Breaking The Bread
Five thousand hungry men, far from food and shelter. Five thousand men in the desert-hungry—calling for bread; and only five barley loaves. The nearest food depot miles away.
Dozen of empty vessels, all crying out to be filled —great, yawning, ugly black vacuums of debt and want, and only a few drops of oil in the cruse.
Great stretches of parched desert scorched by sun and wind-dry, barren, ugly, useless. Worthless, helpless, unwanted, crying for expression, and only a small desert water-hole under a scraggy tree, halffilled with poisonous water, and a mass of bone-dry seeds buried in the sands.
Any one of these pictures is enough to make the average strong heart quail and turn away with a sense of helplessness. “Why does God permit such terrible things to exist if He is All-powerful?” “Why do I have to continue always under an avalanche of debt and limitations, with never enough to do anything with?” “Why do I lie on a bed of pain, my body racked with loathsome disease?”
“I have tried and tried and yet no results come.” “Anyone could see that five loaves would not feed five thousand men. A loaf to a thousand? What good to even pause to consider such an absurd idea? What good to consider the empty jars when only a few drops of oil are visible?”-Thus man reasons, and thus he fails. Having drawn his conclusions in accordance with the best human understanding and wisdom, he abides by the results.
The first and great law of breaking the belief of limitation is, “Judge not from appearances.” We have heard it often, but we have never reallyheard it until we can do it. When you actually hear a word of Truth you can fulfill it. Taking your attention away from the appearance of things, or judging not from appearances, is not merely closing the material eyes and refusing to see that which you know —in your human thinking—is real. “Being absent from the body and present with the Lord” is actually placing the attention on the Invisible Source of All. This is neither as abstract nor as difficult as it seems at first glance. It is not a difficult thing through the process of your imagination to possess those things which are necessary for your wellbeing. It is not difficult f or you to imagine that it would be a simple matter to the All-Power to produce all the desires of your heart-seeing that it has already created infinitely more-right before your eyes. It is not difficult f or you to place your consciousness in the realm of Spirit, and there f eel the freedom of the All-Spirit, being lost in the immensity of light, and finding the hard outlines and forms of things all melting back into the infinite ONE—-out of which all things came into being.
After all, a moment’s thought will cause you to throw much of the limiting reasoning of human wisdom away. Just think of the infinite flow of water into the Universe. From the single drop to the mighty torrents, where does it come from? We can, by a slow process, trace it from one stage to another back to Primal Cause. Where did it come from in the first place? What is the nature of the invisible quantity of substance which constantly repeats itself in a never-ending stream of expression, and in an infinite variety of forms? Out of the same invisible realm of substance we see millions of different manifestations, just as out of the same garden plot we see a hundred varieties of seeds bringing forth as many different kinds of flowers and fruits, all drawing on the identical substance for their life. Why do a poppy and a grain of wheat, drawing on the same elements, bring forth such radically different manifestations? Who can answer except with the absurd reply, “It is the nature of the seed”?
Why should it seem strange, then, that man should make a conscious contact with this Infinite Power, and see it step up the process of time and bring out the instant manifestation of whatsoever is needed, instead of seeing it put through the limiting human thought process? Why should it be thought so absolutely outside the ken of possibility?
Further, why is it that you, the very reader of this page, will go into your garden and scatter a handful of seeds in the ground without so much as a mental effort as to how they are going to draw their substance out of the invisible? Pushing this idea back a little farther, you find it is because you have a perfect confidence that it can be done—not in a way you know, but in an unseen way. Some–how or other this tiny seed will be able to select the pigmentation of color and the qualities for its own expression. And you do not find this strange; it has ceased to be wonderful. It is natural. You dismiss it. The handful of seed is all that is necessary for you presently to reap a harvest that many men with many baskets cannot gather in.
Yet if someone said, “There are five loaves to feed five thousand hungry men,” you would immediately place it under the head of miraculous—something outside the laws of Nature and life. Why should it be thought more difficult to increase one substance than another? Well, you scatter your seed with abandon, and with absolute faith that its increase is assured; you give it little or no thought after it is sown. But if you were to attempt to increase the loaves you would be concerned to such an extent with the manifestation that the law would not operate.
If you have five seeds and want to increase them to five thousand, you do not lay the five seeds on the table and pray over them. You do something. You cast them into the ground. There is no wondering or questioning the action. After you have abandoned them in this way the work on the outside is done; the next move must be from the realm of the Invisible.
When will you, you who read this page, open your eyes and see what is going on all about you? When will you start the flow of substance by taking your attention away from the symbol and placing it on the substance back of the symbol? In other words, when will you cast the seed into the ground of Spirit and let the Invisible Power of the Lord work upon it? When you drop the seeds into the ground, you have already given thanks-perhaps not in words-for the harvest. You have actually accepted your good-your increase—your fulfillment —and yet you have seen nothing. But you have obeyed the law, you have not asked for a sign—-knowing that the “signs will follow, they do not precede.”
When Jesus, the Master, saw the five thousand and the five loaves He said to his disciples: “Give them to eat.” The disciples-even as you and (immediately looked at the problem before them and in the most intelligent manner asked: “Where can we get the bread?” Over and over the word is spoken to us-yet the deaf ears hear nothing. When the Voice commands, it should be sufficient to cause you to move into action; for it will never say “do,” “go,” “be,” “have,” or any of the commands, unless wrapped up in that very word is the means of expressing the command in its fullness.
Strange as it may seem to the human sense, man is always in possession of enough to start the increase which will unfold or unroll until it has filled every empty thing. Hence, in the desert, five loaves were “seed” sufficient to increase the manifestation unto the need.
Jesus took the five loaves and blessed them. His blessing was one of pure recognition of the infinite increase, or the infinite abundance of substance—-“he blessed and brake, and gave. . . .”
He disregarded absolutely all appearances—“he blessed and brake, and gave”-and he kept on breaking the bread until everything was filled and there was enough and to spare. His attention being away from the appearance of things all the while and placed on the invisible. The very invisible out of which the tremendous increase of your seed –planting took place last spring. Only his attention was so conscious of the Presence that the time lag was wiped out and it became the glowing, vibrating Now of Spirit.
“Borrow vessels, not a few”—the same power blessing, recognizing-the infinite source of substance, looked away from the few drops of oil and began to pour it out just as it had broken the bread. And presently out of the invisible source of all things the flow of oil came in such abundance that everything was full to overflowing.
The only benefit of these parables is the direct application to your present manifestation. Many people stand in the place, symbolically speaking, of the Master with five thousand hungry men and five loaves, or with hundreds of empty vessels and only a few drops of oil wondering why they do not demonstrate abundance, not heeding the urge of Spirit to “Bless and break, and give”—to recognize the presence of the Spirit and begin the process of breaking and giving. Wherever you are, and whatever your problems may be, you have the five loaves necessary, or the few drops of oil, and you can “Bless and break, and give.”
All three steps are necessary. You are doing the same thing constantly in your garden, whether consciously or unconsciously. Your garden is brought forth in just this way. You realize that half the joy of your garden is the giving of its rich harvest to others, yet many people in the Truth imagine that the giving is something entirely apart from the getting. It is only by making a constant outlet for the expression of good that more can flow into your life. It is reasonable to believe that the increase of anything would stop if it had no outlet. We notice in the five loaves and five thousand men demonstration that bread was given as fast as they came for it. It was not all manifested at once and then passed out. Your substance does not have to be mountain-high before you can give it out—in fact, if the flow is not kept open, the increase stops.
It is a glorious revelation that you, just where you are, can begin the process of breaking and giving the bread of life and see the endless flowof substance making itself manifest to you and your Universe.
You can begin to see why the command of “Silence” is so essential. Why, the great prayer is “Be still and know that I AM GOD”-not the human limited power, but that which can step up the time lag and make the NOW of the manifestation appear. The power which is back of this potent statement “You say it is f our months until the harvest, but ‘I’ say look again.” Only those that have eyes that have been opened to the reality of being can see the harvest where the human sense says planting has not yet even taken place. “Having eyes, ye see not; having ears, ye hear not.” “Awake, thou that sleepest.” The new dimension is edging into your picture.
Do you begin to see the futility of keeping the attention fixed on the few drops of oil, or the five loaves and the hungry masses? Bring this right down to your problems and a door will open to you. A new joy will fill you, for you will discover that you have all that is necessary to bring out the fullness of the invisible substance.
Beloved, do not let it be said of you any more “Ye seek ME, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled.”
Don’t you see how perishable is the symbol but how unlimited is that which is back of it? “Labor not for meat that perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life.”
Why should you worry about the symbols-take your attention away from them or the lack of them and keep breaking and giving of the precious substance. Do not invert the process and reason thus in your hearts, “If I give I shall get,” that is a losing game—give because theoverflowing substance within you seeks its level—that is, its complete fulfillment—automatically. You cannot help pouring out the gift of the Father when you begin to see that the infinite flow of joy is coursing through you, and through your Universe. Rejoice and be exceeding glad and let fall the drenching rain of recognition of the presence of God; let it f all on the barren desert of your life and the desert will blossom as a rose, for it has the seeds of infinite possibilities hidden away in its burning sands, awaiting recognition. It is well——“Break your bread and give it to the hungry multitude of desires in your life.”
Walter C. Lanyon