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Chimney noun /ˈtʃɪ

  • A hollow structure that allows the smoke from a fire inside a building to escape to the air outside. ‘A column of smoke rose from the chimney.’

  • A narrow vertical passage in the rock of a cliff or mountain, through which a person can climb. (Geology specialised) ‘He climbed fifty feet up a chimney and stayed there.’


Prayer noun /preər/

  • The words that someone says or thinks when they are praying. ‘She always says her prayers (= prays) before she goes to sleep.’

  • The act or ceremony in which someone prays. ‘I found her kneeling in prayer at the back of the church.’


Wikipedia says that “a chimney is an architectural ventilation structure made of masonry, clay, or metal that isolates hot toxic exhaust gases or smoke produced by a boiler, stove, furnace, incinerator, or fireplace from human living areas.” Since nothing in this world of forms is really true and words are only symbols of symbols, the metaphor I have chosen for the chimney is the “prayer”, a choice that, of course, being a symbol, is open to any interpretation. Yet, I can see prayer as a ventilation structure that cleanses our minds from the hot toxic exhaust of our thoughts, clearing away the smoke that obstructs our vision, asking for messages of different things in different languages, asking for release from fear and for the love that would heal us, asking for a strength beyond our own, for God's sure direction, and for His certain Word.

An act of prayer is an expression of request, a way of asking for something. While prayer is the greatest gift with which God blessed His Son at his creation and forgiveness is the only thing that represents the truth in the world of illusions, the only meaningful prayer is one for forgiveness since those who have received forgiveness have everything. The traditional significance of prayer is completely lost after forgiveness has been accepted because all that is being prayed for in a forgiveness prayer is the ability to see what you already have, which is the confirmation of inclusion and the acceptance of belonging to the Sonship.

Now, even if you have lost the knowledge that you yourself are a miracle of God, your worth is beyond perception, and it is beyond doubt, but as long as perception lasts, prayer has a place because perception is based on a separate state, so whoever perceives at all needs healing of the mind and needs to totally accept himself as a Son of God. Once you have remembered who you are, once you have accepted you as the Son of God, communion, and not prayer, is the natural state of those who know.

As prayer never stops, neither does life, and everybody never stops praying. There is no beginning and no end to prayer; it is an inherent aspect of existence. However, it does evolve, change form, and grow with learning until it reaches its formless state and unites with God in complete communication.

In healing the mind, in remembering what you are, strictly speaking, the motivating factor is the prayer or the question and not the words that play no role. The Bible emphasises that all prayer is answered, and this is indeed true, but this only refers to the prayer of the heart and not to the words you use in prayer. Sometimes the words and the prayer are contradictory, while other times they agree, but in reality, it doesn't matter. God does not understand words, for they were made by separate minds to keep them in the illusion of separation. Words can be helpful, especially at first, to help focus and make it easier to exclude, or at least control, extraneous thoughts.

Although they are symbols, words have quite specific references, even when they seem to be very abstract, the image that comes to mind is likely to be quite concrete. Unless a specific referent comes to mind in relation to the word, the word has little or no practical meaning and therefore cannot assist the prayer. The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things, it always asks for some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience in the opinion of the one asking. The words, then, are symbols for the things required, but the things themselves represent only the hoped-for experiences.

Praying for the things and experiences of this world will obviously bring experiences of this world. If the prayer of the heart asks for this, it will be given because it will be received. It is impossible for the prayer of the heart to remain unanswered in the perception of the asker. If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist, or if he seeks illusions in his heart, all these become his own because the power of his decision gives it to him, as he asks for.

Everybody who has ever attempted to make a request through prayer has also encountered what may seem like failure. This is applicable to requests that are strictly in line with the prayers of the heart, as well as to particular things that might be harmful.

Let us suppose, then, that what you ask of God is what you really want, but as a result of a “hidden” belief, you are still afraid of it. If this were the case, and by achieving your desire, you would only get fear, this would not be what you really want. This is why particular forms of desires or certain specific forms of healing are not achieved, even when the healing state is. Correspondingly, an individual may ask for physical healing because he is afraid of bodily harm, but at the same time, if he were to be physically healed, the threat to his thought system might be significantly more frightening to him than his physical expression. In this case, he is not really asking for release from fear but for the removal of a symptom of his own choosing, and therefore this request is not for healing at all.

Let me tell you a little story. A person was expected to visit his relatives who insisted a lot, and he should have travelled to another country where he did not want to end up in any way because it was not beneficial for him at all, and he would have lost his peace and joy. At the same time, the respective person needed financial support and prayed to receive it. If he had received the support at that particular time, he would have had no reason not to fly, and the guilt that he has all the conditions to travel but does not want to do it would have been very difficult to bear. While not having the means to travel gave him an excuse, a plausible reason for not doing it without feeling guilty, he had faced financial discomfort that, even if it was pretty unpleasant, apparently was easier to bear than guilt. In his prayers, he was not really asking for financial support but rather for the removal of a symptom of his own choosing, for the removal of guilt through experiences of this world, which is but the fabric of a senseless dream. The funny part is that no one in the family believed that he didn't have the necessary means to undertake that trip.

While the very fact that God has been asked for anything will ensure a response, it is equally certain that no response given by Him will ever be one that would increase fear or put you in harm's way. It is therefore very important to perfectly understand what you are asking for. The test of everything on earth, in any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is: "What do I want to come of this? What purpose could it serve? What is it for?" The answer makes it what it is for you. It has no meaning of its own, yet you can give reality to it according to the purpose that you serve. The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this that will determine the outcome.

In lower forms of prayer, it need not, and frequently does not, invoke God or even imply faith in Him. At these levels, prayer is nothing more than a desire born of a sense of lack and shortage. These types of prayers, often also recognised as requesting out of need, always involve feelings of weakness and inadequacy, and they could never come from a Son of God who is aware of his own identity. Therefore, no one who is certain of his identity could pray in this way; however, it is also true that no one who is uncertain of his identity can avoid praying in this way.

Reaching a higher form of requesting out of need is also feasible since, as prayer in this world is reparative, it must involve learning stages. In this case, prayer might be addressed to God with sincere belief but without fully comprehending just yet. Generally, a blurred and frequently irregular sense of identity has been attained, but nevertheless, it is frequently obscured by a strong sense of sin. At this stage, one can still make requests for material goods in a variety of ways, as well as gifts like goodness or honesty. In particular, one can ask for forgiveness for the numerous sources of guilt that often linger behind any need-based prayer. There is no scarcity if there is no guilt, and the sinless have no needs.

The key to true prayer is letting go of the things you believe you need. Asking for the specific is similar to looking at sin and then choosing to forgive it. In the same way, when you pray, you set aside your particular needs as you recognise them and let them go into God’s Hands. Stepping away, letting go, spending some quiet time listening and loving is what prayer is. It is a way of recalling your holiness, not to be mistaken with any form of request. Since holiness is deserving of all that God has to offer, why should it beg? And it is to God that you go in prayer. Offering oneself up in prayer, giving up of yourself to be at one with God, is a way to become one with God. There is nothing to be asked for because there is nothing left to want.

Not everyone is able to pray at this level just yet. Those who have not reached it still need to understand that their asking is not yet based upon acceptance. Yet, one who has accepted him as what he is, one who has acknowledged God's goodness, prays fearlessly, and one who prays without fear cannot help but reach Him. 


Photograph, hand printed on b&w Ilford baryta paper, coated with barium sulphate.

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