I Just Knew It!

I’m moved this week to write once again about faith. For my atheist and agnostic readers, stick around. This isn’t just going to be about God. It’s going to be about what we expect out of life. It’s about changing our thinking so that when we say, “I just knew it!” it will be an exclamation of joy for some wonderful event happening, and not a reminder that someone predicted gloom and doom.
Not long ago I met a couple who are complete atheists. They announced this to me while we were sitting in my office at Unity of Harrisburg, so I’m not quite sure what reaction they were expecting from a minister. I believed my reaction surprised them. I explained I love atheists because they are some of the people whom are the quickest to understand the principles I teach. You see, I told them, I spend an awful lot of time trying to convince my congregation they are, in essence, God. But atheists already know that!
The couple didn’t quite understand until I explained how most religions believe in a God that is distant, separate, not just a little judgmental and pretty fickle, if you ask me. Because of that, most people don’t have as much of a “faith” in God as they do a “hope” in God. In other words, people hope God will answer their prayers. They hope God will forgive them and they hope they aren’t going to hell.
I believe, however, in a very different kind of God. Since everything around us is one essence (proven by science through quantum physics and agreed upon by my new atheist friends), it means the power most people call God is part of our being. The Christian hell-bent on martyring themselves into heaven gives more power to the Devil than he does to God. In the absence of divine power the atheist, on the other hand, must accept that humanity is fully responsibility for our condition. That’s also what we do in New Thought.
The atheist’s faith rests in her own power and ability. In truth, so does the Christian’s, for our great teacher, Jesus, told us that it is our faith that makes us whole. A faith in something better, accompanied by the emotion of assured results, creates a new experience for us. It doesn’t matter if the person believes in God or not. How we expect things to turn out, how we believe in the outcome and how we act in the meantime will produce the exact result we are expecting.
Too few of us believe in the best outcomes in life. Most of the world is racked with fear of the outcome, which Ernest Holmes taught was “faith mis-placed.” Fear and faith are not opposites. They are the same. Our fears are merely faith in a negative outcome. Our speech, our actions and all our racing thoughts cause it to be so.
As we near the Easter holiday and the celebration of the resurrection, consider applying these thought to your own life. What thoughts from the past, still plaguing you today, will you be willing to crucify on Good Friday? And, to what new life will you be resurrected? Will it be a life full of great health, loving relationships, financial security and full self-expression in your career or retirements? Great! I just knew it!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

What’s Possible?

What’s Possible?
It’s easy to get bogged down in details. In fact, just fretting over how we will achieve a goal can be a stumbling block to success.  With an uncertain job situation it’s hard to figure out how we can afford to pay all our bills, let alone consider taking a luxury vacation. The same is true for our relationships. The single parent may feel he’s unable to date. A person in a city can often feel even more alone than someone living in a rural area. Finding a mate, to either of those people, can feel hopeless, since they both may wonder how they will ever find someone with whom to share their lives.
My late friend, the Reverend Helen Street, often reminded me that when we pray we are communing with Divine Intelligence, not “Big Dummy in the Sky!” Do we really think our problems or challenges are so special that we, out of all the billions of people alive today and those who have moved on, have the one issue God can’t figure out? Seriously?
We who live the paths of Unity or Religious Science know our reliance on and practice of prayer is evidence of our faith. There is perhaps one simple fact why some prayers are answered and others are not:  faith. Scripture tells us that “faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of reality though not yet beheld.”
What that means is that we know we are supported by a power greater than us, while at the same time acknowledging the presence of God within us. It means that God gets to express love and life through us in a unique and special way; one that no one else on the planet can duplicate. Because we are all individuals, yet unique in the way we express Spirit, we are all truly “only-begotten.”
This designation means that we are supported by God in all ways, but there is a catch. We have to allow this to happen. Many New Thought churches and centers end their services with the “Peace Song.” The phrase, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” holds the key that unlocks all the padlocks on our most difficult problems. WE have to let it be. WE have to allow God into our lives to support us through our conscious recognition that God is already here.
God is willing now and forever. The question is whether or not we are going to “let it be.” Be willing this week to have more answers than questions, to have more solutions than problems. As a child I was taught by my mother to, “throw your burdens upon Jehovah.” That’s good advice, because I’ll tell you:  God’s shoulders are a lot broader than ours and can take on more weight than we’d ever thought possible.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

I Need to Know Why

As many of you know, I end my blog and most of my correspondence with “In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness.” This week I’m going to be a little heavy on the Truth and Spirit part. Some stuff has come up for a number of people in my life and there’s a difficult subject I need to write about.
For some friends and colleagues recent events have revolved around the need to know “why.” There are a number of situations that can come into our life. We are left in a state of confusion, anger or disbelief. The same can be said of historical events that we find horrific. We often want to know why we ended up with the outcome we or someone else experienced.
We want to know what we did to make him/her have an affair and leave the relationship. We want to know why a friend committed suicide when we thought they had everything going for them. We want someone to tell us why a newborn baby who gave such joy to her parents simply ceased to exist. The list goes on.
Do we always need to know why? What is behind our need for explanation? Some may think if we know why something happened we can avoid the same result in the future. That may be true, but often any answer to a “why” question still leaves us with a feeling of emptiness, unsatisfied that our query was sufficiently addressed.
The leaders and teachers in the New Thought movement didn’t have much use for looking at the past and dissecting our failures. Although Ernest Holmes called his Science of Mind philosophy “spiritual psychology” I don’t recall our history indicated he held out endless years of psychotherapy as a solution to better living. Today the answer in any New Thought religion is still prayer first before anything else.
It is our ego that seems to need to know the answer to the “why” question. Our ego is big on being in charge by figuring things out and somewhat lacking on faith. When my friend and mentor Rev. Sandhi Scott was asked how we can understand what Hitler did she responded by saying that she didn’t want to understand Hitler. To understand him, she explained, would in some way mean that she could conceive of such horrors. It was not something she wanted to entertain.
In many faiths the “why” questions have a simple and direct answer:  It’s either the devil’s doing or God’s will. This belief creates an atmosphere of hatred for a non-existent entity and confusion about a God who acts in ways that make no sense. New Thought takes a completely different approach.
When we take responsibility for our lives we open up the door not only to affect change where necessary, but also release ourselves from the bondage of being a victim. Having said that, do bad things happen to good people? Yes. Everyday. But taking what is before us, making the best out of a horrible situation and loving each other through the process of healing sure sounds a lot better to me than crying that God doesn’t love us or has forsaken us to Satan.
If you need to make sense of the senseless get some help. Call a prayer practitioner or minister to help you over the hump. Seek professional help from a licensed and trained therapist if you feel so inclined. But above all, love yourself through the process and surround yourself with others who care for you.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

How Positively Annoying!

Do you ever just get "stuck in your stuff?" I mean really down about your living situation, your job, your relationship or how many extra pounds you might be hauling around? We work so hard to be positive, to be uplifting to ourselves and others, but there are days (sometimes weeks) when nothing we do seems to work out the way we expect it to. It can be very discouraging.
That's about the time when a friend or partner comes along and says something like, "Just be positive! Isn't that what you are always saying?" How positively annoying! First of all, can't they see we are in pain and agony? And, secondly, don't they realize they are speaking to a spiritual master, a metaphysical ninja of affirmative thought and prayer? Before we remember to thank them for their positive attitude and cheerful approach our first thought might be to slap the living snot out of them. That would be our ego. Not terribly spiritual...nor helpful.
Yeah...it sucks to be an example of spiritual principle when we are mired in the muck of mindless mud. There are those of us who believe we are spiritual creatures having a human experience. That means we are here to experience all of the human condition, not just the situations we find desirable and convenient. Then there's that other metaphysical principle about co-creating our experience with God, meaning we no longer get to blame the devil, God, our parents or the government for our problems. Most annoying. But, hey, if taking charge of our lives and being consciously aware of directing our thoughts was easy everyone would be doing it. The fact is, most are not. Being mindful of our lives and our actions is far harder than any manual labor we will ever do.
Our words have the ability to create and destroy. As The Quest notes, our thoughts are like the scattered light of a light bulb. Our words, however, are focused, like the "cohesive light" of a laser. What a visual that is! To imagine that everything coming out of our mouth has the same impact as either a gentle, precise laser that could assist with micro surgery, or the destructive impact of an industrial laser capable of melting steel. Think on that for a moment and realize the potential we have.
The annoying person who reminds us of who we are is a blessing in our lives, even though it doesn't seem so at the time. The situation also gives us the opportunity to realize how compassion, not preaching, is a far better way to support one another through crisis and stressful times.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry