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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christ is born!

I just returned from visiting with my family in Georgia where I was given two opportunities in as many days to have conversations with my first cousins about Unity philosophy and how Unity differs from orthodox Christianity.  Although there were several “sticking points” that we did not agree on, our differing beliefs about the essential nature of humanity was most striking. Some of my cousins found it difficult, if not impossible to fathom that Unity teaches that we are born, not into original sin, but into original blessing.  While Unity teaches us that we are innately innocent and that each of us is an expression of Absolute Good, many of my cousins have been taught and continue to believe that human beings are innately sinful and bad.  It was a sobering reminder considering the school shootings in Connecticut last Friday.

As I heard the reports of the shootings last Friday, my heart broke for the families of the children who were killed and for all those who were suffering the pain of loss as a result of the event.  My heart also broke for the young man who shot and killed all those people.  What intense pain must he have been suffering!  How much hurt must he have been enduring in order to hurt so many others in that way? What could possibly stimulate so much pain in a human being?

There is only one answer: The belief that one is born sinful and unworthy and separate from God, thus separate from others and separate from his or her Essence.  This one belief is the primary cause of all suffering in the world, and suffering is the primary cause of all injurious acts against others or self.  As long as we continue to teach our children that they are innately unworthy, we will continue to create a society that hurts.

While I agree with those who believe that we as a society we would be well served to make more responsible decisions regarding the availability of firearms, the use of firearms is not the cause, but a symptom of society’s suffering.  Let us not use the power of our thought and word to focus solely on treating the symptoms.  Let us, as people who believe in the essential goodness of human beings, instead begin to focus more adamantly on curing the cause, which is spiritual dis-ease.  We are called to do everything within our power to teach our children, regardless of age, the Truth of their spiritual nature - that they are the very essence of all that is good and holy.  Using Unity terminology, we must teach them that they are each the ‘Christ,’ born to bring light and hope to the world in their own unique and special ways. 

We teach best the Truth that we know, and we teach best by example.  Each of us is being called to allow the light of Christ to reveal any aspect of our own consciousness that does not fully accept this Truth for ourselves, to surrender it to the Christ and allow it to be transmuted in the Light of Christ.  Let us recommit ourselves now during this week before Christmas to the rebirth of the Christ in our consciousness so that we can be the ones who stand with the master teach Jesus and say, “For this I was born into the world, to bear witness to the Truth.”  Let Christ be the Light of Truth that shines in us, through us, as us to a world that is still living in darkness.  Let us be the ones who bring a renewed wholeness to a world that is suffering from the spiritual dis-ease of separation.  May the Truth that we know set us free.

Christ is born today.  Christ it born today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election 2012

In large part due to social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, I have, during this election cycle, learned more about the political positions of my friends, family and acquaintances than at any time in the past.  Some of them have surprised me with their impassioned posts.  That most of the posts were derogatory, some vitriolic, against one candidate or the other is what I found most surprising; in fact, I was a bit dismayed by them. 

Interestingly, many of my “friends” on Facebook, some of whom are the very same ones who posted these comments, are keenly aware of the concepts of the “law of attraction,” “law of mind action,” and “mental equivalents.”  It amazes me that when it comes to politics even those of us who believe that “what we think about comes about” and that “what we resist persists” still focus on what we do not want, rather than on what we do want.  Most of the conversations, emails, and social media posts I have seen focus, not on what they like and value about the candidate they favor, but on what they dislike most about the opposing candidate. 

We know that we are powerful creators, and that we attract ourselves to people, places and situations according to our thoughts and feelings.  When two or more come together to focus on something, whether it is what is wanted or what is not wanted, the creative energy is magnified.  When millions of people come together to focus on what is not wanted, the possibility of creating what is not wanted increases exponentially.  Our government is us: those who hold elected positions reflect our consciousness.  If we want something different in Washington, we must first become something different wherever we are.

We must ask ourselves whether we want to manifest a governing body in America that reflects the energy of resistance and opposition, or a government that reflects the energy of our heartfelt desire for good.  We only need observe the way our government is now “working” to know which we are currently experiencing.

I would like to encourage us to take a few moments to engage in the following practice: instead of concentrating on the “evils” of the opposing party or candidates, focus on the principles you value, such as freedom, safety, security, prosperity, and self-reliance.  Imagine that you are now experiencing all of those qualities in abundance. How do you feel?  Now, extend that feeling energy out into all areas of our country, and then out to the entire world.  Know that feeling for all humanity.  Next, see our governmental leaders embodying those qualities and holding them as sacred values.  Experience gratitude for those who are willing to lead our country with those values deeply realized.  Thank them for their willingness to lead.  Relax, knowing that the Universe responds to your energetic focus.  Trust that all is well, and that the candidates who embody those ideals are leading America now.

And, so it is.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Healing Power of Music

In time, probably, there will be schools of healing based on music, where patients will be taught how to center themselves in the harmonious Christ mind. The body will then respond, for it is mind, has its foundation in mind, lives in mind, and is moved upon by mind.” – Charles Fillmore

Charles Fillmore, the co-founder of Unity, was a man of his time in many ways, yet a man ahead of his time in others. In the quote above, Fillmore postulates that music has healing power, a theory which modern neuroscience is now proving to be true. According to a paper published in Nature Neuroscience, a team of Montreal researchers discovered that music triggers the release of dopamine in the areas of the brain associated with the feeling of pleasure. Music has also been found to boost the immune system, lower stress and decrease the heart rate in cardiac patients. Additionally, researchers at Cal State University found that children who are hospitalized were happier during music therapy than during other play activities. This research shows that music affects the brain, and that the effect is most often a greater sense of happiness and emotional well-being.

Studies, such as the one conducted by Carnegie Mellon University Psychology Professor, Sheldon Cohen, show people who are happy, lively, calm or exhibit other positive emotions are less likely to become ill when they are exposed to a cold virus than those who report few of these emotions. There are many studies that show the correlation between emotions and physical health and healing.

It follows, that since music produces a neurological response in the brain which promotes the feeling of happiness and the feeling of happiness contributes to physical well-being, then music, whether directly or indirectly, contributes to physical as well as emotional health thereby proving that Charles Fillmore’s postulate was correct.

Fillmore also said, “The spirit of music is within all of us. When we have developed and brought it forth; when the quickening, harmonizing life has entered the physical, by the union of God with man, then we will realize that there is a power in us which will produce harmony. And harmony is health. Bring harmony into your life by singing and praising. Everybody should play and sing. We should rejoice in the divine harmony. We should sing songs of joy and of love and of peace and of the unity of the Spirit.”

There is currently a facebook page entitled “World Singing Day” which is the brainchild of Scott Johnson from Boulder, Colorado. His premise is simple; music has the power to heal and help join the world together in peace. His invitation is to join others from all over the world in a day of singing on Sunday, October 21. It involves no sponsorships, endorsements or commercialism, just a joining together of people in the joy of music and singing. We at Unity of Arlington are accepting his invitation and will participate during the 10:00 am service this Sunday. Join as we explore, through message and music, Charles Fillmore’s lessons on the power of music and singing. Come sing with us!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Presidential Election

It is now less than one month until the Presidential election. As is always the case, we're hearing all sorts of opinions about how best to address economic problems, provide adequate health care for everyone, and help bring peace to the world. Each of the candidates is telling us that he has the best plan, and that he is the candidate that will help America move forward. Of course, both think the other is "out of touch" with the reality of the current domestic and global situations. I am quite sure that each of them truly believes his plan is the best. With the help of many experts, each candidate has assessed the problems and developed strategies to solve them. Their platforms are important to the political process as we consider whom to elect to lead and guide the world's most powerful nation in difficult and challenging times.       

One personal danger any of us could easily encounter in the process of choosing a leader is slipping into a mindset of thinking that someone else is responsible for our well-being and they should do something to "save" us. Amazingly, every four years many vie for the title and answer the call to be that "savior" that many people seem to seek. Perhaps some candidates believe they really can personally solve the problems of the world through focused determination and sheer force of will. Despite some evidence to the contrary now and again, I prefer to hold the vision that, at least somewhere within them, they also remember they are asking to serve as dedicated public servants of the American people.

However, sadly - in my observation - neither the Republican nor the Democratic candidates has shown me that he is "in touch" with reality. Both seem to believe that they can tackle the perceived problems at the level of those problems and make lasting change. One would think that history would be proof enough of the falsity of that ideology. I recognize that each of them, in his effort to be elected, may be choosing to say and do what is expected and what seems to be acceptable to the American public. Again, sadly, I believe that each of them is a reflection of the current state of evolution in mass ("race") consciousness. In other words, enough American citizens have not yet evolved beyond focus on physical circumstances and intellectualized solutions.

We teach in the Unity movement that our life experiences are a reflection of our consciousness. In order to effect real change and move forward in our life experience, we must first make lasting change in our consciousness. A problem cannot be solved by trying to change the condition. There is one spiritual solution to every perceived problem - focused attention on the Truth. The Truth that expresses itself as you and me is the abundance and prosperity in the light of which no economic concern is a reality. The manifestation of Divine Life in and as our physical bodies is perfect health and vitality; when we realize that Truth, we will demonstrate it. Perfect Peace is the nature of the One as us, and when we surrender to that Consciousness there will be no more war. When we truly get "in touch" with our Truth our life experience will reflect it.

"For He will dwell with them, and they will be his people...and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more, mourning and crying and pain will be no more." - Rev. 21:3-4.

That is not a prophecy yet to be fulfilled: it is the current and only reality now. May we realize this Truth, and move forward co-creating a world in which all are cared for, supported, nurtured and valued, and a world in which peace prevails.