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Weekly Message for Sunday, May 5, 2002                                            

                    It has been over a year since I met Don Miguel Ruiz at the City of Angels and participated in a panel discussion of "The Four Agreements."  It was a wonderful opportunity to get a closer sense of the power of the Toltec Wisdom as compared to Religious Science, the "Religion of Jesus."  I will always be grateful to Dr. O. C. Smith for putting me on this panel at the City of Angels Church of Religious Science as it gave me a greater insight into Don Miguel Ruiz' work and his four agreements.

               I am in agreement with 3 of the 4 Agreements:
1) Be Impeccable With Your Word - "Say only what you mean.  The word is the most powerful tool we have as humans........"  this is a powerful statement ... but, it is not new and we can trace the power of the word back to Moses, the Old Testament and beyond.  Jesus demonstrated this greater than any other teacher and it is well defined in the Science of Mind, the textbook of Religious Science, written in 1926.

2) Don't Take Things Personally - "Each of us lives in our own personal dream, and what we say, what we do, and the opinions we give come from the agreements that we have in our own minds - they have nothing to do with anyone else.  By the same token, others' opinions have nothing to do with us, so there is nothing to take personally.  When we make the assumption that whatever happens is because of us, we continue to hurt each other and brood about what we call injustice.  A huge amount of freedom is gained when we take nothing personally.  - I DISAGREE COMPLETELY (see below).

3)  Don't Make Assumptions. - "We make assumptions when we think we know what others mean, or when we think they know what we mean.  The problem with making all those assumptions is that we believe them as the truth, and we blame others for the assumptions that we make.  We must have the courage to ask what another means, and the courage to say what we really mean.  The day we stop making assumptions, we communicate cleanly and clearly, free of emotional poison." - I AGREE COMPLETELY, courage is the "key word" in this agreement.  However, without the courage to "ask" and the courage to "say what we really mean," this agreement is meaningless and useless.

4)  Always Do Your Best. - "This agreement makes the other three possible." ........ Everyone can agree with this.

               Back to Agreement #2- Don't Take Anything Personally - 
In Religious Science, as did Jesus, we understand that we live in a "cause and effect" Universe.  We also realize that there is only God, there is none other, there is One Mind and that Mind Is the Mind of God, there Is only One Life, and that Life, Is the Life of God.  God individualizes as us and we not only function from our individual consciousness but also from the collective consciousness.  Consciousness is everything and our consciousness out-pictures into our world of experience.  Everything Is God, so everything Is Good, even the opinions, criticisms and judgments from people seemingly against us. Yes, it is true these are Good, the Good is just not always apparent.  But every message we receive both praise and criticism, is the Universe responding to our consciousness of the spiritual law, "God Is Good and His Creations are Good."  If we don't listen to these messages, then we most likely will continue to remain in the consciousness that demonstrates both Good and seemingly not-good experiences. As we look at these messages trusting that they are for our Good, what we need to know or to correct in our consciousness will be revealed to us.

             Don Miguel Ruiz states that "when we make the assumption that whatever happens is because of us, we continue to hurt each other and brood about what we call injustice."  Actually this is an assumption that we can only understand at that level of spiritual awareness.  A spiritually aware person would not brood or call anything an injustice.  A person who is not spiritually aware of consciousness, is not helped by this assumption but hindered.  EVERYTHING IS GOD!  This is the Highest Truth and we must understand this.  There is no God and something else that tries to hurt us, shame us or blame us.  It Is Always God, always Good.... and if we ignore the Truth that these messages are for our Good, then we will not transcend this level of consciousness and remain in bondage to our lack of understanding and spiritual awareness.  Both the great Missouri Mystic, Charles Fillmore and Dr. Ernest Holmes taught that we are to go from where we are... but we won't know where we are unless we pay attention.

            I bless Don Miguel Ruiz and the Toltec Wisdom that has blessed countless numbers of people, but let's not back-track to a teaching that is not complete when we have been Divinely guided and directed to the
"Real Thing - the Religion of Jesus" that can and does set us free from the old beliefs, assumptions and ideas that continue to hold many of the world in bondage.  In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we're free at last!"  This is our Truth when we know that "It's All God."

 And So It Is! 

Letting Love use me in Its own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates