BELONGING

For years a feeling like I did not fit on planet earth was my constant companion. I knew that there are a multitude of ways to GOD and I was confused seeing things and experiencing life from a multitude of modern perspectives. I have been influenced by many of the common ideas that seem to dominate the majority of people. At the time it was all I had to go on.

The Story of Gillian Lynne

            The story of a little girl. The little girl was constantly getting into trouble in the classroom at school. She was talking at the wrong times. Appeared not to have any prolonged concentration abilities. And was deemed generally disruptive. Unable to sit still, Gillian had earned the nickname Wriggle Bottom. Gillian felt hopeless, her teachers were exasperated, and her mother was at the end of her tether.

            Gillian’s mother persevering took her to a psychologist. After some discussion among the three of them, the psychologist turned on the radio and told the little girl that he and her mother needed to leave the room for a moment. They left the room, waited a few moments, and peeked in. The little girl was joyously dancing to the music. The doctor looked at the mom and said your little girl is a dancer. Her mother enrolled her daughter in an arts school that included dancing and the little girl became very successful. Finally finding other children that she could relate to. And express herself with movement.

This story really moves me because I love to create. I believed I had no choice. That in order to survive in this world I must conform to common hour thinking. Discovering new ideas used to feel much more difficult. Not knowing what I’m not seeing or not seeing what is there, due to my thinking or perception. I’m grateful for a new perspective.

Today, having my new and increasingly aware perspectives, I have experienced great relief. I credit this enlightenment to the study and practice of Science of Mind. This study increases my abilities to explore new tools to guide me in my exploration of the multiverse.

–Chris Wheeler

Visioning

Of the four spiritual practices used in Science of Mind (Affirmations, Spiritual Mind Treatment, Meditation, Visioning), Visioning was the one I had worked with and understood the least. I was delighted that enough people joined me in making this class, which recently concluded, happen.

I had in the past used visualization, such as making a vision board or seeing myself succeed at a task. Maybe even wanting this class to occur now, I helped to manifest it. This is different from Visioning. As the class’ student guide puts it, “It is the difference between directing Spirit to have our way (visualization) and allowing Spirit to have Its way (visioning).”

I had practiced visioning a little as part of a class or in a group visioning for the highest for CSLT. The practice has usually been to center in Oneness, then open to the vision by asking a series of questions: 1-What is your highest vision or ideal for ____? 2- What changes, evolves or becomes as this highest vision comes into existence?

3-Is there anything else which wants to be known, understood or realized? We write down any images, feelings, sounds, etc. that come to/through mind. The leader will then gather these from all the individuals and compile a list, which is then distributed back to the individuals. This has been where I have usually stopped with the practice.

This class taught and allowed me to practice the next step which is that, in identifying themes, you articulate the vision through spiritual discernment. It is fascinating to see what comes through during the visioning process, but what do all these seemingly random ideas mean? What could Spirit be trying to tell me through images of: Dogs barking happily, blue jeans, plaid shirt, playful winged insects, beach, chair on a cloud? Could it be, as one of my classmates suggested, to loosen up, dress down, be happy and relax?

The full title of the class was Visioning: A Way of Life! So, after we figured out what our visioning session was telling us, we were asked to develop a Vision Statement which we make a commitment to become. When you embody the vision, you attune to Spirit and allow Spirit to show you how it wants to express itself through you to bring forth your highest and best experience of life. Bring on the happy, relaxed, casual Life!

Now that I have finally taken this class, I look forward to joining the Vision Core which meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm on the Sunday Zoom channel. If you have taken the Visioning class, recently or before, you are welcomed to join in also.

–Janet Salese

GOT WORRIES

I do. My guess is that you do too. It’s been said, “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.” “Let your worries go.” Yeah right. I’m working on that.

Why do we worry especially when it keeps us in a state of anxiety and uncertainty? I don’t know for sure, but I think it is a learned behavior that became a habit. It’s what we know how to do well. Most of us have had a lot of practice and experience worrying. I think we worry at times because it shows care & concern for others. “I was worried about you!” We worry ourselves into a tizzy and sometimes even get sick from it.

But how can we not worry? I don’t know. I’m still working on that. What I do know is I have many practices that have helped to ease my worries over the years:

•      I mentally throw my worries into the church service and leave them there to dissolve into a sacred space. I remind myself, ‘wherever I am, I am in sacred space.’
•     I have a Worry Basket that I mentally throw my worries into to dissolve. (See picture of the Burden Basket. It was used for gathering crops and once a woman returned home, she would hang her basket on the front door. Those that considered their home a sacred space, the basket was a symbol that visitors were to leave all their worries, anger, and negative emotions in the basket before entering to protect the space.)
•    I use a prayer box that I have o my nightstand when a worry is
creating insomnia.
•    I practice Worry on Wednesday. I remind myself to only worry on Wednesday between 12 and 2 pm.
•    I remind myself that the great majority of what I worry about never happens. The little bit that does, really isn’t as bad as I worried about.
•    I attend our morning meditation regularly and surround myself with like-minded friends.
•   I study the Science of Mind.

o Faith is the only complete answer to our worries-faith in something greater than we are”-Ernest Holmes- How to stop worrying. This PDF available from Science of Mind Archives
o “We must heal ourselves from worry. This tension is relaxed as we gain confidence in good, in truth and in beauty.”- Ernest Holmes Science of Mind 245.3

This haiku was written during morning meditation by Susan Seid:

“Release all worry
In God’s hands, troubles dissolve
Lay them down, have faith”

–Madeline Pallanes

live evil

A couple of weeks ago there was a Zoom discussion with Reverend Janis on evil. In the Science of Mind philosophy, there is no evil, only God. So, the task is to wrap my mind around war, famine, etc. as God. I love the way evil when spelled backwards is live, and that devil is lived backwards. This gives me the idea that some experiences are life affirming (live) and others are not life affirming. It is my choice on how I view those experiences. Seeing an experience from my human view changes perspective when I look at the bigger picture, a spiritual view. The image that comes to mind is earth from space. I don’t see good nor bad, I just see what is. It is a stretch to rise above the human conditioning where I see things as black or white, good or bad, to shift and see everything as God.

During the discussion the Chinese proverb “we’ll see” was mentioned. A farmer has a variety of experiences, which his neighbors see them as the worst, or the best experience, not as being neutral. The farmer’s reply after each of the neighbors’ opinions was ‘we’ll see.” The neighbors had the microcosm view, and the farmer had the macrocosm view.

I think of the bible verse “temptation is the root of all evil” and what is temptation, but a choice. Just because a thought is in my mind doesn’t mean I have to act on it. There is still the option of yes or no. And this is where an examined life comes in, the choice of an examined life and to live in a higher consciousness. I also don’t have to like or agree with the decisions others have made. We do have the feelings of fear and love. I see war, discrimination, not seeing God in everyone, everything, as a choice of fear.

When the war in Ukraine started, I just wanted kidnap all the bullies in the world and stick them on an island where they could duke it out. Let them see what it feels like to live under the conditions they are forcing others to live under. I expressed this in Practitioner class and thought I was going to get expelled! And on further thought I thought of Putin and he doesn’t see God in everyone, because if he did, I don’t think he would treat people the way he does. It made me think how lonely he must be, to not feel Oneness.

Thinking about difficult, hard to see God in everything/everywhere situations, I go back to the seed metaphor and extend it a bit. To get flowers, you need good, rich soil, compost, and compost is made with manure. But the manure can’t be used when it is fresh, or it will kill the flowers, it takes time to decompose breakdown before the nutrients of growth enable the flowers to flourish. From pain grows compassion.

Bob Sima’s song, No Mud No Lotus (inspired by Thich Nat Hahn’s book with the same name) is a tune that has accompanied my thoughts lately. Some of the lyrics are below.

No mud no lotus haven’t you noticed
The patterns of the pain in your past
The things that broke you, they also awoke you
To the questions you needed to ask
The sleepless nights and the dizzying heights
And the dreams some of which came true

Tough breaks, heartaches, perfect mistakes
Created this version of you
Everything you go through grows you, exposes who you are…

The wound is where the light gets in
Revealing the masterpiece just beneath the skin
In the glow of your own light, your petals open wide
You bloom right where you are

Everything you go through grows you, exposes who you are

–Maria

Science Of Mind and Skiing

The mention of downhill skiing elicits a myriad of reactions from people. Many people have a story to tell or an opinion to communicate. I have been skiing since I was in elementary school. So I have talked about skiing with many people in my fifty some years of negotiating the slopes.

While learning to ski people often struggle to stay in control. Some feel fear because conditions are different than they are accustomed to. Concerns turn to worry about the terrible things that could happen as the relationship to friction changes.

As knowledge, experience and strength increase, the fear is replaced with the comfort of knowing how to take action and get results.

Eventually they decide to take the next greater challenge and try out the next larger hill.
Standing at the top of that next hill there is uncertainty. The perspective has changed and the world view is much larger. The potential success could be overshadowed by more fear and doubt. Followed by removing their skis and walking down the hill.

Or they could turn and face downhill and practice their skills to navigate in a new way gaining more experience. There is always some risk that things may end in an unfavorable way. The law of gravity does not change.

My experience on the slopes has helped keep me calm but every ski run has some uncertainty.

Adopting a mental practice of finding a way to relax and allow the experience of the moment and a smooth run is optimal. This is the way I choose to approach the practices of SOM. Mental practice builds the knowledge experience that allows for comfort and confidence to negotiate the world knowing that the Law operates regardless of what type of initial conditions are offered.

SOM the Law is the vehicle that changes thought into action.

“The possibilities of the Law are infinite, and our possibilities of using It are limitless.
— Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 271.2

“The way to work is to begin right where we are and, through constantly applying ourselves to the truth, we gradually increase in wisdom and understanding, for in this way alone will good results be obtained. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 271.4

–Chris Wheeler

Not a Muggle

Sometimes it would seem to be so much easier to just be a ‘muggle’ (JK Rowling’s word for non-wizards), and have life happen to us, and just react blindly and unthinkingly to whatever comes our way. We wouldn’t be aware we were responsible for what we thought, how we chose to carry ourselves in the world or engage with others. We could just let ourselves be carried away by our emotions in this second. We see this happen all around us all the time. It happens to famous people and normal people.

I was in line at the main Tucson Post Office mailing a package just before the holidays in December last year. The line was long and moving very slowly. People were tired of masks, and lines, and just worn out and fed up. A man came in the alternate entrance and cut in line. He had a huge box which was poorly labeled, and poorly taped together for shipping. The post office workers ignored him. They were helping the customers who had been standing in line. He got more and more blustery, without anybody noticing him. After several minutes of complaining loudly about not being served, he left in a huff, taking his big box with him. The man standing in front of me started talking about how that guy made him so mad, and he wanted to just go punch him for being so rude. I smiled at him under my mask, and said “Some people make us happy when they come, and some people make us happy when they go.” My statement caught the guy standing next to me off-guard, and he looked at me really strangely. Eventually his eyes crinkled like he was smiling, he stopped imagining the harm he would do to that guy, and said, “Yeah, you’re right.”

Of course, it’s not really better to be a muggle, and not really possible once we’ve become aware of our accountability for our experience. Sometimes it would feel so consoling to think that I have nothing to do with what I experience – especially when my body hurts, or my heart hurts over some perceived injustice, or I feel angry, or something seems particularly hard or unfair.

Those of us who have been around the Science of Mind teachings have been made aware that we have ultimate responsibility for how we perceive our life experiences. We also know that we have some control over the conditions which pop up in our lives, depending on how much authority we believe we have, and how much we agree with the collective beliefs of our society. It’s hard to stay a muggle when you know you have power. We don’t have ultimate power, partly because we don’t believe that we can, or should be allowed to have it. Master Teacher Jesus is believed to have said (In John 14) “…greater works than these shall he do”. We don’t truly and profoundly know that we live in the Divine, and are of the Divine Nature, and this gets in our way of creating the goodness we imagine for ourselves.

From Ernest Holmes in Ten Ideas that Make a Difference 62.2 (1966): “… the invisible Principle — God, the universal Essence of Reality, the “I am that I am” — is incarnated in us as the “I” which we are. There is the Universal I Am and the individual I. Each one of us is an individual rooted in the Universal I Am — a personification at the level of our conscious perception of that invisible Presence which is both God and man.”

Some of us participated in, or observed, Keith Gorley’s Celebration of Life this past weekend. Keith was very clear on this in his own life. He knew he was of God, at least most of the time, and he loved encouraging others to look within themselves for guidance, and to recognize that that internal guidance, when it was clear and not self-serving (only), was divine in origin.

It’s a practice. We never arrive. We are always, in every moment, part of the divine expression as ourselves and we are always growing and changing, exploring and expressing this Divine Nature as us. Isn’t Life grand?

“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever,
give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” — Mary Oliver, Upstream: selected essays

–Rev Janis Farmer

The Experience of Evil

All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune. — Henry David Thoreau

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach

The origin of evil is in the human mind, and the belief in the devil, hell, & purgatory has its origin in the human mind, and nowhere else. This belief must be erased from the mind. We must come to know that there can be no Ultimate evil. We must have an assurance that evil will disappear from our experience in such degree as we no longer feed it with our imagination, or through our acts create situations that encourage it.

Dr Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind 354.6-355.1.

Each one of us gets to wrestle with the big challenge, “Is there evil in the world?” in our

From Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka

own minds. At first blush, and according to the point of view of the collective unconscious,
the answer has to be “Of course there is! Just look at all the harm humans do to each other, and to the planet.”

Therein lies the rock and the hard place.

Is there one power in the world, or are there two? Is there a unity, or a duality? What do you honestly and actually-factually believe?

We know what the world thinks, we get to see and experience that on a regular basis. How do we see our life experiences with new eyes and remember that the Universe is for us, and everything we experience and observe is for our awakening in consciousness?

For me, one of the keys that helps me remember is that everyone is already, and perpetually, an eternal being, and these years spent in ‘earth school’ don’t encompass all of our lives. It’s just a chapter. In this chapter, we may choose to experience hardship, or difficulty. We may choose to live in, and from, our zone of genius, or we may choose to spend it as a victim. We may choose to overcome the difficulty and become stronger as a result, or we may be toppled by it. No matter what, how we play the cards we have in this life is not the whole story of who we are. It doesn’t ultimately impact us negatively. This human life is for gathering experiences.

Rev Steph Amand wrote in her March 19 daily reading in the Science of Mind Magazine “I trust the universe to provide all the substance to carve, all the tools to use and all the people to share it with. I embrace that the silver lining of every experience is made known to me with ease and graceful awareness. I am the silver lining experiencing and expressing the divine. I am the infinite sparkle within all things.”

This is a chewy and challenging idea worthy of a deeper dive. I’m available to discuss this topic next Sunday (March 27th) at 1pm (AZ time) for an hour or so, on the Sunday morning zoom link with anyone who chooses to drop in. Join me.

–Rev Janis Farmer

 

 

 

GOT AMEN

I have always thought saying the word ‘Amen’ at the end of a prayer, was how a prayer was ended. The same as saying, ‘The End’. It ends the prayer, everything is taken care of now, so let’s continue on with our day. It is something I never gave much thought to. I don’t know where I gained that belief but it definitely was my belief.

Science of Mind ends prayers with “And so it is.” I wondered why Amen wasn’t used. I knew I needed more clarification so I searched my Science of Mind library, did some on-line searches trying to find the answer. Why isn’t Amen used? So when the answer couldn’t be found, I did what just about everyone else does. I reached for my phone and asked Google.

“Google, what is the definition of Amen?” Google quickly replied, “uttered at the end of a prayer or hymn, meaning ‘so be it.’ ”

Ahh, so it was starting to make sense. And so it is. So be it. Same thing.

As a child, I learned the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Now I lay me down to sleep, all ending with Amen. These prayers have served me well over the years. They have guided me to where I am now. It was (is) the power of prayer.

“Google, what is the definition of prayer?” Google quickly replied, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.”

“Google, what is the definition of affirmative prayer?” Google still answered me, “affirmative prayer is a form of prayer or a metaphysical technique that is focused on a positive outcome rather than a negative situation.”

Spiritual Mind Treatment aka Affirmative Prayer, is one of the most powerful resources I can
use. It is the power of prayer. I don’t have to ask Google.

And so it is.

–Madeline Pallanes

Teaching Symbols

The shamrock, a small clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, grows wild throughout Ireland and is synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day. Legend has it that Saint Patrick, a Catholic priest and missionary, used this common plant as a teaching symbol to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to Irish converts. The Holy Trinity defines God as being three divine persons (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) sharing one essence. The shamrock was used to illustrate how three unique parts are required and contained to make a whole.

Ernest Holmes also teaches about the triune nature of God: God is threefold in His Nature, i.e., that God is Spirit, or Self Knowingness; God is Law and action; God is result or Body. This is the inner teaching of “The Trinity.” SOM 80.1 He also devised a teaching symbol to illustrate this concept which has become synonymous with Science of Mind.

The upper third represents Spirit or Conscious Mind. It is the cause. This is the idea or thought that wants to be made manifest. How it does this is through Law or Subjective Mind represented in the midsection. This is the creative medium through which the thought becomes reality. It is subjective to and compelled to act upon what it is given through Spirit. The lower third represents Body or Form. This is the manifestation. It is the result of the subjective mind producing what the conscious mind intends.

The left side of the V shows how the process works. The idea created in Mind passes through the Law which must respond by producing the Result. The right side of the V alludes that once this is complete, you return to Conscious Mind to start the process again with a new thought.

The right side of the V is curved to indicate that this entire process is ongoing. We are always in choice and Law is always in action, the result of which is our reality.

As a gardener, another illustration that has been meaningful to me is how a plant comes into being. It starts with a seed, the idea (Spirit). The seed is planted in a creative medium of soil (Law). Here it is acted upon by sun, water, temperature, etc. This results in a plant, the form (Body). You reap what you sow, so sow your thoughts wisely.

For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ~ Galatians 6.7

Janet Salese

Being Peace

These are challenging times. Added to the two years of uncertainty of COVID, now a war has been started by Russia with Ukraine. Sometimes I feel helpless. It reminds me of growing up during the Vietnam War, and the aftereffects of the images of World War II. What is mine to do? Pray. And it doesn’t seem good enough, but I know it is what I can do, and it is good. If peace consciousness raises into a cloud of peace, and it will rain peace.

During these times of uncertainty, I strive to become peace, to be kind to my neighbors, greet people with an enthusiastic wave and a smile, listen, and know the Truth, the big Truth, the Spiritual Truth.

A Prayer for World Peace
By Ernest Holmes
I know but One Mind which is the Mind of God, in which all people live and move and have their being.

I know there is a Divine Pattern for humanity and within this pattern there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness.

I know that the mind of man, being one with the Mind of God, shall Discover the method, the way and the means best fitted to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.

This harmony, peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness will be experienced by all.

I know there shall be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures, of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems and scientific Discoveries for all good belongs to all alike.

I know that, because the Divine Mind has created us all, we are bound together in one infinite perfect unity.

In bringing about World Peace, I know that all people and all nations will remain individual, but unified for the common purpose of promoting peace, happiness, harmony and prosperity.

I know that Deep within every person the Divine Pattern of perfect peace is already implanted.

I now Declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form, to the end that all nations and all people shall live together in peace, harmony and prosperity forever. And So It Is.

Somebody Needs A Prayer Today, a song by Niki Harris also brings me solace and fills me with the power of prayer, to send my light and love out into the world.

Two additional thoughts from Ernest Holmes, from the July 1931 The Science of Mind Magazine pp.5-16:

“Do not fall under the belief that if one is to excel in spiritual things they must renounce everything that is called physical. There are those who would separate life from living. Do not make this mistake. Take the time to weed out unbelief. Find the world to be good. See every man as an evolving soul. Let your mind be tempered with that human wisdom which rejects the lie, which separates the wheat from the chaff — but in all kindness, sympathy and compassion. Your system of thought does not deny the merit of human endeavor or intellectual attainment. It does affirm the supremacy of Spirit. It is the Spirit which creates and sustains all.

Search out your own mind. Be true to your own thought. Penetrate more deeply into your own consciousness. In the silence of your own soul, you meet the Eternal and Creative Center of all.”

–Maria

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