This month we are exploring a BIG, BIG topic - Global Transformation! This month we are looking at that idea that each of us has an opportunity . . .
. . . to be an AGENT for GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION.
. . . to be the FIRST DOMINO in a chain reaction for good.
. . . to be a BENEFICIAL PRESENCE in the world.
. . . to be a LIVING REMEDY ON PLANET EARTH.
In our first week on this topic, I posed two BIG questions in the context of this monthly theme, citing the answering machine message on physicist and spiritual teacher Peter Russell's telephone. Remember the message? It said: "This is not an answering machine. It's a questioning machine. Who are you and what do you want?"
After a brief pause, the message continued: "In case you think these are trivial questions, most people come to earth and leave it again without ever answering either one."a
Today, our focus is going to continue to be on the first question "who are you?" If you remember, we have said that the answer to the question "who are you?" is grounded on the assumption that you are God in Expression and then asks "who are you?" AS God in expression in the world . . .
. . . as an AGENT for GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION
. . . as the FIRST DOMINO in a chain reaction for good.
. . . as a BENEFICIAL PRESENCE in the world.
. . . as a LIVING REMEDY ON PLANET EARTH.
Who are you? The REAL you? Let me tell you -- the world is served to the fullest when you are living from your Authentic Self, your Real Self. So, the question this morning is . . .Are you ready to get real and to be real?
Well, are you?! OK, then, hold onto your hats, because here we go.
We are going to do two things: briefly explore 4 stages of spiritual evolution, and then have an experience.
First, to set the tone, a little humor in a poem entitled . . .
"I'm Just Fine" by Rev. Jim Mayfield . . .
"I'm outstanding and enterprising, - Magnificent and alive.
Grandiose, and really thriving - And determined to survive.
I'm overcome with admiration - Of how great and grand I am.
I'm here for the duration. - I'm as sweet as Grandma's jam.
I'm changing every single hour - Of every single waking day
I'm superb, and filled with power - And I'm in this world to stay.
So when you ask me how I'm feeling - I'm very proud to fill you in.
My head is absolutely reeling - I hardly know where to begin.
If you think I'm ego driven - cause I love myself this way
I just know that God has given you -- for me to love this day."b
There are four stages of spiritual evolution according to Rev. Pankaj Sharma,.
"They are the stages of: Mortal - Metaphysician -- Mystic - Master."c
Like an expanding circle. Mortal is the smallest one in the middle; then metaphysician; then mystic; then the outer ring is master. The more we expand out, the greater the agent for change we have the opportunity to be.
At this stage, life is a real struggle. You feel separate, alone. You feel powerless, a victim of circumstances and all you can see is how life failed you. When the boss yells, the stock market falls, the dinner burns, the feeling is always that these injustices are being done TO you. When we are in the stage of the "Mortal," we believe that we are the way we are, in the circumstances we find ourselves in, every relationship, every failure is because of what life has done TO US.
When we encounter challenges, problems, pain, we look outward. And we spend a lot of time in Crises Consciousness (as opposed to Christ Consciousness, which, of course occurs at a more expanded level).
Are you are letting someone, something, some circumstance, affect your sense of well being? Here's a way to tell. Remember the 21-day no complaining challenge you got last year. How'd you do? So if you are still in the complaining mode, my friend, I'm here to tell you that you are in the mortal mode.
We think "venting" is healthy - it really isn't. It just perpetuates the problem and gets you all energized and emotionally charged about it!
When you complain about a spouse, a child, a parent, a co-worker, a boss, an employee, your church, someone in your church, your government, a politician, the weather, the economy, etc., etc. (you get the picture!), you are in the mortal, the victim, the powerless mode. And how in the world are you going to be a LIVING REMEDY ON PLANET EARTH when you are showing up like this. You aren't! In fact, at this stage, you are being part of the problem.
Remember Ernest Holmes' words from our first week on this topic - "Let's be for something and against nothing."d When you are complaining, you are definitely not in the "for something mode" and in that mode we cannot be . . .
. . . an AGENT for global transformation,
. . . a DOMINO for good,
. . . a BENEFICIAL PRESENCE or
. . . a LIVING REMEDY on planet earth.
It just can't happen. So, how about if you used your complaining as a monitoring devise, helping you realize when you are playing at this constricted level of consciousness?
This is a very, very cool and important stage - but it's only stage 2 - there are 2 additional ones. Some of us may tend to get stuck here.
This stage is very empowering from being in the mortal stage, because here we learn about our co-creative abilities. The movie The Secret is all about the stage of the metaphysician.
We realize we have responsibility for our own lives, for our experiences. We begin to learn and use the Law of Mind as a way to demonstrate the better life: material good, health, relationships, career, etc.
Unity has done a wonderful job of teaching this, and it is an important step in our spiritual evolution. But there is a danger with staying at this level because we may think we have to do it all ourselves. We don't dare relax, for the only person who can make things happen is you. You try to control or manipulate life to your liking and you might have a tendency to PUSH.
There's the story of a women warming up before her morning jog - she stood a few feet from a large oak tree, placed both hands on it and pushed against it to stretch her calf muscles. She was in the midst of this standard runner's ritual when a young man passed by. He stopped, turned, and shook his head. "You'll be there forever doing it that way," he said. "Use a saw."
That's how we can be when we are being the METAPHYSICIAN. More powerful than the MORTAL but a lot of work - and not a lot of room for God or sacred service to humanity!
We also can get into the trap of developing a false sense of pride, egocentric attitudes and a narrow focus on manifesting only in the external, material realm.
We have a misperception that a mystic is the robed guru who sits cross-legged atop a mountain and Om's all day. Not so!
Ernest Holmes: "The mystic is one who senses the Divine Presence."e
The mystic FEELS God's presence. Perhaps not all the time - but certainly has extreme moments of feeling it. The mystical stage of our evolution of consciousness is a place where we surrender more and more to the Divine; where we desire to simply be an open vessel for God. It is the mystic who sings: "Use me, Oh, God, I stand for you and here I'll abide as you show me all that I must do."
Of, course as you can see, at this stage of evolution, we begin to become true beneficial presences in the world.
To move from the metaphysican to the mystic, Joel Goldsmith (paraphrased) suggests that we: ". . .not pray to God for things, but that we pray to know God."f
We have to get out of the busy mode of the METAPHYSICIAN to court the Presence.
While the stage of the mystic is very, very powerful, there is yet another, and that is:
The Christ, the Buddha. Combination of the metaphysician and the mystic. Jesus our primary example - Master teacher! An absolute union with the Divine. No separation. No division.
Let me give you the whole Joel Goldsmith quote that I previously paraphrased: "Do not pray to God for things; pray to know God and all the things will simply appear."g
When a Master sees lack, he/she knows it's just a place for calling forth more of God in expression. It's just an opportunity to experience more of God.
This is how Jesus could turn water into wine; feed the thousands; heal the sick and raise the dead. When he was faced with lack or limitation, he saw an opportunity to experience more of God and he, of course, said "It is the Father within that doeth the work."h
The Master is also one who calls out the best from others! Who sees the best in others.
This is living in a state of union rather than a state of separation. This unity interconnects all of life, so we approach all life with an attitude of reverence and gratitude.
Conclusion and Experiential
So, Mortal - Metaphysician -- Mystic - Master. Just take a moment to assess - get real - about where you are. Not to instill guilt, but because it's important to know where you are so you can see where to go!
While having an intellectual understanding of these stages is important, it's more important to have an experience of the expanded stages, which is what we are going to create for just a few moments now.
You can't move into a mystical experience by talking about it! But through breath (Breath = Spirit!) and the vibration of sound you can.
So, if you're willing to go with us, here we go . . .
Feet flat on the ground; sit back; begin with an OM.
Slightly open mouth, relax the jaw, hand on the belly (diaphragm), breath in and out through the mouth feeling your belly expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale.
Try to move into a connected breath - meaning no pauses at the end of the in breath or the out breath. Just one continuous flow of breathing.
Feel each breath as an ocean wave through you. Cleansing you; washing away all thoughts of victimhood and powerlessness; washing away old hurts and wounds; bringing wholeness where there was fragmentation; energy where there was weakness; love where there was hate.
As you are cleansed, begin to feel a power inside of you. This is your connection to Source. Your connection to a power that is greater than you are; greater than the world is; a power that will direct and guide you every step of the way; nourish you; provide for you; protect you.
Continue breathing in this connected way - anchoring Spirit in your body! Experience the AUTHENTIC you!
Now see a light inside of you moving from your core, radiating throughout your body and beyond, mixing with the light coming from the core of everyone in this room, swirling around in a healing, uplifting energy out in the world. . . . .
Begin to breath normally now, let go of connected breathing; move to a deeper place of stillness and simply feel your connection to Source. . . . . AMEN
bI'm Just Fine Rev. Jim Mayfield
cRev. Pankaj Sharma