Some of the modern Western teachers of this philosophy explain matters by saying that “God is masquerading as different forms of life, including Man, in order that he may gain the experience resulting therefrom, for although He has Infinite and Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge, he lacks the experience that comes only from actually living the life of the lowly forms, and therefore He descend thus in order to gain the needed experience.”
Can you imagine the Absolute, possessed of all possible Knowledge and Wisdom, feeling the need of such petty “experience,” and living the life of the lowly forms (including Man) in order “to gain experience?” To what Depths do these vain theories of Man drive us? Another leading Western teacher, who has absorbed the teaching of certain branches of the Oriental Philosophy, and who possesses the courage of his convictions, boldly announces that “You, yourself, are the totality of being, and with your mind alone create, preserve and destroy the universe, which is your own mental product.”
And again the last mentioned teacher states: “the entire universe is a bagatelle illustration of your own creative power, which you are now exhibiting for your own inspection.” “By their fruits shall you know them,” is a safe rule to apply to all teachings. The philosophy that teaches that the Universe is an illusion perpetrated by you (God) to amuse, entertain or fool yourself (God), can have but one result, and that is the conclusion that “everything is nothing,” and all that is necessary to do is to sit down, fold your hands and enjoy the Divine exhibition of legerdemain that you are performing for your own entertainment, and then, when the show is over, return to your state of conscious Godhood and recall with smiles the pleasant memories of the “conjure show” that you created to fool yourself with during several billions of ages.
That is what it amounts to, and the result is that those accepting this philosophy thrust upon them by forceful teachers, and knowing in their hearts that they are not God, but absorbing the suggestions of “nothingness,” are driven into a state of mental apathy and negativeness, the soul sinking into a stupor from which it may not be roused for a long period of time.
We wish you to avoid confounding our teaching with this just mentioned. We wish to teach you that You are a real Being–not God Himself, but a manifestation of Him who is the Absolute. You are a Child of the Absolute, if you prefer the term, possessed of the Divine Heritage, and whose mission it is to unfold qualities which are your inheritances from your Parent. Do not make the great mistake of confounding the Relative with the Absolute. Avoid this pitfall into which so many have fallen. Do not allow yourself to fall into the “Slough of Despond,” and wallow in the mud of “nothingness,” and to see no reality except in the person of some forceful teacher who takes the place of the Absolute in your mind. But raise your head and assert your Divine Parentage, and your Heritage from the Absolute, and step out boldly on the Path, asserting the “I.”
(We must refer the Candidate back to our “Advanced Course,” for our teachings regarding the Absolute and the Relative. The last three lessons of that course will throw light upon what we have just said To repeat the teaching at this point would be to use space which is needed for the lesson before us.)
And yet, while the “I” is not God, the Absolute, it is infinitely greater than we have imagined it to be before the light dawned upon us. It extends itself far beyond what we had conceived to be its limits. It touches the Universe at all its points, and is in the closest union with all of Life. It is in the closest touch with all that has emanated from the Absolute–all the world of Relativity. And while it faces the Relative Universe, it has its roots in the Absolute, and draws nourishment therefrom, just as does the babe in the womb obtain nourishment from the mother. It is verily a manifestation of God, and God’s very essence is in it. Surely this is almost as “high” a statement as the “I Am God” of the teachers just mentioned,–and yet how different. Let us consider the teaching in detail in this lesson, and in portions of others to follow.