Interview granted by Father Divine at his New York City headquarters on 123rd Street & Lenox Avenue on Wednesday, August 10, 1938 at 8:00 p.m.
On the occasions of recent acquisitions of property, Demonstrations and Boat Excursions, the press has misquoted FATHER DIVINE to such an extent that it appeared to be a studied effort on their part to misrepresent and minimize His Teachings, as it has been many times in the past. On this occasion, however, of the recent Boat Excursion, The New York Times, upon hearing that FATHER had said He was misquoted, sent their representative to interview Him with a view to correcting these erroneous versions. Because of their evidently sincere desire to print the truth, FATHER relaxed His usual rule not to grant interviews to the press, and at His 123rd Street Headquarters received Mr. Robert S. Bird. The interview was as follows: —
Mr. Bird: Did Mr. Lamb explain to You, Father, that after reading in the afternoon papers about Your statement this morning, that you had been misquoted, I called Mr. Lamb hoping that we could get from You a transcript of your Milton address day before yesterday with the purpose of publishing in full Your own transcript; in other words a transcript of the address which would be satisfactory to You and would not be edited in the slightest way?
FATHER: “I think that can be arranged.”
Mr. Bird: This address would be preceded by copy — a paragraph or two paragraphs by way of introduction, and they would perhaps go along like this: that perhaps on an average of once a week or however often you do make a speech: or, FATHER DIVINE addresses His followers and the following is a characteristic message; then mentioning that this message was delivered on such and such a date at Milton-on-the-Hudson. That would be printed in full except that space limitations would hold it to two thousand words; but I do not think that address would run more than two thousand words. That is two full newspaper columns. If by chance the full transcript ran more than that, we would invite You to eliminate whatever part You wanted to in order to bring it within the space of the paper. Then one other thing. When I spoke to Mr. Lamb he told me — sincerely I know — that he thought there had been a studied effort to misconstrue Yours words.
FATHER: “Yes, there seem to be quite a number.”
Mr. Bird: I assured him that that was not true. I explained to him that on the occasion of thatMiltonaddress the room was extremely crowded; it was raining outside and everybody crowded inside, and there were no tables for reporters. We were standing with our papers against the backs of other people; scribbling as fast as we could and there was considerable noise in that room. The news men were grinding away at the cameras and we did not have time to consult the stenographers afterwards. We all had to get to theWestern Unionstation to get the story on the wire; so there was some argument amongst us as to exactly what you said and there were some changes; we tried to make our notes jibe with others in order to get it as clear as possible.
FATHER: “I think it should be so arranged that representatives should be accurate, even as I request the accuracy of My stenographers.”
Mr. Bird: I think that is very reasonable.
FATHER: “The same as court stenographers.”
Mr. Bird: Well, that is true, but I do not take stenographic notes, I have my own system of shorthand. It is perhaps not a hundred percent efficient but is usually suffices. Under some circumstances I sometimes miss a word here and there.
Meaningless to the Press
FATHER: “Well, I notice the press continues to say My words are meaningless, My phrases, My statements are meaningless. I can assure any person who is open-minded, that My words are most important, if I must say it Myself, and there is more meaning to My words than to those of theirs.”
Mr. Bird: Well, I do not think the Times said they were meaningless.
FATHER: “Well, I notice it quite often; My words are said to be meaningless. They do not get down to facts and figures and get scientific Truth on such things; the same as the papers have stated on several occasions, I use such words as ‘reiteration.’ Well now, is not that something to consider? If it is not, I will put it in the dictionary. We will make our own dictionary and will cause men to recognize it even as I demand the recognition of My Personal activities and My Personal profession. That is the idea. Now if such words are not in the language, why, I am sure I will put them in the language; for they are well worth considering.
“There are so many words quoted, quoting My statements, quoting Me, which tend to distort My message and attempt to low-rate the standard of My mission, My activities, which cannot be refuted. They cannot be criticized, if I must say it Myself. Hence, the time has come since I Am working on all of the different phases of life and in every field of endeavor, I request perfection to be brought to fruition in the lives of all with whom I come in contact.
“Now I quite often say in My Message, the spirit and the meaning of the Constitution and its Amendments must be established within us to cause us to be real American citizens. Why is not that some understanding — I mean is there not some sense in those words that are spoken? We are advocating and emphasizing the reality of true Americanism by inculcating and reincarnating the spirit and the meaning of such a document as the Constitution and its Amendments in the subjects of theUnited States.”
Mr. Bird: I agree with You absolutely.
The Press Should Endorse the Positive
FATHER: “I endeavor to produce these qualities and bring them to fruition in the hearts and lives of My people. The same as the word ‘Peace’: it is not merely a supposition, a formula, or an assertion to be made, but as I said, the actuated words of My EXPRESSION are deeper in meaning than those I may say with My lips. I bring them into action, I make them real, I make them tangible, I make them practical.
“Hence, if the press would stop to consider what it means for the American people and all of the world of civilization, and even the uncivilized world, for this to go through just as I will carry it through with or without the press, why, they would be doing themselves a favor to endorse the positive instead of the negative; to endorse scientific Truth though it may come inspirationally, instead of endorsing falsity and untruth.”
Mr. Bird: I cannot speak for the press in general, but I can speak for The New York Times, and I can say that there is nothing we desire more than to be accurate when we quote You.
FATHER: “I have highly praised The New York Times in a great measure, publicly and privately, for its general make-up. It does not, as a rule, paint pictures and such like as that to raise a sensation as much as some of the other papers do. But in quoting Me I find The New York Times has misquoted Me on so many different occasions; and of course, the time has come that we want the truth and nothing else.
“Now, in mentioning what I Am doing, I might say here, this is what I Am endeavoring (selecting a letter from a large pile of mail in front of Him and handing it to Mr. Bird): I declare, the Declaration of Independence, as declared by the Country as a Nation, the spirit and the meaning of such a document must be inculcated, developed and brought to fruition in each and every individual as American citizens. I think this in itself would be an abstract expression as a sketch of the independence which I Am declaring for the individual:”
(Mr. Bird reads the letter, a letter of acknowledgment from the City ofNew York, Department of Welfare signed by Sidney Lindner, Supervisor, and addressed to FATHER DIVINE, acknowledging the receipt of $112.93 from Shine Smiles, one of FATHER’S followers, being a voluntary refund of all money received by her for Relief in years past.)
Mr. Bird: Yes, I have read similar letters in the magazine.
Restitution by the Followers
FATHER: “Yes, and not only so, but those who are returning stolen goods — that is something that is really worth considering. Those things are to be considered, whether My message to My hearers and even to the general public, is worth considering — or, in other words, whether it is meaningless or not. Now this is another expression of My declaration of individual independence (handing Mr. Bird another recently received letter of similar nature). The City government can verify it by, I venture to say, almost hundreds of letters. Besides taking all of My followers off the Welfare I Am causing My followers voluntarily to return all the money they have received from the Relief when they were in need of such aid.
“Now that is the meaning of the Declaration ofIndependenceas I have exemplified it in My followers. Hence, not one of them is on the Welfare. I was misquoted in that particular statement in your paper.”
Mr. Bird: Well, Mr. Lamb mentioned that too, and we would like to get that straight. That is the reason I telephoned this afternoon, asking for it. That is interesting. That is of great interest to the Times because it is of interest to the public, and we have no desire to misquote You on matters of that kind.
FATHER: “Now in reference to the Constitution and its Amendments being a document: it is true, to thousands of American citizens it merely means a document to be read, but we believe in the spirit and the meaning of such a document being lifted and put into practice in our daily activities. When I say, the actuated words of My EXPRESSION, I mean, in My actions as well as in My words.
“These are points I wish to convey to the public, and I cannot tolerate being misquoted when I know I Am conveying something to humanity which means millions and millions of dollars for the benefit of the government itself. My message as it goes through, it is saving the Government millions of dollars yearly, for every one of My followers — each one who is converted into the light of this Truth and all combined, when they are brought into this teaching, they take on My Spirit and My Mind.
Means More Than Tongue Can Tell
“Now another quotation I have often quoted, as a motto I composed: ‘I will preach CHRIST in words but more so in deeds and in actions, and I will put My Spirit in them and cause them to walk in My statutes.’ Now I can talk as you know, to five hundred or five thousand in any place, and at the Spirit of My word and at the words of My Spirit they are brought into subjection to Righteousness instead of to violence. I control them, you see, and if one can be controlled by Righteousness, or a few organizationally, the whole universe can be brought into subjection to this Righteousness which I Am advocating. Hence, it means more than you could surmise, more than tongue can tell, what this work and this mission of My Personal activities will do for humanity generally.
“So it really is worth considering. For this cause I call in question any misquoted statements of Mine, and also if I find it necessary, I come in close contact with those who may be critics and I see if they can criticize Me.
“Of course, in these different audiences you may hear the different one speaking — different individuals speaking — and they may speak in a way of making many grammatical errors, and I may apparently do so Myself at times. As I often say, I speak in the language of men. I speak in the divers tongues and languages. I speak so for the purpose of men understanding Me. If I speak to an intelligent person, I may speak slightly intelligently. If I speak to an illiterate person, I may speak in his illiteracy that he may understand Me more distinctly. Since I speak right on his line, I have made Myself one with him. That is the mystery!
“You have heard Me say in My often rehearsed statement, ‘Here you all are and there I Am; there I sit and here you stand.’ Through My condescension, and recognized as GOD by millions of men, I speak in the language of them; I reach them on the plane where they are functioning that I might be one with them for the purpose of making them one with Me, that they might take on My characteristics and other such, for the purpose of changing them from vice and crime, and from sin and debauchery of every kind, to Righteousness, Truth and Justice for the establishment of a Righteous Government. This is My method of reaching them, so it is well worth considering if the people would only stop and consider it.”
Inspirational vs. Theoretical Speeches
Mr. Bird: Well, as a constructive concept, what You have told me now is very clearly stated. I have not taken notes of it because I do not know whether it is on the record or “off the record.” I notice Mr. Lamb has taken shorthand notes and I wonder if I could perhaps have a transcript of just what You have told me, to be used in the form of an interview with You, setting forth Your position with respect to the misquoting of your messages and the garbling of them, and perhaps the using of vague excerpts taken out of the general import of the message. I am sure that the Times would print it as You have given it to me, and I would like to have it as it has gone on record.
FATHER: “Well, if Mr. Lamb cares to release it he is welcome to do so — he or someone of the stenographers; there may be several different ones taking My messages whensoever I Am speaking or interviewing.”
Mr. Bird: If I might offer a suggestion, on those occasions where the press is present in large numbers, if you could somehow arrange to have a transcript — a typed transcript of Your remarks — furnished as soon as possible, that would eliminate a lot of trouble. You know a great many will do that. At most of the meetings we cover, banquets, and all that sort of thing, that is usually done, especially where the speaker has something to say which he does not want garbled.
FATHER: “Well, that is true with the average speaker, but the average person speaks theoretically. I speak inspirationally, as the Author of a new dictionary which I will write, and also remaking history, causing history to repeat itself. Being an inspirational speaker, I speak volitionally; hence I could not justifiably plan to write a manuscript before I speak, otherwise it would not be of GOD according to My version; for that which cometh of GOD cometh by inspiration or volitionally. When it is spoken into consideration or into the conscious consideration of those who are the hearers of the message coming forth volitionally, it is no longer a secret but it is revealed to the children of men. It belongs to them to go to the press then, but not until then.”
Mr. Bird: Yes, I understand that, but as Your words are recorded by the stenographers, which they always are, if then for the benefit of the press — I am thinking now of the Milton address because there were so many newspaper men present and it was rather an important occasion — if Your stenographers could have gone to the typewriter and typed out several copies for the press, then this thing of misquoting You would never have happened. Instead of depending on our quickly scribbled notes we would have the transcript. I suggest that as a practical solution, and I think it would eliminate that of which You are speaking.
FATHER: “Well, I appreciate that, but of course, I am speaking daily.”
Good Intentions of the Newspapers
Mr. Bird: Yes, I appreciate, it is not a practical way of doing it, but on those occasions I think it would be very helpful to the press. I do not think any paper inNew York, or in the Country, wants to misquote You, not even the most hostile ones. I really do not. I see You smile, but I really do not.
FATHER: “Well, I Am glad you think that way.”
Mr. Bird: I think that a great many newspapers possibly would scan Your speeches for isolated quotations perhaps, and use those, and play those up in a big way, giving to them a direction and meaning that was not intended, and which the sentences would not have if they were read in the light of what preceded and what came after them. But the newspapers do not want to deliberately misquote You, and certainly the Times does not. I think that the best evidence of that is the fact that I called Mr. Lamb this afternoon. He did not call me but I called him, with a request for that transcript, after hearing that You had been misquoted.
FATHER: “Well, that effort you made in trying to get in touch with M. Lamb in reference to the subject, shows the sincerity of you as an individual, or someone back of you, to do just what you considered was right. That is one reason I was willing to make a sacrifice as it may be termed, and put off everything when you came, to have this interview.”
Mr. Bird: Well, I appreciate it.
FATHER: “Yes. But I did desire to convey that thought, because while the press says, ‘His words are meaningless,’ and makes such assertions as that — I Am putting into practice more scientifically and more accurately, the reality and the meaning of My message than those who preach the Gospel daily and yearly; because I Am not merely teaching a theory or teaching from the versions of others, but I Am going to the source of things and bringing up the very Life Substance by inspiration, and putting both it and them into practice, and causing My followers and hearers to become to be doers of the law instead of merely hearers of the law.
“Now, as I aforesaid, I have shown you, just as a slight sketch — these are just a few letters here I have shown you, I have received from hundreds of people receiving money. Where the former debtors refused to pay, now they are returning all stolen goods, repaying all old bills, and even returning money to the Welfare. I thought as I happened to have this letter here and had just read it, I thought I would let you see what I mean by the Declaration of Independence.
“Now that was one point I wanted to say about My assertion I make concerning Myself and My activities. I mean to put this assertion into actual practice and cause man, through My mission, My version, My ideas and My opinions, to be constructive instead of destructive, and become to be practical and profitable instead of impractical and unprofitable.
“Now men preach the theory of Heaven in some imaginary way of expression, and try to get the people to imagine they are going to Heaven far above all of the other planets, and such like as that, when we are trying to get people to see the reality of life in the practicality of true Christianity. It is no longer mythological; it is no longer imaginary; it is a living reality. That was the mission of Christ according to My version. Therefore, since I have brought that to fruition in the consideration of millions, I Am functioning in practically every field of endeavor; the industrial field, the social, intellectual, political; and I produce the spirit of supremacy in all of these expressions, and will prove to the world conclusively, GOD is actually Perfection in whatsoever He is expressing. Whatsoever He is expressing in or demonstrating in His own activities from His angel of expression as being GOD, why, GOD must be Perfection in that in which He is manifested.
“So I still say I bring to the surface more of the meaning of My message than those of others who preach and teach a gospel or philosophy that has no foundation, and do not bring the results. As I say, I Am stressing the significance of each and every person being practical and being profitable. You have, in the history of the Bible, the proof to the world conclusively, practical service and labor are not something that is not to be considered. It was ordained by GOD, ‘Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work’ and the seventh day, rest. All right, rest on the seventh day, and if you want an extra day, according to My method, I might say five days would be all right, but yet do not permit Me nor the public to become to be impractical, unprofitable and good for nothing. Such people are crime-breeders, as I aforesaid.
Good for One, Good for All
“Now these are points I wish the press to convey to the public for the benefit of all humanity, not only for Myself. It may benefit Me a little. But as I delight in doing things, I know My work can, as it has done, save millions from lacks, and wants, and limitations, depressions, adverse and undesirable conditions. I know this Light of understanding which I am advocating, can even lift the government itself out of all depressions such as the government has been undergoing. If it is good for an individual, it is good for an organization. If it is good for an organization, it is good for a nation; for as said the Gospel, ‘In Adam all die, so shall in Jesus Christ all be made alive.’ So when it is good for one, it is good for all; and as I often say concerning Myself, My blessings, or gifts, or any expression; I say, as GOD is Impersonal, even so impersonal are these blessings. They are all reincarnatable. Others may be partakers of such as I Am expressing if they wish to, for I set before them an open door.
“I could not Personally claim anything from the mental or spiritual world of expression; for all of those things I Am, are Impersonal. I stress it daily; I set before My hearers a simple method of living and all should produce these qualities and expressions. For this cause, I feel that My work is not to be considered as meaningless, but meaning more than anything else; not because it is My work alone, but because it is the work from the Infinite Mind, with or without Me as a Person.”
Mr. Bird: Well, I think that I understand the position You hold.
FATHER: “Well, I Am glad you do, because it really means so much; to not only Myself, but it means a whole lot to you in your own particular field of endeavor, in your own mission, your own profession, in harmonization. Harmonizing will bring the spirit of harmony in your own mentality. It will dispel negation and chaos from your system.
“So that is why people cannot understand My followers being so happy; because they are so happy they harmonize with the Fundamental that dispels in harmony, confusion, negation and even chaos in the system. Their physical bodies are changed automatically. They are healed of afflictions and diseases by being healed mentally and spiritually. They become to be new creatures automatically. They take on different characteristics.
The Perfection of Morals
“Now just think of such an audience as those who were with Me yesterday; and even those who are here to-day, not one smoking a cigarette — the perfection of morals, the very seed idea of
modesty brought to fruition and lifted up as a standard beyond all space or place for criticism. Now it is a fact, and you all know that. Just look at the audience I can take out, even in the great demonstration wheresoever I Am. In a demonstration such as the May Day parade’ a few years ago, when they said there were around 250 thousand or more in line; while I was in that demonstration there was not a disorder reported by the Police.”
Mr. Bird: I remember that.
FATHER: “Well now, as with those things, it is just actually done, and cannot be overlooked, because you know in all of the Communist demonstrations, without something beyond your reason to consider, why, there has always been some disorder reported in all of those small demonstrations. Just think of that!
“Well now, in My Demonstrations, you see, the Police Department did not even bother about going down on the boat with us, because they knew everything was all right. If I could put into practice the Golden Rule; put into practice Peace; put into practice hospitality and be hospitable in Myself and transmit it to others, and cause others to be partakers of it, can you not see, My work has a meaning and My words have a meaning as well as My work and My activities?”
Mr. Bird: That is why the newspapers are so interested in devoting so much space to Your activities; because more and more people are becoming profoundly interested.
FATHER: “They are!”
Mr. Bird: And then again there is another reason. There are some things I am not entirely clear on. For instance, as I understand it, your followers are exhorted by You to live as brothers and sisters. Now it seems to me that that eliminates family life, eliminates the reproduction of the race, and the end would be self-destruction, as far as the Movement is concerned.
Concentration of Man’s Energy
FATHER: “Well, that is true of all those who have not advanced to this degree in consideration metaphysically, as I may speak in your language for the purpose of your understanding what I Am speaking of. From a metaphysical point of view, or religiously, GOD told Moses to tell the Children of Israel, when they had a great battle to go up against, to sanctify themselves from their wives and go up against the enemy whole-heartedly, fully consecrated, with one thought in mind; to win, or words to that effect. See? They were obliged to concentrate all of their energy and ambition in one direction to be able to overcome those conditions that were then existing in opposition to them. So that is the mystery!
“So it is with all of the people of the earth, and especially those of the downtrodden, the under-privileged, and the non-privileged. They are the ones who must choose GOD, that GOD might choose them. Hence, the Jews at that time were called the chosen people of GOD, and are called the chosen people to-day. GOD has chosen them because they chose GOD in the time of need.
“So the underprivileged and the non-privileged, the downtrodden and the mistreated, they are the ones who must call some aid beyond the power of man to control or to deliver them. Hence, calling on the Infinite One, the Source of all supply, they get an answer by so doing; but they must do so by concentrating all of their energy, ambition, desire, and emotions in one direction, even as the Jews were required to do. When this is done, they overcome those conditions.
“Now we are taking the Life and the Teaching of JESUS as the exact Leader of all of the Christian world. JESUS said, ‘If you hear of any man enquiring after Me, tell him I said first deny himself.’ JESUS, according to the Christian world’s version — understand Me I Am not saying at this particular instance that it is true, I Am just speaking now as an unconcerned party — according to the Christian world’s version, JESUS was conceived in Mary, a virgin, by the Holy Ghost. The virginity of Mary was the shaping and the forming of the Perfect Man, the perfect picture according to the Christian world’s version. Hence, those of us who believe in JESUS, or CHRIST in the Person of JESUS from that angle of expression, we believe that He was the perfect picture, the first-born among many brethren, producing the virginity of Mary and the Holiness of the Almighty. The two, put forth into one expression, the perfect picture as a sample and as an example for others.
The Evangelical Life
“Now the Christian world does not believe JESUS ever indulged in human affection such as the manner of men is accustomed to, you see. They do not believe it. There may be a few say, ‘Well, I believe that it was ordained that man should correspond with the opposite sex,’ but according to this Christian world’s version, as a general thing they do not believe that JESUS indulged in human affection. If this was true with JESUS as the Sample and the Example, is He not a picture and a pattern we should copy after? If this be true, then those who are interested in living an Evangelical life exactly according to the Life and the Teaching of CHRIST as recorded in the four Gospels, naturally they would deny themselves of all human affection to become to be as new creatures, and fulfill that part in which St. Paul said, ‘The time cometh and now is, they that are married shall be as though they were not married.’ They will just live as though they were not married. It does not mean to say they mistreat each other, but by the Life and the Teaching of CHRIST transmitted, conveyed and inspired in the hearts and lives of men, it will cause them to do, and act, and be, as He was.
“So that is the thought of it. It is not so much of My telling them, ‘You do this, or you do that,’ but the transmission of My Spirit, the life I Am advocating, and emphasizing, and demonstrating, by their concentrating on Me they reincarnate My transmitted Spirit, and My Mind is developed in them, and they are partakers automatically of My Characteristics, which are the Characteristics of JESUS, according to My version.
“Now I have often said in reference to the different speeches made in reference to Me as a Person, as My followers see Me to be; why, some may say, ‘How can a man be GOD?’ I ask, how can a man be an intelligent person? Intelligence itself is invisible. All of those desirable attributes and qualities of men are all invisible and impersonal; but when they are developed and brought to fruition in the consciousness of an individual and the individual learns to use the human intelligence consciously, expertly, that person is an intelligent woman or man. It is not because the flesh as a person is intelligent of itself, saving by the inculcation and the reincarnation of such being made manifest in the flesh to produce that intelligence, to cause that person to be an intelligent person.
Personification of Attributes
“The same as a live rail and a dead rail: when a rail is electrified, if a person touches it or gets near it, you will hear them say, ‘Don’t get on that live rail; that is electrified; you will get a shock.’ Well, it is not because the rail is in some way different from the other rails, saving that that rail or that wire has been electrified. Hence, it causes that rail or that wire to be a live rail or a live wire where once it was a dead one, or where some other rail in the same likeness is a dead rail.
“So it is with human intelligence. So it is with happiness, peace, joy, and any of those desirable expressions which we all enjoy; they are all impersonal, they are intangible, they are invisible, saving as they are made visible in some visible body. When these are made visible in some visible body, you would say to some person, ‘Why, you are a happy boy, you are a happy man, or you are a happy girl.’ It is not because they are happy according to the flesh, but they are happy according to the mental condition of the mind of the individual, an according to the spirit they are happy, you see, and peaceful.
“So it is with GOD. GOD is equivalently the same, if man, if a person, can be an intelligent person, though this is common among men. ‘Those are intelligent people! That is an intelligent man!’ How can he be an intelligent man any more that that person or some person can be GOD? Intelligence, as I say, peace, joy, happiness, love; any and all of these different expressions of good are all impersonal, and they are intangible unless they are made visible or manifest in something. When they are made manifest in something, then that something in which these qualities are made manifest, has become to be that which it is reflecting; in other words, the personification of it, according to metaphysics. That which is made visible, though it was invisible, it has become to be personified, especially if it is in a person; it is the person of that which was invisible.
“So that is the way it is in reference to GOD, and all of GOD’S activities.”
The Relation Between FATHER and His Followers
Mr. Bird: Well, I can understand how it would operate in the case of those of Your followers who perhaps realize to the fullest expression of what You are teaching; but what I do not understand is, when they call You GOD, I don’t understand what Your idea of Your relation to Your followers exactly is in that respect.
FATHER: “Well, what would you consider the dean of a seminary would be in relation to his students?”
Mr. Bird: Well, I should think he would be in the relation of a teacher whose teachings he might not necessarily be the author of. In other words, I think that he is a person who, having learned, passes it on to his students.
FATHER: “Well, I often say, that which is termed human intelligence, or any phase of the intellectual world, these qualities, according to My version, are all transmittable and are reincarnatable. They are not confined nor bound to a person, but when they are developed in a person or through an individual, you class that individual as a teacher. Now that individual, according to the Truth, if you take it from that point of view, is not a teacher, for the body is dead because of sin. The Spirit is Life because of Righteousness. Hence he has been classed as a teacher because the Teacher in him is reincarnated or inculcated, to the degree whereby the Teacher of that philosophy can be expressed through him. Hence, this individual is known to be a teacher.
“That is the way I see those things. Yet you are justified in calling an individual that which he is expressing, so long as he has brought such a quality to fruition to the degree whereby he can express it accurately and expertly. So then, the Spirit of GOD and all of its divers expressions of life that are good, in My opinion they are all transmittible and reincarnatable, and yet they are personifiable. When we bring ourselves into subjection to those qualities which we are expressing, develop them by nature characteristically, and become to be an accurate, perfect expresser of such qualities, we are that which we are expressing.
“Wickedness is developed in a person and it is reflected in that person continually; that person will become to be a wicked person. ‘That is a wicked man!’ Some may use the common phrase, ‘That is a mean man!’ Some may use it, ‘That is a bad man,’ or ‘That is a dirty fellow.’ It is not the physical body at times. Most of the time it is not, but it is the spirit and the meaning of such a spirit that is developed in such an individual. When it takes control of that individual, he is the personification of that, and in his personality, when we speak psychologically or from a personal point of view, his personality will be an expression of wickedness or righteousness. His individuality will be the same, for his individuality and personality, which is merely these qualities or expressions, are merely psychic expressions, according to My version. Nevertheless, they will express according to the development and unfoldment of such a person’s characteristics.”
Mr. Bird: I think I see what You mean. Your followers do not call You a GOD-like man or a GODLY man; they call You GOD.
Mr. Bird: Now You, in Your messages particularly, say that what the people call You is not important, but what is important are Your teachings and what You are preaching.
FATHER: “Yes, what I DO!”
Mr. Bird: In Your addresses, such as I have heard read, You never declare or affirm that You are GOD, as said by Your followers, neither do You deny it. You say it is beside the point. Well, there are, of course, a large section of the public consider themselves to be God-fearing people. Whether they are or not is beside the point, but they feel that Your followers calling You GOD, are blaspheming GOD, and they look at it in an extremely literal way.
FATHER: “Well, that is because they are intelligent-ignorant people — those who see it that way. The same as I have explained conclusively even in these brief remarks and in this brief interview: why, if a person can be intelligent, the person is intelligent because of the intelligence developed in the person and put forth into expression in that person. Hence, his characteristics are expressing the intelligence of the Spirit of Intelligence.”
Mr. Bird: Yes, I think I see that. Would this be perhaps another way of stating it? If a person realizes inwardly, intensely, the Godliness in such a way that it enters into every part of his life and every action of his body; such a person — his actions, I should think, would be automatic; would be coincident, the thought with the action immediately.
FATHER: “That is it!”
Mr. Bird: Such a person would be perhaps fulfilling himself in a high degree. Is such a person, in Your opinion, justified then, in identifying himself with GOD, feeling as he does that he is living, heart, body and soul, GOD’S teachings?
The Process of Transformation
FATHER: “Well, in My opinion, it is the same as the translating process that goes on in the changing of water to ice. Why, water can be turned into ice, and ice can be turned into water. That is My opinion. Now the personification of GOD, in My opinion, is the actual ‘tangibilation’ of that which was intangible; of that which was invisible, it being made possible in My opinion according to the Gospel. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD, and the Word WAS GOD, and the Word was made FLESH.’ Now you see, it is not merely getting IN the flesh, but the Word itself was made FLESH, the same as you take water and make ice. ‘And we beheld His Glory as the Glory of the only Begotten of the Father, FULL of Grace and of Truth; and of all of His FULLNESS have all we received, Grace for Grace.’ See? Because GOD made Himself flesh, it was observable; it was concentratable; in other words, could be concentrated upon. By individuals concentrating on something that was observable, that which was made visible being concentratable, individuals concentrating on that something, the reaction of such concentrating thoughts caused the reproduction of that which was invisibly incarnated in that on which that individual, or those individuals concentrated, to be transmitted to those who have concentrated on such, you see. So that is the mystery, according to My version.
“Now the Word was made flesh. The very Word is flesh, and the very Word is GOD. Hence, GOD Himself is FLESH. By this we can produce as individuals, not observing the Allness of GOD as an Individual, saving in the CHRIST on Whom we are concentrating at this instance — produce and bring into ourselves by concentrating, that which we are visualizing in that on which we are concentrating.
Parable of the Radio
“This is the same as dialing in on your radio. You turn on a certain station and it would be as though you would focus something on that particular station. You draw in from that on which you are focusing your thought, that which is within and comes forth, and is coming forth from that on which you are focusing or concentrating your thought. So ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory as the Glory of the only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and of Truth.’
“Now the average person has not arrived at that place in consciousness, or this place in consciousness, where they can observe those things, for they have not made it their life’s study. But by making a sacrifice of everything — all things that pertain to this life — yet having all things necessary for the comfort and convenience, I produce the spirit and the meaning of all of those things that are for the advancement of the human life, by concentration. Hence, I bring into actuality that which was merely a supposition, and suppositionally discerned. I bring those things into actuality and cause them to be made real, tangible and practical.”
Mr. Bird: Do You think anyone else is doing that to-day?
The Door Is Open
FATHER: “Well, I Am striving to get others to observe it; it is their privilege to do so, as I often say, in almost all of My speeches, for I must speak as One having authority according to My Gift, My Mission, and My Calling. For this cause, I must speak also as being Impersonal and unconcerned whether it is termed MyMission or others.” It is free for all; hence, I stress, I set before you an open door. Others are welcome to do so if they can. I Am not saying they cannot; I believe they can if they live the life. It is free for all if it happens to be that they can and will do it by perseverance, by self denial and consecration.
“Hence, it is for all who will, to do so if they can. Whether they can or cannot, it is their privilege to try to produce perfection and bring it to fruition in themselves individually, as well as I stress it as good for the Nation. There are very few, it is true, whom I have come in contact with, who have made such a complete consecration, self-denial and sacrifice.”
“I have endeavored to try to bar everything that would tend to help Me as a Person from a personal point of view — intellectually and all of those things. I bar those things from Me that I might express from the Omniscience of the Infinite One, with or without a bodily form. Hence, I Am not seeking information from man, yet I Am speaking as one among them at times.”
Mr. Bird: Well, what are those things that You bar as hindrances?
Man’s Extremity Is GOD’S Opportunity
FATHER: “Well, I bar finances, I bar human intelligence, I bar many things that men would seek to acquire for the benefit and the advancement of themselves as individuals, for ‘man’s extremity is GOD’S opportunity.’ I came, therefore, really extremiated, and I Am endeavoring to extremiate Myself as a Person as much as possible, that GOD might be observe.”
Mr. Bird: Do You believe that, for instance, the pursuit of knowledge as in books, etc., is useless in this sense, that what You are teaching and seeking is something that cannot be gained from formal knowledge as it is inspirational and intuitive?
FATHER: “Well, such cannot be really developed in an individual merely by the study of books or such like as that; although it is possible, the same as these words I have spoken and Am speaking now, I Am speaking volitionally without a letter of the English alphabet, without a penny of American money, yet each of these I have a-full and a-plenty. They are all at My disposal and My service. Nevertheless, while I Am speaking, I Am speaking something volitionally and inspirationally; but as the Maker of history, as the Repeater of history, My words are reiteratable in the actions of expression. They are reiteratable by being repeated over and over again, according to My version. Therefore, those who read these things after Me, find some information in them. See? That is the idea. But those who read My Message even, unless they get My Message inspirationally they are only receiving it theoretically, and to them, it is not a living reality internally until they live it, and express it, and cause the very spirit of it to be developed in them. See? That is My version.
“But others who have been writers of books and histories, they are expressers of expressions that are worth considering and will give theory and information to others transmitted. Nevertheless, for others to get these qualities I have, the spirit and the meaning of such information as may be given them must be brought to fruition or quickened in them, for them to be real expressers of such a version.”
Mr. Bird: Do You think that in Your own case this is the result of a life-time of concentration of that kind, or is it something that is intuitively realized, or was intuitively realized and experienced and fulfilled immediately, instantly?
When Man Is Seen GOD is Unseen
FATHER: “Well, not exactly instantly; I do not think it is from that angle, yet I do know when you understand the Allness of GOD and the nothingness of yourself as a man; when you shall have extremiated yourself completely and worked cancellation on yourself to its lowest terms; and then shall have worked dispellation on yourself as an individual — I Am speaking of Myself now as well as anyone else — when this is done, there and then GOD will appear; for when man is seen GOD is unseen, and when man disappears and shall have come to his end, GOD will appear on the scene.
“That is why I spoke as I did. I refuse to even look at My own words to recall anything I have said, to give information such as I may desire to give to-day. I refuse to look at My own words though these are My words, you see. That is the idea. Hence, I speak volitionally and inspirationally from the within, intuitively. I Am speaking directly from the Source of all supply, all wisdom, knowledge, and all understanding; in short, I Am speaking from the Fount of GOD’S Omniscience, from whence cometh all information and all wisdom.”
Mr. Bird: Do You know, in Your own life, exactly when that transformation or experience happened?
FATHER: “Well now, pardon Me for interrupting your trend of thought, but that is a wonderful thought, to say translation. That translation will take place in any individual’s life when such an individual will make a complete self-denial, a whole-hearted consecration, and a wide-open sacrifice by the relaxation of his conscious mentality and by stilling himself as an individual. He or she will put off mortal and put on immortality automatically, and will become to be a new creature. When an individual becomes to be a new creature, that individual is above that which was once the inner man as being termed by many of the religions, ‘The inner man is the CHRIST.”
“Now you are your inner self. When your outer self is submerged or thrown off and no longer observed, your inner self will come to the surface and come forth into expression, and will be observable, and that is the CHRIST. There is where the CHRIST is.”
Mr. Bird: When that happens, does the idea of time disappear?
The Person Becomes More Ambitious
FATHER: “Well, yes, the IDEA of time disappears. Of course it does not diminish one’s ambition. If such an individual is ambitious, according to My version it will cause the individual to be more ambitious and to be more adventurous to make more new adventures, than such a person could and would have the ambition to make without such a consecration, for he is closer to the Infinite Mind, the Spirit of GOD itself, that seeketh deep mysteries and hidden things.”
Mr. Bird: Would such a person then be living in Heaven, using the word in the true sense rather than the popular version?
FATHER: “Yes, that is My version. Heaven is not a place geographically, but Heaven is a state of consciousness where one must ascend to mentally, where trials and tribulations cannot affect him. There is where GOD is, in that state of consciousness. Especially as I said to-day, in My Message, when the CHRIST shall have been selected and elected, and enthroned on the throne of such an individual’s mind to rule and reign in and over him and over all things that concern him, there and then the Kingdom has come, for where a King reigns there is where his kingdom is.
“That is why they say I call this the Kingdom, and this and other places, Heaven and the different Heavens. It is just a misunderstanding of the Truth concerning My Message. Heaven is not a place geographically, yet Heaven and theKingdomofHeavenis a place where GOD has all Dominion. If GOD has full Dominion on the throne of your mind and has full access, and reigns supremely, there and then all you have and all things that are under your jurisdiction, they are brought into subjection to the CHRIST Kingdom, and CHRIST on the throne of your mind is reigning, and wheresoever a King reigns there is where his kingdom is.”
Mr. Bird: Then life is not a preparation for the next life so much as it is the realization in the immediate sense of this life here and now.
Legalizing Righteousness, Truth and Justice
FATHER: “That is it; that is My version; and to bring things into subjection to the Righteous Judgment of CHRIST, as we as a Nation, or as a Union — as the human race, whichever — have surmised the Kingdom of GOD in Heaven to be, where GOD alone Reigns, and where there is a Righteous Government where everybody is treated right; in short, where everybody — they all are dealt with as in Righteousness, and Truth, and Justice. That is what we are advocating, emphasizing, and stressing, and it is what I Am endeavoring to put across, even in the political world, that the legalization of that which I Am stressing might be made a living reality universally, even as I have it under My Personal jurisdiction.”
Mr. Bird: I should think that under such a selfless state, the body becomes as nothing, and death and the body are nothing.
FATHER: “Oh yes, it is immaterial to the individual. As I say by self-experience, I have said hundreds of times; if this Body could die apparently, why, it matters not with Me. I have nothing to fear. And aside from that, I further say, that which I have endeavored I will accomplish, with or without My Body; for it is not matter that accomplishes that which one endeavors, you see. That is the mystery! That is according to My version!
“Now a promise! If a person makes you a promise, if you are not somewhat psychologically inclined to believe all things from a psychological point of view, or metaphysically inclined, or some other spiritual or mental expression of life, you may look to that person as a person to do that, and if that person does not do that as an individual, you may think you cannot get that done, or it will not be done. That which has been promised Me must be fulfilled. It is a matter of impossibility for it to be a failure if it was promised with the spirit of sincerity, for it is GOD, or CHRIST whichever, who makes such a promise; therefore, it must be fulfilled with or without a body as a person.”
Hold Fast to the Promise
“Now if I promise you something as a person, hold fast to the promise and refuse to observe the body, and that which has been promised you, will be fulfilled, with or without a body. Now with all of My assertions you have heard Me make from time to time, and all of My declarations I have made openly and declared what I will do, I am not speaking of doing those things Personally. I will do them with or without a body, for there is one ‘I’ in the capital alphabet, and that ‘I’ is applicable to each and every individual. Therefore, when I say ‘I’ I am using that same ‘I’ that was and still is applicable to the One Who said, ‘I Am that I Am.’ ”
Mr. Bird: I think I understand.
FATHER: “On these grounds it is a matter of impossibility to fail. That is why not anything can hinder Me. All of the powers that may rise in opposition, there are not enough of them to hinder My activities and My endeavors; for I Am not working by the will of man, nor by the will of the flesh, but by the Will of GOD.”
(At this point a Secretary entered and announced to FATHER that a telephone message had just come to the effect that Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Baron von Blomberg, of World Fellowship of Faiths, and a Secretary of Mahatma Gandhi were in attendance at the Righteous Government Meeting at the Extension on 63rd Street and that Father’s Personal Presence was requested.)
FATHER: “Well, with Me, when I Am interested in anything, if I feel I Am about a good work, I do not care to be disturbed. I refuse at times, to eat, drink, or do anything, because I Am just carried away in that which I Am stressing. Because I Am IT, I Am that which I Am expressing. Each and every person should become to be just what they are, even as GOD is. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD, and the Word WAS GOD, and the Word was made flesh.’ ”
Mr. Bird: What You are, it is possible for anyone to become?
All Can Express Complete Sincerity
FAHTER: “It is their privilege to express all sincerity in all of their work, activities and endeavors, and produce the same within themselves, and that they will express.”
Mr. Bird: The same to every degree in every way?
FATHER: “It is their privilege to do so. Now whether the average person will accomplish such, it is for the individual to find out. I Am not a monopolizer. I set before you, as I often say, an open door. In the ‘Revelationic’ prediction of John in the Book of Revelation, and the prediction made by John though it was a revelation, he saw and heard one say, ‘I set before you an open door.’ So if GOD sets before you an open door, it is your privilege to go in if you wish to. So I Am striving to get every person to see, they can be even as I Am if they wish to. They may not be called Father Divine — they need not be called Father Divine. They need not be called a Leader of a Peace Mission, or a Representative of a Peace Mission. You may be called whatsoever you may be, according to My version, but produce the same nature and characteristics and qualities, and bring these to fruition within yourself as an individual. Then and there, here you are and there I Am; for there is but one when all shall have come to that place in consciousness; for CHRIST did say, ‘I pray that they may be one even as We are One.’ This is the unity of spirit, of mind, of aim and of purpose which I Am stressing with My followers daily.”
Mr. Bird: Do You think that Your followers understand You very well?
FATHER: “Well —.”
Overcoming Undesirable Conditions
Mr. Bird: You think that perhaps they misunderstand You?
FATHER: “The majority of them understand Me very well. The majority of them do. While yet there are some who do not understand. But while they do not understand, they have faith and are willing to make a consecration, a self-denial, and the sacrifices that are necessary; therefore, they are overcoming all undesirable conditions by their faith; for some overcome by faith. In the Bible it reads that some overcame through faith.”
Mr. Bird: It seems to be that the majority of Your followers are being drawn from among the under-privileged.
FATHER: “Well, in a great measure it may apparently be that way. As it was in the parable of theKingdomofHeaven, JESUS said, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man who prepared a great supper, and at supper time He sent his servants to invite his guests in.’ He invited many. He said the great men who were his invited guests, they failed to come; for some said, ‘I have houses and land; I have this, that and the other; I must see after those things.’ And by their refusing to come, GOD sent out, according to the parable, in the streets, the alleys, the courts and the lanes — these little streets, and alleys, and courts and lanes — and said, ‘Compel them to come in.’ The servants went out and gathered them in, but still there was room. So at the interval of this great last Career of which I Am on, I have gone out mentally and spiritually — My Spirit has gone out in the courts, and the alleys, the streets and the lanes, and among the slums, and brought many into the recognition of My Presence.
“But still there is room in the parable, if you read it. And He said, ‘Go out in the hedges and the highways and compel them to come in.’ So the mystery is now being fulfilled. I Am reaching the chief executives of the different states, cities and countries. All of them who expect to continue, they had just as well submit, or surrender, whichever, and come to this recognition and accept of My Message, or they all will be failures, for it is the Message of Salvation for all humanity. But it is true, first those who were of the under-privileged are being drawn. Those who were the most destitute and were in need of help apparently, they were the ones who came first. But still there is room in the great Universal Mind Substance; for it has come for all humanity; it has come for the politicians. It has come for the intellectuals; it has come for the professionals of every degree and of every unfoldment or profession.”
The Independence of GOD
Mr. Bird: How can Your view be conveyed to these people? You don’t move around the Country, You don’t use the radio, do You?
FATHER: “Very little.”
Mr. Bird: Your Messages are not published in nationally distributed magazines — that is, I do not know how far The New Day is distributed; but I mean such magazines as go into every home in the land. In other words I should think that Your method is somewhat limited.
FATHER: “Well, I think not. Now I was offered last year — I think it was three thousand dollars for a half-hour broadcast of My Message just as I give it, and I refused it, because I KNOW I can transmit it independent of the mechanical radio broadcasting system. That is the significance of the independence of GOD. I Am declaring My absolute independence, above and over all oppositions, or over all limitations, over all barriers of every expression, for GOD can and GOD does transmit His Message through the Spirit and by mental telepathy. Men are getting My Message and speaking it and acting it and expressing it from the different angles of expression. Nearly everything I introduce politically from a political point of view, someone will catch the thought and carry it over without My telling them Personally, for I Am in constant contact with all conscious thinking persons, and especially making contact with those who may be in authority. If they are open-minded they will get My Message almost as effectively as if I would Personally tell them. While yet, in the meantime, My work has not been bound to the mental and spiritual realm alone.
“Of course I have been conveying My Message through correspondence daily; you see, I get such correspondence as this.” (Referring to piles of letters stacked in front of Him.)
How the Reading Is Done
Mr. Bird: Do You read all these letters Yourself?
FATHER: “No, not Personally, unless they are personal letters. Letters that come personally, I read personally, but those that are not personal, they are proof-read to Me and I listen. That is why I Am busy, and that is the reason I have quite a number of Secretaries with Me at all times, to proof-read My Lectures and letters, and proof-read papers, etc. All such we proof-read them together. I know if I speak a word and a different word is used. Many times there are words just dropped, something like a drop-stitch, and I may catch them up again. If it is spoken, I know it; and if it is not, I know I did not use it. So we proof-read together all of My Lectures, and all of My Publications with the articles that are published in The NEW DAY and the different papers that carry My Message from time to time, and I send out hundreds of letters also daily, almost, to all parts of the world in daily correspondence.
“So My Message is going forth; while yet it may apparently be more expressive in one sense of the word through the radio broadcasting system, and it may reach more people. Of course, at times it does go through different angles. Now of course, The March of Time, you see they were with us yesterday. That is the reason I know if they have My Voice, My Message as I gave it, I Am sure it would give the exact statements, the exact words I said.”
Mr. Bird: FATHER, I do not want to keep You or delay Your program.
FATHER: “Well, it is all right.”
Mr. Bird: This is all so interesting I leave it to You.
The Average Person Has the Wrong Conception
FATHER: “Well, I see it is, and I believe it means something when a person of your type and your profession can get first-hand information, the same as Mr. Glenn and many others. Mr. Mahar, inKingston, I have given him Personal interviews, and of course, they are coming in contact with Me and they have a different thought when they meet Me Personally, because things are much different from what the average person would think, when they contact Me Personally. So I Am pleased to put away everything at this time and have a talk with You, and as you say, if your paper wishes to carry a Message of Mine, I would be glad to release it for the benefit of the paper and for the public generally.”
Mr. Bird: Well, I know that my paper is anxious now for this week, and as a matter of fact next Sunday; our Sunday paper, as you know, it has a much wider distribution than the daily paper. I wanted, as I said, thatMiltonaddress, but now what You have given me tonight seems to me to be directed more to the questions which are of particular interest to me. I am not sure that my questions are questions which the public in general is interested in, but what I would like to say is, can I have a transcript of that Milton address, and could You make available to me the record of these views that You have given me to-night in the form of an interview, possibly for Sunday’s papers or possibly before that?
FATHER: “I will be glad to do so if Mr. Lamb can get it out. You see he is the only one that has been taking this interview.”
Mr. Bird: Thank You, FATHER.
(At the conclusion of the interview Mr. Bird accompanied FATHER to the Righteous Government Forum at 204 West 63rd Street and attended the Banquet which followed at 152-160 West 126th Street.)
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