Form is as Real as It’s Supposed to Be

This past week the daily reading in The Science of Mind text has been about ‘Body’. So,
what’s ‘body’? If you’ll refresh your memory from ‘Foundations of The Science of Mind’,
you’ll remember that body is the name for that bottom section of the teaching symbol.
Some other words associated with that bottom section are form, effect, experience, affairs, conditions, riches, poverty, day job, things, results, time, space, illusion, reflection… I’m sure I missed a couple.

This is fine in theory. I mean, we know how it works, right? We have an idea that arises in our minds from the realm of infinite possibilities – that happens in the top section of the teaching symbol. Then we decide to experience that idea, and so we claim it. Once we claim it, actually believe that it will appear, and had the felt, emotional or embodied, experience of it, we’ve expressed our decision to the middle section, the Law, which is subject to our intentional claiming. Law has no choice but to give us what we have claimed, unless we negate our thought before it has time to move into form. If we are clear and consistent, and there is nothing in us to argue with the good we’ve claimed, the Law must deliver it to our experience. This form we’ve called into being must show up. This is the basic teaching as used in the Law of Attraction.

Most of us have noticed that some things, or experiences, manifest easily for us, and others are more challenging. Some people are great with clearing up experiences of ill health, others with sticky financial stuff and some with apparent relationship troubles. Occasionally, you’ll find someone who is exceptionally clear in a couple of areas. It’s my opinion that we have fewer ‘yeah-buts’ in the areas that are easiest for us.

From Dr Holmes, The Science of Mind 86.4, “Another principle which is fundamental to our practice is, that not only what is set in motion can be changed; but that the Truth known is demonstrated. The knowledge of Truth and its demonstration is both simultaneous and instantaneous. Since we are dealing with that which is Limitless, knowing no big and no little, the possibility of our demonstration rests not in the Principle, but in our acknowledgement of, and embodiment in it, of the ideas we desire experienced! … So, in the simplicity of our own language, we try to convince ourselves of the reality of that for which we are treating, knowing that in such degree as we have an embodiment of an idea, it is thrown into a mechanical field and must operate.”

But if we create our experience out of our thought, and we can change it by changing what we think and embody, then how real is it? It’s “as real as it’s supposed to be” (SOM 101.1) What does that mean?

The next sentence of The Science of Mind 101.1 reads, “If the formless did not take form, Spirit would never arrive at self-realization.” Spirit creates to explore its own life experience, and so do we. We cause ideas and experiences to be created on our behalf because we are exploring who we are and who we wish to become. In the next paragraph, “Form is real as form, but it is not self-conscious, it is subject to the power that created it. Forms come and go, but the Power back of them is Changeless. Form is temporary, but Mind is eternal.”

When we believe the experiences in our lives, whether we think of them as favorable or not, have power to rule our lives, it is because we’ve created a story in our minds and we’ve given them power they don’t have.

I’m sure you have changed your mind about an experience, and had the experience change. Right? And I’m sure you’ve called an experience, or a thing, into your reality. And you’ve probably had a few things, and experiences come in and what you experienced wasn’t what you thought you meant. I know I have. This practice of manifestation, causing ideas to come into form is how we continue to learn and grow as spiritual beings. And it’s as real as it’s supposed to be.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Profound Questions

What am I doing here?

Inside star cluster NGC 602

Astronomy includes Cosmology and these studies add to my appreciation of the vast expanse we can see best in a truly dark night sky. It is the night sky that feeds my sense of wonder. It is that sense of wonder that carries my being along on the search for greater meaning.

The search for greater Truth seems inherent in my being.

My search has caused me, and others, distress and frustration on occasion. Also, depression and apathy on occasion. Anger and resentment as well.

My quests have involving medicine, religion and psychiatry. My journey has taken twists and turns yet here I am and could not have gotten here without all the events of the past.

Apparently, I have been gathering evidence that everything is happening for my good. And I can let go of the confining past. I continue to learn from it accept it and move ahead.

Today as I continue seeking, it has become life as I know it. As our cosmos expands, life as I experience it expands in creative consciousness. I now see myself as a continual student, and receiver.

Science of Mind has given me a framework to test ideas, expand my consciousness and practice my experience of connection with the Divine. That Divine includes each of you. Without you I would have remained in the dark. Or asleep without lights to guide me.

–Chris Wheeler

Becoming

Dr Ernest Holmes was very clear (The Science of Mind pp.266-268) “Science of Mind is not a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme, neither does it promise something for nothing. It does however promise the one who will comply with its teachings that they shall be able to bring greater possibilities and happier conditions into their experience.”

Holmes continues, “It is a great mistake to say; ‘Take what you wish, for you can have anything you like.’ We do not take what we wish, but we do attract to ourselves that which is like our thought. EACH ONE MUST BECOME MORE IF THEY WISH TO DRAW A GREATER GOOD INTO THEIR LIFE. We need not labor under the delusion that all we have to do is say that everything is ours. This is true in Reality, but in fact it is only as true as we make it. We provide the mold for the Creative Law”

Holmes, again, “The Law is a law of liberty, but not a law of license. It is exact and exacting, and unless we are willing to comply with Its Nature and work with it, along the lines of Its inherent being, we shall receive no great benefit. EVERY ONE MUST PAY THE PRICE FOR THAT WHICH THEY RECEIVE AND THAT PRICE IS PAID IN MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL COIN.” (Capitalization in Holmes’ original text.)

For a full 2 years before Agape International opened their doors, Dr Michael Beckwith and his visioning team met every week to envision how ‘God’ wanted the Agape Center to show up in the world. Only after they all clearly shared and understood the guidance, and every single one of them was completely aligned, and in embodied agreement with the vision, did Dr Michael and the team begin to open the doors.

I remember my first community envisioning gathering in 2009, and the ones that happened every year after that. We imagined, dreamed and visioned about having a place of our own. Many of the dreams were grand (a towering stained-glass sanctuary with state-of-the-art everything, an elementary school, a ministerial school, a community garden, a cafe…), without much embodiment, or ownership, of the vision/dream among the congregation. It was like we were seeking something for nothing. Some people got disillusioned and left.

When we had the opportunity to purchase that 5-acre parcel of raw land on 22nd Street in 2016, it looked like a great investment, and it had potential to become the site where we could build our own Center. The Board members supported purchasing the parcel, though many members of our congregation were not necessarily in favor of us building on it. They didn’t like the location. They thought it would be too difficult. (There were stringent restrictions from the Home Owner’s Association that we had agreed to.) When we received an unsolicited offer to purchase the land at a very good price, it had turned into a fruitful investment for us. (We hold the note for the buyers, and they pay us a percentage of the agreed value each year.) That first year’s annual payment on the raw land gave us the down payment we needed to purchase the office.

Along the way, we grew in our understanding and started imagining what it would really feel like to embody and experience ‘the highest vision for CSL Tucson’. We got closer, because we started owning our vision and it would feel like when it materialized. The last several years, pre-pandemic, we had honed in on what embodiment looked like and felt like for us. You can find several of the previous years’ envisioning notes on our website under About Us, and then under Organizational Documents.

Our annual Community Envisioning has been planned for a few hours the evening of Friday January 14th, and up to half a day on Saturday, January 15th. I invite you to consider what you are willing to embody, what you are willing to become, as we move into this next stage of our enlivenment as CSL Tucson. It’s not just about my becoming, or our Board of Trustees’ becoming. It’s about what each, and all, of us are willing to become.

–Rev Janis

Got “Same Auld Lang Syne”?

Sissy wishes you a Happy New Year

Auld Lang Syne was a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788. The poem
was set to the tune in 1799 and sung to bid farewell to the old year and bring in the new year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. ‘Same Old Lang Syne’ was written and sung by Dan Fogelberg in 1980. Both are favorite songs that bring me to tears.

Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “To start your new year right, I suggest finding a deeper spiritual life. Something happens deep within you and thereafter you are filled with joy and warmth and beauty. This may happen quickly and dramatically. It could happen today. On the other hand, it may be a developing experience, unfolding as a rose, beginning with a bud and ending with full flowering. But, however it happens, this is the greatest experience possible to a human being.”

As I think back over this past year, I know I have found a deeper spiritual life with CSLT. I know I am filled with joy, warmth and beauty. My heart is filled with gratitude for all I have learned through our teachings and practices, all the friendships I have gained, and all the love I have received from all of you. I’m ready to bid farewell to 2021 and bring in 2022. How about you?

To bring this year to an end, I hope you join us for Endings and Beginnings — Friday, December 31, 5:30 pm on the Sunday morning zoom link. Music by Michael Zimmerman.

2022 is offering us many fun opportunities to engage, learn and spiritually grow with each other! Consider joining us at our next “Watch Party”. We are also offering fun new classes to start off the new year with class. As I have said many times, “I’ve got class.” All the information can be found in our weekly electronic newsletter, and on our website.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, pleasantly abundant, blessed, deeper spiritual life. Happy New Year! Let’s bring in 2022 together as We Are All One.

–Love, Madeline & Sissy

Wait! What Was I Thinking?

I love how efficient the Universe is at showing us what we believe. I’ve had so many examples of this in the past couple weeks, I probably can’t even count them all. Mostly, I’m just glad I notice I’ve been thinking, and believing, and have a chance to change my mind about my experiences.

Last Thursday, I got my booster shot up at the Tucson Convention Center. It was the first day they were open and they had all three of the options. I had a preference, and so I had avoided getting ‘boosted’. I was cracking jokes in line with the couple standing behind me. Of course, he had heard that people who hadn’t gotten ill from the previous shots were laid low by this one. I’d heard that too, but I didn’t pay it a lot of attention. Friday, I woke up feeling a little bit achy, and my arm was sore. Friday’s usually my day off, and I thought I’d just take it easy because I’d been pushing pretty hard for a while. No biggie.

I opened The Science of Mind Friday night to do my daily evening practice, which is to consider the reading for the day (252.2-5) that Dr Edward Viljoen picked out when he was in ministerial school over thirty years ago. Friday’s reading was about how we can choose to think about Colds, Influenza and Grippe. (I don’t even know what grippe is.) I had to laugh out loud at myself. How is it possible that I needed to be reminded of this exact thought form on this day, so I could notice what I was thinking?

What I noticed was that I had two competing thoughts in my mind. As a biologist, I knew that when the body’s defenses were activated, they would kick up a little bit of a fuss, and the body would prefer to have a low-key, restful day so that the internal reinforcements of health could gather the troops, and nothing further would be needed. As a Religious Scientist, I knew that we believe in the healing of the sick and the control of conditions through the power of this Mind, and so I didn’t have to experience those achy sensations. I also knew that it is done unto us as we believe. If my belief in the mechanics of human physiology was stronger than my belief in what we teach and practice, then I was going to get to have that experience.

Well, duh. Of course, I did a treatment. Friday night I slept, unbothered. By morning, I was back to normal.

Saturday, I was running errands in town and noticed the clouds gathering. There were even a few raindrops on my car’s windshield, not enough to turn the wipers on, but it was still rain. Part of me delights in the clouds gathering, because I very much appreciate the soft, gentle winter rains. And if they happened to start early this year, I’d be quite okay with that. But the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association was doing a stargazing party in Tucson Mountain Park, near where I live, and I had a ticket to go Saturday night. I was looking forward to it. I did my ‘standard weather treatment’ that I used to do when I lived in Arizona City and drove to Tucson multiple times a week for certificated classes. I didn’t have a problem with rain, or dust storms, for two years.

Astronomers aren’t generally as happy about overcast skies as the rest of us desert dwellers are, and the club cancelled the viewing if they thought the skies wouldn’t be cooperative. Over Tucson Mountain Park, the skies stayed relatively clear, so I drove over just after sunset to look through the two telescopes and ‘ooh and ahh’ at the planets and galaxies with about 15 other people. I’ve seen Venus, Jupiter and Saturn before, but I’d not seen Neptune or Uranus. The two amateur astronomers had great telescopes and great skill in using them, so we could even see multiple moons around several of the distant planets. We do get to experience what we believe. How marvelous is that?

–Rev Janis Farmer

Got Turkey?

“Appreciation, gratitude, and thanksgiving — the motive power which attracts and magnifies the hidden potentialities of life.” – Ernest Holmes The Science of Mind 637

I think in most homes the idea of the Thanksgiving revolves around being grateful and appreciative of the blessings we already have. The idea of dinner revolves around the meal being prepared by the matriarch of the home. In my home, this dinner consists of a feast that I have prepared and is enjoyed by my family and friends. Preparing for this feast can take quite a bit of planning to present the perfect meal.

I appreciate two of my dearest friends. At least a month ago they notified me that there is an apparent turkey shortage and that I’d better get my turkey now! They were sincerely concerned that I wasn’t aware of this shortage and what would I do if I didn’t have a turkey to serve? They were right. I wasn’t aware of the apparent shortage. However, I immediately thought — what are they talking about? Don’t they know we live in an abundant Universe and that Source is always providing for us?

Often at Thanksgiving my mom would tell this story. One year back in the early 60’s, my parents couldn’t afford to buy a turkey for dinner. They bought a 39-cent chicken, stuffed and roasted it. My brother thought it was the best dinner ever. They were grateful.

A thanksgiving memory I hold happened back in the mid 80’s. I had bought a turkey, my mom bought a turkey, and my grandmother won a turkey. We had 3 turkeys to cook that year. Thanksgiving morning, we all woke up and no one felt like cooking a turkey. My mom suggested we go out to dinner at a restaurant my grandmother used to own. They were open and serving a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. We were thankful. The next day we cooked turkeys.

“Thanksgiving is a grateful recognition of past benefits and the activator of blessings yet to come. Thankfulness stimulates a continuous flow of blessings. If, in your life, there is a paucity of blessings, it may be that your practice of thankfulness has grown weak and inactive. The attitude of gratitude is important in achieving wholeness in life. Only by enumerating the many blessings bestowed upon us can we fully appreciate the generous bounty of God.“

— Norman Vincent Peale

With appreciation & gratitude to you, Happy Thanksgiving.

Madeline Pallanes

2022 CSLT Calendars are Here!

My opportunities are unlimited. There is a Divine Urge to express. It permeates me and fills all of me. All of my affairs are in Its hands. To It are clearly visible the best ways, methods and means for my greater expression. I leave my affairs in the hands of this Principle, and I cooperate with it.

Today the possibilities of my experience are unlimited. Spirit flows through me, inspiring me and sustaining that inspiration. I have the ability and talent and I am busy using them. This talent is Divinely sustained and marketed under a Universal plan of right action.
Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 304.6 – 305.2

The CSLT calendar for 2022 is ready. Thank you to the following people for contributing their creativity through art, ideas, photographs, and words: Cheri Anderson, Carolyn King, Ethel Lee- Miller, Mariann Moery, Gregg Molzon, Madeline Pallanes, Susan Seid, and Beryl Varno, (as well as all the congregants who sent pictures of their pets!)

The calendars are $15 and there are a few ways to order:

  • Online through PayPal. Go to https://www.tucsoncsl.org/donate, and in the “donationcategory” type “calendar”.
  • Send a check to CSLT office: 911 S. Craycroft Road, Tucson, AZ 85711
  • Through Zelle, send funds to admin@tucsoncsl.org.

If you have been one of our major donors in the past 12 months, you will receive one in the USPS mail, with immense gratitude from your Board of Trustees.

Life opens to me – rich, full, abundant. My thought, which is the key to life, opens all doors to me. I am one with Infinity, Divinity. I realize this unity. I proceed on my way as one who knows that God goes with me into an eternal day of infinite privilege. I have only to open the portals of my soul and accept that which is ready to express through me. Today I fling these portals wide; Today I am the instrument through which life flows. Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 304.6

Each person is a unique expression of Divine Mind. Using our time and energy to create is a gift to ourselves and others, and an expression of gratitude for our individual lives.

–Maria

Tucson’s All Souls Procession

If you are new to Tucson, you may be wondering what’s up with all the skulls and skeletons (many brightly decorated) still around town. Did people forget to take down their Halloween decorations? And why are so many still constructing skeletal costumes? The calaveras (sugar skulls) and calacas (skeletons) are traditional symbols of the Mexican celebration of Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. They represent loved ones who have passed on. They are also heavily represented in Tucson’s All Souls Procession.

Grieving the loss of her father, Susan Johnson sought a way to gather with others in a similar situation to “remember together”. In 1990, she and several of her artist friends got together and the first All Souls Procession made its way through downtown Tucson. Starting with a few hundred that first year, the celebration has drawn over 150,000 participants and spectators in years past.

I have been part of this crowd several times, particularly in years when I had lost a loved one. While I have not walked the parade route, I have painted my face and included symbols to represent those whose lives I was remembering. I have laughed and cried while watching the individuals and groups march down the street. It has been very moving and cathartic to know that I was certainly not alone in my process.

The most significant part of the procession each time I have participated has been the Burning of the Urn. A very large steel urn leads the procession. Throughout the parade, attendants will distribute and collect strips of paper on which you can write a prayer or message to your deceased loved one. At the finale, the urn is set on fire. Watching the energy of the messages turn into fuel for the fire has always brought a great sense of release for me.

This year’s procession will begin at 6pm on Sunday, November 7. Visit their website for more info All Souls Procession – Remembering together. If you are not able to attend in person, you can participate virtually through a livestream All Souls Procession 2021 Livestream – All Souls Procession. You can submit your message to be included in the urn through their website Restoration of Care and Burning of The Urn Ceremony – All Souls Procession. You can watch previous years’ processions Videos – All Souls Procession.

–Janet Salese

Who’s In Charge of ‘Me’?

We had an earth-shatteringly tremendous conversation in last week’s Revealing Wholeness class about what ‘The Body of God’ actually means. This is among the most difficult concepts in New Thought, because we, as walking, talking, living, breathing humans, don’t readily see our bodies and our lived experience as something that is temporary, infinitely changeable and infinitely malleable.

We glibly say, “There is Only One Life, That Life is God’s Life, That Life is Perfect, That Life is My Life Now” and “It’s All God” and “God is All There Is.” Some of us can even recite, from The Declaration of Principles that Dr Ernest Holmes wrote in 1927, “We believe in the healing of the sick and the control of conditions, through the power of this Mind.” And in answer to questions on the final exam for “Foundations of the Science of Mind” class, we answer, and in class discussions we talk about, ‘body’ as an effect, and ‘form’ as an effect and that cause is always invisible.

But push come to shove, what does that actually mean? Do we actually believe that our lived experience, and our physical body, is changeable by simply changing our thought patterns and beliefs and then changing our actions in support of those beliefs? On one level, the answer is absolutely yes. On another level… wait a minute, not so fast! We’re not so sure.

Holmes is pretty clear in The Science of Mind 98.4-99.2, where he wrote, “The word ‘body’, as used in The Science of Mind, means all objective manifestations of the invisible Principle of Life. The body is distinguished from the idea, in that the body is seen while the idea is invisible. The physical universe is the Body of God – the invisible Principle of All Life. Our physical being is the body of the unseen human. Behind the objective form of the rose is the idea that projects the rose. Body is always an effect, never a cause.”

Remembering that our bodies, and our lived conditions, are changeable by a change in our perceptions, our awareness and our consciousness are key to successful healing and manifestation through the use of spiritual mind treatments, affirmations and visualizations.

In The Seminar Lectures 15, Holmes wrote, “The perception of wholeness is the consciousness of healing.” Our biggest challenge is to remember that behind all experiences, and all visible presentations which look different than we would like them to be, there exist a perfect, whole and complete essence of each one of us. Our challenge is to remember that. We get to remember to perceive our lives, and our bodies through the lens of Wholeness, the eyes of God, and see ourselves as already perfected in our unseen human forms. At the core of everyone’s being there already exists an essential self that knows itself as living in, and as, the Divine.

We get to forgive, remove, or release anything that stands between our lived human experience and this pre-existing wholeness which are our True Selves. Once we no longer see ourselves as damaged, deficient, broken, or less than in any way, we can release those stories that limit our lived experience, and we can live rightly, as human expressions of the Body of God.

Indeed, this may be our life’s work, to see ourselves as God sees us, already whole, complete and perfect in every way, right now. Once we can do that, the scales fall off our eyes, and we can see ourselves and everyone else as the divine beings that they, and we, already are.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Hide The Ball

I don’t know if you remember that old magician’s trick with the usually three upturned cups and the ball that seems to magically move from cup to cup, and the observer never quite knows where the ball is, or how it got there. In one of our Practitioner classes years ago, a dear friend said, “I play hide the ball with myself all the time, and it frustrates me!” When she said it, I realized I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate way to describe how we keep ourselves from knowing ‘stuff’ that we claim we want to know. Most of us do this, at least sometimes. This is not a criticism. I think it’s an aspect of being human.

I’ve been using this pandemic cloistering period to work on my writing practice in a world-wide community of writers. The way this program is set up, everyone has a page of their own as a place to show their work. It’s a little cumbersome until you get the hang of it (like most things are when they are new), but it’s really not hard to find your own page. I’m watching one of my writing friends do his darnedest to keep himself from writing, and letting himself acknowledge that he actually writes well and beautifully. He’s a smart guy. He’s got a successful day job. And he’s got this other side that’s creative, poetic, profound and astoundingly lyrical in its beauty and depth.

This morning I noticed that he’d written an extraordinary piece of incredibly touching poetry on someone else’s ‘page’, and sheepishly admitted that he didn’t know how to find his own page. We’ve been in this writing program for five months. Twice I’ve offered to zoom with him on his computer to show him how to find his own page. I know of two other people, moderators of the writing program, who have also offered to assist him. Someone even made him a ‘how to’ sheet of directions, and he persists in hiding the ball from himself. I just wanted to cry when I saw his commentary this morning.

If we, or someone else, don’t want to know something, there is nothing that can be done to force them or us to see, and know. It’s not like having a puppy and rubbing their noses in it when we catch them peeing in the house. We don’t learn that way. Once we finally do wake up to the game and see though, and are willing to own our own ability, agency, autonomy, authority, responsibility and power, there’s nothing that stands in our way.

Being part of a world-wide writing community is both exciting and terrifying. I was telling one of my artist friends about it, and she was horrified at the idea of showing her work to others as it was in process, specifically so that other people could comment on it. I told her it was really quite fabulous, because one of the rules of engagement in this group was that commenters were required to be constructive, and kind. Early on when I joined this online writers’ group, I noticed the moderators, quickly and decisively, removed two people who didn’t know how to be constructive and kind.

It serves each of us to have a small group of supportive friends, who we trust and who actually have our best interests in mind and heart, and who will help us see our blind spots. Without that, it’s easy to just keep playing ‘hide the ball’, and we don’t learn and grow.

–Rev Janis Farmer

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