Great Morning Beloved!
THE SPIRITUALITY OF EARTH
Last Monday was Earth Day…50 years ago, on April 22, 1970, CBS News marked the first ever Earth Day with a special report anchored by Walter Cronkite. Cronkite said at the time, “The gravity of the message of Earth Day came through: act or die.”
Things haven’t changed much, in fact, many would say they have gotten worse.
It’s simple, we need to take care of the Earth. This planet is a macrocosm of our microcosm. What is happening to the Earth we could say, is happening to humanity…And vice versa.
Some of us are having issues with soul awareness. By that I mean, what direction are we going? What kind of a person do we wish to present to the world? What is my purpose?
We’ve all had those ‘choice points’ in our lives. And we will continue to have them, they are all part of our growth opportunities.
And some of these choice points take us in directions that we are not necessarily meant to go…think for a minute…go on…. those times when you made a choice and later discovered it wasn’t the best for ANY concerned! Much less yourself.
But we have all, also, made wonderful choices too. We have done a lot of self-discovery work. We’ve been working on forgiveness. We are trying to be the best expression of God as we possibly can, and we continue to improve that too.
So, what does all this have to do with the Earth? That’s obvious, in one way and maybe not so in another.
Remember that any self-growth, self-awareness that we do also improves the whole of humanity. So, all your work is helping to pull the energy of others up also. As you grow and become an even better YOU, others feel that energy and just maybe, say, I’m going there too!
But what else happens? As we get more aware of the connectiveness of everyone and everything, we want to do more to help everyone and everything.
That is where Earth Day and Arbor Day and any other day where you direct your energy, your thoughts, your forward thinking to improving our Mother Earth, because if we don’t have our Mother, where will be we. Probably underground trying to live life without real food, real dogs and cats and any other animal that we have now…but are losing at the alarming rate of about 27,000 species a year according to the National Wildlife Federation. “Every day, an estimated 100 plant and animal species are lost to deforestation.”
Within the next 30 years as many as half of the species on the earth could die in one of the fastest mass extinctions in the planet’s 4.5 billion year history. That also includes the loss of the genetic diversity within species, as well as the loss of diversity of different types of ecosystems, which can contribute to or hasten whole species extinction.
Kind of reminds you of the canary in the coal mines….
Can you think of why this is important to us as a species?
Well, one thing that is on my mind is, cures for diseases. I am a believer. I believe everything we need is here for us to find. And to use, not exploit!
Many believe that there are around 1,400 forest plants that can cure many cancers, and some forest plants can even cure the deadliest of diseases.
Yet the Rain Forest where these plants are growing is being deforested for agriculture, mostly animal farming. So, every day, we may be losing our chance at a cure for many of the cancers that plague our people for a steak or some ribs.
I know, I know, I like a good steak now and then too, but what is ours to do regarding the care of the Earth? We all must ask ourselves that question.
For many years we have neglected the care of the Earth. We have come a long way in our view of her. There are some cultures, like Native Americans who have always seen the Earth as spiritual and deserving reverence. The rest of us are slowly catching up.
There are religions that are called Pantheistic … that believe that God is found in nature. Unity is Panenthistic…. which means that we believe that God is in nature …. and God is also greater than and outside of nature as well.
God is everywhere.
“There is a wonderful story about the child of a rabbi who used to wander in the woods. At first his father let him wander, but over time he became concerned. The woods were dangerous. The father did not know what lurked there.
He decided to discuss the matter with his child. One day he took him aside and said, ‘You know, I have noticed that each day you walk into the woods. I wonder, why do you go there?’ The boy said to his father, ‘I go there to find God.’ ‘That is a very good thing,’ the father replied gently., ‘I am glad you are searching for God. But, my child, don’t you know that God is the same everywhere?’ ‘Yes,’ the boy answered, ‘but I’m not.’
God is not any more present in any one place … God is the same everywhere. But sometimes we are not…. and so, we seek out places…. away from it all where we can feel and experience God’s presence more fully.
According to the psalmist … places affect us. God’s green pastures and still waters restore the soul. The Chinese have long observed that an individual’s well-being is influenced by location and have devised a system called Fung Shui of reading energy or chi of places to find beneficial positions for buildings and rooms.
Even as far back as biblical times certain kinds of earthly places have had spiritual meanings attached to them. Metaphysically places in the Bible represent states of consciousness. Jesus went into the desert to pray, the Desert Fathers lived in seclusion in the desert… Muhammad received his commission in a desert cave. Metaphysically the DESERT represents a place of emptiness… or a consciousness of emptiness.
Emptiness = enlightenment
Terry Tempest Williams writes: “It’s strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages, because you learn humility. I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a testament to spirits that have moved on. If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide, and so we are found.”
MOUNTAINS have been seen as holy because they represent a rising up of consciousness. Moses went up to the top of the mountain and was presented with the Ten Commandments. Jesus took two of his disciples up to the top of a mountain and they appeared transfigured ….as a light body.
Mountains instill in us a sense of awe and wonder. I remember seeing the Rockies the first time, how I needed to bend my head back and look up, and just being struck by how awesome it was …. I just stood there, could only say WOW, it was a profound feeling.
Oceans are still the most profound for me, thus my move here instead of Maryland. The ocean just brings with it a sense of calm…no matter how wicked the water looks.
Deserts, mountains, oceans …. they all give us a feeling of spirituality. It is easy to see and to feel the spiritual in them.
More and more we are seeing how we are linked and connected together. How something as small and simple as a butterfly flapping its wings in China can influence the weather in New York. We are interconnected and what happens in one place affects all places. And in fact, we cannot separate ourselves from the whole… because we contain it all.
Carl Jung said: “When you look inside yourself, you see the universe and all its stars in infinity … an infinite mystery within yourself as great as the one without.”
The mountain is within you …… that majesty that you feel when you look at the mountain ………the strength and power and awesomeness …. that isn’t just in the outer world … that is inside of you.
The expansiveness you feel when you look out on the ocean …… is within you ………infinity is within you. We are more than this person in this lifetime…we go on, as Dumbledore told Harry….
The beauty of the flowers and the trees are inside of us as well …. the music of the birds……. the aroma of the earth…. all are inside us. We are connected with that beauty and that melody ……
Any place can be a holy place … the place on which you stand right now …. your home …. your place of work …. any place on which you stand ……can be a profound and holy place and it all deserves respect and reverence.
We are evolving in consciousness, humankind is evolving, and the earth is evolving right along with us, because we are connected. As we evolve individually it affects the whole.
Some people think, “What can I do to change the world?” Well you can start by changing yourself, because when you change it affects everything around you.
Danaan Perry, who started Earthstewards, dedicated his life to raising the consciousness of healing the Earth. Here are his seven-fold path for peace.
1) When we are peace within our own heart, we shall be at peace with everyone and with our Mother Earth.
2) When we recognize that our planet itself is a living organism co-evolving with humankind, we shall become worthy of stewardship.
3) When we see ourselves as stewards of our planet and not as owners and masters of it, there shall be lasting satisfaction from our labors.
4) When we accept the concept of Right Livelihood as the basic right of all we shall have respect for one another.
5) When we respect the sacredness of all life, we shall be truly free.
6) When we free ourselves from our attachment to our ego-personalities we shall be able to experience our Oneness.
7) When we experience our Oneness—our total connectedness with all being, we shall be at peace within our hearts.
Creation calls to us to love it, to honor it and to protect our planet.
Most of us here, I would venture to guess, believe that climate change is real, and it will take much effort, great and small, to reverse course on our ever-warming planet. We all have a carbon footprint, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid plastic and waste. But making changes is possible and, in the long run, will help.
Here are some more ideas:
Avoid Takeout Containers
Say “no” to takeout food and bring your own containers for restaurant leftovers. Sure, no more takeout is starting big, and you might never eat pizza again. If you can’t say “no” to takeout, how about not having so much? Try only one takeout meal a week and find restaurants that pack up dinner in non-plastic, non-Styrofoam, eco-friendly containers. (Skip the plastic bag, too!)
Stop Using Plastic Bags
One easy way to go a little greener is to refuse bags. Have your reusable bags handy. If your city doesn’t have a plastic bag ban, talk to your local representative and see if you can get the city or county council to implement one.
Stop Using Paper Towels
Yes, they’re convenient. Yes, your family’s messy. But it’s easy to live without paper towels. Instead of these perforated one-use paper sheets, start using your dish towels (sure, even the nice ones) to wipe up messes. You can even use them to pat meat dry and clean mirrors and windows (just not at the same time). Toss them in the wash and reuse next week. Cut up old bath towels for extra-absorbent needs. If you want to get really crafty, add snaps onto a dozen or more washcloths and roll them up onto your old paper towel holder. (Also works with Velcro.)
Use Non-Plastic Reusable Water Bottles
If you’re one of those people with cabinets full of water bottles, make a commitment to stop accepting plastic. Just say “thank you,” and hand it back to the person working the registration table. Start using the reusable water bottles you have, recycling or passing along any that you know you won’t use or ones that leak.
Give Up the Straw
Yes, you have the right to drink from a straw. And yet, if you don’t need one in order to sip from a glass, stop using them. Just like that. Make sure when you order drinks at a restaurant to request no straw, then remind them when they arrive at the table. (It’s habit; they’re not being huffy by offering them.) Encourage your eating mates to do the same. It’s small. It saves our water families too. Or carry you own steel straw. Its reusable.
Use Green Cleaning Products
We Americans really go after our homes when we clean with products that strip grime, kill bacteria and leave everything smelling like bottled meadow. Cleaning products can be made of some toxic stuff and often yield the same results as quick cleaners you make yourself (minus the toxicity). Look into orange oil, castille soaps and all the things you can do with lemon and baking soda. Commit to not replacing your cleaning products with more bottle and sprays of stuff, and instead shifting to more earth-friendly strategies.
Eliminate Food Waste
The production of food is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the U.S. So, when you’re throwing out food, you’ve warmed the planet for nothing. Make a choice that you’re no longer going to throw out food and, instead, shop smarter, offer and take smaller portions at meals (allowing for seconds, of course), and find ways to incorporate leftovers into lunches or other meals. Shopping more often and organizing the refrigerator can help cut back on waste as well. This takes practice but can become habit.
Another way to take the guilt from (and reduce the environmental damage of) food waste is to start a compost. If you find that you often have wilting lettuce and rotting kale in the fridge, tossing it in a compost bucket or worm farm is a great way to return it to the Earth rather than putting it in a landfill.
Buy Local Produce or Start a Garden
Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can start a garden on a windowsill, deck or sunny corner in the living room. Gardening reduces, one tomato at a time, the carbon emissions on your daily salads. While you’re waiting for your Earth Day garden to produce, you could also commit to shopping from local farmers, either at a farmer’s market or a grocery store that carries locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Small appliances, houseware, furniture, and clothes and shoes are cheap enough that there’s little financial incentive to repair them when they break. Instead, most of us just replace them with new ones. But fixing is possible, even if you’re not an electrician or super great with a needle and thread. Shoe- and leather-repair places still exist in most cities, and YouTube has videos on how to fix almost anything. You’ll not only keep things out of the landfill, you also won’t be purchasing something that’s made from tons of plastic, has been shipped halfway across the world, then trucked all the way across the country. Plus, it’s fun.
Stop most of the unsolicited mail that shows up in your mailbox. Even if you recycle all your junk mail, not having it created on your behalf in the first place has the better environmental impact.
Turn Things Off
Being vigilant about turning the lights off in an empty room is great. But what about all the appliances and electronic goods that, even when not in use, drain electricity. Phantom power use is a big waste of electricity, money and natural resources.
Eat Less Meat
This year go vegetarian or vegan, even for just the day. Even if you’re a meat-and-two-sides kind of family, there are ways to abstain from meat and animal products, if only for one day a week (think: Meatless Mondays). There are plenty of ideas for weeknight vegan and vegetarian meals. The way meat is produced in most of the world — no longer on small farms — has taken a toll on the Earth’s health and climate. In fact, meat production is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases on the planet.
Recycle (and Stop Buying So Many) Electronics
We live in an age where even our $1,000 phones are basically disposable. We expect them to be out of date in fewer than five or 10 years. Lower-cost ones are even easier (and more common) to get rid of, rather than resell, refurbish or live without new and better features. Recycling electronic goods, called e-waste, is important. Precious metals are stripped and reused, and plastic casings are melted and converted into something else. Even better is to commit to not succumbing to the siren song of upgrades and new gear. Sure, we’re in a home computer and smartphone world. But do you really need a tablet? Or would a single tablet cover your needs and mean you don’t also need a smartphone and computer. Isn’t one videogame console enough? And what about all those handheld toys going unplayed in your kids’ closets?
Clothes and fast fashion are also destroying the planet. Fabrics contain petroleum products. The carbon cost to make and ship them is steep, even if the price tags are low. Retail therapy can still be a guilty pleasure, but shopping used means you’re not making the planet pay the steep price. Secondhand stores are filled with barely worn clothing, brand-new home goods and other things you’re tempted to get at big box stores. Make Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul your first stop when you think you need something. Save the big box stores for times when you can’t find gently used items.
Refuse (Then Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
We are given so many things throughout a single day that we haven’t even asked for. Straws with our drinks, napkins in a bag, packages surrounding one serving of a fruit or vegetable, packets, tote bags, flyers, stickers, free keychains, armbands and more. It seems rude to refuse and, when you do, you’re often met with confused looks and “Are you sure? It’s free!” But not taking something, no matter how small, is the first step in turning around modern lives of excess and planet destruction. Next is finding ways to reduce packaging on necessities, which might mean shopping in bulk food stores, especially ones that let you bring your own container. Recycling is great, of course, and we’re lucky to have the option (though it’s unclear how long that is going to last). But refusing: That gets down to the root of it.
Tell Grandparents: ‘No More Toys’
It seems rude and unthinkable, but we might be at a point where we need to tell grandparents (and other well-wishers), “No more toys.” Before kids are even born, they have a carbon footprint, with all the gifts and equipment and supposedly necessary things you need to raise a baby. By the time they’re toddlers, they’re surrounded in chaos by so many plastic toys, or even cloth and wooden things, that they don’t ever really play with them
Sure, individual actions are important, but policy changes could go a long way to support (and incentivize others) to go green, reach out to your city council about cleaner air, a plastic bag ban or how to create a more walkable neighborhood or downtown in your area. Tell your representative in your state legislature that you want your state to commit to reducing carbon emissions as agreed upon in international agreements, such as the Paris Accord. And nationally, pressure your senators to approve executive cabinet appointments of only those whose interests truly benefit the environment. Elect leaders who understand that climate change is real. And if there are none of them to vote for, run for office yourself.
You know all this. We all, just need to put it, at least some of it, into practice. Let’s start with implementing a new program from Big Unity…UnityVeg.
We can take a small step and work our way into healthier eating and help the Earth in that small way. You all know we at Unity are doing many things to reduce our Carbon Footprint…recycling, using cleaning products that are environmentally friendly, buying recycled paper products and copy paper, recycling our ink cartridges…and now let’s give a try to healthier food options for our Fellowship time. Fruits, veggies, baked goods with a healthy twist. We can do this. Starting next week, lets all try to do our part here at Unity.
And with that, let’s meditate on all we have learned today.
GREAT Morning Beloved!!!
Easter Sunday – The Twelve Who Knew Him
Easter Day, of course, commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus. AS you most likely know, the word Easter comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Eastre, the name of the Goddess of spring, in whose honor a festival was celebrated each April.
Fun Fact: Easter Day always comes on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after March 21. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is the next Sunday. Easter can never fall earlier than March 22 nor later than April 25.
All in the interest of the so-called Pagans that the Romans were trying to win over to Christianity in order to control them from a governmental point of view.
For us in Unity, we see Easter as a way to re-affirm our knowing that we are eternal. Death is not the final word.
The Easter story demonstrates that there is something within us that was here before we incarnated and remains after seeming death. Death is not the end of life, rather the continuation of the life process. Jesus proved this in the great demonstrations known as the resurrection and the ascension
Resurrection follows crucifixion. No life escapes this process. The Easter story is about an old way being crucified so something new can be born. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime event. When someone experiences a divorce, the death of a partner, loses a job, or experiences a shift in external circumstances, an old identity dies so a new one can be born.
Keep a True Lent, Charles Fillmore explained, “The resurrection takes place in us every time we rise to Jesus’s realization of the perpetual indwelling life that is connecting us to the Father. A new flood of life comes to all who open their minds and their bodies to the living word of God.”
We look to Jesus as a model for how to resurrect from our own crucifixion experiences. The Easter story is a reminder that no matter what seems to happen to us, it does not have the final word. We can look beyond appearances and recognize that there is a divine plan unfolding. Our task is to hold on to that vision until our life bears witness to truth that liberates us and sets us free.
Living in an awareness of the Christ potential should not be limited to one day. The transformational power that is inside all of us is cause for a lifetime of celebrations. Easter is not simply a play to be acted out; it is, in essence, an experience that must be lived every day.
“Metaphysically, the resurrection is our power to overcome, to restore, to renew with health, peace, love, prosperity, and joy, whatever it is that we are trying to revive,” said Rev. Gaylon McDowell, senior assistant minister at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago and host of Truth Transforms on Unity Online Radio®.
“For those in poor health, regaining health is resurrection. People experience resurrection when their relationship or financial problems are resolved through the realization that God is the source of their supply. Anytime we explore new ideas or new possibilities, we are experiencing a resurrection.”
We become overcomers when we lift our minds out of the tomb of doubt, despair, and resignation and allow our spiritual nature room to express and transform our experiences. “You are an overcomer when you move beyond that which only your five senses can detect and are aware of your oneness with God. You are not separate from God. The Kingdom of God is inside you. You are the self-expression of God, and as the individualized expression of God, you are already whole and complete,” said McDowell.
Today, we are going to experience Jesus through the eyes of several folks who knew him in some way, according to Biblical stories. Listen to the words and emotion that each person presents to us as they speak. Let yourself go, imagining that you are there, over 2000 years ago, walking the dusty roads of the Near East.
Maybe YOU walked the same paths, shared the same air….maybe you were there….
1. Mary Mother of Jesus – Andrea
2. Anna, the Prophetess – Carole
3. The Woman at the Well – Karen
4. Joseph, the Brother of Jesus – Dan
5. The Woman taken in adultery – Kathleen
6. The Publican – Laurie
7. The boy who gave his lunch – Diane
8. Simon Peter – Leroy
9. Mary of Bethany – Jeanne
10. Nicodemus – Greg
11. Woman in the Crowd – Bronwen
12. Mary Magdalene – Nancy
Great Morning Beloved!!!
Palm Sunday the Unity Way
You know we at Unity could look at Palm Sunday in a more traditional way, but that’s not like us, is it? So, we will look at the myth, because it is not noted in any history, only in religious texts.
What Palm Sunday does is provide a day for spiritual contemplation that shouldn’t be missed. Just as the Easter story symbolizes the deaths and resurrections of our lives, Palm Sunday reflects the human story too. It presents a few Lessons for us. One is about facing fear.
Let’s set the stage leading to Palm Sunday. The Passover Observance is coming, there is tension in the city because the Political and Spiritual leaders were fearful of Jesus. They didn’t understand what his purpose was and so they looked at how he was testing their laws and customs.
They chased him out of the city prior to Sunday.
Just an example of what fear can do to people.
And He had been warned not to go back, his disciples were worried. Anyone could guess there would be trouble.
As the Gospel of Luke says, “His face was set toward Jerusalem” (Luke 9:53). Jesus wouldn’t be dissuaded. He knew his purpose.
Have you ever felt called to move boldly forward knowing the odds were against you? Even if your heart was pounding, you took a step in the direction you knew would fulfill your purpose?
I believe taking the steps to move to Delaware and see if we could start a Unity presence here was a major step. I don’t know if I would call it fear, but probably an emotion related to fear for sure…insecurity, my introvert personality certainly had some things to say.
But we faced our fears and questions and here we are!
How about you? Are you facing such fears now?
Think about that for a moment…. what happened when you moved forward? Did you accomplish or at least start what your vision told you?
Did you look to someone outside yourself for approval? Sure, we do that.
Whose approval is important to you? Family, friends, coworkers?
Can disapproval throw you off balance? What about your own approval?
Whose approval did Jesus have. His own, and God’s, I would think.
Jesus was true to himself and his mission on planet Earth. He kept on being Jesus, teaching what he taught, attracting crowds, performing miracles, letting the chips fall where they may.
And that is our job, to stay on purpose, to be true to our TRUE self, to face the fear, and carry forth the mission whatever it is, to keep doing what we’re here to do regardless of others’ approval. One day, you will notice you have emerged into a new life. I sure have!!!
And you will find yourself surrounded by like-minded people supporting you.
So, let’s look at some metaphysics and see where they might fit in our life. Imagine these ideas…
Jerusalem symbolizes a vision of peace within us.
For us, Jerusalem is the abiding consciousness of spiritual peace.
Jesus symbolizes our I AM identity. His going up to Jerusalem means our taking the last step in unfoldment in preparation to the final step, when the personality is entirely crucified and the Christ triumphs.
Notice, it’s UP TO JERUSALEM…going up means what? Going to higher consciousness…
Jesus riding the colt into Jerusalem means the spiritual I AM within us takes control and lifts all the animal forces up to the spiritual plane of mastery, purity, and peace. Those animal forces or thoughts are to be mastered and controlled and made to serve.
Think about what its been like for you as you have let negative thoughts and words go from your mind and how freeing that is?
The hosannas of the rejoicing multitude and the spreading of their garments and branches of trees before Jesus, represent joyful obedience and homage that all the thoughts in one’s consciousness give when an error state of mind is overcome.
At some time, most of us have been part of a crowd that welcomed a great hero, paid tribute to a notable public figure, or cheered a championship team. Go Eagles!
Remembering the eager acclaim and enthusiasm that marked such an occasion, we have a vague idea of the spirit in which Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday.
Certainly, Jesus’ life and teachings do show the way to freedom and happiness and prosperity. But Jesus had no intention of becoming an earthly king; and most of the people were not yet capable of understanding the spiritual kingdom in which the Christ is ruler.
So, he enters the Temple. And gets mad! And smashes the tables and sends money and sacrificial animals flying. Making more trouble for himself…almost like he did things on purpose.
What does the “temple of God” represent, and what is indicated by Jesus’ casting out “them that sold and bought in the temple”? The temple is our body and the desires, fears, and other negative emotions that act as destructive forces in the body or that put it to unworthy uses are, they that sell and buy. With His word Jesus cast out these negations. The Power of our words….
“My house shall be called a house of prayer.” Why do you think the pronoun “my” is used here? Through the right use of our I AM we take conscious possession of the body and cast out all that is unworthy of a son of God.
Have YOU taken possession of your thoughts and body?
A prayerful attitude saves the body from becoming a “den of robbers by awaking it to the Christ consciousness.
“The washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus typifies a cleansing process, or a denial of personality and materiality. ”
By the simple act of washing the apostles’ feet, Jesus made it clear that he who is greatest is the one who serves best.
“In this humble way Jesus taught and exemplified the willingness of divine love to serve….”
Jesus explained the lesson he wanted to convey: If he could disregard worldly rank and offer them a menial service, surely, they too should be willing to give themselves in loving service to one another and to mankind.
How many times have we promised our higher self: “I won’t criticize again? I’ll try to be understanding … I’m through with bigotry and prejudice. I’ll show brotherly love … I won’t give way to panic next time. I’ll keep calm and strong by keeping faith … I won’t be depressed by thoughts of fear and pessimism. I’ll keep a positive mental attitude and depend on God’s love and power.”
Have these been empty promises? We can do better! We can keep these promises and more.
Whenever possible, Jesus taught by example.
He did not merely tell people about God’s power. He performed miracles of healing.
He not only talked about humility and service. He washed the apostles’ feet.
He did not boast about eternal life. He proved it through His own resurrection.
Jesus was a practical idealist who understood Truth principles and applied them to change people’s lives.
He followed up His promises with action; and we can follow Him by keeping our promises to our higher self.
All the Truth we can ever hear about or read about or know intellectually will help us only to the extent that we use it. Every single Truth idea that we put into practice in any area of living will strengthen and help us for further application.
When we apply Truth in a practical way, we make it our own, and benefits accrue.
So, he faces Pilate who represents the will, the executive power of the mind. Pilate has no spiritual understanding; therefore, his will cannot act wisely.
When Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified, he washed his hands and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see ye to it. We cannot escape responsibility for our errors merely by attempting to avoid accepting and acknowledging the authority of Truth.
Reminds me of ‘we are not punished for our sins but by them….’
The “chief priests and the elders symbolize the religious thoughts that follow strictly the forms and ceremonies of religion, but do not recognize that the authority of Spirit that underlies them is greater than the outward forms and ceremonies.
This is like going through the motions without any work or thought behind them.
Where do we see this in our life? Someone following the rules but not the spirit of the situation.
Our self -discovery, our self-knowledge helps everyone move forward.
What happens when the will endeavors to assert its authority over Truth? It may and sometimes does succeed in postponing for a time the full unfoldment of Truth in the consciousness (deliver Jesus to be crucified), but Truth is omnipotent and the I AM eventually realizing full power and dominion over our being.
Why did the multitude choose to have Barabbas released instead of Jesus? The multitude here represents those who are wedded to external forms of religion. They resent new presentations of Truth that revolutionize their creeds and dogmas.
That’s interesting…many traditional religions stick to the dogmas whether they make any sense any more or not. And sometimes it’s “because we’ve always done it this way….”
So, from a metaphysical interpretation, the Palm Sunday experience represents our conscious surrender to our innate divinity. It reawakens our childlike faith. It is a stirring of our entire consciousness, the “city in turmoil” with the suspicion that something amazing is at work, even when we do not yet understand what is occurring.
This ‘deep work in consciousness intensifies throughout the experience and culminates in a process of crossing out of old ideas and great transformation. Unity calls this purification process “chemicalization”
Our old tapes, worn out beliefs, and negative programming are sacrificed so that we may rise into a higher expression of Christ consciousness.
SO, Today let’s honor of the Christ Spirit that ruled in Jesus and should rule now in all our minds and hearts.
How do we honor the Christ?
When we remember that we are spiritual beings, children of God, capable of developing and expressing all the qualities of the Father.
When we control our thoughts, desires, words, and emotions, keeping them always constructive.
When we strive toward any high goal, confident that God works through us for attainment.
When we see the Christ potential in others, and praise and encourage their commendable traits and efforts.
When we refuse to accept disease or affliction and know that God manifests through us as life and health.
When we think in terms of “you” and “we,” more often than in terms of “I, me, and mine.”
When we overcome fear with faith, hatred with love, ignorance with God-directed wisdom.
When we master unworthy desires and lowly impulses and discipline ourselves to think and act wisely.
When we live each day in a spirit of love, forgiveness, and generosity.
When we pray regularly for the light of understanding, and let that light radiate through all our affairs to bless our world.
When we have faith in the goodness of God, faith in ourselves, and faith in our fellow men.
You have a chance to make it a holy week in your life. Let us open our hearts and minds to the Spirit of Christ during the coming week. Let us go about the affairs of our lives in a quiet spirit, let us give more time than usual to prayer during this week. Let us practice being still; let us practice the presence of God.
Discover the Power Within You
The Great Demonstration (Lesson # 7)
Eric Butterworth was a theologian and well- known Unity minister who authored 16 books on spirituality. One of his most well -read books is “Discover the Power Within You.” In Unity, this book is considered iconic and has been the basis of Sandy’s last 6 lessons in our Sunday services. Butterworth’s central theme and message is that we all are spiritual beings with an innate divinity. This divinity is the power within each of us. Butterworth states that Jesus’ intention was to help his followers understand the spiritual potential of every person. The teachings of Jesus are timeless and as relevant today as was two thousand years ago. In Unity, we see Jesus as our way shower for self -realization and self-unfoldment of our Christ consciousness. Butterworth tells us “The Christ that was in Jesus is the Christ in us.”
Today’s lesson is entitled “The Great Demonstration.” This is the story of the first Easter and how Jesus triumphed over death. In life, Jesus demonstrated an undeniable unity and oneness with God as Spirit and taught that we can have this same relationship with the Divine. Butterworth states that Easter is not a passport to another world. It is a time to take a new look at ourselves and awaken to our God Self here and now. Metaphysically, Easter is the awakening and arising to spiritual consciousness and the Christ within us. When we are “born again” metaphysically, we see a new spiritual dimension. From this spiritual place in our hearts and minds, we know the “Kingdom of God” is within us, as Jesus taught and anything and everything is possible! Through the resurrection, Jesus demonstrated that the life of God is changeless and eternal for each of us because of our divinity. With all the mysteries of life and death, we can trust that our souls are immortal.
Jesus taught that life is for living. His greatest demonstration was teaching us how to live, and he exemplified living a life that impacts the lives of others in loving, powerful ways. Jesus was highly evolved spiritually and demonstrated his gifts with teaching, performing miracles and healing. Butterworth explains that Jesus was not a magician. In his ministry, he fulfilled divine law not only because of his divinity and higher consciousness, but because he believed those he came in contact with were also divine. He healed people of faith who were innately divine, whole and complete. Healing happens this way every day believing we have the power to heal as Myrtle Filmore, our Unity founding mother demonstrated.
Jesus’ examples of living life were ones of expressing unconditional acceptance of others with love and compassion and forgiveness. Jesus condemned the hypocrisy and greed of his day and spoke truth to power. He demonstrated that love and compassion were more important than social status or wealth, and perhaps Jesus’ most profound yet simple teaching was to “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”
Some examples of other highly evolved spiritual people are Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Unity Co-founders Myrtle and Charles Filmore. There are many others who have lived or are living in our world today. We have many among us who feel a deep oneness with the Divine, are committed to their spiritual growth and to lifting up their sisters and brothers…it could be anyone of us.
Life is for living, for growing, for unfolding and evolving. We are told in “Discover the Power Within” that anything we will ever be, we already are! The Great Demonstration of resurrection is the possibility for all of us to step into a fuller experience of life without self-limitations and as our eternal, ageless, whole and complete Selves. Challenges become opportunities for growth. When we overcome problems, those same problems can be a blessing. The end becomes a new beginning. Thinking of life as unfolding and evolving, here are some questions to contemplate…How do you want to grow? How might you want to live your life in new ways? What are you called to demonstrate in your life? Listen to the still voice within for answers. Perhaps use these questions for meditation and journaling.
In the Easter story, when the stone from the Jesus’ tomb was rolled away, his body was not there. The biblical story tells Jesus had arisen from the dead, and he demonstrated his resurrection of new life to the people who loved and followed him. At the end of the chapter named The Great Demonstration, Butterworth writes that we don’t need to change ourselves. Rather we only need to be resurrected into a new consciousness of our spiritual identity as divine….see the divinity in ourselves and see the divinity in others. The stones of human limitations are rolled away. As I reflected upon this image of rolling away any human limitation as we would a stone, I envisioned what I would roll away for my own spiritual evolution. I would roll away fear that gets in my way of knowing my complete power. I would roll away judgement…judgement of myself and others so I could completely live my life from a place of acceptance and love. Think upon this…What would you roll away for the evolution of your spirit?
The season of Easter is a season of renewal and hope. Butterworth suggests that you allow Easter to happen to you. Look within and embrace your spiritual identity and power. Look toward the light of a new day and possibilities. May you embrace your divinity and unfold and fulfil your divine potential with abundant joy, love, peace. May you celebrate new awakenings of your Spirit and experience new ideas, new faith, new strength and confidence to pursue your greatest purpose as the divine being you are!
Leading to Meditation, end with this beautiful reading from Poet John O’Donohue
May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul. May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your own individuality and difference. May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening. May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.