Thought Bricks 10 The Truth About Your Real Self

In this lesson Bernard introduces us to our Real Self and the Creative Word.




My dear Student,

Have you been getting on well with the exercise in the last Lesson? I do hope you have been brave about it and have really let light into dark places! If you have, you will be feeling a sense of both lightness and brightness – yes, and freedom, too.

You shall know the Truth’ said the Master, ‘and the Truth shall make you free’. (John 8, 32.)

In this Lesson I want to tell you the truth about your Real Self. I want you to start ‘looking’ at yourself from the outside, as it were, and gradually work inwards. But first of all – where are you as you read this? In a room? Then look at the window! Is it square or oblong, broad or narrow? Has it curtains or frosted glass or a blind? Have a good, long look… Now! Who is looking at that window?

‘Why’, you say in surprise, ‘it is I, of course’. Of course, dear Student. You and the window are two separate objects, are you not? You are looking and the window is being looked at…. Now let us begin on the outside of you. What is your body like? Tall or short? Plump or thin? What do people see when they look at you? Is your hair dark or fair? Are your eyes brown or grey or blue? Have a good, long look… Now! Who is looking at that body?

This time you are not so surprised at the question. What is your answer, though? Do you say, ‘It is I, of course’, as you did to the previous question, or do you think to yourself, ‘It cannot be I, since I have just been looking at myself. There must be two objects one the “looker” and the other the “looked at “. Then who has been looking at me?’  Or do you reply at once, ‘My mind has been looking at my body’?

Very well, then! Let us look at your mind. What kind of mind have you? Good memory? Clear thinking? Able to concentrate? Cheerful? Quick at figures? Take a good, long ‘look’…

And now you are quite prepared for my question. Who is looking at your mind? This time you cannot say: ‘My mind is looking at my mind’. There must be two objects – the ‘looker’ and the ‘looked at’. This time your mind is the looked at’. Then who is the looker? This question, my friends, brings you face to face with your Real Self.

Behind your body, behind your conscious mind, there is a you, a looker, a Being invisible to your earth-sight as the Eternal Himself is invisible to His creatures. This you is invisible because one with the Eternal, indestructible because one with God-Ever-Living; filled with wisdom because one with the Omniscient One; always strong because one with the Almighty; ever with you because one with the God Omni-present; serenity itself because one with the God of Peace… And this Being is you, the ‘Looker’ behind your thoughts, behind your mind, behind your eyes, within your body. This is you.

Oh Student, this is a thrilling, mighty Truth! It is worth all your efforts to master, so do keep right on at this exercise of ‘looking’ until you have grasped it. Once you have it, you will never lose it again. You will feel utterly different, fearless, new.

When you are beginning to ‘get the hang of it’, extend the exercise this way. Live in the consciousness, in the awareness of this you for as long as you can; imagine this wonderful Being which is you in all kinds of victorious situations. Meeting a lion in a woodland path. What would the real you do about that? Finding your way blocked by a roaring flame. Could you pass through unscathed? Being faced with an ocean and having no boat. Could the real you walk on the water? See yourself victorious in these situations – not in childish imagination but in the reality of your real self’s power. For this Being which is you has every power. The Master said: ‘Greater works than these shall ye do.‘ (John 14, 12.)

The reason that we are not all wonder-workers is because we are not awake to who we are. We have to know and believe with all our hearts and minds before we can tap the source of this inward power. We have to ‘come to ourselves’…

Now I want you to read the account of:-

Samson overcoming the lion. (judges 14, 5-6.)
The three men walking through the flame. (Dan. 3, 19-30.)
Christ and Peter walking on the water. (Mark 6, 48-51; John 6, 19-21; Matt. 14, 24-32.)

Persevere, dear Student We shall all reach this awareness in the end, but we must strive towards it always.

If you mastered those exercises on Visualisation I gave you previously you are ready for more now. If, however, you have not mastered them, return to them now and practise them thoroughly until you have learned their lesson. Then return to this…

By now you will have realised how important it is to use your mind constructively, but have you yet fully understood that you must not only affirm something in your mind, but picture it too? The picture is the most important of all, for the picture is the mould or outline which Divine mind fills with life so that your desire is realised. It is like a man who works upon a lump of clay, shaping it until it takes on the outline he has in mind. You have to do this mentally and (though you will be tempted to do anything else but this – though, you will want to write a letter, read a book, clean a motorcycle or a room, or go for a walk) you must do it if you want results.

You must give up a few minutes of your leisure at the beginning and end of the day, and as often as possible in the middle to get by yourself and build a picture (of what you desire) in your mind. Make it like a moving picture in which you are acting and imagine yourself actually making the necessary movements, saying the necessary words, etc. Don’t think that you are looking at this moving picture, but think that you are acting in it. Once more I urge you to action, Student! And see how Students have appreciated and responded, already, to this urging:-

Some weeks ago a Student wrote: ‘Thank you very much indeed for your welcome letter. I do appreciate your kindness. I’ve never had anyone help me so much before. As regards the Lessons I have received much benefit from them indeed.’

As this Lesson is about man’s real Power, here is a copy of an article which appeared in Bernard’s Weekly News {the newsletter Bernard used to send out – W.M.} on the subject of:-


Most of you are thrilled with the wonders and miracles recounted in B.W.N. (Bernard’s Weekly News), but there is a very small minority who take a different view. This number can be divided up into two classes. One: the class who says: “Why don’t these things happen to me?” And (fortunately) the much smaller class who say, in various ways: “I just don’t believe them. People must have imagined it all.”

Let us deal with Class Number One first. Those people are the kind who are interested only in the exploits of others in order to show them the method of success. Absorbed as they are in their own affairs, they do not see the Love for God and Humanity which underlies the wonder-working. Love is the “Unspoken Creative Word”. Love for God and Man will lend Power to any properly-directed thought building.

All people who are very reserved, closed up, wrapped up in their own concerns and those of their immediate families, are imperfect thought-builders. I recommend them to open their hearts wide, to become truly and vitally interested in all whom they meet or hear, or read about. If only such people could realise the wisdom of this. They think that they cannot spare the time and effort to bother much with others because, if they do, they and their families will suffer, as nobody will bother with them.

This is quite wrong. A Lover of God and Man taps sources of power and blessing completely unknown to the reserved and closed-up person. The Master taught this (and the rewards that come to the person who gives of his Love freely) when He said: “He who saveth his life shall lose it, and he who loseth his life for My sake, shall save it.” He was saying in effect, “If you refuse to open up your heart, trying to keep your interest in yourself and that of your immediate circle, you will lose all you value; but if you open your heart and love all people for My sake, you will save all that you value most, as well.” It is the Divine Law of the ages, my friends.

As for Class Number Two, I recommend that logic should be brought to bear on this. Many of these thought-building wonders happen to Students in the actual sight of, and to the joyful recognition of husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, work-mates, doctors and specialists, with an occasional X-ray plate thrown in! (I have even in my possession, a doctor’s signed statement about a miracle.) These facts should convince any person with an open and unprejudiced mind, and they will, if Students will relax, and lean upon the divine wisdom of God.

And here is a little glimpse of the way I relaxed, and leant upon the Divine Wisdom one day. It happened in the “river field”.

You all know, don’t you, about my River-Field? Of course, it is not mine at all, really, but the farmer who rents it, kindly lets us walk in it whenever we will. At the bottom end, the river flows, and it is here that so many spiritual experiences have come to me, and here that I have written so many poems. (For poems only come to me as the result of a spiritual experience, some uplifting of the heart to God, and some response from the heavenly realms. Consequently, as soon as a poem comes winging its way into my mind, I have either to rush home or else write it there and then, if I have paper and pencil handy. I have even stood in this field under a hedge in a rainstorm, and written down a poem – very damply – on an odd piece of paper.)

Well, the other evening I had had a long day, dealing with letters, so it was evening before I had finished. It was raining and beginning to get twilight, but I took Simon and walked in the River-Field. Then, suddenly oh, God seemed so near! He was in me; He is in all; I could contact His Power always and need see no limitation if I kept my mind stayed upon Him. All these thoughts and impressions flashed through my mind, and suddenly I was writing a poem. When I reached home, the fire was lit and the room looked so cosy – but it was no brighter than the sunshine in my heart! Here is the poem…

I will see Thee in the morning;
I will see Thee in the night.
I will see Thee in the darkness
And the bright sunlight.
I have seen Thee in the dawning
Of my heaven-on-earth,
And I’ll see Thee in the morning
Of the world’s re-birth
For this sad world will rise
When no fear or doubt holds sway,
When a man is known as wise
When Divine Love rules his day;
When no limitation presses
On his climbing spirit free,
And no selfishness depresses
As he wings his way to Thee
I will see Thee, Father, manifest in me!
I will see no limitation, I will see no limitation,
I will see no limitation, but will sing in exultation
Of Thy Power in me!

The other day I was reading an article in a newspaper about a famous pianist. The writer told how, when the gifted performer was a child of six she played at a concert. Her choice was Chopin. At the end, she joined in the applause because she concluded that the audience was expressing its appreciation of, not herself, but Chopin. But in a way – so it was! No doubt most of the audience knew the works of this composer, and liked them. Therefore they were applauding her interpretation, saying in effect, that she had managed to reproduce what was in the composer’s mind. To them, she had, in fact, become the composer for their delight. So that little girl of six was not far wrong after all, was she?

I am reminded of this, when Students write to me and tell me I am clever. This always horrifies me, for of all things, this is the thing I don’t want to be, and the thing that I am not. To be clever, is to insert one’s personality into something, isn’t it, whereas I am for ever trying not to do this, but rather to stand back and let the Divine express His Works and Ways though me, that you may see and love Him. It is because of this that I “don’t turn a hair” when you say all the things to me, that you do.

“Bernard, what would we do without you?” you write. “How you love us, how you care for us; how patient you are with us – and so how we love you… We want to stay in the Student Family for always – we cannot bear to lose you.” Things like that. Well, instead of thinking smugly: “I am popular”, I know that this wouldn’t be true at all because I am deliberately standing back, so that you may see the workings of our Father God within me. As a personality alone, I don’t think I should be in the least popular but, if anything, rather insignificant and ordinary. So instead of thinking in a smug and foolish way about myself, I often exclaim: “How they love Him! Their hearts are opening wide to Him, though they only half realise it. They think it’s myself they love, but all the time it’s Himself, drawing, alluring, entrancing them, through me. We cannot glimpse the Divine in others without also glimpsing Him in ourselves.”

Will you try, then, Family, to glimpse the Divine in yourselves? If you do anything well, spreading happiness and love thereby, don’t
(a) think you yourself are rather clever and wonderful; or
(b) seek to ignore it through a mistaken idea of modesty. Revel in it! Say to yourself: “I am learning to stand back and let the Divine work through me. How lovely!” Remember what the Master said? “Of Myself, I can do nothing… The Father within Me doeth the works.”

I had a Student once, who was a doctor and yearned to be a Specialist. He hoped the Lessons would help him pass the examination he had previously failed. I told him what I have told you above. He tried hard with the exam. when it came, but everything went wrong – he was even ill and had to miss one day! He failed – but remembered my words and was not too much cast down. Later, I had a letter from him. He wrote that he is working as a doctor in a hospital and he says he sees, now, why he had to fail those exams. He says he has found his life-work. You see? Now his Inner and Outer Selves are working for the same thing – and he is both successful and happy. This is the meaning of” God’s will be done”.’ (Since then, another letter has come. The doctor has learned all that the experience could teach him, has passed the exam, and is now a Specialist.)

Your friend,