Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oneness of All Life

In the cycle of events at Unity Church of Victoria every fall we offer you the opportunity to make a commitment to your spiritual growth and we do that in the form of membership. And I know that before we become a member of anything – whether it is a political party or a health club – we want to know what it stands for. What are its guiding principles, what are its core values.

So each Sunday this month we are exploring and articulating the Guiding Principles of our Unity world wide organization.

This week are looking at this one: We believe that all people are created with sacred worth. We act from a place of wholeness and a spirit of unity.

We may be considering becoming a member of this spiritual community but the truth is – we already a part of a spiritual community and that is the community of all life on this planet. we are already interacting with and in contact with each other. We are already in relationship with each other.

There was that movie years ago called “Six Degrees of Separation” and it was based on this fact. That we all know so many people and they all know so many people – that’s Two Degrees, and all those people know others – that 3 Degrees and so on – and by 6 Degrees we all have a relationship with each other.

I remember one time I was traveling down to California and I stopped in a hotel outside of San Francisco. I was using the pool and the hot tub and as I was sitting in the hot tub talking to a couple we exchanged where we were from. They said they were from Rochester New York – which is pretty amazing because that is where I was raised. When we started narrowing down which part of town they lived – we had a shock. This couple – sitting in a hot tub with me in San Francisco – had bought the house that we had sold when we moved in 1967.

What I really believe is that this is going on all around us all the time. I was on a boat with my boyfriend on Lake Victoria in Kenya and as we were coming off the boat – someone called him and it was his kindergarten teacher from Illinois.

Its happening all the time all around us and we are just not aware. We really are part of one human family.

And the more we recognize that and aware of that – the more harmony there will be on this planet.

There is no ‘them’ and ‘us’. And that kind of separation thinking is what people use to justify acts against other human beings. We all impact each other. Who we vote for, where we shop, how we invest, how we use our earthly resources - all affects everything – for there really is no separation.

GANDHI QUOTE “I believe in the essential unity of all people and for that matter, for all lives. Therefore I believe that if one person gains spiritually the whole world gains, and if one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent. I do not help others without at the same time helping myself.”

There is no separation.

Now don’t know everyone on the planet directly – we probably will only meet a very small percentage of people on the planet – so where is the connection? In Spirit.

we are all divine Beings

Remember, that we, as expressions of God, have a divine nature. All of us. No exceptions. I know if you are like me, at times, we look at the way someone has spoken or acted and thought: that is God in expression? Doesn’t look like God, doesn’t sound like God. Must be an exception. No. No exceptions.

We all have the same qualities of God - as a child of God, we inherit them. Qualities such as: peace, love, strength, kindness, wisdom, faith……..We might think - well some people have more than others. No. God does not play favorites. There is absolutely no difference, no more or less peace in you than in me. Or more wisdom in me than in you. This is the great thing about God as Principle. As children of God we all inherit all that God is - right now, we already have it all. And so does everyone else. And we all use it differently.

see the divinity in others
¨ powerful
¨ life transforming
¨ sometimes hard!

So then what would make a divine being speak and act angrily or meanly? We can probably all think of someone that is really prickly or difficult. Someone who we see on have to interact with – that is such a jerk sometimes.

We are going to this picture of wholeness in potential. In potential mans that it is there – ready ot spring into action when called upon.

Have you ever asked yourself - What makes them act less than a true expression of God? Have you ever reflected on your own behaviour and asked yourself the same question – why did I just act like that – or say that? anybody have that experience?

All kinds of things - human things like fear, distrust, worry, anger, loneliness …….

What about seeing past the behavior and looking into the eyes of a divine being. That’s what NAMASTE is.

Remember the Core Value: We believe that all people are created with sacred worth.

This does not mean we are doormats. This does not mean that we allow people to misuse or abuse us. We take care of ourselves - we respect ourselves and remove ourselves from harmful situations. That’s on the physical level.

Sometimes we cannot have a relationship with someone on the physical level. Perhaps they are not in the same city as us, sometimes we cannot be in the same place as them – how then can we relate? On a spiritual level.

Beholding the Christ in an individual is one of the most powerful, life-transforming things you can do for yourself and for another.

For instance: Have you ever looked into a window of a car and seen your own reflection? And then if you keep looking you can actually see things on the inside of the car. You are looking at the same thing - you have not shifted your eyes, you have just looked differently. You have looked with eyes that are open to seeing all that there is, no just what is right in front of us, or what is most obvious.

When we were at Unity Village we learned a very simple 4 line song. It goes like this: You are the face of God, I hold you in my heart, You are a part of me, You are the face of God.

You are the face of God,
I hold you in my heart,
You are a part of me,
You are the face of God.

When Charles and Myrtle Fillmore started their spiritual practice they were adamant that it would be realistic and practical. For a long time the Unity movement was called the School of Practical Christianity. Because they knew that learning something new, being open to insights and divine wisdom was only part of the story.

What is equally important is how do we practice it? How do we bring it out into real life situations? How do we take it from our minds to our world?

Our 5th Unity Principle says: Take the Truth you know and live it. Make a positive difference in the world!

And sometimes that can seem like a daunting task. We can look into the world and see so much that could be better or different. Where do we start?

LEO TOLSTOY “I now understand that my welfare is only possible if I acknowledge my unity with all the people of the world with no exception.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Divine Appointments or Coincidence

1. Simultaneous happenings – shift in consciousness – its out there – ready to be discovered – once our minds have developed to the place where we can believe it/see it then it happens
2. we see it as a miracle or synchronicity because we do not can not see the whole picture - miracles are the natural outworking of Spirit
3. we are part of this fabric – One-ness
4. what we do and think and say affects the One
5. Jesus did miracles and so can we

How is it that at the same time that Darwin was writing his ideas about his travels that a man 1000 of miles away had an intuitive thought and came to the same conclusion?

How is it that after decades of declaring it was impossible for a human being to run a mile in a minute, that six weeks after Jim Bannister did it, an Australian did the same thing?

How could it be that a man in Paris, France, and another one in Ohio, made nearly simultaneous, yet independent discoveries of the same process of refining aluminum?

is it a coincidence?

Synchronous events happen. We have probably all experienced receiving a phone call from someone we were just thinking about. Or needing to find some information about a topic and there is an article in the paper the next day. Simple things like this. One just happened to me yesterday – a friend brought me a 50 year old Unity pamphlet on a topic I am teaching soon.

Is it just a coincidence? I went on the internet and researched “simultaneous events” and found there are 1.8 million sites that address or mention this.

If we try to calculate the odds of these events – for instance, someone finding a long lost article and giving it to me just as I am teaching a class – you will find numbers like millions against one. More like – it is impossible.

Yet this does happen and not just occasionally. How many people here have experienced an unexplained coincidence? So that is ??? 50%. Fifty percent of the people in this room have had a virtually impossible event happen to them!

What is the explanation for something to happen that against all odds is virtually impossible?

There is something greater at work than we can see or calculate.

These mysterious events, we commonly call coincidences, are more powerful and meaningful to our lives then we realize. They are testimonies of a universal spirit that is operating and communicating with all its creatures, anywhere, anytime and often simultaneously.

I believe all of creation is more keenly linked and tied together than we can imagine.

People have described it in many ways – a thing that is difficult to put into words that we are linked together in ways we can hardly imagine– so listen to these …

Hippocrates, c. 460–c.370 BCE Hippocrates is considered the father of medicine.
"There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things are in sympathy. The whole organism and each one of its parts are working in conjunction for the same purpose.” And he is not talking about a human body – he is talking about life.

Deepak Chopra: ... I believe that all coincidences are messages from the unmanifest – they are like angels without wings, so to speak. At synchronous moments, you get a peek at just how connected your life is, how completely it is woven into the infinite tapestry of existence.

None of these mention God, mention a divine power at work – just simple observation of their surroundings and the activities within. To these people – their conclusions are not based on faith or trust – but on their observations of the world around them. Not based on the invisible world – but the visible physical world. These are scientists who have made this observation.

there is an interwoven delicate connection that we are all a part of. That is at work around us all the time and We just are not paying attention.

We are all contributors and recipients of the One-ness of experience.

Our Mission statement says – we express universal principles of love, truth and one-ness as a way of life.

One-ness as a way of life.

Sometimes when coincidences are brought to our attention we call them miracles.

One Saturday night I was driving up to Courtenay to do their Sunday service in the morning. It was about 10 pm – raining and dark. I arrived safely – did the service in the morning – and headed back down to Victoria in the afternoon. For those of you who travel this super highway you know that there is a spot north of Nanaimo where all the traffic slows to 50 km. At this point my car jerked abruptly to the side, there was a place to pull over – and just then my tire totally disintegrated.

I was near help – and was back on the road within an hour. safe and sound.

Why didn’t it happen at 10 pm when I was going 100 km on a lonely stretch of highway far from home?

A coincidence? We could call it a miracle. Unexplained – but only to us.

We can’t possibly see the whole picture of all people and events interconnecting and interacting with each other. We see only a small part and so we call it a miracle.

Miracles only look that way because they seem so out of the ordinary.

Is it possible that we are surrounded by extraordinary events all the time and we just have not recognized them.

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, says that miracles are the natural outworking of Spirit. That miracles can be an every day experience.

Where do we see many stories of miracles? In the Bible.

You know in the Bible there are many many stories of miracles – parting the Red Sea, healing leprosy, resurrection - about 65 in the Old Testament and Jesus has about 60 to his name – feeding the 5 thousand, raising the dead, healing the lame and blind.

I believe Jesus was paying attention to the One-ness of life. That he was in the flow – using it and working with it.

He not only recognized that there was a divine flow or One-ness of life – he also recognized that he was part of it. Just as we are.

Is it possible that we too can be an instrument of a miracle? Absolutely and probably all the time.

everything we do and say and think has an affect on this pulse – this breath – this fabric. Something we do today could create a “miracle’ in someone else’s life tomorrow.

And we would never know it and they would never know our part in it.

Is it possible that we are all miracle-workers?

But you know there is a very powerful sentence that Jesus speaks near the end of his life – quoted in John 14. He says “you will also do the works that I do, and in fact will do greater works than these.”

If we are all connected by this web, this One-ness, then this is possible.

The One-ness of all life is the miracle. Let’s wake up to that – pay attention – and work everyday miracles in our lives and others.