ARE YOU OPEN AT THE TOP TO FULLY LIVE?
One day the elderly priest, called the eager, fresh-faced, wide-eyed enthusiastic, young priest into his office and said, "Son, I want to talk to you about some of the new ideas you have implemented around here. First, I want you to know that I think it was a great idea to replace the first few rows of hard, wooden pews with plush theatre seats. It worked; now the front of the church fills first."
The young priest nodded with appreciation for the acknowledgement and with just a bit of pride.
"And," the old priest continued, "you told me more upbeat music would bring young people back to church, so I supported you when you brought in that rock 'n roll gospel choir. Once, again, you were right -- we are packed to the balcony."
Again feeling pretty filled with himself, the young priest said, "Thank you, Father. I am pleased you are open to new ideas and better ways to do things."
"Well, to a point, I am", said the elderly priest, "But, I'm afraid you've gone too far with the drive-through Confessional."
"But Father!" protested the young priest. "My confessions have nearly doubled since I began that!"
"I know son," replied the old man. "But that flashing neon sign, 'Toot 'n Tell or Go to Hell', just cannot stay on the church roof."
Today we are going to explore being open [Mervyn's: Open, open, open] -
open to new ideas, new possibilities, new understanding AND
open to allowing the infinite, magnificent power of God, Spirit, Divine Intelligence, Life (whatever you want to call it) to flow through you -- as you -- by listening with your inner ear to your most perfect internal song.
In fact, to coin a phrase that has been attributed to New Thought philosopher Ernest Holmes, today we are going to explore being "open at the top to fully live."
So, this morning's question -- "Are you open at the top to Fully Live?" begins a new monthly series for us based on Wayne Dyer's powerful book Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace.
Now, this booka, which was published several years before the movie The Secret came out, and its ten secrets aren't really very secret, but they are wonderful keys to full and rich living. And, of course, they are grounded in New Thought/Ancient Wisdom Principles OR Universal Spiritual Principles, whatever you want to call them -- principles that have been taught by the mystics, masters, prophets and sages of the ages, and which were espoused by the mothers and fathers of New Thought such as Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and Ernest Holmes, and now being preached not only in NT centers but in fundamental Christian churches such as the Crystal Cathedral in California!
So, in his book - 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace - Dyer puts his own unique spin on these ancient Truths.
Today we explore the first two "secrets" contained in the first two chapters:
Have a Mind that is Open and
Don't Die with Your Music (your Song!) Still in You!
1. Have a Mind that Is Open
1. Have a Mind that Is Open
So, how open at the top are you? Well, the fact that you are here in a New Thought center suggests that in terms of your spirituality, you are somewhat open, but how open are you REALLY to new ideas, new possibilities, and new understandings?
Take a good look - are you an inside or outside the box thinker? Secret No. 1 says you must open up some - open up the box and think outside of it!
Dyer suggests that our upbringing, our conditioning has all helped to pigeon hole us. The term "Pigeon hole" goes back to the nesting boxes in which pigeons were kept - each having its own little hole - then it became a sorting system - of shelves divided up into little boxes where mail etc. was stored.
When we are pigeon holed, where's the room for growth, for success, for creating inner and outer peace?! When we're pigeon holed, this is what happens . . .
The Little Boy
by Helen E. Buckley
Once a little boy went to school. When the little boy had been in school a while, the teacher said: "Today we are going to make a picture."
"Good!" thought the little boy. "I like to make pictures."
He could make all kinds -- Lions and tigers, chickens and cows, trains and boats. And he took out his box of crayons and began to draw.
But the teacher said: "Wait! It is not time to begin!"
And she waited until everyone looked ready. "Now, we are going to make flowers."
The little boy thought "Good! I love to make flowers." And he began to make a beautiful flower -- with his pink and orange and blue crayons.
But the teacher said: "Wait! And I will show you how."
And she drew a red flower with a green stem. "There, now you may begin."
The little boy looked at the teacher's flower. Then he looked at his own flower. He liked his flower better than the teacher's. But he did not say this. He just turned his paper over and made a flower like the teacher's. It was red, with a green stem.
On another day, when the little boy had opened the door from the outside all by himself, the teacher said, "Today, we are going to make something with clay."
"Good! I like clay" thought the little boy. He could make all kinds of things with clay. Snakes and snowmen, elephants and mice, cars and trucks, and he began to pull and pinch his ball of clay.
But the teacher said . . . "Wait! It is not time to begin!" And she waited until everyone looked ready. "Now, we are going to make a dish."
He liked to make dishes. And he began to make a dish that was the most unusual and interesting shape.
But the teacher said . . . "Wait! And I will show you how." And she showed everyone how to make a deep dish and said "There, now you may begin."
The little boy looked at the teacher's dish, then he looked at his own. He liked his dish better than the teacher's. But he did not say this. He just rolled his clay into a big ball again and made a dish like the teacher's. It was a deep dish.
And pretty soon the little boy learned to wait, and to watch, and to make things just like the teacher. And soon, he didn't make things of his own anymore.
Then it happened that the little boy and his family moved to another house, in another city and the little boy had to go to another school. And the very first day he was there, the teacher said . . .
Today we are going to make a picture.
"Good!" thought the little boy, and he waited for the teacher to tell him what to do. But the teacher didn't say anything. She just walked around the room. When she came to the little boy she said:
Don't you want to make a picture?
"Oh, yes," he said, "What are we going to make?"
"I don't know until you make it," said the teacher.
"How shall I make it?" asked the Little Boy.
"Why, anyway you like."
"And any color?"
"Any color. If everyone made the same picture, and used the same colors, how would I know who made what and which was which?"
"I don't know," said the little boy, and he began to make a red flower with a green stem.
This is most definitely NOT a condemnation of teachers -- but an example of how we get pigeonholed!
Just think about our world 200 years ago: no electricity - no telephones - no fax machines - no airplanes -- no space travel - no cellular phones (maybe that was a good thing!!) - no computers - no Internet. All of these things came into being because someone refused to be pigeon holed and thought outside the box, allowing limitless possibilities to unfold!
A Computer Poem for People Over 40
A computer was something on TV
From a science fiction show of note
A window was something you hated to clean
And ram was the cousin of a goat.
An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano.
Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account
And if you had a 3-inch floppy
You hoped nobody found out.
Log on was adding wood to the fire
Hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to your commode.
Cut you did with a pocketknife
Paste you did with glue
A web was a spider's home
And a virus was the flu.
Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.
Remember that progress would be impossible if we always did things the way we always have. "If you keep doing what you've always been doing, then you'll keep getting what you've always been getting."
When you open your mind to limitless possibilities - miracles happen. Refuse to have low expectations for yourself.
Michelangelo once suggested that the greater danger is not that we set our expectations too high and don't reach them - but that we set them too low - and we do!
The Scriptures tell us that "With God - all things are possible"b so what does that leave out? It doesn't say "Some things are possible - all things are possible -
Think of one of the secret desires of your heart? To write a book - to sing - to travel the world studying and learning?
So you say you are too old! - How old will you be if you don't do it?
You can't afford it? Can you afford what you're doing now? What could change so you could afford it?
What will people think? What are they thinking now? Why do you care?
A mind that is open visualizes itself as being capable of doing anything -- anything that it can conceive of in heart and mind.
Any Universal law that has ever been utilized to manifest a miracle - anywhere - is still on the books - no Universal laws have been repealed - and they never will!
The Universal laws that Jesus used to create miracles are still with us - did he not say - "Greater things than this will ye do also?"c and he wasn't talking only to the disciples.
You possess within you that same God-consciousness and energy to manifest miracles - but only if you truly believe and know it within yourself. Understand that what you think about expands. As a man thinketh, so he is.
If you are operating inside a little box, you will of necessity act upon those closed-minded thoughts, and you'll see evidence of your thinking virtually everywhere you are.
On the other hand, should you decide -- and make no mistake about this, it is a choice -- to have a mind that's open, that thinks outside the box, then you'll act upon that inner energy, and you'll be the creator as well as the recipient of miracles wherever you are. You will experience what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote:
"To me, every cubic inch of space is a miracle."d
Ernest Holmes wrote in the Science of Mind:
"I know I am now at the threshold of all good, wisdom and Truth. I have only to open the portals of my mind and accept that which is ready to express through me."e
2. Don't Die With Your Music
2. Don't Die With Your Music
To introduce Secret Two, I want to share with you a story that is often told by author Alan Cohen:
There is a certain tribe in Africa that believes that every soul has its own vibration, its own harmony, in fact its own song, which expresses its unique flavor and purpose.
So, when a woman in the tribe becomes pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray, and they meditate until they hear the song of the child. And when they all attune to it, they begin to sing it out loud.
Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else. When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child's song to him or her.
Later, when the child enters education, the villagers gather and chant the child's song.
When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing.
At the time of marriage, the community again sings this unique song.
And at any significant transition in the person's life, the village sings his or her song.
Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person's bed, just as they did at the birth, and they sing the person into the next life.
There is one other occasion upon which the villagers gather to sing the person's song to him/her. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the person is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then all the villagers sing their song to them once again. You see, the tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity.
Cohen then writes:
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn't. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at times, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you'll find your way home.f
The second Secret for Success and Inner Peace relates to this inner song, this inner vibration, this inner harmony that is uniquely yours. Dyer entitles the secret: Don't Die with Your Music (your Song!) Still in You!
We all have a song to sing -- what is yours? Many, many people spend a lot of time trying to "figure out" what their song is. Trying to figure it out with their head (left brain).
ACTIVITY: Take your forefinger and point to yourself. Notice where you are pointing. Are you pointing to your brain? No - you are pointing to your heart - because that is who you are. The constant beating of your heart is part of that rhythmic movement of the Universe - that perfectly orchestrated harmony - that is the heartbeat of God.
Kahlil Gibran said:
"When you are born - your work (your song) is placed in your heart."g
So what is your work? What is your song? Just listen to the urges of your heart to know.
This world in which we live is part of an incredible system of intelligence - in which every moving part coordinates with every other moving part. All the galaxies move in harmony and in rhythm with each other.
There's a Universal life system in which everything, EVERYTHING is supported and balanced - we call this Universal Life System God. You - I - are each one of those moving parts - we showed up here in this particular body we inhabit - and we showed up precisely on time.
Since everything is so delicately and precisely balanced throughout this entire system - we must have shown up here and NOW for a reason.
And that reason is to sing your song -- make your music!
Ernest Holmes in the original Science Of Mind textbook:
"Back of all manifestation must be the desire to create, the urge to express; this is called the "Divine Urge.""h
You'll find your passion, your song in what inspires you the most. And what does inspire mean? It derives from the words "in spirit." When you're inspired, you never have to ask about your purpose. You're living it. What is your passion? What stirs in your soul and makes you feel like you're totally in harmony with why you showed up here in the first place?
"Know this for certain: Whatever it may be, you can make a living doing it and simultaneously provide a service for others. I guarantee it!"i
You'll most likely know when you're off purpose because of your thoughts and feelings of frustration. We call that "Divine Discontent."
Divine Discontent is your soul's song trying to get your attention. It's your music trying to be set free. And here's some information you might not want to hear:
If gentle discontent doesn't get your attention, then the attempts to gain it will get louder. They may sound like, oh let's say, an ulcer, or a fire to burn up your residence, or being fired from a job, or being brought to your knees in an accident. Usually these accidents, illnesses and forms of "bad luck" get your attention! But not always.
Some people end up like a Tolstoy character who anguished on his deathbed, "What if my whole life has been wrong?"j
The only thing that will keep you from playing the music you hear and marching to the unique drumbeat you experience within, is -- fear!
A Course in Miracles tells us that there are only two basic emotions - one is fear and the other is love.k
We may fear the unknown - hesitant to take risks - or fear the disapproval of others - or even the disbelief of others - that "Who does he/she think he/she is?"
I'm quite sure I'm not alone in this one - there are others whose talent or passion has been short-circuited by the need to be perfect - so much so - that that need paralyzes us.
Most of us who have experienced the need to be perfectionists - are that way because we are so wary of the critics and appraisers.
Well - I have good news for all of you - including myself! - There is only one person in this entire Universe who can express that talent - that heart-song - in that unique way - and that one is you.
Nobody else can fulfill the role of artist - or musician - or poet - or organizer - or producer - or song-writer - or horse trainer - or grant-writer - in exactly the same way - The only way God can experience It's earth-song sung the way you sing it - is through you.
So if you don't sing it - it'll remain a silent song - a song unsung!
One of our biggest fears is of failure - Surprise! Failure is an illusion. No one ever fails at anything - everything we do produces a result - if you drop a ball that is thrown to you - you haven't failed at ball - catching - you've produced a result -- a dropped ball. Do you leave, and moan about being a failure at catching or do you say, "Throw it again" and ultimately, you're catching the ball just about every time.
According to prosperity guru Edwene Gaines, there is only one word to say when we "fail." It's the same word we use when a child is learning to walk and takes a spill: "Oops."l
Failure is just a judgment - an opinion - and it stems from fear - and the antidote for fear - is love.
Love for yourself - love for your talent or passion - love for others and the world.
When you're filled with love - there's no place for fear. "Fear knocked on the door - Love answered - and no one was there."
The music you hear inside you - urging you to take risks - and to follow your dreams - is your intuitive connection to the song placed in your heart before your birth.
Follow your right brain - listen to how you feel - weave your own unique magical dreams - You won't have to fear anything or anyone, and you'll never experience that terror of lying on your deathbed someday saying "What if my whole life has been wrong?"
This isn't about age - or station in life - this is about you - being your authentic self - expressing as the God-being you are.
What is yours today? What is your heart urging you to do, to express? We are here to support and nurture that.
Take a micro movement toward it this week!
So this morning, my friends, take heed:
Be open at the top to greater and greater and even greater possibilities for your life by thinking outside the box AND
Make today be the day you connect with your heart song, with your music, with your song!
I will leave you with the words of Mother Teresa - an out of the box thinker who sang her own song:
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, Live it with everything you have in you.
Life is a song, sing it.
aWayne Dyer Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace
eErnest Holmes Science of Mind p. 293
hErnest Holmes Science of Mind p. 299
iWayne Dyer Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace
kA Course in Miracles