The Way to Perfection
Why do we see Lenten observations during the 40 days before Easter? Do we see anything in the Bible that tells us to have a Lenten observation prior to Easter?
NO, Lent is actually an institution devised by ‘the church’. So, all those times when you ‘gave up’ chocolate, or coffee, or fighting with your siblings, it was really just ‘the church’ trying one more way to ‘suggest’ that you be good.
We know a different way now. We could still ‘give up’ chocolate or potato chips, because it might be a good idea for our health, but not to make us look better in God’s eyes. We ALWAYS look good in God’s eyes.
And besides, it’s not a sandwich without chips!
So, where did the 40 days come into play. The number 40 is prominent in many of the stories in the Bible. Moses and the Israelites wandered for 40 years. Elijah did too on his way the mountain of God, Mt. Horab. And of course, Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days before beginning his ministry.
Well the number 40 metaphysically means completeness, or a foundation for something to follow. So, it’s the amount of time or whatever, to complete what needs to be done; to build a foundation for something to follow.
This made me think back to when I was 40 and where I was on my journey at that time…made for some interesting contemplation. Maybe you would like to think back to where you were at age 40…when we look at anything metaphysically, or looking at something differently and then we relate that information to ourselves, this is what we do as metaphysicians.
Let me know what you come up with.
We can also look at Lent as a tie in to spring, to clean our consciousness. Lent means spring, so that makes sense. By being more conscious of what we are thinking and saying and doing, we can bring our consciousness awake. The distractions of our human experience are many and can be very tempting. A spring cleaning of our thoughts can do wonders for our consciousness, and I’d bet, our lives too.
We are going to look at the season of Lent through the words of Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore and his book, “Keep a True Lent”.
Charles says, “When we consider Lent as a well-rounded or completed season of retreat from the things of the world for the cleansing of the mind and the recollection of things of the Spirit, it becomes a true season of preparation…for Easter; for the resurrection of the mind from …doubts and false beliefs into the light of understanding.”
“To observe Lent according to the spirit rather than the letter we must fast from criticism and condemnation and feast on brotherly love; fast from false beliefs…and feast on the truth of God’s omnipresence; fast from false beliefs in lack and limitation and feast on the truth of God’s bounty and good will.”
Interestingly and amazingly, Charles states “One of the most valuable ways of observing the Lenten season is to fast from (meaning loose and let go) the belief that people or nations can stand in the way of God’s good will for humanity.”
Appropriate for today’s world, wouldn’t you say?
As we mentioned last week in our discussion of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and the lessons it provides and I shared with my Tuesday class as we began discussing “A Course in Miracles,” we have Lessons presented to us in many, many ways and often, many, many times.
So, we see some of the same themes or topics presented to us in Charles’ book. The title of the first chapter is “The Way to Perfection.” As we learned last week, perfection on a human scale is not something we can attain. We can work on doing our best, always. But we must agree that only God is perfect. God is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent—everywhere, all knowing, all powerful.
We are all that as a part of God, but in human form, we are not expressing that as us, as hard as we try. Humanly we cannot be everywhere, we are not all-knowing or all-powerful, contrary to our egos belief sometimes. When we connect with Source, we get a taste, a glimpse of what Divine Spirit truly is.
And so, that is our quest…to connect as much as possible.
Divine Mind is the meeting ground for us with God. We use prayer and meditation to connect with that meeting ground…with Divine Mind.
We follow the teachings of Jesus, the example of Divine being. When we follow these teachings, we work closer to the Divine connection. And as we walk in the way of Jesus’ teachings, we recognize the I AM of ourselves and, of each other.
Remember, when you use I AM, you are stating the Christ of you is whatever follows those two words. So, watch your words, watch your thoughts. Our words and thoughts are creative. If you say, I Am happy, that’s good, we want a life of ‘happy.’ If you say I AM sorry…do you want a life of ‘sorry’? You are stating that your Christ self is sorry.
Do not claim that! Watch your words.
We have often reminded ourselves that we are the cruelest towards ourselves. Love yourself as you watch your thoughts and words.
Charles takes the first chapters of this journey through the book to review a few of the basic Unity beliefs. One is the Trinity, spoken as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Metaphysically, we see that as Mind, Idea, Expression. Or Thinker, Thought, Action. We are the image and likeness of God. We have an idea when we Conceive it, the idea becomes a belief when we Believe, we put the belief into action and Achieve the desired effect of the original idea.
This is the manifestation process, simply stated. Then the question comes forth, why does it not always manifest?
Can you think of some reasons why we cannot manifest as Jesus did?
Maybe we still have some forgiveness work to do…that is often the case…not 7 times 7, but 70 times 7…forgive ourselves as well. Just take a moment to think about what work you are doing yourself.
You all know the answer to that question…even if it is only deep inside. Search yourself for the answer to that question…why aren’t you manifesting what you want?
Charles suggests, maybe ‘we aren’t seeing the whole of it.’ What does that mean? It means we aren’t seeing the truth of the situation. We may be looking at it through ‘human’ eyes. Or through our egos instead of through our Christ consciousness.
We cannot look at a situation with the same eyes that started the situation or problem. If we have a situation or problem that we wish to be resolved, we must step away from it and look at it through eyes of love.
Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” Really. Wouldn’t that give you a clearer mind? Wouldn’t that push ego away and give you a chance to listen to your heart? And we all now know that the heart is smarter than our brains.
So, we want to follow our heart wisdom. Because that is where our Christ within dwells. So, we want to connect with our heart wisdom, with our inner Divine Spirit, that Christ, that Buddha that is a part of all of us, and is our connection to all that is.
So how big is your God? How connected are you to the God of your understanding? Are you still believing in the God of the Old Testament? The angry, vengeful God who would condemn you to eternal fire if you do not ask for forgiveness for your ‘sins.’ That describes a God made in the image of humanity; not a humanity made in the image and likeness of God.
Our limited understanding of what a great God we have, our belief in a God in our image has greatly distorted what a wise and good Creator we have.
Charles says, “Those who get the right conception of the creative source and adjust their mind to its wisdom, purity, power, love, and completeness as the ideal source of perfect man are rewarded by a serene peace and confidence in the final supremacy of justice and righteousness.”
So, one of the answers to the earlier question regarding manifestation of our goals is not being open to the Light of The Christ within. God is the only power in the Universe and our source for all things. If we are closed to the divine ideas that are available to all, we cannot move forward. We may continue to struggle on our journey.
But we also know that Jesus taught that ‘race evolution’ would carry forth. And only God knew the duration of our “Spiritual Evolution.” But as we follow the teachings of Jesus, the “Christ in you —your hope of glory’ — we work toward a better understanding and closeness with what God’s ‘Kingdom” is all about. Everyone must travel through that ‘Spiritual Evolution.’ Knowing this helps us to have a better understanding of those on the various paths to enlightenment. We can be more tolerant and loving knowing that we all are on the same journey and we all will meet again, in the end, as ONE.