Click for YouTube: Spiritual Adaptation
Click for Audio: Spiritual Adaptation
It is common to associate our ongoing spiritual interest with a quest, a journey, or an evolutionary process of development. We think of ourselves as being at one place in understanding and we’re slowly moving to another. This perspective is strengthened by observing our typical method of learning. Acquiring knowledge on any subject involves the acquisition of information we do not currently have. The more information we gather, the more informed we obviously become.
When we think of someone we consider a spiritual giant, Jesus, for example, we assume he applied the same information-gathering process to his own spiritual development. The people of his day were certainly baffled. “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” (John 7:15). Today, still applying the evolutionary model, we speculate that during the so-called missing years – that 18-year gap between ages of 12 and 30 – he may have retired to the desert to study with the Essenes, or traveled to India to study with Hindu mystics. Some speculate that he was a very old soul. Still others hold that he was sent by God, that his great wisdom is explained by his unique spiritual pedigree.
Let’s look at this with fresh eyes. All of creation is constantly tuning itself to its present environment. Any living form that does not do this successfully goes extinct. What we are calling a progression – moving from a lesser to a greater, more complex state – is really a perpetual adaptation to the present. This is a very different process that suggests all the pertinent forces of this universe are active and fully engaged now.
This is how we must think of the spiritual dimension and our relationship to it. We, like all of nature, are designed to interface with this omnipresent reality we call God. We won’t eventually evolve to this capacity, we have it now. To think something so essential to our spiritual well-being is somehow withheld, or that we have to earn it through lifetimes of searching is spiritually illogical. Who would withhold information critical to the well-being of their own children? If we as parents would not do this, why would we think it’s happening to us?
Man has the greatest capacity for creative expression. That natural hurdles would be thrown in front of us to hinder us is ludicrous. We are blinded by our own ignorance.
Click for video: Your Intuitive Connection
Click for audio: Your Intuitive Connection
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Today is Mother’s Day. As we acknowledge with appreciation the role our mothers played in bringing us into this world, we also do well to turn our thoughts to the spiritual aspects of this celebration. Unfortunately, not everyone has had a good relationship with their mother, but we all have a mothering, or intuitive connection with God. This connection is experienced at the feminine, or feeling level rather than the masculine or intellectual level. Of course, we are not referring to gender here, but functions of our consciousness. So much of our spiritual quest is focused on developing the intellect, but it is our intuitive connection that truly brings us into the awareness of God as our source.
Jesus’ imagery of the vine and branch is very helpful here. Think of your soul as a branch growing out of the vine of God. When a branch is severed from the vine, it withers and dies. Connected, it thrives and bears fruit. We cannot literally sever ourselves from God, but we can become so distracted with negative appearances that all our attention is turned away from our spiritual source. We may feel we are withering, spiritually empty, as if God is an abstraction and of little practical value to our situation. This is the intellect operating without the benefit of our intuitive connection.
While many think of intuitive communication as a hunch or a feeling to turn right rather than left, we need to be aware that the universal impartation of God is simply the absolute peace of knowing all is well. The moment we are touched by this knowing, the specifics of what we should do flow a lot easier. It is as if we know the hand of God has led us to this place and the hand of God will continue to lead us. We are consciously connected to the vine, to the understanding that our way is now being cleared even if we do not see clearly how things will work out. We are empowered with the intuitive knowledge that things are falling into place as they should.
Abide consciously in the vine. Find that place in yourself where you know you are the branch and you are now bearing the desired fruit of success in your life.
Click for audio: The Simple Prayer
One of my favorite Old Testament stories involves that period when Moses was leading Israel out of Egyptian bondage. The Egyptians, who had first agreed to let Israel go had a change of heart and decided instead to slaughter them all. Israel was caught between the Red Sea and the thundering army of Egypt. Panic set in and the people cried out to Moses. His response is what I will call the simple prayer, paraphrased here:
Fear not, stand firm and lift up your eyes to see the salvation that the Lord will work for you today.
You can see this statement involves three commands that can be stated in this way: 1) Release your fear, 2) stand firm in your conviction that greater good is now unfolding through this situation and 3) see the highest resolution to your situation unfolding now.
Releasing fear is probably the most challenging aspect of this prayer. Most of us are in such a habit of reacting in fear that we don’t realize there is another, more productive option. Fear is debilitating, as it shuts down our ability to do much more than react to immediate conditions which, in all likelihood, do not tell the whole story. A concerted effort to release fear opens us to new possibilities.
To stand firm is a conscious effort to know that the one presence and power of God is working through you now to establish a better situation. Do you believe this is possible? Affirm that it is and expect the way to open as you take each step forward.
Can you see the salvation you desire? Can you begin to feel the freedom you would know if your issue were resolved? This is what the third step reminds you to do. How would you feel if your Red Sea opened and the problems you now face were no more?
Take each part of this simple prayer to heart. Apply it to your situation now and see for yourself how things work together for your highest good.
Click For Audio: The Alpha and Omega of Manifestation
Part 1 of 6
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13).
Thomas Troward, whose work we’ll be touching on over the next few weeks, considered the Alpha as the thought and the Omega as the expression of that thought in a specific form. He considers this the beginning and end of the manifestation process as it pertains to our individual desires. Below are five steps we can engage to bring forth better conditions. I include them all here, but we will explore the principles involved over the next five weeks.
Step 1: I form a clear picture of my desire with the understanding that, by so doing, I impress this desire upon the living energy that is God.
Step 2: I understand that I am working with spiritual law. With calm expectation of a corresponding result, I know that all necessary conditions to fulfill my desire are present and revealing themselves in proper order.
Step 3: I enter my daily routine with the calm assurance that my desired conditions are either present already or will soon present themselves. If I do not see evidence at once, I know that the spiritual prototype is already in existence.
Step 4: I wait until some circumstance pointing in the desired direction begins to show itself. It may be small but it is the type and not the magnitude of the circumstance that is important. This is the beginning of significant changes.
Step 5: I do calmly, without excitement, whatever the circumstance seems to require. This action leads to the further unfolding of other circumstances in the same direction. By addressing each one as it appears, I move step by step toward the accomplishment of my desire.
Click for audio: The Affirmative Prayer
J Douglas Bottorff
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37).
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of prayer: petitionary and affirmative. The petitionary prayer assumes we are separate from God and that it is necessary to petition God with our request for help. This is the most common type of prayer. Affirmative prayer assumes our oneness with God. Its purpose is to realign our mental and emotional energies with the ever-expansive nature of God always at work in our lives.
Think of yourself as immersed in the ever-expanding presence of God. Think of that health, prosperity or relationship issue you are praying about as a kind of blockage, an interruption to this ever-expanding presence. Affirmative prayer assumes your desire for freedom is in alignment with the expansive will of God. You say ‘no’ to the appearance of blockage and ‘yes’ to the truth that greater good is unfolding through you now.
This process of saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is not directed to the actual condition, but to our thought and emotional energies concerning the appearance. You can think of this as a kind of attention switch. When you worry, your attention switch is turned on to an unfavorable outcome. You are saying ‘yes’ to something you do not want. Turn this switch to ‘no.’ Let go of all fear and doubt concerning the appearance. Turn on the switch that says ‘yes’ to the truth that God’s greater good is now unfolding in your life. Pour your thought and emotional energies into the type of positive outcome you desire – this or something better.
Saying ‘no’ to a negative appearance does not mean we ignore it. If our sink is plugged, we might need to grab a plunger. We’re saying ‘no’ to the negative thought and emotion that we’re giving the appearance, and ‘yes’ to the constructive thought and emotion that will influence a desirable outcome.
We say ‘no’ (turn the switch off) to, Why is this happening to me? or, God, please give me this or that answer. We say ‘yes’ (turn the switch on) to something like, Greater good is now unfolding through this situation. Our thought and emotional energies are in affirmative alignment with the ever-expanding, greater good of God unfolding though our lives now.
Click for Audio: The Healing Power of Love
Continuing our theme on love, today we’ll consider the healing power of love. You’ll recall that last week we looked at love as having both dissolving and attracting properties. As we think of healing, we want to bring this same understanding into our awareness. This will apply whether we are considering our own healing needs or those of another.
If you have a bodily condition in need of healing, find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Take a moment to relax and become aware that you are now in love’s healing presence, that love is doing its perfect work in you as you quietly wait. The dissolving action of love cleanses you of all stress, all blockages of any kind. Do not attempt to force the dissolution of the condition, but assume the attitude that love is dissolving it now.
Next, turn your thought to the attracting aspect of love. See love drawing to this area of concern all the proper elements needed for balance and healing. Again, do not attempt to force anything. Just know that the attracting power of love is drawing to your body all that it needs to experience the healing you seek.
Bear in mind that this dissolving and attracting process can, and probably will, include external actions. You may led to change doctors, for example, or you may change altogether the approach you are taking to the healing process. See yourself prompted and guided by love in making these kinds of choices as well. Mentally and emotionally submerge yourself in love’s healing power, knowing both its dissolving and attracting aspects are at work on all levels.
Prayer Power: Part 2 of 2
Click for audio: The Affirmative Side of Prayer
Last week we worked with the denial side of prayer, seeing it as the releasing of all fear and doubt concerning the status of some situation. In releasing the weight of negativity, there is a natural rising of a positive, more creative energy. We experience this freedom as our mental and emotional burden lifts. The affirmative side of prayer focuses on this natural, often subtle rising of power. Removing the block of fear allows for the free-flow of creative inspiration and new ideas. Focusing this energy with our words is the very essence of affirmative prayer.
You can get a sense of this dual dynamic by squeezing your hand into a fist. Hold that position for fifteen or twenty seconds, then release it. You’ll notice the cool flow of blood into the now relaxed muscles of your hand. When your mental and emotional energy is bottled into a “fist” of fear and worry, you have to make a decision to stop sustaining this fist. This decision is what we’re calling denial or release. When you relax your hand, a natural affirmation of circulation occurs. Your hand becomes free of the blockage that caused the discomfort.
It’s important to note that both making the fist and relaxing it are choices. Your choice to make the fist blocks circulation and your choice to relax your fist allows the natural free-flow of blood. When we make a “fist” of worry and fear, this is also a choice. No one or no thing forces us to make this choice. Nor are we obligated to continue making this choice. This is exactly why Jesus taught that we must not judge by appearances. Appearances will tell us we must make a fist of fear. In truth, we are under no such obligation. The appearance, whatever it may be, does not have the power to dictate our choice of whether we make our fist or relax our hand. A relaxed hand, we know, is much more useful than a clenched fist. Likewise, our free-flowing mental and emotional energy is much more useful and creative than energy that is clenched or bottled in fear.
Practice separating external appearances from the inner choice you are making. Physical stress is the manifestation of an emotional clenched fist of fear. Release this fear and open your hand/heart. It is the open heart that receives the freedom that you seek.