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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for May 22, 2016

             The American Mystic, Ernest Holmes, wrote that his spiritual teaching wasn't worth a dime unless people put into practice what he was teaching.  And this is true for the teachings of all the mystics throughout history.  In this point in time of world history we have been gifted with so many spiritual teachers who have given us their revelations of truth and spiritual guidance.  Some of their teachings have seemed too good to be true and some have given us profound spiritual revelations that challenge us to go beyond that which we have learned from the world; Isaiah calls us to accept that G-d is All, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.  We read in Psalms, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."  Paramahansa Yogananda tells us, "you do not have to struggle to reach God, but you do have to struggle to tear away the self-created veil that hides him from you."  The Buddha revealed that "The mind is everything.  What you think you become."  And the Master Mind Jesus gave us the greatest challenge ever for mankind with these two commandments: "Love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  The second is this:  Love your neighbor as yourself."  

             Just these few revelations of Truth give us the key and the opportunity to live the good life, the abundant life and the wonderful life.  When we connect the heart and the mind in truth and love and intelligence our entire outlook and perceptions of our life experiences change.  Not only do we have greater insight into the how and why our experiences came to be but we view the world around us too with a very different awareness just as the Buddha revealed "what you think you become."  And this includes what we think of others which is why the Master Mind Jesus informs us that "equally important" to loving the Lord our G-d, we must love our neighbor, and that means everyone, as yourself.

             And so the natural question is, how do we go from "being in the world to being not of the world?"  And the solution lies in "conditioning our mind to love."   And for so many of us this means we must start where we are.  We must love ourselves first as for so many of us loving our neighbor as our self is not so much love at all.  Too many of us have allowed the world's false negative judgments to create within our minds a persistent self-depreciation.  And although there are those who scoff and ridicule the practice of "affirmations" there is no other way in which to condition our mind that is more effective.  We can take for example one of the greatest affirmations from the Torah, "the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" and in this directive to our mind we shall find ourselves perhaps at first denying the "I shall not want" by thinking of all the things we want that we don't have ... but, the consistent and persistent conditioning of the mind with this affirmation has changed the lives of so many people that this initial mental contradiction, it has been proven, cannot be sustained.

             In his book, "You Can If You Think You Can" Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who was one of the first traditional Christian ministers to see beyond religious dogma to a higher truth of the power of the mind, shared this testimony from one of his followers: 
I'm a 17-year-old girl.  I would like to thank you for your writings and tell you my story.  Something happened to me.  I don't know what it was, but I became very depressed and cynical.  I was really sunk.  I read a lot, even a book about mental illness.  Suddenly, everything I had read on the subject sort of closed in around me and I became convinced that I was psychotic.  I really wasn't, but I was letting myself believe I was.
           I had to do a term paper on "Enjoying life."  Isn't that a laugh?  Well, anyway, in my research I came across your works; such statements as "Those who look forward expecting great things to happen can make them happen"; Build upon your expectations.  Expect a miracle"; "Stand up and quit feeling sorry for yourself"; "Do a rehabilitation job on your thoughts."  These words and more opened my eyes again.  Hope flashed into my mind.  Thank you for making me aware again, for helping me out of that dark place and into the light of happiness and faith, and for saving me with new hope.  And thank you for helping me get an A-plus on my term paper.

         And so if you are feeling and thinking "bored, frustrated and fed up" then you MUST THINK YOURSELF OUT OF these things for no one can think your thoughts for you; not Isaiah, Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda or the Buddha ... for YOU and YOU alone have control over "what you think you become."   


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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"Even God could not have created a perfect individual.  We must go
through the experiences of evolution." -
Dr. Ernest Holmes


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