Christ is the Spirit of love, which is the abiding and indwelling reality in man. In this principle of love, all knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom are contained, and until a man realises it as the one vital reality of his being, he does not fully comprehend the Christ. Such glorious realisation is the crown of evolution, the supreme aim of existence. Its attainment is complete salvation, emancipation from all error, ignorance, and sin.
When Jesus said, “Without Me ye can do nothing,” he spoke not of His perishable form, but of the universal Spirit of love of which His conduct was a perfect manifestation; and this utterance of His is the statement of a simple truth; for the works of man are vain and worthless when they are done for personal ends, and he himself remains a perishable being, immersed in darkness and fearing death, so long as he lives in his personal gratifications.
Man is of the substance of love; this he may realise if he will relinquish the impure, personal elements which he had hitherto been blindly following, and will fly to the impersonal realities of the Christ Spirit; and these realities are purity, humanity, compassion, wisdom, love.
Every precept of Jesus demands the unconditional sacrifice of some selfish, personal element before it can be carried out. Man cannot know the real whilst he clings to the unreal; he cannot do the work of Truth whilst he clings to error. Whilst a man cherishes lust, hatred, pride, vanity, self-indulgence, covetousness, he can do nothing, for the works of all these sinful elements are unreal and perishable. Only when he takes refuge in the Spirit of love within, and becomes patient, gentle, pure, pitiful, and forgiving, does he work the works of righteousness and bear the fruits of life.
The vine is not a vine without its branches, and even then it is not complete until those branches bear fruit. Love is not complete until it is lived by man; until it is fully understood by him and manifested in his conduct. A man can only consciously ally himself to the vine of love by deserting all strife and hatred and condemnation and impurity and pride and self-seeking, and by thinking only loving thoughts and doing loving deeds. By so doing, he awakens within him the divine nature which he had heretofore been crucifying and denying.
Every time a man gives way to anger, impatience, greed, pride, vanity, or any form of personal selfishness, he denies the Christ, he shuts himself out from love. And thus only does one deny Christ, and not by refusing to adopt a formulated creed.
Christ is known only to him who by constant striving has converted himself from a sinful to a pure being, who by noble, moral effort has succeeded in relinquishing that perishable self which is the source of all suffering and sorrow and unrest, and has become rational, gentle, peaceful, loving, and pure.
Culled from MIND IS THE MASTER by JAMES ALLEN