This is Lesson 2 of Thought Bricks Foundation Course. Bernard offers a simple, yet powerful, spiritual exercise to do while walking and also explains the use of the Heart Chart. He also tells us how he got the name “Bernard”.
I’ve included the text from Bernard’s letter, which came with this lesson, then Lesson 2 is below this.
Below is the Second Lesson of our Course. If you have practised the first one faithfully you cannot help but be aware of a change in yourself. Now here is further teaching which, if followed, will stabilise and develop this change so that in time a new you will rise up and become visible to yourself and all whom you meet! I know this so well for I have practised all the Lessons of the Course myself.
Also I have watched this gradual, sure development in the Students. As I write I have before me a letter from one of them which says:
‘Dear Bernard, Please accept my very sincere thanks for your letters and Thought – Bricks Lessons Nos. 1 and 2. I am charmed with the friendliness and personality of your letters and find them very helpful and uplifting. I appreciate them more so because I find my long hours of employment a great strain and I am very tired. I have been yearning for a long time to have somewhere quiet where I can rest and study and have privacy. This has not been possible, but now I see that difficulty being removed as circumstances arise making it happier for everyone, and I am very thankful. I am pleased with Lesson No. 2. Your Course has already given me a brighter outlook and an understanding that gives me strength to meet the future with a smile.’
Another Student writes:
‘ Forgive me for falling behind with this Report. There are so many things to get done, and the time rushes on. I experienced one miracle after using the “Heart Chart ” a week or so ago. My work was singled out for special commendation by the Inspector-and this among many brilliant young colleagues. When I tell you that this has never happened before in all the years I have been teaching, you will realise how grateful I am to you for your teachings.’
From South Africa comes another letter: ‘ Thank you so much for everything. I just love the first Lesson; to me it’s most precious so far. I also enjoyed the second
Lesson. I’ve always believed that everything in this world had a Divinity in it – it’s a feeling I’ve had, but it was lovely to see those same words in print. My faith is growing and I’m happy – far happier than I’ve ever been, thanks to you, and miracles are happening I’m visualising them – and they’re on the way. Love from my beautiful country to our beloved England.’
A Student who had just started the second Lesson wrote this: ‘I have just received the second Lesson and thanks so much, as I was looking forward to it after the very interesting first Lesson. I was very much uplifted by reading and carrying out the exercises which have brought me one or two unexpected gifts; small but given from the heart. A friend of mine who lives miles away from me, suffers from a badly ulcerated leg, and I thought-bricked for him to be eased from his pain. Yesterday, I received a letter from him to say that the leg was improving, and that he could walk much better. Thank you, Bernard, for showing me how to contact our loving Father. Best wishes to you and all the Family.’
Another wrote: ‘How I have progressed. Everything has gone just fine. My Aunt awoke with severe pain and inflammation in her eye, quickly losing the sight altogether, with both eyes. She was panic stricken. I asked her to pray, but she said: ” No, I am in too much pain for prayer”, and insisted on the doctor being brought. He came and said that it was only a temporary loss and that she would start to see in about a week. He gave her sleeping pills and she slept. I stayed with her and prayed. During the night, she awoke saying she felt a tug at her eye, and the pain went. The next morning she awoke, completely normal. She says she had never experienced anything so wonderful before. The doctor had left a large bottle of lotion for her and it was never needed. This is my third case of healing and I hadn’t even my “Healing Chart” with me.’
Resolve to persevere at all costs, then, dear Student. Relax in the atmosphere of friendliness that you will find while reading these words. Believe me, that friendliness is true. I do most genuinely desire prosperity of every kind for you. I am reminded of Jacob’s words:-
‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me‘ (Gen.32, 26) and I say to you: ‘I will not let you go except I bring you a blessing‘.
Lesson 2: The Heart Chart and How Bernard Got His Name.
THE FIRST STEP
Your ‘first step’ in this case is going to be a literal one for I want you to go for a walk. Go anywhere – it makes no difference – and go alone for I want you to think. Years ago I read that scientists have proved all apparently solid things are really ‘alive’. Did you know that? They say that all things-stone, iron, wood, etc. – are made up of minute cells and that there is movement and life in each. I have heard of a scientist who has measured the response of a piece of iron. His wonderful instrument first measured the response from a human hand when it was subjected to vibration and then the same test was made to the iron. Its response was the same He even found that he could ‘drug’ the piece of iron and ‘revive’ it again.
Now on your walk, whether in town or country or even a garden, I want you to look around you at all that comes within your line of vision. As you look, picture in your mind that life is within; not only life but intelligence. For can one have order without intelligence? If there were not intelligence behind all things, then an elderberry tree might produce apples one year or grass turn into turnips.
Far back in my schooldays I can recall a story told us in the classroom. It was this: A man once showed his visitor a wonderful working model of the universe. The world was on its axis, the sun, moon and stars were in their appointed places; at the touch of a switch all was set in motion.
‘It is marvellous’, said the visitor, Who made it?’
‘It made itself’, said the owner.
‘Nonsense!’ the visitor exclaimed. ‘How could a a model like that make itself? Some brain has conceived all this and I should like to know whose it is.’
‘Something is also behind the real thing, of which this is only a model’, his host replied, ‘and that Something is God. If this model could not make itself, how could the Universe do so?’ And in that moment the unbelieving visitor saw.
On your walk, then, I want you to see. Look around at everything – bricks, stone, grass, trees, flowers, clouds, birds, animals and people-and reflect that beneath all these there is life and intelligence, a mighty, ever-present Power that is God. Continue this ‘seeing’ often, wherever you go (though this exercise am giving you here need only be done on one day during the period of the Lesson). Do this ‘seeing’ consciously, deliberately, whenever you decide to; not involuntarily, when your mind should be engaged in something else, or you will develop into a dreamer.
Now get out your Bible and look up the following references. See what men and women of those times thought about God. For instance: Joshua (Joshua 3, 5 and 10; 4, 24). Moses (Dent. 31, 6 to 8). Samuel (I Sam. 12, 13 to 24). Hezekiali (II Kings 19, 15). A Friend of Job (Job 36, 22 to 32). Ecclesiastes (Ecci. 3, 14). Isaiah (Isa. 40, 25 to 31). Jeremiah (Jer. 32, 18 to 19). David (Psalm 139). Daniel (Dan. 5, 13 to 31). Habakkuk (Hab. 3, l9)
As the Lesson is about a walk, I think this is the time to tell you about a remarkable cleansing exercise which you can practise at any time when you are alone in a quiet street or lane. Not only will the exercise uplift and enlighten your mind; it will also have a cleansing, invigorating effect upon your nose, throat and lungs. This form of breathing was used and taught in Persia by the ancients and was intended for health-improvement only, but it has been adapted to include spiritual benefit too, and to lead directly to Cosmic Consciousness. It is therefore quite unique and most effective. It will make you ‘feel good’. Here it is:-
Chop your breath, as it were, into ‘sniffs’ (when breathing in) and into ‘snorts’ (when breathing out). Take one short, sharp sniff or snort for every step that you take. Then say these words within yourself in rhythm with your step. Like this:-
Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right
Sniff Sniff Sniff Sniff Sniff Sniff Sniff Sniff
“I Am Breath- ing The Breath of Life
Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right
Snort Snort Snort Snort Snort Snort Snort Snort
I Am There- fore A Liv- ing Soul”
Practise this exercise for no more than five minutes at a time, but repeat as often as you like, with ten-minute breaks between. Don’t be surprised if you cannot do it immediately! You may, have to begin gently, in a small way, and ‘educate’ your lungs.
Using the Heart Chart
Although this is only Lesson Two you have already begun to realise, I am sure, how vital belief is. Therefore you will not be surprised when I say that anything we can do to increase or strengthen our faith is beneficial. Because of this I am going to ask you to do an exercise which may seem childish to you, or it may even seem superstitious. I assure you it has no claim to any ‘magic’ powers of its own. But it will awake and, increase your own faith and belief and so, in this sense, it is indeed magic! Now that you have, the diagram included with this Lesson, (Heart Chart) keep it always near you for use when required. It will begin to have a ‘vibration’ of its own, an ‘atmosphere’ which will grow as your own, confidence grows so that it will become a very valuable and treasured possession indeed.
On this ‘Heart Chart’ write in your ordinary handwriting in the space within the heart, your Christian name. (Leave the rest of the sentence blank so that you can add in your own spoken words whatever you desire when using the diagram. Your diagram is now ready and this is the way. to use it. First decide. what you want to bring about in your life. Remember, however, that if you ask for something you must be ready to take responsibility for it, and not rebel if the result is not all you had hoped! So think carefully before asking. Having made your decision, read the words printed around the circles and the heart, turning the paper around as you read.
Read slowly: and earnestly, three times. Then, placing your finger in the centre of the heart, just where your name is written, declare and affirm what you desire. Do this exercise with the utmost confidence. Already I have known of some wonderful results from it. Do not speak of it to anyone else, but carry it always, if possible, so that you may practise it when required, or even touch it secretly when confronted with an awkward situation. You will find this strengthening and comforting. If you wish you can glue the diagram to a cloth backing, for greater strength, as I do.
Are you one of those people. who have the intuition to sense a sincere person almost as soon as you meet him? If you are, you will probably have discovered already that I am, really and truly, a friend to all my Students. ‘Dear Bernard’, a Student wrote in this connection, ‘Your very kind letter to hand, which I deeply appreciate. You are indeed a “jewel among Friends “.’ Know, then, that I am your friend; know that I shall be interested in you and patient with you and that, though I often speak the Truth emphatically, I never get annoyed or offended with anyone. If a Student deliberately breaks the Conditions of Enrolment I shall have to suspend him or her, as I have previously stated, but I still wish the Student well – always.
We all have a diversity of gifts, as St. Paul tells us. Some of us find our abilities are most useful in the outside world – in lecturing, in: organising social clubs, etc., in writing to the newspapers, in teaching in public, etc. Others – and I am one of these – find that their gifts can: best be used in a hidden way. From the very beginning, after I started to write, I have done so anonymously. I write under the name of ‘Bernard’ which I have recognised as a ‘Spiritual Name’. This ‘Spiritual Name’, by the way, I received in a time of illumination, as all Initiates do. As the Scripture says, Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name’. (Isa. 62, 2.) In this way I have reached and corresponded with many people who would not, otherwise, have confided in me – that is, if they thought there would be the possibility of meeting me. In response to requests of Students, I am giving here a description of my Initiation which appeared in the newsletter some time ago.
How Bernard Got His Name
Here is a question I am often asked. ‘Do tell me: as your initials are “M.E.” how is it that you call yourself “Bernard”?’
First of all, it must be understood that ‘M.E.’ is an earthly name. It just happens to belong to the outer-garment that I am inhabiting during this short span on earth. When this ‘envelope-body’ dies, ‘M.E.’ will die with it, while the real ‘I’ will step freely forth and pass on to a greater life in the unseen Realms. As, however, the real ‘I’ is the Being who receives the inspiration for this Work, ‘M.E.’ is hardly the right name! In any case, I did not ‘call myself Bernard’ – the name was given to me, as you will see.
It happened in the late evening of September 18th, 1937. 1 had gone to bed early and was lying in the half-light when, gradually, I found my consciousness lifting up to a new plane. Then He – the Master – was there. I just lay, gazing happily up at Him. I cannot tell you all that took place – it would take too long – but presently He lifted me up in His arms and, carrying me close against His shoulder, stepped down a bank into the deep water of a river. Pressed against Him I was able to breathe perfectly as He went right down with me under the water. It took a long time, it seemed, to cross; then at last He stepped out at the other side. He put me down, and I saw that I was facing a flowery bank with five steps, in it and that a woman was standing beside the steps. She helped me to climb them and as I went up, the Master said: ‘This is Bernard, Soldier of Truth, who is initiated into, Truth this day‘.
After that, they both spoke with me for a long time, and taught me. Some of the things He said remain to this day in my memory, and always will. He said: ‘To each, I am All’. ‘Listen to My “Thou Shalt” and you need not bother with “Thou Shalt Not”‘, ‘Say often in your heart: ” I am resting in Divine Love as a ship rests upon the calm waters”‘. ‘Today, you are small and despised, but if you could look into the future you would gasp with astonishment at what you see. A Community shall grow up around you and I shall teach them through you‘ . . .
Presently, I came to myself; it was still the evening of September 18th, 1937. Since then, I have never left Him in my consciousness and in my heart I have walked and talked with Him daily. I did not, at the time, understand in the least, the reference to the future, nor what the Community could be; nor how He could teach them through me. As I say, I walked with Him daily and twelve years later, while cycling to the village, the ‘Thought-Bricks’ Booklet gently unfolded in my mind. That was the beginning of this, now world-wide, Work.
So you see, I did not call myself Bernard in the first place, but now I love the Name and would not be called by any other. All this is very precious to me but I am glad I have shared it with you, my beloved Student Family.
This, then, is my background. Just think of me as a ‘Voice’ whose spiritual name is Bernard. Do not think of my body as Bernard, nor form the conclusion that my family – relationship is the ordinary one. It is not. Think of me only as an eternal being named Bernard who, while living for a little while in an earthly body – covering, strives to bring you closer to your own transformed, God-filled life.
Two questions that I am asked often, are these:
(I) ‘As I have to walk to and from my work, will this do for the walk required in the Lesson, or will a walk in my garden do? ‘My reply is: ‘ Yes, this is quite all right’.
(2) ‘As I live a very busy life, is it necessary to read other books as well as yours?’ My reply to this is: ‘Though helpful where there is plenty of time, this is not absolutely necessary’.
Now before I end this Lesson, my Student, let me impress upon you once more the importance of a happy, eager, trusting, childlike attitude of mind. Believe me, it is the only way to get swift answers to prayers. So keep the lamp of your enthusiasm burning brightly.
‘Fear not, little flock. It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.’