The Center for Spiritual Living Tucson offers spiritual tools for both managing and resolving the every day challenges that we all encounter from time to time. Those daily challenges may express as loss of employment, failed relationships, financial anxiety and mental, physical or emotional stress, to name a few of them. That’s a tall order.
If our philosophy is the cure for every day challenges, then why are our Sunday Celebration seats not filled to capacity? Why are we averaging around 100 congregants per Sunday? What are we missing?
I believe our physical addresses can seem challenging. Neither our office nor celebration service is readily accessible to many in Tucson. Neither is on a bus route. Either you own a vehicle, get a ride or walk to be part of our community. To those of who do walk, or bike, we thank you. The maxim, out of sight out of mind may apply. Other than our presence in the Natural Awakenings Magazine we are virtually invisible to a community that may be unfamiliar with the Science of Mind Philosophy. And, I accept that, no matter what we do, we will remain invisible to those who are not quite ready to fully embrace the idea that they are responsible for their lives and that they have dominion in the situation that they currently experience. The belief in an external savior is a very hard one to give up.
The above is unfortunate, because individually and collectively we have proven that this stuff works! However, to know that it works, the spiritual tools offered must be applied. Wallace Wattles drove this point home when he said, “That is the rock upon which so many otherwise scientific metaphysical thinkers meet shipwreck – the failure to connect thought with personal action.” It is critical for the metaphysical thinker to know that he/she is not merely the physical experience or the body.
I was completely focused upon, and absorbed in, the life of my body. My consciousness was centered in and identified with my body, and totally captured by my physical experience. And, whatever was happening in the world got my total attention. That includes its moods and pains. It was not until I learned about my inner self that I could change my focus of identification. It was this introduction to the inner man that made it possible for me to become a scientific metaphysical thinker. While the scientific metaphysical thinker is aware of his depression, financial anxiety, stress and so-forth, he does not identify with them. His body may be diseased but he is not the disease. The Science of Mind philosopher does not desert the truth that “Man’s nature is identical to God’s.”
“Whatever is true of the Universe as a Whole must also be true of the individual … Man is evolved from the Universe as a self-conscious, thinking center of Living Spirit.” (The Science of Mind 106) So often we do not perceive ourselves as thinking centers of Living Spirit; this contributes to our disconnect. According to Holmes, we have not received full benefit from these teachings because we do not understand the conditions under which freedom operates or the laws governing life. If this is true, and I believe it is, then perhaps we can demonstrate how freedom and the laws governing life operate.
On a personal note, this philosophy is responsible for my mental make-up, peace of mind, healthy relationship with money – which is a form of concretized spirit -, and the home and vehicle I have today. I, too, have physical health challenges, but none of them have me.
Our philosophy must bear fruit to be seen as valuable. Thus, in revisiting a previous question: Both as individuals and as a collective congregation, are we connecting thought with personal action? Are we demonstrating the effectiveness of our philosophy in our personal lives? Are we living in such a way that strangers will ask, “What do you have that I don’t?” The apparent absence of “fruit” may make us doubt our ability to make a difference in our own lives, and in the lives of others. Food for thought…
By Keith Gorley