Choosing Liberty

Dear Friends,

Emily Cady begins her wonderful Lessons in Truth with a simple, direct and timeless challenge aimed at each of us as we awaken to our spiritual Selves.  She titles the book’s first lesson, “Bondage or Liberty, Which?”

“Every man,” she writes, “believes himself to be in bondage to the flesh and to the things of the flesh.  All suffering is the result of this belief.”

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All in the Family

Almost all families have their own oral histories, and some have even written the stories down to be passed along to future generations. We all love stories, of course. But more than enjoyment, the family stories are very useful. They provide a shared imagery, a common point of reference.

‘He’s just like Uncle George.’ ‘This reminds me of the time your grandmother….’ The characters and stories of other, related lives help us to make sense of our own.

Are all the characters accurately drawn? Are all the stories literally true? Once, perhaps. But now—probably not. Each telling of any piece of the family story adds a new angle, embellishes a few of the details. This is just as it should be. We don’t, after all, tell the stories because of their facts, but because of their meaning.

The Bible is the collective family narrative for those of us in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It is full of colorful, memorable characters and packed with stories about how they lived their lives and met their challenges.

We use the stories as points of reference to help us stay centered in ourselves and our loved ones. ‘He has the patience of Job,’ we might say, and we have communicated a wealth of meaning in Bible shorthand. Or we call someone a Good Samaritan, or we listen to a still, small voice. ‘Don’t be such a doubting Thomas,’ we may say to a resident cynic. It’s all in the family—rich, wonderful, entertaining and helpful as we move forward together on our shared spiritual path.

Today, with great joy, let's recognize the richness and textures of our larger family—the family of spiritual adventurers whose brave, eccentric, memorable ancestors we remember in the stories of the Bible. We give thanks for the power and guidance of our great family album.

Blessings!

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Some Thoughts on Evil

“God is not a power over evil, and we have no power over evil.” This is a typically surprising statement from Joel Goldsmith, the great metaphysical teacher who loved to state his convictions in a way guaranteed to shock. “God is not a power over evil,” he writes in Realization of Oneness.

“To believe that God is a power over evil,” he adds, “is to believe that evil has an existence. And

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Doing What's Required

“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

The impatient prophet Micah lived in a time of severe and looming threats, political corruption, public anxiety and uncertainty about what the next steps should be. This passage offers a timely reminder of what the prophet called the people of the Southern Kingdom to remember as the Assyrian Empire threatened its very existence. 
Do justice: Put the well-being of all ahead of grasping and greedy personal priorities.
Love kindness: Treat everyone you meet at least as well as you would like to be treated by others.
Walk humbly with your God: There is no point to boasting of your personal spiritual achievements or demonstrations. We are all One in Truth, and our individual paths are one path.

Today, although the world around me may be fearful or confusing, I AM centered in my true identity as infinite Spirit. I express justice, kindness and humility in all my choices, and I AM deeply grateful for the joy that is mine in return.
Blessings!

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Some Thoughts on Love

I was (lovingly) accosted at a recent street fair by a woman insistent that my only path to salvation was through attendance at a certain local church.  When I proved to be gently resistant to her admonitions, she went for the Big Finish:  “God loves you anyhow,” she said as she turned her attention to a more likely prospect. Good to know.

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Flying New Flags

What a tumultuous time we are experiencing!  It’s hard to remember a time when we seemed so confused about choices between love and hate. We seem divided, not only by present controversies, but by attitudes toward flags and statues and other symbols of our past.

It’s all part of our shared human experience, so it’s only natural that we react to the drama

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“Choose This Day!”

Our thoughts are prayers,” we sing in our spiritual communities, “and we are always praying.” That creative process is always expressing through us, choice by choice by choice.

 

It’s almost scary, isn’t it?  Each of us is a 24/7 creation machine, whether we keep that Truth in mind or not. There are no idle thoughts; even in our quiet times we are expressing our faith

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DO IT YOURSELF!

This week, in the course of my Bible work for Unity, I found myself focused on the great expression of infinite Spirit in Jesus’ ministry that is commonly known as the Feeding of the Five Thousand.  The question was simply this:  Do I/we believe this ‘miracle’ actually happened?  In the process of answering, I found myself turning again to the Twelve Powers, defined by Charles Fillmore,  that have been my focus this year in my talks at Unity in the City in Brookline, MA. 

Jesus was all about teaching; he didn’t do or say anything merely to impress his followers.  He knew his time was limited, so he didn’t mess around. What, then, are we to learn from this expression of infinite abundance—which is the only demonstration recorded in all four gospels? 

For openers we should note—as many people do not—that Jesus did not feed the 5,000 hungry people (probably more if you add the women and children who didn’t count as ‘people’ at the time).  According to the Gospel of Mark, when the disciples asked him to somehow feed them, his reply was almost rude:  “You give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37). Jesus didn’t want to solve every problem; he wanted his disciples—and, by extension, us—to realize that we’ve always had the Power within to solve them ourselves!

We simply need to learn how to use our innate creative Self to manifest good in this mortal experience.  In this startling demonstration he moved in an instant through all the Twelve Powers Charles Fillmore was to define and explore many years later.  Faith, imagination, understanding, will, zeal, power, love, discernment, order (he told them to sit down, Mark tells us, and “they sat down in groups’”), strength, elimination, and life—they’re all a part of the expression of abundance that fed the people..

What happened?  Well, I have a theory about that.  I think perhaps what the disciples did was to create the first church potluck!  The food they did have was “set before the people” (6:41).  And as the potluck took shape, people began to realize that they each had something to share; by putting it all on the table what seemed insufficient for each individual became abundance in the collective consciousness of love and faith.  There are other possibilities, of course, but the potluck works for me!

So the question, I think, is not so much whether we believe Jesus did it, but whether we believe we can do it ourselves!  Sometimes we hold back from expressing our true identity as Spirit out of fear that it might not work, or that people will take offense.  The Twelve Powers help us overcome that fear and claim our Good. 

Today I gently dissolve my fear-based belief in limitation and embrace the fullness of my true spiritual Self.

Blessings!

Rev E

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