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Session 17: #524, Side 1: “The Prayer of Mysticism”

Session 17: #524, Side 1:  “The Prayer of Mysticism” (6/1/19 and 6/8/19)

The Recording

This class was not used as source material in any of the writings.

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Summary of the Class

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The major revelation of The Infinite Way that separates it from every other religious teaching is in the first chapter of The Thunder of Silence.  It is that man has two distinct “lives”—the life of the first chapter of Genesis and the life of the second chapter of Genesis.  The life man is living as a human being is the life of the second chapter of Genesis, and that life has no relationship to the life that God gave us.  Eventually, that life has to disappear from our consciousness.  We must “die daily” to that life in order to be reborn into the life of the first chapter of Genesis.

All human beings are living the life that God did not create, in a universe and world that God did not create.  God has no awareness of that life and universe, and as humans, we have no awareness of the nature of God or the kingdom of God.  For this reason, humans have been praying to God for thousands of years and have not reached God or received answers from God.  After thousands of years, you would think they would give up on prayer.  Actually, some have given up.  Church attendance has diminished greatly, and people are seeking other means by which to reach God.  But they won’t succeed until they find a new mode of prayer that is different from that taught in orthodoxy.  That new form of prayer is taught in The Infinite Way.

Chapter 1, “The Two Covenants,” in The Thunder of Silence quotes a passage from Galatians: “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar … But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”[1]  As an allegory, this is not the story of a man who had two sons by two different wives.  It means that the son of the bondwoman was after the flesh; in other words, the entire human race, which was born after the flesh, is in bondage under the law.  But the son born of the freewoman was born not of the flesh, but by promise; that is, born of the Spirit.

In the first chapter of Genesis, there is man in the image and likeness of God, not born of a woman, nor under the law, nor by processes of flesh.  God, Spirit, is expressing, manifesting Himself, His own life, spiritually, incorporeally, and not under any type of law—just free.  The man and universe of the second chapter is born of the mind—not of God, not of Spirit, but of mental processes by a mind not created by God.  The whole story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is a myth, and so the man and woman born of Adam and Eve must be a myth.  Your human self is a myth as well, and you will see that when, even in a measure, you have put off the human self, the old man and his mortality, and been clothed upon with immortality.   While you will remember some of your good and bad actions and thoughts, you will not believe that you were the person who did them.  Then you will realize that you were not that person; that that person was actually a myth about you!

In the first chapter of The Thunder of Silence, it says that in our humanhood, as sons of the bondwoman, we are under the covenant “which gendereth to bondage,” that is, under the laws of matter, economics, race, and religion.  It says that the other covenant is that of our spiritual adoption, which comes through a conscious activity within our own consciousness when we are prepared for it.  This is a transition from humanhood to spiritual sonship and is made only by grace, when we are willing to be rid of both the ills of the flesh and the pleasures and profits of the flesh, and we become acquainted with our spiritual identity.  Our spiritual identity is a new creature—not the old one made healthy or honorable, but a new creature born of the Spirit.

As humans, we are creations of a universal mind, and we live under material and mental laws.  Humans have been forming these laws for centuries and living under them, and they continue to do so.  But those who are able to accept the fact that mental and physical laws are not laws are no longer bound by them, and they become sons of the freewoman; they become spiritual.

At first, metaphysicians denied the power of material law and affirmed the power of mental law.  This was a mistake.  Even so, it freed many people from the effects of so-called material laws, which are actually mental laws. In 1935, Joel received the unfoldment that mental law is no more real and has no more power than material law.  That changed the nature of his healing practice and became one of the foundational principles of The Infinite Way:  The Infinite Way does not accept mental laws any more than material laws and works from the standpoint of no laws.  Man is not under any law; man lives under grace.

You are the child of the freewoman the moment that you bring yourself out from being under any law—the bad laws and the good ones. We do not attain complete freedom until we are ready to renounce all laws.  For example, nobody wants to accept the law of heredity when it involves bad traits or diseases, but we are happy to accept inheriting a good disposition, good health, or longevity.  We must be willing to come out from under all law and recognize ourselves as living under grace, recognizing divine grace as our only inheritance and relying only on that.

A question arises:  Is there a way to hold myself in attunement so that this power of grace may take over sooner?  Yes, there is, and that way is prayer.  But it must be prayer without words or thoughts, not an activity of the mind.  You cannot reach God through any activity of the mind. Actually, we should use the word “intellect,” because “mind” is merely a faculty and can easily be stilled.  Intellect cannot be stilled.  So the mind is not the barrier; the barrier is the intellect, or that which fills the mind.  A college professor once told Joel that mysticism is a fraud because there is no God, and he knew there is no God because he never met one.  There is nothing wrong with the professor’s mind; the problem is the misinformation that his mind has absorbed.  So with us.  From the minute we were conceived, our mind began to absorb misinformation until it was so cluttered with misinformation that we could not take in spiritual wisdom.  Even today, we entertain a lot of misinformation about prayer.  Think about the false nature of what is commonly believed to be prayer, and then think of prayer as you know it.  Can you see how all of that misinformation on the subject of prayer keeps people from the kingdom of God?

Through the message of The Infinite Way, you know that “My kingdom,” the spiritual kingdom, is not of this world.  Few people know that much.  They do not know that “My peace” is not the peace that the world knows.  They do not know that “Thy grace is my sufficiency,” for they don’t see a supply of the things of this world.  So this misconception of prayer is a barrier.  True, you can work mentally to attract the world’s goods because mind is the substance of matter, but this mental activity has no relationship to prayer, although it may be called prayer in metaphysics.

The son of the bondwoman, the human being, is a mental being, a mental creation living in a mental universe.  As long as he holds entirely to human virtues and maintains an attitude of integrity, morality, and honesty, he can be healthy, wealthy, wise, and successful on the human level.  But problems arise when the human mind is not satisfied and decides to add something to itself that rightly belongs to someone else.  On the human plane of life, a person who is humanly bad can make the adjustment to being humanly good, but he cannot become spiritual.  It is only when an individual is touched that they are led to the spiritual and the transition begins.

Many religions and philosophies do not know that the human world is a mental world, separate and apart from God, and they mix the two together. This encourages the human being—who receiveth not the things of God—to falsely pray for the things of God and believe he can receive them.  If prayer does not work, there are rituals, tithing, and other means by which to get God to loosen up a bit.  But that is all wrong.  The message of The Infinite Way clearly states that the son of the bondwoman and the son of the freewoman are two different beings, living in two different universes.  You cannot transform yourself from one to the other.  You must die to one and be reborn of the other.  The great question is how to do that, and the answer is first, consciously relinquish all desires—ALL desires.  These must all be given up until we arrive at that place in consciousness where we have completely dropped this world and all that is therein.

By grace, those who have been touched KNOW beyond all doubt that there is a kingdom of God.  Humans may believe or accept it, but they don’t KNOW it.  When you know that, it is easier to drop desires for the things of this world and turn within in the prayer of mysticism, the prayer without words and without thoughts, because you have no thing and no person to pray for.  In the prayer of mysticism, you open your consciousness to the grace of God, not knowing its nature or what form it will take.  We cannot say Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things” and then think about the forms that grace should assume.  Concern for forms is the barrier.  When you have surrendered this world and given up your desires and any expectations of particular forms of grace, you are the son of the freewoman.  You are free of matter and mind and their claims and their fears.  You have realized “Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things,” and you don’t let your thoughts go any further.  You are completely at one in an expectancy of that which is unknown to the human mind.  You are under grace, and not under the law.  Then you understand the nature of the thunder of silence, because in this silence, demonstration thunders.

[1] Galatians 4:22-26

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Additional Offerings for Study

In this recording, “The Prayer of Mysticism,” Joel addresses the topic of “two lives.”  Here he refers to the two lives as “the life of the first chapter of Genesis” and “the life of the second chapter of Genesis,” and as “the son of the bondwoman” and “the son of the freewoman.”  Elsewhere in his writings and recordings, Joel uses other terms such as “man of earth” and “man in Christ,” or “humanhood” and “spiritual sonship.”  Whatever terms are used, this idea is fundamental to the teaching because the whole purpose of the Infinite Way message is to enable us to make the transition from one life to the other.  Joel says, “The whole message of the Infinite Way is for the purpose of showing the people of the earth how to make the transition from being a human being to being that man who has his being in Christ.  It is a transition from a faith in the external to a complete faith in the Infinite Invisible.”[1]

We have collected some additional excerpts from Joel’s work that elaborate further on the subject of “two lives.”  To view, download or print this document, click here.   

[1] The Heart of Mysticism, p. 502