Sunday Talk Summaries
The Science of Mind and Spirit provides tools and inspiration for living a fulfilled and empowered life. This teaching is a compilation of the best of spiritual teachings, science, and philosophy applied to human needs and aspirations. We are part of a movement known as New Thought and Ancient Wisdom.
Listed below are links to the talk titles, arranged by month and date. The theme of each month’s talks is also provided.
April: Monthly Thought – Where Humanity and Divinity Meet
- April 22, 2018 – How Old Are You? (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- April 15, 2018 – God Talks to the Heart (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- April 8, 2018 – The Individual and the Universal (speaker – Dr. Rev. Kenn Gordon)
- April 1, 2018 – Easter (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 25, 2018 – Manifesting the “Great Big Things” (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 18, 2018 – Creating from Invisible Principle (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 11, 2018 – Words Create Worlds (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 4, 2018 – Infinite With the Infinite (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- February 25, 2018 – Stories of Transformation (Guest Speakers – Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill)
- February 18, 2018 – Karma and Choice (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- February 11, 2018 – Religion, Spirituality, Superstition and Common Sense (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- February 4, 2018 – What is the Science of Mind? (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 28, 2018 – How to Use It (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 21, 2018 – What It Does (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 14, 2018 – The Way It Works (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 7, 2018 – The Thing Itself (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
This year, we celebrate 100 years of Science of Mind, our teaching. This past Sunday, we began by one of my favorite processes – going back to basics. If we are working on strengthening our bodies, the first thing we must do is strengthen our core – and keep it strengthened. As we expand in our ability to live lives we love, it’s good to go back to that core teaching every once in a while. Thus, we begin with Chapter 1 of the Science of Mind textbook – The Thing Itself.
Ernest Holmes wrote this to help us have a direct experience – and often a new experience – of an infinite Presence that was far different than the traditional idea of a god “up there” manipulating us “down here.” “The Thing Itself”, a term borrowed from the Greek philosopher Plotinus, was his way of speaking of this “Thing” that was far greater than more traditional ideas of God. Rather, it was that which exists prior to all sensory perception and from which all sensory perception, all expressions of Life flow. Further, each of us is a center in the Divine Mind, a point of God-conscious life, love, truth and action, through which the invisible passes into the visible.
Ernest quotes Plotinus: “I do not argue, I contemplate, and as I contemplate, I let fall the seeds of thought into the mirror of mind, which becomes the mirror of matter.” Rather than arguing with or resisting current circumstances – which only adds power to and belief in those circumstances – we contemplate (create a template/mold in connection with the Infinite) that which we do want. The Infinite Substance, without agenda, conforms to our contemplated thought.
The nature of The Thing Itself is one of freedom – not bondage. But, humans are created with individuality, the ability to create. We must discover our power and freedom through the use of thought. The Universe is one of Love – infinite, beyond our comprehension, pure Love – and Law – the cause/effect that what we put out returns to us. Learning to work in harmony with the Law reveals more and more of the Love of the Universe. The Law is impersonal – it acts the same way for all, all the time. It has no agenda, nor plays any favorites.
Our mind is an individualization of the One Mind. We have two aspects – the conscious, choosing mind and the subjective/unconscious mind that moves those choices into form. We have limitless power to create, but we often create out of choices made long ago, without wisdom and set in motion in our subconscious mind. Ernest emphasizes that all this is simple, and that we tend to overcomplicate the Universe, and tend to not apply this teaching, just learn about it and go on in our habitual ways.
Our spiritual practices this week:
- Spend time contemplating The Thing Itself. As we contemplate the Highest and best, we align more and more with that.
- Notice what your thinking has created. Take inventory of what’s working well and where you might want to create something new, different, more expanded.
- Pick and area you’d to expand your experience of freedom and contemplate that freedom, let yourself align with and become that person who lives in that freedom.
“When we learn to trust the Universe, we shall be happy, prosperous and well. To learn to think is to learn how to live, for our thoughts go into a medium that is Infinite in Its ability to do and be.” SOM, p.29.5
Have – create – a fabulous week and new year!
Last week we explored The Thing Itself. This week, we look at how It works. If we want to work with electricity, we need to know how it works – not how we want it to work – in order to create results we want. We learn this through observation and experimentation. This is the same way we learn how Spirit – The Thing Itself – works. We’re all still engaged in experimentation. Since experiments don’t always turn out the way we want, we can be gentle with ourselves in this process.
The Infinite Intelligence of the Universe expresses through individualized centers of consciousness – i.e. you and me. Its nature is Good (that’s a Good beyond our human, limited perspective ideas of good/bad) and Life, Peace, Beauty, Power, Intelligence, all extravagantly expressing throughout everything. This One is all there is – only One! There is nothing opposed to it, no power working in a different direction. Only One.
We are always using It – creating conditions we love or don’t love. Conditions we don’t love are created out of ignorance of the Infinite Power of Good that we are. I told the story of sending a document to my printer and getting a message saying “printer not responding.” After rebooting the printer a couple of times, I realized it was the program not functioning correctly. So often, we say life is not responding when, in truth, we’re not sending a signal that Life can “print.”
The Infinite works for us by working through us. Our beliefs set the limit of our demonstration of an unlimited Principle. It’s a question of our receptivity. Think of it as having a massive electrical plant available to me. It’s useless to me if I don’t know it’s there, or if I don’t use it. And, if I do use it, I can send the current through a tiny, thin wire with lots of resistance, or a massive cable with no resistance. How much of The Infinite are we willing to let through?
This week, our threefold practice is:
- Contemplate The Thing Itself. As I contemplate Truth, it shows up in my life.
- Notice any experience of duality or not enough. Identify the underlying belief and begin to align with the Truth of the One Power of Good.
- Choose an area to experience more of Spirit and open to the fullness of Good expressing through you in this area. There’s only One Mind. Ask: “What must I believe and/or belief I must let go of to allow this greater Good to be my experience?”
“God is Universal, and as much good as any individual is able to incorporate into their life is theirs to use. This is what constitutes the Science of Mind and Spirit.” ~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, p. 35
Have a power and love filled week!
In the third of our four-week revisiting of the Basics of Science of Mind, we look at what It does. We have explored what It is and Its processes. Now we look at how It expresses Its nature – and, on this plane of existence, it’s through us. We are, as Troward said, “centers of divine operation.” And, while we are immersed in an Infinite Intelligence, we can only draw from it what we “draw though the channel of our own minds.”
We can use as much of the Infinite Wisdom, Love, Power, Abundance as we are open to receive. And, our openness is at the level of real belief, not what we wish and hope for. We must align ourselves with the nature of the Infinite which we desire to express.
The Universe has no agenda except freedom of Its expression. Because of this, we are free individuals, free to use this Mind in any way. It doesn’t care. I used the example of the large number of people believing in a set of conditions known as the “end times.” This condition carries with it chaos, breakdown of human and planetary (and cosmic) systems. It is based on an old prophesy which, in reality, was about the Romans and not about our times. But a massive number of people have held it as our potential reality and so, as the Law must do, it is manifesting. This is why our presence and willingness to stand as beacons of Light and Truth is so important.
We consciously tap into and use this Power by first becoming conscious of the Infinite AND the Good we want to manifest. This is different than, like many, focusing on what I don’t want or “problem solving.” We must have a clear picture of what we actually DO want. Then, we take time to be receptive to the Infinite Intelligence. It has a higher idea of how to manifest this Good than we do. Tap into It! Then, we boldly claim that Good as ours now. Finally, with gratitude and faith we release it into the Law – the creative process of the One Mind.
A painter can sit with the best paints and brushes and have the most perfect canvas on which to work. But, until she picks up the brush, mixes the colors and paints what she’s inspired to paint, nothing happens. We have a beautiful mind, perfect Law and a wonderful Life in which to paint. Let us do so. And trust, just as when the painter mixes red and yellow, she doesn’t hope it will make orange, she knows it will – every time, because that is the law of color and pigment. We must know that these tools and this One Mind is constantly and consistently at work for us always.
- Once again, spend time contemplating the Infinite One. Deepen your relationship with It.
- Look at your life and ask – how receptive am I, based on results, to the Infinite Potential of the Universe? How much Good am I letting in?
- Direct the energy of the Universe by vividly creating an image of yourself aligned with that Good. And, have fun and play with this process.
“Here and now, we are surrounded by, and immersed in, an Infinite Good. How much of this Infinite Good is ours? ALL OF IT! And how much of It may we have to use? AS MUCH OF IT AS WE CAN EMBODY.”
~ Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind, p. 50.2
Have a joyous and powerful week. Let your Light shine!
After looking at what It is, how It works and what It does, today we explore how to use It. Unless we actually USE the Law, USE the Infinite Presence that seeks to express Itself as us, it’s of no help in our lives. And, since we are ALWAYS using this Infinite Power – consciously or unconsciously – we might as well direct it with wisdom and consciousness. This is what Jesus meant in the Gospel of Thomas when he said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” The Infinite Presence within creates through us. As we align with Its nature of Harmony, we live fulfilled lives in every way.
To use It, we must understand that the Infinite Presence corresponds to who we ARE, rather than what we want. It co-responds to our true beliefs, not our whims or wishes. And, we must understand that the forms created through this Power are fluid. “It is forever taking form and forever deserting the form it has taken.” Forms are only temporary expressions, they don’t last. But, the nature of Spirit, always seeking fresh expression of Its Original Harmony, lasts.
Our work is to not be hypnotized by, nor attached to the forms, rather focus on the True Nature that is expressing the forms. This is why we don’t “resist evil.” It is not Truth, thus it has no power of its own, except what we give it by our belief in it. Instead, we focus on the Truth that must show through. Instead of fighting disease, we focus on health and wholeness. Instead of fighting poverty, we focus on abundance of Good for all everywhere. Instead of fighting hatred, we focus on the Truth of the ever present Love of the Universe being manifest fully in that situation. As we practice doing this, and see results, we gain confidence. We remember that “The Universe is not divided against itself.” Nothing and no one is against the Truth of who you are.
Finally, as we create, we must let go of our false belief in separation from the One Life. It isn’t “out there.” There is no “out there.” There’s only One. We are not parts or fragments of some Oneness, we are expressions of that One. We ARE Source. As we let go of the belief in separation, we let go of our beliefs in being not enough, flawed, wrong, unloved/unlovable and all the other core beliefs that have haunted humanity through the centuries. When Jesus said, “The Father and I are one” he wasn’t just talking about himself, but showing us what we need to know. We ARE the Life, Love, Light, Power, Peace, Beauty and Joy of the Universe – in human form. Celebrate and live from THAT!
- APPLY the Law. USE this Infinite Presence for a definite and specific purpose in your life, expressed from your True Nature. Just as the painter chooses to create a specific painting, from all the infinite possibilities of paintings to create, we must choose a specific result we want to create. Like the painter, when we “complete” (manifest) that result, we can choose another of the infinite possibilities to create.
- Notice any “not enough” type chatter that arises as you contemplate creating from your magnificence. If you hear it, tell Truth to it. “I AM one of the Infinite Presence. I AM Source.”
- Trust the process of the Law manifesting the thought seed you have planted and watch it grow. Have fun!
Love & Blessings
What Is the Science of Mind?
Those who were present last Sunday remember that we had technical difficulties which prevented the planned “talk” by our “guest presenter” by video. So, you got me unscripted.
The first thing that our founder, Ernest Holmes, always stressed about this teaching is to APPLY IT! As he said, we can know about love, but we don’t know Love until we have our arms around someone. This is not a theory or idea to know about, but to apply. Use it to actually manifest the life and the world we desire – a world that works for all.
The core purpose of this teaching is to put us in touch with our divine nature. It’s not about dogma or rules. Rather, it’s to get us in touch with the Love that the Universe is and that there is nothing between us and the Universe. “I AM the Love of God in form.” “I AM Source.” God and our Good is not “out there” somewhere.
We celebrate and honor the sacredness of our humanity, rather than denying it, making it evil or not okay. We show God a good time as God in this form. There is no “sin” – just mistakes or getting off track. We get to forgive, which we do by not condemning. If we find we have condemned someone or something – including ourselves, we remove our condemnation and trust or see that it all works into the tapestry of Life, creating the fullness of we are. Ernest viewed guilt as our divine nature realigning Itself.
What I love about SOM is that we have a method – using the practice of affirmative prayer known as Spiritual Mind Treatment to put us in touch with the overarching, ever present Spirit, with our unity with the one Spirit and our ability to create as and from that Spirit. Ours is only to be open to receive the Good we declare and claim.
Finally, we looked at the seven main aspects of God:
- Life – the vibrant aliveness of the Universe expressing through every cell, every aspect of our being;
- Light – the light of Consciousness that is aware of all that is and all that is possible;
- Love – the Infinite Love that is the nature of the One Life;
- Power – the Power to create from Itslef, which we also embody – if we recognize and use it;
- Peace – the Peace that comes from creating within a Universe that isn’t divided against Itself, thereby knowing that nothing is against It/us;
- Beauty – the Beauty of ALL creation (yes, even the stuff that our human perspective judges as not so); and finally
- Joy – the end creation of Life – the Joy of experiencing this magnificent creation process, the beauty that comes out of it.
We are, like the Buddha who, when asked who he was, said, “I am awake” waking up to our Divine Nature. Let us continue to awaken. This teaching clearly and directly supports us on that journey.
A spiritual practice this week: find an aspect of the Divine from the seven above – and contemplate it. Let that quality fill your life more fully than before. Ask your intuition to reveal how and where to express that more fully and be willing to do so. You will bring more of the True Nature of God/Spirit into form by doing so.
“Let us have… the belief that somewhere in the spiritual evolution of the human race there …has arrived or can arrive a group of people who will have enough intelligence, respect and admiration for each other to cooperate in a spirit of freedom in the freeing of the mind from restrictions in growth – and trust God to do the rest.”
Ernest Holmes quoted in Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times by Fenwicke Holmes
Love & Blessings,
Ernest Holmes’ definition of religion was simply “our attitude toward God.” It wasn’t about organizations, structures, dogma or anything else – just how we view That which is greater than the surface of life on this plane. We can view God one of two ways – within and all around us, or apart from us.
If we view God as apart from us, as many popular religions do, we have to figure out how to reunite with that separate God. This can lead to all sorts of interesting practices and processes to cross a gap in an unknown direction to hopefully please or appease a God who seems to be capricious. At the same time, we must remember that each person’s religious path can be compared to inns on the road to awakening “where the weary soul rests overnight on its journey from the outer circumference of materialism to an inner consciousness of idealism.
If we view God as with and all around us, we recognize our unity with It and with each other – all IS God. God is not a sad, weeping figure, but the Wholeness of the Universe Itself. “God” is a synonym for Wholeness and out of that Wholeness, pure Love.
Spirituality is one’s recognition of the Universe as a living Presence of Good, Truth, Beauty, Peace, Power and Love, flowing through everything. It is a perception of the essence of everything – the heat in afire, the colors in a prism or the power flowing through a generator. We ARE spiritual! Spirituality is the practice of attempting to constantly and consistently feel the Presence of God in everything and everyone. It grounds us as we experience the flow and seasons of Life, recognizing that it and we are within something greater.
Superstition and common sense come into play as we question deeply imbedded beliefs. The word “superstition” literally means “standing above” – an overarching, and thus often unquestioned – system of beliefs. It’s based on thinking external factors cause our pleasant or unpleasant experiences of life. Superstitions – practices to “please the gods” – are often deeply ingrained in many religions.
Whether we have our “good luck socks” or avoid black cats, or believe that “Mercury in retrograde” causes us to have good/bad experiences of life, or that God is more present in one place than another, we are engaged in superstition and not using common sense. I also discussed the effect the Book of Revelation has had on the collective consciousness, despite the author clearly stating that it was written to seven specific communities about his vision regarding events of his time – not 2,000 years in the future. Because of the superstition that the Bible is infallible (which is never stated in the Bible itself) people think this is still going to happen and, throughout the history of the last 2,000 years, have continued to hold that belief, providing us with concepts of apocalypse, Armageddon, all sorts of interpretations of various aspects of the book, our fear of “the mark of the Beast” the number 666, the anti-Christ, second coming, rapture, etc. It is time we came to our senses and no longer let superstitions run our individual and collective lives.
Our spiritual practices this week:
- Be aware of/notice any places of superstition (placing your source outside of you) may lurk in your mind. Often, they’re so deeply ingrained that we accept them without question. Just pay attention.
- Contemplate the Essence of Spirit – Life, Truth, Love, Power, Peace, Beauty and Joy. Feed your spiritual nature. Holmes says, “One should not aspire to be spiritual as much as should contemplate in order to imbibe the Essence of Spirit, to speak from Its center.”
- Be willing to see God in all.
An affirmation we practiced to say daily: “I am not bound by the superstitions of the race. I no longer fear God or the Universe in which I live. I have implicit confidence in the Supreme Good, and I permit It to flow through me and to bless everything I contact.”
Love & blessings
P.S. For who like to contemplate the Universe through the lens of physics, you may find this article interesting: https://aeon.co/essays/cosmopsychism-explains-why-the-universe-is-fine-tuned-for-life
“Karma” is a Hindu word that embodies the idea that what you put out returns. Ernest Holmes calls it “the subjective law of tendency set in motion by the individual.” Karma is the result of our choices. Despite John Lennon saying so, there really isn’t any “instant karma’s gonna get you.” It’s not “inevitable retribution”, rather it’s the outpicturing of our regularly held thoughts/beliefs.
In John 9:2, Jesus encounters a man blind from birth. His followers ask whose sin caused his blindness (a common belief at the time) his own or his parents. Jesus told them neither, rather he is this way so that “the works of God might be seen in him.” While this is often interpreted as so Jesus could heal him, there’s a more subtle understanding to be had. If we are focused on the sickness and the thought of sin, then we don’t see the God within the man and are perhaps more blind than he.
Fortunately, we have the ability to change our thinking and thus our Karma or outcome. Ernest challenges us that if we truly know there is a Power for Good in the Universe and that we can use It, why don’t we use it more often and more effectively.
Three steps to more effective use of this Power are first, to realize that we ARE surrounded by an Infinite, Creative Mind which reacts/responds to our thoughts as consistently as a mirror reflects what is placed before it. Philip Goff tells us “…the Universe is a conscious mind that responds to value….” We determine the value that it responds to in our lives by where we place attention with feeling. This Infinite Power can only show up as however much Good we can accept. The second step is to realize that we are thinking and acting centers within this One Mind and that the sum total of our thoughts – most of which are unconscious – is either attracting or repelling our Good. Which leads us to the third step – we CAN change our thinking!
What blocks us is our willingness to forget all the above and give our power to externals – people, conditions, circumstances – or internal processes such as outdated beliefs, holding onto past experiences and patterns. To free ourselves, we must have a deep, underlying awareness of the Spiritual Universe, which we get by cultivating our relationship with it through contemplation of Its nature. Then, we must look past circumstances to the Reality behind – the Truth that, if it isn’t True about the Infinite, then it isn’t True about us. We must change focus from problem/circumstance to Truth and trust the Power of the Universe working through and as us to shift circumstances.
- Become aware of your thought tendencies, especially in areas where you’d like to experience greater freedom. Where are these thought tendencies taking me?
- Uncover what you really want underneath any unhealthy thinking. We always are going for some form of Good to fulfill a desire. Be aware what the real Good is.
- Contemplate an aspect of Spirit you’d like to experience more of in your life. Focus on it, instead of circumstances or conditions in that area. Recognize that the whole Universe is behind you. Change the reflection in the mirror.
Alone with Truth, one person can pass from weakness into strength, from fear into faith, from defeat into success, and even while still living, from a state of continual death into a realization of everlasting life.
~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
Have a powerful week!
We were blessed this past Sunday with the musical team of Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill who interwove music and stories of transformation from three different cultures, illustrating three different paths to transformation.
In the first, from the Modoc Native American tradition, Coyote, seeking to pick up young girls, decides to go on a vision quest to Mt. Shasta to become younger. Like some who start on the path of transformation, his motives couldn’t be called the highest, and yet he started. At first, he did everything he was told not to do, but eventually, he began to get into the sacred practices. Even though he fell asleep, the Creator Spirit came to him in a dream to guide the transformation. It reminds me of the Prodigal Son who, when he “came to himself” started back home and the Father rushed out to great him, even though he wasn’t home. Our willingness is often enough.
In the second story, from the Scottish Highlands, a beautiful mermaid finds herself no longer fitting in either the human or mermaid world. After wandering for a long time, searching for a place to be, she finally looks into the deep waters below and sees the treasure she is looking for. The deep waters, of course, signify our own subconscious mind. Not until we are willing to pass through those cold depths, will we gain the treasures that lie within.
The third story came from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and involves consciously recreating the world (or own world) by visualizing our current world/life reduced down to a single point of light, then recreated as a world of compassion and harmony.
Each of us reenacts some aspects of these stories on our path of transformation. The Coyote can be considered the “accidental tourist” along the path – not really knowing what he is doing, not having the best of intentions, but eventually the path works him. The mermaid illustrates the path driven by circumstance, where we no longer can live in our own world as we have been and must seek something new. Finally, the Tibetan Buddhist story illustrates conscious growth, where we are more spiritually mature with no desire other than a greater expression of Love in and as the world.
Our spiritual practice this week is to notice which path feels most like the one you’re on and to engage more fully in that path. If you’re feeling like the accidental tourist, get involved in the practices and let them take you deeper. If you’re pushed by circumstances, look deep within and be willing to go into the deeper waters. Finally, if you’re practicing conscious growth, allow yourself to go all the way into that path and create greater love in the world, by dissolving all within that is unlike Love.
Have a transformative week!
Intimate with the Infinite
This past Sunday, I spoke about my experiences at the CSL Leadership Conference from the previous week. On the first night, one of our young ministers kicked us off by talking about our Global Vision (see here) which fleshes out the idea of a world that works for everyone and for all of creation. She pointed out the vision was inspired by getting Intimate with the Infinite – making love with God. And, what happens when you make love with God? You get…knocked up! That idea turned into a repeating theme throughout the convention. (And, by the way, Spirit always knocks us UP – not down. It lifts and raises us.)
The world is changing. The old patriarchy – going kicking and screaming at the moment, is dying and something new is being revealed. James Baldwin said, “An old world is dying, and a new one, kicking in the belly of its mother, time, announces that it is ready to be born.” We are the ones who are both pregnant with the vision and midwives of the birth of that vision.
When we’re pregnant – including with a vision – a few changes happen. Things get messy. Hormones happen. You may have noticed that the world seems a bit “hormonal” lately. The Vision – like the pregnancy – does us, not vice versa. If we want to truly surrender to this new vision, we have to be willing to through the changes that this pregnancy brings.
First, there’s timing. Many people who get pregnant first react with, “Not now! It’s not convenient right now!” But, the baby comes when it’s ready. Our body begins to change. We get stretch marks as we grow to sustain a larger vision. Our pelvis begins to open and we feel more raw, vulnerable and open than we may be comfortable with. Our most intimate parts begin to change color and not look like “us” any more, and yet we have to accept them as part of us – because they are. Our feet get bigger. Heck, everything gets bigger. The shoes and our clothing (outer trappings) don’t fit any more.
Just as enlarged feet provide us with more grounding, it’s important to stay grounded in our spiritual practice and focused on the vision of the new birth that is coming. Otherwise, the hormones and morning sickness can overwhelm us. We need to remember that we are birthers of a new reality – something that has never been seen before. We don’t know how to do this at the intellectual, let’s “figure it out” level. And, we DO know how to do this at the deep, intuitive, connected with Source, level.
1. Contemplate the Vision of a world that works for all. Spirit creates by contemplation and so do we. Keep your focus on where you want to go.
2. Be willing to get a little uncomfortable; to get stretched. Let Spirit have Its way with you as you become a birther of new realities.
3. Allow it to “show.” Show up AS this vision in life. There is no limit to the manifestation of Spirit, except the limits we set. Expand how much good you can birth in this world.
“Hospice what is ready to die and midwife what is ready to be born.” ~ Rev. Dr. Roger Teel
Have an expansive week – and, congratulations, you’re knocked up!
There is only one Mind. We live, move and think within this one Mind. We are centers of creativity within this Mind, constantly creating through our thought. The Mind is latent – It awaits our thought to shape it. It has been said that our beliefs (emotionally charged thoughts) create pathways of expression for this Mind.
If we’re constantly creating, then it behooves us to look at what we’re creating. We are constantly creating our future. If we want a powerful, fulfilling, compelling future, we must constantly create that future from the future. That is, we can’t get “there” from “here.” Instead, we must imagine ourselves in the “there” which we want to create and allow it to manifest around us. Compelling futures can make our current circumstances obsolete or irrelevant.
We looked at the question of the future we want to create, both individually and as a community. If we want this to be a thriving community in 20-30 years, we must envision that future now and allow ourselves to move into it. One of the things we looked at was our WHY – our vision. Our current vision statement is internally focused – building a community. It was a great vision for this community when it was created years ago. But today we ARE that community and the question now is – what future do we – as that community – want to create.
We looked at the visions of a couple of other communities. Our global organizations vision is of a world that works for all. It’s the kind of vision that is big and powerful enough to both stretch us and to appeal to the people who will be living in that world 20-30 years from now.
People have asked how to talk about this Center to others. What I know is that people don’t care about our WHAT until they can relate to our WHY. So, calling on my network marketing past, there are three important components of talking to people about our Center.
First, use the product! In network marketing, you can be excited and talk about your product unless you’re using it. It’s the same with our Center. Our “product” is tools for personal and global transformation. They are Meditation, Visioning, Prayer (Spiritual Mind Treatment), Study, Service and Giving. In order to radiate the benefits of using these, we have to use them. And, we need to be using them for more than just coping with or getting by in life. Rather, use them to create lives we LOVE! I shared the story of the friend who got me into my first personal growth seminar. When I first saw him (after not seeing him for five years) there was something so changed about his presence that he “had me at hello.” Actually, before hello.
Second, when someone asks, tell them what you like about being part of this Center and this teaching. What does it mean to your life? It’s as easy as saying what you like about your favorite restaurant or movie.
Third, invite them to join you this Sunday. My friend first told me about her favorite Mexican restaurant (best in Olympia area) then invited me to join her. (And offered to buy.) How could I say no? 🙂
The Big Don’t – Don’t blather all the history, philosophy, classes and “stuff” (the WHAT) all over them. Instead, if they want information, direct them to our website. Give them a CD. If they’ve asked you about this place, they’re looking for something. By sharing your WHY and inviting them to join you, you’ve touched what they really want to know. Let the website cover the WHAT.
1. Discover or create your own personal WHY. What excites you enough to jump out of bed in the morning with motivation and excitement? If there isn’t anything currently, use visioning and prayer to get in touch with what is calling you as your next future.
2. Use the product! Meditate, Vision, Pray, Study, Be of Service, Give. Just do it!
3. Pay attention. Someone may be revealing something in their life that you can help them with. Be a friend. If appropriate, remember that someone invited you here and invite them.
Words create worlds. We exist inside of language. Language has us see things that aren’t there. People and conversations transform the world. ~ Treya Klassen
Have a blessed week!
You can draw from an invisible principle which receives your thought and acts upon it. Just what you believe you will get.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Love & Law
Last Sunday, as we continue to celebrate 100 years of Science of Mind, we looked at ideas from the book Love & Law. As we know, everything is first created in thought. Science of Mind itself is the study and growing a deeper relationship with First Cause, the invisible Essence from which everything comes. Rather than trying to manipulate the world “out there” – the world of effects – we deal with Cause and seek to align ourselves with It.
In order to work with It, we need to first know It exists and is Source. But, that alone is not enough. We must also recognize that we are centers of creation within that Cause, constantly creating. So, we must apply and use the principle that we create our lives from our own thinking within this One Mind. We must create the future from the future. This doesn’t mean we aren’t present with what is now, rather that we are also holding the vision of that which we want to experience, and letting that vision pull us forward, while we are present with what is. I used the example of driving a car to dinner with friends. We hold in mind the future event – we don’t just get in our car and be present with it in the garage, we actually drive it. At the same time we’re thinking of the nice time and good food we’re going to have, we also remain present with where we are on the road, as we operate the car.
We are constantly entertaining mental concepts about ourselves and the world around us. And Mind is constantly forming Itself into those concepts for us to experience. What concepts are you holding? Look at your life and you will see them.
Ernest Holmes gives an example in this book, about expanding a person’s business. (Use a Good you would like to experience in your life.) First, we must realize that we are not dealing with conditions, which are always fluid effects, forms created out of past thinking. We can change our thinking, thus creating new forms. So, if we feel sick, we don’t fight the sickness, we focus on the Truth of Health and vibrant Life Energy fully manifesting in our body now.
In the example, first recognize that there is One Power – not two. Nothing stands in opposition to this One. Then, recognize that you are in It and It is in you. You are one with this One. Then, you have to speak your words about what you want to manifest, and he recommends they be spoken out loud. This is creating the “form” into which Mind pours Itself. Having a clear, specific idea of what that form looks, feels, sounds like, is important. If we are vague here, we get vague results.
The next step is to clear away what has been “occupying” this space. Just as we have to clear out the old for the new in the “outer world” we must, even more so, clean out our inner landscape. The first thing he recommends is to clear away the idea that all is matter. (All is consciousness formed into matter.) He is very clear that we must “destroy” that idea and, until we do, it will hold us in bondage. Then he gives a definite “clearing away” statement: “This word, which I speak, destroys every man-made belief, it destroys the thought of non-activity, it annuls the thought of lack, it destroys the thought that there is not plenty.” If race thoughts hold you, you have got to destroy them.
As we go forward, he reminds us that it is not enough to say, “God is good and all is lovely.” We must apply the principle into our lives. So, next we declare again, there is One Power, greater than anything, right here and now and the word I speak right now creates a manifestation of this One Power. Thus, we remind ourselves of the Power within us and our ability to direct It. Next, create in your consciousness a sense of unity with the thing you want. This is where we create the future from the future. We have to expand our current idea of “normal.”
Our practice for this week is to take something we would like to experience more of in our life – Love, Health, Joy, Order, Wealth, Beauty, Ease, Power, Peace – and apply this practice towards it. Only One, I am in It, It is in me; I speak my word out loud, I destroy any old beliefs which have kept me from experiencing this (you’ll hear them as your mind chattering with reasons why you can’t experience more of the Good you desire); then bringing yourself into alignment – unity – with what you desire. One more thing – spend an hour a day doing this! Love yourself enough to commit to doing this practice and watch the results.
“People who expect to demonstrate this principle must be very constant, very determined, very positive, very sure and faithful and patient with themselves. The day will come when you no longer say, ‘I hope, I desire, I pray,’ but you will say, ‘I know!’”
Have a fabulous and powerful week!
“It is just as easy to demonstrate a big thing as a little one. Spirit does not struggle; Spirit just knows.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Love & Law, p. 68
Luke Skywalker – “I don’t believe it.” Yoda – “That is why you fail.”
This week, we looked at a Bible story – with fresh eyes – for an illustration of manifesting the Really Big Things. The book of Jonah was written as a protest story. The priests and scribes had created a country where only “pure blood” Jews could live. Their teaching was not to be shared with others (Gentiles). But there was also an argument that they were to share the teaching of the one God with everyone, not just Jews. Jonah, the reluctant prophet, is the metaphor for the conservative, keep-it-to-ourselves mindset.
The story begins by stating that this is a vision – a dream – which Jonah has. The story is written in a form that is a children’s story – with a message. In this vision, God calls Jonah UP to go to Nineveh and preach. Instead, Jonah goes DOWN to the docks, books passage on a ship bound for Tarshish and goes DOWN into the hold (the bottom of the ship) and falls asleep. Nineveh symbolizes the call to go into that place that is uncomfortable (it was a “bad place”) but to which we are called to express more of our God nature. Tarshish symbolizes the place of avoidance. In effect, Jonah goes shopping at the mall. (Tarshish was the fabled city of Solomon’s wealth.)
Of course, you don’t mess with The Almighty, so a great storm comes up. Eventually the sailors figure it is because of Jonah and toss him overboard, so he’s now DOWN into the water. And, as the story goes, he ends up DOWN in “the belly of a great fish.” It’s important to know the “being in the belly of a fish” was an Aramaic idiom for being in a troubled state of mind. Today we would say “in a pickle” or “between a rock and a hard place.” And, if it’s a big dilemma, it’s a big pickle of fish. There is no actual fish involved. This is a dream story.
Eventually, Jonah turns to prayer (with a great prayer about going DOWN to the bottom of the sea and DOWN to the bottoms of the mountains, to continue to the theme of going DOWN.) He is finally willing to go to Nineveh and the “fish” spits him out. He enters Nineveh, walks around for a day and then cries out, “In 40 days this city will be overthrown!” Now, if someone walked into Olympia and shouted that, we might ignore them, seek help for them – which is just what the Ninevites did NOT do. Instead, they heard the message and completely repented. The king ordered that every man, woman, child and best be covered in sackcloth and fast from food and water.
In the story, God sees this and turns away from His plan to destroy Nineveh. And Jonah is…ticked off!! He shouts to God, “This is why I didn’t want to do this, because I knew you were kind and merciful and would forgive them!” A little judgmental? It’s more important to Jonah to be right. Not that any of us have ever felt that way.
So, Jonah goes and sits outside the city, puts up a tent for shade and waits to see what will happen. He’s still expecting the city to be destroyed. There’s a funny moment (actually, lots of them in this story) where after Jonah goes on a rant concluding that he doesn’t even want to live, God asks Jonah, “Are you very sorrowful?” In the story, God then causes a lovely vine to grow up around Jonah’s tent to give him more shade. Jonah is happy (for the only time in this story.) The next day, God kills off the vine, which prompts another “take my life from me” rant from Jonah. God then asks, “Are you exceedingly grieved over the vine?”
Finally, God delivers the chastening – you care so much about this little vine, which you did nothing to cause. Should I not care about this city of 120,000 people (“and much cattle”)?
This story is about getting out of our old, stuck mindset, which is self-absorbed, and a consciousness that would rather be right than in harmony with Truth and the Universe. If we want to manifest the “Really Big Things” – a world that works for all, a new home for our community, a new experience of “living fully, loving wastefully and being all we can be” to quote John Shelby Spong – we need to go to our personal Nineveh’s, our places of discomfort. We can’t go DOWN to our places of avoidance and escape, we must rise UP to places we haven’t been before. And, we must go without attachment to the outcome.
This week, our spiritual practice is twofold:
- Listen to and answer what we are being called UP to in our lives right now. And, say YES!
- Let go of small thinking, of “knowing” it won’t work, of not believing.
Ernest Holmes suggests that we daily take time to unify with the flow of life in the whole world and with the infinite stars of the heavens; to move beyond our limited, personal belief about ourselves and expand into a greater awareness of who and what we Truly are – God in form.
Have a powerful week!
Someone asked how the Easter bunny got mixed up into a holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. I replied that the better question is how Jesus got mixed up in a holiday celebrating the Easter bunny.
Easter was first celebrated in Europe, pre-Christianity. It was named after the goddess known as Ostara or Eostre – who not only gives us the name “Easter, but also the root for the word estrogen. Eostre was a fertility goddess, an earth mother goddess. Thus all the rabbits, chicks, eggs and other symbols of fertility.”
As Christianity entered Europe, the celebration of the Resurrection, tied to the Jewish Passover celebration, was at the same time. Like Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice, this is a “mashup” of two holidays from two cultures. While they can be seen in opposition to each other, there is, in Truth, a commonality to each.
Just as Yule/Solstice celebrates the “rebirth” of the sun, with the actual shift of returning light in its infancy, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. (Which more likely actually took place in Spring, according to many scholars.) By this time of year, the return of the light is in full expression. Hibernation (the sleep of death) is over. Days are clearly longer, the earth is warmer, snows have usually turned to rain (or sun) and new growth is happening in plants and animals.
Likewise, the infancy of Jesus’ ministry has come into its full flowering. We celebrate the full flowering of the earth mother and the sky god – the Earth and Sky energy are merged within us, within our hearts, if we take the time to feel the Life flowing through the Earth, and the rising into Divinity represented by the sky. This is the ongoing dance of human and divine, masculine and feminine, inner and outer – the yin/yang dance of Life.
Feel the fertility of the Earth and the rising into the Sky and let both energies enrich your life.
What can we learn from these two celebrations? The “good news/bad news” is that we must go through Winter to get to Spring and we must go through death to get to resurrection. Both holy days celebrate the rising of Life from seeming death. It also reminds us that, just as things in winter only appear dead, human death is only an appearance on the human level – not the Truth of the divinity of us. As Jesus’ stated mission was that we have Life and have it more abundantly, he had to walk through the biggest fear of his time – death. Jesus didn’t “die for our sins” in the way many of us have been taught – our “wicked deeds.” No, he died AND resurrected to release the mistaken belief (sin) in the finality of death. “My God is not a god of the dead, but of the living, for in His sight, all are alive.”
At this time of year, we align with the energy all around us to “resurrect” our consciousness that we have a greater flow of Life. We ask what wants to come forth in our life now, and also ask, “What do I need to become and what do I need to release?” that this new life can come forth. What do I need to grow into and what is to grow out of/let go. Depending on how attached we are to our old ways of thinking and being, the letting go may feel like torture and crucifixion. But, the model of “Not my will (old, small self, stuck thinking) but Thine (my True Self, Inner Wisdom, higher vision) be done” gives us the insight into how to move through any releasing to get to the new Life.
- Catch the Easter spirit and harmonize the Earth & Sky, Divine and Human within.
- Take time to sit quietly and ask – “Where is Life seeking to express more abundantly through and as me?” It may be an area you thought was dead, but was only in hibernation. Let your Spring be here!
- Walk through the fear of death – let old beliefs, habits, patterns die and be renewed in and by Life!
“The Easter experience is not about bodies walking out of graves. It is about God being seen in human life. God is not a noun to be defined; God is a verb we are invited to live! That is what resurrection is all about.”
~ John Shelby Spong – Unbelievable
Have a wonderful Easter/Spring season!
Last Sunday, Community Spiritual Leader for Centers for Spiritual Living, Dr. Kenn Gordon, delivered a wonderful look at the dance of the human and divine – the individual and the universal.
If we are on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean, we can see for five miles in any direction – a total visual field of 20 square miles. But, if we climb a 25 foot mast, our field of view increases to 50 miles in any direction, a field of 200 square miles. The metaphor is to help us move from seeing the forest, instead of getting our focus stuck on an individual tree. For another experience, place your hand right in front of your face. This is the personal, the individual. When we move it aside, we can see the bigger – universal – picture.
When we are born, we have a deep awareness of our oneness with all. As we become aware of – and learn how to function in – our human surroundings, our sense of oneness diminishes and our sense of being a separate, personality-based ego grows. Eventually, the personalized ego becomes our “god” – our primary focus – and the divine oneness becomes less and less important.
Eventually, the sense of separation becomes too great and we begin our spiritual journey to reunite the ego and the oneness. When we can integrate those two – in a healthy, free form – we have a holistically based life that is a joyous expression of the dance of the human and divine – the individual and the universal.
To get there, 19th century New Thought teacher Emma Curtis Hopkins tells us it takes releasing three things. First, willfulness – the desire to have things be my way. Yeah, I know … This is where that personalized view of the world kicks in. We each see things from our individual perspective, unless we consciously step back (or rise up) and are willing to see a larger view.
Second, we must let go of the idea that things are hard. We have a collective consciousness that values hard work and suffering I remember as a Catholic boy, the saints that were tortured and martyred for their faith were somehow the better ones. We sill use the “no pain, no gain” motto, even though, in sports training it’s been proven to not be the best way to train. And, we value things more if they’re harder to get. But, to paraphrase Yoda, in the Force there is no hard and easy. We create that sense of struggle within, and then project it out. And the Universe, always in total agreement with us, says “Yes” to our belief that things are hard.
Third, we must let go of the need for recognition. (Dang!!) This is the personality based ego wanting to validate its importance. And, of course, since we have struggled and sacrificed (because we believe things are hard) we want to be recognized for our struggle and sacrifice. When, instead, we recognize that we are within a Divine Flow, allowing ourselves to easily be guided through taking the time to listen to our intuition, we can detach from the needy, personally driven ego and celebrate our place in the wholeness of life.
1. Notice where you might be caught up in the personality based ego. (Which isn’t bad, unless we get caught in believing it’s the driving force of our life.) Notice if you’re stuck with willfulness, struggle or needing recognition.
2. Spend time hanging out in a higher vision of life, getting to know your Higher Perspective through meditation and visioning. Climb the mast of consciousness and see further.
Have a sacred and wonderful week!
This week, we turn our attention to listening with heart. But if we’re going to say “God talks to the heart”, we might want to look at what these words mean.
Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong says, “God is not a noun to be defined, but a verb to be lived.” God is the very Beingness itself. It is eternal – not “forever” but beyond time. It is infinite – not a vast space, but beyond space. Time and space are constructs in the human mind – necessary for living as humans, but limiting when we’re thinking beyond human. The Tao te Ching reminds us that “The Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Tao.” Any name we can put on that which is infinite and eternal immediately tries to fit it into our perception. Greek philosopher Xenophanes said, “If horses had gods, they would look like horses.” We try to fit God into our perception, rather than expanding ourselves into Its idea. God is the process of Beingness unfolding.
So, who are we? Last week, I went to hear Deepak Chopra speak in Tacoma. Over dinner, I was reading Spong’s book “Unbelievable” in which he refers to God being a verb, rather than a noun. Then, Deepak walks out on stage and, with his deep Indian accent says, “Body is not a noun, body is a verb.” He went on to talk about our bodies being constantly in process – our bodies are in process of becoming.
So, God is the process of becoming – and we are the process of becoming. We are within AND one of God. We are It becoming as us. To which we might ask – so if I AM That, why don’t I always feel like I’m That? This is where understanding the “language” of this Process becomes important. The “God-process” is in constant expression, expressing Its Nature of Life, Love, Intelligence, Power, Peace, Beauty and Joy. But we must tune in to this broadcast, just like we tune in to the TV and radio waves constantly being broadcast around us. If I want to hear the local jazz station (KNKX 90.1 here in Olympia) I have to tune to its frequency, it doesn’t adjust to the frequency I want it to. Our musician last Sunday, Heidi Muller, wrote a lyric, “It’ll call your name, ‘til you turn to hear it.” The Infinite is always calling our name, but we have to turn, in consciousness, to hear it.
Our intellect is the tuner – it chooses to align with the frequency of the God-process. The heart – with its different kind of wisdom – is the receiver, that which experiences the broadcast of the Divine directly. Yet, it’s not enough to just tune into the Divine, because our intellect, based on previous programming, re-engages with the broadcast and interprets it through its own filters.
We don’t perceive directly, through the intellect. I used the example of our new lectern and what people saw in the shape of it – a heart, angel wings, an open book (which was the intent of Rob, who made it) or an ample bosom. It’s just a piece of wood, but we apply our perceptions through our filters. We do the same with the heart-experienced broadcast. We filter it – perhaps with “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not lovable, I’m an unwanted burden, people abandon/betray me”, etc. – the learned patterns of the intellect. Perhaps we don’t even believe we can hear the broadcast, so we don’t even tune in.
If we, as much of the Western culture does, overvalue our intellect and undervalue our heart, we will try to fit this infinitely expansive Process into our already known ideas and beliefs, instead of listening more deeply for understanding. Some of the biggest questions of the heart unfold as a path, not an answer. The intellect seeks nice pat answers. The heart experiences a deeper Wisdom and knowing that is about expression, rather than answers.
1. Practice focusing on your heart. We did a heart activation exercise during the service and CD’s are available of that. Take the time to listen to the Broadcast of the God-process with your heart, not trying to fit it into any categories.
2. During each day, experience being aware of both what is happening around you – ask, “What am I aware of right now?” – and, see if you can experience what it is that is being aware through and as you.
Have a sacred, tuned in week.
“While we admire the intellect, we must realize that the intellect is not the creative factor in the Universe. Rather, it is feeling that is creative. Let the heart and the intellect – feeling and thinking – fuse into one. Then, the head will speak through the heart and the heart will feel through the intellect.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
Last Sunday we look at our “oldness” and how we choose it. Since we are expressions of an Infinite God-Process, which is ageless and timeless, and living in a Universe whose only agenda is freedom, we must, at some level, in some way, create the experience of “aging.” When I say “aging,” I’m not referring to the passage of time, but to how we experience life as that time passes. If today we are not living in the full youthfulness of earlier years, it is because we have – again, at an often deeply unconscious level – chosen to live as we do now. If we have choice, then we are always choosing.
In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz refers to “Domestication and the Dream of the Planet.” We are caught up in a millennially old believe in aging as a growing decrepitude followed by death. We are hooked into this dream, virtually at the cellular level, from infancy (perhaps in utero) on. We have few, if any examples of people living vibrant, healthy, joy filled lives in their “later years” (a term defined by people) and thus receive no other options. David Bowie asks the question, “We live for just these twenty years, do we have to die for the fifty more?” (Young Americans.)
So let’s look at the idea of “growing old.” Two bits of science first – 1. The longest life in recent times was a 122 year old woman in France. That’s a potential for all of us. 2. We recycle all the cells of our body every fourteen months. In effect, none of us is more than 14 months old. The cells duplicate/replicate based on information from the previous generation of cells and some believe we can change that information.
Looking at the mindset of “growing old” – when “young” we tend to look forward. A child is always moving on to the next thing. As adults, in the middle portion of our lives, we also look forward to what is involved in raising our family, our careers, our homes and such. It’s only later that we start looking back – reminiscing about “the good old days” (which are always in the past) and paying more attention to “who died today.” In other words, as we look backward – more consistently – we “grow old.”
It’s important to notice our conditioning about aging. When we tell a person they don’t look whatever age they are, we are revealing our own conditioning/beliefs about what that age should look like – and what we will tend to manifest. Another belief is that we don’t want to live a long time because we associate later years with sickness, incapacity and pain. What if we could live in vibrant healthy bodies for a long time? Would we take that option?
People can be old at 30 and young at 80. It’s all about the Life energy being expressed. Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead; my god is a God of the living.” The Bible (and other spiritual texts) contains many references to the perils of looking back, focused on the path (think of Lot’s wife.) Spirit is always expressing Life energy; evolution is always forward. When we start turning that energy around, we mess up the flow of life and experience a less alive life.
When we flow with the Life energy of Spirit – looking and moving forward in greater expression of this Life – we are “youthing” not aging. When we follow the ageless (not bound by time) wisdom and passion of our “hearts” (intuition/connection with our Divine Nature) we bypass old conditioning and become not bound by the passage of time ourselves. Then, the passage of time simply becomes an ongoing accumulation of life experiences on an infinite trajectory of exploring Life. How old are you? As old as you decide to be.
Our spiritual practice this week:
Pay attention to your mental talk about how old you are. Notice what you’re expecting. Ask how long you honestly expect to live and notice the answer (and the reasons). Notice how far in the future you’re making plans.
Notice what you’re passionate about – what brings you joy and a sense of being outside of time – and engage in that more. If you’re not feeling passionate about anything, ask your Inner Wisdom to reveal a path of greater passion to you. Engage your “heart energy.”
Consciously choose “youthing.” Daily affirm: “Every day in every way I’m growing younger and younger.” Remember, you’re less than 1 ½ years old. And, you live in a body that is, in Truth, a body of Light and Love, not a bunch of aging tissue. Create new, empowering beliefs about your life!
“You are young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
Have a lively week!