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.