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GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!!
The Burning Bowl Ceremony
Welcome to our end of the year Burning Bowl Ceremony. The Burning Bowl service is a sacred ritual that allows a quiet time of reflection, surrender, and release.
It is a fire ceremony that helps us release old, unwanted conditions or events in our lives.
We name and let go of the old that no longer serves us—and make way for new beginnings
Lao Tsu, wrote in the Tao Te Ching: “In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired. In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.”
By now you probably went through your closets and bureau drawers to make a place for the gifts that you received from family and friends. This is the analogy we use for the ‘house cleaning’ we wish to do in our hearts and minds. We wish to let go of those thoughts, habits, situations and people that no longer serve our highest and best good.
The Christmas Season has reminded us of the Christ within us. We know and are aware of that Presence. And as we continue to work towards a better connection with that inner Christ Presence, our authentic self, we now have an opportunity to release those things that have presented themselves to us over this past year that taught the lesson provided, hopefully, and we can now let them go.
We can forgive ourselves for things said and done and forgive others for the same. We can release those habits that do not fit our idea of what and who we wish to be in this coming new year.
And we can let go of those words that have kept us back from our full potential. Words like can’t and try. We know that Yoda loves to say: “Do or don’t do, there is no try.”
“Trying” prevents us from ever achieving our goal. “Try” is a word that signals commitment avoidance, lack of confidence, and it undermines our success.
Another word to release: “need”, as in “I need to do X.” Use “choose” instead, because “choose” takes the activity from the realm of mandatory into the realm of choice, where it belongs.
”Want” is another word to release. Remember in the book, “Conversations with God,” it is made clear that we cannot have what we “want”! As long as we want, we acknowledge lack. So, instead of saying “I want X,” say “I choose X.”
Maybe you have a habit of saying “It’s always something” or other phrases that we say without thinking…. “This is just like pulling teeth”, “I don’t believe it”, “It’s too good to be true.”
It’s time to think before we say things out of habit.
Eliminate the words “ought,” & “should.” Use ‘choose’ in their place.
Release what Caroline Myss calls wound-ology — the sense of being permanently warped by your past; the sense of being a victim in life. Release willfulness, discontent, resistance, depression, being against rather than for, the need to know before you can move forward; let go of being a truth seeker in favor of being a truth finder; release the idea that you are stuck.
Give up the idea that your life (or marriage, or this church, or your job, or body, your income, etc.) Is already as good as it can be. Release the current limits of your imagination. Release the idea that you can’t be who you are, that it is not safe to be fully yourself. Release the idea that what you don’t release today will never be released, release the idea that it will soon be too late to do what you have to do, that you are unlucky, that you are destined to failure, that you inherit limitations in health or appearance or opportunities.
Let go of “poor me” thinking; release drama queen histrionics and chicken little panics.
Did I remind you of something that you need to release? We ALL have things that have been ingrained in us, mostly from the domestication brought about by family, school, religion, government and so many other influencers.
Let them go so you can accept who and what you truly are. SO you are open to the blessings of this new day and new year.
I’ll stop with the reminders and go onto the meditation. You should all have a piece of tracing paper, a writing utencil and a magazine or something to help you balance while you are writing.
Let’s get comfortable, take some cleansing breaths. Now as you connect with your higher self, your Christ Consciousness, let that higher-self bring to mind those things, people, thoughts, habits, whatever that no longer serve you.
Jot down a word or phrase to represent that thought. Continue as you are guided by that connection within….
Please don’t use this as an opportunity to beat yourself up for your perceived defects — that’s a major old pattern to release, if you still have such a tendency!
The focus this morning is on what we no longer need. It is not to give you feelings of imperfection. We are all perfect just as we are. And if there is something we choose to change we have the new year to do so!
When you have written down your items to release, center yourself again and review it to confirm your conscious choice to release these items that no longer serve.
Bless them for what they have taught you about yourself, for they have helped you clarify your values and priorities — and have helped you to better know who you really are and what you are becoming.
And so, with a grateful heart, let us all now release that which no longer serves us well, and that which has outgrown its usefulness — and watch the symbols for these ideas which you have outgrown go up in smoke.
When you are ready to burn what you have written. Please don’t fold or crumple your paper — it doesn’t burn efficiently that way. Bless your list as you see it dissolve back into the field of pure energy, and let yourself feel gratitude for the part it has played in bringing you to the point today where you are prepared to experience expanded good in your life. You couldn’t have gotten here any other way.
Please quietly and carefully, place the paper in the flame and watch that energy being released into the ethers. Everything is energy, and we are changing one energy to another.
Maybe you wish to repeat “I remove obstacles from my path that block the light.
When you return to your seat, please be respectful of others who may still be going through the process.
Prayer: Let us be thankful for this opportunity to release and prepare for the new year. We are blessed by the guidance of our Higher Self, that connection to the Christ of our Being. May this be the start of a beautiful and conscious New Year.
GREAT Morning Beloved!!!
Welcome to our 4th Sunday of Advent – Joy
Christmas is right around the corner, are you excited? Yes, adults can get excited too, not just the kids! And the excitement can come from all the happenings as well as the reminder of who and what we are.
You can feel a progressive theme here, can you not? We started with HOPE or FAITH, which led into a feeling of PEACE, which is logically followed with overwhelming LOVE…at least that’s how I see it. Maybe you see or feel it differently.
Our faith fills us with hope. That gets us through our days, our trials, our ‘growth opportunities.’
The peace that follows that faith, that hope is the peace that goes beyond understanding. People may look at us and wonder how we get by? What are we doing that we can face whatever growth opportunity we are facing and still move on?
We find peace in that hope. Hope that the God of our understanding is there, within us, guiding us through. And in that faith, that peace, lies LOVE. We have connected with our inner Christ, that guiding light that we all possess but forget that we have.
But when we connect, that opens our hearts to LOVE, plain and simple…but not so plain, because it is overwhelming at times, that love fills us to over-flowing. It takes us through each day, always there to fall back on, if we should ever lose track or forget…because, that is something we humans tend to do.
So, this week, JOY. I believe joy is a feeling from within.
I separate joy and happiness from the source that they arrive. To me, happiness is an outside feeling. It relies on something outside of us to bring that feeling of happiness. It could be another person, a pet, nature, music, a show…
Most of us want more joy and happiness and, in our humanness, we are often deluded into looking for it from things outside of us.
Sometimes these outside happenings remind us to check in with our inner Christ, that place where we are connected with Divine Source, and that bubbles forth with joy.
The feeling of joy is much deeper, much fuller than happiness. And happiness can leave us, just as someone walks out the door.
Happiness can fade, but joy does not. Joy comes from a deeper, more profound place of connection with the Divine in all its expressions.
“Joy comes from our inner awareness of divine love’s presence and connection to God and each other. Joy embodies great-fullness,” says Brother David Steindl-Rast, the Benedictine monk who has made a life study of gratitude.
Joy is always with us, and we can experience it at any time if we allow it. We must be willing to let it flow…there’s that word again, willingness.
Even though the dictionary defines joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires, or to experience great pleasure or delight, I still retain the definition I mentioned earlier, it’s an inside job.
The spiritual quality of joy is simply part of our nature as expressions of Spirit, as children of God. It’s in us, now and always. It’s not dependent on the circumstances of our lives.
According to Unity principle, we can experience and express the joy of God even in the most difficult times of our lives. How do you think that is possible?
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
Coming home to God is our deepest joy. When we open our hearts, minds, and eyes to see God everywhere and in all creation, we find joy.
Reminds me of the joy felt when we find our place, whether it’s here in Unity or with your “tribe”, where you spend your time.
In ‘The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World’ by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama explains how to cultivate joy.
“Joy is the reward, really, of seeking to give joy to others. When you show compassion when you show caring, when you show love to others, do things for others, in a wonderful way you have a deep joy that you can get in no other way. You can’t buy it with money. You can be the richest person on Earth, but if you care only about yourself, I can bet my bottom dollar you will not be happy and joyful. But when you are caring, compassionate, more concerned about the welfare of others than about your own, wonderfully, wonderfully, you suddenly feel a warm glow in your heart, because you have, in fact, wiped the tears from the eyes of another.”
Joy can be a connection with other people, with nature, and with other beings. It is the wonder, the delight, the welling up of loving energy—so that we feel our connection to God in all its forms—that brings forth the light of the soul as joy. It can be the joy of the first snowfall, the first signs of spring, the birth of a child, the stars at night. It is seeing the miracle of life and celebrating it.
The key word here is CONNECTION….the connection we experience wen we connect with these things.
So, now can you recall when you have felt joy…can you separate it from happiness?
What was it like? Do you want more of that feeling?
I thought so!
So, here are some ways to help with your joy, some ideas to help you connect, because you have joy, we just block it at times.
First, focus on qualities of God and emulate them.
God is love, be loving; (how can you do that?)
God is wisdom, be wise; (how can you do that?)
God is mercy, be merciful and forgiving. (how can you do that?)
Next, always monitor troubling thoughts and feelings and ask whether these things are really true. Forgive yourself for thinking those thoughts. (how can you do that?)
Keep a gratitude journal. This is easy, but of course, you must put the journal into use too.
Mindfully walk in nature. Don’t just walk mindlessly, but listen to the sounds, really SEE what is around you. Take it all in.
Pray and meditate on one aspect of creation. Why is this important? Creation is something you do, all the time. Be conscious of those thoughts and feelings that you are putting out into the Universe, they are creative. Maybe read the Creation stories and truly ponder them.
Be generous with time, talent, and treasure. We remind ourselves of this all the time. It is important to share our gifts. That is what this years Unity Theme is all about. So, how are you doing with this? You know what your gifts are. Time, talent & treasure…if you are a member of Unity Spiritual Center, one of your membership promises is that you share these. How are you doing?
Remember, joy is your connection with the Divine and all creation, and it is eternal. We cannot be separate from God in all its manifestations. Anything that heightens our awareness of the One will stir up the joy that is our divine nature.
Rev. Michael Gott; “In the season of Christmas, we are given the opportunity to birth the light of Christ into our lives anew. Can we find the courage to imagine living in joy—a joy that is so rich, so deep, so robust, that it carries us and sustains us through every struggle and challenge we face?”
GREAT Morning Beloved!
The Second Sunday of Advent -Peace
Welcome again to our Season of Hope.
Last week we placed an insert in the Bulletin with some questions to guide you through your week. I’m hoping you took it home and looked at each question or statement for each day and pondered it through the day, maybe even discussed it with your partner or maybe some friends.
Each week we will have an insert for you to make the Season even more significant for you and yours.
And as we go through each week, I am hoping you can take the time and energy to make this Season of Hope and Peace and Love and Joy even more special for you.
So, lets light the candles for Hope and for Peace.
This week our theme is Peace. We talk so often about peace. Peace was my prayer for many, many years. And often it is my mantra as I attempt to meditate.
And peace is probably something different to each of us. For me it is all about inner peace, that feeling that all is well, that I am right where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing. It is a connection within myself that I can go to, to calm myself in need, to look to for guidance and to feel love that I may not be feeling at the time. Though with two loving dogs, it is hard to not feel love ALL the time.
How about you? What does peace feel like to you?
The pictures we see of how the imagined birth of Jesus seem so peaceful, do they not? It must have taken an extremely strong faith to be in such a peaceful state, considering the circumstances.
Can you think of a time when you had that much faith that you could peacefully look at a situation and know that all is well?
For me, in these later years, I can find peace knowing that all is well, that the God, the Divine Energy of my belief, is in charge and that in the end, all will be well. My growth opportunities have come in financial ways, I now need a new garage door as someone hit it, seriously, and it needs replaced. It will be expensive, but I just know somehow, I will manage.
Can you relate to that feeling that God will provide?
The root of the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means ‘whole, complete, sound’ and it points to peace within oneself as well as peace with all life.
Nehru stated, “Peace is not a relationship of nations; it is a condition of mind brought about by serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”
Do you recall the quote from Eric Butterworth when we were studying his book, “Spiritual Economics”?
“Things may happen around you, and things may happen to you, but the only things that matter happen in you.”
And that is where the peace beyond all understanding comes from.
It’s been said that what is inside must come out. Isn’t that what many of us have been telling ourselves and probably anyone who would listen, that it explains what has been happening to the social interactions of our country and even the world?
Individually, we must look for peace within ourselves before we can expect to see a change outside.
Jesus said, “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27) Do you think he left us with his peace, so maybe we would do something with it?
WE, US…. not leaving it to someone else. We each need to be responsible for the peace we want in our lives and in the world.
We have talked about personal responsibility often. It is part of out five Principles…once we know these ‘truths’ we must do something with it. We must make the Truths a part of our lives.
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…these are not just words to a song we sing often. They are telling us to be the Truth we say we know and believe must be put into motion.
We believe Peace begins with one person and spreads and is returned in kind. When we are connected to our wholeness, we become peace on earth.
And how do we become peace on earth?
We forgive….70 times 7 if necessary. We all know that forgiveness is key to our spiritual growth.
There is a story that tells of two friends who were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:
Today my friend slapped me in the face.
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a dip in the cool pond. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:
Today my friend saved my life.
The friend who had slapped and saved his friend asked him:
After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?
The other friend replied:
When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.
We practice Peaceful thoughts, words and actions. Every time I am reminded of this, I can hear Rev. Dr. Paul Hasselback, my metaphysics instructor saying: “WATCH YOUR WORDS!”
Here’s an example:
Oliver Wendell Holmes was once the shortest person present at a meeting. A colleague walked up and said, “I should think you’d feel rather small among us big fellows, eh Holmes.”
Holmes said, “Well yes, I rather feel like a dime among a lot of pennies.”
We Practice the presence of God.
The Native American axiom tells us:
God sleeps in the rocks . . .
awakens in the plants . . .
walks around in the animals . . .
but knows itself in humankind.
God is everywhere. Spirit is everywhere. That Divine Energy is everywhere.
Without peace, these holidays would be devoid of spiritual meaning. It would all delve into the commercialism that we see on the Black Friday’s every day, where we humans are more concerned about pushing ourselves past the next person to make sure we get that one toy, that one electric device, that all important TV than what our heart is trying to tell us about the real reason for this season of hope and peace and love and joy.
Until world peace is based on the divine law of love and this law incorporated into the pact of peace as well as into the minds of those who sign the pact, there will be no permanent peace.
And that is where we can make a difference; by doing the work, forgiving those who we have hurt and forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we believe we have made.
Then we must watch our thoughts so the words we use are words are of integrity, that they do no harm and only help to heal and share love.
And finally, we must experience the Presence of the Divine Spirit that inhabits all and share that wonderful connection that we all desire and yearn for. God is in the yearning. Every cell in our bodies yearns for that peace, that love.
These three actions can help us all find peace…from within to share without.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix.
Welcome to the Season of Advent…that wonderful time leading up to Christmas Day, and the celebration of the Christ Presence within each and every one of us.
I would like to thank you for last Sunday…for the love, the fun, the fellowship we experienced. I felt a shift in energy as I watched you all enjoying the Message, the music and the shared companionship with each other…oh, and the wonderful food too.
I hope you felt even a fraction of the love I felt as I observed you all.
And now, to today’s Message…. Advent – Hope & Faith
Metaphysically what we celebrate each Christmas is … the birth of Christ awareness. What Jesus brought to us was a spark of new light, new possibility—light that shines through the darkness of human confusion and illuminates the spiritual truth of who we are.
Has it ever occurred to you that a candle does not lose any of its power and brilliance by lighting another candle? Its ability to share its brilliance is limited only by the length of time it can stay lit. When Jesus said, “You are the light of the world,” he did so with the knowledge that we have an unlimited source of light—our inner Christ.
Like a burning candle, each one of us can touch untold numbers of others with our unique light. We can keep touching and touching many other people with our love and our light, without diminishing our own source in any way.
We frequently are unaware when we bring light to another soul. Some simple, casual word or gesture can serve to brighten someone else’s life when we least expect it. No, we never lose even a bit of our light by passing it to another. The Source of your light is unlimited and eternal. When you allow God’s light to shine through you freely and unconditionally, you are truly “the light of the world.”
That light that you are bringing to others is hope.
It is also a time to celebrate the Spiritual Gifts that are a part of this Season. So, each week we will be looking at the gifts of Advent….this week, Hope and Faith. Next week, Peace, the third week, Love and The Gift of Being Present with Pam Whitman. The 4th week of Advent is all about the Gift of Joy.
And Christmas Eve we will present the 7 Gifts of the Christ Child in our Candlelight Service. I hope to see you at 7 PM, Christmas Eve.
The real value of a gift is not determined by how much you pay for it, but by what you invest of yourself in it. A relatively inexpensive gift that has been blessed by your love and thoughtfulness will bring joy and lasting inspiration to the one who receives it.
That is part of what we are doing to these toys, investing a part of ourselves as we love them up during Service, to those who will receive them.
Eric Butterworth told us: “Whatever may be your perception of the greatest story ever told, one thing is certain: It is the story of the greatest gift ever given. … It is important to keep centered in the conviction that the kingdom of God is within you. The health you seek is within you. The substance that is the root of the prosperity you seek is within you. The love that you hunger for is within you. The golden road to receiving is in the kingdom of giving.”
So, the gifts of Hope and Faith for this first Sunday of Advent. We light the first candle of our Advent Wreath.
Christmas, for the followers of Jesus’ Teachings, is filled with hope and faith.
The telling and re-telling of this story gives hope to all who believe and follow these teachings.
We can define Hope as an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.
As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”
The biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.”
So, think for a moment of what some of your hopes are for this Christmas Season…. (any sharing?)
And Faith is the ability to believe and perceive. What do you have faith in?
Our faith is at the heart of Hope.
Consider what faith would be without hope and what hope would be without faith. They go hand-in-hand.
We look at Christmas differently at this age than we did as a child. Or at least some of us do. Others of us still look at this Season with stars in our eyes and tingling through our bodies, just like when we were kids.
Our hopes then were for simpler things for most of us. If you grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, maybe you waited anxiously for the Christmas Catalogs to come from the various department stores to peruse for items to place on your Christmas Wish List.
I still remember waiting for JC Penny’s and the SEARS Catalogs. Keep in mind, with a house full of siblings, those catalogs were passed around from child to child, the pages had corners turned so we all could go back to look at the items of our dreams.
We made up lists of hopes and dreams that could never be fulfilled completely.
They were more like HOPE lists, you hoped that you could find some prized wished-for item to be under the tree come Christmas morning. And depending on the financial status of your family, it might be there….or it might not.
Christmas at our house when I was a child was filled with a mix of gleeful anticipation and unsure anxiety. Christmas was the one time my parents went a bit overboard. So we knew we were getting gifts. And with 6 kids, there were plenty of them. The down- side was, we never knew how my Father would be…sober or not.
We learned when to be kids and be excited and when to shrink back away from the anger with fear.
I always had hope that it would be a good Season, with no outbursts, no anger-only the excitement and joy of being a kid.
Hope is a spiritual muscle. And like all muscles, it must be exercised just to survive. Unused muscles atrophy. Use it or lose it.
That’s one reason why each year we have this season of Hope, which we call Advent. Though our society has made it a season of indulgence, it is meant to be a season of training. It’s time to blow on the spark of spiritual desire within us till it bursts into flame. Christmas lights are nice, but it is we who are supposed to be the light of the world.
Hope, belief and faith are not the same…hope is emotional, belief is intellectual, faith is spiritual.
Rev. Michael Jamison tells us, “Hope is focused on what we desire, and it can take the form of worrisome begging. When we are stuck in hope, we only wait. Hope pleads for a right outworking.
Belief can become passive acceptance. The mental state of belief is haphazard, as belief has the potential to be either true or false. Belief presumes a right outworking.
Faith is characterized by solid assurance. The spiritual state of faith is secure, for faith is of Spirit. Faith guarantees a right outworking.
Think of it this way: Things might work out favorably with hope. Things could work out favorably with belief. Things will work out favorably with faith, if we faithfully surrender our will to Spirit.
We all have faith, it’s where we are putting our faith that is the question. We must choose what it is we want, set our intention, develop a clear mental picture, and then walk by faith, not by sight
The birth of our Christ Consciousness is a journey to our true nature, it begins with the gift of true faith
Remember, we ALL have faith. Look within yourselves to check where you are placing that faith. Unlock the door that is holding back that faith and let it flow forth.
Where is your faith directed? Do you have faith in yourself? In your work? Your gifts?
Do you have faith in Unity and what we are doing here in this place? In this area?
If you do, if you believe in Unity and what we profess as our standards of integrity—our Mission, Vision and Values, then have you made any kind of commitment to Unity?
I have committed another 5 years to Unity…what have you committed to?
Maybe volunteering to do something….Greet, work in our outreach activities, even attending on a more regular way. Can you commit to tithing every Sunday, even those you miss?
Committing to something shows you have faith in that something, you are giving of yourself to help that something, to be a part of it and watch it grow and be successful.
Our faith is a gift to us all. And we all have that same gift. We need to unlock that door to our hearts and let it out, let it guide us to the blessings that are waiting for us to accept.
When I close my eyes and look back to the excitement of a child waiting for Christmas to come, I find that same excitement looking out at all of you. I get excited when someone gets it…understands that they are not a sinner, that they weren’t born in sin, that they are the light of the world and that they have a say in their life.
I get excited when we hear stories like Susan shared with us last week how prayer and blessing others works. It reinforces my faith, my hopes that coming here to start Unity was the right thing to do.
So welcome to the first Sunday of Advent. I hope, no I have FAITH that it is just the beginning of a powerful month for us all, with many blessings for all of us too. And the return of the childlike wonder that the Season should bring to us all. It doesn’t matter if you believe in the virgin birth and the stories from antiquity or not. What matters is our belief, our faith in the teaching of Jesus, teaching of love and joy and peace that are our gifts to share with everyone.
GREAT Morning Beloved!!
“Spiritual Economics: A New Look at Tithing & A New World Vision.”
OK, we did it. We are completing our study of Eric Butterworth’s “Spiritual Economics: The Principles and Process of True Prosperity.”
I hope and pray that you are getting the message from Rev. Butterworth regarding prosperity and abundance. It’s not necessarily ‘what’s in your wallet’ but what’s is in your heart.
So, we will complete our study of this wonderful book with the last two chapters; “A New Look at Tithing,” and “A New World Vision.”
Tithing…there’s that word again. But what is it all about? Well, let’s take a Butterworth look at tithing.
Do you see tithing as something pressed upon you by the ‘church,’ something that is your duty to do? Or have you gone past the ‘oughts & shoulds’ and made it something else?
Do you look at tithing as a part of your Spiritual Practice?
It should be. Not because the Bible tells you to do so. No. But do it because it’s a good practice to get us all into giving.
The practice of tithing is a lot like the study of the Hebrew Bible. When we look at the Old Testament, we are looking at our souls’ journey to understanding God’s Laws. Just as the Ten Commandments were given to teach us how to get along with our neighbor and how to show obedience to God, the practice of tithing is to teach us to give.
Compare the practice of tithing to learning to ride a bike as a kid. You first have training wheels until you get the idea of balance, etc. And the trainers come off and you are off…enjoying the freedom of riding on your own.
So, it is as we mature and settle more and more into our Spiritual Selves, we ‘put away childish things.’ We understand that our Spiritual home, in this case, Unity here in Delaware, is a worthy place to support in every way.
So, we give easily and gratefully to support this Spiritual home. We don’t feel the need to calculate our 10%. We give easily and generously to the Spiritual home that blesses us and supports us.
That is what tithing is supposed to teach us. The Law of Consciousness is teaching us that we always have a choice. We receive as we give and the more we receive, the more we have to give.
Luke 6:38 states: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
An example: Before leaving his home in Baltimore to seek his fortune, William Colgate was advised by a family friend, “Son, whatever work you do, do it well, take the Lord into partnership, give Him a tenth of all you make, and you will never fail.”
Soon Colgate was manager of a Manhattan soap firm, and a few years later he had his own business. He always set aside ten cents of every dollar for charity. On his books, his donations were labeled “Account with the Lord.” As his profits soared, he instructed his bookkeeper to increase the amount to 20 percent, and later 30 percent. Ultimately, he was giving 50 percent.
Tithing is not a divine law as some preach and lecture and teach. It is a practice. It is a means to an end. It is a way of teaching responsibility to individuals, so they understand the process of giving way to the divine flow.
Giving is a fundamental spiritual law. And tithing can be an excellent way to help us all become established in the giving-receiving rhythm.
Tithing can be a way of getting into a giving consciousness, but it is not a substitute for a giving attitude. That comes from within.
Just because you tithe doesn’t mean you give.
Kahlil Gibran says: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give…”
We must give the whole tithe; give with love; coming from within. Remember, life is lived from within out.
So, prove the law in action: go the second mile in meeting obligations, turn the other cheek in relationships, forgive ‘seventy times seven’ and be diligent in keeping a high watch of positive thinking and loving reactions in overcoming the world of duality.
Don’t think of what you are giving to, but what you are giving from.
All this discussion, throughout these weeks, has been for….? What? What are we learning, or re-membering throughout this discussion?
Well, a major thought is economic conditions are outside us…in the world. What counts for us is how we deal with any economic condition, as well as any ‘learning opportunity.’ We deal in consciousness; with a higher perspective.
We know of God-substance that is ever-present. It is our purpose, then, to be in the creative flow of abundance. And as we each achieve prosperity; we influence the world to greater abundance. Another thought from Paul to the Romans, 12:2; “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your mind from within.”
Jesus made the breakthrough so that “…we may have life abundantly.” We can never be separated from the all-sufficiency of God-substance within. If we all have access to limitless life, limitless substance and limitless intelligence, then how can any human experience lack of any kind?
Any lack is the result of some sort of obstruction in the free flow of the creative process. Understanding the prosperity law means taking responsibility for your life. Master your thoughts. Get in touch with your consciousness. Connect to your inner Self, that higher being that you are.
We could say that the world is facing a crisis. We hear words like that all the time on the news. But we have an opportunity to bring in a new world.
The Chinese use two symbols to translate our word, crisis. Those two words are danger and opportunity.
Can you see that a crisis is an opportunity to see what is happening through your
perspective; And what will that perspective be? Some reaction that is motivated from your past or a thoughtful response from your spiritual consciousness?
We, ‘New Thought’ folks have a responsibility to “hold to the vision of the spiritual human being who has always risen to the occasion to draw forth the wisdom and creativity required to take the next logical step in the progress of civilization.”
And yet psychologists estimate that not one person in a million is living up to the best which is in him or her. Are you making the most of your inner resources? Can you imagine what your life would be like if you could realize your full potential?
Think on that for a minute.
Now look at how far you have come in your spiritual journey. Trust that civilization has come far and “the best is yet to be.”
There is still great wisdom to be discovered in the depths of humanity’s inner Self. We must do our part in bringing all humanity into the creative flow of healing life, guiding intelligence, and limitless supportive substance.
Every person must take responsibility for his or her own life. As one person changes his or her level of thought, the consciousness of the whole changes to that degree.
It is time to be part of the solution, which is a collective consciousness of the ever-presence of God-substance.
I am only one, but I am one.
I can’t do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do.
And what I ought to do,
By the grace of God, I will do.
GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
“Spiritual Economics: The Money Enigma & Discover the wonder of giving.”
We’ve all heard the misquote people throw around a lot; “Money is the root of all evil.” What Paul said is, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
We should understand by now that it is our consciousness that determines our abundance, and that abundance isn’t necessarily how much money you have in your pocket.
How can money, at one and the same time, be a sought-after necessity of life and yet be a handicap to one’s spiritual growth? How can money be evil when no one can do without it?
SO, let’s change that to “The right attitude toward money is a root of all kinds of prosperity.”
And what is money really? It is a device for measuring wealth. We would go further and state it is a means of exchanging energy. It is an enabling symbol, a tangible representation of intangible universal substance, which enables us to provide food, shelter, clothes, etc.
Money is God in action.
Money is an extension of you…your thoughts and feelings. If you think positively and creatively about your money, you actually multiply its effectiveness. Now think about what you are multiplying if your attitude and thoughts are negative….
Think about how often someone may ask you how much money you have on you, for instance and you reply: “Only 5 dollars.” Why ONLY? ‘Onlyness’ identifies with lack.
Look at a dollar bill…the black ink side and notice the number 1…indicating lack. But when you turn it over to the green side. Focus on “IN GOD WE TRUST.” You have gone from limitation to limitlessness.
Remember, your money is an extension of you; either a symbol of limitation or of limitlessness. When you receive or spend money, ‘think green,’ keep the green side up to remind you that you identify money as a symbol of limitless God-substance. In this way, you are building and maintaining a prosperity consciousness.
We don’t need money, we need faith. We need ideas. We need a flow of creativity. Imbue your money with the idea of abundance. Each Sunday we repeat, “God is the source, I am the conduit.”
What does that mean to you? Are you feeling that energy when you say the words? If not, maybe you’re cheating yourself….and Spirit.
Our money needs us to become that creative idea that in turn, with faith and vision, becomes our creative outlet. Henry Ford had an idea, and that idea as it unfolded became the impetus for his millions. It was the idea.
We all have our own connection to that pipeline of ideas, if we allow it. Wealth is not in money; it is in ideas. And “you are always as rich as you think you are. The only poverty is of the mind.”
Charles Fillmore has said; “Watch your thoughts when you are handling your money, because your money is attached through your mind to the one source of all substance and all money. When you think of your money, which is visible, as something directly attached to an invisible source that is giving or withholding according to your thought, you have the key to all riches and all lack.”
“Never allow money of any kind or amount to pass through your hands without blessing it.”
To bless means to confer prosperity or happiness upon. When it goes from you, give thanks that there is no depletion, but an increase because you have kept it flowing. The circle of giving and receiving.
And keep in mind that giving may involve money, but it also involves your work and in the many ways you make contact with life. All your interactions with others, think how that occurs, are you giving and receiving?
Unfortunately, the predominate attitude toward money and success and acceptable methods of achievement has evolved into getting what you want at any cost.
So, we are reminded again that life is not lived from the outside-in, but from inside-out. Unless we understand this, we miss the whole meaning of life.
“The purpose of life is not acquisition but unfoldment and personal development.”
How are you doing with that?
Your life is a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift to God. Again, what are you doing with that?
Are you a taker or a giver?
A taker is someone who believes that their lives will always be the total of what they can get from the world. But no matter what they take, they can never know peace or security or fulfillment.
A giver is convinced that life is a giving process. Their subtle motivation in all
their ways is to give themselves away, in love, in service, in all the many ways they can share themselves.
If you are seeking to establish yourself in a unitive relationship with divine flow, you must begin to see yourself as a giver. You can never achieve that unitive relationship until giving becomes the main thrust of your life.
“If you discover the wonder of giving, you will find a great blessing of inner fulfillment in your work, which will lead to better work, and by the law of causation, to a greater experience of affluence, which may come through your job or through many different channels.”
The law is exact: if you give, really work in a giving consciousness, you must receive.
Understand that life itself does not have meaning.
You have meaning. Meaning is something you release from within yourself. You put meaning to your work, to your experiences, to every relationship.
So, analyze your attitudes toward everything…your work, your relationships, your world. What can be changed to increase your prosperity consciousness? We have gone through this book that is filled with this whole process, have you listened?
Have you figured out what, if anything, is blocking your prosperity?
GREAT Morning Beloved!
“Spiritual Economics: How to Reverse Financial Adversity & Security in a changing world.”
We have been reminded about quite a few things so far as we journey through this book on Spiritual Economics.
And they are reminders, because we know all this, in reality, but we forget so much as we encounter our physical world.
Sometimes we just wonder, “If I could have only remembered sooner!”
And when we do remember or are reminded, if we could just keep on remembering all if it!
Oh well, Life is a growth process.
So, let’s continue our look at Spiritual Economics.
Let’s face it, we need things to live in this dualistic world…things like clothes and food and shelter, etc. And to get those things, we need something to exchange for the needs, in most cases – a source of income.
Our economy is a complicated thing, from a materialistic vantage.
We have at our access all sorts of statistics and charts trying to explain what’s happening in our economy; but nothing about the cause of it all.
The economy will always be about what we make it, how we decree it, what we expect it to be.
In reality, the economy is little more than a barometer that registers the highs and lows of consciousness.
My consciousness influences the economy.
Think about it…you are the leader of your business affairs. You determine the consciousness you bring to the ‘table,’ so to speak. Butterworth told us, “Your most important asset is the conscious control of your own life.”
Are you coming from a consciousness of lack and limitation?
Remember: your prosperity will always be a reflection of your consciousness.
The fact is that consciousness is the key to all things which happen to us. The starting point in changing your life to an experience of abundance is the realization that you can change your life by altering your thoughts.
You begin by taking responsibility for your own life. Admit to yourself that your present experience reflects your present level of awareness. You are not a victim of circumstances. Consciousness creates circumstances or at least sets the climate in which they happen.
So, we see, if the cause is in you, in your level of consciousness, then the cure can be affected by changing your thoughts, by altering the cause. Thus, we are altering the inner states of our minds that have been blocking the natural flow of God substance.
It’s hard to stay positive in this world. Sometimes things happen. But nothing is ever a complete loss. There is always some gain, some growth.
Life is a matter of growing. Missing the mark is one of the ways in which we learn to hit the target. Failure is a part of achieving success, and success is ‘earning the right to be there.’
If we find we haven’t succeeded in our attempt at something, we can affirm: “I accept the reality of this situation, but not it’s permanence.”
And a reminder: “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.” So, watch your thoughts, watch your words. Only put into words those statements that you really want to see manifest in your life.
For example, the word problem immediately brings about meanings of trouble, impossible obstacles, etc. But the word project brings a different suggestion of creativity, positive endeavors. Or as I say, learning opportunity. And in these, we are taking responsibility. We are always responsible for the way we accept things that happen to us. The incident is external; our reaction is always our own.
Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal, “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
All that really counts is what is happening within us. There is unlimited potential within all of us. And when we are grounded in the field of limitless substance, then we may be broke, but we can never be poor.
Any experience of life can become the best thing that ever happened to us. All things work together for good. Start with positive thought right in the beginning of a ‘so-called’ crisis.
Can you believe that? That all things work together for good? Or how long, when something happens, does it take us to get to that point when we understand that all things work out for good?
Our idea of security probably interferes with that sentiment.
So, what does security mean to you? How important is it?
Professor Peter Bartocci at Boston College has said, “It may be that any view of life that puts security rather than creativity first has misread life at its best, and thus misinterprets the cosmic process.”
WOW. What do you think about that statement?
What do you think this is saying?
How about when we place the emphasis on outer things, we miss the whole meaning of life. Life is for expressing, for growth and expansion.
Humans have survived because of our creative ability, the intuitive flow of ideas, in their spiritual dimension. When we think of only being safe, we stifle the urges of personal growth and advancement.
Security is actually more psychological than financial. Sure, purchase insurance, and save and invest, but do these things from a mindset of unlimited source, not anxiety or fear.
It depends on our thinking when we do what we do.
It is universal law that the patterns you hold in mind tend to influence circumstances. Having a spare tire is not a symbol of fear but rather, evidence of wisdom and good planning.
Even as we work, our money should be put to work also. Saving is a mature practice…all nature saves. But take the high view and save for opportunities, not emergencies.
Through all this, seek first the kingdom for your security. Do what you do with a consciousness of security.
And that goes for retirement too. Yes, plan for it, but not from the negative image of old age and the ‘sunbelt-condominium syndrome.’ You can’t live meaningfully and creatively on a shuffleboard court. It’s not an end but a redirection of activities and interests.
This must be a continuing process of keeping the whole-self alive and fully functioning.
We do not grow old; when we stop growing, we are old
The word secure comes from two Latin words meaning ‘without’ and ‘care,’….so, being without care, freedom from anxiety.
If we remember that security is not found in things, its only from connecting to the flow of Infinite Mind. Ideas are the gold coins of the Kingdom.
In Hebrew, the word for security literally means ‘worthy.’ True security is in worthiness, not worth. Money and things will not increase your worthiness.
Security is not found in things. It is experienced by identifying yourself as a channel for the flow of Infinite Mind. Are you possessed by your possessions?
Where’s your faith?
Here’s a test…close your eyes and just for a moment, imagine all your possessions gone….what’s your reaction or your response?
That tells you of your faith….of where you are in this dualistic world.
And a good place to go to meditation……
Great Morning Beloved!!
Spiritual Economics A grateful heart & Work & the Success Syndrome
SO, what did you think of Andrea’s Lesson on the Spirituality of Curiosity? Did you let yourself become more curious? I hope so, that was the whole point.
And I appreciate Andrea stepping up so I could have time to recover some from surgery. And for all your prayers and help. Thank you.
We are back again for some Spiritual Economics. We’ve learned many important ideas that are valuable for our spiritual prosperity. One of the most important is that ‘substance’ is beneath everything. That’s God substance. And that is what we create with.
We were reminded of what role our perception plays in how we see things and that ties into our Consciousness.
Let’s continue with this week’s topics, A grateful heart & Work & the Success Syndrome.
Butterworth tells us, “Your most important asset is the conscious control of your own life.”
Yet we allow events, people, things, and economic conditions to take control of us… why do we allow that?
Here’s an example of control…. Pg. 86
Perhaps this is an example of the healing influence of a controlled life sustained by an attitude of gratitude. And it is proving that thanksgiving is not just a reactionary emotion; it is a causative energy.
But is gratitude necessary? We usually consider gratitude and thanksgiving obligatory. Someone does something for us and we feel the need to show some kind of appreciation.
Traditionalists would say we owe God thanks for our blessings. And we should be grateful as an important social grace. But God does not require us to be grateful, it doesn’t make any difference to Divine Spirit.
The difference is to us. Giving thanks is an important state of our consciousness that keeps us in an awareness of oneness with divine flow. A grateful heart does not need something to be grateful for; it simply flows from within and becomes a causative energy. Think on that a bit…..
A grateful heart helps to keep us centered in the ever-presence of substance. And that is the key to personal prosperity.
Having a grateful heart starts with getting the view of any conflict, any appearance of lack or limitation, from the top. Before you react in negativity, take a moment to lift your eyes; contemplate all the changing, challenging experiences from the highest point of view. See all things from the awareness of the allness of life and ever-present substance.
This view gives us an opportunity to see things creatively, from an attitude that is constructive and optimistic. Not one that is from a sense of inadequacy and insufficiency. To count your blessings from a limitation consciousness effectively compounds the problem.
Theodore Roosevelt used to say; “Do what you can with what you have right where you are.” Give thanks from that view, for there is abundance everywhere.
Jesus always looked up, giving thanks from the view at the top, from that elevated consciousness. And in that blessing, he conferred prosperity upon whatever thing he was blessing.
We can do it too. When we bless our Love offering, from what consciousness are you blessing? Are you truly saying it with Love, from that grateful heart? Or are you saying the blessing from rote, just a habitual thing? Or even from a state of limitation?
The same goes for any instance where you are blessing – your food, your home or family, other people….from what perspective are you blessing?
Some would question that they have nothing to be grateful for…in those cases, we need to stir up the gift of gratitude. We only need the desire to feel grateful.
Plato’s law: “When you feel grateful, you become great, and eventually attract great things”
Part of our issue with abundance is our attitude toward our work. Greek philosopher, Zeno says, “The most important part of learning is to unlearn our errors.”
And one of those erroneous beliefs are those surrounding our work.
Why do you work?
If your only response was to make a living, you may be frustrating your creative flow. How, you may ask?
It’s about the attitude you have toward your work.
Remember, your prosperity will always be a reflection of your consciousness, the degree to which your thoughts are centered in the divine flow. So, unless we unlearn our error thoughts regarding our work, we will be out of sync with the creative flow of the universe.
And what needs to be changed? This – work is a giving process. It is the means by which we build a consciousness of giving, which in turn gives rise to a receiving flow.
If the left hand, receiving your pay, knows what the right hand does for your job, then there is no real giving, only bartering.
For example: a distinguished Harvard professor said, “The University pays me for doing what I would gladly do for nothing, if I could afford it.” He is saying that his work is not just a place to tediously make a living but an opportunity to joyously live his making…the privilege to grow as a person. Growth is what life is all about.
Unfortunately, many of us are creating hidden frustrations with our work ethics…trying to do as little as possible for that paycheck.
While working for the PA State Education Department, one of the comments too often about people, especially as they got closer to retirement, would be RIP – retired in place. They were doing as little as possible to put in the time until they were at retirement age.
They may get away with it; but they can never get away from it.
What do you think that means? (Think about consciousness)
It means, if Life is a growth process and we grow through giving, how are they growing? Are they giving and if so, with what mindset?
This is spiritual law, if you are not growing doing your work, then something must be wrong. Kahlil Gibran tells us: “If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, then you should quit your job and go sit at the Temple and beg alms from those who work with joy.”
Every day we must work to earn the level of consciousness by which we are sustained and prospered. What we do affects our focus on consciousness that regulates the flow of affluence into our lives. Make a commitment to work for your spiritual well-being.
This is true for businesses and corporations too; the collective consciousness of the workers determines the spiritual consciousness of that business or corporation.
So, if you are lacking in the ‘alive, alert, awake, joyous and enthusiastic consciousness, you are frustrating yourself and not growing as a person, but you also are not adding to the growth of the company.
How does that apply to us here at Unity? What is your commitment to Unity? Are you a body in a chair, coming occasionally? Are you involved in classes and activities?
Do you volunteer your time and talents?
Have you taken ownership of Unity of Rehoboth Beach?
When you discipline yourself, your consciousness will bring about a change in the job, making it right for you and the company; or another job will open benefiting everyone.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “No matter what your work, let it be your own. No matter what your occupation, let what you are doing be organic. Let it be in your bones. In this way you will open the door by which the affluence of heaven and earth shall stream into you.”
When you work in the right consciousness, when your work becomes organically a part of your whole self, and when you do your work out of that commitment, no matter what other people do, no matter what the compensation may be, doing it for the health of your own soul, then you open the door by which the Universe flows into your life.
WE must do the work. “God can do no more for you than God can do through you.”
We must begin to do what we do in the awareness that we are working with God for the releasing of our inner splendor, our connection to the affluence of heaven on earth.
We all have Divine gifts, patterns that when you realize them, you really know you are giving of yourself. If you work is not satisfying, if we are closed off from this pattern, we get frustrated, and this frustration can lead to addiction issues.
We often see this, where a person starts out doing one thing and changes course to a completely different direction. I’m reminded of singer Neil Diamond who was supposed to be a doctor, but his music just couldn’t leave him be. He gave up one for the other and was much happier.
Begin to think of your work as a vocation, a calling. The creative process is calling you and so your work becomes easy and fulfilling.
The only one who can keep you from success is you by blocking your own creative flow. Your desire to get ahead, your urge to succeed, is your intuitive awareness of something within you that wants to succeed through you.
But don’t get the ‘Success Syndrome.’ It is at once the key to success and the reason for much failure. The urge for success is basic to the American dream. But the term success is defined differently by most. Don’t feel guilty if you do not desire to be at the top of the heap in your work. Many are just as happy right where they are.
Progression is not measured alone by the title on the office door.
The drive to succeed is basic to human beings, but instead of seeing it as a cosmic urge to be more, it is usually interpreted as the desire to have more.
Unfortunately, this pressure to succeed starts early, children are more concerned with grades than actual learning. And we have seen the extent some parents are willing to go with the recent arrests of parents for cheating on college entrance test scores.
That ‘whatever it takes’ mentality has permeated all walks of our society. What is ours to do? We do our part, whatever that is.
Saying Yes to the universe opens the gate to receiving what your soul really wants.
Do you know what that is?
Think about all this as we go to meditation…
“Learning is by nature, curiosity” – according to Ancient Greek philosopher, PLATO
Contemporary human potential thought leader & author, Bryant McGill says “Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.”
Albert Eistein – The important thing is never stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
Good morning Unity children of God. Thank you for being here. I am honored. Again, my name is Andrea Evans and I’ve been fortunate to live and learn as a Unity practitioner for some 30 years now. I’m grateful that it was curiosity that brought me to Unity.
That is one of many reasons, I believe the world and all its human inhabitants could use now – is additional curiosity about ideas and folks who seem odd /different than us. Instead of closing them out, what if we welcomed them in? Asking questions, genuinely desiring to know more about their ideas & origins? It’s difficult to dislike someone who shows a true interest in us.
I’m going to begin with reasons curiosity fascinates me, share ideas from spiritual way showers on the topic, offer two life examples then bring it on home.
I didn’t grow up with my parents. I was raised by grandparents and various aunts and uncles. I hated being away from my Mom. When we did get together, she was playful, fun, young and more liberal than my guardian aunts, uncles and grandparents.
I was 7 when I realized the rules, expectations and lifestyles in each household of my guardians were quite different one from other. Yet, they were ALL my family! I puzzled over that for a while then just accepted it. Different was “normal family” for me. Consequently, I expected everybody was a bit unusual. That variety was okay or average.
Looking back in retrospect, what I thought was worse about my childhood – not being with my Mom, I now see for its gifts – It turns out the feeling that caused me sadness as a child has given my life a zest that I’m glad I got –I treasure my sense of curiosity today. What’s more — I see it as the best example of God’s plan being SO much better than mine from the outset.
It reminds me of this Caroline Myss statement: “Just let go. Let go of how you think your life should be and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness.”
In the quest for truth, curiosity is a valuable trait according to spiritual life mentor – Greg Richardson of Strategic Monk. Com. Richardson defines curiosity as “an innate, willing desire to know and understand more fully.” Curiosity is an innate enthusiasm for discovery and learning.
In children we call it “wonder – their power to explore and trust the unfamiliar to learn how to interact with the yet to be known. It is in that child wonder – their open hearts make the exploration joyful.”
This reminds me – Matthew 19-14 – Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.”
We are ALL children of God regardless of our years on this Earth. Yet for some, as we age we can get set in our ideas, ways, and expectations and totally convince ourselves we know the outcome of life events yet to unfold. That tendency can stop us in our tracks and limit possibilities.
Okay, let me walk that back a bit. It isn’t always age that entrenches us in our opinions and expectations. That all-knowing attitude can appear at any age or stage in life.
For instance, as a teenager and in my 20s, I was a “too cool to fool” – a proud card carrying pessimist. Had the world and my role all figured out. So it is NOT chronological aging but our individual perceptions that allow or limit our exploration of life and attain insight.
There are many ways to gain spiritual insight. The Strategic Monk, Richardson explains, some people accept the spiritual teaching learned as children and remain there for life.
Some analyze as much information as they can and take a rational approach.
Others want more of an emotional experience rather than analytical. They believe spiritual life is to comfort and help us and others feel better. I’m well suited to the spiritual curiosity mode of gaining spiritual insight.
Best-selling author on energy, healing and spirituality, Carolyn Myss, states, “Judgment is what disconnects us from our intuition (inner feelings) The mind cannot get us to the world of heaven. The mind cannot get us to the new era of understanding the nature of the Divine.”
Here is where curiosity can be KEY to unlock “boxed” thinking. Curiosity can challenge our habitual ways of thought in non-threatening – unassuming manner. It can begin with, “I wonder” “what if this or that?” Curiosity encourages us to let go of certainty and absolutes and be willing and open to new options and opportunities.
Now let me mention this caveat: Curiosity can be misused and become temptation or distraction. It is possible to be intensely curious about something you (instinctively sense) is wrong.
My advice use curiosity for your spirit’s advancement, for soul and/or self-knowledge. It’s easy to be curious about aspects of life that inspire, or bring joy. It is also possible to be curious about what causes us pain, discomfort and apparent suffering. I promise that practicing spiritual curiosity can and will provide surprises we’d rather not recognize or accept such as attributes we label (challenges, weakness or ego). They are all part of growing spiritually.
I think this life example demonstrates the surprise I didn’t want to see or believe within me;
Now remember the total pessimist I mentioned earlier? Well that was me my first semester at the University of DE – Intro to Political Science in this large lecture hall this dark skinned girl sat in front row alone. She laughed and chatted with the professor from the first day on. She had a winning smile, odd gestures and expressions. I couldn’t identify her accent. She wore other worldly colorful clothes and headdresses to class all the time. While most of us were in jeans and t-shirts.
Second third week of class the professor posted weekly test scores on his office door. I saw her there with great big smile. I asked why she smiled so much. She said she enjoyed life and she got a 98 on the test. I checked my grade – 84. I wasn’t smiling. That was the second test she’d gotten an A and I was low B.
We went our separate ways. Walking across campus, I realized I was racist -–like my grandfather. I had to admit I was jealous –confused- I was white and she black and she consistently got better grades than me in Poli Sci and that was my favorite class. I had African American friends -classmates since 5th grade. We got along fine. I never knew if they got better grades than me then. I never occurred to me.
She was so cheery and I didn’t want to be racist. That combination made me want to know more about who she was. I started sitting in the second row behind her in lectures. I asked questions and she started asking me questions! I learned about her life in Jamaica, college happiness even though she missed her family terribly. That was foreign to me too. I was glad to be away from family.
I do not recall her name now but she was the first college contemporary to show me there was plenty to be happy about in our college life days. She taught me to study for college classes. Sometimes during study break, she’d read a letter from home out loud –laugh, cry, sigh, stomp or stare beyond me or through me – and somehow along the way I realized, the value of family.
It was thanks to curiosity and our asking questions, that my joyous Jamaican friend demonstrated that the life in college and the promise beyond would and could be positive fun. Thanks to her there was a crack in my pessimistic attitude armor. My racism dwindled. My grin quotient and GPA climbed. My narrow minded world view expanded.
The next life lesson was fueled by curiosity and a romance gone wrong.
Two years out of college, I finished a summer job with an outdoor drama in St Augustine, FL. I wanted to stay but only found a part-time job as a reporter for small local newspaper. I had seen this bald, flamboyant woman late 30’s maybe 40 flitting about town. She was loud, friendly an open-book who wore dramatic flowing outfits, and period costumes even to downtown bars and diners. A real character – curiosity got me for sure
Sue Buie was a clothing designer, fabric artist recently divorced and commissioned to make historical clothes for re-enactors in St Augustine. Yes, she was an unabashed breathing billboard and if you asked about the outfit, you were in for a 5 -10-minute history lesson. Sue was interviewing for roommates to share five-bedroom Spanish manor two blocks from the newspaper building. Within a month I was there and we were looking for another roommate.
Life was good; well except I was crazy about this red-haired impressionist painter who worked downtown, only problem his feelings weren’t reciprocal. I pretended not to care, got moody and morose. Sue was happy go lucky as usual and her love life was absent, too. I noticed she was gone Sunday mornings when I get up. When she got home she was cheerful, confident maybe calmer/quieter than before. Something was up. I had to know.
Asking, I learned she was driving north to Jacksonville Unity Church. She said, her life was good and getting better every minute. I didn’t feel that way but I had to admit, she probably did. After weeks of me moping and probably drinking too much, she asked me to go to the Unity Church. I told her, I didn’t believe in a church “God.” Even hearing the word “God” made me mad. I told her God and I were on the outs. I’d stay out.
Sue asked what I thought God was? I said, God was supposed to be love. I hadn’t had that experience. The church God I knew was mean and angry and hadn’t shown much care for me or those I loved.
Sue said The Jacksonville Unity church was a different church– they didn’t yell and beat folks with the Bible. They didn’t believe people were sinners. They did believe prayer changes lives.
I asked how? Sue said come with her some Sunday. She suggested if the minister says the word “God” maybe I could substitute the word” love.” I groused around for a few more weeks. My Renoir didn’t show up with a portrait of me or profess his undying love. I was already mad. Why not go to Jacksonville Unity? I could try Sue’s suggestion.
Walking up to that Unity, it looked different than any Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian church I’d ever seen. I opened the door and the people were warm, friendly, and interesting. There was no yelling, pounding the pulpit or altar call for sinners to be saved. The minister said the word “God” six or seven times and Sue’s suggestion worked! I didn’t get angry. I cried on and off. Those sad happy tears needed to come out. The songs had rhythm, melody and meaning easy to understanding. I felt God’s love and gentle power. My heart was melting. This was the beginning of finding the love I really missed.
There are more times that curiosity got the better of me and showed ME a BETTER ME!
So I trust you can see why I believe what the world needs now is more curiosity.
We can practice spiritual curiosity by NOT allowing obstacles to stop us. Curiosity encourages creativity. Richardson, the Strategic Monk says practicing spiritual curiosity is more about asking questions than finding solutions. Asking questions draws us off the standard path and helps us see in new ways. Curiosity draws us to the next step away from what we expected.
I ask each of us to consider some area of life where you could be less serious and more curious.
Gary Simmons, recently retired senior minister of Unity Portland, Oregon relates: It is not your figuring it out that will usher you into the Kingdom of heaven. You have to trust the Spirit of the Living God that is revealing itself through you.
This – Unity – Children of God – returns us to Jesus saying, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.”
I wonder…. how is the Spirit of the Living God calling to reveal through you?
May each of us allow curiosity to naturally teach and grow us spiritually. It can and will return us to our original human species’ innocence.
We are well on our way. Stay curious in the UP, the down and the plateaus of life. Ask “I wonder” questions. Lean forward in curiosity and welcome the wonder.
MEDITATION Let’s take this into meditation:
Settle into your chair. Feet resting comfortably on the floor, arms and shoulders at ease.
Breath naturally. Sink deeper into that rhythm with in your body. Relax, breathe and feel the aliveness circulating within you.
Settle into the soft music and allow the curiosity of your spirit to gently surface.
Be still – listening waiting, welcoming the calling of spiritual curiosity. Is there an element of life you could look at with curiosity? Relax. Breathe. Divine Spirit, loving creator is with you- in you. As we enter the sacred silence.
2- 3 mins
RETURN: Become aware of your breathing once again. Give thanks to your sweet spirit for message, image or sign whatever sacred gift you received.
Feel the chair supporting you, allow your head to lean to one side and circle around chin to chest, to the side and back – other side. One more head circle.
When you are ready open your eyes and welcome back to this time and space.
Lean in with curious.
Spiritual Economics – The Principles and Process of True Prosperity by Rev. Eric Butterworth -The Law of Visualization & If you can Believe It You Can See It
GREAT Morning Beloved!
Spiritual Economics – The Principles and Process of True Prosperity by Rev. Eric Butterworth -The Law of Visualization & If you can Believe It You Can See It
Welcome back to Spiritual Economic, one of the many books written by Rev. Eric Butterworth that is a classic for Unity and New Thought. I hope you can hang with me as we move through this book because it is filled with wonderful information that can help us on our Journey.
SO, we had breaks in our journeys’ flow unfortunately, but since it’s such wonderful and often thought-provoking information, maybe the breaks will allow for better understanding of each Lesson.
So, last week we looked at the first 2 chapters of Spiritual Economics. In those chapters, we learned a some important things … let’s look at a few:
Charles Fillmore believes we are ‘frustrating our potential’ -why? What are we missing?
Are we placing “The Kingdom” first in our lives? Have you asked yourself those questions?
Then, Butterworth reminded us, “It is consciousness that sets all the limits of life.”
And so, our question here was, ‘where is my consciousness?’
And some of the limits we have placed upon our lives are because we have lost the true meaning of life and the words that we use to label it.
Remember Butterworth reminding us of the true meaning of “Affluence’ means ‘an abundant flow’, not ‘stuff’, ‘things’. And ‘wealth’ originally meant ‘’well-being’. ‘Prosperity’ originally meant ‘according to hope’ or ‘to go forward. The term ‘substance’ comes from Latin which means ‘stand under’. There is a substance standing under everything.
How does that change how feel about those terms? Do we understand them in the context of our spirituality better?
Now let’s look at another aspect of our Truth study – training the eyes to see properly.
We THINK we are seeing what is before us, but in reality, what we look at before us is registered on the light sensitive nerve endings of the retina, but upside down on recording points: they are all transformed into one solid picture communicated to the brain.
However, our brain sees what our awareness has conditioned us to see, not necessarily what is truly there.
So, seeing is not believing, as we have heard often said, but believing is seeing.
We see things, not as they are, but as we are.
We must train our eyes to see properly. When we ‘see,’ we react to it with attitudes and feelings.
Your perception is shaped according to your previous experiences, according to your faith, according to where you are in consciousness. Right seeing is one of the most important keys to effective demonstration of Truth.
Right seeing is one of the most important keys to effective demonstration of the Truth. More important than changing things ‘out there’ is changing the way you see them.
This is the Law of Visualization. Having conceived and deeply felt some thing or experience, we have created the condition in mind that makes a particular result inevitable.
Right judgment is believing life is lived from within-out, from oneness with Divine Substance, from a stance of optimism.
This is why Jesus said, “Do not judge by appearance, but judge by right judgment.” Pic
Someone who worries is a perfect example of this law. Worry is based on the belief that some undesirable condition already exists. Worriers vividly picture in mind the undesirable condition they are worrying about, thus allowing the means to which the worry becomes a very possible reality.
So right judgment, seeing from within, visualizing things as they can be. We are not talking about seeing cars, jobs, etc., but seeing from a consciousness of ever-present Substance. You see abundance everywhere.
Look around…. see abundance. Bless it. (take some time, our space, people, the CHANGE jar, ….)
True seeing is a flow of consciousness. Where you are in consciousness has everything to do with what you are see in experience.
Our most prominent window in our house of consciousness is…. CAN YOU GUESS??? the TV. Keep in mind what we are seeing is the appearance of things. Are you ‘buying in to’ what is being presented on the TV?
We have the responsibility to put our own stamp of ‘God-consciousness’ on what you see and hear. If we are manipulated by the ‘news’, we become part of the world’s problems; if we look though the window of Truth and project love and light, we become part of the solution. Be a peacemaker.
By looking out the proper window one can achieve prosperity, it’s having a ‘prosperity consciousness.’
Did you know, our human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an ‘actual’ experience and the experience imagined in detail.
This is why athletes use visualization as part of their training. They visualize what they wish their bodies to do as they attempt their physical feat.
And, please know, everything will not be alright until we achieve a consciousness of all-rightness.
Pg 62-3 Here’s an example
But…a 3-letter word to self-limitation
The law is this, we can have all we can expect and accept
And all this is pointing to FAITH. “Faith is a fundamental mind power that is basic to the realization of prosperity.”
And that leads us to God, Spirit, Goddess, Universe, Energy…and all the other names we have given to this Presence that lives, and moves and has being in and through us
Have you left the God of your tradition, and moved from your intellectual understanding so you can feel the Presence? It is there that we can understand ‘spiritual economics.
The Universe of innate substance is in everyone; nothing we can do will add or subtract from it. Jesus had it and so do we. He was centered in the creative flow and did ‘miracles’ and so can we with faith, that consciousness centered in the universal Source. Faith tunes in and turns on the Divine flow that is always present.
Faith doesn’t really change things; it changes the way we relate to them. There is always an all-sufficiency even within the insufficiency. Our faith can relate it to us as the whole or the partial-it will be as we believe.
The power is already within us. And here is a difference between Unity and Traditional Christianity –
We are believing from, not believing in.
Abundance is an ever-present reality. Our reality is based on our consciousness, so there is abundance right where we are.
This means we must know, really know that we are “a spiritual being, living in a limitless spiritual Universe, endowed with the whole potential energy flow of the Universe.”
All things are possible to God and to you in God-consciousness.”
That’s a great affirmation!
Remember, we can have all we can expect and accept.
So, we need to Practice the presence of God. When we have a balanced consciousness centered in the ever-present substance of God, things will come easily as they are needed. It is a matter of priorities: “Seek first the Kingdom of God.’
When we believe we can do it, the how-to-do-it develops. Ours is the what, the Universe provides the How.
God is present at every point in space at the same time. “There is no spot where God is not.”