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Sunday Message for May 7, 2023

Seeds Planted in Heaven

There is a book by Deepak Chopra called Jesus, A Story of Enlightenment. It was a truly amazing book. Unlike a lot of the books out there - this one won't be banned by the Catholic Church. In fact, the University President of the Vatican's International Theological Commission wrote in praise of this book.a

I was very impressed with the struggle Jesus goes through in this book. He is not sure he wants to be the Messiah and the light of the world. And it portrays Judas in a new way - probably close to the truth of who he was.

It is the story of the archetypal journey we go through on our way to enlightenment. Each of us came to earth with a purpose in mind. But we have to grow spiritually before we can accomplish that purpose.

We have to grow up enough to realize that God is within us, that God is all. That God within us contains the fulfillment of all our desires. Deepak writes, "When the Lord's Prayer says, "Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory," the words indicate the place where all energy, bliss, and creativity come from." It is all in the kingdom, and the kingdom is within us.

Within us are the most desirable things in life - love, creativity, truth, beauty, and power. These are all planted within, in seed form, waiting to grow once they enter the physical world.

So how do we awaken these seeds? Deepak says that there are 8 elements that come into play. They are Love and enthusiasm, Optimism, Desire to reach a goal, Focused attention, Immunity from distractions, Spontaneous energy, Bursts of fulfillment, and Absence of resistance, both inside and out.

You will find these qualities in anything you pursue passionately that brings accomplishment and a sense of joy whether it is growing the best garden, pursuing a lover, or doing a research project. Every one of these began as a seed in mind.

So let's look at the first attribute. We can get nowhere without Love and Enthusiasm. Without love our plans get off track - for God IS love. And without enthusiasm we soon give up on our plans.

(Ephesians 6:7-8) Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free.b

So open yourself to the possibility that God loves you, that you belong in this world in order to have everything a loving father could give. And if you are not ready to totally accept this concept, at least open up a small gap that love can get through.

Love is more than a feeling that comes and goes. It is a permanent part of your being, beginning at the source. Charles Fillmore says that "inherent in the Mind of Being are twelve fundamental ideas, which in action appear as primal creative forces." One of the twelve attributes of being in man he calls Regenerating Love.c

You are meant to participate in love because you participate in yourself. Appreciate the most beautiful things in your life, whatever they may be, as expressions of love, gifts that come your way through grace.

Charles Fillmore writes, "Our mental states are all constructed under the dynamic power of the great universal impulse that lies back of all action - enthusiasm, or zeal."d To be without zeal is to be without the zest of living. Zeal is the impulse to go forward, the urge behind all things. Energy is zeal in motion, and energy is the forerunner of every effect.

So the first seed in mind we need to awaken is Love and Enthusiasm if we wish to accomplish our goals in life.

Let's look at the second attribute that we need to awaken within us. Optimism: optimism will get us through a lot of the bumps in the road that we might encounter. As long as we remain positive, we will always see the miracle in the gap, when all else looks dark.

(Proverbs 17:22) A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
   But a downcast spirit dries up the bones.e

Be positive in your expectations. You don't have to plaster a fake smile on your face all the time, and you shouldn't be living in a fantasy. Just be aware that at the soul level the seeds of fruition exist in infinite number.

Of course there are bad seeds that we can bring up from the past through our memory. We can remember being hurt and disappointed, and if we remain attached to those bad memories, we will keep repeating them. The past can plant bad seeds and our mind will feed them with fear and anger.

But optimism focuses on the good seeds. So, they are given the encouragement to sprout. This really isn't just positive thinking; it is positive belief in a God that is good. When we face the result of bad seeds, an outcome that is painful or disappointing, we need to just step away from it. And then to focus on the seed of the next situation, which can be a good one.

Unfortunately none of us is perfect at this yet. We all sprout weeds right along with the good plants. However, with an attitude of optimism, you remind yourself to favor the good. That shift in attention will have a powerful influence on what types of situations you draw to you.

The third attribute is a desire to reach a goal. I know that Buddhism teaches to get rid of desire. But there is a positive aspect to desire. You have to want something bad enough to follow through with your plans - you have to desire to reach the goal. But even in Buddhism - wouldn't you have to desire to get rid of your desires?

(Psalms 37:4) Take delight in the Lord,
   and he will give you the desires of your heart.f

Many spiritual people condemn and are suspicious of desire. But desire can work for you on the spiritual path. Charles Fillmore wrote in the book Prosperity, "Desire is the onward impulse of the ever-evolving soul. It builds from within outward and carries its fulfillment with it as a necessary corollary."g

But for desire to work for you it must be focused, and so you need to have a goal in mind. Many people want to be filled with the light of God or the love of God - without directing those qualities. And so, they go flying off in all directions like little butterflies - I'm sure you have seen them.

Because God is just another word for infinite creativity, God is always on the move. Beginnings occur at every moment. So, if you want to be successful spiritually, prepare to be on the move.

(Thessalonians 5:17) instructs us to pray without ceasing.h

Silent, unspoken desire has enormous power, especially the power of intention. Direct your mind to a goal and keep focused, asking for reality to unfold in the most fulfilling way. Then let go and watch what happens.

Giving over even a tiny desire to God allows you to learn that accomplishment doesn't need to depend on ego-driven struggle. For most of us, it's good to stop at least once a day and consciously resist the urge to interfere. Stand back from the situation - it can be anywhere you are feeling resistance and obstacles - and see if higher consciousness can bring a spontaneous solution. Once you've seen this work and achieved success, then doing it again and again becomes effortless and a way of life for you.

The next part of getting to your goal is to have focused attention. A lot of people take the shotgun approach and figure that if they try enough things, finally something will hit the target. But the most direct route to the goal is a straight line, having the focused attention needed to get there.

(Hebrews 12:1-2) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.i

In its own right, without any desire in mind, focused attention is one of the mind's most powerful forces. Metaphorically, the seed is the potential for our ideas to manifest in the world. Focused attention is the fertilizer that makes the seeds of the soul come to life.

Before any piece of matter can manifest in the world - a tree, house, cloud, or mountain range - its atoms exist first as pure potential. This invisible, motionless state then "warms up" into faint vibrations, and those vibrations acquire physicality.

The same is true of the future events in your life. An infinite number of events exist as pure potential. Then from this reservoir a select number of possibilities reaches the seed stage, which is vibrational. They are waiting in the wings to emerge into physicality. That happens when you turn your mind toward a possibility and say, "Yes, I pick you." Therefore, the more focused your attention, the more skilled you can become at activating unseen possibilities.

Next you must have immunity from distractions. There is a story of a woman who decided that today was the day that she would start exercising. After all, she had all the exercise equipment just sitting there. So, she started to go into the room with the equipment but noticed a paper clip on the floor. She stopped to pick it up and headed for her office to put it in the drawer. As she was putting it away, she noticed the bills lying on the desk. One needed to be paid very soon, so she stopped and opened it up. Realizing she would need her checkbook; she took off in search of her purse. As she passed the kitchen she saw the glass she had put in the sink and went to wash it and put it on the drain.

Like I was saying, you must have immunity from distractions if you would reach your goal.

(Matthew 26:41) Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial, the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.j

So a skill that goes along with focused attention is the ability not to be distracted. If you remember the first time you fell in love, you remember this ability being quite natural. Not only did you want to spend every waking thought on your beloved, but outside things also become flat and uninteresting. Avoiding distractions is effortless.

In spiritual matters the chief distraction is ego. The ego is rooted in the physical world and so it wanders everywhere, consumed by fleeting desires. It is pulled this way and that by fear and expectation. It indulges in fantasies and harbors deep-seated resentments.

The ability of the ego to grab your attention can't be overestimated. After all, the physical world is infinite in its diversity; the five senses never cease to bring new grist for the mill. You can't argue the ego out of its incessant demands for attention, pleasure, self-involvement, success, and winning; therefore, fighting back won't succeed.

This is one adversary who must melt away gradually. And what melts it is the higher satisfaction of inner peace, love, calm, and fulfillment, which doesn't need to chase after objects in the physical world. Only transformation quiets the ego and puts it in its place. The best attitude to take while this process unfolds is patience, because gradually, as you experience transformation, the ego will loosen its grip.

Keep in mind that "I, me, and mine" aren't the only ways to view life. You can fulfill yourself by living beyond ego, and in time that will happen.

Then for anyone to fulfill their goal in life, they must have times of spontaneous energy. Times when you just tear through the work that needs to be done joyfully. You find yourself thrilled to be heading in the direction of your goal.

(Colossians 1:29) For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.k

Spirituality isn't about trying. It's about what Buddhists call "nondoing." Jesus taught the same idea when he said that life is not something to worry about.

It says in (Matthew 6:26-29) Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.l

He is telling us that nature unfolds spontaneously. Life flows: it unfolds without struggle. The energy needed comes without effort.

If you remember, as a child you dragged your feet going to the dentist and got exhausted if you had to do chores you hated. But when you played, you had unlimited energy.

Jesus has the latter state in mind. He wants people not to worry and struggle, because those are the worst ways to be in the world. Struggle comes from separation, an inability to let God do what it wants to do.

Therefore, when you feel spontaneous energy - and not until then - undertake the challenges of life. If, instead, you feel dull, exhausted, depleted, stressed, or simply unenthusiastic, stop and replenish yourself.

In this regard the spiritual way of life is also the most practical, because it taps into the source of spontaneous energy. If you have the courage to live the life you love, all the better.

From these times of spontaneous energy you will create bursts of fulfillment. There will be times when you are filled up with the idea of what you have accomplished.

It may be part of the Protestant work ethic to postpone gratification, and Aesop's fable predicts woe for the grasshopper and wealth for the ant. Even so, Jesus held exactly the opposite view.

Life doesn't wait for fulfillment tomorrow. It expresses fulfillment today. In the state of separation this sounds delusional. Therefore, as a reminder that the world's way isn't God's way, resist the urge to control, plan, postpone, and hoard.

All of these activities make time your enemy. God is timeless, and so are you. The timeless waits for nothing. It doesn't resign itself to dullness today in hopes of brightness tomorrow. Every occasion for a burst of satisfaction should be seized. When you see something beautiful, appreciate it. When you feel a loving impulse, say something to the one you love. Be generous each and every time you can. Withhold no good impulse. You may fear that you will run to excess and squander too much, but those feelings are born of fear. In God's reality, the more you give of yourself - in feeling, generosity, self-expression, goodness, creativity, and love - the more you will be given.

But to get to your goal you have to turn it over to God. After all, it was God's idea in the first place. Allow the divine to run the show. To do this you have to create an absence of resistance, both inside and out.

If you are a control freak, this could be a very challenging part of the process. After all, if you let go, it might not get done the way you had planned. Haven't you heard the saying - If you want to make God laugh, make plans.

We need to have an absence of resistance. Because there are those invisible forces that resist God, that deny fulfillment and extinguish love. And no, we don't get to blame the Devil for this.

The truth is that human beings are entangled in the drama of good and bad, light and dark. Opposition fuels creation. But this recognition is very different from feeling obliged to fight the darkness, either within or without.

We are so addicted to struggle, not to mention war and violence, that we don't remember Jesus saying (Matthew 5:39) Resist not evil.m Yet evil itself puts up massive resistance; it is pointless to adopt the same tactic.

The spiritual attitude in all things is to accept and say yes. The seeds of the soul grow in mysterious directions. You can never foretell when a temporary obstacle will lead to future good. Everything happens for a reason, and good or bad, this too shall pass.

And yet pain and distress are not acceptable; being denied what you deeply desire is not an occurrence you should resign yourself to. Therefore, saying yes and offering no resistance cannot be taken as an iron rule. It goes without saying that push does in fact come to shove, and in those situations, people fight, struggle, and practice violence. And when evil is conquered, however temporary the victory, something good has prevailed, perhaps God.

Even so, the higher way is not to offer resistance, to see if a peaceful way can be found. So, Deepak Chopra suggests that we let this be our guide. In any situation, when you find yourself acting in a certain way, observe what's happening and ask yourself three questions:

Do I feel fulfilled and happy acting this way?

Is it easy for me?

Has it brought the right results?

Simple as they sound, these questions encapsulate much of Jesus' teaching. God intends for life to proceed easily; he wants us to experience fulfillment; he intends for the seeds of the soul to flourish as naturally as the grasses of the field.

So acquire the skill of living from the level of the soul, living in the here and now. We constantly need inspired teachers like Jesus. It would be a shame to be shown such sublime truth and not take advantage of it every waking moment.

Let it be your way...

aDeepak Chopra Jesus, A Story of Enlightenment
bEphesians 6:7-8
cCharles Fillmore
dCharles Fillmore
eProverbs 17:22
fPsalms 37:4
gCharles Fillmore Prosperity
hThessalonians 5:17
iHebrews 12:1-2
jMatthew 26:41
kColossians 1:29
lMatthew 6:26-29
mMatthew 5:39

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