The Greatest Thing Ever Known ( Audio Book )

The Greatest Thing Ever Known – Ralph Waldo Trine / Chapter One

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The book contains 5 chapters , Total length  1hr 34min

Ralph Waldo Trine

The Greatest Thing Ever Known

Chapter 1


The greatest thing ever known—What is it? Full surely the answer must be one that is absolutely universal, both in its nature and in the possibilities of its application. It must be one that can be accepted wholly and unreservedly, not only by a single individual, but by bodies of individuals, be they the originators of any particular school of Ethics, the followers of any particular system of Philosophy, or even the adherents of any great system of Religion. It must be one so true in itself that it can be accepted by all men alike the world over. And again, it must be an answer that is true for no particular period of time, but equally true for all time—an answer that was true not only for yesterday, that is true for today, that may be true for tomorrow, but one equally true for yesterday, today, and forever.

In laying our foundation, therefore, it must be laid upon something as true and as certain as Life itself, and as eternal as Everlasting Life. What is as true and as certain as Life itself?—Life, only Life. And what do we mean by this answer? Let us give it for a moment our most careful consideration for upon what we find here depends and rests all that is to follow.

Let us start, then, with that in regard to which all can agree; something taken not from mere tradition, from mere hearsay, but something that comes to us from no source other than our own interior consciousness, our own reason and insight. In other words, let us make our approach, not from the theological standpoint, but from that which is far more certain and satisfactory—the philosophical. Then, and then only, will we allow pure reason to be our guide, and then by having as the earnest desire of both mind and heart, truth, truth for its own sake, and then for the sake of its influence upon everyday life, we will thus allow pure reason to be illumined by the “Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

In the degree that we open ourselves to and are true to this are we on sure and safe ground, for thus are we going directly to the source and the only source of all true revelation. In the degree, on the other hand, that we close ourselves or become untrue to this are we on uncertain and dangerous ground, and liable to find ourselves hopelessly floundering in the quagmire of theological traditions and speculations and doubts, of which the world has already seen so much. Pure reason, therefore, shall be our guide—pure reason illumined by the Inner Light.

Chapter 2


NOW what, let us ask, is the result and hence the value of this realisation? For unless it is of value in the affairs of everyday life, it is then a mere dead theory, and consequently of no real value. Use must be the final test of everything, and if it has no actual use, or if no visible results follow its use, we had better not spend time with it, for it is then not founded upon Truth.

First, let it be said, it is not the mere intellectual recognition, merely the dead theory, but the conscious vital and living realisation of this great truth, that makes it of value, and that makes it show forth in the affairs of everyday life. This it is, and this alone, that gives true blessedness, for this is none other than the finding of the kingdom of God, and when this is once found and lived in, all other things literally and necessarily follow. Through this the qualities and powers of the Divine Life are more and more realised and actualised, and through their leading we are led into the possession of all other things.

Those who come into this full and living realisation of oneness with the Divine Life are brought at once into right relations with themselves, with their fellow-man, and with the laws of the universe about them. They live now in the inner, the real life, and whatever is in the interior must necessarily take form in the exterior, for all life is from within out. There is no true life in regard to which this law does not hold. And if the will of God is done in the inward life, then is it necessarily done in all things of the outward life, and the results are always manifest. Thus and thus alone it is that individuals have become prophets, seers, and saviours; they have become what the world calls the “elect” of God, because in their own lives they first elected God and lived their lives in His life. And thus it is that today people can become prophets, seers, and saviours, for the laws of the Divine Life and the relations of what we term the human life to it are identically the same today as they have been in all time past and will be in all time to come.

The Divine Being changes not; it is man alone who changes. It is solely by virtue of man’s leaving the inner life of the Spirit and thus departing from God, or by virtue of his not yet finding this real life, that sin and error, pain and disease, fears and forebodings, have crept as naturally and as necessarily as that effect follows cause into his life; only by closing his eyes to the inner light, by shutting his ears to the inner voice, that, although he has eyes to see, yet he sees not, and, although he has ears to hear, yet he hears not. It is only by uniting one’s life with the Divine Life, and thus living again the life of the Spirit, that these things will go, even as they have come.

All the evil, unhappiness, misery, and want in the world are attributable to man, and are the direct results of his taking his life, either consciously or unconsciously, either directly or indirectly, out of harmony with the Power that works for righteousness and consequently for wholeness and perfection. And when our life is lived in the life of God, and God’s will therefore becomes our will, all is and necessarily must be well with us, for contrary to His will it is impossible that anything should ever come to pass. And thus it is that he who seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness shall have all other things added unto him.

Chapter 3


The conclusions we have arrived at thus far we have arrived at independently of any authority outside of our own reason and insight. It is always of interest as well as of greater or less value to compare our own conclusions with those of others whose opinions we value. It would indeed be a matter of exceeding great interest to compare those we have reached with those of a number whose opinions come with greater or less authority to all the world. Space does not permit this, however, and I propose that we give the balance of our time to the consideration, though necessarily brief consideration, of two such; one universally regarded as one of the most highly illumined teachers, if not the most highly illumined, the world has ever known, the Christ Jesus; the other universally regarded as one of the most highly illumined philosophers the world has ever known, the philosopher Fichte. In these two we have the advantage of the life and teachings of one who lived and taught nearly nineteen hundred years ago, and one who lived and taught a trifle less than a hundred years ago. By selecting these, let it also be said, we have the advantage of two whose lives fully manifested the truth of that which they taught.

In considering the life and teachings of Jesus, let us consider them not as dull expositors interpret and represent them, but as He Himself gave them to the world. Certainly Jesus was Divine; but He was Divine, as He himself clearly taught, in just the same sense that you and I and every human soul is essentially Divine. He differed from us, however, in that He had come into a far clearer and fuller realisation of His divinity than we have come into, as indeed His life so clearly indicates. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, as indeed every one must be who comes into the full realisation of their oneness with God, as Jesus Himself again so clearly taught.

In the thoroughly absurd, illogical, and positively demoralising doctrine of “vicarious atonement,” as given us by early ecclesiastical bodies by perverting the real teachings of Jesus even to the extent of calling interpolations in the New Testament to their aid, we certainly cannot believe. Many do, however, believe that it has done more harm to the real teachings of Jesus, has been more productive of scepticism and infidelity, than all other causes combined. It is a doctrine that can be formulated only by those who have no spiritual insight themselves, and who therefore drag the teachings of the Master down to a purely material interpretation because of their inability to give them the spiritual interpretation that He intended they should have.

If Christ’s mission was not that of vicarious atonement, not for the purpose of appeasing the wrath and indignation of an angry God and thus reconciling Him to His children, what then was it? Clearly His mission was that of a Redeemer as He gave Himself out to be a Redeemer to bring the children of men back to their Father. And how did He purpose to do this ? Clearly by having them consciously unite their lives with the Father’s life, even as He had united his. The kingdom of God and His righteousness is not only what He came to teach, but what He clearly and unmistakably taught.

That He plainly and unequivocally taught His disciples that this was His mission is evidenced by numerous sentences such as the following, occurring all through the gospels: Matt. 4:23, “Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,” etc. . .Luke 8:1, “He went about through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good tidings of the kingdom of God”. . . Luke 4:43, “But he said unto them: I must preach the good tidings of the kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore was I sent.” . . . Luke 9:2, “And he sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”. . . Matt. 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony unto all nations,” etc. In more than thirty places in the first three gospels do we find Jesus thoroughly explaining to His disciples His especial mission—to preach the glad tidings of the coming of the kingdom of God; and even before He entered upon His public work, we hear John the Baptist going before Him and saying, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

What did Jesus mean by the kingdom of God, or, as He sometimes expressed it, the kingdom of Heaven? As an answer, and an answer better than any speculations in regard to it, let us again take His own words: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” He taught only what He Himself had found, the conscious union with the Father’s life as the one and all-inclusive thing. With Jesus from the very first, only in union with God was there reality. And this found, the conscious union with the life in the Father’s life seemed nothing at all marvellous to Him; it was perfectly natural, and, the only life He knew. Hence He could not say otherwise than that He and the Father were one.

His vision was so clear and His already realised Divine life was so full and complete, that He knew that it was utterly impossible for His life to be without the Father’s life, as we indeed shall know when our vision becomes clear and we enter into the same fully realised union with it. This great knowledge came to Jesus not through intellectual speculation and still less through any communication from without; it came to Him through His own interior consciousness; to all appearances He was born with it. He was born with a peculiar aptitude for discerning things of the Spirit, the same as among us some are born with a peculiar aptitude for one thing and others for other things. But so great was this power naturally in Jesus that in it we may justly say He had a great advantage over most people born into the world, and for this reason was He all the more able and all the greater reason was there for Him to be one of the great world Teachers and hence Redeemers.

He was indeed Immanuel—God with us. Jesus, I repeat, never speaks of His life in any other connection than as one with the Father’s life. In reply to a question from Thomas in the fourteenth chapter of John, He says, “If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also: from henceforth ye know Him and have seen Him not.” Philip, who was standing near, unable to comprehend the interior meaning of the Master’s words, said unto Him: “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” Jesus, somewhat surprised that He had not made Himself clear to them, replied, “Have I been so long time with you, and dust thou not know me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words I speak unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth His work. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me: or believe me for the very works’ sake.”



Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

Incoming search terms:

  • the greatest thing ever known
Tags: , , , ,