Digging Deeper

I love it when a class turns out more enjoyable than I expect it to. Come to think of it, most of the time, they usually do! I adore it when I get to dig into material I’ve read before and see it in a new way, and I love it with those who are taking the class with me have a similar experience.

Since we are doing classes on zoom, like almost everybody else, I’ve had to think differently about how to facilitate this online experience. No, it’s not the same as in-person classes. In some ways it’s better! People who don’t like to drive at night can take classes, and those who live too far away, or have other restrictions can still participate. When we first shifted to online, way back in March, one of the students who sat in front of his computer all day requested that we reduce the length of each individual class to two hours instead of three. We’ve moved the start times to 5:30pm (AZ time) so that classes don’t end so late even for people who live on the east coast. This is doubly wonderful, partly because it increases everyone’s ability to focus, and most weeks we are all a little surprised when we’ve arrived at the end of class time… already!

I especially want to mention what happened at the “Roots” class that met Monday evening. In the original curriculum, only 2 weeks were allocated for Ralph Waldo Emerson. I always felt like Emerson got short-changed, and so did we. In our revised class schedule we were able to spend four weeks immersing ourselves in the writings of the man that Ernest Holmes said was ‘like drinking water’.

In this week’s class the students got to pick one of Emerson’s essays that we hadn’t discussed and bring the highlights of that essay into the room. We got to look at 5 more of Emerson’s essays, discover what they meant to us, and consider how they influenced the thinking and writing of Ernest Holmes. Talk about digging deeper!

We shared and discussed Emerson’s essays on “Gifts”, “Friendship”, “Compensation”, “Illusions” and “The Over-Soul.” “Compensation” and “The Over-Soul” stirred the most conversation, and generated the clearest connection to the writings of Ernest Holmes.

One of the ideas contained in “Compensation” was how the Law of Cause and Effect must manifest in the world (and that we don’t usually see it play out.) From page 74, “Take what you will, its exact value, no more no less, still returns to you. Every secret told, every crime punished, every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty… Every act rewards itself.” Holmes picked up the idea when he wrote (The Science of Mind  144.2), “effect is potential in cause… Cause and effect are really one, and if we have a given cause set in motion, the effect will have to equal the cause. One is the inside and the other is the outside of the same thing.”

One of the ideas from “The Over-Soul” was the idea of unitive consciousness. From page 190, “within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. This deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.” Holmes, in The Science of Mind  117.2, “One Spirit, One Mind, One Substance. One Law, but many ideas, One Power but many ways of using it. One God, in Whom we all live, and One Law which we all use. ONE, ONE, ONE!! No greater unity could be conceived than that which is already given.”

There was so much juicy content and discussion. We had fun! I can hardly wait for next week’s “Roots” class when we start reading and discussing the writings of Judge Thomas Troward in The Edinburgh and Dore Lectures! But first, we get to dig into “Foundations of the Science of Mind” tonight!

–Rev Janis

Where Does God Dwell…

Prior to becoming involved with Science of Mind I felt Spirit as a companion, a presence felt outside of myself primarily when I was walking alone. I started photographing when I was eleven. When I was out photographing, it felt like someone was whispering in my ear where I should walk, what I should look at, and when I would start to photograph, a direction, “a little to the left, closer.”

It has been a shift to feel God in me. One of the images that comes up often in the Science of Mind readings is God is a wellspring. I like that word, that image. The word broken down into its two syllables: Well, a sense of being whole, and spring the season of new beginnings and growth. Put together “wellspring” means the Source. In my meditations I visualize water flowing from a wellspring in my sacral chakra throughout my body.

One day at the morning daily zoom practice we read:

There are so many illustrations in the sacred texts of the world relating to the light. The spirit is thought of as being the essence of light. People are spoken of as being the “candles of the Lord.”365 Science of Mind 366

I liked the candle image too, but it was difficult for me to reconcile the two images, candle and water together, knowing the water would put out the candle. Then I had a memory of being at church camp when I was in middle school. It was in NY in the country with a lake surrounded by pine trees. One day we made boats out of paper and that night we put candles in the boats and floated them in the lake. It was a full moon and I remember watching the multitude of individual lights floating in the darkness. I had an image I could use.

Recently, I was at the Santa Cruz River where it actually flows above ground and saw the sunlight reflecting off of the water. It’s another way I can visualize flow and light.

With this new image I see God within me as radiant, flowing energy, always present, yet changeless. As my relationship with Spirit deepens, we will flow, and radiate.

…there is an active Presence of the creative Spirit in all our affairs – not something passive, but something that is moving in and through everything we do. We should affirm that this Divine Presence is everywhere, that it is always active in, around, and through us.  — 365 Science of Mind 18.1

— Maria

Complete Freedom from All Discord

From The Science of Mind Declaration of Principles:
“WE BELIEVE the ultimate goal of life to be complete freedom from all discord of any nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.”

Here we are, finally in December, and the end of the contentious, paradoxical, sometimes excruciating, 2020.

Most of our lives have been turned upside down by COVID, drastic changes in our democracy, and rampant misinformation thrown at us on a daily basis. Sometimes it can get challenging to remember the Truth.

I don’t know what I would do without a solid connection to Spirit that tells me it is always darkest before the light. Just as a seed in the ground reaches toward the light for expansion, growth and transformation, I know that God will prevail, not necessarily on my timetable.

We all have the capacity to put out into the Law wishes not only for our own well-being, but for the well-being and relief of suffering for all sentient beings. The metaphorical darkness is the fertile ground for ascending from despair into hope, and from fear into courage — to face what presently presents itself with a knowing that the Divine is always with us, sometimes unfolding and mystical but comforting ways.

I am always grateful for the Divine that has guided me through each moment of every day. The trick for me is to look for the good in all things and give thanks for the principles of Science of Mind and that what we believe we will experience.

So, let’s keep the faith that has been gifted to us and adapt to new ways of expressing the love of God and the love we have for each other.

May you experience a blessed season of goodwill and love of the teachings of Science of Mind that sustain us and allow us to live in God’s Grace and Love.

And when nothing else seems possible, Ben’s Bells reminds us all, “Be Kind.”

PAX,
Janie Hooper

The Consecration of the Moment

 

“The joy of life is not in the grand gesture but in the consecration of the moment.””The joy of life is not in the grand gesture but in the consecration of the moment.”

— Kent Nerburn

We’ve made it to Thanksgiving week, in the most bizarre, unexpected, absurd year I have experienced in my life… so far. I won’t add importance to how weird, strange, or whatever, this year has been. I’m just grateful most of us have made it this far, mostly intact.

So what can we do to appreciate, or consecrate (make sacred), this moment?

First, we can acknowledge our experience, know what we don’t feel we have, and what we do have.

Marcus Aurelius was the most powerful man in the world from 161-180 CE, one of the ‘Five Good Emperors’ of the Roman Empire and served as the last emperor during Pax Romana, a relatively peaceful era of roman history. And his legions were at war continuously; he often battled with them. Floods, famine and the Antonine plague, which lasted 15 years, dominated his reign.

And yet, in his Meditations, he wrote:
“If you’ve seen the present, you’ve seen all things, from time immemorial into all of eternity. For everything that happens is related and the same.”

Life happens. In some ways, it’s quite predictable. The sun rises and sets. The moon waxes and wanes. It rises and sets, though sometimes that happens during daylight hours, which confuses some people. Seasons change. If rain is predicted in southern Arizona, it may rain, or it might not. People get uneasy and they try to control something, anything, and the stores run out of paper products. Politicians pose. Newscasters talk. Neighbors help each other. Friends check on one another. Strangers change other people’s tires when they have a flat on the side of the road. CSLT identifies potential 2021 charities.

Things happen in our lives that we don’t like, we don’t want to have to deal with them, and yet…

J.R.R.Tolkien created the perfect reminder for us in this exchange between Frodo and Gandalf:
Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

What if we all meant to be here? What if it’s an encouraging thought that we are the ones who have either been called, or we chose (depending on your frame of reference), to be here at this time to work out how to live in these most unusual times? It’s both an honor and a challenge, right?

How can we honor, celebrate, commemorate, even consecrate, these remaining days of 2020? In a previous year, these days would have been filled with parties and travel and gatherings of all sorts. We can bemoan what we don’t have, or don’t have right now, or we can look at what we do have to work with, and decide to make the best use we can of what we do have. We can find joy in consecrating this moment.

Master Teacher Jesus said it best, “Love one another.” We know how to do that, even if we are apart. We’ve known how since we were very small children. And that is an encouraging thought.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Letting Go To Discover

Let It Go – is a favorite poem by e e cummings. And now it’s my time to let go of membership on the CSLT Board. It seems appropriate to include the words from Dr. Holmes that currently guide me in my growth. I’ve changed the message to personal pronouns because that’s how it is for me.

The Universe holds nothing against me; It can hold nothing against me, because It can know nothing unlike Itself. Therefore, It only knows me as Perfection. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 561.4

Since there is no great and no small to the Infinite, all that seems of little consequence in my life has the Divine Guidance just as perfectly and completely as that which I think of as being tremendously important.
— Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 562.2

Which for me is practicing all the time every day to live from that space within which is “wholly holy”, congruent and serene — as I acknowledge and claim – I am always at choice.

There is nothing I have done, said or thought which rises up against me, which has power over me or which limits me; there is no memory of fear, no condemnation for previous mistakes. With the desire to free myself from further indulgence in the mistake, the effect of the previous mistake is wiped out, just as light dissipates the darkness. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 561.4

Freedom from guilt for past, present and future errors in judgment, moments of inattention and laziness. Only the necessity to learn better, to do better as the unique expression that I am.

The higher the sense of Truth, the greater will be the realization of the uniqueness of individual character and personality.

Individuality means self-choice, volition, conscious mind, personified Spirit, complete freedom and a Power to back it up. (Emphasis is mine MM) — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 332.4-5

In my Foundations class we created what I journal as P5: Peace, Poise, Presence, Power & Prosperity.

It has taken me till now to realize a proper meaning for Power – as the internal, singular power of Spirit in me allowing unique personal beingness. It allows me to let go of any person, place, memory or object that attempts to limit or to guilt me. It is very good, very important: my personal Power. It must be claimed and treasured as it is basic to personal freedom. And essential to live as whole.


I am one with the body of the physical world;
One with the Creative Law of the Universe in the mental world; and One with the Spirit of God in the conscious world. Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 333.2


For me the operative word in the above trifecta is “conscious”, to be consciously aware that I am One with the world, the Law and the Spirit. As much of the time as I can live there….it varies day-to-day.

Let me now let go of everything and enter into the consciousness of that which I believe. The Spirit within me is God, and It is perfect, It is love, reason, life, truth and beauty. It is limitless and perfect and complete and whole. It knows no lack and no limitation. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 561.3

Continuing as a permanent work-in-progress, I wish you and yours the claiming of more good each day and…


–Peace, Mariann

 

Thoughts-Words-Actions

Thoughts-words-actions. A simple formula for success. It’s the recipe for…everything.

I look in the fridge. There is no milk. I think a thought, “I need milk”. I say the words either out loud or in my head, “I’m going to the store to get milk.” I grab my keys and head off to the store.

I don’t have enough money. I think, “I need to start a business”. I say to friends, family and anyone who will listen, “I am starting a business”. The universe begins to deliver resources and I start building.

Thoughts-words-actions. Try to come up with a situation that doesn’t follow this path…you can’t…go ahead…I’ll wait while you try…

So, since this is true and since you now understand the formula behind all creation…what should you do? Protect your thoughts! Manage your thoughts! Curate your thoughts!

“But Dave, how do I do that?” I’m glad you asked…


Imagine yourself on the top of a beautiful Alpine mountain. The air is crisp and clear. You have a gorgeous view of the valley and villages below. It’s as if you were standing at the gates of heaven looking down on the wonders of creation.

What thoughts would you have?

Imagine yourself living on the street in the most crime-infested ghetto in the world. Danger everywhere. You, hiding in the shadows, trying to avoid the predators lurking all around you.

What thoughts would you have?

Imagine yourself sitting with the most positive, successful proactive person you know. The conversation is all about possibilities, success, overcoming obstacles, celebrating life.

What thoughts would you have?

Imagine yourself sitting with the most negative person you know. A dark cloud. A crushing problem found in every opportunity. Defeat and despair around every turn of the conversation.

What thoughts would you have?

Your thoughts determine your words and ultimately your actions…protect and enhance your thoughts at all cost.


Maybe you can’t afford a trip to an Alpine mountain right now…but I bet there is an idyllic meditative space somewhere near you…probably right where you live.

Go there…think positive, happy, productive thoughts…and by doing so create positive, happy, productive words and actions.


What about people? This is the hardest part for people who say they want to be successful…get all of the unsuccessful, failure-oriented people out of your life.

They are drowning…and you can’t save them. Occasionally you might keep them afloat for a few minutes longer…but until they are ready to swim on their own they will ultimately drag you down with them.

Harsh…you tell me…what thoughts do you have when you get a steady diet of negative people in your life?

I’m not saying excommunicate all negative people from your life (some are probably relatives). I’m not saying don’t be compassionate.

I am saying find ways to protect your thoughts above all else because your thoughts will determine your words, your actions and ultimately your results!


–Guest Blogger David Dickson


David describes himself as a serial entrepreneur, teacher, student, seeker of truth and wisdom that works in the real world. We met in a story skills improvement workshop. — Rev Janis

Communing with Your Essential Self

Ernest Holmes (The Art of Life 115.2) wrote, Just as, when we are tired physically, a bath in fresh running water invigorates us, so when we are tired or discomforted mentally, spiritual communion, bathing in the ocean of the Infinite, invigorates the mind and clarifies the thinking. Every person should take time for this inner communion, time when they separate themselves from all that appears evil or negative, time to plunge into the living waters of their Being. Just as we take a sunbath, so there is an inner light into which we may plunge, an inner consciousness in which we may bathe. The rays of the invisible Sun penetrate the soul just as the rays of the physical sun penetrate the body, renewing and rejuvenating.

That’s a dandy idea, but how do we do it?

In the same way that David Richo (Triggers 69.3) wrote about deepening, expanding our psychic dimensions, and activating our potential, inner central resource, and the Zanders (The Art of Possibility 96.2) wrote about shifting away from the controlling, calculating self toward the central self which remembers that life moves fluidly like a constantly varying river, and so do we, Barbara Marx Hubbard (Emergence) reminds us again and again that we are more than our physical, externalized life, and she suggests one pathway whereby we can become more aware of, and open a dialog with, our Essential Self.

For herself, she has named this Essential Self, the Beloved. That name may not work for you, and it may work just fine. If you may need a different name, figure out what it would be and use that, or have your first question in your dialog with it, “What shall I call you?” But I get ahead of myself.

How do we commune with this part of ourselves that is already one within the Divine Nature? We get still, we open our minds, and we listen. We pose a question, and we wait for a reply. It often helps to do this as a journaling exercise, because then we have a record of our exploration and we can go back and look at it later, if we need to prove to ourselves that it did indeed happen.

Barbara suggests (Emergence 40.5-41.1) that a good place to start is to write and describe from memory those key experiences you had of inner guidance. This will help you get acquainted with the Essential Self by bringing it to your conscious attention. What did the voice, or inspired thought, tell you? What did it feel like? Describe any experiences you have had of your Essential Self, any messages or guidance you have received, any qualities you have noted that characterize the inner guide.

She then continues, Once you have done this, try this exercise: Write a letter address to ‘Dearly Beloved” or whatever name you choose for your Essential Self. Describe your current situation as precisely as you can, the good and the apparently difficult. Ask the most important questions you may have, as clearly as you can; then release all thought, have no preconceptions. Develop the habit of a poised mind, like a sailboat on a calm sea waiting for the wind.

Our purpose here is precise. It is to establish direct contact with the inner voice, the still, small voice of God expressing as your Essential Self. Start writing any sentence as the inner voice, and see what unfolds. Do not edit, judge or correct anything. If nothing comes, that is fine. Continue to be (mentally and physically) still.

If you have been hearing an inner voice and writing in your journal before, this process will be relatively easy. If you have not yet tried this, simply follow the steps with no expectations. Whatever happens will be helpful, this much I know for sure. Everyone has within a deeper, wiser, all-knowing self.

The Essential Self desires to commune with each and every one of us. It is the living water of our individual and collective Being. It wishes only good and greater good for each of us, and all of Life.

Take the plunge, the water’s fine.


–compiled by Rev Janis

Bringing Peace Into My Day

I am busy! I have commitments to clients, to Boards of which I am a member including CSLT, to my friends and neighbors, and to myself by which I mean my daily spiritual, exercise, and health practices. It is not uncommon for me to spend 6-8 hours on Zoom calls throughout the day. These are times where I cannot do my work-work when I have tax deadlines rapidly approaching. My days feel like they are filled to the brim and there is a resulting feeling of pressure fueled by fear of missing something or of being yelled at by an unhappy client because I did not fulfill my commitment.

This is the current Condition with which I work to introduce peace, poise, presence, prosperity, and power or P5, a term I learned from a member of our Morning Meditation. It was coined in a CSLT “Foundations of the Science of Mind” class. Am I ready to relax, to experience a greater peace throughout the day? Yes, to the best of my ability, which is probably about 85%. I so enjoy experiencing the many different activities of which I am a member. And I do not even know if the number of things I do will change. What I want to change is the feeling of dread, of pressure that has been a regular companion of mine for many years, throughout different life situations. I remember the summer of 1983 after my first child was born. She was an infant and I was a full-time student. I had only one class that summer, a correspondence course. I remember thinking I needed to appreciate that still time with Nicole as a baby as it would not happen again. And I do remember the peace and the appreciation for not needing to work.

I have found some relief from my sense of myself as a ‘naughty little girl’ that often kicks in around work. And when I take time off to go to the doctor, which I am doing now as I go to the chiropractor to deal with recurring pain in my hip. It kicked up recently and, because, I am tired of feeling this pain, I have visited the acupuncturist and now the chiropractor. I have slowed down my daily walks and will not do the weight machines for my legs at the gym to see if I can get this under control. Holistically, I attribute this pain to fear. Hip issues are, according to Louise Hay, a ‘major thrust in moving forward’. My acupuncturist gave me the affirmation – I am in perfect balance. I move forward in life with ease and with joy at every age – from Louise Hay’s book Heal Yourself.

With regard to the busy schedule, I am applying my numerous resources to this process. First there is Prosperity Plus 3 where I created a first draft of my vision that includes me working part-time. Second, I will work with my prayer partner from “Power of Your Word”. We continue to meet on Tuesdays now that the class is over. Third, my health and wellness coach will work with me to determine if this is a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) or whether there is another underlying cause. And, of course, my own internal investigation, being honest with myself about my tendency to jam pack every moment.

So, this will be very interesting. Because this is the way I have lived for so long, I am intrigued to be dealing with this now – that I have become willing to verbalize this behavior as causing me a problem. And I laugh because whenever I address an emotional issue, it is so major and obvious. As always, there is more to learn and an opportunity for additional relief.

–Marya Wheeler

 

 

The Universal Human

Barbara Marx Hubbard

I first encountered Barbara Marx Hubbard, and the idea of the Universal Human, at Unity of Houston a whole bunch of years ago. Dr Michael Gott wasn’t there yet, and I remain forever grateful about that. If he had been part of that community, I can imagine feeling hard-pressed to leave Houston, and to move to the desert. Unity of Houston brought Barbara Marx Hubbard to town for a special series of workshops to introduce her new book Emergence, and to allow those of us who attended that day to arrange ourselves into home study groups.


So what is a Universal Human? As I said in my closing comments this past Sunday, A Universal Human is one who is connected through the heart to the whole of life, attuned to the deeper intelligence of nature, and called forth irresistibly by Spirit to creatively express his or her gifts in the evolution of the self that is a direct expression of Source. To become a Universal Human is to evolve consciously, choosing a path of development that has never been mapped before in a world that has never existed before. (p.4)

Is it attractive, or scary, to think that we might still be walking an uncharted path in uncharted territory? Probably both. And yet, are we ever really following in someone else’s footsteps if we are walking our own path?

Antonio Michado is credited with writing, …Wanderer, there is no road. The road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road – only a wake upon the sea.

There are those who say we are in the early stages of the 6th major extinction event, the first one where humans have been present. [The 5th major extinction event was 65 million years ago, and may have taken up to 2.5 million years to complete. It is believed to have begun with meteor strikes combined with increased volcanic activity, resulting in the extinction of non- avian dinosaurs, as well as many other species. The 5th major extinction event created opportunities and space for mammals and birds to rapidly diversify and evolve.] If indeed, the 6th major extinction event is underway, rather than being disheartened and distressed, Barbara Marx Hubbard saw it as a glorious opportunity for humans to step up as a species and intentionally evolve from Homo sapiens sapiens to something more, which she calls Homo universalis. Catastrophic changes often catalyze new beginnings both at the individual level and for the collective whole.

This is new territory, an untraveled road. I look forward to considering this potential new world that we can choose to create together, a world that works for all, on Wednesdays starting next week, September 9th from 5:30-7pm at our Sunday zoom link.

If you wish to participate in the conversation, get a copy (or an e-copy) of Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Emergence, The Shift from Ego to Essence, 10 Steps to the Universal Human, and let’s go exploring. Reading through the foreword, introduction and first 32 pages ahead of time will be useful preparation for our first conversation.


–Rev Janis

Reflections

“Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light and return to the source of that light.
This is called practicing eternity.”
— Lao Tzu

I have known for some weeks that I have felt inspired to write about death, a topic most of us, including me, have been socially conditioned not to talk about. I have known seven people who have died in the last year and a half and it has caused me to contemplate the value of life, and my own demise. I fully realize I am closer to getting off the planet than I am to entering it. I will be 80 next month.

I have had the opportunity to be with those who are dying and it has been a privilege as well as a sadness to lose those I have so loved, one of them being my only sister. I have discovered that when I am afraid of something (like death), I need to come as close to it as I comfortably can, and just sit with it. I benefit from paying attention to my reactivity and resistance, seeing where my boundaries and limitations are, noting the quality of my fear, and eventually seeing it all as a process that comes from my own identification and conditioning, as well as a natural processes, and part of life as we understand it.

My losses of family and friends have been natural, inevitable, and sad, experiences. I can also say that being with the dying has been very tender, rich, and rewarding for my heart and soul. I hope I have grown more compassionate as a result. I am grateful for those who have passed through my life and those who still remain as my teachers.

I know that there will be other loving human beings who have significance to, and for, me because I realize we are all in this together, parallel souls on a parallel journey of finding the meaning of our own lives and eventually releasing that meaning in order to surrender to the One Eternal Life, which I now experience and will continue to experience. From my soul’s point of view, I have discovered in accepting death, I have been blessed and will continue to be blessed by the mystery of life and death, all part of the same magnificent continuing gift.

—Namaste, Janie

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