Great Morning Beloved!!
“Discover the Power Within You – A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within”
Maya Angelou was a student, and admirer, of Eric Butterworth. If you wish to learn more about the influence Unity had on her, search online for Maya Angelou & Unity. You can read about her discovery of Unity and listen and watch the interview by Oprah regarding it.
Maya wrote the Foreword for the 40th Anniversary edition of this book. In part, she said this: “Butterworth was a 20th century Emerson. His mission was to help others realize their spiritual potential and to empower the world through spiritual growth. His teachings focused on what a human being is and what a human being can do to live abundantly.”
Rev. Butterworth is considered one of Unity’s great authors and leaders. This book, “Discover the Power Within You – A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within” is considered a classic.
Butterworth starts his book with this statement: “The hope of mankind today lies in the great undiscovered depths within.”
What are your thoughts on that statement?
Within…. Some of us, actually, most of us are just discovering that WITHIN.
You recall the Hindu legend about our hidden divinity being placed in the one place we wouldn’t look…within us. This insinuation is we will go to great lengths searching for that one thing that drives us…but to look within, well…there’s work to do there.
Even two thousand years ago, the philosopher Epictetus (epic tee tus) knew: “You are a distinct portion of the essence of God; and contain part of Him in yourself. Why then, are you ignorant of your noble birth? Why do you not consider whence you came? Why do you not remember, when you are eating, who you are who eat; and whom you feed? Do you not know that it is the Divine you feed; the Divine you exercise? You carry God about with you… and know nothing of it.”
We are beginning a seven-week series on discovering our divinity…or maybe we should say remembering or re-discovering …because it’s been there, within us all this time, just waiting for our Great Discovery.
We’ll be looking at how Jesus demonstrated this understanding of his own divinity and encouraged us to understand and demonstrate ours. We’ll ask the question: “What did Jesus really teach?”
The power of God, that essential spirit, is within each of us. We have a choice…we can ignore it, or we can draw upon it and choose to grow…grow into our awareness of who and what we truly are.
This book, Discover the Power Within You, and others like it, invites us to know our divinity. That’s the first step in discovering our power, our greatness. That’s the Great Discovery.
Butterworth posits that Jesus is our greatest example of the great discovery. And we have said that many times over through the years….thus we call Him our Way-shower.
Imagine Jesus as a young boy, pondering the wonders of the world, when his consciousness brings an idea to him so great, He probably didn’t catch its full implications at first. It was the concept leading to the full realization of His unity with God.
Up to this point, we humans existed in the consciousness of separation from God. We could pray to God, talk to God and receive help and guidance from God. God was always up there, and we were down here.
Fichte (fish ta) said, “an insight into the absolute unity of man with the divine is the profoundest knowledge that man can attain.”
Embracing our divinity, our Christ within, is not a one-shot deal. We have probably figured that out by now!
We need to be reminded over and over again that, as Dr. Roger Walsh, professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology observes, we are more than we think…
1. There are two realms of reality – the everyday realm which we are all familiar with, and another realm, another world that cannot be known through the physical senses. Call it Spirit, Mind, the Tao or Consciousness, this realm is unbounded by space, or time or physical laws.
2. Human beings partake of both realms. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We have bodies, but at the core of our being, we have a center of transcendent awareness. This is the Divine spark. We are not divorced from the sacred but eternally and intimately linked to it.
3. Human beings can recognize this divine spark and the sacred ground that is its source. In other words, we don’t have to believe this philosophy on faith. We can experience this other realm for ourselves, by careful introspection, or what the Hindus call self-inquiry. This knowledge of the divine does not come from book learning, but rather through direct experience. (Or what Father Rohr called “learning to think like Jesus.”)
4. And finally, the perennial philosophy’s fourth claim is that realizing our spiritual nature is the highest goal and greatest good of human existence. Besides this, all other goals pale.
This then is the goal of “Discover the Power Within You” – This is not power about exerting our will over others, it is about being in complete truth with yourself.
It’s to help us to realize this truth about ourselves – that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. So, this work isn’t to deny our humanity, but to embrace it within the context of our innate spirituality.
Butterworth’s premise of the Great Discovery is that Jesus was not the exception to humanity, but the example for all humanity. Jesus was a teacher who made this wonderful discovery and then attempted not only to tell us all that we had this same potential; He gave us simple steps to take to realize it and be transformed by that power—-the power of our own divinity.
When Jesus said, “follow me” He is referring to our acceptance of the high level of consciousness that He achieved. He is not the moon, so to speak, but is asking us to look as He is pointing to the moon. Maybe saying… “this is the way”.
When He becomes the object of worship, He ceases to be the way-shower. This is a major difference between Unity and other Christian based religions or practices. We do not worship Him, we follow him.
This splendid spiritual discovery can be unfolded through self-realization and self-discipline. There is no short cut to the Kingdom. Growth is an unfoldment.
Meister Eckhart reminds us that there was never an ‘only begotten’ but there is the eternal begetting…
The only begotten is spiritual human, the Christ principle. We all, always have within us the infinite Christ potential.
What does all this mean? Quoting Dr. Walsh, “The words differ from one tradition to another, but their central message is the same -you are more than you!” We have underestimated ourselves, and each other. All the traditions agree that this discovery of our selves is the supreme joy and greatest goal of human life.
Jesus stressed a spiritual philosophy that is ‘you-centered’. We can’t just believe things about Jesus, we must come to believe about ourselves what He believed about himself.
You all have an opportunity to participate in this series.
I’m encouraging you to embrace a couple of practices.
First have a practice of regular meditation, be willing to create one. Even if it’s just sitting in the silence for 15 minutes a day.
Second, this series might bring up some old “stuff” around Jesus and religion and sin and who knows what! So, keeping a journal might be helpful. I’m available if you need to talk.
Use the weekly study guides, available on the Information Table, to deepen your exploration of this work.
I am here on Wednesdays and Fridays if you wish to chat about anything and appointments can be arranged. If anyone wishes to start a discussion group around this series, let me know.