"Faith is a
transcendent principle, and through it we may overcome situations or
change experiences more to our heart's desire. ... However, no man can
have this kind of faith in himself with the idea that he stands out
separate and apart from the universe. He can have this kind of
faith only, and in such degree, as he first realizes his unity with a
Power greater than himself, a Power in which he has the freedom to move
about and to exercise self-choice, but at the same time a Power which
will never change Its nature to suit the whims of his fancy."
Ernest Holmes, A New Design For Living
This past April I had the great
pleasure of attending my god-son's Bar Mitzvah in Bellevue, Washington,
which is a suburb of Seattle. Along with the Bar Mitzvah
celebration, the Rabbi gave a lesson which included something that
really stayed with me. She said, "Often I will talk to
people about religion and they will tell me they are spiritual but
not religious." And even though the rest of her lesson
seemed quite good to me at the time, the words, "spiritual but not
religious" were impressed on my mind.
That is how I define this ministry:
spiritual, not religious. Spirit is free, never limited, never
bound ... and no matter how enlightened any religious teaching may be,
it will still include limitations. You can't be Christian without
Jesus. You can't be Buddhist without the Buddha. You can't
be Hindu without Krishna. Yet, Jesus was not a Christian, Buddha
was not a Buddhist and Krishna was not a Hindu. Each were highly
enlightened spirits who were so in tune with the Infinite, that no
religion could fully define them or the Truth they were attempting to
reveal to the masses. After all, how can we limit the expression
of the Infinite as it passes through the mind of an enlightened soul?
This is like stating that the Truth is limited, but Truth is part of the
Life and Spirit of G-d ... it is infinite in Its expression ...
infinitely individualized but never limited to an individual or to any
singular form. It is changeless, yet infinitely evolving through
the mind of man.
There is Truth in all legitimate religions,
otherwise they could not be sustained. But, "all of the
Truth" exists in no religion or spiritual teaching, for all of the
Truth has yet to be known. How could the finite mind of man ever
contain that which is infinite? It is impossible. We accept
Truth by degree and we embody It by degree. Jesus embodied Truth
to a greater degree than the masses of people, for Truth known, is Truth
demonstrated. And this He did. Yet, even He stated,
"these things I do and greater things still shall you do,"
knowing that the Infinite cannot be limited.
Dr. Holmes wrote in the 1926 Edition of
"The Science of Mind": "We hold no arguments over
any form of theology. We believe in any and every church and in
all forms of worship. Above all, we certainly believe in God.
But we will not allow any one to tell us how to worship God, nor compel
us to worship in any way other than the way we choose. ... We reject the
theory that Truth has been once and for all time given and that It
cannot be added to nor taken from. We know this to be true about
the Truth; but we also know that no one, so far, has arrived at a
complete understanding of Truth. We expect more light all along
the line, and we repudiate any belief that says that all truth has been
We cannot feel separated and apart from G-d and
realize the Power and Presence of G-d in our lives. The Master
Mind Jesus stated, "The Father and I are One" ... ONE, NOT
TWO. The same Intelligence that created Jesus, Buddha and Krishna,
created us. Each of these highly enlightened and intelligent
teachers were using the same Mind, the Mind that Is G-d ... the same
Mind that every one of us is using with every thought that we become
conscious of. We are all ... ONE with this Power and this Presence
and this Intelligence that Is G-d. Otherwise, we could not think
or communicate with each other. Only Intelligence can communicate,
can reason, can respond and react, to Intelligence.
The nature of G-d is
infinite. G-d cannot be limited to a specific religion any more
than G-d could be limited to a specific place, a specific time, or a
specific book. G-d is All, everywhere Present; Omnipresent,
Omnipotent and Omniscient. Our religion or spiritual teaching may
be where we begin our search for more of G-d in our lives, but it cannot
be where we stop. When we seek G-d, we are seeking the Infinite
and absolutely nothing in this world can prevent us from finding as much
of G-d as we desire.
SO IT IS!
Dr. Henry Lee Bates
Visit Rev. Bates BLOG: Living
the Science of Mind