Notes from Norman

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The Independent Self

by Norman P. Grubb

Here is Moses, he followed God out with his heart, left everything, even the great deal the world had to offer, in order to be God’s servant in delivering the people. And God threw him on the dust heap for forty years and made him do the one thing which is an abomination to the Egyptians—tend sheep. Of course, he had the same red line of life inside him which he held throughout the period. We know that is where he had full sight of his inability. So you see that he had to learn a further lesson than that lesson of a mere outward consecration. He had to give up something more than things—he had to give up himself. You can’t give up yourself until you’ve first seen yourself. Then came the union. The union was pictured to him in a perfect way. He saw a common bush aflame. What puzzled him was that the fire didn’t go out. He looked again. Why didn’t it go out? The bush was not consumed. And then the Divine voice came out of the bush, “I am.” In essence God said to him, “Now you can see, Moses; you can see the relationship for which you were created. This relationship is really a fact about you, but you cannot see it, or haven’t been able to see it as yet. You are a common bush. And in the common bush lives the Divine fire. The fuel of the fire is the bush and yet the fire, as it were, puts back new life into the bush so it goes on burning and goes on living.” Out of the common bush comes the fire which burns without dying and which speaks with a Divine voice to the world. “The trouble with you, Moses, is this: For all these years you’ve been an uncommon bush and the Divine fires don’t come out of uncommon bushes—they only come out of common bushes. So you have to discover that you’re just a common bush in the wilderness. Then out can come the Divine fire.”

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “The Liberated Self”