Then Went He And Shut The Door
“THEN WENT HE IN and shut the door.” What goes on behind the closed doors is going to be of tremendous interest to the outside world. “That which is told in secret is called from the housetops.” When you think of the word “secret” you think of the “closed door”—-you think of the “Secret place of the Most High”—-in fact, you think of the center of Being. Until a man learns the law of silence he cannot leave his burning desert of human experience.
“He that travels alone shall travel far”; “He that holdeth his tongue shall take a city [a new state of consciousness]”, and so he who learns to “come apart from among them and be separate” is getting his feet firmly placed on the ladder that leads safely to heaven-realization.
Power is noiseless; its manifestation may make a terrific tumult, but power of itself is noiseless. “Be still and know that I Am God” has been a command which has been as little heeded as the one “Before they ask I will answer”—-but that also bespeaks silence accomplishing something that noise could not. The burning coal which is placed on the lips seals them forever, and it is to such an one that power is given-given because he has discovered something in the silence that he can never discover anywhere else. He has found certain secret springs which, when released, will cause the whole face of his universe to change, and people will say, “It is a miracle,” but he will know differently.
Until man learns the law of silence, he will travel on in the heat of the burning desert of experience, comparing notes with others; discussing and arguing about the vital truths which never seem to work, and yet seem so plausible and real.
“I do not see why it is that I cannot make more progress.” “I have been faithful—-I have helped many—-I have heard hundreds of lectures—-I have read hundreds of books—-I have given of my substance-and am still in this terrible condition.”
The answer to all this is simple, yet it will be rejected by many because they like to “talk it over” first with someone who is supposed to know more than they do; and then they want to talk it over with God and tell Him just what to do before things will be right in the Universe. But nothing happens, and they either go down into the ditch of human failure or hear the “still, small voice” which constantly says, “Be still, be still, be still, and know that I AM God.”
“In quietness and peace shall be thy strength.” A thousand times that is read over, and by the very one who is seeking light and understanding, but will you obey it? Nay! nay! you will pass it over, and go again into the desert of human hope seeking for shade and water. In the desert through which you are traveling is the deep secret well of silence, and when you drink the waters thereof you are refreshed, and the water there from will transform the desert into a garden.
“Be still”—be very still and KNOW that I AM God, and you will find out something about the Promised Land you have been seeking, lo, these many years. The something you will find out is that the Promised Land lies in your own consciousness, and the moment you are through seeking it, and begin the process of recognizing it as here and now within the secret place of your heart, that moment you see the transformation beginning to make itself manifest.
Do not expose the seed to the parching winds of human opinion. “Thou fool, do you not know that a seed must first f all into the ground and rot before it shall be made alive?” Do you not know that the seed idea must be dropped into the secret place, and there lose its outer wrapping of human opinion and belief, before the new manifestation shall come forth? The ugly brown bulb is transformed into a cluster of lilies. What a transformation-all for the simple following of the law. Yet this process of change is no more wonderful than the transformation that shall go on in you—-“O ye of little faith”—–when you can follow the law. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How can the mind be renewed if it be not still? How can the earth be renewed unless it go deep into the secret place of the roots and there restore itself or its manifestation by the substance that is stored up there? Do you begin to see why it is that the lips shall be sealed? You who read?
The butterfly and chrysalis, the chick in the shell, and a thousand other things give you an ample idea, but all these are inadequate to convey the power of the Word which is to work out in you when you can be still.
The law states very clearly, “Ask and it shall be given you: seek and ye shall find: knock and it shall be opened unto you,” and yet there be thousands that will say they have done all these things and are still without the bare necessities of life. Seeking amidst the husks of human reasoning and opinions—–among the findings of the human intellect-will not be productive of much more than a grain or two of substance. Asking the world at large for freedom from your sorrows will merely bring pity or ridicule on your head. Knocking at the gates of human temples is disheartening, and yet the law continues:
“For every [no exceptions] one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
The pristine beauty of this assurance sounds forth like a glorious bell across the smooth waters of a silver lake, or like an answered S O S to a tempest—–tossed ship, and yet no results have come. Men have gone down in the ditch trying to wrench away from the Universe just a decent living. One by one the dreams of youth are exploded because they cannot be fulfilled, although they seemed so right and so possible of attainment.
“For everyone that sketch receiveth.” You may prove that you spend hours a day in good works and prayer, just as a man states, and truly, that he holds an oak tree in his hand when he shows you an acorn. In spite of the fact that you have “faith as a grain of mustard seed” that is said to be enough to move mountains, nothing happens, and nothing is going to happen until you enter the place of silence and set the seal on your lips.
When you are once in this place of silence you find the processes reversed. “Before you ask I will answer.” The asking is merely voicing something that is about to be made visible. It is the decreeing of the thing that will eventually come into manifestation. The chick in the shell, hidden away from the world of curious human eyes, is evolving into a new state; you will begin to see what takes place in the silence of your being, and why you are commanded to “Be still and know that I Am God,” and presently you leave the noisy company of those traveling in the desert and enter into your secret place, to discover that the Promised Land is not a place, but a state of consciousness, and it exists in the Now of time, the HERE of space.
“But the land whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven; a land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.”
Note the words “the Lord thy God,” and see if the light of the governing influence of your Christ consciousness does not blaze forth with such effulgence that the noon-day is as the twilight, and in this revelation are revealed the glorious things that heretofore were hidden from the human mind. “Eyes have not seen,” etc., etc. But it is there all the same, and makes itself manifest when the eye becomes single and when the lips become silent and when the recognition is made in the secret place. Here and Now does not mean more waiting, more patience with the appearance of things, but it means a beautiful transformation that goes on before your eyes, a coming into being of the Promised Land.
When you pause for a moment to consider that the Lord thy God is watching over this Promised Land, “whither ye go to possess it,” from “the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year,” then you can understand why you are admonished to take no thought f or the body, f or the food, f or the purse, scrip, or upper chamber.
“I have much to say unto you, but you could not bear it now.” No one can bear the deep Truth of Life until his lips have been sealed. No one can take the new state of consciousness until he can hold his tongue, for it is by means of the tongue—-symbolically speaking—-that you shall be defiled. Watch, therefore, that ye enter not into temptation to tear away the protective coating of silence from about the new idea. Let not the manifestation be retarded or deformed by your anxiety, for, the moment you recognize the new idea, the soul of you is singing, no matter what the outward appearances-for anon the Child shall be born. Every idea that has its immaculate conception in the mind of silence will come forth to rule over its domain gloriously. Be still, be still, be still and know that I AM God.
The sign of a silent soul is serenity-poise and power. There is a confidence and an abandon. There is a light of joy in the consciousness.
“Serene I fold my hands and wait”
quite a different waiting from the old idea of waiting for something to happen. It is the confident waiting for the Divine event to take place-a serene confidence that it is done and the mechanics will be perfectly executed. Can you see why it is necessary for you to come apart from them and be separate? Be still, be still, be still.
“Be silent, o all flesh, before the Lord.”
“For the froward is an abomination to the Lord; but His secret is with the righteous.”
The froward is an abomination to the Lord, the same as the one who digs up the garden after it is planted, and opens the egg after it has been placed under the bird. Abomination, because he is destroying the manifestation that is due to appear.
“Awake, thou that sleepest, and Christ shall give thee light”—awake and arise from the dead. Fold your tent and steal silently away into the secret place where you can enlarge the borders of your tent without asking the permission of anyone. No matter how loving the advice may be, the things of spirit that are deep and pure will have to be found alone in the silent place, alone with God.
All that is necessary to enter therein is willingness on the part of the student-willingness to listen instead of to tell; willingness to accept the promises as made by the Master, and to plant the seed and let the human limitations and husks of belief rot away from it, in order that the new life may appear. In the place of the Most High you have no favors to ask, no special permission to gain. What you tell yourself in secret shall be called from the housetop -the Word shall become flesh-there is a rest f or the people of God. All of these beautiful things become true to the silent soul. “Be still and know that I AM God.”
Walter C. Lanyon