do not like to make the mental effort necessary to set us apart as an
original or independent thinker. This is true in many fields, but
it is especially true in the field of religion. We accept without
question the ideas presented to us by our ancestors. Martin Luther
said, "any religion that a man has not made for himself is a
superstition and not a religion."
- May Rowland,
Director of Silent Unity 1916-1971, "The Magic of the Word"
and the United States celebrate freedom with a week of each other with
Canada Day (July 1st) and Independence Day (July 4th). Both
celebrations are evidence of the Truth that "liberty" is the
first Law of Spirit. Everyone wants freedom no matter what form of
government they may live under and this is one of the most compelling
aspects of Spirit within us. Our creative expression is dependent
on freedom to be fully realized and expressed. We are at our best
when we feel free to express the gifts of the Spirit within us in our
own unique way.
In a flash of intuitive knowing, Dr. Holmes
believe in the incarnation of Spirit in everyone and that all people are
incarnations of the One Spirit." And, "I
believe that heaven is within me and that I experience it to the degree
that I become conscious of it."
This is really a
restatement of what the Master Mind Jesus was teaching and for the most
part has been ignored by the masses of people who continue to look for a
heaven beyond their inner mind.
In 1978 the
followers of Jim Jones, 918 of them, took their lives because he
convinced them that this world was against them. Jones was a
Disciples of Christ minister who twisted his religion into something
manipulative and dangerous. And the results at Jonestown revealed
this in a very sad way as the people who followed him without question,
took not only their own lives, but also the lives of their children.
People in the United States were shocked by the incident, but few saw it
as a lesson for all of us rather than just a tragedy for those involved.
Why did these people surrender their freedom to Jones? We will
never know the answer to this question, but what we do know is that
anytime anyone tells us that we must follow them anywhere in order to
find a greater good, or G-d, they are leading us astray, for G-d is
everywhere present ... the same here and the same in the hereafter.
In October 2009, 3 people died in a sweat lodge while
participating in an event led by James Ray. Ray's background in
telemarketing gave him the experience to turn "spiritual
seekers" into "customers." He was given great
exposure on Oprah, Larry King Live, The Today Show, Fortune Magazine and
The New York Times. All of these Media types were highly impressed
with his success and achievement of wealth. He was a major
participant in the promotion of the book, "The Secret" ... but
the problem with the book is that too many marketing people and too few
spiritual people were involved in its promotion. The inspiration
for "The Secret" came from the book by Wallace D. Wattles,
"The Science of Getting Rich" ... but the spiritual principles
found in Wattles book were glossed over in favor of
"marketing" a way to get rich without the development of
consciousness. We don't develop consciousness by following others,
but by learning to be led and guided by the Spirit as it moves through
our individual minds. And just as Jim Jones attempted to lead his
followers to a heaven somewhere in the Great Beyond, James Ray led his
followers to identify with poverty, homelessness, and physical
discomfort in a sweat lodge. Even though Ray's books do
mirror much that is taught in metaphysics, too much of what he teaches
actually contradicts metaphysics. And in this case, marketing
trumped Principle and the results were disastrous.
The Jim Jones
and James Ray incidents are lessons for all of us. We must understand
that the nature of freedom is inherent in our spirit as we are
incarnations of the One Spirit, G-d. As Dr. Holmes wrote,
"I believe in the unity of all life, and that
the highest God and the innermost God is One God. ... I believe that God
is personal to all who feel this indwelling Presence."
And in this
personal relationship that we all have with G-d there is freedom.
But the same thing that frees us can also hold us in bondage to false
ideas and to false teachers. No one can think for us and no one
knows what our relationship is with the Divine ... what our purpose is,
or what our intentions are ... for all these are in our own individual
mind ... known only by the Mind of G-d.
The development of consciousness is our
only way to freedom for true freedom is in the Spirit. We can
begin to develop a greater consciousness of freedom by examining these
words from Dr. Holmes:
"I believe in my own soul, my own spirit and my own destiny; for I
understand that the life of all is God." We
must stop looking to others for our answers and solutions and begin to
turn within to the Power and Presence of Spirit within us for our
"Rest in the Lord;
wait patiently for Him. In Hebrew, "Be silent in God, and let
Him mould thee." Keep still, and He will mould thee to the
right shape," wrote Martin Luther. And in doing this we shall
experience that freedom from within that no one can infringe upon, for
we shall be free in the Spirit.
SO IT IS!
Dr. Henry Lee Bates
Visit Rev. Bates BLOG: Living
the Science of Mind