Notes from Norman

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The Independent Self

by Norman P. Grubb

The one who always puzzles and delights me is Joseph. Joseph is the one I know—of whose history you can trace—who doesn’t give any indication where or when he entered into the union. I think Joseph was marvelous.

Evidently in Joseph’s early life there were manifestations of self. You can see it in the way he told his father about his brothers’ sins and so on. You can see it in certain indications. At the same time God came to him and imparted great revelations to Joseph in dreams. And then what happened? Well, we all know. For fourteen years things happened which made those dreams nonsense. Who could believe in them? Fantastic! Everything went from bad to worse and still worse in the vilest manner. And that holy young man never failed to follow God because God always favoured him.

God doesn’t favor the grouser. God doesn’t favor people who kick and resent. He favors those who yield. Joseph was the yielded one while he was in Potiphar’s household. He was the yielded one while in the prison because every time he found favor; and so they put him into positions of responsibility which is the proof of it. It says, “God blessed him.” Well, who could believe in dreams after that? One person who couldn’t was Joseph. Yet, without any warning, and after fourteen years when every single thing had crashed around him, suddenly the butler and the baker said, “Oh we’ll tell you what’s wrong with us. We’ve had dreams.” “Oh, dreams,” he said, “isn’t God an interpreter of dreams? Tell me.”

That’s union. We can all say doesn’t God do things? But you have union when you can say, “And God will do it through me.” That’s union. See when God and I are one! Therefore it’s going to come out through God’s agents and we’re the only agents He has on earth. He does it through us. And union is when we don’t just say, “Well, God can do it,” but “God does it and He’ll do it through me.” That’s union.

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