THE PERFECT MARRIAGE
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 have done this month - in our own unique way, that is!
We started the year with God by taking a fresh and deeper look at what we talk about here every single Sunday, and which is encapsulated so beautifully in these words from Ernest Holmes' book entitled The Art of Living (formerly This Thing Called Life):
"God is Life; not some life but all Life.
God is Action; not some action but all Action.
God is Power; not some power but all Power.
God is pure Spirit, filling all space.
This pure Spirit animates our every act.
There is a real you, which lives in a real God, and the two are one."a
That was our first week's study in a nutshell:
"There is a real you, which lives in a real God, and the two are one."
We said that if we keep our minds stayed on these ideas, we will not only start the year with God, we will stay with God throughout all of 2015!
And, then these last two weeks, we have engaged in grand experiments contained in Pam Grout's great book, E Squared, to prove to ourselves that the Law of God actually works in our lives. To strengthen our belief that these beautiful Unity teachings really are true and that they operate in our lives like our founder said.
To quote Charles Fillmore: "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."b
Your grand experiments from last week were:
The Ciri Principle - opening up to inner guidance on a specific issue and
The Abracadabra Principle - setting your intention to experience/manifest something specific for yourself.
Talk to me. How did it go? Let's hear. [Brief Sharing]
These experiments have been wonderful and fun, and there are more in the book to do, and Pam Grout has written another book, E Cubed, with even more! So keep going. Keep proving to yourself that this stuff really works!
Today, we are going to see with fresh eyes and bring a new perspective by marrying all we have done so far this month; by marrying the deep, heartfelt realization of this One Presence and One Power of Life that is our Life with the use of God's Law to create a life of magnificence, beauty and inspiration. And what a perfect marriage it is.
I want to begin with two quotations from sacred writings. In a nutshell, they give us the formula for this marriage. The first is from The Upanishads (c. 800 BC, sacred texts in Hinduism): "One's own thought is one's own world. What a person thinks is what he becomes -- that is the eternal mystery. [That's the Law part.] If the mind dwells with the Supreme Self [that's the One Presence and One Power of Life part], one enjoys undying happiness.c
The second is from the Judeo-Christian Bible. It's possible you are more familiar with it: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you."d
If the mind dwells with the Supreme Self [GOD], one enjoys undying happiness. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you. What are they both saying? Focus on God, the One Presence, the One Power!
The Apostle Paul brought this idea into practical application when he wrote to the people of Corinth and said: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, and pure and lovely and of good rapport, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."e
We are instructed to focus our minds on God; focus our minds on the Good, the True, the pure and the lovely! And as we are showing up in this world of form, this world of physical composition with material expression and experiences -- we focus on that which we wish to experience.
We focus on that which we wish to experience.
We focus on that which we wish to experience.
Did you hear me!? We focus on that which we wish to experience. And then our focus activates the law to produce the results. That is what our experiments have been about this month.
For example - There was a 92 year-old man who went to the Doctor to get a physical. The man didn't look good; he was thin and pale and fragile and his hands shook. The doctor didn't like what he saw and gave the old gent some solid words of medical advice.
A few months later, the Doctor ran into the man walking down the street. He was a changed man. He had gained weight, his color had come back in his cheeks, he looked strong, and he no longer shook. And to top it off, he had a gorgeous, young lady on his arm.
The doctor stopped to marvel at his improvement and said, "I can't believe it. You look terrific. What happened to you?"
The man replied, "What do you mean, what happened to me? I'm just doing what you said to do, 'Get a hot momma and be cheerful.'"
The Doctor said, "You ol' fool -- I didn't say 'Get a hot momma and be cheerful.' I said 'you've got a heart murmur. Be careful!'"
William Hornaday in Your Aladdin's Lamp: "Thoughts we think, believe, and speak are seeds that will produce results. A carrot seed must produce a carrot. Any idea, if fertilized with belief and followed by action, will produce fruit of its kind. Therefore, if you don't want something, don't think about it."f
How many of us do that, however? We focus on what is wrong, don't we? We focus on what we don't want. What we're afraid will happen. When we think about it, it's pretty ridiculous, but it's what we do!
Open a box of chocolate candy -- or if sweets don't do it for you, how about seeing yourself standing in front of the chip aisle in the grocery store! Do you fret and fuss and whine and wring your hands over what you don't want? Do you spend one ounce of energy focusing on how awful it would be if you put the piece of candy that you don't want in your mouth -- or if you bit down on a vinegar potato chip. Sounds pretty silly doesn't it?
We are quite clear how to show up for a piece of chocolate or a bag of chips. We consider all the options that are within our zone of desire and then we make a selection. Simple as that. No rallying against the ones we don't like; no fear of "what if's;" none of that nonsense. We simply select and enjoy.
While I know this is a simplistic view -- the same principle applies in the bigger areas of our life. When we stand at the chocolate box/chip aisle of life, let us refuse to get caught up in all the things in the box/shelf that we don't want.
For example when thoughts of lack and limitation start to run through your mind, affirm abundance.
I am the abundance of God bursting forth in my life now.
God is my unlimited source and my infinite supply.
When thoughts of disease and illness start to run through your mind, affirm health and perfect life.
I am vibrant, radiant, dynamic health.
God is my perfect health.
When thoughts of unworthiness start to crop up, replace them with words affirming your divine nature.
I am the givingness of God expressing as myself.
I am a process through whom God enriches the universe.
Let us heed these extremely important words from Ernest Holmes: "It is important that you maintain a strict censorship over your thinking. Just as you watch your garden that foreign seeds shall not fall into it, producing a growth of undesirable plants, so you must refuse entrance to any thoughts you do not wish to see manifested in your life. Guard well this garden of your mind. It is God's garden of your soul. It is your Garden of Eden wherein may grow your fondest desires and hopes, blossoming into fulfillment. Or, if you permit, the weeds of destruction, fear and doubt, will choke out the beauty of hope until despair alone remains. Watch carefully, then, this garden of your soul. Plant there only seeds of happiness, of joy, of peace, and of good will. It may be necessary to cultivate your garden, to uproot the weeds and straighten out the rows, planting new seeds, new ideas, broader visions and deeper realizations of life. New aspirations must be bedded here, fertilized with the fervor of hope, the conviction of faith, the beauty of wholeness and the quietness of peace. Watch your garden carefully, guard it patiently, waiting for a new harvest, for you shall reap what you have sown."g
I want to share with you a most amazing story which appeared in the Reader's Digest in 1993. It's written in the first person and is written in such an engaging way, I want to share it with you exactly as it is. It goes like this:
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say. "Mother, you must come and see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. Going and coming took most of a day--and I honestly did not have a free day until the following week.
"I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.
Tuesday arrived cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove the length of Route 91, continued on I-215, and finally turned onto Route 18 and began to drive up the mountain highway. The tops of the mountains were sheathed in clouds, and I had gone only a few miles when the road was completely covered with a wet, gray blanket of fog. I slowed to a crawl, my heart pounding. The road becomes narrow and winding toward the top of the mountain.
As I executed the hazardous turns at a snail's pace, I was praying to reach the turnoff at Blue Jay that would signify I had arrived. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these darling children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"
My daughter smiled calmly," We drive in this all the time, Mother."
"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears--and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.
"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car. The mechanic just called, and they've finished repairing the engine," she answered.
"How far will we have to drive?" I asked cautiously.
"Just a few blocks," Carolyn said cheerfully.
So we buckled up the children and went out to my car. "I'll drive," Carolyn offered. "I'm used to this." We got into the car, and she began driving. In a few minutes, I was aware that we were back on the Rim-of-the-World road heading over the top of the mountain. "Where are we going?" I exclaimed, distressed to be back on the mountain road in the fog. "This isn't the way to the garage!"
"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."
"Carolyn," I said sternly, trying to sound as if I was still the mother and in charge of the situation, "please turn around. There is nothing in the world that I want to see enough to drive on this road in this weather."
"It's all right, Mother," She replied with a knowing grin. "I know what I'm doing. I promise, you will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
And so my sweet, darling daughter who had never given me a minute of difficulty in her whole life was suddenly in charge -- and she was kidnapping me! I couldn't believe it. Like it or not, I was on the way to see some ridiculous daffodils -- driving through the thick, gray silence of the mist-wrapped mountaintop at what I thought was risk to life and limb.
I muttered all the way. After about twenty minutes we turned onto a small gravel road that branched down into an oak-filled hollow on the side of the mountain. The Fog had lifted a little, but the sky was low, gray and heavy with clouds.
We parked in a small parking lot adjoining a little stone church. On the far side of the church I saw a pine-needle-covered path, with towering evergreens and Manzanita bushes and an inconspicuous, hand-lettered sign "Daffodil Garden."
We each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path as it wound through the trees. Live oaks, mountain laurel, shrubs, and bushes clustered in the folds of the forest, and in the gray, drizzling air, the green foliage looked dark and monochromatic. I shivered. Then we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped.
Before me lay the most glorious sight, unexpectedly and completely splendid. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes where it had run into every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist-filled air, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon, pink, saffron, and butter yellow.
In the center of this incredible and dazzling display of gold, a great cascade of purple hyacinth flowed down like a waterfall of blossoms framed in its own rock-lined basin, weaving through the brilliant daffodils.
As though this were not magnificence enough, Mother Nature added her own grace note -- above the daffodils, a bevy of western bluebirds flitted and darted, flashing their brilliance. These charming little birds were the color of sapphires with breasts of magenta red. As they danced in the air, their colors were truly like jewels above the blowing, glowing daffodils. The effect was spectacular.
It did not matter that the sun was not shining. The brilliance of the daffodils was like the glow of the brightest sunlit day. Words, wonderful as they are, simply cannot describe the incredible beauty of that flower-bedecked mountain top.
"But who has done this?" I asked, almost speechless with wonder, "and how, and why, and when?"
We walked up to the house, my mind buzzing with questions. On the patio we saw a poster.
"Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read.
The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman, two hands, two feet, and very little brain."
The third answer was, "Began in 1958."
There it was. The Daffodil Principle. For me that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun -- one bulb at a time -- to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. One bulb at a time.
There was no other way to do it. One bulb at a time. No shortcuts -- simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded. Loving an achievement that grew so slowly and that bloomed for only three weeks of each year. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, she had changed the world.
This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.h
So, my friends, how do you marry the ideas of the One Power and One Presence that is Your Life with the use of God's Perfect Law to create a life of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration? One thought at a time!
With one thought at a time, focused on Truth, we can change our lives, just like one daffodil at a time changed that mountainside. And so it is.
Here's a website of applicable photos:
aErnest Holmes The Art of Living (formerly This Thing Called Life)
bCharles Fillmore, Talks on Truth, p. 43
cThe Upanishads (c. 800 BC, sacred texts in Hinduism)
fWilliam Hornaday Your Aladdin's Lamp
gHolmes This Thing Called You, p. 37-38
hReader's Digest in 1993