Most of us have heard the wonderful old hymn “Amazing Grace”. It may well be one of the most beloved Hymns in both America and Scotland where the Pipers trill it at almost any occasion. How many of us know the story behind this great hymn?
Captain John Newton was the Master of a slave ship for over 30 years; a very nasty but very profitable vocation in the 17th and 18th Centuries. By the year 1768 he began to have serious qualms about his chosen profession. On each trip nearly half of his cargo died of disease, starvation and abuse. He could not close his eyes in sleep without hearing the pleas and cries of the poor unfortunates below decks.
At first he told himself that Africans weren’t like “us”, they were a lower form of humanity and really did not have souls in any event. This was the usual apology for the transporting and keeping of slaves. But by the time the first rumblings of revolution and unrest began in the American Colonies in the 1770’s Captain Newton decided that he had had enough.
Fearing that his immortal soul was stained so badly that there was no hope of redemption, he left the sea and never returned. He was sure that by his actions he was condemned to the fires of Hell for all eternity. Thus the lyrics: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found”; was blind but now I see.
What turned John Newton, the slaver who believed himself such a wretch that his soul was irredeemable into the man who wrote the poem and hymn that led to the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire? Yes, it was Amazing Grace! Here is the rest of the story! Continue reading Amazing Grace
Every year on January 1st many millions of people around the world look forward to the New Year and celebrate a new start in life; a chance for a “do-over”. We all start fresh, the score is 0-0 and we are filled with hope.
Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions and are sincere in sticking to them….for about 3 days on average! Then too often we fall back into the old thinking and the old habits and nothing really changes in our lives. Why is it so hard to change our lives?
Perhaps its because we are trying to change something outside of us called “our life”. Life is lived within our own minds! It does not exist except in our thinking, speaking and the choices we make. To change our life we must change our minds at a basic subconscious level and thus change how we think, speak and believe. No inner change, no life change. Unless you change you it is just the same old same old!
Our subconscious or subjective mind is the seedbed of our reality and our life. It is like a vast field of consciousness that influences and impels us to think, speak and act in certain ways. Our parents, our genetic makeup to a small extent, our childhood, teachers and friends all planted seeds in the garden of our subjective mind that creates our core beliefs, our likes, dislikes, prejudices and biases and our attitudes about life, money, sex, religion, work, other people and love.
We have the power to accept or reject any and all of this programming if we have the will and the courage to do so. How can we do this?
We change our subjective mind with our objective mind, that part of our mental makeup that we call our conscious mind. This is where change your thinking and change your life comes in. As Paul told us: ‘think and speak only of things of good report’. Your conscious thoughts reprogram your subconscious, indeed they are the plow that tills the soil of your subjective or subconscious.
To begin to build a new Life this January 1st, 2016 you must forget the resolutions; they are only promises you will never keep. Instead, change your mind from the outside in by thinking about what you will allow in your life, what you deserve to have in your life and what can you believe as true about your life. Can you have a clear and real picture of the new life that you will live beginning right now? If not, you will never experience it. You must see it before you can have it!
You are the programmer of the greatest computer in existence….the human mind, your mind. Garbage in garbage out is an old IT saying. Your job is to stop putting negative, fear based garbage into your subconscious and then watch the transformation of your life. If you are writing a tragedy, change to a comedy or a success story. You are the motive force of your life, the driving wheel, the author and editor in chief of your novel.
Want a new life? You will have it the moment you change you and that only happens in your mind. No one, not even God can do the job for you.
Many of us dream, think, affirm, pray and still never seem to see the changes in their lives that we all so desperately desire.
Why? Because, as the great mystic Neville said: too many of us are in a state of constant construction but delayed occupancy! Yes, we build our lives in our mind with visualization, prayer, meditation, but then we neglect to make it real by guts, willpower and intelligence. We need to “move our feet” and take action to bring our desires into our home, our bank account and our life.
Religious Scientists don’t believe in magic, we believe in creative thought followed by directed and intelligent action. This January 1st, begin the New Year with new thoughts only of things that you will allow in your life and the desires of your heart. Begin the New Year speaking only of things that are good, loving and fine. Plant roses in your mental garden and let the weeds starve from neglect.
Turn the Page!
May 2016 be the most wonderful year in your life and may this be the year that you move into your dream and live it!
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Awakened Heart Center for Spiritual Living, Sarasota, Florida. Chech out my 110 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore
If I were to take an on-line poll of Americans I would wager that most think of God as a parent. Newsflash! God is not your parent, your parents are your parent. Mine were Hildegarde and Ted and they were certainly not God; good parents but little Divinity in evidence.
Why do we persist in the 21st Century with the belief in the “parent God” who rewards when you have been good and punishes when you are bad? Why do we believe that God cares or has control over what house you buy, what car you drive or whom you marry? Why do we insist that God has a “plan for our lives” if only we could decipher it?
Because we think like children and relate to the Great Architect or Heavenly Father the only way children can conceive of the ultimate power in their lives….a parent. Its time to lose the Theistic God and say hello to the Deist God.
Theism is all about a Heavenly Parent that meddles like a bad mother-in-law and wants to run your life forever. Deism is the concept of God that most of America’s Founders had. It was the God of the Enlightenment; A creator God who was the chief engineer and Supreme Architect who designed the building blocks of all life (DNA) created matter and energy and the matrix to run it all and then let Natural and Spiritual Laws run the whole system.
I believe that God is the Creator, the Ground of Being, the Supreme Architect, the First Cause of all there is. I do not believe that God is my parent. I do believe that God is as personal as we believe that He/She is. If we start a dialogue with the Infinite Mind that we nickname God, we will have begun the most powerful friendship in the Universe. God is open 24/7,never closed, always ready to inspire, to warn of danger, to comfort, to love its Creation beyond human understanding. What God is not open for is to run your life. That is your job!
God is love personified, what greater love can any sentient being express than giving of its very substance to create another sentient being? We really do live and move and have our being within the great body of God. We are One with the Infinite but walk through life alone and afraid, not realizing that the greatest power in the Universe is within our heart, mind and soul. It’s a bit like the old saying that we are knee deep in a river and dying of thirst. The water of God’s love is all around you, you swim in it as a fish swims in the ocean. Drink, be healed, be whole!
When you move beyond the childish Parent God to the Creator you become free. You now realize that God’s job description is to create the materials needed, draw up the master plan of Creation and deliver the plans and materials to the job site, which is you and I. What we make of the materials and the final plans is in our job description and the tools of the building of this thing called life is our thoughts, our words and our choices day by day. With these three modes of creation (Thought, Word and Deed) we author the Book of Our Life. God has already given you all you need to make a Heaven or a Hell of your life and now its up to you.
No reward, we create the rewards. No punishment, we are experts at it; we need no help in punishing ourselves. We speak the blessing and the cursing each day of our life with what we do, what we say and most importantly, what we think and believe.
Time for us all to leave the God of Childhood, the Theistic God and to understand that God has always been patiently waiting for us to grow up and become a partner in creation rather than a begging supplicant. We were never “weak worms of the dust”, we have always been magnificent expressions of the Infinite Mind, the Divine Intelligence, the Great Architect that we know as God. Time to wake up to our true nature and our true purpose.
I celebrate each one of you for you are made of the very stuff of God. Rejoice and then get to work building the life you were born to live. Only you can do it!
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota Florida (want to know more, pick up my great new book “A Faith and Philosophy for the 21st Century” on Amazon.com)
Picture a psychiatrist’s couch with you reclining upon it while you attempt to describe your problems and emotional issues to your therapist. After you finish the “50 minute hour” with the Doctor he looks at you and tells you that all your problems are really all in your mind. He or She is absolutely right. $225 later you may feel a bit better for having shared your feelings but the solution still lies with you.
It’s all in your mind! Of course it is. Your entire life is in your mind. Your whole existence is in your mind. Your body is just the mobile device to transport the mind. You are your mind! This is obvious to some but many more of us really believe that the body is who and what we are. Even more of us confuse the brain with the mind. They most certainly are not the same.
The brain is an organ of the body, an electro-chemical organic processor and bodily interface for the mind. So where is the mind? Science currently is operating on the theory that it exists in every cell of our body. In other words, the mind is the sum of our parts. Metaphysics and theology tend to see the mind like an aura or magnetic field around the body. This is what cerulean photography captures when auras are photographed.
If you haven’t seen your aura yet, or don’t even know that you have one, get it photographed when the opportunity presents itself. You will be amazed at what you can learn about yourself by understanding the energy that you project through the electro-magnetic field that we call an aura. Every human projects this energy every second of their lives. This is the shadow of the human mind.
The Mind to me is the Divine Spark, the Divinity within each human. It is that part that knows that it knows. It is the self aware part of the human experience. It is the imagination which is unique to humanity; the part of us that has been called the proof of God’s existence. It is what allows you and I to be able to escape the bonds of environment, the shackles of precedent, custom or the “way it has always been”. If we can see it in our mind’s eye, we can create it in form. All thanks to our imagination; perhaps our greatest gift from the Creator.
Imagination is that part of us that can take a mental trip to stars and galaxies never before seen by humankind. It is that part of the builder that sees the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge long before the first hammer rang or the first girder was welded in place. It is that part of us that sees a world where character, not appearance, is the sole measure of a human. Imagination is the part of us that sees every child safe, loved, going to school, not one hungry and all humanity safe and happy.
Without the fears, ideas, dreams, plans that are “all in our mind” nothing ever comes into form in the “real world” of stuff and things. Not one thing was ever created in the Cosmos or on Earth without first appearing in some sentient being’s mind. In truth, all human life takes place in the mind, aided by the organic computer that we call the brain.
Your therapist was right, it is all in your mind but that does not mean that it isn’t real. There is nothing more real that what is in your mind. Your thoughts and emotions are the building blocks of your life! In truth you are your Mind. When we in Religious Science say that your mind is the Mind of God, your love is the Love of God, your life is the Life of God; this is what we mean: We are all expressions of God, part and parcel of the great Divine Mind, the Universal Intelligence, the Great I Am which we call God. God and each of us are truly one.
If you can conceive it, believe it and see it already done, you can experience it.
Until we are together again…walk in Light and Love each and every day.
But we’ve always done it this way! How often have you heard this? I hear it daily and it makes me crazy! Why? Because as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. Was he saying that people who are incapable of “thinking outside the box” are stupid or ignorant? No, I believe that he was saying that they are prisoners of precedent; journeymen on the beaten path of life unable to deviate from the familiar, the safe and the comfortable.
If that is how one chooses to live that is their choice. It might be a rather hum-drum life however, because the beaten path holds little adventure or drama. It’s safe but rather boring I should think. It is also the death knell of societies and institutions.
The only real constant in the Universe is change. As the Bible tells us, “as above, so below” which means that the laws the govern the Cosmos also govern life on Earth. Evolution is the natural order of all things: living beings, ideas, mores, societies, institutions and civilizations. Those who refuse to evolve die!
The Koala Bear is a fine example of a charming, cuddly little creature that shows no ability to change or evolve. It spends its entire life in a Eucalyptus tree and eats only Eucalyptus leaves, even drawing its water from them. When the “gum trees”, as the Aussies call them, die so will these cute little bear like rodents. With climate change a certainty, change in all areas of life is no longer optional.
Humans are perhaps the only creatures on Earth not bound by precedent. We don’t have to live in one place and eat one thing. We don’t have to think the same thoughts as our ancestors, have the same beliefs, or follow the same outmoded moral code. We don’t have to worship Deity the way our distant cousins 2015 yeas ago did.
We can write a new chapter, film a new movie, create a new way of life. Yes, change can be scary and disruptive and it’s no wonder that many of us are frightened by the lightening fast changes in our culture, our way of life and in our world. Many of us succumb to the “Golden Age Syndrome” as we fixate on a time or place when things were idyllic and life was perfect. We want to go back to an era that never existed, except in our mind’s eye.
There is an old saying that says: “you can’t go home again” and its true. Oh, yes you can literally move back to the old neighborhood but its not the old neighborhood anymore is it? The houses have been torn down or been renovated; the people no longer look just like you, and it just doesn’t feel like the neighborhood of your youth. I just experienced this feeling touring the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of my youth. Dore’ was no longer at home there.
The 50’s are often cited as the “golden age” of America. The G.I.’s came home by the millions in a matter of months in late 1945 and 1946 into a society suddenly thrust from a war footing to civilian life again. Nothing was available during the war; cars, appliances, tires, fuel, meat, all sorts of consumer goods were rationed or not available.
If you had a pulse you had a job; every factory was being retooled for civilian production and most jobs were union jobs with high wages and lush benefits. Post War America was a different world in which the USA was the only major industrial power never to feel the horrors and destruction of war, we were safe behind our oceans, we had “The Bomb” and were the masters of the world.
For some it was a golden age, but not so much if you were not of European descent. Prejudice was rampant in the 50’s of my youth. There were slur names for almost every nationality, even the White ones! A Catholic marrying a Protestant….scandal! A Jew moved in down the block or worse yet Hispanic or what we called Negros, when being polite! Wow, you could watch the For Sale signs bloom like dandelions on the lawns. Some Golden Age! More like the Age of judgement, conformity and sameness. And I grew up in Los Angeles; imagine life in New Orleans, Dallas or Atlanta in 1950!
You see, we just can’t stand still in this thing called life. There was a wonderful little book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” which became required reading in Corporate America. The lesson of this book is that if you are a mouse and the cheese moves, you best move to another supply of cheese or starve. Those who cling to the past are doomed, in the final analysis.
Change is the natural order of things, it is the way the Great Architect renews and refreshes His/Her Creations. Perhaps the way you always did it was not the best way. Have a new thought, try a new way. You just might surprise yourself and begin a whole new life full of joy, discovery and growth.
Until we are together again…..Remember, your life is the Life of God, your Love is the Love of God, your Mind is the Mind of God.
There is a thread of Truth that runs though all major religions and spiritual philosophies. From the wisdom of Plato to the Mystery Schools of Egypt; the wonderful love, Light and wisdom of the Zoroastrianism of Persia to today’s Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism there is a common thread of Spiritual Law and Truth.
Once we strip away the dress codes, the rules for worship, the do’s and don’ts we can see that each religion comes to the same conclusions about life, God and humanity; couched in different language and custom to suit differing cultures and peoples. The truth is that there is a Divine Mind, a First Cause that is the Creator.
Perhaps its a Life Force, perhaps a Great Soul or a Great Architect of the Universe but it is clear that something greater than the human mind engineered and designed this Universe and many others. Did we engineer DNA, the pattern of a snowflake, the perfect cocktail of gasses to allow life to thrive on Earth or the miracle of photosynthesis which creates the oxygen we must have?
Did we create the miracle of conception and birth, the perfect balance of plants absorbing CO2 and breathing Oxygen while we breathe Oxygen and exhale CO2? It’s just too perfect to be random.
Consider this: What is God was a just a nickname for Divine Mind, Universal Intelligence in which we live, move and have our being? What if we swam in this great Mind like a fish swims in the ocean? What if we lived every hour of our lives immersed in God as our cells are in us? Kind of blows your mind doesn’t it?
What if God is not our parent but the Mind of the Universe that creates all that is? This God would not punish or reward because only parents do that and God is not a parent. God would govern the Universe by Law, both physical and spiritual. What if we really did reap exactly what we sowed? The Law of Cause and Effect just may be the Mother Law of the Universe! God is the Cause and all that exists , including us, is the Effect. What if we have had it backwards all the time?
What if life does not happen to us? What if we happen to life? What if our thoughts, words and the choices that spring from them are the authors of our lives?
Could it be that we are the creators of our life experience, the “driving wheel” of our life? What if we are the producer, director and principal actor in our own movie of life?
These questions and thoughts are the essence of the perennial philosophy called New Thought, Unity, Religious Science, Science of Mind and Unity.
What if Science and Spirituality are heading to the same place? One through study of the Physical Laws of the Universe and the other through Spiritual Law?
You may live to see Science and Faith come together; we already practice these ideas every day in Religious Science and have for almost 300 years in one form or another.
What if Evolution was just God’s update system? Wow, consider that!