enough.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I am a proponent of Truth’s practicality. Truth revealed is practical – even in the merciless clutches of life-threatening situations. I’ll share this story with you that happened many years ago.
One cool spring night, I was walking home from a church near downtown Baltimore. While walking, I thought about all the ways I could improve the class I was teaching at the church. One idea after another popped into my head as I strolled along. I was in my own little world of ideas.
Suddenly, everything sped up like a movie on fast forward. First, I felt something pressing against the small of my back. Then, an arm wrapped around my chest, and two voices said, “Don’t turn around.” At that point I knew there was a gun in my back. One of the muggers threw me to the ground and rifled through all my pockets.
As I was falling, my first thought was “God is All.” At that point things seemed to slow down to a slug’s pace. As soon as I said God is All, I felt like I was wrapped in a cushiony cloud of protection. Then, I knew all was well.
The muggers ordered me to get up. Again, I was commanded, “Don’t turn around.” The next command was to run into the alley. I ran. Shots were fired. I kept running. Finally, I said to myself, “Allen, enough running.” I slowed down and continued my walk home – more deliberately. Throughout it all, I was not injured.
You do agree that this qualifies as an emergency situation, don’t you? Then consider these facts. There was no time to “go into the silence.” There was no time to seek Revelation. Truth-be-told, I didn’t try to think a spiritual thought. The words “God is All” flashed in my awareness without effort.
This is the joy and beauty of silent prayer. Once a Truth is revealed, that Truth will always surface at the appropriate time as a reminder that only God is present. You can never be thrust into any situation where Truth revealed doesn’t immediately deliver you from the illusion that something other than God’s Infinite goodness is going on.