Our teaching is mystical and practical. It must be practical because mysticism is about living the Divine.
In his own life, Carmien Owen has begun engaging with the news as a spiritual practice, to apply the principles of our teaching to what others observe in the world. For example, regarding the latest major conflict in the news, he concludes: To presume that there must be violence to end violence in Syria, is to see Syrians as lesser than they truly are.
Guest speaker Rev. Patrick Harbula speaks about the most important principle and practice in New Thought. Love: The quality, the principle, the experience, the practice of loving-kindness. All other principles come out of this one.
The energy of love that we feel is who we really are.
Who we really are, our natural state, is one of unconditional love and light flowing through us, unimpeded.
Our environment is so important. In it, are we the Thermometer or the Thermostat? When we move about in the world, are we simply absorbing the world's conditions, or are we an active blessing to the world around us?
Dr. Martin Luther King said, "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality." In other words, there is no private good---my good is your good. We are tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all directly.
To have an extraordinary experience, we need to have the guts to say "Yes" to the moment.
We can listen to our intuition all the time. We can notice the cues that life is giving us about which direction to go. But the less that we listen, the farther it goes away, and the more difficult it becomes to listen to that inner voice.
So to have more than just the common experience, we have to do the uncommon. We have to begin to listen to our spirit, our soul, if we want to have the abundance, the grace, or the fireworks.
Rev. Patrick examines the "Ten Stages of Spiritual Growth" by John Heckers.
We enter the spiritual journey for the same reason we do many things---wanting to feel better. We find ourselves moving from an undisciplined mind to a disciplined one. We get to the stage where we realize it's time to buckle down. At a certain point, we realize that we are the problem. The rest is just breaking through our resistance, which is the bulk of our work.
Successful people start before they're ready.
We sense that there is a deeper spiritual connection "out there". How do we fine-tune our experience? How do we identify, develop, and share our gift with the world?
If we wait till we're ready, we'll never start. But what we have right now is enough to start.
In essence, how we live our lives is a description of how we manage change.
We know we live in a spiritual universe, we believe there is an aspect of creativity called The Law, which says Yes to everything we give it, and we know that the Universal Spirit is personal to each one that turns to It.
Abundance is being happy with what we have. Today is an abundant day for us.
Surrender says, "Here is the fire. There is love on the other side. I am walking through. I know not how I will keep from being burned, but I know that I am going through."
Surrender as a spiritual practice is that we sit silently and honour the Great Intelligence that is within us, that is guiding us, that is present to us.
Joseph Campbell said, "We must be willing to give up the life we've planned to have the life that's waiting for us."
David White wrote, "There is no path that goes all the way---not that it stops us from looking for the full continuation." In other words, we tend to look for the one way to take in life, and in that, we settle into fixed beliefs.
But real life steps in and disrupts us through Divine Discontent---All of us have these divine urges that want us to express more. The Universe expresses itself through us, ever expanding, ever seeking new experiences and insight.
What does a world that works for everyone look like? The answer is surprising.
Sometimes things fall apart because something new is seeking expression. The truth of our being is eternal, but we do fall off the rails sometimes. We fall into the trap of looking outside ourselves for happiness, for God, or for someone to change the world. It is not outside us; it is within. We create happiness within. God is within. And only within will we find the power to change the world.
Our thought is creative, but in our ignorance, we use it destructively. Do we consider the existence of evil, or is it simply the misuse of good? Love overcomes both hate and fear.