YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF EMERGES - PART III
In the past two weeks, we have taken a deep and beautiful look at being who our souls came here to be by exploring qualities of the Authentic Self that support us in arriving at our Center, the place where we began; the place where we remember who we really are -- One with the One.
Fillmore writes in Talks on Truth: "The image and likeness of our spiritual body is as thoroughly defined in us as is the tree in the acorn. Does the acorn consult anything outside of itself as to how it should bring forth a tree? Certainly not. It simply rests in Spirit and unfolds from moment to moment as moved by the impulse within. Exactly the same law is operative in bringing forth the God man. The external, striving, wandering will must stop its restless seeking without, and repose at the center. It must be obedient to that center, and learn the language of Spirit."a
So, we have been learning the "language of Spirit," which are the qualities of our Authentic Self.
I ran across some Rules for Being Human recently that talk about our journey of discovery back to center and I want to share them with you:
Rule 1. You will receive a body. You may like it or you may hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period of this time around.
Rule 2. You will have opportunities for discovery. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to discover something about yourself and the way life works. You may like the opportunities or you make think they are irrelevant and stupid, but you will always have them.
Rule 3. There are no mistakes; only opportunities for discovery. Discovering who you are is a process of trial and error: Experimentation. Failed experiments are as much a part of the process as experiments that ultimately work.
Rule 4. Discovery opportunities are repeated until the discovery is made.
If you do not make the discovery from an opportunity presented, that's OK. It will simply come back around in different clothing and with a big group of friends.
Rule 5. Discovery opportunities don't end.
There is no part of life that does not contain these opportunities. If you are still breathing, there is more to discover.
Rule 6. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
Rule 7. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to Life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
Rule 8. You will forgot all of this.
And here's bonus Rule 9: Rule 9. You can remember all of this whenever you want.b
In other words as T.S. Eliot wrote: "The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."c
And this month, we have explored - we have remembered - we have returned home -- to who we came here to be, to our Authentic Selves!
To accomplish this, we've looked at six of seven intrinsic qualities of the Authentic Self, qualities that, when we express them, we know we are connected with our Authentic Self.
Or, qualities that, when we focus on them and have an intention to express them, we call our Authentic Self forth out from behind the masks we tend to wear to hide.
And last Sunday was a cliffhanger! We were left hanging as to what the 7th intrinsic quality of the Authentic Self is, and I promised to share it this week. Which is exactly what I will do now!
To introduce the final, bring-it-all-home intrinsic quality of the Authentic Self, I want to tell you about a study done a number of years ago.
A college professor had his sociology class go into the Baltimore slums - filled with poverty, violence -- to take case histories of 200 young boys. They were asked to write an evaluation of each boy's future.
In every case the students wrote, "He hasn't got a chance to make anything of himself."
Twenty-five years later another sociology professor came across the earlier study. He was extremely curious to see how accurate those predictions were, so he had his students follow up on the project to see what had happened to these boys. They were able to track down 180 of the 200 boys.
Of the 180, 176 of them had pulled themselves out of the slums and had made something of their lives. They had in fact, achieved more than ordinary success as lawyers, doctors and businessmen.
The professor was astounded and decided to pursue the matter further. Fortunately, all the men were in the area and he was able to find them and to ask each one, "How do you account for your success?"
In each case, the reply came immediately and with deep feeling, "There was a teacher."
Well, this really peaked the professor's interest, so he set out to find this teacher. Fortunately, she was still alive and still lived in the Baltimore area, so he sought her out and asked the old, but extremely sharp lady, what magic formula she had used to pull these boys out of the slums into successful achievement.
The teacher's eyes sparkled and her lips broke into a gentle smile as she said, "There's no magic formula. I just loved those boys."d
Yes, our seventh quality of the Authentic Self is Love. Surprise! Surprise!
Bertrand Russell, who was a brilliant mathematician and accomplished, although controversial, philosopher in the early 1900s, wrote in "The impact of Science of Civilization": "The root of the matter is a very simple and old-fashioned thing, a thing so simple that I am almost ashamed to mention it, for fear of the derisive smile with which wise cynics will greet my words. The thing I mean - please forgive me for mentioning it - is love, Christian love. If you feel this, you have a motive for existence, a guide for action, a reason for courage."
And what do you suppose he means by Christian love? The love Jesus the Christ had! And what was one of his most beautiful teachings on love. It's definitely another Rule for Living! Yes, of course, the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
The thing is, this isn't just found in Christian doctrine. A version of it is found in all the world's religions. Here are just a few.
Hinduism: "Do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain: this is the sum of duty."e
Buddhism: "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."f
Islam: "No one is a believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself."g
Judiasm: "Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."h
Here's the deal . . . our Authentic Selves are direct descendants of unconditional love.
Dennis Merrit Jones in Your (Re)Defining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, wrote: "When we strip away the many masks we wear, at the core of who we really are, we shall find the essence of love in its purest state. It is unconditioned because it is without form - love was, and is, the initiating spark of life - the alpha and the omega and everything in between those two points. It permeates, animates, and sustains all living things, holding itself back from none, judging no one or no thing. The authentic self is love because it is the microcosm of the great Macrocosm, the Original Self, Infinite intelligence, Being, Presence - call it what you choose. In its highest vibration, unconditional love is the glue that holds all that is together and exists beyond all 'conditions.' Most important, love has selflessly individuated and imbued itself within us at the point we call the authentic self."i
We are each filters through which love flows without condition and that it is we who, at the level of our own consciousness, our belief system, shape and direct how love manifests in our lives.
Think about this: If your Authentic Self is the direct descendant of unconditional love, then that makes you the perfect delivery system for love on this planet.
What is required is that we turn love, a noun, into love, a verb. That we actively engage in love - love for self and love for others. Here's a great story about actively engaging in love for self.
A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his backyard, baseball cap in place and toting a ball and bat. "I am the greatest baseball player in the world," he said proudly.
Then, he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed.
Undaunted, he picked up the ball threw it in the air and said to himself, "I am the greatest player ever." He swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine bat and ball carefully.
Then, once again he threw the ball into the air and said with great conviction, "I am the greatest baseball player who ever lived!" He swung the bat hard and again missed the ball.
"Wow!" he exclaimed "What a pitcher!"j
Now that, was a beautiful moment of self love.
Can you have moments like that with yourself? Can you have moments like that with one another?
If so, you will be living more fully and more completely into and from your Authentic Self, the self that you came here to be.
And when we, as Ernest Holmes said, "let love point the way," then that is when we will have returned home and we will know it deeply and powerfully for the first time.
Let's take a moment to review of all Seven Intrinsic Qualities of the Authentic Self.
Remembering we are connected to the whole; connected to everyone and everything; remembering that we are whole and therefore complete, just the way we are -warts, wrinkles and all.
Recognizing the presence of Life within all and honoring it as sacred.
Facing life fearlessly because I know that I know that I know I am one with God. Or as I slightly modify a quote from The Course in Miracles: "If we knew who walked as us, there would be nothing to fear."
Leading our lives in such a way that we wouldn't be ashamed to sell our parrot to the town gossip.
Being open to seeing different viewpoints, receptive to new understandings, not stuck in what our perceptions or interpretations of things are.
Having a balanced and even state of mind and not being whipped about by our human emotions (either negative or affirmative).
Finally love, remembering that your Authentic Self is the direct descendant of unconditional love and that makes you the perfect delivery system for it on this planet. All that is required is to turn love the noun into love the verb.
When these seven qualities become the norm in our daily lives rather than the exception, we will know we are living from the Authentic Self.
Use these statements to help you stay connected to you Authentic Self. Say them after me, will you?
"I am whole, I am complete, I am One with the One."
"I revere all life because it is part of the whole, and it is holy."
"I know who walks as me, so I am fearless!"
"My outer actions reflect my inner wholeness."
"In humility, I am open and receptive to Life."
"I face all of life's conditions with ease and grace."
"I am the perfect delivery system for Love!"
Let's do that again.
And one more time with gusto!
aCharles Fillmore Talks on Truth, p. 97
badapted from Chicken Soup for the Soul, p. 81
dChicken Soup for the Soul, Vol. 1, p. 3
g40 Hadith of an-Nawawi 13
iDennis Merrit Jones Your (Re)Defining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, p. 150
jChicken Soup for the Soul, p. 74