Who We Are, What We Believe
Spirit Expressing is a spiritual community devoted to celebrating and exploring together the creative process that allows us to dissolve resistance and embrace our true spiritual power. It was established by Rev. Ed Townley in 1991. Since then it has expressed in many different and creative ways as Rev. Ed served Unity centers in Beaverton OR, Chicago IL, Dallas TX and Hartford CT. At different times it has included writers’ workshops, performance companies, acting and improv classes, book study, social outreach activities and other projects.
Today the Spirit Expressing community holds Sunday morning Gatherings, led by Rev Ed, in Vernon CT on the first and third Sundays of each month. In addition, Rev Ed’s spiritual messages are shared on the website, Facebook page and Twitter and are emailed directly to subscribers throughout the world.
Our Shared Beliefs
Spirit Expressing is lovingly centered in seven spiritual principles concerning the infinite, eternal Spirit that is the truth of who we are. We believe these principles are universally true. They cannot be the exclusive property of any single religion or belief system.
We believe these principles are central to the teachings of all great spiritual Masters, and that it is by teaching and demonstrating these universal principles in his own life that Jesus of Nazareth became Jesus Christ—the full and complete embodiment and expression of divine Light and Love. We believe that Jesus Christ devoted his ministry to sharing these principles, and to calling us to follow his example and become full and complete expressions of our true spirit Selves. It is by reaching this level of awareness and expression that we can achieve the new, elevated consciousness that Jesus Christ describes as the kingdom of heaven.
These are the seven universal principles that we affirm and explore together. They address the three basic questions basic to all spiritual paths.
WHAT IS SPIRIT?
1. One Presence, One Power
Spirit is the only true reality. It is omnipresence, the essence of all life expressing in the universe. It is omniscience, the essence of all consciousness and awareness. It is omnipotence, the essence of all creative power.
Duality in any form is, therefore, an illusion of this human experience; it has no reality in Spirit. There can be no power of evil opposite to the omnipotence of Spirit. That which we experience as evil is simply our misuse—through ignorance—of our own Spirit.
This does not mean that we deny negative experiences, or dismiss their power and pain. It means that the source of all negativity in this human experience lies, not in Spirit or in the universe at large, but within ourselves. It is in replacing choices made from spiritual ignorance with choices made from a new spiritual awareness that we lift our shared human experience to new dimension of creative expression.
1. We Are Spirit.
Spirit is not a superhuman being, nor a distant power beyond our reach or comprehension. Spirit is the essence of all life—the omnipresence of divine Love and energy everywhere present. It is also the true identity of every human being. We are not limited beings striving to be one with Spirit; we are Spirit already—now and always—seeking to remember that truth and express it through our human experiences.
Our spiritual purpose within this human illusion of duality, therefore, is not to placate an angry God through worship and obedience. It is rather to remember and express our true identity, and thereby to dissolve, choice by choice, the ignorance of Spirit that is the source of all human suffering.
HOW DO WE RELATE TO SPIRIT?
1. The Creative Power of Thought
We are creative expressions of Spirit. Our creative purpose works through the formative power of thought. Those thoughts that we choose to believe become empowered by our belief. They are brought into expression in our own life experience, and become our contribution to the collective life experience of the world.
If we choose to believe in fear, lack, limitation, evil and disease, these elements will find expression in our lives and relationships. If we choose to believe in love, abundance, joy and wholeness, we will experience those qualities in our lives, and make them manifest in the world through our relationships with others.
It is the innate will of Spiritthat our conscious choices express and create manifestations of divine light and love. In this way we allow the creative rhythm innate in Spirit to express through us. If we become distracted by negative fear, anger and judgment, and make those illusions the basis of our beliefs and choices, the creative Spirit within us will bring those illusions into expression.
It’s important to recognize that our thoughts are powerful and creative whether we recognize them as such or not. Our spiritual process in this human experience involves moving from being unconsciously creative from our deepest fears and false beliefs to being consciously creative as we embrace our spiritual Oneness.
1. The Healing and Transformative Power of Prayer
Prayer, in its simplest and truest form, is simply the name we give to the process of being consciously creative. It is the highest dimension of focus and thought—thought that aligns us with our true nature as Spirit. In prayer we align our human consciousness with the energy and rhythm of Spirit, affirming and creating the highest expressions of good available, for ourselves and for others.
Prayer is thus the way in which we undo expressions of negative energy by denying our creative power to old beliefs, replacing them with awareness of ourselves as Spirit.
WHAT IS OUR ROLE?
1. The Universality of Spiritual Truth
Spirit cannot be the exclusive property of any particular religion or belief system. It has been defined and described in many languages by many great spiritual guides and teachers—often with unique perspectives or terminology. But it is only by moving past surface differences and embracing the underlying universality of principle that we can create together a new consciousness of empowerment and infinite possibility.
There are many opportunities in the world to study the differences between one belief system and another. The urgent work at hand lies in embracing the universal principles that will allow us to reach across all such differences to create together new possibilities of peace, abundance, health and unconditional love.
1. The Essential Role of Tithing
Tithing is not simply a good and loving thing to do. It is the way in which we accomplish the spiritual work that brings us into this human experience. We “love our neighbors as ourselves” by freely and joyfully giving to express the infinite Power and Love of Spirit.
Our tithing choices may be financial, but they must take other forms as well. Any time we choose to be concerned with the well-being of others by expressing love or sharing our talents without intention of personal reward, we are both giving and receiving the creative power of tithing.
As Spirit we are, in Truth, always tithing. The ‘first fruits’ of our creative choices increase in expression—whether we know it or not. Tithing allows us to be certain that our creative energy is lovingly directed.
1. The Human Experience as Hero’s Journey
Central to all these spiritual principles is the recognition that we are here in human form for a purpose greater than simply living, surviving and dying. There is that within each of us calling us to a greater adventure—calling us to use our innate creative power to truly transform the world.
Storytellers in every culture, and throughout all of history, have recognized this call as a great Hero’s Journey. We respond to their stories with deep appreciation for the daring and passion of those who venture outside their personal comfort zones in pursuit of their higher purpose. The spiritual truth is that each of us is just such a hero, called on a daily basis to face new challenges and make new choices in pursuit of that higher expression of Spirit that Jesus Christ called ‘the kingdom of heaven.’
No hero ever accomplishes this Spirit mission alone. Every adventure involves a whole cast of characters who provide the support, challenges, information, love and faith that are essential to the constant process of releasing the past and birthing new possibilities.
Each of us is both the hero of our own journeys and an essential supporting player in many others. One of our strongest needs is for spiritual community—a safe place where many Hero’s Journeys can come together for support, empowerment and celebration.