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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, September 8, 2013 

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   "Your real work is the building of yourself.  All effort not directed that way is auxiliary to the main endeavor.  Accumulated objects of monetary value are not a gauge of your rewards in the real world.  Monetary values may be as distinct from real wealth as physical strength may be distinct from moral strength.  Monetary values become wholly fictitious when they are substituted for the wealth of the real world.  Money or its equivalent is lawful, necessary, sure, when you rightly relate yourself to life.  But to believe and to practice the belief that the success of your living is to be computed by your financial resources is to confuse values and to misdirect your efforts." - Imelda Octavia Shanklin, What Are You? (1929)

           With all the things that we do and all the things that we are thinking about doing, most people find little time to truly think about what is most important to all of us.  And that is "what are you?"  First of all, we must know that we are not our experiences, they are temporary, we are eternal.  Everyone has had experiences in their lives that challenged them and perhaps even challenged their faith, both in G-d and in themselves.   As we remember the high points and the low points of our life experiences, most of us realize that both gave us something that expanded our consciousness and our awareness of what we value and what value we place on ourselves.  Many of us have identified times in our lives when with the benefit of hindsight we were able to identify periods of low self-esteem.  Dr. O. C. Smith would tell us that "whatever we have done, we did it in the consciousness that we had at the time" ... but, he would tell us that our consciousness changes.  And it does.  Nothing, no single experience, no person, can hold us to a consciousness that we know is not our true nature and we no longer desire to experience.   As the offspring of Intelligence, Power and Spirit, we have within us an infinite capacity to seek that which is of value to us.  And our greatest asset will always be our ability to choose ... and to choose again and again until we find within us the consciousness of the Christ Itself (G-d within).  This "pearl of great price" that we experience may be "momentary" at first, but as we establish within our mind and heart the decision to realize Its presence within us to a greater degree, we shall experience It to a greater degree, and even greater still.

       From the book "What Are You?" we can read:  
"Do not resist your experiences by being ashamed when you have not known how to let God deliver you.  When you say of any matter, "I have not yet demonstrated," the reason for the delay is apparent to one who knows the source of demonstration.  The demonstrator demonstrates himself.  When "I" demonstrates, it demonstrates itself; that self is the personal; it federates with time and time involves postponements.  Do not oppose God by trying to demonstrate yourself.  Then God will demonstrate Himself; His demonstration will be of the nature of a miracle in your life. ... Do not resist ridicule of your confidence. ... Nonresistance will protect you from all the assaults that can be attempted by the inhabitants of the fictitious world.  It will open for you an entrance to the world of vital potentialities, the living soul and God."

       Nonresistance is not new.  The Master Mind Jesus called us to "resist not evil" ... that is, anything that "negates" the Good that is omnipresent.  Yet, we will not realize the tremendous benefit of nonresistance until we realize what the "I" within us contains.  As Imelda Shanklin writes; "Spiritually, what are you?  You are a soul that has forgotten its divine identity, a soul now struggling to remember, in the midst of time and in the confusions of experiences, that you are the living son (a part) of the living God."  How many times do we use the word "I" do we remind ourselves of this profound eternal truth about ourselves?  Few of us ever do, and fewer still even fully understand the fullness of power that the word carries with it.  To develop nonresistance we must be conscious of our feelings, our reactions, our words and our thoughts.  What makes us uncomfortable?  What makes us worry?  What are we concerned about?  Do we see the world with its great potentialities or do we see chaos and discord?  Do we see our life with great potential or ... ?  Let's understand the principle involved and with this understanding we shall realize a way in which we can draw to us the health, the wealth, the success and all that makes us whole in the life abundant.

      Daniel Boone Herring writes in his book, "Mind Surgery" (1931).... "Man's effort to frighten us into being "good" has made him lie tremendously about the whole thing for we have been taught that God punishes us for infractions of man's moral code.  This is too silly to need further comment.  Does electricity punish you if you get crossed up with it or does electricity merely express its nature?  Answer this and you answer all moral questions. ... This shows us the power of our own minds to forgive ourselves for all past condemnation.  Jesus said:  "But, to prove that the son of man (that is you) has the power to forgive sins on earth I say unto you, arise and go into thy house"; and the man arose and went into his house - healed of palsy.  This man was simply paralyzed with self-pity and self-condemnation and this mental action had reacted into his motor nervous system and paralyzed his nerve centers. ... In freeing yourself from bondage, you are to understand at once that every time you think backward you are trying to get water into the jug - and what you are seeking to accomplish is to get some water out of the jug. ... Self-condemnation plays no part in the life toward mastery.  Create new conditions - you cannot, by any conceivable possibility, redeem past conditions.  This is why Jesus said: "Let the dead bury the dead." ... This total non-recognition of the past is what blots our our so-called sins and makes us whiter than snow."

     And so we realize that the "Who" of "Who Are You?" is dependent upon our own realization that who we are today is who we choose to be.  We can refuse the joy and happiness, success and prosperity of the present by reminding ourselves of past sadness and gloom, failure and lack, or we can choose to remain focused on what it is that works for us and loose in our mind what no longer serves us.  Who Are You? and What Are You? are good questions to ask ourselves ... but no one else can answer them for us ... for no one else's answer is worthwhile to us ... these are questions we must answer for ourselves.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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"spiritual ... not religious"

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