Teachings from the Reverend Colin Read
given during the Spiritual Healing Services
The Determiniative Individual who has Taken their Life into their Own Hands
THERE ARE ACTUALLY two texts that I want to speak on this evening. The first is from the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul says:
Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans like a worldly man, ready to say Yes and No at once? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we preached among you ... was not Yes and No; but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God. But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Cor 1:17-22)
Then there is the other from James. It is possibly a more familiar text, and one that I rather like.
Behold, we call those happy who were steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. But, above all my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no be no, that you may not fall under condemnation. (James 5:11 12)
As simplistic as it may appear, we must come to terms with the ability to simply say yes or no. The absence of such decisiveness is, I would dare to say, the cause of a vast degree of limitation. Those limitations affect us spiritually, mentally and physically because of two opposing factors:
Yes simply means action.
No simply means nothing.
How often do we really mean what we say? It takes a decisive mind − one which knows ‘Who I am’, ‘Where I am at’, ‘What I want’ − to determine the future course of events. It takes a decisive mind to determine our own happiness − and happy is he who is steadfast and able to say YES or NO.
Do you know what we normally do? We generally let circumstances evolve to a point where something becomes inevitable and then we have to go along with that particular circumstance.
Indecision is a limitation and any inability to say ‘Yes, that’s what I want’ or ‘No, I don’t want that,’ means that we are constantly subject to that limitation.
It is only in making one of these two decisions that we ever gain any kind of respect. When a person says No, and means it, it is very difficult not to respect them. Their decisiveness becomes a factor to be taken into account by others simply because one always knows precisely where one stands.
Opposed to this we have the ‘Maybe’s. ‘Let’s see where the spirit takes us, shall we?’ ‘Let’s not make a decision right now, let’s just go along and see what happens.’ It’s drifting. As soon as a decision or an event comes along and you find yourself doing something that you really didn’t want to be doing − but didn’t have the guts to refuse − you immediately start moaning and grizzling. You begin to complain.
Like Paul said, it can’t be a Yes and a No. It can’t be maybe. It must be one or the other. That is all that is possible. It is the activity of the Christ in you, drawing a particular decision out from within you, even though that particular decision is one that we, for some reason or other, refuse to make.
For example, someone comes along with this incredibly complicated relationship. You sit through all the moans and the groans while she tells you what a thoroughly miserable, absolutely stinking, rotten bastard he is. You listen to him and he tells you what a miserable wowser she is and all the rest. On and on it goes. Finally you say, ‘Well, why don’t you just say Yes or No?’ ‘It’s not that simple you know, it’s very complicated,’ they tell you.
It’s not complicated. If we have been given a single gift, it is the gift of choice. If you don’t like someone then don’t associate with them. Say No and piss off. It is that simple. There is simply no inbetween. There can be no compromise because you can’t be happy with compromise.
Learn to base your actions only on your own inner morality. Too often, particularly in employment, we say yes to doing things which are simply against or adverse to our own principles, simply for the sake of the pay packet at the end of the week. In doing that we lose our principles, our esteem, our inner morality. Rather say No. ‘I cannot do that. The boss doesn’t like it. He can sack me!’ If it comes to that, ‘No!’ − and walk out.
Yes, I agree, it all sounds a bit simplistic. It is simplistic, utterly and completely. I can also hear a thousand different reasons for why a yes or no is not possible. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE.
‘Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No that you may not fall under condemnation,’ says James. What condemnation? I’ll tell you. Confusion. Utter, absolute confusion, because lack of decision is a condemnation of one’s self. There is no external force condemning you. God is not condemning anyone. One is either closer to or further away from God. God is steadfast. God is there. God is faithful. God is the one stable datum that can be utterly and completely, 100% depended upon. Anything below that is a different matter.
Condemnation of our ourself occurs for a simple reason. I keep coming back to this, time and time again. It is called: Cause and Consequence. It is one of the most fundamental of all the spiritual laws. Measure for measure. There has to come a point whereby the individual fully understands the law of cause and consequence. The true individual knows that if they do A then B will be the consequence of it − whether it is in the long term or the short term, a life time or five minutes. Sometimes it’s instant.
We must learn to know that spirit of Christ in our own hearts. We reject or we accept in accordance to the spirit as it is demonstrated through each of us. That spirit cannot be expressed in the same manner in two different people, that is an impossibility. So, the one capacity we have to determine the outcome of our own lives, as well as the conditions, standards and degree of happiness or misery we live in, is our ability to say, in accordance to our nous of Christ: Yes or No.
Oh, I know we come up against some pretty forceful influences and sometimes it is extremely difficult to say No to these forceful influences − especially aggressive tin rattlers at car windows who stand there with the attitude of ‘I am sacrificing myself for the good of society, who are you to refuse to co operate.’ That’s a rather bland example of the means by which each of us is expected to co operate with a thing called society.
But have you ever really wondered just precisely what society is? It doesn’t exist. It’s not there. You are society. Society can only be a conglomeration of individuals − and very very few of them are individuals. Only a very few indeed. The majority of the population that makes up that wonderful thing called society are like stupid, bleating sheep who will obey whatever is expected of them, blindly, without thought. That in turn creates only deeper and deeper levels of confusion and misery which ultimately succeeds in becoming psychosomatically-caused disease ... all because of the inability to say Yes or No.
How do you determine what is good? How do you determine what it is that we should say Yes or No to? That comes back to the individual. Let’s go back to that text from James.
Behold, we call happy those who are steadfast.
Oh I love that word ‘happy’, I really do. I think it’s brilliant. What makes you happy? Well, doing dishes doesn’t make me happy! To be happy is a criteria of our souls. Another very simple example. In confronting any given person, situation, circumstance, activity − it doesn’t matter what it is − are you standing there about to blindly go along with the crowd or do you stop and say to yourself ‘Will this person, situation, circumstance or activity make me happy?’ If you can foresee the consequence of what you are about to do and that it will not be a happy consequence, stand your ground and steadfastly say No. Is that so difficult?
Yes. It is immensely difficult. Nobody seems to be able to do it. Why? Circumstances! Here’s hubby and wifey. They’ve just turned up at a party. Lo and behold, he spies someone terribly interesting and attractive over the other side of the room. He says, ‘That would make me happy.’ ‘Yes,’ he says. ‘No!’ she says. The crux? The crux is were she to say, ‘Sure, if that’s what you want, go and talk to the lady,’ how much more dear would she be to him. How much greater would be his love for her because she gave him his freedom. She gave him the freedom to express his own individuality and, in so doing, the ability to say Yes and No to the world at large. It has been the other way around in the old times. It’s always been hubby saying yes to the world and no to the wifey at home, left behind the kitchen sink. That’s not the case any more.
Any individual has the right to say Yes and No. You all have another right also. This is another subject but this other right is a very interesting one, a wonderful one to use. You’ll catch yourself using it on occasion, especially when you find yourself in a difficult situation. It applies in the kind of situation where you would like to say No, but you can’t really until you get out of the circumstances that are already present because the immediate consequences would be rather traumatic. The other right you have, which you should always exercise in those wobbly situations, is to SHUT UP.
You get picked up by a police officer. You have the right to remain silent, but anything you say may be taken down in evidence against you. So SHUT UP! If you can’t commit yourself there or then to a Yes or a No in that particular circumstance, then SHUT UP!!! It sounds terribly simple. You can ‘No speka da Englese’ or you can be suddenly struck with acute laryngitis, but, really, do you need a justification? Do you need a reason to shut up? To simply not say anything beyond, ‘Pass the sugar?’
Have you ever watched Mario? He uses it a lot, especially at parties and things where he has got himself hemmed into a corner somewhere and the propositions are coming hard and fast, not always so openly of course, some of it is very subtle stuff. Go quiet. Shut up. Given time you can make your own decision, a Yes or a No, a decision that is in accordance with your own inner Christ knowledge.
The number of traps we have managed to get ourselves into are priceless when you begin to understand them. One of them is the identity trap. Do you know what an identity trap is? That’s the person who is being whatever they think they should be under any given circumstance. They have no identity of their own because they are so busy being what somebody else wants them to be − either the boss, the wife, the kids, society generally, the school. There are all these imposed influences that are determining who and what you are. Stuff them! You have a right to know ‘Who I am’ for yourself, and that, after all, is what we, as spiritual people, are seeking.
There are all kinds of traps. The intellectual trap, the emotional traps we get ourselves into, the morality traps, even what I call the government trap − that’s a beauty. Then you have the ‘I know it’ trap. You KNOW! That’s a trap too, it’s the one of dogma. And on and on it goes. There are umpteen of these traps, but as soon as you begin to understand what these traps are you can begin to see how to extricate yourself from them and achieve a clear and decisive mind: a mind that is responding both inwardly and outwardly, that stands at the meridian point and is able to effectively say Yes or No.
This is what makes a determinative individual who has taken his or her life into their own hands. It’s a big order. But if you don’t take this stand, you will suffer the condemnation − not of God, not of Christ, although we have condemned them, but the condemnation of ourselves by our own lack of spirit.
What I am trying to get at is the utter necessity for us, as individuals, to have the ability to accept or to reject that which is beneficial or detrimental to us as individuals. That is vitally important for our own spiritual survival as well as on every other level.
The truth is you must think independently. Like little Jan here who stands there and says ‘You’re wrong.’ Great! Someone actually has the courage to speak for themselves. There is a mind there, thinking for itself, coming to its own conclusions, determining its own course of action. The Christ! And it’s not cheap.
Oh, we use double standards to a great degree. We profess one thing and do another continually. I am always more concerned with the practical, down to earth ‘Yes, I can do with that here and now’ type of occult metaphysics.
‘God is faithful to us,’ Paul said that too. God is a concept that is left to your own imagining. If I were to give you a piece of paper and say, ‘Draw a picture of God,’ I know you would give me back a blank piece of paper. To which I would say ‘That’s a polar bear in a blizzard.’ Each of your concepts would be totally different from one another’s, and that is of necessity. It must be so.
The Christ in you relates to the supreme deity in an individual and totally unique manner, according to the specific experiences that each of us have absorbed over many lifetimes of existence. There is no conceivable way that we can respond to something called God other than in a deeply personal way. It is a uniqueness of response. That response is there through Christ.
Do you need me to use non religious words? It depends upon the understanding we have of being part of an overall, conceptual mind. From the particular, small, miniature vantage point that we currently hold, there is an element within us that actually responds to the cosmos − the universe, the stars, the moon, the sun, the planets. That response, that interreaction which is occuring, develops our concept of what God is. Our task is to stick with that concept, not dogmatize it, but let it evolve, let it grow as our experience and understanding grows alongside it. Then eventually, ultimately, we merge and can be at one with it.
It is not just a case of saying Yes to Christ. The Yes comes from Christ, the Christ is in you. That Christness that is within you responds to God. It is almost like a magnetic current between the two and our own individualized, worldly minds. Our inner spirit, which is laid within our own hearts, is that which responds. And that I AM must not be compromised.
I am. You are not I am. Only you can say that for yourself. Likewise, you can point at me and say, ‘You are not I am.’ Right? So if I were to perform an action the way you want me to, I am no longer conscious nor in control of, nor in any way determinative of my own I AM. To hold on to your own I AM requires the element of faith, faith in knowing God, and the ability to say Yes or No. If you make a decision against your own self interest you are stupid. It is that simple.
So what do you do? I’ll tell you what to do. Listen to Christ. Respond to what the world is showing you with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Then your purpose begins to be revealed in yourself − the Christ. It sounds like such a bland statement but it is true. Christ has a purpose for each of us. That purpose will be unique, it will be individual, it’s yours. No one else can be it or do it. And you can make up your own mind − Yes or No − to do it.
God has commissioned us and has established us in Christ. God has put his seal upon us and given his spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. It is a guarantee of our Christhood, that inner sense of I AM − that knowing, that sense of self identity which outwardly you call by a name but inwardly you know as an experience.
The Christhood is our guarantee. It’s the ultimate expression of I AM my own individuality. It is such a shame that we must collectively destroy the world first before we learn that. Everything is groaning in travail until now, doom, ominous − until we learn from it, learn how to cope with it, learn to say yes or no and be determinative and understand who and what we are.
We must reconcile with ourselves: to be what I am − not what you ought to be, but what I AM. Then we learn to grant each other the freedom to express that I AMness in our own individualized and unique way.
So shall it be.
From the Spiritual Healing Service held on 14th August 1986.