The You That You Are

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“Show me the money for the tax.” And they brought him a coin. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:19-21).

This passage presents one of the clearest statements of our material and spiritual responsibilities. Because we are spiritual beings having a human experience, we acknowledge there are details to attend at both levels. The problem is that our human side becomes so pronounced that we give it, with all its societal implications, the bulk of our attention and we lose our sense of individuality.

Groupthink is a situation where individuals refrain from expressing doubts and judgments or disagreeing with the consensus. In the interest of making a decision that furthers their group cause, members may ignore any ethical or moral or even common-sense consequences. We see this dynamic at work in everything from mainstream religion to identity politics. For the sake of fitting into a group, individuals begin ignoring rendering unto God the things that are God’s.

The teachings found in early Unity fully support the spiritual strengthening of the individual. In these latter years, the focus has turned from the individual to the organization, the group. Because independent thinking that rises from the spiritually-centered individual poses a threat to the consensus, the movement no longer produces the type of individual leadership whose names populate its early literature and study guides.

The individual is the fountain of God’s unique expression through humanity. Emerson referred to it as the “… infinitude of the private man.” Emilie Cady made a clear distinction between personality and individuality, stressing the need to go alone, think alone, seek light alone. She was not advocating self or social depravation. Her point was to first find one’s center of power and then bring this to the world. This center of power is not found in groups. This center of power is found at your spiritual core, the you that you are.




How To Ask God Tor Help

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J Douglas Bottorff

Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9

This passage could be summarized like this: God doesn’t give us things we do not ask for. So why is it that we sometimes pray for one thing and get its apparent opposite? Is God playing games, testing us like Job to see how we hold up under pressure? Or, is there something to the observation of James who suggests that prayers are not answered because the one praying is praying amiss?

A standard guitar has six strings. When all six strings are in tune, a strummed chord will produce a pleasant sound. If even one string is out of tune, you can hold the right chord and strum correctly, but the sound will be unpleasant. The sound you get is based on a predictable set of principles that will always give you the same result when you comply with the governing rules.

If we assume that Jesus is articulating a spiritual principle, then we also have to assume that our mixed results stem from our mixed asking. If you pray for a solution then rack your brain trying to come up with the answer, you have a string out of tune. If you pray for a solution expecting it to unfold in perfect order, all your strings are tuned and you synchronize yourself with the creative manifestation process.

The whole state of mind from which you ask, like the six strings of a guitar, produces a vibration that is either in tune or out of tune with the manifestation process. If you pray from a consciousness of doubt and fear, you will tend to create material conditions that support your doubts and fears. This is why Jesus said we must believe in our heart when we pray.

God does not give us things we do not ask for. Tune your whole being to the solution you seek, and it will come forth.

Recognize Your Good

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And he said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear’” (Mark 4:26-28).

Jesus was a master at explaining abstract metaphysical processes using simple agricultural metaphors. In this saying from Mark, he reveals two very helpful bits of information when it comes to manifesting the desires of our heart. First, when you scatter seed, an invisible force takes over to grow that seed. You are responsible for the sowing, not the growing. Second, once the seed starts to grow it follows an orderly process that begins so humbly we may not recognize it.

Holding a mental and emotional vision is the equivalent of sowing seed. This is how we, as individuals, were designed to be supplied. We are given a mind capable of initiating any material condition we desire. We hold to the ideal, sleep and rise night and day, and the ideal begins to manifest, we know not how. We do not need to know how; that is not our department.

When the manifestation begins to occur, we often do not recognize it. It may appear as a feeling of success, or a change in circumstances so slight that we consider it inconsequential. Plant a field of wheat and it will first appear as grass. But because you know what you planted, you know you are seeing the potential for bushels of flour.

Keep your vision on the “full grain in the ear” but learn to recognize and give thanks for the “blade” when it appears. The slightest change in circumstance is evidence that your desire is manifesting. If you pray for abundance and find a dime on the street, think of it as the first blade of manifestation. Soon you will see many blades and these will grow into “ears” which will, in turn, transform into the condition or thing that you desire.

A Magnet of Good

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Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29

God is an all-sustaining presence that great spiritual teachers of all ages have recognized as a providing source of support and guidance. Jesus was, no doubt, familiar with the writer of Deuteronomy’s comforting image of God: “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).

We often feel alone, cut off from any source of support and supply. This happens, of course, because we become focused completely on the outer aspects of life and we start thinking that our good comes only from external channels.

This attitude actually contributes to much of our struggle for a more prosperous experience. The belief that our good comes to us from the outside in has us looking here and there for what first must be discovered within our own being.

If you are faced with a need right now, the first step toward opening yourself to a more attractive, prospering state is to become a magnet of good. You do this by affirming something like this:

God is my dwelling place, my perfect support. Today, I draw to myself all that I need to live a full and prosperous life.

Get the feeling that you are loved and supported, that your life is, on all fronts, working in an easy and orderly manner, that God as your source is now drawing to you everything you need to live a full and satisfying life. Just as the lily is clothed from the inside out, so are you. Take time often to remember this, and to know that God is your everlasting source of absolute good.



Make Room for You

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Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17).

In spiritual literature, wine is often associated with life. New, unfermented wine is expansive and requires a container that accommodates the fermentation process. In this case, the old wineskin represents the self-image. It’s that “old dog” that is no longer interested in learning new tricks. With this illustration, Jesus is talking about something more than adding to our repertoire of tricks. He’s talking about a literal infusion of the energy of life, a conscious connection with the living Source of our being.

This is not as foreign a concept as it may sound. Most of us are operating from a surface-based, superficial understanding of ourselves. Jesus is suggesting the need to let go of who we think we are so that which we truly are may emerge. He’s saying, make room for you. Paul said the same thing in a slightly different way: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Romans 12:2).

When I think of renewal in this sense, I envision a pool of water with an inlet and an outlet, a continual flow which keeps the pool fresh, free of stagnation. In our times of quiet, we practice letting go of states of consciousness that stagnate into fear, self-doubt, or some form of pessimism that robs us of our spiritual esteem. The new wine of inspiration flows into a fresh wineskin of consciousness that is flexible and responsive to transforming ideas and a purposeful sense of direction.

With your quest for spiritual understanding don’t forget the letting go of the old wineskins part. It really is true that the thing you seek is already present. It is you at your most pristine, spiritual level.





Your Heart’s Knowledge

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Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.”

Through the years I’ve gleaned much inspiration from the work of Gibran, particularly his book, The Prophet. These lines point to our longing to know at the head-level what our heart already knows at the intuitive level. The thirsting ears are part of our sensory system of perception that is normally focused only on the external world. Gibran suggests the satisfying of an intellectual longing by learning to draw from a deeper, inner connection.

It is appropriate on Father’s Day to consider the role of the intellectual aspect of our mind. We think of the intuitive element as feminine and the intellectual as masculine, though not in the same sense we normally associate with gender. The intuitive side is receptive to our spiritual Source. The intellect is that idea-producing interface that enables us to think in logical sequence, an indispensable feature that allows us to function in this world.

Many gender-related disputes might be resolved if individuals focused less on attempts to legislate social balance and gave more attention to understanding these masculine and feminine aspects. It is the intellect disconnected from its intuitive counterpart that prompts much of the gender-driven activism we see today. This internal division generates the underlying sense of incompleteness. This feeling of lack translates into the belief that we can get from others that which can only be found within ourselves. With our ears focused on the sounds of the external world, that in us which is naturally attuned to the secrets of the days and nights gets lost in the noise.

The intellect is obviously a wonderful and needed faculty. We benefit greatly by making regular visits to our spiritual center of wisdom and power. We do not shut down the intellect. Rather, we spend periods focused on Gibran’s referenced source of our heart’s knowledge. This practice expands our understanding of options available, not merely to a being limited by the facts of our history and circumstance, but to one whose very essence is grounded in God.

Peace Through Change

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Of course we’re all familiar with the famous line from The Sound of Music: “When a door closes, a window opens.” Many of us found inspiration in these words, for they offer hope in our moments of despair. When one way is apparently being blocked, another is opening.

It is equally comforting to know that the “window” is something as close as your own mind. The “door” in the analogy represents a known path, a way, a certain state of affairs that we have grown accustomed to. We have come to know that the nature of life is change, yet when change occurs, when a familiar door closes, we are prone to fall into bouts of fear and uncertainty as to the outcome of our future.

It is at such times that the creative aspect of the mind kicks in. In his book, The Edinburgh Lectures, Thomas Troward wrote, “The individual’s subjective mind is his own innermost self, and its first care is the maintenance of the individuality of which it is the foundation.” There is, in you, a built in wisdom that knows how to navigate through the fog of uncertainty. It is your “innermost self,” which is the direct offspring of Infinite Mind, God. Though you do not always perceive it, this aspect of your mind goes to work immediately on new challenges that arise. It’s like a beacon vessel traveling before you in a foggy reef, signaling to nudge right or nudge left to avoid the coral protrusions that lay just below the surface.

I once met a woman whose husband, seven years ago, was killed in an accident while riding a horse. She said, “That was the darkest moment in my life.” She recently met someone and a whole new life has opened for her, a life of which she can only speak through genuine tears of gratitude. She did not cling to her loss or her grief. She moved through it, and in the process she became willing to open her mind to a whole new set of possibilities.

You may not relish this idea, but you are most alive in your moments of uncertainty. The vigor of youth rekindles in your heart. The portals of creativity reopen in your mind, allowing you to think outside the box of appearances. If you are currently reeling from a closed door, begin now to affirm that your mind is open to new possibilities. Let go of what is past, knowing that something even better is opening for you now.