Thursday, November 06, 2008

Part VII: Let It Flow

(seventh installment of talk entitled, "How being yourself guarantees infinite supply")

I've taken a long time to build the case for knowing God, being obedient, and being yourself, yet I haven't quite covered how this is a guarantee of non-stop supply.

A concept I picked up from some books I've edited on spirituality is the idea that if you're truly being yourself, infinite supply is assured because you have no competition. Only you can fully and completely be yourself. Divine Spirit needs you to do this, and there's no competition for that spot, so Spirit must be on your side and devoting resources to both keeping you viable and ensuring your long-term success.

Something to remember is that God doesn't give us anything. Think about it. He's already created us complete. There's nothing else He is required to give us. Our experience of new or additional good is our own increased understanding, nothing more. God isn't sending stuff to us that He forgot to send before. The minute you understand that you have something, you have it.

Hugh talked about this yesterday, and I loved the way he put it. None of us are "unwedded." We are all the Bride and the Bridegroom, and the wedding feast is upon us. There is no delay, no waiting. We just need to know who we are.

This yourself I'm talking about is a discovery. We don't know the totality of who we are at the get go. So let me just recap a little. First, we must lay that foundation of who God is, and then see ourselves as individual emanations from that God. If we don't start with God, we might believe it's actually a part of us to be cranky or tired or impatient. Being ourselves then might just be a rehearsal of faults rather than a constant discovery of the true nature of our identity as God's image and likeness. So I want to emphasize that the ongoing revelation of who God is is of paramount importance in this journey of self-actualization. We have no selfhood apart from God, yet that selfhood is individual, unique and singularly us. But we have to know God first, in order to know ourselves.

Yet we don't have to know everything about God and ourselves before we begin to experience abundance. Obedience to the Divine that leads to self-discovery is the job He wants us to do, and He compensates us as we go along.

We've all heard of the analogy of ourselves as a beam of light coming from the sun. Draw that now on your paper. A big circle, with beams of light coming out of it. [We all did this.] Think of your present sense of self as the end point of one of those beams.

Have you ever thought about the energy behind that beam? The trail of light? The direct link back to the Source? What happens if you try to be at someone else's end point? You like their job or their house or their body. So you try to be them. You think they're better than you for some reason. Maybe you're just trying to live their values, perhaps, out of respect or admiration. But they're not your values. What happens? You are attempting to graft yourself onto someone else's end point. You cut yourself off from your own source of energy.

How do you know when you're on the beam, so to speak? You've got a book that can help you.

It's a book about me

I've read Science and Health my whole life. It's always helped me through every tough situation, and it's encouraged me in the good times as well. I've thought of it as a book about Christian Science. More lately however, I've started to see it as a book about me.

Check this out:

We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are. (p. 8)

That in a nutshell is what my journey is all about these days. What is the affection and purpose of my heart? Isn't that another way of asking what my values are? Who am I really? And there's Mary Baker Eddy, telling me it's okay to explore these things and figure it out. In fact, she says I "should" do this self-examination. It's not self-indulgence, it's essential to the spiritual journey. Let me read that passage again.

We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.

What she says makes sense, and I could have figured this out for myself. But I'm one who has always needed a light to guide me, and Science and Health has always been that light. Sometimes I resist turning the light on because somehow I get the weird idea that I won't like what I see. But when I finally crack open that book one more time, I find only encouragement and love.

It's like talking with a best friend who knows you better than anyone else ever has or will. How great that MBE took the time to write a book about me, so many years ago!

I think she wrote it about you, too. Take a look and see, let me know what you find.

"...enlarged individuality..."

In particular, the Creation chapter to me has a startling focus on identity. I was struck in a recent read through by how frequently in this fourteen-page chapter Mary Baker Eddy was led to clarify who we are—our identity.

Infinite Mind is the creator, and creation is the infinite image or idea emanating from this Mind. (p. 256)

Man is more than a material form with a mind inside, which must escape from its environments in order to be immortal. Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God. God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis. (p. 258)

Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance. (p. 259)

Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one's ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings and ensures failure at the outset. (p. 260)

Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life nor your own identity. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight. (p. 261)

Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, — they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, — in order that sin and mortality may be put off. This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace. (p. 265)

I love how, in Science, spiritual progress does not lead us to lose our identity, but frees us to express it more expansively. In fact, that's a natural result of true spiritual growth—"enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace."

Wasn't it Doug yesterday who spoke with such authority about worshipping God? I believe we can only worship God by being ourselves, because that's what He made.
Sign me up!

TOMORROW, final installment: Part VIII: What you can do


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