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Monday, March 16, 2009

A Closer Walk with Thee

Yesterday in service we talked about the season of Lent and what it means to be in a spiritual practice of fasting from thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that are no longer serving us. The most useful spiritual tool that I have found regarding a new thought look at Lent is the book "Keep a True Lent" by Charles Filmore from Unity Press. In the forward by Georgiana Tree West we read:
"When we withdraw our attention, interest, and support from the false and unworthy, this is true fasting. When we give that same attention, interest, and support to the enduring good, we are feasting on the things of the Spirit, and this is true prayer."

This idea alone is worthy of forty days of mindful focus. What are the false ad unworthy ideas, thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that we have been walking with? Are we willing to shift our attention, interest and support to that which is the enduring good of our life?
The Lenten season is a church institutional idea that is based on a very sound idea - taking time to internally clean house so that we are prepared for a deeper spiritual journey into our Christ Nature. Ultimately this is a very personal journey and no institution, church or spiritual system can facilitate (even though we may find ritual, community and inspirational support in them) that which is between God (whatever we conceive it to be) and ourselves.

I believe it is this notion of the very intimate and personal spiritual journey that we are each responsible for that Ernest Holmes was speaking to in his first published work, Creative Mind in the passage entitled "The Church of God"

The Church of God is not built with hands, it is eternal in the heavens; it is not lighted with candles; its dome is heaven and it is lighted by the stars of God's illumined thought, and each member in his separate start "shall draw this thing as he sees it, for the god of thing as they are". Here all people recognize the God within their own souls and ask for and see no other God. When you can look upon all creation as the perfect work of a perfect God, you will become a member of this church. I doubt very much if the church universal admits members from the church individual. When you can see in the saint and the sinner one and the same person, when you can realize that they one who kneels before the alter and the one who lies drunk in the street is the same one, when you can love the one as much as you do the other, no doubt you will be able to qualify. As it is now we have too many preachers who do not understand, that have no purpose; too many prayers, too many creeds, too many teachers, that have no message; too many churches, too many "learned" people, and too few thinkers. "The Kingdom of Heaven cometh not by observation". It is the "still, small voice" within the soul that speaks. The expanded thought will never wish to join or be joined to. Nothing human can contain it. It feels the limitation of form and ceremony and longs for the freedom of the Spirit, the great out of doors, the Great God of the everywhere. Alone in the desert, the forest or by the restless ocean, looking up at the stars, man breathes forth these words, "With only my maker and me".
- Ernest Holmes

1 comment:

  1. Hey there! I loved your article on GodDiscussion! I have many of the same thoughts you do on conservative Christians such as the one you describe in your article. I also write for GodDiscussion as Dakota O'Leary and look forward to seeing more of your writing in the future!



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