I am a center in the Divine Mind

The Center

The Center

“I am a center in Divine Mind, a point of God conscious Life, Truth and Action. My Affairs are Divinely guided and guarded into right action, into correct results. Everything I do, say or think is stimulated by the Truth. There is perfect and continuous right action in my life and affairs. All belief in wrong action is dispelled and made negative. Right action alone has power and right action is power and Power is God…the Living Spirit Almighty. This Spirit animates everything I do say or think. Ideas come to me daily and these ideas are Divine ideas. They direct me and sustain me without effort. I am continuously directed. I am compelled to do the right thing at the right time, to say the right word at the right time, to follow the right course at all times.

All suggestion of age, poverty, limitation or unhappiness is uprooted from my mind and cannot gain entrance to my thought. I am happy, well and fulfilled with perfect life. I live in the Spirit of Truth and am conscious that the Spirit of Truth lives in me. My word is the Law unto its own manifestation, and will bring to me or cause me to be brought to its fulfillment. There is no unbelief, no doubt, no uncertainty. I know and I know that I know. Let every thought of doubt vanish from my mind that I may know the Truth and the Truth may make me free.”

Science of Mind; by Earnest Holmes

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Amazed

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Amazed
I have been reading and studying the bible since 1972 when I first became a Christian. Even during those many years away from Christianity I would occasionally read the word and ponder those things I used to believe. Yes it is a mirror as James points out and as all mirrors we only see what we bring to it, and yes very often I walk away forgetting what I saw. It is one thing to forget what you see and quite another to see what isn’t there. The unraveling of my fundamentalist beliefs have been a clearing away of the gloss of those beliefs which have kept me from seeing what was there all along.

This blog is all about that unraveling, the unraveling of the threads that clothed me for so many years.
The verses mentioned in my last two posts as “thoughts for the day” have been revolutionary for me in their implications. In the next several posts I will attempt to share the far reaching implications of Romans 14.11 and I Timothy 2.4.

What clothes am I wearing today? This is important to know. This may sound odd but being associated with a group of people for so many years the clothes we wear may be overlooked kind of like wearing the same uniform everyday it is just who you are and you don’t really think anything of it especially when all your friends are wearing the same uniform and you believe that is the only way to dress. I’m sure you’ve noticed that people who identify with a group tend to dress the same. And it’s not just the clothes it is their whole demeanor, even people who are married for many years can end up with similar countenances. Does your dog look like you?

Changing ones identity can be very traumatic, form divorce, retirement, leaving your religious affiliations or even moving to another country. Many people actually end up destroying themselves thru addictions or even suicide. Personally I went thru many years of addictive and hedonistic behaviors. I was taught that there was really only one way to believe about God. Even among all those who called themselves Christians I looked upon them with a belief in the superiority that my group was “really right” and the others not so much. You may be thinking I was associated with some radical denomination which constantly espouses its superiority but no I was involved in the rather mainstream Wesleyan Methodist Church and went to bible college at a Wesleyan Methodist University. We just had our point of view as all denominations do. We thought other religions and those we called the “cults” needed to be “saved” or would end up in hell for all eternity because God really didn’t like people who didn’t think like him. And people with no religious inclination or atheists well, just right them off. Of course my group was the only one who really had the inside skinny and thought like Him. My self-righteousness knew no bounds. Of all the many mistakes I have made over the years I consider self-righteousness to be the worst and the most damaging to my spiritual journey.

Was this the denominations fault? probably not, being “right” goes with the territory of being human. Self-righteousness is really a cover up for feelings of insecurity. It is the ego/sin nature that always feels insecure and separate therefore identification with a group of people who “know” the truth is so alluring. Aligning with a charismatic leader or group really fulfills the need to belong, reinforcing the group’s insistence to think like them.

The ego/sin nature insists on being right. It will readily put on spiritual garments as a ruse to keep itself in control of our lives and not God.

It is the most natural thing and the most spiritual thing in the world to want to belong, to want to join others who we consider like minded. It is a prime motivator, one that comes directly from God and seen in the world constantly. Since the original separation-metaphorically dramatized in mankind’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden-we have an innate need to belong. In most cases this belonging provides support, love, nourishment, identity and is responsible for our very survival both physical and spiritual. Individually we would not exist without the other.

The down side of this is many of our group identities are defined by our differences and sometimes seeing the other person or group as enemies. It is very unfortunate that the one very large group, comprising approximately 95% of the worlds population-those who believe in God-do not demonstrate the unity of the family of God. Of course we are very diverse group and this is how it will remain-there will always be differences-but just like the human body or the ecosystem of the planet each individual part cannot live without the other parts. I and we cannot survive without those we disagree with. They are us and we are them. And yes even when they wish to kill our bodies we still need them and they need us.

What does this have to do with Romans 14. 11 and 1 Timothy 2.4 well I will get to that in my next post. Again I will leave you with the two questions I asked in previous posts: Does God get what he desires? And is Romans 14.11 a true statement?

All comments and input are always welcome.

Thought for the day

Thought for the day:

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Does God get everything he/she wants?

God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth…” 1 Timothy 2:4

 

Omni-Benevolence part 2

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Omni-Benevolence part 2

            An important man asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good. You know the commandments: ‘Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Respect your father and mother.’” Luke 18.18-20

“Only God is good.” Then Jesus goes on to point out a good way to conduct ones life. A life of giving not taking.

God does only one thing, give.

There are things that are impossible for God to do. He cannot be other than himself. He will never violate his nature. God never kills anyone because he is life itself. God will never take anything from you because he is the giver of all things and is never depleted. God is truth itself and there is no falsehood within him. God will never disrespect any true relationship because all relationships demonstrate the Oneness of himself. The father and mother relationship is God himself demonstrated and seen in all human relationships to a greater or lesser degree according to the consciousness of the participants.

According to Emanuel Swedenborg woman is the personification of the Goodness of God. And man the Truth of God. And every marriage is the demonstration of the marriage within God of goodness and truth. Woman and Man or Goodness and Truth are the givers and sustainers of life just as the earth is the giver and sustainer of our physical life. God called his creation “Good.” He called it good because everything he does reflects who he is in every detail.

Emanuel Swedenborg also points out that Truth is the issue of, comes from, Good. In today’s world we believe truth is first and of utmost importance. But it was Jesus who was the issue of Mary who calls himself the Truth. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was the issue of the earth—his body only—but did not become human until God gave (all giving comes from the feminine the giver of life) him the breath of life and he became a living Soul. The order here is important because when truth gets separated from goodness and becomes the most important and is seen as the creator of the good, it becomes unloving, not giving, hard, dogmatic and believes it is the only way and will in the end attempt to kill the good. This is played out in the New Testament with Jesus’ relationship with the religious authorities of the day. This pattern continues to be repeated over and over again throughout religious history  and seen again in today’s conflicts. The religions who believe their doctrine is the only way to God demonstrate it by keeping their followers trapped by fears of a punitive afterlife. When truth becomes the first in importance the doctrines of men are created. This results in what Jesus calls “lip service” where our hearts are far from God and goodness and lives are destroyed in the misguided attempt to keep the faith pure. (Matt. 15)

But we must have balance. If we have only goodness without truth we end up in the other extreme of anything goes. Without truth to guide our way we can end up participating in activities that will eventually kill the good in us. Just as truth alone results in heartlessness so goodness alone can also destroy our love. Permissiveness is just as destructive as legalism.

The Goodness of God is a balanced goodness because he is both good and true in perfect balance this combination produces a perfect justice which is always active within the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient moment.

The conflicts we see throughout history are men’s attempts to balance the extremes of permissiveness and legalism. Unknown to most people it is God in the background holding all things in balance. The truth is that evil has no power and is the servant of the good. A lie cannot be true. All falsehood disappears in the revelation of the truth. Two and two equals five will simply disappear when the correct sum is given and so to evil vanishes in the light of goodness. In its weakness, evil tries to force others into its service through fear, bullying and coercion by taking away the freewill of its servants. This blustering of the ego/sin nature will always be defeated in whatever form it appears. The seeming power of evil is like the flame of a match compared to the sun. All of the evil of the entire human race throughout all time is like a handful of sand thrown into the ocean according to Isaac of Nineveh.

As people of faith we do need to decide for ourselves how best to take a stand against evil without creating more evil in return. This we must do in our own conscience there is no hard a fast rule as some would have us believe. Strange as it may seem the goodness of God gives us the soldier and the pacifist both can “fight” and both may die in the service of defeating evil. Death is not the enemy nor is it the end as it is impossible for life to die. There is only life. The shedding of the physical—which was never alive in the first place—is the necessary step into experiencing real life, like walking out the door of your house to experience the sunshine.

“God’s love goes forth not only to good people but to evil people. So it is that God loves not only those who are in heaven, but also those who are in hell, for God is everywhere and forever the same.”
True Christian Religion 43 Emanuel Swedenborg

                “Unless truth is lighted up by good, or unless faith is lighted up by kindness, there is nothing but darkness.”
Arcana Coelestia 4844.4 Emanuel Swedenborg

A quote from Thomas Traherne

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“Your enjoyment of the world is never right till every morning you awake in Heaven; see yourself in your Father’s palace; and look upon the skies, the earth and the air as celestial joys; having such reverend esteem of all as if you were among the Angels. The bride of a monarch, in her husbands chamber, has no such causes of delight as you.

You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in you veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars; and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more so, because men are in it who are everyone sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight  in God, as misers do in gold, and kings in scepters, you can never enjoy the world.

Till you spirit filleth the whole world, and the stars are your jewels; till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all ages as with your walk and table; till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made; till you love men as to desire their happiness with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own; till you delight in God for being good to all; you never enjoy the world. Till more feel it than your private estate, and are more present in the hemisphere, considering the glories and beauties there, than in your own house; till you remember how lately you were made, and how wonderful it was you came into it; and more rejoice in the palace of your glory than if it had been made today morning.

Yet further, you never enjoyed the world aright, till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it. And so perfectly hate abominable corruption of men in despising it you would rather suffer the flames of hell than willingly be guilty of their error.

The world is a mirror of Infinite Beauty, yet no man sees it. It is the Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is the region of light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of God. It is more to man since he is fallen than it was before. It is the place of Angels and the Gate of Heaven. When Jacob waked out of his dream he said, God is here, and I wist it not. How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the House of God and the Gate of Heaven.”

Thomas Traherne from The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley