A GRAND EXPERIMENT
It is a tradition to get "back to basics" during the month of January and to reground in our fundamental Unity tenets. And, that is exactly what we are doing this January - in our own unique way, that is, because each week we are bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to our life-altering teachings.
Today, we are combining our fundamental belief in the workings of the Law of God with the modern work of author and journalist with CNN among others Pam Grout in her book "E Squared" to bring a fresh look to, as well as experiment with, the way God's Law works in our lives.
NEW TEACHING/OLD WISDOM
Let's begin with words from Charles Fillmore, Talks on Truth: "Jesus demonstrated the law of God, and His word was with power. He became the Word of God incarnate, because He fulfilled all the requirements of the law. This fulfillment is the privilege of every man. Whoever dedicates his whole life to the supreme good and by devotion, right thinking, right doing, right acting, pure living, and pure speaking fulfills the law, may have all the power of Jesus. God is no respecter of persons, but He requires an exact observance of the law to the least jot and tittle."a
I want to back up a minute and let you know that this concept didn't start with Fillmore. It didn't even start with Jesus.
New Thought, which is the umbrella spiritual system under which Unity falls, is often called Ancient Wisdom! Here is a random sampling of some of the ancient writings on this topic:
In Proverbs (23:7), written mostly by Solomon during his reign from 970 to 930 B.C. we read: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."b
In Job 2:28, perhaps written around the same time frame: "You will decide upon a matter and it will be established for you."c
In the first two verses of the Damapada, written in the 6th Century B.C, the Buddha said: "All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."d
Aristotle (300 B.C.): "What we expect, we find."e
The great Roman poet Virgil (50 B.C.): "They can, because they think they can."f
And then we move to Jesus' time in Matthew 9:29 (written in 80-90 AD), he said: "According to your faith, will it be done unto you."g
And in Mark 11:24, Jesus said: "Therefore I say unto you; whatever things you ask when you pray believe that you receive them and you will have them."h
It sounds like there is something to this idea!
Because of this impersonal, impartial law, our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values, actions and words have tremendous power. Tremendous power. Just how much power? Let me give you an illustration.
Eleven-year old Angela was stricken with a debilitating disease involving her nervous system. She was unable to walk and her movement was restricted in other ways as well.
The doctors did not hold out much hope of her ever recovering from this illness. They predicted she'd spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. They said that few, if any, were able to walk again after contracting this disease.
The little girl was undaunted. There, lying in her hospital bed, she vowed to anyone who'd listen that she was definitely going to be walking again someday.
She was transferred to a specialized rehabilitation hospital in the San Francisco Bay area. Whatever therapies could be applied to her case were used. The therapists were charmed by her undefeatable spirit. They taught her about imaging -- about seeing herself walking. They thought if it would do nothing else, at least it would give her hope and something positive to do in the long waking hours in her bed.
Angela would work as hard as possible in physical therapy, in whirlpools and in exercise sessions. But she worked just as hard lying in her bed faithfully doing her imaging, visualizing herself moving, moving, moving!
Then, one day, as she was putting every ounce of concentration and energy into imagining her legs moving again, a miracle happened. Her legs didn't move, but the bed did! In fact, it began to move around the room! She screamed out, "Look what I'm doing! Look! Look! I can do it! I can move, I moved!
Now, it seems that at that very moment everything else in the room was moving too, and people were screaming and running for cover. Equipment was falling and glass was breaking.
You see, it was an earthquake. But don't tell that to Angela. She's convinced she did it. And only a few years after that incident, she was back in school. On her own two legs.
Because, anyone who can shake the earth between San Francisco and Oakland can certainly conquer a silly little disease, now can't they?i
Our thoughts are very powerful -- because they activate the LAW - which is infinite it its ability to do and to be.
So, let's take some fresh eyes here and ask a question we don't like to ask in New Thought circles. If this is true, then why do we struggle so much? Why do things not always turn out like we intend? Why does it seem like the Law works for us sometimes and sometimes not? We can often blame ourselves. Not good enough. Works for everyone else, because they are better than I am, but not for me. God loves everyone else, but not me.
Blah, blah, blah. Can we this morning remove those thoughts from our mind! Those are lies we are telling ourselves and then believing! We talked about this last Sunday, but just in case you didn't quite get it, let's actually do something here. Take all your "blah, blah, blah" and envision it in your lap. Now wad it up in a ball. Look up here to the stage and you will see (in your mind's eye) a large trash can. I am now opening the lid and want everyone to toss in your wad of "blah blah blah". Good riddance. Gone!
Now that that's gone, let's look at the fundamental problem. I love this straightforward answer to that question from E Squared. Author Pam Grout writes: "If you've read The Secret or been in metaphysical spiritual circles for any time at all, you already know your thoughts create your reality, that there's a power in the universe that can heal, and that you and you alone design your own life. Unfortunately, there's still this tiny little problem, this one itty-bitty catch. . . . You don't really believe it. Not fully."j
Most of us are like the woman who wished to test the idea of moving mountains with the faith of a mustard seed, so she spent the entire night praying that the mountain would move and cultivating her faith.
The next morning she looked out the window to see the mountain in the exact same spot she left it and exclaimed, "Well, the mountain is still there -- just as I expected!"
Grout goes on to write: "Most of us, in fact, are still operating out of the mental architecture of our ancestors. We think we're running our lives with our brilliant ideas and thoughts. We think we're affirming our intentions and creating new possibilities, but in reality we're simply recycling old tapes, knee-jerk conditioning and automatic behaviors, most of which we picked up before we were five."k
Most of us are Reactors to old ways of thinking and being rather than Creators of a new experience. Notice that the same letters to make up both words.
If you use the "c" to represent the word "see," where is the "see" in "reactor?" Surrounded by circumstances. We are always responding to conditions. Where is the "see" in "creator?" At the front! We are seeing what we desire and then we create it!
Pam Grout writes: "Currently, our minds are devoted to things we do not want. Our positive intentions occupy but a tiny sliver of our minds. The rest is focused on the problems we hope the intentions will eliminate. The majority of our brainpower is devoted to the old beliefs of scarcity, problem relationships, and a God who shoots fire bolts from heaven. The reason 99.9% of your mind is still devoted to things you don't want is because that's the world's default setting, what it defines as normal."l
So, I want us this morning, to reset our default buttons, by engaging in an experiment this next week.
Holmes, of course, said in the conclusion of the SOM: "I would rather see a student of this science prove its Principle than to have him repeat all the words of wisdom that have ever been uttered. It is far easier to teach the Truth than it is to practice it."m
So let's verify it in our own lives by doing two 48-hour experiments this week.
Before launching the experiments, make an intention to give up past conditioning, to bring Fresh Eyes to what you are doing!
And then be open and eager to receive evidence.
Ready for your assignment?
Set your intention for a blessing or an unexpected gift. Give it 48 hours to appear - a surprise check in the mail, a card from an old friend, something that is truly unexpected. Don't specify the blessing - but make a clear intention and a concrete deadline - 48 hours from when you begin, which I suggest is . . . now! Go ahead and do it right now -- "I set my intention for an unexpected gift or blessing." Say it out loud.
"And it is so clear I can't possibly miss it!" Say aloud.
How do you feel about proclaiming this? Do you fell a bit antsy, wondering if you're being selfish, doubt whether it's appropriate to ask for something good? This feeling provides telling insights. Maybe you don't believe you deserve a gift. That thought sends signals to the energy field that is the Law.
Perhaps you think it's only appropriate to ask for something you need. That signal, too, is being radioed to the energy field! To do this experiment properly, you have to set aside these ideas. You can take them back after it if you want to!!
After you finish that experiment, you have another one -
For 48 hours, you are going to actively look for two certain things. For the first 24 hours, you are going to look for green cars or some other color, if you desire.
Here's your conscious intention: "I hereby intend, for the next day of my life, to see [fill in the color or type] cars."
Nothing special is required. Just keep your eyes open and make the intention. And then notice how many cars of that color (or make) you spot. Count them.
During the second 24 hours, you are going to make an intention to find butterflies. Or purple feathers. Or something specific like that that you don't normally see a lot of.
Experiment 1 - an unexpected gift or blessing in the next 48 hours
After that - Experiment 2 - first 24 hours - a car of your type or color; second 24 hours - purple feathers or butterflies or something else that you don't normally see.
In the Science of Mind it says: "How much can one demonstrate? Just what one can believe. How much can we see, how much can we accept, how much can we find in our consciousness that is no longer repudiated by our own denials? Whatever that is, THAT MUCH WE CAN HAVE. The gardener goes forth in faith to sow his seeds. He has learned that as he sows, so shall he reap; that the law works for all alike. We must accustom ourselves to the concept of the impersonalness of the law, the availability of the law, and the mechanical accuracy of the law. If we can conceive only a little good, that is as much as we can experience. We must instill into the mind the fundamental proposition that good is without bounds. . . . Then, knowing that The Thing can work for us only through us, let us begin to accept today more good than we experienced yesterday and to know that we shall reap a harvest of fulfilled desires. . . . Let us realize and work with this sound knowledge and perfect faith: That as high as we shall make our mark in Mind and Spirit, so high shall be Its outward manifestation in our material world."n
Why does this all matter? It's an important step, but by far not the last step, in our evolutionary path. Dr. Marilyn Powers, wrote a book on the seven stages of human evolution and learning to manifest is stage 3 of a 7-stage journey. It's definitely not a stage to be skipped, but it also isn't a stage at which to stop. Because there is more to be in this life. And this entire year we are going to deepen into that.
But for now, we will do our experiments and really, really shore up our faith, our trust, our belief in the workings of God's Law!
aCharles Fillmore, Talks on Truth, p. 43
iChicken Soup for the Soul, pg. 171
jE Squared, p. xvii. Pam Grout
kE Squared, Pam Grout
lE Squared, p. 17 Pam Grout
mErnest Holmes Science of Mind, p. 423
nErnest Holmes Science of Mind, p. 39