Another example is the word “prosperity.” In the scriptural sense, “prosperity, “and “prosper,” signify a very great deal more than the acquirement of material possessions. They really mean success in prayer. From the point of view of the soul, success in prayer is the only kind of prosperity worth having; and if our prayers are successful, we shall naturally have all the material things that we need. A certain quantity of material goods is essential on this plane, of course, but material wealth is really the least important thing in life, and this the Bible implies by giving the word “prosperous” its true meaning.

Poor in spirit
To be poor in spirit does not in the least mean the thing we call “poor spirited” nowadays. To be poor in spirit means to have emptied yourself of all desire to exercise personal self-will, and, what is just as important, to have renounced all preconceived opinions in the wholehearted search for God. It means to be willing to set aside your present habits of thought, your present views and prejudices, your present way of life if necessary; to jettison, in fact, anything and everything that can stand in the way of your finding God.

In other words, your “earth” means the whole of your outer experience, and to “inherit the earth” means to have dominion over that outer experience; that is to say, to have power to bring your conditions of life into harmony and true success.

The true significance of the word “meek” in the Bible is a mental attitude for which there is no other single word available, and it is this mental attitude which is the secret of “prosperity” or success in prayer. It is a combination of open-mindedness, faith in God, and the realization that the Will of God for us is always something joyous and interesting and vital, and much better than anything we could think of for ourselves. This state of mind also includes a perfect willingness to allow this Will of God to come about in whatever way Divine Wisdom considers to be best, rather than in some particular way that we have chosen for ourselves.

purity, pure
In its full and complete sense, purity is recognizing God alone as the only real Cause, and the only real Power in existence. It is what is called elsewhere in the Sermon “the single eye”

city, hill
In the Bible, the “city” always stands for consciousness, and the “hill,” or “mountain,” always means prayer or spiritual activity. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” The soul that is built upon prayer cannot be hidden; it shines out brightly through the life that it lives. It speaks for itself, but in utter silence, and does much of its best work unconsciously. Its mere presence heals and blesses all around it without special effort.

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