Replacing Need, Greed and Expediency with Spiritual Values

On July 21, 2013, I was invited to deliver the sermon to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Eugene.

This is the text of my message.

 

Opening Words

Good morning. I am delighted to be here today to speak of spiritual sustainability, and its partner, social justice.  But while we all want social justice, and we speak of social justice, do we really know what it means? What is the definition of the word “Justice”?

Theologian Matthew Fox in his book A New Reformation, said, “Sustainability is another word for justice, for what is just is sustainable, and what is unjust is not.” I know sustainability is the buzzword of the day, but it has real meaning when we bring it to the idea of social justice. Social sustainability.

We all know about material sustainability: carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, alternative energy sources and the like, but what about social sustainability? The way we elect our representatives? The way our governments handle our money? Our foreign policies? Immigration? Welfare? Are they sustainable? What are the values that underpin these systems? Can anything be sustainable without values?

Today our systems are beginning to fail because they are not built upon the bedrock of values. Some people have too much while others have nothing. Our kids are taking drugs, getting pregnant in high school, ending up in jail. As many marriages fail as succeed. What do we do? We implement more social programs to provide high school daycare centers, and drug treatment programs in jail, and cheap, no-fault divorces. These are not sustainable fixes, because we are addressing the symptoms, not the problem.

I believe the answer is in the power of our collective thought, and initiating and maintaining what I call spiritual sustainability.

It is my prayer that this morning we will all find a new way to participate in social justice for our community, our country and our world.

Talk

I would like to begin by welcoming all of our angels and the legion of unseen friends who are with us today, and thank them for tirelessly helping us navigate the uncertain waters of life on this planet.

This morning, let us consider the power of thought. Thought precedes intention.  First there’s the thought, then there’s the intention, and finally, the act. Almost every act begins with “I think I’ll…” go to church. Take a class. Call my son. And before you know it, it’s done.  This is the power of individual thought.

And then there is the collective power of thought. Walk into a room of angry people, of fearful people, of worshipful people, of celebrating people. You can feel the energy. Have you been to a football party when the Ducks were winning? Or losing? We can get caught up in the “spirit of the moment,” if you will.

How about just sitting with a grieving person? Don’t we begin to share that grief as well?

Because we’re all connected.

You think about calling your brother, and the phone rings. It’s your brother. Two scientists on opposite sides of the world share a Nobel prize because they both came up with the same idea at the same time. There is no question that we are connected. The evidence is everywhere, if we will see it.

But exactly how are we connected? What is the spiritual circuitry, if you will, that puts us in touch with one another?

Imagine for a few moments that there is actually a fabric that surrounds our planet, a fabric of planetary consciousness that holds the residue of every thought since humans had thought. Dark thoughts of anger or fear or resentment stain the fabric, as if we sent into it a drop of black ink. Light thoughts of love and happiness and prayer and gratitude lighten it, as if we sent into it a little drop of light.

Indulge me for a moment and close your eyes. Visualize our beautiful world, spinning peacefully in the cosmos. Feel your love for this world.

Now visualize the fabric of planetary consciousness that surrounds our planet like its atmosphere.

What color is the fabric right now?

The lightness or darkness that we add by the positive or negative quality of our thoughts only stays true for a moment, and then it is absorbed into the collective, like drops of ink in a glass of water.  Is this how we’re connected?

In your mind’s eye, move the globe until you can visualize the color of planetary consciousness over Syria—where everyone is afraid. What color is the fabric of planetary consciousness? Now to Africa—where people are sick and starving. What color is the fabric of planetary consciousness? To Washington, D.C. where…well, who knows what they’re doing there, but it is without question contentious. What color? And now to Eugene, where blue skies and festivals abound, people still wear tie dye and flash the peace sign. What is the color?

Before we open our eyes and return to this room, take a moment to feel your desire for real global change to occur in the thoughts and actions of all of our spiritual brothers and sisters across the globe. Feel your desire for this tender fabric of planetary consciousness to become enlightened, worldwide.

Thank you. Please come back to the room and open your eyes.

This is where we can make a real difference.  Not by posting happy faces on Facebook, but by actually uplifting our thoughts. We all have negative thoughts, angry thoughts, resentful thoughts, but we don’t have to feed them, we don’t have to dwell in them.

This is not easy. I don’t know if it is in our DNA, or the fact that we are of animal origin, but maintaining a positive attitude is difficult. At least it is for me. And therein lays its value.

We’ve all heard “be the change you want to see.” Well, this is how to go about that, by controlling our own thoughts. We are in charge of our thoughts. It is our choice to be angry or happy. It is our choice to hold on to resentment or to forgive.

It is up to us to change the color of the fabric of planetary consciousness, one thought at a time.

I learned in my twelve step program that I don’t really have much control over anything, but what I do have control over is my attitude. When a driver cuts me off in traffic, I can curse him (shake fist), or I can turn that around and wish him a nice day (peace sign).

We can pause and adjust our thoughts before we react and speak as we go about our day interacting with others. It is in this pause that we can change the direction of our thoughts like flipping a switch. See the switch in your mind and imagine the aura of your energy changing to a lighter color when you think and feel positive loving thoughts. If you fail and fall back into negativity, imagine the brightness of your energy fading and then adjust your thoughts and watch it brighten again to a healthy hue.

If we can learn to sustain this stream of thoughts of light, then the whole fabric of planetary consciousness will begin to lighten, which will lift the spirits of everyone and help everybody—all seven billion of us—sustain streams of thoughts of light. We sustain it and it sustains us.

So how do we go about sustaining a positive stream of thought? One way might be to visualize this fabric of planetary consciousness in your daily stillness practice. By knowing that your positive thoughts have a real and profound effect on people you don’t know, and have never heard of, thousands of miles away.

This is spiritual sustainability in a real global sense. It is something we can do now, right now. If you are sitting there worried about something, stop it. Worrying isn’t going to change the situation, but it is going to color your aura, your life, your relationships, the world situation.

If you are criticizing somebody in your head, stop it. You have the power to do that. You are in control of your thoughts. Send a blessing that person’s way instead.

This is the way that we can help members of congress change their attitudes from self-aggrandizement to true social justice.

This is the way that you and I can encourage dictators on the other side of the world to peacefully acquiesce to a more democratic form of government.

This is the way that you and I can ensure that eventually, every person on this planet will have fresh, free drinking water. Eventually, every child will be adored and cherished. Eventually, there will be no more war, no more famine, no torture, no greedy businesses that pollute our wonderful world in the name of profits.

This is how we can bring those who suffer out of the margins of society and enfold them, implementing programs of true social justice based on real spiritual values. We have the power to change hearts, to raise the vibrations of all thought, all from right here, right now, and as we go about our daily duties with love in our hearts and blessings on our tongues.

And when we do, the angels and other celestial helpers, the overseers of our world, spring into action to not only help us sustain, but to augment our efforts by bringing us together for meaningful groups, committees, and social structures to implement such systems based upon spiritual values.

Mother Teresa said, “If we pray, we will believe. If we believe, we will love. If we love, we will serve.”

We—right here—have the power for global change. Each of us is a shining facet in the diamond that is humanity. Love one another with a fierce and intense affection. Let your light — your literal light — so shine that everyone will glorify our creator, and let us live our lives in tribute to this astonishing creation and as examples of what life could be in a service-driven economy instead of a profit-driven one.

Together we can spread the benign virus of love until we reach that tipping point that will mark the end of our animal ways and usher in a new, spiritual age.

It is through our purposeful connectedness, the spiritual circuitry in the fabric of planetary consciousness, that we may actively, consciously, bring forth spiritual sustainability to our world.

This is my prayer.

Amen.

The Beatitudes Re-translated from the original Aramaic

Blessed are you who have a home in the active forces from God,
yours is a heavenly estate.

Blessed are you who love Truth and profess your errors
and the errors of your society;
you shall be freed of mental stress.

Blessed are you who have humility –
the mental quality of perceiving and cooperating
with the good desires of others;
you shall gain the earth.

Blessed are you who hunger for the mind structure
underlying the attitude,
judgment, and behavior
described as just or fair behavior between people;
you shall attain it.

Blessed are you who have pure love,
encompassing judgment and behavior;
you will therefore receive pure love

Blessed are you who have a completely purified mind;
you will comprehend the Invisible Source of Creation.

Blessed are you who through service,
work effectively to produce
the peace and understanding
under and in accord with God’s Will;
you will be called the children of God.

Today, my friends, there are many on your world asking ‘why.’ Why is it that a loving Creator would allow such injustices to occur on your world without divine intervention? Why do innocent children have to fall victim to the evil machinations of a twisted and misguided individual, where they have been robbed of the opportunity to live a full life on an evolutionary planet, and be deprived of that valuable life experience? Is there such a thing as universal justice? What happens to these child victims — where are they now and in whose care? What about the perpetrator of this heinous crime — what is his fate? Volumes of books could be written to attempt to answer these many questions about the way the universe works, and why such things are allowed to happen, and still you would not comprehend the depth and breadth of universe meanings and mechanics, yet we will attempt a ‘legal-brief’ consolation to these questions.

Evil is not a necessary choice, my friends, but it must exist in potential to facilitate the functioning of free will. Only when a will creature makes a conscious choice to embrace evil (sin) does it come into existence. Like a stone thrown into a pond, the ripples from the impact spread out and echo in every direction. So too does the collateral effects of both love and evil touch many lives when a will creature chooses to bring thoughts and ideas into reality. The root cause of all evil acts is due to a lack of love and understanding — a disconnect from Source. This is a systemic problem on your world where so many are lost and have no clue to what life is really about.

The consequences of free will belong to the Creator and He sees all from the end to the beginning and He brings all things to light and to justice. These little children who have been taken against their will, without choice, will be compensated in eternity as will their suffering loved ones, who remain to carry on with terrestrial life void of their presence. We cannot see the end from the beginning and so we cannot understand or see any good from such a seemingly unjust act, but when the wind stills, and the ripples from the stone become placid in the water, all shall be made right as the energy from the stone obeys universal law. If we were to follow every ripple from every exponential cause and effect from such a tragedy, and could lay it on a scale, then would you understand and see divine justice at work and see how love really triumphs over evil in great disparity. Knowing this however, brings little comfort to those who have lost their beloved little child in this moment in time.

Those little souls are now safe and lovingly cared for in the foster care of the angels on the nursery world of our local system who will love and nurture these little ones in a family-like atmosphere and provide education unlike anything you can imagine here on your world. They will grow up just as do the children on earth except they will not be subject to all the ills and psychological dysfunctions of a world in rebellion — they will excel and evolve in an environment filled with love and kindness while they learn about the earth and its ‘real’ history and why people act as they do and why they are so disconnected from God. The trauma of their demise will leave no scar in their ascendant careers and many of them will grow and become teachers to many of you when you arrive on the mansion worlds. They look forward to the happy reunion with their loved ones when they arrive and are allowed special privileges to know about the welfare of their parents and siblings while on earth. After a time of grieving is over, it is helpful for these little ones to know that their loved ones are happy and continuing with their lives knowing how well they are cared for on the nursery worlds.

We may not comment about the fate of the perpetrator of this crime except to say that he also was once a child brought up in an environment of dysfunction and misguided love with little moral guidance — a consequence of indolent free will. It will be up to that individual to accept the mercy of Christ Michael and all that comes with compensatory rehabilitation.

Let the disparity of love over evil prove true, my friends, and let us use this tragedy to take a deeper look at ourselves and where we are going as a race of free will beings. May it heighten our awareness of the oneness we all share as children of the Creator Father — all indwelled by His spirit, all seeking perfection through love — brothers and sisters of the human race. Only through love and understanding can we be truly free.

Peace to you. –Teacher Ophelia

About Courage

Having earlier approached the theme of Fear, let us now entertain our thoughts on a related subject: Courage. It is important to keep in mind that courage is not an absence of fear. Courage might well need to overcome fear in order to manifest, because having courage is to act bravely despite having fear. Another important distinction to be made is that courage is not ‘bravado’, because bravado is ego-motivated, and only seeks to promote the self. Courage, although a decision of the self, may rightly benefit the self, but its expression is out of a noble need, not a selfish one.

“Courage can be exercised in all aspects of life. One must be courageous to live a meaningful life. Many times life requires courage, for example, especially in doing what benefits others, not when you become the main beneficiary of your actions. One example of this kind of courage is when you decide to practice goodness towards people that according to general opinion are clearly undeserving. Your Master when on Urantia, preached: “Love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you.” To act selflessly in such circumstances demands courage.

Another instance in which courage is greatly necessary is when you are faced with the need to do ‘the right thing’, even if it means that some kind of personal loss will ensue. Acting courageously always means that you will be exposed to some degree of risk, otherwise your action wouldn’t require courage. Some, even knowing what is the right thing to do, cowardly refuse to take action because there is a risk of personal loss or injury in taking such action. One must have right principles to act right; courage to honor one’s beliefs, even with the risk of losing the support of friends and loved ones. This requires you to have a strong character!

However, when you have to deal with truth – facing it or upholding it – it is when courage is most necessary. It takes courage to seek the real truth about important things in life. It takes courage to recognize that you were mistaken, it takes courage to acknowledge that you have sinned against others, and it takes courage to stand by the truth, no matter how hurtful it can be. Courage in these circumstances demands for a price to be paid if one wants to have peace of mind, a peaceful conscience. Acting courageously can in fact get you hurt, but it’s better to ‘lose an eye’ and have peace of mind, than having both eyes, to live in guilt and torment.

Where does courage comes from? Humanly speaking courage comes from love; love for others, love for justice, and love for the truth. But the strength to put this love in motion through courage must come from spiritual realities: your soul and the Spirit Within, the ones that always encourage and support you to stand for spiritual values in your life. –Prolotheos

On Being of Service

We have on occasions discussed the concept of being of service. We return to the subject, and add the word ‘loving’ to it. In loving service, as in doing the Father’s Will, implies that there is no expectation of something in return. This is the way I would have you serve, as this opens the way to more abundant blessings. Those who serve either grudgingly, or with hidden agendas, place limits upon My blessings, because they have not understood the real meaning of service. It is in being of loving service that you, yourself are blessed. The Creator of everything knows the hearts and minds of all creatures, and knows the secrets of all hearts.

Many a soul languishes in darkness, because of having been told that as long they fulfil their obligatory duties by paying their dues they are saved. ‘Saved from what,’ I like to know? It is the personal connection to the All That Is, which needs to be in place. It is the way with the most love in it, walked in truth beauty and goodness, with sincerity and honesty of heart. This ought to be your daily striving, to each day become more aware of My Presence within you, and to try each day to love one more person. They are the ‘unlovely’ who also need your love, for you cannot know the aches and pains of another’s heart. All have feelings, and by showing yourself friendly and accepting of one another, you reside in a state of loving service.

You have the ability to uplift someone else with only a smile. The world is in need of happy and genuine smiles. Nothing is ever forced in the kingdom of God. You need to realize that you are actually already living in the kingdom of God, because there is simply nowhere that God is not. All of the infinitely widespread creation is of God. And the reason that everything is manifesting is the unconditional loving service which His mighty descending Sons render in return to the Father. They are subservient even to lowly creatures such as you, because they know what is possible for you to become when you also begin walking in the way of loving service. In this manner you become more finely attuned to all possible potentials which lie undiscovered before you.

Humans in the early stages of evolution developed their fictitious ideas and ‘fabricated’ those ideas into gospels for others to follow. Many untruths, superstitions, creeds and dogmas evolved and became established as the infallible word of God. Over time, these shall all fall away when God’s truth becomes more widely known. This will happen to just one person at a time. Those who were offered glimpses of truth, because they took the time to make that personal connection, are becoming the salt of the earth, the lights for others to see. These will be the ones of true loving service because they begin to understand the true meaning as to what it means to lovingly serve. They serve already now without recognition. They serve without attracting attention to themselves, because they are at peace with themselves, for they have found that pearl of great value within themselves, which has become their Guiding Light. Search and you shall find. –The Beloved One

The message for today is about finding that deeper connection to spirit, which so many of you students on the path would like to experience, but find it difficult and seemingly elusive, coming at times when you least expect. The one sure way to have this deeper connection is to simply ‘be connected’ more often. How can we be more connected? By directing our thoughts and feelings to the things of spirit and to have open dialog with the One you call God.

For most there is no other way, my friends, but to exercise the faith muscle. You must be vigilant in your determination to seek for that connection, and with this seeking there must be clear intent and purpose. There must also be room in the mind for the solitude of soul nourishment. Being constantly busy and plugged into media leaves no room for this connection. It is vital to prepare a space for this and to honor your commitment to commune with God.

To be connected to spirit is to feel what spirit feels. Spirit feels unity — that all are one, and so all are loved. All share life in the Creator and so all spirit wants to help the parts of the whole find equilibrium with perfection.

The steps to building a deeper connection are:

Pray without ceasing. Is this really possible? It may not be possible to pray unceasingly because you must attend to the duties of earth life, but if you remind yourself to do this as often as is possible, keeping this phrase in mind, you can build a connection that is tremendously potent and you will begin to see the ways of spirit working in your life and those who you pray for.

Cultivate compassion. In order for you to really and genuinely love others, you must have compassion for their weakness. If we wish to receive love, mercy, and kindness from God, you must show love, mercy, and kindness to your fellows. In many ways you can consider compassion as the meter of depth for your connection with God. What you give out you receive back.

Serve selflessly. You cannot sit still and hide away in solitude keeping the light to yourself. Only when you share your wisdom can you gain wisdom, for only in service can you have soul building experience, and experience IS wisdom. To serve selflessly — without expecting something in return is to emulate spirit, for God gives life to all without strings attached and so to emulate spirit is to be Godlike.

Practice regular stillness. Having each day prayed unceasingly, cultivating compassion for your fellows, and serving selflessly to the needs of others, you must set aside time in stillness meditation to commune with the Creator and receive the gifts of the spirit. This is the reward, my friends, for living a life of spirit led love. This is where you share your experiences with the Creator and where your spiritual potentials are expanded. This is where the deeper connection lies and this is the goal of the god seeking soul. This is true worship — to have a connection with the Creator and to experience a personal relationship with the God within.

All can have this deeper connection. Integrate these steps in your daily life and you will find a richer, more meaningful, more loving, more joy filled existence that will continue to astonish you all the days of your life — here and hereafter. –Teacher Ophelius

Many mortals suffer in silence from low self-esteem. For others it is more in the open. It will be helpful for Me to shore you up, and assure you that these feelings will become redundant in the times to come. The Father in heaven has decreed that the times for renewal have begun, and this counts for everyone. No one is excluded from these times of self-correction. The Father prefers for you to live, rather than to just hold on. Our deceptively simple little lessons harbor many kernels of truth and guidance, which serve as ‘way-showers’ on the road to perfection, which is the purpose and goal of your existence. I desire that these lessons are to be published. These little gems can be read at random, being received one day at a time, to go forth to nourish and strengthen a day at a time.

Such patterns of holding on, which are no longer useful to you, are best placed in the past, were they rightfully belong, so they don’t continue to poison your mind, encumber you and cramp your life-style. The zest for living is the most prized gift you can give yourself, and when you feel your spirits sagging, turn within to the Stillness and ask for My help. My help is freely available, but hardly anyone knows how to ask and take Me up on My offer. This needs to change, and is very easily done when you flex your faith and trust muscles. Yes, place your faith and trust in Me, so these muscles will grow stronger and will serve you well to overcome your mental handicaps, some of which were placed there from infancy on by your significant others, who were likewise laboring under the same mental handicaps.

Please break this chain of self-abuse, and free yourselves from the limiting back-talk of your minds. It is no longer necessary to berate yourself. Everybody makes mistakes, but this is how humans learn. These mistakes shall serve you well as lessons by which to progress. Each day is another opportunity for start afresh. There really is no need to bring your old worn-out habits of thought into a fresh new present. Learn to live more consciously, so you can nip these unproductive thoughts about yourself or others in the bud. Please remember to hug yourself once a day and then know too, that I am embracing you, also. This is truly worthy of remembering, because you are all beloved children of the Most High God.

Self-limiting thoughts are most unproductive and so are those old patterns you are hanging on to. Each day is to be enjoyed as the first day of a new beginning. The old has served to get you to where you are now. Don’t look back lest you fall into the pit of self-recrimination, for this habit is very destructive of your peace of mind – a boulder placed on the path to soul-growth. Let’s rejoice for this is the day the Lord has made with all its potentials and possibilities. Greet each day filled with the expectation that it is going to be a good one. Come to Me first in a mode of anticipation and allow Me to lift your spirits to were they belong, in the groove of an attitude of gratitude, which makes the whole day flow smoother. Try this and see how you like it when life flows smoother because you involve Me in it. Follow this train of thought and soon there will be a new habit in place, more helpful and hopeful to you as the old ‘holding on patterns’ of the past fade away. –Beloved Teacher