In Caesar’s World

Neville Goddard spoke often about this physical world as the “world of Caesar“. He is referring to the passage from Matthew in the Christian Bible:

Matthew 22
Practitioner's Path
Metaphysical meaning
“Render unto Caesar,…”

17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 

Matthew 22

The point that Neville was making based on the above passage is that there are different constructs in the spiritual world than exist in the physical world.

Two of Neville’s best stories highlight this point. His first – the story of being honorably discharged from the Army during WWII and the second – how he and his family got passage back to the US on a boat when there were no available tickets for months. Both are classic examples of a miraculous event coming through the people and circumstances around him.

I have written many blogs about manifesting things in my life that I wanted or needed. And in sharing my stories with students and friends, someone inevitably says: “but we should also be able to manifest a winning lottery ticket, right?

In theory, yes. In practice however, I have found that the spiritual laws I have studied and apply regularly work most often within the framework of the physical world that we live in.

What does that mean?

It means that money does show up when I use the spiritual tools shared by Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Neville and many others; but it comes through physical – not paranormal – means.

My needs (money and otherwise) are met – not by a disembodied hand coming down out of the clouds with a fist-full of money – but by the shifting and movement of the people and circumstances around me.

I have shared multiple stories on how this works, but my 2 favorites are the one where I needed a new roof and a storm, a tree and a part time job came my way; and the story of my student loans. The money manifested in these 2 scenarios alone totals almost $50,000 but before I could receive it, I had to be willing to accept it through the framework of the world I live in: the world of Caesar, or physical world.

If I had insisted on receiving money from a leprechaun, a disembodied hand or lottery winnings – I’d still be waiting – and likely with a leaky roof!

Two of the most important skills in manifesting in the world of Caesar are openness & willingness. We must be open to seeing the opportunities that come to us: the people, the circumstances, the information. We then must be willing to act. I’d still be paying off part of my roof (plus interest) if I had not been willing to say ‘Yes!‘ when I was approached about taking on a part time job.

This openness and willingness enables us to see signs and hear the whispers of Spirit. It’s very rare that the answers we seek show up in large, flashing lights on a billboard conveniently placed along our route to work.

My experience has been that it more often comes in someone’s passing comment, or a request from someone, or a gut feeling to go somewhere, or do something – sometimes even an email! In order to manifest, we must be willing to follow Spirit’s nudge.

While we can use the tools and techniques taught by gurus, priests and rishis for centuries; we must understand that most of us will need to work within the limits of the laws of physics that exist on this plane.

Some may say that I am closing the door to miracles, and I understand the point. But I believe that the more day-to-day magic we experience, the more open we are to even greater magic. I also know that waiting on lottery winnings and disembodied hands are long-shots – whereas the demonstration of Good that comes through the people, places and circumstances of every day life can be regular occurrences in life if we choose.

I’m certainly open to once-in-a-lifetime miraculous demonstrations, but I also know that I don’t need to sit and wait: real miracles come my way on a regular basis and I’m grateful for them all.

The point of all of this is that we can wait on a million dollars, feeling misery and disappointment each time it eludes us; or we can give thanks a million times for the crinkled, unassuming dollars that show up. In the end, the money will add up to the same amount, but the truly “richer” life will be the one lived in faith, and taken a step at a time.

When we learn to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” – accepting that we live within the physical constructs of this world; we will not only avoid the disappointment of trying to manifest a lottery jackpot, but we can enjoy the many wonderful demonstrations of Good that come our way, every day. And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Every day miracles

The Isha Upanishad opens with this text:

All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
Om shanti – shanti – shanti

The concept is that when we are in alignment with the Divine, we cannot be in a state of want or lack. This spiritual Truth is repeated in many stories across multiple spiritual traditions.

In the Western canon a more familiar story is the one where Jesus fed the 5,000 with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Here’s the story from John 6:

Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat? He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 

Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many? 10 Jesus said, Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 

11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost. 

13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.  [John 6:4-13]

5 loaves 2 fishIn the Christian context, this is taught as a great miracle, which suggests that this kind of manifestation is rare. Through a metaphysical lens, however; it is seen as instruction on how to be when turning to the Divine (e.g. prayer) to receive something that you want or need.

It’s interesting that Jesus asks Philip where they are to get bread. He’s asking a question he already knows the answer to: he understands the concept articulated in the opening to the Isha Upanishad: out of fullness, fullness comes and when fullness is taken from fullness, fullness remains. He knew that he would have what he needed. He was using the circumstances as a teaching moment.

Our lives present few opportunities to feed 5,000+ people on a grassy hill with no other options available, so at a glance, it is easy to miss the guidance on prayer tucked into this story.

Knowing: Jesus was not worried about where the food would come from. He had a handle on the concept of unlimited Supply.

Peace: in the face of the head count (5,000 people), Jesus was quite chill. “Have the people sit down” he tells his crew. Sitting down is a passive response – not an active one; a posture of waiting to receive.

Gratitude: don’t be fooled by the short statement attributed to this piece. If we want to understand the miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes, we must remember this critical piece: Jesus gave thanks for what he had in front of him, which leads to the next point.

Available resources: Jesus took what was at hand. He did not demand that a full-course Passover meal be brought in; he worked with what he had in that moment and remained GRATEFUL for it – without hesitation.

Action: after giving thanks, they went immediately into action. They didn’t call a meeting to divide up the pieces, or examine the portions; they started handing out the food as if there would be enough.

When the passing out of the food resource was complete, Jesus told his crew to gather up the leftovers. It specifically mentions that this did not happen until people had eaten until full.

How does this apply today?

Think about something you need or simply desire. As you ponder it, how do you feel about the issue?

Consider the following examples:

  • relationship (love)
  • new job
  • increased abundance (more money, security)
  • healing

Are you following the steps outlined in spiritual Law for manifesting your desire(s)?

  1. Do you believe that your desire is achievable? Don’t wish; stop hoping – KNOW it.
  2. Are you at peace when you think about it, knowing that things are in motion making this happen?
  3. Are you giving thanks ahead of the demonstration? If you know it’s coming (step 1), be grateful now.
  4. Are you taking care not to overlook the resources right in front of you? Work with what you have (5 loaves & 2 fish) and it will expand to meet your need with plenty left over.
  5. Are you taking action today? Don’t sit around and wait for a booming voice from the clouds. Get up, get going – take a step in the direction of your desire right now.

One last point: the 5 loaves and 2 fish that fed the 5,000 came from a small boy.

We must take care not to overlook the small and seemingly unimportant offers and opportunities that come our way (think of the status of a child in formal society – not as a child in the context of a family). They may seem to be immature, undeveloped or not quite to the level that we were hoping – and yet, in them may lie the seeds of our next feast or miracle.

Speak it. Know it! And so it is.

(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path (with updates added in 2020)