THE STORY OF EVERYMAN
From “London Notes and Lectures”
By Walter C. Lanyon
Audio read by Fred Pruitt: Listen
You are Everyman. The Bible is the story of your life. You have only to supply your name and change the dates and places to bring the present incidents of your life into line with the story of the Bible. It is so with every book.
Who has not written a thousand Psalms of praise and desolation? Who has not stood in the place of Job with all the world slipping about him, only to find the solution of his problem lay in praying for another? When Job prayed for his friends God turned his captivity into freedom, and he had twice as much as he had before. Seeing that he had nothing when he came to the understanding of the situation, it is interesting to note that by praying for another he had his former goods restored to him increased a hundred per cent. Praying for others seems to be more profitable than praying for one’s self.
Man often becomes so obsessed with what he calls his own problem, that he cannot possibly see good. His thought is constantly dwelling on appearances and he crystallizes to circumstances. But there is always a way out, and if you will read the Bible in the first person in the present tense you will see the solution to every difficulty into which you have drawn yourself.
It is not the mere fact that Job prayed for his friends that brought about the transformation. The secret lay in that fact that what he was able to see for another, came true in his own life. Becoming intent on good in another, breaks the continuity of the thought of evil and causes the good to manifest. That which you see for another you see for yourself, and you often are able to bring out your own good by turning your attention directly to another and insisting on seeing the good and perfect in him. While you are seeing good for someone else the thoughts of evil concerning the appearances of your own universe are dropped from thought. When this takes place the manifestation drops from sight. It can only remain as long as it is held in thought.
What you accept for another you accept for yourself. There is only one Self, and all? There are those who believe there is God and something else, but where this cannot explain. Can you be conscious of something that God does not know? Can you get rid of something that God does not know exists?
“Awake thou that sleepeth.” “Having eyes ye see not.”
Again, who has not heard the command to arise and go into a new country (state of consciousness)? Who has not been commanded to leave a present state of consciousness and look not back? And who has not indulged in the painful process of looking back only to find for the time, like Mrs. Lot, that he or she was crystallized to past conditions, and could not move from the spot? A pillar of salt is the price one pays for rehashing and rehearsing past conditions. “What is that to thee?” If it were nothing in the first place, why go over it? “Awake thou that sleepeth.” Why make the evil you have overcome so great by constant repetition until it assumes such proportions as to look almost insurmountable? You need not be surprised if you are comforted with the condition again, for what you prefigure so terrible and strong will have to be eliminated from your kingdom. “Let the dead bury their dead.” You have no time to talk about past victories. Press on to the great calling. “There are many things that I could not tell you,” for you world not have appreciated them because you were still looking and talking about signs and wonders. There is something greater than getting things and making demonstrations, and that is the constant realization that you are God in essence; a point in consciousness.
“Turn not back;” on, and on you go. You are free. You are scaling the Mountains of Abandon. What matter what others think, do, or say? You are free. You have heard the voice of Truth. You are free, free, free!
“In my Father’s house are many mansions.” (Many states and stages of consciousness await you, when you are ready to “let go” of the desire for things.) Remember “things” will be added when they are needed. That is enough, and enough is plenty. Why worry? Do the ravens or the lilies worry? “Awake thou that sleepeth.” God can, and does turn his universe without your aid or suggestion, and he will not change the unchangeable law to suit your wishes. Awake! Awake! Awake!
Once in your life at least you have been the Shulamite woman. Once you have known the glory of absolute faith. Once you have known the isness of God, and doubted not, and even when the dearest manifestation (the son in the Orient is the dearest) seemed to be taken away form you, you did not quake; you went to the prophet; and when he saw you coming, he asked: “How are things with you?” and you answered instantly, “It is well with me,” and threw yourself down at his feet (understanding) and did not depart until he came with you, and it was well with you.
Oh, the glory of it all, the glory of beholding the isness of life, when the whole circumstance world is saying just the contrary!
And again, who at some time has not been gathering a few sticks-hunting around the circumstance world for a little help-to cook a handful of meal before lying down to die? Then the prophet came and said unto you: “Give me first.” On the very face of the request it seemed almost cruel to take the meal from you, and yet, what a glorious lesson–” “Give and it shall be given unto you;” give from thy nothingness, as it were. When the command comes to give, the command is for that one who has written on his forehead “He who hears obeys.” The coward, the fearful one, the glutton, the miser will all argue, and so they eat their cake and die. It is so written in the law. You are not asked to do anything that you cannot do. Fear not; if you give of your handful of meal there will be plenty for you, and you will not die, but live as a giver of good. He who gives in his want breaks the so-called law which binds him.
And again, with your few drops of oil and your heavy debts, you are sent to borrow the empty vessels of your neighbors and fill them with joy. You cannot have good for yourself until you recognize it for all the world. Heaven is not a place where you monopolize good and see your brother in need. He must be filled from the same cruse of oil, and verily, your curse shall not run dry. Joy (oil) increases every time it is used. A smile an inch long will encircle the globe when it is let loose–when it is given.
Decision is the keynote. “Choose ye this day.” “He who hesitates is lost.” If he wavers in the decision of good he will get the poison of indecision and roam in a desert of his own making–a desert of long, tiresome waiting. He waits for something to happen, not realizing that everything has already happened. “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.” all this signifies that you have the light to shine with and can do it, for you are the light. Do not seek it in another.
Have you not crucified yourself a thousand times on the cross of your own making? Have you not been placed in the tomb of your own making and finally resurrected yourself? Have you not died daily and been born daily? Is there anything in the Book of Books that is not the story of your personal experience in one way or another?
Have you not worried about who was going to roll the stone away, when in reality the stone was never there? have you not exclaimed, “They have taken away my Lord,” only later to hear the Voice calling your name and your attention to the living principle of life?
Again, have you not entered your temple and driven out the money-changers (grasping, cunning thoughts that would sell Truth) and the dove-sellers (thoughts that would deceive the very elect)?
Has it not been proved that God is the only Power? Have you not gone out in your little craft only to find yourself overtaken by a raging tempest, and then, filled with fear, you remembered the Master and called, “Help or we perish,” only to hear the “Peace be still?” You are the boat, the disciple, and the Christ idea, all in one.
Yes, Beloved, you are everyman. You are every book, every song, every play, every picture and poem.
The glory of it all comes flooding over you. You again build your Ark and take therein the male and female (knowing and feeling) of every idea that is worth keeping, and then the descent of the Holy ghost takes place and floods out undesirable thoughts. The former things are washed away and shall not be remembered nor come to mind any more.
“Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have life eternal.” Is God dependent upon air, exercise, diet, or drug to keep his manifestation alive? What is that is the image and likeness of God? Where is the image and likeness, and where is God?
As you have written all the parables of the Book, and lived them over many times in your life, so you will one day be able to go through the fiery trials (or circumstances) and come out, “without the smell of fire on your garments.”
“Who is so great a God as our God?” The Scriptures are history and parable until they are read in the present tense, with yourself taking on the role of the doer in every story and circumstance. You will gradually learn that there is not a single problem into which you can possibly bring yourself that is not already solved by the story of the type-man Jesus Christ and his group of co-workers.
You have been both the “sinner” and “the holier than thou”–the one beating upon his breast, and the other praising himself. See that you fall not again into this duplex state of self-pity or self-praise. Both states belong to the man of the circumstance world. They are not a part of the Son of God.
Everyman reads the handwriting on the wall. Only that man who has eyes can read, eyes for good alone. This handwriting is so plain that he who runs may read, and yet so secret that he who stands before it all day and argues from the intellectual standpoint sees nothing but the letter. “The letter without the spirit is dead.”
“Know ye not that ye are gods?” was asked of those of the hearing ear. It is the vainest confusion to the man of the circumstance world. He, hearing it, attempts to be a god, but his clay feet give way and he is reduced to the dust from which he came. “What went ye out for to see?” Asks John. Ask yourself this.
Away with the sense of futurity. You are spiritual at this instant, as spiritual as you are ever going to be, if all be Spirit. Because you do not perceive this, at this instant, does not make it untrue. There are many things that you denied formerly that you admit as true to-day. When you begin to accept the isness of life, you begin to bring it into manifestation, by becoming aware of it.
“It is done” is more than a phrase; it is a statement of a face, changeless and eternal.
You have been the “stoned” and the stone-caster. You have drawn your holy garments aside in your ignorance, not realizing that by so doing your own mentality was casting the evil vision you saw as another, in front of your dimmed eyes. It is hard to wash clean the garments you have stained at the expense of another’s peace. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these, ye have done it unto Me.” Be careful that you be not guilty of offending the Christ with your misguided sense of holiness.
“Awake thou that sleepeth.” Awake! Awake! Awake! The new day has come. Arise and go forth in the glory of your revelation.
When the world says it is hopeless, and you are cast into a sea of doubt and fear, there is a way of escape. If you get in Jonah’s place, remember that, to make the scene perfect, the whole comes at the right time. “Fear not, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” A gift must be accepted before it is yours. Do you believe this? “It is your Father’s good pleasure”–a pleasure for God to bring his kingdom into manifestation. This is not figurative to the seeing eye. It is literal and practical. Awake! Awake! Awake!
You have been baptized by reason, but now you have come to inspiration. You go from glory to glory, “For now ye be in the Spirit and are no more under the law.” What law? The law of the belief in evil.
“”What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” You, awakened one, do not stay in the former order of things. The glory of the Lord hath been revealed to you. You have seen the Christ. You have served him in a million forms and shapes. You can never lose the image of His glory. You have washed His feet and received His blessing. It is well with thee.
No more do you talk about Truth. You talk the Truth. Works and words are as far apart as the poles. Awake! Awake! Awake!
Do not argue. Do not try to please or displease. Live and let live. Live the life. Be the life. Be Truth, and you shall know that no “word of God is void of power.”
Until the inspiration is awakened and opened in you, all outside teaching is vain–clouds without rain.”
The inspiration of the Almighty will lead you into all things and teach you all things. What more can you desire? Inspiration is a gift which must be accepted as a present possibility before it can come into being.