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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.”

“Spiritual Economics – The Truth About Substance”

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.

The Wizard of Oz – There’s no place like home

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.

The Wizard of Oz – Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

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.

The Wizard of Oz – Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west

Great Morning Beloved!

The Wizard of Oz – Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west

We’re back at Oz, checking out what’s been happening to Dorothy and her friends. We’ve come a long way from drab Kansas. But we also have learned that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes asking for adventure doesn’t turn out as the adventure we were thinking about, does it?

This week our leading question is: Have you been, unconsciously, letting others steal your energy?
We all unconsciously compete for energy with each other.

Did you know that?

But we do not need to surrender our energy. And you do not need to rob energy from others either.
The need to give control to others and the addictive need to dominate are both obstacles to spiritual enlightenment.

The true energy we all seek flows abundantly from the creative source of the universe.

When Dorothy and her trio ask the Wizard for help, after he bullies them, he gives them “a very small task.” But it’s not small at all…to bring him the Wicked Witch’s broomstick.

The Wizard is attempting to shatter their confidence in the process of attempting to prove their worthiness. He’s making promises but attaching conditions thus creating dependency. But this is false dependency since we know the Wizard is not all-knowing as he claims. Otherwise, why not do this small task himself or even trade the ruby slippers for our three friends’ requests.

It seems that he is fearful of the Wicked Witch himself and so bullies Dorothy & crew do his dirty work. Dorothy & friends allow themselves to be denigrated and controlled by the Wizard, letting the Wizard steal energy from the Wicked Witch by gaining her broom and therefore, control the energy flow in Oz.

Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch plans to win all the energy by robbing Dorothy.

This is almost like a daytime soap opera!

The only way our friends can circumvent these pathetic control dramas is by consciously recognizing these destructive energy dynamics. “Becoming aware of a power struggle allows you to consciously choose whether to continue it, transform it, or rise above it.’

Of course, the Wicked Witch may feel justified going after Dorothy; after all, the ruby slippers were her sisters. But, like Miss Gulch, the Wicked Witch is a deeply disturbed individual. She uses black-magic to control others and acquire more power – all to compensate for her deep-seated neuroses.

Greene tells us, “Inner peace is the harmony between conflicting forces. It is the balance between decency and indecency, between morality and immorality, between spiritual consciousness and base animal needs. When you are wicked, you disrupt this balance.”

The more you embrace evil, the bigger this chasm becomes, making it easier for your wickedness to continue which is why Glinda said, “Only bad witches are ugly.”

To feel in control, the Wicked Witch is obsessed with controlling others – the Winged Monkeys, the Winkie Guards, Dorothy, and ultimately Emerald City.

In Zen, monkeys symbolize the madness of an unbalanced mind, maybe why the witch surrounds herself with the Winged Monkeys.

The witch, like Miss Gulch, is a heartless coward, unconsciously convinced that controlling all of Oz and subjugating all its inhabitants will compensate for her inability to overcome her unresolved subconscious conflicts, like her inability to overcome her lack of self-worth, perhaps created from sibling rivalry with her sister.

Like Miss Gulch, the Wicked Witch does not accept herself as she is, craving recognition and acquisition as substitutes for love. Thus, her need for control, but what she really needs is control of herself.
Of course, that control only comes about when you discover your True Self and awaken the inner spark within you. This unlocks your rich creative potential.

Here’s a story…see if you can figure out who has the low self-esteem?

A man went to the local barber. He mentioned that he was taking a trip to Rome.

“I hear that Rome is overrated,” said the barber. “The hotels are substandard and over-priced. The streets are a nightmare. Italians are rude to Americans. You really won’t like it.”

The man protested, “But I’ve been saving for years to make this trip. Besides, there is a good chance that I will be able to get an audience with the Pope.”

The barber gave him a skeptical look. “I wouldn’t count on that if I were you,” he said. “The Pope only gives audiences to really important people.”

A couple of weeks later the man returned to the barber shop.
“How was your trip?” the barber asked.

Oh, it was great!” the man answered. “The city was beautiful, the hotel was fantastic, Italian people were so friendly, and I got to see the Pope.”

The barber couldn’t believe it. “You saw the Pope?”

“That’s right, “said the man. “I bent down and kissed his ring.”
“Wow!” Said the barber, “Did he say anything?”

“Yes, he did,” replied the man. “He looked down at my head while I was kneeling and said, “What a lousy haircut!”

According to William Bausch in “The Yellow Brick Road – A Storyteller’s Approach to the Spiritual Journey,” low self-esteem presents itself in 10 possible ways:
1. All-or-nothing thinking: pg.126

2. Overgeneralization: see a single event as a never-ending pattern of defeat; using words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ when they speak.

3. Mental filtering: will pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively

4. Discounting the positive: reject positive experiences insisting they do not count. Pg. 128-129

5. Jumping to conclusions: interprets things negatively when there are no facts to support their conclusions.
6. Magnification: exaggerate the importance of their problems and shortcomings.

7. Emotional reasoning: assuming their negative emotions reflect the way things really are – “I feel guilty, I must be a rotten person”

8. ‘Should’ statements: things SHOULD be the way they hoped or expected them to be

9. Labeling: the extreme of all-or-nothing thinking – instead of saying “I made a mistake” they say, “I’m a loser”.
10. Personalization and blame: hold themselves personally responsible for events that aren’t under their control.

Having lost her inner connection with the source of all energy, the Wicked Witch resorts to manipulation to steal energy from others. She fails to grasp the basic Zen principle by Lao-tzu, “For every force there is a counterforce. Violence, even well-intentioned, always rebounds upon itself.”

The Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West both need to clear away their past programming for controlling the flow of energy. They use intimidation to create an aura of power, when in fact they are most isolated from universal energy.

Dorothy and her friends need to clear away their past programming to prevent others from controlling them and take control of their own lives. Instead they reacted to the control drama by being meek and small to elicit sympathy to regain the flow of energy.

We can break free from a pattern of control by discovering our true Self, by tapping into the universal source of all energy, become aware of the controlling dramas. Instead of trying to elicit sympathy, use our compassion to help others like the three friends did for Dorothy.

Instead of intimidation, drop the illusion of power and use your leadership skills to help others get in touch with their true power.

If you refuse to give up your control like the Wicked Witch, you will eventually self-destruct. “Good always prevails over evil because evil ultimately dissolves itself.”

Just look at the demise of the Wicked Witch, melting from the water splashed on her as Dorothy threw it on the Scare Crow’s burning arm: “Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?”

From the Tao Te Ching:
Nothing in the world
Is as soft and yielding as water
Yet, for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
Nothing can surpass it.

So, we can see from this weeks’ Lesson that: Self-knowledge + self-acceptance = self-esteem

“The Wizard of Oz – Surrender Dorothy”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!

“The Wizard of Oz – Surrender Dorothy”

This week we get to talk a little about our main character, Dorothy.

Joey Green tells us, “Your hearts’ desire is your destiny” but then he reminds us that we must first give up our attachment to the outcome.

It’s not giving up intention, just the attachment to the result. In this way we give over, we surrender to the creative intelligence of the cosmos. Go with the flow…allow it to unfold before you.

Dorothy certainly did surrender to the tornado! She got her dream of adventure, but certainly not what she thought it would be.

But she DID get to see things from a different perspective. We’ve discussed our perspective several times over the years. It’s important to remember that what you are seeing is most often NOT the whole picture.

Here’s an example from William Bausch’s book, “The Yellow Brick Road – A Storytellers Approach to the Spiritual Journey.”
Told from a missionary’s viewpoint…” At one time, myself and a family – a mother, a father and two children-were living in the same quarters in China, all under house arrest. We had been under house arrest for several years and we were living somewhat comfortably. One day a soldier came and told the family, “You can all return to America, but you may take only two hundred pounds of belongings with you, no more, no less.”
Well, we had been there for two years. Two hundred pounds. So, the family got a scale, and then the arguments started between the husband and the wife and the two children: “I must have this vase.” “I must take this typewriter; it’s almost new.” “I must have these books.” “I must take this…I must take that.”
And so, they weighed everything, took off, weighed it, put back on. Back and forth, back and forth, until finally they got it just precisely on the dot: two hundred pounds.
The soldier returned the next day and said, “ready to go?” The parents said, “Yes.” He said, “Did you weigh everything?” They said, “Yes.” “Did you weigh your kids?” “No, we didn’t.” He said, “Weigh the kids.”
And in a moment, off went the typewriter, off went the vase, off went the books, into the trash. All the things that they thought they could not do without-into the trash.
This family certainly saw things differently when faced with a tough but really simple choice.

When the Wicked Witch of the West writes; “Surrender Dorothy” across the sky, it’s obvious, Dorothy has attracted an enemy. But she doesn’t let the Wicked Witch deter her until her precious Toto is threatened. She will eventually face some choices and in the end, she choose to remain with her intent to return to Kansas and her Aunt Em.

Dorothy has attracted a serious enemy in the Wicked Witch of the West. But even our worst enemy has something to teach us. The Witch’s ruthless desire to gain the ruby slippers inadvertently teaches Dorothy how to detach from her own burning desire.

Can you recall lessons learned from people or situations that, at the time, you might have considered the enemy?
Were they permanent lessons or do you have to go through that situation one more time?

The tornado certainly seemed to be an answer to Dorothy’s dream for a life more than dreary Kansas. Now she has choices: she can stay in Technicolor Munchkinland and be a heroine. Her only threat is the Wicked Witch of the West who threatens her: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too.”

Glinda lets Dorothy know that the ruby slippers will protect her. Remember, the slippers are our ‘inner spark.’
Why does Dorothy wish to return to drab Kansas? She could live as a hero in Munchkinland, protected by the ruby slippers and Glinda. It was her dream, after all, to go somewhere over the rainbow and now she’s in the colorful land of Oz, she wants to go back.

Isn’t that surrendering? Isn’t she forsaking her dream?

Does Dorothy really belong in Munchkinland? Under these circumstances, some would say she was a freak, a giant, and probably worse. She’d be a minority of one, forever out of step with the citizenry.

In a sense, these are the same reasons she had to leave Kansas – she was the only one to stand up to Miss Gulch, even though, Miss Gulch owned half the county.

Dorothy could also make Emerald City her home, after all, the citizens welcomed her with open arms. And when the Wizard finally agreed to see them and asked for the ‘very small task’ of the Wicked Witches broomstick, they could have said no and just stayed in the city.

Again, there’s no future for Dorothy in the Emerald City. The citizens just laugh all day, wake at noon, start work at one, take an hour for lunch and finish work by two.

Dorothy is much more ambitious – just look at all she’s done already to get to Emerald City.

And again, Dorothy could live in the Wicked Witch’s castle now that she is dead. The green faced Winkie Guards and blue faced Winged Monkeys were pleased that the witch was dead. “Hail to Dorothy! The Wicked Witch is Dead.”
Living there goes against Dorothy’s nature.

Ever feel like that…like you don’t belong? You searched for a Spiritual Family and you belong here.

When it looks as if her last chance to return to Kansas floats away with the balloon, she says, “But this could never be like Kansas,” insinuating that there are no dreams for her to dream in Oz.

DO you remember, she gave up on her dream to explore when she ran back to the farm after Professor Marvel tricked her into wanted to go back to Auntie EM.

There’s a difference between desire and intent. The Desire to return to Kansas includes attachment to the outcome. It becomes an obsession.

An intention has no attachment. Dorothy intends to return to Kansas but has no attachment to the outcome. There is no longer an obsession.

By letting go of our desire and by participating with detached involvement, you open up to infinite possibilities.
Dorothy never seems to give up her attachment of her goal. She never seems to put her life on the line for anyone. In fact, many would say she is nothing more than a self-centered child.

Getting sent to bed without supper to save Toto from Miss Gulch is hardly a self-sacrifice. And running away never thinking what it would do to Aunt Em & Uncle Henry is a cowardly act,

In Oz, the Scare Crow, Tin Man & Lion all risk their lives for Dorothy.

Only when she surrenders the ruby slippers to the Wicked Witch to save Toto does she sacrifice herself to the witch’s mercy. She also surrenders her desire to get back to Kansas, but not her intention.

Dorothy believed her chance to return to Kansas left with the balloon, so her desire left with it. But she still intended to go, but the obsession is gone.

Only when Glinda comes does she see things from a different perspective, in this case, from within, using her ‘inner spark’, her ruby slippers.

If only we all had a pair of ruby slippers…..but we do! We all have that inner spark that can guide us if we would just connect to it.

Let’s do that now in meditation.

The Wizard of Oz – If I were king of the forest

Great Morning Beloved!
The Wizard of Oz – If I were king of the forest

We meet the third companion of Dorothy’s this week. So far, you have had opportunity to meet and possibly relate to: Dorothy, Toto, Miss Gulch, the Munchkins, Glinda, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Scare Crow and the Tin Man.
Each has had something to share with us. And it’s possible that we relate to more than one character.

This week we meet the Cowardly Lion. But is he really a coward?

Your true Self doesn’t fear any challenge. It is neither inferior nor superior to anyone. Pure consciousness, our True Self, is unencumbered by insecurities, apprehension or the need for approval or control.

Unfortunately, our thinking and behavior in the material world is generally based on fear. The Lion, trying to look fierce, attempts to intimidate the Tin Man and the Scare Crow. When that doesn’t work, he chases Toto, causing Dorothy to slap him on the nose causing the Lion to cry.

Dorothy meets two other cowards in Oz; the Wicked Witch of the West and the Wizard. They each pick on Dorothy and her companions, resorting to name calling and threats.

Cowards feel compelled to conquer others to compensate for the fact that they have not conquered themselves. Green tells us; “All relationships reflect your relationship with yourself.”

What the Lion craves is to be king of the forest, but really, he wishes to be king over himself. All the external things that the companions are asking for will not fill this void in our existence. Only discovering your true Self will start you on the path toward spiritual fulfillment.
pg. 80

Clearly, the Lion wishes to be king for the wrong reasons.

And, looking at ourselves, if we need to subjugate others to compensate for our insecurities, we become a cruel and selfish ruler – like the Witch and the Wizard.

When you become king over yourself, you become a compassionate and caring leader, like Glinda.

The Tao puts it this way: “He who has power over others cannot empower himself.”

True power stems from power over yourself.

The Lion confuses courage with intimidation, bullying. A courageous individual does not resort to either of these. Like the Wizard and the Wicked Witch, the Lion yearns for power merely to validate himself.

People with the talent for leadership express power to serve. They do not need to resort to intimidation or bullying.

To be the king of the forest the Lion must cast away his need for power and control. And we must do the same if we wish to get in touch with our spiritual essence. We must re-discover our higher Self and re-member our life’s purpose.

We are here, in this body for a unique cosmic purpose…what is it? What are your talents? We all have them. Then how can you use these talents to help others?

Courage flows when we use our talents for the benefit of others because we are being true to ourselves.
Lao-tsu wrote; “There is no greater illusion than fear.”

That is an amazing statement.

Think about it…. fear is an illusion.

What fears are holding you back from your true Self?

If they are illusions, what can you do to remove them from your beliefs?

One fear that the Lion may be struggling with is accepting himself. There’s several hints that the Lion may actually be gay, several times the stereotyped limp wrist is presented in the story, and he receives a perm and bow at the Wash & Brush Up Company; he calls himself a ‘dandelion’, and when the guard refuses to let them in to see the Wizard, he laments, ‘And I got a permanent just for the occasion.”

Maybe part of the Lion’s problem is his refusal to accept his sexual orientation. That IS an issue for many, and it is interesting that the issue is presented in a story from 1900.

And it doesn’t have to be a gay issue. Many of us have struggled with accepting a part of our selves.

The Lion overcomes his fears when his love for Dorothy is put to the test, when she is taken prisoner in the Witches castle.
Lao-tse again tells us, “Because of deep love, one is courageous.”

When the foursome return to the Wizard with the Witches broomstick, the Lion is awarded the Triple Cross ‘for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against wicked witches” the Wizard tells the Lion “he is under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage. You’re confusing courage with wisdom.”

We must understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which the Lion does frequently.

The Scare Crow, the Tin Man, and the Lion are given positions in Oz, beyond what the Lion even dreamed.

And we too can access the infinite potential of the cosmos, freeing yourself to experience life as a miraculous expression of love.

We must link with the cosmos, connect with our true Self and share our gifts with others.