Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cooperative Creation

· Great stuff is being invented all the time
· We are all creative – cannot put it aside
· create consciously, not by default
· move from independence to partnership w God

I sometimes wonder about the world my grandchildren and the next generation of children is going to be inheriting. What natural resources will they have, how will they live, what will be the state of world economics etc. I can easily slide into a state of anxiety about this – and I realized that that feeling is based on the assumption that nothing new is going to be discovered or invented. That is the same kind of thinking that caused Charles Duell, Director of the US Patent office in 1899 to say: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

And in 1927 when someone presented a new idea to Harry Warner – Warner Bros, his response was: “Who the heck wants to hear actors talk?”

Just recently I had the opportunity to be AMAZED and even excited about what is being discovered and invented - these days – right now - and it came to me in the form of this magazine: Popular Science issue Dec 2007.

Luckily God did not wait for me to pick this up at the newsstand to give me the good news. I was travelling with my 23 year old son and he bought this magazine and he read to me while I drove.

· An earpiece that detects movement in the mouth that can direct wheelchair movement with 90% accuracy
· Solar sheets – not panels that flexible, then as a coat of paint and as cheap as a newspaper
· A microwave machine that turns plastic and rubber back into oil

And he also read to me about the latest car paint and engines and diving watches and stuff.

Everything that can be invented has NOT been invented. It didn’t stop in 1899 why would it stop now?

Creative imaginative people are working on their ideas right now – in all areas of life: medicine, the environment, resources, communication.

Do you consider yourself a creative person?

We may think – creativity is for some – but I was just not born with that gift. I am not really a creative person. We can appreciate the results of the creativity of others – incredible art work, music, sewing, knitting, weaving, architecture, and have lots of admiration for people who are so creative.

Every year we do Ukrainian Easter eggs with our family and friends. We all gather around the table with the pots of various dyes and a bowl of white eggs.

One friend of the family has a predictable approach. Before she even begins, my she spends a few minutes, looking at each egg, looking at the shapes and sizes until she finds one that she wants. Then she sits quietly looking at the egg and I can see that she is in the process of imaging what she is going to create.

Her results are beautiful, imaginative, colourful and it takes her hours to do one egg.

Now me - I grab an egg and start applying the wax, dipping it into the different colours and the results are…………OK. I have fun but I am more enjoying the fellowship around the able. But there is MY thought - I am just not that creative.

Now if we want to watch creativity in action – just watch small children with finger-paint. They don’t have any hesitation, they do not stop to think – I hope I do a good job.

They cover paper after paper. And we put them on our fridges and praise them. We make more - and somewhere along the line we lose that confidence. Perhaps we had experiences with paper and crayons and creating something that either did not look the way we wanted, or that others made fun of, or we were not happy about. And we decided – I can’t do this and we set our creativity aside.

The truth is, creativity is not something we can put aside. Its not like saying – I am not a good driver, so I am going to take the bus, or I am not very good at baking, so I am going to buy goodies at the bakery.

We cannot give up or put aside our creativity, because the fact is - we are ALL creative beings. We are all creating all the time. Every moment of the day.

At a deep level, it is impossible not to lead a spiritual life. You and I are as deeply engaged in making the world as a saint. You can’t be fired from the job of creating a world. And you can’t resign even when you refuse to show up. The universe is creating through you at this very moment. Chopra p. 101

And the scary part is = that most of the time we are unaware that we are doing this. SO our creations are unconscious, haphazard and with mixed results.

Right now, at this moment and each day, we are living the results of our creations. Because we create not only with our hands and bodies – we create with our minds, with our thoughts. Our thoughts have power beyond our imagination. The power of our thought cannot be overestimated. It is through our thoughts that we create the experience of our world. The power of thought linked with the power of the word is a mighty tool to change our experience of the world and to demonstrate what we want. We affect our environment all the time with our thoughts and consequently our actions.

So wouldn’t it be a good thing to recognize that we are creating all the time and to be more conscious of what we are doing, certainly be more careful with the power that we wield every moment of the day.

We have the power – let’s use it consciously and constructively, not absent mindedly or carelessly.

There is no limit of what a human being can think about and bring into reality. Everything has not been invented or thought of yet. There is no limit because our minds are linked with Infinite Mind. Yes, infinite!

God Mind is Infinite and we are One with that Mind. When we say Divine Mind – it is Head and Heart, not intellect only. Divine Mind encompasses all our wisdom which includes our heart wisdom.

Why don’t we use our Divine Mind in a conscious way? Why aren’t we engaging Divine Mind every time we begin a new endeavour?

There is a very common phrase that 2 year olds use and I think sometimes we still carry it along into adulthood: “me do it”

Sometimes we hold on to that independent stance throughout our entire lives – I can do it – I don’t need any help. We have so many sayings: if I don’t do it – no one else will. IF I want it done right – I need to do it myself.

we take pride in our independence and own resources.
And because we are strong, resourceful and determined – we can go a long time operating on our own humans resources. – and be quite successful in many areas.

PAUSE And then comes the time when we get stuck. We run out of energy, we run out of ideas. And we tell ourselves – just work harder, just do it longer, just keep pushing.

You’ve heard the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

And sometimes that gets so painful that we finally stop – we are brought to our knees. And for some of us – that is the first time we think – perhaps there is a higher power that can help me through this. Maybe I do need help. Maybe I can’t do this by myself.

So we have these 2 ways of moving forward in life:
1. we get an idea, we go for it, we push til we are exhausted and discouraged and then we ask for help.

OR – how about this approach. Spend time in the Silence, get an idea, align ourselves with Spirit and then we move forward in partnership with Divine Mind.

What happens when we connect ourselves with God’s energy and infinite possibility? We transcend limitations, people, and current possibilities.

We live inspired lives. Wayne Dyer says:
By deciding to live an inspired life, I’m choosing to be in balance with a Creative Force that responds to my thoughts. I know that thoughts are energy and that those thoughts, harmonizing with Spirit, will align to activate the creation process. P.248

So let’s activate that creation process in alignment with Spirit – in partnership with Divine Mind – co-creating with Infinite Possibility.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Consecration to the Highest

As we continue in the book Secret of Being Great we come to a chapter on Consecration.

Wattles talks about dedicating ourselves to the highest and best that we can imagine. To make a commitment to living a life that is fulfilling and wholesome, that brings out the best in ourselves AND uplifts those around us.

And so why don’t we do that? Sounds good to me…..

“By going back to your own center you can always find the pure idea of right. To be great and have power it is only necessary to dedicate your life to the pure ideas as you find them in the GREAT WITHIN” And then he goes on to say: “There are many ideas you have outgrown, and which, from force of habit, you still permit to dictate the actions of your life.” P 212

Uhmmm - that line really caught my attention and in the Wednesday class we looked at that really deeply. What are the ideas in my life, that through habit, I allow to continue to dictate my actions? And why don’t I change them? That is really the big question. What keeps us from doing things differently? From leaving behind old ideas? From stepping out into a new way? Often we see that change is necessary, but we don’t take the steps to bring about that change. What keeps us there? On reflection the only thing I come up with is: fear. Fear of the unknown.

we are afraid. Living life differently means releasing something that we are doing or have now. Living life differently means letting go of something so that we can reach out for something else.

And our minds get in there and start asking the questions that paralyze us: You don’t have the fill-in-the-blank to do that. you’ve never done that before. You’ve always fill-in-the-blank. How will you live if you let go of fill-in-the-blank. Let this go when you don’t know what will take its place? are you crazy?

It would be jumping into a boat and starting to row out to sea - with no idea where we are going, how long it going to take, and how far the shore is, what it will look like when we get there.

Anyone been there besides me?

We stay…. in the habit of our old ways……not always comfortable, but definitely familiar!

What is the answer - how do we move forward when it seems scary and there is no shore in sight?

I love to read about other people’s experiences - because….they inspire me AND I get to see I am not the first one to face this dilemma.

There is a story in the Bible that reflects this human situation perfectly and it is the story of Moses leading the Hebrews out of slavery and into the Promised Land.

Now I know that 15 years ago if I was sitting where you are sitting right now, I would be thinking - oh no - please, not the Bible! Old stories, weird languaging, irrelevant. Lucky for me - although I did not consider myself lucky at the time, my Unity teachers made me study and read the Bible…and so I did.

And the one thing that turned Bible study around for me was the use of metaphysical interpretation. Metaphysics - meta - deeper, beyond, physics - the physical or material world. We are looking for what lies behind the words, the events, the characters.

For instance when we see a child - what do we think of……, innocence, trust, vulnerability. When we think of a fortress what comes to mind? Strong, old, defensive, protected. When studying bible stories and we come to a child in the story - we know it is not just the child speaking - it is the voice of innocence, wonder, trust. When we come across a fortress in a Bible story we know we are not just reading about a building, we are looking at a symbol of strength, defense, and protection.

When we read the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho - we are not reading a story of a general who lived 3000 years ago who conquered a fortress. We are hearing OUR story - of us when we approach those hardened and sealed off places in our hearts……

So how about desert - what might desert represent? Harsh, unknown, lacking in sustenance - see you are all doing metaphysical interpretation already!

So we have the story of Moses - or a small part of the Moses story to look at today and see how that relates to the position we are in or have been in many times in our lives - especially as we contemplate change.

The Hebrew people have been living for about 400 years in slavery to the Egyptians. Many generations of slavery. We do this too. We live with old ideas, with restrictions, chained to an old way of life. As Wattles says: old habits that dictate our actions. Please do not look at these habits as right or wrong its what worked for us at one time, begins to shackle us and keep us from living a full and happy life.

Moses - out in the desert - is attracted to a burning bush and hears the voice of God tell him to go to Egypt and bring the Hebrew people out of slavery and into the Promised Land. And what does Moses say - I don’t think so. Then there is some ‘discussion’ with God - have you ever done that? Heard a higher voice urging you to do something and you have - right at your fingertips - all the reasons why it can’t be done and you are not the person to do this……….God surely must be mistaken. This voice of divine wisdom we hear must be incorrect. Well that is the kind of conversation Moses had with God, and in the end he listened and went to Egypt - he got the people out of slavery and then they wandered in the desert for 40 years.

And this is where we come to the part of the unknowing - of the fear - of the unknown. 40 years of wandering in the desert, not living safely in their familiar homes and not yet in the Promised Land.

Reflect for a moment if there has been a time in your life when you were in a state like this…………..a place where we have left what is not working for us and we cannot see where we are going or how we will survive… It actually has a name…we call it a desert experience or a wilderness experience.

And we begin to question - why did I do this? The Hebrews question Moses: what are we going to eat? How will we find water? They even said - it would be better to be a slave to the Egyptians than to die in the desert.

In our own human story and experience, remember this: once we have made a choice - there is always a part of us that will look back - that will start to even whine a bit - you know things weren’t THAT bad. This is a natural part of this wilderness experience.

And several things happen while the People are wandering the desert with their leader Moses. They begin to trust God for their sustenance - for their daily bread. They begin to trust Moses - their leader. They learn to listen for divine guidance and follow it. They DO survive and as a matter of fact - they even begin to thrive. Slowly a transformation takes place. it happened in the story and it happens in us. One of the profound results of this time in the desert is that for the first time the Hebrews look upon themselves as a People - as a Tribe. All the parts come together and Wholeness is experienced for the first time.

And this is exactly what can happen to us, when we enter into a wilderness experience.

This story has helped me get through some tough times - helped me - not to just survive, but to thrive. I share it with you for several reasons:
we all get stuck
we all get afraid
when we leave the known and enter the unknown, we all question ourselves

That is our human experience. That’s the “physical” part.

And looking at this story metaphysically shows us that
The wilderness experience is part of our spiritual growth
That it is possible to move from surviving to thriving
We can come to know and rely on Divine Power, God
That there is a Promised Land - our new life

Wattles gives us some words of dedication - Let’s use these in our closing in prayer:
“I surrender my body to be ruled by my mind, I surrender my mind to be governed by my soul, and I surrender my soul to the guidance of God”. P.213