Love and Understanding

Advent Series, Part 2 of 4

YouTube: Love and Understanding: Will publish on Monday

Audio: Love and Understanding

In this four-part series, we are treating Advent as an intuitive awakening. Our focus is on the meditative process. Follow the same preparations from the first week and bring your awareness into the region of the solar plexus using the simple statement, I Am.  See and feel your soul radiating love. This beautiful energy of love works for the highest good of all concerned, sometimes attracting and sometimes repelling or dissolving, depending on how the highest good is to manifest. Whether love attracts or dissolves is not a decision you make, but one you trust love to sort out as it flows in and through every aspect of your being and your life. Love lifts your vision in a way that imparts the understanding to see and know what needs to be done. Affirm:

I am guided by the understanding that love imparts.

Love is my essence. Love is my being.

Love is the balancing action in all my relationships and all conditions in my life.

See your body immersed in love. See every aspect of your life, especially those areas that are troubled, completely engulfed in the love that radiates as your soul. See love doing its perfect work and become willing to do your part in that work when the understanding dictates. Loving your neighbor may result in strengthening your relationship or dissolving it. This is a much better alternative than trying to force yourself to love them because you think you are supposed to. You may not always be able to muster the kind word or take that right action that will bring agreement with another. Still, you can know that invoking love will fit all the pieces together, will tie up the loose ends, and move all concerned to their best and highest good. Love reveals that this is true even when your good intentions at diplomacy fail miserably, or fear drives your own actions. The love that expresses as your soul is greater than all human frailty. Your unloving thoughts and actions or the unloving thoughts and actions of another do nothing to alter love itself. Love does not depend on how loving or unloving you are.

Let all of this go and simply see your entire being immersed in love. Experience love’s healing warmth. Let it melt away your stress and your struggle to be loved. You are more than loved. You are love itself.

 

 

Life and Enthusiasm

Advent Series, Part 1 of 4

Youtube: Life and Enthusiasm

Audio: Life and Enthusiasm

In this four-part series, we are treating Advent as an intuitive awakening. Our focus, therefore, is on the meditative process. Choose a regular time and a place where you will not be disturbed (allow 30 minutes to an hour). Relax your mind and body. Bring your awareness to the area of the solar plexus (abdominal region) and focus your attention with this simple statement: I Am. Slowly repeat these words, letting go of all stress-inducing distractions. After a time, begin speaking quietly the affirmations that follow. Allow yourself to envision and experience the action suggested by each line before you move on to the next:

My soul radiates the pure, unrestricted energy of life.

There are no blockages. There are no restrictions.

I am filled with boundless life and unbridled enthusiasm.

The pure radiance of my soul shines in its fullness now.

In perfect peace, I let this pure energy rise.

As you relax with your awareness at your center, see the radiating energy of your soul as the energizing life that permeates all aspects of your being. It is natural to visualize life as the light that animates and heals every cell of your body and brings a sparkle of enthusiasm to your eye. You need not direct the energy of life, for life knows how to express itself. We see it animating countless forms at a variety of levels everywhere in the world. Life never stagnates. It is only our mundane focus of attention that becomes dull and lifeless. Acknowledge the free reign of life as it radiates its natural expansive movement through and as your being.

Don’t try to pump up your enthusiasm and strive to be the life of the party. Doing this will expend your energy by directing it to that bottomless pit of your unenthusiastic self-image.

Any forced positive attitude you generate will be short-lived and costly. A forced expression of enthusiasm is a performance you’ll have to continually maintain. Those who do this might be entertaining, but they can also be quite wearisome. You don’t have to instruct fire to be hot and you don’t have to inform life that it needs to express as enthusiasm. This is what it does naturally.

Natural enthusiasm manifests as genuine interest in whatever you happen to be doing, from creating a piece of art to taking out the trash. Enthusiasm is as unconditional as the energy of life itself. You need no particular reason to be enthusiastic. It is life’s gift to you. As you affirm life in your meditative experience, quiet enthusiasm will naturally grow.

The Truth About The End Times

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There are a number of examples in the Bible of a genre of literature known as apocalyptic writing. While the books of Daniel and Revelation are the best known, there are some noted insertions such as the thirteenth chapter of Mark, known by scholars as the little apocalypse. This type of writing is characterized by warnings of an impending cataclysm of cosmic proportions, triggered by the sins of mankind, and executed by God whose patience has finally run out. The Essenes also envisioned a day when the children of light would rise up against the children of darkness in a great battle of good against evil, with good finally coming out on top.

Throughout human history, there is much evidence of great cataclysms occurring. There are floods, hurricanes, massive volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, asteroid impacts, and even solar flares that have wreaked mass destruction across the planet. These natural occurrences are often attributed to divine rectification of some sort. As fascinating as this may be, we need not look outside of ourselves to find a battle underway. We see it going on within ourselves, that struggle between what we sense is true at our deepest level and that more surface side that often runs counter to this spiritual center. We grapple with appearances versus truth, head versus heart, intellect versus intuition.

The advent of the Messiah, which we’ll be exploring in the weeks to come, is seen as the resolution to this struggle. The fact that all religions have some form of this belief – that good will eventually triumph over evil – indicates there is a universal source to this hope. This source is within each of us. I’ve come to see it as the tension that exists between the self-image and the soul, the surface-self against the spiritual self. We struggle to discern the difference between what is true and what merely appears to be true at life’s surface.

Our experience on this earth is but a fraction of our soul’s journey. We are truly spiritual beings involved in a very human experience. The end times are really our own personal awakening to the truth of who and what we are at the deepest level. The earth that is shaken to its very foundation is the realm of the self-image giving way to the truth of the soul.

The Truth About The End Times

Click for YouTube: The Truth About The End Times

Click for Audio: The Truth About The End Times

There are a number of examples in the Bible of a genre of literature known as apocalyptic writing. While the books of Daniel and Revelation are the best known, there are some noted insertions such as the thirteenth chapter of Mark, known by scholars as the little apocalypse. This type of writing is characterized by warnings of an impending cataclysm of cosmic proportions, triggered by the sins of mankind, and executed by God whose patience has finally run out. The Essenes also envisioned a day when the children of light would rise up against the children of darkness in a great battle of good against evil, with good finally coming out on top.

Throughout human history, there is much evidence of great cataclysms occurring. There are floods, hurricanes, massive volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, asteroid impacts, and even solar flares that have wreaked mass destruction across the planet. These natural occurrences are often attributed to divine rectification of some sort. As fascinating as this may be, we need not look outside of ourselves to find a battle underway. We see it going on within ourselves, that struggle between what we sense is true at our deepest level and that more surface side that often runs counter to this spiritual center. We grapple with appearances versus truth, head versus heart, intellect versus intuition.

The advent of the Messiah, which we’ll be exploring in the weeks to come, is seen as the resolution to this struggle. The fact that all religions have some form of this belief – that good will eventually triumph over evil – indicates there is a universal source to this hope. This source is within each of us. I’ve come to see it as the tension that exists between the self-image and the soul, the surface-self against the spiritual self. We struggle to discern the difference between what is true and what merely appears to be true at life’s surface.

Our experience on this earth is but a fraction of our soul’s journey. We are truly spiritual beings involved in a very human experience. The end times are really our own personal awakening to the truth of who and what we are at the deepest level. The earth that is shaken to its very foundation is the realm of the self-image giving way to the truth of the soul.

The Truth About Thanksgiving

Video: The Truth About Thanksgiving

Audio: The Truth About Thanksgiving

It may seem presumptuous to give a talk on the truth of Thanksgiving. It’s a pretty straightforward topic, after all, and we’ve all had our share of formal Thanksgiving celebrations. My intention is to focus more on the spiritual principle embodied in giving thanks

Giving thanks is something we would do after having received some desired good. We normally think of thanksgiving as an effect. From the standpoint of the soul, the act of thanksgiving is understood more as a cause, an activity we engage in before there is evidence of a desired good.

You recall that Jesus gave thanks before he had the disciples begin passing out the meager supply of loaves and fishes. His attention was not on the apparent limited quantity of food available but on God as his ever-present Source. He blessed the food, which means he was seeing it from a consciousness of wholeness. The action of having the disciples begin passing out the bread and fish was based on his awareness of God as his unfailing supply.

The focus we place on this story as a miraculous act performed by a supernatural being causes us to miss the lesson we can draw from it. We are often faced with circumstances that proclaim, “There is not enough to go around.” Perhaps you are in such a situation now, where it seems your resources are inadequate. You may find yourself turning to God asking for help. Jesus’ example indicates the importance of first lifting our attention above the appearance and acknowledging God as our unfailing supply. We give thanks for the solution that is now forthcoming.

We have the ability to use our faith to know the answers we seek are present even before we perceive a problem. Our previous appearance-based training has us reacting to the problem in a way that degrades the quality of our inner life. Fear and a sense of helplessness often set in and we resort to pleading for help. We pause to let go of the negative energy we have placed in the appearance and we begin giving thanks that the proper solution is now forthcoming. Thanksgiving becomes a creative action rather than a simple reaction.

 

A New Approach to Advent

This year I will be introducing an alternative Advent Series that is based on what I call the four fundamentals of God. These are life, love, power, and intelligence. These four fundamentals express as enthusiasm, understanding, strength, and order. Through December, each Sunday talk will carry the corresponding themes of Life/enthusiasm, Love/understanding, Power/strength, and Intelligence/order.

Our Advent wreath will consist of five candles. At the center is the white Christ candle. A different color candle will be lit each Sunday to match the topic. Life = green, Love = red or pink, Power = blue, and Intelligence = yellow. The series will culminate as our Christmas Eve candle lighting service, which is based on my spiritual interpretation of each of the elements of the Christmas story.

The traditional tone of Advent is one of hope for a brighter future with the advent of the return of Christ; that is, the second coming of Jesus. The tone of this series will be one of a present awakening to the underlying Creative Life Force we call God. This is the source of our soul, our individuality. Touching this realm frees us from the rote restrictions of tradition-thinking and opens us to the living essence that stirs us to new levels of genuine inner peace and freedom.

If you can’t join us in person for this series, you can certainly join us online. As usual, links to the talks will be posted here, on our Unity Talks Online page, and on our website: http://unitygj.org.

The Truth About The Law of Attraction (video)

Click for video presentation: The Truth About The Law of Attraction

Much has been written about the law of attraction and the possible role it can play in enhancing every aspect of our life. In simple terms, it’s the understanding that, coupled with a sound plan of action, we can turn our thoughts into things and conditions. Unfortunately, there are those who give the impression that by merely visualizing and affirming wealth or some other desirable condition, the universe will go to work to lay it at our feet with little or no effort on our part.

It’s important to understand that we do not invoke any natural law. The law of attraction has always been in play. Our life, in fact, is the result of this law in action. To think we can suddenly begin visualizing prosperity when we’ve spent much of each waking day battling thoughts of lack is to overlook another law that actually sets the tone and direction for the law of attraction. This is the law of expression. How you see yourself determines what you will attract.

The law of expression involves conscious union with your soul, or as Paul Tillich called it, the ground of being. When you touch this spiritual dimension, its qualities radiate through your being and your consciousness. Jesus put it in different terms but with the same meaning: Seek first the kingdom of God (the law of expression), and all these things will be added (the law of attraction – Matthew 6:33).

When we seek to invoke the law of attraction from a disposition of lack – an inadequate self-image – we attract matching conditions. You can visualize huge piles of money all day long, but if you’re doing it from a fear-based, lack-centered self-image, you will not draw to yourself conditions that are foreign to this self-image.

The key is to seek first the kingdom. That is, forget trying to manifest riches and commit to mining the riches of your soul. The more the beauty of your spiritual essence rises into your awareness, the more naturally you will attract corresponding conditions. You don’t invoke the law of attraction any more than you invoke the law of gravity. What you express as you is the attracting agent. The more of your limitless self you express, the freer, more prosperous your conditions naturally become.

 

 

The Truth About The Law of Attraction

Youtube: Publish on Monday

Audio: The Truth About The Law of Attraction

Much has been written about the law of attraction and the possible role it can play in enhancing every aspect of our life. In simple terms, it’s the understanding that, coupled with a sound plan of action, we can turn our thoughts into things and conditions. Unfortunately, there are those who give the impression that by merely visualizing and affirming wealth or some other desirable condition, the universe will go to work to lay it at our feet with little or no effort on our part.

It’s important to understand that we do not invoke any natural law. The law of attraction has always been in play. Our life, in fact, is the result of this law in action. To think we can suddenly begin visualizing prosperity when we’ve spent much of each waking day battling thoughts of lack is to overlook another law that actually sets the tone and direction for the law of attraction. This is the law of expression. How you see yourself determines what you will attract.

The law of expression involves conscious union with your soul, or as Paul Tillich called it, the ground of being. When you touch this spiritual dimension, its qualities radiate through your being and your consciousness. Jesus put it in different terms but with the same meaning: Seek first the kingdom of God (the law of expression), and all these things will be added (the law of attraction – Matthew 6:33).

When we seek to invoke the law of attraction from a disposition of lack – an inadequate self-image – we attract matching conditions. You can visualize huge piles of money all day long, but if you’re doing it from a fear-based, lack-centered self-image, you will not draw to yourself conditions that are foreign to this self-image.

The key is to seek first the kingdom. That is, forget trying to manifest riches and commit to mining the riches of your soul. The more the beauty of your spiritual essence rises into your awareness, the more naturally you will attract corresponding conditions. You don’t invoke the law of attraction any more than you invoke the law of gravity. What you express as you is the attracting agent. The more of your limitless self you express, the freer, more prosperous your conditions naturally become.

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Aging

Video: The Truth About Aging

Audio: The Truth About Aging

Given our advancements in technology, the day may come when we actually reverse or even stop the aging process. In the meantime, it’s estimated that by 2020 the global market for anti-aging products will be worth $331.3 billion. The only thing money has purchased thus far is a temporary gloss-over of the aging process. We can make ourselves look and even feel younger, but so far, no one has penetrated that seeming impermeable barrier of advancing age. To the contrary, French fashion designer, Coco Chanel (1883-1971) probably got it right when she said, “Nothing makes a woman [or a man] look so old as trying desperately hard to look young.

It’s understandable that we prefer youth to aging, especially when aging is accompanied by a deterioration of our physical and/or mental faculties. An important aspect we overlook, however, is the thing that happens when we gaze into the mirror and see that increasingly lined face looking back at us. Our soul is certain that it is not that aging person we see. From our soul’s perspective, we’re still at the peak of youth and vitality. The changes we observe are not us, but another we scarcely recognize.

The soul is correct. I’ve wondered how many bodies I’ve seen staring back at me from a mirror. I don’t dwell on this sort of thing, but I accept that it’s true. I am not this physical vehicle that allows me to interface with my material environment. But I live in a culture that seems determined to lure me into thinking otherwise. Science tells me that my body and brain are all I am. Religion tells me that missteps while in this body can earn me an eternity in hell. Society tells me that the comfort and preservation of this body takes precedence over every other consideration.

To make peace with our aging body, we must first find the peace of our soul. The day will come for each one of us when we step from the confines of the body. I think we will look back on this time and say to ourselves, “If I only knew then what I can see clearly now, I would have lived a freer, happier life in my body.” I don’t think this realization has to wait. Let’s work toward knowing now what we will surely know then.

 

 

The Truth About Spiritual Healing

Notice: Due to technical difficulties, only the audio can be posted today. If the video issue is resolved, it will be posted separately.

 Click for audio: The Truth About Spiritual Healing

Healing has always been an important aspect of both Traditional and New Thought Christian approaches. While both encourage faith in God, New Thought emphasizes the importance of individual understanding and attitude. We start with the truth of our oneness with God and our wholeness at the soul level.

For a variety of reasons, the body can malfunction in ways that are sometimes difficult to understand. We may see a health challenge as a spiritual test, a catalyst for learning, a wake-up call of some type, or the outworking of a bout of prolonged anxiety. There may be truth to some or all of these, but we do not want to linger too long on causes. Referring to a man blind from birth, the disciples asked Jesus if it was the man or his parents who had sinned. Jesus basically said it didn’t matter, that this was an opportunity to see the works of God. The man was healed of his blindness.

Think of your body as a television set. Think of your soul as the programming picked up by the television. The television can malfunction, but the programming signal is still available. As soon as the television set is repaired, the signal is translated into a picture and sound.

Now think of your soul as your primary healing agent. Your soul, like the broadcasting signal, presses in upon every aspect of your mind and body. You may be guided to seek medical help, to change your diet, start an exercise routine, make some lifestyle adjustments, or simply take a deeper interest in your spiritual needs. The most important thing is holding the vision of your soul, complete in every way, freely pressing in upon and through your body in ways that are balancing, peace-bringing, and radiant with warm, healing energy.

If you need to know what brought about your physical condition, trust that you will be made aware of this. There’s no need to stress over it. The body has millions of moving parts, and your soul is endowed with the intelligence to keep them moving in harmony. Hold this vision with an open mind and heart. You are whole now.