THE WISDOM OF BEING
Father/Mother/God we ask that you open us now to the words of the wise. Help us to accept and understand the wisdom that has gone before us and to use it in our lives. Help us to be a healing presence in this world. Be with us in all we do and say. Help us to shine our light so bright that we enlightened the world around us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
This month we are going to look at "Words of the Wise," on several topics: Being - which is today - and throughout the month, which will be Knowing, Healing, Succeeding, and Imagining.
It was an interesting process to look at what the mystical thinkers of the ages had said on these topics and then to see how they might be woven into what Spirit wants to share through me each week. It somewhat reminded me of the story of Tony and his brother Guido. . .
Tony was a member of the mob in Chicago and he died. Now as you might expect Tony was not the nicest guy in the world. In fact, he did some things in this world that we might judge as pretty bad. He stole, he lied, he cheated. All sorts of nefarious stuff.
After Tony made his passing, his brother Guido went to visit the local parish to speak with the priest about Tony's memorial service.
Guido said: "The only thing that will give my heartbroken mother comfort is to hear you say in your eulogy that Tony was a saint. Now, you's and I know that Tony wasn't no saint, but if you say he was, I can promise you protection for you, the nuns and for this parish for the rest of my life. And if you don't, well I can't be responsible for what might happen to you. Father O'Leary, I think this is an offer you simply can't refuse."
Well, Father O'Leary was in quite a state. How could he possibly say Tony was a saint? He was one of the biggest sinners the priest had ever seen. Yet he also knew the trouble that would befall his parish if he didn't comply.
So, he took the matter into prayer and meditation. He spent days in contemplation and finally the answer came to him.
At the service, here is what Father O'Leary said of dearly departed Tony: "Tony may have been a scoundrel, he may have lied, and cheated and stolen, but compared to his brother Guido, Tony was truly a saint."
Actually that priest had a much more difficult time working just one word into his service than I did working in thoughts of our New Thought thinkers!
So this morning we are going to begin with a foundational piece of spiritual wisdom -- the Wisdom of Being.
We have a phrase in Unity to describe us. This phrase has a profound impact on us the first time we hear it -- and then we often forget it! The phrase is: We are Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience.
Think about that for a moment -- Spiritual beings -- that comes first! We were spiritual beings before we entered this earth plane and we will be spiritual beings after it is over.
There was a tourist to India who saw a Yogi in the marketplace just sitting in a Lotus position. The next day he went by and again he saw the same Yogi sitting in the Lotus position, he had not moved. This went on for five days. Always the Yogi was sitting there in the Lotus position same position, same place. So finally, he just had to ask, "What are you doing and why." The Yogi said, "Well in our religion we believe we live many, many lives. I have just decided to sit this one out. "
The human experience is secondary. And the quality of the human experience is directly related to how much we realize that we are Spiritual Beings and how much we come from that place of "Spiritual Beingness."
But how often do we come only from a place of human experience? How many times do we forget the "spiritual being" part? Those are rhetorical questions. You don't have to answer them aloud -- but I invite you to answer them in your heart.
As you think about the course of one of your days -- how much of your attention is placed on your Spiritual Beingness vs. your human experience? Again, a rhetorical question! But my guess is that if you are honest with yourself, you will say that a good deal of the time is spent in the human experience.
And there are often two major components in the human experience -- doing and having! Right? We are always doing something or striving to have something -- or we are doing something in order to have something! Yes?!
The great thinkers of all times have tried to pass on to us the idea of being rather than having or doing.
One such thinker said: "Progress and acquisition is a fine thing, but progress and being is so much more."
Lao Tzu said, "The best way to do is to be."a
The spiritual teacher, Thomas Troward, said: "The highest consciousness is not one of possession, but of being. The greater your consciousness of being, the more automatically will the Law flow from this consciousness into the acquisition of the things you desire."b
So in this human experience, what does it look like to be more involved in the being than in the doing and the having?
On this earth plane, I believe one of our greatest challenges -- or opportunities for growth -- is to: "Be in this world but not of it . . . " to use the words of one of the wisest teachers, Jesus.
In Unity, we teach the law of cause and effect. Cause produces an affect. Focusing on our beingness takes us to cause! First cause is God, the Life back of all things.
H Emilie Cady wrote: "We are one with God because He created us out of Himself."c
Scripture puts it this way, "One God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all."d
So we are not one in or with God, but we are one of God. When we focus on our beingness -- we return to that Truth! When we focus on our beingness, we experience being one of God!
When we are so busy doing and getting, we can lose sight of that. We can fail to see and experience who we really are!
There is a story about an old mountain man who wandered into a country store and saw something he had never seen before -- it was a mirror. He picked it up and looked into it and said, "Why that's the spitting image of my Uncle Zeke!" He was so fascinated by this discovery that he bought the mirror and took it home.
But, because his wife's family was feuding with Uncle Zeke at the time, he decided he better hide the mirror under some hay in the barn.
From time to time, he stole out to the barn to take a look at his Uncle Zeke. After some time had passed, his wife became very suspicious of his regular trips to the barn, so she investigated.
She came across the mirror, looked into it and said, "Ah, ha! So that's the woman he's been seeing!"
The mountain man and his wife looked in the mirror but didn't know who they were. Just like them, quite often, we see an image of ourselves, but we don't know ourselves. At least we don't know our true selves - our true Spiritual beingness.
The greatest lesson in life is in understanding our true Spiritual self, our beingness.
"With all they getting, get understanding."e
Whatever we have in this world, we have it by right of consciousness.
New Thought minister Noel McGinnis states: "We don't get what we pray for, we get what we pray from!"f
So what are we praying from? Are we praying from a consciousness of lack -- I need to have this or that? Are we praying to change the outer conditions of our lives -- which are the effects?
Or do our prayers focus on cause -- on our expressing and being one OF God! Remember the words of Thomas Troward: "The highest consciousness is not one of possession, but of being. The greater your consciousness of being, the more automatically will the Law flow from this consciousness into the acquisition of the things you desire."g
I am the first to admit that it is not always easy to be peace when we see turmoil and strife about us.
It is not a simple thing to be love in the midst of hate.
And it may challenge us to be joy when we are surrounded by sadness, but this is exactly what we must do.
Because health springs from a beingness of peace since in peace there is a sense of ease, not of dis-ease.
Abundance and success grow from a beingness of love, joy, and power.
If you want a home, cultivate a beingness of security and joy and beauty, which are the qualities of a good home.
You see, instead of doing and working for something by itself, let us focus on the state of being from which the desired things may evolve.
Remember that the things you desire and to which you have a divine right come FROM you, not TO you. They come from the divine flow which is within you.
So, let us put our focus on the qualities of Spiritual Beingness -- life, love, light, power, peace, joy and beauty. Commit yourself to a new way of turning from simply having and doing to being, from the idea of getting things to the idea of building a consciousness of knowing ourselves in the flow of the infinite process.
Whenever you get yourself out of the way and find your innate oneness with God, you will, as Thoreau said, "Live with the license of a higher order of being."h Few people realize this truth - but that is what the wise of old have told us since the beginning of time.
I would like to close with a prayer to use each time you put on your mask:
Mother/Father/God, as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament in the wearing of this cloth -
let it be "an outward sign of an inward grace" -
a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbors,
as I love myself.
Since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled, help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words, but with my actions.
As the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully - and full of care - to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds, be filled with your love.
In your Name and in that love,
And so it is
aLao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. Reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.
bThomas Troward, (1847-1916) English author whose works influenced the New Thought Movement and mystic Christianity.
cH Emilie Cady How I Used Truth
hHenry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862) American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist.