HEEDING THE COSMIC URGE
In New Thought, we do not exclusively celebrate the birth of Jesus, the man, but expand our celebration to the birth of the Cosmic Christ in all of us.
Ernest Holmes tells us in The Science of Mind: "Each partakes of the Christ nature, to the degree that the Christ is revealed through him, and to that degree he becomes the Christ. We should turn to that Living Presence within, . . . recognize It as the One and Only Power in the Universe unify with It; declare our word to be the presence, power and activity of this One. We should speak the word with belief in its power, because the Law is the servant of the Spirit. If we could stand aside and let this One Perfect Life flow through us, we could not help healing people!"a
This month, we are celebrating what it means to live from this place - this place of Cosmic Consciousness. Today we are going to talk about the "Cosmic Urge."
I want to begin by making sure you are aware of something contained in the quote I just shared. I want to say it in a different to way make sure we all get it because it is a really, really important thing to be aware of. Are you paying attention? Poke your neighbor and say "pay attention now!"
You are an outlet for the Divine. Make that personal and say that with me, will you: "I am an outlet for the Divine."
Think about an electrical outlet in your wall. The electricity is there. A great power is ready to be used, energy is waiting to be called, but it is dormant until we plug into it. Only then is the electricity called into action. The potential is always there.
So it is with the Divine. Lying dormant waiting for US to plug into its power. And what a power it is. Or as in the quote I just shared, it is: "The One and Only Power in the Universe."
And that ALL Power, the One and Only Power in the Universe, is waiting to be expressed as you. Actually, it is always desiring to express Itself through us, so there is a nagging or a longing in us for something more. There is a call of something more!!
And that is what we call the Cosmic Urge. The Cosmic Urge is the desire of Spirit to express Itself through and as us in ever expanded ways.
All of the great and wise people who ever made a difference on planet earth heeded the Cosmic Urge. People such as Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Nelson Mandela - the list could go on - but they all clearly heeded that Urge and changed the world forever.
Now we often think of such people with a sense of awe and respect as if they were somehow different from us -- better, smarter, more saintly, more courageous, chosen, special! Admit it! We do that, don't we?
But the truth is we each have amazing potential within us to do great and wonderful things in the world. We are here by Divine Appointment.
I love these words from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The fact that I am here certainly shows me that the soul had need of an organ here."b
We simply must be willing to:
* Prayerfully pursue the Cosmic Urge and
* Patiently prepare for its revelation
Let's look at each of those a little more.
PRAYERFULLY PURSUE THE COSMIC URGE
First, Prayerfully Pursue the Cosmic Urge - There is a story of a couple who had a 4 year old and a newborn.
The 4 year old wanted time with the baby alone. In fact he was quite insistent and kept pushing and pushing his parents to let him have time alone with the baby.
They were, of course, concerned about leaving a newborn alone with a 4 year old but eventually decided to turn on the baby monitor so they could hear what was going on in the baby's room and let the 4 year old go in alone.
From what the parents could tell from the baby monitor, it sounded like big brother got as close to the baby's ear as he could through the slats on the crib and whispered,
"Tell me baby, what is God like? I'm starting to forget."
We can forget that, can't we? But the Truth is, we are here to consciously remember, to prayerfully pursue, the God of our being and who we have come here to be - in perhaps big ways in the world and small ways in our lives, realizing that in God there is no big nor small.
Speaking of the Cosmic Urge in The Basic Ideas of Science of Mind, Holmes writes: "There is something within us all which constantly pushes us forward, which demands continued progress. Inertia may hinder our paying much attention to this inner urge, but it is always there. It is what keeps us going ahead . . . . because it is what we are, demanding expression. Made in the image and likeness of the Father, we cannot accept stagnation; something protests against it. We must be moving forward into a higher and more satisfying spiritual nature. This 'divine discontent' is a factor in our very make up and unless we are following its promptings we are not happy. We cannot get away from it because it is part of our nature . . . and our unfoldment is something for which we are specifically responsible."c
So Divine Discontent is definitely a way that the Cosmic Urge gets our attention. How is Divine Discontent right now in your life urging you forward to a fuller expression of your Christ Nature within you? What has your attention?
Passion and enthusiasm are also ways the Cosmic Urge gets our attention. Or the Persian poet Rumi said it in a bit of a softer way: "Feel yourself being quietly drawn by the deeper pull of what you truly love."d
If you are struggling with getting the big picture of your purpose, your passion, you must live your little picture passions, i.e., what do you want to do in this moment?
Speak the truth for yourself. When you do this regularly with the small things, your bigger passions will be easier to identify.
And prayerfully pursuing your Cosmic Urge just might require patiently preparing for its revelation.
PATIENTLY PREPARE FOR ITS REVELATION
So, second is: Patiently Prepare for its Revelation - Here's a great story about the importance of patience to let the Divine Urge in us unfold in its right and perfect time. It's called "A Late Bloomer." See if you see yourself in any parts of this story.
A cactus stood all alone in the desert in Mexico, wondering why it was stuck in the middle of nowhere.
"I do nothing but stand here all day," it sighed. "What use am I? I'm the ugliest plant in the desert. My spines are thin and prickly, my leaves are rubbery and tough, my skin is thick and bumpy. I can't offer shade or juicy fruit to any passing traveler. I don't see that I'm any use at all."
All it did was stand in the sun day after day, growing taller and fatter. Its spines grew longer and its leaves tougher, and it swelled here and there until it was lumpy and lopsided all over. It truly was strange-looking.
"I wish I could do something useful," it sighed. By day, the hawks circled high overhead. "What can I do with my life?" the cactus called. Whether they heard or not, the hawks sailed away.
At night the moon floated into the sky and cast its pale glow on the desert floor. "What good can I do with my life?" the cactus called. The moon only stared coldly as it mounted its course.
A lizard crawled by, leaving a little trail in the sand with its tail. "What worthy deed can I do?" the cactus called.
"You?" the lizard laughed, pausing a moment. "Worthy deed? Why, you can't do anything! The hawks circle way overhead, tracing delicate patterns for us all to admire. The moon hangs high like a lantern at night, so we can see our ways home to our loved ones. Even I, the lowly lizard, have something to do. I decorate the sands with these beautiful brushstrokes as I pull my tail along. But you? You do nothing but get uglier every day."
And so it went on, year after year. At last the cactus grew old, and it knew its time was short.
"Oh, Lord," it cried out, "I've wondered so long, and I've tried so hard. Forgive me if I've failed to find something worthy to do. I fear that now it's too late."
But just then the cactus felt a strange stirring and unfolding, and it knew a surge of joy that erased all despair.
At its very tip, like a sudden crown, a glorious flower unexpectedly opened in bloom.
Never had the desert known such a blossom. Its fragrance perfumed the air far and wide and brought happiness to all passing by. The butterflies paused to admire its beauty, and that night even the moon smiled to find such a treasure.
The cactus heard a voice. "You have waited long," the Lord said. "The heart that seeks to do good reflects my glory, and will always bring something worthwhile to the world, something in which all can rejoice - even if for only a moment."
This tale from the Mexico desert assures us that we will answer the Divine Urge if we patiently prepare for its revelation.
The flowering of the cactus, perhaps symbolizes the opening of the 7th chakra, the enlightenment, the knowing God, the Christ Consciousness. Patience, my friends, patience.
When we PRAYERFULLY PURSUE the Cosmic Urge and PATIENTLY PREPARE for its revelation within us, we make it worth it. We bear a reflection of the image of whose God we are. We stand in, and in fact, celebrate our own Christ Consciousness. I want to make it worth it. How about you?
WHITE STONE CEREMONY
As we start the year 2016, know that a new year is a time of beginnings. The white stones that we are using are from Hebron. Just allow yourself to feel the energy of the stone you are holding.
The Bible verse that was read this morning is taken from Revelations, the 2nd chapter, Verse 17: "Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying. To everyone I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it."e
This verse deals with a renewal and a new understanding. A new name!! It was written by the disciple, John, around 95 AD.
John stated that those who remain faithful will be fed in the new age with Manna just as the Israelites were fed in the desert after their deliverance from Egypt. He further stated that they will be given a new charm, which would protect them against every evil. This charm was in the form of a white stone - similar to the stone you received this morning.
And the new name is that of Christ, or God, as was written in the Old Testament in Isaiah - Chapter 62, Verse 2;
"The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give."f
We believe that the Bible is in each and every one of us; it is our own individual story. We came into this world hard-wired for spirituality. Each person, place, and incident is symbolic, and is within us - a part of us.
As you hold the white stone that you received this morning, I would like to offer a suggestion as to what this mornings' verse might mean to you. I would like to present an inner meaning for you to consider, remembering that Bible verses are individual to each of us.
Take your stone and look at it, see its beauty, see its newness. As we journey on the path of our spiritual awakening, the white stone in each of us is constantly being renewed. The white stone in each of us is being revitalized, redeemed. The white stone, and the name written on it, is a symbol of our spiritual growth, whereby we cancel out the old; discontinue our old way of thinking and put an end to our habit of forgetting who and what we truly are.
As each of us partakes in the Manna, or spiritual food that is ours for the asking, we become nourished and whole. The energy that we derive from this Manna, gives the inner energy that we need in order to reach a higher state of consciousness, of a purified state of consciousness; a state of consciousness that is symbolized by the white of your stone.
As this renewal process takes place within, we gain the knowledge of a 'new name' within us, and more importantly, we gain a deeper understanding of that new name and where it might lead us. The new name, the new spiritual name that is the true nature of our being is the name we know of as 'I AM.'
Does everyone have a pencil; does everyone have a white stone? As you hold your white stone in your hand, know that you are starting with a clean slate. In this ceremony, we are going to be writing down a new name for ourselves.
The white stone is an ancient ritual. In Jesus' day, when someone served time in prison or in bondage of any kind, they were given a white stone when they were released. Each of us comes from bondage of some kind today, and we are being given a white stone to signify our freedom. All of your past nonsense was as a prison to you, but now you are free to go and be and do anything you choose. Anything you can believe and conceive - you can be and do.
So the first part of the verse read this morning tells us to listen, to develop the ear of the soul. To sit in the silence and listen to Spirit.
And then it says, "To everyone who conquers." For us, as followers of Spirit, this is not an outer war at all, but an inner war that requires our surrender… for us to be in the world, but not of the world. And yet, how many times have we not surrendered to that sweet Spirit that calls us in every moment? ... But when we do surrender to that Spirit and go within, then and only then do we conquer. What a paradox. Only in surrender is there victory. Not an outer surrender or an outer victory. But an inner surrender and inner victory, of letting go and letting God be God in me and through me.
The second part of the promise is: 'And I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.'
At this time it was believed that when the people had overcome and had made their connection with the Divine; then they got a new name. That new name was written on a white stone. The name was given to them directly by God. No one else intervened, no one else was aware of this new name. It was a new nature, the freedom from bondage. When people had overcome, when they were set free from their bondage, they got that stone.
In the Bible, you see many name changes. For example, Saul - which means personal will - was struck to his knees. His physical eyes were blind for three days and he had to look within. He went from persecuting Christians to helping them.. He was given a new name at the time of his awakening. Saul (personal will) was transformed to Paul, which means enlightened will. He became will that followed God's will.
Abram, as he grew in spiritual awareness, became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah. The change in name always signifies a change in consciousness. In Biblical times, a name was a very meaningful and sacred thing. Every name represented a quality that was in the person who carries the name. You didn't choose a name for your child because you liked the name. You chose it for whatever essence you saw in the child.
After we surrender to that inner Spirit, we are promised a new name. This refers to the new and higher realization of the I AM. Before coming into truth, when we said, "I AM" we were usually thinking of only our current opinions of ourselves. After study and greater realization of "I AM" we came to realize that it is more than an opinion of one's self, it is more of an awareness of the God self, of the higher self, or real self. Our real self, or God self, is so much greater than any opinions we can ever have of ourselves. It requires our reaching a higher level of consciousness within ourselves to even bear facing a realization of our real self, God self. This is the white stone mentioned.
White metaphysically represents Joy, Victory, and Purification.
In this white stone, or purified state of consciousness we know that the Father and I are one.
In this white stone consciousness we remember what God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM," and
In this higher white stone consciousness within ourselves we learn our "New Name," an entirely new realization of our true "I AM."
We conquer and receive the hidden manna, our full potential, by consciously surrendering, letting go of that unnecessary baggage. By prayer and meditation, by utilizing the tools of affirmations and denials and by remembering that, I AM: GOD IS.
As we surrender and follow the tools of Spirit we make a space for unlimited possibilities to become manifest in 2016. In creating a space in our consciousness, we open ourselves up to unlimited possibilities, unlimited potential in 2016.
And so I encourage you to consciously invite the activity of God - the Holy Spirit - into your heart and mind for the next few minutes. Perhaps there is a new career, a new title, or a new quality that Spirit is pressing out through you. I ask you to give your ego a few minutes off and let that Divine Holy self in you come through. Give yourself permission to know that you have a new quality, a new name.
I've seen people who, when they write the word peace, love, or presence, take on a new essence of who they are.
Later, you will be invited to write the name on your stone, and to carry it with you, and carry that name in your heart.
Whenever we ask there is always an answer.
You can close your eyes and open them whenever it is comfortable for you.
Let's become still for a minute and allow God to express through you and as you. I invite you to take the white stone in your hand and know it as a symbol of a new life. See it as a symbol of who you have become, or of who you are becoming, or of who you would like to become.
Feel the presence of God and know your oneness with God. Know your I AM'ness with God. Feel that loving presence of God as it surrounds and supports you. Know right now that you're safe and secure. You are loved and supported by the presence of God. Know that you are encouraged by your fellow travelers. Know that you are loved and appreciated by this spiritual community.
Behold, the Christ of God in each of us says, "I make all things new."g
Again, the scripture that we are using today is: (Revelation 2:17) "Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it."
And so this white stone is the promise of a new life. It is the symbol of a clean slate, as was the custom in the times when the Bible was written. When one was set free from prison, they were given a white stone, and they carried that white stone with them as proof for anyone to see that they had completed their obligation, that their slate was clean and that they were free.
And so this is our sign of a clean slate. Whatever has gone on in the past, we let it go. This is a sign of our ability in this moment to live in this new beginning. This is a moment in which we know we are free, free from all that has bound us, free from the prison in which we had put ourselves.
To those who move forward with faith, a new name is given. So now we meditate on our new name, for each of us has overcome adversity. We have freed ourselves to live more fully, conscious of the activity of the whole spirit of God in the creative life force and in every aspect of our lives. We are now free from limiting thoughts about ourselves, each other, and our world.
Anytime you look at your white stone realize that you have the gift of choice; the gift to live differently, to live a more fulfilling life, to begin again, to connect with God and co-create with God.
John wrote in the book of Revelations that the white stone carries a new name, the spiritual identity and a deeper awareness of what God has planned for you. No one, in the entire universe except you and God, knows what this new name is. But it has come to you to be lived out, to be expressed, to be embodied as you. It is what God is calling you to be or do. It is a whisper from your soul that you are so much more than you have ever let come into expression.
Begin to reflect on a new name. Let it come to you easily, without trying to make it happen. Let a name come to you that marks your new beginning, feel the stone in your hand. Hear it beckon to you. Spirit has decreed a name for you to be written on the stone. What will your life be called from this point forward?
And so, as you are guided by Spirit, (and it may feel to you as if you are making it up because it may seem so wonderful or so much what you have yearned for), but still I invite you to trust in this now moment, ….as Spirit gives to you in this sacred place…in this moment of Truth…an insight into your divine purpose…an insight into your holy essence, and so in that secret place of the most high, I invite you to allow yourself to hear the new name that God has for you.
And, as that name becomes clear, just allow yourself to write it…it may be a title, it may be something like published author…or clean and sober…or grateful…whatever.
If a name has come to you, stay quiet and allow yourself to ask for a deeper understanding, to ask if there are any steps to take. In this moment allow yourself to simply open to Spirit, to say, 'God in me reveals my true essence. God in me reveals my next step. God as me lives a joyous, peaceful, fulfilling life.'
"Behold, I make all things new…for you are my beloved in whom I am well pleased."
A thankfulness flows over us as we receive our new name. Along with it comes the power and guidance to achieve all that we desire. This is our new name. We see it. We decree it. We are on the path to gaining greater insights and awareness and mark a new beginning.
"It is your Father's good pleasure to give you this kingdom." Accept this consciousness of ever increasing good in your life. I invite you to carry this white stone as a reminder of that promise. Amen.
Happy New Year!!
aErnest Holmes The Science of Mind, p. 357
bRalph Waldo Emerson Conduct of Life
cErnest Holmes The Basic Ideas of Science of Mind p 73