We are continuing our series on the Five Principles, Unity’s five basic, foundational teachings.
We started with Principle One: There is only one Presence and one Power active as the universe and as my life, God the Good. God is not out there somewhere, but in us and around us, both transcendent and immanent. In reality, there is not opposite to God and good. No devil and no evil. That is a HUMAN concept that we label. I know that is hard to fathom, but in truth there is, only God, only good.
Principle Two, last week: Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good. This God essence, called the Christ, was fully expressed in Jesus.
Can you say you are the Christ? Most of us have trouble saying that with meaning. But we must believe it. And recognize that there are many times when we are living it. We just let those moments fly by instead of letting them sink in to our consciousness. We need to breathe them in, that is breathing in the spirit of the Divine.
Maybe the better question is how can I show up as the Christ?
And look around you, we are all ONE. We’re you looking with judgment or with love? There is an opportunity to see us all, everyone as the Christ, and we can do that every day.
This week, we look at Principle Three: We are co-creators with God, creating reality through our thoughts.
You may have heard it spoken as The Law of Mind Action or Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind. This is not simply The Secret or Law of Attraction, but much more. You are co-creating!
We create our life experiences through our way of thinking. Want different results in life? Change your thoughts.
Our thoughts and words have power. In Genesis “In the Beginning God said;” In the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
Or as we see in Romans 12:2; “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Mind, not circumstances.
My Metaphysics teacher would always remind us to “watch your words.”
Does that seem scary – knowing that you create your life? It is. But becoming conscious and aware of what we think, feel and how we react or not, to the world makes it a bit easier to handle….faith helps too. This is all part of discerning our integrity.
Whatever we consistently focus our thoughts and feelings upon, manifests in our lives, in some way. This principle frees us from feelings of being a victim by life. It frees us from feelings of blame and powerlessness that keep us from prospering. It frees us to accept responsibility for our lives, when we realize we have the power to change that which is holding us hostage. It frees us to co-create the life we dream of. We are empowered!
Paul defines the essence of spiritual law: “God is not mocked; for you reap whatever you sow.” If we judge others, then negative judgment is what we sow, and negative judgment against ourselves is what we reap. We may try to cloak our fearful and angry judgments as the Will of God, but God will not be mocked. The judgments are coming from our human anger and human fears, and we will reap the consequences.
This passage from Paul is not about passing judgment on other people, but rather becoming conscious of the seeds we are sowing. There is always a choice, and it is always the same choice, no matter what situation or challenge we may face. Do we “sow to the flesh” by accepting as true the fear-based input of our mortal brains, or do we “sow to the Spirit” by choosing to embrace our Oneness with God and the divine guidance that is provided? We do not eliminate problems by denying their existence, but rather by evoking the ability that enables us to solve them, and find the blessing of God that is always part of the solution. We will have all the Power we need to live our own lives as expressions of divine Love. And none of us is given the perspective of God to pass judgment on what is happening in others’ lives.
Rev. Ellen Debenport, in her book The Five Principles, says this about Principle Three:
“Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs have the power to create our reality. And while
I think of it as co-creating with God, the law also works for those with no concept
of God. Like any universal law, it is in effect for everyone, the same way, all the time.
This idea of our innate creative power has become more widespread recently,
although it is ancient wisdom. The Buddha said 2500 years ago, “All that we are is
the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain
follows him… If man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like
a shadow that never leaves him.”
Unity is a faith that puts a great deal of emphasis on self-responsibility. We believe that we choose how we will react to what life brings our way. Nobody and no situation can make us feel or think a certain way, regardless of the circumstances. We create our experiences by our reactions and thoughts and feelings. Life just is. We choose to make it good or bad by what we do with it. Choosing to see the positive is a better way to live. We begin attracting other people who work hard to see the positive, too. We start surrounding ourselves with more positive people because they want to be around us, too. That, in turn, starts creating relationships and situations that tend to turn out more positively, too.
This is what walking in to Unity is about. The energy is so positive, filled with love that when you walk into a Unity Center, you feel as if you have come home.
This is also about leaving worries and anger and fear outside those doors. We know and understand that life still keeps happening. Marriages and divorces occur. Friends move away and new friends move into our lives. Family members make their transitions, but family members also have new babies and bring new life our way. And at every turn, the law of mind action still prevails: thoughts held in mind produce after their kind. Want different results in life? Choose better thoughts. The third principle implies that a positive attitude will lead to positive things in your life. At every point in your life, we are presented with one simple, straightforward option: Choose again. Choose conscious language.
The third principle isn’t magical or wishful thinking, or a secret. It’s also not a means by which we judge what we have “attracted” into our lives.
It’s a universal law that describes how energy works, and interestingly, how our brain
If we think of ourselves as a tuning fork, whatever tune we’re humming is what the Universe picks up on and reflects back to us. If we’re humming a happy tune, a happy tune is what is reflected. If we’re worried or angry or cranky, that’s the tune the Universe is going to hum along to. Or as Ellen points out, “If you’re vibrating with joy, you’ll experience more joy. If you are vibrating with misery, you’ll experience more misery. Your vibration is reinforced, no matter what.”
So we may think, “Well I was having a happy day and then this happened! I can’t
control what shows up in my day. I am not the cause of my own misery!”
Sorry… but we are. Because it’s not what’s showing up in our day that’s causing our joy or misery, it’s how we see it that’s causing that experience. Again, this isn’t New
Thought, it’s ancient thought. Epictetus, (Ep·ic·te·tus). a Greek philosopher from the first century, taught, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.”
In other words, while we may think that what happens on the outside is causing our inner experience, the opposite is true. We live from the inside out.
Wayne Dyer notes; “That which offends you only weakens you. Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place; so transend your ego and stay in peace.”
It turns out that our brains are conclusion forming, evidence gathering, meaning making machines. And while you’d think that the evidence came first, and then the conclusion, the opposite is true. In other words, our brains create conclusions and then we spend the rest of our days gathering evidence to support those conclusions.
Once we’ve formed a conclusion (or a belief, or an opinion), our brain is predisposed to only gather evidence that supports that specific conclusion. It’s not that we don’t want to see another way, it’s that our brain is now wired to only see a certain way. You might say, “then how can we change our thinking, how can we co-create if our brains are predisposed to only seeing things in a certain way?” Can you think of any?
While it is true that we have very little control over the evidence we gather once a conclusion is formed, we do have control over creating a new conclusion. In order to do that, we need to wake up to the fact that we are actually creating a new way of seeing and being, and this is where the third principle comes in… this is where we start co-creating with God, this is where we make new pathways in the brain.
Here’s how it works: We create a conclusion. We then gather evidence to support
that conclusion. We show up based on that evidence (we might say we are a
reflection of the evidence we gather). Then other folks show up around us based
on how we’re behaving, and that reinforces our conclusion. To paraphrase Jesus,
“How we show up is what shows up around us.” Or in other words, we say we need
to see it right before we can make it right.
We usually do it the other way around don’t we? We try to change our behavior (or
the behavior of others – good luck with that!), and then wonder why that doesn’t
work. It doesn’t work because we’re still operating under the same conclusions, the
same beliefs and opinions, maybe even the same stereotypes, the domestications from our youth, that we always have.
We’re trying to show up differently on the outside, without looking at what’s going
on, on the inside. We’re working against our brain instead of with it.
For example, if we have the belief that our boss, or our job, (or minister) is against us – how are we going to show up?
Another way for us to work with the third principle is to see everything that happens
to us as an opportunity to wake up, or at the very least to see where we’ve gone to
When we explored the first principle, we looked at this spiritual journey as an exercise in waking up. So when stuff happens in our lives, we can spend our time figuring out how we “attracted” it (pretty much insuring that we will continue to attract it, given that we’re focusing energy on it), or we can see where we might need to wake up.
Did we attract that car crash, or were we asleep to the red light we ran through? Did
we attract a broken ankle, or were we not paying attention to where the curb was
when we stepped off of it? Did we attract an abusive spouse, or did we ignore all the
warning signs along the way?
In each of these cases, we have the opportunity not to condemn ourselves or others
for being asleep, but to gently and with great compassion for the human condition,
observe where we have opportunities to wake up.
I believe this is what Jesus was pointing to when he prefaced many of his teachings
with, “Let those with eyes to see, see; and ears to hear, hear.” He was observing that
if we are open to seeing and hearing, we’ll see and hear. But if we have beliefs that
are contradictory to what is being presented, we won’t be able to see it.
In fact, many of Jesus’ teachings reflect his understanding of the third principle. “The
measure you give is the measure you will get back.” We usually interpret this literally,
but what if we look at it energetically?
How can we live the third principle? We need to become aware of what we’re
currently creating. Remember what we looked at a couple of weeks ago – if you want
to know what you believe, look at your life. What is showing up is what we really
believe in, regardless of what we say we believe in.
What can we see differently? And just as importantly, who can we see differently?
If we’ve been holding resentment or un-forgiveness, can we see that person or
situation differently? If we’ve been experiencing lack in any area of our lives, can we
see that as an opportunity to give in that area?
Joseph Campbell asks. do we see the obstacles on our path as problems or opportunities? Ask yourself if you are living a Christ conscious life?