GREAT Morning Beloved!
“Spiritual Economics – The Truth About Substance”
Welcome to our Fall Series! If you have not read Eric Butterworth’s “Spiritual Economics – The Principles and Process of True Prosperity,” you are in for a treat. And you just might want to borrow the book after we complete the series, to read it again, or read along, even better!
Because, as with many great books, they are filled with wisdom that comes true again and again and again.
Spiritual Economics is one of several wonderful books written by Eric Butterworth. Born in Winnipeg, Canada but raised in Southern California, Eric actually followed his Mother into the Unity Ministry. His ministry attendance totaled in the thousands in both Detroit and New York.
He earned high respect for his delivery of universal spiritual ideas. His teaching focused on the divinity of all people, and his desire was that everyone would know their oneness with God.
Get that…UNIVERSAL. That means it’s for everyone. Simple.
SO, this series is for everyone.
We each have an inner urge to live life to its fullest and to share that fullness with others. This book gives us steps to achieve that fullness of life. It’s not necessarily about accumulating ‘things’, as you will learn.
Eric has coined the term ‘wealthful’ to mean “relating to the things that make for a personal experience of wealth.”
And why do we need a new term? To help us turn away from lack, and layoffs and limitations and instead turn our attention toward the omnipresence of universal substance. It is everywhere through all of nature and through the endless flow of creative ideas coming forth from our minds in moments of inspiration.
Are you still in the belief that godliness goes hand in hand with poverty? Lack & limitation go against the Laws of the Universe. The Universe is unlimited. We have not tapped into that Source.
What Charles Fillmore believed is we are ‘frustrating our potential’ when we live lives poor and limited. We believe that it’s all about bad luck. Really!
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Matthew 6:33
SO, how many of us have done that?
Yeah, right. What are we waiting for?
‘We must begin to face the possibility that financial problems may be the outer manifestation of inner states of consciousness. A great idea whos time has come is that there is no such thing as a purely financial problem unrelated to false attitudes and emotions which caused it or a healthy attitude or emotion which can cure it.”
We have to declare independence from those beliefs that tie our personal welfare to the world ‘out there.
The free flow of substance can only be dammed up from within.
No one can keep your good from you but you.
“Affluence’ means ‘an abundant flow’, not ‘stuff’, ‘things’. And ‘wealth’ originally meant ‘’well-being’.
‘Prosperity’ originally meant ‘according to hope’ or ‘to go forward.’ Nothing like we mean it today. So, broadly interpreted, prosperity is ‘spiritual well-being.’ That is the whole experience of healing life, satisfying love, abiding peace, harmony, and sufficiency.
Butterworth reminds us, “It is consciousness that sets all the limits of life.”
But now we know that life is lived from within-out. So, our starting point in realizing prosperity is accepting responsibility for our own thoughts.
Take charge of your own life.
Eliminate “I can’t,” “I won’t,” and “There’s not enough” from your consciousness.
Talk and think only positive things.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
All that is required is that you keep yourself centered in the creative flow, in tune through positive thoughts.
Here’s another term for you – religion’s root word means ‘bind together.’ So, unity, wholeness, oneness.
Unfortunately, it’s become something to join rather than a transcendence experience.
And H. Emily Cady tells us, in “Lessons in Truth”; “God is not a being with qualities or attributes but is the good itself coming into expression as life, love, power, wisdom.”
This is telling us that God is not loving, but the allness of love. God is not a dispenser of divine substance, but the allness of ever-present substance in which we live, and move, and have being.
And this is the subtle but vitally important key which the entire structure of spiritual economics rests.
The term ‘substance’ comes from Latin which means ‘stand under’. There is a substance standing under everything.
This is not the component parts of a thing, but the nonmaterial essence at the root of everything…the space between where a force field holds the particles.
Relating to God and us, we are not just acted upon by God, but we are the activity of God expressing as us.
In our Tuesday class, we have learned that we live in two worlds. The world of our 5 senses, of either or, of love and evil, of lack and wealth, of health and illness.
But we also live in the Universe, the realm of consistency and stability of basic substances that stands beneath every human experience.
In that Universe, God doesn’t come and go; God is present at every point in space at the same time. “There is no spot where God is not.”
The Truth is, despite the appearance of lack in every area, “there is an infinite and eternal energy from which all things proceed.”
When we keep conscious of the Divine flow, substance will find expression through us as “creative ideas, ingenuity, the will to work, and a security of work opportunities.”
And, as the Quakers say, “When you pray, move your feet.”
Know that God can do no more for you than God can do through you.
And it follows that things may happen around you, things may happen to you, but the only things which really count are the things that happen in you.
The sum total of your thought is your consciousness. We need to control what goes into our minds. WE must take responsibility for our lives.
By your thinking, you are either adding to your good or you are taking away from it.
This is the Law. Failure or lack in your life is simply the result of continuously ‘minus-ing’ yourself.
Conversely, success and prosperity are the results of ‘plus-ing’ yourself.
Negative thoughts of worry and fear are depleting your good. And positive, optimistic thoughts add to your good.
Whatever your needs may be, the answer is to uncover and release our ‘imprisoned splendor.’ When we deal with changeless law, your faith is the key to the kingdom of the power within you.
There are no miracles in an orderly Universe. All things are possible under Divine Law.
And there is no such thing as luck in an orderly and Divine Universe. There is no way in which one can get something for nothing.
There is only one way in which you can change your ‘luck’ and that is by altering your thoughts.
Great Morning Beloved!
The Wizard of Oz – There’s no place like home
Well, home at last. This has been a bit longer journey through OZ than I anticipated when I choose to enter the Yellow Brick Road back in the Spring. But things happen, don’t they? And often, things aren’t always as they seem.
Our journey on the Yellow Brick Road through the Land of Oz has been an enlightening one…that is, IF we let the Lessons aid us on our own personal journey through this life.
Let’s see where we find our gang this week….
The Tao Te Ching tells us – “When they think they know the answer,
People are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don’t.
People can find their own way.”
So, what’s author Greene telling us in this last chapter of his book, “The Zen of Oz – Ten Spiritual Lessons from Over the Rainbow”?
If we believe that we already know everything and it is our journey to enlightenment through re-membering, then we can agree with the basic position of Zen – “it has nothing to say, nothing to teach.”
Alan Watts wrote in “The Way of Zen,” wrote, “the truth of Buddhism is so self-evident, so obvious that it is, if anything, concealed by explaining it. Therefore, the master does not ‘help’ the student in any way, since helping would actually be hindering.”
Which is why I ask questions of you…hoping to stimulate the thinking and thus your journey begins or continues. Though I do not consider myself a master by any means.
In the case of Dorothy and her quest to return to Kansas, the Wizard is certainly NOT the master here. It is Glinda, the Good Witch, who is and who sets Dorothy on her path to self-enlightenment.
When Dorothy learns to stop allowing others to control her life, when she stops putting her faith in others to solve her problems, when she discovers her inner spark, she attains the Zen experience of awakening.
Glinda tells herDorothy awakens to the realization that her heart’s desire is an inward journey, not an outward one. She had to discover this herself. And this is why Glinda sent her to see the Wizard who MIGHT be able to help her.
A Zen Master’s role is to intentionally mislead the student by putting obstacles and barriers in the students’ path. There are those questions again!
Alan Watts tells us again, “This is like encouraging the growth of a hedge by pruning, for obviously, the basic intention is to help, but the Zen student does not really know Zen unless he finds it himself.”
Knowledge cannot be taught; it must be gained from experience.
Jeremy Wolf, Zen poet: “experience isn’t the best teacher, it’s the only teacher.”
Think abut your experience and how they have taught you, led you on your journey of enlightenment….
And what an experience Dorothy and Toto had! She found out what really matters. Time spent with family and friends is what matters…spirituality matters. Discovering your true self matters.
It didn’t matter to Dorothy that her family didn’t believe her after telling them about her ‘Dream’. “This is my room and you are all here…I love you all. Oh, Auntie Em, there’s no place like home!”
This is so much like metaphysics. To truly understand it, you make it personal, you look at the verse or reading or question and ask what does it mean to you? What’s the underlying message for you?
Dorothy discovered what really matters to her.
Here’s another example of what’s important:
What’s Really Important?
It’s a story of a man who decided not to go to the 99 Cent Store for a Valentine’s gift for his wife, but rather a pet store because he thought that is wife would like a bird that would keep her company and sing and talk to her.
He thought, “Wouldn’t be wonderful if when my wife came into the room the bird would say, ‘Good morning, how are you?'” The man thought, “Yes, this is the gift I need to get for my wife.”
So, the man went shopping. He went into a pet shop, asked for the store manager and said, “Sir, I would like a bird that sings and talks.” Well, the man bought the bird. The next day the man returned the bird and said, “I’ve had this bird for twenty-four hours now and it just sits there and looks at me. He doesn’t sing and he doesn’t talk.” “That’s strange,” said the manager. “Does he peck on his little bell?” “What bell?” said the man, a bit frustrated.
“Oh no,” said the store manager. “Did I forget to sell you the bell? You have to have a bell for your bird, mister. You get up to the sound of a bell each morning, don’t you? Well, so will the bird. He will peck on his little bell, and when he hears its sound, he will start his day too.” “How much is the bell?” asked the man. “$8.95, sir,” replied the manager. “Give me the bell.”
The next day, the man was back in the pet shop, only this time he was a little more irritated. “The bird still doesn’t sing or talk,” he said. “Well,” said the manager, “Does he climb his little ladder? He doesn’t have a ladder. Oh, he must have a ladder. Don’t you exercise each morning? Well, birds need exercise too. In fact, that’s really what gets them started. He will begin his day pecking on his little bell, and then he will climb up and down his little ladder. His blood will start circulating and he’ll feel like singing and talking.” “How much is the ladder?” asked the man. “$16.50,” replied the manager. “I’ll take the ladder.” He pays his $16.50 and leaves the pet shop with a ray of hope.
But he is really irritated when he returns on the third day with the same complaint.
“Does he look into his mirror each day?” asked the store manager. “What do you mean by that?” shouted the angry man. “Well, you look into a mirror each morning, don’t you? Doesn’t it make you feel good about yourself? Well, the bird will look into the mirror and feels good about himself. In fact, he’ll feel so good about himself that he will want to sing and talk.”
“Okay, okay,” said the man. “How much is the mirror?”
“$21.95 for this framed mirror,” replied the manager. “Give me the mirror.”
On the fourth day, the angry man returned only to be sold a swing. On the fifth day he walked into the pet shop with a dead bird in his hand. “What happened?” said the store manager. “He died; that’s what happened!” shouted the angry man.
The store manager said, “I hate to ask this, but did he ever sing or talk?” “He never did sing, but he did talk,” replied the man in a quiet and solemn voice. “When I put the swing in his cage, he looked at me rather strangely and then he pecked on his bell, slowly climbed his ladder, looked into his mirror, and then he hopped onto his swing and began swinging ever so gently. Just before he toppled over and died, he looked at me so sadly and said, ‘Why didn’t you buy some birdseed?'”
Are we overlooking what really matters?
Zen Master, Glinda, knows she is sending Dorothy to the Wizard, who is a fraud, but she also knows Dorothy is safe with the ruby slippers, her inner spark. And as she showed them all when Dorothy and the Lion fell asleep in the poppy field, Glinda can help Dorothy when she needs it.
When Dorothy first meets Glinda, she floated away quickly, causing Dorothy to remark that people came and went quickly in Oz. Well, time is fleeting, Eternity is now, the present moment.
A Zen poet wrote, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
The way to live in the moment is to remember, “This too shall pass.”
When you are experiencing joy, remember it while you have it for it will pass. When you are experiencing pain or sorrow, remember that it will pass. It all is only temporary.
When Dorothy says she feels as if she has known the Scare Crow and the Tin Man and the Lion ‘all the time’, she concludes that “We know each other now,” choosing to be in the NOW.
When you embrace the present, when you immerse yourself in the here and now, when you become one with the moment, you experience the pure joy of the cosmos.
The Tao Te Ching says:
Be content with what you have;
Rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
The whole world belongs to you.
Now is the moment of all creation; the moment of all potential; of infinite possibilities.
If you want to change the world, you must first change yourself. Living a life of love and service begins with the desire to center your life on the source of correct morals, ethics, and principles. That source is your intrinsic essence, your true Self, the inner spark within you.
Remember, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
When you discover the true essence of your inner spark and embrace your spiritual nature; when you live in the here and now and are at home with yourself, the creative energy of the cosmic intelligence will flow abundantly, propelling you to your cosmic purpose easily.
Then you will truly know with all your heart and might and soul that there’s no place like home.
This week concludes our Lessons based upon the story of the Wizard of Oz. I hope you had an opportunity to not only see the story through different eyes but maybe were tempted by some of the Lessons and the questions presented to look at yourself for more Spiritual Discovery Opportunities.
Great Morning Beloved!
The Wizard of Oz – Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
Welcome back to the Yellow Brick Road and the Lessons we can possibly learn from our Characters.
This week Joey Greene has us looking at that man behind the curtain…even though he asks us to ignore him.
People can change your life for the better. They can inspire you, motivate you, and help you recognize who you really are.
I am sure you all can look back and recall more than one person who has made a difference in the way your life has progressed. I pray I am doing that for at least some of you. That is my job. I am here to call you higher.
I hope I can be at least a small part for you that my ‘people’ have been for me. My biggest ‘person’ outside my Mother was Rev. Erica Trantham. Erica was my first Unity Minister and was instrumental in inspiring me to become a Licensed Teacher for Unity. She would kid me, tho I’m not sure it was kidding anymore, but she would say, ‘you’re going to be a minister anyway’ and then give me more to do.
She called me higher. I hope I am calling you higher, whatever that means for you.
Joey Greene tells us that inspiring people are gentle souls full of light and joy. Uninspiring people abuse power, in their attempts to help us they are really manipulating us to help themselves.
They are hiding behind the curtain.
Even though Glinda and the Munchkins both say the Wizard of Oz is wonderful, neither say what it is that makes him so. Dorothy’s song, “We’re off to see the Wizard” never answers the statement why he is a wonderful Wiz. Pg. 114
We do find out that the ‘wonderful wizard’ isn’t so powerful that he can contain the Wicked Witch of the West. So, those his powers are very limited.
However, Dorothy, the Scare Crow, the Lion and the Tin Man all put faith in a mysterious Wizard that they have never met to help them with, really, their inside issues….brain, courage and a heart. And of course, Dorothy’s challenge, to return to Kansas and home, a home she thought she wanted to leave.
So, any of that hit a note with any of you? How about depending upon an outsider, a stranger, no less, to solve our souls’ questions? How often have we questioned our brain power? And our courage…how long did it take you to walk through that door? How long did it take you to find the courage to ask yourself those important questions? To pull the curtain away? (What are you waiting for?)
And your heart…are you giving your heart to the one you love or holding out, thinking to protect it from hurt? Yes, we do that but why?
Many questions from this Lesson, already….
Thank you, Toto, for again leading the crew to truth when he pulls on the curtain and reveals the Wizard and his pullies and leavers, revealing just a man…and from Kansas too…wonder what that’s all about? Was Kansas really that bad a place in the 1900’s?
He too, fell from the sky but he accepted the honorary title of Wizard, whereas, when Dorothy fell from the sky in Munchkinland, she refused the honorary title…she wanted to go home. That life just didn’t fit her.
What does that say about the Wizard?
When did the Wizard lose his soul? When did he choose to hide behind a falsehood instead of admitting the truth to himself and the people of the Emerald City?
And are we any less guilty?
It is estimated that 85% of our bodily illnesses come from distress in the soul….yes, mind-body related. William Bausch, in his book, “The Yellow Brick Road-A Storytellers Approach to the Spiritual Journey,” calls it ‘soul sick.’
I remind you of the reading two weeks ago from Thomas Moore’s, “The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life,” ….we have forgotten that nature is the prime source of spiritual life.”
And we see that in many ways and in many places today. And yet, in many places, people who are searching to get back to their soul connection are often asked 4 questions. You may have heard of these:
1. “When in your life did you stop singing?” When did you lose your voice? Who made you feel that it was no longer safe to give voice to your own truth, thus submerging your real self? As a result, your soul has contracted and your identity has been lost.
2. “When did you stop dancing?” When did you begin to lose touch with your body? Children dance spontaneously all the time. How did it happen that we stopped dancing?
3. “When did you stop being enchanted with stories?” Stories are the greatest healing and teaching art we have. Through stories we transmit values, traditions, memories, and identity.
4. “When did you stop being comfortable with silence?” Silence is recognized by all cultures as that place where we connect to mystery. Is it any wonder that our culture is soul sick?
What answers do you think the Wizard would come up with if he asked himself these questions?
I do not think he even considered anything near them until the time he awarded the brain, heart and courage….and then, maybe.
The Wizard was still in the throes of his masquerade as he screened any potential visitor by posing as the Doorman to Emerald City, the Cabby with the Horse of a Different Color, and the Guard to the Palace. This way he remains unreachable and mysterious…..and out of touch with himself and his people.
How many questions do we have to ask ourselves? How many steps do you have to take before letting someone in? 3? 9? 25? More? Think about it. Are you still unreachable?
When the Wizard in the disguise of the Doorman tells our group of heroes that “Nobody can see the Great Oz! Nobody’d ever seen the Great Oz! Even I’ve never seen him!” Thus, he is telling the group that the Wizard is a myth.
He is also warning the group, and us, against blindly following leaders or expecting them to solve our own problems.
The Wizard rules through fear and intimidation, from behind a curtain. What does the curtain mean to you? Do you have one? How thick is it?
Of course, the curtain seems to keep the Wicked Witch at bay, because of the mystery, I suppose.
Through his intimidation and bullying, the Wizard convinces Dorothy and her friends to ‘earn’ the right to have their wishes granted by bringing him the Wicked Witches broomstick, thus killing her for him.
If the friends succeed, the Wizard is liberated from his self-imposed seclusion. If the Witch kills the friends, then he will be rid of the pesky farm girl and the Witches rathe. This is a win-win for him…unless the Witch gets the ruby slippers and the power that supposedly comes with them.
Green reminds us: “When you put your trust in someone who lacks integrity and compassion to solve your problems, chances are that someone will use you as a pawn to solve their own problems.”
The Tao Te Ching says, “If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled.”
So, ask yourself, “Why am I allowing someone else to control my life?”
The “Great” and Wonderful Wizard is astonished when Dorothy and her friends return with the Wicked Witches broomstick, and in his surprise tries to put them off. But after her ordeal with the Witch, she will not allow the Wizard to intimidate her anymore. And Toto comes to the aid again when he pulls the curtain away to expose the Wizard in his truth…or dishonesty.
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” says the supposed Wizard. How many times in our lifetime alone have we been asked to ignore something that we know, deep down in our soul, is not to be ignored? No matter where it came from…
The Wizard is a “humbug!”
He claims to be a bad Wizard but a good man…but would a good man send Dorothy and her friends on what certainly seemed like a suicide mission? That mission did allow for Dorothy to confront her fears. It did allow for her to finally offer herself to protect Toto. She finally takes control of her life.
The Wizard did this unintentionally; should he get good points for it?
When handing out brains, heart and courage, he realizes that he is in need of these qualities too. Proving that we see in others what we have or, in this case, don’t have in ourselves.
And we realize that ‘we already possess the attributes that we seek most passionately, regardless if those traits receive recognition from outside authorities.”
We are reminded again that when we put our faith in someone else to solve our problems, it is because “we lack faith in ourselves.” That lack of respect for ourselves allows us to be easily manipulated.
We must learn to trust our own inner nature and love ourselves. Then you will pay absolutely no attention to the man behind the curtain.