A Higher Tribute

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Elaine Lawrie-Foss

Memorial Day is traditionally a time to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.  It was originally called Decoration Day, an observance that began in the years following the Civil War, and became an official federal holiday in 1971.  It is widely viewed as the most somber of American holidays, a time for “memories and tears”.

Memorials abound for people to whom we want to pay tribute and events we wish to remember.  Many memorials are physical structures, but we  also “memorialize” by creating mental pathways. Those can start with some physical reminder- like a name, or holiday or song- and lead to any number of thoughts and emotions associated with our experience of  the individual personality, or knowledge and opinion of the event.

Jesus probably did not want people to shed tears for him, nor did he care about memorials and tributes.   He was far more interested in conveying his message of the true nature of God and the divinity of man.  It was as difficult for his disciples as it is for modern spiritual students to comprehend that Jesus’ most important contribution to the world was not his personal presence and story, but rather his denial of self that those who had “ears to hear” would see beyond the flesh to the reality of Spirit.

There is a message in the teachings of Jesus that we can apply to our experiences of loss and grief.  We of course can pay tribute to someone who has passed from sight by remembering who they were, what things they accomplished in the world, and the times we may have shared together.  We can pay them an even higher tribute by remembering that they were more than “flesh and blood”.   They were, and are, a spiritual being on a spiritual journey.  In order to release them from our limited concept of who they were to us and embrace this idea, we must touch our own inner divinity. In this way we create a new mental pathway, leading from a reminder of the person directly to the joy and peace of God.

You Are Here

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“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

When you think of the spiritual path, how do you see it? Are you moving along toward an unknown destination somewhere over the horizon? Do you look to your past as a way of measuring how far you’ve come in your thinking? Do you feel you are getting any closer to your spiritual goal, or have you concluded that you may need more time than your current life allows?

From my observation, I’m guessing most people will agree that the attainment of spiritual satisfaction is an ideal we move toward but have not yet reached. Yet when Jesus speaks of coming to the Father, he does so in the present tense. He doesn’t say, I will be the way, but I am the way. The truth I teach is the way to the Father. Was he pointing to a direction we are to travel, or was he indicating that we come to the Father here and now? I have reason to believe it is the latter.

It is easily demonstrated that the only place you and I can be is here, in this now moment. Stand on a spot and call it here. Move to another spot and you will still say you are here. Likewise, we can think of the past and the future, but we can never leave this now moment. Yet it certainly seems as if we are spiritually underdeveloped where we now stand. Surely our hope for spiritual illumination lies elsewhere.

Let’s rethink this problem. All that constitutes the living forces that sustain you are in full operation right now. You’re not required to know any more about these forces. They continue giving you their all. You are a fully functioning instrument of God right now. God is expressing as you in this now moment, the only time you will ever have. God requires nothing more of you to continue operating in and as you. Everything is a go for our spiritual awakening.

Does this sound impractical? Don’t be anxious or try to force anything. Just know that you are in the Father and the Father is in you, that you are perfectly capable now of awakening to this truth. Think of this often, as you get up in the morning and go to bed at night. The light is dawning. You are here and so is God.

Your Intuitive Guide

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The Alternative Christian Series

“You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

Mother’s Day is an acknowledgment of our appreciation for motherhood and all it implies. We think of the mother as the nurturing aspect of the parental arrangement, a theme we see throughout much of the natural world.

Likewise, in contrast to the intellectual’s fact-driven approach to life, we think of the intuitive side as the nurturing, feeling aspect that prompts us to positive action. In the above passage, Jesus contrasts the intellectual search of scripture for promises of a better life with the direct experience of God that he represented.

Understand this passage as saying something like this: It is true that the scriptures advocate what I have been teaching you, but if you want to experience the life of which I speak, you must stand where I stand. Only then will you see what I see and know what I know. He was challenging his listeners to learn in a new, intuitive way, to still the intellect and sense the deeper movement of energy that rises from the core of every person.

This is the symbolism of the virgin birth. Spiritual revelation is not the culmination of intellectually gleaned information. The soul does not need to be propped up by an accumulation of spiritual facts. Revelation is a living, intuitive experience. It is the radiance, the birthing into consciousness of the self-existent, self-sustaining life that is God.

Many view intuitive guidance as that hunch to turn right or left, to come or stay, to buy or sell, to speak or remain quiet through the maze of daily life. The highest function of your intuitive faculty is to bring you to your center of power. From this vantage point, every decision you make will be the right one.

The Mystery of Judgment

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“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” Matthew 7:1-2

Do not think of judgment as some form of divine retribution. Think of it in terms of vibratory attraction. We see from the level of what we believe to be true. To withhold judgment, especially one that is critical, is to recognize that you are reacting to a thing based, not on the truth of a situation, but on the level from which you are seeing it.

We’ve all seen the ancient Indian parable of the group of blind men who encounter an elephant for the first time. Each man touches a part of the elephant and makes his declaration of what is true of the whole animal based on his limited experience. The judgment enacted on each man is that they live with an incomplete understanding of what an elephant looks like.

What is true of the elephant is true of life itself. Just yesterday a man driving a pickup truck zoomed past me well over the speed limit. My first judgment was the reaction of how careless and inconsiderate he was. Needless to say, the emotions that accompanied this judgment were not the best. Then it occurred to me that he may have had an emergency. Maybe his house was on fire or his wife was having a baby. If I was in that situation, I’d break the speed limit too.

In both cases, in the course of a few seconds, I was judged by the judgment I pronounced. The measure I gave was the measure I got back. Blindfolded by my judgment, I touched the trunk of the elephant and said this animal is nothing more than a long wriggling hose.

Our negative judgment does not affect the omnipotence of God, our own divinity or our relationship of oneness with God. It only affects the quality of life we’re experiencing in a given moment. Understanding this principle is an important part of knowing the truth that sets us free.