YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF EMERGES - PART 1
During the month of April, we are going to take a deep and beautiful look at being our Authentic Selves or, said another way, being who our souls came here to be.
It is my prayer, my intention and my hope that this month will be profoundly meaningful for those who have been with us for a very long time as well as for those who attend for the first time.
Today we will begin looking at the intrinsic qualities of the Authentic Self. Before we look at the specific qualities, let's explore this idea of the Authentic Self first.
There is a beautiful statement by poet T.S. Eliot that goes like this: "The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."a
You've probably heard that haven't you? You've probably even thought it was pretty good, pretty profound, right? But have you ever actually applied it to your life?
There is profound, personal wisdom in those few words.
"The end of all MY exploring will be to arrive where I started and know the place for the first time."
Our true journey of exploration in this world is to return to our point of origin, to who we were before we were born, who we came in this world to be before our experiences caused us to begin wearing various masks covering our Authentic Selves.
I love these words from Meister Eckhart, a German mystic in the late 1200's: "The spiritual life is not a process of addition, but rather of subtraction."b
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: "Every man is divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool."c
And so our mission in this lifetime is to peel off / subtract the many masks, the many disguises to return to our Authentic Selves.
How can we know what authentic looks and feels like? The answer is simpler than you might think.
When we are consciously living from our Authentic Selves, seven intrinsic qualities will naturally bubble forth from us and the masks will naturally fall away.
Today, we begin looking at these Seven Intrinsic Qualities of the Authentic Self so that we can open our eyes to who we are and who we came here to be.
So, let's begin the exploration that will return us to where we started so that we can know it, truly know it, for the first time.
And the first quality is Wholeness. In his book, Your (Re)Defining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, New Thought author Dennis Merritt Jones writes: "One of the first telltale signs that we are living from the Authentic Self comes in those unmistakable moments when we feel a sense of effortless connection with everyone and everything - with the Whole. This is when we discover that true wholeness is a state of being, not a condition or a point at which we one day arrive when all things are perfect, because that will never be the case in this human experience. . . . When we live fully anchored in the awareness of our unity with the Whole, authenticity is revealed. Something real emerges from within us, and all sense of separation dissolves."d
This is, of course, a fundamental principle in our New Thought teachings.
Charles Fillmore, in Talks on Truth, wrote: "I have proved to my own satisfaction that when Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you," He meant it literally and not figuratively. There is within everyone a place, a conscious sphere of mind, having all the attractions described or imagined as belonging to heaven. My most exalted ideas of the joys of heaven never anticipated the ecstatic thrill that suffuses my whole being while I rest in Spirit at this center within."e
Once Babaji, an Indian guru, was asked, "Are you God?"
Babaji in his characteristic wisdom and wit said,
"God is everywhere, I am local."f
Yes, God is everywhere and each one of us is God localized!
From The Sacred Yes by Rev. Deborah Johnson comes this beautiful, on-point poem from God:
You are me.
And I am you.
I live in you and you live in me.
Understand what I just said.
You live in me.
You move in my world.
You speak with my voice.
You think with my mind.
You love with my heart.
You act with my creativity.
There is no separation here.
When you say yes,
Say yes to me,
Say yes to us,
Say yes to our Oneness.
If only you would start from this point.g
So our awareness of our relationship to the Whole is the starting point for us to know our Authentic Selves.
When we begin to recognize our Oneness with the One, some of the masks we have been holding in place must fall away, masks such as (see if you recognize any of these):
* The mask of shame, which comes from the mistaken belief that we are somehow flawed and, therefore, not enough;
* The mask of lack, which comes from the mistaken belief that there is not enough of whatever we need to feel complete;
* The mask of the perfectionist, which comes from the mistaken belief that when we can finally control everything and everyone else's opinion of us and garner their approval, then and only then, will we be complete.
To live in the awareness and presence of our Authentic Selves is to remember we are whole and therefore complete, just the way we are -warts, wrinkles and all.
Say this with me: "I am whole and complete just the way I am!"
More on that idea in a bit. But for now, Intrinsic Quality Two, which is . . .
Having reverence for any person or living thing is recognizing the presence of Life within the form and honoring it as sacred.
Holmes from The Science of Mind Magazine: ". . . if we can bind ourselves together reverently, in love and compassion, in mutual tolerance and understanding, under the cohesive powers of the universal law of good and the beneficence of a divine and universal presence, then we shall . . . lead the world down the pathway of a new enlightenment."h
In "Your (Re)Defining Moments," Dennis Merritt Jones writes: "Reverence awakens us to a deep understanding that to do harm to another is to do harm to ourselves. As we make that connection, realizing that all living things are one with the great Whole, we are naturally led to treat each person or thing as we would desire to be treated."i
It's been told that instead of flowers, Ernest Holmes would sometimes dine with a vase of weeds from his garden on his dining room table.
He considered it a reminder that the creative intelligence of the One flows equally through every living thing and that the only difference between a weed and a rose is the value (judgment) we choose to place on it.j
Two of the masks that conceal the intrinsic quality of reverence and that naturally fall away when we intentionally live from this quality are:
* The mask of the JUDGE, worn by one who labels everything and everyone based on external appearances only;
* The mask of SELFISHNESS, worn by one who mindlessly takes from others and life in general, using everyone and everything including earth's resources with no thought of giving back to life.
Of course, there are many others and it takes some fearlessness and courage to remove them and face life with reverence. And the ability to do that is the next (and final for today) quality . . .
The Bhagavad Gita, the ancient Hindu text says: "Fear not what is not real, never was and never will be. What is real always was and cannot be destroyed."k
Saying that fearlessness is an intrinsic quality of the Authentic Self does not deny that fear can be a very real experience in the human condition and that is exactly the point - it is in the human experience, not an experience of the Authentic Self.
Fear is born out of our attachment to things or said another way fear is born out of not wanting to lose people or things. We are afraid we might lose love, health, money, reputation, beauty, the list goes on and on, right??
The Authentic Self has no concept of fear because it has no concept of loss, only the wholeness of Being in the present moment.
Fear is probably the most universally worn mask because our attachment to loss has so many tentacles.
The masks for Fear that disguise our Authentic Selves can look like:
* ANGER, which is the fear of losing control over something or someone else's behavior or actions;
* JEALOUSY, which is the fear of losing someone's affections;
* ENVY, which is the fear that you aren't enough;
* WORRY, which is the fear of a future loss of [fill in the blank].
If any of these masks fit, ask yourself what is holding them in place. If you examine it closely, you will discover it has something to do with your mind being in some space in time other than this sacred moment, which is the only moment there is.
The practice is to be here, now, and see if you can open to the presence of the Authentic Self that is always with you, knowing its fearlessness is yours. And remember to breathe!
To develop this intrinsic quality, I invite you to take on a little challenge. Do at least one thing each year that you are afraid to do. Have you done that yet this year?
I think this song speaks beautifully to the ideas that living in the awareness and presence of our Authentic Selves means to:
1. Remember we are whole and therefore complete, just the way we are -warts, wrinkles and all
2. Have a REVERENCE for all and
3. Be FEARLESS to grow and change . . .
. . . and I want us to sing it now. You may know it, you might not. The words are in your program. Join in when you catch the melody and this just might be a FEARLESS moment for you if you have a fear of singing!
I Love Myself the Way I Am by Jai Josephs
I love myself the way I am, there's nothing I need to change.
I'll always be the perfect me, there's nothing to rearrange.
I'm beautiful and capable, of being the best me I can.
And I love myself, just the way I am.
I love you the way you are, there's nothing you need to do.
When I feel the love inside myself, it's easy to love you.
Behind your fears, your rage and tears, I see your shining star.
And I love you, just the way you are.
I love the world the way it is, cause I can clearly see.
That all the things I judge are done, by people just like me.
So 'til the birth of peace on earth, that only love can bring.
I'll help it grow, by loving everything.
I love myself the way I am, and still I want to grow.
But change outside can only come, when deep inside I know.
I'm beautiful and capable, of being the best me I can.
And I love myself, just the way I am
I love myself just the way I am.
cRalph Waldo Emerson
dYour (Re)Defining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, Dennis Merritt Jones p. 137
eCharles Fillmore, Talks on Truth, p. 34
gThe Sacred Yes, Rev. Deborah Johnson
hErnest Holmes from The Science of Mind Magazine, January 1991, p. 7
iYour (Re)Defining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, Dennis Merritt Jones p. 139
jYour (Re)Defining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, Dennis Merritt Jones p. 139