Thursday, April 20, 2017

Honor Your Heart's Desires

It seems that is some circles, including some I “travel” in, there is some confusion around the topic of “desire.” In the Buddhist tradition, the second noble truth is that desire and ignorance are the cause of all suffering. The Christian tradition also seems to teach that one should not desire things, often citing Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not store up treasures on earth…but store up treasures in heaven…”  Books and movies like, The Secret, encourage us to use the law of attraction to manifest our desires. Some denounce that concept as too materialistic. Desire is a natural aspect of our nature, but often we feel guilty for engaging our desires. To better understand the innate drive called “desire”, to learn to honor and respect it, rather than attempt to avoid it, lets explore it.

Abraham, through Esther Hicks, teaches that desire is the beginning of all creation.

Charles Fillmore, the co-founder of Unity, says, in the book Prosperity, “Desire is the onward impulse of the ever evolving soul. It builds from within outward and carries its fulfillment with it as a necessary corollary.”

Marie Watts, in The Ultimate, says, “Mind is never impoverished. Within Its infinite Self-containment all that It can ever desire eternally exists. Every right desire and the conscious power of fulfillment of that desire are contained with this all-knowing Mind.”

Deepak Chopra says, “We are each multidimensional beings, and the different levels of our being give rise to different desires. At the physical level, our body has certain needs and desires for food, water, comfort, nourishing touch and other essential elements for health and vitality. The subtle or psychological level of our existence, which includes our mind, ego, and intellect, desires emotional security and connection. And the causal or spiritual level wants to express itself and experience oneness, expansion, and unity.”
I offer that true desire is born of Love. It is Love loving Itself, and Love perceiving Itself as the impulse toward manifestation. The fulfillment of desire rests in its complete acceptance and allowing of the one who receives the conscious awareness of it.

At the foundation of all true desire is the expression of Love. God, as Love, loved Itself into being as the only begotten idea for humankind, the Christ. The Christ is the essence of each of us, and as Love in expression, must therefore also be Love. Love cannot create anything unlike Itself for it knows none other.

Encoded in the very essence of us is the desire to realize ourselves as the Christ and to be the Christ in expression as Love. The ways in which we do that are unique to each of us. I have often wondered why there are more than seven billion humans on the planet. The answer must be that it takes each and every one of us to complete Loves calling to bring Love into manifestation. Each of us has a role to play in the unfolding of the desire for Love realized and demonstrated on the earth.

Embedded in the heart of each of us is our unique expression of Love in the world. We can choose in every moment to open to the conscious awareness of it as it calls to us from the depth of being. Within that, love reveals itself to us as our heart’s desire.

As we awaken to Loves call as desire, we are drawn to listen for the still small voice of Love at the heart of our being which speaks to us through many avenues, including inspiration and intuition. Inspiration and intuition are our personal guides to the fulfillment of our hearts desire.

Inspiration is present in every moment and may make itself known to us if we are open to the acceptance and conscious awareness of it. It may manifest through the voice of a friend or trusted guide, in the pages of a book, in the silence of meditation, in times of connection with nature, or even on a billboard as we drive down the street.

Intuition is our connection with the “inner knower” that guides us toward Loves fulfillment. We must allow ourselves to be aware and awake to the life that is present in every moment as we follow our intuition, usually one step at a time.

As we respond to inspiration and follow our intuition, we are guided to what we need.  We often mistakenly think of a “needas something that is lacking, and we frequently feel tension when considering a need. Eric Butterworth, Unity Minister and author, helps us to reframe the concept of a “need” when he states in his book, The Universe is Calling, that “a need is a vessel to be filled.”

When we choose to think of a “need” as a vessel to be filled, we awaken to a different perspective. Rather than viewing “needfrom a consciousness of lack, we can instead think of it as a container that when filled helps to facilitate the fulfillment of desire, thus the expression of Love.

Before the so-called need is met in the physical form, the vessel must first be filled with the divine substance of our consciousness. Substance is not matter. It is not present in physical form. Emilie H. Cady in Lessons in Truth says,

God, then, is the substance (from sub: under and stare: to stand) or the real thing standing under every visible form of life, love, intelligence, power.” 

The vessel called “need” must be filled by the conscious awareness of God (Love). Once the need is filled with divine substance in our consciousness, then the physical manifestation must occur. It is law.

Granted, because the manifestation of our desire usually happens over time, it is often essential for us to practice our power of faith. As Paul said in his letter to the Hebrews, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Even when the evidence has not yet appeared in the physical, through the practice of faith, we know beyond all appearances that as we remain open and willing to follow where Love leads, that every “need” is met because true desire contains the power of its fulfillment. We trust that as we remain true to Loves call, that the need is met in perfect time and in divine order.

Desire is born from the Love expressing in us, through us, as us. It is not, as we sometimes believe, born from the awareness of something lacking. True desire contains its own fulfillment, thus we need not seek it in the external. We must seek it only from within. As Charles Fillmore, the cofounder of Unity, stated, “Desire…builds from within outward and carries its fulfillment with it as a necessary corollary.” 

Desire is the impulse of Love moving as us. Inspiration and intuition guide us to what is needed in every moment. Through the power of faith, every “need” is met. Step by step we are led toward the fulfillment of our heart’s desire.

Honoring the desires of our hearts by listening deeply for the still small voice at the center or our being, acting on our inspirations, following our intuition and exercising our power of faith to bring into manifestation all that is needed to fulfill our desire, we honor the God within us, and we demonstrate Love in the world. As we honor the desire that moves us toward a greater expression and experience of Love, that which we truly are, we bring the consciousness of Heaven to earth.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Be Ye Transformed

When viewed through metaphorical and metaphysical lens, the life of Jesus can serve as a guide, showing us what we may experience as we choose to awaken to the Christ of our being and release ourselves from the suffering of our human conditioning. I am not implying that to awaken we must have the same or even similar dramatic physical experiences, but many of the events portrayed in the Jesus narrative symbolize what we may experience in consciousness as we awaken to and embrace our true nature.

Certainly, we are not required to face a physical crucifixion or experience an actual bodily resurrection to awaken. However, Jesus’ experience does depict a process of death and rebirth that occurs in consciousness when we are willing and ready to truly release and let go of any remaining beliefs about ourselves that are not in alignment with our true nature. We must be willing to “die” to the false self that we have created or have allowed others to create for us, and be reborn as new creatures in our ‘Christed’ awareness.

Unity teaches that the crucifixion and resurrection are symbolic of the process that each of us must walk through to fully embody our Christ nature. Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore said, “The word crucifixion means the crossing out in consciousness of certain errors that have become fixed states of mind.”  Jesus’ physical crucifixion symbolizes the “crossing out” of worldly consciousness. Attachment to the things of the world must be allowed to die away for the Christ consciousness to be fully realized or resurrected. For transformation to occur, that which no longer serves must be allowed to fall away so that the new may be born. Something must die before something new can be resurrected, whether it is a belief, a habit or even a body, when the old is surrendered willingly, new life springs forth.

As Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone; the new is here! “(2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)  Paul is saying that when we stay focused on our divine nature, Christ, then we no longer give life to the false self; therefore, it dies, and we realize that there is only the Christ expressing as us.

This process is illustrated beautifully in nature as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The caterpillar spins a chrysalis and literally dissolves in it. It is no longer recognizable; the caterpillar dies to its former self. Then, through a process of regeneration, that which was once a furry worm crawling on the earth is transformed into a glorious butterfly flying above Earth. “The old has gone, the new is here!”

The caterpillar experiences the relinquishment of its former self inside the chrysalis, and once the transformation is complete, the butterfly emerges and shares its glorious beauty with the world. Similarly, Jesus through his crucifixion released all remaining attachment to his human condition, and after a time in the tomb, emerged to further model the process of transcendence and transformation. Our transcendence is similar.

When we are willing and ready to surrender every concept of self that we have believed to be true and focus our awareness on Christ, our divine nature, our consciousness is transformed. We are then able to recognize the divine being that we are and allow Christ to be revealed through us. We, like the butterfly, soar above our previously self-imposed limitations as our consciousness is changed and this transformed beauty is shared with the world.

Put another way, the caterpillar follows the Creative Impulse within that urges it to transform. Likewise, the Creative Impulse moves us toward the unfolding of our divine design. It gives itself to us, through us, as us, so that through our transformation it has expression and the world is redeemed. That transformation requires us to surrender all that we have believed we are, and embrace our true nature. In this way, we become new “creatures” in the awareness of Christ as our truth. We can gloriously exclaim, “The old has gone; the new is here!”  We can joyously affirm, “I am a new creature in Christ!

Join us on Sunday for our 10:00 service as we celebrate Easter with a participatory process that will support you in your own willingness to release the old and be resurrected in a new awareness of yourself. Be ye transformed!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Meeting Jesus

Who is Jesus of Nazareth?  Some scholars and historians purport that he, like many others of his day, was an apocalyptic prophet who believed that the establishment of God’s kingdom on the earth was imminent, and that it was his mission to proclaim the news and encourage his fellow Jews to mend their ways and adhere to the law so that they would receive God’s blessings. Further they assert that in his attempt to proclaim his eschatology he spoke of the impending downfall of the Roman Empire and the Jews’ assured return to power. In doing so, he enraged those who were in power and they crucified him for being an insurrectionist.

Millions the world over believe that he was the one and only son of God sent to save the world from the darkness of sin; that his mission was to be the sacrificial Lamb of God given for the atonement of the sins of the world. Further, they hold that he died on the cross, resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of God, the Father, judging the living and the dead, just as the Apostle’s Creed proclaims. They believe that although he may have exhibited his humanness on occasion, that Jesus, the Messiah, knew his mission and fulfilled it. They profess that he is the savior of the world.

Still others, like those of us in Unity, often see Jesus, as he is presented in the Bible, as a metaphor for the potential within each of us to awaken to our own Christ nature. We believe that the Jesus of the Christian Scriptures was a human being who experienced the conditioning of family, religion and society; similar to what each of us is subjected to, yet through a process of awakening he recognized, realized and revealed his Christ potential. The same potential and possibility is inherent in each of us. We view the Jesus story as a template for our own individual and collective awakening from bondage in the human condition to freedom in our Christ awareness.

From this perspective Jesus’ life is an example of one who was born into the world, and although conditioned by it, realized his true nature and lived from it. In living from it, he was willing and able to relinquish his attachment to the world of form, including his physical form, be reborn into a new creature in his Christ nature, and ascend in consciousness beyond the limitations of this world. His life also serves as an example for us to follow as we live our Christ nature through our thoughts, words and actions.

Jesus, whether viewed as an apocalyptic prophet, or the son of God born to be the savior of the world, or a human being whose life experience can serve as a metaphor for our own evolution of consciousness, was one who knew what he was here to do and gave everything he was in order to fulfill his mission. May we learn from him, and choose to follow his example.

Join us Sunday at 10:00 as we observe Palm Sunday. We will explore the life of Jesus and look at the ways he serves as our way-shower.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Be All The God You Can Be

“It is your mission to express all that you can imagine God to be.” – Charles Fillmore

What can you imagine God to be?

God is the all in all as all, the ground of all being, that which exists as pure potential. Potentialities exist as what you think of as Divine Ideals - harmony, order, peace, love, joy, unity, wholeness, abundance, life…

How do you express God?

By the power of your thought you choose which of the potentialities you will live. Your thoughts are not creative; they are selective. Thought is your point of choice. As you choose your thought, you align with a particular frequency, an aspect of pure potential that is in resonant harmony with your thought.

The power of the mind is the power of alignment. As self-conscious beings, you have the power to choose. All aspects of God exist as potential. Your power of freewill choice is the power to align with, to say ‘yes’ to, the aspects that you desire to experience.

The combination of aspects to which you say ‘yes’ constitutes your consciousness. You experience your life according to your consciousness. Therefore, you experience life according to all the things you say ‘yes’ to, whether you choose them consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously.

A vitally alive, healthy body is the experience of a vitally alive, active, energetic conscious mind filled with those thoughts.

Why do you get old and sick?

You get old and sick because the collective consciousness believes in getting old and sick. If one chooses to devote her life to the mastery of consciousness, she could exist in this form eternally. Although he did not achieve it, Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore believed that it is possible. He famously commented once, “I get old because I think old thoughts.” Iconic Unity of Denver minister, Reverend Jim Lewis, believed in and taught the possibility of eternal life in the body. I have heard that some people became disillusioned and left the church because Rev. Lewis did not demonstrate this Truth in his own life. Because those who believed it a possibility did not attain it themselves, does not negate it as a potential for you. They were holding and continue to hold the potential for all of us.

It is possible for one to achieve this. However, it would require that one remove focus so completely from the collective consciousness so as not to be influenced by it. It requires devotion and dedication to knowing one's self as the expression of the pure potential of God. Jesus was our example of one who did just that. As Charles Fillmore said…

We cannot separate Jesus Christ from God or tell where man leaves off and God begins in Him. To say that we are men as Jesus Christ was a man is not exactly true, because He had dropped that personal consciousness by which we separate ourselves from our true God self. He became consciously one with the absolute principle of Being. He proved in His resurrection and ascension that He had no consciousness separate from that of Being, therefore He really was this Being to all intents and purposes.

Yet He attained no more than what is expected of every one of us. "That they may be one, even as we are" was His prayer. – Atom Smashing Power of Mind

What do you do now?

You start right where you are. You choose moment by moment, thought by thought. As you choose your thought, you choose what you are aligning to, what you are agreeing with, and what you are joining in.

You start right where you are filling your mind with positive thoughts and images, removing yourself from heavier vibrations, darker thoughts and images that align you with the life experiences you do not want.

Does that mean that you are to turn a blind eye and pay no attention to the suffering in the world? Are you to ignore those in need?

No, but you do not have to join the suffering. You see it and you know that you do not have to choose that in order to respond to it with love and compassion. You do not need to question why or how or to deliver any sort of evaluation of the situation. In fact, you are to keep your thoughts focused on the higher vibrational aspects.

Let’s say you are seeing starving children on television, what do you do? What is your response?

You look at it, and you ask yourself, “What would I chose for that child?” You would choose the same thing for that child that you would choose for yourself. You would choose abundance, happiness, peace, joy and love.

You then focus your attention on those aspects of God within your own consciousness until you have complete realization of them in your mind, heart and soul.

Then ask, “What can I do to help this child experience those aspects?” Listen to your inner guidance and connect with what feels in alignment with it. Then, do that! It may be to send money every month to organizations that support starving children in developing countries. It may be to get involved and volunteer time with an organization locally that works to support families who do not have the means to provide adequate food for their children. It may be to make a commitment to only buying from companies that also give to those in need. It may be to simply hold the image of that child and others like him being safe, warm, loved and adequately nourished. There are many ways to respond to those in need. You must, however, endeavor to respond, not from a consciousness of suffering, but from a consciousness of hope, plenty, and love.

You make the choice moment by moment through your choice of thought whether you are in the flow of what you desire for yourself and for all people. A true desire of the heart is a desire held for all. When you align with the divine aspects inherent in all, you will only choose that which serves all.

You are choosing your thoughts every moment of every day, and in making those choices you are evolving your consciousness. When you make those choices more consciously and in alignment your full potentiality, you will fulfill your mission to be all that you can imagine God to be.

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 for our service as we explore together how we can live with more conscious intention our mission to be all that we can imagine God to be.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Who Is The Pray-er?

I am continuing to question and explore my understanding of some of Unity’s foundational teachings. This week I delve into what I consider the most fundamental of Unity’s teaching – Prayer. 

As I contemplated the idea of prayer, I pondered these questions: What is prayer? Why pray? Who prays? How do we pray? What follows is what came to me as I listened to my inner Knower.

Each one in human form has chosen to come into this life to have an objective experience of Source in all Its incarnations. You have chosen to have a physical body because it affords you opportunities to taste, smell, feel, hear and see all that Source is, and all that It can be.

You have come forth to delight in your own creations. The Earth and its atmosphere were formed to support you in your human experience. It is not accidental. Consciousness formed it and it manifested so that you could come forth into this supportive environment and have the experiences that you desire.

You have, however, fallen asleep to the awareness that you are not from this place. You are not of the Earth, but you are in it. Yes, you are not just on the Earth, you are in it. You are actually a part of the Earth. You are integrated into all that you can perceive including the planet upon which you exist. In your true nature, you are not separate from anything that you can perceive. If you were separate from it, you would not be able to perceive it. 

You are only perceiving the energy of that which you are. Your senses are attuned to recognize you.

You are a field of energy and your body is a perceiving organism. Your senses are energy receivers and perceivers. Upon receiving an energy signal, your brain translates the impulse of energy into concepts and ideas that you use to make sense of your world. For example, you see a plant and your brain says “plant.” Your brain may have stored other associations with the plant, such as small, beautiful, palm, rhododendron, etc.

You experience your world as you perceive energy and then make sense of it by giving it a name and character. In this way, you form your world. You do this with everything that you perceive. You see it as separate. You observe that there is distance between you and it. You see it as an object which you think is not you. This is the benefit of your objective consciousness. If there were no concept of form in collective consciousness, you would simply perceive energy. There is only energy.

Not only is the perceived object energy, there is also life and energy in what you perceive to be the space between you, your body, your eyes and the plant. Using the example above, if you relax the eyes and soften your focus you will be able to see that what you are perceiving as a plant is actually an energy field. It is alive and moving; it is not solid as you are not solid. It appears because you have chosen for it to appear. It supports you in some meaningful way. It helps you to make sense of space and time. But, you are not separate from it. In the field of all energy that you are, you are oneness. There is only one, not two.

However, the human mind will always perceive itself as separate. Even in those moments of conscious union, there exists an aspect of the mind that is aware of itself. That is the beauty of coming into a human form. You know yourself and you have awareness of yourself through objective consciousness.

In the spiritual realm, you are Consciousness itself where there is only subjective consciousness. There is no way to know yourself or have an awareness of the individuated self in the spiritual realm. That is a gift of the ego as Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore understood it. The ego is the aspect of your consciousness that says, “I am.” It is the aspect of your consciousness mind that makes choices. It is the directive power of your mind.

Contrary to what some spiritual traditions teach, it is important not to demonize the ego. The ego is essential to your functioning in the human form. You have come into human form so that you will have objective consciousness. If you do not have an ego, a healthy ego that is able to recognize itself and know itself in relationship to others, the purpose of coming into human form is meaningless.

The ego is that aspect of you that is able to recognize and say, “I am sad, I am lonely, I am afraid.” Where does the ego go for comfort, companionship and safety? The ego goes to Source for it is in the awareness of Source and only in the awareness of Source that you can truly reclaim and recover that which you desire. Others who are also in form can assist, but it is only, and I say emphatically that it is only in the realization of unity and oneness that the ego can re-member itself and find that which it is seeking.

The ego, that which allows you to know yourself in human form, is the aspect of you who prays. The ego enters into prayer because it is the only aspect of you that can recognize your individuation. The ego gives you the awareness of pain and suffering, thus allows you to recognize the need and your desire to return to conscious unity through prayer. 

Prayer is a means of “going into the secret chamber and closing the door” so that you have little or no stimuli from the external world. In doing so you are more likely to be able to realize your unity in and as all.

This remembrance and reclaiming is the purpose of true and honest prayer. The sole purpose of true prayer is to know unity as the One expressing. It is not to get something or beseech God for something. It is not even to “ask” for something. These are efforts of what Charles Fillmore termed the adverse ego.

Prayer is a time of communion (come union) with the self that knows its unity. It is a unique and beautiful gift of being human. Daily and even hourly prayer is important because it connects the ego in conscious unity, thus prayer is a means to the fulfillment of all we truly desire. This is the value of the instruction to “pray without ceasing.” We are encouraged to maintain a healthy ego that remains aware of the true self as well as the world around us.

I am reminded of the lyrics to a song we used to sing in the Baptist church, “prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door.” I now realize the truth of that phrase. Prayer is the key to the consciousness of unity. The consciousness of unity in the One is heaven. Faith is our ability to use our ego to perceive ourselves, others and the world around us through the eyes of Oneness. Faith allows us to witness all in divine unity.

The one who prays is the ego who has temporarily forgotten his unity with the One. The one who prays is the one who is willing to have his mind renewed and his life transformed. He is the one who is open and receptive to knowing that he is in oneness with the divine at all times. He is the one who is willing to enter into a time of prayer, communion with his Source, in order that he may remember his true self, the self that chose to come forth and longs for expression in this dimension.

Ultimately, this is the meaning of true prayer and the reason we pray. (For how to pray, you can read my post here.)

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 as we explore further the concept of prayer and why we in Unity believe in the power of prayer.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Personalities Are Spiritual Too

Recently I have found myself delving more deeply into my understanding of some of the foundational Unity teachings. I have explored why we in Unity call ourselves Christians when we would not be considered such by most who subscribe to the traditional definition of Christianity. I explored that during my Sunday lesson on March 5. You may listen here or watch it here.

I have also explored what we mean when we use the word ‘God,’ and why I choose to use the word sparingly in my Sunday lessons. I explored that in depth in my talk this past Sunday. You may listen here or watch here.

This week, I am exploring something I read by Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore. He says, in Keep a True Lent

It is possible to get very close to the kingdom of heaven by doing good works and surrendering to Spirit the various faculties of the mind, but we can never fully enter into and abide in heaven, or divine harmony, without surrendering all that makes up the personality ¹, of which the will is the center.

I am at odds with this statement by Mr. Fillmore. I do not subscribe to the idea that we must surrender all that makes up the personality in order to enter the state of consciousness called ‘heaven.’ While I agree that it is important for us to assess aspects of the personality that limit us, giving up one’s personality would seem to me to negate that we are each uniquely and wondrously expressing Divine Life through our personalities. I assert that we cannot separate our human personality from our spirituality. There is no separation. A quick search will reveal past articles where I have discussed Oneness. So instead of separation, instead of surrendering all that makes us unique, I propose that we grow and allow our personalities to reflect our true Divine nature.

It is through the human nature that we connect with and have the experience of our spiritual nature. If not in human form, we would not be able to have the experience of our spiritual nature. We experience it through our individuated awareness. Further, we express it through our personality.

In truth, we cannot separate our human experience and our spiritual experience. It is the spiritual awareness, or consciousness, that gives us the knowing that we are human. Trying to separate the two is like attempting to separate the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water while simultaneously retaining the compound of water. It cannot be done.

We cannot have an experience of spirituality without the human component. While many people ignore the spiritual and posit that humanness is the only reality, they cannot explain how minds are connected, how twins can feel each other's pain and know when the other is in trouble. They cannot explain how one can know in advance that something is going to happen, or how one can be connected to the spirits of those who are no longer in the body. They explain it as hoax. Or discount those experiences in a myriad of other ways. They do so because they have no rational explanation.

The same is often true concerning that which we call God. Many people say that they are atheists because they do not believe in God. But, many are actually saying that they do not believe in an external deity or a supreme being. In reality, they may believe or acknowledge that connection exists between people, or between animals and humans, but they would not ascribe the name God to that phenomena.

Often those who deny the existence of God believe there is something that connects all. They may find truth in the following definition: God is the Unified Field of Consciousness which is the unlimited potentiality of all. Or they may not. Regardless of opinions or names bestowed, that which we think of as God exists, undeniably as the very Life in All.

Some who identify as atheists are very much in touch with the spiritual nature of Life. Likewise, many who consider themselves Pagan or Wiccan are more aligned with the Universal Field of Consciousness than those who worship “God,” or call themselves Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or any other name.

Spirituality connects our humanity, and the experience and awareness of that humanity, with the awareness of the spiritual nature of life - the Earth, sun, moon, animals and all of nature, infinitum. Those who practice spirituality, regardless of how they identify themselves, in some cases know better how to align with the spiritual nature of the Universe than do those who follow a teacher or master, such as Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed, Krishna, or Bahaullah.

They are in touch with the God within them, even though they do not call it that. They are not following a teacher on the path, but are engaging in the path from their human consciousness so that they can know what the aforementioned spiritual teachers tried to impart with their words and writing.

In many cases, those who were the closest followers of these teachers did not truly understand what their masters were attempting to teach. Instead of embodying and living the essence of the teaching itself, some instead created religions about the teachers.

The early Christian church, not understanding the true teaching of the master Jesus, taught that to honor the humanness is to be in sin. It taught that honoring the body, as in the needs of sexuality, is a sin except for procreation purposes. It taught its followers that to deny the body, punish the body, and reject one’s humanity is pious. They went far beyond that and even taught that is was required by God. The church did so to its own purposes and ends as a way to control the populous, the compliant masses. It killed those confirmed as “witches,” the very ones who were probably more in touch with the spirituality of nature and actually connected to all life. The church could not have them leading others into that deeper connection. As with all persecution, their actions were fear-based.

History shows that somewhere along the way the church lost its primary focus. Initially, the church’s primary focus was to assist people in having an experience of their own spiritual nature, the true spirit within, thus knowing Oneness. But instead of continuing the teachings of Oneness, the church quickly evolved to thinking its role was to control people and tell them what they should be doing and what they needed to do to reach its concept of heaven. They created a vision of heaven with mass appeal – one that everyone would try to attain. They placed the payoff in the afterlife to give hope beyond the droll, daily strife. It was a way to give those who did not enjoy the riches of life some hope that they might be rewarded in the afterlife, but at what cost to the individual?

Our Spirit, Soul, Divine Spark is here in this human life space in order to experience itself as the Creative Life Force Energy that we often call ‘God’ and to awaken to its full potential through its personality. We are God in expression here and now, and our purpose is to claim it, know it and live it to the best of our ability. That is why we cannot separate the humanness from the spirituality or even the personality. It is not possible. So regardless of our claims on this earth to a specific religion or even those who say they do not believe in anything beyond this human existence, we are all experiencing spirituality, some are just not doing so actively or consciously.

We find our spirituality and grow our personalities to align with the divine by being fully engaged and connected in our humanity. We find the spirituality of another by allowing ourselves not to deny or fully surrender the personality, but to move beyond our attachment to an image, idea, or belief of who we are supposed to be, and allow ourselves to connect fully with the humanity, the spirituality, of another.

I encourage us all to love our human/spirit nature by being true to what is alive and moving in us in every moment; to love our human/spirit nature by honoring our desires and needs; and to own our human/spirit personality by trusting what we value and what nourishes us. Through our humanity, as a personality, we live our Truth and express our Divinity.

I truly admire and appreciate the legacy of our cofounder Charles Fillmore, and I mean no disrespect by taking exception with any of his teachings. I believe he would encourage us all to not blindly accept everything he said or wrote as absolute truth. In fact, he often asserted that Truth can only be discerned by divine revelation. This has been mine and I encourage each of us to always go within the silence of our own hearts to discern what is true for our individual spiritual paths.

Please join us on Sunday, March 19, for our 10:00 service at Unity Spiritual Center Denver. Trish Morris, our Associate Minister, will give the lesson. You will be blessed by her words.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Am I God?

Every Sunday, at the end of our service at Unity Spiritual Center Denver, we recite the widely popular and often repeated Prayer for Protection by Unity minister and poet laureate James Dillet Freeman. The well-known portion of the prayer, which follows, has appeared in hundreds of publications, many not related to Unity.

The light of God surrounds us.
The love of God enfolds us.
The power of God protects us.
The presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are, God is.

We, along with many Unity ministries, in an effort to lessen the dualistic language, use a derivative version, as follows, which affirms our unity in God by adding affirmative statements following each line.

The light of God surrounds us.
I am the light of God.
The love of God enfolds us.
I am the love of God.
The power of God protects us.
I am the power of God.
The presence of God watches over us.
I am the presence of God.
Wherever we are, God is.

Today, as I ponder this prayer and consider our derivative version, I wonder…

Am I the light, love, power and presence of God?

What is the light of God?

Metaphysically ‘light’ represents wisdom according to The Revealing Word. Further it represents spiritual illumination. The light of God that surrounds us is the consciousness of Absolute Truth. We can consciously connect with it through prayer and meditation. In doing so, our minds are illumined by divine knowing. As Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

What is the love of God?

God is love (1 John 4:18). Love, in its purest form, is God, the Creative Life Force Energy, in action. It is a word that describes the movement of God Energy. It is impersonal and unconditional. We make it personal as we demonstrate it. It is, period; irrespective of person, place or thing. It enfolds us in that it is the Life Energy in which we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).

What is the power of God?

“There is only one power, God the Good Omnipotent” is an affirmation we often say in Unity. God is all power. We, created as the image-likeness of God, are endowed with the ability to use that power. The master teacher Jesus said, “All power is given to me under heaven and earth” (Matthew 28:18). From a metaphysical perspective, he meant that we, through our Christ nature, have power over our thoughts and feelings, thus the power to master our world. Therefore, that power protects us from getting trapped in our thoughts of separation, lack and limitation.

What is the presence of God?

God is not a disembodied spirit as one might infer from the idea that it “watches over us.” The presence of God is an experience, not a thing. God is not a spirit: God is Spirit (John 4:24). The presence of God is the self-existent reality of the Absolute Good that God is. That the presence of God watches over us implies that It sustains us, and It is the fulfillment of our every need as the Source of all in any moment.

Considering the above, can I with all sincerity and conviction affirm that I am the light, love, power and presence of God?

An affirmation is a statement of absolute truth. Contrary to what some have suggested, an affirmation is not a statement of what we hope will be true, as in “I will win the lottery.” Statements such as that are not affirmations in the truest sense; they are, instead, statements of intention or visualization.

Therefore, when I say, “I am the light of God,” I am making a statement of absolute truth. The essence of who I am is the illumined consciousness and wisdom of God even if the human aspect of me does not live in constant realization of it.

I am the love of God because, in truth, I am created in the image-likeness of and am the expression of Creative Life Energy in action. I may not live as though I am conscious of that truth at all times, but that does not make it less true.

The power of God is my power to use my mind in ways that allow me to manifest a life that is in alignment with and reflects the qualities of the divine as me. “I am the power of God” is a statement of truth because the power of God is an ever-present reality of my being.

I can unequivocally affirm, “I am the presence of God.” The first of Unity’s Five Basic Principles states that God is Absolute Good and present everywhere. Since God is present everywhere, the presence of God is present as me. It is true, even though I may forget it. Truth is always true, and my forgetfulness does not negate it.

Each time we repeat the Prayer for Protection and state these affirmations, we condition our conscious minds with Truth. As we continue to condition our minds, we align ourselves more wholly with the conscious awareness of who we are. In our conscious awareness of who we are, we live more fully as the light, love, power and presence of God, in all the ways that we can and do understand ‘God.’

Join us Sunday, March 12, at 10:00 as we explore further our understanding of ‘God’ and how our lives are affected by what we believe ‘God’ to be. The title of my lesson is Am I God?