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Sunday Message for January 5, 2020

AWAKENING TO THE TRUE SELF

It's a new month! More than that, it's a new year! We love, bless and release 2019, and move forward into 2020 with excitement and anticipation for a year of spiritual deepening and greater joy. Is everyone up for that!?

This new month of this new year, we are going to explore some ideas to lay the foundation to create such an experience for us all. That foundation is built on four Spiritual Truths which are at the core of all New Thought teachings. They are:

     Truth 1: We are Divine, Spiritual Beings: We believe the Scriptures that say:
     We are made in the image and likeness of God;a
     God is nearer than our hands and feet; closer than our breath;b
     The Father and I are one;c
     Know you not that ye are gods?d. . .
. . . and we believe that at any moment, any moment!, we can AWAKEN to our own Divinity.

     Truth 2: God is ALWAYS present in our lives, because everything is God - God is the creator, the creative process and the creation of all that is. There is nothing that is not God - or said another way, it is ALL GOD . . .
. . . and in the blink of an eye, we can become AWARE of this Presence.

     Truth 3: God's Power of creation is constantly at work through a creative process we call "The Law." This creative process works through us and in us constantly . . .
. . . and with each breath, we can become AVAILABLE to work in harmony with it.

And finally,

     Truth 4: God is good all the time - 24/7 - and God's infinite goodness is available to us in abundant form, simply because of who we are. We are heirs to the kingdom of God . . .
. . . and in a heartbeat, we can ALIGN ourselves with this Infinite Good!

Becoming and STAYING AWAKE, AWARE, AVAILABLE and ALIGNED to these Truths is the key to living -- to living an empowered, connected, on-purpose, dreams-come-true, God-filled life!

Today we will explore the concept of AWAKENING to our true self. Director, producer, and screenwriter, Sidney Lumet writes: "All good work requires self-revelation."e

In Eckhart Tolle's, book, A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, he focuses on moving out of the ego and into a place of awakened consciousness. In other words, he discusses the revelation of the self to the self. In the book, he writes: "A significant portion of the earth's population will soon recognize, if they haven't already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: evolve or die. A still relatively small but rapidly growing percentage of humanity is already experiencing within themselves the breakup of the old egoic mind patterns and the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness."f

My intention is to add us -- to the extent we aren't already there -- to the "growing percentage of humanity that is breaking up the old egoic mind patterns and experiencing the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness." In other words, it is my intention this month to add us to the growing percent of humanity that is revealing the self to the self.

It takes individuals emerging into a new dimension of consciousness to be agents for positive change, doesn't it? To be a beneficial presence on planet earth, you need to know who you are and to express it fully, yes?

And according to Tolle, we can't "recognize the unity of the individual, with the Spirit back of it, in and through all" when we are in a state of egoism.

So, this morning we are going to see where we are in that regard. Are we hanging out in a state of egoism or are we in the recognition of the unity of all, realizing that above, behind, around and through all is Spirit?

You know, it's important to know where you are in order to get to where you want to go. And you also know that I like to make our time together as personal and as relevant to you as possible. So this morning we are going to take a little self-assessment to see where we stand.

I hope you won't feel like the little old lady in the country church who enthusiastically said "amen" to the preacher's rantings and ravings as he castigated all the various forms of sin -- like drinking, thieving, lying, cheating. But then he went on a rampage against pipe-smoking. Being a pipe-smoker herself, she said, "Well, there now, he's stopped preachin' and he's started meddlin!'"

First, we need to define ego. What is the ego exactly? Depends on whom you ask.

According to Sigmund Freud, the ego is: "the conscious aspect of the psyche that chooses between the base instincts of the id and the morality of the superego."g

Wayne Dyer, in his book Your Sacred Self, says: ". . . ego is simply a wrong mindedness that attempts to present you as you would like to be rather than as you are."h

In every day thinking, we think of someone with an ego as someone who is boastful, arrogant, self-centered and generally obnoxious.

In spiritual circles, we have an acronym for ego - Edging God Out.

So we have all sorts of ways to define and look at the word ego.

But today, we are going to use Tolle's definition, which is quite simple. He writes in A New Earth: "Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms."i So that is the definition of ego that we are going to work from today. "Identification with form, primarily thought forms."

Our mission this morning is to take a closer look at the ego and see how it presents itself in our daily lives and then to see what we can do to more fully awaken and reveal the Real Self, the True Self, the God Self, the "individual that is united with all." Ready?

EGO SELF ASSESSMENT

I want to share with you briefly three ways in which our ego - our identification with form - can keep us unconscious and disconnected with our True Self. This is the Self Assessment portion of our program. Then we will look at some remedies.

Ego Self Assessment Feeling superior or inferior to others.

When we are identifying with form, we want to believe in the illusion that we are special and therefore separated from everyone else. This can come out in two seemingly opposite ways depending upon where we are at any given moment.

Sometimes we feel as if we are superior to others. Such as . . .

, , , the pompous colonel who had just been promoted and moved into a new, more plush office. He was sitting at his desk when a private knocked on the door. Conscious of his new position, the colonel told the private to enter, then quickly picked up the phone and said,

"Yes, General, I'll be seeing the brigadier this afternoon, and I'll pass along your message. In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir. Please say hello to your wife and children for me."

Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young enlisted man, he asked, "Now what do you want?"

"Nothing important, sir," said the private. "I just came in to hook up your phone."

Other times, ego causes us to feel inferior. This story (sorry, not a joke!) is told by Tolle in A New Earth: "Kazan, a Zen teacher and monk, was to officiate at a funeral of a famous nobleman. As he stood there waiting for the governor of the province and the other lords and ladies to arrive, he noticed that the palms of his hands were sweaty. The next day he called his disciples together and confessed he was not yet ready to be a true teacher. He explained to them that he still lacked the sameness of bearing before all human beings, whether beggar or king. He was still unable to look through social roles and conceptual identities and see the sameness of being in every human, including himself. He then left and became the pupil of another master. He returned to his former disciples eight years later, awakened."j

Either way, whether we are feeling superior or inferior, the ego is at work trying to make us special and keep us separate.

So the self-assessment question for you this morning is - how often do you find yourself feeling superior or inferior to others?

For the moment, just notice. Notice without self-judgment. Notice without beating yourself up. Notice without making yourself wrong. Just notice.


We'll talk about what to do after you notice in just a few moments. For now, the second way we can tell if we are identifying with form, being asleep to who we really are, living from the egoic state is.

MAKING YOURSELF RIGHT AND OTHERS WRONG
Making yourself right and others wrong

According to Tolle, this is one of the principle egoic mind patterns -- one of the main forms of unconsciousness.

There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right. Being right is identification with a mental position - a perspective, an opinion, a judgment, a story. For you to be right, of course, you need someone else to be wrong and so the ego loves to make wrong in order to be right.

In other words: You need to make others wrong in order to get a stronger sense of who you are. Not only a person, but also a situation can be made wrong through complaining and reactivity, which always implies that "this should not be happening."

Being right places you in a position of imagined moral superiority in relation to the person or situation that is being judged and found wanting. It is that sense of superiority that ego craves and through which it enhances itself.

Facts undoubtedly exist. If you say, "Light travels faster than sound," and someone else says the opposite is the case, you are obviously right and he is wrong. The simple observation that lightning precedes thunder could confirm this. So not only are you right, but you know you are right. Is there ego involved in this? Not necessarily, but possibly.

If you are simply stating what you know to be true, the ego is not involved at all. But if you find yourself saying, "Believe me, I know" or "Why do you never believe me?" then the ego has already crept in. It is hiding in the little word "me." A simple statement "light is faster than sound," although true is now in the service of ego. Ego takes everything personally. Emotions arise, defensiveness, perhaps even aggression.

Are you defending the truth? The truth needs no defending! The light or sound does not care about what you or anybody else thinks. You are defending yourself!

So the second self-assessment question for you this morning is - how often do you find yourself needing to be right and making someone else or a situation wrong?

For the moment, just notice. Notice without self-judgment. Notice without beating yourself up. Notice without making yourself wrong. Just notice.


LYING
Lying

Scripture says: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."k We could also say "Ye shall tell the truth and the truth shall set you free."

Moving from deception to truth is a powerful way to take the ego out of the driver's seat and to put your Awakened Self at the helm.

You might say, OK I'm good on this one - I'm a person of honesty and integrity. I don't lie. Well that's wonderful. Now, I have a few questions for reflection:

Have you ever . . .
. . . Exaggerated your accomplishments?
Making the achievement a little more spectacular than it was.

Have you ever . . .
. . . Made a task sound more difficult than it really was?
If the task were really difficult, your value would be increased, wouldn't it?

Have you ever . . .
. . . Overstated the gravity of a situation to garner sympathy or get an advantage?

How about . . .
. . . Misstating the facts in order to save face or stay in the good graces of someone?

Stuart Wilde in The Whispering Winds of Change: "Over the years, as your spiritual energy grows, lies go from a part of everyday life to unfortunate necessities, to uncomfortable experiences to extremely painful burdens that you will do anything to be rid of. If you have taken to the spiritual path, you will know what I mean . . . Transcendence is partly the process of moving from the phony to the real."l

So one more time, how often do you find yourself telling little white lies or exaggerations to look better in someone's eyes or to gain an advantage?

For the moment, just notice. Notice without self-judgment. Notice without beating yourself up. Notice without making yourself wrong. Just notice.


HOW TO WAKE UP - TO REVEAL THE SELF TO THE SELF
How to Wake Up - to Reveal the Self to the Self

Noticing is the first step to waking up

Noticing, as we have been doing this morning, without judgment. When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it. Don't take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh.

Remember who you are

You are not this circumstance. You are not even this interaction. You are not any of the things we get ourselves so attached to. No, you transcend all of that. You, the Real You, the True You, are pure Spirit, One with All, Part of the Complete Whole. God lives and moves and has Its Being in and as YOU!

Make friends with the present moment

The present moment is inseparable from life, so you are really deciding what kind of relationship you want to have with life.

Once you decide you want the present moment to be your friend, it is up to you to make the first move: become friendly toward it, welcome it no matter in which disguise it comes.

This decision will change your entire reality. But it is one decision you must make again and again and again - until it becomes natural to live in such a way. The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego.

And finally, which is what we are going to end with this morning - - -

Pray every day for an expansion of consciousness out of the egoic mind and into the Awakened Self.



aGenesis 1:26
bAlfred Lord Tennyson
cJohn 10:30
dJohn 10:34
eSidney Lumet
fEckhart Tolle A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose p. 21
gSigmund Freud
hWayne Dyer Your Sacred Self
iEckhart Tolle A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose p. 22
jEckhart Tolle A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose p. 94
kJohn 8:32
lStuart Wilde The Whispering Winds of Change



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